Phoenicia Library rises triumphant from the ashes

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CUTTING THE RIBBON — Zara Dershowitz, 11, and her brother Mars, 9, got a kick out being the ribbon cutters to officially open the Marilyn Dershowitz Memorial Building, also known as the new Phoenicia Library, on Saturday. Their grandmother, Marilyn, a long time fan of the library, was killed in a bicycle accident in 2012, the year after the original library building burned. The new structure, which is located on the Main Street spot where the old one stood, was made possible by a sizeable donation made by the Dershowitz family in Marilyn’s name. Library Board President Bernard Handzel is at center, holding the ribbon. — Photo by Jay Braman, Jr.

OCS secretary is charged with taking fund-raiser money

By Jay Braman Jr.
State police have arrested an Onteora High School employee and charged her with felony grand larceny and related charges, alleging that she stole over $9,000 that school groups accumulated by holding fund-raisers.
Elizabeth Sopata, 45, of Kingston was charged on Aug. 4.


Shandaken, NYC settle tax dispute

By Jay Braman Jr.
Following the advice of Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC) officials, the Shandaken Town Board agreed Monday to a settlement of a dispute with New York City over the assessed value of the Pine Hill waste treatment plant.


Roadside weed control spraying questioned; DEP uses chemicals near reservoirs it protects

By Brian Sweeney
Days after a citizen complained to the Middletown Board about potential contamination from municipal pesticide use, the NYC Department of Environmental Protection applied pesticides adjacent to the Pepacton Reservoir.


Patriotic Tournament benefits Parkinson's fight

The Second Parkinson’s Patriotic Tournament, a golf tournament to benefit The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, will be held on Saturday, Sept. 12 at Shephard Hills Golf Course in Roxbury. The red-white-blue scramble tournament will be played with a four-person captain and crew format, and six holes each will be played from the red, white and blue tees; mulligans and skins will also be featured.


Shandaken Democrats pick slate for fall

By Jay Braman Jr.
Shandaken Democrats came up with a full slate of candidates at their party caucus at the Glenford Park Pavilion last Tuesday evening.
As expected, there were no challenges to incumbent supervisor Peter DiSclafani, seeking his second two-year term. He will face Republican Challenger Rob Stanley, a town councilman now at the end of his first four-year term.


Tomato blight a growing problem in northeast

By Julia Green
JR Lawrence’s vegetable garden in the back yard of his Swart Street, Margaretville home is a source of a variety of summer vegetables. Cucumbers, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, parsnips, beans, carrots, beets, peppers and squash all line the perimeter of his yard, interspersed with floral plants like dahlias and black-eyed Susans.
There is one crop that will be noticeably missing from his late-summer produce, however: tomatoes.
About a month ago, Lawrence’s six tomato plants fell victim to late blight, a disease of which plant pathologists have reported an outburst in the region this summer.


Man shot in fight at Phoenicia home

By Jay Braman Jr.
An early Sunday morning struggle between two visitors, reportedly brothers, and the owner of a Town of Shandaken home, ended when one of the visitors was shot in the groin inside the home on Route 214 in the Hamlet of Phoenicia.


Esopus tuber drowns in Phoenicia accident

By Jay Braman Jr.
A Kerhonkson man drowned in a tubing accident Sunday afternoon in the Esopus Creek in Phoenicia.
According to Shandaken Police, Peter Debaun, 55, was tubing with a group on the creek when he fell from his tube in strong rapids and his legs became stuck in underwater rocks.


Crossroads threatening to back out of land sale

By Jay Braman Jr.
The developers of a proposed $400 million resort in Shandaken are asking the Ulster County Legislature to grant a right-of-way over county land that lies between their holdings and more than 1,200 acres of property they plan to sell to the state.


Catskill Center to lead Scenic Byway Project

Arkville — The Catskill Center for Conservation and Development will lead the effort in pursuing a Scenic Byway designation for a 50-mile stretch of Route 28 in the Catskill Mountain Region.
A designation will stimulate local economies through tourism and recreation and open the door to federal and state moneys. The Central Catskills Collaborative, a group of seven communities along the Route 28 Corridor, recently contracted with The Catskill Center to guide the development of a Corridor Management Plan, a requirement in the Scenic Byway nomination process.


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