Olive

School voters go to the polls

Tuesday, May 20 is election day for school districts across New York State. Today, voters go to the polls to decide the fate of school budgets, elect candidates for local school boards and vote on school propositions. 

Statewide, increases in school taxes are slowing, according to a report from the NYS Association of School Business Officials (NYSASBO). Schools are under pressure to keep tax increases low because of a statewide tax cap passed in 2011, which restricts the growth of the annual tax levy unless voters pass an override at the polls. The average school tax levy increase in the state this year is 1.8 percent -- the lowest increase in six years, according to NYSASBO. 

Here are a few of the most interesting school races around the region this year:   Read more

Slush fund: NYS doles out extra cash to fix weather-battered roads

Upstate New York is notorious for its rough winters. But even for those inured to feet of snow and frozen mountain passes, the winter of 2013-14 was a brutal one, marked by long stretches of subzero temps and winter weather that lasted well into April. 

Amid the storm clouds was a silver lining: Towns and villages are getting a little bit of extra cash from the state to fix up roads that took a beating during this year's unusually harsh winter. This spring, the New York state budget included a one-time $40 million fund for winter weather recovery, in addition to $438 million in the state's regular highway budget.  Read more

Letter to the Editor: To the Voters of the Onteora School District

Open Letter to the Voters of the Onteora School District:

My name is Tanya Davis. I am a mother of three, attorney, business owner, and candidate for Onteora Board of Education Trustee. My husband is an Onteora graduate, and I have been a resident of the Onteora District since 2001. My children have attended Bennett and Phoenicia elementary schools. My daughters are both sixth graders at Bennett, and my son is a freshman in the high school. One of my daughters is a special education student in a self-contained classroom.

I have focused my professional career fairly equally on education and the law. I have taught at every level from pre-school to law school. I have advocated for families with special needs kids, I am chair of the District-wide Special Education PTA, past President of the Bennett PTA, and current member of the NYS Bar Association’s Special Needs Planning Committee, Committee on Issues Affecting People with Disabilities and Estate, Trusts & Tax Committee.  Read more

Letter to the Editor: From the Onteora Superintendent

Dear Community Members of the Onteora Central School District,

I’d like to encourage you to come out to the District Budget Vote on Tuesday, May 20, from 2 to 9 PM at your local elementary school. This year there will be three items on the ballot: the 2014-2015 proposed budget, a no-tax-increase Capital Reserve Proposition, and the Board of Education elections.

The $51,876,125 proposed budget represents a 0.52% increase over last year. There will be a 0% increase in the levy.  Read more

Letter to the Editor: Vote in the Onteora school election on May 20

Dear Onteora Community Members,

The Onteora Board of Education is pleased to announce that, for the third year in a row, our proposed annual budget will see no increase in the tax levy. There are no cuts in programs, but rather an increase in the number of High School electives, an additional course in the Middle School, the continuation of a summer Academic Intervention Services (AIS) program for Kindergarten-Grade 8, and some much-needed immediate repairs.

We are also pleased to present to voters a proposal for a Capital Reserve Project that would tackle major, long-term structural repairs and upgrades to our aging facilities. While the vast majority of the work is set to take place at the Middle School/High School, the project also calls for replacement of the Phoenicia Primary School building’s boiler with a dual oil/biomass (wood pellet) system. This will significantly reduce our fuel expenses and carbon footprint, using renewable, sustainable fuel produced here in New York, keeping more of our energy dollars local.   Read more

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Flood watch in effect for Catskills

Above: A graphic produced Friday morning by the National Weather Service in Albany, showing widespread flood watches west of the Hudson River. 

Flood watches are in effect across the Catskills region for Friday afternoon through Saturday morning, as heavy rains move into the area.

A slow-moving band of rain is moving from west to east, and is expected to drop an inch or two on the Catskills region before moving on. Hudson Valley Weather is predicting drier weather for the upcoming weekend.

If you have a rain gauge, the National Weather Service in Binghamton is looking for rainfall reports.  Read more

Table limit: New York State releases minimum investment figures for casinos

Photo by Flickr user Mark Menzies; published under Creative Commons license.

Casino developers hoping to land one of four prized licenses from New York State will have to prove that they're investing enough in the project. But although the state's minimum investment figures are in the hundreds of millions of dollars, they're not likely to prove an obstacle to deep-pocketed casino developers, many of whom have already unveiled plans to spend much more than the state's required minimum figures.  Read more

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Felonious fugitive arrested on Route 28

A man who was stopped on Route 28 in Olive last week, and arrested for possession of a stun gun, was found to be a fugitive from justice wanted by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), according to the New York State Police.

Arrested on Friday, May 2 by state troopers was 42-year-old Luis Antonio Roman of Philadelphia, PA. Police say he gave a false name and identification upon his arrest. When state troopers learned his real identity, they discovered that he was wanted by ICE for re-entering the U.S. as a deported felon. 

Senior Investigator Stan O'Dell of the New York State Police's Kingston barracks, who is overseeing an ongoing investigation into the matter, said that he does not know when or why Roman was deported, or what country he is originally from. "That would have to come from Immigration and Customs Enforcement," he said.  Read more


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