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Monday, January 21, 2019


Get Ready to Renaissance!

To the editor:
Last week's G2R Winter Symposium - Get Ready to Renaissance was a tremendous success. We saw returning friends and grant recipients; and just as many new faces.
The entire team at Sullivan Renaissance would like to extend appreciation to those who participated in making the event as enriching as it was by being part of our panel and co-presenting workshops. Thank you to Maria Bivins, Livingston Manor; Patrice Chester, Deputy Administrator for the Town of Thompson; Linda Hazen, Lumberland Volunteer; Jane Hyman, Former Renaissance Intern and Crew Member; Andrew Koehn, Garden Design Panel; Jarna Maniquet, Garden Design Panel; Josh Potosek, County Manager; Nancy Proyect, Orange County Citizens Foundation and Sullivan Renaissance Judge and Irene Stover, Garden Design Panel.
Additional thanks to our community partners for fulfilling a resource area to connect with volunteers and let them know about support and resources that are available throughout Sullivan County. Thank you to The ARC of Sullivan - Orange Counties; CCE Sullivan County Master Gardener Volunteers; Center for Workforce Development; Delaware Valley Job Corps; New Hope Community; SC Division of Planning & Community Development; SC Parks & Recreation; SC Probation Department; Sullivan BOCES.
For anyone considering a project or interested in a grant, we hope to see you at the Grant Workshop on February 6. We look forward to hearing about your vision for your community and the projects you are hoping to work on this summer.
Sullivan Renaissance

Sullivan Renaissance

Such abnormal HATE!

To the editor:
In my 02-22-17 letter, I thought we were getting rid of the ‘HATE', is just like several other letters that I've had printed in the past 3 years puts his points-of-hate in the toilet. But I'll stick to his main point that he is full of hate!
To read how much Marshall hates & has hatred for Trump before and since as POTUS, how much he HATES him is beyond normality which he tries to justify his contempt not as prejudice but as sound reason! Wonder what he thinks of Assad?
How does one have sound reason to hate another person so profoundly or have justifiable contempt for another without prejudice, whose meaning consists of hate! Especially when the hated person hasn't hurt anyone unlike other countries leaders from the past and today. Marshall is his own ‘hate group' which doesn't seem healthy!
Over 2 years and the crying continues with hatred showing its ugly head in our society, next will be a hate-cartoon from Phillipsport!
Hillary calls Americans ‘deplorable's' and this ‘man-of-hate' calls Americans ‘brain dead '! Such a small shell of a man, so far from reality that someone that ‘hates' this much could be hostile, a danger to someone or to himself! Hope he doesn't have any firearms!
How can he call for ‘sane' during his profound hatred rampage mentioning hate aggressively many times?
Remove Trump from office? Marshall fails to realize that those ‘lifers' in congress for more than a decade have been ruining our country, Marshall doesn't hate those liars tho! We need term-limits for them!
With so much hate inside of him I find it hard to believe that he hates and has hatred for only 1 person!
His out-pour of such hate makes me wonder if he'll ever find peace though he's complacent.

Don Dittmer
Lake Huntington

Balancing Priorities Is a Never-ending Challenge

To the editor:
I'm often heard telling folks that it's important we “take care of our own”: that we pay County employees a living wage that doesn't require them to be lining up at our Social Services office just to put food on the family table - or just as bad, taking their skills elsewhere. I've written about that topic in this very space.
But that concept extends to our taxpayers, too, and it is this balance that my colleagues and I often agonize over. An undeniable fact is that New York State is losing residents largely because of the enormous tax burden placed on their shoulders, and County leaders have a responsibility to address that proactively.
It is a rare success when we can raise salaries without raising taxes, but we're working on that right now, hoping to complete long-awaited contracts with several of our employee unions. I'm optimistic we'll be able to do so without further burdening taxpayers, thanks to a better economy and brighter prospects for everyone in Sullivan County.
The ironic part about achieving balance, however, is that you constantly have to work at it. It's like walking a tightrope: the moment you rest is the moment you lose your balance.
So the next “balancing act” already lies before the County. In fact, the challenge has been awaiting us for the past three years - the entire term thus far of this Legislature. If you've read this newspaper or talked to your local town officials, you've probably already heard about it: sharing newfound monies with our 15 townships.
Supervisors of those towns have been asking the County for a cut of increased sales tax income since before the current Legislature was seated. And while our predecessors were close to agreeing on a sharing formula with the towns, my colleagues and I felt that we should wait to see not only what new revenues came our way but also what new expenses cropped up. For as anyone with a budget knows well, expenses tend to keep pace with revenues, if not outpace them.
Plus, this Legislature agrees with me that our employees have suffered with low wages long enough, and if we are to achieve that “rare success” of raising salaries without raising taxes, we have to utilize that increased revenue from the array of new and expanded development now ongoing throughout the County.
That's how we've set our priorities, and I've endured some very pointed criticism from town leaders for that stance. Regardless, I think we've made the right decision.
However, the pleas of town supervisors to help them balance their budgets and more cost-efficiently serve their taxpayers - OUR taxpayers - has not gone unheard by this Legislature. The County already shares resources, equipment and personnel with our towns whenever and wherever we can, and vice-versa. We have to rely on each other - we're too small a place not to.
So while we have not moved forward on sharing sales tax revenues, I believe we've found another new revenue stream into which towns can tap. We're working out the details, and I plan to announce this exciting new initiative at my State of the County Address, tentatively scheduled for January 24. It's about “taking care of our own”: in this case, our towns and our taxpayers. Stay tuned!

Luis A. Alvarez

Thank you to BCES Trail Project

To the editor:
Part of my work as a part-time employee of the Fallsburg Central School District is to write press releases and articles and to take photographs celebrating the achievements of students and staff. I always want to acknowledge people and organizations that contribute to the well-being and the successes of the children, the parents and the school personnel. Sometimes there are so many contributors it is hard to mention everyone in the space allowed.
Such is the case with a wonderful project that has taken over two years to complete—the restoration and improvements to the hiking trail behind Benjamin Cosor Elementary School. The main champion of this project is first grade teacher Mrs. Leah Exner. On her behalf, I am writing this thank you letter to all those who contributed their time, their donations of money, in-kind materials and equipment, discounted supplies, and countless hours at the work site to fulfill the dream of Mrs. Exner and many teachers at BCES that began and implemented earlier versions of the trail.
The supplier and donor list includes: Woodbourne Lawn &Garden, Woodbourne Landscape Supply, Fallsburg Lumber, Rock Hill Trading Post, Home Depot of Monticello, FCSD, Steingart Associates, Tri-Valley School District Field Management Class, Tri-Valley FFA, Walmart of Monticello, A. Alport & Sons, Rock Hill Pharmacy, Friends of Sullivan County, NNG's Ed Schutte, Morgan Outdoors and Lisa Lyons, BCES PTA, The Maker's Lab, Diane Galusha of Catskill Watershed Corporation, Fallsburg Construction, Greg & Linda Goldstein, Newman Signs, and two generous anonymous donations supporting materials and snow shoes.
The hands-on volunteers of service and expertise includes: Colleen Emery and Diana Weiner of Sullivan Renaissance, SueAnn Boyd, Emily DeVore, Wanda Vionet Cruz of Cornell Cooperative of Sullivan County, Brian Brustman the Sullivan County Water Conservation & Soil Manager, Sullivan County Historian John Conway, Lee & Lucy Smassanow, Arnold Seletsky of Town of Fallsburg Parks & Recreation, Steve Vegliante Town of Fallsburg Supervisor, Sullivan County BOCES Construction Technology Program, Tri-Valley Lion's, FCSD Grounds keeping Staff, FCSD High School Life Skills Class, Sullivan County Longbeards, FCSD Cross Country Team, FCSD Leo's Club Girl Scouts - Heart of the Hudson, FCSD Publicity- Larry Schafman, FCSD Extended Day, FCSD Wellness Committee, FCSD PBIS Committee, FCSD Administration and FCSD Business Office, BCES Principal Mary Kate Stinehour. FCSD Athletic Director Suzanne Lendzian, FCSD Coaches Daniel Redman and Danielle Halikias, Mike Herbert, Patrick Mickelson, Andrew Exner, Ashley Exner, Paul Exner, Helen Exner, BCES Art Teacher Heidi Camacho, BCES Office Staff Hayley Frunzi and Bonnie Blanchard, Preston Kelly, and Todd Huebsch.
For grants received: Sullivan Renaissance Healthy Community Initiatives; Cornell Cooperative of Sullivan County Healthy Schools and Communities; NYS Education Literacy Grant; Pi State DKG Educational Foundation Grant toward Literacy; and Empire State After School Grant.
If I have overlooked your name, please let me know. Thank you.

Larry Schafman

Students deserve better

To the editor:
In Reply to 1/6 Article: “Metzger, Roscoe CSD disappointed with Governor's veto.”
As a parent, taxpayer and local school board member in my community, I join the parents, families and the Downsville, Livingston Manor and Roscoe Central School Districts to express my deep disappointment with the decision of Governor Andrew Cuomo to veto legislation to prevent the loss of millions in building aid.
Our students deserve school facilities that are safe, secure and fit to prepare our young minds to become tomorrows' future leaders. Despite New York State on paper spending the highest per pupil, many of our rural school districts are short changed of thousands if not millions of dollars they are due in academic funding. At the same time, New York State annually passes a bill of over $ 10 billion dollars to pay in unfunded mandates to our school districts and local municipalities. That's money being robbed from the classroom and a tragic upsetting guarantee of ever-increasing higher taxes on our overburdened homeowners. The Governor's veto here is another example of a State Government that too often pays lip service to our school districts' needs, but whose actions are too often detrimental instead in cost and lack of resources.
So I join my fellow parents and educators by urging Governor Cuomo here to reconsider his veto and provide the relief owed to our school districts in Orange and Sullivan Counties, while supporting passage of needed legislative reform that will correct the inequities in school aid and rein in the cost of unfunded mandates.
Sincerely Yours,

Kevin Gomez, Esq.
Attorney & Counselor at Law

Kevin Gomez, Esq.

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