Recent Articles

From around the County:

Letter to the Editor: Neid Calls for Pipeline Withdrawal

Written By Editor on 9/23/14 | 9/23/14

Late this afternoon the Schoharie County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution opposing any additional pipelines through the county. The final vote came after several false starts in which the resolution was first passed, then withdrawn for reconsideration and finally passed again.
The resolution represents another impediment to the already troubled Constitution Pipeline and the more recently proposed Kinder-Morgan/Tennessee Pipeline and underscores the high level of opposition in Schoharie County to both projects. The resolution passed despite reported lobbying efforts by Constitution Pipeline representative John Faso at the County level.
The Center for Sustainable Rural Communities calls on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to reject both the Constitution and Kinder-Morgan/Tennessee projects not only in response to overwhelming community opposition but also in recognition of the negative economic, environmental and cultural impacts they would cause across more than 120 miles of rural New York State. 
Bob Nied
Board of Directors
Center for Sustainable Rural Communities

Cobleskill Police Blotter

Monday, September 15, .2014

At 10:55 pm. Cobleskill Police arrested Jonathan A. Mascia, 20, of White
Plains: NY, for Violation of the Village Noise Ordinance. He was issued an
appearance ticket and released. He is to appear in Cobleskill Town Court on
September 30 at 5:00 pm.

At 10:55 pm Cobleskill Police arrested Spencer L. McKaig, 20, of Troy, NY, tor
Violation ot the Village Noise Ordinance. He was issued an appearance ticket
and released. He is to appear in Cobleskill Town Court on September 30 at
5:00 pm.

At 10:55 pm Cobleskill Police arrested Andrew C, Caraballo, 21, of Brewster,
NY, for Violation of the Village Noise Ordinance. He was issued an appearance
ticket and released. He is to appear in Cobleskill Town Court on September 30 at 5:00 pm.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

At 915 pm. Cobleskill Police arrested Chad Corsi, 32, or Carlisle, NY, on an
Arrest Warrant for Harassment. He was arraigned in Cobleskill Town Court and
remanded to the Schoharie County Jail on $2,815.52 due to a Family Court
Warrant. He is to return to Cobleskill Town Court on October 7 at 5:00 pm
Thursday, September 18, 2014

At 12:40 pm. Cobleskill Police arrested Stephanie Goodsill, 19, of Middleburgh
NY, for Petit Larceny. She was issued an appearance ticket and released. She
is to appear in Cobleskill Town Court on October 21 at 5:00 pm.

At 4:41 pm Cobleskill Police arrested Brandon J. Pileckas, 38, of Amsterdam,
NY, for Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle 2“, Criminal
Possession of a Hypodermic instrument, Criminal Possession of a Controlled
Substance 7th and Petit Larceny. He was arraigned in Cobleskill Town Court
and remanded to the Schoharie County Jail on $5000 Bail / $10,000 Bond. He is
to return to Cobleskill Town Court on September 30 at 5:00 pm.

At 4:41 pm Cobleskill Police arrested Danny P. Rivera, 31: of Amsterdam, NY, V.
tor Petit Larceny and Criminal Possession of a Hypodermic instrument. He was
arraigned in Cobleskill Town Court and remanded to the Schoharie County jail
on $5000 Ear? 5 $10000 Bond. tie is to return to Cobleskill Town Court on
September 30 at 5:00pm.

SUNY Cobleskill Hosting Beer Education this Saturday

SUNY Cobleskill's Office of Professional And Continuing Education (PACE) will be offering Grain to Glass Workshops on September 27th. The event is open to the public. All sessions are free with the exception of the beer tasting, which is $8.50.

Please see the schedule for the all day event below:

Ethington Found Guilty by County Board

Written By Editor on 9/22/14 | 9/22/14

A pared down panel of members of the County Board of Supervisors have found Cassandra Ethington guilty of misconduct. The eight panel ad-hoc jury voted tonight to remove the former Personnel Director from her position.

The vote was a unanimous 8-0. All of the Supervisors on the panel voted to let her go. The trial has been going on for several months. The Supervisors on the jury were Buzon (Middleburgh), Bleau (Wright), McAllister (Cobleskill), Federice (Conesville), Smith (Blenheim), Smith (Broome), VanGlad (Gilboa), and VanWormer (Esperance).

The deliberation took for an hour. Former Schoharie News editor Tim Knight said, "Tonight's verdict was the culmination of many months of investigation into misconduct in County government and tonight justice was done."

Ethington had been suspended from her position since last year.

Vote in Our Poll: Vote for Governor

Vote in the poll on our sidebar for who you would choose for governor. Current Governor Andrew Cuomo clinched the Democratic nomination and will face off against Republican nominee Rob Astorino. Who do you choose?

Poll: High Skepticism Regarding New Pipelines

Schoharie County residents are skeptical about the idea of having new pipelines in the County. There is widespread opposition to the installation of further pipelines and some support for removing those already in the country.

Yes 25% - 45
Yes if deemed environmentally safe 24% - 43
Yes if fracking is banned 2% - 4
No-- we have enough 38% - 68
No-- get rid of the existing ones, as well 8% - 14
Don't know/undecided 3% -6
Total: 180

In another way, the poll could be seen as:

Yes- 25%
Yes, conditionally: 26%
No: 46%
Don't know/undecided: 3%

The opposition to the pipeline plan as currently configured is the strongest portion of the local populace.

Opinion: End the Ethington Era

Written By Editor on 9/21/14 | 9/21/14

Cassandra Ethington's rise to Personnel Director and her seizure of power over the Health Department and manipulation of the Planning and Development Department were a black mark on Schoharie County's history.

Now it's time to erase that mark for the County Board of Supervisors.

With eight members remaining on the "jury," it is their responsibility to make sure that Ethington's alleged misdeeds are confronted and punished. With a decision expected later this Monday, it is time for the Board to fire her once and for all: no more paid suspension, no more delays, and no hung jury.

It's the least that the Board can do, especially after the employees that had to face her wrath, including employees that should not have been removed in the first place. Constant manipulation, hiring of political allies, and the near breakdown of the County's system of government should have consequences.

And if there was anyone else that aided or directed Ethington's reign of terror, they should face justice as well.

Send her out the door.

Letter to the Editor: Why the Lack of Coverage?

Written By Editor on 9/19/14 | 9/19/14

Dear Times Journal,

Shame on you! I am referring to the lack of coverage of the Country Rock the Valley Concert in
Schoharie on August 23, 2014. Just because it was not advertised in your paper, does not mean that it
should not be covered as a popular community event. You also excluded the Schoharie Promotional
Association which puts on events all year long, for free!! There are 16 towns in Schoharie County which should receive coverage in the Times Journal, but it seems that only events in Cobleskill, Sharon Springs and Middleburgh, get coverage.

Paul LoCascio, Pete Bruyn and many others have been organizing the Country Rock the Valley Concert since Hurricane Irene in 2011. They even managed to get a huge concert together that year!!! Together they have raised over $100,000 for the people of Schoharie that were devastated by the Hurricane. The organizers and all the volunteers work tirelessly for months to ensure the success of the Country Rock the Valley Concert and to bring it to the level that it has become today.

All the bands donate their time and ask nothing in return. Maybe in the future the Times Journal could adopt a similar philosophy and help community groups and support them. I understand you are in business to make money, but if an organization chooses not to advertise in the paper, the news story of that event should not be underpublicized.

Although you published pictures of the bed races, there were no explanations as to why they were
taking place. Do you even know why?? The bed races are a fun way to get people out into the village
and have some fun together, while raising money for the Schoharie Volunteer Fire Department. They
still need help rebuilding three years after the Hurricane.

Please do not advertise as “The News of Schoharie County” if the news from the entire county is not
being covered.
Shari Carr
Schoharie, New York

450 Signatures Presented to Middleburgh Against Fracking

Last Thursday the Middleburgh Town Board had a lively debate about the potential merits and dangers of fracking. Most of the conversation warned against the practice, with various fears regarding the possibility of it coming to Schoharie County.

Village Trustee William Morton with the help of several volunteers received a series of signatures asking the Town Board to ban hydrofracking within its borders. The petition specifically asks for the Town Board to pass the "Slottje provisions," written by two attorneys as a watertight law unlikely to be overturned in appellate court.

The 450 signatures represent a large segment of the Town's population, noted Trustee Morton. He stated that upwards of 80% of those asked to sign did so.

In order to pass the Slottje provisions into law, the Town Board must first set and hold a public hearing. There was a lively debate over whether to set this hearing among the members.

Council member Susan Makely said that the signatures represent many people that want something done immediately.

Supervisor James Buzon, who has struggled to convince the Town Board to agree to ban fracking, agreed.

Council member Frank Herodes said that he did not like mention of how natural gas development could affect deer hunting. He said that he did not like hunting.

After a spirited debate, the Board voted 5-0 to set the public hearing on the Slottje provisions. While it is unclear if the provisions will pass next month, it is the farthest the discussion has gone in over two years of debate.

Letter to the Editor: Will There Be Change in Jefferson?

Dear Supervisor Sean Jordan,

When you were first elected, we anticipated the beginning of a new era. An era free of corruption, ineptitude and bias. We welcomed the new leadership and the opportunity to start a fresh, positive relationship with the town. We hoped to see a change in attitude, a fair approach, a new face.
Sadly, nine months later, we have yet to see any indication that there’s been any change in Jefferson. All we see is the perpetuation of old biases, the retaining of unqualified and incompetent contractors, the same old excuses, tired and worn pretexts.

As you well know, the governing body of the Town of Jefferson has been embroiled in an ugly dispute with Oorah for years. Repeatedly and through various means, the town has attempted to prevent our organization from fulfilling its mission. Documents have established that there has been a clear pattern of bias and abuse of power.

Oorah was forced to sue the town four times over the past four years. First because, under former Town Supervisor Daniel Singletary’s leadership, the town refused to issue building permits for properly designed camp structures. The town’s defense was unsuccessful and the permits were issued. Schoharie County Attorney Michael West, who represented the town in that case, later accepted an appointment as an administrative judge, proposing to decide a regulatory matter filed against Oorah by the County Department of Health.  This revealed Mr. West’s disregard for the rules of professional conduct by serving in positions that placed him in a direct conflict of interest. Every decent lawyer knows that you cannot serve as a judge over a party that the lawyer just had a case against. Later, Mr. West reluctantly recused himself when we pointed out the ethical problem, and the routine Department of Health matter was then easily resolved administratively.

Then the town, again under Mr. Singletary’s leadership, twice refused to grant Oorah its tax exemption, and again, lost the two suits filed against it. Town assessor Mark Los publicly stated, “It was worth the fight”. It is difficult to imagine that the town’s taxpayers would agree with this assessment.

In this ongoing fourth case, Oorah seeks certificates of occupancy for its completed camp buildings. The town refuses, baselessly, to issue them. Within the last week, the Supreme Court of New York has issued the third interim order requiring the township to allow Oorah to occupy and use its gymnasium, the primary building in question. Yet the Town of Jefferson continues to drag out the legal process, with no end in sight.

 From the start, we have done everything in our power to bring this case to a peaceful resolution, attempting at all times to comply with the town’s requests and demonstrating our good-faith efforts to move toward a mutually satisfactory conclusion. Our position has always been clear: we are here to make peace.

Every indication had been that you, too, were interested in a fair resolution of issues and putting aside ill will and uncalled-for antagonism. Yet we are sorry to say that those indications seem to have been unfounded.

We had hoped that we would finally be able to focus our time and resources on our vital mission without the distraction of baseless harassment by a town government motivated by bias. Those hopes have regrettably remained unrealized.
It’s not only we who deserve a clear answer. Your constituents, the good people of Jefferson, deserve to know as well: Why does its government  continue to waste taxpayer dollars on a lost case? Let the residents of Jefferson know why its political leadership stubbornly continues to fight an old battle which the courts have found to be without merit, carelessly spending tax money on exorbitant legal fees.

The facts of the case are clearly documented. We have been forced by the town’s desire to extend this battle to retain engineers and other experts who have certified that our buildings are safe, but you unreasonably refuse to accept these findings. The courts have ruled in our favor. Oorah, the residents of Jefferson, and the cause of justice are owed leadership that will step up to the plate to end this pointless war. Leadership that will control ethically compromised lawyers and bring the case to its end, as should have happened long ago.

We urge you to take the reins and change the way you will be perceived in this narrative. Will you go down in the annals of Schoharie history as the hero who finally brought an end to this dragged-out affair or as the weak leader who followed meekly in the footsteps of his belligerent and biased predecessor in wasting town funds to launch a losing and hopeless battle?

We would like to see this case settled and leave it behind us so that we can begin a new, improved relationship. But we’ve been mistreated for far too long already, and our responsibility to ourselves, to those we serve, and to those who support our work is to ensure that this illegal and unjust campaign is brought to an end. In addition to the actions already taken, keep in mind that there are other legal options open to us. Indeed, the documentary evidence seems to indicate that such measures will further vindicate Oorah, and expose the town, and possibly its officials, to extensive liability.

We offer peace.  Will you work with us to bring peace to the Valley or will you continue to allow your constituents to fund, and others to wage, this needless, lost war of retribution?

-- Camp Oorah

Richmondville Couple Arrested for Growing Marijuana

A Richmondville couple has been charged with several offenses stemming from an alleged marijuana growing operation.

A search warrant revealing ten pounds of marijuana and growing equipment led to the arrest of Samantha Buffo, 24, and Thomas McLasky, 29. 
 According to police, Along with marijuana, fireworks and two non-commercially manufactures M1000 type explosives were found.

More information from WTEN here.

Before and After: An Irene Photostudy

Written By Editor on 9/18/14 | 9/18/14

Local reader Michael Avitabile sent us these photos of scenes from Middleburgh, Schoharie, and down the Schoharie Valley of scenes of heartbreak and recovery from the flood.

The former Chamber of Commerce location on Main Street Middleburgh, now ICCI Computer Concepts

Wayman's Furniture, Middleburgh

Main Street, Middleburgh

Debris, Middleburgh

Main Street, Schoharie

Old and New Stewart's, Schoharie

River Street, Middleburgh

Student Escorted Off Schoharie Campus After Unidentified Threat

Written By Editor on 9/17/14 | 9/17/14

From the Schoharie Central School webpage:
A Schoharie High School student was escorted from school this morning, September 17, by the New York State Police regarding a threat made outside of school. At no time were students or staff at risk, and the school remains calm and safe. The safety of students and staff is paramount to Schoharie Central Schools and the New York State Police, and all threats are taken very seriously. The matter is being handled by the New York State Police and the student is not in school at this time. Questions or concerns may be directed to SCS Interim Superintendent Dr. Kathryn Gerbino or High School Principal Dr. Stacey DeLaney.

2014 County Flu Clinic Schedule

Shared with us by the County Health Department.

Letter to the Editor: Set the Record Straight

One of the articles in the police blotter written about me is inaccurate. In the September 15 Cobleskill police blotter it says that I was arrested for a noise ordinance. This is untrue as the police came to my apartment, illegally entered during my friend's birthday celebration (who also is in the article as "arrested") and then wrote us a summons for a noise violation. We were never quoted Miranda rights or anything to signify being arrested. The responding officer told us that it was just a summoning ticket to find if we pay a fee or not. When my name is searched I do not want a false arrest appearing which slanders my name or the name of my friend, Alberto Vidales.

-- Patrick Pensivy

Sharon Springs Fire Dept. French Toast Breakfast this Saturday

Written By Editor on 9/16/14 | 9/16/14

The Sharon Springs Fire Department is offering its annual French toast breakfast. The event is open to the public and is all you can eat. Come on Saturday, September 20th from 7am-noon and join in the fun.

The Sharon Springs Harvestfest is happening the same day.

RSVP or find out more here.

Flurry of Business Openings in Schoharie

Schoharie is continuing is ascent out of the dark days after the flood. In the past several months, the community has seen a sharp increase in the number of businesses on Main Street. Just this past week the village has opened its second hair salon in recent months.

The Top Knot Hair Salon and Makeup Lounge and the Amy Rockwell Photography studio both opened its doors at 289 Main Street, in different parts of the building.

Photo credit: Schoharie Promo Association
Schoharie also saw the opening of Rehab Support Services on Main Street.

Top Knot's facebook page can be found here. Amy Rockwell Photography's site can be found here.

Cobleskill Police Blotter

Written By Editor on 9/15/14 | 9/15/14

Friday, September 12, 2014

At 8:35pm Cobleskill Police arrested Ashley A. Brantley, 19, of Springfield
Gardens, NY, for Petit larceny. She was issued an appearance ticket and
released. She is to appear is Cobleskill Town Court on September 30th at 5:00

At 11:38 pm Cobleskill Police arrested Caitlyn R. Lockwood, 24, of Cobleskill,
NY, for Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle 3rd. She was
arraigned in Cobleskill Town Court and released. She is to return to Cobleskill
Town Court on September 30th at 4:00 pm.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

At 11:00 pm Cobleskill Police arrested Patrick J. Pensivy, 22, of Hicksville, NY,
for Violation of the Village Noise Ordinance. He was issued an appearance ticket
and released. He is to appear in Cobleskill Town Court on September 30th at 5:00

At 11:00 pm Cobleskill Police arrested Alberto M. Vidales, 23, of Mamaroneck,
NY, for Violation of the Village Noise Ordinance. He was issued an appearance
ticket and released. He is to appear in Cobleskill Town Court on September 30th
at 5:00 p.m.

At 11:00 pm Cobleskill Police issued a summons to Emily K. Doyle, 18, of
Kingston, NY, for Possession of Alcohol by a person under the age of 21. She is
to appear in Cobleskill Town Court on September 30th at 5:00 pm.

At 11:00 pm Cobleskill Police issued a summons to Devon A. Mintzes, 17, of
Bay Shore, NY, for Possession of Alcohol by a person under the age of 21. She
is to appear in Cobleskill Town Court on September 30th at 5:00 pm.

Vote in New Poll: Pipelines in Schoharie

Make sure to vote in our new poll on the right hand sidebar regarding the future of pipelines in Schoharie County.

Poll: Most Think Ethington Will Be Found Guilty

Most of the readers of the Schoharie News believe that former Personnel Director Cassandra Ethington will be convicted by the County Board of Supervisors and removed from her position. The unscientific poll, conducted over the last week attracted over 100 respondents.

 What Do You Think Will Happen in the Ethington Case?

She will be found guilty 55% - 74 
She will be found not guilty 22% - 30 
There will be a mistrial 14% - 19 
Don't know 9% - 12 
 135 total

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