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The Best Gifts from Schoharie County

Mascot Battle in Schoharie

Written By Editor on 6/29/20 | 6/29/20

By David Avitabile
As statues of historical figures are being defaced and toppled throughout the United States, a battle is raging in the Schoharie Valley on whether to change the Schoharie Central School mascot and alma mater.
Rival groups have taken to social media to defend their positions. One group, Change it from Mascot to Mentor and Keep it Schoharie Indians, is fiercely defending the decades-old mascot while another group, Schoharie Central New Alma Mater and Mascot Collaboration, is fighting to change the mascot and the school song.
Apparently the pro-change group surfaced first, but was quickly shut down after several business owners received threats. The pro-Indian group page is still active and has quickly gained 979 members and is preparing a petition to give to the school board.
The question on whether to change the SCS mascot has been brought up several times, most recently about 20 years ago. After hearing arguments from both sides, school board members at that time decided to leave everything as is.
Rachel Golden, a spokeswoman for the pro-change group, said it was started with “the understanding that American Indian mascots are an outdated concept that perpetuate stereotype and perpetuate harm among the American Indian population, particularly young people.”
The current climate may be the right time to make the change in Schoharie, wrote Ms. Golden, who is from Schoharie but currently lives in Washington D.C., according to her Facebook page.
“This is currently a unique time in correcting past civil rights errors in the United States and the hope was to brainstorm a mascot alternative that would actively welcome all children to the Schoharie Central Schools while celebrating the strong, rich, and vibrant history of the Schoharie Valley without caricature or stereotype.
“The hope was to collect ideas for alternative mascots to be voted on by the community at large and fundraise to help the school district slowly change, understanding this is an era with diminished resources for the schools.”
It never got to that point.
“There were threats made to the most active administrators of the group. Family members and children were named in ways that were inappropriate. In the hysterics even the wrong small businesses were attributed to group leadership.”
The page was eventually shut down.
“There was a group of community members who were clearly very offended by the thought of change and didn’t understand that this wasn’t a group to discuss the idea of if the mascot was a problem. As anger built members looking for change didn’t feel safe and safety was the biggest concern.”
The members of the group do not expect to bring any possible changes to the school board.
The Facebook page to keep the Indian quickly sprang up.
“We started the group because there was another group on Facebook that was trying to change our beloved mascot, the Indians,” said spokeswoman Tammy Coluccio.
“The Indian mascot has been a part of Schoharie for over 70 to 80 years. It is in all our blood if you grew up in Schoharie and went to Schoharie School. I have aunts, uncle, cousins, my mom, and my children who went to Schoharie School from K-12 and have such pride in the Schoharie Indians.”
The mascot honors the Indians that once occupied this Valley, she added.
“The Schoharie name comes from the The Mohawk Tribe and there is a lot of history of Native Americans in this county. There was a Indian tribe known as Schoharie Indians. I looked up the history of Schoharie. The Indian mascot is very beautiful and there is a lot of pride in this community for it.”
Members of the group are fighting to keep the Indian, now and forever.
My hope is that it will never get changed. We don't want what was important to us to be erased from Schoharie School. We want our grandchildren and future Schoharie school students and graduates to be able to say they are Schoharie Indians. We want the history of it to be around and not be thrown away because of how people are thinking these days. A lot of people in this group are so proud to be a Schoharie Indian and wear with pride. It's in their blood and hearts.
The group started small but the membership quickly grew, Ms. Coluccio said.
“When I started this group I only started with 54 members (but) by midnight that same day I was up to 625. And the amount of support to keep the Indian has been great
“They all have different reasons to keep it and have talked about memories of being a Schoharie Indian. Its all very emotional, happy and beautiful memories. We are now up to 949 members which is why i love this community. The support and love for this has been great and wonderful.
Ms. Coluccio also feels the alma mater should not be changed.
“I feel the same way about the alma mater. They changed the one word white man to wise man already a while ago. That is the one that they were trying to change. When you sing that you feel the joy and pride in your heart.”
The alma mater, in part, states, “how the white men won the warfare on the Indian trail.” Apparently, “white” has been changed to “wise.”
“I remember watching my son playing basketball and people standing up and singing that song and smiling the whole time,” Ms. Coluccio recalled. “The whole gym would light up and you just would feel it in your heart the love for the school. We sang that song all through my years at Schoharie which was K-12. But the greatest joy of singing it was at your graduation. You still sing the words when you are out of school. And it blows me away with happiness about the people who still sing it.”
The mascot and song are part of Schoharie pride, she added.
“This community loves Schoharie school and everything about it. The history of the county of Schoharie school is in the alma mater so no we do not need to change it. Why people want to change history is unknown to me? Be proud of Schoharie and the history of it. Let's not change anything...Let's keep it the Indians and keep the Alma Mater. It's in our hearts and soul and we want our future generation to be a part of that too.”
Their petition has more than 1,400 signatures, according to Ms. Coluccio.
The Facebook contains dozens of testimonials on why to keep the Indian and the school song.
I’ve been sitting here and reading how they want to take the Indian away, well it’s BS,” wrote Shawn Kendle Sr.. “I have been in Schoharie school since kindergarten until 12th grade... If you get rid of the Indian you might as well tear the school down.”
William Benninger wrote, “I'm a Schoharie Indian from now until I die. Why take away from the heritage of the Valley? To remove 'Indian' from Schoharie is like dismissing their existence. Being a Schoharie Indian was always something to be proud of and still is.”
Vicki Piotrowski-Echtner offered some advice as a member of a school district that went through the change of a school mascot.
“I was not born or raised in Schoharie but my children have been,” she wrote. “I grew up in Woodstock and went to Onteora, we were the Indians. A few years back we had the same thing happen. A few people thought it would be a good idea to change our mascot. There were two people on the School Board who were opposed but ultimately the Onteora Indians were changed to Onteora Eagles. I for one will always be an Onteora Indian.”
Not all comments on the site were as supportive.
“It's my understanding that the other group has decided to close down discussions after members and their families were threatened,” wrote Carrie Wick. “While there are some that think changing the mascot and alma mater are wrong, threatening anyone over it is worse and in my opinion a very weak show of who we are as a collective. Don't dumb yourself down by making threats. Have discussions and come to a solution. I'm disappointed that any adult would resort to such childish actions. Shame on you.”

SCS Superintendent David Blanchard said, “the board has not received anything. I have not received anything either. I have heard there are two different sides on Facebook.  I have not seen anything myself, just heard rumors.

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New Kingston Public Hearing Public Notice for the Town of Middletown

Town of Middletown, New York

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a public hearing will be held before the Town Board of the Town of Middletown (“Town Board”) at the Middletown Town Hall, located at 42339 State Highway 28, Margaretville, NY 12455 on the 8th day of July, 2020, pursuant to Article 2 of the Eminent Domain Procedure Law of the State of New York ("EDPL"), to consider the Town’s acquisition by exercise of the power of eminent domain of property (in fee) in connection with the Town’s New Kingston Sewer District (“District”) and a feasible site for the construction of a community subsurface wastewater treatment facility (the “Project”). The public will also have remote access to the public hearing as part of the Town’s COVID-19 response plan using the following Zoom Meeting link or dial in phone number and conference ID:
Topic: New Kingston Public Hearing

Time: July 8, 2020 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join by Zoom Meeting Link:

Join by phone: 1-929-205-6099

Meeting ID: 991 6366 8612

Password: 117891

The lands under consideration for permanent acquisition are as follows:
Fee Acquisition of a 21.7 acres portion of an 89.85 acres parcel identified on the Middletown Tax Map as Parcel No. 241.-1-1.1 (the 21.7 acre portion of the parcel to be acquired is hereinafter referred to as the “Fee Parcel”);

Permanent Easement for access to the Treatment System over the remaining portion of Tax Map Parcel No. 241.-1-1.1 (“Easement Parcel”); and

Termination of a Watershed Agricultural Council (“WAC”) Conservation Easement encumbering the Fee Parcel.

The portions of property comprising the Fee Parcel and Easement Parcel 2 are owned by Michael Moriarty (hereinafter, the “Property Owner”).

There is an existing deed of conservation easement affecting Tax Map Parcel 241.-1-1.1, which Property Owner conveyed to Watershed Agricultural Council of New York City Watersheds, Inc. ("WAC") by deed of conservation easement dated October 27, 2006, filed in the Office of the Delaware County Clerk’s Office on November 2, 2006, and recorded in Deed Book 1158 at Page 261 (“WAC Easement”). The WAC Easement restricts use of the property comprising the Fee Parcel and property comprising the Easement Parcel and requires WAC approval before Tax Map Parcel 241.-1-1.1 can be subdivided for the Project. WAC subdivision approval has been denied.

The Town Board proposes a fee acquisition of the Fee Parcel where the Treatment System will be located and termination of the WAC Conservation Easement which encumbers the Fee Parcel.

The Town Board also proposes the acquisition of a required permanent access easement over the remaining portion of Tax Map as Parcel No. 241.-1-1.1 to install, inspect, operate, maintain and repair the Treatment System (including a waiver of WAC’s approval for the access easement).

The Project proposes to construct a community subsurface wastewater treatment facility, consisting of a manhole, a flow meter, an absorption bed dosing pump station and shallow absorption beds, and any ancillary piping or components, on property owned by Michael Moriarty. The purpose of this hearing is to outline the Project purpose, its proposed location, and to provide other pertinent information, including maps and property descriptions of the property(ies) to be acquired and adjacent parcels.

Maps of the currently proposed Project are available for public examination at the Middletown Town Hall, located at 42339 State Highway 28, Margaretville, NY, during the hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.  A copy of the proposed Project will be made available for public inspection on the Town’s website in advance of the public hearing.

Any property owners who may subsequently wish to challenge the condemnation of their property by judicial review may do so only on the basis of issues, facts, and objections raised at the hearing.

By Order of the Town Board

Dated: June 10th, 2020
Patricia F. Kelly
Town Clerk
  Town of Middletown

Legal Notice - Mountain Eagle
(2) Weeks - week of June 19th and June 26th, 2020

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Town of Prattsville Republican Caucus Notice

Written By Editor on 6/28/20 | 6/28/20

Town of Prattsville
Caucus Notice

The Town of Prattsville Republican Committee will hold a Caucus
on July 10, 2020 at 5:00PM on the Prattsville Town Green, 14517
Main Street, Prattsville, New York, for the purpose of nominating
candidates for the November elections, and for any other business
that may properly come before this meeting.

By order of
Jim Young
Republican Town Chairman

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Estate Sale Notice -- Lexington

Written By Editor on 6/23/20 | 6/23/20

Grinnell Estate Sale by J&K in Lexington, NY -- 3970 Greene CR42 9-5 Fri,  10-5 Sat & Sun. 1800s house full antiques, vintage see 200+ photos and

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Franolich Case Not Dead

Written By Editor on 6/6/20 | 6/6/20

By David Avitabile
Erica Jane Franolich has been gone for nearly 34 years, but the search for her and the person responsible for her disappearance, continues.
Ms. Franolich, who was last seen in public on October 13, 1986 in Middleburgh, is survived by her husband, a son, at least one sister, and several brothers. Her siblings, a private investigator, and the New York State Police continue to hope that there will be a resolution to this "cold case."
In 2017, Ms. Franolich's brother Dana Poprafsky said he hoped to see a resolution in the case in his lifetime. He did not. He died in January in Michigan.
One of those who have picked up the mantel in the search for Ms. Franolich and the person responsible for her disappearance is another brother, Mike Poprafsky, who still lives in Michigan.
Ms. Franolich called him the night she disappeared from a Middleburgh bar. She said she feared for her life and would call him the next day. She never called.
"She called me that night right there in Middleburgh," Mr. Poprafsky said earlier this month.
"She said she was afraid for her life and I said, 'Run and get on a bus or airplane. Use my credit card.'"
At the time of her disappearance, the relationship between Ms. Franolich and her husband, Richard, was troubled, according to the State Police. During the summer of 1986, Richard took their baby son and moved to Duanesburg leaving Ms. Franolich with her family in Michigan. She went to New York to get the baby back and wound up reconciling with Richard.
Ms. Franolich, according to police, promised to call her brother the next day to make arrangements to leave, but she never did. Shortly afterwards, Richard took the baby boy and moved to Vermont.
When she disappeared, she was "hooked on cocaine," spending about $400 a week on her habit, her brother said.
There is no doubt, Mr. Poprafsky said, who is responsible for his sister's disappearance.
Despite the years and the death of some of her relatives and people who may have information about her disappearance, Mr. Poprafsky believes a resolution is near.
"It's going to be solved," he said.
He noted that Ms. Franolich was staying with her husband's family on Westfall Road in Delanson at the time of her disappearance. Members of the family still live in the red and white, two-story farmhouse on the property, which borders Cross Road.
When his sister spoke to him that night, Ms. Franolich did not mention that she was in MIddleburgh. He did not know she was in MIddleburgh until the next month when he received his phone bill.
Her husband Richard was working for Mr. Poprafsky when they lived in Michigan.
Mr. Poprafsky, 71, told several stories of Mr. Franolich allegedly harming his wife, including one time when Mr. Franolich allegedly "dragged her in the street with his car when they lived here."
Another person who has promised a resolution of the case is private investigator Greg Overacker of Mohawk, Herkimer County.
Mr. Overacker has been investigating the details of the disappearance for several years and was in Middleburgh twice in the past few weeks interviewing people about the night Ms. Franolich went missing. Another trip to Middleburgh to interview another possible witness is being planned.
"We've spoken to family members and based on the information from those discussions we'll be doing some searches soon," he said during an interview earlier this month.
The answer is out there, he said.
"Some of the family members could put an end to this today and it's absolutely unconscionable for them to remain silent. How they sleep at night is beyond us."
Mr. Overacker has spoken to many people involved in the case, including Ms. Franolich's husband Richard.
There are inconsistencies in his story about what happened to Ms. Franolich after October 13, 1986, according to Mr. Overacker.
At first, Mr. Franolich said he put his wife on a bus in Schenectady two or three days before Halloween, 1986, Mr. Overacker said. He did not know where she was going but had $280 on her. Then he said he put her on the bus two or three days after October 13. Then he said he put her on a bus on October 14. Mr. Franolich said he was with his wife after October 13, 1986, according to Mr. Overacker. In the four to six weeks prior to her disappearance, the Franolichs lived in several different places including his grandparents, parents, and brother's. They also stayed at the Franolich's property on Westfall and Cross Roads in Delanson.
The interviews with Mr. Franolich have been frustrating, Mr. Overacker said.
"Richard won't answer the questions. He hides behind his lawyer."
The husband, Mr. Overacker noted, "refuses to take a polygraph test. Refuses to answer any questions to the police." As anyone who has watched court drama on television knows, polygraph tests are not admissible in court, but could say whether a person is lying or not.
Mr. Franolich lives in Highgate Springs, Vermont, a few miles from the Canadian border. He is on Facebook and a message to him from the Mountain Eagle went unanswered. Mr. Franolich turned 61 on May 14. His brother Joe, whom the Franolichs lives with for a time in 1986, lives near his brother in Vermont.
The interviews will continue, Mr. Overacker added.
"There's a team of us. Now that this is our case, we're not going away. We know the family (of the husband) is being deceitful. They could end this tomorrow, but they won't."
Though Ms. Franolich's disappearance happened during age of electric typewriters and land-line phones, it has reached the Internet and been the subject of several podcasts in recent years.
Anyone who is interested in the case should watch the podcasts on YouTube, Stiticher, Apple podacsts and other sites. They are called Crawlspace or Missing Maura Murphy, Mr. Overacker said.
"The episodes pertaining to Erica's disappearance are eye opening."
Mr. Overacker and Lou Barry are private investigators "For the Missing." The non-profit organization was started by Bruce Maitland, the father of Brianna Maitland, who has been missing since March 19, 2004. Ms. Maitlan went missing from Montgomery , Vermont, which is very close to where Mr. Franolich now lives. Mr. Overacker noted that Mr. Franloch's son once dated Ms. Maitland's best friend.
Anyone with information about Ms. Franolich's disappearance can contact Mr. Overacker at (315) 542-7800.
Ms. Franolich's niece, Tanya Lynn Poprafsky, who lives in Michigan, added, "I want it to be known that we are still fighting for justice for Erica. And even though my aunts and uncles are getting up there in age, the second generation is not going to forget and move on from this. Her other nieces and nephews will continue to look for her!"

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Roxbury Fire District Legal Notice

Written By Editor on 6/1/20 | 6/1/20

Please take notice that the Roxbury Fire District is seeking bid proposals for insured lawn care and maintenance.  Please contact Chief James Bouton at 607-267-2917 for more information.  Submit proposals to PO Box 421 Roxbury, NY 12474 or in person to Chief Bouton. Proposals are due before the monthly Fire Commissioners Meeting at 7pm on June 11th. 

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