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Putnam County News and Recorder, Sept 30

Putnam County News and Recorder, Sept 30

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 by Eric GrossAndrew DeStefano sought the office for Putnam’s chief lawman, yet this same NYPDcareer law enforcement of-ficer pleaded guilty on Mon-day to charges that he filed fraudulent signatures in con- nection with last month’s bitter Sheriff’s GOP Primary.DeStefano appeared with his attorney, Pat Bonanno,in Southeast Town Court, where he was arraigned on charges of Offering a FalseInstrument for Filing as wellas committing Misconduct in Relation to Petitions.DeStefano, a Patterson  resident who withdrew from the race just days beforethe primary, offered guilty pleas to both charges be-fore Southeast Town JudgeRobert Vercollone and wassentenced to a $1,000 fine,100 hours of communityservice, and is being pro- hibited from running for any political office for the next 5 years.District Attorney Adam Levy commended membersof the New York State Policefor conducting a “complete,thorough, and methodicalinvestigation that resulted in Mr. DeStefano’s arrest.Working in conjunction with my office, hundreds of pagesof documents were reviewed,along with dozens of wit- nesses being interviewed . . . [DeStefano] took full responsibility for his actionsand apologized to his sup- porters, his family, and thecommunity for this breachof their trust.” by Eric GrossThe 2010 Putnam County budget process that will culmi- nate in two weeks has sharplydivided the executive and leg-islative branches of countygovernment.The legislature, reversing much of the budget proposed  by County Executive Robert Bondi, registered its opposi-tion to the much-protested cutsto senior citizens’ programs.Instead, they proposed seri-ous cuts in the budget of thecounty executive’s office, in spite of vigorous protest from Mr. Bondi, who warned that the legislators were doing away with checks and balances.Executive Robert Bondi’s ini-tial $137 million fiscal spending plan proposed eliminating 49full-time positions as well as thelaying off of the county’s part-time STOP-DWI administrator;15 percent reductions in con-tributions to outside agenciessuch as libraries, Cornell Coop-erative Extension, the Putnam Historical Society, Southeast Museum, and the Putnam Hu- mane Society; elimination of Friday trolley service in Cold Spring; and closing adult daycare programs in Patterson,the Saturday senior program in Mahopac, and the Cold SpringSenior Center.Members of the legislature met for the past month in com- mittee, reviewing Bondi’s recommendations, and last Thursday evening in a six- hour-long marathon meeting of the Budget and Finance Com- mittee, virtually restored all of the executive’s cuts and, in an  unprecedented move, slashed a number of positions on their own accord.The legislators not only rein-stated the STOP-DWI admin-istrator post filled by Naura Slavinsky, but also saved the recycling director’s position occupied by Walt Thompson.Legislator Dan Birmingham of Brewster told his colleaguesand an audience of some 75gathered at the historic Putnam Courthouse: “Now is not thetime to cut DWI funding. This position is not a luxury but a  necessity.Legislator Vincent Tamagna of Cold Spring called the elimination of the recyclingdirector’s position a “terribleloss. No one does a finer jobfor our residents than Walt Thompson.”The legislature eliminated theoffice of Community Affairs
We are 143 years old but new every Wednesday
 Tough Gamesfor Haldane,Putnam Valley
 page 14
A Full Page of Letters to the Editor 
 page 6 
‘Maybe we don’t need a countyexecutive!’ 
Robert Bondi
 by Joe Lindsley Jr.In a shady grove off Route9D sits the secluded Plum- bush Inn, a rambling Vic-torian nestled among oaksand maples, where lunch and dinner are served daily ex-cept Mondays. To those driv-ing by, it might seem thereis not much activity on the wooded estate, but the restau- rant housed in the old coun-try manse regularly serves“rustic American cuisine”to a wide variety of guests,including millionaires,ambassadors, and prominent television personalities.The interior of the Plum- bush Inn resembles a coun-try manor; some of the oak  paneling actually comes from an old estate in the south of France. The heavy oak bar isan ideal setting for a scotch nightcap or a fine plate of Beef Wellington.And the food is fitting for the setting: While many res-taurants today offer lighter fare for more money, Plum- bush serves hearty meals,such as their trademark Beef Wellington. Other popular 
Plumbush Inn OffersRustic American Fare
 Part of a series onlocal eateries
 Jeannette Doellgast and Mohsen Alam El Din, proprietors(See DeStefano on Page 10)
 by Michael MellAt its September 22, 2009, meeting, the Cold Spring Vil-lage Board, prompted by a  report from Mayor Seth Gal-lagher on a county workshop he attended, entertained theidea of a residential real estate revaluation. Such revalua-tions are taken periodically by all municipalities to ensurean equitable sharing of thetax load. The valuation isexpressed as a ratio of the market value of a propertyto its assessed value. Thelower the ratio, the less tax paid. The last revaluation in Philipstown occurred about 12 years ago, and Gallagher indicated his feeling that thetime may be ripe again. NewYork State is among the states with the highest propertytaxes, and Putnam County isamong the top ten countiesin the nation.The mayor prefaced thediscussion with statistics from the workshop that identify New York State among theone third of states that do not mandate regular revalu-ations. He also pointed out that Philipstown and Car- mel are the only towns in Putnam County that do not value property at 100 per-cent. “As revaluation movescloser to market value,” theMayor said, “it will realign the balance of taxes paid bylow- and high-end homes.”Mayor Gallagher continued,saying, “Revaluation makessure that everyone pays their fair share.”Trustee Ralph Falloon, ever vigilant for the bottom line,asked, “What does the villageget?” Gallagher’s response was that “Cold Spring mayend up paying less town and county taxes.”At issue for now is howand when. Gallagher said that  while Philipstown is keen todo a revaluation, the countyassessor does not appear to be in any rush. The actual process appears to be moreart than science. Assessorsare not permitted to inspect  home interiors and TrusteeGordon Robertson stated that they are not even allowed ontothe property. This results in  what is often referred to as“drive-by assessments.”At issue, as well, is thestaffing of the county asses-sor’s office, which is likelyinsufficient for such a large-scale undertaking. Gallagher said that no costs are passed onto Cold Spring. Still, a county-wide revaluation  will certainly cost money in time, personnel, and train-ing. The board appeared to reach consensus that revalua-tion would ultimately benefit Cold Spring; but there was no discussion of steps thevillage might take to movethe process along.The recent robbery of a group of teens at the band-stand was a matter of concern to all board members, whoquestioned the mayor about 
— Village of Cold Spring
The Water Department will be conducting a hydrant flush of the distribution system, beginning Sunday, Oct.4 at 9pm, through Friday, Oct. 9 at 5am. Each night dur-ing the hours of the flush, residents may experience low water pressure and a period of discoloration. Residentsare encouraged to run their cold water until clear.On Monday, Oct. 5, between the hours of 9am and 5pm,commercial sprinkler systems will be permitted to conduct flow testing for annual certification requirements. Thesetests may also cause a period of discoloration. Any ques-tions can be directed to the Water Department at 265-7986,or via e-mail at vcswater@bestweb.net. by Michael Turton One of the effects of thetough economy has been a dramatic increase in the num- ber of calls to the New York State Office of the AttorneyGeneral from victims of fraud and unfair business practices.Judith McCarthy, assistant at-torney general in charge at theWestchester Regional Officein White Plains, addressed  members of the NelsonvilleVillage Board on September 21 to outline services that sheand her colleagues offer toconsumers.“Often we’re able to sim- ply direct consumers to the right place to get help; but other times we mediate,”McCarthy said. Last year  her office mediated some1,500 complaints, rangingfrom landlords failing to re-turn rent deposits to helping people who have been treated  unfairly in their health carecoverage.“We can’t provide legal representation to consumers;they would have to sue,”McCarthy said, explainingthat the role of the AttorneyGeneral’s office is to look for patterns in the way busi- nesses operate and to medi-ate on behalf of consumers when that pattern is one of  mistreatment. She said that  while consumers often spend a lot of time trying in vain toget businesses to hear their complaint, “It’s amazing howquickly businesses listen  when they know that theAttorney General’s officeis calling.”McCarthy gave a number of examples of how the Of-fice of the Attorney Generalcan help people. In one case, when an un-bonded businessclosed its doors, her office mediated on behalf of about 100 people who were owed  money. “They didn’t get it all back, but at least theygot a little back,” she said.Health care advocacy is a  big part of the office’s work.McCarthy gave a compellingaccount of a woman whose health insurance companydenied her coverage for a  mastectomy. The company paid for the initial surgeryto remove the woman’s can-cerous breast, but when shechose to take the drastic stepof having her other breast  removed as a precaution,the insurance company re-fused to pay for the second  mastectomy. McCarthy’soffice mediated, and the in-surance company agreed to pay for both.McCarthy said that a com- mon practice coming out of the poor economy is for small health insurance companies tosave on administrative costs by using larger, outside firms
Unanimous Opposition
 Legislature Overrules Bondi’s Budget 
Bondi Defends‘Painful’ Cuts
 Interview with EricGross on page 9
DeStefano Pleads Guilty
Cold Spring BoardDiscusses Revaluation
 by Eric GrossA joint investigation con-tinues this week into a report of a strong armed robberythat occurred at the Cold Spring Bandstand.The Putnam Sheriff’s De- partment and Cold SpringPolice are looking for threesuspects, and possibly a fourth accomplice, who have been accused of tak-ing money from a group of  youths who had gathered on a Friday night near thevillage’s waterfront.Captain William McNa- mara said the incident took  place at 10:20pm when three young men approached the youngsters and after engag-ing in conversation alleg-edly demanded money: “A witness reported one of the robbers might have had a  handgun tucked in the waist- band of his pants.” The victims turned over an undisclosed amount of cash and the suspects got into a waiting car and sped off. No one was injured.The suspects have been described as two Hispanic males—one light skinned and the other darker, along with a Caucasian about sixfeet tall—all about 18 to 20 years of age.Capt. McNamara said thegetaway car was described as a red Hyundai four-door sedan being operated by a fourth person, possibly a  young woman.Police have asked anyone with information about theincident to call the Sher-iff’s Department at 225-4300 where all calls will be kept confidential.
Police Still SeekingBandstand Bandits
In Tough Economy, Scams Hit Area
 Nelsonville board discusses fraud; continues opposition to polling place changes
All Fired Up at Haldane
(See Budget on Page 9)(See Nelsonville on Page 9)(See Revaluation on Page 9)
The annual Haldane Homecoming started off with a pep rally followed by a Main Street parade that culminated in a Friday night bonfire. Mike Klubnick  provided the musical entertainment while all sports teams were introduced.See page 7 for more pictures and page 14 for the results of Haldane’shomecoming game against Lincoln Hall.
(See Plumbush on Page 10) Andrew DeStefano
Wednesday, September 30, 2009CXLIII No. 39Philipstown & Putnam Valley
Page 2 T
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
– M
 7 PM - Cold SpringRecreation Commission7 PM - PV Board of Ed Work Session7:45 PM -Philipstown Town BoardPublic Hearing followed byBoard Meeting7 PM - Haldane School Board Meeting7:30 PM-Cold Spring Board Weekly Workshop
7 PM - Cold Spring Local WaterfrontRevitalization Plan Special Board
No Meetings Scheduled
 SUNDAY 10/4
11 AM - Philipstown N. Highland FireDistrict Workshop 7:30 PM -Town of PhilipstownZoning Board of Appeals
The front page article in the September 23 issue on Foodtown expansion indicated that 17 parking spaces were being proposed for a parking lot atthe corner of Benedict and Marion. The actual number of spaces is 27. We regret this typographical error.
It was a beautiful fall evening as the Putnam County Histori-cal Society celebrated their annual gala Saturday night with a  record turnout at the Bird and Bottle Inn. It was a virtual “who’s who” of the Hudson Valley. Dinner was chaired by Gov. and Mrs. Pataki and the honorees were John Cronin and the Osborn family of Philipstown. Despite the chilly temperatures, a good time was had by all.Make it a rule in your house this weekend: No cookingallowed. Instead go to the Oktoberfest at Our Lady of Lorettoon Saturday and Sunday. From 5-10pm on both days, enjoyGerman food, beer, Italian ices, children’s games, a dunk tank,live entertainment, gaming wheels, and more while the parishcelebrates both German culture and Feast of the Holy Angels.See details in the ad below.Birthdays this week include Ketki Gandhi, Josie Fleming, EricRichter, Becky Azznara, Marissa Oser, Brianna Oser, Pamela Hustis, Wendy Ordway, Jayson Graham, Sunita Patel, Mahatma Gandhi, Ann Moritz Chesnut, Suzanne P. Marria, Sam Giachinta,Anthony Dahlia Jr., Brian Rubino, Marina Yashina, Manisha Patel, Cynthia Vergilli, Lisa DeNardo, Michael P. Lyons Sr.,Evan Duncan Campbell, Patricia Nichter Cornwell, Terri Allen,and Carly Solis. A wonderful birthday to all! by Matthew L. Riner,
 Assistant Chief, North Highland Fire Department 
There are many ways that  we try to improve our lives.Some do it through what theydo for a living while others docommunity service. But did  you ever think that despitethe diversity of everyone in the community, we all can  have something in common to improve our lives?It is very simple. October is Fire Prevention month, as many of you know. Children across the community get a  refresher on fire safety. Theydraw pictures, hear lecturesand, what seems to be the most fun, crawl around a realfire truck. But this time we want to educate the adults in  what can make a difference.Adequately numbering your  house is a simple way to helpemergency responders quicklyidentify your residence. In a time of need, it is important to allow us to reach you asquickly as possible, day or  night. No more “looking for the white house with brown shutters, fifth house on the right” routine. So here is what  you can do about it: North Highlands Fire De- partment wants to be able to help you and your family.We are going to do thisthrough a campaign to have your house number highlyvisible. What this does is not only allow the fire depart- ment a faster response, but all emergency agencies toquickly identify and locatea particular address. If you called 911 right now, could  we find you quickly?So here is how it works.Over the next couple of weeks, members of the North High-landsFire Department will becoming door to door in the North Highlands area to ask  you to participate in our cam- paign to purchase a 911 sign.Our volunteers will suggest the most appropriate location to affix the sign. The best part is we will even handle theinstallation if you so choose.Should you not be home at the time of our door to door campaign, we will leave a form that you may mail in.Please include your name, proper 911 address, contact  phone number, and check or  money order for $25 pay-able to the North HighlandsFire Department and mailto 504 Fishkill Road, Cold Spring NY, 10516. We willthen come to your house and install the sign.If you have any questions please contact the NorthHighlands Fire Department directly at 265-9595 or 914-804-5951 and we will get back to you as soon as possible.Thank you in advancefor helping us help you.
 North Highland FD: Observe Fire Prevention Month with 911 Signage
Wednesday, September 30, 2009 T
Page 3
The Franciscan Friars of the Atonement will hold their annual Procession and Bless-ing of Animals on Sunday,October 4, at 2pm at Graymoor in Garrison. This annual event  honors St. Francis of Assisi,the patron saint of animals.The procession of animalsand their human friends will begin at the main entrance of the Graymoor Spiritual LifeCenter and proceed to Pilgrim Hall, where a brief serviceof blessing will take place.From 12 to 3pm Carl Ran- kel, a Garrison landscaper, will offer maple syrup from trees tapped at Graymoor. Nature and wildlife photogra- pher Bruce Colin will have a sampling of his work includ-ing prints and bookmarks.Cold Spring photographer Maggie Benmour will pho-tograph pets and people and  will forward them later in the day via e-mail.Representatives of the Put- nam County Humane Societyand Glen Highland Farm, a  border collie rescue organiza-tion in Morris, NY, will also be on hand.The Franciscan Friars of the Atonement, whose moth-erhouse is at Graymoor, isa Roman Catholic religiousorder with pastoral, social,and ecumenical ministrieson three continents. For moreinformation, call the Gray- moor Spiritual Life Center at 424-3671, ext. 2111 or e-mail: graymoorcenter@atonementfriars.org.After the celebration of Oktoberfest in honor of theHoly Angels on Friday and Saturday October 2 and 3,on Sunday the 4th, the Par-ish of Our Lady of Loretto will celebrate Respect LifeSunday with a collection after all the Masses for Birthright,the not-for-profit organiza-tion that provides caring, non-judgmental support togirls and women who aredistressed by an unplanned  pregnancy. In the afternoon of October 4, the Parish willcelebrate the annual Blessingof Animals in honor of St.Francis of Assisi.October 4 is the Feast Day of St. Francis, the 13th-centuryCatholic friar and founder of the Franciscan Order. Be-sides being the founder of the Franciscans, St. Fran-cis inaugurated the popular Christmas devotion of the Nativity Scene also called theCrèche, or Manger. Becauseof his love for nature, St.Francis has also been called the first environmentalist, and  he is one of the patron saintsof animals. It is in his honor that the ceremony called theBlessing of the Animals iscelebrated each year at manyCatholic Parishes throughout the world.The ceremony is a short oneand includes the sprinklingof holy water on the petsand their owners. All areinvited to bring their petsto the steps of Our Lady of Loretto Church on Fair Street at 1pm on Sunday, October 4to join in the blessing.
Bless the Animals and ChildrenGive Them Shelter From the Storm
Graymoor Hosts Annual Processionand Blessing of the AnimalsOur Lady of Loretto to Celebrate Respect Life and Blessing of Animals
ST. MARY’SEPISCOPAL CHURCHIN THE HIGHLANDS1 Chestnut Street,Cold SpringFr. Shane Scott-Hamblen,Rector, 265-2539Mr. Ron Greene, SeniorWarden, 265-3624www.stmaryscoldspring.dioceseny.orgSun. Masses:
8am (spoken);10:30am (sung); Sundayschool in Parish Hall dur-ing 10:30 mass
Thurs. Fri. & Sun.:
AA in  parish hall, 8pm 
FRANCISCAN FRIARSOF THE ATONEMENTRoute 9, Garrison424-3671graymoorcenter@atonementfriars.orgSunday Eucharist
- 11am,Pilgrim Hall.
Daily Mass
- Mon. - Sat.11:30am.
- Holy Hour, 8pm.
Centering Prayer
- 8pm.Monthly Prayer Meeting 2nd Sunday of every month at 2pm. Recovery Inc. everyWednesday, 7:30pm.
Sun. Oct 4
- Blessing of theAnimals, 2pm 
Renewal Farmers’ Market:
Every Friday, 10-3, duringgrowing season.
ST. JOSEPH’S CHAPELA mission Chapel of OurLady of Loretto ChurchUpper Station Rd.,Garrison, 265-3718
Sunday Mass: 10:15am 
OUR LADY OFLORETTO CATHOLICCHURCHFair Street, Cold Spring265-3718www.ourladyoflorettocs.comFr. Brian McSweeney,Pastor
Masses: Sat. 5:30pm, Sun.7:30am, 9, & 11:45am.,Weekdays: 8:15am, St. Jo-seph’s - Garrison, Sun.,10:15am. Holy Days: 8:15am & 7:30pm Mass, Holy DayVigil: 5:30pm Confessions: Sat., 4:30-5pm 
Fri/Sat Oct 2/3
- Oktober-fest, in celebration of theFeast of the Holy Angel.5-10pm. German food, beer,Italian ices, more. Children’sgames, dunk tank, live enter-tainment and gaming wheels.265-3718
Sun. Oct. 4
- Blessing of the Animals, 1pm 
Sun. Oct. 4
- Respect LifeSunday, collection after Mass
ST. PHILIP’S CHURCHIN THE HIGHLANDSEpiscopal1101 Route 9D, GarrisonAcross from schoolRev. Francis H. Geer, Rec.424-3571 - e-mail:stphilips@highlands.com
8am - Holy Communion 10:30am - Main ServiceChoir–Thu, 7:30pm Junior Choir–Sun at 9:15am Sunday School–Sun 10:30am Acolytes – Sunday 9am Adult Class – Sunday at noon 
Sun. Oct. 4
- Blessing of theAnimals, 10:30am Life Support Group – Wednes-days at 7:30 PM
GRACE UNITEDMETHODIST CHURCH37 Peekskill HollowRoad, Putnam ValleyPastor Tony Mecca845-526-3788Sunday Service & SundaySchool
: 10 am.
Prayer Service w/ Com-munion
: Tues 7 pm. “Tues-days w/ Tony” - Discussion group, 9am.
ST. LUKE’S LUTHERANCHURCH65 Oscawana Lake Rd.,Putnam Valleywww.stlukesputnamvalley.org845-528-8858,
Sunday Worship
- Service:9am, Coffee hour: 10:15am,Family Communion Serviceincluding Sunday School:10:30am 
- Prayer Service, 8pm 
FIRST PRESBYTERIANCHURCH OFPHILIPSTOWNAcademy & CherryStreetsCold Spring - 265-3220Rev. Leslie Mott, Pastor
email: FPCP@verizon.net
Worship Service: 10:30am Office Hours: Mon. and Wed.9-11:30, Tues. and Thurs 9-2Contemplative Prayer Group:Wednesdays 7am Jazz Vespers Service: Every3rd Saturday of each month5:30pm 
UNITED METHODISTCHURCHES OF COLDSPRING & SOUTHHIGHLAND (Garrison)265-3365South Highland UMC,19 Snake Hill Rd.GarrisonCold Spring UMC,216 Main StreetPastor Margaret (Peggy)Laemmel
South Highland in Garrison  worship service at 9:30am.Cold Spring worship serviceat 11am.Sundays Oct 4 - Nov 20: BibleStudy “Living the Gospel of Mark,” 1-2pm 
Sat. Oct. 10
- Bake Sale,Foodtown, 9:30am-noon 
COLD SPRINGBAPTIST CHURCH(American BaptistChurches, USA)Jay Camp(Interim Pastor)245 Main St., Cold Spring265-2022
Sunday Services, 10:30am 
: Prayer- Fel-lowship time, 7pm 
PHILIPSTOWNREFORM SYNAGOGUEP.O. Box 94Cold Spring, NY 10516All Services at St. Mary’sParish HouseFor more informationcall 265-8011 and leavea message or e-mailPHILIPSTOWNWORSHIP GROUPQuaker Meeting424-3525
Meeting for Worship – 2nd &4th Sundays of each month,10am, at 848 Old AlbanyPost Road (Whyatt StoneCottage), Garrison. Call for directions. Children of allages welcome.
REFORM TEMPLE OFPUTNAM VALLEY362 Church RoadPutnam ValleyRabbi Allen Darnov845-528-4774www.rtpv.orgShabbat Services:
Fridays,8pm; Young people’s ser-vice- third Friday of the month, 7pm. Hebrew School,ages 3+
HISTORIC TOMPKINSCORNERS UNITEDMETHODIST CHURCH729 Peekskill HollowRoad, Putnam Valley845-528-5076www.tompkinschurchny.org
1st Sunday of the month worship: 2pm 
CAPUCHIN YOUTH &FAMILY MINISTRIES781 Route 9D, Garrison424-3609www.cyfm.orgThu/Sun Oct. 8-11
- Day byDay Agape Girls’ WeekenRetreat 
St. Philip’s Church will Celebrate the Blessing of the Animals at 10:30 AM on Sunday, October 4

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