Letters to the Editor (1/31 – 2/6)

mail icon 2Why?

What was the final straw for Wilber and McKenna? My guess is that it started with the Building Inspector’s issuance of a building permit.  The permit was issued to allow construction on the Reisley Barn, located on the Adler property which is leased to Cucina , in order to convert it into a catering facility.  The validity of the permit was questioned in an application to the ZBA by a contiguous neighbor as to whether the catering business was an allowed use, and if the permit was properly issued.

The ZBA, based upon statements made at the hearing and the zoning law, determined that the use was not allowed and the permit was not valid because site plan review and a special use permit were required.

After doing some research the ZBA realized that there was a way to precede with this project and informed Lois Freedman (renter of the barn) that if she applied for a rehearing based upon section 260-67 F1b and showed a relationship between the barn and the Woodstock Playhouse, the ZBA would rehear the case.  The ZBA’s determination after the rehearing was that:


1) The proposed use of the structure is an allowed use conditional upon compliance of the business relationships as stated in the finding of the facts. i.e., the Playhouse

2)  The building permit was improperly issued; however, a properly issued building permit may be granted upon future completion of and compliance with the Planning Board process pertaining to the Special Use Permit and Site Plan review

So all that had to be done was to apply to the Planning Board for a Special Use Permit and Site Plan Review and upon the granting of both by the Planning Board it would have been over and the Planning Board would not be the defendant in an Article 78 proceeding. Why didn’t that happen? Well, with some knowledge of the Zoning Law and some common sense, an individual reading the minutes of the August 30th meeting of the Planning Board, which includes the input of councilman McKenna in the presence of councilwoman Magarelli, can see the obvious; it was certainly not because of me with my one vote.

Howard Harris


Off And Running

After closely watching Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s  testimony before both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Reprehensibles, is there any lingering doubt that we, the people, will elect in 2016 our first ever woman President?

Gary Maurer


So, How Is The Economy Going Anyway?

This is how I see the economic trends for 2013 from the window of the Good Neighbor Food Pantry: Last Tuesday we hosted a mass food distribution under the direction of the Food Pantry of the Hudson Valley in weather that was cold. The volunteers worked in very cold weather for two hours. In addition to the pantries, soup kitchens, and other institutions, over 40 carloads of people waited in line for food.  Many vehicles were filled with people from two or three different households who were carpooling to the mass distribution to save gas. On Wednesday our pantry opened at 3 p.m. to a long line of people who were waiting outside the building. Again, the weather was very cold. We served a 3-day supply of groceries to over 100 households. The wait  was over an hour at one point. The people kept coming right up until 7 p.m. We served seniors, homeless individuals, mothers with babies, etc.

The people who came on Wednesday were not the same ones that came to the mass distribution on Tuesday.

On Thursday, we served fewer people which gave me a chance to make a couple of observations: One shopper came in without a coat in spite of the severely cold weather. His excuse? He gave his coat to his wife to wear that day. Two of our volunteers are also in need of coats. One of our female shoppers came in without a coat. Her excuse?  She doesn’t have one. We were all working in a cold building so that the fresh produce could stay as fresh as possible for as long as possible.

People who come to our pantry are underemployed or unemployed. Or they are seniors whose social security does not last the entire month. Or they are experiencing a foreclosure. Or they are suffering from a serious disease. Or their vehicle needs an expensive repair. Or they are homeless. Or they are unable to buy food after they pay the rent.

The bottom line? The volunteers at the pantry serve over 2000 people every month. We’re rolling up our sleeves because we believe that there’s no excuse for anyone to go hungry in our wonderful country. Please join us in the fight against hunger. Send your check to Good Neighbor Food Pantry, P.O. Box 619, Woodstock, NY, 12498. Thank you in advance for your compassion and generosity. Peace and food for all.

Thurman Greco


Making Peace

Taking sides on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict has gotten us nowhere. Obviously, people care very much about this, and the arguments only entrench positions and keep people apart. Thursday, January 31 at 6 p.m. at the Woodstock Library, we will have an opportunity for supporters of both sides to gather, to try to make peace. This is what needs to be done in the Mid East. There is every reason for us to start the process of peace between us. It won’t be easy, and it wont be quick. Small groups of Israelis and Palestinians have succeeded in accomplishing this. Please come to the neutral Library this Thursday in order to develop some common ground.

Jay Wenk


Thanks Brad

I am a senior citizen who wants to publicly thank, Brad Eichorn (owner, Advantage Heating and Plumbing) for literally preventing my home (heated with baseboard hot water) from freezing in the early morning hours of Thursday, January 24. I woke up at 3 a.m. with no heat in the house…I could not reach the Fuel Oil Company I use; nor any other Fuel Oil Company. I looked in the Yellow Pages for a heating and plumbing company that advertised 24 hour Emergency Service (the company I used in the past is no longer here) and Brad was the only person who answered the telephone. He came over within 30 minutes. Apparently the fuel oil in the tank had jelled (i.e. “frozen”) because it had not been treated with antifreeze. I have lived in my home for almost 20 years and this had never happened. Brad kept my home warm with kerosene heat…until today, 35 hours later when he managed to melt the fuel in the tank.

I am extremely grateful to him for preventing a potential “disaster” in my house.

Wendy Wynberg