Monday, June 21 was the first time in more than a year that the public had the opportunity to weigh in on a proposal to construct two cement and steel fabrication plants on Route 28, a few hundred feet from Onteora Lake and Pickerel Pond in the 3000-acre Bluestone Wild Forest. And weigh in they did. More than one hundred members of the public logged on to a virtual meeting of the Town of Kingston Planning Board that evening, and dozens spoke, with all but two opposing the project due to its environmental impacts.
The body of Andy Neiman, whose May 21 disappearance sparked a region-wide search by local officials, family, friends, and volunteers, was found Thursday on the shore of the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie. The Dutchess County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed his identity based on dental records provided by his family on Friday afternoon. No official cause of death has been determined yet.
The Bluestone Wild Forest, three miles west of Kingston off route 28, comprises 3000 acres of hemlocks and oak, laced with 29 miles of gently rolling hiking and mountain biking trails, lakes, ponds and old quarries, making it ideal for fishing, hunting, trapping, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Within its borders lies one of the only publicly accessible lakes in the Catskills, Onteora Lake, a swimming and paddling mecca for nearby Woodstock residents. Now nature lovers find themselves at odds with a businessman who plans to build a steel and concrete fabrication plant adjacent to the forest and just 100 meters from the lake.
At 3:30 am on May 21, Andy Neiman was deeply distressed. He pleaded with his sister Emily Asher Abramson to take him to Poughkeepsie’s MidHudson Regional Hospital. They arrived an hour later and Neiman was promised a bed in the psychiatric unit by 4 p.m. that afternoon. At 9 p.m., Andy was still waiting in the emergency room. At that point, he walked out of the hospital and hasn’t been seen since.