Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Domain Hosting - Update: Goal Reached!

It has been a year since I started this site, and now it is time to renew the domain and hosting for another year.

I figure that it is only worth it if other people care. The hosting for another year is $10, pretty cheap huh? Anyway if you want this site to say around please use the paypal form below to make a donation. Please don't donate more than $10 since that is all I need.



Thanks to Kyle and Robert who have provided donations to purchase hosting for for another year!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Condo Septic Actually in NYC Watershed?

One of the things I have kept thinking about since the articles in the Daily Star and Daily Gazette about Oorah buying Scotch Valley was their reluctance in purchasing Scotch Valley if the septic is inside the NYC watershed.

I a pretty familiar with the watershed map and while Cahill pond (Red) is not in the watershed on the map -- it is connected by a pipe (purple) under Scotch Valley Road to Blazer pond which is in the watershed (I believe that it is the headwaters of the Delaware River). From what I have heard Cahill pond didn't exist when the watershed lines were determined.

Now this is important because it looks (from looking at the map I have) that the septic leach field (Yellow) for the condo's is very close to Cahill pond. This could be a big issue for Oorah if the DEP decides that all of Scotch Valley is in the watershed.

I have put in a request with the DEP I have asked them to look into this right away. Hopefully this can be resolved before Oorah has to commit their money to purchased Scotch Valley. I am sure they would not be happy to have this be a suprise.

If you share these concerns please contact the NYC DEP.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Welcome Oorah!

Oorah has a contract to purchase Scotch Valley. The good news is that they are not opposed to having someone operate Scotch Valley in the winter! This is excellent news if they live up to their statement!

My personal opposition to Oorah was based on the their past history in Gilboa and what I found out about them through research on the Internet. If they are willing to work with the community and are not looking to taking away the possibility of Scotch Valley being a ski area then I welcome them to the community!

Now it is important that we make sure that Oorah lives up to that promise. We need to find what they call and "experienced operator". I am not sure what that means in terms of their requirements. Hopefully we will find out soon.

Oorah currently has a contract to buy Scotch Valley but they will not buy it if they find that the property is on the NYC watershed.

From the beginning of this web site -- before I even knew that Oorah was interesting in buying Scotch Valley -- my hope was that Scotch Valley is operating as a ski resort again -- it does not matter who owns it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Oorah has purchased Scotch Valley!?!

I was contacted by the Daily Star in regards to Oorah calling a press conference tomorrow. I have spoken to a few people and it looks like the contract was signed.

I will post more here as I find out.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Residents of Jefferson and Stamford, Do you want this?

One group that is looking to purchase Scotch Valley and the Adjoining Condos is Oorah -- an organization that runs a controversial summer camp in Gilboa. Oorah has made a reputation for itself in the area, just take a look at the following news articles:

What needs to happen right away is the Town Board of Jefferson needs to alter the zoning of the property of Scotch Valley to make it less attractive to this group. For example limiting the maxium number of people that can reside in a room.

And for those of you who think that they will want to get along with locals -- on its Web site, Oorah boasts an "80 percent success rate" teaching its clients "to keep themselves apart from the gentiles."

Protecting the Wealth While this dynamic plays out in a way that is often uncomfortable and sometimes outright painful for a newly religious Jew, some of it flows from a source that is well supported throughout the Torah. Jews have an obligation to keep themselves apart from the culture and ways of the gentiles. Parents and educators certainly have a resposibilty to protect their children and their charges.

Residents of Jefferson please contact your elected officals and tell them how you feel about this, unless you want to end up like the unfortunate residents of Gilboa! This is not a issue about religion -- this is an issue about protecting Scotch Valley and your property values. Bad neighbors make homes hard to sell. Also since Oorah is a religious organization the property would become exempt from paying property taxes! The residents of Schoharie county and Jefferson already are paying too much in property taxes!

Gilboa Jefferson Elected Officals

  • Gregory Sheehan - Chairman, Planning Board
    248 Nichols Rd, Jefferson, NY 12093
    Phone: 607-652-2545
  • Russell Danforth - Town Council
    157 Danforth Rd., Suite 1, Jefferson, NY 12093
    Phone: 607-652-7954
  • Margaret Hait - Town Council
    225 N Harpersfield Rd., Jefferson, NY 12093
  • William Parker Jr.
    127 Horton Rd., Jefferson, NY 12093
    Phone: 607-652-9450
  • Diane M. Fischer
    PO Box 164, Jefferson, NY 12093
    Phone: 607-652-1111

Correction: The above town officials are for the town of Jefferson, not Gilboa.

New York City Watershed and Scotch Valley Property

I was able to come into possession of a survey map that shows the DEP Protected NYC watershed on Scotch Valley property. I have highlighted the protected area in blue. As you can see quite a bit of the property is on the watershed. It includes the main lodge and ticket office.

Stamford Trail System

Below is an excellent article from "The Mountain Eagle" about the Stamford trail system which includes the top of Scotch Valley. Used with permission.

Stamford Trail System Is An Untapped Recreational Resource

By Rosie Cunningham
Mountain Eagle Staff

STAMFORD - Trails for hiking, biking, skiing and snowmobiling in the Stamford area are an untapped recreational resource. Landowner Doug Murphy guided a group over miles of trails in the village’s backyard on Oct. 7.

Greater Stamford Area Chamber of Commerce members Velga Kundzin-Tan and Linda Stratigos are pushing forward in collaboration with Economic Development Specialist Phil Sireci, of the Catskill Watershed Corporation, to map and improve the trail system.

Murphy, along with interested residents and business owners, would like to better utilize the trails and land by creating an organized, attractive, mapped out, trail system for residents and tourists.

Grants are being sought to further maintain the trails and incorporate features like signage, maps, picnic tables and a kiosk.

Although an Appalachian Regional Trail Commission grant was denied, Sireci said doesn’t mean other available grants won’t come through in the future.

“The utilization of this plan is going to be a multi-team effort,” Sireci said. “Before, this just didn’t score high enough to receive a grant. But, you never know, maybe it will score high enough under a different program. I would like to have money by spring to get this plan into works.”

According to Kundzins-Tan, Murphy’s father, William (Bill), began clearing the land 40 years ago. Doug Murphy holds that same interest, and has many plans for the trails and the surrounding land.

“I’ve been brought up to share this resource,” Murphy said.

Murphy organizes horse rides for the Morgan Estate in early fall and this weekend mapped out a 25 mile competitive trail ride for Cobleskill College, also perennial visitors to the trails.

Although vehicles are not preferred on the trails, he led a group of seven through the maze barely suitable for a motor vehicle and pointed out the attractive locations that hold significance.

There were many historic features such as a portion of the original road to Jefferson, farmsteads and foundations, natural springs, mountain bike trails and beautiful views.

There are few trails with signage. The only markers are arrows to direct snowmobilers, and even then, a snowmobile rider should have a good idea of his surroundings before adventuring out on an excursion. Murphy directed the crew to the Scotch Valley Trails, a popular tourist attraction in its heyday. The lift and ski amenities are in disarray, but the land, woods and paths are as beautiful as any older snow bunny or regular mountain biker would remember. The site atop of the resort’s highest point could draw backpackers to sit and stay for lunch, while looking over the towns of Jefferson and Gilboa.

But how to get there? Murphy and Sireci have plans o GPS the trails before developing an understandable and muli-dimensial map for those interested in utilizing the land.

“I would like a layered, two dimensional map,” he said. “Frank Parks, over at the DEC(state Department of Environmental Conservation), maps out trails and it’s great how detailed they are. My dream would be to put the system on a computer and print locally, with many different layers. I would like to compose mileage for each segment of trails and the different levels of difficulty.”

There are obstacles that the chamber of commerce, Murphy and The CWC are facing. “There is not an organization to care for the trails. The organization is a one-man team, which is Murphy,” Sireci said.

According to Kundzins-Tan, there are issues over land ownership and jurisdiction. “The trails overlap and run across approximately 15 or 16 different property owners lands. To get everyone on the same page, with the same goals for the resource, may be a difficult. Also, the trails run over four different townships and two counties,” she said.

Regardless of these obstacles, all parties involved in last week’s tour want to to progress with their plan, believing that it will be a resource to market the area. “There is an interest in an effort to market and publicize the trails,” Murphy said. John Gibbons, owner of the Belvedere Country Inn, has wanted to utilize the 30 miles of trials for years.

“I have been promoting those trails I and I didn’t know what they really had to offer until today,” said Gibbons. “This area has always been a recreational area and these trails could just be another aspect to market.”

Attempts to obtain grants will continue.

“What we need a structure in place in place monitor the trails,” Sireci said.