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.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Scotch Valley Brochure

This was the last brochure made for Scotch Valley, There is a nice shot of Tim Muldoon on the cover, and I can see Lauren Health, Kim Misevis, and Mike Benchimol on the inside.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Map of Scotch Valley and Surrounding Properties

I have overlaid property boundaries on satellite map of the area surrounding Scotch Valley. This shows exactly what is owned by Scotch Valley and what is not.

Scotch Valley is lot #20. The highlighted lots are not owned by Scotch Valley but were used as part of operations.

This will be very useful in the very near future.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Senator Clinton Responds to Columbus Day Campaign!

It looks like our Columbus Day letter campaign was successful — I received a letter from Senator Clinton. If anyone else hears from our legislators please let me know.

If you haven't sent letters yet please do!


Monday, October 13, 2008

We're Half way Through the Letter Campaign!

So far 51 Letters sent! I have no way to tell who did, but thank you very much! Let's bring that total higher today!

If you haven't sent your letters yet please take 5 minutes to do so. Here are link to each of the 7 super-easy to send letters:


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Columbus Day Letter Sending Campaign

Wow over 200 members now in the Facebook group! If everyone on that list sends an e-mail to our legislators we will get their attention! So starting Sunday, October 11 we are going to do just that!

I have made it really easy for everyone to send a letter to their legislators, just fill out a form and click send!

So get to it and send those letters!


Monday, October 6, 2008

D'oh! Mailing List

I was wondering why no one had joined the mailing list, and so I look at the page and see that the address I posted was wrong. It was going to the list help address! I corrected it to go to the subscribe address. So if you tried to sign up before please do so again as the link will work now.

Sorry everyone!


Saturday, October 4, 2008

Time to Write Your Legislators

The "Write your Legislators" page has been updated with form letters, please start sending them out right away.

Having legislative support will be crucial in raising funds to purchase the resort, so we need all of you to help out!


Join the e-mail List

Thanks to Patrick for getting the mailing list up -- now please sign up so that I keep you informed of our progress. Don't worry your e-mail will only be used for this purpose and will not be shared with third parties.


Everything is go for Launch

I have everything up and ready for a full launch of the site — please start putting up the poster where ever you can — ski shops, bars, other ski resorts, restaurants, telephone poles, etc.


Sign the Petition

I have added a petition for support of -- Please sign it!


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Help Wanted: Pro Bono Lawyer

Before we can start raising money for this cause we need to form a not-for-profit organization to be responsible for the money. And to do that we need a lawyer to donate their time and services. If you are or know such a lawyer please contact me at


Wait for it… Wait for it…

Alright! Almost have everything on the site ready so that we can push out the posters and signs.

Special thanks to Patrick Muldoon for getting the mailing list set up. Please join the list it if you have not done so yet!

All I need to do is write the form letter for the "Contact Your Legislator" page!


Sunday, September 28, 2008

I Have the Signs Ready

I made the first set of signs that I will be putting up in the area. They aren't much to look at but I think that they will do the job. I made 6 so far, and yes I know there are only 5 in the picture ;-).

Now I just need to get the mailing list tool and legislative contact forms up!


Spread The Save Scotch Valley Poster - Wait for it…

I made a Save Scotch Valley poster that I and anyone can post -- but please hold off until I have the mailing list sign up and the participate page (including legislative contact forms) up.

I don't want people coming here and not finding anything they can do -- so please wait until I give the green light.

I will let everyone know here when it is time. Hopefully within a day or two.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Join the Save Scotch Valley Facebook Group

I created a "Save Scotch Valley Ski Area" group in Facebook. Please join it if you are interested in helping this cause!

- Tighe

Where will this go?

Well I have finally done it, the small thing I can do to restore something that was a great benefit to my community.

That is what this Web site is, or rather will be. A motivating source for residents of Schoharie and Delaware counties, and other people who want to see Scotch Valley re-opened.

Scotch Valley gave me a lot of good times, great friends and a job for many years, it is the least I can do for it.

Where will this go? will it succeed? That all depends on you! I cannot do this myself.