Thursday, October 29, 2009

BETTER BUSING.....Ulster shrinks the bus and increases the efficiency!

New Vehicles to Enhance Services with Lower Costs and Emissions

Kingston, NY (October 29, 2009) -The first of seven new buses, fully fundedby federal stimulus
funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), has arrived at Ulster County’s
Area Transit System (UCAT) headquarters. Total funding for the seven buses, scheduled for delivery
this year and next, is approximately $1.43 million.

UCAT buses serve commuters, shoppers and visitors in virtually every area of the County.
UCAT offers low-cost fares for everyone and additional discount programs for seniors and
disabled persons. Services include access routes for rural residents, curbside pick-up by
appointment, intra-municipal bus routes designed to relieve traffic congestion and special
routes that link Ulster County communities to the Metro-North train station, in Poughkeepsie.
The new buses will enhance all of these services, with the added benefit of lower operating
costs and lower emissions.

The new bus, valued at $66,000, is one of five smaller “cutaway” models arriving in the next
two weeks and holds 20 passengers. The new buses are designed to serve rural routes and
replace larger and less fuel efficient models. Two, larger 35 foot hybrid buses, valued at $550,000
apiece, operate at double the fuel efficiency of current models and will arrive next year. The hybrid
buses produce far fewer emissions than the current diesel units and will be utilized in more urban
sections of the County where passenger volume is higher.

“Ulster County is moving towards a smaller, cleaner and more fuel efficient fleet, while keeping
the seating capacity from the older fleet,” said Ulster County Executive Mike Hein. “This vehicle
replacement program is a win on many levels. It lowers operating and maintenance costs, provides
a safer and more reliable fleet and significantly reduces emissions. And, the fact that it is fully funded
by federal stimulus dollars means no impact on local taxpayers.”

Information regarding UCAT fares, schedules and service areas is available online at: or by calling (845) 340-3333.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rating Reflects County’s Solid Financial Position, Strong Fund Balance and Low Debt

Kingston, NY (October 28, 2009) - Ulster County Executive Mike Hein is pleased to
announce that Standard and Poor’s has affirmed Ulster County’s favorable, AA- long-term

In reaffirming the County’s rating, Standard and Poor’s cited Ulster County’s continued solid
financial position and strong fund balance levels, despite decreases in tax revenues, along
with the County’s low overall debt profile and manageable capital plan. Standard and Poor’s
rating follows a similar positive rating made by Moody’s Investor’s Services in June of this year.

County Executive Hein said, “The investment community has recognized that we are making
the tough decisions required to manage Ulster County’s finances during these difficult times.
Standard and Poor’s has seen we will make the same hard choices American families are
making everyday. This rating is an acknowledgement of our sound management practices as
we work to deliver essential services and protect Ulster County taxpayers.”

“The Standard and Poor’s affirmation reflects a very well managed government that has
excellent financial policies in place. It is impressive because it has occurred during some
of the most difficult financial times,” said Ulster County Comptroller Elliot Auerbach.

(Comptroller's note-The bond rating determines the amount of interest the municipality has to pay to borrow money, akin to a consumer's credit score). The better the rating, the less the county has to pay and that translates into huge potential savings on bond issuance.)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Ulster County Man Accused Of Falsifying Insurance Claim

(News from New York State Insurance Department)
NEW YORK, NY (10/26/2009)(readMedia)-- An Ulster County man is scheduled to appear in the Town of Esopus Criminal Court on Tuesday to be arraigned on charges that he altered a home heating oil receipt to support a $20,000 insurance claim for damages to a home in Kingston.

Gilson DaSilva, 50, of Lakeview Terrace, Kingston, is accused of altering the receipt to show that there was oil in the home's furnace and that the residence was heated. The home, which was insured by DaSilva, was damaged by water when a frozen pipe broke in February.

New York State Insurance Department Frauds Bureau Investigator Valerie A. Burke said an investigation showed that DaSilva changed the address on a receipt for oil that had been delivered to another home. Investigators for DaSilva's insurer, Central Mutual Fire Insurance Company, found that the oil tank was empty in the home that was damaged. This contradicted DaSilva's claim that the home was heated and that the damage resulted because the furnace malfunctioned.

DaSilva is charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument and falsifying business records. He could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison if he is convicted.

William Andrews, of the Insurance Department, is prosecuting the case for the office of Ulster County District Attorney D. Holley Carnright.
(For more information contact: Ron Klug, 518-474-4567)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

New county computer system advances in Ulster legislative committee

(Reprinted from MIDHUDSONNEWS.COM)

KINGTON – The purchase of a new financial system for Ulster County government is in the 2010 capital budget, but whether it will stay, with its multi-million dollar price tag, remains to be seen.

County Comptroller Elliott Auerbach has been promoting it, saying the current system is antiquated.

While she agrees one is needed, Administrative Services Committee Chairwoman Jeanette Provenzano said the continued weak economic climate will dictate its fate.

“The state is threatening to cut more revenue to local government; call-backs if you will, take back what they have already given to us,” she said. “So, we don’t know what financial situation we are going to be in.”

Development of the county capital budget, like the general budget, is up to County Executive Michael Hein, who has presented his tentative spending plan to the county legislature for its review.

Phil Terpening Passes Away ( Ulster County Legislator)

I was saddened to learn that Ulster County Legislator Philip Terpening passed away on Wednesday evening.
KINGSTON – Ulster County Legislator Philip Terpening collapsed and died Wednesday night during a political debate, County Legislature Chairman David Donaldson said Thursday morning.
Terpening, 63, was with fellow Democratic Legislator Alan Lomita when Terpening debated a Republican challenger and collapsed.

“We were running on the same team and he was responding to charges made by a Republican opponent, charges that were made about him and me, ‘if you are happy with the status quo, vote for these two,’ and Phil was very upset by the statement that was made by the Republican and collapsed soon after,” said Lomita.

Lomita said after Terpening collapsed, he was on the floor trying to revive him.

Lomita knew Terpening for 20 years. He was a Rosendale town supervisor before becoming a county legislator. “He was dedicated public servant; one of the hardest working members of the legislature.”

“He has always been there,” Donaldson said. “Phil didn’t do things because they were politically correct; he did them because they were right.”

(Our earlier story suggested that Terpening and Lomita were debating. That was not the case and regret the ambiguity of the statement.)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Help Me Fight Alzheimer’s
Welcome to Memory Walk 2009 10.24.09
Some of you know my story as a son who watched his mother become devastated by Alzheimer’s and the effect it had on my father and my family. This disease is an “equal opportunity illness” that transcends age, race, gender and religion. We need to slow it down and eventually stop it and can only do that with your help.
Walk with us toward a world without Alzheimer's disease! This fall's Ulster County Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk® event takes place on Saturday, October 24, 2009 at SUNY ULSTER in Stone Ridge. Registration begins at 9:00am and the walk starts at 10:00am and we want you to get in on the action.
Sign up today at or call Karen at (845) 340-8474.
Judi and I hope to see you there.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

DiNapoli warns of tough times ahead |

DiNapoli warns of tough times ahead |

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A morning press conference called by THE CHILDREN'S ANNEX announced an expanded focus and a new name to reflect the broadened scope of their services. Check out the new link and new look for THE CENTER FOR SPECTRUM SERVICES.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Kingston, NY (October 14, 2009) - As a result of a joint investigation by the Ulster
County Department of Social Service’s Investigations and Daycare Units and the
Town of Ulster Police Department, Tara Lober, 29, Kingston, was arrested Tuesday
October 6, 2009 and charged with Welfare Fraud in the Third Degree, a Class D
Felony. She was also charged with Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First
Degree, a Class E Felony.

The investigation concludes that Lober allegedly defrauded the Ulster County
Department of Social Services (DSS) out of $5,285.00 of daycare subsidies from
June 2008 to September 2008, by failing to report she was no longer employed, thus
making her ineligible for daycare assistance.

The Lober investigation also led to an audit and investigation of Wolf’s Daycare Center,
the center that provided daycare services for Lober’s children. Melissa Scott, Co-Director
of Wolf’s Daycare Center was ultimately charged with falsifying business records, plead
guilty and was sentenced to a conditional discharge. Scott subsequently made full restitution
of $10,586.00 to Ulster County DSS.

“I would like to recognize the Town of Ulster Police Department, the Social Services Investigations
Unit and all of the individuals who brought this to a successful conclusion. This arrest, once again,
sends the message that fraud and abuse will not be tolerated in Ulster County,“said County Executive Mike Hein.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009



An Ulster County woman who claimed to be totally disabled after falling out of a chair was arrested Friday for accepting $73,000 in workers’ compensation benefits while she worked at a youth sports camp.

The New York State Insurance Department reported that Kathy M. Martinez, 56, of Carney Road, Ulster Park, started collecting benefits after claiming that injuries she suffered from the fall left her unable to work. She suffered the injuries while employed as a Spanish teacher in the Kingston School District in 2005.

However, Insurance Department Frauds Bureau investigators found that Martinez was actually handling payroll and other business services for the youth camp while collecting compensation benefits. Martinez is accused of stating on three separate occasions that her injuries prevented her from working. The benefits she received were paid through Ulster County, whose self-insured workers’ compensation plan covers Kingston School District employees.

“We appreciate the investigative work of the New York State Insurance Department and law enforcement personnel in this matter. As I have said many times before, my administration is committed to rooting out fraud and abuse, whenever it occurs, and there is zero tolerance in Ulster County for this type of alleged criminal behavior. These times are challenging enough for taxpayers, businesses and those who are trying to provide for their families, without the deceit that this case apparently represents,” said Ulster County Executive Mike Hein.

State police arrested Martinez on charges of insurance fraud and workers’ compensation fraud. She could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison if she is convicted.

Judge James Gilpatric released Martinez in her own recognizance following her arraignment in city court, pending a hearing scheduled for Oct. 26. The case is being prosecuted by William Andrews, a special prosecutor for Ulster County District Attorney D. Holley Carnright.

Monday, October 5, 2009


Kingston, NY (October 5, 2009) - Ulster County brings tourism to life with a new brand, new marketing strategy and new interactive website
( When you have a county as diverse as Ulster County, where tourism generates as much as $471 million dollars
to the local economy and 8,000 jobs, branding is crucial.

“The new Ulster County Alive brand is meant to convey that no matter what a potential visitor’s interests are, Ulster County is vibrant and alive
with possibilities,” said Ulster County Executive Mike Hein. “Nowhere else in the world can a visitor find the unique combination of history, culture,
world-class dining and spas and magnificent natural resources that Ulster County has to offer. We’re just 90 miles from midtown Manhattan.
It’s a story that needed to be told more effectively and I’m confident that our new campaign will drive home the message.”

From boating around lighthouses on the Hudson River, to hiking the Catskill mountains, to rock climbing the Shawangunk Mountains, to cross-country
skiing, to wineries, to apple-picking to strolling Main Street Ulster County has many assets. Capturing all of these assets in a single brand identity presents
a challenge- a challenge which Ulster County decided it needed to obtain professional assistance. Accordingly, in the fall of 2008, working with industry
representatives, the county selected a local firm, MarketingWorks. MarketingWorks and Ulster County Tourism solicited feedback from various industry
groups throughout the creation of the marketing strategy.

The result is the creation of a brand ULSTERCOUNTYALIVE.COM that captures the spirit of Ulster County as well as the way travel and tourism is
affected by changes in technology. Ulster County’s former marketing efforts were largely focused on print media. As anyone who travels substantially
today can tell you, travel now starts with the internet. Ulster County has revamped its tourism website so that it is a dynamic, ever- changing, attractive site:
one that visitors want to visit and one that will drive potential visitors directly to the tourism accommodations, recreational opportunities and other amenities
throughout the county. “Even if they are familiar with a place or accommodation, they are using the web to book their travel,” said Jackie Appeldorn, General
Manager of Mohonk Mountain House. “More importantly most new visitors are looking for destinations on the Internet. By fully embracing web-based
marketing in conjunction with a sophisticated and exciting ad campaign, Ulster County Tourism is positioning the county for tourism success.”

“Ulster County is taking a unique approach to marketing, one with which its individual lodging destinations have had success; that is marketing to New York
City.In conjunction with the rebranding of Ulster County Tourism, and the creation of a new web-based approach to marketing, Ulster County has launched
an advertising campaign on the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s shuttle train between Times Square and Grand Central Station, a route that draws 8 million
visitors a year,” said Ulster County Tourism Director Rick Remsnyder.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Tough Times Call For Tough Decisions

KINGSTON, NY (October 1, 2009)… Today marked the beginning of the budget process as County Executive Michael P. Hein released his 2010 Tentative Budget. It is evident that Ulster County is being squeezed between the demands and the mandates of the State and Federal Government and that these tough times call for tough decisions.

Hein proved today that he in fact can make those tough choices.

The County Executive sent a clear message that Ulster County stands united with counties, towns and villages against the continuous cost shifts imposed upon them by state government. He underscored his point when he explained that “New York is the only state that pushes significant amount of Medicaid expense down to the counties” and in Ulster County’s case that will translate into $30.5 million dollars for 2010.

Hein’s budget proposed reducing the county workforce by 4.5% or 100 jobs and eliminating or severely reducing several county programs. His initial budget reflects a tax increase of less than $50.00 for the year.

I stand alongside the Executive to turn this quagmire into a pedestal of leadership and an opportunity to collaborate with both he and the Legislature to reallocate resources for a more effective and efficient Ulster County government.


Nevele Grande pays overdue taxes to Ulster County - The Daily Freeman News: Serving the Hudson Valley since 1871(

Nevele Grande pays overdue taxes to Ulster County - The Daily Freeman News: Serving the Hudson Valley since 1871(

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