The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

March 23, 2013

DEP newsletter is filled with useful tidbits

By Mark Boshnack
The Daily Star

---- — The New York City Department of Environmental Protection recently released its annual Watershed Recreation Newsletter, which serves as a guide for those who enjoy outdoor activities in the upstate watershed, according to a media release.

“In recent years, New York City has opened more of its upstate lands and waters to recreation, helping support the tourism economy that employs local residents,” Commissioner Carter Strickland said. “We invite city residents, our upstate neighbors, and people from across the region to visit the pristine watersheds and enjoy all the outdoor activities they offer.”

The newsletter provides information about the recreational boating program, which attracted nearly 1,000 boaters to the Cannonsville, Neversink, Pepacton and Schoharie reservoirs last year. It also includes details about a new pilot program for electric trolling motors on fishing boats, which starts this year at the Cannonsville Reservoir. Anglers can also learn about fishing access in the Croton and Catskill-Delaware watersheds. In addition, the newsletter features information about outdoor activities on city land, and invasive species protection.

The Oneonta City School District recently announced in a media release the availability of free pre-kindergarten programs to families living in the district.

Each classroom is staffed with a full-time certified teacher and a full-time classroom aide. With kindergarten in mind, the program provides a perfect balance of reading readiness skills and social development.

Eligibility for the program is dependent on residency and age. All participants must reside in the Oneonta City School District and turn four by December 1, 2013.

Spots are limited. If someone would like to enroll an eligible child in the program, they can complete the application that is available on the school’s website — oneontacsd.org — under “UPK Registration”. If someone does not have access to a printer the can call 433-8273 to request a registration packet.

On March 16, over 50 community members came together to support the Boys & Girls Club of Sidney at its sixth Annual St. Patrick’s Bowl-A-Thon at 20th Century Lanes in Sidney. More than $3,900 was raised to help support after-school and summer programming at the club.

This year’s event had 12 teams and all were treated to a great night of free bowling, food, drinks and prizes. This year’s top fundraising team honors went to Clayton Hamilton, Kevin Schofield, Ron Smith and Allen Fraser, who help raised more than $900. For the third year in a row, Lisa Hadden was awarded the top individual honor by collecting more than $600 in donations.

In a media release from the New York State School Boards Association, school districts outside the state’s five largest cities expect to spend an average of $155,355 to implement the state’s new teacher and principal evaluation system this year. Those one-year costs are nearly $55,000 more than the average four-year federal grant awarded to New York school districts to implement the program.

“School boards have long supported the goals of the new teacher and principal evaluation system as a way to improve student achievement,” NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer said. “Our analysis, however, shows that the cost of this state initiative falls heavily on school districts. This seriously jeopardizes school districts’ ability to meet other state and federal requirements and properly serve students.”

MARK BOSHNACK is a staff writer for The Daily Star. Contact him at mboshnack@thedailystar.com.