Monday, December 27, 2004

More Milestones

LOW GRADE: from League of Conservation Voters (“political voice of the environmental movement”); for his voting record in past year; to GreeneLand’s U.S. Representative, John Sweeney. On crucial issues, according to LCV’s “expert” judges, Sweeney took pro-environment side on only 18 per cent of opportunities. This made him fourth worst among New York’s 29 Representatives, above two zeros (Quinn and Reynolds, 26th and 27th districts) and a 9 (McHugh, 23d district). By contrast, Maurice Hinchey (22d district) scored 100% rating (as did 15 other members of New York delegation) and Sue Kelly (19th district) scored a 64 (highest among Republicans). For more information: lcv.org. HIGHEST GRADE: from U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services, to English-born French Polisher Mark Nicholas Cooper, as applicant for precious Green Card (=permission to say and work in U.S.A.). Grade of EB-1, for “alien of extraordinary ability,” is rarest, highest they give. It’s granted, says official screed, only to “that small percentage who have risen to the very top of [their] field of endeavor.” A Nobel laureate qualifies. So would somebody who meets any three of ten stringent criteria. After supplying abundant evidence of his handiwork, along with suitably glowing testimonials and other forms of recognition, Cooper passed six of those tests. Consequently, he and wife Susan, and sons Zakary and Luc, can look forward with no small measure of confidence to remaining in GreeneLand, in their home/showroom/workshop in Catskill (former home and dentistry office of Dr Paul Engler). “French Polisher”? It’s English English name for specialist in refinishing wooden surfaces. Cooper does that, to be sure; but he also performs more subtle and esoteric feats involved in restoration of precious antique furniture. Hence his professional titles Conservator and Restorer. Shortly after celebrating prized EB-1 status, Cooper relaxed with minor job for Birdland Music: [French?] polishing venerable double bass viol. “A singularly pleasurable experience,” he sighed to Seeing Greene. “Like stroking a Rubenesque woman.” NEW CHEF. Brando’s Alley delicatessen/bakery has been rented by proprietor Michael deBenedictus to chef Michael LaRosa of Orange County (no relation to Angelo LaRosa of Village Pizza), from January 1. Says Michael deB of Michael LaR: “I hope everyone will give him an opportunity to serve them his great dishes for dinner and parties, along with his fine lunch menu. He also will offer takeout service for people who want to have a great meal at home with family or guests.” FLORENCE BOUND. Having delegated the Brandos Alley operation, Michael deB will devote himself, more than ever, to his music composing/performing/producing career. On January 16 he flies to Italy to take part in screening of “The Maestro,” movie about disc jockeys—about which he is more than a mite expert. Michael’s gig is improvising on synthesizer as CDs are played, then deciding whether overdub has yielded viable new cover of a tune. RETIRING as of December 31, after 35 years of pill-rolling: pharmacist Dennis O’Grady. He toiled first at Mikhitarian (“by the Post Office”), then at Price Chopper. Long-time partner John Konsul will take over. Also retiring (in mid-January) is Dennis’s wife Judy, from Greene County Long-Term Care. They’ll winter in Florida, make fuller use of three time-shares, but remain GreeneLanders. Dennis will stay with Rotary, Bank of Greene County directorship, landlording, and grciously thrashing golf buddies. NOT RETIRING: Richard Tannenbaum, dean of GreeneLand pharmacists. He has been doing drugs, mostly in Jefferson Heights, for 50 years. ANY TRUTH? Not confirmed at this time is report that ski patrolmen on Hunter Mountain’s Black Diamond run arrested an exhibitionist on charge of indescent exposure. Dick May dickmate@mhcable.com

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