Tuesday, March 15, 2005

March Finale

RED OVER A GREENE. In last blog, Revolutionary War hero after whom this county is named, along with about 14 other counties in U.S.A., was—gulp, blush—mis-named. He was Nathanael (not Nathaniel) Greene (1742-86). Fighting Quaker. George Washington’s top-ranked general. Ran the Redcoats ragged in the South. Genuinely effective leader. Spelling his name right is the least we can do. (Thanks to Ted Hilscher for the heads-up—and we double-checked spelling of his name).

FULL CROCK? Historic church across from Greene County courthouse--“Uncle Sam” Wilson prayed there-- is up for sale, for whopping $590,000. That’s huge jump over what Pastor Jim Finn paid, to make home for evangelical/charismatic/pentecostal Full Gospel Tabernacle. Its happy-clapping, Swaggertesque operation seemed to flourish, with extraordinary attraction for young people and unusual success in racial integration. So why the For Sale signs? When we put that question to Pastor Finn, we found him clad in trademark Western attire, hippie-haired, bent, bleary-eyed, gaunt and bitter. After saying “We’ve outgrown this place and need to expand,” he launched into a rant against news media, then stalked back to his sanctum, leaving no chance for queries about last spring’s bankruptcy filing, or about an alleged habit (says an ex-congregant) of expensive over-reaching. Seemed to feel under-appreciated locally, despite success in feeding the poor (thousands of hot free meals) and in raising the dead.

JUDICIAL CONTEST. As we went to press (so to speak) it looked likely that incumbent county and surrogate judge George Pulver Jr, bidding for second 10-year term, will face competition from Catskill Town judge Peter Margolius. Both men will seek Republican endorsement at convention. Party endorsement, however, does not ensure place on November 8th ballot as Republican nominee. From standpoint of Board of Elections, key requirement is petitions containing signatures of 5 per cent of registered GreeneLand Republicans. If two (or more) candidates want to appear on ballot as Republican nominee for a given office, each must gather required signatures and then face off in primary election. Normally, that does not happen because candidate who does not win endorsement at party convention withdraws from race (or runs on another party line; but that’s another story). Meanwhile, former Chief Public Defender Greg Lubow has not ruled out run for the judgeship. “I haven’t made a decision,” he told Seeing Greene. As for speculation that he might seek Democratic Party endorsement, he said “I’m a Republican committee-man.”

PIE SANO’S = new pizza parlor in PriceChopper mall (replacing hard-to-see, ill-patronized bottle shop store). Its catchy name augments roster of nominally clever GreeneLand enterprises, such as Happy Tails (pet taxi service, run by Helen Libby; 966-5859), Pack Rat (self-storage units; Ron Smith), Hair Razors, and LifePsychle (behavioral psychotherapy; Richard Madden). So when do we get a Happy Cooker restaurant? a Happy Dyes beauty salon? a Hanging Offense gallery?

PROPERTY TAX DELINQUENCIES this year, according to County Treasurer Willis Vermilyea, are likely to be “fewest we’ve ever had.” After final-final deadline for redemption has passed, only 30 parcels or so will go on auction block (conducted by Ed Haroff, of Schoon Lake) on July 12th at Elks Club. That’s after hundreds of laggards were given official warnings (certified mail; legal ads) in October-November. Most met January 31st deadline (to pay taxes owed, penalties, interest at 1% per month). Remaining laggards were given extension to July 8th. Dollar-wise, our foremost delinquent currently is Anthony Brock of Ravena, who owns North Baltimore’s Shady Harbor Marina. As of this writing, he’ll need about $120,000 to keep that 12.5-acre facility out of county hands. Some delinquents may give up properties and then try to buy them back (free of past-due taxes). But (like other buyers) they must pay fees amounting to about $660 plus buyer’s premium of 10% of knock-down price. DAILY MAUL. “Bridal” pages of GreeneLand’s daily paper of Feb. 20th offered pictures and notes about nine weddings. Cited nuptials took place in May, July, August, October and November of 2004. And scarcely any of the brides, grooms, or family members had a GreeneLand connection. COMING EVENTS *Easter Frolic. Kids in north end of GreeneLand can likely have a happy messy time on Saturday morning (March 19th) party at Greenville Cultural Arts Center. They’ll be helped with Easter Basket-making, mobile-constructing, animal-painting and egg-coloring. (Bring own eggs, and DON’T FORGET TO HARD-BOIL THEM). Ventriloquist Sylvia Marston will entertain with help of Magic Trunk-dwelling puppets. To learn more: allartsmatter@juno.com, or (518)966-4038.

*Concert. Vladimir Pleshakov, plays on, and talks about, “The Beethoven Piano” Saturday night at Catskill Mountain Foundation.

*Symposium. Restoration of Hudson River basin is topic of day-long talkfest at Columbia-Greene Community College on March 22 (a Tuesday). Eminently qualified speakers will discourse on stream channel design, channel stabilization, bottom sediment removal, riparian zone restoration, wetland restoration and terrestrial habitat restoration. Main sponsor is estimable Hudson River Environmental Society (www.hres.org). Registration deadline has passed but organizers may still have room. (518)861-8020.

*Poetry. Also sponsored by All Arts Matter (see Easter item) is 6th annual Rip Van Winkle Poetry Fest, with cash prizes for and public readings of entries in adult and under-14 divisions. Financial support comes from New York State Council on the Arts, funneled through Greene County Council on the Arts. Submissions deadline is April 9.

BLINDING INSIGHTS DEPT. “When building or renovating, homeowners should always focus on windows and doors, as they are the foundation of a beautiful home.” --Home Front section of BusinessDay (Johannesburg, South Africa), via WorldWideWords.org .

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