Friday, June 10, 2005

Hot June News

SWINDLER? Widely known GreeneLander Martha Ivery (a.k.a. Kelly O’Donnell) has entered a plea of Not Guilty to multiple counts of a Federal indictment for fraud in connection with her Press-TIGE book publishing business (or former business). It’s a rich juicy story, which we will amplify in a near-future installment of Seeing Greene.

BEAR OUT. State Police responded recently (5/31) to word from a Renwick Avenue, Tannersville, resident that a small brown bear had opened the driver’s side door of a 2002 GMC pickup truck, climbed in, closed (or experienced the closing of) the door and, at 6:30 in the morning, was honking the horn and flashing turn signals. The troopers found the bemused bear resting quietly inside, after she or he had ripped insulation stripping from the door and had chewed a piece out of the dashboard. The senior trooper told Seeing Greene’s mountain correspondent that when he opened the truck’s passenger side door, the bear fled without incident.

RIP RETURNS. Catskill’s wooden sculpture of Rip Van Winkle is back at the old stand at top of Main Street.

RUNNING FOOL. On the afternoon of June 1st, police officers Brian Kozloski and Rick Deyo, together with Sheriff’s deputies Tracy Helmedach and David Schoenborn, are manning a checkpoint outside the McDonald’s on Maple Avenue (=Highway 9W) in Catskill. Among drivers they detain for failure to wear a seat belt is Matthew C. Ainsworth, 24, of Barre VT. Following standard procedure, they run a check on Ainsworth’s driver’s license. Suspended. That makes the detainee subject to arrest for aggravated unlicensed operation of motor vehicle. To that end, in keeping with standard procedure, he is ordered to step out of his vehicle and is handcuffed in preparation to being transported to a local judge for arraignment. But the subject chooses to run. With arms pinned behind him and officers in pursuit, he makes it as far as the Begnal Motors garage. Now he is delivered to Village court and arraigned not only for AUO, but also for attempting to escape arrest. Judge Veronica Kosich rules that in order to be released, defendant must post bail in the amount of $2500 cash or $5000 bond; otherwise he goes to jail. So, at post time for Seeing Greene, he is still a guest of GreeneLand taxpayers. Meanwhile, his borrowed Ford Ranger, having been towed to Post Bros. impound lot, awaits retrieval by its owner who must pay storage charges that increase daily. None of this would have happened, of course, had Ainsworth worn the seat belt. And so much for experiment of telling a story in present tense.

FUNNIES? Last Sunday’s local newspaper contained the usual a four-page collection of comic strips starting with Doonesbury. That strip consisted of six blocks of names of American soldiers who since April 2004 have been killed in Iraq. Just above that was the usual headline: Your Funnies.

NEW HUDSON? Albany’s TimesUnion bestowed Best New Art Gallery title on Catskill’s Open Studio, adding that the Dina Bursztyn/Julie Chase establishment is “just two doors down from the Greene County Council on the Arts’ galley and directly across the street from the new art center that’s currently being built. Could Catskill be the new Hudson?”

MORE BESTS. Also cited in that whimsical Best Of feature ( were Greenville’s Rainbow Golf Club (Best ‘Unknown’ Golf Course), Catskill’s Day & Holt (Best Duck Decoys; “the real thing when it comes to the vintage and hand-carved variety…”; “sweet collection of wooden waterfowl”) and Tannersville’s Snowed Inn (Best Hotel Name).

AND ANOTHER. KIND. Saturday night’s glittering Columbia Memorial Hospital Ball at Catskill Point brought together 600 partysans--a sellout--and raised $375.000. What with the refreshments and the balmy weather, recalls Hospital Foundation director Keith Lampman, “Nobody wanted to go home, so the band played on for an extra hour.” Special feature of the night was electronic wizardry performed by Midhudsonmedia, including a video tribute to honoree Clara Kellner and, throughout the evening, digital photographic IMAX pictures of celebrants.

APOSTROPHIZING. Sawyer Motors of Saugerties, which is close kin to Sawyer Motors of Catskill, bought full-page advertisements (6/3) blaring, in effect, in big red letters, “We are illiterate.” Sawyer proclaims eagerness to sell Cherokee’s, Durango’s, Pacifica’s, Liberty’s, Cab’s and—are you ready for this?—Country’s. With telling inconsistency, the Sawyers refrain from putting superfluous apostrophes in sales, values, reports and savings.

RUNNING AFTER ALL. Coxsackie lawyer Eugenia M. Brennan has been endorsed as Democratic candidate for Greene County Judge. Although she faces “long odds” as challenger against the incumbent, Republican George J. Pulver Jr., says Greene County Democratic Party chair Barbara Van Kuren, Mrs Brennan is “a fine person and a worthy candidate.” She is not, incidentally, the strumming, singing Eugenia B. who plays with the Irish band called, of all things, The Brennans. And, incidentally, our Eugenia Brennan received Democratic endorsement at a May 31st meeting in Cairo community center—an event that The Daily Maul reported on June 8th, , without saying where or when.

IMMINENT --Riverside Farmers’ & Artisans’ Market at Catskill Point, Saturday (6/11) from 9:30 am, with music by keyboard artist Michael DeBenedictus, plus Plant & Bake Sale by Catskill Garden Club. --Round Top Senior Soccer Tournament, Saturday and Sunday, at Riedbauer’s Resort (telephone [518]622-0584). Thirty teams from northeastern U.S. as well as from Europe and Japan. --“Pygmalion” performed at Catskill Mountain Foundation Theater, Saturday (6/11) from 8pm, by Jean Cocteau Repertory Company. Details: (518)263-4908 ext. 202. --“Plant Pathology” talk, June 15th (Wednesday) from 6:30pm, by Cornell Co-Operative Extension ace Bob Beyfuss at Agroforestry Resource Center in Acra. “…most common insects and diseases that affect trees and shrubs in our region with an emphasis on…Integrated Pest Management options….” $15. (518)622-9820.

--“Pond Construction and Management for the Homeowner” talk, June 18th , from 10 am. “Evaluating your property for a pond, pond construction and cost, fish stocking and aquatic plant management.” Same place.

TOWNHALL.COM = web site claiming to offer “conservative news and information,” actually offering “liberal”-bashing commentary plus get-rich-quick advertising, such as tipster Mark Strousen’s “next great tech stock opportunity.” Of course, one must pay to get that priceless tip. Let’s think about that. If I knew what stock is going to soar soon, I sure wouldn’t tell you about it; I’d buy and buy before the word gets out. Meanwhile, if I owned a lot of shares of stock that’s in the tank, I’d be tempted to tout it far and wide as “next great buying opportunity.”

CORRIGENDA. That incipient movie cited here last week is “Ghost Dance” not “Ghost Town.” Allen Blumberg is director and writer as well as producer. Filming on Main Street, Catskill, last Thursday night (6/2) consisted of “establishing” shots, without sound, which gets put in later. End product will be in film noir-ish black & white.

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