Friday, September 02, 2005

Goings & Comings

GOING, GOING to auction, on the steps of the county courthouse (as the legal advertisements always put it), at 10 am. September 14th : the once-flourishing Full Gospel Tabernacle’s church property at 341 Main Street, Catskill. This after delayed action on a judgment of foreclosure dating from January 2004, and after vain attempts to sell the richly historic complex for a bit more than the outstanding debt of $450,000. So much for Pastor Jim Finn’s swaggarty bluster about needing bigger premises. $115,006.43=”approximate” amount of outstanding lien on another property (Blodgett Road in Windham) that, according to another legal ad, is to be auctioned (9/6, 10 am., by referee John Winans) on the courthouse steps. Such “approximations” seem to be standard. Auctioned yesterday was a foreclosed Hunter property (64 County Road 16) whose “approximate” amount of lien was $100,428 and 69 cents. COMING next Saturday (9/10), at 350 Main Street, from 5 pm.: opening of downtown Catskill’s sixth art gallery. On show at The M will be creations of proprietor Patrick Milbourn, consummate illustrator, portraitist, landscapist and ball striker. This newest milestone in the cultural revival of Thomas Cole’s home town will be celebrated up and down the rialto, with solidarity-affirming shows at The Brik, The Open Studio, The Arts Council gallery, and Verso. Visitors to The M may wish to (i) congratulate the host on the quality of his gallery’s floors (fixed after much unscheduled grief), and to (ii) rhapsodize over Patrick’s sophisticated use in landscape painting of sfumato, the technique devised by Leonardo Da Vinci so as to impart, by layering translucent colors, an image of scenic depth and of, well, smokiness. (For the latter, Seeing Greene’s art editor confesses a debt to the Wikipedia. OPENED, last night (9/1), at 45 West Bridge Street, Catskill: Serendipity, a “consignment boutique” that, according to a display ad in our local daily, deals in “clothing, home furnishings and Anitques.” COMPLETED at last: sale of Anne Sttewart’s former Kilt Shop, 384 Main Street, Catskill (two storefronts plus apartments), to Peter Griffin, Woodstock-based teacher and investor. For the near term, his only plan is to look for tenants. FIGHT MANNEQUINISM! That’s the call to battle posted on a billboard facing east-bound traffic on 9W approaching Rip Van Winkle bridge. Respondents who’ve not turned into plaster can check it out at fightmannequinism.org. GROWING: a service business catering to weekend GreeneLanders. It was started two years ago Sandra & Michael Smith, themselves veteran weekenders who had sought, and eventually found, reliable local people who would clean their house, stock it with provisions, otherwise get it ready just before they got up from the big city (where he’s a lawyer and she was Commissioner of Corrections). They found “ideal” help in the persons of Diane Collier and her daughter Amanda. That association gave rise to the idea for an up-scale referral business that has grown in two years from four customers to 40. It’s called Just Leave It to Us, and will soon have a web site called Noworriesjustleaveittous.com For more information: (518)678-5875 or heartsmith@aol.com. The Smiths, incidentally, were stalwart members a few years back of the Leeds-based, anti-WalMart mob called It’s Not Easy Being Greene. REVIVED? We reported back in February that a Tannersville restaurant that in former lives was the Elka Inn, Beowulf’s, and China Wok would soon be reincarnated as Black Diamonds Grill. With the departure of manager Angelo Agosto, however, that project got stalled. But owners Bernie Zahn and Kris Gilly still hope to open the place in time for ski season. Meanwhile, their ambitious makeover of the Heartbreak Hotel is on track for a Fall opening. This intelligence comes to you courtesy of tipster Anonymous tipster and of Seeing Greene’s ace Mountain correspondent (and rising thespian), Charles Neighbors. WINDHAM HISTORY. Idea of forming a Windham Historical Society has been broached by Margy Davis and friends. A meeting September 22 at Center Church (6:30 pm.) has been scheduled. The organizers could do well to seek guidance from leaders of the Greene County Historical Society (731-5490), the Mountain Top Historical Society (Justine Hommel; 589-6657), the Durham Center Museum (239-8461) and/or the Zadock Pratt Museum (239-3305; but their web site needs updating). And leaders of those organizations could offer help by calling Margy at (518) 734-3700. DIVORCED: PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as outside/independent auditors, from Greene County Bancorp, parent of The Bank of Greene County; after three fiscal years and, say the parties, no dispute over the books. RETAINED: Beard Miller Co. LP, a regional CPA firm (350 employees; seven offices in Pennsylvania, one each in Maryland and New Jersey), as the bank’s new outside auditor. JOBS. According to a report from the State Labor Department, employment in GreeneLand increased by 600 jobs, to 23,400 jobs, from last July 2004. The ranks of registered unemployed persons dwindled by 100. And the unemployment rate (percentage of people deemed to be part of work force, but jobless) dropped from 4.9 to 4.8. All of which indicates a healthy local rate of unemployment is lower than the figure for the State as a whole. But Columbia County seems to be doing better. It has a bigger work force (32,500 vs. our 23,400), has virtually the same number of unemployed (about 1200), and thus has a substantially lower unemployment rate (3.7%). Both counties are below the State-wide unemployment figure (5.2%). BUSTED, on grand larceny and other charges arising from activities as a Home Depot employee: Shpresa Elshani, 29, of Catskill. She is accused of stealing about $5700 in cash and store credit cards (a felony), of forging customers’ names on receipts, and of knowingly making false entries in the store’s data system. Following arraignment before Town Justice Peter Margolius and a jail spell in lieu of $5000 bail or $10,000 bond, she’s due to re-appear in Justice court, for likely assignment to county court, on September 15th. BUSTED on disturbing-the-peace charges earlier this month: Floyd Townsend, 57, and Melody Townsend, 16. In felicitous words of Village police officer Daniel Waer, they were committing “tumultuous behavior.” BUSTED, by State police, on suspicion of sexually harassing a 17-year-old neighbor: Durham denizen Gary--wait for it; no jumping ahead; don’t rush me; savor the moment; ready?--Stalker.

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Anonymous said...

As usual, very interesting. As a skilled, if ornery, investigator, would you consider looking at 'gas prices' in the Catskill/Greene County area? The wide disparity, being one of the topics. Perhaps, your ruminations on the 'ripple' impact in terms of heating oil for 'seniors', among others. Another observation, the welcome rehabitation/restoration of properties on Main Street has also created a haze of particle matter .. the price of progress.
Northstreeter a/k/a Harold

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