No, Seeing Greene did not go on strike. We were diverted by other tasks, and then thwarted by technological booby traps. It happened at a most inopportune time, when so much is happening. This promises to be one of the great GreeneLand weekends:
**In Athens, the Street Festival, at Riverfront Park and all over town, started at 10 this morning, runs to at least 11 o’c1ock tonight. Boat jaunts, booths (scores of them), car show, parade, street entertainers, carriage rides, music….
**In Hunter, the Mountain Cultural Festival in and around the Catskill Mountain Foundation’s Red Barn, today and tomorrow, morning and night. Quilting and lots of other crafts. Wood products fair (exhibition + demonstration). Farming and livestock cultivation. Guided hikes with emphasis on painterly scenes. Mountainfilm Festival imported from Telluride CO. Country music (evenings) from many countries. AND in the foundation's Village Square gallery, luminous landscapes by the extraordinary Thomas Locker are on display.
**In Catskill, the Farmers’ & Artisans’ Market at Historic Catskill Point went to early this afternoon. In the evening, again at the Point, The Stylistics give a musical show. And in downtown Catskill, two gallery openings: “Curvature of the Earth” (Josh Bate, Julie Chase, Dina Bursztyn), at The Open Studio (402 Main St); and, across the street at The Wilder (375 Main St, upstairs) “political” works by four artists (John Karch, Earl Lundy, Anne Dunn, Will Wolven), from 5 pm., with funk music after 9.
**On the roads, especially this afternoon: HOG rally and parade. Harley-Davidson motorcycle devotees(hundreds of them?) have converged on GreeneLand. A parade is slated to start from rally headquarters, the Friar Tuck Inn, at 1:30 pm. and will hit (engulf?) Catskill’s Main Street later. Expect hundreds of bikes. Keep ear muffs handy.
**On Sunday, more of the splendid Mountain Culture Festival. Plus a guided interpretive paddle around RamsHorn-Livingston sanctuary, thanks to the Audubon Society (phone 678-3248 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org). As well as a concert at the Altamura Center in Round Top where, from 1 pm., Ashley Horn, Erasmia Voukelatos, Bethany Slater, Guadalupe Peraza and Cary Peck will perform violin, piano, oboe and vocal music. (622-0060).
ALSO IMMINENT, warns local Extension ace Bob Beyfuss: “mosquito explosion,” triggered by all that rain.
BACKWARD BOYS? This year’s crop of high school graduates gives fresh evidence that GreeneLand’s boys (among others) lack fitness for leadership. Awards for scholarship and for service went preponderantly to female graduates, again. Of the 10 valedictorians and salutatorians who graduated from our five high schools, seven are girls. At the Catskill and Greenville high schools, both the valedictorian and the salutatorian were girls (Laura Finch and Kayla Valdez; Jenna Lamb and Jessica Gerdsmeier--& CONGRATULATIONS). Among the graduates who ranked in the top ten of their respective classes, about seven, on average, were girls.
HOW COME? That boys lag behind girls in academic achievement and in school service activities is a familiar GreeneLand pattern. And evidently the rest of the country is, so to speak, catching up. Hence the Newsweek cover story (1/30/06) entitled “The Boy Crisis: At Every Level of Education, They’re Falling Behind.” Only 44% of college students today are male, in contrast to 58% in 1975. In lower schools, boys greatly out-number girls in special-education classes; they lag behind girls in writing tests and reading tests (in 4th grade and above). They are twice as likely as girls to repeat a grade.
Some commentators offer physiological explanations: boys mature later than girls; their brains develop later; during adolescence, at least, they process information more slowly and inefficiently; they are more rebellious. So how can it be, then, that in times past boys out-performed girls on the same tests of merit? How can it be that in times past females were deemed by respectable authorities to be unfit to manage property, to compete effectively in business, to enter into the professions, to hold office, even to vote? The dears needed male protection from the consequences of their flighty, emotion-clouded impulses….
NO AMBITION? Also indicated about the latest crop of high school graduates is either low ambition or poor qualifications on the part of the top performers (National Honor Society, Advanced Placement courses, A’s). For example, Cairo-Durham’s valedictorian plans to attend Columbia-Greene Community College, along with her fourth-ranked twin sister. What is more, at Cairo-Durham High, LOTS of available scholarships were not applied for.
RESIGNED, abruptly and unexpectedly: Catskill’s chief librarian, Luisa Sabin-Kildiss, and the Thomas Cole National Historic Site’s education director, Amy Bruning. Ms Sabin-Kilduss succeeded long-serving Andy Dancer (who retired abruptly) in 2004). Her interim successor is assistant librarian Jessica Maisano.
OPENED in Catskill: new restaurant, at 12 Greene St, on the creek. It’s NOT a jinxed spot. In the distant past, when it was Harbor Lights for the first time, it was a flourishing institution, superbly situated for dining and drinking. But it has been through many mutations. Here’s hoping it deserves to succeed this time, and does so. Gillie & Mac’s is the name, Eugene & Meredith Carey are the hosts, lunch and dinner are served daily, and the telephone number is 943-6054.
DOCKETED, in the court of Hunter town justice William Simon, for this Thursday (July 13): action of some sort on the drunk-driving charge against GreeneLand sheriff Richard Hussey. A lawyer from the Washington County district attorney’s office will handle the prosecution side, if the much-postponed trial actually begins.
GROWING GRADUALLY: GreeneLand’s resident population. The U.S, Census Bureau’s estimate for 1990 was 44,739; for 2000, 48,195; for 2005, 49,682. Accordingly, our resident population now tops 50,000. But those numbers are deceptive. From them you’d never guess that our builders are over-booked, our materials suppliers have been swamped with orders (the new Home Depot did as much business in its first six months as had been projected for the full year), our banks have been lending mortgage money at a record clip. Much of the explanation has to do with a big influx of second-home buyers and builders. They don’t get counted officially as GreeneLanders. If they were included, perhaps we’d be 47th instead of 50th in population among New York State’s 62 counties.
DINNER + MOVIE. A new program, launched last Wednesday (7/5), offers dinner at Bell’s Café plus an Independent movie at the Community Theatre in Catskill. First film offering was “Grizzly Man,” a documentary about the life and death of an eccentric ursalogist. (We just made up that word, to denote student of bears). Coming this Wednesday is the gripping “Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada,” starring and directed by Tommy Lee Jones (with GreeneLand’s own Levon Helm in the cast). The movies start at 7:30 pm. Dinner service begins at 5, and--in light of the first session--meal reservations are strongly recommended (943-4070). Moreover, after the movie (adults $6.50; kids $4), Bell’s will serve dessert+coffee or cheese+wine. (For copious notes about the independent movie that was just made in and around Catskill, stay tuned to Seeing Greene).
BUT ALSO. “Be Careful,” says a warning on the container of Enchilosa noodles, “when Serving Children.” --“Douglas fills a niche that has fallen by the wayside” says a story in Business Weekly of the United Kingdom. (Recorded in the World\WideWords web site). -- “…presented by HOCA & Catskill Chamber of Commerce,” say Calendar items in Catskill’s daily newspaper, when in fact HOCA is the Chamber.