Friday, March 31, 2006

March Finale

ELECTION NOTES. Recent elections in GreeneLand villages were noteworthy for lack of contestation, for low turnout (occasioned by lack of contestation), and for retention of incumbents. Tannersville did have a contest for Trustee, with Linda Kline (Democrat) out-polling Kevin Tucker by 92 votes to 31. In Hunter, unopposed incumbent Michael Tancredi was returned by a landslide margin of 22 votes, those being all the votes that were cast. In Athens, two incumbents sought re-election, and both were successful, as could have been anticipated in light of the fact that they too were not opposed. Still, some Athenian voters went through the motions, giving 99 votes to Dominick Multari and 80 to Andrea Smallwood. Contests did occur in Coxsackie, drawing to the polls an almost respectable number of voters: 617, from a pool of 1790 eligibles. Victories were achieved by the two short-term incumbents (recent appointees, filling vacancies), Joseph Zanchelli (378 votes) and John Oliver (344), who out-polled Democrats John Benson (249 votes) and Crystal Palmer-Bull (193). Noteworthy about that outcome is the fact that the leading vote-getter had been Coxsackie’s most vocal, steadfast opponent of the prospective United Mobile Homes development. That distinction was disregarded in pre-election coverage of the race in The Daily Mail. It was disregarded too in the Mail’s editorial endorsing Mr Zanchelli and Mr Oliver. Readers were invited to believe that all four candidates were about the same in qualifications and in policy orientations. In Catskill, 438 of the 2300 registered Village voters turned out to settle contests for Village Trustee and Village Justice. Trustees Jim Chewens and Forest Cotten (both standing as Democrats) were re-elected by 302 and 270 votes, respectively, out-polling ex-Trustee Paul Rosenblatt (206 votes). Veteran Chuck Adsit won another term as Village Justice, with 288 votes to 124 for challenger Rita Landy. Chewens’s victory, and its size, came in the wake of sustained, anonymous, personal attacks from some Catskill firefighters, who used Seeing Greene’s open-to-all Comments section as vehicle. Their sorehead faction evidently is tiny.

OF POLITICAL ADVERTISING. Newspaper publishers do try to prevent the use of advertising for political ambushes. They try to block eleventh-hour attack ads, whose timing prevents the target from mounting an effective response. But some preventive policies are poorly conceived. Mr Cotten pointed that out recently, in a letter to Roger Coleman, publisher of Hudson Valley Newspapers. “Your policy on political ads,” he said, “makes no sense.” The rule is that copy for all political advertisements must be submitted by the last Thursday before a Tuesday voting day AND that those ‘final’ ads be re-runs of previous messages. One consequence of that policy, Mr Cotten pointed out, would be that a new “Vote Today!” ad suitable only for polling day would be unacceptable. Worse yet, if Candidate A submits an attack ad on the ‘final’ pre-election Wednesday, for publication on Thursday or afterward, his opponent is precluded by the publisher’s rules from mounting a retort. If he submits his reply by the end of the day on the final pre-election Thursday, it would be fresh material and hence would be unacceptable. “Thus,” says Mr Cotten to Mr Coleman, “your rule makes no sense”; “it does not meet your stated goal of preventing last-minute attack ads.” A “more compatible system,” says Mr Cotten, would be to notify all candidates that all their contemplated advertisements must be submitted no later than seven days before an election. On that ‘final’ day, all candidates are invited to review each others’ ads and, if they wish, to prepare, within 24 hours, “counter-ads.” “If they don’t come in and review the Ads, then that is their choice.” SCHOOL LITIGATION NOTE. Over in Dutchess County, the Rhinebeck School Board agreed recently to pay $151,500 in settlement of a lawsuit. The Board had been sued for damages arising from alleged sexual harassment of students by the high school principal, Thomas Mawhinney. The lawsuit was filed in 2003, in Federal court in White Plains. It charged that District officials had turned a blind eye to persistent complaints about sexual harassment of students by Mawhinney, and had participated in punishing a staff member who supported the complainants. According to the news story in the Kingston Daily Freeman, Mawhinney had been the target of complaints previously, and had been formally disciplined on that account. Also, when the Board eventually took up the current case, it placed Mawhinney on leave with full pay. These and other facts of the case, along with terms of the settlement (who gets what share of the payment) were furnished to the news media in response to inquiries and even ahead of specific inquiries. Question: Why cover this Dutchess County matter in a blog that is devoted to events in Greene County? Answer: the conduct of the Rhinebeck School Board serves to mark a contrast with the conduct of a GreeneLand school board. The Rhinebeck Board volunteered information about the existence and substance of a lawsuit against it, about the reaching of a settlement, and about the terms of that settlement. By way of contrast, the Catskill Central School District’s trustees, for all their pretensions to transparency of conduct, have never voluntarily acknowledged the fact that they were the target in 2004-06 of a lawsuit by an employee. They never shared with the public the news that they were being accused of fraudulently demoting or dismissing an employee, and of doing so as an act of punishment for his extra-curricular political activities. They did acknowledge (only when asked in a public forum, and only through their Superintendent) the existence of a settlement, but refused to discuss its terms. They accordingly did not confirm or deny that 35,000 taxpayers’ dollars had been given to the plaintiff, Stanley Dushane, or that Board members who were close personal friends of the plaintiff had participated actively in this decision. This apparent devotion to opacity seems to be evident in the report of the State-sponsored audit of the accounts of Catskill Central School District. The lengthyhg51-page report compiled by Alex Varga & Co. deals in broad categories with assets and liabilities and with revenues and outlays during 2004-05. In a pie chart it portrays seven types of expenditures, from Instruction (61.56% of all) down to Other (0.23%)—which is held to be differ from General (23.7%). Absent as a category of expenditures, or as a sub-category or sub-sub-category, is litigation expense.

MAUL NOTES. “MAN HOLDS REAL ESTATE HOSTAGE OFFICE FOR 3 HOURS” = top page-one headline, 3/28/06. *“HEAT SWELTER KNICKS with 111-100 win” * “If elected, …the faces on the Village Board will not change in the near future.” * “There are currently three seats up for re-election: Manny Amado, Carrol Mercer and Barton Wallace.” *“Local Law Three of 2006 amends the Dogs and Other Animals Law with the intent of deterring pet owners, especially dogs, from defecating on property, public or private, other than the owners. This is commonly known as the ‘pooper-scooper’ law.”

Friday, March 17, 2006

Paddy Patter

CONSERVED: two substantial parcels of riverside land, in Athens and Coxsackie. Thanks to the Scenic Hudson Land Trust, the State Department of Environmental Conservation, drawing upon the Environmental Protection Fund, will pay $879,000 for 61 acres of shoreline, tidal flats, grassland and woodland at Brandow Point, just north of the Cohotate Reserve. At Four Mile Point in Coxsackie, meanwhile,123 acres of land, much of it part of the Vosburgh Swamp, will be acquired by the State and reserved for recreation and conservation purposes. Management of both parcels will be handled by the Greene County Soil and Water Conservation District. On the occasion of the announcement of these acquisitions (and even more shorelands directly across the Hudson), GCSWCD executive director Rene Schaack said “When the GCSWCD focused its efforts on access to the Hudson River in the early 1990’s, there were only 41 acres of publicly accessible lands in Greene County that were on the river. We are very pleased that by working with partners such as Scenic Hudson, New York State, and others, we have had the opportunity to play a role in increasing riverfront public lands to over 400 acres, and we look forward to continuing to work with DEC to manage these properties into the future.” For more information, google scenichudson.

CONVICTED last night, of murder in the second degree, by 12 GreeneLand jurors, instructed by Judge Daniel Lalor, following a nine-day trial and nine hours of deliberation: James B. Smith, 26. The jurors agreed with District Attorney Terry Wilhelm that, by reckless conduct exhibiting depraved indifference to the consequences, Smith caused the death of 3-year-old Egypt Phillips. Smith had been living in Coxsackie with Egypt’s mother, Tonya Rose, who had designated him as the official caregiver—paid by Greene County Social Services, at the rate of more than $1000 per month--of Egypt and her two sisters. He subjected Egypt to persistent abuse, and finally inflicted a blow that, on account of its nature and of dilatoriness in seeking medical help, proved to be fatal. Smith’s punishment can range from 25 years in prison to life. Sentencing is scheduled to take place on May 23rd.

ALSO CONVICTED, earlier, of criminally negligent homicide: the aforementioned Tonya Rose, mother of Egypt and of two other daughters (by different fathers). She put Smith in charge of the children while she was working at a WalMart, and kept to the arrangement even after he was formally barred from the household by order of Child Protection Services. She accepted a plea bargain in which her recommended punishment would be three months’ jail time if she proved to be a co-operative and truthful witness in the trial of Smith. In District Attorney Wilhelm’s estimation, she failed that test, thereby earning a substantially longer sentence.

FORMED, by some “library advocates” who, according to The Daily Mail (3/10) met recently at Catskill’s Public Library: “a library Friend’s [sic.] group,” led by Michael Maloney. An incipient “incorporation process” will “officialize” the group. Library Director Luisa Sabin-Kildiss is quoted as anticipating that “the Friend’s [sic.] will help us meet our goals.” A second meeting of the new “Friend’s” may have been held last Monday (March 13) but was not reported. “The Friend’s [sic.] are actively seeking new members” and, pending incorporation and 501©(3)status, “contributions to the Friend’s [sic.] group can be made to the…Library.” Noteworthy about this story, apart from assaults on literacy, is a tacit invitation to infer that establishment of a Friends of the Catskill Public Library is a new thing. That suggestion is grossly counter-factual.

FURLOUGHED, by Catskill’s Village Trustees, from participation in activities of the Catskill Fire Company: volunteer firefighter Joel Shanks. The action took place after Monday night’s public Village Board meeting. According to a letter signed by Board President Vincent Seeley, Mr Shanks is placed on “administrative leave while an investigation of your recent allegations is conducted.” He must “not participate in any fire company or firematic activity” and is “removed from the active firefighters list” although his “service time” is not affected. Mr Seeley referred to “allegations” made by Mr Shanks to Workforce New York (now under investigation) as well as to allegations made “verbally to individual Trustees.” Mr Shanks had complained that he was being subjected to harassment by fellow firefighters, including the company’s leaders, on account of their belief that he was the author of an earlier, anonymous, complaint to the Public Employees Safety and Health Bureau about safety violations. In an interview with Seeing Greene, Mr Shanks characterized the Trustees’ action as “further evidence of harassment." Other firefighters who have been investigated for alleged improprieties, he said, have not been similarly disciplined. The furlough order comes in the wake of the sustained maltreatment that prompted his complaint: name-calling (“rat,” “fink”) by top-ranking Catskill firefighters and their followers, urgings to avoid talking with Mr Shanks, deliberate avoidance of communication with him on the scenes of fires, intentional failures to record him as present during roll calls, assigning him tasks that belong to less trained firefighters, and even expressing the wish that his own house would burn down. Village Trustee Angelo Amato, however, told Seeing Greene that the unanimous decision in favor of administrative leave was not meant to be punitive and was “in his best interest.” (Other Trustees had not responded, by post time, to our request for comment). That interpretation was second by Fire Chief Randy Ormerod. The decision in favor of administrative leave, he said, was “for the safety and well-being” of Mr Shanks. Mr Amato and Chief Ormerod also voiced the opinion that the Trustees’ ruling did not involve a ban on completing a firefighter training course in which Mr Shanks was engaged.

MAULED: the English language, by the usual journalistic suspects. GreeneLand author/skier Peter James Quirk is credited with a novel called "Trail of Vengenance" and with creating a fictional protagonist who “digs up clues and lays the groundwork for a new novel” by Quirk, namely, this one. Ray C. Brooks of Athens became (on 3/11) a “Green” county legislator. “For years, a narrow, swinging bridge spanned the gorge separating the water park from the The Country Place resort, from which the Zoom Flume grew out of.” “After passing through the Public Safety and Finance committees of the county Legislature Monday night, lawmakers are expected to approve” a certain budget allocation. “In closing, Brooks said he would stay his platform when he runs for re-election.”

INVITED: Feedback (via the green "Dick May" below) as distinct from imbecilic comments. About the formerly free-for-all comments, a correspondent compared reading them with "going to a yard sale: You had to pick through alot of crap in order to find something good. There were several interesting points but, unfortunatly, the personal attacks and half-truths outweighed the value of the exchange of ideas and you did what had to be done bringing comments to an end."

Friday, March 10, 2006

Marching Along

BUZZING. Lexington beekeeper John Sturman recently “packed up a nuc [sic.] of bees” plus “smokers, veils, brushes, queen pheromone (2 kinds), and several jars of honey” and drove to Manhattan for apiarian art’s sake. There he induced the bees to land on the word IT demarcated in honey on the chest of graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister. Read all about it in the Spring 2006 issue of About Town (whose previous issue’s big story, crafted by a local hack, was “A New Catskill?”). Mr Sturman is vice-president of the Catskill Mountain Beekeepers Club (

GRANTED, to the Town of New Baltimore, by the State’s Environmental Protection Fund, for wastewater disinfecting equipment and hence for participating in the effort to achieve a cleaner, swimmable Hudson River: $37,400. It’s just a fraction of the nearly $2 million that was disbursed also to the Albany and Rensselaer county sewer districts, to the towns of Coeymans and East Greenbush and to the Village of Castleton, according to a Times Union report (Ken Thurman; 3/7/06), but it helps.

GRANTED, by the National Endowment for the Humanities, through the “America’s Historic Places” program of the “We the People” initiative, to GreeneLand’s Thomas Cole National Historic Site: $40,000, for--as the application says--“conceptual planning and design development of a new permanent exhibition [including] an introductory audiovisual presentation, attendant interpretive panels, display of collection objects, printed educational materials, docent tours, and related public programs….” The exhibition will “address Cole's art-making process and the significant role his appreciation and interpretation of the American landscape had in shaping an emerging national identity.” The money will be used, then, to figure out what should be said and shown, where, in what forms. Then we’ll need another, bigger implementation grant. Regarding Cole’s influence, Raymond J. Steiner notes, in the March issue of Art Times, that “There was a time that it was something of a put-down to be called a “Hudson River Painter’—as if traipsing around the wilds of upstate New York was somehow…beneath the artist who took his craft seriously. [According to European canons, good artists might go on cozy] sketching tours…but only to get a taste of nature—not to immerse oneself in it, and especially not in the unkempt landscapes that skirted the Hudson River or were tucked away in the Catskill Mountains. Painting was a gentleman’s pursuit, and [artists and buyers alike felt] that it had little to do with the uncouth business of tramping through the forests like some rough backwoodsman. “Still, under [Thomas] Cole’s persistence and a growing belief that God might just really speak through nature, the New York City clique began to take a closer look at…those ‘wild men’ who sought their inspiration and motifs directly from the source.”

ADVERTISING NOTES. “New Ownership: Grand Opening Soon” says a West Bridge Street banner at Catskill Buick (& Pontiac & GMC & Cadillac) dealership. Which has been under new ownership for months. Also noteworthy is the campaign folder touting Paul Rosenblatt and Chuck Adsit as “Republican Candidates for Village Trustee & Village Justice.” Inside the fold are two panels devoted to Mr Rosenblatt’s credentials. The other two panels are blank. Moreover, a “Greene Pride” campaign will soon be launched by our Chamber of Commerce. It may reinforce the effect of what comes about when we use the terms GreeneLand and GreeneLander. NOT of local origin are classified advertisements (noted on WorldWideWords web site) for “a radio alarm saw” and for “salmon canopies.” .

MAULED, as usual, by local newsfolk: the English language. “The local investment in today’s youth has been a topic of question [sic.] ever since….” “Widewater has said they…would consider razing the building rather than demolishing it.”

HONORED at the latest Sundance Film Festival, with an important screenwriting prize, for the script of her GreeneLand-made movie “Stephanie Daley”: Catskill native Hilary Brougher. She also directed the film (starring Tilda Swinton and Amber Tamblyn), which was shot in Hunter, Tannersville (the high school), Phoenicia and Catskill (the courthouse, with Mayor Vincent Seeley visible in some shots, playing a pesky newsman). According to early reviewers, “Daley” is emotionally harrowing in places, but (or and) the location shots in GreeneLand are excellent.

BUSTED, inside the Greene County courthouse, for alleged possession of an illegal substance (marijuana): Joseph Vanleuvan, 24, of Valatie. Reporting for possible jury duty, he went through the magnetometer (electronic security), was adjudged by the deputy on duty to be packing pot in a cigarette box. Well, at least he did not have to wait all day before being excused.

FURLOUGHED, by order of the Roman Catholic diocese in Albany, pending disposition of a complaint that he abused a child sexually 30 years ago: Fr Jeremiah Nunan, pastor of Sacred Heart parish and of Our Lady of Knock mission in East Durham. According to reports in The Daily Freeman and The Daily Mail, local parishioners are skeptical of the charge and devoted to the pastor.

CHALLENGED, in Federal district court in Albany: the New York State Health Department’s revocation of the medical license of Martin Kosich, erstwhile private practitioner, physician of the Greene County Jail and director of the county Health Department. His attorneys are preparing to argue that the Health Department’s action came in the wake of hearings and rulings that deprived their client of due process of law and a fair shake. Argument on their request for a restraining order against the Health Department is due for submission by March 18th. Revocation was imposed on February 24th, on recommendation of a three-person Committee, after a series of hearings in 2005 that culminated in a “determination” of “demonstrated negligence and incompetence in the practice of medicine.” That evaluation was based largely on patients who were treated by Dr Kosich in a detoxification program at his Greenville private practice. The committee spoke of “slipshod and unprofessional” care, wherein

Respondent consistently failed to obtain adequate histories or conduct adequate physicals, did not order appropriate tests when needed, illegally prescribed methadone, inappropriately issued prescriptions for potentially dangerous substances, and failed to address a number of his patients medical conditions or refer to an appropriate specialist. By doing so, he put his patients at risk. Respondent demonstrated negligence and incompetence in the practice of medicine.

With regard to the procedures leading to that conclusion, the Committee said “The Respondent presented no expert on his behalf and offered no testimony to refute the Petitioner’s experts’ opinions, nor did the Respondent testify in his own behalf.” Neither did he submit documents. That version of history, according to the Kosich side, is wrong. James E. Morgan of Delmar, who with partner Sheila Galvin is representing Kosich, told Seeing Greene that “In large part, we were prevented from cross-examining their two ‘expert’ witnesses—who, incidentally, lacked expertise. Similarly, our attempts at presenting relevant documents, and at presenting our own witnesses, were thwarted.” Mr Morgan also assailed the Committee’s judgment that Mr Kosich lacked proper authorization to dispense and prescribe methadone.

WARNED, THREATENED, INVITED, DAMNED, at the Catskill Fire Company’s Tuesday meeting, by Village Trustee and quasi-commissioner Jim Chewens: perpetrators of scurrilous Comments following Seeing Greene entries, along with, perhaps, the permissive blog administrator. Mr Chewens said he’d just spoken with “a federal agent…who’s investigating this crap. We don’t know if we have criminal charges or a civil case yet, against Dick May or…these [anonymous, “sick,” family-bashing] bloggers….” Moreover, “the Attorney General has been contacted [and] they’re investigating with their computer team to figure out who these people are” and “we’re gonna find out” and “we’re gonna take care of business.” Mr Chewens invited listeners “who think I’m bluffing” about the investigation to check with Village Police Chief Dave Darling. The chief told Seeing Greene that nobody had asked for confirmation. He added that he has indeed received complaints about the blog (or Comments thereon), has received one formal complaint, has indeed contacted State and Federal agents. Techno-sleuthing may be under way. Good hunting.

BANNED, as announced in a special Monday (3/5) blog: Comments on Seeing Greene. Too many retardates took malicious advantage of the open door policy, scorning the spirit of Guidelines that were posted last Friday. Readers who wish to pass along messages to the boss blogger, with a view to investigation, edification, entertainment, denunciation or publication can do so by clicking the green “Dick May” below, or e-mailing

Monday, March 06, 2006


I have just imposed a total ban on Comments. I have done so after seeing that my Guidelines as just published have been ignored; the comments are anonymous, scurrilous, cheap.... They bring the Seeing Greene enterprise into disrepute. I had hoped that they would be self-discrediting to their authors, but their volume and sleaze-bag character has not diminished.

In making that decision I am going against the advice of at least one correspondent who was deeply wounded by an anonymous comment (or two or three), asked for its removal, but at the same time urged me to keep allowing anonymous comments, as they were necessary for bringing to light some facts and issues that merit public attention. With that in mind I invite would-be tipsters, commentators, advisers and the like to e-mail me directly. They can supply information that may warrant publicizing through Seeing Greene.

The suggestions need not (please!) be limited to fire company issues, although I certainly do wish to help to air what deserves to be aired. (Confession of bias: my paramount interest is in getting A Good Story). E-mails can be sent to me at (yes, it's dickmate not dickmay) or at

Maybe in the future we can work out some way of having lots of comments that are freely contributed without requiring a censor.

Dick May

Friday, March 03, 2006

Comment Management II

When deciding how to run the Comments section of Seeing Greene, says a commentator, I should ponder the “intent” that actuates the blog. And if the intent is “to report on the events and activities in Greene County, and encourage discourse on and around those events,” she adds, then the blog “is sorely failing, with the Catskill Fire Department practically taking over the comment arena, no matter what subject you touch on….” Seeing Greene was launched back in December 2005 without clearly defined goals. Negatively, I did resolve to avoid the diaristic, narcissistic (“my day,” “my thoughts”) kind of blog. Positively, and vaguely, I aimed to focus on local events, to be entertaining, and to be critical and constructive without being relentlessly Serious. While hoping to elicit feedback, I had no initial thoughts about regulating posted comments. When called upon technically to choose between policies, I chose permissiveness--letting any and all comments get posted--because it was intuitively appealing, it was easy to implement, and I did not understand how to operate the filtering devices.

…you should run a tighter ship....The right to free speech…does not give one the right to verbally batter and abuse, not to mention numb up the entire audience by repeating and repeating the same accusations and denials, accusations, denials, etc., etc., etc.

Experience has shown that the permissiveness policy can be costly. Yes, it has contributed to catharsis for some GreeneLanders, and it has helped to expose some issues that might otherwise be disregarded.

The blog comments are basically a poor man's newspaper editorial…. Requiring names would stop the whistle blowers from disclosing information for fear of repercussions. Some of the comments have been a bit off base[:] Charecterizing an arrest as a conviction, personal attacks not related to the issues but more related to personality conflict. # I can tell you first hand that by making people post names, people will loose freedom of speech. I have from day one, spoke publicly about issues that concerned me and have always put my name to everything I say. All I have received for this is a great deal of harassment, threats, nasty comments, and a egged truck. When people have something to hide they will go to any extent to cover it up. People will be afraid and should be afraid of being blacklisted if they go against the grain. Around here it's not how smart or right you are it's who you are related to. # While some of the postings are malicious, it is possibly the only outlet for free speech in Catskill... I think it's worth a few grumblers.

The permissiveness policy also has enabled a few one-eyed individuals to virtually hijack the Comments section. Those individuals, while ranting about just one subject--the Catskill fire department--indulge freely in anonymous mud-slinging. Their snarling oafish slanders deter prospective commentators who are civilized, and they tend to bring the whole Seeing Greene enterprise into disrepute. Hence the calls for restrictions.

…you should screen all the comments into your email. The character attacks and personal attacks should not be made here. ... Most of the Officers and some of the Firefighters of the Catskill Fire Company have taken a direct hit with the slander and the fire service of Catskill and Greene County for that matter does not need this…. # … anonymous comments can be appropriate. However, I would suggest that you require some form of 'basic registration' so that if you see a continuing pattern of abusive language or character assassination, you can inform the 'sender' that further comments in that spirit will not be published, while also respecting their prior submissions as anonymous. # …you have an ethical obligation to block libel and slander (to the extent that you can detect them, anyway). So I am afraid that, wearisome though it may be, you should run comments through your own filter, delete the more tiresome anonymous postings, and censor the rest. [It] should be transparent; if you delete a sentence or a graf, say so, and say why. And the intent should be to promote free and open debate, with above all no interference with adverse comments on the blog or its author (the price you pay for setting up shop). But I think you can insist on civil and civilized conversation… Gratuitous vulgarity is tedious. # … If you have the ability to stop people from posting anonymous comments, then why have you not done that? The comments on your website are hurtful, harassing, and slanderous. The people who post do not make any attempt to publish the truth… So far, comments on your website have claimed our family has been involved in stealing money, committing arson, involved in wife swapping, and been convicted of crimes. None of these things are true If this were your family, would you be as willing to let it continue? …please stop providing these individuals with a forum to publish their ignorant ramblings. These cowards should no longer be allowed to harass people and spread lies. They need to stand behind the falsehoods they print or stop printing them…. They know what they are doing is wrong. And so, Mr. May do you! … I ask that you do what is right.

Ah, but what policy would yield just the desirable results, with no negative side effects? To that question I have not been able to reach a confident answer. In the meantime, I have adopted an interim measure, consisting of

Guidelines for Prospective Commentators ***If you want to post a comment to the blog under your own name, click Comments at the end of a blog and, when invited to "Choose an identity," select "Other" and enter your name (and, optionally, your personal web page address or your street address) followed by your message. (Some of our anonymous commentators, I have learned, did not wish to be anonymous but did not know how to operate otherwise). . ***If you want to post anonymously, then, after clicking Comments and being invited to "Choose an identity," select "Anonymous" and write your message. ***If you have your own blog hosted at or (sign up here:, then, under "Choose an identity" select "Blogger"and enter your username and password, and write your message. ***If you want to send a message to the blogger rather than posting a comment, then, at the bottom of any blog entry or comments page, click on the green "Dick May." ***If you read a Seeing Greene entry and want to tell a particular friend about it, then click the envelope icon at the end of that entry. On the next page, enter your name & email address, type in the friend’s email address under "Friend's Email Address" and write your own comments in the Message box. ***If you want the Comments section of Seeing Greene to remain an open forum, then think hard before choosing to be a cowardly, slanderous, one track-minded, malicious and/or moronic contributor. In other words, abstain from writing messages that would shame the blogmeister into shutting the thing down.