Tuesday, January 09, 2007

A Year in Review

For most of GreeneLand, most of the time, 2006 was a very good year. Northern river towns experienced further renovation of historic buildings along with industrial park development, the prospect of attractive new residential and retail tracts, and incipient participation in burgeoning nanotechnology projects. The Industrial Development Agency settled in new Coxsackie quarters and established Greene Accelerator, an incubator of promising start-ups.

Mountaintop communities suffered from the closing, for urgent repairs, of Route 23A between Palenville and Haines Falls. That was a nuisance for residents and a deterrent to visitors--who also were deterred by the fact that, owing to the absence of winter, the 2006-07 winter sports season did not commence in December 2006. Meanwhile, mountaintoppers and visitors were able to enjoy excellent movies, top-grade concerts, organic produce and other treats, thanks to the Catskill Mountain Foundation. Local support for the Foundation’s manifold cultural products was manifested at the benefit banquet in October that, with dinner sales, donations and auctioned items, brought in $84,000.

Catskill’s 200th birthday came in the midst of a surging transformation, with majestic old houses being restored by new owners, Main Street undergoing a comprehensive makeover, and the imminent emergence in Catskill Commons of a huge retailing complex. Renovation of upstairs apartments brought in a new breed of Main Street residents. The Community Center was rescued from oblivion. To restored, restyled storefronts came more art galleries, more cafes, more home interior improvement shops. Of the many gallery exhibits (especially on promotional Second Saturdays) one was touted memorably as exploring the “cyclical nature of experience” by means of “elegiac and ethereal” images showing “fluidity and fragility of life forms” whereby “the ephemeral and the eternal find a necessary balance.” Memorable too was Daily Maul prose crediting a new tattoo parlor with “exceedingly unique masterpieces” on its walls and, on its proprietor’s torso, “profound and vociferous figures.”

The Thomas Cole National Historic Site experienced a banner year, with big increases in visitors, members, sales (thanks to newly opened reception center and bookstore), events and grants.

“Our Town” and two Chekhov plays were performed, by local casts at Catskill Point and in Beattie-Powers House (whose refreshed Friends organization, proved to be the real deal).

Musicians took advantage of the new high-tech recording studio on Water Street. Among them were harpist Jim Davis, rock diva Lex Grey, and proprietor Frank Cuthbert,composer of these poignant lines, among many others:

You're drifting through my mind again. I close my eyes and just pretend. You're still tugging at my heart, dancing in the dark. You're drifting through my mind again.

You're drifting through my mind again as my lover and best friend. It was magic from the start, shot an arrow through my heart. Drifting through my mind again.

Sometimes I cry, that we said goodbye. I can't let it lie. I guess that's why, you're drifting through my mind again.

You're drifting through my mind again. I go to sleep but there's no end. You're the star of all my dreams, stealing every scene. Drifting through my mind again.

You're drifting through my mind again. I close my eyes and just pretend. Every night and every day ever since you went away. You're drifting through my mind again.

You're still tugging at my heart, dancing in the dark. Drifting through my mind again.

ELECTIONS on November 7th yielded gains, locally as well as nationally, for Democrats. Full credit goes to the Botch Administration. In the county legislature, the ranks of Democrats swelled from two members out of 14 to five. In State-wide races and the U.S. Senate contest, Democratic candidates swept the field.In the 20th U.S. Congressional district (Greene and other counties, or pieces thereof), new face Kirsten Gillibrand ousted four-term Republican incumbent John Sweeney; it was one of the country’s biggest surprises. Meanwhile, Republican State Senator Jim Seward easily won re-election, and the two rookie Republican candidates for Assembly seats representing parts of GreeneLand, Mark Molinari* and Peter Lopez, also won by comfortable margins. Prior to that result, a Daily Mailfactor opined that neither candidate was “a shoe-in”. [*OOPS.  As commentator Sean pointed out, it is Tim Gordon, not Mark Molinaro or even Mark Molinari, who won election to represent part of GreeneLand in the Assembly; and he is an Independencian, not an outright Republican]

TRANSITIONS. Long-serving county legislators Frank Stabile and Gunther Ohm retired, with Wayne Speenburgh succeeding Mr Stabile as chairman of that governing body. County Chamber of Commerce director Debbie Zetterlund was succeeded by Tracy McNally; Catskill Postmaster Donald Stegall, by Leon Griffin; Public Health Director Martin Kosich, after revocation of his license to practice medicine, by Marie Cross-Ostoyich. At the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, Amy Bruning was succeeded as education and volunteers manager by Lana Davis Chassman. Catskill Librarian Luisa Sabin-Kildiss resigned abruptly, and was succeeded by Jessica Maisano. The Catskill Game Farm, at age 73, died. So too, in infancy, did the Greenville Chamber of Commerce. The venerable, esteemed Freehold Country Inn either died (on or about December 10, and contrary to a previous Seeing Greene note) or entered a comatose state.

EPISODES.

>Four GreeneLand women were convicted in separate cases of, in essence, swindling. They evidently extracted money on false pretences from would- be authors of published books, from foreign residents hoping to stay and work legally in the U.S., from high school cheerleaders, and from female softball players. The Green Card scam artist blamed her prosecution/persecution (by the State Attorney General’s office, most immediately) on the Russian Mafia.

>Herb-growing Margo Muller ran afoul of Catskill Town authorities on account of the height of her weeds. She was given 60 days, said The Daily Maul, “to correct the citation.”

>According to Maul reports, local police in February conducted a search “vehemently,” and for three hours a man ”held a real estate office hostage.”

>Sheriff Richard Hussey’s license to drive was suspended after (long after) he refused to take a chemical sobriety test.

>Three deputies filed a lawsuit accusing the sheriff of favoritism in connection with the elevation of Sgt Tor Tryland to lieutenant.

>A defense lawyer, according to a Maul confabulation, moved to have Judge George Pulver Jr recused from trying a certain case “because of impartiality.”

>Volunteer firefighters Joel Shanks and his father Rick filed suit against the Catskill Fire Company and the Catskill Village Trustees, claiming deprivation of their rights to freedom of speech and to due process of law.

>GreeneLanders were invited, in an Awakened Heart CafĂ© advertisement, to meet a “Renounced Artist.”

>John Walde was charged with embezzling funds from, while serving as treasurer of, the Order of Red Men.

>Jared Paul Stern of Oak Hill was charged with attempting to extort money from victims of nasty gossip published (with his help) in The New York Post.  [Post-post message from Mr Stern: "Dick, I was not 'charged' with anything. Burkle made false accusations. There have been no charges, no filings, no nothing. I am prepping libel and defamation lawsuits against him and the Daily News. Please change your post." I should have said accused].

>A pub owner, a State trooper, town council members and other Greenville denizens were embroiled in legal disputes involving harassment, stalking, excavating, and a generous dose of whatever

>A Tannersville Village trustee filed suit accusing her putative colleagues of illegitimacy.

>A teenager reportedly drove her vehicle into the side of a “convenient store.”

>In East Durham, the priest of Sacred Heart parish, Jeremiah Nunan, was placed on administrative leave by the Albany diocese pending the outcome of investigation of a sexual abuse charge.

>Foodie Janeen Sarlin expatiated on “Chocolate as Aphrodisiac.”

>“Greene County Historian and [sic.] Raymond Beecher” reportedly expatiated on the legacy of Cedar Grove. (So much for reporting).

>Story’s Nursery was heavily damaged by fire, but faithful customers rallied.

>Inside/Out magazine moved to Stewart House in Athens.

>Two small children were maltreated, fatally, by their mothers’ live-in lovers.

>Bellydancing, declared teacher Bonnie Mion, is “memorizing to watch.”

>Two feature movies were made in GreeneLand.

>After watching news about Terrell Owens “with baited breath,” sportswriter Antonio D’Arcangelis turned to games talk “without further adieu.”

>The former Grandview Elementary School building on West Bridge Street in Catskill was demolished, amid local lamentations. The former Washington Irving School building, on the other hand, survived, with renewed prospect of becoming stylish condominium development, next door to the former annex, which is now the flourishing Senior Center

>A truck that was hauling a cargo reportedly incurred a serious accident “while being transported.”

>The Hudson River at one period in 2006, said columnist Don Nelson, was “teaming with bass.”

>The Bank of Greene County opened a new administration building and three branches.

>A Seeing Greene commentator lamented cover-ups of “every wrongful transgression.”

>Ambitious renovation of Tannersville’s Orpheum Theater, for use as a live performance venue, was launched by the Catskill Mountain Foundation.

>The Coxsackie-Athens Courier came into existence, as a member of publisher Richard Bleezarde’s mini-stable of local papers.

>Rumors of complete consolidation of The Daily Mail and The Register-Star proved to be unfounded.

>Those publications advertised for a Circulation Department employee who could do “computer imputing.”

>Daily Maul readers were invited to contemplate such events as:

PRESIDENT SAYS U.S. DOESN’T TORTURE PRISONERS
IN ANSWER TO CHENEY REMARK

Festival draws a crowd with attractions abound

THRUWAY URGES HOLIDAY MOTORISTS TO DRIVE SAFELY

HEAT SWELTER KNICKS WITH 111-100 WIN

The Monday announcement by the county of the grant’s arrival, preceded by a Governor’s Office for Small Cities declaration six days earlier, accompanies along with some statistics, seen as staggering by a county Planning and Economic Development Department statement.

[Local law 3 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.

Karen explained that [her pet] had been scene in the Catskill and Cairo areas.

[Walter Mirmann, owner of Rainbow Golf Club, said] the tourism industry in the county, which, following what is regarded nationally ‘rule of thumb’ within the business, generates for around every dollar spent at a tourist attraction, seven dollars spent elsewhere in the county.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Way to go Village of Catskill!

Passed a Village Law #1 to supposedly reduce insurance cost in order to offer primarily hose one theives and renegades a retirement package for being volunteer fire fighters!

But why pass a law three months before the voters vote on this scheme to benefit Hose One? And those individuals who live outside of the village?

Sounds to me like your showing favortism again!

Sam Pratt said...

You forgot to mention that Bobby Kennedy Jr.'s organization, Riverkeeper, announced its intention late in 2006 to sue the St. Lawrence Cement Catskill plant for dumping pollution into the Hudson River.

Stunning aerial photographs, taken from a helicopter, showed "plumes" of greenish water pouring into the Hudson.

More info here:

http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061130/NEWS/611300334

Meanwhile, in Quebec, SLC is fighting a major court ruling ordering the company to pay restitution to neighbors of its (now-defunct) Beauport facility for destroying their quality of life and property values. Something for Catskill and Germantown residents to contemplate...

Anonymous said...

Call me a GreenLander Dick, but I just dont comprehend the jist of the last paragraph of the Year in Review Blog. Whats it mean?

I'm really beginning to question what I read or hear now! I was at the Village Board meeting and totally misunderstood what was happening! At first it seemed logical to consider the LOSAP program. But why change village law now and not simply wait for the public to vote on it. What did we really accomplish other than attack those fire fighters. The Village Board and the Fire Company kicked them out with out providing them a chance to defend themselves!

Wasn't tll I spoke to someone the following morning at the coffee shop, did I realize that what they were doing was to intentionally ATTACK certain FIRE FIGHTERS while showing deliberate FAVORTISM TO A FEW others!

There is certainly no way that they did not plan this out. Especially when Harrold Rivenburg had all his paper work prepared to justify questions! I also learned to question comments and alledged truthfull information that the back of the room was slinging like they were real facts.

I plan to do my home work on things from here on out! Like why wasn't the Village offered to hear both types of LOSAP programs since one favors young fire fighters with longivity while the chosen one is favors those getting ready to retire!

Anonymous said...

SHERLOCK, THE VILLAGE BOARD INTENTIONALLY CUT THE NUMBER DOWN TO 60 FIREFIGHTERS BECAUSE IF 30 OR 40 TRY TO COME BACK THERE IS ONLY ROOM FOR 8.
DICK, THE VILLAGE BOARDS ACTION MONDAY NIGHT SHOWS COLLUSION WITH THE CATSKILL FIRE COMPANY!

THEY PASSED THE vILLAGE lAW 2007 #1 INTENTIONALLY, TO ATTACK CERTAIN FIRE FIGHTERS UNDER THE FALSE PRETENSE THAT IT WAS TO ENABLE hOSE 1 MEMBERS TO GET THEIR RETIREMENT PACKAGE BEFORE THE VILLAGE PRESIDENT STEPS DOWN! BUT THEY SCREWED UP BY NOT FOLLOWING GENERAL MUNICIPAL LAW AGAIN!

THERES A GROUP OF US THAT WANT TO GET TOGETHER AND HIRE A LAWYER AND SUE THEM FOR FAILURE TO FOLLOW THE LAW AGAIN!

ITS ABOUT TIME THAT GREENELAND GETS WITH THE TIMES AND THESE SCUMBAGS ARE SHOWN FOR WHAT THEY ARE!

Anonymous said...

DICK, WHAT IS WITH THIS VILLAGE BOARD?

I KNOW THAT THEY PLANNED THIS BACK IN DECEMBER BECAUSE I OVER HEARD A TRUSTEE TO A HOSE ONE MEMBER STATE THAT THEY CANNOT COME BACK BECAUSE THEY WILL NOT BE ABLE TO GET THEIR TRAINING, AND BY PLACING THEM ON THE ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP THEY CANNOT TRAIN BECAUSE THEY DO NOT HAVE INSURANCE! THE VILLAGE BOARD AND CATSKILL FIRE COMPANY BOARD ARE LAUGHING FOR NOW! DUE TO THIS CATCH 22.

WAIT TILL IT GETS TURNED OVER TO THE ATTORNY GENERALS OFFICE!

WE'LL SEE WHO'S LAUGHING THEN!

THE MORE THEY SCREW WITH PEOPLE THE MORE COSTLY IT WILL BE!

THE VILLAGE WOORKERS BETTER UNITE AND START REPORTING THERE BOSSES CONSTANT TRANSGRESSIONS INSTEAD OF COVERING THEM UP!

Sean said...

Dick-

Marc Molinaro's assembly district does not cross the river, it is solely in Columbia and Dutchess counties.

Greene's other district is the 108th, a Rensselaer district that also includes portions of Albany, Columbia and Greene (namely New Baltimore and Coxsackie). Tim Gordon of Delmar, an Independent who also ran as a Democrat, won that district.

Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

DICK,

I just heard that the Village of Catskill was fined some $30,000.00 down at the water plant for OSHA and environmental problems.

Have you heard anything about it?

What kind of open government hides everything from the voters?

What kind of fines did the Fire Department generate?

Stay on top of them!

Waiting to here what you discover!

Anonymous said...

OSHA fines? Are you serious. If that was the case it would be front page news, not only in the Daily Mail but in the TU and other outlets. Besides, the regulatory agency that oversees the Water Plant is the Department of Health and DEC. Get your facts straight before you start that kind of rumor.

Anonymous said...

Where O Where Has my Dicky May gone?