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.
>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 Café 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:
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.