Friday, February 02, 2007

Mid-Winter Gleanings

SKIPPED OVER, by the Catskill Town Council, with malice aforethought: property assessor Sue Golden. Most Town employees were given bonuses, in the amount of 3.2 per cent of current salary. Ms Golden was given zilch. Although she is a 26-year veteran, is heartily endorsed by legendary predecessor Ron Vincent, regularly updates her credentials, has a superb record of success in grievance hearings, works long hours, is readily accessible, and handles stressful encounters with grace and patience, Ms Golden has been made the victim of a vendetta. Particularly vindictive are Town Councilmen Robert Antonelli and Joseph Leggio.

THWARTED, by Cathryn Coyle, acting State Supreme Court judge, in his bid to ensure that his new lieutenant would have specific Correctional Officer training before starting the job: Sheriff Richard Hussey. The local civil service commission, at Sheriff Hussey’s request, had made such training an addition to the stated criteria for eligibility to take a promotional examination. The added requirement limited eligibility to just one deputy: Tor Tryland. Three others—Andrew Macko, John Stegville, Steve Worth—brought suit, claiming that the restriction was arbitrary and capricious; the prescribed Correctional training could readily be obtained by whoever earned the promotion by passing the test. Judge Coyle agreed. Sheriff Hussey told Seeing Greene this morning (Friday, 2/2) that he has not yet received a copy of the ruling, but “of course we will comply.” Date for the re-test has not been set. In the interim, “Lieutenant” Tryland keeps the job.

SNUBBED by the Catskill Central School District’s board, at the behest of Superintendent Kathleen Farrell: Elementary School Principal Lisa Slutzky. It’s a prime case of how the most noteworthy feature of an event can be what does not take place. The event in question is the last board meeting’s announcement that permanent tenure, following specified probationary periods, will be granted to three administrators: William Ball, principal of the high school (effective August 12); Patrick Wemitt, assistant principal (effective July 19); and Deborah Johnson, curriculum co-ordinator (effective June 29, 2008). Although this item of business was not on the agenda, we understand, the appointees had been alerted to attend the meeting and, according to Daily Mail scribe Jim Planck, they expressed “gratefulness.” To knowledgeable observers, the most conspicuous thing about this tenure-bestowing event was the omission of Ms Slutzy. According to rank-and-file sources we have tapped, Ms Slutzky is a home-grown product who has done solid work, has done her time, has gained the respect of teachers and parents, and has been the victim, persistently, of unearned personal animosity.

STUNG by the incipient bestowal of tenure on Mr Ball: sundry teachers and other employees. When teachers and staff voiced complaints openly last year to the school board, complaints about low morale generated by imperious and chauvinistic behavior from on high, their main target (though not by name) was Mr Ball. The malaise has persisted to the extent that legal action in reaction to the tenure decision, filed in advance of the August 12 ‘deadline,’ is being discussed.

JUMPED, by bosses at Lowes Home Improvement, after two weeks of entry-level employment, up the ladder: Karen Castaldo of Cairo. With a $2 per hour raise, she is now team leader in the Hardware Department.

IN PROSPECT for ever-improving Catskill, according to unequally reliable rumors and informants: *Fitted in to the strip mall opposite Wal-Mart, next door to Pomadoro’s Restaurant, will be a shoe store. Over on Maple Avenue, the present Eckerd drug store site will become Begnal Motors and Auto Zone, whose present sites will be transformed into an Outback restaurant. This gossip is not supported by permit applications or other official procedures. Its credibility is weakened too by guesses that Begnal will leave Catskill altogether and that the market demographics, mate, are too dodgy for Outback. After all, Applebee agents looked carefully at the area and backed off. On the other hand, there are fresh data to ponder. Increasingly likely to materialize are a seniors-preferred condominium development on West Main Street, a 77-lot “Cauterskill Estates” subdivision behind PriceChopper, the 20-unit condominium complex in the former Oren’s warehouse, and “Artist’s Ledge,” a big residential development on the site of the present Tatiana’s restaurant. *Meanwhile, east of Catskill Creek, a non-profit agency, Northeast Parent and Child, will occupy offices at 455 Main Street once the building has been renovated by—who else?—landlord Frank Cuthbert. Upstairs in that same building, under skylights and a 12-foot ceiling, artist Michel Goldberg will establish his studio. *The advent of a sushi bar looks increasingly likely. *Main Street’s many gallery owners are edging toward joining a marketing association. *Gillie & Mac’s restaurant on Water Street seems to have closed abruptly, after having circulated publicity about future musical events. Shuttered for the winter, or indefinitely? The place seems to be jinxed. *Following a long hiatus, the history-laden Cus D’Amato boxing gym, on the top floor of Village building, is back in operation. Although the ceremonial re-opening will not take place until March 10, the place already is bustling, thanks to efforts of Sean Doolan and Bill White (and the absence of bibulous Kevin Rooney). Kids who want to participate must pass a test: being OK on school grades.

FELINE GROOVY and Feline Frenzy. Rip Claw Winkle and Rip Van Twinkle. Queen Nefer-Kitty and Cleocatra. Catillac. Sophisticat. Sweeten the Kitty. Meowtain Music. Catiopeia. Phil the Philatelic Pheline. Those are some of the names that artists have bestowed on their designs for entries in the Cat ‘N Around contest promoted by the Catskill (of course) Chamber of Commerce. Sponsors will gather next Saturday at BRIK gallery to support favored designs, which will be transmuted into sculptures to be put up for auction. The designs submitted so far are every bit as clever as the names. For more information: 943-0989 or catskillchamber@mhcable.com. Kaaterskill Kitty, Synchropus Splendidus, Clawed Meownet, Picatso….

1 comment:

Chuck said...

yeah, I don't care how sophisticated it gets, Catskill will never go for an Outback. It's really ironic, folks. I couldn't wait to get out of Catskill because there was nothing there. Now I'm in southern Maryland, bedroom community of Washington, DC, which is growing by leaps and bounds, with the traffic and rudeness to go with it. I'm ready to find a place with nothing.