Friday, August 31, 2007

Autumn's End

AWARDED, by GreeneLand’s Arts Council, from funds provided by the County Legislature, to 12 GreeneLand cultural organizations: grants, ranging in amount from $700 to $2700. Geography surely shaped selections. The winning applicants are based in Coxsackie (Greene County Historical Society), Hunter (Greene Room Players; Catskill Mountain Foundation), Windham (Chamber Music Festival), Lexington (Ensemble Theatre), Jewett (Music & Art Center), Elka Park (Horton By the Stream), Acra (Free103point9WaveRadio, a new player), Round Top (Altamura music center), East Durham (Irish American Heritage Museum; Irish Feis) and Catskill (Thomas Cole National Historic Site). Later to be allocated are other grants to other worthy cultural projects. These come from a State Arts Council "Decentralization" pool. Last year GreeneLand’s Arts Council was able to distribute $24,000 in precious dribs and drabs to 17 individuals and projects. A similar sum is likely to be apportioned for next year. Applications deadline is 16 days off. For information: and/or 943-3400.

SEIZED by Catskill police, in a raid last Friday (8/24) on a house at 68 Thompson Street, 100 yards from the station: marijuana plants and packaging materials. The weed allegedly was growing in the basement. Occupant Paul G. Gill, 44, who was not there at the time, was arrested, charged with criminal possession of controlled substance (felony class C) and growing cannabis (misdemeanor), and jailed pending a $25,000 bail or a $50,000 bond payment. This raid, as reported by Andrea Macko, followed by a day actions at two other Catskill dwellings where stocks of marijuana allegedly were found. Now, most remarkable about this Daily Mail story (8/25) is the fact that it appeared. Police chief Dave Darling has placed severe restrictions on public access to the public records that are his department’s Arrest and Incident reports. He rules that only a specific request about a particular event shall be heeded, and only to the extent of having a subordinate verbally dole out portions of the relevant report. That policy departs from what has prevailed in the past, from how most police departments (State and local) operate, and from what the relevant laws provide. In support of his policy Chief Darling sought advice from Village Attorney Alex Betke, who responded to his client by citing Section 87 (paragraphs E and F) of the Public Officers Law. The cited legal language, however, does not uphold the chief’s policy. It only identifies kinds of information that in particular kinds of cases or situation can be withheld from reports. It allows, in other words, for selective redactions (of, for example, the names of minors). Meanwhile, the public’s right of access to police “blotters,” under the State’s Freedom of Information Law, is copiously and clearly set forth in advisory opinions issued by Robert J. Freeman of New York State’s Committee on Open Government. ( ; thence to Arrest Reports and Incident Reports). Local media organizations have not bothered to challenge the Darling doctrine. To that extent they have connived with the chief, along with Seeing Greene, at keeping Catskillians in a state of ignorance.

BAD MOUTHER. A Catskill businessman, having moved from Hudson with abundant remarks about what a bad place it was, and having initially voiced effusive praise for his reception here, is now dumping on the place. That line of chatter could be related to his own sloppiness about responding to messages, confirming appointments….

PECKHAM PRODDED. While its lawsuit against Peckham Materials and North American Explosives Co. is pending, plaintiff’s side accuses defendants of disregarding a “prior temporary restraining order” by running trucks excessively along Fyke Road, to the extent on some days of as many as 180 trips beginning at 3:30 in the morning. This activity, says Arthur Anderson, spokesman for plaintiff Lee Anne Morgan, is “the height of corporate arrogance and ‘the public be damned’!” For more information from plaintiff’s side, see The hearing before Judge Daniel Lalor is slated to resume September 27th.

DEADBEAT MOM? Angela Berry, 30, has been sentenced by County Judge Daniel K. Lalor (says The Daily Mail, 8/27) to six months in jail for failing to pay $1290 to the Greene County Child Support Unit.

NEW CLUBHOUSE will greet Windham Country Club members in 2008. Most of the present clubhouse will be demolished to make way on the same site. Biggest change will be construction of 10-foot-deep deck running full length of the building, facing the fairways and with tables for dining and drinking. New bar (34 feet long) and dining room will accommodate 200 people. Pro shop will be located downstairs, near locker rooms, carts garage, and practice green. Board members are diffident about estimating the likely cost, but it will come to 7 figures and the first digit might not be a one.

TONIGHT (Friday, 8/31) Catskill: Brazilian song stylist Machan performs at Stella’s Lounge. Hensonville: Lex Grey + Storm Front Blues Band, at Horton Smith House. And again on Sunday afternoon barbecue. (518) 7349510. SATURDAY (9/1) Windham: Simon Shaheen (violinist and—yes!--oudist) and his ensemble “Qantara” (=arch) meld jazz, pop, Western classical and Arabic music, from 8pm at the Civil and Performing Arts Center, followed by reception at the Fine Arts Gallery. (518)678-9309, 734-3868 or Tannersville: New York City dance troupe Jennifer Muller/The Works performs at Hunter-Tannersville High School. (518)263-2063 or Catskill: at the Farmers & Artisans’ Market, Historic Catskill Point, mid-morning jazz will be provided by the Joe Michels quartet. --At Dutchman’s Landing, from 7pm, the free concert will be provided by the R&R group Steppin’ Out. --At Cone E Island (West Bridge/West Main), from 6pm, patrons are invited to “Say Goodbye to Summer.” --At the former Christ Presbyterian Church (6 Franklin St, opposite the Library), thanks to the hospitality of proprietors Mark Beard and Jim Manfredi, five dancers who have been toiling there for two weeks will present four newly choreographed works, from 7pm. Donations needed. --At Stella’s Lounge, Brazilian song stylist “Machan” performs from 8:30pm. WEDNESDAY (9/5) Catskill: “Angel Support Group” under guidance of Angela (sic.), meets at Divine Enlightenment for “an evening of connecting with God and the Angels.” (518)947-6413;

SO WHY >Do we press harder on a remote control button when we know the batteries are dying? >Do they use sterilized needles to carry out a sentence of death by lethal injection? >Doesn’t Tarzan have a beard? >Does Superman stop bullets with his chest, but duck when they throw a gun at him? >Did kamikaze pilots wear helmets? >If we evolved from apes, are there still apes? >Don’t we have father-in-law jokes?


Anonymous said...

Good afternoon, my name is Jim Halla and I own Mountain Buddies on Main Street in Catskill. I am the un-named businessman that Mr. May refers to in his latest blog, as bad mouthing the community. Unfortunately Mr. May has never had this kind of conversation with me and more to the point Mr. May is way off base with his comments.

The truth is we are closing our store. Due to detrimental weather patterns in 2006 that caused poor sales in Hudson and we have not been able to make up for with slower customer traffic here in Catskill.

Here is some more truth. When we did decide to give Catskill a go we were excepted with open arms and neighborly pleasantries, including Mr. May and his wife, we were also ASKED BY EVERYONE why we left Hudson and I was truthful. Hudson was expensive, un-unified, overly political, not business friendly and just not the right fit for us or several other businesses that have closed. Some of you may be hearing some of this and it is not just from me.

As for bad mouthing,to the contrary I have done nothing but express the potential that the Village of Catskill has. The REALITY is it does have a long way to go. I have had conversations with business owners and potential business owners here in the village and I have expressed my concerns. Sorry but no room for sugar coating in business. If being concerned about lack of customer traffic, lack of dining (especially in the evening and on weekends), lack of events, to much focus on Saturday strolls (which are nice but happen 1 of 30 days of a month),becoming expensive and a number of other issues, I am sorry if people take expressing ones opinion as bad mouthing.
Also if anyone has been by the store and talked to me or read the letter on my door you would see that we are not abandoning this area, outdoor recreation or our desire to build eco-tourism in the Hudson Valley. We are abandoning a business that cost more money to operate than what we are genrating. We will continue to operate OUTDOOR PURSUITS, our guide and instruction service, and we are starting an outdoor recreation consulting service.
In the end I would like to thank those in the community who have supported Mountain Buddies and Outdoor pursuits.
Also thank you to Mr. May for keeping everyone abreast of the happenings in Greene County. My only suggestion is that before you write stories that have no factual base, you do some research or talk to the party you decide to spread a rumor about or slander a name or identity. No Hard feelings Dick.

val said...

I have lived on Fyke Road for 17 years. Since my house is one that is close to the quarry I believe that the person who is sayong the amount of trucks and trips being made is blowing things out of proportion.True, when WalMart was being built there was more traffic. But, if we want Catskil to grow and improve businesses need to be able to do their work without being harrassed by people who just moved here. Being born and raised in Catskill, you know what a quarry does, but I still checked things out more before buying my house. Maybe the person who is looking to win a money suit should have done the same.

Anonymous said...

I have something to say about the dead beat mom" comment..... $1590? and she was put in jail for six months? My ex owes OVER $13,000.00 to SCU and NOTHING has been done about it! Is this a double standard? The courts have done nothing at all except suspend his drivers license, not that it matters because he is still driving. Driving for pleasure and work, yes I said WORK.