Thursday, December 27, 2007


JUST OUT: an updated version of GreeneLander Dennis Wepman’s lavish study Immigration. In the words of the publishing house, Facts On File, the volume “examines the history of immigrants in the United States,” updating their stories to cover the years after the closing of Ellis Island, focusing on such contemporary issues as the experiences of illegal immigrants and the transformation of immigration law since September 11, 2001.” Each chapter “begins with a detailed narrative section that chronicles the experiences of those who traveled to the United States as well as the reactions of religious and political leaders, social workers, and more. A chronology of events highlights important dates in the history of immigration. Eyewitness testimonies include passages from...hundreds of accounts from immigrants, social workers, politicians, and many others.” Also, “more than 110 black-and-white images, portraying immigration and immigrants in this country.”

SOLD OUT: Laser torches/lights designed by Rudie Berkhout, at the opening of the dazzling Play Of Light gallery ( in Catskill. Rudie and partners Hudson Talbott and Vincent Seeley weren’t even planning to sell stuff on that occasion. They graciously yielded to appeals, sold the dozen on-hand torches for $85 apiece (plus tripods, optional at $15) and took orders for more.

OUT and circulating around independent film festivals: a 35-minute movie “Jimmy’s Café,” in which GreeneLand’s Joe Capone plays a key part. It’s about “a love-starved matchmaking waitress in a small American town where nobody talks about the things that make us human.” Made last year, chiefly in a Greek diner in Poughkeepsie. For a teaser, with J C in foreground:

OUTBOUND, from The Daily Mail, as signaled by its Help Wanted advertisement for a “full-time crime and courts reporter” who also would “cover the Catskill Village Board and Catskill Town Board”: the paper’s best young reporter, Andrea Macko.

HONORED by GreeneLand's legislators,on advice of the County Planning Board (chaired by Wayne Deyo), with achievement awards named after Ellen Rettus: Hudson-Athens Lighthouse Preservation Society (chaired by Louise Bliss); Cairo Bicentennial Committee, led by Robert Uzzilia and Linda Larsen, who compiled a pictorial history of the town; Catskill Chamber of Commerce, managed by Linda Overbaugh, for the vitalizing Cat ‘n Around promotion); Commonwealth Construction Co., led by Scott Purdy, for the restoration, aided by Twelve Tribesfolk, of 18 South River St, Coxsackie.

GRANTED recently:

  • To the Catskill office of the Eddy Visiting Nurse Association: $62.000, from Hudson River Bank and Trust Co. Foundation. The money, according to a Daily Mail story (12/20; repeated verbatim on 12/21) will equip nurses with portable blood-testing equipment, so that they can learn immediately how patients who are taking blood thinning (clot-forestalling) medications are doing. For more on the grant and the foundation, see
  • To the Windham Community Food Pantry, the Windham Foundation and the Adaptive Sports Foundation (of Windham), from the charitable foundation of Legacy Banks (Yes; it’s plural): $2500 in total. As reported by Michael Ryan (Windham Journal and Daily Mail), the grants marked the opening of a branch of the Pittsfield MA-based financial institution, which recently has acquired five New York State outlets. The new Legacy outlet, formerly a First Niagara branch on Route 296 between Hensonville and Windham, is managed by Christine Hall.
  • To Catskill’s Community Center: $500 from the Rotary Club, $150 from Kiwanis.
  • To the Thomas Cole National Historic Site (=the Cedar Grove estate on Spring Street in Catskill), by the New York State Council of Arts: $20,300, in aid of the Site’s 2008 exhibition and its Sunday Salons. The latter are monthly conversations, led by guest speakers, about topics relating to the Hudson River School of art. For more information, google ‘Thomas Cole’ and follow the leads.
  • To 32 organizations in the 20th Congressional District (which includes GreeneLand), from the United States Treasury, thanks to earmarks that U.S. Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand succeeded in having included in the omnibus appropriations bill that Congress recently approved and the President signed: $19.2 million in total. As is usual in these matters, appeals from many more applicants, for many more millions, did not make the cut. Incidentally, Representative Gillibrand has announced that she is due to give birth to child (her second) in the spring. And one constituent--Ron Blackhut; NOT a GreeneLander--cites this incipient event as proof that women, or fertile women anyhow, are unsuited to hold Congressional office.


  • to artists “who have an affinity for the natural world,” from The Catskill Center for Conservation and Development: residency, for a few days or a fortnight during June 15-October 15, in a “tranquil and rustic workplace and retreat,” amid “the living landscape where American art began.” Home would be a two-floor cabin in GreeneLand’s Platte Clove Nature Preserve. Resident artists (graphic, literary, dramaturgical, musical, performing) would produce work, “traditional or experimental,” that could be exhibited in May 2009 at the Catskill Center’s Erpf Gallery. For details, guidelines, applications (due by March 1): (not .com).
  • to GreeneLand non-profits that foster low-income housing, education, health, social and civic service, and/or culture and the arts, from the Bank of Greene County’s charitable foundation: grants for 2008, from a purse of about $60,000. Deadline for applications is January 15 (!). Details:
  • to GreeneLand teachers imbued with good ideas about designing programs that foster learning about historic Hudson Valley sites, from the Federally funded Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area and Greenway Conservancy: grants of up to $10,000. Applications are due by next March 17th. For more information: (We owe this note to a Daily Mail story (12/22) that alluded to “Franklinn” Roosevelt, to “Environmental Copnservatoin” and to “…Oraged, Rokland, Ulter and Westchester counties”).

BTW: The Teaching the Hudson Valley project got started locally last year, with an ambitious “Landscape Connections” program which brought Catskill and Hudson high schoolers together for field trips (Cedar Grove, Olana, the Mountain House site…) and learning exercises. As designed by Ed Synan and Lorraine Ferrara of Catskill High, Carri Manchester of Olana, and Marilee Hobbs of Hudson High (at the instigation of Amy Bruning, late of Cedar Grove), the program elicited from participating students sketches, landscape paintings, essays and poems, including this, by Catskill’s Vasyl Hereha:

At times ambition gets the best of man.

When our great Earth, with living sunshine gleams.

We make a darkness with our narrow dreams,

Heading the wrong direction with no plan.


With no conscious thought of preservation

This derelict planet is torn to pieces.

As time rolls by, hope only decreases,

Stemming from neglected obligations.


An iniquitous quirk starting at birth,

A fatal blemish spanning all races,

Finding delight in all the wrong places;

In the perishable setting of Earth.


We ask what good it will do us mortals

To salvage a planet that should serve us.

Yet, there’s no incentive in speaking thus

Of the land that always opens portals.


Selfishness holds back the promise of change.

With attitudes mended we’ll open doors

And with sky majestic blue, birds will soar.

A concept that should not seem out of range.


And dragging down the next generation

Will not raise any of us the higher.

Plan to rid our lives of foolish desire

And say ‘bye to Earth-harming temptations.


Fear not to touch the calm seas or oceans

And live in pure harmony with our

Earth Let’s work to give the planet a rebirth.

A deed that will cure our souls and emotions.


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