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. (http://www.dos.state.ny.us/coog/coogwww.html ; 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 www.savefykeroad.com 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. www.catskillpoint.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org Tannersville: New York City dance troupe Jennifer Muller/The Works performs at Hunter-Tannersville High School. (518)263-2063 or www.catskillmtn.org. 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. www.catskillpoint.com 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; email@example.com
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?