Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sic Transit September

YEOWLING SUCCESS: the finale of Catskill’s summer-long Cat ‘n Around promotion. 500 people—500!—jammed the warehouse at Historic Catskill Point, gobbled snacks contributed by local eateries, and jumped into the Cats’ Meow auction. First feline on the block, Ellen DeLucia’s “Rip Van Twinkle,” fetched $2100. As the remaining 49 were hawked by auctioneer Russ Carlsen, winning bids ranged from $750 to—take a deep breath--$4600 (by sponsor David Brockway, for Jim Cramer’s “Old Katskillian”). Average knockdown price, far beyond the most optimistic hopes, was $1800. Of the proceeds, $87,950, 25% will go to the artists, and the rest to the Chamber of Commerce, the County Arts Council, the Community Center, and the cat rescue organization Animalkind. At least one of the artists did not realize that she was entitled to a cut; she’ll get an unexpected check for $600. Yes, there will be a sequel. Organizer Linda Overbaugh already has been beset, happily, by would-be artists and by willing sponsors (people who paid $500 to have a design transformed into a finished feline).

NOTE ON PROVENANCE. Of precedents that inspired the Cat ‘n Around event, most pivotal was Moosefest. That 2005 promotion in Bennington VT yielded 58 fiberglass beasts, almost life-size. It culminated in bid prices of monumental scale and, incidentally, it demonstrated the fun of titular word play, e.g., “Driving Moose Daisy,” “Any Which Way But Moose,” “Mooselight in Vermont,” “Moose in the Sky with Diamonds,” “Moosemobile,” “A Moose For All Seasons,” “Metamorpho-Moose,” “Anonymoose.”

22=number of properties listed for sale at GreeneLand’s annual tax foreclosure auction, to be held this Wednesday (10/3) at the Quality Inn (as well as on-line; see ). The number is noteworthy in the light of history. Back in 2001, 115 parcels were advertised. These were properties whose owners failed to pay their taxes, thereby sticking the county with ownership, with the liabilities that accompany ownership, and with the costs of trying to sell the places and get them back on the tax rolls. The number of foreclosed properties declined in each subsequent year, to 98, then 88, 65, 42 and, in 2006, 34. That salutary reduction, says County Treasurer Willis Vermilyea, was no accident. It resulted from rigorous efforts to track down delinquent owners and to inform them about the values of their properties relative to the taxes and penalties they must pay in order to retain ownership. (Especially adept at this work, says Mr Vermilyea, has been Coxsackie’s Earl Scott). From the standpoint of GreeneLand taxpayers, the fewer the auctioned foreclosure properties, the better. And by Wednesday, the number will not even be 22. As of today’s final deadline, several more owners had paid up.

GREATER SENSE. During the past two days, students at Catskill’s Middle School took part in a dazzling array of extra-curricular activities. Thanks to a huge organizational effort (project selection, venues, permission slips, special arrangements, buses), thanks to help from scores of adult volunteers, the kids got to choose among 21 different half-day activities and 23 full-day workshops: picture-making, bowling or boxing or belly dancing or beautifying (one’s face), paddling (kayaks & canoes) &/or pedaling (on mountain bikes), pizza-making & other cooking (with experts), quilting, grooming & riding (horses), camping, dueling (with swords), scapbooking, skating, dragon- & damsel-fly-catching, video-making, playwriting+directing+set-making+acting, rescuing (heart attack victims), basket- and jewelry- and portrait-making, Monopolizing & Strategizing (on board games), and tramping (where Hudson River School artists once trod). Workshops called “Mountain Memories,” “Escarpment Trail,” “That Wilder Image” and “On the Artist Trail” would have been especially dear to the heart of the G S O P founder Barry Hopkins. Huge efforts were devoted, as Principal Marielena Davis put it, to imbuing participants with “with “deeper pride and understanding of the people, places and opportunities in the greater Catskill area.”

BTW, author(s) of the “Greater Sense of Place 2007” guidebook evidently could use a greater sense of difference, as between their and there, between your and you are (“Do you think your strong enough to ride your mountain bike on…”), and between here and hear. Also, if they were composing a new edition, the authors might re-think “using various create portraits,” “…discovery of the dramatic moments between each other and within themselves,” “TV is not where Casey put his focus on,” “Prior to his employment at Audubon, Larry is [sic.] also a professional musician,” and “…the gym Mike Tyson once trained.”

DELPHI, a GreeneLand-based Hanoverian, out-stepped competitors from seven Northeast States over the past season to win, among Level 1 participants in the sport of dressage, the Reserve Champion crown. The 7-year-old gelding, owned by Pamela King Belfor and ridden by trainer Emily Gershberg, won five blue ribbons in successive competitions starting last spring and ending September 15th in Saugerties. The rigorous and eminently civilized discipline of dressage, incidentally, goes back to cavalry warfare. Riders needed horses that would respond to cues emitted only by leg and knee pressure, leaving their arms were free to lay about with sabers. HOW IMPORTANT is GreeneLand's Thomas Cole National Historic Site? Well, it has been toured lately, or is about to be toured, by troops of visitors from the National Academy Design (Cole was a founder of that venerable institution), from the Wadsworth Athenaeum (the Hartford museum containing one of the great Hudson River School collections), from the Munson-Williams Proctor Institute of Utica NY, from the Hotchkiss School and the Dutchess Day School and Russell Sage College alumnae and American Cruise Lines and Kendall-on-Hudson, and from the Amon Carter Museum of Fort Worth TX. Some day, perhaps, it will even be deemed important enough to attract visits by governmental leaders of this county and its municipalities.

JUDICIAL LAW-BREAKERS? Some litigious GreeneLanders, we hear, have their sights set on the Greene County courthouse. They may test the legal status of a sign that is posted directly above the judge’s bench in each courtroom: “IN GOD WE TRUST.” Does that violate the Constitutional separation of church and state? Probably not. Past litigation and legislation have endowed that presumptuous affirmation with the status of a (or the) national motto.

JUST OUT: “Fall 2007” issue of The Messenger: Membership Newsletter of the Greene County Historical Society. Arriving in mailboxes on September 19th, its “Calendar of Events” anticipates happenings on August 25th and September 9th , as well as on September 23rd and thereafter.

IMMINENT: “Sytes,” a group exhibition of computer-related artworks, opens officially tomorrow, with a 2-4pm reception, at the County Arts Council’s Mountain Top Gallery in Windham. (518)734-3104. In Catskill, the morning’s usual Farmers’ & Artisans’ Market at Historic Catskill Point will be complemented not only by versatile musician Paul Slusar (many instruments, played well) but also by the GreeneLand segment of a Chili Cook-Off. And in the evening there will be a comedy show at the Catskill Point restaurant.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Beat Goes On

90=number of copies of American Wilderness: The Story of the Hudson River School of Painting (just published by Black Dome Press) that were sold, at $26 each, at last Saturday’s standing-room-only “salon” in the Storeroom Studio of the Thomas Cole National Historic Site. Author Barbara Millhouse came up from Winston-Salem NC for the event. Introducer David Barnes came east from Columbus, Ohio.

RASH OF RED DOTS appeared on walls of Catskill’s BRIK gallery last Saturday evening, as visitors responded to pictures and sculptures created by GreeneLand’s Michel Goldberg (and priced between $350 and $3000). This first one-man show, says proprietor Frank Cuthbert, surpassed expectations. Who knew that so many people see things in black & white?

SHOT at Coeymans Hollow last week, according to a TimesUnion story by Scott Waldman: scenes for “Against the Current,” a film in which the protagonist (played by Joseph Fiennes) resolves to swim from Troy to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, to deal with death of his pregnant wife. Much action filmed at Yanni’s Too restaurant in Coeymans Marina. Next stop: Beacon.

DIRECTOR OF PROBATION for GreeneLand is being sought officially, at long last. The call for applications is noteworthy in that Barbara A. Valicenti is still pictured and identified on the county government website as Director, although she has been on paid leave from the $65,000 job since early this year. Anyhow, suitable candidates, according to the official advertisement, must be “articulate, possess good communication skills, have the ability to supervise subordinate employees in a non-confrontational manner and have a minimum of 3 years experience in a supervisory or administrative position in a probation agency.” Likely front-runner would be the respected acting director, Alan Frisbee. The 14-person department needs catch-up work. For example, its web site gives cursory information about its activities in 2004.

SLATED FOR CENSURE, by New York State’s Commission on Judicial Conduct, for allegedly mishandling a case that came before her, is Tannersville Village Justice Noreen Valcich. For details, click , then click on Matter of Noreen Valcich, and read the news release and the Determination. The commissioners decided that Judge Valcich should not have presided during 2004-05 over a harassment case in which Marlene Rice was charged with harassment against her former convenience store employer, Patricia Ragan. Judge Valcich allegedly took on the case “notwithstanding that she had a professional and social relationship with the defendant”; failed to disclose to the People’s attorney that relationship; discussed the case out of court with the defendant and the complaining witness; and made dispositive decisions in disregard of her obligation to consult the prosecutor (the District Attorney). The commission’s majority also noted that the part-time judge had twice been cautioned previously for “ethical transgressions”: stalling on a bail motion, and showing partiality by failing to consult the district attorney before reinstating a matter that had been adjourned in contemplation of dismissal. Six commissioners endorsed the Determination. Two were absent, and two dissented. One of the dissenters, Richard Emery, assailed his compeers for making “a precipitous decision” in favor of “granting censure instead of what might well be removal if all the facts were known.” Judge Valcich is “a three time offender whom the Commission is giving another chance to harm the citizens who appear before her.” This “rash choice of clemency for a recidivist ethical violator” is being made without ascertaining “the relevant facts” as distinct from relying on a statement on which complainant and respondent agree. Anyhow, the commission’s judgment in favor of censure is subject to appeal to the State’s Court of Appeals for a review. If she does so, within a prescribed period, the court can accept the determined sanction, impose a different one, or impose no sanction. If she does not appeal for review, censure is invoked. According to a report in The Daily Mail (9/8/07), Judge Valcich said “I’m not going to appeal it.” Ms Valcich operates, with her husband Roy, the Snowed Inn. For last year’s part-time work as village justice she was paid $5743 along with benefits. She has been Village Justice in Tannersville since 1991. In last Spring’s local elections, she beat back a challenge from Republican newcomer Nancy Covey by a margin of 162 votes to 48.

LEX GREY now has big, clippings-loaded My Space site: The lady purportedly “has mesmerized New York's die-hard music lovers since she thundered on the scene like Mae West on a Harley. Rapidly rising to the status of cult rock diva, her repertoire blends the tortured soul of the blues with bawdy burlesque and Brooklyn attitude…. On stage The Urban Pioneers explode with energy and passion creating a musical and visual patchwork of wild rock concert, bar room blues, vaudeville theater and after-hours jazz jam. Fronted by sultry Lex in her sequined gown, torn fishnet stockings and well-worn motorcycle boots, the band's eclectic earthiness draws in and embraces people of every taste and background.” Web site visitors can audit “Va Va Voom,” “Grave Is Kept Clean,” “ Dirty Sleazy Blues”….

WEIRD NEWS. “Greene County is currently developing a Housing Action Plan that will quantify and assess the county’s current housing market, propose action steps to streamline and focus the development process and produce guidelines that can be used by developers and municipalities to meet the housing needs of various types of Greene County households.” Moreover, “Greene County has begun a Hudson River Corridor Study that will bring together local officials and community leaders to plan for the growth and development of its Hudson River corridor and establish policy and standards for the review of projects at the county level by the Greene County Planning Board.” Those words from the office of Warren Hart invite us to think of Greene County must be a Mr or a Ms--a conscious, thinking, volitional she or he. It’s a common goofy bit of journalese. The real news is embedded in later paragraphs of the respective news releases:

IMMINENT >In East Durham over the weekend, Blackthorn Resort hosts a “Round-Up” of Mustangs (the automotive kind). (518)634-2541. >At Hunter Mountain Resort, Saturday and Sunday, a microbrew and wine festival. In Acra tomorrow (Sept. 22), at Wave Farm, a picnic, with live musical entertainment. “We will have the grill going,” says Tom Roe, “ and all are welcome to bring food to put on it, and beverages to drink. E-mail me back at if you would like to attend…” > In Coxsackie tomorrow, Bronck Museum takes part in Hudson River Valley Ramble, with a special tour showing how life on a Dutch farm in the 1700’s affected natural resources, hygiene and family health. Info: (518)7316490 or > In Catskill on Sunday, at Dutchman’s Landing, at noon, completion of the community sundial will be celebrated. Assembled by Dina Bursztyn (Open Studio co-owner) and a team of volunteers, the sundial was built using ceramic and glass shards found on the nearby riverbanks. The site was formerly a dump and many of the shards are fragments of turn-of-century pottery, bricks and glass. (518)943-9531 or > AND THEN, at Historic Catskill Point, from 1pm, the Cat’s Meow Auction & Gala. Brunch and viewing of the fabulous 50 sculptured cats, followed by live auction. (518) 943-0989 or

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Left Bank Tidings

JUST PUBLISHED, by Black Dome Press of Hensonville: American Wilderness: The Story of the Hudson River School of Painting, by Barbara Babcock Millhouse, with 50 full color and 14 other illustrations. The official launch will take place Saturday (9/15) from 2pm at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site in Catskill, with the author present for a slide lecture and a book-signing. The book is an expanded, more richly illustrated, more comprehensive edition of what Doubleday published in 1978. It illuminates the lives and works of Cole, Church, Durand, Bierstadt, Cropsey, Kensett, Whittredge, Innes—the whole crowd. It is now available at bookstores, museum shops and some fine local shops as well as from the publisher. Inquiries:; 518-734-6357 or 1-800-513-9013. ((It would be a nice change if Village, Town and/or County bigwigs showed support by their presence)).

COMING SOON, from the keyboard and the brush of GreeneLand’s Hudson Talbott: River of Dreams, an illustrated book for children, recalling people who have dreamed big dreams shaped by our majestic river. Attached to the book may be a disc in which Mr Talbott narrates the story, with musical background, as recorded in Frank Cuthbert’s Catskill sound studio.

IN PRODUCTION: a television mini-series created by veteran documentarian Jonathan Donald. Screened initially on PBS station WMHT, will be part of manifold festivities in 2009 in celebration of the 400th anniversary of European discovery of the Hudson River. With support from GreeneLand’s legislature, from the Bank of Greene County, and from other to-be-tapped sources, says Mr Donald ( ) the series will depict “the unique history of Greene County and events that shaped the commercial and artistic history of the early nation. They will…feature notable speakers; heirs of the earliest families; live action photography of popular entertainments old photographs; period drawings and engravings; and famous paintings.”

IN PRE-PRODUCTION: Video series pivoting on the Hudson River, slated for release in the quadricentennial year, 2009, and created by Brian Branigan of Catskill, who is abundantly qualified for the task. Rather than being a historical account, says Mr Branigan, the project “will take a slice-of-life approach, conversing with folks of all types between Albany and Manhattan. It is a relationship- driven piece from many individual perspectives” such as bass fishermen, tugboat operators; island campers, Riverkeepers, and first-time visitors from inner-city neighborhoods. See and offer to put some money (tax-deductible! to Greene County Council on the Arts, earmarked for Half Moon Productions), as well as ideas, into the project. Yes, you.

IN PROSPECT: A new American musical, replete with original plot, characters, songs, choreography and appropriate scenic backgrounds, inspired by the Hudson River painters, to be developed here. A fantasy? Not when you check credentials of the mastermind (; also ) and his music composer ( Mr Biggs welcomes brilliant ideas about story lines, song themes, lyrics….

NEXT GALLERY to open in downtown Catskskill will demonstrate the art of, uh, painting with light. Master holographer Rudie Berkhout ( will make and exhibit reflection holograms, transmission holograms, virtual images, and images that are holograms horizontally, photographs vertically. To patient, persistent interrogators he may dilate on interfering wave fronts, lasing, optical noise dampening, nanometers-sized lenses, diffraction, coherence, reference beams (off-axis and on-axis) and object beams, emulsions, differentially swollen layers, holographic embossing, temperature-shaped variations in the speed of light, glass sandwiches sealed with optical epoxy, silver salt particles as optical data storage lockers…. Opening date for the studio has not been set, but already, in the evenings, a light installation is viewable from the street. It consists of three lasers, three HOEs (no, not 'hood whores, but Holographic Optical Elements) and an LED.

NOT COMING. The reputedly imminent opening of the new Cathedral Restaurant in Catskill is not going to happen. The historic Main Street church property, bought and much improved by Robert Lightcap and Carol Blaes, is on the block. At or near the asking price, $549,000, it could be a bargain.

BANK SHOT. Directors of The Bank of Greene County have decided to spend bank money on buying company stock. The rationale, as announced by President Donald Gibson (recent successor to the retired Bruce Whittaker) is that “our common stock is an attractive value at current prices” and “deployment of some of the Company’s capital into this investment is warranted.” No elaboration was provided in the news release. Some hunches: *Most immediate, most certain beneficiaries of the buyback policy are current shareholders (of whom many of the biggest are board members). Share-repurchasing puts a floor under the market price. While being nice for current shareholders, that effect does not manifestly benefit the company itself. And buybacks do not invariably prop up the share price. Home Depot bought back 14.6% of outstanding company shares, at $37 each, and the market price still slumped, to $33.73. *Economic forces that would spur a jump in the bank’s perceived value as an investment are hard to identify. The present share price already is very high relative to earnings, as compared with other financial institutions. The price/earnings ratio of 24.25 is more than double the figure for Citigroup (11), for J P Morgan Chase (9.5), and for Wachovia (10.29). It is higher too than that of competing neighbor First Niagara (18.44). It is substantially higher than the PE’s of some big dynamic companies such as Intel and General Electric. When the price per share is high relative to current earnings per share, company stock can be regarded as a likely bargain only if an extraordinary spurt in earnings (a new product comes on line, a lucrative lawsuit is won…) can plausibly be anticipated. *Future growth is unlikely to keep pace with recent growth. The bank has flourished in recent years, thanks to the boom in GreeneLand real estate. But maintaining a given rate of growth requires increasingly bigger earnings. And sustaining growth in this cooling, sluggish real estate market looks chancy at best. Although the bank has been conservative in its choice of mortgage borrowers, some defaulting is likely. Meanwhile, the bank is in the midst of a costly expansion. Its earnings are more likely to dip in the near term than to soar.

THE WEEKEND. In Windham, tomorrow and Sunday, from 10am to 4pm, arts and crafts, continuous live entertainment, food and a Chinese auction make up “Autumn Affair” ( At the Blackthorne Resort, Mountain Thunder Motorcyle Festival, both days ( In Freehold, the Carlsen Gallery is having a two-day auction; with estate jewelry offered tomorrow and other stuff (antique furniture, pottery, pictures) on Sunday. It’s the sixteenth anniversary of Abby’s & Russ’s first auction at the Freeholod site, and 2twenty-third year of their entry into the auction game. (518)634-2466; Catalogue at In Catskill, the Wal-Mart Stren Series open bass fishing tournament, which started Wednesday, concludes with 4pm weigh-in at the Wal-Mart store, and distribution of big-money prizes. In the morning, there’s the Farmers’ & Artisans’ Market at Historic Catskill Point, with live music by Ampersand. And in the evening, it’s “Saturday Studios” up and down Main Street, including an extended stay for the appeeling “Uncovered: Nude But Not Rude” show at M Gallery; a new show of art works by the literate local journalist, Andrew Amelinckx, at Terenchin Fine Art; and the opening, at BRIK, of an exhibition of Michel Goldberg creations.

Friday, September 07, 2007

The Catskill Scene

EXCISION. The first item in this blog as originally published turned out to be wrong. As of Wednesday night, Sept. 12, it has been expunged. --Dick May

BILL’S BOOTS is not the name of the store that now occupies the space on West Bridge Street, Catskill that, for so many years, under so many operating tenants, was known as Bill’s Grill. As in Bill Beck, the building’s owner. Instead, Sandy and Bill III have opened 32 West Kidz, offering a dazzling array of footwear for youngsters, plus “skateboards, griptape, wheels, trucks, bearings, hats, backpacks tee’s, alien workshop habitat toy machine enjoi almost blind darkstar tensor pig more!!!”

CLOSING soon, after seven months of retailing on Main Street, Catskill: Mountain Buddies. According to proprietor Jim Halla, his store is only one of several that are not breaking even; most of the new ones, he suspects, are “struggling” because Greene County is still a depressed area, with a growth rate that lags most of the State, and pedestrian traffic in downtown Catskill does not suffice to sustain most retailers. Jim does plan to maintain, and to enlarge/augment, his consulting/instructional operation, Outdoor Pursuits, and perhaps to extend it from kayaking and canoeing guidance to land-based pursuits. Mr Halla was the unnamed subject of an item posted in last Friday’s blog. He e-mailed a Comment which he signed and which, accordingly, we posted. Another reader sent an anonymous Comment, while also remarking that “If you post my remarks I would respectfully appreciate anonymity” and giving this reason: “because it would seem to me that very few people here really see or even want to accept that there really is not much retail business going on.” His other remarks, verbatim:

Mr May. Your comments on Mr Mountainbuddy, Jim, were rediculous if not down right rude. To my knowledge, you have never run a retail business or any other business in Main St Catskill, or anywhere else, so you are perhaps the least qualified to make these remarks. Sorry to break the news to you Dick, but to make money, one actually needs walk-in customers, every business day in a retail district. Even though you have lived here for many years, it is clear that you are clueless about the reality of retail commerce in Main St and the daily impact on ones business because of a lack of shoppers. From a purely business perspective, Jim should be applauded for having a go here and perhaps more importantly for also recognising the need to change direction, before disaster strikes. He has been positive and passionately enthusiastic, always convinced that Catskill was a good move for his business. A smart businessman knows that when things are this bad he cannot wait to see if things take a turn for the better. I spoke with someone in the Heart of Catskill at least a year ago and suggested that it might be unreasonable to lure people over here on the pretext that there is great retail business hear. Needless to say, as usual, this person did not wish to hear my comment. Jim came here and realised very quickly that all is not wonderful in Catskill…. There are perhaps 1 or 2 retail establishments making profit, but it would be very interesting to know how much profit, NOT turnover, the other retail businesses are actually making, on average, each month. I strongly suspect, that many of those stroll visitors spend little or nothing and consume free wine before going home.

As to how other downtown retailers are faring, we have not made a proper survey and would welcome hard numbers. David Miles of Hood & Co. reports an 81% increase in August 2007 sales over August 2006, and a 61% gain from Labor Day in 2006 to Labor Day in 2007. The new City Lights store reportedly is flourishing, and so are some of the veterans, such as Ray’s Appliances and Functional Tiles, that seemed to be imperiled by Home Depot and Lowes. But those cases may be no more representative than Mr Halla’s case.

VISITORS SAY. “Recently,” says Blossom Molnar of Kent, Ohio, in a letter to the Catskill Chamber of Commerce, “we were docked at the Riverview Marina. What an absolute pleasure it was walking through your beautiful town!! And the delightful Catskill Cats—and Flat Cats—were breath taking! I walked through town three times taking a lot of pictures! How wonderful it must be to live in such a talented and caring community! Hometown Pride is a beautiful thing to share and view! Thank you for all your effort! It is appreciated!”

In another message, Mrs A. Rademacher of Milford PA said “I just want to let you [Catskillians] know how very much these PA and LI tourists enjoyed touring Main St on a very hot, humid day this month. Our mens shirts were soaked with perspiration, but all this was forgotten when we saw and took pix of these beautiful cat displays. The childen (14 and 11) got a lot out of this trip and 3 weeks later are still telling their friends to go to the Catskills and ‘see the cats’.”

“CLOVERDALE ESTATES” is the proposed name of a 224-unit subdivision that is proposed for the 100-acre site along Cauterskill Road, paralleling West Bridge Street in Catskill Town. According to a Daily Mail story (8/15), enterpriser Curt Grob plans Adirondack-style townhouse architecture and a clubhouse for the residents. The various needed permits have not all been issued, and the bid to connect with the Village sewer system probably will be turned down; but the biggest obstacle to construction could be the downturn in real estate sales.

DAILY MAUL. Our local newspaper provides a daily “Calendar of Events” which is noteworthy for its incompleteness. Often not listed are events that reported in adjacent columns or on other pages of the paper. During the past week, until yesterday, the Calendar cited just one event for this Saturday--but it has done so copiously. In duplicate, that is: two entries, one just below the other, about the same event, day after day. This feat of editing surpasses previous occasions in which the same story appeared on successive days, or on separate pages on the same day, or in separate columns of the same page. Apart from that sort of sloppiness, we duly note recent D M additions to the Misnomers file: “…came to the aide of the Coxsackie Police Department with their donation of 23 teddy bears”; “Some crews paddled, some rowed, some peddled and all hoped to simply keep their craft afloat…”; “…offered a challenge of free lunch to any crew who could succumb them to defeat”; "...this weekend's premier of the independent film...." Noteworthy too are recurring disagreements in number (singular/plural) between a sentence’s subject and verb: “The efforts of Catskill Middle School students to raise environmental awareness has paid off”; “…board of trustees…who have overseen Cedar Grove…”; “A trove of historical documents…bolster where and why to arrange the landscape”; “The other that’s frustrating Albright and his crew are parked cars on the roads”; "Requests for bids has already been advertised...." Not to be passed over without due recognition too are sentences averring that “Only one question was asked by councilman John Lubera before the resolution passed which was it in the budget and Baldwin answered ‘yes’”; “The honey locust first gathered the attention of the Beyfuss 15 years ago…” and “’It’s one of the many old trees in Greene County that most people are unaware of,’ said Beyfuss, adding with some dead branches on top it’s quite possible the inside of the tree is hollow and has 50 years of life left in it.”

GASOLINE PRICES. During the past few days, the cost of regular was a bit higher at the eastern end of the Rip Van Winkle Bridge ($2.90) than at the western end ($2.85). That is unusual. Also rare was a lower price on the Catskill side of the bridge than on West Bridge Street ($2.91; $2.92). All of those stations charged more than the Hess station in downtown Hudson, at $2.80. They also were higher than the nation-wide average ($2.80), the East Coast average ($2.71), and even the reported (but implausible) New York City average ($2.70), while being close to the State-wide average ($2.86).


>>“Stephanie Daley,” the GreeneLand-made movie, will be screened in Catskill’s Community Theatre at 7:30 and 9:30pm, with writer/director Stephanie Brougher present after the first showing to talk about the picture and answer questions. >> At Stella’s Lounge, the Joe Michel quartet plays from 8:30 pm.

SATURDAY (9/8) IN CATSKILL >>Farmers’ & Artisans’ Market at Historic Catskill Point, from mid-morning, with music by “Head for the Hills.” >>Saturday Stroll events along Main Street start in mid-afternoon. >>At the Cus D’Amato KO gymnasium on Main St, Catskill, from 5pm, boys and men will put on a boxing show, along with martial arts ace Peter “Schoharie Stallion” Lopez (yes, the State Assemblyman). >>At the Community Theatre, “Stephanie Daley” will be screened at 2, 5, and 8pm, with Hilary Brougher again present for conversation after the final screening.

SUNDAY “Stephanie Daley” will be shown at the Community Theatre again at 2pm and 7:15pm

SEPTEMBER 23 (but make plans now!) Cats Meow Gala, at Historic Catskill Point. $30 per person donations yield brunch provided by local restaurants plus wine samples. Then comes the auction of those now-famous fiberglass d—ahem—cat rescue organization Animalkind (or is it Animal Kind). Off-site bidding can be arranged; call (518) 943-0989 or email As impresario Linda Overbaugh says, this will be “Purr-fect ending to a Purr-fect summer.”