Friday, January 25, 2008

Return of Regular Bloggery

HANKERING. “I’m watching your posts intently,” says a Seeing Greene reader, “for something along the lines of ‘AWAKENED: The Town of Greenville, finally realizing that it is the only municipality in North America with three Dollar stores. Town Planning Board meetings were increasingly disrupted by the feverish buzzing of and entire plot of the Quackenbush family spinning in their graves’."


*Plans of the State Department of Environmental Conservation to make a multi-million-dollar, taxpayer-funded upgrade and expansion of the Belleayre Mountain resort in Ulster County. Protestors (from the Hunter Mountain and Windham Mountain resorts, especially) complain, plausibly, about the prospect of unfair competition. County legislators have responded with calls for State study of the project’s social, economic and environmental impact.

*The Alden Terrace project, a big retail and residential development, in Cairo. Protestors foresee dire consequences for existing commercial establishments, in the old downtown area (already sunk) and in the Great American mall. Proponents foresee gains in local trade and in property tax revenues.

*Zoning revision in Coxsackie. Targeted particularly at a public meeting last Tuesday (1/22) was a Planning Committee proposal that would allow commercial enterprises of all kinds to occupy a 1200-foot-deep strip of land west of Route 9W and virtually surrounding, thereby shrouding and demeaning, the community’s (and the county’s) historic treasures. Those treasures are the Bronck Museum (a restored pre-Revolutionary house), the 13-sided Dutch barn, the artifact-rich Vedder Library, and grounds that include a venerable cemetery.

*The huge Destination Retail Project and Business Park that the county’s Industrial Development Agency proposes to develop at New York Thruway Exit 21B in New Baltimore. Misgivings have been expressed, chiefly out of concern for the project’s scale. Two kinds of responses to the local apprehensions have eventuated. One, led by Town Supervisor David Louis, consisted of abstaining from re-appointing a highly qualified, experienced, willing-to-serve James Coe to the Town Planning Board; Mr Coe had voiced some objections to the $100 million-for-openers project. The other response, emanating from the IDA, consists of sketching some ways of changing features of the project, and inviting public scrutiny of those variations. The intention, according to an IDA news release, is to facilitate “substantial additional public participation” as well as “closer coordination” with local authorities. A “supplemental review of the project’s destiny,” says IDA Chairman Paul Slutzky, “was needed in response to the community’s concern over size and overall impact.” Public meetings, all in Coxsackie’s high school or middle school at 24 Sunset Blvd, are scheduled for February 12 and 27, March 1 and April 7.

UNDER CONSIDERATION: Greene County use of Hudson Correctional Facility as a jail. Wayne Speenburgh, chairman of the county legislature, says our suggestion (S.G., 1/20) “has been discussed” and “on the surface seems like a good idea.” Mr Speenburgh has appointed a committee to review immediate security concerns at the present jail as well to explore long-term solutions.

FEATURED in the current roll magazine (“Creative Living in the Hudson Valley”) is Athens artist Sam Sebren. In the words of author Jay Blotcher, Mr Sebren’s specialty is transforming "critical thought about culture, poliitics and the environment into provocative paintings, sculptures and art installations.” Two new Sebrens will be part of a Bard College show in February. They exemplify a “signature style” composed of “raw brushstrokes in acrylic paint, chaotic collage and titles calculated to jar.” The titles in this case are “Breeding Zombie Consumers” and “Jesus Died for our Malls.” Mr Sebren moved to Athens eight years ago, after toiling in Manhattan for 15 years. The change softened his affinity for “claustrophobic chaos” but, what with “Wal-Mart and pollution and outdoor advertising,” he opines, “I’m watching the destruction of this place.”

DE-GISTED. Recuperating after surgical removal of a cottage cheesy, 11-pound, volleyball-sized GIST (gastro-intestinal stromal tumor) is Karl Anis, the celebrated sign-carver, Kay-lover and master of the Mid-Hudson's most startling method of putting. (Don’t bet against him).

TRAVEL NOTE. While visiting recently in the southwest, a GreeneLander met a young Briton who lives in Switzerland. When told that the traveler was from Catskill, the Brit asked “Isn’t that where Mike Tyson came from?”

Incidentally, the GreeneLand traveler did NOT visit the Divine Resonance Healing Center down there, or the Desert Milagros Mystery School, the Temple of the Presence, the Chopra Center for Wellbeing (endorses Zril, The Original Amalaki), the Bowenwork Integrative Healing Clinic, Allarah’s Holistic Alternatives, Sacred Healing (shamanic healing, holotropic breathwork, past life regression, hypnosis…), Tragerization, the Temple of Universality (Rev. Jan O’Kelly and Joe Morgan on Miracles Workshop), White Eagle Healing & Meditation center, Deeksha Circle, Desert Crones, Red Monkey Studio (Qigong specialists; ), or even the Ankali Yoga & Day Spa (mindfulness, meditation, deep journaling, heart poetry, expressive dance, embodied movement, biofeedback, guided imagery, visual art expression).

NOSTALGIA DEPT. ”Has age begun to throw its cold blue shadow across your path? Or is it grasping in its vise like clutch someone dear to you? At this stage the active recuperative powers of youth cannot longer be depended upon…. Come to the aid of nature by the liberal use of PABST EXTRACT.

"It is the staunch vigor of barley malt and choicest hops. Rich in the tissue building qualities of the former and the splendid tonic properties of the latter, it revitalizes the blood and rebuilds the muscles and nerve tissues. Glowing and sparkling with vitality it fortifies the system and strengthens the entire body. Physicians of repute everywhere are constantly vouching for the merits of Pabst Extract…by recommending it to strengthen the weak and build up the overworked; to relieve insomnia and conquer dyspepsia; to help the anaemic and aid the nervous; to assist nursing mothers and invigorate old age.”

All this, in a 1909 advertisement for a beer that was sold in drug stores as a tonic.

DAILY MAUL. The calendar of events in the Tuesday, January 22th, issue of GreeneLand’s foremost daily newspaper starts with Sunday, January 20th.

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