Friday, April 11, 2008

By the Numbers

DEPLOYED to Afghanistan, for a 15-month tour of duty as a company commander, from Fort Campbell KY, by way of Catskill High School, international karate competition, Valley Forge Military Academy, West Point, Ranger school, sniper school, mortar school, airborne school: Expert Marksman and First Lieutenant Shane Oravsky.

ALSO DEPLOYED to Afghanistan, as an intelligence analyst who is trained to interpret photographic surveillance data, from Fort Huachuca AZ, by way of Greenville High School and six years of Army service, with training at Fort Drum (NY) and Fort Bragg (NC), as a member of headquarters company of the 27th Brigade Combat Team (a 1700-soldier National Guard unit from New York, part of Joint Task Force Phoenix VII): Specialist Ian Brand.

208,000=dollars that might NOT come to GreeneLand from the Federal COPS MORE program, even though that sum is duly earmarked and on deposit. According to Sheriff Greg Seeley, this “tremendous award” is in danger of being “de-obligated” by the U.S. Department of Justice because the former sheriff, Dick Hussey, after receiving the grant back in 2002, “chose to utilize only $6,000” of it and “chose to ignore” successive opportunities to “apply for an extension.” Sheriff Seeley only learned about the fund’s existence after taking office in January. He holds out hope of re-activating the grant for use in “community policing or the establishment of a much needed Drug Task Force.” To that end, he is sharing his “earnestly distraught” feelings with in letters (from which the foregoing quotations are taken) to political heavyweights near and far.

$ICKLY: the Journal-Register Company, parent of the Kingston-based Daily Freeman newspaper and of the Hillsdale-based Independent, among its 22 dailies and 310 other publications. The company’s share price dropped 58% on Monday, down to 22 cents. It faces a mountain of debt--$620 million or thereabouts--caused chiefly by an acquisition binge. Company head James Hall says the company could be for sale.

ANOMALIES DEPT. Can a property that has been bought for around $500,000 be assessed for tax purposes for only $95,000? Yes, if it’s a condominium unit in the Town of Catskill.

DEPARTING from GreeneLand to Rockland County: Catskill Community Theatre owner P J Maisano and his wife Jessica, who is director of the Catskill Public Library. He’ll continue to run the movie house, though, and to screen independent films on Wednesday nights in the summer.

20=per cent drop in prices of homes in GreeneLand riverside communities, as estimated by a well-placed sales agent, who says lesser figures, such as 12 per cent, are unrealistic.

16=number of zithers that take up space, along with autoharps, electronic keyboards of various vintages, drums, recorders, a ukelum [sic.] and originally designed instruments (a musical pinball machine; the Dual Primates Console) in the Catskill living room of Brian Dewan. Inventing instruments (along with cousin Leon) is what Mr Dewan does when he is not occupied with song-composing, film work, photographic mural-making or play-writing (“The Yellowjacket,” evocative of the old “Green Hornet” radio series, performed at Edinburgh Fringe Festival last summer). Just another local guy.

23=free throws made, out of 25 attempts, delivered at 10-second intervals, by 9-year old Justyn Lacy in the three-State phase of a schoolboys’ competition sponsored by Elks Clubs. That score gave Justyn only (!) a second-place finish.

LICENSED at last to sell hard liquor, after a wait of eight months: the Doubles II party room on Church Street in Catskill. The new dispensation comes just in time for the special fund-raiser to be held this Saturday: a “Mostly Beatles” show, from 4pm, managed by Michael de Benedictus, to benefit Beattie-Powers Place. For more information go to web site


45,000 and 45,000=State dollars granted to Greene County and to the Village of Catskill, to be matched by local sources, for use in promoting the manifold festivities marking, in 2009, the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s historic sail up what became his eponymous river.

10,000=State taxpayers’dollars allocated to Catskill’s chamber of commerce, in support of enhancing the Second Saturday Strolls promotion from June to December, thanks to a member item procured by Sen. Jim Seward.

1229=number of pinwheels stuck in conspicuous bits of land around Greene County, by Childrens Services Agency personnel, as a way of publicizing the scale of cases of child abuse and neglect that were reported in 2007. In Greene County, Ohio.

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