WALGREEN’S new Catskill store will open for business “next week” (11/24-28), says Bill Neal, a 35-year company veteran who has come down from Albany to manage the fledgling. Construction work is done, staffing is complete (at 24 employees), shelves are stocked. Meanwhile, according to a TimesUnion report, the parent company (6500 stores, $5.9 billion sales in the last fiscal year) plans to build a 14,800-square foot store in Clifton Park. That one, like the Catskill store, would be in close proximity to a rival.
COFFEE will continue to flow, we are assured, at Catskill’s Muddy Cup, contrary to the gossip we reported last week
HARD$HIP cases in GreeneLand are growing. In August, the Community Action agency gave emergency food supplies (three meals for each of three days) to 70 needy families. In September the number jumped to 84; in October, to 120. “And the demographics,” says executive director Florence Ohle, “are changing. We’re getting homeowners. People who have had their own businesses. People with some college education. But what is heartening at the same time is that people recognize the problem and are responding. Our intake of donations has been bigger than it was last year.”
SALUTED by Ms Ohle as an extraordinarily generous contributor of fresh foods to needy families--corn, peppers, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes--is Regina Bulich of Bulich’s Creekside Farms.
$LIPPAGE in GreeneLand’s real estate market is illustrated by the case in which vendors who had turned down an offer on their house six months ago, then accepted an offer last week that was 18 per cent lower. It came from the same bidder.
BLE$ING IN DISGUISE? Gov. David Paterson’s campaign to slash State spending, in light of the government’s looming huge deficit, could work to the advantage of GreeneLand’s economy. The austerity drive provides a plausible excuse for deferring, if not canceling, the planned outlay of $60 million of taxpayer money to expand and embellish the State-owned Belleayre resort in Ulster County. That expansion would work to the detriment, competitively, of our Hunter and Windham resorts.
TRANSFER of GreeneLand’s Deparment of Tourism Promotion into a division of the Department of Planning and Economic Development, directed by Warren Hart, has been approved by the county legislators. Judging from quotations in The Daily Mail (11/19), the merger was endorsed by Tourism Director Daniela Marino. A cost saving of $100,000 in the first year of consolidation has been touted (“greater efficiencies, better development of staff and elimination of redundancies”) but not identified.
POLITICAL STIRRINGS. If Hillary Clinton joins the Obama Cabinet (as Secretary of something), who will get her U.S. Senate seat? The successor would be appointed by Governor Paterson, serving until the 2010 elections. According to an Associated Press report, GreeneLand’s recently re-elected U.S. Representative, Kirsten Gillibrand, is one of eight hot prospects. She evidently ‘qualifies’ on account of being female, up-State, friendly with Ms Clinton and other party leaders, and an extraordinarily diligent, successful vote-getter. Whether her affiliation with the “conservative” Blue Dog Democrats in Congress is an asset or a liability is uncertain. From a party-political standpoint, her departure could make the 20th Congressional District much more retrievable in 2010 for a Republican candidate. Ms Gillibrand is wisely brushing off all queries on the matter.
POLITICAL LEANINGS. As the presidential battle raged during the past year, what politically topical books were GreeneLanders reading? Well, a contribution to answering that question may be drawn from borrowings from our public libraries. Most often checked out, according to Catskill library director David DeShong, was a literary whack job by journalist David Freddoso: The Case Against Barack Obama. TheUnlikely Rise and Unexamined Agenda of the Media’s Favorite Candidate. Next in popularity, and radically different in thrust, was David Mandell’s fawning Obama: The Promise of Change, as adapted by Sarah L. Thompson for children. After that came Free Ride. John McCain and the Media, by David (Blinded By the Right) Brock and Paul Waldman.
SQUISHFACE is the name of a recently registered Hunter-based business. It is taken from the pet dog of Lauren and Timothy Shoffler, and the actual business is a revived Bed & Breakfast (four rooms, two with private bath), the Trail View Inn (263-5253; email@example.com
ARTISTS are invited to submit paintings for possible inclusion in two kinds of GreeneLand exhibitions that will be opened in January: landscapes and psychic landscapes. For more light on the subject: www.greenearts.org
GETTING SHAFTED? Instruction in archery will be offered next month at the Catskill Community Center’s gymnasium. Don Sylvester of the 4-H Archery Club will guide young people on Mondy and Wednesday evenings in what is touted as a “non-competitive, skill-building activity that helps to develop self-confidence and camaraderie…” For more information, from Cornell CoOperative Extension, telephone 622-9820.
TRYST TWIST. Six Greene County jail inmates have been charged with the crime of escape although they did not leave the premises. The three men and three women reportedly found a way of leaving their cells and forgathering. The men unscrewed ceiling tiles in their shower, climbed up, and crawled to a spot where, on a dozen occasions in the course of a month, out of sight of security cameras, they met the women for amorous collaborations. The suspects are William N. Hutcheson Jr.,44, who was being held for probation violation; Jesse B. Ross, 38, drugs; AlexanderRathbun, 19, burglary; Misty M. Moore, 211, forgery; Kay C. Snyder, 27, battery; and Nicole Halderman, 26, drugs. In Greene County, Indiana.