Realtors declare war over mortgage tax hikeThe actual event, as reported, was that Ted Banta, president of Greene County Multiple Listing, flanked by a couple of other GreeneLand realtors, went before the county legislators (on Monday, 10/19) with a request for reconsideration of their recently adopted mortgage registration tax. Mr Banta read a statement (too rapidly for comprehension; but he’d been told to limit himself to ten minutes). The tax, he said, “distresses the real estate market,” “penalizes home owners,” and “exploits those who are in great financial need” to point of needing to refinance. Its terms put Greene County “on a par” with neighboring counties “whereby [sic] our economy and housing markets do not compare.” Various legislators responded, along with County Administrator Dan Frank, with remarks mostly about the need for revenue, especially at a timeof economic when demands for services from public agencies are abnormally high. “GOOFY" could be the proper label for a news release put out on October 16th by the National Audubon Society. Under the headline “Give Birds a Break on National Feral Cat Day,” the release gave information about the menace of feral cats (an “epidemic”) and of free-roaming domestic cats, to birds and small mammals. With their growing numbers, these cats are having “untold and profound impact on bird populations already in steep decline.” They kill “hundreds of millions of protected birds” and “more than a billion small mammals.” Keep domestic cats indoors, says Albert Caccese, Audubon New York’s executive director. For more information and tips on keeping your cat healthy and happy indoors, visit the American Bird Conservancy’s “Cats Indoors!” website at: http://www.abcbirds.org/cats. Not identified in the Audubon story was National Feral Cat Day’s day.
PUBLISHED in the November issue of Guideposts. True Stories of Hope and Inspiration, is a true and inspiring GreeneLand story. It’s about the family quest last year that led to discovery, under a rock near Dutchman’s Landing, of the “Captain Kidd doubloon” that had been sought by GreeneLand treasure hunters for 19 years. The doubloon earned for the family a $10,000 jeweled crown. The determined hunt by “Team Ria” members was conducted in memory of a recently deceased sister.
COMMUTING by Amtrak from and to Hudson is going to become more expensive. Car parking in the big city-owned lot will no longer be free. In prospect, we understand, is a $3 daily fee, or a $900 yearly fee.
150 = years of age of Catskill’s St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church. That event, according to reliable sources, was observed last Sunday by means of a visit from Bishop Howard Hubbard as well as from the church’s former longtime pastor, now retired, Fr John Murphy. Because the church had to be closed last year, after chunks of plaster fell from the arched ceiling and costly repairs could not be funded immediately, the service was held in the former Bingo hall in the adjoining school’s basement. The church’s closing, along with the absence for two years of an assigned priest and with administrative problems, has generated a scattering of the flock. Some parishioners attend services at the Village’s Franciscan Friary, or in Athens or even Hudson. Local administration is handled by a nun, Sr Mary Mazza, while a chaplain from the Coxsackie prison system, Fr Rick Shaw, has been saying Mass. Bishop Hubbard assured the congregation that every effort was being made to effectuate a reopening, and he appealed for patience. He also shared a numerical recollection: When he entered the seminary in the 1950s, the Albany diocese encompassed about 600 priests. When he was elevated to Bishop in the 1970s, there were about 300 priests. Current trends indicate that when he retires in 2013, there will be fewer than 100. (How much more shrinkage must occur, we wonder, before the subjects of ordaining women and dropping the celibacy rule are revisited).11=number of days left before November 3rd voting for GreeneLand legislators and for supervisors, council members, judges, clerks, tax collectors, and highway superintendents in GreeneLand's Towns. Town of Catskill candidates have been invited--along with voters--toparticipate in a candidates' forum tomorrow. Organized by the League of Women Voters, it starts at 10am in the Community Center, and will stream-cast on our new community radio statiojn, WGXC. IF YOU don't join Cornell Cooperative Extension's “50 Mile Harvest” dinner on Saturday evening, featuring foods grown on nearby farms (622-9820 (www.agroforestrycenter.org) then the event of choice is a recital of music set for two harps. The performers are the renowned duo of Lynne Apnes and John Wickey, along with some of their students, at the Union MillsGallery, 361 Main St, Catskill. They will come over from Jared Aswegan's estate in Athens, where they are participatingin the HarpArts Fall Retreat. A wine & cheese/colloquium/student performance starts at 7, with the big show starting at 8. Information: 914-388=2822.
PEACE ranks, at cooking classes offered on Tuesdays at GreeneLand’s Peace Village, as “the magic ingredient.” (www.peace-village.org)
NEOLOGISM Dept. Vook = video book. Blawg = blog devoted to legal matters. Blook=object that looks like a book (paper pages, printing…) but isn’t. Diavlog=two-way video blog.