Friday, July 22, 2005

Joy in July

THE ALARM. When the apparent disappearance of a 5-year-old boy was reported to Catskill police at 1 pm. today, the response was immediate. Within five minutes, four officers showed up at the boy’s front door. When their search of the house and the immediate neighborhood proved fruitless, they called for help. They got it. Within less than an hour, at least 50 people had been mobilized. They included not only a slew of Village police officers, but also State troopers (personally led by the district’s Chief Investigator), the County Sheriff and deputies, and volunteer firefighters. A dog team started down from Albany (nearby sniffers being already assigned to anti-terrorism duty). Because the boy’s home was near the Hudson River, boats from above (Rip Van Winkle Bridge) and below (Dutchman’s Landing) were put in the water with a view to supporting the men who were scouring the riverbank. But the dogs were recalled before arriving, the boats did not leave their berths, and the bush-beaters and door-knockers soon were recalled. Owing to a confusion of domestic signals, as it turned out (after an anxious 70 minutes),the alarm was a false one. The boy was never in danger. Meanwhile, witnesses received a demonstration of how far our designated security forces will go, and how swiftly, when it looks like they are needed. DUELING FAIRS. Talks aimed at merging GreeneLand’s venerable Youth Fair with our resurrected official County Fair have manifestly failed. The result this year is direct competition: simultaneous fairs, a few miles apart. The Youth Fair opens next Thursday (7/28) and runs through Sunday at, as usual, Angelo Canna Park in Cairo. Its emphasis is on, as you might expect, achievements of local youths, especially in agriculture and domestic arts. For information, call Anne Marie Conroy at (518) 239-6159 or e-mail The County Fair (now approaching its fourth year, following a lapse of many years) starts a day earlier (Wednesday, 7/27) and also runs through Sunday. It will be held on the grounds of the Irish Cultural Centre on Route 145 in East Durham (although the leaflet circulated by the Tourism Department does not mention the ICC). For more information: TOO MUCH INFO? GreeneLander Tony Rago voices concern, bordering on alarm, about new Google service (or feature) whereby anybody who knows your telephone number can instantly learn your home address and be given a map leading to your door. To test it, go to Type your phone number (including area code) in the search bar, hit Enter, follow the Map link. It will probably work even if your number is not listed in the printed directory. But if you want to block Google from supplying your mapped location, click on the line above the telephone icon. SHOTS FIRED? Not exactly. What sounded recently to riverside GreeneLanders like shotgun practice on the banks of the Hudson was in fact a rhythmic series of blasts from a propane-fueled ‘cannon’ on George Brown’s Cherry Ridge Farm (at east end of Rip Van Winkle Bridge). The intention is to scare away cherry-pecking (non-paying) birds. The gadget “works a bit better than other noisemakers,” says George. He voices regret for the disturbance. ((We think it’s a cost we are happy to bear, given quality and accessibility of his produce)) NEWEST OPENING. Downtown Catskill’s fifth art gallery will have “premier opening” July 29th (Friday) at 473 Main Street. It’s called The Brik, and that orthographic innovation gives a signal, as do the fresh paint job (brick red with Yorktowne Green trim), the superb lighting, the announcement’s slogan (“A new space. A new vision”) and the character of the first exhibition. The signal is ‘We aim to be cutting edge.’ (Maybe Gallery 6 will be called the WACE, for We Are Cutting Edge). Brik’s first show will feature pictures made by three prominent denizens of the new Greenwich Village, i.e., the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn NY. The artists selected by impresario Frank Cuthbert are Sarah Barker, Jim Klein and Chuck Bowdish. And in September, with guidance from curatorial consultant Betty Stevens, Cuthbert will mount a show devoted to “Artists Influenced by Thomas Cole.” Not likely: that Friday’s show will attract what New York Times reported in another case, namely, “bearded men wearing berets and children.” SPEAKING OF BROOKLYN (or of Breuckelen, the original Dutch name, as recalled by Russell Shorto in the brilliant book An Island At the Center of the World), where would you guess is the home of Brooklyn Industries? Your guess is only half right. Though based substantially in that borough (in trendy Williamsburg, specifically), B.I. also is run out of Athens, by enterprising owners Lexy and Vahap Funk. And far from operating a sprawling heavy-industry conglomerate, they design and market--in “eclectic hipster boutiques” (New York Times)--in New York and Japan, as well as on the internet (, street wear. NOISE. Too much of it from vehicles on Catskill’s Main Street? Some residents say so. Some officials and other Villagers regard the noise--especially from motorcyclists who come and who spend--as a small price to pay for the patronage. We like the position that calls for diligent enforcement of laws against disabling standard-issue ‘bike mufflers. Meantime, warning to Main Streeters: there will be lots of traffic this weekend, thanks to the big fishing tournament launched from Dutchman’s Landing. CLUB NEWS. At Windham Golf Club, plans have been drawn for construction of a new clubhouse, on site of the present one but with greatly enhanced views of the course and grand vistas. But that project is contingent on consummation of a deal ($1 million-plus) to sell big parcel of choice land (75 rolling, gently sloping acres?) above the present practice range. Meanwhile, plans are afoot at Catskill Golf Club to build a new pro shop, probably on site of the present one. BUY LOCAL? A local business man recently bought an Atlanta-Albany round-trip airline ticket from All Aboard Travel here in GreeneLand for less, he reports, than the price quoted on Expedia and Travelocity. TEACHER PAY. GreeneLander Bill Ottinger loved teaching school in Ravena but in 1980 he quit. With a Masters degree and seniority, he had reached the top of the salary ladder: $14,900. Fast forward: if he started now with an M.A., he’d be paid about $40,000 per year (consisting of about 10 months) plus benefits worth an additional 25% or more. ROLL ME OVER. How many times has Catskill Central School District’s new $35,000 John Deere tractor-mower been rolled already? by whom? Stay tuned; or turned.


Anonymous said...

Google will "probably" list addresses to go with unlisted phone numbers? C'mon, Mr Journalist, do some investigating and tell us whether it will or won't, sometimes or always.

And just when were you planning to disclose your relationship with the Brooklyn Industry gang?

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