Friday, August 12, 2005

Wild Weekend

Is there too much to do in GreeneLand? Among tonight’s special events are country music in Cairo (Angelo Canna Park, from 7 pm.), bluegrass music in Athens (Riverfront Park from 7 pm.), “The Wonderful Worlds of Divas” (a tribute to Disney by Greene Room Players, Red Barn in Hunter, from 8 pm.), and “The Seagull” at Catskill Point (from 7 pm., in the park and in the Old Warehouse). And for something altogether different, at Outreach Ministries church in Round Top (opposite the firehouse; 622-2088), from 7 pm. (and again on Saturday night), guest preacher Bree Kenyon will expound on such matters as deliverance from evil spirits, miraculous healing by music, and spiritual warfare. As for Saturday and Sunday, well: there’s the two-day “Renaissance Faire” in Cairo (jousting, , sword fights, Punch & Judy, 7-ft dragon, magic, falconry, medieval music;Angelo Canna Park again; from 10 am.; go in period costume and get an entry discount). There’s the 16-stop ArtFest stretching from Maplecrest through Windham to Jewett Center, from 10 am. both days (info at 734-5076). There’s Saturday’s Classic Cars rally in Catskill, in honor of the late Charlie Raffiani Sr. (with Main Street being closed to regular traffic most of the day). There are new exhibitions at the Greene County Council On the Arts, downstairs (“Pulp Visions”) and upstairs (James Dustin, “Brooklyn in the Catskills”) opening at 5 pm. Saturday. Over in Arkville, meanwhile, at the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development, Laura J. Bried will expose the lives of river critters (mink, otters, fishers; from 2 pm.; phone [845] 586-2611). Alternatively, there’s the 58th annual juried art exhibition at Twilight Park (from 1 pm. Saturday); as well as a “Spiritual Powers” workshop at the Peace Village Learning & Retreat Center in Haines Falls ([518]589-5000); or the wine & food & art sampler at Athens Cultural Center, from 6 pm.; and the final performance (all four acts, notwithstanding what appears in the Daily Mail), at Catskill Point, of “The Seagull.” And just for Sunday, in addition to the Renaissance Faire, GreeneLanders could attend the free concert in Riverside Park at the Gazebo in Coxsackie, or go with an Audubon Society guide on an edifying paddle through RamsHorn-Livingston Sanctuary (678-3248). BOMB SCARE? When the lights and the computers went out at the new County Office Building last Monday at mid-day, all occupants were ordered to evacuate. Which prompted some of them to prattle (while “clucking and flapping,” said a witness) about a bomb scare. CHIEF STORY. As of blog post time, Dave Darling had been offered and had not yet decided whether to accept the post of Catskill Police Chief. If the veteran State Police Investigator does accept, he’ll take on a job whose yearly salary most recently was $53,000 and change. Benefits (medical, dental, pension, uniform allowance) brought the incumbent’s effective compensation to about $72,000. Then there were overtime payments to the extent of about $8,000. Those payments went to the current Chief, Roger Masse, who also holds the job of Athens Police Chief. Meanwhile, starting salary for a Village Patrolman is $33,004. (Add 12-15 per cent to that figure for value of benefits). MOVING this weekend: Community Action of Greene County, from 2 Franklin St, Catskill (across from the Public Library and from the county jail) to 55 South Jefferson Ave., Building 1. The new place will reopen on Tuesday (8/16), says Board Chair Naomi Rubin. Among ongoing programs: domestic violence victim support, Senior Companions, Weatherization subsidies, Healthy Women Partnership, Fresh Start program for the homeless. MOVING IN? The erstwhile Community Action building is now the property of Ted and Nancy Hilscher, attorneys. And their ownership is peculiarly apt: the building is redolent with history; and Ted is one of GreeneLand’s keenest historians. MR. SUDZ = name of new/old laundromat in Catskill, successor by way of much renovation to the former EC DUZ IT ALL at 491 Main Street. Proprietors Clinton Bugg and Jeffrey Nucey, of Claverack and Hudson, bought the place in July by foreclosure, have undertaken repairs (frozen pipes, packed-in lint, leaky water heater, erratic boiler, worn pressure valves, defunct machines, flooring, “filth”) and hope to open by mid-September. Their purple & teal color scheme has evoked some negative local comments, and has prompted realization that planning commissions, zoning boards and Village Trustees currently have no legal control over color schemes of homes or businesses. The Trustees are likely in near future to gather a sample of other communities’ color-regulating statutes. GUIDED. August edition of Catskill Mountain Region Guide contains a nice feature story, “Preserving Tangible Pieces of History,”about GreeneLand’s premier care-taker of antique furniture, Mark Cooper (formerly of Sotheby’s UK and Sotheby’s NYC). Among matters of special interest addressed by author Karin Edmondson is the difference between preserving and restoring. Not covered in the story are Cooper’s penchants for motorcycling, parenting and rubbernecking. Query: Did he really say that his high-end specialization “sometimes precludes me not taking on a piece…?” THE GOOD NEWS. Interest in supporting Beattie-Powers Place has undergone a revival. The seven-acre riverside property, with its Greek Revival house (built in 1831 by Catskill’s eighth President), was bequeathed by Mary Emily Beattie to the Village in 1990 with the stipulation that it be used “for public purposes.” But use of the place has dwindled, and so has upkeep (especially since the death of Jack Sencabaugh). In 2003, the house was used for functions (a wedding, meetings, an art show, play rehearsal) for all of 15 days. Last year the usage figure was about 10 days (or fractions of days). So far this year it’s the same story. Meanwhile, yard maintenance has been declined. In short, the Place has become a virtually idle, unknown, deteriorating resource. But that could change. A recent meeting produced a new slate of officers of the volunteer group, Friends of Beattie-Powers Place: Bob Hoven, president; David King, vice-president; Barbara Weber, vice-president; Richard Philp, treasurer; Rita Landy, secretary. And plans are afoot to rewrite the Friends’ mission statement, formulate a business plan, and go on the hunt for patronage (financial and personal). AND THE BAD. That new-found enthusiasm for Beattie-Powers Place sprang most immediately from antipathy to an incipient proposal whereby part of Beattie-Powers House would be leased to GreeneLand’s Industrial Development Agency. The terms of that prospect have not been worked out in detail. Essentially the idea was, and is, that the IDA would take over exclusive use of two rooms on the ground floor plus desk space in another room, and would make those spaces suitable for office use. Tenancy would be for five years with an option to renew. Payments by the lessor would enable repairs and improvements to be made to the house and the grounds. To that extent, Village taxpayers would be relieved of a financial burden. Meanwhile, the grounds would still be open to the public, and access to the house, under Village rules presently in place, would continue. According to Sandy Mathes, IDA's executive director, opposition to this kind of arrangement, as expressed by the new Friends, has been based largely on misapprehensions. And that blindness, he suggests (and this spectator agrees), has been willful. The new Friends have spurned opportunities to acquaint themselves with the IDA’s projects, its directors, its procedures. As for Beattie-Powers House, “It’s so frustrating; I’ve offered to meet with those people, to go through to show them just what we have in mind. No response. “The existence of a revived, active Friends group can only enhance efforts to restore BPH to its original glamour,” Mathes added. “We would want to work very closely with them” in deciding what measures to take in the preservation of the house and the re-cultivation of the grounds. “I know of no use to which the place has been put in the past, or would likely be put, that would be incompatible with IDA’s occupation of part of the house.” “If it’s done right, our presence in Beattie-Powers Place would be a win-win situation. It would help us to show off the beauties of Greene County and thereby do a better job of attracting industry and jobs. It would facilitate an urgently-needed restoration. And it would enhance the use and value, for public purposes, of this historic treasure.” More on this subject in next Seeing Greene. ((The mechanical masters of this blog site will not, do not, allow indentations))


Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention the on-going Farmer's and Artisan's Market at the Historic Catskill Point (Saturday) which is also being augmented by a Used Book Sale in the Freightmasters's Building from 9:30AM to 2:00PM

Anonymous said...

Also left out was excellent music program for tonight (Saturday) in Windham.

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