Friday, October 06, 2006

The Weekender

UPCOMING To commence a busy weekend tomorrow in GreeneLand, you could check out the produce at the Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market, at Historic Catskill Point, from 9:30. Or join a little woodland walk and bulb-shopping expedition at the Mountain Top Arboretum in Tannersville, from 10 am. ( Buy apples and other fresh food at the Apple Harvest Festival, in Cairo’s Angelo Canna Park, from 10 am. Join “Advocates for Game Farm Animals” in a demonstration along Game Farm Road, from 10 am., voicing solicitude for the fate of the 1000 animals to be auctioned October 18th after the permanent closing of the Catskill Game Farm. Bring food and/or money and friends to a fund-raising pot luck lunch plus silent auction at Beattie-Powers Place in Catskill, starting at 1 pm. Escort your dog(s) to Pruyn Park (top of Main Street, Catskill, across from Team G, behind the VFW Building) to the opening festivities, from 2 pm., of Park for Paws, where pets are welcome and, for this opening occasion, will be given special treats. Accept invitation to indulge in “creative loitering”—listening to CDs at Crow & Wolf Music on Route 32 (from 11 am.; big collection; free coffee). Better yet, or additionally, drive up with the kids to the Catskill Mountain Foundations red barn in Hunter, for live music: “Peter and the Wolf,” narrated by the distinguished actor Patricia Charbonneau and played by the Windham Chamber Orchestra. If this builds up a thirst, relief will be available nearby, at Hunter Mountain’s Oktoberfest (which will have started in the morning). Then, perhaps, it’s back to the Mountain Foundation’s red barn for another Windham Chamber Orchestra performance, at 8 pm., this one featuring music of Mozart, Vivaldi, Wagner and—what’s this?—Joplin. Yes! Scott Joplin, inventor of elegant syncopations known as Ragtime. For this occasion, conductor Robert Manno has done arrangements. Alternatively, there’s live music at St John’s Hall in Greenville, where All Arts Matter is sponsoring a Harvest Moon Dance featuring the Michael Benedict Big Band (966-4838 for information).

As for Sunday, the Oktoberfest at Hunter Mountain continues (from 11 am. on) and so does the Apple Harvest Festival in Cairo. But the most special event of the day is the Mountain Ginseng & Medicinal Herb Festival, at Historic Catskill Point, from 10 am. Comprehensive treatments of uses, cultivation, harvesting, marketing of the “green gold,” plus sales of the plants and other goodies. 943-0989.

PEDODONTIST. We now have one: Trevor Keller, who has come to GreeneLand via Newburgh, Buffalo, Cleveland and Guilderland. Saw his first four local patients last Monday (10/2) in the Greene Medical Arts Building. The practice is called Greene Pediatric Dentistry, because it’s all about kids’ teeth. 943-0780. “I plan to practice for the next 30 years," says Dr Keller. "We are trying to accept as many insurance plans as we can. Our goal is to serve our community and help children who have significant dental decay and/or severe dental pain.”

WHO’S ON THE MAP? The latest (10/06) issue of National Geographic includes a big map supplement covering the United States. The map’s New York State portion shows Catskill, along with Saugerties and Hudson and Ravena, but not Kingston. BANKING BLUES? Net income of GreeneLand’s foremost bank, in the latest fiscal year (2005-06), has declined. At $2.2 million, as reported in the annual report of its holding company, the Bank of Greene County’s profit was lower by about a fourth than in 2004-05 and lower even than in 2003-04. Does that mean that the BGC is in trouble? Hardly. Loan volume, deposits, and assets have boomed, and the directors have been laying the foundations, literally, for more growth. Columbia County will soon have three BGC full-service branches. Southern Albany County will have two branches. Bigger, better branches in Cairo and Coxsackie opened during the fiscal year. A new branch will be sited between the prospective Lowes home improvement center and the Super WalMart in Catskill Commons. Fiscal 2005-06 will be remembered as the year when, for the first time, the bank’s total assets passed $300 million mark (to reach $307.5 million). The past few years have been great for the bank—because they have been great for the county. “The markets we serve,” says bank president Bruce Whittaker, “are all places we call home. We know them well--their people and pastimes, peak and valleys their hidden possibilities. So when we choose to grow, our success is in large part determined by how well we develop and preserve these personal connections.” About 35% of all bank deposits in GreeneLand now are BGC deposits. Twenty years ago, the figure was 20%. BATTLE DISPATCH. The Democratic Party’s Congressional Campaign Committee evidently has decided that the race in New York’s 20th district (including GreeneLand) is winnable. For the first time, the DCCC has allocated resources to that contest: a 30-second, $60,000 commercial attacking the Republican incumbent, John Sweeney, as a lapdog of the Botch Administration. Mr Sweeney has uncritically supported the President’s “stay the course” position on Iraq, says the ad, while voting against “expanding health care for reserve and National Guard soldiers coming home from the war” and against “bonuses for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan,” but for a raise in his own pay. According to Sweeney staffer Maureen Donovan, as quoted in The TimesUnion, the ad is “patently false.” The DCCC’s decision to put resources into this race marks a shift from the belief that the seat is safe for Republicans. It reflects increasing optimism about the prospects of Democratic candidates all over, plus special regard for the quality of the campaign run by the Democratic nominee, Kirsten Gillibrand. AUSPICES. Increased Democratic optimism seems to be warranted. Among sources of heightened hope is the latest Battleground Poll. For this estimable survey, conducted jointly by a pro-Democratic and a pro-Republican firm under George Washington University sponsorship, interviewers confined attention to respondents who said they are registered to vote and intend to vote. Among them, 62% agreed with the judgment that the country is “on the wrong track” and 49% said they would prefer a Democrat-led Congress (vs. 41% voicing the contrary preference). The respondents were interviewed during September 23-27, before Bob Woodward’s State of Denial revelations and before the Mark Foley mess. DRAWING CARDS. For the pro-Sweeney rally on Wednesday in Saratoga Springs, the star attraction ($150 a ticket) was Laura Bush. For a more private and pricey pro-Gillibrand fund-raiser in Manhattan on Thursday, the star attraction was Barack Obama. COUNTER-CHARGES. Mr Sweeney’s campaigning during the past week, in televised commercials and in a direct mail piece, is noteworthy on several counts. (1) It’s another attack, as distinct from the kind of ad in which the candidate’s own achievements and/or popularity are touted. (2) It imputes to challenger Gillibrand responsibility for “scandals” at HUD (the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development), when the cited events happened (her people say) when she was not working there. (3) It faults Ms Gillibrand for refusing to make her income tax report public. (4) It suggests that Ms Gillibrand’s wealth disqualifies her as a representative of the 20th district. (5) It renews the charge that Ms Gillibrand is a “war profiteer.” That charge is based, as TimesUnion reporters have recounted, on the fact that Ms Gillibrand’s husband owns shares in a company that makes military hardware. The traditional “war profiteer”insinuation is that the profiteer dotes on wars because they bring for profit. But Ms Gillibrand has in fact condemned the Iraq venture. Finally, (6) the TV ad closes with a picture imputing virtue to Mr Sweeney by association with Sen. John McCain. That picture is noteworthy in light of Mr Sweeney’s previously close and boasted coziness (as “Congressman Kickass”) with President Bush.

“THE TIME HAS COME that the American people know exactly what their Representatives are doing here in Washington. Are they feeding at the public trough, taking lobbyist-paid vacations, getting wined and dined by special interest groups? Or are they working hard to represent their constituents? The people, the American people, have a right to know.” -- Tom DeLay, 11/16/95. “ANYBODY who doesn’t think I’m smart enough to handle the job is underestimating.” --George W. Bush, 4/3/00


peter said...

Speaking of the Bank of Greene County, they are to be congratulated on the attractive design of their new branch along Rte. 23 near Cairo. It has the look of an old Catskills railroad station, and fits beautifully into the landscape.

There is another new bank directly across the road (I can't recall the name) which appears to have been designed to accomodate the Secret Police of Romania or Albania circa 1961. It's a grim grey edifice in the modernist Bauhaus style, and looks awful in that glorious landscape. The architects ought to be flogged in the public. square.

Anonymous said...

Catskill's “Second Saturday Stroll” on October 14 will celebrate Halloween, with strollers invited to wear costumes and festive garb. Moreover, this popular monthly event will begin in the early afternoon with children-oriented happenings. There will be a free movie, “Casper the Friendly Ghost”, at the Community Theatre at 1:15 p.m. followed by Trick or Treating at many local businesses along Main Street.
Portrait photographer Rob Shannon will be set up in 397 Main Street to take pictures of favorite little ghosts or goblins.
Fresh, locally-grown pumpkins and apples and other seasonal produce will be featured by Squirmer Valley Farms.
New shops have opened, including Hood & Co., quality homewares and gifts; Bowerbird, tableware and art, and Catskill & Co., high-quality delicacies and candies. Most other shops will also be open.
Refreshments are served at most shops and galleries. Parking is ample.
Many quality restaurants will offer from casual to formal dining.
Remaining “Second Saturday” dates are November 11, and December 9.

Anonymous said...

Hey I just saw a sign for Forest Cotten running for County Legislature!




My refusal to address Catskill Fire Department issues?


Anonymous said...

Dick. I'm going to miss the trips to the Catskill Game Farm.

The tradition has come to an end!