Saturday, March 10, 2007

Comings &

WINDFALL AWAITS. On Tuesday (3/13), Catskillians get to vote themselves a bargain. They can approve a $16.7 million improvement package for their public schools, at a cost to local taxpayers of—wait for it; you won’t believe; trust us on this—zero. Thanks to State aid entitlements and special grant money, the project can be implemented without increasing the District’s budget. But an affirmative votes must be cast. Vote at the High School, any time from 6 am. to 9 pm. There’s no catch. Believe it.

ARTISTS' SNUB is a suitable name, in contrast to the nominated Artists' Ledge, for a proposed condominium development along Catskill Creek in Jefferson Heights. The plan submitted by designer Richard Drao calls for building an18-unit structure in space currently occupied by Tatiana’s restaurant and the former Jimmy’s bar. The building design looks eminently consistent with local style, but the placement is such that the place from which Thomas Cole painted his famous “View of the Catskill Creek” would be obliterated. Stop Number 3 on the Hudson River School Artists’ Trail, established just last year, would be gone. As presently proposed to the Village planning board, the project would dishonor the very artist it nominally salutes. A revised site plan that preserves the Trail site probably would be good business.

TODAY (Saturday, 3/10), another promotional event animates downtown Catskill, with galleries and shops staying open beyond normal business hours. Among special Second Saturday events is play-acting, in the window of DREAM, by ace thespians Emma Parsons and Andrea Cunliffe. Starting at 6:30, they’ll bring Oscar Wilde to Main Street. Meanwhile, at the Muddy Cup, Chronogram magazine sponsors an evening of music and poetry, plus art works by Patrick Milbourn, while at the Arts Council’s gallery, an “Outside the Lines” show of young artists’ work will open on the ground floor, with teachers’ works shown upstairs. In anticipation of St Patrick’s Day, bagpiper John Gallagher will promenade on Main Street, Irish Step Dancers will perform at the former Hose 5 firehouse, the Firehouse Tavern will serve green-tinted beer, and Garden Gate Café will dish out corned beef and cabbage, and strollers will encounter chances to buy raffle tickets yielding, to lucky winners, a trove of merchandise. The winning ticket will be drawn by Village President Vincent Seeley at the Doubles II tavern. Later, in Stella’s Lounge at Catskill Point, George Fletcher & the Tequila Mockingbirds will entertain. And across the way, at Creekside Restaurant, from 10 pm., Albanyans Melanie Krahmer & Rich Libutti, versatile musicians, will perform as “SIRSY.” Earlier, some incredibly inexpensive meals are being offered by fund-raising volunteers: corned beef & cabbage at the West Side Fire House, from 3 pm. to 7, for $7 or less; roast beef, at Catskill United Methodist Church, from 5 to 7 pm., for $11 or (for young and old) $10.

TOMORROW (Sunday, 3/11). Circus! in the Catskill High School gymnasium, at 3 pm. Two children get in free (!) for each adult ticket ($8 if bought in advance, $12 at the door). Sponsored by Catskill Kiwanis Club. **Masterpiece Found in Warehouse Fire. Curator Elise Effmann talks about the re-discovery of “View of Fort Putnam,” one of the three paintings that made Thomas Cole’s early reputation, in the ruins of a fire-ravaged dealer’s warehouse. From 2 pm. at Cedar Grove, The Thomas Cole National Historic Site, Catskill.

MOUNTAIN BUDDIES is the sporting goods store that, as foreshadowed in a recent Seeing Greene, is coming to ever-improving Catskill. Jim Halla and wife Kristen will be moving their stock from Hudson to the choicest of Main Street sites here: the double store front in the restored CPC site, between MOD café and Beginners Mind gallery. They are now packing up--which means that, to make the shift easier, they are offering bargains aplenty at 17 N. Fourth St in Hudson. Their paddling, hiking, climbing and camping gear will make for synergy with the fishing equipment sold on West Bridge Street by Tom Gentalen of River Basin Sports.

FINAL LAP is the name chosen by Bob Herschel for a new store full of NASCAR gear (in miniature), to open in a month or so on the south side of West Bridge.

GLOBAL WARMING. The topic will be aired on Monday (3/12), from 7 pm., in Greenville Town Hall, under the guidance of State Museum geologist L. Taury Smith. Sponsors for this free event, according to H. B. Gilmour of Cornwallville, are “Neighbors For Peace, an informal coalition of Greene County residents who have been meeting for the past several month to…discuss such films as...‘An Inconvenient Truth’.” Dr Smith is pursuing the idea of capturing carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, pumping them deep under ground so they cannot damage the atmosphere. E-mail queries to or .

HOSED? Gasoline prices have surged lately, and GreeneLanders are being gouged disproportionately—as usual. A gallon of regular hereabouts costs $2.66 or more. That’s above the national average by about 16 cents; above the New York City average (about $2.51); way above the Texas average ($2.35); about equal to the State-wide average ($2.67; vs. $2.44 in Massachusetts and $2.90 in California); a few cents higher than at Albany stations .

ON THE BLOCK. A once-great Catskill estate will be offered soon for auction in a foreclosure action. Located on 3.6 acres at the end of Grandview Avenue, close to Rams Horn Sanctuary and Catskill Creek, it was known in its heyday as the Lloyd Newcombe estate and then, derisively, as the odoriferous Poodle House. If the main house were not such a disaster internally, it would be worth more than the assessed value ($265,000), and even more than the asking price ($499,000) when it was offered on the market. Renovated, it could be the perfect country inn. The auction will be held on April 2nd, in the lobby of the county courthouse, at 10 am.

HAROLD TOMPKINS died last week (3/5). A Navy veteran of World War II, an automotive service professional, a widower, a Mason, a founding member of the Catskill Boat Club and of Catskill Kiwanis, he was best known--apart from being an extraordinarily fine gentleman—for 65 years of involvement with GreeneLand’s firefighters. Past president of Catskill’s Hose 1 company and of the Greene County Volunteer Firemen Association, director of Hudson Valley Volunteer Firefighters Association, member of Catskill Fire Police, sparkplug of construction of Fire Safety Training House, instructor in firefighting safety, member of the Royal Order of Blue Vests, of the R.O. of Red Vests (they maintain the Firemen’s Home), and of GreeneLand’s R.O. of Nutbusters.

RE-SCHEDULED to appear on television’s “Today” show, live, now at 8:30 am. on Monday (3/12): GreeneLand’s roadfoodie, Brigit Binns.

EXHIBITING, from Wednesday (3/14) down at the Metaphor Gallery of Contemporary Art in Brooklyn: GreeneLand painter Gabe Brown. To get a sense of the works, click to the gallery’s web site,

OUR RIVER. “Far more than a short river flowing through New York state, the Hudson is a thread that runs through the fabric of four centuries of American history, through the development of American civilization….

For those living in the United States the Hudson is the river of firsts: the first great river that explorers came upon when they arrived in the New World; the first river that led explorers into the continent’s uncharted interior; the river that was the first line of defense in the American Revolution; the river of America’s first writers, the river that inspired America’s first great painters; the river that millions of immigrants first encountered when they stepped off their boats onto their new land; the river whose deep-water port helped New York City become the nation’s foremost financial center; the river that inspired America’s first conservationists. --Tom Lewis, The Hudson. A History (2005).

P.S. The second blog item above was changed after posting so that Artist's and Artist's became Artists' and Artists', and zoning board became planning board. Moreover, several items were inserted after this morning's 12:30 am. posting.

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