Thursday, July 03, 2008

Independently Greene

FIREWORKS will soar and scatter and sputter above Dutchmen’s Landing in Catskill on July 4th (Friday night), following music by the Watt 4 Band ( ); over Angelo Canna Park in Cairo, following a parade from the elementary school; above Windham Mountain ( and Hunter ( VIEWSHED news. A 104-acre parcel of land along the ridge of Mount Merino in Columbia County, much of it facing GreeneLand from across the Hudson, will not be subdivided. It will not be cleared or developed. It will be preserved. It has been acquired for just that purpose by Scenic Hudson. The acquisition brings to 1248 the number of Mount Merino acres that have come to be protected since 1992 by conservation easements. The significance, as Scenic Hudson president Ned Sullivan said in a news release, is that “people will continue enjoying this iconic scenery for generations to come. That is the crux of our campaign to Save the Land that Matters Most.” (Another part of that awesome program is—in partnership with Audubon New York—GreeneLand’s iconic RamsHorn-Livingston Sanctuary. Which should be seen by everybody. An excellent way to do so is provided by guided interpretive paddles led by Larry Federman. (518)678-3248.

WATERSHED NEWS. On the other hand, some Windham residents fret about land acquisitions made by the State Department of Environmental Protection, acquisitions of buildable sites whose relation to water quality preservation is disputed. According to Daily Mail correspondent Michael Ryan (6/30) the DEP owns about 1800 Windham acres and may be eyeing another 500. The acquisitions are products of agreements with willing sellers and are related to State and Federal mandates to preserve water quality in upstate reservoirs as an alternative to establishing huge filtration plants. Windham Planning Board member Tom Poelker casts doubt, however, on the consistency of the purchases with the stated water-conservation criteria. No residential or other development is permitted on DEP lands.

RESORT NEWS. Ulster County Legislature Chairman David Donaldson has voiced the hope that skiers will boycott Hunter Mountain and Windham Mountain this winter. Mr D objects to the fact that the operators of those private GreeneLand resorts object to facing increased competition from a State taxpayer-funded expansion of the public Belleayre resort, an expansion which would draw still more sales tax-paying visitors to Mr D’s county. The Hunter and Windham owners support the creation of a Blue Ribbon commission that would examine unfair competition in the outdoor recreation. ”RATATAT CATSKILL” is the title of a newspaper article published in Australia’s leading newspaper, The Age. It’s about a rock duo whose sound “seems based around a clash between machine-made beats, baroque-inflected classical music and the joys of hair-metal guitar.” Composers Evan Mast and Mike Stroud say they recorded the new album, LP3 (Remote Control Records), while living in an old Catskill house that serves as home for Old Soul Studio, run by a fellow named ‘The Wolf’” and stocked with antique instruments. This “amazing place” is “out in the country in a really small town with not much going on there at all. You can't find a good meal anywhere in Catskill really. We ended up having to cook at home in the studio every night.” According to the reviewer, the lads cooked up a stylistic “feast” of “disco, Tejano and reggae, as well as pychedelia, hip-hop and their stock baroque virtuosity.”

ADVERTISING as cultural force is being celebrated currently at the New York City Public Library’s Science, Industry and Business section on (appropriately) Madison Avenue. The show, titled “The Real Men and Women of Madison Avenue and their Impact on American Culture,” is of interest here because GreeneLander Ann Cooper (former creative editor of Adweek, founding editor of Creativity, former associate editor of Marketing, free-lance writer, lapsed Caledonian) is co-curator.

DONATED to Catskill’s Community Center, by the Catskill Women’s Softball league, at the season-opening game last Sunday: $600. That generous contribution is especially noteworthy as evidence of recovery from the trauma of 2006, when founding president Dolores Gallagher rifled the league’s treasury.

ENTRIES INVITED for (i) photographic celebrations of Hudson Valley beauties, and for (ii) a “Beautiful Greene” picture show. Sponsoring the former, with prizes awarded in several categories, is Scenic Hudson. Sponsoring the latter, with a view to exhibiting pictures made of six prescribed GreeneLand spots, is the Greene County Council on the Arts.

GRANTS, in sums up to $5000, also are available, for worthy arts-related projects to be carried out in 2009. For particulars:

GENDER NEWS. The brain power shown by boys among this year’s Catskill High School graduates did indeed mark a departure from recent years as well as a contrast with other schools. While seven of the top ten CHS grads were boys, only three boys made the top ten at Cairo-Durham, and the valedictorian and salutatorian were girls. At Coxsackie-Athens, however, two boys, Anthony Ardito and Tyler Herwick, shared valedictorian honors, with Gabrielle Margiotta as salutatorian. At Greenville and Hunter-Tannersville High Schools, girls snagged both of the valedictorian and salutatorian honors; they are Corinne Smith and Erin Ricci (Greenville) and Sheera Hinkey and Keida Harrison. At Windham-Ashland- Jewett HS, Caitlin Morrison hit the top academically, with Karl Goettsche as salutatorian. (BTW, isn’t it time to give our schools better names than just place names?)

CASTING CALL. For a movie titled “Taking Woodstock,” extras are needed--or were-- to be “college kids, hippies, townspeople, police, etc.”; and “LONG HAIR A PLUS.” Also sought are “cars circa 1969 and earlier.” Local advertising invited candidates to audition last weekend at specified Hudson and Albany sites. No telephone number, web site or e-mail address was given. The putative producers are “Focus Films” and “Tuxedo Terrace,” but the former (in contrast to Focus Features) seems to be a periodical and the latter is an avenue in Hollywood. Anyhow, a Google search indicates that the touted film would be a comedy based on the Elliot Tiber memoir wherein “A man working in his parents’ motel in the Catskills inadvertently sets in motion the generation-defining concert” of 1969. Filming allegedly will commence in August in Columbia County (!) under the direction of (fanfare!) Ang Lee.

CLOSING “with great agony and sadness,” on August 31st, except for private banquets: Anthony’s Restaurant, in Leeds. Until that time, says a display advertisement, the restaurant will continue to open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings and on Sundays from 3pm to 8pm. The Gjergji family’s other restaurant, Tatiana’s, will remain open as usual. “We look forward to continuing to serve Greene County and beyond on a larger scale.”

DAILY MAUL. The Flat Cats “each are each uniquely different….” “As soon as one enters the arched entrance into the foyer, a sense of sophistication emanates from the marble flooring.” “Contractor Gordon Wohlfahrt said preserving the ‘nooks and grannies’ of the original brickwork provided an interesting avenue for creativity on behalf of the future owners.” “…the hardships of heating Catskill homes did not become as large an issue as it surely will be this year.” “Everyday there are reminders of the energy crisis in our midst, the shock of which has seemingly become lost to triteness.”

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