Thursday, September 25, 2008

Greene Feats

“GREENE HOUSE” is architectural designer Matt Bua’s name for a contemplated structure that “would pay tribute” to his adoptive home county. “A main feature” would be “insulated panels which consist of clear plastic ‘trash’ (2 liter bottles, packing and wrapping material etc.) sandwiched between 2 pieces of donated plexy-glass from picture framer’s cut offs.” Mr Bua also has sketched a “T-house” which would be suitable for serving tea while also referencing Model T Fordliness. Then there’s his contemplated Old News House (“also called the Junk Mail House”), “a conical styled dome structure that uses recycled bundles of newspapers, magazines, and junk mail as building material. The technique would emulate the Adobe brick style in which the exterior would be properly treated with plaster and lime to withstand the elements. This house’s motto will be ‘old news is good news’ or ‘read it and reap’.” Already built are Mr Bua’s “Sing Sun House” and his “lower-case a-frame structure.” Just another fish in the GreeneLand talent pool.

TOTALLY TOTS won the strongest critical plaudits, and won the popularity contest as well, when the Brooklyn Children’s Museum reopened last week after a $80 million makeover. It is a multi-room installation that transforms the youngest visitors (aged 5 and below) into confident

adventurers dealing with sounds, colors, shapes, costumes, paints, textures and liquids in such a way, says Edward Rothstein of The New York Times, that “play and information” are “intertwined.” Why mention that here? Because Totally Tots is the latest brainchild and handiwork of GreeneLanders Carol May and Tim Watkins. (Full disclosure: Ms May is not related to Seeing Greene’s copy boy).

DEDICATED in Dover, Delaware, at a ceremony attended by the Governor and other dignitaries: a three-figure, life-sized, bronze, Minuteman-like Revolutionary War monument. Why mention that here? Because the sculptor was GreeneLand’s own Ron Tunison.

GREEN IN GREENE is a company specializing in renewable energy and other environmentally benign practices. Its principals, Jessica and Keith Abrams of Earlton plan to showcase their conservation techniques at an open house on October 18th, when they will raise a new 60 foot-high wind turbine.

“ESCAPE TO ATHENS” may be title of a New York Times feature article this weekend. And yes, it will be about the Greene Athens, not the Greek one. (BTW, the deal that could have transformed the old Athens Opera House into a new performing arts space did not eventuate. Rita K. Carver is looking at possible homes for DragonFly Performing Arts).

NON-EVENTS DEPT. GreeneLand’s yearly auction of properties that have been taken over for non-payment of taxes comes next Wednesday (10/1) at the (mis-named) Quality Inn of Catskill, but there won’t be much to buy. County Treasurer Willis Vermilyea’s intensified efforts to encourage delinquents to pay their property taxes have paid off. His success left only 30 properties subject to auction (see ). Seventeen of those were pieces of land, some of them inaccessible (landlocked) or un-buildable. Also included were a “seasonal residence” and a mobile home in Halcott.

MISCREANTS DEPT. The drunk driver who crashed his pick-up truck into a power pole on Main Street, Catskill, causing a power outage (on 9/14), is deputy superintendent of Greenville’s department of highways. Which means that if he, Pete Baskiewicz, loses his license, he’ll have a bit of trouble doing his job. If he is suspended, would he still be paid?

TOP DOG among cat-makers at the Cat’n Around auction at Catskill Point last Sunday was Karl T. Anis, the notorious local sign-carver and golf putting trickster. His “Katzenjammer Kittens” attracted bids that escalated rapidly before auctioneer Russell Carlsen knocked the object down, so to speak, for $5400. Well, after all, to Mr Anis’s decorated mama cat clung,

uniquely, four hand-carved kittens. Anyhow, bidders collectively paid $94,000 for the 60 decorated fiberglass felines. Of this sum, makers get 25 per cent, with the remainder going to Animalkind, a Barry Hopkins Memorial Scholarship fund, and other worthy recipients. Additional revenue has been earned from sales of cat cards, cat badges, cat posters…. Biggest benefit of all from the promotion was a big influx of visitors who enjoyed the cats on Main and West Bridge streets, shopped at local stores, discovered the new Catskill. See

RUDIE REMEMBERED. The memorial service will begin at 6pm tomorrow (9/27) in the Union Mills building, 361 Main St, Catskill.

POKER is said by rumormongers to be the after-hours game of choice in a police-protected GreeneLand saloon that could turn out to be a fire trap. Do not confuse this putative emporium with the card parlor operated over There by the Hudson cross-dresser.

DAILY MAUL. “The 2008 pay scale…is $1 per hour over the previous contract, with a 4 percent per year raise over the next four years. The contract specifies a foreman’s pay at $17.02 per hour in 2008, increasing in steps to $10.32 in 2011.”

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