Friday, October 31, 2008

Bits With Bite?

“BOOKS WITH BITE” are on display at the Catskill Public Library. Among titles, in keeping with Halloween: Frankenstein, Vampire Academy, Cirque du Freak: Killers of the Dawn, Freaky Green Eyes, Trunks of Blood.

“THE ENGLISHNESS OF THOMAS COLE,” as expounded by Tim Barringer, professor of art history at Yale University, attracted a standing-room-only crowd, 130 strong, to the Thomas Cole National Historic Site in Catskill last Saturday.

FORECAST: ELECTORAL LANDSLIDE. What is coming on Tuesday is much easier to predict now, in light of all polling data, than it was when we foretold it in this space, long before even the presidential nominating conventions, on March 3.

-------*Barack Obama’s tally of Electoral College votes probably will be higher than we guessed last week (n=333), what with Ohio (20 electoral votes) evidently coming his way, along with Nevada, Colorado, Missouri, Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, plus one of Nebraska’s three EV’s. A more likely total for Mr Obama is 345. Or more.

*In the U.S. Senate, seven seats will pass from Republican to Democratic hands.

They are in New Hampshire, New Mexico, Colorado, Virginia, Alaska, North Carolina and either Minnesota or Oregon.

*In the U.S. House of Representatives, a Florida seat will pass from Democratic to Republican hands, while 15-plus seats elsewhere will go the other way, swelling the majority which the Democrats won in 2006.

*In New York State, two seats in the U.S. House of Representatives will pass from Republican to Democratic hands. The newbies are Dan Maffei and Eric Massa. Moreover, one Republican-held seat in the State Senate will pass into Democratic hands.

*Locally, all incumbent office-holders will be re-elected. Conspicuous among them will be GreeneLand’s U.S.Representative, Kirsten Gillibrand. She will survive what has been a formidable, richly endowed challenge from Republican nominee Alexander (Sandy) Treadwell.

VENUE MOVED. Site of Saturday’s auction of those Catskill Creek Condominiums has been shifted from the Marriott Hotel in Teaneck NJ to the Holiday Inn in Sufferin NY. Still invited by auctioneer Sheldon Good & Co are bids on 20 units (originally priced at $280-$480,000) of which eight will be sold without reserve. This does not mean that the other units will only be sold if a predetermined minimum bid is received. It means that the vendor gets to decide, in light of the no-reserve sales, whether to accept bids on the other units.

From the auctioneer’s standpoint, this sale looks trivial. Next Sunday, Good & Company will invite bids on 30 condos and four penthouses in Palm Beach Gardens FL “starting at just $350,000!” and originally priced at $600,000 to $3,500,000. On November 13th, the Roseland Ranch, a 37-acre resort in Stanfordville NY (30 Papa Joe Way) goes on the block with “suggested opening bid of $1,500,000.”

ALSO COOKING, so to speak, is a local auction of the makings of a restaurant. The kitchen equipment and the tables and booths that formerly occupied Michael La Rosa’s deli, on Brandos Alley in Catskill, go up for sale at the Father & Sons storage facility next Friday (11/7). It is a matter of defaulting on a loan granted by Greene County. For information: 719-3540.

JOBLESS RATES. According to the State Labor Department, New York State’s rate of unemploymnent last month amounted to 5.8 per cent of the labor force. In September 2007 the figure was 4.5 per cent. Both figures are slightly lower than the nation-wide unemployment rates, of 6.1 per cent last month and 4.7 per cent in September 2007. The downturn in jobs occurred mainly in the manufacturing and financial services sectors. It coincided with gains in jobs in educational and health services, leisure and hospitality, and government. According to Tom Wanamaker of Johnson News Service, moreover, GreeneLand’s unemployment rate last month, at 6.2 per cent, was higher than for Columbia and Dutchess counties (5.1% and 5.6%), and marked a jump from the 4.4 per cent rate in September of 2007.

COMING TO COXSACKIE’S WATERFRONT in the near future are a new inn, restaurant, office complex and retail space. They will be located in refurbished historic buildings on four adjacent properties on Mansion and Reed streets. The $1.2 million project’s developer, Thomas Giamboi, who made his pile in Austin TX before returning to his native New York and starting to dabble. After moving back east Mr Giamboi bought the historic Glen Falls House resort (circa 1902) in Round Top and then started looking for development opportunities. His Coxsackie project is supported in no small measure by a $260,00 low-interest Quantum Fund loan granted by the Greene County legislature (through the Government Operations Committee chaired by Karen Deyo) and in light of advice from the county’s Planning and Economic Development department).

EXPANDING, thanks to another Quantum Fund loan, this one for $135,000, is Cameo’s Restaurant in Athens. Joshua Lackie is using the loan to buy the building that houses the restaurant (southwest corner of Second and Washington Streets) and to add 1000 square feet of dining space.

ALSO RECEIVING Quantum Fund loans recently have been Guy Chirico, for improvements to his Scribner Hollow restaurant in Hunter, and Sandro Cognin, to help adapt the former Full Gospel Tabernacle on Main Street in Catskill for use as a round-the-clock Snap Fitness franchise. Quantum Fund below-market-rate loans (see ) involve matches provided by recipients along with job-creating promises.

PRIZES OFFERED. GreeneLand’s Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians invites school pupils to compose essays on “From Ireland to the Kentucy Derby: The History of Ireland in Horse Racing” or on “Celtic Tiger: What Is It?” 622-8219.

GOSSIP DEPT. “The Boss and the Teen” could be title of a sort of French movie that is being, well, enacted in GreeneLand. Meanwhile, suspicion of filing a false instrument may bring a local lawyer before the State’s Commission on Judicial Conduct.

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