Friday, February 27, 2009

Shut & Open

-----A landmark GreeneLand business has expired. For 50 years it was Dunn Builders Supply, foremost provider of materials to the county's contractors. Seven months ago, after company president Steve Dunn sold the stock and the operation to Columbia County's Ed Herrington, it acquired a new name. From the Herrington standpoint,however, the timing was terrible. It came in the midst of tough competition from the new Home Depot outlet and from the newer, nearer Lowes, along with a construction slump. Mr Herrington shuttered the business--two big lumber-crammed buildings on Catskill Creek, another big supplies-stuffed building on the east side of Water Street in Catskill--last week. Remaing inventory has been trucked across the Hudson to other Herrington sites. The shutdown here, Mr Dunn told Seeing Greene, came as "a total surprise; no warning at all." But although he sold the Catskill business, Mr Dunn retained ownership of the 1.8-acre site. The county's Industrial Development Agency owns an option to buy the site eventually (as part of a dream to transform the whole east bank of Catskill Creek, from the Point to Uncle Sam Bridge?). Meanwhile, Mr Dunn is "actively looking" for new tenants. A warehouse? Sure. But what about a dance hall? an indoor sports pavilion? a marine micro-brewery? -----Another longestablished Catskill business will close tomorrow. After 20 years on West Bridge Street, Dan Berkowitz is terminating The Whole Donut. He traces the decline of business partly to the drop in appetite for his trademark product. That decline is illustrated by coupons distributed by competitor Dunkin' Donuts. Discounts are offered on coffees, hash browns, breakfast sandwiches, flatbreads--but not doughnuts. [Oops! A newspaper insert on Saturday 2/28 does tout deals on donuts] Anyhow, looking to the future, Mr Berkowitz plans to not be a couch potato at home and to not be a kibbitzer at wife Laurie's flourishing Pomodoro's restaurant. -----The news is not all about closings. As previously reported here, Catskill will soon host a new bakery, a new liquor store and a new furniture design shop. Also in prospect is a Furniture 4 Less outlet in the former Aubuchon Hardware building on Boulevard Avenue (whose name is as redundant as, say, Catskill Creek). NAMESAKE NEWS (1) Mark and Christine Richardson were arrested last month on suspicion of growing marijuana commercially--130 thriving plants, with sophisticated cultivation gear--in their basement at 1025 Route 23A in Catskill. That pavedthe way for additional charges of defrauding the Department of Social Services by drawing Medicaid benefits while concealing (self-)employment income. Another local Richardson--Patrick, of Coxsackie--was busted by sheriff's deputies last year on multiple drug charges. (2) Waldemar (or possibly Wilaelm) J. Zahn, of Ira Vail Road in Leeds, was charged last Saturday with vehicular assault and drunk driving after he evidently crashed his pickup truck into an oncoming vehicle driven by Kevin Nicewonger of New Jersey. (Reported in Times Union 2/22 & Daily Mail 2/23). Another local Zahn--Bernard J.--is the cited defendant in a foreclosure auction (lien amount $153,258.29) coming on March 5 against property at 7857 Main Street, Hunter. RECOGNITIONS (as reported mostly in local newspapers). >>Richard Selner, by his peers, as GreeneLand Deputy of the Year. Sheriff Greg Seeley credited Investigator Selner with "uncanny ability to develop information, locate witnesses and generate leads." >>Richard Hilgendorff, by the Cairo Town Board, for 40 years of service to the Round Top Fire Company. >>Neil Golub, president of the 116-link Price Chopper supermarket chain, by Grocery Headquarters magazine, as Retail Executive of the Year, for "enthusiasm, boardroom smarts and merchandising savvy." >>Richard Roberg, veteran Coxsackie Town Justice, elected to the presidency of the New York State Magistrates Association. >>The Athens Street Festival Committee (led for the past eight years by Herby Blasewitz), by the GreeneLand legislature, with the EllenRettus Planning Achievement award, for work going back 35 years. >>United Stationers Supply Company of Coxsackie, by the New York State Rehabilitation Association, giving employment to evelopmentally handicapped workers. >>Maira Kalman, Palenville- (and New York-)based artist, in the form of a two-page color spread in the January 29th New York Times, celebrating, under the heading "And the Pursuit of Happiness," the Obama presidential inauguration. >>Bonnie Maranca of GreeneLand, editor of PAJ, The Journal of Performance Art, with a Leverhulme Trust visiting professorship at the University of London, for lecturing, interviewing, theatre-going, and work on a book about "performance drawings." >>GreeneLanders Tom Bellino and Gary Bielske, by indirection, when "Monday Night Live at the Village Vanguard" won a Grammy for Best Large Jazz Ensemble album of 2008. Mr Bellino (of ) produced some of the tracks. Mr Bielske did the double CD's design and packaging. >>The Thomas Cole National Historic Site, by the Hudson River Valley Greenway and the H.R.V. National Heritage Area, in the form of a $5000 grant to enhance the Hudson River Art Trail experience with markers, leaflets, and pictures. >>Duane K.Dixon of Catskill, spotted by State police in Albany after being sought for two weeks as fourth suspect in that home invasion case in Leeds. He reposes now in Greene County Jail along with his alleged confederates. Each faces 26 criminal charges relating to treatment of multiple victims. >>A GreeneLand school trustee, by specators, for playing hookey. Out of 13 board meetings since last July, (s)he has attended seven. TOMORROW, among other events: --"A Nod to the Past," composed of art, antiques and textiles, opens at the Kaaterskill Fine Arts gallery in Hunter. --The Nerds (soul,rock, pop) entertain at Windham Mountain's Legends bar. SUNDAY --First session of art classes for teenagers, on painting with acrylics, opens under direction of Robert Lahm at the Athens Cultural Center. 945-2136. --A Bard College wind ensemble plays a free 2pm concert at Beattie-Powers House.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Dick, for all those nuggets of information. It makes for good lunchtime conversation, and I appreciate the occasional trips down memory lane. My father was a carpenter, and a Saturday morning trip to Dunn's was a great way to get out of chores at home.

Anonymous said...

The staff in the Whole Donut were always hugely kind to my now-four-year-old son. He & I shall miss it, and McDonuts across the street will be no substitute.

Will the Dunn's waterfront ever open up into part of a creekside walkway, or will it all eventually become gated luxury condominiums?