Friday, March 13, 2009

Greeneward March

OUT, IN, OUT, IN, OUT, IN. Michael Conine is back in jail after a four-day furlough. He was jailed last July on criminal charges arising from the disappearance of greenbacks--sacks of them--from the trunk of a car belonging to Catskill luminary Frank McDonald. (Seeing Greene, 8/15/08). Six weeks later he was released by county court order, on his own recognizance, pending disposition of those charges. Shortly after that, he was re-arrested on other, unrelated charges and returned, on order of Village Justice Charles Adsit, to his second home. After he entered a plea of guilty to the grand larceny charge, with sentencing set for April 22, Judge Adsit and Visiting County Judge George Bartlett III agreed to release Conine again, so that he could get his personal affairs in order before entering State prison. They stipulated, on February 18, that while at liberty Conine must not drink alcohol or drive a car. On February 22, however, Conine was arrested by State police on suspicion of driving while drunk and unlicensed. To those offenses, Village police added car theft. This time Conine was returned to jail without possibility of release. LAUNCHED officially on Wednesday (3/11), at Historic Catskill Point, was GreeneLand's participation in (to cite the full title)the Hudson-Champlain-Fulton Quadricentennial celebration. On hand to present the special flag to Legislature Chairman Wayne Speenburgh was the Quadricentennial Commission's executive director, Tara Sullivan, who has been making similar stops at other riverbank communities. As reported in The Daily Mail (3/12) Karen Deyo, who chairs the legislature's Government Operations Committee, recognized GreeneLand organizations that have been funded, by way of the Commission, to the extent of $45,000: the historical society, the Catskill and Cairo chambers of commerce, the Arts Foundation, Thomas Cole National Historic Site, the arts council, and Cornell Co-operative Extension's Agroforestry Resource Center. For an incomplete list of coming Quadricentennial events, click fthen Things to Do and Events Calendar. THE TRICENTENNIAL celebration in 1909 of Henry Hudson's arrival, says author Tom Lewis in The Hudson: A History (2005; and a great read) was the "greatest and longest celebration in the history of the Hudson Valley."
From New York City to Troy the organizers scheduled parades, flotillas, light shows, art and scientific exhibitions, and long-winded speeches. The people of Holland sent a full-scale reproduction of the Half Moon.... The navies of England, Germany, France and the Netherlands each sent a squadron of battleships, submarines, and torpedo boats, which joined the American fleet of more than fifteen hundred military boats and yachts. A million schoolchildren marched in parades that included floats depicting...the first sachem of the Iroquois, Minuit's purchase of Manhattan Island, the reception of Peter Stuyvesant, the capture of Major Andre, Washington's farewell to his officers, Rip Van Winkle, the legend of Sleepy Hollow, an Erie Canal boat, and the Statue of Liberty.... The aeronaut Wilbur Wright demonstrated the possibilities of flight by piloting his plane from Governor's Island to Grant's Tomb and back, an astounding distance of twenty miles. On September 25 a great electrical and pyrotechnic display bathed the Hudson River in light from New York City's Battery to Spuyten Duyvil. And on October 9 a chain of fiery beacons flashed up the valley from the river's mouth.
POETS WANTED. Cash prizes plus exposure can be earned by entries in the tenth running of the Rip Van Winkle competition, sponsored by All Arts Matter and the GreeneLand Library Association. For details, see The deadline for submissions coincides with the date of our 20th congressional district special election: March 31. VISIONARIES WANTED. An ambitious quest for ideas about revitalizing the heart (or is it the spine?) of Catskill has been proceeding of late. Under sponsorship by GreeneLand's Industrial Development Agency, representatives of the consulting firm Elan Planning and Design have met with members of all sorts of local interest groups. Next on the program is a public, everybody-welcome Workshop. Bold, bright (and feasible) ideas are wanted. Think about transforming the creekside, all the way from the fuel tanks at the Point through the marina and Main-Care and the former Waterfalls Laundry site, through Hop-0-Nose and the erstwhile Herrington's (and Dunns), past the Uncle Sam bridge and far beyond. Ponder what attractions, suitably developed and effectively promoted, could make Catskill a choice destination for visitors. A performing arts as well as a visual arts center? A home improvements mecca? A diners' delight? A marine recreation magnet? A historical museum? And if they come, where shall they stay? Join the conversation tomorrow, from noon to 5pm, at the Senior Center (15 Academy St). TOMORROW offers additional reasons to get out and mingle. It's Second Saturday Strolls day in Catskill, and it's almost St Patrick's Day. In keeping with the latter, many clubs are going public with corned beef specials. Among them are Veterans of Foreign Wars (Main St, Catskill, from mid-afternoon), the Masons (Route 9W), Knights of Columbus (St Patrick's Church, Catskil; Knights' Hall, East Durham), and GreeneLand Democrats (at Shamrock House, East Durham, with music). Meanwhile, for highlights of Saturday Stroll events (bappiper, openings, menus, discounts for greenwear...) click .

GUIDES WANTED. On Sunday, at The Thomas Cole National Historic Site (also known as Cedar Grove), persons who may wish to serve as volunteer docents at the Site, or on the Art Trail that wends through GreeneLand, are invited to an open house (218 Spring St, Catskill) starting at noon. (For more information: 943-7465 extension 2).

AUDITORS WANTED. Slated to follow that orientation, and open to all comers, is a talk at the Cole Site on the cleverly worded topic “Paper View: Recent Research on Thomas Cole, Sanford Gifford, and Frederic Church.” Independent school Gerald L. Carr will expatiate on newly discovered writings by these artists.

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