Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Figuring Greene

FISHY FIGURES 603=number of contestants in the six-week River Basin Sports Striper Contest, run by Tom Gentalen, that ended at noon last Sunday (5/30). 47=inches length of the Hudsonian striped bass caught by contestant Eric Borchert. 6030=dollars won by Mr Borchert for landing the longest striper. 46.75=inches length of striper caught by second-placer Rob Shilkaunas. 3980=dollars of difference a quarter-inch, in this case, makes.

FOODIE FIGURES 1883=date that Stewart House opened as restaurant and lodge in Athens. And that number inspired new manager Reggie Young's decision on the price of three-course prix fixe dinners: $18.83. And soon there may be a bottled wine that also sells for $18.83. Meanwhile, the garden bar may be open for business by Saturday (June 12).

FUELISH FIGURES. Gasoline prices have dropped a bit lately, even in GreeneLand. As usual, however, local prices exceed those of neighboring counties as well as more distant locales. On Tuesday (6/8) a gallon of regular gasoline cost $2.78 (Citgo, Hess, Cumberland Farms) or more in GreeneLand, while the low figure in Albany and in Hudson was $2.61, and the low Saugerties figure was $2.69. Gasoline in GreeneLand costs more than the nation-wide average, the East Coast average, and the New England average.

JOB FIGURES. The situation, in the country and generally in New York State, evidently has improved. According to statistics distributed by the State’s Department of Labor, the ranks of employed persons have increased, and in most places the ranks of unemployed persons have dwindled (a relationship that does not always hold). But in GreeneLand, as usual, the job situation is worse than other nearby counties. Percentages of unemployed persons in relation to total membership of the “work force,” in April of this year as compared with the previous month and with the same month last year:

4/10 3/10 4/09
New York State8.47.78.0
Upstate NYS7.57.67.6
Dutchess County7.27.76.8

CHURCH FIGURES 2,500,000=probable dollar cost of restoring Catskill’s St Patrick’s Church, as estimated by a consulting architect who has been retained by Bishop Howard Hubbard of the Albany diocese. Sean Reilly, the consultant, delivered the estimate, together with a plan sketching prospective phases of work and their costs, to a gathering of congregants Thursday (6/3). Some congregants deplored the idea of putting infrastructure and exterior repairs ahead of fixing the roof and the ceiling so that the church can be reoccupied. St Pat’s, 151 years old, has been closed since 2008 after big chunks of plaster fell from the arched ceiling. Masses are held by Fr Rick Shaw in the basement of the Father Murphy Parish Center (former bingo hall) next door. But the congregants are scattered. Some attend services at The Friary. Others go to other towns. As for how the restoration can be funded, that remains to be seen. The diocese (138 churches in 14 counties) is not flush with cash.

TOUR FIGURES 300=number of buyers of tickets for the Greene County Historical Society’s tour of historic homes (and other places) in the Windham area on Saturday. 6925=dollars gained by the Historical Society from sales of tour tickets plus advertisements and book sales (the illuminating Historic Places of Greene County). That counts as a good result, even though it falls short of attendance and sales at the Mountain Jam in Hudson on the same day, by a few thousand.

ACHIEVER FIGURES Among Greenville High School’s top ten graduates this year, in contrast to GreeneLand’s other high schools, girls do NOT out-number boys. The gender division is exactly even. Girls ranked second, third, fourth, fifth and ninth. And the top-most distinction, the honor of valedictorian, went to a boy: the superbly schooled, Yale-bound Jonah Coe-Scharff. In illustration of the more normal thing, 25 Catskill High School students were inducted last week into the National Honor Society; 10 are boys.

PROPERTY FIGURE 296,000 = dollar value of lien against property (defaultfully owned by Eric Borfitz) at 75 Riverside Avenue in Coxsackie, to be sold at auction tomorrow (Thursday) in the lobby of the county building at 10am.

SATURDAY in GreeneLand could be spent touring the cat figures that ornament the sidewalks of downtown Catskill, and the bear figures that are scattered about greater Cairo, and/or the 50+ "Rip Lives" figures in and around Windham. Additionally or alternatively, the day could be spent touring Cairo’s community-wide yard sale, or Catskill’s ditto; checking out Greenville Library’s book sale, the Rotary Club craft fair in front of the library, or the farmers’ market at the nearby Cultural Center; attending the garden fair and plant sale at the Mountain Top Arboretum; learning about Woodstock-based artist George Ault (1891-1948) from Alexander Nemerov (professor of art history, Yale U.) at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site in Catskill, from 4pm (; or going Joycean at the Athens Cultural Center (“Bloomsday” readings, followed by a “Pride of Place” exhibition); or taking an inaugural ferry ride from Riverfront Park in Athens to Henry Hudson Riverfront Park in Hudson, starting at 3pm, continuing through the Flag Day fireworks (945-1357); or catching the splendid Booglerizers (ragtime, blues, bluegrass) at Ruby's Hotel in Freehold (audible on; or perhaps learning how “deep inner stillness can elevate the clarity and truth” of one’s writing. The latter is offered in ( at GreeneLand’s Brahma Kumaris Learning & Retreat Center.

SUNDAY’s treats could include the ‘Summer Songbird Celebration Walk’ led by Rich Guthrieand other naturalists at Coxsackie Creek Grassland Preserve from 1:30pm.

SCOOP! Four Catskill High School seniors will not be collecting diplomas (personally, on stage) at their graduation ceremony, after they roared through the halls this afternoon on motor bikes. And six other seniors face lesser penalties for invading the halls on push bikes. Some of the perpetrating pranksters are top-ranking students. One is the son of a District trustee. Some are daughters of Middle School monitors. Bikers Matt, Nate, Brian and Graham teamed with bicyclists Katie, Medina, Brianna, Jen, Miranda, and Kelly.

------Back in 2000, six seniors were barred from receiving diplomas by hand, on stage, after committing a prank. They watched the ceremony, clad in caps and gowns, from the auditorium's front row. Some of their classmates, in a show of sympathy, pinned white dove figures to their gowns.

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