Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Memorably Greene

A LAZY, stay-at-home GreeneLander would have missed a plenitude of thrills last weekend:

------*The glorious two-day Irish Festival in East Durham, in its 32nd year.

------*The rubber duck race down Gooseberry Creeek to Rip Van Winkle Lake in Tannersville, followed by the wacky boat race.

------*A chance to learn, gratis, about Alternative Health Care, as expounded on Saturday at the Hunter Village Square, by specialists in I-Act Colon hydrotherapy, Sacred Vision Life cultivation, Clear Paths Reflexology, Isagenix nutritional cleansing, Reiki, aura reading, and healing the self to connect to the soul.

------*Art show openings in Windham ( “Daughters of Venus,” works of six female artists; Fine Arts Gallery), and in Freehold (Rhoda Bertz’s ventures in “making something new from something rotten.” She leaves canvasses outdoors to rot and decay; then glues frayed, wrinkled, crumpled fragments onto another canvas, adds,smears, splashes, encrustations of paint, illustrating decay and renewal, as exemplified below. Broderick Gallery at Ruby’s Hotel).

------*Special Saturday entertainment in Palenville’s Fernwood Bistro, where luscious Lex Grey performed with the Uncle Sam Band.

------*“O’Sullivan Stew,” the original musical, adapted by a GreeneLander's illustrated book, written and dressed and choreographed and lighted and directed by GreeneLand-based professionals, performed by 60 GreeneLand kids in the Catskill Middle School auditorium.

------*The reopening (softly, no fanfare, but big turnouts) in Athens of Stewart House (aka The Athens Hotel Bistro), with new bosses (Reggie Young; Johnnie Moore), new menu, new staff, virtually new kitchen, fresh paint, fresh outlook…. Now open every night. 945-1357;

-------*The “Populist Barn Dance” (and/or “prom”) that rocked Jerad Aswegan’s barn in wriggling, waving, stomping support of the Athens Cultural Center and the Greene Arts Foundation.

------*Memorial Day ceremonies on Monday (parades of veterans, Reservists, fire trucks, law enforcers, Little Leaguers, scouts, Reservists, emergency responders, Masons, congregants, Elks, floats, bands, rockets; speeches) in Catskill, in Coxsackie, in Athens, in Greenville, in Cairo….

THIS TIME a lazy stay-at-home could miss

------*The big musical event at Hunter Mountain: Mountain Jam, Friday night through Sunday. Government Mule, Alison Krause, Union Station, Levon Helm among some 50 bands and performers on four stages.

*National Trails Day observance led, peripatetically, by Mountain Top Historical Society members, from Haines Falls headquarters at 9am Saturday (

*The tour of historic homes in Windham and thereabouts, organized by the Greene Conty Historical Society. Tickets ($25) and tour packets will be dispensed at the Civiic Center from 10am.

*The Antique Farm Machinery show in New Baltimore.

*(For the anything-but-lazy), Saturday morning's Spring Rush triathlon in Catskill (

*On Sunday, at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, readings by award-winning poet Joan Murray. Taking Thomas Cole's reverence for the landscape as the theme of the event, Ms. Murray will select poems--hers and Cole's--that celebrate the landscape and/or mourn its destruction. Admission to the reading is $7, or $5 for members. (

HONORED by GreeneLand’s Chamber of Commerce, Thursday night (6/3) at Anthony’s banquet hall in Leeds: Denise Kerrigan, of Zoom Flume water park and Country Place resort, as business woman of the year; Dr Robert Schneider, of Urgent Medical Care in Catskill, as business man of the year; Kaaterskill Care of Catskill, as non-profit of the year.

RECOGNIZED by the International Health, Racquet and Sports Club Association for—says The Daily Mail (6/3)—“having the most unique [sic] facility”: Snap Fitness center on Main Street in Catskill, run by Sandro Cagnin in what once was the First Baptist Church and subsequently was the Full Gospel Tabernacle. The tribute was based on photographs showing that patrons exercise while facing historic stained glass windows.

(BTW, the Snap Fitness facility may soon house a professional physical therapy practice).

JUDGMENT DAY. GreeneLand voters will have much to do on November 2 (general election day) as well as, perhaps, on September 14’s (primary elections day). Among decisions they render in the voting booth (Governor, U.S. Senators, State Comptroller, Attorney General, State Senator, Assembly member, county treasurer, coroner) will be that of choosing a successor to Daniel Lalor as county (and surrogate) judge. That decision, involving a ten-year term of office, could be hard but happy. It will be a matter of choosing between excellent candidates: Charles (“Chip”) Tailleur, who is chief assistant to the District Attorney, and David Woodin, Judge Lalor’s (and some predecessors’) chief law clerk.

Mr Tailleur’s name will appear on the Republican Party line. That designation follows his May 27 endorsement by GreeneLand’s Republican committee members, meeting in the county courthouse. Mr Tailleur won the endorsement after a contest with two other candidates: Ted Hilscher—lawyer, former prosecutor, historian—and Peter Margolius, veteran lawyer and Town of Catskill judge. According to The Daily Mail’s Colin DeVries, on the first round of voting at the Republican conclave in the county courthouse, Mr Hilscher led the field with 78 votes, while Mr Tailleur received 74 and Judge Margolius received 17. On the second round, Mr Tailleur won the contest with 85 votes to Mr Hilscher’s 81). Mr Hilscher and Mr Margolius congratulated Mr Tailleur and praised his aptitude for the job.

------At the Democratic conclave on the same night, at Lange's Groveside resort, Mr Woodin won the judicial nomination without a contest after a previously announced candidate, Edward Kaplan of Hunter, withdrew his name from consideration. According to The Daily Mail’s Susan Campriello, Mr Kaplan said he intends to seek judicial office later, when in four years the other sitting county judge, George Pulver Jr, reaches retirement age.

STILL UNEXPLAINED, after a “hearing” conducted by county legislators, is the fact that gasoline prices in GreeneLand persistently exceed prices in neighboring counties. As reported in The Daily Mail (6/3), the legislators invited representatives of the eight companies that distribute motor fuel wholesale to local stations to offer insights on the subject. All declined. An independent dealer, Joe Berlin of West Coxsackie, did appear, and talked about price shaping at the time deliveries are made, about the importance of volume to dealers’ income, and about distance from distribution centers in Albany and Newburgh. ( But GreeneLand’s busiest stations are not always the cheapest. And our most remote stations, in thinly populated locations, aren’t always the priciest. If it’s a case of collusion, how do they do it? Anyhow, what steps can the legislators and/or citizens take in order to achieve to equity? Send suggestions. We will pool them.

WHO’S YOUR DADDY? A Greene County judge has ruled that a DNA test cannot be used by a mother who denies that the man listed on her child’s birth certificate is really the father. Angela Meads was living with George Collins at the time when she gave birth to a girl. Soon thereafter they broke up, but he got a court order granting him visitation rights, and he paid child support. She contended, however, that he could not claim paternal rights because he was not really the father; the real one was a man who had fathered two of her other three children. In support of her position she invoked a new State law that seemingly gave DNA precedence over what appears on birth certificates. Judge George Naylor ruled against the applicability of that rule of paternity. In Greene County, Missouri.

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