Friday, January 2, 2009

News That Matters - January 2, 2009 - Things to do Edition

News That Matters
Brought to you by PlanPutnam.Org

Good Friday Morning,

This morning the US steel industry came knocking on the doors of Congress seeking a piece of the bailout pie. They'd like to see the new President's stimulus package use $1 trillion worth of US steel in order to avoid bankruptcy.

What we've seen take place since this summer is the largest transfer of wealth in history - from the working class to the rich - a mad dash by the elite for what's left of the American Empire.
Look, my little business is suffering too. I pay taxes and insurance. I'm registered and bonded with the county. I haven't mismanaged my finances and I have not taken a bonus nor do I have benefits of any kind. No health insurance, no vacation days. And yet, here I am - like many of you - facing an uncertain future, unable to see future bills paid and no where to turn for affordable loans or financial assistance. Can I turn to Congress and ask for help? Can you or your small business? No, no we cannot. Instead, we see our taxes increased. The monies Congress holds, though they may be ours, are not intended for you or me but are heading off towards the bank accounts of the well-to-do who, and let's face it, could stand a little discipline and humility.

What makes it hurt even more is that those taxes we've been paying are going to assist corporations and their well paid management staffs, staffs who have benefits and vacation days and bonuses and who have mismanaged their businesses to such a point that they come, hat in hand, to the First National Taxpayer Bank of America teller window and find the red carpet spread out before them.

Yet, the thing that amazes me most is that we're doing it without so much as a peep; not a rally, not a demonstration. We're not burning CEO's in effigy nor demanding that Visa or Amex (both recipients of taxpayer largess) lower their interest rates to something less than biblical proportions, and we're not storming Congressional offices with pitchforks and torches - as we should be. We're going along like the good little sheeple we have become.

It seems that Americans have lost their revolutionary spirit and learned nothing from our past. The question I'm always asking (and not getting any answers to) is: What will it take to get you angry enough to do something? I'm genuinely curious.

It was cold Wednesday night and that little snowstorm created quite a mess
. Based on the amount of traffic on my road, I decided to play it safe and stay in. Other than the Town's plow, there were but a few cars that braved Miller Hill Road between 6 and midnight where normally several score would have made the trip. I hope the night found you all safe and well - and warm!

Last Friday afternoon I attended a Boxing Day party in Lake Carmel during which we gathered 5 cartons of canned and dried goods that will be donated to the Community Action Program's food pantry. I'm sure they're still looking for more.

Here's what's new at the NtM Blog:

And remember, you no longer need an "account" at the web log in order to comment on posted stories and, as you can see from the list, there's much there that does not make it into this daily NtM column. So, go on over and look around. You might just be surprised at what you find.

My jeep has started making strange clunking noises again and strange clunking noises are never good.  According to my mechanic strange clunking noises are never inexpensive either. Therefore, I'm looking for a car/wagon or light truck. A (near) freebie, of course. It should run and be street legal. Other than that, I don't care if it has a radio or if the passenger side door opens or if it's sporting a McCain/Palin bumper sticker.

There's not all that much going on this weekend as most rest up from the previous two weeks of merry-making but I'm sure you'll find something. As usual, stay out of the malls, don't even dare to turn on the TV! and Get out for a hike or something similar good for the mind, the body and the soul.


Acoustic Music For Your Soul. 8-11 pm 
Join Linda Richards, Hudson Valley songstress, Hudson River puzzle-maker and education specialist, in an evening of lovely acoustic music at the Muddy Cup Coffee House, Main Street, New Paltz.


Quadrantid Meteor Shower

The annual Quadrantid meteor shower peaks early this morning when Earth enters a stream of debris from shattered comet 2003 EH1. The timing of the encounter favors observers in western North America and across the Pacific Ocean who could see dozens to hundreds of meteors during the dark hours before sunrise this Saturday morning. Visit for a sky map and more information. The Quadrantid meteors appear to radiate from a region of the sky once marked by the now-defunct constellation Quadrans Muralis from which the shower takes its name and now near the more familiar Ursa Major (containing the ‘Plough’).


Vanderbilt Estate Walk - 1PM

Enjoy crisp winter air and great river views on an easy loop hike of Vanderbilt estate.  Loop following the lower and then upper carriageways. Meet 1:00 pm. Call leader. Bweth Willis, for meeting place inclement weather cancels. 845-373-8202  

Auditions for Veronica’s Room - Brewster Theater Company - 2PM

The elderly couple was so amazed that Susan looked like the long dead Veronica.  When they ask her to come home and pretend to be Veronica to make a dying woman happy, it seemed like such a small thing to ask. But suddenly things aren’t going the way Susan expects and she suddenly remembers why her mother told her not to talk to strangers …

Veronica’s Room written by celebrated playwright Ira Levin is a totally absorbing spider’s web entwining fantasy and reality.

Audition Details: Dates/Times: Sunday, January 4th, 2-4pm and Wednesday, January 7th, 7:30-9pmat the Brewster Public Library, 79 Main Street Brewster, NY 10509

Into the Future:

Monday, January 5th

7PM - Fishkill Creek Watershed Committee meeting at the East Fishkill Public Library on Route 376 in Hopewell Junction.
Thursday, January 8, 2009:  8:00 - 9:30 am
HRWA Omelette Series:  Speaker TBD
On the second Thursday of the month, from 8-9:30 am, join fellow water resource professionals, scholars and regulators for breakfast, learning and networking at the Plaza Diner in New Paltz.  Each Watershed Omelette will feature a 20-30 minute presentation by someone working on water resources issues in the Hudson Valley, followed by open discussion and networking time.  The Hudson River Watershed Alliance is organizing these get-togethers to improve communication and awareness between those committed to better understanding management of our watershed resources.  Participants are responsible for purchasing their own breakfast from the menu; please note that there is a $4 minimum.  If you plan to attend, please contact Katy Dunlap, Coordinator of the Hudson River Watershed Alliance, at (845) 454-7673 x116 or Location: Plaza Diner (Stop&Shop plaza), New Paltz
Saturday, January 10, 5pm
Vanishing Characters: "The Last of the Mohicans" and the (Re)Creation of Race and Culture in Early New York, with Christian Crouch, Assistant Professor of History at Bard College

Join hosts Jody Sayler and Christy Guzzetta to kick off a year-long Quadricentennial lecture series. Guests can enjoy a 20% discount at Riverview Restaurant after the event.

The lecture begins with one of our country's most enduring narratives, The Last of the Mohicans, and a clip from the 1992 film. Professor Crouch uses this iconic story to draw a provocative picture of ethnic diversity in the colonial Hudson River Valley. The event is free to members and donors, and $5 per person for the public.
Saturday, January 10 - 9:30am to 12:30pm
“Free-A-Tree” Invasive Vine/Shrub Cutting & Saw Mill River Clean-up. Join the Saw Mill River Coalition/Groundwork Hudson Valley. Invasive vines are killing the trees that protect the river’s banks.  Garbage is crowding out wildlife and polluting the river.  We’ll have garbage bags, gloves, and vine-cutting tools, but we’d appreciate it if you brought your own vine-cutting tools and gloves.  We ALWAYS have someone on hand who can teach you how to identify invasive vines in our area and how to cut them. The primary vines we cut are porcelain berry and oriental bittersweet, and the invasive shrub is multiflora rose. Wear long sleeve shirts and sturdy shoes (no flip flops).  Children under age 16 require adult supervision.  Community Service credits available for high school students. Contact:, 914-375-2151, and cell on event day@ 914-815-5872. Check our website at for up-to-date and event day weather cancellation information.  Location:  Site: Farragut Avenue (Exit 13 going NORTH on the Saw Mill River Parkway), Hastings-on-Hudson. Meet in parking lot just off the exit (by the South County Trailway).
Sunday, January 11th – 1:00 PM
Putnam County Land Trust Program – Ice Pond Hike - Learn about the history of the ice harvesting industry in our region by sleuthing the ruins of the past.  Explore the ruins and foundations of the Ice Storage house and other accessory buildings at the Ice Pond Conservation Area in Patterson.  Along the way, naturalist Beth Herr will talk about the flora and fauna that edges the trail. Once at the pond, discover life under the ice of this almost 100-acre glacial lake that feeds the critical Towners arm of the Great Swamp.  The hike is approximately two miles and includes a steep descent and climb.  The Preserve may be reached as follows:  From Route 312 turn onto Ice Pond Road.  Continue 1.2 miles to the Conservation Area on the right.  Call 228-5635 for information, registration and to be on call list in case weather changes plans or cancels.  For more information on the Conservation Area, visit the website at

Tuesday, January 20th 7-9PM
Rural Inaugural Ball Hosted by the Putnam Valley Democratic Committee YMCA Camp Combe, 684 Peekskill Hollow Road. Refreshments, music, dance and merry making. Ball gowns and tuxes strictly optional. Come as you are, or as you'd like to be! RSVP to:

Friday January 23 - 7:30 p.m. 

Pete Seeger: The Power of Song: Benefit with music by Tao Rodriguez-Seeger, Sarah Lee Guthrie, Johnny Irion and special guests, followed by film showing and Q & A with film-makers at Riverspace, 119 Main St., Nyack.  All seats $30.  Proceeds will help pay legal expenses for Clearwater to defend its Environmental Justice contention regarding the relicensing of Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant for another 20 years.  Tickets can be purchased by calling Riverspace at 845-348-1880 or from  (go to calendar).  For more info: 845-454-7673 x113.
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