Friday, January 9, 2009

News That Matters - January 9, 2009 - Things to Do Edition

News That Matters
Brought to you by PlanPutnam.Org

Good Friday Morning,

The Putnam County Legislature has announced their committee assignments for the 2009 session. A list of those is posted here. There are some notable changes so it's worth checking out.

There are three new interesting articles posted to the NtM Web log:

Property Tax Reform Ramblings
PV - Out with the Old, In With the News
The Issues - With Sam Davis

Remember, you don't need an account to read anything nor to comment on posted stories, only to create a new post. Check it out!

If you're reading the funny papers this morning, the top story in the Putnam edition is that Assemblyman Ball is on a crusade to stop the sale of 'bushmeat'. This preemptive move on the Assemblyman's part is apparently an attempt to prevent New Yorkers from eating the current President or any of his relatives, once he's out of office. If successful, Inauguration Day parties schedule around the state will have to find an alternative dish for their main course.

If you're taking a hike this weekend (and you should) Minnewaska State Park is Still Closed and many West Hudson trails are still blocked due to previous storms; Trail Volunteers Needed! Minnewaska State Park Preserve is still closed as of this writing (get update), a result of the mid-December ice storm. Many west of Hudson trails above 700' elevation continue to be blocked by fallen trees and branches. Hard-hit parks include Storm King, Schunemunk, and Black Rock Forest. Maintainers in these areas are urged to check their trails. If you need help, for example from a chainsaw crew, contact your trail supervisor or West Hudson Regional Representative Larry Wheelock.

There's another snowstorm on the way with expected accumulations predicted from between 5 to 8 inches. The storm should start tomorrow (Saturday) at around 3PM and impact the area through Sunday morning before pulling east. Temps will be in the mid-20's making the snow light and fluffy and easy to remove once it all comes to a stop on Sunday. The temps will then drop into the lower teens for the overnight into Monday.

Standard PlanPutnam Storm Rules apply: if you've an elderly or infirm neighbor, don't even ask, just help shovel them out. If your power goes out, there's did too so invite them over.

Lastly, I'd like to take a moment to publicly thank everyone who helped PlanPutnam and News That Matters during 2008. Your support was wonderful, needed and much appreciated. For those of you who forgot, there's still time! Click here to find out how to keep this column coming to your email box.


20th Anniversary Celebration With Pete Seeger and Friends

Join David Bernz, Travis Jeffrey, Magpie, Tao Rodriguez Seeger, Sarah Underhill and The Walkabout Clearwater Chorus at a new location this month only -- Walkabout Clearwater Coffeehouse at White Plains High School, 550 North Street, White Plains, NY - Audience songfest at 6:45 pm. $35 at door / $30.00 on line / children 6-12 $10/ $25 student ID. Advance Tickets at


Hike to the Mt. Beacon Firetower
Hike up Mt. Beacon Gateway to the fire tower. Meet in Gateway parking lot @ 9:00am. If interested, and would like to go up ealier or for more info contact John Bisson:

Alternative Energy & Financing Forum: At 11 AM. Presented by HHLT & Putnam Valley Sustainable Energy Taskforce. At the Putnam Valley Grange Hall Adams Corners (Intersection of Mill St. & Peekskill Hollow Road) Putnam Valley, NY

Learn more about geothermal and solar energy and how financing incentives, offered by NYSERDA and other agencies, can make installing an alternative energy system in your home or business more affordable.

Featured presenters: Pat Courtney , Mid-Hudson Energy Smart Communities (NYSERDA), Craig Roffman , Altren Consulting, Steve Burke , Burke Electric, Jimm Boorom , Boorom Facility Solutions & Backbone Systems

For more information contact Hudson Highlands Land Trust: Phone: 845-424-3358 E-mail: Website:

Michelle LeBlanc Trio

From 7:30 to 10:30 pm at the Division Street Grill ~ 26 North Division Street, Peekskill NY. Call 914-739-6380 for dinner reservations or visit Featuring Steve Lamattina on guitar and Bill Conway on bass


Hike to the Mt. Beacon Firetower
Hike up Mt. Beacon Gateway to the fire tower. Meet in Gateway parking lot @ 8:00am. Organized hike with Hudson Valley Hikers for more info contact James Burns:
Hike Ice Pond with Naturalist Beth Herr
At 1 PM. 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

Act 3: With Mike Latini, Larry Eidelman and Jim Nowak
This GREAT! free musical event starts at 2:30 PM at the Desmond-Fish Library at the intersection of Routes 403 and 9D, Garrison, New York. Call: 845-424-3020. Singer/Songwriter gig. All their own tunes, etc. If he takes requests, ask for "Clones!"

Film Showing: “Taxi to the Dark Side” at 4:15PM at the  Howland Cultural Center 477 Main & Tioranda St , Beacon NY

We will be gathering on that day to respond to the call from Amnesty International to meet on the anniversary of Guantanamo Bay prison, to support the ending of torture, the closing of Guantanamo and related places, and discuss the issues of detention and rendition. We will have petitions available to sign to President-elect Obama, our Senators and Congressmembers.

“Taxi to the Dark Side” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian) Director Gibney, who won awards for Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, also served as executive producer of No End in Sight.

Cosponsored by: MidHudson Progressive Alliance; local Amnesty International; Dutchess for Obama; Philipstown for Democracy, Fishkill Democratic Committee, Beacon Democratic Committee Beacon Sloop Club. Free admission though contributions are more than welcome. For info: Connie Hogarth  or Angela Valles

Into the Future:

Thursday, January 15

Food Matters & World Peace Diet: the Film. 6:30 -8:30 p.m.

Food Matters is a feature length documentary film that offers "an informative look into what's wrong with the modern food supply and why we must act to change it."  Discover natural alternatives to common ailments, and learn how to choose the most ideal foods for optimum health. . Light snack provided. Following the film, Shanti Urreta will briefly introduce the influential book, World Peace Diet, Eating for Spiritual Health and Social Harmony by Will Tuttle, PhD. Copies of the book will be available for purchase ay $13/copy. RSVP to Mahopac Library (845) 628-2009.
Meeting: Philipstown For Democracy at 7PM in the Desmond Fish Library at Rte 403 and Rte 9D in Garrison
P4D will discuss how to help get healthcare for all enacted. What are the important issues and compelling arguments – both for healthcare for all and other health issues? Will healthcare for all help jumpstart the economy? We will focus in particular on HR 676, which, if enacted, would provide necessary medical services to all Americans without co-payments or other fees at the time of service. We will come up with a strategy to lobby Congressman Hall on HR 676 - so far he has not signed onto this bill. No charge, but contributions to cover expenses are appreciated. Questions – call 917-273-0808
Saturday, January 17 

Immigration Strategy Workshop 9AM - Noon
To determine how we can transform our communities into places where all residents can live and work without fear in a country that welcomes immigrants with open arms.  The group intends to set up meetings with various state officials. Meet with the Hudson Valley Community Coalition (of immigration groups) at the offices of WESPAC, 17 Marble Ave. in Pleasantville. Info: Betsy Palmieri, Executive Director of the Coalition at 914-977-3295

Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Inauguration Day Events

Carmel: 6-9 PM at the Lantern Restaurant, 728 Route 6 Mahopac. Hors d'oeuvres, cash bar, live music, 50/50 raffle, etc., Suggested donation, $10. Call 621-3791 for more information.

Patterson: 6-8 PM Spaghetti Dinner with all the fixings at the Patterson Rec Center, 65 Front Street, Patterson. Suggested donation $9. Republicans are also invited. Call 878-6169 or 878-4352 for more information.

Putnam Valley: 6-9 PM 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:

Wednesday, January 21
Kent CAC: The January meeting will be held at 7:00 PM at the Town Center. AGENDA 1) Chairman’s Report: Membership/Hillcrest Commons/ ELLA workshop. 2) Mead Farm Project. 3) Highland Historic Preservation - Tom Maxson. 4) Stone Chambers. 5) Calendar. 6) Other (Possible: Planning Board/Sustainable Communities 7) Next Meeting
Friday, January 23
Keeping Energy Dollars in the Hudson Valley - Update on Biomass. From 9:30am – 12:30pm at Ulster County BOCES on US Route 32 in New Paltz, NY. The forum will offer updates on several local biomass projects around the Hudson River Valley. Local businesses using biomass for energy, processing technology for heat energy, growing biomass crops and NYS research and development updates on biomass. The forum will conclude with a general discussion on challenges and opportunities ahead for biomass energy development.
The forum is sponsored by Lower Hudson-Long Island Resource Conservation & Development Council, USDA and Cornell Cooperative Extension in the Hudson Valley. More information will follow. For cost recovery purposes, a $10 per person fee for this program is requested. To register, please call 845 677 8223x115. For inquiries contact Joe Heller; or Les Hulcoop:
Saturday, January 24th
Brewster Theater Company 2009 Annual Meeting & Dinner 6PM in St. Andrew's Church, 26 Prospect St. , Brewster. Join our 2009 Annual Meeting to hear about our successful 2008 season and our exciting plans for 2009! 6-7pm: Buffet Dinner. 7-8pm: Annual Meeting. The buffet dinner will feature delectable and free food provided by BTC board members Log onto or call 845-598-1621 for more information. Snow Date is January 31st.

Tuesday, January 27th

Discover the Actor Inside - An Introduction to Acting:
Instructor: Lora Lee Ecobelli

Hosted by Arts on the Lake
Instructor: Lora Lee Ecobelli
Day/Time: Tuesdays from 7:30-9:30 pm
Dates: 8 weeks – January 27th – March 17th
Fee: $240, $230 members

This class is the first step to building a solid foundation in the art of acting. By using theatre games and improvisation, students will learn basic theatre skills in a supportive, creative and fun environment. In addition, there will be further development of the actor's physical resources of voice and movement, concentration and working as a unit. Scene study will be explored using classic works by playwrights such as Shakespeare, The Greeks, Miller, O’Neal, Chekov, Williams, Albee and others. Students will track a character's journey through a scene and learn to further articulate the essential elements of characterization. Rehearsal with a scene partner outside of class is required. The class will culminate in a scene night open to the public.
Thursday, January 29th
Samba Drumming Workshop:
Instructor: John Arrucci

Hosted by Arts on the Lake
Day/Time: Thursdays from 7:00-8:30 pm*
Dates: 4 weeks – Janurary 29th – February 19th
Fee: $120, Members $110
Description: Participants will play Samba percussion instruments from Brazil (Tamborim, Agogo, Reco-Reco, Ganza and Surdo) and experience the joy of ensemble drumming. Instruction will address proper technique, phrasing and the importance of listening. Beginners are welcome. Instruments will be provided. Master musician John Arrucci's work is documented on over 50 recordings, scores for feature films and music for television. He has been on the music faculty of Princeton University since 1986. To learn more about John, visit:  *This Class will be held at an off site studio

Saturday, January 31

Learn Trail Maintenance Skills in Westchester Ward Pound Ridge is having a Trail Maintenance Mini-Course on Saturday, January 31, 9:30am at the Trailside Nature Museum. For more information, contact Brenda Bates, Park Manager at 914.864.7317

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