Friday, February 13, 2009

News That Matters - February 13, 2009 - Things To Do Edition

News That Matters
Brought to you by PlanPutnam.Org

Good Friday Morning,

Patterson Crossing. Patterson Crossing. Patterson Crossing. No matter how many times you say it, it never slips as sweetly off the tongue as, "No Friggin' Way."

Insite Engineering brought what looked to be the entire male crew of their shop to the Kent Planning Board meeting last evening and while Stormwater Consultant Bruce Barber and Engineer Mike Soyka were joined by several Planning Board members in grilling Insite's Jeff Contelmo, his gum chewing increased in intensity until the room all but buzzed with nervousness. The board had questions and Insite had answers... maybe later at some other point in time and if they can mine English grammar for just the right obfuscations and slights-of-mouth which would make it appear the answers were germane to the questions. They're the best at it but they haven't been up against the Town of Kent with an issue this important.

While the town's residents, boards and experts were cool, calm, confident and collected, Insite's staff was not.

Most of the discussion centered around stormwater issues, measuring the rate of flow of untreated stormwater coming from Patterson into Kent. At one point Mr. Contelmo confused the audience by referring to 'Kent' and the 'Lake Carmel Community' as one in the same but he was referring to the part of the Lake Carmel community (Concord Drive) which is in Patterson. Why? A passive slip of the tongue? Normally, but in this case it was to blame "Kent" for stormwater Patterson Crossing had to mitigate as part of the project... like they were doing us a favor.

One question asked by a board member was about other 400,000+ sq ft shopping malls that had only one point of entry and egress as does Patterson Crossing (PC). Mr. Contelmo mentioned the Highlands and inferred that Independence Way was that single point - and stuck to it. When someone mentioned that there were two entrances to The Highlands Center Jeff was caught and fell back on semantics, insisting there was only one.

Using Jeff's logic, PC also has only one point and that's Route 311 so there's there's no winner on that argument. But if we accept that both Route 311 and Independence Way are highways, which they are, then it's clear that PC only has it's single entry point while the Highlands does, indeed, have two: one when you first come in and the second at the entrance to the diner and Kohls with both meeting the highway. If one of those accesses are blocked, there's always the other. If the entrance road to PC becomes blocked there ain't no way out. For that reason alone the application should be denied. There is, on the plans, an emergency exit which ends on Fair Street in Patterson but part of that runs through Kent and both towns are looking at the plans with nothing approved on either side. Therefore, there is only one open exit and the other, if approved, would need to be opened by emergency services and that could take critical time.

Insite believes that these types of semantic arguments are going to win the day. They even call PC a "redevelopment project" in order to avoid stricter environmental regulations usually required in the East of Hudson designated watershed.

Nevertheless, the town's Stormwater inspector said the FEIS was incomplete and Engineer Mike Soyka insisted many questions he had asked were not answered and that numbers in the FEIS were outdated and had not been properly updated. Insite stuck to their guns but the meeting ended with a final score of Kent 1 - PC 0.

You can probably expect another four-color brochure espousing the tax benefits of PC in your mailboxes soon. When you get it, toss it in your fireplace and enjoy your savings as the brochure throws off about 2 cents worth of heat. I have a feeling this is going to be around long enough to be a campaign issue this year.

There is life after Patterson Crossing and here's some of it:


Songwriters Circle - My Furry Valentine

Singer/Songwriters Kati Mac, Mike Coffey, Peter Calo and Steve Kirkman present an intimate evening of songs and stories in Nashville circle style entitled My Furry Valentine this Friday, February 13, at 8 p.m.  Five-time Emmy Award-nominated Kati Mac invited Coffey, Calo and Kirkman, who have collectively performed with Carly Simon, James Taylor, Richie Havens, Willie Nelson, Jefferson Starship and Queen Latifah (Full biographical information will be available in programs at the concert), to join her in this evening before Valentine's Day program.  Because the performers also support "furry" friends, they will accept donations for The Putnam Humane Society at the Concert. Admission is $10 ($9 for Arts on the Lake members). Reservations may be made at


Taxi to the Dark Side

Film  Showing 7:00 - 9:00 pm at the Poughkeepsie Friends Meeting House 249 Hooker Ave., Poughkeepsie, NY   12603 In 2002, a Kabul taxi driver named Dilawar took three passengers for a ride, and never returned home. This riveting documentary murder mystery explores how and why this Afghan civilian died while in US Custody. Academy Awards Oscar for Best Documentary. Sponsored by the Dutchess Peace Coalition And the Poughkeepsie Friends Meeting Contact: (845) 454-6431 or (845) 454-2870

Vance Gilbert

7:30 PM at Memorial United Methodist Church, 250 Bryant Ave, White Plains, NY 10605 Tickets: 17.50 in advance online; $20 @ the door; $15 @ door with student ID; children 6-12 $10. Doors open @ 6:30 PM; open seating; plenty of parking. Our trademark informal audience songfest begins at 6:45 pm. To order tickets before 7:30 am the day of the concert, log onto: Hosted by Walkabout Clearwater Coffeehouse. Contact: (914) 242-0374 or
Rebels on Film

8PM - Cine - Forum At The Bunker presents a series presenting works that feature film and television's most inspiring rebels against oppression and the system. In memory of the recent passing of one of TV and film's indomitable rebels, Patrick McGoohan, this first installment of 'Rebels on Film' features three episodes of McGoohan's classic brainchild THE PRISONER series for television. 15 Gage Street Kingston, NY - Free Admission


Earl's Chimney

Putnam County is home to near 20,000 acres of permanently preserved open spaces just waiting for your discovery. For today I'll highlight just one hike that almost anyone can do, a lazy woods road walk past an old dam, a wonderful wetland, a cool white pine forest, culminating in a killer view over the Hudson River from the Gap to Bear Mountain with all the defenses for West Point in view.

A full description with maps and images is here.

This is an easy hike of just over a mile each way with a slow but steady climb to the summit.

This trail begins on Highland Road in Philipstown directly across from the Garrison Fish and Game club. For easy navigation always take the RIGHT fork on the way up - you can't go wrong this way.

Follow the trail upwards, as it gently climbs above a small gorge which is on your right and seek the remains of an old dam.

At the first fork bear right (always bear right!). The left fork heads off to Catfish Pond.

Our trail now passes through a beautiful wetland and climbs a slight hill wherein it meets another fork at a hemlock/pine glade. The left fork heads into the park and eventually comes out at Dennytown road. Stay right here.

The trail now descends through a wetland on your right with a dry hill on your left, then begins its climb up the ridge. You will soon reach another fork where you stay to the right. (the left fork heads down to the Osborn residence, and is private property.

The climb now is easy and quickly tops out along in a xeric landscape. It winds a bit here and there and woon there's a hint of a view through the forest before you. With another short upwards walk you'll come out onto the bare rock that signals the end of our hike.

Follow your steps for the return being careful to make the appropriate turns.

Into The Future:

Thursday, February 19

10 AM - Mount Beacon Morning Ranger Hike, Beacon, Dutchess County. Depending on conditions, enjoy a challenging four-mile snowshoe trek or hike to Mount Beacon's summit for panoramic views of the Hudson Valley and a look at remains of the famous incline railway. Bring your own snowshoes (if there's sufficient snow) and wear clothing appropriate for the weather.  Contact: Anthony Coneski, 845 473 4440, ext. 273,

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