Friday, February 6, 2009

News That Matters - February 6, 2009 - Things To Do Edition

News That Matters
Brought to you by PlanPutnam.Org

Good Friday Morning,

Shopping Putnam: My car problems were resolved through the purchase of a 2005 Jeep Liberty a couple of weeks back. I bought the car with some trepidation from a used car lot, something I have never done before. So far the experience has been pretty good.

The car came from Putnam Auto Sales, a small, unprepossessing lot on old Route 6 behind Put Plaza owned by Luis Carranza. The staff was as helpful as they could be, had the car ready on time and the paperwork in order. And when the check engine light came on the other day, they organized a repair right away with no hassles. Thanks to Andrew, Ulysses, Brian and Andrew for making the experience a good one. And if you go there, tell them I sent you.

As expected, last evening the County Legislature voted 6-3 to approve the lease agreement for Tilly Foster Farm. The meeting ran way late, too late for me to make my class at Arts on the Lake so I must publicly apologize to my instructor, the remarkable Lora Lee Ecobelli, and my class partner for not being there.

The three Legislators who were brave enough to vote in favor of fiscal oversight and responsibility were Tony Fusco, Sam Oliverio and my personal hero, Dan Birmingham. You owe them a debt of gratitude.

At one point during the rather extended discussion, Legislative Chair Tony Hay was trying to explain how the cost to taxpayers would be zero. He said that we're currently spending $150k a year at the farm and that if we leased the farm for $1 that would somehow make the $150k disappear. In other words, you give me $150k and I give you $1 and we're even. <Jeff reaches into his pocket and finds a greenback.> Anyone want to take me up on that?

I have to confess that I'm going to make a very bad politician. As hard as I tried I simply could not allow myself to believe that if the lease - as presented last evening with substantive changes for the worse - was not signed that the farm would close, the animals would be sold off for medical experiments and Roman Legions would salt the land. At least that was the impression given by those who voted for it and several in the audience actually held this belief or something close enough to it. Why can't I suspend normal belief systems like they can?

Anyway, I wish the Farm well and hope it succeeds as everyone does, but I also hope that if it runs into trouble you won't mind picking up the collective tab - for that's what you'll have to do according to the Lease.

There's an awful lot going on this weekend and I hope you're all quite flexible for you're not going to want to miss some of the events, many of which overlap. Tough decisions are going to have to be made here!

PS: Rebecca, I'll write soon. I promise.

As always, some of the entries come from Manna Jo Green's monthly events calendar. We love her.


Jam for Karl

With Spontaneous Combustion, Big Eric & the Budget Crunch with Chance Browne, Charlie Karp, Matt Rae Trio, Tim DeHuff and others. Edmond Town Hall, 45 Main St., Newtown. Fri., Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. $29-33, (203) 426-4285, More info here.

Phoenicia Phirst Phriday

7:30PM - A community performance café at the Arts Upstairs Gallery, 60 Main St., Phoenicia, featuring Kurt Henry and Cheryl Lambert, The Jesse Janes (formerly The Cover Girlz) and an open mic, $3 donation,, 845-688-9453


Garrison Hike
Hike approximately 9 miles from Garrison train station along the Hudson around Arden Point, approach Castle Rock and South Sugarloaf to Osborne Loop. Bring appropriate footgear. Inclement weather/bad road conditions may cancel.  Meet 10:06 train at south end of Metro-North station in Garrison.

Roundtable with Assemblywoman Sandy Galef

From 10 to 12 noon, Sandy Galef, our state Assembly person, will hold a town meeting at the Putnam Valley Library, Main Floor Meeting Room.  The meeting is open to all questions regarding local issues that affect our community including funding for schools.

A Benefit Concert for the PV Food Pantry

From 2:00 to 9:00 pm - At the Putnam Valley High School Performing Arts Center 146 Peekskill Hollow Road Putnam Valley NY. Admission is $10 for an all day pass or $5 to watch a single performance. Live Music, Art Show, Activities, Raffles and the WHUD Prize Wheel. Performers include:  "The Accidental Standards" with special guest Michelle LeBlanc, "The Kitchen Table Band", Peter Sphinx, "Cal", "Perpetrator", "A Few Too Many", "The Swamptones."

Auditions for Six Short Plays

2 to 5 PM - In preparation for Shorts on the Lake, a program of six short plays, each involving two performers in an age range of 16 to 70, to be presented April 3, 4 and 5 at the Lake Carmel Cultural Center, Arts on the Lake announces auditions for actors. Director Tony Howarth, who will be directing all six plays, will cast from both experienced and new actors. Each part is a strong one, but because of the length of the plays, the rehearsal requirements are flexible. Download this Document (MS Word) for more information. Repeats on Sunday, February 8th from 2 to 4 p.m. Same bat time. Same bat channel.

Town Hall Meeting on Health Care Reform

3PM - Senator Christopher Dodd and Congresman Chris Murphy are traveling the state on their "Connecticut Prescriptions for Change" town hall tour, and the next stop is this weekend in Danbury. We want to update you on the conversation that is occurring right now in Washington on how to fix our broken health care system, and we need to hear from you about how you think we should reform it. At the Westside Campus Center Ballroom, WESCON, Danbury.

A Concert Honoring Black History Month

8PM - Featuring: Alvin Bell and Donica Bryer with other great musicians from Beacon, NY at the Howland Library. $8 suggested donation. For information: Call the Howland Center  845-831-4988


"Free-A-Tree" Invasive Vine/Shrub Cutting & Saw Mill River Clean-up
9:30am to 12:30pm 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).
Hike Locust Grove
1 pm  Easy hike at Locust Grove The Samuel Morse Historic Site Poughkeepsie.  Leader: Beth Willis 845-373-8202. New trails and old with hilltop and riverside views of the Hudson; broad paths in a mixed hardwood forest. Inclement weather cancels. Call Beth to register.

The Hudson: America's River - Lecture by Fran Dunwell

2:00 PM Location: Alice Desmond and Hamilton Fish Library, Route 9D, Garrison. Free. Drawing on the material in her recently-published book The Hudson: America's River, Dunwell recounts how the Hudson powered the growth of the country?s greatest industrial and financial empire and also produced leading American artists, writers, engineers and environmentalists. Her dramatic tales bring to life the stories of visionary people who change the direction of our national history even today, inspired by their deep relationship with the river. Using slides of Hudson River School paintings and period engravings, she captures the spirit of the river through the eyes of its many admirers. She makes the case for conserving the Hudson as a source of creative inspiration and as a crucial link in the web of life that supports the human and natural community. Copies of The Hudson: America's River will be available for purchase. All royalties from sale of the book are being donated to conservation of the river.

Into the Future:

Wednesday, February 11th

6:30-9:00 pm  Hudson Valley Green Drinks networking session for people in the environmental fields, sustainably-minded and eco-curious. February's event at Chill Wine Bar at 173 Main St., Beacon. $5 at the door. Bring business cards.  (845) 454-6410
Thursday, February 12th
8:00 - 9:30 am HRWA Omelette Series:  Foundry Cove Restoration - Eric Lind, Director of the Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Sanctuary. From 1952 to 1979, Foundry Cove, located along the east shore of the Hudson River in Putnam County New York, was the recipient of contaminants from a battery factory operating in the nearby village of Cold Spring. Over time, high levels of heavy metals accumulated in the sediments, earning the cove the dubious distinction of being "the most cadmium polluted site in the world".  Listed as a Superfund site in 1983, the area was remediated in the 1990's and is still recovering from the contamination and clean-up.  Eric Lind, the Director of the Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Sanctuary will provide an overview of the site's remarkable natural and industrial history and its current condition and share his experiences working at the mouths of tributaries to the Hudson.  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.   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

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