Friday, May 1, 2009

News That Matters - May 1, 2009 - Things To Do Edition

News That Matters
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Good Friday Morning,

By definition, every flu season we're faced with a pandemic but we never hear the word used in that context. Every flu season about 36,000 people die and yet we don't see the media coverage with colored charts and interactive websites. But if you can't get enough of the sensationalism of the event, point your browser here and here and be enthralled by the facts without the talking heads and 'experts' pulled from the halls of every medical school on the planet. And, for a bland, scientific approach without the hype, click here.

This weekend Madison Square Garden in NYC is hosting a 90th birthday concert for Pete Seeger with a star-studded list of virtually every musician who has put fingers to a guitar's fretboard. If anyone has tickets they cannot use I can use them for you.

If you've just recently paid your income taxes or owed taxes or fought with the IRS over this or that - and didn't win because the IRS stands above the Constitution, go to your Netflix account and add "Harry's War" to your queue. You'll be glad you did.

Kent Manor...
On April 14th, Riverkeeper released their comments to the Army Corps of Engineers regarding wetlands permits the developer is seeking. (You can read a copy here). Riverkeeper sums up it's comments in this way:
"Because the proposed wetland fills and grossly inadequate mitigation plan will adversely impact wetlands and the drinking water for nine million New Yorkers, the protection of these critically important resources must outweigh their utilization for private gain. Therefore, and for all of the foregoing reasons, the Corps must deny the referenced application for a permit pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 USC 1344)."
Listen, I don't get it. I drive around visiting people's houses and so few of you have vegetable gardens. What's wrong with you? There's nothing in the world you can do that is more satisfying than sitting down to dinner with vegetables harvested just a few hours ago.
What, you don't have the time? Hogwash! Aside from an initial few hours to get the ground dug up and fenced, it takes no more than 15-20 minutes a day to take care of the thing. Less, if it's small. And let me tell you, it's a wonderful way to wind down from your day.

You don't have a Green Thumb? Balderdash! You're only killing things because you're either over- or under-watering. Here, we'll fix it:
Stick your finger in the soil about 1" down. Is the dirt on your finger a little moist? Good. If it's dry, water. If it's wet, either it just rained or you're overdoing it. Cut back on the watering and do the test every other day.
You don't have the space? Jimminy! Yes you do. Get yourself a few large clay pots. In one, plant a few herbs you like. In another, put a tomato plant or two. (Cherry tomatoes are a good deal if you have kids.) In another, plant a pepper or two. Put some pansies in another. Pansies, aside form their moniker, are hardy and tough and smell nice in the hot summer air. Oh, plant some nasturtiums around the edges and let them droop over the sides. Both the flowers and leaves of are edible, offering a fresh peppery taste to your salad. There. You're done. 1 hour.

When I come knocking on your doors during the upcoming campaign season, after you ask me my views on this and that I'm going to be asking if you've planted a garden, so let's get going. Every home should have one.
Here's a special treat for you Tom Waits fans:

Correction: That's "nigh", not "neigh". Is everyone on Peekskill Hollow Road a grammarian?

If you're looking to take a hike this weekend (and after you get that garden in you should,) the New York/New Jersey Trail Conference maintains a website list of hiking clubs in the area. You can find that here.


Bonfire and Beltane celebration

8 pm - At Jeff's House in Kent Cliffs Don't let the wet(ish) weather stop you. Come celebrate the traditional first day of summer with a bonfire and party to keep the bad spirits away. Rain or shine or dark of night. Bring your own refreshments, good cheer and good friends for everyone and something to drum on.

Historically Walpurgisnacht is derived from various pagan spring customs. Bonfires were built to keep away the dead and chaotic spirits that were said to walk among the living then. This is followed by the return of light and the sun as celebrated during May Day.

The earliest May Day celebrations appeared in pre-Christian Europe, with the festival of Flora the Roman Goddess of flowers, the Walpurgis Night celebrations of the Germanic countries. It is also associated with the Gaelic Beltane.

In Irish mythology, the beginning of the summer season for the Tuatha Dé Danann and the Milesians started at Bealtaine. Great bonfires would mark a time of purification and transition, heralding in the season in the hope of a good harvest later in the year, and were accompanied with ritual acts to protect the people from any harm by Otherworldly spirits, such as the Aos Sí. Like the festival of Samhain, opposite Beltane on October 31 Beltane was also a time when the Otherworld was seen as particularly close at hand.

Standard rules apply: If you're drinking plan to camp or come with a tea-toattler who drives.
(Ed note: The size of the bonfire pictured above is not representative of what may actually occur. I wish we had the room for something like that!)


NY/NJ Trail Work

9:30 AM - Wonder Lake State Park -  Building a new trail, including trail clearing, side-hilling, and rock steps. No Previous Training Required! Please wear appropriate hiking attire and footgear, bring water and your lunch, and a pack. Tools are provided. Meet: Wonder Lake parking area on Ludingtonville Road (parallel to I-84, the park is between exits 17 and 18 ) Directions: Exit 17 off of I-84 (Ludingtonville Road). Head East on Ludingtonville Road (also called County Rte 43). The road will twist and turn. After approximately 2 miles, you will see the parking lot for Wonder Lake on your left. Contact Gary Haugland 845 642-1590 to RSVP.
This event repeats May 3rd, 9th, 30th and 31st.

"Food for Thought: Sculpture Installation by Dave Channon"

1PM - Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills - The opening day of an exhibit shown from May 2nd through June 14th. The artist will give a talk and host a special exhibition of his new paintings, and then lead a walking tour of his sculpture installation at 1:00pm. From the artist: "Can art advance the message of sustainable organic farming? On Saturday May 2 at 1 PM join Shandaken artist Dave Channon for a walking tour of his whimsical welded steel sculptures at Stone Barns outside Tarrytown in Westchester." Stone Barns is an 80 acre organic farm that was once a Rockefeller estate, and is now open to the public. Cost: Free. Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, 630 Pocantico Road, Pocantico Hills, NY 10591

Lake Oscawana Management Plan

1:30PM at Abele Park Green Congressman John Hall and representatives from Senator Charles Schumer's office along with represenatives from other state agencies such as the DEC, will be at Putnam Valley's Abele Park Green to discuss possible funding opportunities regarding the Lake Oscawana Management Plan. Lake Oscawana has been designated under the Clean Water Act as an impaired water body due to an overload of phosphate from numerous sources. Call the Supervisor's Office for more information:  845-526-2121

Cinderella - The Green Musical

At 3PM (Repeats on Sunday at 2PM) An Apple Tree Production - Where Recycling Meets Royalty. In this revision of the story, penned by Kent playright Chris Blossy and with music by Putnam Valley's Lew Zwick. Judy Allen is a Jewish Fairy Godmother and, with some notable roles reversed, Cinderella and the Prince meet for organic latte's at a recycling center. Okay, I made that up... well, maybe! Saturday at 3PM, Sunday at 2PM at the Cultural Center on Lake Carmel (the old firehouse) Admission $7 adults. $5 Children and Members. Visit Arts on the Lake for more information and to purchase tickets online.

Quadricentennial Walking Tour of the Village of Cold Spring

5 pm - Join hosts Jody Sayler and Christy Guzzetta for a Cold Spring Village walking tour and a sneak peek of the new Chancery building at the Chapel of Our Lady Restoration. This May we are bringing our popular Quadricentennial lecture series outdoors with Sayler, who is a museum trustee and a veteran walking tour guide. The event begins at the chancery for wine, light refreshments, and an exhibition on the Chapel Restoration's history. Guests will then follow Sayler on a walking tour that explores the effect that the Hudson River has had on the growth of Cold Spring. The tour winds through Market Street, Railroad Square, Main Street, Fair Street, and Kemble Avenue. This event will meet at the Chapel of Our Lady Restoration, 45 Market Street, Cold Spring. Admission is free for members and donors, and $5 for the general public. Space is limited; reservations are strongly suggested. Please call 845-265-4010 or email.


Hike to Hawk Rock

11AM - Whangtown Road (end) - the Kent CAC is sponsoring a hike into the DEP Horsepound Brook unit. They will pass through a pleasant wooded landscape graced by wild flowers and natural and man-made stone formations. The highlights include Hawk Rock, balancing rock,a colonial farm site, and several stone chambers. Meet at the end of Whangtown Road at 11:00 AM. A historical interpreter and a naturalist will accompany us. Bring lunch, extra beverage, and insect repellant. Wear good hiking shoes. The tour will take 3-4 hours and has been completed by hardy 6 year olds. This is a family hike to Kent's most picturesque area. Bring a camera. For further information contact George Baum 845 225-3942.

Love, Drums and Music

4:30 PM - A special fundraising event for Kazi Oliver at the Paramount in Peekskill. Kazi has touched so many lives with his spirit, his drumming, and his teaching. Now it is our turn to repay the favor and give something back to Kazi in the form of love, drums, and music and by helping to raise important funds for Kazi's medical and health expenses. See video:  For more information, call (914) 739-2333 or visit

Into the Future:

Wednesday, May 6

Peekskill Hollow Road meeting

6:30PM At the County Courthouse. Physical Services committee chair Vinnie Tamagna has called for a special meeting on Peekskill Hollow Road so that the opposing sides can duke it out. On the one side you have the people who live there. On the other you have a recalcitrant government.

Saturday, May 9

Benefit For the Arts

5PM - Tilly Foster Farm - Friends of the Putnam Arts Council are cordially invited to attend a Silent Auction and to join Wine Consultant Peter Lesley of Mahopac on a guided taste tour of affordable red and white wines available locally. The silent auction will feature approximately 25 items donated from select artists, craft folks and a few local businesses. Most are quite unique ranging from original art, jewelry, or a painting class to autographed items from Putnam performers John Hall, Graham Nash, and Pete Seeger. This special event for PAC takes place in our Brewster space at the Lodge at Tilly Foster, on Saturday, May 9th at 5pm. Pre-paid reservations are requested as both food and beverages need to be ordered. Tickets are only $25.00 ($20./members). Call 845.278.0230 or visit

Monday, May 11

High School Art Competition

7PM - Tilly Foster Farm - Putnam Arts Council is pleased to announce that US Congressman John Hall’s office has selected our Brewster location to exhibit the 2009 art competition featuring the work of high school students from his congressional district. Congressman Hall will host an Awards Ceremony and Reception at the Lodge (Bldg #8), Tilly Foster Farm, 100 Rte 312, Brewster to honor all participants on Monday, May 11 from 7 – 8:30pm. The exhibit will remain on view here May 12 – 30,  with gallery hours weekdays, Tuesday through Friday 10-3 and Saturday’s and Sunday’s 1-4pm. Directions are available from PAC at 845.278.0230 or on our website:

Thursday, May 14

An Evening of Celebration in honor of Connie Hogarth

6PM - River Terrace Restaurant in Beacon - Join us for an evening of live music on the deck of the River Terrace Restaurant in Beacon, NY overlooking the beautiful Hudson River to honor Connie Hogarth, Environmental Activist and Founder of the Connie Hogarth Center for Social Action, Manhattanville College. River Terrace Restaurant, 2 Beekman Street 6pm Cocktails and 7pm Dinner & Ceremony. Live Music. Cash Bar. Tickets: $50 per person, $95 couple, $35 Student. For reservations & donations, contact: Angela Valles, Chair <> 845-797-9810

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