Friday, May 22, 2009

News That Matters - May 24, 2009 - Things To Do Edition

News That Matters
Brought to you (Almost Daily) by PlanPutnam.Org

Good Friday Morning,

It's Memorial Day Weekend, traditionally the first weekend of the summer vacation season, and man, are the gasoline prices showing that! I saw $2.49 last night at the cheap stations and $2.80 at the more expensive ones. Sixty percent of those responding to the poll about gasoline prices thought gas would top out at $4.00 a gallon by July 4th and if the present course continues $4.00 may seem cheap. It's no wonder fewer Americans than ever are traveling and regions in the nation which depend upon tourism dollars are already hurting.
But people still want to get away and so they're looking for places closer to home, places that are unique and different but that can be reached on half a tank of gasoline. Putnam County is one such place, especially the towns of Kent and Philipstown who boast more preserved open spaces than any other in the region. Kent alone has almost 10,000 such acres.

More than 20 million people live within two hours drive of here and we're doing very little to capitalize on that. You've been hearing me say this for years and if I ever make it to the town board I'm going to do something about it. There's money to be made here and sales taxes to collect. And, if visitor traffic to the Outdoor Recreation guide at PlanPutnam is any indication, (more than 21,000 page visits) people are coming. There's no reason Kent/Philipstown cannot be an eco-travel destination for those folks - and it should be. Just give me the tools...
Last evening, Kent Fiscal Watch held a public forum with Assemblywoman Sandy Galef at the Lake Carmel Community Center. For almost two hours the audience peppered Ms. Galef with questions about property taxes and open government and for two hours she provided answers as best she could. Albany is a strange place, you know. There were a few notable absences, such as anyone currently sitting on the Kent Town Board or any of the announced candidates for the same, and that's a shame.

Did you know that polling places that are not accessible to the handicapped don't have to be? Yeah, you read that right. If the location can't afford to provide facilities it can be granted a waiver and remain handicapped free. Well, not any more. Ulster County Assemblyman Kevin Cahill has had success with a bill in Albany that will change all that and move polling places if necessary. No more waivers, no more second class status for the handicapped. Hats off to Kevin for that one.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said in Tarrytown last night that Indian Point was safe and should continue to operate on another 20 year license, but others were not so sure. Croton resident Gary Shaw remarked that what constitutes safety for the plant is a standard that keeps sliding lower and lower, apparently to accommodate Entergy, IP's owners. For example, “They’ve reduced the margin from an hour, that the insulation had to protect the safety equipment, down to 24 minutes.  We think that’s absurd.” Mr. Shaw said during the meeting last night.

All right, here we go: There are a scant few event entries for the weekend but most of what's listed for Saturday is also ongoing into Sunday.


If you don't tell me about your event, no one else will know! So, seeing there's nothing in here and also seeing that the weather is supposed to be really sweet this evening, get out and do something fun. That's right, turn off the computer and television and get outside. Me? I have nothing on the calendar for this evening either and the search for meaningful social interaction is ongoing. Or, I might just take the dog for a long late evening hike and watch the day turn into night.


Kent Library Book Sale

9 AM - The Friends of the Kent Library will be holding their annual Giant Book Sale on Saturday May 23rd from 9:00 AM to 5PM  (there is an early bird preview Saturday 8:30 to 9:00 AM $10 or Friends Membership!) and Sunday, May 24th 11:00AM to 4:00 PM. There will be thousands of books, collectibles, hardcovers, paperback, children's books, videos, DVD's, comics and more!

Location:  Kent Town Center (off of Route 52) in the Kent Town Hall, 25 Sybil's Crossing 845-225-8585 www.kent library

Beacon Sloop Club Mural Celebration

11 AM
- Beacon will get a big splash of color on Main Street on Saturday May 23rd – all courtesy of the Beacon Sloop Club and various other suppporters.  At 11am that morning our large and colorful River Beacons mural will be lifted into place and unveiled. It’s an exciting moment and I hope to see many club members and city residents and supporters on hand to to celebrate.  A year in the making, the mural celebrates the Woody Guthrie’s 30th anniversary in 2008 (she rides the foreground of the mural), Beacon’s river town heritage and lifestyle, and the statewide 2009 Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial. Rick Price while putting the finishing touches to the murla has alos been working wiht firends to construct an lighweight, welded portable frame  to support the mural. Alsl will be set for May 23. See you there!

Civil War Days

10 AM - 5PM Repeats Sunday from 10AM - 2PM. Experience the sights and sounds of the Civil War era in an historic 19th century setting. $10 Adults, $6 ages 5-12, under 5 free. Ashokan Center, Olive Bridge, NY. Broom making, blacksmithing, visit unions and confederate encampments and take a hike with John Burroughs. Concert and Dance at 7PM ($15) with Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, the 77th Regiment Baladeers and others. Get more info here. the Ashokan Center will commemorate the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln with a special Saturday evening concert program titled "Abraham Lincoln in Song: His Truth Is Marching On". This activity is being funded in part by the Dutchess County Arts Council. The concert program will be followed by a candlelit tour of the Union and Confederate camps. The overall theme of the event is to understand our shared heritage and its enduring relevance for the future--a living history event for the entire family.

Visual Arts Show

1-5PM: The Visual Artists Committee of Arts on the Lake. Memorial Day Weekend Saturday-Monday, 1-5 p.m.  Sixty artists are represented in a display of paintings, sculpture, photography, stained glass and mixed media. 


Private parties and Memorial Day Weekend activities. Call up a friend, invite them over, have a BBQ in the yard, take a hike(!) or just veg out - and do so without guilt.

Into the Future:

Monday, May 25 - Memorial Day

Parades Galore!

The Cold Spring parade begins at 9 AM and runs down Main Street.
The Mahopac parade begins at 10 AM and runs along Route 6

Ride to Eat/ Eat to Ride

Nearly Forty New Paltz restaurants are offering substantial discounts and other incentives to customers who arrive by bicycle, to encourage this form of sustainable transportation. Continues through the week.

Tuesday, May 26

The Poughkeepsie Shipyards and The Revolutionary War

3:15 PM - The Simon Studio, in association with the City of Poughkeepsie, will present the world premier of The Poughkeepsie Shipyards and The Revolutionary War in the parking lot at Shadow's restaurant on Rinaldi Boulevard, near Poughkeepsie's waterfront. Sponsored by Marshall and Sterling, St. Francis Hospital, the Grandview and Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel, this special Quadricentennial event will be presented one time only on TUESDAY, MAY 26 at 3:15 pm as an historical military pageant on Poughkeepsie's Hudson River waterfront at Ship Yard Point.  Admission is free and open to the public. 

As an added note of interest, it will be performed outdoors in the parking lot of Shadows Restaurant - just north of the ship yard's original historical site where the play's 18th century story actually unfolded. 

Written by Nicholas Conti of Beacon, it is directed and produced by Roger Hendricks Simon, artistic director of THE SIMON STUDIO in NYC and Poughkeepsie.  Mr. Simon has been associated with the NY Shakespeare Festival, Yale Rep and London's Royal Court Theatre.

For further information on this Revolutionary Pageant call THE SIMON STUDIO at 845-485-9829 or 212-841-0204 or

In particular Congressman Maurice Hinchey, Poughkeepsie Mayor John Tkazyak and Colonel James Johnson among others will participate in the pageant's Grand Finale - the dedication ceremony of a plaque commemorating the historical ship yards. 

Cast members include Tyler Barden, Steve Wing, Peter Leonard, Ralph Cashen, Lora Lee Ecobelli, Peter Bedrosian, Doug Nobiletti, Brett Owen, Rob Rondon, Ron and Gloria Robbins, Peter Walker and members of the Walker Family Band.  Associate Director is Blair Wing and Stage Manager is Teresa Gasparini. 

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