Friday, May 29, 2009

News That Matters - May 29, 2009 - Things To Do Edition

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

Good Friday Morning,

The sun may come out today. Remember the sun? It's that big, bright yellow thing in the sky? Hopefully by the time you're reading this you'll know what I'm talking about. But with all the cloudiness and rain we've been having our gardens are finding themselves well watered and your lawns are going to need mowing by Sunday.
And, when you do mow your lawn, please don't blow the cuttings into the streets as that increases the stormwater problems that are affecting our creeks, streams, rivers and lakes. All those extra nutrients end up causing algal blooms and lower the clarity of water bodies. Instead, use a mulching mower and mow high, 3-4 inches high. Your lawn will need less watering as the taller grass shades the earth below and the higher grass will also slow the flow of water across your property during the next rain storm. It may not seem like a lot, but if everyone did just this one thing we'd be on our way to resolving some of the water quality problems we face.
Putnam County Democrats met last night at their annual convention to nominate candidates for November's election. There were two issues of concern; One was over the candidate for Sheriff which in secret ballot was awarded to Philipstown's Kevin McConnville (sp?) over Kent's Gordon Moccio. The other was the party's backing of Conservative party member Paul Roncallo for Kent's Highway Supervisor over Democrat Tony Carravetta. Look for some spirited primaries in September - in both parties, especially for the Sheriff's race.
In other news, some guy named Jeff Green was nominated to run for the Kent Town Board with Ed Durkee, bringing the pool to 5 candidates (two Republicans, one Conservative and two Democrats) for the two board seats that are up this year. Green and Durkee were nominated unanimously as were most of the slates chosen.
Take A Hike!
The Lockwood Unit (DEP) Dixon Road Carmel/Kent town line. The 450 acre Lockwood Unit encompasses both sides of the old Lockwood Lane running from Dixon Road to the still used portion of Lockwood Lane on the west and includes a multitude of stone "chambers" as well as the beautiful Lockwood Pond. If you follow the road to its end and back you'll walk about 3 easy miles.

Just after you enter the Unit, a road coming in on your right will take you up a pretty woods to the private Barret Pond community at the town line. Unfortunately, there's often a lot of garbage left by neighbors at the beginning of this road but pass it by for a nice walk.

The number of stone "chambers" along the main road is interesting as is their construction and several are in rather fair shape. We've forgotten what a couple of men, a pry bar and a strong horse can accomplish! Some believe these chambers pre-date white settlement in the area but no one takes those folk too seriously. Some even believe they were constructed by space aliens or Druids or as solstice markers. One woman from Connecticut (whose name escapes me at the moment) believed they were built to store arms and black powder for the Army Depot at Fishkill so that if it was captured by the British, colonial troops would still have supplies in the area. Philip Imbrogno and Marianne Horrigan wrote a book in 2000 called, "Celtic Mysteries in New England" which focuses on the stone chambers in Putnam County. Chapter 6 of that book supposes Mt. Ninham [sic] is a special place with wandering spirits and that its stone chamber is the center of regional UFO activity.

Regardless of their origin, Putnam County hosts scores of these curiosities, but root cellars and ice houses were most likely their primary use. Whatever, they're still fun to poke around in. And who knows? A free trip to Scotland or Andromeda could be in the offing!

Images and maps are available at PlanPutnam's Outdoor Recreation Page which has seen more than 21,000 visitors.
Lastly, save the date Saturday, July 11 for the Second Annual Garden Party here at the Asylum. It's an all day pot-luck affair with games for the kids culminating in an after-party bonfire that last year ran until 6AM the next morning.

What's going on?
  1. Saturday:
    1. Dover Knolls Public Hearing
    2. Save the Depot Theater - Garrison
    3. Picnic in the Park - Denning's Point, Beacon
    4. Maypole Party for Children of All Ages - Ryder Farm, Brewster.
  2. Into the Future:
    1. Monday, June 1st
      1. MS4 Stormwater Control Program - Mahopac Library
      2. Bird Banding - Westchester
      3. Water Conference - Thayer Hotel, West Point


Dover Knolls Public Hearing

9 AM - Dover Middle School - All right. This is big. Dover Knolls is the planned project for the old Harlem Valley Psychiatric hospital on Route 22 in Wingdale. It's the largest development proposal for the Harlem Valley - ever. And remember, Patterson and Southeast are in the Harlem Valley and whatever happens up in Wingdale will affect those towns quite directly. The plan is to construct hundreds of housing units in a mixed-use development that former Dover Supervisor Jill Way attempted to turn into something approaching sanity based on the new urbanist model. The developer then launched an expensive political campaign against her. Sweet, eh? More information is here.

This is the largest development planned for Dutchess County, on the site of the former Harlem Valley Psychiatric Center which straddles Rt 22 at the Harlem Valley Wingdale MetroNorth Station. The site is in the heart of the Great Swamp, New York State's second largest freshwater wetlands.
The Coalition for the Responsible Growth of Dover supports redevelopment of the site.  At a minimum, we would like to see development concentrated as much possible around the train station and on the existing building site, thereby reducing traffic and vehicle miles traveled as any true transit-oriented development would, and leaving more open space at the further reaches of the property in keeping with our Master Plan; we would like to see greater boundary protection for the wetlands; we would like the Town Board to restrict all construction to slopes no greater than 15%, as is the generally accepted practice in Dutchess County and for good reason, on the stormwater management/erosion front; we would like to see as few roads as possible up the steep slopes and preferably just one, to reach the proposed low-density development around the reservoir.
We perceive serious water constraints and negative fiscal implications to the project as proposed, which we will address. Like many of us, most of you have only had 2 weeks to review the DEIS on line, and may not have access to the DVD, but please do the best you can with what the Town Board and the Developer have provided.
The Town Board needs to hear your views, whether you are a taxpayer or a resident of the nearby towns in the Harlem Valley or the Housatonic Watershed, whether you are someone who enjoys kayaking or birding, fishing or hunting on these or neighboring lands and rivers. Your Voice Counts.
Thank you for your support,
Stancy DuHamel
Coalition for the Responsible Growth of Dover

Save the Depot

Noon - 8:30 PM - At the Depot Theater in Garrison (at the Train Station).

12:00 Timothy Wenk, World's Best Magician Tickets $20

3:00 Depot Docs: Gimme Shelter with Al Maysles $50

There are few true legens in the documentary world, but one of them is Al Maysles, who, in the 1960's, pioneered an entire new approach to filmmaking known as direct cinema, and whose classic films have defined the genre fo almost 50 years. Depot Docs is delighted to announce that Al will be at the Depot on May 29th to show Gimme Shelter - his extraordinary chronicle of the Rolling Stones' 1969 tour that culminated in the iconic free concert at Altamont Speedway in San Francisco.

6:30 Theatre performance including one act play, Pools, by Richard Knipe,Jr.
and scenes from Private Lives with Don Kimmel, Jenn Levy and Maia Guest followed by
songs from your favorite musicals

8:30 Music performance with Music Tracks headliners $50
Food and receptions between each performance

Picnic in the Park

11 AM to 3 PM at Denning's Point, Beacon, NY. Bring your picnic and a blanket for a day of music and fun! Tour Denning's Point with historian Jim Heron. Learn about CEIE's "Green Building" features with architect Oliver Schaper. Fish printing activities for kids age 6 and older. Time capsule ceremony. Live music with HV musicians: Kathleen Pemble; Jenn Clapp; Wicker Pinch with Patti Pelican; Terry Platz; Andy Revkin & Al Hemberger. Please RSVP online at  so we can plan for your attendance. The event is free and open to the public; however, your donation in any amount is greatly appreciated! Rain or shine; No alcohol permitted; No pets, please

Maypole Party for Children of All Ages

Maypole Party for Children of All Ages

1PM - 3PM ~ Rain or Shine ~ Free Admission!

Lemonade and cookies ~ Tractor Hay Rides ~ Tour the gardens

Dancing at 1:30

Our Farm Stand will be Open
with a variety of potted vegetables,
herbs and flowers.

Ryder Farm Cottage Industries
400 Starr Ridge Rd, Brewster

Into the Future:

Monday, June 1st

MS4 Stormwater Control Program

7PM - Mahopac Library - The Eastern Putnam County League of Women Voters is hosting their annual public forum on stormwater with a host of speakers and town supervisors.

Bird Banding

Bylane Farm Between June 1 and August 9, the public will have the opportunity to observe birds being captured in mist nets, banded and released as part of a nationwide scientific study to assess species  populations. Banding will be held every ten days at the Hunt Parker Preserve. Please call Jim Nordgren or Tait Johansson for details 914-232-1999.

Water Conference

June 1, 2, and 3 - Hotel Thayer, West Point, NY. NY Water Environment Association's Spring Technical Conference and Exhibition:  Sustainable and Green Infrastructure. The New York Water Environment Association will focus it's spring technical conference on sustainability and green infrastructure. This conference will feature sustainability programs and efforts in the Hudson Valley, along with other innovative efforts in the state on topics including green house gases, energy conservation and sustainability.  Tours are scheduled at the Environmental Science Tour of the Western Ramapo Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant and the Rockland County Solid Waste Management Authority Co-composting Facility.  There are other networking and entertainment events, as well.  For more information on the full agenda, registration, and applicable fees, see:

Consider the environment before printing.

Sign up to have
News That Matters
Delivered to your email inbox!


Copyright © 2009 News That Matters