Friday, July 10, 2009

News That Matters - July 10, 2009 - Things To Do Edition

News That Matters
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"I was taken off the Personnel Committee with no discussion, or hearing, or input on my part but they're not going to stop me from doing my duty as legislator."
- PC Legislator Tony Fusco (see story)

Good Friday Morning,

The Town of Kent is in the process of constructing a bathroom at Farmer's Mills Park, a project that will cost tens of thousands of dollars, I think unnecessarily. I asked Supervisor Doherty if the Town had considered the use of composting toilets and to her credit she said they had but that the county health department wouldn't approve their use.
I might advise the town not to engage in the drilling of wells, the digging of septic or the laying of pipe for a leach field just yet, when for tens of thousands of dollars less they can go the way of national governments and state and national parks across the globe with the use of a composting toilet instead.

Just because the Department will not approve of this tax dollar and environment saving utility does not mean the town should throw up its hands and move forward with the more expensive project. Rather, the town should demonstrate its need before the Health Department and, if necessary request the Legislature to move on the issue by ordering the Department to approve the concept in limited applications especially where infrastructure is not in place. And Farmer's Mills park is a perfect first location. Walter G. Merritt is another. The 4H Fair grounds is (especially) yet another.

This past Monday evening the Dutchess County Legislature approved a recommendation that will direct their Public Works Department to consider their use (along with green roofing for county buildings and solar and wind power applications).  And, according to a recent article in the NY Times, this popular trend is growing across the nation.

There's more information about composting toilets at PlanPutnam's blog site and I encourage you to study up and then call the County Health Department at (845) 278-6558 and tell them to get on board. With just a few minutes time you can save the Town of Kent (and your town, too!) a lot of money heading into the future.

As someone once wrote, "It just makes cents!"

Ritz Camera, a one shop camera store which grew to more than 800 across the country is calling it quits. Back in February they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and since they are unable to find a permanent financial solution will soon sell off their assets.
In the meantime, Filene's Basement has shut 11 of it's 25 stores, Costco is shutting its two home furnishing's stores, Pier 1 Imports is closing 80 stores, Starbucks is turning off the lights on 900 outlets, Ann Taylor is closing 163 locations, Macy's, 11 mall stores, Sears is shutting an additional 24, Home Depot is closing all of it's 34 Expo Design Centers, Zales Jewelers announced the closure of 115 shops, Circuit City is gone, Ruby Tuesday's will close 70 of their corporate owned operations, Virgin Megastores will become history by the end of this summer, Fortunoff's has gone the way of Gimbels, Calvin Klein, Izod and Van Heusen will see the loss of 175 stores, Office Depot will close 112 locations and Tweeter Audio has gone silent shutting 150 locations.

Amidst all this Paul Camarda really still thinks there's a market for Patterson Crossing?

Dutchess County opened a new 2.4 mile section of the their Rail Trail. This section, in Poughkeepsie, runs from Morgan Lake to Overrocker Road. A previous 1.7 mile section is open from Hopewell Junction running northwards to Route 376. By the end of this summer, the newest section will continue onto and then across the High Bridge when it opens in early October.
Based on the construction seen across Route 6 in the Hamlet of Carmel, Putnam's sections are coming together with the placement of a single-span arch bridge to avoid a grade crossing on that road.

In fact, right now you can get on the rail trail in Carmel and ride all the way to Yonkers. That's pretty sweet. At some point in the future, once all the connections are made, that ride will go from Yonkers to Brewster and from Brewster to Poughkeepsie, across the High Bridge and then down to Maybrook, connecting with other rail trails along the way.

Final Note: If you're coming to the party tomorrow I could use a couple of large folding tables, if you happen to have a couple laying around. Call or write.



7 - 9 PM. Irena Salina's award-winning documentary is an investigation into what experts label the most important political and environmental issue of the 21st Century - The World Water Crisis being shown at the Fellowship of Reconciliation, 521 North Broadway,Nyack, 845-358-4601 ext. 32.  You can see a trailer and reviews of the film at .

The Hudson Highlands (As Seen by Henry Hudson)

7:30PM - Ray Phillips, who along with Mike Troy and others has been upstairs in the Lake Carmel Cultural Center building a model of the Hudson River as it existed at the time of Henry Hudson, will offer a slide presentation at the Center tonight. The Hudson Highlands as seen by Henry Hudson will include historic features, geology, geography, flora and fauna and a preview of the under-construction 20-foot model representing 16 nautical miles of the Hudson River from Stony Point in Peekskill to Newburgh Bay near Beacon.  Open to all.  Refreshments.


Flapjack Fundraiser for Putnam's Seniors

8 AM - Applebee's Restaurant at the Highlands Center, Southeast. $5. per person. For more information, please call Tee at (845) 225-1034 x 113.

Swamp River Event

9 AM - Noon - Come to Pawling’s Murrow Park on Saturday July 11th to celebrate Dutchess County Watershed Awareness Month. Friends of the Great Swamp will cast their dip nets and catch the amazing little stream creatures known as macroinvertebrates. Help us try and figure out what they are while they wiggle and swim about in front of our eyes. Listen to Jim Eyring’s tales and true stories of Birds of Prey found in our watershed and how the predator/prey cycles play a vital role in sustaining healthy watershed ecosystems. The Pawling Planning Department will help us understand what we can do to improve stormwater runoff, reduce erosion, and improve water quality, with special guest Norm Benson. For more info, visit:

Putnam Valley Grange Fundraiser

10 AM - 4 PM - (repeats on Sunday) Turn that old stuff into cash.  Join us as a vendor for this event, come and shop or donate a box of stuff. The grange will have a table to sell the stuff for our building fund. If you have donations for the grange I will be glad to pick them up. The Putnam Valley Grange #841 is at 128 Mill St and Peekskill Hollow Road. Tables $12.50 in advance or $15 at the door. For info call Mary Mercedes 845-216-1934

Jeff's Annual Picnic and Garden Party at the Asylum - Everyone is Invited (that means you!)

3PM - Onwards. Here's your chance to finally meet each other.
Come celebrate the beauty of the highlands in western Kent. Bring some food for the pot luck and drink for the coolers, a blanket and/or some chairs, or just wear light, comfortable clothes and hang out on the grass in the field. We'll have plates and forks and knives and spoons and cups so you can leave those at home.

Don't forget your sunscreen. There's afternoon shade near the edge of the forest so you can set up over there if you like. Last year the kids had a massive water fight to stay cool. No adults were harmed in the battle.

When the sun goes down the fire-pit becomes the place for gathering and we'll be sure to have it blazing once it's dark enough for the after-party which ran until 6AM last year.

What you could do:

Bring along some friends, the extended family, the neighbors, your kids, the dogs... pretty much anything and anyone that walks or rolls.

Bring your musical instruments, your talents and yes, even your accordions and kazoos but be prepared to play them.

If you're traveling from away or taste testing the barleycorn, bring your tent. There's plenty of room to camp. And please, don't make me wrestle the car keys away from you.

Handicap parking is available!

More info and direction are here

Bannerman's Island with Wes and Barbara Gottlock

5 pm - Ever wonder about the castle in the middle of the Hudson, located between Cornwall and Beacon? Join Putnam County Historical Society for a lecture that explores the interesting history of Bannerman's Island. Learn about the legacy of the Bannerman family, the unique castle, and the island as it is now. Wes and Barbara Gottlock are authors and volunteer coordinators at Bannerman's Island. They will also be on hand to sign copies of their book, Bannerman's Castle. The Putnam County Historical Society & Foundry School Museum is located at 63 Chestnut Street in 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.


Bird Walk

8 AM - With the Ralph T. Waterman Bird Club at Buttercup Farm Sanctuary located at Route 82, Pine Plains, NY. Join us for a walk and learn more about the birds that frequent the wetlands and meadows at the sanctuary, an area of diverse habitats with rolling, open grasslands, second growth and mature woodlands, a former orchard and a marshy, flooded woodland.

Putnam County Humane Society

11AM - 4PM - Treat your dog to a day of pampering! Complete Spa treatment: Shampoo, Nail Trim, Micro Chipping @$35.00 Shampoo Only: $10 Large Dog   $8 Small Dog  Nail Clipping: $7   Micro Chip: $25 Sunday, July 12th (rain date July 26th) from 11:00am to 4:00pm at Putnam Humane Society Shelter, Old Rte. 6, Carmel, NY Proceeds to benefit our canine and feline residents!!

Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams

5:30 PM - Cold Spring, on the River. Come one! Come all! to The Circus's annual 'Concert on the River' in the beautiful Hudson Highlands of New York. This show is always a lot of fun and full of surprises, this year we are pleased to present for the first time to our fans, Circus progeny band, 'MimiSun'. Opening the show (as is our tradition) will be the Cold Spring Pipes & Drums led by Seth Gallagher (who is now the Mayor of Cold Spring!!!) Seth will later join us on the song, 'Tink' (as he did on 'The Great Unravel' album). We are moving this year's show to a small park right next to the Gazebo, a beautiful grassy area with magnificent river views. So bring your picnic baskets, blankets and beach chairs! FREE!!!  A Splendid Time Is Guaranteed For All!!!  ALL AGES!! Early evening free concert in the most beautiful town on the Hudson River in the Hudson Highlands with extremely Special Guest, 'MimiSun' opening... All ages!!!

Into the Future:

Saturday, July 18

PlanPutnam's 9th Anniversary

After almost 15,000 messages, posts and whatnots, PlanPutnam will celebrate it's 9th anniversary on Saturday, July 18th. I have no idea what sort of activities we'll have but I'll think of something! The very first post was regarding a Patterson Planning Board meeting on the Patterson Pavilion project and Larry Blanchette's work on that. My, how things haven't changed!

As a side note, News That Matters was born on March 19th, 2008 and ran 5 days a week until April 1 , 2009 when we switched to three days to avoid becoming homeless. You have no idea how much time this all takes - free to readers. It takes about three hours each day to put all this together so, you do the math. How many hours of volunteer service and dedication to the community? I don't know... a lot, though! Have there been results? You bet! And believe it or not, in all this time not a single developer or politician has sought to buy me out. I am crushed!

Monday, July 13 - 23

Putnam Arts Council's Sharing The Earth

Mondays through Thursdays from 10AM - 2PM  A Tomato Frog or a Blue Tongued kink could show up in the Putnam Arts Council’s July multi-arts program for children 6-13, at Tilly Foster Farm, Brewster.  There’s still time to register to see them. Weekly visits by animals and environmentalists focus on the theme “Sharing the Earth – animals, world ecology and the natural environment.” Children giggled during the recent first visit, as they watched a sugar glider – flying squirrel to the rest of us -- walk in circles on a mat. They drew pictures of a beautiful zebra finch and watched other animal visitors on their best behavior. The second session of the program runs July 13-23, Monday through Thursday, 10a.m. – 2 p.m., with classes in drawing, painting, pottery and other arts. For information and registration: 845-278-0230,  Remaining spaces are limited. The animal visits are presentations of the Nature of Things, an environmental outreach program.

Tuesday, July 21

Site Plan Design and Biodiversity Conservation

8:00 am - 5:00 pm Hudsonia, Ltd, is offering a one-day workshop for developers, consultants, biologists, site managers, regulatory officials, and policy-makers who want to include biodiversity concerns in land use planning and site design.  Learn about threats to native biodiversity from current development practices in the Hudson Valley.  Consider siting and design measures to minimize harm to sensitive habitats and species. Conduct a remote biodiversity assessment using readily available materials to identify biological resources of concern.  Evaluate development proposals and create better site designs for protecting species and landscapes.  Discuss the strengths and limitations of current “green” certification.  See examples of innovative and effective projects and programs initiated.

Instructors:  Gretchen Stevens and Andrew Meyer.  Registration deadline:  July 10.  For information on the course, fees and registration, see:
Location:  Norrie Point Environmental Center, Staatsburg, NY

Thursday, July 23

Hudson River Watershed Alliance

10AM - 3PM At this meeting, we will learn about the current activities of each watershed group and what new issues you are facing in your efforts.  In addition, we will collectively chart a course for organizing quarterly or semi annual watershed roundtable meetings. The goal of this meeting is to find new ways in which you can learn from one another and move your local watershed
efforts forward! In preparation, please consider these questions and be prepared to discuss your related activities:

1.  Since our last meeting (July 2008), what aspect of watershed planning protection has your group focused on?

2.  What challenges have you faced and how has your group addressed these issues?

3.   Is their mutual consent to commit to more frequent roundtable meetings?  If so, how should we structure these events?
Please RSVP by Thursday, July 16, to or 845-486-1556.

Saturday, July 25

Alana Amram & the Rough Gems

8 PM - The Cultural Center on Lake Carmel. Blue Horse Repertory presents the daughter of composer and poet David Amram, an American icon of the beatnik generation, Alana Amram is not just following in her father’s footsteps but forging her own path as a singer/songwriter. There is a bittersweet sincerity in her voice, somewhat reminiscent of Janis Joplin in her calm moments. Alana’s lyrics portray tales of a simple life complicated by emotions, exemplified in the touching imagery of “Broke My Own Heart.“ The Rough Gems, a seven-piece band including Alana herself, adds multiple dimensions to her songs. The music is primarily a mix of country and folk with an occasional turn towards pop rock from an unidentifiable decade - a melting pot of good old American styles. It’s a vintage sound with a modern perspective. And while songs like “Take a Drink” are infectiously upbeat, The Rough Gems cover the other side of the spectrum as well. The sluggish tempo and endearing yet slightly dark lyrics of “The Blackest Crow” is the stuff secret goth crushes are made of. With The Rough Gems, Alana Amram has found a diverse yet tightly knit group of musicians that will help her honky tonk her way into the hearts of hillbillies, hippies, and maybe even headbangers. Alana Amram is definitely one of the brightest stars on the NYC&W scene $12 ($10 Arts on the Lake members)


The Fields Sculpture Park at Omi International Arts Center

The Fields Sculpture Park located at Omi International Arts Center, encompasses approximately 400 acres of farmland of which 100 acres are dotted with internationally recognized contemporary sculpture. It offers established as well as emerging American and international artists unique possibilities to create and exhibit a broad range of large-scale work. The Fields' mission is to expand the experience of what contemporary art viewed in a natural environment can be.
The Fields Sculpture Park is open year round to the public during daylight hours. Plan at least one hour to visit all of the sculptures. A golf cart is available for handicapped use and bicycles are also provided. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy picnic facilities located throughout the park. Guided tours are available to groups of six or more. The Fields offers educational workshops and tours for school groups and other organizations.  59 Letter S Road Ghent, New York 12075 (518)392-4747

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