Friday, July 17, 2009

News That Matters - July 17, 2009 - Things To Do Edition

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

Celebrating Nine Years of PlanPutnam

Good Friday Morning,

Sarah Palin. Michael Jackson. Iraq. Iran. North Korea. And that's the news. (It sounds like a Billy Joel song.)

The Tilly Foster contract is back in the news again with a report that the lessee has been keeping some of his animals on Bondi's farm upstate. What that has to do with anything is beyond me but the Journal News must have had a slow news day.

Website Watch
Raw Insolation Data
Have you ever wanted to figure out just how much solar power you can generate at your home? Point your browser here to find out. You enter your address and then check the box for Raw Insolation Data (the measurement of the sun's ability to churn out electrons) and the computer does the rest. If you're interested in a particular popular brand of solar panel you can enter that as well and find out just how many you'll need to take your house off the grid.

One & Other
Those silly Brits and their conceptual art! For 100 days artist Anthony Gormley is using the fourth plinth (a plinth is the base upon which a statue will be erected) in Trafalgar Square as the site for a 24 hour a day conceptual art exhibit. Each hour a different person will ascend the plinth and do what they will during a live webcast. So far I've seen a lady read Doctor Seuss books through a megaphone, a guy worked on a Rubik's Cube, this morning there's a guy riding an exercise bike. Since this is a full time endeavour and the cameras roll non-stop, you never know what you'll run into and it's worth the click to see what's new. The event will continue until October 14th so there's plenty of time to catch the action.
Congressmen John Hall and Maurice Hinchey blocked a Bush administration plan to privatize some 500 jobs at West Point. While Republicans are generally all over privatization it amounts to nothing more than a transfer of tax dollars from you to some private company and rarely saves money or provides better service. Think Blackwater, the mercenary army we once hired that cost us billions and billions to do what the army should have been doing. In the current case, the Pentagon was engaged in union busting. Kudos to Hall and Hinchey.


Local Bands Rock Concert

6-10 p.m. Lake Carmel Cultural Center, Route 52 just south of the Route 311 Causeway. Alex Church, Dylan Rossi, Producers. Scheduled Bands:  

History Repeats
To Know Avail
Collision of Colour
The Farewell Season
My Mind is a Symphony
Kid Jerusalem

Admission: $5.


PlanPutnam's 9th Anniversary

All Day - Today marks nine years of PlanPutnam with over 13,000 posts, emails, bulletins, articles and announcements. I can't even count the number of words I've written in all that time nor on the number of subjects covered.

For the first eight years we ran every day sending articles out as they appeared. That filled your inboxes but you took it without (too much) complaint.

Last Fall we began compiling a digest that went out five days a week which much lightend your email load! On April 1st this year we went to the current format (which you all really seem to like) three days a week and sweet to look at.
It takes - on average - about 3 hours a day to put this newsletter together and for eight years it came to you around 250 days a year. That's 750 hours, times 8 years, then whatever times whatever divided by something else. In essence, since the first post until now I've volunteered a full year of service to this community. In a perfect world this would have been a paid gig. Can you imagine if it were how much more we'd be able to accomplish?
If you appreciate what has been accomplished over the years, please click here and say so.

Wappinger Creek Bird Watch

8:30 am - 10:00 am Explore bird life in the Wappinger Creek watershed. Quinn Emmerling will provide visitors with insight into resident and migratory birds, their behavior, and the ecology of information. He is part of a team that is investigating how songbirds use environmental cues to manage their daily activities. Wear sturdy shoes and bring your binoculars. The program will meet at the auditorium. Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, 2801 Sharon Turnpike, Millbrook. Free. Contact 677-5343 or 

Catskill's Trail Maintenance

8:45 AM Please bring work gloves, plus a saw, lopper, hand clipper; if you don't have the aforementioned tools, they will be provided by the Catskill 3500 club. Meet at 8:45 a.m. at the Denning Parking Area.  Please bring water, lunch and raingear if it drizzles or showers. Contact Elie Bijou for more information.


Adirondack Mountain Club Hike at Tymor Park

10:00am Tymor Park Unionvale, NY. The Mid-Hudson ADK hike along the Fishkill Creek will take us through woods, to Furnace Pond and the ruins of old kilns. Our hike will take us through wildflower meadows, returning to the fields beside the gorge. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy at the pavilion by the creek after the hike. Boats will be available on Furnace Pond by request. Meet at Tymor Park parking lot in Union Vale at 10 am. Call or email to confirm and reserve a boat. Contact Lalita Malik, at 845-592-0204 or, to confirm.

Birds of Prey Presentation

4pm-5pm  at the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum's Wildlife Education Center, 25 Boulevard, Cornwall-on-Hudson. Presented by the Delaware Valley Raptor Center. Meet majestic birds of prey up-close and personal! Cost: $12 adults, $10 children 12 and under. Members: $9 Adults, $7 children 12 and under 845-566-8003 for required pre-paid registration. Visit

Into the Future:

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

Wednesday, July 22

Free Movie Nights in Patterson

8PM - Brought to you by your very own Patterson Recreation Center. Patterson Recreation will present films for families and children of all ages.  Great movies will be shown under the stars at the following locations: Sacred Heart Church - Weds., July 22nd, Patterson Town Park - Weds., Aug 12th and Sacred Heart Church - Weds., Aug 19th All movies will take place at 8:00 p.m. on a full screen. Concessions are available. Bring chairs and/or blankets. Don't forget to bring mommy & daddy little ones...this is not a drop-off program. Contact: Tracey R. Buckley (845) 878-7200

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

Fishkill Creek Festival

Noon - 6PM Beacon Riverfront Park. (at the Beacon train station) A free public celebration of our streams, creeks and rivers. Sponsored by Fishkill Watershed Committee, Beacon Sloop Club, Cornell Cooperative Center, and others. Special Guests: Congressman John Hall and Pete Seeger. Food, Environmental Exhibits, A magic performance by a renown magician, Children’ activities (Face painting, balloon artistry, Jumping Jakes, Art activities, and Games), Free Sailing on the Sloop Woody Guthrie, Kayak the Mouth of Fishkill Creek, Bring your family and have a nice day.

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)

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