Friday, July 24, 2009

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

News That Matters
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Good Friday Morning,

The Town of Kent goes back to court this coming Monday morning after Judge O'Rourke decided last week to hold the town liable for Swine flu, bad breath and Celine Dion.

As many of you know I've engaged in a political quest of late and so far my impressions are this: It's a silly, anti-democratic system designed to humiliate, intimidate and befuddle the voters so that a select few can get a boner over power and control of your lives.
If they were actually interested in good governance it would be one thing. If they were involved in graft and corruption it would be fine, too, as at least it would have a point. (Not a good point, but a point nonetheless.) Yet we allow these folk to control and sway our opinions because they're practiced at the skill of political demagoguery. They don't work for candidates as much as they work against them and they do so with remarkable success. You all know who these folk are in your town, every town has them, and I'll bet you can even name them.

My advice? Well, shooting them would be illegal but it would free us from them and be remarkably liberating at the same time. The next best thing to do would be to ignore them but you know as well I that once the negative mailers, rumors and general obnoxiousness begins you'll become titillated and excited and allow them to occupy too much of your brains and in the end, repeat the vicious circle of electing their candidates, getting all pissed off at how bad they are and then electing them again. Why do you do it?
TIX Tickets sells tickets to shows and concerts via an online website. But what they don't tell you is that the price of the tickets isn't the price of the tickets. In one case, a ticket sold at $168 for a concert turned out to be worth $80. The company says that they just resell tickets and that price a customer pays is the 'going rate' for tickets held by a third party and sold via TIX Tickets, that they don't set the price, the sellers do. And, though the company has on its website a statement that says, "Ticket prices include a substantial service charge above the face value which reflects our cost in acquiring premium tickets," you have to wonder if an $80 markup in addition to a $15 shipping charge and an additional $50.40 for "other expenses", qualifies as their cost or a scam. I'm leaning towards scam and you should too. Stay away!

Under the rubric of fighting terrorism, England (yes, it's our second, "what is going on in England?" story this week,) has pretty much banned taking photographs. A couple of grandparents on vacation from Spain were evicted from a shopping mall for taking pictures of their grandchildren. After the incident, the mall's management admitted the couple were probably not terrorists but that taking pictures presents a security risk... of terrorism. There are no reports just yet of Basque separatists masquerading as small children.
Meanwhile, a couple from Vienna also visiting London, had their vacation pictures forcibly erased from their digital camera by London police after being told that taking pictures of anything to do with transport was "strictly forbidden". The couple had taken pictures of the Vauxhall bus station, a stunning modern architectural icon. In the meantime, an amateur photographer, learning to shoot crowd scenes had his camera and film  confiscated after London police claim the had taken pictures of a "sensitive nature". Unfortunately for England, a Google search of "Vauxhall bus station" produced some 152,000 image hits.

On the other hand, there's barely a street corner in that nation that does not have a digital video camera monitoring every action taken by British citizens which is then fed into a national database. The computerized system also tracks automobile license plates, store purchases and subway metro card users and combines them into individual personal profiles.

As far as I can tell, the terrorists have indeed won.
Forgot those poppy seed bagels for awhile. US forces in Afghanistan dropped several tons of explosives on several tons of poppy seeds gathered for packaging and export to win the "hearts and minds" of that country's civilian population. NATO Commanders have targeted Taliban run creamed cheese factories next.

Roger Griffiths, a New Zealand artist with a current show in NYC, multiple land holdings and $180,000 in the bank, withdrew the entire account in $20 bills because the bank wouldn't give him an $80,000 mortgage. It took them a while to gather the bills and provided a black and red sports bag for easier transport. In the meantime, the bank, Westpac, has one of the lowest rates of customer foreclosures but has been rocked by huge losses made to NZ corporations which also includes a $400,000 internal financial scam.

The Putnam County 4H Fair begins this afternoon and runs through Sunday evening. It's free, so come on out and stop in at the Town of Kent's Stormwater tent to say hello. Last year there were no provisions for recycling at the fair meaning all their garbage, including cans, bottles and the remains of tons of food product (mostly David Amram's famous grilled corn) were all dumped unceremoniously into trash bins. I made stink about it, and rightfully so and we'll find out in a few hours if that's been rectified. Imagine, an agricultural fair in this day and age without recycling? Personally, I'm hoping for the best!


Putnam County 4H Fair

This afternoon, Noon-6 PM. Saturday, 10AM - 7PM, Sunday 10AM - 5PM. At the County Park on Gipsy Trail in Kent just north of Nichols street. Admission is free. Funny looking rabbits, priceless.

Mike and the Mutations

7 PM - Jim Nowak and Mike Latini are at Daniel J's in Patterson (base of Thunder Ridge) tonight, with their good buddy Gary Cusano, warming up for their Mohegan Sun acoustic set. An early night will start at around 7PM and finish at an unspecified hour. Come if you can/want to/dare. They need all the help we can get.


Dazzling Dragonflies

10 AM - Dazzling Dragonflies! at the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum's Outdoor Discovery Center, entrance on Muser Drive, across from 174 Angola Road. Learn about these fascinating creatures and take a walk to the fields in search of them. $5, Members: $3. 845-534-5506, ext. 204  for more info.

Fishkill Watershed Day with the Beacon Institute

11am-5pm - Presentation at 1pm. Location: Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries Gallery and Beacon Headquarters, 199 Main Street, Beacon, NY. Visit the Beacon Institute’s Main Street Office and enjoy a presentation by Jim Heron, the Beacon Institute’s Project Historian, at 1pm. Also view the art exhibit Up River: Man-Made Sites of Interest on the Hudson from the Battery to Troy which is on display until October 2009. A portrait of the Hudson’s shores, Up River focuses on man-made sites rarely seen by those who travel along the river’s banks. The Up River exhibit is courtesy of The Center for Land Use Interpretation.

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)

The 3rd Annual Woodstock Celebration of Woody Guthrie

8PM - 11PM Featuring: Keynote Speaker Anna Canoni, Woody's granddaughter and Outreach Coordinator with the Woody Guthrie Archive. >From the organizer: "Come and celebrate the music, activism and life of the prototypical protest singer, the granddaddy of the folk revival, Woody Guthrie. Woody composed an endless array of ballads of labor, social justice, struggle and life in general and was a member of the seminal urban folk group the Alamanc Singers. His songs continue to influence musicians of conscience around the world." Cost: $10. Location: The Colony Cafe, 22 Rock City Road, Woodstock, NY 12498. Contact: John Pietaro at, or the Colony Cafe at 845 679-5342. Sponsored by: host and organizer: John Pietaro, of The Flames of Discontent.


Adirondack Mountain Club Hike at Thompson Pond

10:00am - Location: Thompson Pond, Pine Plains, NY. A national natural landmark, this 44-acre glacial kettle pond was created 15,000 years ago by melting glaciers. The hike will take participants through Nature Conservancy property where we will see birds, wildflowers, a dairy farm and the start of the Wappinger Creek. Meet at the Thompson Pond parking lot on Lake Road in Pine Plains at 10 am. Contact Lalita Malik, at 845-592-0204 or, to confirm.

League of Women Voters Picnic

3 p.m. - Sycamore Park Crane Road Mahopac. Come Network with your neighbors, meet your elected officials, and support your local chapter of the League Of Women Voters. Featuring The Desperado’s Band (Robert Cinque, Dan Ricci, Tom Purcell, Tom Huges) Playground For Children. Food & Refreshments. B.Y.O.B. optional $10.00 Suggested Donation. Call 845-520-6261 for More Info

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