Friday, August 21, 2009

News That Matters - August 21, 2009 - Things to Do Edition

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Good Friday Morning,

The League of Women Voters hosted a candidate's forum in Kent last evening at which I was on the panel and all I can say is that it was one of the scariest things I've ever done. It's not the same being on that side of the table as it is on the other!
Everyone was pretty chill until the closing statements when John Greene (yes, if you can believe the surname mashup that I still consider intentional,) got a little testy properly raising the ire of councilman Lou Tartaro who seems to be specifically targeted for removal from the board by various forces. While Lou and I are in direct competition for the board seat he currently occupies I'm not running against him - I'm running FOR the seat - there is a difference. But John seems to have Lou and Supervisor Doherty in his gunsights, and to a lesser extent Republican candidate Tom Maxson, and has for the past few months. There was a cameraman from the North County News present and I'll post the link to that as soon as it's made available.

I guess it's official now that I'm actually in the race.

I'll post more about it on the blog to save you all from my opinions about who can best lead this town into the future.

The Summer Concert Series continued at the Lake Carmel Cultural Center last evening with the Swamp Gumbo Cajun Mardi Gras band headed by Tim Ouimette and Kati Mac. There's only one show left in the series (see Into The Future below) and you'd really best get out there. I know the time is difficult (6PM on a Thursday) but really, some of the best live music this county has seen has been at the series this summer. Don't miss this last, great show with Vaneese Thomas.

The Audience at Swamp Gumbo. Photo by Steve Schreiber

TPM reports that in a new national survey from Public Policy Polling (PDF) one question asked: "Do you think the government should stay out of Medicare?" Keep in mind that this is a logical impossibility as Medicare is a government program signed into law in 1965 by President Lyndon Johnson to provide guaranteed health care to the elderly. Here's the breakdown of those who agreed:
Republicans 62%
Democrats 24%
independents 31%
I am speechless that so many people can be so wrong. But now we know who is following Greg Ball around and gate-crashing private meetings with his hoard of the misunderstood.

Okay, I'm not that speechless otherwise there wouldn't be a column today. So here's a short story that's going to be worth your read:

I apologize about Wednesday but I haven't been away from my house for more than two nights in about 15 years and I needed a vacation. I still haven't gotten one.

I pulled out the pack, got the bedroll and water filter, ground cover and tent, tossed the dog in the car and headed up to the old Lundy Estate in Wawarsing, NY, just off route 209. There's a large old field and a small lake area that seemed fair places to look to set up a small camp for two nights within easy walking distance of the car.

I'm looking around near the lake for a legal place to set up the tent (150' away from a water body, road or trail), found one and started walking back to the car to get the gear when the dog gives chase to something in the underbrush. I don't think much of it as giving chase is what he lives for.

A moment later he comes bounding through the high grasses, wildflowers and goldenrod and when he got within a few feet of me he dropped to the grass and buried his face in it. A moment later he lifts his head and I can see through the grasses that he's wearing a new mustache. Sadly for both of us, but especially for him, the new mustache was composed of quills from a porcupine. His first porkie. I should have been upset but the Buddhist in me said, "this is what is happening now." Read More Here


Three Arrows Schmooze

8:30PM - Lucy Brown, neurophysiologist, Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "Lust, Romantic Love, and Attachment: Mapping the Brain." Parking is at the corner of Barger and Roachdale Street in Putnam Valley (near the red barn) and the event takes place in the Norman Thomas Hall across the street. The event is free and reservations are not required.

ACT III at the121 Resturant

8:30PM - 2 Dingle Ridge Rd, North Salem, NY 10560-1401 (914) 669-0121 It's a beautiful place with great food, and a new venue for us, So if you can make it please come out. Music will run from about 8:30 to 11:30. Here's a video of Mike Latini with ACT III from an Arts on the Lake show.


National Honey Bee Awareness Day

Also known as National Honey Bee Day, is the first ever day completely dedicated to Honey Bee Awareness from a national effort. This year, on Aug 22nd, we are asking for all state and county associations and bee clubs, to participate in local events tailored to educating, and connecting with the community. The goal of the National Honey Bee Awareness Day, is to harness and multiply the efforts that many bee associations already make in their communities, by having a national effort to come together on one day. It’s about time a day is dedicated just to the Honey Bee. More info here.

Hike and Swim at Vernooy Kill Falls

Suitable for children 3.6 miles roundtrip. Leader: Mary Trish Cina at or call (845) 339-7170 Grab the kids, some lunch, your bathing suit and a towel. We will hike the easily graded trail to a beautiful series of falls and a naturally made swimming hole. There are great smooth rocks for sunning and pick-nicking. Heavy rain cancels. Please e-mail (preferred) for meeting time / place.

U-Pick Garden

10AM - 1PM - Enjoy harvesting your own vegetables, herbs and flowers in the U-pick garden.  See how the farm staff grows, harvests and sustains grown produce without the use of pesticides, herbicides or synthesized fertilizers.  Pay for your produce at the tent stand in the field.  U-pick gate closes promptly at 1:00 p.m.  Visit the website to see what produce is in season

Peekskill Downtown Music Series

6PM - Peekskill, NY:  Peekskill’s Downtown Entertainment Series continues presenting FREE  live outdoor concerts Saturday August 22nd at 6:00pm with two  group performances - Westchester locals, Rich Kelly & Drew Bordeaux  performing  soft rock  and blues ( and;  and  NYC’s  Jerry Dugger & the Dugger Brothers  presenting a mix of R&B, soul, light funk & rock (  The concert is located   outdoors on N. Division Street ((between Main St & Park Ave), in Downtown Peekskill.  It’s free and open to the public. Restaurants are open and Al Fresco dining is available. Shops and galleries are open late for browsing.  For directions and further information, visit The City of Peekskill website, or call Rich Credidio at 12 Grapes Music & Wine Bar, 914-737-6624;.   Sponsors for the series are Peekskill’s Business Improvement District and D. Bertoline & Sons.

The Peekskill Downtown Entertainment  Series presents entertainment in Peekskill every Saturday evening through Labor Day. For more information, log onto  Sponsors for the  2009 series are Peekskill’s Business Improvement District and D. Bertoline & Sons. Contact: Arne Paglia at Division Street Grill, 914-494-6151; Rich Credidio at 12 Grapes Music & Wine Bar, 914-737-6624; Ted Bitter at Bean Runner Café, 914-737-1701


Plum Pt. Hudson River

9:30am. Leader: Tom Galvin or call (914) 213 3421 before 9pm. Barbecue and paddle. Moodna Creek marsh and Bannerman's Island. Bring something to grill and your own drink, plus a dish to share. NO ALCOHOL Permitted! The date is subject to change to 8/22. Call to confirm.E-mail

Forest and Field Scavenger Hunt

Noon - 2 PM - Educators from Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and Cornell Cooperative Extension are hosting a scavenger hunt on the Cary Institute's grounds.  Younger visitors will go on a trail walk and look for items of interest using their observation skills.  Kids 10 and up will be invited to use handheld GPS units to discover items hidden from view.  (GPS units will be provided, no prior experience necessary).  To ensure there is enough equipment, please RSVP for the GPS scavenger hunt by calling 845-677-7600 x 121. Location:  Behind the Gifford House, located at 2917 Sharon Turnpike, Millbrook, NY

Into the Future:

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Vaneese Thomas

The Lake Carmel Cultural Center's Summer Concert Series finishes with Vaneese Thomas, renowned blues and soul singer. The show takes place indoors or outdoors (depending on the weather) and tickets are available at the Arts on the Lake website. The show starts at 6PM and you should be there!  You can listen to a clip here. (mp3) From Segue Records:
Born in Memphis, Tennessee, the daughter of R&B legend Rufus Thomas, Vaneese Thomas has cultivated her own style by blending all the influences of her background-R&B, gospel, blues and jazz. Regarded by many industry insiders as an accomplished performer, songwriter, producer, and actress, Vaneese is above all…a vocalist extraordinaire!

Vaneese has worked with an array of internationally known performers including Sting, Luciano Pavarotti, Stevie Wonder, Natalie Cole, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Gloria Estefan, Marc Anthony, Chaka Kahn, Luther Vandross, Joe Cocker, k.d. lang, Jonathan Butler, Jewel, Celine Dion, Joan Osborne, Annie Lennox and Patti Austin. Vaneese has produced recordings, created vocal arrangements, and/or written songs for Austin as well as Freddie Jackson, Bob James, Larry Coryell and Melba Moore.

In 1987 Geffen Records released Vaneese, which included the Top Ten R&B hit, "Let's Talk It Over," followed by Many Voices in 1993. Vaneese's movie soundtrack credits include Mighty Aphrodite (1995), The First Wives Club (1996), and the Oscar-nominated, Seraglio (2000), among others. In 1995, Diana Ross scored a Top Ten hit in the UK with "One Shining Moment," a song written by Vaneese. In 1999, Vaneese's When My Back's Against The Wall, a gospel/crossover record, was released on her own Peaceful Waters Music label. Billboard Magazine hailed the record as, "A small label masterpiece that begs for attention from savvy majors."

>From 1990 to 1996, Vaneese appeared as Grace the Bass on the PBS series Shining Time Station, and in 1997 was recruited to be the singing/speaking voice of Clio, Goddess of History, in the Disney production Hercules. Her other TV appearances include the Late Show With David Letterman, Late Night With Conan O'Brien, The Rosie O'Donnell Show and NBC's Today.

Discover Vaneese Thomas's 2003 recording A Woman's Love and you'll know immediately that Vaneese is an exciting and multi-talented artist who sings it like she feels it, with heart, soul and effortless grace.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Clearing Fishkill Creek for New Water Trail – Volunteers needed!

Members of the MidHudson Chapter of the Adirondack Mtn. Club (ADK) and the Fishkill Creek Watershed Committee are carrying out plans to open a canoe and kayak trail on the Fishkill Creek.  The new water trail will provide a superb recreational resource, and will be nearly 5 miles long and include portions of the creek from Rte. 9 in the Village of Fishkill to Glenham, with the possibility of extending from Hopewell Junction to Fishkill.  It is essentially an easy moving-water route, with the exception of the couple of miles between Brinckerhoff and Rt. 9, which has some Class I rapids (which could easily be avoided if desired).  To prepare the establishment of the water trail, organizers are planning two creek clearing days, August 29th and Sept. 12th.  Volunteers are needed!  No particular skills are needed.  For more information or to register, please contact Russ Faller at 845-297-5126 or

Home Garden Vegetable Swap

9 am - 11 am at Tilly Foster Farm 100 Route 312, Brewster, NY. Got Zucchini or Corn? Need Cucumbers or Beets? Bring the fruits and vegetables from your garden and trade them for produce from someone else's garden. No buying, no selling, just trading Home grown vegetables and fruits only. Cornell Cooperative Extension Educators and Master Gardener Volunteers will be on hand to answer your gardening questions and share important gardening news. Sponsored by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Putnam County. For information about the Swap call 845-278-6738

Small Potatoes

8 PM - The Blue Horse Repertory Company presents a special reading of "Small Potatoes" a play by Bob Rogers. Greed and stupidity jump track in a small town not unlike our own. Directed by Peggity. General Admission: $12 ($10 for AotL members). Reservations may be made by email: This production will be preceded by a celebratory pot-luck fund-raiser at 6 p.m. to close off our matching grant drive. A gift of $25 will include the performance and a good time. Email to indicate interest and for additional details.

Maggie Seligman at the Clinton Art and Music Festival

Clinton, NY - Maggie will be playing at two venues--at 1 and at 4.  Come on up, down, all around, to participate in this wonderful event.  It would be good to see friends--plus, plenty of other fine artists in performance. If you know anyone looking for a great CD, please recommend mine--"Rubato."  It's available now in two places, from and from

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tour De Putnam Bicycle Ride

Veteran's Memorial Park (Starting and Finishing Point)
Gipsy Trail Rd, Kent, NY 10512


Designed by cyclists for cyclists. You may choose from 15, 30, 50,75, 100 mile routes and Mountain Bike loops. All routes travel through beautiful and historic Putnam County.

We offer:
- Full SAG support
- Clearly marked, color coded routes
- Easy to follow cue sheets
- Bike mechanics courtesy of Bikeway (845) 621-2800
- Route sweeps
- Medical support
- Complimentary massages
- Access from the Southeast Station, on Metro-North’s "Harlem Line"
call 1-800-METRO-INFO for schedule
- Free Shuttle service from the Southeast Station with (reservations only),
call 800-470-4854 or 845-225-0381

Check in and same day registration 7:30 to 9:00 am.
Food and water stations are open from 8:30 - 3:00 pm

Ride Start time
- 100 miles,  8 to 9 am
- 75 miles,  8 to 9 am
- 50 miles,   8:30 to 9:30 am
- 30 miles,   8:30 to 9:30 am
- 15 miles,   9:00 to 10:00 am
- Mountain Bike loops   9:30 am

Pre-registration $25.00
Same day registration $30.00

Registration includes t-shirt, picnic lunch, and Dixieland band.
No children under 12. No bike trailers or child seats.

Way Into The Future

Saturday, October 4, 2009

Putnam County Farm Tour

174 Canopus Hollow Road, Putnam Valley at Mike Beals' Willow Ridge Farm. Contact George Michaud at 225-3641 x49310 if you want to have a table set up for your agriculturally based business or enterprise.

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