Friday, September 4, 2009

News That Matters - September 4, 2009 - Things To Do Edition

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Good Friday Morning,

As we approach Labor Day Weekend and the traditional end of summer we open the door on the best time to travel since everyone is back at school (or in Europe, back at work). If you can get away, now is the time.

Congratulations go to Kent's Maureen Fleming for earning the endorsement of the AFL-CIO in her race for Kent Town Justice.

While the elections are generally calm in most of our towns it's not so over in Southeast where the vitriol continues unabated as the days move on towards the primary a week from next Tuesday. Really now, if I lived in that town I'd be embarrassed. Southeast replaced Kent several years back as the Town That Rankles and I'm happy they're working hard to keep that moniker. Keep it up, guys!

Congressman John Hall held another in a series of Town Hall style meetings last evening in Goshen and it had quite a different feel than the the one held the night before in Bedford. Not in attendance were those who don't know their Medicare is provided by the government and so the evening went rather smoothly, what with the screaming and yelling missing. Down in Bedford on Wednesday evening, John would answer a question and the audience would boo and yell. John would say, "yes, the sky is blue," and the audience would scream until they were blue-in-the-face. An audience member demanded the fat be taken out of the Medicare system and though the Congressman stated that was a particular point in HR3200, the audience booed anyway. I don't get it.

Bee keepers and farmers in the area are preparing for what they believe may be the largest die-off of out pollinating friends this winter. All spring long (which ran into July) the rains kept washing off the pollen from plants these critters need to make the food that gets them through the winter and so production of nectar is down significantly. Farmers and keepers have resorted to a mix of chamomile tea, dandelion root, cane sugar, sea salt, water and thyme to feed the hungry buzzers and reports say they're going through gallons a day of it.
If you don't think bees are important, the next time you walk into the grocery imagine the entire produce section - empty.
We're looking at a three day weekend and I'm taking advantage of it. Parties, campaigning, splitting firewood and keeping the dog away from porcupines are all on the list.

Enjoy! Be safe. See you all on Wednesday.


20/20 One-Act Competition

8PM - Continues through Sunday at the Philisptown Depot Theatre. Tickets $15/$12(seniors). 20  one-act plays (no longer than 20 minutes long) will compete. One of the plays produced this evening, “Senior Moment” is by Bob Zaslow, a prolific local playwright. It’s a sardonic 1-act comedy about a patient with “selective Alzheimer’s" and stars Sagamore Lake's Kathie Freston as his wife. Call the Philipstown Depot Theatre at 845-424-3900

A Celebration of Paul Robeson

8 pm - An Evening with Friends: A Celebration of Paul Robeson. At Paramount Center for the Arts, 1008 Brown St, Peekskill. Benefit Concert: David Amram, Tao Rodriguez-Seeger, Kenneth Anderson, Roy Haynes, Ty Jones, Beth Lamont, Jon Batiste Band, Ray Blue. Tickets: 877-840-0457; Info:

Indian Music Concert with Ray Speigel

8PM - Pandit Ramesh Misra-Sarangi, Ray Spiegel, tabla. Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 320 Sawkill Rd., Kingston.  First a Tabla Solo by Ray Spiegel with Ramesh Misra on sarangi, second half Sarangi  by Pt. Ramesh Misra with Ray on tabla.  845-679-8865,, $20 [Ed note: Ray is an amazing musician and well worth the drive and the cost.]

Catskill Mountain Eco-Heritage Festival

Celebrate the Spirit of the Catskills at Ashokan Center. Fri. & Sat. evening, dinner from 5:30pm, live music and dancing under the stars, 7pm. Saturday, September 5th, 11am-5pm At the Ashokan Center, 477 Beaverkill Rd., Olivebridge, NY. On September 4th and 5th, Friday night, all day Saturday and Saturday night, the Ashokan Center is hosting its 2nd Annual Catskill Mountain Eco-Heritage Festival.  In a magical setting of 374 acres of streams, fields and forests in the foothills of the Catskills, this two-day festival will feature fiddle, guitar, and banjo music, ecology and nature photography workshops, hands-on colonial crafts, guided hikes -- a walk through geological time and wild plant walks --storytelling, dancing, and an alternative energy fair.  The past, present and the future of Catskills and Hudson Valley culture come alive with performances by Rich Bala and the Barefoot Boys, Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, Mike & Ruthy, the Walker Family Band, the Woodstock Oral History Collective and much, much more!  Contact: Jonathan Duda,, (845) 657-8333 x12, Deborah Meyer DeWan,, (845) 657-8333 x16 or Brian Joyner,, (845) 657-8333 x14


Collaborative Concepts Outdoor Sculpture Show

2PM - Opening Reception. The Collaborative Concepts Outdoor Art Exhibit begins this weekend (and runs through October) on Sandy Saunder’s Farm at the intersection of the Old Albany Post Road and Highlands Road in Philipstown. Admission is free and the scenery is ‘to die for’. If you go, it’s possible you’ll be sharing the space with Sandy’s cows and horses making the event even more fun. The horses are very friendly yet the cows are only interested in the grass – and occasionally nibble on some of the art. Don’t miss this show.

Collaborative Concepts invited local, national, and international artists to place sculptures throughout 100 acres of an historic farm in Garrison, NY. The rolling hills and wooded glens of Saunders Farm culminate in panoramic views of the Hudson Highlands. Black Angus cattle can be seen grazing peacefully in stone-walled pastures. More than 50 site-specific artworks were chosen to complement the farm’s spectacular vistas.

The exhibition is free and can be viewed from 10 am to dusk, Labor Day weekend into late October. Visitors should dress appropriately for a walk in the country.

If you haven’t been to this show, it’s really worth the time to drive over and see it. For one, the trip to the Saunders Farm is a gem. Dirt roads, farms, rolling countryside and a view of Putnam County that is quickly being lost to the Paul Camarda’s of our world. It’s also a huge event, spread over 100 acres of rolling hillsides with expansive views to the east and a hidden view of the “gap” through the break between Storm King and Breakneck ridge… if you look for it!

Into the Future:

Friday, September 11

Michelle LeBlanc at Arts on the Lake

Jazz and history, quite an unlikely pair but Michelle LeBlanc does not think so. Michelle LeBlanc, a jazz vocalist, history buff and Putnam Valley resident performs songs from her new CD, "I Remember You." At Arts on the Lake at  the Lake Carmel Cultural Center, 640 Route 52 Kent, NY, Friday September 11, 2009 at 8:00pm.

Michelle LeBlanc has been performing in Hudson Valley jazz club and concert stages since the early 1990's. She is a popular bandleader, bringing great jazz musicians together to provide entertainment for clubs, concerts and private events.. Michelle has worked with many Hudson Valley jazz greats including Bill Crow, Ed Xiques, Tom Kohl, Ron Vincent, Jeff Tillman, David Amram, Steve Lamattina, Bill Conway, David Jones, Joe Stelluti, Calloway Brooks, Joe Puma and Carmen Leggio.

Michelle's first effort at creating a show evolved into a journey through the decades of American jazz music, a show which received much attention including an interview by The New York Times. That same year Michelle released her first CD, Now or Never. Soon after, she was commissioned by the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers NY to develop ELLA!, a show celebrating the artistry and international career of Yonkers native Ella Fitzgerald. Michelle's 2002 show, Women in Jazz, was commissioned by the Southeast Museum in Brewster NY and featured songs written by jazz luminaries including Billie Holiday, Peggy Lee, Dorothy Fields, and Abbey Lincoln. More recent show titles include Cole Porter, Jazz Standards, Starlight Swing, The Jazz Age and 1950’s Jazz: Bop, Cool, R&B.

In addition to her regular Hudson Valley appearances, Michelle has performed on several New York City stages including The Friars Club, The Riverside Chapel, Rockefeller Center's Rainbow Room with the Cab Calloway Tribute Orchestra and at Town Hall as part of the annual Mabel Mercer Cabaret Foundation showcase. Michelle has studied with several New York City based coaches including Mary Cleere Haran, John Wallowitch, Sheila Jordon, Monica Robinson, and Claude Stein.

Saturday, September 12

Dutch Legacy Weekend at the Van Wyck Homestead

10 AM - 4 PM. Van Wyck Homestead Museum, 504 Rt 9, Fishkill, NY ( Jct. I-84 & Rt9 ) Dutch Legacy Weekend.  Exhibits of paintings, artifacts and documents of the Dutch Heritage of the Hudson Valley including an exhibit of the Hudson-Fulton Celebration of 1909 on loan from the Toy Museum of Limerick, ME.  Dutch treats in the 1732 kitchen with Dutch apple fritters. Free. 845-896-9560

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

Fund Raiser for Congressman John Hall

7-10PM - 1408 Peekskill Hollow Road Kent Cliffs, New York 10512 - Any reasonable donation accepted. With Live Performances by:

Michelle LeBlanc and the "Accidental Standards"
With guitarists Pat Cummings, Tim Pitt and Ron Gluck

John Cohen of the "New Lost City Ramblers"
With special guest Annabel Lee

"The Kitchen Table Band"
With Drew Howland, Dennis Klubnick, Lora Lee Ecobelli, Maaike Hoekstra and Jan Hoekstra

Michael Klubnick
With Pat Cummings, John Stech and Steve Adler and Brian Crimmins

RSVP to Darren Rigger at:
845-598-3971 or

Sunday, September 13

Robert Zubrycki and Friends, Benefit Concert for St. Andrew's

4PM - St. Andrew's Episcopal Church has been an important part of Robert's family life here in Putnam County for over 40 years. He hopes you will join him and his colleagues for this special benefit concert on Sunday, September 13th at 4pm. A reception prepared by members of St. Andrew's will follow at approximately 5:30PM.

St. Andrew's is on the National Register of Historic Landmarks and has been a vital part of our community for well over a hundred years. Some of the Church's current activities include:
  • Brewster Community Food Pantry, over 114,000 meals served in 2009.
  • The St. Andrew's Nursery School, still going strong after 35 years.
  • The Church is also home to the Brewster Theater Company and is a meeting
  • place for many local groups and organizations.
  • The Church provides many youth activities and community events throughout
  • the year.
Tickets for the Concert are $25 or $20 for two or more. To purchase tickets, contact Suanne Ritchey at: or call (845) 278-6906

Monday and Tuesday, September 14-15

2009 Watershed Science and Technical Conference

The 2009 Watershed Science and Technical Conference will bring scientists, engineers and technical experts together with watershed stakeholders and the public, to technically inform and present leading-edge research findings on the most current scientific trends and data regarding climate change as it relates to watersheds and water supply. This year's theme is climate change and its effect on watersheds. The conference will be valuable to elected officials, directors of public works, buildings, planning and highway departments, land use planners, consulting engineers, regulated industries, attorneys, educators, environmental groups and interested citizens. Conference attendees will find themselves in a unique forum for collaboration, providing an opportunity to enhance information and technology transfer and increase coordination among the array of entities working with watershed protection science.  Organizers include the Watershed Protection & Partnership Council, NYS Dept. of State, NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation, and the NY Water Environment Association.  For more information and fees, or to register, please see or Location:  Thayer Hotel in West Point, NY

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