Friday, November 20, 2009

News That Matters - November 20, 2009 - Things To Do Edition

News That Matters
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Good Friday Morning,

I'd like to thank those of you who have heeded the call to support News That Matters but it's the same people who do so year after year who are carrying the weight for the rest of you!
I know that there are 450 or more people who receive this each day by email (I could name you all, if you'd like?) and another couple hundred who read online. I also know that those who most write to critique, comment or ask for access have never helped us out. What's with that?

Yesterday was World Toilet Day and I would appreciate it if someone were to ask the Town of Kent why they're spending tens of thousands of recreation dollars on a toilet facility at Farmer's Mills park when for $5000 they could have a two-stall composting toilet dropped on the site instead.
I once asked the current board why this was and was told that the Putnam County health department would not allow it but Scenic Hudson is using them at the Cold Spring Foundry. I also found that all the town needs is a waiver from the health department and they're good to go. So why haven't they pushed for one?
Then we have to ask why, in these times of tight budgets and the greening of all we do there's crews about to go out there digging wells, laying pipe, digging a leach field, running power and plumbing when a prefab deal would do just as well, be much more inexpensive and have the added benefit of producing compost for the Beautification committee?

Composting toilets are in use all around the world with stellar results. They're here in the valley. They're in state and national parks and nature reserves and they're in extensive use at the Clear Lake Boy Scout reserve which, if the maps are correct and I know they are, is right in the heart of Putnam County. They're, well, they're everywhere but here in the Town of Kent. What's with that?

(Image: Composting Toilet in use on the Poughkeepsie Side of the Walkway Over the Hudson State Park)
[I think that's my question of the day, "what's with that?"]

Putnam CAP is gearing up for the distribution of Thanksgiving Baskets beginning on Monday, November 23rd.  We make every attempt to include a pie for a traditional Thanksgiving dessert.  As of now we expect to be distributing 500 baskets, but have only received commitments of approximately 200 pies (or other desserts).
Still needed are boxed pies, preferably frozen, that can be included in each basket.  (Storage of pies is difficult and while homemade is by far the best, it doesn't store or stack well in their limited space.)

Please consider donating or coordinating a collection of boxed pies with your friends, neighbors or co-workers.  Help us to get the word out by forwarding this e-mail to your contacts.  Apple and pumpkin are the most desired traditional fare, but any type of boxed pie would be appreciated.

We are open Mon-Fri 8:30-4:30.  On Wednesday we are here until 6:30 pm.  This weekend 11/21 + 11/22 we are here from 4:30-7:00. Best Regards for an enjoyable Thanksgiving,

Judy Callahan, Director, Putnam Community Action Program, 121 Main Street, Brewster NY - 845-278-8021 x 17 or
The success of the Walkway Over the Hudson project has spawned an imitator right here in new York State. The Rochester (NY) railroad bridge crosses the Genessee River at some 200' up and is some 700' long. An initial $135,000 worth of studies are underway to check the structural integrity of the bridge and if found sound, would become an integral part of that city's rail-trail network.

The weather this weekend is supposed to be pretty fair so get out there and do something. And please remember, when you blow your leaves out into the street they go somewhere and that somewhere is often the nearest lake or stream or other body of water adding phosphorus and other pollutants that screw things up. Bag 'em or compost 'em.


Michelle LeBlanc Trio

7:30 PM - at The Division Street Grill, 26 North Division Street, Peekskill NY 10566. Featuring:

Bill Crow is a legendary string bass player whose career has included performances and recordings with jazz greats like Benny Goodman, Stan Getz, Marian McPartland, Mose Allison, Chet Baker, Ray Brown, and Milt Jackson. Bill has toured extensively through Europe and also in Japan and Russia. Bill writes about jazz and has authored two entertaining books: From Birdland to Broadway and Jazz Anecdotes.  Visit him at

Tom Kohl, composer, arranger and jazz pianist, has performed, recorded, and taught throughout the Northeast since 1982. He has worked with Quincy Jones, Clark Terry, Richard Davis and Marc Johnson. Tom's early studies with Archie Shepp and Dr. Horace Boyer instilled a deep sense of ensemble dynamics and harmonic adventure in his playing. Visit him at

Michelle LeBlanc, jazz vocalist, has been performing in Hudson Valley jazz clubs and concert stages since the early 1990's.  She has worked with many Hudson Valley jazz greats, including Bill Crow, Tom Kohl, David Amram, Joe Puma, Ed Xiques, Michael Abene, Carmen Leggio, and also with Calloway Brooks at the Rainbow Room in New York City. Michelle was awarded annual grants for ten years in a row from New York State Council on the arts supporting her series of shows titled "JAZZ: The American Story" in which she traces the development of jazz and the history that gave rise to this uniquely American art form.  Visit her at


Friends of the Kent Library - Mini Book Sale

10am to 2:30pm -- The last of three Mini Book Sales will be held in the Program Room of the Kent Public Library (large selection - great for holiday gift giving). Be there!

Thomas Paine Lecture

2PM - The Southeast Museum will host a free lecture by  Dr. J. Ward Regan. This talk is an examination of the life and writings of Thomas Paine at the end of the eighteenth century. By looking at his early political writings in England, Common Sense, and The Crisis Papers, the talk explores the integral role of Paine in not only the American Revolution, but also in the creation of a "democratic political ideology."  The presentation will also explore the characterization of Paine as a preeminent philosopher, the genesis of radical politics, and a force in world events.


Driven to Abstraction

1-4 PM With Jeanne Demotses. Presented by the Putnam Arts Council at Tilly Foster Farms. We will look at the principles which all artists rely upon to develop their paintings and discuss how those principles are used in abstract painting. Lecture & demonstration. Fee $40.

Black Bears in New York

2PM - As part of the Friends of the Great Swamp's (FrOGS) Annual Meeting, Matt Merchant, a Senior Wildlife Biologist, NYS DEC will talk about our local black bear population. Matt met the black bear as a student in the Wildlife Management Program at the University of Maine when he participated in a study of bear habitat use and spent one summer live-trapping bears in northern Maine. After a decade with the DEC office in Stamford, NY, Matt is now in charge of NYS DEC’s bear program for Region 3 as well as head of their Sportsman Education Program. The event will be held at the Lalor Building at the intersection of Routes 164 and 311 in Patterson. The event is free.

Into the Future:

Friday, November 27

Class Action

9 PM - At O'Malley's Bar and Grill, 30 East Main Street Mt. Kisco, NY. Featuring, Gary Cusano, Greg Kuczinski, Mike Latini, Rich Block and Matt Daus.

Friday, December 4

5th Annual  Green Buildings & Energy Conference

9AM- 4:40PM - Education & Workforce Development for the 21st Century Economy at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, NY. Sponsored by the Hudson Valley Regional Council, the Environmental Finance Center at Syracuse University, & Schein Media Green Business+Careers

Join regional leaders for a working conference on linking business, education, local government, workforce training and community development.
·        Presentations and panel discussions will feature emerging trends, case studies, roundtable dialogue and networking opportunities, focusing on energy efficiency, green buildings, solar energy, water, local food and sustainable agriculture sectors.  We’ll provide an overview of emerging training, education and workforce development programs and discuss how these programs can be tailored to fit the emerging economy.

·        This program is designed to help identify and advance regional opportunities to benefit from the growing green economy.  Building on previous programs, we will address key challenges and obstacles to be overcome, as well as potential solutions and mechanisms that can work for the Hudson Valley region.

·        The program will highlight job-creation opportunities for organizations, businesses, and local government in the Hudson Valley region, and introduce examples from other areas in NY State where public-private partnerships are working to address these emerging needs and opportunities.  It will also include discussion about educational goals for developing a deeper literacy in ecological issues that may be critical to realizing the full potential in these economic sectors.

Register now – space is limited.  Visit   or call 845-564-4075 for more information.

Speakers and panelists will include Vince Cozzolino, The Solar Energy Consortium; William Schlesinger, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies; Wayne Williams, U.W. Marx Construction;  Paul Mankiewicz, Gaia Institute; Lisa Cleckner, Syracuse Center of Excellence  Frank Surdey, NY State Dept. of Labor; Rick Alfandre, Alfandre Architecture & US Green Building Council NY Upstate Chapter; Simon Gruber, Hudson Valley Regional Council; Tom Bregman, Antioch New England Graduate Center; Jonathan Schein, ScheinMedia;  Judith LaBelle, Glynwood Center; Chris Marx, SUNY Ulster; William Makofske, Ramapo College;  Hanah Ehrenreich, CNY Works;  Melissa Everett, Sustainable Hudson Valley;  Alan Berkowitz, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies; Mark Thielking, Town of Bedford; Martin Ping, Hawthorne Valley Association; Stephen Mitchell, SUNY Sullivan.

Co-sponsors include Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Sustainable Hudson Valley, US Green Building Council NY Upstate Chapter, Syracuse Center of Excellence, Building Performance Contractors Association of NYS, Mid-Hudson Energy $mart Communities, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Edible Hudson Valley, Hudson Valley Smart Growth Alliance (list in formation.)

Saturday, December 5

Putnam Arts Council 15th Annual Invitational Craft Show and Sale

2009 Putnam Arts Council presents their 15thAnnual Invitational Craft Show and Sale ~ Their last official event at their digs at Tilly Foster Farm. The show will be featuring the work of 40+ regional artisans including jewelry, wearables, pottery, wood & metal works, original art and more ~ come see these beautiful and affordable treasures (for anyone on your list!) created here, in your own backyard. Admission and parking free, Tuesday – Sunday from noon-5pm, December 5-20, 2009 at The Lodge (Bldg 8), Tilly Foster Farm, 100 Rte 312, Brewster, NY ~ Special member preview, December 4, 6-8pm Info/directions: or 845-278-0230

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