Friday, December 18, 2009

News That Matters - December 18, 2009 - Things To Do Edition

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Good Friday Morning,

It's been cold! This morning it was 6.6º at 6:45AM, the low so far for this season. The National Weather Service is warning that - out of nowhere - a significant winter storm could affect our area tomorrow morning through Sunday.
If you know of anyone who lives alone check in on them from time to time to make certain they're all right and please, don't wait for them to call you asking for assistance. They may be shy, they may be in a coma... unless you call you won't know for sure. This holds true for the elderly but younger people can also succumb to the effects of cold weather. Just because your friend is a strapping 35 year old jock doesn't mean he can't freeze to death, slip on the ice or become incapacitated.

Be a good neighbor: check in on your neighbors.
The Putnam Community Action Program is in the midst of its annual toy drive and could really use gifts aimed at teens this year. Donations, they say, are down 20% over last year. Contact CAP here.

Former Sheriff's candidate Andrew DeStefano, busted for campaign fraud, wanted to do his community service in part-time Assemblyman Greg Ball's office but the judge said, "No". Smart move there. DeStefano said, "If it was a different politician, I think the people would say differently,". But I would say that if Mr. DeStefano was a different person, let's say more like your common, average citizen, his community service would have begun with an orange safety vest and some large orange garbage bags right before he was sent to an AIDS hospice and/or a veteran's hospital.

Tiger Woods is reported to have had 23 mistresses, a caddie or two and conjugal relations with all the known beats on Noah's Ark.
Okay. I made that up. But damn, I am tired of America's fascination with people's personal sex lives.
Even with New York State in dire financial straits, some spending habits just don't change. The NYS Senate, that bastion of political intolerance and 15th century thinking, likes to send its constituents fliers, cards and letters on a pretty regular basis - on your dime, of course. For a while there it seemed like every time you opened your mailbox Senator Leibell was saving the world from prostate cancer or terrorists. This time it's drunk drivers in a card that, not unlike the others, is a blatant political mailing that says nothing we couldn't have read in the press and cost taxpayers a good penny.
In order to pay for the taxpayer funded mailers, I got my new vehicle registration notice in the mail the other day. The costs are $116.50 for a 2 year registration and then a "Use Tax" of $20 as if the initial $116.50 isn't already a tax! What happens to those who cannot afford this huge tax this year? Those who are un/under employed?

If you've had it, and I mean really had it, with the NY State Senate, its members, its franking "privileges" and it's uncaring attitude about working people and its fealty with the uber-rich, do what I've done: write "Return To Sender" on the postcard and put it back in your mailbox. Look, it's not much, but it's something and I promise, you'll feel good about it.
The dog reported missing near Twin Mountain in the Catskills the other day has been repatriated with its owner. Conditions on the trail above 3000' were treacherous with deep snow (1' - 1.5') with an icy crust. The dog just couldn't keep up and stopped following the group he was with when he found another hiker sitting at a viewpoint and stayed with him when his owner got up to continue onwards to the summit. The dog, with bloody paws and unwilling to follow, stayed behind with his new-found friend. After the owner left to continue further up the trail, the dog headed back down in the opposite direction, following the broken path he'd taken up. Thus the party became separated and the owner, assuming the dog was close behind, continued onwards to bag the peak.
Doggie Boots!Ice can be brutal on a dog's feet but if you insist on taking your dog with you on long, icy hikes, there are booties and creams just for that purpose. He may not like the boots and some advise against purchasing them claiming that a dog's paws are more than adequate for the adventure. While that may be true of dogs who spend a great deal of time outside if your dog is generally a house/suburban dog then his paws are not up to that trek in the mountains.

As well, road salt is horrible for your dog's paws and will get caught up inside his pads, causing drying and cracking of his pads as it dries. If you're taking him running with you or out on a walk along the road after it's been salted, make sure it's not for long and that you wash his paws after he comes back to the house or coat them with Vaseline or any of the other manufactured creams made specifically for that purpose before you leave the house.
The Putnam Valley Farmer's Market reminds you that there is only one day left to do your Xmas shopping using small, local vendors and in concert with the Putnam County Arts Council, five local crafts vendors will be at the market next Wednesday afternoon (12/23) from 3 PM to 7 PM. The market is at the Lake Peekskill Community Center, #7 Northway, Lake Peekskill. Contact: 845-528-0066. A free raffle ticket is awarded to any purchase of $10 or more.

Can't stand the malls? You're in good company. And if you've got a young child there's no reason to hit the Toys R Us and send your money to China. You can make your own gifts for them right in your own home! Play Dough, for instance...
PlaydoughHere's what you'll need:

1 cup white flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tablespoons cream of tartar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup warm water
1 three ounce package of jello - flavor of your choice.

Combine all the ingredients into a non-stick saucepan and cook over a low/medium heat, stirring constantly. The goop will begin to lump and congeal and once it gets fully congealed remove it from the heat and dump it out onto a flour-covered or waxed paper surface to cool a bit. Knead for awhile until the desired consistency is reached. While kneading you can add a little food coloring, carrot or beet juice for color. Pack in an airtight container and give it to your child Christmas morning for a fun, affordable and edible gift.
If you'd prefer to give a homemade gift to an adult, consider making a gift of vodka (rum, gin) in an edible form. The directions for that are here. It's a little more involved than the Jello Play Dough but a lot more fun in the end. For you, not for your kids, that is.

Jeff LeursJeffrey Leurs, the environmental activist sentenced to 22 years and 8 months in prison for torching 3 Hummers at a dealership in Eugene, Oregon, has been released - finally - after spending nine years in prison. His sentence, far longer than most for murder, rape and pillaging, was seen as a direct attack on environmental activists everywhere. Mr. Leurs said upon his release, "The last 9 years have been difficult at best. I have witnessed things in prison that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I have endured hardship and loss. Without a doubt, this experience has changed me. What hasn't changed is my commitment to environmental and social justice."
Around the same time the Bush Administration claimed that environmental activists were akin to international terrorists and groups from the Rainforest Network to the Quakers were infiltrated by government agents and provocateurs and remain so to this day.

Justice, American Style
, where material possessions are worth more than life itself!

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A Pied Piper Christmas Carol

7:30 PM - The Pied Piper Children's Theater presents an original adaption of this famed story by Lake Carmel resident James Ryerson. At the White Pond Center in Stormville, NY. Call 845 878-9780 for more information or click here.

A Christmas Carol: On The Lake

8PM - A staged reading by the Blue Horse Repertory Company of this classic holiday tale at the Cultural Center on Lake Carmel.

Stu Hample, Nancy Johnston*, Ryan Katzer*, Joe Capone*, Paul Coleman, Brian Keeler*, James Shearwood and Lanie & Porter Durkee.

Directed by:
Peggity Price.*

Scrooge!Live music with the Kitchen Table Band starring Drew Howland and Maaike Dennis Klubnik.

Foley artist:
Richard Lopez

Lights and sound:

Jeff Green

After a night of turmoil, Scrooge is given a redemptive second chance.

Tickets: $10.00 - $12.00

More information is available here.

*Member of Actors' Equity Association.

Aviva & Dan - Around the World for the Holidays

For their unprecedented third 2009 Howland concert, Beacon & Brooklyn's globally-acclaimed duo returns for two extraordinary sets of holiday music from around the world. Light refreshments and snacks available. Sponsored in part by The Artisan Wine Shop, Beacon, NY. In keeping with the spirit of season, we are asking all our guests to bring a donation of non-perishable food items for the benefit of St. Andrew's Food Pantry, Beacon $12.00 Tickets available online:


Christmas Bird Count

All Day - Join the Waterman Bird Club for the 110th(!) annual Christmas Bird Count. The Christmas Bird Count (CBC) was inaugurated at the turn of the last century by Frank Chapman of the National Audubon Society. The fascinating history of this annual event is detailed on the History page of the National Audubon Society's CBC website. The purpose of this annual census, now enjoyed by over 50,000 participants throughout the western hemisphere each year, is to gather data that can be used to identify bird population trends from year to year, which in turn can help scientists understand environmental impacts of weather, habitat loss, industrialization, human expansion, and other factors. More information can be found here.

Race the Bear Hike in the Taconics

Call Leader: Russ Faller 845-297-5126 (before 9:30 PM) or for start time. We'll start at Race Brook Falls and hike up Mt. Race, continuing on the Appalachian Trail down into beautiful Sages Ravine, then up Bear Mtn., the highest mountain in CT. We could see some striking ice formations at the falls. Approx. 9 mi., with somewhat over 1500 ft. ascent. Winter gear may be necessary. Bring lunch & water.

Kent Library Holiday Crafts Event

11AM - 12:30PM - Join us on Saturday, December 19, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., for a Holiday Crafts program.  Families and children of all ages will create special holiday crafts and gifts including a unique, hand folded and decorated paper gift box.   To register, call the Library (845-225-8585) or click here

The Moscow Boys Choir

Moscow Boy's Choir7:00 PM at the Paramount in Peekskill.$20 for select seats. Under the direction of Mr. Leonid Baklushin, The Moscow Boys Choir is a careful blend of heavenly soprano voices with the rich resonance of bass, tenor and baritone sound that brings a distinct Russian flavor to the choral experience. Founded in 1957, this choral ensemble is among Russia's most prestigious all-boy choirs. The program will feature beloved Christmas classics and seasonal choral favorites from around the world.
This offer is made in cooperation with The Peekskill Area Pastor's Association and The Tappan Zee Conference of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.
* The Paramount will be holding a non-perishable food collection for the United Methodist Church Food Pantry. We will be collecting goods in the lobby before and after the performance.*

Contact: (914) 739-2333 EXT.26

Music for Humanity Free Concert

7:30PM - Features 3 top singer/songwriters at Noble Coffee Roasters at 3020 Route 207 Campbell Hall 10916, just a few miles north of Goshen. Seating is limited so arrive early. No Charge. Information: or or 845-469-0900


Holiday Skating Show

10 AM - 11:30AM - Brewster Ice Arena. Free Admission for the general public. The annual holiday skating show at the Brewster Ice Arena will feature skaters of all levels, each performing to music in costume. Double Salchows and double Axels, waltz jumps and spirals, costumes and music! You might even be inspired to skate yourself at the public session after wards (fee)! Snack bar and restaurant on the premises. Skates available for rental.

Shopping Free Nature Escape

1 PM - Need a break from all the pre-holiday frenzy? Come join environmental educator Laura Conner on a leisurely stroll around Lake Minnewaska. Pre-registration required. Minnewaska State Park Preserve. Parking: $6  (845-255-0752)

Into the Future:

Tuesday, December 29

Van Wyck Museum Holiday Open House

6:30 - 9:30 PM. "Holiday Open House", Van Wyck Homestead Museum, 504 Route 9 ( across from Hess) Fishkill.  845-896-9560, Annual open house featuring "the Night Before Christmas" by Henry Livingston, childrens' Hannukah and Christmas activities, Dia de los Tres Reyes. Admission free!

Through December 31

Historical Postcard Exhibition

On display through December 31 in the Genealogy Room, is an exhibition of the 72 postcard images of the floats and the official poster for the 1909 Hudson-Fulton Celebration Parade.  The exhibition is presented by the Taconic Postcard Club in coordination with the Croton Free Library, Croton Friends of History, Yorktown Museum and the Peekskill Museum, and was made possible by a generous contribution from the New York State Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Commission.

Thursday, December 31

Michelle Leblanc

8:30 PM ~ Join Michelle and jazz pianist Tom Kohl for a lovely New Year's Eve celebration in Cold Spring. Welcome in the new year in the comfort of the most beautiful Inn on the Hudson River. Come for dinner or extend your stay by reserving a room overlooking the River and Storm King mountain. New Year's eve dinner is $75. per person. See the menu, get directions and call for reservations here.

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