Friday, May 7, 2010

News That Matters - May 7, 2010 - Things To Do Edition

News That Matters

News That Matters
Brought to you (Almost Daily) by PlanPutnam.Org

Good Friday Morning,

Thirty-Seven people have voted in our poll regarding your choice for the next representative from NY's 40th Senate District and not a single vote has come in from Amsterdam or Vladivostok!
As of this writing Westchester County Legislator Mike Kaplowitz is in the lead with 51% followed by Southeast's Jim Borkowski at 27%. Somers Supervisor and Leibell picked heir apparent Mary Beth Murphy and part-time Assemblyman Greg "Lock and Load!" Ball are running in a dead heat for last place with 11% each. We'll leave it up over the weekend for you late comers to vote!

Congressman John Hall's office has announced the awarding of a $189,525 Federal grant for the Mahopac Volunteer Fire Department for the purchase of safety equipment.
Another bill the Congressman has cosponsored, HR5019, is the "Home Star Energy Retrofit Act. The bill creates two tracks of Federal rebates for home weatherization and energy upgrades. One, a Silver Star that includes duct sealing, insulation, new doors and whatnot to the tune of $3000 in rebates and a Gold program which includes a full energy audit and the renovations required to meet the goals of the audit to $8000.

Weather for this weekend is a mixed bag.
Nice today, a little rain possible for tomorrow morning and Sunday will be cool, cloudy and windy. But hey, that's spring! So, what to do? Get on the outside of things anyway. Take a hike. Work in the garden. Read the Sunday NY Times in a sheltered spot and don't come in until you're done. In any other words: stay away from anything with a cathode ray tube. Everyone knows that watching television on weekends is the leading cause of brain tumors, blindness, halitosis and hemorrhoids.

While you're on the outside you might take on a little geocaching, one of the fastest growing activities that virtually anyone can participate in.
All you need is either a handheld GPS unit (your car's navigator will often work) and the ability to follow directions. Here's an example: N 41° 26.824 W 073° 39.212 The location points to (this is a hint) spot at Ryan's Field in Lake Carmel where if you've been studious you'll find an ammo can hidden by a local cub scout pack. Here's another: N 41° 27.415 W 073° 43.582 This one brings you into the Mt. Nimham MUA and is a lot harder to find. If you do get there you'll be looking for a tupperware container with various goodies in it. It's traditional to take something from the box and replace it with a trinket of your own, sign the logbook and put things back where you found them. Point your browser here for more... and there's a lot more!
Putnam Deputy Barbara Dunn is finally in court, three years after charges were leveled against her for a variety of legal issues most of which will be resolved over the next few days. The NYJN reported this morning that an FBI expert had trouble identifying the date and time some digital images were taken, images that are important to the case. The problem was, according to agent Amanda Broyles, that the batteries in the (3) cameras used by Sheriff's road patrols were either missing or dead and thus the time/date stamps on the images were inaccurate making it impossible to verify their provenance.
Now, I'm not one to go around carelessly tossing accusations at people but it seems to this untrained eye that when equipment the police use for the gathering of evidence is "missing or dead" that there are much deeper problems within the department than a deputy using her position for personal reasons. It could suggest that if you've been involved with a case where the department used digital images that the images may not be all that legally valid. Without that imprinted time and date stamp there's no telling if the image was taken at the actual scene or at some other time. If images such as those have been used in the past as evidence against you that "evidence" may no longer be "evidence". Someone ought to look in to this a bit more closely.

Sarah Palin, in response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, said that we should no longer trust foreign oil companies. Sure, whatever. But she failed to mention that the incident had partners namely, Halliburton, which we all know is an American company and receiver of billions upon billions of Federal tax dollars and TransOcean, which was an American company but is now Swiss owned... and we know just how much the Swiss hate our freedoms.
She is clearly the stupidest women we've ever allowed in front of a microphone.

What's Going On?

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Friday, May 7th

Rock Out With Mike Latini and Class Action

8PM - at the Yorktown Elks Club. To quote the lovely Adrienne Cusano: "Rock The Town Purple!" a Relay for Life event, May 7th, with Class Action (classic rock band) at 8 pm at the Yorktown Elks, Waverly Place, Yorktown Hgts. Admission $20 includes light snacks. Cash bar, 50/50 and other raffle prizes. Proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life of Yorktown. (21 and older please!)

Saturday, May 8

Container Gardening

10AM - 11:30AM - No room for a garden?  No problem!  Master Gardener Jen Stengle will show you how you can grow herbs, vegetables and flowers in very small spaces.  Cost:  $15.  To register: or  Common Ground Farm is located at the "slated to be closed" Stony Kill Farm on Route 9D on the Beacon/Wappingers' border.

Work on the Teatown-Kitchawan Trail Project

The NY/NJ Trail Conference and Teatown Lake Reservation will begin construction of the TEATOWN-KITCHAWAN TRAIL in the spring of 2010. This five-mile pathway will connect Westchester County's Kitchawan Preserve to Teatown. It will be significant in its being one of few trails in the area that runs east-west, rather than north-south. Also, the trail will cross some little-visited DEP (Dept. of Environmental Protection) watershed lands that provide magnificent vistas of the Hudson Hills and Highlands. The program is led by Leigh Draper, the Trail Conference's East Hudson Regional Representative, who maintains an office at Teatown. Contact: Leigh Draper [] for information regarding start time and location.

Maggie Seligman

11AM - Noon. With Martin Aronchick at the North Salem Library Fair. Ruth Keeler Memorial Library 276 Titicus Road, North Salem, NY. Maggie will be singing jazz standards and a few other songs with the accompaniment of the excellent jazz guitarist Martin Aronchick, who asked me to join him for this gig.  I'm flattered--it will be a lot of fun!

Michelle LeBlanc Jazz Duo

7:30 PM - Featuring jazz guitarist Steve Lamattina. At the Hudson House River Inn, 2 Main Street in Cold Spring. (845) 265-9355. The historic Hudson House Inn has world class food and offers elegant lodging overlooking the Hudson River and Storm King Mountain. Cold Spring is a charming getaway destination with wonderful river views, shops and antiques. Cold Spring's Metro North train stop is only minutes away. Visit Michelle at

Westchester Symphonic Winds

8PM - The Westchester Symphonic Winds continues its 22st season with its new conductor Mr. Curt Ebersole in its Spring Concert at the Tarrytown Music Hall. Curt Ebersole, conductor/music director. This volunteer adult community wind ensemble, now in its 22nd year, provides opportunities for players and audiences alike to enjoy the finest music for winds/percussion by award-winning composers, along with the area's finest soloists. All season long we are celebrating the most popular works of John Barnes Chance, with two works by this award-winning composer on each program. Featured works for this concert include "Overture to Candide" by Leonard Bernstein, Elegy and Symphony No. 2 by John Barnes Chance, and Casy at the Bat by Randol Alan Bass, with narration by Tom Morehouse. Ticket prices: $13 for seniors & students, $18 for adults, children under 10 are free. Tickets.

Sunday, May 9 - Mother's Day

Hike the Timp-Torne Trail

NY/NJ Trails COnference Logo8:30 AM Harriman-Bear Mountain State Park, NY. Leader: Shizuko Okumura, 718-997-6186. Meet: 8:30am at Port Authority Bus Terminal for 8:45 Short Line bus to Jones Point (one-way). Moderately strenuous hike on entire TT, from Jones Point to Ft. Montgomery, including climbs to the Timp, West Mtn., and Popolopen Torne. Return by bus or by train from Manitou.

Hike the Mohonk Pavilion and Guyot Hill

9AM - Mohonk Preserve, NY. Leader: Brian Sullivan, 845-594-9545; call before 9pm. Meet: 9am at Spring Farm parking area, New Paltz, NY. 10 difficult miles at a moderate pace.

Hike Stone Crop Gardens

10:30 AM - On Route 301just before the turnoff for Dennytown Road. No Pets. Sorry. Leader: Sayi Nulu 845-264-2270 Enjoy spring blooms in this hilltop garden which has a variety of landscapes and an interesting greenhouse. Spend 2.5 to 3.5 hours depending on pace. $5.00 entrance fee per person. Photos and directions

Vigil to Save Stony Kill Farm

Noon - This vigil will be held weekly until the NYSDEC comes to their senses. Meet at the north entrance (just above Red Schoolhouse Road) on Route 9D in Fishkill/Wappingers at Noon. For further information: call Chris Ruhe (845) 931-7567

Into the Future

Tuesday, May 11

Kayaking: How to get Started

6:30 p.m. At the Grinnel Library, Wappingers Falls.  Always wanted to try kayaking but don't know how to get started? We'll tell you how to get started, what gear you'll need, where to go paddling, where to meet other paddlers and where to get instruction on your technique.  General Public is welcome. For more information contact Don Urmston: or 845-457-4552 (before 9pm)

Thursday, May 13

HRWA Mid-Hudson Omelette Series:  Submerged Aquatic Vegetation in the Hudson River

8 AM - Featured Speaker:  Dr. Stuart Findlay, Aquatic Scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
The submerged vegetation growing in the Hudson River is a very valuable habitat for fishes and small animals and also provides dissolved oxygen to the water passing by.  Our knowledge of where these plant beds are and how frequently they expand and contract is derived from a set of aerial photography surveys and detailed observations by volunteers kayakers.  These volunteers receive training in use of GPS to navigate to certain coordinates where they carry out a standard set of field measurements.  Information from the volunteers has revealed facts we could not obtain in any other way.  Dr. Findlay will discuss some examples of what we’ve learned and show how this effort contributes to the overall project.   See attached PDF.  Please note: there is a $4 minimum purchase.  If you plan to attend, please contact Katy Dunlap, . Location:  Plaza Diner (Stop & Shop Plaza), New Paltz, NY

The Catskill Creek Watershed in History and Prehistory

7PM - A talk by author and educator Vernon Benjamin. One of the most important avenues of movement in prehistory in the Hudson River Valley, the Catskill Creek watershed was the principal route used by Native Americans from central Iroquoia to access the central Hudson Valley and points east to the shores of Long Island Sound. Its proximity to West Athens Hill dates its likely use by ancient Americans to the Paleo-Indian period 10,000 years ago.  During the historic period (1609 forward), the watershed provided a route for moving pioneers westward into the Mohawk Valley and beyond while providing the water power needed to run grist, saw and other mills established by settlers along the stream. Vernon Benjamin will point out some of the highlights of this history and ways in which modern man has emulated ancient man in utilizing the watershed for contemporary needs.   Cost: $5 per person.  For more information contact Liz LoGiudice (518) 622-9820 Location: Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Agroforestry Resource Center, 6055 NYS Route 23, Acra, NY

Climate Change Action Planning – A Workshop for Municipal Officials

The NYS Bar Association Environmental Law Section's Committee on Global Climate Change and the Municipal Law Section's Committee on Land Use and Environment, and Committee on Green Development, invite municipal officials to a joint program on climate change action planning.   Program Co-Sponsors:  Association of Towns of the State of New York; Capital District Regional Planning Commission; Edwin G. Michaelian Municipal Law Resource Center, Pace University Energy and Climate Change Center, Pace Law School; Government Law Center, Albany Law School; Land Use Law Center, Pace Law School; New York State Association of Counties; New York State Conference of Mayors.   For details on the program and to view/download registration information, go to: . For further information, contact Kathy Plog - Location:  Government Law Center, Albany Law School

Watershed and Biodiversity Mapping at a County Scale: 

Defining Greenspace for Centers and Greenspaces Planning [Dutchess County Planning Federation - 2010 Short Course]

5:30PM - The Dutchess County Planning Department has created new geographic data layers that can be used to define priority greenspaces, assist in preservation efforts and lead to a better understanding of the ability of land to support different uses.  Robert Wills, Senior GIS Project Coordinator with the Dutchess County Department of Planning & Development will describe the newest County data layers: Stream Catchment Areas, and Contiguous Biodiversity Blocks.  He will describe how they were created, their characteristics, how the County Planning Department is using them, what planning implications there may be for municipalities, and ideas for public access to the layers.

Participants will develop an understanding of how the data was created, its accuracy, and what can be done with it in the context of planning activities. Credit Information:  This course may qualify for 2.0 hours toward meeting the New York State mandatory training requirement for local planning and zoning board officials. Letters certifying course attendance will be available the evening of the event.  There is a $5.00 fee for this session payable at the door or by voucher to: Dutchess County Planning Federation. To register: see Location:  Dutchess County Farm and Home Center, 2715 Route 44, Millbrook

Friday, May 14

"An Evening In the River with Chris Bowser"

6:30PM - An evening of seining for fish, data collection, and discussion of what makes the Hudson River such a valuable resource and important habitat to so many kinds of life, especially humankind. A perspective from IN the river. At the Long dock in Beacon, Free. (845) 476-6674, (845) 542-0721,

Saturday, May 15

Spring Canoe Trips in the Great Swamp

Departures scheduled for: 8:15 AM, 10:15 AM, 1:00 PM, and 3:00 PM - Repeated tomorrow, Sunday, May 16th.

Frogs-ny.orgEach year Friends of the Great Swamp leads canoe trips on the East Branch Croton River into one of the largest wetlands in New York State. Join us on one of these enjoyable adventures into the Great swamp and experience this beautiful and valuable resource for yourself. As we enter this magical wilderness we will explore the biodiversity and learn more about the values of this nationally significant wetland. The Swamp provides critical habitat for aquatic species as well as for migrating and breeding birds. We have seen Great Blue Heron, Green Heron, Prothonotary Warblers and Common yellowthroats as well as Wood Duck, Mallards and many, many more. There are Turtles, Dragonflies, some fantastic plants and possibly catch a glimpse of a mink or a muskrat.

Explore the Swamp with FrOGS. Meet us at the Green Chimney's Beach on Doansburg Road (formerly Putnam Lake Road) of Rte 22. FrOGS members will guide each trip and point out the birds and plants as we canoe.

All levels of paddlers are welcome. We will provide canoes, paddles, Life jackets (bring your won if you wish) and a licensed Lifeguard. We suggest you bring bottled water, sunglasses and layered clothing to accommodate temperature changes. We will canoe rain or shine. In extreme conditions, we ask that you call for cancellation and rescheduling information.

Reservations are a must and space is limited so get your reservations early! For information and reservations contact:

Laurie Wallace at (845-279-8858) or subject: Canoe Trip

$22.00 Adult Member, $11.00 Child (6 to 14 years)
$26.00 Adult Non-member, $16.00 Child (6 to 14 years)

Master Gardeners' 2010 Plant Sale

8:30 am to 12:30 pm at Tilly Foster Farm on Route 312, Brewster.The sale starts at 8:30 and those of you who have been there before know that getting there early is a must! We’ll have tomatoes by the hundred, perennials from the Master Gardeners’ own gardens, herbs and annuals grown locally just for us, and a new gift and tool tent. It’s time to get out there and grow something!

Catskill's Shelter Caretaking Workshop

10am - Come and join Douglas Senterman, the Catskill Lean-to Supervisor, for a shelter caretaking workshop.  No previous experience is necessary and beginners are welcome.  This one-day training session will cover the skills necessary to maintain a shelter (lean-to) so that it is ready for use by campers and is harmonious to its surroundings.  Students will learn how to do an assessment of the overall shelter condition, cleaning and clearing the area, the proper use of tools and how to report the shelters condition.  The workshop will take place at actual lean-tos so you will get hands-on experience. 
Beaver Meadow Leanto - Photo by Jeff GreenWear your hiking boots; pack plenty of water and a lunch. 

The workshop will take place at Elm Ridge Lean-to off of the escarpment trail.  We will be walking up the Elm Ridge Trail (yellow) approximately 1 mile to the lean-to on an easy hike.  The parking area is located about 1.8 miles north of Maplecrest.  We will be meeting there at 10am and will walk into the lean-to as a group.  
Directions to parking area: From Rt. 23 in Windham turn onto State Rt. 296 towards Hunter, when Rt. 296 makes a hard right in Hensonville continue straight on to Maplecrest Road (County Rt. 40). At stop sign turn Right to stay on Maplecrest Road (County Rt.40).  At stop sign (in Hamlet of Maplecrest) turn Left onto Big Hollow Road (County Rt. 56).  Turn Left onto Peck Road and follow until the end where the parking area is located.  (For those with GPS or who would like to use MapQuest, an address you can enter is 197 Peck Road, Maplecrest, NY 12454-5023 – that will get you near the end of Peck Road, just continue up to the end)

For those who are interested we will continue our workshop at Batavia Kill Lean-to.  After completing instruction at Elm Ridge Lean-to we will return to our vehicles and take short drive up Big Hollow Road (County Rt. 56) to the next parking area.  We will walk into the Batavia Kill Lean-to on the Black Dome Range Trail (red) and then the Batavia Kill Trail (yellow).  This trip is also approximately 1 mile and is an easy to moderate hike.  This second lean-to is optional; however it will be an opportunity to see another shelter in a different condition and will allow you to put your newly learned skills to the test with more hands-on experience. 

Directions to parking area: From the Elm Ridge Trail parking, go out to the end of Peck Road and make a Left onto Big Hollow Road (County Rt. 56) and follow until the end where the parking lot is located.  

Please contact Laurie Rankin to sign up for one of these dates: (preferred) or by phone at 845-926-2182.

Saturday, May 22

Putnam County Land Trust Volunteer Work Party

9:30AM - 12:30PM - Work parties are now being organized for trail maintenance and clean up on preserves of the Putnam County Land Trust. Groups will be formed and work each month on a designated preserve.  No prior experience is necessary. A good attitude and a willingness to pitch in are essential. The first work party will be held at the Field Farmstead Preserve on Fields Lane in Brewster on Saturday, May 22nd from 9:30 to 12:30. Work detail will include removal of debris, posting of border signs, creating about 200 feet of new trail and removal of invasive plants such as multi-flora rose and barberry. Water, work gloves, jeans and work or hiking boots are suggested. Tools such as shovels, clippers, rakes and loppers if available would be helpful.  If not tools will be provided. Come have fun with a like minded group of individuals in the out-of-doors while helping maintain trails for the public. To learn more or to sign up, please contact Judy Terlizzi at 845 228 4520, Bob Lund at 845 279 3122 or visit the website at

Wednesday, June 2

Smart Management for Small Communities:  Practical Resources for Local Governance

8:30 am – 6:00 pm - Hosted by:  Environmental Finance Center-Syracuse University, serving Region 2 of the Environmental Protection Agency, and co-sponsored with the NYS Water Resources Institute.   As a part of the Environmental Finance Center’s Public Management Finance Program (PMFP) series, this event will focus on the needs of municipal leaders and provide technical assistance, funding updates, and practical skill-building sessions. Who should attend?  Elected officials, wastewater, drinking water and solid waste systems operators, and all interested parties.  Every attendee will hear from state and federal agency representatives on funding updates and opportunities, and concurrent break-out sessions including asset management, alternative strategies in drinking water management, wastewater management, and solid waste management.  Keynote presentation by Ed Clerico, Principal of Alliance Environmental.   The event promises to be educational, functional, practical, and thought-provoking.  For more details, see attached workshop announcement PDF. Fee is $75.  Register online at: Registration deadline:  May 10, 2010. Location:  Bear Mountain Conference Center 

Sunday, June 13

Strawberry Festival

Noon- 5PM - Hosted by the Beacon Sloop Club

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