Friday, August 6, 2010

News That Matters - Friday, August 6, 2010 - Things To Do Edition

News That Matters

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

Good Friday Morning,

A hearty welcome to FG and other new readers this fine morning.

Today marks the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan in which upwards of 80,000 civilians were killed outright and another 60,000 succumbed to injuries over the following few months.

The County Executive Race Free-For-All: I've recently become aware that my name has been tossed around at the brewster10509 blog as a possible write-in or independent ballot line candidate for County Executive. I do appreciate the support but really, I have enough trouble paying the bills and cannot take time off from that struggle to go head-to-head against Senator Leibell or MaryEllen Odell nor would anyone in their right mind want to get involved with that mess.
Besides, can you imagine me running this county? Sheesh. By the time I was done there'd be passive solar homes, windmills and mini-hydro plants everywhere, green roofs as code on commercial construction, bike lanes along Routes 301, 311, 312 and Peekskill Hollow Road, one quarter fewer county employees, sustainable manufacturing and a corporate office park or two along the Route 84 corridor in Kent employing hundreds of highly skilled workers and a hundred acres or more at Tilly Foster growing rapeseed or switchgrass to power the county truck fleet. No one would want anything like that.
Note to licensed contractors in Putnam County: That bi-annual tax you pay to the county for permission to work here is, for some of you, about to go up. Forget that the recession has decimated many of us financially, and that those fees are paying for a department from which we contractors earn no benefit. The county has decided that in order to educate you about new laws concerning phosphorus reduction they're going to increase those fees to charge you for their as yet to be determined educational program. At least that's where the legislative committee is now... stay tuned!
But if you feel you've been fee'd and taxed to death already and would like to start a coalition of contractors willing to stand up and fight back, please, contact me.

PCLT LogoThe Putnam County Land Trust is seeking candidates for its Board of Trustees. Individuals who support the concept of open space and the preservation of our natural resources are encouraged to apply. These candidates need to be able to contribute their special skills for a minimum of two hours each month in addition to regular attendance at monthly Board meetings.

The current Board membership consists of a variety of men and women with a commitment to preserving open space within Putnam County. The mission of the land trust is threefold: land protection, stewardship of protected properties and public education on natural and environmental issues. While not called upon to be experts in the field of environmental studies, all contribute their own unique personal skills abilities and talents to get the job of land protection done.

If you're interested - and you should be - visit their website for more information.

If you live along Peekskill Hollow Road or know someone who does, there's a campaign underway to mark that as an Historical Road, Putnam County's first under a new county law. The effort is being led out of Kent by Vic Tiship and what's needed are the signatures on petitions of 50%+1 of the owners of road frontage along that scenic byway. If you've not yet gotten involved in this undertaking contact Vic here.

In 2008, the last year hard numbers were available, New Yorkers were not the highest property taxed people in the land. That award goes to nearby New Jersey. Here's how it breaks down:
Median Property Taxes Paid on Homes was $3622 ranking NY in 4th place. In New Jersey it was $6320 for a first place ranking.

Taxes as a % of home value in NY was 1,14% ranking us 17th. Texas came in 1st place with 1.76% and New Jersey was in 2nd place at 1.74%. 3rd place went to Nebraska at 1.72%

Taxes as a percent of income: New York was in 6th place at 4.74%, New Jersey came in 1st at 7.02% and 3rd place went to Connecticut at 5.27%

And, as far as inside New York goes, Putnam ranks 4th behind Westchester (1st), Nassau (2nd) and Rockland (3rd) and though our median property tax bill is $7,324, in Westchester it's $8,890, in Nassau, $8,628 and Rockland, $8,430.
So this campaign season when you hear candidates saying that Putnam pays the highest taxes in the nation or the state you'll know you're being lied to. Pay attention because you're going to hear it!

Court did not go well for either Senator Leibell or MaryEllen Odell as the judge sent them back to the "pigsty", as the Senator calls it, of the Putnam County Board of Elections to hash out their disagreement on the validity of MEOs petition signatures for ballot access to the September primary. If they find another 90 or so invalid signatures she's off the ballot and Leibell wins by default.

The other day I reported that I had a received a "press release" from one "putnamcountywatchdog" that was, based on its wording, in support of Mary Ellen Odell's campaign for County Executive. I sent a note back to the sender asking for identification and received nothing. I then posted the same question to MEO's facebook page and Brittany Pritz, a volunteer, wrote to say that she didn't know who the sender was either.
I generally do not forward or report the contents of emails and releases sent to me whose sources are not verifiable and if PCWD continues sending these anonymous posts he'll only do his candidate harm. There should be no shame in being public... unless you work for Vinnie Leibell. Just tell me and I promise to keep it under my hat.

On FOXNews Sunday, future President Sarah Palin warned that the Obama administration was planning for the largest tax increase - ever - on the American people. I cannot tell you how often we've heard those words, "largest tax increase - ever." It's like saying, "Have a nice day!" or "How was your weekend?" In other words, virtually meaningless. And in this case, less than meaningless - an outright lie. And trust me, you're going to be hearing it as fact and gospel from every Republican, even if they have to dig up Dwight Eisenhower just to make the point.
Pants on Fire!It's such a lie that Poltifact has given President Palin yet another "pants on fire" rating for this boner. Keep in mind that it was the Bush tax cuts, which are set to expire at the end of the year, which so short-changed the government that it can be pointed to as one of the chief reasons the Federal deficit is so outstandingly high. That, and a trillion a year to defense and defense related expenditures... we cannot forget those...

Politifact writes in their report:
Sarah Palin said she wrote her notes on her hand so the "liberals" couldn't say she got her numbers wrong when she appeared on Fox News Sunday. Well, we're independent fact-checkers, and we still found accuracy issues with the former governor's statements on the expiring Bush tax cuts.
You can - and should - read the rest here.

Read it now because you're going to be hearing this from Nan Hayworth and the FOX Courier until your ears fall off and Richard Nixon rises from the grave - and it still won't be true.

The Gaza strip, according to some of my progressive friends, is the largest "concentration camp in the world". But it can't be all that bad a place as the markets are full, a new mall just opened, the beaches are studded with upscale restaurants and resorts and a new water park recently opened. Additionally, Gaza receives roughly $1.1 billion in free money from abroad including hundreds of millions of dollars from US taxpayers each year.
Gilad ShalitRather than deal with intentional inaccuracies, perhaps they might just say, the State of Gaza since it has its own government, runs its own affairs, has a standing army and, aside from thousands of Iranian trained guerrillas, there is only one foreign soldier on their soil, Gilad Shalit, kidnapped inside Israel and held in confinement in Gaza since June 25, 2006.
In January of 2009, Israel agreed to release 1000 Palestinians from their prisons to secure Mr. Shalit's release but Hamas refused. In June 2009, an Israeli human rights group, B'Tselem, no friend to the Israeli government, tried to publish an advertisement in the Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds asking for his release but the paper's Gaza-based cousin, Palestine, refused to run it. And just this year ten-thousand Israeli's marched from Shalit's hometown to the Israeli Prime Minister's residence in Jerusalem, a distance of more than 100 miles, in an attempt to pressure the government to secure a return for Gilad to his friends and family. Across Europe, churches and cathedrals and even the Coliseum in Rome dimmed their lights in support.

When Hamas isn't busy restricting the media or outright killing reporters they don't like, we have a general idea of what life is like for the average Gazan, western-style nightclubs included, but we know nothing about the condition of Mr. Shalit or the conditions under which he is being kept.

In June of this year, Human Rights Watch, also no friend of Israel's, called the treatment of the 23-year old soldier "cruel and inhuman" saying "it illustrates the UN definition of torture and violates the international rules of war by prohibiting him from having contact with his family or visits from the Red Cross." In fact, the Red Cross has been forbidden to visit Mr. Shalit in all this time.

This sabbath, light a candle for Gilad Shalit, a pawn in this terrible conflict, so that he will not be forgotten.

To our regular list of CSA and organic farms, farmstands and markets, we're adding the Healthy Harvest CSA on Carpenter Road in Stormville. Their website is here. The rest of the list is at the PlanPutnam website here. I've been promised an update to that list so keep an eye out for that.

Things To Do:


Public Listening Session on the President’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM Please join senior representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and other federal agencies for a public listening session on conservation, recreation and reconnecting people to the outdoors. The session will be held Friday, August 6, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon in the Hudson River Valley. The public listening session and discussion are an opportunity for leaders of the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative to hear from you and other voices in the Hudson Valley about solutions for building a 21st-century conservation and recreation agenda and for reconnecting people with the outdoors. This event is free and open to the public. Pre-register by Tuesday, August 3 by sending an email to with your name, the name of the organization with which you are affiliated, if any, and your telephone number. Include in your email your primary area of interest by noting your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choice of the Concurrent Breakout Listening Sessions listed as follows: (1) Conservation of working farms, forests, and coastal areas. (2) Reconnecting people with the outdoors through recreation and education. (3) Creating a healthy river: Conserving and restoring important habitat and blueways. (4) General session for those who do not want to designate a specific topic.  If you have questions, please contact Joseph Heller at (845) 883-7162, Extension 104 or Location: Marist College, Student Center. Poughkeepsie, NY.

Vaneese ThomasVaneese Thomas at Arts on The Lake

7PM "A real woman with a real, big natural voice is coming through." - San Antonio Express. Vaneese Thomas R & B Sisters of Soul will be joined by Paul Mariconda (keyboards), Phil Hamilton (guitar), Perry Gartner (drums), Paul Adamy (bass) Tim Ouimette (trumpet), Bill Harris (sax), Angela Clemmons and Kati Mac (vocals) this Friday at 7. Scheduled for the lawn at the Lake Carmel Cultural Center, 640 Route 52.

Bring a lawn chair or blanket. (Concerts move indoors if there is rain.) Tickets are $10 (member discounts apply and if you mention News That Matters at the box office you can get in for $7.50!).  Children are free.  Purchase in advance or at the door. Food, sweets, drinks and t-shirts will be available starting at 6:30.

Wild Orange/Goat Feed

8PM - Wild Orange: On a tropical island in the late 1700s, a sea captain and a female Caribbean warrior spar over love, war and revolution. By Parul Uhry Newman and starring, Steve Andersen and Teresa Nash.
Goat Feed:
On the day of independence in South Africa, a goat farmer and his longtime worker fight over land rights. By Samuel Harps and starring, Forest Hamilton, Donna James, Ron Schnitter, Emily Schnitter and Marie Hannye-Scurato. At the Shades Repertory Theater at the Haverstraw Youth Theater, 64 New Main Street at Hudson Avenue in Haverstraw Village. Suggest donation $15. Write to or call 845.675.8044 Shows tonight and Saturday. Repeated next Friday and Saturday.

Anything Goes

Anything Goes Logo8PM - Brewster Theater Company. With original book by PG Wodehouse, Guy Bolton, Howard Lindsey, and Russel Crouse, the musical Anything Goes first opened on Broadway in 1934 starring the incomparable Ethel Merman.  More than 70 years later, the show still retains its appeal. Along with the broad, occasionally slapstick humor is mixed a dose of romance aboard the ocean line SS American bound for London from New York. Billy Crocker is a stowaway in love with heiress Hope Harcourt, who is engaged to Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. Nightclub singer Reno Sweeney and Public Enemy #13, Moonface Martin, aid Billy in his quest to win Hope. At the Brewster High School Theater. 50 Foggintown Road (at Route 312). Performances repeat tomorrow (Saturday) at 8PM and Sunday at 2PM. Tickets are $18 for adults/$15 Students and Seniors.

Remedy w/Mike Latini

9PM - Remedy, a local band with Mike Latini will be at Murphy's Bar, 355 Kear Street in Yorktown. There's a pay one price fundraiser going on so head on over and between sets tell Mike you read about it here.

Saturday, August 7

Clearwater Volunteer Work Day

11AM to 4PM Volunteer Work Day at the Clearwater office, gardens and grounds. We will be doing some clean up and small projects in and around the office and grounds, as well as working in the gardens. Please click here to sign up

Sunday, August 8

Back To School Exhibit

2PM. Belle Levine Arts Center in Mahopac. Putnam Arts Council’s upcoming exhibit, Back 2 School, showcases the work of PAC instructors and their adult students in a special Gallery show at 521 Kennicut Hill Rd. Mahopac. This exhibit, developed by the PAC Visual Arts Committee, is our 5th exhibit in 5 months.
Come meet the artists Sunday August 8, 2-4pm and see some of the creative visions developed here on the hill.  The Show is open to the public Tuesday – Friday from 10-3 and Sundays 1-4 through August 22. For info on this and all programs, classes, concerts and more, visit

Talk on Bannerman Castle

4PM Bannerman Castle is the Subject for Next Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries Sunday Author Series. Authors Thom Johnson and Barbara Gottlock will share the stories behind their book and the facts surrounding this castle-like, island arsenal. The program is free and will be held at the Gallery, 199 Main Street in Beacon, NY. You can pre-register online at Just select the event from the online calendar and click on the link to register. Call the Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries at 845/838-1600 for more information.

Into The Future:

Saturday, August 14

Stony Kill Farm Hosts Butterfly Festival

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM . Environmental Education Center celebrates their annual Butterfly Festival. Butterflies, caterpillars and chrysalises will be the focal point at this free public event, during which a screen tent will temporarily house live butterflies for the day. Families can take turns entering the tent to get close to monarchs, eastern tiger swallowtails, spicebush swallowtails and great spangled fritillaries. The butterflies will be released during a ceremony at the closing of the event. Other activities throughout the day include butterfly crafts, nature games and learning about insects, thanks to AmeriCorps members of the Student Conservation Association. Visitors are invited to explore the paths of Stony Kill’s perennial garden to view more butterflies. Volunteers who maintain the gardens will be on hand to share information about gardening for butterflies and other wildlife. For more information, please call 845-831-8780, ext 300. Visit for a listing of scheduled programs and activities at Stony Kill.
Location: Stony Kill Farm, 79 Farmstead Lane, Wappingers Falls, NY 12590.

Tuesday, August 17

Pre-Primary Candidate's Forum

7PM at the Mahopac Library. Presented by Concerned Residents of Carmel & Mahopac. Candidates whose names will be on the Primary ballot within the Town of Carmel have been invited to participate on the panel.  The moderator will be Joe Montuori, who so ably moderated several of CRCM's previous forums. Candidates not on the ballot for the primary will be allowed one minute each to introduce themselves.

Friday, August 20

Love in Translation

A one-act play written by the students in Lora Lee Ecobelli's acting class at Arts on the Lake in Kent. With Jon Barb, Laura Bellizzi, Suzanne Bohmer, Kathie Freston, Nadia Laffan, Alicia Morgan and Zulie Losada. Suggested donation is $5. Performances will be on Friday, August 20 and Saturday, August 21 at 8PM and on Sunday August 22 at 3PM. This play is a project of the Blue Horse Repertory Company Student Workshop and, as far as this editor knows, no union actors were harmed in its production.

Saturday, August 21

Tour the Frank Lloyd Wright Home

Join the Putnam Arts Council for an exclusive tour of the stunning Frank Lloyd Wright home on Petra Island on Lake Mahopac on Saturday, August 21, made possible through the generosity of owners Joseph & Barbara Massaro.  Limited to 40 participants (2 groups of 20), tickets @$60 for members/ @$65 general are a must and include transportation out to the island.  All proceeds benefit the programs of the Putnam Arts Council.  Tours begin at 11am. Reserve a spot today @ 845.803.8622 or email to

Saturday, August 28

Gallery Talk at Dia:Beacon: Tobi Maier on Imi Knoebel

1pm. Tobi Maier is the curator at Ludlow 38, the downtown satellite space for contemporary art of Goethe-Institut on New York's Lower East Side. He was previously curator at the Frankfurter Kunstverein and also collaborated on Manifesta 7 (Rovereto, Italy) as curatorial adviser (2006-2008), and was curatorial intern at the 27th Biennial of Sao Paulo (2006). He holds an MA in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art in London. At Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries, 3 Beekman Street, Beacon, NY 12508. Call 845 440 0100 or visit

Sunday, September 12

Ride to Remember Jeff Coursen

11AM - Motorcycle Ride. 1PM - Picnic at the Pawling Fire Department (South Street in Pawling, just north of route 55) A 100 mile motorcycle ride and picnic to remember Jeff Coursen’s dual passions: Motorcycles and helping alcoholics and addicts overcome addiction. Everyone’s Welcome! The Event and Picnic are sponsored by Jeff Coursen’s family and friends. Your tax deductible donations will benefit St. Christopher’s Inn, a treatment facility that has been providing hope and compassionate care to alcoholics and addicts for 100 years. For more information and to register contact: Ed and Mary Mahaffey at The Annex Florist Pawling, 28 Charles Colman Blvd, Pawling NY 12564 845.855.9612 or email:
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