Friday, November 12, 2010

News That Matters - Friday, November 12, 2010

News That Matters

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

Good Friday Morning,

Hi Mom! (I just found out she's been reading.)

In a town that's about to loose ~300 acres of trees to pavement, blacktop and other impermeable surfaces, Mahopac has sent at least one tree on to a more glorious fate - to Rockefeller Center.

Mahopac's Peter Acton of Bullet Hole Road, sent his 75 year old, 74 foot tall, 40 foot wide Norway spruce on a short road-trip to stand in New York City's most famous plaza.

Come November 30th it will be officially dedicated with near 30,000 LED lights and stand in its place until just after the holidays. The image, if you can see it, is from FAB's Facebook page.

Putnam County never rests, at least not at the government level. Just this week two Big Stories hit, neither of which the mainstream media sought fit to bother with... at least not yet. So News That Matters breaks more stories though the Putnam Press is hot on the trail of the latter of the two.

Democrats for Leibell. Yeah, you heard that right. While its membership is unknown it held strategy sessions in which a prominent Carmel attorney and a Democratic Party leader were involved and a Mahopac educator who was personally invited by the Senator himself decided was against his best interests to be involved with. After all, isn't the role of a party leader to elect members of their own party and not to collaborate with the opposition? Maybe it was one too many lunches at the Greek Diner with operatives from the Borkowski campaign that pushed them over the edge and solidly into defending the Senator against fellow Democrats.

Now we know why that line was empty in the County Executive's race and why the party in general loses races they should be winning. The real question here is, how long has this been going on and what will the rank and file do about it? If I were a registered Democrat you can be sure there would be a revolution followed by a hanging.
There's not much known about this group other than its entry at the NYS Board of Elections which reads:

Po Box 514
Mahopac Falls NY 10542 Status = ACTIVE

There are no campaign finance reports though a mailer allegedly came out under their name.
Next: where have you read this before:
Day 10 of our Annual Fund Drive
which runs until Thanksgiving weekend (or beyond, if we have to...)

Yeah, it's tough being the only independent media outlet here in Putnam County but someone
had to do it.

But 1000 readers, nearly 28,000 visits to the website and 2740 posted articles must have some sort of value as they sure as hell took a lot of time to produce.
The FEIS has identified several improvements that will be completed by the Project Sponsor [emphasis, mine] to mitigate the increase in traffic resulting from the retail center including:

• NYS Route 311 at the Project entrance would be improved with right and left turn lanes and a new traffic signal;
• At the Fair Street/NYS Route 311 intersection the curb radii will be widened;
• At the NYS Route 311/Interstate 84 Westbound ramp a left turn lane, off-ramp turn lane, signalization and queue detection will be added; and
• At the NYS Route 311/Interstate 84 Eastbound ramp a left turn lane, off-ramp turn lane, signalization and queue detection will be added.

That's right! In an article from May 5 of this year called, "Corporate Welfare, Putnam Style" (which you can read again here).
We hear that Mr. Camarda had approached the Governor for redress of his poverty and got him to agree to release around $1.5 million in transportation funds in a state that is technically bankrupt but seems to have money to dole out to the wealthiest among us while we, well, we struggle without such largess. But the funds need a municipal sponsor and guess which town is up to the task? Stay tuned. If the Putnam Press drops the ball on this you can be sure it will bounce back in our direction.

Is anyone at the Journal News on this? Hello? Is there anybody in there?

You know, I've seen your living rooms and dining rooms and guest bedrooms and I know that when your family comes for Thanksgiving they're going to be thinking about the faded paint and shabby look to the place while smiling and nodding and saying, in between chomps of turkey and cranberry sauce, that the house looks great.

There's barely two weeks to head them off and present your very best side to those nattering nabobs and nosy inlaws, the ones whom you know just have to go through your medicine chest looking to see what kind of meds you're on.

Call and let's see if we can get a fresh coat of paint on those walls giving your place a slick, clean look like this split-level ranch in the photo. Let's show those city-folk that we know how to live up here in the boondocks.

News notes:
  • 6 people were killed and 80 were wounded in Gaza the other day, not by Israeli fire, but as Hamas police forces fired live ammunition into a peaceful crowd honoring.... Yasser Arafat. Apparently the freedom loving government of Hamas who too many American leftists idolize doesn't really love freedom all that much. News reporters were detained and made to turn over their notes, photos and film of the event.
  • Glenn Beck spent two days of his air-time attacking George Soros. In one tirade he said,

    “Along with currencies, Soros also collapses regimes. With his Open Society Fund… Soros has helped fund the Velvet Revolution in the Czech Republic, the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine, the Rose Revolution in Georgia. He also helped to engineer coups in Slovakia, Croatia, and Yugoslavia. So what is his target now? Us. America.”

    Apparently Beck's audience is filled with dolts who have no time for actual history as the regimes Soros helped destroy were mostly communist authoritarian dictatorships of the worst kind and that somehow, in Beck's strange world, this was a bad thing.
  • I know many people who have served in the US armed forces, most since the first Iraq war and every one of them knew at least one person they served with who was gay. The problem the Joint Chiefs seems to have is that they're still upset there are Blacks in the military... and don't even ask them about women!
  • Hatsune Miku is a rising star on the J-pop scene and tens of thousands of people line up to buy tickets to her concerts. But here's the deal: She's not real. Ms. Miku is a 3D avatar projected on a stage with a live band and the voice being generated by Yamaha's Vocaloid synthesizer. See this page for a sample of what you're missing.
  • Dick Van Dyke is out at his beach house and decides to take his surfboard, paddle out a bit into the ocean and lay back and enjoy that easy rocking feeling we all get from our more mundane inflatable rafts in our backyard pools. And, as what generally happens he fell asleep... and the current carried him off beyond easy sight of land. Yeah, you know what he said. I would too! A moment later he sees fins in the water and thinks he's about to become the latest in ocean fast-food only to realize they belonged to porpoises who - and I am not making this up - pushed him and his board back toward shore. No joke.
  • If anyone wants to know who is taking Christ out of Christmas, stop blaming the government and take a walk into any large retail establishment.
  • As you are all well aware, Bank of America and I had a messy divorce some months ago over $105 in illicit fees. They got the money but I got the satisfaction of writing a story that, while it hasn't gone "viral" has certainly made the rounds and is one of the most read stories at the website. But maybe it's even sweeter than that: BOA's stock has declined some 40% in value and this too-big-to-fail company is about ready to come crawling to Congress looking for another multi-billion dollar bailout claiming that if they don't get it the entire banking industry - and the world as we know it - will collapse. That letters will fall off printed pages! That volcanoes will erupt *into* the ground! That the moon will fall from the sky and the sun will never rise again! I don't know about you, but I'd have to see all that happen before giving BOA as much as a roll of used toilet paper.
  • John Boehner. That's "bayner" not "boner". Okay?
  • Has anyone actually seen Greg Ball's birth certificate? Just askin'. Ya know?

What's Going On?

Friday, November 12

The Future of Your Woods

A workshop for landowners in the Eastern Hudson Highlands. At the Clearpool Education Ctr, Carmel, NY. This workshop will provide landowners with info and tools to get the most out of their woodlands, and learn how to take care of it for future generations. For more information, contact Kristi Sullivan at or Laura Heady at

Maggie Seligman

6:30PM - With Jazz Guitarist Martin Aronchick. At Border's Books at 162 East Main Street in Mount Kisco. (914) 241-8387. Parking is in the back.

Michele LeBlanc

7:30PM - 10PM at the Division Street Grill in Peekskill. Featuring jazz pianist Tom Kohl. 26 North Division Street, Peekskill NY 10566. Call for dinner reservations 914 739 6380

Saturday, November 13

Putnam County Rabies Clinic

2PM - 4PM Brook Farm Veterinary Center. Route 22 and 164 in Patterson. Dogs. Cats. Ferrets. You'll need to bring a photo ID as proof of residency and proof of prior rabies vaccination. Call the Health Department at 856 808-1390 for more information.

A Family Place: A Hudson Valley Farm

5PM - at the Foundry School and Museum in Cold Spring. A Family Place: A Hudson Valley Farm, Three Centuries, Five Wars, One Family. Join PCHS for a lecture and book signing with distinguished author Leila Philip. Philip will read from her award-winning memoir A Family Place: A Hudson Valley Farm, Three Centuries, Five Wars, One Family, talk about how she conducted research for this book, which covers almost three centuries of one family's continuous tenure on a farm in Columbia County, and show a selection of archival photographs which illustrate some of the colorful Hudson Valley past she uncovered, complete with renegade aunts, Civil War heroes, manor lords and tenant farmers. The Putnam County Historical Society & Foundry School Museum is located at 63 Chestnut Street in Cold Spring. Free for members and donors, and $5 for the general public. Space is limited; reservations are strongly suggested. Please call 845-265-4010 or email.

Alexander String Quartet

8PM - One of the leading ensembles in the world, The Alexander String Quartet is perhaps best known for its renditions of Mozart, Shostakovich and Beethoven. Not only has this elite quartet played in the top music cities around the globe, it has been a chief supporter of new music, with over 25 commissioned works and many prestigious performances.

Arts on the Lake proudly presents The Alexander String Quartet on Saturday, November 13, at 8:00 p.m. at Tilly Foster Farm, 100 Route 312, Brewster, NY 10509. The first American quartet to win the Concert Artists Guild Competition, The Alexander String Quartet will offer an evening of enchanting classical music, featuring: Mozart Quartet in E-flat major, Shostakovich Quartet No. 4 in D major, and Dvořák Quartet in F major, “American.”

Tickets (members, $15.00 – general public, $ 25.00) to The Alexander String Quartet may be purchased in advance on the Arts on the Lake website: and reservations may be made by email to or by phone: 845-228-2685.

Great Choruses from Famous Operas

8PM - With the Putnam Chorale. Trinity Lutheran Church, Route 6 in Brewster. $15. 845 279-7265 for more information. Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text (called a libretto) and musical score. Opera is part of the Western classical music tradition. Opera started in Italy at the end of the 16th century and soon spread through the rest of Europe. With the rise of recording technology, singers such as Enrico Caruso became known to audiences beyond the circle of opera fans. Operas were also performed on (and written for) radio and television.

Opera was the Broadway Musical of its time:  a short “soap opera” type story with certain sections set to music – some of which sent the audience home humming the choruses as they strolled along.

Many of these great opera choruses are well known to all of us.  We have heard them in Disney productions, commercials and on movie soundtracks.  We know them when we hear them, and they turn out to be those very enjoyable melodies that always please us.

Sunday, November 14

Hike To Huckleberry Point

8:30AM - 1100 ft total ascent.  Walk this wooded path to one of the most scenic vistas in the Catskill's, the lookout above Plattekill Clove. Very leisurely pace should make this out and back hike accessible for those who shy away from mountains. See for info.  Contact leader Leader: Sue Mackson, 845-471-9892  to join. Steady rain cancels. [ Ed note: this is a fine hike I've done myself and the killer view at the end is worth the sweat.

Hike A New Trail in Wonder Lake State Park

Wonder Lake Trail by Jeff Green10 AM - Join New York-New Jersey Trail Conference volunteer trail builders at 10am for a hike along the length of a new segment of the Highlands Trail (HT) at Wonder Lake State Park. The 3.7-mile HT section forms the spine of a trail network that Trail Conference volunteers have been working on since 2008. In addition to new hiking and connector trails, the network includes several miles of woods roads suitable for equestrian users. Meet at the parking lot on Ludingtonville Road (accessible from exits 17 and 18 on I-84).

If you're looking for an invigorating hike of about three or four hours duration (including stops), this is one is definitely worth while. Depending on the weather, you'll need the usual equipment for a multi-hour late fall hike: good hiking boots, layered clothing, water, a snack or lunch, etc.

For details, contact Gary Haugland, Project Leader, at <> or 845-642-1590 or Leigh Draper, East Hudson Regional Representative for the New York- New Jersey Trail Conference, at <> or 201-739-4434.

Hike Dunderberg Mountain

10AM - Join Docent Bob Goldberg on this moderate to difficult (2-3 sneaker) ‘Whole Lot of History’ walk that will be 3-4 miles in length roundtrip on both level and uphill terrain. Explore the area that was slated, in the 1890's, for a scenic railway up Dunderberg Mountain leading to a hilltop resort. Walkers will also traverse part of the 1777 trail that Anthony Wayne used to attack Stony Point during the American Revolution. Pack a trail lunch to enjoy along the walk.

Participants will meet in the parking area on the roadside of 9W.  Directions: Heading north from the light after the Stony Point Bridge, the parking area is 3.3 miles north on 9W. Parking area is on right side off of 9W. If you pass the anchor on the right you have gone too far; turn around and go back .5 miles. Look for cars on the side of the
road.  This walk is not stroller friendly and dogs are not allowed. There are no restrooms at this park.

For more information about upcoming walks, including directions, please visit and click on the walk for more information or call 845-708-7307 or e-mail  For more information about the trails visit

Geology of the Hudson Region

Noon - Did you know that most of the rocks below your feet in Dutchess County came from far away? Come explore geological time and the processes that shape the landscape we know and love. From frost heaving and creep, through runoff and stream erosion, to glaciers and ancient thrust faulting, we’ll learn to read the land for evidence of change. A steady climb to the top of south Canoo Hill will reveal the Shawangunks and Catskills in the distance, and the story they tell of river deltas and mountain-formation. Events are free and open to the public. For additional information, please contact Pamela Freeman via phone (845) 677-7600 x121. Location: Meet at main campus parking lot, 2801 Sharon Turnpike (Route 44) in Millbrook, New York.

Into The Future:

Tuesday, November 16

Sustainable Restoration of Historic Buildings

Historic buildings represent one of the most sustainable forms of construction, and many of these structures have inherent energy conserving features that are often overlooked. Unique approaches to rehabilitation and restoration are essential in order to preserve historic character and to minimize the potential for unintended consequences that may result from ill-conceived or poorly implemented energy-related upgrades. This presentation will cover an introduction on Historic Preservation, review of the 2010 Energy Conservation Code of NYS, the top 10 things to keep in mind when "greening" an historic structure, and case studies. 1 AIA CEU will likely be available for this event. Howland Cultural Center, 477 Main Street, Beacon, NY

About the Presenters:

Marilyn Kaplan is a NYS registered architect based in Albany. For 20-years, her firm, Preservation Architecture, has specialized in all aspects of planning and implementing restoration on historic structures. Her projects have included dozens of religious properties, libraries, and museums throughout the Hudson Valley and the northeast, as well as monumental buildings such as state capitals, the Russell Senate Office Building and White House in Washington, DC. Ms. Kaplan is a project manager at NYSERDA.

Walter Sedovic, FAIA LEED, Principal & CEO of Walter Sedovic Architects, is dedicated to sustainable preservation. His work and firm represent the vanguard of infusing preservation projects with green building approaches and ideologies, resulting in enriched educational, economic and cultural opportunities, with strong community ties. Walter's achievements have led to his elevation into the American Institute of Architects' prestigious College of Fellows.

Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, MLS, is the Coordinator for Library Growth & Sustainability at the Mid-Hudson Library System in New York where she has assisted 66 member libraries in the areas of governance, management, funding and facilities since 1998. Rebekkah is a LEED AP and a certified Sustainable Building Advisor (NaSBA). Rebekkah consults nationally with public libraries, helping them understand how to create sustainable facilities, operations and programs:
Please RSVP Today
Tickets are $10 for advance sales to Chapter Members and Students, $15 for Members and Students at the door, and $20 for Non-members. To purchase tickets online and register visit the Green Events Calendar.
If you are purchasing tickets at the door please RSVP by replying to this email. Light refreshments are provided.

Wednesday, November 17

Carmel Planning Board Meeting for "Union Place"

From Jerry Ravnitsky

7PM - An important Planning Board meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 17th at town hall, starting at 7 PM.  On the agenda is a public hearing on Union Place, a 300 acre development planned by Paul Camarda at the intersection of Route 6 and Baldwin Place Road. If approved, it will forever change the character of the Town of Carmel. Here is a link to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement on Union Place: The DEIS is required, by state law, to be submitted to the Town Board for approval. In the past, the Town Board has approved every Camarda project, regardless of how destructive it was for the community and the residents. Camarda has a record of making promises about his projects that he does not keep, and the town board backs him up every time.  They even allowed him to delay payment on money he owed then town, amounting to an interest-free loan. 

Mapping the Hudson Estuary

7PM - Mapping the Floor of the Hudson River Estuary - Using sonar to map fish habitat and investigate contaminant transport in the Estuary. Presenter: John W. Ladd, Ph.D., Benthic Mapping Coordinator, Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve, Hudson River Estuary Program, NYS Dept Environmental Conservation, Ossining, NY

A Science Cafe is a monthly gathering in a Cafe, Pub or Restaurant, open to the public, with a short presentation of a topic followed by discussion. The essence of a Science Cafe is informality, with groups seated around tables with food and drink to encourage conversation.  Hudson Valley Science Café usually meets on the 4th Wednesday of the month, except where noted. Website:

Meeting site: Diana's, 1015 Little Britain Road (Route 207), New Windsor (just east of Stewart Newburgh Airport, on the opposite side of the road from the airport entrance). See for menus and map.  $3.00 admission fee includes coffee or tea. If you arrive at 6 PM, you can order from the Early Bird menu. No orders are taken during the Presentation (7:00-7:30).

Friday, November 19

"Carbon Nation" Film Screening

7PM - Join the Cary Institute for a free public screening of Carbon Nation, a witty and optimistic documentary about climate change solutions. The 90-minute film details how fighting climate change can boost local economies, improve public health, and strengthen national security. Learn what people are already doing, what we as a nation could be doing, and what the world needs to do to stave off climate change by moving to a low-carbon economy. Events are free and open to the public. For additional information, please contact Pamela Freeman via phone (845) 677-7600 x121.
Location: This event will be held in the Cary Institute auditorium, located at 2801 Sharon Turnpike (Route 44) in Millbrook, New York.

Saturday, November 20

Affordable Art Show

10AM - 4PM (repeats tomorrow, Sunday November 21.) If you are shopping for high-quality, unique and affordable gifts or if you simply want to furnish your home with new art, Arts on the Lake may have what you’re looking for. AotL is proud to announce its first Affordable Art Show to be held at the Center on Saturday, November 20th and Sunday, November 21st from 10:00-4:00. Those who “oohed and aahed” over the high quality and scope of the art exhibited at AotL’s Annual Fall Members’ Art Show now have an opportunity to shop for pocket-friendly fine art created by the Center’s member artists. AotL is located at 640 Route 52, Kent Lakes , New York 10512. For further information call 845 228-2685.

Monday, November 22

Dam Removal 201: Sediment Assessment & Management

9:00AM - 3:30PM. Norrie Point Environmental Center, Staatsburg, NY Hosted by American Rivers. Funded by and in partnership with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Hudson River Estuary Program, and the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission.

Objective: This free one-day workshop is a follow-up to our Dam Removal Project Manager Training held this past March. By popular demand, this workshop will focus in more detail on sediment assessment and management approaches at dam removals. The workshop speakers and facilitators will include expert staff from American Rivers, as well as Joe Rathbun, who instructs courses around the country on dam removal sediment assessment and is a member of the federal Subcommittee on Sediment, which is developing national guidelines for dam removal sediment assessment and management. The morning portion of the workshop will include presentations on sediment assessment techniques and management approaches through case studies and a description of the draft federal guidelines. In the afternoon, we will have a facilitated discussion of how national and regional dam removal sediment protocols conform with existing New York regulations and guidance, with the objective of defining sediment assessment and management approaches that are applicable to dam removals in New York.

Who Will Benefit: Regulators, state conservation staff, conservation organizations, watershed organizations, county soil and water conservation districts, emergency management officials, hazard mitigation planners, public works department staff. Previous attendance at the Dam Removal Project Manager Training is NOT necessary for this workshop.

NOTE: Consultants are welcome, but will be placed on a wait list and registered if space remains after the registration deadline. Registration is limited to 40. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

To Register or Obtain a Detailed Course Agenda, contact: Rebecca Budd, American Rivers,, Subject: "NY Dam Removal Workshop."

Saturday, November 27

PAC's Annual Juried Craft Sale

Noon - 5PM Our 2010 Craft Showcase & Sale will be on display in our beautiful, re-built Gallery space at 521 Kennicut Hill Rd. in Mahopac. Join us for this 16th annual juried collection featuring fine crafts from 40+ regional crafts artists including pottery, jewelry, wearables, candles, soaps and lotions, ornaments and more, more, more.  A limited number of framed photographs and matted prints will be available.  Great gifts for everyone, you, and your dog, too!

Also featured is our 2011 Art Calendar, a great  idea for everyone, so be sure to stock extras for  unexpected giftees – 13 original works are featured and remind you of the Arts Council and Center all year long. Another popular gift of Art could be a one year gift membership encouraging participation in our programs and special events, while supporting the arts.

Our Craft Sale offers free parking and free admission, we accept Visa & MasterCard and best of all, you support local artists, local economy and your local art center.

Monday, December 13

Conference on Water Resources and the Regional Economy

The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and the Hudson River Estuary Program, in partnership with the SUNY New Paltz Center for Research, Regional Education and Outreach, the Hudson River Watershed Alliance will host a conference on Water Resources and the Regional Economy. Confirmed Speakers are Maurice Hinchey, Region 2 Administrator Judith Enck, and NYSDEC Assistant Commissioner for Water Resources James Tierney. Expected audience: Municipal staff, engineers, planners, environmental groups, and volunteers involved in green infrastructure and low impact development planning projects. For more information and regular updates visit:, or email and put "Water Conference" in the subject line.
Location: SUNY New Paltz, Student Union Building, Multi-Purpose Room
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