Friday, December 10, 2010

News That Matters - Friday, December 10, 2010 - Things To Do Edition

News That Matters

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

The only objective journalism in Putnam County

“Someone who believes in all the stories of the Baal Shem Tov and the other mystics and holy men is a fool; someone who looks at any single story and says “That one could not be true” is a heretic."  - Hassidic Tradition

Good Friday Morning,

It was 5º here at NtM Central when I woke up this morning a cold which squeezed every drop of available moisture out of everything putting a sheen of frost on every surface so that when the sun came up the color of the sky reflected evenly off every other surface. As much as I am coming to loathe this kind of cold I'm reminded that when there snow on the ground and the temp drops to ten or below it physically alters the crystalline structure in such a way that the normal "crunch" you hear when you walk on it takes on a melodic tenor - and that is beautiful.

All I need is the air that I breath...

The air we breathe is a lot cleaner than it used to be and I think, by all accounts, that's a good thing. Thanks to legislation like the Clean Air Act, restrictions on high carbon fuels and cleaner cars and trucks we all breathe a lot easier... but that's about to change. As the nation is feeling pressed to generate more fossil fuels from domestic sources and seeing that we have none of any real use, our eyes turn northward to the Great Canadian Wilderness and the millions of acres of tar sands that are spread across the province of Alberta.
It would be hard to come up with a dirtier fuel than tar sands and in order to use them in US vehicles the amount of processing required to get them to meet clean air standards is tough and the refining industry has spent millions of dollars in an attempt to undo years of good works by lowering air pollution standards.

The industry claims "millions of American jobs" would be "lost" and fuel prices would increase by "170%" if we don't allow this filthy burning fuel use in our cars, trucks and other vehicles.

To be sure, tar sands can be refined clean enough to meet current standards but that just cuts into profits and cuts in profits relate to cuts in campaign donations and those relate to cuts in the number of ski trips I can make to Utah next winter so you know it's going to be a rough battle. <cough>

The Tyee, a British Colombian newspaper says,

"Recent midterm elections have dashed  any chance of Congress passing federal climate change action in the near future. The Consumer Energy Alliance, with the active support of Canadian officials, is now targeting state and regional fuel standards across the U.S."

Oh, and just for the record, mining tar sands makes strip mining and hydrofracking look downright environmentally green in comparison.

On the other hand...

Clean energy on spoiled land

Daniel Kim looks at the salt-laden soil that forced Westlands Water District to retire land where he now wants to build a 30,000 acre solar farm near Lemoore, Calif.

Reusing worn-out farmland for renewable energy generation is one aspect of a growing movement to build wind, solar and other renewable projects on lands that are already disturbed or have been polluted.  CAP’s Tom Kenworthy has the story.

Even at a time when plans for utility-scale solar electricity projects covering thousands of acres and producing nearly as much power as nuclear plants are becoming almost commonplace, the proposed Westlands Solar Park in California’s Central Valley is eye-popping big.

If Westlands is built at the scale its backers envision, it would cover 30,000 acres—nearly 47 square miles—with solar photovoltaic panels, or PV panels, and generate 5,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for about 1.5 million homes. Its size will mean both demand certainties for solar component manufacturers and greater cost efficiencies, predicts Daniel Kim, a principal with Westside Holdings, the firm planning the project. “No one has come up with a reason this is not doable,” he says.

Read More

Today, for those unaware, is the 62nd anniversary of the
passage of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights.

Information is the Antidote to Fear: Wikileaks, the Law, and You
Legal Analysis by Kevin Bankston

When it comes to Wikileaks, there's a lot of fear out there on the Internet right now.

Between the federal criminal investigation into Wikileaks, Senator Joe Lieberman's calls for companies to stop providing support for Wikileaks and his suggestion that the New York Times itself should be criminally investigated, Senator Dianne Feinstein's recent Wall Street Journal op-ed calling for prosecution of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, and even the suggestion by some that he should be assassinated, a lot of people are scared and confused.

Will I break the law if I host or mirror the US diplomatic cables that have been published by Wikileaks? If I view or download them? If I write a news story based on them? These are just a few of the questions we've been getting here at EFF, particularly in light of many US companies' apparent fear to do any business with Wikileaks (with a few notable exceptions).

We unfortunately don't have the capacity to offer individualized legal advice to everyone who contacts us. What we can do, however, is talk about EFF's own policy position: we agree with other legal commentators who have warned that a prosecution of Assange, much less of other readers or publishers of the cables, would face serious First Amendment hurdles ([1], [2]) and would be "extremely dangerous" to free speech rights. Along with our friends at the ACLU, "We're deeply skeptical that prosecuting WikiLeaks would be constitutional, or a good idea."

Read More

Where else do you get analysis of local news and events like you do at News That Matters?
Help support NtM and keep this coming at you three-times each week all year long! Click here to help!

The Last Night Of Hanukkah
was on Wednesday this past week.
What's Going On?

Friday, December 10

PAC's Annual Juried Craft Sale

Noon - 5PM Continues Daily, Tuesday-Sunday from noon to 5PM until December 19.

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.

Stone Ridge: Two documentary shorts on sustainability - with discussion

8PM Collective Wisdom Friday Night Film Series. Two films are presented as part of the monthly Collective Wisdom Friday Night Film Series on sustainability.

    "Sweet Soil" (2005, dir Laura Meister, 21 mins, )

    "Sweet Soil" shares the stories of four family farms, a natural foods store committed to supporting them, and a community's passion for fresh, local food. "It is set to a toe-tapping fiddle-driven soundtrack by local musicians and the autumnal beauty of Berkshire Hills, MA."

    "The Turning Point: A Return to Community" (2009, dirs Lisa Mead and Alex Page, 41 mins, )

    "The Turning Point" is an inspiring film exploring the importance of sustainability and community in contemporary times, drawing on some of the solutions used in a Findhorn, Scotland community.

    From 6:00pm-8:00pm, MaMA's Cafe is open for dinner and snacks, and the mom-and-pop business Get Real Goods will have local crafts, herbal products, and sustainable living supplies available for purchase.

    The films begin at 8:00pm, and a discussion will follow the screenings.

    Cost: $5-$25 sliding scale.

    MaMA (Marbletown Multi-Arts Center)
    3588 Main Street
    Stone Ridge, NY 12484
    Map and directions:

    Contact: 845 332-7522, or via the email address below.

    Sponsored by: Collective Wisdom Series.

Under The Covers

9PM at the Northwood Inn, 14 Frances Kiernan Place, Mahopac. Cover Band and Originals. We are what you want, nay, what you need to rock your next party... be it a wedding, a Mitzfah, [sic] a fundraiser, a bar/club, a house party... you name it, we'll play it! Free admission.

    Peter Martine - Drums/Percussion/Vocals
    Michael Dickman - Percussion/Drums/Vocals
    Chris Luckey - Guitar/Vocals
    Jason Lisko - Guitar/Vocals
    Nicholas Soto - Bass/Vocals

Where else do you get analysis of local news and events like you do at News That Matters?
Help support NtM and keep this coming at you three-times each week all year long! Click here to help!

Saturday, December 11

Community Free Day at Dia Beacon

11AM - 4PM - On Community Free Days, residents of neighboring counties Columbia, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Ulster, and Westchester are invited to visit Dia:Beacon free of charge. Please bring a driver's license or other government-issued ID for entry into the museum.

Programs are also open to the general public and are free with museum admission.

Introducing Dia:Beacon
Susan Sayre Batton, Managing Director, Dia:Beacon will discuss the transformation of Dia:Beacon from a Nabisco Box Printing factory to a museum and introduce key aspects of Dia's renowned collection and distinctive history.

Guided tours and family tours
Tours will include recently reinstalled galleries dedicated to the work of John Chamberlain, Walter De Maria, Imi Knoebel, Agnes Martin, and Robert Ryman, as well as the special exhibition, Franz Erhard Walther: Work as Action.

Premiere screening of "New School," a film on contemporary Hudson Valley artists, followed by a conversation with the filmmaker and featured artists Ty Marshal is a filmmaker who currently serves as the coordinator of Creative Arts Academy at the Community Folk Art Center in Syracuse, New York. Through a series of brief interviews, Marshal has profiled over twenty Hudson Valley-based artists ranging in background from emerging to established.

Jim Heron Book Signing

1PM - 3PM  Borders Books, Route 9, Wappingers Falls. Beacon Institute's own historian and author Jim Heron will be on hand for penning custom holiday wishes for your favorite history buffs in the margins of his book "Denning's Point, A Hudson River History" on Saturday, December 11 from 1-3 pm at Borders Book on Route 9 in Wappingers, next to Kohls.

Jim, a retired Episcopal priest, has led many a "Walk & Talk" trail walk around Denning's Point in Beacon, and is always eager to answer your historical questions!


2PM - A Reading of a new play by James Sheldon by "The Two of Us" production company and directed by Thomas Gruenwald. At the Hudson Valley Academy of Performing Arts on Route 82 just east of the Taconic Parkway (Ancram, Hudson exit) in Taghkanic. Please RSVP by e-mail or phone (845-677-4446) as admission is free but there is limited seating.

1)   The Aztec god of lightning and regeneration who led the first humans to earth from the underworld.
2)   A species of Mexican salamander that retains its juvenile features, including gills and fins, into adulthood.
3)   A new play by James Sheldon set on a remote island in the western Pacific where ancient meets modern, loyalty meets temptation, and myth meets illusion.

Holiday Potpourri

7PM - The Holiday Show - Performances by children and adults. Ogden Nash’s Bestiary, Music of the Season In Santa's Password bad boy Jace wants to get the Christmas he thinks he deserves, so he hacks into Santa's list of who is naughty and nice and the results surprise him. The evening will be child and family friendly, but all ages are welcome. Following the one-hour performance, refreshments will be served.  A donation of $5 is requested. At Arts on the Lake 640 Route 52 Lake Carmel, NY

Phil Ochs Night

7PM - Phil Ochs, born in El Paso, Texas on December 19, 1940, grew up in a non-political middle class family.  He formed his political beliefs while in college and started putting them to music, eventually dropping out and heading for Greenwich Village.  In 1966, after years of singing at open mikes and passing the hat, he performed a sold-out solo concert at Carnegie Hall.  Most of Phi's topical songs were very political, some humorous and some very serious.  Among the best-known are: "Changes," "There But For Fortune," "I Ain't Marching Anymore," "Draft Dodger Rag," "Small Circle of Friends." and "When I'm Gone."

Phil performed and traveled around the world.  While in Dar Es Salaam, he was mugged and lost the top three notes of his vocal range. This event seemed to send him on a downward spiral.  His last years were troubled ones. He suffered from manic depression plus an affinity for the bottle.  He committed suicide on April 9, 1976 at the age of 35.

Come hear performers- John Flynn, Joe Jencks, Magpie (Greg Artzner and Terry Leonino), Nancy Tucker, and Pat Wictor as they keep alive the music of Phil Ochs.

Contact Walkabout Clearwater for more information.

AJ's Holiday Concert

7:30PM At the BearRunner Cafe in Peekskill. Don't miss AJ, the soulful New York music duo, Andrea and James Rohlehr, as they return with their quartet to bring you a holiday show that you will not soon forget. Back by popular demand, Andrea is a vibrant and gifted singer, pianist and flutist - and just plain entertaining. James is a gifted guitarist and composer who has studied with Modern Jazz Quartet's John Lewis, Jorge Morel, Jack Wilkins, and John Corigliano. James is also the two time recipient of National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships and has composed music for television's Inside Edition. Currently AJ is promoting their 6th independent CD 'Evolution' which is available via their website and iTunes. Admission $10.

Sunday, December 12

Shaupeneak or Black Creek Hike

Esopus. Hike or snowshoe, depending on weather conditions. Specific length of hike and location will vary according to group and weather conditions will range between 2-4 miles. Please e-mail Leader: Mary Trish Cina, 845-339-7170 for meeting time and place.

Christmas Concert at Christ Church

5PM - Christ Church on Quaker Hill. Church Road, Pawling. The concert features a wonderful selection of Christmas music. All are welcomed to join in this evening in celebration of the Christmas season. For more information click here. "Those who sing pray twice" St. Augustine

Saunders History Contest for Haldane and Garrison 7th Graders

6:30 PM Awards Reception. The annual Jean Saunders History Contest asks local 7th graders to create research projects and compete for cash prizes. Topics include Benedict Arnold, the Great Depression in Philipstown, the Battle of Stony Point, the Warner Sisters, and more! The public is invited free of charge. The Putnam County Historical Society & Foundry School is located at 63 Chestnut Street in Cold Spring. Admission is free for all contest viewers. For more information,please visit, or call 845-265-4010.

Into the Future

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. Fee, $35 includes lunch.

Overview: The conference will seek to create a shared understanding of the challenges and opportunities confronting the Hudson Valley as we manage our water resources. It will foster a dialogue among the many partners whose engagement can help us move forward in a positive direction for the benefit of the region, its watershed and its people. We will look for opportunities to both support the economy and conserve the environment, recognizing the many ways that water contributes to human wellbeing. The conference will focus on two key questions:

1. How can our water assets and infrastructure be
part of a strategy for economic prosperity and
quality of life in the Valley?
2. What actions do we need to take to safeguard our
unique water assets so they are sustained and not

Tuesday, December 14

Our Fight Against Global Climate Change Event

6PM Dr. Sacha Spector, Scenic Hudson's director of Conservation Science, will discuss what the latest climate change projections mean for the Hudson Valley and how communities and citizens can help prevent its most drastic impacts. Contact Anthony Coneski, 845 473 4440 Ext. 273, Location: Highland Public Library, Highland.

Wednesday, December 15

Candlelight Vigil for Economic Justice

5:30PM - Join Dutchess County Legislator Joel Tyner. Come out if you can to join Rabbi Paul Golomb and Rev. Gail Burger for the Real Majority Project's Sixteenth Annual Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa Holiday Interfaith Candlelight Vigil for Economic Justice in front of the Dutchess County Office Building at 22 Market St. in Poughkeepsie.

Science Café

7PM - Topic: "The story of Remicade®: How a biologic drug against rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease advanced from modest beginnings to unforeseen therapeutic successes". Presenter: Jan Vilcek, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Microbiology, NYU Langone School of Medicine, and President and Cofounder of The Vilcek Foundation, whose main mission is to honor and publicize the enormous contributions immigrants have made to biomedical science and the arts in the United States.

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, December 17

A Christmas Carol - a New Adaptation

7:30PM - Pied Piper Children's Theater. Staging the holiday classic for the second year in a row at the White Pond Center, the Pied Piper Players will be performing an original adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” in December, 2010. John and Bonnie Ryerson, veterans of stage and screens large and small lead a cast of local actors in this fun, fantastical romp through one of the most revered stories of the season.

John Ryerson delivers a forceful performance as Ebenezer Scrooge, the man forever changed by ghosts of his past, present and future.  Seasoned actor Andrew Walters reprises his role as a pitch-perfect Bob Cratchit. Jessica Bulzacchelli, a PPYT veteran youth actor, returns as the Ghost of Christmas Past with her usual exuberance and sense of fun.  Peter Alexander lends a sense of mystery and foreboding to both Jacob Marley and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come again this year.  Jeff Davis also returns as the bombastic Ghost of Christmas Present, and Bonnie Ryerson rounds out the lead players as the wonderful Belinda Cratchit.

Primarily a youth ensemble company, the Pied Piper Youth Theater will treat audiences to performances by adults in this production, many of whom are parents of the young actors in the troupe.

Repeats Saturday, December 18 at 7:30PM and Sunday, December 19 at 3:00PM. Tickets are $10 adults and $5 children 10 and under. For more information or to set up an interview, please contact Bonnie Ryerson at 845-878-9780 or email Bonnie at

Saturday, December 18

Breakneck Ridge Hike

Difficult. Hosted by Scenic Hudson. The most rigorous rocky routes up Breakneck Ridge.  Please contact leader for details: Skip Doyle at Location: Route 9D, Beacon

Gallery Talk: Larissa Harris on Andy Warhol

2PM: Andy Warhol, Shadows, 1978-79 at Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries, Free with admission. Larissa Harris is curator at the Queens Museum of Art, where she is developing programs to take place during and after the museum's planned expansion, to be completed by 2012. From 2004-2008, she was associate director of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT where she worked on new projects by Michael Smith, Damon Rich/the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), John Malpede, and John Bell; and established new initiatives including a visiting artist series, student residency program, and a residency for Boston-area artists. She is also half of a partnership called The Steins, which produces occasional, extremely brief exhibitions in basements in the Lower East Side.

Sunday, December 19

Tribes Hill’s 8th Annual Winter Solstice Celebration

3PM This year’s Winter Solstice is an auspicious one. It’s the rare combination of the longest night of the year and a full lunar eclipse that promises a blood red full moon. What better reason to gather together and sing back the sun with friends and family. The Celebration gathers musicians from around the Hudson Valley in the lodge-like Beczak Environmental Education Center to create inspired, spontaneous music at the spiritually charged moment of the Winter Solstice.  Featuring Spuyten Duyvil, Milton, The YaYas, and many others. $10 suggested donation. Bring food to share; sponsor Captain Lawrence provides the brew. For more info, contact / (914) 377-1900 ext. 13. Location: Beczak Environmental Education Center, 35 Alexander Street, Yonkers, NY 10701.

Tuesday, December 21

Full Lunar Eclipse

In the early morning of December 21st, at 1:33AM, in fact, North America begins it's descent into darkness as the light of the moon is blocked by the earth's shadow in what will be a rare total eclipse of the moon, at least for our region. Totality, that point where the moon is completely blocked will be at 3:17AM. See this for more information.

Where else do you get analysis of local news and events like you do at News That Matters?
Help support NtM and keep this coming at you three-times each week all year long! Click here to help!

Subscribe to the News That Matters RSS Feed and stay up-to-date.

FBNews That Matters
on Facebook

Support News That Matters

Our Sponsors

Interior/Exterior House Painting by someone you can trust. (845) 225-2104


Joe Greico's
Out On A Limb

Firewood - Snow Plowing
All types of tree work, all aspects of lawn maintenance and more!

82 Hortontown Rd.
Kent Cliffs, NY 10512
T- (914)224-3049
F- (845)231-0815

Your Advertisement Here

Town of Kent Conservation
Advisory Committee

Mt. Nimham Fire Tower

Explore the outdoors in the Town of Kent, New York

Chuckie Goodnight Foundation
To educate children on how to be good stewards of the earth.

Chris Casaburi

(845) 531-2358

Brown Ink
Commercial Printing

600 Horsepound Road,
Kent Lakes, NY 10512
(845) 225-0177
Greg Brown

One Click ButterCutter
A Putnam County Owned Business Enterprise


Copyright © 2010 News That Matters