Friday, February 11, 2011

News That Matters - Friday, February 11, 2011 - Things To Do Edition

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Telling it like it is for 10 years and counting...

Good Friday Morning,

2.1º at 7:30AM. Yeah I know, I said spring was coming and I'm going to stick with that prediction and the proof will be that when you go outside in the afternoon, even though the air temperature may be frigid, you can feel actual warmth coming from the sun. That, and I'm running out of firewood. So spring better get here fast.

It was only Dan Birmingham and Tony Hay that had the nerve to vote against the sales tax extension last night at the Putnam County Courthouse. That means there are seven other Legislators who need to be un-elected three of whom are up for election this year; Richie Othmer, Sam Oliverio and Dini LoBue.
The excuses were as I had predicted: If we don't extend the extra tax we'll have to raise property taxes to cover the shortfall and supporting legislators raised the specter of cuts to popular social services, health and human services, the arts, senior services and whatnot, the usual suspects that governments cut when budgets are tight.

But why not look at emergency services or at the sheriff's highway patrol. Do we need a cop in every school? Do we need to maintain a branch of Homeland Security at millions of dollars a year? Are we that worried about terrorists from Orange County swimming across the Hudson and planting roadside bombs at the Capuchin monastery in Garrison?

If this sales tax extension should end at the end of the year, Putnam County residents will see immediate savings in lower utility bills, gasoline prices and general merchandise purchases.

The battle now moves to the State. It's important to talk to Sandy Galef, Steven Katz and the Senator Who Shall Not Be Named and convince them that if they refuse to support this legislation in Albany that the county will be forced to do what the rest of the nation is doing: cutting their budget, tightening their belts and living within their collective means.

I suppose that when the street in front of the courthouse in Carmel starts to look like Tahrir Square, maybe then the legislature will sit up and take notice.

Oh, and one more thing.... where are our local Tea Partiers? They were so active during the last campaign that it was almost annoying and now that it's time for the real work they've fallen mysteriously silent, as if they don't have the balls to stand up to their own words. Wow. Though, not unexpected.

While Hosni Fiddles, Egypt Burns

I'll bet your happy you're not in Cairo right about now. What was once a pro-Democracy demonstration has now, thanks to their US backed dictator, become a full-fledged revolution. While President Obama has used some rather explicit diplomatic language, it is just that, 'diplomatic language', and if you read it as a diplomat would what the President has said is, "Hey Hosni! Your gig is up but before you leave you'd better make sure nothing changes." In other words, he has not asked Hosni Mubarak to honor the wishes of the Egyptian people and resign.
What's needed from the President is action. For example; the immediate freezing of any monies the Mubarak family may have in US banks and the immediate cessation of any and all military aid.

As I alluded to in a widely read editorial last week, [What Can The US Do in Egypt] these actions would give pause to the Arab Street the next time they wish our deaths. But that pause, though brief, may be enough to lessen just a bit the high level of tension that the government of Iran depends on to strengthen their growing anti-American alliances.

If the United States were to begin to disavow its traditional totalitarian allies in the Middle East and pushed for democracy like we say we do, not at the pace of the dictators, but at the pace of the people, though the going may be rough and while they still may wish us dead, perhaps they won't wish us as dead as they do today. And in the world of international politics and diplomacy, those seemingly minute changes would have a positive ripple effect, but only if the President should act with determination.

10 Great Car Journeys in Street View

Anyone who has ever used Google Maps [] knows of the "Street View" utility. Google has guys drive around cars (for smaller places, bicycles,) carrying specially built cameras that record in 360 degree panoramas what they pass. Most major and connector roads in the United States have been covered. Google has even photographed several amusement parks and most recently has begun to enter world-class museums. Come on, it's totally cool and you know it.
But, so what? Right? Well, have you ever driven the Dalton Highway in Alaska or Chapman's Peak in South Africa? Well now you can - in a virtual way. Fans of Google Map have used an open source utility to stitch Street View photographs into seamless movies that will take you on these journeys. Point your browser here and, happy trails!
It's Girl Scout cookie time again and at $3.50 a box you have to wonder whether you want to buy Kruggerands instead. In case you didn't know, your local Girl Scout troop gets around 50 cents per box with the other $3 going to overhead.
Rather than buy cookies (which tacitly promotes obesity,) give them a cash donation instead equal to the amount you would have spent on those cookies. In other words, if you were going to buy 5 boxes of S'mores(tm) your niece's troop would have received $2.50 so just give them the $17.50 in cash instead as that money will go much further, five-times further, and your waistline will be glad you did.
Reports From the Field

News That Matters reader and Kent Lakes resident Bill Buck, has been filing reports from the wilds of extreme southern Chile. As you may remember, Bill, a noted bryologist, is on an adventure-filled biological collecting expedition and has been filing reports almost daily, along with photographs, for the past two weeks showing the spectacular scenery from places human eyes rarely see. You can read Bill's reports here.

This, from today's post:
"Today was a great collecting day, we all came back delighted with what we had found. Blanka has nicknamed this locality The Enchanted Forest. We are in an eastern arm of Seno Courtenay where several small rivers emerge from what looks like a floodplain forest. There is supposedly a glacier-fed lake upriver, but not one of us has made it that far! At the beginning of the morning I was disappointed when I entered the forest; it seemed like it contained only  the standard mosses I have become used to seeing. However, as I worked through the forest, the humidity increased as did the number  and biomass of epiphytes. The trunks and branches of most trees were sheathed in bryophytes, and even twig epiphytes increased in diversity."
I have a high-resolution collection of the photographs Bill has been sending back which I'll post to a photo album at the website just as soon as I grab a chance.

And remember this: News That Matters is the only media outlet carrying these reports aside from the Plant Talk blog at the New York Botanical Gardens at which Mr. Buck is employed

What's Going On?


Photographs: Little People

A Photographic exhibition by Chris Casaburi. As complex as big people, Little People captures the individuality and uniqueness of people in the early stages of their life, featuring commissioned photographs and personal work.

As you walk into the Kent Library make a hard right turn, then look to your right you’ll see a wall of large colorful prints. This exhibit celebrates the wonders of childhood…  up one minute and down the next, moods can swing in an instant. It’s important to work quickly when photographing children. They tend to have little patience. They meet me and the lights and the camera, and they play along for awhile. Little People runs until Feb. 28, 2011. Kent Library, 17 Sybil’s Crossing, Kent Lakes, NY 10512. ph845-225-8585

Known in the commercial and editorial world for his colorful and engaging portraits of corporate executives, Chris’ work with children reveals a different side in this series of large color photographs. In this exhibit Chris celebrates the wonders of childhood. As complex as big people, Little People captures the individuality and uniqueness of people in the early stages of their life.

Tax Preparation Assistance For Seniors

AARP TAX-AIDE volunteers will again be providing free tax return preparation services at the Kent Public Library.  The program is for all low to moderate income taxpayers with special attention given to seniors at the Kent Public Library. Electronic filing is offered for both Federal and New York State returns.  You do not need to be a member of AARP or a retiree to take advantage of this service.  AARP Tax-Aide is the largest volunteer tax preparation service in the nation and all tax counselors are IRS Volunteer Certified.

Every Tuesday February 8 through April 12 from 10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm.
Every Thursday February 10 through April 14 from 10am, 10:45am, 11:30am.

Appointments Required: Call (845) 225-8585.

"Comic Book Art" Exhibit

A new one-person show titled "Comic Book Art" with drawings, paintings, and story boards by Kent artist Franco Aureliani, a popular art teacher at Carmel High School, opens on February 1.  The exhibit is sponsored by the Friends of the Kent Library and runs through the end of the month.  With names like Tiny Titans and Shazam, the comic book superheroes of today as drawn by Aureliani, are intensely colored, powerful, and fun.  Story board and thumbnails, as well as finished comic books by Aureliani will highlight the process and challenges of this narrative art.

Sculpture installed at the Belle Levine Art Center, Mahopac.

Collaborative Concepts@ The Putnam Arts Council is a partnership program for facilitating art at the Council's Belle Levine Art Center campus in Mahopac. The program initiated by the Arts Council, began during the Collaborative Concepts' Farm Project 2010. The Putnam Arts Council's Visual Arts Committee selected two works of art from the more than sixty works on display at Collaborative Concepts’ annual, site specific, exhibition on the historic, working, 140 acre Saunders' farm located in Garrison, New York.  The annual event is featured each year from labor Day weekend through October.  At the conclusion of the 2010 exhibition, art was reinstalled at the Arts Council’s facility, the Belle Levine Art Center, 521 Kennicut Hill Road in Mahopac. The selected artists for this, the first year’s installation in Mahopac, are Bernard Klevickas and Herman Roggeman.

Currently installed at the Arts Council, Mr. Klevickas’ sculpture, referred to as Untitled (red assembly), is a bright red, 14' tall work, fabricated with hydraulically formed aluminum with polished stainless steel.  As the artist notes, his work “is an abstract construction exploring a compound curve on a surface that is then replicated, rotated and flipped to create an undulating surface.  The surface is suspended off-kilter in mid-air upon a treelike structural support.” After earning a BFA from the School of Art Institute of Chicago in 1998, Mr. Klevickas relocated to the Hudson River Valley to work as an art fabricator at Polich Art Works (now Polich-Tallix) where he honed his construction expertise by fabricating large-scale sculpture for Jeff Koons, Frank Stella, Louise Bourgeois and other artists (

Herman Roggeman's art, titled Silver, is a soaring, monumental steel sculpture which will be installed once the ground thaws, sometime in early spring of 2011. Mr. Roggeman is a painter and sculptor who recently had a one-person exhibition at the BAU Gallery (Beacon Artist's Union), Beacon, NY. He is a co-founder of Collaborative Concepts a not-for-profit, non-membership organization dedicated to presenting art, founded in 1999. He continues to serve on its Board of Directors.

The Arts Council’s Board is most pleased to bring art “to their own front yard” and is grateful to both artists and Collaborative Concepts for their generosity and interest.

For details on all of the Putnam Arts Council’s cultural programs and community activities, visit or contact staff at 845.803.8622.

Photos courtesy of the Putnam Arts Council

Friday, February 11

Songwriter's Circle: My Furry Valentine

8PM - Four sophisticated singer/songwriters alternate material to create a warm evening in a cold month. Scheduled: the irresistible Buskin and Batteau, the legendary Jake Holmes, the subversive Cat Guthrie, and the incomparable Kati Mac. Tickets: $12.00 General Admission, $10.00 Member Admission. At the Lake Carmel Cultural Center 640 Route 52 Kent Lakes, NY 10512

Maggie Seligman and Martin Aronchick

6PM - 8PM  Guitarist extraordinare Martin Aronchick and I have finally found a name! We are calling ourselves Standard Time.  Fits the music! At Borders Books, 162 East Main Street, Mount Kisco, NY 10549 (914) 241-8387

Saturday, February 12

Field Trip to Vassar Farm

9AM - With the Waterman Bird Club. 500 acres in the Town of Poughkeepsie.  Varied habitat including wooded hillside with trails, open fields, meadows, marsh, ponds, and stream.  Owls including Long-eared, warblers including Prairie and Yellow, Green Heron, Wood Duck, hawks, Bobolink, Killdeer, cuckoo, flycatchers, vireos, swallows, and sparrows. 

Directions: From Red Oaks Mill, take NY 376 north to the traffic light where 376 becomes Raymond Avenue to the right while Hooker Avenue goes straight ahead.  Make a left into Vassar College Farm and drive straight past the large barns.  The parking lot is beyond the barns near the vegetable gardens and athletic fields.

Town Meeting with Sandy Galef in Putnam Valley

10AM - Noon - Come meet with me to hear an update on what is going on in Albany. Bring your ideas and suggestions for what needs to be done to improve our state. At the Putnam Valley Library, 20 Oscawana Lake Road, Putnam Valley

Town Meeting with Sandy Galef in Kent Lakes

1PM - 3PM - Come meet with me to hear an update on what is going on in Albany. Bring your ideas and suggestions for what needs to be done to improve our state. At the Kent Public Library, 17 Sybil's Crossing, Kent Lakes.

Michelle LeBlanc

7:30PM - 10:30 PM For three nights in a row, Michelle will be singing your favorite love songs at the Hudson House River Inn's Valentine's Day Weekend. For live jazz in the Tavern Room, in operation since 1832. Enjoy the artistry of a world class chef's kitchen and wine list, both rated highly by Zagats. 2 Main Street, Cold Spring NY 10516

Tom Chapin

7:30PM - Described as "totally captivating" by Billboard Magazine, Tom Chapin is a singer, guitar player, TV personality, concert performer, actor, composer, and recording artist.  Tom's concerts span generations and stereotypes, and his recordings have earned him awards from Parent's Choice New York Music Awards, and Emmy and Peabody Awards for his work with ABC's Make a Wish. Tom is also renowned for carrying on the work of his brother, the late Harry Chapin, in combating world hunger.

For more than 30 years and through 20 CD's, Chapin has entertained, amused and enlightened audiences of all ages with life-affirming original songs told in a sophisticated array of musical styles.  Tom's remarkable musicianship, great songwriting and personal warmth shine though whether he's performing in a concert hall, an outdoor festival, a school, in front of a symphony orchestra or in an intimate coffeehouse.

Tom Chapin's adult concerts and recordings are sparked by strong, intelligent songwriting with clear, engaging vocals and the intricate, melodic guitar work that has become his trademark.

The Coffeehouse takes place in Asbury Hall in Memorial United Methodist Church, located at:
250 Bryant Avenue, White Plains, NY   

Doors open at 6:30 PM- Open Seating So arrive early, get yourself a cup of fair trade coffee, with some delicious cookies or cake and take part in our Informal Teachabout with Walkabout at 6:45 PM. Main Performance Starts at 7:30PM Tickets in Advance: Adults- $20.00; Children- 6-12 $10.00 - Door Price: Adults-$25.00;  At Door with Student ID- $15.00

The Heart, The Soul and The Funny Bone

7:30 PM - Putnam Arts Council continues Second Saturday’s In the Center music series with a stupendous line up of three area singer/songwriters on Feb 12th at 7:30pm. Presenting songs for “The Heart, The Soul and The Funny Bone” will be Josh Joffen, Stuart Kabak and Carla Ulbrich, all performers that exemplify thoughtful insights into our collective world.

Stuart Kabak, whose album, No Matter Where you’re Going, has been compared to Harry Chapin and Leonard Cohen and clearly his songs are the soul of this buffet; Josh Joffen’s recent album Postcard from Antiqua is thoughtful and sensitive, and Carla Ulbrich, booked as The Professional Smart Aleck, has toured the US and England and her sixth, soon to be released CD is titled The Singing PATIENT. Come hear and see for yourself why they each have such strong followings, and enjoy the arts in your own backyard.

Seating is limited, reservations advised; tix $20./$15 for PAC members;

Sunday, February 13

Cross Country Skiing Outing at Moonbeams Preserve

1:00 PM - Orange County Land Trust to Hold Cross Country Skiing Outing at Moonbeams Preserve, Middletown, NY (OCLT): The Orange County Land Trust will hold a guided cross country skiing outing on beginning at 1 pm at Moonbeams Nature Preserve in the Town of Wallkill. Moonbeams Preserve is a 150-acre nature preserve located off Prosperous Valley Road with hiking trails through meadows and woodlands of fairly level terrain. This event is appropriate for all ages. Registration is suggested by calling (845) 343-0840, x12 or by RSVP through Facebook.

A donation of $5 per person or $10 per family is suggested with all proceeds benefiting the protection of Orange County's natural areas and working farmland. Cancellation information will be recorded the day of the event at (845) 343-0840, x12. Location: Moonbeams Preserve. Directions can be found on the Land Trust website at

Making Art Together: A New Series of Community Workshops at Arts on the Lake

3PM - Arts on the Lake will launch a new series of community workshops featuring the art forms and talented artists presented at the Center year round. These workshops allow the public to sample programs of interest in a one-time class, an affordable way to experience art-making without a big commitment.

The inaugural workshop is Hands-On Poetry, led by poet and educator Alan Devenish on February 13 at 3 PM. All levels of experience are welcome, from the poetically challenged to those who channel Robert Frost. During the two-hour program Devenish will lead exercises designed to generate poetry through wordplay, memory and imagination. Participants are simply asked to bring curiosity and a favorite writing implement. The workshop will be approximately two hours.

Alan Devenish writes and teaches poetry at SUNY/Westchester Community College and is the founding faculty member of the Institute for Writing and Thinking at Bard College, where he leads weekend and week-long poetry workshops for educators. As a published poet, he has given readings and spoken throughout the region, including previous performances at Arts on the Lake.

For more information, visit  Those planning to attend may email or call 845 228-AOTL (2685). Admission is a suggested donation of $5 for the general public and is free to members of AotL.

Michelle LeBlanc

7:30PM - 10:30 PM For three nights in a row, Michelle will be singing your favorite love songs at the Hudson House River Inn's Valentine's Day Weekend. For live jazz in the Tavern Room, in operation since 1832. Enjoy the artistry of a world class chef's kitchen and wine list, both rated highly by Zagats. 2 Main Street, Cold Spring NY 10516

Into the Future

Monday, February 14

Michelle LeBlanc

7:30PM - 10:30 PM For three nights in a row, Michelle will be singing your favorite love songs at the Hudson House River Inn's Valentine's Day Weekend. For live jazz in the Tavern Room, in operation since 1832. Enjoy the artistry of a world class chef's kitchen and wine list, both rated highly by Zagats. 2 Main Street, Cold Spring NY 10516

Thursday, February 17

Northeast Sustainable Communities Workshop

NSCW 2011: What Does the Future Hold?  Workshop Topics Include: • Transit-oriented Development • Alternative Energy • Innovations in Brownfields Redevelopment • Sustainable Communities, and more!

Join us in this dynamic workshop to discuss how sustainable communities are created.  The program for this workshop is intended to be a half day of intensive, high energy exchanges between stakeholders sharing varied perspectives on the issues surrounding sustainable redevelopment, alternative energy, and more. 

Stakeholder perspectives that include real estate finance, government at all levels, corporations, community representatives, NGOs and consultants who provide a range of technical expertise will be invited to participate in interactive sessions that focus on best practices and the challenges to their implementation.  Join us for this unique conversation! The 2011 Northeast Sustainable Communities aWorkshop is being coordinated by the Brownfields Coalition of the Northeast.  Workshop Fees: Government/Non-Profit: $40 Private: $75 Student: $25 Keynote Lunch Speaker: Bill Finch, Mayor City of Bridgeport. See attached information.

Location: Bridgeport, CT (Housatonic Community College)

Tuesday, February 22

Evening Speaker Series Focuses on Global Climate Change

7:30PM - "Current and future changes in our region's climate will create real challenges for municipalities in the Hudson Valley, and nowhere will they be more serious than in the towns along the Hudson River," according to Dr. Sacha Spector, Director of Conservation Science at Scenic Hudson. Join Dr. Spector on Tuesday, February 22, at the Cornwall Presbyterian Fellowship Hall (222 Hudson St., Cornwall-on-Hudson) at 7:30pm to review the latest climate change projections, and find out what these might mean for the Hudson Valley's communities.  Learn specific steps that can be taken by citizens and officials. Suggested donation: $7 for museum and $5 for church members.  Call 845/534-5506 for more information. Come early for better seating.

Saturday, February 26

Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries

3 Beekman Street, Beacon, NY 12508
845 440 0100

2PM - Free with museum admission. For reservations, click here.

Gary Carrión-Murayari was recently appointed Associate Curator at the New Museum, New York. Prior to that, he worked for seven years at the Whitney Museum of American Art where he curated or co-curated exhibitions including "Television Delivers People," "Elad Lassry: Three Films," and "Whitney on Site: Tauba Auerbach." His most recent exhibition is "Karthik Pandian: Unearth." Together with Francesco Bonami, he co-curated the 2010 Whitney Biennial.

For more information on upcoming Gallery Talks, click here.

Maggie Seligman

8:30PM - Opening for Catie Curtis at the Towne Crier Cafe, 130 Route 22 Pawling, NY (845) 855-1300 The Town Crier is one of the premier music venues around and one of the most supportive environments for musicians of all kinds, thanks to the long-time commitment and dedication of owner Phil Ciganer.  Not only is there great music served up here but also great food.  If you have never had the pleasure of the "Crier" experience, now would be a perfect time to do it!

Sunday, February 27th

Winter Ecology Walk

2PM Join Cary Institute educators for an interpretive stroll along our snow-covered trails. While bears and chipmunks are sleeping away the winter, there are still signs of life on our grounds. Put on your hat and boots and discover animal tracks, ice bell formations, cold weather insects, and the wonders of winter survival. Meet at the main campus parking area, located at 2801 Sharon Turnpike (Rte. 44) in Millbrook, NY. RSVPs are required; let us know if you are signing up for the adult walk or the family-friendly walk. Contact (845) 677-7600 x 121 or e-mail

Last Sunday in February

4:30PM - "Until Hamlet Laughs", a one-act play by John J. Curran. And Agent Si, a a singer, songwriter who lives in Westchester NY. Born and raised in Chicago, she started out singing and performing as a teen. In her 20’s set off for London to work as a fashion model and sing. Her career brought her to New York. At the Beanrunner Cafe, 201 S. Division Street. Wine & Cheese, Live Jazz. $12. donation. Produced by Ted Bitter and Drew Claxton.

Sunday, March 27

Vernal Pool Exploration and Book Signing

1PM - Come explore vernal pools and learn about the species that rely on them for survival such as frogs, fairy shrimp, salamanders and newts! A hands-on, outdoor activity for children and families and people of all ages, led by outdoor educator, naturalist and author Laurel Dodge. Wear mud boots! Copies of Laurel's newly published book Nature Study for the Whole Family will be available for purchase and signing. Nature Study for the Whole Family promotes a return to nature study as a first-choice activity for family fun and learning and emphasizes how nature study can bring families closer, create special family memories, and encourage personal growth. Registration is suggested as space is limited. A donation of $5 per person or $10 per family is greatly appreciated with proceeds going towards the future stewardship of Land Trust nature preserves. Call 343-0840, x12 to register or RSVP via our Facebook page. Location: Laurel Hill Preserve, Town of Minisink.

Friday April 22 - Earth Day

An Earth Day Celebration to Benefit Clearwater

We're excited to announce Clearwater Generations: An Earth Day Celebration to Benefit Clearwater, which will be held at the Tarrytown Music Hall in Tarrytown, NY, on April 22 at 8pm.

The show will feature Pete Seeger & Tao Seeger, Peter Yarrow & Bethany Yarrow, Bernice Johnson Reagon & Toshi Reagon, and David Amram and Family. Performances by Clearwater friends and special guests including Janis Ian, Tom Paxton, Tom Chapin, Livingston Taylor, Jay Ungar & Molly Mason, Guy Davis, Rufus Cappadocia and the Power of Song, will round out this special celebration. 

Clearwater's environmental mission is about inspiring and educating the next generation, and we have applied this theme to music. Honoring tradition while looking toward the future has always been a major part of the Clearwater Festival. The Generations concert is all about classic Clearwater artists performing with and inspiring their children and grandchildren in order to carry on their legacy through song.

Tickets for the Clearwater Generations: An Earth Day Celebration concert range from $48 to $98.  A limited amount of $250 tickets include premium seating, a post concert reception with the artists, as well as special Clearwater gifts. Proceeds from the concert will benefit Hudson River Sloop Clearwater.

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