Friday, February 4, 2011

News That Matters - Friday, February 4, 2011 - Things To Do Edition

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Good Friday Morning,

Another snow storm is on the way and standard rules of neighborliness apply.

The NYS DEC has insisted that mountain lions don't exist around here contrary to what local residents have always said. This image taken by Joe Greico near Richardsville Road in the Free State of Western Kent on Wednesday, February 2, 2011, speaks otherwise.

Local Energy Prices:

According to NYSERDA the average price for propane this week is $3.12, up two cents from last week. The average price for home heating oil is $3.67, up six cents from last week. Kerosene is $3.70, up 5 cents and gasoline is $3.37, about the same as last week. Profit markups by the robber barons who hold you by the cajones are not recorded so your prices may be significantly higher.

Day of Departure

AP Photo

This (now) burned out bus was driven directly into pro-democracy protesters on Wednesday night and is now serving as a barricade protecting Tahrir Square from government paid mobs.

Massive demonstrations on this "Day of Departure" are taking place in Cairo, Mansoura and Alexandria and at this writing (8:12 AM) pro-Mubarak supporters trying to enter Cairo's Tahrir (Liberation) Square have been stopped by Egyptian Army units.

This is quite unlike the past few days of State Police and NDP paid thugs forming roving gangs and throwing petrol bombs and rocks into the crowds. Latest confirmed reports say that 13 people have been killed and more than 1200 injured. Unofficial reports claim 35 killed and more than 2000 injured.

Egyptian State Television has dramatically changed their tune this morning showing live coverage of the demonstration calling it "demonstrations to support stability" while just yesterday they were claiming the demonstrations were against stability and represented only a small segment of the Egyptian population. Yet right now in a split screen live broadcast, they are showing hundreds of thousands peacefully demonstrating in Tahrir Square and in the other half a small crowd of around 200 pro-Mubarak demonstrators at an undisclosed location.

Over the past few days reporters and cameramen were being beaten and arrested, some requiring hospitalization, and human rights organizations had their offices raided and their staffs detained by the State security apparatus. TV crews using the roof of the Hilton hotel as a vantage point for live coverage of the events in Tahrir Square were raided, their equipment confiscated and were forcibly evicted from the hotel. Yet this morning they are back, some in the crowd itself, others back in the hotel.

In fact, the Egyptian Defense Minister, the head of the army, made an appearance inside Tahrir Square just a few moments ago and was well greeted by pro-democracy demonstrators.

Some rather excellent BBC photos are here.

The American response began as hesitant, late, and one-step behind with Foreign Minister Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's statements being obscure and typically softly diplomatic enraging the Arab world. The President himself has refused to answer questions on the matter sending his press secretary before reporters instead.

But there has certainly been movement in the background as the change in tone from the Egyptian government itself has shown. The United States owns the Egyptian Army hence their passive role over the past few days and their official statement that the concerns of the demonstrators are legitimate.

The key here is the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest opposition group. The MB has sworn an end to the peace treaty and war with Israel but they must also realistically understand that Egypt's economic prosperity, social stability and billions of tourist dollars coming in the form of hard currency would come to a screeching halt if the regional situation were to change. They may opt to follow Iran's example which survives quite well on its own but Egypt's culture, while African and Arabic, is more influenced by western culture than Iran's and Egypt's dependency on the cash flow from the Suez canal and tourism cannot be understated.

Jordan's King Abdullah II entered into talks with leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood this morning, most certainly at the direction of the US Administration, and the UK Guardian has reported that President Obama would accept the Muslim Brotherhood as a legitimate part of a replacement government until elections can be held, schedule for September.

President Obama has an opportunity here, if played deftly, to rebuild a tiny bit of the US's reputation on the Arab street and I hope he has the mettle to do so and the backing from Republicans to see it through. And since we own Hosni Mubarak and his police apparatus the entire world is watching. Will America rise to the challenge?

This from Paulette Barrett:

Dear Egyptian Demonstrators,

Please do not damage the pyramids.
We will not rebuild.

The Jews

All This Egypt Stuff But Don't Fret!

The Putnam County legislature
is still trying to extend the extra sales tax rate since they're too afraid to cut spending as if Legislators might actually face opposition in their elections. The Eldridge/Tamagna administration claims that the extra taxes are paid by people from outside Putnam County but I cannot imagine someone from Yorktown driving to Carmel to shop at Hannaford's. Maybe that's just me. Keep an eye on Eldridge and Tamagna and your pocket: they've got long, itching fingers. Tax And Spend Republicans. Ya gotta love it!

What's Going On?

Month of February

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.

Saturday, February 5

Town Meeting with Sandy Galef in Garrison

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 Desmond Fish Library, 472 Route 403 in Garrison.

Open Casting Call for "Rhymes With Banana"

Noon - 6PM. An open casting call will be held for "Rhymes With Banana", a feature film starring Zosia Mamet (The Kids Are All Right, Parenthood, Mad Men, The Art of Love) and Jee Young Han (The Art of Love, Meet Monica Velour).

"Rhymes With Banana" is a contemporary comedy written by Christina Mengert (Peace, Love, and Misunderstanding; The Art of Love) and Joseph Muszynski (Peace, Love, and Misunderstanding). The film is to be directed by Mr. Muszynski and Peter Hutchings (co-writer of The Art of Love), and will be produced by BCDF Pictures.

Shooting will take place locally in the Hudson Valley from the end of February to the end of March.

The production is seeking local actors and artists for:
• Male roles (ages 18-60)
• Female roles (ages 20-60)
• Male child role (ages 8-12)
• Male role (ages 30-50) with deep bass voice and the ability to sing gospel for a two-line chorus

Requirements: Please bring a headshot or a recent photo. Screen Actors Guild and non-SAG artists welcome.

When: Saturday, February 5, from 12-6pm
Where: The Kingston Media Factory/Stella May Gallery Theatre
101 Greenkill Ave, Kingston, NY 12401

Mid-Winter Members Gathering

7:30PM - At Arts on the Lake, 640 Route 52, Kent Lakes, NY. A chance to socialize with other members, enjoy great desserts, and participate in planning for the coming year. Desserts at 7:30. Program at 8:00 Party goes until the wine runs out. No charge for members. New members always welcome. If planning to attend please write:

Winter Jazz

7:30PM - 10:30PM - Jazz vocalist Michelle LeBlanc at the Hudson House River Inn, 2 Main Street in Cold Spring NY 10516 Call for dinner reservations 845 265 9355

Sunday, February 6

Valentine Craft Boutique:  The Hudson Crafts Collective

11AM - 5PM - The Hudson Crafts Collective  at the Bean Runner Café with a Romantic Brunch with Vocalist, Tony Jefferson. At the Bean Runner Cafe, South Division & Ester Street, Peekskill, NY 10566

The Hudson Crafts Collective announces a Valentine Craft Boutique at the Bean Runner Cafe on Sunday, February 6th, 1-5 pm. Shoppers will find a pleasant and relaxed atmosphere where they can combine a tasty brunch or lunch and some great coffee with some fun Valentine’s Day gift shopping.  This is an opportunity to buy local and handmade gifts that are original works of art. As a romantic “plus’ shoppers can enjoy the beautiful music of singer Tony Jefferson accompanied by Dom Cicchcetti on piano.

Among the unique offerings from local artisans will be a large and varied selection of handcrafted art jewelry, ranging from metalwork, silver, copper and other metals to  crocheted wire, lamp-worked and fused glass, hand-knotted semi-precious stones and miniature lacquered origami.  In addition to jewelry there will be lovely hand painted serving trays, pottery, stylish hand-painted silk scarves, beautiful reclaimed wooden bowls, note cards, mobiles and more!  All are original designs creatively conceived and meticulously crafted by artisans living and working in this community. 

Contact Beth DeWit (914) 788-0192

Into The Future

Thursday, February 10

Forest to Faucet

9AM - Noon - What does a watershed need to produce clean water? The Hudson River Watershed  Alliance and the Hudson River Estuary Program present a new Geographic Information System mapping tool that can help identify important watershed attributes.  Donald Steinmetz of the Highlands Environmental Research Institute will present this new GIS tool, based on data developed by the US Forest Service.  Fran Dunwell and Scott Cuppett from the Hudson River Estuary Program, and Jennifer Grossman from the Highlands Coalition and Open Space Institute will discuss the importance of clean water and watershed management in the Hudson Valley. To Register Contact Barbara Kendall, HRWA Coordinator:  914 474 2759
Snow Date: February 17
Location: Sterling Forest Visitor Center, 116 Old Forge Road, Tuxedo, NY 10987

This event will be followed by a meeting of the Highlands Coalition. Contact Janet Burnett for more information.

Financing Education Through Income Taxes

7PM - 9PM State Assemblywoman Sandra Galef has invited Assemblyman Kevin Cahill to discuss his bill A447 which would shift the burden of school funding from property taxes to income taxes. Joining Mr. Cahill will be Frank Mauro from the Public Policy Institute, Edmund J. McMahon, the director of the Empire Center for New York State Policy and Martin Reid, Deputy Director of Government Relations from the NY School Boards Association. At the Desmond Fish Library, 472 Route 403 (at the intersection of Route 9D). Call 914 941-1111 for more information.

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

Saturday, February 12

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.

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

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.

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)

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.

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

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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