Wednesday, March 30, 2011

News That Matters - Wednesday, March 30, 2011

News That Matters

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

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

"I meet the most bizarre people."

Good Wednesday Morning,

Believe it or not there's a Winter Storm Watch in effect for tomorrow through Friday. Six to twelve inches of new snow, rain, and radiation fallout.


Mostly Sunny
Hi 49 °F

Slight Chance Rain/Snow Chance for Measurable                       Precipitation 20%
Slight Chc
Lo 31 °F

Chance Rain/Snow Chance for Measurable                       Precipitation 50%
Hi 45 °F

Rain/Snow Chance for Measurable Precipitation                       90%

Lo 29 °F

Rain/Snow Chance for Measurable Precipitation                       100%

Hi 39 °F

Rain/Snow Likely Chance for Measurable                       Precipitation 60%
Lo 28 °F

Mostly Sunny
Hi 43 °F

Two facts you didn't know about your domestic pet:
The average canine can hear the sound of an opening refrigerator door from 1.2 miles away.
The average feline can hear you reaching for the refrigerator door from 3.6 miles away.
Corrections and Apologies:

To the single Serbo-Croation living in Putnam County, I apologize publicly for not having made an ethnic joke about you but to be honest I can't think of one. But if you're willing to send one along I promise to work it into a future column the very next time I discuss using šljivovica as a massage lotion.

Not Fit For Prime Browsing:

Is it just me, or do multi-page articles at the newly designed NYJN website not work if you're using Firefox as your browser? Let's do a test! If you use Firefox, head on over to this link, scroll down the page and try to select the next page in the article. If it works, let me know. If it doesn't work, let me know. If, on the other hand you're using Internet Explorer the spam, trojan and virus industry owes you a debt of gratitude.

Rand Paul. Bright, articulate, handsome, dumb as a bag of rusty nails.

Putnam Consumer Expo! (but you really can't attend)

Once again this year the Mahopac Chamber of Commerce is hosting their Consumer Expo on a weekday when people - including potential exhibitors - are at work thus severely limiting the number of actual consumers who might attend if it were held on a weekend Saturday/Sunday.
I wrote about this last year and I'll write about it again this year and I'll continue to write about it as often as necessary until someone at the Chamber sends me an explanation of why. Until then, it's a mystery, as most things in Putnam County are.
Uncle Vinnie Buys More Time:

As reported to the website yesterday evening, the sentencing for Senator Leibell has been moved back again, this time until May 13. No explanation was given.

I Saw The Light!

New stadium lights came on the ballfield's at Mamaroneck's high school back on March 11th and its neighbors are now well illuminated about light pollution and bad planning. The school board says they went through a "thorough process" and that the installation well advertised. The municipality says their outdoor lighting ordinances don't count because the school is under the State Department of Education.
Somewhere along the line there should have been a SEQRA process which required neighbors be notified and consulted at a public hearing unless the school district itself was the lead agency and determined that a trillion watts of light would have no negative effect on its neighbors.

And though neighbors are complaining, the district is aloof, the town claims its hands are tied and that nothing is more important than baseball at 10PM. There are solutions though they require either an axe, a .22 and the dark of night - or a good lawyer.

There are also plans afoot to plant this kind of lighting at the soccer fields along Peekskill Hollow Road and there was a plan to place them at Farmer's Mills Park in the Free State. But for the latter, now that Kent Recreation is under new management we can only hope that saner heads will prevail.

Bring Back the Energy Commission

This Letter to the Editor first appeared in the PCNR:

Reprinted at the Author’s Request

    To Legislator Tamagna:

    I am very concerned to learn that the County Legislature failed to continue
    the Commission on Alternative Energy and Green Energy Initiatives (“the
    Energy Commission”) as a standing commission in January of this year, and
    that, to date, it is not on any publicly available agenda.

    This makes no sense, given the high cost of the county’s lighting, heating
    and cooling needs. The Commission was in the process of gathering
    information about ways to lower those costs. Their work could also help
    reduce those costs for our local businesses and for our homes.

    It is my understanding that, while the Commission was active, the County
    commissioned an energy audit but has yet to provide a copy to members of the
    Energy Commission.

    So, at the same time the Putnam Legislature is turning its back on even
    considering alternatives, the counties around us are saving significant
    amounts of money by pursuing these alternatives and reaping thousands in
    grant funds while Putnam looks the other way.

    None of this makes any sense if, in fact, the Legislature was serious about
    reducing our energy costs when it first authorized the Energy Commission
    back in 2009.

    The Putnam County legislature seems focused on only two things: increasing
    our taxes and providing corporate welfare to non-local companies (neither of
    which benefits the residents of Putnam County). How do you justify turning
    your back on providing the ordinary residents of Putnam County with at least
    some benefit?

    Margaret Yonco-Haines

The Right To Die:

Some 20-something kid offed himself down in Irvington the other day using a mix of household chemicals to create a lethal gas, either hydrogen cyanide or hydrogen sulfide. Police are "concerned" that this new form of suicide will spread and are alert to boards on the 'net that discuss suicide and other relevant issues.
I'm willing to bet - right now - that within the next few weeks some Congressman will demand that any talk of suicide on the 'net be treated as a crime and whoever posts a method that is then used be prosecuted.

In another news story, the editor of the Kingston Freeman's Spanish daily, Antonio Flores-Lobos, "rescued" a woman ready to leap off the Kingston-Rhinecliff bridge last Friday.
“She said her husband had died and she had nothing to live for,” said Flores-Lobos. “She looked kind of lost, like she had given up.”
“‘It’s a beautiful day, a beautiful day. You don’t want to do this,’” I told her,” Flores-Lobos recalled. “Life, living, is beautiful. It’s everything.”
Who are we to decide for others who have their own personal hells to live with?

Well, here's the deal with suicide: It's a personal choice and should remain a personal choice.

If someone decides that life - for whatever reason - is too hard to live they must be given the personal freedom to end their own lives. And if society decides it's going to intervene then society has an obligation to resolve the problem that led to the now thwarted suicide attempt.

We're seeing an increasing number of people kill themselves because of financial problems. What happens if authorities intervene and "save" that life? Well, the dude or dudette had a solution to those financial problems yet now when they wake up in the hospital or arrive at a police station not only are their problems still in place but they now may be facing tens of thousands of dollars of additional debt in hospital bills and you can be sure certain police departments will be sending them a bill for their "rescue".

Rather, if authorities decide to intervene they need to take on the responsibility of, in the former case, solving those financial problems otherwise their "feel good" exercise is a cruel act. If that means a huge cash infusion then that's what it is. If it means supporting that person for the rest of their lives, well, that's the chance we take when we place our own personal moralities on others.

To tell someone who is contemplating suicide that 'life is worth living' is a selfish act, To interfere in their suicide is even crueler. People have a personal right to end their lives when they want to, our personal feelings matter not.

Our Love Affair With Syria:

The Syrians have their hands full these days as protests erupt across the nation. And if anyone in the middle east is brave it's a Syrian standing up to his own government.
A reporter carrying both Egyptian and American papers was arrested in Syria and charged with traveling secretly to Israel. In a televised 'confession', Muhammad Bakr Radwan of Austin, Texas, said he had traveled to West Jerusalem and back to Syria through Jordan and at some point agreed to sell photographs and video to a Colombian national. Sounds confusing, right? That's daily life in Syria.

In the meantime, another American, Pathik Root, 21 of Vermont, went missing on March 18th and has turned up in Syrian custody. The circumstances of his arrest are at this time unknown.

Syria has a history of brutally repressing dissent. In 1982, Syrian forces destroyed the town of Hama slaughtering 30,000 - 40,000 people to put down protests against the totalitarian government of Hafez al-Assad. Torture, mass arrests and killings are the methods used by the government there as well as destabilizing the region by acting as an agent for Iran in dealings with Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. And can we forget the Israeli strike on the Syrian nuclear arms program? Can you imagine if Syria got the bomb?

Yet the Syrians are lauded by the US government for their assistance in fighting the false 'war on terror' by allowing their prisons to be used for the torture of prisoners we could not adequately torture at Guantanamo Bay ourselves. And so the United States finds itself, once again, in a complex situation where our polices and our actions conflict one with the other, the main and justifiable cause of distrust against us the world over.

On the one hand, American history over the last 100 years clearly shows that we support and endorse totalitarian regimes while on the other we talk about democracy and freedom. We have to make a choice which one it's going to be as we can no longer play both sides of the same coin and expect anyone, anywhere to trust us.

And now, The News:

  1. Tax Day Rally: Cut Our Taxes
  2. United States slipped to third in clean energy race
  3. Over 500,000 acres of developable land identified in the Catskills
  4. State Parks Taconic Region Headquarters Awarded Highest-Level LEED Green Building Certification
  5. A New Way to Churn Out Cheap LED Lighting
  6. Walmart 'sexism' case before US Supreme Court

Tax Day Rally: Cut Our Taxes

Monday April 18 · 4 pm

In front of Bank of America 45 Market Street Poughkeepsie, NY

In front of Bank of America at 45 Market Street in Poughkeepsie ... [just a stone's throw away from County Office Building-- where our county's Human Rights Commission, Consumer Affairs Commission, our county Youth Bureau's Project Return program, and countless other crucial county services have recently been cut by GOP- while corporate welfare for Bank of America continues]

Fact: Bank of America recently got $45 billion from the federal bailout-- but hasn’t paid any federal income taxes in years-- while Dutchess County still deposits funds there (Dutchess County Finance Commissioner Pamela Barrack recently confirmed this with us personally!). [see -- protests in front of branches across U.S.]

Read More

China and Germany take lead as global investment reaches record $243 Billion in 2010
March 29, 2011

The U.S. competitive position in the clean energy sector is deteriorating, as the country slipped to third place in terms of the amount of private investment directed to the G-20 economies, according to a new report released today by The Pew Charitable Trusts. Until 2008, the U.S. had held the top spot, which is now firmly held by China. Globally, 2010 clean energy finance and investments grew by 30 percent to a record $243 billion.

That’s from the news release for new research released by The Pew Charitable Trusts.  The report, Who’s Winning the Clean Energy Race? 2010 Edition, uses data compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Here’s more:

The United States received $34 billion in equity last year, a 51 percent increase from 2009. However, the gap with China, which attracted a record $54.4 billion, continues to widen. Germany also attracted more money than the U.S. with $41.2 billion, claiming the number two spot, up from third the previous year.

“The United States’ position as a leading destination for clean energy investment is declining because its policy framework is weak and uncertain,” said Phyllis Cuttino, director of Pew’s Clean Energy Program. “We are at risk of losing even more financing to countries like China, Germany and India, which have adopted strong policies such as renewable energy standards, carbon reduction targets and/or incentives for investment and production. In today’s global economic race, the United States can’t afford to be to be a follower in this sector.”

Read More

Over 500,000 acres of developable land identified in the Catskills

CATSKILLS REGION – The Catskills region contains 10 times the land needed to support population expectations through 2035, meaning growth can occur there without negatively affecting open space resources, a new Open Space Institute study finds.

The study identifies more than 520,000 of private land that could be developed that is more than would be needed to accommodate population growth estimates of about four percent over the next 25 years.

The report looks at land in Sullivan, Ulster, Greene and Delaware counties.

“This report presents an analysis that can help balanced and sustainable development in our region become a reality,” said Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress President Jonathan Drapkin. “OSI’s study identifies areas where there is a potential for a ‘win-win’ between conservation and development. That synergy is critical to assuring development can occur in a timely and efficient manner while serving the greatest long-term interests of Catskill residents and businesspeople.”

Read More

State Parks Taconic Region Headquarters Awarded Highest-Level LEED Green Building Certification

Transformation of historic school outside Poughkeepsie was made possible by $3 million gift from
Dr. Lucy R. Waletzky

First LEED Platinum award for a public building in New York State

New York State Parks announced today that its Taconic Regional Headquarters has been awarded Platinum-level LEED® certification by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). The adapted school building is the first public building in New York State to win LEED Platinum for new construction or major renovation projects – the highest level of certification for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.       

The renovation of the school house was a good example of a public private partnership and now that State Parks are in such hard financial times I'm hoping other private individuals will help financially support their park friends groups and larger park infrastructure," said Lucy R. Waletzky, Chair of the New York State Council of Parks.

"Buildings are a prime example of how human systems integrate with natural systems," said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. "The State Parks Taconic Regional Headquarters project efficiently uses our natural resources and makes an immediate, positive impact on our planet, which will tremendously benefit future generations to come."

"Investments in energy efficiency and sustainable building materials are the most cost-effective measures state agencies and local governments can make to control costs, reduce energy consumption, and cut greenhouse gas emissions," said Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO of NYSERDA. "I commend State Parks for the high priority it has placed on conserving energy, protecting our natural resources, and preserving our environment. The project is emblematic of Governor Cuomo's commitment to expand opportunities for energy efficiency, which will help reduce the cost of government and for doing business in New York."

The transformation of the former Staatsburg School into a highly energy efficient and sustainable building was made possible by a $3 million gift from Dr. Waletzky toward the $7.9 million project. Reuse of an existing building, the 1930 Staatsburg School in Mills-Norrie State Park, was a significant factor in reaching the platinum level certification. Other factors included:

Read More

A New Way to Churn Out Cheap LED Lighting

Making LEDs with microchip manufacturing methods could slash the cost of lighting.

By Prachi Patel

A startup in California has developed a manufacturing technique that could substantially cut the cost of LED lightbulbs—a more energy-efficient type of lighting.

LEDs are conventionally made on a relatively costly substrate of silicon carbide or sapphire. Bridgelux has come up a new process takes advantage of existing fabrication machines used to make silicon computer chips, potentially cutting LED production costs by 75 percent, according to the company.

Despite their higher efficiencies and longer life, few homes and businesses use LED lighting—largely because of the initial cost. An LED chip makes up 30 to 60 percent of a commercial LED lightbulb. Electronic control circuits and heat management components take up the rest. So for a 60-watt equivalent bulb that costs $40, Bridgelux's technology could bring the cost down by $9 to $18. Integrating the light chip with the electronics might further reduce costs.

LEDs made with the new technique produce 135 lumens for each watt of power. The U.S. Department of Energy's Lighting Technology Roadmap calls for an efficiency of 150 lumens per watt by 2012. Some LED makers, such as Cree, in Durham, North Carolina, already sell LED lamps with efficiencies in that range. In contrast, incandescent bulbs emit around 15 lumens per watt, and fluorescent lightbulbs emit 50 to 100 lumens per watt.

Read More

Walmart 'sexism' case before US Supreme Court

The US Supreme Court is set to begin hearing evidence on whether the largest sex discrimination lawsuit in American history should go ahead.

A group of women is suing the world's biggest retailer, Walmart, claiming they were held back because of their gender.

They want to bring a class action suit on behalf of more than a million women.

Walmart denies the allegations, saying it has a long history of promoting women and paying them well.

Christine Kwapnowski, one of six women named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, claims she was passed over for pay and promotion in favour of male colleagues.

"I asked what I needed to do to get promoted and my manager said I should 'doll up and blow the cobwebs off my make-up'," she told the BBC.

The group bringing the lawsuit believes Walmart systematically discriminated against women in stores across America.

The six are making their claim under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, arguing "the policies and practices underlying this discriminatory treatment are consistent throughout Walmart".

The women, who are seeking lost pay and damages, want the US Supreme Court to allow the case to proceed a class action lawsuit against Walmart.

A class action would cover any woman who has worked for, or works for, the store.

Read More

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

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Copyright © 2011 News That Matters

Monday, March 28, 2011

News That Matters - Monday, March 28, 2011

News That Matters

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

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

Good Monday Morning,

Geraldine Ferraro, the first woman to run for the Executive branch, died the other day at 75 years of age.

Contractor Scams:

The Dutchess County Sheriff's office is warning residents that now spring is upon us home contractor scams are once again taking advantage of the elderly and other unsuspecting residents  who are looking to make repairs to their homes after this past winter.
Here in Putnam County you have an option: you can be scammed by unscrupulous contractors or you can call Jeff Green at Taconicarts (845) 554-5119 and not only not get scammed but help support the local economy as well.

Taconicarts, being News That Matters' most generous supporter, deserves your attention and business. Call/write today for an estimate. You'll be happy you did.
Plug it in.

You can hate the Israeli's all you want, but any good progressive should be looking toward that dot of multi-cultural democracy in the Middle East with some pride and wonder. An Israeli company called, "Better Place" produces electric cars with a range of 185 kilometers and has begun installing thousands of plug-in charging stations that will be in place by the end of 2011. Twenty-Seven Israeli cities will host these stations and 350 Israeli companies are signed on to use their vehicles once production ramps up.

Term Limits:

There's discussion out there about term limits and laws about them. I oppose these things for one simple reason:
You are the ultimate arbiter of who sits in office and who does not. If you are not willing to do the work required to get someone else elected then you get the government you deserve. And if you continue to vote the same guys in over and again and they still fail you, then you can probably get disability for your brain tumor.
Why would anyone support a law that rewards lazy citizenship?

Mike Risinit writes in the Journal News that the majority of Brewster's residents are now of Hispanic origin. But to show reason why Putnam County has the reputation it has of being a bit of a racist, bigoted place all we need do is look at the "comments" after the article like these:

6:48 AM on March 28, 2011

They illegally enter our country ... fly their foreign country's flag yet are allowed to vote ... work for cash as day labors and pay zero income tax ... receive welfare, food stamps and Social Security benefits .. untouchable by the INS and police .. flood our schools with "anchor children" ... and now the Journal News and the politicians portray them as a new part of "our" society and refer to them as undocumented citizens !

Or this:


6:48 AM on March 28, 2011

Brewster can be cleaned up in less than a year. Start with the traitor landlords renting to these illegals and confiscate the houses

Or this:


5:15 AM on March 28, 2011

BREWSTERICO.. THE NEW SLUM OF PUTNAM COUNTY!!! ...and guys, the people in power let it happen and its never going away!!!

Police Budgets - A place to start cutting:

A call to police in Phoenix, Arizona over cock fighting led to a SWAT team and a tank (yes, a tank!) causing thousands of dollars worth of damage to a house and 115 chickens were "euthanized" by Sheriff's deputies. It turns out the local PD had been working with a TV show called "Lawman" hosted by Steven Segal and this was all for his benefit. It seems to me there's a few hundred thousand dollars worth of budget cuts right there. If not to quell massive insurrection, what are police departments doing with tanks? At least the one Putnam County has is safely parked behind a fence to prevent it from escaping.

Cut Once:

In order to generate income for the state which would amount to a one-time cash infusion of $100,000,  Republicans in Minnesota are proposing the logging of their state parks.  Rep Denny McNamara who is Chairman of the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Policy Finance Committee said, "This just can't be about economics, absolutely not, but we can't not pay attention to economics, either.'' I'm willing to bet if the state just shortened the names of their committees they could save millions in printing costs alone.

Investing in Solar:

Where are US investors putting their money into solar energy projects? In India. The Indian government, desiring to grow their economy without reliance on fossil fuels of which they have precious little, have created an investment environment that is drawing attention from around the world, especially the United States. There's $294 million worth of wrong with that but telling the US Congress is impossible. So long as Texas is part of the United States we'll die under a smog-filled haze before we get smart.

Where's Nan? Corporate Tax Dodging.

Last week I wrote about how Congresswoman Nan Hayworth took the side of corporate America when faced with the question of what she would do about major corporations that paid no income taxes. It seems that companies like GE, who earned $14.2 billion last year with $5.1 billion of that coming from US earnings, paid $0 in taxes. And who did Barack Obama select to head his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness? GE's Chief Executive Jeffrey Immelt. It's better than a fox in a hen house. And you know, now that Congress *and* the President are both in lock-step (or is that goose-step?) with the Corporations it's only going to get worse.

Teaching Fairy Tales - On Your Dime:

According to an article in Mother Jones, during 2010-2011 seven states have proposed legislation that would require the teaching of creationism in school classrooms alongside actual science. Which states? Texas, Kentucky, (Died in Committee) Florida, Tennessee, Oklahoma, (Died in Committee) New Mexico (Died in Committee) and Missouri. With all those deaths, watch for the resurrection.

WESPAC and other, similar, organizations in the United States are still involved in a boycott of all things Israeli to protest that nation's "Apartheid" regime. (With no mention of why 800,000 Jews were exiled from Arab nations which, I'm guessing, doesn't fit the playbill for their anti-Semitism.) Anyway, here's a placid response:

And now, The News:

Dozens Protest Ball's Stance on Millionaire's Tax

by Katherine Pacchiana  For AOL/Patch  March 27, 2011

Parents, teachers and community activists say extending the tax on the state's top earners would save schools from massive budget cuts.

A lively crowd of four dozen parents, teachers and community activists from as far away as Albany showed up Friday afternoon at the Brewster office1 of state Sen. Greg Ball (R, C - Patterson) to protest his stance on the so-called "millionarie's tax."

The millionaire's tax, which places an additional income tax surcharge on New Yorkers with personal earnings over $200,00 year, is set to expire as early as April 1. Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to let the tax expire and Ball supports the governor's position.

Read More

Watershed group gets $450,000 in funding

POUGHKEEPSIE – The Hudson River Watershed Alliance has been awarded a $200,000 grant over four years from the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission on behalf of the Hudson River Estuary Program. The grant is matched by over $250,000 in funds and volunteer time from partner organizations.

Watershed Alliance Executive Director Barbara Kendall said her organization is aimed at providing watershed management goals.

“We are a citizen action program under the Open Space Institute and what we do is we provide technical assistance, outreach, education and support for watershed management organizations, other environmental groups, local governments, businesses, many different stakeholders in the Hudson River Valley and the focus is on tools for watershed management and protection of watershed resources,” she said.

Read More

DEC Urges Green Solutions For Storm Water Runoff

By Kevin Foley for

Representatives from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) briefed Cold Spring’s Special Board for a Comprehensive Plan/Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan last week on the department’s green infrastructure initiatives and the importance of developing green alternatives to traditional methods of handling storm water runoff, particularly for Hudson River watershed communities.  The meeting took place on March 24 at the Village Hall. Lacking a quorum to conduct other business, the four (of nine) Special Board members present— Chairman Michael Armstrong, Anne Impellizzeri, Marge Early and Karen Doyle—devoted the entire meeting to the DEC presentation and subsequent discussion.

Emily Vail, a watershed outreach specialist in the DEC’s Hudson River Estuary Program, explained that the program seeks to ensure clean water, protect and restore fish and wildlife habitats, provide recreation in and on the water, adapt to climate change, and conserve the scenic landscape.  Created in 1987 and currently a partnership with the New York State Water Resources Institute of Cornell University, the program works with a variety of other state, federal, and local agencies, as well as with other public-private partnerships to achieve its goals, according to Vail. Storm water runoff from communities adjoining the Hudson has an enormous impact on the river’s cleanliness and the condition of wildlife habitats, said Vail.  Water runoff can carry many types of polluting materials and chemicals such as heavy metals, pesticides, oil and grease, road salt, animal and human waste and other assorted trash into the river. She said the introduction of green or more natural solutions to managing storm water is an important component not only in protecting the river but also in aiding local flood prevention, slowing soil erosion and retaining storm water for reuse on lawns and gardens or for other purposes.

Read More

Brewster's Hispanic influences evident on Main Street

By Mike Risinit for the NY Journal News

BREWSTER — Since around the midpoint of the Clinton administration, a visitor to Brewster's Main Street could find a Mexican sweet roll almost as easily as they could get an egg on a roll.

So the fact the village, which started as a railroad depot in the mid-1800s, is now home to a majority of Hispanic residents didn't surprise many who are part of life on that street. U.S. Census figures released last week showed Brewster had 2,390 residents in 2010, up from 2,162 in 2000, and 56 percent of them were of Hispanic.

"It's news, but it's not surprising because you can just stand on Main Street and see there's a majority of Hispanics that traverse Main Street on a daily basis," said Paul Carmona, a lawyer whose storefront office advertises his services in English and Spanish.

Read More

Green Roofs are Changing Architecture and Planning

Green roofs are not new; they have been used for thousands of years because they helped insulate, thrived in the sun instead of rotting, and other than the increased structure, they were cheap as, well, the dirt that they were planted in. Then flat roofs came in and were covered in tar and asphalt, which needed a lot of maintenance. Engineers and architects didn't worry much about them; nobody could see them. Roofs became parking lots for equipment.

Read More

March 27, 2011

The New York Times reported Friday that General Electric’s effective tax rate in 2010 was zero. Despite making $14.2 billion in profits, the company received $3.2 billion in tax benefits. GE is able to drive down its effective tax rate via “an aggressive strategy that mixes fierce lobbying for tax breaks and innovative accounting that enables it to concentrate its profits offshore.”

The fact that hugely profitable companies receive billions in benefits from taxpayers clearly makes the case for ending giveaways in the corporate tax code and cracking down on companies that use tax havens to shelter income overseas. However, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), when asked about GE’s zero percent tax rate today on CNBC, replied that the real problem is the U.S. corporate tax rate is too high:

We have to be concerned about what the business environment is in the U.S. here. We can’t afford to have the highest tax rate in the world…Those are individual companies. I think overall, we really can’t be looking at a corporate tax rate much higher than 25 percent because that’s the world average. So we’re sitting up there at 35 percent, that’s just the wrong signal.

Read More

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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

Is 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.

Photography by
Chris Casaburi
(845) 531-2358
Hudson Valley Photo Video

Brown Ink
Commercial Printing

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

One Click ButterCutter
The BEST Way to Handle Butter!

A Putnam County Owned Business

Copyright © 2011 News That Matters

Friday, March 25, 2011

News That Matters - Friday, March 25, 2011 - Things To Do Edition

News That Matters

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

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

Good Friday Morning,

Online Tag Sale:

As I begin the process of unloading my stuff, I’ll be offering it first to this list before it goes public.
Please note: anything that does not get sold goes in the bonfire.

FoxFire books, First Edition, Volumes One through Nine, 1972, in Good Condition. $125.
Paasche Airbrush kit – $30
- Paasche Model H single action airbrush kit with two Type H3HC3 tips and compressor hose.
Campbell Hausfeld Compressor – $60
- A slightly used Campbell Hausfeld Standard Duty, portable air compressor with hoses and original warranty. Great for airbrush work.
DeVILBISS FinishLine FLG-611 – $80
- Never used DeVILBISS FinishLine FLG-611 airbrush gun for auto/van/truck finishing. With original documentation.
Black & Decker Circular Saw – $25
- 9amp, 7 1/4″ blade, 1 1/2 horsepower
Call 845 554-5119 or write to
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We count!

According to the Census Bureau, Putnam County now has 99,710 residents which is a slight increase over the previous census in 2000. Overall, the state's population is 19,378,102, also an increase over the 2000 Census. The States that grew the fastest were, in general, those with the best weather. But if NY is growing, that lays the lie to the belief that people are fleeing the state because of our tax structure. If people more people are moving in than leaving there must be something more important to them than our tax rates.

In the January 23, 2010 edition of News That Matters I wrote an article called, "The Great Tefillin Scare" which has become one of the top read articles at the website. Here it is:

On a short-haul flight the other day a 17 year old kid put on his tefflin to pray. A flight attendant asked what he was doing, “praying,” he replied. She notified the pilot. In the flight attendant’s description she said “…it had wires running from it and going up to his fingers,” What she didn’t know was that they go directly to God! but, I digress…

So cautious was the pilot that the plane was diverted to Philadelphia where it landed so that this poor kid could pray in peace. Not that he could… the pilot described him as “disruptive” and the TSA said he had “prayer beads”.

As a cultural lesson I will show you goyim out there the difference between tefillin and a bomb. Look closely now…

Well, just the other day almost the exact same story took place but on an Alaska Airlines flight. The article in the NY Daily News begins:

Flight attendants on an Alaska Airlines flight to Los Angeles on Sunday interpreted an elaborate prayer ritual by Orthodox Jewish men onboard as a security threat and locked down the cockpit, airline officials said.

Police, FBI and custom agents swarmed the plane when it landed at Los Angeles International Airport at around 8:30 a.m. and three men were escorted off after it was reported that passengers were acting rowdy and a fight had broken out.

In fact, the disturbance was the farthest thing from a fight. The men were praying.

"We've since learned from law enforcement that the passengers onboard were practicing a traditional Orthodox Jew ritual called Tefillin," Alaska Airlines spokeswoman Bobbie Egan told the Los Angeles Daily News.

You can read the rest of this silly tale here.

Apparently, no one working for Alaska Airlines has ever read The Yiddish Policeman's Union.

Earlier in the week I wrote about the Hayworth/Katz show held last weekend in Patterson. One of false assertions Assemblyman Katz made was that 2 million people had left the state because of high property taxes, that the state population had gone down. But it hadn't, it's gone up over the years meaning that if those 2 million did leave because of high property taxes, more than 2 million moved in to the state regardless of those taxes.
A discussion has ensued between someone I assume is a staffer in the Assemblyman's office and myself that might be worth a read if you have absolutely nothing else to do. It's here. But, um, this could be a good time to start cleaning out the garage like your wife has been asking you to do for 2 million years now.

Part of the aforementioned discussion is whether the rich are being taxed fairly or not. Republicans say we should not raise taxes on the wealthy as they use those dollars to create jobs. Jobs like gardeners, caddies and nannies.
And it's important to note that while the average worker's salary increased by 2% in 2010, those of CEO's and their bonuses increased by 30.5%.

It's also important to note that as far as state income taxes go, 6.85% of $35,000 ($2200) is a huge chunk as compared to say, 8% of $250,000 ($20,000). Getting by on $33,000 is a lot tougher than getting by on $230,000.

I say, tax the rich which a growing number of GOPers are finally agreeing including State Senator John Bonacic. And I say, stop returning to Wall Street the $13 billion collected each year in stock transfer taxes. And if the rich don't like it, qu'ils mangent de la brioche or we can eat them.


On February 3rd of 2011 an astute reader sent in a photograph of a cougar track taken at the end of Richardsville Road just across the Kent town line in Putnam Valley and up against Fahnestock State Park.
One month later on March 2nd of 2011, the US Fish & Wildlife service declared the eastern cougar extinct. I'm guessing they didn't look in Putnam County or weren't looking very hard. Perhaps they might like to un-announce the death of the eastern cougar.
Our Very Own Young Republicans.

You know those kids: all clean cut, obedient, perfect blond hair and rank-straight teeth, blue eyes, pressed Dockers, starched button down shirts and looking for all the world like America's version of Hitler Youth? Well, Kent town councilman John Greene, better known for corralling pheasants to be shot, is now the president of an official Young Republicans klavern right here in Putnam County. In response, Jeff Green will be setting up Putnam's first Weiße Rose chapter, just in case.

Examining the Examiner:

Andrew Vitelli wrote a rather excellent article about the Hayworth/Katz show last weekend in Patterson. But how he was able to do so without mentioning my name as the Chief Provocateur, even though I was repeatedly singled out by Mike Griffin? I don't work that hard to be ignored!
So what's it going to take to get my name in the Examiner in proper context Andrew, a kiddie porn charge? Drug running? Murder? Everyone knows I don't like children until they're 25 or so, but the latter two are definitely within my ken.

In February, eight students from Nicetown's Gratz High School, joined with 150 others to rampage through downtown Philadelphia trashing a Macy's store in the process.
There's an unintentional but convenient pun in there and finding it is your homework for the weekend.

What's Going On?


Putnam Arts Council Members Show

The Putnam Arts Council invites the public to view the fine work offered in its 48th annual Members’ Exhibit through March 27th, during Gallery hours, Tuesday - Friday, 10-4 and Sundays 1-4. Admission and parking are free.

The March 6 opening reception was well attended by the families and friends of PAC and the artists despite the weather, and viewers enjoyed the almost 100 pieces included in the 2011 show. Works include watercolors, oils, monoprints, photographs, mixed media, pottery and more with many priced for sale.

This exhibit opens our second year back at Belle Levine Art Center, in our re-built facility at 521 Kennicut Hill Rd., in Mahopac. The celebration of Art continues here in our own backyard with art exhibits, classes, concerts and more for artists and audiences of all ages. The Putnam Arts Council is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency, and with public funds from Putnam County.  Additional support is raised through membership, programs, fundraising, and contributions from the public and private sectors. Inquiries for membership and sponsorship are welcome.

Information on upcoming cultural events and activities along with directions to the Art Center may be found at or call 845.803.8622.

Putnam County 2011 Tree Program

Orders must be in by Wednesday, April 6, 2011.Call Lori Taylor at (845) 878-7918 for more information and tell her we sent you.
From the flyer: We’ve added some exciting and different trees and shrubs this year. Most of them will attract and provide food and habitat for birds and other wildlife for your enjoyment and some even offer the opportunity to make jams and jellies. Blackberry (Rubus darrow) has large berries that are firm, juicy and have honey sweet true blackberry flavor. They are proven the most reliable producer of large crops of top quality fruit. Sweetbay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana) this tree provides excellent vertical definition in a shrub border or as a free standing specimen. Creamy white lemon scented flowers are followed by small red seeds which are used by a variety of wildlife. Pussy Willow (Salix discolor) one of the most time-honored spring rites, Pussy Willow greets your spring starved eyes while snow is still on the ground. The flowers bloom on bare stems and provide pollen for the native bees and food for birds. Sweet Shrub (Calycanthus floridus) has many common names all alluding to the aromatic properties of its leaves, bark, twigs and roots. Best of all is the wonderfully fruity scent produced by the unusual flowers. This plant is deer resistant. Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago) Nannyberry’s white flowers give way in autumn to blue-black berry like drupes which often persist into winter and are quite attractive to birds and wildlife. Fruits are edible and used in jams and jellies. Fountain Grass (Pennisetum) is a graceful elegant ornamental grass with plumes resembling bottle brushes that appear in summer and persist until fall. It is suited for residential landscape more than most other ornamental grasses because of its small size. Blackhaw Viburnum (Viburnum prunifolium) white flowers provide nectar for butterflies, native bees and other pollinators. The fruit provides a good source of food for birds and wildlife in fall and early winter.

This Weekend:

Friday, March 25

Local Rock Bands at AotL

6PM - "Letters to Autumn," "The Road Home," "The Face of Fear," "After September," "Seeing Through Blind Eyes" and "To Know Avail" are scheduled to play at the Lake Carmel Cultural Center, 640 Route 52, Kent Lakes, 6-10 pm. Admission is $8 with a $3 discount for AotL members.

Michelle LeBlanc and Doug Smith Duo

7:15PM Join Michelle at the Division Street Grill in Peekskill. I'll be performing with the great jazz piano man, Doug Smith. The food and ambiance are wonderful at the Division Street Grill.

Saturday, March 26

Putnam County Legislative Forum on people With Disabilities

8AM - 12 Noon - In typical Putnam County fashion, the announcement for this event is vague, says nothing much, and does so in really BIG LETTERS all over the PDF file announcing it. Apparently the Legislature has invited everyone from Charles Schumer to Sam Oliverio to take questions from residents about various issues concerning people with disabilities but here's the deal - you have to register to speak. Sweet, eh? Anyway, it takes place at the $30 million operations center at the Donald Smith campus on Old Route 6 in Carmel.

Community Forum on Water Quality and Conservation

10 AM - 3PM - On Sat., Mar. 26, HHLT will host Follow the Water, a community forum on water quality and conservation, at the Highlands Country Club, Rte. 9W, in Garrison, NY.  The free event, scheduled from 10:00am to 3:00pm, will feature two moderated hour and a half long panel discussions.  Children's watershed education programming will be provided in a separate room during the panel discussions by members of HHLLT's education team.  Participants will receive lunch and the opportunity to browse informational exhibit tables during breaks before and after the panels.


The morning panel, Water Policy & the Regulatory Framework, will present an overview of existing regulations on watersheds, wetlands/watercourses and wastewater management from the state, county and local levels, and introduce newer wastewater management technologies like subsurface drip dispersal. 

During the afternoon session, Practical Ideas for Home & Business, the focus will be on steps home and business owners can take to conserve water and increase water quality in their communities.  Topics will include non-point source pollution and its prevention, use of rain barrels and rain gardens, and installation and maintenance of technologies like composting toilets.  There will be time for questions and comments from the audience during both sessions.


The forum is open to the general public and free of charge, but registration is strongly recommended as space is limited.  Walk-ins will be accepted on the day of the event on a space available basis.  Call or email HHLT at 845/424-3358 or for more information or to make a reservation.

Rain Barrel Building Workshop

10:30AM - 11:30AM - Our first rain barrel building workshop of the season at the Farm and Home Center in Millbrook (Route 44). At the workshop you will learn how to build a 55-gallon rain barrel that you will take home with you at the end of the workshop. The cost of the workshop is $35 and covers the cost of all supplies.

Space is limited and registration is required. To register, contact Angela at (845) 677-8223, ext. 114. Your spot in the workshop is not held until we receive your payment. The workshop is already filling up, so contact Angela soon if you would like to participate.

If you have any questions about this workshop or future workshops, please contact Carolyn at 845-677-8223, ext. 135 or If you can not make it to this workshop, we will be having several more throughout the Spring and Summer.

Free Rabies Clinic

3PM - 5PM Bring your pets to the South Putnam Animal Hospital (230B Baldwin Place Road, Mahopac) for a free rabies vaccine. Bring along a photo ID for Putnam County residency and proof of prior vaccination. Call the Putnam County Health Department for more information at (845) 808-1390 ext 4312

Imagining the "Highlands of the Hudson" in 19th-Century America

5PM - Lecture with Stephen P. Rice, Professor of American Studies, Ramapo College. Throughout the century there were three main ways that people imagined this dramatic stretch of the Hudson River: as a magical realm of legend, as a natural scene of beauty aided in part by the hand of man, and as a historical setting of national importance. Prof. Rice examines these depictions in the verbal and visual arts, ranging from poems and works of fiction to paintings and popular illustrations.

This lecture is free and open to the public; and is sponsored by the New York Council for the Humanities, Speakers in the Humanities program. To RSVP, please call 845-265-4010 or email,

Poetry Plus – an evening of performed poetry and stories

Produced by Chris Blossy.
Lake Carmel Cultural Center, 640 Route 52, Kent Lakes, NY.
Admission: $8. ($5 AotL/Students).
More information at:

Earth Hour

8:30PM - Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights off for one hour to take a stand against climate change. Only a year later and Earth Hour had become a global sustainability movement with more than 50 million people across 35 countries/territories participating. Global landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, CN Tower in Toronto, Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and Rome’s Colosseum, all stood in darkness, as symbols of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour.
Earth Hour - Chile

In March 2009, hundreds of millions of people took part in the third Earth Hour. Over 4000 cities in 88 countries/territories officially switched off to pledge their support for the planet, making Earth Hour 2009 the world’s largest global climate change initiative.

On Saturday 27 March, Earth Hour 2010 became the biggest Earth Hour ever. A record 128 countries and territories joined the global display of climate action. Iconic buildings and landmarks from Asia Pacific to Europe and Africa to the Americas switched off. People across the world from all walks of life turned off their lights and came together in celebration and contemplation of the one thing we all have in common – our planet.

Earth Hour 2011 will take place on Saturday 26 March at 8.30PM (local time). This Earth Hour we want you to go beyond the hour, so after the lights go back on think about what else you can do to make a difference. Together our actions add up.

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.

PC Land Trust Volunteer Open House

1:30PM - The PCLT is partnering with the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference to offer a new approach to conservation training.  For the first time, volunteers will have the opportunity to be trained and participate in the design, construction and maintenance of a new trail system on one of PCLT’s newest preserves – the 94 acre Brandon Farm Preserve in Patterson.

The Putnam County Land Trust will be holding an open-house style meeting for anyone interested in learning more about this project and initiative.  Would you like to try trail work, office work or public outreach?  Whether you have experience or not, the Land Trust has always relied upon the unique interests and backgrounds of its volunteers, and can now offer a new level of involvement.   

At the Lawlor Building located at 2 Route 164 in Patterson. The meeting is open to anyone in the community who would like to find out more about this partnership and the other volunteer opportunities at the Putnam County Land Trust. For additional information contact the Land Trust at or 845/278-2808.

Bird Artists for Children

3PM - 5PM - Ongoing Sundays through May 15th. For children aged 5-12. Children will create images of birds using a wide range of high quality art materials.  Children will create drawings, paintings and sculpture. Tuition: $100.00 for the Public and $90.00 for AotL Members. More information is here.

About the Instructor:Mary Schreiber holds an M.S. from Bank Street College of Education. At Arts on the Lake she has led classes in collage, mask-making, painting, and sculpture. As an artist, she makes sculpture and marionettes.

Into the Future

Monday, March 28

Agriculture Sustainable Energy Conference

8AM - 1PM - How To Save Money & Energy on Your Farm

You're invited to attend an Agriculture Sustainable Energy Conference on March 28, 2011, hosted by Congressman Maurice D. Hinchey's Office. Come learn about regional assistance to help make your farm more energy efficient and sustainable. The event will take place from 8 am to 1 pm in the Student Lounge in Vanderlyn Hall at the SUNY Ulster Community College Campus in Stone Ridge, NY.
This event is free and open to the public. A continental breakfast will be provided in the morning. Please see below for the agenda.

To Register for this event, click here. Registration deadline is March 25, 2011.

Orange Register Now Button

8:00 - 8:45 am:
Continental Breakfast and Registration

8:45 - 9:00 am:
Greetings - Dr. Don Katt, SUNY Ulster President
Opening Remarks - Hon. Maurice D. Hinchey

9:00 - 9:45 am:
Efficiency Comes First
-Meridith Nierenberg, Coordinator for Mid-Hudson Energy $mart Communities will speak about the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority's (NYSERDA) programs that offer both technical and financial assistance to help make farms more energy efficient and help farmers save money.

9:45 - 10:30 am:
Is Solar Cost Effective on a Farm? A Funding Opportunities Update
-USDA Rural Development representative Scott Collins will speak about the Rural Energy for America (REAP) Grant and Guaranteed Loan Program, which provides grants, loan guarantees, or both, to assist farms and rural small businesses with their purchases of renewable energy systems and improvements in the energy efficiency of their operations.

10:30 - 11:15 am:
Learn How to Secure $ For Renewable Energy Projects from the 2009 Recovery Act
-US Department of Energy representative Peter Weeks, will provide information about the 1603 program, which is a grant in lieu of tax credit program that enables rural business and family farmers the ability to fund energy projects. Mr. Weeks is the Clean Energy Advisor to the Secretary and Under Secretary for Energy.

11:15 - 11:30 am:

11:30 am - 12:15 pm:
Technical & Financial Assistance for the Hudson Valley Farm Community
-Todd Erling, Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corp.

12:15 - 1:00 pm:
Exhibits/Networking/One-on-One Meetings - Meet with exhibitors and program representatives and start filling out applications: Bring your energy bills and let's figure out how to save $$!

Please direct questions about this event and registration to:
Meridith Nierenberg, Coordinator
Mid-Hudson Energy $mart Communities
446 Broadway
Kingston, NY 12401

Wednesday, March 30

Reading of "Rabbit Hole" to benefit Gilda's Club

7:00PM - 9:00PM - We hope you will join us for a very special reading of David Lindsay-Abaire’s "Rabbit Hole"  Benefiting GILDA’S CLUB of Westchester. Gilda’s Club…offering support forpeople whose lives have been touched by cancer…all types of cancer. Rabbit Hole takes us through a dark tunnel but it reminds us, with graceful simplicity,that there is light at the end of it. Produced and Directed by Elizabeth D’Ottavio. CAST: Ben Berner, Dee Dee Burke, Elizabeth D’Ottavio, Margie Ferris, Michael Fox, Kaili Lewis. Suggested donation $20 (Any and all donations welcome) To reserve a seat, please email Liz: or call 914.419.6000


Friday, April 1

BATIK Contemporary Jazz Ensemble

Barry Hartglass, Dave Anthony, Tom Nazziola, Tim Ouimette and John Roggie - 5 serious musicians who don't take themselves so seriously. Lake Carmel Cultural Center, 640 Route 52, Kent Lakes, NY Admission: $15. ($10 AotL) Tickets and more info at:

Saturday, April 2

The Reflectionist Spring Art Exhibit 

1PM - Opening Reception: Arts on the Lake, 640 Route 52, Kent Lakes, NY 10512. Mood, Magic, Mystery - What secrets lie within? Come and find out, and add your own point of view in a dialogue with the artists. Refreshments provided. Admission is free. Additional Exhibit Hours: Sun, April 3, 1-4PM, Sat, April 9, 1-4PM, Sun, April 10, 1-4PM
More info:

Putnam County Historical Society Annual Meeting and Presentation by Rita Shaheen

4 pm - Please join us for the Annual Members Meeting of the Putnam County Historical Society. Learn more about our exhibitions, events, and programming while meeting some of our new board of trustees.

Immediately following the meeting, join us for "A Heritage Park at Scenic Hudson's West Point Foundry Preserve." Rita Shaheen, Director of Parks at Scenic Hudson, will present the organization's future plans for the West Point Foundry Preserve, a national register historic site located right in the Village of Cold Spring.

There is no charge for these events. To RSVP, call 845-265-4010 or email,

Sunday, April 3

Michelle LeBlanc

2PM - 3:30PM - 1950's Jazz: Bop, Cool, R&B Our quartet returns to perform at the Shrub Oak Library just in time to celebrate the coming of spring. Michelle jazz combo features the legendary Bill Crow on bass, the talented arranger Tom Kohl on piano and the world touring sax player, Ed Xiques. Our show will include a special encore featuring tunes from our new CD "I Remember You." This free concert take place in the special events room of this lovely library. Ample and convenient parking is available, so invite all your jazz lovin' friends. John C Hart Memorial Library, 1130 E Main St, Shrub Oak, NY (914) 245-5262

John Hall in Concert (Yes, that John Hall)

7:30PM - Town Crier, Route 22, Pawling. We're thrilled to welcome back John Hall after his two terms as US Congressman. Singer/songwriter/guitarist John Hall will bring his unique guitar stylings and expressive voice to The Towne Crier for his first concert since leaving Congress. The average music fan may associate John Hall with blockbuster Orleans hits like Still The One and Dance with Me, but those familiar with him know his more eclectic work. He wrote for Janis Joplin, Bonnie Raitt, The Doobie Brothers, Linda Ronstadt, Ricky Skaggs and James Taylor. John has also played guitar solos on records by Taj Mahal, Carly Simon and Little Feat. As one of the organizers of the historic No Nukes concerts, he was among the performers featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine with co-producers Graham Nash, Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt. :|: artist's home -  $20 advance/ $25 door Buy TICKETS now!

Wednesday, April 6

Roy Zimmerman in Concert

7:30PM - Zimmerman's songs have been heard on HBO and Showtime, and he's a featured blogger for the Huffington Post. The Los Angeles Times says, "Zimmerman displays a lacerating wit and keen awareness of society's foibles that bring to mind a latter-day Tom Lehrer." Tom Lehrer himself says, "I congratulate Roy Zimmerman on reintroducing literacy to comedy songs. And the rhymes actually rhyme, they don't just rhyne." Joni MItchell says, "Roy's lyrics move beyond poetry and achieve perfection." At All Souls Unitarian Church, 1157 Lexington Avenue (at 80th). Suggested donation, $15.

Friday, April 8th

Saturday, April 9

Passport Day in Putnam

9AM - 1PM The Putnam County Clerk’s Office is hosting a Passport Event at its office located at 34 Gleneida Avenue, Carmel, New York on Saturday, April 9, 2011 from 9:00 am until 1:00 pm to provide passport information to U.S. citizens and to accept passport applications.  Putnam County Clerk Dennis Sant is joining the Department of State in celebrating Passport Day in the USA 2011, a national passport  acceptance and outreach event.

U.S. citizens must present a valid passport book when entering or re-entering the United States by air.  U.S. citizens entering the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda at land borders and sea ports of entry must present a passport book, passport card, or other travel documents approved by the U.S.   government.

Information on the cost and how to apply for a U.S. passport is available at the Putnam County Clerk’s Website located at U.S. citizens may also obtain passport information by phone by  calling the Putnam County Clerk’s Office at 845-808-1142 X49273 or the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778.

Putnam County Land Trust 42nd Annual Dinner

5:30PM - Join in the celebration as Putnam County Land Trust marks 42 years of preserving open space and protecting sensitive habitats in Putnam County- right in your big backyard.    Enjoy live music by Bruce Eisenstein, a sumptuously wonderful buffet dinner, their famous silent auction of eclectic items and an exciting Live Auction led by Ivan and Laura Cohen.  Displays of Land Trust properties along with recognitions and awards will be part of the evening.

The proceeds from the event will benefit the preserves and programs of Putnam County Land Trust.  Speaking about the upcoming dinner, Land Trust President Judy Terlizzi said, “PCLT needs the community’s continued support to preserve open space and sensitive habitats in Putnam County.”  In addition to attending the dinner, the Land Trust is looking for supporters to donate goods or services for the auction or advertise in the dinner journal.   

The event will be held at the Starr Ridge Banquet and Conference Center at 38 Starr Ridge Road in Brewster on Saturday, April 9th, 2011 at 5:30pm.  Seating is limited and reservations are required. Take advantage of special dinner pricing of $60 per person if paid by March 30th.  To make a reservation, inquire about advertising space or donate goods or services for the auction, call 845/228-4520 or 845/279-3122, or visit the PCLT website at

Sunday, April 10

Communities in Transition - Local Strengths, Local Resilience

3PM - Mohonk Consultations: We will explore the issues of Peak Oil, climate change and how, together, we can create a locally-based, sustainable and resilient future

Learn how the growing, community-based TRANSITION TOWN movement has begun to implement solutions for climate change, renewable energy, transportation, housing, safe water and food, and strengthening local economies in our region and around the globe.

TRANSITION TOWN INITIATIVES represent the most promising and positive ways of engaging people and communities to take the far-reaching actions that are required to build local sustainability.
Panel Presentation and Group Discussion

The Transition Town Movement is a rapidly spreading global effort to holistically reorganize entire communities and municipalities, and create sustainable and locally based economies in the face of deteriorating oil resources, and increasing climate and economic instability. The Movement embraces the idea of "engaged optimism".� It emphasizes that ordinary people have the collective will to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and to build local resilience to address the challenges of our times.

Reservations required. By phone 845-256-2726, or email

Suggested donation: $10 Seniors; Students $5

Mohonk Consultations
Mohonk Mountain House
1000 Mountain Rest Rd
New Paltz, NY 12561

Voice: 845.256.2726

Mohonk Consultation's mission is to bring together people of diverse perspectives to promote dialogue that inspires greater understanding and sustainability of all life on Earth.

Tuesday, April 19

Sustainable Roofing: Living/Green Roofs, Cool Roofs

6PM - 8PM - Much of conventional roofing represents a wasted opportunity to reduce energy costs, improve building performance and durability, create useable habitat for flora and fauna, improve biodiversity, increase the performance of installed photovoltaic systems, mitigate combined sewer overflow (CSO) events, reduce waste stream pollution, lessen urban heat island effects (UHIE) and make the "view from the top" a much prettier place.  Our experts on sustainable roofing will talk about proven roofing alternatives that can do all these things, turning underutilized dark roof surfaces into acres of better space for the environment, for occupants, and for owners. Participants will gain a strong understanding of innovative roofing technologies such as cool roofs, photovoltaic roofing, vegetative roof systems, recyclable roofing, and roofing materials manufactured with post-consumer recycled content and low VOC roofing options.

About The Presenter: Rich Kuhn, Territory Manager: Rich Kuhn is a Territory Manager for the Garland Company which is a full-service manufacturer of High Performance Building Envelope Moisture Protection Products.  Rich believes that the best way to be "green" is by providing the longest lasting, lowest Life Cycle Cost roofing solutions for his clients.  Rich obtained a B.S. in Biology from Seton Hall University in 1999.  He is a member of the AIA, NYASBO, NYSB&G, and the USGBC.

At: Cathryn's Tuscan Grill 91 Main Street, Cold Spring, NY  

Register for the Putnam/Dutchess County event here. Reservations are $10 for advance sales to USGBC NY Upstate Chapter Members and Students, and $20 for non-members.  Members & students pay $15 at the door. This presentation qualifies for AIA LU

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


Saturday, May 14

Carmina Burana

8PM at Brewster High School. The Putnam Chorale performs CARMINA BURANA - One Performance Only - with full orchestra and accompanied by the Brewster High School Chamber Singers and the Seven Star Dancers, on MAY 14, 2011 8 pm at the Brewster High School Performing Arts Center, 50 Foggintown Road, Brewster, NY.  Get more information at our web site ( or by calling 845-279-7265.

A collection of historic medieval songs and poems was discovered in the year 1803 at an abandoned monastery in Bavaria.  This collection was found to be satirical works that had been performed by traveling goliards, disaffected clergy and clerical students, who used the works to lighten the burden of everyday life and to poke fun at the authorities of the day.  In a way, the Saturday Night Live of its time!

The works make fun of church excesses and follies and mock the changing morals of the times.  There are love songs and songs for drinking and gambling that celebrate Epicurus, the ancient Greek Philosopher and advocate of the blissful life.  The stories are provocative and often disrespectful, but offer a common man perspective and a chance at some frivolity.


Saturday, June 18

Clearwater Revival

Croton Point Park - Pete Seeger star Drive-By Truckers star Martin Sexton star Indigo Girls, Arlo Guthrie star Josh Ritter star Jorma Kaukonen star Peter Yarrow, John Sebastian star Janis Ian star The Low Anthem, Red Horse (Lucy Kaplansky, John Gorka & Eliza Gilkyson) star The Klezmatics, Toubab Krewe star Justin Townes Earle star Chris, Smither star Joanne Shenandoah, Tom Chapin star Bernice Johnson Reagon star Dan Zanes & Elizabeth Mitchell, James McMurtry | Jay Ungar & Molly Mason | Jeffrey Broussard & The Creole Cowboys, Tao Seeger Band | Toshi Reagon & Big Lovely | Mike & Ruthy | Sarah Lee & Johnny, Bethany & Rufus' Roots Quartet | Clayfoot Strutters | Zlatne Uste | Joe Purdy, The Nields | The Kennedys | Jen Chapin | K.J. Denhert | Zon del Barrio, Vanaver Caravan| Buskin & Batteau | Dave Douglas & Brass Ecstasy, Brooklyn Qawwali Party | Joe D'urso | Joel Plaskett, Arm-of-the-Sea Theater star The Power of Song star The Rivertown Kids, Mustard's Retreat star Magpie star Roger the Jester star Dog on Fleas, Walkabout Clearwater Chorus star Paul Richmond star The Storycrafters, Rick Nestler star Donna Nestler star Travis Jeffrey star Margo Thunderbird, Marva Clark star Linda Richards star Eshu Bumpus star Dan Einbender, Dirty Stay Out Skifflers star Geoff Kaufman star Sarah Underhill star Peninnah Schram, Kay Olan/Ionataiewas star Mel & Vinnie star Karen Pillsworth star Gregorio Pedroza , Allan Aunapu star Jan Christensen star The New York Packet star Matt Turk star Hope Machine


July 21 - 24

Gathering of the Vibes

Seaside Park, Bridgeport, CT - Gathering of the Vibes, the Northeast’s acclaimed music festival destination, will “bring the magic” once again with a 4-day extravaganza of eclectic music, arts and community, July 21-24, 2011 at Connecticut’s magnificent Seaside Park. The rumor mill is swirling with artist announcements around the corner. Gathering of the Vibes promises its most spectacular and diverse lineup to date, delivering over 40 hours of music on multiple stages. Powerhouse Vibes alumni include: The Allman Brothers, Crosby Stills & Nash, Furthur with Phil Lesh & Bob Weir, James Brown, The Black Crowes, and Damian Marley and Nas, alongside breakout acts like Umphrey’s McGee, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Jackie Greene, and tri-state favorites The McLovins. The Vibes also warmly embraces new, virtually unknown artists, who may submit music for consideration through sonic bids.

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