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| "I'm not standing here in front of you because the system works. I'm standing here despite the system." |
- Jeffrey DeskovicGood Friday Morning,
There are more than 200,000,000 individual websites on the World Wide Web and PlanPutnam/News That Matters is in the top 1% according to an Alexa rating. Help spread the word. Pass this edition of the newsletter on to someone you know who does not currently read. If not for anything else, then for our extensive listing of local and regional events.
Criminal Justice American Style
Jeffrey Deskovic is in the news again, winning his lawsuit against Westchester county for putting him in prison for a crime the authorities responsible knew he did not commit. His lawsuits against Putnam County and the City of Peekskill for their complicity in this crime against him are still pending.
A 1990 study conducted by Ohio State University claims that as many as 10,000 Americans are wrongfully convicted of serious crimes each year and admits the number is rather conservative.
The Innocence Project has freed more than 200 people wrongfully convicted of such crimes when they were able to force DNA evidence into appeals where local judges, police and District Attorney's offices put up significant, illegal or immoral roadblocks to new evidence or to admit old evidence that was intentionally suppressed.
Read More at News That Matters.
Corporate Easy Riders
The president of the American Outlaw Association motorcycle gang was sentenced to 20 years for leading a criminal organization. In the meantime, the CEO of JPMorgan, Jamie Dimon, is going to earn $20.8 million this year, Bank of America is, well, still Bank of America, and Republicans in Congress think BP and Exxon need tax breaks in order to continue selling fossil fuels while in the meantime, Putnam County has the highest foreclosure rate in NY State. Aren't we sending the wrong people to jail?
The website, The New Generation, Keep Up The Fire, has on it's "Allies" page a list of three Republicans, Olimpia [sic] Snowe, Dick Luar [sic] and Fred Upton, they consider RINO's or Republicans In Name Only. The thing is, the photographs of these three are in gunsight crosshairs thus perpetuating the aura of violence that emanates from the extreme right-wing. But that's par for the course for an organization that calls Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Barry Goldwater heroes.
I'm clearly not the only one to sense that presidential hopeful Donald Trump is a bit confused about pretty much everything. He's been making the most outlandish statements these past few weeks from claiming that President Obama's grandmother said she witnessed his birth - in Kenya - to switching his positions on civil rights, women's rights and other issues, all in a bid to capture the hard-core reactionary wing of the Republican Party. If they buy his brand of populism it says more about them, than him.
The Book of Mormon
Booked solid at the Eugene O'Neill theater until June 1, the new Broadway exercise in offending everyone and everything anyone holds sacred, by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and book by Avenue Q creator, Robert Lopez, The Book of Mormon, is a terrific night out.
Seeing the show last evening with CL proved an interesting view on all things Mormon and a taste of our own selves. With the best and brightest of the Broadway producer/director scene (with whom I had the pleasure to sit surrounded by a hard-core NY theater audience,) finding the first act glib, the second act left them on their feet cheering a young, energetic and tri-athletic cast. Josh Gad (Elder Cunningham) and Andrew Rannells (Elder Price) have a bright future on stage and screen and the rest of the ensemble cast needs to be seen to be believed.
With hummable tunes and choreography that isn't too gay (unless it needed to be), and the ensemble going through costume and character changes that would spin the head of even the most experienced stage managers, this two+ hour excursion into the dark and light sides of the Church of Latter Day Saints is a sure winner... assuming you've got thick skin.
NY Times reviewer Ben Brantely says;
"But a major point of “The Book of Mormon” is that when looked at from a certain angle, all the forms of mythology and ritual that allow us to walk through the shadows of daily life and death are, on some level, absurd; that’s what makes them so valiant and glorious."Vogue's Adam Green says;
"From the opening number, in which a parade of clean-cut missionaries in black slacks and white shirts ring doorbells and try to spread the good word, it’s clear that The Book of Mormon is not just a spoof but a real musical. Both its tuneful score and the witty, exuberant choreography, by Casey Nicholaw (Spamalot), who codirects with Parker, make fun of the conventions of musical theater even as they celebrate them, with echoes of classic shows from The Music Man to Fiddler on the Roof (an elaborate nightmare sequence in hell, complete with Adolf Hitler, Jeffrey Dahmer, and a Starbucks). "The Daily's News' Joe Dziemianowicz writes;
"It's a show where you catch yourself laughing one minute, mouth agape the next, eventually wiping away tears, and, finally, cheering."Even the staid, Economist, got in the act;
"What makes “The Book of Mormon” work is its joyful mix of good music, knowing humour and unexpected compassion. Mormonism, an easy target, gets a grilling, but so do social conservatism, clichéd plot-lines and any sort of blind faith. Like “South Park” but a bit tamer, the show sends up human flaws and hypocrisy without malice. Some laughs come cheaply (the word “scrotum” could be used more sparingly), but most are earned and many are hearty. The result is a warm tribute to the glories of show business, with razzamatazzy numbers that come with a rare and welcome wink."Misters Parker and Stone delve into the mores of our lives, challenge head-on our most closely held sacred rituals and leave us with a clearer understanding of how we view the world around us - and why. What could have been a simply crude excursion turns out, in the end, to be a touching and soul-building experience. And if a mid-week NY City audience adorned with scriptwriters, producers and anyone else even remotely connected with the industry of theater can be brought to their feet... well, let's just hope this thing never plays in Salt Lake City.
What's Going On?
6PM - Opening reception for new show by artists Enrico Giordano, Peter Clark and Setsuya Kotani. Runs through May 8, 2011. 23 Garrison's Landing, (on the river side of the train station), Garrison, New York. Visit the Garrison Art Center for more information.
8:30AM - Join the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Dutchess County for a Science and Management Forum on Regional Freshwater Issues. Free and open to the public, the event will provide an overview of the quantity and quality of regional freshwater resources, pressures that existing supplies face (pollution, development, invasive species), and management options. Special attention will be given to green infrastructure and stormwater. A detailed agenda will be posted when available. Reservations are required. Early registration is recommended. E-mail Claudia Rosen firstname.lastname@example.org with attendee names and municipal/organization affiliation (if any). Location: Cary Institute's auditorium, located at 2801 Sharon Turnpike (Route 44) in Millbrook, New York.
9AM - 11 AM - Have you noticed all the trash around this year? The big snows have left allot of trash! So, celebrate the coming of SPRING by taking just a few minutes of your week and help clean up your neighborhood blocks and along our beautiful lake front. COFFEE AND DONUTS, Trash bags and Rubber Gloves are available at Beach 3.
10AM - Join Docents Harry and Marianne Bloomfeld, on this moderate 2-mile walk on a mostly cleared, level trail with a few steps and rocks. This trail follows the meandering Stony Brook. Let's explore what lives along the stream, possibly finding some blooming plant life or croaking frogs. Walkers Should meet in the Reeves Meadow Parking Lot near the Stone Building off of Seven Lakes Drive.
8:30PM - Vaneese Thomas' many talents have made her a sought-after solo performer as well as a desired vocalist, contributing to the projects and performances of Luciano Pavarotti, Sting, Stevie Wonder, Natalie Cole, BB King, Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, Joe Cocker, Celine Dion, Annie Lennox, Patti LaBelle ...and Aretha Franklin rarely performs without her! Vaneese's mission is to continue the legacy set by her influential father, legendary R&B musician Rufus Thomas, but she has also cultivated her own style by blending all the influences of her background: R&B, gospel, blues and jazz. In addition to singing (she had a Top Ten R&B hit herself in 1987 ? Let's Talk it Over), Vaneese has produced recordings, created vocal arrangements and written songs for Dianna Ross, Patti Austin, Freddie Jackson and Larry Coryell, also working with renowned producer Phil Ramone along the way. Thomas' credits for movies & TV include Disney's Hercule! s, Anastasia, The First Wives Club, Everyone Says I Love You, PBS's Shining Time Station and appearances on Letterman, Conan O'Brien and NBC's Today. $25 advance/ $30 door Buy TICKETS now!
10:30am - 3:00pm - Celebrate Earth Day and springtime with family-friendly and Earth-friendly fun at Bear Mountain State Park's Trailside Museum and Zoo. Nature-related displays, activities and games give you tips to help you look after Mother Earth. Arrive at 10:30 and you can help us make treats for the Bears. They will come out of their dens at 11:00 to gobble up the goodies.
1-5 pm (Registration: 12:30). Viewshed Benefit Party: 6-8 pm At Columbia-Greene Community College
2PM - The prize-winning documentary film "Gasland" will be shown Saturday, April 16 at 2 pm in Lake Carmel Cultural Center, 640 Route 52, Kent Lakes, NY.
1:30PM - Chris Hedges has written for numerous publications including The Nation, Foreign Affairs, Harper's Magazine, The New York Review of Books, Granta, Mother Jones, New Humanist and Robert Scheer's web magazine Truthdig where he publishes a column.
Passover begins at sundown this evening.
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.
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.
7:30AM - 1PM The Village of Brewster and Town of Southeast are sponsoring a Roadside Cleanup and Litter Removal Day. More information here (PDF)
3:30-5:30pm (approximate times) - At Borders Books, 162 East Main Street, Mount Kisco, NY 10549 Call 914-241-8387 for more information.
8PM - The Bard comes to the shores of Lake Carmel in a Shakespeare Slam that has fortuitously become an annual event. Curated by NYC acting coach Roger Hendricks Simon and produced by Blue Horse Repertory, the cast of 30 actors, professional and students alike, work effortlessly through more than a dozen of the Bard’s plays. Scenes from Hamlet, As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello, The Merchant of Venice, Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet and more, are woven into a neat, seamless fabric highlighting the best of the Bard and the best talents of the cast. Incredible performances by Ralph Cashen, Daniel Simon and Lora Lee Ecobelli are just a few of the standouts coming for this evening. With a brief ten-minute intermission the 90 minute performance will fly by.
10AM - 5PM When the people who should be going to the Expo are working, so they can't. At the Villa Barrone, where else? The Greater Mahopac-Carmel Chamber of Commerce, 953 South Lake Blvd. Mahopac, New York 10541 or call (845) 628-5553 for more information.
8:30PM - It's all in one seemingly impossible package: Vance Gilbert's spellbinding live show; his deliriously virtuosic singing; his accomplished guitar style; his outrageous, edgy humor; AND the songwriting. Shawn Colvin invited Vance to be a special guest on her Fat City tour, and Vance took audiences by storm across the country: "With the voice of an angel, the wit of a devil, and the guitar playing of a god, it was enough to earn him that rarity: an encore for an opener" wrote the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in its review of a show from that tour. With one of the sharpest wits in folk music, Vance is one of the most entertaining singer-songwriters you'll ever see. But, he can deftly change the mood of a show in an instant with a sincere delivery of one of his deep-flowing songs. So, don't be surprised if your tears of laughter mix with tears of sorrow in a satisfying blend of yin and yang. $20 advance/ $25 door Click here for more information.
2PM - Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries, 3 Beekman Street, Beacon, NY 12508 845 440 0100 www.diaart.org
7PM - Bird song expert Donald Kroodsma will describe how birds communicate and why. Listen to the sounds of birds as you've never listened before, using their songs as a window into their minds. Location: Cary Institute's auditorium, located at 2801 Sharon Turnpike (Route 44) in Millbrook, New York.
9AM - Join the Oblong Land Conservancy and Larry Feldmen from the NY Audubon for a guided walk through prime bird habitat, including an upland cedar grove and the Great Swamp floodplain. Meet at the Slocum Mostachetti Preserve, 7/10's miles to the west of the traffic light at the intersection of Route 22 and Pleasant Ridge Road in Wingdale. Click here for more information.
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 (www.putnamchorale.org) or by calling 845-279-7265.
For over 20 years, Riverkeeper’s Shad Fest has been a celebration of the vast numbers of American shad that returned each year to the Hudson River to spawn. The shad run has been a welcome sign of spring, rebirth and renewal for thousands of years, since the Lenape Indians populated the Hudson’s shores. Sadly, the shad population has declined in recent years to dangerously low levels and the focus of this year’s event is on saving the American Shad and other Hudson River signature fish which are similarly at risk. Shad Fest started off as a backyard barbeque held at Bobby Kennedy Jr.’s house, and has grown every year. To be held at Boscobel House and Gardens, Route 9D in Cold Spring. Click here for more information and tickets.
7:30PM - Garnet Rogers has established himself as "One of the major talents of our time." Hailed by the Boston Globe as a "charismatic performer and singer," Garnet is a man with a powerful physical presence --close to six and a half feet tall-- with a voice to match. With his "smooth, dark baritone" (Washington Post) his incredible range, and thoughtful, dramatic phrasing, Garnet is widely considered by fans and critics alike to be one of the finest singers anywhere. His music --like the man himself-- is literate, passionate, highly sensitive, and deeply purposeful. Cinematic in detail, his songs "give expression to the unspoken vocabulary of the heart" (Kitchener Waterloo Record). An optimist at heart, Garnet sings extraordinary songs about people who are not obvious heroes and of the small victories of the everyday. As memorable as his songs, his over-the-top humour and lightning-quick wit moves his audience from tears to laughter and back again. $17.50 advance/ $22.50 door. Click here for more information.
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
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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