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Good Friday Morning,
News That Matters is now the 24,742th most popular political blog on the planet! At the beginning of the year we were at 25,125th place, and increase of 919 places in 4 months. Keep up the good work and keep spreading the good news! In fact, our weekly Things To Do Edition (like the one you're reading now) is a perfect forward to your friends. Send this copy along to someone you know who does not read. Then they can subscribe on their own with the link to the right.
The dog and I are still looking for a place to resettle. If you can help in that regard it would be appreciated.
Did you know that NYSEG charges you 73 cents to issue you a bill and then a 2 cent tax on top of that? Did you know that NYSEG collects, then passes on to the NYS General Fund, a 25 cent charge each month just for fun? Did you also know that NYSEG is now a British company and the profits go overseas... like NY's jobs? Well, now you do.
Congratulations to the State of Vermont for moving forward with a redesign of their health care system.
More Weirdness from Putnam County Government
It's about Kent Manor. For several years the county negotiated with the former owners of Kent Manor over what they owed in back taxes and for years they paid none letting the bill run up to over $2 million. And when the county finally settled they never involved the Town of Kent nor the Carmel Central School District in the settlement negotiations. Now the county wants the town to reimburse them for the property taxes they paid out to the town and the school district over all those years. It's a silly money-grab and I would urge the town NOT to send the county one red cent for this, ever.
But there are questions we've asked before and will ask my favorite one more time: In all the time Kent Manor was in arrears on their property taxes why didn't Bob Bondi move to foreclose on the property? I've heard various answers, all of them lame. The one answer we have yet to hear is the truth and if Putnam County DA Adam Levy is worth his weight in anything he should open a criminal investigation into the goings on over in Carmel.
Oh! Wait! Nah, that will never happen. Sorry I got your hopes up.
House Republicans Spurn American Heroes
House Republicans this week decided not to follow the Senate in passing a resolution (97-0) to thank the Navy Seals who captured/shot or otherwise apprehended Osama bin Laden last weekend. They say doing so would break one of their rules of no longer passing "honorary resolutions".
But according to a published report from Cliff Weathers, Republicans have already broken their rule:
H.R. 23 was a belated "thank you" card to the Merchant Marines for their participation in World War II.Democratic Congressman Jerry Nadler whose district includes Ground Zero said, “I think we ought to pass a resolution honoring the military and the president. How often do you get unadulterated, unabashed, absolute good news about something really important in this country, or any country?” I could not agree more.
Even More Weirdness from Congress
Nan Hayworth is proudly touting a bill she vote for which she says will cut gasoline prices by drilling for more oil off the coast of Virginia and other places. It doesn't matter that oil pulled from any new proposed wells won't hit your gas tank for 5 years or more, but it makes for a good sound bite and serves her corporate constituency by upping their profits even further.
What she should propose is CONSERVATION but that word and CONSERVATIVE are apparently too far apart from each other even though they share a majority of letters save the last two.
So, my dear Ms Hayworth, we'll say it once again: All the drilling in the world will not bring down the price of gasoline nor brunt its increase so long as Americans don't start conserving, driving less, better insulating their homes and all those things that are anathema to the Republican Party. And, just in case you missed it, please read "Oh my god! The gas prices! Someone should do Something!" It's a good primer on how to cut the cost of energy in these United States.
It's OK. Go ahead and click on the link. Be brave!
Then read this link for a dose of sanity.
Weather Geeks Unite!
Have you ever wanted to know what the weather was on a certain date and a certain place. Well, now you're in luck. The weather data for over 4000 reporting stations around the world is now available as a Google Maps App from WeatherSpark. And, just in case you want to know, the mean temperature has increased 3.9 degrees F over the past 60 years.
Does your living room look as good as this? If not, call a painter you can trust: TaconicArts is at 845 225-2104
What's Going On?
Several events listed below are from the Hudson Watershed Alliance Newsletter.
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.
7PM - 9 PM - Indigenous Edible Plants Of the Hudson Valley With Evan Pritchard. An unforgettable indoor workshop/lecture that will feature the foods of the Munsee (Delaware Indians), how they prayed for help in hunting, what plants they gathered, how they communicated with plant spirits, “paid” for what they picked with tobacco, and what they did to increase yields.
Doug Senterman, Leanto Supervisor for the NYNJTC will be partnering with the Catskill 3500 Club to provide two leanto workshops regarding the duties of a leanto maintainer. The workshops will be on Saturday May 7th in conjunction with a hike to Hunter and SW Hunter and a visit to the new John Robb leanto.
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.
10 AM - Enjoy a spring day outdoors at this beautiful and diverse 255-acre nature preserve, owned and managed by the Orange County Land Trust. Led by noted naturalist Gary Keeton, this moderate 1 ¾ mile hike rambles through a magnificent wooded ravine to fantastic vistas overlooking the Warwick Valley. A brief history of the region will be presented, with a focus on what is visible, particularly the various plant communities, and how people utilized these plants throughout history. Old foundations, stone walls and other historical remains of human activity on the mountain will also be examined. As there are areas of steep and rocky terrain, this hike is not intended for very young children. Registration is recommended by calling (845) 343-0840, x12 or emailing email@example.com. A donation of $5 per person or $10 per family is suggested with all proceeds going towards the future stewardship of Fuller Mountain Preserve. All participants should wear comfortable shoes and bring water. Directions to the preserve are online at www.oclt.org/mfuller or by calling (845) 343-0840. Cancellation information will be available the morning of the hike at (845) 343-0840, x12.
11AM - 2PM - Drawing from the talent at Tony Howarth's Playwright's Workshop, the director is seeking 15 actors to help realize several new one-act plays. The roles are as follows:
11AM - Join us for our annual Earth Day Celebration and Plant Sale at Stony Kill Farm on Route 9D in Wappinger Falls. There will be activities and crafts for children; food and baked goods for sale; vegetables and house plants for sale; Open Barn Tours - come see our new baby calf, piglets and lambs; sheep shearing at 1:00 p.m. by Steve Fink; guest appearances by Smokey Bear; live music by the Howland Wolves; gift shop and informational tables by the following organizations: Common Ground Farm, Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County Master Gardeners; Dutchess County Environmental Management Council, Hudson Highlands Nature Museum, Hudson Valley Wood Carvers, Mid-Hudson Trout Unlimited, Mountain Scout Survival Camp, Sharpe Reservation - Fresh Air Fund, Stony Kill Foundation, Inc.; and the Verplanck Garden club. For further information, call 845-831-1617 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
8PM - Join Pete Seeger, Julia Walsh, Frack Action, Josh Fox, Producer of "Gasland", Mike Jurkovic, Poet, Goldee Greene, Singer, The Rivertown Kids, Joel Tyner, Dutchess County Legislator and others at a concert to raise funds for a statewide ban on hydrofracking. At the Howland Cultural Center, Main Street, Beacon. $8! Proceeds go to Frack Action http://www.frackaction.com/
9 AM Noon - Amvets Post 1111 Proudly Presents their first Mothers Day Breakfast
10:30AM - 4:00PM - Chuang Yen Monastery will hold a Garden Party to celebrate the Buddha's Birthday & Mother's Day. Vegetarian Food Street Fair, Mind Power Counseling Station, Doctors of traditional Chinese medicine for Free Medical Clinic, Buddhist Heritage Exhibition, Kid's Playground area available. Watch the various performances, magic show, and more. No registration required.
1PM - A Mother's Day protest by concerned New Yorkers, calling for the immediate shut down of Indian Point. New Paltz is about 50 miles from Buchanan, NY, the site of the Indian Point nuclear plant. This distance is notable because it happens to be the same distance that the US NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) recently recommended for the evacuation at Fukushima.
2PM - The May concert at Dia:Beacon will feature quartets by Schumann and Mahler, and prodigal late 19th century Russian composer Anton Arensky. The concert, which will be held in the John Chamberlain gallery, will be the last in the partnership between Dia and St. Luke's, as the Ensemble will be focusing its programming at the DiMenna Center, its new performance and rehearsal space in New York City.
7PM - Lakeside Park in Pawling. Sponsored by the Dutchess Watershed and Cornell Cooperative Extension Services.
8AM - Dam Release Policy Turmoil and Opportunity: Lower Esopus Creek and the Ashokan Reservoir
7PM - Join us for an advanced screening of this documentary film exploring how mountaintop coal mining impacts the environment and human health. An Official Selection at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Location: Cary Institute's auditorium, located at 2801 Sharon Turnpike (Route 44) in Millbrook, New York.
8AM - 2PM - To help the town continue the Philipstown Cleanup Day during these economically challenging times, the Hudson Highlands Land Trust directors raised the funds internally to underwrite the cost of Cleanup Day for a second year.
8:30AM - 11:30AM - More than a thousand tomato plants, many vegetables, annuals, huge herb selection, Putnam Proven Perennials from the Master Gardeners' own gardens and gifts for all who garden. Free soil tests, great advice! At the CCE office at 1 Geneva Road in Brewster (Where the Motor Vehicles Office is).
10:30AM - We’re proud to be part of New York Heritage Weekend (May 14 and 15)—a celebration with special events at heritage destinations across the Empire State to help kick off the summer tourism season.
2PM - Dia Art Foundation is pleased to present the recent theater piece, MoonRain, by Robert Whitman, a pioneer of multimedia installation and performance. Referencing a famous collection of 18th century Japanese ghost stories by Ueda Akinari, the innovative work is set inside a fog environment designed by Fujiko Nakaya and will be staged in Dia:Beacon's lower level gallery.
5PM - 7PM - Join us for a presentation with David Steinberg, author of Hiking the Road to Ruins. Steinberg will discuss twenty-two day hikes (and sometimes campouts) to old iron mines, deserted buildings, historic military leftovers and other things abandoned and available for visit by intrepid hikers. Many of the ruins are located right here in our backyard.
7:30 PM - Special opportunities abound with PAC’s 2nd Saturday’s Music Series 5th performance on May 14th featuring the Richard Julian Trio with friends Tim Luntzel(bass) and Dan Reiser(drums) at 7:30pm. Seating is limited, and reservations are advised; Tix $20./$15 for PAC members. Mr Julian has toured with Norah Jones, Bonnie Raitt, Josh Ritter, Roseanne Cash, and Suzanne Vega, and Entertainment Weekly says: “This New Yorker tosses off self-addressed put-downs with the ease of the young Springsteen during his acoustic Jersey-boy period.”
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.
9 AM - Noon - Jimmy Duncan is hosting a breakfast fundraiser. This fundraiser is for the Cleaning and waxing of the GAR Monument at Veteran's Park (Electrazone Field)-hoping to be completed for Memorial Day. The 2nd Phase will be the placement of a historic marker.
1PM - With artist and educator, Dr. Sherry Mayo, who will discuss arts technology and the combination of both traditional and digital materials into studio practice explaining how she moves between the two, integrating drawing, painting, photography, installation, and digital to create her work. She will feature her recent installation at Westchester Community College Fine Arts Gallery in Faculty/Selects and discuss her relationship to contemporaries working in similar ways. Dr. Mayo is currently Director of the Center for the Digital Arts, Peekskill Extension of SUNY Westchester Community College.
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.
Globally - In the year 624 BC, in Kapilawaththu (Nepal) Siddhartha Gautama was born as a prince. His father was King Suddhodana and his mother was Queen Mahamaya. When he was sixteen he finished his education and he married Princess Yasodara. King Suddhodana handed over his kingdom to his son Siddhartha. They had a baby name Rahula. When king Siddhartha was 29 years old he decided to renounce lay life. Siddhartha left from his kingdom and went to several well-known teachers to study the ultimate nature of reality. But their teachings didn’t satisfy him and he set out to find his own path. Six years later he went to Bodgaya near the Neranjana River and sat under a tree.
6PM - 8PM - Imagine a home that is warm during our cold, snowy winters and cool in our humid, hot summers; that also requires minimal ongoing costs for fuel and electricity to keep it comfortable. Well-executed passive house design is a proven method for achieving such a building. Join us for a discussion on how the passive house concept can be applied with equal success in urban centers, where projects are likely to be renovations, and in rural settings, where new construction is more common. The presentation will show the implementation of passive house principles in a newly-built certified passive house in the Hudson Valley (the Hudson Passive Project) designed by Dennis Wedlick Architect LLC and a passive retrofit of a brownstone in the historic district of Park Slope, Brooklyn designed by Prospect Architecture. What is a passive house? The passive house standard embodies today's highest benchmark for energy efficiency and conservation. A cutting-edge approach to design and construction, the passive house standard drastically reduces the amount of energy required to operate a building (for instance, it results in a 90% reduction in energy required for heating). Originally developed in Germany, the passive house energy standard is being implemented with ever-greater frequency in the United States.
The League of Women Voters of Eastern Putnam County will be hosting a forum on Term Limits at the Historic County Courthouse in Carmel. Speakers will represent both sides of the issue as well as those who will touch on the factual and historical aspects of Term Limits. County Executive, Paul Eldridge; NYS Assemblyman, Steve Katz ; myself, Tony Fusco, a former Putnam County Legislator; Joyce Mitchell, a member of The Putnam County Charter Review Commission; Putnam County Legislators, Dan Birmingham and Sam Oliverio; Dave Gagliardi, an American History teacher and Jeff Green, a businessman and columnist .
9 AM - 1PM - Time to get rid of all that stuff under your kitchen sink and the bottles in the garage you can no longer identify. The county says they'll take drain cleaners and solvents and thinners and herbicides and phot chemicals and your old chemistry kit. What they won't take is latex paint, car batteries, used motor oil (bring that to any service garage where the smart ones strain it and use it in their oil burners) nor old computers and the like.
2PM - Here's another chance to catch Michelle's exciting award winning show, "1950's JAZZ: Bop, Cool, R&B." Michelle will be playing with her top shelf trio: the talented arranger Tom Kohl on piano, Bill Conway on bass and the world touring sax player, Ed Xiques. Sponsors for this show include these Putnam County jazz lovers: Feehan Insurance Agency, Trebb Records and Desmond Fish Library. Suggested donation for this concert is $10. At the Desmond Fish Library, Route 403 & 9D in Garrison, NY Contact: 845-424-3020 or http://dfl.highlands.com
8:30PM at the Towne Crier, Route 22 in Pawling. Uncommon Ground is a hot, pan-genre, acoustic music group from New York's Hudson Valley that is on a mission: to flex the boundaries of traditional music. Since making an impressive debut to a full house at the Towne Crier in 2007, they have continued their evolution into "the complete package" ... great vocals, fiery instrumental abilities and a continually evolving repertoire of well-crafted tunes. Their music bears an unmistakable stamp of originality without losing the authenticity of the original sources. Audiences delight in the thrill of musical discovery as the band performs a repertoire that includes music from such diverse sources as Bill Monroe, Gabriel Faure, Venezuelan Choros and Gypsy Jazz. Uncommon Ground draws on the talents of Mike Kobetitsch, and Wayne Fugate, both long-time veterans of the Bluegrass scene who have performed with Grammy award winner, Lisa Gutkin and a host of other noteworthies; the ever amazing Rachel Han! dman and Phil Helm, two principles in the Hudson Valley Philharmonic whose technical precision, fertile inventiveness, surprising touches and mastery of the Bluegrass genre give the band a distinctive, signature voice; and Craig Bitterman, whose percussion lays down a groove-infused rhythmic foundation that adds colors and textures that make their tunes really snap. :|: artist's home. $17.50 advance/ $22.50 door
8:30 to 10:30am - Join Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Sanctuary Director Eric Lind for this birding hike in Foundry Preserve in Cold Spring. An accomplished wildlife photographer, Eric is just the person you want along to share his knowledge as you walk from the village to view a wide variety of species. Don't forget your binoculars!
Bear Mountain State Park: On June 4, the Trail Conference will open a wheelchair accessible section of the Appalachian Trail on the summit of Bear Mountain. For the past year, Trail Conference volunteers have been hard at work building this ADA-compliant segment of this historic and nationally celebrated long-distance trail. The trail will allow wheelchair users to enter the woods and view the Hudson River and Valley from one of the region’s most scenic spots.
10AM - Fishkill Town Hall. Sponsored by the Dutchess Watershed and Cornell Cooperative Extension Services.
11AM - 5PM- The OCWA is pleased to announce that the 4th Annual Earth and Water Festival will be held on Saturday, June 4, 2011 at Thomas Bull Memorial Park in Montgomery, NY. This unique festival is family-friendly, intimate, educational and of course, lots of fun! Stay an hour or stay all day. Bring a blanket, the kids and even your dog and enjoy the fresh air, listen to live music and entertaining performances by highly talented local musicians and peformers. Visit the Green Expo area at the festival and learn from many local vendors how they are making a difference by being "green" or what sustainable goods and services they provide. Buy fresh homemade bread, baked goods, produce and plants in the Farmers Market. Let the kids run wild in the Children's Activity tent (big festival favorite).
7PM - New natural gas extraction technology has led to an increase in the exploration of organic-rich shale in the United States. In New York State, the Marcellus Shale formation has captured the public’s attention. Will gas extraction in the Marcellus Shale be a boon, providing cleaner domestic energy, or a bust, contaminating our air and water resources? Find out answers from Duke University’s Rob Jackson. His research captures the latest science on the impacts of shale-gas extraction and fracking.
8PM - Six new one-act plays from Tony Howarth's Playwright's Workshop. Plays by Pat O'Connor, Gabby Fox and Carol Mark, directed by Tony Howarth. At the Cultural Center on Lake Carmel, Route 52 just south of the Route 311 Causeway.
8PM - Six new one-act plays from Tony Howarth's Playwright's Workshop. Plays by Pat O'Connor, Gabby Fox and Carol Mark, directed by Tony Howarth. At the Cultural Center on Lake Carmel, Route 52 just south of the Route 311 Causeway.
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
1PM - 6PM - Help us celebrate the opening of this new and improved Hudson Riverfront park in high style. Take to the water on a free kayak paddle, try out a new bike on the Klara Sauer Trail, join a guided tour of exciting park features, including Scenic Hudson’s River Center, our new venue for arts and environmental activities. If that’s not enough, you can test your mettle at hula-hooping and enjoy a great lineup of live performers—all while admiring magnificent Hudson River vistas.
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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