Friday, June 24, 2011

No Country For Sane Men - The Yay! New York Edition

No Country For Sane Men

  No Country For Sane Men
    One Man's Journey Into The Mind Of America

Friday, June 24, 2011

"The New York State Vegetable is the Senator from the 40th district." - Me.

Good Friday Evening,

Well, it's done. The NY State Senate voted 33-29 to allow full civil rights for gays and lesbians, a tally which includes Republican senators, Saland, Grisanti, McDonald, and Alesi.

The biggest surprise was Senator Saland as he was a NO vote up until the time he stood before the Senate and passionately explained the religious exemptions in the bill.

New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine make up a swath of states where same sex marriage or full civil unions are allowed. California used to until the Mormons got involved, secret underwear and all. This month, civil unions go into effect in Illinois and little Iowa sits alone as a shining light amid a sea of intolerance.

On the other hand, you have Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Kentucky, Virginia and Florida, a list of states prominently displayed right next to the Ten Commandments at the National Organization for Marriage's headquarters, just don't the block from the KKK bookstore.

In New York State's battle for Marriage Equality it was obvious to everyone involved, save Human Rights Campaign, (though I told them. I warned them! Didn't I? David? Admit it!), that the Senator Who Shall Not Be Named, (who is now known as "Senator Twitter" for painfully obvious reasons,) was going to fall on the wrong side of history.

This is a guy who left the Air Force mysteriously and early. Why? Don't ask... Okay, I won't tell but, neither will he. You'd think if he could serve under a gay men in the Air Force (or at least stand ooooohhhhh so close to one in the showers) he might one day want to marry one? Or allow someone else to do so? During his sullied run for Congress he was all about ending DADT. Why? Don't ask... Okay, I won't tell but, neither will he.

We all knew he'd be a NO vote for civil rights but we also knew he had to play the national stage in order to make believe he gave a darn  about something other than his ego. And he's proven, once again, that his ego rules.

Here's what this this goat-schtupper had to say, officially, with translation provided for those not in tune with Senator Twitter:

“Knowing that marriage equality was likely to pass, I thought it important to force the issue of religious protections."
Wow. Did he read the bill? They were in there, for special, specific cases and this evening, Senator Saland took his time, carefully explaining what they were and how they worked and how they were protected should a court challenge arise. But I guess that doesn't matter to our Air Force shower-buddy. Maybe he'd dropped the soap while Saland was speaking and had other things on his mind.
"Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the distinct opportunity of listening to literally thousands of residents, on both sides of this issue, by holding an undecided stance."
Undecided? He kept saying over and again he was against the bill... That's not undecided. That's just weird.
"I thought it was important to listen to all of my constituents and hold an undecided position until the actual bill language was written and everyone’s voice had been heard. Now that the final text is public, I am proud that I have secured some strong protections for religious institutions and basic protections for religious organizations."
"The bill still lacks many of the basic religious protections I thought were vital, and for this reason, and as I did in the Assembly, I will be voting ‘no.’”
In other words, Senator Twitter is a lying sack of goat shit. Nothing new there, but now it's really out there in the open.
Keep in mind that the Senator's political sidekick, MaryEllen Odell, will be bringing this Twitterhead directly into her constituent's bedrooms once she's had her Coronation as the County Executive of the Senator's home county come November. And while we don't know exactly how this will play out, his power over her could direct Putnam County, New York to become a center for the Senator's brand of neo-homophobia and bigotry.

I'll let the residents of that fair county decide among themselves if that's who they really want representing them.

Anyway, a hearty Mazel Tov to my peeps in the Empire State. You made history tonight and you should be proud.


Copyright © 2011 No Country For Sane Men
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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

No Country For Sane Men - Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - Crunchy (Vegan Organic) Granola on the River

No Country For Sane Men

  No Country For Sane Men
    One Man's Journey Into The Mind Of America

"People get upset with my sharp wit, acerbic, yet lucid tongue and my not-all-that-bad grammar yet they still read my stuff.
I'm shocked! Shocked, I tell you!

Good Wednesday Morning,

There's more than 2700 words in this edition so make yourself comfortable.

If you haven't yet subscribed to No Country For Sane Men you should. Just click on the "Subscribe by Email" or "RSS Feed" buttons up there in the masthead. "Twitter" us. "Like" us on Facebook. Get active. Do something. Become part of the solution.


For reasons not fit for this column I was volunteered for the Clearwater Revival, an annual and rather fine crunchy-granola music festival held alongside New York's fabled Hudson River to raise money for Pete Seeger's 19th century Dutch sloop, Clearwater and its education programs.

It's not the first time I've volunteered at this festival, having done so for several years in the past, but I found it wanting in the sense that nothing much changed from year to year. This, as guests to the festival and repeat volunteers tell me, is its charm. Tech crews, road crews and performers will tell you that Clearwater is a "nice" festival, that it has a good vibe, and they would know. But for me it was always the same. Nice, sure. But just, ya know, there.

Upon arriving early Friday morning I set my tent in the same place I always had, and walking through the festival grounds as setting up was going on I saw many faces previously seen. But this year I was assigned to the sound crew at the smaller of the two main stages, the Hudson Stage, which sets itself directly along the river and that made all the difference. I'm not a newbie at this kind of stage/music thing and being part of putting the actual show together was clearly more my ken than the advocacy work I'd done there in the past.

This was hard work, there's no doubt about that, as we hauled tons of equipment. We were up at 7 in the morning and up late at night. And helping "Ace" set up the drum kit was a learning experience like no other. But standing in the campground 3/4 of a mile away and hearing the show as clear as day, you know you did your job and you know you did it well.

But before we get to the free-range, organic meat of this story, some impressions:
  • I'm 53 years old and I have to ask why, at 9PM and out of 948 volunteers, am I the oldest person dancing, singing and partying? I'm the oldest person at rock shows. I'm the oldest person at punk shows and I'm the oldest person - out of all those volunteers - enjoying rock and roll and Cuban and Cajun and Mexican music and all that goes around it in the Night Owl campground? What happened to the rest of my generation? When did you get old? And why? You're the sons and daughters of hippies, for chrissakes! What's happened to you? You're supposed to be out rocking and rolling, smoking and having sex, not driving Volvo's talking on your freaking iPhone. No wonder progressives don't win anything. You're all asleep by 9PM!

    But it's okay. I am happy - and proud - to carry the banner for you lazy fucks and these kids know that my time in diapers will come long past that of their parents who are fast asleep in their LL Bean, 6 man, walk-through tents. Rock on!
  • This festival, like some others, feeds its volunteers and does so extremely well. There's no shortage of food nor variety and it's good, well served and well prepared. Talking with crews who travel with the bands they almost all agree: Clearwater has the best food. With that said, here's a note to a lovely young woman in front of me on line Saturday evening for dinner:

    MAKE UP YOUR MIND. For once in your life, take an action and stick to it. No, the servers are not your mother and no, they're not going to take food off your plate because you've changed your mind. And yes, there are 700 people in line behind you. Waiting. For. You. Live a little dangerously! Eat something blue! (It was rather interesting.)

    In line at the dining                     tent

    And while we're on that subject: When there's PBJ fixin's out here's what you do:

    You take a piece of bread and decide in exactly which position to hold it. You then reach out for the PB suddenly realizing that you need two hands to scoop some out with the knife they've provided for you. So you look around for something safe to put your bread on for fear that if you place it on the table you will develop bubonic plague or acne or your trust fund will run out. You finally balance the bread on your forearm and carefully reach out for the PB but because of the precarious position of the bread you can't scoop an adequate amount. So you repeat the process until you have what you want. Then you hold the bread and lovingly smooth out the PB until it's as flat as an aircraft carrier's main deck and exactly 1/2 inch thick. Not more. Not less. Then you repeat the process with the Jelly while people behind you on line, a line that now disappears into the darkness behind, are dropping from malnutrition, withered and pale. But you've been catered and pampered your whole lives so, what's 20 minutes so you can make a PBJ? They're dying out there anyway so who cares?

    Look, let me cut to the chase: When you're on a line such as this here's how you make your PBJ:

    Lay your bread on the table, scoop out a hunk of PB and throw it on the bread. Scoop out your J and drop that on top of the PB. Take the other piece of bread and place that on top - then go to where you're sitting and smush the whole thing together there. It's exactly the same - But Better! The 30 second PBJ. Got it? Good.

    (And if I catch you smoothing out the soy butter on your bagel in such a fashion that Queen Fucking Victoria would sign a Royal Proclamation declaring you the best soy-butter-on-a-bagel-spreader in the British Empire, I will gleefully rip apart a BBQd chicken wing and slop its contents into my mouth while sitting directly across from you. And for the grand finale I will touch your organic, hand picked, free-trade vegan rice with a piece of raw, factory farmed meat.)

    I believe we are understood?
  • What is it about 6AM that wakes you up and makes you go get that thing out of the car, slamming the door behind you?

    You know that thing. The thing that cannot possibly wait until 10AM or even an early 9:55? You know, that thing you could have brought in to your tent the night before because you knew that when you went to get it in the morning no one would hear your car door slam shut?

    That thing for which you could have left the car window open, free from the fear that some 63 year old math genius would steal and hide it in his 2008 Outback with the ass-end bearing a Darwin Fish With Legs thing? You know that thing.

    Well, next year, don't bring it. 
  • We volunteers, those camping and standing guard over the event, happy to ensure things move along swimmingly, that guests find their way around, that the garbage cans are emptied, that your lost children are found... we could use Wifi in the campground. It's not something that's expensive, it just requires two nodes, one at the pool and one at the lodge, and a fat pipe for bandwidth. I'm sure we could find a company to sponsor it and if not a donor to pay for it. A gateway, a high gain antenna, a couple of repeaters is all. Oh, and the desire to do it.

The Plot Moves Forward

There's an old saw about this festival: If It's Clearwater It's Going To Rain and quite miraculously it did not rain during the festival. In fact the weather was damned near perfect.

But, Thursday night it poured. Friday afternoon as we were setting the stage it poured. Then it poured again. Then just for fun it poured one last time. The wheels of 200lb cases refusing to turn and hauling heavy boxes of amplifiers and speakers and cables across the mud was fun -- if you're a BDSM masochist into grunge play. And setting up scaffolding and the speaker towers? You pray the lightening doesn't strike too close.

But the crew I worked with, Jason, Daniel and Cody from Klondike Sound of Greenfield, MA, and volunteers Martin, Daryl and myself made a fine time of it anyway, persevering, doing something different while the rain was coming down and the lightening striking all around. In other words, no time was lost, no work was set aside and by the end of the evening with daylight to spare, the stage was set, speakers wrapped in tarps, mic stands lined up and all was ready for the start of the festival the next morning.

We became a tight crew, the 6 of us, and saw each other frequently over the next couple of days whether we had a shift working or not. And when the event was over Sunday afternoon we dismantled everything just as quickly as we had assembled it. And in a few hours time the stage which was once alive with music and song was bare, the scaffolding removed and not a wire was left behind... just the echoes of the music. And ruts from the electronics cases now hardened into the mud. And some beer bottles from the Justin Townes Earl show which were not ours. And a couple of orphaned beach chairs. And The Tape Of Death...

Performing at the Hudson Stage this year were some good acts: Carlos Varela, Josh Ritter, the Low Anthem, a regional favorite The Felice Brothers and on Sunday morning, fresh from a late show the night before in Brooklyn, James McMurtry and the Heartless Bastards brought their special, infective brand of Texas rock to the shores of the Hudson River.

As a writer I'm always looking for a story and this festival, like any other, has hundreds if not thousands of them. But there's always one or two you take away with you and the McMurtry Revolution, as I call it, is one. The other has to do with the "Night Owl" camping and that's not really fit for a general audience. Suffice to say that three days later, I'm finally sober but I have no idea whose underwear these are.

During a song in the second half of McMurtry's set he asked his fans, who were dancing pretty hard at stage left and right, to come to the pit and be part of the music. They (I should say we, as I'm unabashedly part of that crowd) were only too happy to oblige. But there's a problem here: that area in front of the stage is reserved for our peeps on wheels and yet this vast space, the width of the stage and some 15' or more deep, was empty save for three people, and all of it outlined by The Tape Of Death. How was it possible we could let this space go so unused? This space that beckons and calls. This space that would be happy to have a hundred people dancing? This space that ached for attention! Unused?

We didn't leave it unused and chaos ensued.

Oh, not chaos for us or our fellow peeps on wheels dancing in their way to the show, but chaos in the ranks of the volunteer Access Crew whose job it was to keep that space clear just in case someone else on wheels wanted in - as if they would not been welcomed with us dancing fools.

When the song was over the Access folks waded into the crowd forcing everyone out and back behind The Tape Of Death, a line of black on yellow plastic tape that said,


which they did. Faces red, anger rising, pushing and shoving the crowd back, Back, BACK! until the space was once again the domain of three peeps on wheels and a very tired and out-of-breath Access Crew who, had they weapons, would have held them drawn. Luckily all they had at their disposal were biodegradable spoons so no one was injured during this initial mélee.

Needless to say this was like pissing in our corn flakes and though it cast a pall over the show the Access folk, especially one "Kip", were not dissuaded from their overly righteous, almost religious cause and were determined to restore and maintain their arbitrary order at any cost.

Well, when there's Texas rock being played and James McMurty is playing it, you can't keep the crowd down for long and though we were well behaved for fear of having hand-picked organic rice thrown at us we did keep to the sidelines. But you could feel the energy building with each song and so at the end during McMurtry's last song he called his peeps back to the stage and we went and the party was on again.

Talk about occupied Timor!

You had to see the faces on the Access Crew as they fought in hand-to-hand combat with a hundred dancing fans. Then the Access Crew got on their radios and the next thing you know the stage manager comes running out and she brings her crew and we're at it again: On one side, a hundred dancing people rocking out and on the other a small handful of determined STICK TO THE FUCKING RULES volunteers - but this time we didn't move. Sure, we backed up a bit otherwise the lady with the earpiece and microphone would have been trampled with Birkenstocks and - clearly - this wasn't the crowd for that. And while she did succeed in creating a space of about 8' deep over at stage right the fans remained stoically on the wrong side of The Tape Of Death, dancing, singing and having a good time. McMurtry was having none of this get-out-of-the-way shit and so coming down off the stage with his guitar in hand and enough cable to keep him wired he finished the set rocking in the pit with a hundred happy fans.

Rock and roll wins the day.


We could get into a discussion of whether our actions as fans was appropriate. We could talk about the validity of the Access crew's claim to that vaunted space. But we won't and we never will. Instead we'll just say this: Sometimes you gotta rock and roll and you want to do it with the band and the Access folk need to take a chill-pill and worry more about keeping emergency exists open and less about the peeps on wheels who were doing their best to bop, dance and sing along with us. Now those peeps were part of a crowd and no longer isolated and alone like some red-headed step child. Now they were part of our family and we, theirs. And that's what the music is all about.

So, even in this liberal bastion of freedom, love and all things hippy, there are times when It's No Country For Sane Men. But the Access Crew didn't ruin the festival, not at all. The McMurtry Revolution became just one more heroic story to tell, a way to keep the spirit of music alive.

Wars. Death. Republicans. Eh, that's nothing compared to good music, a good vibe and good peeps on wheels and good peeps on foot.


Thanks to Klon and Lance and Cody and Jason and Daryl and Martin and Jacob and Zak who is visiting the US for the first time from the land down under. Thanks to Victor, you sexy Puerto-Rican-Mexican devil, and Gregor and Susan and Ryan and Roy and Lucinda. To James and Tao and Chris and Billy. To Eli and Ben and Laura and Jordi. To Indra the god of weather. To the goddess of the river. To Euterpe and Terpsichore and Thalia, the muses of music, dance and comedy. Thanks to you all.

Next week, a No Country... exclusive: Sarah Palin's sings Verde's La Donna é Mobile - in the nude.


Copyright © 2011 No Country For Sane Men
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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

News That Matters - Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - The Miracles Can Happen 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 Wednesday Morning,

Three things are going to happen to day:

1) You're each going to call The Senator Who Shall Not Be Named's office today and tell him that you expect he will vote YES on the Marriage Equality bill Governor Cuomo has placed before the State Senate.

His number at the Brewster office is: 845 279-3773

As of this morning, and after complaining to news media that if he votes in favor his father will never speak to him again, the SWSNBN is still a little loose. In a NY Post article this morning he said, "I'm glad that we have some religious carve-outs and protections in it," Ball said. "I'm going to reach out and see how comfortable the Catholic Church and other religious organizations are with the current language."

He has to check with the church to see if it approves civil rights for the rest of us?

Would he have asked the church if it was okay for blacks to ride in the front of the bus or stay at a hotel? Would he have checked with the church for their approval to give women the vote?

And just who is he serving, us or the church?

Well, let's make a miracle happen so I can give this dude his name back. Call his office this morning! 845-279-3773

If you want to read the bill it's here.

2) After ignoring bad advice from a local business group I have sent the New York State Insurance Fund more than half my rent for the month of July in order to begin Workman's Compensation coverage. The amount sent comes to less than 1/4 of the total payment these bastards want to cover a single kid who might earn a couple thousand dollars over the course of the summer. Then, for the next nine months I'll be billed around $200 a month in order to meet their price - whether we're working or not. And if cannot pay because the work dries up... You don't want to know what hell befalls someone trying to do the right thing!

It's no wonder contractors all over the country pay cash and hide their income.

Republicans in Congress (and in New York State) insist on giving tax breaks to the wealthy on the assumption that they will create jobs even though we know they'll take that extra money and place it into tax deferred accounts making the rest of us ante up to pay what they would have into the system.

But here's a guy who actually wants to create jobs and it's so expensively prohibitive that I'm forced to bill too much to gain more work, putting me at a competitive disadvantage, and I can only (maybe) afford to hire one person instead of the two or three I'd like to put to work.

This is how we're putting the economy back on track by prohibiting job growth?

The solution is not better enforcement of the law as that simply drives prices for consumer services higher.

The solution is for government to offer me and other guys like me the financial assistance we need to grow the economy.

But we know that's not going to happen because they're not interested in creating jobs as much as they're interested in transferring wealth from you to their buddies in the insurance industry. If I were EXXON or ConAgra or even IBM I could get a huge bag of free money even though I don't need it. But for the blue collar guys and the small businessman who actually want to create jobs? What the fuck is in it for us? Nothing. Bupkis.

Thanks Albany! Thanks Washington! Thanks Sandy! Thanks TSWSNBN. Thanks Nan! For nothing!

(And I especially want to thank Tony Hay, several members of the Putnam County Legislature and the Putnam County Department of Consumer Affairs for being the single harshest enemy of Putnam County's business and working men ever devised. Congratulations to you for making the lives of our local businessmen and women a financial and regulatory nightmare and intentionally injuring the local economy. I'm sure you all sleep well at night knowing your neighbors are suffering unnecessary hardships so you can balance the budget without cutting costs.)

3) You're going to click on the following links to sign up for No Country For Sane Men: One Man's Journey Into the Mind of America. As you've already seen it's one hell of a journey!

I'm off to the Clearwater Festival for the weekend where Roy V has volunteered me to haul loud speakers around.

If you're a volunteer camping over let me know so we can hook up as it's always fun when there's more than one!

While most of the music is not of my taste there are a few shows I'll try to see:

Josh Ritter, Jorma Kaukonen, Billy Bragg, David Bromberg, The Low Anthem, The Klezmatics and James McMurtry. And let's not forget "Arm of the Sea Theater".

On the second tier are: David Amram with Alana, Adira and Adam, Matt Turk, Arlo Guthrie, Buskin & Batteau and Suzanne Vega.

Most of the rest are a little too "crunchy granola" for me and haven't moved musically since their time in the sun but you never know! Many said the same of Prairie Home Companion favorite Greg Brown but he's moved so far away from his sing-song roots and into guitar blues that you'd never recognize him now - and he's better than ever.


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Monday, June 13, 2011

No Country For Sane Me - Monday, June 13, 2011

No Country For Sane Men

  No Country For Sane Men
    One Man's Journey Into The Mind Of America

"I saw "No Country ..." in my inbox as I was on my way out the door this morning but wanted to wait until I had time to savor." J&BH

Good Wednesday Morning,

If you haven't yet subscribed to No Country For Sane Men you should. Just click on the "Subscribe by Email" or "RSS Feed" buttons up there in the masthead. "Twitter" us. "Like" us on Facebook. Get active. Do something. Become part of the solution.

I must warn you that there is a lot of sex in this issue.

America is more sexually repressed than the Vatican and a little mindless (but protected!) sex would do us all some good.

Another week has gone by and by the very grace of some deity or other, or just plain luck, we're all still here. But there has been an uptick in weirdness across the American landscape centered mostly on NY Congressman Anthony Weiner's weener, closely followed by Newt Gingrich's lack of one, being politically neutered by the resignation of his campaign staff. On top of all that little Iowa, the state whose egocentricity has made it the epicenter of all thing political on the Presidential level has found itself adrift in a lonely sea of wheat and barley, largely ignored by early presidential contenders and the mass media hysteria that follows such things.

Weiner's Weener.

So, let's talk about Mr. Weiner's weener for a moment since if I don't I will have missed a golden opportunity to get on this over-crowded bandwagon to hell:
First off, that dude is buff! Second, he hangs to the Left as you'd expect from a Democrat. And third, his 'seeking treatment' line is standard political procedure when you're not going to win the argument because the noise is so loud. The only thing he's seeking right now is legal advice.

But anyway, who the hell cares if he's sending text messages to this woman or that woman? It's really none of (y)our business. And as far as I know 17 is legal in New York state. (See here, NY Penal Law Section 130.05 and here.) The 17 year old woman - who has been following Wiener's Twitter account for quite some time -  lives in Delaware, a state that tries minors as young as 14 as adults unless they're corporations and then justice truly is blind.
Considering that the nation is tottering on social and economic collapse, that the talking heads and pundits think Weiner's Weener is of import to anyone underscores the vacuousness of the American political and social landscape - at least that brought to us by the mainstream corporate media, specifically FOXNews and the NY Post and TMZ and... and... 

It also tells me that the folk out there demanding he resign from Congress are keen on the prospect of keeping you occupied with circuses as they screw you while you look the other way. Ouch! Yeah, I'll bet you didn't expect it from both ends at the same time.
If you're on the weener story, get some hand cream and leave the rest of us alone.

And would someone please send the entire staff of FOX News to Iran or Syria so they can get a dose of actual reality?

As the World Turns

In the meantime, over in Pakistan a video-tape surfaced of an unarmed man being shot in a public park by military units who left him there to bleed to death. The Syrian government has killed hundreds, tortured more and is now shelling towns and villages to quell pro-democracy demonstrations while thousands flee into Turkey. In Saudi Arabia women are arrested for driving cars. In Egypt, army officers forced women arrested for demonstrating against government corruption to undergo "virginity tests". Hamas has closed the Rafah border crossing into Egypt, imposed a 25% tariff on automobile imports from Israel and has been stealing medical supplies for private resale to a point where hospitals in Gaza have run out of such basics as rubbing alcohol and Leftists are once again planning another "flotilla" to "break" the non-existent blockade they say Israel maintains on that independent little nation.

American industrialists are buying up huge swaths of rain forest in Brazil  in order to 'farm' fresh water, the oil of the 21st century. And China has declared the United States already in default. I guess that means no more cheap crap made with toxic materials by slave labor. Damn. What's Wal*Mart and the NASCAR set going to do now?

Closer to home, the Federal Reserve office in Richmond, VA is flying a rainbow flag in honor of diversity month and Republicans in that state's house are drekking crucifixes. State Delegate Bob Marshall said,
"[Homosexual behavior] undermines the American economy . . . shortens lives, adds significantly to illness, increases health costs, promotes venereal diseases, and worsens the population imbalance relating to the number of workers supporting the beneficiaries of America’s Social Security and Medicare Programs."
By his definition, and assuming I lived past 25, my body oozing syphilis and 40 million old people screaming for my head, I should have been tried and shot for treason. Tell me Mr. Marshall doesn't need a vacation on Fire Island. With a GHB drip in his arm. At a BDSM convention. In the Pines. At night. Alone...

In South Memphis, TN on June 5, a man brought a gun to a children's birthday party and threatened the host because his kid didn't get any ice cream or cake.

And are you ready for this... On August 6th, Texas governor Rick Perry is hosting a day of prayer and fasting sponsored by the American Family Association, a well known racist, homophobic hate group, at Reliant Stadium in Houston. But that's nothing. Get this: The infamous Westboro Baptist Church, an even better known hate group is going to picket the event!

Here, this from Dallas Voice:


I love this country! It's a laugh-a-minute ride through absurdity. And we're just starting....

This Week's Letter to the Editor:

Found in the New York Journal News, a Gannett paper based in White Plains, New York on June 10:
Republican virtues will save society

Regarding Hamiltonian capitalism, Thomas Jefferson once wrote, "It mortifies me to be strengthening principles which I deem radically vicious, but this vice is entailed on us from the first error."

The vice of homosexuality is entailed on us from the error of women's suffrage. Gay marriage is necessary because it is only fair that, if women take away men's jobs, men should take away women's husbands.

When Jefferson wrote that all men are created equal, he was referring to the gender and not the species. Unless our nation returns to the practice of the Republican virtues, which demand that a wife be faithful and obedient to her husband, it will only continue along the path of moral decay.

Eugene Batizat, Yonkers

Looks like we should make one more reservation for that Fire Island vacation.

Citizens 4 Freedom

Copyright Citizens4freedom.comAh yes! Another group of scared white men and the women who bring them beer. If they're defenders of freedom then they should be willing to extend that freedom to others. But nooooo....

They don't, for example, support the freedom to marry whom you want.

In fact they're encouraging their members to " Senator Greg Ball's Office in Brewster [NY] to let him know that we DO NOT SUPPORT 'Marriage Equality' here in New York."

What kind of freedom is that?

And it's odd, too, that their Facebook page says, "Your country needs you to stand up for her rights and freedoms that are being repeatedly threatened," and here they are doing the very thing they claim to be against. Then they have the chutzpah to quote Geo. Washington, "The time is near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves." and as much as I'd like to be a free man these 'citizens 4 freedom' are telling me that I cannot be.

But they're Tea Baggers, as they claim all over their website and Facebook page, which just underscores the rumors.

Perhaps the problem is they're so busy tea bagging each other that if they would just remove their balls off their faces they could see just how ridiculous they look, sound and act. They're not fighting for "freedom". What they're fighting for is the freedom to be afraid.


Down in Virginia the "Roanoke Tea Party" group rails against land/open space preservation as an attack on property rights. Never mind that if they get their way they won't have anything to shoot at come hunting season. But careful thought about what we leave our children should not get in the way of in-the-moment hysteria. Besides, they think saving land from development and bio-diversity corridors are part of a secret United Nations plan to take over the United States and institute a one-world government. Well guess again guys, we already have a one-world government and it's called ExxonGeneralMotorsBankofAmerica and it's (not) funny how you like those guys.

Out in Idaho the Tea Baggers are up in arms over a proposed international trade zone just south of the Boise, ID airport claiming that the 50 sq miles(!) on which they warn the Chinese will build a "piece of communist China inside the borders of the United States" is going to be a base from which they will export communism.

So take a few facts, skew them just a tiny bit and there you have it, a new reality based on... on... I'm speechless.

The sad thing is that they're not alone: thousands of Americans have fallen victim to the fear and ignorance that has allowed the tea baggers to spread across the nation like the mindless, rabid reactionaries they are. They suck in the weak and bewildered, the fearful and the meek, and give them an outlet for their phobias, an outlet which serves no one but the corporations who fund them.

And when I see the protest sign, "This Country Began as a Tax Revolt" I know how little they understand about how this country came about in the first place. Sure, it was a tax revolt. But it was a tax revolt of the rich and powerful against the richer and more powerful, not of the common citizenry. It was a revolt to allow the industrialists of the day to make even more money off the backs of their workers without having to share their profits with the British government.

Perhaps one day they'll awaken from their personal nightmares and come to the realization that what they have brought upon the land is a political blight their grandchildren and great-grandchildren will have to deal with. Perhaps they'll slap their foreheads and say, "Shit! What a mess we've created!" But I don't think so.


Copyright © 2011 No Country For Sane Men
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Friday, June 10, 2011

News That Matters - Friday, June 10, 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,

At noon-thirty yesterday it was 93.7 at News That Matters Central. A line of thunderstorms moved through late yesterday afternoon and several areas are still without power as of this writing (0830). According to the NYSEG website 3,741 customers are without power in Putnam county this morning.

By the way, did you know that NYSEG is owned by a Spanish conglomerate, Iberdrola, S.A., that claims to be the largest renewable energy operator in the world? Rumor has it they've set up an Incongruity Collector at the Putnam County Courthouse and is powering county customers off Legislative committee meetings. Like I said, it's just a rumor.

Heroism. The Real Deal.

More than 500 men, women and children are marching 50 miles through the heart of West Virginia's coal country to bring awareness to strip mining practices that have devastated the environment, local communities and the public health in the Mountain State. After seeing strip mining (also known as mountaintop removal) first hand and its effects, hydrofracking proposed for central new York State is a May Day walk-in-the-park in comparison.

Yet hundreds of square miles of West Virginia's mountains have simply ceased to exist in order to feed our incessant need for dirty, coal energy. Where simple conservation could have prevented much of what's going on down there, West Virginia's own congressional delegation is dead set against any restrictions on this horrific practice and instead are insisting on *fewer* restrictions, more government handouts to mining companies and have displayed a total disregard to their own constituents. But the mining companies and their lobbyists fill their campaign coffers and just like our own Nan Hayworth, they, like she, votes with the money.

The March on Blair Mountain mimics a similar event in 1921 but with different consequences. But why Blair Mountain? Because in August of 1921, following escalating tensions between miners and mine owners, Blair Mountain was the scene of an epic battle which was the largest armed uprising in the United States since the civil war. In the end near 100 people were killed and hundreds more wounded in an effort to create safer working conditions and collective bargaining rights for West Virginia’s coal miners. Logan County Sheriff Don Chafin went so far as to drop bombs on striking miners and President Warren Harding threatened to send Federal troops – and additional bombers – in order to put the workers down – kill them all, if necessary. Nine hundred and eighty-five miners were tried for treason and other crimes and many went to prison for their roles in defending labor (that’s you, by the way) against the mining company owners who still control your lives to this very day.

Today, these new marchers walk with images of that battle fresh in their minds. I am sorry I cannot be with them but I send out the very best vibes I can and encourage all of you to do the same.

Photo by Cheshire Tongkat Copyright All rights reserved by March on Blair Mountain

Photo by Paul Corbit Brown Copyright All rights reserved by March on Blair Mountain

Photo by Cheshire Tongkat Copyright All rights reserved by March on Blair Mountain

From the Charleston (WV) Daily Telegraph:

"This specific march is about not letting them strip mine Blair Mountain, because it is so important to our local history and to national history," Keeney said. "(The coal companies) can mine all of the land under Blair Mountain. Underground mining creates twice as many jobs as surface mining. The biggest thing that those who oppose us are saying is that we are trying to destroy jobs, but the fact of the matter is if they save Blair Mountain and underground mine it, it creates twice as many jobs, so that's a bad argument."

Like Lambs to the Slaughter. Maybe.

It seems Putnam County's Democrats have finally found a guy to run against MaryEllen Odell making her coronation a little less certain. Rumor has it that Kent resident and Mahopac accountant Alan Schneider will carry the flame for them into November.

Scuttlebutt is that MEO's way-too-close close connection with the Senator Who Shall Not Be Named is making many Republicans consider switching party votes this election and actually crossing over to vote on the "D" line. Stranger things have happened!

But if last year is any indication MEO won't be reaching out to Democrats, registered blanks or any other party that is either centrist or left-of-center feeling that she doesn't need them to win. That was her undoing last year so perhaps she's learned her lesson? If she repeats her foolish mistake she just might walk away the loser - again.

While we're on the subject of the SWSNBN, take a look at the June 8th edition of "No Country For Sane Men", the region's newest on-point (which means, "no bullshit") blogsite for more on him and his current antics.

Only From the Mind of GM

After driving itself into the ground and out of business in order to increase profits by selling us Humvees, the US Auto Industry led by General Motors CEO Dan Akerson, is now saying that the Feds should implement a $1 per gallon tax increase on gasoline to encourage Americans to buy smaller, fuel efficient cars. But just earlier this year this same dude said that if gasoline went to $4.50 a gallon that people would stop visiting his showrooms. So, what's with this?

And while we're talking about gasoline prices have you noticed that they've been coming down? At my local GasMart they're now at $4.03 a gallon, regular. And remember what I wrote a month ago? The prices went up and up and the moment the President signaled the energy industry had gouged us enough and promised "investigations" they quietly came down again. What was all that talk about speculators? Folks, it was greed plain and simple and your government was directly involved in this transfer of wealth from the working classes to the monied classes.


Putnam Valley Farmer's Market

3-7 p.m. Fridays, June 24th to September 30th, Outdoors at Tompkins Corner Methodist Church, 729 Peekskill Hollow Road. Vendor contact: 845-528-0066 or

  • Homestead Farm (produce, plants, flowers and honey);
  • Cheryl Michner (free-range eggs, goat cheese, yogurt, maple syrup, maple products and petting zoo!);
  • Toni Speno (baked goods, hand crafts);
  • Eric Arctander (tapenade, olives, spices, lavender lemonade, Provencal bread and Amish cheeses); 
  • Victor Tishup (organic vegetables and herbs);
  • Maureen Bloesch (baked goods, unique egg art);
  • Megan Fiori- Johnny Gelato (a variety of gelato flavors);
  • Linda Cascioli (handmade necklaces);
Sponsored by The Putnam Valley Residents Coalition

Trail Conference Opens Handicapped-accessible Appalachian Trail Section on Bear Mountain Summit

New handicapped accessible AT at Bear Mountain opens. Photo by Jeremy Apgar.200 people gathered on the summit of Bear Mountain June 4, National Trails Day, to celebrate the opening of a new 1.3-mile Appalachian Trail loop that includes a 0.4-mile section of handicapped accessible trail.

The new ADA trail section extends from the parking area near Perkins Tower to a viewpoint over the Hudson Valley that, on a clear day, takes in the Catskill Mountains. It is the first such viewpoint from the AT on Bear Mountain. The trail was built by the Trail Conference in accord with the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The trail is part of a multi-year project to improve and rehabilitate the trail network at Bear Mountain. Project partners include the NY-NJ Trail Conference, the Palisades Parks Conservancy, the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation,  Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and the National Park Service.

The trail was enthusiastically welcomed by trail lovers of all levels of ability.

Read More Here

What's Going On?

This Weekend

Friday, June 10

Stony Kill Farm Sing-Along

5:30PM - 7:30PM - Join musician Chris Ruhe of the Howland Wolves and have fun at an Old Fashioned Family Sing-A-Long at Stony Kill on Friday, June 10, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. across from the Barn.  In case of inclement weather, the program will not be held.  The Sing-A-Longs will also take place on June 24; July 8; July 22; August 5; and August 19.  We look forward to seeing you!

The Environmental Footprint of Marcellus Shale Gas

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.
Location: Cary Institute's auditorium, located at 2801 Sharon Turnpike (Route 44) in Millbrook, New York.

Six New One-Act Plays

8PM - Six new one-act plays from Tony Howarth's Playwright's Workshop. At the Cultural Center on Lake Carmel, Route 52 just south of the Route 311 Causeway.

Mending Fences by Carol Mark with Karen Hanley and Sean Hopkins.

Never Too Many
by Carol Mark with Zulie Lozada and Mark Snyder.

A Cable Situation
by Pat O'Connor with Donna James and Jon Barb.

The Reincarnation of Doe Doe
by Gabrielle Fox with Sean Hopkins, Jess Erick and Misti Tindiglia.

Dirty Laundry
by Pat O'Connor with Jason Xay and Shelley Lerea.

Late for Her Own Funeral
by Pat O'Connor with Marisa Lowe, Rob Rowe, Jason Xay and Jeff Green.

The plays are directed by Tony Howarth and Lora Lee Ecobelli. Production Stage Manager: Jeff Green. Tech: Jason Buccieri

Tickets: $10 General Admission / $8 Member Admission and available from Arts on the Lake.

Tannahill Weavers

8:30PM - The legendary Tannahill Weavers, one of Scotland's premier traditional bands, play a diverse repertoire that spans the centuries with fire-driven instrumentals, topical songs, original ballads and lullabies. Their music demonstrates to old and young alike the rich and varied musical heritage of the Celtic people. These versatile musicians consistently garner worldwide accolades for their exuberant performances and outstanding recording efforts that seemingly can't get better ...yet continue to do just that. "An especially eloquent mixture of the old and the new." -New York Times; "Scotland's Tannahill Weavers play acoustic instruments, but the atmosphere at their shows is electric! The quintet is as tight and as versatile as any band in the Celtic music revival. They can summon rock 'n' roll intensity or haunting introspection." -The Boston Globe; " close to perfect as it gets in an imperfect world." -Sing Out! At the Towne Crier Cafe - $30 advance/ $35 door

Saturday, June 11

7th Annual Family Festival and Sleep Over Under the Stars

4PM - With over 400 attendees and all campsites filled, last year's event was our most successful ever.  Reserve early to make sure you and your family can join the fun this year! 

The Claudio Marzollo Community Center of Philipstown (aka Philipstown Recreation Center)
107 Glenclyffe Drive, Garrison, NY
Good Food:
Burgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers, potato salad, cole slaw, fresh organic green salad (with lettuce from Second Wind CSA), hummus and pita, watermelon, lemonade, iced tea, water.
Campout breakfast will include juice, coffee, tea, bagels and spreads, cereals, fruit and yogurt.

Good Music:
Rollicking bluegrass band NoBrakes . . . and a mish mash of Philipstown's finest campout musicians leading the sing-along at the Sleep Over Under the Stars!
Good Fun:
Lots of fun outdoor activities including soccer, hula hooping with Judy, a wildlife presentation, and giant bubbles, as well as a raffle with great prizes.

Individual Barbecue: $10 ($15 at door)
Family Barbecue: $25 ($30 at door)

Campout: $50 (Includes festival/BBQ admission and breakfast. Pre-registration is required. Just fill out and send in the form.)
To purchase tickets, visit the HHLT office, email, or call 845/424-3358.  Proceeds from the Family Festival benefit the Garrison and Haldane environmental education programs.

Be Part of the Team
Meet your neighbors and make new friends when you volunteer.  We are looking for people to help with parking, food prep, or the raffle booth.  Call us at 845/424-3358 or email to let us know your availablity and interests.

Putnam Valley Pig Roast

6PM - 9PM Putnam Valley Parks and Rec. will be holding a Mardi Gras and Masquerade with Music event on Saturday at the Town Park from 6-9 P.M.  Participation is free.  The pig roast is $5. per plate. With music by Le Tchoup. Those who observe Kashrut and Halal need not apply.

Aztec Two Step

7:30pm Aztec Two Step comes to Belle Levine! These guys have been mesmerizing audiences for over 40 years and our Gallery is the ultimate intimate setting! Tickets are only $35./30. for members and reservations are requested. At the Putnam Arts Council, Mahopac.

Six New One-Act Plays

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. See Above for More Information.

Sunday, June 12

Fishkill Farms Celebrates New Season

10:00am - 6:00pm - Open house festivities include hayrides, barbecue cookout, and samples of Hudson Valley Fresh milk and other local products.  Paintings by farmer Josh Morgenthau will be featured in an art show as well. Call 845/897-4377  or email for information about the open house, "pick your own" schedule, and other farm happenings.

Beacon Sloop Club's Strawberry Festival at Riverfront Park in Beacon

Noon - 5:00PM - Available strawberry treats will include sublime strawberry shortcake that is baked on-site, as well as smoothies and hand-dipped chocolate-covered berries. Local vendors will also be on hand with a variety of food and crafts. There will be live music throughout and many educational and environmental booths. And of course the Woody Guthrie, a wooden replica of a gaff-rigged Hudson River ferry sloop, will be on hand for free sails on the Hudson during the festival. On the river side of the Beacon Train Station.

Into The Future

Friday, June 17

Free Movie and Farmer's Market

6PM - Come spend a Friday night (June 17) at the Putnam County Veterans Memorial Park on Gipsy Trail Road in Kent, and enjoy a free movie, picnic area, farm stands and more.  There will be animals gentle enough to hold and pet, farm-fresh food to buy and enjoy and lots of information about farming in Putnam County.

Enjoy the fabulous movie, "FRESH!",  at 7:00 pm. Fresh celebrates the farmers, thinkers, and business people
across America who are reinventing our food system. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision of our food and our planet’s future. Fresh addresses an ethos that has been sweeping the nation and is a call to action America has been waiting for.

The event is free – and we’re looking forward to seeing you there!  Brig the children, bring a picnic and enjoy the park together as a family.  Sponsored by: Putnam County Soil and Water Conservation District, Putnam County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board

Saturday, June 18

Clearwater Revival

The only thing that's hotter than the weather, is the amazing line-up at this year's Clearwater Festival, next weekend, June 18 & 19!    Get your tickets now by clicking here before June 18 and save money!  Don't forget that kids 12 & under get in for free!   


We're excited to confirm that Jackson Browne will be presenting Cuban artist Carlos Varela on the Hudson Stage on Saturday, June 18 at 1:15pm.  Carlos is a protege of Silvio Rodriguez, a close friend of Pete Seeger's.


Another new performance to announce is Peter Yarrow's "Tribute To Mary Travers" at the Jam Tent from 4:15-5pm on Saturday, June 18.   


This is by far the biggest collection of talent that we've ever had at one festival.  Here's a preview: 


Pete Seeger, Indigo Girls, Martin Sexton, Drive-By Truckers, Arlo Guthrie, Peter Yarrow, David Bromberg, Billy Bragg, Jorma Kaukonen, John Sebastian, Janis Ian, Tom Chapin, Dan Zanes, Dar Williams, Janis Ian, Josh Ritter, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Suzanne Vega, Justin Townes Earle, Chris Smither,  David Amram, James McMurtry, The Felice Brothers, the Low Anthem, Tao Seeger, Toshi Reagon, Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion, Mike & Ruthy and so many more.


The "Clearwater Generations" sets will feature Pete Seeger & Tao Seeger, Arlo Guthrie & Sara Lee Guthrie,  Peter Yarrow & Bethany Yarrow, Bernice Johnson Reagon & Toshi Reagon, Jay Ungar & Ruthy Ungar Merenda, Tom Chapin & Jen Chapin and David Amram & Alana, Adira and Adam Amram with other special guests.       


Get your groove on at our World Dance Stage, which will feature a wide array of dance music styles from around the globe with The Klezmatics (klezmer), Jay Ungar & Molly Mason (waltzes & swing), Jesse Lege & The Bayou Brew (cajun), Jeffrey Broussard & the Creole Cowboys (zydeco), the Clayfoot Strutters (contra dance), Zlatne Uste (Balkan brass band), Zon del Barrio (music from the streets of Latin New York), Folklore Urbano (Colombian folkloric salsa), Toubab Krewe (African fusion), Bethany & Rufus Roots Quartet (African/Vodou folk) the  Vanaver Caravan (world dance styles), the Brooklyn Qawwali Party (Pakistani folk inspired jazz) and many others others. 


Make sure to check out the stage schedules on our website at  Just click on Stage Schedules on the left hand side and you can start making plans to see your favorite artists.


When you're at the Festival, make sure to go for a sail on the sloop Clearwater or the Mystic Whaler.  These sails always sell out quickly, so be sure to purchase your tickets by clicking here.  


Great Family Activities!

The Family Stage in particular has an unbelievable line-up with Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul & Mary), Tom Chapin, David Amram, Sarah Lee & Johnn Irion, The Nields, Bari Koral, Mustard's Retreat and many more.  Dan Zanes & Elizabeth Mitchell will be performing on the Rainbow Stage.  Plus there's face painting, jugglers and much more.  Don't forget that kids 12 and under get in for free!


There are many other attractions including Story Grove, Circle of Song, Working Waterfront, Green Living Expo, Juried Crafts Fair, Marketplace and Activist Area, Tideline Tent and much more.


Clearwater members receive preferred pricing for Festival tickets. If you are not a member and would like to join, or you would like to renew your membership, please do so by clicking here.           


Advance tickets are available at our website at

or by calling 845-418-3596.


For more up-to-date information, please join our Facebook page by clicking here.   


I look forward to seeing you on Father's Day Weekend.  


All the best,

Steve Lurie
Festival Director

"July Moon" A documentary by Karen Person

7:30PM - A screening & discussion with the Director/Producer/Filmmaker – Karen Person presented by The Schoolhouse and the Putnam Arts Council. Join us as we return to 1969 with Buzz Aldrin as he unfolds the story of Apollo 11 landing on the Moon and provides insight and context to this historic event.  The film reflects the space program of that era, its triumphs and tragedies, and documents the culmination of an young, optimistic President’s promise. Film to be screened in the Schoolhouse Theater – 3 Owens Rd., Croton Falls, NY Tickets $10 which includes light refreshments. Reservations recommended – 914.277.8477(Schoolhouse) or 845.803.8622 (PAC).

Saturday, June 25

Humorous Stories from Around the World

Noon - Join comic mime Robert Rivest for this hilarious program.  We will travel the world with humor, laughter and our incredible imaginations.  This fun-filled show is full of audience participation and laugh-out-loud interaction! At the Kent Public Library, Route 52 in Kent Lakes.

Beacon Riverfest

Following the rousing success of its illustrious debut last year, where attendance was estimated at 2,500 people, Local 845 will present the second annual BEACON RIVERFEST, a free day-long outdoor music festival held in the city’s Riverfront Park, on Saturday, June 25.

Five bands will headline on one center stage: 11-piece steampunk mambo band, GATO LOCO; one-name moniker and roots collective, MILTON; JACK GRACE BAND, featuring the Broken Mariachi Horns; Hip Hop-Spoken Word project, READNEX POETRY SQUAD; and THE TAO SEEGER BAND.

BEACON RIVERFEST is free and open to the public. Rain location is University Settlement.
BEACON RIVERFEST is growing in its second year with new stuff:

In May, lookout for “Beacon Riverfest Art Guitars,” a citywide public display of more than 40 wood guitars each painted by a different local artist. On June 18, beginning at 6PM, a week before Beacon Riverfest (June 25), the guitars will be on auction at the Marion Royael Gallery, 460 Main Street in Beacon. Proceeds from the auction will be split evenly between the artists and Beacon Riverfest.

In partnership with Beacon's Department of Recreation, Local 845 offers "Rock Band Boot Camp," a fun and inspiring workshop where students learn how to work together and play as a rock band. Sessions are offered to teens and adults year round. Playing in Local 845's Boot Camp energizes and inspires students of all ages. The Spring 2011 session for teens (April 27-June 15) will culminate in a live performance at Beacon Riverfest, where students will share center stage with headlining acts.

Local 845 presents a rich variety of original rock, folk, jazz and contemporary musical artists year-round at a variety of hospitable venues, including Beacon's historical Howland Cultural Center and more non-traditional locales such as Open Space Gallery, University Settlement Camp and Spire Studios. In addition to launching Beacon Riverfest in 2010, Local 845 also produced "Pete Seeger If I Had A Hammer: Concert For a House," a benefit for Habitat for Humanity presented at Washington's Headquarters in Newburgh, New York. In August 2011, Local 845 will present "Scenic Hudson's Long Dock Park Summer Concert Series," four weekly free concerts in Beacon's newly renovated Long Dock Park, and its "In The Pines" concerts will expand this year to become a spring and summer series at Beacon's University Settlement Camp.

Sloan Wainwright Band

8:30PM - Folk-pop artist Sloan Wainwright belongs to a musical dynasty of impossibly gifted singer-songwriters. Her family tree (brother and folk-music luminary Loudon Wainwright, sister-in-law Kate McGarrigle, nephew Rufus Wainwright, nieces Martha Wainwright and Lucy Wainwright Roche) reads like a who's who of contemporary folk music. Sloan's incredible gift is not only her unique songwriting ability but her dramatically voiced rendition of her original songs. "She's folk-influenced, obviously (you can't grow up in the First Family of Folk and not be, one imagines), but the real star here is her voice. Warm and smoky and smooth, it makes her earthy, ominous lyrics seem all the more intense." Defying standard categorization, singer/songwriter Sloan Wainwright consistently demonstrates her easy command of a variety of American musical styles --pop, folk, jazz and blues-- held together by the melodious tone of her rich contralto. The end result, a un! ique and soulful hybrid. "A lot of singer-songwriters are whitebread. Sloan is whole grain." -WFMT Radio, Rich Warren; "...Sloan Wainwright, whose regal voice could fell a redwood." -The Boston Globe; " mother voice that she pours into unexpectedly sensitive blends of folk, jazz, blues and funk." -The New York Times $25 advance/ $30 door At the Towne Crier Cafe

Sunday, June 26

Open Mic Finals at the Towne Crier

7PM - Since 1988, the Towne Crier has hosted Open Mics which have attracted musicians from all over the Hudson Valley and the tri-state area. It has been referred to by many as the finest open mic in the northeast because of the comfortable, respectful atmosphere and good sound. This open mic attracts high-caliber talent, some of which have gone on to become national attractions, such as Sloan Wainwright, "Gandalf Murphy," The Mammals, etc. all seats $8


Thursday, July 7

Wappinger Creek Walk

5PM - In celebration of Creek Week and Dutchess County Watershed Awareness Month the Cary Institute and Cornell Cooperative Extension will host an interpretive hike along the Wappinger Creek Trail. This family friendly event will engage children and adults in hands-on activities. Participants will sample macro-invertebrates and learn about water quality issues. Wear sturdy waterproof shoes and bring your camera and drinking water. To RSVP please visit  Location: Cary East (Gifford House) parking area, located at 2917 Sharon Turnpike (Rte. 44) in Millbrook, N.Y.

Saturday, July 9

Long Dock Park Celebration

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.

    Arm-of-the-Sea Theater
    Uncle Rock
    We Must Be
    The Big Takeover

Event Location: Long Dock Rd. Beacon, NY 12508 - On the river side of the Beacon Train Station.

Friday, July 15

Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming

7PM - Climatologist Dr. Michael Mann will review the evidence for human influence on the climate, including measurements available for the past two centuries and paleoclimate observations spanning more than a millennium. He will also address how climate change will influence the world we live in, from sea level rise and severe weather to changes in the water supply. His lecture will conclude with a frank discussion about possible solutions to the climate change. A key contributor to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, Dr. Mann is author of more than 130 peer-reviewed and edited publications, and recently co-authored the book “Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming” with colleague Lee Kump. He is also a co-founder and avid contributor to the award-winning science website  Location: Cary Institute's auditorium, located at 2801 Sharon Turnpike (Route 44) in Millbrook, New York.

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.


Saturday, August 20

Daniel Nimham Inter-tribal Pow Wow

10AM - 6PM - Come on out to the 11th Annual Daniel Nimham Inter-tribal Pow Wow at the Veteran's park on Gipsy Trail road in Kent. (The place with the "Helicopter on a Stick" and the "Tank in a Cage") With host drum: Nimham Mountain Singers, co-host drum: Red Storm Drum and Dance TroupeFor more information click here.

Native crafters from all over the country, Pony rides from Pide Piper, Birds of Prey, Native Foods, Story Tellers, Camping Available for Dancers, Tee Pee Display, Local Native History and Performances by 3 Or More Drum Groups. Free Admission/Parking.

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