River of Drone II

Thom Lail

Thom Lail performing at soundBarn.

The Albany Sonic Arts Collective (ASAC) and The soundBarn host River of Drone II: Seven Hours of Sound from noon to 7 p.m. Sunday, May 16 at the soundBarn, 330 Maple Lane, in Valatie. A very special, long-form event, River of Drone II is a free, seven-hour, improvised sound performance with peaceful soundscapes and full-on noise, the ever-shifting rhythm, pace and mood will evolve as the ebb and flow of performers, energy and instrumentation progresses through the seven-hour performance. Set in a former orchard cooler with views of the Catskill Mountains, The soundBarn is a uniquely suited location for visitors to lounge, listen and linger for an hour, a few minutes or the entire performance. The audience is encouraged to make themselves comfortable and to bring pillows, chairs, food and drink. Unlike a traditional concert setting, performers will be located throughout the venue and listeners are encouraged to move around, watch the accompanying video projections, wander in and out and discover new relationships to sound through immersion, reflection, deep listening, meditation, and concentration. Featured musicians include: Jason Cosco, Matt Ernst, Tara Fracalossi, Eric Hardiman (Rambutan, Century Plants, Burnt Hills), Ray Hare (Century Plants, Fossils From the Sun, Burnt Hills), Holland Hopson, Thomas Lail (soundBarn), Patrick Weklar (soundBarn), Matt Weston (Barn Owls), and many more special guests, with videos by Tara Fracalossi, Kyra Garrigue and others. Albany Sonic Arts Collective is a grassroots organization located in and around Albany, NY. The soundBarn is a project of artist/musician Thomas Lail and artist Tara Fracalossi and is located on what was once Heald Orchards in Valatie, New York. The soundBarn is sited in a modern addition to the orchard’s 100-year-old Dutch style barn. The cavernous, heavily insulated space served as the orchard’s cooler where apples and pears were over-wintered and chilled by the massive, still-visible refrigeration system.

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Hudson-Berkshire Beverage Trail debuts


Christopher Matthews from Rural Intelligence reports:

“In a clear boost to local tourism and our region’s artisanal food and beverage scene, six partners—four wineries, a brewery and a distillery—have joined forces to establish the Hudson-Berkshire Beverage Trail (HBBT). It will formally launch on April 10 with a Pasta and Sauce event, featuring beverage flights paired with pasta dishes at each stop along the trail. Spanning three counties and two states, the HBBT has two main axes: one running south from Rensselaer County, southeast of Albany, down through Columbia County to Germantown, near Hudson; the other heading east from Chatham into Berkshire County, ending in New Marlborough, MA. Discussions with the Department of Transportation and the New York State Agriculture and Markets Department on road signage for the trail are underway. The founding partners include: Brookview Station Winery, Castleton-on-Hudson, NY, a bemedaled producer of fruit wines, cider and baked goods; Harvest Spirits, Valatie, NY, a micro-distillery that produces “Core,” an award-winning vodka made from local apples; Chatham Brewing, Chatham, NY, an all-natural “nano-brewer” of craft beers; Hudson-Chatham Winery, Ghent, NY, a producer of small batch wines from local and regional grapes, as well as cheeses and desserts; Tousey Winery, whose Germantown-based owner, beekeeper-farmer Ray Tousey is a mainstay at local farmers’ markets with his displays of bees, honey, small fruits and wines; Furnace Brook Winery, located at Hilltop Orchards, a scenic 100-year old farm in Richmond, MA; and Les Trois Emme Vineyard and Winery, nestled in New Marlborough, MA, east of Great Barrington.”

Arts Councils announce cultural fund awards

The Greene County Council on the Arts (GCCA) and the Columbia County Council on the Arts (CCCA) announced the recipients of regrant awards through the Twin Counties Cultural Fund Decentralization Program for Columbia and Greene Counties (DEC) with 33 not-for-profit organizations awarded $48,950 for 2010.

Greene County received requests from 17 applications for requests totaling $50,855 – more than twice the amount of available regrant funds. Fifteen organizations received $22,517 for the Decentralization Program (DEC) Project Support which includes organizations that act as a conduit (fiscal managers) for artist initiated projects. They are:

Cairo Public Library was awarded $1400 for multidisciplinary arts programs.
Catskill Community Center was awarded $1000 for Self-Portrait Books, Drawing & Painting from Poetry & The Art of Jazz Community Arts programs.
Catskill Mountain Wolf Center & Joseph Capone were awarded $1700 for presentation of Six Characters in Search of an Author.
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Greene County was awarded $1125 for Little Theater in the Woods program at the Acra Forestry Education site.
D.R. Evarts Library was awarded $1000 for visual arts, dance and storytelling.
Greene Arts Foundation was awarded $2700 for a stage adaptation of O’Sullivan Stew involving teens.
Heart of Catskill Association & David Woodin were awarded $2200 for classical concerts with professional and amateur musicians.
Love ‘N Care Pet Sanctuary & Margo Muller were awarded $1800 for children’s theater project based on the Little Red Schoolhouse local landmark.
New Baltimore Reformed Church & Brian Mellick were awarded $1000 for a series of small ensemble acoustic concerts in New Baltimore.
Oak Hill Preservation Association was awarded $892 for artist presenters for Oak Hill Day.
Pleshakov Music Center was awarded $1800 for lecture/concerts at the piano museum in Hunter.
Rivertown Housing & Jeanne Heiberg were awarded $1000 for writing & collage workshops, public reading & exhibit.
Schoharie Creek Players was awarded $1800 for production of The Importance of Being Ernest.
Town of Hunter & Kevin VanHentenryck were awarded $2000 for outdoor stone carving class & demo along Route 23 in Hunter.
Windham Public Library was awarded $1100 for physical character & theater, an investigation of Calder mobiles and other workshops.

Columbia County received requests from 22 organizations totaling $60,150 – more than twice the amount of available funding. Eighteen organizations received $26,433 from the Decentralization Program (DEC) Project Support which includes organizations that act as a conduit (fiscal manager). They are:

Clarion Concerts was awarded $1500 for Leaf Peepers Series.
Columbia County Office for the Aging & Heather Martin were awarded $1433 for jewelry making & ceramic explorations for seniors.
Friends of Chatham Library was awarded $1200 for theater, paper marbling & pottery workshops.
Friends of Chatham Library & Bend the Knotted Oak were awarded $750 for a chamber music concert at St. James Church.
Hudson Area Library was awarded $500 for cultural storytelling & dance program with Elena Mosley.
Hudson Library & Diata Diata International Folkloric Theatre were awarded $2000 for Maii: The Wonder of Water! an original dance and theatrical production.
HRC/Showcase Theatre was awarded $1500 for staged readings of original plays.
Hudson Valley Choral Society was awarded $1500 for musicians for 2010 concerts.
Mental Health Association of Col/Greene Counties were awarded $1250 for theater workshops and public performance with Walking the Dog Theater.
North Chatham Library was awarded $1500 for literature & arts series.
North Chatham Library & Sheri Bauer Mayorga were awarded $2000 for Columbia County Children’s Vocal Ensemble.
Philmont Community Chorus was awarded $900 for a consultant and accompanist for their winter and spring concerts.
Philmont Library was awarded $1500 for evenings of outdoor music.
Roeliff Jansen Community Library & Robin Becker were awarded $1700 for Columbia Chamber Orchestra concerts of Indian, fusion & other music.
Roving Actors Repertory Ensemble was awarded $2500 for productions of Barefoot in the Park & Jesus Christ Superstar.
United Way of Col/Greene Counties and Amy Madden were awarded $1000 for a process based art practice workshop for teens.
United Way of Col/Greene Counties and Dara Lurie were awarded $1200 for teen writing & rhythm investigations.
Valatie Community Theater, Inc. was awarded $2500 for their Youth Theater Project.

Today’s local headlines

Brown replaces Scheer as deputy on county board
From Parry Teasdale in The Columbia Paper

HUDSON — Chairman of the Columbia County Board of Supervisors Art Baer (R-Hillsdale) shuffled the leadership of the board, with Germantown Supervisor Roy Brown (R) replacing Gallatin Supervisor Lynda Scheer, as a deputy chairman of the board. Baer’s announcement of the move Friday said that Ms. Scheer resigned from the post “for personal reasons.” Brown stood with Baer on his controversial plan to buy the Ockawamick School building on Route 217 in Claverack and, initially, move much of the Department of Social Services there from Hudson. The change takes effect September 1.

Copake board finds ways to agree except on the deficit
From Diana Valden in The Columbia Paper

COPAKE – This is the sort of amazing story about local town meetings that is almost never written ’round these parts. Instead of deciding one of the night’s actions constituted a story and the rest did not, Valden bullet points 10 items that the usually contentious-across-party-lines town board agreed on last week. Then she writes how Councilman Bob Sacks, who has advocated cutting the town’s police force to cover the recently discovered large deficit, reported he was told by the Sheriff’s Office that patrols from that office cover Copake and all of Columbia County 24/7. Sacks also quoted the supervisors of other towns saying they could not afford their own police force and had no need for one because of coverage by the Sheriff’s Office and State Police. Copake Town Police Commissioner Jeff Nayer, then shouted, “Other towns don’t set what we do!” Mr. Nayer said that the Police Department had offered to cut 17 percent of its budget to help the town deal with the deficit, while other departments offered nothing.

New parties make ballot for November
From Jim Planck in The Daily Mail

Have A Voice candidates Karen Deyo, Keith Valentine, Linda Overbaugh, and Joseph Izzo will appear on the November ballot, as will Grassroots of Durham candidate Les Armstrong. The Have a Voice folks are Republicans, joining fellow GOPer Overbaugh in this bid to stay on the ballot for the four Catskill Greene County Legislature seats, after errors in her previous petitions kept her off the Republican line. Likewise with Armstrong, a Republican attempting to primary against Elsie Allan but now facing Allan and Democrat Sean Frey for the Durham seat on the legislature. Overbaugh and Armstrong’s third-party bids went unchallenged by opponents.

State parks in Columbia County fare better than most
From Mike McCagg in ccScoop

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation shows attendance at parks in the Taconic Region of the state park system, which includes Columbia County, is down 3.7 percent in the period from July 2008 through July 2009. Across New York, park attendance is down 4.5 percent, to 27.2 million visitors. Attendance dropped at the Clermont State Historic Site 18.5 percent to 43,456 visitors, at the Clermont State Historic Site 4.1 percent to 61,896 visitors, at the Olana State Historic Site 14.1 to 61,896 visitors, and at Lake Taghkanic State Park, 5.2 percent, to 95,862. At Taconic State Park in Copake attendance was up 12.9 percent to 13,313, and in Copake Falls attendance rose 5 percent to 73,066 visitors.

Farmland Protection on the way
From Francesca Olsen in The Register-Star

Last Tuesday the Planning and Economic Development Committee passed a resolution to apply for state grant funding for developing a Farmland Protection Plan, with matching funds to be provided by the Columbia Economic Development Corporation (CEDC), as Columbia County is one of the few in the state without such a plan. The Columbia County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board submitted drafts of a plan to the state Department of Agriculture and Markets, but was not approved.

Mario’s moves forward with new warehouse
From Paul Crossman in The Register-Star

VALATIE — Mario’s True Value Home Center is planning a new 20,000-square-foot lumber supply warehouse, and hopes to have closed on the new location by sometime in early September, with winter construction.

Today’s local headlines

Signs of the times

McBride’s Resale Shop at 465 Main St. in Cairo was shut down this week. Read all about it in these two images. A sign on the building still calls it Main St. Cafe, though that business has been closed awhile.

Over two thousand without power in Columbia County
National Grid reports over 2300 homes without power in Columbia at 10:30 p.m., with power not expected to be restored until 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Sam Pratt’s Facebook status reports that 23B, 9H & Rt. 23 into Hudson are closed, and power lines are down on 29. He also says it seemed dark in Taghkanic, Claverack and Greenport.

Attorney General’s new web site not very up-to-date
The attorney general’s office showed off its new Sunlightny.com open-government web site Thursday with workshops in Valatie and Cairo. Perhaps Mr. Cuomo will update the site before his gubernatorial campaign starts — right now the site’s Greene County listings do not include any Cairo officials, and report John Bull is still mayor of Coxsackie.

Town trapped in shallower hole
From Jamie Larson in The Register-Star

COPAKE – Through a combination of adjusted revenue statements and reduced spending, the Copake Town Board cut the town’s newly-discovered deficit down from an estimated $180,000 to $80,000. On party lines, the board then voted to borrow $100,000 from The Salisbury Bank and Trust Company to cover the revenue shortfall and tax the town based on assessed value in a one-time tax. The loan will be paid back in 2010. Republican supervisor Reggie Crowley, and board members Daniel Tompkins and Walt Kiernan voted to take out the loan, while Democrats Bob Sacks and Linda Gabaccia voted no.

Someone’s watching
From Linda L. Fenoff in The Greenville Press (no web site)

CATSKILL – Democrat Robin DePuy of Palenville may have joined the never-dull election for the four Catskill seats on the Greene County Legislature, by forming the “Common Sense” party. Earlier, Linda Overbaugh was ruled not eligible to run on the Republican line because of petition errors, and started the “Have a Voice” party to get on the ballot. Now Overbaugh may be knocked off that line too, as witnesses witnessed two of the “Have a Voice” candidates collecting signatures without witnesses. Can I get a witness?

Team Dudley deflates political football
From Pat Bone Cominos in The Greenville Press (no web site)

Retiring Greene County Legislator Ken Dudley (R-Greenville) withdrew his $80,000 Quantum Fund loan application for his business Tip Top Furniture in Greenville. Minority leader Sean Frey (D-Durham) said he thought the loan was, “not illegal, but unethical for the county to make a Quantum loan to a business owner who is also on the Greene County Legislature.”

Cairo board appointments
From Susan Campriello’s blog for The Daily Mail

CAIRO – Cairo Town Supervisor John Coyne says individuals involved in lawsuits against the town can be appointed to positions on Cairo boards. Several Cairo officials wanted to institute such a ban during a discussion about the ethics board. In a May 5 letter to Supervisor John Coyne, Cairo Town Attorney Tal Rappleyea, and the Town Board, Melanie Trimble, of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said the board should not reject a party interested in serving on a board based upon their involvement in such litigation. “Such blanket exclusion must be viewed as retaliation against people for exercising their rights,” the letter said.

September auditions for radio theater
From The Mountain Eagle

COBLESKILL – The Theater Project of Schoharie County will hold auditions for an evening of radio theater. Two plays: “His Honor, the Mayor” and “The War of the Worlds” plus commercials and musical interludes. Auditions: Sept. 10 6 – 9 p.m. and Sept. 13 2 – 5 p.m. at Teen Town, 45 North Grand St, Cobleskill.

Today’s local headlines

(Cairo Town Clerk Tara A. Rumph, and board members Alice Tunison and Janet Schwarzenegger at the Aug. 19, 2009 town board meeting. Photo by Tom Roe.)

Cairo has another strained town meeting
Click here to download or listen to the Aug. 19, 2009 Cairo Town Board meeting.
CAIRO – At town board meetings in Cairo, the board’s women are separated from the men by Town Clerk Tara Rumph. Last night there was a real back and forth, as board members Rich Lorenz and Ray Suttmeier made comments after Janet Schwarzenegger’s attempt to pass a resolution to redact the names of folks who make complaints in Cairo from Freedom of Information Law requests. Alice Tunison asked Schwarzenegger several questions about her resolution. Lorenz (at 1:05:10 in the recording linked above) interrupted their discussion, and Tunison said, “I wish you wouldn’t do that Rich.” Tunison grilled Schwarzenegger, and then the entire group failed to second her motion, killing the resolution. Then (at 1:09:00) Lorenz waved a flyer and said “Tomorrow night the attorney general is going to have an open government transparency initiative, come to that and he’ll tell us what to do.” Tunison was livid. “Rich, I’m usually able to refrain from, but I just want to react a little bit here. I don’t know if that was just,” Tunison said. Lorenz interrupted, “Well that was just what this is,” Lorenz said, holding the flyer. Tunison shot back, “I can appreciate Janet’s effort, her work, she copied this, we had a very benefical discussion in my opinion. We gave time to look at it from every angle, and and I think it is a little flip and it seems somewhat disrespectful to her and her efforts. And I would personally just ask you not to do that.” “Shame on you Rich,” Suttmeier then sarcastically repeated three times. “And shame on him is very juvenile,” Tunison then said. Suttmeier said something else, which I cannot make out. Can you? (Listen at 1:09:50, put guesses in the comments.) “That’s ridiculous,” Tunison responded. Fortunately for decorum, someone wandered into the room at that point and Supervisor John Coyne was able to change the subject. But at the meeting’s conclusion (1:32:09) Tunison brought the kerfuffle back. Coyne then noted that the women were also talking during the meeting. Tunison responded, “it is two separate things,” comparing talking while others talk to board members making snide comments. “It was a put down, it’s unprofessional,” Tunison said of Lorenz’s comment with the flyer.

Club Helsinki in Great Barrington heads to Hudson
From Club Helsinki
“Berkshire County will see the end of an era,” their web site says, announcing that 15-year-old Club Helsinki closes its door there August 31. Club Helsinki will move the equipment over to the much-delayed, about-to-open second location in Hudson. “The Hudson venue will be everything the Great Barrington club was and more; a larger capacity without losing the intimate feel, a full service event space, recording studios, and an infrastructure custom designed for music production,” said owners Deborah McDowell and Marc Schafler in an e-mail statement. “It will be a Mecca for artists, agents, music fans and technicians alike.”

AG’s Office comes to Valatie, Cairo for fraud talks
From The Columbia Paper

A representative from Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s Office will speak to seniors and veterans about consumer fraud issues as a part of the AG’s statewide Smart Seniors Program. The events take place at the Valatie Senior Center at 212 State Farm Road, Thursday, August 27 at 11 a.m., and at 7 p.m. for the Disabled Veterans, Chapter 186, at Cairo Town Hall, 512 Main St. in Cairo. The seminar concerns how to best avoid consumer scams that frequently target seniors, such as sweepstakes, mail orders, and identity theft. Both events are free. For more information visit the Attorney General’s website at http://www.oag.state.ny.us.

Soccer players, council dribble over park usage
From Jamie Larson in The Register-Star

HUDSON – “A dozen young men, primarily from the city’s Bangladeshi community, voiced their displeasure with the city’s position not to allow them to play at the Henry Hudson Riverfront Park,” Larson’s story said. Hudson’s Michael Chameides said the city’s signs at the park forbidding soccer are unjustified. Chameides said he doesn’t understand the argument voiced by Mayor Richard Scalera and others, that their activity damages the grass, since most of the time they play without shoes, and don’t play when the ground is wet. Mayor Scalera said the complaints he hears most often from residents about the park are about dogs running around off leash and soccer player disrupting their peace. His solution was to have the footballers play at the Charles Williams Park on the north end of Second St., which is in disrepair.

Ancram Dems choose Bassin for supervisor
From Diane Valden in The Columbia Paper

ANCRAM—Town Democrats picked Art Bassin for Town Supervisor over Rick DuBray 74 to 25, with 3 Democrats voting No, meaning they did not support either candidate at the Democrats’ August 8 caucus. Bassin, the chairman of the town’s Comprehensive Plan Committee, narrowly lost his bid for a seat on the Town Board in 2007.

Today’s local headlines


(Scott Murphy at his town hall meeting at The Golden Harvest Farm in Valatie Sat. Aug. 8, 2009. Photo by Tom Roe.)

Murphy speaks locally about health care
Listen to U.S. Representative Murphy’s entire town hall meeting:
Part One of Town Meeting
Part Two of Town Meeting
Murphy interview with Albany Times-Union reporter and WGXC reporter after the meeting
Several hundred local residents and others from outside the area turned up this morning at 11 a.m. at The Golden Harvest Farm in Valatie to hear U.S. Representative Scott Murphy (D-20) talk about and answer questions about the health care before Congress. While similar meetings in other Congressional districts have turned into shouting matches and even brawls, this debate was mostly civil, with just a bit of shouting, and mostly respectful questions from all sides of the political spectrum from the crowd of around 400.

There seemed to be as many people who did not want the government providing any health care at all as there were folks who favored a single-payer system, judging by Murphy’s poll of the crowd at the end. Of course, by then, after over an hour in the hot sun, the group was much smaller then at the beginning, and perhaps only folks with very passionate political positions remained. Listen to the links above to hear the entire meeting (in two parts), and an interview Murphy gave afterwards with a reporter from the Albany Times-Union and WGXC.

Judge rules against Overbaugh ballot bid
From Seeing Greene

Linda L. Overbaugh’s name will not appear on the Republican primary ballot next month for one of the four Catskill seats on the Greene County Legislature, a judge ruled Thursday. Dick May from the Seeing Greene blog scooped everyone, reporting Thursday that Supreme Court Judge Richard M. Platkin ordered the Executive Director of the Heart of Catskill Association off the ballot, after her name was listed incorrectly on petitions. She was listed as Linda H. Overbaugh, her former cousin-in-law, who also lives in Catskill. For the lawsuit, Patricia J. Ruck, who chairs the Town of Catskill’s Democratic Party Committee, adopted the Citizen Objector role, while Forest Cotten, past Catskill Democratic chairman and present candidate for re-election to the county legislature, was designated as Aggrieved Candidate. Overbaugh was expected to win a slot in the legislature, perhaps costing incumbent Cotten his seat. Overbaugh told Seeing Greene “it’s not over,” perhaps hinting she will start a write-in campaign for the September primary, where voters would have to write in “Linda L. Overbaugh” exactly. Where was The Daily Mail on this story? They were bested by The Greenville Press for a week before the ruling, and then only mentioned this story for the first time today, two days after May’s story.

Town & County magazine writes about Hudson
The September 2009 issue of Town & Country magazine (with actress Jane Krakowski on the cover) features a large story about Hudson’s antique stores called “A Hudson River Renaissance.” Hopefully, the story will help merchants there struggling during this recession — one antique store owner told me in Febraury he did not make a single sale.