Audio from Athens Cultural Center reading series

This recording by WGXC volunteer Ira Sher of the Athens Cultural Center reading series May 15, 2010, features poets Brenda Coultas and Christopher Stackhouse and fiction writer Lynne Tillman. Click here or on the ACC logo to listen to an mp3 audio recording of the reading, or paste the following url into your computer’s media player:
http://archive.free103point9.org/2010/06
/poetry_AthensCulturalCenter_051510.mp3

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Oatts/Locke Duo performance in Athens


Dick Oatts/Joe Locke Duo performed May 22 at the Athens Cultural Center via Planet Arts.

Greene County’s new news

The Greenville Mountain View Pioneer debuted this week, and the Greene County Local Courier morphed into the Greene County News, after its recent purchase by Hudson-Catskill Newspaper Corp, and it is great to read more local newsprint. Both papers are fighting for territory best covered by The Greenville Press which closed early this year, and neither has a website. With the Pioneer focusing on Greenville and the News citing Greenville, Coxsackie, and Athens as target markets, the debut and remake make for a side-by-side comparison. The Pioneer wins the first count, as this week’s issue includes results of Tuesday’s school board elections, while the News does not (both papers have Thursday street dates). Both have little news — the Pioneer reveals a new Greenville bakery, while the News covers NY State Senator James Seward‘s appearance at the opening of Coxsackie beverage distributor Empire Merchants North. The Pioneer has a much cleaner layout, though the News improves from its Courier days, and now looks more like its HCNC sister papers The Daily Mail and Register-Star. Both publications include lots of unnecessary filler with the News even printing a verbatim press release from WGXC about a radio station event with the Agroforestry Center twice, on pages 20 and 23 (extra thanks!). But the Pioneer has much larger problems. Thirteen by-lines include the name “Macko” (the publisher and former Daily Mail writer Andrea Macko authors most), while only six others contribute articles. Of those six, the owner of the new Greenville bakery writes about his own store, and another is a campaign donation in the form of an article by Greenville County Legislator Kevin Lewis. While the News makes a similar donation to the campaign of Seward with his “column,” the Pioneer gives away advertorial disguised as editorial more often. Publisher Macko also gives a free campaign ad/column to Greenville Town Supervisor Paul Macko (she is his niece). The first issue ever also has two letters to the editor about how Peter Margoulius would make a swell County Court Judge, and on the next page there is a larger press release about how one local group endorsed his campaign. Virtually no local Democrats are mentioned anywhere in the Pioneer. Both papers print an awful lot of verbatim press releases, and the Pioneer seems one-sided so far. And the Pioneer’s debut editorial makes odd boasts, saying that seeing names and pictures in a publication and an accompanying feeling of being a, “part of something bigger” is something “that you won’t find on any website.” That’s pretty funny!

School election results

Cairo-Durham school election results: School Budget Passed 551-527; Library Appropriation Failed 477-581; Biomass heating system Failed 433-625. Board Member results: Greg Koerner-Fox – 584; Thomas Plank – 564; Beatrice Clappin – 537; Pat Ublacker – 512; Nicole Maggio – 472; Dean Pectal – 456; Sam Mozzillo – 338. The Daily Mail reports Catskill results:

Catskill Central School District’s $36.6 million budget package for 2010-11 was approved by district voters Tuesday night in a 2-1 margin of 712-375. The Catskill Public Library budget was also passed with an approximate 2-1 margin, 701-368. Elected to the Board of Education for three-year terms were incumbent Michael Bulich, who was returned to the board for his second term with 579 votes, and first-timers Christopher Van Loan and Tracy Powell, who drew 439 and 408 votes, respectively. Elected to a two-year term — the unserved balance of an existing seat from a former BOE member — was first-timer Matthew Leipman, who received 402 votes.

The Daily Mail also has Coxsackie-Athens results:

The 2010-2011 budget for the Coxsackie-Athens Central School District was adopted by voters by a margin of 738 votes to 521. Three Board of Education seats were also up for grabs in the vote held yesterday – incumbents Mark Gerrain, Russell Nadler and Beth Tailleur were all up for re-election. Gerrain and Tailleur had easy victories, but Nadler was unseated by opponent Stephen Oliveira, who won 575 votes to Nadler’s 404.

In Hudson, Register-Star reports:

The Hudson City School District budget for 2010-2011 squeaked by Tuesday by a margin of a little more than 100 votes. District voters also reelected Mary Daly (663 votes) to the School Board and brought aboard Peter Merante Sr. (717), Justin Cukerstein, 593 votes. He may still may get a board seat. Patricia Abitabile, currently in the second year of her second five-year term, is resigning from the board as of June 30. There has yet to be a resolution on how Abitabile will be replaced, but a discussion at a recent BOE meeting seemed to indicate the candidate with the third highest number of votes could garner her seat. Carrie Haddad received 422 votes and Peter Rice Jr., garnered 263.

In Taconic Hills, Register-Star reports:

The 2010-2011 budget for the Taconic Hills Central School District passed Tuesday after polls closed, with 604 yes and 377 no votes….Joseph Costa (552), a Claverack automotive business owner who said he would encourage attendance at board meetings, and Kevin Maisenbacher (511), a branch manager at Key Corp/N.A. Licensed Investment, who hopes to involve the community more deeply in board decisions, won the district’s two open school board seats, replacing incumbent board members Scott Decker and Tom Bailey.

The story does not report the other vote totals. Also: Chatham Central School District voters passed the 2010-11 budget of $26,614,687 Tuesday by a margin of 441 for and 260 against. Incumbent candidate Melony Spock, 473 votes, Gail Day, 463, elected. A $13.6 million Germantown Central School District Budget passed easily Tuesday with 274 votes for the budget and 171 against. Eric Mortenson, 327; Theresa Repko, 320; Cynthia Smith, 304.

Vote Tuesday in school board races

Voting for school board members and issues takes place Tuesday in both counties. From The Daily Freeman:

Greene County

Cairo-Durham
(Polls are open noon to 9 p.m.)
Cairo-Durham Middle School cafeteria.

Catskill
(Polls are open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.)
Catskill High School gymnasium.

Coxsackie-Athens
(Polls are open 1 to 9 p.m.)
District elementary schools.

Hunter-Tannersville
(Polls are open 1 to 9 p.m.)
Hunter Elementary School.

Columbia County

Germantown
(Polls are open noon to 9 p.m.)
Germantown Central School office lobby on Main Street.

Nearly all local school districts planning job cuts

Kyle Wind in The Daily Freeman:

More than 250 jobs will be eliminated in the region if voters approve school district budgets as proposed Tuesday. All the districts in the area with except Hunter-Tannersville, in Greene County, plan to cut faculty and staff members in response to projected reductions in state aid, and, in some districts, declining enrollment.

GREENE COUNTY

Cairo-Durham school officials are planning to cut 7.2 teaching positions — half at the elementary level and half at middle and high schools — along with a psychologist and a teaching assistant. Catskill school officials are planning to cut three teachers — an art teacher, a librarian and a foreign language teacher — as well as a secondary school administrator, an assistant principal at the elementary school and 1.4 support staff positions. The district plans to reduce the assistant director of special education from a 12-month to 10-month position. In Coxsackie-Athens, planned cuts include a kindergarten class, a teacher’s aide, a high school teacher’s aide, a part-time high school Spanish teacher, an elementary special education teacher, high school academic intervention teaching assistants in science, English and the computer lab, a middle school enrichment teacher, an elementary school librarian, a middle school reading teacher, a high school special education teacher, a part-time high school math teacher, a fifth-grade section and a sixth-grade section. Hunter-Tannersville is the only district in the region not planning to cut any positions.

COLUMBIA COUNTY

In Germantown, the district is planning to cut 1.5 high school teachers, an elementary teacher, a teaching assistant, a custodian and a part-time Spanish teacher. Read the entire story in The Daily Freeman.

Murphy in Greene County Monday

Congressman Scott Murphy (NY-20) will visit several Greene County fire stations, present a USDA infrastructure grant to the Town of Ashland, and host a town meeting in Windham on Monday, May 10. Details:

  • Murphy at Prattsville Hose Company, Main Sreet, Prattsville, 11:15 a.m.
  • Congressman Murphy and USDA officials to present a grant to Ashland for improved water and sewer systems at Ashland Town Hall, 12094 Route 23 Ashland, noon.
  • Rep. Murphy hosts town meeting at Windham Center Church, Windham, 12:45 p.m.
  • Murphy tours the Leeds Hose Company, Route 23 B, Leeds, 2:15 p.m.
  • Murphy tours Athens Volunteer Fire Department, Third St., Athens, 3 p.m.
  • All events are free and open to the public. Murphy faces Republican Chris Gibson in an election this fall.