Catskill School Board candidates Michael Bulich, Catskill; Carthette Burnett, Catskill; Francesca Daisernia, Leeds; Ronald Frascello, Palenville; Randall Griffin, Leeds; Matthew Leipman, Catskill; Tracy Powell, Palenville; Carol Schilansky, Leeds; Christopher Van Loan, Catskill; and Lisa Warner, Catskill will answer questions at 7 p.m. tonight at Catskill High media center, according to The Daily Mail’s Jim Planck. The ten candidates compete for three three-year terms to the three highest vote-getters, and the fourth place seat is a two-year unexpired term of a seat vacated by resignation. The Catskill School District website says, “The candidate forum will be streamed ‘live’ on the Catskill website.”
In The Watershed Post, Julia Reischel has an excellent, long feature about Cathryn Platine and The Maetreum, a three-story former inn once known as Central House, is run by a non-profit called the Maetreum of Cybele, Magna Mater (MCMM). While the IRS recognizes the Palenville pagan enclave as a non-profit religion, the Town of Catskill wants the $12,627.35 in property tax on The Maetreum, and Platine is taking them to court. Reischel’s story can be boiled down to a few paragraphs:
“We’re not saying they’re not a religious organization,” [Catskill Town Assessor Nancy] McCoy says. “We’re saying the property’s use does not meet the requirement for full tax exemption.” To qualify, a religious group has to show that it is using the property primarily for religious purposes — and that’s where the Maetreum fails, she says. According to [Town lawyer, Daniel] Vincelette’s report, the Maetreum is really a gender-bending housing project: “The primary purpose of the property is residential, to house and shelter transgendered individuals,” it concludes. “I read through that document and felt strongly that they were not entitled to the exemption,” McCoy says. Platine doesn’t deny that before formally becoming the seat of the Maetreum’s faith, the inn was used as an emergency shelter for homeless transsexual women. (Platine herself is intersexed, and has been a transgender activist for decades.) But the inn ceased functioning as a shelter years ago, she says, and now only three people, all priestesses of Cybele, live there. Vincelette says that the Maetreum isn’t the only religious group to have its land taxed; last year, he says, the town put land owned by the Catholic church that wasn’t being used for religious purposes on the rolls as well. “Every single religious group in the town of the Catskill is being treated the same,” he says. “Unfortunately, I think there is a lot of anger on Cathryn’s part. I don’t think she fully understands the legal issues.” Read the entire story in The Watershed Post.
Lady Moon at Savoia, 244 Warren St., Hudson.
Mother Fletcher at Main St. Pub, 12 Main St., Philmont.
Smokin’ Aces Blues Band at Fernwood Theater, 341 Malden Ave., Palenville.
NYC-based Girls in Trouble focused on obscure female characters in the Bible, with area songstress Ali Dineen at Spotty Dog Books & Ale.
Congressman Scott Murphy will hold a town meeting in Palenville Monday, April 19, at 1:30 p.m. at the Palenville Fire Department, 717 Rte. 32A, Palenville. Murphy is running for re-election against Republican Chris Gibson.