Let the long weekend begin

This weekend:

THU-SAT
Upstate II at Nicole Fiacco Gallery. Melora Kuhn, Catherine Mosley, Erik Schoonebeek, and Allyson Strafella. Tue-Sat, noon-6 p.m.

Dots, Lines and Figures at Carrie Haddad Gallery. Michael McLaighlin, Ben Shecter, Donise English, and Jeff Briggs.

Maii:” The Wonder of Water by Diata Diata International Folkloric Theatre with the Hudson Opera House, an original play by Pamela Badila at 7 p.m. at Hudson Intermediate School.

FRIDAY
Cairo Open Mic sponsored by WGXC and Cairo Library. 7-9 p.m., with jam until 9:30 p.m. at Gallagher’s, 513 Main St. in Cairo.

FODfest jam honoring Daniel Pearl at 8 p.m. Club Helsinki, Hudson.

SAT-SUN
33rd Annual East Durham Irish Festival includes the Elders from Kansas City; Black 47 and Shillelagh Law from New York City; Barleyjuice from Philadelphia; and Hair of the Dog from Albany, N.Y.; Contemporary Irish Music featuring The Andy Cooney Band; the New York Showband with Tommy Flynn and Jameson’s Revenge from New York City; Searson from Ontario, Canada and the Kitty Kelly Band from Albany, N.Y. are just a few of the bands that will be performing. Pipe Bands and Irish Step Dancing Schools are an added feature each day.

SATURDAY
Tannersville Rubber Duck Race, Crazy Boat Race & Festival 11 a.m.- 4 p.m., Gooseberry Creek in the Village of Tannersville ending by the Rip Van Winkle Lake. Free admission.

Pine Smoke Lodge/Cruudeuces/Fossils From the Sun/Jefferson Pitcher at Upstate Artists Guild, Albany.

Just Wear White Memorial Day party from Trixie with DJ Gio at Red Dot, Hudson. 10 p.m. – 2 a.m., $10 includes free drink.

SUNDAY
Memorial Day Parade, 2 p.m., Main St., Catskill.

Music From China, a New York-based ensemble that specializes in both traditional and contemporary Chinese music. 2 p.m. at Hudson Opera House. $7 per person or $20 for the entire family!

Bindlestiff Family Cirkus at 8 p.m. at Club Helsinki, Hudson.

Bella’s Bartok performs at Blue Plate Restaurant in Chatham at 9:30 p.m., $5.

MONDAY
Cairo Memorial Day Observance
Sponsored by American Legion Post #983, Town of Cairo, and WGXC.
9 a.m.: WWI Monument Wreath-Laying, Main St. Fountain.
9:15 a.m.: WWII Monument Wreath-Laying on Library Lawn.
9:30 a.m.: Doughnuts and coffee at Cairo Fire House.
11 a.m.: Parade steps off near Great American.
Noon: Memorial Service in Angelo Canna Park.
12:30: Refreshments and music at Pavillion.
WGXC will provide sound system.

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.

Greene County Arts Council funds cultural institutions

Greene County Council on the Arts awarded 11 County Initiative Program awards: Bronck Museum of the Greene County Historical Society was awarded $2,200 to continue, expand and promote cultural, educational, and arts programming, including Music of History series, Heritage Craft Fair and Chilly Willy Tours; Catskill Mountain Foundation, Inc. was awarded $2,650 toward artist fees and related costs for year-round performing arts series, which includes dance, theater, classical music, pop music and family performances; free103point9 was awarded $1,200 for support of the online portion of WGXC (at the time of the application known as Greene/Columbia community radio station project); Greene Room Players was awarded $1,800 in support for 2010 community theater productions plus the Reel Teens film program; Horton by the Stream in Elka Park was awarded $1,000 toward artist fees for production of the 2010 season of free summer professional staged readings of plays, primarily by Horton Foote; Irish American Heritage Museum was awarded $500 for year two of the exhibit “The Irish in Battle” at the museum in East Durham; Music & Art Centre of Greene County was awarded $2,500 toward the 2010 season of summer concerts, Classical music series and Ukrainian folk arts workshops at the Grazhda in Jewett Center; Planet Arts was awarded $1,500 toward support for the 2010 Jazzone2one Series to be held at the Athens Cultural Center in Athens; Thomas Cole National Historic Site – Cedar Grove in Catskill was awarded $2,650 in support for the 2010 exhibition: “Remember the Ladies;” Windham Chamber Music Festival was awarded $2,500 in support of its 2010 concert series in Windham; Zadock Pratt Museum was awarded $2,000 in support for its 2010 season of programs and projects.

Stream management program funds awarded

Michael Ryan in the Windham Journal writes:

Thousands of dollars were handed out when the Schoharie Watershed Advisory Council awarded its second round of Stream Management Program funds, last week, during a meeting at the Windham Country Club. SWAC members awarded $77,627 to seven entities in Greene and Delaware counties for projects aimed at preserving water quality in the New York City reservoir system and increasing awareness of watershed related issues. All of the funds are provided by the Department of Environmental Protection, which has set aside $2 million to be distributed over a 5-year period, with two years having passed on the contract, administered by the Greene County Soil and Water Conservation District. [Greene County] Funds were allocated in round two as follows:

—EDUCATION AND OUTREACH: The Mountaintop Arboretum in Tannersville, $6,810, with a $750 In-kind contribution to create landscape design plans for a Wooded Walk outdoor classroom, accommodating approximately 45 people. The natural amphitheater will offer year-round outdoor programming on ecological and natural history topics relating to the watershed such as wetland plants, insect and wildlife along riparian areas, birding, stream health and leaf pack workshops to learn about geology.

—EDUCATION AND OUTREACH: Greene County Cornell Cooperative Extension, $1,884 with a $498 In-kind contribution to set up a rain barrel workshop that will be held at the Sugar Maples Arts Center in Maplecrest. The hands-on workshop will take place during Schoharie Watershed Week, May 17-23, 2010, providing materials and instruction for approximately ten families, teaching them to construct a rain barrel for home use. While the rain barrels will be fun to build, they will also be functional. The workshop will also introduce participants to methods of stormwater control, non-point pollution prevention and conservation of water resources in a residential setting.

—EDUCATION AND OUTREACH: the SWAC Education and Outreach Committee, $5,100 with an In-kind contribution of $4,125 to conduct a series of events, activities and workshops for people of all ages during Schoharie Watershed Week, taking place throughout the region. On tap will be a watershed-related film series (at the Hunter Theater in the town of Hunter), fly-fishing demonstrations, downspout disconnect programs, an Adopt-A-Stream clean up, a watershed scavenger hunt and kayak and canoe demonstrations.

—RECREATION/HABITAT IMPROVEMENTS: the Town of Windham, $15,000 with an In-kind contribution of $6,536 (and a potential to raise more in community contributions) to be used toward the creation of a multi-use, non-motorized trail on the Batavia Kill. The 1.1 mile loop trail will be built on a 68-acre parcel owned by the town at the former Police Anchor Camp, along Route 23, on the eastern outskirts of the hamlet district, allowing for improved access to the popular fishing stream. Bridge and boardwalk materials are needed to cross over a wetland and a tributary. A trail committee of local residents and business owners is planning the Windham Path with assistance from the Greene County Soil and Water Conservation District.

–PLANNING & ASSESSMENT: the Town of Hunter, $35,000 with an In-kind contribution of $5,000 to conduct a detailed review of current land use regulations with an intent to adopt revisions and write new regulations and/or guidelines promoting low impact design, climate smart and smart growth principles. In the absence of zoning, the town is seeking to investigate, and adopt as appropriate, innovative land use practices which will be an incentive to achieve desirable future growth related to private housing, development and commercial enterprises.

–PLANNING & ASSESSMENT: the towns of Ashland, Jewett, Lexington and Windham and the villages of Hunter and Tannersville, $12,000 with an In-kind contribution of $21,500 from the Catskill Watershed Corporation to hold “Mountaintop-wide Better Site Design Plan Workshops.” The workshops will guide each community through a comparison of the local codes against model development principles using a consensus building approach. Model principles will then be compiled into a General Guide for Mountaintop Communities, facilitating specific recommendations for each community.

SWAC has thus far awarded a total of $518,957.50 in the first two rounds of programming, leaving $1.481,042.50 for future projects. The application deadline for round three is August 2, 2010, with approvals formally taking place on October 27, 2010. Projects awarded funding in round one included improving stream access along the Schoharie Creek in the town of Prattsville by constructing a parking area and installing floodplain drains under Vista Ridge Road in the Town of Jewett, reducing backwater conditions causing channel aggradation. Stormwater retrofits were approved at the Mountaintop Library in the village of Tannersville and Town of Hunter, reducing the quantity of, and improving the conveyance of, stormwater runoff, vastly improving water quality.

Election results

The Register-Star reports that Carol Weaver will become the Mayor of the Village of Kinderhook, with 77 votes to trustee Richard Phillips, an incumbent, with 69 votes, and newcomer Brian Murphy with 75 votes. In Coxsackie, The Daily Mail reports that Republican Village Trustee John Oliver received 368 votes, Republican Trustee Dianne Ringwald received 356 votes, Democrat Darryl Proper received 289 votes, and Democrat Tony D’Arcangelis got 269 votes. The Daily Mail story implies but does not implicitly say that Oliver and Ringwald will take the two seats available. The Daily Mail also reports that in an uncontested Athens vote, incumbent Democrat Trustee Herman Reinhold received 92 votes and Democrat Gail Lasher received 103 votes. The Daily Mail reports that in Tannersville, incumbent Democratic Trustee Linda Kline got 31 votes, two of which were absentees, out of the total possible of 44 for another two year term and Democrat Leigh J.V. McGunnigle, who drew 25 votes, including two absentees. There were also 16 write-in votes in the uncontested election, with outgoing Trustee Mary Sue Timpson drawing six of them, and Tannersville resident Scott Myers getting five. In Hunter, incumbent Trustee Alan Higgins, who ran on the Hunter Pride Party, took all 33 votes, The Daily Mail reported.

Judging the race

Seeing Greene’s Dick May handicaps the race to fill the seat of Greene County Court Judge Daniel K. Lalor, who retires on December 31. In November, voters will choose a replacement, and it will not be District Attorney Terry Wilhelm who says he is not running. May reports Republicans Ted Hilscher of New Baltimore, a historian and part-time teacher at Columbia-Greene Community College and a former Assistant District Attorney and a Catskill-based attorney; Peter Margolius, Catskill Town Justice and attorney; and Charles (“Chip”) Tailleur of Coxsackie, the Assistant District Attorney will all be running. No Democrats have announced yet, but May speculates that Greg Lubow of Tannersville, an attorney and former Chief Public Defender of Greene County; Edward Kaplan, a Hunter-based attorney; Lee Allen Palmateer, attorney and Athens Town Supervisor; and Alex Betke, a partner in an Albany law firm, Coxsackie Town Supervisor, and Catskill Village attorney may all run.