GlaxoSmithKline announced this evening that it would shift its toothpaste manufacturing from New Jersey to Greene County preventing the shutdown of its plant in Oak Hill. The British pharmaceutical giant had planned to shutter the Oak Hill plant by 2012, following its $3.6 billion acquisition last year of Stiefel Laboratories, which made skin products there. Glaxo will still shift skin-product manufacturing to a plant in Canada, as originally planned. But it will invest $56 million to remake the Oak Hill factory to manufacture Aquafresh, the company and Greene County officials said. The move will not save every Glaxo job in Greene County. After the transition, the Oak Hill plant will employ about 200 workers, down from the more than 260 who work there now. And some of the jobs will be taken by workers transferring from the plant in Clifton, N.J., which will close in 2012. “It’s going to be a mix and match of current employees and new employees,” said Alexander “Sandy” Mathes, the executive director of the Greene County Industrial Development Agency, which worked to save the plant. Glaxo’s decision to close the plant stunned Greene County officials, who have depended on the factory as a stable source of employment in the mostly rural area. Officials described Thursdays announcement as a victory resulting from a long effort by several local and state agencies including Empire State Development, the Division of Housing and Community Renewal and others to keep the factory open. In part, they did that by targeting the factory for nearly $7 million in grants designed to boost energy efficiency and modernize the plant. Also, the Greene County IDA will freeze property taxes at the site and exempt Glaxo from some sales taxes. The Oak Hill plant consists of 250,000 square feet of manufacturing and laboratory space along Route 145.
At their annual awards ceremony in Nashville last year, the International Bluegrass Music Association named the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival as the Bluegrass Event of the Year. Not just in New York State. Not just in the U.S. But in the world! And it’s right here in our own backyard…. The fest returns to the Walsh Farm in Oak Hill [in Greene County] again this year from Thursday-Sunday, July 15-18, and once again Grey Fox has put together an amazing line-up of talent, including the Del McCoury Band, Sam Bush, Kathy Mattea and David Grisman, as well as Nippertown local favorites like John Kirk & Trish Miller and the Gibson Brothers. The folks at Grey Fox promise that they’ll be adding many more musicians to the festival schedule soon, but in the meantime, here’s how the schedule lines up so far:
THURSDAY, JULY 15
The Dry Branch Fire Squad; Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver; Greensky Bluegrass; Donna the Buffalo; Crooked Still; The Josh Williams Band; The HillBenders; Buddy Merriam & Back Roads; John Kirk & Trish Miller
FRIDAY, JULY 16
The Dry Branch Fire Squad; The Del McCoury Band; The David Grisman Bluegrass Experience; Railroad Earth; The Greencards; Donna the Buffalo; Crooked Still; The Wilders; Sarah Jarosz; The Josh Williams Band; The HillBenders; John Kirk & Trish Miller
SATURDAY, JULY 17
The Dry Branch Fire Squad; Sam Bush; Tim O’Brien; Kathy Mattea; The Gibson Brothers; The Greencards; The Wilders; Sarah Jarosz; John Kirk & Trish Miller
SUNDAY, JULY 18
The Dry Branch Fire Squad
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.