In the early evening, few weeks ago, I had an automobile accident on route 375. Several people stopped to help, stayed with me, and immediately called for rescue. We are blessed to live in such a caring community. I am so grateful to Woodstock paramedics who quickly stabilized me and then took me to Kingston Hospital. I was especially surprised to see two faces that I recognized as they had helped me many times in their stores in town. It is easy to take community for granted; but when something like this happens, it becomes very real.
Thanks for your help, your skills and for the way you gave to me at a very scary moment.
BEEP BEEP BEEP CRASH
At the June 17 Planning Board meeting, the planners debated whether they should ask RUPCO to ask the State DOT to improve the sight line at the intersection of Plochmann Lane and Route 212 (for safety), and re-stripe the intersection of Routes 375 and 212 (to decrease the long wait time at that stop sign at the end of Rte 375). Planning Specialist Dara Trahan told the Planners about a town board meeting "last year" at which the NYS Department of Transportation made a presentation to the town board. The presentation to which she referred was March 18, 2008, and the only intersection discussed in terms of improving anything was the sight line at Playhouse Lane and Route 212.
Specialist Trahan completely misled the planning board by telling them that "When the state actually approached the town, at one of its town meetings, last year, the town said no, we don't want these specific problems fixed, we want you to do a whole corridor study." Specialist Trahan is mistaken in that these two intersections were never even referenced during the 2008 town board meeting.
This falsity of Specialist Trahan's information is important since Paul Henderson, who was the swing vote on this issue, reasoned that it should not be up to RUPCO to notify the State, at this time, to deal with something that the town "had their chance" to fix but chose not to.
Henderson's decision to give RUPCO a break is entirely misguided, and a direct product of Specialist Trahan's factually wrong and misguiding statement. Had she presented the truth instead of false information to sway the board's vote, perhaps the planning board would have asked RUPCO to ask the State DOT to contend with these traffic and safety concerns, as a condition of building Woodstock Commons, which all admit will exacerbate both problems.
By the way, Specialist Trahan is generally regarded as being in favor of Woodstock Commons. In addition, she has been overheard announcing that Woodstock could use several traffic lights to deal with all the traffic in town. Did you know that Woodstock Commons will increase the hamlet's population by 18%...and that means about 18% more cars as well.
To whom is Specialist Trahan accountable for wrongly swaying the planners to vote contrary to the direction they probably would have voted absent her erroneous facts?
WAR SHOULD BE LAST RESORT
The firing of General Stanley McChrystal as the head of the Afghanistan war command, is of much less importance than that the waging of the 9-year war itself has cost an enormous amount of blood and treasure.
There has been no real debate about the decision to go to war, to expand troop levels, to send drones to bomb Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen, as well as Afghanistan, as part of the war strategy. Blame for these tragedies is shared by the peace movement in America which has been mostly quiet and accepting.
There will always be egos, power-plays, questions about authority, personalities and politics, human beings being fallible. That is why going to war should be so much a last resort, when all else has failed. The government, Pentagon, our corporations and the media hide behind these secondary issues, such as the firing of a general, in order to accomplish their dubious goals.
THANKS TO EVERYONE AT SUNFLOWER
Woodstock is a wonderful place...especially when it comes to giving.
Last Saturday at the Sunflower was a perfect example of this. Ann King, Sangi Van Den Nouweland, Cecelia Malliot, Mary Anne Wrolson, Jana Reed, and Lisa Calcagno spent the day collecting donations of food and money for the Good Neighbor Food Pantry. And, of course, everyone was very generous.
Sangi gave reiki and reflexology sessions in return for donations of money and/or food. Tarot readings were offered as well. A special "thank you" is offered to all the generous people who donated money and/or food and also to all the employees at Sunflower who cheerfully did everything they could to make the volunteers feel welcome.
Every cent that was collected will be used to purchase food for the Good Neighbor Food Pantry. All food donated will be distributed at the pantry also. All donations to the Good Neighbor Food Pantry go directly to the people.
If you were unable to participate in this food raiser and would like to make a donation, you may send a check made out to the Good Neighbor Food Pantry, c/o Woodstock Reformed Church, 16 Tinker Street, Woodstock, NY 12498.
If you would like to donate food, you may drop it off at any time to 31 Tannery Brook, Woodstock.
FOR FUTURE REFERENCE
One of the most amazing things about our library is its free reference service. Last week I went to Jessica Kerr, the reference librarian, to ask if she could help me find names and contact information for a number of specialty magazines. "Sure," she said with a smile, "I will start on it today." That afternoon, just before closing time she sent me a short list and asked if that was what I was looking for, and, if so, said that she would be glad to find some more.
The next day I told her that she was right on track and on Tuesday (the Library is closed on Sunday and Monday) I received a very full list. She even included notes about their likely relevance for me and leads for further contacts.
I am writing to thank Jessica publicly for her help, and to publicize this special service our library provides. This was not a favor for a library trustee - this is how they operate day in and day out for everyone.
Trustee, Woodstock Public Library District
KEEP THE PLAYHOUSE ALIVE
I want to thank the Woodstock Times for the coverage it gave Star Mountainville Group's production of Only Kidding! at the Byrdcliffe Theater. As I watched people line up to see legendary Dean Schambach and this outstanding cast perform this weekend for a packed house, I started once again thinking about the plight of the Woodstock Playhouse. The reports of its foreclosure, inability to get the electricity turned on and the community's pain thinking about that historical spot withering on the vine leads me to make this proposal. I want to bring Only Kidding! to the Playhouse to possibly keep the Playhouse alive and help eliminate its debts. If anyone has seen the show (or will see it) and can join us in this effort, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. There are only two theaters in Woodstock - we must preserve them.
Glenn Laszlo Weiss, Producer/Director
Star Mountainville Group
THE FATE OF GOLDEN HILL As the Ulster County Legislature ponders the cost of Golden Hill Healthcare Center and the fate of the facility, I hope it will also consider the cost of closing or privatizing it.
Closing Golden Hill would cost the residents their homes. It would cost over 300 jobs of the employees working there plus all the support jobs that are created by the facility and the employees working there. A study I recently read stated for every 100 people a facility employs they support 50 private sector jobs; the employees at the facility frequent the local restaurants, bakeries, gas station, grocery stores, florists, and other businesses. They buy cars and homes in the area. The people who visit the residents of the facility also support local businesses. The facility itself hires local vendors for many things. The last thing we need in this economy is more lost jobs. Without jobs these people may not be able to pay their land and school and land taxes. We already have more than enough delinquent properties on the tax roll.
Privatizing Golden Hill would also cause its own problems. A private facility takes people who can afford to pay. They hire less people, pay them less and give them fewer benefits. A private facility is in "the nursing home business" for the profit. With lower paying jobs, how many of the employees will qualify for food stamps, HEAP, Medicaid and other social services? How much will this cost the taxpayers?
I agree that Ellenville needs a long-term care center, but it should not come at the cost of Golden Hill.
Since there is a moratorium on new nursing home beds in New York, some people are anxious to close Golden Hill and get those beds. What we need to concentrate on is lifting this moratorium. The baby boomers are getting older; in the near future we are going to need more nursing homes.
Please keep Golden Hill Facility open as a county run facility.
Beware of Halliburton and the gas mining technology called fracking. It causes water pollution, to the point where water can be lit on fire. There is a vote going on right now whether to have a moratorium on fracking, in New York, by the state senate. Please contact your Representatives and friends and tell them that the Englebright/Addabbo bill calling for a fracking moratorium must be in place, while the federal EPA finishes a current study into the environmental effects of fracking. Find more info at frackaction.com.
WELCOME TO FRIENDLY FARM
According to the Native Americans, animals are our relations and therefore have a spirit as well as rights and feelings. According to the Dalai Lama we should learn to practice compassion towards all beings.
Although I have been a vegetarian most of my life, it is not the eating of meat that I think is the problem; it is the way the animals are treated in the meat industry.
Betty Boop, was one of the many pit-bulls kept in dog shelters. She ran away from her home, and nobody ever came to search for her. At the slightest family argument she darts toward the door, because there was probably a lot of violence in the household she resided at, or she may have been abused.
Three animals that I have rescued from the meat industry were going to become somebody's dinner; they are Capricorn, a beautiful, clever and humorous Alpine goat and two wonderful lambs named Navajo and Hopi. By chance one of the lambs arrived with a horrid case of diarrhea, and soon after I noticed my precious goat Blessing came down with the same sickness. I then took her to the vet, who then discovered she had Coccidious. When I found this out, I had to have all the animals, including the dogs treated for this. The meat producers apologized because they were going to be used as pets. But, the meat you are buying to put on your dinner table is the meat from these malnourished, sick, mistreated and filthy animals. If the people refused to stand for this, it would stop and there would be minimum requirements for the care and treatment of all animals. They would be clean, have enough food and water, space to exercise, and be healthy.
Riding down the road one day I saw a sign that said bunnies for sale. So I checked them out and found these poor rabbits in their own filth, with no food or water in their cages. So at Friendly Farm we now have two of these bunnies, where they most certainly always have clean cages, food and water. They are given fresh hay and vegetables daily, and are even let out of their cages every day to happily hop around and get daily exercise.
We also have one kitten, White Paws, that was rescued by my daughter. It was starving in the street, and very malnourished along with the mother. The mother was unfortunately not able to be rescued, but the kitten is very friendly and happy now.
I was searching for more chickens and my friend had come across something on the internet. Fifteen baby chicks were rescued from the breeder who keeps the chickens stuck in tiny cages, they have no room to walk around, and so they peck at each other. I pet every single chicken on this land, every day, and they even have a swing in the barn. In the afternoon they like to sit near my dog Betty Boop. She watches over them and lets them drink from her water bowl.
My other dog Unity, a Chihuahua, loves the rabbits and even washes their ears and cleans their fur. He takes naps with them when they are resting on my lap. He also likes the goats and the lambs and comes with me when I am feeding them their baby bottles. Since they were so deprived and half-starved by the meat industry I am bottle feeding them a little longer than usual to replace the mothers they were taken away from. Blessing, the goat that was nursed by her mother, a big furry Nubian goat, is so much more secure within herself than these other three animals, and is totally smart, beautiful, and incredible goat.
The purpose of this small farm is to rescue a few abused animals and heal them. It would educate students and everyone in another way to relate to our animal brothers and sisters. This farm exists as an example of what animals are like when they are treated as part of the family. Mitakaye Oyasin to all my relations.
If you would like to make a donation, we need hay, rabbit, goat and chicken food.
Shears to cut sheep's wool, along with collars and leashes. And also cages for the rabbits.
Morning Star Raindance
NO LONGER INDEPENDENT
Hugh Reynolds reports that Len Bernardo and the Independence Party have endorsed Maurice Hinchey. Well that is the end of the Independence Party as a serious alternative to the traditional political parties.
If Mr. Bernardo wishes to feed with pigs and celebrate the kind of rancid bacon which is brought to our community as bribes in order to distract from the policies and practices of one of the most corrupt and dysfunctional Congresses and administrations in our history, then he has sold out his former supporters and the citizens of our community.
How quickly the rise to power brings out the dismissal of courageous decisions to protect the rights of citizens. The unprecedented assault on individual liberty and opportunity, which has occurred under Mr. Hinchey's reign, calls for a new title of Mr. Bernardo's party. Perhaps he has already suggested the alternative as the "Party Porkers."
Dr. Paul Jankiewicz
My heart is bursting with joy as I type this, and I want to thank some incredible people as well as the entire Hudson Valley for really turning out for "All Love, All Woodstock," last weekend.
Our benefit concert and auction for Constance McMillen and the ACLU (and the Onteora Central School District's Gay Straight Alliance - we wanted to bring some of the money back home to the community who generously supported us) was a runaway hit! We ate, drank, danced and partied long past midnight and raised over $30,000 for this very meaningful cause! Now we're busy paying our bills and we can't wait to write some checks to these three very worthy recipients.
Of course, this labor of love could not have happened without the amazing support of so many people and I'd like to take a moment to publicly thank them for giving of themselves of so generously!
My core committee of Laurie Osmond, Robert Burke Warren, Ken Schneidman, Jason O'Malley, Martha Frankel, Cat Cooke, Barry Cherwin, Michael Lang and others worked tirelessly for this cause, spent hours online, on the phone and in person with me planning every last detail. Likewise, so many young people, led by Onteora students Liam Khan and Asia Hunt, poster'd, postcard'd and otherwise blanketed the area with event info, stuffed goodie bags, did plenty of grunt work and were simply outstanding in every possible way!
What can I say about Peter Cantine, who generously gave us the Bearsville Theater space (bumping a paid event!) and staffed our event with his team of wonderful professionals? He is a prince among men and I am eternally grateful to him. Biggest props to Mary Gormley, Tracy Lynch and their team at The Emerson who hosted so many of our VIP guests and took extra special care of them all! And we just bow at the feet of Arthur F. Mulligan Bus Company and its drivers, who stayed till the wee hours to transport our talent and VIP's.
Chris Anderson of Nevessa Production (our stage manager), Luc Moeys of Oriole 9 (our food coordinator), Glenn Meyers of Meyers Law firm and Jenna Spector of Susan Blond Public Relations also put in overtime hours, making sure our event was fine tuned and perfect in every way.
Desiree O'Clair gave "All Love, All Woodstock" its glamorous vibe, with her gorgeously outfitted "cigarette girls" who offered custom Lucky Chocolates, t-shirts, corsages and more as they vamped around the room in their vintage prom wear! Bravo!
We can't forget sponsors Joshua's World Cafe, Oriole 9, Bistro to Go, The Peekamoose, Cucina, New World Home Cooking, Wittenberg Store Catering, Sunfrost, So Many Roads Printing and Lucky Chocolates. Without them, we wouldn't have looked (or tasted) so good!
And who could forget Franco Vogt, the lovely Lucia Reale-Vogt and their "basement of love" prom picture set they designed? Go to our website, allloveallwoodstock.com, click on Gallery and check out our attendees and guests of honor acting out their most far-out prom fantasies for the camera.
Finally, dear friends Stefanie Schachter, Alison Gerson, Barbara Mansfield, Donna Parisi, Christina Himberger, Phil Mansfield, Siobhan Schneidman, Maryanne Asta, Maxanne Resnick, Daisy Kramer Bolle, Robin Kramer, Joe Perry, Lou Deering and Dennis O'Clair all worked overtime and always with a smile on their faces. We love them!
As for Constance, I'm delighted to tell you that she had a wonderful time, made lots of new friends and certainly felt the "Woodstock love vibe," which leads me to you, dear readers.
Thank you thank you thank you for your support in me and this project. I feel so happy and blessed to live here among you all and count you as neighbors and friends.
WALL STREET REFORM NEEDED
If you're as tired as I am about the financial shenanigans on Wall Street, ask our Congressmen and Senators to pass the Wall Street Reform bill. Financial reform will help create a more stable economy, get rid of many Wall Street loop holes and help improve the lives of everyday American families. Here are five reasons why this bill is so important:
1) Reform forces credit card and mortgage companies to play by the rules. No more hidden fees or pages of fine print.
2) Families who are hoping to buy a home or pay for college are put on a level playing field with lenders. Reform ensures they'll get the information they need presented clearly and concisely so they can make good decisions. The same goes for small businesses and community banks that play fair and deserve to see their businesses grow.
3) The legislation cracks down on predatory lenders looking to mislead people into taking on irresponsible debt.
4) Wall Street reform establishes an independent agency - the Consumer Financial Protection Agency - with one job: to protect consumers and enforce the new consumer financial protections, which would be the strongest ever enacted.
5) Finally, American taxpayers will never again be asked to bail out the big banks that are "too big to fail." Let's be absolutely clear about this, no matter what our opponents in Congress say.
With the June 28 death of Senator Robert Byrd (Democrat, West Virginia), the vote will be closer than ever. Add your voice to those who want financial reform on Wall Street and in the banking industry.
Thank you for your recent coverage of the art exhibit "Another Circle" at the Emerson Resort in Mount Tremper. However, I would not have classified it as a true "Salon de Refuse" as all of the 12 artists are well-represented in the greater world and they did a generous favor to 11 Cross Gallery by loaning their work at such short notice. For example, Heather Hutchison usually shows at Margaret Thatcher Gallery in NYC, Robert The exhibits at the Emily Harvey Foundation, Garry Nicholls is in the Saatchi Collection (who, by the way, did not do the painting in the photograph: that was Ric Dragon's work), Williamsburg painter Ben LaRocco is with Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, Claude Carone exhibited courtesy of John Davis in Hudson, Mark Kanter had just curated the show "North of New York" at the Kleinert, Fionn Reilly is represented by the noted photography dealer Diane Raimondo, Nadja Petrov was featured in June's Chronogram cover, Ric Dragon had a solo show at the ASK gallery in Kingston, Adrian Frost has shown at Matthew Flowers and Ian Laughlin at White Box both in Chelsea. It is exciting that the Emerson is allowing artists and galleries to present proposals to use their beautiful spaces to and the next scheduled show will be Elena Zang's artists in mid-July. I encourage all artists, curators, gallerists and art-lovers to visit the Emerson and consider creating a proposal for an exhibition. The 2000 square feet are an amazing cultural resource and the Resort is to be commended for opening their spaces to the community.
Jen Dragon, Director, 11 Cross Gallery
JOINT LOVE FEST We wish to offer our gratitude to all that showed up to sing and dance with love in their hearts and created a magical evening full of joy and devotion with Chant artists David Newman and Mira at Mountain View Studios in Woodstock. The ball got rolling when local Jivamukti Yoga teacher Julie Kirkpatrick planted the seed that it would be great to have them come to Woodstock. The event was co-presented by Euphoria Yoga and Namaste Yoga of Woodstock as a gesture to attempt to create a harmonious and unified Yoga community in this area. Linda Winnick of Shakti Yoga was there and was kind to promote the event at her studio as well. Barbara Boris of Woodstock Yoga also let her students know about the event and would have loved to be there as well if she did not have a prior commitment. Mirabi, Dharmaware and Pondicherry all were kindly willing to sell tickets to the Kirtan Concert at no charge to support this event which was greatly appreciated. Laura and Adam Weiss generously accommodated David Newman and Mira at their beautiful Pike Lane Bed and Breakfast privately located in the center of Woodstock. Special thanks to Woodstock Lumber for helping create a wonderful stage for the event and to the many volunteers that baked delicious goodies and provided Chai and assistance in various ways, as well as to Woodstock Times for featuring the event in the paper. This was truly a beautiful joint community effort to spread peace and love!
Corinne Gervai, Nita Steketee and Marty Klein
TRAHAN'S IMPORTANT ROLE
Supervisor Moran's charge that the Planning Technician Dara Trahan's role in the Planning process was too extensive is just nonsense (Man with a Plan, June 24). As a former member of the Planning Board I can say, while at times she may come across as somewhat bureaucratic, her input was absolutely essential to the planning process. I find it strange that the Supervisor or his sidekick councilperson Rosenblum in their tenure on the Planning Board never voiced the complaint that Ms. Trahan's role was too extensive. Her understanding and grasp of the zoning law and land use regulations no doubt saved that duo much work and thought in coming to their decisions while on the Planning Board. As for the Supervisor's plan to put the Planning Technician under purview of the Building Inspector, it is backwards. Perhaps Ms. Trahan should be running the building department. The current building inspector seems to be over his head in understanding the Wetlands and Watercourse Law and wants to repeal it for that reason.
Why would this administration complain about her input? For the same reason they don't want Planning Board oversight of their projects. They want to push through their projects with as little public scrutiny and restraints as possible. Ms. Trahan takes her work seriously and has no compunction in pointing out flaws and inconsistencies, even on town projects.
In the same article Supervisor Moran claims that that he is not for widespread development. He wants to keep "Woodstock small and beautiful." That of course is a re-work of his campaign plank to extend the sewer to Bearsville and rezone part a residential neighborhood to neighborhood commercial (NC) after he lost in the Democratic primary. I often wondered how such development would fill the empty stores in the hamlet. As for Councilman McKenna wanting to "build, build, build," why not? After all he is a builder. I just think he should be aware of possible conflict of interests when casting his vote on various issues.