Thanks to Ralph Goneau, the Woodstock Democratic Committee has been sponsoring yard sales for months. He has outdone even himself this time. As a way of saying “thanks” to all you wonderful voters who made it to the polls this year, Ralph is bringing his yard sale to the Community Center where everything will be $1...or less. There are gifts, ornaments, home decorations, books, jewelry, etc.
There is going to be a special small appliance sale where microwaves, toaster ovens, TV’s, etc., will be offered at the lowest possible price.
So, please bring your friends, and your shopping list and come out to the sale of the season. At these prices, you can’t go wrong.
See you there!
WFAS IN WOODSTOCK STYLE
So many beautiful, loving, heartfelt letters have recently been written by such obviously good people regarding The Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary.
Every time we read one, it renews our faith in the true basic goodness of people and reminds us that there are still many good souls out there.
We could reiterate many of those sentiments written by those nice folks as well as easily add to them. However we simply want to say that we are new residents of Willow. In the last year we searched all over the Woodstock area for our home. Many things were factored into our decision on what home to finally purchase. The decision was finally and easily made when we knew we could reside within walking distance to such an amazing place as WFAS. A place that stands for and represents so much love, compassion and good spirit for some of the most exploited and abused creatures of our earth.
Another thing that drew us to the area is the peaceful nature of the people of Woodstock. Unlike the New York City and suburban areas, there is a “live and let live” attitude of mutual respect that encourages everyone to express themselves with respect for the community.
WFAS does just that. They are peaceful, and quietly deliver their message and do their work. We’ve walked by the farm many times and it would be hard to even know that this is any more than a private family’s farm. There are no billboards, rallies, large signs, overcrowding, etc. They deliver their message and follow their mission quietly and peacefully in Woodstock style.
It is complaints about places like this that will one day result in cookie cutter town homes everywhere and not a living creature in sight.
Bobby Sabella, Laura Evans
WOODSTOCK TO THE RESCUE
I don’t like everything about Woodstock. After all, 1968 wasn’t really all that great, and besides, it was a long time ago. But the people in this town showed their true, golden colors last Saturday.
Six moths ago, we rescued a beautiful, black four-year-old dog and named her Callie. Callie was terrified of everything, especially people. She’d flinch if we walked too near, try to escape if we raised our voices, run from her food bowl after each bite. We’ve been working hard to make her trust the world, and this courageous little being now takes walks with us, joyfully plays fetch, and gobbles her food just like any happy dog.
Early Saturday morning, Callie bolted. Something frightened her, and leash, harness, and Martingale collar couldn’t keep her with us. In 60 seconds, she had disappeared into the woods. We scoured the terrain and called her name, asked neighbors and friends to help. But we know this dog; once she’s frightened she cannot be comforted and she will not come to anyone. When it got too dark for us to search any more, we could only hope the night wasn’t too cold and she could find her way home.
Maybe you saw our signs. Along with her picture we wrote: If you see her, don’t try to catch her. Please call. And you did! Each time someone spotted her, we hurried out to the location. But she was always gone by then, no doubt hunkered down in some space that felt safe.
At 12:30 a.m. on Sunday morning the phone rang. Callie had been seen on the corner right by our house. Something made me look outside our bedroom window and there she was. Dazed and dirty, staring at the door as if thinking: Is this the place? Is it safe to go in? I slowly and quietly opened the door and stepped into the house so as not to frighten her. I called the familiar command: Callie, in the house! Then louder: Come on Calliegirl, in the house! Suddenly, something kicked into her frightened soul and she tore into the house, into the living room, and into our arms.
So thank you Woodstock, to the people who phoned when they spotted her, to the neighbor who went in his truck to search the mountaintop, to the friends who kept us on an even keel when we couldn’t see straight from fear. To shopkeepers who put signs front and center, and to strangers who wished us luck and kept an eye out.
Woodstock, I’ll never complain about you again.
DOING THE WORK
Hurrah for Robin Segal! Too bad she has had to do the work the Town Supervisor and The Town Board should have done.
SOCIAL SECURITY SWAN SONG
Social Security will be killed with three daggers: the cost of the U.S. wars in the Middle East (three trillion), the cost of the Wall Street bailouts (three trillion), and the cost of tax cuts for the very rich (four trillion).
The plot against the life of America’s most successful social program has been going on for decades. Clinton was ready to privatize Social Security, until his libido got in the way. Bush has stated that the one disappointment in his presidency was his inability to destroy the program. And now we are in the hands of that consummate appeaser of right wing, corporate interests, Barak Obama.
Obama has escalated the wars, completed the Wall Street bailouts, and continued the massive tax giveaways to the rich. Even more dangerous, he has plotted to blame Social Security for the enormous deficits that have resulted. His supposedly “bipartisan” deficit reduction commission ignored the real causes of this country’s financial woes to zero in on its intended victim, the crown jewel of FDR’s New Deal.
The most treacherous part Obama’s recent sellout to Republicans, a 30 percent reduction in payroll tax, will cut off Social Security’s funding, supposedly for only one year. But try to get that funding back. Without it, current workers will no longer be supporting retired workers and the whole system will collapse. Rather than being secure for at least the next 30 years, Social Security will be struck down.
And the last stab will be Obama’s. Et tu, Barak?
THE GREAT LOAN CLOSET GIVEAWAY
We’ve got more than we can store! The Woodstock Loan Closet, conveniently located behind the Rescue Center out on Route 212 in beautiful downtown Bearsville is stuffed to overflowing with wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, commodes, and bath chairs — more than we can loan out! So if you’d like to own your own, this is your opportunity! Here’s the list — and like any good giveaway, early call gets the best choice:
• 4 commodes
• 12 walkers
• 5 elevated commode seats
• 6 bath seats/benches
• 6 wheelchairs (with no foot rests)
• 6 pairs of crutches
• 1 blanket support
• 1 transfer board
Please call 679-8549 or 679-7676 to make your appointment.
Maybe it is my imagination; but President Obama seems to finally realize that this country is owned and ruled by the elite Banksters of Wall Street, and the bloated producers of military machines. War keeps the latter happy and wealthy and Wall Street insures that only the multi-wealthy stay and become even more powerful using the diminishing money of the workers. It’s easy to complain; but isn’t it in some way the fault of the middle class for allowing themselves to be flummoxed more and more in the past half century? “We” have been so soaked and bombarded in the so-called wisdom of capitalism that we look at the capitalists like gods, as they of course look on themselves. We are their expendable workers and fighters, slaves, and peons; and the elite are the Greedy Gods we are taught know best. Obama is only looking sad and perplexed, when wondering how he can do anything to correct our stupid lack of control of government. Think about how it really is, not how it should be, and once was; or at least heading in that way. Lincoln said we are of the people, by the people, and for the people, a very dangerous thing to say, and he was punished for it. The capitalist goal is almost completed: corporations rule government and the government rules the working and middle class (the latter of which is rapidly dissolving just the way it was planned). Poor Obama didn’t realize what he was getting into, and didn’t have the guts of FDR in the depression of the thirties. When told that the wealthy class was angry with his way of using “their” money to fight the depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt said he was “glad that they hate me.”
A STROKE OF LUCK
To me it was a stroke of luck that in my walks about Woodstock I was privileged to meet dear sweet Alice Jaffe. Her sweetness, charm and delight of so many things that one would take for granted — a radiant sky or the lilting song of a bird would brighten many of my days when my head was screwed on backwards.
Alice was gracious and a true lady. On one occasion because she enjoyed a tidbit she had at Oriole 9, she wrote a thank you letter to the restaurant.
Alice’s art reflected her radiant personality. She always did the 5x7 at the Woodstock Guild and entered her paintings at the Member Show at the Guild, too.
When Alice Jaffe died, a lovely light went out in Woodstock. I am just one person among many who miss and mourn the passing of Alice.
Cast off from the impact of birth
I howl and claw at this life I’ve been given
Tumble through darkness where the promises lie
Never see the damage I’ve done
And know not what direction I take
Cast off from the impact of birth
I worship the things of my own creation
Run through the darkness where the promises hide
Refuse to acknowledge the damage I’ve don
And care not what direction I take
Cast off from the impact of birth
I sag from the weight of the damage I’ve done
Sift through the darkness where promises fell
See what I can salvage and who I can blame
And mourn the direction I take
Cast off from the impact of birth
I lie in the shadows the promises cast
Write my name in the dust of the damage I’ve done
Quietly smile and just for my self
Curse the direction I take
Cast off from the impact of birth
U.S. BOAT TO GAZA CAMPAIGN
Despite the “easing” of the Israeli siege of Gaza after the attack on the Mavi Marmara last May, Gaza remains the world’s largest open-air prison. The collective punishment of 1.5 million human beings in Gaza is both profoundly immoral as well as illegal under international law. There is now a growing U.S. Boat to Gaza campaign; this is a coalition of individuals and organizations working to organize a U.S.-flagged ship, The Audacity of Hope. This ship is scheduled to set sail in late March in the next international flotilla to Gaza. Its mission is to focus world attention on the miserable living conditions the people of Gaza continue to endure; on the illegal Israeli siege and blockade of Gaza; and on U.S. complicity and funding, which makes all of this possible.
With your help and that of thousands of people across the country, the U.S. Boat to Gaza campaign has raised a substantial portion of the funds needed to purchase, refurbish, and prepare a boat to sail with the Freedom Flotilla II. We now feel confident that we will reach our goal, and, while we are still raising much-needed funds, we are also entering a new phase in the campaign. To this end, we invite individuals and organizations to be part of the team to support The Audacity of Hope before, during, and after it sails; to help keep the mission and its purpose in the public eye; and to form an emergency network team to respond with public actions in the event of another deadly attack on this next flotilla.
We hope you will want to be part of this humanitarian effort to break Israel’s illegal siege and blockade of Gaza. If you are interested, please visit our website, ustogaza.org, and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GOODBYE, ALICE, AND THANK YOU
Goodbye Alice, and thanks for so much. For the fun, and joy, and wisdom you carried with you and dispensed so freely and lovingly to all you encountered. For the beautiful handmade cards and little gifts. For the funny pictures and your funnier captions. For knowing just when to send your support, by hand or just by a glance across the room with a slightly conspiratorial smile. Thank you for so often throwing me off balance with kindness, then pretending it was nothing. Thanks for sharing your concerns, and introducing me to your joys. Thanks for your brilliant “12 Commandments: A Counter Proposal” perched above my desk and forever providing a template for living that is immeasurably more useful than its progenitor. But most of all, thank you for showing me, and sharing with me, a life of grace and beauty. I will never forget, and will forever delight, having lived, quite literally, in the shadow of greatness.
WOODSTOCK’S DEPUTY SUPERVISOR
Terri Rosenblum, Woodstock’s Deputy Supervisor, had 18 months to reach out to the community, establish a Comeau Stewardship Committee, and subsequently deliver an acceptable Stewardship Plan. Today, now over 12 months into the project, Rosenblum still has nothing of substance to show toward these goals.
In early August, I wrote in this paper “Councilwoman Terrie Rosenblum was given a job in November 2009. She has miserably failed in her mission with little progress and much arrogance.”
I further wrote in early August, “In preparation, the WLC (Woodstock’s Land Conservancy) must get ready for an inadequate Stewardship Plan delivered by incompetent minds. The evidence confirms that this Stewardship Plan will fail under Rosenblum’s lack of management skills and lack of experience on such projects.” Fundamental to success, Woodstock’s Stewardship Plan must include community participation. Instead of reaching out, Rosenblum shut out the community in defiance of the WLC’s recommendations.
My assessment of Rosenblum’s ineptitude and arrogance was correct in August and is correct today. Not only does Rosenblum lack the motivation and talent to get the Stewardship Plan done right, she intentionally refuses help from available skills within Woodstock’s community. Since silence is acceptance, it’s time for the public and the WLC to take a vigorous stance on yet another town blunder.
That is, similar incompetence by the town board can also be found in the controversial RUPCO project, the overdue town offices for police and judges, the expensive Geo Thermal System in the highway garage, the Cell Tower with limited Woodstock coverage, the neglected FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) “Appeal Process” and the unreasonable 2011 Woodstock tax hike during a deep economic recession.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
About 2 months ago, I sent an email to the Town Board concerning a conflict of interest with Brinnier and Larios. Brinnier and Larios did work for RUPCO (and I believe would continue to do work if needed) on the Woodstock Commons project. This is the same Brinnier and Larios that works for the town. As many of you know, water and sewer discussions have been a recent hot topic. Water and sewer is either directly or indirectly related to RUPCO’s Woodstock Commons and Dennis Larios has been consulted on these matters which is why I believe there is a conflict of interest
Besides, Peter Cross who works for Brinnier and Larios and who is also on the Planning Board had to be recused from any discussions or decisions on Woodstock Commons because he had a conflict of interest. Isn’t that the same thing?
When I first brought this up, 4 out of 5 members of the Town Board agreed with me.
However, in last week’s Woodstock Times it said that Dennis Larios had a meeting with a Woodstock official (I wonder who that was?) and the Town attorney (must have been Rod Futerfas) on RUPCO matters. Also, RUPCO’s lawyer Michael Moriello copied Denis Larios on his correspondence with the DEC.
It is clear there is a conflict of interest and the Town Board should do the only ethical thing…cease involving Brinnier and Larios any further on water and sewer.
FIRE SAFETY: REQUIRED OR RECOMMENDED
The Ten States Standards are standards for New York State’s water districts. The foreword defines the words “shall” and “must” as words used when safeguarding of the public health justifies such definite action. Terms such as “should,” “recommended” and “preferred,” on the other hand, indicate desirable procedures or methods.
Section 8.2.1 contains this: “The system shall be designed to maintain a minimum pressure of 20 psi (140 kPa) at ground level at all points in the distribution system under all conditions of flow.” Shall.
According to Fundamentals Of Fire Fighter Skills, a book by the International Association of Fire Chiefs, “20 psi is considered the minimum usable residual pressure, to reduce the risk of damage to underground water mains or pumps.” (Residual pressure is the pressure in the system when a fire is being fought.) I have read from other sources that if the pressure in the system is under 20 psi, including less than zero (suction,) as a study shows that it is in parts of Woodstock’s system under firefighting conditions, the pipes and pumps could collapse altogether. This would be a health and safety disaster, not to mention very expensive to repair.
The other day while channel surfing, there was Bill McKenna on channel 23, talking about fire safety and water pressure. He said that 20 psi is the minimum pressure for people to use their water comfortably, to do things like take a shower, during a fire. This is incorrect and misses entirely the safety requirement of 20 psi system-wide at all times.
McKenna also said that The Ten States Standards are just guidelines. He said that there are many options for fighting fires, such as calling up the Hurley Fire Department for help. It is true that some of the standards are recommendations, but those standards given in the interest of public health are not to be adjusted. They are to be followed exactly.
McKenna also said that I am trying to scare people, or am using a scare tactic, or something like that, I can’t remember his words exactly. In this case, yes, he is right. Bill McKenna, town board member and volunteer firefighter, is somebody you would think would have a clue. Yet, he is rewriting the definition of fire safety by suggesting such things as calling up the Hurley Fire Department instead of adhering to proven safety standards, and if you ask me, that is pretty scary.
FREE HOLIDAY PARTY HELP NEEDED
I want to thank the Woodstock’s storekeepers who, in spite of financially difficult times, pledged to support the all day Free Holiday Party on Christmas Day at the Community Center on Rocky City Road. Many have our posters prominently displayed. I will be coming around collecting your contributions between now and Christmas. Or you can drop them off at our collection site, Woofstock Pet Supply.
I want to thank the many people who have already donated unwrapped presents to be passed out during the day, as well as monetary contributions to be used for buying more food. In case you are considering donating something, gloves, sweaters, scarves, games and costume jewelry are always popular.
However, our most pressing need is for food. Last year we actually ran out before the party was supposed to be over. Whatever you would like to buy, cook, or donate is gratefully appreciated. We especially need cooked vegetable and vegetarian dishes. If you are bringing a dessert please contact Renee Englander at 679-7148.
If you, or anyone you know needs to have dinner brought to their home, please let us know. Please contact me, Toni Weidenbacher, at 679-7281 with any questions or comments.
Hope to see you Christmas Day.
YOUTH ORGANIZED CONCERT IS A SUCCESS
Last Friday night’s first snow of December did not deter the youngsters of Woodstock from participating in Star Nigro’s second attempt at bringing young teenagers and families together in behalf of the Woodstock Youth and Family Council. All ages were welcome. At four o’clock, two sisters, seven and nine, helped blow up balloons and decorate the center. They made faces and wrote peace and love signs on the balloons with council members. I asked the nine year old what she liked best at the Vaudeville Spectacular. She said “decorating the place.” The seven year old responded with, “when no one was there.” At one point there were more adults than teenagers. By nine o’clock there were over 30 young adults. Eric Glass, the former director of the Youth Center and chairperson of the council, enjoyed watching the Indie movies projected on the wall. Some of the comments, pertaining to the event were, “It was cute…It was good…It was fun. The homemade cookies and the Synaps Factory, DJ Leland, Steal City bands were great.” The event was broadcast on channel 23. Look for two upcoming events in January, on the seventh and fourteenth there will be one talented magician. This is an opportunity for young people to organize their own events with Star. Thank you again Star. Please visit facebook.com/YoungWoodstock.
Mary Lou Paturel