Last week, after an interesting round of idea sharing by community members and town board members, the town board of the Town of Woodstock rescinded its resolution of January 25, 2011 stating that “Shall the Town of Woodstock transfer up to $50,000 from the Building Capital Reserve type fund to the Community Center Capital Project. We would like to say thank you to those who worked so very hard to help convince our elected officials to be open to reconsidering this resolution. Thanks also to the Woodstock voters who signed the petition calling for a referendum on this resolution. Your efforts helped alert the town board members that they must take into careful consideration the needs and wishes of local taxpayers.
During part of last week’s discUSsion, councilwoman Magarelli shared that it has been recommended that a structural engineer make a formal assessment of the Woodstock Community center. We and others look forward to hearing what this assessment will say about this tired old structure.
In the meantime, we would like to reemphasize that many of us urge the Woodstock Town board to give strong consideration to committing time, energy and funds to the needs of all our town employees. Think first of those who work at the police, court and dispatch and those who work at the Comeau offices. These are the areas of building improvements that we see as a priority.
Janine Fallon Mower
DICTIONARIES OFFER A CLUE
noun — a committee composed of some members of a larger body and reporting to it. Subcommittees are a way to formally draw together people of relevant expertise from different parts of an organization who otherwise would not have a good way to share information and coordinate actions. They may have the advantage of widening viewpoints and sharing out responsibilities. They can also be empaneled with experts to recommend actions by the committee of the whole in matters that require specialized knowledge or technical judgment.
END OF THE NOSE
I am privileged and very happy to serve on the Woodstock Town Board. At times, it can be wearing. At our January 25 get together, a fifteen minute meeting saw two issues pushed through without the opportunity for any discussion. I’ve already written about one; the ‘stewardship plan’ for the Comeau. The other was a resolution to spend $50,000 for plans for Community Center renovation and new construction, subject to Permissive Referendum. Within a day or two, a petition drive was launched to ‘compel’ the Referendum, which is a public vote. I was opposed to spending that money now, before the Town Hall was renovated. I carried petitions, along with others. I also wrote a resolution to the Board, seeking to rescind that resolution before a referendum. A referendum costs about $13,000. Our Supervisor, Jeff Moran refused to allow it to be presented. He wanted to debate with me the points I made in my rescinding resolution, prior to the meeting. I told him “not now,” intending to discuss it in public. That’s what’s meant by transparency. He wrote to me “one council member employing tendentious arguments in an attempt to rescind a resolution that four others voted to pass is not democratic.” Jeff didn’t care to respond to my email asking why my resolution was not on the agenda. When I asked in person, he replied it was because I wouldn’t engage with him privately.
At the meeting on February 8 there was much discussion on the $50,000 resolution. Cathy Magarelli complained that a Referendum would cost a lot of money, and that she should get the $50,000 to pursue her Community Center project. By the way, I fully support renovation of that building, but not yet, other than needed repairs that are known. I pointed out that two months ago, the figure presented for a plan was $17,000. In any event, an experienced and professional former supervisor, Jeremy Wilber, came in, and in no time cleared the air so that the Board was able to vote unanimously to rescind the $50,000 resolution, and we will craft a new one in March for $17,000.
Jeff’s controlling style is not new. Three years ago, he gave us the first warning when he would not let Chris Collins make a motion. When asked why, his response was “why should I?’ His refusal to permit my rescinding resolution could have cost us $13,000. This is not how the Chief Financial Officer should protect town funds. Of course, we all of us have egos; we wouldn’t be there otherwise, but we must be able to know the difference between the end of our nose and what is good and appropriate for Woodstock. An understanding of what is democratic couldn’t hurt either.
OPEN LETTER TO THE DEC
My parents used to own a house in Silver Hollow in Chichester in the 60’s. I have seen Phoenicia under water more than once in my life time, actually more than twice. For a town not to be able to fix a problem that will only get worse, will rot the historic buildings on Route 212 there, cause businesses not to be able to get insurance, is more than reprehensible, its criminal. Your whole reason for existing is to protect. I used to play in the Stony Clove Creek as a child for hours, making pollywog homes, moving rocks, so I know how much actual disruption has to occur before the environment would be affected. You should let Phoenicia protect itself from flooding. This stream moves so fast that silt would be back down to the bottom in no time. The spring flooding makes the entire Esopus brown in any event, dragging the topsoils from outside the banks into the bed. Letting Phoenicia remove the gravel that they are requesting is less of an impact to Mr. and Mrs. Trout than having all the loose dirt in town end up in the Esopus. The DEC is supposed to protect the environment for the people, not hurt the people. I thought you guys were engineers.
Is not being in imminent danger an opinion? A perspective? Therefore reconsider yours please!
Lake Lanier, Georgia
Remember, you can fool some of the people some of the time, but eventually the majority of them will realize what you are doing.
TOWN HALL PRIORITY
I expect the editor is as tired of receiving my letters about the town hall renovation as I am tired of writing them, but after last week, I’m more optimistic. The town board appears ready to make town hall renovation their top priority.
Saturday, February 5, Councilman Bill McKenna revealed a lightly modified version of the 2008 plan for town hall which offers a reasonable approach. The bonds were approved in 2007 and the existing plans need to be updated before going out to bid, and if Bill receives support of the full town board, construction could begin within months.
Before last week, renovation of the community center appeared to be the top priority. A public outcry from the town board’s unscheduled, 15 minute meeting and the possibility of a pubic debate seems to have had some effect on their thinking. More than enough signatures were collected on petitions to compel a voter referendum. But I was astonished to read a statement by Councilwoman Cathy Magarelli in last week’s Woodstock Times that the board was prepared to spend $50,000 to prevent the referendum.
Consider the implications. All the town board’s discussions and decisions were made behind closed doors. Then they pass the necessary resolutions at a 15 minute, special meeting without explanation nor allowing questions. Then enough signatures are collected to force a public debate and voter referendum, they’re ready to spend $50,000 to thwart that effort. Arrogance and hubris seem inadequate to describe these actions.
Thanks to Jeremy Wilber, Bill McKenna and Jay Wenk for turning the focus of the town board back to the town hall renovation. But we’ve been here before. We all need to remind the town board that their priority is the town hall renovation, and they need to focus on getting that work done.
THERE IS A PLAN
The Woodstock Town Board has been working to remedy many issues this community has been faced with for decades. This board started just a year ago with many options to improve the town’s facilities.
The main viewpoints were, put it all at the top of the Comeau, use the Lower Comeau, use the Mountain View Parking Lot or renovate the present facilities.
The Town Board has come to a consensus, concerning the future of this town.
Within one year, a simple nanosecond in governmental time, we as a board have come together in an attempt to move forward and finally accomplish what other boards have only discussed.
We as a board have agreed that the Town Hall should be renovated first. We have spent a great deal of time developing plans that should fall within the financial limits of the 2007 referendum.
As Brian’s editorial so aptly put it “Renovating the Town Hall to deal with space problems of court, dispatch and police has always stood as the clearest ‘art of the possible’ solution. We recognize this solution and are acting on it.
Secondly, we are in a situation where our Community Center is aging rapidly. The energy audit alone reveals that a minimum of $80,000 is needed to correct our energy issues.
It is wasteful to put large band aids into a facility that needs an addition and repair.
The initial $17,000 needed for the architectural design, model and floor plans will enable us as a community to start fundraising. (A fundraising committee is being set up to start the process. If you are interested please contact Jackie Earley at the town offices, or me, Cathy Magarelli at 679-2713.)
It is likely that between getting volunteers, donors and permits this project could take several years before we start construction. It will not interfere with the Town Hall project. That will be done first.
This board has a vision and a plan. This board knows how to take that vision, move forward and make it happen. Our plan is frugal, well thought out and realistic. I regret this was not clear to the community at large, and I am attempting to clear this up now.
The Town Hall Renovation project is moving forward. Finally a safe and sufficient space for our police, courts and dispatch will be available.
The Community Center Project, long overdue for a building in disrepair is being started.
Our addition and renovation will provide room for the senior programs, space for the children in the summer recreation program during inclement weather, separate space for performance groups with bathroom and storage facilities etc., a newer kitchen equipped with warming boxes and a larger TV studio.
And, finally, I have not forgotten the workers at the Upper Comeau, as Brian so eloquently said, “toiling in extremely substandard if somewhat lovely conditions.”
I have been there when mice patrol, smells of questionable animals pervade offices, and the temperature is somewhat frigid.
My final thought is, let’s keep this discussion going, but recognize our efforts thus far and our ability to achieve what we promised. We have a lot to do, as frugally as possible. Help us get started. Support our new resolution for the Community Center, which will be on the agenda in March, volunteer and donate to the Community Center Project.
I am keeping my word. I plan to move forward with the concerns of the people in this community.
Cathy Magarelli, Councilperson
EGYPTIANS, PALESTINIANS DESERVE JUSTICE
Egyptians in the streets of Cairo are depicted by our media as freedom loving heroes fighting for democracy and self determination. The Egyptian demonstrators want to rid themselves of the oppressive and brutal Mubarak regime (Egypt is the second largest recipient of U.S. aid). Next door to Egypt we have the Palestinian people fighting to free themselves from 40 years of Israeli oppression, military occupation, and brutal collective punishment (Israel happens to be the largest recipient of U.S. aid). It is interesting to note that the U.S. government and the U.S. media portray the Egyptians as courageous fighters seeking their human rights, but the Palestinians in the West Bank or Gaza who take to the streets demanding human rights from Israel are condemned as troublemakers and terrorists. Both Egypt and Israel are guilty of egregious human rights violations and neither should be bankrolled with U.S. taxpayer dollars. Both the Egyptians in the streets and the Palestinians in the occupied territories deserve not only their human rights, but justice.
OUR COMMUNITY ACTIVISM AT SEA
Log: February 13: I’m really privileged to be in transit aboard the ship ‘Arctic Sunrise’ with her full term crew. It was my Greenpeace network director that extended the invitation to me a couple of days ago and I seized it — who wouldn’t? — for four nights on board this legendary activist ship.
Being a Woodstocker (now for 24 years) I’m in awe of any super-culture in action, well, this ship has a ‘Mer like’ family that shines as a model community. For months on end they are sailing together, living together, eating, recreating and coursing the ship in the optimal direction together. I see that all Greenpeace members, volunteers, activists and organizers envision a transformed civilization that cares for the environment, and I think that we’d all agree that this work is steering toward the possible and sustainable future.
I’m thinking...so, what is a citizens participation worth for the future of the environment in Ulster county and the world? The book that I carried on board with me asks this question repeatedly and while thinking about the quiet Catskill Mountains from the noisy ships hold bunk-bed, I get the connection; global pollution is everyone’s problem. Amazingly, this ship has been to both poles many times, interrupted many corporate injustices, sailed up the Amazon and continues to penetrate the ‘dead zones of environmental awareness’ and now it’s time for the Coal Free Future campaign.
Feeling the rolling sway of this wizened ship en route to Boston, I smell the engine fuel and the spices from the galley kitchen and I admit that I feel out of my depth regarding my participating in this wayfaring campaign, and then I remember...I’m together with others. I’m with four other working guests that also have their apprehensions like me: is this safe, what about sleep or even internet connection? All that stuff dissolves if I get present to the big picture...it’s for the planet.
A Citizen chooses to participate...sweeps the galley floor, coils the ships lines and communicates the possibility of a Coal free Future. I choose to participate. I know that we can learn to love our planet’s soul and contribute to restoring climate stability through humanity’s re-sensitization.
DAY SCHOOL BUILDING BUDGET STABLE
Thanks for your article on the Woodstock Day School’s Bridge Building.
I would like to correct one aspect of the article with regard to the project budget. I believe the author misunderstood Jim Handlin’s statement regarding increasing costs during construction. The design of the building and its construction components have remained quite consistent since the start of the project. The building budget is quite stable with costs staying well within the 5 percent contingency that was anticipated as the budget was refined prior to construction. What has increased is the scope of the donation for equipment and furnishings as the building nears completion. The Board of Trustees and the School Community remain grateful to the donor for the increasing depth of the donation that has made the new building and the curriculum it will accommodate possible, as well as Greg Meola/Olive Builders for their efforts to keep the project ‘on time’ and ‘on budget.’
We look forward to welcoming the local community to the range of events that the Bridge Building will allow Woodstock Day School to offer in the coming years.
Barry Price, AIA
WDS Board of Trustees
WHAT HE REMEMBERS
How convenient. Warren Boroson doesn’t remember accusing me, by name, of believing in blood libel, and he only remembers that I am an out-and-out bigot. Well, more to the point, check out his blog “obiterdicta” of February 26, 2010 entitled “Neo-Nazis in Woodstock.” He wouldn’t write anything like that, would he? It’s against his principles. Goodbye, Warren!
Palm Coast, Florida
AN OPTIMISTIC LOOK AT THE END OF THE WORLD
The sun’s coming up
There’s a flower in the dawn
It blooms for the purest of heart
Although they don’t know it
They can show us the way
They’ve held the key from the start
The music that’s playing
Can make the blind see
It’s the sweetest thing you’ve ever heard
From the day you were born
You’ve been humming the tune
Now you remember the words
21st of December
Can’t you see there’s a flower in the dawn?
Out past the horizon
The sky is aglow
It’s the ones who’ve been gone for so long
Adrift in the darkness
For how long, we don’t know
Today they have finally come home
Come look out the window
There’s a flower in the dawn
Man is no longer alone
ON GOLDEN HILL
Approaching 70, I‘m a lot closer to needing geriatric care than most of you who will be reading this letter. That being said, I am vehemently opposed to Ulster County continuing to own and/or operate the Golden Hill Nursing facility for the following reasons.
Increased property taxes. The operating costs for Golden Hill will continue to outpace its revenues, which will leave homeowners to make up the difference. County Executive Hein’s numbers people; Art Smith and Marshal Beckman, are projecting double digit property tax increases if the county opts to retain ownership.
The water and sewage system within the building are in serious disrepair, which in turn compromises the safety of the residents. Only a government run institution could get away with allowing its facility to deteriorate to this degree.
Either the county will have to do a complete renovation or build a whole new facility. After what happened with the jail, having the county take on another major construction project is alarming.
The emphasis for geriatric care is being redirected from nursing homes to home based services. This allows the elderly to remain in their own homes.
Paradoxically, because property taxes are used to make up for budgetary shortfalls, the elderly homeowners on retirement incomes will be called upon to subsidize the operating costs of Golden Hill. If the county decides to keep its nursing home, it is going to be a hell of a lot harder for the elderly, on fixed incomes, to keep theirs.
Thomas P. Kadgen
If ‘God’, can you imagine, were not just black but female, and not just black and female, but Polish...where would that leave a waspish, male, white ‘God’? At Barnes & Noble, perhaps, or in bed with Martha Steward, I’d say.
However, if ‘God’ were the Black Madonna, the patron saint of the Polish Solidarity movement, then, Egypt would not have needed its recent revolution, nor would Ras T. be
playing so seldom in public in this white-toast enclave of pure blandishments; furthermore, by now, the White House would have been painted another color, preferably pitch-black, with red polka-dots (don’t forget former statesman Ignace Paderewski), tender is the night, real Red Indians would be pounding tom-toms on our city streets.
Frederick Douglass would kiss me good-night every morning. My cherished black-listed status amongst the papier-mache intelligentsia and plaster of Paris literati would soar like a fluid bronze vapor above the heads of all Rodin’s famous statues, Balzac and Hugo especially; but would be, primarily, haloed above the still thoughtful head of that notorious ‘Thinker’ who, before getting in bed with his beautiful lover, Gaia herself, takes one last backward look at the impossibly self-knotted gates of hell.
REAL AND POIGNANT AS IT GETS
As a fan and a friend of Bar Scott’s, I had known that she was working on a book for some time now about her son Forrest, taken by cancer at four and a half years old. I know what an excellent writer and performer Bar is and anyone who has ever seen Bar perform, or listened to her recordings, understands what I am talking about here. I had no idea of what to expect from Bar as the author of her first book — would she live up to her high standards of songwriting and performing ? The Present Giver is simply gorgeous. Bar Scott establishes herself as a first-rate author. As a songwriter and performer Bar is in a class by herself and her performances are experience that touch the deepest part of our hearts and souls. The Present Giver is as poignant and real as it gets. The book is simply outstanding and Bar makes you feel like you are right there with her during this heartrending memoir of her love affair with her son Forrest. Once I started reading the book I simply could not put it down and found the Bar’s writing expressive, descriptive and to the point. Not a word of filler here, every word rings with truth and is authentic. Bar asks the questions that all of us are afraid to ask and through her heartbreaking journey, as dark as it gets at times, Bar writes about hope and perseverance. I strongly suggest this book to anybody that is human, or has lost their way because of a tragedy in their life that they have experienced. And if you have been fortunate enough to have not been touched by one of life’s misfortunes, read this book anyway because it is a good read and a book that can give all of us faith and hope in the darkness of the world. One of the best memoirs that I have ever read! A love story of the highest order that will make you laugh, cry and wonder about the courage and perseverance that Bar Scott has and if we could muster up that same courage in a time of need. So Bar, you did it! You wrote a memoir as powerful as any song or performance that you have done.
I only wish that this journey was not as painful as it had been for you, yet you have immortalized Forrest!
MODEL OF EFFICIENCY
Zig Ziglar said “Efficiency is doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right thing.” Woodstock is fortunate to have Jackie Earley as our Town Clerk and I’m very glad to see that she has decided to offer her service to our town for another term. Our Town Clerk’s Office is a model of both efficiency and effectiveness and it is all to the thanks Jackie and her terrific team.
Although RUPCO has done good work in providing various services to people in affordable housing, RUPCO’s model of new affordable housing, the model for Woodstock Commons, is the retail equivalent of Costco — a “big box store.” Woodstock Commons financing can come from anywhere at all, residents from anywhere in the state, materials and contractors from probably not quite as far, but certainly not from the Town of Woodstock.
When towns decide to refurbish existing housing stock, using local labor and materials, and local investors, and house locals in need of housing in the refurbished structures, everybody works together, and everybody wins.
This is a simplified version of the case for local economic self-reliance. Here in Woodstock, there are many industries that could be more localized than they are now, thus benefiting all Woodstockers.
Two examples of efforts to promote a local economy right here: The Woodstock Farm Festival promotes local farmers; The “Experience Woodstock” program, among other things, seeks to keep residents spending locally.
This Saturday, February 19, The Woodstock Land Conservancy will present a day of education, featuring a successful and innovative local farmer (but not local to New York.) This farmer, Joel Salatin, champions a smaller, human-scale, more intelligent farm, and therefore a more intelligent use of land.
If you are interested, but not interested to the tune of all day long Saturday, then try this: Saturday evening, four restaurants (Red Onion, The Garden Café, New World Home Cooking, and Violette,) will offer prix fixe menus featuring locally sourced main ingredients (read the menu offerings at http://thetroublewithrupco.blogspot.com). Please eat at one of these restaurants: enjoy a locally sourced meal, keeping your diet and your dollars local; and keeping your mind on the fact that we, as local consumers, have the power to choose where our food is grown.
What’s the most intelligent way to house people in Woodstock? The latest Woodstock Affordable Housing Committee did invite RUPCO to apply to build, but it also recommended zoning changes to afford accessory apartments, and it recommended integrating affordable housing into the community by refurbishing existing housing stock. In this housing market, the time is ripe for this last route.
At the center of both the questions of where we choose to get our food (from local farms, or imported from afar,) and where we house our people (among us, or in an expensive designer ghetto) is this: what do we want to do with our land? If I owned a sizeable empty parcel of land in town, I would put the land into conservation easement, specifically for use as a community garden for local residents of all incomes. In this, the land of the free, we are indeed free to steward our land.
FrackAction-Catskills held its third meeting last Sunday. Over 25 people came eager protect the water and air of our communities and to stop the practice of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas from being permitted in New York State! The room was filled with much energy and enthusiasm and ideas ranging from letters to petitions to direct action and education and reaching out to our neighbors. It’s a great start.
On Tuesday, March 1 at 7 p.m. FrackAction-Catskills will be showing the Academy Award nominated documentary Gasland in the new and beautiful community room of our fabulous newly renovated library in Saugerties.
Gasland is an incredible film filled with information and personal stories of those who have been impacted by natural gas drilling. It has sparked concern and action throughout the country and has gained the attention of both press and legislatures. The gas industry has attacked the film and has asked the Academy of Arts and Sciences to make it ineligible to an Oscar!
The threat of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas — “fracking” — to the air and water of our beautiful Catskill region is real and imminent. Although a moratorium on “fracking” was passed in the State Legislature and then an executive order was signed by then Gov. Patterson, these are but temporary measures. It is vital that the public be made aware of the dangers and that our voices are heard.
At the screening of Gasland will be Nadia Steinzor, the Marcellus Shale Regional Organizer of Earthworks, to answer questions. Also we will have information, announcements of actions being planned, time and place of meetings and other ways for you to get involved. Please come, tell your friends and neighbors.
For more information please call 246-3449.
WALK AND SKATE
Love to be out in the winter sun, but not on a road? Creaky knees or fragile hips? Cannot maneuver the vagaries of cross country skis or snow shoes? Walk the Comeau trails! Within 24 hours after each snowstorm, the trail is packed down by feet to a nice flat 18 inch wide walk. Get a walking stick, put some cleats on your shoes, and you can walk happily in the most beautiful winter wonderland in the whole northeast. Another tip: If you miss ice skating because it is dangerous for older hips, fugedabowdit.
Buy some hockey player’s pants at a sporting goods store or online. ‘Boys’ size fits me. They have over two inches of hard styrofoam padding everywhere! (You will still need knee protectors unless you always fall backwards). I fall on the ice and don’t even know I fell! The kids will point and laugh at you, but only until you skate circles around them.
Both of these tips are in memory of and gratitude for Mescal’s Messages.
Joan Walker Wasylyk
SHARING A MEAL
The Woodstock Democratic Committee’s Pasta Dinner was an enormous success.
It was evident, to those who attended, that the community’s spirit was present at this event. So many of you came and remained to just sit and enjoy your neighbors. What a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
I wish to thank everyone who participated in this event. To the many shoppers, prep cooks, servers, cleaners and suppliers of food, thank you for all the time and effort you put into this event. To the 125 plus Woodstockers who attended, we thank you for your support. To those who sent contributions, we appreciate your donations.
It was wonderful to see County Candidate Jonathan Sennett stop by and show his support of our efforts. This was a true community happening.
Fran Breitkopf, Treasurer
Woodstock Democratic Committee
SHADY CHURCH SAYS THANKS
A quote from William James offers “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” We are so pleased that again, our neighbors and our local businesses joined together to make a difference.
On Saturday, February 12, the United Methodist Church of Shady held a Penny Social at the Lake Hill Firehouse for the sole benefit of St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital for Cancer Research. Thanks to the support of our neighbors, the event was a terrific success and a significant donation was made to St. Jude’s.
We are especially grateful for the generosity of Adams Fairacre Market, Advance Auto Store, Bearsville Garage, Chez Gran Mere, Hannaford Market, H. Houst & Sons, Kingston Lighting, Jarita’s Florist, Lynch Auto, Nest Egg, Price Chopper, Rondout Savings Bank, Roudigan’s Restaurant, Steve’s Pizza, Stewart’s Shops, Stock Excavating, Sunfrost Market, Sunshine Market, Ulster Savings Bank, West Hurley Garage, Woodstock Hardware, Woodstock Meats and Woodstock Wine & Liquors for their donations in support of this cause.
Gail Dougherty, Assistant Secretary
United Methodist Church of Shady
While reading a letter in this paper, a couple weeks ago, I was sure that the “Church Lady” from SNL had moved to Woodstock. The style and content, i.e. “The Nice People vs. Those With No Souls” were so similar to the “Church Lady,” I thought “Isn’t that special?” But I was surprised to see that the author has a vote and influence on the Woodstock Environmental Commission. Wouldn’t it be special if we get more advice regarding “the pics” for the next election? You know, who we should vote for depending on if they have souls or not?
Many friends of Performing Arts of Woodstock (PAW) are concerned about our future. We have been working quietly trying to make sure that PAW can continue to produce entertaining, quality plays at the Woodstock Town Hall. We just found out on Monday, February 14, that we will be allowed to start rehearsals and technical work in March at the Town Hall for our next show, Some Lives (three one-acts by David Ives), the second production of our 47th Season. We still need official approval from the Woodstock Town Board to be there for our third production of this season, set to open June 3, 2011.
The question remains, where will PAW be next season? As you may have read in last week’s paper, plans are now pretty firm to turn the entire Town Hall into space for dispatch, the police department, and the Justice Court. While the main room of the Town Hall will remain essentially empty, it will be used once a week for Justice Court sessions. Members of the Town Board would like PAW to move to the Woodstock Community Center. At this point, the Woodstock Community Center is in no way ready to accommodate a major theatrical production. The building lacks sufficient electrical power, it has very poor acoustics, the stage is very low and its size is insufficient. There are no stage wings or backstage, no storage spaces, no backstage bathroom or make-up room for the actors. The main problem is that too many activities take place there to permit a set to remain up for several weekends of rehearsals and performances.
PAW has been presenting plays at the Town Hall for over 40 years, and we want to continue to do so. We, and our friends and audiences, think of it as our home. There is ample room to accommodate enough chairs for the audience at any Justice Court session when a stage is in place. We routinely set up chairs for 75 to 80 people for our shows. When the Town Hall renovation is complete, and later when the Woodstock Community Center is rebuilt (which could take several years), we will explore the possibility of moving there.
We are touched and pleased that so many of you care about our work and our future. We will keep you informed of further developments as soon as we can.
Founder and President of PAW