drumStrong — Drumming to Beat Cancer — an international event, will take place in Woodstock for the second consecutive year, at Mountainview Studio, off of Rock City Road, on Saturday, May 21 from 2 p.m.-4:15 pm. We will be joining over 50 cities in 12 countries via web-cast to simultaneously drum and raise funds. We gather in rhythm to beat cancer! It’s the beat of community, the beat of hope. Music truly is universally engaging all ages, wages and stages of health. You don’t have to be a drummer to attend. Just someone who cares.
The rhythms will be continuous for two hours and 15 minutes, and you can join in and stay for any length of time. Please come and support this amazing event. We will supply rhythm instruments and no prior experience is necessary. We are requesting a $25 donation, however everyone is welcome at any level. We will be sending the money we raise to Breast Cancer Options, a local organization — www.breastcanceroptions.org.
Last year’s event was a total blast and this one promises to be even better so plan on attending for all or any part of the afternoon. See you there.
Why is it that law abiding people are the only ones who suffer the consequences if they, unintentionally or unknowingly, violate rules and regulations?
Regarding the Town Board meeting of May 10th: When individuals resort to name calling, derogatory, insulting commentary in general and specific personal attacks aimed at one or more than one of the elected officials, nothing of any value can be accomplished. Out and out mud-slinging rather than addressing each specific issue on an agenda, results in nothing but lost time for all. The elected officials, other attendees interested in solutions and decisions and those who, for whatever reason, cannot attend these open, public meetings and are therefore viewing the proceedings from their homes, are being denied the privilege of witnessing any progress in local governing and are being subjected to behavior that would most assuredly result in “time out” punishment in every nursery school, pre-K and kindergarten environment.
The Apostle Paul said, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” I suggest that those who choose open meetings as a forum for venting their selfish and negative feelings and opinions give very serious thought and consideration to behaving and speaking like civilized adults. Our societal mores demand nothing less than civility.
Mary Phillips Burke
BRING TROOPS HOME NOW
Now that Osama bin Laden has been terminated with extreme prejudice, President Obama has established his position as Commander in Chief. Now — withdraw all U.S. troops and support staff from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya and Pakistan and use the hundreds of billions of dollars for domestic programs such as creating jobs, getting the building trades back in business and preserving domestic programs such Medicare, Medicaid, aid to education and all the other needs of our people — and do it now.
H. Clark Bell
REQUEST FOR BLESSINGS
I joined the line to see Amma, at the Bearsville Theatre. Amma is an incarnation of the Divine Mother, from Gudur, India. Soon a woman in a white outfit came up to me, handing me an index card with the letter “F” on it. “Please write your request for blessings on the other side,” she explained.
Requests for blessings? No one had ever given me this assignment before. What exactly would I like to bless? I found myself thinking of the sign: BLESS THIS MESS.
Clearly all my inspirations come from comical slogans in souvenir shops. (Such stores also sell the more conventional: BLESS THIS HOME, I recalled -- which is also nice.)
How would the Divine Mother react if I handed her a card saying: “Bless the New York Yankees”?
Actually, I really do want to bless the Yankees. I’m not sure I’m asking for them to win, but those guys clearly need blessing. They have so much money, no one ever thinks to bless them.
Maybe I will just leave the card blank, I thought. Who can decide what to bless?
Later I was in the auditorium, waiting for Amma. I closed my eyes to meditate. Suddenly the phrase, “Bless all skill” came in my mind. But does that mean anything? Or do I just love the sounds of the words?
Four hours later, I was finally close to seeing the Divine Mother. I looked at the blank card, and wrote my Sanskrit name — Garuda — and: “Bless all skill.”
I walked up to the guru, then stood obediently before her as she massaged my head. We were both silent for a time. Then she spoke, with a small smile. “That’s great,” Amma said to me. “That’s a great desire.”
MAD SCIENTISTS OR MAD POLITICIANS
Over the last century or two there have been a number of science fiction books and short stories about people who sought to destroy the planet Earth — mostly they are mad scientists with lusts for power or revenge. But of course it’s all fiction — right? Well, the mad scientist part is certainly fiction, and of course the world hasn’t been destroyed yet.
But if we take a distinctly non-fiction approach, and consider the warnings of nearly all scientists, the world is in the process of being destroyed. This is not due to its old age — there are many billions of years to go before our faithful Sun begins to dim — but to the increasing destruction of the natural environment and to the swiftly-increasing ravages of global warming.
If the danger confronting Mother Earth and its inhabitants isn’t from mad scientists, where does it come from? If comes principally from the inaction of those who govern the societies that burn the most fossil fuels. Over the last 200 or so years, the period during which the use of such fuels has been taking place, the main culprit has been our country. And yet, the United States — which insists upon being recognized as the world leader — happens to be the major polluting country that has been doing the least to counteract global warming.
Here’s what Noam Chomsky, our country’s leading progressive social critic, had to say about the matter in a recent speech: The destruction of our environment “is close to an institutional imperative. Business leaders who are conducting propaganda campaigns to convince the population that anthropogenic global warming is a liberal hoax understand full well how grave is the threat, but they must maximize short-term profit and market share. If they don’t, someone else will.
“This vicious cycle could well turn out to be lethal. To see how grave the danger is, simply have a look at the new Congress in the U.S., propelled into power by business funding and propaganda. Almost all are climate deniers. They have already begun to cut funding for measures that might mitigate environmental catastrophe. Worse, some are true believers; for example, the new head of a subcommittee on the environment who explained that global warming cannot be a problem because God promised Noah that there will not be another flood.
“If such things were happening in some small and remote country, we might laugh. Not when they are happening in the richest and most powerful country in the world.”
When the formal political apparatus in our society is dysfunctional on a matter of such supreme importance, what we do ‹ sit on our hands? Hardly. We already have a growing environmental movement. On many campuses it’s the main movement. There are small pro-environmental/anti-climate change groups all over the country. There are many larger groups such as 350.org and others, and there is a lively media devoted to the environment.
The only way we are going to get the United States really moving and moving fast to halt climate change and environmental destruction is to double, triple, quadruple the size of our movements and engage in whatever action is necessary on the local and national level to obligate our government to take action. Mad scientists we can brush aside. Mad politicians and bureaucrats must be forced to act.
Jack A. Smith
WOODSTOCK NEEDS A RODEO CLOWN
It seems to me that a good town supervisor should be more like a rodeo clown than a matador.
The matador seeks the spotlight to show off his sequins and epaulets and while intoxicated by the power of the position, he torments the beast.
The clown Patrols the edge of the ring, keeping an eye on everything, keeping everyone in good spirits, and helping out where ever he can. Staying out of the spotlight until one of his people has been thrown into the dirt and is about to get gored, then armed only with some funny clothes, he rushes into the ring and distracts the beast. It’s the lack of appreciation for the quality of people who work for this town, and make this town work that has caused me to run for town supervisor. And now for my first campaign poem:
This one horse town
Needs a rodeo clown
If you like what I wrote
Please give me your vote
WOODSTOCK NEEDS MORE MATURE CANDIDATES
I am concerned to hear that Jeremy Wilber is running for town supervisor again. Having watched him closely during his last term, Wilber has serious aggressive tendencies, as also noted in Jay Cohen’s letter to the editor, reminding us that Wilber said he wanted to “throttle” Liz Simonson. I watched him verbally threaten people in several town board meetings. This is no joke, can’t Woodstock come up with more mature candidates?
SUPPORT PHOENICIA LIBRARY
Many thanks to all who have been so supportive in our efforts to re-establish the Phoenicia Library. We hope to see you at our Phoenix Rising Benefit Concert this Saturday, May 21, from 3 p.m.-8 p.m, at the comfortable Harry Simon Auditorium at the Onteora High School in Boiceville. Some of the area’s most talented musicians will be performing, including Uncle Rock & the Playthings at 3 p.m.; Amy Helm, Larry Campbell, Theresa Williams, & Byron Isaacs at 4 p.m.; Kelleigh McKenzie at 5 p.m.; Uncle Monk (featuring Tommy Ramone) at 6 p.m.; and opera singers Maria Todaro, Louis Otay, and Kerry Henderson at 7 p.m. We’ll have a silent auction including fabulous signed books and CDs; jewelry and other unique items; Mountain Jam weekend passes courtesy of WDST; and gift certificates from some of the area’s top inns and restaurants. Tickets are $20 in advance (at the Phoenicia Library) and $25 at the door; children under 6 are free. Please come out and support the Phoenicia Library!
Phoenicia Library Board
SUCCESSFUL FOOD DELIVERY
The weather gods smiled at the food pantry volunteers on May 10 when the food was convoyed over from Kingston to the Woodstock Reformed Church. Volunteers included Mike Lourenso, Lisa Calcagno, Catherine Hazard, Ed Gilligan, Jim Hanson, Jeff Muise, Paul Shultis, Al Abrams, Catherine O’Neill, Bobbie Blitzer, Phil Sullivan, Kerry Baldwin, John Russell, Lisa Restaino-Bode, and others.
It was “smooth sailing” all the way to include loading the food in Kingston, and unloading the food and putting it away in the pantry in Woodstock. We offer a sincere “thank you” to everyone who joined in the effort.
Then, on Saturday afternoon, Judy Fox and Lisa Restaino-Bode worked in Kingston at the Postal Service Food Drive.
So now there is a pretty good supply of food in the pantry to serve the 1000 or so people who will visit it this month.
The next scheduled shipment is Tuesday, June 14. Please mark your calendar for that date if you want to participate. The entire delivery operation is usually finished by 11 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. There is always room for one more volunteer.
In addition, if you need good quality boxes for any reason, please drop by the Woodstock Reformed Church on the 14th and choose all the ones that you need. The food delivery always generates a large number of quality cardboard boxes in all sizes.
OPERA’S GLORY PERIOD
This is a reminder that the second lecture/demonstration (in a series of three) on opera, “Opera, The Ultimate Art,” by Daniel Abrams will take place at the Woodstock Jewish Congregation on May 26 at 7 p.m. This session will be devoted to the nineteenth century — opera’s glory period.
RETURN THE RABBITS
Having rabbits on a farm is like growing a vegetable garden. They are beautiful but they are useless. Chicks – eggs. Goats – milk and cheese. Sheep – wool. Rabbits just hop around, eat their salads, and dig in the ground. But they are the most precious and wonderful creatures. What would Planet Earth be like with flowers and rabbits?
It is springtime; however, my precious rabbits are still in metal cages away from home and nature.
The SPCA is charging me in court with animal cruelty, a person who loves animals and is always kind to them, on Peace on Earth farm.
At the farm we need plywood and roofing material, also help with carpentry and yard work. There are two sheep, Navajo and Hopi, who would have been killed by the meaty industry, but they are living happily as my pets on Peace on Earth farm. Help is needed sheering the sheep.
I am very grateful for the help of my fantastic lawyer, Russell Schindler.
FOOD PANTRY DONATIONS NEEDED
I have been helping stock shelves at the Good Neighbor Food Pantry. Some of the shelves are seriously low, some empty. Needed are canned and/or dried soups, sardines, spices, shampoo and razors. We don’t need onions. In fact if you need onions stop by the Woodstock Reformed Church on Wednesday or Thursday to pick some up.
Woodstock’s Good Neighbor Food Pantry is located on the first floor of the church (enter through the door by the Tannery Brook). Hours are Wednesdays 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Thursdays 9 a.m. to noon.
Donations can be dropped off any time at 31 Tannery Brook in Woodstock and on Thursday mornings at the Woodstock Reformed Church. Cash donations are always welcome.
I have been a merchant in Woodstock for the last 16 years. I briefly moved my shop for two years only to return back to 69 Tinker Street. Right after moving back, a store diagonally across from me began to copy my merchandise item by item plastering the outside of their building with the stock...The owners have recently added a second store doing the same practice. What has happened to the integrity of Woodstock merchants and shop owners who used to respect each other’s uniqueness? Also, why doesn’t the township of Woodstock have a code to protect shop keepers from such practices as other towns do? One Love.
On Monday evening, about 30 people gathered in the Community Center to hear hydrogeologist Paul Rubin speak about Woodstock’s water supply. Do we have enough water for future development? Maybe, but only well tests will tell us for sure. Is all the water that is down there available now? No. Why not? The wells are in disrepair and there are leaks that we can’t find. Consequently, the wells do not fetch as much water as we need for the RUPCO project, given the past several water restrictions and advisories. In addition, RUPCO never analyzed demand from the Playhouse and the rumored 40-room hotel next to the Playhouse.
What went wrong? First of all, former Water/Sewer Superintendent Kevin Hunter wrote a letter indicating that water district “design capacity” was 300,000 gallons per day. RUPCO altered the phrase, replacing it with “safe yield.” A safe yield is not the same as design capacity, and some are encouraging a “real” lawsuit, (as opposed to an Article 78) against RUPCO for material misrepresentation (fraud). I suppose that if the town were to go along with RUPCO’s altered language, the town could find itself co-defending that position.
The Town Board is also to blame for lack of analysis. Moran tried to dodge accountability by pointing out that the Planning Board is lead agency for the RUPCO project. The lead agency coordinates, it does not do all the analysis. Furthermore, the Town Board, in addition to being an interested party in general, is the legal fiduciary of the water district. What that means is that the “governor” of the water district is the town board. The Town Board failed even to look at the water issue.
Now, there is some question as to whether the Town Board was supposed to look at the water issue before or after the Planning Board approved the project, however it is clear that the Town Board was responsible.
I would like to thank Jay Wenk for his conscientious participation and attention to the RUPCO project’s problems. I would also like to thank Cathy Magarelli, who has been 100 percent supportive of my opposition to this project, albeit a lot more quietly, perhaps to avoid being perceived as “negative.”
I would also like to say that negativity is not the same as dissent. Dissent is noisy, constant, grating, and annoying to those who enjoy the illusion of conflict-free public affairs, and to those who shirk their legal responsibility to uphold the law. For example, when a town requires unnecessarily that citizens FOIL for every piece of paper, the town is obligated to respond to every single FOIL request. Nobody on the Town Board answers without nagging from the excellent town clerk, except Jay Wenk. I have been practicing pure dissent during “public be heard” because commentary is too lengthy for a two-minute period, and because there are too many egregious errors committed by our town board to sit back and ponder them in a more relaxed tone. Besides, Woody Allen pointed out that merging Dissent and Commentary produces Dysentery.
SOMETHING I WOULD CREATE
I would add a Town Board Meeting during the summer months for our growing number of second homeowners to be able to meet their Town Board members. This will give them an opportunity to ask questions about Woodstock and how things work as well as learning about our town government.
Doing this is common in some other states, and I believe it will work well here. In Maine they have been doing this successfully for many years.
Remember the days when the “Welcome Wagon” would bring a basket to the homes of new Woodstockers to welcome them into the community? Maybe there are volunteers out there who would like to help to reinstate it. It is not only a welcoming gesture, but it also allows our Woodstock entrepreneurs to introduce their stores and home businesses to our newcomers as well.
More to come.
Terrie Rosenblum, Candidate for Woodstock Supervisor
LIVING IS EASY
…with eyes closed; misunderstanding all we see. I me mine, I me mine.
Gimme, Gimme — Give Me A Break!
What is Woodstock? A town? A philosophy? A way of life? A kewl place to say you live? It is a state of mind! A state where kind, gentle people wear flowers in their hair, share most everything. They live their lives in such a fashion; that every person, plant and animal — that has contact with that Woodstocker — is better off then they were before. So: any faux ‘stockers out there: I implore you: be nice, disappear, or just quietly fade away. Having been some days in preparation, a splendid time is guaranteed for all! Think good thoughts.
THE GOLDEN RULE
Considering the very harsh criticisms of the current Obama Administration by that GOP, the Republican Party still can’t come up with a single convincing and viable Presidential candidate within the entire USA to compete against him.
Similarly on a local level, Woodstock’s Republican Party also can’t produce a single Republican candidate for Town Supervisor. Not only are Wilber and Rosenblum both Democrats, neither of them represents fundamental Republican ideals. According to the Republican Platform, under “Preserving Our Values”, there exists “a set of ideals that speak to the highest aspirations of humanity.” The Golden Rule, “to treat others as you want to be treated,” is the moral fiber behind such ideals and civility.
Yet, The Mad Hatter has not yet learned that his verbal abuse aimed at his fellow neighbors will come back to get him in equal quantities. As I noted last week in this paper, his documented words threatening a dedicated servant of the town with images of strangulation and suffocation will not be brushed aside as a poor choice of words. He will be held accountable for such threats within the political arena. Hopefully this will motivate Woodstock’s Republican Party to take notice and nominate one of their many skilled Republicans for Supervisor. If they continue to routinely endorse and support Democrats, then Woodstock’s Republicans may as well switch parties enabling them to participate in the Democratic primaries, as already successfully demonstrated by the honorable Councilman Bill McKenna, one of their own.
CLARIFICATION OF CANDIDACY
One of the things that happens when you enter politics as an amateur is that you make amateurish mistakes. When I read George Pattison’s article on the race for Town Supervisor and the Town Board and got to the part about me seeking nominations from the Green party and the Working Democrats party, I could practically see the beady red eyes of some of our residents narrowing to slits and feel their nostrils flaring and their pens springing to action saying that I was planning to run against the Democratic party’s nominee if I didn’t get the nomination. The quote was accurate, my thinking wasn’t, so let me clear that up and take the opportunity to put a few of my views on the table.
I have already asked for the Working Family party’s endorsement. I will seek the Green party’s endorsement. I will run on those party’s lines if and only if I am the nominee of the Democratic party. I asked for the Working Family party’s endorsement because I was told that if I didn’t ask for it now, I couldn’t get it and I could withdraw if I wanted to. I trust that’s enough said. Also, I will not accept the nomination of any party that favors war as a life style, discriminates against people who want to marry someone of their gender, opposes individual liberty by prying into people’s sex lives or medical decisions, favors the murder penalty, or believes that the freedom to make money justifies putting people’s lives and well being at risk.
I believe that all’s fair in love and war and that a nomination for a Town Board seat is neither, so there are rules. All of us have our own rules and one of mine is that I do not lie, so I will not lie to anyone to get the nomination, win the election, or please you if I am elected.
Finally, I pledge to you that I will never have a Facebook page.
GET YOUR PETITIONS HERE
Any Democrats seeking to run for local public office in the upcoming 2011 election may contact me for help with the process including help with obtaining proper petitions that are necessary for seeking the Democratic nomination. Contact me, Gordon Wemp at 679-6655 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
District 8 Representative
Woodstock Democratic Committee
REPLACING VS. RESURFACING
While some observers acted as though they’d hit a trifecta, my own level of excitement over last week’s political rat-a-tat-tats from the supervisor, the deputy supervisor and the former supervisor was more like watching the cool execution of a game-changing triple play. Whatever the metaphor, Woodstockers of all stripes should feel slightly less queasy about the next few years of town governance.
By taking himself out of the race, the always divisive and seldom decisive Moran not only did us a great public service, but also made former supervisor Wilber’s run something much more like a walk. As in cakewalk. No learning curve required, which is a good thing since, if elected, Wilber will be confronted with almost exactly the same items he left on his plate four years ago, except that some of them are hotter than ever, being warmed over again and again by a coterie of architects, engineers, advisers and “subcommittees of two” whose purposes and activities have been defined largely by their absence from public view.
As for the deputy, hopefully voters have paid at least enough attention to take her frequent advice to heart, and will therefore “participate in the process through the voting booth.” It is difficult even to imagine the elevation of a town board member whose own most notable contributions to “the process” have been to issue undeserved scoldings to highly deserving members of the community, and to vote in favor of whatever half-baked motions Moran cooked up, seemingly 100 percent of the time. Her lost role as seconder-in-chief will hardly be missed — yet another benefit to a back-to-the-future Wilber administration.
Obviously it’s far too early to actually endorse a candidate, as the race has only just begun. Perhaps out of the gloomy backfield of soaring taxes, stagnant economic growth and endlessly stalled municipal improvements we’ll see emerge a dark horse carrying a white knight, with promises to save us from ourselves. What is certain, of course, this being Woodstock, is a spectacular show.
WHY I LOVE WOODSTOCK
It is a rainy spring day in Woodstock, the third in a row. The grass is soggy. I’m soggy. Ominous dark clouds stalk the village. I am wearing my yellow slicker, looking like a giant lemon as I approach Bradley Meadows and the Sunflower Market. I am weaving my way through a puddle obstacle course trying to keep my feet above water. A woman and young boy are just leaving the store. She is first, her progeny trailing behind. Both, like myself, are wearing sneakers and the mom is zigzagging around puddles as sensible people might do. The boy, maybe six or seven, I would guess, has other ideas and jumps, sloshes, hops, dances, and skips in around and through every puddle that his small and saturated feet and vigilante, exuberant youth can find…and he finds aplenty. It is a scene of pure joy. A child and puddles. A perfect match. Like peanut butter and chocolate, but food, not for the belly, more like dessert for the soul.
Now the cherry. The mother’s reaction. Well…there is none. No shouting. No adult direction. She lets the child be a child. Far from nonplused by the activity, she is a conspirator to it. The boy splashes his way to the family car, he, enjoying the adventure and she, eyes sparkling, enjoying the boy. And me? I make my way to the market…and leave no puddle untouched in my wake.