Alan Sussman, Esq. saved Woodstock from another reactionary idea of Moran/Rosenblum to create a curfew. The Police should enforce the laws and catch the bank thief.
Lastly, I love Brooklyn and have fond memories of Coney Island but — $39,400 could go a long way to have the Comeau Wetland delineated and fixing the soccer field drainage damage. These are real problems that have not been addressed. Since when do we truck lumber to the Catskills?
Jane Kelly Valand
YOURS FOR THE ASKING
Need a wheelchair (or crutches, commodes, canes, bath chairs or walkers)? Woodstock’s loan closet has everything. It’s located at the rear of — but not under the auspices of — the Rescue Center on 212 in Bearsville. You can borrow any durable goods you need, free of charge, except for a $25 deposit for the use of a wheelchair for 30 days which can be extended as needed. Simply check the volunteer list on the loan closet door for contact information.
ART AT ORIOLE 9
Congratulations to Nina Paturel and Luc Moeys of Oriole 9 for fostering and stimulating the arts in Woodstock. Their tradition of inviting different artists to have shows each month, ably curated by Lenny Kislin, allows artists’ work to be seen by people who may not be gallery goers. In return, it gives the patrons of Oriole 9 new art to enjoy. Luc also serves a lavish buffet of his superb cooking at every opening. And with Mary Lou helping with the introductions and entertainment, it’s perfect.
Art and business going hand-in-hand has long been one of our town’s greatest assets. It’s kept Woodstock a thriving art community.
Gladys Brodsky Plate
YOUTH CENTER ARCADE GAMES
The Woodstock Youth Center is now the proud owner of four arcade games, due to the generosity of a local, anonymous donor. We have Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga, Marvel Superhero, and a sit-down Midway Cruisin’ World. All the youths of the area of Youth Center age (11-18) are welcome to come and check them out.
Fern Malkine-Falvey, Youth Center Director
FOCUS ON THE FIX
On the news this evening yet another “expert” said the only way to fix Social Security was to cut benefits. These people are so myopic they can see only one solution — cut benefits. What will it take to make these people realize that is not the solution?
Unfortunately, no one is looking at the problems with Social Security from the correct perspective. The Social Security and Medicare trust funds have been raided so many times by the Government and the money has never replaced! In fact, the trust funds became “petty cash” whenever money was needed for whatever purpose and it was not “politically correct” to get it from any other source. The Government needs to stop raiding the trust funds!
But aside from that — look at the taxes that are collected on current salaries. These figures have not changed since 1990: Total FICA tax collected = 7.65%; tax on wages = 6.2%; Medicare tax = 1.45%; Total taxable wages = $106,800
They are talking about raising the cap for Medicare in 2013. What about raising the cap, or better yet, removing the cap for both wages and Medicare now?
Right now the maximum contribution made to the SS trust fund from wages is $6621.60 per year. People in the high wage brackets can pay that from the first paycheck of the year (or at least in the first month of the year) and not pay another dime in FICA tax on wages for the balance of the entire year. But they sure file for Social Security when they retire!
The wage cap of $106,800 was good for 1990, however, it is far out of date in today’s financial picture. There are many, many people who make well over that amount today. Leaving the tax rate the same if the cap was raised to $500,000, a total of $31,000 per year would go into the SS trust fund. That’s a difference of $24,378.40. If the cap was raised to $1,000,000 a total of $62,000 per year would go into the SS trust fund, a difference of $55,378.40. Multiply that by the number of people in these wage brackets and the trust fund would soon be in a far healthier place.
I’ve tried to point this out to both senators and house members but no one listens! Heaven forbid the wealthy be asked to pay their fair share! Who would contribute to the political campaigns?
Time for us to begin making some noise and make the legislators look at the whole picture instead of continuing their myopic viewpoints and focusing their “fix” on the lower and middle class!
Rev. Blanche Duffy
ABOVE THE LAW…
When an application is received by the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Board has 63 days to make a determination after the closing of the hearing. If the ZBA does not make a determination within that time frame, by law, whatever the applicant requested is considered granted. The same holds true for applications sent to the Planning Board. The Woodstock Land Conservancy who received proper notice regarding the soccer field expansion in March of this year is required, according to the Comeau Conservation Easement, to make a determination within 45 days and to date it has not. My question is: why hasn’t the soccer field been expanded?
TANTILLO FOR COMPTROLLER
The election season is approaching and I’m especially looking forward to supporting Fawn Tantillo this fall for Ulster County Comptroller. This is a fairly new position in Ulster County, but a very important one. Fawn wants to be your watchdog and I know she would be great at it.
She is not only intimately familiar with Ulster County Government, but also the people who work and live here. Her resume is long and laudable helping people in both the public and the private sector.
I hope you will join me in supporting her, not just because she’s my mother, but because she’s the best candidate for this position.
ISRAEL ENDANGERED BY ITS TREATMENT OF NEIGHBORS
Rep. Brian Baird [D-WA] stated that the situation in Israel/Palestine is “unjust,” arguing that “When the United States is on the side of injustice, it harms our country, it harms our integrity, it harms our principle, it harms our standing in the world. People want to believe that we, as the world’s leading superpower, live up to our highest virtues. And when we fail to do that, it threatens, and endangers, and undermines us.”
I believe America is endangering our good friends in Israel by supporting Israel’s unjust treatment of their non Jewish neighbors. How long has it been since Moses brought us the Ten Commandments and Zionists are still not able to get the first one right? [“…and your neighbor as yourself.”]
William De Voe
I read with some interest a letter in last week’s edition extolling the benefits of hydrofracking and claiming to represent, in the words of its author, a ‘different point of view.’
He directs our attention to three online sites which, he claims, will educate us about the bogus claims made in the film ‘Gasland and of the largely beneficial impact of the practice of hydrofracking. We are then directed to two disinformation sites set up by the oil industry replete with distortions, evasions and outright lies. Indeed the main reason to exist for one of them — energyindepth.org — seems to be to slander Josh Fox, the maker of Gasland and to discredit the film. For balance we are given the home page of a Texas oil company. Opposition to hydrofracking, the writer claims, is mostly politically driven and has little to do with fact.
American Rivers, the old-established conservation and protection organization says at its website www.americanrivers.org: ‘Hydrofracking injects large volumes of water (up to six million gallons of water per gas well) mixed with sand and toxic chemical additives at high pressures to release the gas. Most of the water is then returned to the surface as polluted wastewater — that must be treated by wastewater treatment plants already overburdened and not necessarily designed to remove these chemicals. Industry analysts predict it will cost $3 billion to treat the industrial waste water associated with Marcellus shale development.’
A recent story about desperate residents trying to get help can be found at syracuse.com/news/pennsylvania.
But these are just two examples pulled from the top of a Google search. Try it yourself and it you’ll find an overabundance of scientists speaking out against the practice. Here in Woodstock we are near the eastern limit of the Marcellus Shale, the boundaries of which encompass all of the Catskill Park, all of the beautiful high peaks region of the Catskills, running west to Buffalo. Hydrofracking is already practiced in some of the western counties — Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, etc, and perhaps there is a case to be made for permitting it to happen here. If there is, however, this isn’t the way to make it. Especially when the writer of the letter fails to mention that if hydrofracking is allowed to come to the Catskills his own company it seems would benefit financially.
I would hope we’ve learned by now what it means when an oil company says “What could possibly go wrong?” or “You’ll never know we were here.”
BEAUTY AND DISCORD
This Mideast Crisis Response Group’s protest on the Woodstock Village Green on Saturday July 31 calling for a boycott of Israeli-made Ahava beauty products was in a word, ugly. My sentiment has nothing to do with the protest’s message or the merits of the protestors’ ideological arguments. It was ugly because it was a noisy and visually disturbing affront to residents and tourists who wanted nothing more than to spend a peaceful, pleasant day strolling along our main shopping stretch. The display elicited ugly comments from passersby. I cannot imagine that the ‘Michael Myers’ style psychopath killer masks worn by most of the protestors did not make children and even adults uncomfortable. It rendered the beautifully landscaped green itself ugly in an ironic sort of way because none could enjoy that remarkable space for even a brief rest amid the angry voices and protester/counter protester feet constantly jockeying for position.
In short, it made that day singularly unappealing for many because our precious commercial venue was co-opted for political purposes at the height of its busyness. I wonder how many sorely needed tourists do not return to shop here because of the discord they are subject to that promises to repeat every weekend.
Free speech is a fundamental right and Woodstock should not curb it unduly, but are there not other towns in the Hudson Valley that might bear a portion of the brunt of activist protests? Does our beautiful Tinker St. thoroughfare and Village Green need always be the main sewer line for all of the crappy politics that various minorities want to make the defining feature of Woodstock? I suggest that the Chamber of Commerce and other citizens request that the Town Council limit the use of the Village Green in accordance with the law certainly, but with reasonable standards in order to ensure that our peace need not be disturbed and that our merchants not suffer unduly for that.
Woodstock possesses a popular culture image as the bastion of peace, love, understanding and tolerance. Many of us who live here know that in fact, it is one of the most contentious, often bitter, political battlegrounds on many levels for a small town anywhere. Should we not strive for some balance, should we not try to live up to the expectations of those who expect better of us, if not of those of our better selves by emphasizing beauty over discord?
H. Lee Wind
FOR OLD FRIENDS
The old man faces an empty room
Night is falling way too soon
It slipped away he lost the vibe
It seems he’s a shaman without a tribe
So let us drink to him tonight
From this keg of memories that’s been sealed up tight
We must let nothing go to waste
Even the sediment with the bitter taste
Drink it up you need not fear
You need it all to see him clear
So lets light a buzz and bark at the moon
And toast the ones who left too soon
Because in this maze of spinning time
We soon enough are left behind
CAN’T USE REC FUNDS FOR PURCHASE OF WOOD
At our last Town Board meeting, we made a mistake with the use of taxpayers money. The Supervisor announced that there was $45,000 in the recreation fund, of which $39,400 could be spent for the lumber needed to replace dangerous and broken ‘skids’ along one of the Comeau trails. We voted, four to one abstention, to purchase the material needed. It turns out that those funds are to be used only for the purchase of new property for recreational use. We have put a burden on the taxpayers that can only be undone by changing the law, not a quick process, or finding the money someplace else. I am sorry that I didn’t ask to delay a vote until we all knew what the law says, instead of taking the word of the Chief Financial Officer.
Additionally, the chair of the Easement Amendment process, Terrie Rosenblum, has announced that only members of the Town Board will be serving on that committee. This is not a fait accompli. It is a proposal by one Board member that has not been voted on. The Easement Amendment was sold to us, the Public and the Town Board, and bought, as an “interface between the Woodstock Land Conservancy, the Town Board and the users of the Comeau property.” I understand ‘interface’ as a sharing concept, not to be taken over by one entity at the expense of others, especially when all of us are the taxpayers.
LET THE RECORD DO THE TALKING
Councilwoman Terrie Rosenblum was given a job nine months ago. During this time, she has miserably failed with little progress and much arrogance.
Rosenblum had 18 months to put together a Comeau Stewardship Committee, develop a plan of action, and subsequently deliver an acceptable Stewardship Document. In the past nine months, 50% of the time has passed, and Rosenblum has nothing to show. In April (five months into the project), Rosenblum formally replied, “Nothing is in Writing.” Today again (nine months into the project), via the Freedom of Information Act, there is still “Nothing in Writing” toward a Stewardship Plan.
Furthermore, Rosenblum’s absurd brain storm to allow only elected town officials to participate on the Stewardship Committee is not only in direct defiance of the Woodstock Land Conservancy’s (WLC) recommendations, it’s also in defiance of the majority of Woodstock taxpayers, whose majority voted for the easement.
Most troubling with Rosenblum’s committee is that 4 of 5 Town Board members vote as one myopic mind rarely displaying diversification (other than Councilman Jay Wenk). They have become what they, and their supporters, once harshly criticized. The Stewardship Committee must be diversified to represent Comeau’s ‘Users.’ Instead, Rosenblum’s committee will represent only a unified political faction that, in general, opposed the Comeau easement.
In the corporate world, or any organization where accountability is a priority, lack of results over nine months is grounds for dismissal (i.e. BP’s CEO was dismissed after 100 days). After 270 days and no progress on a far simpler task, Rosenblum must bow out and be replaced with someone who is result driven and who is sensitive to the diversification of the Woodstock’s community.
In preparation, the WLC must also get ready for an incompetent Stewardship Plan with Rosenblum at the controls. If the Town Board’s ultimate strategy is to contrive a “Breach of Contract” with the WLC by delivering a useless Stewardship Plan, then Rosenblum is best for the job. On the other hand, if the Town sincerely wants a successful Stewardship Plan in the spirit of the referendum, then allow Rosenblum’s track record to do the talking and her removal will become crystal clear. The evidence over the past nine months confirms that this Stewardship Plan will fail under Rosenblum’s lack of management skills and lack of experience on such projects.
FOOD IS AVAILABLE
It’s getting to be popular to be interested in hunger. Hunger is no longer a “we or them” issue. So many people are choosing between paying bills and buying food that we can no longer think of hunger as something that happens beyond our neighborhood. If you are not having trouble paying your bills and buying food at the same time, you are almost the exception to the rule. And, if you are not having trouble paying your bills and buying food at the same time, the next question is “Do you have an older relative?” Because, if you have an older relative, chances are that he or she is having trouble paying bills and buying food.
We can’t blame it all on the recession. As long as rents are high and so few people have insurance, and as long as people hesitate to sign up for food stamps, we are going to have this problem.
We paid into these programs all these years. It’s time now to get our return on our investment. New York State is very well organized to deal with hunger. So, what is holding you back? You can get information about food stamps (SNAP Cards) and applications at the Good Neighbor Food Pantry on Wednesday afternoons and Thursday mornings. You can get assistance at Family. You can go to Kingston and get your application filled out for you. You can go to your computer (or to the library computer) and look up www.mybenefits.ny.gov. It really doesn’t matter which way you do it. Just sign up for your food stamps (SNAP card). Food is waiting for you.
There was a time when there really wasn’t the variety in the food pantry that there now is. In times not too distant past, the supply line was just not open enough. People have been working for years to assure that food is available for all of us. When I think of the people who have been contributing to the food pantry all these years, I always think of that country/western song. People have been quietly giving to the pantry so we have enough for everyone. It doesn’t take a lot. It just takes consistency. Examples include the man who brings a box of food to the pantry weekly. There is a woman who brings several grocery bags every couple of months. There is the couple who donate rice on a regular basis. And, the man who gives cans of pepper; and the person who donates pet food. And the couple who give two cases of canned goods every month.
Sunflower sends a box of fresh food weekly to the Good Neighbor Food Pantry, Family, and Meals on Wheels.
For years, consistent donations have been made so that there will be enough for everyone. These gifts have, over time, made a huge difference in the quality of product at the pantry. It is time now to say thank you.
And, the best way I know to say thank you is to sign up for your very own SNAP card (food stamps). When you do this, you will be able to buy more nutritious food. Using your SNAP card at local stores will bring outside money to Woodstock. When you do this, you will be stronger, your Food Pantry will be stronger, and Woodstock will be stronger.
Thurman Greco, Good Neighbor Food Pantry
A FAIR DISCUSSION
Kudos to Charles Lyonhart for a remarkable letter in last week’s (July 30) Woodstock Times. Rather than follow the current frenzied view which vilifies Israel as the sole Middle East perpetrator, he bravely spoke of a tragic situation with blame for both sides requiring a real discussion respecting each side’s needs. How poignant it was that on the very day his letter was published, news broke that Hamas fired missiles from Gaza into Israel, striking houses in the city of Ashkelon. Israel responded the next day. The beat goes on, yet in this instance, it was initiated by Hamas.
In 1982, Israel returned the oil-rich Sinai to Egypt in exchange for peace. Peace is possible. Israel is not the imperialistic ogre some try to paint. It is a relatively tiny country both in geography and in population compared to the unwelcoming neighbors which surround it. Israel’s deep concern for security is understandable. Unfortunately when Hamas fires missiles into Israel, that act only deepens Israel’s fear and hardens its resolve to clamp down on Gaza.
For those who truly want peace, the discussion must include the responsibility both sides bear in this tragedy. Solely blaming Israel is disingenuous, and serves only to perpetuate the conflict.
REGARDING THE GUILD CONTROVERSY
New information about the possible sale of Byrdcliffe property would seem to support Peter Nesbett’s alarming characterization of the Guild in recent issues of Woodstock Times. A source, who I presume would prefer to remain anonymous, told my wife that members of the board met on July 21 to discuss the idea of subdividing the 40-acre property that begins at the end of Upper Byrdcliffe Way (formerly Camelot Road) into 5-acre lots and selling it off, despite the fact that the property is protected by a “conservation easement.”
When we bought our house in 1991, we were assured that Byrdcliffe’s woods and fields were protected from future real estate development by Peter Whitehead’s will, a codicil of which states that the Guild “keep the property and maintain the land unspoiled by any real estate development which would harm the character of Byrdcliffe and in my opinion spoil the whole north environment of Woodstock itself.”
In a letter to Woodstock Times, Tinker Twine noted that the paper seemed reluctant to engage in any serious investigative reporting. Certainly, the Guild, according to one member, would like to wait until “the whole scene that’s been unfolding in the newspapers blows over.” I think the town deserves to know what’s really happening.
NO APARTHEID STATE
What a great letter! Charles Lyonhart (July 29) had originally agreed to perform at an anti-Israel forum in Woodstock, but then concluded that the people organizing the forum “wanted to perpetuate hate and ill feelings toward Israel.”And he quoted a friend as saying that “the people running this event seem to be very one-sided on this. Israel is all bad and the Gazans are all good.”
Lyonhart is clearly one of a vanishing species: a fair and open-minded human being. We need more people like him in the area — and in the world.
As for the published allegations from bigots, ignoramuses, and assorted creepy-crawlies that Israel is an “apartheid” state, let me quote from Facts and Logic About the Middle East, a nonprofit educational organization in San Francisco (www.factsandlogic.org):
“Israel is by far the most racially mixed and tolerant nation in the entire Muslim Middle East. Arabs, who are about 20% of Israel’s population, enjoy, without exception, the same rights and opportunities in all fields as their Jewish fellow citizens…All non-Jews (which means primarily Muslim Arabs) have full voting rights. At present, 11 Arabs sit in Israel’s Knesset (parliament): Three Arabs are deputy speakers. Arabs are represented in Israel’s diplomatic service all over the world. Arab students may and do study in all Israeli universities.”
One difference: Jewish Israeli men must serve three years in the armed forces. For Arabs, service is voluntary.
Facts and Logic concludes, justifiably, that “To call Israel an apartheid state is an expression of ignorance, anti-Semitism, and malice.”
GAZA BOAT FUND RAISER A BIG SUCCESS
A big thanks to everyone who attended the Friday night U.S. boat to Gaza fund raising party at the Colony. It was a night to remember. The speakers were great and the music was terrific, but, above all, the audience was wonderful. There was a warm and supportive atmosphere inside the Colony such that it felt like family. And we raised a healthy sum for the cause.
Thanks to all the speakers: Jeff Cohen, Joel Kovel, Noor Elashi, Max Ajl, Jane Toby and Laurie Arbeiter, who helped us grasp the issues in depth. Our gratitude and appreciation for the absolutely incredible music offered by Bruce Ackerman, The Princes of Serendip, Johnny Asia and Gus Mancini, the Erin Hobson Compact, Giles Malkine, and Josh Taylor and the Dustbowl Band.
Last, but certainly not least, thanks to Marianne and her son Jeff of the Colony for having the courage to provide a great space for us to educate, entertain and raise money to challenge a bankrupt U.S. foreign policy. And a final appreciation for all people who support universal human rights and justice, and without whose help we could not send a U.S. boat, “The Audacity of Hope” to break the illegal and cruel Israeli blockade of Gaza.
Tarak Kauff, Nic Abramson, Gail Miller
CARLA IS PROFESSIONAL AND RESPECTFUL
Carla Smith and I worked together at the Woodstock Guild for many years in a professional, mutually respectful manner, which continues today. For the record, Peter’s untruthful references to “the bookkeeper for the Woodstock Guild” are his own statements, not mine, and do not reflect my respect for Carla’s integrity and the Guild’s.
I was dismayed to read in last week’s Woodstock Times of the Town Board’s relentless endeavors to institute a night curfew on our youth despite wide and strong opposition from town residents to such an idea. The article quoted the Supervisor as saying “The police, some parents and even some kids have asked us to institute a curfew…” The supervisor conveniently overlooked the fact that over 300 Woodstock residents signed a petition against the curfew and even at the Town Board meeting convoked to discuss the issue only three people spoke in favor (including a town employee!), whereas the remaining vast majority spoke against any curfew.
The Town Board looks like it’s heading for a long legal challenge should it continue on this course and, at the same time, involving an unnecessary and costly expenditure of Woodstock taxpayers’ money.
Furthermore, the New York Court of Appeals fully agreed with the Appellate Division’s opinion that the Rochester curfew was “constitutionally infirm” and then went further to declare that in the Jiovon Anonymous v. City of Rochester case, the curfew conflicts with the Family Court Act as a police officer can only take into custody a minor under sixteen in cases where the officer suspects a crime has been committed and a violation of a curfew would be a violation not a crime (the term “crime” includes only misdemeanors and felonies, not violations). Thereby the curfew law could only be applied to youths who were exactly 16 years of age. This nature of town law applying to only one age-group (16-year-olds) would definitely not muster support in a legal scrutiny.
The Family Court Act also sets out strict conditions for minors in police custody and the present town facilities do not in any manner conform to those requirements.
POKER FOR INDIE
The poker playing community in and around the Woodstock area is attempting to stage a large Texas Hold ‘em tournament for the benefit of the INDIE program which recently had its funding ended because of the necessary cutbacks at the Onteora school system. This was a truly valuable entity in the ongoing battle to provide as many teenagers as possible with exciting learning alternatives to keep helping them raise their future hopes during the sometimes difficult course of young life. Details are still developing and I will notify all of you poker players out there as things are cemented into place. These are the times to do whatever we can to help young people navigate through a tough world. For info call me at 679-8117.
CARLA’S INTEGRITY AND HEART
I was reluctant to add my voice to many who have weighed in on the unfortunate matter of Peter Nesbett and the Board of the Directors of the Woodstock Guild. We all should learn everything we can from this bad experience and move on to support the Guild in finding good leadership to carry out the important work of this great Woodstock arts organization. Yet, I feel compelled to share my thoughts about this because I believe a very nasty and unfair injustice has been done to Carla Smith.
Carla Smith is a colleague I respect and admire without qualification for her professionalism and integrity — and heart.
As Producing Artistic Director of Woodstock Fringe, a professional theatre company in residence at the Byrdcliffe Theatre each August for the past 10 years, I have had much experience doing business with the Guild and Carla Smith. With every interaction with Carla and the Guild we have felt supported, encouraged and nurtured. That’s not to say that every request and need has been met with a “yes.” The needs of a fledgling arts organization are huge. But, our requests were always dealt with respectfully. Every interaction has been honorable. The Guild under Carla’s leadership could be trusted completely.
In what was Carla’s office at the Guild there hangs a huge sign that trumpets the mission of the Guild. I don’t recall the exact wording of the mission statement, but it spoke to a main purpose of the Guild — to support the work of artists. And, oh my, this is something Carla did with professionalism, ferocity and passion that was both impressive and moving. At an Arts Day celebration a few years back I observed Carla in action selling raffle tickets in support of the Woodstock Arts Consortium, a group of arts groups and galleries that was formed to help promote the town of Woodstock as a cultural tourism destination. (Carla has been the de factor Director of this organization, without pay, I might add.) In the few minutes I observed Carla in frenzied action, she sold several hundreds of dollars of raffle tickets (at $5 a pop). I recall saying, “Wow, Carla you are good! I wish I could do that.” She replied, “I can do anything if it is for the arts.”
And that is what Carla has done for her entire 40-year career as an arts administrator. Carla is widely respected throughout the larger Hudson Valley and New York State non-for-profit community. I know that Woodstock Fringe, an organization with a small operating budget, has received support from government and foundation sources and gained credibility because of our association with Carla Smith and the Guild.
I will let others speak in detail about Peter Nesbett. My interaction with him was limited to a few emails and one very brief and unpleasant phone conversation. Nesbett was rude, unpleasant, officious, bullying and threatening. After this limited exchange I recall hoping that I could get through the summer without every meeting this boor. When I learned that I would never meet him because he crashed and burned in what must be a record five weeks, I was delighted.
I am just one of countless arts professionals that share a profound respect for Carla Smith and her work for the Guild. I have learned much from Carla about running an arts organization and wish to express publicly my gratitude for all that she and the Guild have done for the Fringe, a large community of artists, Woodstock, the Hudson Valley and the nation.
HELP VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
School will be open in a couple of months. At the Domestic Violence Shelter (The Washbourne House) the kids will head off to school each day, just like the children in your neighborhood. But for most, it’s a new school with unfamiliar faces and unknown routines. A new outfit and/or school supplies may help boost their confidence.
There are some families who are facing the reality of homelessness and poverty due to domestic violence. Family Domestic Violence Services is looking for individuals, family groups or groups of co-workers who would like to adopt a child/children for school clothes/school supplies.
The donor would provide either a gift card or new clothes to a child whose family is recovering from the trauma of domestic violence and adjusting, possibly to a dramatic reduction in income and standard of living. You can help put a smile on the face of a child this year. If you can help out please call me at 845-331-7080 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 845-331-7080 end_of_the_skype_highlighting extension 127.
Kathleen Moretti, Family Domestic Violence Services
News reports at the end of last month and the beginning of August indicate that violence has now reached a two-year high in Iraq. In addition, July was the deadliest month for U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan since the beginning of the almost ten-year war. And leaked Pentagon documents substantiate that Pakistan’s government is as much affiliated with our enemies as with us.
In Greek mythology a Chimera is described as a fire-breathing monster usually represented as having a lion’s head, a goat’s body and a serpent’s tail. These three foreign wars that we are now fighting simultaneously could be characterized as our present day mythology, another definition of chimera being an impossible or foolish fancy.
UlsterCorps and the Woodstock Artists Association and Museum would like to thank everyone involved in making Arts for Ulster (collaborative exhibition, auction, and events) such a success. Coordinated by UlsterCorps and hosted by WAAM this summer, the project generated almost $20,000 in sales for local non-profits and artists, while raising awareness about the wide-range of critical services offered to our community, and the many dedicated volunteers who give their time and energy to support such a range of good work.
Thanks to our sponsors, Ulster Savings Bank, Chronogram and Hudson Valley Credit Union, and to the many local businesses that donated food and wine for the Opening Gala and Live Auction: Adams Fairacre Farms, The Alternative Baker, The Big Cheese, Bread Alone, Cascade Mountain Winery, C’est Cheese, Deitz Stadium Diner, Emmanuel’s Market Place, Empire Merchants North, Evan Spingarn Wine Events, Hickory BBQ, Home Plate Deli & Caterers, Hurley Ridge Market, Jen Redmond, Kingston Wok, Le Canard Enchaine, The Liquor Cabinet, Lori’s Creative Cafe, Miron Liquor & Wines, The Red Onion, Stone Ridge Wine & Spirits, Sunfrost Farms, Ugly Gus Cafe, The Village Market, The Wine Hutch, Woodstock Meats, Woodstock Wine.
Thanks also to the many local business who donated items to the silent auction, and to Maya Horowitz for coordinating Woodstock donations: Anatolia Tribal Rugs & Weavings, Antiques of Woodstock, The Common Thread-One of a Kind Handwoven/Deeber Berk, Dharmaware, Earthly Bodywork, The Golden Notebook Bookstore, Hudson Valley Wine Country, Jaritas Florist, Lily’s of Woodstock, Loominus Handwovens, Lynn Duvall Lisc Massage Therapist, Mirabai of Woodstock, Modern Mythology, The Rare Bear Children’s Toys, Rock & Snow, Shellie David The Woodstock Jeweler, Tibetan Arts & Crafts, Wild & Sweet, Woodstock Framing Gallery and Richard Segalman.
Special thanks to our auctioneer James Cox and to all the artists who contributed their work, many giving 75% or more of the proceeds from their sales to benefit local organizations. Many of these artists were already volunteers with the agency their piece supported; some became volunteers through Arts for Ulster, and others had benefited from critical services like the Oncology Support Program and Woodstock Meals on Wheels. For a complete list and statement from individual artists about the agencies, go to www.ulstercorps.org and look under “Collaborations” for more details about Arts for Ulster.
Much appreciation to all our volunteers, the coordinating committee, the WAAM staff, and Board members of both UlsterCorps and WAAM for recognizing the importance of this project and their support over the last several months.
Josephine Bloodgood, WAAM
Beth McLendon, UlsterCorps
THE THREE SOURCES OF ENERGY
I have often sat reading some screed on this or that topic that involves ‘energy’ and its glories and hazards. Nuclear energy, Marcellus shale drilling, solar collectors, wind farms, bicycling, and even ‘eating locally’ to save fossil fuel. While I applaud all the awareness building and good intentions that ‘fuel’ much of this writing and speaking and experimenting, I often cringe when I see well intentioned types spouting so called scientific ‘facts’ that are clearly ridiculous to bolster their points. While this practice might bolster, at least temporarily, excitement and even right action by the intended audience, it inevitably leads to confusion and ‘detours’ from effective action.
I would like to provide a basic outline of sound information about energy that might be of help in deeply thinking through your passions to effective action.
For us here on earth, there are only three primary sources of energy: The sun, radioactive decay of elements in the minerals composing the earth and, to a lesser degree, gravity. OK, OK, for the purists among you, there is a fourth, rather trivial source from material such as meteors and cosmic rays raining continuously into the top of the atmosphere which does have a small, but detectable addition to atmospheric energy.
All other so called ‘sources’ of energy are really derived [or secondary] from these three. As an example, wind energy is derived from solar energy as sunlight heats part of the atmosphere while other parts are cooling, thus drawing warmer air up and drawing cooler air in near the ground. Tidal energy is derived from the changing gravitational attraction of the moon [mostly] and sun as the earth and moon rotate plus a small component from wind pushing the ocean waves around. Even the energy in fossil fuels, such as extracted oils, is really stored solar energy from photosynthesis many years ago.
I could go on and on about the complex ways these primary sources result in one or the other derived ‘sources’, but one particularly intense issue seems to illustrate the confusion well. “Geothermal” energy which many see as good energy is primarily derived from the exact same source as nuclear energy, which the same people see as somehow bad. And interestingly, there is another set of people who see them exactly the opposite. Nuclear is a good, non-polluting source [ignoring the ‘waste’ issue] while geothermal is too diffuse and so is a waste of time. Both are primarily derived from the natural radioactive decay of certain elements in the earth. They are just delivered in different ways.
Which brings me to a different point. Usually the discussions around energy are not really, despite the words used, about the energy itself but about the way it is handled by humans. Thus, the nuclear debate is rarely about nuclear energy per se, but about how it is handled, both in its usable form and in the ‘side effects’ such as waste handling. Similar debates about the complexities of tapping wind or tidal energy are appearing now as well.
Another aspect that is starting to get more attention in the various debates is the so called ‘hidden’ parts of the issues. For example, whether or not it is cheaper to eat locally grown foods than distantly grown ones. It is not hard to show that in some situations the energy [and fuel] used per carrot or tomato delivered is actually less for them grown in Chile than in New Jersey or North Carolina. That does not make them taste better or worse or more or less nutritious either way or better for neighboring farmers. It simply confuses the discussion if provably false ‘facts’ are thrown in willy nilly.
A second example of so called ‘hidden’ costs is the environmental effects of producing the raw materials needed to capture and distribute direct solar energy [much less the derived solar energy in wind]. The mining and transportation of silicon, iron ore, copper and the petroleum products, etc. used to set up such a system is hard to calculate much less to integrate into such a discussion but have no less a real impact on the environment.
Keeping these basic facts in you mind while advocating for this or that way of saving our planet and its environment can only help you to be more secure in you advocacy and thus taken more seriously in your arguments. Please try to advocate from a grounded place and you will have a stronger effect.
Nesbett’s Charges Totally False
For the record, I am answering accusations from Peter Nesbett concerning my 13 years of managing the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild (WBG). As Doug James pointed out last week, I did devote much of my life to the Guild; my primary motivations in this work were not money or glory. I have spent my professional life providing an environment in which artists can perform and create. With the legacy of Byrdcliffe and the artists of Woodstock, I feel that the WBG was the culmination of my career.
Nesbett’s claims that I mismanaged funds, asked the bookkeeper to re-allocate funds after the audit was completed, and operated in an unethical manner are totally false and without ground. Why he thinks such manufactured personal attacks are productive in any possible way, I do not understand.
Regarding Nesbett’s overarching claims of financial mismanagement, it is important to note that since my first year as the Guild’s Executive Director, the organization has undergone an annual financial audit, performed by an independent CPA. This is a “best practice” for well-run nonprofits; not one the Guild had hitherto undertaken. Since then, every annual audit has been clean, reporting no evidence of mismanagement, much less irregular handling of funds. These audits are available to the public as are the annual Form 990 that is filed by the WBG with the Internal Revenue Service. I am proud of the fact that I brought professional nonprofit accounting standards and systems to the WBG. (The 990s are available for any IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit at www.guidestar.org, including Nesbett and Bancroft’s Triple Candie Gallery.)
Nesbett’s incomplete knowledge of the history of the WBG is apparent in many of his allegations. Regarding the Vincent Wagner Fund, the program that it was to support ended before I came in 1997. The decisions regarding this fund were made at the Board level and continue to be so handled. The Alf Evers Collection is another case in point. Indeed, Doug James did provide funds for the first purchase of Byrdcliffe-related artifacts from Alf when he was alive. After Alf’s death, in order to keep his entire collection intact, the WBG purchased it from the family. This became possible through the generosity of a new donor. Long before Nesbett came, Alf’s hundreds of slides and 850-book collection were inventoried by paid staff. The ensuing annual gift toward the Alf Evers Collection has always been used to house, preserve, and organize Alf’s hundreds of papers and photographs. This work continues today with a volunteer and another person courtesy of a Federal program. All of the storage, shelving, archival boxes, files, and sheets to protect this Collection are purchased regularly with the funds provided by the second donor. The volunteers attended training workshops and a consultant was brought in to help ascertain the best possible archival standards. Today, a Finding Aid, continually being updated, is available to researchers.
Before my retirement, the Board asked me to serve as a resource to the new Executive Director, and I agreed. After a first meeting and brief discussion with Nesbett on June 6, I thought we would continue the conversation later in the week at a planned meeting he set up his first day on the job, June 10. Much to my surprise he cancelled that meeting and I never had another conversation with him, until we bumped into one another at the conclusion of the WBG’s House Tour fund raising party on June 26. As for my email account, I did what anyone would in the same circumstances, and cleaned years of unorganized non-substantive emails and answered every one as of June 1, the day I left. I thought I was leaving the new executive director a clean slate; he appears to think otherwise. (A notebook of every letter I sent out is compiled in an Annual Chron book.)
Mr. Nesbett claims great nonprofit experience. Never in my 40 years working in the nonprofit arts field have I been accused of impropriety. I have worked and consulted with nonprofit boards, supervised a variety of staff, organized major fund raisers and obtained significant Federal, State and foundation grants, for many organizations. As well, I administered and dispensed grants at the New York State Council on the Arts.
Working with Boards, as many readers of this newspaper know, can be challenging for any Executive Director. Nonprofit boards are constantly shifting. As people come and go, decisions are made, new ones supersede old ones, emergencies come and go, people forget and, as time goes by, the thread of decisions gets lost and the same conversations frequently take place from year to year. Often new boards don’t understand the context in which a decision was made, and then proceed to change it as they see fit. I recall in my first year at the Guild that I encountered a few surprises about agreements concerning Byrdcliffe property that were never explained to me; new Board members didn’t know and the older Board members just plain forgot.
During my tenure at the WBG, more money was raised than ever before in its history. WBG received major Federal grants from Save Americas Treasures, National Endowment for the Arts and a consulting grant through IMLS (Institute of Museum and Library Services) along with State grants such as the New York State Council (in several departments), the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the New York Humanities Council and others. Through the 2003 Byrdcliffe Centennial, which resulted in press throughout the United States, I feel that I did, as I intended, “put Byrdcliffe on the map.” I feel very proud of that achievement, partnering with Cornell’s Johnson Museum and seeing Byrdcliffe’s history acknowledged in Milwaukee, Ithaca, Albany, New York City, Winterthur and, of course, most importantly, in Woodstock.
Nesbett’s inexperience and short tenure with the WBG have resulted in incomplete and inaccurate information. I trust the community will see through him. The Guild shall rise again and continue serving as an anchor of the arts in the community. I am disappointed that Mr. Nesbett was not up to the challenge of taking the WBG forward but, instead, found it necessary to spend his brief and aborted tenure trying to undermine mine.
P. S. I do not have a 10-month contract with the WBG Board.
Carla T. Smith