The opening of the Walkway Over the Hudson on Oct. 3 was a
remarkable event and Shandaken proudly marched itself into
the history of the Hudson River. I am so impressed with our
community- our endurance as we patiently waited for the parade
to start, our strength as we carried our community flags that
seemed to grow heavier with each step, and our camaraderie
as once we were on the 212 foot high span, we shared excitement
and exhilaration. There were many, many individuals, organizations
and businesses that made our participation possible: The Town
of Shandaken, The Phoenicia Rotary Club, Catskill Rose, Dragon
Search Marketing, Phoenicia Wines and Liquors, The Phoenicia
Belle, Mike's Bikes,Tibet Aid, Catskill Heritage Alliance,
Friends of the Catskill Interpretive Center, Trout Unlimited,
The Phoenicia Times, Oxclove Workshop, and last but not least,
Hanover Farm's Al Higley, whose generous donation made our
bus transportation possible. And a huge thank you to the seniors,
men, women, and children of Shandaken who marched with us
that day! Our enthusiasm for our community was infectious
and I'll never forget the shouts of approval as we marched
by the other towns on the route. Hooray Shandaken!
School is back in session and at least for now the Onteora
school board has the required seven members. It seems that
the board has a plate full of decisions to make. How they
make these decisions is important. What's heard at the Public
be Heard period at School Board meetings and even at special
meetings does not necessarily represent the consensus of the
school district as a whole. The audience at these meetings
is largely made up of teachers, employees of the school and
parents. The voices of seniors and the elderly through no
fault of their own go unheard. To use the public be heard
portion of their meetings or having a special meeting to base
their decision on isn’t the responsible way to make
decisions that in most cases cost tax payers money. Everyone
that pays school taxes in the district should have a say on
how their money is spent.
In early August I made it known to Superintendent Ford that
I thought if the Board truly wanted input from the entire
community that they should consider issuing a district wide
survey. A survey would be a more accurate way to know how
the total school district feels about various programs etc.
I do not know if the idea of a survey was brought to the attention
of the board, but now is the time for the board to do the
responsible thing and issue a district wide survey.
Surveys are an excellent way to know how the majority of those
surveyed feels. Tax payers should have a say because they
are the ones that pay those appalling teacher salaries, benefits
and other non cost effective expenses.
Surveys work, but can be tricky. If the question was asked,
do you favor closing the Phoenicia School, answer yes or no,
you would get a very different answer if the question was
asked, are you in favor of closing the Phoenicia School and
consolidating if there would be a two million dollar plus
saving in two years?
We know that the board certainly has the capability to issue
a survey because we all just received a calendar that most
of us didn’t need or want.
The Town of Shandaken is in good shape considering the nationwide
heartbreak stories of record foreclosures and job losses.
Though we took a big hit in lost revenues in 2009, mostly
in mortgage and sales tax revenues, through careful spending
and cost cutting, the proposed 2010 tax increase is 1.8% before
the county social services bill is tacked on, the lowest increase
in many years. I have worked hard to trim spending and I am
pleased to say increased revenues of over $30,000 from the
ambulance service, $25,000 from insurance savings, and a $40,000
grant I recovered, helped immensely in keeping the budget
balanced. We are not out of the woods yet as we have been
forewarned of at least two more difficult years ahead, especially
in unfunded State mandates that will be passed down.
Being fiscally careful does not mean ignoring problems. There
are two storm water retrofit projects in the works, one at
town hall and one in Pine Hill, both with the aid of grants;
we are partners in a county grant for a system that will track,
via GPS, 51 municipal and 190 county vehicles that is projected
to save taxpayers $4.7 million over 10 years. We have received
a grant for four new Automatic External Defibrillator's that
have been placed in police vehicles, highway garage
and town hall, and another to help revive the senior lunch
program. The Phoenicia wastewater project is still on the
table as we search for an economically viable and sustainable
system that is compliant with DEP regulations, and as promised,
with the final decision being up to the district. Unfortunately,
cellular service providers are not banging down our doors,
though that could change with a better economic climate; one
thing we could all do is sign the petition found at www.ipetitions.com/petition/cellularservice/index.html
so at least
there would be proof, to the providers, of potential customers.
Sure, more needs to be done, more always needs to be done,
but we need to be able to have calm dialogues. We need to
be able to talk about what is important, we need to plan for
future spending on big ticket items like emergency vehicles
and fixing our town buildings, and we need to find fresh ideas
on how to increase year-round tourism.
If you haven't discovered the spirit of volunteerism or are
unsure of what is needed, please visit the town website. From
the fire houses to town committees to food distribution, etc.,
donating time provides much needed services and helps keep
our taxes down. We are all in this together and what we do
does make a difference.
As always, I encourage you to contact me with your thoughts
and concerns at either www.shandaken.us or 688-7169.
Peter DiSclafani, Supervisor
Town of Shandaken
I'm not sure if Carol Shalaew's latest letter to the editor
represents a violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty,
but I'll leave that question to international law specialists.
I'm more interested in her comment that Declan Feehan made
a bad business decision in investing in the Phoenicia Hotel
Yes, it may have been a poor investment decision, at least
in the short run. But unless people who have a commitment
to the community are willing to "roll the dice"
and invest in the town's future, Shandaken may not have much
of a future, except as a reservoir site.
The Phoenicia Hotel fire was far from the first blaze to destroy
an historic structure here. Just take a look at the old photos
in our Town Museum. One by one, our charming but highly flammable
19th century structures have disappeared. If no one attempts
to rebuild on those sites, at what point will tourists not
want to visit any more? And at what point will taxes on the
surviving properties become so high, and amenities and services
so difficult to obtain, that even those of us who love the
Town of Shandaken will be forced to sell out and move away?
We all receive our fair share of junk mail, but last week's
flyer from "Citizens for A Better Shandaken" or
"United Shandaken" (can't they even decide on a
name?) is without a doubt the greatest collection of lies,
innuendo and misleading statements to come forth since the
grateful demise of the so-called "Citizens for Progress.”
Chairperson Martie Gailes, who just happens to be the spouse
of Gitter consultant Gary Gailes, speaks for this small group
of obstructionists whose sole purpose is to sabotage our Government
and turn it over to their pro-resort slate of candidates.
Make no mistake, the Belleayre resort is the sole agenda of
this group which claims that it will benefit all of us who
live, work or visit Shandaken.
Ms. Gailes touches upon a number of issues for which she faults
our current Town Board, but in reality not one of these issues
she cites is the responsibility of our elected officials.
Our cell phone status, for example, is the result of the lack
of interest by wireless providers in the long awaited and
less than ideally located Glenbrook tower, brought to us by
the previous administration. The voters of Phoenicia decided
on the fate of the proposed sewer district, not our Town Board.
The farm stand law, intended to bring current businesses into
compliance and encourage new ventures, is at a stalemate as
the result of the reactionary lobbying of
these so-called "Citizens for a Better Shandaken".
These "citizens" claim that there is lack of support
for the area's leading economic engine, Bellayre Mountain,
yet our Town Board has consistently supported our state run
ski facility. Or are the "citizens" really referring
to the proposed
Bellayre resort? The proposed resort is the ulterior motive
of this group, but the voters of Shandaken are too savy to
fall for the same old tactics.
Peter Disclafani and Doris Bartlet have brought integrity
and diligence to our Town Board. Let's re-elect Peter and
Doris, and bring Barbara Redfield aboard to give Shandaken
the kind of leadership that we all need and deserve.
Nick J Alba
This is a letter in support of Amy Brown for Shandaken Town
Justice. I have known Amy for the last ten years and have
always been struck by her gentle wisdom, her fairness, her
sense of humor, and her ongoing and committed community service.
I've known her as someone who is able to hold multiple points
of view and someone who is able to connect with people from
all kinds of backgrounds and interests. She is firm and grounded
and strong when she needs to be and she is warm and caring
when she needs to be. She listens carefully and she continually
seeks new knowledge. She would bring all of these traits with
her to the Town Justice position. We would be lucky to have
Mt. Tremper, NY
Having served as a member of the Ulster County Charter Commission,
I was elated to read that our Ulster County Executive Michael
Hein had the fortitude to criticize our state government for
failing and refusing to deal with "the critical long-term
reforms" and decision-making which are so vitally necessary
to insure the financial and economic security of the state,
without bankrupting its municipalities and taxpayers. When
we recommended a strong county executive form of government,
we recognized the importance of having a chief executive who
could address the state as the unified voice of our citizens.
I congratulate Mike for doing that just that.
Louis M. Klein
It's impossible to avoid the stories about the upcoming flu
season. Everyday we either read or hear news about what is
on the way, when it is coming, how awful it is going to be,
etc. Several people have expressed the opinion to me that
this news is all hype and the flu is not really coming. They
may be right. I hope they are right. Going into denial about
the upcoming danger of a serious flu season is no excuse to
be unprepared. I am not buying into the fear and the stress
of the upcoming flu season. I do not expect to become seriously
ill with the flu and I do not expect to die from it.
However, I plan to be prepared for the flu if it hits town.
I do not plan to be in the "Gosh, I never thought this
could happen" crowd. Especially since preparation is
so very easy.
The first thing I'm doing is having about 21 days worth of
food in the house in case we are sick. Don't laugh. If the
flu hits town, even if it is not deadly, we could find ourselves
with a food shortage. Just think about it. If we are all sick
for a few days, there are not that many food stores in Woodstock
and they can easily run out of food...or close because the
employees are ill. This is not such a crazy idea. It has already
happened once in our fair community.
Also, if everyone in your household is ill, who is going to
go to the store? It's best not to spread germs. Having food
on hand is a good idea.
The next thing I'm going to do is make sure I have all the
protection I can get to prevent getting the flu. Sunflower
sells at least two preventive products: Well-max and Wellness
Formula that can be taken starting now to prevent the flu.
Many varieties of Emergen-C are also sold at Sunflower.
The CVS sells a variety of Emergen-C called Immune Defense.
CVS also sells Airborne in several different varieties. Rite-Aid
has a large selection of lozenges with vitamins and zinc that
are designed to prevent as well as treat the flu. Thieves
essential oil is a blend of cloves, cinnamon bark, rosemary,
lemon, and Eucalyptus radiate. You can either purchase the
oil blended or you can purchase the oils separately and blend
After that, I'm following all the instructions that I read
and hear and see each day: I'm washing my hands repeatedly
every day. I'm carrying a hand sanitizer everywhere with me
and I'm using it often. I'm carrying tissues and using them
when I sneeze. I am not putting those used tissues in public
trash cans. I am carrying them home and disposing of them
in my own trash. If I suspect that I am ill, I will stay home
so that I do not infect someone else.
Personally, I am going to take the flu shot. I have taken
a fu shot every year for the last 30 years. If you decide
not to, that is your choice. I feel that inoculations against
disease carry a small amount of risk and provide a large amount
of protection. You may disagree with me. That is your choice.
I have lived in two third world countries and I have seen
first hand what happens when the general population is not
But, with all the things I'm doing, the most important is
putting the food by. 21 days of food. Please join me in this.
In reference to Eric Kollenberg's, New Paltz letter, the quote
that comes to mine is; " You hear what you want to hear;
you see what you want to see; you believe what you want to
believe, but that doesn't make it the truth."
I didn't speak to a stranger in Canada. My son-in-law came
here from Ireland approximately four years ago. He and my
daughter went back to Ireland last year. To have him tell
it, the health care in the United States surpasses that in
Ireland and England hands down. He had no insurance when he
first came over here and had no problem getting medical treatment.
Nobody goes without in the United States of America. There
is a catch, though. You have to fill out forms and other paperwork
in order to get assistance. People just don't run over and
give it to you. He claims that we are about to screw up the
best medical care system in the world.
T here is one thing that has really bothered him since he
has been here. Why doesn't "Bed Bath and Beyond"
sell beds? Bed is the first word in their name!
Robert E. Steiner
Big Indian, NY
Israeli forces committed “grave breaches” of the
Geneva Conventions during the attack on Gaza earlier this
A United Nations fact-finding mission has found Israel committed
war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity in deliberately
targeting Palestinian civilians during the attack on Gaza
earlier this year. More than 1,400 Palestinians, over half
of them civilians- about a third of them women and children
- were killed in the US-backed Israeli assault. The head of
the inquiry, Judge Richard Goldstone, said his investigation
focused on deliberate attacks ordered by Israeli commanders.
J udge Richard Goldstone: “The thirty-six incidents
that we investigated, by and large, and to the greatest extent
possible, do not relate to, as I say, ‘second guessing’
commanders or soldiers who were in the heat of battle. What
we’re talking about is a much broader aspect of the
deliberate policies that were adopted and the military actions
that were taken, not in urgency, not in urgent situations.”
The Israeli attacks included the shooting of Palestinian civilians
holding white flags, the deliberate bombing of UN shelters,
and the killing of over 300 children. The report accuses Palestinian
militants of also violating the Geneva Conventions with rocket
attacks on Israeli towns. Thirteen Israelis died during the
Gaza attack, four by “friendly fire.” The report
advises the UN Security Council to call on both sides to probe
the allegations or face investigation by the International
We the American people must speak out against such injustice
and murder which is done in our name with our money all over
the world, from Palestinian to Afghanistan to Central and
We can remain silent no longer.
West Shokan, NY
I love language, I can't help it, it's where I live; I am
an English teacher. Language, and the way in which we use
it reveals much about our intelligence and character. Of the
many shades of human communication, irony is one that can
either be damnably frustrating or giddily amusing. The irony
of Ms. Rita Vancore's diatribe in these pages of late is a
masterpiece of irony... her attempt to offer a mature opinion
(it must be called "opinion" because a developed
intellect favors "perspective" which is informed
by fact and reason and is a consideration of a wide variety
of factors regarding any given issue) is both maddening and
amusing, even if pathetically. The irony of course is that
this mindset, one no doubt nurtured by too many mind-meld
sessions in front of the tube gaping at Bill O' Reilly or
Glen Beck, is precisely why teachers and all other working
people must remember and understand exactly why unions were
formed and how working people are harmed in the absence of
a union. And it must be said that for all the breast-beating,
vilification, and sanctimony present in Ms. Vanacore's attack,
at bottom it is just another illustration of the Peter Principle
and how deeply entrenched the idea is that those with tragically
little expertise or knowledge end up in positions of importance
(I refer of course, to her former position on the school board).
Ms. Vanacore's letter is a shooting-one's-self-in-the-foot
comedy routine here because I just this evening discovered
she is running as an independent for an Olive town town board
position. Wouldn't it be a really good idea if people in public
positions, school board member, town supervisor, shrill community
mouthpiece, at least know something about the Constitution?
Ms. Vanacore's opening salvo was a "Duh!" inspiring
(in the writer, not the reader) "Isn't picketing illegal?"
Unfortunately, John Ianotti has retired and Ms. Vanacore cannot
benefit from one of those "disgusting" citizens'
(teachers) real expertise because the First Amendment states:
"Congress (that's the legislative part of the gummint',
Rita) shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion
or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging (this
is the important part now) the freedom of speech, or the press,
or the right of the people to peaceably assemble and petition
the government for redress of grievances." I know Fox
News tries ardently to say and make sure it ain't so, but
we DO still have a Constitution.
Furthermore, as someone seated, appropriately or not, on a
school board, the picketing punchline betrays a negligent
at best and ignorant at worst lack of understanding of "The
Taylor Law" also known as The Public Employees Fair Employment
Act, which refers to Article 14 of New York State Civil Service
Law, which defines the rights and limitations for and of public
employees in New York. The Taylor law grants public employees
the right (YES! THE RIGHT) to organize and elect their union
representatives. Under the Taylor Law, which has been very
controversial with regard to the exercise of employees' rights,
prohibits public employees from striking, compelling binding
PERB (Public Employee Relations Board) arbitration in the
event of an impasse in negotiations. Picketing is not illegal.
If election of Rita Vanacore to the town board was a likelihood,
community members had better hope there is never a problem
with "disgusting" civil servants in their employ
on her watch.
There is so much in the letter published that irks a teacher's
soul. Some points one at a time. "Someone just out of
college with a Bachelor's Degree..." how dare they, Ms.
Vanacore sniffs, "have a starting salary of $49.00 an
hour?" Fact is, only 26% of the adult population has
a Bachelor's Degree in anything. No doubt, if asked about
the importance of a college education while on the board,
Ms. Vanacore would have waxed rhapsodic over its importance.
But not in the real world, this is a very different matter,
because how dare a student work hard and struggle through
college only to expect to be paid the salary of an educated
professional. If we follow Ms. Vanacore's logic, would those
without college credentials be more deserving of a decent
wage? Her folksy invitation : "Do the math, folks....$50,000.00
for 180 days of work. Never mind that the rest of us work
approximately 180 days more a year," is petty, jealous,
pocket-picking and speaks of a class-war mindset so typical
of those who demand that public employees be above reproach
while being below the standard of economic renumeration or
simply evolved human respect. It is a reflection of a mean-spirited
scapegoating inspired by one's own economic status or lack
thereof. I've said in these pages before that instead of cannibalizing
the very people who work hard to help your children, demand
an accounting from the social structures that encourage a
"divide and conquer" attitude, those that really
pick our pockets, like the government agencies that bankrupt
education, stage corporate financial bailout coups de grace
of our government, and degrade and corrupt everyone's standard
In further irony, Ms. Vanacore, in an attempt at wit, calls
the COLA (Cost of Living) increases in teachers' contracts
under discussion, "little." COLA is something all
employees are entitled to under law. And indeed, they are
"little." Look at your own COLAs (those of you whose
employees obey the law) and you'll note they are "little."
What is so dramatic about Ms. Vanacore's "math"
when her excitement is just simple multiplication? How unreasonable
that 3.75 adds up to something over three years! Step increases,
yes, that's true, we get those and they are tied to years
of service and relate to legislated retirement contracts for
teachers all around the state. Educational increases. These
are increases granted as one obtains advanced degrees (which
are mandated by the state under NCLB-No Child Left Behind).
These are one-time increases at the conferment of each degree:
increases for obtaining a master's degree and one more for
a doctorate. Gad! Why award someone for expertise? Only 16%
of the US adult population has a master's degree. Guess that,
too, is meaningless. My master's degree earned me 200.00 a
month, before taxes, and the loan ($21,000) I have to pay
back costs me $286.00 per month.
Extra-duty pay for "class advisor or extra curricular
activity advisor, add a stipend of up to $4000.00 per year
and where does that take us?" Rita demands to know. The
list of pay for extra - duties is a matter of public record
and I encourage you to read it as I have and you will see
that up to "$4000.00 per year" is a fable. Where
that "takes us " is the implication that teachers
not be paid for coaching, moderating Honor Society, and on
down a long of list of curricular enhancements. Most of these
duties are carried out after working hours. Ask any coach
how many hours he or she spends moderating these extra duties
and ask them to "do the math" in regard for parity
of pay to effort. No doubt the answers would be preceded with
a chuckle and would conclude with a passionate report of how
wonderful it is to be involved.
Ms. Vanacore asks "...since when did a benefits plan
become a salary negotiation." Apparently, Ms. Vanacore
has been living overseas for a long time. All district costs
figure into negotiations, transparently or not, and none more
so than labor. Amusingly, while Ms. Vanacore has a bloodlessly
corporate view of school administration, this point is lost
And here's Rita on tenure: "the board can't vote against
tenure..." good thing, because tenure is determined by
the will of the superintendent, and heaven help teachers if
Ms. Vanacore was voting on tenure, Mr. Ianotti might have
been delegated to becoming just a board member for daring
to talk about First Amendment rights. The inception of the
concept of tenure was born in the McCarthy era and is intended
to protect academic freedom. Tenure does not make one bulletproof.
If Ms. Vanacore read and understood the laws that govern teachers
in New York, she would understand that a teacher can be dismissed
for a host of behaviors at any time, tenured or not. Again,
I invite you to read all about it. I have seen this happen;
it happens all the time. Non-tenured teachers (you remember
them, the scum right out of college who dare to expect fair
pay) are observed twice a year; tenured teachers are observed
once in each school year. In the event a teacher's performance
is sub-standard, he or she is issued, under the law, what
is called a TIP (Teacher Improvement Plan) and if significant
progress is not made within a specified time, that teacher
can be dismissed "with cause." I am a tenured teacher
who is observed once yearly. During my 2008 observation, my
principal, most lately of the Onteora Middle School, fell
soundly asleep during a production of a play despite the giggles
of the students and their teacher. Sorry, Rita, teachers do
NOT keep their positions "regardless of whether the teacher
is the best in the field or is just hanging on." Despite
the original intention of tenure, I have seen many teachers
fired by political maneuvering and lots of dubious latitude
taken with Teacher Improvement Plans.
Teachers, contrary to what was noted in Rita's letter, do
not discontinue to pay into their retirements after three
years, we become fully vested after TEN years....again, New
York State Law. Teachers pay 3% of their retirement contributions,
the district, pays 7%. Does this cover the "little"
COLA spoken about?
With regard to the unions and Ms. Vanacore's statement that
teachers are "held hostage in order to keep their positions"
the hostage holding is done by something else. So typically
of this angry, suspicious mindset is the dagger-in-the-sleeve,
"Of course, I am not against you (teachers, in this case)
but don't dare demand rights or remind us of our selfishness
and greed". Ms. Vanacore's existential horror at those
organizing for their rights, legally and through their union,
helps to paint a portrait of how teachers, public employees
and even students, with all the control and monitoring, data
mining, vitriol, and suspicion directed toward them are regarded.
The brilliant and penetrating educational observer and former
NYS and New York City teacher of the year who left public
education and refused both awards because of his different
kind of disgust with public service has said, and this characterizes
Rita's point of view most accurately:
"Mass society and official public structures demand tight
administration, close management to an extreme degree."
Their managers, overlords, and the denizens of mass society
see them as "...undependable, dangerous, unreasonable,
childlike, and suicidal under such discipline. Holding this
contradiction requires managers and enemies of public schooling
to withdraw trust, to regard their clientele (emphasis mine)
as hospital managers might think of potentially homicidal
patients. Students, men under military discipline, and employees
in post offices and other public positions and other large
systems are forced into a condition of less than complete
sanity. They are dangerous, as history has shown again and
Ms. Vanacore's letter is a perfect example of this ideology.
Her anxieties about her own personal security are visited
upon people whom she does not even know but sees as a useful
target, the teachers at Onteora are foolish enough to think
they can have rights, cannot do math, have the temerity to
get paid for extra-work, are incompetent gold-brickers, are
being pick-pocketed and "held hostage" by their
union, don't know (what a riot) that picketing is illegal,
and are throwing out babies (good heavens!)... what a motley
lot in charge of our children. What perhaps I do hope they
were savvy enough about was the character of a person who
recently served on OUR board.
Re-read Ms. Vanacore's letter and take a glance back to Mr.
Gatto above, history has shown again and again how dangerous
these people are. Don't the teachers at Onteora know enough
to keep their place because as Rita's dire warning against
them asserts: "Each year that these many unreasonable
(emphasis mine) are met, our taxes skyrocket (remember that
"little" Large Parcel Bill, Rita) and our children
suffer." She despairingly laments: "In these economic
times (the OTA didn't create them Rita, you're investing them
with a lot of power) when is the union going to say "Enough
is enough" for now and sit down with the real (remember
these people are unreliable and childlike) intent of doing
what's fair and equitable for the district and the best education
for our students?"
"Fair and equitable" Rita pleads. On Fox News, lashing
out against the abridgement of rights, speaking out, disgracing
the strength, unity and brotherhood of a union, trivializing
important issues that affect all citizens is called "fair
and balanced". Talk about "fair and equitable"
from this stripe of former public servant is about as meaningful
as Dracula speaking about security for the blood bank. Ms.
Vanacore's opinion is solid evidence that those in the public
sphere do work in an atmosphere that is less than sane.
In the spirit of gauntlet dropping, which Ms. Vanacore assumed
she had the mettle to do, I'll invite her any time, on any
of the 180 days that I work, to rise at 4:30 am, make the
100 mile-a-day round trip to school, teach six classes a day
with only two half-hour breaks, answer an average of 150 e-mails
a week from parents, at home for no pay, and grade a minimum
of 400 English papers a week. Perhaps her idea about contracts
that regulate working conditions would have some air blown
West Shokan, NY
Someone suggested you publish this poem I recently wrote after
a trip to your area...
phoenicia’s smile 092709-092809
we wandered down the withywindle
(whatever do they call that river?)
like us, it appears to hear the tinkers tune
but the unconcious sight of the underbelly brought bile to
and i gagged slighty and recomposed
trying to identify the source
wondering if perhaps the charm had worn off so soon
woodstock, you misplaced child,
is it your fault that the peace signs are
now plastic and abused
is it your fault that i am just another
wandering your streets and blaming
my stumbling upon you?
god, may peace be with and between
me and you–
is it really just the changing of the season?
for now my hands they crave
the potter’s wheel
hell, give me a torch, let me melt
for my passions are no longer in
that virgin field
where they sang the songs of peace and love so long ago
winter now it seems to close
and yet it feels as though spring is near
where is the woodstock of yesteryear?
there is soil to turn and seeds to yet sow
hell, screw the virgins, let them sing
and so then, we withdrew slightly
i felt impotent and slightly frustrated
the roads twisted through the mountains like tunnels in a
like blind mice we wandered blindly until
we found ourselves back and
a shovel placed upon the street sent us climbing stairs
and so we willingly obliged
for here definitely was steel that
existed exactly as i felt
i personally liked the self portrait as a sow
and the remnant of a tire placed
upon the wall
finally an answer for all the retread threads that we find
in shreds along the highway
tack them to the walls–
and then to the first floor//
a community store//
with a host with a genuine gentle smile
a representative of phoenicia
displaying phoenicia’s smile
phoenicia, the perfect place for a writers work to begin
reminding me gently of my smith corona
and the blood that is long past
and the days that have come and gone
the days that have been
chap books in a window decades old
yet still relevant
still howling at the moon
still howling at the moon
like sharing simple words and a primitive beat with a long
Thank you for printing this...
John Bourne Harbour
Great news from the Phoenicia Library for young children and
their parents: Beginning in October, we will be offering two
programs for you! Beginning at 11 a.m. on Oct. 2, running
every Friday through Nov. 20, there will be a Story Hour presented
by Library Board member and mom Rebecca Barry, which will
feature guest storybook readers and a simple craft project
for children under the age of 5. Rebecca says, "We will
read a few books and then do a simple craft or coloring page
or whatever else inspires you!"
Then, beginning on Saturday, October 17, at 11 a.m., Library
Board member Sue Bernstein will offer the fun program, "Letter
Friends," for children who are preschool and older. Sue
says, "The program introduces children to the alphabet
via one continuous story, which features one letter per week.
Following the short story, children can color a stick puppet
of their new letter friend." Using the ITL Early Reading
& Writing Program, Letter Friends has been proven to be
a strong foundation for learning to read. Sign up at the Library,
or call for more information: 688.7811.
So, mark your calendar for those upcoming Fridays and Saturdays.
Phoenicia Library Board
For those of you interested in cocktails, especially the martini--as
am I, the following may be of interest. Roger and Mary Sullivan
and I, old friends, were having dinner at Ricciardella's in
Phoenicia NY the other night when the subject of James Bond
came up. We pondered over the exact recipe of his famous martini
which he insisted be shaken, not stirred (an apostasy for
most martini drinkers schooled in the proper way). Neither
of us, it turned out, could remember 007's exact recipe, which
he eventually called the "Vesper." Here it is. I'm
going to make one tomorrow.
The James Bond Martini Recipe -
Casino Royale was written by Ian Fleming as the first ever
James Bond book in 1953. Ian was a commander who worked with
naval intelligence in the war - he really did lead a life
of high stake gambling in exotic locations. He wrote this
book from his homestead "Goldeneye" in Jamaica.
When Bond first meets some French agents, he orders for them.
The guy gets a "fine a l'eau" - a classic cocktail
of Cognac and water. The girl gets a "Bacardi" (rum,
my favorite brand). It doesn't say that James gets anything
for himself. The first drink we see James drink is a straight
whisky 'on the rocks' (quotes theirs) in his room.
Next, in the casino, we get the first ever description of
his classic drink. Here's the verbatim text from the book:
"Bond insisted on ordering Leither's Haig-and-Haig 'on
the rocks' [a quality Scotch whiskey - Lisa] and then he looked
carefully at the barman.
'A dry martini,' he said. 'One. In a deep champagne goblet.'
'Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon's [an English gin],
one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. [this is NOT
vermouth - see below!] Shake it very well until it's ice-cold,
then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?'
'Certainly, monsieur.' The barman seemed pleasant with the
'Gosh that's certainly a drink,' said Leiter.
Bond laughed. 'When I'm ... er ... concentrating.' he explained,
'I never have more than one drink before dinner. But I do
like that one to be large and very strong and very cold and
very well-made. I hate small portions of anything, particularly
when they taste bad. This drink's my own invention. I'm going
to patent it when I can think of a good name.'
He watched carefully as the deep glass became frosted with
the pale golden drink, slightly aerated by the bruising of
the shaker. He reached for it and took a long sip.
'Excellent,' he said to the barman, 'but if you can get a
vodka made with grain instead of potatoes, you will find it
A short while later when he's sharing a carafe of vodka, nestled
in a bowl of crushed ice, with the female agent, he learns
her name is Vesper. He says:
'Can I borrow it?' He explained about the special martini
he had invented and his search for a name for it. 'The Vesper,'
he said. 'It sounds perfect and it's very appropriate to the
violet hour when my cocktail will now be drunk all over the
world. Can I have it?'
Note: My research shows Lillet Kina is a wine-based drink
that has quinine in it. Kina refers to the Kina Kina (quinquina)
tree where quinine comes from. In fact back in the James Bond
days it was VERY bitter and the entire drink would have been
quite bitter. They changed the formula in the mid-80s to have
less quinine, and now it comes in "Lillet Blanc"
and "Lillet Rouge". They're made in Podensac, in
France. Technically they are "French aperitif wines".
They are a blend of wine grapes, oranges, orange peels and
Vermouth, on the other hand, is a fortified wine - i.e. wine
kicked up with heavy alcohol. They then add in herbs and spices.
The main types of vermouth are dry vermouth, sweet red vermouth,
and white vermouth.
Woodland Valley, NY