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“Bloodlust” horror flick makes sneak preview in Kingston

Iconoclast art maverick Michael X. Rose made the rounds in downtown Kingston Saturday night. He kicked off the evening hosting a fundraiser at Kingston Museum of Contemporary Art (KMOCA) gallery on Abeel Street, offering small versions of his macabre paintings for pennies on the dollar.

Later, Rose and his entourage of 75 followers hiked uphill towards the Celebration Wedding Chapel on nearby Wurts Street, for a sneak preview showing of a bizarre short film produced by this creative oddball.

Bloodlust of the Druid Overlords is billed as a classic horror flick, based on the good versus evil theme. Its protagonist is Saint Patrick. “He’s a real guy who lived, he’s not a myth, you can read his writings,” Rose said. “He fought the Druids, walked through fire, and turned the Irish people from human sacrifice into Christians,” Rose added.

Rose plays the star role, and also wrote the screenplay and music, additionally performing the soundtrack. He spent roughly $20,000 on the endeavor, shooting entirely within Ulster County. “It’s fabulous what goes on around here, you have cliffs, caves, rivers, lakes,” he noted.

Motivation for the film is unclear. Rose maintains he was inspired by his own paintings, and wished to see those canvas works translated to celluloid. “No goal, just to make it, see what it looked like,” Rose explained. “I’m not into fame, I don’t want anyone to know who I am,” he said.

His desire for obscurity and weirdness led Rose to submit a hoax autobiography to the Poughkeepsie Journal earlier this month — complete with an ersatz portrait lifted from an old record album. “It’s kind of a coup, to have my fake photo published as me in the paper,” Rose said. “So now when you Google my name, you’ll find this fake rocker from the seventies,” he grinned.

PoJo took the bait, and published Rose’s absurd tract — as a serious art feature — on Jan. 4th. “My life began as a street urchin in Amsterdam. Thankfully, I was found and taken in by a Belgian order of Dominican nuns. They raised me in an orphanage outside of Brussels,” reads the prank article.

“It’s funny to watch a horror movie, and the crowd is laughing,” Rose observed. “I was laughing at the same time as well,” he admitted. “A lot of it’s embarrassing, to see me acting as something, because I’m not an actor.” The devout filmmaker was helped out by his wife and seven children, many of whom took additional casting roles.

Amateurs were joined by more experienced crew. Film editor and sound designer Jeff Burns of Brooklyn, worked on several documentaries plus one feature, prior to joining Rose. “I really enjoyed working on it,” Burns said. “This film represents an interesting form of horror that not a lot of people are producing right now,” he remarked.

The sneak preview wasn’t without critics. “I though it was stupid,” said Rosendale photographer Betty Greenwald, “although it looks like they had a lot of fun making it.”

For more info visit http://michaelxrose.com .

See film trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JuvUgEMtwpE

Watch sneak preview (bootleg cam): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7-2u5W4JeM

Kickstarter promo with trailer: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/michaelxrose/bloodlust-of-the-druid-overlords-film

League debate canceled in Rosendale

A candidates debate, proposed by the League of Women Voters for Rosendale, has been called off due to scheduling conflicts. The Shawangunk Journal offered to sponsor the event.

All three Republican town council candidates expressed their regrets that a previous commitment makes them unable to participate in a debate with their opponents on Friday evening, Nov. 4th. The election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 8th — leaving no time for an alternate event. The Democratic candidates all agreed to attend.

Organizers took partial blame, due to short notice in planning the face-off. “I was pushing to try to move it earlier,” remarked Paul Smart, a League volunteer who intended to serve as Rosendale‘s debate moderator this year. “Because it was so close to the election, it took away a lot of hysteria aspects — it wouldn’t be written about in the weeklies,” Smart said. “It was more of an event for those who showed up.”

Smart works as a journalist for Ulster Publishing, and also operated the now-defunct Mountain Eagle newspaper out of Greene County. His activities with the League are motivated by a desire to bring campaign issues to the forefront, and get voters more interested in local politics.

In addition to town council candidates, some county-level politicians were also expected to speak – including Attilio Contini versus Robert Parete – the opponents for Ulster Co. Legislative District 19; and D.A. Candidates Holley Carnright versus Jonathan Sennett.

“Without the town candidates there, it’s a no-go,” lamented Smart. “I was ready to go ahead with just the county candidates, but the League felt that since it had been publicized as a town candidate event, it would have been seen as partisan if only the Democrats showed up from the town side,” Smart indicated. “By declining to show up, the three Republican candidates pulled the plug on the whole thing,” he said.

Rosendale‘s local race is not without controversy. Jeanne Walsh, running for supervisor on the Republican ticket, is a registered Democrat who lost the primary to Jen Metzger. Three Democratic Committee members in town resigned to support Walsh – Brian Cafferty and Rochelle Riservato (who is also a writer for Shawangunk Journal), along with Jeanne’s brother-in-law Ken Walsh. Sarah McGinty, former town justice who nominated Walsh at the caucus, did not resign from the committee.

As a bipartisan fusion candidate, Walsh is expected to get most of the Republican vote, followed by some of the Democratic vote. Yet this crossover goes both ways. For example, Ron Parenti, the town’s Republican ZBA chairman, openly supports Democrat Jen Metzger. In the final week of election season, Parenti constructed an eye-catching campaign sign, on the hill behind St. Peter’s church. His effort represents a visual highlight for this year’s race. Republicans who are miffed that a registered Democrat is running on their line, may vote for Metzger instead – or not vote at all. A close margin is expected.

Previously, a “Meet the Candidates Night” was held October 18th in town by the Rosendale Women’s Club. Meanwhile, partisan jockeying continues to stymie actual debates. “If you go back into League history,” recalls Smart, “they handled the presidential debates until 1988. The parties started trying to control the format of the debate so much that the League pulled out, saying that this is becoming a charade of democracy at this point,” he said. “Since then, all of the presidential debates have been handled by political operatives,” Smart notes.” The statements are really kind of amazing, that the League made, you don’t really hear anything quite so harsh anymore, from a non-partisan level.”

Wallkill woman finds lost pussy after relentless two months search

Wallkill woman finds lost pussy after relentless two months search

Gardiner’s well-known hissing person case has been solved. One ornery outdoor feline — miffed after visiting a local veterinarian — escaped from its owner and remained at large for eight weeks. A widespread campaign unrivaled in Gardiner then ensued.

Sarah Sax, devastated at the loss of her longtime companion, launched an all-out effort to locate the wayward animal, age 13, called “Tigere” — the Spanish word for King Tiger. “I know it’s a dumb name,” she confessed.

The reunited human said she’s known the animal since Tigere’s birth. His father, Mixmax was a starving cat in the woods, “who I could not tame — some kind of wild cat. He had this huge head,” Sax recalled. The mother — another stray — had a litter with that paternal half-bred snow bengal.

Tigere absconded from Sax’s grip on October 6th, after visiting the Gardiner animal hospital for routine inoculations. “He’s a gentle cat,” Sax, who arrived with another driver, recollected. “I had him on my lap.” The tabby normally gets skittish in close quarters. “If you put him in a cage, he really freaks out, has a panic attack,” Sax warned.

The shots were administered, under protest. Upon leaving the clinic, Tigere bolted away — in a dash for freedom — escaping from the car. “The door was open just a crack – he just booked,” lamented Sax. “He ran right up to the top of the fence and jumped over,” Sax said sadly. “He turned, looked back — and when he saw he was home free — and nobody was going to catch him, he was very happy,” she admitted, adding, “It was a beautiful summer day, he was practically dancing.”

Undaunted, Sax proceeded to bombard the neighborhood with fliers seeking her missing pet. “It was pretty extensive campaign,” Sax declared, “I posted everywhere, hung notices, talked to people, had a big huge sign.”

Tips began to trickle in; most of them were false alarms, followed by several credible clues. “I got three different calls for the same general location on the rail trail,” Sax related. She followed up with site investigation, behind Kiss My Face soap factory. “We saw a cat — at least the tail sticking out — I’m pretty sure that was him. “He was unwilling to come, because he didn’t want to go back to the car, the vet, whatever it was.”

Contrite, Sax pondered Tigere’s motives for flight. “He felt crossed by being forced to go to the vet,” she supposed. “He doesn’t think of himself as a pet, more like a roommate. He doesn’t like to be told to do things he doesn’t want to do,” Sax remarked. “He’s not a tame kitty-cat. He’s huge, and looks like a tiger — he ain’t no pussy. Sax guessed, “I think he might remember [being fixed], maybe that’s why he hates the vet.”

On October 6th, Sax made a confirmed sighting. “I started calling him, he started walking beside me, — talking to me, nagging, lecturing me,” she said, excited. “I had a can of food with me, and opened the can. He whiffed and came over. I sat down on the rail trail and let him eat — and when he finished eating, I finally went over to him.

Tigere spent the next several weeks wallowing in gluttony. “He just commenced to being an eating machine — four cans of food a day, Sax bragged. “Just eat and go back to sleep.” Back at the ranch, Tigere’s sibling Ela is elated. “They’re cuddling and sleeping together,” Sax grinned.”So far, it’s a happy ending “Everything is just back as it was, just like nothing ever happened.”

New online effort to kickstart popular confession performance

A local stage production has ten days to raise $20,000 through Amazon.Com’s “Kickstart” program, for their next round of funding. So far, almost $15,000 has been pledged towards “Too Much Information,” otherwise known as “TMI.” No funds get transferred by the sponsor unless the entire goal is met.

Producer Eva Tenuto spoke about her project — now in its third season. “Our registration has tripled, we have a lot of new voices we haven’t heard before,” she said. We have 26 students right now, and we’re going to have three separate casts when we do production — each night will be different stories.”

The idea for TMI came out of Tenuto’s experience directing the Vagina Monologues — an internationally recognized effort known for its controversial title and subject. “It definitely inspired us, but we’re not really related to that in any other way,” Tenuto explained. “It’s a series of monologues based on real life experiences — which the Vagina Monologues is also.”

TMI takes the Monologues to a more personal level, Tenuto commented. “The difference is that readers of the work are the people that the stories happen to,” she said. “Everyone is reading their own work, so they’re all telling their own story. And the subject matter varies,” Tenuto added, “so we’re not doing a bunch of monologues about vaginas.”

Tenuto elaborated on subject matter. “It’s generalized. Basically the theme of TMI is we tell the parts of the story that people normally leave out — we’re revealing something that we normally don’t reveal.”

She said the results are positive. “It ends up being a really transformative process for the readers and for the listeners as well. As they tell it and start shaping it, they have a new experience of what happened to them, and start seeing things in different ways.”

TMI workshops represent a form of personal growth therapy, she indicated. “They’re really required to have a certain level of letting go — in terms of which parts of the story they hold onto. And that could get really hard for people, but once they surrender to that process, they all say they have a certain sense of relief,” Tenuto said.

“They’ve gone from having this story which they were afraid to tell anyone — to sharing with 300 people publicly. I think it eliminated a lot of negative feelings they might have been holding onto, like shame or guilt.” Tenuto added, “A lot of the material is hysterically funny — 85% of the work is comedy.”

Tenuto scoffed at censors who would omit potentially offensive language — such as anatomical references. “I think it’s ridiculous,” she replied. “It’s really surprising — it’s a body part, it’s not a bad word. It’s bizarre to me that an editor would say in this day and age, that you can’t put ‘vagina’ in the newspaper.”

Slowly, TMI is gaining popularity. “We’re nowhere near where the Vagina Monologues has been, because they’re known internationally,” Tenuto remarked. “We’ve gotten tremendous feedback from the local community. We’re still pretty new. I’m impressed with how much coverage we’ve gotten.” An upcoming sponsored run at the Brooklyn Lyceum will be the first time TMI has left the Hudson Valley.

“The whole reason we’re doing this Kickstarter campaign, is because we’d like to be able to expand our program and go on tour — offer the program to people who don’t have access to writing workshops, offer scholarships.”

The next TMI performance happens first weekend in February at the Rosendale Theater, followed by a weekend retreat at Lifebridge Sancutary in late February. Regular workshops are held at Rosendale’s Canal Town Alley, behind Big Cheese. “We also do TMIdol, which is a story slam,” Tenuto noted. Next slam is on Nov. 3rd, at Market Market, 9pm.

Interview: Robert Gallagher for Rosendale town council

This lifelong Rosendaler, age 48, is seeking re-election to the town board, following one term as Republican councilman — preceded by two terms as supervisor. He first took office in 2004. The High Falls resident takes a no-nonsense approach towards politics.

Gallagher stepped down as supervisor for career reasons. “It is a full time job. I couldn’t afford to do it anymore,” he explained. “I still wanted to be involved,” however, so he became a councilman instead.

“My issues are all about procedure and finances,” Gallagher declared. “There are a lot of things that were accomplished during my term as supervisor that have fallen by the wayside.” He is critical of the ZRC’s proposed zoning code revision. “It really infringes on property rights,” Gallagher objected. “There was a consultant hired who tried to direct them on a path,” he added. “I think it was a waste of money.”

The biggest issue is Williams Lake, Gallagher notes. “Our opposition changed their tune after the caucus,” he said, disbelieving recent Democratic statements of support. “They’ve thrown up roadblocks. That needs to be hammered out,” he remarked. “This thing has been going on for five years now — a process that needs to follow procedure. You have an environmentally sound company that wants to build this project. They want to be the right neighbor.”

Gallagher warned the HRVR resort investors at Williams Lake may pull out in frustration. “We have a bunch of people that are directing the candidates from the Democratic Party — it’s basically Save the Lakes and the local chapter of the Sierra Club,” he accused. “After a while, you’ve got to say ‘let’s cut our losses and move on.’ Is that going to happen? I hope not. Because I do know for a fact there are non-profit organizations that have offered money for that property, and I’d hate to see [Williams Lake] taken off the tax rolls.”

Regarding Joppenberg, Gallagher commented, “The families that owned Joppenberg wanted to sell the property. I have no problem with OSI buying it,” he noted. “My problem is finances and procedure coming from the town. That’s what [councilman] Ken Hassett and I were saying — we didn’t have the money, it’s simple math. It doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out.”

Either way, Joppenberg is an accident hazard, Gallagher observed. So is the trestle — expected to soon be gifted to Rosendale. “My personal vote would go to not accepting [the trestle], because it’s a liability.”

Projects such as Williams Lake, and senior housing, can bring investors for local groceries and pharmacies, currently lacking in Rosendale, Gallagher suggested. Attracting development requires proper administration. “We need to concentrate on our infrastructure, and we haven’t — that’s one thing I don’t think our counterparts will concentrate on. Government isn’t supposed to be this hard, and it wasn’t hard. It just needs planning, and I don’t think [our opponents] have the capability to plan.”

Interview: Robert Ryan for Rosendale town council

A lifelong resident of Rosendale, Robert Ryan, age 52, is seeking election as town councilman on the Republican slate. The Tillson retiree’s extended family has called Rosendale home for over a century.

Retired from Coast Guard after 32 years, plus 13 years employment for New York State as a Level I plant utilities engineer, is the experience Ryan brings to this election race. He has never served public office before.

Working with a very restricted budget in the Coast Guard, he said, “I know what it means to set priorities when it comes to money.” Looking at local politics on the state and local level, he lamented, “I see how money us irresponsibly being spent. Seeing what’s going on in our own town, I decided to throw my hat into the ring.”

Ryan believes Rosendale has faltered under Democratic control. “To sum it up,” Ryan said, “we’re not moving forward at all, we’re just on a stationary bicycle. We have a number of town board members and our supervisor who always have their own personal agenda.”

He cited as an example failing infrastructure around town — problems which began manifesting themselves during the Rt. 32 bridge repairs several years ago. “We could have had a lot of this corrected,” Ryan indicated.

Detours around James Street were avoided to placate neighbors of a town board member, Rytan suggested, exacerbating and delaying road work. “You don’t pick and choose, you do it,” Ryan insisted. “Sometimes to get things, you have to give things.”

Regarding more recent foibles, Ryan discussed Joppenberg. “I can’t understand buying Joppenburgh Mountain, except for friends who have businesses on Main Street — they wanted additional parking.” Criticizing the opposition, he said “Their agenda is strictly personal, it’s what they want — and not what the community wants.”

Williams Lake is a perfect example, Ryan offered. “I can guarantee you [Democrats] have not been for it, they’ve been campaigning with Save the Lakes people. We need something concrete that will generate additional revenue. We have yeses and no on things we can do to create money,.”

Ryan pointed out disparities between certain projects, such as Creek Locks Commons. Democrats advocated for a low-income RUPCO development, but balk and stalled against a luxury hotel at Williams Lake. “There’s a lot of contradictions here,” he said. Additionally, “Parking and traffic wasn’t [raised as] an issue, in a very restricted area,” for Rosendale Theater Collective.

Concerning his party’s fusion ticket led by Jeanne Walsh, a registered Democrat, Ryan remarked, “It doesn’t matter what political party you’re affiliated with, I’m making judgment calls on who I feel would be on sync with the rest of the community, and help out taxpayers through these trying economic times.”

He said of the opposition’s leadership, “We already have a taste of what [ Dep. Sup. Jen Metzger] would be like, because she’s basically the supervisor right now.”

Housing still on the table for Creek Locks property

It’s a long-shot; however, Rosendale is considering a senior housing development for Creek Locks Road, on a parcel of land just outside the hamlet business district, approved for use by the Little League just last month. There might be room to accommodate both baseball and apartments. Town supervisor proposed discussions with developers, “at least to look at the possibilities of doing that.”

The issue came up at the Oct. 6th town board workshop meeting. Councilman Richard “F-Stop” Minissali, an avid sports fan, remarked, “I think it would be fabulous, the idea of senior citizens being able to watch kids play ball — the interaction between the two, it would be wonderful.” Councilwoman Manna Jo Greene added that such a dual project might contribute approximately half a million dollars towards a new town hall — while at the same time serving local sports activities.

Councilman Robert Gallagher suggested the quadruple ballfield could be scaled back to make room for additional projects. As former town supervisor, Gallagher helped obtain the Creek Locks parcel for Rosendale. A highway department salt shed will also be built on the site, bidding has already been completed. Furthermore, sewer department expansions may take place there, if grant funding is approved.

Rosendale’s 2012 tentative town budget has been drafted. “We will be holding a public hearing next month.” said town supervisor Patrick McDonough. Copies are available at the town clerk’s office. Water commissioner Jack Snyder asked at the Oct. 6th workshop meeting if expensive repair costs could be inserted for 2012, in the form of a new bond.

McDonough replied, “I’ll have more conversations with Terry [Johnson, water supt.] about concrete costs,” adding payments for the existing bond are already part of the town’s preliminary budget. Snyder warned the costs would double if water repairs are not made soon — crumbling water towers might get condemned forcing a full replacement.

The same night of the public hearing, there will be held a proposal to enact a local law to override the 2% property tax increase cap. Water district issues are part of the motivation. “That is an important tool to have in place, in case we run across things, which make it impossible for some municipalities to stay within that two percent,” said McDonough.

Town property set aside at Creek Locks Road are prevented by law from being handed over to the water district. “There’s gotta be a way around it,” complained councilman Hassett. “We received this land for nothing, it was given to the town,” he said, “it benefits the district, being adjacent to the sewer plant.”

He continued, “for us to not be able to convey that, or authorize its use, it’s wrong — it’s one of the things that’s wrong with this country. You talk about unfunded mandates and things like that, our hands are tied. It’s a small district that can’t afford the infrastructure needs.”

Hassett suggested a revolution, of sorts. “We have an opportunity here. Big Brother says ‘no’ — we either have to sell it at market value, or lease it at market value. I advocate just do it, and let Big Brother come get us. Maybe we need to stand up as municipal officials and say, ‘no, we’re going to do it our way.’”

In other business, the town will be seeking bids to place a drill a new well at the swimming pool. Next month, there will be discussion of setting a curfew for Halloween. Part of James Street will need to be blockaded with jersey barriers to prevent children from falling into the chasm. The street collapsed into Rondout Creek during the hurricane, with additional erosion in recent weeks.

Joppenberg Mountain has been acquired by Open Space Institute, according to a press release issued last Thursday. Rumors had been circulating since August. The nonprofit organization says they plan to turn the property over to the Wallkill Valley Land Trust. Last spring, the town agreed to buy the land at $85,000 — but the deal fell through due to lack of municipal funds. Issues surrounding a parking lot for Main Street businesses are being hammered out behind the scenes.

Open Space Institute acquires Joppenburgh Mountain

[Note: the following is a press release from Open Space Institute, which came out on Thursday morning. Rosendale rejected OSI’s strong-arm tactics last spring, saving taxpayers about $80,000. There’s more to this story than what OSI is presenting to the public.]

OSI’s acquisition, with assistance from The Shawangunk Conservancy, permanently protects Rosendale landmark

NEW YORK, NY ­ October 6, 2011 ­ With assistance from several community organizations, the Open Space Institute (OSI) today announced that it has acquired the 119-acre, 495-foot high Joppenbergh Mountain in the Ulster County hamlet of Rosendale.

The mountain, which sits along the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail near the north end of the
Rosendale Trestle, was acquired by OSI’s land acquisition affiliate, the Open Space
Conservancy, from Joppenbergh Mountain Corporation for $185,000. Named after Jacob Rutsen, who founded the first settlement in Rosendale, it has numerous cliffs, ravines and crevices, and expansive views of much of the Hudson River Valley.

The Shawangunk Conservancy, the land trust affiliate of the Friends of Shawangunks, is to raise $85,000 of the $185,000 acquisition price, and has just launched a fundraising campaign to that end.

“We are excited to be part of this project,” said Neil Zimmerman, president of Friends of
Shawangunks. “Saving this mountain as forever-protected open space and a recreational resource for the Rosendale area is a significant challenge for us. It’s a great deal of money and we need lots folks to help with the effort.”

OSI intends to convey Joppenbergh Mountain to the Wallkill Valley Land Trust, which will manage the property for public use, by the end of the year. The two organizations are already partnering in the extension of the nearby Wallkill Valley Rail Trail and the restoration of the Rosendale trestle.

“We are delighted to be a part of the protectionof Joppenbergh Mountain. This parcel is an important for a number of reasons, especially the role it plays in connecting the extension of the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail to the heart of Rosendale,” said Christine DeBoer, WVLT’s executive director.

The acquisition and protection of Joppenbergh Mountain adds to the more than four-mile long stretch of land that OSI and its partners are protecting at the very northern end of the Shawangunk Ridge and, north of the Rondout Creek, in the Binnewater Hills. The Binnewater Hills, like the Shawangunk Ridge, are listed as
a priority project in the New York State Open Space Plan.

“Joppenbergh Mountain is a highly visible part of historic Rosendale that will now be preserved permanently,” said Kim Elliman, OSI’s CEO and president. “We’re fortunate to have strong partners in the Wallkill Valley Land Trust and the Friends of Shawangunks who are helping make this landmark accessible for the public’s
enjoyment. We thank all those who helped us acquire this property, which anchors the Rosendale trestle.”

Mined throughout the 19th century for the dolostone that was used in the manufacture of natural cement, in recent years Joppenbergh’s lush forested habitat has attracted hikers, cross-country skiers and other outdoor enthusiasts. At the base of the mountain is a parking lot and small town park that is leased and used by the town of Rosendale. The lease for that arrangement runs through 2014.

“There is a lot to consider in developing a management plan for the future of Joppenbergh Mountain, and we look forward to working with the community and the friends groups,” DeBoer said. “With the restoration of the trestle in Rosendale moving forward, the protection of Joppenbergh Mountain is an exciting next step.”

Interview: Richard “F-Stop” Minissali for Rosendale town council

Incumbent Democrat Richard “F-Stop” Minissali is seeking re-election for a second term in office on the Rosendale town council. The James Street resident, age 62, moved here 16 years ago from Kerhonksen. He grew up in Syracuse, NY.

“This is clearly a one-issue race,” remarked F-Stop, “but the issue is Rosendale — not Williams Lake.” He was paraphrasing Ted Dixon’s nominating speech from the Democratic caucus. “What are the needs, and who is the best leadership for Rosendale,” he summarized. “We’ve got other things in town.”

Concerning the controversial Williams Lake resort re-development, “I have very little to say about that,” Minissali warned. “I think it has the potential to be good, it also could be negative if it’s not done properly. But right now, it’s not up to me — it’s up to the DEC & HRVR to settle all the environmental issues,” he stated.

“The one thing that has come before the town, is some sort of zoning,” Minissali indicated. He chairs the PDD subcommittee of the Zoning Review Committee. “PDD” stands for planned district development, described as “trying to create a flexible zoning opportunity, which can be used throughout town to promote growth.” Minissali added, “The interesting thing is it creates a direct dialogue with the developer.”

Concerning Rosendale’s fumbled Joppenberg Mountain purchase last spring, Minissali said “I think what scared people is the potential liability.” He observed, “financially it makes sense, it would pay for itself over 12 years. Strategically it makes sense, because it would secure a parking lot for the future use of businesses on Main Street.” Minissali cast the deciding vote in favor of purchase, but the deal fell through due to a municipal fiscal miscalculation.

As for the crumbling water & sewer system in town, Minissali said “I think we’re looking at at least half a million in repairs, it could easily be greater than that.” He added, “We’d love to put some reed bed technology at the tail end of the system, put in an artificial marsh, which takes the effluent through a natural process.” Property has been set aside for the district on Creek Locks Road, with the hopes of future expansion.

F-Stop also worked with volunteer community projects, as executive director of the Rosendale Theater Collective. He stepped down following a back injury. Today the nearly-abandoned theater is a thriving attraction on Main Street, drawing national attention. “I’m trying to be considerate, leave this place that I would want my children to be proud of.”

Minissali’s moniker “F-Stop” — which comes from his days as a photographer — appears on the election ballot. “The board of elections has allowed me to use it as a nickname,” he commented. While acknowledging the advantage incumbents naturally enjoy, Minissali is taking nothing for granted. ”To me every vote counts.” His campaign website is at www.electfstop.com .

Interview: Alex Ferguson for Rosendale town council

Rosendale’s newest candidate, Alex Ferguson, age 33, is vying for a seat on the town council, as part of the Democratic slate. The Tillson Estates resident moved to Rosendale with his wife four and a half years ago from Los Angeles, Calif. They are expecting a baby.

“I was born in Utah, lived there until I was ten, then moved to Columbia, Md.,” Said Ferguson. He graduated from the University of Maryland, before relocating to Pasadena. His wife took a job at SUNY New Paltz, bringing the couple to the Hudson Valley. Ferguson works with computer software development.

“Last year I got on the Rosendale Climate Task Force,” he recalled. “I’ve been doing the greenhouse gas emissions inventory for the town,” taking stock of energy consumption. His calculations helped Rosendale save money through lighting upgrades in municipal buildings.

“I will represent all the people of Rosendale,” Ferguson promised, with an emphasis on “keeping this world usable for our children, because they are our future.” Alex intends to increase communication with the populous via technology, for example streaming board meetings over the internet, and facilitating real-time public chat sessions with officials.

“I’m really good at listening,” Ferguson indicated. “I’m going to make sure everybody has a say.” He noted, “I think participation in the town needs to come up.” Most of the decisions he’ll be making are approval of mundane day-to-day operations, Ferguson conceded. However, “I do want to rebuild the American Dream right here in Rosendale, by revitalizing the Rt. 32 corridor.”

“The way we do that is through incentive zoning — to make it a little more flexible for businesses to come in. We’d like to try to court a pharmacy, a local grocery store, see if we can get them to come in to that corridor.” Ferguson said it is difficult for Rosendale residents to go food shopping all the way up in Kingston.

“It’s important that we have our infrastructure,” Ferguson declared. Joking about the James Street collapse into the Rondout Creek, he quipped, “I know that the residents of James Street are pretty happy with it — they’re thinking of throwing a block party, because there’s so little traffic on it now.”

Ferguson says he’s prepared to weather the rough-and-tumble brickbats of public service in this controversially divisive town. “It is what I’m signing up for, like it or not,” he remarked. “Hopefully we can bring the community together, but where that’s not possible, I will definitely take a stand for what I believe.”

Going door-to-door, he said, “you get to hear people’s concerns.” Taxes and foreclosures are the most common gripes he hears, Ferguson indicated. “Like it or not, we’re all neighbors,” Ferguson observed.

Ferguson added he’d be happy to debate his opponents. Alex has a website at alexander-ferguson.com , and his slate is at rosendaledemocrats.com .