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James Street residents in Rosendale enjoy nature’s roadblock

The intense hurricane which swept through New York during the weekend of August 28th left many areas devastated. But for residents of James Street in Rosendale, the collapse of their road into the Rondout Creek has helped ease ongoing traffic issues.

James Street has been closed to thru traffic since Hurricane Irene’s aftermath, due to part of the road being washed out. Although relatively high above the creek, the section of undermined highway suffered severe erosion to the underlying embankment.

Now, only local residents may drive past the roadblock — to the joy of many home owners.

Located on the south bank of the river, parallel to Rt. 213 (Main Street), James Street is a close-knit town road lined with single-family homes. For many years — as Rosendale’s population grew — James Street gradually became a well-traveled shortcut, allowing motorists to bypass the long traffic signal down by Rt. 32.

The ever-increasing number of vehicles passing down James Street negatively impacted the residential quality of the avenue — until Mother Nature stepped in last month and put a stop to it.

“I think most people are thrilled,” concurred Richard “F-Stop” Minissali, a James Street homeowner and town coucilman. “I haven’t spoken to anybody who complained,” he remarked. “It’s never been so quiet and safe as it is now. In general, I think there are a lot of people here who would agree the road just gets too much traffic.”

F-Stop mentioned the traffic on his street sometimes gets severe. “I’ve had two cars totaled, just parked in front of my house — people losing control and driving to rapidly — and I know there’s a telephone pole that got taken out,” he said.

Ulster Community College and SUNY New Paltz listed the James Street shortcut within their directions for how to best commute through town. “It’s a highly residential street, a lot of kids, as densely populated as it can get in our area,” Minissali stated.

Minissali said the town has not made concrete plans to fix the road yet. “People have mentioned it, but as far as a date, when it’s going to get repaired, that hasn’t come up,” he said. “It looks to me that it’s not going to be an easy fix, throw some dirt on the side of the road and repave it,” Minissali observed. “It’s going to need some support, piers or something, to build the road back up.”

Rosendale highway superintendent Carl Hornbeck said the section which collapsed is 120 feet of roadway, sunk down about four feet, in some places six feet inwards from the guardrail. The road will be closed indefinitely, “until we find out where we stand, what FEMA is going to do, what avenues we have to go to — as far as hiring an engineer,” Hornbeck said. The fallen bank is outside the Flood Control Project, Hornbeck noted, but the Army Corps of Engineers will be looking into possible future inclusion.

Five years ago, there was a fatality on James Street, not far from the current road collapse. A woman walking down the side of the road got hit and killed. Around that time, residents collected signatures and had the town put a stop sign at Brown Aveue in order to slow down thru traffic.

During the Rt. 32 bridge repair five years ago, James Street was passed over as an alternate route, due to public outcry. The Main Street detour resulted in many months of additional delays, while work was completed. More recently, James Street was shut down during the 2011 summer street festival, with special permits issued allowing only immediate residents permission to park there.

New Little League Field for Rosendale, at Creek Locks Parcel

The Rosendale town board unanimously decided to allow the Rondout Valley Little League use of municipal property on Creek Locks Road for a new sports complex. The current location at A.J. Snyder Field in Lawrenceville has been frequently washed out by flooding of the Rondout Creek.

Over a hundred little league supporters came out to urge the town’s approval. Deliberations lasted almost two hours. Rosendale will continue to own the land, but make arrangements to grant perpetual use of the parcel for recreational sports activities. The move was considered urgent, because arrangements need to be made before winter, in order to have fields ready by springtime.

“As soon as this ground freezes, we can’t put anything up,” noted league treasurer Mario Restivo. “As soon as that ground thaws, we’re going to have 200 kids trying to register, and I’ve got to have a field ready for them. March is my gateway to put something in — and that’s if we don’t have a harsh winter like last year.”

The little league plans to keep ownership of the flooded fields, for use in seasonal practice. The old A. J. Snyder Field was deeded to the little league back in 1969. Other local organizations may enjoy use of the Snyder field, in exchange for Rosendale’s new accommodations, as part of formal agreements to be hammered out in coming weeks. Three ballfields will break ground immediately, plus a larger one for American Legion use.

“The big picture should be secondary to our immediate need, to get the approval for these people to hit the ground as soon as possible, make sure that we have a ball field up and running for next year,” concurred town councilman Ken Hassett.

Creek Locks Commons has laid fallow for over twenty years. It was formerly considered for housing developments. More recently the land was vetted as a site for a new town hall, and/or a highway department salt shed. “Quite honestly, my feeling is that for most of my life — for almost 40 years — this town has debated on what to do with that property, even when it was in private hands,” recalled Hassett.

“Subsequently, the owners of that property washed their hands of it, and gave it to the town,” Hassett explained. “[Former town supervisor, and current town councilman] Bob [Gallagher] cut that deal six years ago. I don’t think that we’re going to come to a conclusion in the near future,” said Hassett. “I look at is as this property was a gift to this town, I believe we should pay it forward. It’s obvious we have a need in this town.”

Hassett declared, “This property is going to become the Rosendale Sports Complex,” to public applause. “It’s for our kids, case closed, it’s decided.” Town supervisor Patrick McDonough agreed. “We’re not putting this off,” McDonough promised, “we’re going to sit down next week, figure out the final details.”

The plan was not without critics. Manna Jo Greene suggested an additional month to allow other residents review of the proposal, but was shouted down by members of the audience. “I appreciate the role the little league has in town. I’m just wondering what the rest of the community thinks, because this is such an important decision,” Greene said.

Councilman Richard “F-Stop” Minissali joked during the roll call, “Can we change this to the ‘Field of Dreams Proposal?’” Hassett responded, “It’s not going to be a dream, it’s going to be a reality — it’s going to fulfill their dreams.” He added, “When we’re down, we come together to pick ourselves up.”

A representative from Hudson River Valley Resorts proposed zoning changes to town officials, which would allow large property owners — such as Williams Lake — to submit “unified planned development.” This concept has been discussed over the past several years by Rosendale’s Zoning Review Committee (ZRC) as “planned project development,” or PPD. The zoning amendment is intended to streamline the municipal planning review process for complicated developments which fall outside the scope of conventional ordinances. The town board is checking into whether a modification of zoning would reset the clock for HRVR’s pending SEQRA approval process.

Zombies invade Rosendale

Main Street in Rosendale was invaded by several hundred zombies last Saturday, on the afternoon of Sept. 17th. The walking undead creeped around Rosendale’s business district for roughly 45 minutes, slowing motorist traffic along Rt. 213, while devouring the brains of several residents — who were unable to escape their slow but relentless advance. Eventually, a squadron of ghost drummers led by local artist Fre Atlast distracted the monsters with noise, leading them back behind the movie theater, where live rock music caused their heads to explode, perishing them all.

Ted Dixon got too close for comfort. His photos are remarkable, but zombies eventually ate his brains.

Other parts of the country were not so lucky. Reports from Washington,D.C. appear ominous. http://bit.ly/mS1yBU

Watch 2011 Rosendale Zombie Fest on YouTube here:

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDCEM5LT0Ws

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axklEmz53TU

Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyDX7wOSxRM

Rondout Valley Little League, devastated by floods, seeks new ballfield

The little league baseball field in Rosendale, located in the flood plain of Rondout Creek, has been washed away once again by the latest round of rain storms. The A.J. Snyder field in Lawrenceville, off Rt. 213 near Cottekill Road, was deluged with huge swells in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Mario Restivo, Tillson resident and treasurer of Rondout Valley Little League, appeared at the Sept. 7th Rosendale town board workshop meeting, in search of an alternative location. The league serves 200 kids from Marbletown and Rosendale. “We had over ten feet of water,” lamented Restivo, “everything is gone.”

“Right now they have no place to play,” Restivo informed officials. He requested the town board consider allowing the league to occupy municipal land. “I don’t know what the status of the Creek Locks Road property is,” he suggested. “There would be enough space to construct two or three fields. We’re only occupying 5 acres, including parking.”

The Creek Locks parcel was once proposed for a housing development called “Creek Locks Commons,” before being dropped by developers, after word got out that it is a toxic brownfield. It is within walking distance of the village, and does not flood. Rosendale has been mulling alternative uses for the fallow plot, particularly a new highway department salt shed.

League officials are wary of pouring money down the drain at the A.J. Snyder field. “As a [little league] board member, I don’t want to spend another penny and watch it go down the stream,” Restivo complained.

“You don’t want to keep pouring good money after bad, and see it go down the stream,” agreed town supervisor Patrick McDonough. Replacing the existing field would be expensive. “We’re gonna need a lot of truckloads for each field, because all that dirt’s gone,” Restivo observed.

Three fields are required, based on baseball league rules for different age groups and genders. The Rec Ctr. field has a flat mound, and lacks a knock away base — making it suitable only for regulation girls softball.

Playing season opens again in six months, and preparation must be done now, Restivo warned. “Time is not on our side, we need three fields for those kids in the spring,” he insisted. “We’re not asking for the town to give us any money,” he explained, but “somehow, in a legal aspect, loan us the property, or lease for use.” Restivo added the site might be expanded into a sports complex, with soccer fields.

McDonough conceded that a sports complex would draw visitors to town. “I would like to have more discussion about it, we should do that, have everybody here when we talk about it,” McDonough replied. “The Creeklocks property, use of it has never really been concretely set, ideas have been evolving all along — leaning more and more towards being community use,” he said. “We talked about the salt shed, and we would love to see a town hall down there. So those kinds of things have been germinating in people’s minds.”

Councilwoman Manna Jo Greene remarked, “I’m not opposed to the suggestion.” However, she said, “that particular property is potentially a real jewel for Rosendale. I’m not sure a recreation center is its highest and best use. It may be — I just would like to know what other potential areas [could serve as alternative ballfields], I understand the current location is not a good one.”

Restivo disclosed that other spots might be available near the Rosendale Elementary school, Iron Mountain, and county-owned land in Marbletown. The matter will return on the agenda at the full town board meeting on Sept. 14th.

Rosendale bolsters town emergency preparedness plan

Rosendale town officials scrutinized their emergency response efficiency at the Sept. 7th workshop meeting, in the wake of last week’s devastating rain storms. The discussion took place near the tenth anniversary of the Sept. 11th attacks in Manhattan.

“I would like to recognize all the victims including all the emergency personnel who lost their lives that day,” observed town supervisor Patrick McDonough. “It’s fitting that we honor them today, considering the crisises that are going on all around us, with the recent storm that we had,” he said. “Rosendale was pretty badly hit, but certainly not as bad as a lot of places near us. We were very lucky that we had a lot of people that did a lot of good work to get us back together.”

McDonough recalled the hurricane, which struck the area on Aug. 28. “There was a period of time where Rosendale was completely and totally isolated — you could not leave or get into portions of Rosendale. There were water rescues going on, people taken from their houses in boats. There were people looking for a place to be, and we opened this place up,” he said. “We ended up opening up the Rec Ctr. here as a shelter. “

“The fire departments were crazy on Saturday night, and Sunday, even into Monday,” the supervisor added. “They were working around the clock, they were pumping basements, they were doing the water rescues,” he acknowledged. “At one point we were within one foot of the Rondout Creek evacuating Main Street. There was a lot going on those few days. People came and donated food, and cooked.

Town councilman Robert Gallagher and resident Paul Costa arranged cots delivered from the Red Cross. Town clerk Joan Jordan, a former Red Cross volunteer, worked throughout the ordeal, as did town recreation director Tara Burke. “Tara was awesome,” agreed Gallagher. McDonough said the volunteers were too numerous to mention offhand.

“On that day I realized the way that happens is to find people and resources all around me,” McDonough remarked. “It was incredible to see the way our town came together. One highway employee had a tree fall through his roof, yet spent three days cutting trees blocking town roads. Tara had four feet of water in her home. People just gave of themselves over that time, and it was a beautiful thing.”

The police, highway and water departments all served valiantly. “[Water Supt.] Terry [Johsnon] had crisis after crisis over those few days,” noted McDonough, “with both the water plant and sewer plant. We were able to get a backup generator delivered by FEMA through NY State emergency services, because the backup generator at the sewer went.” As for highways, “[Supt.] Carl [Hornbeck] pretty crotchety after a while,” laughed Gallagher. “Boy, I can’t blame him,” replied McDonough.

“I do have to admit, at lose point I did lose my cool,” McDonough admitted, “and ironically enough, it was when we were distributing dry ice. Because people were cutting in line,” he explained, “and I thought to myself, that’s not okay, all of us are suffering, in the same boat, then I regathered myself.”

Gallagher, commenting on the dry ice, said Rosendale was the only distribution point in Ulster County. “Rosendale was worse than the Street Fest. It was gridlock,” Gallagher said. “It was a pretty interesting few days,” concluded McDonough, “I would like to say I love my town.”

In the wake of Irene and the following storm, due to flooding, Rt. 32 was closed between Rosendale and New Paltz throughout last week. Combined with Springtown Road and Eddyville, closures, the only detour south was via NYS Thruway from Kingston. Part of James Street also collapsed into the Rondout Creek.

The town emergency preparedness plan is set for further review. McDonough will be meeting with highway superintendent Carl Hornbeck, police chief Perry Soule, fire chiefs, and other officials, in order to fine tune the document, ferreting out flaws or omissions. The dam along Binnewater Road will also be inspected.

Zombie hordes poised to invade Rosendale

In the wake of an earthquake, followed by power failures, collapsed infrastructure, and several devastating floods, Rosendale is bracing for it’s biggest disaster challenge yet — a zombie invasion.

Legions of walking dead have been spotted ambling southwards towards town, from Saugerties and Kingston. Scientists believe they are attracted by Rosendale’s large quantity of fresh juicy brains — after devouring all they could conquer elsewhere.

Based upon their average walking speed — taking into consideration random vectors of Brownian motion — Rosendale is expected to be overrun by September 17th, sometime around noon. Residents are mustering a homegrown posse to fight off the ghouls, collecting pitchforks, shotguns, bolos, and flame throwers.

Military strategists, analyzing terrain and other factors, have determined the battle ground will be located behind the movie theater, in Willow Kiln Park off Main Street. If the humans are victorious, the zombies will be defeated — but if not, these monsters will most certainly spill out onto the boulevard en masse, feasting upon every human brain they can find.

If all else fails, rock music will be utilized as a final option. The Blind Ambassadors have erected a makeshift stage, in a last ditch effort to ward off armies of brain-eating undead rapscallions. They will be joined by Ratboy, The High Five Revival, Tiger Piss, and DJ Slambo. Hopefully the loud noise will supplement firearms and farm tools in defending the town’s ample supply of delicious cortexes. God save us all!…

The North American Zombies originate from Haiti, transformed into animated corpses by evil witch doctors using a secret toxic concoction. The condition acts like a disease, and spreads to other humans through open wounds — usually bites stemming from the Zombie’s insatiable appetite for living flesh. Cannibal author William Seabrook broke the news back in 1929.

Michael X. Rose, a mild mannered painter from Shawangunk, fears the worst. Rose has been struck by terrible premonitions and horrific visions, which he set down on canvas in warning to Rosendale. The art exhibition is displayed this month at the Lovebird Studios on Main Street — a short walk from next weekend’s Zombie ground zero.

Rose’s mind is haunted by nightmarish Nazi zombies, attacking in endless warfare against heavily armed naked maidens. His frightful paintings depict doom, horror, chaos and doubt. With evident fear behind his eyes, he explained his project while wearing a white leisure suit, and clutching an open can of Pabst Blue Ribbon. The Brooklyn native said he’s been greatly influenced by horror films.

“I think it’s sublime, because there’s always an element of voyeurism looking at it,” Rose commented. “It doesn’t threaten you — there’s always an ‘out.’” He described sublime as “being terrified by nature, things bigger than you,” for example, “wolves, fire, snakes,” and other bestial creatures. The Pratt Institute graduate also self-publishes graphic booklets narrated with stories penned in the style of H.P. Lovecraft.

Scott Michael Ackerman, proprietor of Lovebird, described his outsider gallery as “really laid back, easy-going.” He resides in Woodstock and comes to Rosendale on weekends. You can visit Lovebird Studios on Facebook. Rose has a website at MichaelXRose.com, and his Rosendale interview can be viewed on YouTube at: http://bit.ly/poRUoo .

Turnover & Makeover for old Astoria Hotel in Rosendale

Mike Ruger is putting the finishing touches on his latest property venture. The grand opening for the 1850 House, at 435 Main Street in Rosendale, is just around the corner — probably sometime in October.

Known locally as the Astoria Hotel, this three-story Bed & Breakfast, located along the banks of the scenic Rondout Creek — just across from the popular Rosendale Cafe — is poised to become the latest revitalized landmark for Rosendale’s quaint and historic downtown business district.

The building has a rich history. Constructed during the booming canal and cement era of the mid-19th Century — which Ruger named it after — other designations adorning its shingle included Central Hotel, Hotel Bonnie Doon, and Joe Hill’s Hotel.

Ruger, a High Falls entrepreneur, is the former proprietor of the Clove Valley Trading Company, a high class eatery with live music — which is currently called High Falls Cafe. Started in 1995, the Clove was sold by Ruger circa 2001.

“To me when I built that place [The Clove], I wanted somewhere that I wanted to eat and hang out,” Ruger explained. “Now with this place [1850 House], it sounds crazy, I’m building an inn that I’d like to go to.”

Until recently it has been used for run-down apartments. “I’ve had the building seven years or so, been thinking about it for a long time, and we’re moving forward with the project,” Ruger said.

The commercial space adjacent will not compete with other eateries. “Instead of having a restaurant here, we’re going to have an inn & tavern, really try to promote the businesses in Rosendale and surrounding area.” Years ago, the Rosendale Cafe kicked off its career at the Astoria.

The small tavern space will be located in the old hotel bar, once an alternative bookstore run by former resident Matthew Rick, accessed from the front porch just left of the main entrance.

“There’s plenty of business for everyone,” Ruger estimates. Concerning Williams Lake, he remarked, “I’ll be happy to just take their crumbs.”

Ruger changed the name from Astoria to help clarify it from the residential neighborhood in Queens borough. “If you’re sitting in NYC and say ‘let’s go away,’ I like the name, it’s a new fresh look.”

There are no other B&Bs on Main Street. “What’s nice about this one,” noted Ruger, “you’ll be able to take the bus from NY, spend the weekend, visit the theater, rent bikes, ride the rail trail. That’s what we’re trying to promote, the fact that you won’t need a car,” he said. “You can actually take the bus at 9:10 in the morning, up to Belleayre, go skiing, and be back by 6pm — all for under $50.”

Workers are re-doing porch, building stone walls, and planning a large covered deck is for the rear overlooking Rondout Creek. Wood floors are sanded and refinished, with a clean, modern look, and pristine bathrooms. “It’s still going to be flat screen TVs, more of a boutique hotel,” Ruger observes.

A hidden room, undiscovered for maybe 70 years, was found on the third floor, which will now become a small library. Another unique feature is a three-room suite on the second floor, which will have a kitchen and jacuzzi. Each of the 13 rooms is a corner space with nice view. Prices will start in the neighborhood of $140 per night. More info at http://www.the1850house.com .

Rosendale creek reaches highest point since flood control project began

Hurricane Irene swelled the Rondout Creek in Rosendale to levels unseen in this town, since the terrible floods of August and October of 1955. Waters rose swiftly Sunday to within a few feet of the Rt. 32 bridge, with Fann’s shopping plaza completely deluged.

Resident Jesse Debberman joked, “Dollar General, you ain’t worth nothing now,” as he drove his truck around town shooting videos on his cell phone, which were promptly uploaded to YouTube. Trailer parks and fire hydrants were shown completely under water, as Debberman’s friends posted amazed comments in real-time on Facebook.

Power was knocked out entirely to Rosendale — along with most of Ulster County, and service remained non-existent for several days. Downed trees and power lines posed a hazard in Bloomington, and along Creek Locks Road, as the raging river swept its torrent northwards towards Kingston. Cell phone service, however, remained active throughout the storm.

Residents took shelter in the Rosendale Recreation Center, where emergency power was available, along with food and beverages. A community event, “Rosendale Together,” had already been scheduled for Sunday evening, and this went on as planned, serving as a refuge for families with bored children, who watched a feature film in relative comfort, while the hurricane poured down outside.

The next day, Central Hudson distributed dry ice to residents from the Rec Center, who traveled from as far away as New Paltz in order to preserve rotting food in their kitchens. News of this amenity came by way of word of mouth, since the utility company’s Facebook announcement went unnoticed by many survivors who had no electricity to connect with the internet.

County executive Michael Hein took an arieal of the county Tuesday to survey the damage. Congressman Maurice Hinchey stated, “moving forward, it is critical that local, county, state and federal officials coordinate their efforts so we can recover from Hurricane Irene as quickly as possible.” He added, “We’re working directly with FEMA and other federal agencies to ensure that New York receives the resources it desperately needs.”

Rosendale got off easy, due to hard lessons learned from the past. Efforts begun in 1963 by the federal government constructed a Flood Control Project, which re-routed the Rondout Creek. Built by the Army Corps of Engineers, the project includes a 325-foot flood wall berme. They also blasted away LeFevre Falls, dredged the bottom of the creek, and raised a 1,000-foot portion of Main Street about three feet. Emergency pump stations along the shore channel overflow flood waters into a backwash swamp area behind the library, and back along the old canal behind Main Street.

Walsh, Rosendale supervisor candidate, makes comeback at Republican caucus

Planning board member Jeanne Walsh, who lost the Democratic Caucus nomination for Rosendale town supervisor to Jen Metzger on August 8th, became the uncontested Republican candidate at the GOP caucus on August 17th. Less than a hundred Republicans attended.

The development threw a spin upon Rosendale town politics, sending ripples of controversy and debate throughout the community. Observers noted a sense of local history repeating itself.

A similar turnaround took place in 1997, when then-incumbent Jeannie Flemming-Laik lost the Democratic nomination, only to promptly switch parties and eventually prevail in the election as Republican. Laik declined comment for this story.

Recursive deja-vu is ironically compounded. Laik’s challenger in 1997 and 1999 — Brian Cafferty, is now resigning from the town Democratic committee in order to volunteer on Walsh’s campaign. Cafferty, a real estate agent, also works as consultant for Hudson River Valley Resorts — a.k.a Williams Lake Resort — the eye of the storm regarding issues in this election cycle.

Walsh said she only decided to run several weeks before the Democratic caucus, and didn’t have much time to prepare. “There were some things going on that I was concerned about, issues with spending that were a little bit excessive,” Walsh indicated. “Fiscal responsibility was a big issue with me,” she explained. “I’ve been a supporter of Williams Lake, I’d like to see the project go forward, I feel like there were a lot of unnecessary delays. I decided it was a good idea to run for office.”

Walsh criticized Metzger over proposed ordinances, which cost Rosendale tens of thousands in attorney fees. “One of my huge objections is the new sign code,” she said. “The first draft was very cumbersome, a lot of unnecessary changes which I feel would have been a burden for the community.” As deputy town supervisor under Patrick McDonough, Metzger was closely involved in authoring the pending new law. Consultants already on retainer could have done much of the work, instead of expensive attorneys, critics argued at the public hearing.

Other issues in the Walsh campaign include revitalizing commercial properties along the Rt. 32 corridor: Fann’s Plaza, the old bowling alley, and a vacant strip mall once known as “Rosendale Hardware of the World.” Williams Lake is front burner. The Zoning Review Commission, after 4 years of backpedaling, dropped the ball on PPDs, Planned Project Developments, a set of revised codes to facilitate municipal review of larger projects. “They never got that done,” Walsh lamented. “That’s another unnecessary delay for Williams Lake.” Walsh also cited mismanagement of funds during the Joppenburg Mountain debacle.

Walsh revealed that the Republicans were waiting outside the unsuccessful Democratic caucus, with an offer to run on their ballot line. She said they probably would have cross-endorsed her even if she prevailed on her own party’s ticket. “It was a very good possibility that would happen, absolutely,” chimed town councilman Ken Hassett.

“This happens for a good reason, two parties getting together, put aside party politics, lets get the right people in there to do the job,” he said. Hassett added, “I think we’re going to be successful in November.” Once a lifelong Democrat, Hassett changed party enrollment along with Laik in 1997, “I haven‘t looked back since. I still have a whole lot of friends on the Democratic side, no doubt about it. It is what it is.”

Atillio Contini, the town Republican chair, agreed. “We talked with Jeanne about the situation with the direction that the town of Rosendale was going, and she appears to be just as concerned about the same problems,” he said. “The Democrats of this town have been taking us down the road of destruction, discouraging economic development, no jobs, put road blocks up,” Contini complained. “It’s got to turn around, it’s got to stop.”

The chairman, who served on the county legislature from 1978 until his defeat in 1995, is known locally as an arch conservative. “We’ve got people on the town board right now that are more concerned with the garter snail than they are about the plight of their neighbor next door that can’t find a job,” he remarked. “They’re more concerned about the environment than they are about human life.” Contini then disclosed he will be running for legislature, under the new redistricting.

In related news, incumbent Democratic judge Bob Vosper was cross-endorsed at the Republican caucus. Carl Hornbeck, twenty-year veteran as Republican highway superintendent, will again be running unopposed. The general election will be held Tuesday, November 8th, 2011.

Festive events mark end of summer season in Rosendale

A bevy of cultural happenings were held last weekend around fun-filled Rosendale. The week, tainted by summer rains — culminating with torrential downpours on Sunday afternoon — did not dampen the spirit for hundreds of locals who turned out for events.

Friday night kicked off the “premier” of Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, at the Rosendale Theater on Main Street. Hundreds held out during the film’s first-run release in late May, to pay the collective’s discounted admission price. The light-hearted nostalgic romantic comedy, widely acclaimed, has grossed about $50 million to date.

This opening show was special because Aug. 19th marked the one year anniversary for the theater collective’s landmark purchase. Woody’s feature was followed by a celebratory soiree in the lobby which lasted until almost midnight. Revelers gathered under the marquis to sing “Happy Birthday.” Movie-goers received free desserts and beverages — including wine & beer, as part of Rosendale’s unbeatable $6 ticket.

“The only reason why we’re still here, is all of you guys,” gushed Eve Waltermaurer, president of the Rosendale Theatre Collective Board of Directors. “Everyone’s just giving their time and energy to do it. When we have a bunch of people working together, thinking about programming, operations, fundraising, it’s a lot easier.”

Waltermaurer praised “Uncle” Tony Cacchio, Jr., volunteer projectionist whose family formerly ran the venue. “It’s fun to be a part of this, and I hope all of you join in the fun,”she continued. “Final payment coming in September, we still need help with money. We always need people to volunteer — do it yourself, bring friends. Help us fill these seats,” Waltermaurer urged, “next time you’re coming, bring five friends.”

The 21st Annual Subterranean Poetry festival was held at the A.J. Snyder Estate’s landmark Widow Jane Mine, a fundraiser for the Century House Historical Society. Poets came from far and wide to the event, organized by Robert Milby and Steve Hirsch. “We had some wicked storms come through, but we were snug as a bug,” recalled Society president Anne Gorrick. “The cave doesn’t leak, most of the dripping is condensation,” Gorrick explained. “There was a lot of fog and mist, it was groovy.” Treasurer Gayle Grunwald agreed. “It was really nice, about a hundred people showed up,” she said. Century House will be hosting a fencing tournament on Sunday, August 28th, starting at 9am (with a raindate of 9/3). More info at fishkillfencers.com .

Almost 400 people showed up for the Rail Trail Ramble at William’s Lake Resort on Sunday, August 21. The outdoor shindig was a fundraiser for Rosendale’s Tack the Trestle project, collaborated by the Open Space Institute, the Wallkill Valley Land Trust, and Hudson River Valley Resorts. Torrential rainstorms hit at noon, but weather then cleared up, and visitors were allowed a rare opportunity to swim in the lake. Over 15 gallons of lemonade was consumed. Food & refreshments were served from Rosendale Cafe, Bywater , Big Cheese, High Falls Food Co-Op, Karma Road, Gilded Otter, Paul’s Kitchen, Main Course, P&G, and Bistro To Go. Bluegrass musician Bill Stump performed on a small stage.

On Saturday, August 27, from 4-8pm, is the 2nd annual Wayzgoose print party & picnic, at the Women’s Studio Workshop, 722 Binnewater Lane, Rosendale. Wayzgoose is an age-old tradition among printers celebrating the end of the season. The day marks transition from abundant natural daylight into long dark nights of hand-setting artistic missives by candle light. “Well, we have electricity now-a-days, but that is no excuse to let a good party go to waste,” laugh organizers. Live Music will be performed by Wayne Montecalvo (of Fighting McKenzies) & Mark Brown (of Uncle Dunkle). BBQ, face painting, paper making, $3 admission includes a keepsake print.

“Rosendale Together!” Community Day takes place at the recreation Center on Sunday, Aug. 21, from 5 to 10pm. Free swimming for residents begins at 4:30, and “How to Train Your Dragon” will be shown outdoors. Bring a picnic basket.