Stephen Kaye

July 24, 2015 - A gathering of local celebrities, leading thespians, and literary giants were on hand to attend the March Hare’s tea party to which Alice had not been invited but she showed up as confused as the rest of us.  It was said to have happened on July 24 at 10:30 a.m. precisely. 

It was in part a celebration of Scott Meyer and the tradition of book related events that he initiated and for many years hosted in the upper room of the Merritt Bookstore.  The host today was Moby Mudge, author of a book on the sculpture of Central Park of which Alice figures as a main subject. (the Delacorte Memorial and a fountain honoring Sophie Irene Loeb, a noted civil leader of the 1930's).

The March Hare was played by David Greenwood, the dormouse by Fred Whitridge,  and the Mad Hatter by John Reid.  Alice was played by Barbara Rankin and the narrator was Anne Gillis.  

In truth, the meaning of mad was not determined, but they all had a mad time as did the gathered celebrities including those 7? and under.

July 23- Pianists who have moved well beyond the conservatory stage seek to establish a recognizable style or approach to music that will set them apart from the crowd, to establish a voice or a point of view, to borrow terms from the craft of writing.  At Hotchkiss on Tuesday we heard Gleb Ivanov apply his formidable talents to Brahms, Debussy, and Liszt, a program that showed he is testing himself and his audience.

A bombastic opening to the Brahms Rhapsodies defined his voice: full, big and thundering with sharp contrasts when he came to the quieter sections.  I thought of moving back to the rear seats.  The second and third movements were more thoughtful, orchestral, sometimes majestic.  He made Hotchkiss’s fabulous Fazioli piano go full throttle.  The Debussy Images from Book 1 that followed emphasized a full, big sound, ending in a wave that was near drowning. 

July 17 - Only three of the five commissioners of the East Clinton Fire District met Wednesday, July 15, to conduct their monthly meeting. One was absent and one board seat is vacant as a result of the resignation of Commissioner Chris Burns,  announced last month.  The board approved payments for the district’s regular expenses adding  the cost of a Dutchess County Sheriff’s Deputy to attend district meetings.   A deputy sheriff was on hand.    Steve Forschler, the ECFD Board chairman, said the cost is $260 per meeting or $3,120 per year.

When asked by a member of the public at the public session why taxpayers should be paying for a deputy at every meeting, Forschler explained that in light of past meetings which were contentious, the district’s attorney advised that meetings were “a hostile work environment.”  Mr. Forschler explained that the commissioners did not want to be “personally liable,” so a  deputy is on hand to assure the safety of those attending meetings.     

July 16- A property of considerable interest is available to that particular buyer who esteems the history of the place over modernity, who can see charm in antiquity, who can identify with landscape made by nature over that made by garden designers.  The history books refer to it as The Old Place, because that it was called by the Bockee family whose connection with the land began in 1698 with a purchase of an interest  from one of the original nine partners.  The back country of Dutchess was still lived in by the Shekomeko Indians until 1746.  It was largely unsettled until the latter half of the 18th century.  

July 11, 2015 - “There is no need” said more than one speaker about the power line project that threatens residents of towns in Columbia and Dutchess.

Greg Quinn, organizer of the Clinton group fighting the power line expansion, started the session by reporting that new towers might be 181 feet high, a visual blight that will be seen for miles.  He introduced Carol Campbell, Pleasant Valley supervisor who is devoted to reducing the impact on her town that is the epicenter of the power line controversy as most of the proposed lines run to the Con Edison substation just west of the town center.        

A group of citizens, about 200 strong, showed up at the Pleasant Valley Town Hall Saturday morning to hear about the latest developments on two power line projects. 

July 7- The Painted Peach’s owner gave us a warm Georgian smile as we welcomed her as the newest business to open in the Village of Millbrook on Tuesday, July 7.  Georgian because the smile’s owner, Sarah Zulkifli, comes from Georgia – hence the peach in the name.  The painted part relates to her art form, which is painted furniture that is already part of the landscape of this comfortable-looking coffee shop.   

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The Painted Peach is next to the Millbrook Post Office in the space that was the Variety Store.  The shop has a line of organic – fair trade - coffees from around the world.  The coffee is roasted in Kingston and is ground in house for a real freshness.  Coming are teas and pastries.

July 6- The excitement started with the English cellist, Colin Carr, who played with the Arianna String Quartet in Boccherini’s Cello Concerto in G and ended with the final chords of Grieg’s String Quartet.  Neither are heard very often, but they offered the Sunday afternoon crowd at Music Mountain the kind of excitement that only happens when the musicians turn on the energy and deliver.  

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Colin Carr is one of those soloists who bring a depth of sound, a love of music and a presence on stage that makes for great music and great listening.  His playing is enhanced by small nuanced exclamation points, by an arched eyebrow accompanied by a smile that is both heard and seen. 

June 21, revised June 23- The Calidore Quartet made its debut at Music Mountain Sunday afternoon which was enthusiastically received by an audience of loyal supporters of this institution that is celebrating its 86th year.

This quartet is young as quartets go (they were formed in 2010) but they played as a seasoned group, well balanced, strong, unified and energetic.  While their program was as mainstream Romantic as one could imagine, it was larded by a piece composed in 2011 by Caroline Shaw, a classmate of the cellist, Estelle Choi.  Light, jaunty, based on a Haydn quartet, it had melodic moments played in unison, extensive pizzacato, changes in dynamics, texture and tempo and ended with the cello playing what sounded like a guitar solo. Shaw won the Pulitzer prize in music composition last year, the youngest composer to be awarded that prize. Her interview on Q2 music is at https://www.wnyc.org/radio/ - /ondemand/413388.

The Town of Washington’s Draft Comprehensive Plan moved a step closer to adoption at the town board meeting Thursday night when the scheduled hearing was opened for comments from the public.  At the conclusion of the meeting, shortly after 8 p.m., the hearing was closed.  The comments were few and generally of a supportive nature.

Fletcher Coddington, a master smithy and metalworker whose shop is in Mabbettsville, commented that while the plans said something about Mabbettsville, it didn’t say where it was going in terms of plans for the future.  He said the assumption seemed to be it would stay the same.  There are 100 businesses in the town (outside of the village); the plan says little about them.   He said it was hard for people of limited incomes to live in the town.  The plan, he noted, did not address that issue.    

On a perfect Saturday afternoon the Rev. Canon Albert Ogle was installed as vicar of St. Peter’s, Lithgow by the Rt. Rev. Allen Shinn, Suffrogan Bishop of New York, assisted by clergy from around the country, dignitaries from the Cathedral, parishioners and visitors.   

The ceremony, with roots in medieval liturgy, was marked with symbols of office, readings and a sermon by the Very Rev. Gary Hall of the Washington Cathedral.   The theme was unity, membership and universality.  Visitors that included Carol Nixon, director for Peace and Justice Ministry at Riverside Church, the diocesean offices, San Diego, the United Nations and elsewhere were in keeping with Father Ogle’s interest in the ministry of reconciliation, a notion that involves many peoples in many parts of the world.  

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