The Collaborative’s Challenge
I see in this week’s Woodstock Times a front page story about businesses along Route 28 in the Town of Olive with photos of some of my neighbor’s signs, including Walt’s Auto, my mechanic for many years, and one of the new Catskill Park placards on a Shokan hamlet sign, and some other local color old signs, but you went right past my studio sign that shows my Ashokan Scarlet pastel. I’ve been at this location for 16 years, volunteering for years to work towards some improvement along this stretch of road which we hope will be recognized as the Catskill Mountains Scenic Byway. So, it would have been nice to have been mentioned in your article, and would have been great to have my sign acknowledged.
The Catskill Park placard atop the Shokan hamlet sign is a result of efforts of the Central Catskills Collaborative working with DEC and DOT to raise awareness of the identity of the Catskill Park. We live within the borders of the 700,000 acre Catskill Park, a protected area of State and private lands and properties. It is an asset that is under-recognized. Also coming are new signs to indicate trail heads and Tourism Oriented Destinations within our corridor of the Catskill Park. And there are plans to break ground for a small visitor center and public rest facility at the site of the Catskill Park Interpretive Center in Mount Tremper where a 16 panel information kiosk was erected not long ago.
It is discouraging to travel along Route 28 and see the vacant commercial structures and deteriorating homes. The Central Catskills Collaborative, composed of representatives of the seven municipalities from Hurley to Andes along this Route 28 corridor, have been working towards recognition of this road as the Catskill Mountains Scenic Byway by New York State, a designation that can aid economic development and tourism without infringing on local home rule. It is a first step in working for more vigorous communities and more successful enterprises, in harmony with our natural assets.
There are some other attractive signs out here in Ashokan, on premise signs for local proprietors. I appreciate the gesture of attention to our neighborhood, I just wish the aesthetic of the photos could have been more complimentary. I get the appeal of the kitschy shots, but making a business along Route 28 is challenging enough without being made fun of.
About a year it was suggested to me by a technician who works at the Woodstock Public Access Television studio on Rock City Road that since I have been to Italy many times and had such beautiful photos that I produce a regular show. During the next several months I worked diligently to come up with some ideas, buy a new laptop computer and cables to use to get my material to be broadcasted, and to find a technician to do the camera work and help produce the show. Except for an illness during the summer I spent many hours in preparation. The result is Alan’s Italy, which now appears Friday evenings at 5 p.m.. We have produced 13 shows on many topics including Venice, Florence, Rome, and Lake Como, among others. I have also had the privilege of interviewing two well known Hudson Valley Artists, Ric Hirst and Franc Palaia, who will now appear regularly with me. None of this could have occurred had it not been for four people, I wish to thank. Richard Spool, who gave me the idea and helped tremendously to get me on the air, has been wonderful. Angela Sweet, who works in the Town Supervisor’s Office, has been a continuing source of information, advice, and counseling. Ellen Povill, my technician and inspiration, has provided extraordinary patience, expertise, knowledge of production, and best of all, friendship. Laura Gurton, my wife and well known artist, has provided me with most of the extraordinary photos that everyone sees regularly. Most of I would like to thank my friends and neighbors of Woodstock for tuning in every Friday and the many encouraging words I have been graced with during the past few weeks, and of course, The Town of Woodstock itself for giving me this marvelous opportunity. Thank you to everyone, and I hope to continue to grace your world with my experiences and photos of a truly amazing country.
Alan J. Greenhalgh
A Spring DOG Tuneup…
Spring is certainly in the air, our dogs are looking for more playtime and soon some of our dogs will begin the shedding process. On Saturday March 31, from noon-1:30 p.m., at the Woodstock Community Center, the Woodstock Dog Park is bringing you a multi-faceted workshop. Thurman Greco will lead this workshop in Canine Massage, Essential Oils, Coping with Shedding and Getting your Dog Ready for Play and Competition.
There is a suggested donation of $15 and Thurman is donating all funds to the Woodstock Dog Park. Call 679 2113 extension 4 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a space in this calming, informative and refreshing workshop.
Fran Breitkopf, for the Woodstock Dog Park Committee
Since Mitt Romney’s campaign manager compared him to an Etch-a-Sketch, I am happy to see this artistic toy at the center of our national debate. Defiant blondes in Missouri hold aloft the distinctive red-bordered screens to express their support for Rick Santorum. Behind all politics, perhaps, is a childhood trauma — in this case, the experience of drawing a beautiful cat on an Etch-a-Sketch, only to have your negligent younger sister, with one shake, destroy your masterpiece forever.
For more letters, see print edition