Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Woodland Creek Stream Management Plan

The stream management plan for the Woodland Creek has been completed by the Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Program. It is available for free download online. There have been two other plans created for the Woodland Creek in the past, one in 2008 and one in 2015. These two plans along with the current one track erosion and changes in the creek over time. Homeowners along the WC are encouraged to read the plan for recommendations that range from preservation to active restorations. Follow the link below to download the document.


PS - Since I rarely blog these days I just realized that the post about the lost dog was the last thing I put up prior to this message. You will all be happy to know that the dog was found safe and sound after a week in the woods. He seemed none the worse for the wear but would not reveal his secret adventures. We have been left to speculate. All is well that ends well.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Please Watch for Lucas

There is a lost dog in the area that could potentially wind up in Woodland Valley. He went missing Sunday Feb 4th. If you see Lucas please call or email the owner ASAP. I am re-posting the information below from Facebook.

Please keep an eye out and spread the word about LUCAS......
Black Lab Mix
"....I was returning to the Slide Mountain Parking Area with my dog Lucas on Sunday afternoon when we heard gun shots and Lucas bolted uphill. We were just turning off the old carriage road for the decent to the parking lot. I have been up and down the trail in the last 24 hours but have not seen him. If anyone sees him please email me or call 718-781-7236. He is very gentle, and will approach you if you have food. He is wearing a black coat, as in the picture below, and has a red collar with his name and our home phone number (973-744-4292). Thank you"

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Statue in Woodland Valley

Hi Neighbors! It has been a while since I last posted and I am still on hiatus from posting regularly but I received a email a little while ago and thought it was of general importance to the valley. As many of you may have heard there is a plan to erect a statue on private property in Woodland Valley. The property is mid-valley right across from the Fawn Hill bridge.

There have been a lot of rumors regarding this plan. The owner of this property Sanjay Rawal wrote a letter to the community regarding his plans and I am printing it here for all to read. I hope this clears up all of the rumors. I applaud Mr Rawal's effort to communicate regarding this project. I urge anyone with questions to talk to him directly.

I can confirm much of what Mr Rawal says in his letter having talked to the zoning officer myself a while back at the request of some of the neighbors.

Here is what I know for a fact about the situation after talking to the town zoning officer, Warren Tutt. 1) Warren has been to visit the site where the statue will be placed and he told me that if you can see the statue that you are either trespassing on Mr Rawal’s property or you are in a plane/helicopter. We will NOT be able to see it from the road or another property. 2) Warren felt that getting people up to that spot would be difficult. He said he certainly didn’t think anyone could drive up (this addresses the rumor that people would be coming to visit it). 3) As Warren so eloquently put it, “there is no statute for statues” so Mr Rawal does not have to get any permits to erect his statue. And he is within his personal, constitutional right to erect it. There are plenty of other crosses, buddhas, stupas, etc on private property throughout the town that I viewed as one of the town assessors. 

So read our neighbor Sanjay Rawal's letter below and contact him directly if you have any questions.

Hope everyone is well otherwise.
Carol Seitz
Your blog mistress

Dear Woodland Valley Neighbors and Friends,

I’m terribly sorry, as a neighbor, for any and all confusion (or misinformation) about my project on my property at 822 WVR. I’ve only been in Woodland Valley for 3 years now, but I’ve loved everything about it: from the warm friendship of my neighbors to the pristine atmosphere you all cherish and love. I’m grateful to be a part of the community.

Personally, I am a US Citizen, an Eagle Scout, and worked as a civilian contractor on humanitarian projects run by the Department of Defense and the State Department. I also worked on behalf of a number of charities as a consultant. I built water wells all across Africa, helped build a school for young girls in the Congo, collected and sent $30 million of medical equipment to supply maternity wards in the Congo, and worked on projects in Haiti, in East Timor and for Nobel Peace Prize winners like Desmond Tutu.  I hope that my life can be judged for its productivity and service to our country and humanity.

First, I should make it clear that the project is not religious. The property upon which the project will sit is not even religiously affiliated. The property is owned by a non-profit that I run and manage: Illumine Service Foundation. We are a federally-recognized 501c3 organization dedicated to peace through art, sports and film. We are not a religious organization. We don’t have members. We don’t preach anything. We don’t have meetings nor do we congregate. In full transparency, while Illumine is entitled to tax exemptions from property taxes, we have never applied for one. I am grateful for the opportunity to have a property in the Valley and understand how tax dollars benefit everyone in the community.
Illumine primarily funds cultural and educational films through private foundations and donors.  Most recently, these include films about indigenous/Native American running and two films in progress:  one on Standing Rock and another about the Native American food system.  I directed Food Chains, recognized by the British Documentary Foundation as one of the most impactful films of 2015, globally (we changed Wal-mart’s supply chain).  It focused on migrant farm workers and was produced by Eva Longoria and narrated by Forest Whitaker. I’m proud that we screened Food Chains with the Woodstock Film Festival.

As part of Illumine’s activities, we also support art. We chose to build a statue that would be appreciated from an artistic point of view. Contrary to the contentions of the non-WV resident that contacted some folks, the statue will be 30 feet tall on a cement base (not 60 feet tall), and constructed out of hollow bronze (not stainless steel). Again, the statue will be built on private property, built to code, and will be completely invisible from the road or any adjacent home. It will not be an eyesore. The statue is totally compliant with the building code.  My professional friends have found no basis for the argument that the statue will require any special permits or variances. I’ve learned that the legal term is that it is being built as of right.

The statue is not of any religious figure and has no religious meaning – not that this would be a bad thing.  Even if the statue were interpreted by some as having some sort of religious meaning, religious symbols are allowed on private property.  That’s an expression of the First Amendment right we all have.

This statue is of Sri Chinmoy, a meditation teacher, whom I knew well.  Until he passed in 2007, he was very close to Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev, Muhammad Ali, Desmond Tutu, Mikhail Gorbachev, and many other people who did an extraordinary amount of due diligence before even meeting him the first time.  I’m happy to share what I know (I made a film on him that played at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2011). It is public knowledge that the Icelandic Parliament nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. There have been many well-researched articles about him and his activities by reputable media sources like the New York Times (he lived in NYC) and the Washington Post. He lived a very transparent and full life and received many accolades. Congressman Benjamin Gillman(R) from Middletown was a close friend, for example.

I appreciate dialogue and openness. In fact, I prize it and even require it in all the work I do professionally. I’ve just had a really busy last couple years on a few Native American films and have spent more time on Reservations than I have in Woodland Valley. But I’m easily reachable. Please call me with any and all questions. My cell is 347 866 3766. My email is rawals@mac.com Happy to meet in person too.

Thank you,

Sanjay Rawal

Friday, September 1, 2017

Missing Cat

George & Jen Holz's beloved cat has gone missing. Here is the info and photo George sent to me. Please keep your eye out for her!

Fat cat "Sakura" missing. Black and white with pink ears. Friendly. Good mouser. Will come to food. 
Last seen Tues eve 8/29.

Holz Farm 
T. 845-688.5212 
C. 845-800-4540 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Time To Clean Up

Ok folks, so the blizzard is finally past. I took the handy snow ruler out yesterday and measured and I would say that we got about 26 inches in total. I shoveled off my back porch (digging out the car is next) and the snow was fairly easy to move. It was on the light and fluffy side so it wasn't too heavy. But now I have to go out and clean the car so I will get a better sense of it today.

We got very lucky in this storm and didn't get the high winds that knocked out power in Woodstock and Shokan. The power never even flickered here. And since the snow didn't stick in the trees there doesn't seem to be a lot of limbs down either.

The town plow trucks have been up and down several times so the road looks fine at this point. But I am sure the end of everyone's driveway will have a nice mound of snow. Everything comes with a price.

So although the snow totals were high, I think the clean-up will happen in short order today and everything will be back to normal by tomorrow. Although they are forecasting some light snow for later I am hoping it will not add up to much.

The temps are cold though. It is in the teens right now but it is supposed to warm up in a day or two. We might see some melting and re-freezing if that happens so it could get slippery for the weekend. We shall see.

Nice to blog to you all once more. I may go silent again for a while but I have to say that this has made me miss blogging a bit.

Stay warm and travel safe!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Blizzard News

Well folks, it has been quite a while since I blogged last. In answer to all the questions I have received, no, I didn't die (obviously), no, I am not sick (thank God), no, nothing is terribly wrong (politics aside). After nine years of keeping this blog I just needed a break. And I actually still need a break. But this blizzard situation has compelled me to do a little community service and give those of you who are not here the specifics about the storm as it is in the valley.

The snow started around 3am with small flakes falling heavily and stacking up fast. When I woke up it was virtually a whiteout situation. But we have never gotten the wind that all the weather stations were predicting. Actually it has been eerily still and quite all day.

The snow is not sticking in the trees either (which is good). It doesn't even seem to be accumulating in the pines around my house. I think the flakes were so fine and light that they just slid off and fell to the ground.

Right now I would say we have about 18 inches. The whiteout situation is over at this point. But the snow is still falling. It has changed from the rapidly falling, small flakes to larger, heavier flakes. The temps have remained in the 20's all day.

We have also had power and phone all day. But I haven't heard the plow trucks. So I am not sure what the situation is with the roads at this point. But I think everyone here has tucked in and is waiting out the rest of the storm. I don't think anyone is out on the roads if they don't have to be.

So stay safe and warm wherever you are and I will post again at the end of this storm.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Joe DeSarle Sings "So In Love"

Woodland Valley resident Joe DeSarle sent me this link (see below) to a video he made. The piece features Joe singing "So In Love" from the play Kiss Me Kate. You might remember that this was the musical that was featured on Friday Night of this year's Festival of the Voice (although Joe didn't sing it there). Joe does a great job with the tune and I thought you all might enjoy it too. Check it out!


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Tony And The Turkeys - By Boreegard


When we got back home from Texas,
A few days before Thanksgiving,
Tony—the big Maine Coon cat, 
Who allows us to share our home with him,
Took me aside for a brief conversation.

“You know boss (he calls me boss to make
Me feel good),
That flock of wild turkeys you’ve been
Chucking cracked corn and sunflower seeds at,
Has been making themselves right at home
In your absence.” 

“They’ve pecked the H E double L
Out of Ma’s flowery things, and they’ve been
Strutting in obscene feathery processions,
All through the herb garden. Have they no shame?
Now, what are you going to do about this mess?”

“I can hardly sun myself properly of a warm afternoon,
Or pounce on the occasional high grass vermin,
Which is my catly right and duty, as you well know,
Without those cacophonous gobblers strutting through the yard,
Interrupting my action with their peck peck peckings, 
And their gobbley gobbledy gobblings.” 

I scratched his head, and while he purred away
Like a 14 inch chain saw, I said this to him:
“My dear Tony of the bologna (He doesn’t know what 
Bologna is, but he likes the rhyming sound of it),
That particular flock of tough toms and sweet hens
Is a permanent part of our scene. They are sacrosanct.”

“But you and I will have the ultimate revenge. To celebrate
Thanksgiving, I’ll roast one of their domesticated
Cousins, and we will feast for many days upon its tender flesh.
And of its bones, dear cat, I’ll make a beautiful brown broth,
That we will spoon and slurp and long remember.” 

                                                            Mike O’Neil aka Boreegard

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Last Wish By Mike O'Neil aka Boreegard


Red Rock is the deepest, most majestic
Pool in our Woodland Brook.
Alice Jean wanted her corporeal remains
To be put there when she died.

Even after the brain tumors were excised,
And her perfect memory was a thing of
The past, she would voice this wish
Again and again.

On a clear July morning, her son Peter
Took her ashes and slowly added her
To the strongly flowing current,
At the head of the pool.

Her sister said a silent prayer.
Peter, Jim and I bid her
A good journey—and the brook
Sang her its eternal song.

The song she’d longed for.

July 27, 2016

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Shandaken Studio Tour 2016

The Shandaken Studio Tour is next weekend. You can view maps of all the studios online. I just received this email from Dave Channon who is organizing this year's tour. Here are the details he provided.

Come out and join us on the tour next weekend if you can!

Friday July 15 at The Arts Upstairs - Kick-off party & "Short Tall Tales" with host MC Sparrow 7-10 pm

Saturday July 16 at The Arts Upstairs - 6-9 pm  -  Gala opening with Jonathan Wilner's solo show

Saturday and Sunday July 16-17 10 am - 5 pm  - Open studios self guided tour. 

View maps online at:  ShandakenArt.com   Start at any studio and pick up a free catalog & guidebook. Also available at shops in Phoenicia.