Saturday, December 31, 2011

Seems Mountaindale is Having A Luminary Exhibit For New Year's Eve

Do sometimes decry poor or tardy community communications, finding out things at the last moment, but if anyone is out and about driving in or near Mountaindale in the next few hours, seems we are having a "Luminary Exhibit" this evening to bring in the New Year.

I know this is short notice, but I knew nothing about it until about 20 minutes ago when I just happened too see a small band of local volunteers setting out what looks to be around 200 or so one gallon milk jugs along the sidewalk's edge. Do apologize for not informing my Mountaindale readers of this event sooner, but as I stated, first we here at "Mountaindale After Dark" knew of the event...if it gets started before I depart the premises, will take a picture or two for tomorrow's blog entry.

Whatever you do tonight, first and foremost have a good time of it, and please DRIVE SAFE and SOBER.

Definition of Luminary

1 a person of prominence or brilliant achievement
2 a body that gives light (in this case, a milk jug with a tea candle inside); especially : one of the celestial bodies

Charlotte Occupy Movement Burns American Flag, Red State Blog Goes Ape Shit

I can understand people getting upset over the burning of the American flag...that said, in these hard times when both our government and big business seem hell bent on decimating the Middle Class, oppressing the masses, can understand people's need to exercise their "Freedom of Speech", support their right to protest and seek redress. For my own political reasons, I am fully supportive of the basic precepts and goals of the "Occupy Movement".

While on Technorati this morning, saw where the "Red State" blog had made a major move on garnering Authority so popped over to see what all the buzz was about. Seems that a radical right wing redneck on the site had his knickers in a knot over Occupy Movement protesters in Charlotte burning the American Flag. Seems one Moe Lane only wants to support "First Amendment" rights for those that are expressing views and opinions that agree with his own, and his own views show a certain horrid bigotry and hatred towards those who hold a differing opinion from his own. Bold words, but let's look at some of Moe's derogatory hate filled name calling contained in a small two paragraph post.
"Yeah, I know: “Occupy WHO?” Still, there are people out there who take the dirty hippie wannabees seriously, so every so often there needs to be a refresher post."
Seems Moe likes referring to those in the "Occupy Movement" as dirty hippie wannabees a lot, as he uses this expression twice in the same paragraph. His redundancy is pathetic, and his hateful description of desperate people deplorable. Many people in the Occupy Movement are there because Wall Street and the Banks wiped out their savings, crashed the values of their homes, and have left them without ability to find work. Many of those protesters are protesting because they have grown tired of a government that no longer takes care of the "PEOPLES BUSINESS" but instead acts as the government for and by "BIG BUSINESS". Moe's second paragraph shows the danger in letting a neanderthal right wing fruitcake have access to a thesaurus.
"Mind you, the geniuses were apparently doing the burning in the middle of their own squatters’ encampment. Which suggests that ‘fascist’ is semantically equivalent to ‘not willing to let dirty hippie wannabes auto-darwinate** themselves and their ilk;’ and before you renounce the ‘fascist’ label hereby, consider that permitting these idiots to immolate themselves would result in a very nasty cleanup job for some poor sanitation workers. To say nothing of the paperwork."
Squatters Encampment...So, those exercising their "First Amendment" rights in a way Moe disagrees with are now Squatters? Moe, not being an overly creative type again uses his favorite epitaph/rallying cry for the third time in two paragraphs, categorizing America's great out of work huddled masses as "dirty hippie wannabes". Thinking here that Moe should play two parts in a remake of the "Wizard of Oz", as he is obviously in need of both a brain and a heart.

Not Into Watching Football on New Year's Day...Join Janet For Special Afternoon Event At Radiant Yoga

Looking for something special to do on New Year's Day?

Many wise men (and women) believe your first day of a new year, what you do on that day sets the tone for the rest of the year. Imagine partaking of a very special yoga class, followed by a sumptuous nourishing meal shared with like minded folk. If this is your idea of a fabulous way in which to bring in the New Year, a wonderful way to start 2012, then give Janet a call to make your reservations for tomorrow's event. Cost is $15 and includes a a wonderful HEALTHY supper (Soup, salad, fresh bread, herbel tea, dessert). Please RSVP

Experience your Inner Radiance
New Year's Day 2012 from 4-6 PM

Radiant Yoga
PO Box 503
63 Main Street
Mountaindale, NY 12763
Phone: (845) 866-7822

My Own New Year's Resolutions

Each year as the old year comes to an end, and the birth of a new year occurs at the stroke of Midnight all around the world, there is a hope that the year on the horizon will be a better one than the one just passed. A part of this passage is the making of New Year's resolutions, most of which we break within days, even hours. Yet, each year on December 31st we get out our pens...or keyboards and put great thought into what we what to change and/or make better in year to come, hoping for some great personal Epiphany that will see us succeed in our quest to be better people, better citizens of the world. To that end, am sitting here with my second cup of coffee of the day (I drink way to much of it) thinking the same thoughts as millions of others as I put to paper (blog) my own 2012 New Year's Resolutions.

I want to be healthier in 2012. Fact is, I need to lose at least 25 pounds, and should start getting far more exercise than I got in 2011. To this end, I want to start eating much healthier foods in the new year, get more living matter (vegetables) into my body. In conjunction with this, want to get more exercise by going for a walk, or riding on my exercise cycle at least four days out of each seven. My goal here would be to work up to one hour four days a week getting some exercise of one type or another.

Better personal organization in my own life...which for me means taking the time to make a list of what I want to get accomplished for any given day, then clicking off those tasks as they get accomplished. To often important things get done at the last minute (like paying my bills) because I am just not organized.

Set aside time each day for endeavors of a creative nature...writing, taking far more photographs (and organizing/cataloging them) and not really know how to paint, but would like to work toward mastering this craft. Also should set aside half an hour daily to work on learning the guitar, as I have always wanted to be able to play a musical instrument.

A tall order for 2012, but perhaps with some serious commitment on my end, these worthy aspirations, my own list of resolutions shared here for all to read will meet with some level of success in 2012. To all my readers, to the citizens of Mountaindale, I wish each of you a very Happy and Prosperous New Year.

It's New Year's Eve...Our Top Ten News Stories

First, Happy New Year everyone...not sure this is going to be my last blog post of 2011, but it is defiantly one of my last ones. Thought as we close up shop for the year would share a few of my own top news stories for the year.

First up, is Japan, and from my point of view, three top news stories come out of one event, or series of events. There was a MONSTER earthquake, coming in at 8.9 on the Richter Scale, which makes it one of the biggest earthquakes the world has seen in modern times. That singular event was is news worthy. Second news story was the Tsunami that was caused by this massive earthquake...these two events combined saw over 16,000 people lose their lives. You can find pictures here. Though hard to imagine, these two natural disasters caused a far more dangerous and long lasting disaster at the Fukushima reactor site, and leave no doubt about it, the meltdowns (yes, plural) make this the largest nuclear accident ever known to mankind.

Last year had barely started when a lone shooter opened fire at a strip mall in Arizona, one of his victims Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords...thankfully, she survived, but many there to see her on that fateful day did not. There were far more deadly events in 2011, but seeing one of our elected officials so savagely attacked shocked us all.

Time named the protester person of the year, and though police forces all across America have used BRUTAL FORCE in trying to crush our own Occupy Movement here in America, it is still alive and well, and look for MAJOR HEADLINES from them in the new year. As the Washington Post says, "The Occupy Movement lives" and they have some great links in their article on this subject.

America leaves Iraq...notice here that I did not say the Iraq War is over, because it is not, though pundits and the networks did their best to paint our departure from Iraq as the end of the war, our troops PROUD VICTORS...we did not win that wrong war, Iraq is still at war and the cost in blood and treasure WAS NOT WORTH IT. We are out of the conflict, and that is about all we can say. As 2012 looms on the dawn of a new day, let us pray we do not find ourselves and our troops involved in a war in Iran in the coming new year.

Straight and simple...The Great Recession continues on, and the group hurt worst by this fact is the Baby Boomers who find themselves out of work.

For Americans, and especially for us NYers, Bin Laden being killed has to be on the list of top news stories in 2011. If there is a hell, may this man reside there for eternity, the souls of those whose deaths he caused haunting him forever. If there is a God, may Moammar Gadhafi find himself sharing the same cell with Bin Laden in that eternal hell.

For many of us, the passing of Apple's Steve Jobs deserves a mention as one of the year's top news stories. This visionary will be missed. Even though we all knew this day was coming, its arrival was too soon, and still came as a shock.

Top stories for our own little community in 2011

Sherwood Martinelli acting as the Creative Force and Committee Chair saw the MCDP win a $7,000 grant by winning Second Place in Category B in the yearly Sullivan Renaissance Beautification program. He will be taking his talents to Rock Hill in 2012 as they work towards competing for a Category C award.

Uccelli Restaurant opens in our small hamlet...any business opening in our small hamlet is big news.

Disaster was narrowly averted
at the Upstate Karate Studio thanks to the fast action of the Mountaindale Fire Department.

Friday, December 30, 2011

WORLD PREMIERE..."Welcome to Kutshers: The Last Catskills Resort,"


Dear Friends of Kutshers and the Catskills:

After four years in the making, the long-awaited world premiere of our documentary, "Welcome to Kutshers: The Last Catskills Resort," is finally here!

We are thrilled to be the closing night selection of the New York Jewish Film Festival at Lincoln Center. Our two screenings will be on Thursday, January 26, 2012 at 3:45 and 8pm. Tickets are on sale here. We expect to sell out, so please get your tickets early.

In addition, our film will screen at the Miami Jewish Film Festival on January 29, 2012. Ticket and Miami Fest info are available at this link.

Also, you can always check out our trailer, Facebook page and website (see links below) for more details about the film and future screenings.

Best wishes for 2012,

Caroline & Ian

Welcome to Kutsher's: The Last Catskills Resort

Friday "News on the Run" As 2011 Comes Closer To The End

First up...our weather here in downtown Mountaindale again seems to be a constantly moving target as yesterdays prediction of snow for the New Year now seems to be nice weather today, maybe some rain tomorrow, and a small chance of snow on Sunday. We shall see what we shall see, but right now, does not seem like we are going to get hammered like yesterdays weather forecast suggested we would be. Must be nice to have a job where you get paid for being wrong most of the time. Looking on the bright side, got to go out and take some wonderful photographs...yes, the one in this post is one of them.

Friday "News on the Run"

So, is your 401K heavily invested in the stock market? Good news of sorts...the Dow ended up for the year 5.5 percent. The bad news...if you are my age, you can remember when passbook savings account paid ALMOST THAT MUCH of a return on your investment. The Nasdaq did not fare as well, ending the year down almost two percent...OUCH.

Another piece of bad news for the Natural Gas Industry, and a piece of news the state of New York should pay attention too...Nature Gas futures end the year DOWN 32 Percent. So much for the promise of a pot of gold sitting at the bottom of a FRACKED WELL. Ban Fracking now folks before Chesapeake Energy poisons our water supply, and is TOO BROKE TO FIX IT.

Iowa professor speaks the truth
...Iowa has NO BUSINESS being the center of political universe here in America when it comes to picking presidential candidates. Lets pull the plug on this vile experiment, and give ALL AMERICANS fair access to the politicians.

Under news heading of, "Who Cares" seems that Newt got all teary eyed out on the campaign trail today.

In Syria, Arab League fact-finding mission participants must be blind...HELLO, the president is not keeping the peace, the president and his troops are ATTACKING citizens. Lets get on with implementing a No-Fly zone.

NY DEC Comment Period For SGEIS on Fracking Regulations is Fast Approaching

Please find below the latest Press Release from Catskill Citizens...the deadline for submitting public comments on the fundamentally flawed and incomplete Hydraulic Fracturing SGEIS is fast approaching, and we need every man, woman and child in the state of New York to speak up in opposition to it.  Rather than ramble on, shall let Catskill Citizens Press Release speak for itself...PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE submit your comments on this important document that will negatively impact all of our lives.

In less than two weeks the public comment period of the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement will draw to a close.   After that, fracking can get underway in New York State as soon as the DEC issues a final SGEIS. 

But before the DEC can do that, it is required to read and address all the public comments it receives - and that means we can hold off fracking by burying the DEC in comments!

Do your part today by submitting written comments to the DEC.  We've made it easy for you by providing you with fifteen different letters you can submit.   Send one or more of these letters, or use the open source website 2011 SGEIS Flaws(NY) and our Newsroom and Learn More sections of our website to find the information you'll need to craft your own comments.


The DEC's public hearings on the Draft SGEIS were a disgrace.  The department provided just four hearings throughout the entire state, and, not surprisingly, many people travelled for miles to attend hearings only to be turned away at the door.

To provide the public with another opportunity to speak out about the Draft, Catskill Citizens partnered with several other organizations to sponsor an additional public hearing to be held at the OKUN Theatre at SUNY-Delhi in Delhi on Saturday January 7th from 1-5 PM.

All are welcome to speak and their remarks will be transcribed and submitted to the DEC as a part of the official record of comments on the Draft.  For more information contact: or call 845 468 7063.


Just weeks before the public comment period is due to end, DEC Commissioner Martens admitted that the socioeconomic portion of the Draft SGEIS is "a little thin" and needs to be revised to do a better job treating subjects such as emergency response and housing.

In response, economist Jannette Barth, Ph.D., wrote a letter on behalf of Catskill Citizens calling on the DEC to extend the public comment period so New Yorkers can consider the revised socioeconomic study.  Dr. Barth's letter has been cosigned by more than one hundred others, including over sixty organizations and many elected officials
For more information email or call (845) 468 7063

Two out of three people who find out about fracking think the risks aren't worth the rewards.

Public awareness is the key to our success, so spread the word!
Please donate to Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Winter is Here, and Thursday "News on the Run"

Winter Snows Coming Folks!
OMG, winter seems to have officially arrived here in downtown Mountaindale...a walk outside is like a walk in an icebox, the temperature down around 26, seeming even colder with the brisk wind blowing.  With snow in the forecast from later today until Sunday (New Year's Day) it seems as if we are destined to see our first official snow of the season.  The weather has changed, and looks like we all need to hunker down.  For those with plans for New Year's Eve, keep an eye out on the weather, and if you are out and about be safe, and DRIVE is always the right thing to do when you have a Designated Driver for the night.
Interesting factoid of the day thanks to CNN...a baby Polar Bear will nurse for its first two years of life.
Thursday "News on the Run"

Changing political winds are blowing out in Iowa...seems that Newt is no longer the choice in the "Anyone but Mitt" camp, with Rick Santorum's hard work in the state seeming to pay dividends of a sort.  This sets up a three way race between Mitt, Santorum and Ron Paul with the rest of the pack also ran's who will begin dropping out of the race with Michele Bachmann the most likely to be gone first, followed by Newt who is BROKE.  If the Iowa Caucus unfolds the way it is now looking, it is a pretty good bet in Vegas that Mitt Romney will gone on to win the Republican Nomination.
In news from the front, Oakland Police had again moved in to dismantle the newest Occupy Oakland encampment.  One has to wonder what Spring is going to bring as the weather makes it easier for those disenfranchised citizens of America to gather in LARGER GROUPS.

State of Colorado petitions DEA to reclassify marijuana.  Lets be honest here folks...Marijuana does have RECOGNIZED medicinal properties, and in fact the DEA has actually licensed two cannaboid based drugs for use.  The current DEA classification says that cannabis has no medicinal value, which is why the criminal laws for possession, use and distribution of it are so strict...the time has come to LEGALIZE marijuana for medical reasons.

Arizona School District's Mexican Studies class found to be OUT OF BOUNDS!  In the judge's decision that could cost the school system over $15 million dollars he stated the classes were being taught, "in a biased, political, and emotionally charged manner,"  Furthermore, the judge ruled against the classes saying,  "Teaching in such a manner promotes social or political activism against the white people, promotes racial resentment, and advocates ethnic solidarity, instead of treating pupils as individuals,".  It is pointed out here, that E-Verify coupled with SECURE SOUTHERN BORDERS would in time make such lawsuits moot.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hump Day "News on the Run"

OMG...was watching TV today, and they were showing off some of the new CONCEPT CARS, and one sent me into a covetous "I WANT THAT" rage!...Have you seen the new VW Bulli microbus? It is so freaking hippie ass COOL, and though there is no guarantee it will be put into production (rumor has it being in production in 2014) I am so wanting one of these! There is just enough of the retro old school feel to it to make it, in my mind, an instant must have vehicle for a lot of us old diehard hippies and Baby Boomers, while being equipped with enough modern luxuries to see it embraced by the younger set.

In other "News on the Run"

So, think the economy is turning around, and that things are going to get better for the American worker in 2012? Think report states that a mere 25 percent of companies have plans to employ additional workers in the coming short, look for slow or little hiring.

Rivals tend to see Go Daddy pay a huge price for their original support of SOPA, and it is this bloggers hope that a whole lot of people give Go Daddy the proverbial finger as they take their business elsewhere...Go Daddy's Super Bowl commercials were not THAT GOOD.

Tiger Woods ex-Mistress is pregnant...relax folks, it's not his. Which begs the question, is this really worthy of newsprint? Mercury News seems to think it is.

Only in attention folks, and ask yourselves why the rest of America does not get this kind of attention. Iowans today have TWENTY TWO chances to meet a Presidential candidate up close and personal. Excuse us presidential candidates, but how about SHARING THE LOVE.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Should Iowa Caucuses Be Pushed To Back Burner

For as long as I can remember, the Iowa Caucuses and the state of Iowa have been allowed to be the center of our Presidential Primary process here in America though in reality, their being the center of attention only came about in 1972, with Republicans in the state following suit in 1976. Until then, they were at best a state that simply did not matter, and perhaps it is time we return to those days, rather than allowing them to garner the majority of the attention on the Presidential political stage as the Presidential kabuki dance unfolds every four years. Presidential pretenders and contenders beat a path to Iowa, spend vast amounts of their time there, the national media acting as if the state and its voters matter...but serious, do they? Does Iowa truly deserve all the attention they garner by insisting THEY GO FIRST? In a word, no.

First, Iowa (the entire state) has a population of less than 3 million citizens, which represents less than one percent of the population of the United States. Political pundits are telling us this week that only 125,000 citizens of Iowa will participate in the Iowa Caucus process. All this political attention given to a state where less than FIVE PERCENT of their citizens bother to participate despite all the attention they have received? The rest of us being told Iowa deserves all this attention because they take the process far more seriously than the rest of us do...HELLO, WE ARE TALKING FIVE PERCENT of their voters bother to show up. More importantly, those bothering to even attend the Iowa Caucuses that start at 7PM this coming week represent less than 1/10th of one percent of America!

We here in Mountaindale are a rural community, and if we had a coffee shop, sure all of us would love having a chat with say Mitt or Newt on politics, having Ron Paul or Michele Bachmann (OK, not Michele) coming into Ed's Mountaindale Inn for one of his cheeseburgers and a cold beer...I mean surely we deserve the same kind of Presidential Candidate attention that the citizens of Iowa receive? Sure, we are only a hamlet of less than six hundred people, but what about our state as a whole when compared to Iowa?

How about if New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio all hold our primaries on the same day, and IN JANUARY! We can call them the Pony Primaries. Surely that move would push Iowa back into the backwaters of political attention getting where they had resided for forever (well, forever until 1972), where perhaps they actually belong. Isn't it time to give equal access to the candidates to those of us living in states where we have FAR MORE VOTERS where the populations of our states represent more than just one percent of the people?

Let's be clear here...contrary to what Iowa and the pundits would have us believe, in the big picture of American Politics, Iowa should not matter, nor should we believe they are the predictors of just who we should vote for. Seriously...if they select Ron Paul as their torch bearer, should the rest of the nation fall into lockstep and follow their lead? Even if it is Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich, does it really matter, should the rest of us care that less than 1/10th of one percent of American voters like a particular candidate? Let's stop this nonsense, and lets end this charade that allows Iowa to be the center of America's political Universe for a full year.

By the way...based upon the candidates being offered up by the Republicans, Obama WILL GET A SECOND TERM...yes, that is my prediction.

Fracking...Contaminates MORE WATER

There is far more to FRACKING DANGERS than the NY DEC has let on...just in from Pennsylvania..a truck carrying thousands of gallons of FRACKING WASTE FLUIDS overturns leaking FRACKING FLUIDS into Larry's Creek. This is just another example of why we here in NY want a COMPREHENSIVE STUDY DONE on the entire processes, rather than having it done piecemeal.

State police said the overturned vehicle was leaking frack fluid, which spilled out of the truck onto the roadway and an unknown amount made its way into Larry's Creek. DEP was contacted, but no further information about the spill was available from state police.

Barnett sustained a minor injury of unknown type and it was unknown if Souder was injured. Both men were transported to Jersey Shore Hospital for treatment of their injuries, police said.

Route 287 was shut down late into the evening in both directions, and traffic was detoured through Routes 220, 15 and 184, according to the state Department of Transportation.

Looking For Some Place To Spend New Year's Eve 2011?


European Home Cooking /all you can eat buffet in warm, funky atmosphere.
$20 Per Personadmission includes Champagne toast at midnight.

Entertainment by Vocalist Donna Singer, musicians Al Defino and Nick Cannista , Belly dancer “Ahleana” and YOU!
( bring an instrument or sing along with Al, tell a joke or whatever you do! )
Come and have a good time

Reservations recommended and appreciated, call 693-5104
When: New Years Eve 2011
Where: Nadia's
222 Main St
Hurleyville, NY 12747

Tuesday "News on the Run" and Other Musings

The weather outside is suddenly getting quite wintry, and find myself wondering when our first major snowfall of the winter will arrive...I know we have had one major snowfall, but that one came in the fall, just before Halloween. The weather forecast is again calling for Ice Pellets, and what I would expect is going to be freezing rain tonight, as we have a 100 percent chance of precipitation with temperatures just above the freezing point unless you look at more than one weather channel, some of which are calling for snow...brrrr....going too be a nasty night tonight, and perhaps a couple of nasty days outside...time to hunker down here in the apartment in downtown Mountaindale and enjoy the weather from inside.

In other local news, a very special thanks to our readers...just looked at our stats, and very pleased too share that we have reached the milestone of 1000 readers in a 30 day period in this just our second month of bringing our local community of Mountaindale the news and local happenings. Please remember to bookmark us, and share the link with your friends, on Twitter, and in your own blogs. Sharing a link to us on other social media sites (Facebook, Twitter) is so appreciated, and thank you to all who have done so.
Now after having been absent for a few days, lets get on with "News on the Run"

In what is great news for President Obama and the Democrats going into the 2012 Presidential Election season, the Consumer Confidence level soars to 64.5 percent...this is not news that the Republicans are wanting to hear. They have done everything they could this year to keep the economy from rebounding in the hopes a bad economy going into the election season would see Obama becoming a one term president.

Stamford fire that killed five (including three children) was a tragic accident blamed on the fireplace. The mother was up on scaffolding trying to save her children when the firemen arrived on the scene.

Fox News
is trying to help sell America on the dangerous practice of Hydraulic Fracturing...someone please get out the violins. There is no if fracking will harm the environment, but on a when.

Not all Big Box stores had a great Christmas Season...seems Sears is going to be closing over 100 stores.

Thanks to INSIDER TRADING members of Congress continue to grow richer as we all continue to grow poorer.

Everyone enjoy their day today. I will be posting up a press release on an alternative style event for those looking for something to do this New Year's Eve.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Wishing Our Readers A Very Merry Christmas

Wishing all of our readers a very Merry Christmas regardless of your faith and beliefs. Whatever this day finds you doing or celebrating, may it be a day filled with both beautiful blessings and memories made with your family and friends.

Myself...just made the Christmas Cranberries, and am about to start on the preparation of my Christmas ham as I am expecting guests to arrive somewhere in the hour of 4PM to start my festivities. Doing some Au Gratin potatoes and fresh asparagus as well, so it should be a tasty fun filled meal again today. Yesterday's entree pictured above, my leg of was so good, served with twice baked potatoes...Kahlua coffee and Christmas Cookies for desert, and a special Shout Out to Tommy who stopped over for some holiday cheer...that egg nog with Crown Royal was so YUMMY.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Saving Money...Have Mail Delivered To Your Apartment

In these troubling times, every little bit of money you can save is a BIG HELP. When I first moved to Mountaindale, I was under the impression that we could not get our mail delivered to our apartments here in town, but instead had to get a post office box, which is not exactly a cheap proposition. Do not remember exactly what it costs me to have my own PO Box here in Mountaindale, but know it is an ouch moment when the bill comes due.

Well, did some checking, and found out we can avoid that charge by installing in an acceptable (to the Post Office) location at our place of residence a outdoor mailbox that meets the guidelines of the United States Postal Service (USPS) might actually be far less expensive installing said mailbox than having to rent a PO Box.

Some Examples-this very attractive outdoor box retails for under $30 and is available from Amazon.

Wanting something a bit more eloquent? Also available on Amazon, though for a bit more pricey $74.66 is this Bronze looking mailbox with beautiful relief work on it. For my own tastes, think I would lean more toward this one, even if it meant spending about the same amount of money I would have spent for a year of having my mail delivered to my PO Box here in Mountaindale. Biggest thing for me in having my mail delivered to my door is the convenience of it...especially when the weather outside is frightful. Furthermore, the lobby at our own Post Office is not open 24/7 like some are, so if you happen to work from say 6AM-4PM it could become difficult to get your mail every day.

As to the postal regulations...was told by staff at the Mountaindale Post Office that we are entitled to delivery here in town at our apartments, we just have to have a mailbox. The Federal Codes only require one postal customer per mile including retrace to have at home (or apartment) mail delivery. As for state codes on the subject...not really sure what the rule is. The code does state mailboxes with locks must be provided and maintained by a landlord for buildings with three or more apartments in them, but seems mute on buildings with only two, so it is assumed here that those wanting delivery of mail to their apartments will have to provide their own mailboxes, but even with that, it could be a great way to save a little bit of money, and would make getting your mail a much easier proposition.

Christmas Eve "News on the Run"

A very Merry Christmas one and all...the weather outside for this time of the year is beautiful...the bad news in this, is it is looking very unlikely that Mountaindale and our surrounding area will have a White Christmas.  Depending on your own glass half full/half empty perspective, our weather forecast through Monday is either party cloudy, or partly sunny with highs into the mid 30's...does not matter, Santa Claus will still find a way tonight to visit.

On my own agenda today...Leg of Lamb served with small red Irish potatoes and fresh asparagus.  Going to be a very tasty Christmas Eve meal.

In the big political news of the morning, seems that both Newt Gingrich (who lives in Virginia) and Rick Perry have made a fatal political mistake, and will not be on the primary ballot in the state of Virginia.  This means that Mitt Romney and Ron Paul will battle out for that state's delegates, each of them getting a much larger piece of the pie than was possible yesterday.  For Perry it does not really matter, as he has been an also ran now since two weeks after he entered the race, but for Newt, this is a very costly error that has probably dashed his hopes to be the Republican nominee short of a brokered convention, which is not out of the question for the Republicans in 2012.

New old school Air Jordan's from Nike cause near riots...seriously folks, they are SNEAKERS, getting a pair to wear on Christmas Day not worth what some of you went through.  Secondly, from my own perspective, they are an UGLY shoe.  Lastly, give me a break....those shoes are probably produced in China, Bali or some other off shore manufacturing plant for maybe TEN BUCKS a pair...they are not (IMO) worth the $180 a pair price Nike is asking for them.

Boehner and House Republicans blink on tax cut for middle class...guess when it comes to brinksmanship, this one was a major shipwreck for Republican members of Congress...sad thing about this...the extremist in the Tea Party still do not get it, are upset that Boehner did not continue to hold America hostage.  Perhaps those freshman Tea Party members of the house need to realize they represent ALL THE VOTERS in their districts, not just those in the far right wing of the Republican Party.

WASHINGTON (AP) — With tea party-backed first-termers calling the shots, House Republicans snatched political defeat from the jaws of victory in a year-end showdown over Social Security payroll tax cuts and jobless benefits.

This time, they pushed the country to the brink — and wound up blinking.

"In the end House Republicans felt like they were re-enacting the Alamo, with no reinforcements and our friends shooting at us," said veteran Republican Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas.
My own shopping is done, and I will be staying in today, cooking a beautiful meal, and listening to Christmas music on Pandora (great way to listen to the sounds of the season). For those of you who have put off your shopping till the last minute, WISH YOU LUCK today...the good news, is CNN is saying there are some great last minute bargains waiting for you.


Friday, December 23, 2011

State Senator Ball Calls For One Year Fracking Ban in New York

It is not nearly enough, but a start...State Senator Ball in a town meeting in Lewisboro (Westchester County) called for a one year moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing...his big reason...Governor Cuomo has budgeted NO MONEY for enforcement.  Well, one year is not enough, but it is a start.
LEWISBORO, N.Y. – State Senator Greg Ball (R, C – Patterson) called for a statewide one-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing (hydrofracking) during a presentation he gave on the controversial subject at the Lewisboro Library Wednesday night.

More than 70 people from the north county area packed the library to hear Ball speak on hydrofracking - the process of extracting natural gas from gas shale deposits, something that many say is detrimental to the environment.

Ball said a moratorium is needed because Governor Cuomo is not expected to allocate any funds to regulate fracking and gas drilling in next year’s executive budget proposal. 
In Other Fracking News...

Binghamton New York has signed a FRACKING BAN into law...let the lawsuits begin.  Every community in New York should be passing similar local legislation.  If any one could email some suggested language, would like to summit it to the Town of Fallsburg for SERIOUS CONSIDERATION. 

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- With the stroke of his pen, Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan made a two year ban on hydrofracking within the city limits official.

"We do it before any permits are given, so we have time to study it, so it doesn't come at us by surprise, that's why we did it," said Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan.

After more than three hours of public comment Wednesday night, City Council voted six to one to approve the legislation, thrilling advocates of the new law.
Just a friendly reminder...though the comment period for the NYDEC SGEIS has been extended, January 12th will be here before you know it, SO PLEASE SUMMIT COMMENTS.

Mitt says, "No Fox News, I am not a Romeny!"

I may be Mormon, but not a Romeny
Romeny Says No to Gingrich Debate (  A Whoopsy Moment for Fox News, or for Newsmax.  Found this link rather funny...Romeny says no to Gingrich...not sure who made the blunder, but if you go look at the article title they got it right which leads me to believe the folks at Fox News screwed up.  Too see the error, go to the story on Boehner and look down at their "Also on Web" section.  Maybe Fox News was letting Sarah Palin's daughter Bristol do data entry again.

Romney Says No to Gingrich Debate

Thursday, 22 Dec 2011 12:29 PM

BETHLEHEM, N.H.  — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Thursday spurned chief rival Newt Gingrich's challenge for a one-on-one debate in the run up to the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses but dismissed the notion — suggested by the former House speaker — that he was afraid to participate in such a face-off.

Read more on Romney Says No to Gingrich Debate
Important: Do You Support Pres. Obama's Re-Election? Vote Here Now!

In all fairness to Fox News, they are not the first to make the Romeny mistake...there is this:

WOI - 5 days ago
By Alex Schuman Mitt Romney is the man for the GOP nomination, according to the Des Moines Register's editorial board. They cited his,

Go Daddy Back Tracks...Withdraws Support of SOPA

Anyone (like myself) who was on Twitter yesterday knew that Go Daddy made a HUGE MISTAKE in coming out in support of SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act).  I myself made several tweets encouraging people to pull their Go Daddy domains and services and park them some place else, and retweeted numerous others tweets from other like minded souls.  The action was fast and furious, and the netizens WERE NOT HAPPY, and Go Daddy Got the breaking news today this....

GoDaddy withdraws its support of the Stop Online Piracy Act
Scottsdale, Ariz., USA

Fri Dec 23, 12:18 p.m. MST: Following a maelstrom of Internet backlash, has withdrawn its support of the Stop Online Piracy Act, +Mashable reports.

Smart move Go Daddy, but have one question...why is it that such a supposed LEADER of the world wide web was SO SLOW TO REACT?  I mean come on, within minutes of your support of SOPA, the Social Media reacted VIOLENTLY, and yet it took you a WHOLE DAY to reverse your yourselves a favor, and go out and hire a few old long haired hippies that understand Social Media, so that you have instant feed back, can react far more quickly IN PROTECTING YOUR BRAND, because trust me, you took a BIG HIT into the millions of dollars.

A Bit Late...But As Promised...Hungarian Butterhorn Recipe

Hello Readers...

First, does not matter which of the holidays you are celebrating (Kwanza, Hanukkah or Christmas) may I wish all of you a joyous and happy Holiday Season, and wish each of you success and joy in 2012.

Do apologize, but the hustle and bustle of the season just seems to have me busy, and running behind schedule (in the best of ways). Baking has been a BIG thing this week, and have had so much fun playing Santa, delivering baked goods to my various friends and neighbors here in Mountaindale these past few days, and the compliments coming back my way have been so appreciative. Tonight, had dinner at the Mountaindale Inn, and OMG the Prime Rib was superb...the only bad news in the evening if you can call it that, is Ed was SOLD OUT by just after 8:00 PM, those arriving late being told, sorry, there is just no Prime Rib in the Inn, but we would be happy to get you a drink and offer you something from our standard fare.

My original intent had been to post the recipe for Hungarian Butterhorns yesterday, but if I must admit, though I baked these delicious cookies yesterday, holiday duties called, and this is the first opportunity I have had to post the recipe...and a couple (three) pictures. Do hope those of you who give them a try enjoy suggestion...MAKE A DOUBLE BATCH.

Hungarian Butter Horns Best-Ever Recipe

4 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 packet Fleischman's yeast (the cake kind...if you use the dry, you have to pee-activate it)
Mix and add
1/2 cup butter * can do quite fine with using JUST BUTTER...from Land of Lakes
1/4 cup lard
1/2 cup Crisco
Add 3 egg yolks
1 cup sour cream (Breakstones)
1 tsp. McCormick pure vanilla not use the artificial kind please.
Form into 3 balls and chill 5 hours or overnight
Roll out balls with powdered sugar (yes, Domino's powdered sugar, not flour) and cut with pizza cutter. Then spoon filling on and shape/roll into crescent.

3 egg whites 1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla 1 cup chopped nuts

Bake at 375 for 15 to 20 minutes until slightly browned. 
Frost when cool. (Frosting follows)
Sprinkle with Domino's powdered sugar when almost cooled. (Not overly difficult)
I promised to be on tomorrow with our trademake "News on the Run" as well as some fun Christmas Eve stuff...just not sure what yet.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Question of The Day...Rose Bowl Parade

So, catching up on the news, and see where the Occupy Movement is going to have a presence of some sort at the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, California. The Police Department in Pasadena has been negotiating with people in the movement, trying too get them to agree to march at the VERY END of the parade after all the floats, bands and various other groups have passed along the route, and the media wraps up its coverage.

So, the question..."Should the Occupy Movement accept this offer, or instead hold a full fledged demonstration, try to disrupt the parade?"

I have mixed emotions on this a firm believer in our First Amendment Rights, and because there is very little chance the movement will gain much coverage marching at the end of the parade, I tend to support the idea of a full on protest with tens of thousands of protesters showing up in force. From a sentimental stand point, having watched the parade on TV for decades, kind of hate to think of the day being spoiled for every one in the viewing audience. But, sometimes, social issues of this magnitude have to trump the entertain value of the event.

My Favorite Christmas Cookie...Dough Setting Up Now

Consider this a FAVORITE Christmas Cookie is my mom's Hungarian Butterhorns....they are SOOOOOOO good! The dough is made and in the frig, and around six I will start baking them. Once the first batch comes out of the oven, will take some pictures and post the recipe, so TUNE IN LATER this evening for a fabulous recipe treat.

Coming January 4th....Sullivan Renaissance Elements of Design....FREE FOLKS

A special thanks to the grew over in Rockhill for this press release articles snagged from their blog to use here in Mountaindale After Dark. I am really excited about the prospect of working with them in 2012, and hope to see many of you at this exciting seminar. If any one from the Mountaindale area would like to attend, and needs a ride, by all means give me a call, and you are more than welcome to hitch a ride with me...barring BAD WEATHER. Just give me (Sherwood) a ring at (845)693-4513...if I am not in, leave a message on the machine, and will get back to you.

Thursday, December 22, 2011 (Press Release)

Seminar on January 4: ‘ELEMENTS OF DESIGN’ Developing a ‘Renaissance Collection’ of Plants

Having attended seminars hosted by Sullivan Renaissance in the past, this is always a worthwhile event where you will learn a lot of the very important basics of garden/landscape design...hope to see you there. Sullivan Renaissance will also have applications available for their Master Gardener Program that evening.

[FERNDALE] – Starting a garden is a fun and exciting activity! Learn how to incorporate the plants you love into the space you have at Sullivan Renaissance’s seminar entitled “Elements of Design” on Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. at the CVI Center in Ferndale.

Presented by gardening expert Mary Lewis, this seminar will help individuals and groups begin garden projects by exploring the elements of garden design. Topics will include site assessment, design and color theory, plant choice and arrangement, Sullivan Renaissance garden design requirements, and much more.

The concept of a “2012 Sullivan Renaissance Collection” will be introduced by horticulturist Peter Patel of the Orange County Arboretum in Montgomery. The collection includes a group of annuals and perennials that can form the basis for new gardens and additions to existing beds. The plants will be displayed at the Annual Renaissance Conference and Expo on March 10.

Mary Lewis is a consultant for Sullivan Renaissance, after serving as a Renaissance judge for nine years. She is founder of Barncroft, a garden design firm; chair of Zone III 2008 Annual Meeting of the Garden Clubs of America; and past president of Orange and Dutchess Garden Club. A Cornell University graduate, she studies botanical art at New York Botanical Garden.

Peter Patel was a flower judge for Sullivan Renaissance this year. He is a Certified Arborist – International Society of Arboriculture, Cert. Nursery/Landscape Professional, and member of the Tri-County Nursery Association; he owns ArborHeights Designs, LLC.

Everyone is welcome to attend. Refreshments will be served. Please RSVP by January 3.

Applications will also be available for the 15-week Master Gardener Program that begins on February 7. Completed applications must be returned no later than January 6, 2012 to: Cornell Cooperative Extension of Sullivan County, 64 Ferndale-Loomis Road, Liberty, NY 12754.

Sullivan Renaissance is a beautification and community development program principally funded by the Gerry Foundation. For more information or to register, call 845-295-2445 or visit

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Fractoid News Blog Articles Being Consolidated On This Blog

Greetings Readers:

Sometimes in life, consolidating one's efforts, streamlining our work makes a lot of sense. For that reason, I am doing just that. As many of my faithful readers know, I have worked on various and assorted other blogging projects, and some of them have suffered as I have tried to serve, as it were, two masters.

As example, I have been the editor of both "Mountaindale NY News", and "Mountaindale After Dark", and simply stated, just do not have the necessary time to give both of these blogs the time effort and commitment they both deserve, so I am stepping down/resigning from "Mountaindale NY News" effective immediately, concentrating all my time and efforts on making "Mountaindale After Dark" the kind of blog that Mountaindale, Sullivan County and the surrounding Hudson River Valley deserve.

Another project I had started was the "Fracktoid News" blog, and if truth be told, though I have been posting articles on Fracking for months, that blog has languished in obscurity since May of this year simply because I have not had the time needed to give it the attention it so richly deserves. For that reason, I am importing to "Mountaindale After Dark" all the fracking articles from that blog so that the materials and information there can be read and disseminated from one location going forward...I am proud to be called and "Anti Fracker" and will continue my efforts on this important environmental issue, feel the best way I can be effective in those efforts is to centralize everything here where I routinely post articles in opposition to Hydraulic Fracturing in NY's Marcellus Shale.

If there are people in the Anti Fracking movement interested in taking over Fractoid News, please email me privately or leave yor email address in comments below this article and I would be happy to discuss transferring ownership of that blog to your organization, as well as the Twitter account of @fractoidnews and a Yahoo email associated with both properties.

Hopefully, when I post my last article to the Fracktoid News blog, all of my followers from there will come over and bookmark us here at "Mountaindale After Dark".

Wednesday "News on the Run"...Editorial on Fracking

sniffle, sniffle, sneeze...I have a told and (as the commercial would say) need some stuffy, sneezing, coughing so I can rest medicine. Coffee tastes good, and peeking out my window, looks like a bit of a dismal day out, but there is some good snow pellets. It is wet, damp, nippy, spitting and nasty out...a good day to just stay inside with my cold and give the house a complete cleaning for Christmas Day. Speaking of Christmas, I will be putting up a post on Christmas Eve that has links to all of my own favorite Christmas songs on You Tube, and hope all of our readers will find these beautiful songs a great addition to your own celebrations.

Last week the US EPA came out with a preliminary report which in part says a water aquifer out in Wyoming is most likely contaminated with chemicals from fracking...those in favor of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling (Encana) have taken to the airwaves trying to tarnish both the report, and the agency. Additionally, these industry shills have tried to convince Americans that even if the findings are born out to be true, the report should in no way have any effect on their desires to drill in the rest of the nation because the underground conditions in Wyoming are far different than anywhere else, with the fracking there taking place at shallower depths than in the rest of America.

Fact...the only difference a far greater depth will make in the end line results (contamination of our water sources) is the time it takes for those contaminants to reach our aquifers and underground fresh drinking water supplies. Once you crack/fracture a rock, boulder or stone, it will continue to crack until said stone or boulder or rock formation splits into two or more pieces. Thus, it is not a matter of IF these cancer, birth defects, health risk causing chemicals reach our fresh drinking water supplies, but a question of when they reach and contaminate our fresh water supplies. What the Natural Gas Industry is counting on, is being able to get in and get out before that contaminate is found out.

Hydraulic Fracturing is the biggest CON GAME to come along in decades, and it is the people of rural America who are being asked to pay a horrible price in the name of Natural Gas company profits. As example, the Energy Secretary (DOE, who cannot be trusted, have no interest in protecting our environment) likes to trot out the lie, "at current usage rates, the Natural Gas play here in America will last at least 110 years". Lets explore this myth.
1. There is much lobbying going on in every state capital, and in Washington DC to greatly increase the consumption rate of Natural Gas. As example, lobbyist for the Natural Gas industry convinced Pennsylvania officials to give the industry $50 million of our taxpayer dollars to help the industry built Natural Gas stations along the interstate, and to give grants to municipalities to convert their fleets to natural gas. Both of these actions aimed at greatly INCREASING current rates of consumption.
2. By some estimates, as much as 60 percent of the Natural Gas plays here in America have been sold to foreign companies...the largest player being China's state owned CNOOC. In short, this means the lions share of America's natural gas will be shipped overseas...which would explain why it is that most Natural Gas companies are investing their own capital into building large plants to liquify the natural gas, load it onto ships to be sent offshore (just like our jobs) to China and other countries such as India, while our tax dollars are being used to increase domestic supply and demand, which in turn will DRIVE UP PRICES, making Natural Gas just as expensive as the petrol we now put into our cars.

These two realities change the whole argument. Ask yourselves a question, "Are you willing to risk your family's health, your community's property values and fresh drinking water supplies for a gas play that will last fifteen years or less? Oh, I am sorry Chesapeake Energy, Exxon and Cabot, is that an inconvenient truth you would prefer not to speak upon? are we in rural America not supposed to realize that the DOE, our government and the Natural Gas industry refer to this Natural Gas Energy as a TRANSITIONAL ENERGY source...curious here...what are we transitioning to? Add to this the fact that the lions share of this transitional energy source is promised to China and India, and that fifteen year energy supply actually represents only a seven and one half year energy supply here in America...barely enough supply for you to pay off that new Natural Gas burning car they want us all to go out and purchase based on say a 60 month car loan.

"We need to consider the depletion rate of these rigs, which is surprisingly 60% in one year! It means a gas well uses up its own supplies after 2 years of time!"

The natural industry, and even our own government are spending tens of millions of advertising dollars telling us it is our patriotic duty to allow fracking in our communities. We are told these natural gas reserves locked in such places as the Marcellus Shale will allow America to break our dependence on Foreign oil...if this were true, then why are there no laws stipulating that said Natural Gas reserves if mined from under our lands are for DOMESTIC USE ONLY? If these reserves are meant to break us of our dependence on foreign oil, why are companies like Exxon, Chesapeake Oil, Cabot and others being allowed to sell off their plays to foreign companies owned fully by foreign governments?

The underground aquifer in Wyoming WAS CONTAMINATED by Hydraulic Fracturing chemicals, and waters in other states including Pennsylvania have been contaminated by Hydraulic Fracturing chemicals, and by well pad accidents. Our fresh drinking water supplies will be contaminate, the question being when, not if. Our government, the DOE, and the US EPA know it why Congress under the direction of Dick Cheney exempted this industry from the regulatory requirements of both the Clean Water and Clean Air acts. The industry knows this as well, and it is why they want to GET IN, suck out the gas and be gone before the contamination of our waters is noticed so that they can hide behind their attorneys and say, "Was not us. and even if it was, PROVE IT".

New York's DEC is in the process of approving regulations by which FRACKING will be regulated...the rules are inadequate, and the department does not have the manpower to enforce them even if they were adequate. The only solution for the state of New York that protects citizen health, and our clean water supplies is an OUT RIGHT BAN OF HYDRAULIC FRACTURING in our state, rather than simply banning it in a few protected areas. Locally, both the Town of Fallsburg and Sullivan County should be passing local zoning laws that FORBID FRACKING in our communities.

Articles You Should Read

Fracking rules to be more stringent
Youngstown Vindicator
By Karl Henkel Ohio plans to scrap some fracking regulations in lieu of more- stringent rules, but some antifracking advocates remain skeptical about the proposed changes. Ohio Legislative Service Commission Final Analysis of Sub. ...
Fracking may test water law
Independent Online
Asked what international reports on fracking had been studied by her department, she said technical papers and reports “have also been consulted” from Canada, Europe and Australia – in addition to the US – where hydraulic fracturing for shale gas ...
Earthquakes, Water Pollution and Increased Greenhouse Gas Emissions? Fracking ...
The last decade has seen a sustained campaign by the hydraulic fracturing ('fracking") industry against its critics, as the fracking industry in the US alone was worth an estimated $76 billion in 2010 and is projected to grow to $231 billion in 2036 if ...