Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Manza Family Farm a Gardener's Paradise

I learned the joy found in gardening early on in my life, planting marigolds in the front of our house in Jeffersonville Indiana, carefully putting them in the holes my Mom had pre-dug for them, her following behind me righting whatever I did not get quite right. I remember with fondness going out with the hose to water her flower beds, feeling so grown up when she praised her little gardening man. All these decades later, looking back, gardening has been one of those constants in my life, a touchstone that has kept me grounded even when my life seemed scattered and in disarray. There is something magical about digging one's hands into the soil, a purity found in the simple pleasure of digging holes and planting seedlings that will grow up into beautiful plants with beautiful blooms that could have only been designed in the heavens above.

It is the life long love affair with gardening that has me serving as this year's Committee Chair for the "Mountaindale Community Development Project's" beautification project for Sullivan Renaissance, and that responsibility comes with certain rewards that one cannot put a value on. One of those rewards occurred this past Saturday when Barb Schmitt and I loaded into her mini van and headed East on Route 17 as we made our way to the Manza Family Farm in Montgomery, NY.

If you are into gardening, landscaping, if you love trees, bushes, shrubs and a rainbow of beautiful flowers, you have GOT TO PLAN A VISIT to this spectacular gardening center. The staff is there to serve you. They are friendly, knowledgeable, helpful, and PATIENT...trust me, me in a gardening center of this quality is like letting a kid loose in a candy store, and patience is an important attribute to possess, as I was jumping from pillar to post as this flower and that would capture my attention, my mind whirling at the possibilities, while another part of my brain was trying to get everything I wanted, while at the same time staying WITHIN MY BUDGET!

The employees took my enthusiasm in stride, traveled with me on my journey of joy through their stock, one of them making of list of everything I choose, while another one pulled out the plants, tagging each and every one, all the while, giving me the time I needed to see everything they had, answering my questions when they popped into my head. Imagine Barb and I in "Alice's Wonderland," each of us asking the other almost simultaneously, "Did you see this" or "Oh look at the colors of these Delphiniums" as we wrestled with important decisions, trying to find the perfect plants to give us that winning WOW FACTOR for our little project in Mountaindale.

We left the Manza Farm tired, happy, knowing our choices will be cared for until Friday when we can pick them up. As a man who has done professional landscaping, I left impressed for several reasons. First, I was impressed with the staff, appreciated them letting me think as I strode about their beautiful kingdom being dazzled at one of the best inventories of planting stock I have seen in years...not since I worked for Scarff's Nursery in New Carlisle, Ohio some three plus decades ago have I seen such a wide variety. Secondly, their stock is healthy, vibrant, lush, ready to make a statement in your garden this year, and for years to come.

If you and your family are planning a garden, or just looking for a few statement pieces to enhance what you already have, encourage you to take a drive over to Manza's Family Farm. You will be happy you did!

730 Route 211
Montgomery, NY 12549
Phone: (845)692-4364
Fax: (845)692-4109

Friday, June 24, 2011

FARMSTOCK 2011...Visit Your Local Farmers

When it comes to food, it is a natural resource we just cannot live without, yet so many of us really have no clue where our food comes from, nor the work involved in getting it onto our plates when it comes to dinner time. The Sullivan County Farm Network, founded in March 2010 hopes to change that reality, is working diligently with those who produce food here in Sullivan County, and those who consume it, the end line users. To that end, they have started a very interesting program called Farmstock, a chance for people to actually visit a working farm, take a tour, get a first hand look at where our food comes from, and meet some of the people who grow it!

So, if you live in Sullivan County, or are visiting Sullivan County, are looking for a wonderful weekend day trip, the Farmstock Experience is one HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Pack up the picnic basket, load the family into the car, and make a day out of visiting the farm. There are different farms to visit every weekend of the summer
, with each one a different and unique experience for one and all. Admission to the farms is just $6 for adults, and $4 for children, you cannot ask for a better family bargain, and visiting a farm is truly a Kodak Moment for you and your family.

Farmstock 2011 Calender

June 19 Sun. – Silver Heights Nursery & Gorzynski Ornery Farm, Cochecton Center

June 25 Sat. – Rafters Farm, Roscoe

July 2 Sat. – Apple Pond Farm. Callicoon Center

July 16 Sat. – Gieger Dairy Farm, Jeffersonville

July 23 Sat. – Neversink Farm, Clareyville

July 24 Sun - Dirie Dairy Farm, Livingston Man

July 31 Sun. – Rivendale Farm, Jeffersonville

August 13 Sat. – Rafters Farm, Roscoe

August 20 Sat. – Oak Ridge Farm, Jeffersonville

August 27 Sat. – Channery Hill Farm, Callicoon Center

September 3 Sat. – Bridle Hill Farm, Jeffersonville

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Easy Raisin Loaf...Great For Lite Summer Meals

One of my hobbies, or at least something I get a lot of enjoyment out of, is cooking...more specifically, I enjoy baking, though do not get as much time in the kitchen these days as I would like to have. Thought it might be fun to share an occasional recipe here on the blog with our readers, and being one who likes sometimes to eat a lite meal, perhaps some fresh fruit, cheese, a nice bread with a glass of white wine, thought I would share a fun old recipe.

Easy Raisin Loaf (Pre-heat oven to 350)

2 cups pancake mix
1/4 brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
4 tablespoons shortening (or butter)
2 eggs (beaten)
1 cup of milk...I recommend whole milk.
3/4 cup seedless raisins (you can also add chopped pecans if you like)

Combine all your dry ingredients. Cut in shortening until your mixture is coarse crumbs. Add eggs and milk, beating just enough to to combine ingredients. Fold in raisins (and nuts). Grease a one pound loaf pan (once done, line bottom with wax paper, also greased) and pour prepared batter into pan. Bake for 50 minutes, testing with toothpick...if necessary leave in a few extra minutes till toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool.

This bread is BEST if stored for a day before slicing. Goes wonderfully with assorted fresh fruits and some Brie Cheese...I personally enjoy sprinkling brown sugar and pecans over the brie cheese, and putting it in oven for a few minutes to get spreadable soft.

Great Opportunity For Mountaindale Photographers To Show Off Their Talents!

Attention local photographers and gardening enthusiasts. Now is your chance to show off your talents, and if lucky even become PUBLISHED! It is that time of year again, time for the Cornell Cooperative Extension's annual photo contest. Twelve lucky submissions from the entries that are received will have their photograph featured in the Second Annual Calendar that will be sold this fall as a fund raiser! Good luck to everyone who enters, and you can count on this writer entering a shot or two of his own.

Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan County Announces: Their Annual Photo Contest

What does Gardening/Horticulture in Sullivan County mean to you?

Send us your best photos.

NY-Enter a photo of a Sullivan County garden/horticulture. Start snapping away. It can be trees and scrubs, flowers or vegetables or even people working at gardening/horticulture; let us know what kind of gardening you enjoy. Everyone is welcome to send in photos. We prefer they are sent electronically as a jpg file. The 12 best will appear on our second annual calendar to be sold this fall by CCE, as a fund raiser. All entries must arrive by August 31, 2011 to be considered. If you have questions please call Susan Dollard at 845-292-5250. Entries are to be sent to

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Private Garden Tour Tickets Still Available

Tickets on Sale Now:


View Private Gardens in Sullivan County on Saturday, July 23

SULLIVAN COUNTY – The Third Annual Garden Tour of private gardens in Sullivan County will end with a reception at Bashakill Vineyards in Wurtsboro on Saturday, July 23. Bashakill Vineyards is Sullivan County’s first farm winery license, starting in spring 2005. The vineyard sits across from the Bashakill wetlands, which provide ideal conditions for growing grapes.

The tour is sponsored by SullivanArc and Sullivan Renaissance to benefit the SullivanArc Horticultural Program.

A limited number of tickets will be sold on the day of the event. Cost is $25 per person. They are available between 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. at the following locations along with self-guided garden tour maps [with addresses and directions to each of the gardens].

Advanced tickets may be purchased at these garden centers or directly from SullivanArc at 845-796-1350 ext. 1050 or online at http://www.sullivanarc.org and click on “Buy Tickets"

The 8 to 10 gardens are open for visits between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. They are located between Liberty and Wurtsboro and feature flower and shade gardens, traditional gardens, water features and landscaped grounds. Individuals may follow the route or select their own – visiting as many or as few gardens as they prefer and time allows. A wine and cheese reception for ticket holders and garden owners follows the tour at Bashakill Vineyards.

SullivanArc is a not-for-profit agency dedicated to providing support and services to over 850 individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and to their families. Sponsorship for the tour is provided by Key Bank. Sullivan Renaissance is a beautification and community development program principally funded by the Gerry Foundation. Additional funding has been secured by U.S. Representative Maurice D. Hinchey. Sponsors include Bold Gold Media Group/Thunder 102, Robert Green Dealerships, Sullivan County Democrat, The River Reporter and WSUL/WVOS.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ode to Isis

Isis and Alexandra Lalieu

History is full of famous dogs who are known for their loyalty and love for their masters. These dogs include Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, Hachiko of Japan, and Toto, too. Another name needs to be added to this list, and that is Isis, a beautiful Doberman Pinscher, beloved by all of the students of Upstate Karate of Mountaindale. Isis was an incredibly obedient dog who loved her owner, Alexandra Lalieu, with every drop of her soul. They often arrived together at the Main Street karate school, where Isis would relax quietly all afternoon and into the evening while Alexandra taught her students the art of Soo Bahk Do. Except that Isis would always be carefully listening for the sounds of the commands for the closing ceremony of each class. As soon as they were heard, Isis would poke her head out of the office curtains to see who might be interested in playing with her in between classes. She would patiently await permission from Alexandra, and then bound out to the glee of all around.

Isis was also a working dog who assisted Alexandra by demonstration in Dog Training classes. Ms. Lalieu is a very talented Trainer, who taught Isis in Dutch. This way, Isis could obey the Dutch commands without confusing the Loving To Please dog clients who were learning in either English or another language. The ‘tricks’ that Isis could perform were spectacular. There was obviously a tremendous amount of mutual love between Alexandra and Isis to achieve such a high level of canine obedience. Isis’ desire to please was palpable, whether she was in Heel, Stay, waiting to eat a treat on her nose, or not stepping in the martial arts training mats. Of course, my absolute favorite game with Isis was playing Hide & Seek with her squeaky tennis ball. At this, she was the Master! I might come up with a hiding place to stump her for a few minutes, but she ALWAYS persistently sniffed for that slobbery ball until she proudly found it and would then immediately give it back to me to play again, after she had chomped it a few more times for some victory squeaks.

Doberman Pinschers are often bred to be aggressive and fearsome as guard dogs. Isis was always loving and gentle with all of the students. She had a wonderful temperament. It began with her looks. She was sleek and muscular in her build and noble in her stance. She had a natural long tail which hadn’t been docked as a puppy, and also retained her natural ears, which Alexandra had ordered not to be cropped at birth. Her joyful, expressive face and her loving warmth will be missed by the Lalieu family and all of the students of Upstate Karate of Mountaindale.

written by Barb Schmitt

Last Minute News...Susan Honig Reflexology Workshop Tomorrow Night At Radiant Yoga

Just in...Janet is hosting another wonderful workshop tomorrow night in the Radiant Yoga Studio with Reflexologist Susan Honig called, "Soothe your Sole." The workshops at My Radiant Yoga are always great for the mind, body and soul, so if you have Friday night open, drive on over to Mountaindale, as this is just another in a great series of Healthy Living workshops offered in our small hamlet.

Foot Reflexology-technique of applying gentle even pressure to “reflex” points in the feet, resulting in beneficial effect on other parts of the body.

Event Details:

Soothe your Sole: a Treat for the Feet

Friday, June 17
8-10 pm
in Mountaindale

Reflexology Workshop at Radiant Yoga in Mountaindale

Singles and Couples Welcome.


Begin your evening with:

Partner Stretching/ Restorative Yoga
5:30-7 pm
All Welcome!

Workshop with Yoga Class

Call (845) 866-7822 to register or email Radiantyoga.ny@gmail.com

Reflexologist Susan Honig

Specialties include prenatal reflexology and reflexology for cancer patients.

Susan Honig has a vibrant private practice in NYC and serves as a Hospice volunteer. She is available for private sessions Upstate on weekends. To Schedule: (212) 570-5120.

Sand Casting Workshop August 6th! This Sounds Like FUN

Talk about a FUN workshop. On August 6th, 2011 from 10-12 Noon, a sand casting workshop is being held at the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Liberty, New York. Here is the small blurb on it from their June newsletter. I am sure that the number of spaces for this great craft class is going to be limited, so get your reservations in today!

This class is FUN FOR EVERY AGE, children and adults alike. Children must be accompanied by a parent. Learn how to make wall hangings for indoors or outdoors. Embed your favorite found objects such as shells, pebbles, sticks, tile or even broken pieces of glass and pottery. Be as imaginative as you'd like and create a unique piece of art for your home or garden. This class will be taught by Susan Dollard, local professional artist and educator. A fee of $40.00 for materials must be paid ahead with pre-registration. For more information or to pre-register call Cindy at (845) 292-5250

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

War Heroes...Celebrating One of Our Own

Any one who serves in Armed Forces has put their life on the line for God and Country, for the United States of America is a hero, should be both honored and respected. There have been times when we as citizens have forgotten that simple lesson, most notable of them being the Vietnam War which many of us, including myself opposed, though I still even then respected our troops who fought for our country, my Uncle Jack being one of them.

I grew up in a different time (though loath at times to admit it as it makes me feel old), a time when civics classes were a integral part of the lessons, where saying the "Lord's Prayer", and the "Pledge of Allegiance" were something done with reverence for both God, and for Country.

We watched movies like, "Battle of the Bulge" (1965) with Henry Fonda and Robert Shaw, "The Dirty Dozen" (1967) starring Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson, and Donald Sutherland, "Kelly's Heroes" (1970) with Clint Eastwood and Donald Sutherland. We had the "Green Beret" with larger than life John "The Duke" Wayne, and later on after the end of the Vietnam War, "The Deer Hunter" (1978) starring Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, Meryl Streep which was a very different kind of a war movie than most of us in that time had grown up with. We honored our soldiers, those with us, and those who had made the ultimate sacrifice in serving/protecting the United States of America, and almost to a one, every young boy grew up dreaming about wearing the uniform of our Armed Forces.

Come Memorial Day Weekend, we had our BarBQ's, or joined others in a community wide picnic, and everyone knew that Memorial Day was special. Every porch flew the Red, White and Blue, as together communities celebrated our own local men/women in uniform, paid honor to those who had served, and those who had paid the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy here in the United States of America. Those marching down the street young and old, American citizens who had served in far off lands, had fought in "World War I", "World War II" and the "Korean War" were our heroes, our villages, hamlets, towns and cities proud to claim them.

Many of these brave soldiers would say, "I'm not a hero, was just doing my job" but they were and are heroes, and some of them through bravery, determination, heart and valor rose to another level, are if you will, a Hero's Hero...we in our area are blessed to have such a man born and raised in our midst, a man who's heroism is the stuff of movies, epic poems and even legend, their stories of bravery, of heroism passed down through the ages.

On Sunday, July 3rd, 2011 you can honor our troops by attending the "8th Annual Francis Currey Day" at the Morningside Park in Hurleyville, the event named in honor of our very own Francis Currey, who is the only living Medal of Honor recipient who hales from the great state of New York, and more specifically was raised from humble, even tragic roots right here in Sullivan County.

From Wikipedia:

Currey was born in Loch Sheldrake, New York, on June 29, 1925. After being orphaned at age 12, he was raised by foster parents on a farm in nearby Hurleyville. He joined the Army in 1943, one week after graduating from high school.[1] Although he completed Officer Candidate School, at only 18 years old his superiors felt that he was "too immature" to be an officer and denied him a commission.[2]

After training with the 75th Infantry Division, Currey was sent to England in the spring of 1944. Due to a recently signed executive order which prevented soldiers under age 19 from entering combat areas, Currey was delayed in England until his birthday at the end of June. He then landed at Omaha Beach, several weeks after D-Day, and in September joined the 120th Infantry Regiment in the Netherlands.[2]

By December 21, 1944, Currey was serving as a Sergeant in Company K, 120th Infantry Regiment, 30th Infantry Division. On that day, in Malmedy, Belgium, Currey repeatedly exposed himself to hostile fire to attack the German forces and rescue five comrades who had been pinned down by enemy fire. He was awarded the Medal of Honor eight months later, on August 17, 1945.[3]

In 1998, a G.I. Joe action figure was modeled after Currey

Fact is, simply saying that, "exposed to hostile fire he rescued five comrades, though heroic actions does not tell the full story, does not give us the full magnitude of his actions on that day which make him a heroes hero. Flash back over the most action packed epic scenes from all the old war movies you may have watched, and they pale compared to the actions of Francis Sherman "Frank" Currey on that fateful day when destiny stepped in, and saw him rise to levels of heroism that make us stand in awe of him. The official Medal of Honor citation fills in some of the details from that day

He was an automatic rifleman with the 3d Platoon defending a strong point near Malmedy, Belgium, on 21 December 1944, when the enemy launched a powerful attack. Overrunning tank destroyers and antitank guns located near the strong point, German tanks advanced to the 3d Platoon's position, and, after prolonged fighting, forced the withdrawal of this group to a nearby factory. Sgt. Currey found a bazooka in the building and crossed the street to secure rockets meanwhile enduring intense fire from enemy tanks and hostile infantrymen who had taken up a position at a house a short distance away. In the face of small-arms, machinegun, and artillery fire, he, with a companion, knocked out a tank with 1 shot. Moving to another position, he observed 3 Germans in the doorway of an enemy-held house. He killed or wounded all 3 with his automatic rifle. He emerged from cover and advanced alone to within 50 yards of the house, intent on wrecking it with rockets. Covered by friendly fire, he stood erect, and fired a shot which knocked down half of 1 wall. While in this forward position, he observed 5 Americans who had been pinned down for hours by fire from the house and 3 tanks. Realizing that they could not escape until the enemy tank and infantry guns had been silenced, Sgt. Currey crossed the street to a vehicle, where he procured an armful of antitank grenades. These he launched while under heavy enemy fire, driving the tankmen from the vehicles into the house. He then climbed onto a half-track in full view of the Germans and fired a machinegun at the house. Once again changing his position, he manned another machinegun whose crew had been killed; under his covering fire the 5 soldiers were able to retire to safety. Deprived of tanks and with heavy infantry casualties, the enemy was forced to withdraw. Through his extensive knowledge of weapons and by his heroic and repeated braving of murderous enemy fire, Sgt. Currey was greatly responsible for inflicting heavy losses in men and material on the enemy, for rescuing 5 comrades, 2 of whom were wounded, and for stemming an attack which threatened to flank his battalion's position.

Those actions, make Francis Currey a hero, make him a proud member of a very elite group of soldiers who have been awarded the military's highest honor, "The Medal of Honor."

I hope all of you will ink in July 3rd, show up at Morningside Park in Hurleyville to honor Francis Currey, to honor our Wounded Warriors, and to give thanks to all those who served with honor in the Armed Services of the United States of America.

Also, from 1-5 on July 3 in Morningside Park, held in conjunction with this event is the "Francis Currey Day Community Blood Drive."

*note-of the 465 World War II Medal of Honor recipients, 267 were awarded the Medal Posthumously. Only 16 World War II Medal of Honor recipients are alive today.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Race Application Form-2nd Annual O&W Rails To Trails Race

The Second Annual O&W Rails to Trails Race is fast approaching (July 17th) and we wanted to make sure EVERYONE has an invitation...so, please find below the official Runners/Walkers Entry Form. So, consider yourselves invited. You can simply print this article out, fill out the application and mail it in. T-Shirts to the first ONE HUNDRED REGISTERED Runners/Walkers, so get your applications in right away. It should be a fun filled Sunday morning for the entire family, and we hope you will join us.


Sunday, July 17, 2011 8:30 a.m.

This is a 4 mile race and a 2 mile walking event along the former railroad tracks which have been turned into beautiful trails. All proceeds for this event will benefit the O & W Rails to Trails Projects in the Town of Fallsburg, including the Mountaindale, Woodridge and South Fallsburg lines. Overall winners and age group awards will be presented to male and female participants.

Please complete entry form, read the statement below, sign application and mail along with payment to:

Sullivan Striders Club
O & W Rails to Trails Race
PO Box 702
Rock Hill, NY 12775-0702

Please print clearly:

NAME _____________________________________________



RACE DAY AGE_____ DATE OF BIRTH ___/____/____

TEE SHIRT SIZE*____ (S) ____ (M) ____ (L) ____ (XL) ____ (XXL)
*To first 100 Pre-registered Runners & Walkers



TOWN __________________________________

STATE_______ ZIP CODE ___________

TELEPHONE (_____) ________________

E-MAIL ADDRESS ________________________________

In consideration of my entry, I do hereby, for myself, my heirs and administrators, waive, release and forever discharge any and all rights and claims for damages which I have or which hereafter accrue to me against all sponsors and race supporters, their representatives, employees, agents or assigns, for any and all damages which may be sustained and suffered by me in connections with any said association with or entry in and/or arising out of my traveling to, participant in and returning from said athletic event. I have full knowledge of the risks involved in this event and I am physically fit and sufficiently trained to participate in this event. If anyone sues you on my behalf, I agree to hold you harmless of all claims, expenses and attorney fees. If any part of this release is unenforceable the balance shall continue in full force.

SIGNATURE (if under 18 years of age signature of parent or legal guardian is required)


PAYMENT INFORMATION: PRE-ENTRY $17.00 ______ RACE DAY $20.00 _____

Race day registration begins at 7:30 A.M. at the Mountaindale Fire House, Mountaindale, NY
Race start time is at 8:30 A.M.

* From Middletown area, take Route 17 (I-86) West to Exit 112, Wurtsboro/Masten Lake. Make a left off exit then another left onto Wurtsboro Mtn Rd. Travel approx 1.2 miles, take a right turn at County Road 56 and follow road to Mountaindale, 7 miles. At stop light make a right and follow into Mountaindale 2/10th of a mile. Firehouse is on left hand side. Look for race day signs.

*From Monticello/Liberty area, take Route 17 (I-86) East to Exit 109, Rock Hill. Make a left at stop sign onto Katrina Falls Road. Go 2/10th of a mile; turn left onto Rock Hill Drive, then a quick right onto Glen Wild Road. Go 6 miles make right at stop light in Woodridge towards Mountaindale. Travel approx 2 miles into Mountaindale. Firehouse is on left hand side. Look for race day signs.

For more information contact Maryann Manza, Race Coordinator & Committee Member @ 845-313-2560 OR Kim Klemen, Sullivan Striders Club President @ 845-283-8944 or e-mail to klemen105@yahoo.com

BYOT...Bring Your Own Technology...To Class

There was a very interesting article on CNN early last week on a teacher out in Los Angeles (Enrique Legaspi) who has embraced the technology that is Social Media, instructing his students to BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology) and be ready to give your answers on TWITTER. As you can imagine, opinions were varied, people weighing in (via Twitter) on both ends of the spectrum. Some of the tweets:

@cwindon: "The concept is fine but Twitter shouldn't be taught in school. What about the parents who don't want kids using social media?"

@meanmindyjean: "I hope my own children's teachers will consider this. My son would benefit. Twitter finds a place in the classroom."

@BarneySTJ: "Not sure if i agree with how this teacher is using twitter in the classroom but I definitely agree with the attempt."

@mightyjackstar: "The changing face of the classroom, and I think it's great - Twitter helps shy kids speak up in class."

Personally, find myself far more willing to embrace the technology that is Social Media and Twitter, than I was in allowing Calculators in the class room. With one, you are still providing the answers, simply using technology to send them to the instructor, while with the other, it was the technology providing you with the answers. What is your opinion? Should we change the rules that have our children's Smart Phones and IPod's turned off during class, or instead should we embrace the technology, and find ways to use in in helping our kids learn? Let us hear from you.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Thanks To Small Army of Volunteers, Flower Boxes Are Out on Main Street in Mountaindale

Despite the weekends iffy weather here in Mountaindale, our volunteers were out in full force on Saturday as we turned the soil, started planting our Main Street flower boxes.

We had volunteers from every age group, with our youngest volunteer supervising from her stroller...TALK ABOUT CUTE. Want to give all our volunteers from yesterday a VERY LOUD Shout Out for your hard work, and great conversation. Without all of you, your generous donation of your time, your efforts, so many of the special touches like our flower boxes that make Mountaindale the beautiful little hamlet that it is just would not happen.

Ken & Barb Schmitt
Aaron & Rachel Schmitt
Sherwood Martinelli
Tyler Buholz
Jenny Foster
Gina & Arianna Columbo (& Gianna)
Antonia Columbo
Adrian Alcala
Toni Burke

Everyone had a wonderful time getting their hands in the dirt, and one of our big maintenance projects can now be checked off our list as the flower boxes are both planted, and out on Main Street for everyone to enjoy. So glad the Schmitt's have a fork lift adapter for their backhoe, as I would not have wanted to carry all those boxes out and place them by hand. Everything looks beautiful, and cannot wait for the plants to fill out and get some size on them. Again, a hearty THANK YOU to everyone who showed up to lend a hand with some of the heavy lifting as Mountaindale rolls out our Summer Welcome Mat.

Just as a FYI, please mark your calendars for Saturday July 16th, as the Mountaindale Community Development Project (MCDP) is planning a gala fund raising event to benefit our 2011 Sullivan Renaissance Project...details coming soon.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Volunteer Opportunities in Mountaindale This Weekend

Meant to post this earlier in the week, but some weeks are more hectic than others, and this is being one of those weeks. Oh well, sometimes living life gets in the way of life's best laid plans.

WE have two pop in volunteer opportunities this weekend, and if you find yourself available, would love having you stop by, say hello, and get your hands into the proverbial dirt.

1. Friday (yes, today) June 10th. We will be working at the entrance to Rails To Trails as we finish up most of the site preparation work. Hours are 4-8. Stop by and say hello, as we can use all the moral support we can get.

2. Saturday June 11th, we will be on Main Street deploying and planting our community flower boxes.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Tickets to Elton John Concert at Bethel Woods Still Available...If You Know Where To Look

How many of us would love the opportunity, in our own backyard, to witness Rock Legend and bonafide SUPER STAR Elton John?...a lot, that is for sure, as witnessed by the number of people who lined up to get tickets for the September 3rd show at Bethel Woods. Problem is, most people, including those supposedly lucky 250 who were given stubs/vouchers to purchase tickets were sadly dissappointed, sent home empty handed by staff at the Bethel Woods ticket window.

From the newspaper article in the Sullivan County Democrat, as well as other stories from people who were there, or knew someone who was there, or claimed they knew someone who was there, the basic story is simple...tickets went on sale on May 23rd at Bethel Woods. Before they went on sale staff at Bethel Woods went out and gave the first 250 people standing online vouchers...it was assumed, that those with said vouchers would get the opportunity to purchase tickets, and the rest of those who had driven over were SENT HOME, were just not going to get to see Elton John in concert.

Then the story gets more complicated...the time arrived for the tickets to be OFFICIALLY available, and in short haste (well less than one hour) the same staff who had handed out the numbers to 250 lucky souls went out and told most of those people, SORRY, THE SHOW IS SOLD OUT, you need to go home...EXCUSE ME? Some pointed out they had vouchers, coupons, were one of the 250 chosen ones.

It was explained, that the number in their hand did NOTHING MORE than allow them to stand in line, did not guarantee they would actually get the opportunity to purchase tickets. As tempers were flaring, cops (unnecessarily) being called in, the scalpers showed up offering to sell these LOCAL CITIZENS tickets at GREATLY INFLATED PRICES. If the scalpers just got there first, were one of the first in line, and bought blocks of tickets, not much can be done...BUT, if they somehow are using a back door into the system, it is unfair, and something needs to be done to level the playing field. That is a subject for a different day, a different story.

What this writer does suggest is that Bethel Woods and other major concert venues owe something to the local community who tolerates the traffic and other issues that come with being host of such a major facility. It is therefore suggested that Bethel Woods find a way forward that gives the LOCAL CITIZENS an opportunity for EARLY BUY IN, say a 24 hour window of opportunity to secure tickets before they are made publically available on the internet via ticketing sites and other points of sale.

The good news for those that can afford a premium for their tickets...if you know where to shop, there are still tickets available for Elton John's September 3rd Bethel Woods Concert. Lawn seats are going for $125-$200, and other more desirable seats are going for as much as $1000 each. If you really want to go, you can visit Tix Movers, an online ticket seller to find what you are looking for.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Some GREAT GOLF for GREAT CAUSES in Sullivan County, NY

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Sullivan County Golf Fundraiser

Contact: Sean Welsh



Due to the great success of past years’ outings, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Sullivan County is happy to announce our latest fundraising effort. The Fifth Annual CCE Golf Classic will be held Saturday July 9, 2011 at 11am at the Swan Lake Golf and Country Club in Swan Lake, NY with a rain date of Sunday, July 10, 2011 at noon.

This fun filled day includes a dinner after the round and some chances at great prizes donated by local businesses including restaurant gift certificates, gift baskets, and golf themed items. There will be hole-in-one prizes donated by M and M Auto Group. For even more fun and competition there will be a putting and longest drive contest.

Proceeds of this event benefit the residents of Sullivan County through Cornell Cooperative Extension’s 4-H, Agriculture, and Family & Consumer Education programs.

There are still opportunities for businesses and individuals to become a sponsor, donate a raffle prize, or support Cornell Cooperative Extension by playing in our event. Please contact us at 845-292-6180, or go to our website at www.sullivancce.org.

Mountaindale Renaissance Project Moving Foward

Our 2011 Renaissance Project is slowly moving forward, our plans to build a sculptural interpretation of a train just inside the "Rails to Trails" corridor entrance taking shape.

News about the Renaissance Project.

1. We are hoping to have water access to our site area by the end of this week (June 10th). Good thing with this heat wave we are experiencing.

2. Thanks to the generous donation of a local citizens (who chooses to remain nameless), last Saturday saw us bring in a great deal of rehab lumber...we are currently cleaning the nails out of this in preparation for building. This fits in with our overall GREEN THEME for the project, which includes creative re-use of materials whenever possible. This also saves our budget for use in other areas of the project. For those wondering, we could REALLY USE A) some treated 2x12's, B) Some four inch decking screws (guessing about ten pounds), and another sheet or two of plywood at the moment. Also, anyone have some rebar we could cut into three foot pieces?

3. Thanks to the generous support of our Renaissance Project, we have had another member of our community, Marty Weiner step up big time...he is in the process of lining up ten 55 gallon drums that we need for the project. Wondering if anyone out there has some 8, 10 and 12 inch diameter pipe (three foot sections) laying around we could requisition for our steam stacks on the Locomotive? We would also LOVE LOVE LOVE finding an old bell.

4. We are trying to tracking down FOUR old wagon wheels of identical size that we can use as the back wheels of this project...anyone have leads on this item?

5. We have gotten much of the site area clean up done, and our intern for this year Aaron Schmitt seems very enthusiastic about the project...speaking of interns, as Committee Chair, I have to get more adept at the paperwork end of this project.

6. The first steps of the installation project are slated to begin later this week, so if you see us in the Rails to Trails area working, stop by and say hello.

Look for a MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT about our July Fund Raiser soon...It will be a really fun evening of wine, food and music!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

2nd ANNUAL O&W RAILS TO TRAILS RACE-Request For Sponsorships!

Greetings Walkers and Runners!

It is that time of year again, and the Sullivan Striders and Fallsburg O&W Rail Trail Committee are busy making plans for the second annual O&W Rails to Trails Race, and are looking for a helping hand from all our wonderful local shops and businesses...without the help/sponsorship from these folks, this race would not be possible, and without the race, a lot of the improvements as well as maintenance of our beautiful trail would not be possible. Below is their Press Release/Letter, and hope everyone reading this will consider making a donation, as well as joining in the fun of this event as a volunteer or participant in the run or walk on July 17th! You can print this article, fill out the sponsorship information, and MAIL IT IN TODAY! For questions, or additional questions you can email: mmanza1@hvc.rr.com

More news on the event itself in coming days!

Dear Friend,

On July 17, 2011 the Fallsburg O&W Rail Trail Committee, with help from the Sullivan Striders Running and Walking Club, is sponsoring a 4 mile run and 2 mile walk to benefit the Mountaindale, Woodridge and Fallsburg rail to trail projects. These communities are working together to beautify the trails for everyone’s enjoyment.

Our projects include landscaping, trail maintenance, signage, trail markers, creating parking areas and much more. Eventually, we will have a continuous trail with maps and brochures, resting areas, visitor’s centers and our dream bridge over the Neversink River where the old train track crossed from Woodridge to South Fallsburg.

The Rails to Trails Race will help defray some of our operating expenses. Most work on the trails is completed by volunteers but supplies are needed to keep this project alive. You can help to keep this important cause going by being a sponsor to our running race and walk. The race is an excellent way to get “acquainted” with the rail trail in our hometown.

One way for us to achieve our goals is to ask you, our friends, our family and business acquaintances to support this race by becoming a sponsor. We greatly appreciate any contributions or donations in kind that you are able to provide to us.

The sponsorship categories are as follows:

$500.00-Company name/logo will be prominently printed on the back of our event tee shirts and at mile markers.

$250.00-Company name/logo will be prominently printed on the back of our event tee shirts.

$100.00-Company name/logo will be printed on the back of our event tee shirts.
$ 50.00-Company name will be printed on the back of our event tee shirts.

$ 25.00-Company name will be printed on the back of our event tee shirts.

If you are interested in helping us attain our goal in making this fundraiser and race a success, please complete the enclosed sponsor form and return as soon as possible. Please make your check payable to the Sullivan Striders Club-Rails to Trail Race. If you have any questions regarding the race, becoming a sponsor or volunteering please feel free to contact Maryann Manza at 845-313-2560 or Allen Frishman at 845-701-1984.

Thank you for your support.


Maryann Manza, Race Coordinator & Committee Member
Kim Klemen, Sullivan Striders Club President
Allen Frishman, Fallsburg O&W Rail Trail Committee Chair
2nd ANNUAL O&W RAILS TO TRAILS RACE Sponsorship Information:








Contact person, if a business ___________________________

Donation amount enclosed:


Mail completed form to:
Sullivan Striders Club O & W Rails To Trails Race
PO Box 702
Rock Hill, NY 12775-0702

*For those sponsoring $500.00, $250.00 or $100.00 please provide us with your company logo.

If you’d like to receive an acknowledgment for the amount of your donation please check here.