Sunday, October 30, 2011

Architectural Work of Little Known Architect Abraham Okun to Be Featured At Preservation Conference


For each of the past ten years, the first Sunday and Monday in November have brought to the Liberty Museum & Arts Center the two day Main Street Forum, better known as Preservation Sunday and Main Street Monday.

The Forum, which attracts planning professionals, developers, and public officials, as well as interested property owners, to Liberty for the two days, is presented by the New York Main Street Alliance and is co-sponsored by the New York State Urban Council, the New York State Planning Federation, the New York Conference of Mayors, The Catskill Center, and the Liberty Museum & Arts Center.

This is actually the 15th year for the Monday event, which will focus on cultural centers—libraries, movie theaters, museums, art galleries and the like-- and how they can anchor and define a community’s main street.

The Sunday program, which focuses specifically on historic preservation, was added to the schedule in 2002, making it a two day forum, and some of this year’s presentations will highlight the buildings of longtime Monticello architect Abraham Okun.

Okun was active during the middle years of the 20th century, designing a number of interesting local buildings which seem to have distinct elements in common, including the Associated Mutual Insurance Building in Woodridge, and Bruce’s Garage in Liberty. This year’s forum will feature a panel discussion of his work moderated by developer Ken Schmitt of Mountaindale as well as a look at his buildings through the eyes of talented photographer Louis Jawitz.

The Preservation Sunday conference has traditionally provided participants—many contemplating historic preservation projects of their own-- with guidance and inspiration, and this year is no exception. Besides the programs on Okun’s work, there are sessions dealing with restoring cultural buildings from an architect’s perspective and from a contractor’s perspective, and on using preservation as an economic development tool. Another session details the restoration of the Roxbury Arts Center in neighboring Delaware County.

This year’s events are scheduled for November 6 and 7. Each day’s events begin at 8 AM and sessions run throughout the day both days, culminating with a reception each evening at 7 PM.
Advanced registration is not required but is appreciated for the conferences, and can be accomplished by calling the Liberty Museum & Arts Center at 292-2394, or at

There is typically a charge for the Forum, but the Liberty Museum emphasizes that people should not let the cost stand in the way of attending if they are interested. “We do have several scholarships available to defray the cost of attendance,” they say. “People should call the museum to find out about them.”

Quite The Storm Yesterday

Seems so very strange to wake up on a Sunday morning in October, glance out your window and view a winter wonderland staring back at you. Yesterday's Nor'easter packed quite the wallop, our small hamlet seeing close on to a foot of the white stuff on us, snow shovels and big trucks with large plows making an early appearance here in Sullivan County. Lets hope this early winter storm is not a sign of what old man winter has in store for us as we look ahead...if it is, going to be a very long, cold, desolate winter in these parts.

The Farmers Almanac is forecasting “clime and punishment,” a season of unusually cold and stormy weather. For some parts of the country, that means a frigid climate; while for others, it will mean lots of rain and snow. Judging the winter yet to come on yesterday's snow storm, would say "Clime and Punishment is a good descriptor of things to come. Meanwhile, the vivid blue sky outside, the fall color still remaining coupled with the snow makes this a great day to grab your camera and go out for a walk.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Winter Reminder...Please Move Vehicles Off Street For Our Snow Removal Crew

OMG...not even the end of October, and we are about to get hit by a MAJOR Nor'easter with the potential for significant accumulation of the white stuff...that would be snow, as in the possibility of somewhere between 7-12 inches of it falling on our hamlet starting later today. As I sing, "I'm dreaming of a White Halloween" wanted to put up a reminder for everyone.

As we know, we have great snow removal here in Mountaindale, but our hard working crew needs our help...what we can do...just make sure we have our vehicles off the streets before the white stuff starts falling later today. That's it! There are plenty of places for our cars, and there is a nice parking area located just behind 62 Main Street that we can all use.

Spoke with Robert and Uccelli Restaurant will be open this evening for those not wanting to cook in the middle of our first snow storm...wishing here his pizza oven was already fired up and putting out pies as pizza and snow is sounding like a pretty good combination right now...any one have the makings for hot chocolate? I have a bag of mini marshmallows here.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Opening Night For Uccelli Restaurant Plays to Packed House

Last night Mountaindale's newest business, Uccelli Restaurant, opened its doors, and it was a grand night of fun, good conversation, and great food from Chef Robert's native Northern Italy. By seven in the evening, the place was packed, hardly a chair to be found as patrons enjoyed the warm welcoming atmosphere, the smells of delicious food being prepared in the kitchen, laughter and conversation filling the air.

The evening was a sterling success, the opening almost flawless, those gathered having high praise for the food, as well as the wait staff. Many of the people in attendance are very anxious for another big event at the week, Chef Robert will fire up his pizza oven and share with us his Northern Italian Pizza...some of the offerings on the pizza menu sound really inviting.

This writer indulged my own taste buds starting off with the Portobella Mushrooms...the sauce was perfect, and was completely devoured with the Italian bread that was in liberal supply at our table. Next, a Caesar Salad followed up with the Artesano Steak...Expresso after dinner was the perfect finish to what was a fine dinner. Congratulations to Chef Robert and his was a perfect first night.

If you would like to make reservations at Uccelli Restaurant, give Chef Robert or his hostess Star a call at (845) 434-4447. Chef Robert also caters, so keep that in mind when you start planning your next corporate event, or Christmas/New Year's party. You can see his catering menu here.

Uccelli Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Statue of Liberty is 125 Years Old Today

The "Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World" which was a gift from the people of France is having a birthday today. The most famous statue in the entire world for the symbolism it represents which was dedicated on October 28, 1886 and designated a National Monument in 1924 is 125 years old today. The statue's original dedication was attended by President Grover Cleveland, and followed by New York's first ever ticker tape parade.

As this grand old lady stands in the harbor welcoming the world's huddled masses, the theme for her special day is 'Honor History, Envision the Future.' Today, we Honor the history of the statue, and tomorrow we envision the future as the doors to the interior of the statue will be closed for some major renovation and restoration work to the Statue of Liberty's 125 year old pedestal and 200 year old fort base from which she rises.

Some Historical Facts
  • Official dedication ceremonies held on Thursday, October 28, 1886
  • Total overall height from the base of the pedestal foundation to the tip of the torch is 305 feet, 6 inches
  • Height of the Statue from her heel to the top of her head is 111 feet, 6 inches
  • The face on the Statue of Liberty measures more than 8 feet tall
  • There are 154 steps from the pedestal to the head of the Statue of Liberty
  • A tablet held in her left hand measures 23' 7" tall and 13' 7" wide inscribed with the date JULY IV MDCCLXXVI (July 4, 1776)
  • The Statue has a 35-foot waistline
  • There are seven rays on her crown, one for each of the seven continents, each measuring up to 9 feet in length and weighing as much as 150 pounds
  • Total weight of the Statue of Liberty is 225 tons (or 450,000 pounds)
  • At the feet of the Statue lie broken shackles of oppression and tyranny
  • During the restoration completed in 1986, the new torch was carefully covered with thin sheets of 24k gold
  • The exterior copper covering of the Statue of Liberty is 3/32 of an inch thick (less than the thickness of two pennies) and the light green color (called a patina) is the result of natural weathering of the copper

Nation Wide Rash of Police Brutality As Cities Try to Deny Protesters First Amendment Rights

Our First Amendment Rights are supposed to be pretty straight forward and clear.
The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. The amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.
Unfortunately, seems that local governments from New York to Oakland, where a Police Officer's rubber riot bullet has a United States Marine and peaceful protestor in critical condition, are using what can only be described as Gestapo like tactics to coral and forcefully evict citizens who are exercising their First Amendment rights. Turn on any National News and you will see reports (with video footage) of Police Officers in full riot gear (reminiscent of the protests against the Vietnam War) tear gassing citizens, using batons to beat them, while throwing other citizens to the ground to put them in handcuffs...why?...because these citizens are exercising their First Amendment Rights in a way that Mayor's like Bloomberg find inconvenient, and unacceptable in the heart of his business district.
"The most basic component of freedom of expression is the right of freedom of speech. The right to freedom of speech allows individuals to express themselves without interference or constraint by the government."

If one reads the First Amendment, it is an absolute right not to be abridged. It does not say we have the right to peaceful assembly if a city grants us a permit, does not say we have the right to peaceful assembly if we do it between the hours of 3PM and 6PM on a Saturday, and only within the corralled and cordoned off space the police have set up to CONTROL THE PROTESTORS that is conveniently located miles from where they want to be. The First Amendment does not have a clause that allows towns, cities, and yes Police Officers to limit our rights, to choose where and when we can exercise them, even if said exercising of those rights upsets local business people down in the Wall Street District, or in other business districts across the land.

Shame on those who so easily want to abridge our First Amendment Rights, shame on cities who want to deny us those rights for lack of a permit they would not issue, shame on Police Officers who are using overwhelming force to evict citizens from parks and streets and shame on the news media for presenting most of the Occupy Wall Street movement in a negative fashion. Also, shame on any one of us who wants to put the rights of a business and its profits ahead of our individual and collective right to protest and free assembly.

Now I am sure there will be some who would love to dismiss my words on this subject as those of a heretic, a far left wing radical hippie liberal. Others will want to ask the question, "What about the rights of those business owners? mean that one percent who keep getting richer while America's middle class is being decimated and destroyed? How many of those opposing the Occupy Wall Street protestors watched the news and cheered the young protestors in Egypt this year as the Arab Spring spread across the Middle East? How about Tienanmen Square...did you not see that man bravely facing down a tank as a hero? Curious...should the government of East Berlin have used OVERWHELMING FORCE when the citizens brought down the Berlin Wall? It is very scary indeed when we as citizens applaud citizens in other countries who are exercising their rights to effect change, but want to turn a blind eye to the truth in front of our eyes when local police departments in cities across America are using any brutal means available to disrupt peaceful protests, are using tear gas and rubber riot bullets to deny citizens their First Amendment Rights.

Where are we here in New York rushing to the aid of our own this article is being written, a face off is looming between the NYPD and American citizens who are doing nothing more than exercising their First Amendment Rights...why? Because business owners are upset, and Mayor Bloomberg feels it has gone on long enough.

So I pose this hypothetical question to our readers, "Our First Amendment Rights are absolute, and our federal government is charged with protecting and preserving those basic human rights...because the federal government is charged with protecting our First Amendment Rights, should President Obama deploy troops into New York and other cities to protect the citizens from over reactive local police departments who are acting like street thugs, bullies bent on having their way regardless of citizen rights?

The above video is not the streets of Syria, or Egypt, the government forces are not that of a dictator. These are American Police Officers in Oakland opening fire on innocent citiizen's exercising their First Amendment Rights. It is noted here, that on CNN this morning, the Mayor of Oakland is now apologizing to the citizens for the police departments OVER REACTION.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Downtown Experts In Liberty

Two-Day Conference to Focus on Downtown Cultural Attractions

LIBERTY – A two-day conference in Liberty will feature over 30 specialists in downtown and main street revitalization as well as building preservation from around New York State. This year’s annual event takes place on November 6 and 7 at the Liberty Museum and Arts Center located at 46 South Main Street in Liberty. It is co-sponsored by the New York Main Street Alliance (NYMSA) and the New York State Urban Council.

Now in its 15th year, the annual “Main Street Forum” on Monday, November 7 will offer practical advice and information to communities about downtown revitalization issues. For the first, the format will be all panel discussions with Main Street experts that will cover basic, intermediate and advanced topics.

One panel discussion will be moderated by representatives from the NYS Housing and Community Renewal, which has been responsible for millions of dollars in funding and grants for main streets and downtown redevelopment throughout New York State.

The tenth annual “New York Preservation Forum” will be held on the previous day, Sunday, November 6. Speakers will discuss restoring Main Street buildings, as well as historic preservation issues and techniques with the focus on cultural buildings on Main Street. The day concludes with an evening reception for the 10th Annual Preservation Photography Show.

The cost of registration is $40 for Sunday, $95 for Monday or $120 for both. Breakfast and lunch at the museum are included with registration. Discounted registration rates are available for three or more persons registering together. Scholarships are available through the Liberty Museum.

Sullivan Renaissance Community Planner Helen Budrock is one of the conference speakers and the event may be of particular interest to organizations and individuals that have had Sullivan Renaissance projects on their Main Streets. For more information contact Helen Budrock at 845-295-2462 or no later than November 3rd.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Write a Book In November With Nanowrimo

Have your friends always told you that you should write a book? Have you ever thought about writing a novel or other transcript and never quite found the motivation to get around to it? Well, now is your chance. The folks over at NanoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) are again offering up their November Challenge...write a 50,000 word novel/transcript in just 30, all while dealing with the Thanksgiving Holidays!

Sound impossible? It's not...I've participated twice, the first time health issues and life seeing me falling short, coming in with around 36,000 words. Last year, I decided to take the challenge again, and cannot explain the exhilaration felt crossing the finish line successfully with about 4,000 extra words to boot. What I found, was the challenge focuses you, forces you to be disciplined about your writing...would say those taking up the challenge try to set aside (on average) two hours a day to successfully complete the challenge. Plan ahead...if you know that your entire family is coming to your house for Thanksgiving Weekend, and that your writing time is going to be short, get ahead of the word curve count so you can take a day or two off from your writing.

To successfully complete the challenge you need to average about 1700 words a day...last year, I wrote every day, but found that two weekends of some very dedicated writing were the big difference for me...OH...did I mention coffee? I had lots on hand, and also set up a series of rewards for myself for major milestones in the task. 10,000 words treat yourself to something you really enjoy...a trip to Jova Love for a really good pastry and cup of coffee perhaps? Also, use NanoWriter's terrific forums to get inspiration, plot ideas, or to just complain that your fingers are sore from pounding your keyboard in frustration.

If you are thinking of participation, and want to join in a Sullivan County Write In event (we all meet at a location for a couple hours to write and share the fun), drop me (Sherwood) and email at as I am planning on participating in this challenge again this year, though right now still have no clue what I will be writing about.

Shared Letter From Nano Writers

Greetings, NaNo-novelist!

Have you seen the countdown clock on NaNoWriMo lately? The 2011 noveling extravaganza begins in just 7 days!

In preparation for this wild and wordy festival of writing, we've relaunched (and that very hypnotic clock). The site is now built upon the extra-sleek framework of Ruby on Rails, which means the forums are speedier than ever, and slow page-loads are a distant memory. (Though you can still fondly reminisce on those with me in the NaNoWriMo history.)

Come on over to today to check out all the shiny newness, including an all-star cast of pep talkers, the 2011 batch of web badges, our revamped forums, and special noveling goodies in the store.

You can also find the local chapter closest to you, and catch up on news and events there in the regional forum!

If nothing else, come by to witness the sheer speed of it all. Heavens to Betsy, the speed!

If you know any kids, teens, or educators who would enjoy this challenge, be sure to send them over to NaNoWriMo's Young Writers Program! Director Chris Angotti has cooked up the best resources yet for our 50,000-plus young novelists around the world.

We can't wait to see you in NaNoLand!

Counting down to go-time,
Lindsey Grant
Program Director

Sunday, October 23, 2011

GREENING AND GATHERING’...Another Great Sullivan Renaissance Seminar


Creating Public Spaces: Gardens, Parks, Markets and Events

[FERNDALE] – Creating public spaces where people naturally want to congregate is a critical component of improving any community. Sullivan Renaissance is holding a seminar entitled “Greening and Gathering – Creating Public Spaces: from Gardens and Parks to Markets and Events” on Wednesday, November 2 at 7:00 p.m. at the CVI Center in Ferndale.

Nancy Proyect, President of the Orange County Citizens Foundation, will speak about the concept of “placemaking” and the benefits of creating attractive and vibrant public spaces. The principles for creating great community places include:

  • The community is the expert
  • Create a place, not a design
  • Look for partners
  • You can see a lot just by observing
  • Have a vision
  • Start with petunias: lighter, quicker, cheaper
  • Triangulate
  • They always say “It can’t be done”
  • Money is not the issue
  • You are never finished
Many of these elements are already practiced by Sullivan Renaissance communities.

Proyect will also show photos of various places that have been on the Orange County Citizens Foundation’s “placemaking” tour and give some background on the projects.

Everyone is welcome to attend. Those interested in learning more about Sullivan Renaissance are also invited. Refreshments will be served. Please RSVP.

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.

For more information or to register, visit or call 845-295-2445.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Town of Fallsburg Politics...There Does Not Seem To Be Any!

Walking around, driving around, I am struck at the lack of PRESENCE politics has in and around Mountaindale this close to an election. This confuses me for numerous reasons, the least of which is the huge issue of fracking looming over our community...where are people and more importantly, where are the politicians, those in office seeking re-election, and those looking to get elected? Shouldn't they be more visible and accessible, or is the problem far bigger than one of visibility and accessibility?

I would love asking those running for office in Fallsburg, in Sullivan County a few questions, find out where they stand on the is the 22nd of October, I know people are running for office, but have not seen any politicians here in Mountaindale knocking on doors introducing themselves, have not seen a "Meet the Candidates" night scheduled for the five percent of Fallsburg residents that reside here in our hamlet. I have not seen political campaign signs in the number and variety I am used to seeing. Thinking maybe I was missing something, or perhaps blind to our local politics, wanting to know who was running for office and what their positions are on the issues before I go to the fire house and vote, I did a Google search for "Fallsburg NY Politics"

What I found, or more appropriately did not find truly shocked me. There is not one single politician, one single article on Fallsburg politics on the first page of the Google Search. Thinking there had to be some kind of a mistake or that my search terms needed improvement, I did a second search for Town of Fallsburg Politics and the first entry on page one in the sixth position was actually our own Mountaindale News blog that happened to mention the Democratic Party...the article really had nothing to do with politics.

Looking at my search results, I find myself pondering...

What does it say about our community when local politicians seem to be so absent on the internet? How can we as a community compete in a 21st Century Global Economy when our own local politicians seem so behind the times? No Democratic or Republican blog for the town of Fallsburg, no party web sites, the town seemingly devoid of an internet presence when it comes too all things political in a community of some 10,000 people. One has to wonder...right now the Town of Fallsburg, its elected officials are negotiating a new contract with Time well equipped are they to negotiate when they themselves do not have an internet presence, do not seem to grasp the importance of being plugged into Social Media in 2011?

Do not want to paint a picture of a barren desert, as there is some light out upon the Horizon. Our town supervisor Steven Vegliante does have a LinkedIn page, though it is more for his personal business and reputation than for anything related to our local politics. If any of the other town supervisors are plugged in on the internet, their presence is so well hidden as to not exist. As mentioned in an earlier article, our community, Sullivan County needs far greater, more reliable internet service if we are going to compete for jobs and industry moving forward. For that access to occur, we need elected officials who not only see the importance of world class internet access, but are themselves fully plugged into and using the internet in acting as our advocates when it comes to renegotiating contracts with the Time Warner's of our world.

I would challenge all of our elected officials to begin using the power of the internet...start up a blog that allows you to communicate and have dialogue with the citizens you represent. Get yourselves a twitter account so you can send out important messages and notices instantaneously to the populace. Not sure where to start? Drop me a note, will be more than happy to hold a seminar here in Mountaindale for any politicians wanting to plug in and avail themselves to the new dawn that is Social Media and the World Wide Web...come next election season, let my Google Search for Fallsburg NY Politics find a first search page filled top to bottom with our local elected officials.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Uccelli Restaurant Grand Opening October 27, 2011

Chef Robert Uccelli has announced the "OFFICIAL" Grand Opening of his Uccelli Restaurant, and on October 27th our community's wait for a full service menu is over as he brings his menu of delicious treats from Northern Italy and Spain to our hamlet of Mountaindale. His menu in addition to some very traditional pizza pies from his homeland includes 18 different pasta dishes, as well as some of our favorites from forest and field.

Stop by, say hello; give Chef Robert a warm welcome to our community and sample his fine offerings on this special night. His doors will open at 4:00 PM, and you can see his menu at Uccelli Restaurant.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Eating Healthy is EXPENSIVE

I always forget why it is I stopped eating healthy until I decide to eat healthy again. Fact is, eating a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables is expensive. Deciding that I needed to lose some weight, lower my cholesterol a bit, I made the decision to go on a healthy diet again, complete with some really yummy fruit and vegetable smoothies, and yesterday I went on a MAJOR SHOPPING trip to bring all those wonderful green goodies into my apartment. Talk about some sticker shock!

The good news is I got lots and lots of healthy stuff. Cucumbers, tomatoes, avocado, parsley, carrots and other cool veggie kinds of things. Loaded up on fruits, apples, bananas, tangerines, Bartlett Pears (a personal favorite) and mangoes. Got home, put everything away and made myself a really delicious Fruit Smoothie...drinking the last of it as I write this article.

The bad news was the staggering price tag at the cash register...I am a single person, have only myself to feed, and my bill yesterday at Shop Rite was well North of $200 dollars. How does a family of say four manage to feed themselves in a healthy fashion? Is it any wonder as a nation we have weight issues when eating healthy seems to cost so much more than filling our bodies up with CHEAP PROCESSED FOODS? Should three cucumbers cost as much as dinner for four in a cardboard box? Just seems wrong to me, that eating healthy foods is a luxury that many Americans in this depressed economy simply cannot afford.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A SCARY Fact To Ponder

Global Warming, starving people around the world, Mother Earth's resources being stretched to the limits...this month, somewhere in the world a child will be born that will push our world wide population to SEVEN BILLION PEOPLE. Folks, we cannot sustain this large of a population on the only planet that we have.

Martin Luther King Memorial Being Dedicated Today

Almost to a soul, we remember those famous words, "I have a dream." and today, a long awaited moment for many in the Civil Rights Movement has finally arrived. President Obama today will dedicate the Martin Luther King Memorial in Washington, DC.

The journey to that promised land where we have equal rights for one and all is not complete, many prejudices still exist, but the completion of this monument at a cost of some $140 million dollars stands as testament to just how far we as a nation have come since that cold day on December 1, 1955 when the "First Lady of Civil Rights" Rosa Parks, refused to surrender her seat on the bus and move to the back where colored folks were supposed to be.

At 11AM this morning CNN will be airing Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech in its entirety, and it is something the whole family should sit and watch on this day when finally, a testament to Civil Rights, to Martin Luther King is dedicated, and open to the public. We still have a long journey ahead of us as we address our own prejudices, as we work to truly become one nation under God where every man, woman and child has truly equal rights, but on this day, let us all rejoice over the progress we have made, and reflect on the journey yet ahead.

Musicians...Did You Know There Is an Open Mic Night Every Wednesday At The Mountaindale Inn here in Mountaindale?

Calling all musicians, and those that love listening to some really good, even emerging talent in Sullivan County's music scene.

Mark and Kelsey, two of our very talented Mountaindale residents have teamed up with Ed who is the owner of the Mountaindale Inn to hold a weekly Open Mic Night each and every Wednesday night. In its first six weeks, it has grown from just a couple musicians to a full blown evening of fun and great entertainment with music that stretches across a wide range of styles from folk, to country as well as classic and contemporary rock songs.

So, if you are looking for a good pizza and some great musical entertainment, or if you are a musician looking to sit in with and network with your contemporaries, put this event on your list of things to do on a Wednesday night. The crowd starts arriving around 7:30 with music starting around 8:00 PM.

Where: Mountaindale Inn
69 Main Street
Mountain Dale, NY 12763
(845) 434-1023

Mountaindale Downtown Filling Up

Mountaindale is experiencing what can only be described as a population explosion of sorts. As we enjoy the fall color, get ourselves ready for the coming winter, we are seeing a LOT of new faces here in town. We in the past couple of months, and moving towards November have seen five apartments get committed to new neighbors here in town. That is exciting news for our small hamlet. Believe it or not, right now we are running out of space at the proverbial Inn with just four apartments available in our downtown right now...THAT IS EXCITING.

In other news, Robert Uccelli, also a new neighbor is going will be holding a soft opening on the 27th of October, with a more formalized Grand Opening two weeks later.

In the department of wondering if it would be a good idea for all of us in the hamlet's downtown area to get together for sort of a "Meet and Greet" time? If any one is interested in putting together something like this with me, give me a call at (845)693-4513. Would give all of us a chance to meet one another, and forge stronger community bonds.

*Note...for our new neighbors...Mountaindale has some of the GREATEST snow removal in the entire state of New York. The snow crew does ask all of us though to move our cars off of the streets if a storm is coming so that they can keep our Main Street and its sidewalks free of snow this winter.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Police Use Brutality In Attempt To End The Peaceful "Occupy Wall Street" Protest

No jobs, buried in debt, and running out of hope, Americans have taken to the streets...more specifically, a group of protestors exercising their First Amendment Rights have for weeks now held a successful siege of a small part of New York's financial district.  Self described billionaire Potentate and New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has decided this peaceful protest is not good for his city, has decided to use force, even brutality to bring it to an end as New York's not so finest stoop to using what is referred too in most quarters as police brutality to move people out of spaces that Michael Bloomberg wants them out of...such as his dearly beloved financial district and Times Square.   I guess he has decided the message being delivered by these new American Heroes is not good for business?  Or perhaps he knows there is a very real chance that this simple peaceful protest is coming perilously close to becoming a movement?  (pictures and video of police brutality)

Today saw about 5000 protestors march through Times Square, and with some 20 million out of work, or under employed Americans facing the same financial problems as the protesters, I have to wonder where additional support and participation is...seriously, illegal aliens and their supporters managed to put a half a million people out on the street in Los Angeles, and the best we oppressed Americans can do is put 5000 people out on the street in New York City...are we that apathetic these days?  Are we willing to march to our own demise without a word of protest, meek lambs willingly marching to the gallows as Big Business and a corrupt government do their best to eliminate the middle class?  Wake up Americans...the "Occupy Wall Street" protest is possibly the most important social movement in America since the civil rights marches of the 60's, and it is time that we join those in New York and other cities out on the protest lines, time that we peacefully express our discontent with the status quo on Wall Street, and in Washington DC.

Mayor Bloomberg is using Police State tactics, and that kind of action can only be stopped with overwhelming numbers of FREE CITIZENS marching in unison in numbers so great that the police have no choice but to see the wisdom in letting us exercise our First Amendment Rights which include five fundamental rights:


The First Amendment says that people have the right to speak freely without government interference.


The First Amendment gives the press the right to publish news, information and opinions without government interference. This also means people have the right to publish their own newspapers, newsletters, magazines, etc.


The First Amendment prohibits government from establishing a religion and protects each person's right to practice (or not practice) any faith without government interference.


The First Amendment says that people have the right to appeal to government in favor of or against policies that affect them or that they feel strongly about. This freedom includes the right to gather signatures in support of a cause and to lobby legislative bodies for or against legislation.


The First Amendment says that people have the right to gather in public to march, protest, demonstrate, carry signs and otherwise express their views in a nonviolent way. It also means people can join and associate with groups and organizations without interference.

Before Billionaire Potentate Michael Bloomberg continues his wrong sighted attempts to deny citizens those basic rights,  perhaps he should sit down and read the First Amendment, taking special note of our protected right of Assembly.  America is not Syria, New York City is not Daraa, and yet much like Assad, Bloomberg is stooping to the use of fear, intimidation and brutality against American Citizens exercising their basic constitutional rights.

Internet Access For All Should Be National Priority

Here in Mountaindale, it is not hard finding people who do not have internet access...can almost see all those who live over on Church Road jumping up and down waving their hands shouting me, me, me when the question is posed, "Who does not have reliable internet service in our area?" Was tweeting from the Mountaindale Inn 's Open Mic night this past Wednesday night when a young man sitting beside me lamented his own lack of internet access over on Church Road...three small start up businesses are over there that he knows about, all of them without reliable access to the web, Global Net at best spotty if rumors are too be believed, and so slow as to be worthless for anything more than checking one's email. Another Church Road resident's children do their homework in downtown Mountaindale, rather than at their house for one simple reason...they can get online in town, but not in our out lying areas.

Mountaindale Park has neither cable or broadband access to the much more profitable would this Town of Fallsburg campground be if it did? Internet access is a commodity, but it is also a necessity in our modern times, and even more important it is the must have ingredient in building a road to tomorrow as Steve Israel so eloquently pointed out in his "Times Herald Record" article in yesterday's paper. In today's modern day society, internet access should not be a privilege, but a right, access to it a necessity in our homes, in our businesses.

A young woman can't take online college courses because her part of Sullivan County doesn't have high-speed Internet.

Scores of flooded, stranded Ulster County residents can't find out where to get food or shelter because they don't have that high-speed connection to download the Watershed Post blog.

How can our children compete when they cannot access something as basic as an online college course? Should scores of stranded residents have their lives unnecessarily put at risk because they do not have basic reliable access to the internet? Surely we as a nation can do better than this?

In Fallsburg, our elected officials are in the process of negotiating a new contract with Time Warner, and with luck they will be able to plug in a few more of the holes in our community where internet access at best is a shaky hope...should it have to be like that? Is it time for the Federal Government to step in and deem Internet Service Providers are Public Utilities, and make it mandatory that they provide fair and equal access to the internet to EVERY AMERICAN? Has the time come for our nation to eliminate discrimination based upon where you live? Has the time come for our congress to provide equal rights (and equal access) to Rural Americans, has the time come where our future depends on America linking up every home in the United States, providing internet access to one and all?

As Steve Israel says about internet access, "It's the difference between merely surviving or thriving."

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Share Your Beautification Plans for 2012 With Sullivan Renaissance


Let Sullivan Renaissance Know What You’re Thinking for 2012

[FERNDALE] – As Sullivan Renaissance finalizes plans for 2012, it is asking groups and individuals now to describe the kind of projects they might like to do next year.

New groups should complete an “Expression of Interest” form which is available from Sullivan Renaissance. Filling out the form does not obligate an individual or organization to submit an application, nor does it guarantee funding. Groups that had projects in 2011 have already indicated their future plans when they completed their end-of-season survey.

The types of projects Sullivan Renaissance traditionally funds include:

  • Beautification Grants

- Category A (single element projects)

- Category B (multiple element projects at one location

- Category C (multiple element projects at multiple locations)

- Maintenance grants for long-term projects

- Community development grants

  • Seasonal Demonstration Grants
  • Mini-grants for Beautification
  • School and Youth Initiatives
  • Technical Assistance Grants
  • Environmental Initiatives

Groups that would like to explore possible projects or need assistance in planning are encouraged to call the Sullivan Renaissance office. Organizations that have not been part of the Sullivan Renaissance program in the past should contact us prior to submitting an application.

Sullivan Renaissance is a beautification and community development program principally funded by the Gerry Foundation.

For more information, visit or call 845-295-2445.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Sad Tale Of My Apple IPOD Touch

I am sitting here listening to Arlo Guthrie's "Alice Restaurant" as I write this tale of woe...the song seems an appropriate epic song to enjoy as I share the sad tale of my defunct Apple IPOD Touch. As luck would have it, my new favorite toy which I acquired this past March (2011) gave up the ghost, ceased working less than 24 hours after the passing of Steve Jobs.

Having the extended AppleCare Protection Plan, with tears in my eyes, I got on the phone and called Apple Tech Support knowing they would resolve my problem for me as they had always done in the past. After sitting around on hold for close on too 20 minutes I was connected to someone in tech support who walked me through various attempts to resuscitate my beloved IPOD Touch, but alas, it was not to be, the technician basically informing me that my IPOD Touch was dead, the music on it (that unfortunately was not synched to my new laptop) gone.

The good news in this tragic story is they would be sending out a pick up request, and once they received my dearly loved IPOD, they would be sending me out a brand new working one. The tag was supposed to be here last Friday, and today or tomorrow I should have had my new replacement IPOD Touch...the keywords in that sentence being SHOULD HAVE.

Enter Murphy's Law (being nice) or blame it on an inept employee, as of today, October 12, 2011 I am still waiting on said pick up tag, so I took it upon myself to get on the phone, sit on hold again for close on too 20 minutes to check on the status of my repair ticket. A nice friendly female voice finally gets on the line, and after explaining to her the entire story in four part harmony she asks if she can transfer me to someone else that can help me in resolving the problem with my repair order.

Enter one Brett Shaff in Apple's Customer Support Center...After a wait of around five minutes, I was transferred to this gentleman, and again in four part harmony explained the situation to him. He asked a few questions, and after giving him the ticket number he tracked down the root of the problem...for whatever reasons, the person who wrote up the original ticket has put a hold on it as the computerized system Apple uses was unable to verify my address...although Brett did verify that the address they had was 100 percent CORRECT. Brett was also somewhat surprised that no one (either by email or phone) had gotten back to me to resolve this problem or glitch, and told me he was going to see what he could do to expedite a resolution to the situation for me.

More time on hold...Brett comes back and informs me that his phone call was fruitless, and he was told to send a recap of the problem via email to his contact IN INDIA! As you can imagine, I was not finding much solace in knowing my customer service issue was now getting more convoluted and international in scope. I give Brett credit...he did his best, tried really hard, but the bottom line was simple, "I would not be seeing my IPOD Touch today, tomorrow, or for that matter any time this week.

Not satisfied, I contacted Apple Corporate Headquarters where after again being put on hold I was passed through to one RW (that's right, I was not given a real name, just initials) who asked me to let him look into the issue for me, as he wanted me to again be a happy Apple camper. This said, he put me on hold...something that would occur numerous times during my conversation with him as he researched and sought out answers and solutions.

The bottom line according to RW was simple...Apple made a mistake, and he would be issuing a new call tag, sending me out the pickup box that should have been in my hands last Friday. IF EVERYTHING GOES RIGHT he informed me, I would have my laptop before the end of next week...that's right, the Apple IPOD Touch I was supposed to have today or tomorrow might be here by the end of next week IF I AM LUCKY.

At this point, I have some three hours of time invested in this process, and even assuming no further errors or mistakes on the part of Apple, I will be able to wash my hands of this sad tale sometime next week with a time investment of about four hours worth of angst and frustration. Perhaps it is just pure chance, but never in all my involvements with Apple during the Steve Jobs years did I have these kinds of problems with Apple Customer Support. Let's hope my experience this time around is an exception to the rules, rather than a insight of things to come. I have to admit here, that the Apple IPAD I am coveting, have been saving up for needs perhaps some more consideration...RW said he would be contacting me next week to see if I got my new IPOD, and make sure it was working properly, and at that point in time would see what Apple could do to restore my confidence in the company...I will keep everyone posted on the progress of that conversation.

A Very Special Happy Birthday To Anna Kurtz Who Is 101 Years Old Today

We wish Anna Kurtz of Mountaindale a very special "Happy Birthday" today. This Centenarian celebrates her 101 birthday today. Anna who was born October 12, 1910 on Henry Street in the Lower East Side of Manhattan has lived in our area for a very long time. She is one of three sisters, the other two being Sylvia (Goldress) Rosenthal, and Bertha/Birdie (Goldress) Rothstein. Her parents, Abe and Minnie Goldress, moved the family to Mountaindale in 1916 where Abe sold bottled propane, and worked as an electrician.

In 1938 Anna married the love her life, Joe Kurtz and together they had a son Chet Kurtz who was born in 1943.

When Anna (Goldress) Kurtz was born, William Howard Taft was our President, and six years later when she and her family moved to Mountaindale, Woodrow Wilson was President of the United States, and America had not yet entered into World War I. In 1938 when Anna married Joe Kurtz, World War II was looming after Japan had invaded China, and the president of the United States was Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The world changes and history Anna has seen unfold are monumental in scope. Henry Ford started production of the Model T (Tin Lizzie) just two years before Anna's birth in 1908. She was just a toddler when the Titanic sank in April of 1912. Pick almost any major news story or event in the 20th Century, and Anna was here as it unfolded, from the assassinations of Martin Luther King and the Kennedy brothers to the United States putting a man on the moon in 1969, Anna has witnessed history, seen first hand the dramatic changes in how we live our lives, and the technology which makes the world go around.

So Anna Kurtz, we wish you a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY as you celebrate being 101 today.

*Note-The Manhattan Bridge was being built in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in 1910, the year Anna was born. (See picture of construction.)

*In conversation with her son Chet this morning, we learned that Anna is a huge fan of "Wheel of Fortune", and was upset that she missed one of the puzzles she should have known.

The O&W Steam Locomotive “Mountaineer” 405 started service in Mountaindale the year Anna was married (1938)...the painting of the “Mountaineer” heading south along the West Shore of the Hudson River is in 1938 or 1939. This “Streamstyled” upscaled train lasted only until WWII really got under way. The "Mountaineer" began regular service June 24, 1938 traveling a 135 mile route from Weehawken, NJ all the way to Roscoe, NY. The trip took just about 5 hours. The "Mountaineer" stopped in Mountaindale just in front of the Goldress home and business.

Anna blessed us this morning with an old Irving Berlin Hit from 1918 which she sang at our old High School: "Oh, How I Hate To Get Up In The Morning"...Wish I had brought a video camera with me! The Lyrics...which she recalled perfectly:

I've been a soldier quite a while
And I would like to state
The life is simply wonderful
The Army food is great
I sleep with ninety-seven others in a wooden hut
I love them all
They all love me
It's very lovely but

Oh!How I hate to get up in the morning
Oh!How I'd love to remain in bed

For the hardest blow of all
Is to hear the bugler call
Ya gotta get up
Ya gotta get up
Ya gotta get up this morning

Someday I'm going to murder the bugler
Someday they're going to find him dead

I'll amputate his reveille
And step upon it heavily
And spend the rest of my life in bed

The You Tube Video of this song:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

To Our Local Readers...Please Help Our Little Blog Grow


Our little Mountaindale NY News blog has grown significantly since our launch earlier this year, and it is you the reader who have made this possible, and we thank all of you for stopping by regularly to read our articles. We obviously want to continue to grow, want to broaden our readership, and to do that we are asking for your help, as there are a lot of things you as a reader can do to help get the word out about our blog, and to help improve our ranking on the Google search pages. So, below is a list of some simple things our readers can do to lend us a hand in our efforts to reach a wider audience.

1. Leave comments below the articles. Like an article, don't like an article, have an opinion on something that has been written? Then please leave a comment! Start a discussion in the comments area, or just tell us we are doing a good job. Comments show an active and interested readership, and the more comments we have, the better we will place in the search engines.

2. Toss us some Google the bottom of each post is a small box with a plus one on it. Click on it, and it gives us a bit of a boost, some free Google publicity.

3. Share a link to your favorite articles on the various Social Media sites such as DIGG, Facebook and can even share the link, and include commentary about the article.

4. See an article on the blog you want to share with friends and family...send them the link to the article, rather than copying and pasting the article into an email.

Again, thanks to all our readers...our blog numbers keep going up with each passing month, and we could not accomplish that without your help and support.

A question for our there any interest in seeing us holding a blogging workshop here in Mountaindale, or perhaps a Social Media workshop? Leave us a comment if you might be interested, or leave a message on Sherwood's answering machine at (845)693-4513.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the first question that needs to be asked of women is, "Have you had your mammogram this year?" Seems like an overly obvious, even unnecessary question to ask, but it is not. How many women put off this yearly screening for various reasons such as, "I'm just too busy to do it" or "I don't have insurance" or "I'm healthy, I'll do it next year or the year after that". Statistics show us that skipping your Mammogram is not a gamble women should take. The statistics from from the American Cancer Society for 2011 bear this reality out.
How many cases and deaths are estimated to occur in 2011?
• In 2011, an estimated 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among women, as well as an estimated 57,650 additional cases of in situ breast cancer.

• In 2011, approximately 39,520 women are expected to die from. Only lung cancer accounts for more cancer deaths in women.

The old proverb, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" is so true, and when it comes to breast cancer, early detection is so very important for women. I know this from first hand knowledge, as my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer...she/we were lucky. She was diagnosed at the earliest possible stage (stage 0), but that diagnose still forever changed her life, forever changed my own.

The good news for her, is she is now more than three years post treatment (lumpectomy and six weeks of radiation) still cancer free. The bad news is there is always that shoe waiting too drop, each new ordered test by her team seeing that question looming in the air unspoken, "What if?"

A close friend was not so lucky. She had put off her yearly mammograms, ignored certain warning signs until it was too late...she did not have breast cancer, but instead Stage IV lung cancer that had metastasized to her was not until she had a seizure at work, was taken to the ER to be safe that the diagnosis was made. She passed away earlier this year at the age of 53, leaving behind a young son who had already lost his dad to cancer. Perhaps the end result for her would have been the same, but what if early detection had given her far better odds of surviving her own battle with cancer, or at least extended her life for years, rather than the months she ended up having?

Please, cancer is not something to gamble with, and the inconvenience of that yearly mammogram for women over 40 is worth it...please, don't gamble with your life when it comes to Breast Cancer and early detection...get the Mammogram and men, make sure the women (Mom's, daughters, wives, or significant others) in your life get a yearly Mammogram.

For More Information, Please Visit These Great Sites

Susan G. Komen for the Cure Website
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month Website.
National Breast Cancer Foundation Website

Why Is NYSEG Employing OUT OF STATE Tree Company To Trim New York Trees?

For several days now I have watched the trees under and around the power lines in our rural area being trimmed as I drove from here to there, visiting various small communities here in Sullivan County taking care of business and chores that needed my attention. Having our trees trimmed to where they are under our power-lines is a good thing, decreases the chance of winter storms taking down lines, leaving us without power. For that service, I thank NYSEG.

The company doing the work for NYSEG came into our small hamlet today, giving me a chance to take a closer look. Their workers were polite, and did good work. When asked if they could shape the one tree by our little water garden area (they were going to be topping some 12 foot off of said tree) they were very cooperative in working with our request. In short, Reese out of Mercersburg, Pennsylvania has done a very good job, and should be commended. That being said, shouldn't our trees here in New York state be trimmed by New York state citizens?

My problem with the tree trimming lays with NYSEG and who they contracted with...their business supplies about 40 percent of upstate New York with power, providing services for almost 900, 000 New York citizens in rural parts of our state. Guessing here that we rural New Yorkers put a lot of dollars into the cash register of NYSEG...yet, they are not keeping that money local, are not hiring OUR CITIZENS to do the work that we could be doing.

Perhaps I am wrong, but feel whenever possible our corporate citizens have a duty to give back, to keep our dollars in our communities. Tree trimming services in and around power lines here in New York should be done by New Yorkers, not by a company out of state that employs out of state workers.

NYSEG needs to think globally, BUT SPEND LOCALLY. Perhaps the problem is NYSEG's parent company, Iberdrola USA which is part of Iberdrola SA out of Spain where almost 70 percent of its customers reside. This international company that owns NYSEG loves to siphon our money up the chain to the parent company, but apparently does not feel it owes any alliance to the citizens and companies here in our area that are generating their income stream.

A call to NYSEG on this question was more than frustrating...first, I spent about three minutes having to push buttons as I worked my way through their automated system before I was placed on hold to wait for a customer service representative. Once on hold, I was briefly informed that the average wait time would be 8-12 minutes. The actual wait time ended up being not 8-12 minutes, but 21 minutes. Add to that time the three minutes it took pushing buttons, and speaking to an actual human being took 24 minutes...maybe NYSEG needs to look at adding more people to its customer service program?...perhaps some of our qualified, yet unemployed citizens?

As to my basic question, "Does NYSEG have a moral and ethical responsibility to give back to the communities they serve by hiring locally?", the company seemed reluctant to address that question directly, instead stating, "We subcontract out our easement work to whoever happens to be available, and there are times when that work does go to out of state contractors." Which begs the question, "How often does this work go to out of state contractors?" Furthermore, as food for thought, are the bidding criteria designed in such a fashion as to make it impossible for smaller local companies to bid? IE...if a local company can handle say doing the line easement for 50 Square miles, but the bidding criteria are 150 square miles, you instantly eliminate small local companies from the bidding process, and from my perspective that is wrong.

Our Little Blog Reaches Milestone

Hello Everyone:

With this post our Mountaindale NY News blog reaches another milestone...we have officially put up 200 Blog Articles since launching earlier this year! This is our second major milestone, the first being reaching 5,000 visitors, a goal we attained back in August...the amazing thing is just how fast our traffic is growing, as we are about to cross over the 8,000 visits threshold as we strive to reach our goal of 10,000 visitors by calendars end on December 31, 2011.

So, to our regular readers, and our occasional visitors...THANK YOU! Without you stopping by to read our articles, without all the encouraging words we get from you, none of this would be possible.

New Yorkers Living on the Shale say "No!" to Fracking

The facts are clear:

1. New Yorkers living in the area to be most widely fracked oppose any drilling for Natural Gas that includes the use of the highly dangerous industrial practice known as Hydraulic Fracturing.

2. Governor Cuomo and Delaware River Basin Commission are in cahoots with each other as they try to stack the deck in favor of the Natural Gas industry...the Delaware River Basin Commission as DELIBERATELY and EGREGIOUSLY (emphasis added) postponed a October 21st vote on Hydraulic Fracturing, moving the vote back to Novermber 21st, 2011 right at the start of the Thanksgiving Holiday week, and right in the middle of most of the public meetings on the Draft SGEIS here in New York...this deliberately moves the vote away from the day when all citizens opposing fracking had planned their protests, had taken off from work to be there.

Meanwhile, this poll from Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy shows conclusively that we here in Sullivan County ARE OPPOSED TO FRACKING...question is, are our local elected officials listening to the WILL OF THE PEOPLE, or the will of the Natural Gas industry? You can answer that question with one simple question to your elected officials, "What zoning restrictions have you put in place to keep Natural Gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing from coming to our community." If they have not passed these restrictions, serious consideration should be given to the idea of giving them a PINK SLIP.

New Yorkers Living on the Shale say "No!" to Fracking

In the first poll of its kind, New Yorkers who live in a region targeted for shale gas extraction told Pulse Opinion Research they don't want to be fracked. Seven out ten residents responded that they don't want "natural gas extraction by means of hydraulic fracturing" in their town; an even greater percent favor zoning ordinances to restrict the process.

7 out of 10 oppose fracking 3 out of 4 support zoning restrictions

The poll of 500 Sullivan County residents was commissioned by Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy and conducted between October 1st and October 3rd. It has a sampling error of plus or minus 4.5%, and a 95% level of confidence. Residents who said they didn't know enough about hydraulic fracturing to have an opinion were not included in the poll.

You can read more about the poll here.

Tell the Cuomo Administration to stop trying to push fracking down the throats of rural New Yorkers. It's time to withdraw the Draft SGEIS and prohibit high-volume hydraulic fracturing.

Why Cuomo is a SLEAZE BAG SHILL for Natural Gas Industry!

Cuomo Rakes In Donations From Energy Sector

Power companies with a stake in natural gas are among Cuomo's largest campaign contributors, raising questions about how he'll handle the statewide debate over hydrofracking.0

Friday, October 7, 2011

Ask Your Fracking Questions Today

In another prime example of Governor Cuomo and the NYDEC trying to minimize the public's involvement in the discussion over Hydraulic Fracturing while at the same time making it appear as if they are bending over backwards to address our concerns, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens has decided to make himself available to answer questions FOR A WHOLE HOUR on a double holiday weekend...HOW GENEROUS.

He will be answering questions on Citizens Connect from 9-10AM this Saturday, October 8th, 2011 while all of those of the Jewish persuasion in our area are fasting for Yom Kippur.Meanwhile, many more of us are trying to get in our last weekend of camping, celebrating the long Columbus Day Weekend.

On the good news side of the Equation...the web site is OPEN FOR BUSINESS and accepting questions now, so you are strongly advised to take a trip over and submit a question or ten now.

Are Newspapers Out Of Touch With REAL NEWS? Why No Mention of Operation Enduring Freedom 10th Year Anniversary in Printed Papers?

For those who may not know it...and apparently a lot of folks do not know it, or simply choose to ignore is the Tenth Anniversary of the start of Operation Enduring Freedom, ten years that our troops have been serving and dying in Afghanistan. Not meaning to be harsh here, but picked up several newspapers, and not one of them mentioned said war, such milestone on their front pages.

If you pick up today's New York Post Metro Edition, you find and article about the wife who killed cop hubby being acquitted, and a BIG SPLASH on football including a plug for the "NFL Bettor's Guide" but not so much as a whisper about our troops in harms way over in Afghanistan. Even thumbing through the paper hoping against hope for some journalistic integrity, some real news, I found not so much as a mention of this important milestone in America's history. Not wanting to single out the New York Post, I also picked up a copy of the Daily News, and their front page reads almost like that of the post, football, wife killer and a bonus picture of George Clooney for the ladies, yet nothing on the front page about "Operation Enduring Freedom" not a mention of the 1780 troops who have died in this war over the ten year span of our involvement there.

In all fairness, this grave omission seems to be widespread. A look at the front page of the esteemed Wall Street Journal finds the same results, with the ten year anniversary of the Afghanistan War noticeably absent. Guessing in light of the Jewish Holiday that any front page article on "Operation Enduring Freedom" must have gotten bumped for the far more timely and important article on Fish Meatballs pushing aside Gefilte Fish. Give the New York Times mention of the ten year anniversary, but at least the Afghanistan War made the front page...a picture with a blurb about violence being down while the locals harvest their pine nuts.

Here in our own area, the totally news BLACK OUT on this important milestone in the history of the Afghanistan War is much the same, with both the Times Herald-Record and the Sullivan County Democrat failing to mention the war, its anniversary, or the 1780 troops who have died there in the name of our country.

I don't support the war, and like the majority of Americans feel the time has long passed to bring our troops home...that said, I do support our troops, and feel news organizations across America had a duty and a obligation to inform Americans today of this important milestone, bring to our attention the sacrifices that have been made by our troops.

10 Year Anniversary of America's LONGEST WAR

Did you know today is the 10 Year Anniversary of "Operation Enduring Freedom", a major milestone in America's longest war. In that time, 1,780 American Soldiers have lost their lives in this bogged down war in far off Afghanistan, and we collectively should be asking ourselves but one question, "Isn't it time we bring our troops home?"

The police action that was Vietnam was a disaster for America, and ten years into the Afghanistan War, the majority of Americans oppose our involvements in Afghanistan, feel the time has come to end our occupation there and bring our fine fighting forces back home to America...sadly, as is the norm in these troubling times, Washington, DC is not listening to, nor abiding by the "Will of the people".