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Artworks by Music Legend Bob Dylan Featured This Summer at Fenimore Art Museum

Written By Editor on 5/15/24 | 5/15/24




New exhibition:

Bob Dylan Remastered: Drawings from the Road

May 25–September 15, 2024

Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, NY



COOPERSTOWN, NY  A new exhibition at Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York celebrates another impressive aspect of music legend Bob Dylan’s creativity: his talents in visual art. Bob Dylan Remastered: Drawings from the Road features ninety-two unique, original signed works. The exhibition is on view May 25–September 15, 2024.


A dedicated performer, Dylan started what is known as his “Never Ending Tour” in 1988; between 1989 and 1992, as he traveled through North America, Europe, and Asia, he began sketching glimpses of his life on the road. The resultant pencil and charcoal drawings were a way to “refocus a restless mind,” as Dylan claimed, providing him a new outlet to celebrate the comings and goings of everyday life.


“This exhibition allows everyone, including Dylan’s fans, to experience another aspect of the range of talents possessed by this music legend,” said Chris Rossi, Director of Exhibitions at Fenimore Art Museum. “We all recognize him as an accomplished singer/songwriter and visitors will be equally amazed when discovering his work as a visual artist.”


Dylan made three different collections out of the original drawings by “remastering” these works, adding vivid watercolor and gouache to digital enlargements of the drawings to create a new, special edition set entitled The Drawn Blank Series, which is the focus of Fenimore’s exhibition.


All three series were first seen in public during an exhibition at the prestigious Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz Museum in Germany in 2007. After one additional show in Helsinki, the works returned to Dylan. Today, The Drawn Blank Series is owned by a private collector while the other two sets were sold to a private gallery. Dylan’s work has been compared to modern masters such as Henri Matisse and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. His skills as a draughtsman, in keeping with his talents as a songwriter, lie with his ability to tell an engrossing tale through the simplest and most evocative means.


The exhibition is sponsored in part by The Clark Foundation and Mr. and Mrs. Thomas O. Putnam.


This exhibition was provided by PAN Art Connections.


Visit for more information.





For information on upcoming programs, visit




One of the most iconic and prolific musicians of our time, singer-songwriter Bob Dylan has been chronicling modern life, note by note, for nearly sixty years. Equally influential and indomitable, Dylan’s songs helped redefine folk, pop, blues, country, and rock music, all while providing a soundtrack to America’s civil rights and anti-war movements. The power and breadth of his artistry, however, has only been fully recognized recently: in 2016 his work creating “new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition” was honored with a Nobel Prize for Literature.



Fenimore Art Museum, located on the shores of Otsego Lake—James Fenimore Cooper’s “Glimmerglass”—in historic Cooperstown, New York, offers visitors the opportunity to experience a wide variety of world-class art in an idyllic, small-town setting. The museum features a wide-ranging collection of American art including folk art; important American 18th- and 19th-century landscape, genre, and portrait paintings; more than 125,000 historic photographs representing the technical developments made in photography and providing extensive visual documentation of the region’s unique history; and the renowned Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of American Indian Art comprised of nearly 900 art objects representative of a broad geographic range of North American Indian cultures, from the Northwest Coast, Eastern Woodlands, Plains, Southwest, Great Lakes, and Prairie regions. Visit





Banksy: The Haight Street Rat 
May 18–September 8, 2024

Marc Hom: Re-Framed 
May 25–September 2, 2024

American Masterworks 
through December 29, 2024

As They Saw It: Women Artists Then & Now 
through September 2, 2024



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The Thomas Cole National Historic Site Announces the Opening of the Exhibition “Native Prospects: Indigeneity and Landscape”

Written By Editor on 5/13/24 | 5/13/24


The Exhibition of Historic and Contemporary Art and Cultural Artifacts Juxtaposes an Indigenous Approach to the Articulation of Land with the American Landscape Paintings of Thomas Cole


Native Prospects: Indigeneity and Landscape

May 4–October 27, 2024: Thomas Cole National Historic Site, Catskill, NY


Catskill, NY – May 8, 2024 – The Thomas Cole National Historic Site announced today the opening of a new exhibition titled “Native Prospects: Indigeneity and Landscape,” curated by Scott Manning Stevens, PhD / Karoniaktatsie (Akwesasne Mohawk). The exhibition juxtaposes an Indigenous approach to the articulation of their homelands and the environment with the American landscape paintings of Thomas Cole, which are rooted in European tradition. Cole’s influence led him to be recognized as founder of the 19th-century American art movement now known as the Hudson River School of landscape painting.


The exhibition’s curator, Scott Manning Stevens, PhD / Karoniaktatsie (Akwesasne Mohawk), is Associate Professor of Native American Studies and English at Syracuse University, where he is also Director of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Program and Founding Director of the Center for Global Indigenous Cultures and Environmental Justice. The exhibition and the accompanying publication are organized by the Thomas Cole National Historic Site.


The Indigenous approach to land underscores a mutual relationship of nurturing and caretaking. As Dr. Stevens writes, “For many Indigenous peoples, including the Haudenosaunee, it is our relationship with the land that is of paramount importance. That relationship teaches us the ethics on which our societies are built.” He continues, “any abstract portrayal of the land and its features in our visual culture is meant to call to mind those relationships—relationships that we have a sacred duty to remember and maintain.” The approach to nature exemplified by Cole’s one-point perspective landscape paintings is rooted in a European tradition that reflects a perceived right to dominate and rule over nature, as seen for example in an oft-quoted passage from Genesis: “Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”


“Native Prospects: Indigeneity and Landscape” presents 19th-century paintings by Thomas Cole featuring Native figures, in context with Indigenous works of historic and cultural value, and artworks by contemporary Indigenous artists: Teresa Baker (Mandan/Hidatsa), Brandon Lazore (Onondaga, Snipe Clan)Truman T. Lowe (Ho-Chunk), Alan Michelson (Mohawk member of the Six Nations of the Grand River), and Kay WalkingStick (Cherokee). Bringing the 19th century into conversation with our present moment, this cross-cultural exhibition offers profound interpretations of American art and land, expands conventional definitions of “land” and “landscape,” and highlights Indigenous artistic creation.


Much of the critique of 19th-century American landscape painting has focused on the absence of communities of the original inhabitants of the land. Yet communities of Native peoples had lived throughout these regions for millennia, constructing villages and clearing woods for agricultural fields, as they supported their communities from the resources of the land and its waterways.

Unlike most of his artistic circle, Thomas Cole included Native figures in many of his landscape paintings, though most often alone. Dr. Stevens interprets these figures as what art historians refer to as “staffage.” In Cole’s case, these figures served to provide a sense of scale, geographic location, and arguably time period. Scale was often related to the sublime aspects of certain natural features such as a waterfall or mountain, while identifying a figure as Native American placed the viewer in an American locale, and finally, having a lone Native figure in the landscape, dressed in a stereotypically Indigenous manner, pointed to the country’s past, with the implicit and harmful presumption that Native Americans were no longer present in this region. Cole’s Native figures demonstrate no ethnographic acuity on the artist’s part, beyond romanticized stereotype.


“Native Prospects” reflects this aspect of the landscape painting tradition while examining representations of land by Native peoples, both in the distant past and today. While Indigenous societies in North America did not have a tradition of representational landscape art, the land was featured abstractly as it related to Native communities in various designs, some decorative and others mnemonic. Contemporary Native visual artists have inherited a variety of legacies of representing the land, a fraught subject for many Native artists because of the dispossession of Indigenous peoples from the land and the peril facing the land historically and today.


“Indigenous societies flourish when we recognize that our relationship to the land is as much determined by responsibilities as it is by rights,” said exhibition curator Scott Manning Stevens, PhD. “We maintain our collective right to protect the land and all that’s on it, and we do so with our custodial duties toward the environment in mind. For many Indigenous peoples the European landscape tradition in art presents viewers with a false sense that North America was an uninhabited wilderness waiting to be settled or that the beauty of nature can be depicted with a sense of nostalgia or in an elegiac light, given the inevitability of the presumed advance of ‘civilization’ with its towns, cities, and industries. Contemporary Native artists have inherited this tradition but feel compelled to respond from their own perspectives and be mindful of their traditions. For some that is delivered as a critique and for others it is a prompt to revisit the ancestral views of their people.”


“We are excited to present this important exhibition that re-examines the way Cole has portrayed Native American people in his paintings, most often as a lone warrior in the woods – a stereotype that has been firmly imprinted in our consciousness for over two centuries,” said Elizabeth B. Jacks, Executive Director of the Thomas Cole National Historic Site. “This exhibition and publication are a major expansion of our commitment to bring forward a much longer history of the land and landscape. We are so grateful to Dr. Stevens for bringing his superb scholarship to the Thomas Cole Site and to the contemporary Indigenous artists for sharing their visionary work with our audiences." 


The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with original essays by the curator and such other scholars as Gabrielle Tayac, PhD, (Piscataway) and Joseph Mizhakiiyaasige Zordan (Bad River Ojibwe). Additionally, the publication features writing and plates by featured artists Teresa Baker (Mandan/Hidatsa), Brandon Lazore (Onondaga, Snipe Clan), and Kay WalkingStick (Cherokee), as well as texts on Alan Michelson (Mohawk member of the Six Nations of the Grand River), by ClĂ©mence White, and Truman T. Lowe (Ho-Chunk), by Patricia Marroquin Norby, PhD, (PurĂ©pecha), Associate Curator of Native American Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Native Prospects: Indigeneity and Landscape is made possible through support from the Terra Foundation for American Art.


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Major support is provided by David Bury & The Bay and Paul Foundations and the Warner Foundation.


The exhibition and publication are also supported by The Cranshaw Corporation, National Endowment for the Arts, Wyeth Foundation for American Art, Maurice D. Hinchey Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, Becky Gochman, Patti Hanson, Greene County Cultural Fund, Kristin Gamble, National Trust Insurance Services, LLC, Bank of Greene County Charitable Fund, and the Kindred Spirits Society of the Thomas Cole National Historic Site.


This project is supported by a Market New York grant awarded to the Thomas Cole National Historic Site from Empire State Development and I LOVE NY/New York State's Division of Tourism through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative.



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Blood Drive at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown on May 21


Public Service Announcement – Blood Drive at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown on May 21


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                            

May 13, 2024

Contact: Tim Schaffer, Communications Specialist

Tel. (607) 547-4775 |

Bassett Word rule line.jpg

Cooperstown, N.Y. – Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown is hosting a blood drive with the American Red Cross on Tuesday, May 21, 2024.

What:  American Red Cross Blood Drive

When: Tuesday, May 21, 2024 from 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Where: Bassett Hall Auditorium (on the corner of Beaver and Pioneer Streets in Cooperstown, NY 13326)

Appointments: Appointments are available and walk-ins are welcome. Appointments may be made by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767), visiting, or using the American Red Cross Blood Donor App.

Prepare to Give: Eat well and hydrate the day of donation. Bring your ID. 

Special Offer From Red Cross:

Donors who give blood between May 20 and June 9 will receive a coupon for a free Tetris and Red Cross tee shirt while supplies last.

Blood donors help patients of all ages - accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, those battling cancer, and many others. Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood, and just one pint can save up to three lives. You can make a difference. Register to donate today.

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Bassett Medical Center Holding Inaugural David S. Svahn Memorial Lecture on May 24

Cooperstown, N.Y. – Bassett Healthcare Network is pleased to introduce its inaugural David S. Svahn Humanities in Medicine Memorial Lecture at Bassett Medical Center. The event, available in-person or via Zoom, will take place on Friday, May 24, at 7:30 a.m. in the hospital’s Clark Auditorium. Cardiologist and storyteller Dr. Michael LaCombe will deliver the lecture. All are welcome.


Series: David S. Svahn Humanities in Medicine Memorial Lecture

SpeakerDr. Michael LaCombe, Cardiologist and Storyteller

WhenFriday, May 24, 2024, at 7:30 a.m.

Where: Clark Auditorium at Bassett Medical Center (1 Atwell Road, Cooperstown, NY 13326)

Zoom attendance

This event honors the late Dr. David S. Svahn, a longtime Bassett physician. Dr. Svahn spent most of his career at 
Bassett Medical Center, first as a resident and then for 30 years as a physician. In 1999, he pursued more deeply his passion for medical humanities and began supervising and teaching medical residents. In 2003, he edited Let Me Listen to Your Heart, a collection of short essays by his Bassett students about their experiences practicing medicine in rural Central New York.

After retiring in 2010, Dr. Svahn moved to Doylestown, PA. He passed away in July 2023.

Dr. Michael LaCombe is the author of over 100 peer-reviewed stories of medicine and more than a dozen books, including Bedside: The Art of Medicine, a collection of fictional stories drawn from his experiences as a physician. In the book’s preface, he states, “I have been a fortunate doctor, sitting as I have been in the front row of the drama of life. Here are some of the stories I have lived, stories of country medicine with lessons for the city as well.” In addition to readings and lectures, theatrical performances of his stories have been recorded and used for medical training in ethics and humanism.

“It is a great honor to host Dr. LaCombe. He is the ideal speaker for this humanities presentation honoring our own Dr. David Svahn,” says Dr. Kai Mebust, Chief of the Department of Medicine at Bassett Medical Center. “Dr. LaCombe’s commitment to his patients and his creative writings about people in the field of medicine reflect the values of compassionate care personified by Dr. Svahn.”

Dr. LaCombe has been a visiting professor at universities around the world. A retired internist and cardiologist, he is a past president of the Harvard Medical School Alumni Council and has served as an associate editor of the “Annals of Internal Medicine” for the medical humanities sections for more than 30 years. He has held positions on the Board of Directors of the American Board of Internal Medicine, on the Board of Regents of the American College of Physicians, and on the advisory board of the Maine Scholar. He holds an Honorary Degree in Literature from the University of Southern Maine and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in London.

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Hunter-Tannersville to Embark on $13.6 Million Capital Project

Written By The Mountain Eagle on 4/26/24 | 4/26/24

By Max Oppen

TANNERSVILLE — Last May, voters approved a $13,646,000 capital project that is expected to commence in the summer of 2025. The project, greenlit last year by a decisive 165-107 vote margin, aims to revolutionize school infrastructure and enhance the overall learning environment for students and the broader community. The construction phase is expected to last approximately 14 months, with much of the work completed by August 2026.

The project, crafted through extensive stakeholder engagement and thorough analysis, utilized tools like a Thought Exchange survey. The district also sought input from various stakeholders to ensure the project's priorities resonated with the community's needs.

According to the newly appointed superintendent, Dr. Vincent Butera, architect John Sharkey will oversee this endeavor. Delhi-based Schoolhouse Services, LLC will perform the construction. 

In an email, Dr. Butera said the District has worked successfully with both parties in the past and is "very pleased to be doing so again."

Collaborative efforts were instrumental in shaping a comprehensive plan that addresses critical areas identified in the 2022-23 Building Condition Survey (BCS), which the New York State Education Department (NYSED) mandates every five years.

The Survey's objectives include rectifying infrastructure deemed "unsatisfactory" or "failed" in the BCS report. This includes as-needed upgrades to ensure the safety, proper ventilation, and overall functionality of district facilities. It includes things like building temperature, fire safety, and much more.

The 2025 Capital Project is "tax neutral," and according to the District will not impose an additional burden on taxpayers. According to the NYSED, the District's enrollment has steadily declined. For the 1999/2000 school year, the district had 561 students. There were 323 students districtwide for the 2022/2023 school year.  

Highlights of the project include the construction of a dedicated auditorium for drama productions and public meetings, a new and expanded school gymnasium, fitness center, fitness room, tennis courts, and additional parking facilities. These enhancements cater to students' evolving needs and aim to foster greater community engagement and involvement. The new facilities will be available for community use outside school hours, providing a space for recreational activities and community events.

Safety is also a concern for HTC, reflected in proposed measures such as installing an automatic lockdown button and digital signage with flashing lights to alert occupants in emergencies. Furthermore, plans entail implementing automatic door badges for staff, providing enhanced control over room access for added security.

According to the District, Hunter-Tannersville has been working on its safety improvements for approximately six years.

Land acquisition plays a pivotal role in realizing the project's objectives, with plans to purchase an adjacent parcel from The Hunter Foundation for the new tennis courts and parking lot. According to The Hunter Foundation's Executive Director Sean Mahoney, negotiations are underway for the parcel.

The scope of improvements extends across both Hunter Elementary and Tannersville Middle/High Schools.

The Board of Education recently approved an increase of $10,000 to purchase 0.71 acres next to the Elementary School in Hunter from the Village, bringing the total cost of the parcel to $50,000. The district will use the space to add 50 new parking spaces and another entrance off Route 23A. Village Mayor Alan Higgins said the site was originally appraised at $125,000. 

Bathroom fixtures from 1935 will be updated, as will the 90-year old ceiling. The existing parking lot will be resurfaced. The Elementary School’s playground area will also be updated.

Funding for the capital project will be sourced from the district's Capital Reserve Fund and bonding, with the Board of Education (BOE) receiving approval to expend $3,045,000 from reserves and bond the remaining $10,601,000.

Dr. Butera said, "We look forward to working with the team to ensure that the project is completed as envisioned and that it continues to support our goal of providing students with greater access and opportunities and allows us to build strong connections with the community."

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Hunter's Highway Department Tackles Tricky Terrain

Robert Blain (left) and Josh Lacey. Photo by Max Oppen.

By Max Oppen

TANNERSVILLE — The Town of Hunter's Highway Department has been hard at work revitalizing a dangerous stretch of Platte Clove Road (County Route 16), an integral part of the Mountain Clove Scenic Byway. According to Town of Hunter Highway Superintendent Robert Blain, significant renovations to the road have been underway for about five years.

Repairs include widening the road, bank stabilization, and culvert installation.

Known locally as the "back mountain road," this challenging segment of highway winds steeply through the terrain, earning a reputation among travelers as a risky shortcut to Saugerties and Woodstock. The narrow, winding road poses difficulties for drivers, while its scenic allure draws hikers, leaf peepers seeking adventure, and the occasional lost semi-truck looking for a way out.

The Back Mountain Road is a seasonal highway, approximately two miles long, from top to bottom. It is typically closed from November 15 to April 15. Due to necessary repairs, it will open late this year. Blain expects it to open in about three weeks.  

Funding for this extensive project has been a collaborative effort, as the Town of Hunter's Deputy Superintendent John Farrell elaborated: "We did our first work in the 90s." Farrell says the repairs are funded by various state, federal, and local sources.

Farrell, who served as the Town of Hunter's Highway Superintendent for 33 years starting in 1989, has been in his current role for two or three years. 

Farrell reflected on the road's history: "When I first arrived, there were caved-in spots. Every 10-15 years, we'd redo them." He mentioned the historical use of hemlock logs by highway workers during the Depression era up until the 1980s. They've even found rotten railroad ties dating back to the 1960s. 

"We've found truck axles drilled into the side of the mountain. We've also found petrified wood," shared Farrell, highlighting the road's historical significance and occasional encounters with unusual artifacts.

Farrell estimates about 25 cars are sitting at their final resting places over the edge of the road.

Despite a weight limit of 4-4.5 tons, tractor-trailers occasionally attempt to navigate the road, leading to complications. Blain recounted an incident from a couple of years ago when a semi-truck became stranded at the bottom of the road during the winter, necessitating extensive efforts from the Town to clear the way. Josh Lacey, a heavy equipment operator for Kevin Thompson Excavating, said many errant trucks are led that way via GPS despite existing truck routes. Lacey said, "That's our biggest issue on this road because it's the fastest route for some of them."

Lacey has been instrumental in the road's transformation over the past five years. Operating heavy machinery and documenting the progress on social media, Lacey's work showcases the intricacies of what he calls, "high-angle excavating." He operates a 25-ton excavator and can get into some pretty hairy situations. During the winter months, Lacey operates a groomer at Hunter Mountain.

Blain commended Lacey's dedication as the project continued, stating, "He's gotten into some crazy situations. He loves it back here."

The Town has installed several bluestone boulders in an active rock slide area. As you travel the road, you’ll notice these boulders stabilizing the steep banks for long stretches. 

When Hurricane Irene hit the mountaintop, it washed out a section of Route 23A, the main road out of Town. The back mountain road survived, providing a crucial thoroughfare for folks to get on and off the mountain. "This was the only road that held up," said Lacey. That's what's nice about saving this road. When the [front mountain] road is closed, we still have access to this one." 

The Town has fortified the road's infrastructure against erosion and instability using materials sourced from local providers such as Carver Sand & Gravel out of Schoharie, Peckham Materials in Catskill, and the mine owned by Craig Bates just up the street. The Town has the material delivered to the top of the mountain and uses its equipment to transport it to them.

Blain acknowledged the challenges faced by his team and urged patience from the public. "People don't always see the extent of our work," he remarked, highlighting the year-round efforts required to maintain the road's safety and accessibility.

With ongoing efforts to stabilize the terrain and enhance safety measures, the Town of Hunter's Highway Department remains committed to ensuring the back mountain road remains a vital artery for residents and visitors.

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Woven Currents Coming to the Prattsville Arts Center

By Michael Ryan

PRATTSVILLE - There are multiplicitous creative sides to Judd Weisberg, two of which will be on display at the opening of “Woven Currents,” this weekend (April 27) at the Prattsville Arts Center.

The show “explores the swirling currents and musical pitches of

Northern Catskill mountain streams,” the Center website states.

This is being done through a multi-media collaboration involving Weisberg and pianist Yi-heng Yang, inter-weaving their talents.

And the exhibit reaches into the fabric of the community and beyond. “We are very fortunate to have a partnership between a small town and these artists,” Arts Center director Nancy Barton says.

“Woven Currents,” running through the end of May, is sponsored through a grant program by CREATE Council on the Arts and the town of Prattsville.

Weisberg, a resident of the town of Lexington, is a well-known fly-fisherman  and teacher, perhaps lesser known for his artistic adventures.

Yi-heng Yang was inspired to respond in her playing to drawings created by Weisberg and will perform a group of composed and improvised music on harpsichord, putting those feelings to melody.

Their expressions are melded for “Woven Currents” with a deja’ vu in late June at the Doctorow Center in the town of Hunter.

“Judd is a frequent visitor to our Center. He started sharing his drawings with us and one thing led to another,” Barton says.

“The result is this retrospective on his works and the amazing appearance by Yi-heng Yang.” The opening goes from 2 to 5 p.m. with the concert happening at 3 p.m. There is no charge for admission.

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Fundraising Goal Reached for Veterans Monument

By Michael Ryan

JEWETT - The financing is falling into place in such a way as to make it seem a Veterans Monument was always meant to be in Jewett.

Town councilman John Giordano, at a recent meeting, gave an update on the memorial which, when initially proposed, was fiscally daunting.

It was only a short while ago that Giordano informed fellow officials it would cost approximately $20,000, not tapping into taxpayer dollars.

We are hoping to raise the money in three months and take six months to build it, dedicating it by the end of 2024,” Giordano said at the time.

I can see this coming together. This is going to happen. Just talking about this monument gives me chills,” Giordano said.

Not knowing how it would work, Giordano spearheaded a fundraising effort that, faster than you can say Jack Robinson, has nearly reached its goal.

Starting from scratch, Giordano reported that close to $16,000 had been collected, allowing the town to put a down payment on the monument.

Giordano said he would meet with Henderson Monuments in Catskill to commence design of the stone that will contain up to 300 names.

Presuming all goes well, and there is no reason to believe everything wont, the memorial is expected to be set along Route 23C, across from the municipal building and next to the current 9/11 tribute.

Giordano, in his report, noted exactly half of the 20 Gs came in one fell swoop through the Greene County Legislature.

Lawmaker James Thorington (District 6, Jewett, Ashland, Prattsville and Windham) provided $10,000, securing a Wayne Speenburgh grant.

Speenburgh, the former legislature chairman, had childhood roots on the mountaintop, having the grant dedicated to him after his passing.

Giordano has also been teaming up with veterans groups in the area such as VFW Post #1545 in Windham, accumulating more donations.

Not resting until the task is completed, volunteers are preparing for a rootin’  tootin’ “Chili Cookoff” on Saturday, May 25, serving from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at VFW Post #1545 on Route 23 on the west end of Windham.

A Silent Auction will be part of the Cookoff with the various donated chili dishes being judged by Stumps Be Gone business owner Tony Geslak, Jewett town clerk May Carl and town councilman John Pumilia.

Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners. There is no entry fee for the chefs. There will be a donation of $5 per person to enter. Chili will be two bucks a bowl with live” music from Mountain Justice.

In other matters:

—Council members approved a resolution permitting participants in the upcoming Manitous Revenge Ultramarathon to pass through town.

Competitors are expected to be virtually unnoticed, sticking to backwoods routes, beginning June 22 at 5 a.m. on the far boundaries of the town of Windham, outside the hamlet of Maplecrest.

Manitous Revenge is no simple sojourn, emphasizing, on its website, that those who sign up must be highly qualified and/or completely deranged.”

Originating in 2013, Manitous Revenge is a 53- mile ultramarathon through the Catskills beginning in Windham on the northern Black Dome Trail and then mostly following the Long Path from Acra Point all the way to downtown Phoenicia.

This is not like any other ultra youve run before,” the website states. This is a grueling, gnarly, nasty course with approximately 15,000 ft. of climbing, much of it rocky and precipitous.

To be sure, there are some runnable sections, but you will more often find yourself hiking uphill or down, sometimes hand over hand.

Expect this course to take you much longer than your average 50- miler. Thats why we are allowing 23 hrs. to complete this monster. 

You will have to be reasonably self-sufficient. To make matters worse, the course gets progressively more difficult as you go along!

And to top it all off, the average runner will have to tackle this hardest terrain in the dark. So, there must be something that makes this race worthwhile, right???” their website states

Yes, the Catskills are truly scenic and wonderful, when you can look up every now and then to sneak a peek, and this will certainly become a memorable experience for anyone who takes on the challenge.”

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