Blogs > Ivan Lajara

Daily Freeman Life Editor Ivan Lajara talks about journalism, living in the Hudson Valley, language, the Web, cats and even politics. But he shouldn't.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Forsyth love

According to the Forsyth Nature Center's Web site, "Since 1936, the Forsyth Nature Center (formerly the Forsyth Park Zoo) has provided generations of children and adults a fun and interactive experience."

Apparently, some Forsyth residents are also like to have a "fun and interactive experience," like these two turtles on Thursday.





I also ran into a guest there, who was trying to get an apple to his house.



The nature center in Kingston is open Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
and Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. After Labor Day.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Light summer reading: Declassified CIA Interrogation Activities Report

If you don't want to go through "the filter," here's the declassified CIA report that's been all over the news, so you can make your own judgment.

A lot of it is blocked. And a lot of it is really messed up. Just go through the index to find the crazy parts.

Declassified CIA Interrogation Activities Report

Sex and SUNY New Paltz

Here's the paper by SUNY New Paltz's prof Glenn Geher that was mentioned in today's Freeman.

IT'S ABOUT SEX! (sorry kids, no pictures).

It should be an easy read.

Right?



Accuracy and Oversexualization in Cross-Sex Mind-Reading: An Adaptationist Approach

Monday, August 24, 2009

Twitter, meet Woofer. Woofer, shut up.




The novelty site Woofer looks like the micro-blogging site Twitter and quacks like Twitter.

The quacks (or woofs), however, have a 1,400-word MINIMUM.

"What can you accomplish with the extra 1260 characters?" the site asks (Twitter post cannot exceed 140 characters):

"- Be eloquent.
"- Use adverbs.
"- DEA (don't ever abbreviate)."


How about, "Don't use"?

A flag in Rhinecliff

I'm half hesitant to post this because I know how strongly people feel about this and I haven't had the chance to talk to people at The Rhinecliff. But this post can also be the start of a good and needed conversation.

A reader thought this was important enough to send it.
The e-mail read:

I take great offense to this and thought I'd forward.
The Rhinecliff Hotel last night for a WRWD country music event.
An apology is in order.




My two cents:
I think the flag as a promotional symbol is highly inappropriate, as it invokes images of slavery and can be interpreted to suggest that such past should be celebrated. I also think the Rhinecliff did not have that in mind when it decided to put a Confederate flag next to its name, because the flag also pertains to a certain Southern heritage (the event related to country music).

Moreover, the restaurant and hotel has the right to do whatever it wants, as it is a private business.

At the end, to me, it looks like it was just a bad move.Yet, I have to re-state that I haven't spoken with hotel representatives.

What do you think? (be nice)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

U.S. News ranks area colleges


Area colleges ranked in the top tier of colleges and universities in the northern United States in the latest edition of the annual U.S. News & World Report America's Best Colleges guide.

Marist was ranked 15th out of 172 colleges and universities in the northern United States that offer a full range of undergraduate and master's degree programs. SUNY New Paltz ranked 43rd.

Vassar college in Poughkeepsie ranked 11th in the Northeastern liberal arts college ranking, while Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson ranked 40th.

The U.S. News rankings were based on data collected on students who applied for college admission as first-year students in 2008.

SUNY New Paltz welcomes freshmen



First-year students living on campus moved into the college’s 14 residence halls today. Transfer and returning students arrive on campus over the weekend before classes start on Monday.

The Class of 2013 is comprised of 1,100 first-year students selected from a record-breaking applicant pool of 15,426. They will be joined by 675 transfer students.

Here's a slideshow

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Squirrel gets 15 more minutes

The Squirrelizer, "adds that ground squirrel to any image."

Monday, August 17, 2009

'The Messenger' opens Woodstock Film Festival Oct. 1


The film "The Messenger" - starring Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson, Samantha Morton and Steve Buscemi - will open the 10th Woodstock Film Festival on Oct. 1, organizers announced Monday.

"The Messenger" marks the directorial debut of award-winning screenwriter Oren Moverman (from the Bob Dylan biopic "I'm Not There") and features two past Woodstock Film Festival honorary Maverick Award recipients, Buscemi (2005) and Harrelson (2003).

The movie will be screened at the Tinker Street Cinema in Woodstock on Oct. 1 and will be followed by a question-and-answer session and reception with the director and select cast.

Foster ("3:10 to Yuma," "Liberty Heights," "Hostage," "X-Men") stars as Will Montgomery, an American Army officer who has just returned home from a tour in Iraq and is assigned to the Army's Casualty Notification service. Partnered with fellow officer Tony Stone (Harrelson) to bear the bad news to the loved ones of fallen soldiers, Will faces the challenge of completing his mission while seeking to find comfort and healing back on the home front. When he finds himself drawn to Olivia (Morton), to whom he has just delivered the news of her husband's death, Will's emotional detachment begins to dissolve.

"'The Messenger' is a brilliant film, destined to be a classic, in which the darkest side of war is depicted without a single shot being fired," said Woodstock Film Festival organizer Meira Blaustein in a prepared statement. "Grappling with all the pains and ethical dilemmas that war brings to the human spirit, this film is the perfect opener for the Woodstock Film Festival. We are thrilled to have it and are looking forward to share its perfectly nuanced and delicate composition with our audience."

"The Messenger" had its world premiere at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and went on to win the Silver Bear Award for Best Screenplay and the Peace Film Award at the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival. Oscilloscope Laboratories will be releasing the film in theatres on Nov. 6.

The Woodstock Film Festival runs from Sept. 30 through Oct. 4.

The full schedule of events will be announced in Mid-September.

For more information, visit www.WoodstockFilmFestival.com, or call (845) 679-4265.

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Squirrel gets his 15 minutes

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — This was one squirrel that was ready for a close-up.

The curious squirrel is an Internet star — thanks to a Minnesota couple's photograph.

Melissa and Jackson Brandts of Watertown were on vacation in Alberta, Canada, last May when the squirrel popped up in their camera shot.

The Brandts, both 29, were sitting in the background on the shore of Lake Minnewanka with the camera set on a rock. Up close is the squirrel — attracted, the couple thinks, by the sound of the camera focusing.

The couple submitted the photo for National Geographic's "Your Shot" contest.

Jackson Brandts says the couple has received e-mails and phone calls from Canada, Australia, Italy and South Korea. Melissa Brandts said Friday the attention the photo has received is "just crazy."



Saturday, August 15, 2009

The times, they are a-chaingin'

Associated Press

Rock legend Bob Dylan was treated like a complete unknown by police in a New Jersey shore community when a resident called to report someone wandering around the neighborhood.

Dylan was in Long Branch, about a two-hour drive south of New York City, on July 23 as part of a tour with Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp that was to play at a baseball stadium in nearby Lakewood.A 24-year-old police officer apparently was unaware of who Dylan is and asked him for identification, Long Branch business administrator Howard Woolley said Friday."I don't think she was familiar with his entire body of work," Woolley said.

The incident began at 5 p.m. when a resident said a man was wandering around a low-income, predominantly minority neighborhood several blocks from the oceanfront looking at houses. The police officer drove up to Dylan, who was wearing a blue jacket, and asked him his name.

According to Woolley, the following exchange ensued:"What is your name, sir?" the officer asked."Bob Dylan," Dylan said."OK, what are you doing here?" the officer asked."I'm on tour," the singer replied.

A second officer, also in his 20s, responded to assist the first officer. He, too, apparently was unfamiliar with Dylan, Woolley said.

The officers asked Dylan for identification. The singer of such classics as "Like a Rolling Stone" and "Blowin' in the Wind" said that he didn't have any ID with him, that he was just walking around looking at houses to pass some time before that night's show.

The officers asked Dylan, 68, to accompany them back to the Ocean Place Resort and Spa, where the performers were staying. Once there, tour staff vouched for Dylan.The officers thanked him for his cooperation."He couldn't have been any nicer to them," Woolley added.How did it feel? A Dylan publicist did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment Friday.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Out of Bethel

This is what you'll find:



Grandpa Woodstock, 65, shows a peace sign as he and his wife Queen Estar, 87, hang out near the original site of the Woodstock Music Festival Friday in Bethel. Both were attendees of the original 1969 music festival. (AP Photo/Stephen Chernin)

And if you were lucky to have a ticket, this:


Richie Havens reprises his 1969 song "Freedom" at a concert at the Bethel Woods Center on Friday in Bethel. Havens was the opening act at the 1969 Woodstock Festival. A concert at Bethel Woods on Saturday will commemorate the 40th anniversary. (AP Photo/Stephen Chernin)

While you were out (celebrating Woodstock)

Did you watch the conversation about Middle Eastern education with Bard President Leon Botstein on Charlie Rose on PBS on Wednesday?

Me neither. So here it is.



Botstein will be conducting the American Symphony Orchestra tonight at 8 p.m. at the Annandale-on-Hudson campus as part of "Wagner and his World," a celebration of everyone's favorite antisemitic composer. A pre-concert talk takes place at 7 p.m.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

New York Times discovers Woodstock

As you might have read on page A22 of your computer screen, the gray lady's Peter Applebome discovered Woodstock on Thursday, and local names and places were mentioned.

Here are the victims:

* The obvious: Woodstock '69 promoter and Mount Tremper resident Michael Lang, Max Yasgur and his Bethel farm, where the festival took placel;

* Michael Esposito of the Old Spokes Home and a guitarist for the Blues Magoos;

* The Blues Magoos, who are performing the Roots of Woodstock concert at the Bearsville Theater Saturday;

* Marc Black, who will also perform the Roots of Woodstock concert;

* Alchemy at 297 Tinker St., in Woodstock;

* The Maverick community;

* The Byrdcliffe art colony;

* "Woodstock/You Can't Get There From Here" filmmaker David McDonald;

...

There was an odd paragraph in Applebome's story, though.

One sign of that (creative re-emergence) is Alchemy of Woodstock, billed as a combination coffeehouse, bookstore, music venue, art gallery and gathering space, and remarkably, one of the only places to hear live music in a town full of famous musicians. (emphasis mine)

Let's see ...

The Bearsville theater is a stone's throw from Alchemy (in the same complex, as a matter of fact) and the "Roots of Woodstock" concert is taking place at the "theater" on Saturday.

The Colony Cafe was not mentioned either. The "Roots of Woodstock" concert took place there last year.

The story, as noted, mentions the Byrdcliffe art colony, but not the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild, which hosts many concerts and art-related events.

Similarly, The Maverick community is mentioned, but the Maverick concerts.

And what about that Woodstock '69 alum who hosts "Midnight Rambles" at his Woodstock home once a month? He was from some Band or something.

Just sayin'

Alas, also in the piece, there was this little gem:
Woodstock is a little like the Middle East, one of those places where everyone has his own view of reality.
Get your T-shirts ready: "Woodstock: 'A little like the Middle East'" - N.Y. Times.

Classic.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

After Woodstock, Gentler Generation Gap

After Woodstock Gentler Generation Gap



A sample of responses to the question: “Do you know what Woodstock was?”

Thumbs Down
• “A bunch of hippies met in a park and did whatever they wanted”
• “A total moral mess”
• “Bunch of crazies running around smoking dope”
• “Hippie drug-fest”
• “Wild kids having sex”
• “Filth”
• “Pathetic”
Thumbs Up
• “It was about love and peace and the war”
• “A celebration of freedom and new ideas”
• “People being out in the open and being free”
• “Era of rebellion and being yourself”
• “A celebration of life, love and music”
• “A love-in”
• “One hell of a party”
Maybe Up, Maybe Down
• “A mass gathering to hear music and run around in the mud”
• “Everyone went to a field and got naked”
• “An amorous party at a farm and Jimi Hendrix played ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ on his guitar with his teeth”

A blast from the Freeman past


This front page from the Freeman is from Aug. 18, 1969, which carries a UPI story about the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. The quote used in "Woodstock memories that didn't happen"comes from that story.


The full quote?

"It's been wet and I want to go home."

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Woodstock revisited, revisited



If you are planning to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, An Aquarian Exposition (yes, that's what they called it), you are lucky.

* You could go see Woodstock festival opening act Richie Havens at the original site of the 1969 festival in Bethel (if you have tickets, because it's sold out).

* Not sold out is the Heroes of Woodstock concert, also at Bethel Woods, featuring the Levon Helm Band, Jefferson Starship, Ten Years After, Canned Heat, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Mountain, Tom Constanten and Country Joe McDonald.

* Closer to home, you can attend the "Roots of Woodstock" concert featuring The Blues Magoos, Hubert Sumlin, Ellen McIlwaine and Marc Black at the Bearsville Theater. The Freeman's Bonnie Langston provided some context recently:

Weston Blelock, producer, along with his sister Julia Blelock, of the Roots of Woodstock Festival, believes Woodstock’s history of festivals — including those at the Maverick arts community founded in 1904 by writer Hervey White and later gatherings in the 1960s at Pan Copeland’s West Saugerties farm — provided fertile ground to nurture the embryo of the 1969 festival.

The events at Copeland’s, called Sound-Outs, Weston Blelock said, were “critical.” Some of those performers will return for the “roots” concert, including the Blues Magoos, who opened in 1967 for The Who, a band that played the Woodstock Festival two years later along with a long list of notables including Jimi Hendrix, Richie Havens, Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, Credence Clearwater Revival, the Band, Janis Joplin, Joan Baez, Ravi Shankar and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

* Woodstock perpetrator and Mount Tremper resident Michael Lang will make a pit stop at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Barns & Noble, 1177 Ulster Avenue in the town of Ulster to promote his book, "The Road to Woodstock," which he co-wrote with Holly George-Warren of Phoenicia.


More Woodstock stuff:

* Woodstock '94 and Woodstock Film Festival promoter Ilene Marder was quoted in an Associated Press story about the festival, which she had the unfortunate side effect of revealing her age. But I don't know how to count, so her secret is safe.

* Ang Lee's comedy "Taking Woodstock" opens later this month.

The Associated Press compiled these goodies:

* Woodstock: 3 Days Of Peace And Music (Director's Cut 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition): This remastered version of the Woodstock documentary weighs in at more than three hours.

* Music from the Original Soundtrack and More: Woodstock: The 1970 best-selling album remastered.

* "The Woodstock Experience." This 10-CD box set includes performances by Santana, Janis Joplin, Sly & The Family Stone, Johnny Winter and Jefferson Airplane, complemented by studio albums.

* Woodstock - 40 Years on: Back to Yasgur's Farm: A six-CDs box set touted by Rhino as "the most comprehensive collection of Woodstock performances ever."

* "Back to the Garden: The Story of Woodstock," a book where Disc jockey Pete Fornatale's book includes interviews with Roger Daltrey, Joan Baez and other artists.

* "Woodstock - Peace, Music & Memories." Brad Littleproud and Joanne Hague of the Woodstock Preservation Society gather pictures, interviews and look at Woodstock memorabilia.

Did I miss anything? Your comments are welcome.

Editor's note: Bong parties are illegal and not Woodstock-releated events.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The taking of Woodstock

Celebrities and area residents gathered on Saturday for a sold-out screening of "Taking Woodstock," a fundraiser for the Woodstock Film Festival.
Here's a video shot and edited by Mirav Ozeri of OzFilmNY.com



And here's a photo by Dion O:



From left, "Taking Woodstock" screenplay writer James Schamus, Academy Award winner and "Taking Woodstock" director Ang Lee, 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Festival organizer Michael Lang and, yes, Twin Towers-tight rope walker and Oscar balancing Ulster County resident Philippe Petit.

Also present were Leon Gast of Ulster County, director of the Academy Award winning Best Documentary Feature “When We Were Kings”; and Ron Nyswaner of Ulster County, who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay (“Philadelphia”).

"Taking Woostock" opens Aug. 28.

Folk music revivalist Mike Seeger dies at 75

LEXINGTON, Virginia (AP) — Mike Seeger, who helped revive traditional American folk music, has died at age 75.

Seeger's wife, Alexia Smith, said Monday that Seeger died of cancer Friday night at their home in Lexington, Virginia.

Seeger was born in New York City and raised near Washington, D.C., in a musical family. Two of his siblings became key figures in the folk music revival of the 1950s and 1960s: his half brother, Pete of Beacon, and sister Peggy.

Mike Seeger associated with traditional musicians such as Maybelle Carter and Dock Boggs.

He sang and played a number of instruments, including banjo, fiddle and guitar, and helped form the traditional music group The New Lost City Ramblers in 1958. He recorded more than 40 albums solo and with others, and received six Grammy Award nominations.

...
Mike Seeger was scheduled to play two Maverick concerts in Woodstock in late July, but had to cancel. Among his survivors is daughter Kim, who lives in Tivoli.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

2,000 words





Kingston gets a little sweeter

The recently opened Sweet Tooth Candy and Novelty Gift Shop, on 3 Main St., in Kingston offers old-fashioned candies, candy by the pound, chocolate, gift baskets, whirly lollipops, novelty gifts, handmade vintage aprons and - most importantly - kettle corn.

Store Hours are Wednesday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call (845) 331-0070 for more information.

Mmmm, kettle corn.

Woodstock animals get a little help from their friend


My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James' upcoming solo EP, "Tribute To" (recorded under the clever disguise Yim Yames, is a collection of George Harrison's songs covered by James.

A portion of the proceeds will to donated to the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary.

James (Yames?) recorded the album in 2001 after Harrison's death.

James and sanctuary director Jenny Brown met in their home town of Louisville, Ky., "and Jim was moved by WFAS's mission to rescue, protect and provide a voice for the most exploited and abused beings in the world -- farmed animals," the sanctuary said.

The New York Times recounts their encounter.

The sanctuary reports:

A vegetarian for ethical reasons, Jim thought the idea of this album as fundraiser for WFAS to be a perfect match. "I know this is something that George [Harrison] really believed in," he said, and that "George was all about treating all creatures equally and eating responsibly." With this summer being the 40th anniversary of the original Woodstock concert, it is fitting that a true proponent of peace and love be honored this way.

Visit Jim's website where you can download a free preview song or buy a digital download of the full EP. There's also a limited-edition vinyl version that will include a physical CD as well as a special WFAS t-shirt.

We heartily thank Jim James and his wonderful management team for putting all this together! We couldn't be more proud or thankful! To us, Jim truly rocks in more ways than one.


My Morning Jacket headlined the Mountain Jam festival two years ago. The Freeman profiled My Morning Jacket in 2006 and the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary last year.

Steven Tyler living it up while he's going down


RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler was airlifted to a hospital after falling from stage during a concert at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in western South Dakota.

Tyler, 61, fell while entertaining the crowd by dancing around after the sound system failed during the song "Love In an Elevator," said Mike Sanborn, spokesman for the Buffalo Chip Campground, which hosted the outdoor concert.

Tyler was on the stage's catwalk when he fell backward onto a couple of fans in the middle of what was a record crowd, Sanborn said. Security rushed to help him and the crowd cheered when Tyler got back up.

"He was good natured about it," Sanborn said. "He was in good spirits when he got in the helicopter. He was talking and joking with the physician."

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I confess ...

... I'm from Kenya, too!

Sleep on this!


Proving that this is a serious issue, some gray lady decided to opine about napping.

Yes, The New York Times editorial, "To Nap, Perchance to Dream," weirdly coincides with "Power (naps) to the people! Wake up!"

Both items came about as a result of a napping survey published by the Pew Research Center last week.

For more information, visit the National Sleep Foundation which has cool questions like, "Which type of pillow do you prefer?" The organization also has a fact sheet on napping.

Oh, the blogs!


Ulster County Comptroller Elliott Auerbach, the self-proclaimed "People's Watchdog" - who, actually, watches the people's money but is not a dog - is an Internet savvy, Twitter friendly, blogging man.

His tweets are updated more frequently than his blog, and they contain useful information such as the context-free musing "Context does matter."

His blog is basically a series of cut-and-paste jobs of articles from media, which he or his handlers have posted in their entirety.

And that is against copyright law.

But I won't tell him if you don't.

HINT TO CUT-AND-PASTERS: If you use a couple of lines from a story and link to it, you can use the "fair use" defense, which is basically screaming "FAIR USE!" after you get sued and then the court says it's OK because what happens - the news - cannot be copyrighted. But writing is copyrighted, and that's why you really shouldn't copy and paste entire works.

If you are a lawyer, please correct me if I'm wrong, so I can tell you that you're crazy.

Obviously, we're not going to sue the Ulster County Comptroller just because yours truly decided to be snarky. After all, I got more important things to do.

Like reading Auerbach's Tweets.