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.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

1860s baseball in Kingston

The Kingston Guard battled the West Field Wheelmen at the Herzog baseball field in Kingston today, using 1980s baseball rules (no gloves, funky outfits) in a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. The Wheelers won both games.

It was a good affair, and the Catskill Mountain Railroad was present as well.

I livestreamed the whole second game. But here's a clip if you're feeling lazy.

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Live Stream: Angels in the Outfield of Kingston

The Angels in the Outfield, featuring the Kingston Guard and the West Field Wheelmen, are playing their second game today at 3 p.m. at the Herzog field in Kingston, in a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.







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Super BRAWL raises more than $3,000

Members of the Broads Regional Arm Wrestling League met at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock on Aug. 27 in a benefit for the Cabrini Home for Girls Recreation Fund and Domestic Violence Services of Family of Woodstock. The event netted more than $3,000, organizers said.

Here's a clip:

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Friday, August 27, 2010

Live stream: Super BRAWL

Beginning at 9 p.m. at the Bearsville Theater, featuring arm-wrestling champions The Pilgrim, La Nina, Bunny Bruiser, Jacky O'Nasty, Pushy Galore, Heather Wiesen, Kiki Yorbutt and The Captain.

All proceeds go to Family of Woodstock's Battered Women's Services and Cabrini Home for Girls Recreation Fund.

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How to get a newsroom to cover stories live


With apologies to the Bard, that is the question.

And a problem, a big one at that.


Members of the Journal Register Company’s IdeaLab, including yours truly, met at the company’s Yardley, Pa., offices on Wednesday to brainstorm the future of our industry. JRC advisory members Betsy Morgan and Jay Rosen were present and shared their insight into what the challenges mean.

I’ll let Rosen explain





We were challenged to come up with a problem and find the solution - in 30 days. I tasked myself with turning my own newsroom at the Daily Freeman upside down and change our current model, which, it should be mentioned, will not be painless. The idea being that once the production god (don’t be lazy and watch the video) is gone, we are free to produce and experiment to better serve our audience.

In the coming days, I’ll be sharing the tools I’ve been given (an iPad, a netbook and a Droid) with my newsroom and we’ll be covering events as they unravel. I'll be keeping you updated on what worked and what didn’t. My plan is to have our reporters using Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook – without a middle man (that would be us, the meany editors) – to post stories, photos and ask for input as the stories develop.


In other words, WE'LL DO IT LIVE!

video

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Idealab NOW!



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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Live stream: Artists' Soapbox Derby



Going live at 1 p.m.

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Blogs R Us

Here's your roundup of this week's area blogs, featured at http://www.dailyfreeman.com/blogs

* Ulster County Comptroller Elliott Auerbach continues his watchdog quest, which consists of copying and pasting other people's stories.
* Ulster County Legislator Mike Sweeney says that, "for once, the voters aren't going to be lied to," which raises the question, when were they lied to? Just sayin'
* Kingston Alderman Bill Reynolds wants to tell you he was on the radio but won't tell you what he said on the radio.
* The Ulster County Development Corp. will like you to know that SUNY New Paltz ranked "seventh among the best public universities in the North with master’s degree programs" by U.S. News & World, which kind of sucks because I have a bachelor's degree from that very school.
* Kingston Main Street Manager Nancy Donskoj would like you to know there's a hospital in Kingston. Who knew?
* The Kingston Neighborhood Watch is watching. Cats.
* Over at Kingston Citizens, "CAC Holds Visioning Session." First vision: What is CAC?
* Plums, the new melons.
* Melons, the new plums.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Pepsi commercial highlights Rosendale Theater

Facebook unveils awesome Places. Here's how to awesomely disable it



Video via Lifehacker.

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Fake or Fake? We might never know

Gillette is reaping the benefits of this little clip of Roger Federer that's going viral, with more than 3 million views already.



Some YouTube comments:

* "I don't get how this can be fake"
* "Yes, I'm sure that guy would risk having his face broken in two. Two times. not."


The again, this is from a guy known to do things like this.

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Fake newspaper ads are the best

Remeber this?:



Now there's a fake New York Post ad. So if you are at work, turn the volume up, because this video has a plethora of profound profanities.

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A Preview cover in 30 seconds

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hippie station Fox News covers Woodstock Time Bank

Gnome Chomsky loses Guinness record to (right-wing?) fiberglass gnome from Poland

The record is broken.

Gnome Chomsky, Homegrown Mini-Golf and Kelder's Farm, gigantic, 13-foot, 6-inch-tall garden gnome, has lost the Guinness World Record it has held since 2006 as largest garden gnome, the farm announced today.


A group at the University of Iowa Reiman Gardens took up the challenge and unveiled a 15' cement gnome last April. But the group was informed by Guinness that the record for largest garden gnome had already been broken by a Polish group called MALPOL.

MALPOL created a 17-foot, 8-inch-tall gnome made fiberglass in 2009 and had been granted the world record by Guinness.

The farm quotes uber musician and local resident Graham Parker as saying, "I thought I saw a tear in Chomsky's eye when I passed by the other day. Cheer up fella, those others are just pretenders."

Town of Rochester Supervisor Carl Chipman said in the release, "We held the record for a good four years. Our gnome is still very precious to us."

"I am outraged that a gnome made of a synthetic material such as fiberglass would be accepted by the folks at Guinness," said Deborah Artman, librettist and writer, in the release. "If any organization should be a stickler for authenticity, Guinness is it! It's time for a petition! I'm ready to sign!"

The farm adds:

"We have written to the Guinness Company to ask them about their perplexing decision to allow a fiberglass gnome to qualify. But even were they to disqualify the Polish contender, we're still topped by the cement gnome in Iowa. What to do?

Chomsky Grows Up

"Our friends had ideas--ideas to make Chomsky the biggest once again. The ideas were so great we couldn't resist trying them out to see how they'd look. (We love Photoshop!) We've mocked-up the first to come in:


"Adding a tall flower to Chomsky's hat gives him a jaunty air, suggested by 8-year-old Bella Ramirez.



"A bigger hat would do the job--but how could he keep an eye on Route 209?"


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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Will The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger make cows dance?

The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger - Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl - will perform in a benefit concert for the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary.

The Freeman's Ann Gibbons spoke to Lennon and Muhl and will have a story on Friday's Preview.

In the meantime, here are some sanctuary cows, dancing.


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Of Ribs and Men (and Women)


Lissa Harris, our friendly neighbor at the Watershed Post website, decided to tackle the most important issue of the day today with a massive takedown of our Hudson Valley Rib Fest story, written by Paula Ann Mitchell.

The tongue-in-cheek post about the tongue-in-cheek article raises some important questions:

* What is the Watershed Post?
* What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?
* Would Harris like to get into a rib-eating contest with snarky Life Editor?
* Would Harris pay for the ribs in such a contest? (I'm kind of broke)
* Do you have a quarter I can borrow?
* Most importantly, how can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

We may never know.

But, alas, point well taken.
So as penance, I'm putting Paula in a diet of ribs injected with cheese, barbecue sauce and granola. No pudding.

Also, thanks for reading.

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18 bikes put together

PHOTO:



CONTEXT:



CONCLUSION: Although assembled properly, the riders to nowhere, as it was originally planned, didn't go anywhere.
Next time.

Update: For some reason, people couldn't ride these either.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Soapbox Derby photo contest winner announced


Allen Bryan's "Skip Down Broadway" won Donskoj Gallery's Artists' Soapbox Derby photo contest, Nancy Dosnkoj has announced. Bryan won a $250 Gift Certificate from Artcraft Camera (Todd Fitzgerald from Artcraft was the judge.)

The Derby, now in its 16th year, takes place Sunday on lower Broadway in Kingston.

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Jimmy Fallon's "Get Two Bears and Jump"

I hear voices in Phoenicia

Maxanne Resnick of the Phoenicia Festival of the Voice says,

"We had a fantastic festival. Several thousand people attended throughout the weekend. We had fabulous performances, the two operatic performances under gorgeous night skies, and lots of enthusiasm for our first annual 'The Phoenicia Festival of the Voice.'"


Here are internationally acclaimed baritone Louis Otey and his mezzo-soprano wife, Maria Todaro, who live in Phoenicia, during a previous engagement, performing "The Barber of Seville" ("Barbiere di Siviglia"), which, it turns out, is not just a Bugs Bunny cartoon after all.

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

'Star Wars,' the missing scene

Depending of your perspective, the following clip is highly inconsequential or massively EPIC.
Anyway, a hero with a camera taped this Saturday at the "Star Wars Celebration V" convention in Orange County, Fla. and posted it on YouTube.
God bless his soon-to-be-sued soul.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

No sense of fashion in Vogue

This Steven Meisel image from the August issue of Vogue Italia features Kristen McMenamy. The issue includes a photo spread shot by Meisel titled "Water & Oil," inspired by the BP oil spill, because when you think of fashion, you think of the worst oil spill in the history of mankind. (AP Photo/Vogue Italia, Steven Meisel)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Phoenicia finds its voice

Betty Macdonald has died

Woodstock jazz musician Betty Macdonald died this morning, her family announced:

On behalf of the MacDonald family, Paul, and myself we want to thank you all for your stories, love, and prayers. Betty left us this morning at dawn. She passed on in peace and tranquility. To all the singers, we have appreciated your songs/music, but now the family needs privacy.
Betty's wishes are to have no funeral. There will be a celebration of Betty's life in the future at a date to be announced


A jazz violinist, she also had hosted jazz radio programs on WDST and WAMC.

Her latest album, "And Here's To You," with Joe Beck, was reviewed by David Malachowski for the Freeman in April. Beck died before the album was released.

Here's to them.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Two views of Ulster County

Both superb.



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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Report: Astor Courts back on the market, wants more $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$



The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Astor Courts, where something happened over the weekend, is back on the market, now for $13.5 million, up from the original $12.

Pocket change, I know. The Journal reports:

They are also using Harry Hill, principal of H.H. Hill Realty Services in Rhinebeck, as co-broker. Mr. Hill said he's already organized a couple of showings of the property.

"There hasn't been any offers yet," he says, "but I am seeing interest."

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Useless apps, the video

As described in "Unfortunately, there’s an app for that, too," here's some important journalistic research.



I only used the free ones. You can't pay me enough to pay for the other ones.

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Cooking on a bridge


"Brunch on the Bridge," a three-episode cooking show series by www.greenpeastv.com that takes place over the Mid-Hudson Bridge, taped its latest on July 26.

It features chef Marcus Guiliano of Aroma Thyme Bistro in Ellenville, who created a vegetarian brunch with a little help from New York State Bridge Authority’s Executive Director Joseph Ruggiero. Kingston's own Stockade Tavern owner Paul Maloney was on hand to demonstrate old-time pre-Prohibtion era cocktail recipes using spirits from Tuthilltown Spirits of Gardiner.

The “Brunch on the Bridge” episode is scheduled to "air" on www.greenpeastv.com later this month.

Here's a tease.

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Peace Peace Peace Pete Seeger Peace

Folk legend Pete Seeger will be awarded the Woodstock Council for World Peace
Noble Peace Prize and the World Peace Prayer Society's Culture of Peace award, the Woodstock Council for World Peace announced just now.

The Woodstock International Walk for World Peace will take place in Woodstock on Sunday. The World Peace Prayer Society is contributing the flags of all nations for the walk, which culminates at the Comeau property on Comeau Drive.

Victorio Roland Mousaa and Princess WOW!, founder of the Smile Revoulution, will be performing at 11:00 a.m., and will introduce Seeger to the crowd. The council will be presenting Seeger with a "Noble Peace Prize," and The World Peace Prayer Society will also be presenting Seeger with their Culture of Peace award.

The event is free and open to all.

The Woodstock Chamber of Commerce and Arts is sponsoring the walk, which will be led by children carrying smaller flags.

“We are walking for peace, and are not protesting”, said the Rev. John Nelson, founder of Woodstock International Walk for World Peace.

The walkers are to meet on Sunday at 8 a.m., with participants meeting at the intersection of Routes 375 and 212. At 9:30 the walk will commence with the parade of flags through the town, past the village green and continuing along Route 212 to Comeau Drive, then on to Comeau Field, where the World Peace Prayer Ceremony will be held at 10:15 a.m., followed by guest artists and speakers, Seeger and other performances.

A “Paint Out”, will also once again take place; participation in the Paint Out is open to all, and brushes and acrylic paints will be provided. There will also be a Native American blessing ceremony.

After the conclusion of events at Comeau Field, Seeger will be appearing and performing at the Bearsville Theater at 1 p.m., including a book signing of "Where Have All The Flowers Gone".

Sundance Award-winning filmmaker Greg Reitman will be filming the event for inclusion in his upcoming film, "Rooted In Peace," a documentary on the ways people around the world are taking to create peace and a culture of sustainability.

There, that's "peace,"14 times. So don't be fighting.

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Woodstock Film Festival unveils 2010 poster



The Woodstock Film Festival has unveiled its official poster, "flower mandala," designed by Hudson Valley-based artist Portia Munson, for the 2010 festival, which will take place Sept. 29 to Oct. 3.

"I am honored to have created this year's Woodstock Film Festival poster," said Munson in a prepared statement. "I created it using flowers from my Catskill garden. The Hudson Valley region has always had a long and vibrant connection with the arts and the film festival (and all the film production that comes with it) has manisfested this heritage."

It also is very trippy and I can't stop looking at it.
As it is my custom, I blame Obamacare for that.

Get yours/

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Gigi's sets the record straight

Dear Ivan,

One would expect, at least hope, that your community news coverage be accurate and well meaning. To that end, I insist, on behalf of Laura Pensiero of GiGi Hudson Valley, that your facts be corrected to reflect the truth.

When Laura was asked if Gigi was doing the rehearsal dinner, or catering the (Chelsea Clinton) wedding, her exact quote was: “Absolutely not.”

Her other comment "How did you find out" related to another question entirely. It seems that the news starved media cobbled these disparate comments into some “story” … not Laura. She upheld her discretion and honesty.

Kindly show us all that you do too,

Thank you,

Burnell Shively
PR, Media & Marketing Liaison
GiGi Hudson Valley



What the New York Daily News wrote:

Chef Laura Pensiero, whose GiGi Trattoria opened nine years ago in Rhinebeck, is one of the caterers for the high-profile affair.

Her restaurant uses fresh ingredients from local farms, and specializes in homemade pastas, healthy Mediterranean fare and vegetarian dishes.

The food is mouth-watering, but the chef was close-mouthed.

"I can't talk about it," Pensiero told the Daily News yesterday. "How did you find out?"


What I wrote:

Answer: The Daily News found out when Pensiero said "How did you find out?"

This mean-spirited, news-starved journalist stands corrected. Good luck getting the Daily News to correct its record, though.

I'm also told by the real Freeman reporters who covered this story that Pensiero offered no comment to us. And it should be noted that none of the Freeman's stories stated that Gigi was catering the event.

And now the question that lingers is "What did the Daily News asked that promped the "How did you find out?" response?

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Clinton Vineyard's Phyllis Feder spills the beans

The blog Hudson Valley Wine Goddess sat on this for weeks.



The video's time stamp is July 18.
Go figure.

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Rhinebeck gets its own segment on 'The Daily Show'

Wedding of the Decade of the Century of the Millennium on 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart'