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By Carol Montana

Some stories are difficult to tell. Witness Arthur Miller’s dramas “All My Sons” and “Death of a Salesman.” When the story is true, it’s even harder to relate the details in a way that doesn’t turn the viewer off. 

Fortunately for theatre lovers, Denizen Theatre in New Paltz, has found not only a play that’s stimulating and well told, but also an actress and a director who are able to translate that play into an energizing and exciting piece of theatre. 

Denizen’s production of “Every Brilliant Thing” by Duncan MacMillan with Jonny Donahoe tells the heart-wrenching story of a young girl whose mother has “done something stupid.” What she’s done is tried to commit suicide. So the young child starts making a list of things she hopes will keep her mom happy. The list consists of “every brilliant thing” she can think of, everything that makes life worth living, like ice cream and roller coasters, laughing so hard you shoot milk out of your nose … the list goes on and on and on … 

The Denizen audience has the good fortune to witness a truly remarkable performance by Terri Weagant. Listed not as a performer, but as a Narrator, Weagant embodies the wild energies of a young girl, running all over the theatre, crawling on the floor and almost bouncing off the walls. She tells her story with depth, courage, warmth and purpose. Weagant’s performance is vibrant and lively, and she immediately makes the audience comfortable even while dealing with the difficult topic of depression. 

It’s an interactive play, which sees the Narrator call out numbers that have been given to each audience member before the show starts, each number representing one “brilliant” thing. Additionally, certain audience members assist by playing the Narrator’s father, school counselor, a college lecturer, a veterinarian and a date / fiancee / husband.  

The play is performed “in the round,” allowing Weagant to easily engage with everyone in the audience, and it runs 70 minutes with no intermission to interrupt the often acute and powerful emotions and intensity. 

Denizen Theatre’s choice of a director for “Every Brilliant Thing” is as brilliant as the play itself. Eva Tenuto is the co-founder and executive director of the TMI Project, a non-profit dedicated to using true storytelling for social justice movement building. Allowing people who have difficulties telling their stories or parts thereof to become comfortable with relating those and then performing them as solo events. Who better to direct a play about such a difficult subject as suicide and depression? Tenuto’s skill shines through in every facet of this production. 

If you’re fortunate enough to see “Every Brilliant Thing” on a Wednesday, do stay for the “Talk Back” with Weagant, Tenuto and Denizen’s Co-Artistic Director Brittany Proia or perhaps Co-Artistic Director Ben Williamson or Founder / Producing Artistic Director Harry Lipstein. On a recent Wednesday evening nearly every member of the audience took part in the “Talk Back” – that’s how thoroughly engaging this show is. It’s not something you will easily forget.  

“Every Brilliant Thing” runs through April 28 at the Denizen Theatre, Water Street 

Market, 10 Main Street in New Paltz. Showtimes are Wednesday – Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 for students, $15 if you’re under 30, $24 for senior citizens and $28 for regular tickets. Call the box office at 845-303-4136 or visit DenizenTheatre.com. EBThing

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Story and photos by Carol Montana

MONTICELLO, NY – Governor Cuomo came to the Rutherford Elementary School in Monticello on Thursday, November 16, where an overflow crowd was assembled to greet him.

Over 200 students were in the audience, alongside Sullivan County Legislators, county, town, village and school officials. Cuomo was there to announce an expansion of after-school programs in the Mid-Hudson Valley, part of a statewide push to give students productive things to do after 3:00 p.m.

Introduced by Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, who Cuomo called “a superstar in Albany and great friend of mine,” Cuomo stated that he was very “proud to be able to say that New York State invests more money per pupil in education than any state in the United States.”

Speaking directly to the students, Cuomo explained that competition for jobs was going to be fierce. “So, one of the things we’re doing is changing the idea that school is over at 3:00, because there are more and better things we can do after 3:00 then you just go home and hang out at home. That means your parents have to be there or somebody has to be there to watch you, and there are things that you can do after 3:00 that help you grow and make you better. There’s exercise things you can do, more education that you can do, and going home at 3:00 and just playing with video games doesn’t really help you.”

The Governor mentioned that his father used to say, “video games melt your brain,” and then joked that he listened to his father, but his brother did not, and “now, one side of his head is a little flatter than the other side. I think that was from the melting of the brain from the video games.”

Cuomo then announced funding for services and programs that go on after 3:00 “so you can get more help, more assistance, more growth. And we’re spending $35 million all across the state and we asked schools to come up with the best ideas and we are funding the best ideas. And here are the results in the mid-Hudson district.

“Monticello Central School District, which is where we are, is receiving funding for 885 more slots. … Fallsburg Central School District, 400 new slots.” Mentioning Poughkeepsie and Ramapo, among others, Cuomo said that there will be 4,800 new slots in the mid-Hudson Valley.

As a result of previous funding, Cuomo announced that “… these programs are working. The State now has the highest graduation rate we’ve ever had at 79 percent.”

The Governor talked about New York’s free college tuition plan, and then asked the assembled students why they thought the state was “investing all this time all this money all this energy. The first reason is because it’s smart. Because when you get smart you get talented it helps all of us because it helps businesses want to come here because we have the best educated work force.” He asked the students for the second reason and gave the hint that the answer was a four-letter word, offering a very special state gold coin to the student who had the correct answer.

The winner, a young lady named Xyaira, gave the answer “love.” “Let’s give Xyaira a big round of applause,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo. “It is because we love you and there’s nothing more important. Congratulations.”
Cuomo left the stage then to rousing applause.

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SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY (November 10, 2015) – Due to a recent personnel change, The Catskill Chronicle is currently on hiatus. We hope to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

In the meantime, please check out our archives for past stories including:

Sullivan Faces: https://thecatskillchronicle.com/sullivan-faces-2/

Tales from the Scrawny Gourmet: https://thecatskillchronicle.com/tales-from-the-scrawny-gourmet/

Twice Divorced Advice Column: https://thecatskillchronicle.com/twice-divorced-advice-column/

Gadfly Political Satire: https://thecatskillchronicle.com/gadfly-opinion/

Elder Berries: https://thecatskillchronicle.com/elder-berries/

or our very popular Theatre Reviews: https://thecatskillchronicle.com/theatre-dance-readings-movies/previews-and-reviews/

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ROSCOE, NY (November 8, 2015) – Thunder 102 and China City of America have announced that  ThunderBlast will celebrate Somerville’s 20th anniversary Friday, November 20th at the Rockland House in Roscoe with performances by Somerville and Iron Cowboy, whose last two CDs featured songs written by Somerville.

img_7099_thumb1The event begins with a private Meet & Greet at the Roscoe Beer Company at 6:00 p.m. Thunder 102 listeners have a chance win passes over the next few weeks.

Doors open at 8:00 p.m. and entertainment starts at 8:30 p.m. ThunderBlast is free with a new unwrapped toy to benefit Toys for Tots and the M&M Auto Group Mission, “No child in Thunder Country should be a toy for the Holidays.”

“We are so proud that ThunderBlast is back and we are so proud that we can celebrate the 20th anniversary of Somerville with Iron Cowboy. We’re looking for this to be a great kick off to the M & M Auto Group Mission to benefit Toys for Tots,” said Paul Ciliberto, General Manager and Market Manager of Thunder 102.

Thunder 102 serves the Sullivan County Catskills and can be heard in Sullivan County and parts of Orange, Ulster and Delaware County, NY plus Wayne and Pike County, PA on 102.1 FM. Thunder 102 is also available worldwide on the FREE RadioBOLD app. Thunder 102, a Bold Gold Media Group station, is a Music Row reporting station and is celebrating ten years of Community service in 2015.

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Parents and caregivers encouraged to take advantage of future state-sponsored car seat checks

NEW YORK STATE (November 4, 2015) – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced the results of Child Passenger Safety Week seat check events, during which 88 percent of the 931 seats inspected were found to be improperly installed. Technicians found that only 112 had been installed correctly, which demonstrates the importance of learning how to properly install car Child Passenger Safetyseats and taking advantage of the state- and local-sponsored safety check events.

“The sheer number of incorrectly installed car seats found during these recent events is truly eye-opening,”
Governor Cuomo said. “As a father, I know that there is nothing more important than the safety of our kids. I encourage all parents with younger children to attend one of these free checks, get the facts, and ensure our youngest New Yorkers are being buckled up safely and properly.”

Governor Cuomo announced a number of these September seat checks, which helped parents and caregivers find age- and size- appropriate car seats for their children. Child safety seat checks are coordinated by the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee in cooperation with state and local law enforcement and community safety partners year round, either by appointment or at events conducted throughout the year. Future scheduled events can be found on the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee website.mother-adjusting-her-daughters-fit-in-the-seat-in-car-350x544

A 2012 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) survey revealed that 20 percent of all drivers of child passengers did not read any instructions on how to properly install their child restraints, yet 90 percent felt “confident” or “very confident” that their car seats and booster seats were installed correctly.

Children in improperly installed car seats run greater risks of injury during crashes. According to NHTSA, car crashes are a leading cause of death for children under 13 years old in the United States, and many times, deaths and injuries can be prevented by proper use of car seats, booster seats, and seat belts. Child Passenger Safety Week, which aims to raise awareness of the importance of the proper use and installation of child safety seats, culminated in National Seat Check Saturday on September 19, a day in which free child seat inspections were conducted statewide and across the nation.

“Child passenger safety seat checks are free of charge, quick to perform, and keep thousands of New York’s children safe every year, as the numbers show,” said New York State Department of Motor Vehicles Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan. “The importance of these child seat check events cannot be overstated. I encourage parents and caregivers to take the time to ensure their children’s safety seats are installed properly. It could
save your child’s life.”

Parents and caregivers can also get proactive about checking their child’s safety seat at home. NHTSA produced a series of videos which are available on its website and which instruct parents and caregivers how to install rear-facing car seats, forward-facing car seats, and booster seats. Additionally, Safe Kids and NHTSA recommend the following Safe Kids checklist:

· Right Seat: Check the label on the car seat to make sure it’s appropriate for a child’s age, weight, and height.
· Right Place: Keep all children in the back seat until they are 13 years old. Doing this, along with correctly using the appropriate child restraints, greatly reduces the risk of injury.
· Right Direction: Keep the child in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible. When he or she outgrows the seat, move the child to a forward-facing car seat, and attach the top tether after tightening and locking the seat belt or lower anchors.
· Inch Test: Once the car seat is installed, shake it at the base. A properly installed seat will not move more than an inch.
· Pinch Test: Make sure the harness is tightly buckled and coming from the correct slots (check the manual). Now, with the chest clip placed at armpit level, pinch the strap at the child’s shoulder. If unable to pinch any excess webbing, the seat is installed properly.

New York State’s first child passenger restraint law went into effect in 1982 and has since been strengthened. According to the current law, all children must be restrained in an appropriate child restraint system that meets their size and weight recommended by the manufacturer until they reach their eighth birthday while riding in a motor vehicle. It also notes that a vehicle’s safety belts are not defined as a child restraint system under the law, as safety belts are not designed for children under four feet, nine inches tall, and therefore do not protect young children.

In 2014, 375 child safety seat check events were conducted across the state. At these events, 6,223 seats were inspected and 87 percent of the seats inspected were found to have been installed incorrectly, which can include a range of issues: for example, the seat could be expired or not height-and-weight appropriate. It could also mean that children were not using booster seats, which can help seat belts fit properly.

Car seat rankings are available here. For more information on vehicle restraints, car seat recommendations for children, and child passenger safety, visit the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee website.

The following are area sites where safety checks are available:

Sullivan County Sullivan County Public Health Services
50 Community Lane, Liberty, NY  12754
2 times a month May – November; Once a month November – April(weather permitting)
Appointment required
Contact:  Pat Bennett at (845) 292-5910 Ext 2250
2 Elting Court
Hours: By appointment only
Phone: 845-647-4422 EXT 340
From Here | To Here
Town of Crawford Police Department
121 RT-302
Pine Bush, NY 12566
Hours: Appointments are suggested.
Phone: 845-744-3300
Contact: Officer Paul Zavadil
From Here | To Here
City of Middletown Police Department
2 James Street
Middletown, NY 10940
Hours: By appointment ONLY
Phone: 845-346-4032
Contact: Sgt Neil Kassel
From Here | To Here
New York State Police – Troop F
55 Crystal Run Road
Middletown, NY 10941
Hours: By appointment only
Phone: 845-344-5300
Contact: T/Sgt Scott Mohl
From Here | To Here
Orange County Traffic Safety Program
22 Wells Farm Rd
Goshen, NY 10924
Hours: Mon-Fri, 9AM-5PM. By appointment ONLY.
Phone: 845-615-0559
Contact: John Jones
From Here | To Here
Walden Police Department
One Municipal Square
Walden, NY 12586
Hours: Appointment REQUIRED
Phone: 845-778-5595
Contact: Officer Roy Werner
From Here | To Here
Village of Goshen Police Department
1 Grand St
Goshen, NY 10924
Hours: Mon-Fri, 9AM-3PM. Appointment REQUIRED.
Phone: 845-294-7988
Contact: Detective Ryan W Rich
From Here | To Here
Town of New Paltz Police Department
83 S Putt Corners Rd
New Paltz, NY 12561
Hours: Available seven days a week; please call for an appointment
Phone: 845-255-1323
Contact: Sergeant Duke Bunce
From Here | To Here
Hours: Mon-Fri; 10AM-4PM. By appointment only
Phone: 845-687-5014
From Here | To Here
Town of Chester Police Department
1786 Kings Hwy
Chester, NY 10918
Hours: Appointment REQUIRED.
Phone: 845-469-7000, X368
845-469-7000, X360
Contact: Officer Lee Weinstein
From Here | To Here
PA State Police
434 Route 402
Hawley, PA 18428
Hours: By appointment only
Phone: 570-226-5718
Contact: Corporal Beach
From Here | To Here
Town of Warwick Police Department
132 Kings Highway
Warwick, NY 10990
Hours: Appointment REQUIRED.
Phone: 845-986-3423
From Here | To Here
Marlborough Town Police Department
1650 US-9W
Milton, NY 12547
Hours: Please call or email cfulton@marlboroughpoliceny.us for appointment. Spanish-speaking techs available.
Phone: 845-795-2181
Contact: Officer Curt Fulton
From Here | To Here
19 Tucker Drive
Hours: By appointment only
Phone: 845-485-3680
Contact: Sgt Todd Jicha
From Here | To Here
City of Poughkeepsie Police Department
505 Main St
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Hours: Tues-Sat, 9AM-5PM. Appointment REQUIRED.
Phone: 845-853-7422, X4412
Contact: William Badner
From Here | To Here
PA State Police
14 Collan Park
Honesdale, PA 18431
Hours: 2nd Mon. , 11-2pm. By appointment ONLY
Phone: 570-251-7207
From Here | To Here
150 N Hamilton St
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Hours: By appointment only
Phone: 845-486-3800
Contact: Deputy K. Holder
From Here | To Here
Hours: By appointment only
Phone: 845-658-3048
258 Violet Ave
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Hours: 8AM-8PM daily; by appointment ONLY.
Phone: 845-452-8770
Contact: Justin Bohlmann
Delaware Opportunities
35430 RT-10
Hamden, NY 13782
Hours: 4th Wednesday of each month; 9AM-3PM. Appointment REQUIRED.
Phone: 607-746-1600
Contact: Virginia Austin
Hours: By appointment only
Phone: 845-486-6304

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NEW YORK STATE (November 3, 2015) – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced the beginning of a new, statewide cooperative effort to crack down on illegal credit/debit card skimmers at gas pumps across New York, seeking to end criminals’ ability to empty the bank accounts of their victims. With card data theft incidents on the rise across the country, the State Department of Agriculture and Markets’ Weights and Measures Bureau is conducting New York’s first-ever training and sweep of gas station dispensers across the state to proactively protect consumers and gas station owners. Agriculture and Markets staffers will train county weights and measures officials to spot skimming devices in their communities.

“Credit card fraud is a nightmare that could have a long-lasting impact on a victim’s finances and credit rating,” said Governor Cuomo. “With this aggressive new action, we’re aiming to crackdown on this fraud before it starts by capturing these scammers in the act, and protecting the financial future of thousands of New Yorkers.”

Skimmers are devices attached to ATMs or credit card processing devices to steal the credit card and PIN numbers of customers. ATMs and open point-of-sale terminals, such as gas pumps, are targets for criminals, ranging from local thieves to international crime syndicates. The credit scoring company FICO estimates about 30 percent of all credit card fraud happens at point-of-sale locations such as gas pumps. Government and private research sources indicate that the cost to consumers of point-of-sale card fraud is between $3 billion and $6 billion a year. This spring, a mass inspection of more than 7,500 gas stations in Florida found 103 credit card skimmers in use.

The Weights and Measures Bureau developed a training module, which it used to educate its own supervisors and inspectors along with county-level weights and measures staff in how to identify the skimming devices. Those inspectors spot-checked approximately 500 gas dispensers in the last several weeks across the state. A local weights and measures inspector spotted a skimmer in a gas dispenser in Niagara Falls, while an Agriculture and Markets weights and measures specialist found one in a dispenser in Rochester. A subsequent investigation by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department and the Rochester Police Department turned up four more skimmers at gas stations in Rochester, Scottsville, Wheatland, and Fairport. There are approximately 42,000 gas dispensers in New York State.

“Preventing gas pump fraud is not part of the mandate for our Weights and Measures Bureau, but our department’s leaders felt they had the expertise to help protect New Yorkers from this growing scam. I believe we will be able to work together with county bureaus to help prevent and deter some of this fraudulent activity,” said State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball.

Staff members are trained to look for various types of skimming devices:

· Pig-tailed skimmers installed at the card reader inside the dispenser, the most common type of skimming device;
· False keypads or card readers installed on the outside of the dispenser;
· Bluetooth enabled skimmers that transmit stolen information over short distances.

If a device is identified, Weights and Measures staff members will alert the gas station owner and local police.

“These credit card skimmers cause immense problems for people. This is a natural addition to our skill set and we are looking forward to working together with the counties to help pull the plug on criminals who take advantage of innocent people,” said Mike Sikula, Director of the Weights and Measures Bureau, who helped develop the training program.

Experts offer several ways in which people can spot skimmers and help keep themselves from becoming victims of fraud. Check the gas pump or ATM carefully for signs of a skimmer, such as:

· A keypad that’s raised above the surface of the device;
· A card scanner that seems loose, which is a sign of a skimmer that’s snapped on top of the actual card scanner;
· A tiny camera attached to the top or sides of the device, sometimes with temporary lighting, to capture credit card numbers and PIN entries on video.

Other ways consumers can protect themselves when using their debit or credit cards include:

· Use a credit card for purchases whenever possible because of its superior fraud protection;
· If using a debit card, use it as a credit card if possible so a PIN number does not have to be used;
· When inputting a PIN number, cover the keypad with your free hand.

If a consumer suspects a device on a gas pump, they should report it to the police. Consumers should check their bank accounts regularly for signs of fraud and report compromises immediately to police and their credit card provider.

The Department of Agriculture and Markets Bureau of Weights and Measures works to assure measurement accuracy for a fair and equitable commercial marketplace. State and local weights and measures officials annually inspect thousands of scales, gas pumps, and other types of devices as well as thousands of different packaged commodities. The weights and measures programs are a critical part of New York State’s infrastructure, protecting every consumer and every business. In addition to the State Bureau of Weights and Measures, which has jurisdiction over the entire State, there are 64 county and city weights and measures departments or offices providing services to their communities.

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SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY (November 2, 2015) – Tuesday, November 3 is Election Day. Polling places throughout Sullivan County will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

In Sullivan County there is a State Supreme Court Judge race, as well as county-wide races for clerk, treasurer and coroner, and races in all nine legislative districts. There are also towns races and a race in the Village of Woodridge.

There are ballot propositions in the Towns of Fallsburg, Mamakating and Neversink. Propositions are located on the back of your ballot. Be sure to turn your ballot over after selecting your candidates.

If you’re not sure where your polling place is, check here:https://voterlookup.elections.state.ny.us/votersearch.aspx

For additional information, call the Sullivan County Board of Elections at 845-807-0400. The Sullivan County Board of Elections is located at the Sullivan County Government Center in Monticello.

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