Archive for September, 2009

The following are photos of the West End, Union & Orange Streets, St. Stans and Arnold Avenue neighborhood activities on the night of September 24th. I got busy talking to friends on the South Side and forgot to snap some shots!

West End Celebration

West End Celebration








Union & Orange Streets

Union & Orange Streets




St. Stans

St. Stans






Arnold Av. friends at McDonalds

Arnold Av. friends at McDonalds




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Mr. Rogers

On Thursday, September 24th, volunteer coordinators will host various “Meet Your Neighbor” events around the City. Amsterdam’s greatest asset is its close-knit community. Our goal is to protect and enhance this asset. We wish to encourage you to take this opportunity to network, to share ideas, and work on neighborhood self-improvement projects.

Grassroots activities are planned for the following sites:

La Cucina from 6 to 8:30 p.m.
Hosted by Rebecca Persico and Karl Baia. Pizza, pastries and appetizers.

West End Memorial starting at 6 p.m.
Hosted by Debbie Baranello and Karin Hetrick.
Cake, candy, a caricature artist, face painter, T-shirts made with the new city logo, balloons, and raffles of donated goods from various West End businesses. Money raised will go toward planting tulips in the neighborhood.

Corner of Union and Orange Streets from 6 to 8 p.m.
Hosted by Kevin Phelps. Music and APD canine demonstration.

McDonald’s on Market Street from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Hosted by Paul Malmborg. Free soda and coffee.

St. Stanislaus Church parking lot from 6 to 8 p.m.
Hosted by Phil Lyford and Diane Hatzenbuhler. There will be refreshments served.

“At the center of the universe is a
loving heart that continues to beat
and that wants the best for every person.

Anything we can do to help foster
the intellect and spirit and emotional growth
of our fellow human beings, that is our job.

Those of us who have this particular vision
must continue against all odds.

Life is for service.”

– mister rogers neighborhood – fred rogers – 1928-2003

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The City of Amsterdam will be taking advantage of a great marketing opportunity. We will be upgrading our website with six (6), one-minute videos showcasing various aspects of our community (welcome, quality of life, education, health care & senior services, real estate, and business & industry). This is the result of our membership in the National Conference of Mayors and is free to our municipality.

You can check out the service at www.mayors.tv.

Click on the map of NYS. Next, choose a City on the left, say Binghamton or Glens Falls, to see what other communities have done. It is an exciting initiative that will maximize our potential on the web.

The spots will be scripted this Fall with a shooting schedule of next Spring.

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There are two really important links down there to the right in my blogroll.

The first is my whole expanse I cannot see.

Click on it, read it thoroughly, read about the author, and then ponder on your own life, your surroundings, your gifts and your trials. Then ask yourself,

“What am I complaining about?”

Next, click on Duane Keiser‘s link. Then ask yourself,

“What do I do on a daily basis to utilize the talents I’ve been given?”

There is enormous beauty in art, and art is everywhere if you look to see.

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In The Night Orchard

I know, because Paul has told me
a hundred times, that the deer
gliding tonight through tangleweed
and trashwood, then bounding across
Mount Atlas Road, are after his pears.

And who could blame them?
On the threshold of autumn, the Asian
imports, more amazing than any Seckle
or indigenous apple, start to ripen.
Then a passing crow will peck one open.

That’s when the whitetails who bed
and gather beyond Matson’s pasture
will catch the scent and begin to stir.
It’s a dry time, and they go slowly mad
for sweetness. No fence can stop them.

The farmers like Paul will admit
it starts in hunger, but how suddenly
need goes to frenzy and sheer plunder.
When the blush-gold windfalls are gone
and the low boughs are stripped

of anything resembling bounty, bucks
will rise on their hind legs and clamber
up the trunks. Last week Cecil Emore
found one strangled in a fork,
his twisted antlers tangled as if

some hunter had hung him there
to cure. We all remember what it’s like,
this driven season, this delirium
for something not yet given a name,
but the world turns us practical, tames

us to yearn for milder pleasures.
For Augustine, it was actual pears
that brought him out of the shadows
and over a wall, for Eve, the secret
inside what we now say was an apple.

Others have given up safety for less,
and I wonder, catching an eight-point
buck outlined on the ridge amid spruce,
if it’s this moonstruck nature that renders
the ruminants beautiful, or if we stalk

them out of envy, not for the grace
of their gliding, but for the unadorned
instinct that draws them after dark
into trespass and the need to ruin
the sweetest thing they’ve ever known.

– R. T. Smith, from Brightwood. © Louisiana State University Press, 2004.

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To mark the sad anniversary of September 11, 2001.

Eight years ago today, unspeakable evil found its way to the heart of our land.

Eight years ago, we were shaken by a communal loss so enormous that even now we speak of it with difficulty in hushed tones mingled with tears.

Eight years ago, we lost a stunning 2,993 lives to senseless hatred on a day that was so startlingly clear and beautiful that it defied all reason. On that day, we rose, we bathed, we ate breakfast, we packed up the kids for school, we kissed one another goodbye, we noted the cool fall air, we drove absentmindedly to work or rushed to catch up with what was demanded of us. We were greeted by a sky so blue our hearts could have broken. Little did we know that they soon would.

We all remember where we were when the planes hit, the horrific images so unreal that I personally only remember them in black and white, of fire and smoke, the plumes of deadly ash, people scattering in panic frantically trying to call loved ones on their cell phones, crying… the impossibility of the buildings falling and the reality of the implosion and crashes. We remember survivors stumbling from the blinding haze as though cast in Plaster of Paris, covered in soot and a smoldering hole in the ground marking the end of the beauty of flight.


We remember the immediate response of the fire departments and policemen. We remember their strength and resolve in unprecedented confusion, and we remember the horror of our sudden loss of these first responders and the people they so valiantly tried to save…

We remember the aftermath of this murderous act as well… the twisted metal girders, the exhausted rescuers, the recordings of last phone calls to family, the photos, the flowers, and the handwritten notes fading on metal fences – finally blowing away with the onset of winter’s chill. If you have ever longed for someone, imagine the overwhelming emptiness that these acts created.

Again and again, as I have said so many times before, tragic loss at the hands of terrorists or in war is about the stabbing loss of families; fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents, children and the extended family we so warmly invite into our lives, our friends. The enormity of the loss of this one day rippled across our county with the severity of an unbridled tidal wave and touched each one of us.

Not one of us could escape this harm. Not one of us was unscathed, because not only had we lost so many that we had loved, we had lost our sense of security and we had lost our innocence.

It was the saddest of days.

But as great as our loss has been, so have we been blessed, because this much loss bears compassion, strength, generosity and healing. We have been blessed with a renewed nationalism and appreciation for the great gifts we were born into as American Citizens. We proudly stand up for the innocent and the weak and we stand against injustice.

We are closer for our loss and we love more deeply.

In closing, I now ask that you share this time with me in silently honoring our fallen heroes and friends, and share in our appreciation for our own brave men and women, our soldiers, our police force and fire department, for the protection they so freely offer us in times of crisis.

If you remember, do so knowingly.
If you pray, do so now.
If you love, love now.

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