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Archive for August, 2010

WMHT-TV will feature the City of Amsterdam as part of a series of OUR TOWN videos documenting the people, places, and happenings of municipalities across the Capital Region as seen through the eyes and camera lenses of the people who live here. Residents will use their video cameras to show the heritage, personalities and unique characteristics that make their hometown “special”.

This is a tremendous opportunity for us to portray the personalities, businesses, activities and spirit of our City as captured by individuals that intimately know and love our families, teams, charitable works, and neighborhoods. These stories will collectively convey the heart and soul of Amsterdam and give the surrounding region a sense of what it truly means to live here.

My mind goes to the “Light Up the Sky” project as told by involved volunteers and organizers; the experience of a host family to a Mohawk’s Baseball player or exchange student; artists from Libery painting a mural in a City Park; the dedicated individuals that make lunch every week at the Inman Center and folks that attend; the AHS band as seen through the eyes of a student; musicians at Crossroads Church and the inpact of their joy and faith on the congregation; FMCC classes at the Mall or computer classes at Centro Civico and the experiences of their students; the commitment of staff at RCIL to clients with disabilities; Chamber mixers and the close friendships that have been formed; the extraordinary care given by healthcare providers at St. Mary’s and Wilkenson’s; planting and maintaining community gardens… the personal stories are endlessly warm and telling about our community.

The goal of this project is to create an outreach program that is intergenerational and engaging in innovative ways. The collection of OUR TOWN material will serve as the basis for a variety of related educational resources, including school curricular materials to ensure awareness and understanding of local history and civic engagement.

The OUR TOWN series will include an online community-sharing initiative that will encourage people to contribute pictures, videos and stories, as well as online forums for interactive discussion. An online OUR TOWN sampler may be viewed by clicking here.

The station will provide a training session and videotape for each volunteer videographer. Taping will occur over the span of a designated week in the coming months and then be edited into a final version by WMHT-TV. The resulting product will be shown at a screening event in the City later this fall and broadcast to the viewers in the tri-state area.

We will be announcing the date of a community forum to discuss this project with interested videographers in the very near future. We expect that the screening will be in November.

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August 3, 2010: Sponsored by our Amsterdam Neighborhood Association groups and the Amsterdam APD, National Night Out at Veteran’s Field was a great success despite the rain. We hope residents will continue to support the efforts of our friends and neighbors to make Amsterdam cleaner, safer and united. If you’d like to become involved in the neighborhood watch and/or beautification activities in your part of the City, please call my office at 841-4311 and we will put you in touch with the representative in your area.

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Just before the East End Clean Up, I walked the side streets off of East Main delivering flyers and spreading the word. I was struck by how charming these small stretches of roadway are. Though modest, most homes are obviously loved and cared for with great pride. I think if more people were to actually walk these areas, they’d find that yes, there are problem properties, but there is a predominance of residences that the neighbors are proud to call home. The following photos are of Kline Street, which had a bit of bad press a few months back. The residents I spoke with were anxious to let the rest of us know that they are happy to live where they do and several came out the following day to help with our clean up of the main drag.

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poem

Morning Song

Here, I place
a blue glazed cup
where the wood
is slightly whitened.
Here, I lay down
two bright spoons,
our breakfast saucers, napkins
white and smooth as milk.

I am stirring at the sink,
I am stirring
the amount of dew
you can gather in two hands,
folding it into the fragile
quiet of the house.
Before the eggs,
before the coffee
heaving like a warm cat,
I step out to the feeder-
one foot, then the other,
alive on wet blades.
Air lifts my gown ˆ I might fly ˆ

This thistle seed I pour
is for the tiny birds.
This ritual,
for all things frail
and imperiled.
Wings surround me, frothing
the air. I am struck
by what becomes holy.

A woman
who lost her teenage child
to an illness without mercy,
said that at the end, her daughter
sat up in her hospital bed
and asked:
What should I do?
What should I do?

Into a white enamel bath
I lower four brown eggs.
You fill the door frame,
warm and rumpled, kiss
the crown of my head.
I know how the topmost leaves
of dusty trees
feel at the advent
of the monsoon rains.

I carry the woman with the lost child
in my pocket, where she murmurs
her love song without end:
Just this, each day:
Bear yourself up on small wings
to receive what is given.
Feed one another
with such tenderness,
it could almost be an answer.

“Morning Song” by Marcia F. Brown, from What on Earth. © Moon Pie Press, 2010

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