Volume 4 Issue 11

Bardavon 1869 Opera House: Bardavon Gala 2013, with Liza Minelli. 8 p.m. $225 (premier performance seating, post-show party at Bull & Buddha, tax-deductible contribution); $175 (preferred performance seating, tax-deductible contribution); $125 (performance only). 35 Market Street, Poughkeepsie. (845) 473-2072.
Joan Tower led Bard College Conservatory of Music students in a program of contemporary music on Sunday afternoon that delighted the audience and encouraged the students to continue to support living composers. Tower herself is one of America’s foremost composers, so no better advocate could be found. She balanced the program with Bartók and Ligeti, two strong composers with bravura style, with Arvo Pärt, whose serial style is called tintinnabulist, and Meredith Monk, who represent the minimalist style. John Adams’s American Berserk is a lively jazz-filled piano piece; it was played by Ronald Joseph.
Just two years ago, lacrosse was just a club sport at Millbrook High School. Last year, after several seniors petitioned to give credibility to the team, they improbably made it to the sectional finals in their first year as a varsity team. This year, the team faces the challenge of learning the basics all over again after losing 17 seniors from the program.  Rob Gehlhoff, the head coach of Millbrook’s varsity lacrosse team, is reluctant to call this year a rebuilding year, but he admits he knew it was going to be tough losing all of the seniors. Gehlhoff’s strategy this year is to “keep it simple.” He spends a lot of time talking about the basics and teaching the new players the terminology. He stresses that it’s important to keep the players talking on the field during practice to promote learning. 
Millbrook may not know their names yet, but odds are the town will be hearing for many years to come about a basketball team of fifth- and sixth-grade girls that went undefeated in this season’s Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) league, becoming the first team from Millbrook to make it to the final four in St. Martin’s tournament.  What makes this team so special is that they had underdog status all year. St. Joseph’s sponsors the team, and because of the small size of the parish, the team is considered a part of the “B league.” Millbrook, as a small town in the CYO, is traditionally considered “B league.” In the St. Martin’s tournament, the girls beat three “A league” teams, surprising everyone by making it to the final four. 
  The reclusive and elusive Pope of Science Fiction was suddenly teleported to Bard College last Monday. Students bored with spoon-fed realism, heart-baring romanticism, and numerous unmentionable isms appeared eager to drink the ersatz intellectual cocktail offered by James Morrow. The ingredients of his heady brew remain a trade secret locked in a bank vault at State College, Pennsylvania, but some of the well-known toxic elements include massive dosages of Kurt Vonnegut, Joseph Conrad, Emmanuel Kant, Mark Twain, and the Bible, which has been known to be fatal to its day-dreaming addicts, especially those who have trouble understanding what a literary metaphor is and how it operates on the ganglia.  
Last week our county legislator, Mike Kelsey, cited Frédéric Bastiat as an exemplary theorist supporting the rights of property ownership.  Because of the doctrines of that writer, Kelsey is careful whenever county government considers a law that might diminish those rights.  If you are a strong supporter of property rights, as many conservatives are, you will be encouraged that a legislator has basic property conserving instincts.
  We learned last week that our colleague Chris Wood is closing the Pawling Press after a run of over two years. The issue that comes out on Friday will be its last. We are indeed sorry to see another weekly perish on the wheels of business realities.  It takes more money to run a paper than ad revenue and sales generate, especially in a faltering economy where local businesses are struggling. 
“We need empathy, cooperation, a sense of fairness; we need to remove the power of private wealth over our political system.” Frances Moore Lappé  
The vision of the Harlem Valley Rail Trail when first conceived in 1986 was that it run up the Harlem Valley all the way to Chatham.  The master plans for the towns of Hillsdale and Copake show the rail trail running from the Taconic State Park in Copake Falls up to Hillsdale, along the old rail bed, across farm fields and through the woods bordering the gorgeous Audubon land.  The views of the Berkshires along this segment of the trail will be breathtaking.  Now it looks like that vision is finally coming to fruition.
Inquiry into the origin of four bluebird houses erected last year in open fields along Ludlow Woods Road in Stanfordville, uncovered a whole segment of our local population that is passionate about bluebirds. Bluebirds have a talismanic quality; they have brought and do bring happiness whether you are a mere passerby glimpsing a flash of radiant blue or a bluebird trail monitor diligently watching and recording the bluebird boxes that are all around Dutchess County.
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