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Spring Issue 2019

Van Wyck Gazette

Fishkill • Beacon • Wappingers Falls • Poughkeepsie • Newburgh • New Paltz • Rhinebeck • Woodstock


Van Wyck Gazette EDITOR IN CHIEF / CREATIVE DIRECTOR Joseph Caplan DESIGN / MEDIA Margot Stiegeler CONTRIBUTORS Jason Gehlert, Adrea Gibbs, Mike Jurkovic Thor A. Larsen, Ami Madeleine David McGorry, Rik Mercaldi, Isabel Minunni, Victoria Oppenheim PUBLISHER Caplan Media Group, Inc., Fishkill, NY SUBSCRIPTIONS To receive Van Wyck Gazette by mail visit our website and subscribe www.vanwyckgazette.com ADVERTISING If you would like to advertise with Van Wyck Gazette email vanwyckgazette@gmail.com

Table of Contents

5 Zachary Zaitzeff: The Artist to Watch Victoria Oppenheim

8 The Electic Artistry of Gary Lucas Rik Mercaldi

11 Organic Love

Jason Gehlert

Mike Jurkovic

16 In the Limelight: Ciarra Fragale

Ami Madeleine

18 Love and the Snowblower

Adrea Gibbs

20 Spring is the Season for Fresh Produce

Isabel Minunni

22 Get it Down on Paper

David McGorry

23 NORSK TITANIUM

Thor A. Larsen

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Our Spring Issue sports a terrific cover by local artist Zachary Zaitzeff, plus our exclusive interview by Victoria Oppenhiem. I envision the “chair” as a very inviting chance to simply sit down to think, or enjoy the world. Or maybe take a breath and relax. Surely, Mr. Zaitzeff has taken art to a new level and shared several images of his provocative Flag Series. Local musician Rik Mercaldi shares his exclusive interview with guitar player Gary Lucas, on the bill to appear at Quinn’s in Beacon on Sunday, May 10, 2019. Program Coordinator of the Down Syndrome Association of the Hudson Valley, Jason Gelhert, reflects on the adoption of his daughter and intrinsic rewards in his quest to help families. Much to learn in his piece titled Organic Love. Calling All Poets and Disc jockey with The Jazz Sanctuary in Troy, Mike Jurkovic explores the “behind the scenes” of daily operations at the Rosendale Theater in our exclusive interview. This highly researched piece is a great introduction to the dedication of those who serve to restore and nurture a local theater in the Hudson Valley. Local musician and promoter Ami Madeleine present our exclusive “In the Limelight” column with her interview of singer/songwriter Ciarra Fragale. Always a satirist, Adrea Gibbs humors our sense of comic relief with her insightful expose about winter in “Love and the Snowblower.” Just a kick to our long snowy winter. Business writer David McGorry shares his tips about how to score points in business and everyday life. His smart advice is featured in “Get it Down on Paper and you Won’t Forget.” Plus our review of one corporate investment in Plattsburg with research ties to New York Polytech in Albany. Thor Larsen explores the high technology underway in upstate by Norsk Titanium and implications in our daily life. Local Chef Isabel Minunni presents a great recipe for everyone to enjoy. This issue highlights our group of contributing writers who share art, music and entertainment about the Hudson Valley. If you appreciate Van Wyck Gazette please visit our Facebook page and click on ‘like’ or visit our digital version on www.vanwyckgazette.com.

Joseph Caplan

12 A Master Degree in the Greater Good

FROM THE PUBLISHER

On the Cover: “CHAIR”

Oil painting by Zachary Zaitzeff. (Read more about the artist on page 5) Zaitzeff is an abstract painter and sculptor. He finds his inspiration from the outdoors as well as objects seen everyday. He uses bold colors as well as black and white. Zaitzeff, in addition to conventional materials uses mixed media; dirt, scrap metal, tree stumps, shotgun pellets and enamel. Many of his works employ the use of building up the canvas with layers of paint giving his work a three dimensional quality. Moving from New York City to Dutchess County, New York in 2014 has impacted his work. It’s larger and more figurative. Zaitzeff’s paintings are in private collections and at Pace University in their new downtown residence hall. Zaitzeff did a solo show “Adventure Art” at the Broom Street Gallery in Soho New York in 2013, Animals and Abstracts (2017) and Hudson River Landscapes (2018). In the summer of 2019, he has a solo exhibition in Ceret France at the City Gallery. Many of the works in the show were inspired by his 2011 successful summit of Mt Everest. Van W yck Gazette - Spring 2019 Issue


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P hotos provi ded by Zachary Zai tzef f


Zachary Zaitzeff: The Artist To Watch Victoria Oppenheim If you haven’t heard about Zachary Zaitzeff yet, you will definitely be hearing a lot more about him from here on out. A resident of Verbank, New York, the self-taught artist has amassed quite a fan following and for good reason. I recently sat down with Zachary to chat about art, inspirations, techniques and creating visual masterpieces. Victoria Oppenheim - I hear congratulations are in order, two of your pieces were recently accepted into The Whitney Museum’s collection. That’s pretty significant to say the least. It’s every artist’s dream. What inspired you to create this series? What’s the story behind your “aha” moment?” Zachary Zaitzeff - Yes, this fall I did an entire series of paintings of American flags hung outside the entranceways to people’s homes. It’s an image that I frequently see where I live, actually throughout the country. I was riding my bike one day on a rural road and I passed a trailer park. Most of the homes had American flags hanging outside the front door. I then passed some well-manicured estates, same thing. That got me thinking, the American flag is symbolic of being welcomed, a freeing invitation waving in the air. And then right behind it is a door. Is that door open or locked? I think the images hold a lot of symbolism. A lot of the paintings that I did were just loosely rendered while the others were more detailed. I had sent two of the paintings, quite large ones in fact (5ft x 4ft), to two curators of The Whitney Museum and they took them for the museum’s collection. Victoria - Most artists earn their reputation for the medium that they are associated with. It’s been said that you are an abstract painter. But you disagree? Zachary - Yes. Most of my work is figurative but has abstract elements. I have done completely abstract work but I seldom do it. Victoria - We are in the middle of some heated times in this country. You’re not a political painter; any specific reason why you stray from controversy? Zachary - The wonderful thing about art is that it is up to the viewer to interpret what the work means to them. And the viewer is never wrong. Take the Flag series, for example, someone may see it as a political piece and that’s fine. For me, the series is human. It is about resilience. Victoria - You create your own canvases and frames from scratch, often with unique materials. Is there a specific reason why you built the frames to be the way they are? Or how you have mounted things for any specific reason? Zachary - For as long as I can remember I have been building stretchers and 1655 Albany Post Road, RT 9 Wappingers Falls, NY 12590

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stretching canvases. I’ve always done them by myself and it has been a big part of my artistic process. I think a lot about what I’m going to paint while I am building the stretcher. With the smaller Flag paintings I took two pieces of glass, sandwiched the canvas in the glass and used a stained glass technique to solder all of the edges around it. The appearance makes it so the flag is actually floating in midair. How the canvas is presented, whether it’s stretched or pressed in glass, is very important to me.

time. The materials (dirt) and vantage point you painted from, what inspired that? Zachary - Just the surroundings. The light there is incredible. It finally gets dark around 10:30pm. Ceret, the town we stayed in, has tremendous history with painters. Picasso and Matisse both spent time there.

Victoria - Are there any other materials or inspirations that would surprise us? And do you foresee yourself wanting to paint Victoria - You’re really on a continuous successful wave in other settings with any other unique materials? upwards. Your work was just featured in The New York Times in Zachary - I’ve been working on some things I don’t want to a house that they were doing a profile and photoshoot on. Factually talk about yet because I am still executing them, but I have been speaking, your piece is the only art in the entire house. It’s a experimenting with plaster on canvas. I am always looking for magnificent home and your painting really anchors that room. new places to paint in. I am not finished with my Flag series yet. Zachary - The buyers purposefully built the house with mostly I see that keeping me busy for sometime. glass for the outdoors to serve as the art. However, this particular Victoria - So what’s next for you? I mean, what can top all piece that they commissioned did not take away from the beautiful that’s been happening with your career? What’s your next move? landscapes, but rather tied it in. Zachary - For me it’s all about time in the studio. I constantly Victoria -You told me that you actually love painting in the battle with getting time to paint. It can be a grind like anything winter and your studio is intentionally not heated. Can you elaborate else. When my alarm goes off at 4 am and it’s dark and 18 degrees on why this makes it ideal for you? outside and I put my down jacket on and head to the barn it’s a Zachary - I do like to paint in cold weather. I don’t know why. grind. Anything worth something in life is hard work. It may be from my mountain climbing days. I summited Mt. Everest in 2011. It was negative 50 degrees up there. My mind seems to Zachary Zaitzeff lives in Verbank, New York with his wife and two come alive with ideas in cold weather. I get very motivated to daughters. paint and it just so happens that my studio is a old barn which is For more information please visit: impossible to insulate and heat. Zacharyzaitzeff.com Victoria - You were in France last summer for quite some Zachary Zaitzeff Art (@zachzaitzeff ) on Instagram Page 6

Van W yck Gazette - Spring 2019 Issue


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The Eclectic Artistry of Gary Lucas Rik Mercaldi

Photo: Courtesy of Andrea Bernardi Rik Mercaldi - Duane Eddy was an early influence, were there any other guitarists in particular that inspired you in finding your own voice? Gary Lucas - Oh yes, indeed. I loved Keith Richards and Brian Jones the best—the Beatles were fantastic but the Stones were my faves — but the guy I gravitated to the most eventually was Jeff Beck in the Yardbirds. His soloing was just off the wall and always gave me chills. In fact, that whole English rave school of Clapton, Beck, and Page had a big impact on me, as did Peter Green (Peter is the MAN), Danny Kiran and Jeremy Spencer of the original Fleetwood Mac and later on the psychedelic UK guitarists Syd Barrett and David O’List (The Nice). Simultaneously I was digging Danny Kalb in the Blues Project, Jorma in the Airplane, Jerry Miller in Moby Grape, Mike Bloomfield in Paul Butterfield, Frank Zappa and Elliot Ingber in the Mothers—so many great guitarists back in the day! And of course, the country blues guys were a big inspiration, especially Skip James, Leadbelly, Rev. Gary Davis, and Blind Blake. Later on, folk and what became known as world music with guitarists like Robin Williamson and Mike Heron of the Incredible String Band, Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, John Fahey, and Davy Graham came into the mix. And in fact, Bob Dylan should also get major props here — an amazingly agile and inventive guitarist often overlooked in these lists in favor of his voice and his songwriting. I also really loved a guy named Sandy Bull who is not so well known today but was doing raga improv on 6 and 12 string guitars that were pretty revolutionary for the time.

I had been an admirer of the earlier music of Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band for quite some time when I came across Doc at the Radar Station, an album that I’d heard was a late period gem in his catalog. As the fourth track on side two began, I was instantly transfixed. The contrapuntal melodies crashing into, and caressing each other on “Flavor Bud Living” were melodically intoxicating, strangely angular, and played with the ferocious, confident intensity of a tight rope walker. Diving through the notes on the album sleeve with archeological fervor, I discovered that the man who was responsible for this brilliant display of prowess only played guitar on that one track. This was my introduction to the six-string wizardry of Gary Lucas. I’ve been an admirer ever since and been a witness to his virtuosity on numerous occasions, including a recent sold-out performance of his riveting soundtrack to the 1931 Spanish version of Dracula performed live at Metrograph in New York City. In addition to his own prolific solo work, the number of notable artists that he’s worked or collaborated with could easily provide the framework for its own article. For an extensively detailed examination of the life, work, and accomplishments of the man Rolling Stone Magazine called “one RM - Who inspired you to take up slide guitar? of the best and most original guitarists in America”, I highly GL - I think the first track I noticed where this strange recommend visiting his website at www.garylucas.com phenomenon was going on was Brian Jones’ slide work on “Little I recently had the privilege of having Gary answer a few Red Rooster”— how was he doing that? Eventually, though it questions for me about his influences, selected projects and plans was through getting into Beefheart’s music, some of which was for the future. Page 8

Van W yck Gazette - Spring 2019 Issue


heavily influenced by country and electric blues guys like Son House and Muddy Waters, who could really play slide guitar in open tunings. I saw Ry Cooder open for Beefheart at his first NYC gig in 1971 at a club called Ungano’s, and Ry was on the first Beefheart album, he was a big inspiration live for me playing solo and also on his early albums. RM - Obviously, Captain Beefheart made a huge impact when you were young, any other bands or musicians that you’d like to mention? GL - I loved an English band called Family, they were my favorites for a long time in the late 60’s. Also, many psychedelic English groups. I was quite the Anglophile—Traffic, Cream, Blossom Toes, Jeff Beck Group, you name it. Many obscure US bands also such as Autosalvage who did one amazing album for RCA, and the Asylum Choir, an early Leon Russell production with Marc Benno. Then, of course, all the jazz musicians I loved, especially Charles Mingus, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Archie Shepp — the classics basically, and then on into folks like John McLaughlin et al. And that extends into classical and world music territory, as Nonesuch at the time was a treasure trove of budget recordings of immaculate classical, electronic, avant-garde and world music recordings. All fed into my teenage brain. RM - Tell me about the vintage Gibson J-45 acoustic and Fender Stratocaster electric that you always seem to use. GL - The Gibson J-45 was sold to me in 1989 by the late John Campbell, an Elektra solo recording artist who worked part-time at Matt Umanov, now since closed. I always loved Gibson acoustics in the 60’s for playing the blues. He handed me this particular guitar and said “You can really play ‘Greenwich Village blues’ on this and I was hooked and walked out of there with it for a thousand bucks, which was a steal considering it was manufactured in 1946. A couple of years ago Matt Umanov further backdated it to 1942, as research revealed that Gibson stopped making the banner headstock emblazoned with the words “Only

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Photo: Courtesy of Orli GL - This is the 30th anniversary year of my band Gods and it for a 12 string acoustic as I did not know how to get a good tone out of the Strat at that point. The ’66 Strat I have now sounds Monsters but it’s hard to say. I am hoping to get a Best of Gary just as amazing though. I love both my Gibson and my Strat and Lucas double album out this year so maybe some unreleased Gods and Monsters tracks will be on that plus a few concerts to they have become extensions of my nervous system. RM - Working on “Other World” with Peter Hammill and being commemorate this event. I am doing a show with Nona Hendryx a fan of his work with Van Der Graf Generator, must have been in April of our World of Captain Beefheart project at the Cutting a pretty cool experience. How did that collaboration come about? Room in NYC with the same guys on the record the Knitting Factory released last year. There is also talk of a CD release of GL - I always loved Peter’s work and saw him perform on a concert I did with the 65 piece Metropole Orchestra, the great my very first trip to England when I was playing lead guitar in the Dutch fusion orchestra which was recorded live at the Paradiso European premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass”. I met him in Amsterdam a couple years ago, Nona is on it as well as some after his show at a club in Aylesbury and interviewed him and amazing Dutch vocalists like Jolene Grunberg. Also, a singer with generally hung out and befriended him. Years later I saw he was a well known popular gypsy punk band approached me about on Twitter and on impulse decided to reach out and suggest a doing an EP with him of 3 Beefheart songs so let’s see where collaboration — and voila! He was keen on the idea and we set that goes :-) up a recording session at his home in Bath. I brought a bunch of RM - Are there any upcoming projects that you’d like to instrumental music with me ripe for his melodies and lyrics and discuss? he brought some too. The rest is history. GL - Yes, I have finished an album for the Knitting Factory RM - Are there any musicians that you can think of that you’d label with a great Chinese vocalist and erhu virtuoso Feifei Yang really like to work with? and my longtime friend and collaborator the multi-instrumentalist GL - Off the top of my head, Van Morrison. Bob Dylan. Archie reeds player Jason Candler which is an extension of my “Edge Shepp. of Heaven” album of 30’s Chinese pop which came out in 2001. RM - The Dvorak arrangements you did for Gary Lucas Plays Only here we took fairly well-known, mainly 60’s Western singer/ Bohemian Classics were amazing. Were you always a fan of his songwriter classics by people like Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Fred work, and how did that project come about? Neil, Dave Van Ronk, and others and arranged and recorded GL - Yes, I always love Dvorak’s music. Probably because them in Mandarin in kind of a chamber-folk style, with my acoustic of my roots, which are Bohemian Czech-Jewish and also Polish- Guild 12 string guitar to the fore. We also have recorded a second Jewish. This project was initiated by then Czech UN Ambassador volume of the 30’s Chinese pop songs of Chow Hsuan and Bai Martin Palous, who knew that I had an album of 30’s Chinese Kwong, but the focus with the Knitting Factory label right now is pop songs out and suggested I do a similar thing with Czech on the Mandarin covers album (there’s even a version of “Grace” classical music. A great idea! I loved making that album and on there) -- so we will see how they intend to release it and where. performed the premiere at the Czech Embassy in DC, which is I am hoping it comes out all over the world! As plenty of nonwhere the recording on that album stems from, live. I arranged Mandarin speakers would dig this album, the songs are timeless all that music by ear, through close listening — I can read music in any language and it’s beautifully sung, arranged and recorded. but I find it more liberating to do these things by ear in open tunings, something you couldn’t derive from sheet music alone.

Gary Lucas will be returning to Quinn’s in Beacon, NY on Sunday, May 10th. I suggest arriving early and getting a seat up RM - Can we expect anything from Gods And Monsters, or close at the bar. I’ll be there already, most likely wearing a dark any other Beefheart related things in the future? suit jacket and a stingy brim fedora, and yes, I’d love a beer! Page 10

V an Wyck Gazette - Spring 2019 Issue


Organic Love Jason Gehlert One phone call from Boston changed our lives and introduced our family to a baby girl with Down syndrome. We were excited about the news of adopting a baby, yet we never thought this baby would bring such an impact to our family. Cara, as any child would, brought happiness, wisdom and even her own unique insight to our growing family. The preparation for her adoption, and adapting to Cara and her needs, would become a structured engagement of doctor visits, physical, occupational and speech therapy sessions, and adherence to a gluten-free diet. We also learned sign language to communicate with Cara and sought new ways to include her in social events as a young child. After some research we came across the Down Syndrome Association of the Hudson Valley. For over thirty years DSAHV, founded by a group of parents, has been clear in its mission. As a volunteer driven organization, the DSAHV was created for local families, in the surrounding counties, as a way to see our children and adults have fulfilling lives and strive to meet the individual needs of each family. Through tireless efforts the association provides updated information and support to families and others interested in learning about and understanding Down syndrome. DSAHV also increases community awareness through quarterly newsletters, social events, word of mouth, social media such as Facebook and their own website. They also enhance employment and educational opportunities for our children and young adults. The Board of Directors works closely with the community in constructing and preparing various programs and events designed to bring awareness and connectivity to our families and friends. One parent told me that our children are like everyone else. They just require a few extra steps to achieve their tasks. As a parent that made a world of difference. As a father, I only want what’s best for my child. To learn that Cara can achieve anything she wants with a few extra steps was a calming feeling. Eventually, as my wife and I became board members, we were able to make a difference in our community. One of the main strengths of DSAHV is awareness, the goal that powers our voice is the Buddy Walk. This event, with the guidance of the National Down Syndrome Society, brings awareness on both a national and local level. The Buddy Walk has redefined its logo, as of this year, to incorporate unity and awareness across all levels. As for DSAHV, our Buddy Walk is the annual event held locally in the

Hudson Valley each October. For the last few years its home has been Dutchess Stadium and it has drawn up to seven hundred people. The event has vendor tables, food and drink with various on-field activities for participants of all ages, such as kickball, face painting and sack races. It also includes registration for new and current members. After registration is completed, and the DSAHV President offers a short speech, a mile walk around the stadium commences. This united act brings forth awareness and solidarity within our community. The walk reveals new friends and families yet strengthens the support of the Association. During my time as a board member, and now the Program Coordinator, I’ve encountered many new parents who were unaware of the myriad of networks that existed. I learned that a local playgroup deserved my attention and networking between new and existing parents became critical to our survival. We shared our experiences and failures all with the same endgame in sight; to become better parents for our children. As we move forward, the Association will solidify its grant writing process and create scholarships for young adults who desire to pursue a college education. Also offering seminars on how to prepare our children’s education and livelihood, and most of all, increase our visibility on all social platforms in the effort to reach other families. And that one small word of encouragement from that family? It only takes a few extra steps to achieve their goals? After seven years of extra steps and with her own determination, Cara is socially active, plays sports, attends a dance class, learns new things everyday in school, is a Girl Scout, loves music and can rehearse her entire dance routine all by herself. Cara has a large family that offers her many different opportunities to grow and expand her horizons. The Down syndrome population may be born with an extra chromosome but that doesn’t limit their potential or success. Many have gone on to own their own business, attend college, get married, have jobs, live on their own, play sports and countless other meaningful or rewarding endeavors. Every March we celebrate Down syndrome, with March 21 being the official day for worldwide celebration. All of this information can be found either on our website, www.dsahv.org, or call 845-226-1630. Please check our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/DSAHV for updates on events and happenings in our community. In addition, our mailing address is PO BOX 161, Hopewell Junction, New York, 12533. Jason Gehlert is the Program Coordinator for the DSAHV, and the author of “All Children Need Is Love”, an article detailing his family’s journey after adopting a baby with Down syndrome. The article ran in New York Lifestyles Magazine and its online edition at www.newyorklifestyles.com.

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A Masters Degree in the Greater Good Mike Jurkovic The marquee on Main Street is the soul of Main Street. If that light goes out you lose something very important. - John Wackman, curator, Rosendale Theatre Music Fan Film Series If I may, a personal preamble and observation: In over thirtyfive years of volunteering with, working for, or participating in non-profit organizations (including Calling All Poets Series, which I cocaptain with my brother-in-arms Jim Eve) I have never come upon a more higher functioning group of individuals than those dedicated to making the Rosendale Theatre thrive as both a single-screen movie house and, more importantly, as you listen to many involved speak their passions, a hub of community togetherness. Banded together as the Rosendale Theatre Collective (RTC) in 2010, they truly are that rare cooperative of energies, talents, and shared vision, converging to sustain what has become, not only an Ulster County landmark but a regional one as well. And perhaps, as we delve briefly into the history of the Republic of Rosendale, it’s an enduring story of grassroots perseverance and community alliance that powers not only the RTC but the town’s beating heart. We came to it with whatever skills and passions we had. What we didn’t know we learned on the fly and we’re still learning. It’s a masters degree in the greater good. - Ann Citron, Executive Director, Rosendale Theatre Page 12

Cobbled together from lands once belonging to the neighboring villages of Marbletown, Hurley, and New Paltz, Rosendale was founded in 1844 by order of the New York State General Assembly. Historians tend to acknowledge the town’s formation had everything to do with the state’s desire to bring the area’s prospering cement industry under one political entity. V an W yck Gazette -S pri ng 2019 Issue


Cement dust was everywhere as were the 5,000 men who hauled the limestone and fired the kilns. From 1825 through the early 1900’s, over half of the estimated 35 trillion tons of natural cement mined in the United States came from this Ulster County area. Rosendale Cement, both as a brand name and product, serve as the cornerstone building material for the Erie Canal, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty’s grand pedestal, the NYS Thruway, the Croton Dam and the entire aqueduct system that delivers fresh water to New York City. The advent of the quicker drying Portland Cement caused Rosendale’s ruinous collapse, closing the last mine in 1970. Today, the Edison Coatings Co. mines Rosendale Cement for authentic historical renovations and restorations. I see our programming meetings - Nicole, Jerry, John, Ann, Georgette, Fatima, Pam, Joel, Laurie, Emily, and all - akin to the roundtable at the Algonquin Hotel: a group of creatives willing to discuss and collaborate on how to promote both the arts and the heritage. - Ed Schoelwer, board member. (The Algonquin Round Table met for lunch almost every day from June 1919 through 1929. Its participants included, among many wily creatives, playwright George S. Kaufman, Dorothy Parker, Tallulah Bankhead, Noel Coward, and Harold Ross, founder of The New Yorker.) Like they say in the movies - CUT! Poughkeepsie’s hard toiling tile setter, Anthony Cacchio Sr. and his wife Fanny had an idea. A dream, really. They heard about a building for rent in a tiny Ulster town across the river. And though its name may conjure whiskey scented scenes of miners cussing, smoking, and gambling away their dusty pay, The Rosendale Casino was pretty much everything but. It served as a firehouse, a basketball court, a vaudeville and burlesque hall, a place to play checkers, cards, and sit with the neighbors. It had (and still has) a plain tin ceiling that, to this very day, is still peeling.

lovingly and respectfully known as Uncle Tony, is just that: the theatre’s heart and soul. Uncle Tony opens the theatre daily around 5pm. Turns on the heat or the AC then makes his way to the projection room. He made the transition from 16mm, 35mm to digital but prefers film: old westerns and romance movies to be specific. A good old time comedy. He also lets you know he doesn’t like the language or all the sex in modern films. He’s checked the order of the reels, their leader tape and, for a good while, he booked the movies to be shown. When streaming, beaming, and 4G became reality, Justin Peone, Technical Director, stepped in to unlock the digital keys to the show. Whatever this venerated oasis needed — ticket taker, usher, popcorn seller, janitor, projectionist — he’s done. For seventy years and counting. All the parents would drop their kids off at the theatre on Saturday mornings. There’d be upwards of one hundred kids sometimes. Cartoons, matinees, candy. If you got out of hand, Tony, Sr. or Fanny made sure your parents knew about it. - Bill Brooks, Rosendale Town Historian, town barber, and lifelong resident. But the ephemera of time demands hard decisions and in 2009, after Tony Sr. passed in ’98, Fanny in ’04, and his brother Rocco’s sudden death in ’08, Uncle Tony admits to not watching the movies anymore. “I enjoy meeting the people, my people, and seeing a full house downstairs,” he’s memorialized in the past. (3) So nephew Michael and Uncle Tony came to the crossroads. They knew they couldn’t continue as things were and they didn’t want to sellout to developers. Word went out to the community at large.

But all that wasn’t about to deter Anthony and Fanny. With the mayor’s blessing, Anthony Sr., along with his sons Rocco and Tony Jr., converted the Rosendale Casino into a 300 seat, one room theatre. On the cold evening of February 18, 1949, Anthony Sr. was running late from a construction job. Fanny commanded the ticket booth (tickets were 25 and 50 cents) while the brothers showed the townsfolk to their seats and the Rosendale Theatre opened its doors. Robert Mitchum, Barbara Del Geddes, and Robert Preston rode into Rosendale in Blood On The Moon and found a place to water the horses, cool their thirst and settle down to usher in the first of generations of cinematic wonder to follow. It’s like falling into a dream together. - Mikhail Horowitz, writer and performance artist (1) Despite wars, recessions, rapid-fire technological advances, and the setbacks/triumphs that occur fatefully to families and communities alike, movies made magic. Even after the Rondout Flood of ’55 (“They lost everything,” nephew Michael, who returned from college to his grandparent’s dream in 1998, has said) the doors haven’t closed. It’s escapism. But you’re escaping with your neighbors together. You feel less alone and there’s a gift in that. - Carl Welden, sound tech and performance artist (2) Continuity counts in the movies. So if legends can still remain true to their stature given our time-shredding, meme centered, and too often mean-spirited pace of days, Tony Cacchio Jr., now Page 13


After 28 years in television I was looking to fulfill a lifelong dream of owning a Main Street theater. After 2008, I realized owning wasn’t going to happen. . . after moving to this area in 2010, I met Ed Schoelwer who told me about the Rosendale Theatre. Save a town’s theatre and you make many friends. - John Wackman I’ve been with the theatre long before the collective. I go in and for two hours someone else conducts my life, It’s truly wonderful. And I’m always amazed and grateful that, for such a small town, at how many have embraced the theatre and its programming. - Fatima Deen, programming and gala committee member, and enthusiastic popcorn girl. Like the miners before them, the RTC came from everywhere and every walk of life. Hudson Valley transplants via Long Island and NYC. Townies involved with the arts, business, and the daily bartering that makes a community breathe as one. Like the Family Cacchio before them, most knew next to nothing about running a theatre. Especially one in need of so much intensive labor and technological renovation. But they learned. It’s vital to keep a single screen theaters alive and active. [There are an estimated 2-3,000 single screen theaters still Page 14

Van W yck Gazette - Spring 2019 Issue


operating in the country.] I had been volunteering at the Cinema Arts Center on Long Island. When I came up here I thought the best way to meet people would be getting involved with the theatre. - Georgette Mattel, programming committee member, volunteer, and curator of World Cinema. In 2010, long before Bernie Sanders popularized little-guy, grassroots funding, the late chair of the now non-profit Rosendale Theatre Collective, Richard ’F-Stop’ Minissali and the collective managed to raise $110,000 from Rosendale residents and businesses in small, everyday amounts of $10-$100. In April of that year, the group won $50,000 from the Pepsi Refresh Project as the “Refreshing Idea for Arts and Culture.” (A theatre patron who was also a statistician figured how many votes they needed per day to win). They gathered over 100 faithful to the Rosendale Recreation Center to make their case. They hosted penny socials, fundraisers, dances, 40 pot lucks in 40 days. In May they secured their down payment. On August 19, 2010 the RTC became the trusted guardians of the Rosendale Theatre. In 2013 they underwent a massive renovation. Even though we present much more varied programming now like live theatre, music, special presentations. It’s very important to all of us that we continue what Uncle Tony and the Cacchio family started. At the heart it’s how we make things nice for all our patrons. - Ann Citron They study the NY Times film section. They watch what’s playing at the Film Forum. They pass links among themselves from YouTube, IMDb, and other film resources. They maintain good relations with distributors. Their board of advisors includes Melissa Leo, Adian Quinn, Mandy Patinkin, ‘Cousin’ Bruce Morrow, and Denny Dillon. Like Bill Brooks, Board President Brian Mathews spent many Saturday mornings as a kid at the theatre. They never show any movie for more than a week. Over the course of the last 8 years, over 500 people have signed on to volunteer with a steady 150 who work nightly shifts annually. They range from 10-86 years of age. They come from just across Main Street to as far away as Denver, NY, an hour north. I can’t tell you how much gratitude and love I have for our volunteers. These people are dedicated and don’t ever ask for anything in return. I never would have thought we could successfully keep our doors open every night with volunteer shifts for the last 8 years, but we do! The Rosendale Theatre is a very special place and the volunteers make the magic happen. - Laurie Giardino, Volunteer Coordinator. Yet challenges remain. The machinery to be informed has broken down. Arts commentary has dwindled in all the channels we once shared, TV, newspapers, magazines. So the onus for informing people about movies has fallen on the providers, sellers, and presenters of the content. Bloggers to me are high tech versions of neighbors talking through the fence in their yards. It’s great word of mouth but you can get manic checking so many sources. Reading newspapers digitally poses its own problem. The AI guides you to stories you’re interested in. But when actually turning the page of the paper you could discover something new and unexpected. - Ed Schoelwer Ever since Michael and Uncle Tony offered the theatre to

Nicole Quinn, ‘F-Stop’, the community, and me, it has been a challenge. To me the new challenge is home streaming. How do you get people out of their houses when they sit in front of screen for work, to shop, and to watch the news, movies, etc. It’s tougher to get people to believe that watching a movie on a large screen is a communal experience. - Ann Citron The ideas have to remain fresh. Fortunately there’s always new people coming with new ideas. - Fatima Deen We have to remain creative. - Georgette Mattel Yes, challenges remain. Without fail, they will continue to present themselves. But, in case you haven’t noticed, the RTC and their merry band of volunteers is one hell of a fearless and persistent bunch. www.rosendaletheatre.org In fond memory of Anita Peck, Richard ’F-Stop’ Minissali, and the Cacchio Family. (1) Quoted from the film The Movie House On Main Street (2018) Directed by Teresa Torchiano (2) Quoted from the film The Movie House On Main Street (2018) Directed by Teresa Torchiano (3) Quoted from the film Uncle Tony (2012) Directed by Robert Clem

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I’m very thankful for him. When you’re recording something that’s so introspective, it can be hard to be objective. Honestly it’s been so much fun...working with your friends and being able to bounce ideas off of each other. A fresh pair of ears can make or break the record. VWG: Is there a concept behind this album? Ciarra Fragale: I guess the seed was planted with “Ultimate Lover,” the single I released in August 2018. That was the first time Jesse and I worked together. I was experimenting with this new kind of sound evolution, so I decided to dive in and make a record. It’s me exploring all of the things I’ve been wanting to try but for some reason I’ve been too apprehensive. I’m not holding anything back on this record. The record really is an exploration of the last couple years of my life. You just go through life and things happen. I guess it’s about realization and empowerment in yourself and others. Cause we need that. VWG: What are your thoughts on being a woman in the music industry?

Photo credit: Rebecca Kavaler

In the Limelight: Ciarra Fragale Interviews with Local Musicians and Artists of the Hudson Valley Ami Madeleine VWG: Where are you at with your music currently? Ciarra Fragale: Things are kind of in flux. I’m working on this new album and it’s been about two years since I released a full album so it’s definitely time. The style or music is different than what I’ve been doing in the past. I think it’s funny because I meet people every day and they’re like “What kind of music do you play?” And I never know what to say because it’s always evolving, and so am I. Maybe I should just start saying “Listen for yourself”. So things are in flux in a good way. VWG: How would you say your music has grown or changed?

Ciarra Fragale: It’s hard...sometimes. While I think the industry is getting better, there’s still a long way to go. I read somewhere that 80% of the music industry is still dominated by men. That’s a crazy number! There’s more women out there, and we’re all in each other’s corners. It’s amazing because we get shit done! And of course there are men who respect us and love us and support us and we respect, love, and support them—but you gotta show your work. VWG: You have a song on the upcoming record called “Woman of the Wind” inspired by your experiences at a Women’s March in Woodstock, NY. Can you tell about that experience? Ciarra Fragale: Yeah that was one of the best days because it was such a quick and meaningful interaction I had with these women. Almost like magic. We were all just singing, dancing, and laughing together. I hope to have maintained that much spirit when I’m older. I really felt a sense of community, I still think about them all the time. VWG: And how’s your experience as a woman musician specifically in the Hudson Valley? Ciarra Fragale: Women in the arts in general is growing exponentially and we’re gonna take over and it’s gonna be awesome! So I think things are changing for the better. Like anything, progress has to be made. But there’s more of an appreciation for women doing their thing which is great. More and more people are embracing Intersectionality and diversity in music—thank goodness!

Ciarra Fragale: The songs on this record seem more VWG: Are you planning to tour once your album is recorded? marketable to audiences, from what I’ve experienced playing Ciarra Fragale: Yes, hopefully! Recording music is so time shows and seeing what people like and dislike. It’s not just me consuming and expensive but it’s the most wonderful and best with a guitar. I’m doing five things at once when I’m on stage now. thing that I would want to be doing with my time. I’ve been working It’s more fun for me to wear many hats...looping, drum machine, on it now for over a year, so I can’t wait to actually tour with the etc. songs and live with them in that way. VWG: Are you producing this new album yourself? Booking is so hard. People are busy. It’s a big thing I’m going Ciarra Fragale: I am! I’ve got some great people helping me through ‘cause I’ve been cutting my teeth for a long time and now along the way. I’ve been working with Jesse Bolduc of Candy I’m having conversations with myself when booking shows and Ambulance at his studio Nashphone Recording. We’ve become asking “What’s actually worth my time?”. good friends over the years, he’s someone I really trust. It’s a perfect collaboration because he’s able to kind of read my mind. Page 16

VWG: What determines what is worth your time in terms of booking? Van W yck Gazette - Spring 2019 Issue


Ciarra Fragale: Above all else, I always want it to be a good environment for myself and the audience. Compensation is also something I think about. Money isn’t everything, but we’re dedicating our time and deserve something in return. Beggars can’t be choosers, but it’s important to know your worth. VWG: What have been some of your best and worst experiences performing? Ciarra Fragale: I guess the worst times are just when I feel disconnected from everything. When I’m background music. There have been times where I’ve played shows and I’ve just had this inner dialogue of “no one’s paying attention, this isn’t worth it”. You just get so disconnected and down on yourself. On the flip side, some of the best experiences are when everyone is just right there with you. As a musician that’s all you can really ask for. Then it doesn’t really matter then if you’re playing for five people or five hundred people. The best is when I’m with my friends and you feel the love in the room. You need the love. You need the love. VWG: Anything you want readers to take away? Ciarra Fragale: I think we hit all the main points: support women in music, be open to change, accept vulnerability, support your friends. It’s so easy to be nice to someone and say “I support you.” It takes a lot of energy to be mean. So why do it? I think more people in the music industry could stand to be nicer. And answer your emails! (Laughter). Find out more about Ciarra Fragale: CiarraFragale.com @ciarrafragale

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INCIDENT AT THE LIBRARY

I’m in the library, trying to read, which is what I do when I tell my office: “Working at home today.” It’s truly the work I need to do; I save 70 miles driving, each way, by staying near home. But now one of the singular people of our blessed town has started talking, a conversation between two of his personalities. I can’t concentrate enough to go on reading.

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I don’t want to ask him to stop. What if he loses control? What if only one of him stops talking? I could ask the staff to intervene, but I won’t risk creating a disturbance of my own. There’s research I can do, looking things up, without concentration. So that’s what I do. He goes on talking, and I go on working, and no one says what I do in my life is also crazy.

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Illustration: Joseph Yeomans / Poem: Lewis Gardner Page 17


Love and the Snowblower

Adrea Gibbs When my husband and I moved to the East from the West fifteen years ago, some interesting things transpired. First hurdle, I had the challenge of procuring a home, using a laundry list of specifications from my well-intentioned significant other, while attempting to settle into both a new job and new area within in a very tight time frame. Check. Second, our next hurdle, we got married, as we managed to be in the same place at the same time and able to avail ourselves of a Justice of the Peace. Check. Third was keeping my adorable spouse, having never lived anywhere outside the greater Los Angeles area and possessing little to no understanding of what living in the four seasons meant, sane. Not sure that one is checked off, as yet. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say he tripped and is still laying on the track, foot caught on the top of said hurdle. My husband’s first encounter of snow was in Alaska over Christmas. We went with my parents and connected with one of my brothers and his wife who lived in Anchorage. It was the first time my (then) fiancé had been in snow. Ever. It was a novelty for him, but one that he could only handle for certain lengths of time. Usually fairly brief, and entailing either getting in or exiting the car, on the way to an identified location or a photo. Snow and its sundry subcategories can always be lovely, even magical, when viewed through windows from some warmly heated vehicle, restaurant, attractions, or shop (or any combination of the three latter points). Landscapes are wintry wonderlands. Main Streets take on additional charm given icicles and holiday décor. Homes appear extra cozy, candles set in the windows extending a welcoming invitation to come inside and sip cocoa or hot cider around the fireplace, laughter guaranteed to ensue. In short, every Currier & Ives, Norman Rockwell, and Coco-Cola Santa advert come to life. He fell for the romanticized holiday experience; hook, line, and ice fishing sinker. That is until, one short year later, we were living in the midst of it. As one might find, of those who are not acquainted with winter’s frigid alter ego, when harsh reality sets in and the first time your driveway is left underneath two feet of snow, it can be… um…daunting. Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers. A neighbor, unknown to us at the time, thoughtfully plowed for us after a huge storm. We had been fully prepared on the interior, Page 18

not so much where the exterior was concerned. To be fair, we did have snow shovels, though the priority of that first season was spent predominately on locating proper arctic wear, including battery-powered gloves, a score my husband, to this day, remains quite proud. However, the issue of being able to get our cars out of the garage, so we could continue to be employed and pay for the house and associated items within, remained at hand. My spouse, ever on the search to find the “local expert” in any given field, slushed his way out of the garage, and yes, one of the top items on the “requirement” list when I searched for houses. As a side note, I went one better with a two-car heated garage attached directly to the house, but I digress. He drove the 30 miles to our “neighborhood” household supply chain store to investigate thoroughly. Braving the bitter walk from the closest parking stall available he trekked in and went about finding the in-house survivalist. Now, an important piece about our house you should know. We live in a wooded area and none of the houses sit very closely to the road as they do, say, in a suburb. Our driveway, while certainly not one of the longest in our area, is still a good half-a-football field length from the town-plowed road (and subsequent huge mound of dispersed snow) and our beloved heated garages. To add to the fun, it’s all gravel…and uphill. That’s a lot of snow to move manually by hand, but not really enough snow to warrant a vehicle plow. There was always the option of hiring someone to do the driveway for us, something to which we resorted early on, as we lacked the requisite experience, knowledge, or desire to handle it ourselves, during our initial acclimation to the area. That particular option, we quickly learned, was neither always reliable nor fiscally responsible over repeated squalls. The top option was a snowblower and one we felt would be of great benefit. That was followed by the tedious task of researching brands, types and pricing, something which always falls to me because my husband likes to remind me; I am “better at it” (internet research) than he. Not sure I believe that as somehow he manages to find those things we really don’t need, but he wants, via the same method. Anyway, we were given some suggestions, which were limited to what was available at the store, and after too much time, effort and sanity was spent conducting the requisite research, Van W yck Gazette - Spring 2019 Issue


went with the one in our price-range recommended in the first place. The shiny contraption came home and my husband could not have been more proud. After asking me to read the manual and explain to him how to operate it, because of course as a woman I am “better at reading things” like instructions, he went out to plow. Happy he was. Well, as happy as anyone can be snowblowing in sub-zero temperatures dressed like “Randy” from A Christmas Story could possibly be. That piece of equipment lasted for a good 10 years or so. Then things started breaking and falling off. At first, it was little things that were fairly easy to manage. Amazing what a hammer can do, or a large mallet. In years 12 and 13, larger issues emerged that required the snowblower be transported to the local repair shop for some larger rubber bands and heavier super glue than we had at home. Leave it to the professionals. Year 14 had several “full stop” episodes that led to a series of expletives and kicks that oddly motivated the snowblower to chug along and finish the job, however poorly. At the end of that year, the beloved snowblower was beloved no more. Thus relegated to the status of merely taking up valuable space, it required both a major ritualistic offering and dance before it committed to even the weakest turnover attempt. It was downright painful. As one might expect, the hunt commenced for a new snowblower through spring, summer and autumn. At first it was a mere flirtation, really, in the early years of screws which fell off. A hopeful request lofted on the gentle breezes of warmer weather for consideration. Admittedly, I am one of those people that will continue to use something, especially after it has been repaired and is still relatively operable. Until it is completely dead or there is nowhere left on the body a viable repair can be made. Those are my parameters. I bought it, paid for it and there is no reason to throw good money after bad until absolutely necessary. My husband’s pleas ramped up in intensity and desperation year over year, until it became evident to me the machine was on its last legs. Or wheels, rather. As autumn approached, daily conversation had a standard thread; “Hi, honey? How was your day.”

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“Great. And you?” “Well, it was pretty good too, and what do you think about getting a new snowblower because the old one is not going to make it this year?” Knowing we really didn’t have an option, this time, the new search began. My husband, who had since discovered another location to which we could take his repair questions, went and gathered necessary intel. I can only imagine him driving between the two stores asking questions at one, then heading to the other. “Well, the guy from _____ told me blah-blah-blah” to which the employee from the other store responds “not in my experience…” This continues on with his/her riff on “what the other guy said.” My husband, I am certain, was in his element for hours on the auspices of legitimate research supplemented with both popular and personal opinions. He finally settled on the monster he wanted. Larger. Faster. Prettier. Certainly far more yellow than the decommissioned model at home. I have no doubt the clouds parted and the sun came out when a decision was reached. Of course, the next step was being asked to use my skills to do some price matching. A day or so later, all was right with the world when I found the same make and model available elsewhere at a lower price. Hooray! When he took delivery you would have thought it came via stork. Beaming proudly, it was requested I take multiple pictures of the new owner posing first this way, then that way, arms wrapped lovingly around the new machine affectionately named “The Beast.” He eagerly awaited the first heavy snow fall which seemed to take its sweet time. Finally, when the much anticipated day arrived, I was again commissioned to take photos of my dear husband and machine in action…followed quickly by the request to send them out to all friends and family. Next up? I have been asked to requisition a sticker that can be placed onto the snowblower so everyone knows its name. Good thing I am well equipped to find things on the internet.

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Spring is the Ultimate Season for Fresh Produce Isabel Minunni It is time to change to a lighter fresher cuisine utilizing all the fresh produce that spring has to offer. Peas are never sweeter and leeks are at their peak! The renewal of the spring herbs, fruit and vegetables is an exciting time for your culinary adventures! Make good use of the fresh, vibrant new vegetables and fruits by bringing springtime freshness into your recipes! The use of spring ingredients in the following recipes brightens the dish making an otherwise heavy dish into a refreshing recipe.

Charred Corn, Chive & Leek Pizza

Method: 1. Remove husk from corn ears. Place corn on grill or any open flame and slightly char all sides. Cut kernels off the cob and set aside. 2.

Cut the tender light green to dark green parts of the leek into 1/8 inch rounds. Separate leek rounds and place them in a bowl of water to clean. Remove leeks with slotted spoon so sand and dirt remains on bottom of bowl.

3.

Add olive oil to large skillet and cook leeks on medium low heat until they start to soften. Add garlic, parsley, corn, salt and pepper, stir to combine and cook for another minute or two.

4.

Sprinkle the shredded Gruyere cheese onto the inner circle of the prepared pizza dough. Top off with corn and leek mixture. Dollop ricotta cheese evenly around and sprinkle with fresh cut chives.

5.

Place in preheated oven and bake for another 10 minutes or until cheese has melted and crust is a nice golden brown.

6.

Remove pizza from oven, let cool slightly before slicing. Serves 4

Leek & Pea Couscous Stuffed Pasta Salad Pizza Dough 1 store bought pizza dough - your favorite Toppings: 1 tablespoon olive oil

1

box couscous

1

tablespoon olive oil

½

leek

1½ cups fresh spring peas 1

tablespoon grated lemon zest

medium size leek

½

cup lemon juice

2

cloves of garlic

1½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

1

tablespoon dried parsley

1

teaspoon salt

¼

teaspoon salt

¼

teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1

teaspoon freshly ground pepper

½

pound Gruyere cheese

1

cup olive oil (for dressing)

1

cup fresh ricotta cheese

1

box manicotti

2

tablespoons fresh chives - chopped

2

large fresh sweet corn cobs

1

Page 20

5 oz. spring mix lettuce Van W yck Gazette - Spring 2019 Issue


Method: 1. Cook couscous according to package directions. 2.

Cut leek lengthwise in half. Cut one half into about ¼ inch size slices. Wash leek thoroughly. Add olive oil to medium skillet and sauté leeks until just softened.

3.

Add leeks and peas to cooked couscous.

4.

Into a medium size jar, add lemon zest, lemon juice, mustard, salt, pepper and olive oil and shake until mixed. Pour dressing (reserving ¼ of the dressing) onto couscous mixture and blend.

5.

Cook manicotti according to package directions, let cool. Cut one end of each cooked manicotti straight across so it will stand on a plate. Then stuff each with the couscous salad.

6.

Place the desired amount of spring mix lettuce onto platter or plates. Place stuffed manicotti on top and drizzle with remaining dressing. Serves 4-6

More of Isabel’s recipes on vanwyckgazette.com and bellasbanquet.com

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Get it Down on Paper and You Won’t Forget David McGorry My grandfather worked at the same global company for forty years and when he passed away he was President of the company. He often used to say a key factor of his business success was having and maintaining a great memory. It’s a piece of advice I have found valuable in my own career. A good memory is a product of strong focusing skills and, when you put those two together, they are a powerful combination. Add “acting on issues in a timely manner” and you have a good formula for success. I have already worked over forty years, which is a few more years than my grandfather did in his lifetime. I have found over the years that his advice was true and valuable but, now that I am older, a new issue has emerged. What do you do when you still have to work and your memory is not what it used to be? How do you compensate when it is no longer easy to keep everything you need to do in your head? I am not talking about serious memory loss. I am just talking about general memory loss that accompanies aging. One thing I have learned is that I can still be as effective in remembering things as I was in my younger days. It is just that ideas and thoughts don’t stay in my mind as long. So my new rule is, if it must be remembered, it must be written down. You don’t need a powerful long-term memory if you keep a note pad handy. I never leave my office for a meeting, or get on a phone Page 22

call, without making sure I have a notepad with me and take notes of the meeting. Also, always date the notes, write down what the meeting was about and names of every person attending. If you can get phone numbers and e-mails that is even better. I started being more deliberate about taking notes, so I would remember things, and I soon found they were another means of collecting valuable data. Every meeting or conversation is an opportunity to make another contact, find a new opportunity or find a great new employee. Taking notes is just the beginning. Copious notes can become powerful notes that can be mined for business data that will make you more productive. They can become the tool that provides you with more ideas to help you grow your business. If you are a small business owner, or an independent consultant, you have to use every opportunity to learn, grow skills and become more competitive. It is difficult to afford professional education and you are less likely to have a large group of colleagues who you can call upon to discuss professional issues. Keeping records of everything you do is one way to gather up data on your marketplace over a period of time. That can help you ensure you are remembering and following up on all the issues and opportunities you come across on any given day. Having to work harder to remember everything in your business may be an added stress. But being more thoughtful about note taking may help you remember even more than you did when you were younger and also make you more productive.

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Norway’s ‘NORSK TITANIUM’ and New York State Thor A. Larsen If you should visit Plattsburg, New York, in the northern part of the state, you would see a number of high-tech buildings, including a building occupied by Norsk Titanium. It contains a number of Norsk Titanium’s developed state of the art 3D manufacturing units, which are proprietary plasma arc Direct Metal Deposition (DMD) technology. Under precise computer control these machines deposit the metal in three dimensions. The workers are all Norsk Titanium employees, some from nearby Clarkson University and a few from Norway. Their main products are precision, high quality titanium parts for the aerospace industry. Titanium is available around the world and exists in compounds such as rutile and ilmenite. This metal has features which include low density, high strength and resistance to corrosion, all benefits which make the metal attractive for the aerospace industry. Well, how in the world did this arrangement come about? Norsk Titanium was formed by two entrepreneurial scientists in 2007 after they managed to attract funding from several high-tech companies and created a development team. Their team developed very high purity titanium which was used to form titanium wires. Along with realizing very pure titanium, they developed their first 3D titanium deposition tool prototype in 2008. The machines deposited very thin layers of pure titanium in an inert, argon gas environment realizing very pure parts. Every second year a new version of the DMD was developed and in 2013 the titanium parts for the aerospace industry met their requirements. In 2015, after 8 years in development, Norsk Titanium built production versions of their DMD machines. Such Rapid Plasma Deposition (RPD) machines could make 11-20 metric tons of aerospace grade parts in a year. These machines were called MERKLE IV. In same year, Norsk Titanium realized they needed to establish a presence in the United States, and utilize American skills and resources. Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York State offered to provide $125 million for facilities etc. so that Norsk Titanium would set up their development and manufacturing center in Plattsburgh. An agreement was realized and nearby Clarkson University would develop work force training. In addition to Clarkson University the main campus of New York Polytech in Albany, an international center for collaborate university-industry research in nanotech technology and related sciences, would be accessible for additional research in Norsk Titanium science needs. New York State purchased 20 of the MERKLE IV machines which were shipped to the Plattsburg facility in 2017. The plant and equipment demonstrated their full operational capacity at the end of 2017. This facility is the first industrial-scale additive manufacturing plant in the world! Using the MERKLE machines parts as large as 100 pounds can be built. Key with these very pure, defect-free titanium structures is their reliability, and relatively low cost to manufacture versus prior techniques. Since the process is additive, it saves 25-50% of titanium versus other techniques. In 2018, the Plattsburg site was proven to be a qualified supplier of parts for Spirit Aerospace and Boeing. When fully staffed, the site could employ up to 400 workers. In sum, a true story of a successful partnership between New York State and Norway’s Norsk Titanium.

NORSK Titanium building

Direct Metal Deposition (DMD

High quality titanium parts for the aerospace industry Page 23


Profile for Joseph Caplan

Van Wyck Gazette Spring Issue 2019  

Van Wyck Gazette Spring Issue 2019  

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