Beacon Sloop Club Broadside
Volume 37, Issue 2
February  2006
Serving The Hudson River Sloop Clearwater With Pride for 33 years

Warm days are bringing me thoughts of our little red friends the strawberries.  Yes, itís true, I am completely obsessed with our greatest yearly event, the world famous Strawberry Festival.  We are on track so far with a confirmed date of June 11th. This year we are requesting two co-coordinators to oversee the entire festival.  Dave Eberle has graciously volunteered to be one co-coordinator, but we are still seeking a second co-coordinator to share in learning what it takes to produce this unique and fabulous festival.  Anyone who has worked under the "Big Top" in the last few years knows we need an Under-the-Tent coordinator desperately.  Alas, this calls for someone who has worked under the tent before and can oversee the berries and biscuits so they are prepared and ready and makes sure we donít run out of things.  This job could be shared as well.... 
We have every reason to be proud of our dedicated, experienced and hard-working Executive Board for 2006, and also our wonderful Captains and the Sailors of the Woody Guthrie.  Their hundreds of volunteer hours have made us a growing and successful group.
The Exec Board meetings are held at BSC on Tuesday of the previous week to the general meeting. Next Exec Board meeting is Feb 21 at 7:30.  All are welcome to drop in and meet with us, (we donít bite much).  If you would like to be on the agenda as well, please call the President (that's me at 845-831-6962) in advance so I can make discussion time and maybe even bake a proper cake....!
Best to you all,


The Beacon Sloop Club Broadside is the official monthly newsletter of the
Beacon Sloop Club, Inc.
The Beacon Sloop Club, Inc. is a non-profit, volunteer environmental education/action and sailing organization dedicated to cleaning-up the Hudson River and itís environs.  Our main focus is the Beacon, Fishkill and Newburgh area.
Members meet the first Friday of every month at the Sloop Club Building located just across from the Beacon Train station.  Look for the building with the pine tree growing out of the roof!  A potluck dinner starts at 6:30, bring a covered dish to share and your own place setting.  The general meeting starts at 7:30 and lasts about an hour or so.  The meeting is followed by a sing-along.


NEXT EXEC. COM. MEETING IS TUESDAY, February 21st at 7:30


Quote of the Month:
"We  cannot change the direction of the wind...
but we can adjust our sails
----Unknown Author
submitted by Joyce Hanson

Woody Sailors' Block Party -Saturday, March 11th, 10:30am
Jim Finnigan will have a Woody Sailors  Block Party at his house at 9 Division Street, New Hamburg, (2 blocks north of White's Marina).
Rigging blocks will be sanded, oiled and repaired.  Some food will be supplied, potluck dishes are welcome.  Weíll eat after we finish working. 

Spring Work Party - Sunday, March 19, at 12:pm (Noon)
Come for some Work and Food/Gourmet Lunch & Potluck
Featuring food prepared by famous (and not so famous) Beacon Sloop Club cooks, locally grown produce and live acoustic music by our very own...well, it's a surprise... So, come eat, drink...and spend a few hours working together.  Bring a dish to share for 5-6, if you can...deserts and beverages welcome too. **Questions?  Sue Altkin 845-239-1405

A Message from Maryellen Healy on the Sloop Club Congress
Maryellen Healy (Mel) is taking a break from the role as Sloop Club Congress contact for the Clearwater sloop clubs. Iím cutting back on organizing Clearwater projects this year to better juggle some other aspects of life.  Eric Marshall (Riverlovers) is the Vice President of the Clearwater Board this year.  Ed Dlugosz (Monmouth) also sits on Clearwaterís Board.  Gerhard Randers-Pehrsen will continue as the sloop club coordinator for Revival and replaces Kitama Seeger Jackson as the board liaison to the Revival Committee.

submitted by: Pete Seeger


Environmental Action/Education

BSC helps Friends of Glenham
Texaco environmental records shared

     When Vice President Tom LaBarr recently saw a letter from Jennifer Sipple to the Beacon Free Press, it really brought back memories.  The letter stated, "Friends of Glenham concerned about Texaco land.   In the 1980ís, Texaco was sued by the BSC, Clearwater and other groups to stop dumping hazardous chemicals into the Fishkill Creek.

     Tom, who was BSC President at the time, recalled that he saved the records from Texaco listing the toxins.  He contacted Jennifer (also a BSC member) and gave the records to her group, including a large map showing the location of the toxic dumpsites and sludge pools. 

     Jenniferís letter (in the 1/11/06 Beacon Free Press) encouraged all interested parties to join with the new group, the Friends of Glenham.  The group seeks safe and prosperous development of the former Texaco site, including public parkland.  The BSC is happy to be of assistance in this local environmental matter!


Newsletter Articles

The Broadside is always looking for interesting material pertaining to the Hudson River, local environmental issues and sailing.

Deadline:  Please send your articles to Joyce Hanson, editor, at by midnight the Monday after the monthly membership potluck. 

Remember to submit articles one month in advance.  For example, announce March events in the February newsletter.  Deadline for the February issue is Monday, February 6, 2006.

Info: (914) 907-4928


New car smell is toxic

At least part of the so-called "new car smell" is toxic!  The interior of an automobile has dangerous levels of various chemicals.

The PBDEs, used as fire retardants, and phthalates, used primarily to soften PVC plastics, were found in dangerous amounts in air, dust and windshield film samples.  The call went out for tougher regulations to phase out the use of the chemicals as well as voluntary moves by the auto manufacturers to stop using the products inside of new vehicles.  Car owners can take steps to reduce the release and breakdown of these chemicals by using solar reflectors, ventilating car interiors, and parking out of the sunlight whenever possible.
Phthalates are partly responsible for the smell associated with new cars.  Drivers and passengers are exposed to these chemicals through inhalation and contact with dust.  These groups of chemicals have been linked to birth defects, impaired learning, liver toxicity, premature births and early puberty in laboratory animals, among other serious health problems.
Research shows that autos are chemical reactors, releasing toxins before we even turn on the ignition.  There are safer alternatives to these chemicals.
Volvo was found to have the lowest levels of phthalates and the second-lowest levels of PBDEs.  Volvo the Ford Motor Co. owned unit and industry leader in terms of indoor air quality. Volvo also has the toughest policies for phasing out these chemicals.  Other auto manufacturers had more mixed records on the two types of chemicals.  For example, Korean auto manufacturer Hyundai had the lowest level of PBDEs, but the highest level of phthalates.  Ford officials say that they have eliminated PBDEs from "interior components that customers may come into contact with.   Ford had among the lowest level of PBDEs in its vehicles.  General Motors and BMW vehicles also had lower-than-average levels for all chemicals tested.  But Mercedes, Chrysler, Toyota and Subaru had higher-than-average levels of both PBDEs and phthalates.

This report was released Jan. 11, 2006 during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, but has received little attention outside of Michigan.

Info taken from "Toxic at any speed," published by The Ecology Center.   Tom LaBarr


Nautical Word of the Month

Last monthís word challenge:  Matthew Walker - A knot, so termed from the originator.  It is formed by a half hitch on each strand in the direction of the lay, so that the rope can be continued after the knot is formed, which shows as a transverse collar of three strands.  It is the knot used on the end of the lanyards of rigging, where dead-eyes are employed.

Next monthís word challenge: Garland

From "The Sailorís Word-Book:  An Alphabetical Digest of Nautical Terms,  by Admiral W. H. Smyth, 1867.


Gourmet Lunch & Potluck*
Spring Work Party - Sunday, March 19,

Noon The Last Day of Winter

Featuring food prepared by famous (and not so famous) Beacon Sloop Club cooks, locally grown produce and live acoustic music by our very own...well, it's a surprise...

So, come eat, drink...we'll talk about what we'd like to do that day and in the future, spend a couple of hours working together and go our merry ways.

*  Bring a dish to share for 5-6, if you can...deserts and beverages welcome too. **Questions?  Sue Altkin 845-239-1405


Beacon Sloop Club Minutes, February 3, 2006

Phyllis Newman, President, presiding.

Opening Remarks:  Pete Seeger spoke about the passing of Coretta Scott King and in her honor sang, "We Are Moving on to Vicítry.   He was joined by Dan Einbender, Michelle Marcus and Michael Skolnick.
March for Peace - Phyllis Newham remarked that a March for Peace, Justice and Democracy will take place on Saturday, April 29, 2006 in New York City.  Multiple organizations will participate and she suggested the club somehow get involved.  She will bring this up at the next meeting.
Sloop Woody Guthrie - Tom Baldino reported that Woody Maintenance Chairperson Patrick Gallagher is ill and so heíd have to be contacted later for information on future maintenance on the Woody.  However, Jim Finnegan announced that work on the block will take place at his house on Saturday, March 11, 2006 at 10:30am.  For information about the Block Party contact Jim at 297-9347.
Treasury - Jim Finnegan gave his report.  Please refer to the report in the newsletter for account balances. Of note, he announced that the club received over $9,400.00 from the Arlo & Pete concert.  Some of that money may be put into a C.D.  The Committee budgets will be reviewed and voted on next month.
Building - Sue Altkin reported that the next Work Party will be held on 3/19/06 at 12 p.m.  Lunch will be a mixture of pot luck and catered foods, to be served before the work begins.  Please bring tools for working both indoors and outdoors, as well as rags and gloves.
Membership - Members were reminded that they have to pay their yearly dues. If thereís a blue stripe on the address page of the newsletter, it means your must renew. The membership year is from January to January, but if you paid your dues at or after the Pumpkin Festival in 2005, you will have been paid up through the end of 2006.  Make your check payable to the Beacon Sloop Club and mail it to the club at P.O. Box 527, Beacon, NY  12508.
Newsletter - All articles for publication in the newsletter must be e-mailed to by the Monday immediately after the general membership meeting.
Multrum - Pete Seeger reported that he and Dan Searles have pumped out the multrum about once a year.  However, he is getting on in years and urged that new volunteers join in and learn how to perform this very important task.  He set up a meeting for March 12, 2006 at 2pm at the clubhouse for interested volunteers.  Mike Sherker, Claudine Craig, Peter Rosenberg, John McLaughlin, and Kurt Hauck all volunteered at the meeting.  Additional volunteers are welcome.
Strawberry Festival - Two co-coordinators are needed for the overall organization of the festival.  This is in addition to the serving coordinator, biscuit mix coordinator, etc.  David Eberle volunteered to be one of the co-coordinators.  A second co-coordinator is needed.  Phyllis Newham also stated that we need a coordinator for under the tent.  Also needed is someone to set up recycling at the festival and to organize a group to carry it out.  Someone suggested contacting Paco Mazo.  Ron Bel volunteered to help with the baking.   Please contact Phyllis to volunteer.
Election Reform - Three letters were read regarding the December, 2005 election of officers.  Pete Seeger read aloud the letter that was printed in the last newsletter.  David Eberle read a letter and a list of Recommended Reforms.  Lou Sebesta read a letter.  This was followed by a discussion.  The formation of a by-laws review committee was announced.  Nancy Cahill has been named as chair.  A clipboard was passed around to gather the names of persons interested in serving on her committee.  If you would like to be on the committee, please contact Nancy Cahill.
                                                        - Reported by Michelle S. Marcus