Beacon Sloop Club
Volume 33, Issue 10
November  2006
Serving The Hudson River Sloop Clearwater With Pride for 33 years

          Did you feel the WOWIE-ZOWIE enthusiasm bursting out all over at the November meeting?  Seems that nearly everyone has an idea, project, or event to share their excitement over.  This means 2007 will be a year full of chances to be a part of making our river cleaner and our world a better place.
          The Woody Guthrie is in Albany having the old worn deck replaced at this moment, the sloop club floor is being painted to cut down on the concrete dust, and there is a new vision for an environmental tent that is kid friendly, inspired by the wild success of river seining and specimen tanks at the Pumpkin Festival.  The live eel was the eye-popper of the day, and yes, eel really are as slippery as their reputation.
          The solar trailer continues to rove the countryside demonstrating the power of the sun to the formerly unaware, thanks to Saul Rozinsky.  Our next project will be a giant solar oven for baking biscuits at the Strawberry Festival (ha ha, just kidding).

          Here's one thing we can't do as a non-profit group:  We are prohibited from endorsing political candidates.  So, no matter what you may read in this newsletter, or hear at a meeting, the Beacon Sloop Club does not endorse candidates.  BSC can, however, take positions on issues we care deeply about.  So close Indian Point already.
          We encourage voters to look at the environmental stand or legislative voting records of candidates for office and cast their own vote as they see fit. 
          Speaking of elections, December is the month in which we elect new board members for the Sloop Club.  We have some excellent candidates and the choice will be difficult, so come on out....

                                            Fair winds for 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 it’s 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, Nov. 21st, 7:30 p.m.


Please submit articles by the 1st Monday after the Friday meeting for the for the
Beacon Sloop Club Broadside to


Sound Bites by Lucille Weinstat

Sue (not- Susan) Hope Altkin is known for much more than cheerfully getting other people to pour cement!  She thought about being a vet, and tried being a "wind-chime-maker  and a "humane officer  (dog catcher) (among other fascinating occupations), before beginning her two years of schooling to become a licensed Massage Therapist.  She has had her own massage business for the past six years, now working from her new digs in Newburgh.
      She is also an amateur, award-winning photographer, wielding a mean 35mm Pentax.  She has a "significant dog,  her hound-dog Buddy.  They love to hike and be outdoors.
     Sue has been a long time Clearwater member. She crewed for five weeks in 1989!  She has been a Beacon Sloop Club member for the past ten years. Having a lovely voice and playing the guitar, she was too shy to solo and joined the Walkabout chorus.  We are all grateful that she has overcome some of her shyness and undertaken the organization of the Building Committee with such grace and good humor!  Sing out, Sue!

Tom LaBarr is otherwise known as Captain Tom, or Chief-Cook-and-Bottle-Washer at our festivals.  He became a member of the BSC in 1978 when he moved to Beacon, to the 1860s farmhouse on Route 9D.  He had been in the Navy, but had never learned to sail.  The BSC first obtained the Woody that year, so he and other members learned together.  They were more laid back then, as folks had more free time.  They sailed a lot on weekends.  Tom became a captain in 1987 and is the longest continuously sailing person in the club.  He became President of the BSC for two terms in 1980 and 1982 and has held other executive positions in the club.  He married Aimee in 1986.
     "I've never really conformed well to the mainstream,  he says. In Navy boot camp he got permission to grow a beard, as he had acne.  He stopped shaving altogether in 1970 when the Navy required them to wear civvies when they were off the ship.  He also stopped cutting his hair when he left the Navy.  ("I'm just losing it naturally now", he says.) Tom studied electronics while in the service.  When discharged he became a technician for a small semi-conductor manufacturer.  He worked for the inventor of the Zener Diode, (whatever that is--it is in every piece of electronic equipment made).  Tom was promoted from Senior Technician to Engineer, to Quality Control and Assurance Manager.  He has been working as an electronic support technician in the engineering department at SUNY New Paltz for 16 years.  Tom and Aimee had a food co-op for a while until their distributor went belly up. Tom has always had a strong interest in the environment and is the chairman of the Environmental Committee.  If you wonder where any piece of BSC equipment is, it is probably in Tom and Aimee’s barn.


Climate Change in New York's Hudson Valley

Monday, December 4, at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel, Poughkeepsie, NY.

The DEC Climate Change Policy Office and the Hudson River Estuary Program have organized a one-day conference for local decision-makers to explore the issues surrounding climate change in the Hudson Valley.  The goal of this conference is to present the latest scientific findings on existing and potential future impacts of climate change on human and natural communities, and provide local leaders with insights that may help them plan for and manage these impacts.  It will cover existing and potential future effects on water supplies, agriculture, sewage treatment facilities, and transportation infrastructure, as well as the potential for loss of protective wetlands along the river shoreline.  This will be a first step in gathering our local expertise so that we can learn together.

To register contact Kristin Marcell, Hudson River Estuary Program at 845-256-3017 or


Every Sunday Farmers Market
at the Beacon Waterfront 10-4pm

Simply Valley
All Local Hudson Valley Products
Sprout Creek Farm Cheeses
(Toussaint and Ouray Cheese)
Fresh made Lamb, Mushroom Spring Rolls
Fresh Made Pasta
Mario's Brick Oven Bread
Mary Finger Organic Free Range Eggs

Special Large Quantity orders call 845-562-0192

Nautical Word of the Month

Last month's word challenge: Cat-Harpings, or Catharpin Legs 

        Ropes under the tops at the lower end of the futtock-shrouds, serving to brace in the shrouds tighter, and affording room to brace the yards more obliquely when the ship is close-hauled.  They keep the shrouds taut for the better ease and safety of the mast.

Next month's word challenges:  Heel

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

                Submitted by Tom LaBarr


The Woody Guthrie at Castleton on Hudson on its November 4 journey to Scarano's boatyard for repairs.
                                                                                - photo by Ben Mazer


Beacon Sloop Club Minutes
November 3, 2006

Phyllis Newham, President, presiding.

Opening Song - Pete Seeger led the group in "Somewhere Over the Rainbow. 
Treasury - Jim Finnigan thanked all the volunteers who helped to organize and carry out the Pumpkin Festival.  Tallies for the festival were not yet complete.  Jim Finnigan tallied $1,813.00 in profit, but that was without counting the $1,300 he received this evening in vendor fees.  Please refer to the report in the newsletter for up to date account balances, etc.  Budgets are due at the 12/06 meeting, and so you must get your budgets to Jim as soon as possible.
Nominating Committee & Elections. The nominating committee (Steve Van der Merwe, Mike Sherker, Claudine Craig, David Eberle, and Karen Flaherty) put forth the following nominees for office:  Sol Rozinsky and John McLaughlin to run for President; Sue Altkin and David Eberle to run for Vice President; Jim Finnigan for Treasurer; and Fran Sansone for Secretary.  Additional nominations are still being accepted and will be accepted at the December election meeting as well.
Sloop Woody Guthrie - Kip Touraine reported that the Sloop Woody Guthrie took out over one thousand guests this season.  Grant exploration and writing by John, Kevin and Gigi will hopefully result in application for $8,000 in grants. The Annual Sailors Meeting and Elections will take place on 11/11/06.
Environmental -  Tom LaBarr reported that the Environmental Committee's projects are under way.  They caught some river life today, including fish and an eel.  He invited folks to join the committee and come to their next meeting (to be announced.)
Solar Trailer - Sol Rozinsky said the Solar Trailer has been at several events recently, including the Pumpkin Fesitval, where it powered the sound system. On 10/21/06 it was used during a nationwide Cub Scout ham radio event.
Building - 1.  Ron Bel reminded us that there are two recycle bins that should be used: one is for cardboard and paper, the other is for aluminum and glass.  Please sort these items for recycling.  Please make sure to take a bag of trash and/or recyclables with you after the monthly meeting to help keep the clubhouse clean.  2.  In Marie Young's absence, Phyllis passed around a volunteer signup sheet to cover cleaning of the Multrum. Volunteers signed up to cover Multrum cleaning through June 2007.  3.  Sue Altkin reported that half of the clubhouse floor was complete with the concrete layer and then painted with one coat of latex paint.  Another coat of the paint is needed.  A sealant may need to be applied, as the floor is subject to floods.  A flood took place on Saturday 10/28/06, when the club floor was submerged  in 8 inches of water.  Please note that the chairs in the clubhouse now have rubber tips on them to prevent damage to the floor.  Sue is now investigating how to improve upon the club's acoustics and also its lighting. She is also working on getting the roof fixed at the location of both the tree and in the children's area.  Shelly agreed to help her straighten up the children's area.  Sue is looking for someone to join her in carrying out her responsibilities with regard to the Building Committee.  She needs someone to help plan and carry out building maintenance and repairs.  4.  David Eberle will coordinate a "housecleaning  party at the Sloop Club on Saturday, 11/18/06 starting at 9 a.m.  There will be a potluck luncheon that day.  5.  Lou Sebesta will be setting up a wood cutting & stacking party.  Please contact Lou if you are interested and he will set up a date for the party.  People with a wheelbarrow or chainsaw wanted.
River Pool at Beacon - Alan Zollner stated that after the pool prototype was removed from the water, it was inspected and fabrication defects were noted to have caused leaks in 9 of the 12 fiberglass segments.  The leaks caused the fiberglass pieces to take in water and were a major part of the difficulties with the pool when it was in the river.  There are plans to repair the leaks over the winter.  The Annual River Pool at Beacon meeting will be held on 11/12/06 at the NYSDEC Kowawese Unique Area in New Windsor, New York.
Clearwater - Dan Einbender reported that the Clearwater is at its winter home in Saugerties, where maintenance and repair will take place on the second Saturday of each month.  Please call 845-454-7673 for more information.  There will be several fundraising events taking place for the Clearwater.  Clearwater volunteers will be making calls on 11/15/06 asking lapsed members to renew their membership.  On 12/16/06 the Beacon Sloop Club Annual Holiday Sing will benefit the Clearwater organization.  On 3/24/07 there will be a concert at the Beacon High School featuring Pete Seeger & Richie Havens.
Guest Speaker - Ron Samuelson from "Walkway Over the Hudson  made a presentation to the BSC membership regarding the creation of a park and walkway over the Hudson River on the Poughkeepsie Highland Railroad Bridge.  His group is looking for more members.  Visit for more information on this exciting project.
Events - 1.  On 11/11/06 & 12/9/06 at 6 p.m. there will be a holiday sing-along at the east end of Main Street by the Arts Supply store, lead by Pete Seeger.  2.  On 12/16/06 the Beacon Sloop Club Annual Holiday sing will take place, benefiting the Clearwater organization. Please bring an unwrapped present if you want to donate to Operation Santa.  Dave Bernz & Dan Einbender are coordinating this event.  3. Connie Hogarth reminded us that the BSC is a member of the Climate Crisis Coalition.  She circulated a petition in regard to the Kyoto Protocol to end Global Warming and informed us that a movie, "The Great Warming,  was playing at Regal Theaters.  4. David Eberle was looking for volunteers to help with phone banking for the John Hall campaign.

          - Reported by Michelle S. Marcus



Reminder:  Budgets are due at the December meeting!


Everyone is welcome to come to a Holiday Songfest:  If anyone likes to sing, come to the eastern end of Main Street in Beacon on Saturday, December 9, 6 to 7 p.m.  This holiday songfest welcomes all ages and all kinds of folks.  We will be singing old songs mainly, of many many different kinds, but good for singing together.

The songfest committee:  Michelle Marcus, Chris Ruhe, Dorothy Medley, Pete Seeger, Dan Einbender, Rafael Figueroa, Sue Altkin, Dave Bernz, Ellen Gersh


Sue Altkin would like to thank everyone who took part in resurfacing and painting the sloop club floor.


From the Editor:  An interesting thing happened to me on the way to finishing the newsletter for this month.  On Monday, the deadline day, my e-mails were not coming in at all.  Over the next couple of days the old ones started coming in a day or so late.  Then on Election Day my server shut down completely.  (Imagine my panic!)  But your e-mails did come in over the next couple of days; and, though the newsletter is a little bit late, you should hardly notice the difference.  Hope you like it.  (Ed.)  


Woody Report

The Woody was successfully transported to Scarano Boat Builders in Albany on November 4.  Many thanks to Captains Kip Touraine and Ben Mazer, and Captain in Training Jim Birmingham for chilly hours at the helm as Donny White pushed her up there.  They pushed off from White's around 6:00 a.m. and arrived at Scarano’s around 3:30.  Please convey thanks to Donny if you see him. Yes, we did pay a fee for his services, but he did this at a very reasonable fee and at a considerable inconvenience at a very busy time of year. 

Harriet Touraine and John McLaughlin were also along for the ride and can attest to the fine job these Captains and Captain in Training did.

Many thanks, also to Captain Patrick who provided us with new scuppers and a new frame for the hatch cover.  These will be installed by Scarano as the deck is done.

Scarano has not provided a definite time frame for completion of the deck work, but it will not take long, once started.  Steps are also underway to recover a $5,000 grant that is outstanding from the Hudson River Improvement Fund and intended for Woody deck repair.  The most recent estimate for the repair job is in the $35,000 to $38,000 range.  Additional repair to the cockpit coaming and centerboard trunk will be done by us rather than being done at Scarano's.

The Woody Sailors will meet Saturday November 11 for a BBQ and to elect officers and plan winter maintenance activities.

Submitted by,

John McLaughlin
Woody Maintenance Coordinator


Letter to the Editor
In the interest of the membership of the Beacon Sloop Club, I would like to see the minutes of the Executive Committee meetings printed in the newsletter every month.  This would allow for greater transparency of government.
                                            Ben Mazer