Friday, June 16, 2006


It was another beautifully sunny day - perfect, really, unless you happened to be a member of one of the construction crews working on Main Street and Sanger Avenue.

Most all of us empathize with the flagpersons - men and women - who keep villagers and tourists from either running into or being run over by the very LARGE pieces of paving equipment. We did see one small red car venture out of the prescribed lane in front of the post office, this morning, and end up nose to toes with the giant "steam roller." Everything came to a screeching halt, of course, and if ever there was an embarrassed motorist, judging by the fact that the driver's face turned the same color as his/her vehicle, he/she was "it!" (You see - we make an politic effort not to suggest that it was a man, or a woman, who could - or would - not follow directions!)

By late afternoon, the pavement on Main Street was almost all at the same level and almost completely SMOOTH and paving had progressed nearly to Monument Park.

Curbing installation on the East side of Sanger Avenue had nearly reached Don Olmstead's Garage and it looked as if preparations were beginning for the paving of the sidewalk along that stretch.

One of the two entrance/exit lanes to the Green Acres Plaza was still closed and a great many people were taking the "scenic route" from the new Library to Fireman's Field. We had heard, yesterday, that some improvements were to be made to that roadway, today, but that did not come to pass.

Babbott Avenue South does not usually have much traffic, but that little street - in that it provides the only access to the "scenic country tour" - is quite heavily travelled and, if motorists are inconvenienced by the length of the route, they are at least rewaded by the sightly flowers in Mrs. Howard's gardens.

One of the spiffiest properties in the village is the Municipal Hall, on Stafford Avenue South, and we wonder and wait, and wait..... for the garden and other landscaping to begin at the new Library!

Outside of the village, Mother Nature is taking care of the scenery quite nicely and fields of wildflowers are nearly at their most perfect. Of this we are certain: we took the day off, just to make sure!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Moving along

For the first time in how long - ? - we can drive from one end of Main Street to the other with only two bumps - where new pavement meets old - and it's a grand treat. Of course it is far from a speedway! Due to paving throughout the intersection of Main and White Streets and Buell Avenue, you may be held up in line for as long as fifteen minutes. If one is in a great hurry to reach the post office, for instance, some time might be saved by taking "the Scenic Route" from the new Library westward along the edge of a field of fine wheat, past the old tree lane of the Osborn and Mayer estate and then the Fireman's baseball diamond ' til - finally - you can decide whether to go to the post office or to the rear entrances of businesses on the block between the Barton Medical Center and Michael's. We cannot advise one route over the other for, 'tho Scenic it may be, the country field road is astoundingly rough and dusty.

Picture hint: a reader asks if I can make the photographs larger. The answer is "No." However, YOU can! Just click or hold the cursor on the photo and magic will happen!

NYRI Power Line Opposition Meeting Tonight

Impassioned E-mails are flying, delivering petitions to sign, websites to visit and urging attendance and participation at this evening's informational and organizational meeting at the high school at 7:00 P.M. Good news for those fighting the construction of the proposed "Power Line" was found in headlines in this morning's Utica Observer-Dispatch:

State Sen. Majority Leader Joseph Bruno said Wednesday he opposes a power line that would pass through the region — and his influence provides a major boost to opponents of the line.

UTICA — Oneida County will contribute $50,000 to the effort to block the proposed New York Regional Interconnection power line.

Although none of these "Swamp Treasures" are on the list of New York State's Fifty Most Rare plants, it may be of interest and some use in the fight against the "Power Line" to know that they are there - some within 20 feet of the railway tracks.

"Showy Lady's slipper" (Cypipedium regenae)
"Yellow Lady's slipper" (Cypripedium calceolus)
"Swamp Pink" or "Pinxter" (Rhododendron nudiflorum)
"Great Rhododendron" (Rhododendron maximum) growing as high as 40 feet! The writer tried, unsuccessfully, some twenty years ago, to gain permission from the property owner to see these spectacular wild rhodendron in Nine Mile Swamp, but was shown the same variety in nearby "Bascom Swamp" by former Watervillian Mr. Al Rand.

Photos of paving progress to follow.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

They're Paving Main Street!

YES! Just as promised - paving began early this morning!

While paving takes place in the Northbound lane between the Tyler building and Waterville Chiropractic, two separate crews are installing curbing working from the Park southward along the West side of Sanger Avenue.

Traffic is, understandably, moving slowly, but following precisely coordinated signals from half-a-dozen flag persons between Foodking and CVS, all is moving smoothly and - to everyone's credit - there seem to have been NO noticable cases of "road rage!" Drivers are, in fact, being extremely polite, either shouting or waving "Thank You!" to flag holders and slowing to allow vehicles to merge from driveways and parkinglots.

The newly elevated lot behind the Laundromat is, courtesy of Mr. T. Eisenhut, available to patrons of Totally-U, Mac's and Morgan's Hardware.

Driving south past CVS, one immediately reaches smooth, paved highway which, complete with new sidewalks and grassy tree-belt, is now being called "The Sangerfield Parkway!"

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Wednesday June 14, 2006

More and more signs shouting protests against the proposed 200-mile powerline are showing up throughout the village, especially on lawns of residences that are closest to the railway tracks - where the 85- to 135- foot towers carrying the mega-volt lines would run. There is another meeting - the third - scheduled to take place at the high school on Thursday evening. Informational and organizational gatherings such as this have been taking place all along the RR line with nearly all municipalities - including Waterville - having made formal proclamations against the proposal.

On Tuesday afternoon, much of Main Street - from the former bank building to the Main Street Garage - was a single-lane road in what normally would be the northbound lane and it appeared that the highway half closest to the Hotel, Morgan's, etc., was being unusually perfectly smoothed and groomed. Curbing installation seems nearly complete. (I say
"seems" because it really isn't possible to stop in the middle of the road at any place or any time simply to take visual inventory!) Having, however, come to a complete standstill in traffic for several minutes, yesteday, just in front of the Main Street Garage, it was a pleasure to see that several of the longer lengths of granite that have been placed in front of Mrs. Woodhouse's residence and at the point of Monument Park are actually curved sections, apparently custom-cut for the particular space. At any rate, the paving of Main Street is scheduled to begin, today: perhaps it will!

Whether or not the several old hatchways leading to basement-level doorways have been completely filled in is hard to determine, but a sidewalk-width roller sat in front of the Scerbo building giving an indication that prep-work progresses there,too.. Quite a length of that sidewalk had, for who knows how long, been a "split-level" walkway: what will it become, now?

The writer's mailbox was full, this morning: the BLOG is a hit! (Oh, what have I done, now!) And there is unexpected demand for the recipe for watercress sandwich spread!

Using the most tender, top-most leaves -- NOT the blossoms -- chop or process a cup or so of leaves very fine and add to a well-blended mixture of one-half softened salt-free butter and one-half softened cream cheese. The addition of freshly-ground black pepper is suggested, but only in the most judicious amounts.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Tuesday, the 13th

Blue sky, this morning, and warmer.
Hop vines are outgrowing their poles and " 'Cress beds" are full!

When Sheila Pierson Pasiak went to work at Foodking, about three years ago, she probably didn't know how very lucky she was. She'd already had one operation, four years earlier, to correct an aneurism in her brain; that was followed by a stroke and slow recovery and then - just this Spring, when things were going well - another aneurism; more surgery. But that was more than a month ago and, last Saturday evening, the Garretts and the entire Foodking family sponsored a benefit evening and auction for Sheila out at the American Legion. "The place was packed!" from afternoon 'til late in the evening, and everyone had a good time. Yes! Sheila was there, looking absolutely smashingly stylish in her crew cut! (Not too many women wear them as well as she can!) She said that she'd really like to get right back to work at Foodking, but that her doctors had told her that she'd have to wait a couple of months. 'Til then, we'll all be waiting for her and wish her a very speedy recovery.

The weather over the weekend was generally thought of as "Miserable!" - dark, dank, drizzly. But that had no deleterious effect on the public response to the Waterville Garden Club's Annual Plant Sale that was held, this year, at the Methodist Church. According to Club president, Shirley Kellogg, there were people waiting outside when the doors opened and they kept coming, at a steady rate, 'til after 1 o'clock. For the first time, a drawing was held, and Ms. Faith Gentile of Berrill Avenue was the winner! Also - a collection of potted plants was set aside and delivered to the American Legion to be added to the benefit auction that took place later in the day.

The members of the Garden Club have also been at work planting tubs at streetcorners in Waterville outside of the construction area as well as in Sangerfield and they have spruced up the planting around the sign at the highschool! They credit Mr. Alcott with the donation of plants and we, in turn, thank all of them for their generosity and efforts.

Take a good look! A week from now, this may all look different! The installation of granite curbings is nearly complete and word around town has it that "main line" paving will start on the 14th -- that's tomorrow!

And - looking forward not only to smoother roads and the completion of the Highway Reconstruction Project, the Memorial Bandstand Committee and the original bandstand Designers will be at the Waterville Municipal Hall next Saturday morning (the 17th) eager to show the public Mr. T. Karram's completed plans for the Bandstand structure that will be built in the Park NEXT Summer. Also on display will be landscape architect Teresa Lutoborski's suggested Park layout which provides for handicap accessibility as well as future pathway and planting arrangements. The Committee urges residents to take this opportunity to review and preview and share their excitement!