Thursday, January 6, 2022


 PHOTO: R. Kern



Fallsburg says ‘yes’ to cannabis


FALLSBURG— One of the last major decisions made by the Fallsburg Town Board in 2021 was choosing to allow cannabis dispensaries and consumption sites within the town.

After recreational cannabis became legal in New York State in April of 2021, towns and villages had until last Friday, December 31 to choose whether or not they wanted to opt-out of having cannabis businesses in the town.

Last week while voting on a law that would see the town opt-out, Fallsburg Supervisor Steve Vegliante and Councilmembers Nathan Steingart and Rebecca Pratt voted “no”, while Councilmembers Joe Levner and Michael Weiner voted “yes.”

Therefore the law failed to pass and they automatically opted-in.

Vegliante, who voted “no” to opting out, said before casting his vote that he had traveled to Massachusetts — a state where recreational cannabis has been legal for the past five years — and he was impressed by the cannabis stores he visited in a fact-finding trip.

“I’m pretty blown away by the professionalism, the level of security and oversight,” said Vegliante.

Moreover, Vegliante has said the town should not pass on any positive economic impact that cannabis businesses could bring to the town.

Once recreational sales begin, the state will tax the product 13 percent and, of that amount, nine percent goes to the state while four percent goes to the counties and municipalities.

Of that four percent, one percent goes to the county and three percent goes to the town.
Councilmember Levner, who voted to opt-out, said he is not against the use of cannabis, but “it’s just that there are too many unknowns right now.”

Levner said in past meetings that regulations were not fleshed out from the state yet and recently cited potentially damaging health concerns over the use of cannabis and the dangers of driving while impaired.

The Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) held its first meeting in October of 2021. It took quick steps in medical-use regulations by allowing the whole flower to be sold at medical dispensaries.

Previously, the dispensaries were only selling vape oils, chewable tablets, and ground flower products.

Former NY-42 State Senator Jen Metzger, who now sits on The Office of Cannabis Management board, told WJFF Radio Catskill in a recent interview that towns and villages might not see any dispensaries open until 2023 due to the licensing process.

    Rarely do I pull a newspaper article and re-publish it, but this one out of the Sullivan County Democrat is big news and I wanted to share it. Also, having some time on I my hands I thought I could put off renovating my bathroom and try to start a marijuana dispensary. Why not? Every money making idea I've ever had in my entire life has ended disastrously, costing me money. Well, that's one reason. Aside from that, I don't see how I could fail. CLGM Chronic? No Brainer? Just Pray? We could cook it, grow it, package it, sell it, eat it, smoke it. Go capitalism! 

  I've already talked to my lawyer SUV (not Milawyer) and next week we are scheduled to "brain storm." That's another good name for product. Of course there will be hurdles and the whole thing could be a complete waste of time, but I'm more than used to that. 22-Skidoo......I got a million of 'em.   


Wednesday, January 5, 2022


 PHOTO and embroidery: Christi Johnson

WHITE INFERIORISM USA (Upset Stupid Assholes)

  Since Trump decided to run for office in 2015 I've been hearing about the poor, marginalized, disenfranchised, ignored, left-behind, "upset" white person in America. Now that hunting season is over the staff here at HWS will turn our attention to religion, art, politics and yes, some of our disgruntled brethren. Don't worry. It won't be forever. Turkey season starts May first.

     The left leaning media like NPR, CNN and PBS seemed to have been taken by surprise by this demographic of forgotten ones in the hollers and hovels of the hinterland beyond suburbia, and fell all over themselves to send correspondents to Bugfuck, Wherever to interview them.  "Tell us, why are you angry?" the reporter asks as the camera pans across a $50, 000 pickup and a bass boat in the back yard.  When I say these are my people, I do not announce this with any pride.  I merely want to point out that I come from (and now live) in the same small town, rural, predominantly white context that seems to breed these unhappy knuckleheads. The fact that they use words like "exceptional" or "supremacy" would be hilarious if it wasn't sometimes accompanied by violence. Until recently I dismissed them as simply misinformed and never saw my neighbors as a serious threat. My attitude has changed slowly through the Trump years. These White Inferiorists are like a rattlesnake in a hollow log. How much do you need that firewood?

     It's easy for Daily Show correspondents or even PBS to find absurd, over the top anti-vaxer, Trump supporters who barely have a grip on reality. These predominantly white, overweight, slack-jawed mouth-breathers are great on camera and make everyone on the left feel superior. One has to constantly remind one's self that 21 million people think Joe Biden stole the election. A big percentage of those Republican denialists think violence is justified in order to return Trump to power. They can't all wear sequined cowboy hats or Proud Boy tactical gear. It's the real estate agents, insurance salesmen, cops, carpenters, waitresses, teachers and school administrators, mainstream Republicans blindly following FOX that are the ones to fear. Florida Gov. De Santis wants to deputize a "Florida Army." Black, brown, or Hawaiian  shirts for the uniform?

   Tomorrow is the 1/6 anniversary. We don't have a good name for this day yet. Thanksgiving (the most historically revisionist of all holidays) replaced Evacuation Day, when we drove the Brits out of New York City after the Revolution. Somehow Lincoln involved the Pilgrims and Indians in the national "give thanks" false feast narrative. Indians and turkeys got the worst of it.  Insurrection Day sounds too celebratory. 1/6 doesn't have the same ominous ring as 9/11 and it will take some time to see how society compartmentalizes the storming of the Capitol by Trump incited Upset Stupid Assholes. Happy Upset Stupid Asshole Day? That has a nice ring to it.                  

Sunday, January 2, 2022


 PHOTO: Marianna Rothen


  During the holiday break for muzzleloader season I got sick. Did I have Covid? It's anybody's guess. I was dead tired, achy, and had the shits. Is that the virus? I can still smell the coffee, breathe and don't feel too bad. Other than my inability to shoot even a doe this late in the season I feel OK. Covid or not I'm staying away from people.

    When the season reopened the day after Xmas I hit the woods for one final push after the initial drives were unsuccessful for me. On my own I had a couple of opportunities to shoot does but found it difficult to pull the trigger with a dink batting its eye lashes at me while momma munched grass. Still, I was determined to keep at it until the end. Both Savage and Bird were willing to come back up to my woods and drive specifically to get a deer in front of my gun. Between feeling the "vids" and Savage's bum leg I resisted. But when New Year's Eve morning was the fourth day in a row of socked in fog, warm temps and no deer, I relented. I had to admit I needed some help.

    So around noon on New Year's Eve Bird and Savage arrived. I would drive the "Covid truck" between spots and we would stay outside, safe from each other's germs. By the time the first drive was over I still had not seen a deer. The curse seemed to be holding. The next drive was the cemetery. This drive is usually a producer and one of us was sure to see deer. The problem being that I was resisting a "pity deer," so Savage and Bird were holding their fire unless it was a big buck. I climbed in the stand and the drivers radioed that the push was commencing. Ten minutes later I saw deer running. 1, 2, ,3......6, 8....I lost track. They were coming so fast I couldn't even look for horns. I bleated (for non-deer hunters a loud bleat - like a sheep - will stop a running deer in its tracks) stopping a large doe, swung the gun and fired......cracking my nose and brow with the scope. First blood of the season was my own.

   By the time Bird was in front me asking where he should look for blood or a body, I was convinced I had missed. I climbed down out of the stand and the three of us looked for blood (not mine) through a tangle of briars and deadfalls. I found what I thought was white belly hair and groaned that I had shot under her. The forensic specialist Savage examined the hair and was not so sure it was belly. "Look here," he pointed out, "this is brown." It looked white to me. I wasn't convinced......when all of a sudden Bird shouted that he had found blood..... where I hadn't walked. After about an half hour's search we found the dead doe. I found the hair. Bird found the blood. Savage found the deer. I had hit her perfectly, behind the front shoulder and still she had run 100 yards and left scarcely a drop of blood. Without Bird and Savage along I would have thought I missed, given up the search and lost that beautiful doe. Thanks all around.

    That night Shewho and I celebrated not only shooting that deer but making it through another year in one piece, albeit with two black eyes and a bloody nose for me. We ate, drank and imbibed some edibles. At about 11:45 pm, bored with TV we went off to bed. Happy as clams and too high to care, we suddenly remembered we didn't know if it was the New Year yet. "Google, what time is it?" Shewho yelled. "Midnight." came the response. Timing is everything. 2021 was over. Yipee!!!! 

     The next morning we both tested ourselves for Covid-19. Neg. all around. Phew. A good way to start the new year. Here's wishing all my family, friends, congregation and readers of HWS a healthy, happy, and negative New Year! "Google, what time is it?" Later than you think. ENJOY! 


Friday, December 24, 2021