A blog about movies and the Sturbridge area, including The Brookfields, Brimfield, Charlton, Holland, Wales, and Spencer as well as adjacent towns.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Off Topic-Save Alfalfa-Not the one from the Little Rascals

This is not a usual topic for Hollywood in Sturbridge. No discussion of movies or restaurants. No, this is an appeal to those who care about the quality of their, well my food anyway.

we live on what we pretend is a farm. We raise a lot of vegetables and sell some products at a farmers' market. We also keep a family cow. Our stony land can provide forage, but we could not raise the feed for the winter, therefore we buy hay. We do not feed our cow and calf grain as that does not provide proper nutritional balance. For more information on that subject, here is a link.

We do feed a small amount of alfalfa in the form of pellets. This is done more for management. If we need to inspect them or to keep the cow happy during milking, it is a way to do it without grain.

What appears to be happening is that the Biotech Industry is putting the pressure on the administration to approve the use of Monsanto's Genetically Engineered (GE) Roundup Ready ™ Alfalfa in time for spring planting. This link is an alert on the subject from the Northeast Organic Farming Association.

According to the alert, Despite three District Court rulings and a landmark Supreme Court decision that makes planting GE alfalfa illegal and requires USDA to formulate a valid management plan, the agency is going full steam ahead putting the deregulation of GE alfalfa on a fast track. While conceding for the first time that GE contamination of organic and GE-free crops and markets is a major problem in the U.S., USDA's court-ordered 2300 page Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) relies on faulty data and fails to take into account the scientifically-validated promiscuous nature of GE gene flow in crops. It also overlooks the widespread corruption of conventional seed varieties by GE strains (such as occurred with StarLink corn and LibertyLink rice) along with documented severe economic injury to farmers and markets. And, there is no mention at all of possible health consequences from eating GM crops.

It appears that the administration will be giving a gift to Monsanto. The alert has steps for you to request that big bio not get this gift. I urge you to click on the link and read it and take the steps it urges.

I intend to, even though my guess is the fix is in. does Hope and Change mean you've got hope if you've got the some change?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Help local indie film making-vote in the Openfilm contest!

Even slight involvement with indie film making brings the knowledge that cash is not lush in the genre. Well there is a contest going on that can provide some filthy lucre to starving movie projects.

At Open Film, an online video platform for filmmakers and film festivals and short films contests, you have a chance to support local film makers trying to make the movie. They are holding a contest, the 2nd Get it made competition.

There are a couple of films with some local connections that are in the competition. Light of Knowing is being filmed in various New England venues, including the Sturbridge area, with a lot of great local actors. It is a spiritual thriller inspired by the mystical book, the Cloud of unknowing. More information on its facebook page.

The director of Light of Knowing is John Hartman. He has made other movies in this area. He is not native, but is based locally. One short movie he made elsewhere is Secession Path. A civil war psycho drama with no little amount of John’s expressionism thrown in. He and his producer, Zee Zarbock would like to make the full version. Secession Path is also in the contest. We in Massachusetts can hope some of it could be filmed here as we have a lot of old and rustic scenery that would fit the bill. The Civil War re-enactors are around here, unfortunately they are mostly bluecoats and too few rebs.

If you want to vote for Secession Path go here.

If you want to vote for Light of Knowing go here.

You can watch and then vote for both. Registration is required, but it is no big thing. So help out the starving indie film maker.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sturbridge Times Magazine is out, Shameless self promotion-January/February edition

The Sturbridge Times Magazine is out, both print and online. This is the monthly notice wherein I, with no shame, tout my unworthy offerings.

America took leave of its senses when it passed the 18th Amendment banning booze. The amendment allowing the income tax was enacted in the same era so some might think something was in the air. My review of Daniel Okrent's Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition is on Page 7.

Mike Elliott is a chimneysweep who gets high most days. Well, he goes high, on the roof to give people Piece of mind. Article on page 20.

My column is on Page 22 and discusses security theater.

I am not the only one writing. There are many entertaining and useful articles that I had nothing to do with. You can read the magazine online by clicking here and downloading a pdf, or you can click on the graphic below to find out where to pick one up.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Inside the Ware Casino

Today, at noon, Fred McLennan held a meeting with an entrepreneur from Connecticut. Douglas Trumbull is associated with a number of projects. He is an inventor and holds a number of patents. He asked a number of questions that Fred took several paragraphs to answer when one would suffice. DouglasTrumbull.com is worth a look.

Give Fred his due, though. Mr. Trumbull is the real deal. That does not mean he is a pushover. A staff came with him and an architect made it clear, for anything to happen, there has to be real community support. Also, the project would have to be financially viable.

For the first time since the last movie I saw there with my kids, I was in the Casino. Yeah, it's changed. Maybe we could squeeze some money out of state by having the Governor declare it a disaster area. Mr. Trumbull was not fazed as he went through the mess. He was evaluating it professionally.

So people of Ware and surrounding towns, if you want your community theater to live again, you better be ready to step up to the plate.