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Crowd flocks to ‘FRACK!’

Vanessa Carlton


April 5, 2011

Even the air seemed energized with possibility and impassioned activism at a special event held in the Town of Lumberland on April 2. Organized to raise both awareness and funds, the event drew a large crowd who turned out to view “FRACK!,” the new drilling documentary by David Morris, which examines multiple aspects of natural gas extraction.

The showing was followed by a question-and-answer session featuring Oscar-nominated actor Mark Ruffalo, Bruce Ferguson of Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy, Pat Carullo of Damascus Citizens for Sustainability, Wes Gillingham of Catskill Mountainkeeper and Craig Sautner, a Dimock PA resident whose water has been contaminated by Cabot gas drilling nearby.

The event was sponsored by The Homestead School, Heirloom Acres, Mountain View Manor and Lumberland Concerned Citizens. It featured an abundant potluck dinner, live jazz by Kevin Vertrees and his ensemble and eight informational booths. Grammy-award-nominated singer/songwriter Vanessa Carlton, a Homestead School graduate, and violinist Skye Steele shared a soulful and well-received set featuring new work due for release in June.

“She not only wowed the crowd with her virtuosity but won everyone over with her sincerity and commitment to being one more foot soldier in the fight to keep our water pure,” said Homestead director Peter Comstock.

The event was held at Glen Spey’s Mountain View Manor Resort, where guests also took advantage of an opportunity to tour the magnificent mansion. “It was a spectacular success with over 500 people walking away better informed and committed to action going forward,” said Comstock.

“Lumberland Concerned Citizens is not holding its breath that the Delaware River Basin Commission with its proposed regulations and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation with its upcoming determination on the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement will do the right thing for the environment or for our way of life in this valley,” he added. “We’re throwing our support to the regional effort to assert home rule as a protection against gas drilling. In that regard, can’t speak highly enough of the leadership being shown by the Towns of Highland, Lumberland, and Tusten.

Comstock thanked the many Homestead families that participated, brought food and gave generous donations of support.A substantial portion of the funds raised that night will go to the firmmaker to help defray production costs and travel to the many screenings being organized by Homestead mom Calin Riffle (see the film’s trailer and upcoming screenings at frackthemovie.com).