Merry Christmas!

Greetings from the Morehouses!

We deeply appreciate all your support and look forward
to serving together with you in the coming year.

Click here to read our holiday letter.

Click here to read the December edition of the His Branches Grapevine.



Birds, Bats, and Who??

Click on Santa to hear him sing!

Have a wonderful holiday season!



Ball Girl Makes the Play



Twelve Days of Christmas

The Twelve Days of Christmas and the associated evenings of those twelve days (Twelve-tide), are the festive days beginning the evening of Christmas Day (December 25) through the morning of Epiphany (January 6). The associated evenings of the twelve days begin on the evening before the specified day. Thus, the first night of Christmas is December 24–25, and Twelfth Night is January 5–6. This period is also known as Christmastide.

Over the centuries, differing churches and sects of Christianity have changed the actual traditions, time frame, and their interpretations. Residents of Cohocton, NY, began a new tradition of celebrating the season in 2007, as chronicled in their version of the popular carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas.

Click here to enjoy our updated lyrics.

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VN 12/24 - 'Twas the Night


Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas
from the

As time goes by we are more and more grateful for our family and friends, our health, the Life we have in Christ, and our spiritual family at Joy Community Church. We’d love to hear from you and spend more time together! In the meantime, click here to read
our annual letter to friends and family and check out some of our candid pictures.



VN 12/18 - Deck the Hills


The "W" in Christmas

Each December I vowed to make Christmas a calm and peaceful experience. I had cut back on nonessential obligations - extensive card writing, endless baking, decorating, and even overspending. Yet still I found myself exhausted, unable to appreciate the precious family moments and, of course, the true meaning of Christmas.

My son Nicholas was in kindergarten that year. It was an exciting season for a six-year-old. For weeks he'd been memorizing songs for his school's "Winter Pageant." I didn't have the heart to tell him I'd be working the night of the production. Unwilling to miss his shining moment, I spoke with his teacher...

Click here to read the whole story.

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VN 12/11 - Herald Turbines

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The Gospel of Wind

For our exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit; but just as we have been approved by UPC to be entrusted with the gospel of wind power, so we speak, not as pleasing the NIMBYs, but UPC who examines our hearts.

For we never came with flattering speech, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed (UPC is our witness!) nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, even though as apostles of wind power we might have asserted our authority. But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children. Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of wind power but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.

For you recall, brethren, our labor and hardship, how working night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of wind power. You are witnesses, and so is UPC, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers; just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children, so that you would walk in a manner worthy of UPC who calls you to share in the glorious green of its kingdom.

For this reason we also constantly give thanks that when you received the word of UPC which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the Word of Green itself, which also performs its work in you who believe. For you, brethren, became imitators of the YES groups of UPC that are in Maine and Hawaii, for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen.

Excerpted from Chris Swartley's Letter to the Cohoctonians (as adapted from 1 Thessalonians 2)

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Thanksgiving greetings

Michelle and Bob Strasburg would like to wish all of you a Very Happy Thanksgiving. May it be filled with good memories and times of reflecting on how important relationships are to each of us. We appreciate each of our long time friends and have enjoyed meeting many new friends this year. We ask God’s richest blessing on all of you.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! This year has been very trying but with good friends and patience we made it through. May your day be filled with pleasant moments and memories. Throughout this process we have made many new friends and we want to give thanks for that. Karl and Bonnie Palmiter



A Celebrity's Green Ideas

I have spent the better part of this tour trying to come up with easy ways for us all to become a part of the solution to global warming. Although my ideas are in the earliest stages of development, they are, in my mind, worth investigating. One of my favorites is in the area of conserving trees which we heavily rely on for oxygen. I propose a limitation be put on how many sqares of toilet paper can be used in any one sitting. Now, I don't want to rob any law-abiding American of his or her God-given rights, but I think we are an industrious enough people that we can make it work with only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where 2 to 3 could be required. When presenting this idea to my younger brother, who's judgement I trust implicitly, he proposed taking it one step further. I believe his quote was, "how bout just washing the one square out."

I also like the idea of not using paper napkins, which happen to be made from virgin wood and represent the heighth of wastefullness. I have designed a clothing line that has what's called a "dining sleeve". The sleeve is detachable and can be replaced with another "dining sleeve," after usage. The design will offer the "diner" the convenience of wiping his mouth on his sleeve rather than throwing out yet another barely used paper product.. I think this idea could also translate quite well to those suffering with an annoying head cold.

This next idea I have been saving but I will share it with you if you promise not to steal it. It is my latest, very exciting idea for creating incentive for us all to minimize our own personal carbon footprints. It's a reality show. (I feel pretty certain NO ONE has thought of this yet!). Here is the premise: the contest consists of 10 people who are competing for the top spot as the person who lives the "greenest" life. This will be reflected in the contestant's home, his business, and his own personal living style. The winner of this challenging, prestigious, contest would receive what??.... a recording contract!!!!!

Can't believe it? Click here for Cheryl's weblog.

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June 3 - Keuka Water Day

Hands-on Activities for all Ages!

Sunday, June 3, 2007 - 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm
Champlin Beach Park, Hammondsport, NY
On the shores of Keuka Lake

Learn water testing and aquatic identification with award-winning Bradford science teacher, Rich Hurley. Exhibitors include “Living Stream” from Bath Fish Hatchery, DEC, Haudenausaunee Environmental Task Force, Keuka Lake Association, LWV, Steuben Soil and Water, Steuben Historical Society, Steuben Sheriff’s Office, Chemung River Trail Association, Peaceweavers, Foothills Publishing, Hammondsport Library, Keuka Maid, Kilrush Irish Band, Cohocton Jazz Band, Dan Hill, and Native Flute. Lee Welles will display her new Gaia Girls book, “Way of Water”; Kirk House will speak on lake steamboats and Glenn Curtiss; Mike Czarnecki will read poems on water. Refreshments by Hammondsport School Spanish Club and Keuka Maid.

Sponsored by: Steuben County Environmental Management Council and the Steuben Sierra Club Committee. Admission and Parking Free. For more information, email or call 607-569-2114.



Almost Fishin' Time

Preparing for the Trout Derby

Click here to view a delightful slide show of volunteers and staff moving trout from the hatchery in Powder Mills Park to the creek in preparation for the opening day Trout Derby on April 1st.



Latest in war on error

School Teacher Arrested

NEW YORK - A public school teacher was arrested today at John F. Kennedy International Airport as he attempted to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a set square, a slide rule, and a calculator.

At a morning press conference, Attorney General Gonzales said he believes the man is a member of the notorious Al-gebra movement. He did not identify the man, who has been charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction.

Al-gebra is a problem for us,” Gonzales said. “They desire solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in a search of absolute value. They use secret code names like ‘x’ and ‘y’ and refer to themselves as ‘unknowns,’ but we have determined they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country.

As the Greek philanderer lsosceles used to say, “There are 3 sides to every triangle.”

When asked to comment on the arrest, President Bush said, “If God had wanted us to have better Weapons of Math Instruction, He would have given us more fingers and toes.” White House aides told reporters they could not recall a more intelligent or profound statement by the president.



Wayland Youth Softball

I am President of Wayland Youth Softball and at this time of year we send out sponsor letters to area businesses and civic organizations. We are a local youth league that provides an opportunity for nearly 200 kids to participate in a softball league. This year I am looking to include more groups and businesses than just the ones whose names we put on our teams' hats. With that in mind and in the interest of providing equal opportunity, not only am I sending a letter to the UPC office in Cohocton but I also wanted to know if you might be interested. What we are requesting is a $125 fee, and some groups will be team sponsors and some will be dugout sponsors. If this is something you might want to be involved with please email me back with your mailing address and I will send you a letter.

Thank you for your time.
Robby Anger
President Wayland Youth Softball



A story about our deer

It is difficult to believe that between 1860 and the early 1900s whitetail deer were essentially eliminated from our region. When settlers came to this area, they slowly but steadily cleared the forests to create farmland. By 1880, approximately 70 percent of the hill country surrounding the lakes was farmland and only 20 percent remained forested.

After hillside farming began declining around 1880, nature started reclaiming the abandoned farmland. Finding apples in old orchards and new successional plants, deer began migrating north from Pennsylvania. Laws were established to regulate hunting, and “deer sightings” were the talk of the town between 1915 and 1920.

Today, deer thrive in the Finger Lakes region and have adapted to living in close proximity to people. Newspapers no longer run stories about deer sightings, and although some consider them a nuisance, they are revered by hunters, naturalists and photographers.

Click here to read the whole story, complete with photos and information about the life cycle of whitetail deer, by Bill Banaszewski and here to download a PDF version you can print for your family.

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VN 1/2 - Happy New Year?

Welcome to 2007! For those of you who thought that 2006 was quite a year in the wind turbine debate, it looks like we’re in for more of the same in 2007. UPC Wind has just posted a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the latest revision of their proposed windpower project, and it’s the same old shell game of trying to sell their project by exaggerating claims and minimizing impact. What does the new SEIS exaggerate and minimize? Read our article in this weeks Valley News, then pore over the new UPC SEIS and see what you think.

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VN 12/19 - It's Christmas!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

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The Elusive Hunter

For rich and poor, it's a way of life that dates to the dawn of the nation. Andrew Jackson was an avid hunter; so was Theodore Roosevelt. But as time goes on, the once-open range has fewer hunters. The number of license holders - roughly 15 million through 2004 - has actually shrunk by about two million people since 1982, when the population was 230 million (versus 300 million today). Some of what we take for granted in Cohocton is vanishing around our country. Read the full Newsweek article here, then take a photo tour and give thanks for what we've preserved.



Happy Thanksgiving!

While we may have our differences about some things, like wind turbines, there are other things we can all agree about, like the blessing of Thanksgiving. We wish you all a wonderful holiday with family and friends. In spite of our differences, let's try to work together with grateful hearts in the days and months ahead. God bless you!

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Fall Foliage Festival

This coming weekend is the Festival, and the colors are cooperating! Events include a spaghetti dinner at the Presbyterian Church and the start of the tree sitting contest, followed by the soccer tournament Friday night. Saturday kicks off with breakfasts at the Methodist Church and American Legion hall, benefit luncheons at the School and Firehouse, and the all-day craft market on Village Green, complete with petting zoo, wagon rides, and entertainment. A big parade at 1 pm, spud-jug game at 6 pm, and dance at the American Legion hall in the evening round out the day. Sunday starts with an ecumenical church service at the Sports Complex and a pancake breakfast at the Firehouse, followed by the craft fair, tractor pull, entertainment, luncheons at the School and St. Paul's Lutheran Church, afternoon candy run, and the glorious conclusion of the tree sitting contest! Find out more online here. We hope to see you there!



Steeped in History

This month's edition of The Smithsonian magazine has a wonderful article about the Finger Lakes region and the lasting inspirational effect the beauty of the had on Mark Twain. Few people know that his wife, Olivia Langdon, was from Elmira and that he spent two decades of summers here writing some of his most famous work, including Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Twain called the view from his Elmira study "a fore-taste of heaven."

Another part of the article describes how William Pryor Letchworth's commitment to the environment became a living legacy:

"...the lifelong bachelor retired at age 48 to his country house, Glen Iris, to devote himself to philanthropy. In 1906, in a move that outflanked an electric power company wanting to build a dam on the property, he donated 1,000 acres for a preserve that would become Letchworth State Park."

You can read the online article here. If you enjoy this one, you might also appreciate another Smithsonian article on the global effect of hybrid corn that we referenced in July.



More Pictures Wanted!

We're looking for more pictures for our Flickr album (see box at right) and PowerPoint show of the "Hills and Sky of Cohocton." Please send some of your best ones as JPG attachments so I can include them.



VN 7/25 - Been Reading?

A few weeks ago The Valley News published a clever fable written by an imaginative wind power supporter that made some rather far-fetched comparisons. This article is our response. Read the fable first, then our article (you should enjoy them both), and let us know what you think.

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Bumper Stickers Arrive

Our new bumper stickers have just arrived and will be sent out this weekend in a mailing to all the landowners in the Town of Cohocton. If you would like some for personal use or distribution, please contact us.



New Yard Signs!

We've received our first shipment of yard signs, just in time for tonight's CWW town meeting, and they look great! If you'd like one (or more) for your yard, just contact us.



Website Launched!

Today our new Cohocton Free website was launched in response to UPC Wind's DEIS and as a place for gathering and sharing information about the potential pitfalls of local wind farm development. It's up and running with several pages and some early photographs and diagrams, but it's got a long way to go. Let me know what you think we can do to improve the site as we go along. Thanks!