Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Anyone surprised? New York Daily News 4/30/14 - Major fire, explosion after train carrying crude oil derails in Lynchburg,Virginia: At this time the city says no injuries have been reported from the explosive crash around 2 p.m. EST near The Depot Grille. The city is evacuating the downtown area while advising Lynchburg residents to stay away. Read more:



Welcome to EverythingCroton, a collection of all things Croton--our history, our homes, our issues, our businesses, our schools--in short, EVERYTHING CROTON. 

On 4/29/14 Carmen's Unisex Salon celebrated her tenth anniversary in Croton with friends, family and light refreshments. Carmen was presented with "framed newspapers" touting her success in the village. The salon has also been newly renovated with crisp white cabinetry and painted in tones of of flax and sage. Click on the photos.

CARMEN'S UNISEX SALON - 364 Riverside Avenue - In the Heart of the Harmon Businss District! (914) 271-3962


Welcome to EverythingCroton, a collection of all things Croton--our history, our homes, our issues, our businesses, our schools--in short, EVERYTHING CROTON. 

The front page of the Journal News today features an article: REASON TO CHEER. Apparently New York is now the 35th state to recognize cheerleading as an interscholastic sport.  The New York State Public High School Athletic Association hopes to organize a state cheerleading championship within the next two years.  You can read more about it here

In the meantime, here's a few blasts from Croton Cheerleading past for your enjoyment, courtesy of the Croton Harmon High School year book collections at The Croton Historical Society. Click on the links--and the photos below too. Enjoy!




We love the old Western toys of the 40's, 50's and 60's--when Westerns were all the rage. To the right an incredible mint in Box Stallion 41-40 six shooter--click on the photo--it will be featured in the upcoming Auction #56 at Croton's own - see more from the auction at their website--and we'll let you know when it gets underway--you can also see more here

In case you missed it, the latest adventures of Rob and Monica--Farewell April--cool 50's bathroom, vintage Christmas, great 50's aprons, and...TIKI!

Speaking of TIKI, click on the photo to see a 1965 ad from New York's Hawaii Kai--this was THE place for a night out back in the 60's--the grand dame of Polynesian restaurants.

Speaking of TIKI, check out this fab website called

Hi-def catalog page, 1917, Vantine's--showing very early made in Japan candy container houses and more

Oldies but goodies: Those who make their own putz houses are always on the look-out for ways to create texture or new effects. One thing we have never been able to duplicate with any success is the effect of "crackle". Well check this out: a large CRACKLE rubber stamp!*--Rubber-Stamp/Detail

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Welcome to EverythingCroton, a collection of all things Croton--our history, our homes, our issues, our businesses, our schools--in short, EVERYTHING CROTON.

Everything Croton is pleased to bring you Dennis Kooney's latest, with permission, from the May 2014 issue of "Boating on the Hudson & Beyond" magazine: The Last Rivermen, featuring Chris Letts, the Croton Yacht Club and more. Click on the photos below to read this wonderful article.


Welcome to EverythingCroton, a collection of all things Croton--our history, our homes, our issues, our businesses, our schools--in short, EVERYTHING CROTON.

With the Ukraine such a hot topic locally--and otherwise--these days, we're posting an update from a resident's family member: Rory Finnin, Director of the Ukrainian Studies Programme at Cambridge University. See below: Tuesday, April 29, 2014 1:52 PM, Subject: Ukraine update

Dear family and friends,

A few of you have asked for an update on the situation in Ukraine, so I thought I would send along a text of an interview I gave today for a Chinese outlet:

1. How will the crisis evolve? What might Ukraine, Russia and West do next?
First we have to understand two essential things: 1) the present crisis is not 'organic' to Ukraine, but part of a series of destabilising provocations primarily orchestrated by Moscow's intelligence services; and 2) these provocations have one guiding strategic objective: a subservient, vassal Ukraine with limited sovereignty. What we have been witnessing over the past year -- from Russia's trade war with Ukraine in summer 2013 to its deployment of special forces in Crimea and eastern Ukraine this spring -- is at once a deeply covert and highly overt performance of the Kremlin's commitment to this objective. Vladimir Putin has shown no real interest in departing from it, so I expect the situation to continue to escalate over the course of the weeks and months ahead.

How will it escalate? There are a number of possibilities. The first is that armed thugs, guided by the Russian GRU, continue to seize state assets in Ukraine's south and east and seek to build a critical mass in support of some kind of union with the Russian Federation. Lugansk was a central target of such violent activities today (29 April), for example. These so-called 'separatist' groups are generating an environment of fear, violence and intimidation in order to undermine the power and legitimacy of the interim government in Kiev and to sabotage the coming presidential elections on 25 May. Their political platform is incoherent -- do they support greater autonomy within Ukraine? secession from Ukraine to Russia? outright independence? -- because their political platform is secondary and ultimately beside the point. As with many terrorists, their end is their means. 

It is difficult to see this status quo -- i.e. targeted chaos loosely oriented on the issue of 'separatism' -- achieving the Kremlin's guiding strategic objective. It may certainly disrupt the elections on 25 May, but it has a limited window of opportunity over the longer term. After all, as a political phenomenon, separatism remains very marginal in Ukraine's east and south; according to very recent polling, only 10% of respondents in this now-troubled region express any separatist feeling at all. Other polls (such as make the same point: nearly 90% of respondents in the Donbas consider Ukraine their 'fatherland', for instance.

The second possibility, which we might think of as the Kremlin's 'Plan B', involves a perpetuation of this separatist noise, amplified by an false-flag event of spectacular violence. The assassination attempt on the life of Kharkiv mayor Gennadi Kernes on 28 April may have been meant as such an event, although at the moment it seems to have failed in mobilising or radicalising Ukrainians one way or the other. Keep in mind that for 23 years Ukraine has managed its differences peacefully, in contrast to its neighbour to the northeast. This rampant violence is very, very new.

The third possibility is in a sense a 'Plan C', a modified extension of the previous two possibilities: a conventional military invasion of Ukraine's sovereign territory under the pretence of a 'peace-keeping mission'. It is hugely reckless but not impossible, especially given the Kremlin's recent rhetoric and the audacity of Vladimir Putin's actions.

Many analysts have 1) rightly pointed out that the tens of thousands of Russian troops currently amassed along Ukraine's eastern border are not sufficient to occupy Ukraine's territory and facilitate a repeat the Crimean scenario and 2) therefore argued that an invasion is unlikely. As much as I hope they are right, I fear that we may be missing the point and conflating tactic and strategy here. A Russian invasion of Ukraine does not need to lead to annexation; it merely needs to win the Kremlin leverage in its pursuit of its strategic objective, which is, again, a vassal Ukrainian state. It is widely acknowledged that Russia enjoys military superiority over Ukraine. Persuading Putin to pull-back and deescalate after an invasion would almost certainly involve an offer of concessions to him. One such concession could be, for instance, a federalised Ukraine -- in which various regions of the country would conduct their own domestic and even foreign policies. The Kremlin has been pushing the issue of federalisation for months. Of course, a majority of Ukraine's citizens, even in the east, do not support federalisation at all. It would effectively amount to a death knell for Ukraine's sovereignty and independence.

2. Given the information and intelligence available, given your experience, what are the chances that the crisis will become an actual war? Why?

Your term 'actual war' deserves comment. What we are seeing in Ukraine right now is indeed a war, but it is hybrid, novel and unconventional, involving a combination of select Russian special forces, mercenaries, Russian 'tourists', and disgruntled Ukrainian citizens under the influence of unrelenting Kremlin propaganda. Will we see Russian tanks invading Ukrainian territory? I pray not. But unless the present dynamic changes fundamentally, unless the Kremlin decides to cut its losses and abandon its current strategic objective, I believe that this unconventional war will turn conventional in the near future, and for one simple reason. Putin and his circle suffer from a major misapprehension of Ukraine and its people. They have adopted a particular strategy under the illusion that Ukraine's national identity is weak, that its civil society is fractured, that its Russian-speakers are somehow Russian, that the country will unravel by pulling a few threads in the east and south. Ukraine's politicians may be largely corrupt and ineffectual, but its citizens are not. Any reasonable person with a knowledge of Ukraine's history knows that the country is stronger and more cohesive and united than advertised. If Putin really wants to try and put Ukraine under his thumb, he will have to invade it.

3. If a war breaks out, which countries may be involved in this war? Is it reasonable to think the crisis could be the start of World War III?

A Russian invasion of Ukraine would be the most dangerous geopolitical development in Europe in decades. A broader escalation involving other powers -- World War III -- is highly unlikely, but we would be very foolish to dismiss the possibility. Wars have a way of spinning out of control, which is why we should be aggressive in working to prevent one now. That said, the US and NATO have been quick to assert that they will not assist Ukraine militarily in the event of a Russian invasion. Ukrainian forces would be on their own.

4. What are the historical, geographical, economic and political reasons behind the Ukraine Crisis?

Journalists and analysts have often looked to history and culture to help explain recent developments between Russia and Ukraine, especially during the illegal Russian occupation and annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula. Yet an overemphasis on the historical plays into the hands of irredentists and nationalists like Putin, who repeatedly appeals to the past for political gain in the present. History can be a distraction. While he may believe that the Russian Federation has some spiritual, historical right to sovereign Ukrainian territory, he is being guided strategically by what he perceives to be his political and economic interests above all. In other words, what we are witnessing is geopolitical aggression, pure and simple: a stronger power is exploiting a weaker one for its own gain.

Since the early eighteenth century, when much of the territory of today's Ukraine entered Moscow's sphere of influence, Ukraine and Ukrainians have offered the imperial centre abundant natural and human resources: agriculture, labour, access to warm water trade routes, etc. Since the nineteenth century, Ukraine has also offered Moscow a base of industrial production, particularly of iron and steel. Since the twentieth century, Ukraine has also offered Moscow a base of military-industrial production, particularly in the sphere of aviation. Today the Russian Federation still clearly benefits from an aligned Ukraine under its hegemony. It loses -- or at least it thinks it loses -- when Ukraine looks elsewhere for its political culture and embraces arguably competing economic arrangements, such as the EU-Ukraine Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA). In this light, we can see how the EuroMaidan movement and Yanukovych's ouster dealt the Kremlin a major geopolitical blow. Putin's actions since mid-February have been, in this sense, reactive and compensatory.

5. How will the crisis be ended? What will be the regional and global impacts or aftereffects of this crisis? How will it change the international relations and balance of power?
This crisis has already had major international repercussions. The most significant relates, in my opinion, to nuclear proliferation. We need to remember that Ukraine once had the third largest stockpile of nuclear weapons in the world. Remarkably, Ukraine gave them up and acceded to the Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1994 with assurances from the major powers that its territorial sovereignty and integrity would be respected in return. These assurances were put in writing in the so-called Budapest Memorandum. Now Ukraine's territorial sovereignty and integrity are under assault from the Russian Federation, one of the very signatories of the Budapest Memorandum. The attendant cost to Moscow has been, to this point, minimal. The cost to international diplomacy in the service of non-proliferation has been, by contrast, very substantial. Ukrainians now believe that if they had remained a nuclear power, they would not be under this kind of assault. Some in the country have called for a return to the manufacture of nuclear weapons. Other states are most certainly getting the same message.

6. How could the Ukraine Crisis affect UK? What measures might the UK government take to deal with the Ukraine Crisis?

To this point, the United Kingdom and the EU have been merely reactive in the face of a rampant transgression of international law on their doorstep. To this point at least, two rounds of modest sanctions have failed to interrupt and change the Kremlin's pattern of behaviour. There has been no retreat whatever from the extreme propagandistic rhetoric, the threatening troop movements along Ukraine's border, the deployment of mercenaries and special forces, the support for violent thugs taking OSCE monitors and journalists hostage, etc. As I mentioned, Putin has yet to show any sign of changing course and of departing from his guiding strategic objective to subjugate Ukraine. So we here in the UK have a choice: either we stand idly by while this pattern of behaviour continues to escalate and explode, or we resolve to alter this dynamic and introduce more targeted sanctions now. Our leverage is not insignificant: after all, the City of London is awash in billions from Russian oligarchs aligned with the Kremlin who park their fortunes here. We have productive and proactive options before us. Whether we choose to use them in time may decide the fate of the European project for generations to come.

Our friends and colleagues in Ukraine are scared but determined and defiant. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers, and please keep spreading the word with others. The Kremlin propaganda machine never sleeps.... 

All the best, Rory


For those of you who have written, we still don't know what happened with Gouveia at last night's work session; no documents were provided by the village, no explanations or descriptions of what was to be discussed from 9:30 to 10 pm (unlike other items on the work session agenda). While this comes as no surprise given the village's past practices, we will supposedly at least have the audiotape when and if it becomes available. It is still currently not online. Bookmark this post for the link.

UPDATED: JUST LEARNED THAT AN ORGANIZATION FAMILIAR TO CROTON RESIDENTS APPEARED AT LAST NIGHT'S WORK SESSION: SOMETHING GOOD IN THE WORLD would like to use the Gouveia site (asking the village for acreage for an "enviro" area/center/garden, they would allegedly pay us something and be self-sustaining) and gave a presentation (editor's note, nothing on the work session agenda about this at all.)

For those who do not remember: Mayor criticized for role in school's zoning request, Something Good in the World By ROBERT MARCHANT, THE JOURNAL NEWS, March 28, 2004- Highlights:

--Mayor Robert Elliott is coming under criticism from opposition members of the village Board for appearing at a zoning board hearing in support of an application.
--Trustee Deborah McCarthy called Elliott's involvement in a child-care facility's application to expand its operations at 138 Maple St. "highhanded," adding that he had undermined the appearance of an impartial village review process. She was echoed in her criticism by fellow Trustee Gregory Schmidt. 
--The school needed a change in the village code and a special permit from the village board, as well as permission from the zoning board because the school's site is too small and too close to its neighbors to meet local regulations regarding schools.
--Barbara Sarbin, president, said the facility...was being expanded to eliminate a long waiting list. "There are children and families who want to attend this school, and we're trying to create more space to accommodate them,"
--The zoning board initially turned down the Garden Road application Dec. 10. The school came back March 10 during a meeting attended by 30 or so supporters (editor's note, most were non-village residents as the record shows) and parents, along with Elliott.... At the meeting, Elliott said he believed the plan would have the support of the village Board...which must decide whether to issue a special permit...McCarthy said it sounded to her like an assurance that the village board would approve the school's application - before it was introduced to the trustees. 
--The ZBA ended up approving the application after the hearing, reversing its Dec. 10 decision. 

ADDITIONALLY: Preschool allowed to add kindergarten, first grade-THE JOURNAL NEWS 7/21/04 A controversial plan to expand a Maple Avenue school was approved by Croton-on-Hudson authorities Monday in a decision that sharply divided elected officials and the local community....The village Board of Trustees approved a special permit to increase the enrollment at the Garden Road, run by Something Good in the World Inc. The approval will allow it to open a kindergarten and first-grade class and to grow from 14 to 24 pupils. VOTE:  Grant and Schmidt, opposed; Mayor Elliott, Trustees Kane and Wiegman for. 

Editor's Note: Something Good currently operates out of Hilltop Farm; their lease/license arrangement expires in June '14 with the county. It is unclear why they are not remaining there. A February 2014 letter seems to indicate that the county etal continues to be involved with Hilltop


A sad day. And yes, many in the EverythingCroton crowd bought the magazine regularly--including yours truly.

Courtesy of Croton's own Tom Faranda's Folly, the news that another magazine has bit the dust: the Ladies Home Journal has folded.

Read more here:

P.S. Click on the photo to see one of our favorite covers from February 1930.



Welcome to Everything Croton, a collection of all things Croton -- our history, our homes, our issues, our businesses, our schools -- in short, EVERYTHING CROTON. 

It's official--welcome to Franki's Grill--new sign--in the historic Upper Village. Click on the photo. New menu too and some old favorites too. Stay tuned.

Read and see more here:


Welcome to Everything Croton, a collection of all things Croton--our history, our homes, our issues, our businesses, our schools--in short, EVERYTHING CROTON.  

Not long ago, as part of our vintage "Croton Historian" newsletter series, we featured a 2009 Historical Society newsletter that detailed the Dutch Days Pageant held in the village back in 1912. You can read and see more about that here:

Well it was so intriguing that EverythingCroton has had several requests for more from the pageant; click on the photos below--courtesy once again of The Croton Historical Society.  Become a member today. Download the membership form here

And in case you are wondering what the writing on the windmill translates to, a friend says it's Home Sweet Home, more or less.

Monday, April 28, 2014


Welcome to EverythingCroton, a collection of all things Croton--our history, our homes, our issues, our businesses, our schools--in short, EVERYTHING CROTON.

Congratulations to Probationary Active Firefighter Tommy "Scanners" Kaplan who has successfully completed the NYS Firefighter I program. READ MORE HERE



Welcome to EverythingCroton, a collection of all things Croton--our history, our homes, our issues, our businesses, our schools--in short, EVERYTHING CROTON.

As we slowly move down the "requests" list, the Everything Croton elves are pleased to present select scans from the Croton-Harmon High School Year Book for the Class of 1976. Please note that this copy--courtesy of the outstanding archives maintained by The Croton Historical Society's volunteers--is heavily marked. For the sake of discretion (LOL), certain pages will be excluded.  Click on the photos below for the final post (we'll try to do senior class pix over the summer).

See Part 1 here AND Part 2 here AND Part 3 here AND Part 4 here


Welcome to Everything Croton, a collection of all things Croton--our history, our homes, our issues, our businesses, our schools--in short, EVERYTHING CROTON.

Well another Croton Earth Day has come and gone--and despite a very cold and rainy night, the weather turned out just fine. 

Part 2: Click on the photos below, all rights reserved, to see only some of the participants in the 4/26 event, sponsored by the Croton Conservation Advisory Committee. Check out their FB page here:

See Part 1 here:

You may also have an interest in the TOP FIVE MOST READ 2013 DUCK POND ARTICLES @ EVERYTHING CROTON