So just what is that gunk growing in the mill ponds in Crane Park?
The thick growth of purplish plants is a mixture of hornwort and algae, which thrive on phosphorous and nitrates. Goose poop is a major source of those nutrients, according to Allied Biologicals, the New Jersey firm hired to manage the ponds’ water.
The Village of Monroe expects to receive a permit from the state Department of Environmental Conservation to treat the plants with herbicide by next week. If all goes well, the pond could be clear a week or two later.
The geese, however, will still be there. (Sigh.)

Warwick’s talent for Caitlin’s memory
The Warwick Valley High School branch of the Interact service club raised $3,600 at its fifth annual talent show on Tuesday.
A $1,000 chunk of the money was donated to the Caitlin M. Hammaren Memorial Foundation for the Arts at neighboring Minisink Valley High School.
Hammaren, a 2005 Minisink grad, was killed in the Virginia Tech shooting in April.

Park development in Orange County has suddenly kicked into overdrive. First, for the animals: A dog park is coming to Thomas Bull Memorial Park in Hamptonburgh, and plans are coalescing – sort of – for a nearby equine facility that horse owners have been pushing for the last three years.
And now, there’s been progress on a southern Orange facility that has been in limbo for years. County lawmakers got their first glimpse last week of the planned first stage of the future Gonzaga Park, straddling the towns of Monroe, Woodbury and Blooming Grove.
The county expects a simple start: a multi-purpose ball field, some trails and a parking area. The entrance to the former Jesuit retreat is at Seven Springs Road in Monroe.
Looks easy enough, but perhaps not a slam dunk, as George Tenet would say. Some lawmakers are grumbling about the additional staff that will be needed to run and maintain the park.

Building cell towers in residential areas wasn’t the only point of contention at a recent Blooming Grove Planning Board meeting. The exact way to describe what some residents see as intrusive structures also came up for debate. The Planning Board members took to calling the proposed structure a “flagless flagpole.”
Tom Brown, a concerned resident who lives near one of the planned towers, asked whether antennas would be placed in the tower or outside.
There would in fact be emergency antennas on the top of the tower, he was told.
“So it’s not going to be a flagpole, because a flagpole has a ball on the top,” Brown said.
“OK,” Planning Board Chairman Ralph Maffei conceded, “flagpole-style.”