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The Millerton News Editorial

Something needs to be done: Guns and mental illness in the United States

The tragedy in Las Vegas seems almost unfathomable. How, exactly, is our country supposed to recover from such senseless violence? When 58 people are shot and killed while attending a country music concert, it understandably shatters our peace of mind.

But that’s exactly what happened at the hands of 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, a millionaire gambler and real estate investor who shot hundreds among a crowd of roughly 22,000 from his hotel window at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the Vegas strip. 

The right to dissent …

There are many things one would hope their president would be concerned about in today’s world: mass shootings, natural disasters, health care, tax reform. And, yes, race relations in the United States. But the way President Donald Trump has responded to the ongoing debate regarding NFL players taking a knee is both disappointing and disconcerting.

Crossing the line

When does a joke  go too far?

And what, exactly, constitutes a joke in the first place?

Those are questions being asked right now following confirmed reports that Millerton Planning Board member Peter Greenough, husband of Millerton Deputy Mayor Christine Bates, left an obscene message on  the front door of a local real estate agency. They were captured on a security camera at the scene, and Greenough readily admits he wrote the message — a joke, he said.

Thorne tours hint at future possibilities

At the bottom of Millbrook’s Franklin Avenue sits a pale yellow building with grand palladium windows. It’s the Thorne Memorial Building — a hallmark of the village’s gentle style and elegant Beaux-Arts architecture. Built in 1895, it’s welcomed all entering Millbrook and bid farewell to those leaving with solidity and grace.

Have you heard? The Lakeville Journal is moving

This is a big week for your community weekly newspaper. On Friday, Sept. 8, Salisbury Bank purchased The Lakeville Journal Company’s central location at 33 Bissell St. in Lakeville (see story on the front page.) After about two years of planning, the door is now open for the bank to create new offices for its people adjacent to its corporate facility and trust division along Bissell Street. This is a change that will also be beneficial for The Lakeville Journal Company, which publishes the Millerton News as well as The Lakeville Journal.

Forever changed by Sept. 11

It’s been 17 years, and most Americans remain haunted by remembrances of Sept. 11. Those nightmarish images are burned into our collective memory. They are as gut-wrenching and heartbreaking today as ever.

Every time people talk about the day that took the lives of 2,996 people — at the World Trade Center, at the Pentagon and in a field in Pennsylvania — the trauma is re-experienced. 

The dangers of tweaking laws for a few

It’s tough for a town to justify special treatment of any of its constituents. All taxpayers should be treated fairly and equally under the law. But there are times when exceptions arise. The question, of course, is whether it’s a good idea to make exceptions, and whether they can be made fairly. 

Case in point? The request by the Antlers Club in Pine Plains to allow the construction of three new homes on its 10.5-acre grounds — despite that doing so would contradict town zoning. 

Has manipulative science gone too far?

Amid reports about terrorist attacks in Spain, nuclear threats from North Korea, white supremacists in Virginia and, of course, chief White House strategist Stephen Bannon’s ouster a very important bit of news has slipped under the radar. Scientists in Portland, Ore., have figured out a way to successfully “edit” DNA in human embryos.

The enormity of this feat should not go unmentioned. After all, genetic engineering of human embryos has long been aspired to by many in the scientific world. Others, understandably, have feared it. 

Our differences should unite us, not tear us apart

This week’s editorial addresses the history of racism in the U.S. The original piece was written prior to Saturday’s deadly act of domestic terrorism at the hands of a white supremacist. While we are tremendously saddened that the issue came to a head with the Aug. 12 unrest in Charlottesville, Va., we thought it timely — and wanted to use the opportunity to stress how dangerous hate can be.

Taking steps toward a more informed public

The village and the county held an open house on the Millerton Pedestrian Plan Project on Thursday, Aug. 3, at the NorthEast-Millerton Library Annex. In doing so, not only did the village share the results of its work with the Dutchess County Department of Planning and Development, but both village and county accomplished something that is critical to local governing: community outreach.

So often, our towns and villages are criticized for not informing the public of their intentions, of the work they’re conducting and of their goals and aspirations.