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Letters to the Editor - The Millerton News - 3-26-20

We’re from the government and we’re here to help

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has disrupted society in ways unseen even during the worst of Y2K, 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy. Regular commerce is suffering as confidence in public, in-person transactions collapses. Add to this mix the government’s schizophrenic reaction to this crisis, and you get a set of circumstances that will leave the public more vulnerable to infection.

On one hand, government commendably seeks to “flatten the curve” of contagion. To this end, government has ordered staggered reductions in the percentage of workers on-site, and the closure of whole industries — such as concert venues and movie theaters — to promote “social distancing.” On the other hand, to account for all the lost commerce that government’s measures are causing, government is proposing stimulus packages to prop up individuals and businesses.

Here in New York we have seen particularly disjointed measures adopted concerning the electoral cycle. Governor Cuomo on March 14 issued Executive Order 202.2, significantly lowering the threshold for petition signatures needed to access the ballot, yet in the same breath (if you’ll pardon the ill-timed pun) he shortened the time frame for petitioning by nearly two weeks. That had some petitioners scrambling to knock on people’s doors, which hardly helps the effort to limit human contact.

On March 16 the New York Legislature was scheduled to introduce Bill A10151/S8058 to advance the period for filing ballot petitions from March 29 to March 17. The Legislature could not actually meet on the 16th, so the bill was introduced and passed on the 18th, meaning that retroactively we lost a day of the filing window, which they were already shortening! This forced many staffers from “multi-county” campaigns to rush to the Board of Elections in Albany. The board prudently admitted no more than two people at a time… which left up to 30 fatigued staffers huddled in the lobby, ripe for COVID-19!

We are experiencing an international health crisis, which demands emergency measures, but “emergency” does not necessarily require haste. To our societal toolkit for tackling this pandemic, let’s add measures that extend deadlines and generally invite reflection about whether we are rushing in the correct directions.

Daniel Donnelly

Vice-Chair of the Dutchess County Libertarian Party



Dine Out For History canceled, record your thoughts for historical society

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the North East Historical Society (NEHS) has canceled our last Dine Out For History event at 52 Main on Thursday, March 26. I have been in touch with its owner, Eleanor Nurzia, who has graciously agreed to reschedule when this difficult time is behind us. We look forward to that, as last year’s event at 52 Main was very well received.

On behalf of the NEHS board, I want to thank all of you who supported our second year of Dine Out For History and the restaurants who agreed to participate: The Millerton Inn; Oakhurst Diner; Golden Wok; Manna Dew Café; Taro’s Pizzeria; Round III; and 52 Main.  We were delighted to see growth in both the number and variety of restaurants involved and in attendance as well.

We are living through a unique period. We encourage everyone to support your neighbors, our health care providers and, when it is able to re-open, our business community as best you can.

We also encourage you to write down or orally record your thoughts and experiences as our community makes its way through this challenge. Take photos to document this period. And if you do, please send the historical society a copy at P.O. Box 727, Millerton, NY 12546 or email me at eddowney@millertonlawyer.com or eddowney12@gmail.com.

It is a historic moment. Reflecting on its impact on our community is important to both help us better understand it ourselves and to enable future generations to do so as well.

Our best to you all. Be safe. Be well.

Edward Downey

President, North East Historical Society



Ancram limits chances of public interaction

Effective immediately, the Ancram Town Hall, Town Court and Town Garage will be closed to the public until further notice.

Town employees will continue to be working normal hours at the Town Hall or from home, so can you reach them by email, phone or mail.

Our Highway Department is working a regular schedule.

If you have something to drop off with a town official, please just put it in the mail box on the far edge of the Town Hall parking lot.

Email addresses and phone numbers for town departments are online, at www.ancramny.org, or call the town number at 518-329-6512 and leave a message if no one is available to talk when you call.

Thankfully, so far, everyone around here seems to be well but understandably under a lot of stress. Please make sure to observe the county, state and federal regulations of social distancing and proper hygiene, and do your best to stay well.

Art Bassin

Town supervisor



Glad to see Legion sign being utilized

I was very pleased to see the sign at Millerton Legion Post 178 being utilized during this coronavirus pandemic.

We can’t have too many reminders of what we need to be doing. Even though I am “sheltering in place” for the most part there are still places we need to get to and I’m impressed with the businesses that are open and their employees who have obviously taken precautions to protect their customers.

As we go forward I hope some of these “good habits,” i.e. extra cleanliness and social distancing, will continue. Perhaps that will cut down on the flu and other contagious illnesses in the future.

Diane Walters


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