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Letters to the Editor - The Millerton News - 1-28-21

No longer with TOW Recreation Department

As of January 2021, I have been employed by the Town of Washington for 19 years. Nineteen wonderful years that I would not trade for anything. During those years I have worked with the community in just about every way imaginable, from newborn babies through 100-year-old senior citizens, and everyone in between. Being able to give back to a community that has always been home to me and supported me personally, prior to my employment with the town, has been such a rewarding and enjoyable experience. 

People often say that many people have a job they like and few have a job they love. I am fortunate enough to be one of the lucky ones who love their job. Enter COVID-19. During these times we have all been forced to make changes to what our “normal” is. The world we live in now is very different from the world we lived in last year at this time. Some changes are easy, while others take some getting used to. 

COVID has negatively impacted recreation. State guidelines have made it very difficult to run programs as we have always done. New programming has been put to the side during these uncertain times. The few programs we can run are very small and not at all what we wish we could do for everyone. A combination of COVID and our new software system has led to a major change for me. 

I no longer work in the Recreation Department. The town has reassigned me as the Building and Zoning Department clerk. I always thought I would serve my community through the Recreation Department until the day I chose to retire. 

My heart is heavy leaving behind all of “my kids” and families I have grown to love over the years. I see the 2-year-olds I had in my first Preschool Camp, who are now 21 years old, and I smile. Those 19 years were truly a blink of an eye. 

The most rewarding thing has been being able to watch them grow up within recreation and the community. It has been my absolute honor and privilege to work in the Recreation Department. There are too many people to thank for all the help they provided over the years. 

Thank you to the children, the families, the coaches, the volunteers, the senior citizens, the committee members, my staff and my fellow employees: past and present. Thank you ALL for filling my heart with warmth and happiness when I look back over the last 19 years. I look forward to the day our programs are at full capacity. A day when we can all be out and about enjoying programming and each other. 

Until that time, you can find me at the Town Hall. Stop by and say hello anytime. Rest assured, I will continue to be involved in recreation and continue to check in on “our kids” as I always have! 

Kelly Cassinelli

Town of Washington Building and Zoning Department clerk

Lagrangeville

 

Climate Smart Task Force awarded, seeks shutterbugs

On Thursday, Jan. 14, at the North East Town Board meeting, the Millerton North East Climate Smart Community (CSC) Task Force received an award for successfully attaining the points needed to attain its bronze certification.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) awarded the Task Force 44 points for actions that it has taken to improve the environmental sustainability of North East and Millerton.  Notably, the town has adopted a Complete Streets Policy that will contribute to better access for pedestrians and bikes. The Climate Smart Task Force also launched its Social Media Instagram and Facebook sites ( www.instagram.com/climatesmartmillerton and www.facebook.com/ClimateSmartMillerton).

Once we earn 120 points, Millerton and North East will be certified as New York State Bronze Level Municipalities and thereby become eligible for more funding and support from various state agencies.

Also, Climate Smart Task Force Coordinator Kathy Chow has been accepted to the Local Champions Program managed by Lifeboats Hudson Valley, an initiative of The New World Foundation that supports meaningful resilience and climate change work in the region. 

The program has selected six Climate Smart Community coordinators from Columbia, Dutchess, Ulster and Greene Counties to participate in an intensive six-month training program that will ready our community for Bronze Certification by August. In addition, we have been awarded $8,000 to support our work to achieve more Climate Smart actions.

Back in 2018, the Village of Millerton and the Town of North East Boards voted to join hundreds of other communities in New York State and become a Climate Smart Community to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to a changing climate. The Comprehensive Plan update passed in 2019 emphasized the importance of having a “strong commitment to preserve the environment and ecosystems” and “prioritize economic and environmental resiliency.” 

The Climate Smart Task Force was appointed in 2019 under Kathy’s leadership as its coordinator. The Task Force began its work to take actions to mitigate the impact of climate change on the community. 

At last year’s virtual celebration of Earth Day, both Millerton Mayor Debbie Middlebrook and North East town Supervisor Chris Kennan made a joint statement endorsing the Task Force’s efforts on the Millerton Business Alliance’s website.

“The Climate Smart Community initiative holds such promise for our community,” they stated. “There are multiple grants available to help us find ways to avoid the flooding of our roads, decrease our energy expenses, increase economic opportunities and preserve the environment that we all hold dear.” 

A robust Climate Smart website is in the works and local volunteer photographers are being sought to help. To offer your services as a volunteer photographer, contact the CSC Task Force for more information at millertonclimatesmart@gmail.com.

Kathy Chow 

Climate Smart Community Coordinator

North East

Chris Kennan 

Town Supervisor and Task Force member

North East

 

Democracy threatened?

I believe most of us have been stunned by recent events in our country. Between Trump haters advocating impeachment for the second time and a new president anxious to drive up our debt load, what does the future hold? Let’s examine the track record so far.

At a time of high unemployment, businesses hanging on by a thread, not to mention COVID issues, where is the focus? Is this really the time to bog Congress down with an impeachment trial? I can only speak for myself in this matter, although I suspect many others may feel the same. The man has willingly left office, what is to be accomplished? Then again a lot of things don’t make sense today. 

Why is there a need for a 5,000 page stimulus bill? Obviously to cover the hidden agenda, half of which is fat to satisfy special interests. Driving our nation further in debt does little to help, perhaps leading to hyperinflation. When will it dawn on people, our government continues to make more of us dependent on them? This, of course, leads to greater control.

My how our elected officials love to pat themselves on their back. Governor Cuomo — nice job with your efforts at distribution of the vaccine. I could fly to Florida and get a shot with far less difficulty. I have a friend who did just that. Others I know (Connecticut residents) have scheduled vaccine visits at the Sharon Hospital. Not available to us folks in New York, where it’s extremely difficult to make any headway establishing a place in line. What line?

The National Guard remains in D.C., possibly into March. Riots continue in Portland unabated, so much for unity. On his first day in office, our new president put thousands out of work by shutting down wall construction and the Keystone Pipeline. 

Thanks to our less than stellar media, millions have been frightened into not taking the vaccine. We have corporations dictating items or people we should or shouldn’t support based on their liberal political agenda. For example, Kohl’s is no longer going to carry MyPillow.

I have tried though this media to encourage others to educate themselves regarding their all-important right to vote. Even that has become controversial and contested. Is there any wonder why I feel our democracy is threatened?

John Walters

Millerton

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