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Letters to the Editor - The Millerton News - 1-6-22

NECC steps in as church departs, and shares encouraging news in ’22

As the year comes to a close, we at the North East Community Center can see much for which we are grateful.  Although there was a great deal of stress, many challenges and heartbreaking tragedies, we have witnessed a greater outpouring of compassion, kindness and community support than we could ever have imagined. I am not just speaking of community support for NECC and our work — for which we are so thankful — but “community” support for each other.

In times of crisis this past year, strangers stepped forward, businesses offered goods and services, our local leaders acted time and again to make things better, and the helping hand extended from one family to another in very personal ways all reflect a community to be praised and admired.

There is one among us who fits the bill just described, and we would like to take a moment to thank them and to say goodbye. I am speaking of the Millerton Presbyterian Church, which has been an important source of support for many years, for many people.

We at NECC are grateful to have been a community partner with the Church’s food pantry and community meals program. We witnessed time and again how the Presbyterian Church was not just meeting the physical needs of families, but was also providing “soul” support as it went about its work with great compassion.

We are very sad to see the Church leave Millerton, but before they leave, we want to let them know that we are grateful for all the support they have given NECC.

Rest assured, that support will continue to be used to provide food to those who need it, and with compassion — just as you would have done.

We would also like to thank The Millerton News. Our local paper has not only kept us informed of the goings-on in our area but has been a consistent source of support to NECC and our work.

Please encourage more people to subscribe online or in print in order to keep this important local resource alive and well.

Finally, as a note of good news for the future: It is official, NECC will be moving ahead with opening an early learning center in the former Astor Head Start location.

Efforts toward opening the facility will begin in January — we will let you know when an official opening date has been identified.

For all of you who have encouraged us on this path, thank you!

On behalf of NECC, our staff, our board and the people we serve, I would like to thank all of you for your help and support during this year. With great hope for the road ahead, we look forward to what is to come.

Happy New Year!

Christine Sergent

NECC Executive Director



ANHNA appreciates its FRIENDS, and hopes for more support in 2022

This year has continued to present many challenges due to the lingering effects of the pandemic. Ancramdale Neighbors Helping Neighbors Association (ANHNA) would like to thank our donors who have stepped forward with additional, generous funding through the year.

We also wish to express our gratitude to the Town of Ancram for its generous support. We also would not be able to do what we do without our dedicated volunteers who so generously offer their time and labor to help others.

All these contributions ensured that our local grassroots efforts were able to pivot and expand, providing “on-call” assistance to help local families gain access to healthy food, clothing, medical care, transportation, warm shelter and education during this past year.

As we move into 2022, we pledge to continue services that:

• Provide abundant weekly deliveries of fresh, healthy food to local families and deliver weekly supplies to two neighboring food pantries in Hillsdale and Pine Plains. Partnering with the NY Regional Food Bank, Ancramdale Presbyterian Church, Rock Steady Farm and other local farmers, our volunteers delivered more than 130,000 pounds of fresh produce, meat, dairy and other foodstuffs this year. We also serve as a much needed diaper bank for the Ancram Community.

• Supply holiday meal boxes in November and December and deliver clothing and gifts for children in need through our holiday Adopt-A-Family Program.

• Offer grants to college-bound Ancram Township students, to those entering vocational training programs and adults seeking job retraining. These grants (13 in 2021) help defray the costs of books, transportation, food, clothing and tuition. In addition, our annual school supplies drive collects and distributes much-needed supplies to local children and their teachers.

• Supply local families facing unforeseen emergency expenses, such as moving costs, security deposits, unpaid utility bills, fixing a wage earner’s car or help in navigating social services and healthcare applications. In addition, we offer a program with Copake Rapid Care to provide co-pay assistance for local families unable to make those payments.

We can assure you that 100% of your donation goes directly to these end purposes.

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation this year to help us continue these efforts. Together we are making a meaningful difference in our shared community.

Please send your donation to:

ANHNA, P.O. Box 97, Ancramdale, NY 12503.

With our sincere thanks,

Jack L. Lindsey,

Co-chair, ANHNA,


Hila Richardson,

Co-chair, ANHNA,



President Biden deserves praise for all he’s done during a busy first year

As we approach the end of President Biden’s first year in office, it is time to take stock of what he and his administration have accomplished. It is a most impressive record, in three main areas.

First, he waged war on the COVID pandemic, by developing a national plan for the delivery of vaccines, invoking the Defense Production Act, buying vaccines, establishing and stocking vaccine sites around the country and strongly urging everyone to get vaccinated.

Second, he and the Democratic administration repaired the economy. The American Rescue Plan cut child poverty in half and expanded access to the Affordable Care Act, bringing health insurance to over 4 million previously-uninsured Americans. Over 4 million jobs were created during the Biden administration’s first year, more than were created in the 12 years of the Trump and George W. Bush administrations combined. The administration’s infrastructure bill is starting to bring long-overdue construction to places that need it, all over the country. The U.S. economy grew about 6% in 2021, at the fastest rate in decades, and much faster than the year’s growth in China or the Eurozone.

Finally, President Biden has improved America’s place in the world, rejoining the World Health Organization and the Paris Climate Accords, increasing sanctions against funding terrorism, and convening a Summit for Democracy, to work with our allies on combating authoritarianism and corruption and protecting human rights. He has ended our 20-year war in Afghanistan and directed the largest human airlift in U.S. history, rescuing over 100,000 people. Working with our European allies he is standing firm against Russia’s President Putin’s threats against Ukraine.

All of this has been done with very little credit in the media, and with the active opposition of the Republican Party. The Republicans so far have prevented the passage of a bill to support child care and elder care, education and measures to address climate change, and also of two bills to restore the voting rights and election integrity which have been stripped away, in many states, by Republican legislatures. During the New Year we can hope for, and support, the passage of these important bills.

Cavin P. Leeman



Young helpers at Legion Post 178’s breakfasts much appreciated

My compliments to the Chefs and “worker bees” including the Long Rifles group who participate in providing exceptional breakfasts on the first Sunday of many months of the year at American Legion Post 178.

The food is excellent including coffee (always hot) and juice.

The youngsters who help out are pleasant, mannerly and efficient to the nth degree.

Thank you all for continuing this tradition.

It’s also important to note that during the COVID crisis great care is taken regarding masking and distancing, which is also appreciated.

Take-out is offered for anyone who is uncomfortable dining in.

Diane Walters


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