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Letters to the Editor - The Millerton News - 7-23-20

Life in the Trump era

I’m what most folks consider a traditionalist, often referred to as a conservative. Today that connotation carries with it a hatred unseen in our past. If you don’t follow the liberal agenda, you’re labeled a racist. That could be kind in view of other names often bandied about.

How we came to this point remains a mystery. When did it become OK to accept the demands of a minority, while the silent majority stands by largely ignoring the ever-growing crisis? As long as that angry crowd is banging on someone else’s door, why should anyone care? Maybe because it should be obvious things will only get worse if the trend continues.

Until we get agreement on the need to obey existing laws, I see no end to the ever-increasing violence in many of our larger cities. Defunding the police is another example of the lunacy some would have you believe will make things better. You’re not worried cause you got a gun… ask those folks in St. Louis who were defending their home from protesters why their weapons were confiscated? So much for the right to bear arms.

Thankfully in our little part of the world we’ve had minimal exposure to the turmoil of which I speak. Simply tuning out or turning off the news might make one feel better, but it’s not likely to change things. That can only come about when people start exerting themselves and let their voice be heard.

No, I’m not suggesting everyone should run out and become another protester, conservatives typically don’t do that. Although if you’d like to stop suffering in silence, remember we still have the right to vote in this country.

In my lifetime I can’t recall a more important election. We can fix what’s wrong, perhaps not if we keep electing the same folks. Career politicians have helped to get us where we are now. I beseech every voter to educate themselves before making their decision on our future leaders.

Lest anyone forget, freedom isn’t free! Have we forgotten all those in the past who sacrificed so much to get us where we are today? My wife and I proudly display old glory in front of our home. Sadly, too many have no regard for that which it stands. 

John Walters



Excited to share
Millerton park plans

The coronavirus has detrimentally impacted recreation in the village of Millerton and surrounding communities. Many communities canceled summer camps due to safety concerns. For Millerton, the absence of a pool and the need to transport children miles away for swimming lessons and a chance to cool off also played a significant role in foregoing an important summer program. The Eddie Collins Memorial Park Revitalization Committee is determined to see a pool return to the park.

Despite restrictions imposed to contain the spread of the virus, the Committee has continued its work alongside the village of Millerton to follow through with a Park redevelopment plan four years in the making. In the past year, the Committee has helped the Village secure grants and personal donations totaling more than $900,000. These funds are slated to be used for the initial $1.25 million phase. Phase 1 will relocate the park entrance, improve the handicapped accessible playground, add two new basketball courts and a full-sized soccer field.

Most recently, the village board reviewed numerous bids for a detailed design, including construction documents, for the entire proposed project. The Chazen Companies, an engineering firm based in Poughkeepsie with extensive experience in park restoration, was awarded the contract. The Committee is eager to get the designs in place and have the first phase of construction completed so it can push on into phase 2: a new pool.

Stephen Waite

Chairperson, Eddie Collins Memorial Park Revitalization Committee



Pine Plains supervisor offers thanks

The past three-plus months have been something of a nightmare for all essential workers — in Pine Plains as well as the rest of the country. I’d like to extend thank yous to everyone now.

Firstly, I want to thank our local farmers for providing food for people here, both for our food lockers and those who can afford to buy their own. When I hear what other towns are experiencing in terms of food scarcity, I am astonished at how available meat and produce are right here. Predictions for the near future nationally list the supply-chain disruption of food as the number one crisis they foresee coming. Pine Plains is the breadbasket of Dutchess County in a lot of ways, and the farmers here have kept us all going strong.

I want to thank Ted Tenore for stepping up again to help level the beach and put down new sand and dirt for the ball fields. They’ve been graded and look wonderful.

Enormous thanks to Jen Chase for her Camp and Beach Directorship in a pandemic. The amount of work that went into opening both has been heroic. For state compliance, she had to create a workable plan and submit it for approval, handle the Department of Health on a daily basis, and hire, train and implement her teen crew — all before camp and the beach even opened. Now it’s vigilance over the protocols that is all-consuming. Her people and organizational skills are truly appreciated. She reported at the Town Board Workshop Meeting last Monday that it was all worth it to see the kids smile so much after such a hard winter alone. 

Jen wanted me to make sure to thank Bobby Lee Couse for all his help in repairing the picnic tables and the dock, which fell apart the first week. Bobby Lee and his able-bodied assistant, Vinnie Parliman, have been instrumental in keeping our buildings clean and our public grounds maintained, and the specifications for that have increased their work quite a bit.

A big thank you also to all the people who stepped up to volunteer to be on our Broadband Committee. The first meeting takes place next week. The Town Board is looking into ways we might help college students who have no internet to study up in the Community Room at the library. This will take some real planning and maintenance. Anyone with ideas about how we might do this, please lend them to me!

Finally, a parting thank you to Lanaea Bailey, who moved to town a few years ago and set right to volunteering, becoming a member of the Garden Club and the Library Board. Lanaea’s landlord is selling her rental home, and she is off to new adventures in Troy. We will miss you and your daughter so much and thank you for all you’ve contributed to Pine Plains. Come back and visit please.

And to everyone wearing a mask protecting their fellow citizens and family members, thank you!

Darrah Cloud

Town supervisor

Pine Plains

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