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Letters to the Editor - The Millerton News - 9-30-21

Regret missing Fire Company’s Open House

I’m sorry I missed the festivities at the Millerton firehouse and its new Annex on Sunday, Sept. 12th.  

Honoring our firemen, past and present, is extremely important. Our Village and Town would be in a sad situation if we did not have these wonderful volunteers in our midst.  

Unfortunately, I knew nothing about the event. I had not gotten a local paper that week and I had not heard of it from friends and neighbors. 

My first knowledge of it came from a nephew in Manchester, Conn., who saw it on Facebook after the fact. 

Wow! Many of my (older) generation do not subscribe to Facebook or have limited use of it. 

When asking a number of individuals if they knew about the celebration they all said “no.” 

I certainly wish there had been more publicity, in which case I think the attendance would have been enhanced.

In contrast to that event the recent Millerton Food Festival was publicized everywhere. I saw signs up and down every street and even out of town. The turnout of people for the Food Festival was amazing in the Village. That was great to see and shows what advertising can do.  

I just wish as much effort had been put into advertising the fire district affair. Many people I spoke with said they would have attended, as would have I. 

Diane Walters



Silo Ridge rodeo, residents could try to be less off-putting

As a former events producer for the Amenia World Peace Festival, I would have to say that the excessive proliferation of multiple signs advertising the Hudson Valley Rodeo at every intersection has been overkill. We get it, you’re putting on a rodeo!  Sponsored by Silo Ridge and Friends as a benefit for your community foundation!

However, this event, perhaps inadvertently, assumes that all locals naturally enjoy buckaroo events. This seems to be a misread of the complexity of the people who live in our area, without taking our diversity into account, perpetuating a rural stereotype. The producer of this event, LKC Rodeo Productions, is from Billings, Mont., and presents rodeos “at county fairs in Montana, South Dakota, Idaho, Wyoming and Colorado.”

What is fun out West, perhaps at the other Discovery Land Company resorts, might not translate to being as much fun up here in the Northeast. But, since some people might enjoy seeing a rodeo, despite concerns about cruelty to animals, and if the intent is to promote goodwill between the community and the wealthy gated newcomers at Silo Ridge, then the price of admission should be set to enable citizens of all economic backgrounds to be able to attend both the rodeo and the concert afterwards. I’m sure a rodeo of this scope has a benevolent benefactor or two as backers, so why not subsidize tickets to enable the workers of Amenia to be able to attend? 

If you don’t seek local input, you risk being perceived as an outsider. 

I know because I bent over backwards to make the Peace Festival appeal to local people by involving them, asking the Wassaic Fire Department and local delis to provide food. But this event has the feeling of a Roman forum with a bread and circuses type approach, clowns and all!

If the organizers of the event, (who some suspect have a political agenda), would like to really help local people, a better approach might be to support local businesses. A survey of local businesses in Amenia discovered that few people from Silo Ridge support their enterprises. 

A young woman who taught classes to some of the children of Silo residents asked if they went to Fudgie’s for ice cream in Amenia or to The Moviehouse in Millerton. 

They said no, that they already have all those offerings inside their community. So they had no need to come out and see what life is like in Amenia or surrounding towns and meet the “locals.”

What would be nice, in addition to the rodeo, would be for the residents of Silo Ridge (who seem hell bent on not being seen), to invite “the locals” over for a barbecue or a picnic at their clubhouse, so those of us who live here in Amenia year-round could meet and greet our new neighbors on their own turf, face to face. It could even be a potluck! That would be the neighborly thing to do, to open their gates once a year.  We don’t bite. 

Tonia Shoumatoff


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