Stephen Kaye

 From time to time, we get proxy statements in the mail. For those who are not accustomed to this form of literary entertainment, we here offer a much abbreviated  sample of what  corporate lawyers in league with government regulators turn out by the containership load. 

 

 The Low Hedged Dodge Co.

This question arose when we noticed that Ada Plumb was riding in the Junior Training class at the Millbrook Horse Trials, where she finished with a very respectable sixth place. We remembered that Mike Plumb rode in the MHT back when it first started in 1984. Mike was, in those days, already a senior rider, having ridden in more Olympics than any other athlete. It was Louise Meryman who lured Mike to participate. Mike’s son Charlie rode in the MHT as a youngster.  For a couple of years, there were two Plumbs navigating the course.  Then age took its toll, and there was a gap that ended this August when 14 year-old Ada Plumb was among the junior competitors. She is from Unionville PA, a decidedly horsey country, home to many race jocks and masters of foxhounds. We found out through a series of phone calls that Ada is indeed Mike Plumb’s granddaughter, making her the third generation of Plumbs to ride at the MHT. She is the daughter of Hugh and Cassie Plumb. Hugh prefers driving fast cars to riding fast horses, but Cassie keep a stable of horses, many of which are suited to eventing. Mike describes Ada as a real athlete.

 

The twenty-fifth issue of the Bard Music Festival opened Friday with a selection of the early and late music of Franz Schubert, the first of 12 sessions devoted to this ever-popular composer whose short life will continue to be examined over the course of next weekend.

 

One of the themes of this carefully programmed festival is how Schubert was viewed in his own time, how he was viewed in the remainder of the nineteenth century, and how he is viewed today. With scholarship provided by biographers and musicologists who work in tandem with the performers, we are given a detailed picture of how Schubert played an important role in the culture of his own time in post-Napoleonic Vienna, and then wherever music was played.

 

The question we raise in this article is why the cost of educating a student in Millbrook Central School District is more expensive than educating a student in the Housatonic School District in Connecticut.  In approaching this question, we had to acquire budget information from both districts and digest that information to determine if cost figures are reasonably consistent and comparable.

Here we report on the cost figures taken from the MSCD 2014-15 budget.

Total 2014-15 budget approved by voters:  27,756,134

Number of students expected in 2014-15:      1229

Cost per student                        22,584

Paid by local taxpayers-            23,045,208

tax burden per student        18,752

Housatonic Valley Regional Schools - High School only

Approved 2014-15 budget15,150,377

Number of students expected      633

Cost per student     23,920

Paid by local taxpayers10,046,466

The sounds that were generated at Music Mountain Sunday July 7 were, for this member of the audience, more appreciated for the playing than for the compositions, although the compositions were of the first rank. So we will start with the players:  Michael Brown on piano, Nicholas Canellakis, cello and Alexander Fiterstein played an early Beethoven Trio, Op 11 (1796) in B Flat.  From the very first notes the sounds emanating from the piano had a ring of perfection, they were joined by a restrained but warm cello and a refined clarinet.  Together they made music that captured the joy of doing it right.  The piano was always sympathetic; if the piano led, it led invitingly.  The clarity of Fiterstein’s clarinet carried to the muses.  The timing was impeccable.  It helped that Brown and Canellakis often play as a duo.  Brown was recently appointed to Chamber Music Two of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He will be playing at Castle Howard in York later this month. 

An awed audience heard the premiere of a one-singer opera written by Michael Hersch at BAM last Wednesday (June 25), based on poems written by a Romanian poet, Martin Sorescu. The performance by the sole singer, Ah Young Hong, under the direction of Roger Brunyate, was captivating. She reached to the depths of feeling.  She bared her soul, she opened her heart; she asked existential questions; she took us through the poetry’s agonizing experience of death by cancer.  This sounds morbid, but we were taken beyond existence into the galaxy of stars, into spaces beyond our world, into feeling beyond the present into timelessness.  Ah Young Hong’s voice ranged from piercing high notes that filled the hall to rich, mellow tones to intimate whispers.  She held her audience, enveloping them with a power that transcended acting: her feelings became your feelings.    
The Cunneen-Hackett Arts Center in Poughkeepsie was the scene of a gathering of musicians and composers and their supporters last Sunday afternoon, as a new music series had its inaugural concert. It is the brainchild of Josh Groffman, composer and pianist. It drew a good crowd, and it looks like Groffman has the momentum to make things happen.
An awed audience heard the premiere of a one-singer opera written by Michael Hersch at BAM last Wednesday (June 25), based on poems written by a Romanian poet, Martin Sorescu. The performance by the sole singer, Ah Young Hong, under the direction of Roger Brunyate, was captivating. She reached to the depths of feeling.  She bared her soul, she opened her heart; she asked existential questions; she took us through the poetry’s agonizing experience of death by cancer.  This sounds morbid, but we were taken beyond existence into the galaxy of stars, into spaces beyond our world, into feeling beyond the present into timelessness.  Ah Young Hong’s voice ranged from piercing high notes that filled the hall to rich, mellow tones to intimate whispers.  She held her audience, enveloping them with a power that transcended acting: her feelings became your feelings.    
The Cunneen-Hackett Arts Center in Poughkeepsie was the scene of a gathering of musicians and composers and their supporters last Sunday afternoon, as a new music series had its inaugural concert. It is the brainchild of Josh Groffman, composer and pianist. It drew a good crowd, and it looks like Groffman has the momentum to make things happen.  

The guard changes at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies on the first day of July, and it welcomes Dr. Joshua Ginsberg on September 1, who, as of this writing, is the president-elect.  We met with Bill Schlesinger, the outgoing president, on Saturday.

What challenges did you face when you arrived at Cary seven years ago? 

First, I had to overcome the problem of inertia, that is the idea that things are just fine the way they are.  I introduced some  changes, as my predecessor, Gene Likens, had been in office for 24 years, since the institute was repurposed  from a horticultural institution to a scientific research institution in 1983.  Second, I had to balance the budget. I did that by completing the changeover. We closed the gardens at the Gifford House and we closed the greenhouse.  That closed much of the hole in the budget, and let us concentrate on our mission, which is environmental science. 

Looking back, what do you feel were your main accomplishments? 

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