Volume 6, Issue 8

La Puerta Azul: Live music: Lindsey Webster. Call for times. 2510 U.S. Route 44, Salt Point. (845) 677-2985; www.lapuertaazul.com.    
When I received a press release from Clinton Cheese and Provisions that these young men were coming for a book signing of their cookbooks, I knew I had not yet been to this new gourmet shop, which took over the premises from Wild Hive. I figured I would kill two birds with one stone and headed over there last Saturday. Little did I know what discoveries I was about to make … Where were you raised? We are both from very rural communities, where we each cultivated a strong desire to live in the Big City.
Sarah Sproule started harvesting sea salt on her rooftop in Manhattan in 2012. Today an 8′ × 12′ Evaporation House with rows of shelving holds 500 evaporation trays of sea water that are filtered throughout the process of evaporation to crystallization. Every tray is harvested by hand, and the crystals are sun baked on locally made organic clay tiles. Every salt crystal is produced and hand-packaged in New York City. A variety is sold at Clinton Cheese & Provisions. 
Mortgage Lifters are amongst the most flavorful heirloom tomatoes. They are red and pink and so big that they average two- to four pounds each. During the Great Depression, an out-of-work Charlie Byles, looking for alternative means of earning money, decided to develop a large and meaty tomato that could feed entire families. Byles planted three Beefsteak, three Italian and three English tomatoes in a circle surrounding a German Johnson Tomato. He cross-pollinated the German Johnson with pollen from the other nine plants in the circle. He saved the seeds, and for six years, he repeated this process. When he was satisfied that he had grown a stable meaty tomato, he sold the seedlings for $1.00 each, which was a hefty sum back in the 1940s. The tomato was so popular that people drove hundreds of miles to purchase the seedlings.

Spring is the season for rejoicing in seeing the first flowers.  The lush orchid exhibit at the New York Botanical Gardens is now over, but some of the most extraordinary orchid blossoms have sprung not from the soil but from the mind of the artist Andrey Avinoff, whose work is now on exhibit at two museums in Long Island. An array of 30 watercolors of Cattleya hybrids are on exhibit at Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay, concurrently with an exhibit called “Garden Party” at the Nassau County Museum.  

The artist Andrey Avinoff (1884–1949) was “born and raised in the milieu of the Russian aristocracy, with a heritage interlocked with Czarist courts and Byzantine empires,” says an introduction to an exhibit of his botanical paintings at the Hunt Botanical Library in 1965.  The last complete showing of 60 of his orchid paintings took place in the rotunda of the museum building of the New York Botanical Garden in 1949.

On Friday, April 25 at 7 p.m. William Schlesinger, President of the Cary Institute, will discuss society's most pressing environmental problems, and what needs to be done to ensure a habitable planet, now and for future generations.  His lecture, titled “If I Had a Hammer,” will cover population growth, biodiversity loss, resource depletion, climate change, and finite supplies of fossil energy.

At the heart of Schlesinger’s talk is the importance of communicating science, to both citizens and decision makers. Many of today’s environmental policies and practices could be greatly improved if they were informed by the best available science. The health of our planet – and, indeed, humanity – is at stake. As stewards of the Earth, informed citizens are essential to demanding that science underpins environmental solutions.

Spring is the season for rejoicing in seeing the first flowers.  The lush orchid exhibit at the New York Botanical Gardens is now over but some of the most extraordinary orchid blossoms have sprung, not from the soil but from the mind of the artist Andrey Avinoff now on exhibit at two museums in Long Island.

An array of thirty watercolors of Cattleya hybrids are on exhibit at Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay, concurrently with an exhibit called “Garden Party” at the Nassau County Museum.   The artist is Andrey Avinoff (1884-1949),  “born and raised in the milieu of the Russian aristocracy, with a heritage interlocked with Czarist courts and Byzantine empires” says an introduction to an exhibit of his botanical paintings at the Hunt Botanical Library in 1965.   The last complete showing of 60 of his orchid paintings took place in the rotunda of the museum building of the New York Botanical Garden in 1949.

Village Budget 

The Village of Millbrook’s tentative budget will result in a tax levy of $898,590, a 1.5 percent increase from last year—well under the tax cap, said Mayor Laura Hurley at the April 7 budget meeting.  

Village revenue was projected at $1,530,220. Hurley said water and sewer funds continue to remain self-supporting, but there is a possibility for rate increase to take care of capital projects at the water- and wastewater plant.  Salaries for employees, health insurance and the police department budget have yet to be reviewed. 

The next workshop meeting is Monday, April 14.

Volunteers needed for Fire and Rescue 

Fire Chief Ted Bownas, Rescue Squad head Laurie Olsen and Fire Department President Matt Rochfort reviewed the fire and rescue portion of the budget. Mayor Hurley informed the board that the volunteer company has been very busy this winter and is in dire need of volunteers for both fire and rescue services.

Bids for new truck

Police officers, veterinarians, ultrasound technicians and Navy SEALs filled the Millbrook High School cafeteria for the school’s annual Career Day on April 10. 

School guidance counselors Helen Grady and Lisa Petta invited 40 professionals to tell students about the career options that are available to them for the future as well as today.   

Throughout the morning students in grades 9 through 12 could talk to the many professionals who brought brochures, pens and even dogs to encourage the students’ interest.  

Veterinarian Jan Robinson, accompanied by a Maltese named Royal, represented her practice at the Hudson Valley Veterinary Imaging. Students gathered around Robinson as she demonstrated how to perform an ultrasound on a dog by rubbing ultrasound gel on Royal’s belly as the Maltese lay quietly on a wedge cushion. 

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