Volume 7 Issue 4

A 20-year old former Millbrook student was arrested at gunpoint in the Millbrook High School parking lot Friday, Feb. 20. The man was seen wandering around the Millbrook Middle School looking for is sister who is in the 8th grade. An anonymous source said the former student had been kicked out the school a year ago. Village Police officer Justin Scribner said that he was acting suspiciously on school grounds. The man was arrested at gunpoint in the school parking lot with the two Millbrook police officers, four Troopers and two state police investigators present.  Many students, teachers and parents witnessed the arrest because it happened during the school’s dismissal time. District Superintendent Philip D’Angelo released this statement Monday on the incident.  



Extending the Harlem Valley Rail Trail to Wassaic has been a slow process for Amenia’s town board. The need for the trail can be seen every August, when visitors to the Wassaic Project can be seen trudging along Route 22 toward the annual art show, which draws thousands, many of whom arrive by train. 

The extension of the rail trail been has been in the works for more than five years. WSP Sells, a large engineering firm based in Briarcliff, was hired to administer the job. On January 20 the  firm submitted a Final Design Report. A hard copy and a CD may be seen at the Amenia Town Hall. 

According to Amenia town supervisor Victoria Perotti, the project is estimated to cost $925,700. The federal Transportation Enhancement Grant (TEP) will pay $480,000. The town’s share is $120,000. The town has a $100,000 Community Development Block Grant that has been extended through 2015, a $100,000 Dormitory Authority Grant and a $10,000 Greenway Grant.   

When Oakleigh Thorne decided to bring his company, Thorndale Farm, LLC, to Millbrook from Chicago, he wanted something that would fit seamlessly into the rest of the town. He also wanted it to have the feeling of Thorndale on the outskirts of the village, where the Thornes have lived since the 1750s. 

To carry out his vision, he turned to two architects, Daniela Voith of Voith and Mactavish in Philadelphia and Gil Schafer of New York. Thorne had long admired their work—both the houses Schafer had designed here in Millbrook and the three buildings Voith had designed for the Millbrook School: the Math and Science Center, the Holbrook Arts Center and the recently opened West Dorm.  


Schafer and Voith were what the latter describes as a “happy blending of expertise.” Schafer is primarily a residential architect; Voith’s experience is in institutional and commercial buildings. 

 At the Amenia Town Board meeting of February 5, risk consultant and surety underwriter John Duffy made a presentation in which he said that the improvements to the Silo Ridge project should secured by bonding so that 100 percent of the risks are covered. The risks are the reclamation costs and the costs of the site improvements. 

Duffy pointed out that “New York Town Law 277 stipulates that a performance bond or other security be taken in connection with site improvements and that it should be ‘sufficient to cover the full cost’ of such improvements.”  

The revitalization of downtown Amenia continues with the announcement of a sidewalk construction grant.  Dutchess County has awarded Amenia a $150,000 Community Development Block Grant to replace the crumbling sidewalk from downtown Amenia along Route 44 to Beekman Park.  The sidewalk will run along the south side of Rte. 44.   The grant will cover repairs to sidewalks in front of the Post Office, and in front of Four Brothers going North.  The town will pay $80,000 as the local match and the county will pay $150,000.

The new sidewalk will provide pedestrian access to the recreation park, one of the major goals of the town’s Comprehensive Plan and the Amenia Hamlet Plan.  In 2010 the Town completed a $200,000 downtown revitalization project that included new sidewalks and landscaping along Mechanic Street to the Harlem Valley Rail Trail.  

Last year the town completed a $195,000 New York State Main Street grant that was used for improvements to three privately-owned buildings, and new street trees, benches, and planters.

Millbrook will soon boast a state-of-the art 6000 square foot fitness center when Pulse Fitness and Corso (currently in Salt Point) merge to take over Pulse's entire building on the corner of Franklin Avenue and Church Street. The two former competitors have combined forces to offer an array physical fitness options featuring seven certified trainers and eleven certified group fitness instructors.

Said the Junco to the Sparrow, “You don’t have to flee when the Jay arrives.  He is so piggish, he is only interested in stuffing himself, which he does with such ill manners that he spills half his meal on the ground, where we can pick it up.”

The Sparrow said, “I trust no Jay.  They are too ill-bred to trust.  They speak in such ugly tones, just their voices drive me away.”

Junco said, “We Juncos have learned to live and let live. We are not ones to be selective as to whom we share our meals with, as long as they don’t intend to make us part of their meal—like the cats, whose predatory habits are justly feared. And as for their voices, we can’t all be songbirds. A good soprano is a rare thing.”  

The Sparrow, having read Darwin when in school, replied, “We Sparrows live on our fear. It is our fears that have allowed us to survive. Without fear we would have perished long ago, for we are neither fast nor fearsome. So flee we must, whenever we see a shadow or shape.  That is our instinct, and for us it is a good one.” 

Carl Reinecke’s Flute Concerto in D major, Op. 283 (1908) presents one of the last late-blooming flowers of Romanticism. Flutist Adrienn Kántor excelled in nuance, tone, and poetic edge in this seductive concerto, in which the flute often led and the orchestra developed the flute’s direction. For three movements it was a genteel conversation between flute and orchestra, the flute often leading to a new landscape. The range of the flute’s dynamics resonated with delightful tranquility. Reinecke’s concerto is a neglected masterpiece; Adrienn  Kántor, who graduates from Bard this spring, plays on the threshold of a major career. 

Modfest, Vassar College’s annual celebration of arts from the 20th and 21st century, is drawing to a close—but not before introducing the next generation of emerging modern artists. On Thursday night, the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center hosted a performance of music and words, featuring chamber music and readings of original prose and poetry by Vassar students. The pieces managed to touch on Modfest’s theme this year (Alice in Wonderland, in honor of the 150th anniversary of its publication), while simultaneously representing the artists’ own journeys as they search for their place in the landscape of modern life and modern art.

We asked Assemblyman Kieran Lalor to comment on the change in the leadership  of the State Assembly.  Here is his reply:

Too many assembly members supported Silver for years, despite the corruption and the sexual harassment cover-ups. It was long past due for him to go. It's troubling that so many stood by him until the bitter end.”

The process to replace Silver has been rushed and nontransparent. I'm going to keep an open mind for Carl Heastie and wish him the best, but it's hard not to be skeptical of a Sheldon Silver ally. When it became clear Silver couldn't keep total control of the Assembly, Silver hatched an ill-fated plan to "cede" power to five trusted allies. Heastie was one of the five who would fill Silver's shoes while Silver would maintain the title Speaker. We can do better than electing a close Silver ally to replace him. If we are truly going to reform Albany, we need someone who was way outside of Silver’s orbit.


Posted: 2/18/2015


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