August 7, 2014:  The annual Erin Shanley Memorial 5K Race will be held on Saturday, August 16th at the Lion's Club Pavilion in Pine Plains as a memorial to a student at Pine Plains who was a scholar-athlete. She died from cancer in 2004. Tim Reynolds has been running this annual fund-raiser ever since. Funds are donated for research and cancer patients.

All funds go to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee that specializes in treating children suffering from cancer.  They now have a 90 percent survival rate.     

Registration for the race will begin at 8:15 a.m. The 5K/1 Mile Races begins at 9 a.m. Following the races there will be a pancake breakfast (with all funds going to help the kids at St. Jude's). Registration is $10 for the 5K race, and $5 for the 1 mile. 


July 26, 2014--Environmental consultants to the Amenia Planning Board raised questions about steep slopes, erosion and the potential for stormwater runoff to introduce pollutants and silt into local streams and wetlands. Memos to the Amenia Planning Board from environmental consultants Michael Klemens and Mary Ann Johnson were submitted in April and May. The applicant, Silo Ridge Ventures, LLC, has yet to respond in writing to all the issues they raised.

Silo Ridge is trying to have a prior approval of the environmental impact statement (SEQR) from a 2009 application applied to the present, still incomplete application. The comments of the consultants question the extent of soil disturbance and what seems to be more extensive disturbance of steep slopes.

The Millbrook High School senior class received their diplomas on a sunny Saturday morning at the 118th Millbrook High School commencement. The west lawn at Alden Place was packed with parents, grandparents, siblings, classmates and alumni, sitting in the sun waiting for the graduates to walk down the grassy path to their future.  A new arrangement had the graduates sit on the west side of the lawn, proceeding from Alden Place instead of the high school. 

Under music director Craig Fryer, the high school band played Pomp and Circumstance. The Class of 2014 marched down the field in blue and white gowns, tassels waving from side to side. The senior class made their way through the sea of family members, two by two, and sat on the chairs, facing the crowd. Everyone stood as the band played the national anthem, followed by a performance of Alma Mater, sung by the high school chorus and led by music teacher Alexis Bresnahan. 

Board members, engineers, lawyers, residents and press filled the seats of the Millbrook Fire House on a humid Tuesday evening to hear a long-simmering debate on a cell tower and a held over application on a small subdivision. 

Project Engineer Margaret McManus from Chazen Companies, speaking for  James Rollins of 600 Oak Summit Road who is applying for permission to split the property of 4.87 acres into two parcels of 2.40 acres and 2.47 acres.  However, parts of the existing driveway and proposed retaining wall fall within the town’s buffer zone protecting a wetland.  The board must make a decision on whether to grant conditional approval to Rollins despite the fact that a culvert was installed in the buffer without awareness of the wetlands ordinance.  McManus said that at the time of putting in the culvert there was no wetland ordinance in effect.  The town’s wetland’s ordinance was implemented in 2011. 

Students who are self-motivated and have strong time management skills are being offered six “virtual” AP courses through Ulster BOCES in the following fields: art history, comparative government and politics, computer science, human geography, psychology and statistics.  The courses are described as college-level courses meeting AP guidelines.  There are no fees involved.  The cost of these programs are funded by the NY State Education Department which is trying to expand the AP opportunities for students in the more rural areas where AP course offerings are limited.  The courses will be taught via the internet using a variety of protocols. 

Potential applicants are urged to contact their guidance councilors. The program descriptions and application details can be found on the BOCES Consortium website at under “VAP” courses.   

Students who enroll in the program will be issued a Dell laptop computer preloaded with course software. Those students who do not have the financial ability for Internet access will be provided with a wi-fi device.

The Dutchess Community College board of trustees announced that Pamela Edington will be the new president of the college starting August 1.

DCC has been in a search for its new leader since President Dr. D. David Conklin announced his retirement last year. Conklin has held the position for 22 years. After a national search, 50 applicants, forums and numerous interviews, Dutchess found its match. 

Edington has been an educator and administrator in community colleges in Massachusetts and Connecticut for 28 years. She started her career as an assistant professor of Sociology at Middlesex Community College. She moved on to become the division chair and then dean of social science and human services. After 19 years at Middlesex, Edington took on a job as Dean of Academic Affairs at Norwalk Community College. In 2011 she was made the college’s Provost. Edington has been recognized for her commitment to service learning and civic engagement by the Community College National Center for Community Engagement. 

18-year old Veronica Peterson is Millbrook Central School Districts class of 2014 valedictorian. Peterson has the highest overall average in her class. The tall brunette wears a long maxi dress and her trademark heart red motorcycle vest to her interview with TMI outside the Millbrook Free Library. We asked Peterson about her experience in the district, her thoughts on the future of education and what is in store for her speech at graduation this Saturday, June 28.  

TMI: When did you start going to Millbrook Central School District?

Peterson: I have gone my whole life. 

TMI: In what ways are you involved in the district?

Peterson: I play basketball and soccer.  I was on varsity basketball by the end of the 8th grade to senior year and soccer starting in High school. I like basketball a lot.  I play year round on several teams. 

TMI: What is your favorite academic subject?  

The board of the Millbrook Free Library turned down the offer of the Michael Korda collection of materials and books on Robert E. Lee Tuesday night at its monthly meeting. Erin Barnard, the librarian, said the library did not want to assume the task of cataloging the collection and finding shelf space for it. She thought it might end up in storage, where bound copies of The Millbrook Independent are kept. Ms. Barnard’s last day at the library was Friday. 

Korda, author of a new biography of Robert E. Lee (“Clouds of Glory”), amassed a collection of books and research papers on Lee, the Civil War, Virginia and Reconstruction. The collection has already been catalogued by Korda’s research assistant.  The collection consists of 180 books and a miscellany of papers, articles and materials. If the trustees had accepted the collection, an anonymous donor indicated that any costs of cataloging and shelving would have been covered. 

Mice the main carrier

An article published on June 18 in POS One, a peer-reviewed scientific journal, confirmed that ticks in our area are likely to carry more than one disease. Lyme, babeosia and borrelia were found in the same tick nymphs in a broad sampling of 3,275 ticks in Dutchess County.

Scientists from Bard, the Cary Institute, Sara Lawrence, Washington State University, New York University, Union College and Texas Tech collaborated in the study, which was funded by the National Science Foundation, the US Environmental Protection Agency and Dutchess County. The scientists involved in this study were Michelle H. Hersh, Richard S. Ostfeld, Diana McHenry, Michael Tibbetts, Jesse L. Brunner, Mary E. Killilea, Kathleen LoGiudice, Kenneth A. Schmidt, and Felicia Keesing. 

Co-infection by multiple tickborne pathogens can affect the intensity and duration of symptoms in humans and make diagnosis and treatment more challenging. 

Local student Kevin Langone received the enormous honor of beating out everyone in grade point average to become Pawling High School’s class of 2014 valedictorian.

“I worked pretty hard at school, just the whole thing, do well, get good grades, take a lot of AP’s to boost my average. I definitely liked a lot of classes I was taking, so that helped.”

Langone identified certain practices as key to his success: organization, keeping on top of the work, and knowing his strengths. 

“I’m a pretty organized person, I can organize myself and keep my notes clear. I didn’t procrastinate too much, so that helped.”

Valedictorian status wasn’t always something he was trying to achieve. “It wasn’t something I was focusing on until senior year, end of junior year maybe. It was just something in that I found my place in the class and tried to stay first until the end.”

He also noted a strong support system as an ingredient to his success. “If I got too stressed out, my family and friends were there to support me. I didn’t do this alone, I had a good support system.”

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