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Sept 15: At the Cary Institute on Friday, September 18 Arcus Foundation Primatologist Annette Lanjouw will discuss the challenges of conserving chimpanzees, mountain gorillas, and bonobos.

The Arcus Foundatiion, the world's largest private grantmaking program devoted to great ape conservation, also works to protect a wide range of species both in the wild and in captivity. Lanjouw was formerly director of the International Gorilla Conservation Program (IGCP), a partnership to protect the wild mountain gorillas in Rwanda, Uganda, and Democratic Republic of Congo. 

In her talk Lanjouw will explore how social and economic development are linked to the protection of ecosystems, landscapes, and species. She will also discuss how, when it comes to preserving great apes, it is important to focus on individual animals as well as the species as a whole. 

7:00 pm in the Cary Institute’s auditorium, at 2801 Sharon Turnpike (Rte. 44) 

 

On September 10th a small turn-out of Republican voters selected with only 220 voters coming out for the office of Supervisor. Victoria Perotti and Mike Delango were vying for the position.  It was a close race, with Delango garnering 96 votes and Perotti winning with 123 votes. 

Victoria Perotti told TMI: “I would like to thank the voters for their support and look forward to working together on important projects for the Town of Amenia.”

The race for County Legislator was between incumbent Michael Kelsey and Sandra Washburn.  37 year-old Pleasant Valley resident Washburn, won with 260 votes to Kelsey’s 132.  The Dutchess County GOP Committee had endorsed Sandra Washburn, “a Republican of impeccable character,” back in August, an unusual action, since they had previously stated that they would not endorse candidates before a primary.   They had cited the criminal sexual abuse charges against Kelsey as the reason for their endorsement of Washburn.

September 9, 2015- The Homeland Foundation, the private charity created by Chauncey Stillman to carry on Wethersfield, has now emerged from a two year hiatus during which the NY Attorney General carried on an investigation into the mismanagement of the foundation by the two Wyckoff's, first the husband, List Wyckoff, and then on his death, Barbara. Both were found to have practiced self-dealing and misappropriation of funds.  

Through their mismanagement the corpus of the estate was reduced from close to $100 million to $32 million, including the value of the property. The foundation, managed by trustees appointed by the Wyckoff's, made gifts to institutions like the Metropolitan Museum and the Bronx Botanical Gardens that may have elevated the Wyckoff's social standing but reduced the foundation's ability to manage Wethersfield which was the foundation's primary responsibility.

These gifts were in direct conflict with the clear directions contained in Chauncey Stillman's will that Wethersfield be the primary concern and that no capital be expended for any purpose other than for Wethersfield.

 September 9, 2015- Now that the NY Attorney General's Charity Division has completed the review of the Homeland's past, it is time we revisited the foundation's financial condition and report on what those financials say about the future of Wethersfield.

The latest financial statement offered by the foundation is available on its web site www.hlfoundation.org as of April 30, 2014. The information is provided in the form of the federal and state tax returns for charities and was posted after the extension due date for that form, April of 2015.

The income producing assets are listed as $12,804,947; the investment income for the year ending 4/30/2014 was $441,000.  The expenses for that year were $2,113,196.

That accounting period picked up some expenses that had been incurred by Mrs. Wyckoff, the

president who was replaced and found by the AG to have failed in her fiduciary duties.  However, just the costs for maintaining the farm, house and gardens were $1,672,000.

For a report on the Tracey Mactaggart finals please turn to our sports page

September 8, 2015- A letter was sent to the Town of Amenia from Metro-North on June 12, 2014, from Metronorth introducing the construction of a 220-foot cell tower.  “This project will take place on Metro-North property and is needed to ensure public safety and security…..The current MTA Police radio system suffers from several issues including a congested network due to inadequate radio frequencies, gaps in radio coverage throughout Metro-North’s service area and antiquated radio technology.”

The letter describes how the MTA police have partnered with the New York State police “to improve critical public safety communications through state-allocated radio channels” which will “provide uninterrupted communications throughout all Metro-North stations, on all five train lines.”  According to the letter there are dead areas where radio reception is not possible and if trains were stranded in between stations in those areas they could not be reached by radio.

September 8- The Amenia Fish and Game Club filed an Article 78 proceeding on August 27 challenging the Amenia Planning Board’s decision to approve the Silo Ridge project.

The gun club, which has been in existence for ninety years, is a group “with standing” to sue because they are immediate adjoining neighbors.  The club is concerned that Silo Ridge Field Club, with full knowledge of the club's existence,  placed five houses within 500 feet of the club.  The houses are too close to the club’s firing range, say the members.  They are concerned that the purchasers of those houses will be subjected to noise and possible danger from the shooting range. They would like to have those houses deleted from the plan.

The Town of Amenia is considering permitting a commercial composting operation on the border of Amenia and Dover Plains off Route 22 on two parcels, one of which is the former Lopane Nursery.

Leslie Carille, Deputy Commissioner of the Dutchess County Department of Solid Waste Management was invited to the Amenia Town Board meeting on September 3 to make a presentation about composting.  She encouraged the town to consider the application for a large commercial composting operation by a landscaping concern from Westchester County.  The group, Bulfamante Landscaping of New Rochelle, would like to bring grass clippings and leaves from the properties for which they do maintenance.

On their website, http://www.bulfamantelandscaping.com/, they say they are “one of New York’s best landscaping, design, install and maintenance companies. For the past twenty years we have been working on Public Parks, Residential and commercial properties located in Westchester County, Fairfield County, Connecticut and New York City. “

There's something special about the late summer and county fairs. The 103rd Goshen Agricultural Fair retains the spirit of fairs of long ago.  Chicken, sheep, goats and cows are judged by breed.  Young people from 4-H and the Future Farmers of America proudly display their animals which they have spent months feeding, preparing and grooming for the fair.  Many of the young people work with animals on family farms or at the Wamogo and Housatonic Valley High School’s FFA programs. 

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These young people are learning responsibility, discipline and showmanship.  We took photographs of a few of them with their animals. 

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Carola Lott visits Eliot and Susie Clarke's Lithgow Deer FArm while Pat Ike takes pictures of these magical animals

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