July 23- The Wassaic Project Summer Festival is fast approaching.  In less than one week  trains will be packed with Brooklyn hipsters, creative families and ordinary New Yorkers escaping the city to experience the magic of Wassaic. 

The Summer Festival July 31- Aug 2 is the Wassaic Project’s crowning celebration where the artist community opens up their hamlet for a free weekend of art, music, dance and film. In addition to the summer exhibition “Deep End” that shows work by 65 artists in the Maxon Mill, visitors will be offered a long weekend of music, dance and film.  

The musical line up is one of the most highly anticipated aspects of the festival. Every year Wassaic project music directors Scott Anderson and Tim Love Lee curate a playlist of musical performances that shape the vibe of the festival experience. 

This year’s headlining bands include Brooklyn based indie dance band Rubblebucket who will perform Friday. 

Over 270 riders, more than ever before, completed the dressage, cross country and stadium phases of Fitch’s Corner event. Despite the hot muggy weather the weekend went smoothly thanks to the always impeccable planning by hosts Fernanda Kellogg and Kirk Henckels.   The winners, both local and overall are reported on our sports page.  For a photo essay on the weekend, both behind the scenes as well as on the course, check the gallery on our website later this week.  


July 20, 2015- Andy Durbridge of South Amenia submitted this letter to the Amenia Town Supervisor, Victoria Perotti, on July 16, regarding the continuing work and cost to the Town of Amenia of extra work on the Amenia landfill which had been a Superfund Site.  

Background:  The Amenia Landfill was found to contain hazardous materials that were illegally dumped by unscrupulous haulers in the 1950’s,‘60’s and ‘70’s.  The site was declared a “Hazardous Waste Site” in 1992. It took several years for government lawyers to put together a list of responsible parties who would be charged with contributing to the cost of the clean-up, and more years to reach an agreement as to how much each party would contribute.   Work began in 2012 and continued until 2014 when it should have been completed.  The  contractors (Sevenson Environmental Services) , the engineers (CT Male)  and the DEC said the work was complete in 2014, but rains created gullies and washouts and corrective work was necessary.  This work has dragged on for more than a year.     

After a long and courageous battle with cancer, Scott Meyer died peacefully at The Kent, CT the morning of July 19th. He was an important part of the Millbrook community both at his Merritt Bookstore for the past 32 years, and as a member of many local organizations. A memorial service will be scheduled in the weeks ahead.



The sale of the foreclosed library building at 7775 South Main Street to the Town of Pine Plains appears to be going forward. At the July 16 town board meeting, town attorney Warren S. Replansky declared that he expected the sale to close “within about 30 days.”

The town stepped up its efforts to complete the deal after the Pine Plains Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows vacated the premises on May 15, following a protracted legal battle with the Bank of Millbrook. At stake was the right of the Odd Fellows to meeting space in the building, resting on a deed restriction granted to the Odd Fellows by the Foundation for the Pine Plains Community Center and Library. The foundation, established to build a new library and community center for the town, had received by gift from the Odd Fellows the land on which the new library building stands. The occupancy right of the Odd Fellows continued so long as the building was used for “municipal purposes.”

July 17 - Only three of the five commissioners of the East Clinton Fire District met Wednesday, July 15, to conduct their monthly meeting. One was absent and one board seat is vacant as a result of the resignation of Commissioner Chris Burns,  announced last month.  The board approved payments for the district’s regular expenses adding  the cost of a Dutchess County Sheriff’s Deputy to attend district meetings.   A deputy sheriff was on hand.    Steve Forschler, the ECFD Board chairman, said the cost is $260 per meeting or $3,120 per year.

When asked by a member of the public at the public session why taxpayers should be paying for a deputy at every meeting, Forschler explained that in light of past meetings which were contentious, the district’s attorney advised that meetings were “a hostile work environment.”  Mr. Forschler explained that the commissioners did not want to be “personally liable,” so a  deputy is on hand to assure the safety of those attending meetings.     

From August 13 through August 15 Kent Presents features over 60 speakers who will discuss what comes next in today’s world. Topics will include art and architecture, business and finance, energy and the environment, global and national affairs, health and medicine. 

The presenters include:  Nobel Laureates Henry Kissinger, Harold Varmus and Paul Krugman; Pulitzer Prize winners Edmund Morris; Siddhartha Mukherjee and David Sanger; Michael Govan and Jerry Saltz from the world of the arts; writers Christopher Buckley, Corby Kummer, and Lewis Lapham. 

During the three days interviews, panel discussions, and conversations, as well as smaller breakout sessions will be held at the Kent School whose headmaster, Richardson Schell, was one of the early supporters of the initiative. 

On Saturday, July 11th, hundreds lined sunny Franklin Avenue for the annual Fireman’s Parade.  Orchestrated by the President of the Millbrook Fire Company, Matthew Rochfort, the spectacle featured 24 fire companies, including teams from Amenia, Pleasant Valley, Union Vale, and Sharon.  While some crews, such as the one from Amenia, could be distinguished by the writing on their vehicles, others were identified based on the color of their trucks; the Union Vale team, for instance, drives yellow fire engines.  Squads appeared behind the Millbrook company based on their contribution to the day’s festivities: the most active crews marched closest to the Millbrook squad.  

July 12- Sylvester's campaign manager has been talking, via intermediaries, to a herd of black sheep and has asked them to join the campaign. At last report they were mulling it over.  Jack Banning, their spokesman, said they are conferring and could not be disturbed. He said they are politically uncommitted and refused to comment further, mentioning glibido and frisbeetarianism as factors being discussed. Sylvester noted that black sheep outnumber black swans and when fleeced complain little.  


July 11, 2015 - “There is no need” said more than one speaker about the power line project that threatens residents of towns in Columbia and Dutchess.

Greg Quinn, organizer of the Clinton group fighting the power line expansion, started the session by reporting that new towers might be 181 feet high, a visual blight that will be seen for miles.  He introduced Carol Campbell, Pleasant Valley supervisor who is devoted to reducing the impact on her town that is the epicenter of the power line controversy as most of the proposed lines run to the Con Edison substation just west of the town center.        

A group of citizens, about 200 strong, showed up at the Pleasant Valley Town Hall Saturday morning to hear about the latest developments on two power line projects. 

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