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The Millerton News Editorial

Caucuses highlight the best of democracy

Public participation is a critical component of the democratic process. It’s how people choose their representatives, how they express their opinions on policies and laws and how they express displeasure if things go awry. It’s the philosophy on which our nation was founded 240 years ago, and continues to be the rule of the land today.

Sticky Millbrook issue

Politics can be tricky — so can running a town or village with the public’s approval. The village of Millbrook is experiencing some headaches trying to do so right now, as it goes through the growing pains of a new administration.

Mayor Rodney Brown — the former trustee-cum-treasurer-cum-mayor — has been brought to task for a couple of reasons. 

For one, the board hired Village Clerk Sarah Witt as the village treasurer. For two, it’s running meetings differently, making the community jump through hoops to participate.

The ugly four-letter word

Hate. It’s an ugly word. But it’s also a reality in the times in which we live, as evidenced by the recent postings of anti-Semitic flyers in Millerton, Amenia and Dover as well as in Lakeville, Conn.

The posters, which did everything from praise Hitler to accuse Jews of the devastation of Sept. 11, were more than distasteful, they were deplorable. That anyone could try to curry favor by persecuting any racial, ethnic or religious group is extremely troubling — especially in what is known as the most accepting and democratic country in the world.

Stand up and be counted

For the second time in the recent months, the North East (Webutuck) Central School District Board of Education (BOE) is requesting the community consider the dire needs of the district — and help alleviate those needs by funding a capital improvements project. 

Change can sometimes promise great things

It’s sometimes hard to accept change, especially when the status quo is working nicely. But sometimes, change is thrust upon us, like it or not, and in those instances it’s best to embrace the change and make it as positive and productive as possible.

Anticipating a new year

It’s been a rough year, as evidenced by countless terrorist attacks, police shootings, protests and riots, the Zika virus, earthquakes and fires and, of course, an extremely contentious election. It’s now 2017 — time to start anew.

Some will begin the new year with a list of resolutions, others will not — and that’s OK. But may we suggest, whether you have a resolution, multiple resolutions or none at all, to make a genuine attempt to witness the upcoming year with clear eyes.

Benefits of the reward system in our schools

There are subtle and not-so-subtle ways that we can reward our children for deeds well done. There’s positive reinforcement: praise, gifts, in some families even money. That’s all well and good (though some might say overindulgent), as Pavlov has proven that the reward system clearly works.

But what about in our schools? Good grades, certainly, connote a job well done. Extra credit, and rewards like pizza parties, school dances or field trips also encourage students to perform well.

Santa lives in Millerton …

There’s no better time to think of others than during the holidays. When so many of us celebrate with our family and friends, exchanging gifts and sharing food and laughter, it’s important to remember that not everyone is so fortunate.

There are those of us, including children, who experience great need all year long — but especially during Christmastime. For those children, thankfully, there’s Stacey Moore.

Amenia ambulance issue is resolved

Knowing help is just around the corner when you need it most is important as you make your way through life. That’s why the town of Amenia has been so determined to make sure there’s reliable ambulance services for all its residents — at as reasonable a cost as could be negotiated.

Scoring big

The debate regarding state testing in our schools is raging — with students opting in or out of tests some deem too stressful and unfair. But there are tests, those that chart the highs and lows of student performance in certain areas from year-to-year, that have undisputed merit.