Letters to the Editor 11-12-15


It’s been an honor to serve the town

I would like to thank all of you who supported me in the last election; it’s been an honor and a privilege to serve. I wish the current board my best during the next four years.

Ralph Fedele

North East Town councilman



Appreciate support

I thank both the Republican and Democratic caucuses for nominating me to serve a second term on the Town Board. 

I thank everyone in Ancram who participated in the election in varied ways — by posting signs, by discussing town issues with their neighbors, by attending “Meet the Candidates” forums and more. 

 Of course, I thank them also for voting. Whether in person or by absentee ballot, the simple act of voting may be the ultimate act of citizenship. 

 I am grateful for their trust and will strive to merit that trust throughout these next four years. 

 Hugh D. Clark

Ancram Town Councilman



Funding increase will aid library

The Millbrook Library Board of Trustees wishes to thank the voters of the town of Washington for their support in the general election. Residents endorsed an increase in annual public support from the currently allocated $100,000 to $184,000. This increase is predicted to stabilize the library’s operating budget for the next 10 years and ensures that current hours and staffing levels will be maintained. 

  The Library Board and staff look forward to continuing our mission of providing the community with a vibrant, life-long learning center for patrons of all ages.   Your support has made this possible!

With gratitude,

 The Millbrook Library Board of Trustees




New town justice thanks voters

I would like to thank the voters of North East and Millerton for placing their trust in me as the next town justice. As I prepare to assume the bench, the Hon. John Crodelle approaches his well-deserved retirement. Our community owes Judge Crodelle and his entire family its sincerest gratitude for his lifelong service in upholding the law. Mindful of my predecessor’s dedication and commitment, I look forward to serving our town to the best of my ability.

 Dennis Johnson

Town justice elect


North East  


Stay involved

I want to thank everyone who voted last week, it was an honor to receive some of those votes.

We have some important items that need to be addressed which will further enhance our already wonderful town and village. I would like to encourage everyone to stay involved.

Chip Barrett


North East  


Silo Ridge must still address issues with the public

I am the attorney who brought the Article 78 Petition against Silo Ridge on behalf of the Amenia Fish and Game Club. The core issue of this petition was that the developer was granted approvals to construct homes within 500 feet of an outdoor shooting range utilized by the club. All parties have consented to discontinue the action in return for the development of a new indoor range being constructed at the cost of Silo Ridge.While I am satisfied by the fact that my client has obtained a significant settlement; I hope that the issues concerning the public are still dealt with. 

I grew up on Long Island and worked in the trenches to protect the Pine Barrens, advocate for the regulation of pesticides, and reform the second largest town in the country which used to be known as “Crookhaven.” Through close study of the Silo Ridge Project, I arrived at the conclusion that it had not been fully analyzed as is required by the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and that a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) was necessary as the developers plans had changed significantly. The original project, closely analyzed by the Amenia Comprehensive Plan Committee over a period of several years, received the special zoning designation of “Resort Overlay District,” and therefore was to receive additional development authorizations as it was believed that the development of a hotel as a main feature would support the outlying business community. The modified project decreases hotel unit space from 300 to less than 50. This drastic change should have been studied utilizing a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.  Constructing homes on steep slopes, the massive amount of water estimated to be used by the development in an area with shallow wells, contaminants found in test wells at the site which are possibly flowing from surrounding shuttered landfills, and whether the view from Delavergne Hill will be significantly compromised are also serious community concerns that have not been fully addressed. Procedurally, there is the concern that the chairman of the Amenia Planning Board violated the open meetings law by holding private meetings outside of public view. 

Finally, of special concern is the manner in which Silo Ridge will treat its wastewater. The Omega Center for Sustainable Living (situated just 20 miles away) features a state-​of-​the-​art water treatment facility which currently returns clean water to its water table.  

Amenia has for a long time needed, and never been able to afford, any form of sewer treatment plant. A sewage treatment facility is sorely needed to accommodate the anticipated growth of the community of Amenia so that we can return clean water to the Tenmile River as it flows south to Wassaic. There are still many issues to resolve if this vital project is to be a tribute to the past, present and future of this breathtakingly beautiful community.

Joshua A. Douglass, Esq.




Bargain Barn, set to close in mid-December, should survive and thrive


A mystery has suddenly mushroomed in The Lakeville Journal’s communities. The Health Care Auxiliary for the Tri-State Region announced on Oct. 23 that after 103 years of existence — first as the Sharon Hospital Auxiliary, then in its current form — the nonprofit Auxiliary will dissolve itself on Dec. 31, 2015.

The mystery has two parts. First: Why is the Auxiliary dissolving itself? In last week’s Journal, Auxiliary president Harriet Weiss is quoted as saying, “I let the board know two years ago that I would be leaving in 2016, so we have spent two years to come to this conclusion.” That sounds as if Ms. Weiss considers herself and the Auxiliary to be one and the same entity: Louis XV’s “After me, the deluge”? Later in the interview she said that “there were just not enough volunteers to take over and keep the services going as the current board members were ready to move on. Succession planning efforts did not work, they fell short.” The idea that for two years no capable volunteers could be found for this important local charity in communities such as ours is questionable.

The far more urgent issue is the mystery’s second half. Ms. Weiss and her Auxiliary plan to close the doors, forever, of the successful cash cow for regional charitable enterprises — our widely renowned Bargain Barn — in mid-December. Ms. Weiss’s late October announcement states, “Efforts to find another nonprofit organization to manage the business were unsuccessful.” Well, no one among prominent local makers and shakers I have contacted in the past two days has any recollection of such efforts, despite two full years during which the Auxiliary has supposedly toiled “to come to this conclusion.”

Why the Auxiliary’s last-minute rush? And why the secrecy? Susan Leslie, manager of the Bargain Barn, was hit with this decision only very recently, devastating her and her own passionately willing volunteers. She had even been directed not to attend recent board meetings. Odd.

Since news of the closure became public, in just two days — not two years — one active 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable organization has already stepped forward offering to assume fully the Auxiliary’s ownership of the Bargain Barn operation, including continuation of the rent flow from its building lease to landlord Sharon Hospital.

Many of us believe that the Bargain Barn, a popular public destination, need not miss a single day of operation going forward into 2016, and beyond — contrary to the hasty, nontransparent and ultimately inexplicable death warrant from the Auxiliary’s sunsetting president. Inexplicable, because a remarkably clean, economical plan to maintain the Barn has actually been crafted by some serious players — but after those two years of Auxiliary radio silence, such action has become urgent. The major (perhaps only) obstacle seems to some to be the puzzlingly intransigent attitude of the Auxiliary’s president. Anyone who cares about saving the Bargain Barn might consider writing to Harriet Weiss at info@HealthCareAuxiliary.org. Urge her to engage positively with potential rescuers — and soon.

Alan Tucker

Sharon, Conn.