Letters to the Editor - Millerton News - 11-9-17

Going to church is still not a risky business

Golly, the Muslims fill their mosques. And Europe’s churches seem to be full. In my small town in South Florida there wasn’t one predominant religious group in the population. But you knew what people were going to do Sunday morning: Go to church! There were Baptists and Methodists and Episcopalians and Presbyterians and Catholics and Jews going to temple Saturday. Most of the five Catholic masses on Sunday were full. But nowadays it seems more churches are closing every day, or merging congregations/parishes. Why? Are Sundays different now?

How about you and yours? Do you encourage your kids to go to church? And why don’t you? Are you so good that you don’t need to communicate with your higher power? (We call him God). With a world full of hateful little wars and threats to start a massive mega-killer war, and nature whacking everyone with hurricanes and floods and fires and maniacs murdering and wounding innocent people enjoying a concert, riding bikes, or, for God’s sake, even at church (I’m so sad) — don’t you think a little praying might help? By the way, children need to be taught (or even better, shown by example) that prayer is really an OK, neat thing to do. It isn’t enough that besides ignoring drugs and cigarettes and booze, that they floss, and bathe every day, and hopefully do their parts around the house, they should also look at the big picture, i.e., North Korea, the foolishness of Spain’s Catalans, the ugliness of Hollywood’s dirty laundry, the killers of Isis, and how we’re all interconnected in this getting-smaller-every-day world. Maybe prayer won’t affect such mindless, hideous thinking, but then again, it just might. Here’s an idea: Try starting an evening prayer routine with your kids. Kneel down with them, and say something like, “Let’s have a goodnight chat with God. I’m sure he’d like to know what’s on your mind.”

But, forgive me, I digress. I’ll get back to the point, which is: Why don’t people go to church? There are some lovely churches here in our neighborhoods. In Millbrook, Millerton, Amenia, Lakeville and Salisbury. I’m prejudiced — no, not about skin color or accent or costuming — but about the church I’ve chosen as mine. It’s Presbyterian. Forgive me, Father Kent, even though I was raised Catholic, I figure God doesn’t care where we sing and pray as long as we sing and pray. So, if I can’t force all you nice people to go to your very own neighborhood church — and I mean it, I really want you to go — know that you’re welcome to come to our lovely old sanctuary, The Smithfield Presbyterian Church in Amenia, and share the warmth, wit and wisdom of the Rev. Douglas Grandgeorge — our “Rev.” Have I said enough? Too much? 

Tough apples. I mean every word of it. I look forward to hearing you join us as we sing our hymns, and pray for a better world. Service starts at 10 a.m. sharp. Bless you.      

Jim Flaherty




Faso disappoints

Congressman  John Faso (R-19) has disappointed me once again. On Oct. 18, he spoke at McEnroe’s farm market as part of his “listening tour” of farms within District 19. I would have appreciated being given the opportunity to attend. I’m sure there are plenty of others in our agricultural community that would have made the effort to attend as well, in order to have the chance to have their representative hear their concerns and how his vote on upcoming issues will directly affect their lives and businesses. Sadly, Congressman Faso chose not to publicize his tour, and as a result, the event was very sparsely attended.

I have been a member of the New York Farm Bureau for well over 20 years and was surprised that I didn’t receive notification about Faso’s visit to Millerton from them either. When I spoke with someone in the office, they were also unaware of this event. I can’t avoid the conclusion that this represents a pattern when it comes to Congressman Faso’s communication with his constituents. He only appears at events where the audience is hand-picked and goes to great lengths to avoid providing real answers to questions from the public. 

I find it unacceptable that the only voice I have in the House of Representatives is a man who seems to constantly avoid hearing from his constituents. Has he forgotten that he works for us?

Louise Meryman

North East


Committee and its work should be more comprehensive

It is  fantastic that the town was awarded a $25,000 Capitol Greenway Grant. It is imperative that the North East/Millerton Comprehensive Plan Update Committee proceeds with complete transparency to the community at large. I have had difficulty finding accurate  information regarding meeting times. 

In my experience Edie Greenwood, as the chair of this committee, to date,  has been insufficiently responsible with organizing dissemination/broadcast of information regarding all aspects of this highly important committee’s actions.

For instance, I think we all need to know how, beyond attending meetings, interested citizens can participate. A functioning online calendar should have been up and running  prior to the Comprehensive Plan Update Committee’s first meeting.

Also, solely interviewing and regaling Edie Greenwood, a Republican candidate for Town Board, one week before the election, frankly reeks of partisan politics.

The public needs information about the process of developing a comprehensive plan, not one person’s view of it.

Kristie Schmidt