Letters to the Editor - Millerton News - 6-7-18

There are many ways to use a library

A library too often is thought to be a place where adults and children come to check out books to read at home. But in today’s busy world, just as we can’t judge a book by its cover, we can’t judge a library’s value to its community simply by the books they offer to its community.

We at the NorthEast-Millerton Library have taken on other functions well beyond lending books and DVDs to patrons.  Our library staff helps community members navigate tough areas, such as finding GED and ESL courses, connecting with the health care system and finding affordable housing.

This role has influenced the programming we provide.  

We collaborated with the Dutchess County Department of Health in May to inform community members about tick-borne illness and how to enjoy the outdoors while taking precautions to prevent being bitten by ticks. We anticipate offering many more of these public health programs in the future.

We keep our youngest patrons in mind when planning health-conscious programming.  In October, during Fire Prevention Month, the Millerton Fire Company hosts our “Sing, Play, Read!” story hour for a tour of the fire station.  

Each spring, we partner with Devon Sheehan, a local school nurse and SafeSitter instructor, to offer a babysitting course for 11- through 13-year-old students. Offering this program locally and for free (the $25 deposit is refundable if the student attends the course) has filled a void that previously existed: Eugene Brooks Intermediate School no longer offers SafeSitter, and many of the babysitting courses in Dutchess County are far away from Millerton and can be costly, especially if more than one child in a family wants to take a course.

We also offer Teen CPR every other spring, though this year’s program filled so quickly and was received so well by the community that we may offer it yearly.  This year, seven students were certified in CPR by Sheehan, who is also a CPR instructor. 

We are looking forward to continue working collaboratively with local, county and state agencies to offer more programs for our youth and parents/caregivers. On our horizon are things like car seat and booster seat safety workshops, Mental Health First Aid (for teens and adults) and more opportunities for training in first aid and CPR.

We hope you will join us for some of these trainings and workshops, or come to us with suggestions on how we can continue to help our community grow. 

Kristin McClune

Youth Services Coordinator

NorthEast-Millerton Library



Readiness appreciated

It was heartening to read in The Millerton News last week that the Village Board is thinking about disaster preparedness. We’re a pretty self-sufficient community in many ways, but not for a catastrophe that involves more than a handful of houses or families.

What’s to worry about? Well, we’re downwind from a nuclear plant. There might be an overturned natural-gas tanker or a toxic spill from a truck. We’ve been spared tornadoes and microbursts but both have struck nearby. The likelihood of severe local weather is growing as the atmosphere continues to warm here in the Anthropocene. Ice storms that drop limbs onto transmissions lines occur just about every year.

The step from a swath of houses without power for a few days to a large percentage of our local population in need of potable water — and possibly food, shelter, emergency medical care and phone charging — is far from inconceivable.

You might have made plans for yourself and your family, but let’s be sure our community has disaster relief that interweave all our first responders, community leaders, local talent and available resources before we need it. We don’t have to start from scratch. Other places have put good plans and practices in place. Drills can iron out the kinks and familiarize people with their roles.

Let’s not be the place that’s helpless in the face of calamity.

Tom Parrett



Irondale Schoolhouse sundaes a hit

Thanks to all who visited the Irondale Schoolhouse on our reopening day, May 26th.  We had 100 ice cream sundaes courtesy of Stewart’s Shops to give away and we’re pleased to announce those in attendance consumed all of them.  

Topping off the dessert, Bee Bee the Clown was a big hit featuring her balloon art with young and old alike. 

Sunday in the Country was back with hot dogs and burgers making this event perhaps one of our best.  

Yes, the schoolhouse is now open weekends through mid-October. Do stop in and say hello. Further events are planned in the coming months, dates to be announced. Once again we thank the community for its support along with the volunteers who maintain it.

John Walters


Friends of the 

Irondale Schoolhouse