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      The Fourth of July conjures up images of food, friends and, most notably, fireworks.  The Millbrook Golf and Tennis Club will honor this tradition with a pyrotechnics display in the evening of Friday the 3rd, with a rain date planned for the night of Sunday the 5th.  Though only members may watch the spectacle from club grounds, village residents can behold the red, white, and blue plumes from nearby fields.  Concurrently, Sharon will also launch fireworks, and host the United States Navy Band Northeast Pops Ensemble.  Then, from 5:30pm to 10:30pm on July 4th, Poughkeepsie will hold a fireworks display, which is best seen from the Walkway over the Hudson.       

The Old Drovers Inn, once a landmark watering hole for travelers and gourmets, is making a comeback.

A construction firm called Structure Works, started by Jim Muncey, purchased the inn at auction after years of neglect.  A renovation which honors its history and architectural detail took almost two years to complete.  Every detail has been given loving attention. 

It is now open to the public as a bed and breakfast, and for private functions,  weddings and dinner parties.  It is not open as a restaurant.

The inn was once a stop for drovers herding cattle to market as early as 1750.  Later, it became a favorite stop for the Berkshire bound.  The tap room was noted for its generous martini.  It was admitted to the prestigious Relais & Chateaux in 1988.  The Federal Room, the current dining room, has murals (recently restored), executed by Edward Paine in 1941, with scenes of the schoolhouse in Millerton, Hyde Park’s Roosevelt mansion, the turrets of West Point and scenes of Old Drovers Inn itself.  

1003 The Federal Room

The Town of Washington has provided its residents with a recreation program since 1981.  The activities subsist on the fees charged for participation, and public funds are drawn only to compensate two senior administrators, Warren McMillan and Kelly Cassinelli.  The program prides itself on affordability, offering reasonable prices for Town of Washington residents.  Non-residents are charged a slightly higher price.  For instance, while residents pay $40 to participate in the winter indoor soccer league, non-residents are charged $50.      

June 23, 2015.  Conflicts with the Amenia gun club, disagreements over bonding for Silo Ridge and a statement to the planning board expressing concerns about the review process by a member of the Planning Board created an air of uncertainty at the last scheduled planning board meeting before the decision for the Silo Ridge Project has to be made on July 9.  The board has not voted on most of the issues that have to be decided. 

One of the bright moments at the meeting was an application from the proprietors of Monte’s for a health food store with fresh juices and salads in one of the buildings that they own near the restaurant.  The group wants to focus on business coming from tourists using the Rail Trail. 

The public and sponsors of the new Millerton rain garden turned out for its dedication hosted by the Housatonic Valley Association (HVA) on June 22.
  
Lynn Werner HVA Executive Director, said, “This garden is a perfect example of how natural plants can filter pollutants.”
 

June 24- With the closing of the last public hearing for Silo Ridge on May 5, the clock started ticking for a 62-day period within which the Amenia Planning  Board must decide whether to approve the plan.  The board must agree that the developer has met the conditions required by the state’s environmental review (SEQR).  The board is also required to give all the environmental issues raised what is called “the hard look”.  If the impacts are significant, then the board can impose mitigation measures.

The impacts most frequently mentioned are the houses on steep slopes and the disturbance to the soils and trees that would result from constructing those houses.  The impact of the development on the view of Delavergne Hill was also mentioned.  

The long range impacts from chemicals used on the golf course, the impact on the community of a gated, members-only golf club, the effluent from a new waste-water treatment plant, and the handling of storm water are other impacts that were raised during the hearing process.

Exhibition of Richard Artschwager’s graphic work will open at Vassar’s Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center June 26.  With 59 pieces it is the first ever study of the artist’s prints and multiples.  It should be well worth seeing.  Look for our review in the TMI Arts Page.  

 

On a beautiful warm Friday evening the Millbrook Class of 2015 broke tradition and marched up the hill to the new athletic facility for its graduation ceremony. Graduation has traditionally been held on a Saturday morning on the lawn of Alden Place Elementary.  The seniors had watched as the new fields slowly took shape, so they chose those fields as the site of their graduation.   

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Parents, family and friends filled the stands and overflowed to the hill behind. The Millbrook High School band led by the direction of Daniel Dunninger played Pomp and Circumstance. The Millbrook High School Madrigal Singers led by Janet Moore sang Alma Mater. 

A long-awaited master plan to re-use the thirty-five buildings of the former Harlem Valley Psychiatric Center as a college campus was unveiled to the Dover Planning Board on June 15.  

Phase I of ten phases was discussed along with the over-all plan by Rich Rennia of Rennia Engineering Design.  The initial plan is to renovate the administration building (the main building with the Olivet sign in front of it), prepare a two-story dorm building for 100 students, a small dining hall, some faculty housing, a building for classrooms and the existing chapel which has been in constant use.

Taste of Millbrook, Millbrook Education Fund’s benefit at the Millbrook Winery on June 6 raised $12,500 so far said chairwoman Gina Marma. She said “It was a fabulous year for the Giving Tree.”

Teachers wish for an addition to the classroom experience that isn’t covered in the budget. They write the wishes down and hang them on the tree.  $2,770 of wishes were raised on June 6. They ranged from pH meters for chemistry to a fifth grade trip to a Broadway show.  However, some wishes remain unfilled. Donors can log onto the MEF site and make a donation. It’s not too late to nourish the MEF tree.   

The MEF auction is continuing online. Starting Monday, June 15 bidders can purchase auction items that were not sold. Bids will be open until Friday, June 19 at 8 p.m.

Go to:  http://www.millbrookeducationalfoundation.org/auction.html. 

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