Main Street was lined with fancy cars and outdoor speakers played “I’ll Fly Away,” an old country song, while the chic and the not-so-chic intermingled at Monte’s opening on December 11.  The crowd consisted mostly of friends of the Monte family, people from Long Island, Rhinebeck, Millbrook and Amenia. A total of 200 people attended over the course of the evening at a party that looked like the place to be that evening.

“The party was mostly for family and the people who made the restaurant happen,” explained Dafna Mizrahi, the new manager, when asked where all the people had come from, “We wanted to thank all our contractors as well.”

On hand were Robert Trump and Ann Marie Pallan, the latter being one the owners of the restaurant.  She brought her siblings, who are also partners in the business.  Mr. Trump expressed enthusiasm for the new restaurant, recognizing the hard work that brought it about. 

Posted: 12/22/2014

The town of Amenia awarded three of its citizens with a special award in recognition of their extraordinary contributions to the town.  Ken Monteiro, Leo Blackman and Charlotte Murphy all received Citizens of The Year awards at a two separate ceremonies following the tree lightings in Wassaic and Amenia. 

Blackman and Monteiro, who live in Wassaic, donated and took responsibility for the gardens that adorn the foundation and main entrances to the Town Hall. They donated the teak benches, outdoor furniture and large decorative pots.  Residents at the Holiday of Lights festivities commented on the gardens, even when covered in a blanket of snow. The couple have subsidized the maintenance of the gardens for five years.

The Amenia Citizen of the Year Award was presented to Charlotte Murphy.  She has been a member of the Amenia Fire Company's Women's Auxillary for over 60 years and a member of the Amenia Free Library's Board since 1958.

Posted: 12/22/2014

Amenia’s Holiday of Lights started on December 5 with the Amenia Youth Theater providing a cabaret-style performance at 3 p.m. of old favorites. Instructor Heather Holohan-Guarnieri led 23 talented students between 6 to 16 years in a lively program that gave each singer a role.    

The tree lighting at Fountain Square followed with caroling led by the Youth Theater students and Feathers and Fur 4-H Club members distributing hand-made natural biscuits for revelers to decorate the tree before the Firemen's parade took center stage. 

The floats were dazzling.  Some had festive music with Frosty and the Grinch making hip dance moves, and of course the last one held the long-awaited Santa Claus. Everyone followed Santa on his float to Town Hall where hundreds of eager families awaited their turn to enter Santa's workshop, receive a present, and have their photo taken with Santa. In the gym, hot cocoa, dinner, refreshments and raffle prizes were free for all. 

Eliot Clarke of Millbrook Real Estate reports the sale of 245 Sharon Station Road, a four bedroom house on 14 acres that sold for $945,999.  It was listed at $1,175,000.  The listing broker was Katherine Dunlop.

George Langa, also of the Millbrook Real Estate office reports the sale of the LaBerta property on Duel Road in Bangall.  This is the property known for its fortress-like stone wall.  It sits on 16 acres and has a four bedroom colonial style house and a small stable. A cottage on a separate parcel went with the package for which the buyer paid $1.6 million. The selling broker was the Elyse Harney office.  

Katherine Dunlop sold the house on five acres at the corner of Flint Hill Road and Smithfield Road for $1.950 million.  It was reportedly in prime condition.

Paula Redmond sold the sprawling colonial at 745 Hollow Road, Staatsburg  that had been listed at $1.975 million for $1.6 million.  It came with a back lawn of 160 acres and an 11 stall barn.  Paula was also the listing broker.  

Posted: 12/18/2014

At the latest Amenia Planning Board meeing on Dec.    on Silo Ridge, Pedro Torres reviewed the list of documents that will be submitted.  They are:   the design guidelines, the revised master development plan, the revised engineering plan for the waste water treatment center and the answers to the questions raised in public comments.

Torres explained why he had put up the tarps to simulate the visual impact of the “Estate Homes” on the steep slopes.  “Hart Howarton, our architects, criticized our visuals and so we decided to show what they would look like.  We will be removing the trees near the hair-pin turn and the tanks, so the view will be much better.”

There was a discussion about the lighting for the development, which Torres said is apparently not in compliance with the town’s zoning.  “Everyone else in Amenia seems to be allowed to have tremendous lighting,” continued Torres.  Planning Board attorney, David Everett, explained that those were grandfathered in.  

“Well, it’s just a matter of minimizing them and reducing the lumens, and that is easy to do,” said Torres.


At last meeting of 2014 on Dec. 11 the TOW board approved the fire contract with the village for $421,690.  As the Fire department is in the village and exists as a village department, the town contracts with the village for fire protection services. 

Highway Superintendent informed the board that a new toilet was needed at the highway garage and a new ten-wheeler truck was needed to replace a 1989 truck. The board authorized the supervisor to solicit bids for the new truck.

County legislator Michael Kelsey reported that the County budget was adopted.  He called it a good budget that cuts spending and would result in rebates. The legislature will be asked to ratify two union contracts.  He said the budget doesn’t address mental health and jail needs. 

“The new pods should be operational in January and then there will be another 200 inmates will be on Dutchess County soil with needs,” said Kelsey.  He said the question is “whether [the inmates] can be integrated back into society or, can we deal with substance abuse or mental health when we won’t have any staff.  That’s a problem.”

Liso Starrett’s first book is out of the printers and is now in local bookstores. It is called “Separations, necessary evils?” and is about the moral and psychological implications of change, leaving, breaking up, families, and perhaps of growing up and growing old. There is a touching and insightful description of her own experience of the 9/11 catastrophe. Much of life involves separations, sometimes the result of conscious decisions and sometimes not.  At 145 pages, it needs little space on your bookshelf.  SCK    

Posted: 12/18/2015

Both the village board of trustees and the town board held their last business meetings of the 2014 on Tuesday, Dec. 9. 

The village law establishing crosswalks became official by filing it with the Secretary of State.  It is the first local law of 2014. 

Scott Osborne of VRI informed the board that the control board on pump one at the water plant must be replaced following a storm in November.  Circuit board repairs  could cost $5,000.   Repairs at the treatment plant could cost $11,000. 

Millbrook’s varsity football team, dressed in button downs, blazers and ties, sat in the audience at Millbrook’s board of ed meeting to receive the award of excellence from the Board of Education Monday, Dec. 16.  Superintendent D’Angelo said that it might not seem like a big deal now, but when they look back at this certificate they will be proud of their accomplishments.  The Blazers advanced further than any other football team in the history of the district to the state final four. Coach Keenan thanked the board and the community for their support.

“Whenever we travel we are the most supported team,” said Keenan. “The field is a centerpiece. It’s the best facility in Dutchess County right now. We came up one game short of our goal but are very proud.”

Each member of the team, the coaches and Keenan’s father received a certificate for the award of excellence and shook hands with board. A celebratory cake was served.  

Posted: 12/18/2015

The Amenia Town Hall adjoins a state-listed wetland associated with the Amenia Creek.  The mowed field immediately behind the Amenia Town Hall is perennially wet and unusable due to drainage problems.  The Town is raising funds to upgrade the playground behind the town hall and to improve the paved parking areas around the building.  Drainage of the parking areas runs into the wetlands, possibly introducing pollutants.  

The Housatonic Valley Association (HVA) wrote and received a grant from the Gimbels Foundation to implement stormwater best management practices and demonstrate green infrastructure for officials, residents and other professionals.

The plan is to work together with a local team in conjunction with key staff from the town.  Part of the project will be to install a raingarden near the wetlands, enhancing habitat with native plants that capture and clean stormwater as well as hosting a variety of flowers which attract birds and butterflies.  

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