Curious as to the nature of a realtively new business in Amenia, this reporter wandered into the Black Eagle Currency and Coin store to investigate.  

“I mostly deal in American coins and currency,” explained Derek Hartley, the proprietor, who has been interested in coins since he was ten years old and discovered a valuable wheat penny.

He proceeded to relate the story of the 1792 half-dime (spelt disme) which were reputed to have been made from silver donated by Martha Washington from the Washington household.  Only 10% of the coins, or 250 of the original issue of 1,500-2,000, are still in existence and one of them was sold in 2013 for $1.4 million. 

Mr. Hartley does not expect to find one anytime soon.  But he did have a woman come into the shop in Amenia to appraise some gold coins.  He told her they were worth $6,000 and that he wanted to buy them.  But she never came back.

 The town’s official announcement on its website:

 A Public Hearing is scheduled for the Town Board to accept comments on the DGEIS and to accept comments on the draft Comprehensive Plan, Thursday, June 11, 2015, at the Town of Washington Town Hall, 10 Reservoir Dr., Millbrook, NY.  Written comments will be accepted if received by 3:00 p.m. on June 24, 2015.

After two years of sitting on its draft plan, the town board has finally made the moves that will end the process by setting a date for the SEQRA hearing.  A draft generic impact statement was prepared by the town’ consultant, Neil Wilson.   The public can comment on the draft plan and the draft impact statement either at the public hearing on June 11 or by a written statement submitted by June 24.  The town will then issue its findings statement and then the town board can formally adopt the plan as presented or as it might be amended in light of public comments.

May 21- The commissioners of the East Clinton Fire District were expected to appoint a successor to fill the empty seat on their five person board, but at the meeting on Wednesday, May 13 the question never came up.  There was no explanation. 

With a bare quorum consisting of the chairman, Steve Forschlerand Mr. and Mrs. Bonk, the board went over routine business and then adjourned, leaving an audience of some 15 to 20 taxpayers perplexed and disappointed.  At the preceding meeting the public had been told that public participation would not be allowed.  Members of the public could submit written questions.  According to several members of the public who were present, questions were submitted, but they were not answered.

May 16- Millbrook High School students, teachers and administrators panicked as they were put into a lockdown for 45 minutes this morning reported Millbrook sophomore Kiri Dicintio by cell phone.  According to a subsequent press release from the State Police, “at approximately 9:53 AM, Dutchess County 911 received several calls from a man reporting that a female subject had entered Millbrook High School with a gun in her backpack.”

State Police, Millbrook village police and County sheriffs all responded. With administration staff, they made a search and found nothing suspicious.  

The State Police visited the caller's residence, and according their press release, the caller was an 84-year old man who seemed to be disoriented due to a medical condition. The man was taken to Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital in Poughkeepsie.  

May 12- The 2015-16 proposed school budget was unveiled last night at the May 11 meeting of the MCSD board meeting.  District Superintendent Philip D’Angelo gave a spirited presentation of a budget that “continues school improvement” yet keeps the budget well within the state guidelines.  The budget itself goes up 2.05 percent, but the increase in the tax levy will go up 1.95 percent. 

Last year the budget went up more than the “2%” cap, but was approved by the voters by a supermajority.  Next year’s budget comes in at $28,326,445, up $570,311.

May 11- The Archdiocese of New York announced Friday that two of our area churches would close, effective August 1.  They are St Joseph in Clinton Corners and Immaculate Conception in Bangall. They will be merged into St. Joseph in Millbrook. 

St. Anthony in Pine Plains will be joined with at Immaculate Conception in Amenia but mass will continue to be celebrated at both churches.

The closing are part of a reorganization and consolidation that is resulting in the diocese having 20 percent fewer parishes to maintain.  

Neither of the churches designated for closing has full-time clergy.  They are served by visiting priests.


Following a tradition of book or lit fairs, the Millbrook Literary Festival will once again host authors and their books in a series of discussions on topics from food and cooking to the state of print media to children’s’ books, poetry, mysteries and histories.

Over 50 authors under tents on the library lawn will be on hand to talk about their books one-on-one, to sign their books and to be interviewed by the press and anyone else who happens along.

Fourteen different programs will be presented in the Millbrook Library starting at 10 a.m.

The gathering that is generating the most gossip in the village is the noontime session entitled “Cookbooks: Trends, Tips, and Tidbits” arranged and moderated by Rona Boyer with Dana Cowin, editor-in-chief of Food & Wine magazine, authors Mark Scarbrough and Bruce Weinstein of The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book, and Robert Sietsema, author of New York in a Dozen Dishes.

Millerton’s Spring for Sound music festival started five years ago with four bands on one stage - it was called Fall for Sound which was a hit but the weather was not, laughed co-founders Mimi Ramos Ramos and Kristen Panzer as they sat in Millerton’s Oakhurst Diner on Main Street reminiscing to TMI about the homegrown music festival they created.

Neither Panzer nor Ramos were raised in Millerton but choose to make it their home for their children. Ramos moved to Millerton 20 years ago to work as a sales representative for Harney & Sons Tea Company. She married, started a family and opened up her own store on Millerton’s Main Street,  Parlour.

Panzer moved to Millerton from Boston with her husband and four kids, she works as a lactation consultant. Both Panzer and Ramos became friends as fellow board members at the North East Community Center.  They thought a music festival would make a great way to support NECC’s programs.  

Since 1985 The Millbrook Tribute Garden Foundation has awarded annual scholarships to two Millbrook High School seniors “who have exhibited academic excellence and have gone above and beyond what is required of them by making significant achievements on and off school grounds.” The scholarship winners receive annual funding of up to $5,000 for a four-year college and up to $2,500 for a two-year college. 

Moona Guo and Brogan Revay were this years’ winners. We interviewed them shortly after they learned the good news. 

The Planning Board of Amenia opened and closed the final public hearing for the Silo Ridge Field Club development on Tuesday, May 5, at the Amenia Town Hall.  The planning board has 62 days to grant waivers, approve the master plan, and come up with a findings statement.  It is widely expected that the board will give the developer everything it asked for and adopt a findings statement prepared by the developer.  The real question is whether the board’s approval will be challenged in a lawsuit. 

A number of supporters spoke about the jobs that would be provided by Silo Ridge, including realtor Elise Harney and Ron Hicks, speaking for County Executive, Marc Molinaro, who said he thought the development is “thoughtful and well thought-out.”

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