Watershed groups and academics were brought together by the Hudson River Watershed Alliance to figure out how to reduce vulnerability to flooding at a July 10 conference in Staatsburg. Funding for the conference came from the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Hudson River Estuary Program.

The Hudson Valley can expect more flooding due to climate change. Between 1957 and 2011, there was a 74 percent increase in precipitation in the area, according to statistics presented by Cornell at the conference. Communities need to learn how to adapt to a predicted 45 percent increase in flooding in areas at risk.

SUNY New Paltz is implementing a number of low-impact development practices on campus and monitoring them to see which are the most effective. The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse is studying the causes of flooding. They are identifying stream crossings with problems. Under the Estuary Program, the “flooding resiliency” program is presenting information to inform municipalities and highway departments about how to alter culverts and wastewater structures to deal with the predicted rise in rainfall.

On Sunday, July 7th 26-year-old Daniel Quirk from Millbrook was struck by lightning while at Lake Taghkanic State Park in Ancram, NY in Columbia County. At 2:17 p.m. a tree near the park entrance was struck by lightning that Quirk has standing in a grassy area near said State Parks Department Spokesperson Randy Simons. Quirk felt the effects of the strike and immediately fell into cardiac arrest.

The lifeguards and park staff evacuated the area of the park and followed park protocol during a severe weather storm. After Quirk went into cardiac arrest the lifeguards that were near by tended to him and revived him saving Quirk’s life at that moment with CPR.

An Ambulance was called and Quirk was taken to Columbia Memorial Hospital in Hudson were he was stabilized and then take to Albany Medical Center. Simons said that he was notified that Quirk soon after slipped into critical condition and passed away at 2:37 p.m. on Tuesday, July 9.

The Amenia Fire Company hosted its 86th Annual Parade and Carnival starting Wednesday, July 3 through Saturday, July 6. The Friday parade and the carnival are the fire company’s biggest fundraisers of the year.

Wednesday, July 3 and Thursday, July 4 were bracelet nights where attendees could pay one price for a bracelet that gives them unlimited rides.

The Wassaic Project is an artist run arts organization based in Wassaic, NY known for attracting artists who create innovative contemporary visual and performing art. Over the past five years The Wassaic Project has grown, developing their artist residency programs and its free Annual Summer Festival has become a popular destination for upcoming artists, dancers, filmmakers and musicians. The Wassaic Project is now providing additional programs for the community by hosting art workshops for surrounding schools and farmers markets.

A court hearing before Judge Maria Rosa last week failed to produce a resolution to the lawsuit brought by neighbors who had petitioned the court to enforce a restrictive covenant against the Millbrook Central School District that prohibits construction in a 200 foot buffer at the edge of the playing fields.  While placing the artificial turf can be completed, construction of a concrete grandstand and two 70 foot light poles is still prohibited by the court’s restraining order. 

According to Sally Clement, one of the petitioners who owns a house that is close to the planned grandstand, lighting is a serious concern.  Light poles 70 feet high will light up the entire area, a light pollution problem she thinks can be avoided. 

Residents of Wassaic bearing placards gathered outside the Post Office on Main Street to protest the closing of the facility.  Neil Fitzpatrick, Manager of Post Office Operations for Westchester District 2 told those gathered that there was an impressive response of 87% to the survey sent out by the U. S. Postal Service.

“We are here to discuss the new post plan and the adjustment of operating hours of the Wassaic Post Office to six hours: from 8 a.m. to 12 noon and 3 to 5 p.m.”  The Post Office is currently open from 8 to 5 p.m. and closed from 1-2:30 p.m.

The current personnel will have their hours reduced from eight to six hours. The current Post Master, said that as soon as the hours are reduced he will have “go somewhere else” where he will be able to work for eight hours.  The post office recently lost beloved Post Master Jerry McGuire who moved to another location where he could work for a guaranteed eight hours.

Mr. Fitzpatrick said that there was an outstanding return of 226 out of 350 people surveyed and that noone wanted the post office to be closed; the majority wanted to have the re-alignment to six hours.


Candidates for the Amenia town board have been going door to door trying to get the seventy required signatures before July 10th, the Dutchess County Board of Elections deadline for candidates for the primaries.

There are four seats that will be decided in the general election in November -  C.J. Hoss’ seat, to which Gretchen Hitselberger was appointed, Darlene Reimer’s seat which she is vacating, and Victoria Perotti’s seat which will be vacated because she is only running for the supervisor post. The fourth seat is the supervisor position currently held by Bill Flood.  Reimer and Perotti’s seat vacancies are four year terms, Hoss’ opening is for another two years.

The candidates are Mike Delango, Gretchen Hitselberger, Stephen Perotti (Victoria’s son), all Republicans,  and Cheryl Morse, a Democrat.  

Bill Flood is running again for supervisor and Dawn Marie Klingner is running unopposed for town clerk.  

The Town Board of Amenia, along with their attorney, the grant writer, Mike Hagerty, and the Town Clerk have been meeting once a week at 8 o’clock in the morning to figure out how to use a $185,000 grant to revitalize Main Street in time to meet the deadline.  The New York State Housing Trust Corporation awarded the grant to the town eighteen months ago and the deadline to complete the Main Street renovations is December 9, 2013.

The Town is scrambling to get enough projects that can meet the grant requirements.

“Colette Maas of Van Maassen Interiors' building was selected to be awarded monies to repair her building, and improve the facade on Rt. 343 since it's presence on West Main Street had such prominence.  Colette subsequently, declined the money, and the committee needed to review other applications next on the list,” explained Main St. Committee Chair, Darlene Reimer.

Now that summer is in full swing, school-aged children who are normally busy with their academics have time to unwind from the school year and engage in summer activities. Many parents choose to send their kids to summer camps either out of state or in their local community. However, sleep-away camps can be too expensive. Finding activities to keep kids engaged during the summer months can be challenging.  Fortunately, the community can always rely on their town library to provide educational programs for children of all ages as a community service.


 The Millbrook Free Library’s summer reading program “Dig Into Reading” commenced on Wednesday, June 26 with Andy the Music Man. 


Since 1979 BRIC has provided contemporary art, performing arts and community media to the Brooklyn community by creating low-cost and free programming that reflects Brooklyn’s creativity and diversity. The not-for-profit organization has gained a strong reputation for its summer concert series Celebrate Brooklyn. Every summer thousands of people flock to Prospect Park to enjoy the outdoor concert showcasing up and coming artists as well as established world renowned musicians. Celebrate Brooklyn comprises 25 free performances over a ten-week period plus a couple of ticketed benefit concerts that raise money to fund the free performances.

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