TMI goes on holiday for one week.  Our next issue will be dated September 11.  Notices and calendar items will be received and the calendars will continue to be updated on our webpage, 





The Pine Plains town board unveiled its plans for the Library and Community Center at the its meeting on August 20. Whether the town will purchase the building will be decided by voters on Election Day. The focus was on “building a clear referendum that everyone can understand” for the November ballot. The town board began drawing up the referendum propositions that must be filed with the Dutchess County Clerk by September 13 immediately after the meeting. 

As was previously reported, a purchase price of $1 million was tentatively settled on, half to be financed by a taxpayer-approved bond and half to be covered by donations.  The Friends of Stissing Landmarks (FOSL), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, is ready to take on the responsibility of handling the donated funds. Scott Chase, president of FOSL, explained that FOSL’s board wished to assist in acquiring the library building as “a great asset to the community.” Chase announced that he had just been informed that pledges totaling $600,000 had been received thus far.

The Amenia Town Board held a public hearing on August 22 on a proposed local law that would regulate valves and connections and require the installation of certain devices to prevent contamination of the public water system.  The law would require air valves that would prevent back-flows from faulty septic systems from contaminating the public water systems.  

The law only affects the users in the water district serving the hamlet of Amenia who use the public water system.  It will not affect private well owners.  

Patrick Nelligan expressed concern that he would have to comply with the rules if the water district expands.  Sharon Kroeger expressed concern about the complexity of the aquifers and different configurations of water usage and asked that more consultation with experts take place and that the public hearing stay open.

The Town Board decided that the public hearing would stay open until there is more input about the impacts of this regulation.  There was concern that the law might infringe on the rights of property owners.

We reported on the Two Row Wampum Treaty in the issue of August 7, based on a supposed agreement in 1613 between the Dutch traders and the Iroquois nation.  The treaty was the historical event celebrated by two rows of canoes rowing down the Hudson from Albany to New York City with many stops along the way.

The treaty document that describes this agreement is in Albany at the New York State historic archives and was donated to the New York State Library, along with other documents, by a doctor, L.G. Van Loon who worked at the Wassaic State School in the 1960’s.  Forensic work on the document itself shows that the document is a forgery.  

During the 2011 election, the Millbrook village board adopted a local law to extend the mayor’s term from two years to four.

Now the Washington town board has followed the village’s lead by introducing  legislation to do the same for the town supervisor.  Currently the supervisor holds a two-year term, while the board members have staggered four-year terms. The board passed the legislation at its meeting on Thursday, August 8.

Town supervisor Gary Ciferri was on vacation; deputy supervisor and councilman Stephen Turletes introduced the legislation to the board in his place. 

The resolution is to consider the adoption of a local law to extend the term offices for the supervisor effective  January 1, 2014.  This local law would determine the term of the winner of the November 5 election.  To date the only candidate known to be seeking the supervisor’s job is Gary Ciferri, the incumbent.    

For the past 15 years in mid-August, my family has made our annual pilgrimage to the island of Martha’s Vineyard.  Although the Martha’s Vineyard beaches, restaurants and attractions have become familiar to us, we still look forward to our time there, which has become a tradition we cherish. 

The Vineyard’s popularity has grown substantially over the past several years. The Vineyard gets upwards of a hundred thousand visitors in July and August, in addition to the 15,000 who live there year-round. Even the President of the United States, Barack Obama, was on island while we were visiting.  I had high hopes of running into him. 

Although Martha’s Vineyard is only 100 square miles in land area, it is home to six towns:  Tisbury, Oak Bluffs, Vineyard Haven, Edgartown, West Tisbury, Chilmark and Aquinnah, each of which is surprisingly unique. 

Those with the least to complain about moan the most, while people who have suffered adversity are thankful for any good thing that comes their way.

Fifteen-year-old Sydney Collier is one of only four hundred people in the world who suffer from Wyburn-Mason Syndrome, an extremely rare congenital birth defect that can cause brain hemorrhaging, stroke and paralysis. Sydney says she is “the first kid ever to get diagnosed with it, and the first kid to ever get treated for it, so I am really an experimental case.”   

Like many young girls, Sydney fell in love with horses when she was seven. She had already begun competing in shows when she underwent a series of medical treatments, including three brain surgeries. Although she lost all the sight in her right eye, she continued riding and competing.

After Sydney suffered a stroke when she was eleven, she lost the use of her left side. Confined to a wheelchair, she spent the summer learning to walk again. “What kept me inspired the whole time was thinking about the horses,” she said. “I needed to get back to my horse, to be able to groom him and take care of him.” 

TMI goes on vacation for the first week in September.  The issue following next week – August  28 – will be the issue of September 11. There will be no paper on September 4. 


In a meeting with representatives of Olivet University and Olivet Management late last week, this paper learned that Olivet University in San Francisco has approximately 250 on-campus students and is in its tenth year of operation. It has seven areas of specialization, forming seven colleges. They are Theology, Music, Graphic Design, Journalism, Language Education, Business and Information Technology.

Olivet Management was formed to run the properties that have been acquired with a view to expanding the university. In addition to the Dover Knolls property in the Town of Dover, Olivet Management currently manages other properties in the United States, including one in Houston, Texas.  

Olivet University presently has a business school that offers business courses in New York City. It has applied for a charter from the New York State Department of Education that would authorize it to create a new, Christian based university in the state.

Silo Ridge, whose Amenia golf course has been closed for four years, announced that it has signed a deal with Discovery Land Company of Scottsdale, Arizona for the development of the golf course and the adjoining land into a resort community.  The modified plan that calls for a 20 room lodge, 246 vacation residential properties and, according to the press release, a “world class Tom Fazio-designed golf course that will completely replace the existing golf course.”

The prior developer was known as Millbrook Ventures.  The local development partner is now Stoneleaf Partners, of which Pedro Torres is a principal.  He had been an officer and director of Millbrook Ventures. 

The press release, issued by Discovery Land Company in Scottsdale, Arizona, quoted the chairman and CEO of Discovery, Michael Melman in saying “Preservation of the natural environment and creating contiguous open space has been and will continue to be critical to the execution of the project.”

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