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In 1954 Hannah Arendt wrote about a crisis in education.  The crisis still isn’t over.  We aren’t sure what to teach or how to teach it.  We don’t know what we should teach, to whom or when.  We still have what Arendt identified in 1954 - a failure to achieve what America assumes to be a national right - that everyone receive an education in order that democracy flourish.

At the conference at Bard College hosted by the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities, 42 presenters related issues raised by Hannah Arendt in her writings with current initiatives in education.    

A comprehensive healing-arts practice opened on October 3 in the offices of Therese Balagna in the Mabbettsville section of the Town of Washington.  Emma Kisslinger Dweck, a graduate of the four-year program at the Academy of Five Element Acupuncture in Gainesville, Florida, has returned to Millbrook to open an alternative medicine practice. Dweck graduated from Millbrook and Dutchess Day schools as well as Skidmore College. She is the daughter of Robert Dweck, MD, of Millerton, and the late Karen Kisslinger, who was one of the pioneering acupuncture practitioners in the region.

“I feel like I have roots in Millbrook; this area is home for me. I believe the strength of any health practitioner is in building relationships with each patient and in listening deeply to them. Only then can we give them what they need both energetically and what they need in terms of the physical treatment.”  

This is the second in a series of articles on gambling.  The Governor is backing a Constitutional amendment that would permit seven new commercial casinos in New York, their location undetermined.  These articles will explore the pros and cons and review the available literature, which is growing.    

Gov. Cuomo and a cadre of influential politicians have become enamored of casinos and the gaming revenues they bring in.  They allowed slot machines (actually Video Lottery Terminals or VLT in the trade) to be installed at two New York tracks - Aqueduct and Yonkers, and they learned that money just rolls in. In one month at Aqueduct $1.3 billion was wagered according to a NY Daily News report.  That resulted in a “take” of $59.57 millions and tax revenue to the state of  $26 million.  For the fiscal year 2012-13 the take from all the state’s gambling was $1.825 billion and the amount credited to the education fund was $831.9 million.  Most of that money came from the slot machines.  

The 585-acre Trotwood Farm advertised in last week’s issue is indeed one of the most dramatic farms in our region, sitting on the southern sector of North Tower Hill, at the top of the town’s most prominent land feature.  

The land tells a story that may be of interest equal to the spectacular views looking south over the Connecticut hills and Dover Plains. The fields, winding farm roads, the hay stacked for winter, the sheds and barns once made this farm a showcase known and prized by the scores of visitors who came to look at Col. Rodger Young’s Angus cattle.  He used to drive the visitors around in an old and battered jeep, pointing out his favorite cows, commenting on his bulls and rejoicing in the youngstock lounging in the abundant pastures.

If you were invited into the main house, the one designed by Sally Young, you got a strong feeling of Hawaii, where Colonel Young had strong attachments and where he served in World War II.

The Omega Institute brought together an impressive roster of experts at a conference from October 4 through October 6 to talk about our changing perceptions of the world around us and how to strategize change. 

The conference, subtitled “Opportunites and Solutions for an Interdependent World,” was organized by Omega’s Center for Sustainable Living and included panel discussions and presentations by economists, environmentalists, biologists, architects, professors, community organizers and philanthropists, including former president Bill Clinton. The presenters are all part of the increasingly large conversation about how we implement and contextualize major changes in energy, economy, design and communication. 

“We are certainly interdependent,” said President Clinton, “but it is a question about whether we make that a positive or a negative interaction.  We need to focus on unity rather than division, which is what has created the instability in the world.” 

Terry Gipson has worked as a landscaper, dishwasher, cook, carpenter, painter, cafeteria manager and scenic and lighting designer before taking on his current job as New York State Senator for the 41st District. The 49-year old Democrat from Tyler, TX represents all but two towns in Dutchess County and three towns in Putnam County.  Since taking his seat in Albany in January, Gipson has worked to change the static environment in the state legislature.  He told us how he is brainstorming creative solutions to knotty issues at an interview conducted in his Poughkeepsie office.

Gipson sat down with us to talk about the state facilities in Dutchess County, the controversial bill to bring casinos to NY, bills he is passionate about and how his artistic background helps him in politics.  His Director of Communications Jonathan Heppner and Director of Government Affairs Brian Kelly joined us.  

Sunday morning was dark, chilly and wet outside, ideal for staying in bed.  Nevertheless, 50 area children decided not to sleep-in and instead spent their morning helping children less fortunate than themselves.

It was the Kids One Mile Run for the Ryan McElroy Children’s Cancer Foundation (RMCCF), a non-profit dedicated to helping families with children facing cancer or other life threatening diseases.  Children were in Nikes and parents with umbrellas huddled outside of Lori Decker’s Pulse Cycling and Fitness on the corner of Franklin and Church Street at 9 a.m. anxious for the race to start. Rain poured from the sky causing a river to race down Franklin Avenue as children squatted on the curb running their fingers in the current as through they were on the banks of a river. 

Shakespeare has long been an integral component of the English Language Arts Curriculum for schools across the United States. Webutuck High School was able to experience Shakespeare outside the confines of the printed page when professional actors visited their school from England. 

The Castle Theater Company from Durham University in northern England visited Webutuck’s English classes to conduct a Shakespeare workshop. Durham University sent 14 of its best actors, part of an internationally recognized acting company.

The theater company visited English Teacher Sherry Fisher’s English 10 and Advanced Placement English Literature and teacher Felice LaPietra’s English 9 Honors course. The company engaged with the English classes by giving them a preview of the play As Your Like it, played acting games with the students and helped them act out a brief scene from the play. Fisher said she was amazed how well the actors engaged with the students and how shy her students became when acting out a scene from Shakespeare. 

"Limone"  now operating in Mabettesville has taken the space on Franklin Avenue which until recently was occupied by The Pumpkin House. Just back from a buying trip in Italy, Limone owners, Brenda & Al DeBonis, are set to open the new shop on November 2nd when they will be offering unique gift items they selected for Millbrook shoppers. Kicking off the pre-holiday is an exceptional sale of exquisite porcelin and ceramics by famed wildlife artist, Lynn Chase this weekend near the Massachusettes border just about an hour from Millbrook. (See her ad on Page 4 for details.) On the weekend of Oct. 26th-27th Millbrook Antiques Mall is conducting  a store-wide 20% off sale which will be the perfect time to shop for gifts for antiques aficionados.
More vendors and more visitors than ever before, the sixth annual Fine Home Source show hosted by Crisp Architects brought over 600 visitors last Saturday to the Millbrook Band Shell. Each year Crisp showcases high end experts and craftspeople he truly admires and works with in building and renovating homes for his clients. Artisanal furniture makers, specialty iron workers, millwork, fine art and many crafts people have traditionally exhibited at this event, as have upscale building products floors, windows, doors etc. Luxurious gardens, backyard waterfalls, ponds, swimming pools, saunas, putting greens, home theatres, state-of-the-art telephony, gourmet kitchens and wine cellars were all in view.  
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