Letters to the Editor - The Millerton News - 10-15-20

‘A matter of time’ before someone gets killed

We have written to the Amenia town supervisor about a serious road hazard in our town that we hope that the town can correct.  It would be most helpful if others who are concerned about this problem would add their voice to ours in urging the town to act.

The intersection of New York Route 343 and Yellow City Road is extremely dangerous.  To make a left turn onto Yellow City Road after coming from the east along Route 343 is taking one’s life into one’s hands. In the one month that we have been living in our newly purchased house in the Troutbeck community, there have been four times when we have come close to being hit by a fast-moving car coming from the west on Route 343, around a blind curve, as we turned left onto Yellow City Road, extremely cautiously, to get home.

Two things need to be done, as soon as possible: First, the branches along Route 343, opposite the entrance to Yellow City Road, need to be cut back.  They make visibility around the curve, which would be poor in any case, even worse. Second, and much more important, the signage along Route 343, in both directions, needs to be improved. For cars driving west, toward the center of Amenia, there is only an inconspicuous marker of an upcoming intersection. For cars coming east, away from the center of Amenia, there is no marker whatsoever warning of an intersection. It is these cars that are most at risk of hitting a car turning left onto Yellow City Road. It is critical that cars driving in both directions be warned by prominent caution signs.

This problem is an emergency, which requires immediate action. If the town can solve it, it should do so promptly. If the town does not have the necessary authority, town officials should do whatever they can to get the county and/or the state to fix the problem.

We can not overstate the urgency of this matter.  We are afraid that if remedial action is not taken soon it is only a matter of time until someone is seriously injured or killed.

Cavin P. Leeman and Diane L. Zimmerman



A letter of support for North East incumbent George Kaye

In these politically turbulent times, it is very important to have a voice of reason and experience representing us on the North East Town Board. We need to re-elect George Kaye to the Town Board for the remainder of town Supervisor Chris Kennan’s vacated Town Council position.

As a former town supervisor and town councilman, I always depended on George Kaye for advice and counsel. His knowledge and advice were so important to me and the Town Board.

As supervisor, George’s strong background in project development led the Town Board in selecting and securing property for the shared Town/Village Highway Complex. His experience also was invaluable in working with Dutchess County in securing grant monies to start and to continue with this needed project.

The Town of North East needs to keep George Kaye on the Town Board! VOTE for George Kaye for town councilman!

John Merwin

Former town supervisor and town councilman                           

North East


OK, let’s focus on character

In response to Larry Conklin’s letter in the Oct. 1 paper. Larry states, “Don’t focus on characteristics, but instead on the character.”

Mr. Trump professes to be a law and order person. I watched the first presidential debate on Tuesday, Sept. 29. All three participants knew and agreed to the rules, including not to interrupt. Mr. Trump interrupted 73 times. These interruptions included moderator, Chris Wallace, who was trying to maintain a presence of civility and decorum during the debate.  Did this lead to order? No! It escalated to a level where only 19% of viewers found the debate helpful.

Mr. Trump’s family attended the debate. They refused to have their temperatures taken and removed their masks once seated, flaunting the agreed upon rule. Are they above law and order? It appears so.

Larry, you are a veteran who proudly served our country and you write the opinion column, Veteran’s Corner, for this paper. If Mr. Trump is a man of character, how can you accept him calling our war hero, the late Senator John McCain, a “loser,” and how can you accept him allegedly calling soldiers such as you, “suckers” for not avoiding the draft as he did?

You denigrate the “non-journalistic media coverage.” When I started teaching, a revered teacher, Violet Simmons, suggested that I read The New York Times. I still do. Do you have a better paper than the one suggested by the highly respected Miss Simmons?

Roger Noel Price



‘My opinion should be just as respected as yours’

To Mr Klein, in response to your letter to the editor of Oct. 8, maybe I am, in some people’s eyes, bigoted, prejudiced, biased or whatever else you’d like to label me. I believe, if you want to live in the United States, live with our freedoms and the rights our forefathers fought for, then please, please respect my rights and try not to shove your thoughts, beliefs and criticisms down my throat through the protests, riots and destruction of property that some or all of these groups are perpetuating against these victims, our own people, who really have done nothing to these rioters. No other word fits better than victims. 

We all have choices to make. We all have opinions that disagree with others. When those disagreements turn violent then everyone loses. 

My opinion should be just as respected as yours. I don’t impose my opinion on anyone unless they ask for it. When asked, I will tell you exactly my opinion on any given subject. Again, that’s my right. If it doesn’t agree with you and you think I’m a weak individual and you begin to scream and shout obscenities, assault me or mine for not agreeing with you, then I have an issue.

The mainstream media has slanted the news, the Democrats have shown that defunding the police, allowing the riots and destruction against American citizens and business owners is perfectly fine. The Democrats endorsed bail reforms that have released perpetual offenders over and over to commit more crimes. We are letting prisoners out of prison because they may catch COVID. Isn’t it more of a risk that they’ll re-offend than them catching COVID? I could go on and on.

If you need to put a label on me, then so be it. BUT, if you pin a label on me then you need to look in the mirror and decide what label you need on your chest.

 I am an American through and through and I believe if someone doesn’t like it here in the USA then there are jets leaving from every airport hour by hour. If it’s so bad here, grab a flight and go. If you came here from another country that you didn’t like and are now trying to change our country to yours, why did you leave your home country? Seems simple enough.

Think about it.

I’d like to say thank you to The Millerton News for printing my letter of Oct. 1 without editing or deleting. I’ve gained respect for your newspaper and your opinions.

Ron Murphy



Thank you for taking care of illegal helicopters

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote to express my frustration with the Amenia Town Board and building inspector for failing to address illegal helicopter landings in our town. 

I understand that the property owner has now been served with a cease and desist letter. 

I want to thank the board and the building inspector for addressing this dangerous and illegal activity. 

I’m sure all of my neighbors will join with me in expressing our gratitude. 

Kenneth Monteiro



‘Our last best hope for a peaceful transition of power’

We are a married couple in our 70s with children and grandchildren. We are deeply concerned for the future of our democracy. We are sending this letter to every National Guard Commanding Officer and to the top official of every State Police or Public Safety Department in the United States. We appreciate you taking a brief moment to read this.

“We, the people” are on our nation’s continued journey to “form a more perfect Union” for the common good as is stated in the preamble to the Constitution. We, the undersigned, suggest that a review of your command responsibilities implores YOU to reassert a moral compass a la great leaders who’ve come before. Because if the s--t hits the fan or there is some version of dystopia or if civil unrest materializes, we, the people, are relying on you!

We urge YOU to be prepared to be righteous Peacekeepers!

Early preparation, training and planning can build command controls that serve the whole of the people of this country. Violent agitation — be it the extremists, foreign governments or rogue players — makes YOU our last best hope for a peaceful transition of power.                                                

We would greatly appreciate it if you would post this letter and make it available to your entire department. 

With trust in you and great appreciation.

Arthur Moshlak & Lauren Astor



I believe that this paper is fair and balanced

I disagree with Mr. Chamberlin’s assessment in his letter to the editor that ran on Oct. 1 that your newspaper’s reporting gives preference to liberal opinions vs. conservative. 

I find liberals tend to be more aggressively opinionated until challenged. Conservatives are more reluctant to voice their opinions. That is until recently. 

Times  are a changin’, as noted in your Oct. 1 publication.

Editor Whitney Joseph has always been fair and direct with me, and I call it like it is. Keep up your good work, as usual. Let’s pray for more hope and tolerance.   

Larry Conklin


Editor’s note: Larry Conklin writes the monthly opinion column, Veteran’s Corner, for The Millerton News.


Barrett knows Millerton

As Mayor of the Village of Millerton and Supervisor of the Town of North East, we have each appreciated the care, the resourcefulness and the hard work that our Assemblymember Didi Barrett (D-106) has brought to the job. 

Didi knows Millerton.  She is a frequent visitor to our town, and has hosted numerous “Meet your Assemblymember” events at Irving Farm coffeehouse.  She has shown a real concern for our issues, whether the need for a new grocery market, the lack of affordable housing or what could be done to help bring us a much-needed wastewater system, and she has delivered in so many ways. Courtesy of Didi Barrett, we will soon have new solar crosswalk signs with warning lights in the Village.  Didi arranged for Rudd Pond to get a new weed-harvester when the last one wore out, helping to keep Rudd Pond swimmable and boat-able. Didi is also working hard to help us finance our joint Village-Town Highway Garage.

We are lucky to have Didi Barrett representing us in the New York State Assembly. We are happy to support her and we encourage you to support her as well. 

Debbie Middlebrook


Village of Millerton

Chris Kennan


Town of North East


Support Jessica Segal for judge

I write in support of Jessica Segal for judge of the Dutchess County Court, which has jurisdiction over criminal cases.  Ms. Segal’s qualifications are excellent: 17 years as a Dutchess County assistant district attorney handling both appeals and trials, and three years as a defense attorney.  As a former appellate attorney myself, I know how valuable appellate experience is. Together with Ms. Segal’s trial experience, this means that she is intimately familiar with the way trials should be conducted. Her experience as a prosecutor was enriched when she entered private practice and began representing criminal defendants. Having seen trial work from both sides — prosecution and defense — Ms. Segal is particularly knowledgeable about the criminal justice system. This broad experience makes her particularly well-suited to serve as a judge hearing criminal cases. The ability to see both sides of a case is an essential qualification for a judge.

Also impressive is the compassion Ms. Segal has expressed for crime victims as well as defendants. As for crime victims, she has said, “There’s a real human connection to bearing witness to someone’s most tragic day of their life. I found it very rewarding to help people through that traumatic process, and to be a voice for them when they couldn’t find the right words.” As a defense lawyer she “saw a lack of regard for treating people with fairness and dignity. [People] were just a number, every case was just a number to push through the system.” 

Peter Forman, on the other hand, seems to lack a sense of fairness and respect for the rights of others. He demonstrated this in challenging absentee ballots in the Independence Party’s primary in June. He brought a lawsuit to challenge absentee ballots on various grounds, including the argument that those who were afraid to go to the polls because of the COVID pandemic should not be able to vote by absentee ballot, nor should people hospitalized or at home caring for a sick or disabled person. Evidently, he did not want everyone to be able to cast a vote during these difficult times. Fortunately, the court ruled against him. 

There is also a practical reason not to re-elect Judge Forman: At the age of 65, he can remain on the bench for only five more years – half of a county judge’s 10-year term. I’m older myself and have no bias against older judges, but 70 is the mandatory retirement age.  

Jessica Segal can serve out a full 10-year term and she brings a fresh perspective as an experienced prosecutor and defense attorney.

Amy Rothstein

Pine Plains

Latest News

Summer sizzle puts trout in hot water

This smallmouth bass ignored the tempting green Gurgler and instead took a reverse-hackle wet fly typically used in Tenkara angling. Fish are funny that way.

Patrick L. Sullivan

The dog days have arrived.

This phrase refers to the summer, which brings heat, which makes trout unhappy.

Keep ReadingShow less
Cool coffee granitas

Second helpings of coffee granitas are usually required.

Eliza Osborne

As I write, it is about a thousand degrees. And said to be staying there as we slog through this existential climate change, which I believe used to be known as summer. I was going to write about new and exciting developments in the pizza world, but probably no one south of the Nordkapp is going to turn on an oven much before October if this keeps up. So pizza will have to wait for who knows when, and, instead, I’ll offer something that’s really cold, really easy, and really good. You’ll love it, I promise.

Hang on a minute, I have to go open the refrigerator door and lie down on the floor in front of it for a while first. Be right back . . .

Keep ReadingShow less
Norfolk Artists & Friends annual exhibit returns

Norfolk Artists & Friends founder Ruthann Olsson.

Jennifer Almquist

For the past 17 years, a community of artists have shown a visual feast of their paintings, sculpture, jewelry, photography, and decorative arts in an annual exhibition in Norfolk.

Following tradition, more than thirty members of Norfolk Artists & Friends (NAF), a membership organization of professional artists, will be showing their artwork this summer in a group exhibit at the Art Barn Gallery on the Battell Stoeckel Estate in Norfolk from Aug. 1 to 4. The show is sponsored by the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival – Yale School of Music, to which 15% of the sales is donated.

Keep ReadingShow less
The Litchfield Jazz Festival returns for year 29

Now celebrating its 29th year, The Litchfield Jazz Festival will take place July 26-28 at the Tisch Auditorium and the Bourne Courtyard at the Frederick Gunn School in Washington, Connecticut.

Presented by Litchfield Performing Arts, the festival began as a classical series supplemented with dance and theater and jazz. Executive Director Vita West Muir spent time consulting with jazz gurus like DJ Ken Woods from WPBX Long Island, going to concerts, visiting other festivals in New York and New Orleans, and gathering advice from friends.

Keep ReadingShow less