Government/Politics welcomes comments from anyone representing any point of view, provided they are civil and focus  on substance rather than personal characterizations. If submissions seem to conflict with our guidelines, we will contact their authors, identify our concerns, and offer authors an opportunity to revise them.  Personal attacks and general ranting will not be published.

For purposes verification only, we request that all submissions include the author’s full name, address and telephone.

170 thoughts on “Government/Politics

  1. Welcome to the new kid in town! Great start.

    May Dot Info live long and prosper!

  2. Welcome
    We are so glad you are here and that we have new business neighbors across the street.
    Love the site and the introductory video.
    We look forward to reading more.

  3. WOW this is fantastic.
    Welcome and thanks for such a beautiful website filled with
    chock full of news concerning all.
    Best, Sheilah and Bert Rechtschaffer

  4. great site lots o good links i feel like CS has arrived!!! welcome and keep up the good work

  5. It is with great sadness that I write about the death of Mike Tully. A dear friend for many years, he passed away on July 8. He is survived by his wife, Mary Louse, four sons and eight grandchildren. The wakes will be held at Clinton Funeral Home on Monday and Tuesday. The funeral will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Cold Spring on July 13th at 11am.

  6. The oil that is currently escaping to the gulf should be recovered before it hits the land (or sea beds) if at all possible. The most natural method of causing this oil to be recovered is to pay $1,000 for each barrel that is proven to be recovered from the gulf. This method produces an incentive to recover the oil before it hits the shore, when it will do tens of thousands of dollars damage to the environment. The money can come from the fines that will be levied on BP which is $1,000 per barrel released (or $4K if the oil leak is determined to be criminal) This recovered oil will save potentially an order of magnitude more cost when it hits the shore and produces unimaginable damage to the environment with a still more expensive cleanup.
    The current situation has no motivation for the rest of the oil industry to contribute to the solution — i.e. why should a Shell oil engineer help recover any of the oil in the gulf before it hits the shore? The only method to get that group involved is to give them more motivation to work collecting the oil in the gulf that collecting more oil from the ground anywhere else.
    The current situation encourages BP to use dispersants on the oil so it is more difficult to observe — which keeps it out of sight — and also more difficult to collect. If BP could collect an enormous premium for skimmed oil, they would have no motivation to use the dangerous dispersants.
    Of course some safeguard must be in place to prevent fraud as it would be cheaper to mix west Texas crude with water from the gulf to collect the premium. However, without the correct motivational force we will still see oil seeping around the booms rather than being recovered offshore.

  7. Two establishments were broken into last night – both on Main Street.

    McQuires and Ming Moon. It is not known how much was taken, but everyone should be aware that the robberies have started up again.

  8. Welcome to the diversity of voices in our community.
    web site is well designed and easy to navigate,it presents a wide range of activities and interests in our wonderful piece of geography here in the Hudson Valley

  9. While I’m glad to see that an alternative to the PCNR is now up and running, I’m disappointed to see that the “paper” will not take editorial positions or at least have an Op-Ed page. Having readers voice their opinions on issues is fine, but it’s not the same as incisive and informed editorializing.

    I hope you reconsider this position as the paper grows. Perhaps you could begin by inviting local writers to write weekly or monthly columns on different topics, with the clear understanding that the views they express are their own and not necessarily that of the paper.

  10. An alternative and diverse newspaper is a gift to our wonderful community that stands for fair unbiased reporting and non corporate involvement. At last, a venue for controversial issues, uncensored and
    open to dialogue. I am so excited and I must say, relieved.
    Thank you and may we embrace diversity and a comittment to peace and justice

  11. Peace Breaks Out in Philipstown Zoning Wars???
    Draft Marked July 14 Well Received…Latest Changes Lauded…
    Long Process and Patient Public Officials Praised!!
    What’s Happening? Is It Really All Over Except for the Voting??

    See for yourself by checking out the latest maps on the town website, the July 14 PCN&R, or the middle right front page of

  12. I want to thank everyone involved in this publication for it’s valued debut. You are true pioneers in the field of new media, and the small town newspaper seems the perfect venue to create a model for the new century.
    I applaud your non partisan approach, and disagree with the comment earlier encouraging editorialization. We have enough of that wrapped up as ‘fair and balanced’ pseudo reporting in other arenas; spare us more of the same on either side of the aisle. Guest ‘Opinions’ might be of interest, but they need to be written by those who know whereof they speak, and in a forum of ‘pro and con’…Just my .2 cents.
    By the way, how do I subscribe, or at least contribute? Is there a Paypal link I can follow to do so? Rent isn’t cheap!
    Continued best wishes,
    Phil Heffernan

  13. 10 things I loved about my friend Donald Lusk, who the demons took today:

    1.) He was unique. More than anything else about him, I have always been in awe of how he was so unlike anyone else. Irreplaceable.

    2.) He was brilliant. Having all of an eigth grade education, many mistook him as daft. But the genius that was inside of him was very real. I encouraged him to journal his thoughts and what he wrote was as beat and original as anything I’ve ever read. I hope some of his rants survive and see the light of day.

    3.) He was fanatic. When he liked something, he REALLY liked it and had the most intense insights into what made it great. Ditto for his dislikes.

    4.) He was so funny. He could make me laugh, to where I would have to stop him. He spoke in his own language, making words up as needed and doing things with his face and limbs that defied human-ness

    5.) He could be incredibly kind. And appreciative. I could call him anytime and he was there. Period. And if I did something for him he would thank me up and down, over and over! I will miss his long phone messages and wish I’d saved a few!

    6.) His appreciation of music. Many thought him to be obsessive, but to sit with him at a concert, from Ravi Shankar to Yes to Davis Bromberg, was inspiring, if at times mildly embarassing. While awestruck of rockstars, he got just as wild hearing tribute bands playing the music of the Beatles or Genesis. His first experience was the Concert for Bangladesh at age ten!

    7.) He told outrageous stories. While I took everything with a grain of salt, many of his yarns were simply too original to be anything but true. Mesmerizing as I considered the imponderables of his past.

    8.) He was a patriot in the old way. He stood up for what he believed in and he loved his Cold Spring in ways us #!%*? carpet-baggers never will be able to. He risked much running for mayor, but he did it when no one else would

    9.) He, more than anyone, stopped the monster condo across from the Hudson House. While many of us would have preferred a park or public use, what were built at the old lumberyard are more than we could have hoped for. The unbroken 300′ chain of 16 identical units originally proposed would be there today if he hadn’t been around. So tip your hat to him the next time you’re at the waterfront or out on the river.

    10.) He loved his family. He quit drinking to be a better dad, which considering the tales of the old front porch, etc., was exponentially admirable. He was aware of certain shortcomings and struggled to do what he could for Crystal as best he could — he certainly took the responsibility seriously. His feelings for Wanda were unfailing — I played George Harrison’s “Something” for him once as he drove me somewhere and he took the lead vocal and I switched to the harmony and it rang out beautifully and when we ended I had a great big smile and looked over and he was crying shamelessly, telling me how much he loved her.

  14. I am so glad this paper is offering us an alternative to the PCNR. I support your decision to not editorialize 100%.

    I tend to agree with Phil Heffernan’s comment regarding a “guest opinion” page, though I would be careful with that in the sense that you truly work to present both sides of any issue…

    I think the “old” PCNR did it best by limiting “opinions” to the letter to the editor page…

    I also would like to know how to contribute..perhaps you could have a “subscription rate” payable with paypal or credit card…

    Good luck…I truly hope you become the dominate paper/news source or the town and villages

  15. I was out of town for the weekend, and didn’t find out until today that a dear son of Cold Spring had crossed the bar.

    Donald Lusk will always have a special place in our hearts.

    Thank you John Teagle for putting into words the way many of us felt about Donald. He had a unique voice and was an inspirational writer. Through him, I felt connected to generations of Springers long gone, and, thanks to Donald, not forgotten.

    He was fearless in his passions, and as John reminds us, was instrumental in stopping the original disastrous development design of the Lumberyard. The much better project it became is a legacy to Donald’s presence in Lower Main.

    I extend my condolences to his wonderful family…and to the community that will miss him, and be the lesser for his absence.

  16. Thank you, John Teagle, for your beautiful words about Donald. It’s as if you had known him forever. Some of us did. And always will.

  17. I would like to tell John Teagle I absolutely LOVED his tribute to Donald. I didn’t know Donald as well as everyone else, but I knew him. The world has lost a very special someone.

  18. I don’t think I’ll ever scoop the loop again without thinking about Donald. He was one of the kindest people I’ve ever met and I knew whenever I ran into him on the street it would turn into an hour long conversation. He loved to talk about growing up in Cold Spring and memories of Catholic school. He loved his family, The Beatles, and Cold Spring. He spoke the truth and didn’t care what anyone thought, he had the courage to say what everyone else was thinking. If he was your friend he was a friend for life and I was one of the lucky ones.

  19. Donald was my friend for 45 years. From our grade school years at Our Lady of Loretto, our Mick Vs. Bowie arguements, and our love of the Rangers and Giants, our friendship remained. Rest in peace my friend! You will be missed more than you know!

  20. Dear Editor,
    We do not fully appreciate cultural evolution until it becomes personal. Last week, as I was ferrying provisions to a sailboat at Garrison Landing, a young man approached and asked if he could use my phone.

    I dialed the number, placed the call on speaker phone and waited as he completed a call to his mother to tell her he had been kicked out of a drug rehab program at Graymoor. Into the silence on the other end, he complained that the program was difficult, that he had tried to cooperate, but that some people there did not like him and he wanted to come home. The woman’s voice was heartbroken and firm, ” Dan, this is the fourth program. You can’t come home.” He angrily cut her off, ending the call and began to cry.

    I no longer believe in coincidence. Dan was in my path for a purpose. I have no sons, only daughters and do not regret for a minute the unique challenge of being a dad to women. But it has made me keenly interested in the challenge boys face in seeking to become men of calibre. Our current culture seems intent to deny their design.

    What parent is not aware that when a boy picks up a stick, it instinctively becomes a sword. His play is different. He risks and he dares and he does so with an eagerness that is distinctively male. He quests for situations requiring courage. And we have discouraged him.

    We have dumbed down competition. Thinking that eliminating a loser makes everyone “better”. It does not. It makes everyone mediocre. We have placed such a high value on getting along and being politically correct that our children have a harder time deciding for themselves were truth lies. Many of our young men are never given the opportunity to develop that essential quality of manhood: courage.

    We assiduously remove stress from our children’s lives as if it were a carcinogen. Some stress is good. Throughout history those who have championed causes for the good of society have had to risk losing and not getting along with others. They maintained their struggles with courage born through stress.

    For many of our children, the lessons in overcoming adversity never arise. They are sheltered from the consequences of failure. At many schools, awards and scholarships are presented at sequestered events held only for recipients. Discussion of moral standards is ridiculed and media has made sport of destroying those who dare publicly chastise our culture for mediocrity.

    So, we cushion failure as if self esteem were an unstable isotope not a renewable resource. Sedentary entertainment takes the place of challenge, competition and enterprise. And, the pursuit of extreme leisure has become the counterfeit to courage.

    Our young men, in particular, are suffering. Everything I have seen tells me they were built for something more. I believe the boy wanting to become a man is wired for causes. He wants to know he is worthy of fighting the good fight, whether it be as a teacher in a classroom or as a warrior in battle. His fulfillment requires answering the call to take risks and endure inevitable failures. Unless we teach our boys to fight on, they will never learn the courage they so desperately need for manhood.

    Jamie Copeland

  21. I recently learned of this unbiased alternative to the, er, “news”paper that the PCNR has become under its current ownership.

    Thank you for providing a forum in which the news is reported in a factual and relatively neutral (it is never completely neutral) fashion, allowing readers to interpret a given story as opposed to someone attempting to dictate to an (ever-dwindling) readership what it should think and what its opinion should be.

    As a former reporter for the “old” PCNR, I feel profound sadness at what the PCNR has become even as I, after the first two months under the new ownership, could no longer bring myself to read its “stories.”

    Again, many thanks for providing competition and best of luck on a successful venture.

  22. It is a wonderful development to have a voice of sanity and not “the abomination” as the only “game” in town. Thank you!

  23. I just heard Mike Kaplowitz, a candidate for NY State Senate speak today. He was terrific. He gave the clearest explanation I have heard about what happened in Albany this past year when the NY State Government was shut down. He has some great ideas of what needs to be done to help get NY State out of its current fiscal emergency. We need someone with his experience and intelligence in the NY State Senate. He is on both the Independent & Democratic lines on the November 2 election. With everything that is going on it is really important to vote this November.

  24. I read with great interest that Legislator Tamagna, on behalf of the Putnam County government, has initiated a movement to acquire the Butterfield property from the hands of a private developer. This property has vital importance to the local and regional community as it grows in this 21st century.

    I don’t think we can afford to let this opportunity pass us by. But I also don’t think we should give the developer a six figure profit for holding the property for 3 years. I can’t imagine any appraisal coming in that supports an appreciation of 200% since 2007.

    Eminent Domain is a reasonable option in this situation, as the community at large desperately needs that property for a possible firehouse, a post office, and western Putnam County government offices and services.

    We need to put our hearts and minds together to rescue a crucial piece of property that once belonged to the Village of Cold Spring. We lost it through lax oversight and clever manipulation on the part of Hudson Valley Hospital. Let’s not lose it twice.

  25. Jamie Copeland has provided a unique insight into a vessel we’re crafting for our children through the false assumption that protecting them from disappointment keeps them safe.

    As unfortunate as it sounds, children need to lose in order to learn from it, and to change the outcome through effort. When they dread not finishing first, they learn to fear losing. Yet if they are to be successful in art, music, engineering or business, they can not fear failure. This will free up their ability to creatively solve the problems that life throws their way.

    Excellence is no vice and while mediocrity occurs, it is not a virtue. As a successful coach once said, ‘losing is when the learning starts’. Protecting our boys, or any of our children from this reality is not healthy for them or their future. Thank you Jamie.

    Tim Donovan

  26. On Tuesday, October 26, 2010, the Haldane voting community has the opportunity to approve an Energy Performance Contract (EPC) with ConEd Solutions. The contract will provide for upgrades and repairs that are guaranteed to provide energy savings in school facilities, and the savings in energy use will, in turn, pay for these upgrades.

    Voting YES for the Energy Performance Contract qualifies the district for more state aid and a better bond rate. It is an innovative way to make needed repairs and upgrades without creating a tax burden. The Board of Education deserves praise for seeking out ways to save energy, and support for finding this creative solution to replace Haldane’s aging boilers.

    I am voting YES for the EPC on Tuesday, October 26. Polls are open 7 am to 9 pm in Room 105. Parking will be available in the upper (bell) parking lot.

  27. Want To Pay Taxes, Get Nothing in Return? Vote for Nan Hayworth

    Nan Hayworth wants us to hire her as our member of Congress, and pay her a government salary (with government healthcare) in return for her pledge to do nothing for us. Huh?

    In order to get the endorsement of the far right wing Club for Growth, Nan sold us down the river and pledged to refuse to accept the return to our towns and cities of any of the tax money we pay into Washington. These funds would ordinarily be used to pay for needed aid to our schools, fire departments, hospitals, police and roads, among other needed projects.

    But Hayworth wants to “just say no”. Her idea is that our taxes paid from our hard-earned money should go to, say, to Vermont, California and Massachusetts to pay for their roads, and schools, while we have to fork up more in property taxes to pay for our own local projects.

    In contrast, Congressman John Hall has fought hard to bring our tax money back to the district, for needed projects like the Montrose Veterans Hospital ($6.75 million), a new sewer system in Peach Lake in Southeast/North Salem, ($13 million), improvements to Rte 6 and Annsville Circle ($3 million) in Peekskill/Cortlandt, and aid for the Philipstown schools (over $700,000) — and this is just a small sample.

    Vote for John Hall, and get your (tax) money’s worth

  28. As a book-lover, I was disturbed to learn that the proposed Philipstown budget for 2011 would again slash the town’s contribution to the Desmond Fish library in Garrison. In 2009, the amount awarded was $25,000, This year it was $15,000. Now it’s down to a miserly $5,000.

    Once again services will have to be reduced. It’s not surgery. It’s butchery. No wonder the country is falling far behind other developed nations in its educational rankings.

    The library is vital to Garrison, the only universal gathering place there, the magnet for scores of kids who flock in every day to enjoy and learn, where residents can choose from an astonishing array of books and films, new and old, where art and music refresh the spirit.

    Last year the library was visited more than 50,000 times.

    Perhaps when the nation’s libraries have finally fallen victim to the number crunchers, we can forget them and retreat to our TV sets to slump with glazed eyes in front of Jerry Springer, Judge Judy and Wife Swap.

    If that sounds unsatisfying, tell your representatives at a public hearing on the budget at the Philipstown town hall on Wednesday, Nov.3.

    Tony Burton

  29. Dear Editor,
    In response to Carol Marquand’s letter to the PCNR about the Fish Library Budget for 2011, I could not agree with her more about the vital function the Desmond Fish Library plays in our community. However, I would like to clear up a misconception about Garrison Volunteer Fire Company finances and our use of Reserve Funds.

    To maintain our community’s insurance rating category 6-9 as established by the ISO (the Insurance Services Office, Inc), our Fire Protection District must purchase and maintain certain types of Fire Fighting and Rescue Vehicles. These vehicles are designed to meet OSHA (the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and NFPA (the National Fire Protection Association) standards and are built to perform under emergency conditions. They each cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    For communities the size of ours, these purchases can have a huge impact on the local budget in the year in which they are paid for, turning fiscal planning into a nightmare. For this and other financially prudent reasons, the Comptroller of the State of New York has advised Towns with Fire Protection Districts, like Garrison, to encourage the use of Reserve Funds for the purchase of fire fighting equipment:

    “Saving for future projects, acquisitions, and other allowable purposes is an important planning consideration for local governments.. Reserve funds provide a mechanism for legally saving money to finance all or part of future infrastructure, equipment, and other requirements. Reserve funds can also provide a degree of financial stability by reducing reliance on indebtedness to finance capital projects and acquisitions. In uncertain economic times, reserve funds can also provide officials with a welcomed budgetary option that can help mitigate the need to cut services or to raise taxes.” -NYS Comptroller-

    This practice and our diligent vehicle maintenance has enabled our fire company to plan and follow an Equipment Replacement Schedule. This schedule is updated annually and provided to the Town Board.

    The Garrison Volunteer Fire Company’ss ability to offer the Town a budget cut back of over 15%, in this year of crisis without sacrificing firematic capability, is a testament to the resourcefulness of our officer corp and our company’s history of sound financial planning.

    In service,

    James M. Copeland, President
    Garrison Volunteer Fire Company

  30. Grace Conley was the very definition of her name. She will be so very much missed, by so very many people. It is with our deepest appreciation that we thank you for your friendship to her over all of these years. We will be eternally greatful.
    Sincerely yours,
    Stephen and Jan Conley

  31. Village Sell’s Out Residents and Goes Down Wrong Road

    The Village of Cold Spring is ever so close to finalizing access to their upper reservoir dam, located off Foundry Pond Rd.

    There is a court Settlement Agreement in place, between the Village and out-of-town NYC developer Alfredo DeVido, whereas the developer will pay the Village $13,000 to give up its rights to their previously used reservoir access road that runs along the edge of his land, a route the Village asserted their rights to in numerous letters 5 years ago.

    Using this information, I sued the developer, with the support of many neighbors, to ensure a sensible sub-division and in parallel, help the Village maintain their access road to the reservoir. This is what good neighbors and good communities do, bond together and support one another for the common good. But this is Cold Spring, a whole different world.

    5 years have passed and now the Village has pulled a 180. They have found an alternate route for reservoir access, up the nearby, privately owned road, Faust Court.

    When Mayor Gallagher called me a year ago for my consent for the Village’s “temporary access” up Faust Court for emergency dam repairs, I told him no, and reminded him the Village already had access via the old road adjoining DeVido’s property. But the Mayor claimed it would be too costly for the Village to go that route and that it was impassible. The reality is, that road was intact, and with a day of clean-up the Village could have been to the dam. But they didn’t and a few weeks later came up Faust Court anyway. I made no stink about it.

    But here’s where I felt the knife hit me squarely in the back. The Village has engaged in a private Agreement for permanent access with two other private property owners on Faust Court, who did cooperate with the Village for temporary access across their land. I was never offered inclusion in this permanent access Agreement; I just found out about 2 days ago. So the Village will pay two neighbors $10,000 each for access across their land and also a part of the deal pave the rest of Faust Court, the majority of which runs along my property, not theirs. What gives the Village the right to make access agreements on private roads with only half the owners?

    The Village is paying the Town Highway Dept. their crews and materials to do the paving, estimated by Roger Chirico to be $10,000. Despite my several requests for a storm water management plan prior to paving, the Mayor refuses to prepare one, but promises, by word, that the Village will fix whatever needs to be fixed if there are water problems on my land or Foundry Pond Road. It is clearly obvious that storm drains and underground pipes will be necessary where the water hits the town road, another $8,000 cost estimated by Roger.

    So, let’s do the math here. $13,000 positive cash flow from the Developer, minus $20k for the private property owners, minus $10k for paving, minus $8k for drainage repairs equals NEGATIVE $25,000. Village budget in the RED $25k.

    Why didn’t the Village ask for at least $38,000 in the Settlement Agreement with the developer? After all, by massaging the access road out of the Village, the developer now has the extra acreage to build a FOURTH house. This could result in a $1 million home sale, matching his first house sold on the same tract several years ago.
    $13,000 in exchange for a $1 million home sale? Did something fall off the table here?

    Well don’t leave me out on these awesome deals the Village is offering. Based on my deed, just like all the others along Faust Court, I own up to halfway across the road. The second the Village comes on the road, they are on my half. Mr. Mayor, where’s the love? I’ll take $10k for what you can categorize a “Road Access Fee”. The Village taxpayers won’t miss another $10k, same as the $25k still unaccounted for. After all, fair is fair and Christmas is right around the corner.

    Check payable to:
    David Weinpahl
    88 Foundry Pond Road


    Our collective faith in government and leadership has been shaken given the news of Senator Vincent Leibell’s decision not to take office as Putnam County Executive.

    The responsibility for appointing an interim County Executive resides in the County Legislature, whose current Chairman is also our town’s representative to the Legislature: Vincent Tamagna.

    To begin restoring confidence in our county government, we urge Chairman Tamagna to create an unbiased and transparent process
    in selecting a temporary replacement for the retiring Bob Bondi. The candidate should be a qualified and non-partisan individual whose tenure will not serve as a platform for the next campaign.

    Transparency and non-partisanship should also be applied to fill
    any political vacancies that may arise at the town or county level
    as a result of the selection of a temporary County Executive.

    After a divisive Fall election and the resignation of Senator Leibell, our citizens, regardless of party, deserve policy and not politics, as we guide our way back to a functioning county government.

    Our community deserves an open, principled selection process.

    Philipstown Democratic Committee:
    Edmond Drake
    Dorothy Gilman
    Catherine Greenough
    Michael McKee
    Anthony Merante
    Linda Tafapolsky
    Margaret Whelan
    Suzanne Willis
    Margaret Yonco-Haines
    Neal Zuckerman


    Copies to: Members of Cold Spring’s Village Board of Trustees and Special Board for the Comprehensive Plan
    December 14, 2010

    As a member of Cold Spring Village’s Comprehensive Plan Special Board for the past four years, I have studied (as time permitted) the current Draft and I am respectfully voting “No” on the current Draft for the reasons stated below. Since we Board members have worked long and hard on the Comprehensive Plan, I felt that my fellow Special Board members and the community deserved an explanation of my vote. Here are the reasons for my “No” vote:

    1.The latest version of the Draft reached me December 9, 2010, so the members of the Comprehensive Plan Special Board did not have time to read and study this version before voting the night of December 9, 2010. My feeling about that is, “This is not Washington DC where they vote on laws they have not read.” This Plan will influence Cold Spring for the next 20 years or so; therefore, we should have had time (several weeks at least) to review and analyze the Draft before voting.

    Instead of voting, if we had planned to continue meeting and analyzing the Draft in January, we would have four months to polish a document that has been in the making for four years. That time frame would, rightfully, put voting on the Draft beyond the next election in mid-March, which is essential. We do not want to play politics with the Village’s future.

    2.A Comprehensive Plan should be a “Policy” document; the current draft is not a policy document, but a collection of ideas and suggestions.

    The most frequently used definition of “policy” is “a course of action.” Thus, a policy needs to be specific and the policy makers must have some assurance of the result that the course of action will cause.

    One of the State’s requirement for a Comprehensive Plan is to, “provided the means to remove the planning process from immediate political considerations and allow for more objective analysis of community growth and need.” To accomplish this objective, the Comprehensive Plan must be specific with clear, stated aims.

    3.While not a law itself, the Comprehensive Plan serves as a legal document on which zoning laws are based. The New York State Department of State’s, Office of Coastal, Local Government and Community Sustainability publication, “Zoning and the Comprehensive Plan” states:
    “New York State’s zoning enabling statutes!. all require that zoning laws be adopted in accordance with a Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan should provide the backbone for the local zoning law.”

    That statement, alone, is a strong recommendation that the Cold Spring Comprehensive Plan should have a separate section on “Land Use: Guidelines for Zoning.” The Comprehensive Plan should recommend, in a broad framework, the type, size and use of the different land areas in the Village and make specific recommendations for the benefit of the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals.

    The current Draft mentions specific land use and zoning ideas in various sections, rather than combining them as policy in one section with broad guidelines for the entire community. This separation in different sections is confusing in itself; it means that a Zoning Board of Appeals member would have to read the entire Comprehensive Plan to get all the information regarding suggested land use/zoning ideas.

    Also, the Draft singles out several specific properties, rather than covering all similar properties in the Village; this singular identification invites lawsuits.

    4.In addition, the Comprehensive Plan should rely on settled law regarding zoning of any type. Currently the Draft in 1.1.2 suggests including “form-based zoning” and moving away from “strict separation of uses.” Form-based zoning is comparatively new, with court cases now being contested; therefore I recommend that we wait until there is settled law before we include “form-based zoning” in our Comprehensive Plan. “Use-based zoning” has been in use for decades and its law is definitely settled.

    Later on, as the court cases involving form based zoning are settled, the Comprehensive Plan can be up-dated if needed, and the Village Board could easily pass a new section to our Zoning code.

    5.Form and function of a Comprehensive Plan: As defined by this same Publication from New York State’s Department of State, “‘Comprehensive’ has been defined as ‘covering a matter under consideration completely or nearly completely!'”

    “‘Plan’ has been defined as ‘a method of achieving something: a way of carrying out a design: !a detailed and systematic formulation of a large-scale campaign or program of action.'”

    6.A Thoughtful Comprehensive Plan Always Guides Land Use and Zoning.
    As New York State’s publication, “Zoning and the Comprehensive Plan”

    “Zoning regulations should be based on a Comprehensive Plan which examines the housing needs of the community and the region.”

    “Perhaps the most important theme in the leading cases interpreting the requirement that zoning be in accordance with a Comprehensive Plan is the language in those cases indicating that the courts will look to see whether zoning is for the benefit of the whole municipality.”

    “The question of whether a rezoning constitutes ‘spot zoning’ should be answered by determining whether the rezoning was done to benefit individual owners rather that pursuant to a comprehensive plan for the general welfare of the community.”

    7.A Comprehensive Plan should be clear and its Sections consistent throughout the entire document. Again, let’s quote the New York State Department of State’s detailed publication, “Zoning and the Comprehensive Plan:”

    “From a planner’s perspective, a plan is inclusive and comprehensive when it addresses a wide range of planning issues, perhaps through a series of component, topic-related sections. These components could include such matters as transportation patterns and future needs, natural and built resource inventories and population trends.”

    The topic-oriented design would enable the planner to investigate land use, for example, by reading one section. Currently, there are specific properties with some related discussion in different sections of the plan, which could lead future leaders to overlook an important recommendation. So we should make the plan consistent throughout.

    My personal recommendation is that the Village Trustees send the current Draft back to the Comprehensive Plan Special Board with instructions to revise the Draft into a specific policy document to be re-submitted to the Trustees in April-May, 2011.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Marshall Mermell
    Special Board Member
    Cold Spring Comprehensive Plan

  34. Comprehensive Plan: Village Board review

    I am making the following appeal to all residents in the village of Cold Spring to come to the January 4th, 2011 village workshop which will be the first workshop that the village board will be addressing the draft Comprehensive Plan.
    We officially announced the receiving of the Comprehensive Plan at the Dec. 14th 2010 monthly meeting, which began the 90 day window for the village board to hold a public hearing on the plan, which is required by law under NYS Village Law 7-722. The Plan garnered a 5-4 vote. This tells me that the Draft Plan needs a complete and thorough review by the Village Board before any further action is taken regards to pushing it towards the next step. We must weed out any Ideas or Recommendations that are not applicable or pertinent to the Village.
    Please take the time and read the entire comprehensive plan, which can be found on the village website at This document, as well as the process for adoption of an updated comprehensive plan, should not be used for political means. I look forward to hearing from the residents and getting further constructive feedback on the draft comprehensive plan.

    Charles E. Hustis III
    Trustee, Village of Cold Spring

  35. Sent to the Mayor and Trustees of the Village of Cold Spring:

    As a member of the Comprehensive Plan/ Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan (LWRP) Special Board for the Village of Cold Spring (the “Special Board”), I respectfully submit the following comments to the Village Board in advance of its January 4, 2011 workshop on the recommended Comprehensive Plan. The views expressed below are solely my own and do not constitute legal advice.

    1. The Special Board’s four-year-long process in formulating the recommended Comprehensive Plan has been robust, inclusive, and transparent. Dozens of volunteers collectively have contributed thousands of hours to the Special Board’s work, and hundreds of community members have expressed their views on the Village’s future in dozens of meetings, a thorough survey that achieved an impressive 20% response rate, and many written comments. In particular, in the months leading up to the December 9, 2010 vote to recommend the Comprehensive Plan, the Special Board held a series of well-attended public forums on particular issues, such as economic development and the Marathon-Campbell-Foundry area. Notes from these meetings (and dozens of other Special Board documents) were painstakingly transcribed and made available to the public and posted on the Village website, and taken together these documents constitute a remarkably fulsome public record that provides the basis for the recommended Comprehensive Plan. Further, the Special Board deliberated for many hours on the abundant oral and written public comments received during the public hearing to the September 29, 2010 draft Comprehensive Plan and discussed and voted on specific changes to that document, resulting in the Comprehensive Plan recommended to the Village Board.

    2. The recommended Comprehensive Plan is necessarily specific. In order to provide meaningful guidance to the Village Board in the years ahead so that it may consider and enact future changes in Village land use law, the Comprehensive Plan must and does discuss specific properties, including those in the Marathon/Campbell/West Point Foundry Preserve area. This approach is consistent with New York law, see Town of Bedford v. Village of Mount Kisco, 33 N.Y.2d 178, 188 (N.Y. 1973) (“We have held that zoning changes must indeed be consonant with a total planning strategy, reflecting consideration of the needs of the community.”), and with sound planning principles. For example, the Comprehensive Plan recently adopted by the Village of Ossining, a fellow Hudson Valley community, provides specific recommendations for numerous properties, including an industrial, privately owned property. See Village of Ossining Comprehensive Plan (2009) at 21 (available at Similarly, the recommended Cold Spring Comprehensive Plan sets forth recommendations for specific properties in order to promote the welfare of the Village. No property has been “singled out,” and any assertion that discussion of particular properties in the document “invites litigation” is baseless. On the contrary, the recommended Comprehensive Plan’s examination of specific properties can provide support for future land use law changes that the Village Board may choose to adopt.

    3. The recommended Comprehensive Plan is well structured. Each chapter of the recommended Comprehensive Plan corresponds to an overarching goal for the Village, as laid out in the Vision and Goals adopted by the Special Board, and contains objectives and actions that detail specific policy recommendations to achieve these goals. Comprehensive plans recently adopted by comparable Hudson Valley villages — including Ossining and Nyack (available at — are also organized thematically. The recommended Cold Spring Comprehensive Plan, which is tailored to the special requirements of the Village, contains many “statements of goals, objectives, principles, policies, and standards upon which proposals for the immediate and long-range enhancement, growth and development of the village are based,” see New York Village Law § 7-722(3)(a), and therefore comports with the requirements of the New York statute governing the content and process of adoption of village comprehensive plans. Further, the recommended Cold Spring Comprehensive Plan, like the Ossining and Nyack plans, contains numerous land use recommendations set forth in thematically organized chapters. Incidentally, neither the Ossining Plan nor the Nyack Plan contain a “land use” section, and both plans were prepared with the assistance of Phillips Preiss, a nationally renowned planning and real estate consulting firm. Indeed, New York law does not require that a comprehensive plan contain a “land use” section. Moreover, the Mayor and Trustees of the Village of Cold Spring — by whom the recommended Comprehensive Plan is intended to be implemented — are undoubtedly quite capable of reading and understanding the document in its entirety without “overlooking” any important recommendations. Additionally, the “form and function” of the recommended Comprehensive Plan, with numbered goals, objectives, and actions, allows for easy comprehension, cross-reference, and amendment where necessary.

    4. The Village should consider form-based zoning for appropriate locations. (See Recommended Comprehensive Plan ¶ ¶ 1.1.2; 7.1.3.) “Consider” means exactly that — the Village should consider utilizing this promising technique for promoting a livable, walkable community. Other communities in New York state, such as Syracuse and smaller municipalities in Onondaga County, have adopted form-based zoning ordinances. (See Most notably, Saratoga Springs in 2003 created several form-based zoning districts to preserve and create mixed-use development in the center of that community. It is well worth reviewing Article II of the Saratoga Springs Zoning Ordinance, in particular the drawings at pages 10-12 (available at in order to understand how form-based zoning can work. Such form-based zoning provisions are consistent with the broad grant of power that New York law affords to villages for zoning purposes. See, e.g., New York Village Law § 7-700 (“For the purpose of promoting the health, safety, morals, or the general welfare of the community, the board of trustees of a village is hereby empowered, by local law, to regulate and restrict the height, number of stories and size of buildings and other structures, the percentage of lot that may be occupied, the size of yards, courts and other open spaces, the density of population, and the location and use of buildings, structures and land for trade, industry, residence or other purposes.” ). Although another Special Board member has opined that the Village should wait until the law is “settled” before even considering form-based zoning, no concrete evidence regarding litigation concerning form-based zoning, in New York or any other jurisdiction, has been provided to the Special Board to date, making it impossible to evaluate that opinion. In all events, if any such litigation exists elsewhere, review of the particulars would be part of the Village’s consideration of form-based zoning.

    5. Get it done. It has now been almost five years since the Village Board decided to revise the Village’s 1987 Comprehensive Plan. The work of the Special Board has already generated positive benefits for the Village, in particular via recommendations that led to the recently adopted policy of granting waivers for off-street parking requirements, which has led to increased occupancy of storefronts on Main Street and revenue for the Village. Adopting the Comprehensive Plan will surely multiply such benefits.

    By all means, the Village Board should carefully consider each provision of the recommended Comprehensive Plan, seek legal advice where appropriate, and modify the Plan where it deems necessary. But needless delay and inaction will likely promote the toxic blend of haphazard development, decay and high taxes that has afflicted too many communities in this region.


    Michael D. Reisman

  36. December 31, 2010

    Village Board of Trustees
    Village of Cold Spring
    85 Main Street
    Cold Spring, New York 10516

    Dear Village Board:

    Our First Priority Should be a First-rate Plan. The Current Draft Comprehensive Plan will not Sustain Cold Spring

    How the Draft Plan Fails:

    * It lacks a concise, clear description of the community’s core priorities, which the Community Survey and public response shows as protecting the natural environment, economic development and sustainability

    * It doesn’t reflect legally tested and sound planning approaches in fundamental areas; it doesn’t prioritize issues and doesn’t appear to be based on comprehensive or accurate and updated assumptions

    * It includes some positive “themes and ideas” but it fails to frame and describe them in relation to each other and it fails to address them in terms of capacities, thresholds and conflicting priorities

    * Too many key details are missing, especially regarding future land use maps, zoning and land use in general

    * The Plan does not specify an overall future land use plan that achieves a balance of land uses based on community, goals, services, fiscal conditions, etc.

    * The Plan provides limited specific recommendations for changes or amendments to village regulations and policies to implement the Plan.

    * The Plan does not provide tools or strategies to manage future growth

    * The Plan provides no strategies to manage infrastructure needs in the community as growth occurs.

    * The Plan does not address external influences on the community—surrounding communities, development in the Philipstown or Nelsonville, regional transportation network, etc.

    * The Plan does not include any strategies to encourage increasing owner occupied housing

    * Several entries recommend the Village rezone properties to “other appropriate uses.” If it is recommended that the Village rezone land it should be explicitly described and the Plan should recommend specific rezoning category based on the overall balance of the community.

    Four members of the Special Board felt the need to explain why we chose not to send the Village Board the Final Draft Comprehensive Plan presented by Mike Armstrong and the four others who voted to send the Plan to the Village Board for review and adoption at this time. Our overall concern with the Plan is that while it established a strong foundation, it did not provide the clear direction in the text or graphics to those charged with the adoption and/or implementation. Although the Plan was a good overview and initial analysis of the community, it lacked strong recommendations for future development. Many of the recommendations, if any, fell short of the intention of a Comprehensive Plan.
    The Plan needs to be guided by a planning approach that is as unique and unparalleled as Cold Spring itself. As such it must be based on the principles that our natural resources and our residents are of the highest importance, not only to the integrity for the greater environment, but also to our culture and economy. A key aspect of this is recognizing capacity and thresholds. To be sustainable we must be willing to acknowledge the very real limitations in meeting different community goals. The next stage of the Comprehensive Plan update process must tackle this or we will just set ourselves up to loose what we all cherish about Cold Spring. Also the Comp Plan must acknowledge and define how rare and irreplaceable some of our assets are and it must spell out all the factors that contribute to our ability to protect or loose these assets.
    Significant changes need to be made to the draft Comprehensive Plan for it to have a strong, comprehensible foundation; provide predictability in decision-making; and give direction for how community priorities should be addressed in an integrated way. Without a strong clear Comprehensive Plan we can not protect what we all value about Cold Spring. A Comprehensive Plan should offer well-thought-out policies, recommendations and goals to allow decision-makers to make short-term decisions that promote orderly long-term development for the benefit of all the citizens of the Village. This Plan, however, falls far short of this definition.
    We are well aware that the Comprehensive Plan must be prepared pursuant to NYS Town Law §272-a, and Village Law §7-722. These sections of the Town and Village Law specify that the Town and Village Boards are responsible for preparing and adopting a Comprehensive Plan, as the law also permits the Town and Village Boards to delegate this responsibility to an ad hoc committee established for the express purpose of preparing Comprehensive Plans.
    To go further into what a Comprehensive Plan should do, and this Plan does not, we believe the purpose of a comprehensive Plan is to guide local officials and community members in making decisions that will affect the future of the Village of Cold Spring; to highlight future actions that will be based on policies and recommendations that should include revisions to zoning and other local laws and regulations; capital budgeting; and providing services to the community. The Comprehensive Plan should address the full spectrum of issues facing the Village and balance competing needs and interests in the community. Also, the purpose of the Comprehensive Plan is to provide a well thought- out set of land use goals and policies as a framework for making development and zoning decisions, promoting orderly land use, and implementing public improvements. We know that technology, values, and lifestyles will continue to evolve whether we like it or not, and the resulting changes will impact our culture and our community.
    Moreover, the Comprehensive Plan should be a policy document that does not, in itself, have the force of law but which, the ideas set forth in it will influence changes in Village laws and regulations as well as funding decisions and other Village actions during the next 5 to 20 years. In particular, local zoning regulations must be consistent with this so-called Comprehensive Plan.
    The historic Village of Cold Spring, its nineteenth century layout still intact, untouched by neon and graced by a remarkable collection of Federal, Greek Revival and Victorian buildings, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, which is a particular source of pride to residents. And yet people continue to leave. The seasonal enterprises, the restaurants, the stores are doing only a modest business, and much of the village cries out for maintenance. There is constant pressure on the tax base. Many residents are concerned that the growing seasonal population, while welcome, does not have the same ability to sustain the life of the Village as the people who live here year round.
    Tourism, while up and down, may be a mixed blessing. There is a fear that sudden, inappropriate development could alter the Village forever, destroying what it is we all love about the place. And the Plan does not adequately address this issue. We are faced with a dilemma. How can we preserve the quiet way of life we enjoy, which has been left to the Village by an accident of history, and at the same time foster the modest growth required to sustain it? How can we encourage like-minded people to join us? Can we attract others with the vision, skills and capital needed here without being swept away ourselves?
    The Comprehensive Plan articulated here is at best a fair attempt to confront and master this dilemma, but does not present a clear, detailed and authoritative analysis of the Village and our vision for its future. This Plan should serve as the basis for the Village of Cold Spring Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Regulations. It should make clear what we are, how demographically various as we are, what we want and what we don’t want, so that those who have plans and ideas for our Village will know what to expect and be encouraged and guided in their efforts. This Plan does little to none of these things other than present a set of ideas immersed throughout the document. There seems to be a disconnect between some of the plan’s implementation actions, which are not clearly stated, and the Village Zoning Ordinance(s) and what’s actually going on in Village, making the Plan appear to be looking backward or at the present, rather than forward. This Plan should tell us how, when, by whom, and for how much actions can be undertaken. It is important to define and control the scope and schedule so they can be used as baselines fortracking progress and managing change. One of the underlying assumptions of the comprehensive planning process is that if the Village does not take decisions into its own hands, outside forces will most likely determine its future. Whether these forces are developers, state agencies, or the general economy, the Village runs the risk of losing its identity if it does not clearly identify its goals for the future. This Comprehensive Plan does not form the basis for a complete update of the Village Zoning Ordinance(s). As far as we are concerned, taken together, the Comprehensive Plan and revised Zoning Ordinance will give the residents the clearest and strongest possible voice in determining the future of the Village.
    Although the total population of the Village has increased only slightly since 2000, there are new residents living and working here. The challenge of the planning process is to bring all segments of the community together in an atmosphere of mutual respect, building upon the institutions and traditions of the past which have kept the Village a special place. That planning process should strive to build community cooperation in implementing shared goals for the future. In our minds the Comprehensive Plan has not accomplished this, because the open and transparent process of continuing commentary on the Plan was shut down to the dismay of many Board members, residents, business owners, and proprietors.

    In our critique of the Plan, here are just a few examples of items we believe should be in the Plan and items we found to be missing, ambiguous, inconsistent, duplicative or unclear, in no particular order:

    * Where’s the “Acknowledgement Page”? Many past and present residents on different committees and working groups have contributed to this Plan and should be listed.

    * The Economic Vitality Section should focus on dealing with the economy of the Village rather than on parking issues (which belong in Transportation and Infrastructure) and renamed, “Economic

    Development.” “Enhance the Economic Vitality of the Village.” What does that mean? The “Background Section” is a collection of words with no specific meaning, i.e., “Parking on Main Street, an area that developed in the era before the automobile, has been an enduring and unresolved concern for business owners, residents and visitors for decades.” OK, so what does that have to do with bringing more revenue into the Village or controlling taxes?
    Most of this Section speaks of Parking; Planting Trees; Shared Parking; Off-Street Parking; Business Incubators (What?); Private Parking Lots; Strengthening Parking Enforcement; Erasing Lines Between Parking Spaces; Metered Parking; Encourage Retail Classes (What?);
    Bury Power Lines (Has nothing whatsoever to do with revenue to the Village); Traffic Flow; Diagonal Parking; and
    Installing Benches. ; None of the above-mentioned items with help the Village financially or economically.
    This section should include language that will enable the Village to work with New York State and Putnam County economic development agencies to retain existing businesses and to attract new businesses. Also, it should include the Responsible Agencies such as the Village Board and the Cold Spring Chamber of Commerce

    * The Community Facilities Section falls far short of what it should be. This Section should be incorporated into the Section named, “Transportation and Infrastructure.” This Section should also speak more forcefully about Storm water Drainage Infrastructure and Municipal Water Infrastructure. Village Municipal Services appears to be missing from this document, but some infrastructure issues, such as sidewalks, are vaguely addressed and interspersed throughout the document, making it hard to follow, inconsistent and ambiguous in those areas.
    Recommendations should include, e.g., to continue the program of installing additional catch basins and storm sewers, and to explore alternatives for additional funding to accelerate the program. Priority should be given to correcting storm water drainage problems that contribute to the infiltration of storm water into the wastewater collection system. The Transportation Infrastructure section should include the following recommendation: Evaluate the cost effectiveness of the current policy of reconstructing and/or repaving 1 to 3 miles of Village roads annually versus implementing an improved road maintenance program to prolong the life of the roadways. It should also include a Street Lighting Area recommendation that says: Explore opportunities to strategically replace the lights having the greatest impact upon the visual appearance within the Village with lower-energy and more attractive fixtures to support enhanced economic activity.
    The Plan should also note the Responsible Agency: Village Board, with the assistance of Village Engineer. It should establish and maintain an ongoing Highway Department equipment replacement schedule and continue maintaining the Village Streets Department equipment replacement schedule, with the Responsible Agencies as the Village Board with the assistance of the Highway Superintendent and the Village Board with the assistance of the Village Streets Superintendent, respectively.

    * The Table of Contents does not inform a person reading this document what is actually contained within its pages.

    * Vision and Goals Section: The Comprehensive Plan presented to you does not outline a clear vision of where the residents of Cold Spring want to be in the future and a strategy to achieve that vision. In fact, the Vision Statement does not even seem visionary, much less a Vision for this Village. “A Vision should be what you want the Village to be or what you want the Village not to be.”[Catharine Square] ]

    * Introduction Section: Does not reflect the history and encompass the overall community. For example, many of the residents here are not “Cold Springers” but they love this Village too. Using this term is tantamount to exclusion. The People Section should read, “Demographics.” The Maps in this section on pages 8 — 10 are too small and outdated. What is a Comprehensive Plan? It should be defined as outlined pursuant to NYS Town Law §272-a, and Village Law §7-722 and not the interpretation of the Chair.

    How the Plan Was Made: This item is not accurate.

    * Village Character Section—should focus more on the Character of the Village and in keeping that Character intact, NOT on Zoning and Land Use Regulation interpretations; the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); the Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee(s) (CPAC) proposed by the Chair; Zoning Maps and Existing Land Use Maps (those should be in a “Zoning and Land Use” section; housing types and population diversity; Permitting Requirements; Adaptive Uses; Department of Transportation and Putnam County issues. This Section’s focus is not on Village character.

    * Natural Environment and Energy—falls far short of demanding protection of our water, natural and energy resources. It contains nothing about brownfield(s) and remediation of toxic areas. In addition, Upgrading of Storm Water Management is an Infrastructure issue; Section 3.5. The section “Improve Energy Efficiency and Economy in the Village” does not even begin to address energy efficiency nor does it show how this section relates to the economy of the Village. There is nothing in this section that speaks about improvements to heating, cooling, ventilation and water heating; nothing that analyzes energy supply and demand and assesses what might be actual costs and benefits to the local, regional, and global environments; nothing about sustainable technology and encouraging sustainability, i.e., low-energy houses and building techniques based on developing and continually improving practices, procedures, products, services, and standards for sustainable design; and nothing about Waste Prevention Strategies; There should be much more on Green Buildings, Green Development, Disaster Planning, Community Energy, Sustainable Business, and Resource Efficiency (Air, Water, Materials).

    * Areas With Potential. This section is an Article 78 waiting to happen because it singles out specific properties and pretty much tells the owners what they can and cannot do with their properties. This is the section that should present “Land Use and Zoning” policy and regulations, as well as an overview of the community; summarize the issues addressed in each section and show how the individual areas relate to one another. It should also present an introduction to zoning and subdivision regulations, which are the primary tools available to the Village to help achieve the land use goals. Some land use regulations are so mmersed in many different areas of this Plan that it becomes unclear as to what those regulations should be and what they relate to. The Existing Land Use Map is buried in “Village Character” but should be presented in this section. There is also a need for a conceptual drawing of a Future Land Use Map which would be used as a guide in revising the Village’s zoning maps.

    * Because New York State is pushing for Intergovernmental Cooperation and Municipal Consolidation, each Comprehensive Plan constructed today should include this particular Section, and this Plan does not. Communities may desire to consolidate to improve services and efficiency, improve community identity, stabilize municipal boundaries, expand political power, better address regional issues, and increase resources such as tax base, housing, water, land, and natural and cultural amenities. According to then Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo, “New York has more than 10,521 overlapping governments, including counties, towns, villages, school districts, special districts and public authorities. These entities impose layer upon layer of taxing structures—with citizens receiving multiply tax bills annually—resulting in the highest local property tax burden in the nation. Many local governments were established well over a century ago, when the State was a vastly different place. To hold government to account the people must have a government they can understand. But what they have today instead at the local level is a ramshackle mess. The current local government system is the product of sheer historical accumulation — not logic, reason or common sense.”

    * There is no actual “Implementation Strategy” in this Plan other than a half-section on page 75 which does nothing more than put the implementation process off to other resources and volunteers, who may or may not be available. There is nothing that summarizes the recommended actions by topic, with a proposed time frame, responsible agency, cost estimate, and potential funding sources. A summary of the recommended actions by time frame provides a year-by-year guide to implementing the Plan and should be included.

    * The Plan should also include “Sidebars” within the Plan document that present additional information that supports and/or provides the context for the recommendations in the Plan, for example, Relevant Plans and Program summaries prepared by the Village or other government agencies and descriptions of State or County government programs. The Village Board would be wise to truly and fully enlist the Village Planning Boards and Zoning Boards of Appeals to assist with a thorough and complete review of the Plan and not a superficial critique. We think the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals and Historical Review Board might have information and insight that may be beneficial in determining how the Plan should be revised and implemented if adopted.
    Before the Village Board undertakes the approval process, the current Plan should be rewritten with a wide scope and a level of detail appropriate for Village Board review. To accomplish this, the Special board should engage in toplevel discussions with all relevant Boards on all aspects of the Plan. The Plan should address not only policies but implementation, training, and support for future growth and expandability. The Plan should also demonstrate that all its aspects have received careful thought and are clearly defined. There are some aspects of the Plan that we agree with and support, for instance, ideas for improved pedestrian crossings and the need to focus on sidewalk improvements. Also, it is advised that since significant changes were made to the Final Draft Comprehensive Plan, the community should have the opportunity to be heard on these changes before the Village Board takes up the Plan, approve it or send it off for environmental reviews, i.e. SEQRA and County Planning as purported by the Village attorney and Comp Board, Chair. This way the community can be involved in evaluating potential adverse impacts and have an additional opportunity to comment on the proposed changes and revisions. A significant value to this is the process rather than the outcome. It forces the players to think through their approach and make decisions about how to proceed. A Plan requires making commitments and provides a vehicle to facilitate laws and regulations.
    Therefore, the Plan should make major assumptions explicit and provide a forum for communicating planned approaches, which the current version of the Plan does not fully do. We request that the Village Board postpone recommending adoption of the draft Comprehensive Plan until substantial attempts to resolve differences relating to the major land use changes, as well as to avoid further misunderstandings, as occurred with the Philipstown Comprehensive Plan, by collaborating on issues and solutions. The Village and residents should take more time to discuss concerns and expectations before the Plan is submitted for adoption and SEQRA review.
    We realize that a lot of work by many residents went into developing this Plan and it has taken many years to arrive at this process, but unfortunately we do not think this Plan is acceptable at this time and should be sent back to the Comprehensive Plan Special Board for further work and clarity.

    Cathryn Fadde 01/01/2011
    Marshall Mermell 01/01/2011
    Anthony Phillips 01/01/2011
    Catharine J. Square 01/01/2011

  37. Thank you for posting my letter and for mentioning it in your post at . But your post mischaracterizes my letter.

    My letter does not cite “suggested changes” to the recommended Comprehensive Plan but rather implores the Village Board not to delay the Comprehensive Plan process and explains why particular elements were included in the recommended Comprehensive Plan, including discussion of specific properties and form-based zoning. To quote the conclusion of my letter:

    5. Get it done. It has now been almost five years since the Village Board decided to revise the Village’s 1987 Comprehensive Plan. The work of the Special Board has already generated positive benefits for the Village, in particular via recommendations that led to the recently adopted policy of granting waivers for off-street parking requirements, which has led to increased occupancy of storefronts on Main Street and revenue for the Village. Adopting the Comprehensive Plan will surely multiply such benefits.

    By all means, the Village Board should carefully consider each provision of the recommended Comprehensive Plan, seek legal advice where appropriate, and modify the Plan where it deems necessary. But needless delay and inaction will likely promote the toxic blend of haphazard development, decay and high taxes that has afflicted too many communities in this region.

    In fairness, your post provides a summary of the Square/Mermell/Phillips/Fadde letter and should provide a summary of mine.

  38. I have read, and even reread in search of substance, Catherine Square’s comments below on Cold Spring’s Draft Comprehensive Plan.

    She and her three co-signers never present support for their assertions they evidently expect readers to accept on faith. In just one of many examples, they claim the Draft Plan “! doesn’t reflect legally tested and sound planning approaches in fundamental areas.” That is a very difficult criticism to support given that the Village engaged a very competent, well-educated and respected member of the planning community to advise and guide the Comprehensive Plan Board.

    As to the “legally tested” assertion, what evidence do they have to sustain this claim? Simply repeating this claim as true does not make it fact.

    They claim that the Draft Plan “! lacks a concise, clear description of the community’s core priorities, which the Community Survey and public response shows as protecting the natural environment, economic development and sustainability.” I am open to reading their descriptionI have read, and even reread in search of substance, Catherine Square’s comments on Cold Spring’s Draft Comprehensive Plan.

    She and her three co-signers never present support for their assertions they evidently expect readers to accept on faith. In just one of many examples, they claim the Draft Plan “! doesn’t reflect legally tested and sound planning approaches in fundamental areas.” That is very stiff criticism given that the Village engaged a very competent, well-educated and respected member of the planning community to advise and guide the Comprehensive Plan Board.

    As to the “legally tested” assertion, what evidence do they have to sustain this claim? Simply repeating this claim true does not make it fact.

    They claim that the Draft Plan “! lacks a concise, clear description of the community’s core priorities, which the Community Survey and public response shows as protecting the natural environment, economic development and sustainability.” I am open to reading theirs. Where can I find it?

    Etc., etc.

  39. Is the discolored water safe to drink?

    Actually, not a simple question to answer. Please consider the following:

    Background: We utilize liquid chlorine at the treatment facility, to disinfect the filtered supply of water, which then enters the distribution system. The water carries a measurable free chlorine residual throughout the system. Testing to-date has shown that the drinking water supply is free of pathogenic bacteria.The distribution system is a contained, pressurized system of piping where the water supplied has been shown to be disinfected, via the residual mentioned above. When there is an emergency, such as yesterday’s repair – the greatest potential for contamination comes from the ability of outside, untreated water entering the pipes. It is one reason why we have pumps dewatering trenches during a repair. There would have to be a ‘negative-pressure’ in the pipe relative to the water in the trench, in order for that water to enter the distribution main. Otherwise it is simply, chlorinated water flowing out of the pipe. So at that point, we are still talking about low potential adverse health effects.

    Discoloration: Generally caused by an abrupt, high volume/flow change of water through the distribution system piping.The majority of that pipe is cast-iron, which had 90+ years of untreated water flowing through it.Consequently, it has a level of corrosion lining the walls of the pipe. We use the term ‘tuberculation’ to describe the hardened corrosion lining these walls. On the surface of this tuberculation, you would be able to swipe your finger across it and find a reddish-brown film on your fingertip. It is that same film, that comes into solution as water rushes past the tuberculaton when a hydrant is opened, or a pipe bursts. There is no correlation, that I am aware of, between the discoloration of disinfected water and the presence of pathogens. Though there is a potential for the particulate which creates the color, to create an increased demand on the available chlorine, thus reducing it’s disinfection potential. When in doubt, due to an aesthetic such as this discoloration, you can bring the water to a boil for 10-15 minutes before consumption. That would not, however,reduce the color of that water.

    We generally call for residents to run their cold water taps until clear. In doing so, the discoloration does not enter the hot-water system – which can take longer to clear up. Hope this helps answer your question.

    Greg Phillips
    Supt. of Water & Sewer

  40. Just wanted to say thanks to Greg P. for posting his answer to the discolored water question, which was obviously on many minds – very helpful to have it here. And great thanks to for your continued terrific work. We are lucky to have this community resource! I’m with Phil: is there a way that grateful readers can provide some financial support for your efforts?

  41. 1/22/11
    if CS would learn how to plow to the curb, then maybe we wouldn’t be disturbed by 3 hours of early morning clean-up plowing on a Saturday morning. that’s a lot of DPW OT

  42. Mr. Weissbrod, the Village Board along with the Village attorney have been reviewing the Draft Comp Plan to make sure that it is legally tested and has sound planning approaches. The Village Board started that process on January 4, 2011 and will be working on it through the beginning of February. So, I don’t think you read our letter as you state. Further I haven’t seen you at a Comp Board Meeting since I have been on the board for the past 2 years nor at Village Board meetings involving the Comp Plan or at a public hearing as I can recall. Aside from that, since you singled me out, I will respond.

    The partial paragraph you quote was included in a “Summary” of the following:

    How the Draft Plan Fails:
    “* It lacks a concise, clear description of the community’s core priorities, which the Community Survey and public response shows as protecting the natural environment, economic development and sustainability
    “* It doesn’t reflect legally tested and sound planning approaches in fundamental areas; it doesn’t prioritize issues and doesn’t appear to be based on comprehensive or accurate and updated assumptions
    “* It includes some positive “themes and ideas” but it fails to frame and describe them in relation to each other and it fails to address them in terms of capacities, thresholds and conflicting priorities
    “* Too many key details are missing, especially regarding future land use maps, zoning and land use in general
    “* The Plan does not specify an overall future land use plan that achieves a balance of land uses based on community, goals, services, fiscal conditions, etc.
    “* The Plan provides limited specific recommendations for changes or amendments to village regulations and policies to implement the Plan.
    “* The Plan does not provide tools or strategies to manage future growth
    “* The Plan provides no strategies to manage infrastructure needs in the community as growth occurs.
    “* The Plan does not address external influences on the community—surrounding communities, development in the Philipstown or Nelsonville, regional transportation network, etc.
    “* The Plan does not include any strategies to encourage increasing owner occupied housing
    “* Several entries recommend the Village rezone properties to “other appropriate uses.” If it is recommended that the Village rezone land it should be explicitly described and the Plan should recommend specific rezoning category based on the overall balance of the community.

    Our letter merely reflects what many in the community had pointed out and what was said at the many public hearings the Board had on the matter of the draft comp plan. You can review those letters from residents in the community by going to the village website at The Village taxpayers have so far footed the bill for approximately $29,000 on this plan and our belief is it should be done right and not cause fear, divisiveness or uncertainty (e.g., what occurred in Philipstown). Again, in our opinion and research, and the opinion of the planning boards, members of the working groups and the community, have in some manner or another resolved that this draft plan does not go far enough or in some instances goes too far, but does not lend itself to clarity and consistency.

    Also, please take note of items in the comp plan that we point out which are unclear, inconsistent and/or confusing. We pointed out that some data, maps and charts in the plan need to be up-to-date, larger and clearly define to what section of the plan that map or chart is related. Also, we outline some core priorities in our letter, which you choose to overlook (e.g., provide predictability in decision-making; and give direction for how community priorities should be addressed in an integrated way). Our responsibility as a board was to take the 50 plus documents, surveys, research, working group reports and compile a working policy document (now called the “Draft Comprehensive Plan”). After that, we were to assess, give opinion and revise what is not clear, duplicative or had nothing to do with the plan, for which we continue to do.

    The Village Board continue to have workshop meetings reviewing the draft comp plan for additions, deletions, unrelated items not pertinent to the Village and so on, by voting on removal of several sections from the plan which are not legally tested nor have a sound planning approach. Listed below are some of those items that will be stricken from the plan (There are many more which I will not name here):
    “* 1.8.2 — Improve signage, perhaps adopting a unified theme!.Our argument was that this is something that the Historical/Architectural Review Board already requires therefore is not sound planning because it should be coordinated with the Board
    “* 1.11.5 — Convene a meeting, annually or at other intervals of landlords of buildings along Main Street!Our argument is this is something that the Village has no control over and is not sound planning.
    “* 1.12.3 — 1.12.7 — Our argument for these sections is that volunteerism can’t be legislated and this is not legally tested, because it has nothing to do with sound planning.
    “* 1.13.2 — Establish and publish policy and procedural guidelines to make public meetings more effective. Our argument is this is already required under the “Sunshine and Open Meetings Laws” therefore does not belong in the plan because this is not sound planning.
    “* 2.2.8 — Encourage the Boat Club to have open house days and other activities for the community. Our argument is that government should not be in the business of dictating what a business, company, or corporation or non-profit should do as long as it follows the law. The Boat Club already perform these services for the community, therefore this not sound planning nor is it legally tested.
    “* 2.4.8. — Organize, recruit and train volunteers for weekend enforcement of park rules!!This is not legally tested nor is it sound planning because the responsibility of public state park enforcement and rules lies squarely with the State Park Police and Cold Spring Police Department (with cooperation of State Parks).

    Mr. Weissbrod you are entitled to your opinion, for which you have displayed in your comments and so are we, but I would advise you to go back and read our letter because we are quite clear in our critique of the draft plan, because our opinions are factual through its nature, because of the mounds of documents, paperwork, research that has been conducted by this board and working groups. Moreover we pointed out various sections of the plan that supply you and the reader with facts you purport not to have seen.

    A reminder to you is that this letter was a collaborate effort of 4 people and why you chose to single me out is beyond comprehension.

  43. Ms. Square,

    I have attended many CPAC board meetings and I believe that I may have attended more Village Board meetings at which Trustees have discussed the CPAC.

    Moreover, I was the official recorder at many of the sessions at which Cold Spring citizens gathered to discuss various aspects of the plan. I reviewed the notes and the list of people who participated in the various sessions. I note with interest that you were not among the participants. Another recorded fact of which you seem to have little grasp.

    I did read your piece and I repeat where is your “concise, clear description of the communities core priorities” based on Community Survey?

    Repeating your claims in the bullet points does not make them true. You claim to have done research but your letter displays none research, only the assertion that you did. Where is it? What is it.

    To your last paragraph, I did not single you out. I referred to your three co-signers.

  44. Fascinating piece about Philipstown in the current New Yorker magazine with some great quotes. But one puzzles me. A Mr. Roger Ailes complains that the Open Space Institute acquired Dockside Park and as a result it has become, as he elegantly puts it, “an entire field of dog crap.”

    He doesn’t explain how a change in ownership produces this unhappy result. It’s always been a field for residents’ enjoyment. Has Open Spaces put up a sign encouraging dog owners to bring their pets down to the park for their defecations? I think we should be told,

    He seems to regret, as we all do, the disappearance of the Dockside Restaurant, brilliantly run by Jimmy Ely, If he had spent more years in Philipstown Mr. Ailes would know that workers barely had time to demolish it before it collapsed on its own accord.

  45. Just a note to say I read the piece in the New Yorker re. your paper and want to wish you success. My wife and I happily spent the first five years of our marriage in Putnam Valley and have extra fond memories of Cold Spring. In 1977 our son, James, was born in Julia Butterfield Hospital. I’ve always loved that area, its rugged and magnificent scenery, Storm King, the river, Bannerman’s Island, West Point. Before marrrying I lived in New Windsor, then Cornwall. I’ve added your News-e paper to my favorites list.


    George Comtois

  46. The feature in the current New Yorker about your delightful town was thoroughly exhilarating, considering that Roger Ailes apparently has met his match in the stalwart citizens of Putnam County. After finishing the article, a lyric came into my mind of Noel Coward’s from his musical “Sail Away”: “Why do the wrong people travel, travel, travel when the right people stay back home…?” The inference being that, in Coward’s words, “monumental boors” were too often encountered in the right places. Perhaps Mr. Ailes will eventually “go home” elsewhere. He does not belong with the good people of Cold Spring.

    James P. Dougherty
    Philadelphia, PA

  47. Just saw The New Yorker article and–as an interested bystander–was appalled to learn that the odious Ailes has hijacked county newspapers (is there any news media that Fixed News won’t buy?) and transformed them into Right-wing rags.

    Citing the twisted views of Ayn Rand approvingly in a paper owned by the plutocratic Ailes is unsurprising given his apparent desire to establish his own private “Galt’s Gulch-on-Hudson”. But, his motivations reek of hypocrisy (big surprise!), as the article points out, to wit: “He regrets the sway of local environmentalists, but it was their influence that made the area the sort of place where Roger Ailes would wish to live.” Hypocrisy? On the Right? Really?!

    I’m sure readers can rest assured that their local newspaper will aspire to the highest standards of objective, unbiased journalism, just like that practiced by the “fair and balanced” uber-Right propaganda machine Ailes has grown fat managing all these years. Yeah, sure.

    I can’t wait to read Michelle Bachmann’s column on organic gardening, a subject I’m sure she knows well. After all, her family owns a tax-subsidized farm. Hey, Roger, isn’t that socialism?!

    Eat the rich.

  48. When Ailes first announced the purchase of the paper, I wrote a blurb for it for the now-defunct Putnam Magazine. I couldn’t get a hold of Ailes, but I reached his wife, Beth, who was going to be running the paper.

    When I asked if the couple would be imposing Fox News standards and ideals, she balked and threatened to talk to my editor or have a lawyer call or something like that. Apparently the couple is still sensitive to that suggestion.

    Good to see that there’s an alternative in the area.

  49. As a Putnam County native, I was mesmerized by the article in the New Yorker about the founding of I confess to picking up the magazine whenever I encountered a red light while running errands near my current home outside Washington, DC and getting annoyed whenever the light changed from red to green. Of course I wanted to visit the Web site as soon as I got home. It is unbelievable. Kudos to Gordon Stewart and the entire staff. I loved the Putnam County Courier and admire what you are doing even more.

    Gail Harrison
    Former resident of Patterson, NY and graduate of Carmel High School and former Assistant for Issues Development to Vice President Walter F. Mondale

  50. I submitted this as a Letter to the Editor of the New Yorker, and hope to see it printed there:

    Regarding Peter Boyer’s piece, Fox Among the Chickens: I am a resident of the Village of Cold Spring and the Town of Philipstown, and was dismayed by what I can only view as Mr. Boyer’s intentionally spotty reporting.

    Mr. Boyer uses a familiar Fox News trick, allowing untruths to go unchecked and unanswered. When quoting Roger Ailes grievance about a 40% tax hike in the context of a discussion about the Town of Philipstown, Mr. Boyer fails to clarify that the Town of Philipstown wasn’t the entity proposing the massive tax hike; rather, it was the Putnam County Legislature, which was and remains GOP-controlled. In other words, Mr. Ailes own party was proposing to screw him with a 40% tax increase. But Boyer left that important fact out. I guess that wouldn’t have helped the narrative he was constructing.

    There are several other instances where such Fox-like factual-ommissions occur, and it makes me wonder how frequently this occurs in other pieces by Mr. Boyer concerning material with which I am not as intimate.

  51. Fox Among the Chickens Part II
    Peter J. Boyer did a masterful job of describing the “Mr. Ailes Goes to Philipstown” saga and gave a delightful portrayal of our town, its people and its history. Remember, Mr. Ailes also purchased the “other” paper in Putnam County – the Putnam County Courier – which primarily covers the eastern part of the County.
    Naturally, the same articles about county-wide issues as well as various mottos and other drivel are published in both papers simultaneously. The towns in Eastern Putnam, however, are very different from Philipstown. That is the home of the county seat and politics there are extremely complex and very vicious. Mr. Ailes fits right in. Part II could be entitled “A Fox Among Cameleons” or, better still, “A Fox Among Vipers”.

  52. It’s sad to see some of the vitriol and mean-spritedness of our national politics spill over to this comments page as a result of the New Yorker article. For the record, I’m a reader of both local publications and I’m a big fan of for reasons that have nothing to do with denigrating the PCNR or insulting the Ailses.

    At the end of the day, both publications are great, local focused resources that we’re very fortunate to have, especially considering the small size of our community. The fact that there is a little competition in the system will only improve the quality of both publications (and it already has in my opinion).

    If the editorials in the PCNR are an issue, don’t read them…I do the same thing with both the NY Times and WSJ editorials and focus on the reporting and other sections.

    But from the tone of some of these comments, it seems it is less about the content of the PCNR and more about the ownership of the PCNR.

  53. I read the New Yorker article, and of course, Roger Ailes is not high on my list of people I would like to have a drink with. But his publishing of teacher’s salaries is something that was long overdue. The teacher’s union has us all brainwashed that teachers are all starving to death, when in fact it is not true at all.

    One reason I sold my home in New York and left the State was the scandalously high property taxes.

    I could never figure out why they were so high, until I met some local school teachers, and after a few drinks, several admitted they were making six-figure salaries at our small local school.

    I was floored. After all, I was raised on the mythology of the “poor, underpaid school teacher” who struggles to get by on canned tuna, all for the betterment of our children. And of course, I remember those “The more you know” ads on TV where they prompt you to make “the great sacrifice” and become a school teacher for the good of the nation.

    But it seems the era of the underpaid public servant has past. And staggering school budgets are, in part, due to very high pay and benefits for school district employees in New York State.

    I left New York and now live on a Retirement Island off the coast of Georgia. It is a pretty sweet deal, and of course, it isn’t cheap to live here. In fact, you have to be pretty well off.

    Many of my neighbors are retired New York State school teachers.

    Had enough yet?

  54. Oh my! The New Yorker article was delicious. How lovely to get a peek at Mr. Ailes when he is not in his natural habitat, Fox News headquarters.

    I have the pleasure of packing up right now to leave a very far-right, gunslinging High Desert town in Southern California for the nice, yuppy beachside enclave of Redondo Beach, where rational minds seem to prevail. What a relief. I’ll take my dusty old Prius with the Lakers and Obama stickers to a milder clime. It’ll be odd, though, not to have gargantuan pickups and other menacing vehicles up close and personal in my rear view mirror. I guess 72 year-old white-haired women need to be kept in line.

    Reading about a nice town and online newspaper like yours gives me hope. You should have to endure our local paper, ‘The Daily Press’. It quotes Ayn Rand as a matter of course.

    Best wishes, Judith Rael

  55. Mr. Bell, Some points in response to your comments about teachers.

    “* School teacher salaries are public information and are easily available and often published; see the Web site

    “* As a social studies teacher and a school board member, I read extensively in all manner of publications and have never encountered a teacher union trying to brainwash anyone that teachers are starving to death. On the contrary, teacher unions point out that after many years of being seriously underpaid, teachers finally now receive salaries more closely befitting highly educated and dedicated professionals. Most teachers spend hours above and beyond the school day planning lessons, grading papers, giving students extra help, with no additional compensation.

    “* Most parents actually do not want their children to be taught by starving, underpaid, burned-out teachers who can’t afford to retire. They want their children taught by good, effective, energetic, well-educated teachers who are devoted to their calling. School districts who want to hire and keep this kind of teacher offer competitive salaries (although the recession has now created more of a buyers’ market).

    “* teachers in New York State must have at least a Master’s degree to be permanently certified in their field and permanently hired. The Garrison administrators named in the article have two. As a patent attorney with a law degree, you might agree that higher educational achievement merits higher compensation. Overall, teacher salaries are still below those in many other fields.

    “* Education spending is an investment in human capital and in the future of our country, as well as our town. New residents are drawn to Philipstown by our schools’ quality.

    “* taxes in New York State are high and reflect many factors, including unfounded State mandates, the plethora of overlapping municipalities, and State regulation such as the Wicks Law, which adds millions to the costs of school construction, as one example.

    “* though there are many cost drivers outside the control of local school boards, each year voters can vote yes or no on school budgets and vote school board members in or out.

    The New Yorker article contained many misstatements about Philipstown’s two school districts. As far as the Garrison Union Free School District is concerned, we do say the pledge of allegiance every morning. We were just named a federal Blue Ribbon School, one of only 300 in the country. Our test scores are high and, more importantly, we offer innovative programs such as an environmental education curriculum, a Living History program centered around our 180-acre School Forest that involves students deeply in the study of the Revolutionary War, an annual production of a Shakespeare play, advanced math,and innovative science,music and art programs.

    Mr. Bell, I did Google your name and read your blog, which is well written. Somewhere along the line, you must have had some good teachers.

  56. Thinking about the New Yorker article, about some of the comments here, and about the Ailes’ PCNR itself, it seems to me that the point is that it IS about the owners, rather than about the paper – and that the Aileses and Joe Lindley are at least in part responsible for that: They’ve made it about THEM; those of us who have received the personal phone calls complaining about our behavior as readers, or the supercilious attitude that pervades interactions with the staff can come only to the conclusion that this is not about content or community, but about the greater glory of these latest carpetbaggers…. to give it the most generous interpretation, this is just a richer version of the approach of many newcomers to our “village in amber”: “This is a wonderful place, and You People are so fortunate that We have arrived to fix it right up…. And here is our Agenda:…”
    We don’t need “advocacy” journalism. We just need journalism
    There does seem to be a positive trend: The intensity of the agenda-work seems to have lessened somewhat, which is good… and, as the NYr article concluded: a lot of places have no papers, and we have two.
    And yes, we are “stalwart.”

  57. My friends, having just read The New Yorker article about the P.C.N. & R. vs. everybody else, I can only say YOU GO GUYS! I am a journalist working for a local Southern California Patch – the AOL-conceived online news alternative which, as the story illustrated so well, should only up the quality of local journalism.

    Keep the stories coming!

  58. Roger Ailes suggested that parents ask their kids a few questions, such as “Who is considered the Father of the Constitution?”

    The kids might ask Mr. Ailes a few questions: What were the federal tax rates during the Eisenhower years when the economy was strong, and what was the national debt? What are they now? How much did the average worker and the average CEO make in 1960? In 2010? How many people at Fox News approve of George Bush’s wars, and how many of them are veterans?

    I could think of a few more questions along these lines.

    George Fleming
    Mount Vernon, Ohio

  59. (Letter to Editor submitted to New Yorker magazine)

    Peter J. Boyer’s Jan. 31 article “Fox Among the Chickens” marginalized what could have been an important story about media’s reach into small-town newspaper life and politics, and turned it into another bucolic “Our Town” piece, sugarcoating its conclusion to suggest that everything is working just fine in America, thank you very much. The real concerns of our community, and others across the country, magnified by the takeover of the local paper by Fox News CEO Roger Ailes and his wife, were made to look unfounded, even childish. Boyer’s charge that a cryptanalysis was used to discern a blatant transformation that took place after the paper changed hands makes us wonder if he actually looked at print issues produced after the paper was bought. Overnight it was sprinkled with Christian aphorisms (minus the underclass Jesus as advocate for the poor), anti-government sentiments alongside patriotic articles, history and morality lessons with fundamentalist takes on the Constitution and the Founding Fathers, and a general neo-con religiosity throughout, ad nauseam.

    The denigration of the “Full Moon Project” as a group of 28 year old, well-intentioned but misguided pot-luckers was groundless as well. We know them as a group of educated and successful professionals and artists (mostly 40 and 50-somethings), people who actually consider social activism a worthy, if often frustrating pursuit, with real concerns about journalistic integrity, the intrusion of Fox-like methods at the local level and its impact on real political outcomes (for instance, zoning changes, and the recent victory of two Tea Party supported candidates, Rep. Nan Hayworth and State Senator Greg Ball, who won seats this November and now represent Putnam County and the surrounding area).

    For a penetrating and poetic, post E.B. White satirical take on Ailes and Cold Spring, see the award-winning Tom Junod’s “Why Does Roger Ailes Hate America? An exclusive and unbiased investigation into the highly paid operative of a foreign-born tycoon” at


  60. Would someone please enumerate the reasons Ayn Rand is so offensive? She was a libertarian, just like all of us. Sure, many of us believe in a tax-revenue supported “safety net”, and Social Security and Medicare. But, at bottom, none of us want to relinquish any freedom to any authority without very good cause. Rand knew well the pitfalls (to put it mildly) of sitting idly while government intrudes. The fact that some misappropriate her philosophy does not make that philosophy odious.

  61. The PCNR is a historic part of Philipstown history. While many of you might wish that it simply reported the news and nothing else, the sad fact is that over the years it always served as a source of editorial opinion. As a kid growing up I enjoyed the pot stirring of Bob Ingram and Jack LaDue before him. It was called the “fish wrapper” for a reason (Quote: Grandma Donohoe).

    Mr Ayles and his wife can report what they wish. Express the opinions they wish and we the readers can decide if we wish to purchase the paper.

    Lighten up folks, there are much larger issues in this town to be concerned with.

  62. Clay, I was thinking of the ideal of libertarianism when I spoke for all of us, not the square peg/round hole version that politics creates. I believe we all want to preserve as much autonomy as possible and submit to as little authority as necessary. And the Michael Ford opinion piece at HuffPost actually supports what I wrote earlier: “Sure, many of us believe in a tax-revenue supported “safety net”, and Social Security and Medicare” – including Rand, apparently! I’m no Rand (or Rosenbaum)authority and so I’m no apologist either, but I take her opinions to mean that we should always strive against authority except that which is necessary. She might have envisioned anarchy, but only, I suspect, with a healthy fear of it. She came here for the sanity of the place, for the freedom.
    What I was asking for were reasons that her beliefs were and still are dangerous – how they’re corrosive to “our way of life”.

  63. Loved the New Yorker piece. Keep up the good work with You offer a reasonable response to the limits of the competition. Good job!

  64. To the Editor:

    The Working Village Group was formed in 2010 by a group of village residents who believe that an involved and informed citizenry is essential for a highly functional and effective local government. We support responsible, productive candidates in village elections.

    We are delighted to support the re-election of Mayor Seth Gallagher and Trustees Bruce Campbell and Ralph Falloon in the upcoming Village election on March 15.

    If we were to base our endorsement on fiscal responsibility alone, Mayor Gallagher and Trustees Campbell and Falloon would receive our support. When these three public servants took office, they inherited a $95,000 deficit. In just two years, not only did they erase the deficit, but they built a $120,000 surplus. As taxpayers in these difficult economic times, this is the kind of fiscal administration we must maintain.

    Beyond responsible money management, Mayor Gallagher and Trustees Campbell and Falloon have improved our infrastructure, protected our water supply, and fought for the interests of our seniors. As a leader, Mayor Gallagher has created an administration that has been open, respectful and welcoming to all citizens. We enthusiastically endorse all three candidates and urge you to vote for Gallagher, Campbell and Falloon on March 15 at the Cold Spring Firehouse.


    Stephanie Hawkins
    Ivy Meeropol
    Thomas Ambrose
    John Plummer
    Dar Williams
    Michael Robinson
    Aaron Freimark
    Evelyn Carr-White
    Sharr White
    Kathleen Foley
    John H. Hedlund
    Evan Hudson
    Andrea Connor Hudson
    Brett Phares
    Isabella Bertoletti
    Nathalie Jonas
    Philip Nobel
    Michael Armstrong (signed as a resident of Cold Spring, not as chair of the Special Board for a Comprehensive Plan/LWRP)
    James Hartford
    Juhee Lee-Hartford

  65. Arthur Warren clearly has Internet access and thus should know that none of’s founders or staffers are part of WVG. So what’s the deal with baseless cracks like that, Mr. Warren? Are you a Cold Spring resident, sir? If so, please come to a WVG meeting and meet some of your neighbors, none of whom brought anyone, but all of whom are quite neighborly folk who mean what they say about their passion for our community. Feel free to contact me and I can let you know when our next meeting is. My number is in the book. I live in Cold Spring.

  66. Mr. Plummer, have you or any of the undersigned ever hosted a fundraiser? Just curious.

  67. Mr. Warren: I haven’t. I don’t know about the others. Nor do I understand why you care so much. I have attended several Met and Yankee games, though. I also hosted parties at my house to watch these teams play. By your reasoning, this should somehow connect WVG with MLB. But of course there is no such connection, just as the connection you continue to assert through your innuendo is, likewise, non-existent.

    Why did you not answer my question? I will ask it again: Are you a Cold Spring resident, sir? If so, would you like to attend a WVG meeting? So long as discourse remains civil, we welcome diverse perspectives. Can you please answer my question about you as I have answered yours as regards me?

  68. Mr. Plummer,

    I am a resident of Philipstown. I have actually attended your plays at the Depot Theater. That being said, you signed your name to a letter with many individuals. Some of which may have a type agenda. I posted a reply to a “joint” letter and you answered.

  69. Thank you for attending any of my productions. I especially hope you got to see the one with kids I did last year, our adaptation of the masterpiece film by Akira Kurosawa, The Seven Samurai, or my original script, Rendition in Damascus. This spring, I am directing a production of Anton Chekhov’s landmark script, The Seagull, which will play at Garrison Landing and the Depot (the first half outdoors, the second half indoors), opening May 20. This is the first voyage of a new theatre company, World’s End Theatre. The name comes from the maelstrom in the Hudson, and inspires us, we trust, to plunge into the swirling currents of creativity that occur within us all as we seek to render truthfully this great script.

    But I digress. I’m delighted that you’re now saying “may have a type agenda.” This is a progression toward a more factual discourse from your previous statement which began our to-ing and fro-ing, and I quote: “…brought to you by the folks who also brought you!”

    In the vernacular as I’ve experienced it in my 44 years thus far, all of them spent as a speaker of American English, “Brought to you by…” can mean “A product from the creators of…” As in, “The Jeffersons, brought to you by the people who made All In The Family.” “Brought to you by…” can also mean “Paid for by…” As in, “The Jeffersons, brought to you by new All-Tempa-Cheer.”

    So when you said that this little group of Cold Spring Citizens who have a website and are on record there and here as “a group of village residents who believe that an involved and informed citizenry is essential for a highly functional and effective local government” was “brought to you by the folks who also brought you!” I, understandably, was taken aback. Because didn’t “bring” WVG, and WVG didn’t “bring” In fact, the two organizations have nothing whatsoever to do with each other. So I’m glad you’re on record as, basically, acknowledging that truth.

    Now, after our exchange, you’ve amended your initial (and unfounded) statement to include the conditional “may” and the more vaguely descriptive appendage “type agenda.” So I hope we can confirm that you’re no longer suggesting that the founders of one of the largest political action committees in our nation, Joan Blades and Wes Boyd, have decamped to Cold Spring and changed their names so that they could sign this letter that was posted on the dot info Comments page under a pair of pseudonyms. Because that’s how your first statement was worded, to this reader’s eyes, said reader having established he grew up hearing “brought to you by” a lot. But, then, I watched a lot of television.

    So but anyway, that’s good, that you’re no longer alleging the founders of founded WVG.

    What’s not so good is that you’re still obviously trying to smear the signers of this letter and the WVG, with what is clearly baseless innuendo. Let me break that down: you’re desperately trying to draw a connection between a small local organization and a huge national one, in the hopes that people locally who don’t like this huge national organization will, because you have associated it with this small local organization, dismiss out of hand the small local organization without too much thought. As the great writer William James said, “There’s nothing so absurd that if you repeat it often enough, people will believe it.” I feel you, sir, are determined to keep repeating that WVG = This is absurd, but I fear that absurdity won’t stop you from shellacking into the ears of your audience.

    I’ve given money to, Save the Children, the ACLU, Human Rights Watch, the World Wildlife Federation, The Butterfield Library, SGI-USA, the Episcopal Church, and a lot of other charitable, environmental, political and religious organizations. I haven’t thrown fundraisers for any of them. But what if I did? What if I’d thrown a fundraiser for Save the Children, an organization I’ve donated to for ten years? Would that mean that I had a “Save the Children type agenda”? Would that also automatically mean that the WVG had the same agenda? Of course not.

    Here’s one thing I do know about all the people who signed that letter. They all believe “that an involved and informed citizenry is essential for a highly functional and effective local government.” That’s the “type agenda” that they have.

    I must say, Mr. Warren, your rhetoric is baseless and scurrilous. It recalls the style of a certain US Senator from the state of Wisconsin, and just so we’re clear, I’m talking about Joe McCarthy, not Russ Feingold.

    Finally, I’m not sure what you’re suggesting by putting the word joint inside a pair of quotation marks. In my experience, that’s done if one is quoting (you’re not) or if one is alleging a falsehood. Do you think this letter was not jointly signed, sir? Do you doubt the veracity of the poster, Stephanie Hawkins, and are you suggesting she didn’t authentically garner these signatures? Or, perhaps I should type “signatures”, since, after all, they are typewritten names?

    I do hope you’ll come to The Seagull and introduce yourself, and we can continue this dialogue in person. Or if you don’t feel like waiting until May 20 (our opening date, mark your calendar, Mr. Warren!), please do give me a call (again, I’m in the book, Cold Spring resident) and I’ll invite you to a meeting of WVG, and you can see the agenda of an involved and informed citizenry in action.

  70. Mr. Plummer,

    Wow.   My initial posting on this thread was intended to be humorous, just as if one of the contributors to the PCNR had written an opinion letter and I had answered “brought to you by the Heritage Foundation.”   It was a joke, but obviously hit a nerve.  

    I find your formation of the “Working Village Group” to be an honorable objective, as the formation of a special interest group seems to be the only way to achieve one’s goals in American politics.   Even the name is pure genius as it is easily interchangeable with some of the “working groups” of the Special Board for a Comprehensive Plan/LWRP.   It’s authoritative in name     I do find it curious that you would liken me to Joe McCarthy though.   In that scenario what role do you play?   Are you Arthur Miller, unfairly accused?

    What I have realized in my short time in this community is that there are passionate people from both sides of the aisle.   The MoveOn’ers and the Fox’ers if you will.   The funny thing (in my opinion) is that the MoveOn’ers have this belief that the other half has some type of plan to take over the community and boot out the liberal foothold in Putnam County (my take on the New Yorker article).   This necessitated the formation of a special interest group in Dar William’s living room (again my take on the New Yorker article).   Is it coincidence that the Working Village Group has now appeared on the scene?

    Anyway, I wish you luck on your upcoming production.   I also wish you luck in progressing your special interest agenda by “officially endorsing” local political candidates.   The curious thing is…every American citizen has the right to endorse a candidate, it’s done behind the curtain in a voting booth.   To endorse in public lays out the expectation that they owe you something.   A fact I find very, very troubling as the Chairman of the Special Board for a Comprehensive Plan/LWRP is a member of your special interest.   A conflict of interest if I may say so, laid bare by his own admission “signed as a resident of Cold Spring, not as chair of the…”   Perhaps Mr. Armstrong should pick one organization and stick with it, not try to advance one by joining another

  71. Mr. Warren,

    If you were just joking, then why didn’t you say so in your first reply to me? Instead, you asked me a pointed question, “have you or any of the undersigned ever hosted a fundraiser?” I answered it (as regards me), and you AGAIN did not say you were joking, but stuck to your guns with the reply, “Some of which (sic) may have a type agenda.” If you were just trying to be funny, you would have said so much sooner. The fact is, you continued to try to associate the WVG with What strikes a nerve with me is not anyone’s association with any group, but rather when people make baseless accusations and then, when called to account, back off with the “I was just joking” excuse.

    I’m glad you like the name. I actually advocated against the name quite vociferously within what is now WVG. As I’ve said below, we don’t all agree all of the time in the WVG’s brief history. But that’s okay. We argue openly and civilly, as that’s the American way. But I don’t understand how you would suggest Working Village Group bears any resemblance to Special Board for a Comprehensive Plan/Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan. What are you talking about? None of the three words in “Working Village Group” match any of the words in SBCP/LWRP. Sure, the SBCP/LWRP has Planning Groups. My kid’s kindergarten class has Reading Groups. My mom is a member of a Book Group. Pretty much any organization has Groups. So what?

    Why do you “find it curious” that I liken you to Joe McCarthy? I will repeat, your rhetoric is baseless and scurrilous — like McCarthy’s. McCarthyism is the making accusations without evidence, and drawing associative connections to cast aspersions on people. You repeatedly sought to directly and then (when called on it) obliquely connect WVG to “the people who brought you!”.

    Nowhere has WVG expressed the “belief that the other half has some type of plan to take over the community and boot out the liberal foothold in Putnam County” (your words). I refer you again to the WVG website and the statements made in the endorsement letter below about what WVG’s agenda ACTUALLY is. The only person talking about anyone “taking over the community” is you.

    Finally, I must address this statement of yours: “The curious thing is!every American citizen has the right to endorse a candidate, it’s done behind the curtain in a voting booth. To endorse in public lays out the expectation that they owe you something.”

    First, you’re wrong. “Endorse” literally means “to declare public support for.” The secret ballot in American elections, while laudatory, is not an endorsement process. It’s a voting process. And it’s blessedly private.

    Second, you’re wrong again. Public endorsements do not, de facto, lay out an expectation of a debt owed. Precisely because they’re made in the light of day, as opposed to a back room deal, they can be pointed to at any time by any one.

    Third, in your quote-happy style, you seem to imply that it’s wrong for groups to “officially endorse” candidates. Why would that be? Is it wrong for the NRA to officially endorse candidates? Is it wrong for the Tea Party to do so? Planned Parenthood? The WWF? Why, further, is it “troubling” for Mr. Armstrong to be a member of two groups? How is it a conflict of interest, especially when he clarifies that he’s signing not in one capacity but in another? You are saying that members of volunteer groups cannot express political opinions as private citizens?

    Mr. Warren, you are free to be appointed to a volunteer board. You are also free to join a group that advocates for an informed citizenry and endorses candidates. You’re free to do them at the same time. This is America. Go for it.

  72. Mr. Plummer,

    It was a “joke” <— see quotations there

    I hope at the next WVG meeting you get a congratulatory high-five from the group members for your vociferous and lengthy responses to my initial quip.

    I was just wondering (out loud) if the WVG was the one in the same referenced in the New Yorker article?

    Thank you for admitting that you are in fact a "special interest" that words to influence policy much in the same way that the NRA, MoveOn, Heritage, etc etc does.

    Obviously, if Mike Armstrong is chair of the Special Board, and he’s part of a political special interest group that endorses specific candidates who oversee the implementation of the board’s work – that sir is the essence of conflict of interest.

  73. So now your joke isn’t a joke? Which is it, Mr. Warren? Or should I say, “Mr. Warren”?

    Yes, WVG is an Advocacy group or a Special Interest Group. Please don’t give me any props for admitting what is an obvious fact.

    Anthony Phillips is also a member of the Special Board, as is Catherine Square. Both are actual candidates in the upcoming election, and thus are obviously publicly endorsing themselves. Are those self-endorsements conflicts of interest?

    Mr. Armstrong’s distinction, appended to his name on the letter, is that he is not signing as the volunteer Chair of the Special Board but as a citizen, in much the same way that he might put a bumper sticker on his car or a sign on his lawn, or advocate for a candidate in conversation while at Foodtown.

    The legal definition of “conflict of interest” is:

    “Situation that has the potential to undermine the impartiality of a person because of the possibility of a clash between the person’s self-interest and professional-interest or public-interest.”

    Mr. Armstrong’s volunteering to help form a plan for the Village and endorsing candidates for election are both expressions public-interest, not self-interest or professional-interest.

    Mr. Phillips, Ms. Square, and any other members of any of the volunteer boards can — and do –endorse candidates. The two other trustees not up for re-election can also endorse candidates. Elected officials and civic volunteers across the nation support candidates publicly. Sometimes they do it as individuals, sometimes they do it as members of advocacy groups.

  74. Mr. Warren,

    Thank you for pressing that point.

    Yes, the Working Village Group is a special interest group. Our interests are:

    ~ high standards of fiscal responsibility in local government;

    ~ local government that engages in conduct and discourse that is civil, respectful and collaborative;

    ~ local government that supports local businesses and local business development;

    ~ local government that is pro-active, responsive and accountable to its residents; and

    ~ local government that is environmentally responsible in its policies and its own use of resources.

    If you’d like to get involved and help promote these ideals, please join us.

    Many thanks,

  75. Mr. Plummer,

    We can go on and on about this all day. It initially was a cute little joke, a quip towards what I thought was a comical action (the need to make a website, form a group, post endorsements) etc. on the part of your organization. Honestly, my first reaction was – who do these people think they are? Forming a group and throwing official endorsements about seemed like your group might have had some kind of entitlement issue, or sense of self righteousness. In reality you are an admitted special interest group with an agenda for the Village. Your not raising money for the poor – your meeting to formulate ideas on how to change the Village more to your liking…by endorsing and hopefully electing officials that share your vision.

    My only question is, what about those poor souls in Cold Spring who don’t agree with your ideologies, political leanings, etc. Should they just stay quiet and let the VWG go about their business – because the VWG knows best? Because John Plummer says so?

    As far as current elected officials endorsing someone on the ticket – sure it happens, but is it right? Newspapers do it all the time, and they usually toe party lines. I did find the following quote in the Jan 26th PCNR quite funny:

    “However, Falloon urges people to vote based on who they think is the best candidate, and not who is affiliated with whom. “One of things that I pride myself on is not getting involved in any political affiliations, where someone would owe me or I owe somebody,” he said. “I think the [Working Village Group] is great and I thank them for the support and I really appreciate it, [but] I don’t want people voting for me who otherwise wouldn’t because of who I am friends with.””

    Perhaps you should ask the candidates if they want your endorsement in the first place. That candidate obviously feels that your endorsement comes with strings.

  76. Ms. Hawkins

    I fear that you and your organization have created what was feared in the New Yorker article. Only it seems that it’s not the Republicans formulating a take-over.

    All of those are noble points, and great goals for our leadership.

    However, special interest groups are polarizing by nature.

  77. Mr. Warren.

    I’m so pleased you agree that these values are noble and great.

    We are hopeful that our local leadership will share them.

    Many thanks,

  78. Mr. Warren,

    As Ms. Hawkins stated below, here’s the agenda for the WVG:

    ~ high standards of fiscal responsibility in local government;

    ~ local government that engages in conduct and discourse that is civil, respectful and collaborative;

    ~ local government that supports local businesses and local business development;

    ~ local government that is pro-active, responsive and accountable to its residents; and

    ~ local government that is environmentally responsible in its policies and its own use of resources.

    If there are “poor souls” in Cold Spring who are don’t like fiscal responsibility, who aren’t pro-local business, who don’t like civil collaboration, who are against responsive, accountable elected officials, and who don’t care to be environmentally responsible, then, by all means, those poor souls should do what we did: form a group, get active, advocate for issues, endorse candidates…you know, the stuff that Americans do. The stuff that America was founded to do.

    In America, we don’t tell people to vote just because we say so. We voice our opinions so that we can have dialogue, talk issues, and make informed decisions.

    In America, you don’t need to ask permission to endorse a candidate, you can just do it. That candidate doesn’t have to endorse your endorsement. Mr. Falloon’s comment is yet further proof of the value of an open, honest process, which I heartily endorse above all.

  79. John and Stephanie of the WVG Collective –

    I am sure many agree with the goals you have listed. Although I for one don’t like them presented in the form of a special interest / advocacy group / community organizer agenda.

    Peace be with you.

  80. Thanks, Arthur, for the support of the goals. I’m not sure what you have against communities organizing, but, oh, well, can’t win ’em all.

    Peace out, yo.

  81. The New York Times recently wrote an editorial criticizing the Governor’s proposal for a property tax cap as “!one of the oldest ploys in Albany and certainly at odds with Mr. Cuomo’s promise of a new New York.” The full story can be found at NY Times Opinion Page.

    The state of Texas approved a tax cap similar to the one being promoted by Governor Cuomo and approved by the NY State Senate. The Texas cap is having a devastating effect on public education throughout that state. If the governor’s proposal is approved by the NY State Assembly and goes into effect, the consequences for public education in NY State could be equally devastating. The full story can be found in the NY Times (February 15, 2011).

  82. Vote for Gallagher, Campbell and Falloon: vote for Cold Spring’s Future!

    Writing as a proud resident of Cold Spring, and not as chair of the Special Board for a Comprehensive Plan/LWRP, I urge all qualified citizens to go to the Firehouse on March 15 and vote for Seth Gallagher for Mayor, and Bruce Campbell and Ralph Falloon for Trustee. Each has truly earned your vote and your support.

    Seth has fixed the village’s finances and fully addressed concerns expressed by an Audit of the State Comptroller’s office in October 2009. In the words of the auditors (Village of Cold Spring, Financial Condition and Water System Accountability, Report of Examination, 2008M-263, page 3), “The village’s deteriorating financial condition was mainly caused by over-expended budget appropriations, inaccurate accounting records and unrealistic budget estimates. The village incurred deficits totaling $197,677, $123,157 and $32,457 in the general fund for 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08.” A massive general fund balance deficit has now been turned into a surplus almost as big. Seth has done it not by cutting vital services or phony accounting, but by smart management, such as boosting revenues from parking waiver fees, and improving the way we recycle. You may have noticed, he’s also fixed most of the broken sidewalks on Main Street and many others throughout the village.

    Bruce Campbell is an incredibly hardworking Trustee who has made a tremendous difference to the village over many years. I’ve worked closely with Bruce on traffic on 9D — Morris and Chestnut — and many other projects. He listens carefully and he knows how to collaborate with residents, colleagues, outside agencies, and businesses to get things done.

    Ralph Falloon brings a deep knowledge of emergency services to the board, and has been enormously helpful in assessing water delivery options for fire-fighting and acting as liaison with the fire company. Ralph keeps a close eye on spending, and asks tough, smart questions to keep the village on budget.

    So put March 15 on your calendar, and do it now. If you commute, not to worry: the polls at the Firehouse (Church and Main) open at 6 am, and, if you want to vote coming home, the polls stay open to 9 pm, allowing plenty of time.

    Voting will make your day.

    Michael Armstrong

  83. Sitting on a bench down by the waterfront early this morning I saw a black object floating up-river on an ice floe (the tide was coming in).

    As it came closer I realized that it was a bird – not just any bird, but an eagle.

    It then flew off, only to land on another floe a bit further down the river. Eventually it took off in the direction of Croton, where I am told a lot of eagles gather during the Winter.

    I have never been so close to an eagle before and it was ASWESOME!

  84. Dear Editor,

    I guess I am addressing this to Mr. Plummer, Mr. Armstrong, Ms. Hawkins, Mr. Nastasi and the other members of the (WVG) if they wish to answer.

    I have re-read your wholehearted endorsements of Seth Gallagher, Ralph Falloon and Bruce Campbell. I have even read Mr. Nastasi’s attacks on the former Mayor Anthony Phillips

    However, I haven’t heard anyone say anything about the other candidate in this race, Catherine Square. I was wondering if any members of the WVG could enlighten me why I (or the Village voting public in general) should not support her?

    From the Comprehensive Board meetings that I have read reports of and the times I have listened to her speak – she has struck me as quite possibly the most intelligent candidate of the bunch. She is a relative new-comer to the area, but has spoken with respect and dignity on all matters relating to the Comp Board of which she is a member, and seems genuinely concerned with the well being and betterment of Cold Spring.

    And to be frank, I find the fact that she is of African-American descent a positive step in the right direction for Cold Spring!

    I find it curious then why the WVG would not support her as well? But instead supports two of the old-guard for Trustee…

    The more research I do, the more inclined I am to not follow the recommendations of Cold Spring’s newest Special Interest, the WVG.


  85. Mr. Warren,

    My only comment is that if it were not for some very special interest groups, we probably would singing “Rule Britannia” at the Yankee’s home opener.

  86. I guess this is only for Mr.Warren. Ms.Square has never tryed to harass me or my family with this towns police force and if she ever did become a trustee and even mayor and used her power to do the same, I would bash her or anyone in this forum as well.I endorse Mr Gallager Mr. Campbell and Ms. Square.What about you Mr Warren? I don’t vote for someone just because of race.I vote for people who don’t tell you one thing and then do another. I hope Ms. Square does win along with the above mentioned. I only attack when being attacked. Phillips knows why!

  87. Mr. Weissbrod, point taken – though I still don’t believe that Special Interest groups have a place in local politics. Much in the same way that National Party affiliations (Dem/Rep) are not utilized by local candidates. I especially take issue to heads of Village Special Boards using their titles and podiums to advance their own political agendas, such as Mr. Armstrong below.

    Mr. Nastasi – I’m not familiar with the harassment that you mention below. Can you please fill me in on the alleged harassment, and what caused it? Thank you for answering my open letter below, as Mr. Plummer and the rest of the WVG have not.


  88. Mr Warren- I am not involved with any group. Not VGA,WVG or any other acronym group. I am involved with my family which has been in Cold Spring for at least 100 years. My Father’s Brother died In France fighting the German’s in 1944. His other brother is a Koren war Vet. My dad lived in a house on Parsonage st. three bedroom’s for 14 people, 12 kid’s two parents. That’s a little back ground on my family. As for the story on the harassment by Phillips and his goon squad I can’t go into it.
    This part is for a friend of 40 years Donald Lusk. He too was harassed much more than I. Police came to my house many times to accuse my family members of thing’s with no proof. Like I said Phillips knows what the story is. As for Donald Lusk he was Phillips worst nightmare. Donald told it like it was.He paid for it. That whole S.W.A.T. circus was brought on by the powers that be in this so called pearl on the hudson village.

    That’s all i can say because if phillips get’s back into office it will start all over again. I don’t think the Mayor of any village should have the rank of chief of police. It’s to easy to abuse. Mayor Gallagher to my knoledge never used that power. When a mayor goes through police training both physical and class then i have no problem calling him or her police chief.

  89. Mr. Nastasi,

    Thank you for your civil discourse with me. However, I will no longer debate on these boards as I have had entire posts removed and edited. I will gladly resume it with you when I see you on the street. Thank you.


  90. Phillips and Property Taxes

    When Anthony Phillips was voted out of office two years ago, he left a deficit of $95,000. Seth Gallagher turned that loss into a $120,000 surplus. Phillips tries to minimize the deficit, claiming it was only for one year, but the audit by the State Comptroller’s office specifically cites three years, “2005-06, 2006-07, and 2007-08″. After the damage was done, Phillips hired an accountant.

    Cold Springers are rightly worried about rising property taxes. How can he control property taxes if he can’t manage the budget?

    Now Phillips wants the job back again. He says the full board, which included Seth Gallagher, must share the blame for the deficit.

    That’s like the skipper who runs the ship aground and wants to blame the whole crew. It won’t work, Mr. Ex-mayor. And that is why I am supporting Gallagher, Campbell and Falloon.

    Daniel R. Wright
    Cold Spring

  91. To the Editor:
    President Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act in time for American Heart Month, which is just concluding. What better way to show our love for our children and concern for our heart health than seeing to it that all of our children are adequately fed with good, nutritious food.
    This has been one of my concerns ever since 2003 when I raised the issue of childhood obesity and diabetes and what we could do about it on the state level. We have come a long way since then. Now by state law we encourage all schools to have a wellness plan and a wellness committee in place to oversee the types of food choices offered in our schools.
    I am delighted to see the focus of these initiatives backed up by Washington. Because of our efforts at the state level as well as local initiatives, many schools in our state will already be in compliance with the new federal law for food on lunch lines as well as in school vending machines. Now, with this federal legislation, we can make even greater progress towards improving the health of our children throughout our country. We need to remain vigilant about this issue as it has serious implications for us all.


    Sandy Galef

  92. Dear Editor,

    Thank you for your clarification. I was very worried when I saw that my initial posting was removed. I was concerned that I was not receiving any emails regarding it’s appropriateness either. I even went so far as to open another email address (admittedly I am not good with email and such and thought it could have been my fault). Either way, here is the letter I would like posted. I have removed any mention of the section you detailed and have left it to the reader to form opinions outside of the two brief one’s I state. Thank you.

    To repost it, and make it short — I took issue with a member of the WVG and their doctoral thesis entitled “Building Mosques in America: Strategies for Securing Municipal Approvals” as I believe it says much about the frame of mind of the WVG, and their methodology. I will not state any opinion on the content of the work, only to say that I do not agree with building a mosque at or near the World Trade Center site — nor do I believe in Special Interest Groups or lobbying.

    I ask those interested parties to go to the link attached below and form their own judgements. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or edits you feel need to be made.


  93. I would like to take a moment to respond to Arthur Warren’s post on this page. It is astonishing that this kind of small minded innuendo is trotted out in the year 2011. Mr. Warren insinuates that the Working Village Group has suspicious motives or “methodology” because of one member’s academic work regarding houses of worship for Muslims.

    There is no connection between a group of residents (who believe in transparency in local government, fostering community amongst all of its residents while securing the natural beauty and resources we are so fortunate to have here) and some unstated radical plot to which Mr. Waren alludes. His disagreement with the site of the Mosque in lower Manhattan and his distaste for “Special Interest Groups and lobbying” are of no bearing to a resident’s academic course of study.

    It would appear to be an attempt by Mr. Warren to sow suspicion through religious intolerance towards Muslims. I would like to point out that Cold Spring should remain proud of the fact that it was the site which broke with religious intolerance 175 years ago by establishing a church for a religion then suffering discrimination and prejudice. Catholicism. Our Lady was the first Catholic church outside of Manhattan in the United States.

    I urge residents to be intolerant of only one thing; anyone who would use personal attacks and veiled religious prejudice to advance their agenda. There is no place for it in a community and it should not be condoned as it is Un-American.

  94. Mr. A,

    My latest post has absolutely nothing to do with “Muslim Intolerance” but much more to do with the “methodology” that community organizer’s use to accomplish their goals.

    I posted the link below only as reference to the methods, writings, political viewpoints, strategic planning, and frankly hypocrisy exhibited by the WVG. The author titled her work “Not in my Neighborhood” and proceeds to show ways that politicians and citizens can mitigate concerns and outcry against a certain issue (which just happens to be faith based in this instance). Now apply that same argument and reasoning to the author’s arguments at Village Board meetings covered here in dot info and by other outlets, where she utilized that same mantra “not in my neighborhood” but from the opposite side of the fence. Is that hypocrisy lost on everyone?

    In the end, my only reason for posting that link was to show that the formation of the WVG was not just a “spontaneous” gathering of residents, but rather a well planned, well organized special interest group who wishes to influence local politics; ergo mold the community discourse to their own agenda.

    If it were only about open discourse and transparent government, why then adopt the tactic of the closed/opaque government by forming a special interest group who issues public proclamations of endorsement?


  95. I would urge to consider reformatting the Letters/Opinions section of the site to provide for collapsible threads for “dialogues” which arise from single posts.

    By putting these “discussions” which arise in a thread which could be expanded by the reader, it would give greater equality to all comments posted. There are many comments made by community members which deserve to have a longer duration near the top of the Letters/Opinions page and not be driven down 3 or more pages as a result of a specific back and forth on a single topic or dialogue.

    This change would enhance the ability for readers fully comprehend these “conversations” as the back and forth will be contained within the thread. All comments will be on one subject and be more readable overall. I guarantee that if readers are interested in the content of a such a discussion or thread they will choose to expand and read it. One possible solution would be to have a “comment” option to address a particular post rather than only the wholesale “submit comment” button.

    I firmly believe this will not only allow for more topics to be represented simultaneously, it will also foster greater discussion of those topics. Please consider this change to further improve as it is a great addition to our community!

  96. Editor,

    Four important facts to consider as the Cold Spring Mayoral election approaches:

    1.) The Village’s finances have improved greatly with Mayor Gallagher in office. As his ads feature, he inherited a six-figure deficit and in two years it was turned around to a six-figure surplus. He did this AND increased property taxes by the smallest amount in years. Had he kept the increases in line with previous years the current surplus number would have been much greater. This was done over two years of historically bad economic times.

    2.) Most important is the fact that his previous efforts as a Trustee to get the finances in order spared the Village from State reprimand. I was on the Board when the State began a special audit of the Village because its drastic change from surplus to deficit sent them a red flag. Because we had already started dealing with the problems and had hired a CPA to replace our old Treasurer, they haven’t had to step in. Credit Gallagher’s determined effort to force change on an administration that would not have changed until the State had forced them to.

    3.) Since Gallagher joined the Village Board, the Treasurer’s position has been filled by a Certified Public Accounted, the Building Inspector position is filled with a Certified Architect and the legal counsel has gone from a one-man team supplemented by top dollar special attorneys to the current team of associates who charge the minimum rates for their expertise and have both saved the Village in legal expenses AND kept them out of court (very important fact). That would not have happened without Gallagher’s previous effort’s to force change on an administration that otherwise would not have changed.

    4.) Gallagher discovered and exposed the former Mayor’s “misuse” of Village Property (putting Village-owned gasoline into his personal vehicle without paying or accounting for it, an illegal act) and abuse of the security system controlled by the former Mayor to prevent such misuse. I sat at the meeting where Anthony Phillips was called out on his actions by an admirably persistent Mr. Gallagher and admitted to using gas from multiple accounts, the security access keys to which he and only he controlled.

    John Teagle
    Village of Cold Spring Trustee 2007-2009

  97. Mr. Teagle,

    Thank you for the reminder of all of the positive things that Mayor Gallagher has accomplished. To that list may we also add that he attempted to not only give himself a raise, but also health insurance (which is unheard of for a part-time municipal employee). Also, lest we forget, can we also add one of the reasons he ran for office in the first place – his alleged illegal bagpipe factory at his residence. Which if I recall correctly was against Village building code.


  98. I’m reading these letters and wondering who Arthur Warren is? Is this someone posting under a pseudonym? I don’t know everyone in town, obviously, but for such an active political poster, I would have thought I’d run across him by now.

  99. Ms. Conner,

    I assure you that I am a real person.

    I am a concerned resident of this community that just finished reading the headline article on this site regarding the Comprehensive Plan, specifically these quotes attributed to Mayor Gallagher:

    “From here we can kind of relax,” Mayor Seth Gallagher observed.

    While continuing to improve the plan, “we’re not under the type of pressure we were before to meet a deadline.”

    Correct me if I am wrong, but according to local news outlets this process of meetings, studies, hiring of consultants, more meetings, more studies, more consultants, members quitting, yet more meetings, yet more consultants – is now nearing it’s fifth year. That’s five years of taxpayer funded expense (direct expenses to the Comp Board budget, and indirect expenses accumulated through weekly meetings of the board, public hearings, hiring of consultants, grant money (which comes from State/Fed tax $), even the paper cost to reprint the never-ending incarnations of the report).

    And after all of that the comp board itself can barely agree (by a vote of 5-4) to move forward…after 5 years! Many of the former members of the comp board (such as Mr. Henderson referenced in the article) express passionate appeals at every hearing that public concerns are not heard, comments and criticism are dismissed and that time has been wasted.

    And still Mayor Gallagher believes “From here we can kind of relax”…? It begs further examination of one of my initial points on this forum regarding the WVG and Comp Board Chair Mike Armstrong’s endorsement of the Mayor’s reelection bid – what’s the agenda?


  100. Great question. Until I get a satisfactory answer, I won’t be responding to him. As much as I enjoy science fiction, I don’t want to have a conversation with a virtual human.

  101. Mr. Plummer,

    I assure you as well that I am a real human. The fact that you dislike the points I make, and wish to not address valid concerns I have with your organization – a self admitted special interest group – well that is on your shoulders, not mine.


  102. Editor,

    May I recommend that anonymous letters be posted if meeting the requirements of this blog, but that pseudonyms be rejected. Put a face on the name or go by “anonymous”, which by the very nature of the act, deserves less credence than a real opinion but is the only viable option for some. Since Mr., Ms., or Mrs. Arthur Warren are not registered voters in the Village of Cold Spring, their opinions mean little, as does my current opinion since I am no longer registered in the Village of Cold Spring. But I do have first hand experiences to share, having worked closely with both candidates. Please,, keep it real and delete the unreal/undeclared/unclaimed posts.

  103. Mr. Warren,

    First of all, thank you so much for being brave enough to go onto this site and ask hard questions. As a long-time resident of Philipstown, I would like to respectfully suggest that Special Interest Groups (SIGs) have to register themselves with someone like either the Town Board or maybe the Sheriff’s Office. I’m not trying to create a form of Stalinist Russia. Not at all. I just think people shouldn’t be able to hide behind some kind of mask (and groups are kind of like a mask, you know? (Sidebar: have you — or anyone in town — ever been to Carnivale in Italy? I will tell you: that is one exciting adventure! I myself make it a point to go every year and take lots of photos of those wacky Italians in all their wild masks. My top three masks I’ve seen at Carnivale: a giant wedge of cheese (homage to Wisconsin?), a Siamese cat, a lady that looked an awful lot like Liza Minnelli.)).

    Anyway, the point is, I am all for masks, but they have a time and a place. Carnivale, as stated above, is such a place/time. So is Halloween. So, would be, a masked ball, or a party where the invitation specified “come in costume.”

    But these SIGs should not exist as ways for people to have “group-think” opinions where the “group” or SIG is “saying” something but then, really, who is responsible?

    By the way, Mr. Warren: I love that you chose that photo of Yul Brynner. I had the chance to meet him once and shake his hand. He said “Good to meet you” and his voice really was exactly as deep as it is in the movies! I did enjoy his work as the Pharoah, but I think I prefer him as the robot cowboy from Westworld. How about you? Robot cowboy or Pharoah?

    Yours in unmasking,

    Don Gately

  104. Oops — I see you changed your picture, Mr. Warren, and color me delighted: one thing I loved about Yul was how he wasn’t afraid to show that glorious chrome dome of his! Heck — he made it his signature! I think I get the message you’re trying to put out there to the rest of us residents: don’t be ashamed of who you are.

    Or maybe I’m “reading too far into this,” like my wife is always telling me I’m doing. “Stop reading too far into this, Don,” she’s always telling me. I guess I’m a suspicious type. But is that a bad thing. So far, my suspicious nature has kept my marriage together!

    Anyway, the point is, great picture. I need to try to figure out how to get my own photo up here. Don’t worry, Mr. Warren: I won’t steal your “Yul thunder”! You got there first with the Mighty Bald One, and he’s yours. “So let it be written, so let it be done!”*

    Yours in bald** pride,

    Don Gately

    *For those of you who don’t get that reference, it’s to the greatest thing ever committed to celluloid: Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments. If you have not seen it — do!

    **I’m not actually bald. In this case, I mean bald like “brazen” or “unashamed.”

  105. Mr. Teagle,

    You write:

    “Since Mr., Ms., or Mrs. Arthur Warren are not registered voters in the Village of Cold Spring, their opinions mean little as does my current opinion since I am no longer registered in the Village of Cold Spring.”

    I would also refer you to the list of supporters posted with the WVG endorsement letter, which also features a few non-Springers. Also, I don’t believe Peter J. Boyle the author of “Fox Among the Chickens” written for the New Yorker, is a Cold Spring resident. Nor is Roger or Beth Ailes. Yet all either have posted their opinions, or are the subject of many local “opinion” pieces.

    Last time I checked the First Amendment didn’t put a geographic limitation on the Freedom of Speech. By all means, express your opinion on the current state of local politics; resident or non-resident.

    You also write:

    “Please,, keep it real and delete the unreal/undeclared/unclaimed posts.”

    What you really mean here is, please delete anything which expresses an opinion that is different from ours…


  106. Messrs Teagle and Warren,

    I must confess I am not as “web-savvy” as you both seem to be (for instance, I see that Mr. Warren has again changed his picture — though I must admit I am not quite the fan of Mr. Einstein that I am of the great YUL BRYNNER! (No offense to Einstein, but I find physics to be of limited application in the real world. Whereas, I again refer any readers to The Ten Commandments or The Magnificent Seven if you want to know what REAL genius looks like!)). I can’t even get one face up there, let alone keep changing my face like Mr. Warren does.

    I don’t know either of you gentlemen, but in the spirit of neighborliness (I don’t live in Cold Spring either! Greater Philipstown is my perch!), might I make the following suggestion: have a coffee together (perhaps a “strong” coffee some evening at the Depot Restaurant (har-har!)). My impression of the two of you is this: you both want to “keep it real.”

    Now, I’ve already admitted I’m still getting the “hang” of this whole internet thing. And no offense to the internet, but if you want to “keep it real,” there is nothing more “keeping it realer” than meeting for real, in person.

    At risk of horning in on your good times, I’d offer my own self as company and perhaps “mediator” (a role I frequently play with my son and his ex-“partner” (and I won’t explain that further in a public forum, except to say that whatever my opinions prior to meeting Neil, I eventually grew to like him very much (and if you’re reading this, Neil, for the record, I wish things hadn’t ended up the way they did!))).

    Anyway, Mr. Teagle and Mr. Warren — what do you say? A “meeting of the minds”?

    Yours in hope of dialogue (and drinks!),

    Don Gately

  107. Mr. Warren,

    A brief addendum to my earlier comments regarding the face you somehow (miraculously! I have hit every button I can think of to get a face up therefor me) changed already twice today, and for those readers who, like me, the “web-way” takes some getting used to:

    My comments below regarding master actor Yul Brynner are going to confuse some and perhaps make them think that I (or Mr. Warren) are having some online “senior moments” (or that our prescriptions of Oxycontin need refilling (kidding. I am very careful with medications, as I’m sure Mr. Warren is.).

    The fact is, earlier today, Mr. Warren put up this beautiful face of Yul Brynner in his iconic role as Ramses II in the Cecil B. DeMille masterpiece THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.* I posted a response in which I praised the choice of the face Mr. Warren had chosen.

    But as the editor of this site kindly explained to me (thank you, Mr. Mell! Would that all news “paper” editors had your bearing, sir!) there is a delay between when an individual writes a comment and the comment appears.

    I don’t get it, but I suspect it has something to do with code or something.

    Then Mr. Warren’s image changed to Yul in a suit. The epitome of class, I tell you. I posted a response about that.

    But still, you see, my comments had not been “posted”. Or appeared (not sure on “lingo”).

    Then, to top this all off, by the time my comments arrived on the site (and I’m not blaming you, Mr. Mell! You were gracious and helpful, sir!), Mr. Warren had again changed his image to Albert Einstein.

    Well, I’ve made a remark about Einstein now. And I ask Mr. Warren to not magically change his image again before people (Luddites like yours truly) have a chance to get caught up in all this.

    I truly do enjoy the internet, but I must say: I have trouble keeping up! Mr. Warren and Mr. Mell — perhaps one of you could offer workshops to humble would-be learners such as myself?

    Yours in hope,

    Don Gately

    *At the risk of turning this “Opinion” site into a “Film Information” site, I want to really urge any readers to SEE THIS MOVIE. Charlton Heston may never have given a better performance (though Omega Man has a soft spot for yours truly. Who doesn’t love watching Heston slay those creepy vampires?!)

  108. Enough, already, you guys. You are beginning to sound like a bunch of tired nursery school kids who need to be given a ‘time-out’ and sent to your rooms for a rest.

  109. Mr., Ms., Mrs. Warren,

    Don’t tell me (or anyone else who reads this) “what you really mean here is…” I mean what I wrote. From your last sentence, I’m inclined to believe you did not read my post. I’ll rephrase my five sentences to make it easier should you choose to reread the previous post:

    (First and second sentences) I feel strongly that anonymous letters are acceptable, but should carry less weight with readers than a signed letter. A safe outlet for opinion without fear of repercussions is a beautiful thing.

    (Third sentence) Opinions of registered voters should carry more weight with readers than those of non-residents. Vice-versa, the opinions of non-residents should carry less weight with readers than those of concerned residents. I did not imply and do not believe the opinions of others should be censored, including those you mention. FYI, I am not part of the citizens group you mention because I no longer vote in Village elections.

    (Fourth sentence) I was there. Were you?

    (Fifth sentence) Signed or anonymous posts, yes. Cowards and pretenders pimping righteousness while intentionally misleading the public into thinking they are someone or thing they are not, no.

  110. “You always know the mark of a coward. A coward hides behind freedom. A brave person stands in front of freedom and defends it for others.”

    Henry Rollins

  111. Thanks for including the Lakeland BOE Budget Meeting info on your website. As a resident of Philipstown who lives in the Lakeland School District, I appreciate inclusion of our school information.

  112. Leonora – what may I ask do you have against a healthy discussion of Yul Brynner? Perhaps you haven’t seen his Ramses II? I realize you are trying to “keep it real,” but let’s not bash Yul in the process, shall we? And would you like to join us at the Depot for a hot toddy — assuming Mr Teagle & Mr Warren will accept my offer.

    In the spirit of conviviality let me add: I have never been to Wales but I hear it is lovely! My son went there on a “Tour of the Isles” and said there is no substitute for Welsh men. I suspect he was trying to rile me (it didn’t work!) but perhaps you can confirm his opinion?

    Yours in Welsh-love,

    Don Gately

  113. To Editor, Mr Mell,

    It appears my comments are somehow not “passing muster.” My son – the “family nerd” (his term!) – says you approved Leonora and Mrs Kourie even though their comments were written after mine.

    What in the He** is going on? I am beginning to wonder about your “policy”. I have, I feel, gone out of my way to take a conciliatory tone and even offer an “olive branch” via my invite to the “Warr-ing parties”. So what have I said that is keeping me off, sir?

    In sincere interest,


    • Regarding a recent letter from Don Gately:
      “It appears my comments are somehow not “passing muster.” My son — the “family nerd” (his term!) — says you approved Leonora and Mrs Kourie even though their comments were written after mine.

      What in the He** is going on? I am beginning to wonder about your “policy”. I have, I feel, gone out of my way to take a conciliatory tone and even offer an “olive branch” via my invite to the “Warr-ing parties”. So what have I said that is keeping me off, sir?”
      Mr. Gately’s comment has since been published. It was not intentionally withheld.

  114. I agree with the “time out” request below. Ever since the New Yorker piece, what was once a pleasant, informative letters to the editor section has turned into your typical internet argument forum. Everything from the endless, repetitive refusal to give the other guy the last word, right up to accusations of sock puppetry. We could all go to or of we want to view a flame war cares about. Please don’t bring this place down to that same gutter of internet political bickering that every other corner of the web seems to have become. Give it a rest, or at least keep it civil and concise.

  115. Leonora, point taken. You can only beat a dead horse for so long when no answers are forth coming. I guess simply put, the Special Interest Formula goes something like this (in my opinion):

    WVG + Mr. Armstrong (Special Interest plus Chair Comp Board)

    *mixed with*

    Closed Government + Good Spin (Cronyism* plus**)

    EQUALS: = Mayoral Platform (Whats the Agenda?)

    I am sure there is much more to the equation, but like Leonora points out, I don’t want to be put into time out for speaking my mind!too much.

    *Please see Jan Thatcher’s letter to the Editor in other local media.

    **I refer you to another finely crafted special interest methodology (


  116. To the readers,

    1. I want to officially apologize for my “paranoia” (clinical term) that I exhibited in my posting directed at the excellent Editor Mr. Michael Mell. As I explained to Mr. Mell “offline”, a certain important personal relationship in my own life has unfortunately led me to sometimes act with suspicion.

    2. About “time outs”: I am all for them during a football game. As for a way to “discipline” children, they don’t make any sense to me at all. When I was a boy, there was nothing wrong with “go to your room!” or my dad getting out the belt, or my mom the bar of soap. My son has spent a lot of time trying to convince me I’m “old fashioned.” Well, I’m the man I am today because I didn’t have any “time outs” — except when I was playing football! If you’re a parent, it’s up to you of course. This is America.

    3. Tom: I was talking about Carnivale, a centuries old “tradition” in Italy. This is a FAR cry from “sock puppetry,” sir. A FAR, FAR cry. I have seen sock puppet shows, and they are nothing like Carnivale. I have, for the record, never seen a sock puppet show in Venice. Nor have a seen a sock puppet show in Philipstown. Tom, have you? Mr. Warren, I hope you will reserve a smidge of your umbrage for this un”Warren”ted assault on Carnivale, sir!

    Yours in a mixture of shame and ire,

    Don Gately

  117. Editor,

    I just watched the Mayoral debate on

    I would just like to say that Gordon Stewart did a wonderful job as moderator. He was fair, balanced and kept things moving.

    Mayor Philips made some good points. He stayed on topic, remained cordial and respectful, even while being attacked.

    Mayor Gallagher, um uh oh ummmm ahhhh uh not so much. In my opinion, if former Mayor Philips was “guilty” of stealing ten thousand dollars worth of gasoline, wouldn’t he have been indicted? Admittedly, I am not familiar with the whole episode but if John Teagle and Seth Gallagher were on the board then I would think an “illegal” action would have been pushed to the courts. Perhaps they should have been worrying more about the budget reports all five elected officials were getting each month, because that is a valid point – each time Gallagher disparages Phillips regarding the budget, he disparages himself as well. Perhaps if someone was running who was not on those boards it would be a valid issue.

    On the topic of um ahhh oh ahh gas though, as I am sure Mr. Gately would “jest” – ’tis Much Ado About Nothing.


  118. Mr. Warren,

    Forgive me, I have never been a fan of “new math” and I find your equation confusing.

    But what I find more confusing, sir, is, quite frankly, your non-response to my invite for a cup of java and good, old-fashioned “keeping it real” in person, not-computerized conversation between you and Mr. Teagle. If you aren’t a fan of the Depot (and why not, I won’t begin to speculate, but I must say, four stars from me!), then we can find another suitable venue, can’t we?

    Mr. Warren, I frankly expected Mr. Teagle to ignore my “olive branch.” But you, sir, I felt had the open mind to “take up the gauntlet” with a hearty, “Yes, let’s chat!”

    Now, I know from your ability to post new faces alongside your name, you are someone far more “conversant” with the web than I am. Even with my son’s help (and boy, does it frustrate him. Almost as much as some of his life choices frustrate me (arg!)), I am still hardly a web “expert.” But my son and other web “experts” still like some good old fashioned “face-time.”

    Mr. Warren, I will “lay it out,” as my wife likes to say: I felt that you and I were kindred spirits. Maybe I “read too much” into our shared admiration of Yul Brynner (and for the record: bring your Yul face back!).

    But you clearly read Ms. Thatcher’s letter to the editor, and even comment on her letter in your “post.” Why have you yet to respond to one of my letters?

    As you may gather, yes, I’m a suspicious type. I won’t go into all the reasons that life has made me this way. But I am taking a good hard look at things, and all I see is you giving me the “cold shoulder.” Or maybe you just like connecting with the ladies like Leonora and Ms. Thatcher. I don’t know. But from where I sit, I feel a definite “shunning” going on. And I’m not too much of a man to avoid admitting when my feelings are hurt.

    In hope that I’m wrong about you, Mr. Warren, I remain,

    Don Gately

  119. Mr. Gately,
    It is quite easy: 1+1=2
    It doesn’t take a “plumber” to figure out the toilet is running.
    Nor does it take a genius to see through the agenda of the WVG.
    I would take you up on your offer of free breakfast, but lo’ some of us work during the day.

  120. Mr. Warren,
    Do you work weekend days? Or how about an evening coffee? I’m sure we can make it work. Mr Teagle – are you on board? Leonora, would you like to join us? Tom?

    In hope,


  121. I was at the Butterfield Library the other day, and couldn’t help but notice The Ten Commandments was checked in!

    People of Philipstown, might I beseech you: rent this flick! If the kids resist and prefer a cartoon, tell them none other than Vincent Price (aka the voice of “Vincent Van Ghoul” from Scooby-Doo fame!) is in it!

    There is no finer way to prepare for Easter than this picture. Or Passover, my Jewish “brothers and sisters.”

    (Sidebar: my son’s current “companion” is a “reformed” Jew. I am trying to understand what that means, but I must say he is a good egg. Apparently his parents are quite permissive. My wife and I are becoming more “open” every day. As I tell Ari (his name) — “Charlton Heston is my all time favorite Jew!” He says “I can’t argue, Don”. I urged him to call me Don.)

    At any rate: our library has the Best DVD collection! Bravo! Sorry Blockbuster, but it’s true! I urge readers of this space to head over/down/to the library – and you know what to get!


  122. I do have to say, that my favorite quote of all of these letters to date is still Mr. Plummer’s way back on Feb 16th:

    “Yes, WVG is an Advocacy group or a Special Interest Group. Please don’t give me any props for admitting what is an obvious fact.”

    This should have all stopped then. Now I’m getting inundated with all of these offers for free meals, which I would gladly accept were it not for the expectation that I change my vote or my political beliefs. And that dampens my appetite.

    To Mr. Freimark’s Henry Rollins quotation below (how I missed that earlier I do not know) I say:

    “The human race is a race of cowards; and I am not only marching in that procession but carrying a banner.” (Mark Twain)

    And Mr. Teagle, I do apologize if I misinterpreted the meaning behind your words. I was still trying to figure out why you were writing in the first place since you stated that non-residents don’t count in local debate anyway. Didn’t mean to step on your Chuck Taylors there.

    Have a good weekend!


  123. Mr Warren,

    You vote in Cold Spring?! Color me confused!

    I have never paid for a vote in my life, sir! I’m not from Albany, nor Chicago. Nor was I offering to pay for your coffee. Not at all! Never! And breakfast?! What is happening sir?! I suggested an evening coffee at the Depot. And I always go Dutch.

    I’m not clear why you seek to alter my offer, nor why you reject it. I frankly take umbrage at the suggestion of vote buying. My grandfather bled for this country. A country where votes shall not be bought or sold.

    I am beginning to understand why so many citizens are upset with you, sir. And I concur that this place is not one for the “flamers” we hear of elsewhere. I didn’t see you as a “flamer” but maybe I was mistaken.

    I have in a good spirit offered to mediate dialogue on matters diverse. I have trumpeted my fondness for a certain hairless actor whom I thought you admired. I understand now that perhaps I was wrong.

    To be so baldly and unjustly misconstrued wounds me. I had hoped to put a little “common ground” into things. (That doesn’t mean I wanted to buy anyone coffee. Or votes.)


    Donald H. Gately

  124. A.W., Apology fully accepted and I too wonder why I’ve gotten involved. When I ran for Village of Cold Spring Trustee I stated that interests of the residents, both homeowners and renters, should be the priority, followed by business owners and then by non-resident stakeholders, i.e., those who own property in the Village but neither work nor live in the Village. As I am none of the above I guess I write from a historical perspective, in hopes that mistakes are not repeated (the classic justification of history).

    So here’s some historical info, first hand, in reference to your statement “if John Teagle and Seth Gallagher were on the board then I would think an “illegal” action would have been pushed to the courts”.

    After working with Mr. Gallagher trying to unfold the gas mystery there was a clear enough picture to force the issue at the next Board Meeting. This may seem odd to some, but I made a private, personal appeal to the other Board members to have them recommend to Mr. Philips that he should just step down and spare the Village and himself the publicity and possible legal process that would distract from the more important issues facing the Board. Mr. Gallagher and I were not out for blood and the strongest words for criminal charges came from one of the former Mayor’s biggest supporters (strange as that may seem).

    Mr. Phillips did not step down and was questioned at the next meeting, at which time he admitted he’d been 1.) filling his tank with Village-owned gas and 2.) charging his fill-ups to the accounts of different police officers, a little here, a little there, using the extra keys he and only he controlled. The keys were turned over and have been kept since in a lock box that requires two keys, so that this could not happen again.

    The inquiry that followed was half-hearted to say the least with the consensus being don’t push it. I interviewed all the Police Officers and Highway Department members with a set of questions that had been stripped of any guts by the Village Attorney, who I felt must have been looking after the best-interests of the Village. No one stepped forward (more than one admitted fear for their jobs) and the District Attorney chose not to pursue the matter. End of story, with Mr. Phillips’s political career seemingly finished.

    And yet he brazenly comes back each election, as is his right and some people think that his past actions are acceptable. I am not one of those people.

  125. Mr. Gately,

    Thank you for proving my point over and over again. I originally began posting here because of a joke (remember my quip way back when)? Since then I have stuck to expressing my opinions on local issues — I’ve even played into your “anonymous” jesting — though I do not get your innuendos regarding the Depot, did Yul frequent there or something?

    I think the real issue here is that you don’t know who I am. Mr. Freimark calls me a coward, you invite me for coffee with “no strings attached.”. In my opinion this all gets backs to the characteristics of the political fringe on both sides — you need a face with an issue, a name to attack — you can’t just argue the facts of an issue. Sadly, it seems to be a real problem with the hyper-liberals in the community (who I have cited in links in previous posts), where the only method of debate is to overwhelm with passionate pleas of “common sense”, and to make “proclamations to the community” signed by a short list of like minded individuals (like the WVG).

    Is it so hard to believe that there is someone in the community with differing views, who you might not know? Maybe someone new that doesn’t agree with the party line of the WVG? Ms. Conner’s assertion earlier that she found it hard to believe she hadn’t run across someone “so political” in our small community — came across as a little smug in my opinion.

    I will say it once again: yes I’m political, yes I am human, no I don’t wish to have coffee and be attacked by a left (or right) wing hyper-passionate debate about local politics.

    I don’t care who you are, where you live, what you look like — stick to the facts and argue them. Leave the faux political outrage at the curb.

    *edited for grammar

    ** Thank you for the clarification Mr. Teagle. But without a conviction I still don’t see the weight behind the accusations. To many it could just be a political ploy _ in the way that Mr. Gallagher’s “illegal” workshop is often cited.

  126. 1. Former Mayor Phillips is alleged by many to have stolen thousands of dollars of gas from Cold Spring taxpayers. What’s the difference between this, and just stealing thousands of dollars from the village’s bank account? Nothing, at all, except for the fact that it’s easier to steal gas and harder to trace its theft. Never mind running a budget deficit that fails to respect the right of taxpayers to a local government that’s not spiralling into financial insolvency, if the allegation is true that Tony Phillips was a thief while he was in office, then any decent taxpayer should assume him unfit for public service in perpetuity, and moreover hold our local government strictly to task for not seeing to his arrest and idictment for felony theft before the statute of limitations expired. I would love for Tony to address this in the forthright manner I’d expect of a former United States Marine.

    2. I changed my mind. Let’s talk about the fact that local government was deep in the midst of a deficit when Tony was at the helm. What self-respecting taxpayer would stand for this? The village wasn’t at war, going into defecit to fight for its survival so tanks and fighter plans could be sent to the front. We’re talking about part-time cops, snow removal, sidewalks, and two parades a year. At the local level, a deficit is the mark of a leader’s 1) incomptence, or 2) not paying attention. The fact of the matter is that a bagpipe repairman, with the help of a supermarket checkout person and a few others, was able to fix the budget in less than one term, so Phillips can’t turn around and say it was too much for a former United States Marine to handle.

    3. I would love for someone to ask some hard questions about the fate of two small business signs on Route 9D in the village a few years back.

    4. Phillips’ criticism of people going door to door on Seth’s behalf is utterly insane. This type of canvassing is as old as American democracy itself, and it’s the mark of a strange, outdated outlook on village politics that someone could be offended about a neighbor looking to talk to another neighbor about an upcoming election for mayor. The Tea Party grew into a force to be reckoned with because neighbors spread the word among themselves about their political beliefs and opinions. The same type of grassroots work for responsible government that brought the Tea Party to America is helping to ensure a real democratic process takes place here in our village. I love it.

    5. The SIG concern is nonsense; it’s people running scared because they see the village changing and they don’t like it. The village demographic is slowly but steadily getting younger, more affluent, better-educated, and for better or worse, more liberal. The misfortune of the swing to the left notwithstanding, this is all a godsend, especially since every newcomer I meet seems to really care about and love the village, is committed to being a real part of its everyday life. This will never be some bedroom community for NYC like Mt. Kisco, New City or New Castle, even if many of the new folks commut there. Just the fact that the care so much about local government to organize on behalf of the candidate they think will do the best job proves this fact; in actual suburban bedroom communities people could care less about local politics.

    6. If it’s true that “the village demographic is slowly but steadily getting younger, more affluent, better-educated, and for better or worse, more liberal,” then this should be welcome news to everyone, especially free-market conservatives and libertarians. It will benefit us all, from the man in the compound on the hill to the housecleaner on Lower Main Street. It’s the tide of straight trickledown Reaganomics lifting all boats. Let these young affluent types come, and keep coming, and god bless the invisible hand!!!

    The former mayor’s campaign–disjointed and negative, blind to his actual track record–shows that there is absolutely no better alternative on our ballot, unless we all write someone else in. Being the village mayor is ultimately a small job and Seth will do just fine.

    Last but not least, the PCNR has revealed that the Baptist Church in Nelsonville is low on membership and may close. Is a mosque in the future there? Is that the real reason certain people are taking a greater interest in local government? Only time will tell…

  127. Steven,

    Well written and many points articulated well. I don’t agree about “allegations” having standing in this election though – mainly because anyone can allege anything about anyone. I read back into the PCNR backfile regarding the gas issue – I see it was thoroughly discussed, but never saw that any penalty was handed down. If some legal action should have been pressed than maybe the entire board at that time (including Gallagher) should be taken to task for not standing up for Village residents. Your notion of a write in candidate intrigues me.

    The Special Interest concern is a very valid issue. I’ve spoken to it many times on here. People who publish endorsements usually expect something in return.

    Your “last but not least” point – well that is very intriguing.


  128. 5 signs of Spring this morning at The Cove. Snowdrops are visible, buds on bursting forth on the Pussy Willow Trees, 4 Red-Wind Blackbirds sighted, 3 ducks in flight and Ron’s Bassett Hound ate some mud – yes the thaw is finally here.

  129. There’s been a great deal of back and forth regarding someone who is posting on this opinion page under what is clearly a pseudonym. I had a long back and forth with this individual (or individuals) a couple of weeks ago. The dialogue is a matter of record, and anyone who wants to read through it all will see that I repeatedly asked this person(s) to deal in facts rather than in innuendo.

    In the last couple of days, this individual(s) has been questioned as to the nature of his/her true identity. These questions have come from others, one of whom, John Teagle, is a former Cold Spring Trustee who has not hidden his words behind a fake name.

    While steadfastly claiming to be a “real person”, the answers this individual(s) has given make it clear that he/she/them is clearly writing under a pseudonym.

    In an article on this site about Editorial Policy, the Editor states: “Our rationale for permitting authors to use pseudonyms or submit comments anonymously is based on a concept at the core of whistle-blower protection — legitimate fear of retaliation, which can extend to the expression of views as well as the exposure of practices. We do not want readers to be intimidated from saying things they believe because they are afraid of personal retaliation in our very small community.”

    To be clear: people who air opinions under the cover of a pseudonym are not whistleblowers. By definition, a whistleblower is “a person who informs on another or makes public disclosure of corruption or wrongdoing.” Whistleblowing is about the reporting of facts, not opinions.

    The pseudonymous author(s) of the posts in question will not admit he/she/they is writing under a pseudonym. That alone should give the editors and readers of this page pause.

    The author(s) of the posts in question has used the argumentative attack of “guilt by association” to defame the character, words and actions of residents in this community, and has named them by name. These people are not being protected by the editorial policy of this page. Instead, someone hiding behind a fake name is defaming these residents in public, and using dishonest tactics to do it.

    This is nothing more than a high-tech whisper campaign of rumor and innuendo, being given cover by a well-meaning policy.

    I have gone on record a couple of days ago by saying I will no longer dialogue with what I called a “virtual person.” The writer(s) has repeatedly turned this around to insist that he/she/them is a “real person.” So I will clarify my terms: I will not dialogue with someone who refuses to admit their true identity.

  130. I don’t know why anyone would suggest I’m a leftie. I count Abraham Lincoln and Dwight D. Eisenhower as my two favorite presidents, both members of the “Grand Old Party”!

    Yours from the Republic,

    Don Gately

  131. Mr. Plummer,

    I ask what innuendos you refer to? The only time I have utilized innuendos are in instances where pure fact would have been seen as an “attack” on an individual. I have also talked in theatrical “code” to Mr. Gately as well – he likes to “jest infinitely”.

    I really don’t wish to attack anyone. Just point out motives. You admitted your group is a special interest, supporting candidates to further a political agenda (I’m assuming). You attacked me when I mentioned and their agenda. There was also a large outcry when I pointed out one of your members doctoral thesis’ which I believe shows the methodology which is being employed here on a smaller scale.

    Philipstown dot info made a stand regarding the nature of this board. I am doing nothing wrong whatsoever by expressing my first amendment right. I find it humorous that my identity is still your primary concern, not the issues. Even if I were using a pseudonym are there not many instances in our history where such a methodology has been employed? From Thomas Paine, Ben Franklin to Deep Throat. But I will assure you once again Mr. Plummer – I am real and not a robotic autoposter.

    Stay on topic, stay civil.


  132. Dear Editor and Gordon–
    I would appreciate your help with two problems:
    1. The letters/comments section is frankly not user friendly technologically. To read letters/comments, you have to click several times, and today somehow I am unable to bring up the 146 comments at all,and then now belatedly they have appeared.
    2. To avoid clutter so people will actually read the messages, I suggest you limit any one source in the number of comments they may make within a certain period, perhaps three comments a month (or maybe two per week). This way we could see what a variety of people are saying and your service would become far more meaningful.
    Thank you for your attention to these questions.
    Anne Impellizzeri

  133. I agree with both of Anne Impellizzeri’s comments, and wish to make an additional suggestion: limit word count for submissions to this section. If whoever is writing cannot say what they need to say in less than 300 words (the NY Times allows 150 words), then the author should submit the piece as a contribution subject to editorial review. An open editorial policy may simultaneoulsy encourage guest writers and good writing.

  134. I also agree with Anne and Joe. This makes me wish for an “agree” button option instead of having to comment on every post that I agree with.

  135. Dear Anne, Joe, and Joanne,

    Thanks a lot for your suggestions. I agree we need to make tech, format, and policy improvements. We’re working on’em and hope for a better forum soon.

    Meantime, I keep pleading for our commentators to speak to others as they would be spoken to, and respect the views of others as they would like their own to be respected.

    But ‘blog-speak’ seems to have exploded from the internet like some noxious big bang whose gaseous fallout reaches even to Philipstown.

    Please hang in there and thanks for helping us get better.


  136. The village election is upon us and as Americans we can look to the wisdom of the nation’s first president, George Washington, for guidance. A man entrusted to lead this nation during a very delicate and crucial time in terms of it’s development. His acts as a inspired leader are numerous and they established the foundations for the great nation which we now live.  

    Perhaps one of his greatest acts of leadership was his refusal to serve past 2 terms. He knew that a Democracy is best served by a change in leadership.  This truth applies at all levels of government in a democracy, be it federal, state, or village.

    Anthony Phillips served this village well during his years of leadership, but there are incidents during the last few years of his tenure which illustrate the truth to Washington’s insight. This village has benefited greatly in the last 2 years from new leadership.  

    We have had honest, approachable, open and fiscally responsible government, why would residents want to put an end to that?  

    There has been a lot written and discussed regarding the Federalists as of late in our village thanks to the PCNR. The Federalists respected Washington’s wisdom enough to make him the symbol of the party though he was never a member.  

    When voting on Tuesday, the residents of this village should also embrace Washinton’s wisdom. Continue to move Cold Spring forward and re-elect Mayor Gallagher.

  137. Is something happening to the Butterfield Hospital site? If so, have town or village authorities been consulted. The Cold Spring Farmers’ Market has just been informed by the mayor (who indicated that he had been given no explanation) that the site will not be available for the Market this year.

  138. I wrote this in defense of funding for the National Writing Project and want to share it with you. If you are so inclined, please contact your representatives and ask that they reinstate federal funding for the National Writing Project.

    Teachers teach, writers write. That’s what I believed before I participated in Puget Sound Writing Project’s Invitational Summer Institute. As a teacher of writing, I wasn’t ineffective. I worked in a low income Seattle Public School, and my students were doing well enough for the Assistant Principal to recommend me for the Summer Institute. My mission was to bring back strategies from the writing project. I accomplished my mission and so much more. I was pressed to learn about myself as a writer. I wrote, and wrote daily. For one month I participated in writing groups and opened my writing to comments from colleagues. It was difficult, and I began to understand how my students feel about writing in school. My writing and the writing of teachers grade-levels pre-kindergarten through college became the basis of an inquiry that created community, listened attentively and challenged us to answer questions that focused our work, both as writers and as teachers. Additionally, we learned classroom strategies from each other, researched and presented reports on writing, and built a community of resources that remain my most valuable teaching tool. I participated in PSWP in 2005, and I can still contact any of the teachers in my cohort and bounce ideas, ask questions and gain insights into teaching.

    Several years ago, I moved to the Hudson Valley. My Seattle network was still in place, but I wanted a local community of teachers to work with. I found Hudson Valley Writing Project in New Paltz and participated in another Summer Invitational Institute. It was not like taking a class over again. The nature of the professional development offered by National Writing Project model uses the expertise of participating teachers and guidance of dedicated staff to bring about a new and relevant experience that value teachers as researchers of their collective work.

    Because of the work that I have done and continue to do with the Writing Project, I now recognize developing writers are more capable of writing than I once believed. Our Kindergarten, First and Second grade students all write for a variety of purposes. They identify themselves as writers, and this year our students chose the name, The Authors, to identify their group.

    This work has also opened the door for my participation in developing writing curriculum at the district level for Seattle Public Schools, working as a Teacher-Consultant for both Puget Sound and Hudson Valley Writing Projects, and has encouraged me to use my voice and pen to advocate for children, teachers and the teaching of writing.

    Funding of the NWP assures that a highly effective process that allows teachers from all areas of the US to connect in an influential dialog about writing and learning continues to grow. I have participated in many other professional development opportunities, all had something useful that I brought back to my classroom. None offered the ongoing support to ask questions and grow beyond the initial information learned. NWP is unique in this most important way. Please reinstate funding for NWP.

  139. This is the opportune time to reform the Legislature’s member item process. While this year’s fiscal crisis has precluded member items, officially known as discretionary funds, in the 2012 Budget, member items will resurface when the State’s finances have rebounded. When that time arrives, we must have a system that is equitable to all communities and inspires public confidence.

    The trouble with member items is not the funds themselves, but how they are distributed. Many organizations use member items for purposes that benefit their communities, such as a homeless shelter or senior citizen meals program. The process is flawed; the political party in power controls the distribution of member item funds so that the legislators in the majority party have a disproportionate amount of funds to dole out, despite representing the same number of New Yorkers. Since there is no standardized criteria, and member items are wholly dependent on an individual legislator’s level of power and discretion—it often leads to conflicts of interest, and unfortunately, scandals.

    We have introduced legislation (S1681/A855) in the 2011 Session that addresses the problems plaguing the distribution of member items.
    The Galef/Serrano legislation establishes a system that puts member item funding above politics, minimizing the possibility for corruption.

    Our legislation eliminates the current system, which is based on legislator largess instead state agency staff expertise, and often benefits the larger, long-established organizations to the detriment of the smaller, newer ones. The current system is replaced with one ensuring that member items are distributed to community organizations based on the needs of all New Yorkers—not just those living in the districts of powerful legislators.

  140. Keep Philipstown Safe for Democracy

    Neither the right to bear arms, nor the right to free speech, is unbounded. Just as you aren’t allowed to shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater, you can’t bring handguns to Haldane, or carry them on your next commercial flight to Miami. The proposed ban on weapons at the Philipstown Town Hall, already in effect when court is in session, is no different.

    Some have asked why the Town’s proposed ban on weapons on Town properties is needed. It’s a fair question. The need exists because of the overwhelming triumph of the NRA in flooding this country with hundreds of millions of handguns, and ensuring that even the most sensible restrictions — to prevent madmen from acquiring such weapons at gun shows, for example — cannot be enacted. The need exists because of the political climate, where an uncivil fringe seeks to intimidate the rest of us with their display of arms, where pistol packers even showed up at political rallies in the last national election. The need exists because of the slaughter of citizens at a peaceful gathering held by a congresswoman in Arizona.

    On April 7, those opposing the proposed ban on weapons on Town properties will gather from far and wide to protest at our Town Hall. They promise to bus in people you don’t know to tell you that people you don’t know should be allowed to carry weapons that will scare your children at the Philipstown Rec center and chill debate at our public meetings. The organizers have thoughtfully asked the protesters to leave their guns at home. Yes, peacefully expressing their opinion is their right. But their cause is wrong.

    Keep Philipstown safe for democracy. Support the ban on weapons on Town property!

    Michael Armstrong
    Cold Spring

  141. It’s all politics. Everything in the world is politics. War, oil, drug’s, cop’s, lawyers, doctors, Insurance,gun’s, your job and yes freedom of speech. This country was won with gun’s and sent the english back to the queen.You can’t stop gun’s you can’t stop people from doing harm to one and other. If soneone has it in there mind to use a gun be it a hand gun or long barrel, law’s rules and regulations will not stop them. I just hope if soneone does go postal at an event some pistol backing mom or dad pulls it out and drop’s the nut dead.I think i’ll move to Texas.

    Gun owener for 30 yrs
    Tom Nastasi

  142. Dear Editor,

    A recent trend in Village politics is proving to be quite worrisome. It seems that since the March election, when Mayor Gallagher won re-election, that a few members of volunteer boards (the Recreation Commission and Comprehensive Board in particular) have been being denied spots at the table, due to their political viewpoints during the recent election cycle. These individuals include a family member of the challenger to the Mayor, an unsuccessful candidate for the office of Trustee and another supporter of the challenger to the Mayor that have been told that their spots on the Rec and Comp Boards will no longer be open to them. Furthermore, a large portion of the Recreation Commission have resigned in protest.

    I ask the Mayor simply, why?

    In a time when volunteers are at a premium, why would Mayor Gallagher arbitrarily dismiss volunteers who have given literally dozens and in some cases literally thousands of hours of volunteer expertise to the Village?

    I can only draw the conclusion (and this is my opinion) that it is politics, and once again cronyism at play. It will be curious to see whether these now “vacant” seats will be filled with faces and names familiar to the Working Village Group who so vehemently supported the Mayor’s re-election bid.


    “If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about the answers.” – Thomas Pynchon

  143. Arthur Warren, you area breath of fresh air in the political cesspool that now overflows in Cold Spring. I believe you speak the truth even though I do not know you, I don’t need to know who you are.

    It seems to me that the Obama/Pelosi “We Won” mode of government has hopped on Amtrak and traveled from Washington to Cold Spring after it “took a shellacking” in the November elections. No longer welcome in D.C., it is now residing somewhere in the Village. We know who plays the Obama role and everyone has the luxury of choosing their own Pelosi, I know who gets best supporting actor vote from me.

    Fear not Arthur, we have been through this before in Cold Spring. The old axiom “everything that goes around, comes around” will prove itself true before long.

  144. I choose not to be a part of destructive gossip.

    Roger and Elizabeth Ailes and the PCNR saved our church from closing. Had it not been for the articles they ran (many times on the front page). I would not be the Pastor of this great Church because it would be closed.

    Mister Ailes was there to support me by attending my first service at the church. Not to mention how kind Mr. Ailes was at the holidays. They are people like you and I with a wonderful son they are raising in our community. We are talking about people who have feelings.

    We say we live in a great community? Then where is all this hostility coming from?

    I think people really need to know how much they give back to our community. Whenever we have to raise money for a new project in the community they are the first ones to give no questions asked! When I approached them to help with the Relay for Life a generous check was at my house the next day and the adds were run for free by the PCNR! I don’t need to mention the Fourth of July fireworks.

    There are many people in our community and service organizations who the Ailes support that you will never hear about. I for one am glad they are my friends and I stand by them. I find them to be kind and caring and honorable people. So let’s not tear our neighbors down.

    I am one person in this community that hopes they never get so hurt by all this pettiness and want to leave.

    Let’s be a positive force for doing great things in our community and work together!

    I am praying unity in our community,

    Pastor Tim Greco

    Church on the Hill

  145. Removed From Special Board
    by Catharine J. Square

    At the Village Board Workshop on April 7, 2011 I was removed from the Comprehensive Plan Special Board, a board I volunteered for more than two years and spent 100’s of hours; missed maybe two meetings. Yes when need be I was aggressive, questioning, challenging and eager. That’s democracy. Agree and/or disagree and move on. My challenging and eager nature and fight will continue everyday for all residents.

    Why were we removed? Why weren’t we notified? This removal went forward without consideration or conversation with Marshall and me from the Chair, Michael Armstrong nor Vice-Chair, Anne Impellizerri. Marshall Mermell and I were removed by a vote of 3 — 2 (Gallagher, Falloon and Campbell voted for removal), (Hustis and Serradas voted against removal). Marshall was the original thinker and member of this infamous and controversial board for the last 5 years. I believe I was the 4th continuous serving volunteer member.

    Let me say this—ever since I voted against the comprehensive plan, I have felt retaliated against for no apparent reason other than disagreement with many aspects of the comprehensive plan and voting against it. This is bad leadership in my opinion. Good leaders apply forethought, compassion and sound judgment to try and bring people together, rather than tear them apart and divide. Our common interest should be the “love of our Village.” Leadership is born not just from a set of tasks and promises, but by a way of thinking and behaving that gives one tools of good leadership, without tricks. Good leaders are always willing to learn and question their assumptions and not single out or attempt to destroy because one dissents.

    There were rumors put out by certain government officials during the election period, which I chose to ignore at the time, that my race and gender is a factor in my run for Village Trustee. This should give one pause—to believe somehow, that same thinking has manifested itself into the decision to remove me from the Comp Board. I truly hope this is not the case, but things are beginning to point in that direction.

    In the January 27, 2011 Comprehensive Plan Section 1.11 Objective Support Volunteerism in the Village. Objective 1.12 Increase citizen engagement with local government.

    Volunteerism, REALLY! Why would anyone want to volunteer for anything if dissention, disagreement, challenges or not tolerated, without fear of removal from boards, committees, etc. Sure the Village Board has the right to remove for no reason, but the professional thing to do is communicate with that person. Unfortunately this removal without reason has happened to others, the Recreation Committee. Just How long will we let a government that pretends to be inclusive, transparent and open be tolerated? We have to begin again working together as a community. This vindictiveness and divisiveness has to stop.

  146. Ms. Square,

    Though I do not know you well, I supported you and Anthony for Election. I do not care for Mr. Gallagher and his politics. With that aside, I am deeply saddened by some statements made within your letter here and in the PCN&R.

    You make mention of the rumors regarding your race and gender and how that may have somehow motivated Mr. Gallagher to remove you from your position. As much as I disagree with the Village Board’s actions, I cannot disagree with your statements more. You were not the only person removed, nor the only person who they attempted to remove. It is my understanding that not only were you (an African American woman)removed, but Marshall Mermell (white, male)was removed and they attempted to remove Anthony Phillips (also, a white male). You had a completely valid and logical argument for being removed unfairly and then ruined it with this ignorance. Sadly, you have now given their arguments against you validity. You did not lose your bid for Trustee or your position on the Special Board for any reason other than politics.

    As a lifelong resident with a long family history here, I am disappointed that Cold Spring has given you the feeling that race or gender could hold you back here. As I am sure many people have made you feel more than welcome here, most of us “Springers” do not see color, gender, or ethnicity, just people.

  147. I agree. Ms. Square you have been embraced by this community just as much as you have been dismissed by those who voted against you.
    It is disheartening that those who deem themselves progressive do not embrace you.

    You as I have read in the literature and watching the download of the debates, are the embodiment of what this country can produce. You are a young black educated independent woman who has a mind and speaks with conviction.

    But then that is the problem, you are independent and you have a mind.

    Too bad the Village Working Group has not been able to embrace you. It appears that your independent thinking is a threat to the communal hive.

    God bless,

    Maj. N. Justis

    Ps. Who is John Galt?


    Ms. Judith Rose, under suggestions to Philipstown brings very smart arguments to the table when she speaks of the Haldane and Garrison School systems.

    Why does this town of less than 10,000 residents have two school systems, two superintendents, multiple principals, tremendous over head, benefits, two and three of everything etc? Consolidation is an important key to springing life back into this town and to restore the tax base.

    Easy solution. Consolidate the schools. Eliminate the redundant waste. This strangle hold will be yet another nail in this community’s coffin.

    Governor Cuomo should visit and then explore why we are siphoning so much money down the tubes and into the Hudson. There is enough refuse floating off of our shores.

    It would be refreshing if both school boards would reach out to each other and had an open meeting to discuss the benefits of merging the school systems. People would not have to lose their jobs as some union reps would have you think.

    What ever the case, we are bloated and we need relief.

    Why is the Philipstown Board not asking this tough question? This is a town wide service and a town wide issue that impacts everyone. If addressed properly it would benefit everyone.

    Town Board is intent on promoting a town wide fire district, yet it ignores the obvious. The true savings is in combining the school systems. A town wide school district makes more sense, it is practical.

    There would be far more savings in the school systems as the schools can combine their resources and become a truly superb school system.

    The cost savings there far out way the so called savings to go to a town wide district.

    Philipstown would get a bigger bang for the buck by promoting and seeing that the Schools were brought together. Garrison – kindergarten to 6th grade, 7th grade to 12th at Haldane…

    Think of it, your kids could now all get a hot meal and not be served lunch at 9:30 in the morning.

    Where is our leadership, they should be tackling the hard core money issues that everyone complains about SCHOOL TAXES.

    That will really impress all of us.

    Maj. N. Justis

  149. Hopefully people have seen the concept drawings of Marathon, Dockside and the village garage to be discussed at the LWRP/Comprehensive Plan meeting this Saturday. If not, you can see them at:[email protected]/sets/72157626534524963/

    I have to agree with Judith Rose, whose letter is in the Land Use/Zoning comments area of this site. The board has again ditched much of the research and analysis that was done earlier in the process and created a new vision of what the public wants. No-one at the forum on the Marathon site last year suggested putting the village garage in the middle and surrounding it with dense mixed use development including, as was reported in this paper, “residential development … commercial and office space to small retail, apartments and possibly three story buildings.” What people did say over and over was to protect the ridge overlooking the marsh, yet the drawing shows four big houses on the ridge.

    The other overwhelming concern of people at the forum was the impact of additional traffic coming into the area. Perhaps the board has a surprise up their sleeve for attendees at the meeting on Saturday and will unveil a grand plan for a new vehicular access route. Hopefully they will also demonstrate how a development like the one in the drawing would be tax positive, since this was one of the “guiding principles” noted in the draft plan.

  150. While we have just undergone a “study” to see if Volunteer Fire Companies should consolidate to save taxpayer’s money, why are we not seriously looking into consolidating Philipstown’s 3 school systems. Not only are properties in Philipstown supporting Haldane and Garrison schools, we are also paying taxes to the Lakeland School District. Why not fund one school district with our school taxes? Consolidate to save money and form a more unified community.

  151. I thought you had to give your name before any comment would be published. Maj. N. Justis is more of cartoon heros name than a real person.

  152. A correction on the article where I spoke to the Mayor concerning the Boat Club at the Village Meeting last Tuesday evening.

    I stated that Mark Patinella and Roger Chirico Jr. brought in an individual from Beacon , the application stated that he was a resident of Garrison .I challenged the Board in October about the fact the application was false and I followed up in November by providing several pieces of evidence showing where this individual actually resided and further stated that the Village of Cold Spring was promised when the new lease was initiated some 12 years ago that new members would limited first for village residents and secondly to residents of Philipstown.It is in the By Laws.

    Mr. Patinella then told the members present that the Mayor told him that he, the Mayor, would like to see some residents of Beacon as a Member. I have continued my objection to this member, however due to due to the statement made by the now Commodore,Mr. Patinella . Some members have said ” why bother, the Mayor has no problem with it !”. Therefore my presence before the Village Board last Tuesday night, was to determine if the Mayor had actually said it. The Mayor confirmed that he had not.

  153. Is anyone else confused by the banner over Main Street advertising a “July 3 Community Day”?

    Is a celebration being put on by the community for the community?
    Or a PCNR public relations event to which the public is invited?

    If the former, which part of the community thought it appropriate to link the PCNR – and it conservative agenda – so strongly to the identity of the community as a whole?

    If the latter, who gave permission for a paid advertisement to be displayed in such a way that it suggests community endorsment of the event?

  154. Mr. Birn,

    I believe I saw on one of the televised public meetings (or perhaps heard it somewhere) that Mayor Gallagher made the announcement that he had secured a donation for the fireworks from the PCNR / Roger Ailes. Pretty standard (and honorable) to have a respected individual from the community stand up and foot the bill for the rest of us. Pretty patriotic as well.

    I for one thank Mayor Gallagher for approaching the PCNR, and if it connects Philipstown with the PCNR’s “conservative agenda” I thank him for that as well.

    I’m pretty sure if the Working Village Group, the Church Street Coalition, or the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding had dug deep in their pockets and made a donation to cover the fireworks, that they too could have a banner over Main St.


  155. AW, good point. No one else is willing to put forth and offer to give back to their adopted home on a year in and year out basis. One local family and local business continuously makes the effort. Alas, they are of the wrong political persuasion. For that they are chastised, but their money is still good.

    AW, for all of the talk behind the so called Working Village Group, the Church Street Coalition, or the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, Old Albany Post Road Society, Chris Davis and his many factions – Hudson Highlands Land Trust, associates at Open Space Institute, Glynwood Institute, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

    What would happen if the PCNR decided to curtail its annual contribution. A subsidy that the Village government has come to expect without shame. If you doubt this, look at what has been budgeted for the last three years? Why, becuase the Village board expects it like a lollipop.

  156. is aware of the stolen vehicles, and we are looking into the reported incident, including confirmation from the sheriff’s office. Once we have verified our information, we will be posting this story.

  157. Kudos to everyone who took part in preparing for hurricane Irene, from Bruce Campbell, to the fire department, village highway crew and town highway crew, everything went like clockwork. In my 60+ years in this community I don’t think I have ever seen anything so well planned and executed. Thank you everyone, you did a great job and deserve praise from everyone in this community.

  158. What happened to the election campaign finance reports? Were they filed? What do they tell us?

  159. To our neighbors and friends in the Town of Philipstown:
    Your local American Legion Post and VFW would like to ask your help in a project we feel would be good for the whole community. We’ll need hands-on volunteers, but most of all we will need the voters of Philipstown to convince our Town Board that this is the right thing to do.
    What your veterans are talking about is the small house which the town owns behind the Town Hall. With the people of Philipstown’s help, we would like to obtain the house for a wounded warrior. We know the support this community gives veterans and if we can make this happen we would be given a veteran who has sacrificed more than time for his or her country, but has been wounded to a point that makes it a lot harder to move on with your life.
    Our community is located in an area where services to help with these problems and the support of the people of Philipstown will make it much easier for our veteran to move on with his or her life and come to love our town and people as your veterans do.
    The veterans will be putting petitions in some of our businesses and ask that residents sign these so we can bring them to the Town Board to show our support for a great project.
    Please help, and thank you,
    Tom Kivel
    American Legion Post 275
    VFW Post 2862