Dear Pine Plains, 1.18.19

Dear Pine Plains,

All morning I sat in the supervisor’s office fielding phone calls from the press about the life of Shannon Smith Kent, a native of Pine Plains, a decorated Navy cryptologist stationed in Syria, who died in the attack there. I dearly hope I took some of the chaos off the shoulders of her wonderful family, her mother a friend and fellow writer and teacher, her father head of State Troopers in our region. We are so heartbroken about this loss. But what a life she led. What courage and vitality it took for her to live so far away in such a dangerous place and find the kind of important work that few ever get to do. How much a product of this particular place and her parents she was. The town of Pine Plains will miss her. Flags are flying at half mast in her honor.

This week, we held our Re-Organization meeting for the year as well as our Town Board meeting. Catch the film version. It will keep you on the edge of your seats.

The ice rink is already popular with many skaters. It’s down at the recreation fields opposite the beach. We are closing in on lighting for the area too. If you have any old skates to donate, we are gathering them to distribute to growing kids in an exchange program. We will ask people to use them until they don’t fit anymore then exchange them for the next sizes if we have them, thereby keeping a bank of skates in perpetual loan-out.

We passed the creation of our Solar Law Task Force, and held a workshop meeting with the town board to gather their feelings about solar power in and around Pine Plains.

Look for a public Workshop meeting on a possible nuisance law that would pertain only to the hamlet and off-road vehicles in back yards. The Town Board wants input from townspeople on this.

In the meantime, Lisa Baker was in town on Tuesday for breakfast at the Platter to discuss the Carvel Development. New redesigned plans are expected to arrive about a year from now.

With renewed energy, we will strive to write grants this year for economic development drivers such as a community septic system for our downtown, beach repair, and lake preservation. We dream of affordable housing and town hall re-located to our downtown every day. There is so much to do!

We are expecting 6-12 inches of wet snow this weekend, so tuck in for being unable to get out. As this will be a long weekend for the King holiday, I suggest a visit to the library for a pile of books. (And Peck’s for popcorn!) Speaking of the library, look for some exciting news on our work with the library in conjunction with the Pine Plains Memorial Hall. Think Pine Plains Pop-Up Learning!

And stay upright on those skates, Pine Plains!

Darrah Cloud