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Dear Pine Plains 4.16.21


Dear Pine Plains,

Last night we approved the final phase of the Town Park Redesign. It includes a fountain and a pergola and it will be really beautiful. Our committee of designers is well-versed in Pine Plains weather and flora. I feel that the town deserves a beautiful place to sit, and with maintenance, this will be a real gift. As you know, the money for this was left to us by one Edward Kinsser, who gave it to us in his will. It was strongly suggested too that we make this committee into a regular committee to help handle maintenance and oversight of the park. Let us know if you are interested.

Arbor Day is virtual this year! Tune in April 27th for a lively discussion on trees and their care. See the end of this letter for info.

May 1st is the dedication by our Little Nine Partners Historical Society of the historic marker to commemorate Jacob Bowman who built the opera house that is now Pine Plains Pharmacy. The ceremony will be held in front of the pharmacy at 11am and features Thayer Durrel repeating his performance of Jacob from the Cemetery Tours. Mark your calendars!

May 27th, the Zoning Review Committee will meet again to look at draft zoning changes. These meetings are on Youtube at Town of Pine Plains videos.

I want also to report on the Pattern for Progress Fellows Program which the town board sent me to as a Fellow. The subject this year is Institutional Racism, and the time in class every two weeks has been invaluable to my understanding of how one can create a policy which actually promotes inequity. In our quest for more housing in Pine Plains, that becomes key. I have been put on the work-group that concerns Police Department relationships with citizens. Lots of great ideas are coming out of this and I can’t wait to share them after June, when the program ends.

This week we met with numerous business owners whose 32 buildings would comprise the recommended District for a small, innovative wastewater system.  Mainly, it is the businesses that comprise the Business Hamlet zoning in town. We made some more edits to the draft of the Study and will hold a public meeting on this hopefully sometime in May or June. Everyone will be welcome to come hear the engineers speak and ask questions.

Finally, a word about bike safety and your kids: it is actually a New York State Law that kids under age 14 must wear helmets, have a bell on their bikes, lights on both front and back, and operate their bikes in a safe manner. A lot of us think back on our own behavior once we got the freedom of having a bicycle, and operating it safely was not high on our lists of priorities. I certainly remember racing around and crashing into things without a helmet. Wheelies were a goal. It’s hard for our police to even want to enforce laws like this when we know how much fun it is to ride around on a nice day. So I’d like to ask the parents of Pine Plains to please take the time to talk with your kids about how to survive having a bicycle. There are often people on our local roads who don’t know them well, or are in a hurry, or are distracted, and god forbid they don’t see your kid losing control of a wheelie beside them. I understand that the adolescent ego is often tied to things like doing wheelies down Lake Road and jumping curbs on 199. Maybe we can figure out a place where kids can practice these kinds of fun things, but I have no ideas yet how we might do that, so for now, please keep your kids safe above all else. It is not long before they start driving and then the issue of safety becomes far more terrifying to everyone in town. I do not want to lose one more child to the roads here ever again.

This weekend many people will be out cleaning up the sides of the roads. Saturday is compliments of the Democrats, Sunday will be a teen group from the high school. Join us, or just bring us coffee.

Will work for cappuccino!
Darrah Cloud

Arbor Day this year is virtual. You can join the discussion of trees online as follows:

Arbor Day Virtual Celebrations
Ask an Arborist – live Q&A – 7 PM Tuesday April 27
How can you take the best care of your trees? What’s the right way to prune a limb? How do you know when to call a professional? And what is an arborist anyway? Join the NY Urban Forestry program and NY-ISA (international society of arboriculture) for a live question and answer session with certified arborists to answer these questions and more! This event is free but registration is required in advance:
Facebook live: Arbor Day Tree Planting – Village of Liverpool Wednesday, April 28 at 11:30 am
Join the Central NY (R7) ReLeaf committee for a tree planting in celebration of Arbor Day. The committee, in partnership with the Village of Liverpool and Cornell Cooperative Extension Onondaga County are planting a few trees for arbor day at the Liverpool Willow Museum and streaming the event live. (Weather date: Friday, April 30 at 11:30 am). Join the Facebook event to get a reminder:
Facebook live: Preparing to Plant a tree – Friday April 30, Time TBD
So you want to plant a tree on your property but you don’t know where to start? Join us for a Facebook live all about how to pick the perfect spot for a tree, all the things to consider, and what species to plant! We’ll talk about all the parts that come together to get the right tree in the right place!