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Dear Pine Plains 5.14.21


Dear Pine Plains,

This week I popped into the Pine Plains Pharmacy to ask Nasir how the vaccinations were going. I was curious as to how many people he has vaccinated in his one-man attempt to get Pine Plains vaccinated. As of the beginning of the week, he had vaccinated 2843 people with the help of numerous volunteers, most of them your neighbors here in town. Given the fact that at the last census, we had a population of 2504, and that we know people came here from other towns to get their vaccinations, he figures he has covered about 43% of the entire town. (No children in that figure). Given that early on, before he got permission from the County to proceed, many people got their shots elsewhere, the percentage is probably much higher in terms of people vaccinated here. I was reminded of an article I’d read by Atul Gawande about a single doctor in India who rolled out the most effective vaccination program in their history and was able inoculate the entire country against polio by forming groups of local people to go out and give the vaccine to their own towns. Now of course, there is a different story going on there. But Nasir’s accomplishment remains historic and significant here. There is no way to adequately thank him for this. Please try.

There remains disagreement between agencies studying and governing the pandemic, and I know that people are frustrated by the mandates versus common sense, science versus paranoia. But it is imperative that people follow the rules set up for whatever establishment they go to with pride rather than anger. Your rights are not being taken away: you are helping us lower the rate of infection and that is a huge accomplishment by all New Yorkers truly working together. Be a part of this. Going against it leaves you out. And look what we’ve done: things are opening up because all of us wore masks, socially distanced, were careful with each other and did the right thing for everyone. We took care of each other.

Don’t forget that the Garden Club has changed their Plant Sale to the 22nd, 9-12 at the American Legion/VFW building on North Main Street. The sale benefits the Club and all they do to Plant Pine Plains.

The Library Book Sale will take place as usual on Memorial Weekend.

And the Memorial Day Parade will take off at 10:30 Monday the 31st heading up 82 to the clock tower, then on to Evergreen Cemetery. This is a very dear tradition in Pine Plains, and with all the new flags for Hometown Heroes, the town will be out in its finest for the parade. Alice brought 20 more photos up to the printer last week, in the hope that we will get them back and up for the parade. In addition, the Convoy driving around Dutchess County will come through town in the early afternoon.

It’s Grant Season and all the opportunities are back after a year of total absence. Some of these grants are as much as 40 pages long and very complex. Grants are the only way a small rural town can achieve anything, especially one like ours which has no revenue to speak of. We are lucky to live in Dutchess County where we have our own grants program, small but mighty. The State’s is bigger and badder, and far more difficult to accomplish. But nonetheless, we are now in their sights—they are aware that Pine Plains is here and needs grants for improvements. We have received 5 grants since 2018. Hopefully more to come.

The Recreation Program is off to a great start with a re-vamped softball/baseball program and many plans to keep improving it over the next few years. Camp sign-up is underway through Family ID. They are working on a 5-year plan that includes improvements to fields, a new playground, and a beach renovation. Again, it will take grants to get these things.

It’s frustrating how slowly government moves in order to get anything accomplished. We plod away with energy and courage, a band of citizens committed to making the town the kind of place that can give a future to our children.

Push on, Pine Plains!
Darrah Cloud

Facebook: Pine Plains Town Hall