copake connection

October 2013

October News from Copake 


Copake Connection is an online newsletter brought to you by members of  the Copake Hamlet Revitalization Taskforce with the generous assistance of Copake resident Karen DiPeri.  This Newsletter will publicize community events throughout the Town of Copake and will be published once a month, on the 15th of the month.  The newsletter will be distributed to anyone who wishes to subscribe.  Simply click the mailing list icon below.  


If you wish to submit an article or notice regarding a community event taking place in the Town of Copake to the Copake Connection, please e-mail:  All submissions should be received by us by noon on the 11th of the month.

In This Issue
The Great Bicycle Ride
High Wheelers Return to Copake
Election Day
Copake's History
Ramble Highlights
Farmland Protection Committee Report
Board of Ethics Committee Report
String Music
Zumba Fundraiser
Conference on Farming Seeking Exhibitors

High Wheelers Return to Copake


On Saturday October 19,  the Copake Auction will  hold an auction featuring antique bicycles from the Pedaling History Bicycle Museum Collection.  The Auction is the third and final session in the sale of the Collection and is the last opportunity to view and purchase items from this historic collection.


On Friday October 18, antique bicycle enthusiasts who are visiting Copake for the Auction will set off on a ten mile bicycle ride through Copake.  The ride, which has become a tradition in Copake, will feature numerous penny farthings and other antique bicycles.


As part of its initiative to promote bicycling in Copake, the Copake Hamlet Revitalization Task Force is inviting spectators to view the ride, and local bike riders to join the ride.  


The ride will leave the Copake Auction at 3:00 p.m.  Members of the Task Force will help direct riders as they bike down Main Street to the Clock, and then onto Church Street.  The ride will proceed south on Route 7A to West Copake and will take a left onto Four Corners Road.  From there the riders will ride to Wiltsie Bridge Road and  up Wiltsie Bridge to Empire Road.  The ride will return into Copake on Empire Road.  The ride  passes by the Clock and returns to the Auction.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 5th

Your vote makes a difference!


Election Day is approaching.  These "off-year" elections may seem unimportant, but your town government can have a direct impact on your life.  Candidates for election are listed below.


Town Councilperson

Matt Cain - Democrat, running on the Democrat line.

Jeanne Mettler - Democrat,  running on the Democrat, Republican, Working Families, Independence and Conservative lines.

David Pacencia - Republican,  running on the Republican, Conservative and Independence lines.


Town Justice

Brian Herman - Democrat,  running on the Democrat and Working Families lines.

Glenn Schermerhorn - Republican, running on the Republican, Independence and Conservative lines.



Chapter 414 Proposition to establish a Town Budgetary Allocation for the Roeliff Jansen Library.  For more information, please go to


For more information on the elections, please go to

 Chapter 414 Proposition
On Tuesday, Nov. 5, the Roe Jan Library will be asking voters in Ancram, Copake and Hillsdale to approve higher levels of taxpayer supported funding for the Library. The proposition will appear on the back of the ballot.

Howard Van Lenten, president of the Board of Trustees, says the Library is seeking $30,000 from Ancram, $55,000 from Copake and $42,500 from Hillsdale, all at the same tax rate of $9.50 per $100,000 of property value. Van Lenten says, "If approved, this level of support can't change unless voters decide to do so."

Current level of support: Today, Ancram donates $5,000 annually to the Library on a voluntary basis. Under a ballot provision approved in 2004, Copake voters' annual allocation is $37,000, and Hillsdale voters provide $24,000.

"Most local libraries are funded more than 70% by local taxes." says Van Lenten. Pine Plains is 93% funded and North East Millerton is 73% funded by their own taxpayers. The Roe Jan Library receives only about 34% of its operating support from local taxes," he says, "and this will rise to only about 55% if all three towns' propositions pass."

Since 2004, items checked out annually is up 79% to over 40,000; annual visits are up 242%; and program attendance is up 539%. Over 150 volunteers contribute over 8000 hours a year doing everything from staffing the checkout desk and setting up for programs, to managing the website, raising funds, and maintaining the landscape plantings.

There will be Informational Meetings where your questions can be answered.
October 19th Saturday - 10am - At the Library
October 29th Tuesday - 7pm - Copake Town Hall

Back by Popular Demand, Slide Show on Copake's History at the Roe Jan Library


If you missed author and local historian Howard Blue's standing room only and widely talked about slide show presentation on Copake's history in July, you have another chance to experience it.


Blue will do a repeat performance, again at the Roe Jan Library, on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 4 PM

The program is based on interviews with local residents, many of whom shared old photos of the town and its residents from their family albums. Blue's talk will include such history gems as the 1840's agrarian revolt in Copake, the town's unusual aeronautical history, three local former horse racetracks, and ice harvesting in town. He will also discuss some of Copake's colorful and fascinating residents: from a rattlesnake hunter to the wealthy Henry Astor, who lived in West Copake in the late 19th century. The Great Blondin's 1858 high wire walk across Bash Bish Falls and the Copake-related artistic productions of Depression-era

photographer Walker Evans and Hudson River School painter John Frederick Kensett are also on the program.


Blue is the author of Words at War (Scarecrow Press, 2002), a book about World War II-era radio broadcasting. For that and other projects he interviewed Arthur Miller, Art Carney, John Eisenhower, Bud Lewis (the copilot of the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima), and two Nobel Prize winners.  Howard wrote his M.A. thesis in History on the power position of former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev; decades later he interviewed Khrushchev's son, Sergei. In the 1970's he produced a slideshow about a tiny village in the Rhineland in Germany, and several years ago in Hudson he produced a dramatic program on the theme of his book. He has an active Copake history Facebook page:

First Annual Roe Jan Ramble Bike Tour

 Seventy five riders turned out to enjoy a beautiful day of cycling in Copake on September 22, 2013


The Bike Tour, which was sponsored by the Town of Copake, was organized by the Copake Hamlet Revitalization Task Force.  After the ride, Chair Roberta Roll said, "It was a beautiful day, the riders had a wonderful time, and this event has helped move us further toward our goal of making Copake a biking destination in the Hudson Valley."  


The event attracted 41 riders from Copake as well as 8 riders from Ancram and 11 from Hillsdale. The other riders came from other areas in Columbia County as well as Long Island, Westchester, Orange County and Connecticut.  The shortest route was 2.1 miles (around the block) but riders also enjoyed a 10 mile route and a 25 mile route.


The ride was free and each rider received a T-shirt.  The local businesses which contributed to the cost of the shirt were: Copake Auction, Inc., Brad Peck Inc., Church Street Deli, Copake Country Club, Copake General Store, Copake KOA, Copake Lake Realty Corp., Copake Sunoco, Ed Herrington, Inc., First Niagara, Herrington Fuels, Jim's Auto Body, KeyBank, Newman Residence,  and Passiflora Home.


Local businesses also participated in a "Wristband Bonus" program.  Each rider was given a wristband which, when shown in local stores, entitled the rider to discounts and free food. The businesses which offered bonuses were Copake General Store,  Dad's Copake Diner, Copake Sunoco, Church Street Deli, Copake KOA, The Farmer's Wife, Depot Deli and Bash Bish Bicycle.  


The Copake Revitalization Task Force received generous assistance from a newly formed Copake Bike Team.  Members of the Team are:  Jim Fahey, Melissa Hermans, Jerry Kraus, Gary Lewis, Peggy Lewis, Jeanne Mettler, Carol Powers,Chris Quinby,Jon Strom and Ed Werfelman .


Roberta thanked all businesses which participated and made it clear that her group has more plans.  "We will be planning more rides and expect to draw more and more cyclists to Copake to experience the beauty of this area and all that we have to offer."

 Photo Credit:  Chris Quinby

Roe Jan Ramble Shirts for Sale


Shirts from the First Annual Roe Jan Ramble Bike Tour are available for sale at Bash Bish Bicycle for just $6.00.   

Report from the Farmland Protection Committee


By Edgar M. Masters, Co-Chair


The Farmland Protection Committee continues to meet the fourth Tuesday of each month at the Town Hall at 7 PM. The public is encouraged to attend these meetings. A survey of farming in our Town, prepared by our consultant, Nan Stolzenburg of Planning Better Places, has been mailed to our farmers and agricultural land owners, and we encourage all recipients to please respond as soon as possible in the stamped envelope provided. As our Committee studies farming in Copake, we need your input and recommendations. Your response is vital.


    At the request of the Town Board and the Land Use Committee, we have been discussing the issue of processing poultry and small animals on farms in our Town. This is a complicated issue with Federal and State regulations, residents' concerns, and farmers' needs. While these matters are still in open discussion, it appears that our Committee will recommend a limited processing change to zoning for fowl and small animals.


Co-chairs of the Committee are Dr. George Beneke and  Edgar M. Masters.  Members of the Committee are:   Lia Babitch, Marcia Becker, Ejay Eisen, Christie Hegarty,  and William F. Kiernan, Jr.  The Town Board Liaison is Jeanne E. Mettler.

Report from the Copake Board of Ethics


All residents of Copake should be aware of the town's Ethics Code and the Board of Ethics.  The entire code is available on the town's website*,  Standards of behavior and specific ethical violations, such as complaints of nepotism, discrimination, or conflicts of interest, are described in the Code.  All elected officers of Copake, all salaried employees, and all individuals appointed to positions by the Town Board are obligated to act ethically, in a manner consistent with the Ethics Code.


Any citizen of Copake may make a complaint to the Board of Ethics.  Such complaint must be in writing and may be left in the box in the entryway to Town Hall or in the Board of Ethics' mailbox in the town clerk's office:            


Remember: it is your Code and your Board.

Leonard Barham, Chair, Board of Ethics


*Ed. Note:  At the time of publication, the Town's website is still under construction.  When the new site is up, which is expected in early November, the Code will be available there.

Final Leaf Peeper Concert for 2013

String Music from Three Centuries    

October 19, 2013                            

7:30 p.m.                                 

St. James Church, Chatham


All six, three-part Preludes and Fugues of Bach, KV 404a  as composed by Mozart, the        

Trio in B Flat Major by Franz Schubert,  the Serenade in C Major for Violin, Viola and Cello by Ernst von Dohn´┐Żnyi  will be performed by Sanford Allen, violin; Daniel Panner, viola; and Fred Zlotkin, cello.


Tickets for Leaf Peeper Concerts are $20 per performance or $70 for a series pass. Students and children get in free when accompanied by an adult. Tickets may be purchased at the door or online at They may also be reserved by emailing or calling 518-329-5613. 

The performances are made possible (in part) with public funds from the Decentralization Program of the NYS Council of the Arts, administered through the Community Grants Program by the Greene County Council on the Arts, and in part with funds from the Alexander and Marjorie Hover Foundation, Inc. 


Taconic Hills High School  
16th Annual Craft Fair and Bake Sale 

Date:  Saturday, November 2nd, 2013
Time:  10:00 am - 4:00 pm 

Great Food | Silent Auction | Children Activities | Pictures with Santa

To Benefit the Taconic Hills High School, Class of 2014
Zumba Fundraiser

Exhibitor Registration Open for 
Forum on Farming  

Now entering its third year, Farming Our Future has established itself as an important conference for the Northeast Region, attracting farmers, businesses, community leaders and engaged citizens in the topic of farming.


Our 2014 conference focuses on strategies and ideas for ensuring farms will continue to be in our region for many years to come. Speakers and workshops will cover topics related to accessing locally produced food, attracting and getting youth interested in farming as an occupation, thoughts on farm transfer and tools to train beginning farmers.


Exhibitors can register now online on our website:

For additional information on exhibiting or attending, please contact Karen at 518-329-0890, for sponsorship information, please call Steve Hadcock at 518-828-3346 ext 106 or log onto the website.  


We hope you will join us Saturday, February 22nd 2014 at Taconic Hills Central School District for a thoughtful discussion of where our food will come from in the future.

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The Copake Connection is not an online newspaper;  therefore we do not publish editorials or letters to the editor.

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