The goal of this newsletter is to share a bit of local news and shine a spotlight on the interesting things that are happening  in Hillsdale and nearby.


"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

The veterans who march on Memorial Day are quick to remind us that they're marching to honor the fallen, not their own service.  They tell us that the real heroes are their friends who did not come back.  And they hope that  young citizens like Landon, above, lining up here to ride in the Copake parade, will grow up to honor the silence of their friends.

Photo below: The Taconic Hills Band, led by TJ Russell, playing for the crowd at the Memorial Day parade in Copake.  Next year, the parade moves back to Hillsdale.

The Friends of East Gate unveiled an historic marker at the East Gate Toll House on Route 23 in Hillsdale on May 19. Funds for the marker were provided from The William G. Pomeroy Foundation's Historic Roadside Marker Program. In addition to the Board of Trustees, in attendance were Hillsdale Town Supervisor Peter Cipkowski, Rick Howland, Legislative Aide to NY State Senator Kathleen Marchione, and Copake Falls resident Edgar Masters, whose generous donation allowed the Friends of East Gate to acquire the building in 2016.

Both Consolidated/Fairpoint and Charter/Spectrum have been actively installing fiber cable in our area. At this point, only Charter/Spectrum has announced its initial roll-out plan. Here's what we know:
  • If you are an existing Charter cable TV customer in Hillsdale (or in Ghent, New Lebanon, and Austerlitz), you need to swap out your existing cable box for a new unit on June 5 to continue to receive service. We are informed that the old box won't work after June 5, and the new one won't work before that date. The new receiver box can be obtained by calling Spectrum customer service at 833-856-0704. We are told that the replacement box will be sent directly to existing customers at no cost for "self-installation." 
  • It is unclear if, at the outset, the upgraded service for existing Charter customers will include either broadband or telephone service options or will be limited to upgraded cable television service.
  • If you are not an existing customer but wish to sign up for Spectrum service - and believe Charter/Spectrum has run one of its new lines past your address - you can call that same number (833-856-0704) on or after June 5 and, theoretically at least, order new service. Again, it is unclear whether broadband or telephone service will be available initially.
  • Charter/Spectrum still maintains a look-up tool at where potential new customers on streets and roads not currently served by Charter's existing system can enter their address and see whether Charter/Spectrum intends to provide service to such address. Note, however, that we are informed that the results obtained using that tool do not represent a firm commitment from Charter/Spectrum to actually provide service to that address.
Photo below: Andrew Dash (left), chair of Hillsdale's Broadband Committee, answered questions at the Flea Market on May 26. Representatives from the Harlem Valley Rail Trail (right), Hillsdale's Conservation Advisory Council, Roeliff Jansen Historical Society and Friends of East Gate were also available.

With a unique location in the beautiful Roeliff Jansen Park, Hillsdale's summer youth program puts an emphasis on nature and the great outdoors.   The 2018 summer program is open to children ages 5 to 13 and runs from July 2 through August 10. 

At $100 per student for six weeks, some families can not afford the additional fees needed for field trips and certain activities.  Your contribution can fix that.

The 2018 program leaders would like to surprise every campers with several new nature-oriented and agricultural programs and field trips this summer - open to all.   Please consider making a tax deductible contribution to support additional programming and ensuring that all campers can participate.  Make your check out to the Roeliff Jansen Park, and mail it to Supervisor, P.O. Box 305, Hillsdale, NY 12529.  Write "Support Summer Kids" in the memo.

Photo below: The Hillsdale Fire Department's water supply drill in action captured by Joanna Virello in early May.

The retirement of the CAC's charter member, former Chair, and inspiration, Ruth Dufault, has left an opening that the CAC would like to fill soon. Much of the CAC's work is currently involved with creation of the Hillsdale Natural Resources Inventory (see below), and this is an opportunity for someone with a strong interest in studying and conserving Hillsdale's natural resources to participate in that. In addition, the CAC continues to conduct its work doing research and making recommendations to the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals and Town Board on matters related to the development, management and protection of Hillsdale's natural resources. Information on the CAC generally and how to apply for the position can be found ­here.

The Copake Hillsdale Farmers market opened on Saturday in the Roeliff Jansen Park.  More than 1,200 folks came through.  The market is open every Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm all summer long.

A shopper from Great Barrington sent this email to Hillsdale Town Hall on Sunday: "We can't get enough of the Roe Jan Park so thank you Hillsdale for making it available to us.  Though we enjoy the trails and views all year long, we love the farmers market and look forward to it all winter.  It didn't disappoint us on opening day.  There isn't a farmers market around that's more affordable, has more choices, or is more beautifully situated on an actual farm!"

To the Roe Jan Library Survey Participants:
On behalf of the library, the Community Outreach Committee would like to thank you for your thoughtful participation in our recent survey. Your input has been invaluable and the library has begun incorporating some of your suggestions. The data you provided and your comments and suggestions will aid us as we prepare our plans for the future. We hope to make the library even more useful to everyone and an even better destination.
We greatly appreciate your participation and your willingness to share your email with us. We may contact you in the future to further help us in our planning.  Once again, please accept our sincerest thanks.
On Sunday, June 3, beginning at 10 am, the annual 5K gets underway at the beautiful Roeliff Jansen Park to raise funds for local scholars at Taconic Hills.  Pre-register for $20 or for $25 on the day of the event.  Please contact Joe Raco at (518) 929-9960 if you'd like to participate or volunteer.  Or just mail your pre-registration check, made out to "TH Dollars for Scholars," to Joe Raco, PO Box 593, Philmont, NY 12565.
Runners, walkers, teams, and cheerleaders welcome!  Don't want to walk or run?  Come and watch or volunteer your time for a great cause!
All proceeds benefit Dollars for Scholars and scholarships that honor the Titans we've lost.

The 2018 Roeliff Jansen Community Library Gala, "A Party in the Park", will be held on Saturday, June 9 from 5 to 7:30 pm at Roeliff Jansen Park.
A highlight of the evening will be a tribute to Carol Briggs.  As library director for 46 years, Carol Briggs was the face of this library, guiding and inspiring tens of thousands of patrons. She led the way as the library moved from date cards to barcodes, card catalogues to computers, from being all about books to being a community center.  Carol is known for her quiet warmth and sense of humor, for the books she recommended, and the hundreds of volunteers she trained and motivated.

Hillsdale's first meeting of its Safe at Home Committee meets on Monday, June 11 at 3 pm at Hillsdale Town Hall.    The committee's primary objective will be to (a) identify the many resources available in our communities that can help our neighbors stay safely at home and (b) to get the message out to the folks who can benefit from helpful services.
Please consider joining Joyce Lapenn and others on this important new committee. All welcome!
The Hillsdale Conservation Advisory Council (CAC) will host a public meeting on June 14 at 7 pm at the Hillsdale Town Hall to introduce the town's Natural Resource Inventory (NRI) project. Everyone is invited to learn about and add to the NRI project.

The NRI is intended to be a practical reference for Hillsdale residents, landowners, developers, municipal agencies, and others interested in caring for the land and water of the town. It will compile information about and explain the significance of, for example, the town's landforms, streams, groundwater, good farmland soils, habitats, plants and animals of conservation concern, and places of scenic and recreational value.

At the June 14 meeting, consultants to the town-planner Nan Stolzenburg and mapping specialist Rick Lederer-Barnes-will present the NRI project and draft maps of our resources. You will have a chance to review and comment on the preliminary maps, identify places of special environmental or scenic importance throughout the town, and contribute other information to the project from your own knowledge of the land. All are invited to attend the meeting, and light refreshments will be served.

You can get more information about the NRI from the CAC webpage on the Hillsdale Town website, or by emailing [email protected].

The NRI project is funded by a grant to the town from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund through the Hudson River Estuary Program of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.

Photo below: CAC member Gretchen Stevens, Russ Immarigeon, and CAC chair David Lewis review NRI materials at the Flea Market. 

Thanks to the big bike auction at the Copake Auction House, the Roe Jan Ramble, and our region's spectacular countryside, these parts have become increasingly known as beautiful biking county.   Hillsdale's Little Apple Cidery is hosting a free biking event on Saturday, June 16 from 1 to 4 pm.

This cycling afternoon is open to all, non-competitive, and includes easy (6 miles), moderate (8 miles) and energetic (17 miles) self-guided loops on Hillsdale's back roads.

Begin at the Cidery on Orchard Lane in Hillsdale, NY - plenty of parking.

Photo above: David Vincent on his bike (on what is now the Town Hall parking lot).  More Vincent family photographs of old Hillsdale here.  If you have old family photos of life in Hillsdale back in the day, and you're be willing to share, we'd love to make digital copies!
On August 11, the Hillsdale ArtsWalk celebrates the vibrant art community in our area.  Enjoy art in many forms: fine art, heirloom furniture, pottery, handcrafted jewelry, professional photography, mixed media compositions, sculpture, watercolor, stained glass, metalwork, woodcraft.  Artists will be set up under tents in the Hamlet as well as hosted indoors by several businesses on Main Street.  Run by local volunteers and not for profit, the event is designed to give artists a venue to share their work.  Email [email protected] for more information.

Back for its third year as one of the most tantalizing evenings of the summer, GRILLSDALE proudly spotlights the bounty of Columbia County, Dutchess County, and the Berkshires-featuring some of the best grilled small plates from top restaurants, chefs, and purveyors from the area.  Saturday, August 25!

Thanks for reading this newsletter.  If you want to promote your upcoming event on the calendar (or share an old photo), I'd love to hear from you.
Peter Cipkowski, Town Supervisor and Town Crier