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.

Town Board Meetings
The Town Board meets the second Tuesday of the month at 7 pm. The next meeting is Tuesday, October 8.  All meetings of the Town Board and its committees are open to the public. 

Submission of any requests for inclusion on a town board agenda must be received by the Town Clerk no later than the close of business on the Wednesday immediately preceding the meeting.


Photo above:   Another sign has been installed to identify an historic Hillsdale cemetery. Located on Pill Hill, just north of the intersection of State Routes 22 and 23, it is second in a a series of signs researched and created by our cemetery task force. The first installation was the sign at Old Orchard Cemetery on Old Town Road behind the Firehouse. Next to go up will be Krum Church Cemetery on Wolf Hill Road.

Photos below: Several Hillsdalers have recently directed me to a  photo archive that includes dozens of Roe Jan area photos from the 1950s and 1960s. The particular photos shown below were taken in 1957 and show local dairy farmers at the bottom of Anthony Street blocking access to the Hillsdale Co-operative. Let's hope our town historians pick up the story!

Information Workshop for Seniors and Caregivers
A free Workshop for Seniors and Caregivers will be held on Saturday, October 19, from 10 am to 12:30 pm at the Hillsdale Fire House, 9387 NY Rte. 22, Hillsdale, NY. Snacks and a light lunch will be served.
The Workshop, sponsored by the Town of Hillsdale's Safe at Home Committee, will comprise a comprehensive source of information for seniors and caregivers, featuring approximately 15 providers of senior services. These experts will answer questions and provide written materials and contact information covering such topics as:
  • real estate tax benefits for seniors
  • home health care services
  • no-cost phones for the hearing impaired
  • Alzheimer services
  • heating assistance
  • home safety
  • transportation
In a press release announcing the workshop, Joyce Lapenn, chair of the Safe at Home Committee, said that "the goal of the Workshop is to ensure that seniors get the knowledge they need to remain safely at home, and services that will ensure the highest quality of life. The Workshop is also very timely," said Lapenn, "since it coincides with the Medicare Annual Open Enrollment period."
Two speakers will make presentations. Kate West, an experienced case manager with the Columbia County Office for the Aging, will give a talk that will help seniors make important decisions about their Medicare coverage.
Also featured will be a talk and Q and A on the topic of long-term care by Claire Parde, Executive Director, The Health Care Consortium.
The October 19 Workshop is funded by a grant from The Fund for Columbia County of the Berkshire Taconic Foundation.
For more information about the Workshop, please contact Natalie Kahan at 518-265-2113.
Historian's Blog: James Agee in Hillsdale
James Agee was a commanding literary voice in mid-20th-century America: an extraordinarily versatile writer who in his lifetime won acclaim as a novelist, poet, and screenwriter. He is buried on a farm in Hillsdale.

Read the complete blog entry.
Sneak Peak: Natural Resource Inventory
This map shows four distinct watershed districts in Hillsdale as well as the more prominent streams within each district. This is one many maps that will be included in Hillsdale's Natural Resources Inventory that will be published later this year by Hillsdale's Conservation Advisory Council. 

2019 Roe Jan Ramble Report
Congratulations to the Roe Jan Ramble organizers for another groundbreaking year. Here's their report:

Our 7th annual Roe Jan Ramble on Saturday, September 21 was very successful. We had our largest turnout since the Ramble was started: 581 riders, which was a 40% increase over last year. Great weather and a cooperative volunteer spirit made it an enjoyable day, and it seems it is becoming an important community event for the Roe Jan area. 
Here are the top-line numbers:
  • 581 riders (up 40% from last year)
  • 42 volunteers (coming from all three towns)
  • 62.5 miles of routes ridden through all three towns
  • 45 local business sponsors contributed over $3,000 to cover the event
  • $19,545 in donations to the Harlem Valley Rail Trail Association (earmarked for use in the three towns). We will continue soliciting donations through October 31.
  • $2,333 in net proceeds from lunch to the charity Community Christmas Baskets Ltd, working with the Roe Jan Food Pantry to feed needy families during the holidays.
Vote Early in 2019
This year, for the first time, New York State voters will be able to cast their vote at a polling place, in person, prior to Election Day. 
The bill authorizing so called "early voting" was passed in Albany last January.
According to the  website of the Columbia County Board of Elections, there are three locations in Columbia County for early voting including Copake Town Hall at 230 Mountain View Road in Copake. The other locations are County Building, 401 State Street, Hudson, NY and Martin H Glynn Municipal Building, Valatie, NY.
The dates and times for early voting are posted on the Board of Elections website.
Voters registered in Columbia County may choose any of the three locations at which to cast their vote. Unlike an application for an absentee ballot, the voter does not need to state that they cannot vote on Election Day.
If a voter chooses to vote early, he or she is not eligible to vote on Election Day, which is Tuesday, November 5, 2019. On Election Day, voters who have not voted early will vote at their usual polling place.
Become a Poll Worker: The Board of Elections is always looking for qualified voters to serve as Poll Inspectors.  It's a great way to earn a little extra money while responding to your community's need. Please contact them if you are interested.
Grant Adds New Children's Books to Roe Jan Library
The Roeliff Jansen Community Library has 97 new children's book thanks to a Children's Book Project grant award from The Pilcrow Foundation. The Friends of the Roeliff Jansen Community Library supplied the matching funds, raised through sales of used books in their bookstore. Mr. Hal Berenson and Mrs. Laura Ackerman of Colorado donated a number of math and science books through the foundation. 

The Pilcrow Foundation, founded in 2013, recognizes the importance of public libraries in rural communities, where they are often the center of the community and a place for people to learn and share ideas. To support these vital community institutions, The Pilcrow Foundation provides new, quality, hardcover children's books to libraries across the United States. The Roeliff Jansen Community Library was one of only 74 rural libraries throughout the country to receive the award this year
Volunteers Wanted for Tax Preparation
The Tax-Aide Program is a free tax preparation service for all members of our community. Local sites for this service can be found in Philmont, Hudson, and Valatie. These sites are open one or two days a week from February 1 through April 15.

We are looking for volunteers with the following skill sets:
  • TAX PREPARERS: to work directly with tax payers to complete their tax return.
  • CLIENT FACILITATORS: to welcome taxpayers and help organize paperwork (minimal tax knowledge required).
  • TECHNOLOGY COORDINATORS: to manage computer equipment.
  • LOCAL COORDINATORS: to manage the tax preparation site, volunteers, and schedules.
  • COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATORS: to help recruit new volunteers.
To become a volunteer you will need to register for the Tax-Aide Program. You can register here . In the upper right of the window click on "Volunteer with AARP Tax-Aide" link and follow the instructions.

If you have any questions, please contact Noel Fair, the Columbia County AARP Tax-Aide Local Coordinator, at  [email protected] .
Thanks for reading our newsletter.  If you want to promote your upcoming event on the Hillsdale calendar, share an old photo, or write an article or two, I'd love to hear from you!
Peter Cipkowski, Town Supervisor and Town Crier