Claverack, New York


Sheffield, Mass. — Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation and Berkshire United Way invite nonprofit, business, government and civic leaders to attend “Collaboration for Results: The Principles and Practices of Collective Impact,” a capacity-building workshop with John Kania on Thursday, November 3 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Crissey Farm, 426 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, Mass.

Collective impact is a methodology that brings people together from different sectors to develop a shared agenda for achieving social change. Kania and Mark Kramer, of nationally recognized consulting firm FSG, were first to articulate this powerful approach to tackling complex social problems in a 2011 article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review.

By studying their clients around the country whose collaborations were making progress on a large scale, Kania and FSG identified five key elements that enable success where other collaborations fail: a common agenda, a shared measurement system, mutually reinforcing activities, continuous communication and a backbone organization. Collective impact initiatives are underway—in the U.S. and abroad—to address a wide variety of issues, including education, health and health care, animal welfare, homelessness, poverty reduction, and youth and community development.

The event, part of Berkshire Taconic’s popular annual “Seminars in Nonprofit Excellence” series, will feature a keynote and Q & A, as well as panel and small group discussions. Tickets are $40 per person; breakfast and lunch are included.

Registration is now open at http://www.berkshiretaconic.org/seminar.

Support for this event is generously provided by Berkshire Bank and Greylock Federal Credit Union. New York nonprofits will receive a 50% discount, made possible by a generous grant from the Dyson Foundation.

About Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation
For nearly 30 years, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation has built stronger communities and helped donors make a difference through charitable giving in northwest Litchfield County, CT; Berkshire County, MA; and Columbia County and northeast Dutchess County, NY. Each year, the foundation distributes over $8 million through grants and scholarships to nonprofits and individuals in the arts and education, health and human services and environmental protection. Berkshire Taconic is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity. You can make a difference. We can help. http://www.berkshiretaconic.org.

About Berkshire United Way
Berkshire United Way has served 26 towns throughout Berkshire County for over 90 years, mobilizing the resources necessary to address the most pressing issues and lead the way to a thriving community. As part of a global network, we focus on creating lasting change by giving parents the tools they need to be partners in their child’s success, leading to healthy decision making by youth and resulting in a successful, stable life. For more information about Berkshire United Way, please visit berkshireunitedway.org.


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Claverack, New York


Join the Columbia Land Conservancy for an event celebrating National Trails Day on June 4.

Tree Planting Party at Siegel-Kline Kill
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
1452 Garage Place Road, Ghent
Help us plant native trees and shrubs along the Kline Kill to provide food and shelter to birds and animals that live near the stream. This will be an ongoing project – if you enjoy it and want to do more, please let us know!

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Claverack, New York
Ian Nitschke


It’s almost the last chance to see some of the 20,000 Dutch daffodils planted in the Claverack hamlet, and beyond, in honor of our Dutch heritage and the 300th anniversary of the founding of the Reformed Dutch Church of Claverack.

While you are out don’t miss the 5,000 Dutch tulips in full bloom today (April 21) planted on the hillside next to the church on Route 9H (see link).

The official celebration of the 300th anniversary will be on May 22.

The photos provide a small sample of the Claverack daffodils that have bloomed in the hamlet.

Photo 1 taken April 15 of the Reformed Dutch Church hillside on Route 9H
Photo 2 taken April 13 of the Church Parish House on Route 9H
Photo 3 taken April 18 of the Veterans Memorial at the crossroads park
Photo 4 taken April 13 of the Harmon Miller grounds on Route 9H looking north
Photo 5 taken April 13 of the Cornelius S. Muller grounds on Route 23B
Photo 6 taken April 16 of the William Bay House on Route 23B

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Claverack, New York

A band of local poets came to Camphill Ghent recently on their first stop in Columbia County visiting libraries, eldercare facilities and hospitals for free poetry readings. The Poetry Caravan will return to Camphill Ghent on April 11 at 11 a.m. for a second reading in the Culture Hall, 2542 Route 66 to read and share poetry with residents. The event is free and open to the public.

Local poets Joanne and Steve Auerbach, Phyllis Schlesinger, Jean Tate and Bill Resnick are part of the caravan, which was founded in 2003 with the support of the Greenburgh Arts and Culture Committee. Original compositions and favorite poems will be read and shared, according to resident coworker Richard Steel, a poet and writer who leads a weekly poetry group at Camphill Ghent.

Camphill Ghent is a not-for-profit organization that offers independent and assisted living options for seniors. Its mission is to care for and celebrate the special strengths and needs of individuals in their elder years. For more information, go to http://www.camphillghent.org.

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Claverack, New York
Business/Growth | Environment | Politics/Government
25 February 2015 04:15PM
Vince Pecoraro

Educator Brian Howard, 65, died Friday at Albany Medical Center from injuries suffered from a fall while clearing snow off his roof the day before, according to Troy Board of Education member Tom Mayo.

Howard served as interim superintendent for the Enlarged Troy City School District for two years.

“He did a great job for the district, a fantastic job,” Mayo said. “This was a tragic situation.”

Link to full story: http://www.columbiagreenemedia.com/chatham_courier/news/article_b91195e4-bd03-11e4-bc7a-af2514cfc828.html

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Claverack, New York
Enid Futterman-2


If Governor Cuomo closes Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, as he promised, and as he should, say on Christmas Eve 2015, the supply of power to New York City will still be greater than the highest possible (and highly unlikely) projected demand for peak loads for the next twenty-five years.

I went to the meeting at the Churchtown Firehouse today expecting Gidon Eshel to make a good case against Governor Cuomo’s self-described “Energy Highway” of monster power lines, and he did. In fact, he made a great case. But I wasn’t expecting to have such a good time.

Dr. Eshel, Bard College professor, environmental physicist, and owner of a home in Milan, a thousand feet from an existing power line, spent over 350 hours of his own time making detailed and painstaking calculations, using the most conservative possible assumptions, and wrote a report that he doesn’t expect anyone (except maybe Ian Nitschke, who is also a physicist) to read. Which is why he “watered it down” (his words), to make it clear, fascinating, conclusive, and dead funny. But he was dead serious about our rights as “citizens, residents and taxpayers.”

Eshel’s work, the only transparent assessment of actual need, has already been vetted and supported by other, independent scientists, but before he grabbed hold of the stage, Ian Solomon, leader of Farmers and Families for Claverack, thanked the roughly two hundred farmers, families, neighbors, officials and candidates (Didi Barrett, Brian Howard, Pete Lopez, and especially the Claverack Town Board, which has been “out front on this issue” from the start) for our “sense of community and justice.” And Will Yandik, of Farmers and Families for Livingston, Livingston Town Councilman, and fourth generation family farmer, cited the 2100+ public comments received (and ignored) by the Public Service Commission, reminded us of why we were there and why we are here in the Hudson Valley, and gave Eshel an introduction worthy of his CV.

The funny bits were Eshel’s asides, but believe me, humor doesn’t hurt when you’re trying to digest facts and figures on population density, climate change, and energy consumption, except when you’re also trying to take photos and can’t keep the camera still because you’re laughing out loud.

So, again, with NO MONSTER POWER LINES, and no Indian Point, NYC will have more supply than demand for power for the next twenty-five years. In fact, the demand gets lower as time goes on, but supply remains the same.

That’s incredibly good news, and you really need to know, but the reasons why are interesting, even for science-phobes, so here you go:

Fact: The need for transmission of power to NYC was simply assumed by the Public Service Commission, which has no intention of studying the issue until much later in the process.

Fact: Projects in the (metaphorical!) pipeline, already planned and approved would provide 10,000 megawatts of power. (For a little perspective, Indian Point Nuclear Power Station generates 2,000 MW.)

Fact: The rise in population in NYC is plateauing now and is predicted to taper off (by the Cornell Center for Applied Demographics.)

Fact: The rise in energy consumption in NYC started slowing in 2005, and is now declining.

Fact: Young adults use more electricity than the middle-aged, presumably because they have young children. But NYC isn’t getting any younger. Just the opposite.

Fact: The real problem in NYC is overuse of inefficient air conditioners on hot afternoons. And yes, the hot afternoons are getting hotter, but once the temperature hits 90 degrees, we all hit the on button anyway, and the difference between 90 and 100 makes no difference.

Fact: Monster power lines from one centralized power source make the grid more vulnerable to failure or attack, and consequent massive loss of power.

Fact: The PSC calls the plan green, because it uses wind power. But the wind power it uses is north of Albany, and the further power has to travel, the less efficient it becomes. Not to mention that a world-class source of wind power exists off the coast of Long Island. It’s not only not green, it’s dumb. (One of the biggest laughs: “If you want to rob a bank, you go to a bank.”)

Fact: Energy banks surround our country. Within 150 to 200 miles of the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, there is enough wind power to supply the entire country.

As Eshel would say: End of story. And now, as Milan and Livingston attorney, and former engineer and industry insider Dan Duthie said, we just need to direct the governor to the off-ramp on the energy highway.

Dr. Gidon Eshel
Ian Solomon
Will Yandik
Gidon Eshel and Laila Eshel
Dan Duthie
Stephanie Sussman

(See above link to the Hudson Valley Smart Energy Coalition and http://www.farmersandfamiliesforlivingston.com, and http://www.facebook.com/farmersandfamiliesforclaverack to find out how you can help.)

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