This morning's Ithaca Journal has Briefly in Dryden, which lists grants made by the Dryden Youth Opportunity Fund, as well as a Golf and Walk fundraiser being held Monday to support Covenant Love Community School.
As I've gotten into local politics, one of my biggest worries is that too many people see themselves as just passing through, stopping by on a path that will hopefully lead them to the four-bathroom house with a not too horribly painful commute. A lot of young people seem to want to get on that path, if they haven't lived it already.
It took me a few years before I felt strongly enough that I lived here to engage with the Dryden community and its politics, but I know lots of people who never seem to put down roots. My first seven years or so involved a lot of travel - I spent three years in Seoul, South Korea - but I'm very glad my parents decided to buy a house and settle in Corning. After a few years of my own traveling I've ended up forty miles from where I grew up, and I'm happy to stay here rather than chase whatever opportunities might lead me from my one-bathroom bungalow to a four-bathroom McMansion.
I feel bombarded every day with suggestions that I should be striving harder and harder to make more, to go wherever I can profit the most. A lot of people seem to listen to those suggestions. I'd rather stay here, do what I'm reasonably good at, and learn from the people around me. Looking around, it does seem like a fair number of people feel the same way, and that gives me hope.
This week's issue of The Shopper has a notice for Democrats in the northeast corner of Dryden, as well as Groton and eastern Lansing:
Calling All Democrats
All Democrats in the 9th Legislative District are encouraged to attend a meeting on Thursday, June 2nd at 7:30PM at the Town Hall located at 101 Conger Boulevard (map) in the Village of Groton. Participants will discuss the nomination of a candidate to represent them in the Tompkins County Legislature. This district includes all of the Town of of Groton and Village of Groton, the east end of the Town of Lansing, east of Van Ostrand Road and Breed Road, and the portion of the Town of Dryden north and east of Malloryville Road.
Democrats in the Town of Groton and Village of Groton will also be discussing the selection of candidates for all Town positions that will be decided in this November's elections.
This meeting is an important opportunity to take part in the political process in your "own backyard", to voice your concerns, ideas and hopes for your hometown... or just come and listen.
If you have any questions, please call 898-5291.
The 9th District is presently represented by County Legislator George Totman.
The public notices page for June lists meetings for this month:
Unless otherwise noted, all meetings listed here are at the Dryden Town Hall (map).
Today's Ithaca Journal has a brief item on Mike Hattery's announcement that he'll run for the County Legislature. (I covered Mike's announcement on Casey Stevens earlier this week, which had a lot more detail.)
Ithaca College Professor Elia Kacapyr reports that Tompkins County's economic growth slowed in April after March's strong growth, though there were 800 more jobs in April 2005 than in April 2004.
It looks like both of Dryden's Democratic county legislators have opponents this, year, as W. David Restey announced his intentions to run against County Legislator Martha Robertson:
W. David Restey to run for County Legislature District 13, Town of Dryden
Taxes and Spending, Infrastructure Key Issues
W. David Restey, 62, who resides at 65 Sunset West Circle in the Town of Dryden, has declared his intention to run for the District 13 seat on the Tompkins County Legislature currently occupied by Martha Robertson.
Dave Restey, as he is known in the community, has lived in Dryden for 15 years along with his wife of 26 years, Beverly. They have three grown children and two grandchildren. He is employed in the Demographic and Lifestyle Segmentation Sales Department at Claritas at the Cornell Technology Park. Restey is a Vietnam-era veteran honorably discharged from the U. S. Navy. He is a member of the Dryden VFW and American Legion. His wife Beverly has been a Cornell University Trust Officer for the past 15 years.
Restey cites several reasons for his decision to enter the race for the District 13 seat.
Said Restey: "Like many other homeowners in this county I have become alarmed at the escalating county taxes driven by out-of-control spending fostered by the leadership of the current county legislature. It is my firm belief that the current majority, which includes my opponent, is seriously out of touch with most of the residents of this county in prioritizing the important issues facing the taxpayers and residents of Tompkins County. In the coming months leading up to the election I will make every effort to personally speak to every voter in the District."
Restey cites the following issues as some of the reasons for his decision to run:
- The alarming growth of county taxes and spending
- The need to prioritize county priorities and keep costs down
- The crumbling infrastructure of roads and bridges
- The inability of the county to resolve the issues with the county jail
Said Tompkins County Republican Committee Vice Chair Mark Finkelstein: "Dave Restey has received the enthusiastic endorsement of the Town of Dryden GOP and of the Executive Committee of the Tompkins County GOP. Dave will bring to the legislature his experience in serving the country and in his work in the private sector. He has a solid, commonsense approach to addressing the pressing issues facing our county: getting taxes and spending under control and attending to infrastructure that the current legislative majority has too long ignored."
I'll have more news about Restey as it appears.
This morning's Ithaca Journal has a brief item about Republican W. David Restey's announcement yesterday that he will be running for the 13th district county legislature seat against Democratic incumbent Martha Robertson.
In county news, Alternatives Federal Credit Union will release an updated set of figures for a living wage in Tompkins County today, based on 2004 data. In 2002, the living wage, "defined as the amount of money a single adult needs to support himself or herself without public assistance, while also being able to gather some savings," was $8.68 per hour for a 40-hour week.
One of the wilder things about the World Wide Web is that it's genuinely World Wide. This isn't always helpful - doing a Google search on "Varna" brings up a lot about Varna, Bulgaria. Sometimes it gets more interesting, though!
On Monday, I had an email from Jordan Todorov of 168 Hours, a weekly newspaper published in Bulgaria. He was looking for information about Varna, as it shares a name with the third-largest city in Bulgaria. I didn't have much to tell him about the name, though I think he reached other people who knew more, but he put up an article using some of the photos on this site.
Jordan said I could post the following excerpts, so here are three pages on Varna from 168 Hours. All of them are in Bulgarian, and the Cyrillic characters make it hard even to guess.
Even if I can't read it, it's very cool to see it. Anyone speak Bulgarian?
This morning's Ithaca Journal takes a close look at the Town of Dryden's repairing a badly damaged section of Sapsucker Woods Road. It's good to see an explanation in depth of road repair and the problems which demand it.
The Etna Community Baptist Church will be installing the Reverend Robert M. Doan as its pastor next Saturday. Doan has been interim pastor since March of last year, and I met him at last September's 200th anniversary celebration for the church.
In Darts & Laurels, the Dryden Sertoma Club thanks a large number of Dryden businesses and people for their support of the Sertoma golf tournament, which raised money for the Dryden Youth Opportunity Fund.
In county news, Alternatives Federal Credit Union calculated the 2004 living wage in Tompkins County at $9.18/hour, assuming a 40-hour work week and health insurance figured at the same rate as Alternatives employees. The Journal offers more details on the calculations.
The Village of Freeville is busy this morning, with a barbecue (sponsored by Freeville United Methodist Church), yard sales, and a quilt show at the church. There are still a few hours left to join the fun!
The barbecue is just chicken halves, $4.50 a piece, and very tasty, with lots of vinegar in mine.
The Dryden Courier has some of the deepest coverage of labor issues I've seen in a long time. The cover has pictures of the rally SEIU workers held May 25th at George Junior, and has a picture of the inflatable rat inside. Beyond the photos, it has two articles: a front-page article on the labor negotiations themselves, discussing the issues that led to a 118-1 rejection of a management proposal, and an interior article about the challenges of getting by on a low wage that features a George Junior employee.
All of it is well worth reading. I'll admit I'm still mystified by some of the financial questions, as George Junior (well, it's the William George Agency now) seems to keep claiming that the state insists they not pay their workers very much of what the agency gets. I'll have to do some research into just how far that argument holds.
Also, a number of Dryden residents are in the honors list for SUNY Cortland.
When we first bought our house, it was obvious that it needed a lot of work. We immediately stripped and refinished the floors throughout most of the house (and eventually added a layer to the livingroom floor). We had much of the electrical work and the plumbing replaced, though there's more to do. Two years ago, we did some major work on energy efficiency that's saved us a lot of money.
When we first did that, I asked about replacing the windows. Much to my surprise (and now to my happiness), the contractor said that replacing the windows would cost a lot and not have nearly the same return that the rest of the work we were doing would provide. So long as we used the storms correctly, there wasn't much point in replacing windows. (Yes, I know there's a huge industry devoted to making money by replacing old windows with extruded aluminum or vinyl. I'm happy to have escaped them, and Significant Elements seems to agree.)
This year's project has been painting, both interior and exterior. On the outside of the house, the bulk of the paint has been stripped since January, and I'd been planning to do some work on windows before the painters came back to finish.
Well, the painters are supposed to return Wednesday, and I've barely started on the windows. I'd pulled off the storm windows, and started stripping paint on some of the screen windows, as well as unstuck most of the upper sashes on the downstairs windows. (I haven't yet managed most of the the upstairs windows, though the back and one side window are casements that are also mostly painted shut.)
Yesterday, for whatever reason, I decided to take apart at least one window and see how it went. I picked a window on the side of the house which I knew had problems in its lower sash, and started taking it apart. With a (very helpful) copy of Terence Meany's Working Windows by my side, I removed the inside stops, which were mostly held with screws except where some past genius had decided to add nails (and split the stops).
Once the stops were off, I could remove the lower sash, pulling it forward, removing the ropes from the sides, and carefully letting the ropes roll back up to the pulleys. Now I could see the pockets for access to the counterweights, but I couldn't open the pockets, as the parting bead - a piece of wood that separates the upper and lower sashes - was in the way.
The parting bead is a piece of pine that's just pressed into a groove. Removing the upper sash means pulling the bead out of the groove. Unless you can get the upper sash all the way to the bottom, it also means breaking the bead and planning to replace it. (84 Lumber had plenty of it.) I broke the bead on both sides and removed it, which let me pull out the upper sash and open the pocket covers. I didn't need to do anything with the weights or ropes, but wanted to see what they looked like. At this point, I had a view through an empty window frame.
After cleaning up the upper sash a bit and clearing paint off the outer stops so it would move more freely, I prepared to put it back in. I put in the sash, and then started on the parting bead. To put the bead back in, the sash has to be lowered to the bottom, and then the bead gets inserted into the corner. I used a rubber mallet to get it all the way in, though it was more of a challenge going in than coming out.
Next, I focused on fixing the lower sash. Someone had put in screws, but they'd rusted while the wood rotted. I clamped the window back together and applied some wood hardener to the busted corner. After that had settled, I used some wood filler, with a few dowels filling the screwholes as well.
To re-assemble the joints, I tried out a pair of Miller Dowels, stepped dowels that seemed long enough to do the job and likely to have enough useful glue surface to successfully grip the bottom rail of the sash. It seems to work, but I'll report in a few years. If it doesn't work, I'll eventually have to replace the rail or the entire sash.
Re-inserting the lower sash was mostly uneventful, except that I realized that the parting bead has to be perfectly all the way in for the lower sash to move smoothly. A few more hits with the mallet fixed it, and I was able to reinstall the sash and the stops.
I also finished some work on a screen window for the kitchen. The house only has a few screen windows, but I'd like to get them installed. Unfortunately, the screens have had even less care than the storms, with many of the trim pieces rotted, the screens wrecked, and so on. I started with the kitchen screen because it's small, but I'm also working on the (vastly more intricate) screen insert for the front door.
The long-term plan, of course, is to do this for all of the windows in the house, getting them all working like they're supposed to.
I've put up a whole gallery of pictures of window removal and re-installation if you're curious. I started taking pictures after I'd begun taking things apart, but there's still a fair amount there. Hopefully it'll be useful to some readers, especially those contemplating replacing windows that can still be repaired. The window works beautifully now.
Following up on last Friday's announcement of a $9.18 living wage in Tompkins County, today's Ithaca Journal looks at three people's efforts to get by on wages at or close to the living wage, including two Freeville residents.
At the state level, Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton was appointed chairwoman of the New York State Assembly Legislative Task Force on Women's Issues by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and hopes to have the task force research "family health and nutrition issues" in particular.
Also at the state level, Jay Gallagher examines legislative process reform, and concludes that "Not much has happened yet on the legislative-reform front, but that doesn't mean nothing will happen." Some things did change in January, but I can comfortably agree with Gallagher that:
as the reformers noted this week, most of the changes made so far were low-hanging fruit. Neither the power of the majority parties nor the primacy of the legislative leaders has been touched.
Real change hasn't happened - yet.
Yesterday afternoon's thunderstorm knocked out power to 2,000 local people and damaged a convertible at American Homes on Route 13. Trees came down across the county, causing power outages and damage. The lights only flickered here, but I saw NYSEG trucks out later. Climatologist Keith Eggleston says the storm was fairly typical for the season, and that we should probably expect more.
This morning's Ithaca Journal takes a look at Saturday's upcoming Dairy Day, with a schedule of events and a photo from one of last year's floats.
Cathy Wakeman's Dryden Town Talk column visits the Dryden Disaster Partnership Group, "future visionaries preparing the community for any eventuality." They'll also have a booth at Dairy Day. Wakeman also notes that the Methodist Church will have barbecue at Clark's on Saturday, and the Intergenerational Summer Band and Chorus are getting ready for another year.
Briefly in Dryden mentions the Dryden Elementary School production of Aladdin, Jr., which will be performed Thursday and Friday nights at 7:00pm. Also, the McLean Fire Department has begun its annual fund-raising campaign.
In county news, Tompkins County signed a contract with its corrections officers, the first of four unions with which it is negotiating, but voted down $26,000 for the Tompkins County Public Library on a 7-7 vote. (The Journal didn't provide a breakdown of who voted for and against.)
Since the June Town Board meeting is tomorrow night, and I still haven't covered it, it's probably time to take a look at the minutes from the May meeting I did cover the statement from the fire department chiefs and the recreation survey, but here's a summary of the larger items of the rest of what happened.
Village of Dryden Mayor Reba Taylor came to address the Town Board on progress, or no progress, with negotiations over the future of the Cortland Road Sewer District. The Town and Village boards had met jointly last year, but progress since then has been slow. Mayor Taylor distributed documents on the state of the sewer system and prospects for extending water (389KB PDF, or 1272KB selectable), and encouraged the Town Board to work with the Village Board on sorting out these issues soon, since a new sewer plant is in the design stage. She also invited the Town Board to take a tour of the existing plant.
In addition to the recreation survey presentation, Recreation Coordinator Jennifer Staton gave her usual recreation report (44KB PDF, or 73KB selectable). The Board agreed to hire two summer employees and authorized performer agreements for this summer's concert series in Montgomery Park.
Town Attorney Mahlon Perkins presented a number of issues to the Board, including the abandonment of an old portion of Sapsucker Woods modified by the new building for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, findings on the Dryden Mutual Insurance annexation, which looked poised to go forward, authorization to sign an agreement with the Community Science Institute for Six Mile Creek volunteer monitoring, and (later in the meeting, after a five minute executive session) a labor agreement for the Bolton Point water facilities.
Zoning Officer Henry Slater introduced telecommunications consultant Jeff Kirby to the board once again, along with his findings on the town's existing cell tower laws. It looks like they'll be in for a streamlining, designed especially to encourage co-location of multiple antennas on fewer towers. Slater also presented a report on electrical inspections in Dryden (256KB PDF, or 822KB selectable) addressing concerns about recent faulty inspections raised at the last meeting. The board took no action at the meeting, but will look into it further.
The Town Board also asked that the Planning Board rescind its earlier approval of the Draft Comprehensive Plan and re-approve it with the minor changes they made, giving the board an additional 90 days to schedule a public hearing.
Environmental Planner Debbie Gross wasn't present at the meeting, but Zoning Officer Slater presented her material, primarily the Stormwater Report (548KB PDF) the Town is required to provide the state.
Gross will be moving to India later this year, which provoked some discussion at the end of the meeting about civil service issues and finding a replacement. They've advertised for the position and are taking applications until June 15th.
A number of issues were discussed briefly toward the end of the meeting:
This morning's Ithaca Journal has an introduction to Dairy Day complete with a schedule for Saturday's events. (Brenda Carpenter and Tricia Edgecomb were also on WHCU this morning discussing the festivities.)
There's also an article on summer road repair, largely about the county and citing Jack Bush on sharing equipment between highway departments.
County Legislator George Totman, who represents the northeast corner of Dryden in the McLean area as well as Groton and the eastern edge of Lansing, pleaded not guilty to DWI charges from a May 4th arrest.
On the opinion page, Carol Cleveland of Dryden writes about the lack of coverage of a British memo which shows that "the invasion of Iraq was a done deal before the administration started to mislead the American public into believing that Iraq posed some threat to us, and that Saddam was a bosom buddy of Osama bin Laden."
The Ithaca Journal builds on yesterday's write-up about Dairy Day with an editorial today encouraging people to attend tomorrow's festivities:
Dairy Day is, as the name says, a celebration of the deep agricultural roots of this region. And it is more than that. It is the antidote to insulting mass media images of agricultural life in our small towns. For two decades, Dairy Day has been a reminder of the best in a small-town American lifestyle that a big-city-obsessed nation too quickly forgets and too often mocks.
For that reason, as well as the parade and the ice cream, Dryden Dairy Day should be a stop on everyone's weekend agenda.
This morning's Ithaca Journal is quiet about Dryden, but a fire they list as Brooktondale happened on Snyder Hill Road in the southwest corner of the Town of Dryden. Also in that list, the SPCA gives tips for keeping pets safe in hot weather.
I wasn't able to take pictures of this year's Dryden Dairy Parade, as I was in it with the Dryden Democrats, but Tracey took some pictures she was willing to let me share.
I've posted a small gallery of her pictures if you'd like to see more, including both the Dryden Democrats and the Republicans.
I woke up uncomfortably warm at 1:20am to find my ceiling fan had stopped and the battery backup for the computers downstairs was beeping. All the lights in nearby houses were dark, as were the streetlights at the Route 13/366 intersection.
This morning at 6:47am, just as I was getting ready to go out and find some ice for the refrigerator and freezer, the fan started whirring again - power was back. NYSEG's web site doesn't tell me anything about service outages, and there's no sign of it at the Ithaca Journal either, though they don't update on Sundays.
If anyone knows why there was a power outage here last night when there wasn't a storm, let me know in comments, and I'll report it here. In the meantime, hopefully the power will stay on for a while!
I posted pictures of the Dairy Day parade yesterday, but I also took some pictures of the parade getting set up and of the festivities in Montgomery Park after the parade.
This morning's Ithaca Journal devotes a lot of ink to Cornell President Jeffrey Lehman's surprise resignation, but gets off campus long enough to take a look at Dairy Day, with an article and photos.
There's also a list of summer roadwork projects that includes both town and county projects in Dryden. (It appeared in Thursday's print edition as well.)
This morning's Ithaca Journal reports that the resource officer for Dryden schools, State Trooper Bill Danbro, received the Frank G. Hammer award yesterday for his quick response when a 12-year-old student was discovered missing from Dryden Middle School. A search found her at Pyramid Mall with a Staten Island man who has since been indicted on one count of enticing a minor to have sex and one count of traveling with the intent to have a sex with a minor.
Briefly in Tompkins repeats yesterday's story of arrests in a Todi's Pizzeria burglary.
The latest Manpower survey indicates that Ithaca-area hiring is set to climb in the next few months.
I should probably write about last week's Dryden Courier while it's still available on newsstands. The front page has an article about Town Councilman Mike Hattery's run for the County Legislature seat held by Mike Lane, as well as a picture of bicycle rodeo and a long piece recognizing retiring Dryden school employees. (Those profiled include high school assistant principal Larry Carr, kitchen worker Rose Fries, high school teacher Ray Borowictz, and elementary teachers Betty Pilato, Sharon Powers, Greg Nitti, and Jim Cherry.)
Inside, there's an editorial about claims made by a Republican running in Lansing for County Legislature which suggests that the Courier would like to see proof behind this year's political rhetoric, an extended section on Dairy Day (including a picture of Mike Lane in the dunk tank), and pictures of Dryden athletes Megan Stuttle and Amanda Christofferson in action.
I'd never planned to live in a white house, and the final coats of paint definitely won't be white, but my house has now changed from this brown:
As usual, I've posted a gallery of images, starting with a look at the house before they started this round of work. It's not captioned like the last set of exterior pictures I posted, but it starts with rot in some boards, and moves through Bob's crew from Perfect Painters scraping and priming the house, with some looks at Tom's carpentry, replacing sills and some other rotted boards, along the way. I especially like the pictures of the sash weights exposed from the outside and the back of our ancient sheetrock, which is apparently from Buffalo.Posted by simon at 12:05 AM Comment
This morning's Ithaca Journal leads with sad news: Christopher Ackley, a Dryden High School and BOCES student, was killed in a car crash yesterday on Lake Road. 13-year-old Scott Adams was also injured.
In happier news, there's an article on how the Dryden Youth Opportunity Fund's grants are providing new opportunities for kids in Dryden.
The first Briefly in Dryden lists a request from Patchwork, which is just across the town line in Groton, for volunteers to help with riding lessons and chores. There's also an announcement that McLean firefighters are starting a fundraising campaign, and a listing of Dryden Youth Opportunity Fund grant recipients.
The second Briefly in Dryden lists two chicken barbecues to be held in Varna next weekend, one at the Varna Volunteer Fire Company at 11:00am and another at the Varna United Methodist Church at 3:00pm.
In county news, the legislature's Budget and Capital Committee seems to have given County Administrator more flexibility in budgeting for a zero-increase target rather than requiring across-the-board cuts, though I'm not entirely sure from the article what the resolution actually did. County Legislator Martha Robertson voted for the resolution.
Also at the county level, the Board of Health supported a ban on most trash-burning, except for lawn and agricultural wastes. This won't take effect until after two public comment sessions.
Finally, in state news, New York State government proceedings may be coming to your television soon.
This morning's Ithaca Journal takes a closer look at Christopher Ackley's accomplishments as well as community reaction to his sudden death in an accident Tuesday. Ackley, a junior at Dryden High School, had received awards from BOCES and the Diocese of Rochester, and was co-captain of the swim team, and an Eagle Scout.
Viewing hours will be from 4:00pm to 9:00pm Friday at Perkins Funeral Home, with a funeral Mass on Saturday at 11:00am at Holy Cross Church. The school district will also hold a memorial service on Monday at 1:00pm.
Whether it was the rally, the 118-1 vote to reject an earlier contract, or an article about workers making less than a living wage, George Junior Republic management seems to have changed its mind about the terms they should offer their workers.
Workers voted by a four to one margin to accept the contract management offered after their May 26th rejection of an earlier contract. According to the SEIU Local200United press release:
Under the terms of the new contract, union members with more than one year on the job receive an additional 50¢ per hour in each of the first two years of the three year agreement. They will receive a 40¢ increase in year three. A key area of dispute was the employee contribution to the cost of health insurance. Thanks to the members' solidarity, the union committee was able to dramatically reduce the employers demand for increased contributions.
"Before, our average wage was $8.90 per hour. Under the new agreement, that average will be $9.20 retroactive to May 1 and will increase to $9.40 in November," said SEIU Chair Bob Lucas. On May 1, 2007 it will be $10.30 per hour. The Tompkins County Living Wage is $9.18.
This morning's Ithaca Journal reports that County Legislator George Totman has pleaded guilty to DWI and been sentenced to a weekend in jail, a $750 fine, a one-year conditional discharge, and a one-year revocation of his driver's license. (Update: Or not. The Journal corrects this to "one weekend in jail and a six month conditional discharge.")
The Journal also reports on the multi-year contract approved by George Junior Republic workers after years of often difficult negotiations.
Just to the west, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology is providing information on the ivory-billed woodpecker, including a series of steps to determine if a sighting is the ivory-billed rather than the pileated woodpecker.
The editorial page is devoted to negotiations between the Ithaca City School District and its employees.
Tompkins-Cortland Community College (TC3) will be raising tuition by $150 per student next year, continuing a trend from last year that President Carl Haynes isn't happy about - "a college shouldn't have to lean so heavily on its students."
More people are flying out of Ithaca, with Northwest adding a lot of traffic. (I flew Northwest out of Ithaca for the first time on Wednesday.)
It's been too long since I've published an except from George Goodrich's Centennial History of the Town of Dryden, so here's a piece about Jeremiah Dwight, one of Dryden's most successful businessmen and politicians of the 19th century.
Goodrich mentions a town in North Dakota named after Dwight, and sure enough, it's still there.
Jeremiah Wilbur Dwight.
Jeremiah Wilbur Dwight was born at Cincinnatus, Cortland county, New York, April 17th, 1819. He was the oldest son of Elijah and Olive Standish Dwight, and a direct descendant of John Dwight, who came from England in 1635 and settled in Massachusetts.
John Dwight founded a family which has produced, perhaps, as great a number of talented men who have distinguished themselves on progressive lines, as any man in this country.
Through his mother, Mr. Jeremiah Wilbur Dwight was a lineal descendant of Captain Miles Standish, who came over in the Mayflower in 1620. In 1830, Mr. Dwight's parents moved from Cincinnatus into Caroline, Tompkins county, and six years later, into that part of Dryden known as South Hill. His parents were poor and unable to give him an education except that afforded by the common schools. His necessities aroused his ambition. In 1838 he came to Dryden village and, for forty-nine years, was identified with her interests and history. He entered the store of A. Benjamin, to learn the mercantile business, and an incident connected with this real starting point in his life shows the strong characteristics which ever marked his subsequent career. He was a stranger, but, feeling the responsibility of aiding his father's family, he determined to secure a foothold. Six dollars, his savings from farm work, constituted his entire capital. The coveted clerkship was already filled, but the clerk who served was willing to sell his position to young Dwight for his six dollars. Dwight risked his all confident that he could make himself so useful that he would become a necessity to his employers. He succeeded, as he remained constantly with the firm until the business was sold to A. L. Bushnell. Meantime, he had taken advantage of instruction at odd times at the Burhans school, and, when the new mercantile firm was formed, he went with it and a few years later was taken into partnership.
Their store was located at the south-east corner of Main and South streets. After remaining there a few years, a new firm was organized by J. W. Dwight and I. P. Ferguson and they occupied a small store on the north side of Main street. In 1852 Mr. Dwight was able to build the stone store building, in which he continued the mercantile business under the firm name of J. W. Dwight & Company. Probably no store in this section of the country at that time transacted a larger or more prosperous business. As a merchant, Mr. Dwight was a success. By early and late application to business, strictest economy, truthfulness, honesty, and exemplary habits, Mr. Dwight made hosts of friends and won the confidence and respect of the people.
As he became more prosperous, he invested in real estate. His first venture was the purchase of the Goddard farm. In this new enterprise, he showed his innate business sagacity, did well for himself, and, at the same time, he helped to develop Dryden village. He laid out "The Square" by cutting Pleasant and James streets through the farm, platted the farm into building lots, and reserved for himself that porition which is now known as the Dwight homestead. From the remainder developed Union street, nearly all of the east side of South street, and more, as the farm ran south to Virgil Creek and east to the Tucker Farm, including what is now the school lot. Later, in partnership with Dr. Montgomery, he purchased part of the Tucker farm, which ran further east, and also partially laid that out into streets and building lots.
Since his investments proved successful, he invested again with others in the Dryden Woolen Mill, the Stone Flour Mill, and the Dryden Lake property. In the management of all these enterprises he demonstrated his able judgment, his correct estimate of values, and his comprehensive grasp of financial problems. At this time, as his acquaintance broadened and opportunities presented themselves, he made investments elsewhere. First, in New Jersey, later on, in pine lands in Wisconsin. Later, in 1880, he organized the Dwight Farm and Land Company of North Dakota, which purchased there sixty thousand acres of land. The present town of Dwight, located in North Dakota in a part of the holdings, bears his name. His business transactions, so successful tht any man might be proud of them, were the legitimate outgrowth of investments made in real estate and developed by courage and the strictest application.
As a citizen he early took an interest in all public improvements, and was always in the front ranks, bearing his full share in the work of village incorporation, school improvements, church repairs, and organization of the Agricultural Society and of a Cemetery Association worthy of the town and the times. He was a prime mover in the organization and building of the Southern Central railway, feeling that the time had come when Dryden should be connected with the outside world by means other than that of the stage coach. Into this project he threw his characteristic zeal to make the undertaking a success. He was for a long time director and vice-president and gave generously both his time and money to the work. Though absorbed in his own business affairs, he was frequently called upon to administer estates for others, and was selected by Jennie McGraw-Fisk as one of the trustees of the Southworth Library bequest. All trusts he fulfilled conscientiously, and according to the dictates of his best judgment. He was always the friend of the unfortunate and those struggling against adverse circumstances.
Believing that the policy of the Republican party would best insure the safety and development of his country, which he loved, he was an ardent Republican. For many years Dryden was known as the banner Republican town of the county and credit was due as much to Mr. Dwight's devoted efforts as to any other cause. He never failed to attend every caucus and election or to brave severe storms in order to go to surrounding school-houses to speak when duty called. In 1857 and 1858 he was elected supervisor of the town of Dryden and during both terms was chairman of the county board.
In 1859 he was elected Member of Assembly and was re-elected in 1860. In the early years of the war he was appointed by Governor Morgan as a member of the war committee for his own senatorial district and he served until the committee disbanded. In 1868 he was sent as a delegate to the National Republican Convention at Chicago, where he supported General Grant for President. He was a member of Congress for six years, representing the twenty-eight New York Congressional District, at that time composed of Tompkins, Broome, Schuyler and Tioga counties. He was first elected, in 1876, to the forty-fifth Congress and then re-elected to the forty-sixth and forty-seventh Congresses. In 1884 he was a delegate to the 1884 Republican National Convention, where he supported James G. Blaine for President. In politics he was noted for his fertility of resources, fidelity to party, loyalty to friends, and, though he was in the political maelstrom, his high moral character protected his name from the taint of corruption.
In 1845 he married Rebecca Ann Cady, daughter of Hon. Elias W. Cady. Their descendants are: Mary M. Dwight, who married Sanders E. Rockwell and has one son, James Dwight Rockwell; Olive Adelia Dwight; Julia R. Dwight; Annie A. Dwight, who married Richard S. Tyler; and John W. Dwight, who married Emma S. Childs.
Mr. Dwight died November 26th, 1885, at the age of sixty-six. He rests in Green Hills cemetery.
Goodrich, George B. The Centennial History of the Town of Dryden, 1797-1897. Dryden: Dryden Herald Steam Printing House, 1898. Reprinted 1993 by the Dryden Historical Society. Pages 23-7.
(The Dryden Historical Society, which sells this book, may be reached at 607-844-9209.)
This week's Dryden Courier looks at the transitions from the school year to the summer. There's an article on the Montgomery Park summer concert series, which starts this coming Wednesday at 6:30pm with the Burns Sisters. A full list of the concerts (and everything else on the recreation calendar) is available at the Recreation Department site.
There's also a piece on the recent Dryden Board of Education meeting, focusing on honors and farewells given to retirees, as well as a list of the Teachers of the Year, including Mary Kay Hickey, Karen Cunningham, Kay Newhart, and Janet Redfield.
There's a nice collection of Dairy Day photos, starting with a calf getting a snack on the cover, with more on the inside.
In Anecdotes and Brevities, Harry Weldon writes a thorough history of the Freeville United Methodist Church's many physical changes over the years.
WHCU has a new news director, Geoff Dunn, who has worked in the area at WTKO and News Center 7. WTKO, 1470 AM, is also changing format, becoming an Air America station and changing its call letters to WNYY.
In sports, a report on the New York State Track and Field Championships notes that sophomore Rex Hollenbeck placed third in the 100-yard dash and seventh in a later race, and Megan Stuttle won the long jump.
This morning's Ithaca Journal looks at a group of volunteers - and donors - who have worked together to reopen Lakeview Golf Course, repairing it, running it, and paying its taxes while its long-term future remains a question. The pictures give an idea both of the work involved, and there's lots of that, and of the scenery surrounding the course. I'm sorry to have been out of town Saturday for their opening celebration.
The Journal starts their round of articles on high school graduations with an article on the plans of Ithaca graduates, as well as a list of graduates from Ithaca High School and Lehman Alternative Community School.
There's also an article on the latest Drug Court graduation, outlining how the program operates and talking to people who have participated or seen relatives participate.
There are three pieces on the opinion page about New York State government which are worth a look, even if they aren't specific to Dryden. The editorial discusses how state officials can avoid ethics investigations with a simple resignation, Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton has an update on New York's continuing delays around the Help America Vote Act, and Jay Gallagher contrasts the Legislature's press releases with its results.
Back in April, I sent a letter to Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, a letter to Senator Jim Seward, and a letter to Governor George Pataki about the State Legislature's apparent grab for the NYSERDA piggybank. While the legislature enjoyed talking about the need for oversight, it felt like the legislature was more interested in bringing the Systems Benefit Charge on to its own ledger rather than leaving it devoted to energy programs.
I still haven't heard from Senator Seward or Governor Pataki (though Pataki vetoed the legislature's effort to put the money under their control), but I did hear back from Assemblywoman Lifton today. I've scanned her reply and posted both the original letter (192KB PDF) and the selectable version (262KB PDF).
It doesn't start very promisingly, from my perspective:
The "systems benefit charge," which currently funds these programs, is generated from a charge on our utility bills, making it a de facto tax on the people of New York. The legislature maintains that, like other taxes, it should be subject to appropriation in the state budget, with oversight by the Comptroller, as our State Constitution requires.
Although she goes on to claim that "Moving the non-appropriated money for NYSERDA into the budget process is not a threat to NYSERDA’s good work," the first few sentences of this paragraph remind me of a warning that Assemblywoman Lifton herself gave at her 2004 Town Hall: that money from the state lottery, whatever the advertising may say, isn't dedicated to education: it goes into the state's general fund like everything else. Once there, it's subject to negotiation like everything else.
Lifton criticizes the history of NYSERDA, and specifically the creation of the system benefit charge, but I have to admit that this is a tax I'm proud to pay. Dedicating money to energy efficiency is something we need to do a lot more of. Her letter goes on to criticize the many scandals in New York's authorities, but I can't say I've heard her complaining about those same authorities providing millions of dollars in convenient cash for slush funds run by the Assembly and Senate leadership - in fact, I'd say she's dodged the issue when I've raised it.
Yes, I'm unhappy that NYSERDA ran an ad with Governor Pataki in it, and I'd be happy to see authorities banned from creating advertisements which include elected officials of any kind. That doesn't mean I support putting NYSERDA in with the rest of the budget.
Oh well. At least she replied, which is more than I can say for Governor Pataki or Senator Seward. In the past, Seward's been very quick to reply to letters to his office, but perhaps he just doesn't want to talk about this issue.
This morning's Ithaca Journal writes about tonight's County Legislature vote on providing money to TC3 to get started with work on its master plan project. The state approved financing in this year's budget, but it will take time for the money to actually arrive. If the legislature approves the $625,000 financing, the college will be able to start work on an access road and athletic fields. (Cortland County is also making a similar contribution.) The college presently has 3,230 students on a campus built for 2,000.
(Normally I'd have posted this much earlier, but the cable modem's down today. We'll see when Time-Warner gets here. (4:15pm.) The painters found a gas leak at the meter, too, but NYSEG fixed that already.)
There's lots of Dryden news in the Ithaca Journal today, on a wide variety of subjects.
The Journal lists the Dryden High School Class of 2005, and an article on choosing between the military and college at graduation talks with Dryden graduates Dan Harrington and Chris Ezell, as well as Ezell's father Kevin and Dryden guidance counselor Lisa Bustamente. Commencement ceremonies will be held on Saturday at 6:00pm at the athletic complex.
Cathy Wakeman's Dryden Town Talk column looks at an Assemblies of God Fine Arts Festival, which Dryden parishioner Tom Gordon will be attending in Denver.
Briefly in Dryden notes that the town will be hosting an open house to discuss the proposed Freeville-Dryden trail tomorrow from 4:00pm to 7:00pm at the Dryden Town Hall (map). It would extend the existing Jim Schug trail north and west along the old railroad bed.
The County Legislature voted unanimously last night to advance TC3 $625,000 for its master plan project, and also approved a 2% increase in support for TC3 by an 11-2 vote, with Dryden County Legislator Martha Robertson opposed. The county also hired William Sczesny, a former Broome County highway manager, as highway manager for the county.
Another Dryden resident, Michael Hall, wrote in with news that he has a blog, Illustrated Excursions, in a completely different style than Living in Dryden. It's all photos with captions, mostly beautiful nature photography. Well worth a visit!
This morning's Ithaca Journal is pretty quiet about Dryden news, but the editorial supports the County Legislature's vote to commit $625,000 toward TC3's master plan while the state gets the finances for it together.
Also, I missed a guest column in yesterday's Journal written by Jeanette Knapp of Dryden, who writes about women's organizations in the Ithaca area.
My pictures didn't turn out particularly well, but there was a fascinating open house at Dryden Town Hall tonight, looking at what's involved in creating a Freeville to Dryden trail extending the current Jim Schug Trail.
Creating this trail involves a complex set of players - the landowners, the town, the villages of Dryden and Freeville, George Junior Republic, the federal government rails-to-trails program, the state of New York, and a variety of regulatory agencies, plus the consultants (Barton & Loguidice and Northeast Greenways). The presentations included a slideshow with information about the planning process and the trail itself.
Some of the toughest problems are road crossings - Route 13, Elm Street, and Spring House Road in the Village of Dryden, as well as George Road. George Road in particular is a challenge, as the road used to go over the railroad track, and the railroad path has since been filled in. There are a number of alternate routes under consideration to avoid that problem while maintaining a handicapped-accessible grade.
If you'd like to make suggestions for the trail, the trail survey is available - just send it to Environmental Planner Deb Gross.
This morning's Ithaca Journal lists four new candidates for county legislature, including one in the Groton seat that includes parts of Dryden and Lansing. Athena Kalandros, a co-owner of the Red Door Coffee House in the Village of Groton, will be running as a Democrat. Kalandros hopes to "bring a fresh perspective to representing the district, one that is alive with the sense of possibilities for what could be and for respecting what has already been accomplished."
(Athena marched with the Dryden Democrats at Dairy Day, and I'm very happy to see her running. She has tremendous energy and seems fascinated by the area and ways to help it remain an attractive place to live.)
There was a burglary reported on Harbor Circle in Dryden.
Cayuga Radio Group, formerly Eagle Broadcasting, which has its offices on Hanshaw Road in Dryden, plans changes in its radio lineup, with more local news and Air America on WNYY 1470AM, which replaces WTKO 1470, an oldies station. Their General Manager, Susan Johnston, is quoted as saying that "We are just going to get more and more local."
There's a report on Ithaca High School graduation, which included a number of Dryden residents.
In news that affects Dryden, TCAT will be cutting discounts and asking the county, Cornell, and Ithaca to contribute more this year, but won't be raising fares.
The Journal's opinion page includes a editorial lauding graduates and a guest column from Ithaca School Superintendent Judith Pastel looking at school accomplishments.
There's isn't much in today's paper specific to Dryden, but there is an article on a transportation study Cornell is doing with the Town of Ithaca that might have some effect on traffic through Dryden as well.
Our house-painting saga has reached its happy conclusion. After power scraping in January, Bob and the crew from Perfect Painters returned two weeks ago to finish the job. They spent their first few days prepping, scraping, and priming, and they've spent this week transforming the house from primer white to a three-color combination.
We picked house colors with the help of Robert Schweitzer's book Bungalow Exteriors. Our house isn't quite a traditional bungalow, but it's from the same period (1929) and its details are pretty close to a bungalow. We liked the house on page 160, and originally planned to go with its body of Downing Earth (Sherwin-Williams 2820), Rookwood Dark Green (SW 2816), and Polished Mahogany (SW 2838). After seeing a sample, we changed from the Polished Mahogany to Rookwood Red (SW 2802), a brighter, redder color.
The final result looks both striking, if you stop to look at it, and subdued enough to hide in the woods a bit.
We did add one detail we'd discussed for years, putting copper paint under the archway on the front of the house. By day, in the shadows, it's not that visibly different from the red trim, but at night, with the light on, it glows.
As usual, I've posted a gallery of photos. If you want to see the complete project from start to finish, here is the complete set of photo galleries:
It's a very different house now, and I'm delighted with both the results and the process of getting there.
This week's Dryden Courier leads with the success of two community volunteer initiatives: the Dryden Lake Golf Club and Dryden Dairy Day. The Lakeview Golf Course is running once again as the Dryden Lake Golf Club, with a crew of volunteers operating it. While George Szlasa still owns the course, the volunteers have been working on it since April 28th, cleaning, repairing, mowing, and working. The Dryden Dairy Day article includes a thank you from the organizers, as well as a listing of contest winners.
There are pictures of Dryden High School's graduating class of 2005, as well as valedictorians' comments from Emma McConnell and Ryan Mott.
On the editorial page, they welcome a new reporter, Elizabeth Rinaldo, who will be covering Dryden, Groton, and Lansing. I don't see any articles by Tony Hall in this edition, and I'll certainly miss him if he's gone.
There are obituaries for Christopher Ackley, who died in a car crash last week, and for Norman Frank Vantine, for whom the Varna Volunteer Fire Company has had a memorial on their sign this week.
In Anecdotes and Brevities, Harry Weldon reports having once heard a cougar at his home and tells of a wolf drive that began a little ways south of Dryden, in Slaterville, and drove the predators into Pennsylvania.
There's a report on the county's funding TC3's master plan, as well as one on the Tompkins County portion of the TC3 budget climbing $49,000.
In sports, there's a report on the improvement in Dryden baseball from a 3 wins and 18 losses record to 9 and 11, as well as a report on athletic awards given at the sports banquet last week.
If you know anyone who's looking for a firetruck, the Varna Volunteer Fire Company seems to be selling a 1988 Mack American Eagle War Eagle 1000 with 24,500 miles on it for $39,500. Whether you're a fire company in need of a new pumper or just someone looking for an exotic new automotive toy, it's a fine truck that comes with a lot of equipment.
And even if you're not looking to buy one, it's interesting to see what these come with.
This morning's Ithaca Journal has an article on Saturday's Dryden High School graduation, complete with a photo of exuberant graduates in purple and white robes.
In his weekly column on Schuyler County, Neil Chaffie gives an entertaining explanation of how candidates get on the ballot in New York State. Right now, Democrats and Republicans are carrying petitions for candidates in Dryden, though Republicans carry petitions for all of their candidates, while Democrats use a caucus to nominate candidates for town offices and petitions for county and state offices.
The Journal's Dean's List includes a number of Dryden and Freeville residents.
After a year and a half of making certain to update this site every day, it's time to take a break. Updates will be sporadic for a while; I'm not sure how long.
In the meantime, if you're looking for something to read, the minutes for the June Town Board meeting (which start with the volunteers at the Dryden Lake Golf Club) are available. Looking further afield, maybe NYCO's piece on cooling in central New York or Stephen Balogh's piece on why Syracuse could be a great place to be when oil supplies decline will be entertaining reading.
If that's not enough, the right-hand column of NYCO's blog is an excellent list of blogs about New York State, from all kinds of political and personal perspectives.
About half of the links on this site no longer work, as the Ithaca Journal appears to have changed its story-posting system. It looks like they're keeping about a week around. For now, I'll keep linking to their stories, but this is frustrating to say the least.
Perhaps they're hoping to drive their paid search, but it seems to reduce the value of the paper's site substantially. In some ways it makes it more important for Living in Dryden to report on the Journal, but in other ways it makes that reporting feel a lot less helpful.
Oh well. I'll have to figure out what to do with the existing links, but for now I guess you should just expect a lot of error messages.
Since it's all going to vanish in a week, it's probably a good idea to report what's been in the Ithaca Journal for the past few days.
The most Dryden-specific story is one on the renovations in progress at the Dryden elementary schools. Around Dryden, we have articles on the Town of Caroline raising funds for the Brooktondale Community Center, as well as McLean's upcoming July 30th "happening in the hamlet" and a Guide to Groton that includes McLean information. There's also an editorial on a Cornell traffic study that could potentially affect traffic patterns through Dryden.
Better Housing of Tompkins County needs ladders for work crews this month, and their director describes how those crews will be improving 60 houses around the county.
The county is facing some challenges with an overloaded communications tower at the county's Public Safety Building, which could bend or fall. There are also articles on a possible transfer tax on real estate (charged to the seller) as well as questions about $1 million now vs. $4 million in 2017 from tobacco settlements.
At the state level, a Journal editorial congratulates state legislators for a much better year than past years.
At the federal level, there's a piece on differences among local Congressman on the Iraq war, including Congressman Sherwood Boehlert, who represents Dryden.
Finally, there's discussion of Intelligent Design. Arthur Barry of Dryden seems to find evolution too optimistic, as:
My faith convinces me that in the beginning everything was good but, because of sin, the world has moved away from good and toward evil and will continue to do so till Judgment Day.
Charles DeMotte (listed as Ithaca, but a Town of Dryden resident) has more hope for science:
The best defense against unsubstantiated religious doctrines masking as science is to maintain intellectual rigor, correct methodology, and open mindedness. That is how science is able to progress.
Wow. It's a lot easier to write these pieces day by day rather than letting stories build up. But for now, back to sporadic posting.