Washington County should be allowed to have a Medical Marijuana growing facility

New York State now has a Medical Marijuana law called the Compassionate Care Act.

In my opinion, it is about time that this plant based medicine became legal to alleviate needless suffering. There are many maladies that respond much better to marijuana with far fewer side effects than the more dangerous synthetic chemicals produced by the Pharmaceutical complex.

New York State will soon issue five licenses to “Registered Organizations” to grow and produce medical marijuana. These five producers will then be allowed to operate four dispensaries each for a grand total of twenty dispensaries throughout the State.

Medical Marijuana in New York must be grown within the state and will only be prescribed by specific Doctors who are trained and certified by the Dept. of Health to prescribe it for certain serious conditions. It will only be available in ingestible forms like extracts, tinctures, oils, edibles, etc. and will only be available from a designated Medical Marijuana dispensary.

The State has not yet defined how the five licenses or location of dispensaries will be awarded. While it makes sense to locate the dispensaries with regard to population densities, the criteria for the growing facilities should not be dependent upon population. It can easily be grown and processed in rural areas and then trucked to the urban dispensaries.

Both Washington County and Warren County are vying to be the area’s host County for a growing facility. Washington County has a proposed location at an old mushroom growing farm in the Town of Jackson run by a company called The Compassionate Relief Centers of NY, Inc. and Warren County has an old horse barn owned by the Peckham family in the Town of Chester.

Washington and Warren are adjacent Counties with almost equal populations of around 63,000 each. However, these two Counties have very different economic development models with Washington being much poorer than Warren. Warren Co has the Adirondack Northway Interstate, shopping malls, restaurants, motels, etc. plus the tourist side of Lake George while Washington County has the farms.

In 2014, Washington County ranked 57th out of the 57 Counties (excluding NYC) in the collection of Sales Tax per Capita while Warren ranked 5th . Washington collected a total of $19.7 million while Warren collected a total of $49.4 million. However, when it comes to Taxable Sales per Capita, Warren ranks #1 in the entire State.

The State will impose a 7% Excise Tax on the product. This Excise tax will then be parceled out so that 22.5% of it will go to the County where it is grown, another 22.5% will be divided up among the Counties where it is dispensed, 5% to the Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services, and 5% to the Dept. of Criminal Justice. The remaining 45% of the excise tax stays with the State as revenue.

Nothing says that either of these businesses will be awarded with a growing license, and it is doubtful that both Counties would be allowed to grow it since there will only be 5 facilities throughout the State.

In my opinion when comparing the economic needs of the two Counties, Washington County is the more compelling candidate to host a growing facility and the 30+ full time jobs it would generate.

Save the Dates – Community Calendar

Every Year, Mary Ellen Pike gathers information and comes up with a community calendar. I have copied it an mailed it out to all property owners but here it is again. Dana

2015 Hartford Community Calendar
(adapted from Mary Ellen Pike’s community calendar)

3/7/15 Sat Soup Supper by Methodist Church Youth Group
3/15/15 Sun Fire Co. Pancake Breakfast
3/27/15 Fri HCS Talent Show
3/29/15 Sun Mason’s Ham Dinner

4/3/15 Fri Fish & Game Fish Fry
4/11/15 Sat Methodist Church Turkey Dinner
4/19/15 Sun Fire Co. Pancake Breakfast
4/25/15 Sat Yoked Parish Chicken & Biscuit Dinner

5/3/15 Sun Mason’s Roast Pork Dinner
5/10/15 Sun Fire Co. Pancake Breakfast & Basket Raffle
5/16/15 Sat Yoked Parish Tea
5/17/15 Sun Fish & Game Chicken BBQ
5/25/15 Mon Methodist Church Take-Out Chicken BBQ 1pm until sold out
5/25/15 Mon Hartford Memorial Day Parade 6pm
5/30/15 Sat HCS Prom

6/7/15 Sun Fish & Game Chicken BBQ
6/13/15 Sat HCS Alumni Banquet
6/21/15 Sun HCS Baccalaureate
6/26/15 Fri HCS Graduation

7/12/15 Sun Fish & Game Chicken BBQ

8/8/15 Sat Town wide Garage Sales
8/9/15 Sun Town wide Garage Sales
8/9/15 Sun Fish & Game Chicken BBQ

9/10/15 Thurs Yoked Parish Rummage Sale
9/11/15 Fri Yoked Parish Rummage Sale
9/12/15 Sat Yoked Parish Rummage Sale
9/20/15 Sun Fish & Game BBQ & Pie Sale
9/26/15 Sat Methodist Church Roast Pork Dinner

10/4/15 Sun Fire Co. Pancake Breakfast
10/10/15 Sat Mason’s Lobster Bake
10/24/15 Sat Yoked Parish Baked Chicken Dinner

11/1/15 Sun Mason’s Ham Dinner
11/3/15 Tues Yoked Parish Election Day Bake Sale @ Firehouse
11/7/15 Sat Methodist Church Turkey Dinner
11/25/15 Weds Community Thanksgiving Eve Service

12/6/15 Sun Yoked Parish Advent Service

Return to Sender…. slowly.

I am not sure if you have noticed this yet, but residents of Hartford and other rural towns are getting their United States Postal Service (USPS) First Class mail slower now.

First Class mail is generally considered to be single piece mail with postage stamps like letters, etc.

This is not the fault of the local Post Offices, but rather due to a national policy change at the USPS.

In January 2015, the USPS changed their First Class Mail Service standards.

The USPS will start closing 80 processing plants that serve small cities and rural areas through out the nation.

The USPS estimates that this will affect 16% of the total First Class mail volume. They have already targeted small cities and rural areas as the locations to take the brunt of this. This means the law of averages will make our rural reduction in service much larger than 16%.

The USPS estimates that the entire national average for First Class mail delivery is 1.8 days and it will now increase to 2.1 days. If large cities are not targeted in this new delayed service, but yet their numbers are added into the average, this will translate to a rural First Class delivery service much more like 3 to 4 days, and even worse when you add in Sundays and Holidays.

If incoming First Class mail is slowed down to Hartford, it is only logical that outgoing will also be slowed. It might be wise to mail out your First Class letters a couple of days earlier than normal.

At a time when the USPS proudly promotes Sunday delivery and same day delivery of packages in major cities, I feel that it is accomplishing it by decreasing our rural service.

I would not mind this overall decrease in service so much if it were applied equally, considering that the First Class mail volume has decreased over 50% in the last 10 years due to email, but I am not convinced the USPS has applied more appropriate inefficiencies first.

If our rural farmers can feed the cities in a timely manner, it is only fair that we can also get our mail delivered just as well as they do.

If you agree with me, please contact your Congresswoman Elise Stefanik.

The USPS website with “their” info is usps.com/ourfuturenetwork

Newsletter from our newly elected Congresswoman Elise Stefanik

Our newly elected Congresswoman for the 21st Congressional District, Elise Stafanik, has a weekly digital newsletter that you can sign up for.

To get her weekly news, go to http://www.stefanik.house.gov/ and sign up.


2014 Activity Log for the Hartford Volunteer Fire Co.

It is vitally important to Hartford’s local tax levy that the Hartford Volunteer Fire Company survives as a volunteer organization for as long as possible.

It is not easy to be a volunteer firefighter today as NY State imposes a large training burden upon them that is very time consuming. This is on top of the time spent responding to emergencies.

These volunteers drop everything to rush to the scene of an emergency to safeguard our property and lives, even at 3 am when it is below zero outside and they are asked to leave a comfortable warm bed.

The Hartford Volunteer Fire Co is a very dedicated group. If you have ever had to call 911 for an emergency, you were probably amazed at how quickly your yard filled up with pickup trucks and volunteers piling out minutes before the ambulance or fire engine arrived.

Zero of our tax dollar go towards any wages for this. Some day in the future, we will run out of volunteers and the town will have to pay wages for professionals on top of the contractual obligations for equipment, etc. This will be a day that taxes will skyrocket.

We need to work together In order to forestall and delay this inevitable day, we need to support the fire company any way we can, whether it be in becoming a volunteer, donation, or eating pancakes. Dana

Hartford Volunteer Fire Co
2014 Hartford Fire Company Activity

194 Total Incidents
4069.8 Total Man Hours

65 Fire Related Incidents
1321 Fire Related Man hours
129 EMS/First Response Incidents
196.8 EMS/First Response Man Hours

1487 Work Detail Man Hours
1035 Training Man Hours

1 Vehicle Fire
1 Chimney Fire
1 EMS Assist
3 Fire Alarm Activation
4 Structure Fire
7 Good Intent Call
7 Hazardous Condition
15 Motor Vehicle Accident
26 Mutual Aid Provided

Arming the Washington Co. Probation Officers

I believe that arming Washington County Probation Officers will enhance public confidence and increase officer safety.

Back in the day, the traditional role of a Probation Officer was much like that of a social worker assisting in the rehabilitation of the probationer. But times have changed. Today the role is much more of a law enforcement one.

Today’s Probation Officer’s caseload mix has many more serious felons than the past, many of which are repeat felons. This is mainly due to early release and liberal courts more concerned about the perpetrator’s rights than the victim’s rights.

In the days of old, these persons would not even be back on the streets. You only have to watch the nightly news to see evidence where bad actors think it is their right to get in the face of and challenge the authority of a law enforcement officer. Yes, when I was young, I admit that I too was Smart-Alec in this regard more than once, but now I am a bit more mature.

Probation Officers make unannounced home visits to enforce the terms of a convicted person’s probation. Can you imagine the potentially volatile reaction that can occur when it is discovered that the person is in violation, subject to arrest by an unarmed Probation Officer with possible re-imprisonment? Would you want to do that job and not be armed?

Washington County Probation Officers are already highly trained Peace Officers that meet the same stringent firearm training requirements as the Sheriff Deputies. I feel that it would be almost criminal not to arm them as this seriously risks the officer’s safety.

Internet tower update

Hudson Valley Internet Service Provider (HVWISP) temporary tower is up and running on the top of Shine Hill to provide high speed internet service.

This 80′ tall temporary tower will be in place until the permanent 120′ tower is constructed this coming spring.

This tower will help to serve the parts of town that do not decent internet access, especially parts of the town that do not have Time Warner Cable Internet service.

The signal from the tower works along line of sight, so if you can see the top of Shine Hill from your home, then you should be able to see this tower. In order to get this service you will need to call Hudson Valley at 458-6090 or by going to www.hvwisp.com Tell them Dana sent you.

Hartford’s 113th NY Assembly District

Hartford will be represented in the NY State Assembly (113th District) by the newly elected Carrie Woerner of Round Lake.

Hartford and all the other towns in the 113th District have been without representation in the NY Assembly since Tony Jordan was elected to become the Washington County District Attorney. The seat has been vacant since that time because the Governor did not arrange for a special election, instead choosing to wait for the General Election to come around.

During the recent campaign, Carrie made frequent visits to Hartford attending functions like our Memorial Day Parade, Fire House Pancake Breakfasts, Church Suppers, etc.

Through this exposure, Carrie has grown to enjoy and appreciate Hartford, the Heart of Washington County, so much so that he has asked Mrs. Kelly Warner, Pastor of the Hartford United Methodist Church to give the invocation at her swearing in ceremony in the Assembly chamber on Dec 29th.

Carrie knows Hartford well and I am sure she will do an outstanding job representing us.

Carrie would like to extend an invitation to all of Hartford’s citizens to attend her swearing in. The swearing in will take place at 10:30am Dec 29th in the Capital Assembly Chamber in Albany.

Hartford Christmas Caroling

On Dec 20th the Hartford Methodist Church Youth Group (Grades 7 – 12) will conduct a hay wagon Christmas Caroling along Main St. from 4-6pm.

If you would like more info or join along, please call Cynthia Mitchell 632-5749

How much wood can the Town Hall chuck….?

The Hartford Highway Garage and Town Hall may soon be heated with fire wood in an attempt to save on heating oil costs.

Since 2011 to date the Town has spent over $26,000 on heating oil.

Heating the highway garage side of the building is always a challenge because of the high truck bay ceilings plus the large overhead doors that open and close frequently.

The Town is putting out a bid for an outdoor wood boiler which will be used to supplement the oil heat.

Highway Superintendent Greg Brown assures us that we will never need to purchase nor run out of firewood considering that the Town has about 50 miles of Town Roads which require periodic tree trimming and removal.

Here is the legal notice for the bid.


The Town of Hartford, County of Washington, State of New York hereby invites sealed bids for the purchase of a 2005 or newer Taylor T1000 Outdoor Wood Boiler or equivalent delivered and completely installed to existing heating systems.

Bids are due in a sealed envelope, along with a non-collusion statement, no later than Noon on Friday, December 5, 2014 at the Town Clerk’s Office at the Hartford Town Hall, 165 County Route 23, Hartford, New York, at which time all received bids will be publicly opened and read aloud. The Hartford Town Board will meet and review received bids at Hartford Town Hall on December 9, 2014 at 7:05pm. The Hartford Town Board reserves the right to reject any or all bids.

Dated: November 13, 2014
Denise Petteys, RMC
Town Clerk