Retirement for us, as with so many people has not led to a lot of leisure time. We have immersed ourselves in the local community and seem busier than ever.
We are both active with the Hamilton Democrats trying to make significant change in the Town and village through the political process. Deb was an elected Trustee of the Village of Hamilton (two terms 2011-2015).
SMHT = the Southern Madison Heritage Trust, a local land trust. Deb is Secretary of the Board. Harvey is web master and President of the Board. See www.smht.org
Birding: We’ve started a local birding group with friends (the hambirders) and have reinvigorated our interest in a hobby that had languished over the last few years. Harvey set up a Yahoo email group so we can keep our observations and enthusiasm flowing.
We are both working with the Chenango Canal Association, another small, local non profit group aimed at historic preservation and building a trail network throughout the region using the canal towpaths and feeder rights of way. Harvey is currently Secretary of the Board. See the web site Harvey created for the group www.chenangocanal.org
Debbie is on the Board of Madison Lane Apartments, a subsidized low income housing development in the village. As a Psychologist she can provide special insight in the governance of the complex. She also volunteers at Community Memorial Hospital, helping with the book cart and the switchboard on a fill-in basis, now after doing it for several years.
Debbie is also on the Board of the Village of Hamilton Historical Commission on which she a great source of information about the village in the 1940s and 1950s when she was growing up in Hamilton. She is also a member of the Fortnightly Club, one of the oldest in the country and knits with Twigs, a group producing knit goods for the charity sale supporting the Community Memorial Hospital and the annual Christmas holiday gifts for people who cannot afford much for the holidays. Debbie started in 2014 as Assistant Treasurer of the First Baptist Church, tracking and reporting on contributions weekly.
After her leg was broken in July 2014 and she had to use a walker to get around, we realized that handicap facilities in the village needed improvement. Her injury spurred creation of a new handicap parking space at the village courthouse and soon after the village moved and improved handicap parking at the library. We donated funds for powered access doors at the Baptist church, less for Debbie than for the aging congregation as a whole.
Harvey has remained active with the Lyme disease community, running the web site, and handling Email and doctor referrals for the group we founded, the Lyme Disease Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Inc. an all volunteer non profit. See www.Lymepa.org . See also list of web sites Harvey is web mastering.
Recently, Harvey has been on the Town of Hamilton Comprehensive Plan Committee for the past two years. The Committee is hoping to finish fall 2015 with public meetings and subsequent adoption by the Town Board.
In the Village, Harvey is on the committee overseeing a deer culling program to reduce the damage caused by an excessive number of deer residing in the village as determined by surveys done by Colgate University. The population density is about 5 or 6 times the sustainable level of 10 deer per square mile. The culling is scheduled to start in September/October 2015 and continue as needed.
Harvey participated in a pilot program to assist local dairy farmers in their businesses. He was a facilitator for three years for the Red Gate Dairy Farm Team consisting of the farmer, his family, financial advisor, nutritionist/veterinarian, and outside consultant. The task was to keep the team organized, holding regular meetings, keeping notes, doing research for the farmer and being generally helpful. This was a volunteer job.
New for 2010/2011, Harvey was appointed to the Village of Hamilton Airport/Airpark Commission and has created a web site for the airport www.HamiltonNYairport.com . He remains on the commission, reappointed in July 2014.
Harvey also was a volunteer driver for SOMAC, the local ambulance service for two years - 2011-2013.
Maintenance of our 1870s house in the village keeps Harvey busy with the stream of small jobs needed to finish the task of restoration. Contractors have done the major work and Harvey tries to get at least one small job done every day, not always reaching this goal. He's been at it from August 2006 and the end is not yet in sight. He’s having a great time doing it and making objects for sale for the Community Memorial Hospital annual sale. Projects have included antique doll cradle reproductions, wren houses, both full sized and cute miniatures. Our house has two climbing towers with skywalks to provide altitude for our three indoor, cats, all of which came from shelters.