Localvore Gallery DaCy Meadow Farm, Route 9N, one mile east of Exit 31 toward Westport Center. 962-2350.
Meadowmount School of Music 2013 Concerts
6/28 TO 8/7 - On Campus
7:30pm. Admission is $10 for Adults, $5 for Students & Senior Citizens.
Chamber Music, 7/28
Featuring violinist JOSEPH SILVERSTEIN
7:30pm. Admission is $10 for Adults, $5 for Students & Senior Citizens.
Featuring violinist JAMES EHNES, cellist ROBERT DEMAINE, pianist ERIC LARSEN;
WORLD PREMIER OF KENNETH FRAZELLE'S TRIPLE CONCERTO
7:30pm, Admission $20 / Adults, $10 / Students & Senior Citizens
Essex Community Concert 7/23
Ballard Park Concert 8/1
DaCy Meadow Farms Dave & Cynthia Johnston. DaCy Meadow Farm raises natural beef from a herd of heritage cattle. USDA inspected and packaged for home use. (518) 962-2350
Juniper Hill Farm Adam Hainer
Wadhams!, NY 12993
Severance Farm (518) 962-8255 store and (518) 962-8217 farm. Fresh vegetables, herbs, cut flowers, bedding plants, fruit, maple and honey. Open June to October, Monday through Saturday, 9 am to 6 pm. Kevin and Robin Severance. Stand is at Adam's Hardware on Main Street in Westport.
I have been doing this site, westportonlakechampain.com for a little over a year now and it has received a very warm reception. I have been thinking for a while about directions for expansion and recently decided to make my move.
Yesterday, I got up way too early in the morning and registered three new domain names: www.artswestport.com, www.westporteducation.com, and www.smartgrowthwestport.com. These new registrations are wending their way through the Internet DNS system and should be hooked up to actual (though rudimentary) websites within a few days.
The one I am most excited about is artswestport.com which can feature local arts events and promote local artists in all mediums. If you are a local artist and would like to be included with a profile page, links (at no charge), let me know.
The site that's the closest to launching is westporteducation.com. It has seem to me that there has been a need for a site about educational opportunities in Westport for a while, but the project has taken on a certain urgency because of recent distribution of misinformation about local educational spending via email lists.
I hope the new site will serve both to make people aware of educational opportunities in time to take advantage of them; and to provide detailed factual, verifiable information to voters when they are deciding whether or not to fund educational opportunities in our community. A preliminary draft of this site can be seen at www.kathryncramer.com/westport_education/. So far I have posted the past 3 years of school district budgets as context for the upcoming district budgeting meetings. I am expecting to be able to post more hard information in the weeks to come.
Once I have covered the basics, a point I hope to be able to explore on that site is that our school district is not educating hypothetical children, but rather each child has his or her strengths and weaknesses.
Because our educational population tends to run between 10 to 25 kids per grade, the learning differences of individual kids can make large diffrences in the cost of education. In a larger district, these things average themselves out, but our district is so small that what would be statistical noise in someone else's budget can cause financial volatility in our local budget. These are not spherical children of uniform density; they are our kids, and the community must do right by them.
The third site, smartgrowthwestport.com, will provide a venue for ideas about how to grow our community and its tax base while keeping what we love about Westport and this area. I view it as a form of newspaper OP-ED page. I get manifestos via email and hear impassioned speeches on the street, but there is no central place to go to read frustrated visions of how much better our local economy could function If Only . . . Like my commercial anthologies, I will solicit some of the material for the site; I will also read essays for consideration up to 3,000 words in length. (This will not be a paying market.) My own personal hobby horse which I may ride there from time to time is that Chazy Westport needs to get fiber-optics though to Westport as soon as possible; I believe the economic impact will be substantial.
As these sites come on line, I will post more information and links.
This week, when I got the latest emails from former School-Board candidate Ulrich Hoffmann in which he once again expresses his reservations about paying taxes to support the local public school, I happened to look back over the history of emails from him. And I noticed something peculiar: He's using the email list compiled by the Future for Westport organization for his political mailings. He even sent out his literature campaigning for School Board to the list.
Yesterday I emailed him to ask about this and he confirmed that yes, he was using that list. His position seems to be that any email address that has ever arrived in his inbox, even as a cc on an email sent by a third party, is fair game for his bulk sendings.
The email list of the Future for Westport was compiled in a spirit of openness and forward-looking collaboration. The Future for Westport is almost not an organization at all, but more a social network initiated for the betterment of the community.
So it is understandable that emails sent out to those of us who had volunteered to serve on its many committees were sent out as cc's rather than concealed by the sender. But there are some basic principles of privacy practice that, in hindsight, probably should have been observed. They are called "Fair Information Practice Principles." The US Federal Trade Commission summarizes the matter thusly:
Over the past quarter century, government agencies in the United States, Canada, and Europe have studied the manner in which entities collect and use personal information -- their "information practices" -- and the safeguards required to assure those practices are fair and provide adequate privacy protection.(27) The result has been a series of reports, guidelines, and model codes that represent widely-accepted principles concerning fair information practices.(28) Common to all of these documents [hereinafter referred to as "fair information practice codes"] are five core principles of privacy protection: (1) Notice/Awareness; (2) Choice/Consent; (3) Access/Participation; (4) Integrity/Security; and (5) Enforcement/Redress.
Regarding the first point, Notice/Awareness, the FTC remarks:
The most fundamental principle is notice. Consumers should be given notice of an entity's information practices before any personal information is collected from them. Without notice, a consumer cannot make an informed decision as to whether and to what extent to disclose personal information.(29)
Never mind that "Notice" was not given that our email addresses might be provided to the entire group (which in effect means the entire town and then some), I don't think that in those enthusiastic moments when we were all rushing to write our names on the big yellow sheets of paper to sign up for committees anyone had given much thought to exactly how the personal information collected was going to be used. And since it hadn't been thought through, no notice was possible.
The FTC's second item is "Choice":
The second widely-accepted core principle of fair information practice is consumer choice or consent.(42) At its simplest, choice means giving consumers options as to how any personal information collected from them may be used. Specifically, choice relates to secondary uses of information -- i.e., uses beyond those necessary to complete the contemplated transaction. Such secondary uses can be internal, such as placing the consumer on the collecting company's mailing list in order to market additional products or promotions, or external, such as the transfer of information to third parties.
(43) Choice can also involve more than a binary yes/no option. Entities can, and do, allow consumers to tailor the nature of the information they reveal and the uses to which it will be put.(44) Thus, for example, consumers can be provided separate choices as to whether they wish to be on a company's general internal mailing list or a marketing list sold to third parties. In order to be effective, any choice regime should provide a simple and easily-accessible way for consumers to exercise their choice.
Mr. Hoffmann takes the position that because he will remove people from his email list if they ask him to, he is ethically in the clear. I don't think so. Since those on this email list were given neither Notice nor Choice regarding possible uses of their information by the collecting organization, his argument that he has the right to use these email addresses unless asked to stop by the recipients is dubious.
Regarding item 4, Integrity/Security, the FTC explains:
Security involves both managerial and technical measures to protect against loss and the unauthorized access, destruction, use, or disclosure of the data.(49) Managerial measures include internal organizational measures that limit access to data and ensure that those individuals with access do not utilize the data for unauthorized purposes.
In the current case, insuring that information collected is used only for its intended purpose involves not just sending it out to two hundred people.
In any event, I hope that this is for us collectively a teachable moment in which we can improve the way we deal with electronic communications. I would suggest that all of the local organizations consider drafting and publishing privacy policies that are in the spirit of these FTC guidelines.