No lack of ideas in Highland

Last week the Lloyd Development Association held a community chat night in the garden pavilion at Aphrodite’s Antiques. Pictured left to right are Vicki Jackson of Aphrodite’s Antiques, LDA president Kit Cowan, LDA member Mary Phillips, LDA member Rosie Caruso, Lloyd citizen and retired actress Angela Grieco, and LDA membership coordinator Geri Ritchie. (photo by Lauren Thomas)

Concerned citizens in Lloyd have tapped into the Facebook revolution. The Lloyd Development Association (LDA) created a “What’s Best for Highland” Facebook page in an effort to generate enthusiasm, stimulate ideas and offer solutions for helping the hamlet of Highland.

“We now have over 400 people on our Facebook page, and it’s resulted in several volunteer groups tackling things that are important to them,” said Kit Cowan of the LDA during an informal citizens’ chat night in the Parisian-styled iron gazebo outside of Aphrodite’s Antique shop downtown.


The amount of litter in both the hamlet and around town was one quality-of-life issue that people were posting about. To that end, a group of volunteers, linked together through the Facebook page, met and came up with their top-ten list of dirtiest spots in town and tackled them. “In response to a call for volunteer clean-up people, fifteen women contacted me stating that they too were offended by the messes on the roadways of Highland and said that they were ready t help with ongoing litter pick-up,” reported Mary Phillips at the LDA meeting. “Although many of these ladies have been actively engaged in cleaning up other people’s messes — a woman’s work is never done — they were willing to take on even more.”

According to Phillips, the most “noxious” areas included but are not limited to “along the river,” where the fisherman cast their lines. “North Road on the way to the post office,” and the “and 9W overpass, where people have a habit of just throwing their trash and McDonald’s wrappers and bags out the window!” Berean Park was another litter hot-spot, according to the volunteer group.

Phillips said that this effort would require not only greater education, but “ongoing vigilance, commitment and labor.”

Cowan noted that the town’s supervisor, Paul Hansut, posted on their Facebook page that “this place is a mess!”

Litter is only one topic being tossed about via social networking and at the LDA meetings. LDA is interested in bringing a theater to the hamlet, as well as starting a town beautification committee to spruce up various public gardens and parks and other gateway areas to the town and the hamlet.

Cowan reported that there is a Highland resident who is interested in purchasing Matt Smith’s building on Commercial Avenue (the old coal building that borders the Highland rail-trail) in order to turn it into a train museum. “I think it’s a fantastic idea. and there are 13 bays that border the rail-trail where they used to load up the trains with coal that could be turned into various shops and cafés,” said Cowan. “Cross-fit is there right now and loves it.”

The Highland Library had proposed purchasing Smith’s building and converting it into a new home for its cramped facility. But the voters rejected the proposal last year. “Rudolph Jonietz is very serious about this train museum,” she said as she showed a model drawing of what it might look like. “He was also the surveyor for the Walkway Over the Hudson and wants to build a to-scale model of the Walkway and suspend it from the ceiling. I think this would be an incredible boon to our downtown if he can do this,” said Cowan. The idea is still in the conceptual phase. Funding is being sought.