Today’s local headlines

The local and statewide deadlocks took tiny steps toward resolution Wednesday. The Register-Star reports that Supervisor Doug McGivney, D-Kinderhook, introduced a resolution at the last minute at the Columbia County Board of Supervisors Full Board meeting Wednesday that the Board of Supervisors will “endorse the concept of exploring the obtaining and retention of the services of the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) for the purposes of review, study and recommendations concerning all aspects of building or capital needs of Columbia County.” It passed unanimously. But don’t think this means the kerfuffle between Columbia County Supervisor Art Baer (R-Hillsdale) and the city of Hudson, largely over where the Department of Social Services ends up, is over. “That’s one of the areas I think they would provide us potentially with some assistance,” he said. “I think we’re going to expose them to the process that the Board went through, let them take a look at the data, and if they can come up with some other option, then we’re certainly going to listen to it….At the same time, we’re not going to pull the emergency brake and stop all our actions with respect to engineering and design with respect to Ockawamick,” said Baer. “How could you invite people in to study something while you are moving forward? I don’t think that’s acceptable to this problem,” Linda Mussmann of the Bottom Line Party and TSL said. “The reality is we need a plan that’s going to work. That, I think, finally, everybody has understood.”… New York Govenor David Paterson appointed Richard Ravitch to fill the vacancy in the office of lieutenant governor, according to Capitol Confidential. Ravitch is a former chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. There will clearly be legal challengers to whether the Governor is allowed to appoint a lietenant governor, as potential Governor candidate Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has already announced the move is illegal. Columbia County Assemblyman Marcus J. Molinaro (R,C,I-Red Hook) wasted no time calling the move unconstitutional, and said, “Ravitch…masterminded the $2.3 billion MTA bailout plan that include[d] a devastating payroll tax which disproportionately hurts Hudson Valley businesses, school districts, municipalities and not-for-profits.”… The Town of Athens implemented a resolution to add a $150 fee to all 50-foot non-commercial wind turbines, according to The Daily Mail…. The Times Union gives Hudson’s Baba Louie’s a “pretty serious rave.”… The Times Union terminated 15 full-time and three part-time employees, including 11 full-time employees in the newsroom, according to the paper. Among the employees let go were Monica Bartoszek, a senior editor and the newspaper’s reader representative; Alan Wechsler, author of a regular column about the outdoors; Bill Callen, sports editor; and Marlene Kennedy, business editor and a weekly columnist. The Newspaper Guild said, “the Company’s actions come while the parties are supposed to be negotiating layoff criteria, talks that resume at 10 a.m. Wednesday. Last week, the Guild filed two information requests over the proposed criteria, which the newspaper has yet to answer.”

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