Seward hosts town hall in Catskill

New York State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) holds a fall town hall-style meeting in Catskill at 7 p.m. Tue. Oct. 6 at the Catskill Middle School Auditorium, 345 W. Main St. At the meeting, Seward will visit with constituents, discuss current state issues and take questions. For the first hour, Seward and area residents will discuss state issues with others who are present. Later, Seward will be available to talk privately with those who have a particular state-related problem or would like to meet with him personally. “My decisions and thinking on various issues more accurately reflect the people of my senatorial district when I visit the folks I am honored to represent,” Seward said in a press release. “I schedule these meetings each fall so that the off session can be spent listening and interacting with people.”

Columbia County final primary election results

Columbia County final primary election results from Columbia County Board of Elections:

OFFICIAL Columbia County Primary Election 2009 Results
9/24/2009
City of Hudson
Ward 1 – District 1
Alderman
DEM
1A
Geeta Cheddie
44
3
47
***
(vote for 2)
DEM
2A
Sarah H. Sterling
51
4
55
***
DEM
3A
Carole Osterink
42
4
46
Total Votes
137
11
148
Ward 4 – District 1
Supervisor
IND
1C
William Hughes (write-in)
2
1
3
***
Total Votes/Voters
2
1
3
Supervisor
CON
1D
Samuel Santiago
1
0
1
CON
1D
William Hughes (write-in)
2
0
2
***
1D
Geraldine E. Nero (write-in)
1
0
1
Total Votes/Voters
4
0
4
Town of Canaan
District 1 and 2
Supervisor
IND
1C
Richard Keaveney
13
0
13
***
IND
1C
Gary Flaherty (write-in)
2
0
2
Total Votes/Voters
15
0
15
Supervisor
CON
1D
Richard Keaveney
8
0
8
***
CON
1D
Gary Flaherty (write-in)
1
0
1
Total Votes/Voters
9
0
9
District 1
Committee
REP
2B
Susan C. Johnson
27
0
27
(vote for 2)
REP
3B
Jo-anna R. Michalek
49
0
49
***
REP
4B
Gary Flaherty
33
0
33
***
Total Votes
109
0
109
Town of Copake
District 1 and 2
Twn Justice
IND
1C
Brian J. Herman
19
0
19
***
IND
2C
Wil iam Kane
17
0
17
Total Votes/Voters
36
0
36
Assessor
IND
3C
David Gordineer
14
0
14
IND
4C
Loredana Delventhal
16
0
16
***
Total Votes/Voters
30
0
30
Town of Livingston
District 2
Committee
REP
1B
Geoffrey T. Bagnal
32
0
32
(vote for 2)
REP
2B
Donald R. Kline
80
0
80
***
REP
3B
Benjamin Scrodin
65
0
65
***
Total Votes
177
0
177
Town of Taghkanic
District 1
Supervisor
IND
1C
Elizabeth L. Young
2
5
7
IND
2C
Loretta Hoffmann
13
6
19
***
Total Votes/Voters
15
11
26
Twn Clrk/Tax C
IND
3C
Cheryl E. Rogers
5
5
10
IND
3C
Audrey Koran (write-in)
9
5
14
***
Total Votes/Voters
14
10
24
Twn Justice
WFP
4E
Raymond Dalrymple (write-in)
1
2
3
***
4E
Jeff Tal ackson (write-in)
0
1
1
Total Votes/Voters
1
3
4
Twn Council
IND
5C
Tom Kiely
3
5
8
(vote for 2)
IND
5C
Joyce Thompson (write-in)
9
6
15
***
IND
6C
Larry Kadish
13
5
18
***
6C
James Romaine (write-in)
0
5
5
Total Votes
25
21
46
Twn Council
WFP
5E
Joyce Thompson
0
1
1
(vote for 2)
WFP
5E
Tom Kiely (write-in)
1
2
3
***
WFP
6E
James Romaine (write-in)
1
2
3
***
6E
Larry Kadish (write-in)
0
1
1
Total Votes
2
6
8
Hwy Super
IND
7C
Edward E. Waldron
3
6
9
IND
7C
Tom Youhas (write-in)
9
5
14
***
Total Votes/Voters
12
11
23
Hwy Super
WFP
7E
Edward Waldron (write-in)
1
2
3
***
7E
Tom Youhas (write-in)
0
1
1
Total Votes/Voters
1
3
4
Committee
DEM
8A
Diane M. Rodriguez
96
2
98
***
(vote for 2)
DEM
9A
Cheryl E. Rogers
29
1
30
DEM
10A
Gary L. Stoller
100
3
103
***
Total Votes
225
6
231
L:\2009 Primary Election\PE09 Results
4:34 PM

Lopez to meet citizens in Athens

Assemblyman Pete Lopez (NY-127, R, C, I – Schoharie) will visit the Athens American Legion Hall at 6:30 p.m. Tue. Oct. 6 for a town meeting. “These meetings will allow me to spend some more, in-depth time in each community and really listen to the concerns of my neighbors across the district so that I can better represent our rural community in Albany,” Lopez said in a press release. The Athens American Legion Hall is at 92 Second Street in Athens.

Rep. Murphy announces $16,000 wind turbine grant for Pine Plains man

U.S. Representative Scott Murphy (D-NY 20) announced a $16,306 grant through the USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program for Raymond Wendover of Pine Plains to purchase a Bergey Excel 10kW class wind turbine. The project is expected to generate 12,836 kW per year covering 101 percent of the business’ energy costs.

Protest against mandatory vaccines

From Helena Kosorek in Greenville:

Hudsonic Series, No. 5



Hudsonic Series, No. 5 by Sam Truitt
The Point, Catskill, Greene County
September 18, 2009, 4:43 PM
1.5 MB (1:11 minutes) MP4
A dog barks, and a Dutchman conducts a crowd in song as music plays.
Hudsonic%205.mp3


View Larger Map

Interview with Obama supporter after 9/22 speech

Mary and I did a number of interviews with students and supporters after Obama’s policy address at Hudson Valley Community College. Here is one of them.

Congressman Murphy announces grant for WGXC


Hudson, NY – Today, Congressman Scott Murphy (NY-20) announced that WGXC was awarded a grant of $71,486 from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration through their Public Telecommunications Facilities Program, which will fund half the equipment needed for the station to go on the air on 90.7 FM. WGXC will be a 3,300-watt non-commercial community radio station, with shows about agriculture, local history, the arts, education and local issues. WGXC will broadcast from a studio in Hudson, and at the Catskill Community Center.  This will bring the first public radio signal to more than 12,500 people.

“This funding will help bring an essential new resource for residents in the Hudson-Catskill region by helping to provide them with access to important news and information through the radio,” said Rep. Murphy.  “In addition, this funding will improve the infrastructure of the region that is critical to rebuilding our economy and improving the quality of life for its residents.” 

Kaya Weidman, a member of the WGXC Radio Council, and founder of the Germantown Community Farm, said: “The station will provide programming for farmers and rural people to exchange ideas and information, share resources, hear regionally specific news, market price reports, as well as weather, crop, pest, and disease information. This resource will strengthen our local food system, support our area farmers, keep people informed of environmental issues, and ultimately contribute to our vibrant rural community.”

Hudson Talbott, a member of the WGXC Radio Council and Vice-President of the Catskill Community Center and Thomas Cole House, said: “The Catskill Community Center is thrilled to be hosting WGXC. Catskill is in the process of re-imagining itself and the community center is at the heart of the new vision. We are sharing information, participating in activities, and joining together for local events as never before. The radio station brings exactly what our revitalized community needs right now – a voice.”

WGXC will need to match the funds in the PTFP grant before the station’s debut next summer.

President Obama’s visit to Hudson Valley Comunity College

Here are some shots from yesterday’s presidential visit.

Hudson Series, No. 4

Hudsonic Series, No. 4 by Sam Truitt
Marianne Courville Gallery, 341 Warren Street, Hudson, Columbia County

09.13.09, 6:34 pm (02.59 minutes)
3.7 MB, MP4

The microphone lies on a table. Crowd voices.

View Larger Map

Bliss Tower meeting Thursday


The Hudson City Democrats and the Columbia County Common Sense message board both mention a public meeting at 7 p.m., Thur. Sept. 24 in the community room at Bliss Tower, that concerns redevelopment of Bliss Tower. The message board guesses that Hudson Mayor Rick Scalera; Exec. Dir of HHA Jeff First; 4th Ward Supervisor William Hughes Jr.; Omni housing developer, COO Duncan Barrett; a member of Congressman Murphy’s staff Benedict MacCafree; and others will attend the meeting about the housiing project between N. 2nd and N. 3rd Sts. and Columbia St. in Hudson. Anybody want to make a recording and upload it here?

Obama visit to Hudson Valley Community College

This is an audio recording of President Obama’s Monday, 9-21-09 visit to Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, New York. He was introduced by Dr. Jill Biden, educator and wife of Vice President Biden. We also interviewed four people after the address to get their reactions: two students and two Obama supporters.

Because of the file size, we cut it into a number of parts. This is the introduction.

President Obama’s visit to the Hudson Valley Community College

This is an audio recording of President Obama’s Monday, 09-21-09 visit to Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, New York. He was introduced by Dr. Jill Biden, educator and wife of Vice President Biden. We also interviewed four people after the address to get their reactions: two students and two Obama supporters.

Seward, Lopez at Environmental Awareness Days

NY State Senator James Seward and Assemblyman Peter Lopez will be at the Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Agroforestry Resource Center, 6055 Route 23 in Acra, NY at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday for the 40th anniversary of Environmental Awareness Days, and to honor the event’s founder Eric Rasmussen.

Greene County Chamber of Commerce hands out awards


(At right, “Business Idol” winner Kip Christie from Banner Hill School of Woodworking in Windham [right] with award presenter Kathleen Packard of KathodeRay Media, the Greene County Chamber of Commerce and the WGXC Radio Council. Chamber Executive Director Tracy McNally is in the background.)

The Greene County Chamber of Commerce held their annual Greene Jeans Gala at the Pine Ridge Farm in Greenville Thursday evening. The following businesses received Emerald Awards: Large Business: GNH Lumber, Inc.; Small Business: Martinez Auto Body Shop, Inc.; and Not-for-Profit Organization: Greene County Historical Society. Banner Hill School of Woodworking and Timber Framing in Windham got the “Business Idol” award.

Molinaro open house Friday in Red Hook

Assemblyman Marc Molinaro (R,C,I-Red Hook) hosts an open house for constituents from 3 to 6 p.m. on Friday, September 18 in Molinaro’s district office located at 7578 North Broadway, Suite 4, in Red Hook. “In Albany, there is much work to be done for the residents of the Hudson Valley, including comprehensive property tax reform, revolutionizing our education system, making health care more affordable and creating local jobs in an effort to jump start our struggling economy. We can only accomplish these goals together and I would appreciate your input,” said Molinaro.

Cairo sidewalk law public hearing

Click here to listen to public hearing about proposed sidewalk law in Cairo

Last night the Town of Cairo held a public hearing about a proposed law for snow removal on sidewalks. Listen by clicking on the link. Won’t work with Internet Explorer.

Cairo Town Board meeting


Click here to listen to Town of Cairo Board meeting 091609

The Town of Cairo held its regular board meeting last night, with Dave Hart being appointed to the town’s Zoning Commission, and the board deciding to wait on a decision on the proposed law for sidewalk snow removal. Planning Board Chairman Dan Benoit (pictured at right) addressed concerns raised by a recent arrest of a Main St. business woman for perhaps violating Cairo’s Site Plan law, which has been reported on by this blog here and here and by The Daily Mail here. Several residents wondered why the Code Enforcement and Police investigated the complaint against this business, but not similar complaints by others.

Hudsonic Series, No. 3

Hudsonic Series, No. 3 by Sam Truitt
Walmart, 265 West Bridge Street, Catskill, Greene County
09.13.09 (03:52 minutes)
4.36 MB, MP4
The microphone lies behind a flower pot (daisies) on a rack. Cars and carts pass variously,
a person speaks, and a car door opens and closes.

Obama to speak at Hudson Valley Community College

Congressmen Scott Murphy (NY-20) and Paul Tonko (NY-21) announced that President Obama will visit Hudson Valley Community College at 11:00 a.m., Monday, Sept. 21. Several months ago the Congressmen requested that the President visit the region to highlight hi-tech job creation in Upstate New York. “I am honored to welcome President Obama to Upstate New York,” said Rep. Murphy in a press release. “I am proud to show how Upstate New York is a part of the solution by quickly becoming a world leader in hi-tech jobs.”
Click here to listen to a wav file of Rep. Murphy’s statement about Obama’s visit to the area.

Audit finds problems in Village of Catskill

From Mid-Hudson News Network:

ALBANY – State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced his office completed an audit of the Village of Catskill – Fiscal Oversight and Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Activities.

According to the report, the village board and president did not effectively oversee the village’s financial operations and failed to address significant weaknesses, identified in our previous audit, in budgeting, accounting, reporting, cash management, and claims processing. These inadequate management practices have contributed to the deteriorating financial condition of the village’s primary operating funds, perpetuated a reliance on interfund transfers to maintain cash flow, and placed the village at risk of fiscal stress that could jeopardize its ability to operate effectively.

For example, due to poor planning and unrealistic budgeting, the total fund balances of the village’s main operating funds (general, water, and sewer) decreased by $933,727 (58 percent) over the three fiscal years 2004-05 to 2006-07. At the end of 2006-07, these three funds had a combined operating deficit of $574,876, or 36 percent of their total fund balance at the beginning of the 2004-05 fiscal year.

CORRECTION: Taghkanic primary election results

Columbia County Board of Elections Democratic Commissioner Virgina Martin provided the following corrected election results for the Town of Taghkanic tonight at 7 p.m. “The results we gave you last night had a series of errors due to the complexity of the election and the high number of write-in votes that were cast,” she wrote. “We expect to be able to provide official results countywide for the machine votes (lever machine votes including write-in votes cast on the lever machines) by tomorrow (Thursday).”

UNOFFICIAL Columbia County Primary Election 2009 Results
9/16/09
Town
of
Taghkanic
District
1

Supervisor
IND
1C
Elizabeth
L.
Young

2
IND
2C
Lorea
Hoffmann
13
Total
Votes/Voters

15
Twn
Clrk/Tax
C
IND
3C
Cheryl
E.
Rogers
5
IND
3C
Audrey
Koran
(write‐in)
9
Total
Votes/Voters

14
Twn
JusÒce
WFP
4E
Raymond
Dalrymple
(write‐in)
1
Total
Votes/Voters

1
Twn
Council

IND
5C
Tom
Kiely

3

(vote
for
2)
IND
5C
Joyce
Thompson
(write‐in)
9
IND
6C
Larry
Kadish

13
Total
Votes

25
Twn
Council

WFP
5E
Joyce
Thompson
0

(vote
for
2)
WFP
5E
Tom
Kiely
(write‐in)
1
WFP
6E
James
Romaine
(write‐in)
1
Total
Votes

2
Hwy
Super
IND
7C
Edward
E.
Waldron

3
IND
7C
Tom
Youhas
(write‐in)
9
Total
Votes/Voters

12
Hwy
Super
WFP
7E
Edward
Waldron
(write‐in)
1
Total
Votes/Voters

1
CommiŞee
DEM
8A
Diane
M.
Rodriguez
96

(vote
for
2)
DEM
9A
Cheryl
E.
Rogers
29
DEM
10A
Gary
L.
Stoller
100
Total
Votes

225
L:/Columbia Co. Candidates 2009
6:49 PM

Columbia County primary results won’t be final until next week

Columbia County Board of Election Democratic commissioner Virgina Martin says they are recanvassing machines, and should have a count after 6 p.m. tonight. But final results will not be announced before Tuesday, as absentee ballots still are allowed to arrive from the post offfice. In the Democratic contest for District 1 in Hudson, incumbent Carole Osterink trails challenger Geeta Cheddie by two votes, while Sarah H. Sterling leads Cheddie by seven votes currently. The Register-Star previously reported six uncounted absentee ballots, but Martin would not give a specific number.

Wal-Mart closes, opens in Greenport


Wal-Mart closed its giant store in Greenport today and opened an even larger marketplace across Fairview Avenue in Greenport today. The empty store sits next to Price Chopper and Fashion Bug.

Hudsonic Series

Columbia County primary election results

UNOFFICIAL Columbia County Primary Election 2009 Results
9/15/2009

UPDATE: Note Taghkanic votes have been corrected. Board of Elections officials provided different totals at first, now corrected.

City of Hudson
Ward 1 – District 1
Alderman
DEM
Geeta Cheddie
44
DEM
Sarah H. Sterling
51
DEM
Carole Osterink
42
Total Voters
137
Ward 4 – District 1
Supervisor
IND
4 Wiliam Hughes
IND
0
Total Voters
4
Supervisor
CON
Samuel Santiago
4
CON
1 Wiliam Hughes
Total Voters
5
Town of Canaan
District 1 and 2
Supervisor
IND
Richard Keaveney
13
IND
OTB
0
Total Voters
13
Supervisor
CON
Richard Keaveney
8
CON
OTB
0
Total Voters
8
Canaan District 1
Committee
REP
Susan C. Johnson
27
REP
Jo-Anna R. Michalek
49
REP
Gary Flaherty
33
Total Voters
109
Town of Copake
District 1 and 2
Twn Justice
IND
Brian J. Herman
19
IND
Wiliam Kane
17
Total Voters
36
Assessor
IND
David Gordineer
14
IND
Loredana Delventhal
16
Total Voters
30
Town of Livingston
District 2
Committee
REP
Geoffrey T. Bagnal
32
REP
Donald R. Kline
80
REP
Benjamin Scrodin
65
Total Voters
177
Total Voters
177
Town of Taghkanic
District 1
Supervisor
IND
Elizabeth L. Young
2
IND
Loretta Hoffmann
13
Total Voters
15
Twn Clrk/Tax C
IND
Cheryl E. Rogers
5
IND
OTB
9 (originally was told 10) Audrey Koran
Total Voters
14 (originally was told 15)
Town Justice
WFP
OTB
(originallly was told 1 Tal ackson)
WFP
OTB
1 Raymond Dalrymple
(originally told 1 Joe Romaine)
Total Voters
1 (originally told 3)
Twn Council
IND
Tom Kiely
3 (originally was told 12)
IND
Joyce
 Thompson
 write‐in
9 (originally was not listed at all)
IND
Larry Kadish
13 (originally was told 14)
IND
OTB
0
Total Voters
26
WFP
Joyce Thompson
0 (originally was told 9)
WFP
OTB
1 James Romaine
1 Tom Kiely
Total Voters
2 (originally was told 11)
Hwy Super
IND
Edward E. Waldron
3 (originally was told 14)
IND
Tom 
Youhas
 (write‐in)
9 (originally was not listed)
OTB
0
Total Voters
14
WFP
OTB
1 Edward Waldron
WFP
OTB
10 Tom Youhas
Total Voters
11
Committee
DEM
Diane M. Rodriguez
96
DEM
Cheryl E. Rogers
29
DEM
Gary L. Stol er
100
Total Voters
225
L:/Columbia Co. Candidates 2009
10:50 p.m.

Walk for Peace passes through Hudson


A 180-mile “Walk for Peace” passed through Hudson today on its way to Kinderhook. The group included Jun Anju-san, an internationally known Buddhist who helps run a Peace Pagoda (one of only two in the U.S.) at the walk’s destination in Grafton, New York. This walk left NYC on Sept. 11, and will arrive in Grafton Sept. 22. It will leave Kinderhook tomorrow for Schodack Center, and then goes to Albany, Niskyuna, Colonie, Scotia, Ballston Lake, Waterford, and Troy. For more information contact Jules at 201-566-8403.

Barry Henck speaks at Cairo Eco Faire


Click here to listen to or download mp3 of Barry Henck speaking at Eco Faire.
Barry Henck, from Central Hudson Gas & Electric, speaking Sun. Sept. 13 at the Cairo Eco Faire in Cairo Town Park, streamed live on WGXC Online Radio. The Eco Faire, which was put on by the Cairo Chamber of Commerce.

Ruth Gutman speaks at Cairo Eco Faire


Click here to listen to or download mp3 of Ruth Gutman speaking at Eco Faire.
Ruth Gutman, Community Advocate for Rip Van Winkle Tobacco-Free Action of Columbia and Greene Counties, speaking Sun. Sept. 13 at the Cairo Eco Faire in Cairo Town Park, streamed live on WGXC Online Radio. The Eco Faire, which was put on by the Cairo Chamber of Commerce.

Andy Turner speaks at Cairo Eco Faire


Click here to listen to or download mp3 of Andy Turner speaking at Eco Faire.
Andy Turner, the Executive Director for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Greene County, speaking Sun. Sept. 13 at the Cairo Eco Faire in Cairo Town Park, streamed live on WGXC Online Radio. Turner is also on WGXC’s Radio Council, the board overseeing the community radio station. He speaks about sustainability at the Eco Faire, which was put on by the Cairo Chamber of Commerce.

2009 Germantown Community Farm Fall Skillshare and Party

The Germantown Community Farm hosts its Annual Fall Skillshare and Party Sat. Sept. 26 for feasting and dancing, workshopping and romping, all streamed live on WGXC Online Radio. We will indeed be hosting a contra dance, a local rock band, and several DJs on into the night. We’ll be fleshing out the schedule and workshop descriptions over the next couple weeks, so keep posted.

Practicalities:
Camping is welcome and limited accommodations are available in the barn and house (please let us know ahead of time!) Bring camping gear, a flashlight, and your own dish. Please try to carpool as parking is very limited. We are suggesting a donation of $5-$20 just to cover our costs, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds! Please let us know if you are interested in volunteering during the event. We need help with childcare, parking, cooking, clean-up and would love even just an hour committment ahead of time from a few people. Please contact us!

Schedule:
Saturday September 26th
8am: Breakfast in house
9:30-11am: workshops
11:30-1pm: workshops
1-2:30pm: lunch
2:30-4: workshops
4:30-6: workshops
6:30: dinner
7:45: contra dance!
10:oo: Saber Coup rocks out
11:30pm: DJs!

some of the workshops you may choose from (desriptions forthcoming):

DIY bicycle repair with Margaret DeBona
Tools for a Lifetime with Charles Picard
Anarchist Beekeeping with Sam Comfort
Webstreaming and Podcasting with WGXC staff
Mushrooms in the Permaculture Landscape with Rafter T. Sass
Saplings and Scrap into Super Structures with Matt Bua
Thai-style Curry with Traci Picard
Uncovering Your Inner Strength – Core Strengthening excercises with Trevor Roush
Setting Up Sound for a Live Event with WGXC staff
Writing a Great Press Release with Melissa Weidman
Yoga with Carol
The World of Metal with Luli Heintz
Live webcast of workshops and performances on WGXC Online Radio at http://www.WGXC.org.

Main Street, Cairo, NY


Michael Davis, a senior at Cairo-Durham High-School, made this Main Street document during his summer 2009 employment with WGXC. WGXC: Hands on Radio is a community-run radio station and media project that re-envisions radio as an innovative platform for local participation. WGXC is a project of free103point9, a non-profit arts organization focused on Transmission Arts, or artists that use the radio spectrum in their work.

Main Street, Windham, NY


Jordan Smith, a senior at Cairo-Durham High-School, made this Main Street document during his summer 2009 employment with WGXC. WGXC: Hands on Radio is a community-run radio station and media project that re-envisions radio as an innovative platform for local participation. WGXC is a project of free103point9, a non-profit arts organization focused on Transmission Arts, or artists that use the radio spectrum in their work.

Cairo dems field no candidates

(Alice Tunison, center, with Cairo Town Clerk Tara A. Rumph, and board member Janet Schwarzenegger at the Aug. 19, 2009 Cairo town board meeting.)

Susan Campriello follows up her story about the Cairo Democrats failing to have a caucus and nominate any candidates, even though incumbent Town Board member and Democrat Alice Tunison approached them at the last minute for an endorsement, with additional reporting on her blog on the Daily Mail’s site. Campriello e-mailed State Board of Elections Deputy Special Counsel Paul Collins, who tells her Tunison, or Cairo Democrats who feel disenfranchised, could appeal to Greene County Democratic Committee Chairman Tom Poelker for a caucus. But they would have to do it today, as notice of a caucus must be filed with the Town Clerk and Board of Elections at least ten days before the caucus is to be held. Notice must also either be published in a newspapers at least one week before the caucus or posted in ten public places at least ten days prior to the caucus. And that all would have to happen today to meet the Sept. 22 deadline. So Tunison’s faithful better spell her name correctly on the write-in ballots, as she has decided to press on without the Democrats.

Seward, Murphy in the area this weekend

State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) will be in Catskill, Sunday, Sept. 13 attending a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Catskill Central School District’s enhanced secondary facility at noon. The ceremony will take place during the fourth annual Parents, Partners and Pancakes event. Congressman Scott Murphy (D-NY20) will be nearby on Saturday Sept. 12, with two events in Dutchess County. First, at 11 a.m. he has a “Growing Small Business Workshop” with representatives from the Small Business Administration, the New York Business Development Corporation, and the Empire State Development Corporation at Arlington High School, 1157 Route 55, Lagrangeville, NY. Then, at 1 p.m. he has a “Congress-On-Your-Corner in Pleasant Valley” at Pleasant Valley Town Hall, 1554 Main Street, Pleasant Valley, NY.

Seward and Saland vote for Green bill

New York State Senators James Seward (R-51, in Greene County) and Stephen M. Saland (R-41 in Columbia County) both voted for the Green Jobs/Green NY bill last night. The vote was 52-8 (search for A8901) in favor if the bill which has now been returned to the NY State Assembly. The bill does the following:

1. The bill, (S.5888) is a Job Creation program that pays for itself through energy savings and revitalization of economically distressed communities.

2. The landmark program will create 14,000 permanent jobs while significantly reducing energy costs for an estimated 1 million homes and business, curtailing the dangerous effect of greenhouse emissions on the environment.

3. Green Jobs creates a program where middle-income home and business owners can make their property more energy efficient to save money on their heating and cooling bills.

4. The program will provide $112 million in capital funding for job creation and workforce training, energy audits, program administration and a credit enhancement for critical private sector capital investment. GJ/GNY will front the cost of the work, enabling property owners to afford energy efficient retrofits that will cut energy usage by 30-40% yielding immediate savings on their monthly energy bills. Owners will repay the cost over time through on-bill financing on their utility bills, but their overall bill total would still be lower than what they pay right now.

5. Local contractors, certified to perform the retrofits will be able to expand their crews, creating new and permanent jobs in green construction and additional jobs in local businesses and manufacturing that serve those new workers.

6. By targeting the bill to middle income homeowners, the program has a statewide impact. Green Jobs/Green NY serves homeowners who make too much to qualify for Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) money but don’t make enough to afford energy saving retrofits. Upstate, where the median income is lower, the cut-off for WAP is so low that most people can’t qualify, but they can for Green Jobs/Green NY.

7. Green Jobs/Green NY costs taxpayers NOTHING. The program doesn’t take any money out of the state budget; it save homeowners money on their utility bills and creates thousands of jobs that bring money into the local economy. Funding for the program comes from carbon auction funds which are required to fund energy efficiency. This program uses that available money to save millions of New Yorkers money on their utility bills while putting thousands back to work for good.

8. The greatest barrier to energy efficiency and green job creation is the ability of residential and business property owners to afford the work. The Green Jobs/ Green NY programs breaks down that barrier through the infusion of up-front capital with NO on-budget cost to the state.

Hudsonic Series, No. 1

Hudsonic%20Series%2C%20No.%201.wmv

Listen and watch environmental video above.
Hudsonic Series, No. 1 by Sam Truitt
Land Trust Site, Ravish Road, Greenport, Columbia County
09.10.09, ca. 8:54 am (1.29 minutes)
2.4 MB, WMV

Officials stressing One City Centre purchase

Check out that headline in The Register-Star by the usually smarter writer Francesca Olsen. If you read deep down in her story you see why the officials are stressing a future building purchase: they don’t want you to think about the tax increase they just passed. Five paragraphs in Olsen mentions “Local laws renewing an additional half-percent of mortgage tax and an additional $2 per $1,000 of additional transfer tax on real property were also enacted.” Finally, seven paragraphs in, Olsen quotes Rick Rielly, president of the Columbia-Greene Board of Realtors, saying, “These are taxes, any way you look at it.” Olsen doesn’t even dare to say who voted for the tax, only that, “The renewal of taxes passed, with Supervisor John Musall, D-Hudson 1, abstaining, Supervisor William Hughes, D-Hudson 4, voting no on the additional transfer tax, and Supervisor Ed Cross, D-Hudson 2, voting no on the renewal.” Cross voted no on both taxes.

UPDATE:
Here is who voted for the mortgage tax:
Ancram’s Thomas Dias; Canaan’s Richard Keaveney; Chatham’s Jesse DeGroodt; Claverack’s James Keegan; Clermont’s Raymond Staats; Copake’s Reginald Crowley; Gallatin’s Lynda Scheer; Germantown’s Roy Brown; Ghent’s Lawrence Andrews; Greenport’s John Rutkey Sr.; Hillsdale’s Arthur Baer; Hudson’s 4th Ward-William Hughes, 5th Ward -Bart Delaney; Kinderhook’s Douglas McGivney; Livingston’s Philip Williams; New Lebanon’s Margaret Robertson; Stockport’s Leo Pulcher; Stuyvesant’s Valerie Bertram; Taghkanic’s Elizabeth Young. The same group voted for the transfer tax, except for Hudson’s William Hughes, who voted against.

DJ set from Michael Davis and Jordan Smith


(Michael Davis and Jordan Smith interviewing NY State Assemblyman Peter Lopez Aug. 22 at the Catskill Community Center.)

Click here to listen or download DJ set from WGXC summer 2009 employees and Cairo-Durham High seniors Michael Davis and Jordan Smith recorded for WGXC Aug. 29, 2009..

Slinky Armadillo kids rock show with Uncle Billy

Hudson’s Slink Moss plays songs about dogs Sat. Sept. 5 at Spotty Dog Books & Ale in Hudson with Chicago’s Uncle Billy helping on keyboards and other guests on vibes and banjo.

FCC orders Albany TV station off FM


In the analog past, before the June 12 switch to digital television, Ch. 6 TV stations could be heard on 87.7-FM on radios. A handful of Ch. 6’s, including Freedom Broadcasting’s WRGB-TV based in Schenectady, continued to broadcast on the radio after the digital switch. But Inside Radio is reporting that the Federal Communications Commission is ordering the station off the FM dial. WRGB-TV general manager Robert Furlong says, “We do not have FCC authorization to transmit an analog signal. We only have authorization for a digital signal at this time.” Furlong reports WRGB’s coverage area has shrunk with the digital switch.

Cairo Nature Center called ‘political football’


What sort of town does not want volunteers to create a park? Cairo, apparently. Susan Campriello in The Daily Mail reports on last Thursday’s Cairo Town workshop meeting, where the Cairo Nature Center Committee met with the Town Board. The Nature Center opened two years ago, and then the town closed it for a year to argue about what sort of permit process should be instituted, eventually closing the park off to everyone except Cairo town residents who pay a $15 fee. Earlier this summer a bridge railing in the Nature Center was broken and someone left some trash in the facility, which features hiking and biking trails, picnic areas and fishing spots in a reservoir. The small bit of vandalism caused Town Board members Ray Suttmeier and Rich Lorenz to complain that Nature Center was a gigantic headache for the town. At the meeting Thursday, Cairo Nature Center Committee members Michael Esslie, Jim Little, and committee Chairman Neil Schoenfeld disagreed. “Since this place has been open it has been nothing but a political football,” he said. Some of the Nature Center volunteers have also been working to rehab the St. Edmund’s Chapel as a town facility, and Cairo Town Supervisor John Coyne used the town meeting to complain about the tone of a letter from that group, a letter bemoaning how the town government also was trying to stop that project. Suttmeier, at previous town board meetings, said he illegally visited the Nature Center without getting the proper permit. Schoenfeld, who is also working to turn former railroad tracks in the town into a nature trail, is just about ready to give up all his work to benefit the Town of Cairo, just as the Town Board seemingly wants. This Sunday he will help host an Eco-Faire in the town park.

UPDATE: The Greenville Press (no web site to link to) weighs in on the issue with the best headline ever for Cairo politics: “Another project, another roadblock.” Linda L. Fenoff quotes Town Board members Rich Lorenz and Ray Suttmeier complaining after the park has been created that the location along the county’s main highway, Rt. 23, is too remote.

Today’s local headlines

(JoAnne Lettieri, seated, with her husband, before the Cairo Planning Board. Photo by Tom Roe.)

Cairo Main Street mayhem
Click here to listen or download mp3 of Cairo Planning Board meeting 090209
Click here to listen or download mp3 of Cairo Planning Board meeting talking about amending the site plan law

On August 18, police arrested JoAnne Lettieri in her store, McBride’s Resale Shop, at 465 Main St. in Cairo for violation of the town’s site plan law. The store, which used to be a restaurant a long time ago, apparently never went before the town’s planning board. The owners then left a note on the door of the store, next to the notice of violation that said in part, “Apparently it is easier to sell drugs in this town then a table and chair.” Last night Lettieri appeared before the Cairo Planning Board (listen to the link above, at 36:30), and claimed the town’s code enforcement officer said she was shutting down the store on orders of the Planning Board. Most Cairo Planning Board members said Wednesday that they had nothing to do with the enforcement issue. Lettieri, clearly upset, left the meeting crying, and her husband said that countless other buildings on Main St. in Cairo had similarly changed businesses without appearing before the Planning Board each time. Lettieri, in fact, said the store had been operating at the location since 2000, selling used items and hosting a few functions for the local Democratic Party. Later in the meeting, two Planning Board members, Eddie Forrester and Tony Puorro, noted that the Cairo Chamber of Commerce on Main St., “is in violation now.” Letttieri’s husband said he might have to make complaints to the enforcement office about all the other businesses in Cairo that have not properly appeared before the Planning Board. “Main Street just got shut down,” Forrester said, as they left. The Cairo town web site already is, and has been dark for over a week. After the meeting’s official business, Chairman Dan Benoit brought up his plans to amend the town’s site plan law, which was enacted last October. He cited four main issues that needed changing: 1) Noise. Benoit said that the Greene County Planning Board told him that Cairo cannot average out its noise estimates over a 24-hour period, and Benoit said this made mowing lawns illegal; 2) Signs. Benoit wanted new small signs to not come before the board; 3) Waivers of Less Extensive Plans; 4) Waiving Public Hearings for Less Extensive Plans. Puorro seemed to agree with Benoit’s proposal, while Frank Pambianchi kept warning, “I think you are leaving yourself open,” with the changes. The board decided to continue the conversation at the Oct. 7 meeting. They will hold a special meeting Sept. 14 for the Deschaine project.