Opening events

Recommended happenings.
FRIDAY
Sideshow clothing store opening at 7 p.m. with Bleeding Hearts belly dancers, Evan Randall, and Stephen Bluhm. 707 Warren St., Hudson.
Avondale Airforce and Battle Ave Tea Club at 9 p.m. at Market Market Cafe, Route 32 North, Rosendale. $5.
Mick Taylor Band and Voodelic at 9 p.m. at Bearsville Theater, 291 Tinker St. (Rt. 212), Woodstock.
SATURDAY
Hudson’s Children’s Book Festival, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., with hundreds of authors and WGXC, Hudson High.
Upstate II” opening, 6 p.m. with Melora Kuhn, Catherine Mosley, Erik Schoonebeek, and Allyson Strafella at Nicole Fiacco Gallery, Hudson. Through June 5.
Double Duos” 7 p.m. talk, 8 p.m. performance featuring Michael Benedict (vibes), Keith Pray (alto sax), Mike Lawrence (bass) and Brian Patneaude (tenor sax) at the Athens Cultural Center, 24 Second St, Athens.
RE:Vision Forward Motion Theater 8 p.m. at Hudson Opera House.
Club Helsinki in Hudson opens at 9 p.m. with Spottiswoode & His Enemies.
SUNDAY
Remember the Ladies” open house at noon at Thomas Cole House. Free.

Final Lafarge public hearing May 11

Hilary Hawke in The Daily Mail reports:

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced a legislative hearing for renewal and modification of the existing Lafarge Title V Air Permit application on May 11, 6 p.m. at the Ravena-Coeymans Selkirk High School Auditorium. All New York State contaminant-emitting facilities must have either a Title V Air permit, a state facility permit or a registration certificate. Lafarge’s permit expired in 2006 and it has been running under an extension since then. The company, which manufactures Portland cement and operates a limestone quarry, has extensive plans for modernizing the plant, the kilns and for reducing emissions. Administrative Law Judge Richard A. Sherman will preside over the hearing session and will accept unsworn statements on both the Title V application and the draft permit. Any member of the public potentially affected by the proposed project is invited to attend and provide oral or written comments. DEC originally gave public notice for the project in November 2009 and provided a 30-day comment period, later extended to 68 days, which ended on January 11, 2010. Rick Georgeson, DEC Region 4 spokesman, said the agency scheduled the May 11 hearing based on 44 comments, all in written or e-mail form, received during the public comment period. He also said 32 individuals expressed interest in further hearings. Georgeson said that after the May 11 hearing, “DEC will issue a response to the public comments. Going forward DEC can either issue or deny the Lafarge permit or issue a permit with added conditions.” The final decision can take anywhere from months to years. Read the entire story in The Daily Mail.

Hunter officials ask to keep park open

Devil's TombstoneFrom Colin DeVries in Windham Journal:

In an effort to save a key piece of the Mountaintop’s economic puzzle, county and local officials are rallying to keep the Devil’s Tombstone Campground open through 2010. A county resolution was unanimously approved Wednesday requesting that New York State reconsider closing the Devil’s Tombstone Campground in Hunter….The campground, located amidst Route 214’s Stony Clove, has been slated for closure along with six others throughout the state due to a massive $8 billion state budget deficit. “The North-South Lake and Devil’s Tombstone campgrounds bring people here from outside of region and the state,” said Michael McCrary, president of the Town of Hunter Chamber of Commerce. “If they close the campground we can’t put it in any of our promotions.” Officials are now rallying to come up with solutions to keep the campground open… Another alternative posed was the use of national service groups to maintain the campground and keep it operating, particularly the federal Corporation of National and Community Service’s AmeriCorps program. Read the entire story at Windham Journal.

DEP opens public lands

From Watershed Post:

This just in from the DEP: The agency that polices New York City’s upstate watershed will open 12,000 acres of city-owned watershed land to recreation. A total of 71,000 DEP-owned acres in the New York City watershed are now open to the public, according to a press release from the agency.

The 71,000 acres includes approximately 30,000 acres of property designated Public Access Areas which were opened in the last three years, where public hiking, fishing, hunting and trapping is allowed without DEP permits. The remaining acres require a DEP permit for access.

Murphy votes against Congressional pay raise

From Maury Thompson in the Post-Star:

U.S. Rep. Scott Murphy, D-Glens Falls, voted to reject a congressional pay raise for the coming federal fiscal year….Members of Congress receive an automatic annual cost-of-living adjustment, unless Congress votes specifically to reject it, as the House did overwhelmingly this week….Salary for House members would remain at $174,000 annually. Read the entire story in the Post-Star.

Murphy, who represents Greene and Columbia counties in NY-20, is running for re-election against Republican Chris Gibson.

Was it cruel? Paper asks local vet

Diane Valden in The Columbia Paper attempts to see the point of view of Hillsdale farmers Jim Clapp, 76, his wife Ida, 74, and their son Charles, 49, who were each charged last week with 33 misdemeanor counts of failure to provide proper sustenance to some of their dairy animals by Columbia-Greene Humane Society investigators and Sheriff’s deputies. (They pled not guilty Wednesday.) While the Clapps are not talking, Valden did speak to local veterinarian George Beneke who was at the Clapps’ Sunny Mead farm when humane society officials visited:

“It’s complicated,” he said of the situation. The Clapps “have had it tougher than a lot of other farmers,” said Dr. Beneke, who has over 40 years of experience in the field. “They haven’t had any excess money for treatment and vaccinations, and I wished they had wormed them, but there was feed in front of those animals, though there was not money for grain,” he said. “Some of the animals looked very well and others looked very thin, but there are a lot of thin animals in the county right now, if you look closely,” Dr. Beneke said. “They were trying to do the best with the feed stuffs they had–haylage and corn silage–but some of it had spoiled. Though they tried to use only the best of it, it was very difficult.” Before the sale of the milking herd, the three of them were trying to take care of 175 head, which is more than they should have been doing, he said. The family hoped to make it through the winter, waiting for the spring grass so they could pasture the animals. The dead animals died of gangrene, mastitis, giving birth and scours–none of them died of starvation, the vet confirmed. “Their judgment could have been better,” says the vet who remained sympathetic to the difficulties the family faced. Still “it takes some source of income” to pay for an adequate parasite treatment and vaccination program, he said. Ron Perez, humane society president and investigator, agreed the “economic woes” of dairy farmers is a factor in the case, but he said that the Clapps are experienced dairy farmers and should have asked for help from the humane society and the local dairy community. Read the entire story in The Columbia Paper.

Five candidates for two Hudson school board seats

Five candidates are vying for two seats for the Hudson City School District, Board of Education: Carrie Haddad, Joshua Hatala, Justin Cukerstein, Peter Merante, and Mary Daly. Unmuffled says:

Daly is the only incumbent in the field. This is her third run for the board. Her first attempt, in 2004, was unsuccessful; she was subsequently elected in 2005. One vacancy is the seat formerly held by Jack Mabb, who resigned from the board following his election as Stockport Town Justice in November 2009. That opening is for a one-year term, and the winner will be seated immediately following the election. The second opening — Daly’s current seat — is for the standard five-year term, effective July 1. In addition to electing two members of the BoE on May 18, voters will also be asked to approve the district’s $41 million spending plan for the 2010-11 school year and approve a $6 million bond referendum to finance a major roof replacement on four of the district’s five buildings. Read the entire story at Unmuffled.