Tooker challenges Molinaro

Debora Gilbert at The Columbia Paper reports:

Dutchess County resident Susan Tooker threw her hat into the ring at the annual Columbia County Democratic Committee dinner Sunday night, announcing her decision to run against Marc Molinaro (R) in the 103rd Assembly District. A working mother, registered nurse, nurse practitioner and union member, who is pro-choice and in favor of marriage equality, Ms. Tooker was introduced as the Democrats’ choice of an opponent to challenge the two-term GOP incumbent at the Democrats’ third annual Martin Van Buren Testimonial Dinner June 6 at the Columbia Golf and Country Club in Claverack. Read the entire story in The Columbia Paper.

School election results

Cairo-Durham school election results: School Budget Passed 551-527; Library Appropriation Failed 477-581; Biomass heating system Failed 433-625. Board Member results: Greg Koerner-Fox – 584; Thomas Plank – 564; Beatrice Clappin – 537; Pat Ublacker – 512; Nicole Maggio – 472; Dean Pectal – 456; Sam Mozzillo – 338. The Daily Mail reports Catskill results:

Catskill Central School District’s $36.6 million budget package for 2010-11 was approved by district voters Tuesday night in a 2-1 margin of 712-375. The Catskill Public Library budget was also passed with an approximate 2-1 margin, 701-368. Elected to the Board of Education for three-year terms were incumbent Michael Bulich, who was returned to the board for his second term with 579 votes, and first-timers Christopher Van Loan and Tracy Powell, who drew 439 and 408 votes, respectively. Elected to a two-year term — the unserved balance of an existing seat from a former BOE member — was first-timer Matthew Leipman, who received 402 votes.

The Daily Mail also has Coxsackie-Athens results:

The 2010-2011 budget for the Coxsackie-Athens Central School District was adopted by voters by a margin of 738 votes to 521. Three Board of Education seats were also up for grabs in the vote held yesterday – incumbents Mark Gerrain, Russell Nadler and Beth Tailleur were all up for re-election. Gerrain and Tailleur had easy victories, but Nadler was unseated by opponent Stephen Oliveira, who won 575 votes to Nadler’s 404.

In Hudson, Register-Star reports:

The Hudson City School District budget for 2010-2011 squeaked by Tuesday by a margin of a little more than 100 votes. District voters also reelected Mary Daly (663 votes) to the School Board and brought aboard Peter Merante Sr. (717), Justin Cukerstein, 593 votes. He may still may get a board seat. Patricia Abitabile, currently in the second year of her second five-year term, is resigning from the board as of June 30. There has yet to be a resolution on how Abitabile will be replaced, but a discussion at a recent BOE meeting seemed to indicate the candidate with the third highest number of votes could garner her seat. Carrie Haddad received 422 votes and Peter Rice Jr., garnered 263.

In Taconic Hills, Register-Star reports:

The 2010-2011 budget for the Taconic Hills Central School District passed Tuesday after polls closed, with 604 yes and 377 no votes….Joseph Costa (552), a Claverack automotive business owner who said he would encourage attendance at board meetings, and Kevin Maisenbacher (511), a branch manager at Key Corp/N.A. Licensed Investment, who hopes to involve the community more deeply in board decisions, won the district’s two open school board seats, replacing incumbent board members Scott Decker and Tom Bailey.

The story does not report the other vote totals. Also: Chatham Central School District voters passed the 2010-11 budget of $26,614,687 Tuesday by a margin of 441 for and 260 against. Incumbent candidate Melony Spock, 473 votes, Gail Day, 463, elected. A $13.6 million Germantown Central School District Budget passed easily Tuesday with 274 votes for the budget and 171 against. Eric Mortenson, 327; Theresa Repko, 320; Cynthia Smith, 304.

Next DSS meeting is Thursday at 4:15 p.m.

Franceseca Olsen in the Register-Star reports that Columbia County Board of Supervisors’ Space Utilization Subcommittee, which is trying to find a location for Department of Social Services within 60 to 90 days, meets today at 4:15 p.m. at 325 Columbia St., Hudson. Olsen reports that at a Columbia Economic Development Corporation meeting this week, BOS Chairman Roy Brown, R-Germantown, and Supervisor (and county budget/corporate compliance officer) Art Baer, R-Hillsdale, “vocally opposed the CEDC’s plan to use $14,000 to fund a study of the economic impact on moving DSS out of Hudson.” The CEDC will pay Camion and Associates from New York City, “for the purpose of conducting a study on the economic impacts derived from the location of … DSS.” Read the entire story in the Register-Star.

UPDATE: Register-Star’s Olsen attended meeting and says, “the Board of Supervisors’ Space Utilization Subcommittee Thursday evening… voted unanimously to, ‘limit site selection to only within the city of Hudson without documenting the need for DSS to remain within the city limits.'”

Saturday night rocks


Lady Moon at Savoia, 244 Warren St., Hudson.
Mother Fletcher at Main St. Pub, 12 Main St., Philmont.
Smokin’ Aces Blues Band at Fernwood Theater, 341 Malden Ave., Palenville.
NYC-based Girls in Trouble focused on obscure female characters in the Bible, with area songstress Ali Dineen at Spotty Dog Books & Ale.

Murphy posts appropriation requests online

U.S. Representative Scott Murphy (D, NY20), who represents Greene and Columbia counties, has posted his appropriations requests online. The projects from Greene and Columbia, and nearby, include:

Preservation of Manufacturing Jobs through Renewable Energy and Creation of a Center for Sustainable Manufacturing, Hudson, New York
Amount: $1,000,000
On behalf of the Columbia Economic Development Corporation, I requested that the FY 2011 Energy and Water Appropriations bill contain $1,000,000 to establish an investment fund for environmental sustainability projects focused on alternative energy. This project would also provide technical assistance to manufacturers increasing their facility energy efficiencies. This is a valuable use of taxpayer funds because this investment will increase the use of alternative energy sources among manufacturing companies and small businesses, spurring job growth and technology innovation.
Recipient: Columbia Economic Development Corporation
4303 Route 9
Hudson, NY 12534

New York State Solar Electric Incentive Programs, Copake, New York
Amount: $35,100
On behalf of the Town of Copake, I requested that the FY 2011 Energy and Water Appropriations bill contain $35,100 to procure and install solar panels on the roof of the Copake Town Hall, adding rows of photovoltaic modules equating to a total rated power of 24.0kw (240v). This is a valuable use of taxpayer funds because this investment grows the solar industry, an important sustainable energy source, and stimulates our economy by creating jobs in solar manufacturing and installation.
Recipient: Town of Copake
230 Mountain View Road
Copake, NY 12516

Generator for Emergency Shelter, Livingston, New York
Amount: $19,000
On behalf of the Town of Livingston, Columbia County, I requested that the FY 2011 Homeland Security Appropriations bill contain $19,000 to procure equipment needed to provide electricity and heat to the Livingston Town Emergency Shelter during emergency conditions. This is a valuable use of taxpayer funds because this investment assures public safety and shelter to citizens during times of emergency.
Recipient: Town of Livingston
119 County Route 19
Livingston, NY 12541

The Village of Red Hook Water Project, Red Hook, New York
Amount: $1,000,000
On behalf of the Town of Red Hook, I requested that the FY 2011 Interior & Environment appropriations bill contain $1,000,000 for the installation of an alternative well field and controls. This is the first step in a plan to rehabilitate the Village’s water infrastructure and provide the Village of Red Hook with a reliable source of drinking water. This is a valuable use of taxpayer funds because it will ensure that the people of Red Hook have access to reliable and safe drinking water.
Recipient: The Village of Red Hook
7467 South Broadway
Red Hook, NY 128571

Remediation of Vanderburgh Cove Wastewater Project, Rhinebeck, New York
Amount: $233,750
On behalf of the Town of Rhinebeck, I requested that the FY 2011 Interior & Environment appropriations bill contain $233,750 for the engineering and replacement of two Bioclere units at the existing water treatment facility. The project will ensure that residents can continue to enjoy affordable, environmentally safe wastewater collection and treatment services. Failure of the system threatens the Hudson River Estuary, as well as several local drinking water systems. This is a valuable use of tax payer funds because the project will ensure continued wastewater treatment services and will ensure the safety of the area’s drinking water.
Recipient: Town of Rhinebeck
80 E. Market St.
Rhinebeck, NY 12572

Camphill Ghent Elder Care Initiative, Copake, New York
Amount: $250,000
On behalf of Camphill Village, I requested that the FY 2011 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill contain $250,000 for initial construction of building an elder care community in Ghent to provide care for seniors of all levels of income and ability. This is an appropriate use of taxpayer funds because community care best addresses the needs of seniors who require specialized care at dramatically less cost to the individual and the healthcare system.
Recipient: Camphill Village USA
84 Camphill Road
Copake, NY 12516

Ambulance Replacement, Copake, New York
Amount: $123,895
On behalf of the Clausson-Raught Community Rescue Squad, I requested that the FY 2011 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill contain $123,895 to purchase a new ambulance to replace the current outdated unit that is no longer functional. This is an appropriate use of taxpayer funds because it will provide critical and prompt emergency medical service to the more than 15,000 people served in the community where those services are currently unavailable.
Recipient: Clausson-Raught Community Rescue Squad
283 Mountain View Road
PO Box 327
Copake, NY 12516

Columbia Memorial Hospital Technology Advancement and Electronic Health Record Program, Hudson, New York
Amount: $1,000,000
On behalf of Columbia Memorial Hospital, I requested that the FY 2011 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill contain $1,000,000 to help develop the hospital’s electronic health record system. This is an appropriate use of taxpayer funds because electronic medical records improve patient access to critical health information, reduce medical errors, and drive higher-quality and lower-cost care through the health care system.
Recipient: Columbia Memorial Hospital
71 Prospect Street
Hudson, NY 12534

Northern Dutchess Hospital: Master Facility Plan, Rhinebeck, New York
Amount: $1,000,000
On behalf of Northern Dutchess Hospital, I requested that the FY 2011 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill contain $1,000,000 for construction of a medical and surgical addition as well as renovation of the oldest in-patient area in the hospital. This is an appropriate use of taxpayer funds because it will ensure continued safe access to health care for the surrounding rural communities.
Recipient: Northern Dutchess Hospital
6511 Springbrook Avenue
Rhinebeck, NY 12572

New Cairo Library Construction Project, Cairo, New York
Amount: $400,000
On behalf of the Cairo Public Library, I requested that the FY 2011 T-HUD Appropriations bill contain $400,000 for the planning, design, and construction of a new library in Cairo, New York. The current library facility serves as a central location for library resources, community programming, tax forms, internet, etc. However, the facility is inadequate to meet the growing demand. This is a valuable use of taxpayer dollars because the library serves as an important resource for this rural community and will increase quality of life in Cairo.
Recipient: Cairo Library
512 Main St.
Cairo, NY 12413

The Claverack Free Library and Reading Room Project, Claverack, New York
Amount: $200,000
On behalf of the Claverack Free Library and Reading Room, I requested the FY 2011 T-HUD bill contain $200,000 to remodel the existing Claverack Firehouse into the Claverack Free Library and Reading Room. Funds would be used for design, engineering, hazardous material remediation, and construction. This is a valuable use of taxpayer funds because the new facility will allow for the expansion of traditional library services, including internet access, to the local community, as well as serve as an anchor public facility within the town’s commercial core.
Recipient: Claverack Free Library
629 State Route 23
Claverack, NY 12513

Columbia Economic Development Corporation Broadband Consortium Project, Hudson, New York
Amount: $100,000
On behalf of the Columbia Economic Development Corporation, I requested that the FY 2011 T-HUD Appropriations bill contain $100,000 to develop a Broadband Improvement Plan in order to attract new businesses to Columbia County. This is a valuable use of taxpayer funds because the development of broadband infrastructure is critical the economic development of the entire region.
Recipient: Columbia Economic Development Corporation
4303 Route 9
Hudson, NY 12534

Washington Hose Fire Company Renovation Project, Hudson, New York
Amount: $500,000
On behalf of the City of Hudson, I requested that the FY 2011 T-HUD Appropriations bill contain $500,000 for the planning, design, and renovation of a 150 year-old vacant firehouse. The renovated building would be used as a tourism center and house offices for the Chamber of Commerce and local economic development organizations. This is a valuable use of taxpayer funds because it will rehabilitate a vacant, historically significant building while attracting new economic development in downtown Hudson.
Recipient: City of Hudson
520 Warren Street
Hudson, NY 12534

The Mellenville Grange Hall Restoration Project, Mellenville, New York
Amount: $83,160
On behalf of the Mellenville Grange, I requested that the FY 2011 T-HUD Appropriations bill contain $83,160 to restore and repair the leaking slate roof of the historic Grange Hall building. This project is a valuable use of taxpayer funds because it will allow the Grange to preserve its historic structure, as well as continue its community service work in this rural community.
Recipient: Mellenville Grange #1255
803 Gahbauer Rd.
Mellenville, NY 12544

See the complete list of requested appropriations here.

Pay raises for Columbia County employees

The Register-Star reports that the Columbia County Board of Supervisors voted for a two percent pay raise for county employees Wednesday night. Supervisors voting “yes” on the pay raise were: Chairman Roy Brown, R-Germantown; Jeffrey Braley, R-Austerlitz; Reggie Crowley, R-Copake; Deputy Chairman Larry Andrews, R-Ghent; Art Baer, R-Hillsdale; Ed Cross, D-Hudson2; William Hallenbeck Jr., R-Hudson3; Deputy Chairman Bart Delaney, R-Hudson5; Pat Grattan, R-Kinderhook; Kevin McDonald, R-Livingston; Leo Pulcher, R-Stockport; and Valerie Bertram, R-Stuyvesant. Voting against: Art Bassin, D-Ancram; Robin Andrews, D-Claverack; Ray Staats, D-Clermont; Minority Leader Jesse DeGroodt, D-Chatham; Lynda Scheer, R-Gallatin; Ed Nabozny, I-Greenport; John Musall, D-Hudson1; William Hughes, D-Hudson4; and Margaret Robertson, D-New Lebanon.

Arts Councils announce cultural fund awards

The Greene County Council on the Arts (GCCA) and the Columbia County Council on the Arts (CCCA) announced the recipients of regrant awards through the Twin Counties Cultural Fund Decentralization Program for Columbia and Greene Counties (DEC) with 33 not-for-profit organizations awarded $48,950 for 2010.

Greene County received requests from 17 applications for requests totaling $50,855 – more than twice the amount of available regrant funds. Fifteen organizations received $22,517 for the Decentralization Program (DEC) Project Support which includes organizations that act as a conduit (fiscal managers) for artist initiated projects. They are:

Cairo Public Library was awarded $1400 for multidisciplinary arts programs.
Catskill Community Center was awarded $1000 for Self-Portrait Books, Drawing & Painting from Poetry & The Art of Jazz Community Arts programs.
Catskill Mountain Wolf Center & Joseph Capone were awarded $1700 for presentation of Six Characters in Search of an Author.
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Greene County was awarded $1125 for Little Theater in the Woods program at the Acra Forestry Education site.
D.R. Evarts Library was awarded $1000 for visual arts, dance and storytelling.
Greene Arts Foundation was awarded $2700 for a stage adaptation of O’Sullivan Stew involving teens.
Heart of Catskill Association & David Woodin were awarded $2200 for classical concerts with professional and amateur musicians.
Love ‘N Care Pet Sanctuary & Margo Muller were awarded $1800 for children’s theater project based on the Little Red Schoolhouse local landmark.
New Baltimore Reformed Church & Brian Mellick were awarded $1000 for a series of small ensemble acoustic concerts in New Baltimore.
Oak Hill Preservation Association was awarded $892 for artist presenters for Oak Hill Day.
Pleshakov Music Center was awarded $1800 for lecture/concerts at the piano museum in Hunter.
Rivertown Housing & Jeanne Heiberg were awarded $1000 for writing & collage workshops, public reading & exhibit.
Schoharie Creek Players was awarded $1800 for production of The Importance of Being Ernest.
Town of Hunter & Kevin VanHentenryck were awarded $2000 for outdoor stone carving class & demo along Route 23 in Hunter.
Windham Public Library was awarded $1100 for physical character & theater, an investigation of Calder mobiles and other workshops.

Columbia County received requests from 22 organizations totaling $60,150 – more than twice the amount of available funding. Eighteen organizations received $26,433 from the Decentralization Program (DEC) Project Support which includes organizations that act as a conduit (fiscal manager). They are:

Clarion Concerts was awarded $1500 for Leaf Peepers Series.
Columbia County Office for the Aging & Heather Martin were awarded $1433 for jewelry making & ceramic explorations for seniors.
Friends of Chatham Library was awarded $1200 for theater, paper marbling & pottery workshops.
Friends of Chatham Library & Bend the Knotted Oak were awarded $750 for a chamber music concert at St. James Church.
Hudson Area Library was awarded $500 for cultural storytelling & dance program with Elena Mosley.
Hudson Library & Diata Diata International Folkloric Theatre were awarded $2000 for Maii: The Wonder of Water! an original dance and theatrical production.
HRC/Showcase Theatre was awarded $1500 for staged readings of original plays.
Hudson Valley Choral Society was awarded $1500 for musicians for 2010 concerts.
Mental Health Association of Col/Greene Counties were awarded $1250 for theater workshops and public performance with Walking the Dog Theater.
North Chatham Library was awarded $1500 for literature & arts series.
North Chatham Library & Sheri Bauer Mayorga were awarded $2000 for Columbia County Children’s Vocal Ensemble.
Philmont Community Chorus was awarded $900 for a consultant and accompanist for their winter and spring concerts.
Philmont Library was awarded $1500 for evenings of outdoor music.
Roeliff Jansen Community Library & Robin Becker were awarded $1700 for Columbia Chamber Orchestra concerts of Indian, fusion & other music.
Roving Actors Repertory Ensemble was awarded $2500 for productions of Barefoot in the Park & Jesus Christ Superstar.
United Way of Col/Greene Counties and Amy Madden were awarded $1000 for a process based art practice workshop for teens.
United Way of Col/Greene Counties and Dara Lurie were awarded $1200 for teen writing & rhythm investigations.
Valatie Community Theater, Inc. was awarded $2500 for their Youth Theater Project.

DSS back to Ockawamick?

After months of protests, accusations, anonymous internet slander, and controversy, Columbia County’s Board of Supervisors chairman Art Baer held a love-in press conference last July announcing the county was bidding on One City Centre, on the corner of Green and State streets in Hudson, to use the building for county office space and make room at two other county office buildings (401 and 610 State St.) for the Department of Social Services, allowing DSS to remain in Hudson after the county’s lease on DSS’s home at 25 Railroad Ave. ends in 2011. Now we are back where we started, as the county’s bid of $2.6 million was significantly lower than three other bids. “I guess the question of what happens with DSS goes back to the (county space utilization) subcommittee for further review and research,” new BOS Chairman Roy Brown (Germantown) told The Daily Mail today. Which means several supervisors will be trying to move DSS to the Ockawamick property several miles outside Hudson, which caused all the initial controversy. Brown recently would not rule out such a move in an interview with The Register-Star.

Brown speaks to Register-Star

Francesca Olson holds the Register-Star’s annual interview with the current Board of Supervisors chairman, now Roy Brown R-Germantown. Brown wants Kohl’s to get their PILOT tax break to move into Greenport; is against hiring new workers to handle the increased workload at the Department of Social Services; will not rule out moving DSS to Ockawamick; and does not have enough money budgeted to bring the county courthouse in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Tune in to candidate forums

Click on links to listen to archived recordings of local candidate forums sponsored by the League of Women Voters in Columbia and Greene counties.

MP3 audio plays in Quicktime Player in any browser except Internet Explorer. They will not play in Internet Explorer, use another browser. You can download the mp3s with Quicktime Player Pro. You can click on links or cut and paste urls into your media player.

ATHENS Thu. Oct. 22, 7-9 p.m. at Athens Community Center.
http://archive.free103point9.org/2009/10/Athens_candidate_forum_WGXC_102209.mp3

CLAVERACK Thu. Oct. 22, 7-9 p.m. at A.B. Shaw fire house.
http://archive.free103point9.org/2009/10/Claverack_candidate_forum_WGXC_102209.mp3

CATSKILL Sat. Oct. 24, 10 a.m.-noon at Catskill Community Center.
http://archive.free103point9.org/2009/10/Catskill_candidate_forum_WGXC_102409.mp3

COPAKE Sun. Oct. 25, 1-3 p.m. at Copake Grange Hall, downtown Copake. Sorry, WGXC did not get a recording.

GREENE COUNTY LEGISLATURE Sun. Oct. 25, 4-6 p.m. at Union Mills Lofts in Catskill.
http://archive.free103point9.org/2009/10/Greene_County_Legislature_UnionMills_WGXC_102409.mp3

CHATHAM Mon. Oct. 26, 7-9 p.m. at Chatham Town Hall.
http://archive.free103point9.org/2009/10/Chatham_candidate_forum_WGXC_102609.mp3

KINDERHOOK Tue. Oct. 27, 7-9 p.m. at Ichabod Crane Middle School.
http://archive.free103point9.org/2009/10/Kinderhook_candidate_forum_WGXC_102709.mp3

Greene and Columbia County candidate forums

Tune in live candidate forums this week

THURSDAY: Claverack and Athens
SATURDAY: Catskill
SUNDAY: Copake and Greene County
MONDAY: Chatham
TUESDAY: Kinderhook

WGXC will have live web streams of each candidate forum for everyone to listen to. In addition, WGXC will post archived recordings of these candidate forums as soon as possible at www.wgxc.org

More details below.

((((( CANDIDATE FORUMS )))))

Columbia and Greene County candidate forums

The League of Women Voters of Greene County and Columbia County are sponsoring seven “Meet the Candidates” forums for politicians running for various offices this fall. Invitations to the events have been mailed to all candidates.

In cooperation with the League, and as a service to all local media and voters, WGXC will air all forums live on an internet web stream at http://www.wgxc.org if internet access is available, and is coordinating members of the local media to cover the event. Recordings of all events will be posted as quickly as possible at http://www.wgxc.org and archived for future reference.

To listen live:
Either go to http://www.wgxc.org and click on the links for each candidate forum, which will open a web stream in your computer’s media player (iTunes, etc.) or will also play on your cell phone (iPhone, etc.)
or
Paste this link into “open url” on your computer’s media player:
For Columbia County forums:
http://comm.free103point9.org/8000/election.mp3.m3u
For Greene County forums:
http://comm.free103point9.org/8000/greeneelection.mp3.m3u

Where and when are the candidate forums?

Thursday, October 22, both at 7-9 p.m.
CLAVERACK
Town of Claverack candidates’ forum at A.B. Shaw firehouse on Route 9H in Claverack. Listen at:
http://comm.free103point9.org/8000/election.mp3.m3u

ATHENS
Athens forum, for candidates for Town Council, Town Justice, and Athens Legislature representation will be at the Athens Community Center, 2 First Street, Athens.
http://comm.free103point9.org/8000/greeneelection.mp3.m3u

Saturday, October 24, 10 a.m.-noon
CATSKILL
The Catskill session for candidates for Town Council, Town Justice, Catskill Legislature representation will be at the Catskill Community Center, 344 Main Street, Catskill.
http://comm.free103point9.org/8000/greeneelection.mp3.m3u

Sunday, October 25 1-3 p.m.
COPAKE
Town of Copake candidates’ forum at Copake Grange Hall, downtown Copake.
http://comm.free103point9.org/8000/election.mp3.m3u

Sunday, October 25, 4-6 p.m.
GREENE COUNTY LEGISLATURE
The forum for all Greene County Legislative candidates will be at Union Mills Lofts, 361 Main Street, Catskill.
http://comm.free103point9.org/8000/greeneelection.mp3.m3u

Monday, October 26, 7-9 p.m.
CHATHAM
Town of Chatham candidates’ forum at Chatham Town Hall.
http://comm.free103point9.org/8000/election.mp3.m3u

Tuesday, October 27 7-9 p.m.
KINDERHOOK
Town of Kinderhook candidates’ forum at Ichabod Crane Middle School.
http://comm.free103point9.org/8000/election.mp3.m3u

Journalists confirmed attending:
Melanie Lekocevic, Greene County Local Courier (Athens and Catskill forums)
Colin Devries, The Daily Mail (Athens forum)
WGXC reporters: Tom Morini, Debra Kamecke, Kaya Weidman, Tom Roe

WGXC will post recordings of each candidate forum as soon as possible at www.wgxc.org.

For more information:

Fawn Potash/League of Women Voters
518- 929-5764
fawnpotash@yahoo.com

Or

Paul Smart/WGXC.org
518-943-4224
paulsmart@aol.com

Basic Political Debate/Meet the Candidates Event Format

Event should be no more than 90 minutes long.
Candidates need to arrive 15 minutes before start of event.
Substitute speakers are not permitted.
No campaign literature or materials will be allowed inside the room.
Lots will be drawn in advance to determine the order of speakers for opening remarks.
Moderator will be introduced by the sponsoring organization’s spokesperson
Moderator will introduce panel members and go over the rules.
Each candidate will have a 3-minute opening statement.
Audience members will be asked to silence all electronic devices.
The audience will be provided with index cards/writing implements with which to write questions.
1. No statements
2. No personal remarks
3. All questions must be legible
4. The moderator will choose questions and paraphrase for clarity/appropriateness.
The candidates will have one minute to answer. The moderator will call on candidates in succeeding order to answer. The moderator has the right to rule on all questions. No one else will be permitted to see the questions before, during or after the event. [Candidates should be reminded that they may take notes and cover issues/comments they missed during the Q&A as part of their closing statement.]

Depending on time available, questions may be permitted from the floor. Questions will be limited to one minute and will be answered as above. The same rules apply as with written questions.

Each candidate may have a 2 or 3-minute closing statement.

The moderator will close the event and invite members of the audience to remain in order to have personal conversations with the candidates (must be agreed upon in advance by candidates).

SPEAKING TIME WILL BE STRICTLY ENFORCED OUT OF RESPECT FOR THE OTHER CANDIDATES AND THE AUDIENCE’S RIGHT TO HEAR ALL CANDIDATES SPEAK.

Candidates are encouraged to bring campaign literature. A table should be set up outside the room for the purpose of distributing the literature. Each candidate will be permitted to display a packet of flyers, position papers, and letters of endorsement or other campaign material. However, each candidate will be allowed only ONE stack of information on the table unless the organizer permits more.

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.

Today’s local headlines

Brown replaces Scheer as deputy on county board
From Parry Teasdale in The Columbia Paper

HUDSON — Chairman of the Columbia County Board of Supervisors Art Baer (R-Hillsdale) shuffled the leadership of the board, with Germantown Supervisor Roy Brown (R) replacing Gallatin Supervisor Lynda Scheer, as a deputy chairman of the board. Baer’s announcement of the move Friday said that Ms. Scheer resigned from the post “for personal reasons.” Brown stood with Baer on his controversial plan to buy the Ockawamick School building on Route 217 in Claverack and, initially, move much of the Department of Social Services there from Hudson. The change takes effect September 1.

Copake board finds ways to agree except on the deficit
From Diana Valden in The Columbia Paper

COPAKE – This is the sort of amazing story about local town meetings that is almost never written ’round these parts. Instead of deciding one of the night’s actions constituted a story and the rest did not, Valden bullet points 10 items that the usually contentious-across-party-lines town board agreed on last week. Then she writes how Councilman Bob Sacks, who has advocated cutting the town’s police force to cover the recently discovered large deficit, reported he was told by the Sheriff’s Office that patrols from that office cover Copake and all of Columbia County 24/7. Sacks also quoted the supervisors of other towns saying they could not afford their own police force and had no need for one because of coverage by the Sheriff’s Office and State Police. Copake Town Police Commissioner Jeff Nayer, then shouted, “Other towns don’t set what we do!” Mr. Nayer said that the Police Department had offered to cut 17 percent of its budget to help the town deal with the deficit, while other departments offered nothing.

New parties make ballot for November
From Jim Planck in The Daily Mail

Have A Voice candidates Karen Deyo, Keith Valentine, Linda Overbaugh, and Joseph Izzo will appear on the November ballot, as will Grassroots of Durham candidate Les Armstrong. The Have a Voice folks are Republicans, joining fellow GOPer Overbaugh in this bid to stay on the ballot for the four Catskill Greene County Legislature seats, after errors in her previous petitions kept her off the Republican line. Likewise with Armstrong, a Republican attempting to primary against Elsie Allan but now facing Allan and Democrat Sean Frey for the Durham seat on the legislature. Overbaugh and Armstrong’s third-party bids went unchallenged by opponents.

State parks in Columbia County fare better than most
From Mike McCagg in ccScoop

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation shows attendance at parks in the Taconic Region of the state park system, which includes Columbia County, is down 3.7 percent in the period from July 2008 through July 2009. Across New York, park attendance is down 4.5 percent, to 27.2 million visitors. Attendance dropped at the Clermont State Historic Site 18.5 percent to 43,456 visitors, at the Clermont State Historic Site 4.1 percent to 61,896 visitors, at the Olana State Historic Site 14.1 to 61,896 visitors, and at Lake Taghkanic State Park, 5.2 percent, to 95,862. At Taconic State Park in Copake attendance was up 12.9 percent to 13,313, and in Copake Falls attendance rose 5 percent to 73,066 visitors.

Farmland Protection on the way
From Francesca Olsen in The Register-Star

Last Tuesday the Planning and Economic Development Committee passed a resolution to apply for state grant funding for developing a Farmland Protection Plan, with matching funds to be provided by the Columbia Economic Development Corporation (CEDC), as Columbia County is one of the few in the state without such a plan. The Columbia County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board submitted drafts of a plan to the state Department of Agriculture and Markets, but was not approved.

Mario’s moves forward with new warehouse
From Paul Crossman in The Register-Star

VALATIE — Mario’s True Value Home Center is planning a new 20,000-square-foot lumber supply warehouse, and hopes to have closed on the new location by sometime in early September, with winter construction.

Today’s local headlines

Signs of the times

McBride’s Resale Shop at 465 Main St. in Cairo was shut down this week. Read all about it in these two images. A sign on the building still calls it Main St. Cafe, though that business has been closed awhile.

Over two thousand without power in Columbia County
National Grid reports over 2300 homes without power in Columbia at 10:30 p.m., with power not expected to be restored until 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Sam Pratt’s Facebook status reports that 23B, 9H & Rt. 23 into Hudson are closed, and power lines are down on 29. He also says it seemed dark in Taghkanic, Claverack and Greenport.

Attorney General’s new web site not very up-to-date
The attorney general’s office showed off its new Sunlightny.com open-government web site Thursday with workshops in Valatie and Cairo. Perhaps Mr. Cuomo will update the site before his gubernatorial campaign starts — right now the site’s Greene County listings do not include any Cairo officials, and report John Bull is still mayor of Coxsackie.

Town trapped in shallower hole
From Jamie Larson in The Register-Star

COPAKE – Through a combination of adjusted revenue statements and reduced spending, the Copake Town Board cut the town’s newly-discovered deficit down from an estimated $180,000 to $80,000. On party lines, the board then voted to borrow $100,000 from The Salisbury Bank and Trust Company to cover the revenue shortfall and tax the town based on assessed value in a one-time tax. The loan will be paid back in 2010. Republican supervisor Reggie Crowley, and board members Daniel Tompkins and Walt Kiernan voted to take out the loan, while Democrats Bob Sacks and Linda Gabaccia voted no.

Someone’s watching
From Linda L. Fenoff in The Greenville Press (no web site)

CATSKILL – Democrat Robin DePuy of Palenville may have joined the never-dull election for the four Catskill seats on the Greene County Legislature, by forming the “Common Sense” party. Earlier, Linda Overbaugh was ruled not eligible to run on the Republican line because of petition errors, and started the “Have a Voice” party to get on the ballot. Now Overbaugh may be knocked off that line too, as witnesses witnessed two of the “Have a Voice” candidates collecting signatures without witnesses. Can I get a witness?

Team Dudley deflates political football
From Pat Bone Cominos in The Greenville Press (no web site)

Retiring Greene County Legislator Ken Dudley (R-Greenville) withdrew his $80,000 Quantum Fund loan application for his business Tip Top Furniture in Greenville. Minority leader Sean Frey (D-Durham) said he thought the loan was, “not illegal, but unethical for the county to make a Quantum loan to a business owner who is also on the Greene County Legislature.”

Cairo board appointments
From Susan Campriello’s blog for The Daily Mail

CAIRO – Cairo Town Supervisor John Coyne says individuals involved in lawsuits against the town can be appointed to positions on Cairo boards. Several Cairo officials wanted to institute such a ban during a discussion about the ethics board. In a May 5 letter to Supervisor John Coyne, Cairo Town Attorney Tal Rappleyea, and the Town Board, Melanie Trimble, of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said the board should not reject a party interested in serving on a board based upon their involvement in such litigation. “Such blanket exclusion must be viewed as retaliation against people for exercising their rights,” the letter said.

September auditions for radio theater
From The Mountain Eagle

COBLESKILL – The Theater Project of Schoharie County will hold auditions for an evening of radio theater. Two plays: “His Honor, the Mayor” and “The War of the Worlds” plus commercials and musical interludes. Auditions: Sept. 10 6 – 9 p.m. and Sept. 13 2 – 5 p.m. at Teen Town, 45 North Grand St, Cobleskill.

Today’s local headlines

Mistaken identity muddles Catskill candidacy
The Greenville Press (no web site)

CATSKILL – Linda Fenoff scoops everyone with the story of Linda Overbaugh’s now potentially failed candidacy for Greene County Legislator. It seems there are two Linda Overbaughs in Catskill, and local Republicans claim a Board of Elections official put the wrong Overbaugh on the petitions to add her to the ballot. Overbaugh, who most political observers deemed a favorite in the race, now may not be on the ballot at all, since all the signatures she received were for someone else, and incumbent Democrat Forest Cotten, who challenged the petition, has a much better chance. (Overbaugh is executive director of Heart of Catskill Association, and full disclosure, was on the WGXC Radio Council for a few months before she said she was too busy and withdrew.) In the story, local GOP officials hilariously seem to say they wouldn’t have challenged a Democrat if they would have made a similar mistake. No one believes that. But if a Board of Elections official made the error, perhaps a State Supreme Court judge will rule in her favor on the petitions, as the GOP is petitioning to get her on the ballot. Otherwise, if enough voters write in her name exactly on Sept. 15’s primary, she can get back on the ballot.

Greene County OKs new tax on mortgages
From The Daily Freeman

CATSKILL – The Greene County Legislature voted to raise taxes Thursday on new home buyers in Greene County. Voting to raise taxes were Catskill’s Karen Deyo (R), Dorothy Prest (R), Keith Valentine (R); Coxsackie’s Charles A. Martinez (R) and Wayne Speenburgh (R); Greenville’s Kenneth E. Dudley (R); Prattsville, Ashland, Windham, and Jewett’s James Hitchcock (R), and Halcott, Lexington, and Hunter’s Larry Gardner (D). Legislators Forest Cotten, D-Catskill, and Sean Frey, D-Durham, voted against the tax, while William Lawrence, R-Cairo; Harry Lennon, D-Cairo; James Van Slyke, D-New Baltimore; and Ray Brooks, R-Athens, were absent. Beginning Oct. 1, home buyers in Greene County will be required to pay an additional 50 cents per $100 on new mortgages. This new tax will be on top of the current 75-cents-per-$100 surcharge assessed on all new mortgages, of which 25 cents is paid to the state by the mortgage lender and 50 cents is paid by the borrower to the municipality where the property is located. The total mortgage recording tax will increase to $1.25 per $100, with 50 cents per $100 being paid to the county.

New accountant faces old budget deficit
From The Register-Star

COPAKE – The Town Board fired accountant Brian Fitzgerald Wednesday night after he told them last month they are facing a $175,000 budget deficit at the end of the year. The Town Board did not believe his numbers and fired him for mishandling funds, acting disrespectfully at public meetings to Board members and residents, and sending internal town business e-mails to the Register-Star. They hired accountant Michael Torchia, who told them the deficit was about the same, just slighty more.

Columbia and Greene pork
From The Albany Times-Union
The Times-Union is tracking the pork projects approved by New York legislators for Columbia and Greene counties:
Columbia County:
STUYVESANT FIRE DISTRICT ONE $10,000 GORDON-T STUYVESANT
VALATIE FIRE DEPARTMENT $6,000 GORDON-T VALATIE
NORTH CHATHAM FREE LIBRARY $5,000 GORDON-T NORTH CHATHAM
KINDERHOOK MEMORIAL LIBRARY $4,000 GORDON-T KINDERHOOK
TOWN OF NEW LEBANON $3,000 GORDON-T NEW LEBANON
AIDS COUNCIL OF NORTHEASTERN NEW YORK, INC. FAIRVIEW PLAZA – $2,500 GORDON-T HUDSON
LEBANON VALLEY BUSINESS ASSOCIATION $2,500 GORDON-T NEW LEBANON
COLUMBIA GREENE COMMUNITY COLLEGE $10,000 MOLINARO HUDSON
WEST GHENT FIRE COMPANY $7,500 MOLINARO GHENT
PHILMONT FIRE COMPANY $5,500 MOLINARO PHILMONT
GREENPORT POLICE DEPARTMENT $4,800 MOLINARO HUDSON
HUDSON VALLEY AGRI-BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CORP. $4,000 MOLINARO HUDSON
GREENPORT PUMPER COMPANY NO. 1 $3,600 MOLINARO HUDSON
CITY OF HUDSON $3,500 MOLINARO HUDSON
CITY OF HUDSON YOUTH DEPARTMENT $3,000 MOLINARO HUDSON
COLUMBIA COUNTY RIDE PROGRAM $3,000 MOLINARO HUDSON
HUDSON VALLEY AGRI-BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CORP. $3,000 MOLINARO HUDSON
HUDSON CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT $2,500 MOLINARO HUDSON
VFW POST 1314-HUDSON $2,500 MOLINARO HUDSON
HUDSON POLICE DEPARTMENT $2,000 MOLINARO HUDSON
THE OLANA PARTNERSHIP $1,300 MOLINARO HUDSON
CHATHAM HIGH SCHOOL NEWSPAPER $500 MOLINARO CHATHAM
Columbia-Greene Community College $50,000 Saland Hudson
R.I.D.E. Program $9,000 Saland Hudson
West Ghent Volunteer Fire Company $7,500 Saland Ghent
North Chatham Free Library $5,000 Saland North Chatham
Greenport Pumper Co. No. 1, Inc. $3,600 Saland Hudson
Greene County:
TOWN OF NEW BALTIMORE TOWN HALL – $7,500 GORDON-T HANNACROIX
VEDDER RESEARCH LIBRARY $5,000 GORDON-T COXSACKIE
HEERMANCE MEMORIAL LIBRARY $2,500 GORDON-T COXSACKIE
Greene County Industrial Development Agency $18,500 Seward Coxsackie
Greene County Pop Warner Football Association, Inc. $5,000 Seward South Cairo

Today’s local headlines

Columbia County Board of Supervisors holds its regular meeting tonight at 7:30 p.m. at 401 State St. in Hudson. Protesters will be back voicing opposition to the Board’s proposed moved of the Department of Social Services from Hudson to Ockawamic. “As a direct result of the public outcry and resistance, a key member of the Board of Supervisors has now reversed his position on the project,” writes Linda Mussmann, of the Bottom Line party and TSL in Hudson. “Longtime Claverack supervisor James Keegan announced his “change of heart” in the July 7 edition of the Register-Star…. The Coxsackie Village Board has joined Cairo as the second local jurisdiction with a troubling audit from the State Comptroller. Coxsackie lacked sufficient oversight between 2004 and 2008, leading to a number of “unplanned operating deficits” in its general, water and sewer funds, according to an audit, as reported in The Daily Mail…. David Deutsch’s Parks Arts Recreation Culture group will not be constructing outdoor spaces, housing, a grocery store, a year-round indoor pool, an ice-skating rink, a inter-generational center, bike paths and other improvements in Hudson, as they cannot raise money for the ambitious plan, according to The Register-Star….Twenty seven homes were sold in Columbia County in May 2009 compared to 13 sold in April 2009; this is a 107.7 percent increase. In Greene County, the number of existing single family homes sold decreased 32.1 percent, with 28 homes sold in April and 19 sold in May, The Register-Star reports. From May 2007 to May 2009, the number of homes sold in Columbia County decreased 37.2 percent, and decreased 40.6 percent in Greene County…. Common Cause is organizing a campaign to get the New York State Senate back to work instead of their continued efforts to play “pretend” Senate….Vice-President Joe Biden will speak at Shenendehowa High School in Clifton Park at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, according to the The Daily Gazette…. Elvis Costello mentions the Hudson Valley on “Sulphur to Sugarcane” from his new album, “Secret, Profane and Sugarcane” (via Nippertown!):
“The women in Poughkeepsie
Take their clothes off when they’re tipsy
But in Albany, New York,
They love the filthy way I talk
Until they gargle with the finest champagne
They can´t get the grape and the grain
It´s not very far from Sulphur to Sugarcane”

Today’s local headlines

Art Baer, the chairman of the Columbia County Board of Supervisors, sat down with The Register-Star after taking a lot of heat in that paper the last few months without much comment. Baer, R-Hillsdale, generally continued his fight with politicians in Hudson in the 90-minute interview, blaming the criticism on meetings being held in that city, and saying that Hudson officials think only of themselves. Baer has been criticized for proposing the county move the Department of Social Services from Hudson to Ockawamick and close and relocate the Pine Haven Nursing and Rehabilitation Center from Philmont. Just this week he stirred up another storm by advocating moving homeless people into the 139-year-old St. Charles Hotel in Hudson. “His major frustration has been his inability to communicate with the public,” The Register-Star wrote. “We don’t have media, we don’t have coverage,” Baer said to the media…..The Daily Mail reports that Catskill’s revised subdivision law will be available for public review next week, with a public hearing soon after….The Austerlitz Town Board adopted a zoning law Thursday, according to The Register-Star. Town Supervisor George P. Jahn also said that the Pine Haven Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Philmont should not be moved to Kinderhook at the town’s meeting….The Town of Durham wants to put a cell phone antenna at 44 McAfferty Road, according to The Daily Mail. Some residents, who probably put cell phones next to their brains occasionally, say the 90-foot-high tower will give them cancer. The town kept the public hearing open until June 30.

Today’s local headlines

Register-Star reporter Jamie Larson claims Columbia County Board of Supervisor Chairman Art Baer, “asked the Register-Star to get [Hudson Mayor Rick Scalera] to sit down with him today to reopen the discussion about [using the] Charles Williams [School] or other sites as possibilities.” The story begins with the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce holding an emergency economic forum Thursday at Hudson’s Stageworks Theater. Larson gets Baer on the phone to comment on all the outrage from the Hudson business community about his plan to move the homeless into the city’s St. Charles Hotel. “Baer said St. Charles wouldn’t be on the table if Hudson Mayor Rick Scalera hadn’t ‘stiff-armed’ talks two years ago to use the old Charles Williams School as a homeless shelter,” the story says. Scalera, reached by the reporter, agrees to meet Baer anytime. Scalera says talks to use the Charles Williams School for the homeless broke down when Baer began pushing for the Department of Social Services to move out of Hudson to the Ockawamick school in Claverack. Baer then calls this typical political dealing “blackmail,” clearly raising an even bigger fight instead of trying to solve an issue. Linda Mussmann from TSL and the Bottom Line Party says Baer’s actions are, “the dismantling of Hudson as the county seat.”… Baer also visited Washington D.C., according to the Register-Star, to lobby New York representatives for federal stimulus funding for $4 million in improvements to the museum and visitor center at the Olana State Historic Site; $3 million for an emergency communications system; $9 million for the Greenport water and sewer system; $200,000 to study a countywide broadband initiative; and $1 million to extend wastewater and sewer systems to Hudson Park on Route 23 in Livingston…. U.S. Rep. Scott Murphy put in a $15 million federal funding request on behalf of the Greene County Industrial Development Agency for “transportation infrastructure improvements to State Route 9W” and an “expansion of Exit 21B/New York State Thruway, a flyover Bridge connecting 9W, and an internal public road system connecting the flyover bridge and Kalkberg Commerce Park,” according to the Daily Mail…. The Kinderhook Republicans endorsed Patrick Grattan as town supervisor, Patsy Leader and Glenn Smith for seats on the Town Board, and Lisa Mills for town justice and cross-endorsed Democrat incumbent Highway Superintendent John Ruchel Jr. for a second term in office, according to the Register-Star….While the New York State Senate Republicans and Democrats can’t agree on anything else to start working, they can agree to keep taking your money. From the Albany Times-Union’s Capitol Confidential blog, Marissa Shorenstein, spokeswoman to Gov. David Paterson is quoted:

“The Governor’s office earlier today looked into the question of whether or not members of the Senate are eligible to receive their salaries with no presiding officer agreed upon to authorize payment. It turns out that both conferences have come together and signed appropriate documentation to continue receiving their salaries. So there is a power sharing agreement — but it only includes getting paid. If the leadership of the Senate can agree on a way to keep getting paid, they can reach an agreement to get back to work for the people of New York.”

LIVE TONIGHT:

Multimedia work by Fawn Potash and Pat Horner at Oriole 9, 17 Tinker Street, Woodstock, 5-7 p.m.

Today’s local headlines

Town meetings to air on public access channel
CAIRO – The Cairo Town Board extended Mid-Hudson Cable’s contract at their regular board meeting last night. At the public hearing about renewing the company’s franchise agreement before the board meeting, Cairo Supervisor John M. Coyne and council member Janet Schwarzenegger both advocated recording town meetings for Mid-Hudson’s public access channel. Schwarzenegger said Mid-Hudson recently gave the town a camera to record any meetings, and Coyne said, “We would like to have somebody volunteer to run that camera so that these meetings can be videotaped and can be played on their public-access channel” and a man in the audience volunteered.

Columbia County Conservative Party backs candidates
http://www.registerstar.com/articles/2009/06/18/news/news03.txt

County-wide — Sheriff, David W. Harrison Jr.; Coroner, Angelo M. Nero.
Ancram — Supervisor, Thomas R. Dias.
Austerlitz — Supervisor, Jeffrey Braley Sr.; Town Council, Matthew Verenazi and Carol Pinto; Clerk, Sue Haag; Highway Superintendent, Robert Meehan, Jr.
Canaan — Supervisor, Richard Keaveny; Town Council, David Patzwahl; Clerk/Tax Collector, Charlotte L. Cowan; Highway Superintendent, Bernhard Meyer.
Town of Chatham — Highway Superintendent, Joseph M. Rickert.
Claverack — Supervisor, James Keegan; Town Council, James S. Folz and Michael S. Johnston; Clerk/Tax Collector, Mary J. Hoose.
Clermont — Highway Superintendent, James Potts Jr.’ Clerk, Mary Helen Shannon.
Gallatin — Supervisor, Peter Arnone
Ghent — Supervisor, Larry Andrews; Town Council, Larry Van Brunt and Linda Schlegel-Hess; Clerk, Rose Elliot; Highway Superintendent, Michael E. Losa; Town Justice, David W. Harrison Sr.
Germantown — Highway Superintendent, Richard Jennings.
Greenport — Supervisor, Edward Nabozny; Town Council, Glen Graziano; Town Justice, Robert Brenzel; Highway Superintendent, Richard Otty; Clerk, Sharon Zempko.
Town of Kinderhook — Supervisor, Patrick Grattan; Town Council, Patrice Leader; Town Justice, Lisa Mills.
Hudson — Mayor, Richard Scalera; Supervisor (1st Ward), John Musall; Supervisor (2nd Ward), Tracy Decker; Supervisor (3rd Ward), William Hallenbeck Jr.; Supervisor (4th Ward), Samuel Santiago; Supervisor (5th Ward), Bart F. Delaney Jr.; Alderman (1st Ward), Geeta Cheddie; Alderman (5th Ward), Richard Goetz
Livingston — Supervisor, David Fingar; Town Council, James Guzzi and Joseph Leto; Town Justice, Robert Moore; Highway Superintendent, David Lyons.
Stockport — Town Council, Joseph Salvatore.
Stuyvesant — Supervisor, Valerie Bertram; Town Council, Brian Chittenden and Edward Scott; Clerk, Melissa Naegeli; Town Justice, Joseph Bruno; Town Justice, Carrie O’Hare; Highway Superintendent, Bernie Kowalski.
Taghkanic — Supervisor, Elizabeth Young; Clerk, Cheryl Rogers; Highway Superintendent, Edward Waldron.

Regional Economics Better Than Most
http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=810991

A new study released today by the Brookings Institution says this region is faring better than most of the nation’s metropolitan areas during the downturn. Foreclosures? We barely have them. The Brookings report says the Capital Region has the second-lowest percentage (0.58 percent) of homes owned by banks. Only Syracuse is better, among the nation’s 100 largest metros. Dramatic job cuts? Not here. Brookings says the Capital Region lost 0.5 percent of its employment base during the first three months of 2009. That doesn’t sound great, but it’s 14th best. (Detroit, by contrast, lost 3 percent of its jobs, the worst rate.)

Today’s local headlines

While Hudson city officials and activist continue to fight to keep the Department of Social Services in the city, Board of Supervisors chairman Art Baer has a new plan to move the main DSS offices to Ockawamick, The Register-Star reports. Yesterday the Board of Supervisors’ Human Services Committee approved a plan to put homeless housing and a satellite DSS office in the 139-year-old St. Charles Hotel on 16 Park Place. The arrangement could save the county $400,000 a year, Social Services Commissioner Paul Mossman said. In the Register-Star, Hudson Mayor Rick Scalera criticized the county for “deliberating and negotiating over something that’s going to take place in the city without including city officials. It isn’t done anywhere.”…The Daily Mail reports that Catskill town planners approved an “Concept Site Plan” for urgent care center medical facility, Urgent Medical Care, for 10 Grandview Ave. A public hearing for the Site Plan is set for 7 p.m. July 6….The unmuffled blog reports that Hudson City schools New York State Education Department test scores dropped in 2006-07 and 2007-08:

According to the recently released data, mean scores increased modestly for students in grades three through six, while scores for seventh and eighth grades increased by 10 and 18 points, respectively (see below). [Students are graded on a scale from the 400’s to the upper 700’s; 650 is the cut-off between Level 2 and Level 3 (meeting the learning the standards).]

Republicans press for judicial ruling
http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=810313&category=REGION

ALBANY – The battle for the state Senate entered a new phase Monday after Sen. Hiram Monserrate officially returned to the Democratic fold, leaving the chamber deadlocked, 31-31, with less than one week left in the scheduled legislative session. After a long day of back-and-forth at the Capitol and the state Supreme Court, both sides sat down to discuss the notion of power sharing — only to emerge less than a hour later with Republicans insisting that no progress could be made until a judge had decided whether last week’s dramatic coup on the Senate floor had been legal and binding. “I have always been clear about my loyalty to the Democratic party,” Monserrate said at a midday news conference, where he was joined by Senate Democrats. It came a week after he joined breakaway Democrat Pedro Espada Jr. and the 30-member Republican conference in a shocking coup that ousted the Democrats from their brief majority. Senate Democratic Leader Malcolm Smith began the news conference by introducing Brooklyn’s John Sampson as the new “conference leader” who will run its day-to-day operations. While Smith will retain his current title, Sampson is widely acknowledged as the new leader of the Senate Democrats.

TU employees reject company offer
http://albanyguild.wordpress.com/2009/06/15/tu-employees-reject-company-offer/

ALBANY – By a more than three-to-one margin, employees of the Times Union voted today to reject a contract offer that would have given the company the power to outsource any and all jobs and lay off employees regardless of how long they had worked at the newspaper. Publisher George Hearst had insisted on the vote and strongly encouraged members to participate. The members rejected the proposal by a vote of 125 to 35. “Had the membership approved the company’s proposal, we would have respected their decision and been bound by it,” said Guild President Tim O’Brien. “The publisher sought this vote, told members how important it was to him that they vote and he needs to respect their decision. Our members were quite clear on what they found unacceptable in the company’s offer and they have been telling us what changes would make it acceptable. We intend to seek new bargaining dates and to go forward with a renewed spirit of flexibility.”

Central Hudson cuts back, files austerity plan
http://www.midhudsonnews.com/News/2009/June09/16/CH_aust-16Jun09.html

POUGHKEEPSIE – Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation Monday filed a mandated austerity plan with the New York State Public Service Commission. The agency in May ordered all utilities to present cost cutting plans. The plan outlines cost cuts proposed by Central Hudson through reduced capital expenditures and operating expenses that will provide savings to customers without causing immediate impacts to service, safety or reliability. Measures include temporarily postponing approximately $20 million, or 20 percent, of planned capital expenditures for the year to reduce the associated carrying charges; lowering research and development expenses by $350,000; and freezing executive base salaries.

LIVE TONIGHT:

Informational meeting about Task Force on Student Academic Performance 6 p.m. in the Hudson High School Library.