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.

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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.