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.

Molinaro hosts town meeting in Millerton Saturday

Assemblyman Marc Molinaro (R,C,I-Red Hook, representing much of Columbia County) will host a town hall meeting with local residents on Saturday, May 29 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Simmons Way Village Inn, 53 Main St., Millerton.

WGXC at Hudson Children’s Book Festival

Didi Barrett

WGXC's Kaya Weidman records NY State Senate candidate Didi Barrett at Hudson Children's Book Festival.

Just as WGXC’s Kaya Weidman was about to sit down and interview Fidel Mareno, who was going to talk about Native American rights and the American Indian Pow Wow Aug. 14 in Stephentown, Didi Barrett showed up. We had asked the Democratic candidate for New York State Senate representing Columbia and much of Dutchess counties (a seat held by Republican Steve Saland) to stop by our table in Hudson High’s gym, but everyone arrived at the same moment, and then a recorder failed. Indeed, it was a whirlwind day with so many folks stopping by the WGXC table at the festival, which was even busier then in its first year. Eventually we got another recorder working, and a conversation between Barrett, Mareno, and WGXC staff ensued about absentee voting, Native American rights, and other issues.

Fidel Mareno and Didi Barrett

Fidel Mareno speaks with Didi Barrett at the Hudson Children's Book Festival.


Robert Yellow Fox

WGXC's Kaya Weidman records Robert Yellow Fox at Hudson Children's Book Festival.

Later Weidman sat down with Robert Yellow Fox, and spoke about Eagleton School, a private year-round residential, psycho-educational treatment facility for boys and young men ages nine (9) to twenty-two (22) years, with Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, Pervasive Development Disorder, Communication and Cognitive Delays, Behavioral Disorders, Emotional Disorders, and Learning Disabilities. Listen to their discussion here or paste this link:
http://archive.free103point9.org/2010/05
/RobertYellowFox_HCBF_WGXC_050110.mp3

WGXC’s Emily Bennison also made recordings of children’s authors during the event. Click on the author’s name to listen to mp3 audio interview.

Anne Broyles
Ann Jonas
Barbara Slate
Danielle Joseph
Donald Crews
Ellen Jensen
Gail Carson Levine
Zetta Elliott

Raúl Zurita at Bard College Wednesday

Nippertown! reports renowned Chilean poet Raúl Zurita will read from the newly released bilingual edition of his collection, “Purgatory,” with translator Anna Deeney Wednesday at 6 p.m. Apr. 28 in the Beterlsmann Campus Center at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson in a free show. Read the entire article at Nippertown!

Molinaro announces re-election campaign Friday

Marc Molinaro will announce he is seeking re-election for the 103rd Assembly District with three events on Friday, April 30 in Dutchess and Columbia counties. Molinaro will be at Promenade Hill (intersection of Front and Warren Sts.) In Hudson at 11 a.m., at Tivoli Commons (86 Broadway) at 12:30 p.m., and in Pleasant Valley at GE Masten Feed (1 West Rd.) at 2 p.m.

Murphy hosts agriculture conference in Dutchess County

Congressman Scott Murphy will host a “Buy Local Agricultural Conference” on Friday, April 30 at Tymor Park, 249 Duncan Road, in Lagrangeville, in Town of Union Vale. Murphy will speak with, “farmers, consumers, and community leaders to discuss different approaches and strategies to help local farms and agriculture businesses succeed in the new and increasingly global economy.” Murphy is running for re-election against Republican Chris Gibson.

Another busy Saturday

  • TAP New York with 30 regional breweries representing over 100 individual beers at Hunter Mountain Saturday and Sunday.
  • “Where We Live” by Barbara L. Walter opening at The Broderick Fine Art Gallery above Ruby’s Hotel April 24 from 5-7 p.m.
  • “Polaroids” show opening with William Wegman, Mark Beard, Tanya Marcuse, John Dugdale, Jeri Eisenberg, and Melinda McDaniel at Carrie Haddad Photographs in Hudson Saturday, 6-8 p.m.
  • The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus performs with Walking the Dog Theater Ensemble at Space360 in Hudson Saturday.
  • Black Lake — Hudson’s Slink Moss with two friends from NYC — perform at Spotty Dog Books & Ale in Hudson at 8 p.m.
  • The Tommy Sharp Experience and Evan Randall perform at 9 p.m. Saturday at Savoia, 214 Warren St., Hudson.
  • Mother Fletcher plays at The Black Swan in Tivoli Saturday night.
  • 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.

    Local state legislators report income

    The Albany Times-Union asked all New York state legislators to disclose their household incomes. Locally, the Senators did not respond and the Assemblymen disclosed. Below is information from the senators and assemblymen representing Greene and Columbia counties:

    James L. Seward, Senate, R-51
    Responded: No
    Reported 2009 income: Minimum of $94,000
    Comments: Lawmaker declined to respond but legislative leader income is public record. Assembly pay of $79,500 plus $14,500 as Vice Chair of Minority Conference.

    Tim P. Gordon, Assembly, I-108
    Responded: Yes
    Reported 2009 income: Up to $158,300
    Comments: Assemblyman responded saying he makes his legislative pay of $79,500; $3,000, interest and dividend income of approximately $800. Wife works for Price Chopper in Schenectady for a salary of between $50,000 and $75,000 per year.

    Stephen M. Saland, Senate, R-41
    Responded: No
    Reported 2009 income: Minimum of $92,500
    Comments: Lawmaker declined to respond but legislative leader income is public record. Assembly pay of $79,500 plus $13,000 as Assistant Minority Whip.

    Marcus J. Molinaro, Assembly, R-103
    Responded: Yes
    Reported 2009 income: $122,700
    Comments: Assembly pay of $79,500 and ranking minority member pay on Election Law Committee of $9,000; $1,500 LILAC Realty Corp. sales referrals; Riding Tide Communications pay of $3,700 as associate publisher; wife is a registered nurse at Health Quest, makes $29,000.

    Peter D. Lopez, Assembly, R-127
    Responded: Yes
    Reported 2009 income: $134,500
    Comments: Assembly pay of $79,500 plus $9,000 as ranking Republican on the food, farm and nutrition committee. Spouse makes $46,000 per year as career counselor at SUNY-Cobleskill.

    Local state senators vote against same-sex marriage

    Local New York State Senators Jim Seward (who represents Greene County and other areas) and Steve Saland (who represents Columbia County and other areas) both voted “No” today on the Same-Sex Marriage vote in the New York State Senate. The measure failed, 38-24. In May, local Assemblyman Tim Gordon, D-108th, voted “yes” on the bill, while Pete Lopez, R-127th, voted “no”, and Marc Molinaro, R-103rd, was absent.

    Today’s local headlines

    Armstrong literally outside the tent
    From The Greenville Press (no web site)

    CAIRO – Les Armstrong was literally outside the tent at the Greene County Youth Fair in Cairo last weekend. While the Greene County Republicans and Democrats both staffed booths with signs promoting local candidates under a big top, Armstrong had his own sign propped up against his truck at one of the tent’s entrances. At one point, this reporter watched as a dog sniffed the sign and…well, we won’t go into details on this family blog. Armstrong’s candidacy, as recounted in The Press, has had some trouble. He turned in his nominating petitions to run as a Republican for the Durham seat in the Greene County Legislature. Republican Elsie Allen got his in to challenge Democratic incumbent Sean Frey. The day Armstrong turned in his nominations, there were no Republicans in the election office, as they were all attending the funeral of longtime Republican Election Commissioner Frank DeBenedictus. So Democratic Town Commissioner Tom Burker didn’t warn Armstrong that he lacked witness statements, a cover page, and numbered pages. So James Karcheck, who lost the Republican nomination to Armstrong in 2006 but remained on the ballot, challenged his petitions, which were disqualified. Frey has to be hoping Armstrong somehow gets on the ballot, perhaps by collecting 40 signatures on an independent nominating petition by Aug. 18.

    Wounded soldier returns home from Iraq
    From The Daily Mail

    NEW BALTIMORE – Sgt. First Class James T. Rundberg returned home to New Baltimore Sunday after being wounded in Iraq by a roadside bomb June 25. Rundberg earlier received a Purple Heart and Sunday took home proclamations and resolutions from the New Baltimore Town Board, NY State Sen. James L. Seward, R-Oneonta, and U.S. Rep. Scott Murphy (D, NY-20).

    Catskill Village Board does not meet
    CATSKILL – The Catskill Village Board failed to meet Monday night for lack of a quorum. At least five cars turned up at 7 p.m. at the Senior Center for the meeting to see signs announcing that news, while the town’s web site continued to proclaim the meeting was on.

    Natalie Merchant live and local
    From Tivoli Type

    Former 10,000 Maniacs singer Natalie Merchant performed unannounced Saturday at Bard College’s Spiegeltent with, “a piano, a little red notebook of music she compiled in the wee hours the night before, and a pen. She sang, played, joked, and made notes in the margins as she worked through the material. It was as much a songwriter’s workshop as a performance, and aren’t we lucky to have been there.”