Recording of Cairo Open Mic

Claude Haton and Harry Gottlieb

Claude Haton and Harry Gottlieb at the Cairo Open Mic, May 28, 2010 at Gallagher's.

WGXC’s Debra Kamecke recorded the Cairo Open Mic, sponsored by WGXC and Cairo Library, as the monthly event finished its seasonal run inside Gallagher’s on Main St. last Friday (it moves to Cairo town park Fri. June 18), with performances from acapella singing group The Cats, poet Tony Fallon, and guitarist Mike Ryan among the performances. This recording got cut off at the end, so the performance of Claude Haton and Harry Gottlieb (pictured) is not included. Click here to listen to an mp3 recording or paste the following url into your computer’s media player:

Let the long weekend begin

This weekend:

Upstate II at Nicole Fiacco Gallery. Melora Kuhn, Catherine Mosley, Erik Schoonebeek, and Allyson Strafella. Tue-Sat, noon-6 p.m.

Dots, Lines and Figures at Carrie Haddad Gallery. Michael McLaighlin, Ben Shecter, Donise English, and Jeff Briggs.

Maii:” The Wonder of Water by Diata Diata International Folkloric Theatre with the Hudson Opera House, an original play by Pamela Badila at 7 p.m. at Hudson Intermediate School.

Cairo Open Mic sponsored by WGXC and Cairo Library. 7-9 p.m., with jam until 9:30 p.m. at Gallagher’s, 513 Main St. in Cairo.

FODfest jam honoring Daniel Pearl at 8 p.m. Club Helsinki, Hudson.

33rd Annual East Durham Irish Festival includes the Elders from Kansas City; Black 47 and Shillelagh Law from New York City; Barleyjuice from Philadelphia; and Hair of the Dog from Albany, N.Y.; Contemporary Irish Music featuring The Andy Cooney Band; the New York Showband with Tommy Flynn and Jameson’s Revenge from New York City; Searson from Ontario, Canada and the Kitty Kelly Band from Albany, N.Y. are just a few of the bands that will be performing. Pipe Bands and Irish Step Dancing Schools are an added feature each day.

Tannersville Rubber Duck Race, Crazy Boat Race & Festival 11 a.m.- 4 p.m., Gooseberry Creek in the Village of Tannersville ending by the Rip Van Winkle Lake. Free admission.

Pine Smoke Lodge/Cruudeuces/Fossils From the Sun/Jefferson Pitcher at Upstate Artists Guild, Albany.

Just Wear White Memorial Day party from Trixie with DJ Gio at Red Dot, Hudson. 10 p.m. – 2 a.m., $10 includes free drink.

Memorial Day Parade, 2 p.m., Main St., Catskill.

Music From China, a New York-based ensemble that specializes in both traditional and contemporary Chinese music. 2 p.m. at Hudson Opera House. $7 per person or $20 for the entire family!

Bindlestiff Family Cirkus at 8 p.m. at Club Helsinki, Hudson.

Bella’s Bartok performs at Blue Plate Restaurant in Chatham at 9:30 p.m., $5.

Cairo Memorial Day Observance
Sponsored by American Legion Post #983, Town of Cairo, and WGXC.
9 a.m.: WWI Monument Wreath-Laying, Main St. Fountain.
9:15 a.m.: WWII Monument Wreath-Laying on Library Lawn.
9:30 a.m.: Doughnuts and coffee at Cairo Fire House.
11 a.m.: Parade steps off near Great American.
Noon: Memorial Service in Angelo Canna Park.
12:30: Refreshments and music at Pavillion.
WGXC will provide sound system.

Listen to the frog sound walk

Liz LoGiudice
Liz LoGiudice, Extension Educator at Agroforestry Resource Center, led an “Amphibian Adventure” WGXC fundraiser Friday night, giving a “frog walk” across the street at the Siuslaw Model Forest. We listened to peepers, tree frogs, pond frogs, and found tadpoles and snails.

Click here to listen to an mp3 sound recording of the “Amphibian Adventure” or paste this url into your computer’s media player:

Siuslaw Model Forest

Siuslaw Model Forest.

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.

Vote Tuesday in school board races

Voting for school board members and issues takes place Tuesday in both counties. From The Daily Freeman:

Greene County

(Polls are open noon to 9 p.m.)
Cairo-Durham Middle School cafeteria.

(Polls are open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.)
Catskill High School gymnasium.

(Polls are open 1 to 9 p.m.)
District elementary schools.

(Polls are open 1 to 9 p.m.)
Hunter Elementary School.

Columbia County

(Polls are open noon to 9 p.m.)
Germantown Central School office lobby on Main Street.

Nearly all local school districts planning job cuts

Kyle Wind in The Daily Freeman:

More than 250 jobs will be eliminated in the region if voters approve school district budgets as proposed Tuesday. All the districts in the area with except Hunter-Tannersville, in Greene County, plan to cut faculty and staff members in response to projected reductions in state aid, and, in some districts, declining enrollment.


Cairo-Durham school officials are planning to cut 7.2 teaching positions — half at the elementary level and half at middle and high schools — along with a psychologist and a teaching assistant. Catskill school officials are planning to cut three teachers — an art teacher, a librarian and a foreign language teacher — as well as a secondary school administrator, an assistant principal at the elementary school and 1.4 support staff positions. The district plans to reduce the assistant director of special education from a 12-month to 10-month position. In Coxsackie-Athens, planned cuts include a kindergarten class, a teacher’s aide, a high school teacher’s aide, a part-time high school Spanish teacher, an elementary special education teacher, high school academic intervention teaching assistants in science, English and the computer lab, a middle school enrichment teacher, an elementary school librarian, a middle school reading teacher, a high school special education teacher, a part-time high school math teacher, a fifth-grade section and a sixth-grade section. Hunter-Tannersville is the only district in the region not planning to cut any positions.


In Germantown, the district is planning to cut 1.5 high school teachers, an elementary teacher, a teaching assistant, a custodian and a part-time Spanish teacher. Read the entire story in The Daily Freeman.

Greene weekend


Sheila Jordan/Cameron Brown (photo, at right) Duo perform jazz at 8 p.m. at Gallagher’s, 513 Main St., Cairo. $25.


Hudson Farmer’s Market reopens for the season from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at parking lot at Columbia and 6th Sts., Hudson. WGXC will have a table at the market.

Lex Grey and John Pinder with Crooked Toe at Wine and Cheese Festival (fundraiser for Catskill Village parks) 1-6 p.m. at Beattie Powers House, Catskill.

Smokin’ Aces at the Prattsville Tavern’s Pig Roast and BBQ at 2 p.m., $10 donation to Ashland Fire Department.

Avondale Airforce, Billy Mitchell, Naked on the Woodstock green, free, May 8, at 3 p.m.

Amphibian Adventure

Amphibian Adventure!
A Fund-Raiser for WGXC Community Radio

May 21, 2010: 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Greene County Agroforestry Resource Center
6055 Route 23, Acra, NY 12405

Support your local community radio station and listen to the sounds of our resident frogs – all in one, fun evening! This family-friendly program will include a brief, indoor presentation on frogs and salamanders by Dr. Richard Wyman and an evening walk to the ponds at the Siuslaw Model Forest to hear the dulcet tones of spring peepers and other evening sounds. This program will be recorded for broadcast on WGXC!

Cairo voters approve new library

Cairo voters today approved a bond to finance a new library for the town, 53 to 47 percent. Totals: 283 yes, 248 no, 531 total voting. The vote at Resurrection Lutheran Church today determined Cairo will build a new library. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has offered the town a $3.07 million low-interest loan (4.25 percent) and a $200,000 grant with a local share match of about $100,000. The vote is for a bond for the loan. Cairo Library Executive Director Debra Kamecke is on the WGXC Radio Council.

Cairo voting now on library bond

Voters today deciding if Cairo gets a new library.

Voters in Cairo today are turning out to Resurrection Lutheran Church until 9 p.m. to determine whether Cairo will build a new library. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has offered the town a $3.07 million low-interest loan (4.25 percent) and, if the town accepts the loan, a $200,000 grant with a local share match of about $100,000. The vote is for a bond for the loan. Cairo Library Executive Director Debra Kamecke is on the WGXC Radio Council.

Cairo Open Mic recording

Mark Patton

The Cairo Library and WGXC held the monthly Cairo Open Mic Fri. Apr. 23 at Gallagher’s, across the from the library on Main St. Guitarist Mark Patton; Dawn and Dick Collins; guitarist Michael Ryan, poet Tony Fallon, poet Nancy Henry, (The Daily Mail photographer) Claude Haton and Harry Gottleib (half of the band Wyld Blue), and Kayleigh all performed. Click here to listen to an audio mp3 recording of the performances or paste the following url into your computer’s media player:

A vote will be held Tue. April 27 at Resurrection Lutheran Church to determine whether Cairo will build a new library. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has offered the town a $3.07 million low-interest loan (4.25 percent) and, if the town accepts the loan, a $200,000 grant with a local share match of about $100,000. The vote is for a bond for the loan. Cairo Library Executive Director Debra Kamecke is on the WGXC Radio Council.

Greene County Arts Council funds cultural institutions

Greene County Council on the Arts awarded 11 County Initiative Program awards: Bronck Museum of the Greene County Historical Society was awarded $2,200 to continue, expand and promote cultural, educational, and arts programming, including Music of History series, Heritage Craft Fair and Chilly Willy Tours; Catskill Mountain Foundation, Inc. was awarded $2,650 toward artist fees and related costs for year-round performing arts series, which includes dance, theater, classical music, pop music and family performances; free103point9 was awarded $1,200 for support of the online portion of WGXC (at the time of the application known as Greene/Columbia community radio station project); Greene Room Players was awarded $1,800 in support for 2010 community theater productions plus the Reel Teens film program; Horton by the Stream in Elka Park was awarded $1,000 toward artist fees for production of the 2010 season of free summer professional staged readings of plays, primarily by Horton Foote; Irish American Heritage Museum was awarded $500 for year two of the exhibit “The Irish in Battle” at the museum in East Durham; Music & Art Centre of Greene County was awarded $2,500 toward the 2010 season of summer concerts, Classical music series and Ukrainian folk arts workshops at the Grazhda in Jewett Center; Planet Arts was awarded $1,500 toward support for the 2010 Jazzone2one Series to be held at the Athens Cultural Center in Athens; Thomas Cole National Historic Site – Cedar Grove in Catskill was awarded $2,650 in support for the 2010 exhibition: “Remember the Ladies;” Windham Chamber Music Festival was awarded $2,500 in support of its 2010 concert series in Windham; Zadock Pratt Museum was awarded $2,000 in support for its 2010 season of programs and projects.

Board of Education candidates file petitions

From The Daily Freeman:

Candidates for Board of Education seats in Ulster, Columbia, Dutchess and Greene counties filed petitions [by] Monday to secure a spot on the May 18 school district election ballots…. The candidates, listed by school district, are as follows:

Columbia County
In Germantown, incumbent Teresa Repko, of Germantown, and Eric Mortension, of Gallatin, were the only candidates to file petitions early Monday. The names of the two will appear on the ballot for election to a four-year term and a one year unexpired term left by the resignation of Suzanne Pelletier.

Greene County
In the Cairo-Durham school district, eight candidates are running for four seats on the board, with three seats carrying a three-year term and the fourth seat with a one-year unexpired term. The three-year seats are currently held by board Vice President Thomas Plank and trustees Greg Koerner-Fox and Fred Zimmerman. Debra Armstrong resigned from the fourth seat. Besides incumbents Plank of Mountain Avenue, Purling, and Koerner-Fox of Indian Ridge Road, Earlton, incumbent Trustee Beatrice Clappin of Enchanted Valley Drive, Cornwallville, also filed a petition. Clappin was appointed to fill Armstrong’s seat until the May 18 election. Also running are Nicole Maggio of Halfmoon Drive, Cairo; Samuel Mozzillo of county Route 31, Purling; Dean Pectal of Gibson Road, Greenville; Patricia Ublacker of Orchard Drive, Leeds; and Jennifer Sabine of state Route 20, Durham.

In Catskill, 10 individuals will vie for three seats, each carrying a three-year term, as well as a fourth seat to fill a vacancy, which carries a two-year term. The three seats are currently held by board President Randall Griffin of Mahican Way, Catskill, and trustees Michael Bulich of Greenpoint Road, Catskill, and Lisa Warner of Bogardus Avenue, Catskill. The vacancy was created by the resignation of former Trustee Beverly Cotten. Besides the three incumbents, candidates are former board member Carol Schilansky of Elting Road, Catskill; Carthette Burnett of Main Street, Catskill; Francesca Daisernia of Leeds; Ronald Frascello of Gary Lane, Palenville; Matthew Leitman of Pleasant Drive, Catskill; Tracy Powell of Bogart Road, Palenville; and Christopher VanLoan of Rams Horn Drive, Catskill.

In the Coxsackie-Athens school district, three seats, each carrying a three-year term, are up for election, though only two incumbents are being challenged. Incumbents Mark Gerrain, of Hamilton Street, Coxsackie; Russell Nadler, of Flats Road Extension, Athens; and Beth Tailleur, of state Route 81, Climax, each filed petitions for re-election. Tailleur is being challenged for her seat by Kim VanAusdle, of Sunset Boulevard, Coxsackie, while Nadler is being challenged for his seat by Stephen Oliveira, of Schoharie Turnpike, Athens. Gerrain, the current board vice-president, is unopposed for re-election.

In the Hunter-Tannersville school district, incumbent Trustee Marc Czermerys of June Lodge Drive, Tannersville, is being challenged by Penelope Fromer, address unavailable, for a five-year term. Read the entire article here.

Organic composting facility coming to Cairo?

From Susan Campriello in The Daily Mail:

An organic waste disposal company hopes to open a composting facility for food and yard waste on town-owned property on Route 145. The facility, which could process 3,000 tons of material a year, could be located on a roughly seven-acre portion of the former Cairo Cement Plant and quarry behind the Cairo Highway Department complex. The developer, Charles Docktor, of Catskill Mountain Organics, must enter into an lease agreement with the town in order to proceed with the facility. Read the entire article in The Daily Mail.

Cairo Talent Show winners

The Cairo Library and WGXC held a co-fundraiser Talent Show Friday night at Cairo Elementary School, that was a grand success. The Daily Mail has a story about the event here. We will post photos and a recording of the event soon. The winners:
First place: Greg Stewart (played guitar and sang an original song)
Second place: Josh Adamson, as “Juan” (played guitar and sang an original song)
First place: James Moore (played guitar along with a backing track of Guns ‘N’ Roses “Sweet Chid O’ Mine”)
Second place: Alex Hans and Maggie Saez as “Sun and Moon” (played keyboard and sang)
First place: Keri Mahoney, Colin Mahoney, and Katie Feeney (step dancing)
Second place: Taylor Matzler and Taylor Nussbaumer as “TNT” (gymnastics and dancing)

Click here to listen to an mp3 audio recording of the entire evening, or paste this url into your media player:

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.

Cairo Library/WGXC Talent Show

(Bill Lawrence will MC the Talent Show.)

The Cairo Public Library and WGXC are holding a co-benefit Talent Show Friday, March 26 at Cairo Elementary School, on Main St. in Cairo from 6:15 p.m. All types of performers are welcome — musicians, jugglers, dancers, dog and pony shows, hula hoop artists, mimes, rope tricks, poetry readers, whatever talent you have. Performers have all signed up and attended a rehearsal last week. Talent Show will be MC’d by Mr. Bill Lawrence, Greene County Legislator for Cairo, and former science teacher at Cairo High. Mark Patton will also perform music at the beginning of the show. The Pipe Band of Greene County will perform halfway through the show, led by Pipe Major John Gallagher. $5 admission to attend with proceeds to both organizations. The Cairo Library will also have a raffle, and WGXC will sign-up new Founding Members of the community radio station, and sell t-shirts and bumper stickers. Call 622-9864 for more information.

The Town of Cairo will hold a referendum about funding a bond issue to create a new building for the town library on April 27. The bond will not exceed $3 million and cost taxpayers, at most, $50 a year.

Town of Cairo will vote on proposed library funding

The Town of Cairo will hold a referendum about funding a bond issue to create a new building for the town library on April 27, the town’s board decided at tonight’s meeting. The bond will not exceed $3 million and cost taxpayers, at most, $50 a year. Listen to the entire meeting here:

Before the public meeting, the town held a Public Hearing about the proposed library. Listen to that entire meeting here:

Official comment?

One of the best results from the recent redesign of the web sites of The Daily Mail and The Register-Star has been the increase in reader participation through online comments. Lately, the politicians and officials at the heart of many stories on the paper’s web sites are writing their own comments. Or are being carefully impersonated in the largely unregulated world of online comments. First, Hudson Mayor Rick Scalera, or someone posing as the mayor, responded to a Feb. 11 Register-Star “My View” opinion column by Taghkanic-based activist Sam Pratt. Three days later, State Assemblyman Marc Molinaro, or an online simulacrum, commented on a Register-Star article about his recent vote against making it easier to cast an absentee ballot. Bob Sacks, or someone claiming the identity of the Copake Town Councilman, also commented on that article. And if The Daily Mail mentions the Cairo Planning Board, you can bet board Chairman Dan Benoit will comment. In a Feb. 11 “My View” column by Leeds-based businessman Bob Nappa, Benoit pipes in once the chatter in the comments section gets around to Cairo. In each case, officials leave e-mail addresses and phone numbers for constituents to get in touch about whatever issue getting is being discussed. Bravo!

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.

Maggio moves on from Cairo to Coxsackie, but Cairo has other plans

Cairo’s old development suitor, Charles Maggio, has moved his plans up the road from Cairo to Coxsackie, The Daily Mail reports. But Cairo may now have a second supermarket on the site where Maggio’s Alden Terrace project would have been, according to The Greenville Press (no web site). Susan Campriello’s Daily Mail story outlines the timeline: In 2007, Maggio proposed a mixed use development, called Alden Terrace, to be built in Cairo but the town’s sewer system could not accommodate the project. An Article 78 lawsuit was filed by taxpayer and community groups in Cairo against Maggio and the town alleging failure to properly conduct state Environmental Quality Review and public hearing procedures, and other residents in Cairo opposed it for other reasons, and the project was widely reported as “controversial.” Greene County Judge George J. Pulver Jr. dismissed much of the lawsuit in March 2009, but recently allowed part of the suit, a position the town is currently challenging. In May 2009, Maggio withdrew his site plan from the Cairo Planning Board. Now Maggio proposes a $50-million mixed commercial use and residential development for Route 9W in Coxsackie called Woods Farm. “Senior units will be reserved for individuals older than 55, he said, and market between $750 to $850 per month for a one-bedroom home and $950 to $1,050 per month for a two-bedroom unit,” The Daily Mail reports. Meanwhile, back on the Alden Terrace site in Cairo, behind the two banks that can be seen as you enter Cairo from the east on Route 23, a new Hannaford or Price Chopper supermarket might soon stand, The Greenville Press is reporting. “Charter Realty and Development Corp… and Creighton Manning Engineering LLP have prepared a two-phase plan that is set to start with a 36,000-square-foot market,” The Greenville Press reports. The second phase would be a strip mall with chain restaurants and retail. Workforce housing and subsidized housing were part of Alden Terrace but are absent from both the Woods Farm and new Cairo development proposals. Maggio made the announcement at the Coxsackie Chamber of Commerce dinner at the Quarry Steak House, and the plan was immediately championed by the likes of Sandy Mathes, executive director of the Greene County Industrial Development Agency.

Cairo Chamber of Commerce hosting jazz series at Gallagher’s

The Cairo Chamber of Commerce continues their jazz series at Gallagher’s Banquet Hall, 513 Main St. in Cairo, at 8 p.m., Friday, February 19 with Rensselaerville‘s Captain Squeeze and the Zydeco Moshers will perform at the Fat Tuesday concert. Tickets are $15 in advance (at Chamber office, 536 Main St., 622-3939).

Bob Freeman talks about open government at Cairo-Durham High

Click here to listen to Bob Freeman talk about open government and FOIL at Cairo-Durham High School Thu., Nov. 19, 2009.

Bob Freeman, the Executive Director of the NY Committee on Open Government, came to Cairo-Durham High School at the invitation of Durham for the People Thu., Nov. 19, 2009. Mp3 audio clip will not play in Internet Explorer, please use another browser. Clip will play in Quicktime Player and download in Quicktime Player Pro.

MP3 link:

Greene County election results

Greene County election results

52 of 52 (100%) machines reporting (52 total districts)
Vote for 1
Vote for 1
52 of 52 (100%) machines reporting (52 total districts)
Vote for 1
Jill Dunn 5336
James P Gilpatric 4237
2 of 2 (100%) machines reporting (2 total districts)
Vote for 1
Sean P Frey
Elsie S Allan
Leslie C Armstrong
7 of 7 (100%) machines reporting (7 total districts)
Vote for 2
William B Lawrence
Harry A Lennon
7 of 7 (100%) machines reporting (7 total districts)
Vote for 1
Larry F Gardner
5 of 5 (100%) machines reporting (5 total districts)
Vote for 1
James W Hitchcock
4 of 4 (100%) machines reporting (4 total districts)
Vote for 1
James E VanSlyke
3 of 3 (100%) machines reporting (3 total districts)
Vote for 1
Kevin R Lewis 835
James P Mulligan 496
4 of 4 (100%) machines reporting (4 total districts)
Vote for 1
Chris H Pfister
Ray C Brooks
6 of 6 (100%) machines reporting (6 total districts)
Vote for 2
Charles A Martinez
Wayne C Speenburgh
14 of 14 (100%) machines reporting (14 total districts)
Vote for 4
Keith W Valentine
Joseph F Izzo
Karen A Deyo
Forest Cotten
Linda H Overbaugh
C Robin DePuy
1 of 1 (100%) machines reporting (1 total districts)
Vote for 1
Richard E Tompkins
Vote for 1
Leslie C Holdridge
Vote for 2
Dennis E Mattice
Thomas H Soule
Vote for 1
Justine L Koehler
Vote for 1
Larry R Tompkins
Vote for 1
Virginia C Arturi
4 of 4 (100%) machines reporting (4 total districts)
Vote for 1
Lee Allen Palmateer
John F Lubera
Vote for 1
Constance J Pazin
Vote for 2
April Paluch
Phyllis Dinkelacker
Charles J Dagostino
Paul Hasbrouck
7 of 7 (100%) machines reporting (7 total districts)
Vote for 1
John M Coyne
Vote for 1
Leland E Miller
Vote for 2
Douglas L Ostrander Jr 929
Raymond J Suttmeier 709
Alice Tunison (write-in) 192
Vote for 1
Emily A Feeney
14 of 14 (100%) machines reporting (14 total districts)
Vote for 1
Robert G Carl
Vote for 2
Kevin C Lennon
Robert C Antonelli
Joseph M Leggio
6 of 6 (100%) machines reporting (6 total districts)
Vote for 1
Alexander L Betke II
Vote for 1
Richard H Roberg
Vote for 2
Jeffery R Lewis
Patrick B Kennedy
Vote for 1
Bambi L Hotaling
Vote for 1
Michael J Tighe
John B Garland
Vote for 1
Linda J Wilkinson
2 of 2 (100%) machines reporting (2 total districts)
Vote for 1
Gary J Hulbert
Vote for 1
Karen J Tirpak
Vote for 2
Jodi L Wood
William A Carr Jr
Vote for 1
Chris Kohrs
Vote for 1
Wesley I Moore
3 of 3 (100%) machines reporting (3 total districts)
Vote for 1
Paul J Macko 851
Peter L OHara 464
Vote for 1
Richard P Schreiber 955
Vote for 2
Richard Y Bear 864
Kenneth M Stern 771
Kathleen A Whitley Harm 482
Wayne A Nelsen 466
Vote for 1
Ronnie J Campbell 979
Vote for 1
Richard B Hempstead 839
Terry L Williams 503
Vote for 1
Mary Yeomans 1042
1 of 1 (100%) machines reporting (1 total districts)
Vote for 1
A Innes Kasanof
Vote for 2
Chris DiBenedetto
Alan S White
Vote for 1
Stacey L Johnson
Vote for 1
Russell C Bouton
Vote for 1
Ruth A Kelder
4 of 4 (100%) machines reporting (4 total districts)
Vote for 1
Dennis M Lucas Sr
Vote for 1
James A Volker
Vote for 2
Dolph J Semenza
Daryl E Legg
Vote for 1
John G Farrell
1 of 1 (100%) machines reporting (1 total districts)
Vote for 1
Carol A Muth
Georgette E Krauss
Vote for 2
William C Trach
Steven C Jacobs
Marianne Romito
Frank P Steinherr
2 of 2 (100%) machines reporting (2 total districts)
Vote for 1
Greg T Cross
Dixie L Baldrey
Vote for 1
Robert A Basil
Vote for 2
John W Berger Jr
Glenn E Howard
Mary T Cline
Maurice Nelson
Susan Jo Falke
Vote for 1
Rose M Williams
Vote for 1
Frank G Hermance
Larry M Cross
Larry G Falke
4 of 4 (100%) machines reporting (4 total districts)
Vote for 1
Susan K ORorke
Arthur A Byas
Vote for 1
Joseph F Cosenza
Vote for 2
Barbara M Finke
Michael T Meredith
James E Coe
Lee A Davis
Vote for 1
Janet A Brooks
Paula A Rebusmen
Vote for 1
Lynn Taylor
1 of 1 (100%) machines reporting (1 total districts)
Vote for 1
Kory P O’Hara
Richard E Morse
Vote for 1
Robert J Blain
Vote for 2
James M Thorington
Steven H Oliver
Lisa L Hamilton
CJ Rion
Vote for 1
Patrick T Mattice
Vote for 1
Kathleen D Sherman
Switlana Breigle
Vote for 1
William C Sutton
Stanley R Vanhoesen
Vote for 1
Jody M Briggs
Anita Creazzo
2 of 2 (100%) machines reporting (2 total districts)
Vote for 1
T Patrick Meehan
Vote for 1
Christopher Mattiace
Vote for 2
Robert J Pelham
Wayne E VanValin
Vote for 1
Carolyn J Garvey
Vote for 1
Thomas F Hoyt
Vote for 1
Dawn L Hitchcock

Alden Terrace II?

(The Deschaine wood-chipping project in front of the Cairo Planning Board 100709.)

Click here to listen to the Oct. 7, 2009 Cairo Planning Board meeting. Does not work in Internet Explorer. You need Quicktime Player Pro to download file.)

Cairo Planning Board chairman interrupted the monthly meeting tonight to quell the rumor that apparently packed the Town Hall meeting room that there was going to be a new presentation from the folks who previously withdrew their Alden Terrace project from the board. “Alden Terrace II,” he called it, phoned him in mid-August, saying they would like to appear before the September meeting, and then called back and said they would come in October. He has not heard anything from them since, they were not in attendance tonight, and much of the crowd left after he announced this. Also during the meeting, the board approved the Cuti and Culoso subdivision projects, even though both have border disputes with lawyers involved. They also approved Planning Board member Allen Veverka’s subdivision, and one for Erdmann, and site plans for American Dojo and Raffa. The ongoing Deschaine wood-chipping project took up much of the meeting, and set new policy, as the board voted 6-1 to use a project’s operating hours as a standard to measure the site plan law’s 70db noise level. The board then voted 5-2 to give the Deschaine project a negative SEQR declaration (saying it had minimal environmental impact). The Kids Zone project, a Chuck E. Cheese-like indoor playground and arcade on Main St. also got a negative SEQR declaration. And the Round Top Men’s Association, with former Planning Board chairman Peter Maasmann, got a waiver to replace a sign knocked over years ago by a snow plow even though they did not fill out an application. At last month’s meeting, the board had told a woman arrested for operating a business on Main St. in violation of the town’s site plan law that they could not give her any opinion about whether her business needed to go before the board without first filling out an application.

Cairo sidewalk law public hearing

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

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

Cairo Town Board meeting

Click here to listen to Town of Cairo Board meeting 091609

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

Ruth Gutman speaks at Cairo Eco Faire

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

Andy Turner speaks at Cairo Eco Faire

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

Cairo Nature Center called ‘political football’

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

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

Today’s local headlines

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

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

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

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 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

(Cairo Town Clerk Tara A. Rumph, and board members Alice Tunison and Janet Schwarzenegger at the Aug. 19, 2009 town board meeting. Photo by Tom Roe.)

Cairo has another strained town meeting
Click here to download or listen to the Aug. 19, 2009 Cairo Town Board meeting.
CAIRO – At town board meetings in Cairo, the board’s women are separated from the men by Town Clerk Tara Rumph. Last night there was a real back and forth, as board members Rich Lorenz and Ray Suttmeier made comments after Janet Schwarzenegger’s attempt to pass a resolution to redact the names of folks who make complaints in Cairo from Freedom of Information Law requests. Alice Tunison asked Schwarzenegger several questions about her resolution. Lorenz (at 1:05:10 in the recording linked above) interrupted their discussion, and Tunison said, “I wish you wouldn’t do that Rich.” Tunison grilled Schwarzenegger, and then the entire group failed to second her motion, killing the resolution. Then (at 1:09:00) Lorenz waved a flyer and said “Tomorrow night the attorney general is going to have an open government transparency initiative, come to that and he’ll tell us what to do.” Tunison was livid. “Rich, I’m usually able to refrain from, but I just want to react a little bit here. I don’t know if that was just,” Tunison said. Lorenz interrupted, “Well that was just what this is,” Lorenz said, holding the flyer. Tunison shot back, “I can appreciate Janet’s effort, her work, she copied this, we had a very benefical discussion in my opinion. We gave time to look at it from every angle, and and I think it is a little flip and it seems somewhat disrespectful to her and her efforts. And I would personally just ask you not to do that.” “Shame on you Rich,” Suttmeier then sarcastically repeated three times. “And shame on him is very juvenile,” Tunison then said. Suttmeier said something else, which I cannot make out. Can you? (Listen at 1:09:50, put guesses in the comments.) “That’s ridiculous,” Tunison responded. Fortunately for decorum, someone wandered into the room at that point and Supervisor John Coyne was able to change the subject. But at the meeting’s conclusion (1:32:09) Tunison brought the kerfuffle back. Coyne then noted that the women were also talking during the meeting. Tunison responded, “it is two separate things,” comparing talking while others talk to board members making snide comments. “It was a put down, it’s unprofessional,” Tunison said of Lorenz’s comment with the flyer.

Club Helsinki in Great Barrington heads to Hudson
From Club Helsinki
“Berkshire County will see the end of an era,” their web site says, announcing that 15-year-old Club Helsinki closes its door there August 31. Club Helsinki will move the equipment over to the much-delayed, about-to-open second location in Hudson. “The Hudson venue will be everything the Great Barrington club was and more; a larger capacity without losing the intimate feel, a full service event space, recording studios, and an infrastructure custom designed for music production,” said owners Deborah McDowell and Marc Schafler in an e-mail statement. “It will be a Mecca for artists, agents, music fans and technicians alike.”

AG’s Office comes to Valatie, Cairo for fraud talks
From The Columbia Paper

A representative from Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s Office will speak to seniors and veterans about consumer fraud issues as a part of the AG’s statewide Smart Seniors Program. The events take place at the Valatie Senior Center at 212 State Farm Road, Thursday, August 27 at 11 a.m., and at 7 p.m. for the Disabled Veterans, Chapter 186, at Cairo Town Hall, 512 Main St. in Cairo. The seminar concerns how to best avoid consumer scams that frequently target seniors, such as sweepstakes, mail orders, and identity theft. Both events are free. For more information visit the Attorney General’s website at

Soccer players, council dribble over park usage
From Jamie Larson in The Register-Star

HUDSON – “A dozen young men, primarily from the city’s Bangladeshi community, voiced their displeasure with the city’s position not to allow them to play at the Henry Hudson Riverfront Park,” Larson’s story said. Hudson’s Michael Chameides said the city’s signs at the park forbidding soccer are unjustified. Chameides said he doesn’t understand the argument voiced by Mayor Richard Scalera and others, that their activity damages the grass, since most of the time they play without shoes, and don’t play when the ground is wet. Mayor Scalera said the complaints he hears most often from residents about the park are about dogs running around off leash and soccer player disrupting their peace. His solution was to have the footballers play at the Charles Williams Park on the north end of Second St., which is in disrepair.

Ancram Dems choose Bassin for supervisor
From Diane Valden in The Columbia Paper

ANCRAM—Town Democrats picked Art Bassin for Town Supervisor over Rick DuBray 74 to 25, with 3 Democrats voting No, meaning they did not support either candidate at the Democrats’ August 8 caucus. Bassin, the chairman of the town’s Comprehensive Plan Committee, narrowly lost his bid for a seat on the Town Board in 2007.

Today’s local headlines

(David Woodin and Jonathan Woodin performing at Cairo Open Mic 081409. Poet Nancy Henry reads her recent work, including one that topped the library’s poetry contest. Photos by Tom Roe.)

Cairo open mic night
Click here to listen or download mp3 of Jonathan and David Woodin_081409 performing at Cairo Open Mic.mp3
Click here to listen or download mp3 of Tony Fallon_poetry_081409 performing at Cairo Open Mic.mp3
Click here to listen or download mp3 of Nancy Henry_poetry_081409 performing at Cairo Open Mic.mp3
The Town of Cairo Public Library and WGXC, your new community radio station, co-sponsored the second Cairo Open Mic last night in the Cairo town park. Lots of performers, including the three audio clips above. We will post the band 7 Second Delay’s set tomorrow.

Seward/Lopez in Athens Saturday
From Seward’s office
New York State Senator James Seward and Assemblyman Peter Lopez will join the West Athens-Lime Street Fire Company for community inspection day as officials unveil two new fire trucks at 1 p.m. Sat. Aug. 15 at the West Athens-Lime Street Fire Company, 921 Schoharie Turnpike, Athens, NY.

Second attempt, but with 3rd party
From The Daily Mail

DURHAM – The Democrats knocked Republican Linda Overbaugh off the Catskill ballot and she is starting a new political party to stay on the ballot for a Greene County Legistlature seat; in Durham, the Republicans are keeping one of their own, Les Armstrong, off the ballot, and he is starting the Grassroots of Durham Party, to stay on the ballot, for the Legislature seat now held by Democrat Sean Frey. In 2006, Armstrong beat GOP challenger James Karkheck in the Republican primary, but Karkheck was on the general election ballot on the Conservative line, and Frey won by 11 votes.

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:
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:
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

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.”

Today’s local headlines

Greene Supports Cement

CATSKILL — Greene County lawmakers on Wednesday roundly endorsed operations of local cement manufacturers to remind state and federal officials that the industry is important to the local economy. The support was given in a unanimous vote, with one absence, during a county Legislature meeting, where officials asked that funding for modernization be considered for Holcim U.S. and Lehigh Northeast Cement Co. in Catskill as well as LaFarge North America in Ravena in Albany County.

Ulster has first swine flu death

KINGSTON – Ulster County Thursday reported its first swine flu associated fatality. The individual was a man from Saugerties who had been hospitalized with underlying medical conditions in addition to the flu.

Hudson Valley Job Losses

The Hudson Valley lost another 18,300 jobs year over year in June, bringing to 746,400 the number of people who have become unemployed in the last 12 months, the state Labor Department reported Thursday. Putnam is feeling the least relative pain, with a 7 percent jobless rate last month. At the bottom, Sullivan and Greene, close to 9 percent.

DOT: Portions of Route 23 to close

ASHLAND – The Department of Transportation will be close a section of Route 23 between the towns of Ashland and Prattsville starting July 20 to address long-recognized slope stabilization problems adjacent to the old Catholic church. Both lanes will be shut down to fix the road. This is the first of three jobs, totaling $2.2 million, on Route 23, though the other two will not shut down both lanes. A detour will be set up on Route 296 in Windham and then onto Hensonville and Hunter, where they can connect with Route 23A into Prattsville, more than 20 miles out of the way.

Utility ratepayers could get stuck for millions in unfunded stimulus program

ALBANY – The federal stimulus package is going to providefunds for New York utilities – including Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corporation and Orange and Rockland Utilities – but the money would only pay for half of the cost of the $1 billion program. Smart grid utility projects proposed by the utility companies may qualify for stimulus funding from the U.S. Department of Energy. The term smart grid refers to the application of various digital technologies to, among other things, modernize and automate transmission and distribution assets to anticipate and respond to system disturbances, enable greater use of variable energy sources, including renewable energy, and provide the capability for customers to control their energy consumption effectively.

Greene Lawsuit Settled

CATSKILL — Greene County lawmakers have agreed to pay an engineering firm $35,000 to settle a lawsuit over disputed bills for services. At a Legislature meeting Wednesday, officials said the county had withheld $24,899 from Crawford and Associates Engineering for services on the county Mental Health building in Cairo and $30,368 from the firm for its alleged failure to include required electrical services in the design of the county Highway Department building in Athens. The firm had sought $95,000 in its lawsuit against the county.

Artist and musician Roger Mason moves studio into Chatham’s clock tower

CHATHAM – Musician Roger Mason, who has played with Bob Dylan, Itzhak Perlman, John Denver, members of The Band, the Carradine Brothers and Larry Campbell, who produced Levon Helm, is moving his studio into the third floor of the clocktower in Chatham.

Today’s local headlines

Time to end name game
The Greenville Press, no web site, no links

RENSSELAERVILLE – Linda Fenoff reports in The Greenville Press that 40 members of the Chase family hold elected, appointed, or paid positions in Rensselaerville. The town’s Budget Committee wants a job description for all appointed town positions. A nepotism law failed there last year, but the code of ethics was updated. The budget committee has also recommended that the Town Board use a zero-base budget, starting each budget proposal from zero rather than basing each year’s budget on the past year.

Greene Rooms

GREENE COUNTY – Dick May’s Seeing Greene blog digs deeper into one of his favorite subjects, the Friar Tuck Resort on Route 32. Friar Tuck recently filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and, according to May, owes, “Ulster Savings Bank ($3.1 million), tax authorities ($400,000), a fuel supplier ($266,000), and food providers.” May uses the story to troll Trip Advisor for consumer reviews of local resorts. He finds that Friar Tuck, Catskill’s Quality Inn, and Hunter’s Kaatskill Mountain Club get bad reviews, while Freehold’s Sunny Hill; Acra’s Lange’s Grove Side and Acra Manor; Windham’s Catskill Lodge, Catskill Maison, Hotel Vienna, and Thompson House; Hunter’s Hunter Inn and Scribner Hollow Lodge all get glowing notices.

Central Hudson Raising Rates

POUGHKEEPSIE — Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. won permission from the state Public Service Commission on Thursday to raise the rate it charges for electricity delivery by 8.5 percent and the rate it charges for natural gas delivery by 23.5 percent. The rate hikes, which take effect July 1, were approved in a unanimous vote by commissioners, who agreed with the recommendations of state Administrative Law Judges David Prestemon and Jeffrey Stockholm that Central Hudson be allowed to raise its revenue projections by $38 million for electricity delivery and $13.6 million for natural gas delivery.

Unemployment Down In Greene County

ALBANY — New York’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 8.2 percent in May, up from 7.7 percent in April, the state Labor Department announced on Thursday. The may rate is the state’s highest since February 1993. Locally, the unemployment rates rose from April to May in Ulster, Dutchess, Columbia, Orange and Sullivan counties. Joblessness decreased slightly in Greene and Delaware counties. In New York City, the May unemployment rate was 8.7 percent, an increase from 7.8 in April 2009 and a significant jump from 4.8 percent in May 2008. The highest rate outside New York City — 9.7 percent — was in Steuben County. The lowest unemployment rate was 5.4 percent in Tompkins County.


First Gay Pride Festival in Greene County, all day, Catskill with Chrissy Budzinski, Anthony Michael, Nedra Johnson, Cantinero, The Young Brothers, Amy Serrago, and others.

Downtown Ensemble with Brian Dewan, accordian, Bill Hellerman, voice, Yvette Perez, vocals/keyboard, and Peter Zummo, trombone, 8 p.m. at Hudson Opera House. $15.

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

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

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.)