Catskill Farmer’s Market

Borchert wins striper contest

River Basin’s Striper Contest ended today with Eric Borchert bringing in the winner, a 47″-er from the Hudson River.

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.

Seeing Catskill school election

Seeing Greene blog breaks down the Catskill school elections:

That result attests to influence exerted by local teachers. The victorious newcomers were endorsed by the Catskill Teachers Association (along with Francesca Daisernia, who finished fifth). Thus, no sitting trustee evoked CTA approval, and the CTA-endorsed candidates presented themselves as agents of “change” in board operations, change in the directions of greater “transparency and accountability” of district operations, of economizing chiefly by curbing administrative costs, and of fostering greater freedom of expression for teachers and other staff under the administration of Superintendent Kathleen Farrell. The top vote-getter, however, did not dwell on those themes. Mr Bulich presented himself as a hard-headed “very conservative” trustee, sensitive to economic “tough times,” concerned about nurturing “a healthy private sector,” skeptical of non-traditional programs, keen to imbue students with firm “discipline” along with “understanding…of the true meaning of what it is to be an American,” calling for more rigorous evaluations of district employees, and condemning contracts give employees “never-ending rise[s] of salaries and benefits.” Read the entire story in Seeing Greene.

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.

Village of Catskill Appropriations Meeting

Next Monday May 24 at 7 p.m. at Catskill High School the Village of Catskill holds its annual Appropriations Meeting, where voters get to speak about the village budget.

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.

Fireworks in Catskill

Dick May practiced some citizen journalism at the April 26 Catskill Village meeting, forcing the town trustees to go on the record with their decision to move the July 4 fireworks from the Hudson River waterfront to downtown Catskill. He writes, “the Trustees of Catskill Village almost made a controversial decision by stealth. And they made a decision without making a case.” And then recalls the manner the decision was announced.

“After that business had been well under discussion, a spectator (this correspondent) ventured to ask whether the Board had made a decision on the fireworks launch site. Mr. Seeley acted surprised—as if the answer was evident from the trustees’ remarks. The Trustees then proceeded to resolve formally that the July 4, 2010, fireworks shall be launched from a “downtown” site, ‘yet to be determined.’ That resolution did not stem from anything remotely resembling a systematic or comprehensive cost-benefit analysis. The Trustees acted without affirming, much less determining, that the change of launch sites would be popular, would be economical, would produce a net gain of public safety, would enable the fireworks to be more spectacular, would make the viewing population bigger, or would produce an increase in local business. Read the entire story in Seeing Greene.

Catskill school candidates meet tonight

Catskill School Board candidates Michael Bulich, Catskill; Carthette Burnett, Catskill; Francesca Daisernia, Leeds; Ronald Frascello, Palenville; Randall Griffin, Leeds; Matthew Leipman, Catskill; Tracy Powell, Palenville; Carol Schilansky, Leeds; Christopher Van Loan, Catskill; and Lisa Warner, Catskill will answer questions at 7 p.m. tonight at Catskill High media center, according to The Daily Mail’s Jim Planck. The ten candidates compete for three three-year terms to the three highest vote-getters, and the fourth place seat is a two-year unexpired term of a seat vacated by resignation. The Catskill School District website says, “The candidate forum will be streamed ‘live’ on the Catskill website.”

Catskill farmer’s market will close a portion of Main Street on Saturday mornings this summer

Instead of completely closing down Main St., or putting stalls in parking spaces, the Village of Catskill will close one block of Main St. between Thompson Street and the entrance to the municipal parking lot at Willard Alley from 7:30 a.m. to at least 2 p.m., for the Catskill Regional Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market Saturdays from June 19 to Oct. 30, Susan Campriello in The Daily Mail reports. The farmer’s market had been held at Dutchmen’s Landing on the Hudson River, rather than downtown, and Village President Vince Seeley is also spearheading a similar move of the town’s July 4 fireworks, both in an effort to stimulate downtown business. WGXC Radio Council member Hudson Talbott is curating the non-farmer’s booths at the market.

Murphy in Greene County Monday

Congressman Scott Murphy (NY-20) will visit several Greene County fire stations, present a USDA infrastructure grant to the Town of Ashland, and host a town meeting in Windham on Monday, May 10. Details:

  • Murphy at Prattsville Hose Company, Main Sreet, Prattsville, 11:15 a.m.
  • Congressman Murphy and USDA officials to present a grant to Ashland for improved water and sewer systems at Ashland Town Hall, 12094 Route 23 Ashland, noon.
  • Rep. Murphy hosts town meeting at Windham Center Church, Windham, 12:45 p.m.
  • Murphy tours the Leeds Hose Company, Route 23 B, Leeds, 2:15 p.m.
  • Murphy tours Athens Volunteer Fire Department, Third St., Athens, 3 p.m.
  • All events are free and open to the public. Murphy faces Republican Chris Gibson in an election this fall.

    Palenville’s pagans

    In The Watershed Post, Julia Reischel has an excellent, long feature about Cathryn Platine and The Maetreum, a three-story former inn once known as Central House, is run by a non-profit called the Maetreum of Cybele, Magna Mater (MCMM). While the IRS recognizes the Palenville pagan enclave as a non-profit religion, the Town of Catskill wants the $12,627.35 in property tax on The Maetreum, and Platine is taking them to court. Reischel’s story can be boiled down to a few paragraphs:

    “We’re not saying they’re not a religious organization,” [Catskill Town Assessor Nancy] McCoy says. “We’re saying the property’s use does not meet the requirement for full tax exemption.” To qualify, a religious group has to show that it is using the property primarily for religious purposes — and that’s where the Maetreum fails, she says. According to [Town lawyer, Daniel] Vincelette’s report, the Maetreum is really a gender-bending housing project: “The primary purpose of the property is residential, to house and shelter transgendered individuals,” it concludes. “I read through that document and felt strongly that they were not entitled to the exemption,” McCoy says. Platine doesn’t deny that before formally becoming the seat of the Maetreum’s faith, the inn was used as an emergency shelter for homeless transsexual women. (Platine herself is intersexed, and has been a transgender activist for decades.) But the inn ceased functioning as a shelter years ago, she says, and now only three people, all priestesses of Cybele, live there. Vincelette says that the Maetreum isn’t the only religious group to have its land taxed; last year, he says, the town put land owned by the Catholic church that wasn’t being used for religious purposes on the rolls as well. “Every single religious group in the town of the Catskill is being treated the same,” he says. “Unfortunately, I think there is a lot of anger on Cathryn’s part. I don’t think she fully understands the legal issues.” Read the entire story in The Watershed Post.

    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.

    Catskill gives Wal-Mart tax break

    This Greenport Wal-Mart is empty since the new larger store opened down the street last year.

    Town, Wal-Mart settle dispute
    The Daily Mail, 05.05.10

    Wal-Mart in Catskill gets break on tax bill
    The Daily Freeman, 05.06.10

    Catskill is reducing the property tax assessment on the local Wal-Mart $1.67 million, reducing their total to $13.5 million, covering the years 2010 through 2012, effectively granting the giant corporation from Arkansas a large tax break. The Daily Mail first says Catskill is giving Wal-Mart the tax break, “avoiding a costly legal battle.” Then Supervisor Peter Markou reveals a bit more: “We’ve already spent $75,000 in assessment cases,” Markou told The Daily Mail, or said during the meeting. “That’s more than I’ve budgeted for.” Then Colin DeVries, The Daily Mail scribe writes, “The town’s 2010 budget included $40,000 for assessment litigation.” William J. Kemble in The Daily Freeman writes, “the reduction, approved at a Town Board meeting Tuesday, is a step toward settling a grievance by the retail giant. Officials said the settlement, which still requires a judge’s approval, was recommended to avoid further court expenses.” Then he quotes Markou — looks like he said it in the meeting — “This town has already spent $75,000 (since 2008) in assessment cases,” said town Supervisor Peter Markou. “That’s a lot of money. That’s way beyond the budgeted (amount) that I had in there.” Kemble’s story is a day late, but no dollars short. He spent the day following the money:

    Town Assessor Nancy McCoy said Wednesday that Wal-Mart paid $530,00 in town, county and school taxes in 2009, and this year is expected to save about $62,000 with the reduced assessment. McCoy said the town has spent $10,100 since January to appraise and defend assessments against five major business. “It’s all ‘big boxes,’” Markou said. “They are all going to challenge their assessments. It’s a good year to do it. The economy is in the crapper.” Besides Wal-Mart, the following companies are also seeking assessment reductions:

    • Holcim Cement Co., on U.S. Route 9W, from $10,135,700 to $1,650,00. The case was filed in 2008.

    • Home Depot, on state Route 23B, from $8,995,100 to $4,060,000. The case was filed in 2009.

    • Lowe’s, on state Route 23A, from $7,099,000 to $3,480,000. The case was filed in 2008.

    • Rite Aid, on Route 23A, from $1.8 million to $500,000. The case was filed in 2009.

    “You have to pick and choose your battles,” McCoy said. “You do the analysis to see if the assessment is supportable and then weigh the cost of supporting assessment versus the possibility of losing it; what it costs versus what you could save by not going to court and settling.”

    Current leader

    23rd annual River Basin Sports Striper Contest update.

    Opening events

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

    Greene County Bancorp’s net income up 5% in 3Q

    From The Business Review (Albany):

    Greene County Bancorp Inc., [parent to The Bank of Greene County], reported a five percent increase in net income for its third fiscal quarter. The Catskill, N.Y.-based company had net income of $1.23 million, or 30 cents a share, for the three months ended March 31. This compares to net income of $1.15 million, or 28 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. For the nine months ended March 31, net income was $3.6 million, or 88 cents a share, up from $3 million, or 73 cents a share, a year earlier. Read the entire story in The Business Review (Albany).

    Catskill relocates July 4 fireworks

    William J. Kemble in The Daily Freeman reports that on Monday Catskill officially moved the July 4 Dutchmen’s Landing waterfront site on the Hudson River to downtown Catskill. They will shoot the fireworks from either the Catskill High School track or a platform along the Catskill Creek. Read the entire article in The Daily Freeman.

    Scott Murphy speaks to constituents in Palenville

    Scott Murphy photo from April 1 at Coxsackie's Senior Center.

    Congressman Scott Murphy held a town meeting in Palenville Monday, April 19, at 1:30 p.m. at the Palenville Fire Department, 717 Rte. 32A, Palenville. Murphy is running for re-election against Republican Chris Gibson. Listen to an audio mp3 recording of Murphy answering questions from constituents (recorded by WGXC’s Debra Kamecke) by clicking here or by pasting the following link into your computer’s media player:

    Molinaro talks in Hudson at Space360

    Assemblyman Marc Molinaro (R,C,I-Red Hook) brought State Assembly Republican Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,I,C-Canandaigua) to a public meeting of about 20 people at Space 360 in Hudson today at 5:30 p.m. The two Assemblymen mingled with the guests including Catskill Town Supervisor Peter Markou, Columbia County Planning and Economic Development Commissioner Ken Flood, and Bill Jacoby, whose NYC-based Wind Products is looking to manufacture wind-power generators in Columbia County in two years. Molinaro spoke with a WGXC reporter for five minutes before a public question-and-answer session with Kolb that lasted over 30 minutes. Audio mp3 recordings of the interview and questioning are below. The event preceded Molinaro and Kolb’s public forum to discuss the People’s Convention to Reform New York Act at the Hudson Elks Club.

    Marc Molinaro

    Marc Molinaro

    Click here to listen to mp3 recording of WGXC interview with Marc Molinaro or paste this url into your media player:

    NY State Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, Catskill Town Supervisor Peter Markou, and State Assemblyman Marc Molinaro at Space360.

    Click here to listen to mp3 recording of Marc Molinaro and Brian Kolb’s public meeting question-and-answer session at Space360 on Wed. Apr. 21 or paste this url into your media player:

    Striper biting in Hudson River

    John MunnoTomG of River Basin Sports reports on the first day of the 23rd annual River Basin Sports Striper Contest tournament going on today on the Hudson River:

    Well, it didn’t take too long to get our striped bass contest off to a good start. Early this morning at the crack of dawn John Munno, our past 2006 contest winner, hit the waters of the Hudson River in the vicinity of the Rip Van Winkle Bridge and discovered that yes, indeed, the stripers are here. Using herring as bait over a rock-gravel bottom in about 20 feet of water he landed a 34 incher, lost a couple of others that were hooked and then boated the first contest entry of 2010 – a 38 ½ inch beauty. Now, John knows, just as well as we here at the River Basin Sports shop do, that there is no way this fish has a prayer of finishing in the money but it was his first striper outing of 2010 and – the first contest entry of the year is always a premiere accomplishment here. Since it was the first fish to be entered we also threw it on the shop scale and saw it tip the needle at 21 lbs 13 ounces. Fishing action in the Catskill – Stockport area of the river continues to be fair to good. Slightly further south, around Germantown, decent action is also reported. We received a report from the Castleton T-way bridge area of good action there over the weekend with fish up into the low 30 inch mark. And even up in the Albany-Troy area there is decent action with a few stripers reported to be running up to around the 3 foot size although one report from there is that the herring have become a little bit spotty. Our Striped Bass Contest sign-ups concluded with a RECORD number of registrants – 604. As our participants are probably aware – we are paying back 100% of the entry monies as prizes 1 through 6 to the entrants bringing in the top six fish (length). That means that at least $9,060 will go to the winners. Read the entire article here.

    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.

    Saturday night rocks

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

    Congressman: Catskill’s Holcim concrete mine among 48 most dangerous

    In the wake of the mine disaster last week in West Virginia, yesterday U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-CA), chair of the House Education and Labor Committee, released a list of 48 mines identified by federal mine safety officials in August 2009 for increased scrutiny, but were not targeted due to unresolved appeals filed by mine operators. The list includes Greene County‘s Holcim (US) Inc mine, and notes the owner contests 29.95 percent of violations against the mine. Holcim has 126 employees. Firedoglake has a table here.

    Murphy comes to Palenville

    Congressman Scott Murphy will hold a town meeting in Palenville Monday, April 19, at 1:30 p.m. at the Palenville Fire Department, 717 Rte. 32A, Palenville. Murphy is running for re-election against Republican Chris Gibson.

    Click on WGXC or WGXC Newsroom for more information. Send news, tips, etc. to

    Defrosted audio

    “Defrost” was a fundraiser for WGXC March 20, 2010 at Spotty Dog Books & Ale with a number of amazing performances. Really, this was a special night with some incredible performances. Below are links to mp3 audio recordings of performances that night. They may not play in Internet Explorer, try a different browser. You may need Quicktime Pro Player to download files.

    Rob Hervey performed first, and you can hear all but the very beginning of his performance here, or by pasting this url into your media player:

    After Hervey, DJ Lunar Moon (who can be heard Thursdays at PM Wine Bar) kept everyone happy until Evan Randall (pictured, above right) performed. Listen to his mp3 here, or insert this code:

    Catskill’s Brian Dewan (right) followed with a set that included “Our Ever-Improving Village,” which one could surmise draws locally for some of its descriptions and metaphors. Dewan is pictured at right, and his set’s mp3 can be heard here, or by inserting:

    Lady Moon kept the auto harp flava going, with her set here, or here:

    Matthew O’Koren (below, right) did some comedy while standing up, which you can hear here, or here:

    Alexander Turnquist (below) finished up the night on guitar, with some vibes help from O’Koren. Click <a href="
    “>here to listen to the mp3, or insert:

    Click on WGXC or WGXC Newsroom for more information. Send news, tips, etc. to

    Local newspaper chain buys last independent Greene County weekly

    The Hudson-Catskill Newspaper Corp. — the company that runs the only daily newspapers in each county (The Daily Mail and Register-Star) as well as weekly papers in Chatham, Windham, and on the mountaintop — bought Greene County’s only remaining weekly, the Greene County Local Courier, and The Ravena News-Herald, from George McHugh, today’s issue of the Courier reports. The story names frequent contributor Melanie Lekocevic as new editor, and says H-CN plans to continue publishing both weeklies. The story does not say whether the purchased papers will now get web sites. Earlier this year The Greenville Press ceased publication.

    Village of Catskill election results

    (Brian Kehoe, Vincent Seeley, and Angelo Amato at the League of Women Voters/WGXC Candidate Forum, March 20, 2010 at Catskill Community Center.)

    From Susan Campriello in The Daily Mail:

    “Catskill voters selected Tuesday incumbent Village President Vincent Seeley and political newcomer Brian Kehoe for two Trustee positions on the Village Board. Trustees serve three-year terms. Seeley, a Republican who was endorsed by Catskill’s Republican and Democratic parties, received 258 votes, Village Clerk Carolyn Pardy announced shortly after the polls closed at 9 p.m. Kehoe, a Democrat, received 218 votes. Incumbent Trustee Angelo Amato, a Republican, received 172 votes to finish out of the running in the at-large election. [Unopposed ] incumbent Village Justice Charles Adsit was re-elected with 186 votes. Adsit has served on the bench since 1996.”

    Catskill Candidate Forum

    (From left, Brian Kehoe, Vincent Seeley, and Angelo Amato, candidates in the Village of Catskill election.)

    Current Village President Vincent Seeley, current Trustee Angelo Amato and Democrat challenger Brian Kehoe all participated in the Candidate Forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters and WGXC and held Saturday March 20 at 10:30 a.m. at the Catskill Community Center. The Village election will be held March 30 for the two seats on the Village Board. Sitting justice Charles Adsit has no challenger in his bid for re-election, and did not participate in the forum.

    To listen to a recording of the candidate forum, click on the following link, or paste it into your computer’s media player:

    Susan Campriello of The Daily Mail reports on the forum here.

    Youth band performances at Catskill Contra Dance

    On March 12, 2010, WGXC and the Catskill Community Center hosted a benefit at the community center that included a contra dance, and youth bands performing. Here are the recordings of those bands:

    Click here to listen to Jonathan Woodin’s performance:

    Click here to listen to No Solutions’ performance:

    Click here to listen to Seminal Stain’s performance:

    Click here to listen to Loud Youth’s performance:

    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.

    Judging the race

    Seeing Greene’s Dick May handicaps the race to fill the seat of Greene County Court Judge Daniel K. Lalor, who retires on December 31. In November, voters will choose a replacement, and it will not be District Attorney Terry Wilhelm who says he is not running. May reports Republicans Ted Hilscher of New Baltimore, a historian and part-time teacher at Columbia-Greene Community College and a former Assistant District Attorney and a Catskill-based attorney; Peter Margolius, Catskill Town Justice and attorney; and Charles (“Chip”) Tailleur of Coxsackie, the Assistant District Attorney will all be running. No Democrats have announced yet, but May speculates that Greg Lubow of Tannersville, an attorney and former Chief Public Defender of Greene County; Edward Kaplan, a Hunter-based attorney; Lee Allen Palmateer, attorney and Athens Town Supervisor; and Alex Betke, a partner in an Albany law firm, Coxsackie Town Supervisor, and Catskill Village attorney may all run.

    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

    Tune in to candidate forums

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

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

    ATHENS Thu. Oct. 22, 7-9 p.m. at Athens Community Center.

    CLAVERACK Thu. Oct. 22, 7-9 p.m. at A.B. Shaw fire house.

    CATSKILL Sat. Oct. 24, 10 a.m.-noon at Catskill Community Center.

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

    GREENE COUNTY LEGISLATURE Sun. Oct. 25, 4-6 p.m. at Union Mills Lofts in Catskill.

    CHATHAM Mon. Oct. 26, 7-9 p.m. at Chatham Town Hall.

    KINDERHOOK Tue. Oct. 27, 7-9 p.m. at Ichabod Crane Middle School.

    Greene and Columbia County candidate forums

    Tune in live candidate forums this week

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

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

    More details below.

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

    Columbia and Greene County candidate forums

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

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

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

    Where and when are the candidate forums?

    Thursday, October 22, both at 7-9 p.m.
    Town of Claverack candidates’ forum at A.B. Shaw firehouse on Route 9H in Claverack. Listen at:

    Athens forum, for candidates for Town Council, Town Justice, and Athens Legislature representation will be at the Athens Community Center, 2 First Street, Athens.

    Saturday, October 24, 10 a.m.-noon
    The Catskill session for candidates for Town Council, Town Justice, Catskill Legislature representation will be at the Catskill Community Center, 344 Main Street, Catskill.

    Sunday, October 25 1-3 p.m.
    Town of Copake candidates’ forum at Copake Grange Hall, downtown Copake.

    Sunday, October 25, 4-6 p.m.
    The forum for all Greene County Legislative candidates will be at Union Mills Lofts, 361 Main Street, Catskill.

    Monday, October 26, 7-9 p.m.
    Town of Chatham candidates’ forum at Chatham Town Hall.

    Tuesday, October 27 7-9 p.m.
    Town of Kinderhook candidates’ forum at Ichabod Crane Middle School.

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

    WGXC will post recordings of each candidate forum as soon as possible at

    For more information:

    Fawn Potash/League of Women Voters
    518- 929-5764


    Paul Smart/

    Basic Political Debate/Meet the Candidates Event Format

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

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

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

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


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

    Seward answers questions from public in Catskill

    Click here to listen to the Oct. 6, 2009 town meeting with NY State Senator James Seward. Mp3 file will not play in Internet Explorer browser. You need Quicktime Player Pro to download file.)

    New York State Senator James Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) held a public meeting at 7 p.m. Tue. Oct. 6 at the Catskill Middle School Auditorium, 345 W. Main St. WGXC’s Debra Kamecke was there with a recorder to post the mp3 audio file above

    Today’s local headlines

    (NY State Assemblyman Peter Lopez interviewed by Cairo-Durham High students Michael Davis and Jordan Smith at the Catskill Community Center Sat. Aug. 22, 2009. Photo by Galen Joseph-Hunter.)

    Politicians turn out in Catskill despite rain
    Click here to listen to or download mp3 interview of NY State Assemblyman Peter Lopez by WGXC’s Jordan Smith and Michael Davis at the Catskill Community Center. WGXC interviewed members of the community yesterday in the Catskill Community Center.
    Catskill and regional politicians and artists turned out Saturday despite the rain to celebrate the Quadricentennial (400 years of European folk on the Hudson River) Parade in Catskill. Organizer Fawn Potash wrangled all sorts of fabulous sorts such as singer Lex Grey as a mermaid on a float, a Rip Van Winkle impersonator, Kelly Benjamin on WGXC’s Radio Bike, Catskill Community Center‘s Drum and Bugle Corps, bagpipe player Ian Rawlinson, and the Freehold Civil Air Patrol Vanguard Squad, as well as local politicians such as Vincent Seeley (Town President), Peter Lopez (district Assemblyman), Greene County Legslators Keith Valentine (R, majority leader), Karen Deyo (R), and Forest Cotten (D), Catskill Town Supervisor Peter Markou, Town Councilmen Patrick Walsh and Michael Smith, and many others. Hilary Hawke has a good overview of the day’s events and more images on The Daily Mail’s web site.

    Today’s local headlines

    Seward complains about driving costs
    Starting September 1, 2009 registration fees are scheduled to increase 25 percent for passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, trailers, taxis, busses, motorcycles, all terrain vehicles, construction vehicles, motorboats and custom vehicles. Fees for drivers licenses fees will also go up by 25 percent. In total, the fee hikes will create an additional cost to New York drivers projected to be almost $152 million over the next two years. New York State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I- Oneonta) comments on those rising cost in the above audio clip you can click on to listen to or download.

    Polling places not ADA accessible
    From The Register-Star

    COLUMBIA COUNTY – A survey of polling places in Columbia County currently underway could not find one polling place that is compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act checklist for voting sites or with standards outlined in the 2002 Federal Help America Vote Act. The survey was taken by Project HAVA, run by The Catskill Center for Independence, based in Oneonta, and funded by a grant from the New York State Commission on Quality Care and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities.

    Budget cuts put art gallery in jeopardy
    From The Daily Mail

    WINDHAM – The Greene County Council is considering closing the Mountaintop Gallery in Windham Jan. 1, or keeping the gallery running with the help of artist volunteers, Executive Director Kay Stamer told the Greene County Legislature Wednesday. The arts council’s general operating budget was cut by 11 percent this year, while decentralization — the Council’s funding that is redistributed to other arts groups across the county — was reduced by five percent, and arts and education programming remained at 2008 levels.

    Seeley proposes full-time village manager
    From The Daily Mail

    CATSKILL – Village Board President Vincent Seeley wants to eliminate his job and put in a business manager or administrator to oversee department heads but be answerable to the Village Board. The article is unclear what, if any, role Seeley would have under that scenario. Catskill Trustee Patrick McCulloch said the Village Charter would require modification before any managerial position could be created, and any changes would be put before voters in a referendum.

    Today’s local headlines

    (Scott Murphy at his town hall meeting at The Golden Harvest Farm in Valatie Sat. Aug. 8, 2009. Photo by Tom Roe.)

    Murphy speaks locally about health care
    Listen to U.S. Representative Murphy’s entire town hall meeting:
    Part One of Town Meeting
    Part Two of Town Meeting
    Murphy interview with Albany Times-Union reporter and WGXC reporter after the meeting
    Several hundred local residents and others from outside the area turned up this morning at 11 a.m. at The Golden Harvest Farm in Valatie to hear U.S. Representative Scott Murphy (D-20) talk about and answer questions about the health care before Congress. While similar meetings in other Congressional districts have turned into shouting matches and even brawls, this debate was mostly civil, with just a bit of shouting, and mostly respectful questions from all sides of the political spectrum from the crowd of around 400.

    There seemed to be as many people who did not want the government providing any health care at all as there were folks who favored a single-payer system, judging by Murphy’s poll of the crowd at the end. Of course, by then, after over an hour in the hot sun, the group was much smaller then at the beginning, and perhaps only folks with very passionate political positions remained. Listen to the links above to hear the entire meeting (in two parts), and an interview Murphy gave afterwards with a reporter from the Albany Times-Union and WGXC.

    Judge rules against Overbaugh ballot bid
    From Seeing Greene

    Linda L. Overbaugh’s name will not appear on the Republican primary ballot next month for one of the four Catskill seats on the Greene County Legislature, a judge ruled Thursday. Dick May from the Seeing Greene blog scooped everyone, reporting Thursday that Supreme Court Judge Richard M. Platkin ordered the Executive Director of the Heart of Catskill Association off the ballot, after her name was listed incorrectly on petitions. She was listed as Linda H. Overbaugh, her former cousin-in-law, who also lives in Catskill. For the lawsuit, Patricia J. Ruck, who chairs the Town of Catskill’s Democratic Party Committee, adopted the Citizen Objector role, while Forest Cotten, past Catskill Democratic chairman and present candidate for re-election to the county legislature, was designated as Aggrieved Candidate. Overbaugh was expected to win a slot in the legislature, perhaps costing incumbent Cotten his seat. Overbaugh told Seeing Greene “it’s not over,” perhaps hinting she will start a write-in campaign for the September primary, where voters would have to write in “Linda L. Overbaugh” exactly. Where was The Daily Mail on this story? They were bested by The Greenville Press for a week before the ruling, and then only mentioned this story for the first time today, two days after May’s story.

    Town & County magazine writes about Hudson
    The September 2009 issue of Town & Country magazine (with actress Jane Krakowski on the cover) features a large story about Hudson’s antique stores called “A Hudson River Renaissance.” Hopefully, the story will help merchants there struggling during this recession — one antique store owner told me in Febraury he did not make a single sale.

    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

    Proposal leaves DSS in Hudson
    From The Register-Star

    HUDSON – Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Art Baer (R-Hillsdale) and Hudson Mayor Rick Scalera stood together at a press conference Tuesday and announced a new proposal that would keep the Department of Social Services in Hudson. The county would buy the One City Centre building on the corner of State and Green streets in Hudson; departments currently in the County Office Buildings at 401 and 610 State Street would move to City Centre. The total square footage of 401 and 610 State Street is 36,000 square feet, 24,000 at 401 and 12,000 at 610 State Street. DSS would stay in its current building on Railroad Avenue for the duration of its lease, which ends in 2011; and then move to One City Centre. Baer called the proposal “a great solution for a difficult problem” and said “I’m looking forward to implementing it.” “The logistics of the planning — there’s a lot to discuss,” said Scalera. “The commitment to keep DSS in the city of Hudson is what we’ve been working for.” Baer previously opposed such a plan, but switched positions because of falling real estate values. The Register-Star says One City Centre was going for $5 million last year, but now is selling for $2 million. “This is not a done deal,” Baer said. “We are only in discussion with the bank. There are still many pieces that have to be put together in the puzzle.”

    Copake Green project set to sprout again
    From CCScoop

    COPAKE – Large developers bring big projects to small towns in this area, and often get special treatment. Like in Copake last week, where Housing Resources Executive Director Kevin O’Neill got to re-introduce his 139-unit Copake Green project to a Copake Planning Board meeting even though he was not on the agenda. From the CCscoop story:

    “Although O’Neill did not request to be put on the agenda ten days in advance of the meeting — the Planning Board requirement — [Planning Board Chairman Marcia] Becker explained that, because there was a light agenda in July and because Housing Resources owns land in the town, she believed allowing O’Neill to make his twenty-minute presentation was the right thing to do.’It caused an uproar that we let him speak. . . . So from now on we are adhering to the ten-day rule,’ Becker said.”

    Medical center, bank storage get green light
    From The Daily Mail

    CATSKILL – The Catskill Planning Board approved site plans for the 3,000 square-foot Urgent Care facility proposed for Grandview Avenue and for a Bank of Greene County storage facility on Windsor Street after hearing brief presentations on each proposal. The medical facility used Architect Josh Pulver, a relative of planning board member Michelle Pulver. She recused herself when it came to the vote, but as an anonymous reader commented on the story, “Nothing assures the approval of a project better than hiring the relative of a judge and town planner as your architect, and paying him astronomical fees.”

    Copake opts for outside budget review
    From The Columbia Paper

    COPAKE–The Copake Town Board hired a second accountant to make sure the first accountant’s figures of a estimated $175,000 budget shortfall are correct. “We all agree that our first course of action should be an independent audit to verify the numbers or find out if they are not correct. We have to know where we are,” Town Supervisor Reggie Crowley told the audience at the Town Board’s regular monthly meeting July 9.

    Court Sides With GOP On Ravitch, Paterson Vows To Appeal
    From The Daily News’ The Daily Politics

    ALBANY – State Supreme Court Justice William R. LaMarca granted the Republican Party’s motion for a preliminary injunction that prevents just-appointed Lt. Govenor Richard Ravitch from “exercising any of the powers” of the LG’s office, pending a final judgment, noting there is no provision in the Constitution that allows the governor to appoint a replacement LG when a vacancy occurs in that office.

    Today’s local headlines

    Local housing groups get $650,000 in grants
    From The Daily Mail

    The Hunter Foundation, in Tannersville, and the Catskill Mountain Housing Development Corporation, in Catskill, were notified Thursday that they are each a recipient of grants — $300,000 and $350,000, respectively — from NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR), the administrator agency for federal U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds. The money is part of a statewide package of $31.4 million in housing grants announced by Gov. David A. Paterson Thursday.

    Wilzig track foes win latest round in court
    From The Columbia Paper

    State Supreme Court Judge Patrick J. McGrath handed down an interim decision last week denying Alan Wilzig’s petition for dismissal of a complaint filed by the Granger Group in regard to his private motorcycle track. Mr. Wilzig received site plan approval and designation as a permissible recreational use from the Town of Taghkanic’s Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board earlier this year. But he was unable to proceed with paving the track because of an injunction against further construction on the facility. The injunction was obtained by the Granger Group, an association of citizens opposed to the track and concerned about enforcement of town zoning law, and by neighbors to the Wilzig property who believe that the track is not allowed under the zoning laws.

    Hudson antique dealers struggling
    From The Register-Star

    Antique sales in Hudson are down around 20 to 30 percent, according to Hudson Antiques Dealers Association president Frank Rosa. Jennifer Arensksjold, co-owner of Arenskjold Antiques Art and Modern Design says sales actually fell more after the recession associated with the World Trade Center attack, which also coincided with a change in buyers’ tastes.

    Falling dairy prices strain farmers
    From The Daily Mail

    A top official at the U.S. Department of Agriculture defended his agency’s response to tumbling milk prices as “extremely aggressive” but showed little appetite Tuesday for immediate and far-reaching measures that some lawmakers say would keep thousands of dairy farmers in business. The Daily Mail story does not mention New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s work on this issue:

    Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is introducing legislation that would increase the amount farmers get through the Milk Income Loss Contract — or MILC –program. MILC pays dairy farmers cash when milk prices fall below certain levels. When demand is up, prices tend to be up as well. The program is aimed at helping small and midsize dairy farmers weather low prices. But Gillibrand says that under the current pricing structure, farmers aren’t receiving enough income to cover the costs of staying in business. She’s introducing a bill this week that would double the amount of money farmers get from the MILC program retroactive to the low point of the pricing crisis in March. Another bill would increase the MILC rate to account for inflation.

    Outbreak of Fungus Threatens Tomato Crop
    From The New York Times

    A highly contagious fungus that destroys tomato plants has quickly spread to nearly every state in the Northeast and the mid-Atlantic, and the weather over the next week may determine whether the outbreak abates or whether tomato crops are ruined, according to federal and state agriculture officials.

    Trippi’s weird “apology”
    From The Albany Project

    “Joe Trippi, who has been working secretly for Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY-14) in her primary challenge to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand for more than a month, posted an odd “apology” for his deception (which occurred at Daily Kos, Huffington Post and with several reporters) on his website yesterday.” This comes after PolitickerNY found Maloney’s second quarter FEC filing and found a $10,500 check to Trippi dated June 5, well before he stopped writing about Maloney as if he was an unpaid observer.

    Mark Eitzel will perform at 8 p.m. Jason’s Upstairs Bar, 521 Warren St. in Hudson.

    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

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

    Today’s local headlines

    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

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

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

    Republicans press for judicial ruling

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

    TU employees reject company offer

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

    Central Hudson cuts back, files austerity plan

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


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