Today’s local headlines

The local and statewide deadlocks took tiny steps toward resolution Wednesday. The Register-Star reports that Supervisor Doug McGivney, D-Kinderhook, introduced a resolution at the last minute at the Columbia County Board of Supervisors Full Board meeting Wednesday that the Board of Supervisors will “endorse the concept of exploring the obtaining and retention of the services of the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) for the purposes of review, study and recommendations concerning all aspects of building or capital needs of Columbia County.” It passed unanimously. But don’t think this means the kerfuffle between Columbia County Supervisor Art Baer (R-Hillsdale) and the city of Hudson, largely over where the Department of Social Services ends up, is over. “That’s one of the areas I think they would provide us potentially with some assistance,” he said. “I think we’re going to expose them to the process that the Board went through, let them take a look at the data, and if they can come up with some other option, then we’re certainly going to listen to it….At the same time, we’re not going to pull the emergency brake and stop all our actions with respect to engineering and design with respect to Ockawamick,” said Baer. “How could you invite people in to study something while you are moving forward? I don’t think that’s acceptable to this problem,” Linda Mussmann of the Bottom Line Party and TSL said. “The reality is we need a plan that’s going to work. That, I think, finally, everybody has understood.”… New York Govenor David Paterson appointed Richard Ravitch to fill the vacancy in the office of lieutenant governor, according to Capitol Confidential. Ravitch is a former chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. There will clearly be legal challengers to whether the Governor is allowed to appoint a lietenant governor, as potential Governor candidate Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has already announced the move is illegal. Columbia County Assemblyman Marcus J. Molinaro (R,C,I-Red Hook) wasted no time calling the move unconstitutional, and said, “Ravitch…masterminded the $2.3 billion MTA bailout plan that include[d] a devastating payroll tax which disproportionately hurts Hudson Valley businesses, school districts, municipalities and not-for-profits.”… The Town of Athens implemented a resolution to add a $150 fee to all 50-foot non-commercial wind turbines, according to The Daily Mail…. The Times Union gives Hudson’s Baba Louie’s a “pretty serious rave.”… The Times Union terminated 15 full-time and three part-time employees, including 11 full-time employees in the newsroom, according to the paper. Among the employees let go were Monica Bartoszek, a senior editor and the newspaper’s reader representative; Alan Wechsler, author of a regular column about the outdoors; Bill Callen, sports editor; and Marlene Kennedy, business editor and a weekly columnist. The Newspaper Guild said, “the Company’s actions come while the parties are supposed to be negotiating layoff criteria, talks that resume at 10 a.m. Wednesday. Last week, the Guild filed two information requests over the proposed criteria, which the newspaper has yet to answer.”

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Today’s local headlines

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

Today’s local headlines

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

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

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