Chatham cable TV hearing, board meeting Thursday

The Chatham “Village chalkboard” reports there will be a public hearing for Charter Communications cable contract in Chatham at 7 p.m., just before the regular Village Board meeting at 7:30 p.m. at Tracy Memorial Village Hall, 77 Main St.

Molinaro hosts town meeting in Ghent Thursday

New York State Assemblyman Marc Molinaro, who represents Columbia County (R,C,I-Red Hook), will host a town hall meeting in Ghent on Thursday, May 27 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the White Stone Café, 2337 Route 66, Ghent.

Molinaro hosts town meeting in Millerton Saturday

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

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.

Gibson opens Kinderhook campaign headquarters

The Chris Gibson for Congress Campaign has opened its headquarters at 12 Broad Street directly across from Bagel Tyme cafe in the village of Kinderhook. The campaign invites neighbors and friends from Columbia County to meet the candidate on May 13 from 5 to 8 p.m. Kinderhook-native Gibson is the Republican nominee to challenge incumbent Democrat Scott Murphy to represent New York’s 20th District.

Seward in Coxsackie Friday

New York State Senator James Seward will join the Greene Business Alliance, members of the business community, and local elected officials at an Empire Merchants North open house at 11 a.m. Friday, May 14 at Empire Merchants North, 16 Houghtaling Rd., West Coxsackie, NY.

Audio recording of Lafarge DEC hearing last night in Ravena

WGXC’s Sam Sebren made it out to record the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation legislative hearing for renewal and modification of the existing Lafarge Title V Air Permit application last night at 6 p.m. at the Ravena-Coeymans Selkirk High School Auditorium.

Click here to listen to mp3 audio recording of the hearing, or paste the following url into your computer’s media player:

Review the complete LaFarge application documents at this link: The DEC will be accepting written comments until May 21. Please mail or email your comments & include the application number so your comments aren’t lost.
Mail to:
Sarah H. Evans
NYSDEC Region 4 Headquarters
1130 North Westcott Rd.
Schenectady, NY 12306
Application ID# : 4-0124-00001/00112

30 speak, largely worried about mercury at Lafarge

From Brian Nearing in The Albany Times-Union:

Several hundred people turned out for a hearing Tuesday on the proposed state air pollution permit for the Lafarge cement plant, and nearly all gave the same message — the state must do more to limit the amount of mercury and other toxins coming from the smokestack. “I think we are splitting hairs here over just how much they are poisoning us,” said Leigh Jamison, who lives about seven miles downwind of the Route 9W plant in Stuyvesant, Columbia County. Nearly 30 people spoke during the three-hour hearing held across from the plant at Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk High School by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Read the entire story in the Times-Union.

WGXC’s Sam Sebren was at the hearing, and made a recording we will upload on Wednesday.

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.

    Final Lafarge public hearing May 11

    Hilary Hawke in The Daily Mail reports:

    The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced a legislative hearing for renewal and modification of the existing Lafarge Title V Air Permit application on May 11, 6 p.m. at the Ravena-Coeymans Selkirk High School Auditorium. All New York State contaminant-emitting facilities must have either a Title V Air permit, a state facility permit or a registration certificate. Lafarge’s permit expired in 2006 and it has been running under an extension since then. The company, which manufactures Portland cement and operates a limestone quarry, has extensive plans for modernizing the plant, the kilns and for reducing emissions. Administrative Law Judge Richard A. Sherman will preside over the hearing session and will accept unsworn statements on both the Title V application and the draft permit. Any member of the public potentially affected by the proposed project is invited to attend and provide oral or written comments. DEC originally gave public notice for the project in November 2009 and provided a 30-day comment period, later extended to 68 days, which ended on January 11, 2010. Rick Georgeson, DEC Region 4 spokesman, said the agency scheduled the May 11 hearing based on 44 comments, all in written or e-mail form, received during the public comment period. He also said 32 individuals expressed interest in further hearings. Georgeson said that after the May 11 hearing, “DEC will issue a response to the public comments. Going forward DEC can either issue or deny the Lafarge permit or issue a permit with added conditions.” The final decision can take anywhere from months to years. Read the entire story in The Daily Mail.

    Next DSS meeting is Thursday at 4:15 p.m.

    Franceseca Olsen in the Register-Star reports that Columbia County Board of Supervisors’ Space Utilization Subcommittee, which is trying to find a location for Department of Social Services within 60 to 90 days, meets today at 4:15 p.m. at 325 Columbia St., Hudson. Olsen reports that at a Columbia Economic Development Corporation meeting this week, BOS Chairman Roy Brown, R-Germantown, and Supervisor (and county budget/corporate compliance officer) Art Baer, R-Hillsdale, “vocally opposed the CEDC’s plan to use $14,000 to fund a study of the economic impact on moving DSS out of Hudson.” The CEDC will pay Camion and Associates from New York City, “for the purpose of conducting a study on the economic impacts derived from the location of … DSS.” Read the entire story in the Register-Star.

    UPDATE: Register-Star’s Olsen attended meeting and says, “the Board of Supervisors’ Space Utilization Subcommittee Thursday evening… voted unanimously to, ‘limit site selection to only within the city of Hudson without documenting the need for DSS to remain within the city limits.'”

    Gordon to host Hudson River estuary forum Thursday

    From The Columbia Paper:

    Assemblyman Tim Gordon (I-108th) will hold a public forum to 6 p.m. Thursday, April 29, at the Castleton Boat Club, 92 Main Street to discuss ideas and future plans for the Hudson River estuary. Castleton is on Route 9J just north of the Columbia County line. Among the guests at “Our Hudson River: A Community Conversation” will be state Department of Environmental Conservation Hudson River Estuary Coordinator Fran Dunwell, who will present the 2010-12 Draft Action Agenda and will field questions from the community about the DEC’s vision for the river. Other presenters and guests include Rene Van Schaak, a member of the Hudson River Management Advisory Board, and representatives from several community groups in the region. Parking is available at the club as are docking facilities for those arriving by boat.

    Molinaro announces re-election campaign Friday

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

    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:

    Murphy holds town meeting in Coxsackie

    Democrat Congressman Scott Murphy (NY-20) held a town hall meeting at 2 p.m. today in Coxsackie at the Senior Center (formerly Knights of Columbus building) at 127 Mansion St., with several constituents asking him about his recent “yes” vote on the health care reform bill. WGXC recorded the Town Hall, and you can listen to an mp3 recording here. Afterwards, Murphy answered a few questions from the local media, including a WGXC question about his appropriation request for the Cairo Library. Listen to the Greene County media ask Rep. Murphy questions here, another mp3 recording. Yesterday, Republicans made it official that Kinderhook’s Chris Gibson will run against Murphy in November.
    Audio links:

    Kinderhook’s Gibson to challenge Murphy in U.S. 20th Congressional District

    WGXC recorded the nomination speech of Kinderhook Republican Congressional hopeful Chris Gibson today at 3 p.m. at the Desmond Hotel near the Albany airport. Click here to listen to an mp3 recording of Gibson’s short speech plus four questions from the assembled media. WGXC’s Tom Roe asks Gibson what he would do to help struggling dairy farmers in rural Greene and Columbia counties. Gibson said he supported the concept of eating locally grown food, and mentioned a farm workers bill in the state legislature. Gibson will try and unseat Democratic incumbent Scott Murphy in the fall. Gibson was the point guard of the Ichabod Crane High School basketball team, and a Colonel with 24 years in the Army including four combat tours of Iraq and one tour in Kosovo, with an array of medals such as a Purple Heart and two Legions of Merit. He has a Masters in Public Administration and PhD in Government from Cornell University, and served as a Congressional Fellow with U.S. Representative Jerry Lewis (R-CA).

    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.

    Town of Cairo will vote on proposed library funding

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

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

    Listen to Scott Murphy Tele-Town Hall

    Listen to a recording of Rep. Scott Murphy’s Tele-Town Hall from 6:30 p.m. March 10, 2009 on WGXC Online Radio by clicking here. Rep. Murphy represents NY-20, which includes Columbia and Greene counties.

    That link should open an mp3 recording in Quicktime Player on your computer. Note: This does not work in Internet Explorer, use a different browser. If you have Quicktime Player Pro, you can download the recording.

    You can also paste this in to your iTunes, or whatever media player you use, under “Open URL”:

    U.S. Rep. Scott Murphy in Columbia County Monday

    Congressman Scott Murphy (D-NY20) will host make several appearances in Columbia County Monday Feb. 8, with chances for the public to ask the area’s U.S. Representative questions.
    1) Noon: Congress-on-Your-Corner meeting in Ancram to discuss cellular service in Columbia County at Ancram Town Hall, 1416 County Rte. 7, Ancram, NY
    2) 2 p.m.: Tour of JEM Woodworking in Ghent, 250 Falls Road (off Highway 9H), Ghent, NY
    3) 3:30 p.m.: Congress-on-Your-Corner Meeting in Ghent to discuss local issues and the economy at Ghent Town Hall, 2306 State Route 66, Ghent, NY
    After that, at 5 p.m., he will meet with the Columbia County Democratic Town Chairs in a closed meeting at Space 360 in Hudson.

    Town of Durham board meeting

    Click here to listen to an mp3 sound recording of tonight’s Town of Durham board meeting. Plays in Quicktime Player. Will not play in Internet Explorer. You need Quicktime Player Pro to download the file.

    At tonight’s Town of Durham meeting, the board voted 5-0 to impose a six month moratorium on any site plan approvals involving resorts. “Our goal is to take a look at the site plan law and rework it and make sure we aren’t losing any valuable resources,” said Durham town lawyer Tal Rappleyea. He said several resorts in town were being turned into single- or two-family homes or agriculture uses, and a member of the audience remarked, “we keep losing rooms.” So the town board will rework the site plan law before June 15 to help the local tourist industry. The town board also made a, “motion that Tal submits further motions.” This, apparently, lets Rappleyea appeal a recent judge’s ruling in the town’s attempt to dismiss a lawsuit from Weldon House, which wants to put a motocross track in Durham. The town will now again attempt to dismiss the lawsuit.

    Bob Freeman talks about open government at Cairo-Durham High

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

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

    MP3 link:

    Congressman Murphy spends Veteran’s Day in Greene County

    Congressman Scott Murphy (NY-20) makes a number of appearances in Greene County on Thursday, November 12 for Veteran’s Day. Murphy will present a flag to Lexington Town Supervisor Dixie Baldrey at 11:30 a.m. at 3342 Route 42 in Lexington; he will present a flag to Prattsville Town Supervisor Kory O’Hara at 12:15 at 14517 Main Street in Prattsville; he will present a flag to Ashland Town Supervisor Richard Tompkins at 1:15 p.m. at 10294 Route 23 in Ashland; will present a flag to Jewett Town Supervisor Michael Flaherty at 2 p.m. at the Jewett Municipal Building, 3547 County Rte. 23C; and will present a flag to members of American Legion Post 291 at 3:10 p.m. at 291 Maple Avenue in Greenville; and will present a medal to the Hans Family at 3:45 p.m. at New Baltimore Town Hall, 3809 County Route 51 in Hannacroix.

    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

    Alden Terrace II?

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

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

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

    Hunter Planning Board changes application policy

    (Town of Hunter Planning Board Chairman Mark Hyer.)

    Click here to listen to or download the Town of Hunter Planning Board meeting from Oct. 6, 2009.

    The Town of Hunter Planning Board changed its application policy at its regular meeting tonight. New projects will need to apply ten days before the board meets (first Tuesday of the month), and comments to current projects before the board also need to be submitted ten days before monthly meetings. Replies to those comments need to be submitted five days before each meeting. The board only looked at two projects tonight, and spent almost two hours pushing the 92-unit Cortina Mountain Estates project toward a SEQR declaration. Planning Board Chairman Mark Hyer moved to have the project redo a line of sight assesment, but his motion failed. The board left project lawyer Jason Shaw with a few minor environmental points to clear up next meeting (on election night, Nov. 3), but failed to vote on the SEQR. “One more meeting,” Ernie Reale said. “You can’t say that Ernie, that might be a little premature,” Hyer retorted. The board did give a conditional approval to the Petrolo subdivision, contigent on the project’s two new units getting water and sewer service. Hyer also reported that the Town of Tannersville is not giving any new water hook-ups to anyone in the Town of Hunter.

    Cairo sidewalk law public hearing

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

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

    Cairo Town Board meeting

    Click here to listen to Town of Cairo Board meeting 091609

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

    Ruth Gutman speaks at Cairo Eco Faire

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

    Andy Turner speaks at Cairo Eco Faire

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

    Today’s local headlines

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

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

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

    Today’s local headlines

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Today’s local headlines

    (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.