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Tuesday headlines

Apr 19, 2011 6:26 am
Candidates file petitions in school board races
The first listings of candidates for upcoming school elections on May 17 were listed in the Daily Freeman, indicating that incumbents who have decided to stick with their posts are being challenged in most districts. In Catskill, there will four candidates for three Board of Ed seats carrying three-years terms including two-term incumbent Karen Haas of Leeds, Michael Maloney of Bogardus Lane; William C. Fiske, of Broome Street; and Ward Osborn, of Five Mile Woods Road. Andrew Jones and Matthew Leibowitz are not seeking election. In Germantown, four people will vie for two seats including incumbents Donald Coons of Elizaville and Cynthia Smith of Sharp’s Landing Road; facing Brittany Bohnsack-Dufresne, and Ronald Moore II, both of Germantown. In the Cairo-Durham school district, three incumbents and one challenger are jockeying for three, three-year seats on the school board, with incumbents Susan Kusminsky of Freehold; William Alfeld of Cairo; and Patricia Prapolsky Ublacker of Leeds seeking re-election, and challenger Elizabeth Phillips of East Durham seeking to unseat an incumbent. Each of the incumbents in Coxsackie-Athens faces a challenger for his or her seat. Incumbent Joseph Garland of the town of Coxsackie is being challenged by Richard Jewett of the village of Coxsackie; incumbent Joseph Cardinale, of the Town of Coxsackie is facing Carol Ann Luccio of Earlton; and incumbent Michael Petramale of Athens will face off against Bonnie Ecker of the Village of Coxsackie. In Hunter-Tannersville school district officials declined to provide information on petitions that have been filed and expect to have a list available today. In Columbia County, we will have full lists of candidates later today. Candidates in the city of Hudson school district, being under a different timeline jurisdiction, have until April 27 to complete all petitions.

And then there were four
Francesca Olsen has a story in the Register-Star on how the county Board of Elections will be consolidating Claverack’s six election districts down to four, largely for cost-saving purposes. She reports that a large crowd heard how polling places at the Mellenville Grange and the Churchtown Firehouse would be eliminated, and the new A.B. Shaw Firehouse being constructed on Route 23 would be incorporated as a poll site, as well as Claverack Town Hall and other already-used sites. In addition to saving money, Democratic Commissioner of Elections Virginia Martin said the BOE is consolidating districts to eliminate poll sites that aren’t compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act “so anybody who wants to come to vote ... comes to a site that is really as easy to get into as possible.”

10-year-old foster abuse case settled
Colin DeVries reports in the Daily Mail on a final conclusion to a 10-year-old civil case involving the physical and sexual abuse of seven children by their foster father, with abuse victims dividing a $1 million settlement. "Jose Serrano, the now-56-year-old former Cairo resident serving a maximum 50-year sentence in prison for the abuse of his foster children, was sued by estates of the abused children, with the first suit filed in July 2001," DeVries writes. "Greene County and the Greene County Department of Social Services were also sued by the abuse victims, with claims that the department was negligent in hiring, training and evaluating Serrano as a foster care provider." Serrano was convicted in 2001 of sexually abusing the seven children between 1997 and 2000. Most of the children were teenagers when the abuse occurred, according to court documents. The civil case against Serrano and the county was concluded with a settlement of $1 million, all to be paid by insurance companies, instead of the $9 million originally claimed... and set for what promised to be an arduous jury trial in the coming weeks.

Poll: New Yorkers not saving, just hoping
Bryan Fitzgerald writes in the Times Union about how the majority of New Yorkers who are not retired haven't invested heavily in their retirement savings over the past six months, fear Social Security will be gone by the time they retire, and think saving enough money for retirement will be a problem, according to a new Siena Research Institute Poll. However, he adds, they are not worried about maintaining their current standard of living when they stop working. 44 percent of the not-retired polled said they had not contributed significantly to their retirement savings in the past six months. Twenty-nine percent said they had contributed a small amount. Just 12 percent said they had contributed a great deal to their retirement savings while 9 percent said they had withdrawn from their retirement accounts. Moreover, 50 percent said they had put money into a savings account over the last two years, 23 percent said they had met with a financial adviser to discuss retirement. Nine percent polled said they hadn't saved for retirement in the past two years. Thirty-three percent said they currently do not have a savings account with over $1,000 in it.

Will village become part of the 'Roost Belt'?
Chris Simonds reports in the Columbia Paper on recent objections to an anti-chicken ordinance in the VIllage of Philmont, similar to ongoing battles over city egg farming that have been reported in the Times Union, regarding Albany, as well as in other cities around the nation. Locally, the issue arose when it was pointed out that the wording of the Philmont ordinance -- “No person shall keep, maintain or harbor within the Village of Philmont any cattle, swine, ducks, geese or bees” -- does not specifically mention chickens. Alternate wording was proposed that would allow roosters. The board did not take immediate action on the request.
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