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Thursday headlines

Sep 08, 2011 1:04 am
Task force created to ease flooding never met
Brian Nearing in the Albany Times-Union reports that a high-level state task force created to study flood mitigation after the major New York flood in 2006 never met. The task force never took a single step to prepare for future floods, like the ones that are currently affecting much of New York state. "A Cornell University professor [Susan Rhia, earth sciences] named to the group gave up in frustration after repeatedly asking the state Department of Environmental Conservation when the first meeting would be held," Nearing writes. That was nearly three years ago and "that was the last I ever heard of it ... I have been wondering whatever happened to the task force," said Rhia, director of the New York State Water Resources Institute. "Spokesmen in DEC and the state Canal Corp., which were among eight state agencies in the task force, had no comment Friday when asked what had happened to the group," Nearing writes. Read the full story in the Albany Times-Union.

Widespread flooding
In Greene County, and much worse farther west and south in New York's interior, there was widespread flooding Wednesday. The Susquehanna River was expected to exceed the flood stages it reached in 2006, and major parts of Interstate 88 and 90 may still be closed Thursday morning. At midnight the DOT announced:
"The New York State Thruway Authority has announced that due to heavy rain and rising water conditions along the Mohawk River, the Authority anticipates closing the Thruway between Interchange 24 (Albany) and Interchange 33 (Verona) along I-90. Motorists should avoid travel within the Mohawk Valley Region, and seek alternate routes outside of this region, as widespread flooding of area roads is expected. Motorists are advised to visit www.511ny.org to check status the of other roads. Currently, I-88 in Binghamton is closed between Exit 3 and Interstate 81; and I-81 is reduced to one lane, just north of Binghamton, between Exit 6 and Exit 8."

Other news:
• A small culvert washed out, not a bridge, and has been repaired on CR 10, the alternate way into Prattsville.
• Two teens were rescued from the Hannacroix Creek.
• Greene and Columbia counties Flood Watches were set to end at 6 a.m. Thursday morning, while Albany and Rensselaer counties extends to 6:29 a.m., Ulster to 8:29 a.m., Delaware to 9:16 a.m., and Schoharie until 10:03 a.m.

Boil water orders
Prattsville: BWO remains in effect. Water restored-temporary line installed not ready to sample.
Tannersville: BWO remains in effect. Sampling was to begin Sept. 2, no results available yet. Filtered water turbidity levels have been good since late yesterday afternoon. The operator plans to collect bacteria samples from the system on Wed. Sept. 7 and Thu., Sept. 8. If all samples are satisfactory the boil water will be lifted.
Windham: BWO remains in effect. Water service fully restored, but not ready to sample.
Hensonville: BWO remains in effect. Water restored but with low pressure, leaks being repaired. Not ready to sample.

School in Greene County?
Previously, Greene County officials said that this afternoon they would announce whether schools there would open on Monday or not. Tue. Sept. 6, Greene County officials delayed opening schools that would have began Wed., Sept. 7. Greene County officials wanted to inspect bridges and roads before making the decision, and since then it has rained more, and flooded more. If Greene County officials do make an announcement WGXC will have that news on the "WGXC Afternoon Show" from 4-6 p.m.

Capital Region Economic Development Council Meeting at Columbia-Greene Community College
WGXC Town Recorder (and Hudson Alderman) Ellen Thurston recorded the public meeting of the of the Capital Region Economic Development Council Tuesday, Sept. 6 at Columbia-Greene Community College. The group -- just formed by Gov. Cuomo to spur economic growth regionally -- includes Columbia, Greene, Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Washington, and Warren counties. They are supposed to create a five-year plan to improve the area’s economy. Thurston recorded the entire meeting and you can play any part of it just by clicking on PLAY CLIP.

Fundraiser fetes GOP same-sex marriage senators
Jimmy Vielkind in the Albany Times-Union's Capitol Confidential reports that Republican Senator Steve Saland of Poughkeepsie -- who represents Columbia County in Albany -- is getting large cash donations because of his vote in favor of same-sex marriage. Saland was the thirty-second senator to announce he would vote for the bill, assuring it would pass. "New York City’s billionaire mayor, Michael Bloomberg, will co-host a fundraiser next month for Republican Senators Steve Saland of Poughkeepsie, Jim Alesi of Rochester, Roy McDonald of Saratoga and Mark Grisanti of Buffalo. Tickets for the Manhattan soiree run as high as $16,800, the maximum amount allowed under the current election law," Vielkind writes. Hosts for the party include Tim Gill, a software magnate, and Paul E. Singer, the founder of Elliott Management and chairman of the conservative Manhattan Institute as well as gay rights groups Marriage Equality New York, the Gill Action Fund and the Human Rights Campaign. Likewise, the National Organization for Marriage is working to defeat the four senators because of that vote, and campaign spending for his seat will be much larger this campaign. Read the full story in Capitol Confidential.

One less media voice
Marilyn Bethany and Dan Shaw of the blog Rural Intelligence are shutting down the source for news among the well-monied in Columbia, Dutchess, and Litchfield counties. "Our goal to create an online culture-and-lifestyle magazine that would unite four counties in three states was and remains, as far as we know, unique," they wrote in their final post last week. "We are proud of the work we’ve done and that we’ve succeeded in fostering a sense of community across state and county lines among full- and part-time residents, as well as visitors."

Performers announced for storm relief
Performers were announced for the Oct. 1-2 fundraiser for Greene County storm victims at the Michael J. Quill Irish Cultural Center in East Durham. The Catskill Glee Club, The Lustre Kings, Michael Packer, Kirsten Thein, Kitty Kelly, Lara Hope & The Champtones, Alexis P. Suter with Connor "The Kidd" Kennedy, Tas Cru, Prof. Louie & The Crowmatix, Phil Brown (of Little Feat) with Rhett Tyler are among the bands Sat., Oct. 1. Solo or duos Saturday include Peter Head, Andrew & Stephanie AKA Lex Ridge, David Kraii, Keith & Joy, Thomas Earl, and Finley & Pagdon. Sunday's full bands include Michael Farrell School Of Dance, The Michael Louis Band, The Jonny Monster Band, Voodelic, The Five Points Band, Shorty King, John Cerbone, Rhett Tyler Trio, with solo and duos including Abby Lappen, John Holt, Wet Paint, Nick Bukuvalas, Peggy Atwood, and Mike Herman.

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