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Friday headlines

Aug 12, 2011 12:35 am
New York State makes pirate broadcasting a misdemeanor
Paul Riismandel in Radio Survivor reports that New York State Senator Steve Saland, who represents Columbia County in Albany, sponsored a bill just signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, making broadcasting on the AM or FM airwaves without a license a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in prison. New Jersey, has had a similar law on the books for several years, and no one can recall the state police getting involved in any actions, according to Paul Riismandel at Radio Survivor. "The measure is largely symbolic, aimed to frighten current and would-be unlicensed broadcasters out of taking to the air," he writes. "While the law would allow police to get involved in tracking down and arresting pirate broadcasters, I’ll be surprised if law enforcement agencies are eager to dedicate much of their limited resources to such a minor crime." If someone wants a radio license, they apply to the Federal Communications Commission in Washington D.C., not Albany, so courts would likely toss out any convictions. Read the full story at Radio Survivor.

Lexington still dealing with emergency services issues
Michael Ryan in the Windham Journal writes that the Lexington Town Board voted not to cut the road chief’s annual salary in half, to pay for emergency rescue workers at "a meeting last week." Lexington paid Ashland approximately $6,000 for emergency services in 2010, after the town's volunteer memberhsip declined. The volunteer group is still answering calls, but Ashland handles many too. The town would like to have Shandaken provide services, since that Ulster County town is closer then Ashland. Ryan does not report the exact figure, but says Shandaken wants near six-figures to cover Lexington. The Fire Commissioners, which currently oversee the volunteers, is putting together a proposal to turn the volunteer unit into a paid service. Read the entire story in the Windham Journal.

Van Schaack, IDA reading out to municipalities
Melanie Lekocevic in the Greene County News writes that Greene County IDA Interim Executive Director Rene Van Schaack made one of his first public appearances since the three resignations at the top of the IDA, at the August meeting of the Athens Town Council. “We want to try to rebuild relationships,” Van Schaack told the Town Council. “The IDA is in a time of transition. The winds of change sometimes blow the furniture off the porch and sometimes they blow the roof off the house. We are somewhere in the middle of that.” Executive Director Alexander “Sandy” Mathes, Board of Directors member Hugh Quigley, and Chairman Robert Snyder have all recently resigned from the IDA, after a media outcry last year over bonuses paid to Mathes. Van Schaack broke a little news, saying the former Travco site in Athens was recently sold to Peckham Industries. Peckham had taken over the rear building and property more than a year ago, and, "now Peckham has taken over the entire site, and is expected to relocate some of its operations there," Lekocevic writes. Read the full story in the Greene County News.

County manager position gets the door
W. T. Eckert reported that the Columbia County Board of Supervisors defeated a resolution to hire a professional to run the county. Eckert does not list which town supervisors voted for the "Supporting the Concept of Professional Governance for the County of Columbia" proposal, nor does he list who was against the resolution, nor who was absent. Judging by several quotes in Eckert's story, it will be difficult or impossible to get some supervisors to cede any power. “I think there is room for a position similar to the manager,” Bill Hughes, D-Hudson4, said. “The position has to have its power curtailed. It shouldn’t take power away from supervisors. This person can oversee departments but no passing resolutions, no hiring or firing, and no paying for high-ticketed expenses.” Read the full story in the Register-Star.