Weekend in review
Some of the stories that made the news from Fri., Jun. 16 through Sun., Jun. 18:
The Catskill Republicans reported on Twitter Sat., Jun. 17, that U.S. Rep. John Faso was in Catskill for a community event that day, but the first-term Republican's public schedule noted no such appearance. Catskill Republicans tweeted that Faso was attending their Catskill Grillin and Chillin Community BBQ cookout in the Bronson Street parking lot in Catskill. Faso's schedule, according to his website, only included appearances at the Meredith Dairy Fest and the Bovina Valley Farm Tour. Previous local Congressional representatives, such as Democrat Scott Murphy and Republican Chris Gibson, included their complete schedule of community events online.
Daniel Zuckerman reported in The Daily Mail a report by advocacy group Disability Rights New York found that 80 percent of Greene County's polling locations are inaccessible to individuals with disabilities. Sites deemed unfriendly to the physically challenged included Ashland and New Baltimore town halls, Haines Falls, East Durham and Prattsville firehouses, Hunter Village Hall, the Riverside Senior Center in Athens, the Jewett Municipal Building, Coxsackie Village Building, Kiskatom Fire Department, West Athens Lime Street Fire Company and the Windham Waterwaste building. The sites were identified based inaccessible parking, improper setup of ballot-marking devices and the presence of poll workers untrained to operate the devices and assist people with disabilities. The Greene County Board of Elections must make all polling places compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act before the upcoming fall elections. The county has until August 15 to correct the specific issues cited in the report.
Anthony Fiducia reported in The Daily Mail the Catskill Village Board last week narrowly approved a resolution to support the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater Act in the wake of proposed cuts to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Trump administration has proposed a 31 percent cut to EPA funding, a 45 percent cut in grants for water protection programs and the elimination of various regional programs. Clearwater is a nonprofit corporation that educates the public on the importance of preserving the Hudson River and its tributaries. The organization intends to deliver a message to federal officials, communicating the concerns expressed by citizens, public interest groups and municipal and state officials on the growing threats to water and federal clean water protections, according to the resolution. The measure was approved by the board on a vote of 3 to 2; trustees Heather Bagshaw and Stanley Dushane voted 'no.'
The Mid-Hudson News Network reported the Blue Hole swimming area in the western Ulster County town of Denning is at risk because of overuse due to its popularity, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The swimming hole is located in the New York City watershed, upstream of the Rondout Reservoir. In the summer of 2015, day use of the large, deep and cold swimming hole increased rapidly after media coverage extolled the spot as one of the best swimming holes in the country. Excessive use has resulted in an increase in human waste, refuse, fires and broken glass, and overuse of the parking area that often spills out onto the road. Last year, the state announced use of the Blue Hole area would be limited to daylight hours. The DEC is also encouraging Blue Hole users to check out and enjoy nearby state lands.
Daniel Zuckerman reported in The Daily Mail the Coxsackie wastewater and water treatment plants have received a clean bill of health from the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The 45-year-old wastewater plant, and the five-year-old water plant were inspected in April, and the village board was notified of the results two weeks ago, Coxsackie Mayor Mark Evans said. Both facilities received a satisfactory rating by the DEC. “They are [DEC inspections] are very routine,” Evans said. “They’re nothing special or out of the ordinary.”
The Daily Freeman reported Hudson Valley Farmhouse Cider recently received medals for several of its ciders during the Royal Bath and West International Cider Competition in Somerset, England. Hudson Valley’s God Speed the Plough and Traditional ciders were awarded silver and bronze medals, respectively, in the traditional cider category. The Maeve’s Hudson Valley Cider received a bronze medal in the new world cider category, and The Last Blacksmith garnered a silver medal in the Bottle Fermented and Keeved Cider category. Hudson Valley Farmhouse Cider, now located in Staatsburg, was founded in 1996 by cider-master Elizabeth Ryan at her original orchard, Breezy Hill, near Rhinebeck.
Emilia Teasdale reported in The Columbia Paper the Chatham Village Board has approved spending $33,000 for engineering drawings to describe the repairs needed to the roof of village hall. The motion to approve the appropriation was tabled last month, when Trustee Mike Wollowitz raised questions about the cost. Trustee Jay Rippel called the plan a “restoration not just a bandage on the roof.” Mayor Tom Curran said the proposal from the architect is involved due to the historic nature of the building. “It’s really an investment in our community,” Curran said. The building, completed in 1913, is listed on the state and national Registers of Historic Places. The mayor said once the village has the drawings for the repairs, the search for funding to support the project can begin. The village board will next meet 7 p.m., Thu., Jun. 22, at Tracy Memorial.
Amanda Purcell reported in the Register-Star Columbia County has purchased a 12-passenger van for transporting seniors age 60 and older to and from social events. Seniors unable to drive, who have no means of travel or are restricted from driving due to medical reasons can make a scheduled appointment for pickup. The county Office of the Aging said in a press release the free service is mainly intended for taking seniors shopping, to banks, pharmacies, nursing home visits, to county agencies and the county's senior nutrition sites. The program will not provide transportation to and from medical appointments. The bus was purchased with funds donated by the Board of Directors of the Hudson Home for the Aged. Information on the program is available by calling (518) 567-3677.