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Weekend in review

Dec 22, 2014 6:45 am
Some of the stories that made the news, Fri., Dec. 19 through Sun., Dec. 21:

William J. Kemble reported in the Daily Freeman Ulster Supervisor James Quigley has refused permission for Pilgrim Pipeline developers to survey town-owned property. Quigley said he was unhappy pipeline representatives declined to meet with the public. Developers hope to use the state Thruway corridor or adjacent properties to construct a 178-mile long set of dual pipelines that send Bakken crude oil to Linden, New Jersey, and then return refined material to Albany. While town of Ulster officials have no plans to adopt a resolution objecting to the pipeline, it has raised concerns from Quigley that developers would be placing a burden on the municipality. Quigley said Bakken crude oil is too volatile to feel comfortable with the safety of a pipeline. He said the same concerns exist with the rail traffic that goes through residential areas of the town.

Melanie Lekocevic reported in The Daily Mail dozens of parents in Athens turned out to a meeting of the Coxsackie-Athens Board of Education last week to voice their opposition to a proposal that, if approved, would reconfigure the elementary schools. Under the proposal all students in kindergarten through second grade would attend E.J. Arthur Elementary, regardless of where they live, and all third and fourth graders would go to Coxsackie Elementary. The reconfiguration was suggested as a cost-savings measure by Questar III BOCES (BOW-seas). Board President Joseph “Seph” Garland said the district will hold public hearings on the issue before any decision is put to a vote.

Matthew Hamilton reported at Capitol Confidential the Cuomo administration Thu., Dec. 18, sent a letter to Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch and outgoing Education Commissioner John King outlining the governor’s plann to make teacher reforms a top priority in the coming year. Cuomo intends to push legislative reforms to the current teacher evaluation system as part of the budget process. In a farewell speech to staff members early Thursday, King told reporters he is enthusiastic that Cuomo will make education reform a top priority and that he and Tisch will review the letter. He added there is a need to revisit the education system and law governing teacher evaluations. [OPTIONAL: Read sentence, then PLAY (below) King's responded to the administration's letter in an interview with New York Public Radio's Karen DeWitt, Fri., Dec. 19 (1:45).] Earlier this month King was named senior adviser to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

Ryan Anglim reported in The Daily Mail the Greene County Legislature voted last week to increase the maximum income limit required for county seniors, residents with disabilities and limited income to qualify for certain property tax exemptions. The income ceiling will increase from $22,500 to $24,500. Catskill Legislator Vincent Seeley said the bump up was needed to keep in line with the cost of living. The law will become effective after it is filed with the New York Secretary of State, in approximately a month.