Weekend in review
Jul 05, 2016 12:02 am
Some of the stories that made the news Fri., Jul. 1 through Mon., Jul. 4:
Daniel Zuckerman reported in The Daily Mail the state Department of Transportation will begin repaving a five-mile stretch of Route 32 in Greene County, Tue., Jul. 5. The area to be repaved will stretch from Route 23 in Cairo to Sunny Hill Road in Freehold,. The work will last about three weeks. During that time, traffic will be reduced to an alternating single lane by flaggers between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Ariél Zangla reported in the Daily Freeman on the 10th anniversary of Cat’n Around Catskill. Heart of Catskill Association President Tina Annese said people are surprised to know the summer exhibition is still going strong. The cats continue to attract visitors, she said. At least one family, Annese said, visits the cats every year as part of their summer vacation. “It brings tourism into the area, without a doubt,” she said. Saugerties once again has its decorated horse statues on display, and Greenville will display its ducks for the second year. The 50 cats statues went on display Memorial Day weekend and will remain in place through Labor Day. On Sept. 17, 49 of the cats will be auctioned off as part of the Cat's Meow Auction and Gala to be held at Historic Catskill Point. The 50th cat will be available through a raffle. Proceeds from the event will benefit a local not-for-profit, and the Barry Hopkins Art Scholarship Fund.
Katie Kocijanski reported in The Daily Mail some members of the St. Patrick’s Church congregation continue their efforts to save the church from being permanently closed. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany announced in May the church and rectory, located on Bridge Street in Catskill, would be closed for good. A group of parishioners recently met at the Washington Irving Senior Center to hear from attorney Brody Hale, the founder of the Catholic Church Preservation Society. Hale specializes in the regulations that govern the Catholic Church. He advised the parishioners to obtain a decree of relegation from the Diocese. In that decree the bishop would be required to provide the specific reasons for why the building can no longer be used for church services. Once the decree is made public, parishioners would have 10 days to file an appeal. Hale also advised the group to raise as much money as possible to demonstrate community support for saving the church. However, getting the decree is the first step in the process, he said.
Dry conditions persist throughout the region. The National Weather Service reported 2 [point] 4 inches of rain less than usual in June in Poughkeepsie, and 1 [point] 5 inches less in Albany. The U.S. Drought Monitor lists the entire WGXC listening area as "abnormally dry," with "moderate drought" conditions in mountainous parts of Greene and Ulster counties. Little rain is forecast for the upcoming week.
Katie Kocijanski reported in the Register-Star reported on the progress being made by the Bridge Street Theatre in Catskill on its expansion and renovation project. The main stage area is currently under construction thanks to more than $100,000 in funding received at the end of last year from the New York State Office of Homes and Community Renewal. The project includes the renovation of an empty room to seat 84 people, the installation of a new lighting booth and a new roof. Managing Director John Sowle and Associate Director Steven Patterson have also kicked off a capital campaign, and are looking to raise an additional $35,000. The building, located at 44 W. Bridge Street, was constructed in the early 1900s and has been home to a variety of businesses. During its lifetime, the building housed a hotel, a beer and book distribution center, garage and a company that made vinyl strips for the inside of freezer doors. The expansion and renovation project is expected to be finished this summer.
Jeanette Wolfberg reported in the Columbia Paper that Gary Flaherty told the Columbia County Board of Supervisors Human Services Committee last week that he has spoken to veterans of the armed forces who are losing their benefits because they have been reported dead. The executive director of the county Veteran’s Service Department said the federal Veterans Administration confirmed it had records indicating the veterans were deceased. Flaherty said in the U.S., 4,000 living veterans are listed as deceased by the VA and no longer receive benefits. At the same time, benefits are still being paid for 30,000 veterans who really are dead. Flaherty also told the committee that he objects to being told he must ask veterans and their families if they are registered to vote. Flaherty said, “I don’t think we should be involved in political activities.” People who fought in wars already “have served their country,” he said.