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Weekend in review

Jan 19, 2015 7:01 am
Some of the stories that made the news Fri., Jan. 16 through Mon., Jan. 19:

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="150"] Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in New York City, Jan. 18.
(Courtesy Cuomo Flickr stream.)[/caption]

Matthew Hamilton reported at Capitol Confidential Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has proposed another increase in the minimum wage. In an announcement made Sun., Jan. 18, Cuomo put forward the idea of boosting the wage to $10.50 per hour statewide by the end of 2016. The announcement was a piece of his upcoming Opportunity Agenda, a State of the State/Executive Budget hybrid proposal set for release in full on Wed., Jan. 21. The minimum wage is now $8.75 per hour and will rise to $9 per hour in 2016.

Jim Planck reported in The Daily Mail the Cairo Town Board revealed last week it finds the town's proposed new zoning law unfriendly to business development. Board members said the document overly favors environmental and aesthetic aspects, while it restricts commercial and business development in the extreme. Planning board Chairman Dan Benoit said the restrictions contained within the draft are "a disincentive to the wanted and needed development" of Cairo. Benoit said the board submitted comments on the 2014 draft early last year, but it was his understanding the Town Board never reviewed them. Following public comment, a revision of the draft was returned to the Planning Board, but more than 95 percent of the board's recommendations were not addressed in the newest version, Benoit said.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="220"] Eastbound on the Rip Van Winkle Bridge.
(Courtesy Wikipedia.)[/caption]

The Mid-Hudson News Network reported traffic and revenues on all five bridges over the Hudson River operated by the New York State Bridge Authority increased by 6 percent in December. During the 12-month period that ended Dec. 31, traffic rose to nearly 59 million crossings, and revenue increased to $55 million. The increase in traffic and revenue was attributed to mild weather and lower gas prices last month. In 2014 compared to 2013, the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, which connects Catskill and Greenport, saw the greatest increases in revenue of the five bridges, up more than 3 percent. Traffic on the Rip Van Winkle was up nearly 2.5 percent. The Newburgh-Beacon Bridge, the busiest of all five structures, saw annual traffic decrease in 2014 compared to 2013.

John Mason reported in the Register Star the Hudson Planning Board last week approved a proposal to create a retail food complex in the former Ackerman Appliance building on upper Warren St. Developer Howard Crouch intends to put a restaurant, juice bar, a retail bakery as well as a commercial bakery in the large, brick commercial building located at the corner of Warren and Eighth streets. The city Historic Preservation Commission has already approved the project. The main market will be located at ground level; the public will enter from Eighth Street. The target date for opening is late fall, 2015.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="169"] Eagle Scout presentation kit.
(Courtesy Wikipedia.)[/caption]

Katie Kocijanski is reporting in The Daily Mail Khial (KYLE) Forges, Jr., of Boy Scout Troop 32 of Elizaville, attained the rank of Eagle Scout during a ceremony Sun., Jan. 18, held at the Elizaville Fire Department. The event was attended by U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson and Assemblyman Pete Lopez. Forges was the 345th scout to attain that rank in Columbia County since 1923. For his Eagle project, Forges built five benches for use by the public at the Ramshorn Livingston Sanctuary in Catskill. He will graduate from Catskill High School in June, and intends to enter the U.S. Army. Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scout program.
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