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Weekend in review

Apr 18, 2016 5:00 am

Some of the stories that made the news Fri., Apr. 15 through Sun., Apr. 17:

Jeanette Wolfberg reported in the Columbia Paper the Hudson City Board of Education voted last week to reduce board terms from five to three years. Members already serving will remain on the board until the end of their original term. One of the seats to be filled July 1 will also carry a five-year term, but all other seats will require only three years of service, if elected. District residents go the polls May 17 to vote on the 2016-17 school budget, and to fill three board seats. District residents interested in running for school board can obtain a nominating petition by visiting the administrative offices at 215 Harry Howard Ave. in Hudson. To be eligible, a candidate must be able to read and write, be a qualified voter in the district and have been a resident of the school district for at least one year prior to May 17. Completed petitions must be submitted to District Clerk Leslie Coons no later than 5 p.m., Fri., Apr. 26.

Jim Planck reported in The Daily Mail the Albany Diocese is under contract with an unidentified buyer for the former St. Patrick's High School located on Woodland Avenue in Catskill. The pending sale was confirmed at the Catskill Village Board meeting last week, but Village President Heather Bagshaw declined to name the buyer, citing their desire to remain anonymous. Bagshaw said the new owner is a not-for-profit that would use the building for offices, thereby requiring a zoning change to accommodate the sale. Woodland Avenue is currently zoned R-1, which allows for a one-family residential dwelling per lot. Office complexes are not permitted. Residents of Woodland Avenue are not happy about this turn of events. Chris Rappleyea, a member of the Woodland Avenue Homeowners Association, said rumors are flying that Greene County wants to move its mental health offices to the neighborhood. Rappleyea said, “It’s not going to be well-received, I can pretty much say that, if that is the case.” Another rumor circulating is that a second buyer wants to purchase the property to use as a school, a proposal the residents generally support. Neither village or county officials were available for comment. An informational presentation, hosted by the mystery buyer, will be made at 6 p.m., April 27, immediately before the next village board meeting.

Matthew Hamilton reported at Capitol Confidential 19th Congressional District candidate, Kinderhook Republican John Faso raised more than $220,000 during the first quarter of 2016. That gives him more than $600,000 cash on hand, his campaign announced last week. Faso has raised just more than $1 million total since he entered he race last year. In addition to Faso, Andrew Heaney of Dutchess County and Bob Bishop of Delaware County are seeking the Republican line in the November general election. The seat is being vacated by Chris Gibson.

Greg Hudson reported in the Register-Star despite lobbying state lawmakers and the governor, Twin County nonprofit Arc organizations will be required to raise minimum wage for their employees without the benefit of additional state funding to cover the increase. Instead, the nonprofit care providers for children and adults with special needs, will be required to shoulder the majority of the cost from their own budgets. Those budgets are funded almost entirely through state Medicaid reimbursement. Arc of Ulster-Greene Executive Director John McHugh said, “This will be the biggest unfunded mandate on nonprofits in state history...." He said, "We are concerned that our...state...leaders did not fully fund the budget as it relates to the mandated increases in [the] minimum wage." Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said while increasing minimum wage for all employees statewide was his priority, he felt no obligation to fund pay increases throughout the corporate structure of nonprofit organizations. Republican Assembly member Steve McLaughlin said the government's decision to mandate the wage increase while offering little or no support was "unconscionable."

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation announced last week the new campground at Schodack Island State Park in Rensselaer County is now open for visitors. This is the first new tent-trailer accessible campground to be built by in 35 years. The campground has 67 sites and two new bathroom and shower buildings. Forty-three of the sites offer 50-amp electrical hook-ups. The campground will be open through Dec. 5, to cater to hunters and anglers who visit the park. The 1,052-acre Schodack Island State Park sits off the eastern shore of the Hudson River just south of Albany. It includes approximately seven miles of Hudson River and Schodack Creek shoreline.

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