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More Wednesday headlines

Apr 27, 2011 9:28 am
Safety Net isn’t safe enough
Francesca Olsen reports in the Register-Star that Columbia County Social Services Commissioner Paul Mossman has teamed up with State Assemblyman Peter Lopez, R,C,I-Schoharie, to develop a proposal that would allow Columbia County to use some of its own social services funding to increase the allotment for the Safety Net program, which gives money to those who qualify for housing, food and other expenses. "The current maximum allowance for a single person, per month, via Safety Net is $350," she writes. "Increasing the benefit level, Mossman said, will give his clients a better chance of finding affordable housing in a competitive market." Mossman added that the effort would be tri-county, with pilot areas in Schoharie, Greene and Columbia counties all using local funding to increase the monthly allowance, probably by about $200, in a six-month program designed to close current safety net holes. Those who would be eligible would already qualify for Safety Net, and those who are currently or soon-to-be employed would get the first go at additional allowance funds.

Church-based group gets $1 million grant
Carol DeMare writes in the TImes Union that the Capital Region Theological Center, an Albany-based Christian ecumenical group whose services reach to houses of worship of all faiths, announced April 26 that it has received a $1 million grant from the Lilly Endowment that it will use over the coming four years to help strengthen local congregations. "We believe stronger congregations mean stronger communities," the Rev. Sherri Meyer-Veen, CRTC project manager, is quoted in DeMare's story. "Denominations have been in decline over the last 40 years... Ecumenical partnering is an essential must for the church of the future." The idea is for "multiple denominations of faith and traditions to be working together," as well as "the lessening of denominational lines to give a full expression of faith," DeMare writes of the grant goals for the theological center, which began in 2001 as an education resource for clergy and lay church members, offering a variety of courses with local speakers and those from around the country that lasted a day or several days.

To save a tree
Carole Osterink has a pair of stories up on her The Gossips of Rivertown blog about a tree near the old Armory building at North Fifth and State Sts. that was being cut down as of Tuesday morning, April 26, when several neighbors came out in protest and succeeded in getting a stay of execution for the tree. Vigils to save the tree, whose cutters would not identify who had hired them, were being planned for the coming week. Osterink added that the tree had survived earlier cuttings and a lightning hit over the years.

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