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Thursday headlines

Apr 14, 2011 6:25 am
Round Top woman attacked by bear
Colin DeVries reports in the Daily Mail that a 53-year-old Round Top woman was attacked by a bear Wednesday afternoon, April 13. The woman told police she was knocked down by a black bear in her driveway on Alpine Drive. A garbage container was knocked over and trash was strewn about into a wooded area near the home. The woman was transported by Cairo Ambulance to Albany Medical Center for treatment. Environmental conservation officers could not locate the animal when they arrived on the scene.

Supervisors split on filling, creating positions
Francesca Olsen writes in the Register-Star on how the April 13 meeting of the full Columbia County Board of Supervisors dissolved into a series of roll call votes, all pertaining to newly-created positions or the filling of now-empty administrative ones. Usually such decisions are made by acclimation. "The controversy began when Supervisor Pat Grattan, R-Kinderhook, moved to table a resolution that would have granted county Human Resources Director John Rutkey Jr. a deputy with a $60,000 salary," Olsen writes. "The vote was split almost evenly between the supervisors, which is a rarity for a full board meeting. In the end, it was tabled." Five other paid positions were approved by the board in other roll call votes, not including the HR deputy, which did not make it to a vote. The meeting began 15 minutes late because of a delayed Republican caucus.

Job fair to highlight 1,200 positions
The Albany Business Journal reports that a job fair scheduled for April 14, this morning, will feature more than 1,200 jobs. The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Career Fair at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany will have more than 90 businesses present, including Bechtel Marine Propulsion Corp./Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory, CDPHP, Time Warner Cable, GlobalFoundries and Albany Medical Center. The event runs from 12:30-4 p.m. Two workshops are scheduled before the job fair begins, at 11 a.m. The job fair is free to the public. For more information, call (888) 469-7365 or visit http://www.labor.ny.gov.

Seven Catskill teaching positions eliminated
Jim Planck reports in the Daily Mail that the Catskill Central School District adopted its $37 million budget for 2011-12 Wednesday night, April 13, with a 6-3 vote. The budget reduces district employment by 10.3 positions, seven from the teaching staff and 3.3 from support staff, despite protests against the cuts by the Catskill Teachers Association, district parents, and students. The positions that will be eliminated are one art teacher, one music teacher, one foreign language teacher, one science teacher, two social studies teachers, one social worker, one business office administrative assistant, a library teaching assistant, a CHOICES teaching assistant, and a .3 full time equivalent of a monitor. The budget represents a spending increase of $511,147, or a 1.39-percent increase. $480,000 will be taken from the district’s unappropriated fund balance of $2.2 million, which will then reduce the tax levy by another 3 percent, dropping it to $182,564, or a 1.14-percent increase to the tax levy.

UPDATE: 900 Columbia Street
Carole Osterink reports in her Gossips of Rivertown about what happened to the 652 signature Save 900 Columbia Street petition she helped organize and deliver to the executive director and board of the Mental Health Association of Columbia-Greene Counties and to the commissioner at the New York State Office of Mental Health. She notes that it's been "three weeks since a group of advocates for the house met with Jeffrey Rovitz, executive director of MHA, and Susan Cody, who directs MHA's residential division, to explore how MHA could achieve its goals without demolishing a historic house." Going on, she writes that, "Not surprisingly, the responses to our questions explained why our idea was not possible and showed little willingness to alter the plans in order to save the historic house. MHA did, however, offer to give the house to Historic Hudson so that the organization could move it to another site 'in a timely fashion' after the new facility had been built and the residents moved into the new building. The problem with this idea is that the house is an important element in a surviving historic streetscape, and its location, at the intersection of Columbia and Union turnpikes, contributes greatly to its significance. Moving such a monumental brick structure would not only be a daunting undertaking, but it would diminish the building's historic importance." Finally, Osterink reports that, "The ad hoc group suggested that MHA speak directly with the State Historic Preservation Office about their project. Earlier this week it was learned that MHA had contacted SHPO and now understood their obligations under Section 14.09 of the State Historic Preservation Act. SHPO has also been in touch with the cultural resource person at the Office of Mental Health. The future of 900 Columbia Street, it seems, is now being determined at the state level."

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