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Weekend in review

Oct 12, 2015 12:02 am
Some of the stories that made the news Fri., Oct. 9 through Sun., Oct. 11

Claire Hughes reported in the Times Union a state Health Department committee has approved a request from Columbia Memorial Hospital to make Albany Medical Center its new parent. The decision of the Public Health and Health Planning Council is the final regulatory hurdle for the plan. In making the proposal, CMH asserted the move would make the delivery of health services in the region more efficient and stable, while also saving costs. The plan involves no exchange of cash or assets. Medical services at the 192-bed Hudson hospital and its satellite clinics would not change. The proposal will now undergo a review by the hospitals' lawyers.

Melanie Lekocevic is reporting in The Daily Mail, registered voters in Coxsackie will go to the polls Tue., Oct. 13 to approve the Heermance Memorial Library's annual budget and to fill three open seats on the library board. The proposed 2016 budget totals $232,579, a spending increase of 2.7 percent. The budget does not include a tax increase for homeowners. Most of the increased spending stems from maintenance and repairs to the library building. The three candidates for library trustee are Claudine Serazio-West, Tom Silvious and Eileen West. The election will be held at the library from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday.

Keshia Clukey reported at Politico New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Common Core Task Force will meet for the first time this week in New York City. The exact day and time of the meeting have not been released. The executive session will be closed to the public, but task force members are expected to discuss and plan future public sessions to be held statewide. The commission is headed by Richard Parsons, a senior adviser at Providence Equity Partners and former Citigroup board chair. Parsons chaired the governor’s education reform commission in 2012. The 15-member panel includes educators, lawmakers and business leaders. It has been charged with reviewing the standards, the state's curriculum guidance, the quality of the tests, and the current moratorium on using Common Core test scores on student records.

John Mason reported in the Register-Star representatives of CaroVail came before the Kinderhook Planning Board last week to answer questions about the company's proposed expansion. The CaroVail plant, located on County Route 28 in Niverville, is a processing and distribution point for CaroVail fertilizers in bag and bulk. The company plans to purchase an adjacent property west of the plant and build a new 4,800-square-foot building. Engineer George Schmitt of Morris Associates, speaking for CaroVail, told the board the new building would allow the company to divide its operations between bagged and bulk. The bulk fertilizer would be managed through the new building, while the bagging operation would remain in the existing building. The main ingredients come on rail cars, and are unloaded at the rear of the building into an underground chamber. After being blended inside, the bulk fertilizer is loaded onto a conveyor and taken to trucks, which then carry the product to farms. Concerns raised by opponents to the expansion include excessive dust, light pollution, the presence of toxic chemicals on site, and an increase in truck traffic. There were also complaints about trains sitting and idling. Schmitt pointed out the trains belong to CSX, not CaroVail. He said, "What CSX does along those tracks is out of our control.” Board member Chris Simonsen said the site presents a “drainage challenge … should something occur. Whatever might spill heads straight to water.” The Valatie Kill is very near the site and Kinderhook Lake is not far. The public hearing on the matter was adjourned until this week. It will reconvene Thu., Oct. 15, at Kinderhook Town Hall.
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