Weekend in review
Some of the stories that made the news from Fri., Oct. 6 through Sun., Oct. 8:
Amy Biancolli reported in the Times Union on the Grassroots Radio Conference held in Albany this weekend. The annual national gathering was hosted by WCAA-LP, a new low power station located at Grand Street Community Arts in the city's Mansion Neighborhood. WCAA Station Manager Musa Zwana said the station's call letters stand for “Community, Arts and Activism.” The station, which broadcasts at 100 watts, went on-air in February, roughly three years after receiving approval from the Federal Communications Commission. The Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy was licensed for its low-power station, WOOC, around the same time. Michelle Bradley, an LPFM advocate who tracks low-power stations, said the movement “has changed substantially” over the years. According to Bradley, more than 700 stations are still licensed from the original LPFM application process in 2000. An additional 1,282 exist from the 2013 FCC window.
Richard Moody reported for Columbia-Greene Media people in Greene and Columbia counties are mourning the passing of Emily Brunner, one of the last surviving former residents of the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse. Brunner died last week at the age of 92. Her father was the keeper of the Hudson beacon from 1930 to 1949, and Brunner was six years old when the family moved to the lighthouse. “We loved her. She was quite a character with a tough personality. She would say what needed to be said,” said Joe Kenneally, who knew Brunner well from his time working for the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse Preservation Society. “She told me she used to walk on the ice on the river to get to school with her younger brothers. She said her father used to make her bring the rowboat with her in case the ice cracked.” Brunner was a graduate of the Hudson School of Nursing and Syracuse University, and she worked as a school nurse at Catskill and Cairo-Durham high schools. Brunner was recognized in 2010 by the Village of Athens and the U.S. House of Representatives for her lifelong service to the community.
Bill Mahoney reported at Politico New York support for the November referendum on whether the state should hold a constitutional convention seems to be in decline, according to a Siena College Research Institute poll released Fri., Oct. 6. A total of 44 percent registered voters support the idea, compared to 39 percent against. Two other questions also on the ballot in November drew strong support. A proposal to make it easier to strip pensions from public officials who commit felonies was backed 81 to 15, and another to make it easier to make infrastructure improvements in the forest preserves was supported 52 to 33. In the same poll, Gov. Andrew Cuomo scored a 57 percent favorability rating. Among the nearly 800 registered voters polled, 28 percent had a favorable opinion of President Donald Trump, down a point from a month ago.
Patricia Doxsey reported in the Daily Freeman Dutchess County Legislature Chairman Dale Borchet said Legislator Joseph Incoronato will not be censured for the remarks he made last year suggesting women might bear some responsibility for their own rape. Borchet said his fellow Republican apologized for the comments, privately and in a letter. Borchet said it was clear to him that Incoronato did not mean what he said during that meeting and said Incoronato expressed “regret” that he had misspoken and then apologized. “To me that was enough to say I don’t want to consider a censure resolution," Borchet said. In July, the Legislature voted to censure Legislator Joel Tyner, a Democrat, after he repeatedly declined to apologize for remarks other legislators said likened a county official to World War II Nazis.
Melanie Lekocevic reported for Columbia-Greene Media the Coxsackie Athens Foundation for Education has named five local residents for inclusion on the Coxsackie-Athens Wall of Honor. The foundation is a fundraising organization that awards grants to worthy school district projects that would otherwise not be funded. Honorees this year are Ellen DeLucia, Major General G. Larry Gunderman, Dorothy Lovelock, Paul Salvino and Robert Van Valkenburg. All five honorees are Coxsackie-Athens High School alumni. They were chosen based on their professional achievements, and contributions made to the Coxsackie-Athens School District or the community in general. The inductees will be honored at the annual Wall of Honor Gala, Oct. 20.
Matthew Hamilton reported for the Times Union Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration clarified Friday that New York regulations still mandate that birth control be covered by health insurance plans, despite the action taken by the Trump administration last week to roll back the federal requirement. In January, the Cuomo administration proposed rules that require health insurers to cover all contraceptive drugs and devices without co-pays, coinsurance or deductibles. On Friday, Cuomo called the Trump administration's actions "disgraceful" and a "direct assault on women's rights" that showed "a callous disregard for the millions of women who rely on birth control for an assortment of critical medical needs."
Ann Friedman reported for Columbia-Greene Media that although the proposed 2018 city budget has not been made public yet, Hudson Youth Department Director Nick Zachos is already raising concerns about the continued defunding of the department, its programs and facility, located on South 3rd Street. “We’ve really been a neglected department in city government and I think it shows in our facilities and the amount of programs we’re able to offer,” Zachos said. “We’ve been working to get stuff going again, and I think we’re turning a corner and growing the organization, but we really need financial support in order to do that.” The proposed 2018 department budget totals nearly $370,000 and is expected to be presented to the Common Council in mid-November. The amount requested reflects an increase of more than $32,000, far less than the half million plus that Zachos requested. Zachos said he is seeking private, state and federal funding in the hope of raising additional money.