WGXC-90.7 FM

Weekend in review

Nov 25, 2013 7:18 am
Some of the stories that made the news Nov. 22 to Nov. 25:

Adam Clayton reported in the Register Star more than 100 residents from the area and surrounding counties packed Livingston’s Town Highway Garage for an informational meeting on the proposed power line expansion, part of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s New York State Energy Highway initiative. Cuomo’s plan includes tripling the voltage output of the existing lines and increasing tower heights by 15 to 65 feet. Speakers included Koethi Zan, director of Protect Ghent; farmer and Livingston Councilman Will Yandik; Daniel MacKay, of the Preservation League of New York State; Hayley Carlock, an environmental advocacy attorney; and Greg Quinn, of Concerned Citizens of Clinton. Each took to the podium to speak about their experience and knowledge of the proposed power line expansion. Jim Denn, director of public affairs for the Public Service Commission, also attended and fielded questions during the public forum. Denn told the crowd officials are polling public opinion and no final decisions regarding the proposal have been made. Read the full story in the Register Star.

As reported by Tom Roe for WGXC, Palenville and Athens may have new radio stations soon, as non-profit groups in those towns have filed applications with the Federal Communications Commission for low-power FM stations. Applications from the jazz non-profit Planet Arts, from New York City/Athens, and the Maetreum of Cybele, Magna Mater, Inc., a “pagan” non-profit in Palenville, face no competition, and the FCC says it will attempt to get such “singletons” on the air as soon as possible. The Palenville group claims the signal will cover Catskill, Saugerties and into Columbia County on 102.9-FM. Planet Arts is a jazz record label run by Catskill’s Thomas Bellino, looking to air jazz programming on either 93.9-FM or 96.7-FM in Athens, Hudson and Catskill. In all, New York had 65 applications for low-power stations, most in non-competitive situations. Read the full story online at newsroom.wgxc.org.

Melanie Lekocevic reported in The Daily Mail the Athens Town Council last week adopted its 2014 budget, which includes a two percent tax levy increase, falling within the state's mandated tax cap. The budget includes several line item increases, including a 1.5 percent salary hike for all non-union town employees, including Town Council members. The spending plan also includes $15,000 for a new computer server, and attorney and consultant fees related to the proposed energy projects under consideration. The Council adopted the budget on a unanimous vote. Jessica Mosier reported Durham officials also adopted the town budget for 2014 at the Town Board’s recent workshop meeting. The spending plan totals $2.36 million and requires a tax rate increase of 13 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, over the 2013 rate.

According to a report released last week by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, candidates for federal office have benefited from companies operating hydraulically fractured wells, as well as trade associations that support the fracking industry. Among the recipients of the industry's largesse during the 2010 election cycle were Representative Chris Gibson of Kinderhook, along with Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer of New York. The industry increased its contributions to House and Senate candidates by more than 200 percent between 2004 and 2012. Read the full report online at the CREW website.