Weekend in review
Some of the stories that made the news Fri., Jun. 24, through Sun., Jun. 26:
Kate Seckinger reported in The Daily Mail that West Main Street in Catskill will be closed from Route 9W onward beginning at 7 a.m. June 27, and continuing through June 28. Mike McGrath, the highway superintendent with the village of Catskill, said the village's Department of Public Works will be digging a culvert pipe. "If you look at 9W on West Main Street and you're going toward Cauterskill Avenue, that's where it will be closed, starting at 707 West Main Street," McGrath said. "Instead of taking West Main Street, people will have to go around a different way.... I'm hoping we'll be able to get the road back open to at least one-way traffic by Wednesday," he said.
More than 900 high school seniors in Columbia and Greene counties received their diplomas in ceremonies held Fri., Jun. 24 and Sat., Jun. 26, as family and friends turned out to celebrate the successful completion of 13 years of K-12 education. According to accounts in the Register-Star and The Daily Mail, the graduating classes varied in size — the Hunter-Tannersville High School senior class consisted of 20 students, while the Ichabod Crane Class of 2016 boasted 130 members.
Rick Karlin reported at Capitol Confidential the Indian Point nuclear power plant was shut down again due to a weld leak, Fri., Jun. 24. Gov. Andrew Cuomo took the opportunity to repeat his contention that the facility should not be seen as a reliable power source going forward. In a statement, Cuomo said, "This is yet another sign that the aging and wearing away of important components at the facility are having a direct and unacceptable impact on safety, and is further proof that the plant is not a reliable generation resource.”
Mid-Hudson News Network reported Sam Yasgur, a former Sullivan County government attorney and the son of Woodstock festival site owner Max Yasgur, died Thu., Jun. 23. He was 74. Yasgur’s father was a dairy farmer in the Sullivan County town of Bethel who became a part of rock music history when he allowed his 600-acre property to be used for the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in 1969. An estimated audience of 500,000 attended the historic gathering. Max Yasgur died in 1973, and part of his land now is home to the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts and The Museum at Bethel Woods.
Bill Mahoney reported at Politico after voters in the United Kingdom last week chose to leave the European Union, some of the advocates for regional secession in New York state are hoping the British vote bodes well for their own efforts. “As I watched that earlier this morning, the first thought that came to my mind was the secession movement in New York,” said conservative lawyer Bob Schulz. Schulz has brought multiple unsuccessful lawsuits in recent years challenging state programs like the SAFE Act. He sees similarities between British tensions over migration and those he sees in New York over undocumented immigrants. John Bergener, of Divide NYS, agreed with Schulz. “It left me feeling a little optimistic,” he said of the Brexit vote. Divide NYS advocates for a rewrite of the state constitution that would split the state into two autonomous regions. Bergener said his group intends to study the Brexit effort more closely.
Emilia Teasdale reported in the Columbia Paper the Valatie Village Board heard from several residents about code enforcement issues at its June meeting. Gunther Fishgold, the owner of several businesses on Main Street, lodged a complaint with the board against the apartment house on Main Street commonly known as the US Hotel. The building is owned and run by the Valatie Local Development Corporation (LDC), a non-profit quasi-governmental agency separate from the village board. The building allegedly has unresolved code violations. Mayor Diane Argyle suggested increasing the hours and salary of the village building inspector/code enforcement officer to deal with the properties that do not comply with the village code. Several residents said the issue is more that the building inspector is inconsistent in how the laws are enforced. Village Attorney Rob Fitzsimmons stressed that the LDC was a separate entity from the village board with separate funds. It purchased the US Hotel in 2012. Fitzsimmons the state had inspected the building at the request of former village building Inspector and found minor issues. Fitzsimmons advised that if a formal complaint is filed the building inspector could ask to inspect the building. The village building inspector is a 10-hour a week, part-time position.
Victoria Addison reported in the Register-Star the Best of Columbia County awards were presented Thu., Jun. 23, at the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce in Hudson. The event was hosted by Columbia-Greene Media and the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce. Winners in the local shopping, local food and drink, nightlife, community arts and culture and services categories were announced during the event. Awards went to the Mac-Haydn Theatre in Chatham, entertainer Justin Weaver, also known as Girlgantua Jones, Hudson Mayor Tiffany Martin Hamilton, Warren Street, Hudson -- as the Best Place to See a Celebrity -- and to Sean's Run, the annual run/walk/bike event held to raise awareness of the dangers of drunk driving. The Best of Columbia County Awards have been celebrated for three years. They were initiated by former Chamber of Commerce President and CEO David Colby. NOTE: Weaver is an active WGXC programmer.