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Weekend in review

Sep 08, 2014 6:46 am
Some of the stories that made the news, Fri., Sept. 5 through Mon., Sept. 8:

Tim Blydenburgh reported in the Times Union a key decision in the battle over the replacement of a communications tower near the Olana State Historic Site has gone against tower opponents. In a decision last week, state Supreme Court Justice Richard Mott dismissed a petition filed by Scenic Hudson and the Olana Partnership contesting the Livingston Planning Board's approval of the replacement tower. Under the plan, two existing 190-foot towers on a hill two miles south of the 19th-century home of the Hudson River School artist Frederic Church would be replaced by one of the same height, but six times wider. The replacement is needed to support an upgrade in emergency equipment for local fire companies. Scenic Hudson and the Olana Partnership took legal action more than a year ago against the planning board for its approval of the plan, arguing the board failed to fully consider the environmental impact of the replacement proposal.

Based on a story that appeared in the New York Post, Matthew Hamilton of Capitol Confidential looked at the sums of money state senators from the Capital Region are spending on mailers to constituents. While elected officials cannot use taxpayer money for campaign mail, they can use it on what amounts to district newsletters touting the official's accomplishments. Sen. Kathy Marchione (MARR-she-own) of Half Moon was the biggest spender among Republicans in the Capitol Region, and Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk (KAT-chik) of Duanesburg was the top-spending Democrat statewide. Between Oct. 2013 and March of this year, Marchione dished out nearly $99,000 in bulk mailing postage, while Tkaczyk expended roughly $81,500 during the same period. Tkaczyk spokesman Jim Plastiras said the postcard and letter examined by Capitol Confidential were non-political. They are simply a way to inform the public about what is happening in Albany, he said.

Jim Planck reported in The Daily Mail Catskill Town Board members said last week they remain committed to raising their ambulance department to Advanced Life Support paramedic service after the first of the year. Town Supervisor Joseph Leggio said the town has been asked to give Greene County more time to develop a countywide system before moving forward with the town’s plan to upgrade its own department. Leggio noted he was not in favor of that, and Town Board members concurred. The board previously voted in to move forward with ALS, effective Jan. 1, 2015. Leggio noted, however, that even if the service does not start until March or April, the town still intends to provide the ALS service itself.

Michael Ryan reported in the Windham Journal a, "long and tedious detour" in Lexington this week happens as crews repair a rock face along the “Notch” after a rock slide that closed Route 42 earlier this year. The state Department of Transportation detour routes motorists from Beech Ridge Road South, at the base of the first hill heading up the Notch in West Kill, back to Route 23A in Lexington. Turning right, drivers will head east to the town of Hunter, picking up Route 214 South to Phoenicia where it meets Route 28, several miles east of Shandaken. The lower section of Route 42, nearer Shandaken, will stay open for local traffic. The detour is in effect beginning Mon., Sept. 8, lasting through Fri., Sept. 12.