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Weekend in review

Dec 12, 2016 12:02 am
Some of the stories that made the news Fri., Dec. 9 through Sun., Dec. 11:

Rosa Acheson reported in the Register-Star the Kinderhook Memorial Library held the grand opening of its new Reading Porch Sat., Dec. 10. The porch is the first piece of a major structural expansion, which will eventually include a community room, handicap-accessible bathrooms, a teen room and an expanded children’s room. Library Director AnnaLee Giraldo said, “I cannot think of a better gift that our community could receive. This was not a fast process — there are notes from past board meetings, saying we needed an expansion, going all the way back to 1973,” Giraldo said. The Kinderhook Memorial Library serves the towns of Kinderhook and Stuyvesant. The Reading Porch was named for the Ben and Faity Tuttle family, longtime advocates of the library.

Chris McKenna reported at The Fray that state Sen. George Amedore was the first among his peers to respond to questions posed by the Times Herald-Record about the state pay commission and two amendment proposals. The Rotterdam Republican told the paper he is against reviving the expired salary commission, but he does support amendments to impose term limits on lawmakers and lengthen their terms of office to from two years to four. “I remain opposed to a pay raise for the Legislature and don’t think the discussion needs to continue – especially not in the context of a larger deal or trade for something else,” Amedore wrote in an email to the paper. Amedore indicated support for an amendment that would cap the number of years a public official can serve. The amendment would also double the length of a term to four years. That amendment would “...ease the constant cycle of campaigning every two years, and allow for more of a focus on governing and policy,” Amedore said.

Claire Hughes reported at Capitol Confidential that New York made a few more slight changes to its medical marijuana program Thu., Dec. 8. Medical marijuana manufacturers can now sell wholesale to competitors, a policy aimed at leveling out varied crop yields, the state Health Department said. “Chronic pain” was recently added as a new ailment eligible for prescription. The condition was defined as severe debilitating pain that has lasted or is expected to last at least three months, has been deemed by a medical professional to degrade a patients’ health or reduce their ability to function and has not been successfully treated with other remedies. A 45-day comment period will begin once the new rule is published, which is expected to be Dec. 21. As of Nov. 29, nearly 11,000 patients have been certified by 750 registered physicians to use medical marijuana in the state.

William J. Kemble reported in The Daily Freeman the U.S. Coast Guard received more than 10,000 comments on its proposed Hudson River anchorage plan. The initial comment period closed on December 6. The Coast Guard is currently in the process of evaluating an industry request for 10 new anchorage sites on the Hudson River between Yonkers and Kingston. “The Coast Guard is committed to publicly informed decision making when considering new anchorage grounds and what form possible regulations should take,” officials wrote. Coast Guard officials are not willing to provide an estimate for how long the review process will take before a decision is made -- to either accept the proposal, modify the request or turn down the application. Read the full story in The Daily Mail.

Mid-Hudson News Network reported sales of single-family homes in Ulster County is increasing. Home sales have increased from 1,259 in 2015 to 1,453 during the same time this year. The average selling price during the same period rose from nearly $232,000 to more than $237,000, according to the Ulster County Board of Realtors/Multiple Listing Service. Listed homes were on the market an average of 134 days before they were sold, compared with 150 days in 2015.

Rosa Acheson and Greg Hudson reported in The Daily Mail the Athens Village Board met in an emergency meeting Fri., Dec. 9, after one of the two filters at the village water filtration plant failed, said Mayor Chris Pfister. Following the meeting, officials said the village will work with state agencies and water specialists to resolve the water emergency. The Hollister Lake water plant contains two water filters that serve the village of Athens and town customers, as well. As of Friday, one of the two filters was functional, while the other was not working at all. The village water is safe, Pfister said, and will be unless there is a problem with the second filter. No boil water advisory is in effect. In the meantime, the village is asking residents to conserve water. Pfister said, "We want people to conserve water whenever possible. This time of year, we don’t think there are too many people using large amounts of water, so we’re not too worried about that." The mayor estimated it will take two to three weeks to resolve the problem. "We’re thinking we’re going to fix the other filter as well. It’s easier to do both at once, so we may go to that situation after we get the first one fixed," he said.