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Weekend in review

Aug 18, 2014 6:48 am
Some of the stories that made the news Fri., Aug. 15 through Mon., Aug. 18:

Adam Clayton is reporting in the Register Star numerous Columbia County agencies responded to the report of an oil slick on the Hudson River’s surface near the Germantown Boat Launch Sun., Aug. 17. The call came in to County 911 a little before 5 p.m. The spill was believed to have been caused by a transfer line that fell from a tanker ship traveling southbound on the Hudson River. The boat launch is located at the end of Anchorage Road in Germantown. The Poughkeepsie Journal is reporting the impact of the spill was limited to 100 yards along the shore. The launch was cordoned off and remained closed as of Sunday evening.

The Daily Freeman reported the state Department of Labor’s efforts to inspect amusement park rides are thorough, but more work is needed to ensure safety and inspections at small, temporary festivals, according to an audit by the New York State Comptroller's Office. There were 51 state, county and regional fairs scheduled statewide in 2013. Auditors found only the Greene County Youth Fair in Cairo was not visited by a labor department inspector. The Department of Labor told the auditors that a listing of rides the operator planned to bring to the Greene County Youth Fair had been inspected at previous fairs and all had valid permits. The Department of Labor’s Division of Safety and Health oversees amusement park ride safety outside of New York City through its Industry Inspection Unit. All rides are to be inspected at least once a year as part of an annual permit process.

Melanie Lekocevic reported in The Daily Mail the Athens Village Board adopted a public nuisance law last week. While there was substantial resistance to the law from community residents during the public hearing last month, the law was unanimously approved. The law pertains to buildings in the village that do not comply with local law, whether because criminal activity takes place there or because the property is abandoned or in very poor condition. The law establishes an administrative panel, which will be appointed by the Village Board to oversee specific cases. The panel will work with property owners to address the problems, but will not be able to force a building to be torn down or impose fines on property owners. Critics say the law places too much power into the hands of village officials. There was also concern that power would be misused.

Barbara Reina reported in the Register Star the Kinderhook Memorial Library is circulating petitions in Stuyvesant and Kinderhook requesting a referendum be included on the November ballot seeking voter approval to increase each town’s annual contribution in support of the library. The increased contributions would further subsidize the library's estimated $350,000 annual budget, in addition to upgrades to the library website. Valatie Free Library is not included in the petitions being circulated. The library hopes to have the needed signatures by Aug. 31.