Weekend in review
Some of the stories that made the news from Fri., Sep. 22 through Sun., Sep. 24:
Richard Moody reported for Columbia-Greene Media Democratic hopeful Gareth Rhodes from Esopus held a campaign fundraiser in the village of Valatie, Sat., Sep. 23. Rhodes is one of several Democrats hoping to face-off against first-term U.S. Rep. John Faso in November 2018. Moody calls the decision to hold the fundraiser at the home of a supporter in Faso's hometown "a bold political move." “People feel betrayed, sold out,” Rhodes said. “Everywhere we go people tell us that, even people who know him in his hometown feel betrayed.” As of June 30, Rhodes' fledgling campaign had just under $135,000 in the bank, while Faso reported a total of nearly $570,000 in contributions. Rhodes said his campaign will focus on getting high-speed broadband service to upstate New York and work to ensure the Environmental Protection Agency remains funded.
The Claverack Democrats announced last week the results of its August caucus. Laura J. Miller was endorsed for Town Supervisor; Stephen King and Dave Baylen for Town Board; and, Joanna Tipple for Town Clerk. Miller is a lifelong resident of Claverack. She is a former sixth-grade teacher in the Hudson school district, and former director of Perfect Ten Hudson. King works in advertising and marketing and sits on the town Planning Board. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees for the Claverack Free Library. Baylen is an active member of the Churchtown Fire Company. He is also chairman of the Friends of the Claverack Free Library and is an AARP tax preparer for the elderly. Tipple is the pastor of the First Reformed Church in Catskill. She is an active WGXC volunteer programmer. Her show, "Faith Matters," airs Sunday mornings on 90.7-FM.
The Daily Freeman reported the Rhinebeck Farmers Market announced that starting in mid-September its Double Up program will double the purchasing power of those receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. For each $1 spent at the market in SNAP benefits, the participant will receive an additional $1 of Double Up Food Bucks. The Rhinebeck market is held every Sunday from Mother's Day to Thanksgiving in the village. It has been accepting SNAP benefits since November 2016.
Anthony Fiducia reported for Columbia-Greene Media the New York Apple Association has high hopes for this year's apple crop. Lots of rain, a lack of frost and the absence of drought bode well for the harvest, in contrast with last year's less than average yield. The association projects the New York 2017 apple crop will total 28.5 million cartons or 1.1 billion pounds of apples. “The quality this year will be fantastic,” Association Public Relations Director Julia Stewart said. “We’ve had stable weather from bloom to blossom.” New York state ranks second in the nation in apple production behind Washington state, Stewart said. Locally, both the Boehm Farm in Climax, and Love Apple Farm in Ghent both report an abundant apple harvest this year.
Bill Williams reported for WCTW-FM, "The Cat," Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties has canceled its annual fall plant swap and sale due to the presence of the so-called crazy jumping worms in local gardens and plant materials. The sale was scheduled for October 7, in both Acra and Hudson. When a poll showed the invasive species was present in the majority of Cornell volunteers' gardens, the decision was made to forego the sale. The "crazy jumping worm,' or Amynthas agretis, dramatically alters the structure and chemistry of the soil, which can damage lawns, landscapes and even the forest understory habitat. They are unwittingly spread when used for bait or by transporting the egg cocoons on shoes and wheels, in mulch, or via transplanted plants. Instead of holding the plant sale and swap, master gardener volunteers will be available at both locations on October 7 to answer questions about the worms. From 10 a.m. to noon, at the Extension Education Center in Hudson; and 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Agroforestry Resource Center in Acra. For more information, (518) 622-9820 or (518) 828-3346.
Jeanette Wolfberg reported for The Columbia Paper Columbia-Greene Community College President James R. Campion on September 13, presented the Columbia County Board of Supervisors with a list of anticipated capital projects from the college master plan, and the board committed up to $5 million to fund the work. The items combined are expected to cost approximately $20 million. Of that total, the state would pay half, with Greene and Columbia counties splitting the second half, or $5 million apiece. Once begun, Campion said, the entire package would take about three years to complete. “It’s an investment in the future, so we don’t keep coming back asking for something,” Campion said. The capital project list included replacement of the main building's roof, security and fire system updates and bringing all bathrooms into ADA compliance. The $5 million commitment made by the board is in addition to the county’s $3-million contribution to the school's 2017-18 operating budget, which was approved in July.