Weekend in review
Sep 19, 2016 5:00 am
Some of the stories that made the news Fri., Sept. 16 through Sun., Sept. 18:
Katie Kocijanski reported in the Register-Star Route 66 northbound, between Healy Boulevard to Route 9H may be reopened sooner than expected. Workers have been replacing a bridge over the Claverack Creek since March, on what was a busy thoroughfare, now with a slow detour northbound. “The bridge is still scheduled to be open by late October, with the possibility of occasional lane closures with alternating traffic during November,” state Department of Transportation Public Information Officer Gina M. DiSarro said. “The deck was poured last week and left to cure, work is expected to resume on Monday.”
Bethany Bump reported at Capitol Confidential state Sen. Cathy Young, a Republican from western New York, has introduced a bill that would require the state’s public colleges to ask student applicants if they were ever convicted of a felony. The legislation is a direct response to an announcement last week from the SUNY Board of Trustees that they would no longer ask the question. “Screening for violent felons is a critical aspect of the application process and is necessary to keep our students safe,” reads the justification in the bill memorandum. The measure does not currently have a sponsor in the Assembly and, according to Bump, is not likely to have life outside of the Senate.
The Chatham Courier reported state police last week conducted an "underage drinking initiative," in towns throughout Columbia County. Working with the police an underage customer attempted, but was unable to purchase alcohol at five businesses located in Ancram, East Chatham, New Lebanon and Valatie. Employees at four other establishments in Canaan, New Lebanon and Valatie failed the test and were charged with promoting the sale of alcohol to a minor. All were issued appearance tickets.
Julia Reischel reported in the Watershed Post the Woodstock Golf Club received a bomb threat on Thu., Sept. 15. The threat prompted an evacuation and road closures in Woodstock. The club was evacuated and roads near the club were closed for several hours. The Woodstock, West Hurley and Centerville-Cedar Grove fire departments responded to the scene, along with an explosive-sniffing dog from the Poughkeepsie Police Department. The incident remains under investigation.
Rick Karlin reported at Capitol Confidential the state Department of Environmental Conservation is requiring Global Companies to seek a new air emissions permit for planned changes at the company's Port of Albany unloading facility, rather than renewing their existing permit. The DEC ruling comes roughly a month after the federal Environmental Protection Agency cited the firm for potential air violations, and after a series of complaints by environmentalists and residents near the port. Global was hoping to amend its existing permit to allow for the construction of up to seven boilers that could be used to heat and facilitate the transfer of thick crude oil from tanker cars arriving at the port to barges on the Hudson River. The DEC listed a number of reasons in support of its decision, including worries about the fire hazards presented by the tanker cars, complaints from residents and benzene levels associated with the operation. DEC also said Buckeye Partners, another terminal operator at the port, must apply for a new permit, as well.
Greg Hudson reported for Columbia-Greene Media for the first time in nearly 15 years, Greene and Columbia counties, as well as the rest of Eastern New York, are on a drought watch. The Hudson Valley, New York City, Long Island and Adirondacks are also under a drought watch. A Department of Environmental Conservation spokesman said if water sources deplete further, a drought emergency or drought disaster can be declared. Under the drought watch, residents are strongly encouraged to voluntarily conserve water by turning off water while shaving, brushing teeth, taking shorter showers and only using appliances like washing machines and dishwashers when the machines are fully loaded. Water department officials in the village of Hunter last week issued a mandatory conservation notice to reduce strain on lower-than-desirable water source flow levels for the municipal water system. Forecasters predict no more than five days of rain through the end of October for the area.
William J. Kemble reported in the Daily Freeman a plan to improve the Route 9G corridor is set for public review by the Poughkeepsie-Dutchess County Transportation Council on Wed., Sept. 21. The section of road that is the focus of the plan has been the site of six fatal accidents since 2009. Under the proposal improvements would be made at nine intersections on both state Route 9 and River Road/county Route 103, as well as changes that impact sight lines of the roads. The proposed projects would completed over a 10-year period at an estimated cost of approximately 7 to 16 million dollars. According to officials, between 2009 and 2013 there were 212 vehicular accidents on Route 9G, 16 on county Route 103, and 21 on county Route 78/Broadway in Tivoli. The most common types of crashes include collisions with animals, rear-end accidents, vehicles running off the road, and pileups with parked vehicles. Recommendations in the management plan for the first year include work to improve the sight lines at the intersection of county Route 78 and state Route 9G. Officials are also considering changing the grade of Route 9G to improve sight lines in advance of the intersection. The plan also calls for developing a trail through the Tivoli Bays Wildlife Management Area to connect Bard College with Tivoli. The public review of the proposal will take place at 6 p.m., Wed., Sept. 23, in Red Hook Town Hall.