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Weekend in review

Jul 06, 2015 6:00 am
Some of the stories that made the news Fri., Jul. 3 through Sun., Jul. 5

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="136"] Joe Martens
(Photo from dec.ny.gov)[/caption]

Brian Nearing reported at The Green Blog Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens is stepping down from the agency and will return to the not-for-profit land conservation group he formerly led. The Open Space Institute said Martens will join them this summer as a consultant on climate change issues. Martens served in the administration of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo for more than four years. The announcement came immediately after the DEC issued its report to finalize the state ban on natural gas hydrofracking. According to the Open Space Institute, in his new role Martens will focus on policy work, environmental education and the effort to increase recreational access. He previously served as the institute's president from 1998 through 2010.

Kate Seckinger reported for Columbia-Greene Media the Hunter-Tannersville Middle/High School has been named to U.S. News and World Report's list of the top 1,000 high schools in the country. The district ranked 978th and was awarded a silver medal.The school is ranked 104th out of more 1,200 high schools in New York state, according to usnews [dot] com. Hunter-Tannersville students perform above the state average in both English and mathematics. “We have an excellent core of educators that care deeply about their students,” said Superintendent Patrick. Darfler-Sweeney. The middle/high school has 177 students enrolled in grades 7 through 12 and employs 25 teachers.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="123"] (From homedepot.com)[/caption]

The Associated Press reported state lawmakers have passed a bill that would require new smoke detectors contain 10-year non-removable batteries. The bill would take effect in 2017. The legislation would make it illegal to sell smoke detectors with replaceable batteries or those incapable of powering the device for at least 10 years. A spokesperson for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said the bill will be reviewed.

Emilia Teasdale reported in the Columbia Paper the Chatham Town Board held a special meeting last week to hear arguments for and against granting a hardship waiver to Adam Slone. Slone is the Thomas Road property owner who wants to build several tennis courts and host a not-for-profit tennis camp. However, he cannot begin work without first convincing the board to waive the town’s moratorium on new construction along unpaved roads. Slone said at the meeting between his initial investment in the property, and the subsequent delay, along with the fees and costs to required to cover the application for a special use permit have caused a financial strain on his fledgling foundation. Slone's attorney, Andrew Howard, pointed out in a letter to the board there were no applications before the ZBA that concerned properties on unpaved roads except for his client's, suggesting the moratorium only affected this project. Approximately 60 residents attended the meeting at the North Chatham firehouse, and many of them spoke against the waiver request and in support of the moratorium. The board heard public comment, but did not make a decision. Another meeting on the issue will be held 6 p.m., Tue., Jul. 7 at the North Chatham firehouse.

Michael Ryan reported in Windham Journal history could be made as Democrats seek a majority on the Greene County Legislature this November. The Greene County Democratic Committee's legislative candidates were announced Thu., Jul. 2, following a meeting in Cairo. The list of contenders included three challengers: Crane Davis in District 1, Lori Torgersen in District 6 and Aidan O'Connor Jr. in District 9. The incumbents seeking re-election are Joseph Kozloski, Kevin Lennon and Vincent Seeley in District 1, James Van Slyke in District 5, Harry Lennon in District 8 and Larry Gardner in District 7. Democrats also selected Marie Metzler as the party's board of elections commissioner. She will replace Thomas Burke who is stepping down after 25 years of service. The committee also voted to support Christine Ryba for state Supreme Court for the Third Judicial District.
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