Weekend in review
Some of the stories that made the news Fri., Jun. 10, through Sun., Jun. 12:
The Mark Singelais reported in the Times Union defending state softball champion Ichabod Crane was dethroned in a 6-2 loss to Marlboro Central Sat., Jun. 11. Marlboro scored five runs in the fourth inning to erase a 2-0 deficit. Marlboro went on to defeat Windsor Central, 2-1, in the state finals late Saturday. Local students competed this weekend in the state track and field championships held in Cicero, NY. Chatham's Erin Clark finished third overall in the girl's 800-meter event, and Carl Aladin took third place in the long jump. Greenville's Cormac Tolan finished third in the boy's 800-meter event. Hudson's Alexandra Bartolotta finished ninth in the 2,000-meter steeplechase, Shamar Daniels came in eighth in the 400-meter dash and Daniel Folds took 6th place in the long jump. Ichabod's Ama Boham finished 4th in the girl's 100-meter hurdles.
Bethany Bump reported in the Times Union Rensselaer County officials reported Fri., Jun. 10, water samples taken in Petersburgh came back above federal guidelines for PFOA contamination. The samples tested came from three private wells and 59 private homes, taken between May 4 and 9. Out of 18 samples from private wells: Three showed contamination above the federal guidance level of 70 parts per trillion. Out of 234 samples taken at private homes, 59 showed contamination above the federal level. For some of the homes, a test was taken before a water treatment system was installed and again afterward, as a way to determine if the system worked. Renssealer County, along with the state Health Department and Department of Environmental Conservation, has sampled public and private supplies in the area around the Taconic plastics plant due to concerns over perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, in the water. Water testing will continue and results will be released as they become available, the county said. Anyone with questions are asked to contact the county health department at 270-2655.
Casey Seiler reported at Capitol Confidential the state Department of Environmental Conservation has confirmed the presence of the Emerald ash borer in Saratoga County. Saratoga is the 34th county in the state to have become a home for the tree-killing beetle. Acting DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “Although the invasive beetle has continued its march through the state, a large number of communities still remain uninfested. DEC continues to survey for EAB within the state to notify municipalities and private landowners of new detections or expansions of existing infestations.” The ash borer has killed tens of millions of ash trees in the United States since it was first discovered near Detroit in 2002. Hudson and Greenport are on the northeastern edge of a quarantine area for the pest. Germantown, Clermont and part of Livingston are within the infested core area, which includes Catskill and parts of Athens, Hunter and beyond.
Michael Ryan reported in the Windham Journal on Jun. 2, the state Senate passed legislation designating a portion of State Route 23 as the “Wayne C. Speenburgh Memorial Highway.” The bill was sponsored by state Sen. George Amedore. The Assembly version, sponsored by Assembly member Pete Lopez, has yet to gain approval. Lopez said, “Speeny’s name can absolutely be mentioned in the same sentence with other local people we’ve been blessed to have in our lives.” The designated highway begins at the intersection of Route 23 and Old Road in Windham, then runs west, past the Windham-Ashland-Jewett school, Speenburgh’s alma mater, to the intersection of Route 23 and North Settlement Road in the town of Ashland. Speenburgh was a U.S. Army veteran and served as postmaster of the Coxsackie Post Office for 30 years. He was first elected to the county Legislature in 2004, and selected chairman in 2007. He died in September 2015, at the age of 71.
Kyle Hughes reported for NYSNYS News that despite not passing any ethics reform in the wake of prison sentences for various public officials, including the leaders of both the state Senate and Assembly, lawmakers in Albany are getting a raise. The first pay raise since 1999 for legislators is due to a 2015 state budget law passed in the middle of the night. Now, a special commission will recommend raises for legislators and other state officials by November 15, after the fall elections. “It is amazing when you think about it,” Legislative Director of NYPIRG Blair Horner said Thu., Jun. 9. “Apparently, the worst corruption in New York State history results in no meaningful reforms and a big hike in pay. Only in New York!”