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Wednesday headlines PM

Mar 16, 2011 3:19 pm
DEC Advises Public on the Potential for "Winterkills" On Area Waters
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is warning that as ice melts across the state, there will likely be reports of fish kills in small ponds. Reports of fish mortalities have already been received from some small waters in the southeastern portions of the state, including Columbia and Dutchess counties. "Whenever large numbers of dead fish are observed, there is concern that a pesticide spill or disease caused the mortality," the release reads. "However, in most cases fish kills that become obvious when the ice melts can be attributed to 'Winterkill,' a natural phenomenon that occurs when waters rich in nutrients, algae, and other aquatic plants are covered with ice and snow for long periods of time."

Courthouse benches quashed; Izzo claims budget overruns
Colin Devries of the Daily Mail reports that the Greene County legislature's buildings and grounds committee discussed whether the $12.5 million Greene County Courthouse project was overbudget or not, with the purchase of new handcrafted wooden benches caught in limbo as a result. Greene County Legislator Joseph Izzo, R-Catskill, said he would not support the purchase because he was trying to look at the project from a cash basis, and saw debt... and not overall budget figures. The seven custom-built wooden settees would be used in the courthouse’s main rotunda.

Budget moving along, Silver not drawing line on tax
Jimmy Vielkind of the Times Union reports on the first day of bonafide budget discussions, a day after the state's two legislative chambers passed their own spending plans for the coming year. He noted that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said he was optimistic a budget could be completed on time and wasn’t drawing a line in the sand about continuing an income tax on millionaires he wants to use to fund social service programs and soften education cuts. A $132 billion spending plan is due by April 1. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that “deadlines are deadlines” and that passing the budget by the beginning of next month was “an important statement,” but added that there was “good conversation, positive conversation.”

Union & First Streets: Important Correction
Carole Osterink of Gossips of Rivertown reports that tonight's meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals, which will consider requests for area variances for Eric Galloway's proposed plan for Union and First Street, begins at 6:30 p.m., not at 7:00 as previously reported. The Historic Preservation Commission has scheduled a public hearing on the project for Thursday, March 24, at 6 p.m. at City Hall.
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