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Weekend in review

Aug 14, 2017 12:05 am
Some of the stories that made the news, Fri., Aug. 11, through Sun., Aug. 13:

The Hudson Opera House announced Sat., Aug. 12, its long-time Executive Director, Gary Schiro, is stepping down, effective Dec. 31. Schiro will be succeeded by co-director Tambra Dillon. Schiro was hired as the arts venue's first executive director 19 years ago, and "has overseen the organization’s growth from its fledgling beginnings to the thriving cultural center it has become. His tenure is capped by the recent restoration and re-opening of the historic performance hall, supported by an $8.5 million capital campaign," according a statement released by the organization. Dillon joined as the co-director of the opera house in 2013. She previously worked in marketing and public relations for the Cunningham Dance Foundation, and as Executive Director of the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College.

The Times Union reported plans were underway early Sun., Aug. 13, to host what organizers were calling "an emergency demonstration against white supremacy and in solidarity with the anti-racist activists in Charlottesville, Virginia," to be held in Albany's Townsend Park. The demonstration was co-sponsored by the Capital District Coalition Against Islamophobia, the New York State Labor Religion Coalition, the New York State Council of Churches and Citizen Action, in addition to other non-profit groups. The Associated Press reported three people were left dead and dozens were injured in Charlottesville Saturday, amid what is believed to be the largest white nationalist rally held in a decade. Neo-Nazis, skinheads, members of the Ku Klux Klan and other racist groups descended on the college town to "take America back" by rallying against local plans to remove a Confederate statue.

Amanda Purcell reported for Columbia-Greene Media Hudson Common Council is expected to vote Tue., Aug. 15, on the transfer of $50,000 from its fund balance and earmark them for attorneys fees. At the informal meeting held Mon., Aug. 7, Mayor Tiffany Martin Hamilton declined to provide details of why the budget increase was necessary. However, in an email obtained by WGXC, Hamilton made it clear the funds would be needed to support "some aggressive options" related to the Colarusso haul road project. Hamilton circulated the email to city officials following the Greenport Planning Board's negative SEQR (seeker) declaration. The resolution under consideration reads, "The mayor has consulted with various city leaders and community stakeholders, and believes the city must set aside funds to pay for the services of attorneys and experts (legal and otherwise) to help the city navigate this tenuous situation and ensure that the “city’s interests....” The vote will be held at 7 p.m., Tue., Aug. 15, at City Hall, 520 Warren Street, Hudson.

Anthony Fiducia reported for Columbia-Greene Media Catskill village officials are considering the feasibility of extending the village water line to Cairo. An extension could provide service to several mobile home parks located off Route 23B and also save water the village is forced to flush out each week, trustees said at the village board meeting last week. The three mobile home parks targeted by the village for possible water service currently get their water from underground wells. The Catskill Village Board must next meet with the Cairo Town Board to discuss the logistics of the line extension.

WNYT-TV in Albany reported former Hudson police officer Paul Kisselbrack, is back in the news. Kisselbrack last week awoke to a stranger standing in the doorway to his bedroom. "You're sound asleep and you're thinking that you're safe and nothing like that is going to happen here," Kisselbrack said. The 60-year-old Saratoga Springs real estate broker took off after the intruder, pursued and then held the 31-year-old man down until police arrived. Investigators said they have had contact with the man before and are looking into other cases. Kisselbrack served on the Hudson Police Department under controversial Police Chief James Dolan in the 1990s, when Dolan was charged with bribery, intimidation of witnesses and wiretapping by district attorney Paul Czajka (Schy-kah). Kisselbrack was an outspoken supporter of the chief, brandishing a "Czajka Must Go" bumpersticker during one of Dolan's arraignments.

The Associated Press reported the recent crackdown on speeding and aggressive driving in New York resulted in more than 21,000 tickets being issued to motorists statewide. Nearly 350 of those tickets were written for distracted driving, and more than 230 people were arrested for impaired driving. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said reckless driving puts everyone at risk.

William J. Kemble reported in the Daily Freeman Esopus town officials say connection of the transfer station solar electric system to the Central Hudson distribution grid is at hand. At a town board meeting last week, town Supervisor Diane McCord said the work had been delayed pending approval by CSX railroad and Central Hudson for the placement of a line over the rail tracks. Councilman Wayne Freer said testing is now necessary before the final connection is made. Efforts to install a solar array at the former town landfill began approximately six years ago. The project was initially expected to get underway in 2014, but California-based developer Sun Edison did not start the installation and was fired in 2016. New consultant Poughkeepsie-based BQ Energy reported the facility was fully installed last month. Under the agreement, BQ Energy will own the system and charge the town 9 cents per kilowatt hour, with the rate to increase by 2 percent every year.