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Weekend in review

Jul 16, 2012 12:10 am
Stories that made the news, July 12 to July 15, 2012:

Diana Valden reported in The Columbia Paper Salvatore Cascino is out of the construction and demolition debris and solid waste business, as of late June. Days before he was to go to trial in Albany County Supreme Court on three felony counts, Cascino agreed to a deal that prohibits his companies from operating a construction and demolition processing facility, and mandates he relinquish any permits for c+d operations he currently holds. Cascino, 72, of Larchmont (Westchester Co.), owns 300 acres along the east side of Route 22, from about the southern entrance to the Copake hamlet south to County Route 3. He named the place Copake Valley Farm and for the past 15 years has racked up violations of federal, state and town laws there related to everything from illegal dumping in a protected trout stream to building and excavating without securing proper permits. A DEC representative called the outcome "a big win" for Columbia County. Read the full story in The Columbia Paper.

Brian Nearing reported in the Times Union Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., one of the nation's largest insurance companies, announced Thurs., July 12, it has decided coverage on land, property or equipment involved in natural gas hydrofracking is too risky, and that none of its policies were "designed to provide coverage for any fracking-related risks." Hydrofracking opponents interpreted Nationwide's unwillingness to take on the risk of potential damage from the controversial gas extraction process as confirmation that concerns over pollution of water and air are real and substantial. Read the full story in the Times Union.

Andrew Wyrich reported in the Watershed Post the HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley is moving toward closing Kingston Hospital and move all hospital services to the campus of neighboring Benedictine Hospital within 18 months. The new merged hospital will be nonsectarian, and the number of beds will be reduced. The hospital at the Benedictine campus will not have "limitations on reproductive services," Wyrich wrote. Kingston Mayor Shayne Gallo said the service cuts will severely hurt the Kingston Hospital's clientele, many which have limited economic means. The consolidation could leave as many as 600 people unemployed. Read the full story in the Watershed Post.

Nathan Mayberg reported in the Register Star fledgling saltwater fish producer Local Ocean missed its payment in lieu of taxes due to the Columbia County Industrial Development Agency in January. The last payment made by the company was received in Sept. According to Mayberg's account, Raymond Mizrahi, a vice president with Local Ocean, said a new CEO took over the company about six months ago. It is unclear how many people the company now employs at the Greenport location. Local Ocean claims to be the world’s first commercial zero-discharge, 100 percent recirculating aquaculture system to grow and sell saltwater fish. The facility opened in 2009, and has been touted for its innovation and potential by politicians on both sides of the aisle, including U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson. Read the full story in the Register Star.

Jim Planck reported in The Daily Mail infrastructure problems with the Catskill Ambulance Dept. building located on West. Bridge St. continue. Catskill Town Supervisor Joseph Leggio told the town board recently the cause of water damage to the structure has not been eliminated, as previously thought. The problems lie with a poorly designed heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, Leggio said. He indicated the next step will be to contact the appropriate parties and begin the process of correcting the problem. Read the full story in The Daily Mail.

Joseph Spector reported in the Democrat and Chronicle police in New York issued nearly 21,000 tickets for texting while driving in one year, more than four times the number of citations written the previous year. The law banning texting while driving took effect in July 2011, permits more aggressive enforcement and increased the penalty for using a handheld device while driving from two to three points on a license. Read the full story in the Democrat and Chronicle.
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