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Thursday headlines

Mar 10, 2011 6:23 am
‘We’re all going to face significant pain’
Representatives from nearly every level of Greene County government came together in Cairo for a session, streamed live by WGXC and set for linking soon the Newssroom blog later today, where the proposed two percent tax cap and other budgetary challenges were discussed. According to a story on the meeting in the Daily Mail, Colin DeVries reports that Greene County Legislature Chairman Wayne Speenburgh, R-Coxsackie started the meeting with a brief slide presentation that showed the projected increases in the cost of state services, which would be impossible to fund under the 2 percent cap without drastic cuts to other services or overriding the cap. Much discussion ensued, ranging from party line talk of decades-long "spending binges" to accounts of the county's real needs. Several town supervisors lamented the costs of paying public workers, who they thought should chip in more for their own benefits, while others brought up problems in the tax cap legislation, which has yet to move through the Democrat-controlled state Assembly. State Senator James Seward and Assemblymen Steve McLaughlin and Pete Lopez, all Republicans, defended the current bill and spoke of the need to make hard cuts.

State of emergency extended in Taghkanic
The Register-Star reports that Town of Taghkanic has extended its state of emergency until 5 p.m. Saturday due to heavy rain, snow, ice and ice melt. These conditions have have caused various hazards which “threaten or imperil the public safety” of the town, including flooding, road closures and power outages, according to town officials.

Unemployment jumps in all Mid-Hudson counties
The Daily Freeman has a story about how unemployment rose sharply across the Mid-Hudson Valley from December to January, reflecting both continued weakness in the job market and the usual high number of layoffs that occur after the December holidays because seasonal jobs are eliminated. Changes from January 2010 to January 2011, however, were far less dramatic. In Greene County, unemployment was at 9.2 percent, compared to 8.5 percent a month earlier and 9.5 percent in January 2010. In Columbia, the rate was 8.6 percent, compared to 7.3 percent in December and 8.7 percent in January 2010. In Ulster County, the jobless rate this past January was 9.2 percent, up from 8.0 percent in December but lower than the 9.3 rate recorded in January 2010. The same pattern was true in Dutchess County, where January joblessness was 8.5 percent, compared to 7.7 percent in December and 8.8 percent in January 2010. Sullivan County hd the region's highest unemployment rate at 10.6 percent.

State revisits PCB cleanup
No... the Times Union is not reporting on the massive cleanup of General Electric spillage into the Hudson River north of Albany, a PCB-tainted industrial drum company near the old Champlain Canal that was declared cleaned up 15 years ago by the federal EPA, but according to the state needs $7.3 million new funding to finish the job.

Bonacic: Keep the millionaires' tax

The Watershed Post follows up on a New York Times blog item that had GOP state senator John Bonacic, whose district includes territory from Delaware, Orange, Sullivan and Ulster Counties, throwing his support behind a move to extend the so-called "millionaires' tax" in New York State. Provided it can be tweaked so it only applies to actual millionaires, that is. Their story notes how Bonacic and other GOP senators are starting to react to growing protest against service cuts by state educators, healthcare professionals, and others.

Alderman arrested for selling alcohol to minor
Both the Register-Star and Daily Mail report that Hudson Second Ward Alderman Abdus Miah was arrested Friday, March 4 for selling alcohol to a minor at the Green Market convenience store, on Route 145 in Cairo, Greene County. Miah, who owns and operates the convenience store, along with another in Catskill, said he was working alone at the time and had a lapse in judgment.

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