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Tuesday headlines

Mar 29, 2011 6:38 am
Main Street to be open on market days
Doron Tyler Antrim reports on the two hour-plus public meeting on the fate of the Catskill Farmer's Market on Monday night, March 28, Village trustees on Monday voted in favor of reopening Main Street during the hours of the market, by highlighting the remaining confusion following a 4-1 board decision to keep Main Street open on Saturdays whether the market stays there or not, which he terms "an apparent victory for business owners who argued the road’s closure resulted in lost revenue." Tyler notes that the firehouse meeting room where the discussion took place was packed, and that two competing petitions were presented to trustees. One included signatures from 22 business owners seeking to have Main Street reopened, while the other, with signatures from more than 60 merchants and villagers, liked the closed street market. Trustee Brian Kehoe supported the closed-street Catskill Regional Farmers and Artisans Market, held on Saturday mornings June through October. A final decision on market placement will be made at a future meeting.

Parking ticket procrastinators may soon be getting a ‘boot’
John Mason writes in the Register-Star that Hudson Police Chief Ellis Richardson told the city's Police Committee that he’d like to institute a program of booting tires on cars with three or four outstanding parking tickets. The boot would be locked into place on a tire of the car, immobilizing it until the offending motorist has paid up, at which time the boot would be removed. Richardson said there are $37,500 worth of outstanding parking tickets, which, with late fees and surcharges, comes out to $164,000. Currently, he said, there are 339 vehicles eligible for scofflaw designation.

Powerline Project Shifts Course; Clears Another Hurdle
CCscoop's Mike McCagg reports on a proposed 350-mile power transmission line slated to be buried beneath the Hudson River, noting that while the Canada-to NYC line "has cleared another regulatory hurdle," the planned route of the four, five-inch-diameter high-voltage direct current cables has been moved away from Columbia County's residence-dominated shoreline to Greene County land, re-entering the Hudson River in the town of Catskill –across the river from the Germantown/Livingston/Greenport border. Dozens of agencies and organizations have secured stake-holder status in the review of the proposal, including Scenic Hudson Inc., Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation, National Grid, Natural Resources Defense Council and New York State Council of Trout Unlimited. While Columbia County apparently has not sought status in the project, Greene County on March 21 submitted a request to be added to the stakeholder list.

New York AG files petition against Indian Point
Mid Hudson News Network reports that State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has filed a petition with the federal NRC urging it to take enforcement action against the Indian Point nuclear power plant for what he said was its failure to comply with fire safety regulations. Schneiderman wrote that compliance with fire safety requirements was necessary to ensure that the facility would be able to safely shut down during and after an emergency. The nuclear facility at the top end of the Tappen Zee, within 25 miles of NYC, is seeking more than 100 exemptions from regulations, with spokespeople saying that its operators are trained and drilled in the use of actions “to mitigate potential impact from a variety of postulated fires at the site.”

Sounds of silence, fury at cuts
Rick Karlin of the Times Union writes about the reaction to this week's agreement on a new state budget defined by its cuts to education, heath and other benefits. "With just $272 million restored from nearly $1.5 billion in education cuts, members of the state's vast education lobby on Monday issued a raft of complaints, dire warnings and vows to fight on," he observes. And he quotes state School Boards Association spokesman Tim Kremer saying that, "The cuts will translate into mass layoffs, larger classes, depletion of reserve funds, school closings and, unfortunately, (property) tax increases," while groups such as New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness, the Alliance for Quality Education and New York State United Teachers said they would keep pushing to get the so-called millionaires' tax extended, over Cuomo's objections, to boost school funding. A large education funding rally is planned for Wednesday, March 30, when lawmakers may vote on at least part of the final budget. By contrast, Karlin adds, "health care interests have been almost silent, despite the more than $2 billion they are losing from Medicaid."

Business groups pleased with budget deal
Adam Sichko of the Albany Business Journal reports on how business lobbies have been gushing over the state budget agreement announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders of both parties. The Business Council of New York State Inc., which endorsed Cuomo’s candidacy, called the budget “truly historic.”

C-D offers slate of new budget data
Miguel Madera of the Daily Mail writes that the Cairo-Durham school board presented new budget data before a large audience in the school auditorium this week, focusing on cuts and new revenue sources. A special public meeting will take place on April 7 at 5:30 p.m. at the high school when a majority of the school’s budget will be discussed. More details before that date...

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