Weekend in review
Some of the stories that made the news from Fri., Sept. 30 through Sun., Oct. 2.
The Daily Freeman reported Patrick Hildenbrand of Germantown tied a state fishing record when he caught an 8-pound, 4-ounce, smallmouth bass in the Thousand Islands Region, the state Department of Environmental Conservation has announced. Hildenbrand caught the fish in the St. Lawrence River on Aug. 28 during a fishing tournament. The catch tied the state record for a smallmouth bass, previously caught in Lake Erie in 1995, according to the state agency.
Emilia Teasdale reported in The Columbia Paper late taxes and water bills were topics of conversation at the Kinderhook Village Board meeting last month. Village Clerk Nicole Heeder reported the village is currently owed $11,342 in taxes and roughly $4,600 in late water bills. The board talked about the possibility of turning off the water at properties that are overdue. Mayor Jim Dunham said the county Board of Health would have to be notified if the village decided to take that step. The board also has the authority to add overdue water charges to the owner’s village property tax bill. Heeder said the village is owed a total of nearly $30,000 in unpaid village taxes going back over several years. She said when a property sells under foreclosure, the village is often the last municipality in line to recover back taxes, behind the county and the town.
Daniel Zuckerman reported in the Windham Journal County Route 12 in Windham will be named in honor of the late Thomas Patrick Meehan Jr., a longtime resident of Windham who served as town supervisor for 40 years. A resolution in support of the designation was put forward at a meeting last week of the Greene County Economic Development and Tourism Committee. The designated portion of Route 12 will officially remain known as South Road, but a sign will be posted bearing the name, T. Patrick Meehan Jr. Memorial Drive. Committee chairperson Linda Overbaugh said the name will serve as a nice way to remember Meehan. "He was a very community involved person," she said. Meehan was first elected to office in 1971. He died in November 2009.
James Nani reported at The Fray the National Rifle Association's Political Victory Fund last week handed out grades for local politicians running for office this year. Candidates are ranked based on voting records, public statements and their responses to a NRA questionnaire. In the 19th Congressional race, Republican and NRA-endorsed candidate John Faso received an "A," while Democrat Zephyr Teachout was awarded an "F." In the 46th state Senate District race, Republican George Amedore received an "A plus," while Democrat Sara Niccoli went ungraded with a question mark. Incumbent Assembly member Didi Barrett earned an "F," while her NRA-endorsed opponent in the 106th District race Theresa Sullivan, scored a grade of "AQ." Republican Steve McLaughlin, the 107th Assembly District incumbent, was awarded an "A plus" rating and has received the NRA's endorsement. Candidates with a grade of "A" are ranked as solidly pro-gun. An F designation labels the candidate as a "true enemy" of gun owners' rights. Candidates like Niccoli were classified with a question mark because they refused to answer the NRA questionnaire, "...often an indication of indifference, if not outright hostility to gun owners' and sportsmen's rights."
Greg Hudson reported in The Daily Mail on the public information session held Thu., Sept. 29, at Catskill High School on the proposed Pilgrim Pipelines project. At that meeting anti-pipeline activists met with local leaders and residents to provide details on the project slated to carry Bakken crude oil through a 178-mile pipeline from Albany to New Jersey, and return refined material back to Albany along the same route. In Greene County, the proposed pipeline would veer east of Route 9W west of Sleepy Hollow Lake in Athens, and then back near the interstate around Leeds-Athens Road. After Catskill, the pipeline would turn west of the interstate briefly around Cauterskill Road. "There is a huge opportunity for you to make a difference here," Riverkeeper Program Director Kate Hudson told the audience on Thursday. Both the general public and public officials will have the opportunity to offer comment to the state Department of Environmental Conservation in the coming months. The DEC has already declared 20 potentially adverse environmental issues with the pipeline project including, concerns over impacts on agricultural and archeological resources, as well as the potential for leaks and spills, which would have serious environmental implications for Greene County. Both Congressional candidates, Democrat Zephyr Teachout and Republican John Faso, oppose the pipeline project. Catskill Town Supervisor Doreen Davis said the town would oppose the pipeline. "We look at the possible effects on the environment, on economic development, and on emergency response," Davis said. "This pipeline is a lot of risk for us and no benefit."
Karrie Allen reported in the Chatham Courier the Chatham Board of Education has successfully compiled a profile and is ready to solicit candidates for the position of district superintendent. The board held two public forums and conducted an online survey gathering input from faculty, students and the community for the search. Generally, “people want a community person,” school board President Melony Spock said. They want the new superintendent to have a “strong community presence and to be a good communicator.” The job posting will soon be in circulation and applications will are due sometime in late October.
Daniel Zuckerman reported in The Daily Mail the group of parishioners fighting the closure of St. Patrick's Church has enlisted the help of the Catskill Village Board in that effort. The Friends of St. Pat's appealed to the board at a public meeting last week, asking the board to draft a letter requesting the Catholic Diocese of Albany provide proof that the historic building is unsafe to inhabit. The church was closed for repairs in 2008, and it has now been desanctified by Bishop Edward Scharfenberger. Village Trustee Vincent Seeley was unsure how much the board could help without the diocese’s cooperation. He said, "...We would have to work with the diocese; we can’t just kick the door in." Both the church and rectory were closed and remain unused, according to the Friends group. During the course of the meeting, the village board agreed to draft a letter to the diocese, but only after the village code enforcement officer inspects the property and checks a 10-year-old engineer's report the village has on file. Trustee Stanley Dushane said if the property is no longer being used as a church, property taxes have to be paid. "We should automatically go after them and make them pay taxes on that property. Just like I have to or anybody else here who owns a home," he said.
WGXC is making some changes to its community programming schedule. In the coming days and weeks, listeners will be introduced to new programs and programmers, and a number of the voices you already know will be heard at different times of the day. The Monday through Friday early morning line-up will now include All Together Now! during the 7 o'clock hour, after Background Briefing at 6 a.m., and before Democracy Now! is broadcast live at 8 a.m. The WGXC Morning Show will now be heard from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Monday through Friday, and many of the shows previously broadcast during the 10 a.m. hour will now be heard at 2 p.m. For details, please go to wgxc [dot] org [slash] schedule. Please let us know what you think about these changes and everything else you hear on WGXC by writing feedback [at] wgxc [dot] org, or leave a message at 518 291 9492.