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Weekend in review

Apr 24, 2017 12:15 am

Some of the stories that made the news from Fri., Apr. 21 through Sun., Apr. 23:

Amanda Purcell reported in the Register-Star on Sat., Apr. 22, Fairview Cinema 3 owner Bruce Mitchinson held a sale of items from the theater, which closed March 19, after 44 years of business. Some came to the theater to browse the relics, while others turned out for one last visit as Mitchinson prepared to close the doors for good. Up for sale: A popcorn popper, old movie reels and projectors, lobby movie posters, marquee letters, velour ropes and the doorman’s ticket stub box. Mitchinson took ownership of the theater 18 years ago and ran three screens until four years ago, when movie theaters were mandated to go digital. He was able to purchase only one digital projector, reducing the theater to one screen. When negotiations over a new lease agreement reached an impasse, Mitchinson chose to shut down.

Brian Nearing reported in the Times Union a new oil spill report examines the legacy of petroleum giant Exxon Mobil in New York. The report, released Thu., Apr. 20, by the state Public Interest Research Group and Ithaca-based Toxics Targeting, found the company has been responsible for 3,500 oil spills statewide over the past several decades. Contamination from those leaks occurred in 58 of the state's 62 counties and many have yet to be cleaned up to state standards. "The state might be trying, but this shows endless negotiations with Exxon that just drag on and on," said Walter Hang, director of Toxics Targeting. Most spills were concentrated in metropolitan New York and Long Island, with other clusters in Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo. The Capital Region cluster, includes several at a petroleum tank farm at the Port of Albany now owned by Global Partners, a Massachusetts company that receives crude oil trains from the Bakken fields of North Dakota. A 28,000-gallon kerosene spill in 2011 at the Port of Albany has never been cleaned up to state standards.

Emilia Teasdale reported in The Columbia Paper the Valatie Village Board approved its $1.7 million budget for 2017-18, Tue., Apr. 11. The new spending plan requires no change in the tax rate. No comment was received during the board's public hearing on the proposal. Trustee Larry Eleby said of the budget, “I have no comment, but I like it.” In the year ahead the board is looking at additional repairs to village wells and the addition of a new filtration system. Mayor Diane Argyle said the village cannot take on any additional debt, so the board will be looking at state and federal governments to help fund the work. The new village budget is effective June 1.

Joseph Velasquez and Bill Mahoney reported at Politico New York the Cuomo administration is preparing to double the number of state licenses to grow and dispense medical marijuana to 10 over the next two years. The administration began interviewing additional medical marijuana growers in December, as part of a broader plan to overhaul the floundering program. Companies contacted by the state for updated financial statements expect additional licenses to be issued this summer. Forty-three companies applied for a license to grow and sell marijuana in the spring of 2015 and the top five scorers were awarded manufacturing licenses and the right to have up to four dispensaries each.

The Daily Freeman reported state police are investigating what caused a vacant barn off of U.S. Route 9 in Livingston, to burn Thu., Apr. 20. Police said the fire was considered suspicious. A passerby reported the fire at 12:10 a.m., Thursday. The structure was fully engulfed in flames when Livingston firefighters arrived. Police as asking anyone with information about the fire, or who might have driven through the area at the time of the blaze, to call state police at (518) 851-2972.

Rosa Acheson reported in The Daily Mail state Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced Fri., Apr. 21, a settlement with 104 auto dealerships statewide, who listed or sold vehicles with safety issues and subject to recall. The investigation into the auto dealerships began in 2015 following customer complaints. Included in the list was Hudson Valley Auto Sales Inc., located at 196 Fairview Avenue in Greenport. The AG said Hudson Valley sold a recalled vehicle, but owner Steffen Sponholz denied the charge. “My particular situation was for a vehicle I never even sold, so I wasn’t very happy,” Sponholz said. He said the vehicle in question was still on his lot, but the dealership was still fined $1,000 because he failed to disclose in an ad that the vehicle was subject to recall. “I’ve sold thousands of cars. I’ve been doing this for 32 years and this was the very first time I ever had a problem. I was blown away by it,” he said. Other dealerships cited and fined within the Poughkeepsie region included Autos by Joseph in Milton; Ruge's Automotive in Rhinebeck; and, Frank Siena Auto Sales in New Hampton. “The safety recalls we uncovered were serious — and potentially deadly,” Schneiderman said in a written statement.

The Chatham Courier reported the Mac-Haydn Children's Theatre has been awarded $1,000 by Stewart's Shops Holiday Match. The funds will be used to support the group's musicals presented by the professional theater, and to help offset the cost of free tickets for children of military personnel and veterans. This summer, the Mac-Haydn Children's Theatre will present "The Trials of Alice in Wonderland," "Hi, Ho, Robin Hood" and "The Wizard of Oz.

Bill Williams reported on 98.5-FM The Cat a new Little Free Library will holds its grand opening Sat., Apr. 29, beginning at 10:30 a.m., in the Greenport Town Park on Joslen Boulevard. Unlike a traditional library, borrowers take a book and return a different one on its place. This helps keep the library inventory fresh. Even if a patron has no book to exchange they are still encouraged to take one with them. The books are always free, never for sale. Little Free Library, a Hudson, Wisconsin-based nonprofit organization , is dedicated to inspiring the love of reading, building community and sparking creativity by promoting neighborhood book exchanges around the world. The program provides 24/7 access to books in areas where books are scarce. According to the organization, there were 50,000 Little Free Libraries located worldwide, as of November 2016. In addition to the new Greenport branch, other locations include Coeyman's Hollow, East Chatham, Ravena, Selkirk and Valatie.