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Weekend in review

May 02, 2016 5:00 am
Some of the stories that made the news Fri., Apr. 29 through Sun., May 1:

Greg Hudson reported in the Register-Star the Hudson Farmers Market officially opened its 19th season, Sat., Apr. 30. The market is located in the parking lot at the corner of Columbia and Sixth streets, just north of Warren Street. The market now hosts nearly three dozen vendors from Columbia County and the surrounding area. County Chamber of Commerce Membership Director Carol Patterson was delighted with the turnout for the opening. She said it was a sign of the community’s support for the local economy.

Ariél Zangla reported in The Daily Freeman Kingston Common Council is considering a resolution in support of proposed state legislation to stop development of the Pilgrim Pipeline project. The council’s Public Safety and General Government Committee unanimously adopted a resolution in support of proposed legislation introduced last month by Assembly member Frank Skartados, Democrat of Milton. The proposal would prevent the construction of pipelines designed to transport hazardous substances or petroleum on any property under the jurisdiction of the New York State Thruway Authority. The resolution will be be voted on by Kingston's full council, Tue., May 3. The proposed 178-mile Pilgrim Pipeline would move Bakken crude from Albany to Linden, NJ, through Albany, Greene, and Ulster counties, and send refined crude back to Albany, largely along the I-87 corridor. If allowed to go forward, the pipeline would cut a 100-foot wide swath through backyards, and forests and parks throughout the Hudson Valley.

Jeanette Wolfberg reported in the Columbia Paper the Hudson City Board of Education adopted its 2016-17 school budget last month. The spending plan totals nearly $46 million and requires a 2.15 percent tax levy increase. If approved, spending will increase by slightly less than one percent in the coming year. The proposal does not call for any staff cuts, and positions vacated due to retirement would be filled, with new staff added. The district is currently in contract negotiations with its teachers and administrators. It is unclear if those negotiations will continue past July 1, the start of the new fiscal year. In addition to the budget, the May 17 ballot also includes an election to fill three vacant board seats. According to the district website, only Linda Hopkins' name will appear on the ballot. However, residents have the option of voting for up to three write-in candidates.

Claire Hughes reported at Capitol Confidential it was announced Fri., Apr. 29, the state of New York will seek federal approval to provide Medicaid coverage for incarcerated people with serious physical and mental health conditions before they are released from jail or prison. The announcement came one day after federal health officials urged states to improve Medicaid enrollment for newly released people by starting the application process while they are still incarcerated. The state is requesting the federal government allow the use of Medicaid funds to pay for medical services and coordination 30 days before release. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement, “We know that many people leaving our jails and prisons have serious mental health and substance use problems. It makes little sense to send them back into the community with our fingers crossed that they will be able to find the help they need.” One in 70 formerly incarcerated individuals is hospitalized within a week of release, and one in 12 is hospitalized within 90 days, according to the governor’s office.

Michael Ryan reported in the Windham Journal despite two previous attempts, Prattsville officials are still trying to move the town's polling site back to town hall. Town board members unanimously agreed at a recent meeting to send a letter to the Greene County Board of Elections, asking that the site be shifted from the Main Street firehouse back to the municipal building. In the latest request, council members wrote that the court room at town hall is now fully restored and operational, and able to accommodate the return of voting to that location. The polling location was moved to the firehouse following Tropical Storm Irene, which caused damage to town hall. The move request was nixed the previous two times by GOP Commissioner Brent Bogardus. The recent move request was submitted before the April 30 deadline required by election rules. No timeframe has been given for a reply from the commissioners.