Time to get up, winter’s almost over (isn’t it?) Two guided snowshoe walks last weekend trekked around the grounds at Olana State Historic site on Route 9G in Greenport. The walks were led by environmental educator Fran Martino and were a chance to break-in new snowshoes or participate with a pair of Olana’s. The program was geared to beginners and families and one of the first tasks, above, was to learn how to help a fallen snowshoer get back on his or her two shoes without taking a snow bath too. Ms. Martino is the sole proprietor of River Haggie Outdoors, which is certified with the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Photo by Siobhan Connally



State’s saving bunnies? …Good luck with that

ANCRAM—How can a rabbit be an endangered species? Don’t they know what they are famous for?

Believe it or not, rabbits, specifically the New England cottontail, Sylvilagus transitionalis, are currently on the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s “special concern” list and are considered “a species of greatest conservation need in New York and a candidate species for the federal listing as threatened or endangered.” Read more…

Ed department backlog stalls ICC safety

KINDERHOOK–Ichabod Crane School District Superintendent George Zini told the Board of Education this week that construction to expand the Primary School and create safer entrances to the school buildings will be put off by a year due to holdups at the state.

“It would be months before we will be approved for the project,” he said at the March 3 board meeting. The $2.3-million capital improvement project, which was approved by the voters last May, has already received approval from the state Education Department for the architectural designs but is waiting on engineering approval. Mr. Zini said that there are 400 projects ahead of the ICC project and that the state officials told him they are understaffed. Mr. Zini called it “another state education issue” the district is having. Read more…

G’town Planning Board awaits word on Dollar store

GERMANTOWN—The Dollar General retail store proposed for the west side of Route 9G is not on the agenda for the Planning Board meeting scheduled for tonight, February 26.

Jami Del Pozzo, Planning Board secretary, said Tuesday that Primax Properties, which has applied for a two-lot subdivision on which it would build a store and then lease it to Dollar General, had not withdrawn its application. Read more…

Hudson District foresees flat funding from state

HUDSON–Graduation pathways, community schools, the budget, voting to approve a senior retreat, and a video-in-school controversy occupied the Board of Education at its meeting Monday, February 23.

Dr. Gladys Cruz of Questar III spoke of career pathways that qualify toward graduation requirements. Catskill has developed a Media Communications program, Rensselaer a Renewable Energy program, and these attract students from other districts. Read more…

In Chatham, dirt road plans go nowhere in 2015

CHATHAM – The Town Board has adopted Local Law #1 of 2015, a 12-month moratorium on special use permits and site plan reviews for parcels located on unpaved town roads. The board acted on the measure at the regular monthly meeting Thursday, February 19, passing it by a vote of four to one.

The board held a workshop meeting earlier this month to discuss the temporary ban and a public hearing Tuesday, February 17. Supervisor Jesse DeGroodt said at last Thursday’s meeting that he had received 22 letters in support of the moratorium and two against. The town Zoning Board of Appeals had been reviewing an application for proposed summer tennis camp for young people from New York City on Thomas Road, which is unpaved. Several residents of that road and the surrounding area came to the earlier meetings to protest the camp, saying it was not in line with the town’s comprehensive plan. Read more…