Another section of the Rail Trail opens in Copake Falls. New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Taconic Regional Director Linda Cooper speaks to the crowd that came out Saturday, April 11 to the ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the recently completed extension of the Harlem Valley Rail Trail at the Orphan Farm Road Trail Head, off Route 22 in Copake Falls. After the ribbon-cutting, the crowd walked, biked, wheelchaired and otherwise traversed the paved trail. Sections of the planned 46-mile trail, built on the abandoned rail bed, have opened in Dutchess and Columbia counties. For more information about the trail go to www. Photo by Scott Langley



Budget improves, but test protest vexes Hudson

HUDSON–City School District Superintendent Maria Suttmeier proposed a $45.4-million budget for the 2015-16 school year at the District Board of Education meeting Monday, April 13. The proposed spending plan, she reported, would lift the district out of “fiscal distress,” but nothing can lift it out of “focus”—a label for schools judged to fall short of success—until at least 95% of 3rd through 8th graders start taking state English Language Arts (ELA) and math tests.

The board has until April 27 to approve the proposal, with revisions if necessary. The budget will go before voters May 19. Next month’s ballot will also include the election of candidates for two open seats on the Board of Education–one for a five-year term and the other for one year. Those interested in running must file a petition with Board Clerk Frieda Van Deusen, Hudson High School, 215 Harry Howard Avenue by April 29. Read more…

Finding new home’s no walk in park for rescue squad

KINDERHOOK–Several residents attending the Town Board meeting this week said they oppose having the Valatie Rescue Squad (VRS) move its home base to Volunteer Park.

At last month’s town board meeting, representatives from VRS asked the town to give the squad about four acres in the town park to use for a new building for their ambulances and equipment. At that meeting held March 9, Town Attorney Andrew Howard said that there were issues with the park land on Stare Farm Road, which would need to be resolved before the board could discuss giving the land to the squad. He said then that the town bought the land from the state and the sale included a “reverter clause” that the state could take back the property if the town did not use the land as a park. Read more…

To grow or not to grow?

Taskforce invites public to imagine hamlet’s future

COPAKE—What is your vision for the Copake hamlet?

If you live in Copake, the town’s Hamlet Revitalization Taskforce wants to hear from you during the first weekend in May.

Since its inception in August 2012, the Copake Revitalization Taskforce has been working on bringing life back to the hamlet in keeping with the town’s 2011 Comprehensive Plan. The taskforce is charged with “taking all steps necessary to revitalize and rehabilitate ‘downtown Copake’ as a mixed use, walkable, compact livable and affordable place,” according to the group’s mission statement. Read more…

Looking for celebrity paw-tographs?

“SO,” YOU MIGHT HEAR BOKER say to himself, “what’s on the agenda for today? Shooting an episode of my hit TV show ‘Person of Interest?’ A World Championship in tracking? Agility? Protection? Hanging out in Germantown with my co-star Lola hunting for our favorite blue balls?”

Boker’s close friend Lola might ask herself, “Am I on ‘The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon’ again tonight? I love the bit where I attack the dummy, although an agility competition might be fun too.”

Indeed, two of Columbia County’s residents are stars in many arenas. Read more…

Parents resist tests as kids ‘opt out’

ICC board adopts $37.5 million budget.

KINDERHOOK–As the school districts around the county roll out their proposed budgets for next year, they are also dealing with a revolt by parents refusing to allow their children to take state Common Core standardized tests.

The Ichabod Crane Central School Board reviewed its proposed 2015-16 school budget at a special meeting Tuesday, April 14. The $37.5-million proposal comes with roughly $500,000 more in state aid then last year. Also at the meeting Superintendent George Zini said that 68% of students in grades 3 through 8 were not taking the Common Core exams. Read more…