The blues return to Austerlitz. A crowd turned out at Old Austerlitz Village to watch Trish Marki of the Wildlife Institute of Eastern New York lead the birds of prey demonstration at the 16th annual Blueberry Festival Sunday, July 26. Also at the event were blueberry treats including blueberry pancakes, ice cream and pie; entertainment, artisan demonstrations and vendors. The Austerlitz Historical Society sponsors the festival every year and puts all proceeds towards maintaining the historic buildings on the eight-acre property owned by the society. Photo by Scott Langley

AG goes after Cascino

New charges filed in supreme court cite continued violations

COPAKE—The weather isn’t the only thing heating up around here. The State Attorney General’s Office is fired up about Salvatore Cascino’s numerous violations of state law and regulations over the past few years and has been filing a storm of legal papers aimed at putting Mr. Cascino in the hot seat.

Mr. Cascino, 75, is a serial scofflaw who has a 17-year history of violations of federal, state and town laws for illegal dumping, building and excavating. Read more…

K’hook hands off assessments to county… for now

VALATIE–The Kinderhook Town Board has approved a contract to have the county Real Property Tax Service Agency take over the assessment services in the town. The board made the decision at its regular monthly meeting Monday evening, July 13.

The town’s assessor, Tom Griffen, retired recently after working under a contract with the town for several years. At this week’s board meeting the board hired his clerk, Cathy Knott, to continue working in the assessor’s office Mondays to Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon during the summer for $20 an hour. Read more…

Vets’ vans need to work to complete their missions

HUDSON–Twenty-two veterans in Columbia County recently had to reschedule medical and other appointments, and two ended up in the emergency room, because both vans used by the county’s Veteran’s Services Bureau to transport their clients had broken down.

Gary Flaherty, executive director the veterans bureau, included those facts in his report to the Human Services Committee of the county Board of Supervisors, which met Wednesday, July 15. Read more…

ELECTION: Chatham GOP, Dems hold caucuses

CHATHAM–Both major political parties in the town have held their caucuses to choose candidates for the November election, with each party picking a person to head the ticket who is not enrolled in the party.

The town Republican Party caucus was held July 14 at the Chatham Fire House in the Village of Chatham. The party members attending the caucus approved the full slate of candidates endorsed by the Republican Committee. Read more…

Chatham sees wisdom in ‘Climate Smart Communities’

CHATHAM–The Town of Chatham is now a Climate Smart Community, embracing a state program that offers guidance about energy efficiency and green technology. At their meeting on Thursday, July 16, the board passed a resolution to join the program.

Robyn Reynolds, a representative from the Climate Smart Communities program, stressed to the board that there was no obligation to join. “This is really a recognition program,” she said. She told the board there was no legal risks in signing up for the program and penalties if the town doesn’t participate. Read more…