Pine Haven protest meets the press. About 20 employees of Pine Haven, the county rehabilitation and nursing facility in Philmont, gathered along state Route 66 in front of The Columbia Paper office in Ghent Friday afternoon, October 17, to protest efforts by the county to sell the facility to a private owner. Requests for proposals to purchase the facility are due by the end of this month. Four companies have sent representatives to tour Pine Haven, employees said this week. County officials have said the nursing home is too large a strain on the county budget. At upper left is Albert Wassenhove, chairman of the Save Pine Haven Committee. He organized the demonstration and has led opposition to the county’s plans. Photo by Lance Wheeler.


Study shows no need for new power lines

CHURCHTOWN–The Hudson Valley Smart Energy Coalition invited the public to an event Saturday at the Churchtown Firehouse to present a report that calls into question the need for power line upgrades throughout the region.

The power lines issue has been ongoing for over a year. As part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Energy Highway initiative to bring more electrical power to the New York City metropolitan area and Long Island, the state has identified 153 miles of lines to be upgraded, including lines through the Towns of Stuyvesant, Stockport, Livingston and Claverack in Columbia County. Read more…

Retaining part-time workers bedevils village

CHATHAM–The Village Board accepted Deputy Clerk Carissa Fair’s resignation last week. Ms. Fair, who was hired in May, is leaving to take a fulltime job with health benefits, a decision that prompted the board to discuss offering health benefits to some employees to keep them working for the village.

“I think we need a stable work force,” said Mayor Tom Curran at the board’s October 9 meeting. The former village clerk left in April after taking a job with benefits. Village Administrator Barbara Henry took over the position of clerk for 30 hours a week with no health benefits. The board then created the part-time deputy clerk position, which also came with no health benefits and a 30-hour work week. Read more…

Claverack hears calls for light and water

CLAVERACK–The town will look into possible extensions to its water district and one of its lighting districts after receiving requests from town residents.

Resident Mike Bowman spoke to the board last week requesting a streetlight on behalf of residents who live in the vicinity of the intersection of Orchard Grove Lane and Route 9H. Read more…

Philmont to kids: Be quiet or leave

PHILMONT—During the police report at the October 14 meeting of the Philmont Village Board, Chief of Police Vernon Doyle assured the board that the Police Department is doing everything in its power to deal with noise complaints in some of the subsidized housing in the village.

Chief Doyle said that “some of the loudness” was attributable to “youths—they’re not adults.”

Mayor Clarence Speed asked that the chief “keep logging it because as long as you get three calls in one month, Social Services will relocate them.”

“… To Church Street,” said one board member, laughing. Read more…

Business gives $20K for Main St. facelifts

VALATIE–The Village Board has received a check from the owner of Tierra Farms for $20,000 to be used renovations of building facades on Main Street.

At the board meeting Tuesday night, Gunther Fishgold, owner of Tierra Farm and of the Valatie Bar and Grill on Main Street, called the money a donation, but Mayor Diane Argyle and other board members described it a grant. Read more…