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Spokespersons for big time biking. Copake Auction, Inc, hosted the Great Bicycle Ride on Friday, April 21. The 10-mile ride led by the antique bicycle enthusiasts called the Wheelmen, followed Lorne Shields’ UFO (Unusual, Fun and Odd) Historic Cycling Photographs presentation at the auction house on East Main Street in Copake. Local riders with bikes having more evenly-matched wheels were welcome to join in the free event. The next day Copake Auction hosted its 26th annual antique bicycle auction. Photo by B. Docktor

Renamed Hudson Hall stages its revival

HUDSON–On April 22 the friends group of Hudson Hall, the historic building formerly known as the Opera House, celebrated the successful completion of renovations and improvements to the second-floor theater. The event also marked 25 years of collaboration on a project that has transformed the community and rescued one of its most important monuments.

The oldest surviving theater in New York might not have endured if a small group of volunteers had not been inspired by its potential.

“It’s been a long time coming, it’s a good reason for celebration. It took persistence,” said board member Ellen Thurston. Read more…

Immigration issues aired in Chatham

CHATHAM–“You can’t be interested in food in America without being interested in immigration,” the noted author and food expert Ruth Reichl told an audience that packed the Morris Memorial gym Saturday afternoon. “Our entire food system rides on the back of undocumented immigrants.”

Ms. Reichl, a county resident, used that observation to introduce the members of a panel on immigration sponsored by the Chatham chapter of the Indivisible, a nationwide effort started by former congressional staffers to build local resistance to the actions and policies of the Trump administration. The panel members were a constitutional scholar and professor, an Episcopal priest and activist who works with migrants throughout the region, the owner of a local business owner and now a legal resident who survived the trip through the desert to the U.S. from Mexico when he was 15 and a local farmer engaged in the sanctuary movement.

Tom Gerety, now a professor at New York University and formerly president of Amherst College and director of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law School, first offered some history of what he said is this country’s “deeply conflicted” attitudes about immigration. He said those attitudes range from an embrace of romantic sagas about the contribution immigrants have made all the way to the opposite extreme of “disdain, resistance and blame” attributed to immigrant communities who find themselves used by politicians as scapegoats for society’s problems. Read more…

County offers help to Chatham CC4U

CHATHAM–Village Police Chief Peter Volkmann reported last week that the county Department of Social Services (DSS) will reimburse mileage for the Chatham Cares 4U program (CC4U).

The chief told the Village Board at the April 13 meeting that the county would reimburse the village for up to $6,000 in mileage expenses for the program, which arranges for treatment beds for people looking for help for their addiction. Village police find treatment services for addicted people and then drive them to those services in a Chatham police car at no cost to the addicted person. Read more…

Faso holds firm at TV studio town hall meeting

Reprinted with permission from the Times Union

TROY – At his first in-person town hall meeting since taking office in January, Congressman John Faso (R-19th) defended his vote on the Republicans’ failed health care bill before a crowd that wanted reassurance their access to health care would remain intact and affordable.

Dozens of protesters showed up to the event on April 13, lining the street outside WMHT headquarters in Troy with signs and chants expressing disapproval for the congressman’s recent vote. As the town hall broadcast on New York NOW got under way, Mr. Faso held firm, saying he supported the Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, after hearing from constituents whose health care costs have soared.

“My approach with the ACA is keep what works and fix what doesn’t,” the Kinderhook Republican said. Read more…

ICC acts quickly putting state aid boost to work

KINDERHOOK–The Ichabod Crane Board of Education responded promptly last week to an increase in state aid to public schools, approving a $39,189,544 proposed 2017-18 school budget at a special meeting. The budget, with a 1.47% tax levy increase, will go before voters on May 16.

Also at the Wednesday, April 12 meeting the board appointed Linda Collett interim director of special education and 504 compliance officer.

Along with the budget proposal, the board also approved placing a $477,789 bus purchase proposition on the ballot and there will be four board seats up for election as well. Candidates had until Monday, April 17 to submit their petitions in to the district clerk. Susan Ramos (incumbent), Tammy Crawford, Craig Luckfield, Dan Cohn (incumbent), Brendan Caluneo and Francis McKearin will all be on the May ballot. Read more…