Hudson goes out and about. OutHudson hosted the 10th Annual Pride Parade down Warren Street in Hudson June 15. The non-profit organization, which organized events celebrating Pride throughout the week and weekend, has a mission to improve the quality of life and advance the visibility of LGBTQ people in Columbia County. One group of marchers in this year’s parade was the LGBTQool Kids of Columbia County, led here by MissTyckle (far l) making her drag queen debut. Photo by David Lee 

Hudson Housing Authority plans cell towers on Bliss

HUDSON–What if you held a public hearing and lots of people came? Public hearings in Columbia County can draw few–or no–attendees and take very little time. But this summer Hudson Planning Board plans to hold a public hearing on cell phone towers proposed for the Bliss public housing high rise. Now the Planning Board is concerned that Bliss tenants worried about radiation from the cell towers will “descend en masse” on the hearing, according to Hudson resident Carol Osterink.

Ms. Osterink, who publishes the The Gossips of Rivertown blog,, offered that information at the June 12 meeting of the Hudson Housing Authority (HHA), which controls the income-restricted Bliss complex in Hudson.

Alan Weaver, chairman of the HHA Board of Commissioners, confirmed that the HHA would receive money for hosting the cell towers. Read more…

K’hook Board mulls how many visitors make too many

KINDERHOOK–The Village Board discussed the issues of crowds and events at the June 12 meeting. Mayor Jim Dunham read a letter from resident Audrey Peckner, who wrote that many events are now taking place in a village that she says lacks the infrastructure to support them.

On June 1, a Saturday, the events in the village included the weekly farmers market, a craft fair, and an art opening at The School gallery on Broad Street. On June 8, the Kinderhook Runners Club held its annual 5k through the village, along with the farmers market and the library book sale. On Thursday, June 27 there will be a food truck night in the Village Square.

Ms. Peckner said in her letter that during these events driveways are blocked, drivers coming through the village do not stop for pedestrians and visitors walk over people’s lawns. She wrote that many of the events do not bring economic benefits to the village. Read more…

Hillsdale adopts $150 short-term rental fee

HILLSDALE–At its regular June monthly meeting the Hillsdale Town Board unanimously passed a resolution adding a $150 occupancy permit fee to the town’s fee structure. In an email, Hillsdale Supervisor Peter Cipkowski explained “this new $150 fee is a certificate of occupancy, not associated with a building permit. The new fee is designed for those who have a residence that is transitioning to a commercial short-term rental.”

Mr. Cipkowski elaborated, saying, “We are continuing to develop a new local law to address the STR [short-term rental] issue in Hillsdale. Bottom line, the goal is to register short-term rentals in the town and ensure safety by requiring a fee-based periodic inspection.”

Earlier in the meeting Mr. Cipkowski reported on a meeting of the County Board of Supervisors. “Columbia County estimates that as much as $400,000 is being left on the table as a result of short-term rentals that are not charged an occupancy tax.” He estimated that the occupancy tax would be around 4%. Read more…

Public urged to spend donated meds money

COPAKE—Anyone living in Columbia County may be eligible for help paying for prescriptions or health-related and other expenses and free rides to medical appointments—all available through Columbia County Community Healthcare Consortium programs.

Lynda Scheer, consumer assistance program coordinator at the consortium, came before the Copake Town Board at its June 13 meeting to tell people about it.

One of the programs she talked about, specifically for Copake and Ancram residents, is the Foundation for Community Health (FCH) Prescription Assistance Program. Read more…

Toll of opioid addiction in county drops… for now

HUDSON–“I don’t want to jinx this by saying it, but so far there have been no fatal overdoses in Columbia County this year,” Michael Cole, Director of Community Services for Columbia County told the County Community Services Board (CSB) May 29. He cited the Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program for his information.

His report prompted a meeting attendee to say, “There certainly hasn’t been a drop in addiction.”

“There’s no proof, but I think Narcan is making a difference,” said Mr. Cole. Read more…