They probably will dance all night. PS 21 in Chatham celebrated the opening night of its Black Box Theater off of Route 66 in Chatham on Saturday, April 14, with a performance by Caleb Teicher and Nic Gareiss. The space was filled with the sold-out audience and guests as Judy Grunberg (center, with scissors), president of the PS21 Board of Directors, cut the ribbon along with board members (l to r) Marcia Fardella, Seth Lachterman and Deborah Lans. Photo by David Lee

GOP holds two Assembly seats

GHENT–The Times Union newspaper reported early Wednesday morning, April 25, that Republican candidates had won both the vacant seats in the state Assembly that were up for grabs in special elections held Tuesday.

The paper reported that Jacob C. Ashby (R) had defeated Cynthia Doran (D) in the race for the Seat in the 107th District, which includes most of Rensselaer County and the Columbia County Towns of Austerlitz, Canaan, Chatham, Kinderhook, Hillsdale and New Lebanon.

In the 102nd District, Christopher Tague (R) defeated Aiden S. O’Connor (D) and independent candidate Wesley D. Laraway. The 102nd District spans seven counties including the Columbia County Towns of Stuyvesant and Stockport.

In Columbia County towns in the 107th District, Ms. Doran received more votes than Mr. Ashby.

Eying reserves, K’hook opts to stretch tax cap

KINDERHOOK–The Village Board approved a $1,154,113 budget last week. Spending in budget, which takes effect June 1, 2018 and runs through May 31, 2019, is up about $60,000 over the current budget. The tax increase for homeowners in the village will go up about 8 cents per $1,000 of assessed property, according to an email sent out by the village and a comparison of the tax rates.

In order to adopt the new budget the board also voted to override the tax levy limit set by the state. Known as the 2% tax cap, the number is not often at 2% due to formulas the state uses. The newly adopted budget has a tax levy increase of 4.29%, which is higher than the state limit, but because all of the members of the board supported the proposal, the village was able to override the cap. Read more…

Chatham tweaks well-tweaked village zoning plan

CHATHAM–The Village Board held a public hearing on the proposed updated zoning law before the regular meeting Thursday, April 12. Mayor Tom Curran said that this public hearing was one of at least three the board would hold before adopting the updated law. Members of the committee that reviewed and revised the village zoning ordinance based on the updated village Comprehensive Plan attended the meeting as well as a few members of the public.

Committee members reviewed the new zoning map, which has very few changes from the current map, and the definitions in the zoning law. Committee member Lael Locke said that some definitions were edited, some were combined to make a new definition and some were added – like a definition for farmers’ market and food trucks. There is also a definition for a “bed & breakfast establishment” which is a “dwelling unit in a single-or-two-family home that is occupied by a full-time resident.”

Committee member Brin Quell said that when the committee was looking at the zoning law, they were thinking about how things have changed in the village since the last time the law was updated, and what village residents might want in 10 years. Read more…

Officials give blow-by-blow account of storm

COPAKE—Winds barreling off the Taconic Mountains like a speeding freight train tossed stately trees around like matchsticks, bringing them down on roads, houses, cars and electrical wires during a wild storm that whipped through much of eastern Columbia County all day Monday, April 16.

The storm produced wind-driven rain, flashes of lightning and claps of thunder, but it was the relentless wind that left hundreds without power and created conditions dangerous enough to provoke supervisors in the towns of Copake and Ancram to declare states of emergency.

The declaration gives officials the authority to take any means necessary to secure the safety of the public, Copake Supervisor Jeff Nayer told The Columbia Paper this week. Read more…

G’town gathers by the river on Earth Day

GERMANTOWN—A riverfront rally is set for Sunday, April 22 from noon to 2 p.m. at Lasher Memorial Park. Members of Germantown’s Waterfront Advisory Committee are organizing the rally as part of a response to Amtrak’s proposal to install gates and fencing that may restrict access to stretches of the Hudson River shoreline between existing crossings.

Parking at Lasher Park is limited. Attendees should plan to park at Palatine Park, on Palatine Park Road off Route 9G. Shuttle busses will ferry people to Lasher Park beginning at 11:15 a.m.

Those interested in volunteering for the rally can contact Martin Overington by emailing moc.l1524664449iamg@1524664449eetti1524664449mmoct1524664449norfr1524664449etawn1524664449wotna1524664449mreg1524664449. The Committee is encouraging other affected and non-affected communities to hold parallel Earth Day rallies. The Village of Castleton-on-Hudson is coordinating with the Germantown committee to hold a rally at the locked gates to their park on the same day. Read more…