Veterans honored despite the weather. Saturday, November 11 was an unseasonably cool day in Ghent, so the Veterans Day ceremony presented by the combined efforts of Ghent VFW Post 5933 and Chatham American Legion Post 42 was moved indoors to the Ghent VFW Post hall. It was the second annual joint Veterans Day program. Pictured, as the Ghent Band played the Star Spangled Banner, veterans Henry Craft, Ralph Ringer and Bill Wood saluted. Photo by David Lee

Hudson marks progress, wrestles with fight video policy

HUDSON–The Hudson City School District (HCSD) saw a 79% high school graduation rate in the 2016-17 school year, Superintendent Maria L. Suttmeier told the November 13 Board of Education meeting.

The meeting also included the announcement that the board needs to recruit a new member following a resignation and a discussion of revising restrictions on student use of cell phones on school property.

Dr. Suttmeier summarized how the district has met several of its goals for 2016-17 and its new goals for the 2017-18 school year. The chart below shows some of the items: Read more…

Residents wary of new Craryville store

COPAKE—A proposal to build a new gas station/convenience store at a busy Craryville intersection has many residents concerned about public safety there.

Barbara Smith of 405 Craryville Road spoke during the public comment portion of the November 9 Town Board meeting to ask the board to request that the state Department of Transportation perform a traffic study at the intersection of State Route 23, Craryville Road and County Route 7.

GRJH, Inc., proposes to build a new gas station/convenience store on the northwest corner of that intersection on the 1.7- acre parcel where the old Craryville supermarket once stood. Craryville is a hamlet in the Town of Copake. Read more…

K’hook OKs new solar regs

VALATIE–The Kinderhook Town Board has approved updated zoning regulations for solar energy equipment. At the board meeting Monday night, November 13, the board finally adopted the solar amendments after a review that stretched for more than a year and led to one change from the original proposal–removal of language that would have allowed the town Planning Board to use its discretion to waive some requirements.

Also this week the town announced that it has received 77 acres previously owned by the state. The land will be used for recreational purposes.

The board voted three-to-one to approve Local Law #1 of 2017, which updated the zoning laws on solar panels and other solar equipment, including solar farms, on properties in the town. Councilman Paul Voltz voted against the law, saying he supported the wording that was being deleted from one section of the zoning code. Board members Phil Bickerton and Tim Ooms agreed with the removal of the wording. Councilwoman Patsy Leader was not at the meeting. Supervisor Pat Grattan said he would vote for the revised law as a way to complete the changes. Read more…

Local farmers enlist robots to milk their cows

Reprinted with permission from the Times Union

VALATIE – At a farm in Columbia County that traces its roots to 1950, robots milk the cows.

The animals follow the scent of food through an enclosed route to the machines, which scan an identification tag for each one. While the cows eat, the robots work, extracting and monitoring the amount, quality, speed and temperature of the milk each cow produces. They don’t seem to mind the whirring machines, chewing calmly and swatting away flies with their tails.

The robots also record how much a cow eats, how often they are milked and how many steps they take a day. If something goes wrong, Eric Ooms gets a call from the robots. Read more…

Valatie OKs plan to wash the car, grab a bite

VALATIE–The village Zoning Board of Appeals approved a special use permit for BJ Cantele to put a self-serve carwash on the property shared with what was the Valkin restaurant. The Valkin building will remain and plans call for it to open again as a restaurant. The carwash bays will be behind the building with an entrance from Route 9/Kinderhook Street.

The Valatie Planning Board also approved of the site plan for the carwash at the November 1 joint meeting. There was some discussion about hours operation and plantings to screen the carwash from the neighbors.

The final agreement was that the carwash bays people can operate by themselves and self-serve car vacuums will be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Originally Mr. Cantele wanted them to be open 24 hours a day. The board had discussed 6 a.m. to midnight. The family that owns the two houses right next door to the Valkin property on Route 9 suggested an earlier closing time during the public hearing on the project held during the meeting. Read more…