The heat just helps keep the beat. Last Saturday’s activities at the annual Hudson Black Arts and Culture Festival were rained out, including the parade. But events on Sunday proceeded as scheduled, with the traditional African drumming of Ujima Community Collective, the summer session of Kuumba Dance and Drum Academy, performing under the tent. A special appearance was made by members of the Melody Africa Group of New Paltz.The drummers of the Ujima Collective were led by John Ward (l). The percussionists are Claire Nazar, Pete Teneres, Jasiah Riley, David Pool and Lily Caldwell. Photo by David Lee

Chatham Village board awaits state’s ‘risk review’

CHATHAM–Village Mayor Tom Curran confirmed at the regular board meeting August 9 that Village Treasurer Barbara Henry had resigned. She is no longer in the office but will be paid until August 24. The board also confirmed that the Office of the State Comptroller recently conducted what board members called a “risk assessment review” of village finances.

Commenting on the state review, Mayor Curran said, “They are going to make recommendations to see if we can do things better.”

Trustee Jay Rippel said that he was the person who contacted the office of state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli after becoming concerned with some of the village bookkeeping. He said he called to ask the comptroller for advice which led to officials of the office coming into the village to conduct the review. “What’s been found, they don’t release that to us,” he said, but there will be follow-up. Read more…

Copake copes with a big trucking deal

COPAKE—It is a spectacle, an organizational marvel, a sight to behold and showtime is most every Sunday through Thursday night in the hamlet of Copake.

It all started on an ordinary evening in mid-May.

County Route 7A resident Grant Hermans was at home like most of his neighbors, some watching TV, some having dinner, some puttering in the yard or sitting on the front porch when the calm of the spring evening was shattered by a passing motorcade of police cars, utility trucks and escort vehicles all scurrying around one behemoth of a tractor trailer hauling something huge. Read more…

State land grant expands K’hook park

VALATIE–Supervisor Pat Grattan announced at the Kinderhook Town Board meeting Monday night that the town now owns over 78 acres behind Volunteer Park off of State Farm Road. Mr. Grattan said Town Attorney Andrew Howard had presented the board with the final paperwork for the board to take ownership of the land from the state before this week’s meeting.

Last November Mr. Grattan announced that the town would be taking ownership of the 77.9 acre property. At the time, he said the land was owned by the state, which is granting it to the town at no cost. The town had to pay some closing costs on the transfer.

At the August 6 meeting, Mr. Grattan said of the use of the land: “We’ll get the Rec Department on it.” He said that there could be trails on the land, which also includes the road the town already uses and maintains to and from Volunteer Park. Mr. Grattan pointed out that with this land the town has about 100 acres at the park, which has a baseball and softball fields, as well as basketball court, soccer fields, a dog park and a playground. There are also two buildings at the park property that are currently closed to the public. Read more…

Kinderhook flag raising celebrates Netherlands sister city

Reprinted with permission from the Times Union

KINDERHOOK – A flag raising ceremony in the Village of Kinderhook Saturday concluded a series of events honoring the community’s newly adopted “sister city” in the Netherlands and commemorating the 8th US President Martin Van Buren.

Buren is a town in the province of Gelderland in the Netherlands, and Jan de Boer, the mayor of Buren, and event planner Mark Hofman visited Kinderhook and the Capital Region from July 30 to August 4. Organizers planned dedications, trips to historic sites and other events for their visit, including a dedication of a “friendship” tree at Van Buren’s gravesite at the Dutch Reformed Church cemetery.

President Van Buren, a descendant of Dutch settlers and a Dutch speaker, was born and died in the Columbia County community. His third great-grandfather left Buren in 1631 and journeyed to New Netherland, which later became New York. “Van” means “from” or “of” in Dutch. Read more…

Anonymous donor offers Art School a challenge

HARLEMVILLE–The Art School of Columbia County (ASCC) has launched a capital campaign to provide a permanent home for its school education programs, and its art classes and studios for artists of all ages. Kathy Kosto, ASSC executive director, made the announcement at the annual Austerlitz Blueberry Festival held here last month.

Ms. Kosto said that a local philanthropist who prefers anonymity has given ASCC a challenge: Raise $20,000 in gifts by December 31, 2018 and the building and grounds will be donated. Fall short and all bets are off.

Both volunteers and staff will be needed to carry the message, explain the benefits and make the “asks” so that the non-profit organization can purchase the building it now occupies in Harlemville at the intersection of county Routes 21/21C and Harlemville Road. Read more…