This saves a lot on gas. Gemma Inguanta from Long Island uses a seed planter to plant radish seeds at Common Hands Farm, an organic CSA and community market farm on Stevers Crossing Road in Philmont. Farm owner Dan McManus says Common Hands is a biodynamic farm, a stringent form of organic farming. He farms 12 acres on an old 150-acre dairy farm. This year he is expanding his scope with beef cows, pigs, chickens and ducks. He also says Common Hands is becoming known for its training program, welcoming apprentices from a range of backgrounds. Ms. Inguanta is one of four interns at the farm this season. “Our focus is diversity,” says Mr. McManus, adding, “We try to make eating fun.” Photo by David Lee

Germantown seeks new ‘feasibility study’ of town police

GERMANTOWN—The Town Board has approved hiring Superintendent Harry J. Corbitt, retired New York State Police superintendent, as a consultant to “conduct a management and feasibility study of the Germantown Police Department.”

The decision, taken at the board’s May 8 meeting, marks the second time in less than four years that the Town Board has considered the feasibility of the town’s Police Department. In the fall of 2014, under then Supervisor Joel Craig, the board discussed the matter in public meetings: two regular meetings and a workshop meeting devoted to the topic.

The town then hired Peter Volkmann, chief of the Chatham Village Police Department, to do a study. In March 2015 Chief Volkmann submitted his draft report. The Police Department, including one vehicle, remains in place. Brian DuBois is officer-in-charge, at $17 per hour, and Damon Filli is officer, at $15 per hour. Read more…

Flood of red ink prompts new hikes in Chatham water rates

CHATHAM– Over 20 people came to the Tracy Memorial Village Hall last week for a Village Board workshop meeting on increases to the water and sewer rates for residents. Residents were concerned and frustrated with what will be another increase in their bills in less than a year and half. The previous increase in water and sewer rates in March of last year also eliminated a minimum use charge.

Mayor Tom Curran said this workshop was “not actually a meeting, it’s more to get the information out about the costs.” He encouraged village residents who did not attend this meeting to submit written comments to the village. He also said, “Nobody’s happy” about the increase.

The board had talked about raising water and sewer rates for several years before adopting the rate increase last March. In 2014, the board met with their village engineer and the former accounting firm to discuss the issue. At that time, Mayor Curran said, “Our water and sewer (systems) are costing us more than we bring in.” Read more…

In Copake it’s kids 1, wind 0

COPAKE—The Taconic Hills Little League has stepped up to the plate.

At the May 10 Copake Town Board meeting, Town Supervisor Jeff Nayer brought up the matter of storm damage at Copake Memorial Park.

Area homes, trees, electrical service and vehicles, including a tractor trailer, were not the only casualties of the high winds generated during the severe April 16 storm that forced states of emergency to be declared in Copake and Ancram. Read more…

Opioid help outreach gets rolling

VALATIE–Town Supervisor Pat Grattan announced at the May 7 Kinderhook Town Board meeting that Twin County Recovery Services has opened a Greener Pathways opioid addiction response mobile site in the Valatie Medical Arts (VMA) building in the Village of Valatie.

Mr. Grattan called it “a very positive thing for our community.” He pointed out that county Mental Health also has an office in the VMA called the Valatie Behavioral Health Center.

The Greener Pathways program is funded through a $1.8-million federal grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The state’s Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) awarded the money to Twin County Recovery Services to help deal with the opioid addiction crisis in Columbia and Greene counties. Read more…

Sci-fi film finds Hillsdale eerie enough

HILLSDALE–The town of Hillsdale is the setting for a feature film, “Go Don’t Go.” Producer Max Gardner introduced himself during the public comments portion of the monthly Town Board May 9 meeting.

Mr. Gardner described “Go Don’t Go” as a sci-fi mystery and likened it to the box office hit, “A Quiet Place” “but without the monsters.” Mr. Gardner said the film is being shot at locations across Columbia County, including the Hillsdale’s IGA. He said the company is using Skarship Farm on Mitchell Street off Route 23 as its primary location. Filming runs through May 21.

Town Supervisor Peter Cipkowski announced that Saturday, May 19 is Clean Up Day, 9 a.m. to noon. Residents can discard unwanted bulk items at the Hillsdale Town Garage on Old Town Road. There will be fees ranging from $10-20 to dispose of mattresses, box springs, sofas and recliners. Electronics, paints, tires and hazardous materials are not accepted. Read more…