Stay, sit, cuddle!

The Philmont Public Library hosted an adoption event with the Everlasting Hope Animal Rescue, Saturday, October 17 from 10 a.m. to noon. Several puppies from two different litters were available for adoption. Everlasting’s President and Founder Wendy Guntert said she had hoped to also bring cats, kittens and guinea pigs but the air was chilly and she felt that it would be too stressful for them. The library is also collecting donations of pet food, toys and cat litter for the entire month of October to benefit the rescue. Pictured, Jaida Krein of Philmont, was with her grandmother, Ruth Bruns. Her heart was set on one of the puppies, but she must fill out an application form that assures that she will be able to take care of the dog. Photo by David Lee

Three seek to replace Delgado in House race


ELECTION 2020


GHENT—Congressman Antonio Delgado faces three challengers in his bid for reelection to the House of Representatives from New York’s 19th District.

Mr. Delgado, a Democrat, defeated freshman Republican Congressman John Faso, winning by a 5.2% margin. This year Kyle Van De Water, a Republican and former Millbrook village trustee is running for Mr. Delgado’s seat as are Steven Greenfield, who ran for Congress on the Green Party line in the 2018 election, and Victoria Alexander of Amenia, the Libertarian candidate.

NY-19 is considered the 8th most rural congressional district in the nation. It encompasses all or portions of 11 counties and stretches from Hillsdale in the east, west to Deposit, south to Pawling and north to Fort Plain. The sprawling district borders Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont and Pennsylvania. All of Columbia County lies within the 19th District. Read more…

Front-line jack-o-lanterns march through Hillsdale

Hillsdale’s ninth annual Pumpkin Festival was held Saturday, October 10. It featured music, a pie competition, police demonstrations, a fire department chicken barbecue and a competition of scarecrows constructed in the personages of “essential workers and hometown heroes.” A procession of the scarecrows was mustered to walk from the village green down to Hamlet Park where they were installed for judgment. Pictured is Harper Benson, 8, as she adds the final touch of a smile to a firefighter scarecrow. Photo by David Lee

Society hears of Canaan men who helped make a nation

The interior of the early 19th century church, which now belongs to the Canaan Historical Society. Photo by Peter Flierl

CANAAN—Dodie Gearing, Town of Canaan historian, and secretary and curator of the Canaan Historical Society, enthralled attendees at the annual meeting of the Canaan Historical Society with her description of Canaan’s 17th Militia and its participation in the Battle of Saratoga. In that battle British General John “Gentleman Johnny” Burgoyne surrendered on October 17, 1777, the turning point in the war begun at Lexington and Concord.

Warner’s Tavern just down the road was a gathering point. It was also the source of seven Warner sons, who were members of the Canaan 17th Militia, which sent a total of 47 men to the battle. Ms. Gearing pointed out that joining the militia was an act of treason. Like the signers of the Declaration of Independence, these Canaan residents were risking everything, life, liberty, and property in pursuit of freedom.

Brenda Adams, Canaan town supervisor and treasurer of the Canaan Historical Society, reported to the roughly 25 people present on the fiscal health of the organization, noting there has been no membership revenue since 2018, due in part to passing of several leaders. Two checking accounts for operations and building have $900 and $222, while a money market restricted fund has $16,000. The budget approved for the coming year includes: Insurance, $1,800; Electricity, $225; Post Office Box, $64; and Printing, $100. The board will be searching records to determine the nature of restrictions. Read more…

County launches Police Reform Panel

HUDSON—Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell announced the formation of the county’s Police Reform Panel, in an October 13 press release.

The panel has been selected to conform to New York State’s Executive Order #203.

Among its goals, the order mandates that local government perform a comprehensive review of current police force deployment strategies, policies, procedures and practices. In addition, that it develops an improvement plan addressing the particular needs of the communities served while promoting community engagement to foster trust, fairness and legitimacy. Further, that it address any racial bias and disproportionate policing of communities of color. Read more…

Valatie awaits court action to free up old factory

VALATIE—The Village Board is trying to sell a former mill building on River Street that once housed a company called Energy-Onyx. Though they have already had over 20 showings of the building and have received three bids since early summer, board members were told in September by their attorney, Rob Fitzsimmons, that they have to wait for the state courts to transfer the title to the village due to issues with the Valatie Local Development Corporation (LDC).

At a Village Board meeting on October 13, Mr. Fitzsimmons said he would discuss the issue in executive session because it was “ongoing litigation.”

The village LDC owns the former trolley depot and the U.S. Hotel on Main Street, and managed a state and federal loan that the village received for what was the Energy-Onyx building. At a meeting last month, Mr. Fitzsimmons said the LDC has started the process in state court to transfer titles of the properties the organization owns. The LDC can then petition to dissolve as an organization. Read more…