Community remembers 9/11 and aftermath. These two state troopers, backs to camera, were among those who gathered at Volunteer’s Park in the Town of Kinderhook Monday, September 11 at 6:30 p.m. to commemorate the attacks 16 years ago on the World Trade Center Towers, the Pentagon and the airliner that was hijacked by terrorists and crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Also honored at this and other ceremonies like it around the country, were the first responders and all those who helped at the attack sites. The Kinderhook event was hosted by Girl Scout Troop #1076. Photo by Lance Wheeler

Valatie aims to be ‘Clean Energy Community’

VALATIE–At the Valatie Village Board meeting Tuesday, September 12, the board adopted an energy benchmarking policy for certain municipal buildings in the village as a first step toward achieving a “Clean Energy Community” designation.

The designation would qualify the village to apply for grants from the New York State Clean Energy Communities’ program to further implement clean energy solutions, reducing costs as well as greenhouse gas emissions.

The board also discussed lighting in the village, noting that all new bulbs are LEDs. Read more…

Robert Hess named G’town Elementary interim principal

GERMANTOWN—Robert Hess of Valatie has been appointed interim principal of the Germantown Elementary School. He has committed to the district for up to one year, which is contingent upon whether the district does a principal search this fall or next spring.

Mr. Hess, 66, retired from the Pine Plains Central School District in 2012. At that time, he was principal of the Pine Plains Middle School. This means that the two principals now in Germantown—Mr. Hess and James DiDonna, appointed this summer as principal of Germantown High School—were both previously middle school principals in Pine Plains. Mr. DiDonna took the position when Mr. Hess left it.

Mr. Hess learned of the Germantown opening by way of a text message from Mr. DiDonna. Mr. Hess met with school Superintendent Susan L.S. Brown in August. “I was not immediately interested in making a year’s commitment,” Mr. Hess said earlier this month, “but I was so impressed with Ms. Brown’s attitude about the staff, the school and the community. My wife, Denise, and I put some other plans on hold and I made the commitment.” Read more…

Harlemville Road detour now in effect

GHENT—The Columbia County Department of Public Works has begun repairs on the structurally deficient Nelson Elephant Farm Bridge, which carries Harlemville Road over the Gnat Creek in the Town of Ghent. The work started Monday, September 18.

The Department of Public Works has closed the bridge to all traffic. The bridge repair work will take about 4 to 6 weeks.

All bridge traffic is directed to a locally posted detour route traversing Harlemville Road, Columbia County Route 21C, State Route 217, Columbia County Route 9, State Route 66 and Water Street.

Flowers placed beside K’hook graves after Charlottesville

KINDERHOOOK–Somebody placed flowers on the graves at the Persons of Color Cemetery in Kinderhook’s Rothermel Park on or just before August 22. Hollis Seamon, who lives next to the cemetery, which is on the state and national Registers of Historic Places, said her sister noticed the flowers on a morning walk.

There are more than a dozen gravesites with headstones dating from the 19th century.

Ms. Seamon took pictures and said that someone had placed at least one or two flowers by each grave. “Somebody really did go to some trouble to make a gesture,” she told The Columbia Paper in a recent phone interview. Read more…

Hudson affirms plan to close city school next year

HUDSON–School consolidation, the Drum Line, school executives, bleachers and preparation for after graduation received attention at the Hudson City School District Board of Education meeting Monday, September 11, the first meeting since classes began for the 2017-18 school year.

Superintendent Maria L. Suttmeier confirmed that this is the anticipated last school year for John L. Edwards Primary School (JLE) on State Street. In September 2018, using current projections, pre-kindergarten through 5th grade students will all go to the Montgomery C. Smith building (MCS), currently the intermediate school on Harry Howard Avenue.

Preparations for this consolidation already taken include moving the 6th grade from MCS to the junior high in 2016 and the moving of 2nd grade to MCS this month. Read more…