Persons of Color Cemetery rededicated. On Saturday, May 13, about 50 people gathered at Rothermel Park in the Village of Kinderhook for the rededication of Persons of Color Cemetery. As many as 500 people may have been buried there between 1816 and 1875. Sixteen headstones remain. Saturday’s ceremony included representatives from the group that worked to restore the cemetery, including Hollis Seamon (pictured at podium), reading the names and words from the legible stones, as well as the unveiling of a sign with information about the site. Speakers included Congressman John Faso (R-19th); state Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Specialist William Krattinger; village historian Ruth Piwonka; and Paul Stewart, co-founder of the Underground Railroad History Project. Brother Aaron Sitawisha Carter (r), president of the Ujima Journey in Albany, performed a traditional libation ceremony and said the people buried here “were not slaves, they were people of African origin who were enslaved. They were people whose names were taken, their culture was taken, and to describe them as slaves only reinforces racial prejudice.” Photo by David Lee

K’hook warns owners of decrepit properties: Fix it or lose it

KINDERHOOK–The Village Board had a full house last week at the regular meeting Wednesday night. Many people were there to hear what the village plans to do about two dilapidated houses on Sunset Avenue.

Village Code Enforcement Officer Glenn Smith said he has issued warnings about violations at 14 Sunset Avenue and the owner of 12 Sunset sent a letter to the Village Board saying he was making needed repairs. Both are two story residences that appear to be vacant.

At the May 10 meeting, Mr. Smith told the board that he gave the owners of No. 14 until May 20 as a “drop dead date” to have made an effort to deal with the violations or that the village would take them to court. “I really don’t like to do that because it’s expensive to the village,” he said. He also said that taking people to court sometimes doesn’t lead to a resolution of the issues. Read more…

All local school budgets win voter approval

GHENT–In all six public school districts in the county–Chatham, Germantown, Hudson, Ichabod Crane, New Lebanon and Taconic Hills–voters approved school budgets by wide margins Tuesday, May 16.

Ballot propositions also won approval in those districts, including a pair of projects in New Lebanon for upgrades and a gym addition totaling over $11 million.

With write-ins in Germantown and New Lebanon, all vacant seats of school boards have been filled. Read more…

Firemen’s Home throws a party

Opened in 1892, local institution marks 125th year

HUDSON—The Firemen’s Home is one of a kind.

It is the only long-term, skilled nursing facility in the country exclusively for volunteer firefighters, their spouses and fire service ladies auxiliary members.

The iron gateway entrance to the Firemen’s Home as it appears today. Photo contributed

In a celebration befitting the home’s 125th anniversary, the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY), which owns and runs the home, has the two-day “firematic event of the year” lined up for Friday, May 19 and Saturday, May 20 and everyone is invited. Read more…

Helpline bolsters village response to drug abuse

CHATHAM–Village of Chatham Police Chief Peter Volkmann announced last week that the village Chatham Cares 4U (CC4U) program and Columbia Pathways to Recovery (CPR) have started an information line for people to call with questions about dealing with addiction.

Mayor Tom Curran read Chief Volkmann’s monthly police report at the May 11 Village Board meeting, which included information about the “helpline” and a progress report on CC4U, which has helped over 104 people get into treatment over the last 10 months. People looking for detox or rehabilitation programs for substance abuse disorders can come to the Chatham Police Station in the Tracy Memorial on Main Street and ask for help from the village police. Officers find them a treatment program and then transport them to the treatment facility at no charge to the person. Read more…

State tells Hillsdale: On Route 22 faster is better

HILLSDALE–Supervisor Peter Cipkowski announced this week that the state Department of Transportation has rejected the town’s request for reduced speed limits on sections of state Route 22.

The town had requested that from Schutts Road to Old Town Road, near the firehouse, the speed limit on Route 22 be lowered from 55 to 45 mph and from Old Town Road to the Copake town line that it be lowered to 30 mph. A request for lower speeds on sections of county Route 21 from Hunt Road to state Route 22 to 35 mph and from Hunt Road to the hamlet of Harlemville to 45 mph is still pending before the county.

The supervisor reported on the speed limit requests at the monthly Town Board meeting Tuesday, May 9. Read more…