Kayakers are ready to ramble. Columbia Land Conservancy’s Deputy Director of Conservation Programs Marissa Codey was joined by an enthusiastic group of paddlers for a tour of the waters and shores of Lake Taghkanic in Gallatin, Saturday, September 15. It was part of the 19th annual month-long Hudson River Valley Ramble, a series of events that celebrate the history, culture and natural resources of the Hudson River Valley. Photo by David Lee

ICC capital plan seeks OK for $27M

VALATIE–AT A SPECIAL MEETING Monday, September 17, the Ichabod Crane Board passed a motion with a 6-2 vote to hold a special election December 12 with one question on the ballot. Voters will be asked to consider whether to authorize the district to “construct additions to and reconstruct various district buildings and facilities, including site work thereat, acquire original furnishings, equipment, machinery or apparatus and pay incidental costs related thereto, at a maximum cost of $27,115,200.”

Board members Regina Rose and Jeffrey Ouellette voted against the motion. Board member Dan Cohn was not at the special meeting. Read more…

‘Stop’ scofflaws beware the long arm of… buses

KINDERHOOK– Ichabod Crane School District Transportation Supervisor Dan Doyle told the Board of Education at a board meeting last week that as many as 10 drivers a day pass a district school bus while it’s stopped. A press release from state Senator Catharine Young, a western New York Republican, says that there are “upwards of 50,000 illegal bus passes every day.”

Last June Sen. Young sponsored the School Bus Camera Safety Act, a bill that authorizes the use of automated cameras on school buses to record and issue tickets to motorists who illegally pass a stopped school bus.

Mr. Doyle told the ICC board at the September 11 meeting that the six new buses the district purchased this year have cameras in the stop arms–the signs that extends when the bus is stopped, alerting drivers to stop and wait as students get on or off the bus. Read more…

Cascino update: He’s fixing some things, but…

COPAKE—Lackawanna Road is closed to through traffic and has been for three weeks. When it will reopen is unclear.

Less than a mile long, the road runs between Weed Mine Road on the east end and State Route 22 on the west. Though the town owns the road, the town did not have anything to do with closing it—the State Department of Transportation (DOT) did—to allow Salvatore Cascino, who owns the property on both sides of the road to fix violations, some dating back nine years.

Mr. Cascino, 78, of Larchmont, Westchester County is a convicted felon who has spent the past 20 years amassing violations of federal, state and town laws for illegal dumping, building and excavating at a place he calls Copake Valley Farm, along the east side of Route 22. Read more…

This is a problem that won’t go away

HUDSON—News flash: What you put into the blue recycling bin doesn’t necessarily get recycled, and it hasn’t for a long time.

A talk Tuesday with Jolene Race, director of the Columbia County Solid Waste Department, confirmed what many have suspected. Ms. Race, a Columbia County native, is something of a county recycling historian, having joined the Solid Waste Department in 1990, when recycling first started in the county.

“It just grew and grew,” she said of the recycling effort over the last 28 years. “‘We can add this!’ we said. ‘We can add that!’ But we never really had a stable market to take it to. I knew that at some point it would explode.”

Read more…

Hillsdale board hears plea for pavement

HILLSDALE–To pave or not to pave is a vexing question that the Hillsdale Town Board is grappling with again. During the public comments portion of the monthly town meeting this week, Wolf Hill Road residents and neighbors Jeanne Kiefer and Mike Kadish sought relief for a situation they described as “an accident waiting to happen.”

The pair described Wolf Hill Road as dangerous, especially the section that intersects with Rodman Road and runs northwest, because it is unpaved, narrow, curvy and hilly. According to Ms. Kiefer, “You can’t see oncoming traffic.” Adding to the danger, there is no posted speed limit on Wolf Hill Road meaning drivers can travel at 55 mph.

Hillsdale has the most unpaved roads of all Columbia County towns. Supervisor Peter Cipkowski noted that many residents “like it that way” because it underscores the rural and agricultural characteristics of the area. Other possible remedies suggested by Ms. Kiefer and Mr. Kadish included a posted speed limit of 35, “like on Whippoorwill Road” or widening the section from Rodman to the end of Wolf Hill road by four feet. Read more…