Two ways to get that warm and fuzzy feeling

It was chilly but sunny Saturday as Shawn Williams held his daughter Ella and the Easter Bunny hugged Ella’s sister Zoe at the Ghent Firehouse April 3. “Meet the Easter Bunny” was a free, drive-thru event. Kids got goody bags and a chance to see the fire trucks. More sunny spring weather is ahead, at least through Saturday. Photo by David Lee

Can we have clean energy and grow food here too?

COPAKE—New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has set high goals for clean energy and at the same time wants to protect valuable farmland for agriculture.

Can he have it both ways?

One group of local residents doesn’t think so.

An industrial-sized solar facility that will help the governor reach his energy goals will occupy hundreds of acres of local farmland. The governor has mandated a “goal of a zero-emissions electricity sector by 2040, including 70% renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy-wide carbon neutrality.” Read more…

Dry weather, wind gusts raise risks of wildfires

HUDSON—If we want to see the May flowers that April showers are supposed to bring, then we better hope for a good dose of rain soon.

The first two days of this week, the National Weather Service issued “special weather statements” for a region that encompasses Columbia County warning of an “elevated risk of fire spread.”

The statement for April 5 said, “dry weather, sunshine, humidity levels between 20 and 35% and northwest winds occasionally gusting 25 to 35 mph is [sic] expected today across eastern New York, western Massachusetts and northwest Connecticut. All of these parameters suggested an elevated risk of fire spread, especially from late morning through the afternoon. Use caution if handling any potential ignition sources, including machinery, cigarettes and matches.” Read more…

Town taps local firm for light at East Chatham

CHATHAM—The Town Board awarded construction bids for work on the Albany Turnpike Bridge traffic light project in East Chatham at the town workshop meeting on April 1. The project, which includes work on state Route 295, was awarded state funding several years ago.

The resolution passed by the board says that the Town Board will approve the work “once the New York State Department of Transportation provides Award Notification.”

The board awarded the work to A. Colarusso & Sons. Town Supervisor Donal Collins reviewed the financial plans with the board and Peter Christiano from the engineering firm Barton and Loguidice. Supervisor Collins said looking at the cost for work and the state funding the town should “be on the hook” for about $20,000 of the around $300,000 project. Read more…

Is there a dock in the house?

This is the 70th anniversary of the Hudson Power Boat Association (HPBA), which has 110 members, 38 of whom showed up last weekend for the annual re-installation of the more than 100 dock sections. They usually build 5-10 new sections every year, but because of pandemic restrictions, the HPBA made no money last year and had to spend more time this year refitting older sections. According to HPBA Commodore Peter Tenerowicz, the spring dock party is a tradition for boat clubs up and down the Hudson, with volunteer members gathering to paint, repair and re-float the docks, usually on two weekends in late March and early April. Photo by David Lee

Valatie mayor solves vexing problem, then bows out

VALATIE—At her last meeting as mayor, Diane Argyle announced that the US Hotel and the former Trolley Station on Main Street have both been sold and are now back on the village tax rolls. At the March 9 meeting, the mayor, who did not run for reelection last month, also received recognition from the board for her years of service.

The board presented former Mayor Argyle with a clock which said inside, in part, the gift was “in recognition of your outstanding commitment and dedication to the residents of the Village of Valatie.” Ms. Argyle was first elected in 2013, unseating a 10-year incumbent mayor. Frank Bevens, who originally ran with Ms. Argyle in 2013 for trustee, ran unopposed for mayor in the March 16 village elections.

As for the US Hotel, the village Local Development Corporation (LDC) bought the apartment building on Main Street in 2012. The sale also came with the Trolley Station at the intersection of Main Street and Route 9/Kinderhook Street. The plan at the time was for the property to remain an apartment building with the village LDC as landlord. The Trolley Station has been office space. Read more…