A bouquet’s okay for people, but the pooch would prefer something chewier. On Saturday, July 15, shoppers turned out at the Copake Hillsdale Farmers’ Market in the Harvest Barn at the Roe Jan Park in Copake. Pictured (l to r) are shoppers Howard Chezar, Patricia Fox and dog with Betsy Ho, the farmers’ market manager. Information about the market is at and in the Calendar section of The Columbia Paper. Photo by B. Docktor

New G’town High principal likes how small districts work

GERMANTOWN—Karol Harlow, longtime principal of Germantown High School, retired this spring. After a search and interviews in May, James DiDonna of Hurley was appointed the new principal.

In a standard contract, Mr. DiDonna has a four-year probationary term, from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2021, at an annual salary of $102,000.

A Kingston native, Mr. DiDonna graduated from Kingston High School in 1987. He holds two degrees from Fordham University: a BA in philosophy and an M.Ed. in elementary education and teaching. He worked in finance in New York City for a few years, and returned to Kingston in 1999. There he taught elementary school for eight years before earning a certificate in educational administration at the College of Saint Rose. Read more…

Where will Mellenville’s new post office go?

CLAVERACK–The Mellenville Post Office needs to move and the Town Board heard last week from U. S. Postal Service representatives about what plans the agency has for the a new post office to serve the 12544 ZIP Code.

Kurtis Bullard, a USPS real estate specialist, and Project Manager Jim Kurbiel discussed the postal service efforts to find new land to lease. They also responded to questions and listened to comments from local residents.

“We come out to the public and hold a 30-day comment period for folks to come and … bring any concerns they may have about what we’re looking at doing in the town,” Mr. Bullard said at the beginning of the July 13 Town Board meeting. Read more…

K’hook Creek awaits ‘waterway’ approval

KINDERHOOK–Village Mayor Jim Dunham announced last week’s board meeting that that state legislature has designated Kinderhook Creek as an Inland Waterway.

He told his board at the July 12 meeting that he had talked with Valatie Mayor Diane Argyle about looking into a state Greenway Grant to put kayak launch at Pachaquack Preserve. He said he was also planning to reach out to the supervisors in the Towns of Stuyvesant and Kinderhook about the grant. He said there might also be a way that kayakers could get in and out of the stream as it passes the Martin Van Buren National Historic Site.

“That’s something we’re looking at,” he said of the route. Read more…

Is this plastic necessary? Market asks us to check

CHATHAM–For the Chatham Real Food Co-Op, July is Plastic Purge Month. In an effort to reduce the amount of plastic used in daily life, the Co-op is encouraging local businesses to give out fewer products made of plastic, such as plastic shopping bags, straws, to-go containers, and disposable beverage bottles. So far, most businesses on Main Street in Chatham have joined in to cut back on the pollution this type of waste creates.

Plastic is one of the more harmful pollutants to the environment, leaking hazardous toxins into the planet’s air and water in addition to causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of marine animals. Plastic hurts many aspects of life on Earth and, in spite of its indisputable convenience, it is harming us, too. Read more…

K’hook restarts hunt for website upgrade guru

VALATIE–The Kinderhook Town Board approved issuing a new request for proposals (RFP) this week to update the town website. In April the board had agreed to award the contract for the update to Town Web Designs, a Wisconsin company, but former board member Peter Bujanow, who led the search for a website redesign firm, said that deal had fallen apart over payments.

“We liked the product,” Mr. Bujanow told the board at the July 10 meeting. But he said Town Web Designs wanted the town to pay upfront costs, which Mr. Bujanow told them was a not permissible under state rules for working with vendors.

He said that he hoped to have a new vendor hired by September. Mr. Bujanow said he would be reaching out to companies, especially in New York, with the new RFP, which will include the information about no payment before work is submitted. He said he would send the new RFP to Town Web Designs, as well. Read more…