Hard to tell if a dog’s impressed by being blessed. Pastor Darienne Gagne (standing) officiated at a blessing of the animals at the North Chatham United Methodist Church Saturday evening, July 16. Lola the bulldog and her humans sit for Pastor Gagne’s blessing. Dr. Christopher Southard of Kinderhook Animal Hospital was also on hand to offer microchip services to pet owners. Photo by Siobhan Connally

Enrollment prompts G’town to add kindergarten class

GERMANTOWN–The Board of Education of the Germantown Central School District decided at its July 13 meeting that the school needs three kindergarten classes this year, not the usual two.

With 45 children enrolled for kindergarten so far—“it’s always possible to get more,” said Jeanne Dolamore, elementary school principal—the board was looking at two options: two kindergarten classes, each with 23 students and a full-day teacher’s aide, or three kindergarten classes (two with 15 students and one with 16). Read more…

Hudson continues to talk turf and scoreboard finances

HUDSON–A second hearing on the new sports field planned for Hudson High School was called because some district residents wanted to press the Board of Education to choose artificial over natural turf for that field. But attendees at the July 6 hearing raised other concerns, focusing in particular on track facilities.

The hearing took place right before the Hudson City School District Board of Education’s annual organization meeting and Several student athletes attended. “We’re doing this one time,” said a track official in the audience, commenting on the new facilities. “Let’s do it right.” Read more…

Chatham firefighters offer $50K toward pumper tab

CHATHAM–John Howe, speaking for the village Fire Department, told the Village Board last week that the two fire companies in the village will contribute $50,000 of the cost of a new fire truck. He said the fire companies could offer $5,000 annually from their budgets to help to help pay for a new pumper that could cost the village over $400,000.

A slightly used truck that was for sale for $419,000 happened to be at the firehouse last Thursday night and Mr. Howe asked that it come to the Tracy Memorial/Village Hall during the meeting for the board to see. Mr. Howe said this particular truck came equipped with almost everything the department was looking for in a replacement truck. “The kicker is, it was sold,” he said. Read more…

Valatie takes aim at derelict factory, aging hotel

VALATIE–Village Mayor Diane Argyle updated her board on two building in the village in need of attention at last week’s meeting. One is the mill building on River Street that once housed Energy-Onix, and the other is the US Hotel on Main Street, which is owned by the Valatie Local Development Corporation (LDC).

The village received a state and federal Community Development Block Grant for $516,000 several years ago for the building on River Street. The funds were loaned to Energy-Onix to put a workshop to manufacture transmitters in the building. In 2014, Mayor Argyle, who was not mayor when the original loan was granted, said that the state audited the village looking for paperwork on the loan.

At the July 12 meeting of this year, she said the paperwork issue has finally been resolved, and now that the state is satisfied, the village can start the process of foreclosing on the property. Read more…

You call this a receipt?

Copake questions ‘paper trail’ Cascino offers judge

HUDSON—Salvatore Cascino was back in court this week, where he failed to provide all the documentation the judge had asked him for as proof of his compliance with court orders.

In this latest round Mr. Cascino was represented by Nolan E. Shanahan, a lawyer standing in for his usual attorney, Brian Gardner, both from the Cole Schotz law firm in New York City. Along with attorney Victor Meyers, who represented the Town of Copake, they appeared in Columbia County Supreme Court July 19 before Acting Supreme Court Judge Jonathan Nichols.

It was one of several follow-up appearances scheduled for Mr. Cascino to provide updates on the progress of the court-ordered removal of 9,650 cubic yards of solid waste Mr. Cascino illegally dumped on his 300-acre Copake property. Read more…