Do you know how to do-si-do? They do. The 30th annual Falcon Ridge Music Festival took place August 3, 4 and 5 at Dodds Farm in Hillsdale. Music in the dance tent on Sunday afternoon was concluded by the Great Bear Contra Dance Band, with George Marshall calling. Photo by David Lee

Anonymous donor offers Art School a challenge

HARLEMVILLE–The Art School of Columbia County (ASCC) has launched a capital campaign to provide a permanent home for its school education programs, and its art classes and studios for artists of all ages. Kathy Kosto, ASSC executive director, made the announcement at the annual Austerlitz Blueberry Festival held here last month.

Ms. Kosto said that a local philanthropist who prefers anonymity has given ASCC a challenge: Raise $20,000 in gifts by December 31, 2018 and the building and grounds will be donated. Fall short and all bets are off.

Both volunteers and staff will be needed to carry the message, explain the benefits and make the “asks” so that the non-profit organization can purchase the building it now occupies in Harlemville at the intersection of county Routes 21/21C and Harlemville Road. Read more…

Program helps kids with parent in jail

HUDSON–“Helping children realize they are not fated” to commit crimes–even if a parent has done so–is one goal of the Greater Hudson Initiative for Children of Incarcerated Parents (GHICIP). So is reducing recidivism among released prisoners by “maintaining the child/parent bond,” said Joan Hunt of Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood July 26. GHICIP is a project of GHPN, which Ms. Hunt co-directs with Kamal Johnson.

Since it started in 2015 GHICIP has taken on about 50 children, ages 2 weeks through 16 years. Ninety percent of them are from Columbia County. About half these children have a parent who is currently incarcerated; the others have one who was behind bars in the past. “Every child we’ve had we keep working with, even when parents are released or family moves,” Ms. Hunt explained.

GHICIP children come from both one-parent and two-parent households. Ms. Hunt recalled one household had both parents in jail at the same time. A child with no parent at home goes to relatives, godparents, foster homes or other caregivers. The GHICIP program is for only those children who do not have “court-mandated” requirements,” Ms. Hunt added. Read more…

Chatham hears public’s plans to revise zoning revisions

CHATHAM – The meeting room at the Tri-Village Firehouse was standing room only on Thursday, August 2 for a public hearing on the Town of Chatham proposed zoning law.

More than 20 people made comments about the updated law, which the board still has to finalize before members can vote on whether to adopt it as law.

Town Planner Nan Stolzenburg started the meeting with an overview of the process of updating the zoning law, a process that has been going on for about a decade. The new proposal was updated to reflect the town’s comprehensive plan approved by the Town Board in 2009. Read more…

To beat the heat farmers cool cows

ANCRAMDALE—If the summer sizzle has sent you scurrying for relief in the nearest wet or air-conditioned spot, then you may wonder how farmers and their animals manage to deal with it.

But first, let’s set the record straight—it’s not that hot.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Ray O’Keefe, a 35-year-veteran weather guy stationed in Albany, put things in perspective for The Columbia Paper Monday. As of August 6 there were 15 days this year when the temperature hit 90 degrees or above and we still have a way to go. Read more…

Circular logic? 9G detour worries Hudson

GREENPORT—On the surface—road and conceptual—it’s a good idea. A roundabout just east of the Rip Van Winkle Bridge will help facilitate traffic flow.

But achieving this currently requires a complex detour through Hudson, bringing more unwelcome truck traffic to residential as well as commercial neighborhoods in the city.

No longer will those wishing to walk west across the bridge have to run full speed across two lanes of traffic, none of it managed by stoplights, in order to reach the sidewalk. Part of the project is a “pedestrian-friendly” intersection at Routes 9G and 23 “walkable” to Olana State Historic Site and the bridge. Read more…