In Chatham, this court’s in session. The action heated up in a pick-up basketball game at Crellin Park in Chatham on an already unseasonably warm Sunday afternoon, February 23. Kaleb Kastner (center) looks for a shot. The Town Board discussed future plans for the park’s pavilion and a plan for three miles of hiking trails around the park at their meeting February 20. The town maintains the park, which includes basketball and tennis courts, baseball and soccer fields, a swimming pond and skateboard park. During the summer the town runs a day camp program. Photo by David Lee

New Leb schools chief prepares to bow out

NEW LEBANON–When school district Superintendent Leslie Whitcomb retires at the end of September, she’ll have more time for reading, for those quilting projects and for indulging in fond memories of her nearly 13 years with the district, six as superintendent. Andrew Kourt, current principal of the Walter B. Howard Elementary School, becomes superintendent October 1.

“It’s a wonderful district, Ms. Whitcomb says. “Parents, teachers–everyone at both our junior/senior high school and our elementary school–is highly collaborative, and they’ve made New Lebanon a great place to have your kids get an education. Our schools are happy buildings.”

Before coming to New Lebanon, Ms. Whitcomb held administrative, teaching and instructional support positions in several Long Island school districts. She also was responsible for designing and implementing system-wide program initiatives, including data analysis of standardized assessments and curriculum mapping techniques. Read more…

Chatham readies new zoning for county’s OK

CHATHAM – The Town Board hired Tal Rappleyea as town attorney at their February 20 meeting. He will be paid at a rate of $125 an hour, with a $833.33 monthly retainer.

Mr. Rappleyea had been appointed as town attorney for an interim period in January. This new appointment runs through December. He was town attorney for 16 years before being replaced by a new law firm in 2016. The previous board hired two attorneys–one for town business and another for land use issues.

Town Supervisor Donal Collins said Mr. Rappleyea was the only person to apply for the position, which the board advertised for in January. Read more…

Former U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson picked as next Siena president

Reprinted with permission from the Times Union

LOUDONVILLE — Former Congressman Chris Gibson will be the 12th president of Siena College, returning to his alma mater as the first non-friar to lead the school.

The Loudonville college announced Mr. Gibson’s appointment on February 14 in the Sarazen Student Union. “I believe at this time in our country’s history, we need Siena graduates now more than ever,” Mr. Gibson told the assembled campus community.

The announcement follows a months-long search to replace Siena’s former president, Brother Edward Coughlin, who died unexpectedly in July at age 71. Brother Coughlin, a beloved figure known on campus as “Brother Ed,” suffered a massive stroke during scheduled surgery to repair a congenital heart defect. Read more…

At Bliss, aging security cameras are ‘ready to fail’

HUDSON–Security installations and the farmer’s market occupied the meeting of the Hudson Housing Authority (HHA) Board of Commissioners February 12.

The authority controls Hudson’s 135-unit income-restricted Bliss complex, which consists of Bliss Tower and the low-rise Columbia Apartments on the same grounds at Columbia Street near North Second Street. The security installations at the complex include about 50 motion-activated cameras throughout the site and a Door Access Control System for residents.

Now, the cameras’ “brains” are “ready to fail,” reported HHA Executive Director Tim Mattice. They do not have “enough memory to keep track of things,” so coverage is intermittent and the cameras, which are 20 years old, are “not providing the correct resolution.” Read more…

Po’keepsie group plans detox center for Greenport

HUDSON–A new detoxification facility, the move of several clients from inpatient to outpatient care, a need for more social workers, and the difficulty in counting overdoses received attention at the Columbia County Community Service Board meeting late last month.

People USA, a non-profit organization in Poughkeepsie, described on its website as serving “people living with mental health or substance abuse issues,” plans a 20-bed detoxification center on Merle Avenue in Greenport.

“A lot of their philosophy is hooking people up with peers,” said Beth Schuster, executive director of Twin County Recovery Services. “That’s a way to prevent people from relapsing.” Read more…