Ghent’s birthday party was a blast. The Town of Ghent continued to celebrate its 200 years as a municipality Saturday, October 13 with a music, history, food, a parade and fireworks. Most of the day’s events took place at the Ghent Town Highway Garage on Garage Place Road. Though rain showers arrived on and off all day, there was a break in the weather as the parade proceeded up Route 66 and skies were clear for fireworks at 7 p.m. Saturday. Photo by David Lee

What’s playing? Film fest fills Chatham’s silver screen

CHATHAM—Just as the holiday catalogues start to drop into the mailbox, so too comes the catalogue for FilmColumbia, chock full of gifts for the moviegoer.

Every film and event are described online too, at, where filmgoers buy their tickets.

But as with books, some viewers like to page through the hard copy, with films cross-referenced by venue, schedule and price. Easier then, perhaps, to catch a theme, or see a trend: Are there a lot of films this year that tell the stories of children and young adults? A second pass finds 17 such films, among some 56 that the festival presents in this, its 19th year. Read more…

Now he’s a road hog?

COPAKE—Though it is a public road owned by the Town of Copake, Lackawanna has become a road less traveled since Salvatore Cascino took it upon himself to close it.

Mr. Cascino, 78, of Larchmont, Westchester County is a convicted felon who has spent the past 20 years amassing violations of federal, state and town laws for illegal dumping, building, paving and excavating at a place he calls Copake Valley Farm, along the east side of Route 22.

Less than a mile long, Lackawanna Road runs between Weed Mine Road on the east end and State Route 22 on the west. Mr. Cascino owns the land on both sides of the road. Read more…

Palatine Heritage Days evoke Germantown’s origins

GERMANTOWN–The school district’s Palatine Heritage Days are a themed two-day program developed by Germantown Historian Susan Raab, a Germantown School District teacher, and funded by the Germantown History Department in commemoration of the arrival of the Palatines in October 1710. This year’s theme is river ecology.

The inception of the program came on the heels of the town’s 300th anniversary of European settlement in 2010. With the sun shining and cool autumn temperatures Mary Mitchell’s 3rd grade class listens to the instruction being given by Barry Keegan in seining. Learning about and helping make fishing nets was an essential job for Palatines including the children.

The program does more than commemorate the Palatine immigrants’ arrival from Germany, some with stops in between. Most importantly it’s “an opportunity for learning in conjunction with science, ecology, art, math, music and conservation or anything else the kids can connect with,” said Ms. Raab. Read more…

G’town committee obtains Amtrak documents

GERMANTOWN—The Germantown Waterfront Advisory Committee has released years of reports on Amtrak incidents along the Germantown shoreline.

In June, the committee submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to Amtrak asking for all information relating to safety incidents at the two public grade crossings at Germantown’s Ernest R. Lasher, Jr. Memorial Park and Cheviot Park. The committee also sought incidents along the right-of-way, which in Germantown runs along the town’s entire shoreline on the Hudson River. The committee requested data from 2010 to the present in connection with its concerns about the railroad’s plan for new fences to limit shoreline access.

The committee said in a release that in August it received more than 200 pages of records. During this eight-and-a-half-year period, 24 reports related to incidents along the right-of-way, and 19 reports to malfunctions at the grade crossings. Of the 24 right-of-way reports, five were additional or duplicate reports, leaving 19 separate right-of-way incidents. The full set of documents received by the committee is online at Read more…

Hillsdale agrees to extend Farmers Market season

HILLSDALE–The Town Board passed several resolutions at its monthly meeting this week. A request by the Farmers Market Committee to extend the season an additional eight weeks through to December 21 generated the most discussion.

The Farmers Market has operated in the Harvest Barn at Roe Jan Park for four years and its season traditionally runs for 23 weeks from the last week in May to the end of October. Committee spokesman Ron Bixby admitted that extending the market into the winter months of November and December is a “risky venture” but noted that 12 vendors have signed on.

Discussion focused on how much to charge the market for the additional weeks and whether to consider it a “fee” or “donation.” According to Mr. Bixby, the market “contributed” $500 to the town for the 23 weeks. Read more…