Greenport happy about dogs going to it

GREENPORT–Imagine that–a new state mandate that won’t cost town taxpayers money. In fact, it will bring in a little extra cash.

Beginning January 1, 2011, the state Department of Agriculture and Markets will no longer issue dog licenses. Licensing will become the responsibility of Greenport and the county’s other towns and the City of Hudson.

Pet owners will notice little change; they’ll continue to go to the Town Hall for new or renewal licenses. But, says Town Clerk Sharon Zempko, “now we’ll get to keep more of the money,” instead of forwarding fees to Ag and Markets, as the state agency is known.

She reminds residents that all dogs in the town must be licensed; those without licenses are subject to seizure, and their owners may be fined.

And Leandra’s Law, which provides stiff penalties for those who drive drunk with children in the vehicle, has come to town. Police Chief Kevin Marchetto told the Town Board at its November 3 meeting that a mother returning from an evening of trick-or-treating was pulled over on Route 9 October 31 for a defective headlight.

Police said Toni Riter, 31, of Hudson, appeared intoxicated. With her in the car were three children, all under age 11. Ms. Riter allegedly failed field sobriety tests; police said a breath test showed a blood alcohol content of .13%, well over the state limit of .08%.

She was charged with three counts of DWI under Leandra’s Law (a Class E felony), three counts of endangering the welfare of a child (a Class A misdemeanor) and assorted vehicle and traffic violations.

Leandra’s Law, signed into law by Governor David Paterson last year, is named for Leandra Rosado, who died at age 11 in 2009 of injuries she suffered while riding in a vehicle driven by a drunk driver.

In other police activity, Chief Marchetto said his officers checked all Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders on Halloween, to make sure they were not answering their doors that night.

In other business at the November meeting, the board:

+Set a public hearing on the 2011 town budget for Friday, November 12 at 6 p.m. at the Town Hall

+Set public hearings Wednesday, December 1 beginning at 6 p.m. on amendments to the dog licensing law to reflect the change in state policy; to the water, sewer and parks codes to provide easier enforcement; and to the Planning Board approval process to comply with the state requirement that the board act on completed applications within 62 days (not 45 days as the board now does).

Kids can ski with town

GREENPORT — There’s still room in the town-sponsored ski program at Catamount.

The program meets Friday evenings from 6 to 10 p.m., for six weeks beginning January 7. Participants may choose to include ski or snowboard lessons — beginner, intermediate or advanced — and rental equipment will be available (no snowblade or skiboard lessons or equipment).

Bus transportation leaves the Town Hall at 5 p.m.

Those interested should stop by the Town Hall to sign up, or call 828-4656 for more information.

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