HUDSON–The Columbia County Board of Supervisors recognized local 4H members at the board meeting Wednesday, September 14. As youthful members of the club stood on stage with their leaders, Supervisor Peter Cipkowski (D-Hillsdale), who belonged to 4H as a youngster, read a proclamation by Chairman Matt Murell (R-Stockport) declaring October 2-8 to be 4H Week in Columbia County.
Youths at the meeting included Alexis Hoffman 17, Allie Thorpe, 15, Olivia Oligny-Leggett, 14, Calvin Keller, 12, Courtney Loucks, 12, Randy Albertson, 8, and Leita Albertson, 7. The first five are full-fledged 4H members. The Albertson brother and sister are Clover Buds, younger children preparing for 4H.
Alexis said that 4H has helped her learn not only to care for animals but also “how to deal in life with stressful situations. When in the ring with an a thousand pound animal, it’s a stressful situation.” The granddaughter and niece of 4H leaders, said she joined 4H as a Clover Bud when she was 5. In addition to preparing cattle and swine to show at the annual County Fair, her 4H Club has engaged in cooking, baking, woodworking, childcare, and sewing. Ms. Hoffman has sewn quilts that qualified for display at the New York State Fair. She said the best thing about going to that fair for a few days was meeting other 4H members from across the state.
Calvin Keller, who lives on Hollyrock, a dairy farm in Stuyvesant, said he has his own cows.
Also at the meeting, Supervisor William Hughes (D-Hudson, 4th Ward) praised the workmen who renovated the county Department of Social Services building on Railroad Avenue in Hudson. The Board of Supervisors had just toured the site.
Mr. Murell announced that he had asked both the Fire Advisory Board and the County Fire Coordinator for ideas on how to compensate volunteer fire fighters. Officials have expressed concern about a recent drop in the number of people volunteering to provide this service.
Of the several resolutions the board unanimously and quickly passed, one called on county residents and business owners to “adopt the ‘Think Differently’ initiative to assist individuals with special needs and their families.”
The resolution says that over 55 million people, approximately 19% of Americans, have “a type of disability or special need” and goes on to say that the initiative aims to provide “a supportive and inclusive environment for individuals of all abilities by supporting community events that expand family friendly opportunities for people with special needs and their families.”
Although the Think Differently Initiative mentions special needs in general, it sometimes focuses on one specific source of special needs: autism. At the August 18 meeting of the Board’s Public Safety Committee saw a request for the initiative from Dutchess County. Examples of the initiative’s suggestions included theaters running special early shows and fairs opening earlier, “because some special needs people feel more comfortable with early hours.”
The suggestions, read at the August 18 board meeting, did not specify whether these extra opportunities would have to be “inclusive” of people who neither have a recognized special need or is accompanying someone who does, nor does it call for theaters and fairs be “supportive” of people with special needs during regular hours beyond the accommodations already required for people with handicaps.
“I’m all for it, but it’s so vague, I don’t know what we’ll do with it,” Supervisor John Reilly (R-Gallatin) said. “I don’t want us to say, ‘We like everybody’ and then do nothing.”
The next full County Board of Supervisors meeting will take place Wednesday, October 12, at 7:30 p.m., at 401 State Street.