Copake smells pretty good to these canine scent sleuths

 The American Pit Bull Terrier Club of New England (APBTCONE) sponsored a Nosework Match in the Copake Memorial Park community building on January 28. Thirty-nine dogs of all breeds from around the region were put through their paces to find things in a variety of circumstances using only their noses. The match is a prerequisite for the organization to conduct officially sanctioned United Kennel Club events in the future. Jennifer Fimbel of Amenia (above) follows her dog Ruff-n-tumble as he locates the proper box in 10.5 seconds. Photo by David Lee

Solar sites popping up in unexpected places

Photo of commercial canopies from SunCommon. Photo contributed

GHENT—What if they could erect a solar farm as a canopy above a parking lot? It would shade the cars; shield pedestrians from rain; use an already disturbed site; and, not displace agricultural lands or, in the view of some, replace a bucolic view with an eyesore. What if a solar array on farmland could also host grazing sheep or a pollinator meadow? With solar infrastructure, the devil, or genius, is often in the details of siting and co-uses.

In December 2022, Assemblymember Didi Barrett (D-106), now the chair of the Energy Committee, introduced a bill designed “to integrate local community needs with the state’s climate goals” in the siting of solar and other renewable energy projects.

According to Assemblymember Barrett, the “Smart Integrative Tools for Energy Development” (SITED) Act calls for the creation of a mapping tool to aid towns to identify and proactively designate the most suitable sites for renewable energy, as well as outreach and educational programs. The proposed mapping tool is modeled on one that was developed several years ago by the non-profit Scenic Hudson.

The state has set a goal to generate 70% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030 and 100% by 2050. The solar generation of energy is a key element in meeting that goal. Read more…

Czajka won’t run again

After more than 30 years as a public servant, Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka recently announced he will not run for office again this November. Photo by Lance Wheeler

The Columbia Paper sold to local community news publisher

Pictured (l to r) are the new publisher of the Columbia Paper Warren Dews, Jr., Publishing Consultant Parry Teasdale and owner Mark Vinciguerra. Photo by David Lee

GHENT—Newspaper owner and editor Parry Teasdale has agreed to sell The Columbia Paper, a weekly in the Town of Ghent, NY, and the news website to Capital Region Independent Media, LLC for an undisclosed amount. Capital Region is headed by Mark Vinciguerra, a veteran media executive.

   The agreement includes having Managing Editor and Deputy Publisher Emilia Teasdale take similar positions under the new ownership. She is Mr. Teasdale’s daughter.

  Mr. Teasdale said that by taking positions with the Capital Region group they could help the transition and allow the company to prosper. That’s the challenge of these lean times,” Mr. Teasdale said. In addition, he noted, “Mark has assured us that there will be no changes in staffing or in news content for the time being.”

   With the acquisition of The Columbia Paper, Mr. Vinciguerra now owns newspapers​​ in three locations in the Hudson Valley. He already has a partner in his company’s expansion, Capital Region Independent Media Vice President Warren Dews, Jr., who also serves as publisher for the other two papers, The Ravena News-Herald and The Greenville Pioneer. ​In addition to the printed products the company also owns The ​Mr. Dews will take over as publisher of The Columbia Paper. Read more…

In Copake, canines find nose-worthy news

Hey, look what I found. Cricket is alerting on a “hide” buried under four inches of sand in a plastic container. There can be up to 16 containers of sand or water to choose from depending on the level. Cricket is owned by John and Jeannette O’Hanlon of Albany and took up nosework as a senior dog. Photo contributed

COPAKE—You don’t have to be a dog owner to know dogs like to smell stuff.

Not only do dogs love to give their old schnozzolas a workout—they are also good at it and they have fun doing it.

According to an article on the American Kennel Club (AKC) website (, “The Nose Knows: Is There Anything Like a Dog’s Nose?” by Jan Reisen, dog “noses are at least 100,000 times more sensitive than ours. In fact, smelling could be called the dog’s superpower. Not only does [a dog] have more olfactory receptors than humans, the dog’s snout is structured in such a way that, while [it] is sniffing out odors, [it] doesn’t exhale and disturb even the faintest of scents. And the part of the brain that processes smells is seven times larger in dogs than in humans.”

Anyone interested in seeing some superlative smeller dogs and their humans play sophisticated scent games need only show up at the American Pitt Bull Terrier Club of New England (APBTCONE) sponsored Nosework Match at Copake Memorial Park, 305 Mountain View Road, Saturday, January 28 starting at 8:30 a.m. and lasting into the afternoon when all the smells have been sniffed. Read more…

Homes? We’ve got will, but do we have the way?

(Another in a series on affordable housing)

GHENT—Hardly a week goes by without news on the housing front. Starting with Hudson and Philmont, here are some recent developments that affect the county.

On January 17, the Hudson Common Council unanimously approved the scattered site affordable housing project selected in 2022 by the Mayor’s office from proposals submitted by a number of developers. The project will be spread across three currently vacant city-owned lots.

On North 4th and State Street, where a parking lot is currently located, a two-floor mixed use, mixed-income building will be erected with 21 residential units and two community-oriented commercial spaces. (The developer will decide on the commercial uses in consultation with the city and the community.)

On Mill Street, across from the Charles William Park, a three-and-one-half story building will offer 60 residential units. Read more…