Twenty years later still like yesterday

A local 9-11 memorial ceremony last Saturday started with a procession of a color guard of the combined Niverville, Kinderhook and Valatie fire companies. They marched from the Ichabod Crane primary school parking lot to the Volunteers Park on State Farm Road. Also in the procession were police agencies, rescue squads including a LifeNet helicopter flyover, the American Legion, and area boy and girl scout troops. Retired Port Authority Police Chief Jerry Matthews recounted his experience as he assisted with the rescue efforts at a CUNY building near the Twin Towers site September 11, 2001. Other guest speakers included: Jeff Cox of Old Chatham who, as an environmental Conservation Officer, was a first responder on the morning of the attack and worked at Ground Zero for six months; and Susan Massarella, of Copake, who was on the 72nd floor of 1 World Trade Center working for the Port Authority when the plane hit the building.

Hudson welcomes new elementary associate principal

HUDSON – The Hudson City School District is pleased to welcome Dr. Trini Hernandez to its leadership team. Dr. Hernandez is a new associate principal at Montgomery C. Smith Elementary School.

Trini Hernandez. Photo contributed

Dr. Hernandez is a former Spanish teacher who also served as an assistant principal in Watervliet and the director of the Regional Bilingual Education Resource Network (RBERN) for Questar III BOCES.

“I had an opportunity to work with the district in my previous position as director of RBERN, and I fell in love with the collegiality and sense of community here after meeting some administrators and teachers,” said Dr. Hernandez in a press release.

“I was also attracted to the district because of the diverse student population,” she continued. “It was important to join a school where I could use my unique skill set, background and expertise.” Read more…

Hudson seeks Rescue funds to fix elementary gym

HUDSON—Gym repairs using federal pandemic Rescue funds, new teachers, new administrators and the search for a new superintendent dominated the Hudson City School District Board of Education meeting September 7.

District Business Administrator Jesse Boehme reported that the elementary school gym needs repairs, and the board agreed to use funds from the American Rescue Plan for them. The gym’s bleachers, padding, floors, and acoustic panels need patching or replacing and Mr. Boehme projected photos of some of the problems. The bleacher steps are losing their treads and that creates dangers, he noted, though the bleachers’ “internal working” remains okay. The gym’s last renovation occurred in 1997.

In addition, Mr. Boehme reported that school officials want to enhance the gym’s audiovisual capabilities for after school programs and other events. Read more…

Afghan businessman upbeat about new venture here

GHENT–There is a new owner of the Sunoco station/convenience store, renamed North Greenbush Logistics, LLC and located on Route 66, a few hundred feet north of where the highway intersects with Route 203 in Chatham. His name is Sayed Hashemi, age 36. He is from Afghanistan.

Sayed Hashemi. Photo by David Lee

Mr. Hashemi was the director of operations, for 12 years, for a contractor working with the U.S. Army and Special Forces. He was based in Kabul and says he was the point man on all matters regarding transportation for US forces in Afghanistan.

In 2017 he, his wife, Sara Ghafoori, 31, and their five children, now ages 6 to 13, left Afghanistan for the U.S. In August, they arrived in Albany, where the family settled in East Greenbush. Mr. Hashemi continued to work remotely for the U.S. government until August of this year, when he purchased the convenience store at 52 Hudson Avenue.

When first contacted by The Columbia Paper about being interviewed, he asked if he would be made famous by the publicity and might then be “kidnapped by terrorists, held hostage and killed?” After an awkward silence, light laughter filled the void. But a fear of being targeted by Taliban insurgents prompted the family to leave Kabul. “It’s a huge threat. We would be viewed as traitors” for working with the Americans, he said. Read more…

Iron Works engine will be tracks star

The Copake Iron Works locomotive, an early 20th century Plymouth gasoline switching engine is modified to look like a steam engine. Pictured (l-r) are FTSP Vice President Tom Ferguson, Taconic Region Park Commissioner Edgar Masters and FTSP President Jim Mackin. Photo by David Lee

COPAKE FALLS—They’ll be working on the railroad.

It has been quite a few years since there was an operational railroad in this hamlet, but the Friends of Taconic State Park (FTSP) is going to make it happen.

The construction of a 36-inch narrow-gauge railroad that will travel on an 800-foot loop and carry passengers by train in and around the Copake Iron Works, off State Route 344 at 35 Valley View Road, is part of the Friends’ grand plan to restore the 19th century industrial site inside the borders of the park and make it a historic educational destination.

FTSP President James Mackin and Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) Taconic Region Commissioner Edgar Masters came before the Copake Town Board September 9 to talk about the railroad project. Read more…

Covid tests results don’t disrupt ICC’s opening

KINDERHOOK—The Ichabod Crane Board of Education met Tuesday in the middle school cafeteria with board members and the public wearing masks and sitting socially distanced from each other. The board heard a report on the opening days of school last week and new Covid testing requirements from the state.

Students returned to the district for in-person classes, five days a week, on Tuesday, September 7.

“We had a great opening,” said School Superintendent Suzanne Guntlow.

Since opening day there have been five students who tested positive for Covid-19 and one staff member. Superintendent Guntlow said at the meeting on September 14 that the district was waiting to hear back on some other test results. Read more…