Hard to tell if a dog’s impressed by being blessed. Pastor Darienne Gagne (standing) officiated at a blessing of the animals at the North Chatham United Methodist Church Saturday evening, July 16. Lola the bulldog and her humans sit for Pastor Gagne’s blessing. Dr. Christopher Southard of Kinderhook Animal Hospital was also on hand to offer microchip services to pet owners. Photo by Siobhan Connally

Public invited to scoping session for G’town Dollar store

GERMANTOWN—The town Planning Board holds a public scoping session on the Draft Scoping Document (DSD) for the Dollar General retail store proposed for Route 9G just north of County Route 8/Main Street. The session takes place Thursday, July 28 at 7 p.m. in the Kellner Activities Building on Palatine Park Road. Written and oral comments will be accepted at that time.

As the designated lead agency under the State Environmental Quality Review Act, the Planning Board is reviewing site plan and subdivision applications from Primax Properties for the proposed Dollar General store. The board is requiring Primax to prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed project. The public scoping process determines the issues the draft impact statement will address. Read more…

Phyllis Hulbert advocates for seniors in New Leb

NEW LEBANON–Before working with the senior population, Phyllis Hulbert drove the bus for the New Lebanon school district for 37 years. When Ms. Hulbert’s home was damaged in a fire, the kids on her bus route came to her house to help repair the damage, a local church donated money and the high school had a basketball game to benefit her family. “That was basically my beginning of doing stuff for people,” she says.

Ms. Hulbert, 69, has been working for the county Office for the Aging for a year. The agency works to connect seniors with a host of services to improve quality of life and independence. According to 2015 census data, 21% of Columbia county residents are 65 or older, representing a significant need in communities here.

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Phyllis Hulbert, above, cuddling her dog, recently received her second certificate from state Senator Kathy Marchione (R-43rd), honoring the work she does for New Lebanon’s seniors. Photo by Ellyn Gados

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Hudson school board taps Otty for president

HUDSON–The Board of Education at its annual organization meeting July 6 selected its officers and made the following committee assignments for the 2016-17 school year:

President: Carrie Otty

Vice President: Maria McLaughlin

Audit Committee: Sage Marie Carter, David Kisselburgh, Sumayyah Shabazz Read more…

NL board weighs code changes for solar panels, signs

NEW LEBANON–Town Supervisor Colleen Teal has proposed amending town law to allow the town to regulate solar panels, signs and industrial zoning throughout New Lebanon.

She said at the July 12 Town Board meeting that town needs to define how to assess and tax solar panels, including those used on private homes as well as in commercial “solar farm” operations. State currently offers a 15-year tax exemption for solar panels.

Town Attorney Dan Tuczinski proposed using a pilot (payment in lieu of tax) agreement for commercial solar operations. Currently there no such large solar arrays in New Lebanon, but Mr. Tuczinski advised the board, “Some of these solar farms are huge,” adding, “Do we want to allow them, if so where do we want to allow them?” Read more…

Chris Gibson endorses John Faso in House race

Reprinted with permission from the Times Union

KINDERHOOK — In 1986, John Faso gave Congress Chris Gibson (R – 19th) his first job out of college as a proofreader with the Legislative Bill Drafting Commission.

On Monday, July 18, Mr. Gibson returned the favor by endorsing Faso for his seat in the House of Representatives.

“I believe that when the voters of this district get to know John Faso the way that I’ve come to know him over the last three decades, they’re going to support him,” Mr. Gibson said outside his home in Kinderhook — a stone’s throw from where Mr. Faso lives in the village. Read more…