Hail to the hometown chief-who-was. Waving his top hat to the assembly at Village Square in Kinderhook Saturday, August 13, the 8th President of United States, Martin Van Buren (as played by Doug McGivney), climbs out of his carriage. The homecoming event, recreating his return to the county 175 years ago, started at the Stuyvesant Landing where Mr. McGivney, as Van Buren, and Peter Bujanow, as then Secretary of War Benjamin Butler, a Stuyvesant native, stepped off a pontoon craft dressed as the steamboat “Albany.” They then made their way to the Village of Kinderhook to be greeted by then village Mayor Mordecai Myers, played by Mark Leinung. Photo by David Lee

Chatham trims bigger bill for popular street fair

CHATHAM–The Village Board and CABA (Chatham Area Business Alliance) had a long discussion at last week’s board meeting about a bill for village services for Summerfest, the annual July street fair sponsored by CABA.

CABA President Tom Chulak said at the August 11 meeting that for the first time this year CABA created an Event Committee to organize Summerfest. The committee got sponsorships for the event and spent more money on advertising to attract what he said was between 1,000 and 2,000 visitors to the event.

“As we are changing, our relationship with the village is changing,” he said. Read more…

Opioid crisis gathering draws crowd in K’hook

VALATIE–The Town of Kinderhook courtroom was standing room only during a meeting last week about the heroin use and recent deaths from overdoses.

Town Councilwoman Patsy Leader, who said at recent Town Board meeting that there have been several overdoses in the town and at least four deaths from drug use, put together the meeting. Among those attending were State Police, county Sheriff David Bartlett, Executive Director of Twin County Recovery Services Beth Schuster and Senior Prevention Educator for Catholic Charities Mary Minahan.

In the audience were several Valatie Village and Kinderhook town residents along with Chatham Village Police Chief Paul Volkmann and Stephanie Campbell, director of policy for the Friends of Recovery, as well as other people involved in recovery groups. Read more…

Ichabod Crane District has jobs at the top to fill

KINDERHOOK–Ichabod Crane Board of Education Vice President John Chandler submitted a letter of resignation last week, effective immediately. The remaining board members decided at a meeting this week to appoint a new member to Mr. Chandler’s seat. His term is scheduled to expire in June 2017.

The board is asking district residents to submit letters of interest to the district clerk. The board will meet with candidates in September. The newly appointed board member will serve until the annual school board election and budget vote in May 2017 and would be able to seek election to a full term.

“Anybody can express an interest in the board,” Board President Anthony Welcome said at the August 16 meeting of people interested in applying for the open seat. Read more…

Lakeside dwellers wary of plan for easier access

COPAKE—A proposal to create a small opening in the guardrail at the southeast end of Copake Lake has stirred up some big opposition.

While the proposal was meant to improve access to the lake, critics say such a passage way will open the floodgates of invasive species, trash, human waste and ruin business for local marinas.

Town Councilman Stanley “Stosh” Gansowski introduced the idea of making an opening in the guardrail at the July 14 Town Board meeting, saying he had received “a number of requests” from residents seeking easier access to the lake from the small public access parking area at the Lakeview Road/County Route 7 corner. Read more…

Jurors finds four guilty of child sex abuse

HUDSON—The trial of four people accused of multiple crimes involving child sexual abuse ended last week in County Court with all four found guilty.

Goliath Van Alphen of Claverack, Jeanine Wendover Van Alphen-Moot of Hillsdale, Eugene Shackleton of Copake and William Wendover III of Cairo were convicted of abusing four children all of whom were related to the defendants. The abuse took place on a range of dates beginning in 2009 and ending when the children were removed in February of 2011 by Child Protective Services.

Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka said in his opening statement July 29 that each of the victims was under 11 years of age when the crimes took place. The list of charges included aggravated sexual abuse and predatory sexual assault against a child. Read more…