Ice fishing derby goes ahead as scheduled. According to Al Meier, organizer of the 12th annual Chatham Lions Club Ice Fishing Derby which took place on Sunday, January 31, 84 people registered for the event. The weather was relatively balmy and the ice had a sufficient 6-8″ thickness. Two weeks ago they were uncertain about whether to postpone, but conditions improved and the word got out that the derby would go ahead.The Canaan Conservation Club’s Queechy Lake Ice Fishing Derby is usually held on the weekend following the Chatham Lions event but they have postponed their event to Saturday, February 20. Photo by David Lee

Key Bank to leave Philmont

PHILMONT–Key Bank is closing its branch in Philmont April 29 but another bank has already expressed interest in opening a branch in the village.

Therese Myers, a press contact from Key Bank, said Tuesday, February 2, that the branch will be “consolidating” with the Hudson Branch in the Fairview Plaza. Residents with accounts at Key Bank recently received letters about the closing. Read more…

G’town fire district research plan douses spending speculation

GERMANTOWN—Word on the street here was that the Board of Fire Commissioners for Germantown Hose Company No. 1—the town’s only fire company—was looking to spend a lot of money on new trucks and a computer system. This came up at the January 19 Town Board meeting and was overheard at the January 21 meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Roy Brown, chairman of the Fire Commissioners, nixed the rumor. “We’re not running out and buying equipment,” he said last week. “We have formed a committee,” he said, consisting of two commissioners, two chiefs and two fire company members. The committee is looking at “all the equipment we currently have and will put together a comprehensive truck and equipment purchase plan for the next 10 to 20 years.” Read more…

Cascino files bulge as court action stalls

COPAKE—It’s a vicious circle.

The many pending court cases against Salvatore Cascino keep on spinning, yet seem no closer to resolution than when Mr. Cascino first dumped his way onto the local radar nearly two decades ago.

Mr. Cascino, 76, of Larchmont, a village in the Town of Mamaroneck, Westchester County, owns a 300-acre property along the east side of Route 22. He calls the place Copake Valley Farm and for the past 18 years he has been racking up violations of federal, state and town laws for illegal dumping, building and excavating there.

A convicted felon and serial scofflaw, Mr. Cascino was found guilty of both civil and criminal contempt in 2009. He also pleaded guilty to one count of felony second degree offering a false instrument on behalf of his corporations as part of a plea deal in Albany County Supreme Court in June 2012. Read more…

Teachers make their presence known

As ICC contract talks continue, union attends board meeting

KINDERHOOK–About 100 district teachers, teaching assistants and other employees filled several rows of the Ichabod Crane High School auditorium for Tuesday night’s school board meeting. The district is negotiating with the teachers’ union for a new contract, but when Karen Vecellio, the Teachers Association president, spoke during the public comment section of the meeting, she did not mention the contract.

Instead, she described what district teachers do for their students without compensation.

Ms. Vecellio said at the February 2 meeting that she understood the difficult position the board is in as it puts together the 2016-17 school year budget in this challenging fiscal climate. Read more…

Downsize plan’s costs and impacts elicit mixed response

HUDSON–“We moved to Hudson with two small children in August, and one of Hudson’s most attractive features is a small, secure school, with all the little kids together, in the center of town,” Clare Rocha told a “community conversation” January 20. The topic was the Hudson City School District’s proposed $20-million Capital Project, which goes before voters in the district February 9.

Ms. Rocha was talking about the John L. Edwards Primary School. “Proximity-wise, it makes sense. One reason we bought a house here is to support a public school system we believe in,” she said. “How can you shutter a functional school?” Read more…