Safe steps mark way to food for holiday

The Roe Jan Food Pantry Thanksgiving food distribution was Saturday, November 21 at the Hillsdale firehouse. This year recipients had to pack their own boxes, wear masks and have their temperatures taken. Elwin Moore said 144 families signed up—a total of 692 individuals—about the same as in the previous few years. Stewart’s donated milk, Big Y provided bread and baked goods. Groceries were purchased from IGA. Above, Betty White (r) arranged canned goods for pick up. Photo by David Lee

Construction starts on Craryville store

Earth-moving is going on at the site of a new gas station/convenience store in Craryville. Photo by David Lee

CRARYVILLE—Work has begun at the northwest corner of the four-way intersection of state Route 23, county Route 7 and Craryville Road in Craryville, for a 3,240 square-foot convenience store and six-fueling-nozzle gas station on a 1.7-acre parcel between the Craryville Post Office and the Craryville United Methodist Church.

GRJH, the site owner and project applicant had to first clean up an old kerosene spill at the site before construction of the gas station/convenience store could go forward. The project was under review by the Copake Planning Board for two and a half years before it was approved. An Article 78 lawsuit to overturn the board’s approval, filed by Save Craryville, a community coalition opposed to the project, was dismissed.

On the site last week, Island Pump and Tank of Wappingers Falls dug holes for the underground fuel tanks. According to Island Pump and Tank Project Manager Robert Nedwick, their part of the work should be finished in about eight weeks. The station will be operated by Gulf. On site and representing the owner GRJH, Inc., Alicia Metz said that a schedule is entirely weather dependent, but work will continue through the winter.

Hudson schools adjust to limits of ‘new normal’

HUDSON—Ongoing adjustments to the changed world dominated the Hudson City School District Board of Education meeting November 17.

The meeting began with a curriculum workshop for the Junior High School, which has grades 6-8. Teachers Thomas Super and Susan Voellm demonstrated a video math lesson. Principal Derek Reardon presented the results of a survey of 7th graders, in which 48% of respondents said they were learning about the same “during remote lessons compared to regular school”; 34% said they were learning less; and 18% said they were learning more.

Mr. Reardon, who is also district athletic director, announced that the only winter sports that can start practice December 14 are bowling and swimming. The state allows “low to moderate risk sports.” Read more…

Is it art? ZBA would decide

KINDERHOOK—At one point 71 people attended the Village Board meeting Wednesday, November 18, held online on Zoom. The two issues that brought many residents to the meeting both had to do with village code enforcement.

Many people were there to hear about the issue with the Jack Shainman Gallery: The School on Broad Street that has new exhibit by artist Nick Cave that includes words written across the building’s facade in large black letters: “Truth Be Told.” Earlier this fall the village’s Code Enforcement Officer Peter Bujanow denied approval for the plans to put the vinyl material used to spell out the words on the building and now the owner of the gallery, Jack Shainman, and his lawyer, William Better, must go to the village Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) to appeal the denial.

The School gallery matter was the subject of a recent New York Times article, and Village Attorney Rob Fitzsimmons reviewed the history of the building with the residents at the meeting. He said that when Mr. Shainman bought the building from the Ichabod Crane School District in 2012, the two-story brick former school was designated a cultural facility and Mr. Shainman had to come to the village code enforcement officer (CEO) for review of any changes to the outside of the building. In 2014 and 2015 Mr. Shainman received variances from former village CEO Glen Smith for banners on the building and artwork on the lawn. Read more…

Ancram embraces solar offer

ANCRAM—Residents and businesses in town now have a chance to save money on their electric bills while saving the planet.

Anyone who has ever considered switching to solar energy to power their homes or businesses can do it now—with no solar panels in sight or installation costs.

At the Ancram Town Board’s November 19 meeting via Zoom, Jill Henck, clean energy coordinator from the Capital District Regional Planning Commission, and Alex Goldfarb from company called Solstice, delivered a presentation about “solarizing” Ancram. Read more…

Some presidents wear masks

On Saturday, November 14 members of the Garden Club of Kinderhook undertook the task of cleaning the garden in the village center next to the gazebo and under the watchful eye of President Martin Van Buren, the 8th president of the United States. He was a Kinderhook native whose 238th birthday will be celebrated December 5 at his gravesite on Albany Avenue in the village. Geraldine Smith picked up the leaves from the sidewalk and shrubbery around the Van Buren Statue with fellow volunteers Sandi Van Alstyne and Betsy Seeley. The garden that was being cleaned is the Mary Elizabeth “Betty” Fisher Memorial Garden, dedicated in 1994. Photo by David Lee