FilmColumbia, the 17th annual film festival of the Chatham Film Club, starts Saturday, October 22 and runs through Sunday, October 30, with films from around the world playing at the Crandell Theatre and two other venues in the village along with showings at the Hudson Opera House on Warren Street, Hudson. Above are one of the founders of the festival, Peter Biskind, now its executive and co-artistic director, and FilmColumbia Managing Director Calliope Nicholas at the concession stand in the lobby of the historic Crandell Theatre. Photo by David Lee

County’s ‘stress’ fades with sale of Pine Haven

HUDSON–The Columbia County Board of Supervisors received optimistic financial updates, approved the doubling of some county bus fares and authorized $7.3 million bonds for capital projects at that full board meeting Wednesday, October 12.

The county received a “free of fiscal stress” rating from the state Comptroller’s Fiscal Stress Monitoring System, which “creates a fiscal condition score” based on nine financial indicators, such as the county’s fund balance and cash-on-hand, according to a press release that Board Chairman Matt Murell (R-Stockport) made available at the meeting. The press release also indicated that, according to Mr. Murell, “Columbia County is enjoying its third year in a row with a modest surplus.” Read more…

Foreign flicks make for great fest… again

CHATHAM—The Sneak Preview (October 29) has sold out. The first-ever benefit party, with a high ticket price and a bevy of movie stars, has sold out too.

But the 17th annual FilmColumbia festival still offers some 49 films and at least two parties that have not sold out, events that beckon to the film buff and the mildly curious alike, from October 22 through October 30 in the Village of Chatham and in Hudson. Schedule and ticket information is at

Asked what most pleased him about this year’s festival, Peter Biskind, a founder of the festival and now its executive and co-artistic director, had a long list. Read more…

DA charges Agan with slaying wife to cover up alleged sex crimes

HUDSON–Accused murderer, David T. Agan, Jr., 43, of Valatie now faces a raft of new charges including rape and incest along with an upgraded murder charge—all presented in a 140-count superseding indictment, October 18.

Judge Richard Koweek presided over Mr. Agan’s arraignment in Columbia County Court, Tuesday afternoon.


David T. Agan, Jr., is pictured during an August court appearance. Photo by Lance Wheeler

Shackled and dressed in jail-issued stripes, Mr. Agan appeared with his two attorneys: Dennis B. Schlenker of Albany, who represents him on the new first degree murder charge, and Ian Crimmins of the Public Defender’s Office, who is Mr. Agan’s counsel on indictment counts 2 through 140. Read more…

Local knitters donate their work at Warm Up dinner

VALATIE – Thursday evening brought the 20th Annual Warm Up America dinner and presentation to the First Presbyterian Church. Warm Up America is a national organization that has been knitting and crocheting afghans for people in need since 1991. The Valatie Presbyterian Women established their local chapter 20 years ago.

Attending the October 6 dinner were representatives from each of the beneficiary organizations. They were Catholic Family Charities of Columbia and Greene Counties, Habitat for Humanity, Community Hospice, Domestic Violence of Columbia and Greene Counties, The Salvation Army, Capital City Rescue Mission and The Ronald McDonald House. The Hudson Day Care also received knitted things but a representative was unable to attend. Read more…

Bustling farmers’ market has plans to grow

HILLSDALE–The senior member of the Copake Hillsdale Farmers Market Steering Committee, Ron Bixby, reported this week to the Hillsdale Town Board on results of its customer survey.

The survey found that the market, which convenes at Roe Jan Park on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., attracts on average 500 people weekly. Mr. Bixby said the numbers jump to 1,000 on big holidays and drops to 300 after Labor Day.

Sixty percent are weekenders and 40% local residents of Hillsdale, Copake and other surrounding towns. Read more…