Tasteful homes sell like hotcakes. Jed Sierck (l) and Declan Duffy hold up one of the 62 gingerbread houses auctioned off by Bruce Frishkoff (holding microphone) to benefit for Hawthorne Valley School at the annual Yuletide Fair on Saturday, December 3. Many of the houses were donated after auction to places where they might bring some holiday cheer. “The Bartlett House” was donated to Camphill Ghent, where it can be displayed for the season. Event organizer Jason Duffy encouraged people to consider contacting him next year if they have an interest in having a gingerbread house for their hospital, nursing home or non-profit establishment. “The pizza oven,” made by Sara Stosiek and Iyere McAlice, was the grand prize winner. “The lantern,” by Dorthee Leifer, brought the top bid for the day of $250. Photo by David Lee

Head count drops at ICC

Families leaving district seen as a cause

KINDERHOOK–Ichabod Crane Superintendent George Zini told the Board of Education this week that enrollment in district schools is down to 1,787 this year. Last year’s enrollment in the county’s second largest school district was 1,849.

He told the board at the December 6 meeting that enrollment in the district is still consistent with the study done by Dr. Paul Seversky in 2009. The study, which has been updated over the years, shows that the district would face decreasing enrollment over the decade.

Mr. Zini pointed out the numbers for private school and homeschooled students in the district remained basically the same, with 78 students attending private schools and 33 homeschooled this year. He also said that there has normally been an increase in ninth grade enrollment in the public school when students come back to the district from private schools. Read more…

Korean War vets group disbands

HUDSON–Chapter 283, Columbia County Korean War Veterans has disbanded due to a decline in membership. The announcement was made in a release from the group.

The release said that Commander Bill Wood thanked Commander Vince Grimaldi and the members of Columbia County VFW Post 1314 for the use of the post to hold its meetings. Chapter 283 has been active over the past 15 years to keep alive the memory of the “Forgotten War” from 1950 to 1953. Read more…

Iron Works designated National Heritage Area

COPAKE FALLS–Friends of Taconic State Park has announced that the Copake Iron Works historic site in Taconic State Park has been designated a Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area Site. The recognition, awarded through the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area in partnership with the National Park Service, recognizes the Copake Iron Works as a nationally significant cultural and natural resource of the Hudson River Valley.

With the designation, the Copake Iron Works joins about 100 other historic places, including Olana State Historic Site, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, and the Walkway Over the Hudson. Read more…

Hillsdale adopts $1.6M budget for 2017

HILLSDALE–The Town Board has unanimously approved a $1.6-million budget for 2017 including general and highway funds appropriations. Spending in the budget for the upcoming year is $118,167 less than in the current budget. Councilmember Carmen Barbato was absent from the November 8 meeting.

The council also unanimously approved a resolution to transfer up to $80,000 from the general fund to the highway fund for the purchase of specialized machinery and its storage.

Town Supervisor Peter Cipkowski announced that the winning bid for the sidewalks project is Callanan Industries in Schenectady at $796,531, which is almost $7,000 less than the project’s estimated cost of $803,492. The winning bid has been reviewed and approved by the town’s engineering company, GPI. The bid is now subject to review by the state Department of Transportation. Read more…

After salary cuts, four on Chatham Zoning Board resign

CHATHAM–Four members of the town Zoning Board of Appeals have resigned from the board, leaving only two members on the seven-person board.

Supervisor Maria Lull asked Town Clerk Beth Anne Rippel to advertise the positions and to seek candidates for a volunteer town historian at a special meeting on Monday night, November 28.

The purpose of the special meeting was to pass a local law allowing the town to list funds for the North Chatham Library separately from the rest of the town budget on town tax bills. There is no change to how the town funds the library through taxes, just the way it is presented to taxpayers. Read more…