She made a beeline to the feline. One of the many exhibitors at the annual Copake Falls Day Saturday, August 20, was the feline fostering, rescue and “re-homing” group known as Collaborative Cats of Columbia County. Four year-old Serena Bordas was drawn to one of the kittens and the attraction appears to be mutual. The day included a 5k run, a lecture by Landscape Artist Thomas Rainer, crafts and building projects for kids, a tour of the Iron Works and a performance by Jazz Vespers at the Church of St. John in the Wilderness. Photo by David Lee

Chatham says deputies are for safety, not cash

CHATHAM–The Town Board made a motion at the meeting last week to hire the county Sheriff’s office to conduct the “enhanced patrol” program to stop speeders and other traffic violators on town roads for the rest of this year. The town will pay the Sheriff’s office an hourly rate to add patrols to the local roads.

Councilwoman Landra Haber said at the August 18 meeting that she supported the program because of speeding in the town. “I truly believe in good enforcement of traffic laws,” she said.

There had been discussion at a Town Board meeting in July that having deputies add patrols could also boost revenues for the town, which has been facing a deficit in the 2016 budget. Read more…

Cascino jailed…again

HUDSON—Salvatore Cascino is back behind bars.

In Columbia County Supreme Court, Friday, August 26, Mr. Cascino once again failed to provide proof that he had complied with court orders.

But this time there was no reprieve.

In a matter of minutes Mr. Cascino was outfitted with a pair of shiny handcuffs and escorted off to the Columbia County Jail by Sheriff’s deputies. Read more…

Cynthia Creech practices low impact farming in New Leb

WHEN EVERETT RANDALL, a farmer from Sunderland, Vermont, died, nearly all of his family’s breed of Randall cattle went with him. The versatility of the Randall breed reflects the older way of subsistence farming in which they were bred. They are hearty, can handle diverse pasture–enjoying “weeds” alongside grass–raise healthy calves, and yield quality milk and meat.

Cynthia Creech read an article in the Small Farmer’s Journal about the endangered breed 30 years ago. “It was just love at first sight cause they’re so incredibly beautiful and unusual,” she said in a recent interview. But there was a real possibility that the breed could be lost to American agriculture forever. So Ms. Creech, inexperienced but inspired, decided to buy the cows. A self-described “city kid” originally from Tennessee, she was living in Knoxville and working as a judicial assistant to a federal judge. “I made a lotta money and had a lotta power,” she says. And though Ms. Creech and her mother had at one point lived on eight acres, keeping a horse and a few cows, that did not prepare her for the delivery she was about to receive. Read more…

Where there’s smoke, will firefighters follow?

County looks for ways to maintain volunteer system

ANCRAM—Volunteer firefighters have sounded the alarm about their declining numbers.

They are also on the frontline in search of solutions.

Earlier this month, Ancram Fire Chief David Boice and Copake Fire Chief David Proper, each of whom have dedicated 30+ years to their local fire companies, organized a meeting of fire and town officials in the Battalion 3 zone to discuss the future of the fire service at the Ancram Town Hall.

Battalion 3 is made up of the Hillsdale, Craryville, Copake, Ancram, Taghkanic and Churchtown fire companies. Read more…

Remains of WWII Marine casualty George Traver return to Chatham

Reprinted with permission from the Times Union

CHATHAM–After nearly 73 years the remains of U.S. Marine Corps Pfc. George H. Traver of Chatham, who was killed in combat in the Pacific during World War II, are finally coming home.

His bones were located with the assistance of ground-penetrating radar, a dog specially trained to find human remains and volunteer searchers with History Flight, an organization committed to finding, recovering and repatriating 84,000 missing service members from America’s wars of the 20th century.

Pfc. Traver was 25 years old when he was killed on November 20, 1943, on Betio Island in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands. It was the first American offensive against Japanese forces in the strategic central Pacific region. Read more…