Students around county join national Walkout safety protest. Schools all over the county participated in the National School Walkout Wednesday, March 14. The public was not allowed on the Chatham School District’s grounds but pictured above is a gathering of community supporters on Woodbridge Avenue at the entrance to school property. According to Chatham High School Principal John Thorsen, the walkout would be allowed at the back of the building. Due to the snowy weather, Ichabod Crane and Hudson schools held the classroom walkout indoors. In Hudson, 21 students stood in front of the stage, each holding a poster, and seven students spoke. “We must not let this tragedy get swept under the rug,” said Noshin Tasnin, president of the Hudson’s freshman class. “We must put school safety into our own hands, by reaching out to those who are alone. That’s the first step—be the change.” Hudson senior Ian Vitellaro said, “Arguing doesn’t get anything done. Locally, we need to improve security in our school. Nationally, we need to be proactive, not reactive. Stop waiting for someone else to do something.” Several districts, including Germantown and Taconic Hills sent out notices saying cafeterias and auditoriums would open for the walkouts and a moment of silence for the victims of the school shooting in Parkland, FL. On the Taconic Hills’ website the administration said, “Students who participate in this planned event in a peaceful manner will not be subject to discipline.” (Hudson reporting by Debby Mayer and Jeanette Wolfberg) Photo by David Lee

Chatham seeks new bids for water tank

CHATHAM – The Village Board opened bids for construction of a water tank before their regular meeting March 8. Mayor Tom Curran said bids came in higher “than we excepted.”

The water storage tank would replace the village’s reservoir on High Street. In 2016, it was announced that the village received $484,930 in grant money and $323,287 in a low interest loan as part of the governor’s NYS Water Grants.

At last week’s meeting, Mayor Curran said the project was estimated to cost about $830,000 but that the bids–three for the tank and three for the electrical work–came to much more than anticipated when all the work was included. Read more…

Village puts new snow clearing policy on ice

CHATHAM–The Village of Chatham has had a law since 1989 requiring property owners to clear snow and ice from the sidewalks in front of their properties within 24 hours after a storm. It hasn’t been enforced in recent years and possibly never was–until last month.

Starting February 9 of this year the village mailed notices to 70 residents saying that because they had not cleared their sidewalks by the deadline following a storm the week before they were being charged for having the village clear the walk. Amounts varied from at least $75 (I received one for this amount) to $110 for a single clearing. The notice said payment was due in 30 days, adding, “If payment is not received, we will re-levy this amount to your taxes.”

“We got a lot of complaints,” Chatham Mayor Tom Curran told village residents who filled the seats at the Village Board meeting March 8, the evening before the payment deadline. “I feel like we could have done it better,” said the mayor, who apologized for the way the process was handled. Read more…

Principal implores board to find him a new role

HUDSON–The principal of the school slated to close in June asked the Board of Education this week to find a way for him to continue working for the Hudson City School District (HCSD).

The meeting Monday, March 12 also included discussion of lunchtime detention and a budget workshop focused on the tax levy.

The district will close the John L. Edwards Primary School (JLE) this June. In September its grades–pre-kindergarten through first–will move to the Montgomery C. Smith School, which currently has 2nd through 5th grades. Read more…

In Copake, clean-up day gets pickier

COPAKE—As we once again strain to heave weighty shovelfuls of snow out of the driveway thanks to the third nor’easter in as many weeks—probably the last thing on our minds is spring clean-up day.

But the subject was a topic of discussion at the Copake Town Board’s March 8 meeting.

Town Supervisor Jeff Nayer said the town’s annual clean-up day started out with “good intentions” but is now getting out of hand. Read more…

Amtrak wants a wall

GERMANTOWN—Amtrak has proposed a “fencing project” along its Right of Way at the Hudson River, from Rhinebeck to Stuyvesant. The railroad cites safety concerns as the reason for the fence, but Germantown and possibly other communities that border the river are concerned that the plan will block access for recreation, fishing and fire protection and rescue.

The progress of the fence plan involves the Dutchess County communities of Rhinebeck and Tivoli, which already have Local Waterfront Revitalization Programs (LWRPs) in place, so the proposal has to go through a federal consistency review with the state Coastal Management Program and the LWRPs.

It was Tivoli officials who received the Amtrak proposal and shared it with the Germantown Local Waterfront Study Committee. Read more…