EDITORIAL: Why so brief?

UH OH… you took it literally. The September 28 editorial urged readers to exercise your right to vote, even though the races this year are for local offices. Way down at the bottom the editorial also said, “Send us letters.” You’ve responded to that with more letters than we’ve ever received before–almost all of them about next month’s the election.

Besides the ones already published and those in this issue, there were 35 letters waiting to be processed as of last night, and we still have nearly three weeks and two more issues besides this one before we reach Election Day, November 7. Read more…

EDITORIAL: Let’s have a ConCon

RUSSIANS AREN’T INTERESTED in us anymore. Before last year’s election Russian visits to our website comprised the second largest source of traffic after English language sites. Now? Nikto.

There’s no way to know what they wanted or whether they are got it. But we do know The Columbia Paper was not alone in experiencing this unexpected interest from Russian speakers. At least one other newspaper in this region reported a similar pattern when we inquired.

Since then Facebook and Google have acknowledged they sold presidential campaign ads to buyers associated with Russian government interests. And Facebook has found at least one phony account that served up political disinformation. That’s creepy. Read more…

EDITORIAL: What are the odds?

THE OFFICE DOOR was propped open Tuesday afternoon to catch the warm breeze. Route 66 traffic buzzed by. I heard the raggedy muffler first, caught a glimpse of a dark colored compact southbound, heard a young man yell something, then the Pop-Pop-Pop of small explosions. I sat upright in my chair, looked around, for what? Bullet holes?

It took a minute to adjust: firecrackers. The dog and I went out to check. The telltale red paper wrapping fluttered on the sidewalk. A prank pulled when nobody was nearby. The guys who did it got their hoped-for overreaction in the wake of the news, this time from Las Vegas.

These guys had their laugh at a time when grownups were hoping we didn’t have relatives or friends murdered in Sunday’s massacre. When we were thinking as well that anybody can be a target. It’s a matter of the odds. Read more…

EDITORIAL: What’s on your mind?

DID YOU KNOW that there’s an election six weeks from now? Have you made plans to vote? This is not a test. Or is it.

On November 7 registered voters in Columbia County will help elect a state Supreme Court judge for this judicial district plus a county sheriff and one of the county’s three coroners. Depending on the community where you’re registered, you will also elect municipal officials, a list that might include a supervisor, a town clerk, a Town Board member or two, and maybe a justice or a highway superintendent.

Hudson voters will choose a mayor, a Common Council president and city treasurer. Each of the five wards in the county’s only city will also select someone to sit on the county Board of Supervisors. Read more…

EDITORIAL: Can county stem opioid abuse?

LOCAL OFFICIALS CALL OPIOID ABUSE in Columbia County an “epidemic.” That’s a metaphor–as far as we know, addiction is not a microbe spread by contact or exposure to the bodily fluids of others already infected.

But epidemic is a useful word. Epidemics are scary. They can sicken us, sometimes fatally. In our case the notion of an epidemic is meant to get us mobilized to respond.

That’s the goal of the county Board of Supervisors as outlined in the board’s Columbia County Opioid Epidemic Response Plan. The supervisors adopted the plan in April and now a subcommittee created by the board that includes the district attorney, the sheriff, private social services and heads of the relevant county agencies is visiting communities around the county trying to sell the plan. Read more…