EDITORIAL: This won’t take long

PLEASE PUT THE FOLLOWING NOTE on your calendar, preferably the one you use. We are taking a day off August 26. We will publish what we lovingly call a “double issue” on August 19. It will be marked on the front page “Issue 33-34.”

We’ll resume our regularweekly schedule September 2. For those who are keeping score, that will be Issue 35.

We know that many of you are busy people or have things on your mind more important than remembering this notice of a temporary ripple in our regular publication schedule. You many not get the time to read this editorial or you may be distracted by the shock that summer has gone by so fast! So we’ll print reminders in the paper as we get nearer to the date. Read more…

EDITORIAL: Slower is not better

WHEN DID THIS ISSUE ARRIVE in your mailbox? We should be asking that question on a regular basis. But plans to measure and track deliveries get shunted aside in favor of finishing the current issue and starting to assemble next week’s paper.

But we do stop and pay attention whenever a subscriber reports that papers are arriving days late or not at all. We check our records and talk with the paperless subscriber. Sometimes there are real mysteries involving out-of-state post offices where strange creatures gobble up copies of The Columbia Paper at night and then disappear. Other times, we suggest the subscriber have a conversation with the local postmaster. When that happens deliveries miraculously resume. And now and then we confront threats to subscriptions that can’t be resolved with common sense and good will.

This paper is printed early Thursday mornings in Pittsfield, Mass. We haul them to our office in Ghent, label all the copies that go to subscribers and drivers deliver them to all 33 post offices in Columbia County. The post office staff take over from there and they do a fantastic job. We literally could not publish this newspaper without the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). But that could change if plans announced by the postmaster general take effect. Read more…

EDITORIAL: Looking for a rescue

FOR MANY, LAST YEAR’S LOCKDOWN squeezed the dimensions of the world into a home, a car and a video screen. That ignores a presidential election and personal milestones. But you get the point. The pandemic lingers and yet the switch has been set to the “On” position. Now, suddenly, it feels like way too much is happening.

We can recite the big issues by heart though few of us have enough memory cells to keep track of all the threats. And who’s counting, anyway? Probably only those who depend on others—government programs, charities and us, their neighbors—to see them through to better times or just to make it to the week ahead. But while there are many acts of generosity there are also times when the need is great but the donors are tapped out. What then?

Two weeks ago Diane Valden reported on the Ancramdale Neighbors Helping Neighbors Association in the Town of Ancram. One of the projects of that volunteer organization is to pick up a ton, literally, of food each week in Albany and haul it to the association’s food pantry at an Ancramdale church. Right now it’s feeding 90 people. Read more…

EDITORIAL: What have we learned?

LAST WE HEARD, State Police were still investigating the accident that took the life of Valatie business owner Joan Archer. She was struck by an SUV in a pedestrian crosswalk in the village June 14. She died after being transported to Albany Medical Center. She was 77.

There wasn’t any obvious reason why this happened. The weather was not a factor. It was noon on a Monday. The crosswalk is at the intersection of Church Street and Main. It runs parallel to Main Street, and for all purposes it’s an extension of the Main Street sidewalk where it meets Church Street. Ms. Archer’s shop was on Main Street. People who knew her say she walked everywhere she went in the village.

The lines on the crosswalk were recently repainted, according to Valatie Mayor Frank Bevens. Read more…

EDITORIAL: Going down?

ONCE, IT WAS STEEPLES that defined the human contribution to the Hudson city skyline. They poked toward Heaven and not coincidentally advertised the relative wealth of the worshipers below.

The steeples remain, but like the mills and other factories of that time, their prominence was eclipsed in the 20th century by what’s now called Columbia Memorial Health—the hospital that sits on a ridge above the east end of the city. The hospital proclaimed the power of science and progress.

But by the 1970s even the Columbia Memorial’s height advantage couldn’t disguise an even bigger structure: Bliss Towers, a nine-story apartment building at the west end of the city, with 120 units and another 15 units in three standalone, two-story structures. Bliss Towers is the only object of its kind in the city when you consider its sheer bulk and its design, or lack of it. Despite its size, the exterior of Bliss gives no hint of the historic city that surrounds it. Read more…