EDITORIAL: Kinderhook sewer line makes sense

A SHOW OF HANDS, please: what part of Kinderhook village wants to host a sewage treatment plant for the community? Oh, c’mon. It’ll look just like a miniature early American homestead… that gurgles.

No takers? Count your blessings if you live in the village, because you don’t have to make this tough choice. You don’t need your own sewage treatment plant. Not yet, anyway. Read more…

EDITORIAL: Thinking big was a big mistake

JUST WHEN YOU THINK big government has gone off the deep end, ignoring the public and rejecting common sense, somebody somewhere on the inside wakes up and says, hey, wait a minute, maybe we’re on the wrong track here. Mostly this happens in movies for pre-schoolers, but it can happen in real life too.

Skim this paragraph if you’ve followed the tale of the Big Bad DOT versus the plucky little Village of Chatham. But for those who missed it, our story began once upon a time not so long ago when the state Department of Transportation and the railroad company CSX concluded that the intersection of Main Street and state Route 295 at the heart of the community was too dangerous. The state had just spent a whole lot of money trying to improve the intersection, but CSX employees got worried because drivers were stopping on the tracks while waiting to turn from Main Street onto Route 295.

Read more…

EDITORIAL: The tale of a trail

THE VIEW FROM THIS OFFICE looks out on the railroad where trains first chugged past 160 years ago. The line originated in Manhattan and reached to Chatham, with connections to Boston, Albany or Vermont. Our building was once the Ghent Post Office, and a lot of letters over the years must have arrived with a film of coal dust.

Rotting railroad ties stick out here and there along the rail bed, and the brush hides derelict concrete objects that only a diehard rail buff could explain. But it’s not this industrial age archeology that stands out anymore. It’s the quiet. The woods close in quickly, broken by the occasional house or odd collection of debris.  Because it’s been so warm recently, you have to share the woods these days with ticks. Take care to protect yourself from those micro-vampires. And keep an eye out for the unexpected ATV or other small motor vehicles buzzing by. Read more…

EDITORIAL: Barrett for Assembly in 103rd

THOSE WHO LIVE in the 103rd Assembly District may know there’s a special election coming up this Tuesday, March 20. The polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and there’s only one contest on the ballot: the choice between two candidates running to fill the vacant Assembly seat: Didi Barrett on the Democratic and Working Families lines and Richard C. Wager on the Republican, Conservative and Independence Party lines.

Marcus Molinaro was the state assemblyman for the district until the end of last year. He was elected Dutchess County executive last fall and he left his state office with a year remaining in his term. The person elected to fill his seat will serve until the end of this year; to continue beyond then will require winning the general election this fall. Read more…

EDITORIAL: Villagers vote for their future

IF YOU LIVE in a village and are registered to vote, next Tuesday, March 20 is a big day for you. Between noon and 9 p.m. you can pick which of your neighbors decides what you’ll pay in village taxes and what you’ll get–other than a flush of civic pride–for this reduction of your bank account.

Chatham, Kinderhook, Philmont and Valatie all have elections. Only the candidates in Valatie are running unopposed. But that’s not an absolute assurance of victory. The law allows write-ins, so you can’t know until the votes are counted whether someone with a lot of relatives over the age of 18 has staged an upset. Read more…