EDITORIAL: See you at the fair

CALL THIS AN UNPAID advertisement or boosterism, cheerleading, blatant self-promotion or in-your-face marketing. However you look at it, I guarantee with absolute certainty that each and every one of you will have the time of your life — a never-to-be-forgotten, simply amazing experience — at the 171st annual Columbia County Fair.

And if for any reason you don’t go home entranced by this panorama of pleasures, let me assure you that the problem was not the fair. Oh no, my friends, the problem is that you needed to stay longer and see more. Think about it: You’ve already missed a day or two as you’re reading these very words! What are you waiting for? Read more…

EDITORIAL: How will we clean up the Hudson?

FOR THOSE WHO didn’t grow up near the Hudson River in the middle part of the last century, here are two things I learned as a teenager about that most prominent of local waterways: it can make you go wherever it wants even if you didn’t plan to go there, and it was very, very dirty.

I learned about both those attributes firsthand 50 years ago when my cousin convinced me we should launch my eight-foot-long, wooden sailboat for its maiden voyage from the Poughkeepsie ramp. It was late one afternoon about this time of year. There wasn’t much of a breeze, and we didn’t have a motor, just an oar (that’s right, one oar). As we left shore the wind died. I figured we’d drift downriver, and we did drift, but upriver and a quite a good clip. The Hudson is an estuary, an arm of the Atlantic Ocean. The tide was coming in and we were being drawn to the center channel of a mile-wide the river heading straight to Albany.

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EDITORIAL: Is this what justice is about?

YEARS AGO AND far from here, a neighbor showed up one night at our door in tears. She said she’d been attacked by her companion. He was armed, she said, and she feared he would pursue her and her young daughter. She called the police and they arrested the guy.

I heard later that what upset her abuser was not that the police came for him but that they didn’t heed his demand to go before a particular town justice in our town. Instead, troopers brought him to court in a neighboring community to be arraigned before a complete stranger, someone the abuser had never done business with. The abuser was incensed: in his view, he had been denied his “rights” to special treatment.

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EDITORIAL: Looking out for North Bay

AS DEADLINES GO, 2026 seems pretty far off. A kid born today will probably be starting his or her sophomore year in high school that fall, assuming we still have schools. If students do occupy local classrooms 15 years from now, maybe some will discuss the science, politics and economics of the Hudson dump.

I didn’t have this date marked on my calendar, but it came up this week with the release of a document called a “Concept Master Plan” for the Hudson North Bay Recreation and Natural Area. The plan, which runs over 30 pages plus 20 pages of maps and charts and a CD with much more data, was prepared by the Columbia Land Conservancy. It’s an ambitious set of ideas for opening trails through about 117 acres at the northwest side of the City of Hudson. Read more…

EDITORIAL: A man with a vision

NO POLITICIAN I KNOW wants to take on Albert Wassenhove. When there’s some public purpose he wants to accomplish, he turns into a kind of non-violent Terminator. He’ll be back, and back again and back…

A couple of years ago, Mr. Wassenhove, a Philmont resident who’s seldom at a loss for words, became concerned when he learned that the county was considering a plan to close the Pine Haven nursing home in the village and transfer residents to a private facility proposed for Valatie. As it turned out, plenty of people agreed with him. But popular support doesn’t necessarily translate into political results. Read more…