EDITORIAL: ‘Fracking’ case hits home

THE CONTROVERSY OVER “FRACKING” might as well be taking place on the moon for all the impact it’s had here. The term is shorthand for the natural gas drilling and recovery process called high volume hydraulic fracturing. It could mean big bucks–billions of dollars–for the state, for people who own land on top of natural gas deposits and, naturally, for the companies that drill for and sell natural gas.

It could also mean big trouble. Read more…

EDITORIAL:How should we pay teachers?

CALL ME A BROKEN RECORD, but there’s still more to say about school district mergers, or, more precisely, more to say about why some mergers look less likely than they did a few weeks ago.

Representatives from the Chatham and New Lebanon school districts who had been pondering a merger have now sidetracked that idea. They want to see what happens with their neighbor, the Ichabod Crane School District in Kinderhook, which has just reviewed a study on the feasibility of a merger with the Schodack District in southern Rensselaer County. Read more…

EDITORIAL: Copake conducts a purge

THE TOWN SUPERVISOR in a place I once lived also published a small, local newspaper and wrote most of what was in it. Her reporting included covering her own run for reelection, and she published the results of the race at the bottom of the front page under a tiny headline announcing that she’d won a ballot line. You had to read further to discover that her opponent had actually beaten her by a landslide.

Asked afterwards about the misleading story, she said she was worried her mother could not survive the news of her defeat. Read more…

EDITORIAL: How big should a merger be?

EVER WONDER WHY so many school districts in this state have the word “central” in their full name, as in the Chatham Central School District, Ichabod Crane Central, Taconic Hills Central, New Lebanon Central… etc.?

People who attended the one- and two-room school houses that were part of the fabric of so many rural communities know why. Kids learned their ABCs in these small schools, and then either commuted to a bigger settlement that had a high school or they went to work full time. Here and there in places like Copake and Canaan, you can still see the old schools, now vacant or used for other purposes. Read more…

EDITORIAL: Where did you hear that?

TIME TO GO HOME. But the phone was ringing. The young woman demanded to know if I realized our newspaper boxes were spilling papers out all over the streets of the city. She sounded upset.
“Wait, wait, we don’t have boxes,” I said. She wasn’t listening. Read more…