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…

EDITORIAL: Why debt ceiling matters here

CALL ME SOFT, but I like clean water and flush toilets, too. Maybe I need to go to a summer camp and toughen up. But I have to save my money so I can pay my taxes to keep the water safe and the sewage system working.

People who have their own wells and septic systems won’t have much sympathy for my lament, but the same principle applies not only to central services like water and sewer, but to the infrastructure we all share. Think of roads and bridges, and then add to the list all sorts of services like the systems that prevent water pollution and stop poisons from getting into the dirt where our food grows. It’s not that roads and bridges and pollution protections are going to disappear, but taxpayers could soon face much bigger bills for the upkeep of these things.

Read more…

EDITORIAL:Library move makes sense

PITY OUR SHRIVELED SOULS. Newspaper editors wallow in so much bad news and misfortune that it feels sometimes like we wouldn’t know good news if it bit us. But I feel the tooth marks of a positive story brewing in the City of Hudson.

The Hudson Library, officially known as the Hudson Area Association Library is going to move. And unlike some other recently announced plans to move public services (Sorry! Think positive, think pos…), this move and the way it’s being handled make terrific sense. Within the next few weeks the library board expects to announce both the sale of the building the library currently occupies and the lease of a new space in the city. But the new space isn’t intended to be a permanent home, just an “interim step” for the next five years or so while the library board plans for a new, long-term home. Read more…

EDITORIAL: What’s that echo?

GET OUT YOUR CALCULATORS and remove your ear buds. (If you don’t know what ear buds are, just grab a pencil). Now here is your first summer school math problem: Columbia County is buying a 125,000-square-foot building to serve as the office space for 150 people; how many square feet does each person get? (You can round your answer to the nearest whole number.)

If you said 833 square feet per person, congratulations. You now know what the county wants to do with $6 million of your money, as it buys the building on Fairview Avenue/Route 9 that Walmart vacated when it moved up the road to a new shopping center. Read more…