EDITORIAL: How much is Bliss worth?

YOU ROLL THE DICE and maybe you land on Mediteranean Avenue or Baltic, where rents are low. But it doesn’t end there. Grab more real estate, squeeze your competitors and with luck and savvy money management you’ll call Boardwalk and Park Place home.

That’s how the game of Monopoly works. In real life, not so much, although recent developments in Hudson have echoed the board game in eerie ways. Despite efforts by county, state and federal government to remedy the shortage of decent rental housing for people with low incomes, private developers–non-profit and for-profit–are taking the lead in addressing the city’s housing problems.

The non-profit Galvan Foundation has 86 buildings in the county; over 60 are occupied and more are in the pipeline. The foundation has embarked on an exercise in social engineering supported by some convincing data. Galvan will place some of its low-income family housing in economically more secure neighborhoods. The data say that the kids who grow up in better surroundings are “more likely to escape poverty.” Read more…

EDITORIAL: More of you read us

WE STARTED OUT a decade back in third place in a three-way race for local newspaper readers in Columbia County. Now we find ourselves first.

Are Champagne corks popping? No. We didn’t have time to celebrate. There’s another paper to get out. Folks who report, assemble and distribute The Columbia Paper gave heartfelt shrugs when they learned about this milestone.

The ranking we have achieved isn’t a contest. It’s a comparison of the total average distribution of newspapers that use a U.S. Postal Service Periodicals Permit to mail papers to subscribers. There are now only two local paid distribution newspapers in the county and we are one of them. The Postal Service requires that newspapers file an ownership statement each fall stating the average number of papers per issue. The number includes all the subscribers plus the single copies sold at markets, convenience stores and other retail establishments. Read more…

EDITORIAL: Opt in to school compromise

ELECTION AFTERMATH, California wildfires and multiple mass shootings have seized public attention over the last week or so. What might normally interest readers or viewers finds us numb instead. Maybe a survival gene triggers our brains to tell us: Enough, already!

So if you didn’t notice, just before the election the state Board of Regents decided to give itself another year to perform a miracle. They want to convince parents, teachers, and federal and state officials that high stakes standardized testing will make kids smarter, teachers better paid and unrealistic expectations fulfilled. Is that not a miracle?

Regents are appointed by the state legislature and usually try to avoid political fights. Their job is to set education policy for the state. That’s how they framed their decision a week ago Monday when they gave themselves 12 more months to figure out what connection there should be between the performance of classroom teachers and how well students do on standardized math and English exams. Read more…

EDITORIAL: Thank you

THANK YOU to all who organized and participated in last Thursday’s memorial gathering at Chatham Synagogue Netivot Torah. In the midst of a heated political campaign season and with all the other distractions of our lives, you remind us of the need for reflection, contemplation and community in the wake of tragic events.

It would be comforting to believe that as citizens or simply human beings we will learn from an event so horrifying and brutal as the murders at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. But our track record for addressing this type of violence–gun violence–suggests that revulsion does not necessarily turn into action. Read more…

EDITORIAL: 102nd: Aiden O’Connor Jr.

THE NAMES ON THE 102ND Assembly District ballot lines will look familiar to voters this November. Assemblyman Chris Tague, a Republican in his first, abbreviated, term once again faces Democrat Aiden O’Connor Jr. The two competed earlier this year in a special election to fill the seat vacated by Assemblyman Peter Lopez, a contest Mr. Tague won by 159 votes.

The only towns in Columbia County represented by the 102nd District are Stuyvesant and Stockport. But the district also includes all of Greene and Schoharie counties as well as parts of Albany, Delaware, Otsego and Ulster counties.

Both candidates have roots in the district and records of public service. Mr. Tague, 49, running on the Republican, Conservative, Independence and Reform Party lines, and Mr. O’Connor, 30, running on the Democratic, Working Families and Women’s Equality lines, vow to fight state government corruption and each seems to grasp the limits of what a single member of the Assembly can accomplish. Read more…