New teachers, ‘level’ bleachers occupy Hudson Board of Ed

HUDSON–New faculty and staff, new bleachers and new immigration policies received attention at the Hudson City School District (HCSD) Board of Education meeting Monday, August 14.

The District administration introduced seven new employees: six teachers and a food services director. The teachers are:

• Dierdre Donnelly, who will teach special education ELA in intermediate grades. She comes from teaching special education in the New York City schools. She said her goal was “to set the highest standards for my students so they can reach their potential.” Read more…

Which way did it go?

Cascino lawyer says waste went to Mass. ‘farm’

HUDSON—Is it the right stuff? And did he take it to the right place?

Those are two crucial questions the judge wants answered in the continuing legal saga of Salvatore Cascino and the 9,650 cubic yards of solid waste the court determined that he illegally dumped on his Copake property.

Mr. Cascino, 77, of Larchmont in Westchester County, has spent the past 19 years racking up violations of federal, state and town laws for illegal dumping, building and excavating at a place he calls Copake Valley Farm along the east side of Route 22 in Copake. Read more…

Want to walk to Albany?

KINDERHOOK–Andy Beers, a representative from the Albany-Hudson Electric Trail, spoke to a full house at the Ichabod Crane School Auditorium last week about the plans for a walking and biking trail that would run from the City of Albany to the City of Hudson. Mr. Beers said this meeting was the beginning of a year-long public conversation about the trail.

He said that the August 10 meeting was “not a public hearing” but that after his presentation people could leave written comments and talk to staff working on the project who were set up outside the auditorium and in the High School Library with maps and post-it notes.

Mr. Beers told the group of county residents at the meeting, “We know there are a variety of issues.” Read more…

The Columbia Turnpike was the main east-west route

Part 1: Founding and Operation

FEW DRIVERS RIDING ALONG ROUTE 23 think of it as they proceed along the road. But from 1800-1906 before there were cars (trains came in mid-19th century), Route 23 was the privately owned Columbia Turnpike, one of hundreds of such roads constructed and maintained by stockholder corporations. In the 19th century as many as 3,200 such companies operated in the U.S., vastly improving conditions for travelers.

Why did towns turn to private investors? The problem was that before the 1790s, neither local nor state governments had the employees or the organization to build roads. Instead, townships imposed a road labor tax on eligible males, slightly reminiscent of European feudal practice, a minimum of three days of roadwork per year in New York State. The alternative was for a man to pay 62 cents a day to get out of the obligation.

Government funding to build the roads was difficult to come up with and road conditions were often inadequate. In rainy weather or after snowstorms the roads were frequently impassable. Travelers in horse-drawn vehicles often encountered stumps which, in muddy areas, periodically left wagons and carriages stranded on them, leading to the phrase, “We’re stumped.” Read more…

Firefighter heroes, lifetime achievers recognized

STOCKPORT—Stuyvesant firefighter Daniel VanAllen was named 2017 Firefighter of the Year for his heroism in rescuing two injured women from a burning car.

The award was presented to Mr. VanAllen during ceremonies at the 2017 Columbia County Firefighters Association (CCVFA) annual convention the weekend of July 27 through 29.

Held in Stockport, the 92nd annual convention recognized several of Columbia County’s bravest. The Columbia County Firefighter of the Year, along with honorable mentions were awarded. In its inaugural year, the Lifetime Firefighter Achievement Award was given, along with honorable mentions. Read more…