Reform panel floats ideas for county to consider

HUDSON—No-knock warrants, racial disparities, training, and the role of police in the community highlighted the Columbia County Police Reform Panel’s community input video conferences November 5 and 13. The county Board of Supervisors formed the panel to develop a police improvement plan, which the state requires municipalities to adopt by April 1.

No-knock warrants allow law enforcement officers to enter a property without first notifying the residents of their presence. Reasons for such warrants include reducing the time suspects have to destroy evidence or endanger officers.

Joan Hunt, the executive director of Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood, and William Hughes, the panel co-chairman, urged the audience to consider the impact such raids can have on children, youth, and the community. “I have seen homes ransacked by the police, and nothing was found,” she said. “I have seen children cry to me that their favorite toy was destroyed.” Read more…

Vets help kids keep warm

On Saturday, November 7, Ghent VFW Post #5933 at 2237 State Route 66, held its annual Coats For Kids event. Pandemic caution dictated that only one family at a time be allowed to pick out their winter gear, and they were not allowed to try things on. The children selected according to their size and the style they liked. Once their choices had been made and the kids were outside, they put their coats, caps and gloves on to see how they felt. The Oakley family of Chatham (wearing customized matching shirts for their family photograph) are 9-year-old Vanessa, 8-year-old Mark, and 4-year-old Amber. Their parents are Tonya and Matt. Ed Northup is the coordinator of Coats for Kids. Photo by David Lee

Hudson grapples with barriers to online learning

HUDSON—Issues with the internet, virtual instruction, bus companies and thermometers were among the matters facing the Hudson City School District (HCSD) Board of Education at the October 20 and November 3 meetings.

Internet interruptions continue, reported Superintendent Maria L. Suttmeier at both meetings. She said that the interruptions have become more intermittent and often occurred at the same time of the day.

“Especially this year, when we have so many students learning remotely, when our internet is down, we lose the ability to teach and learn remotely,” Dr. Suttmeier said by email between the meetings. Read more…

As Covid cases rise, ICC juggles schedules

KINDERHOOK—The Ichabod Crane Board of Education held an in-person and online meeting November 3. Board members, school staff and members of the public met in the primary school cafeteria while the district also offered the public the option to use Zoom to join the meeting online. One board member, Susan Ramos, attended the meeting through Zoom.

This was the first board meeting since the district confirmed several positive Covid-19 cases among students in all three school buildings. On Sunday, October 25 the district emailed and called parents to announce the decision to close the primary school and move to online learning for middle and high school students on Monday, October 26 due to a primary school student testing positive for Covid-19. The district assisted the county Department of Health (DOH) with contact tracing, and more testing led to more positive cases. On October 29 the school emailed parents again saying, “We have confirmed there was one positive student in the middle school and two positive students in the high school.”

On October 27, the primary school opened to all classes but the one with the positive case. The district sent out an email saying that students in that class would work online with their teacher and “will need to quarantine for the required 14-day period.” They planned to have them back in the building on November 6. Read more…

Cascino’s massive ‘farm’ plan gets OK from town

COPAKE—The Copake Planning Board has approved site plans that set the stage for Salvatore Cascino’s newest building projects.

After three years of on-and-off back-and-forth, the board voted four to one, with two members absent, to allow Mr. Cascino’s plan for the modified expansion of the “agricultural” operation on his 300-acre property to move forward.

But it’s not like Mr. Cascino has been waiting patiently for board action before starting his project. Read more…