ICC offers details of wide-ranging upgrade proposal

KINDERHOOK–The Ichabod Crane School Board hosted an information night November 14 about the proposed $27-million capital improvement project that will go before voters in early December. The board was joined by representatives from CSArch, the architecture firm designing the project, a representative from the district’s financial adviser, administrators and high school teachers. About 40 community residents attended the meeting in the high school auditorium.

School Superintendent Michael Vanyo, who had been on medical leave since late summer, welcomed the community to the meeting. Board president Matthew Nelson welcomed Mr. Vanyo’s return, saying the superintendent was “back on duty.” In August the board appointed district administrator Suzanne Guntlow as the assistant to the acting superintendent while Mr. Vanyo was on leave.

As for the scope of the capital project, the $27 million would pay for projects in all three school buildings, the bus garage and the maintenance building as well as for construction of a connector road between the middle and primary school buildings. The projects are based on a facilities study, which suggested the district needed over $40 million of upgrades and repairs. Read more…

Sewn Together program displays quilts in county jail

GREENPORT–Chatham artist and educator Melissa Sarris has long been known for her quilts. She is also known for initiating the sorts of community arts projects that bring a patchwork of people together. And for several years she has volunteered at the Columbia County Jail bringing art workshops to people incarcerated there.

The results of a nine-month project she calls Sewn Together were unveiled earlier this month–two framed quilts created by inmates of the Columbia County jail. A third full-sized quilt that was also part of the project was exhibited at the county fair in September and then donated to Columbia Opportunities, a community action program based in Hudson with a mission to solve poverty related problems.

The formal presentation was held Thursday, November 15 in the lobby of the jail in Greenport, where the quilts will be installed for permanent display. In attendance to celebrate with Ms. Sarris were county Sheriff David Bartlett, Jail Administrator Brian Gardner, ReEntry Columbia Executive Director Laurie Scott and ReEntry Case Manager Caroline Polykarpus. ReEntry’s mission is to help people when they are released from jail. The organization has also underwritten Ms. Sarris’ various art projects at the jail, including this one. Read more…

Hudson board briefed on elementary school topics

HUDSON–The Montgomery C. Smith Elementary School held a curriculum workshop for the Hudson City School District Board of Education at the board’s November 26 meeting.

Topics included:

• Social emotional development of students in the classroom

• The mentoring of newer teachers by more experienced teachers Read more…

New Hudson UHPP facility will offer more services

HUDSON—On Giving Tuesday 2018 (November 27), Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood would seem to be doing well. The nonprofit is in the midst of a $7.2 million Capital Campaign, looking at a January 2019 occupancy of a new facility in Hudson and ready to give back to the community with expanded care and education.

Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood (UHPP), founded in 1984, provides health care and education for more than 13,000 people each year in rural and urban communities in Albany, Columbia, Greene and Rensselaer counties from offices in Albany, Troy and Greenport (soon to be Hudson).

UHPP serves more than 900 patients annually at its Greenport center. It is the only known provider of abortion services in Columbia and Greene counties, and for miles in the Berkshires. Read more…

CLC protects site of ‘exceptional beauty’

Each of CLC’s public conservation areas (PCAs) features a unique mascot inspired by an animal that lives at the site. Overmountain’s mascot is the American Kestrel. Artwork by Roberta Wilson

ANCRAM—On a cold, windy mountaintop with snowflakes flying, the Columbia Land Conservancy opened its 11th public conservation area in Columbia County, earlier this month.

The new Overmountain Public Conservation Area is also the largest in the county, covering 1,700 acres in southeastern Ancram.

Since the Columbia Land Conservancy (CLC) took up the challenge of protecting rural lands in perpetuity, about 30,000 acres in conservation easements have been achieved, CLC Executive Director Peter Paden said in phone interview this week. These are privately-owned lands that remain on the tax rolls with developmental restrictions Read more…