Chatham groups rally to end gun violence

CHATHAM—Local groups have planned a gathering for Saturday, June 11 at 11 a.m. at the Village of Chatham gazebo. Organizers say it is a call to action and for a moment of silence to honor the dead and a rally to end gun violence.

The public is invited to participate by gathering at Main Street and Park Row.

The national observance is March For Our Lives, a youth-led movement dedicated to promoting civic engagement, education and direct action by youth to eliminate the epidemic of gun violence. Read more…

Who invited them to our place?

Spotted lanternfly nymphs (black and white) and final stage nymph (red, white, and black.) Photo by w/pic/Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org

GHENT—Do you know what’s growing or crawling around in your backyard?

We are currently in the midst of the state’s ninth annual Invasive Species Awareness Week—so it’s a good time to find out.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) offers a load of free public events and invasive species challenges throughout Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW) June 6 to 12 across the state and online, including daily webinars at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Governor Kathy Hochul has issued a proclamation designating ISAW to support the annual campaign to encourage New Yorkers to learn more and participate in the fight against the negative impacts of invasive species, according to a DEC press release.

Invasive species are plants, animals, insects and pathogens that are not native to an area and cause harm to the environment, agriculture, economy or public health. New York is particularly vulnerable to these pests due to its role as a center for international trade and travel, according to the release. Read more…

ICC to limit public’s access to campus

KINDERHOOK—Ichabod Crane Schools Superintendent Suzanne Guntlow announced to the Board of Education June 7 that she was recommending the campus be closed to the public during school hours due to the recent concerns with violence in schools.

She said that the suggestion to close the campus came out of the county safe schools meetings and that other school districts have already done the same thing.

Superintendent Guntlow told the board at its regular meeting that she was saddened to make the recommendation and did not take this step “lightly.” But she also said that the administrative team was in agreement with the new policy, which would take effect next year.

It would not apply to members of the public invited to the district or normal parent pick-up at the school buildings but the campus would be closed to outside visitors between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. She said currently the district allows the public to use the track and the tennis courts during the school day if students are not using them. Read more…

Canaan hosts Brigadier General for Memorial Day

Brigadier General Todd Traver spoke to the gathering at Stoddard Park. Photo by David Lee

CANAAN – The Town of Canaan held its first Memorial Day Parade in 32 years on Monday, May 30. The parade gathered at the Canaan firehouse on state Route 295 and stepped off promptly at 1:45 p.m. with accompaniment of the Ghent Band. Marchers processed to the Veterans Memorial where wreaths were placed. They continued down to Stoddard Park for a program featuring comments from Town Supervisor Brenda Adams, New York State Assemblymember Didi Barrett (D-106th) who is chair of the New York State Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee and Gary Flaherty, director of the Columbia County Veterans Service Agency.

Keynote speaker for the afternoon was Brigadier General Todd Traver, the only general on active duty from Columbia County. A Chatham native, he remembered Memorial Day services of his childhood. He said that 36 years ago he played taps for the ceremony. He also spoke of his uncle George Traver who was killed in WWII on the South Pacific island of Tarawa. In 2017 his remains were identified and returned for burial in the Chatham Cemetery. Brigadier General Traver also told the story of Chatham High School graduate Frank Fratellenico who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his action in Vietnam in 1970, sacrificing his life to save those of his comrades.

“I want to publicly recognize the Vietnam vets who returned home to scorn,” he said. “I want to say that I see you, I honor you, I respect you and I thank you.” Read more…

$65k check pays Bliss tenants’ back rent

Quintin Cross of the Hudson/Catskill Housing Coalition holds a ceremonial check from an anonymous donor for $65,085 to settle at least some unpaid rents at Bliss Tower. At right is Revonda Smith, chair of the Hudson Housing Authority Board of Commissioners, which operates Bliss. Photo by Jeanette Wolfberg

HUDSON—The Hudson Housing Authority (HHA) celebrated receiving a check May 27 from the Hudson/Catskill Housing Coalition (HCHC) to wipe out overdue tenant rent. The HHA will use the $65,085.44 lump sum payment to credit each of its pertinent tenants the amount owed the HHA as of April 18, 2022. The HCHC got the money from an anonymous donor.

The HHA runs a 135-unit income-restricted residential complex in Hudson. It consists of Bliss Tower and three low-rise residential buildings on its grounds in Hudson.

The HCHC is a “Black-lead initiative that empowers public housing and low-income tenants to fight for housing justice,” according to its website.

The celebration took place in the Bliss’ community room, where a HCHC banner decorated a table, and officials held an oversized copy of the check. Read more…