Crowds stretch limits of Bash Bish

Falls feels crowd pressure. The number of visitors to Bash Bish Falls is now regulated from both sides of the New York/Massachusetts border after serious issues erupted due to overcrowding. The visitors above were at the falls last Saturday, August 22, when the new parking and visitor limits were in place. Photo by David Lee

COPAKE FALLS—Is it possible for a place to be too popular for its own good?

That seems to be the case with Bash Bish Falls in Massachusetts and by extension the Taconic State Park in Copake Falls through which the falls can be accessed on the New York side.

Taconic State Park is in the South Taconic Mountain Range on the Connecticut/Massachusetts border of New York. Read more…

With school days some days, ICC refines reopening

KINDERHOOK—The Ichabod Crane Board of Education heard an update on the district’s reopening plan at their meeting Tuesday, August 18 via Zoom. Superintendent Suzanne Guntlow said that parents who choose all remote learning for their students in kindergarten through 8th grade will be taught by Ichabod Crane teachers. She said that for high school students the scheduling is a little more complicated.

The current plan for September is that all students in kindergarten through 5th grade will attend school full time with masks and social distancing, and students in grades 6 through 12 will be back in the school buildings two days a week with remote learning three days. The students in the upper grades will be split into two groups, with half the students at district buildings on Mondays and Tuesdays and the other group coming Thursdays and Fridays. Classes will start September 9, and since that is a Wednesday, there will be no students at the high school and 6th through 8th graders will not be at the middle school building.

Parents were also given the choice to keep their students home for fully remote learning. Ms. Guntlow did not say how many families had taken that option, but stressed that the cutoff date was August 19 to let school principals know if the parents wanted to keep their students home so the district can start planning. Parents who choose fully remote learning can change to having their students attend school after the first trimester in the primary school and after the first quarter in the middle school and high school. Read more…

Food distribution set for county fairgrounds Aug. 31

CHATHAM—The second drive-thru food distribution will be held on August 31, from 10 a.m. until the food is gone at the Columbia County Fairgrounds, 182 Hudson Avenue, Chatham. Use the Route 66 entrance.

Households will receive fresh fruits and vegetables, and dairy products, along with canned and frozen food.

The organizers say that no one should arrive ahead of time. Arriving early will cause traffic and large crowds. Everyone should wear a mask and stay in the car. Those who are walking should practice social distancing. Adhering to these instructions will allow the volunteers to distribute food safely and quickly.

Catholic Charities, the Northeast Regional Food Bank, the Chatham Silent Pantry, Valatie and Ghent Pantries have joined forces to organize the event.

Hillsdale board asks again: Take us to your leader

HILLSDALE—A special meeting of the Town Board is scheduled for Tuesday, August 25 at 7 p.m. using Zoom online software.

The meeting is necessary because the board must appoint a new interim town supervisor. The interim supervisor it had has resigned. If this sounds complicated, it is.

Former Supervisor Peter Cipkowski resigned effective July 27. He’s moving to California. The timing of his resignation left only seven days for interested persons to be nominated by a party or collect enough signatures to have a line on the fall ballot.

On August 11 the Town Board voted to appoint Councilwoman Robina Ward interim supervisor through the end of 2020. The vote of the four board members was 2-0. Board members Steve Tiger and Tom Carty voted for the appointment. Board member Jill Sims, the designated deputy supervisor, abstained. (A deputy supervisor may not vote on matters before the county Board of Supervisors.) All board members are Democrats except for Ms. Sims. Read more…

Chatham assembles panel to rethink policing

At least the village puts safety first. The Village of Chatham has posted signs alerting the public that wearing masks on Main Street is required, using money from a grant for Covid-19 related safety equipment. But the village installed the signs on state Department of Transportation poles. So state workers removed the signs and posted a photo of them on their Facebook page with a warning about posting “advertising, decorative or civic banners and signs on DOT property” without a permit. The one thing the state didn’t do was notify village officials that the signs had been removed. The signs are now attached to village streetlamp poles. Photo by R. E. Lindmark

CHATHAM—Mayor John Howe said the board was going to think about the future of the village court at the Village Board meeting on August 10.

The board held the meeting online for what Mayor Howe pointed out was the fifth month in a row. The board meets on the Webex meeting platform due to the pandemic. The board had planned to meet at the Tracy Memorial/Village Hall but changed the forum to online when the governor extended the executive order that open meetings could be held online until September 4.

The board also discussed the committee that would review police policy in the village in response to another order from the governor. Mayor Howe said that there has been a lot of interest from a diverse group residents in joining the committee. Read more…