K’hook town and villages join cannabis opt-outs

KINDERHOOK—The Town Board passed a motion at its December 6 meeting to create a local law to opt out of allowing “adult-use on-site cannabis consumption sites” to locate within the town. Kinderhook is the most populous town in the county and has two villages within its border. The villages of Valatie and Kinderhook have also passed local laws that would not allow on-site cannabis consumption businesses in their municipalities at their meetings this month.

The state allowed municipalities to pass laws that would prohibit either cannabis dispensaries, where cannabis products can be sold, and/or on-site cannabis bars or cafes. The deadline for adopting these laws is December 31. The twist is that if boards opt out now they can opt back in at a future date. If they do not pass a local law by the new year, they cannot opt out at a later date.

Town Supervisor Patsy Leader said she’d been “to numerous webinars and meetings” on the issue. The supervisor pointed out at the meeting that the state still hasn’t worked out the details for licensing and obtaining the liability insurance required if someone wants to open a cannabis business. She said that realistically it will be at least two years down the road, “or later,” before businesses can open. Read more…

Two who served Copake for years die

COPAKE—This town lost two long-time public servants within a week of each other late last month.

Reginald “Reggie” Crowley, 67, died November 23. Mr. Crowley served as town supervisor from 2008 through 2011 and served as town justice for 14 years before that. For many years, he was a Columbia County Sheriff’s deputy. He later ran the county’s Stop DWI Program.

Lawrence “Larry” Proper, 64, died November 29. He served the Town of Copake for more than 40 years. He volunteered as a firefighter and was on the rescue squad. He worked for the town Highway Department for 30 years, eventually he was elected highway superintendent.

For 20 years he was also town clerk/tax collector, a post once held by his father, Otis W. Proper, from 1960 to 1968. When he wasn’t the town clerk, he was helping out the town clerk as the deputy town clerk. Read more…

Pandemic takes toll on school behavior

HUDSON—Reports of injury, body piercing, racial provocation, absenteeism, staffing shortages, sanitation shortfalls and other challenges emerged from accounts described at the Hudson City School District (HCSD) Board of Education meeting December 7.

“I’ve never seen a year like this before” in 30 years of working with children, said Nicky Genito, head of the aide union.

Teachers feel unsafe and disrespected on the job, said Wayne Kinney, science teacher and president of the Hudson Teachers Association (HTA). Bus aide Bernadette Martin and high school senior Jacob Hromada also reported incidents and concerns. The school culture has changed from what it was before the Covid shutdowns, observed Superintendent Maria L. Suttmeier. Read more…

Anybody seen Uncle Drosselmeyer?

On Friday, December 3, the Hudson Valley Academy of Performing Arts (HVAPA), 957 Route 82 in Taghkanic, rehearsed The Nutcracker ballet. The performances are on Sunday December 12 at noon and 4 p.m. in the PAC at the Taconic Hills Central School in Craryville. The dancers help each other with their flower diadems. Pictured (l to r) are Ciara Dellea, Cadence Weiss, Emma Miller, Director Debra Hughes, Brenna Lu, Ceanna Weiler and Eliza Pratt. Photo by David Lee

Hudson associate principal plays new role at Questar

William Wood, former associate principal Hudson, new principal Questar III BOCES, Greenport. Photo contributed

HUDSON—Getting to know the students, the administrators, and the “fantastic arts community,” including the music-making scene, were highlights of William Wood’s two years as associate principal of Hudson High School, Mr. Wood said in a phone conversation November 9. He left the district December 3 to become principal of the Questar III BOCES Columbia Greene Education Center on Route 66 in Greenport.

Mr. Wood was full of appreciation for Hudson City School District Superintendent Maria L. Suttmeier and other officials who supported him as he carried out his duties as associate principal and applied for the Questar position.

He came to Hudson from teaching English and global studies at Canajoharie High School and the Adirondack Academy. At Hudson, he felt lucky to work under Principal Robert LaCasse, who had preceded him as associate principal. Mr. Wood credited Mr. LaCasse with guiding him through the challenges of the fast-paced position. Between discipline, working with students with discipline issues, and restorative programs, one had to know what to prioritize, he said.

Shortly after Mr. Wood began, the Covid crisis hit and for most of his tenure schools have been “trying to navigate something that has never happened before,” he said. “But everybody came together and is working together in order to continue to get students educated as we navigate uncharted waters,” adding that “the students have been incredibly resilient through this incredibly difficult time.” Read more…