WHEN YOU SAY “CLIMATE CHANGE” the first thing that springs to mind is global warming. The second thing that comes up is sea level rise. Both those are quite likely to become increasingly important in our future. But it is all so much more complex than that, especially as every location around the world will react differently.
Columbia County will endure climate change differently from Southeast Asia, the American Southwest, Florida, New Orleans and simply everywhere else. But The Columbia Paper has asked the two of us to ponder what might happen right here in the upper Hudson Valley and so we have been searching through the literature, hoping to find some answers. Let’s begin a series of columns about what might happen hereabouts in coming decades. Of course, no one actually knows for certain, so let’s just say that we will write about some educated guesses that we have been able to make.
We have been especially interested in some recent speculations about what will happen to the Gulf Stream if global warming continues. You may have learned about the Gulf Stream in high school science classes. See the northeast trending gray line on our illustration (courtesy of Wikimedia Commons). The Gulf Stream is a current of very warm surface waters that begins near Florida and flows north and then northeast toward Europe. It transports enormous amounts of heat from the Caribbean to all of the Northern Atlantic basin. Read more…
VALATIE – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has completed its initial evaluation of the waterbodies connected to the Dewey Loeffel Landfill Superfund site after the July 14 severe weather event.
Operations at the landfill caused polychorinated biphenyls (PCBs) to migrate to waterbodies connected to the site, such as Little Thunder Brook and the Valatie Kill. During the storm, these waterbodies experienced high flows, erosion, and flooding. Following the storm event, samples were collected to assess conditions in the waterbodies. Surface water samples were collected and sediment samples were also collected downstream on residential properties where sediment was deposited as a result of the flooding.
The sediment deposit sampling targeted residential areas located along the Valatie Kill within the village of Nassau, as well as residential areas north of the village along the Valatie Kill and Nassau Lake. The samples were collected between July 22 and 26, and analyzed for PCBs. Read more…
Congressman Antonio Delgado talks to a resident in Germantown. Photo contributed
GERMANTOWN—U.S. Representative Antonio Delgado (D-19th) held his 62nd town hall in his 11-county district at Palatine Park on Tuesday evening, August 17. Approximately 70 people attended.
The congressman opened the session with remarks about the situation in Afghanistan faulting a “lack of execution” and failure to “leave with dignity” while acknowledging surprise at “how fast the collapse [of the Afghan government] occurred.” Mr. Delgado said that our “number one focus” is to “make sure we get our folks home” during this “trying period.”
The congressman also mentioned two bills that will be taken up in the House immediately following Congress’ recess, The John Lewis Voting Rights Bill and the Infrastructure Bill, which recently passed in the Senate. While touting bipartisan support for the Infrastructure Bill, Mr. Delgado noted, “It’s not been easy but I try to find common ground. We can’t get anything done if we can’t work together.” Read more…
COPAKE—The people of Copake need to be protected and so do their chickens.
At the August 14 Town Board meeting Town Supervisor Jeanne Mettler brought up the issue of illegal parking on and along Underhill Road by people trying to access the Harlem Valley Rail Trail, which crosses the road.
The supervisor said she had heard from the executive director of the Harlem Valley Rail Trail Association (HVRTA) that she received complaints about people parking on private property along the road and leaving their vehicles there while they use the rail trail.
Councilmember Terry Sullivan spoke up, saying the problem there was not just about parking—but about people trespassing on private property and walking their dogs off-leash along the trail. Read more…
KINDERHOOK—The villages of Kinderhook and Valatie are working with the Town of Kinderhook to form a committee looking into the new law legalizing adult use and sale of cannabis in the state. Both village mayors announced at their board meetings last week that they are looking for volunteers to sit on the local cannabis committee.
In March, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA). According to the state the legislation establishes a licensing system and two new state agencies: the Cannabis Control Board, and the Office of Cannabis Management.
According to the website of the New York Conference of Mayors (NYCOM), the state’s marijuana act “creates a heavily regulated market requiring individuals and organizations to obtain a license before engaging in any of the myriad types of authorized cannabis businesses, including cultivating, processing, distributing, delivering, dispensing cannabis, or operating a cooperative, microbusiness, nursery, or on‐site consumption establishment.” Read more…