Hudson plans put new dugouts on deck

HUDSON–Baseball dugouts, a playground closure and other facilities issues dominated the discussion at the Hudson City School District (HCSD) Board of Education meeting June 3.

“We’ve spent a lot of money in the past three years on football and track. Now it’s time to do something for baseball and softball,” said schools Superintendent Maria L. Suttmeier. “We need six new dugouts, including three with storage for equipment. But I want to make sure the baseball community is getting what it wants and needs. It needs to be part of the decision process.”

The district has four baseball and softball fields, with six dugouts among them on the grounds of both the Montgomery C. Smith Elementary School (MCS) and Hudson High School, explained HCSD Athletic Director Derek Reardon the next day. The high school grounds have the modified baseball, modified softball, Varsity-JV softball fields. The MCS grounds have the Varsity-JV baseball field. Both Varsity-JV fields and the modified baseball field have two dugouts each. The modified softball field has no dugout, Mr. Reardon said. The modified baseball dugouts were built by Connor McCagg (class of 2018) in 2016 for his Eagle Scout project, and “nothing will happen to them.” It is the other dugouts that face replacement. Read more…

Health panel advises no retail pot sales

HUDSON—The Columbia County Board of Health has voted unanimously to recommend to county leaders that they “strongly consider banning the retail sale” of pot in this county if the state legalizes it for recreational use.

But in recent news reports, Governor Andrew Cuomo has expressed doubt that there is enough support in the State Senate to pass a bill to legalize recreational marijuana this year. So what’s the rush?

In a May 16 press release from the Columbia County Department of Health (CCDOH), Columbia County Board of Health (CCBOH) President Pat DiGrigoli said, “We’ve just taken a big step forward with tobacco 21 and then we look to make a drug that has been illegal for a long time legal and more accessible… it doesn’t make sense to our members.” Read more…

ICC debates super search

KINDERHOOK–The Ichabod Crane Board plans to ask administrators, teachers, parents and community members to form a superintendent search committee. They discussed how the board hopes to move forward with the search at their regular meeting Tuesday June 4.

Current Superintendent Michael Vanyo will resign June 30. He has been on leave from the district since early April. He was arrested for a DWI and leaving the scene of a property damage accident in Saratoga County on April 6. Assistant Superintendent Suzanne Guntlow was appointed acting superintendent April 30.

After the annual budget vote and school board election on May 21, the board released a statement saying they would accept Mr. Vanyo’s resignation. Mr. Vanyo is no longer on unpaid leave, starting May 22, and according to the statement, he “will be providing transition work to the district through the end of the 2018-2019 school year, until June 30. During this time, Mr. Vanyo will work with the district from a remote location to help prepare for his departure and ease the eventual transition period of a new superintendent.” Mr. Vanyo was hired in 2017 to replace retiring Superintendent George Zini. Read more…

Chatham works with Trout Unlimited on culvert repair

CHATHAM – Hudson River Watershed Alliance has awarded “the WaveMaker” to the Town of Chatham and Trout Unlimited. Supervisor Maria Lull told her fellow town board members about the award at their meeting on May 16, saying they have “prioritized all the major culverts in the town.”

A press release from the Hudson River Watershed Alliance said that Trout Unlimited and town worked collaboratively to identify road-stream crossings that are barriers to fish and wildlife and potential flooding hazards, resulting in a Road-Stream Crossing Management Plan in 2018. Chatham includes the Kinderhook Creek, Green Brook, Stony Kill, Valatie Kill, and Kline Kill.

The project team included Tracy Brown from National Trout Unlimited, Supervisor Lull, town Highway Superintendent Joe Rickert, and Vince Dubois, from the Trout Unlimited Chapter Columbia Greene. This partnership began when a town-owned railroad culvert on the Green Brook collapsed in 2016, blocking fish passage and flooding an upstream landowner’s property. Trout Unlimited received funding through the state’s DEC Water Quality Improvement Program to remove the collapsed culvert and restore the brook, connecting almost 3 miles of high-quality stream habitat. Read more…

Gallatin hears updates on internet service and beehives

GALLATIN–The Town Board’s May monthly meeting included a presentation by GTel, a local provider of phone, cable and internet service, on the broadband expansion project and its progress in the Gallatin area.

The company is one of several that participated in the broadband capital grant program and were awarded an estimated total of $8.7 million in state aid to extend high-speed internet service to rural parts of the county. GTel expects that all eligible housing units should have access to its fiber network by December 2021.

One of the obstacles to the progress has been lack of linemen. Most of the people with these skills are already working on this project. Read more…