Stockport trails group pursues three projects

STOCKPORT—Residents here are working to help bring three new recreational trails to the town.

Scenic Hudson representatives Kate Kane (l) and Jill Sprance (back to camera) review planned route of the 1.6 mile Stockport-Greenport Trail with Stockport Trails Committee members (l to r) Joe Van Leuvan Sr., Don Meltz, Ronald Rich and Ellen Jouret-Epstein (hidden, c) of the Columbia Land Conservancy.The Stockport Trails Committee, formed in July to facilitate the creation of recreational trails in the town, is collaborating with similar committees in the Towns of Kinderhook and Stuyvesant and the Columbia Land Conservancy to examine the feasibility of an inter-municipal trail from the Town of Kinderhook along the Kinderhook Creek to Stuyvesant Falls and south to Chittenden Falls in Stockport.

“Through the cooperative efforts of trails committees in Kinderhook, Stuyvesant and Stockport we together recently received a Greenway Conservancy grant for a feasibility study of the inter-municipal trail” said Stockport Trails Committee chairman Ronald Rich in a recent email. “We are very excited about the possibility of a multi-use recreational trail connecting the three towns.”

Read more…

Chaseholm gets Farmland Protection funds, ‘Amazing’ food company

ANCRAM–The Columbia Land Conservancy (CLC) in partnership with the town has closed on a deal to ensure 113 acres of Chaseholm Farm will forever remain in agriculture.

A grant from the state Department of Agriculture Farmland Protection program funded the purchase of an agricultural easement to be held by CLC, permanently protecting the working dairy farm.

Chaseholm is a 340-acre dairy farm spanning the Columbia/Dutchess county line.

Read more…

Barn fire claims dairy farm

Despite quick response, wind fans flames that destroy livelihoods

COPAKE–Fourth generation dairy farmers Nancy and Paul Miller, sister and brother, lost not only their livelihood, but their way of life when fire consumed the main dairy barn and about half their herd at Snook Hill Farm, 257 Empire Road, the afternoon of Thursday, December 17.

Fifty-two dairy animals were killed. Some farm machinery and three buildings were destroyed by the fast-moving, wind-whipped blaze.

Read more…

Knock, knock, it’s Santa at the door–Really!

VALATIE–Signs leading into the village declare that this is the home of the Santa Claus Club, 1st in the Nation. The local tradition of “Santas” visiting village youngsters at their homes on Christmas Eve started over 60 years ago and is still going strong today.

The Santa’s helper I talked to, who goes by the name Joe Pawlik the other 364 days of the year, said that the club has about 30 members. Nine Santa Clauses go out on December 24 to pass out gifts and bring Christmas joy to some 600 kids in the village.  Karen Keeler, who grew up in Chatham and is now in her early 30s, remembers “begging my parents to go to my uncle’s house [in Valatie] and wanting to make sure we got there on time to see Santa Claus,” she said.

Read more…

At Christmas local churches beckon to all

HUDSON–Regardless of religious convictions, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day offer everyone a chance to experience centuries-old modes of seasonal celebration in solemn, dignified and joyful communal gatherings.

Christmas and Easter services draw more people–church members and visitors alike–to religious establishments than any other Christian observances. And many local religious leaders say they want the general public to know that anyone who would like to attend these special services is invited to be their guest. Below is just a sampling of what’s happening at a handful of the many churches in the county.

Read more…