Vote challenges may proceed but court limits GOP options

ALBANY–A state appellate court panel issued a brief but mixed ruling last week on whether county Republicans could pursue the case challenging absentee ballots from the November 3 election in the Town of Taghkanic, most of which were cast by second home owners.

The five judges of the state Supreme Court Appellate Division of the Third Judicial Department affirmed a decision by county Judge Jonathan Nichols allowing lawyers for the Columbia County Republican Committee and its chairman, Gregory Fingar, to challenge the 62 remaining Taghkanic absentee ballots. But the appeals judges undercut the GOP’s central argument in the case, that the voters in question should not be allowed to vote in Columbia County because they also have homes outside the county.

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Through twists and turns, ribbon candy makes a comeback

HUDSON–Ribbon candy wasn’t something Jim Vasilow intended to do when he reopened the family business in 2002.

“I watched them do it as a kid, and I knew how labor intensive it was,” he said in a recent interview. “But as word got out that we were opening a new store, the first question out of their mouths was: Oh, are you going to do the ribbon candy? Peanut butter filled ribbon candy was what my grandfather and uncle were renowned for. They did it all by hand. That’s crazy work, so I did some research.”

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Happy birthday Mr. President

KINDERHOOK–The president would have approved of the gift.

That’s Kinderhook native and eighth U.S. President Martin Van Buren, whose home at Lindenwald is south of the village on Route 9H. It’s a national historic site and it’s about to grow larger.

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Leaders-elect hear plenty from Ancram voters

ANCRAM–Three new incoming Town Board members and one current and continuing councilman all got welcome earfuls of information from about 75 town residents during the first of three Transition Planning meetings at the Town Hall December 14.

Supervisor-elect Art Bassin, newly-elected board members Madeleine Israel and Chris Thomas and Councilman James Miller wanted to know what Ancram residents think works and does not work about the way town government operates. Mr. Bassin noted that Councilman John MacArthur was at a fire company meeting and could not attend.

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Grant targets abandoned city homes

Housing Resources receives $250K to rehab, resell properties 

HUDSON–The recession has taken its toll on this region, but a new report from the Brookings Institution confirms what local real estate experts have said from the beginning of the economic downturn, that the home foreclosure rate in the Capital Region is low by national standards.

But the housing market has not escaped altogether, especially poorer neighborhoods. “We certainly have our share of abandoned and vacant homes,” Hudson Mayor Rick Scalera said this week. He said in some places neighborhoods are interrupted by several unoccupied homes in a row.

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