CLAVERACK—Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will be the keynote speaker Columbia County Democratic Committee’s second annual Martin Van Buren Dinner Saturday, June 6, at the Columbia Golf and Country Club, 295 Route 217.
Ms. Gillibrand is a resident of Greenport. She represented the county and the rest of the 20th District in Congress until her surprise appointment to the Senate in January. She reportedly has been traveling the state since her appointment, getting to know statewide issues and meeting constituents and politicians.
She was appointed to fill the seat vacated by Hillary Clinton, now secretary of state. But if Ms. Gillibrand wishes to stay in office past 2010, she must run in November of next year to fill the remaining two years of Mrs. Clinton’s term. Ms. Gillibrand can run for a full six-year term of her own in 2012.
ALBANY—The Appellate Division of state Supreme Court has upheld a trial court decision and dismissed the action brought by the Granger Group against the Taghkanic Zoning Board of Appeals . The decision gives official approval to the three-story structure where Alan Wilzig houses his collection of motorcycles.
The Granger Group and some individuals had appealedthe decision of the town’s zoning enforcement officer to issue a permit for the construction of the 12,000-square-foot building to house the extensive motorcycle collection of Mr. Wilzig, a wealthy banking heir and town resident.
Mr. Wilzig is also petitioning the town for permission to pave the mile-long, private motorcycle track he built without a permit starting in 2006, but his opponents have asked the court for a temporary restraining order on that project, and a lawyer for the group challenging the track said last week the order is currently in effect.
HUDSON—Columbia has so far not had any confirmed cases of the A(H1N1) influenza virus, commonly called swine flu. But the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) anticipates that there will be more cases and more hospitalizations associated with this new virus in the coming weeks, and the county Department of Health issued a reminder Friday, May 15, about flu precautions and procedures for people who believe they may have the flu.
There are 3,352 cases in 45 states to date, but the county health department believes it is likely cases will be detected in our area as the virus spreads. The state Department of Health Laboratory has an increased capacity to test specimens for the swine flu virus, allowing results to be obtained in 48 hours.Since the virus symptoms have been milder than the seasonal flu, school closure is no longer being recommended when a student contracts the illness.
HUDSON—At a special meeting Thursday, May 14, the Hudson City Democratic Committee voted to endorse Mayor Richard Scalera as its candidate for mayor in November.
Victor Mendolia, chairman of the committee said in a release, “We are in the early stages of what looks to be a long period of economic stress and political upset. The HCDC believes that in this time of stressful change, Hudson will be best administrated by someone with the hands-on experience of managing the city, who is able to argue effectively on behalf of the city in the state and federal arenas.”
Mr. Mendolia praised both the mayor and city Treasurer Eileen Halloran, the only other person to seek the committee’s endorsement, as “talented individuals” and said Ms. Halloran was “a key member of the Hudson Democratic Party.”
No other candidates have announced their intention to run for the post. Mr. Scalera is seeking his seventh two-year term.
In his last race in 2007, Mr. Scalera was spurned by his own party in favor of Michael O’Hara. Artist and community activist Linda Mussmann also entered that race. But Mr. Scalera, running with the endorsement of the Republican and Independence parties, won more votes than the combined total of his two opponents.
HUDSON—Across the country day care providers are losing kids. “A lot of providers are seeing that with mom or dad losing their job, they are losing children,” said Kristin Scace, a referral counselor for the Child Care Council of Columbia.
Over 11 million children participate in daycare programs while their parents work.Recent data show that 13 million Americans are now out of work, with another 9 million unable to find full-time jobs, settling instead for part-time employment. Nationwide, parents are taking kids out of daycare, and national labor statistics show a loss of 2,900 childcare jobs.