Amtrak fence plan angers supervisors

GERMANTOWN—“This is a twisted path we’re going along,” observed Kaare Christian, co-chair of the Germantown Waterfront Committee, about the Amtrak proposal to install gates and fences at eight locations along the Hudson River from Rhinecliff to Stuyvesant, including Germantown.

The prospect that Amtrak might impose greater limits on access to the Hudson River waterfront led five town supervisors, including the chairman of the County Board of Supervisors, to write to the New York State Department of State (DOS) urging that the comment period on the fence plan be extended. If the railroad does not take steps to address their concerns, they want the state to block the plan.

The riverfront towns discovered Amtrak’s plans early this year. Letters were written during a public comment period. A rally took place on April 22 at the Germantown waterfront. In response, Amtrak agreed to hold public information meetings.

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Habitat dedicates new homes in Valatie

VALATIE –The living room was full for the home dedications at 3039 and 3039A Main Street on Saturday, February 17. The two newly constructed attached homes of the Beaucage and Pratt/Sullivan families were the nineteenth and twentieth completed projects of Columbia County’s Habitat for Humanity (CCHH).

CCHH Executive Director Brenda Adams called the meeting to order. A long list of professional services and material providers were thanked for their assistance and donations, beginning with BarlisWedlick Architects with whom CCHH has a longstanding partnership. Also mentioned were Proper and O’Leary Engineering, the Levy Partnership Engineering Consultants, Rodenhausen Chale legal services, Bervy Excavation, the Chazen Companies for engineering, land surveying and environmental consulting, Columbia County Electrical Contractors notably Mike Clarke and Bill Houston, and Tom Bouchard and Joe Dwileski for donations of professional services.

A profusion of gratitude was also expressed for the support of the Valatie community, including the Friends of Valatie, local business community groups and faith groups who organized, volunteered and raised funds for the project. The Reverend Stark Jones of Valatie pronounced the blessing on the house with the help of the assembly and the families of Renee Beauchage and Josh Pratt and Omisha Sullivan were introduced. Read more…

Women’s March returns to Hudson

Jabin Ahmed, writer, artist, activist, educator and founder of Hudson Muslim Youth, spoke at the rally before the Women’s Day March in Hudson Saturday, January 20. Photo by Siobhan Connally

HUDSON–For the second year in a row local organizers staged a Women’s March and rally on the same day as similar gatherings in cities around the country.

The Saturday, January 20 event here appeared to draw between 2,000 to 2,500 participants–women and men of all ages, including families with children. According to police and march organizers, the crowd was larger than last year, when the original Women’s March followed by a day the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

Saturday’s march began at 7th Street Park, which was filled with demonstrators, many carrying signs in support of Planned Parenthood, a co-sponsor of the event, as well as for equal pay, equal rights for women and an end to sexual harassment. In addition to demanding policy changes, the signs criticized President Trump and Congressman John Faso (R-19th).

Indivisible CD 19 NY was the lead organizer of the event. The group describes itself as “concerned citizens committed to fighting the Trump agenda of hate, racism, authoritarianism and corruption in our local area.” Its website is www.cd19indivisible.org/.

As the roster of 10 scheduled speakers neared its conclusion, the protestors drifted from the park onto Warren and 7th streets so the march down Warren to Basilica Hudson on the waterfront could begin. In the lead was a brass band, whose musicians were embedded among other march participants. Read more…

Austerlitz arson case ends with a plea

HUDSON—Columbia County Court Judge Jonathan Nichols dismissed the felony third degree arson indictment against Galen Lange due to a lack of supporting evidence, August 24.

Mr. Lange, 28, of Austerlitz subsequently pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of fourth degree arson in connection with torching his parent’s home, where he also lived, at 72 Cool Timber Road, Austerlitz, August 7, 2015.

He was indicted by a grand jury on the original charge in April. Read more…