As emergency volume grows, patients wait outside

HUDSON—Challenges facing Columbia County’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) include diversions between hospitals, wait times, specialization, and increased call volumes, EMS Coordinator P.J. Keeler reported to the County Public Safety Committee meeting July 20 and in a telephone conversation July 28.

“Our system has worked and is still working, but we want to make it more efficient and respond more quickly,” he said. The system had a major overhaul 12 years ago, but now, “the world has changed, and healthcare is changing rapidly.”

When a hospital learns a patient is coming, it determines whether it has a bed available in the appropriate unit and whether it can serve the patient’s needs. If not, it tells the ambulance—whether en route or already in the hospital parking lot—to divert to another hospital. From Columbia Memorial, most diversions go to Albany Medical Center, St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany, Ellis Hospital in Schenectady, or Northern Dutchess Hospital in Rhinebeck. And, yes, the patient may get billed for the extra travel.

For most diversions, the patient stays in the same ambulance. Air lifts are only for “very critical cases,” Mr. Keeler said. Read more…

Voting nears on Special Election for Delgado seat


GHENT—Tuesday, August 23 is an Election Day in New York State. Columbia County has two contests on the ballot. There is a Special Election in the “Old” 19th CD (Congressional District) to choose a replacement to complete the term of former Congressman Antonio Delgado, who resigned his congressional seat ​​and now serves as lt. governor of New York.

There is also a Democratic Party Primary for the “New” 19th CD. All registered voters are eligible to cast ballots in the Special Election but only registered Democrats are eligible to vote in the Primary.

(Regarding the 19th CD, the informal “old” and “new” designations refer to the district boundaries prior to and after statewide redistricting. The most significant local changes are removing Dutchess County from the 19th and extending the district west to include Broome and Tioga counties.)

Vying to replace Mr. Delgado in the Special Election are Marcus Molinaro, who will appear on the Republican and Conservative lines, and Pat Ryan, who will be on the Democratic and Working Families lines. The winner will serve the “Old” 19th until the end of December 2022 and likely will seek re-election in the November General Election in the “New” 18th CD, which includes Dutchess County. Read more…

Settling in for movie night in the village

On Friday, July 22, the Kinderhook Business and Professional Association (KBPA) hosted a dance party with DJ Jared Widjeskog and a free screening of Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom” on the lawn of The School/Jack Shainman Gallery, on Broad Street in the Village of Kinderhook. Paul Struntz of Upstate Films, from Rhinebeck, introduced the movie at around 8:30 p.m. Audience members were asked to bring their own chairs and blankets and were encouraged to take-out food from local restaurants to have a picnic on the lawn of what was the former Martin Van Buren Elementary School. The event included on-site concessions from Adirondack Kettlekorn and Dutch Desserts. Photo by Emilia Teasdale

News from The Board of Supervisors

County briefs

CONGRATULATIONS for the Ichabod Crane Varsity Girls Softball Team and their coaches highlighted the Columbia County Board of Supervisors meeting July 13.  The team won this year’s New York State Softball Championship for Class B Public High Schools.

Head Coach Tracy Nytransky was designated 2022 Class B Softball Coach of the Year by the NY State Sportswriters & Coaches Organization for Girls Sports.

This was the third time the Ichabod Crane Girls Softball team won the state championship, according to Ms. Nytransky and Athletic Director Dave Ames. The previous times occurred in 2015 and 2018.

For these accomplishments the board awarded the team and the coach Certificates of Recognition.  County Board Chairman Matt Murell (R-Stockport) proclaimed the championship “a victory for all of Columbia County.” Read more…

Ancram forms committee to look into bad behavior

ANCRAM—After months of debate, this town now has a Committee for Respectful Behavior (CRB).

The board voted four to one to approve the appointment of the CRB, whose members include Amy Allen, Isalyn Connell, Dave Hall, Jaclyn Ryan, Bill Walters and Abby Westlake.

Town Supervisor Art Bassin, Councilman Hugh Clark, Councilwoman Amy Gold and Councilwoman Bonnie Hundt all voted in favor. Councilman David Boice voted No.

The committee will start by recommending a training program, along with a final policy and procedure for addressing future instances of discourteous or ill-mannered behavior that occurs in the course of carrying out town business at a meeting or elsewhere. Once these elements are approved by the Town Board, the committee will begin to deal with those kinds of complaints, should they arise. Read more…