Driver, chief and mayor critique ICE incident

HUDSON–The driver of the car stopped by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials in Hudson March 5 conversed with Hudson City officials about the episode and its implications at Hudson City Hall March 15, in front of an overflow audience.

Columbia County Sanctuary Movement Executive Director Bryan McCormack, who had driven the car, Mayor Rick Rector, Common Council President Tom DePietro, Alderman Kamal Johnson (D-1st Ward), and Police Chief Ed Moore discussed the how police interacted with ICE officials during the episode, the citizenship question and translation services. The meeting was calm.

Chief Moore reported, “On March 5, I got a call from ICE. They said they had a warrant to arrest two men in a car driven by Bryan. I sent two police officers. The decision to send them was mine and mine alone.” At the scene, “the officers saw Bryan sitting behind the wheel and lots of ICE officers around the vehicle, but they did not see the men. I instructed them to stand and watch. Then an ICE officer told our officers that they would not execute an arrest. So I told our officers to leave.” The Hudson officers had been there eight or nine minutes. Read more…

Hudson’s 2020 break plan bumps into Questar’s

HUDSON–Education for careers in education, the 2019-20 school calendar and the budget highlighted the Hudson City School District (HCSD) Board of Education meeting March 11.

District Superintendent Maria L. Suttmeier reported on progress developing a Careers in Education curriculum for high school students. Columbia-Greene Community College suggested the students come to its campus for a full set of courses. But there the students would have to pay $200 a credit. Hudson High School currently offers college courses at the high school for one-third the college tuition. These include some courses required of pre-med undergraduates, such as Introductory Psychology. Dr. Suttmeier recommended offering this career track on site at the high school, so more students could afford it.

Dr. Suttmeier also announced that the calendar she will prepare for the 2019-20 school year will differ from Questar III BOCES’ calendar although it usually matches it. Questar’s planned 2019-20 calendar will have a two-week Christmas vacation, with school resuming Monday, January 6. But Dr. Suttmeier plans to resume school in the HCSD Thursday, January 2, after a week-and-a-half vacation. Her reasons include reducing the number of consecutive winter days that poor children will go without free school meals and hourly employees will go without pay. On the other hand, she said, some people warn that in a two-day school week there will be a lot of absences. The superintendent said the main challenge would be determining how the school district students in Questar programs would spend January 2 and 3. Read more…

Minahan, Boehme, Spock win seats in Chatham

CHATHAM–John Howe, who was running unopposed, was elected mayor of the Village of Chatham Tuesday. He received 234 votes.

There were two races for seats on the Village Board. The two open 2-year terms went to Peter M. Minahan, with  207 votes, and Jaimee Boehme, 167. Mr. Minahan was an appointed incumbent, filling a vacancy on the board.

The third candidate for a 2-year seat was Jodie Russell, with 121 votes.

The other race was for a 1-year term. In that contest, Melony Spock beat Joseph Cerami by 157 to 109.

Chatham’s village elections are run by the County Board of Elections. The results here are from the election night count. It was not clear whether absentee ballots were included.

Chatham’s VideoVisions to star on TV

CHATHAM – Chatham’s VideoVisions, one of the last of the privately owned businesses solely dedicated to movie rentals, has become something of a tourist attraction.

On Saturday, March 2, a team from the nationally syndicated television magazine Inside Edition came to the village to gather material for an 8 to 10 minute segment dedicated to Steve Campbell’s VideoVisions, which he started with his partner Jim Dunavin in 1984.

Mr. Campbell has maintained the store with 23,500 titles and counting, all organized and cataloged. Mr. Campbell says he has never gotten rid of a title. He also keeps up with the latest releases, including the latest academy award winners, to which he has devoted a separate section. Read more…

ICE arrests thwarted by Hudson immigrant advocates

Reprinted with permission from the Times Union

HUDSON — Immigration activists thwarted an attempt by federal immigration officers to arrest two undocumented residents last week.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deportation officers stopped Bryan MacCormack, executive director of the Columbia County Sanctuary Movement, on Tuesday, March 5, while he was driving away from the Hudson City Court with two undocumented immigrants in his car.

The undocumented passengers are from Central America and have lived in the Hudson area for years, Mr. MacCormack said. They had been in court that morning for traffic-related offenses. Read more…