Maybe this a way to reduce greenhouse gas

The 180th Columbia County Fair returned to the fairgrounds in Chatham September 1 only to be greeted by downpours from what had been Hurricane Ida. The intense rainfall led to the fairgrounds closing early that day. But the fair proceeded under brighter skies for the remaining five days of the event. After taking a year off in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the fair did see crowds return this year. On Friday, September 3, at the Demolition Derby, this intentional pile-up in the final heat featured #2021 Tony Graziano of Hudson and #322 Nick Sorros of Spencertown. Photo by David Lee

Ancram wonders whether farmer has mining in mind

ANCRAM—The Town Planning Board wants more complete information before it decides on a controversial application to remove thousands of yards of sand and gravel from a farm field along the east side of Route 22, just north of White House Crossing Road.

At the Planning Board’s September 2 meeting, Chairman John Ingram noted that he had received an updated project map from applicant Fred Schneeberger, owner/operator of G & S Excavating Inc., in Ancramdale, which shows the change in topography the excavation would cause. Also, the plan now proposes to remove 5,000 cubic yards of sand and gravel less than the original 25,000 cubic yards previously proposed.

The application, dated May 5 of this year, has been under consideration by the Planning Board for the past few months. Read more…

Deadline nears for farmers to claim virus funds

GHENT—When Congressman Antonio Delgado (D-19th) met with constituents at a Town Hall in Germantown August 17, he touted a second round of CARES funding that could help Columbia County farmers hit by the pandemic: the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP2).

While the original CFAP 2 application period ran for four months—September to December 2020—the updated CFAP2 reopened the application period in 2021 and extended it to seven months. The deadline is October 12. The extended program also increased significantly the numbers of eligible farm operations by including a diverse range of commodities.

According to Matt Forrest, county executive director for Columbia / Greene County Farm Services Agency (FSA), 80 farms in Columbia County were eligible under CFAP1; now 130 farms are eligible under CFAP2. The extended program also increased the types of eligible farm operations to include dairy goats, specialty livestock (alpaca/llamas, bison/buffalo/beefalo, deer/elk/emu and rabbits/ducks/guinea pigs), floriculture and nursery crops, and more than 230 fruit, vegetable and nut crops. Read more…

Census says we’re shrinking but not everywhere

GHENT—Over the past decade Columbia County’s total population has decreased, but the population of a few towns has increased, as has the number of people who are at least 18 years old or who identify themselves as Asian, of more than one race, or Hispanic, according to the 2020 Census.

The 2020 Census put the total population of Columbia County at 61,570. This is 1,526 (2.4%) less than the 2010 population of 63,096. The 2020 population is the county’s lowest since 1980. The 2020 count ended a seven-decade run of population increases in the county from census to census.

The county’s highest census population occurred in 2010, and its lowest since earlier than 1850 occurred in 1920. The following chart summarizes the County population ranges since 1850:

Period Population (range)

1850-1910…… 40,000 – 49,000

1920………… 38,900

1930-1960…… 40,000 – 49,000

1970-1980…… 50,000-59,000

1990-2020……. 60,000+ Read more…

Gallery puts village on notice for ‘Truth’ ruling

KINDERHOOK—Jack Shainman, owner of The School gallery in the village, has filed a notice of claim against the village code enforcement officer and the mayor, saying that due to actions by those village officials Mr. Shainman “suffered damages not to exceed $50,000.”

The notice, filed in state court April 30, has to do with a piece of art put on the facade of Mr. Shainman’s gallery at 25 Broad Street. The words “Truth Be Told” in large vinyl letters were attached to the outside of the brick building in late October of 2020. The work, created by internationally known artist Nick Cave, was later changed to say just “Truth.”

The piece was taken down in late January and installed on an outside wall of the Brooklyn Museum, but not before the village issued a stop-work order on the Kinderhook gallery and held several Zoning Board of Appeals meetings to discuss village zoning code issues. Read more…