Having a good time at Old Tone

Friday evening and Saturday, September 9 and 10, brought the “lite” version of the Old Tone Roots Music Festival, a longer version having been staged in late July. The location was again the Cool Whisper Farm in Hillsdale near Hawthorne Valley. More than a dozen bands of the traditional, old-time and bluegrass affiliations from Maine to New Orleans were featured. Pictured is the packed dance floor on Saturday evening for music by the Downhill Strugglers and special guests. Photo by David Lee

Germantown remembers 9-11 with ceremony in Palatine Park

Germantown Boy Scout Troop 122 lowers the flag at the 9-11 ceremony. Photo by David Lee

GERMANTOWN – A 9-11 ceremony was conducted on Sunday morning at the site of the memorial in Palatine Park. In attendance were Germantown Supervisor David Helsley, New York State Assemblymember Didi Barrett (D-106) and New York State Senator Michelle Hinchey (D-46), the latter speaking of the unity and call to service inspired in the months and years after the attack.

For her part, Assemblymember Barrett said that much of her memory of that time comes from the ceremonies and remembrances at that site in Germantown. She said we now have a whole generation of people who do not have direct memories of the attack.

“We need to go forward together,” she said. “It is intrinsic to who we are as Americans.”
A color guard was provided by the Jennings Willets American Legion Post 346. The Germantown Fire Department honor guard attended and the Germantown Boy Scout Troop 122 lowered the flag from full staff, reattached it to the pole and re-raised it to half staff where it would remain for the day.

Now Cascino wants to raise houses, not cows

COPAKE—Salvatore Cascino claims to be a farmer, but his latest interactions with the town Planning Board have dealt with housing projects—one of them so major, it would leave little room for crops or animals.

Mr. Cascino, 82, owns a 300-acre property along the east side of Route 22 across from the southern entrance to the Copake hamlet. He is a convicted felon who has spent much time over the past 23 years amassing violations of federal, state and town laws for illegal dumping, building and excavating at this place he calls Copake Valley Farm.

In November 2020 the Planning Board approved Mr. Cascino’s Master Plan for large structures to store hay and shelter animals. The approval was granted based on the ratio of land to animals. But now, Mr. Cascino is considering a major housing project, which would take up most of his 300 acres.

According to the minutes of the May Planning Board meeting, Elka Gotfryd, an urban planner, represented Mr. Cascino during a conference with the board about the possible pursuit by Mr. Cascino of a major subdivision. It would involve 30 to 35 lots on about 285 acres. A required 60% of the acreage would be set aside for a conservancy. Only a seven-acre parcel dedicated to some aspect of farming would be left on the property. Read more…

Police watchdog panel finds little common ground

HUDSON—The Columbia County Police Reform Plan calls for a Citizens Review Panel to receive complaints against law enforcers. Differing ideas about its role arose at the most recent Police Reform Implementation Committee meeting, August 2. As of then, the Review Panel had been dormant, even though the County had named members to it.

Implementation Committee member William Hughes of Hudson said he envisioned the Review Panel would receive complaints and copies of complaints submitted elsewhere, keep data on them, and make recommendations to officials.

The Review Board has no power over elected officials, like the Sheriff or the County Board of Supervisors, and cannot force them to discipline anyone, labor counsel Elena DeFio Kean pointed out. “No matter how commendable a goal, public officials cannot do anything not allowed by law,” said District Attorney Paul Czajka. Read more…

Lively livestock squeals the show

Contestants for the 4H Master Showman at the Columbia County Fair must be able to show and talk about seven species of animals: poultry, rabbits, beef, dairy, goats, sheep and swine. Swine are particularly hard to control in the show ring. The final contestants on Monday morning, September 5, were (pictured l to r) Laura Hallenbeck, Daisy Trowbridge, Harriet Kress, Shelby Schrader, Haylee Pratt, and Marian Pirrone (not pictured). Laura Hallenbeck was the eventual winner. More photos on the 181st Columbia County Fair are on page 20. Photo by David Lee

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