Protest crowd prompts talk of law

KINDERHOOK–At last week’s Village Board meeting Mayor James Dunham raised the question of whether the village needs some sort of mass gathering law. Mr. Dunham said the issue came up after hundreds of people gathered in front of Congressman John Faso’s Kinderhook office on the village square last month to protest Mr. Faso’s stance on repealing the Affordable Care Act.

The Republican congressman represents the 19th Congressional District, which includes all of Columbia County. He began his first term last month, and protesters have called on him to hold town meetings with constituents. Mr. Faso lives close to the center of the village and protesters marched from the square to his house and talked to him on the sidewalk in front of his house for about 45 minutes at the January 28 event. Read more…

Warm temps thwart G’town skaters

GERMANTOWN—Despite hard work and good planning there’s no joy among skaters in this town. The weather has not cooperated so the ice is not thick enough on the town rink.

Town Board member Brittany DuFresne told The Columbia Paper this week, “Due to the warm weather, our water level in the rink has dropped and we are in the process of planning to top it all off. We’ve ordered some flags, red and green, to hang on the pavilion to indicate whether or not the rink is ‘skatable.’” Read more…

ICC fills one principal slot, opening up another

KINDERHOOK–The Ichabod Crane Board of Education accepted the resignation APPR Principal Melissa Murray for purpose of retirement at their regular meeting on Tuesday. Ms. Murray has worked in the district since 1983. She had been a teacher in both the Middle and Primary schools, and was the principal at the Primary School before taking over the administrative roll of developing teacher evaluations, or Annual Professional Performance Review. Ms. Murray will retire in June.

The board appointed current Primary School Principal Suzanne Guntlow to the position of APPR principal after some discussion about the position at the February 7 meeting. She will start July 1, which means the board will be looking for a new Primary School principal. Ms. Guntlow was appointed Primary School principal in December 2013. Read more…

Opioid crisis spurs plan to reduce addiction

HUDSON–Columbia County is working on a countywide plan to respond to local opioid abuse.

“Opioids” include heroin, some prescription pain killers and other opium products. In recent years, opioid abuse has grown to the point that officials recognize it as a nationwide problem. A few weeks ago Supervisor Matt Murrell (R-Stockport), chairman of the County’s Board of Supervisors, included confronting this problem “pro-actively” as one of his 2017 goals. He formed a committee to develop a response plan, tapped county Director of Community Services Michael Cole, a licensed clinical social worker, to lead the task of drafting the plan and directed the committee meet January 26 to discuss it.

Four themes that ran through the January 26 meeting included the current situation, the significance of Columbia County’s rural character, the advantages of partnering with Greene County, and the advisability of working with the many organizations already dealing with the problem. Read more…

Think flu missed you? Think again

HUDSON—If you just woke up from a long winter’s nap hoping to have missed the flu season—you better go back to sleep…till May.

Don’t let the New York State Department of Health flu logo sneak up on you. Image contributed

Flu activity here in Columbia County and statewide currently “remains widespread,” according the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), which “collects, compiles and analyzes information on influenza activity year round” in the state and produces a weekly report about it during the influenza season which runs October through the following May. Read more…