Friends donate funds to for the upkeep on the Tracy

Pictured (l to r) are Friends of the Tracy Board members Rita Van Alstyne, Vice President Steve Oberon, Kimberly Coon, Board President Mike Blasl, Board Secretary Lauren Merante, Chatham Mayor John Howe, and Board Treasurer Chris Spencer. Photo by David Lee

CHATHAM – On Monday November 8, members of the board of the Friends of the Tracy gathered on the steps of that historic building which serves as the Chatham Village Hall to present a check of $50,000 to Village Mayor John Howe for restoration and upgrade of the building.

The project had been started before the pandemic in the administration of the previous Mayor Tom Curran. Phase 1 which addressed the cupola and the slate roof has already been finished but, according to Mayor Howe, there is much more work that needs to be done. He is hoping for 3 more phases which will repair the foundation and its drainage problems, utilities upgrades, and an elevator and handicapped access improvements.

“This is a great example of a public-private partnership,” said board member Steve Oberon. “This building was built with private money and presented as a gift to the village.” It was dedicated on May 23, 1913, a gift to the village in the memory of Albert Tracy by his mother Delia E. Tracy and Albert’s wife Margaret.

Friends of the Tracy is a 501(c)3 with the mission to work to enhance and preserve the architectural, historical and cultural heritage of the Village of Chatham for future generations.

Scenic Hudson, town oppose proposed barge mooring

GERMANTOWN—Scenic Hudson and the Germantown Town Board both recently announced they oppose plans to construct a mooring for barges along the Hudson River in the town.

Nearly an acre in size, the proposed anchorage would accommodate up to six large barges—empty vessels to be filled with aggregate (loose sand and gravel) at quarry docks in Catskill and Hudson, or full ones awaiting transport, according to a press release from Scenic Hudson on November 3. Scenic Hudson is an organization that preserves land and farms and creates parks that connect people with the Hudson, while fighting threats to the river and natural resources that are the foundation of the valley’s prosperity.

Riverkeeper, a clean water advocate group, was quoted in the Times Union in September saying, “It is very clear that for us to protect the river, shoreline residents and communities as partners are essential. We cannot serve the river without the relationships that have taken all these years to build, and so… we cannot support the mooring in the face of apparent virtually universal local opposition.” Read more…

New HHA interim directors get down to work

HUDSON—“People are sleeping in the stairway, people are sleeping in the hallway, people are sleeping in the laundry room,” and the weather is getting colder, Hudson Housing Authority (HHA) Commissioner Robert Davis told his fellow commissioners about Bliss Tower on a video conference November 10. He lives there and HHA runs the housing.

Additional topics covered at that session included smoking, security, priorities and a proposal from the Galvan Foundation.

It was the first regular monthly meeting at which one of HHA’s new interim executive directors, Nick Zachos, participated.

The HHA Board consists of seven commissioners, two of whom live in Bliss. The Bliss income-restricted residences consist of the high rise tower and three low rises. The HHA was between executive directors from September 10 until October 26, when it picked Aiesha Davie and Mr. Zachos as interim directors. Read more…

Pandemic’s effects roil school activities

HUDSON–Upcoming events, Covid tests and the superintendent search dominated the Hudson City School District (HCSD) Board of Education meeting November 2.

The Elks Lodge Hoop Shoot for children, the Winter Concert, and the High School Drama Club play are on, but the Children’s Book Festival has been canceled again, announced district Superintendent Maria L. Suttmeier.

The board gave the Elks Lodge permission to use the High School gym for its Hoop Shoot. Shawn Briscoe, the district athletic director and junior high dean of students, estimated that the event will last two to three hours on a weekend day and involve 25 to 30 children. Hoop Shooters are to come from the Germantown, Hudson, and Taconic Hills school districts and range in age from 8 to over 13. Read more…

Ancramdale man fought in Korea

Korean War veteran Avery Dietter, 94, at home in Ancramdale (top). Mr. Dietter in a picture taken in Korea in 1951 or 1952 with a group of men from “D” Co, 17th RCT. He is in the top row, second from right. Photos by David Lee

AVERY DIETTER LIKES TO SAY that he is older than the place where he was born, because in 1927 it was still called Ancram Lead Mines. It didn’t become Ancramdale until 1930. The house in which he was born is just down the road from where he lives now. He was one of 16 children. His father worked at the Borden plants in Ancramdale, Pine Plains and Chatham.

Mr. Dietter attended school in Pine Plains. In high school his friends gave him the nickname “Prope” because of a girlfriend he had and the name stuck, so he says that some of his acquaintances don’t know that his first name is Avery. He quit after his junior year and worked at the Barton and Hoysradt general store in the hamlet center, an establishment which is now a locally sourced catering business and storefront eatery called The Farmer’s Wife.

He was 22 when the “police action” in Korea started. The North Korean Army attacked south of the 38th Parallel on June 25, 1950. Immediately, the newly formed United Nations condemned the invasion and two days later President Truman dispatched the 7th fleet. On July 2, General Douglas MacArthur mustered American troops stationed in Japan, along with soldiers from member nations, and by the fall of that year had reclaimed the South Korean capital, Seoul, and pushed the North Korean army back beyond the 38th Parallel. Read more…