Hudson tests computer testing, appoints new board member

HUDSON–An optimistic audit, a new board member, assessment testing by computer, staff vacancies and a money game in an economics classroom highlighted the Hudson City School District (HCSD) Board of Education meeting Monday December 18.

“You’re financially moving in the right direction,” external auditor Scott Preusser told the board. Reasons he gave include:

• Financial reserves are growing. Only a few years ago the District had none Read more…

Want to pay your taxes early?

HUDSON—Some Columbia County towns and the City of Hudson are allowing their residents to pay 2018 town and county property taxes early–before January 1. A partial list of the towns and their requirements for early payment appear below.

Congress has passed and the president has signed the tax law that caps at $10,000 the deduction for state and local taxes from federal taxes beginning January 1, 2018.

In response, on December 22 Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an emergency Executive Order that allows New Yorkers to pre-pay next year’s property taxes this year, before the new tax law takes effect. Payments must be postmarked by December 31. For more information, taxpayers should contact the tax collector in their town.

The order authorizes localities to issue warrants for the collection of early property tax payments and to accept partial payment, allowing New Yorkers to pay a portion or all of their 2018 property taxes before the end of this year. This will allow taxpayers who itemize their returns to deduct their payments for 2018 on their 2017 federal tax return.

The county Board of Supervisors adopted the 2018 tax warrant Thursday, December 28, which was a required step before towns could accept tax bill pre-payments. Read more…

Village endorses plea to lower Rte. 203 speed limit

CHATHAM–The Village Board voted last Thursday night to support a petition asking the state to reduce the speed limit on state Route 203 on the west side of the village. The currently posted limit is 55 mph.

Village Treasurer Barbara Henry said a link to the petition is on the Village of Chatham Facebook page, www.facebook.com/VillageofChathamNY.

Clicking on the link connects to a document that that reads, “This petition seeks a reduction of the speed limit on NY State Route 203 from approximately Maranatha Church at 1965 Route 203 to the Chatham Village border. This short stretch of road currently has a speed limit of 55 mph. It is heavily used by pedestrians walking to Mac-Haydn Theater, Edgewood Acres Mobile Home Park, and a shortcut to Chatham High School. Driving toward Chatham Village, the road goes downhill. Lowering the speed limit on this short stretch of New York state road would be appropriate and make a significant positive impact on safety.” Read more…

Dream Act protesters arrested at Faso office

KINDERHOOK – Columbia County Sheriff deputies charged five protesters on Monday, December 18, after they refused to leave Congressman John Faso’s (R-19th) District Office in Kinderhook. The demonstrators were seeking support for immigration legislation called the Dream Act bill.

Deputies were called at about 5 p.m., Sheriff David P. Bartlett said in a press release. “Deputies spoke with protestors to try and avoid any arrests by just encouraging them to leave the office on their own,” he said in the release.

The protesters refused. Four of the five live in Columbia County, one lives in Kingston. All five were charged by deputies with trespass and issued tickets to appear in Kinderhook village court. Read more…

Chatham weighs mental health needs of younger students

CHATHAM–At last week’s school board meeting members discussed concerns regarding the mental health of the district’s youngest students.

Kristen Reno, principal of the Mary E. Dardess Elementary School (MED), mentioned that the school has begun having a “mindfulness” session at the beginning of the school day, in which children are guided through meditation practices in an attempt to help them overcome stress and improve focus throughout their day.

In response board member David O’Conner expressed concern that the district does not have a strong plan in place to ensure the mental wellbeing of students, citing a study that one-in-five children are going through anxiety or depression issues. This report, from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, states that these numbers are applicable to children from age 3 through 17, and have a “diagnosable mental, emotional or behavioral disorder in a given year.” Read more…