Copake clerk learns what’s in a name

COPAKE—When Copake Town Clerk Larry Proper went on vacation this summer he came back home with more than a suntan and souvenirs.

He returned with a new leaf on his family tree. Ida Sedgwick Proper was not only a painter and writer of some prominence, but was also a town clerk.

Mr. Proper and his wife, Teri, went on a week’s vacation to Maine July 13 through 20. It was the first time either of them had ever been there. They visited Wells, Kennebunkport, Bar Harbor and later met up with their son Todd and his friends at a place called Monhegan Island. Read more…

Dems, others pick tickets

Thursday’s primary elections determine fall ballot choices

GHENT—First: next week’s state and local primary election is on Thursday, September 13 (not the usual Tuesday). Polls are open from noon to 9 p.m.

The state legislature changed the weekday because “they don’t like to hold an election on 9/11,” county Democratic Commissioner of Elections Virginia Martin said this week, adding that this year September 11 is also Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. “This has happened before,” she said. “A few years ago the primary was on September 13.”

Second: while many of the candidates are primarying for the Democratic line on the November 6 ballot, September 13 is also a primary for voters enrolled in the Green, Independence, Women’s Equality and Reform parties. Depending on the office, those voters can choose among candidates or use the Opportunity to Ballot (write in). Read more…

They dreamed it. They built it

AUSTERLITZ–Linda Lavin and Steve Bakunas were recently joined by Jeffrey C. Hunt, president and CEO of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, to celebrate the opening of their Country Suites bed and breakfast at 319 state Route 203 in the Town of Austerlitz near Spencertown. The couple came to the region six years ago, fell in love with its beauty, then found Columbia County.

They asked Town Supervisor Robert Lagonia and other officials and residents what Spencertown and Austerlitz needed and lodging was at the top of the list. Thus was born the transformation of a former restaurant into The Country Suites. Read more…

Area farmers sound off to U.S. agriculture secretary on visas, tariffs

Reprinted with permission from the Times Union

VALATIE — Mexican music graced the air in the barn at the Altobelli Family where workers sorted the sweet corn crop.

The music was turned off by the time U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue arrived for a tour with John and Becky Altobelli, who told him that four of the eight people working on the corn harvest were seasonal workers from Mexico and it would be hard to make their 240-acre vegetable farm pay without these workers and the visa program through which they come to this country.

On Thursday, August 23, Secretary Perdue was on a whirlwind visit to Columbia County where he heard from local farmers from five upstate counties on Mexican labor, Canadian steel, depressed prices for milk and other topics. Read more…

Kinderhook OK’s car charger bid

KINDERHOOK–At the August 8 meeting, the Village Board opened three bids for the electric car charging station they plan to put in municipal parking lot. The bids ranged from about $20,000 to $17,000, with one of the bids showing two costs, each at over $12,000.

Warren Applegate and Aileen Leventon, from the village Climate Smart Communities Task Force were at the meeting to hear the bids.

“I think we have to look a little further into this,” said Mayor Jim Dunham, saying board members needed to make sure they were comparing “apples to apples” with the bids. Ms. Leventon said she would review the bids to help the board with the process. Read more…