County to offer ICC mental health clinic

KINDERHOOK–Ichabod Crane High School Principal Craig Shull spoke to the school board August 1 about a satellite mental health clinic proposed for district. Last month the Health and Human Services Committee of the county Board of Supervisors approved opening the clinic at the high school after county Director of Human Services Michael Cole and Mr. Shull talked earlier in the summer about the need for the service.

Mr. Shull told the school board that the full Board of Supervisors still must approve the satellite clinic later this month. The plan would offer a two-day-a-week clinic for students with mental health issues and would operate at no cost to the school district.

“It’s a nice opportunity for us to have this,” Mr. Shull said. He said that counseling and services students need would be “worked through” the health care insurance of the families involved. Read more…

Park called Chatham’s ‘jewel’ in the town

CHATHAM–The town Recreation and Parks Commission is trying to get the word out about what’s going on in Crellin Park, so two members of the commission and the town’s Recreation Director Mike West sat down with the Columbia Paper last month to talk about the upcoming Park Day on August 12 as well as other things the town park has to offer.

Commission member and Town Councilwoman Landra Haber called the park a “jewel” of the town. It covers about 60 acres right outside the Village of Chatham to the north along Route 66. “It’s just getting the word out there,” said she of park activities during an interview.

Mike West took over as rec director last summer. He said that the summer program for 100 kids has stayed basically the same for the last several years. Children who attend participate in outdoor programs and swim in the pond from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. from July to mid-August. There is a fee of $85 for town residents, which includes kids from the part of Village of Chatham which lies within the Town of Ghent. Those from other towns pay $175. Mr. West said that despite the fees, the park is “basically running at a deficit.” The total budget for the camp program in 2017 town budget is about $59,000. There is also a Parks budget line for maintenance of about $23,000. Read more…

Her purple and white flags lend form to hope

SPENCERTOWN—What’s in a flag besides one piece of cloth in different colors?

“It’s a symbol, and symbols are powerful,” said Cheryl Roberts, the creator of the purple-and-white Keep Hope Alive flag.

Any number of symbols resonate for us—the U.S. flag, the eagle, the rainbow flag, Ms. Roberts said in a phone interview Tuesday. “People come to recognize them, and they’re reminders of who we are, what we believe in and what we stand to lose. Read more…

County extends human services outreach

HUDSON–The County On-Call crisis line, mental health clinics in schools and Section 8 housing highlighted the meeting of the Health and Human Services Committee of the Columbia County Board of Supervisors Tuesday, July 18.

The Columbia County Department of Human Services runs a 24-hour crisis helpline, 518 828-9446, and is planning a campaign to make more people aware of it. By calling that number, one can get connected to help for crises such as opioid abuse, mental health issues, domestic violence and homelessness. During business hours, a person at the Mental Health Center answers the phone, determines the caller’s needs, and transfers the caller to the most relevant service provider. At other times, the county Sheriff’s Office answers the call and routes the call to an appropriate service provider, a licensed behavioral health professional on duty.

At the July 18 meeting, supervisors discussed both how to improve the helpline and the upcoming publicity campaign. The campaign will include billboards, which must be succinct enough for individuals driving past to absorb accurately. “The most important thing is to get the message out,” said Supervisor Patrick Grattan (R-Kinderhook), the chairman of the committee. Read more…

Chatham’s problem isn’t the dirt, it’s the wording

CHATHAM–The town Zoning Board of Appeals reviewed the application for a special use permit from Flying Deer Nature Center at the regular ZBA meeting July 27. Flying Deer, a not-for-profit education center, hopes to move to donated property on Daley Road, a dirt lane.

In early April, the center was granted a waiver by the Town Board, exempting Flying Deer from the town’s moratorium that bars new construction along the town’s dirt roads. The waiver allowed Flying Deer to submit applications to the ZBA for a special use permit and to the Planning Board for a site plan review and approval. The town is currently updating its zoning law and adopted the moratorium about two years ago while the law update process continued.

In June the ZBA and Planning Board held a joint public hearing on the Flying Deer applications. The major issue raised at that meeting was traffic flow on Daley Road if the camp is allowed to operate there. Read more…