Sparse turnout dismays Vietnam veterans

HUDSON –Last Saturday morning was cloudy with a raw wind blowing as the veterans of the Vietnam War and other wars along with friends and family gathered in front of the Columbia County Courthouse to observe Vietnam Veterans Day. Many of those gathered were dismayed by the sparse turnout of the citizenry.

“I guess it’s not an election year,” said one of the attendees.

A group wearing the black leather motorcycle jackets emblazoned with the Veterans of Vietnam of America Motorcycle Club insignia rode up from Saugerties for the event. Their six representatives comprised nearly a third of the total turnout. The club’s state president, who introduced himself as “Dutch” said he has come to the Hudson event for several years. Read more…

Close call, as gasoline barge runs aground

An Albany-bound barge carrying more than 60,000 barrels of refined gasoline ran aground in the Hudson River Tuesday, April 4 in Catskill below the Rip Van Winkle Bridge and across the river from the Town of Greenport. The fuel was subsequently transferred to another barge and the grounded barge was refloated and removed. “I am relieved to see that there were no major injuries or spillage resulting from the incident,” said Congressman John Faso (R–19th) in a statement. State Assemblyman Pete Lopez (R–102nd), who was briefed by the governor’s office and the state Department of Environmental Conservation released a statement crediting the Coast Guard, Greene County officials and the governor’s office “for being proactive and hands-on in managing this situation effectively.” Assemblymember Didi Barrett (D-106th) said in a statement that the incident “makes clear the inherent risks that petroleum transportation poses for our Hudson River Valley and its residents…. but it brings home the real environmental, health and safety threats with the increase in oil and gas vessels addressed by our legislation (A6825).” She said the bill would provide the state expanded authority over the establishment of ‘tanker avoidance zones’ on the state’s navigable waterways to help prevent this problem. Photo by Lance Wheeler


Getting their hands dirty

The worms crawl in… Michael Corts (l) watches his grandson Joshua Banyard (c) get a handful of worms from Master Gardener Volunteer Devon Russ. They learned how to use waste paper and kitchen scraps to make a worm composting bin to produce soil fertilizer at Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Spring Gardening Day at Columbia-Greene Community College, Greenport, April 1. Photo by B. Docktor

Upgrades offer helps K’hook choose web host vendor

VALATIE–The Kinderhook Town Board has awarded Town Web Designs a contract to redesign the town’s website. There will be a one-time cost for design of $7,999 and a yearly cost of $2,700 for the company to host the site.

Former Board member Peter Bujanow worked with the board to find the company. The board put out a request for proposal last winter. They met with two companies–Town Web Designs and Virtual Towns, the company that designed the current town website.

At the Monday, April 3 meeting, Mr. Bujanow reviewed the two different companies and the cost for the services. Virtual Towns proposed charging $12,995 for design and $2,195 annually to host the site. The board discussed staff training options, which included unlimited video conference trainings with Town Web Design. Read more…

Chatham grants two hardship waivers for dirt-road projects

CHATHAM–The Town Board has granted two hardship waivers for projects proposed on two different dirt roads.

The board has maintained a moratorium–now in place for more than two years–prohibiting new construction on properties served by unpaved town roads. The moratorium will remain in effect until the Town Board completes its review of proposed changes to the town’s Comprehensive Plan, which could affect zoning regulations on structures along the 57.5 miles of dirt roads in the town.

But the moratorium does allow for exemptions based on hardships, and two applicants–Flying Deer Nature Center and Jeanne Laskin on Daly Road, and David and Erika Santoro on Dorland Road–applied for hardship waivers so that their projects can proceed to the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) and Planning Board for review.

Last Thursday, April 6, the Town Board granted both applicants partial waivers. The applicants will need to come back to the Town Board for final approval on their projects if they receive approval from the ZBA and Planning Board. Town Supervisor Maria Lull and all four board members voted in favor of Daly Road application. Councilman John Wapner was the only board member who voted against the Dorland Road waiver.

(Read the entire story in the April 13 print edition of The Columbia Paper.)