Race for county DA has familiar names on ballot

HUDSON—Two men are in a political rematch for the four-year term as Columbia County District Attorney. The outcome will be determined November 5.

Current DA Paul Czajka and former DA Eugene Keeler faced off before in 2011. Both attorneys are familiar with the campaign trail and this one, like their prior confrontation, has been prickly—marked by personal attacks on both sides.

What follows in alphabetical order are profiles of the two candidates based on answers they provided to a Columbia Paper questionnaire. Read more…

Haunting happens here in Columbia County

THE EAST SIDE OF THE HUDSON River during October is known for autumnal foliage, miles of orchards and countless historic sites hosting spooky events. But Columbia County also has one other thing in abundance this time of year—ghosts.

Within its centuries-old architecture apparitions have been said to appear, and at least since the establishment of the county in 1786, things here have been reported as going bump in the night. Hans von Behr owned a summer home in Old Chatham known as the Old Chase Place, which inspired his writing of “Ghosts in Residence” in 1986. It contains 17 stories of haunted happenings in Columbia County, according to Kathryn Matthews writing in The New York Times. The accounts of spooky circumstances are plentiful and range from bursts of cold air to hovering silhouettes. The Old Chase Place is now home to descendants of Behr and the ghosts that hide within.

While ghost stories usually take place with the screams of teenagers echoing in a haunted house, this one tale in particular originates on the gravel of Spook Rock Road in Greenport, lying near the Claverack Creek. Today it is a destination to admire the flora and fauna, but once it was the site of a great flood according to local lore. When the Mahican Native American tribe (pronounced as Mohican today) inhabited the region in the 1600s, the daughter of a chief, whose name is unverified, was scheduled to be wed to a warrior from a nearby clan. But the daughter yearned for another man who was not her intended spouse. The couple fled to evade her unwanted matrimony and the wrath of her father, finding themselves south of the Claverack Creek according to trytoscareme.net. At that site the couple sat on a large boulder to rest. This coupling angered the gods due to the breaking of tradition causing the deities to raise the water of the creek and rapidly flood the region, killing the young lovers. Varying accounts have claimed to hear her wails of pain or see the woman wandering the road in search of her lost love. Read more…

Solid finances allow Hudson to consider future goals

HUDSON–A positive financial report, goals for after 2020, the AVID program, and uses of school grounds highlighted the Hudson City School District (HCSD) Board of Education’s two most recent meetings, October 1 and 15.

“Overall, your district is in good financial condition,” External Auditor Scott Preusser reported at the October 1 meeting. “Your asset-to-liability ratio keeps increasing. Your budget was tighter this year than last year, but overall your position is strong.”

Now that the district has a reserve fund, Mr. Preusser suggested earmarking part of it for the capital projects. After all, someone at the meeting said, as one capital project finishes, the next is in mind. Read more…

Four seek two board seats in Germantown

GERMANTOWN—The top of the ballot here looks as it does in other towns across the county, but here there are races for two Town Board seats, which has drawn four candidates.

Ronald E. Moore II, an incumbent, is running for another term. Brittany DuFresne, also an incumbent, chose not to run this year. That brought three new names to the town ballot: Republican Lynn Clum and Democrats Kaare Christian and Sarah Jane Suarez.

Each is running for a four-year term. Read more…

ICC plans musical chairs for construction time classrooms

KINDERHOOK–The Ichabod Crane school board heard an update at the October 8 board meeting on construction plans for the major capital improvement project now starting in the district. Interim Superintendent Lee Bordick said that he would be presenting a “sequencing plan” later that week so staff could review and comment on where students and classrooms will be relocated during the construction.

Work on a connector road between the middle and primary school buildings, which started in September, is almost complete, Mr. Bordick told the crowd at the meeting, held this month at the middle school. Normally board meetings are held in the high school library but the board is touring each building in the district as the district prepares for the construction projects.

Mr. Bordick said that, weather permitting, paving will be done on the road at the end of the month and the sidewalk between the two schools will be complete. The district is also doing research into gates that will be put up on the road during the school day. The connector road was put in so that buses, which stop at all three school buildings in the morning and afternoon, will not have to go out onto Route 9 and State Farm Road to access the primary school. Read more…