Now this is a shovel-ready site

The county as well as much of the eastern part of the state got two days of snow Monday and Tuesday. Seen above at Omi’s sculpture park Tuesday afternoon, dog friends Cider, an Australian shepherd, Emilia, a dog of light color and indeterminate pedigree, and Toby, the intense but friendly pit bull, loved the snow in this part of Ghent, as their minders Dani Purkey (l) and Noah Rosenstein tried to keep up. Dogs are welcome at the Sculpture Park but they must be kept on leash from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The park, at 1405 County Route 22, is open daily from dawn until dusk. There are new Covid-19 related guidelines for visiting; they can be found at artomi.org/visit. Photo by David Lee

Asbestos removal slows HHA upgrades at Bliss

HUDSON—Apartment rehabilitation, asbestos and stairwell socializing were among the subjects that received attention at the Hudson Housing Authority (HHA) Board of Commissioners meeting last month.

The HHA runs the 135-unit income-restricted Bliss housing complex in Hudson.

Of the 135 units, 110 are on-line. They are either rented or available to rent. The other 25 are off-line: kept uninhabited pending rehabilitation. Read more…

County policing panel finds no lack of ideas to consider

HUDSON—The Columbia County Police Reform Panel discussed preparing police officers to handle people with disabilities, substance abuse issues or limited English, as well as youth recruitment, diversity, police accountability, courts, and body camera data storage, at its Elected Officials/Law Enforcement conference January 19.

County Sheriff David Bartlett said that he was going to mandate that his deputies take courses in how to recognize certain disabilities and talk to people with them. In some situations, he said, “You could very well deescalate just by knowing how to speak to the people.”

Supervisor Sarah Sterling (Hudson, 1st Ward) reported a suggestion that county Sheriff’s Office deputies visit group homes for people with disabilities. This would benefit both the residents of these homes and the deputies. Both would get to see each other as individual human beings and not as characters on TV or people with labels. Read more…

Hecate unplugs battery plan

COPAKE—Hecate Energy has decided to drop the idea of including a battery storage system in its controversial proposed 60-megawatt photovoltaic solar farm, called Shepherd’s Run in Craryville.

Hecate, (pronounced “HEK-uh-tee”), a developer of solar power plants, wind power plants, and energy storage solutions headquartered in Chicago, says the move comes in response to public feedback and indicates that the company is listening.

Sensible Solar for Rural New York, a coalition of concerned citizens, who oppose the project, says Hecate still has a long way to go to address local concerns. Read more…

Anybody here see a sign?

KINDERHOOK—The village Zoning Board of Appeals voted unanimously that artwork that was on the facade of the Jack Shainman Gallery/The School is not a sign and cannot be regulated under village code.

In a motion adopted at the ZBA’s special meeting February 2, ZBA members also recommended that the Village Board work with the gallery’s owner “to determine what can be done to allow The School to operate without undue conflict with the Village’s residents and government.”

The gallery, at 25 Broad Street/Route 9, displayed the words “Truth Be Told” in large vinyl letters on the outside of the brick building beginning in late October 2020. The work, by artist Nick Cave, was recently changed to say only the word “Truth” in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the presidential inauguration. All the words have since been taken down. Mr. Shainman, the gallery owner, had said the exhibit would end at the end of January. The work will next be recreated on the facade of the Brooklyn Museum this spring as part of a larger exhibit. Read more…