Masks still a must as ICC prepares for ‘normal’

KINDERHOOK—Ichabod Crane School Superintendent Suzanne Guntlow told her board that the plan for the next school year is to get the school day back to as normal as possible. But she also stressed at the June 1 board meeting that masks are still required for anyone visiting the school buildings. She told the board that the state had not removed the mask requirements for schools, so she said that people visiting school property must “continue to wear your masks at all times.”

Students will continue to wear masks and use social distancing in school. Students in the high school and middle school are still on a hybrid schedule for the rest of this school year, with some in-person and some on-line school days. Most high school students attend school two days a week with three days online. Students in grades 7 and 6 were able to come back to in-person classes four days a week recently. In grades k through 5, students have been attending school five days a week all year.

As the school year wraps up, the district will be hosting in-person state Regents exams. Some of the testing was canceled, but four Regents tests will still be given. Regents exams can only be taken in-person; there is no remote option. Read more…

Cpl. Clifford Johnson laid to rest with full military honors

After 70 years listed as Missing in Action and presumed dead in the Korean War, Valatie soldier Clifford Johnson (center, r) has finally been brought home. A funeral service was conducted at the Bond Funeral Home in Valatie, and Kinderhook Town Supervisor Patsy Leader presented the family members in attendance with a proclamation declaring May 20 Clifford S. Johnson Day. The Patriot Guard Riders acted as color guard and were pallbearers at Bond. The hearse was then escorted to the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery in Schuylerville by county Sheriff’s Office vehicles and motorcyclists. As the caravan moved through the Village of Valatie residents came the curb and waved. At the cemetery a formal military service was performed with gun salute, taps and a helicopter flyover. At the Saratoga National Cemetery Army pallbearers retrieved the casket from the hearse and the folded flag was presented to members of Clifford Johnson’s family. Photo by David Lee

Write-ins fill empty Hudson school board seats

HUDSON—Voters in the Hudson City School District (HCSD) chose two new members and re-elected an incumbent to the Board of Education in the May 18 school election. Selha Graham and Mark DePace are taking seats on the board; Lucinda Segar will stay on the board for a new three-year term after her current term ends June 30.

Ms. Segar got 504 ballot votes. Ms. Graham, with 81 write-in votes, will start a 3-year term July 1. Mr. DePace, with 80 write-in votes, joined the board immediately to finish an uncompleted term with a year left.

The HCSD approached the May election needing candidates to run for three of its seven seats. Two terms expire in June, and one seat was vacated by a resignation. But only one candidate, Ms. Segar, the incumbent, came forward in time to get on the ballot. The other incumbent decided not to run.

That left two positions to be filled by write-in candidates. Read more…

Yo! Campers, keep your masks handy

GHENT—On May 19, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced new state guidance for camp programs. Some municipalities in the county that offer summer day camps have already decided to cancel their programs again this year due to the pandemic, while others are moving ahead. The new measures include protocols for Covid-19 testing, physical distancing, masks and sanitation. A release from the governor’s office said the state Department of Health will continue to monitor and evaluate health metrics for camp programs “and, if necessary, will issue further guidance.”

Changes were made after the original guidelines were released concerning mask wearing for young children.

“We are continuing to make incredible progress against Covid and lifting restrictions based on the science and numbers, but we are not yet at the finishline,” Governor Cuomo said in a press release on May 19. “To help ensure maximum protections for staff and children at child care and camp programs, we are issuing this guidance so the facilities can implement basic but critical measures that will allow them to operate safely.” Read more…

Hecate solar shrinks a bit; supes join the fray

COPAKE—Hecate Energy has announced a second reduction in the acreage it proposes to use for its 60-megawatt Shepherd’s Run Solar facility in Craryville.

And now the Columbia County Board of Supervisors has come out against the controversial project.

Hecate, a developer of solar farms, wind farms and energy storage projects, is headquartered in Chicago. Last month the company announced that it would switch to the state’s 94-C fast track application for its 200,000 solar panel installation. Read more…