Dream Act protesters arrested at Faso office

KINDERHOOK – Columbia County Sheriff deputies charged five protesters on Monday, December 18, after they refused to leave Congressman John Faso’s (R-19th) District Office in Kinderhook. The demonstrators were seeking support for immigration legislation called the Dream Act bill.

Deputies were called at about 5 p.m., Sheriff David P. Bartlett said in a press release. “Deputies spoke with protestors to try and avoid any arrests by just encouraging them to leave the office on their own,” he said in the release.

The protesters refused. Four of the five live in Columbia County, one lives in Kingston. All five were charged by deputies with trespass and issued tickets to appear in Kinderhook village court. Read more…

Chatham weighs mental health needs of younger students

CHATHAM–At last week’s school board meeting members discussed concerns regarding the mental health of the district’s youngest students.

Kristen Reno, principal of the Mary E. Dardess Elementary School (MED), mentioned that the school has begun having a “mindfulness” session at the beginning of the school day, in which children are guided through meditation practices in an attempt to help them overcome stress and improve focus throughout their day.

In response board member David O’Conner expressed concern that the district does not have a strong plan in place to ensure the mental wellbeing of students, citing a study that one-in-five children are going through anxiety or depression issues. This report, from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, states that these numbers are applicable to children from age 3 through 17, and have a “diagnosable mental, emotional or behavioral disorder in a given year.” Read more…

Village says inn’s in limbo, jobs are real

KINDERHOOK–At the very end of the Village Board meeting on December 13, Trustee Rich Phillips asked to make some comment about “where we are with the Dutch Inn.” The property on Broad Street has been closed for over a decade and ownership of the building is part of legal case.

Mr. Phillips said the board was not taking sides in the legal action but he said, “I just want the Dutch Inn open.”

Current owner Al Roberts is trying to avoid having to sell the property to Paul Calgano, CEO of PCJ Development. In 2014, Mr. Calgano agreed to pay Mr. Roberts $900,000 for two properties–the Dutch Inn and another building near the inn. According to state court records, the two men had an agreement, but Mr. Roberts attempted to return Mr. Calgano’s down payment on the properties. Read more…

Judge keeps Cascino on ice until January

HUDSON—A last ditch attempt to get Salvatore Cascino out of jail in time for the holidays didn’t pan out.

Mr. Cascino, his attorney, the Town of Copake and its attorney appeared before Judge Jonathan Nichols in Columbia County Supreme Court December 14 in connection with ongoing contempt proceedings against Mr. Cascino of Larchmont in Westchester County.

Mr. Cascino, who turned 78 in jail this month, is a convicted felon who has spent the past 19 years amassing violations of federal, state and town laws for illegal dumping, building and excavating at a place he calls Copake Valley Farm along the east side of Route 22. Read more…

Bard offers local students head start on college

HUDSON–Students can get both high school and college credit simultaneously for the same courses in Bard’s Early College Program in Hudson.

Bard College, which has its main campus in Annandale-on-Hudson, started the Early College Program for high school students early last decade and opened its Hudson satellite last school year. It also has satellites in New York City, Newark, Cleveland and New Orleans. The Hudson program involves juniors and seniors from high schools across Columbia and Greene counties, said Michael Sadowski, executive director of the Hudson program and a member of Bard’s psychology and education faculty said in a conversation November 30. Read more…