Next ICC super meets public

KINDERHOOK–The Ichabod Crane Board of Education appointed Michael Vanyo superintendent of schools at this week’s board meeting. He begins work in July.

The board held a meet-and-greet with Mr. Vanyo before the meeting Tuesday, March 7 in the High School Library. He toured the school district buildings with Board President Anthony Welcome and Vice President Cheryl Trefzger earlier in the day.

After the official introduction Mr. Vanyo then remained for the board meeting, which included discussions of some major issues facing the district, including a recent facilities study, a 2017-18 school budget update and comments from the audience about how some Latino students and families are being treated since November’s presidential election. Read more…

State awards county $24M broadband upgrades

GREENPORT–Internet users around Columbia County got some good news this week with the announcement that the county has received a total of $24 million in state funding to upgrade service here.

The award will lead to upgrades in 11 communities in the county ranging from $1.4 million in Canaan to $4.2 million in Copake. The money is intended to make high-speed service, called broadband, available to 8,000 potential customers here.

The funds are part of a $500-million Broadband for All initiative announced last summer in Hudson by Governor Andrew Cuomo. This is Round II of grant awards and Columbia County received more money than any other area of the state and 65% of all the broadband funds in the Capital Region, according to Michael Tucker, president and CEO of the Columbia Economic Development Corporation (CEDC). Read more…

Valatie finds it has water for washing cars

VALATIE–The village Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals met again in a joint session last week to review the state Environmental Assessment Form (EAF) submitted by the owner of the proposed Cantele Carwash on Route 9. The self-serve carwash will be built on the site of the Valkin Restaurant if the Zoning Board approves the owner’s request for a special use permit and the Planning Board approves the site plan.

But neither the special use permit nor the site plan requests was presented at the boards’ joint meeting February 22, since the EAF must first be reviewed by two state agencies–the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Transportation–and by the county Planning Board. The local Planning and Zoning boards also plan to send copies of the EAF to the state historic preservation office and the Village of Kinderhook. Read more…

Rally brings message home — Faso’s that is

Reprinted with permission from the Times Union

KINDERHOOK – If the congressman won’t come to the Town Hall meeting, then the Town Hall, or at least the townspeople, will come to him. That’s what happened Saturday, February 25, as a crowd of demonstrators showed up at freshman 19th District Republican Congressman John Faso’s office demanding an audience.

After some chanting and speeches, the group marched around the corner to briefly stand in front of Mr. Faso’s house here where they urged him to come out and answer questions. Mr. Faso wasn’t home, however, arriving back in Kinderhook about three hours after the demonstration.

He is one of numerous GOP Congressional representatives nationwide who have been avoiding open ”town hall” type forums amid worries that they will be shouted down by voters who fear the Republican Congress and President Donald Trump will dismantle the Affordable Care Act without a replacement. Also sparking Democratic voter anger is the president’s crackdown on immigrants and cabinet choices such as his naming of Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Read more…

EPA: cleanup effort unchanged by federal turmoil

Reprinted with permission from the Times Union

NASSAU — Cleanup efforts at the site of the former Dewey Loeffel landfill will not be affected by turmoil at the Environmental Protection Agency, officials told residents.

At an informational meeting on January 25, Nassau, EPA and General Electric officials updated townspeople on the investigation of contaminants at the site where GE, SI Group and Bendix Corp. dumped 46,000 tons of PCBs, solvents and other toxic chemicals from 1952 to 1970. The site was closed via court order in 1970.

EPA officials told the Times Union that because the agreement to clean up the designated Superfund site was done in a legal contract, it will not be affected by the decision by President Donald Trump’s administration to freeze EPA grants. Read more…