County urges state to delay and rework bail reform law

HUDSON–In divided votes, the Columbia County Board of Supervisors implored the state to delay and modify bail reform, called for a public hearing January 8 on a stricter vaccine law, rejected a nominated election commissioner, and approved the County’s 2020 budget at its December 11 meeting.

At full board meetings, most resolutions are adopted unanimously and on December 11 most resolutions did pass unopposed, including one to join neighboring counties in supporting the state’s suit against the federal Environmental Protection Agency for allowing General Electric to end its cleanup of PCBs in the Hudson River. But three measures passed with a minority voting “no,” and one failed, with a minority voting “yes.”

The county’s 2020 Budget passed with one supervisor opposed. Each of the supervisors on the board casts a weighted vote determined by the population of the town (or Hudson Ward) the supervisor represents. Read more…

ICC names new superintendent

Jason Thomson (l) was appointed the new Ichabod Crane School Superintendent on Wednesday, December 18 at a special board meeting. Mr. Thomson attended the meeting with his family. Photo contributed

KINDERHOOK– The Ichabod Crane Board of Education appointed Jason Thomson as the next superintendent of schools at a special meeting Wednesday, December 18. According the resolution passed unanimously by the board, Mr. Thomson’s appointment will start “on or about February 1, 2020 to June 30, 2023.”

“Mr. Thomson comes to the district after serving as superintendent of Delaware Academy Central School District at Delhi for the past nine years,” according to a press release from the Ichabod Crane School District. The release says he began his education career as a high school special education teacher and middle school health educator/teacher. His school administrative experience includes serving as director of special education, building principal and vice-principal.

At the special meeting, Board President Matthew Nelson said it was the board’s “honor and privilege” to appoint Mr. Thomson.

“We’re just delighted that it worked out and that you’re here,” said ICC board member Regina Rose, who was on the board’s superintendent search committee.

“I’m so glad this whole thing is over,” said board member Susan Ramos.

Former Superintendent Michael Vanyo left the job in June after coming to an agreement with the board to end his contract following his arrest for DWI and leaving the scene of a property damage accident. The board subsequently hired Interim Superintendent Lee Bordick, who will stay in the district until February.

Mr. Thomson, who attended Wednesday’s meeting with his wife and three children, said his family is excited about joining the district. He said, “It’s going to be difficult leaving my children” referring to his students in Delhi. As for accepting the superintendent position at Ichabod, he said, “I’m ready to work together.”

After the meeting, Mr. Thomson introduced himself to the audience at high school Winter Concert that was taking place that night.

Hillsdale law regulates short term rentals

HILLSDALE–The Town Board has adopted Local Law 2, which regulates short term rentals (STR), commonly referred to as Airbnb rentals, after the company by that name. The law requires STR owners to: 1) register their properties, 2) get a $50 permit annually, 3) have the owner, manager or authorized representative live within 20 miles of the property, and 4) provide contact information for the owner, manager or representative.

STR properties will also be subject to periodic and on-the-spot inspections. STRs owners will have six months to comply with the new law.

The board adopted the law at the regular monthly meeting December 10. Read more…

New church rises where old one once stood

Standing in the sanctuary of the new Canaan Congregational Church are congregation members (l to r) Martha Lagerwall, Jay Aronson, Brian Clark, Rev. Charles Close, Tom Platten. Photo by Peter Flierl

CANAAN—A fire on November 6, 2017 destroyed the 190-year-old brick Canaan Congregational Church, despite the response mounted by 10 local fire companies. Two years later, after much hard work and planning, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, a new church will begin to hold services for congregants and friends starting Sunday, December 15 at 10 a.m.

During a visit after Sunday services held at the Canaan Fire Station, the pastor, Rev. Charles Close, and congregants led a tour of the new church. Stepping into the sanctuary where worship services will be held, the view is crisp, elegant, soothing. The window, which would be behind an altar traditionally, brings in nature.

Ann Vivian, a principal in the architectural firm of Guillot Vivian Viehmann (GVV) in Burlington, VT, was the designer. She specializes in churches and faith based structures. She is a graduate of the Andover Newton Seminary, now associated with Yale, where she studied sacred arts. She is active in the Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art, and Architecture and a member of the Fellowship of Architects of the United Church of Christ (UCC). Read more…