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…

Nonagenarian not deterred

Helen Hall and her entourage watch her birthday parade. Photo by Christopher Quinby

HILLSDALE—Not even two feet of snow and a pandemic could stop Helen Hall from celebrating her 90th birthday, December 19.

Bundled up, masked, wearing a pink crown and flanked by balloons and her family, she took to a lawnchair on the sidewalk in front of her Route 23, Hillsdale home to wave to the parade of well-wishers driving-by to convey birthday greetings.

Among the 25 vehicles participating were State Police and Sheriff’s patrol cars along with five Hillsdale Fire Company trucks and carloads of friends. Her family arranged the parade as a birthday surprise. A resident of Hillsdale for 72 years, Mrs. Hall also received 164 birthday wishes on Facebook. Standing with Mrs. Hall in the photo are her grandson, Matthew; her son, Dave and his wife, Debbie. Several other relatives including her son, Robert were also on hand.

Her long-standing community activities include church, coffee at Stewart’s, visits to the Great Barrington senior center and sitting on her porch waving to passers-by in warmer weather. The Hall family thanks everyone who made this day special for her.