No sharks around here

On Saturday, August 7, the Town of Chatham’s Recreation Committee held Crellin Park Day, celebrating the town park on Route 66. The day included games, swimming, paddle boarding, music by Side Show Willie and a performance along the park’s wooded trails presented by the Barcode Circus which was made possible by neighboring performance space, PS21. Photo by David Lee

ICC plans to open as state punts on Covid

KINDERHOOK—On August 5, state Department of Health (DOH) Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker released a statement saying, “With the end of the state disaster emergency on June 25, 2021, school districts are reestablished as the controlling entity for schools. Schools and school districts should develop plans to open in-person in the fall as safely as possible, and I recommend following guidance from the CDC and local health departments.”

In an email to parents on Friday, August 6, Ichabod Crane District Superintendent Suzanne Guntlow said the state’s decision not to release guidance was “both unexpected and disappointing.”

State Education Department (SED) Commissioner of Education Betty Rosa sent a letter asking Dr. Zucker “to consider DOH’s statutory responsibilities as the state agency devoted to protecting the public health.” Read more…

Panel wades way through body cam policies

HUDSON—The Columbia County Police Reform Implementation Committee continued its discussion of body cameras and saw an example of the equipment police officers carry at its meeting August 3.

Deputy Patrick McMahon, a school resource officer with the New Lebanon Central School District, showed what he usually wears when on duty: two sets of handcuffs,  a firearm,  ammunition,  pepper spray, a taser (if available), a body camera, a flashlight, a card listing Miranda rights, and a tourniquet.   He also takes a trauma kit with him.

The body camera looks roughly the size of a consumer camera. Officers have several options for where to mount it on their uniforms. Officer McMahon had it mounted on the front of his shirt. Read more…

Can Ancram keep knoll or will rocks go for blocks?

ANCRAM—Is it a gravel mine or a land regrading project?

That’s what Ancram Planning Board members have to figure out before they can determine if a proposed plan is permissible under town zoning law pertaining to projects in the Scenic Corridor Overlay Zone.

An application dated May 5 of this year has been under consideration by the Ancram Planning Board for the past few months. Read more…

Parties weigh in on Cuomo resignation

GHENT—On August 10, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation during a press conference. He said he would leave office August 24 and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will take over as governor.

The Columbia County Democratic Committee issued a statement praising Lt. Gov. Hochul’s “long and distinguished career working on behalf of our county and the people of the State of New York.” The statement goes on to describe her as a tireless advocate for Upstate New York.

The committee also pointed out that as governor, Ms. Hochul “will break another glass ceiling, becoming New York’s first female governor. We believe it is long overdue.”

New York State Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul addressed Columbia County Democrats at the Chatham Brewing Company July 27. Photo contributed

On August 3, an independent investigators appointed by state Attorney General Letitia James released their report into the multiple allegations of sexual harassment by Governor Cuomo. According to a press release from the attorney general’s office, the investigators concluded that the governor did sexually harass multiple women, including former and current state employees, by engaging in unwanted groping, kissing, and hugging, and making inappropriate comments. Read more…