Ancramites pan Iron Star plan

ANCRAM—It’s official: Ancram is “magical.”

That’s why developers want to put the Iron Star Retreat Center on about 150 acres here.

It’s also part of the reason why some residents don’t want it.

At its December 2 meeting, the Ancram Planning Board opened a public hearing on applications for a Special Use Permit, Lot Line Adjustment (Subdivision) Approval and Site Plan Approval to locate a retreat center on four parcels owned by P & M Farms LLC, RSG Farms LLC, SSG Farms LLC, and P & M Farms LLC. The parcels are at 2540 State Route 82 in Ancram, property formerly owned by Luigi DiMaio. Read more…

Shouts from audience disrupt ICC meeting

KINDERHOOK—The Ichabod Crane Board of Education recessed the December 7 meeting early due to audience members speaking when not recognized by the board and shouting at board members. The board reconvened the meeting later in that evening with an abbreviated agenda and a small number of audience members.

About 50 people attended the in-person meeting held in the primary school cafeteria/auditorium with everyone asked to wear masks. The meeting was also live-streamed, with about 35 people watching.

Only three people signed up to speak. One spoke about the need for lockers for students since they have to carry heavy backpacks. Due to Covid-19 protocols lockers are not being used in the middle and high school buildings this year. Another spoke against the use of masks, though she said she had no children in the district. And the third speaker talked about the district taking Covid-19 relief money and using it for non-Covid issues like supplies and a part-time social worker. Read more…

Run fast first, then feast

The 45th Annual Ray Barbuti Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot was run in typically fine style, starting and ending at the Morris Memorial on Park Row in the Village of Chatham. Thanksgiving morning (November 25) was chilly but dry and the turnout was colorful. Family members from around the world took time off from reunions, as sons and daughters laced up their shoes, pulled down their masks for a moment and ran just for the heck of it. The winner of the Youth Mile and Community Walk was ten-year-old Madeline Waring, whose time was 6:50. The 5K Road Race was won by Jack Raske with a time of 16:01. Pictured at the start of the 5K road race, runners set their wrist timers. The Morris Memorial Association hosts the event every year, though last year it was a virtual event due to the pandemic. Photo by David Lee

County rejects claim it’s defunding sheriff

HUDSON—“The statement made last week by the Columbia County Democratic Chairman in which he claimed that county Republicans were attempting to defund the county Sheriff’s Department to the tune of $250,000 is not true,” said Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell (R-Stockport) in a press release November 22.

“Instead, it is a proposed transfer of specific Emergency Management funds designed to establish it as its own department, and not a reduction of funds. This transfer does not affect people’s safety whatsoever and does not affect the Sheriff’s Office one bit,” added Chairman Murell, in the release from the county.

The operating budget designated specifically for Emergency Management is between $139,000-$140,000. In the proposed transfer, $65,000 will stay with the sheriff’s budget, as these funds cover software maintenance agreements utilized by various programs in the jail, civil and law enforcement areas. The remaining $70,000 would transfer with the county Emergency Management Office. Any grant budget lines are applied for and used strictly for what they are awarded for. Read more…

Ancram’s history drops into view

Pat Hoysradt, Farmer/ Image contributed

ANCRAM—Imagine being able to travel down the roads of a town and see images of its past around every bend.

Come spring in Ancram, you will be able to.

A historic banner project has come to life in the studio of local mixed media artist Lynne Perrella, who brought the idea to the Town Board back in June. After getting board approval, she set about creating 50 2-foot by 4-foot historic banners using her collage techniques to combine historic photographs, typography and visual image snippets of a famous local quilt.

In a phone interview this week, Ms. Perrella told The Columbia Paper she has long been impressed by Ancram’s “amazing historic archives—all under lock and key.

“The most unifying [feature] of any town is its history—it makes people feel good. It brings everyone together. Newcomers are fascinated by it” and to the people who grew up there “it is their legacy, their story.”

The goal of the banner project is to bring the town’s priceless historic archives to light. It “elevates our shared history and makes it visible,” she said. Read more…