Homelessness by the numbers

HUDSON–The Columbia County Department of Social Services (DSS) reported that as of April 23 there were 65 individuals in 53 households receiving temporary housing under its direction at 10 separate locations. Although 12 of the 53 households were lodged within 2 miles of the DSS office in the City Hudson, 55% of the 53 were lodged over 20 miles from it. The average distance households were lodged from the DSS office was 16.5 miles.

The DSS houses its clients needing homes in whatever motels it finds that have space and are willing to take its clients. It found lodging in Columbia County for little over half of the 53 households. The remaining people were placed in Rensselaer and Greene counties.

In general, the number of households needing shelter decreases as the temperature increases. But “at our highest point this winter we were housing 99 individuals” in about 72 families, said Robert Gibson, the DSS commissioner. “The average length of stay is generally between three and six months,” he said, but it varies. Read more…

Roe Jan and Kinderhook creeks stocked for trout season

LIVINGSTON –The Roe Jan Creek was stocked with trout on Thursday, April 19. A group of volunteers met a truck from the Van Hornsville State Fish Hatchery at the Citgo on 9H in Blue Stores to assist with the release of 9000 brown trout.

The fish were raised at the Van Hornsville hatchery, one of twelve in the state. The Van Hornsville hatchery stocks streams in ten New York counties east of Herkimer. Read more…

State troopers propose Chatham barracks

CHATHAM–At the April 19 Town Board meeting representatives from the State Police asked for three acres of land to build a new barracks. The troopers said they could not purchase the land but they were hoping to have the property transferred to the police agency.

Having a barracks in Chatham just north of the Town Hall would enhance coverage and police presence in area, Captain Michael Jankowiak, Troop K, Zone 1 commander, said at the meeting. “In essence, this would be our home,” he told the board. From Chatham the troopers would “cover all of Northern Columbia County,” he said. In a phone interview after the meeting he said that this barracks would replace the current station in New Lebanon, but that the state police would keep the office they currently have in the Village of Kinderhook.

A state police representative from Albany said at the meeting it would cost about $3 million to build the new barracks. Read more…

ICC avoids cuts in $40M budget proposal

KINDERHOOK – At a special meeting Tuesday, April 17, the Ichabod Crane Board of Education approved a $40,190,782 proposed budget for the 2018-19 school year. This budget will be put in front of the voters May 15 at the annual budget vote and school board election held in the high school gym from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Also on the ballot will be Proposition #2, a school bus purchasing proposal allowing the district to acquire four buses at a cost of approximately $476,020. The district has had proposals like this one on all but one of the last eight annual budget votes.

This year there will also be a third proposition asking voters to allow the district to establish a Capital Reserve Fund “in an amount not to exceed $5,000,000 with a probable term of ten years.” Read more…

Despite glitches, Hudson’s happy with cyber tests

HUDSON–Computer-based testing and the first ever home track meet highlighted the Hudson City School District (HCSD) Board of Education meeting Tuesday, April 17.

Until this year, all HCSD students took the ELA (English Language Arts) and math state assessment tests with paper and pencil. This year, district fifth graders took the ELA test by computer, while other HCSD third-through-eighth graders took it by paper. Coordinator of School Improvement April Prestipino said that, despite start-up glitches, the computer testing went smoothly, although a member of the school board was skeptical.

The fifth grade test took two days. The first day’s test had 35 multiple choice questions; the second day involved six short-answer questions and one longer-answer question. The first day, getting all fifth graders into the system took about an hour and a half, according to Ms. Prestipino. Once in the system, the students took “on the average 90 minutes” to answer all 35 questions. Then, when they logged out, some students’ answers vanished. And the next day, the log in process revealed that the first-day responses by some additional students had also disappeared. In both cases, the district immediately contacted the test supplier, Questar, Inc. (unrelated to Questar III BOCES), and all students’ answers were recovered within 48 hours. Read more…