Cascino fights court rulings

Waste hauler’s lawyer grills Copake’s lawyer over bills

HUDSON–Salvatore Cascino’s attorney was back in court on his client’s behalf September 3 to dispute the amount of money for attorney fees that his client must pay to the Town of Copake.

Acting State Supreme Court Justice Jonathan Nichols found Mr. Cascino guilty of both criminal and civil contempt June 9 for violating a 2006 temporary restraining order that prohibited Mr. Cascino from constructing, excavating or depositing anything on his 300-acre property called Copake Valley Farm. As part of his decision, Judge Nichols ordered Mr. Cascino to:

*Remove a stone wall and all the materials deposited on his property that were put there in violation of the restraining order

*Cease all construction work on a building he calls a farm stand

*Pay the town reasonable costs and attorneys’ fees expended in the course of prosecuting the contempt case.

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Federal funds help find homes

Columbia Opportunities gets stimulus money to fight homelessness

HUDSON–As of August 1 of this year, about 130 people in Columbia County were seeking some kind of assistance because they were homeless. Some were individuals, some were families; one family, a single parent with kids, was living in the family car.

Those figures make a recent federal grant of $584,962 to Columbia Opportunities, Inc., the local, non-profit service agency that addresses housing and other issues countywide, all the more welcome. The money is for homelessness prevention and comes through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, also known as federal economic stimulus funds. With this grant and other funds in the pipeline, Columbia Opportunities will have over $1.5 million for programs to reduce homelessness and support other programs like home winterization and Head Start in Columbia and Greene counties.

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Some polls open September 15

HUDSON—On Tuesday, September 15, polls in eight election districts in four towns and in two wards in the City of Hudson will be open from noon until 9 p.m.
Voters of certain political parties, will be able to nominate candidates to a variety of public offices and in two cases elect candidates to party committee.
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Erin Brockovich, lawyers talk about Lafarge plant

RAVENA–Environmental activist Erin Brockovich will be one of the guests at a meeting Friday September 11, at 7 p.m. at Ravena-Coeyman-Selkirk High School to discuss the Lafarge Cement Plant in Ravena. Prevailing winds can carry emissions from the plant, one of the largest sources of airborne mercury, over northern Columbia and southern Rensselaer counties.

The town hall style meeting will be conducted by the New York City law firm Weitz and Luxenberg. P.C. and will also feature Dr. Mark Hyman, MD. Speakers will talk about the potential impact and options for addressing air pollution issues, and there will be an opportunity for the public to ask questions.

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Energy expert shines light on Copake’s solar deal

COPAKE–After clearing up a contractual misunderstanding, the Town Board has agreed to go forward with its pursuit of solar power for the Town Hall.

At a special Town Board meeting August 28, Carlos Newcomb, a project manager with Hudson Valley Clean Energy (HVCE), came to assure board members that the town’s outlay of funds for the Town Hall solar panel project agreed upon last June will not exceed $1,000.

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