Artist tailors literacy program to local needs

Pictured (far l to r) are Lorraine Bulson, Asma Begum (sitting) and Melissa Sarris during the final project for Ms. Sarris’s “Stitching Exchange” held at Columbia Opportunities in Hudson. Photo by David Lee

HUDSON–Chatham artist Melissa Sarris has for many years worked in the art form of community engagement. She has invited people to tell their stories and show their collections. Her personal specialty has long been quilt-making and sewing, so it’s natural that a community sewing project would ensue. This most recent project she called “Stitching Exchange” involved 10 women from the Bangladeshi community in Hudson.

Like they say about everything looking like a nail to a hammer, I am an artist so everything looks like a potential artwork,” said Ms. Sarris.

I didn’t know any of them when I started this,” she said, but she knew Tina Sharpe, director of Columbia Opportunities, through a sewing project she initiated with the county jail. At its conclusion Ms. Sharpe suggested she might work with a group with the Hudson Family Literacy Program that Columbia Opportunities administers. Read more…

Hudson district organizes, introduces two new teachers

HUDSON–The Hudson City School District (HCSD) Board of Education designated official officers, coordinators, consultants and committee members for the 2019-20 school year at its organizational meeting July 2, while an audience member inquired about plans for the athletic facilities at Montgomery C. Smith Elementary School (MCS).

Justin Elliott took his place on the board for the first time, replacing Maria McLaughlin. The other six Board members remain the same. The board voted to continue Carrie Otty as president and Willette Jones as vice-president for the school year. The other four members are Sage Carter, Linda Hopkins, Chuck Parmentier, and Lucy Segar.

The Board also designated the following committees: Read more…

Musica leaves Hudson for Big Easy

Rob Caldwell at his store Musica in Hudson. Photo by David Lee

HUDSON–Musica has vanished. Rob Caldwell, the dynamo who brought the multifaceted music store to life 21 years ago and nurtured it in Chatham and then in Hudson, faced changing demographics and consumption habits that spelled financial doom. So he’s taking his bluesy, music-making self to New Orleans, the home of the blues, where Musica has been reborn as The New Muse.

Gathering places for musicians–coffee houses, public squares, bookshops–catalyzed the Greenwich Village folk music scene in the 1960s, where a teenaged Caldwell would make pilgrimages to learn from titans like Dave Van Ronk. So it made sense that all that singing and picking would culminate in his creation of such a gathering place in Columbia County.

Musica was a haven for music lovers of all stripes. It offered lessons in many instruments, and referrals for many more. It was an acoustic repair shop. It sold guitars, fiddles, banjos and many other instruments from around the world, and a vast array of instruction and song books. It was a place to hang out and talk about music, politics and life. It was an incubator for hundreds of young musicians. Read more…

Speedier approval expected for ICC upgrades

KINDERHOOK–The Ichabod Crane School Board held its organizational meeting Tuesday, July 9. Matthew Nelson was again elected board president and John Antalek was elected vice-president. New board member Elizabeth Phillips was sworn in.

The board also heard good news about the capital improvement projects now getting started. For the most part the board officer appointments were routine with one exception – a concern raised about partisan activity in the non-partisan school election.

Also sworn in at the meeting was Interim Superintendent Lee Bordick. Mr. Bordick started in the district on July 1 after the board accepted the resignation of former Superintendent Michael Vanyo at a special meeting on June 28. Mr. Bordick served as interim superintendent in the district before from 2010 to 2012. Read more…

The return of the ring

Jim Nelson and his class ring, reunited after 61 years. Photo by William Benken

HILLSDALE—Though we search high and low, sometimes we just have to accept that the thing we lost is gone for good.

But other times, long after we have given up hope of ever finding that lost thing, it suddenly turns up as if by miracle.

Such was the fortunate case for James Nelson, a 1958 graduate of Roeliff Jansen High School, who lost his class ring while working with his brother to clear land in the area of Mount Washington, MA. Read more…