Students get vaccine when available

HUDSON—The Columbia County Health Department continues to vaccinate children in Columbia County schools as H1N1 vaccine becomes available, according to a November 17 county Health Department press release.
The department has enough vaccine to administer in the Chatham and Taconic Hills central school districts on Thursday, November 19 and Friday, November 20.
Vaccine availability continues to be a challenge as the health department tries to meet the demands of county residents seeking the vaccine, says the release.
Residents should check the county health department’s website at www.columbiacountyny.com and the media for information about local vaccination clinics. Details will be provided if clinics are scheduled.

Copake math: Cuts boost proposed budget

COPAKE–Apparently the whittling is not going well.

2010 preliminary town budget figures available at the first installment of an extended budget public hearing November 5 show a 1% increase in the amount to be raised by taxes and a one-cent hike in the tax rate over tentative budget figures released in late September.

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EPA may give toxic dump Superfund status

NASSAU–The federal government is stepping in to consider what it can do to address the Dewey Loeffel toxic waste dump, a reservoir of hazardous chemicals near the Rensselaer County village of Nassau. Nassau Lake in the village feeds the Valatie Kill, which runs through northern Columbia County, and while measurements downstream have not detected the chemicals so far, the site continues to emit pollution into nearby groundwater supplies.

“The companies that put this stuff here settled with New York state, but they did not settle with us,” said Mel Hauptman, of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 2, during a briefing at the St. Mary’s Parish Hall in the village Monday. He announced that the EPA is considering classifying the closed landfill a federal Superfund site, which could lead to significant federal cleanup funds.

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Extra Helpings sets pickup and ordering date for Stephentown

STEPHENTOWN–The December ordering date for the Extra Helpings Community Food Buying Club in Stephentown is Thursday, November 19, from 3:30 to 6:00 p.m. at the Stephentown Federated Church on Garfield Road. The Extra Helpings program is part of the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York. It allows anyone to buy nutritious food at lower-than-retail prices. There are no limits on age, income, number of bundles, or geography, so all smart shoppers are welcome and encouraged to participate. 

The December choices which can be ordered then are:  $21 basic bundle: 3.75-lb. avg. wt. Bavarian holiday ham half, 1 lb. pkg. chicken patties, 1 lb. pkg. hamburger (90/10), 1 lb. pkg. all beef hot dogs,  20 oz. bag peeled butternut squash, and 1 lb. bag baby carrots.  Special #1 at $15.75 is a 5-lb. cranberry and apple stuffed boneless pork loin roast. Special # 2 at $22.75 is a party package of a 2.5- lb. bag all beef meatballs (fully cooked),  2 lb. pkg. Buffalo-flavored chicken wings (fully cooked), 3-lb. box sweet Italian sausage (rope), and 1.75-lb. pkg. cocktail franks.  The Meat Box at $32.00 contains 2 lb. pkg. apple and cranberry stuffed pork chops, 3 lb. pkg. honey mustard flavored chicken breast, 3 lb. pkg. beef patties  (80/20), 2 lb. pkg. breakfast sausage links, and 3 lb. bag chicken patties.

Cash payment must be made when ordering. The pick up date is Thursday, December 19, from 3:30 to 6 p.m. at the Stephentown Federated Church. You may have another person order or pick up your order, but any food not claimed during the pick-up hours will be donated to the food pantry. For additional information or to offer your help with the program, call Paula Dibble (518) 733-0699 or Mary Defreest (518) 733-0009.

ICC foresees grim forecast for school aid

VALATIE–Ichabod Crane Central School District Superintendent James Dexter and the school board discussed the current school budget this week, with a look ahead to 2010-11. “It’s all about positioning ourselves at the end of this school year,” Mr. Dexter told the board at the Tuesday November 10 meeting.

Mr. Dexter does not expect to see a mid-year reduction in school aid, but is sure that there will be a state aid freeze or reduction in state aid in the next school year. Governor David Patterson called the state legislature back to Albany this week to reduce the state budget as a way of addressing a multi-billion dollar deficit. Because aid to schools is such a large part of the state budget, those funds are among the likely areas in which state spending will be reduced.

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