‘Clunker’ works for local buyer

Biggest problem has been keeping up with demand for new cars

KINDERHOOK–Clunker deals have motivated buyers, here and around the nation, who wouldn’t have bought a new car without the government’s help. This has lifted the auto industry out of a drastic 35% slump in sales in the first half of 2009 and pumped money into the local economy too.

The seasonally adjusted selling rate for July jumped to 11.1 million compared to 9.5 million in June. About a quarter of a million cars were sold in the first few days under the program.

“This is the first time somebody has offered a program that helps me in my life,” says Michelle Debye-Saxinger of Kinderhook, a teacher who bought a Jeep Patriot from Village Dodge on Route 66 under the clunker program. “I drive a Jeep that has 215,000 miles on it, but I have two kids in college and we need a new roof. I was not in the market for a new car.”

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Claverack declares state of emergency

CLAVERACK–After a severe thunderstorm passed through Claverack this afternoon, Supervisor James Keegan declared a state of emergency in the town. The intersection of Routes 23B and 9H is closed: Traffic on 9H is moving very slowly through the town.

Mr. Keegan was dealing with the emergency and not at his home; Mrs. Keegan told The Columbia Paper that a big gust of wind during a severe thunderstorm had brought down trees and wires: Many people in the community are without power at 6:12 p.m.

Catholic school info session slated

HUDSON—An information session about Holy Spirit School will take place at St. Mary’s Academy, Third and Allen streets, Wednesday, August 26 at 7:30 p.m.
According to a press release:
*A parochial school education provides an alternative for all students—regardless of religion or faith.
*Dozens of Columbia County youngsters attend Holy Spirit, including two dozen from the Hudson area.
*Columbia and Greene counties no longer have any Catholic schools. Holy Spirit is the nearest alternative.
*Holy Spirit is a 40-minute bus drive away—which is less than some bus rides for students within their own school districts. Holy Spirit provides free transportation.
*Students may perform a grade level ahead of their counterparts in other schools and study foreign language, technology and band in the lower elementary levels. Faith formation is taught at all levels as part of the daily school day.
Anyone with questions should call Mike McCagg at (518) 828-4165 or the school at (518) 477-5739.

‘Dirty dirt’ headed west pauses briefly in Chatham

CHATHAM–It arrived late at night but not stealthily, at least not to anyone awake to hear the thumps and bangs and occasional air brake squeals as the decoupled car was shunted onto a siding. It sat unattended the next morning, a gray gondola no different from hundreds–thousands when the economy is stronger and trains run more frequently–of similar cars that roll along the CSX railroad tracks every day. The only distinguishing markers besides the stenciled railroad codes and some white spray paint graffiti were the small, yellow-and-white, diamond-shaped signs, one on each wall of the car, bearing a familiar three-wedge symbol and a single word, “Radioactive.” Read more…