Hudson film screens to a sold out crowd

On February 4, Hudson Hall, 327 Warren Street, screened “Hudson, America” about several local residents. The screening, which was followed by a panel discussion, was sold out. Participant Ramisa Tasnim (pictured) was unable to attend but sent a video greeting. Photo by David Lee

On stage for the panel discussion were (l to r) moderator Michael Chameides, participants Jabin Ahmed, Jahed Miah, Siddique Ahmed, and filmmakers Zuzka Kurtz and Geoffrey Hug. Photo by David Lee

HUDSON – Being a community-facing organization, Hudson Hall was the appropriate scene for the premier of a documentary film that followed the lives of six young Hudson High School graduates who are first generation immigrants from Bangladesh. “Hudson, America” (2022, 101 mins) was billed as a coming of age feature documentary about these Gen-Z Bangladeshi students as they prepared to graduate and move into their lives as independent adults during the uniquely challenging years from 2016 to 2022. It was directed by the team of multimedia artist Zuzka Kurtz and producer, director and editor Geoffrey Hug. It played for a sold-out audience on Saturday afternoon, February 4.

The film is divided into years from 2016 when most of the students were still in high school, and checks in with them in the subsequent years as they go off to college, get jobs and develop relationships. It was originally planned to cover 4 years of the students’ lives, but restrictions caused by the pandemic compelled the filmmakers to add two more years to the production schedule.

The world premier for the film was as part of the Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) Festival on August 17. The film made its New York City premier on November 17 at the Big Apple Film Festival. It has also aired on PBS and Amazon Prime.

The primary participants are Jahed Miah who was born in Queens and moved with his family to Hudson when he was 2 years old, Mahmuda Alam who was born in Hudson, Siddique Ahmed who was born in Bangladesh and came to Hudson when he was 5, and Hudson residents Ramisa Tasnim, Farzana Akhter, and Jabin Ahmed who has lived in Hudson most of her life. Read more…

Green grant funds flow into county

GALLATIN—What do erecting a deer exclosure in Gallatin, building a pollinator trail in Philmont and planting trees in Hudson have in common? Yes, all are spring activities. More importantly, all three are projects to which Ecological Restoration Grants (ERGs) have just been awarded by Partners for Climate Action (PCA), a recently-formed non-profit organization based in Chatham.

PCA is dedicated to supporting regional ecological leadership by empowering and inspiring Hudson Valley community organizations—be they towns, counties, non-profits, youth groups or libraries—to improve the local environment, according to PCA Co-Founder Bob Dandrew. The ERGs are intended to support and enable such efforts.

More than $2.6 million in proposals were submitted for the inaugural round of restoration grants, and $350,000 was awarded to 17 recipients, five of them in Columbia County. All of the projects are expected to have visible results within a year.

The Town of Gallatin was awarded $1,500 with which its Conservation Advisory Council hopes to demonstrate a process for managing the destructive deer browse and to restore native understory plant and tree species at the Gallatin Conservation Area, which until the 1990s was the municipal dump and now, reborn, houses a small trail system. Read more…

Copake smells pretty good to these canine scent sleuths

The American Pit Bull Terrier Club of New England (APBTCONE) sponsored a Nosework Match in the Copake Memorial Park community building on January 28. Thirty-nine dogs of all breeds from around the region were put through their paces to find things in a variety of circumstances using only their noses. The match is a prerequisite for the organization to conduct officially sanctioned United Kennel Club events in the future. Belynda Crick Flynn (bottom) watches for the alert from the dog named Ninja that she has discovered which box contains the scent or “hide.” This test is a novice event in which even first time dogs can participate. The experienced dogs will find the scented box in less than 10 seconds. Jennifer Fimbel of Amenia (top) follows her dog Ruff-n-tumble as he locates the proper box in 10.5 seconds. Photos by David Lee

County: It’s time to plan for kids’ summer

HUDSON—“My predecessors have done really good work, and I want to expand off what they’ve done,” Columbia County’s new Youth Bureau Executive Director Daniel Grandinetti said in a January 20 conversation. He plans to fulfill the charge the county Board of Supervisors have given him: expanding his department’s reach and enlarging its impact.

Columbia County’s new Youth Bureau Executive Director Daniel Grandinetti

Mr. Grandinetti started his Youth Bureau position in November, after retiring from 33 years at the state Office of Children and Family Services. He also serves on the school board of Schodack Central School District in Rensselaer County. Early this century for a couple of years, he was Youth Commissioner for the City of Hudson. He has also coached Pop Warner basketball and baseball teams.

The Youth Bureau supports programs that towns, municipalities, school districts and non-profit organizations run for children and adolescents. These include programs in the arts, as well as sports, and educational activities.

“There’s a lot of good work going on by a lot of dedicated people and we want to expand and build on it,’’ said Mr. Grandinetti. A goal is to “make sure we’re providing opportunities for every youth’s particular interests.’’ Read more…

Town honors outgoing CAC chair and reviews council’s work

ANCRAM—Jamie Purinton, who has served as founding chair of the town’s Conservation Advisory Council (CAC) since its inception in 2010, gave her final year-end round-up at the January 19 Town Board meeting.

Ms. Purinton will remain on the CAC and continue her noteworthy environmental work, but has stepped aside as chair after two long-time CAC members David Dembo and Jane Meigs agreed to co-chair the council beginning this year.

Among the council’s achievements and activities for the past year Ms. Purinton noted in her report, Erin Robertson and Colleen Lutz provided monthly updates on Planning Board (PB) activities and sought CAC advice on environmental issues.

CAC provided reviews for the Fulton and Forbes/Bottle Tree Site (recommending need for better stream protection), the Iron Star development and Velazquez property. For Iron Star, the CAC provided two substantial reviews including a comprehensive response to the environmental assessment form (EAF) answering in detail 18 questions regarding potential environmental impacts. Read more…