Murphy confronts healthcare head-on

Rep. Scott Murphy addresses a crowd of demonstrators, for and against the government’s healthcare proposals, at Golden Harvest Saturday. Photo by David Lee.

Supporters and protesters turn out in force in K’hook

KINDERHOOK—By 10:30 a.m. Saturday, half an hour before Congressman Scott Murphy (D-20th) was scheduled to arrive, the overflow parking area at the Golden Harvest farm store on Route 9 was nearing capacity. Of the crowd of about 250 people who showed up, those who came to support reforming the way healthcare is provided and paid for in the U.S. gathered initially on the north side of the lot; those who oppose changing the current healthcare system gathered on the south, leaving about eight feet between their camps. Now and then verbal challenges erupted from one side or the other.

Mr. Murphy, a Glens Falls businessman elected in March to fill the seat vacated when Kirsten Gillibrand was named U.S. senator, intended Saturday to continue a policy introduced by Ms. Gillibrand, who appeared regularly throughout the district at what she dubbed “Congress on Your Corner” events. But this session was preceded by national news coverage of noisy confrontations in other districts, where opponents of the healthcare reform shouted down House members as they tried to speak to the public.

Local Democrats issued an email request Friday for supporters of healthcare reform to show at the August 8 event, saying that opponents were being organized by the national Republican Party in an effort to block discussion of the issue.

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Budget hole forces Copake to trim its police department

COPAKE–The Town Board’s first order of business at a special meeting about town finances July 29 was to hire a new accountant. The last order of business was to fire the old one.

   But it appears that the board’s out-with-the-old-and-in-with-the-new actions won’t change the $200,000 budget shortfall the town faces if substantial cuts are not made soon.

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New sign bears old image

VALATIE–Drivers and pedestrians entering the village via the Route 203 Chatham Bridge are now welcomed by a new sign approximately 8 feet by 3 feet, bearing a reproduction of an 1881 map of Valatie.

   The sign is the brainchild of Abby Freinberg, owner of Rotate, a Valatie consignment store. V.E.R.A. (Valatie Economic Redevelopment Association), the village merchants organization, paid the $1,000 cost for the sign. Phillip Bickerton, a village trustee and member of V.E.R.A., built the posts and mounted it. He will soon be adding an 8-foot flower box underneath.

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Murphy finds healthcare tops list of local concerns

HUDSON–It’s summer recess for the House of Representatives, but it’s no vacation for Representative Scott Murphy (D-20th). He’s barnstorming his patchwork district, which stretches from the Adirondacks south through all of Columbia County and parts of Dutchess and west toward the central part of the state, catching up on ceremonial duties like the groundbreaking for a new park in Stockport (see Page 1 photo) and talking with constituents.

   He said in a phone interview Wednesday from his Warren Street office that he’s not surprised the big topic on the minds of the people here is healthcare: “about not having it or about the cost.” He sees the two concerns as closely tied, but he acknowledges that efforts at reforming the way healthcare is delivered are “confusing.”

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Generous donor speeds completion of town war memorial

HILLSDALE–The memorial to local wartime veterans, started by Joe LaPorta and his buddy Paul Proper Sr. of the Cadby-Shutts VFW Post 7552, is now becoming a reality.

   The project was conceived earlier this year as a way to list on memorial markers the names of all Hillsdale residents who served in the military during the Vietnam, Korea, and World Wars I and II. As Mr. LaPorta puts it, “There’s got to be something for posterity. It’s a veterans’ function to look after veterans.”

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