Brush burn ban takes effect

NEW LEBANON–Already this spring, the Lebanon Valley Protective Association has responded to two brush fires–one of which burned down a nearby shed–and LVPA Car 2 firefighter Bud Godfroy points out that brush fires can be very expensive in another way for anyone who starts one at this time of year. “Open burning is a misdemeanor now,” he said.

While burning brush is usually legal in municipalities of under 20,000 people, the state Department of Environmental Conservation has banned all residential brush burning from March 15 to May 15, the high fire-risk period.

In a March 1 release, DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis says, “Violators are subject to both criminal and civil enforcement actions, with penalties ranging from $375 to $15,000 for a first offense.”

The 911 Call Center, the officer in charge at the fire or any passerby can report the fire to the DEC number, (518) 357-2350, Mr. Godfroy said.


Local man puts memoirs on their own shelf

COPAKE–This website is for memoirs only.

The name of Copake resident Howard Blue’s new Internet book sales business and the website in question is

For too long memoirs have been treated like “a poor relation, ” relegated to sharing bookshelves labeled biography or European history, while cook books, fairy tales, mysteries and most other book genres have their own places in book shops and libraries, says Mr. Blue in a press release about his new business. Read more…

Hudson district wants $6.2M to fix roofs

HUDSON–At its monthly board meeting last week, the Hudson school district voted for a referendum to fund roof repairs costing $6,190,000. The public will have a chance to support or reject the proposition in a special school election April 18 or 27.

Slides presented by George Keeler, the district’s director of buildings and grounds, showed peeling patches and buckling roofing material held down by ballast to prevent further wind damage. With work needed on the roofs of all three schools, the size of the job is too large for it to be done in-house by school personnel, he said. To save money the district is opting to repair, rather than replace the roofs, a much more expensive approach. Read more…

Saland, Molinaro host economic event Wednesday

GREENPORT–Senator Steve Saland (R-41st) and Assemblyman Marcus J. Molinaro (R-103rd) will hold an Economic Development Roundtable Wednesday, March 24, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. in Room 612 in the Professional Academic Center (PAC) on the campus of Columbia-Greene Community College on Route 23.

Approximately 25 local business leaders will join the hosts to discuss such topics as what the state can do for its businesses; what tools the state currently provides are working and what can be improved; what else the state should be doing to help businesses create jobs and expand.

“The key to New York’s economic recovery is helping businesses grow. When New York’s businesses are healthy and thriving, they create jobs. When people are working they access fewer government services, and sales and income tax revenues go up; the State prospers when business prospers,” Sen. Saland said in a press release.

Assemblyman Molinaro, in the same release, said that the state taxes and regulates small businesses too much, which he said makes it difficult for those businesses to survive. He said roundtable discussions allow him to hear from local business leaders and develop reform measures.



Town finds ways to address suicide prevention

COPAKE–The January 21 suicide of local dairy farmer Dean Pierson, who shot 51 of his dairy cows before turning the gun on himself, had a profound effect on the community and has led to plans for a public discussion about suicide.

Councilwoman Linda Gabaccia, a suicide survivor who lost her sister Julie McKenna to suicide a couple of years ago, is heading up an effort to start a suicide task force in town to promote suicide awareness and prevention. Read more…