Copake board finds ways to agree except on the deficit

COPAKE–Though the town supervisor was out of town, there was no shortage of official action taken at the August 13 Town Board meeting.

The abundance of unanimous votes was uncharacteristic and covered everything from declaring that no town financial records may ever be taken out of the Town Hall to supporting a town resident in her fight to save a row of evergreen trees.

But anyone who came to the meeting expecting to find out exactly how much of a budget shortfall the town faces and what the board plans to do about it was disappointed.

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Investors don’t get New Leb ‘swingers ranch’ joke

NEW LEBANON–First it was the strip club that wasn’t, now it’s a swingers club that isn’t.

An August 12 story in the New York Daily News first reported that Milton “Todd” Ault III, a California investor, is being sued by several hedge funds that invested in his firm, Zealous, Inc., accusing him of putting their $4.2 million investments into porn and a planned “swingers ranch” here. The lawsuit, which erroneously puts New Lebanon in “the Catskills,” says the facility was planned for a site on Wadsworth Road.

The suit, filed in state Supreme Court in Manhattan, and the news story that reported it put the town on the map. A Google search found the story has been picked up on sites all over the world.

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‘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.