Fire ratings rumors leave chief feeling burned

CLAVERACK–The organization that determines fire risk ratings has lowered the rating a notch for part of the town effective May 1 of this year in a move that could increase fire insurance costs for some residents. But West Ghent Fire Chief Jim Cesternino told the Town Board this month that his fire company has taken steps to reverse that risk-rating change.

The issue came up at the monthly Claverack Town Board Meeting February 3 with a report that ISO, the Insurance Services Office, Inc., a private firm that establishes fire risk ratings used by insurance companies, has lowered the rating from 5 to 6 for the part of the town covered by the West Ghent Fire Company. The ratings are on a scale of 1-10, where 1 is the best rating. West Ghent, in the neighboring Town of Ghent, received a rating of 5. The lower rating for properties in Claverack could lead to higher costs for fire insurance. Read more…

Canaan woman stays on the run, literally

CAANAN–On September 25, 925 athletes from across the country will compete in the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championship in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Canaan resident Joanna Ezinga will be among them.

One of only 312 women to compete in this prestigious event, Ms. Ezinga, 59, qualified for the race by finishing third in her age category at the Danskin Woman’s Triathlon, a sprint triathlon, and first in her age bracket at Lake George, an Olympic-distance triathlon – both USAT sanctioned qualifying events. A “sprint” consists of a half-mile swim, 12-mile bike ride and a 5-kilometer run. An Olympic-distance triathlon is double that. Read more…

EPA will brief public on toxic waste dump

NASSAU–The federal Environmental Protection Agency will host a public meeting on the Dewey Loeffel Landfill site Thursday March 4, from 7 to 9 p.m. at St. Mary’s Parish Hall, 26 Church Street.

The reason for the meeting, according to an EPA spokeswoman, is to provide a project update on the Superfund toxic waste site.

Thousands of tons of toxic industrial wastes were dumped at the site, and despite some interim containment efforts, some of the chemicals have found their way into the surrounding environment, contaminating Nassau Lake.  

You have to ask

Town voted money for Roe Jan Library but that’s all in the past now, says board

ANCRAM–To paraphrase a verse: Ask, and you shall receive, but if you don’t ask quickly enough you just might be out of luck.

In a January 15 letter to Town Supervisor Art Bassin, Roeliff Jansen Community Library Treasurer Carol Gilbert Sacks inquired about the town’s missing annual donations to the library for the years 2008 and 2009. Read more…

Murphy sees ‘clear mission’

Congressman spends two days meeting with military, Afghan officials

WASHINGTON, D.C– Congressman Scott Murphy (D-20th) returned last week from a two-day visit to Afghanistan, stressing repeatedly in remarks to the press that the United States and NATO forces now have a “clear plan” for defeating al Qaeda and bringing some measure of peace and stability to that country.

Mr. Murphy spoke with reporters from his district by phone last Friday, February 19, the day after he returned to Washington from Afghanistan. He had made stops in Kabul, the Afghan capital, and in Kandahar, the country’s second largest city and once the headquarters of the Taliban. He said he had met with U.S. military personnel, including troops from his district, and with General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, as well as other U.S. and Afghan officials. Read more…