Town conflicted over conflict resolver post

COPAKE–The Town Board created the position of citizen ombudsman to help residents get their issues addressed without influence from outside or political interests.

Now it appears that the ombudsman, if the town had one, could use the aid of an ombudsman to get an ombudsman appointed. Read more…

Plow takes reporter on road less traveled

TAGHKANIC–Tom Youhas, the town’s new highway superintendent, made me an offer I couldn’t refuse: a chance to ride with Mike Conn during Tuesday’s snowstorm.

So that afternoon, I joined Mike aboard the town’s legendary “green machine,” an International 6-ton, 6-wheeler dump truck equipped with tire chains and a 17-foot plow blade and a 6-ton load of road sand. At the end of a run, with the sand gone Mike tells me, “It likes to slide around a bit.” He keeps the truck, which doesn’t have four-wheel drive, under control through judicious down shifting. Read more…

Hillsdale set to release study mapping aquifers

HILLSDALE–The popular slogan advises people to “Think Globally, Act Locally.” And with the international Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development estimating that by 2030, nearly half of the world’s population will inhabit areas with severe water stress, Hillsdale has taken that call to action seriously.

The town’s Natural Resources Committee initiated the call for an aquifer study in 2008, and the Comprehensive Plan Review Committee obtained the necessary grants. That study, A Groundwater Resources Study and Protection Plan, has now been completed by Steven Winkley of the non-profit New York Rural Water Association, and he will present it to the public at 7 p.m. Monday, March 1, at the United Methodist Church at the intersection of Routes 22 and 23. Read more…

Schools press lawmakers for changes to save funds

KINDERHOOK–Representatives from school boards in Columbia and Rensselaer counties met recently with their assemblymen and state senators to discuss ways Albany can help them reduce costs in their districts. And last Thursday, February 11, members of the Bi-County School Board Committee gathered at Ichabod Crane Middle School to talk about how those meetings went and decide what steps to take next.

Members of the Ichabod Crane, Chatham, Hudson and Schodack boards were present. Along with those school boards, Berkshire Union Free School District board in Canaan supported the legislative agenda. Read more…

Recalls put dealer in middle

Ed Habeck sells Toyotas, but these days his business is fixing them

GHENT–Kinderhook Toyota is about as busy as it has ever been–not selling cars, but fixing them.

Ed Habeck, who owns the showroom on Route 9H, stands behind the embattled brand: “We’ve been with Toyota for 40 years. They’ve always put the customer first.”

And, surprisingly, perhaps, that’s what many of his customers think.

Read more…