Extra Helpings sets pickup and ordering date for Stephentown

STEPHENTOWN–The December ordering date for the Extra Helpings Community Food Buying Club in Stephentown is Thursday, November 19, from 3:30 to 6:00 p.m. at the Stephentown Federated Church on Garfield Road. The Extra Helpings program is part of the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York. It allows anyone to buy nutritious food at lower-than-retail prices. There are no limits on age, income, number of bundles, or geography, so all smart shoppers are welcome and encouraged to participate. 

The December choices which can be ordered then are:  $21 basic bundle: 3.75-lb. avg. wt. Bavarian holiday ham half, 1 lb. pkg. chicken patties, 1 lb. pkg. hamburger (90/10), 1 lb. pkg. all beef hot dogs,  20 oz. bag peeled butternut squash, and 1 lb. bag baby carrots.  Special #1 at $15.75 is a 5-lb. cranberry and apple stuffed boneless pork loin roast. Special # 2 at $22.75 is a party package of a 2.5- lb. bag all beef meatballs (fully cooked),  2 lb. pkg. Buffalo-flavored chicken wings (fully cooked), 3-lb. box sweet Italian sausage (rope), and 1.75-lb. pkg. cocktail franks.  The Meat Box at $32.00 contains 2 lb. pkg. apple and cranberry stuffed pork chops, 3 lb. pkg. honey mustard flavored chicken breast, 3 lb. pkg. beef patties  (80/20), 2 lb. pkg. breakfast sausage links, and 3 lb. bag chicken patties.

Cash payment must be made when ordering. The pick up date is Thursday, December 19, from 3:30 to 6 p.m. at the Stephentown Federated Church. You may have another person order or pick up your order, but any food not claimed during the pick-up hours will be donated to the food pantry. For additional information or to offer your help with the program, call Paula Dibble (518) 733-0699 or Mary Defreest (518) 733-0009.

ICC foresees grim forecast for school aid

VALATIE–Ichabod Crane Central School District Superintendent James Dexter and the school board discussed the current school budget this week, with a look ahead to 2010-11. “It’s all about positioning ourselves at the end of this school year,” Mr. Dexter told the board at the Tuesday November 10 meeting.

Mr. Dexter does not expect to see a mid-year reduction in school aid, but is sure that there will be a state aid freeze or reduction in state aid in the next school year. Governor David Patterson called the state legislature back to Albany this week to reduce the state budget as a way of addressing a multi-billion dollar deficit. Because aid to schools is such a large part of the state budget, those funds are among the likely areas in which state spending will be reduced.

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Canaan flu clinic canceled

CANAAN—The Columbia County Health Department reminds residents that the seasonal flu clinic scheduled for Wednesday, November 18 at the Canaan Town Hall has been cancelled because seasonal flu vaccine is not available.
There are no additional community clinics scheduled at this time.
The department will notify the public when more vaccine availability information is received.

Lawyer: Vinyl vote’s invalid

Ancram board ignores taxpayers’ call for referendum 

ANCRAM–Against the advice of the town attorney and despite the signatures of almost 150 residents on a petition in opposition, the Town Board is apparently considering going ahead with its plan to put vinyl siding on Town Hall.

At the board’s November 5 workshop meeting, Town Supervisor Thomas Dias said he was drafting a letter of non-collusion as requested by the sole bidder on siding project, an indication he was moving forward with the vinyl-siding project, according to Jack Lindsey, a former Ancram Town Board member and a supporter of the anti-vinyl-siding movement who was at the meeting.

The petition, signed at last count by 145 people, was submitted to the town clerk October 19. It seeks to force a public referendum on whether to install vinyl siding on Town Hall.

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Ghent man helps nurture hospice care in Africa

Phil Di Sorbo will return soon to help bring care when pain is greatest

GHENT–In a few days Phil Di Sorbo will leave for sub-Saharan Africa, again. He travels there four times a year. And while it isn’t a vacation, it is a labor of love.

One of his stops will be the troubled country of Zimbabwe, where the chaos that led to a worthless currency and stores with no food on their shelves has abated somewhat since the dictator Robert Mugabe reluctantly agreed earlier this year to relinquish some small part of his power to the democratically elected opposition. But the oppression continues, by most reliable press accounts, and while there is food for sale now, few can afford to buy it. The long struggle in Zimbabwe has taken a particularly harsh toll on people in the most rural parts of what was a fertile and productive country. In Zimbabwe, as in many other parts of sub-Saharan Africa, among those hit hardest in any type of crisis are people with life-threatening illnesses: HIV/AIDS, cancer and tuberculosis, to name only a few.

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