Hudson school board head offers her valedictory

HUDSON–“I really love living in Hudson. It has been a pleasure devoting time to the District,” said Maria McLaughlin, who is departing from the Hudson City School District (HCSD) Board of Education after serving on it for five years—including one as board president and time as vice president. She spoke by telephone on June 24.

In 2014, after living in Hudson for about a year, Ms. McLaughlin decided to run for the board, because “I feel that good schools are important for a free society.” She added, “You can’t complain about something unless you’re willing to help to make it better.”

She had previous experience working with children, youth, and in a situation with “consensus-based decisions.” Read more…

Ancram OKs costly couple of cupolas

ANCRAM—If all goes according to plan, Ancram will have a new shed to store its off-season equipment in by December 1—even though the cost will be twice the amount of an earlier estimate.

At its June 20 meeting, the Town Board voted unanimously to go forward with the construction of a 40-foot wide by 80-foot long, 16-foot high cold storage equipment shed. Councilwoman Madeleine Israel was absent.

The board’s vote to move forward with the pole-barn-type building with five 14-by 14-foot overhead doors, a concrete floor, two cupolas and a traditional screw-down panel roof, was made contingent upon a review of the project by the town’s Financial Advisory Committee (FAC) slated for June 22. The Town Board agreed that the project would progress and the bids would be awarded as long as a majority of FAC members did not raise significant objections to the project. Otherwise a special meeting would be slated for further discussion. Read more…

Critics call for delay of Chatham zoning law

CHATHAM–A larger crowd than usual showed up for the Town Board meeting last Thursday. The crowd was so large–about 100–that the meeting was moved from the Town Hall on Route 295 to the East Chatham Firehouse. Most people where there to denounce the board’s proposed new zoning law, though there were some supporters too.

The board had planned to vote on the proposed new law at the June 20 meeting after board members’ statements were made, but due to a discrepancy involving state law, the Town Board must make a change and then wait ten business days before voting on the revised proposal.

“There will be no vote,” Supervisor Maria Lull said at the meeting. She and all the board members read their statements about why they planned to vote to approve the proposed zoning law. The board moved public comments to the end of the meeting after they conducted regular town business. Read more…

Backroom deals seek to derail lawyer’s judgeship race

Reprinted with permission from the Times Union

ALBANYIn the judicial district that runs from the mid-Hudson Valley to the Capital Region, there are 18 sitting State Supreme Court justices. Of those, three are womenincluding the only African-American. The other 15 are white men.

Columbia County attorney Cheryl Roberts had appeared likely to win election in November. Ms. Roberts believes it would be a victory not just for gender diversity, but for geographic equity as well. But in what has been described by some as a breach in a decade-old agreement, recent political machinations by several neighboring county Democratic Party leaders may put another white male from Albany, attorney Justin Corcoran, in the powerful trial court post.

The dispute has split Albany power brokers who are normally allies. Ms. Roberts supporters argue a broader split among Democrats could open the door for Republicans to pick up judgeships. Read more…

Hudson Housing Authority plans cell towers on Bliss

HUDSON–What if you held a public hearing and lots of people came? Public hearings in Columbia County can draw few–or no–attendees and take very little time. But this summer Hudson Planning Board plans to hold a public hearing on cell phone towers proposed for the Bliss public housing high rise. Now the Planning Board is concerned that Bliss tenants worried about radiation from the cell towers will “descend en masse” on the hearing, according to Hudson resident Carol Osterink.

Ms. Osterink, who publishes the The Gossips of Rivertown blog,, offered that information at the June 12 meeting of the Hudson Housing Authority (HHA), which controls the income-restricted Bliss complex in Hudson.

Alan Weaver, chairman of the HHA Board of Commissioners, confirmed that the HHA would receive money for hosting the cell towers. Read more…