Thursday, October 31, 2013

Another Media Outlet Heard From

The story of Hudson's controversial mayoral race was today the subject of an article in Metroland: "Positive and Negative."

A Macabre Story for Halloween

This is a true story. The events took place in the past year, and the mystery was solved only in recent weeks. This curious tale was told to Gossips by the proprietor of a Hudson B&B, who is the author of the account that follows.

The Secret in the Crypt

For More Than Seventy Years a Mausoleum in the Hudson City Cemetery Held a Secret. Unsuspecting Family Descendants Would Make the Shocking Discovery.  

In 1910, Dr. George W. Rossman of Ancram had a mausoleum constructed in the Hudson City Cemetery. Dr. Rossman was a prominent physician in the area, highly respected and civic minded. He began the practice of medicine and surgery in 1867, and he continued successfully for thirty years. He was one of the early members of the Columbia County Medical Society, served for a time as its president, and was often a delegate to the New York State Medical Society, of which he became a member. His final resting place would be a magnificent mausoleum. Constructed of Quincy granite, from Quincy, Massachusetts, it was designed by J. L. Miller, a foremost designer of elegant burial monuments and crypts befitting his wealthy clientele.

According to the Hudson Register, on August 31, 1910, the Rossman mausoleum was nearing completion.
While simple in design, it presents a very artistic exterior, being of Quincy granite, partially polished, the rest hammered. The interior walls are of white polished marble, with a ceiling of Quincy granite. It contains four crypts. The front contains pilasters and in the pediment there appears the name Rossman in polished black lettering in a panel. Between the pilasters there are polished panels. Surmounting the gable roof is a granite sphere weighing about 600 pounds. The roof is one piece of stone, and weighs in the neighborhood of seven tons. The door is of bronze.
At the time of construction, Dr. Rossman's mausoleum cost $7,500.

Dr. Rossman had married Frances N. Green, daughter of John Green and Elizabeth Northrop Green, in 1870. Their only child, Clark, would, like his father, become a renowned and respected physician with a practice in Hudson.

Frances Rossman died in August 1931, and Dr. George Rossman died six months later, at the age of 91. They were interred in their palatial crypt built twenty years earlier. For reasons unknown, their son, Dr. Clark Rossman, and his wife, Florence Hoysradt Rossman, would be buried in the Hoysradt family plot, leaving two vaults in the grand mausoleum unoccupied.

It appears that once the mausoleum was closed up in 1932, after Dr. George's interment, it was never opened again.

In April 2013, Rossman descendants from Colorado came to Hudson to pursue genealogical research. With the assistance of a member of the Hudson chapter of the D.A.R., they were taken to a Philmont cemetery to visit Rossman graves there. They then continued to the Hudson City Cemetery on their own.

The cemetery attendant that day handed them the key to the Rossman mausoleum. Excited that they would be able to access the mausoleum, they hurried over. By their account, they could tell when putting the key in the lock that it had not been entered for many decades. The interior was of white marble, with four vaults straight ahead. Two vaults contained Dr. George and his wife, Frances; the other two were empty.

Much to their horror, on the floor in front of them, was a decrepit and collapsed wooden trunk with skeletal remains spilling out!

Shocked, confused, and downright befuddled by what they had found, the descendants told no one of their discovery and went back home to Colorado. After giving it very careful thought, they decided something was amiss and alerted the Hudson police. The police investigation proved inconclusive. Official cemetery records indicated that two individuals are interred in the crypt. However, it could not readily be determined if the remains were one of the two bodies that were supposed to be there.

The Rossman descendants came back to Hudson in September. During this visit they shared the story of their discovery with the innkeeper at the bed & breakfast where they were staying. Feeling defeated and brushed off by the authorities, they told their host to do with the information as he pleased, and they headed home once again to Colorado.

Who was the unidentified person in the trunk? How did the person die? Why was he or she left in that particular mausoleum? Who placed the body there and when? Was this a chilling find that could lead to closing the file on a decades-old Hudson cold case?

   
It turns out that the trunk is in fact full of human skeletal remains, but it appears that this was a skeleton that Dr. Rossman used in his practice as a reference source.

The innkeeper was given access to the mausoleum with authorized cemetery supervision. Looking closely, he was able to determine that the bones had tiny drill holes and some were still held together by wire and chord, conjuring up the image a full skeleton displayed in a doctor's office or laboratory. The bones were probably placed in the trunk after Dr. Rossman, or perhaps his son, retired from practice. The bones could have found their way into the Rossman mausoleum with good intention. Perhaps it was an earlier Rossman descendant who, faced with the dilemma of what to do with them when the Rossman estates were dissolved, decided that putting them with the good doctor in the mausoleum was best.    

The decision to keep them with the doctor appears to have been done with care and with dignity for all concerned. The donors of such specimens were usually indigents, paupers, or John Does, so to have such an elegant mausoleum as a final resting place seems deserved after making a positive contribution to medicine.

Now Dr. Rossman, his specimen bones, and all the curious who have been involved with this story as it unfolded can rest in peace.

Not a Debate, But Something

In his interview with Tom DePietro on WGXC this morning, Mayor William Hallenbeck made reference to "another campaign video" he had done. The video of which he spoke is one of a pair of videos--one done with each of the Hudson mayoral candidates--in which each candidate responds to the same ten questions posed by Greg Mosley.



These are the ten questions that were asked: 

  1. What are your priorities if elected mayor of the City of Hudson?
  2. How would you solve the small city challenges?
  3. What would your plans be for the waterfront?
  4. How would you address the issue of gentrification and diversity in Hudson?
  5. What's your take on the number of elected officials?
  6. How would you address the issue of housing and the lack of affordable housing?
  7. What would you do about the budget? What would you do to increase the budget?
  8. What would you do to improve the police department, if it needs improving?
  9. The youth are the future of our city. What are your plans to service the youth?
  10. What makes you the better candidate to be mayor of the City of Hudson?
Hear the candidates' answers to these questions at HudsonVotes.com.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What Was There

The hole has been dug at 215 Union Street for the foundation of what will be the "reassembled" historic house that, until about ten weeks ago, stood at 900 Columbia Street.

The excavation has revealed what appears to be the foundation of a previous building. That piqued my curiosity and sent me to the History Room at the Hudson Area Library to consult the Beers Atlas maps and find out what had been on the site before.

The 1888 map shows the Worth House barns, where the horses of hotel guests were stabled, directly across Union Street from the lot in question, and on the easternmost part of the lot is the home of Thomas Tilley. Tilley's house also appears on this site in the 1873 atlas. Thomas Tilley was a partner in the clothing store Tilley & Aldcrofft, which was located at the southeast corner of Warren and Fourth streets, where Face Stockholm is now.

Gossips' Most Popular Picture

Many pictures have been taken by Gossips over the years and published on The Gossips of Rivertown, but none has turned out to be as popular (popularity being measured by how often it appears on other websites) as this one of William H. Hallenbeck, Jr.


Taken by Gossips before the mayoral debate in 2011 and first published with Gossips' report on that debate, the picture has in recent weeks appeared on Hallenbeck's 2013 campaign website--without attribution but with the following caption: "Mayor William H. Hallenbeck Jr. poses for the cameras before the 2012 Nicholas Haddad and William H. Hallenbeck Jr. Debate."

Democratic mayoral candidate Victor Mendolia used part of the picture to create his satirical "Bill in the Box" image, lampooning Hallenbeck for refusing to debate him during this election cycle.

Now we discover that WGXC has picked up the picture on its website to announce tomorrow morning's special @Issue interview with the incumbent mayor--again without attribution.

The interview, which will be conducted by Tom DePietro, begins at 10 a.m. Listeners are urged to call in with questions and comments: (518) 828-0290 or Skype wgxc90.7.

Gossips Note: At sometime on Wednesday, WGXC changed the picture of Hallenbeck used on their website.

405 Warren Street: The Saga Continues

On the first of June, Galvan Partners, represented by Martha Martinez, Mark Greenberg's legal assistant, outbid John Knott and Bill Better, bidding as Warren Hudson LLC, for 405 Warren Street. The winning bid was $354,000. When it came time to close on the sale, Galvan walked away, citing title issues as the reason.


It seems that, after the City relocated the tenants that remained in the building, and the Department of Public Works dealt with the rats and cockroaches, disconnected the unsafe boiler, and generally emptied and cleaned out the building, Galvan had a change of heart and decided to go through with the purchase. Another closing was scheduled for a couple of weeks ago, but once again, Galvan backed out.

Meanwhile, this sign appeared recently at the corner of Fifth and Warren streets, on the sidewalk alongside TrustCo Bank.

   
Reverend Godfrey Forbes, leader of the Holy Temple First Church of God in Christ, maintains that the church, not he, owns 405 Warren Street, and the building should have been exempt from property taxes. The City could not, therefore, rightfully seize the property for nonpayment of taxes because no taxes were owed. The City, which has never granted the building tax exempt status, disagrees with him, and so far so do the courts.
COPYRIGHT 2013 CAROLE OSTERINK

Why Did the Lights Go Out?

The Register-Star reports on the power outage experienced this morning: "Thousands without power in Columbia County." Apparently, National Grid still doesn't know the cause. The reason our power is back on is that they switched to an alternative source.

Hallenbeck Speaks on Halloween

Incumbent mayor William Hallenbeck rejected invitations to participate in a debate sponsored by the Register-Star and WGXC and to appear at a town hall meeting arranged by his challenger, Democratic candidate Victor Mendolia. Gossips has learned that he has, however, agreed to be interviewed by Tom DePietro on WGXC. The interview will take place at 10 a.m. Thursday, October 31. Listen at 90.7 FM or online at wgxc.org.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween Isn't Over Yet

The Halloween Parade on Warren Street happened on Saturday, and so did Operation Kook. The Ghostly Gallop took place on Sunday morning. But the observance of Halloween in Hudson isn't over yet. On Thursday night (which is actual Halloween), the Public Square (a.k.a. Seventh Street Park) will be the scene of what may be the most uniquely Hudson Halloween event yet: Girlgantua's Drag Race!

Participants in the race must wear three-inch heels or platform shoes--and (it goes without saying) appropriately flamboyant accompanying attire. The course is an entire lap around the Public Square, with race commentary provided by Trixie Starr. There will be performances in the park beginning at 5 p.m. and leading up to the race, which starts at 6:30 p.m. There is also a Falafel Ball Eating Contest, sponsored by Park Falafel, from 5 to 7 p.m. 

An entry fee is requested for the race, and there are opportunities to sponsor a runner. The event benefits the Hudson Moose Lodge (which is actually in Greenport), to help renovate and reopen the building, and the Hudson Pride Foundation (which actually is in Hudson). For more information, visit the event's Facebook page or contact Justin Weaver.

The photograph, borrowed from Trixie Starr's Facebook page, shows Trixie (left) and Girlgantua (right).

The Fate of the New Police and Court Building

On Monday night, at a special meeting, the Common Council voted to allocate $11,000 and buy two more months' time in which to complete their due diligence and decide whether or not to buy 701 Union Street and adapt it as the police and court building.

In the hour of discussion that preceded the vote, very little new information was revealed. Council president Don Moore explained that if the Council did not take action to extend or terminate the agreement and simply let it lapse, the $30,000 deposit would be lost, along with the $11,000 paid thus far to extend the agreement. Alderman Cappy Pierro (Fifth Ward) groused that the conversation about the building had gone on for six months. Alderman Abdus Miah (Second Ward) fretted about spending more taxpayer money to extend the agreement and urged, "Either we buy it or not." Alderman Wanda Pertilla (Second Ward) complained that she had not been included, from the beginning, in the conversation about the building, and Alderman Ohrine Stewart (Fourth Ward) echoed the complaint, saying that for the past few days she had been "cramming to get up to speed on the project." 

When Moore argued that $11,000 was a reasonable expenditure "in order to be sure that we are making the right decision," Alderman Nick Haddad (First Ward), who has headed up the project, pointed out that the cost analysis had been done three times and independently verified. "At some point, you have to trust the numbers." Alderman John Friedman (Third Ward) concurred. "I don't know that we can talk anymore risk out of it," he said. Pierro then returned to his familiar theme: "We're at the point where we could put a new building up. Yes, it's going to cost more, but you'll have a brand-new building."

The discussion, which had been fairly restrained and civil, threatened to erupt into shouting when Alderman David Marston (First Ward) suggested that Miah's concern about spending taxpayer money to extend the agreement was "specious" and piqued Pierro by making reference to the $6-million fire station. From the audience, police chief Ed Moore poured oil on the roiling waters by thanking all the Council members for their efforts. "Everybody in this room," he said, "has dedicated time to make things better for the employees of the court and the police officers."

Council president Moore then called for a vote. Alderman Bob Donahue and Pierro, the two Fifth Ward aldermen who, in the weighted vote system, wield 364 votes each, both voted no. All the other aldermen voted aye, except for Sheila Ramsey, who was absent. There was some tension in the room as city clerk Tracy Delaney calculated and recalculated the vote. Were the aye votes of seven aldermen and the Council president sufficient to stand against the powerful opposition of the Fifth Ward? It turns out they were. The resolution required a simple majority--1,015 aye votes--to pass; it received 1,205.
COPYRIGHT 2013 CAROLE OSTERINK

Monday, October 28, 2013

Election Prep

Election Day is a week from tomorrow. By now, everyone should be familiar with the candidates whose names will appear on the front of the ballot, but those six proposals that will appear on the back of the ballot require some study before you get to the polls. To help you prepare, here is the language of each proposal, as it will appear on the ballot, and some comment about the significance to each proposed amendment.
Proposal One The proposed amendment to section 9 of article 1 of the Constitution would allow the Legislature to authorize up to seven casinos in New York State for the legislated purposes of promoting job growth, increasing aid to schools, and permitting local governments to lower property taxes through revenues generated. Shall the amendment be approved?
Despite the distracting language of the proposal--Who would say no to promoting job growth, increasing aid to schools, and lowering property taxes?--the issue here is whether or not to authorize casino gambling in the State of New York.
Proposal Two The proposed amendment to section 6 of article 5 of the Constitution would entitle a veteran who has received civil service credit for a civil service appointment or promotion and subsequently is certified as disabled to additional civil service credit at subsequent appointment or promotion. Shall the proposed amendment be approved?
Veterans currently receive additional credit on civil service exams: 5 points for an original appointment and 2½ points for a promotion. Disabled veterans receive 10 points for an original appointment and 5 points for a promotion. They can claim the additional credit only once. The amendment would give veterans who are not certified disabled until after they have been appointed to a civil service job the right to claim the additional credit that is available to disabled veterans.
Proposal Three The proposed amendment to Article 8, section 5 of the Constitution would extend for ten years, until January 1, 2024, the authority of counties, cities, towns, and villages to exclude from their constitutional debt limits indebtedness contracted from the construction or reconstruction of sewage facilities. Shall the proposed amendment be approved?
The exclusion of sewer debt from the constitutional debt limits was originally authorized in 1963 to encourage municipalities to participate in the sewer construction assistance plan without jeopardizing their ability to incur debt for other capital improvements. Since 1963, the exclusion has been regularly extended in ten-year increments. This amendment would simply extend the exclusion for another ten years to encourage municipalities to upgrade their sewage treatment facilities.
Proposal Four The proposed amendment to section 1 of article 14 of the Constitution would authorize the Legislature to settle longstanding disputes between the State and private entities over certain parcels of land within the forest preserve in the town of Long Lake, Hamilton County. In exchange for giving up its claim to disputed parcels, the State would get land to be incorporated into the forest preserves that would benefit the forest preserve more than the disputed parcels currently do. Shall the proposed amendment be approved?
Another proposal with somewhat loaded language. The "Forever Wild" clause of the New York State Constitution prohibits the lease, sale, exchange, or taking of any forest preserve land. For more than a century, the titles to more than 200 parcels of land around Raquette Lake in the Town of Long Lake have been in dispute, with the State and private individuals both claiming ownership. The amendment would allow a settlement. The State would give up its claim to the disputed parcels; the private parties would make payments into a fund for the purchase of replacement land for the forest preserve. These payments could be reduced if the parties entered into conservation easements.
Proposal Five The proposed amendment to section 1 of article 14 of the Constitution would authorize the Legislature to convey forest preserve land located in the town of Lewis, Essex County, to NYCO Minerals, a private company that plans on mining the land. In exchange, NYCO Minerals would give the State at least the same amount of land of at least the same value, with a minimum assessed value of $1 million, to be added to the forest preserve. When NYCO Minerals finishes mining, it would restore the condition of the land and return it to the forest preserve. Shall the proposed amendment be approved?
The "Forever Wild" clause of the New York State Constitution prohibits the lease, sale, exchange, or taking of forest preserve land. This amendment would allow a land swap between the State and NYCO Mining. NYCO Mining would get to mine 200 acres of forest preserve land, and the State would get 200 acres of land to add to the forest preserve. Also, it seems that when NYCO Minerals has extracted all the wollastonite from the 200 acres, the land would be restored and returned to the forest preserve. An important consideration is that this would be the first forest preserve constitution amendment undertaken for private commercial gain rather than for a public purpose and public benefit, and hence would set a potentially dangerous precedent.
Proposal Six The proposed amendment to the Constitution, amending sections 2 and 25 of article 6, would increase the maximum age until which certain state judges may serve as follows: (a) a Justice of the Supreme Court would be eligible for five additional two-year terms after the present retirement age of 70, instead of the three such terms currently authorized; and (b) a Judge of the Court of Appeals who reaches the age of 70 in order to complete the term to which that Judge was appointed. Shall the proposed amendment be approved?
Although the (b) part of this proposal seems a bit incomprehensible, the upshot is that the amendment would allow Justices of the Supreme Court (including the Appellate Division) and Judges of the Court of Appeals to serve until they reach the age of 80.

Gossips has merely synthesized some of the information available about these proposals. To learn more, download the 2013 Voters Guide, Part II, published by the League of Women Voters of New York State.

Hudson in the British Press

This little item, written by a Gossips reader, appeared in The Independent this morning: "Postcard from  . . . Hudson, NY."

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Update on the Hudson Mayoral Race

Yesterday, Democratic candidate Victor Mendolia held a town meeting at which he answered questions posed by members of the audience. It would have been a more meaningful exercise if his opponent, incumbent mayor William Hallenbeck, had been there to answer the same questions, but, as Hallenbeck told the Register-Star, he was "out 'enjoying and greeting the residents and visitors' at Hudson's Halloween Parade" (which didn't start until 5 o'clock), and, as a consequence, he couldn't participate in the town meeting (which ran from 2 until 3 o'clock). Hallenbeck also offered as a reason for ducking the town meeting the fact that Mendolia had sent the invitation to participate to his "work email," which he considered "inappropriate."

Joe Gentile reports on the town meeting in today's Register-Star: "Mendolia calls for moving forward on waterfront, revitalizing Columbia Street." The not to be missed account of the meeting, however, appears on The Rogovoy Report: "Mayoral Candidate Victor Mendolia Shares His Vision for a Friendlier, Better Hudson."

What Gossips finds curious is why Hallenbeck considers Mendolia's agenda, which in the Register-Star he calls "unrealistic," but which involves broadening the tax base, "the biggest burden on taxpayers the city of Hudson taxpayers have ever faced."
COPYRIGHT 2013 CAROLE OSTERINK

The Uncertainty Continues

Tomorrow at 5 p.m., there's a special meeting of the Common Council to consider if they want to pay another $5,500 to buy themselves another month to decide whether or not to want to buy 701 Union Street and convert it into a police and court building.

The $5,500 a month the City is paying the owner to keep the building off the market while the Council makes up its collective mind will be subtracted from the sale price if the City buys the building, but it will be lost if the purchase doesn't happen. At the last Common Council meeting, Fifth Ward aldermen Cappy Pierro and Bob Donahue echoed an opinion first voiced by Fourth Ward supervisor Bill Hughes that a brand-new building could be constructed for "just a little more" than the $2.53 million needed to buy this building and the land behind it and renovate and equip it to the standards required for a court facility and police headquarters. "Just a little more"? How much is "just a little more"?

The senior center that the City was hoping to build for $1.08 million, even though the lowest bids came in at $1.3 million, would have been 4,200 square feet. The space requirement for the police and court building is 15,250 square feet--3.6 times more than the square footage of the proposed senior center. Assuming that furnishing and equipping the interior of a police and court building would cost no more than what was planned for the senior center, which was not significant, simple multiplication (1,080,000 x 3.6) brings the price for 15,250 square feet to $3.89 million. Given the kinds of things that are required for a building that houses the police department and the court--locker rooms, holding cells, storage for court records, secure storage for evidence, secure access and egress for delivering prisoners to court--the cost per square foot to construct such a building is undoubtedly much greater than what would be required for a senior center, so reason suggests that the price would be significantly more than $3.89 million.

To look at it another way, the Hudson Area Library will have 12,000 square feet in the renovated Galvan Community Center, which the library must furnish and equip itself, and the library board is looking to raise $2 million to do that. Seen from that perspective, $2.53 million for a building the City will own, which meets the needs of the police department and the requirements of the State Office of Court Administration, with land behind it for expansion, seems like a pretty good deal. 

Besides--and some may think this was a blessing--Hudson missed out on having examples of mid-20th century architecture. It could be fun to have a municipal building reminiscent of 1950s L.A. modern.
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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Amazing!

The news spread like wildfire up and down Warren Street. This seven-inch Faberge figurine of a Cossack sold for $5.2 million at today's auction at Stair Galleries.

Ear to the Ground

Gossips has learned that, just before he left the position of code enforcement officer, Peter Wurster received an inquiry from the contractor who had "disassembled" 900 Columbia Street, wanting to know about getting the permits needed to do the same thing to the historic train station at State and Seventh streets. At least the owner of this building is calling it what it is: demolition. Fortunately, the building is included in a locally designated historic district, so its demolition cannot happen without a certificate of appropriateness from the Historic Preservation Commission.

But wait! That was true for 406 Warren Street . . .

and 620-624 State Street . . .

and 8 North Fourth Street.

Let's hope Hudson's new code enforcement officer has a better awareness of the role historic architecture played in bringing Hudson back from the edge over the past quarter century and its continued importance to the city's success and well-being going forward.
COPYRIGHT 2013 CAROLE OSTERINK

Friday, October 25, 2013

And So It Begins . . .

There was a flurry of activity in the 200 block of Union Street yesterday as workers started preparing the lot that will be the new location of the historic house that once stood at 900 Columbia Street. Stopping by the site last evening, Gossips found stakes in the ground, marking out the placement of the house on the lot.

In May 2012, the Historic Preservation Commission granted a certificate of appropriateness to move the house intact to this location within a locally designated historic district. Since the house was "disassembled" at its original site and will arrive at its new location in bits and pieces, a new certificate of appropriateness will be required for a new house to be constructed from salvaged materials. 

At the HPC meeting on September 13, 2013, Rick Scalera, special adviser to the Galvan Foundation, stated that it was Galvan's intention to "reuse the design and specifications of that particular house as well as any materials that can be reused at 215 Union" and assured the HPC that the plans for the "reconstruction" would be presented for a certificate of appropriateness.
COPYRIGHT 2013 CAROLE OSTERINK

Gossips' Picks: Things to Do Tomorrow

At 10 a.m., Jack Alvarez, architect member of the Historic Preservation Commission, will conduct a workshop on the restoration and preservation of original wood windows. An advocate for preserving original wood windows, Alvarez is the coauthor of "Restoring Our Appreciation of Historic Wood Windows," with his wife and partner in the Albany firm Landmark Consulting, Kimberly Konrad Alvarez, and regularly conducts workshops on restoring and repairing wood windows. In June, he held such a workshop in Albany, which was reported on in the Times Union"Clear favorites: Retaining old windows preserves architecture and dollars."

The workshop, which is scheduled to last until 1 p.m., is presented by the Hudson Historic Preservation Commission in collaboration with Historic Hudson. It takes place at the Chamber of Commerce, 1 North Front Street, in Hudson, and it is free and open to all.

At 2 p.m., Democratic mayoral candidate Victor Mendolia is holding a town hall meeting in the auditorium at the Second Ward Foundation, the former Charles Williams School, at the corner of North Third and Robinson street. Moderators for the meeting will be Francesca Shanks, former city editor for the Register-Star and now an editor at the Berkshire Eagle, and Greg Mosley of Operation Unite. Written questions will be accepted from the audience, sorted by the moderators, and asked of the candidate. Republican incumbent Bill Hallenbeck was invited to participate in the town meeting but has declined, as he did previously when invited to be part of a mayoral debate sponsored by the Register-Star and WGXC.

At 7 p.m., HudsonAir returns to the Hudson Opera House! The popular theatrical presentation of radio plays, with live sound effects, is a collaboration of PS21, WGXC, and the Hudson Opera House. HudsonAir re-creates the atmosphere of a radio broadcast studio. "Audience members get a chance to close their eyes and use their imaginations the way radio audience did for decades, or they can watch the technicians and see how old-fashioned sound effects are created." Saturday night's performance will be recorded for future broadcast on WGXC.

Hudsonian in the New York Times

The poet John Ashbery, who has maintained a home in Hudson since the 1980s, is deaccessioning some of the art that he has collected during his lifetime. The dozen works for sale are displayed at the Loretta Howard Gallery in Chelsea in a "gallery environment that simulates the interior of his Victorian home in upstate New York." Read more about it in The New York Times: "John Ashbery Collects: Poet Among Things."

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Warning from William

To all my dog and cat friends in Hudson and beyond: Get your humans to read this article from The New York Times: "Answers Sought in Deaths of Dogs That Ate Treats." Then ask them please to check where the treats they buy for you are made. Beg them not to buy treats that are made in places where we pets are not as treasured as we are here.  

What It Will Look Like

At the last Common Council meeting, Alderman Cappy Pierro (Fifth Ward) and Rick Scalera, former mayor and now Fifth Ward supervisor and special adviser to the Galvan Foundation, groused that there was no rendering or color drawing that showed what 701 Union Street would look like re-purposed as the City of Hudson police and city court building. Now there is.

Gossips just received this rendering, by architect John O'Connell of O'Connell Architecture, from Alderman Nick Haddad (First Ward). Haddad reiterated that the proposed adaptive reuse meets all the requirements of the police department and the city court and that everything, including the landscaping, is reflected in the cost analysis.
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Hudson on WAMC

This morning, the latest development in our Hudson mayoral race was the subject of a report by Allison Dunne on WAMC. The report can be heard here. A memorable statement was uttered by incumbent mayor William Hallenbeck, who criticized his opponent, Victor Mendolia, by saying, "Mr. Mendolia's social media conduct on his website and his friends' blogs is apprehensible."

The Register-Star also has a story on the subject today: "City mayoral candidates tangle over HIV." 

Ear to the Ground

Gossips already reported about the new clothing store expected to open soon at 1 Warren Street, but there are two more stores on the way. From mid-November through early January, Spruce Ridge Farm will have a pop-up store at 255 Warren Street. Spruce Ridge Farm in Old Chatham raises alpacas for their fiber, which is spun into yarn at a mill in the Finger Lakes and made into hats, rugs, and sweaters by local knitters and weavers. These are the wares that Spruce Ridge Farm will be selling for a few months this winter in the space behind the newly restored storefront at 255 Warren Street.

Gossips has also heard word of another store being planned for farther up Warren Street, in the 600 block, where Key City Liquor used to be. The exact nature of the store is unknown, but the speculation is that it is the collaborative effort of interior designer Christopher Coleman and fashion designer Angel Sanchez.

A Tale in Two Newspapers

The story of drilling out a lock and installing a new lock on the room at 401 State Street where the voting machines are stored--a story that involves Stuyvesant supervisor Ron Knott and facilities manager Bob Pinto, both of whom apparently have an interest in the outcome of the November 5 election--is told today in the Register-Star"County officials at odds over voting machine security"; and the Times Union: "Democrat: GOP violated secure vote room." 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

More Breaking News

Sam Pratt reports on his blog that this house, at the fork in the road where Columbia Turnpike splits off from Route 23B, was sold last week in a county tax foreclosure auction: "Hudson gateway property sold at auction." The property sold for the minimum bid of $5,000.

This Just In

Sam Pratt reports on his blog that Hudson fire chief Craig Haigh has been appointed to replace Peter Wurster as the City's code enforcement officer: "New Hudson Building Inspector." This picture, taken from the City of Hudson Fire Department website, shows Haigh being sworn in as fire chief. According to reports, he has already been sworn in as code enforcement officer.

This Is Your Last Chance

After noon today--that's just a couple of hours away--reservations can no longer be accepted for dinner and the screening on Friday of Odds Against Tomorrow at Basilica Hudson. 

If you don't make your reservation now, you may have to wait another fifty years before you get the chance to see it in a theater again.

The event is a fundraiser to help Fairview Cinema 3--our local first run movie house (just over the border in Greenport)--buy digital projectors and stay in business. A suggested donation of $50 is requested. The event starts at 7 p.m. Basilica Hudson is located at 110 South Front Street. Click here and tell us if you plan to attend.

Halloween in Hudson

There are just a few days left to put the finishing touches on your costume and get ready for Hudson's eagerly anticipated Halloween bash: Operation Kook--this Saturday, at 10 p.m., at Club Helsinki

Gloriosky! Gossips Sets a New Record

On September 18, Gossips almost reached a new milestone of 3,000 pageviews in a single day. On that day, there were 2,992. Yesterday, we made it: 3,007 pageviews! Of course, some of the traffic was undoubtedly generated by the reader-contributed photograph of Peter Wurster's farewell to public service, but it's still cause for celebration.

Politics in the Friendly City

Two weeks from today, the election will be over, but the next fourteen days promise to be mean--at least in the Hudson mayoral race.

Incumbent mayor William Hallenbeck has reportedly taken to campaigning on his opponent's HIV positive status and some unspecified information he claims to have about him, from his past career in law enforcement, which he promises will "shock people." Victor Mendolia responds to Hallenbeck's eleventh-hour lapse into negativity on his campaign website: "A Desperate Man's Only Campaign Issue: 'My opponent has AIDS.'"

Meanwhile, although a crawl on his campaign website claims that he "IS currently in talks concerning the best format for a Public Debate," Hallenbeck has so far not accepted Mendolia's invitation to participate in a town hall meeting, moderated by Berkshire Eagle editor Francesca Shanks and Greg Mosley from Operation Unite, scheduled to take place on Saturday, October 26, at 2 p.m., in the auditorium of the Second Ward Foundation, at the corner of North Third and Robinson streets.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

From the West . . . and from the North

At the stormy Planning Commission public hearing last Wednesday, about the adaptive reuse of the Armory, Helen Arrott, of Citizens in Defense of Hudson, asked to see the elevation drawings for the proposed new addition to the building. She was told that the Planning Commission had only the site plan. The building design had been reviewed and approved by the Historic Preservation Commission.

When the design for the building was presented to the Historic Preservation Commission, there was much discussion among HPC members about the proposed "medical wing," but the elevations for the addition were not presented in a way that allowed the public to see them. So today, Gossips asked HPC chair Rick Rector for copies of those elevations, and he provided them.

The first shows the facade that faces Short Street.

The outlines at the top and to the right show the contours of the original building, to which the new construction connects.

The drawing below shows the elevation from Rope Alley.

The new addition's appearance from the north side (Rope Alley) is virtually the same as it is from the south side (State Street) except the south side is missing the westernmost pair of windows on the second and third floors. That's where the entrance to the building is.