Tuesday, December 6, 2022

What Happened with City Hall's Email

A special meeting of the Common Council has been scheduled for tomorrow night at 6:00 p.m. to consider a resolution authorizing the mayor "to sign new email agreement." Today, a notification appeared on the city website that "all municipal emails are currently down until further notice." The word is that the city's email system has been down since Friday.

It appears that City Hall is among the victims of a ransomware attack on Rackspace which has been reported on TechCrunch, Bleeping Computer, the San Antonio Express-News, and Barron's.    

COVID-19 Update

The Columbia County Department of Health has released its numbers for today. Since yesterday, there have been 14 new cases of COVID-19. The number of active cases being reported today is 2 fewer than yesterday, from which it can be inferred that, since yesterday, 16 county residents have recovered from the virus. There is 1 more county resident hospitalized with COVID-19 today than yesterday, but the number in the ICU remains the same. There has not been a death from COVID-19 reported in Columbia County since Monday, November 28.


A year ago today, the CCDOH reported 55 new cases of COVID-19. The total number of cases was 6,340, and the number of active cases was 145. There were 277 county residents in mandatory quarantine, 10 were hospitalized, and 1 was in the ICU. The total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 at this time last year was 108.

Protecting Our Farmland

Our state senator, Michelle Hinchey has announced the signing of her bill (S8889A) to create the Agricultural and Farmland Viability Protection Fund, which will bolster efforts to protect agricultural land from being permanently removed from farming to make way for solar development.

Photo: Pleroma Farm, Robert Rodriguez, Jr. | Scenic Hudson
Currently, all solar projects receiving funding through NYSERDA's NY-Sun incentive program that site projects on active farmland must pay a penalty, which goes into the state's General Fund. S8889A requires that all penalty money collected be deposited instead into the new Agricultural and Farmland Viability Protection Fund and be allocated to state and local farmland protection programs.

"With the Climate Crisis changing the face of agriculture as we know it and rendering top food producing states, like California, unequipped to respond, New York must act now to protect local farmland and ensure a stable food supply for our region," said Senator Hinchey. "I thank Governor Hochul for signing my bill to create the Agricultural and Farmland Viability Protection Fund and look forward to ensuring that we continue to work to create a future centered on locally sourced, healthy food and incentivize smart solar development without eliminating our finite agricultural resources."

News from City Hall

The Common Council Legal Committee meeting scheduled for tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. has been postponed, although a new date has not been announced. Instead, tomorrow at 6:00 p.m., the Common Council will hold a special meeting to consider a resolution authorizing the mayor to enter into an agreement with a new email provider. According to reports, the current email service at City Hall has not been functioning since Friday, December 2. Apparently this meeting will be in person only since a Zoom link for the meeting has not been published.

"They Paved Paradise and Put Up a Parking Lot"

The demolition of the CMH Administrative Services Building, formerly Eden Park Nursing Home, began yesterday, being carried out by a piece of heavy equipment that is literally clawing it apart. 

Photos: Virginia Martin

CMH posted a video of the destruction on Facebook last night. Click
here to watch.


The plans for the space once the building is gone received site plan approval from the Planning Board back in April 2021. Where once there was a nursing home named for the biblical paradise there will now be a parking lot.

COPYRIGHT 2022 CAROLE OSTERINK

Monday, December 5, 2022

What's in a Name?

This afternoon, at the suggestion of a reader, I did a little exploring on the Galvan Foundation website: galvan.org. When I clicked on the menu item "Selected Properties," the first images to appear were these, labeled "Henry Hudson Riverfront Park."


The H. Van Ameringen Foundation (the late Henry Van Ameringen being the Van in Galvan) contributed $650,000 toward the renovation of the entrance to Promenade Hill when it was determined that the project as it was designed could not be realized with the $1.1 million in DRI (Downtown Revitalization Initiative) funds earmarked for the purpose. Is it possible that Galvan, the great benefactor of Hudson, does not know that Promenade Hill, the historic Georgian mall established by the Proprietors in 1795, is not the same as Henry Hudson Riverfront Park, the park created early in the 21st century when the tank farm that was once there was finally eliminated? 
COPYRIGHT 2022 CAROLE OSTERINK

COVID-19 Update

The Columbia County Department of Health has released its numbers for today. Since Friday, there have been 20 new cases of COVID-19. The number of active cases being reported today is 7 fewer than on Friday, from which it can be inferred that, since Friday, 27 county residents have recovered from the virus. The number of county residents hospitalized and in the ICU today is the same as on Friday. There has not been a death from COVID-19 reported in Columbia County since Monday, November 28.


A year ago, December 5 was a  Sunday, and the CCDOH did not report COVID numbers. On Saturday, December 4, the CCDOH reported 57 new cases of COVID-19. The total number of cases was 6,285, and the number of active cases was 140. There were 347 county residents in mandatory quarantine, 12 were hospitalized, and 1 was in the ICU. The total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 at this time last year was 108.

Depot District Update

The Galvan Foundation is hoping to get funding from NYS Homes and Community Renewal to construct the apartment building proposed for 75 North Seventh Street. After they failed to get funding in the previous round, which happened in July, it is expected that Galvan will be re-applying in the current round. The deadline for submitting applications for this round is tomorrow, December 6.


Although funding has not yet been secured, the demolition of existing buildings required for the proposed new construction has begun. On Friday, the accessory building behind 65 North Seventh Street was demolished.

Photo: Billl Huston
This structure, along with the house in front of it, are included in the Hudson Historic District listed in the National Register of Historic Places. In the inventory prepared by Shirley Dunn in 1985 for the National Register listing, the accessory building is described as an "ice house." When the demolition required for the Depot District was considered by the Historic Preservation Commission on May 20, 2022, historian member Paul Barrett noted that its description as an ice house made the building a very rare survivor in Hudson. Beth Selig of Hudson Cultural Services, the consultant hired by Galvan to prepare the Alternative Analysis for the project, maintained that the building had been constructed as a stable or a barn, and there was nothing in the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps to suggest that it was ever an ice house. 

Whether it was an ice house, a barn, or a stable, it's gone now.
COPYRIGHT 2022 CAROLE OSTERINK

Meetings of Interest in the Week Ahead

Winter Walk is behind us, and the holiday season in Hudson has officially begun. Although parking at the meters along Warren Street is free for the month of December, the alternate side of the street parking rules for overnight parking are back in effect seven days a week until further notice, which may or may not happen in the spring. Meanwhile, here are the meetings happening this week.
  • On Monday, December 5, the Housing Trust Fund Board meets at 6:00 p.m. The meeting is in person only at City Hall.
  • On Tuesday, December 6, the Conservation Advisory Council meets at 6:00 p.m. On the agenda for the meeting, among other things, is a discussion of establishing a tree ordinance and a tree board and also of creating a director of city parks. The meeting is in person only at City Hall.
  • On Wednesday, December 7, the Hudson Industrial Development Agency (IDA) meets at 9:30 a.m. The agenda for the meeting is not yet available. The meeting will be a hybrid, taking place in person at 1 City Centre, Suite 301, and on Zoom. Click here to join the meeting remotely.
  • At 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 7, the Common Council Legal Committee holds its monthly meeting. It is expected that the committee will continue its discussion of sidewalks and legislative changes that will succeed in getting them repaired. The meeting is a hybrid, taking place in person at City Hall and on Zoom. Click here to join the meeting remotely.
  • On Friday, December 9, the Historic Preservation Commission meets at 10 a.m. The meeting is a hybrid, taking place in person at City Hall and on Zoom. Click here to join the meeting remotely.
COPYRIGHT 2022 CAROLE OSTERINK

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Chart Your Path at Winter Walk

Hudson Hall has announced the winners in the 26th Anniversary Winter Walk Window Decorating Contest. Creativity, color, and Hudson's signature imaginative flair won the day. The anonymous judges were so impressed, the list of awards is extensive and effusive. Of the many awards, the number one spot went the train-themed display by illustrator and graphic designer Jack Dylan at 441 Warren Street. 


Meticulously handmade, the little winter scene includes an embroidered "Cats-kill" Mountain backdrop, an ornate wooden bridge, and a model train with copper rivets.

Runners-up include Lisa Durfee's stunning dollhouse display at 524 Warren Street and the sumptuous velvet-laden display at Red Dot Restaurant and Bar, 321 Warren Street, a Winter Walk Decorating stalwart.

The following is a list of all the winners, in order of geographic location, along with the judges' notes.

The Rosery Flower Shop, 128 Green Street
The McQueen Woodland Collection Award
"This is the post-apocalyptic holiday at its most extravagant"


Red Dot Restaurant & Bar, 321 Warren Street 
The Rudolph Red Award 
“This is what dining in a Christmas present is like. Having dined in, I can say I felt properly packaged.” 


Antigo, 337 Warren Street 
The Caitlyn Jenner Basement Award 
“The sense of an enthusiast’s basement. Sexy skier. Something kinky in the air.” 


The Flow Chart Foundation, 348 Warren Street 
The Personal Is Political Award 
“Poetry is not a luxury—but dismantling the master’s tools is.” 


Westerlind, 419 Warren Street 
The Forbes Highest Paid Mannequins Award 
“A successful cross-country ski outing in the alps with the Westerlind family.” 


Hudsontricity, 428 Warren Street 
The If You Give a Mouse a Mushroom Award 
“The rodents pulled out the red, green, and the hay for this one. What is Santa's secret?” 


Little Rico’s, 437 Warren Street 
The Flamingo Bells Award 
“Flamingo bells, flamingo bells, flamingo all the wayyy!” 


Henry (in Hudson), 438 Warren Street 
The Basketed Brownian Motion Award 
“Difficulties joyfully abound, and aren't the holidays about stomaching many stories at the same time? Tastes and ideologies sit together in a basket and we are better for it. Besides, we all have secrets, too!” 


Jack Dylan, 441 Warren Street 
The Night Before Cliffmas Award 
“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We are preparing for holiday lift-off!”


Ornamentum Jewelry Gallery, 506 Warren Street 
Most to the Point Award 


Favreau Design, 521 Warren Street 
The Ruth Bader Ginsburg-Claus Award 
“For not only Santa Claus will judge you, but also these scales. And they have determined that everyone gets presents. Just some get heavier presents.” 


Lisa Durfee, 524 Warren Street 
A Humble Hamptons Holiday Award 
“Get lost in the cozy holiday you wish you were having. Walking down the stairs with the stiff elegance only a doll can muster.” 


Battle Brown, 528 Warren Street 
The Barnum & Bailey Bananza Award 
“While the fortune teller takes a bathroom break, the monkeys in the canopy make the most of the clearing.” 


Bodhi, 543 Warren Street 
The Dreamworks Award for Gnome-Owl Diplomacy 
“We have owl sanctuaries! Our quality of life is better! I can see when we live together!” She performs on her stage, demonstrating her way of life with great diligence. The owls help her see. 


Stair Galleries, 549 Warren Street 
The Confident Coniferous Conspirators Award 
“Here we have the quiet conspiracy of lampshades planning their infiltration of the coniferous oligarchy. So confident and clear! I think they can do it.” 


Modern on the Hudson, 555 Warren Street 
Most Polite Houseguest Award 
“Your friendly clipart, eager to help, patiently waiting on you. A most unobtrusive digital butler, bashful with romance. Will you sit here?” 


CVS, 617 Warren Street 
Most Convenient Award 
“We’re really matter of fact here, and within arm’s reach, despite this difficult high horizontal window, the longest mantle ever. Evokes a parade or a firing squad.” 


Front Room Gallery, 727 Warren Street 
Most Likely to Monologue Award 
“I don’t even question why there is a chair on the pond because of course you would want to sit on your little stage of ice. Or maybe the chair was learning to skate and is taking a break.”


Vasilow’s, 741 Columbia Street 
The Home Sweet Home Award 
“Nothing says home for Christmas more than multicolored icicle string lights. Momma bear will take care of you.” 

Happening During Winter Walk

Upper Depot Brewing Co. announced last night that they would be open for Winter Walk. The announcement that appeared on Facebook follows.

We are excited to announce we will be opening our doors tomorrow, December 3rd, for a limited tasting event during Winter Walk! We want to welcome you to come enjoy our first two beers.
We'll be open from 5pm-8pm! 
Come in from the cold, say hi, and check out what's on tap here at Upper Depot!

Friday, December 2, 2022

Yesterday You Saw It, Today You Don't

Yesterday, Gossips reported about a confusing array of signs recently positioned on South Third Street, just off Warren.


Today, the sign that made the message confusing is gone.


Rob Perry, superintendent of the Department of Public Works, told Gossips he didn't know why the sign had been placed there since its message did not apply.  

Curiously, the white pickup truck that appears in the picture above, parked where parking is forbidden at any time, was there in the early afternoon, when the picture was taken, and was still there several hours later, when Gossips revisited the site.
COPYRIGHT 2022 CAROLE OSTERINK

COVID-19 Update

The Columbia County Department of Health has released its numbers for today. Since yesterday, there have been 13 new cases of COVID-19. The number of active cases being reported today is 8 more than yesterday, from which it can be inferred that, since yesterday, 5 county residents have recovered from the virus. The number of county residents hospitalized today is the same as yesterday, but today 1 of those hospitalized is in the ICU. There has not been a death from COVID-19 reported in Columbia County since Monday, November 28.

A year ago today, the CCDOH reported 40 new cases of COVID-19. The total number of cases was 6,191, and the number of active cases was 133. There were 260 county residents in mandatory quarantine, 9 were hospitalized, and 0 were in the ICU. The total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 at this time last year was 108.

Following Up with the Handy Case

Roger Hannigan Gilson reports in today's Times Union on what may have happened to halt moving forward with the jury trial of the four people accused of beating up Harold Handy III: "'900K will resolve it': Court docs reveal settlement talks in Handy beating case."

Photo: Kenneth C. Crowe II | Times Union

Tomorrow Is the Big Day

Two events of interest are happening in Hudson tomorrow. In the morning (and a little bit of the afternoon), there's the Hudson Farmers' Market Holiday Market at the Elks Lodge on Harry Howard Avenue. The market is open from 10:00 a.m. until 1 p.m., offering provisions for seasonal meals and holiday parties, as well as items for gift giving. If there are dogs on your list of gift recipients, Air Paws Barkery will be at the market. The map below shows where all the vendors will be positioned, inside and outside the Elks Lodge.


Tomorrow evening, it's Winter Walk. The festivities begin at 5:00 p.m. and end at 8:00 p.m. with fireworks from Promenade Hill. Then at 8:15 p.m., there is the "Chilly" Dinner Fundraiser honoring Directors Emeritae Ellen Thurston and Elena Mosley at Hudson Hall. 

Click here to access the complete guide to Winter Walk. Click here to purchase tickets to the "Chilly" Dinner Fundraiser.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Parking and Signage

One of the conclusions arrived at by the Common Council ad hoc committee that explored the issue of overnight parking regulations for about a year was that there was inadequate signage informing visitors and residents of the parking rules. Several years ago--probably close to twenty--the proprietor of the B&B then being operated at 326 Allen Street complained that his guests, unaware of the rules for overnight parking, were being ticketed. In response, a sign was posted near his building with this message: "ALTERNATE SIDE OF THE STREET PARKING IN AFFECT."


The glaring error in the sign has been pointed out many times. Nevertheless, twenty years later, the sign is still there.

Yesterday, a reader alerted me to some new signage that had appeared on South Third Street recently near Warren Street, obviously meant to clarify parking rules. Unfortunately, the signs succeed only in confusing the issue.


The sign in the middle, not to mention the yellow-painted curb, makes it clear that parking here at any time is verboten, but the sign at the bottom implies that it's OK to park here except from 9 p.m. on Thursday until 8 a.m. on Friday. One wonders why the bottom sign is even there.
COPYRIGHT 2022 CAROLE OSTERINK

Of Interest

Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory, the inaugural production of The Whale Theatre, opened tonight at the Park Theater, 723 Warren Street. To mark the opening, Visit Hudson NY has an interview about the production with Jeffrey Binder and Matt Joslyn, the creators of The Whale Theatre: "First Look: The Whale Theatre Presents Truman Capote's 'A Christmas Memory.'"


The production runs through December 18. There are still tickets available for Thursday, December 8, Thursday, December 15, and Friday, December 16. Click here to purchase.

COVID-19 Update

The Columbia County Department of Health has released its numbers for today. Since yesterday, there have been 6 new cases of COVID-19. The number of active cases being reported today is the same as yesterday, from which it can be inferred that, since yesterday, 6 county residents have recovered from the virus. There are 2 fewer county residents hospitalized with COVID-19 today than yesterday, and the number in the ICU remains at 0. There has not been a death from COVID-19 reported in Columbia County since Monday, November 28.

A year ago today, the CCDOH reported 44 new cases of COVID-19 and 2 deaths. The total number of cases was 6,151, and the number of active cases was 186. There were 251 county residents in mandatory quarantine, 9 were hospitalized, and 0 were in the ICU. The total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 in Columbia County at this time last year was 108.

Parking Advisory

Starting today, meter parking along Warren Street is free, until the end of December.

Starting this weekend, the suspension of alternate side of the street parking on the weekends is over. Tomorrow, cars parked overnight need to be parked on the odd side of the street. On Saturday night, they need to be parked on the even side of the street.

Not to Be Missed at Winter Walk

For Winter Walk in 2016, Lisa Durfee, proprietor of Five and Diamond, displayed two of her vintage dollhouses in the windows at 316 Warren Street, then Rural Residence.


This year for Winter Walk (and the rest of the holiday season), Durfee is displaying all four of her dollhouses in the windows at 524 Warren Street, two doors up from City Hall. The dollhouses date from the late 19th century to the mid-20th century, and the rooms--there are twenty in all--are furnished with antique and vintage miniatures that Durfee has been collecting since 1993. 
This promises to be a very special holiday treat for all.   

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

News from the Planning Board

The Planning Board had to cancel its regular monthly meeting, scheduled for November 8, for want of a quorum. The meeting was rescheduled for last night, November 29. At last night's meeting, only four of the seven members were in attendance (a fifth member appeared on Zoom when the meeting was about to be adjourned), but four members constitute a quorum. The significant bit of business accomplished last night was the unanimous approval (by those present) of the site plan for the former Community Theatre at Columbia and Seventh streets, to be known in its new life as "Hudson Forum."

Although the project now has site plan approval from the Planning Board, it has yet to be granted a certificate of appropriateness from the Historic Preservation Commission. On October 28, representatives from the Galvan Foundation came before the HPC seeking positive support for the proposed renovation, in advance of the Planning Board meeting scheduled for November 8. It received what was sought. HPC member John Schobel declared of the project, "It's going to be transformative." Architect member Chip Bohl expressed his approved of the glass curtain wall proposed for the portico, observing, "It is recessed and well behind the columns." 

In other news relating to this project, the Common Council, at its meeting on November 15, passed a resolution authorizing a settlement with Galvan Initiatives Foundation and Galvan Civic I which deems the "Hudson Forum" building and the house at 612 Columbia Street tax exempt. All members of the Council voted in support of the resolution except Margaret Morris (First Ward), who abstained.

Also of interest, August Abatecola, who is to be artistic director for Hudson Forum, now serves on the Advisory Board of the Galvan Foundation, which is now calling itself "Galvan Center for the Common Good."      
COPYRIGHT 2022 CAROLE OSTERINK