Monday, January 24, 2022

COVID-19 Update

The Columbia County Department of Health has released its numbers for today. Since Saturday, there have been 70 new cases of COVID-19--enough to put the total number of cases in the county since the beginning of the pandemic over 10,000. The number of active cases being reported today is 199 fewer than on Saturday, from which it can be inferred that, since Saturday, 269 county residents have recovered from the virus or the number of active cases being reported today is incorrect. There are 5 fewer county residents hospitalized with the virus today than on Saturday, but 1 more of those hospitalized is in the ICU. There has not been a death from COVID-19 in Columbia County since Wednesday, January 19.

The New York Forward dashboard is reporting a positivity rate for Columbia County today of 6.6 percent and a seven-day average of 13.7 percent. By comparison, the daily positivity rate for the Capital Region is 10.4 percent and the seven-day average is 13.2 percent.

A year ago today, the CCDOH reported 21 new cases of COVID-19. The total number of cases was 2,859, and the number of active cases was 502. There were 709 county residents in mandatory quarantine, 35 were hospitalized, and 6 were in the ICU. The total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 at this time last year was 63.

More About Charles S. Williams

On Saturday, Gossips published an account of a memorial service for Charles S. Williams, the superintendent of the Hudson Public Schools, which took place at Hudson High School on January 20, 1922. Today, we share the obituary for Williams that appeared in the Columbia Republican on January 24, 1922. 


When Williams took over as superintendent of schools in Hudson, the high school was located in "a portion of the second floor . . .  and the top floor" of this building, the Fourth Street School. 

The Fourth Street School was located at the corner of North Fourth and State streets. The building was demolished in early 1994.

The obituary says "he was called home thus early." The 1920 census gives his age as 49. It is likely he was only 50 when he died in 1922.
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A Lecture Series of Interest

The Columbia County Historical Society has announced its 2022 Winter-Spring Lecture Series entitled Early & Diverse New York. The first lecture in the series, "On Researching African American History in the Hudson Valley," takes place on Zoom this Saturday, January 29, at 4:30 p.m. The announcement of the upcoming lecture describes it in this way:
While much has been written about the Black Diaspora from the south to the north, relatively little is known about Blacks who were brought directly from Africa to the slave market in 'Albany' and sold locally. Unlike the South where slavery was abolished in 1865, manumission in New York State occurred gradually from 1785, onwards.
As a result, northern Black experiences were far different than those in the south. Even as slaves, some skilled craftsmen traveled freely for their work. Most freed people were educated in local schools. Some owned businesses or were farmers. Many were members of the Dutch Reform Church, while others started the first African Methodist Episcopal Church in the area. They formed relationships with other residents--both Black and white.
To this day, many Black families continue to bear the surnames of the County's Dutch founding fathers (Van Ness, Van Buren, Gardiner, Van Alen, Witbeck, etc.) and continue to live in Columbia County and the surrounding area.

To learn more about the lecture and to purchase tickets, click here.

Another Meeting This Week

Hudson Development Corporation meetings don't get listed on the City of Hudson website anymore. As a consequence, the HDC meeting that takes place tomorrow, Tuesday, January 25, was omitted from the list of meetings published earlier today. Among the items on the agenda for the meeting are an update on the disposition of the Montgomery Street property, a.k.a. the Kaz site, and the strategic plan for the future of HDC. The meeting takes place at 12:00 noon. Click here to join the Zoom meeting.

Meetings and Events in the Week Ahead

The last week in January gets off to a slow start. There are no meetings until the last two days of the week.   
  • On Tuesday, January 25, City Hall will be closed until 1:00 p.m. for a scheduled power outage. Phone lines for City Hall offices will be down, but staff who are able to work remotely can be reached by email. City Hall is expected to resume normal operations at 1:00 p.m.
  • On Thursday, January 27, the Common Council holds a special meeting at 6:00 p.m. to consider three issues.
    • Although there doesn't seem to be a Tourism Board at the moment, all the members' terms having expired and no new appointments having been made, the Council will consider a request from the Tourism Board to approve an expenditure for a "tourist bus." 
    • Issuing a request for proposals (RPF) for the adaptive reuse of the Dunn warehouse. The resolution and the RFP can be found here.  
    • Appointing a community member to the Industrial Development Agency (IDA). The Council has received letters of interest from four people: Richard Wallace, who is currently the community representative on the IDA; former First Ward alder Jane Trombley; former Council minority leader Rebecca Wolff; and Julie Goldweitz, a Hudson resident who has an MBA and is an attorney. There is a fifth candidate interested in the post, although apparently she did not submit a formal letter of interest: former Council majority leader Tiffany Garriga.
The meeting will be held on Zoom. The Zoom link will be posted prior to the meeting on the City of Hudson website. Scroll down to the calendar. 

  • On Friday, January 28, the Historic Preservation Commission holds its second meeting of the month at 10:00 a.m. The meeting will take place on Zoom. Click here to join the meeting.
  • Also on Friday, January 28, the board of Hudson Community Development and Planning Agency (HCDPA) meets at 11:00 a.m. Because the HCDPA board is made up of five ex officio members--the mayor, the Council majority and minority leaders, the chair of the Planning Board, and the chair of the Hudson Housing Authority Board of Commissioners--there will be three new members this year. Dominic Merante replaces Tiffany Garriga, Ryan Wallace replaces Rebecca Wolff, and Theresa Joyner replaces Stephen Steim. It is expected that the meeting will take place on Zoom, but the link to the meeting has not yet been published.
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Sunday, January 23, 2022

Pleasant Diversion for a Winter Afternoon

In the spring of 2017, the Thomas Cole House mounted an exhibition of the work of a Hudson River School artist with close ties to Hudson: Sanford Robinson Gifford. The exhibition, Sanford R. Gifford in the Catskills, was curated by Kevin Avery, senior research scholar at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In conjunction with the exhibition, Avery presented a lecture on the life and work of Sanford Gifford. A recording of that lecture can be viewed on YouTube, by clicking here.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

A Story Behind a Name

The building at North Third and Robinson streets that is now Second Ward Foundation was constructed in 1924 as a neighborhood elementary school and dedicated in September of that year as Charles S. Williams Memorial School, named for the late superintendent of the Hudson Public Schools. 

The name Charles Williams now survives only as the name of the park down the hill on Mill Street, which originally served as a playing field for the school.

Today, while perusing the Columbia Republican from a hundred years ago, I came upon this account of a memorial service for Charles S. Williams that took place on January 20, 1922, at Hudson High School. 


In 1922, Hudson High School was located at 401 State Street, a building that was constructed in 1915 and dedicated as Hudson High School at the beginning of 1916. The auditorium where the memorial service took place is now the meeting chamber for the Columbia County Board of Supervisors.

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COVID-19 Update

The Columbia County Department of Health released its numbers today at 11:30 a.m. Since yesterday at 3:00 p.m., there have been 55 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, 57 county residents have recovered from the virus. The number of county residents hospitalized and in the ICU remains the same as yesterday. There has not be a death from COVID-19 in Columbia County since Wednesday.


The New York Forward dashboard has not yet been updated today.

A year ago today, the CCDOH reported 68 new cases of COVID-19. The total number of cases was 2,791, and the number of active cases was 515. There were 597 county residents in mandatory quarantine, 36 were hospitalized, and 5 were in the ICU. The total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 at this time last year was 61.

Friday, January 21, 2022

"The Wealthiest Dog in the Show"

On Monday, Gossips shared an account discovered in the Columbia Republican for January 17, 1922, of the Columbia County Kennel Club dog show that took place at City Hall, in what is now the second floor performance space at Hudson Hall. The mention in the account of John Tucker, who showed "the wealthiest dog in the show," prompted Bruce Mitchinson to post a comment sharing some very interesting information about John Tucker. Mitchinson tells us that John Tucker was the chauffeur for a woman named Amanda Limbrick, and his wife, Adelaide, whose mother was a niece of W. E. B. Dubois, was Amanda Limbrick's seamstress. Limbrick, who was both rich and generous, built the house at 433 State Street for John and Adelaide, as a wedding present. 


The Tuckers were active in AME Zion Church and the Colored Citizens Club, and their house was a social hub for the black community. It was also what Mitchinson describes as "an early B&B for black visitors" to Hudson, when public hostelries were segregated. The house is still owned by descendants of John and Adelaide Tucker.

The story of John Tucker piqued my curiosity about their benefactress, Amanda Limbrick, and the prize-winning collie to whom, according to the newspaper account, she had bequeathed a small fortune. From her obituary, which appeared in the Columbia Republican on November 15, 1921, we learn that she was born in Catskill, her family moved to Hudson when she was very young, and her father was "a cattle buyer on an extensive scale and amassed a fortune by his chosen profession."  


More information gleaned from old newspapers makes it possible to deduce that the amazing house pictured below, which once stood at Cross and South Front streets, was Amanda Limbrick's home, which she had inherited from her father in 1892.   

On January 27, 1901, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported that the residence of Miss Amanda Limbrick on Cross Street was totally destroyed by fire. 



After the fire, Amanda Limbrick moved to a new house at 535 Union Street, where she lived until her death in November 1921.

Amanda Limbrick had inherited her father's vast fortune, and although in her lifetime, according to the Catskill Recorder, she "did a vast amount of charitable work while never letting the public know of her ministrations," her estate at her death was valued at $200,000. Today that would be about $2.8 million. Most of the money went to an aunt and female cousins in Catskill, who were her only surviving relatives, but $3,000, which would have the value of more that $41,000 today, was put in trust for the care of her beloved collie, Blink. John Tucker, who showed the collie at the Columbia County Kennel Club dog show in January 1922, was entrusted with the care of Blink.

Tragically, although his future was well provided for, Blink survived his human by only a little more than three months. On February 28, 1922, the Columbia Republican reported his death.


The account of Blink's death indicates that half the money put in trust for Blink was to go, at his death, to the Humane Society and the other half to John Tucker. The final sentence of the account is likely to inspire a new Gossips investigation: "The canine will be given the finest burial any dog ever had here." The burning question is: Where was Blink buried? 
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COVID-19 Update

The Columbia County Department of Health has released its numbers for today. Since yesterday, there have been 75 new cases of COVID-19, as compared with 121 new cases yesterday. Commenting on today's number, CCDOH director Jack Mabb said, "It's nice to see that drop-off." The number of active cases being reported today is 28 more than yesterday, from which it can be inferred that, since yesterday, 47 county residents have recovered from the virus. There are 3 fewer county residents hospitalized today than yesterday and 1 fewer in the ICU. There has not been a death from COVID-19 in Columbia County since Wednesday.  

A press release issued today by Matt Murell, chair of the Columbia County Board of Supervisors, included this information:
DOH Director Mabb noted that New York State reports that since December 1, 2021, there have been 169,764 cases of reinfection, which represents an infection more than 90 days after first being infected. This number represents 3.6 percent of all new COVID-19 infections in that time frame. 
The New York Forward dashboard is reporting a positivity rate for Columbia County today of 14.4 percent and a seven-day average of 16.9 percent. By comparison, the daily positivity rate for the Capital Region is 13.6 percent and the seven-day average is 15.0 percent.

A year ago today, the CCDOH reported 49 new cases of COVID-19. The total number of cases was 2,723, and the number of active cases was 496. There were 636 county residents in mandatory quarantine, 36 were hospitalized, and 6 were in the ICU. The total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 at this time last year was 61.

Watching the Old William Ball Place

Work is underway on restoring 260 State Street, which suffered a devastating fire at beginning of 2018. Earlier this week, a question from a reader inspired Gossips to head over there and have a look. 

The work being done on the dormers in the mansard roof and the mansard roof itself, which is now stripped of its slate tiles, are reasons for concern. The house is not located in a historic district, and the Historic Preservation Commission has no oversight in the restoration.

When the owner of the building appeared before the Planning Board--the only regulatory board involved with the project--in August 2021, his intention was to correct some alarming information about the plans for the building that had been presented at the previous meeting. He assured the Planning Board that the original slate on the mansard roof was to be repaired not replaced with asphalt shingles as had been previously stated. At the present time, it doesn't look like repair is what is happening.

The dormers in the mansard roof were not specifically mentioned in the presentation to the Planning Board, but the owner told the board, "Anything that we can maintain we will." Seeing the house today raises the question: Is the current state of the dormers a preliminary step in re-creating the dormers as they originally were, with arched windows and decorative mouldings, or is this some bizarre new design for the the dormers?



   
The documents provided to the Planning Board in the site plan review offer no clues. And since the Historic Preservation Commission is not involved, we can only wait and see.

The house is being renovated to create eight market rate apartments--four studio apartments on the first floor, and four larger apartments on the upper two floors.
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Galvan in the Albany Business Review

Today, there's an article in the Albany Business Review about Galvan's plans for the old Community Theater: "$15 million investment would restore downtown Hudson theater." The reporter seems to have a less than accurate grasp of Hudson geography. Few Hudsonians would describe the location of the old movie theater as "downtown." Also, its proximity to the two apartment buildings Galvan has proposed is exaggerated: "The building is just four blocks from where the nonprofit foundation has the funding and municipal approvals for a $40 million mixed-income housing and commercial development it's calling the Depot District."

In the article, Dan Kent, Galvan's vice president of initiatives, is quoted as saying:
You can imagine why this is particularly important to us given that the Depot District is right up the street.We have gotten an incredible response from the community. It's hard to remember a project so favorably received. A lot of people have memories of going to movie screenings there and other events.
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Thursday, January 20, 2022

COVID-19 Update

The Columbia County Department of Health has released its numbers for today. Since yesterday, there have been 121 new cases of COVID-19. The number of active cases being reported today is 256 fewer than yesterday, from which it can be inferred that, since yesterday, 377 county residents have recovered from the virus. The number of county residents hospitalized and in the ICU today remains the same as yesterday. There has not been a death from COVID-19 in Columbia County since yesterday. 

The New York Forward dashboard is reporting a positivity rate for Columbia County today of 18.9 percent and a seven-day average of 17.7 percent. By comparison, the daily positivity rate for the Capital Region is 15.3 percent and the seven-day average is 16.2 percent.

A year ago today, the CCDOH reported 65 new cases of COVID-19. The total number of cases was 2,674, and the number of active cases was 467. There were 607 county residents in mandatory quarantine, 32 were hospitalized, and 6 were in the ICU. The total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 at this time last year was 61.

News of the IDA

The Hudson Industrial Development Agency (IDA) held its organizational meeting yesterday. The IDA is made up of seven members, all but one of whom, according to the agency's charter, serve ex officio. The six ex officio members are: the mayor, the majority and minority leaders of the Common Council, the city treasurer, the city assessor, and the chair of the Planning Board. The seventh member is a community representative.

With the new year, the IDA has some new members. Dominic Merante, Common Council majority leader, and Ryan Wallace, Common Council minority leader, have replaced Tiffany Garriga and Rebecca Wolff, and Theresa Joyner, the new chair of the Planning Board, has replaced John Cody, who previously represented the Planning Board. It is not entirely clear if Joyner intends to serve on the IDA herself or to appoint a proxy, as Betsy Gramkow did when she chaired the Planning Board. At yesterday's meeting, Planning Board member Larry Bowne was substituting for Joyner, but it is not known if that is a temporary or permanent arrangement. 

The major business of yesterday's meeting was appointing officers: chair, vice chair, secretary, and treasurer. Mayor Kamal Johnson nominated himself to be chair of the IDA, and Merante nominated Ryan Wallace. In the vote that followed, with only five members present and voting, Johnson voted for himself, and city treasurer Heather Campbell also voted for him. Merante and Richard Wallace, the community member of the IDA, voted for Ryan Wallace, and Wallace voted for himself, making him the chair of the IDA in a vote of 3 to 2. Ryan Wallace then nominated Johnson for vice chair, and since there were no other nominations, Johnson was appointed vice chair. For the office of secretary, Johnson nominated Theresa Joyner, who was not present, and Ryan Wallace nominated Richard Wallace. When Campbell voted for Richard Wallace, Johnson withdrew his nomination of Joyner, and Richard Wallace was appointed secretary.

The appointment of Richard Wallace as secretary of the IDA creates an interesting situation. Wallace's term on the IDA expires at the end of the month. When Wallace was appointed to the IDA at the beginning of 2020, the IDA had for two years been seeking a community member to serve on the IDA and fill the seat meant for a representative from the Hudson City School District, which declined to send anyone. Wallace was the only member of the public to express any interest in serving on the IDA. Now, although Gossips has heard Wallace wishes to be reappointed, it is rumored that there are a few former alders who are also vying for that seat. "Selection of a community representative for the IDA" is included on the agenda for the special Common Council meeting scheduled for next Thursday, January 27, at 6:00 p.m., along with the RFP for the Dunn warehouse.
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Update on the Dunn Warehouse

There was a resolution before the Common Council on Tuesday to issue an RFP (request for proposal) for the development of the Dunn warehouse at the Hudson waterfront. The resolution was tabled because several of the alders complained they had not seen the RFP. Council president Tom DePietro said it was supposed to have been attached to the resolution. It was not. Checking into the issue the next day, Gossips learned from mayor's aide Michael Hofmann that they were waiting for a revised version of the RFP from Peter Bujanow, commissioner for Public Works. 

This morning, the RFP became available on the City of Hudson website, and it can be reviewed here. (Scroll past the resolution.)

At the meeting on Tuesday, DePietro was asked if the three City-owned parcels along Water Street north of the building were included in the RFP. He said they were not, and indeed they are not. The RFP is limited to the 0.63 acres that is the site of the building. The RFP outlines these objectives for the property:
  • Create a diversity of activities that would
    • complement one another
    • serve as attractions that relate to the waterfront experience
    • not necessarily compete with nor duplicate the "Warren Street Experience"
  • Create a mix of retail and food/culinary activities
  • Create flexible office and/or broadly defined public use space
The RFP states that the City intends to "maintain long-term control/ownership of the site" and explains: "The City of Hudson will retain ownership of the land under the former Dunn Warehouse Building, and sell the building itself to the successful respondent." The RFP outlines the terms of the proposed ground lease.

A special meeting of the Common Council has been scheduled for Thursday, January 27, at 6:00 p.m., to vote on the resolution to authorize issuing the RFP. The meeting will take place on Zoom, and the meeting link will be posted on the City of Hudson website prior to the meeting.
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Celebrate a Dozen Years of Gossips

Today marks the twelfth anniversary of The Gossips of Rivertown!

On January 20, 2010, Gossips published its very first post. Twelve years and 11,484 posts later, Gossips has gained a reputation for being a reliable source of local news, information, and history and has earned the respect of many and the disdain of a few. In the past year, readers have turned to Gossips 1.36 million times. The ability to search twelve years of posts makes Gossips a storehouse of institutional memory. So today, as I do every year on Gossips' anniversary, I humbly acknowledge all the readers who have made Gossips a success and offer my deep and sincere gratitude to the Gossips supporters and advertisers whose monetary contributions help pay the bills and continue to make Gossips a joyful endeavor.

Today, I invite readers to celebrate twelve years of sharing news, history, and occasional gossip about the events, machinations, troubles, and triumphs that happen right here in our little river city by joining the folks who have already shown support for The Gossips of Rivertown in 2022. For those who read Gossips on a computer, the process is easy. Just click on the "Donate" button near the top of the right column. For those who read Gossips on their phones, the process is more complicated. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and touch "View web version." Then find the "Donate" button in the right column.

Your support--in any amount--will be gratefully acknowledged and will ensure the continuation of Gossips for yet another year. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

COVID-19 Update

The Columbia County Department of Health has released its numbers for today. Since yesterday, there has been another death from COVID-19 and 104 new cases. The number of active cases being reported today is 78 fewer than yesterday, from which it can be inferred that, since yesterday, 181 county residents have recovered from the virus. There are 3 more county residents hospitalized today than yesterday, and 2 more of those hospitalized are in the ICU.

The New York Forward dashboard is reporting a positivity rate for Columbia County today of 11.7 percent and a seven-day average of 17.5 percent. By comparison, the daily positivity rate for the Capital Region is 13.7 percent and the seven-day average is 16.5 percent.

A year ago today, the CCDOH reported 48 new cases of COVID-19. The total number of cases was 2,609, and the number of active cases was 429. There were 558 county residents in mandatory quarantine, 32 were hospitalized, and 4 were in the ICU. The total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 at this time last year was 56.

Snow Removal Update

Snow removal will continue tonight. Here's the word from City Hall about overnight parking.

The City of Hudson will continue with its street clearing efforts to remove the remaining snow during the late evening of Wednesday, January 19, through the early morning of Thursday, January 20, 2022. Thank you for continuing to aid the City in keeping our streets safe and clear by moving vehicles as directed.
Any orange "No Parking" signs posted on Hudson street locations are effective again beginning this evening, January 19. These signs denote where overnight parking is temporarily prohibited for the full length of the marked block. Any cars parked in these marked locations after 11:30 p.m. today will be towed.

Meeting Canceled

The Zoning Board of Appeals meeting, which was scheduled for 6:00 p.m. today, has been canceled. 

Hudson in the Times Union

Hudson used to be a regular topic in the New York Times, with the emphasis on the city as cool getaway. Now, we have caught the attention of the Times Union, which seems to prefer to focus on Hudson's diversity and division. The latest offering is this: "The faces of a changing Hudson: Residents reflect on city's shifts."

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Bloom Where You Were Planted in 1962

Tonight, the resolution authorizing the mayor to enter into a contract with Lacey Thayer Reilly Wilson LLC to do a feasibility study on moving City Hall to 400 State Street, a study to be funded by a $100,000 gift from the Galvan Initiatives Foundation, which currently owns the building and has offered to give it to the City, was defeated. 

Alder Vicky Daskaloudi (Fifth Ward) began the discussion by suggesting that the proposal from Galvan was misleading. She was undoubtedly making reference to the proposal presented to the Council a year ago, part of which is reproduced below, that set the total construction cost at less than $2.8 million. She asserted that the new Council should not be bound by decisions made by the previous Council.

Alder Margaret Morris (First Ward) noted that in 2007 the Hudson Area Library's plan for restoring the building set the cost at $8.8 million and $3 million of that was to be spent on "basic stuff"foundation work, masonry repair, asbestos removalthings that were not included in the Galvan restoration plan. DePietro claimed that "a lot of the work has already been done" and that would reduce the cost. There is little evidence any of this basic restoration work has been undertaken by Galvan.

DePietro told the alders that proceeding with the feasibility study was not making any commitment. "It will tell us if the project is way out of line." Morris expressed the opinion that accepting the $100,000 from Galvan was not a good idea.  

When the vote was taken, Daskaloudi, Morris, and Ryan Wallace (Third Ward) voted against the resolution; Council president Tom DePietro voted in favor; everyone elseTheo Anthony (Fourth Ward), Art Frick (First Ward), Dominic Merante (Fifth Ward), Mohammed Rony (Second Ward), Dewan Sarowar (Second Ward), Malachi Walker (Fourth Ward)abstained. Newly appointed Third Ward alder Amber Harris could not vote because she had not yet been sworn in. 

During the course of the discussion, DePietro explained that there had been three plans for fulfilling the City's settlement agreement with the Department of Justice to make City Hall ADA compliant: moving to the former John L. Edwards school building, which was not longer an option; moving to 400 State Street, which seemed to be not as popular as it once was; or making alterations to 520 Warren Street. He concluded, "If we want a fully compliant City Hall, we need to spend money." 

In October 2019, the cost of the most expensive plan for making 520 Warren Street ADA compliant, the one that exposed the glorious stained glass laylight and had an addition at the rear of the building with an elevator that gave access to all floors including the basement storage area, was set at less than $3.2 million. At the informal meeting last week, Public Works commissioner Peter Bujanow said they were ready to go to bid on the alterations to 520 Warren Streetthe minimum required to make the building ADA compliant. Let's hope before the City moves ahead with the least expensive plan, they take a serious look at the most expensive plan, which would make the building ADA compliant and also create a space for the code enforcement office. 

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The Council's Newest (and Youngest) Member

Tonight, the Common Council voted unanimously to fill the vacancy on the Council by appointing Amber Harris to represent the Third Ward.


According to the stipulations of the city charter, the appointment is through December 31, 2022. For Harris to serve the second year of an alder's two-year term, there will need to be a special election in November.

Parking Tonight

The following notice from Mayor Kamal Johnson appeared on Facebook.
SNOW REMOVAL & STREET PARKING ADVISORY, 1/18 - 1/19
Due to predicted cold weather in the coming days, the City of Hudson will be undertaking additional street clearing efforts to remove the remaining snow during the late evening of Tuesday, January 18, through the early morning of Wednesday, January 19, 2022.
Orange "No Parking" signs will appear at locations where this snow clearance work will take place. These signs denote where overnight parking is temporarily prohibited for the full length of the marked block. Any cars parked in these marked locations after 11:30 p.m. today, January 18, will be towed.

COVID-19 Update

The Columbia County Department of Health took most of the long weekend off, but COVID did not. Since Saturday, there have been 178 new cases of COVID-19. The number of active cases being reported today is 4 fewer than on Saturday, from which it can be inferred that, since Saturday, 182 county residents have recovered from the virus. There are 8 more county residents hospitalized today than on Saturday, but the number in the ICU remains the same. There has not been a death from COVID-19 in Columbia County since Thursday, January 13.

The New York Forward dashboard is reporting a positivity rate for Columbia County today of 23.9 percent and a seven-day average of 20.6 percent. By comparison, the daily positivity rate for the Capital Region is 20.4 percent and the seven-day average is 17.1 percent.

A year ago today, the CCDOH reported 48 new cases of COVID-19. The total number of cases was 2,561, and the number of active cases was 423. There were 610 county residents in mandatory quarantine, 32 were hospitalized, and 4 were in the ICU. The total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 at this time last year was 56.

Meetings of Interest in the Week Ahead

Here we are, in bleak midwinter, celebrating every additional minute or so of light we get every new day. In the meantime, here's what's happening on the meeting front.
  • On Tuesday, January 18, the Common Council holds its first regular meeting of the year at 6:00 p.m. Count on it being a long meeting. There are seventeen resolutions on the agenda that were not introduced at the informal meeting, and six alders who are new to the Council. The meeting will take place on Zoom. Click here to join the meeting.
  • On Wednesday, January 19, the Hudson Industrial Development Agency (IDA) meets at 1:00 p.m. No agenda for the meeting has been published, but the meeting is worth attending just for the new makeup of the IDA. All but one of the positions on the IDA is ex officio, so Dominic Merante and Ryan Wallace, as the new majority and minority leaders, will replace Tiffany Garriga and Rebecca Wolff. The meeting will also be an opportunity to learn if Theresa Joyner, as chair of the Planning Chair, will be serving on the IDA herself or sending another representative of the Planning Board, as Betsy Gramkow did in the past. There is also the question of whether or not Richard Wallace, the one community member on the IDA, whose term is up at the end of this month, will be reappointed or replaced. The meeting takes place on Zoom. Click here to join the meeting.
  • Also on Wednesday, January 19, the Zoning Board of Appeals meets at 6:00 p.m. The agenda for the meeting includes another request for a short term rental variance and an application for a use variance to open a 30-room hotel, cafe, and lounge at 601 Union Street, the former Elks Lodge.
The meeting is to take place on Zoom. Click here to join the meeting. Of interest is if any of the three vacancies on the seven-member ZBA has been filled.  

Update: The ZBA meeting has been canceled.

And those are the meetings for the week.
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