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 the home of Daniel and Hannah Van Hoesen Limbrick--the home that was inherited by Amanda, their only child.  

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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Monday, January 17, 2022

Dog Show in Hudson

Reading the Columbia Republican for January 17, 1922, I came upon this account of a dog show that took place in Hudson a hundred years ago. I share it, because it makes an interesting read--both to learn what breeds were popular at the time and to imagine a dog show taking place in what is now the performance hall at Hudson Hall. 


The picture used to illustrate this post does not show Hexe von Milisteen, the winner of the Columbia County Kennel Club winter show in 1922, but rather Strongheart, the star of the 1922 silent film Brawn of the North.

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It's Betty White's Birthday!

Today would have been Betty White's 100th birthday. In honor of the woman whose love and advocacy for animals was well known, people are donating in her name to animal rescues and shelters. The suggested amount for the "Betty White Challenge" was just $5. 

If you want to take the Betty White Challenge, here are the links to our local shelters:
A generous donor is matching, up to $5,000, all donations made to the Columbia-Greene Humane Society today.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Mayor's Advisory

Mayor Kamal Johnson made the following announcement about an hour ago on Facebook. The final paragraph is of particular importance since tonight, the eve of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Day holiday, would typically be one of the holidays on which overnight alternate side of the street parking rules are suspended.
INCLEMENT WEATHER NOTICE 1/16-17
The National Weather Service had issued a winter weather advisory for the Capital District and Hudson Valley, effective from 10 p.m. on Sunday, January 16, through 12 noon on Monday, January 17. Up to 6 inches of a combined snow, sleet, and ice accumulation is predicted during this time.
Additionally, due to intermittent power outrages in the area, some streetlights in the City of Hudson may not be functional. Please exercise extreme caution if you must drive during this period.
City of Hudson alternate-side overnight street parking rules will remain in effect during the holiday. Where applicable, cars must be parked on the odd-numbered side of the street to allow for safe snow clearance.

A Hundred Years Ago in Hudson

Today, the country is two years into a pandemic and struggling with the impacts of people who refuse to get vaccinated. A hundred years ago, the country was beginning its second year of Prohibition and struggling with the consequences for people who would not curtail their consumption of alcohol. Fortunately, our attitude toward the unvaccinated, who are contracting the virus in great numbers and straining our already taxed health care system, is more charitable than the attitude toward "booze drinkers" expressed in this news item, which appeared on the front page of the Columbia Republican on January 17, 1922.


The Anti-Saloon League, founded in 1893 in Oberlin, Ohio, was a major force in American politics from 1893 to 1933. By 1895, it had become a national organization and soon was the most powerful prohibition lobby in America. The Lord's Day Alliance, founded in 1888, lobbied for the passage of "Sunday-rest laws," or blue laws, that restricted or banned certain commercial and secular activities on Sundays.

Rebecca Wolff Responds

The revelation that former First Ward alder Rebecca Wolff, the major force behind Hudson's law regulating short term rentals, was offering an apartment in her house as a short term rental on Airbnb brought a deluge of criticism, both in comments on Gossips, where the post exposing it has so far gotten more than 3,400 hits, and on Facebook. Yesterday, Wolff responded to the criticism in her publication, Fence Magazine. Her response can be found here.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

What a Difference a Decade Makes

This afternoon, an inquiry from a reader sent me searching through old Gossips posts. In the quest, I stumbled upon a post published in August 2011 that linked to a Register-Star article written by a reporter who has long since moved on: "Galloway seeks to have impact on city." The article, which is recommended reading, is an interview with Eric Galloway and the late Henry van Ameringen, written soon after they, as Galvan Partners, had acquired 400 State Street and a few months before they announced the formation of their not-for-profit Galvan Initiatives Foundation. 


Galloway, speaking of the foundation, is quoted in the article as saying, "We know it is going to have the historic buildings or the social and architecturally significant buildings we will keep in perpetuity for the benefit of Hudson." The buildings he was talking about at the time were the birthplace of Hudson's most celebrated hero, General William Jenkins Worth; the Robert Taylor House, the oldest surviving house in Hudson, erroneously referred to in the article as "the Dutch house"; and 400 State Street, referred to in the article as "the library." 

In 2022, "in perpetuity" seems to have taken on a new meaning. The General Worth birthplace was sold last year for $1.025 million, the Robert Taylor House is suffering demolition by neglect, and Galvan is looking to relinquish the task of restoring and maintaining 400 State Street to the City and its taxpayers.
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COVID-19 Update

The Columbia County Department of Health released its numbers at 4:00 p.m. today, and they are stunning. Since yesterday, there have been 212 new cases of COVID-19. The number of active cases being reported today is just 33 more than yesterday, from which it can be inferred that, since yesterday, 179 county residents have recovered from the virus. There are 2 more county residents hospitalized today than yesterday, 1 of whom is in the ICU. There has not been a death from COVID-19 in Columbia County since Thursday.

The New York Forward dashboard is reporting a positivity rate for Columbia County today of 14.9 percent and a seven-day average of 21.0 percent. By comparison, the daily positivity rate for the Capital Region is 17.0 percent and the seven-day average is 18.2 percent.

A year ago today, the CCDOH reported 65 new cases of COVID-19. The total number of cases was 2,414, and the number of active cases was 387. There were 660 county residents in mandatory quarantine, 26 were hospitalized, and 3 were in the ICU. The total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 at this time last year was 54.

The Monitoring the Agenda

Two more resolutions of interest have appeared on the agenda for next Tuesday's Common Council meeting: one regarding 400 State Street; the other for the Dunn warehouse.

The resolution for 400 State Street authorizes the mayor to enter into a contract with Lacey Thaler Reilly Wilson LLC to do a feasibility study on the adaptive reuse of the 204-year-old building as Hudson's City Hall. The choice of architectural firms is an interesting one. This is the same group that did the feasibility study for making 520 Warren Street, the current City Hall, ADA compliant and the feasibility study for transforming the John L. Edwards school building into the "Hudson Civic Center," which would include City Hall. The choice is interesting because Council president Tom DePietro has in past questioned the reliability of the firm's work. In October 2019, when asked if the three less expensive plans proposed by Lacey Thaler Reilly Wilson (there were four all together) would satisfy the ADA requirements, DePietro responded, "Do you think they do? . . . I don't think they do, but I'm not an expert." Since then, of course, it has been decided that the City will pursue the least expensive of the plans for making 520 Warren Street ADA compliant, while simultaneously doing the feasibility study for moving City Hall to 400 State Street. 

The feasibility study for 400 State Street is being financed with $100,000 from the Galvan Foundation, which wants to donate the building to the City.

The resolution for the Dunn warehouse simply authorizes the mayor to issue a request for proposals (RFP) for the adaptive reuse of the building. There is no indication if the RFP has already been written and whether or not it includes the three City-owned parcels north of the building. If the RFP has been written, it has not been made available for review by the public.
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Getting Through the Winter

Here's a little something to look forward to on this bitter winter day. After today, it's just two more Saturdays that we will have to do without the Hudson Farmers' Market. On February 5, the market reopens at its indoor digs at the Hudson Elks Lodge on Harry Howard Avenue, where it will be every Saturday throughout February, March, and April.