Monday, November 30, 2020

COVID-19 Update

The Columbia County Department of Health released its numbers at 3:00 p.m. today. There has been another death for COVID-19 in Columbia County, just eleven days after the previous death. Since yesterday, there have been seven new cases of COVID-19 and 22 recoveries, reducing the number of active cases by fifteen to 54. The number of people hospitalized and in the ICU remains the same today as yesterday.

Oddly, the CCDOH is reporting the same number of test results today as yesterday, so it is not possible to calculate the positive percentage rate for today. The New York Forward dashboard, however, is reporting for Columbia County seven positives out of 273 test results for a positive percentage rate of 2.6 percent. It is also reporting a seven day average of 2.2 percent.

In his COVID briefing earlier today, Governor Andrew Cuomo reported that the statewide positivity rate is 4.57 percent, but, even with that, New York is doing better than almost any other state.

One Hundred Years, One Hundred Women

In celebration of the 1ooth anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote nationwide, the Columbia County Women's Alliance will acknowledge and celebrate "100 Women Making a Difference in Columbia County." Starting today, November 30, and continuing through December 14, the CCWA is seeking nominations for this recognition.

The CCWA explains: "Nominees should reside in Columbia County, include all generations and areas of expertise, be it a grandmother raising her grandchildren or a woman at the top of her field. These women impact our community through their passion, their foresight, their bravery, and their simple determination to make life better for their families and their neighbors."

Click here to make a nomination. The nomination process is open for the next two weeks, until Monday, December 14. Honorees will be announced on Friday, December 18. 

The CCWA describes itself in this way: "The CCWA aims to be a countywide, non-partisan, diverse, and collaborative alliance of women and community organizations committed to a just, humane, and equitable society, working to elect women to positions of power, and supporting alliance members in their work for social justice."

Meetings of Interest in the Week Ahead

Thanksgiving Weekend lingers on, because there are no meetings scheduled for today. The meetings of the week begin on Tuesday, along with the new month. 
  • On Tuesday, December 1, Hudson Development Corporation (HDC) meets at noon. This meeting was rescheduled from last week. Among the items on the agenda for the meeting is "Disposition of Montgomery Street Property: Board Discussion." The Montgomery Street Property is, of course, the Kaz site and the parcel acquired from CSX. Click here to join the meeting. 
  • Also on Tuesday, December 1, the Conservation Advisory Council meets at 6:00 p.m. Neither an agenda nor a link to the Zoom meeting is available at this time.
  • On Wednesday, December 2, the Common Council Youth, Education, Seniors and Recreation Committee meets at 5:30 p.m., and the Housing and Transportation Committee meets at 6:45 p.m. Prior to each meeting, the link to the Zoom meeting will be posted on the City of Hudson website. Scroll down to the calendar.
  • On Thursday, December 3, at 4:00 p.m., Mayor Kamal Johnson holds a public hearing on Local Law H of 2020, the law to regulate short term rentals in Hudson. To review the law the Common Council voted to enact on November 19, click here. To join the public hearing on Zoom, click here.
  • On Friday, December 4, the Historic Preservation Commission meets at 10 a.m. The meeting will be live-streamed on the Hudson City Zoom Meetings channel on YouTube.

"Rip the Nut" in the Year of the Pandemic

Gossips has a special fondness for Rip the Nut, Adam Weinert's raucous mash-up of Washington Irving's "Rip Van Winkle" and The Nutcracker Suite, so I was thrilled to learn that COVID-safe performances of the joyous spectacle will be happening again this year as part of Winter Walk 2020. Trixie's List has the story of what's being planned: "'Rip The Nut'--the Hudson Safe edition."   

Photo: Tom Roeschlein|Winter Walk 2019

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Here's News

Channel 10 is reporting that Governor Andrew Cuomo is among the eighty nominees for Time Magazine's "Person of the Year" award. 

Photo: Kevin P. Coughlin|State of New York
Others nominated are Dr. Anthony Fauci, Donald Trump, and TikTok creators. It will be remembered that the award recognizes "the person or group of people who had the greatest influence on the events of the year--for better or worse." The winner, chosen by the magazine's editors, will be announced on December 10.

COVID-19 Update

The Columbia County Department of Health has released its numbers for today. Since yesterday, there have been six new cases of COVID-19 and two recoveries, which would seem to increase the number of active cases by four to 70, but the CCDOH is only reporting 69. The number of county residents hospitalized with the virus and in the ICU remains the same today as it was yesterday. There has not been a death from COVID-19 in Columbia County since November 19. 

With six positives out of 381 test results received, the positive percentage rate for today in 1.6 percent. The seven day rolling average, according to Gossips' calculations, is 1.9 percent--that is, 62 positives out of 3,243 test results.

Get Ready

The summer suspension of overnight alternate side of the street parking on weekends ended at the end of September, but on October 15, Mayor Kamal Johnson announced it was back in effect until further notice. That further notice came today. In anticipation of snowy days ahead, it was announced on the City of Hudson website that beginning next weekend, overnight alternate side of the street parking will be in effect seven days a week. Click here to read the entire message from City Hall.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

COVID-19 Update

The Columbia County Department of Health has released its numbers for today. Since yesterday, there have been ten new cases of COVID-19 and seven recoveries, increasing the number of active cases by three to 66. There are five more county residents hospitalized with the virus today than yesterday, but there is one fewer in the ICU. There has not been a death from COVID-19 in Columbia County since Thursday, November 19. 

With ten positives out of 439 test results received, the positive percentage rate for today is 2.3 percent. The seven day rolling average, according to Gossips' calculations, is 1.8 percent--that is, 59 positives out of 3,282 test results.

Another Item from the Daily Star

It seems that 150 years ago the days following Thanksgiving were pleasant weatherwise--so much so that it merited mention in the newspaper. On Monday, November 28, 1870, this item appeared in the Hudson Daily Star.  


The "new passenger depot" under construction was the Hudson Upper Depot, whose construction was completed in 1871.

Photo courtesy Pat Fenoff, City of Hudson Historian
In 1870, the Star anticipated the building would be "an ornament to that part of the city where located." Today, the building is being restored to be the centerpiece of the part of the city the Galvan Foundation has dubbed the "Depot District."

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Following Up with the Turkey Story

On the day before Thanksgiving, Gossips published a story that appeared in the Hudson Daily Star 150 years ago, on Friday, November 25, 1870, about a "regiment of turkeys" that spent Thanksgiving Day in Hudson on their way to New York City. At that time, I speculated that where the turkeys had spent the day was at the grounds surrounding 400 State Street, which at that time was the home of Captain George Power. 

An item discovered today in the Daily Star for Monday, November 28, 1870, confirmed that this was indeed where the turkeys had been "rusticating" 150 years ago.

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Friday, November 27, 2020

Past and Future: 427 Warren Street

There are very few 20th-century buildings on Warren Street, and those that exist were typically built after 19th-century buildings were destroyed by fire. Such is the case with 427 Warren Street. The building that originally stood on the site burned in February 1951, in a spectacular fire that reportedly caused $300,000 in damage (which is the equivalent of more than $3 million today). The picture below shows the building that originally stood on the site, as the fire fighters work to put out the fire.

PhotobyGibson.com
The building that was constructed in its place wasn't originally the headquarters of the Hudson Police Department, but the HPD moved there sometime in the early 1980s.

In 2017, the HPD moved to its new digs at 701 Union Street, and in 2019, the building at 427 Warren Street was sold at auction. In an odd coincidence, the minimum bid in the auction was $300,000--the same amount the fire in 1951 was reported to have caused in damage. (The building actually sold for $435,000.)

Now, the work to redesign the facade of the building has begun. The picture below was taken yesterday.

Photo: Peter Jung
The rendering below shows the design for the new facade, which was granted a certificate of appropriateness by the Historic Preservation Commission in August 2020.

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Where the New COVID Cases Were This Week

As it does every Friday, the Columbia County Department of Health has released its breakdown of COVID-19 cases by municipality and nursing home. In the past week, there have been 58 new cases.

None of the nursing homes saw new cases this week, but other than that, there were few locations that did not see new cases. The greatest number was in Kinderhook, where there were fourteen new cases. That was followed by Hudson, where there were ten new cases. After that, New Lebanon had five; Claverack and Elizaville each had four; Hillsdale and Stuyvesant each had three; Copake, Craryville, Germantown, Greenport, and Livingston each had two; Ancram, Canaan, Chatham, Taghkanic, and Valatie each had one new case.

As always, in the list below, the first number is the number of cases reported last Friday; the second number is the number of cases reported today. These are total numbers of cases since the first case in Columbia County was reported on March 20. The number of active cases in the county today is 63, down from 92 last Friday. 

Austerlitz  1 | 1
Ancram  10 | 11
Canaan  18 | 19
Chatham  40 | 41
Claverack  51 | 55
Clermont  16 | 16
Copake  27 | 29
Craryville  3 | 5
East Chatham  2 | 2
Elizaville  6 | 10
Gallatin  6 | 6
Germantown  17 | 19
Ghent  53 | 53
Greenport  76 | 78
Hillsdale  21 | 24
Hudson  78 | 88
Kinderhook  64 | 78
Livingston  35 | 37
New Lebanon  15 | 20
Niverville  5 | 5
Philmont  13 | 13
Stockport  19 | 19
Stottville  5 | 5
Stuyvesant  34 | 37
Taghkanic  10 | 11
Valatie  36 | 37
Nursing Homes
Barnwell  144 | 144
Firemen's Home  1 | 1
Ghent Assisted Living  46 | 46
Ghent Rehab & Nursing  1 | 1
Livingston Hills  6 | 6
Pine Haven  51 | 51  

COVID-19 Update

The Columbia County Department of Health has released its numbers for today. Since Wednesday, there have eighteen new cases of COVID-19 and and sixteen recoveries, increasing the number of active cases by two to 63. There is one more person hospitalized with the virus today than on Wednesday, but the number in the ICU has decreased by one. It has been a week since there has been a death from COVID-19 in Columbia County. 

With eighteen positives out of 865 test results received, the positive percentage rate for the past two days is 2 percent. The seven day rolling average, according to Gossips' calculations, is 2 percent--that is, 58 positives out of 2,839 test results.

Giving on Thanksgiving

Yesterday morning, former Hudsonians Dini Lamot and Windle Davis were heard on NPR's Morning Edition talking about a GoFundMe campaign they organized, called "You Can Give Anything You Want," for Alice Brock of Alice's Restaurant fame. If you missed it yesterday, you can hear it here: "Fundraiser Gives Back to Alice Brock of Hit Thanksgiving Song Fame."

The goal was to raise $120,000, and this morning Dini and Windle reported that the goal had been reached and exceeded. 
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You all, each and everyone of you, who reached into your hearts and gave a lot of LOVE to Alice. WE REACHED OUR GOAL!
But Alice is not out of the woods yet and every dollar donated will help sustain her life at home in Provincetown. . . .
Please keep donations coming, we all know life goes on and the bills keep coming.
To make a contribution, click hereSo far, more than 3,000 people have contributed.

Get Ready for the Next Holiday

This year, the annual Columbia County Historical Society Gallery of Wreaths auction is taking place online. Click here to check out this year's wreaths--"live, dried, artificial, and mixed media"--donated by local artists, friends, and businesses. 

Live Greens Tartan Star by Jane Blank
The bidding begins at noon today and runs until Sunday at 4:00 p.m. Winners will be notified and asked to schedule an appointment pick up their wreaths in Kinderhook between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday next week.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thoughts for Today

This morning, a reader sent me the link to an article that had been recommended by her sister, who is a doctor at Mount Sinai in New York. It is an op-ed that appeared earlier this week in the Los Angeles Times. It is recommended reading for this holiday morning: "On the COVID frontlines, we're tired of hearing lame excuses for risky behavior." 

Have a safe Thanksgiving everyone.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

COVID-19 Update

The Columbia County Department of Health has released its numbers for today. Since yesterday, there have been ten new cases of COVID-19 and fifteen recoveries, reducing the number of active cases by five to 61. There are two fewer people hospitalized with the virus today than yesterday, but the number in the ICU remains the same. There have been no deaths from COVID-19 in Columbia County since Thursday, November 19.

With ten positives out of 501 test results, the positive percentage rate for today is 2 percent. The seven day rolling average, according to Gossips' calculations, is 2.5 percent--that is, 77 positives out of 3,028 test results.

Turkeys, Thanksgiving, and Hudson in 1870

Yesterday, Donald Trump pardoned two turkeys from Iowa, Corn and Cob. An article that appeared in the New York Times the previous day suggested that pardoning turkeys was one of the things Trump enjoyed most about his job as POTUS: "What Donald Trump Liked About Being President." 

Yesterday, in the Hudson Daily Star for November 25, 1870, I discovered another story of clemency for turkeys, which took place right here in Hudson. 


In 1870, November 25 was the Friday after Thanksgiving, so the arrival of the "regiment of turkeys" would have happened on Thanksgiving Day. I'm not entirely sure where "the grounds of Capt. Geo. H. Power" were located, but we do know that from 1865 to 1881 George Power lived at 400 State Street, the building that was for many years the Hudson Area Library and is now the headquarters of the Galvan Foundation. 

In 1870, the area behind the house was a vast open space, used for farming when the building was originally constructed as the Hudson Almshouse in 1818 and perhaps also used as a kitchen garden by Power, so this may well have been where the turkeys took their "promenade." It's delightful to think of a thousand turkeys being marched from the river to Fourth and State on Thanksgiving Day and back again on the day after the holiday. It would have been like a Thanksgiving version of the "Goose Parade" that made the rounds on Facebook yesterday.  

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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

If You're Planning a Visit or Are Just Curious

Governor Andrew Cuomo's NYS Coronavirus Update today contained this information:
Look up any address in the state and see if it's in a cluster zone. New Yorkers can look up any address to determine if it is in or near an existing cluster zone using this tool on the State's website. The tool includes a navigable, regularly updated map of New York State that shows all the current cluster zones in the state.
I tried it and discovered what I already knew. My home here is Hudson is not in a cluster zone nor is my last address (close to thirty years ago) in New York City.

COVID-19 Update

The Columbia County Department of Health has released its numbers for today. Since yesterday, there have been twelve new cases of COVID-19 and eighteen recoveries, reducing the number of active cases by six to 66. The number of people hospitalized with the virus and in the ICU remains the same today as yesterday. 

With twelve positives out of 619 test results, the positive percentage rate for today is 1.9 percent. The seven day rolling average, according to Gossips' calculations, is 2.4 percent--that is, 78 positives out of 3,184 test results.

Thoughts About the Holiday from 150 Years Ago

In 1870, today, November 24, was Thanksgiving Day. On the day before Thanksgiving, the Hudson Daily Star published an essay musing on the significance of Thanksgiving. Because it provides an interesting perspective on the holiday from 150 years ago, the first paragraph is reproduced below.

Meanwhile, in Hudson

Yesterday, Gossips published Sheriff David Bartlett's statement that the Columbia County Sheriff's Office "will not be participating in the enforcement of New York State's Thanksgiving gathering restrictions." Yesterday, too, the Register-Star reported that Bartlett and Greene County Sheriff Peter Kusminsky had ''joined a group of sheriffs across the state to speak against Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 10-person limit on private gatherings": "Sheriff's speak out against Thanksgiving orders." It may not be without significance that Bartlett and Kusminsky are both Republicans.

Last evening, at the Common Council Police Committee meeting, Alderman Rebecca Wolff (First Ward) brought up Sheriff Bartlett's statement and asked Chief Ed Moore, "What's the city's plan?" After making a comment about everyone now being an expert on constitutional rights, Moore talked about "civic virtue and civic responsibility." Moore said, "It's never going to be the case that the police will knock down doors." He stressed officers will first educate people and "try to get people to comply." He reiterated, "That's our role--to try to educate people that it is their civic responsibility."
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Monday, November 23, 2020

Finally

The New York Times is reporting that the administrator of the General Services Administration has formally designated Joe Biden the president-elect and has told Biden the administration is ready to begin the transition. 

The Times also reports that Donald Trump is renovating Mar-a-Lago, "ostensibly preparing for life post-presidency."

Just So You Know

This message appeared today on the Columbia County Sheriff's Office Facebook page.

COVID-19 Update

The Columbia County Department of Health has released its numbers for today. Since yesterday, there have been six new cases of COVID-19 and 22 recoveries. That would seem to reduce the number of active cases by sixteen to 71, but the CCDOH is reporting the number of active cases as 72. There is one fewer person hospitalized with the virus today than yesterday, but one more of those hospitalized is in the ICU.

With six positives out of 458 test results received, the positive percentage rate for today is 1.3 percent. The seven day rolling average, according to Gossips' calculations, is 2.6 percent--that is, 77 positives out of 2,941 test results.

A Change of Plan

The hotel to be created at 620 Union Street was back before the Historic Preservation Commission on Friday for conceptual approval of a change in design, as a prelude to seeking approval for a site plan amendment from the Planning Board. 

The new addition along the west side of the property was originally to have a full basement for storage, but the requirements of excavation were driving up the cost of the project, so it was decided there would be only a partial basement, and a storage and housekeeping area would be added on each floor. This necessitates extending the west wing of the building 19.5 feet farther toward Union Street and adds another guest room on each floor.

The change primarily impacts the landscape design. The spa area of the garden has been reconfigured, and the size of the little private garden room at the southwest corner of the property has significantly reduced in size.

Original landscape plan

Revised landscape plan

The presentation to the HPC included renderings that compared what was originally proposed with what is now being proposed from two different vantage points.

Original
Revised


Original

Revised
The project is expected to return to the Planning Board at its next meeting, which takes place on Tuesday, December 8, at 6:00 p.m.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Meetings of Interest in the Week Ahead

Because of Thanksgiving, this is a short week for meetings. They all happen in the first three days.
  • On Monday, November 23, the Common Council Fire Committee meeting, which typically happens on the fourth Monday of the month, has already been canceled, but the Police Committee meeting has not. It will take place, as scheduled, at 6:00 p.m. The link to the Zoom meeting will be published on the City of Hudson website prior to the meeting. Scroll down to the calendar.
  • On Tuesday, November 24, the Hudson Development Corporation (HDC) Board of Directors meets at noon. The agenda for the meeting is not yet available, but the link to the Zoom meeting is. Click here to join the meeting.
Update: Gossips just received the agenda for the HDC meeting, and, as is usually the case, one of the agenda items is "Disposition of Montgomery Street Property: Board Discussion." The Montgomery Street Property is, of course, is the Kaz site and the parcel acquired from CSX.
Update: Tuesday's HDC meeting has been canceled and rescheduled for Tuesday, December 1, at 12 noon.
  • On Wednesday, November 25, there are two Common Council committee meetings scheduled: Public Works and Parks at 5:00 p.m. and Legal at 6:15 p.m. Because it is Thanksgiving Eve, it's possible that the meetings will be canceled, but they haven't been yet. Assuming they are not canceled, the links to the Zoom meetings will be published on the City of Hudson website. Scroll down to the calendar.

COVID-19 Update

The Columbia County Department of Health has released its numbers for today. Since yesterday, there have been three new cases of COVID-19 and five recoveries, which would seem to reduce the number of active cases by two to 88, but the CCDOH reports there are now 87 active cases. The number of people hospitalized with the virus remains the same, but today one fewer is in the ICU. 

Because the number of tests reported yesterday seemed to be in error, Gossips will calculate the average over the past two days. With twelve positives out of 416 test results received, the positive percentage rate for the past two days is 2.6 percent. The seven day rolling average, according to Gossips' calculations, based on the numbers provided by the CCDOH, is 3 percent--that is, 80 positives out of 2,707 test results. The New York State dashboard, however, is reporting that the percentage positive for yesterday is 2.9 percent and the seven day average is 2.6 percent.  
  

How Are We Doing?

The Times Union reported today the Capital Region was now a coronavirus "yellow zone": "Coronavirus rate pushes Capital Region into 3 percent 'yellow zone' range."  This is alarming because Columbia County is part of the Capital Region, but it is also inaccurate. According to the New York State Department of Health COVID dashboard, Albany County has a seven-day average positivity rate of 3.1 percent; the seven-day average positivity rate for the Capital Region is 2.3 percent. The seven-day average positivity rate for Columbia County is 2.6 percent.

In his COVID briefing today, Governor Andrew Cuomo addressed the levels of infection rate that have been established to define coronavirus hots spots. The percentages given below are not for New York City, where because of population density the thresholds are lower, but for all of the rest of the state.
  • Yellow Zone--3 to 4 percent positivity rate
  • Orange Zone--4 to 5 percent positivity rate
  • Red Zone--5 to 6 percent positivity rate
Cuomo explained that the percentage for determining hot spot zones is "the average over seven days, and the number must hold constant for ten days.
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Support for Winter Walk 2020

This year, we need Winter Walk more than ever. Our local businesses need support, and our community needs extra cheer and joy. After twenty-three years of producing Hudson's beloved winter street festival, Hudson Hall is asking for help from the community for Winter Walk 2020: The Hudson Safe Edition. A GoFundMe campaign has been started to raise $10,000 to keep the Winter Walk spirit alive this December.


Your contribution will help support these Hudson Safe Winter Walk activities:
  • Fireworks--which can be seen for miles and watched in safety from wherever you are
  • Sax O Claus solo improv down Warren Street
  • Evening shopping and dining at your leisure
  • Decorated shop windows
  • Santa's Village at Seventh Street Park
  • Christmas tree and Hanukkah menorah lighting ceremonies
  • A COVID-safe Rip the Nut performance
  • Virtual visits with Santa from the North Pole
  • Free gift-wrapped books for every child
To help make Winter Walk 2020 happen safely, in the midst of a pandemic, click here

Saturday, November 21, 2020

COVID-19 Update

The Columbia County Department of Health has released its numbers for today. Since yesterday, there have been nine new cases of COVID-19 and eleven recoveries, reducing the number of active cases by two to 90. The number of people hospitalized with the virus and in the ICU remains the same as yesterday.  

There is obviously a mistake somewhere, because the total number of tests--that is, counting from the beginning of the pandemic--is four fewer today than yesterday. As a consequence, it is not possible to calculate the positive percentage rate for today. If the total number of tests reported today is accurate, although I have a feeling it isn't, the seven day rolling average is, according to Gossips' calculations, is 3.4 percent--that is, 84 positives out of 2,495 test results. The New York State Department of Health county dashboard, which was last updated yesterday, indicates that Columbia County has a seven day rolling average of 2.3 percent and a fourteen day rolling average of 2.6 percent.

Of Interest

For everyone who watched religiously Governor Andrew Cuomo's daily COVID-19 briefings during what we thought at the time was the height of the pandemic, this may come as no surprise. NPR reported this morning that Cuomo is to receive an award for those briefings: "Andrew Cuomo to Receive International Emmy for "Masterful' COVID-19 Briefings."

Photo: Jeenah Moon|Getty Images

Once Scorned, Now Pursued

At the Historic Preservation Commission meeting on Friday, Peter Bujanow, commissioner of Public Works, and Mark Thaler of the architectural firm Lacey Thaler Reilly Wilson presented the plan to make City Hall compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). What was presented was Plan 3, the least costly of the four options to achieve universal accessibility proposed in a feasibility study done by Lacey Thaler Reilly Wilson early in 2019.

The plan will make the entire first floor of the building universally accessible and involves creating a lift at the front entrance, adding a ramp to the dais in the Common Council chamber, and redesigning the restrooms, the side entrance, and the passageway from Prison Alley. The estimated cost presented in the feasibility study was $131,000.

What is of some concern to historic preservationists in the necessary alteration to the facade of the building. The marble steps will be removed, and the doorway will be dropped down to street level. 


Once inside the door, visitors can either climb a set of stairs into the lobby of the building or use a lift, which will be located just to the right of the door. 

The actual design for the new entrance has not yet been developed, but Thaler spoke of "something that reflects earlier design for the doorway" and displayed a some historic images of the building, these two being the ones that best showed the entrance doors.

     

The HPC agreed that, in the words of architect member Chip Bohl, the plan "was perfectly acceptable in concept," but they wanted details on how the new entrance will be achieved. Thaler assured the HPC that no demolition would take place until the total concept had been designed and reviewed and approved by the HPC. At the suggestion of HPC legal counsel Victoria Polidoro, the HPC requested that the marble steps be retained for some yet to be defined reuse.

Doing a feasibility study for making City Hall ADA compliant was the initiative of Mayor Rick Rector, who was concerned about accessibility at City Hall even before the lawsuit brought against the City by three Hudson residents raised the issue to the level of emergency. In October 2018, an RFP (request for proposals) was issued, a process that led to the selection of Lacey Thaler Reilly Wilson as the firm to do the study. In February 2019, when the resolution authorizing the mayor to enter into a contract for the study came before the Common Council, Council president Tom DePietro, who was championing the plan to buy the abandoned John L. Edwards school and move City Hall, the Youth Center, and all other city offices there, suggested the study might be redundant. The minutes from that meeting report: "[DePietro] stated there had been questions of the redundancy given the pursuit of J.L. Edwards School and he stated the City Treasurer rightly pointed out that even if this does not happen, it would enhance any possible sale of City Hall." 

DePietro's skepticism about the study persisted. In October 2019, after the City had reached its settlement agreement with the federal government about ADA compliance, Peter Frank, from Friends of Hudson Youth, asked at the informal Common Council meeting if the three less expensive plans for making City Hall ADA compliant would satisfy the terms of the settlement agreement. DePietro responded to Frank's question with another question: "Do you think they do?" He went on to opine, "I don't think they do, but I'm not an expert." A strange comment to make since Lacey Thaler Reilly Wilson, who were vetted as experts in such things, had been tasked with proposing "the improvements necessary to provide access to City Hall consistent with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)."

A year later, it's not clear when the decision was made to pursue Plan 3 or who made the decision, but it appears that Plan 3 is moving forward.
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Real Estate News

Last week, Gossips reported that there was an accepted offer on The Barlow, 542 Warren Street, which had been listed for $2.2 million.


This week, Gossips learned that 521 Warren Street has just been sold for $3 million. Its listing price was $2.8 million.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Where the New Cases Were This Week

As it does every Friday, the Columbia County Department of Health has released its breakdown of COVID cases by municipality and nursing home. In the past week, there have been 79 new cases. 

There are very few places that didn't see new cases this week. Two localities saw new cases in the double digits: Greenport with sixteen, and Ghent with twelve. They were followed by Hudson with seven new cases; Stuyvesant with six; Claverack and Germantown each with five; Chatham, Clermont, Kinderhook, and Valatie each with three; Elizaville, Hillsdale, Livingston, and Philmont each with two; and Ancram, Copake, Gallatin, New Lebanon, Stockport, and Taghkanic each with one. Two nursing homes made the list for the first time this week--the Firemen's Home and Ghent Rehab and Nursing--each with one case of COVID-19. 

As always, in the list below, the first number is the number of cases reported last Friday, and the second number is the number of cases reported today. These are total numbers of cases since the first case was reported in Columbia County on March 20. The number of active cases in the county today is 92.

Austerlitz  1 | 1
Ancram  9 | 10
Canaan  18 | 18
Chatham  37 | 40
Claverack  46 | 51
Clermont  13 | 16
Copake  26 | 27
Craryville  3 | 3
East Chatham  2 | 2
Elizaville  4 | 6
Gallatin  5 | 6
Germantown  12 | 17
Ghent  41 | 53
Greenport  60 | 76
Hillsdale  19 | 21
Hudson  71 | 78
   Kinderhook  61 | 64
Livingston  33 | 35
New Lebanon  14 | 15
Niverville  5 | 5
Philmont  11 | 13
Stockport  18 | 19
 Stottville  5 | 5
Stuyvesant  28 | 34
Taghkanic  9 | 10
Valatie  33 | 36 
Nursing Homes
Barnwell  144 | 144
 Firemen's Home  0 | 1
Ghent Assisted Living  46 | 46
Ghent Rehab & Nursing  0 | 1
Livingston Hills  6 | 6
Pine Haven  51 | 51

COVID-19 Update

The Columbia County Department of Health has released its numbers for today. Since yesterday, there have been sixteen new cases of COVID-19 and fifteen recoveries, increasing the number of active cases by one to 92. There are two fewer people hospitalized with the virus, but the number in the ICU remains the same. Since yesterday, there has not been another death from COVID-19 in Columbia County.

With sixteen positives out of 349 test results received, the positive percentage rate for today is 4.6 percent. The seven day rolling average, according to Gossips' calculations, is 2.8 percent--that is, 79 positives out of 2,806 test results.

The Sounds of Maintenance

Lately, I'm often awake in the wee hours of the morning when the street sweeper makes its way past my house. Ever since I came upon this picture in the collection at PhotobyGibson.com, I think of it whenever I hear our modern-day street sweeper, and I wonder what it must have sounded like as it churned its way through the streets.

Hudson Street Sweeper, 1956--PhotobyGibson.com
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Thursday, November 19, 2020

City of Hudson Issues Stay at Home Advisory

Tomorrow, the Columbia County Department of Health will issue its breakdown of COVID-19 cases by municipality and nursing home. Today, a stay at home advisory issued by the City of Hudson may provide a preview of the state of things in Hudson. The following appeared on the City of Hudson website:
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the City of Hudson advises residents and visitors to stay at home to reduce the spread. In recent weeks, Hudson has experienced an increase in weekly COVID-19 cases. Between October 30 and November 13, Hudson had 15 residents confirmed to have coronavirus, 20% of the total cases of Hudson residents to date. Over the past weeks, Columbia County has had a significant increase in cases and hospitalizations. As of November 18, Columbia County has 92 people with active cases--more people than we had during the spring peak.
Therefore, the City of Hudson strongly advises residents to stay inside their homes and avoid interaction with people outside their household. Unless traveling for work, school, or essential needs, avoid unnecessary trips. When going outside, wear a mask, practice six feet of physical distancing whenever possible, and avoid crowded areas.
The City of Hudson will continue to enforce social distancing regulations and require businesses to follow statewide COVID-19 guidelines.
The advisory follows the recent order from Governor Andrew Cuomo ordering Bars, Restaurants and Gyms to close at 10pm and the public to significantly reduce the size of gathering. To report on COVID-19 issues contact Hudson Code Enforcement, Hudson Police, or New York State Pause Enforcement
We also encourage residents to get tested. Learn about testing options and covid responses.
Do your part: reduce the spread. Together, we keep each other safe.

COVID-19 Update

The Columbia County Department of Health has released its numbers for today. Since yesterday, there has been another death. There have also been 21 new cases and 21 recoveries, so the number of active cases today is one fewer than yesterday. The number of people hospitalized with the virus and in the ICU remains the same as yesterday. 

With 21 positives out of 705 test results received, the positive percentage rate for today is 3 percent. The seven day rolling average, according to Gossips' calculations, is 2.5 percent--that is, 73 positives out of 2,919 test results.

Meeting Reminder

The Common Council holds a special meeting today at 5:30 p.m. to vote on accepting the proposed city budget for 2021. The proposed budget can be found with details here and without details here

Click here to join the Zoom meeting.