Tuesday, November 30, 2021
Monday, November 29, 2021
- On Tuesday, November 30, the Hudson Industrial Development Agency (IDA) holds a public hearing on the proposal from PBF Hudson LLC for financial assistance for the Pocketbook Factory project. The hearing takes place at 6:00 p.m., in person only, at the Hudson Area Library, 51 North Fifth Street. Click here to review the documents relating to the project.
- On Wednesday, December 1, the Common Council Legal Committee meets at 6:00 p.m. This is the committee's last meeting of the year. It will be interesting to see what legislation, if any, they try to push through before a new Council is seated in 2022. The meeting is expected to take place on Zoom. The link to the meeting should be posted on the City of Hudson website prior to the meeting.
- On Friday, December 3, the Historic Preservation Commission meets at 10:00 a.m. Click here to join the Zoom meeting.
Saturday, November 27, 2021
Friday, November 26, 2021
|Photo: JD Urban|
The evening begins with a tribute to the resiliency of our community and to our friend Vincent Mulford. Mulford, who passed away this October, was a longtime resident and pioneering antiques dealer in Hudson, as well as a long-standing champion of Winter Walk. To commemorate his life and the silver anniversary of Winter Walk, the bells at the First Presbyterian Church will ring twenty-five times at 5:00 p.m.
Thursday, November 25, 2021
Wednesday, November 24, 2021
Tuesday, November 23, 2021
The Columbia County COVID-19 infection rate now stands at 9.5 percent, said county DOH Director Jack Mabb today, adding, “There are no significant clusters and the infections are confined to no specific area of the county.”
Director Mabb said that “positive cases seem to be half vaccinated and half not vaccinated, with the vaccinated not having significant illness. Another plus of the county’s high vaccination rate is that hospitalizations remain low with the majority of those hospitalized being unvaccinated.”
The Hudson City School District Board of Education is seeking candidates to fill a vacant seat after Carrie Otty announced her resignation for personal reasons prior to the end of her term. The temporary appointment will begin on January 19, 2022, and expire on May 17, 2022.*
Anyone interested in serving the school district as an interim Board member should send a letter of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday, December 15, 2021. Candidates must be at least 18 years old and reside within the Hudson City School District.
Interested candidates should plan to attend the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, December 21, 2021, at 6 p.m., in the HHS Library so that the Board can meet the candidates before deciding on an appointment. Learn more about what prospective school board members should know.
Since Ms. Otty is currently serving as the Board president, the Board will nominate and vote on a new president in the coming weeks.
* The remainder of Ms. Otty's term, which runs through June 30, 2023, will be included on the May 2022 ballot. The interim candidate may choose to run for election to serve the remainder of the term, if desired.
As we know, the Galvan Foundation purchased the former Community Theater at Columbia and Seventh streets earlier this year. In announcing its intention to acquire the building last November, Galvan expressed the intention "to develop the building as a gateway to our Depot District Initiative." Today, Galvan made public its plans for the building. The announcement, which appeared on Facebook, is quoted below.
We are pleased to announce our plans to restore the Hudson Community Theater building to create Hudson Forum. This project provides needed entertainment and economic opportunities for the entire community.
Hudson Forum is planned as a regional theater with flexible performance space and room to fit 400 seated attendees and many more for standing room only events. It is adaptable for a range of different performance, including:
- Film Screenings
- Lecture Series
- Community Events
We are thankful for Governor Hochul and New York State's decision to support this project with a $900,000 Empire State Development Grant.
Don't we already have Hudson Hall, doing this very thing?
Monday, November 22, 2021
A year ago today, the CCDOH reported 3 new cases of COVID-19. The total number of cases was 922, and the number of active cases was 87. There were 424 county residents in mandatory quarantine, 17 were hospitalized, and 2 were in the ICU. The total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 at this time last year was 45.
It's 2021. And chances are, your city still has some antiquated, wealth-destroying rules on the book regarding minimum parking standards. But communities across the United States and Canada are putting their foot down, and reducing or eliminating minimum parking requirements for new construction.
Costly car parking mandates are required for housing and commercial uses in most North American cities and towns. Over the last century, these costly requirements have contributed to urban sprawl, lack of abundant and affordable housing, car dependency, and climate change. In recent years, however, many places have implemented reforms to these mandates, exempting new buildings from parking. Sometimes these reforms are limited to certain streets or businesses, sometimes to particular land uses, and sometimes based on requirements like proximity to transit or inclusion of affordable housing, but it's clear that parking reform has momentum!
Now in its sixth year, Rip the Nut--a raucous mashup of the Rip Van Winkle story and the Nutcracker Suite conceived by Adam Weinert--returns for the 25th Anniversary of Winter Walk on Saturday, December 4, from 5 to 8 p.m. Weinert has reimagined the performance this year to be experienced outdoors, with dancers performing in shop windows along the mile-long stretch of Hudson's historic main street.
This family friendly production has proven itself a Hudson holiday staple since it premiered at Winter Walk in 2016. "I grew up performing in The Nutcracker," says Weinert, who co-directs this year's production with his husband, R. B. Schlather, who is know for his innovations as an opera director and is critically acclaimed for site specific performances and process-art installations. "When I moved to Hudson, I found that the story of Rip Van Winkle very much permeates the area. It felt right to bring these stories together."
Weinert believes that the Rip Van Winkle fable has particular resonance in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. "It feels a little but like we've all been slumbering in isolation," he says, "and we're emerging into a world that feels very different."
Traditionally, Rip the Nut has been presented at Hudson Hall, with local children and community partners joining the dancers onstage for a variety of whimsical numbers. This year, Winter Walk attendees will experience the show as they walk along Warren Street and encounter dancers, digital projections, music, and text in storefront windows.
"We're lucky to be working with members of the community who've been at this a long time," says Weinert, who points out that the first Winter Walk closely resembled this year's storefront-centric edition, with dancers appearing in windows to the delight of children and families. "It feels great to bring that tradition back this year--for different reasons but to similar effect."
This memo is in response to inaccurate information that was released by the Columbia County Democratic Chairman on Friday, where he said the Republicans were defunding the Sheriff’s Department to the tune of $250,000. This is not true. It is a proposed transfer of specific Emergency Management funds and not a reduction of funds.
This transfer does not affect people’s safety whatsoever and does not affect the Sheriff’s Office at all. The budget lines that will transfer with the Emergency Management Office are already designated specifically to Emergency Management in the Sheriff’s budget, and will not change. They will continue to be used for the exact same reasons. There is no defunding of anything as the funds will continue to be used as already designated.
The operating budget designated specifically for Emergency Management is between $139,000-$140,000. In the proposed transfer, $65,000 will stay with the Sheriff’s budget as it pays for software maintenance agreements utilized by various programs in the jail, civil and law enforcement areas.
The remaining $70,000+ would transfer with Emergency Management. Any grant budget lines are applied for and used strictly for what they are awarded for--this cannot and does not change.
All county level emergency coordinators (who are not part of Emergency Management) such as the Fire Coordinator, EMS Coordinator and 911 Director were contacted about their opinion and ALL approve the move as it will make EMO more efficient.
EMO in Columbia County does not oversee emergency services as it does in some other cities and counties in NYS.
Whomever makes a comment that this will negatively affect public safety did not view the last open Public Safety meeting and does not understand the purpose and structure of our county EMO.
This move is something that has been discussed in the past with the outgoing Sheriff and would have happened whether or not Sheriff Bartlett had won the election.
Very few counties have the EMO as part of the Sheriff’s Office.
Everyone agrees, having EMO as an independent county department makes sense and is good management. Reporting to only the County Chairman during large countywide events (like the pandemic) instead of two people is much more efficient. Article 2B of the NYS Executive Law is clear: the Chairman of the BOS (or County Exec) has the ultimate responsibility for countywide State of Emergencies. This is why NYS requires the Chairman of the BOS to complete emergency management training AND refresh every year.
Sunday, November 21, 2021
- On Monday, November 22, the Common Council holds a special meeting at 6:00 p.m. to consider and act on the proposed budget for 2022. The proposed budget can be found here. 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 23, the Hudson Development Corporation Board meets at noon. Among the items on the agenda are updates on the disposition of the Montgomery Street parcel and HDC's strategic plan for its future. The meeting takes place on Zoom. Click here to join the meeting.
- On Tuesday, November 23, at 6:00 p.m. Mayor Kamal Johnson and Michelle Tullo, Housing Justice Director, hold a town hall about the recently completed Affordable Housing Development Plan. To review the plan, click here. The meeting will take place on Zoom. Click here to join the meeting.
- At 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 23, the Greenport Planning Board holds its regular monthly meeting. On the agenda for the meeting is the proposal from Redburn Development to construct an apartment complex, described as "workforce housing," on Healy Boulevard. The Greenport Planning Board meeting takes place in person at the Greenport Town Hall, 600 Town Hall Drive.
- On Wednesday, November 24, the ad hoc "Properties" committee meets at 5:00 p.m. The meeting may provide an update on the progress in selling 429 Warren Street now that the Code Enforcement Office was been relocated to 751 Warren Street. The meeting will take place on Zoom. The link will be published on the City of Hudson website prior to the meeting. Scroll down to the calendar.
|Photo: Jonathan Simons|
Saturday, November 20, 2021
Friday, November 19, 2021
Locals, transplants, and visitors alike are all fascinated with the history of Hudson. With the planning of the city by a group of merchants and whalers from their homes in Rhode Island and Massachusetts; the seedy stories of Diamond Street brothels, Legs Diamond and other characters; the historic shad fishing shacks at North Bay; and Hudson's decline and rise time and again, the city has a colorful history and lessons for all of us.
Responding to the ever increasing interest in the history of Hudson and the surrounding area, the popularity of its local history talks, and the increasing use of its archives, the History Room of the Hudson Area Library has launched its own website: historyroom.hudsonarealibrary.org.
“Hudson is hot now, but in many ways, it has been a fascinating place for more than two centuries,” said Gary Sheffer, library board trustee and chair of the History Room Committee. “There have always been people who saw Hudson’s beauty, its gritty and friendly nature, and its potential. The history of the city has ups and downs and unexpected outcomes. Our website will give visitors an idea of the valuable collections we have about Hudson’s history including photographs, oral histories, historic maps, city directories from 1851, yearbooks from 1914 to 2021, news clippings, articles, books, pamphlets, physical items, and much more.”
In addition, there is an online shop on the website with archival quality copies of historic maps, aeroviews, and posters of Hudson; sets of night-scene and Warren Street postcards and a set of note cards of prominent buildings from an 1871 map of Hudson; tote bags and tea towels with a line drawing of the historic Armory by local artist and musician Tony Kieraldo.
“Consider giving the Gift of Hudson’s History this holiday season! Your friends and family will receive unique items and you will be funding the work of preserving and making accessible to the public the history of the Hudson area,” stated Brenda Shufelt, History Room coordinator. “Our current projects include developing online websites for our oral history collections, digitizing City of Hudson directories from 1851 to 1940, and archiving the Arthur Koweek Urban Renewal Papers. All our funding is from grants, donations, and History Room Shop sales. We have a federal grant for our oral history project, and AmeriCorps workers for our directory digitization, but are hoping to fund our latest archiving project through our holiday sales.”
The Hudson Area Library has a dedicated History Room whose primary mission is to acquire, preserve, and make accessible the history of the library’s service area, which includes Hudson, Greenport and Stockport. These holdings are maintained, preserved, and protected in a secure, conservation-quality repository that is open to the public by appointment only at this time, due to concern for the health and safety of our patrons. Online research requests for information on local history are available on the History Room website. This is a free service to the public. To learn more about History Room offerings, visit historyroom.hudsonarealibrary.org.
On November 19, 2021, at a Public Safety Committee meeting, Matt Murell, the Republican Chairman of the Columbia County Board of Supervisors, introduced a resolution to defund the Columbia County Sheriff's Office (CCSO). The resolution would slash over $250,000 from the CCSO's budget and sever the Sheriff's Emergency Management Division from the Sheriff's control and place it under the control of Chairman Murell.
Sheriff-elect Don Krapf is currently opposed to the resolution. It was just two weeks ago that the voters of Columbia County elected Krapf, the Democratic candidate, to lead the Sheriff's Department which includes oversight of the Emergency Management Division.
"This is a case of sour grapes," said Sam Hodge, Chair of the Columbia County Democrataic Committee. "Their candidate lost decisively and now, out of nowhere, they want to cut a quarter of a million dollars from the budget and take away important responsibilities from the Sheriff's control. The Republicans are playing politics with people's safety and it's not right."
Even more troubling, there was little notice provided to the public or other Supervisors of the proposed change. It was included at the end of an agenda that was distributed only briefly before the committee met. The resolution appeared to have been drafted with haste, as it was dated incorrectly and listed the wrong committee in its first paragraph.
"Creating a new department is a big decision," said Tistrya Houghtling, Minority Leader and New Lebanon Town Supervisor. "This sort of drastic change warrants more discussion and research."
The Public Safety Committee only considered the resolution for approximately 15 minutes before passing it through committee on a vote of 5-3.
The Sheriff's Emergency Management Division is currently led by David Harrison, a donor and supporter of Sheriff Bartlett. If the resolution is successful, Harrison would report to Murell, rather than Sheriff-elect Krapf.
The stated mission of the Sheriff's Emergency Management Division is to minimize personal injury, loss of life and damage to property and the environment from man-made or natural disasters through mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery; while working with local, state and federal agencies, overseeing operations of the county Emergency Operation Center, all in accordance with the Columbia County Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan.
Thursday, November 18, 2021
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Planning Board acknowledges the Applicant's intention to provide public access and encourages it [to] work with the Common Council to enter into a license agreement to allow such access.
The New York Forward dashboard is reporting a positivity rate in Columbia County yesterday of 9.6 percent and a seven-day average of 7.3 percent. By comparison, the daily positivity rate for the Capital Region is 7.3 percent and the seven-day average is 6.2 percent.