As Gossips reported earlier, there are five vacancies on the Hudson City School District Board of Education. The terms of four board members--Willette Jones, Mark DePace, Chuck Parmentier, and Lakia Walker--expire at the end of June; Sage Carter resigned in March before her term was up. Those seeking election (or reelection) to the school board had to submit their signed petitions on Wednesday, April 27. We now know whose names will be on the ballot on May 17. Jones, DePace, and Walker are all seeking reelection. There is only one new contender: Kjirsten Gustavson. Only four candidates for five available seats.
Saturday, April 30, 2022
Friday, April 29, 2022
The Columbia County Department of Health has released its numbers for today. Since yesterday, there have been 15 new cases of COVID-19. The number of active cases being reported today is the same as yesterday, from which it can be inferred that, since yesterday, 15 county residents have recovered from the virus. There is 1 fewer county resident hospitalized with COVID-19 today than yesterday; none of those hospitalized is in the ICU. There has not been a death from COVID-19 reported in Columbia County since March 3.
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Last night, the Columbia County Democratic Committee (CCDC) endorsed Heidi Cochrane to be the party's 2022 nominee for State Supreme Court Justice. Sam Pratt reported the decision on his blog, SamPratt.com: "County Dems endorse Cochrane over Herman, Portin for judge."
Last week, the Hudson City Democratic Committee sent a letter to the CCDC requesting that the meeting, which was scheduled for and took place on April 28, be postponed, pointing out that the date of the meeting "conflicts with an important time of religious observance for three of our voting members." The letter went on to explain, "April 28, the 27th day of Ramadan, is expected to be the celebration of Laylat al Qadr, the holiest day of the year," and argued, "The vote on the candidate for Supreme Court Justice is extremely important, and the Bengali members of the HCDC [Abdus Miah, Dewan Sarowar, and Shershah Mizan] feel very strongly about participating in the process and representing their substantial Bengali community, who have long been strong, active Democrats." The request for postponement from the Hudson Democrats was obviously not honored.
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Thursday, April 28, 2022
The Columbia County Department of Health has released its numbers for today. Since yesterday, there have been 36 new cases of COVID-19. The number of active cases being reported today is 8 more than yesterday, from which it can be inferred that, since yesterday, 32 county residents have recovered from the virus. There are 2 more county residents hospitalized with COVID-19 today than yesterday; none of those hospitalized is in the ICU. There was not been a death from COVID-19 reported in Columbia County since March 3.
A year ago today, the CCDOH reported 4 new cases of COVID-19. The total number of cases was 4,068, and the number of active cases was 29. There were 139 county residents in mandatory quarantine, 3 were hospitalized, and 1 was in the ICU. The total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 at this time last year was 93.
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After the Sale: HDC Charts Its Course
Since 2010, when the Hudson Development Corporation first acquired the former Kaz warehouses, the attention of the agency has been focused on the disposition of that property. Over the years, there were attempts to partner with a developer to transform the industrial site into some kind of residential/commercial complex, but for various reasons--all documented by Gossips--the efforts failed. Finally, late in 2020, under the leadership of Bob Rasner, HDC decided to get out of the real estate development business and sell the property, then known as the Montgomery Street parcel. A buyer emerged, and in September 2021, the board approved a purchase/sale agreement. The sale finally closed in March 2022, and now HDC, with more than $2 million in the bank, is charting a new course for itself.
Our mission statement is newly revised and ratified by you and will drive everything we do. So, I’d like to share it with us all before we continue with our business.
The Hudson Development Corporation is a private nonprofit established in 1976 as a Local Development Corporation for the purposes of sustaining, promoting, and enabling business investment and employment opportunities, as well as strengthening the City of Hudson’s tax base to help secure its future as a desirable place to live work and invest.
And this is how we will accomplish our mission:
- Engage with existing businesses in the areas of business retention, expansion, and job creation
- Seek out and advocate for new businesses that add market diversity and job skills to our local economy
- Partner with City government in strengthening the tax base and planning the future
Because we are a private not-for-profit and a [Local] Development Corporation, we can do lot of things that most government entities and private foundations can’t do, namely:
- We can focus exclusively on the economy of the city and job creation.
- We can accept public grants and private donations as well as invest on our own in our future . . . as well that of Hudson.
- We can donate money and we can lend money to any worthy activity in Hudson that aligns with our mission.
These are just a few of the tools in our toolbox that make us different, useful and consequential to Hudson’s future. . . .
Board members are appointed. Executive committee members are elected by the board. New board members are appointed based on the diverse skill sets, wisdom, and the expertise needed to accomplish our mission. Our committee structure is our vehicle for meeting new people, introducing new board members to our work, and letting them see if our work is for them.
I want to emphasize that all those with faith in the future of Hudson who want to work for its future are welcome to talk to me, Martha [Lane], the chair of our nominating committee; Branda [Maholtz, executive director]; or any Board member about ways to participate in bringing life and ideas to our mission. . .
One last thing I have always found amazing about Hudson: there have been so many different businesses in Hudson’s history--whaling to Diamond Street, ice harvesting to antiques, union suits, pocketbooks, chairs, doors, mining, gravel, hospitality and tourism. Hudson has always been OPEN for business.
I am psyched to add new entrepreneurs with ideas to that list that will continue Hudson’s amazing nonfranchise, nonformulaic business story.
No initiative that creates real jobs is out of bounds if we stay open-minded. Think film production or animation, to AI or gaming, to high tech pharmaceuticals and the whole creative economy to name only a few . . . plus all the many service businesses we depend on today, but with the support of new workforce initiatives both educational and vocational. There are exciting things ahead for sure.
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How Are We Doing?
On Wednesday, U.S. News & World Report published its annual report on the state of schools in the country. The statistics for the Hudson City School District were included in Ken Steffer's commentary on HCSD's proposed 2022-2023 budget and published by Gossips yesterday: "Now, More Than Ever, It Is Time for an "Emergency Intervention." If you missed the Gossips coverage, there's an article about the report in the Times Union today: "Where did your school rank in the U.S. News & World Report list?" The short answer is Hudson ranked 736 among 1,212 schools in New York State and 9,312 among 17,843 schools in the country and got an overall score of 47.81 out of a possible 100. Click here to review all the information about Hudson Junior/Senior High School found in the report.
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Wednesday, April 27, 2022
Work in Progress
For decades, a metal fire escape defaced the south facade of 501 Union Street, "The Apartments of Distinction." In recent years, while the building stood empty, the fire escape has been rusted and peeling paint.
Today, the fire escape is gone. Another step forward in the restoration of a building much admired by many in Hudson.
Posted by Carole Osterink at 10:42 PM 1 comment:
The Columbia County Department of Health has released its numbers for today. Since yesterday, there have been 25 new cases of COVID-19. The number of active cases being reported today is 10 more than yesterday, from which it can be inferred that, since yesterday, 15 county residents have recovered from the virus. There are 2 fewer county residents hospitalized with COVID-19 today than yesterday; none of those hospitalized is in the ICU. There has not been a death from COVID-19 reported in Columbia County since March 3.
A year ago today, the CCDOH reported 5 new cases of COVID-19. The total number of cases was 4,064, and the number of active cases was 28. There were 90 county residents in mandatory quarantine, 3 were hospitalized, and 1 was in the ICU. The total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 at this time last year was 93.
Posted by Carole Osterink at 4:32 PM 1 comment:
HCSD Watch: About the 2022-2023 Budget
After publishing Ken Sheffer's commentary on the Hudson City School District's proposed budget for 2022-2023 two weeks ago, Gossips received some questions about the contingency budget. Being unqualified myself to answer the question, I asked Sheffer, who has a better understanding of HCSD's budget process than anyone I know, if he would do another piece about the contingency budget. He graciously obliged, providing a second opinion piece yesterday: "Now, More Than Ever, It Is Time for an Emergency Intervention." In it, Sheffer not only discusses the contingency budget but also provides some sobering data about how our school district measures up.
Gossips has also learned (and Sheffer makes reference to this in his commentary) that on Monday, May 9, Dr. Lisamarie Spindler, the new superintendent of HCSD, will be at the informal meeting of the Common Council to talk about the proposed budget and answer questions. This is part of what is being billed as "Budget Presentations Around the District." The meeting will be a hybrid--taking place in person at City Hall and on Zoom--so everyone will have access to the meeting.
On a different but related topic, today is the day that petitions to run for the HCSD Board of Education are due. Petitions must be turned in before 4:00 p.m. It will be interesting to learn who, if anyone, is throwing their hat into the ring.
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Tuesday, April 26, 2022
WAMC is reporting today that the Common Council in Albany voted unanimously to make outdoor dining, introduced in 2020 to support the city's bars and restaurants during the pandemic, permanent: "Outdoor dining in Albany to continue beyond pandemic."
|Photo: All Over Albany|
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Posted by Carole Osterink at 6:06 PM 1 comment:
The Columbia County Department of Health has released its numbers for today. Since yesterday, there have been 18 new cases of COVID-19. The number of active cases being reported today is 6 more than yesterday, from which it can be inferred that, since yesterday, 12 county residents have recovered from the virus. The number of county residents hospitalized with COVID-19 remains the same as yesterday. None of those hospitalized is in the ICU. There has not been a death from COVID-19 reported in Columbia County since March 3.
A year ago today, the CCDOH reported 13 new cases of COVID-19, which was from Friday to Monday. The total number of cases was 4,059, and the number of active cases was 30. There were 79 county residents in mandatory quarantine, 2 were hospitalized, and 0 were in the ICU. The total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 at this time last year was 93.
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The Enmity Continues
Back in the spring of 2018, Common Council president Tom DePietro, then in his first term in office, expressed the opinion at a Council meeting that the Hudson Development Corporation (HDC) was "a quasi-agency that is outdated and should probably no longer exist" and asked then city attorney Andy Howard to "look into how does one get rid of an LDC (local development corporation)."
DePietro's statements had repercussions. Four members of the HDC board and the board's legal counsel resigned in response to the hostility and lack of support from an elected official who, serving ex officio, was one of their number.
Four years later, HDC continues to exist, and, after the sale of the Kaz property, which for the past decade seemed to be its raison d'etre, and with a new president, Chris Jones, the agency is refining its mission statement and honing a strategic plan for the future. Partnering with city government to strengthen the tax base and plan for the future is one of the ways HDC hopes to accomplish its goals. For this reason, they have invited the mayor and the Common Council president to update the HDC board at its meetings. At today's HDC meeting, it was announced that DePietro had not agreed to provide updates, saying, "If anyone wants to know what the Council is doing, they can attend Council meetings."
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Posted by Carole Osterink at 4:22 PM 3 comments:
Help Is on the Way
For the past month or so, there have been complaints on social media and elsewhere about the crumbling pavement on Third Street just south of Warren Street.
|Photo: Bill Huston|
STREET CLOSURE--Starting 3:00 a.m. Wednesday, April 27--South 3rd Street between Allen St. and Warren St. will be closed to all traffic. It may take more than one day for DPW to repair a large hole in the road surface. Large trucks will not be detoured, and will be flagged through the work zone.
It's too bad large trucks can't be warned on Route 23 not to follow Route 9G into Hudson but to seek another route.
Posted by Carole Osterink at 2:25 PM 2 comments:
Monday, April 25, 2022
The Columbia County Department of Health has released its numbers for today. Since Friday, there have been 62 new cases of COVID-19. The number of active cases being reported today is 7 fewer than on Friday, from which it can be inferred that, since Friday, 69 county residents have recovered from the virus. The number of county residents hospitalized with COVID-19 remains the same as it was on Friday, and none of those hospitalized is in the ICU. There has not been a death from COVID-19 reported in Columbia County since March 3.
A year ago today was a Sunday, and the CCDOH did not report COVID numbers. On the previous Friday, April 23, the CCDOH reported 10 new cases of COVID-19. The total number of cases was 4,046, and the number of active cases was 40. There were 115 county residents in mandatory quarantine, 2 were hospitalized, and 0 were in the ICU. The total number of deaths in Columbia County attributed to COVID-19 at this time last year was 93.
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A statewide "good cause" eviction law has been proposed both in the New York State Senate (S2892B) and Assembly (A5030B). The bills are still in committee, but the proposed law is already causing anxiety among landlords in the Capital Region. Last Thursday, WRGB did a feature on the subject: "Landlords fear New York's "Good Cause" Eviction legislation." Over the weekend, the Albany Business Review reported the proposed law is "prompting some landlords in the region to get out of the business by selling their rental properties": "These property managers want to sell their rentals in the Albany area. Here's why."
It will be remembered that last year Hudson was all set to pass its own "good cause" eviction law. The Common Council voted to enact the law in September--with eight yes votes, one abstention, and two aldermen absent from the meeting. After the vote took place, Rebecca Wolff, then an alderman representing the First Ward, wanted revisions made to the law. The most significant revision was eliminating change of ownership as an acceptable cause for evicting tenants from a building. To accomplish the changes, it was decided that Mayor Kamal Johnson would veto the law and send it back to the Council, where it would be amended and voted on again. When the amended law came before the Council in December, it was defeated. The vote was five to five, with one abstention. It did not have the majority required to pass.
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I was reminded this morning that on this day in 1865 the train carrying the body of Abraham Lincoln stopped briefly in Hudson on its journey from Washington, D.C., to Springfield, Illinois. What transpired that night was recorded by the commander of the funeral train, Assistant Adjutant General Edward D. Townsend:
At Hudson . . . elaborate preparations had been made. Beneath an arch hung with black and white drapery and evergreen wreaths, was a tableau representing a coffin resting upon a dais; a female figure in which, mourning over the coffin; a soldier standing at one end and a sailor at the other. While a band of young women dressed in white sang a dirge, two others in black entered the funeral-car, placed a floral device on the President's coffin, then knelt for a moment of silence, and quietly withdrew. The whole scene was one of the most weird ever witnessed, its solemnity being intensified by the somber light of torches at that dead hour of night.
On this day in 2015, on the sesquicentennial of the event, this moment in Hudson history was re-created down near the train station. Gossips reported on the event the next day: "Re-creating and Creating History."
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Meetings of Interest in the Week Ahead
We're in the last week in April, and it finally feels as if spring has made a commitment to stay. On the meeting front, here's what's happening.
- On Monday, April 25, the Common Council Sidewalks Committee meets at 5:00 p.m. An issue for today's meeting is a discussion with mayor's aide Michael Hofmann about an informational mailing to property owners about sidewalks, ADA compliance, and their responsibility. The meeting is a hybrid--taking place in person at City Hall and on Zoom. Click here to join the meeting remotely.
- Also on Monday, April 25, at 5:00 p.m., the very same time as the Sidewalks Committee meeting, there is a special meeting of the Hudson Housing Authority Board of Commissioners. Given that Nick Zachos's tenure as interim executive director of HHA concludes at the end of this week, it is reasonable to assume that the special meeting has to do with the search for a new executive director. It seems, however, that the meeting was called to review an ongoing investigation of a tenant's complaint about a member of the board. The meeting is a hybrid--taking place in person in the Community Room at Bliss Towers, 41 North Second Street, and on Zoom. Click here to join the meeting remotely.
- On Tuesday, April 26, the board of the Hudson Development Corporation (HDC) meets at noon. The meeting is in person only at 1 North Front Street. Click here to view the meeting agenda.
- On Wednesday, April 27, the Common Council holds a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. The special meeting was called to consider (1) Roof Expenditure (the roof in question is the roof at City Hall); (2) Pocketbook Factory Lot Lease (this is the lot on Washington Street across from the Central Fire Station which PBF Hudson wishes to lease for its use during construction); (3) Planning Board Contract (this is probably the contract with the consulting engineer to review the amended site plan for 708 State Street and the site plan and traffic and parking study for the hotel proposed for Warren and Fourth streets). The meeting is a hybrid--taking place in person at City Hall and on Zoom. Click here to join the meeting remotely.
- Also on Wednesday, April 27, the Common Council Technology Committee meets at 6:30 p.m. The committee is pursuing several projects to bring city government into the 21st century. No agenda for the meeting is available, so it is not clear exactly what they will be discussing this month. The meeting is a hybrid--taking place in person at City Hall and on Zoom. Click here to join the meeting remotely.
- From 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27, the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) and The Olana Partnership (TOP) hold a virtual public information meeting to discuss a proposed new visitor welcome facility at Olana. Those who wish to participate must preregister by clicking here before 5:00 p.m. on the day of the meeting.
- On Thursday, April 28, the Hudson Industrial Development Agency (IDA) holds the third in a series of three workshops whose stated goal was to make the evaluation criteria used by the IDA "accessible and understandable to the general public." What is actually happening in these workshops appears to be establishing the city's priorities for development and creating an evaluation criteria that reflects those priorities. The topic of this final workshop is "Eligibility Criteria." The meeting, which is a hybrid, takes place at 5:30 p.m., in person at City Hall and on Zoom. Click here to join the meeting remotely.
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Posted by Carole Osterink at 12:32 PM 1 comment:
Sunday, April 24, 2022
Contemplating Charter Change
At the informal Common Council meeting on April 11, when the resolution to adopt the City's organizational chart was introduced, Councilmember Vicky Daskaloudi (Fifth Ward) expressed the opinion that a city of fewer than 6,000 residents did not need ten people to represent them on the Common Council. Once again last week, at the regular monthly meeting of the Common Council, she took up the issue of restructuring government, suggesting that there be a referendum with this year's midterm election to reduce the number of Council members from two for each ward to one.
Responding to Daskaloudi's statement, Council president Tom DePietro said he wanted a task force to come up with a proposal for charter change that would include more than just a reduction in the number of councilmembers. Crystal Peck, counsel to the Council, advised that a charter commission would be needed. "What you will want to do," she told the Council, "is have a broader look" rather than making piecemeal changes.
Charter change is not a new idea. It's been talked about for more than a decade. Back in 2011, Victor Mendolia, who then chaired the Hudson City Democratic Committee, submitted a proposal to the Common Council Legal Committee to create a Charter Revision Commission. The stated goal of the commission was to "optimize efficiency, foster fair and equal representation, and seek the best possible model for responsible government." The proposal cited seven specific issues to be considered:
- increasing the mayoral term to four years
- redrawing election districts to create districts of equal population
- having the City Treasurer appointed by the Common Council rather than elected
- requiring mayoral appointments to be confirmed by the Common Council
- reducing the number of supervisors representing Hudson in county government
- eliminating the positions of commissioners
- adjusting the salaries and/or benefits of elected officials
A Charter Revision Commission was never created in 2011, but at least one of the issues identified in 2011 was addressed. In 2016, Fair & Equal, a grassroots effort organized by citizens, forced a referendum that succeeded in eliminating the weighted vote and redrawing the ward boundaries to create wards of equal population. Since 2011, too, the salaries of elected officials have increased--most recently, the mayor's salary was increased from $60,000 to $75,000 a year.
There have also been attempts to increase the mayor's term of office. In October 2019, Mayor Rick Rector proposed a local law that would increase the terms of the mayor, Common Council president, and treasurer from two years to four years. Before the Council voted on the proposed law, Tiffany Garriga, than a councilmember representing the Second Ward, insisted that it be amended to include councilmembers and supervisors. The law was defeated. Several of the councilmembers who voted against it stated they did so because they thought extending the term of office was appropriate for the mayor and the treasurer but not for members of the Common Council. In February 2020, Mayor Kamal Johnson, who had at that point in been office for only about forty days, proposed a local law that would increase the term of office for the mayor, and only the mayor, from two years to four years. Although the proposed law was introduced to the full Council on February 18, 2020, Council minutes do not reveal what happened to it. Gossips could find no record that it was ever voted on, and it was never enacted.
If, in fact, a task force or charter commission is appointed to consider charges to the city charter, extending the terms for some if not all elected officials will no doubt be among the changes proposed, along with reducing the number of councilmembers. Restructuring city government probably shouldn't stop there though. The time may have come to do away with the commissioners, eliminate the office of mayor or reduce it to a part-time, ceremonial position, and hire a city manager with training and expertise in city planning to be the chief executive officer of the city and oversee its operations.
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Friday, April 22, 2022
An article published today in Chronogram announces that John DeLucie's new restaurant, to occupy the former location of Ca' Mea at Warren Street and City Hall Place and to be called Merchants Social, is expected to open next month: "Chef John DeLucie to Open Merchants Social in Hudson in May."
Posted by Carole Osterink at 5:13 PM 5 comments:
The Columbia County Department of Health has released its numbers for today. Since yesterday, there have been 34 new cases of COVID-19. The number of active cases being reported today is 7 more than yesterday, from which it can be inferred that, since yesterday, 27 county residents have recovered from the virus. The number of county residents hospitalized with the virus remains the same as yesterday. None of those hospitalized is in the ICU. There has not been a death from COVID-19 reported in Columbia County since March 3.
The following comment on the current situation comes from a press release issued today by Matt Murell, chair of the Columbia County Board of Supervisors:
For the fifth week in a row Columbia County has seen a small but significant increase in COVID-19 positive cases. As of noon today there have been 134 positive cases for the week, up from last week's 112.
"If we go back to the beginning of this five-week period we had 42 cases the third week of March. So the jump is pretty significant over that time," said Columbia County Department of Health Director Jack Mabb. He added that despite the increase, he remains optimistic that warmer weather will bring a drop off in cases. The number of hospitalizations stands at five, up a little from last week but nowhere near the numbers seen in past surges.
"With over 90 percent of county residents over the age of 18 having had at least one vaccine, I think you can say that vaccines are doing the job of keeping people from getting seriously ill or ending up in the hospital," says Mabb.
A year ago today, the CCDOH reported 6 new cases of COVID-19. The total number of cases was 4,036, and the number of active cases was 43. There were 133 county residents in mandatory quarantine, 2 were hospitalized, and 0 were in the ICU. The total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 at this time last year was 93.
Posted by Carole Osterink at 4:49 PM 1 comment:
A Rite of Spring
Tomorrow, the Hudson Farmers' Market returns to its usual outdoor location at Sixth and Columbia streets to begin its 25th season.
The market is open from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. with all the usual vendors returning, along with some new ones.
Posted by Carole Osterink at 2:39 PM No comments:
Happy Earth Day
The first Earth Day was observed on April 22, 1970--two generations ago. In New York City, a quarter of a million people flooded Fifth Avenue, "in response to a call for the regeneration of a polluted environment." Below is the front page of the New York Times the next day.
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Thursday, April 21, 2022
The Columbia County Department of Health has released its numbers for today. Since yesterday, there have been 21 new cases of COVID-19. The number of active cases being reported today is 2 more than yesterday. There is 1 more county resident hospitalized with the virus today than yesterday, but none is in the ICU. There has not been a death from COVID-19 reported in Columbia County since March 3.
A year ago today, the CCDOH reported 5 new cases of COVID-19. The total number of cases was 4,030, and the number of active cases was 47. There were 140 county residents in mandatory quarantine, 2 were hospitalized, and 0 were in the ICU. The total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 at this time last year was 93.
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Learn What's Being Planned for Olana
Next Wednesday, April 27, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) and The Olana Partnership (TOP) will hold a virtual public information meeting to discuss a proposed new visitor welcome facility at the Olana State Historic Site.
During the meeting, OPRHP and TOP staff will provide a brief overview of the project, followed by a question and answer session. Those who wish to participate in the meeting are asked to preregister by clicking here before 5:00 p.m. on the day of the meeting.
Posted by Carole Osterink at 12:59 PM No comments:
Where Will the Cars Go?
Tomorrow night, the area of the city around Third and State streets will be the location for filming scenes for the TV series Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin. On Tuesday, a flyer announcing the filming was distributed to residents of the area, which a reader shared with Gossips. The following is excerpted from the flyer.
The actual filming, it seems, will take place between 6 p.m. on Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday morning, but starting today at 6 p.m., there will be no parking on Third Street north of State, on the east end of Robinson Street, or on State Street between Second and Third.
Posted by Carole Osterink at 12:23 PM 9 comments:
Better Than Tote Bags
Columbia County Recovery Kitchen is celebrating its second birthday, and for helping CCRK celebrate its birthday (and for supporting its worthy mission), you could get cupcakes!
The cupcake shown in the picture above is a Mexican Chocolate cupcake, with a sweetened mole mousse center and mint cilantro frosting, from Le Perche Hudson. Everyone who donates to the Columbia County Recovery Kitchen during the month of April has a chance to win one dozen assorted and delightful cupcakes from an acclaimed Hudson bakery, including Nine Cakes, Le Perche Hudson, and Talbott & Arding.
To take the element of chance out of getting the cupcakes, if you donate $500 or more or pledge to donate $50 a month for a year, you will be rewarded with a half dozen cupcakes.
To donate and learn more, click here.
Posted by Carole Osterink at 11:28 AM 1 comment:
Wednesday, April 20, 2022
The Columbia County Department of Health has released its numbers for today. Since yesterday, there have been 23 new cases of COVID-19. The number of active cases being reported today is 1 fewer than yesterday, from which it can be inferred that, since yesterday, 24 county residents have recovered from the virus. The number of county residents hospitalized with COVID-19 and in the ICU remains the same as yesterday. There has not been a death from COVID-19 reported in Columbia County since March 3.
A year ago today, the CCDOH reported 7 new cases of COVID-19. The total number of cases was 4,025, and the number of active cases was 42. There were 133 county residents in mandatory quarantine, 3 were hospitalized, and 0 were in the ICU. The total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 in Columbia County at this time last year was 93.
Posted by Carole Osterink at 4:26 PM No comments:
Pursuing ADA Compliance
As most readers know, the City of Hudson has a settlement agreement with the Department of Justice over its ADA compliance shortcomings. At last night's Common Council meeting, mayor's aide Michael Hofmann, who is the City's ADA compliance coordinator, presented an update to the Council. The most interesting part of the presentation had to do with alterations to City Hall to achieve ADA compliance.
It will be remembered that the original plan was to alter the main entrance to the building, but that plan (mercifully) was abandoned in favor of a plan that alters the side entrance which leads up to the second floor instead. The new plan was approved by the Historic Preservation Commission in February.
The plan involves removing the marble steps that lead up to the door and dropping the door down to street level. The existing door will continue to be used. Once inside the door, visitors can climb a set of stairs to get to lobby level or use a lift. The marble plinths and pilasters on either side of the doorway will remain unchanged.
Last night, Hofmann reported that the construction drawings have been received from Lacey Thaler Reilly Winston, the architectural firm that designed the alterations, but a schedule for the actual work has not yet been determined. In addition to lowering the doorway and installing a lift, the work involves:
- Creating a handicapped accessible parking space on Warren Street
- Installing an accessible service counter
- Removing the raised dais in the Council Chamber
- Installing new flooring throughout the first floor
- Creating a handicapped accessible restroom
Hofmann explained that during construction, which may take several months, City Hall will be closed to the public, and "previously used 'lockdown' contingencies for public functions of City Hall during the high point of the pandemic will be reinstated." Those members of city government with offices on the second floor may work remotely or be relocated to a temporary office setup in the Council Chamber. Public meetings will take place in accessible alternative venues.
Hofmann also reported that a request has been made for Congressionally Directed Funds (CDF) to make sidewalk repairs in the parts of the city included in the sidewalk audit done in October 2020, as required by the settlement with the Department of Justice. That study, which can be found here, was limited to sidewalks between key areas of service, which were identified as Henry Hudson Riverfront Park, Promenade Hill, the Youth Center, the Senior Center, Oakdale Park, the Central Fire Station, and the Police Station. The total project has been estimated to cost $5.5 million. The sidewalks that would be repaired in this project are:
- Warren Street from Third Street to Seventh Street—$2.34 million
- Seventh Street from Union Street to Washington Street—$1.29 million
- North Fifth Street from Warren Street to Prospect Street—$810,000
- North Sixth Street from Warren Street to Prospect Street—$810,000
- South Third Street from Union Street to Warren Street—$285,000
Posted by Carole Osterink at 3:26 PM 5 comments:
Funding for Tourism and Events
At its meeting last night, the Common Council approved the distribution of $36,350 of the $51,000 allocated for tourism, festivals, and events, as recommended by the Tourism & Events Committee. In the list below, the name of the recipient is a hyperlink to the application.
- Hudson Business Coalition $2,500
- Hudson Flag Day Inc. $5,000
- Juneteenth 2022 $8,300
- Out Hudson Pride 2022 $5,000
- Waterfront Wednesdays 2022 $10,550
- Winter Walk 2022 $5,000
There is a second round of funding for events happening between July 1 and December 31. Applications for the $14,650 remaining in the budget are due by May 1, 2022. Click here to access the application form.
Posted by Carole Osterink at 1:06 PM No comments:
Tuesday, April 19, 2022
Conversation about the Waterfront
On Thursday, April 21, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., Basilica Hudson and Toolshed, in collaboration with Hudson Valley Collaborative and the Hudson Sloop Club, will host a conversation about Hudson's waterfront and its future. The event takes place at Basilica Hudson, 110 South Front Street. A focus of the conversation will be how to increase community access and ecological awareness of the waterfront, particularly the area from the Hudson Power Boat Association to East Jesus. The evening will center on feedback and ideas for two waterfront projects: Hudson Valley Collaborative's design for the expansion of Henry Hudson Riverfront Park and accommodations for sea level rise due to climate change, and the Hudson Sloop Club's new plan for a mobile Everett Nack Estuary Education Center.
The evening will begin with a land acknowledgment by Heather Bruegl, an independent indigenous consultant, citizen of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, and descendent of the Mohican Nation Stockbridge Munsee Band. This will be followed by a short reading by Toolshed cofounder Timothy Furstnau and a talk and Q&A on indigenous concepts of land ownership led by Dr. Scott Stevens, a citizen of the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation and professor of English and Indigenous and Native American Studies at Syracuse University. These presentations will provide grounding and context for a presentation and discussion of current ownership of land along the river, with a view to strategizing about places for intervention and community access.
The final part of the evening will be presentations, feedback, and brainstorming about two projects on the waterfront: Hudson Valley Collaborative's redesign for Riverfront Park and the Hudson Sloop Club's mobile Nack Center. Short slide presentations will be followed by a walking tour of the park and planned programs and interventions. Feedback will be encouraged during the walking tour.
A related workshop on making pigments from plants found near the waterfront will take place on Sunday, April 24, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., as part of Basilica Hudson's Earth Day celebrations. The workshop will be led by Elie Irons, Basilica Hudson's Hudson-as-Muse artist in residence. The workshop is co-presented by Toolshed.
For more information, contact Edward Morris at email@example.com.
Posted by Carole Osterink at 5:15 PM No comments:
The Columbia County Department of Health has released its numbers for today. Since yesterday, there have been 21 new cases of COVID-19. The number of active cases being reported today is 5 more than yesterday, from which it can be inferred that, since yesterday, 16 county residents have recovered from the virus. There is 1 fewer county resident hospitalized with the virus today then yesterday, and none of the hospitalized is in the ICU. There has not been a death from COVID-19 in Columbia County since March 3.
A year ago today, the CCDOH reported 8 new cases of COVID-19 and 2 deaths. The total number of cases was 4,018, and the number of active cases was 45. There were 129 county residents in mandatory quarantine, 3 were hospitalized with the virus, and 0 were in the ICU. The total number of deaths in Columbia County attributed to COVID-19 at this time last year was 93.
Posted by Carole Osterink at 4:27 PM No comments:
The Planning Board and the Brewery
Last evening, the Planning Board held a special meeting to discuss hiring consultants to assist in the review of the amended site plan for 708 North Seventh and the site plan for the hotel proposed for the corner of Warren and Fourth streets--both projects of the Galvan Foundation.
Last week, Gossips reported that approval of the amended site plan for 708 North Seventh Street, which includes both the proposed apartment building and the restored and repurposed train station, was a necessary prerequisite for issuing a certificate of occupancy for the depot building. It appeared that the Planning Board's decision to have a consulting engineer review the amended site plan was unnecessarily delaying the issuance of the certificate of occupancy and the opening of the brewery.
The Planning Board agreed last night to approve a proposal to hire Verity Engineering to carry out the review for a fee of $1,800. Bowne concluded, "This should get us started on the phasing plan so that the brewery can be vetted, discussed, and hopefully voted on at our May 10 meeting."
The Planning Board also recommended hiring Verity Engineering to do a combined traffic and general engineering review of the hotel proposed for Warren and Fourth streets. The proposed fees are $2,100 for the traffic and parking review and $3,500 for the general engineering review. Fees for consultants hired to assist the Planning Board are charged to the applicant, in this case the Galvan Foundation.
COPYRIGHT 2022 CAROLE OSTERINK
Posted by Carole Osterink at 3:58 PM 1 comment:
Design Team Chosen for the Public Square
After a community engagement workshop in February, Friends of the Public Square (FOPS) issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) for a landscape architect firm to develop design options for Seventh Street Park, a.k.a. the Public Square.
Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects and Planners PLLC has been chosen to take on the project. Starr Whitehouse, which has an office in the 500 block of Warren Street, is the architectural firm for the redesign of the entrance plaza to Promenade Hill, a project that is now nearing completion.
Gail Wittwer-Laird, director of Starr Whitehouse, wrote in her firm's successful application:
The challenges of updating a historic park for contemporary uses, while maintaining its original design intent and character, are embedded in the culture of Starr Whitehouse. Our leadership brings over 30 years' [experience] in the restoration and reinvigoration of historic and iconic parks and landscapes in New York, such as Central Park, Riverside Park, The Battery, St. Mary's Park and Jones Beach State Park. As civic landscape architects and planners, we are excited to bring this experience to bear on the sensitive reclamation of the features that ground and define Public Square Park in the public imagination, while accommodating programming and activities which speak to the patrons of today and tomorrow. Starr Whitehouse will work alongside FOPS, the Mayor, local elected officials, business owners, preservationists, activists and other stakeholders alike to re-imagine how the space can continue [to] offer new amenities to support Hudson's contemporary life while maintaining its underlying identity in the urban fabric.
A press release from FOPS states: "Starr Whitehouse will collaborate with FOPS on community engagement efforts and has already begun working with us on grant applications."
The RFQ response submitted by Starr Whitehouse can be found here.
Posted by Carole Osterink at 12:57 PM 3 comments:
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