Monday, November 28, 2022

Meetings of Interest in the Week Ahead

In this week that sees the end of November and the beginning of December, there are two meetings that merit attention.
  • On Tuesday, November 29, the Planning Board meets at 6:00 p.m. This is the meeting that was originally scheduled for November 8 but was canceled for want of a quorum. On the agenda for the meeting are, among other things, the continuation of public hearings on the plans to create a residential subdivision on Hudson Avenue and on the renovation and reuse of the former Community Theatre building at Columbia and Seventh streets and an amendment to the site plan for Return Brewing, 726 Columbia Street. The meeting will be a hybrid, taking place in person at City Hall and on Zoom. Click here to join the meeting remotely. 
  • On Thursday, December 1, the Common Council ad hoc Truck Route Committee meets at 6:00 p.m. The meeting is a hybrid, taking place in person at City Hall and on Zoom. Click here to join the meeting remotely.
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Sunday, November 27, 2022

Another Recommendation

There is a certain futility inherent in this post, since its intended audience is readers who are asking to be re-subscribed to The Gossips of Rivertown because posts are no longer being delivered by email to their inboxes. Still, there is hope the information may reach those who will find it useful.

A post published on August 8 explained what happened and why: "An Explanation and a Recommendation." Today's post offers an alternative way to get Gossips delivered to your inbox: Feedrabbit. Just go to http://feedrabbit.com and enter the URL for Gossips: https://gossipsofrivertown.blogspot.com. You can set things up to get each post delivered to your inbox as soon as it is published or to get all the posts published in a day delivered at one time. 

Gossips is not a newsletter; it's a blog. All of its most recent posts and a thirteen-year archive of posts are there all the time, accessible to everyone, with no paywall to impede your reading and exploration. 

My own recommendation is that once or twice a day you just go directly to gossipsofrivertown.com and check out what's new. If you do it often enough, the entire URL will appear as soon as you type g into your browser. Should you forget the URL, just type gossips (be certain it's plural) into your search engine. In all likelihood, The Gossips of Rivertown--this blog not the 1848 novel from which it takes its name--will be the first thing to pop up.  

As always, thank you all for your loyalty and interest in The Gossips of Rivertown.

Another Event for the Holidays

"It's fruitcake weather!" 

This year, the Park Theater, 723 Warren Street, initiates a new holiday tradition with The Whale Theatre's inaugural production of an American classic, Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory.

The production, featuring Marceline Hugot and Jeffrey Binder, opens on December 1 and runs through December 18, with evening performances on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and an afternoon performance on Sundays. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Friday, November 25, 2022

Happening Next Weekend

The event we eagerly anticipate, the event that kicks off the holiday season in Hudson, Winter Walk is happening next Saturday, December 3, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. This year is the 26th anniversary of the beloved event presented by Hudson Hall at the historic Hudson Opera House.

On the night before Winter Walk, excitement builds on Warren Street as Hudson's creative spirit shines through the stunning window displays unveiled for the Winter Walk Window Decorating Contest at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, December 2. 

Winter Walk 2022 officially kicks off at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 3, with the bells of the First Presbyterian Church ringing 26 times in honor of the 26th anniversary. Then the sound of sleigh bells and the clip-clop of horses' hooves announce the arrival of Santa Claus at City Hall in his horse-drawn carriage. The young choristers of Harmony Project Hudson welcome Santa with a song before children and families are invited to join Santa Claus inside to share their holiday wishes and receive a free gift-wrapped book. Meanwhile, Friends of the Public Square (FOPS) light the holiday tree, generously donated by Kody and Jo Pinkowski, in Seventh Street Park.

For the next three hours, the reveling continues along Warren Street and adjacent streets. For a complete list of all that's going on, click here.    

At 8:00 p.m., fireworks over Promenade Hill light up the sky and mark the official conclusion of Winter Walk, but the merriment continues long into the night, with many businesses open late for food, drink, and entertainment. Starting at 8:15 p.m., Hudson Hall welcomes new and old friends to enjoy a special Winter Walk "Chilly" Dinner fundraiser to honor Hudson Hall's first Directors Emeritae, Ellen Thurston and Elena Mosley.

For more information about the Winter Walk "Chilly" Dinner and to purchase tickets, click here. Proceeds from the fundraiser dinner go toward the cost of producing Winter Walk each year.

This Weekend

If Thanksgiving has roused your desire to shop, you will welcome the news that Basilica Farm & Flea Holiday Market is happening this weekend.

This year the market, which is celebrating its 10th year, is being presented with LikeMindedObjects. The market is open tomorrow, Saturday, November 26, and Sunday Sunday, November 27, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on both days. Click here for all the details.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

COVID-19 Update

The Columbia County Department of Health has released its numbers for today. Since yesterday, there have been 10 new cases of COVID-19. The number of active cases being reported today is 4 fewer than yesterday, from which it can be inferred that, since yesterday, 14 county residents have recovered from the virus. There are 2 more county residents hospitalized today than yesterday, but the number in the ICU remains the same. There has not been a death from COVID-19 reported in Columbia County since Monday, November 14.

A year ago today, the CCDOH reported 28 new cases of COVID-19. The total number of cases was 5,913, and the number of active cases was 184. There were 278 county residents in mandatory quarantine, 6 were hospitalized, and 0 were in the ICU. The total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 at this time last year was 106.

Oral History Collections Now Online

The Hudson Area Library has announced that two oral history collections are now accessible online: the Hudson Area Library Oral History Project, an open collection of interviews collected locally over the past decade, and the Black Legacy Association of Columbia County (BLACC) Oral History Project collection from the 1980s. The archiving of these collections and development of the digital archives, as well as related community programming offered over the past three years, was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services Accelerating Promising Practices for Small Libraries grant and in partnership with Oral History Summer School.

The Hudson Area Library Oral History Project includes oral histories produced by participants in a 2013 workshop at the library led by Suzanna Snider, with assistance from Melinda Braathen, as well as recordings collected by contract and volunteer community members on the library's behalf over the past decade. To learn more and explore the collection, visit oralhistory.hudsonarealibrary.org.

The BLACC collection was donated to the library by Columbia Opportunities, Inc., in 2018. All of the material in this collection was originally assembled by the Columbia County Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP). Marcella Beigel, the RSVP Director, devoted much time and attention to the creation of this unique and inspirational project. To learn more and explore the BLACC collection, visit blacc.hudsonarealibrary.org. To view images from the collection, visit the History Room website at historyroom.hudsonarealibrary.org. To view the full archived collections, including research documents and images, email history@hudsonarealibrary.org to request an appointment.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

COVID-19 Update

The Columbia County Department of Health has released its numbers for today. Since yesterday, there have been 11 new cases of COVID-19. The number of active cases being reported today is 4 more than yesterday, from which it can be inferred that, since yesterday, 7 county residents have recovered from the virus. There is 1 fewer county resident hospitalized with COVID-19 today than yesterday, but the number in the ICU remains the same. There has not been a death from COVID-19 reported in Columbia County since Monday, November 14. 

A year ago today, the CCDOH reported 52 new cases of COVID-19. The total number of cases was 5,885, and the number of active cases was 203. There were 300 county residents in mandatory quarantine, 8 were hospitalized, and 0 were in the ICU. The total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 at this time last year was 106.

An Early Holiday Gift

Now you see it . . . 

now you don't.

Photo: Katherine Kanaga




The kiosk that stood at the northeast corner of the Public Square was removed yesterday morning by the Department of Public Works. Its removal was something that has been discussed (and wished for by many) for several years . . . in Gossips memory, since 2008. It was originally placed there by Columbia County as a tourist kiosk, and occasionally it was staffed and stocked with brochures about tourist attractions throughout the county. Given its location, it was never clear how tourists were expected to find their way to it. 

At some point, Columbia County gave the kiosk to the City of Hudson, and ownership allowed the City to move it. Now, thanks to the efforts of Friends of the Public Square (FOPS), the kiosk is gone. Word is it's being stored behind the DPW garage on Dock Street, but Gossips has not confirmed that.
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Monday, November 21, 2022

COVID-19 Update

The Columbia County Department of Health has released its numbers for today. Since Friday, there have been 19 new cases of COVID-19. The number of active cases being reported today is 9 more than on Friday, from which it can be inferred that, since Friday, 10 county residents have recovered from the virus. The number of county residents hospitalized and in the ICU with COVID-19 today remains the same as on Friday. There has not been a death from COVID-19 reported in Columbia County since Monday, November 14.

A year ago, November 21 was a Sunday, and the CCDOH did not report COVID numbers. On the previous Saturday, November 20, the CCDOH reported 33 new cases of COVID-19. The total number of cases was 5,833, and the number of active cases was 139. There were 381 county residents in mandatory quarantine, 8 were hospitalized, and 0 were in the ICU. The total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 at this time last year was 106.

News from FOPS

Friends of the Public Square (FOPS) recently received contributions from two important regional benefactors to support FOPS's long-term planning for improvements to Seventh Street Park.

Hudson River Bank & Trust Company Foundation awarded FOPS a $4,000 grant, contingent on FOPS meeting a matching challenge. Herrington's, the lumber and building supply company, donated $2,500 to help underwrite the fees of Starr Whitehouse, the landscape design firm retained by FOPS for the historic redesign of the park.

Meetings of Interest in the Week Ahead

In the week leading up to Thanksgiving Day, there are two meetings scheduled.
  • On Monday, November 21, the Hudson Housing Authority meets at 6:00 p.m. HHA released an RFQ (request for qualifications) for the redevelopment of its properties on November 3, and responses are due on March 3. Chances are that won't be the subject of discussion at tonight's meeting, but it might be. 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 remotely.
  • On Wednesday, November 23, the Common Council Technology Committee is scheduled to meet at 6:30 p.m. The meeting is a hybrid, taking place in person at City Hall and on Zoom. Click here to join the meeting remotely.
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Sunday, November 20, 2022

Bronson House Primer

Back in August 2021, Alan Neumann, president of Historic Hudson, made a presentation about the Dr. Oliver Bronson House, Hudson's own National Historic Landmark, and the proposal to make what was once the Bronson estate into a public park. The presentation, part of the Hudson Area Library's local history series, was the library's first in person only event after the worst of the pandemic.


Gossips learned recently that the event, although not accessible on Zoom at the time, was videotaped and can be viewed on YouTube: "Bronson Park Vision." It is recommended for anyone interested in the history of the Bronson House and Historic Hudson's vision for its future.

Of Interest

The Albany Business Review reported today on recent real estate sales in the Capital Region: "Inside the region's most expensive October home sales." Featured were houses in Saratoga Springs, Queensbury, and Niskayuna, but heading the list was this modern house on Mount Merino Road in Greenport, which sold for $2,510,000.

Photo: Gavin Preuss

Photo: Gavin Preuss


Friday, November 18, 2022

News of the Hudson Farmers' Market

Tomorrow, Saturday, November 19, is the final day of the season for the Hudson Farmers' Market. The market is open at the corner of Sixth and Columbia streets from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. It's your chance to acquire all the things you need for your Thanksgiving table.

After taking Thanksgiving Day weekend off, the market returns as the Holiday Market at the Elks Lodge, 201 Harry Howard Avenue, for three Saturdays in December. The Holiday Market is open from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. on December 3, 10, and 17.  

Dog Control Officer Needed

The City of Hudson is looking to hire a dog control officer for 2023. Among the duties of the dog control officer are these:
  • On call, on a 24-hour basis, for the seizure of stray, abandoned, or loose dogs found on the streets and other public places.
  • Respond to calls by the Hudson Police Department for assistance when needed.
  • Issue appearance tickets to owners of unlicensed dogs.
  • Patrol the streets of Hudson at least twice a week.
  • Make random visits to the Hudson Dog Park at least twice a week to confirm any dogs present have current valid licenses.
The job has an annual stipend of $7,200. Click here for more information about the job and how to apply for it. The deadline for applying is Monday, December 12.

The picture below shows a dog named Aleric, who was starved and abandoned, tied to a fence at the waterfront in 2013. He was discovered by Hudson police, rescued by the dog control officer at the time, and managed to survive the terrible abuse he had suffered.

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COVID-19 Update

The Columbia County Department of Health has released its numbers for today. Since yesterday, there have been 17 new cases of COVID-19. The number of active cases being reported today is 1 more than yesterday, from which it can be inferred that, since yesterday, 16 county residents have recovered from the virus. There is 1 more county resident hospitalized today than yesterday, and 1 more is in the ICU. There has not been a death from COVID-19 reported in Columbia County since Monday, November 14.

A year ago today, the CCDOH reported 27 new cases of COVID-19. The total number of cases was 5,750, and the number of active cases was 132. There were 304 county residents in mandatory quarantine, 5 were hospitalized, and 1 was in the ICU. The total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 at this time last year was 106.

The Saga of a Roof

On October 14, a contractor representing the owner of the little Gothic Revival cottage at 611 Union Street came before the Historic Preservation Commission seeking a certificate of appropriateness to replace the roof, now cedar shakes, with an asphalt roof. The applicant argued that replacing the roof in kind would be too costly, and an asphalt shingle could be chosen that would look like the cedar that is there now.

The proposal to put asphalt shingles on this house was not well received by the HPC. Architect member Chip Bohl opined that "a wood shingle roof is an integral part of the building." HPC member Miranda Barry added, "It would be a shame to put asphalt shingles on this house." The applicant insisted, "The lifespan of a cedar roof isn't worth it."

Bohl asked if they had explored cementitious materials that look like cedar. HPC member Hugh Biber offered, "It would be pretty quick to find out cost and availability [of synthetic cedar shingles]." He suggested that price would be comparable to asphalt. The applicant maintained that no roofing contractor had recommended fake cedar.

In the end, HPC chair Phil Forman offered these alternatives: "You can stand pat on asphalt, or you can check out synthetic cedar and come back in two weeks." Since it was pretty clear that the HPC was likely to deny a certificate of appropriateness to asphalt shingles, the applicant withdrew the application.

The house as it appears in the perimeter of an 1871 map of Hudson.
Two weeks later, the owner of the house appeared before the HPC saying that he wanted to rescind the withdrawal of the application. He argued that he shouldn't be required to put a wood shingle roof on the house, which he maintained would cost twice as much as an asphalt roof. His appeal was interrupted by Victoria Polidoro, legal counsel to the HPC, who pointed out that the commission was not requiring that he do a wood shingle roof. The representative who had appeared before maintained that they had, and the minutes from the October 14 meeting were read to prove otherwise. The HPC reiterated that wood shingles were an integral part of the appeal of the house and they were recommending the use of a synthetic material that would have the same appearance, texture, and pattern as cedar shingles.

Today, the owner of the house was again before the HPC. He was now proposing a faux wood shake that the HPC deemed appropriate because it replicated the cedar shingles now on the house. The HPC was satisfied, and the owner thanked the commission "for insisting we look at something else"--something other than asphalt. Happy ending . . . for everyone.
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2023 Budget Approved

At a special meeting last night, the Common Council voted unanimously to approve the budget proposed for 2023. Before the vote has taken, there was some discussion that merits attention.

Councilmember Margaret Morris (First Ward) suggested that, given the mayor and mayoral aide are now both full-time positions with salaries totaling $130,000, it might be time to consider restructuring city government and think about having a city manager instead of a mayor. Councilmember Vicky Daskaloudi (Fifth Ward) similarly suggested that a committee be created to explore other ways of structuring city government. In the past, Daskaloudi has suggested reducing the number of councilmembers to five--one from each ward instead of two from each ward.

Council president Tom DePietro said he had always thought a charter commission was needed to think about other structures, but he warned, "A city manager is not quite the silver bullet that people think it is." He went on, "It has definite, in my opinion, anti-democratic implications. You don't trust the election process to bring in someone who can competently do the things a city manager does. Do you think a city manager somehow has some kind of magic sense of how to manage things? It doesn't really work like that. But that's my opinion now. I could be convinced otherwise. In any case, it would also take a referendum."  

The videorecording of the meeting can be viewed here.
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Thursday, November 17, 2022

COVID-19 Update

It turns out the Columbia County Department of Health has not stopped reporting daily COVID numbers. They only skipped a day. They released the numbers again today. Since Tuesday, there have been 9 new cases of COVID-19. The number of active cases being reported today is 1 fewer than on Tuesday, from which it can be inferred that, since Tuesday, 10 county residents have recovered from the virus. There is 1 fewer county resident hospitalized today than on Tuesday, and 1 fewer is in the ICU. There has not been a death from COVID-19 reported in Columbia County since Monday, November 14.  

A year ago today, the CCDOH reported a death from COVID-19 and 38 new cases. The total number of cases was 5,723, and the number of active cases was 169. There were 278 county residents in mandatory quarantine, 5 were hospitalized, and 1 was in the ICU. The total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 at this time last year was 106.

The State of COVID-19 in Columbia County

It appears the Columbia County Department of Health may have stopped its daily report of COVID numbers. There hasn't been such a report since Tuesday. Although there has been no report from the CCDOH as yet today, there was this press release from Matt Murell, chair of the Columbia County Board of Supervisors.
COVID-19 positive cases took a significant tumble this week, falling to their lowest weekly level this year, Columbia County Department of Health Director Jack Mabb said today. There were 36 positive cases in the first four days of this week, nearly half of the positive cases reported last week. 
"I think it’s good news ahead of the Thanksgiving weekend, but people should still stay aware of those around them,” said Director Mabb. He is encouraging people to be aware of symptoms in themselves and family members who are gathering next Thursday, and to utilize home tests to determine if those ill individuals are positive for COVID-19. 
The good news on the virus’s effect on the community is also reflected in hospitalizations, with just six people hospitalized and one in the ICU. The department reported its 159th COVID-19 related death last week, this with an elderly gentleman who lived at home. 
Interest in the COVID-19 booster remains, with 54 vaccinated at last Thursday's clinic. The department also administered 21 flu vaccinations that day. Interest in the Monkeypox vaccine is a different story, as only four received the vaccine. “I think those county residents who wanted the two-shot series have gotten it,” said Director Mabb. However, the DOH will continue to offer the vaccine at its weekly clinic at 325 Columbia.

Of Interest

The Albany Business Review has an article today about real estate in Hudson: "How Hudson's real estate market is shifting after buying 'frenzy.'" 

Photo: Albany Business Review

Exhibition at Olana Opening on Sunday

The Olana Partnership, in collaboration with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, presents Chasing Icebergs: Art and a Disappearing Landscape, the first winter exhibition at Olana State Historic Site. 

The exhibition, shown primarily in the Sharp Family Gallery at Olana, highlights Frederic Church’s iceberg sketches from his 1859 intrepid voyage to the Arctic. Risking his life, Church chartered a ship to the treacherous waters surrounding Newfoundland and Labrador—an area known as Iceberg Alley—on a mission that made him the first American artist to explore the region for the purpose of painting icebergs, a landmark event in the history of art. The exhibit includes photographs and historic texts which Church collected about icebergs and Arctic exploration, as well as the work of four contemporary artists who contemplate the wonder and fragility of Earth’s polar environments. Just as Church used his major work The Icebergs to reflect on the major crisis of his time—the Civil War—many contemporary artists reflect on the sublime power of Arctic ice and use it to uncover the global crisis of our time—climate change and the immediate danger it poses to our future and that of these imperiled wonders of nature. 

Joining Frederic Church’s works in this exhibition are artworks and writings by his companions and fellow explorers Dr. Isaac Israel Hayes and Louis L. Noble, as well as photographs from William Bradford’s Greenland expedition in 1869. Many of the historic works come from Church’s collection at Olana and illuminate Church’s long fascination with the Arctic region. The exhibition delves into the history of exploration, artistic representation of the Arctic, and the Indigenous peoples of Newfoundland and Labrador—such as the Mi’kmaq, Innu, and Inuit. Contemporary artists include Lynn Davis, Zaria Forman, Mark Igloliorte, and Kambui Olujimi. 

Lynn Davis is a world-traveling photographer who in large format photography over five expeditions to Greenland captured icebergs, much the way Frederic Church did with vast oil on canvas paintings. Zaria Forman circumnavigated an iceberg in a similar way to Frederic Church, capturing details and sound through an immersive film. Mark Igloliorte draws from his heritage from Nunatsiavut, Labrador, and Inuktitut language in his interdisciplinary works of paint, performance, and installation. Alluding to the consequences of inaction, Kambui Olujimi challenges the concept of inevitability through installations of glass sculpture and water. 

The exhibition, which opens on Sunday, November 20, and continues through March 26, 2023, was the subject of a conversation this morning on WAMC's The Roundtable with Lynn Davis and Eleanor Jones Harvey, Senior Curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. That conversation can be heard here.

In conjunction with the exhibition, and in collaboration with Black Dome Press, The Olana Partnership has reproduced a new edition of Louis L. Noble’s 1861 book After Icebergs with a Painter, an engaging glimpse into the expedition he took alongside Frederic Church in 1859 to the waters of Newfoundland and Labrador. This important book, long out of print, features a new introductory essay and colored reproductions of most of Church’s iceberg sketches and paintings, as well as the first detailed map of his journey. The book is available online and at the Olana Museum Store. 

Chasing Icebergs: Art and a Disappearing Landscape was curated by William L. Coleman, Ph.D., Former Director of Collections & Exhibitions, with support from Allegra Davis, Associate Curator, and Ida Brier, Archivist/Librarian, all of The Olana Partnership, in collaboration with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation. 

For more information and to secure tickets to the exhibition for opening day, Sunday, November 20, click here.

It Happened Here on Warren Street

Yesterday, Stair Galleries held an auction called An American Icon: Property from the Collection of Joan Didion. About a half hour into the auction, word spread on Facebook that a rather spectacular pair of faux tortoiseshell sunglasses had sold for $27,000. 


The auction was the subject of reports on NPR before and after the auction occurred: "Writer Joan Didon's possessions sell for eye-popping prices at auction." All together, the auction netted nearly $2 million. The prices fetched for all the items in the auction can be found here

Proceeds from the sale will go to Parkinson's research and care at Columbia University and Columbia/Presbyterian Hospital (Didion suffered from Parkinson's disease) and to the Sacramento Historical Society for the benefit of a scholarship fund for women writers at Sacramento City College (Didion attended SCC for a brief time in the 1950s).

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

A Thanksgiving Suggestion

If your plans for Thanksgiving don't involve hours of cooking and you expect to have some time to yourself, here's a recommendation: spend the holiday reading Charlie Suisman's book Arnold Falls. 

The novel is set in a small town in upstate New York, in the season of the year leading up to Thanksgiving. It spoils nothing to reveal that the story ends on Thanksgiving Day, making it the perfect read for the holiday. You can read it in the morning and early afternoon, before dinner, and in the evening, after dinner, as an alternative to a tryptophan-induced nap. One thing that the book guarantees, which isn't always the case with Thanksgiving gatherings, is that you will spend several pleasant, tension free hours in the company of an ensemble of quirky and amusing characters.


Charlie Suisman used to live in Hudson, and that makes this book particularly appealing for us Hudsonians. It is not exactly a 
roman à clef, but it's pure delight to match up characters and events in the story with the people and situations in Hudson that inspired them. Figuring in the story, for example, are a proposal to site a tire factory on the town's waterfront and the struggle to preserve the town's oldest house, "the Dutch House," built in 1795.   

Reviewers have noted variously that Arnold Falls has "shades of Richard Russo and T. C. Boyle" and "tips its hat to Armistead Maupin and P. G. Wodehouse." In my opinion, it is one of the most entertaining books inspired by Hudson I have read since I first read Alice B. Neal's 1848 novel, The Gossips of Rivertown.

You can get a copy of Arnold Falls from Spotty Dog Books & Ale or from Amazon
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Colarusso Lawsuit Update

In August, Judge Henry F. Zwack handed down a decision in Colarusso's latest lawsuit against the Planning Board. In response, the Common Council and the Hudson Planning Board authorized the attorneys representing the City in this lawsuit to move forward with a Notice of Appeal related to the decision. Yesterday, Gossips learned that an appeal of the decision has been filed.

Last night, at the public hearing on the proposed 2023 budget, Donna Streitz expressed concern that the amount budgeted for attorneys' fees might not be adequate to defend against the Colarusso lawsuit. Mayor Kamal Johnson explained that there was money in a contingency fund for legal expenses. Council president Tom DePietro added that money had been allocated in the 2022 budget for expenses related to the Colarusso lawsuit which had not yet been used and would be carried over into 2023.
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News About Parking

All good things must end. Yesterday, Police Commissioner Shane Bower announced that the suspension of alternate side of the street parking on the weekends will end in December. Beginning on the first weekend in December, the weekend of Winter Walk, cars parked on the street overnight must be parked on the odd side of the street if the date of the next day is odd, or on the even side if the date of the next day is even. This means that overnight from Friday, December 2, to Saturday, December 3, cars must be parked on the side of the street where the house numbers are odd, and from Saturday, December 3, to Sunday, December 4, cars must be parked on the side of the street where the house numbers are even.   

Bower also announced that, as is Hudson tradition, parking meter fees will be waived throughout the month of December, both for meters on the street and for meters in municipal parking lots. The only exception is the lot at the train station, where parking fees must still be paid. 
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Tuesday, November 15, 2022

A Holiday Tradition Returns

Once again, the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse has been festooned with lights for the winter season, as has been a tradition for more than a quarter of a century.

A crew of fifteen volunteers, led by Mike Coon and Bill Palmer, worked for more than seventy hours to string approximately 1,600 feet of lights with 5,000 bulbs--all powered by solar. The lights are on every day from 3:45 p.m. to midnight.

The best views of the illumined lighthouse are from Henry Hudson Riverfront Park, the lower end of Mt. Merino Road as you round the curve toward the bottom of the hill, and Athens Village Riverfront Park. 

As in the past, the lights are sponsored by the Bank of Greene County.

COVID-19 Update

The Columbia County Department of Health released its numbers earlier today. Since yesterday, there have been 7 new cases of COVID-19. The number of active cases being reported today is 8 fewer than 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, but the number in the ICU remains the same. There has not been a death from COVID-19 reported in Columbia County since yesterday.

A year ago today, the CCDOH reported 42 new cases of COVID-19 from Saturday to Monday. The total number of cases was 5,658, and the number of active cases was 118. There were 187 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 105.

More Trains Between Hudson and NYC

In case you missed the news, the Kingston Freeman reported on Saturday that, beginning December 5, there will be two more trains coming from and returning to New York City: "Amtrak adds two additional roundtrip trains between Mid-Hudson Valley and New York City."

Photo: New York by Rail

Ear to the Ground

Gossips
has learned that our local newspaper, the Register-Star, was taken to court this morning by its former landlord, Eight Iron Buildings, Inc., which owns One City Centre, for nonpayment of rent. 

It will be remembered that in 2012, Hudson Valley Newspapers, now known as Columbia-Greene Media, sold its historic building on Warren Street to Galvan Partners LLC for $750,000 and moved to offices in One City Centre, entering into a ten-year lease with the owner of the building. The agreed-upon rent for the space was $6,000 a month. The lease commenced on June 1, 2012, and was to terminate on May 31, 2022. Columbia-Greene Media, however, moved out of One City Centre and back to its old digs, now as the tenant of Galvan Civic I, in January 2021.

According to the complaint filed with the court, Columbia-Greene Media breached the terms of its lease early in 2020 by failing to make timely rent payments. In August 2020, the newspaper started making partial monthly rent payments of $3,000 a month. In September 2020, Columbia-Greene Media told its landlord it intended to vacate the offices at One City Center by January 1, 2021, one year and four months before the conclusion of the lease. The landlord, Eight Iron Buildings, Inc., is now seeking approximately $117,720 in past due rent, late fees, and future rent payments under the original lease agreement.
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Auction Tomorrow at Stair Galleries

Tomorrow at 11:00 a.m., Stair Galleries is auctioning property from the collection of Joan Didion, an auction called An American Icon. 

Photo: Chronogram
You can preview the collection today at Stair Galleries, 549 Warren Street, or you can read this article about it by Jamie Larsen, which appeared in Chronogram: "Lots from a Literacy Icon: The Joan Didion Collection on Auction at Stair Galleries."

Monday, November 14, 2022

COVID-19 Update

The Columbia County Department of Health has released its numbers for today. Since Thursday, November 10, there has been another death from COVID-19 and 20 new cases. The number of active cases being reported today is 9 fewer than on Thursday, from which it can be inferred that, since Thursday, 28 county residents have recovered from the virus. There are 2 more county residents hospitalized today than on Thursday, and 1 more is in the ICU. 

A year ago today, November 14 was a Sunday, and the CCDOH did not report COVID numbers. On the previous Saturday, November 13, the CCDOH reported 22 new cases of COVID-19. The total number of cases was 5,616, and the number of active cases was 100. There were 246 county residents in mandatory quarantine, 2 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 105.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Meetings of Interest in the Week Ahead

The unseasonably warm November days are behind us, and those ahead promise to feel more like late autumn. As we move closer to winter, here's what's happening on the meeting front.
  • On Tuesday, November 15, Hudson Community Development and Planning Agency (HCDPA) meets at 9:30 a.m. The meeting is a hybrid, taking place in person at City Hall and on Zoom. Click here to join remotely. 
  • At 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 15, there is a public hearing on the proposed budget for 2023. The budget can be found here. The hearing will be a hybrid, taking place in person at City Hall and on Zoom. Click here to join remotely.
  • Also on Tuesday, November 15, the Common Council holds its regular monthly meeting at 6:00 p.m. Among the resolutions on the agenda is one to accept the Climate Adaptive Design Phase II Preliminary Design Report for Henry Hudson Riverfront Park. The meeting is a hybrid, taking place in person at City Hall and on Zoom. Click here to join remotely.
  • On Wednesday, November 16, the Zoning Board of Appeals meets at 6:oo p.m. The meeting is in person only at City Hall.
  • On Thursday, November 17, at 6:15 p.m., the Common Council holds a special meeting to vote on the proposed budget for 2023. The meeting is a hybrid, taking place in person at City Hall and on Zoom. Click here to join remotely.
  • On Friday, November 18, the Historic Preservation Commission meets at 10:00 a.m. The meeting is a hybrid, taking place in person at City Hall and on Zoom. Click here to join the meeting remotely.
COPYRIGHT 2022 CAROLE OSTERINK

Benefit Concert on Saturday

The Hudson Festival Orchestra, which presented Hudson in Concert at the waterfront last July, is having a benefit concert on Saturday, November 19, at 2:00 p.m., at the First Presbyterian Church.

The concert will feature video highlights of last summer's Hudson in Concert event and music from pianist and composer Timothy Dunne, who will be performing etudes and ballades of Frederic Chopin.

Those attending the concert are asked to support the Hudson Festival Orchestra and become a Friend of HFO by making a tax-deductible donation of any amount. Click here for more information.

Talking About Hudson's Historic Parks

In the latest History Room on Zoom, Gary Sheffer speaks with Gail Wittwer-Laird of Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects and Planners about the recently redesigned plaza at Promenade Hill, the ongoing plans for the Public Square, and the proposal for Bronson Park, the landscape that surrounds the National Historic Landmark Dr. Oliver Bronson House on the grounds of the Hudson Correctional Facility. The conversation can be viewed here.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Waiting on the Ferry Street Bridge

Periodically, this post pops up on the Hudson Area Community Board Facebook page. 

I am fairly sure the person who posted this is not a Gossips reader, but since some of the folks reacting to it may be, I offer this update.

The Ferry Street Bridge is a bridge over the railroad tracks, so there are a lot of agencies involved in its replacement, most notably Amtrak and the NYS Department of Transportation. The process of replacing the bridge has been going on since 2016, when Mayor Tiffany Martin announced that funds had been secured to rebuild the bridge.

Here's where things stand now, according to Rob Perry, superintendent of the Department of Public Works. The issue holding things up at this point is an impasse between National Grid and Amtrak. In order to build the new bridge, a new utility pole has to be installed on Amtrak property, and a new gas main needs to be installed. Both require utility easements. The NYS Department of Transportation will not allow the City of Hudson to put the project out for bid until all utility agreements are signed. As Perry described the situation in his report to the Common Council last Monday, "That's the predicament we are in right now. Stuck between utilities and the railroads."

As an aside, this is the Facebook profile picture of the person whose post on Facebook inspired this update.

COPYRIGHT 2022 CAROLE OSTERINK