Saturday, March 30, 2024

As Time Goes By

Given the attention being paid these days to the woeful state of the sidewalks in Hudson, this picture, found in the collection at, caught my attention. It was taken in 1960, and it shows the sidewalk on the west side of Front Street heading north from the train station.

What struck me about the picture was that sixty-four years ago, before urban renewal and the closing of the last cement plant, back in what some may remember as the good old days of Hudson, this stretch of sidewalk was in far worse shape than it is today.


Thursday, March 28, 2024

Restoration Plans That Merit Mention

For more than three decades, this house at 31 Allen Street has stood empty and virtually unchanged. Measures were taken to prevent it from deteriorating, but no effort was made to restore it.

At the end of last year, the house got a new owner, and last Friday, Walter Chatham, representing the new owner, appeared before the Historic Preservation Commission to present the plans for its restoration. (For those who have come to associate Chatham with Galvan projects, it should be noted that the new owner of the house is not Galvan.)

The plans for the restoration include removing an addition at southeast corner of the building and removing and replacing the porches at the back of the building. 

The plans also include making the third floor habitable by adding a shed dormer the length of the building.

A second entrance to the house, with steps and a portico, will be added on the east side of the house, where there is room for a driveway and an offstreet parking space.

The plan is to preserve all the trim on the house and repair it as necessary. Chatham told the HPC, "The parts we want to keep are in excellent condition."

When Chatham had completed his presentation, Matt McGhee, who lives in the same stretch of Allen Street, noted that this house was prominent and important. He pointed out that this was originally a Greek Revival house, as evidenced by its doorway. He commented, "It is not clear what is happening with the doorway." He told the HPC, "The public should be able to understand what's happening."

Chatham is expected to return to the HPC on Friday, April 12, with further specifications for the project, including the material to be used for the new roof. Perhaps there will also be more specificity about what is planned for the front doorway.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

The Future of JLE

Last night, Christine Jones, president of Hudson Development Corporation (HDC), and the rest of the HDC Executive Committee (Nick Haddad, vice president; Phil Forman, treasurer; Paul Barrett, secretary) were at the Hudson City School District (HCSD) Board of Education meeting to pitch their vision for the redevelopment of the abandoned John L. Edwards school building, which has been standing empty since 2018. The presentation can be viewed here, beginning at 45:41. 

Today, HDC announced that the Board of Education passed a resolution accepting HDC's offer to purchase the building. The following is the press release issued by HDC:
The Hudson City School Board accepted an offer from the Hudson Development Corporation (HDC) to purchase and develop the John L. Edwards School as a centralized community hub for Hudson residents.
The Hudson Development Corporation (HDC)--a nonprofit with the mission of promoting, supporting and growing Hudson’s businesses and workforce--was invited to present their vision for the vacant school at last night’s School Board meeting in the high school library, followed by questions. 
“We were enthusiastic about sharing our thinking for this terrific midcentury building,” Christine Jones, Board President of HDC, said. “Our mission to foster sustainable economic growth and boost the well-being of our Hudson community fit completely with the possibilities that this project presents.” 
The JLE building has been vacant since 2018 when elementary students were moved to the Montgomery Smith expanded campus. Using the property’s feasibility study--commissioned by City Council President Tom DePietro--as a blueprint, HDC envisions the building and grounds as a connective community center. 
“Repurposing this vacant school not only preserves a community asset with historical and cultural significance to Hudson residents, it provides ample space for the youth center, city offices, educational programs, job training, social services, daycare and a meeting place for local organizations.” Jones said. “Having the School Board’s favorable decision, HDC will now begin a six-month evaluation of the building’s existing operating systems and necessary upgrades to reach current safety standards. We are excited to begin conversations with community leaders and potential tenant partners about their specific goals and space requirements.” 
HDC Treasurer, Phil Forman adds, “This due diligence period will allow HDC to prioritize critical investments the organization will undertake to bring a great building back to serving Hudson in the shortest amount of time.”
Part of the vision being promoted by HDC is having all city government offices and the Youth Center relocate to the building, a building the City would not own. Jones admitted in her presentation, "We haven't talked them into it yet." Part of the scenario, as Jones presented it to the school board, involves the City selling the current City Hall at 520 Warren Street; the Youth Center on South Third Street; and the former Washington Hose firehouse at the entrance to Promenade Hill. 

Were the City to sell these three buildings, and they went on the tax rolls, Jones told the school board, it would result in an increase of $30,000 in annual school tax revenue--a significant amount for a school district with an annual budget of $56 million.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

What Happened at HCSD in the Past 24 Hours

A Facebook post from the Hudson Police Department this morning promised a press release later today.  

Gossips has now received that press release, and it follows:
On Monday, March 25, 2024, at approximately 9:39 p.m., the Hudson Police Department received information regarding a school threat involving a firearm. The New York State Police Intelligence unit contacted the Hudson Police Department to report the possible threat to the school community. Police authorities and the FBI received information from Snapchat reporting a subject depicted in a photo brandishing what appeared to be a handgun. The photograph included text stating, “He said he was going to shoot up the school.” This information was relayed to the HPD Detectives Division, who immediately responded to investigate this sensitive report. 
Responding promptly to the gravity of the situation, the Hudson City School District was informed to ensure the safety of students. The origin of the Snapchat message was located within the City of Hudson. A person of interest was quickly located and detained by the Hudson Police Department. The subject, a 19-year-old male (non-student), was interviewed by detectives at HPD, and the replica Glock pellet handgun was recovered. The subject admitted to taking the photo of himself with the replica handgun but denied making any threats toward the school. The subject was transported by police to Columbia Memorial Hospital for a mental health evaluation. 
Chief Mishanda Franklin of the Hudson Police Department issued the following statement:
"We are deeply concerned by the recent threat involving violence toward the Hudson City School District. The safety and well-being of our students and staff remain our utmost priority. We commend the swift actions of the Hudson Police Department, New York State Police (Intelligence), FBI, and the cooperation of the Hudson City School District in responding to this incident. Our collective efforts have resulted in the swift detention of the individual involved.”
This is the second reported threat involving violence to the Hudson City School District during the month of March. The Hudson City Police Department encourages anyone with additional information related to this incident or similar incidents to contact the Detective Division at (518) 828-3388.

Monday, March 25, 2024

Planning a Festival or Event?

The city budget this year includes $30,000 to support events that promote Hudson as a destination for overnight and day-trip visitors. This year, the newly reestablished Finance Committee of the Common Council will be parceling out that money to projects it deems worthy.

Photo: David McIntyre
Applications for awards are now being accepted for events occurring between May and December 2024. All applications are due by Friday, April 12, at 5:00 p.m. The maximum request and award amount is $5,000. Requests for amounts greater than $5,000 will not be considered. All applications must be submitted online using the form found here.

Applications will be reviewed at the Finance Committee meeting on Monday, April 15. Final approval of the Finance Committee's recommendations will be made by the Common Council on Tuesday, April 16.

For information regarding the Finance Committee and the selection process, please contact Councilmember Rich Volo at For technical assistance with the application form, contact mayor's aide Michael Hofmann at or call 518 828-7217.

Meetings of Interest in the Week Ahead

Snow this past weekend dashed our hopes for an early spring and crushed the bright blooms of the crocuses and daffodils. Meanwhile, as we approach Easter Sunday, here is what is happening.
  • On Monday, March 25, the Stuyvesant Town Planning Board meets at 7:00 p.m. On the agenda is the continuing review of the agritourism project proposed for Sharptown Ridge. Gossips has learned that the number of "farm-stay cabins" has been reduced from twenty to ten, and it seems the Planning Board would be happy with even fewer. The Planning Board also requested specifications about the distilling equipment to enable them to determine impact. The meeting takes place in person only at Stuyvesant Town Hall, 5 Sunset Drive, in Stuyvesant.
  • On Tuesday, March 26, the Common Council ad hoc Parking Study Committee meets at 6:00 p.m. At the last meeting of the committee, Council president Tom DePietro, who chairs the committee, said he intended to have companies that can provide the equipment needed to upgrade Hudson's parking meter system make presentations to the committee over the next few months. Given that, it is likely the meeting will include one or more such presentations. The meeting is a hybrid, taking place in person at the Central Fire Station, 77 North Seventh Street, and on Microsoft Teams. Click here to find the link to join the meeting remotely.
  • On Thursday March 28, Hudson Community Development and Planning Agency (HCDPA) meets at 4:30 p.m. The meeting is a hybrid, taking place in person at the Central Fire Station, 77 North Seventh Street, and on Microsoft Teams. Click here to find the link to join the meeting remotely.
Please note: The HCDPA meeting in Thursday will be the last city meeting to take place at the Central Fire Station. Beginning on Tuesday, April 2, with the meeting of the Conservation Advisory Council, city meetings will once again be held at City Hall, 520 Warren Street.


Saturday, March 23, 2024

Add This to Your Easter Plans

If the approach of Easter puts you in the mood for decorating eggs, the First Presbyterian Church has just the thing to satisfy your fancy and exercise your creativity.

On Saturday, March 30, at noon, there will be a festive egg painting and decorating session. Everyone is invited to help adorn the First Presbyterian Church's grounds with decorated Easter eggs. Supplies will be provided. Click here to sign up to help decorate the eggs.

On Sunday, March 31, the church holds its Easter service at 10:45 a.m. At noon on Sunday, March 31, following the Easter service, the Easter Egg Hunt takes place on the lawn surrounding the church.

The historic First Presbyterian Church is located at the corner of Warren and Fourth streets in Hudson.

Early Voting Starts Today

It may not be the most exciting presidential primary, but early voting in the primary starts today. Here are the early voting hours:
  • Saturday, March 23--8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 24--8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Monday, March 25--8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, March 26--11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 27--11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 28--8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Friday, March 29--8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 30--8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
There are two polling places: the Columbia County Office Building at 401 State Street in Hudson and the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building at 3211 Church Street in Valatie.

You must be either a registered Democrat or a registered Republican to vote in the primary. 

The date of the actual presidential primary in New York is Tuesday, April 2. On this day, all the regular polling places throughout the county all be open from 6:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. 

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Proposed New Housing in Hudson

At the informal Common Council meeting last week, Councilmember Vicky Daskaloudi (Fifth Ward) asked Michelle Tullo, housing justice manager, how many units of new housing are being proposed for Hudson and where the people to occupy the new housing would be coming from. The latter question is one Gossips also wonders about. To answer the question about how many units of new housing are being proposed, Gossips created this chart.

By Gossips' calculation, there are 445 units of new housing be planned, 417 of which are meant to be some level of income-based "affordable." The construction of 63 of those units is currently underway. 

According to the most recent census data, there are currently 3,408 housing units in Hudson, 25 percent of which are vacant.  

Interestingly, 25 percent of 3,408 is 852--almost twice the number of new units now being pursued. Assuming that these statistics, found at Census Reporter, are accurate, and there are 852 unoccupied housing units in Hudson, one wonders where these vacant units are located and what would be required to make them available and occupied.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

City Hall Returning to City Hall

For the past year, everything that typically happened at 520 Warren Street has taken place at the Central Fire Station on North Seventh Street. But the period of exile is coming to an end tomorrow. Beginning Monday, March 25, City Hall will be back in its former and now universally accessible location. The following press release explains the plans for the return.

The offices of City Hall will return to 520 Warren Street on Monday, March 25, 2024.
This relocation impacts the offices of the Mayor, the City Clerk, Parking Bureau, the City Treasurer, the City Assessor, and the Departments of Public Works, Water & Sewer, and Housing Justice, as well as the meetings of the Common Council and a majority of the city’s public boards and committees.
The relocation process for City Hall offices to 520 Warren Street will take place primarily over the course of March 21-22, 2024, and during this time City Hall services will be closed except by appointment. Starting Monday, March 25, the public will have access to all departments by visiting 520 Warren Street during standard business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or contacting specific departments by phone or email.
The vending machine for trash bags will be returned to the exterior of 520 Warren Street on Thursday, March 21.
The overnight drop-off box previously located at the Hudson Police & Courts building will be removed the afternoon of Wednesday, March 20. The night deposit box located at the exterior of 520 Warren Street will be reopened to accept off-hours drop-offs for City Hall offices beginning the evening of March 20.
The FedEx drop-off box that was previously relocated to the exterior of the Hudson City Centre (at the intersection of State and Green streets) will remain at One Hudson City Centre.
Public meetings previously held at the Central Fire Station (77 N. 7th Street) will be held at 520 Warren Street beginning with the Tuesday, April 2, 2024, Conservation Advisory Council Meeting. Boards and committees that will return their regularly scheduled meetings to City Hall in April include:

    • Common Council and its committees (Legal, Parking, Truck Route, Finance, etc.)
    • Conservation Advisory Council
    • Hudson Community Development & Planning Agency
    • Planning Board
    • Historic Preservation Commission
    • Zoning Board of Appeals
    • Housing Trust Fund Board 
Meetings indicated as "hybrid" on the City's calendar will continue to be accessible via Microsoft Teams or Zoom. View the online calendar for more details.

Per requirements set by a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, the City of Hudson engaged with Thaler Reilly Wilson Architecture & Preservation to develop a set of options to bring City Hall to compliance with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) through a feasibility study completed in 2019 and later revised in 2020. The City decided to proceed with option #3, which included:

    • Renovation of the east entrance to accommodate an ADA-accessible lift to the first floor and reconfigure the stairs leading to the second floor
    • Construction of an accessible parking space directly in front of City Hall
    • Construction of an accessible restroom on the first floor
    • Installation of an accessible service counter on the first floor
    • Asbestos abatement, replacement of flooring, and improvements to other interior furnishings 

After further refinements to plans and construction documents, the project was released for bid in November 2022, and a contract was awarded to VMJR Companies, Inc., in January 2023.
The principal construction period for the renovation took place from March to September 2023. In the course of this renovation, addition asbestos material was discovered in the basement of the building. Final remediation of the remaining asbestos was completed in February 2024, which was followed by additional cleaning and light renovations undertaken by the Department of Public Works to other areas of the building during the end of February and early March 2024.
For everyone planning to attend meetings in person beginning in April, be advised that the renovation did not include reupholstering the benches in the Council Chamber, an addition to the project that would have cost about $3,200. You can expect the lumpy and uncomfortable benches, covered in faux leather that sticks to your clothing in summer, will be just as they were the last time there was a meeting at City Hall.

Job Opportunity

Erin Stamper, the Democratic Commissioner for the Board of Elections, has resigned, and the Columbia County Democratic Committee needs to select a replacement and make a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors.

Stamper being sworn in in January 2023    Photo: Sarah Sterling

Click here for a description of the job. The new appointment will be for the remainder of the current term, or until December 31, 2024. The annual salary is $83,065 plus benefits. 

All interested candidates should email their resumes and letters of interest to by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 5. The CCDC Executive Committee and Democratic supervisors will interview candidates on April 25, prior to the CCDC's general committee meeting, and the CCDC will vote on the selection at that meeting, which will take place on Zoom. The CCDC must submit its selection to the Board of Supervisors by May 8.

Clermont Awarded EPF Grant

There is an ongoing restoration of the formal gardens happening at Clermont State Historic Site. It was recently announced that Friends of Clermont was awarded a $54,000 matching grant from the Environmental Protection Fund's Park and Trail Partnership grants program to restore the historic garden wall. Friends of Clermont raised an additional $6,000 in matching funds, for a total of $60,000 for the project. 

The grant to Friends of Clermont is one of twenty-seven awards totaling $1.8 million for organizations dedicated to the stewardship and promotion of New York's state parks and historic sites, trails, and public lands. The grants will be matched with private and local funding and will support projects to strengthen Friends groups and enhance public access and recreational opportunities. The Park and Trail Partnership Grants are administered by Parks & Trails New York, a statewide nonprofit organization, in partnership with the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). A complete list of 2023-2024 Round 9 awardees can be found here.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

It Happened Here, in Our Little City

Earlier today, Gossips received this press release from the Hudson Police Department, with the headline "Attempted Murder/Domestic Incident."
On March 15, 2024, the Hudson Police Department arrested 54-year-old Orlando Williams of Hudson, NY. Williams was arrested on several felony counts, including one (1) count of Attempted Murder 2nd Degree, a class B felony; Kidnapping 2nd Degree; Strangulation 2nd Degree; Criminal Possession of a Weapon 3rd Degree; and Criminal Contempt 1st Degree, all class C felonies. 
At approximately 10:24 p.m. on March 14, 2024, Columbia County 911 received an emergency call reporting an active domestic incident involving weapons. Hudson Police patrol units, along with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department, promptly responded to the location specified in the call. Upon arrival, officers interviewed the victim, who was visibly distressed and covered with mud. 
According to the victim's account, she was smoking a cigarette alone on her back deck when her ex-boyfriend, Williams, against whom she held an active order of protection, surprised her. Williams forcibly grabbed her and covered her mouth to prevent her from calling out. He then dragged her against her will down a path to a wooded area behind the old JLE School, where he threatened to kill her. During the ordeal, he attempted to stab and choke her. Fortunately, the victim's current boyfriend dialed 911 and intervened, enabling her escape from her assailant. Williams fled the scene before the police arrived. The victim sustained minor injuries but declined medical attention. 
On March 15, 2024, the New York State Police located and detained Williams in Greene County, subsequently transferring him to the custody of the Hudson Police Department. Williams appeared for arraignment at the City of Hudson Court before Judge Roberts, who remanded him to the Columbia County Jail with a return date of today, March 19, 2024. 
The Hudson Police Department received valuable assistance from the New York State Police (Catskill/Livingston) and the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department during the investigation and apprehension process. Anyone with additional information pertinent to this case is urged to contact the Hudson Police Department at 518-828-3388.

News from HHA

Last night at their monthly meeting, the Hudson Housing Authority (HHA) Board of Commissioners was updated on the progress of the redevelopment project by representatives from Mountco, HHA's development partner. Eu Ting-Zambuto, director of development for Mountco, who attended the meeting on Zoom, reported that the state has reviewed the master plan. She also revealed that the master plan involved 300 units. (There are currently 135 units in Bliss Towers and Columbia Apartments.)

Ting-Zambuto expressed gratitude for the support the project was getting from "the City of Hudson, as well as the mayor's office." It was not clear who was meant by "the City of Hudson." She indicated that the City would be supporting an application for Restore New York funding for HHA's redevelopment project. It will be recalled that last month, City Hall made an appeal for eligible projects, citing the City's past success in obtaining Restore New York grants: $500,000 for the Dunn Warehouse in 2017; $1.3 million for the Crescent Garage in 2022; $1.5 million for the Kaz Development Project in 2023.

Nick Zachos, who serves on the HHA board, asked if there was a history of housing authorities getting money through Restore NY. Ting-Zambuto said there was an affordable housing component. John Madeo, executive vice president for development and general counsel for Mountco, who was present at the meeting, said he was not aware of any housing authorities receiving Restore NY funding. 

It is not entirely clear what the income limitations will be for the 300 units HHA is proposing. Ting-Zambuto said that HHA is now a "break-even housing authority," and she proposed HHA could operate better with higher rents on some apartments. She mentioned incomes of 40, 50, and up to 80 percent of AMI (area median income) possibly being allowable.

Although the first application for funding for the project has been submitted, no plans for what the proposed buildings will look like have been made public. Apparently, some design exists. Madeo told the board that over the course of the next month they would be getting "feedback from the state about the design"--"the state" presumably being NYS Homes and Community Renewal. He suggested that the design for the buildings might be presented at HHA's May meeting, promising, "Things are going to start getting real exciting over the course of the next couple of months."

Spring Has Not Yet Sprung

This morning at the dog park, I greeted someone with "Happy First Day of Spring!" My greeting was premature. The vernal equinox, which marks the change of season, doesn't happen until tonight at 11:06 p.m. So tomorrow will actually be the first day of spring, and tonight at 11:06 we can all try to stand an egg on end.

Screen capture: The West Wing, S4, E20, "Evidence of Things Not Seen"

Ear to the Ground

At the informal Common Council meeting last Monday, Nick Pierro, who was presenting the Fire Department's monthly report, revealed that 202-204 Warren Street had been sold, and the tenants in the building had been moved to 501 Union Street, a building owned by Galvan Initiatives Foundation.

The building in question, 202-204 Warren Street, also known as the Brouseau Building, was acquired in 2003 by Galvan Partners (Eric Galloway and Henry van Ameringen). It was emptied of tenants, stripped of its original porticos, and left standing empty for a decade or so. In 2015, when the restoration of the building, which began in 2014, was completed, Galvan announced in the press release:
The four residential units are spacious two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments rented for only $923 a month. Two units are rented to Camphill Hudson as life sharing homes for adults with developmental disabilities. Galvan Foundation sought to collaborate with Camphill Hudson after learning about their innovative programs and life-sharing homes in the City of Hudson.

Over the years, ownership of 202-204 Warren Street has shifted from Galvan Partners to Galvan Initiatives Foundation to Galvan Civic I, Inc. In the assessment roll for 2023, Galvan Civic I, Inc., is listed as the owner of 202-204 Warren Street. In the tentative roll for 2024, the owner of the building is given as 202-204 Warren Street LLC. Some research uncovered the information that the person identified as the chief executive officer of 202-204 Warren Street LLC is also the chief executive officer of 260 Warren Group LLC, a limited liability corporation formed on January 8, 2024. The county assessment roll indicates that 260 Warren Street, formerly the location of Lawrence Park, was sold by Galvan Civic Housing LLC to 342 Lex Group LLC for $1,225,501 in October 2021.


Monday, March 18, 2024

Meetings and Events in the Week Ahead

This week we will likely learn the difference between the first day of spring and the first spring day. Some may feel we've already had our first spring day, but Tuesday, which is the first day of spring, is expected to be mostly cloudy with a high temperature of 44 degrees. Meanwhile, here are some other things that are happening.
  • On Monday, March 18, at 4:00 p.m., Center for the Living City presents "A City Cannot Be a Work of Art: Learning Economics and Social Theory from Jane Jacobs." The event is a conversation between Sanford Ikeda and Roberta Brandes Gratz. To register for the virtual event, go to
  • At 6:00, p.m. on Monday, March 18, another reinstated Common Council committee, the Finance Committee, meets for the first time. The committee is made up of five councilmembers: Lola Roberts (Third Ward), Vicky Daskaloudi (Fifth Ward), Shershah Mizan (Third Ward), Margaret Morris (First Ward), and Rich Volo (Fourth Ward). The meeting is a hybrid, taking place in person at the Central Fire Station, 77 North Seventh Street, and on Microsoft Teams. Click here to find the link to join the meeting remotely.
  • Also on Monday, March 18, at 6:00 p.m., the Hudson Housing Authority Board of Commissioners holds its monthly meeting. As always with this meeting, there is the chance more information will be revealed about HHA's development plans. 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, March 19, the Common Council holds its regular monthly meeting at 6:00 p.m. New on the agenda for the meeting is a resolution authorizing the submission of a Home Rule request to raise the lodging tax in Hudson from 4 percent to 5 percent. Council president Tom DePietro has twice mentioned in public meetings the intention to increase the lodging tax by 1 percent, proposing that the revenue from that 1 percent increase be dedicated to the Housing Trust Fund. The meeting is a hybrid, taking place in person at the Central Fire Station, 77 North Seventh Street, and on Microsoft Teams. Click here to find the link to join the meeting remotely.  
  • On Wednesday, March 20, the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) meets at 6:00 p.m. The agenda for the meeting indicates there are two projects before the ZBA, both requiring area variances. The first is a proposal to build a two-story residential structure behind 456 Union Street; the second is the proposal to construct two attached houses at 309 and 311 State Street. The meeting takes place in person only at the Central Fire Station, 77 North Seventh Street.
  • On Thursday, March 21, The Olana Partnership holds its monthly free Third Thursday event from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Olana State Historic Site. This month's event includes, at 11:00 a.m., a free Lunch & Learn talk entitled "Women of Olana," exploring the untold histories of Olana's female residents, their social circles, and their artistic contributions. Beginning at 1:00 p.m., there is a free drop-in printmaking workshop that allows participants to experiment with technologies used in the late 19th century: letter press, engraving, woodcut, and lithography. For more information, visit    
  • On Friday, March 22, the Historic Preservation Commission holds its second meeting of the month at 10:00 a.m. The meeting is a hybrid, taking place in person at the Central Fire Station, 77 North Seventh Street, and on Microsoft Teams. Click here to find the link to join the meeting remotely.

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Population Change Since the Last Census

Last week, the Albany Business Review had an article about population loss in New York State: "New Census data show NY's population decline mostly coming from downstate." Between 2020 and 2023, the population of New York State dropped by 631,104. The chart below, taken from the article, shows the population change since the 2020 Census in the counties of the Capital Region. According this information, Columbia County's population decreased by 1,090 between 2020 and 2023.

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Art and Commerce: Then and Now

The Olana Partnership and Carrie Haddad Gallery collaborate for a closing conversation marking the end of the exhibition SPECTACLE: Frederic Church and the Business of Art. During this special panel conversation, which takes place on Thursday, March 28, from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m., Carrie Haddad will speak about her more than thirty years as a gallerist in Hudson.

"I have always been so drawn to artists for their ability to see things differently. And an a gallerist I feel so lucky to be a supporter and a collaborator to help them bring that vision to the public," said Haddad.

Inspired by Frederic Church's own relationship with the art market, this informal conversation will examine how art and commerce shape the way artists relate to their work and their environments. Hear insights about the contemporary state of the market with gallerists Lena Petersen and Linden Scheff and artists Carl Grauer (Poughkeepsie) and Jane Bloodgood-Abrams (Kingston). 

"Olana's SPECTACLE exhibition, highlighting Frederic Church's own business acumen, provides the perfect occasion to highlight longtime Hudson gallerist Carrie Haddad," said Carolyn Keogh, director of education and public programs for The Olana Partnership. "This lively program will examine the contemporary state of the market and highlight Carrie's important work with artists of the Hudson Valley for more than thirty years."

The event will take place at 127 Union Street in Hudson. Further details will be sent upon registration. Participants will be invited to share their own questions for panelists during a moderated question-and-answer session. The program will be followed by a reception with light refreshments.

Space is very limited, and registration is required. To register to the event, visit

Friday, March 15, 2024

News of the Comprehensive Plan

It's been six months since Gossips reported anything about the comprehensive plan, but apparently that doesn't mean there was nothing to report. It only means that City Hall has been releasing no information about the work that is going on. 

In September 2023, Celeste Frye, the CEO of Public Works Partners, the consultants hired to help with the new comprehensive plan, shared this timeline in her presentation to the Common Council.

Six months in, we should be well into the public engagement phase, but that doesn't seem to be the case. 

Reporting to the Common Council at its informal meeting on Monday, Michelle Tullo, Hudson's housing justice manager, said she was "heading up" the comprehensive plan, saying there have been "internal meetings" with Public Works Partners. Questions from councilmembers elicited the information that those present at those internal meetings were Mayor Kamal Johnson, Council president Tom DePietro, mayor's aide Michael Hofmann, and Tullo. It was also revealed that a steering committee has been established, but it has not been revealed who is on that steering committee. 

In July, Gossips reported that a call for volunteers for the steering committee appeared on the app Hudson Hub and nowhere else. Whether or not the steering committee was drawn from those who volunteered is not known, but it seems unlikely given what DePietro said on Monday. According to DePietro, the steering committee is made up of twelve people "who are not involved in politics at all." He elaborated, "The idea was to reach out to a demographic that doesn't normally show up to these kinds of meetings." DePietro described the goal of the comprehensive plan by saying, "A big part of this is smart growth--how do we grow smartly rather than letting things happen randomly."

Hudson's previous comprehensive plan was adopted in 2002. That plan can be found here. The new comprehensive plan is costing $208,000, one third of which is covered by a grant. Presumably the rest of the money is coming from the general fund. 

Spring Parking News

Mayor Kamal Johnson first made the announcement last night on his Facebook page and on the "Unfiltered Hudson" Facebook page.

Now, the news also appears on the City Of Hudson website

Beginning tonight, alternate side of the street parking rules for overnight parking are suspended on weekends until further notice. 

From Friday to Saturday and from Saturday to Sunday, cars parked on the street overnight can be parked on either side of the street.

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Promises, Promises . . .

A listing on Zillow posted on a Facebook community board this morning raised quite a stir. It was for a one-bedroom apartment at 356 Union Street. The rent for the unit is $2,300 a month.

Photo: Zillow
What is most interesting to Gossips about this apartment in the mansion that was originally the home of Dr. H. Lyle Smith, one of Hudson's luminaries in the decades following the Civil War, is not what many would consider the exorbitant rent but the building's recent history with the Galvan Foundation and its many iterations.

Galvan acquired the building in July 2004. At that time, the building had been carved up into a rabbit warren of apartments. It is not known how many people lived there, but after Galvan acquired it, the building was emptied of tenants and would remain so for almost two decades. In 2012, ownership of the building was transferred from Galvan Partners to Galvan Initiatives Foundation, and in 2018, ownership was transferred to Galvan Civic Housing LLC.

In May 2017, at an Affordable Housing Hudson forum, Jason O'Toole, then a Galvan Foundation factotum, announced Galvan's commitment to creating 20 to 25 new units of affordable housing in the next three years. The units would be for families with incomes from 50 to 80 percent of the area median income (AMI), which at the time was $74,900. The next year, in March 2018, O'Toole increased the number of apartments to 29. Each time, seven two-bedroom units at 356 Union Street were part of the commitment. The following list of promised Galvan units is from Hudson's 2018 Strategic Housing Action Plan:

The first sign of any progress toward restoring the building came in March 2012 (eight years after Galvan acquired it), when the pinkish asphalt shingles that had been on the house were removed to reveal the original clapboard.

After the shingles were removed, another six years passed before any further work on the house was undertaken. 

In July 2019, when Gossips did an update on the 29 apartments Galvan had committed to providing, Dan Kent, then as now the spokesperson for Galvan, said they expected the restoration of 356 Union Street to be completed by the fall of 2019.

It is not clear exactly when the restoration was completed, but in November 2020, the house was on the market for $1.25 million. There were not seven two-bedroom apartments, as Galvan had promised, but only five apartments. And, of course, the new owner would be under no obligation to make them affordable.

According to tax records, the building was sold in March 2021 for $1.1 million. Since then, the apartments have been rented, but one of them
will be available starting April 1