Hudson Valley News

Central Hudson To Roll Out Monthly Billing

Mar 16, 2016
Courtesy of Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp.

Central Hudson customers will see a change in the frequency of billing starting this summer.

Oxycodone pills

Days after unveiling legislation to combat the opioid epidemic and stop mass incarceration of low-level drug offenders, Hudson Valley Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney held a telephone town hall Tuesday night to discuss the problem in his district. Constituents raised issues of educating students, offering more support meetings, and mandating insurance companies to better cover treatment.

Josh Fox Film To Screen In Ulster County

Mar 16, 2016
Courtesy of Woodstock Film Festival

Oscar-nominated Director Josh Fox will be in Ulster County Wednesday evening for the screening of his film on climate change.

wikipedia commons

A Hudson Valley assemblywoman has introduced legislation to prevent people on the terror watch list from purchasing guns in New York. The head of a state gun advocacy group says legislators are missing the mark.

America's Political Dynasties
America's Political Dynasties

On this week’s 51%, we speak with a presidential historian about women in political dynasties. And we explore changes when it comes to women in comedy. I’m Allison Dunne and this is 51%.

Courtesy of Mayor Rob Rolison

Two months into the job, Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison has begun to chip away at some of his promised initiatives. Rolison succeeds fellow Republican John Tkazyik, who did not run again because of term limits. Rolison, formerly Dutchess County legislature chairman and a cop for 29 years, spoke with WAMC Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne about his challenges and plans. He starts with an update on two top positions.

Matthew Kang, flickr

New York’s Joint Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction kicked off a series of statewide forums last week. One of the co-chairs continues to push for a number of reforms he called for last year.

Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant
Wiki Commons

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission granted Entergy, the owner/operator of the Indian Point nuclear power plant in Buchanan permission to extend the frequency of the containment integrated leak rate test from once every 10 years to once every 15 years on a permanent basis.

HV Congressman To Host Town Hall For Veterans

Feb 26, 2016

Hudson Valley Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney will host a town hall for veterans in Dutchess County Saturday morning.

HV Assemblywoman Unveils Ethics Reform Package

Feb 26, 2016
Courtesy of the Office of Assemblywoman Sandy Galef

With one good-government leader calling this session Albany’s “Watergate moment,” a lawmaker from the Hudson Valley has introduced an ethics reform package trying to create distance between those who seek to influence the law and those who make the laws. Her effort comes a few months after the former Senate and Assembly leaders were convicted of corruption.

HV Lawmakers Urge Passage Of Rail Crossing Study Bill

Feb 25, 2016
WAMC, Allison Dunne

Ever since a fatal crash last year, there’s been increased discussion about safety at rail crossings. Now, an assemblyman from the Hudson Valley is pushing a bill that requires the study of such crossings. The bill’s Senate sponsors also want a study to get off the ground.

Orange County Assemblyman Eyes NY Senate Seat

Feb 24, 2016
Courtesy of Assemblyman James Skoufis

A Democratic assemblyman is exploring a run for the New York state Senate seat that has been occupied by the same Republican since 1991. Assemblyman James Skoufis believes now is the time for change and new ideas in the 39th district, where Bill Larkin serves as senator. Skoufis has set up an exploratory committee enabling him to raise funds for a potential run.

County Department Head Pleads Guilty To Stealing Funds

Feb 23, 2016

The former director of the Putnam County Department of Consumer Affairs has pleaded guilty to stealing cash from her department.

Assemblyman Explores NYS Senate Run

Feb 23, 2016
Courtesy of Assemblyman James Skoufis

A Democratic assemblyman is exploring a run for the New York state Senate seat that has been in the Republican hands of a longtime state lawmaker. Assemblyman James Skoufis believes now is the time for change in the 39th district, where Bill Larkin serves as senator.

“I’m seriously considering looking at this seat,” Skoufis says. “I’ve set up now and opened an exploratory committee so that I’m able to raise funds for a potential candidacy.”

Opinions Come Forth About Naming The New NY Bridge

Feb 23, 2016
Courtesy of the the NYS Thruway Authority

With the new Tappan Zee Bridge now about two years from completion, talk continues about what the bridge will be called. One Hudson Valley assemblyman wants to see it named in honor of veterans while others prefer it pays respect to a late governor.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo rallied in Rockland County Monday for paid family leave and, in his opening remarks, he mentioned an unrelated topic.

Courtesy of the Office of NY Governor Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was in Rockland County today, rallying support for paid family leave, a proposal he unveiled in his combined State of the State/budget address. Cuomo told a roomful of supporters in West Haverstraw waving “Strong Families Strong New York” banners that his proposal would benefit especially women, minorities and low-income workers as well as strengthen families, the workforce and economy.

NY Lawmaker Pushes Bill For Rail Crossing Study

Feb 21, 2016
WAMC, Allison Dunne

An assemblyman from the Hudson Valley is pushing his bill that requires state study of rail crossings. Democratic Assemblyman Tom Abinanti is calling for the passage of his bill that would direct the New York State Department of Transportation to conduct a statewide study of level grade rail crossings. Abinanti first introduced the bill following the fatal February 2015 Metro-North crash – where a commuter train collided with an SUV at a highway railroad grade crossing in Valhalla. Abinanti’s district includes Valhalla.

Poughkeepsie Hires Seven Firefighters

Feb 20, 2016
Courtesy of City of Poughkeepsie Fire Department NY Local 596

Poughkeepsie has hired seven firefighters thanks to help from a federal grant. Officials say with the new hires, the city’s fire department will meet the National Fire Protection Association’s required minimums. .

Democratic Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney and Republican Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison Friday announced the recent hirings. Earlier this year, Maloney secured an investment for more than $950,000 to hire additional firefighters through the Assistance to Firefighters Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response, or SAFER, grant program. Here’s Maloney:

Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney
Courtesy of the Office of Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s early status as the inevitable Democratic presidential nominee met a challenge when Senator Bernie Sanders entered the race. With Democrats set to caucus in Nevada on Saturday, one of Clinton’s superdelegates in the Hudson Valley is addressing Sanders’ rise.

Democratic Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, who served as senior advisor in the Clinton White House, continues his rally cry for Clinton.

The Oscar Goes To An Orange County Foundry

Feb 19, 2016
WAMC, Allison Dunne

The Hudson Valley will take center stage during the 88th Academy Awards February 28, a few dozen times. After its statuettes had been in the hands of a Chicago trophy company for the past 33 years, the Academy wanted to return to its 1929 roots, and chose Polich Tallix Fine Art Foundry, in Rock Tavern, Orange County, to exclusively create them, starting with this year’s show. Stephanie Minor works at Polich Tallix and explains how it all came to pass.

Courtesy of Special Olympics New York

The Special Olympics New York State Winter Games take place Friday and Saturday at various venues in the Hudson Valley. More than 900 athletes and coaches will be on hand to compete in the Winter Games, one of two annual state-level competitions. Lack of snow has moved cross country skiing and snowshoeing from Dutchess to Sullivan County, where the alpine skiing is scheduled, at Holiday Mountain Ski Area in Monticello. Figure skating is at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, and floor hockey at Stewart Air National Guard Base, in Newburgh.

Daryl Hall Wants To Add An Outdoor Stage To His Venue

Feb 18, 2016
Courtesy of Daryl's House

Rock n' Roll Hall of Famer Daryl Hall wants to add an outdoor stage at his music venue and restaurant in the Hudson Valley. Hall opened Daryl's House on Halloween 2014 in the Dutchess County town of Pawling. The Poughkeepsie Journal reports ( Hall plans to build a stage behind the restaurant to hold concerts on a lawn that can accommodate more than 1,000 people. The first concert is scheduled for May 27 with Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. Town officials say the project is under review and has not received final approvals.

Courtesy of Richard Renaldi/Bard College

Earlier this year, Bard College professor Robert Kelly was appointed Dutchess County’s first poet laureate. Kelly was invited to read his poetry at County Executive Marc Molinaro’s state of the county address last month at the Bardavon 1869 Opera House. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief spoke with Robert Kelly about that night and what he has planned as poet laureate.

Courtesy of Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress

Congressmen Chris Gibson and Sean Patrick Maloney have worked across the aisle on a number of issues. Earlier this month, Gibson, a Republican, formed a committee to explore a run for New York governor in 2018. Now Maloney, a Democrat, is weighing in on his colleague’s potential run.

Gibson decided not to seek a fourth term, instead turning his attention to the possible gubernatorial run, a move that Maloney criticizes.

Dutchess County Issues Draft Transportation Plan

Feb 17, 2016
Courtesy of Dutchess County government

The Poughkeepsie-Dutchess County Transportation Council has opened a 30-day public comment period for its draft 25-year transportation plan. Moving Dutchess 2 seeks to identify projects and plans necessary to maintain the transportation system in a state of good repair and meet travel needs through 2040. The plan tries to address varied needs within the county and divides the county into five regions: Upper and Lower Hudson; Upper and Lower Taconic; and Harlem Valley.

HV Senator Calls For Funding Full-Day Kindergarten

Feb 16, 2016
Courtesy of NYS Senator David Carlucci/IDC

A state senator from the Hudson Valley is calling for the funding of full-day kindergarten across New York, proposing the money come from the state lottery.  State Senator David Carlucci, an Independent Democrat from Rockland County, says every school district in New York should provide full-day kindergarten.

“We have to have full-day kindergarten for every child in New York state, no matter where you live, how much money your family has,” says Carlucci.

Carlucci has sponsored a bill to fund it.

CIA Lecture Features The Topic Of Food And Racism

Feb 16, 2016
Courtesy of Jonah Vitale-Wolff

New York educator, farmer, and food justice activist Leah Penniman will speak about racism and food at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park Wednesday. She previewed her lecture "Black Lives Matter: The Intersectionality of Race and the Food System” with WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne.

The New York state education commissioner visited the troubled East Ramapo School District in Rockland County earlier this week. Commissioner MaryEllen Elia says she spent Wednesday alongside the interim superintendent and school board chair.

“And I went into multiple classrooms, talks to a number of teachers,” says Elia. “And we still have issues in East Ramapo and the state Ed Department is committed to addressing those issues. And I think we need to work out how we can do that and support the students of that area.”

NYS Overtime Pay Rises

Feb 12, 2016
wikipedia commons

New York's comptroller says overtime pay at state agencies has risen again, to $716 million in 2015. According to the comptroller's office, that's up nearly $55 million from the previous year. The total number of overtime hours worked also has increased, to 16.8 million hours, continuing a trend that began in 2011 in the Cuomo administration. Most hours were at the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, and the Office of Mental Health.

Heinrich und Friedl Winter, Wikimedia Commons

One of the organizers of the original 1969 Woodstock music festival says talks are underway to stage a 50th anniversary concert. Michael Lang tells the Poughkeepsie Journal ( that discussions have started with potential partners and the idea of staging anniversary concerts at different locations in 2019 is being explored. The original Woodstock was held August 15-18, 1969, in Bethel in Sullivan County. Lang was the promoter of the seminal '60s event that drew 400,000 rock music fans to Max Yasgur's farm.