Hudson Valley News

The Village of Wappingers Falls, New York may have switched to its own water supply, but the village has a contact with the Joint Poughkeepsie Water Agency through the end of the year — and the City and Town of Poughkeepsie want their money. Hudson Valley Correspondent Hank Gross reports...

The village hasn’t paid the $488,400 it owns for usage for the last part of 2011 and the first half of this year, and Mayor John Tkazyik has also sought mediation to get its money.

Joel Tyner’s campaign treasurer has resigned and has made serious accusations against the 19th district congressional candidate ... Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

Misha Fredericks says she couldn't continue as Joel Tyner's campaign treasurer, with Tyner's cash-on-hand claim off by thousands of dollars. Sensing trouble and fearing being investigated for embezzlemant, Fredericks filed a letter with the Federal Election Commission Tuesday.

Some questions and concerns over thruway tolls and how emergency responders pay to use the superhighway - Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

In a letter reportedly sent to emergency service providers, New York State Thruway Department of Maintenance and Operations Deputy Director H. McCarthy Gipson, detailed a new law which requires the authority to collect and issue refunds for tolls incurred on the superhighway by ambulance or fire vehicles in emergency operations. Thruways officials suggest using EZpass  electronic readers.

WAMC Photo

"Is There a Regional Agenda for the Hudson Valley?" - that's the theme and title of a conference held today at SUNY New Paltz - Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports

Elected officials joined business and municipal leaders exploring new ideas - in a spirit of working together toward economic growth -The conference was hosted by CRREO, the New Paltz Center for Research, Regional Education and Outreach (CRREO), and sponsored by The Advocacy Coalition of the Hudson Valley.

Federal and State officials have been working since 9-eleven to upgrade the technology supporting public safety communications - their efforts are on the verge of paying off, as we hear in this report from Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas.

As the debate over the future of hydraulic fracturing rages on, a group of upstate New York landowners has filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn "Local Law Number Six," a temporary ban on natural-gas drilling in the city of Binghamton. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

Five property owners filed suit last week in state Supreme Court in Broome County, charging that  Binghamton's Mayor and city council violated state law when the municipality passed a two-year ban on drilling back in December,  without first seeking approval from the county's planning department.

New York Lawmakers have drafted bills in the Senate and Assembly which would crack down on anonymous commenters on blogs and websites... Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

Under the proposed legislation, New York-based websites would be required to hold off publishing comments posted by readers who declined to identify themselves... no more "anonymous" reactions to blog posts or newspaper articles. Instead, those wishing to weigh in would have to attach a "legal name" to any comment, along with their HOME address as well as their computer's IP address.

Land Trusts soon will be able to purchase insurance aimed at assisting enforcement of easements. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

A land trust is a nonprofit organization that, as all or part of its mission, actively works to conserve land by undertaking or assisting in land or conservation easement acquisition, or by its stewardship of such land or easements.

The Land Trust Alliance out of Washington DC claims there are 1700 land trusts that have more than 100,000 volunteers and 5 million members.

An Ulster County town is looking to outfit its municipal facilities with solar power - there are questions, conerns... and a catch to making it work. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

Facing an approaching deadline, the Woodstock Town Board decided in favor of designating a Kingston-based vendor to seek state-funding through NYSERDA to construct a photovoltaic power array that would transmit electricity to town-owned properties. 

The Federal Government is ordering New York Counties to give back Nursing Home money... Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has decided to retroactively recover “Intergovernmental Transfer” or IGT funds from several New York counties going back to State fiscal year 2006-07. The net effect statewide is estimated to be in the neighborhood of $7.2 million dollars.

 

In Eastern New York, Albany county tops the list, owing $3.7 million... followed by Westchester at $2.1 million and Ulster, $1.5 million...

Hudson Cruises

It's been decades since people could travel between two Hudson Valley communities without a car. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports that ferry service between Greene and Columbia counties resumes this summer…

Hudson Cruises owner Captain Guy Falkenheimer says the Hudson-Athens ferry is back on the river and full operations are expected to begin in June. The first ferry service between Hudson and Athens launched in 1778 - The last "official" ferry to sail the 11-mile one-way trip was in 1947.

The residential real estate market in upstate New York is showing some promising signs. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports…

The burst of the so-called "housing bubble" in late 2007 sent the real estate market into a spin... a new batch of numbers is leading industry insiders to believe that things are turning around... according to  the National Association of Realtors, sales of existing homes rose in April and remain above a year ago, while home prices continue to rise.

A new alliance of educators, parents, administrators, school board members, unions, and community groups
have launched a campaign to boost funding and seek reforms to education. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave
Lucas reports.

Frustration over teacher layoffs and public school program cutbacks statewide has prompted a new,
year-long campaign intent on getting state government to “go back to the drawing board.”
Educate NY Now! is demanding that lawmakers uphold New York’s constitutional obligation to provide all
students with a quality education.  

The head of the state-owned Belleayre Mountain Ski Center has been dismissed - that decision by the DEC leaves many questions...  Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports

An official with the state Department of Environmental Conservation says Tony Lanza was fired - and that's all they'll say. Lanza gone from his post he's held for more than a decade at the helm of the Bellayre Ski Center.

While some school districts and unions are reportedly considering suing to overturn a provision in New York State’s new tax cap law, cooler heads are urging them to take a "wait-and-see" attitude for the time being - Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports

In New Paltz, the school budget got 59.3 percent of the vote. But it failed. The reason: the tax cap requires a 60 percent supermajority of votes to override a school district’s tax-levy limit — Judging by the recent annual school budget elections, the supermajority requirement made an impact.

Watershed Update

May 22, 2012

The vast New York City Watershed area has taken a prominent spot in the
public eye thanks to the 2011 floods AND the hydrofracking issue.
Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports the watershed is
experiencing a burst of activity...

The 70-thousand acre watershed system employs a combination of tunnels,
aqueducts and reservoirs to meet the New York City 's daily need for
fresh water.

Several New York-based Catholic organizations are joining a nationwide court challenge to a government mandate requiring most employers to provide birth control coverage as part of their employee health plans. WAMC’s Dave Lucas reports.

The Archdiocese of New York and the suburban Diocese of Rockville Centre filed suit Monday in federal court in Brooklyn. The plaintiffs also include Catholic Health Services of Long Island, Catholic Charities of Rockville Centre and ArchCare, a Catholic health care service.

The Town of Wappinger in New York’s Dutchess County and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection have agreed that the town willsupply water to the DEP during the construction of a new water shaft. The agreement is part of a massive project to repair leaks in the Delaware Aqueduct in Ulster and Orange counties. Hudson Valley correspondent Hank Gross has more...

Under the plan, the town will provide water for shaft construction and potable supply purposes by September of next year through the duration of the project through 2021.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

Farm workers and Religious Leaders joined with Community and Civil Rights Advocates to urge state lawmakers in Albany to enact the Farm Workers Fair Labor Practices Act - Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

In the interest of public safety, the security of five key bridges over the Hudson River is being tightened - Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports

Rockland County is still feeling the sting after Moody's Investor Service dropped the county's investment status rating three notches to just above junk level. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas has an update:

"Hydrokinetic Generation" could set the stage for the next battle pitting environmentalists against the state of New York - Science, Government and business leaders came together Thursday at the Beacon Institute, attending a workshop all about recommending improvements to the permitting process for hydrokinetic power generation in New York State. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

In the event a major catastrophe should strike the Hudson Valley, one county has put together a plan designed to meet emergency head-on. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports

Taking a regional approach to disaster preparedness, Dutchess County today wrapped up its third annual "Regional Mass Fatality Management Response System Training"

Advocates for the homeless note that the recession has contributed to a
rise homelessness. In Columbia County, there are two housing proposals
under consideration by the County Board of Supervisors. Hudson Valley
Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

 

Hopes are waning that Ulster County will receive a federal designation that would boost government healthcare reimbursements for Kingston and Benedictine hospitals. The company that operates the two hospitals in Kingston says one of the facilities may have to close. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas has an update...

 

School Budget votes are just days away, and on May 15 New York State residents will flock to the polls: Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports many of them must make difficult choices when they cast their ballots next week.

A survey of 403 of New York's 697 districts, released Wednesday by the state School Boards Association and the state Association of School Business Officials, shows that many districts cut positions, reduced programs, and tapped reserve funds to ensure compliance with the tax cap as they wrote their budgets for the 2012-13 school year.

As New York State moves closer to making a decision whether or not to allow the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing, Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports there are new concerns about the gas extraction process and its impact on clean water

President Barack Obama's endorsement of gay marriage on Wednesday was
welcome news throughout much of the Hudson Valley Region where WAMC's
Dave Lucas gathered reactions

Linda Mussman is the co-director of Time and Space Limited in Hudson -
she and her partner Claudia Bruce were among the first people to be
married in New York State under the marriage equality act -

Mussman believes President Obama's evolution will help bring issues of
civil rights and equality to the forefront more quickly

Obama: The Day After

May 9, 2012

President Obama's visit to the UAlbany College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering may be in the books - but it's still the talk of the town -  Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports

The President's third visit to the region in as many years is being hailed as "a feather in the cap" of UAlbany's Nanotech college. 

President Obama praised SUNY's high-tech success in Albany, calling it a model for the rest of the country - SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher agrees.

 

For the third time in three years, President Barack Obama visited the Capital District for a Tuesday appearance at UAlbany's CNSE NanoTech Complex - Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas was there and files this report.

Air Force One touched down at Albany International Airport just before noon: the President immediately taken to CNSE, where he joined New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on a brief tour.  Some observers believe Obama's change of venue from Global Foundries to UAlbany has ties to his working relationship with Cuomo.

 

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