Hudson Valley News

For years, Columbia County has had the highest rate of foster care placement in New York State - the numbers are finally coming down, as we hear in this report from Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas.

While Columbia County’s foster care placement rate remains higher than its closest competitors — Schenectady and Cortland counties, the numbers have softened since 2008 – when county children were placed in foster homes at a rate three times greater then any other county.

Violent crime was down substantially during the first five months of the year in Kingston, according to crime statistics kept by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. Hudson Valley Correspondent Hank Gross has more on the statistics, which show a 34 percent drop in violent crime...

To date this year, violent crime dropped 34 percent. There were no murders or rapes and robberies were down 44 percent. Burglaries were down 17 percent, although larceny arrests increased.

The task force working on improving New York's Electric grid is making progress... Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

Organized labor and New York Republican House member representing the Hudson Valley  agree that something must be done to boost employment, as the national unemployment figure for June showed joblessness was 8.2 percent with just 80,000 new jobs added. But they have different views on how to grow the economy. Hank Gross reports…

Paul Ellis-Graham, president of the Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation, said the GOP House of Representatives is blocking the solution to the problem.

Tiffany Hamilton/Save The Furgary

 

An iconic fishing encampment which may be the last of its kind is days away from the wrecking ball... Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

WAMC/Dave Lucas

Summertime means more contact among people, pets and wildlife outdoors - Animal experts and Public Health officials are urging citizens to be aware of two diseases that are on this season's watchlist... Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

An outbreak of a virus affecting dogs is raising concerns throughout Ulster County- Officials say par-vo-virus is highly contagious. Dr. Arnold Rugg is with the Kingston Animal Hospital - he says there have been six deaths so far.  Parvovirus poses no threat to humans, and Rugg says it can easily be prevented through vaccination.

Along with the high temperatures that visit us this time of year, funds have been made available to help New Yorkers with serious medical conditions to beat the heat.  Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

The timing was just right - on Friday, as the mercury hit the 90s, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that certain low-income New Yorkers with particular medical conditions can receive free air conditioners from the state.

A recent federal grant will mean easier access to better care for
communities in New York - Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports

The Greater Hudson Valley Family Health Center is expanding - opening
two facilities - the first in one of the many so-called "isolated"
Hudson Valley Communities -  a full healthcare center in Highland Falls
as well as a new health center at 290 Broadway in Newburgh. 

Supporters of a consolidated government for New Paltz are closer than ever to realizing their dream: Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

Soon, all parks maintained by Dutchess County, New York will be smoke-free. County Executive Marcus Molinaro made the announcement Thursday at Bowdoin Park, overlooking the Hudson River in the Town of Poughkeepsie.  Hudson Valley Correspondent Hank Gross reports...

he smoking prohibition at county parks is an addition to the Dutchess County Clean Indoor Air Law, which was passed in 2003 and championed and sponsored by Molinaro when he was a county legislator.

The 19th Congressional District Democratic Primary is one of the most-watched contests today in New York State: the race pits Dutchess County legislator Joel Tyner against Kingston Attorney Julian Schreibman...  Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas spoke with Julian Schreibman about his hopes going into today's primary.

http://joelforcongress.org

19th District Congressional Candidate Joel Tyner's former treasurer has responded to accusations of possible embezzlement and sexual advances... WAMC's Dave Lucas reports.

Tappan Zee Tunnel?

Jun 25, 2012

As the New York State Thruway presses on with plans to replace the Tappan Zee bridge, environmentalists are asking the state continue to seek out alternatives. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

Under current plans, a new 8-lane bridge would replace the current Tappan Zee at a cost of 5-point-4 billion dollars. The environmental group Riverkeeper wants the state to consider whether or not a tunnel might be a better alternative.

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.

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