It does not take long for fall to arrive, as I write this on the autumnal equinox of 2021. It has been a cool, wet, summer, but in general a good gardening season for those who managed to escape some local flooding. This was one of very few summers when supplemental nitrogen fertilizer might… Read more

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Trade associations within the nursery and landscape businesses like to promote themselves as “the green industry,” but sometimes what we do as gardeners is not so green. For example, in 2009, the lasts year for which Marie Chieppo has figures, growers in the United States used 1.66 billion p…

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PRATTSVILLE — Our doctors, nurses, all healthcare workers, first responders and essential workers are again being asked to do double and even triple duty. We thank them for their dedication and care and we should take care to make their lives less stressful.

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We just finished our last weekend of summer. It’s time to prepare for the autumn season and all of its glories. Did any of you get caught in that storm on Wednesday? Judy was just coming out of the eye doctor’s with Rose when the skies opened. Within a minute, she was soaked right through.

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The call from the state Department of Environmental Conservation is for more research into the federal regulation of seeds treated with pesticides as lawmakers move to ban certain chemical pest controls tied to toxic neurological impacts and developmental deficiencies in children.

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This month, I’m excited to visit Drowned Lands Swamp, one of Columbia County’s hidden treasures. We’ll be meandering the Streamside Trail looking for birds. The beginning of fall is a great time to go birding — there are both resident birds (those that live in Columbia County year-round) and…

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Ask any archivist what question they receive the most, and the answer will invariably be some variation of: “when are you going to digitize all of this?” I field that question from people every week, and the lengthy answer is always a hybrid in which I attempt to meter expectations, teach so…

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Lawsuits filed by upstate lawmakers and parents aimed at ending the statewide mask mandate for millions of students in New York schools don’t reflect well on a new governor trying to get a handle on a resurgent COVID-19 pandemic.

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Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, you have probably heard and read about the concept of herd immunity many times. By way of reminder, herd immunity occurs when a large portion of a community (the “herd”) becomes immune to a disease from either past infection or vaccination, making it…

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Late last spring, the Columbia County Veterans Services Agency celebrated three years of the Joseph P. Dwyer Veterans Peer Support Project with an open house attended by 167 veterans and their families, at which time many of the veterans wound up enrolled in programs offered by the agency.

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Earlier this summer, as the debate over a new nickname for Coxsackie-Athens sports teams roiled a community split between keeping “Indians” or dropping it and finding a name less offensive, C-A’s identity became a flashpoint.

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I am convinced that deep in my chromosomes there lurks the DNA of a tree dwelling rodent. I don’t know how it got there and I don’t know if I want to know, but it’s there. It seems to be the only logical explanation for the looks and actions of a few of my relatives and for my behavior at th…

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By mid- to late-September everyone in our region should be enjoying the wonderful flavor of fresh, ripe tomatoes. Some of us wait 10 or even 11 months for this annual treat and it always ends much too soon, usually with the first frost. Unfortunately, some local gardeners are still waiting f…

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PRATTSVILLE — We want to thank all the local volunteer firemen for lining the streets of towns and villages with American Flags in remembrance of the victims of 9/11. You didn’t forget your fallen comrades. You are also special.

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As forms of government go, democracy enjoys an excellent reputation. Especially in the countries that have it. Short of having a superman running things, or an all-knowing computer program, the democratic principle is intellectually satisfying. How to do the fairest for large numbers of people?

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There’s a lot of focus these days on solar energy, on harnessing the light from our nearest star to fuel our daily activities. Plants, of course, have been doing just that for millions of years. Sunlight, transformed by the green stuff in their leaves, is the energy that underlies almost all…

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E.M. Forster, the famed novelist, wrote this passage in “A Room with a View”: “The situation was so glorious, the house so commonplace ... and yet the house ... was the home of people who loved their surroundings. ...”

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Another September week. You can feel the change in the seasons. The leaves are starting to change. Coming through the woods just before Jewett Mountain, you can see the brilliant reds, yellows and oranges appearing. Fall activities are starting. Don’t forget to go to WRIP’s Facebook page for…

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PRATTSVILLE — We want to thank all the local volunteer firemen for lining the streets of towns and villages with American Flags in remembrance of the victims of 9/11. You didn’t forget your fallen comrades. You are also special.

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Question to ponder. If 1,500 people were present at the meeting, why were 938 votes cast? What happened to the other almost 600 people attending? Did people leave the meeting before the voting on the school buses? Interesting article.

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Congratulations to HTC Senior, Student Director Emily Pascucci and HTC Senior, Assistant Student Director CJ Dunn-Cappellino, advisors Ms. Hoyt and Ms. Davis, cast and crew on the wonderful performances of the musical “Disney Frozen Jr.” Sept. 10 and Sept. 12 outdoors at the Colonial Country…

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A federal court Tuesday granted a temporary restraining order against Gov. Kathy Hochul’s vaccine mandate for the state’s health care workers. There it is: Less than a month in office, the new governor faces a major challenge.

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Something we don’t talk about much in these parts is the phenomenon of rising sea levels. Out of sight, out of mind? Probably. But the recent torrential rains and flooding are calling attention to a slowly evolving crisis.

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It is incredible what can happen in just one year. With so much uncertainty about the pandemic, we had much to fear as we re-opened our schools last September. That is not the case for the 2021-22 school year, which kicked off on September 9th for students, teachers and staff in the Hudson C…

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I recently returned from a week-long road trip to southeast Ohio and western NC. I spoke at a landowner’s conference that was held at the United Plant Saver’s Goldenseal Sanctuary, near Athens, Ohio. It was beastly hot and humid there, but the participants did not seem to mind at all. If you…

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They just came out with the newest generation of smart phones. I will not be rushing to my nearest purveyor of such items to stand in line to purchase one. The last thing I need in my life is another inanimate object which is smarter than I am or ever likely to be.

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My friend since sixth grade sent an email “To my friends of the left and right.” He attached a review by conservative writer Charles Murray entitled “Meritocracy’s Cost”, which analyses a new book by liberal Harvard professor, Michael Sandel, “The Tyranny of Merit”. Murray’s essay ends, “If …

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Tom Wessels told me, when we spoke recently, that by age five he was spending a lot of time alone in the 70-acre wood across the street from his family’s home. Yet he never got lost. Even at that age, he could identify the different types of trees by the character of their barks, and he knew…

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Saturday will mark the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the United States that killed 2,977 innocent people in New York City, Arlington, Va., and Shanksville, Pa. One of the victims lived in Windham and was aboard the ill-fated Flight 93. He took part in the …

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All the pressure good-government groups can apply to state lawmakers over the Open Meetings Law can’t reverse the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic is still a clear and present danger. The delta variant has made the coronavirus more contagious and therefore more dangerous.

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PRATTSVILLE — Here’s hoping all of you had a great Labor Day weekend and enjoyed the day with family and friends. Reminder that schools are now open and please obey all laws that insure the safety of our children. Students, good luck to you as you return to school.

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This is a letter from John A. MacGahan, a well-respected Twilight resident who was well-liked by both the Twilight community and the community of Haines Fall. It is a letter of appreciation about Ed France, Park Superintendent in Twilight for many years.

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Another disappointing holiday weekend. It seems to rain for all the long vacations. Makes for a depressing time. I feel sorry for those who have waited for time off, only to have nothing to do. Can you imagine how it is in NYC and environs after this last storm? Can you imagine being stuck u…