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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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…

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Weeds, those aggressive, irrepressible pests, are the most persistent — and annoying — problem of lawn care. Surely that’s why Paul Tukey in his classic guide, The Organic Lawn Care Manual, labeled his organic method for their management with the acronym R.I.L.E.: Relax, Identify, Listen, an…

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Can I really be saying “Have a Safe and Sane Labor Day” already? The summer is winding down, kids are getting ready to go back to school. I don’t think I’m ready for the end of summer. I don’t want to think about all of the things I have to do to get ready for the cold weather. Although I no…

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September is National Preparedness Month and a peak time for natural disasters, such as the flooding we just experienced with Tropical Depression Henri. While there is little anyone can do to prevent these disasters, there are important steps everyone can take to prepare for them. Having pre…

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The 10th anniversary of Hurricane Irene has come and gone, marked by the grand reopening of the Zadock Pratt Museum in Prattsville paired with a community-wide two day “Still Afloat” Celebration. For Prattsville this anniversary weekend wasn’t so much about remembering (who could forget) as …

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It’s become a familiar refrain, and here we go again: Life at the Columbia County Facilities Division has been on the pandemic rollercoaster, Director of Facilities Brian McDonald will tell you.

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Tropical Storm Henri came and went in a pretty mysterious fashion as parts of our region got drenched with 6 or more inches of rain, i.e Tannersville and elsewhere in Greene County, while just a few miles away, like my house, the rainfall total was less than 2 inches. The rainy summer has be…

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My daily routine usually goes along without a hitch; the stagger, creak and crack journey to the bathroom while all my bits and pieces decide on their position for the day. The cup of coffee that helps bring things into focus so that I can deal with all the decisions I will have to face as a…

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Planting a garden to foster wildlife has become a very popular mission among environmentally aware gardeners. Not so long ago “pest-free” was the gardeners’ goal for their landscapes. More recently, though, we’ve realized that a landscape without insects is also a landscape without the birds…

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Another day of ??? It’s Sunday afternoon, and here we sit waiting. The sky is now cloudy, but so far good news. Just sprinkles. So much has been cancelled today, I just hope we get out of this without a problem.

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Another wonderful combined worship service on Aug. 22 under the Lexington pavilion with Lexington/West Kill, East Jewett and Kaaterskill UM churches. Pastor Peggy Fabrizio and Pastor Amy Royal were worship leaders. We were truly blessed with beautiful solos by a young lady, Juliana. The serv…