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Amid the chaos and panic buying of the coronavirus pandemic, there are the odd gleams of gold, individuals and groups that stand out by showing what Greene and Columbia counties are really made of.

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If these were normal times, we would be talking about spring break, back-to-school, maybe even graduation and the religious holidays Easter and Passover in early April.

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The coronavirus outbreak is so cruel and insidious that it can snuff out even the dimmest light at the end of the tunnel, grind the smallest hope into dust. It happened again Wednesday when health officials said Albany Medical Center could run out of COVID testing kits in the next few days.

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All the things that mattered in the world of sports just 48 hours ago — the national championship in college basketball, Opening Day of baseball, the postseasons of the NBA and the NHL — no longer matter.

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As far as we can see, the school districts in Greene and Columbia counties and Columbia-Greene Community College are taking a proactive approach to the coronavirus threat.

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New Yorkers and perhaps the rest of the world have every right to be shocked by a history-making development in the coronavirus story. National Guard troops will be deployed to monitor a two-week containment zone in Westchester County as COVID-19 continues its relentless march across the sta…

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It’s become a ritual as hardened as the daily press briefings in the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. Each day for the last two weeks, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has held a “Red Room”: a news conference to update the public on the seemingly inexorable spread of coronavirus.

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In 1987, President Ronald Reagan signed legislation making March Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. Arcs around the country plan to advocate for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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A proposal to cut $5.6 million from veterans programs in the 2020-21 state budget will be bad for veterans and all communities that support these warriors.

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A research team from Binghamton University was sifting through fossil soils at a quarry behind the Cairo Highway Department when they discovered the root system of trees thought to be 385 million years old, dating back to the Devonian age. Their discovery was published in the scientific jour…

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Thomas Ventura had everything that counts in life: a loving and supportive family, enough friends to fill a photograph album and that one intangible, happiness. Thomas Ventura died March 14, 2012, from an overdose, ironically one day after returning home from a three-week stint at a rehabili…

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More than 80,000 people worldwide infected by coronavirus. Number of fatalities: 3,000. Are these reasons to panic? No. Are they reasons to take precautions? Absolutely.

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Green is supposed to unite us all under one color. Wind power, solar power and electrically powered automobiles are supposed to unshackle us from dependency on fossil fuels that pollute our air and cause climate change.

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The new documentary “Uprooting Addiction,” premiering Sunday at the Crandell Theatre in Chatham, will likely earn film festival engagements in other parts of the nation and, maybe, around the world. But the film, which is getting good reviews and advance buzz, is not about winning the approv…

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For almost two months, retailers in New York state, including Columbia and Greene counties, have been preparing consumers for the ban on single-use plastic retail bags that begins Sunday.

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If a spree of automobile accidents occurred all over New York and all the drivers were unauthorized immigrants who could not drive, would the state Assembly and Senate do all they could to make the roads safer? You bet they would.

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Who remembers going to the movies in the great outdoors at theaters where the screens were the size of railroad cars, the sound was as puny as a squeak, the paper soda cups were mushy and the food, was, well, what do you want for a buck and a half?

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Legalization of adult use of marijuana in New York state is serious business, for health and economic reasons. To prevent as many problems as possible, Gov. Andrew Cuomo will embark on what some wags are calling “the cannabis tour” of states where marijuana is already legalized. It is a wise…

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One week before Christmas, Catskill town planners approved the proposed Hello Panda Lantern Festival at the former Friar Tuck Inn on Route 32 in Kiskatom. Organizers, on their website, boasted that the festival is considered the largest of its kind in North America.

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The point of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s concept of shared services for the agencies and departments doing the sharing is to cut costs and yield savings, and then pass that savings on to taxpayers.

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It’s been just a few months since public pressure in Catskill ended Wheelabrator’s quest to site an ash landfill at the old Peckham Materials along the Hudson River, but the fight will be joined again, this time in the village of Athens.

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It’s encouraging to see state Senate Democrats come forward last week with proposed modifications to the controversial bail reform law that liberals and conservatives, criminal rights activists and law-and-order defenders might be able to live with.

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In the introduction to his book “Rally Point: Five Tasks to Unite the Country and Revitalize the American Dream,” Chris Gibson writes: “We must recognize this stark reality: We are not only a nation divided — as Republicans we are also a party divided.”

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In a lodging-starved city like Hudson, news that a 50-room hotel could be coming to the intersection of 7th and Union streets in the old McKinstry Mansion should be good. It is, but there are a number of hurdles that must be cleared first.

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Amid the quarantines and daily death toll updates in the coronavirus outbreak, it’s important to note that no men, women or children have had to be tested for the disease in Greene and Columbia counties. Let’s hope it stays that way.

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We know the Twin Counties is an upstate New York mecca for filmmaking and television production, but for Hillsdale Town Supervisor Peter Cipkowski, the 92nd annual Academy Awards Ceremony in Los Angeles was the Mount Everest of cinema.

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There is no doubt that the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse is in trouble. Its underwater foundation is deteriorating and its structure is losing its integrity. Further erosion could cause the base of the lighthouse to sway and sink into the Hudson River.

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Just when we thought the Greene County Legislature is saving some money on the new jail project, it turns out they will spend a little more, and continue spending, well, forever.

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President Donald Trump’s third State of the Union Address will be analyzed, dissected and reassembled by pundits on the left and the right, by Democrats and Republicans and by the press.

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The presence of PFAS in Cairo’s drinking water supply could have serious implications for residents and businesses now and possibly for years to come.

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If you have sent a son or daughter to college in the last 20 years, you know higher education and its institutions are evolving. The SUNY system of New York’s colleges is no different.

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Digital technology is growing by leaps and bounds, so the announcement last week by the Federal Communications Commission that parts of New York state will be eligible for broadband funding is a reminder that innovation combined with objectives still has value.

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The supercomputer that rules the galaxy in “Alphaville” and the ubiquitous television cameras that never stop watching in “1984” were once considered science-fiction, but as reports highlight controversies involving law enforcement’s use of facial recognition technology, it is now cold, hard…

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In another year, the latest weapon against the opioid epidemic will be unveiled. The detox center for the corner of Merle Avenue and Route 66 in Greenport was approved unanimously the planning board Wednesday.

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Tourism, culture and history have become abstract economic objectives stretching over the landscape of Greene County. It’s not that they have lost their vitality. Abstractions are vague, but they offer hope that new and lucrative revenue streams will wash over that landscape. And who’s to sa…

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State Attorney General Letitia James last week filed one of the most important lawsuits of her administration in which she identified Cairo as one of several locations affected by PFAS.

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As inmate populations in New York state decline, Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed legislation last week that would allow for more state prisons to be closed. In other words, Cuomo would have largely unchallenged power to close prisons. The idea is good. The method is not.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to legalize and regulate adult marijuana use will predictably lead to a confrontation with the state Legislature. In his State of the State and budget addresses, Cuomo vowed this would be the year the state would pass the legislation.

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A funny thing happened on the way to completing construction of the new Greene County jail. Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday proposed legislation that would allow neighboring counties to share jail services on the condition that they form mutual cooperative agreements.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s annual budget proposals have a way of hitting on important and even urgent topics with dramatic effect, but imprinting question marks on the little details that provoke politically charged debates in Albany.