The Foxenkill Experience, a Renaissance-themed steak-and-seafood restaurant, opened its doors for the first time in the middle of a pandemic that ravaged the restaurant industry and closed many local businesses. Owner Kelly King told The Enterprise that, three weeks in, her eatery is “thriving every day.” 

Berne’s latest farmers’ market, initiated as a response to the coronavirus, had its opening on Wednesday, Aug. 5, in what vendor Todd Gallup, of Berne’s Gallup Farms, told The Enterprise was an “extraordinary success.” The market will continue to operate Wednesdays from 3 until 5:30 p.m. at the Berne Town Park with no established end date. 

Following an inquiry from The Enterprise, New York State’s Committee on Open Government has issued an opinion that the Berne Town Board has been calling for executive sessions under inappropriate pretenses.

A Black Lives Matter rally planned by Berne resident Laurie Searl has drawn strong criticism on Facebook, leaving some would-be attendants worried about a counter-protest that could turn violent, as has happened both locally and across the country.

A state audit has revealed that Knox Town Clerk Traci Schanz failed to deposit more than 300 fee collections within the legally required timeframes and made reporting errors that left the town with an unremitted cash balance of more than $3,000, according to a report from the Office of the New York State Comptroller. Schanz said she is grateful for what she learned from the audit and new procedures have been put in place.

Berne-Knox-Westerlo has published its reopening plan on its website. Governor Andrew Cuomo will determine the first week of August whether schools will reopen statewide. 

Berne’s town attorney Javid Afzali informed the town board at its July 22 meeting that the controversial Switzkill Farm property may have been acquired illegally because the 2014 town board did not allow for a permissive referendum following the purchase authorization. Then-supervisor Kevin Crosier tells The Enterprise that no referendum was required.

The Berne Town Board has spent more than $15,000 on investigations according to documents received by The Enterprise through a Freedom of Information Law request. All the investigations appear to have been of Democratic town board members. One recently led to a censure by partisan vote; the others were unsubstantiated.

The Berne Town Board voted, with the needed majority of 3, to formalize the town’s planning board, which Councilman Mathew Harris said in May was illegitimate. 

Rensselaerville resident Sarah Gordon is calling on local businesses to take a stand against racism by pledging — on a public, digital spreadsheet — to call out racist behavior that occurs on professional property and to denounce the slogan “all lives matter,” which exists to diminish the anti-racist “Black lives matter” slogan. 

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