Ulster County to set up “hubs” to distribute Covid-19 vaccines
Around 50,000 Covid-19 vaccinations per month could be administered in Kingston and Ellenville when vaccines become widely available, said Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan last week. The county has selected the Kate Walton Field House at Kingston High School as its primary vaccine distribution site, and the Ellenville Regional Hospital Center as its secondary distribution site.
“While we are still months away from the vaccine being widely available to the public at large, the county has a robust plan in place to rapidly scale up distribution once the vaccine is made available to us,” said Ryan in a press release. “The selection of the county-led Kingston and Ellenville vaccine distribution sites will allow more residents to receive the vaccine swiftly and safely while also prioritizing equity at the center of our response.”
About 45,000 vaccines could be given per month at the Kingston site and 5000 at the Ellenville site. The Kingston site will be open seven days a week beginning this past Monday and the Ellenville site will be open Monday through Friday beginning Thursday for health personnel, EMS, and residents and staff at congregate facilities. Vaccinations will also be given at hospitals, healthcare facilities, pharmacies and other providers.
“The county’s vaccine distribution plan emphasizes a strong focus on reaching underserved populations, with the selection of these sites aiding in ensuring fair and equal access to the vaccine,” states the release. The county developed its plan in partnership with the Mid-Hudson Regional Vaccine Hub, led by WMC Health and the New York State Department of Health. For information visit the Ulster County Covid-19 website or call the Recovery Service Center at 443-8888.
SUNY Ulster machinist program
The Gene Haas Foundation has awarded Ulster Community College Foundation, Inc. at SUNY Ulster a $10,000 grant to support scholarships for credit and non-credit students building their skills in the machinist industry. This is the third consecutive year SUNY Ulster has been awarded this grant funding to support students entering into Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) technologist training or a CNC machining-based engineering program. This grant allows scholarship recipients to change careers without a financial impact on their families. Locally there is an urgent workforce demand for skilled CNC labor.
Students enrolling in a CNC technologist training or a CNC machining-based engineering program are asked to complete the online Foundation Scholarship application to apply for the Gene Haas Foundation Scholarship online at https://www.sunyulster.edu/scholarshipapp.
Kingston gets a million bucks
The City of Kingston has been awarded a $1,000,000 grant from Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. (Enterprise) to implement targeted strategies designed to help prevent displacement of residents from their homes and community. Kingston is one of ten municipalities to receive $1 million funding from Enterprise to implement strategies identified through participation in the New York State Anti-Displacement Learning Network (ADLN). Kingston team members include Rupco vice-president Guy Kempe, mayor Steve Noble, council president Andrea Shaut, alderman Jeffrey Ventura Morell, Kingston director of housing initiatives Mike Gilliard, YMCA associate executive director Rashida Tyler, and Midtown Rising executive director Frank Waters.
Enterprise will now continue working with Kingston to implement these high-impact strategies locally so that community members at risk of displacement can remain in their homes. “Housing is a fundamental right for all people. With the worsening pandemic, increased demand in our area and rising housing costs, we as a city need to do everything possible to make sure no one loses their home,” said Mayor Noble. “I am so grateful for this grant from Enterprise Community Partners that will allow us to implement smart strategies to help ensure everyone in our community has a safe, stable place to live.”
Saugerties Lions food bank donation
Town of New Paltz seeks volunteers
The Town of New Paltz is looking for volunteers to serve on the Bike-Ped Committee, Clean Water Open Space Preservation Commission, Environmental Conservation Board, Ethics Board, Historic Preservation Commission, Planning Board (one member and two alternates), Public Access Committee and Recreation Committee.
Interested parties may submit a letter of interest and resume to the supervisor’s office at P.O. Box 550, New Paltz, NY 12561 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Onteora kindergarten registration
If you have a child eligible to enroll in kindergarten in the Onteora School District next September, it’s time to register your child. The school district’s online kindergarten registration system is now open.
To register online, parents or guardians should go to www.onteora.k12.ny.us and click on “Registration & Displaced Families.” The link for online registration is in the middle of the page. Please be sure to choose the 2021-2022 school year.
Children who turn five on or before December 1, 2021 are eligible to enroll in kindergarten beginning in September 2021. For information, contact Sharon Wood at 657-6383, extension 1023 or email her at email@example.com.
Italian cinema classics
January 20 is the 100th birthday of the iconic Italian film director Federico Fellini, and to help celebrate that occasion, the Rosendale Theatre is streaming a series of Italian cinema classics through February. The series will begin with Fellini’s break-through film from 1954, the Academy-award winning La Strada, starring Anthony Quinn and Giulietta Masina, and will close with his 1987 farewell film Intervista, featuring Marcello Mastroianni, Anita Ekberg and Fellini himself.
Other films in the series include Seven Beauties, starring Giancarlo Giannini, and Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1970 adaptation of Alberto Moravia’s book The Conformist, starring Jean Louis Trintignant and Dominique Sanda, and featuring the camera work of Vittorio Storaro.
This series, co-promoted with the Ulster County Italian American Foundation. Is curated by New York film professors Ted Folke and Howard Menikoff, who will introduce each film and host a Zoom discussion with invited guests about Italian cinema. The fee to stream each film is $10, but there is no additional charge to view the discussion. For information and film trailers, go to: www.rosendaletheatre.org.
Students from Saugerties gain real-world career experience while helping Habitat for Humanity
A crew of Ulster Boces students from the Saugerties School District are “paying it forward” by helping build a home for a family of five through Habitat for Humanity (Ulster Habitat), a nonprofit organization that recruits volunteers to build affordable homes for those in need. Most of the students are enrolled in the two-year Ulster Boces electrical construction and maintenance program. These students are using the skills they have learned in class to help build a home on Donna’s Way in Glasco.
Students participating in the project include seniors Kaitlyn Lennon, Dylan Senor, Jonathan Toth and juniors Dale Wolgamuth, Ian Foster and Ben Rappoport.
“I’m proud to be working on a project like this,” said electrical student Kaitlyn Lennon, one of four girls in the program. “How cool is it that I get to help make a family’s dream of homeownership come true?”
“I’m so impressed with all of the student volunteers,” said Ulster Habitat project manager Peter Tirc. “They are always ready and willing to jump in and help out; they always come to work with smiles on their faces.”
The Saugerties students travel to the work site on asynchronous learning school days to hone their electrical skills. This opportunity also gives students the chance to shadow other trade professionals, including carpenters, painters and masons at the work site.
Saugerties guidance counselor and lead project advisor Michael Catalano, who holds a master electrician’s license, said he was “proud to watch these kids in action.” Through Catalano’s guidance, the students help rough-in the electrical wiring (cables which are pulled through the studs and arranged inside the walls), plan out the location of electrical outlets and install receptacle boxes.
Even though the students are working inside an enclosed structure, there is no heat, so it can get pretty cold, said Catalano. Working in low temperatures not only requires proper clothes, but also calls for a good mindset. Catalano recalled one cold afternoon when Saugerties senior Jonathan Toth was the only student who came to the job site to help work on the electrical panel. Catalano said he pushed Toth hard that day and talked about the importance of exhibiting good workmanship. Later, the construction manager took notice of Toth’s clean work and complimented him on it. “It feels really good to have a skill that can help others,” remarked Toth.
Throughout the build, the future homeowners (drawn from the local community) invest their own “sweat equity” before they are allowed to take ownership. Every Ulster Habitat family must meets three criteria: a need for housing, the ability to pay an affordable mortgage and a willingness to invest between 200 and 400 hours of ‘sweat equity.
The last house is expected to be completed some time in the spring.
Beyond yes and no
The Woodstock Library board voted on December 17 to have a dialogue with the community during the next few months. The intention of these dialogues is to hear from new voices and to understand why people voted either yes or no on the bond. Based on these conversations, the board may determine its path forward.
A few trustees and the library director will attend each session, and there will be an outside facilitator. Community members are asked to sign up for only one session. To sign up, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your date preferences, name and phone number.
The schedule for the community Zoom dialogues is: Monday, January 18 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.; Saturday, January 23 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; Monday, January 25 from 2 to 3:30 p.m.; and Saturday, January 30 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
If the first set is well attended, a second set of dialogues will be scheduled.
Dietz Stadium improvements
A virtual public meeting will be held for the Dietz Stadium and Andretta Pool improvements project on Tuesday, January 19 at noon. The project involves a multi-phased, comprehensive restoration of the sports complex, parking lot and surrounding drive. Upgrades are intended to make the facility a regional sports attraction and economic benefit.
At the public meeting, city staff, and engineering consultants from CPL will present the project’s master plan for public comment. The master plan includes improvements to the scoreboard, bleachers, water fountains, fencing and gates, sound and wi-fi systems, lighting, bike racks, locker rooms, bathrooms, food vending, signage, parking and more.
With substantial funding from a Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) state grant construction began at the Andretta Pool in spring 2020. A new roof and masonry repairs at the pool house have been completed, as well as pool lining repairs and installation of a new pump and filter for the pool and a new splash pad. The splash pad is expected to be installed by June 2021.
Information at: https://engagekingston.com/dietz-stadium-andretta-pool-improvements.
Ulster DA warns of scams
The Ulster County District Attorney is advising county residents to beware of common phone/on-line scams. Local residents have recently reported losing money via the Amazon Imposter Scam and the Central Hudson Utility Scam.
At the end of last year, during business hours, a town of Ulster business received a call from someone claiming to be from Central Hudson. The business owner was advised that she “owed money on her electric bill and if not paid immediately her electricity would be turned off within two hours.” She gave the person her credit card over the phone, and two days later her credit-card told her that her credit card had been compromised and $8000 stolen.
Telephone scams come in many forms, but they tend to make similar promises and threats, or ask you to pay in certain ways, such as providing your credit-card information over the phone, wiring money or putting money on a gift card. Scammers can make any name or number show up on your caller ID. That is called spoofing. The scammer could be calling from anywhere in the world.
Another resident in the City of Kingston reported receiving an email from Amazon claiming “suspicious activity on your Amazon account” and instructing him to call a number. He called and was advised that his account had been compromised. The alleged Amazon person convinced him to provide his account access details. The fraudster then ordered $2000 worth of Amazon gift cards via the victim’s Amazon account and by the time the physical cards were received by him the funds had already been siphoned off.
The best defense against these scams is a healthy amount of skepticism. Scammers generally try to scare their victims, or they promise them something that’s just too good to be true. Consumers should not hesitate to hang up when they hear a recorded voice, even if it looks like a local call. If a consumer is in doubt about the authenticity of a call, the consumer should contact the business or government agency using the number on the monthly billing statement or on the entity’s legitimate website.
Consumer Affairs, a division of the district attorney’s office, can be reached at 340-3260.
County exec announces additional funding to support youth programs
Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan has announced an additional round of child-care funds to support school-aged, full-day programs in Ulster County. Project Resilience, with the assistance of United Way, allocated $72,000 in funding to the Center for Creative Education, The Boys & Girls Club and the YMCA, directly supporting scholarships to 218 youths throughout the winter. The scholarships include access to the internet and computers and support for remote learning.
“As a parent, I fully understand the burden that this pandemic has put on our families and youth,” Ryan said. “Having a safe place for our children to learn helps to protect the next generation of Ulster County residents while allowing their families to keep their careers on track. I am so grateful for the community’s support for Project Resilience so that we can continue to provide these much-needed services”
Project Resilience provided support for these programs in the fall and is continuing funding through the winter to support local youth and families impacted by the pandemic through an additional round of funding so that the Center for Creative Education, The Boys & Girls Club and the YMCA can continue to offer tuition assistance to families in need. Project Resilience is made possible through partnerships with the United Way and Community Foundations.
Donations are accepted through the United Way of Ulster County. For information on Project Resilience, please visit: https://covid19.ulstercountyny.gov/project-resilience/.
Climate Action Plan survey
A survey to gather community input for Kingston’s Climate Action Plan 2030 development process is now open. The Climate Action Plan 2030 will determine the next ten years of the city’s climate goals.
The short survey can be taken in English or Spanish at EngageKingston.com until February 7. In addition to the survey, there will be a public informational meeting next week, as well as focus groups, town-hall meetings and workshops.
The Climate Action Plan 2030 kickoff meeting will be held this Thursday, January 14 at 5:30 p.m. An environmental consultancy firm, Cadmus, will provide a broad overview of the planning process and examples of the type of recommendations that could be included in the final Climate Action Plan/ 2030.
For information and to complete the survey, visit EngageKingston.com.
HRMM access during closure
While it is closed for the winter months, the Hudson River Maritime Museum is offering limited access to the museum through timed admission on Fridays and Saturdays. Tickets will be available on the half hour between noon and 3:30 p.m. Each admission time will be limited to four people at a time.
Closed for the final month of 2020 to allow for planning and staff recovery after an intense year, the museum is now offering reservation-only admission a few days per week. This will allow visitors ample social distancing inside the museum and the opportunity to see museum exhibits without summertime crowds. Admission is $12 per person. Guests who wish to have the museum to themselves for their timed entry may purchase all the tickets in their time slot.
Groups of more than four people should email email@example.com or call 338-0071, extension 10 to make special arrangements. Tickets must be purchased online in advance at www.hrmm.org/visit or by calling 338-0071 extension 10. The museum’s administrative offices will be closed on Sundays.
The museum store will be open with admission. Some museum store items are also available online at https://www.hrmm.org/store/c1/Featured_Products.html.
Laila Mach bound for American Idol
ABC’s hit show American Idol on February 14 will include local singer, songwriter andmusician Laila Mach. The New Paltz High School sophomore just punched her golden ticket to the award-winning live singing competition that is fielded by star-studded judges including Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan and hosted by Ryan Seacrest.
Mach, who will fly to Hollywood and be part of this season’s opening Valentine’s Day show, is a member of the high school’s choirs under the direction of Nicole Foti. Mach, a talented vocalist, is also an instrumentalist who plays guitar and piano as well as a songwriter. She recently launched her first album, Stuck on You (https://music.apple.com/us/album/stuck-on-you/1546561572?fbclid=IwAR0wOl3EbP75rx57vBNzazL8pe2Jtcn6973avg-t80KDARnZ_1R989BHyVc).
Having passed rounds of auditions for the show on Zoom, Mach was chosen to fly to San Diego to audition in person. On New Year’s Eve, a promotion for the show featured Mach and some of the other contestants chosen to move forward. Mach’s family’s reaction to her receiving the ticket to Hollywood was seen by millions of viewers as her two younger sisters, mother SaraBeth Valentino-Mach and her father James Mach, screamed in joy of the announcement (www.facebook.com/AmericanIdol/videos/2746448189000851).
Tune into American Idol on February 14. Break a leg, Laila Mach!
Laila is super-excited for what’s to come and is looking forward to the American Idol season premiere on Sunday, February 14. “I’m thrilled that I will be on the show this season. I’m so glad I have never given up on my goals, even when I’ve been told ‘No’ in the past. I’m looking forward to all good things ahead!”
To learn more about the local superstar-to-be, visit www.facebook.com/lailamofficial.
— Erin Quinn
Historic Huguenot Street awards $15,500 in 2020 Scholarships
Historic Huguenot Street has announce the eight recipients of a total of $15,500 in scholarships for 2020. In collaboration with the Hasbrouck Family Association, Historic Huguenot Street has now provided over $195,000 to further the education of more than 140 undergraduate and graduate students across the country since 1998.
Five different endowed funds provide support for Huguenot descendants and scholarly work in fields related to Historic Huguenot Street’s mission. Scholarship candidates are reviewed and recipients are selected by the Historic Huguenot Street Scholarship Committee, chaired by Dr. James Merrell, Lucy Maynard Salmon professor of history at Vassar College. In addition to Dr. Merrell, the HHS Committee includes Dr. Louis Roper, professor of history at SUNY New Paltz and Carol A. Johnson, coordinator of the Haviland-Heidgerd Historical Collection at the Elting Memorial Library.
Candidates for the Gertrude E. Hasbrouck Memorial Scholarship awards are reviewed and recipients are selected by the Hasbrouck Family Association, including its president, Thad C. Hasbrouck, its vice president, Robert H. Freehill and its treasurer, Rebecca J. Hasbrouck.
The 2020 recipients are: Kate Bellman, SUNY Oneonta (early childhood education), Josiah Hasbrouck, Cairn University (politics), Zoe Hasbrouck, Brown University (economics), Mykel Henry, Hampton University (architecture), Reid Inouye, University of Redlands (anthropology), Jessica Klein, University of Idaho (architecture), Ryan Palczynski, University of Notre Dame (architecture) and Jerusha Taylor, University of Michigan School of Music (violin).
Information about the scholarships provided by Historic Huguenot Street is available at huguenotstreet.org/scholarships.
Three new Kingston Police Department officers sworn in
The Kingston Police Department’s has three new police officers. On January 6, Rafael Vega, Leanna VanWassenhove and Abel Flores were officially sworn in as Kingston police officers. All three will begin attending the police academy this week.
Candidates sought for Gardiner offices
The Gardiner Democratic Committee (GDC) is looking for Gardiner residents interested in running for town offices this coming November and being endorsed by the GDC. The positions on the ballot include county legislator (UC District 16), town supervisor, town board member (two positions), town clerk, highways and roads superintendent and town court justice.
Residents interested should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org expressing interest and, briefly, their reasons for possibly seeking office. A resume is also requested if available. Questions can be sent to the same address, but be sure to include a phone number for a return call. Those interested will need to complete a questionnaire that will be sent to them shortly after their initial email.
Ulster County volunteers honored with MLK Day drive-thru celebration
Volunteers from Ulster County non-profits are welcome at UlsterCorps’ twelfth annual MLK Day Celebration of Service on Saturday, January 16 from noon to 2 p.m. outside the Rosendale Recreation Center at 1055 Route 32 in Rosendale (the snow date is Monday, January 18).
The event will celebrate the broad circle of kindness and generosity that demonstrates the value of the volunteer spirit across all generations. The event is free and will include goodie bags for all attendees who pre-register by January 11. There will also be an event program listing the names of all volunteers who pre-register by January 11 and all businesses and agency partners supporting the event.
This will be a drive-thru event, Pre-registered volunteers are welcome to drive through any time between noon and 2 p.m. to receive their event program and words of gratitude. Attendees are asked to wear a mask or face covering while at the event.
To register for this free event, email email@example.com or call/text 481-0331.
Virtual warm-up to winter showcase
The New Paltz Climate Action Coalition, Interfaith Earth Action, Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess and Sullivan counties and others plan a virtual winter energy showcase on January 14 at 6 p.m. Hear about easy and affordable ways to winterize your home, how to sign up for community solar and save money and learn about different energy options for your home. Register at http://bit.ly/warmuptowinter2021.
Participants include Astral Community Solar, NY State Solar Farm, Suncommon, HWS, Rycor, New Beginnings Window and Door, Foamco, Citizens for Local Power, Sustainable Hudson Valley, New Yorkers for Clean Power, Hudson Valley Community Power, Hudson Valley Energy Navigators and others.