Virtual Shamrock Run
The Irish Cultural Center of the Hudson Valley will hold the 33rd annual Shamrock Run from March 5 to 17 in a virtual form. Choose your route: Will you run the original two-mile route down Broadway? Will it be hilly or flat? Outdoors or indoors on a treadmill? Wear your favorite Shamrock Run shirt from years past as you run any two miles (or more).
Participants are asked to register at zippyreg.com/online_reg/?e=1505. The cost is $20 per person with no additional fees. Then, post your results on ZippyReg and your route. Runners can also share photos from their run on the Shamrock Facebook page or on ZippyReg.
The first 100 entries are guaranteed a running neck-gaiter mask that will be mailed to you.
This year’s event is dedicated to Larry Cleveland, a running-community supporter and volunteer who died from Covid.
For more information, visit shamrockrun.org.
Ulster County man pointed AR-15 at cop
Members of the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office report the arrest of a Shokan man following an incident alleging that he pointed a rifle at a deputy.
On February 9 at about 6:30 p.m., the Sheriff’s Department received a call from a concerned friend requesting that deputies check on the welfare of Clayton W. Shafer, Jr., 52, of Shokan, at a location on Mountain View Avenue in Port Ewen, following some concerning content that Shafer had allegedly just posted to his Facebook account.
Upon the deputy’s arrival, Shafer is alleged to have confronted the deputy in the driveway while armed with an AR-15 rifle. A brief standoff ensued, during which a round from Shafer’s rifle was discharged in a different direction from the deputy. Additional law enforcement personnel soon arrived, and Shafer was taken into custody without further incident. Neither Shafer nor any law enforcement personnel were injured during the incident.
Detectives later executed a search warrant at the incident location and recovered 18 rifles and shotguns, including the AR-15 alleged to have been used in the incident. At this time, these firearms appear to have been legally possessed.
Shafer was charged with the felony of Menacing a Police/Peace Officer and arraigned in the Town of Esopus Court. He was released to reappear on a later date and an order of protection was issued on behalf of the deputy. Shafer was then removed by deputies to Health Alliance of the Hudson Valley, Broadway Campus, for a mental health evaluation. This investigation remains active and additional charges will be filed.
Responding to the call were: New York State Police, Town of Ulster Police, Kingston Police, Ulster County Emergency Response Team and Mobile Life Support Services.
As always, any person charged with an offense or offenses is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Ulster fatal overdoses nearly doubled in 2020; new funding announced
Ulster County executive Pat Ryan last week said opioid-related fatalities increased 94 percent in 2020, largely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in a total of 64 deaths.
This surge in opioid-related fatalities mirrors a nationwide trend. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that opioid-related fatalities reached their highest number ever recorded in over a 12-month span.
The release said that Ulster’s overdose fatality rate — meaning the number of fatal overdoses, compared to the total number of overdoses — dropped from 20 percent in 2018 to 13.5 percent in 2020.
Ryan also announced that the county has received $1.4 million in new grant funding toward opioid-use prevention in the last few weeks. The funding includes:
$900,000 from the Bureau of Justice Assistance for the Sheriff’s Department. It aims to keep residents from falling through the existing treatment gaps by extending the county’s High-Risk Mitigation Team into the City of Kingston, where close to 40 percent of the county’s overdoses occur. The City of Kingston High-Risk Mitigation Team will be made up of two peers and a case manager (with social work credentials), embedded within the Ulster County Sheriff’s ORACLE team, to respond to overdoses and individuals struggling with opioid-use disorder.
$500,000 from the National Association of County and City Health Officials for the county’s Department of Health Healing Communities Division. This will allow the Samadhi Recovery Center in Kingston to become a 24/7 center. Currently, it is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. This funding will allow for a fully staffed 24/7 Harm-Reduction Recovery Center and linkage to a quick-response MOUD (medication for opioid-use disorder) telemedication program. It will also fund Community Services of the Hudson Valley to continue a harm-reduction program that otherwise would have closed due to a lack of state funding. Additionally, it will create a student-driven, peer-to-peer prevention messaging campaign, with creative elements for use in all media to reduce the demand for opioids and other harmful substances substantially over time.
The county has now dedicated 2.7 million dollars over the past two years in opioid-prevention spending and grant funding.
“Now more than ever, in the wake of the compounding challenges COVID-19 has caused, it is critical that we do all that we can to ramp up and prioritize combating the opioid epidemic,” said Ryan. “These funds will go a long way in helping to educate the public, provide needed treatment and support and to ultimately save lives. Ulster County will not just talk about the issue; we are taking real action and putting funding behind stopping an epidemic that has ripped apart too many families in our community.”
“For the first time in Ulster County, law enforcement will have civilian partners embedded to confront this epidemic. Families want action from their government and law enforcement to combat this epidemic that is continuing to rip apart our communities,” said Ulster County sheriff Juan Figueroa. “Together with County Executive Ryan, we are setting up an alert system with a user-friendly app to better communicate the risk to people, in addition to the work we are doing in the Sheriff’s Office to assist those who have overdosed and help them get treatment, and to tailor a program with the impacted families. Tackling the opioid epidemic is one of my priorities as sheriff, and I am thankful to have so many partners in Ulster County government and local law enforcement to combat this crisis.”
According to Ryan, between 2015 and 2018, there was a 93 percent increase in opioid fatalities: the second-highest rate of any county in New York State outside of New York City. In 2019, fatalities decreased by 41.1 percent.
The history of black voting rights in New York State
In recognition of Black History Month, Historic Huguenot Street director of Curatorial & Preservation Affairs Josephine Bloodgood will present on the history of black voting rights in New York State and share some of what she is learning about free black men and voting in New Paltz and the surrounding region in the 19th century. This talk, titled “History Is Not Stagnant: Free Black Men and Voting Rights in 19th-Century New Paltz,” is set for Thursday, February 25 at 7 p.m.
Learn more and register at www.huguenotstreet.org/calendar-of-events/2021/2/25/history-is-not-stagnant-free-black-men-and-voting-rights-in-19th-century-new-paltz-a-virtual-lecture-by-josephine-bloodgood.
Takeout chili sale in Saugerties
The Reformed Church of Saugerties will hold a takeout chili sale on March 20. The cost is $8 a quart for vegetarian or meat.
Preordering is recommended by calling (845) 0246-5035. Pick up from 3 to 5 p.m. at 173 Main Street in Saugerties. There will be a limited quantity of chili available for walk-ins. Masks and social distancing are required.
For additional information, call (845) 246-2687.
Talk on roof system of Huguenot Street’s Jean Hasbrouck House
Historic Huguenot Street will host a virtual presentation with Ian Stewart titled “A Roof Unlike Any to be Seen in the Valley: The Roof System of the Jean Hasbrouck House” on Thursday, February 18 at 7 p.m.
The Jean Hasbrouck house can be seen as an iconic structure in the history of both the Hudson Valley and the US. Its expansive roof sets it apart from other buildings of the period, both in size and scope. While not uncommon in the Netherlands and Germany, the Jean Hasbrouck House is one of the few of this style that survives in the US. This talk will discuss what makes the Jean Hasbrouck House roof so distinct, and will offer other roofs as points of comparison. Utilizing knowledge gained during the restoration, architectural historian and timber-framer Ian Stewart will speak about this distinct building and its counterparts. Drawing on his field research and work, both in the US and in the Netherlands, Stewart will show what makes the Jean Hasbrouck House so unique and important.
Learn more and register online at www.huguenotstreet.org/calendar-of-events/2021/2/18/a-roof-unlike-any-to-be-seen-in-the-valley-the-roof-system-of-the-jean-hasbrouck-house-a-virtual-presentation-by-ian-stewart.
New Paltz student wins statewide “Spread the Word, Not the Virus” video PSA contest
AdkAction has announced that the winning video of its student Covid-19 Public Service Announcement (PSA) Contest was created by Emily Kucharczyk of New Paltz High School.
The contest, which was open to all middle and high school students in New York, garnered 53 entries from every corner of the state, sharing students’ advice based on CDC guidelines for preventing the spread of Covid-19. Students uploaded their video submissions online through Launchpad. Submissions were judged based on a scoring rubric by a panel of educators, not-for-profit leaders and video production professionals.
“When I heard about the project from my teacher, I had a vision of the shot where I held up a bottle of cleaning spray. I just saw the vintage theme in my head and went with it,” Kucharczyk said. “I love the creative freedom that comes with making movies – it’s one of the best ways to express your art.”
In addition to a cash prize of $1,000, the winning entry will be showcased on television and at the Beyond the Peaks Student Film Festival on Friday, June 4.
Saugerties Takeout Project
The Saugerties Chamber of Commerce has started the Saugerties Takeout Project, a new program aimed at helping local restaurants, bakeries and food stores in Saugerties that are having a tough time during COVID-19, while helping to feed Saugerties residents in need. To participate in the program, follow these guidelines:
1. Buy a gift card or gift certificate in person or online at your favorite local Saugerties restaurant, bakery or food store.
2. Mail the gift cards to: Saugerties Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 731, Saugerties NY 12477. Many locations will receive postage-paid envelopes for you to use. Or drop the gift certificates off at Town and Country Liquors, Sawyer Motors, Main Street Restaurant or Smith Hardware in Saugerties.
3. The Chamber of Commerce will collect the gift cards and provide them to participating local churches, as well as the Saugerties Central School District, for those individuals and families in need.
The Saugerties Chamber of Commerce will be matching all donations up to $500 for this cause. For more information, go to www.discoversaugerties.com or e-mail questions to email@example.com.
SCSD’s food and nutrition program needs your help
Not every child needs free school meals, but during Covid-19, every child can help the Saugerties Central School District’s food service program by taking advantage of the free breakfasts and lunches that are currently being funded by the US Department of Agriculture. The more students who participate this year, the more support the district will receive to offset next year’s costs.
All children 18 years old or younger, regardless of income levels, are currently eligible for free school breakfast and lunch every day school is in session through June 30, 2021. This includes younger children who are not yet enrolled, children who are homeschooled and children who dropped out of school and are under the age of 18. The meals are available whether students are participating in person, remotely or via hybrid learning.
The Saugerties Central School District participates in the national school lunch program and the school breakfast program, which provides subsidies for each breakfast and lunch the district serves.
The district’s food services program does not receive taxpayer funding. The budget is self-sustaining and consists of revenues from the sale of foods, the reimbursements received for meals served and possible grant funding.
Covid-19 has had a severe negative financial impact on the school food service program. The financial loss incurred has now placed a burden on the school budget.
Next year’s support depends on the number of meals the district distributes this year. That means that every child who participates in the program this year is helping to support next year’s program.
To order a free meal (on Mondays), visit https://bit.ly/35Dfpiq. Meals can be picked up every Tuesday from 2:30 to 5:45 p.m. behind the Saugerties Junior/Senior High School at the cafeteria doors.
When students are learning 100 percent remotely, parents can pick up all five breakfasts and five lunches at once. For students who are in the buildings for hybrid learning, parents will pick up meals for the days their children are not on-site.
For additional information, call Sheila Melville at (845) 247-6651, extension 1770.
Spring cleanup to return in New Paltz
After a pandemic-fueled absence, there is expected to be a spring cleanup in the Village of New Paltz this year. It’s tentatively being considered for the first week in April, which is a week earlier than in years past.
“Across the River: Artists from Hudson Valley East” opens March 20 at Olive Free Library
The Olive Free Library Association will present the exhibition “Across the River: Artists from Hudson Valley East,” bringing together six artists from the east side of the Hudson River. The show will run from March 20 through May 8, with an opening on Saturday, March 20 from 2 to 4 p.m.
Each artist works in one or more disciplines: the written word, illustration, painting, printmaking, photography, abstraction, poetry and assemblage. There is a broad range of talent and diversity among the artists and the work they create. “Across the River: Artists from Hudson Valley East” is curated by Marie Cole, director and founder of the Tivoli Artists’ Gallery.
“In this exhibit I have gathered together the work of six artists from the east side of the Hudson River,” said Cole. “While the Hudson River region is well-known for landscape painting, I wanted to showcase the wider variety of creative work that exists here. To this end, it gives me great pleasure to exhibit the artworks of renowned book author and illustrator Donald Crews; assemblage sculptor and photographer Juliet Harrison; poet, painter and printmaker Roxie Johnson; contemporary photographer and graphic designer Gilbert Rios; and Louise Kalin, who explores experimental printmaking techniques, collage, assemblage, drawing and sculpture, as well as my own landscape-inspired work in painting and printmaking.
“Although just a small sampling of artists from Columbia County and Dutchess County, there is much diversity and a broad range of talent among these artists and their work. I am always amazed at the new and inventive art that they create. I chose them because I know and love what they do. I hope you will too. We are all honored to be invited to exhibit at the Olive Free Library on the western side of the River.”
The Olive Free Library is located at 4033 Route 28A in West Shokan. For additional information, call (845) 657-2482 or visit www.olivefreelibrary.org.
Ed Sanders to speak about the legacy of Alf Evers
The Historical Society of Woodstock will present an interview with noted author, poet and composer Ed Sanders on Thursday, February 18 at 7 p.m. to discuss his recently completed biography on the life and work of noted historian Alf Evers. Evers, whose major works included The Catskills: From Wilderness to Woodstock, Woodstock: History of an American Town and Kingston: City on the Hudson, has been recognized as one of the prominent regional historians in the country.
Sanders, who will be interviewed by Woodstock town historian Richard Heppner, worked closely with Evers during the latter part of his life and, in Alf Evers: An American Genius, has offered a detailed study on the evolution of a historian’s life – a historian who helped lay the foundation of how we view our collective past.
In addition to his preeminent works, Evers served as the first Woodstock town historian and led the Historical Society of Woodstock as its president for a number of years. With a number of children’s books also to his credit, Evers was a much-in-demand lecturer, guide and an early voice in the battle to preserve our environment.
Working in the years before the dawn of the Internet, Evers’ research efforts were remarkable by any standard. Through interviews, oral histories and a meticulous review of printed records, Evers maintained a lifelong curiosity in all areas of our local story – from folklore to cultural and social change to the everyday struggles of carving a life from the Catskill wilderness.
The Historical Society of the Woodstock invites you to join in this special presentation as we remember and reflect on the legacy of Alf Evers’ work and the gift of history that he bequeathed to us all.
To register for this Zoom conference, simply e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and put “Alf Evers” in the subject line. An invitation will be sent to you prior to the event. For further information, contact Richard Heppner at email@example.com.
Financial assistance available for Saugerties businesses
The Saugerties Village Board of Trustees and the Community Development Revolving Loan Committee will be assisting Village businesses who may have been adversely affected financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Changes have been made to the revolving loan guidelines offering funding to existing businesses with general obligations including payroll, mortgage and rent payments, utilities and supplies. The interest rate for the COVID-relief loan would be 1.5 percent for a term of up to five years, with no payment or accrual of interest for the first 12 months. Loan amounts available would be $2,000 to $75,000. Security would be required for loan amounts between $40,000 and $75,000.
For a copy of the guidelines and/or an application, contact village clerk Lisa Mayone at (845) 246-2321 or 43 Partition Street in Saugerties.
Rhinebeck Artists’ Shop of New Paltz announces annual spring show
The Rhinebeck Artists’ Shop of New Paltz invites local artists to submit work for this year’s theme exhibition, “Transcend.” The show seeks to give artists an opportunity to express through 2D or 3D art their own interpretation of what it means to “Transcend”: transcendence, whether it be through the act of making art or capturing imagery that invokes the concept. All interpretations, media and genres are welcome.
The deadline to submit is March 21. Artwork must not exceed nine-by-12 inches. The Rhinebeck Artists Shop invites the local community to visit the exhibit from April 1 to 30. All work will be for sale, starting at $10 and up.
The shop is located at 188 Main Street in New Paltz. For additional information, visit www.hudsonvalleyartistshops.com.
Ulster exec calls for restaurant hours to be extended
Ulster County executive Pat Ryan last week joined county executives in the seven counties that make up the mid-Hudson region to call upon the New York State Liquor Authority to permit restaurants to be open an additional two hours. Currently, in order to comply with the 10 p.m. curfew restriction, restaurants must stop seating patrons at 8:30 p.m. The adjusted hours will be a benefit to restaurants struggling during the traditionally slower winter months, as well as restaurant workers. Only 1.4 percent of COVID-19 cases have been attributed to restaurants and bars.
“The data show that if restaurants and patrons take necessary precautions, they can operate in a safe way,” said Ryan. “Under normal circumstances, the winter months are the most challenging for our local restaurants. This common-sense adjustment will help our restaurant owners, their many employees and our local economy.”
“The Ulster County Regional Chamber of Commerce applauds County executive Pat Ryan for his efforts on behalf of the many restaurants in Ulster County who are being impacted by the current early closing time,” said Chamber president Ward Todd. “These restaurants and their staff have suffered immeasurably this past year, and now is not the time to cause them additional hardship. We join County Executive Ryan and the other Hudson Valley executives in asking Governor Cuomo to support this request in a timely manner.”
Last Friday, Cuomo announced that beginning February 14, closing times at restaurants and bars would be extended from 10 to 11 p.m. He said his decision was based on the continued decline in hospitalization and infection rates throughout New York.
Student art competition & virtual exhibition
Roost Studios of New Paltz is calling for submissions of student art for its annual student art competition and virtual exhibition.
Four students participating in the show will each be given a $250 cash award. The competition is open to SUNY New Paltz art students and New Paltz High School seniors demonstrating excellence and dedication in the arts.
The deadline to apply is March 31, 2021. To learn more and apply, visit www.roostcoop.org/student-art-competition.
Saugerties Pro Musica’s 25th season continues on Sunday, February 21
Saugerties Pro Musica’s 25th season continues on Sunday, February 21 at 3 and 8 p.m. and “on demand,” with internationally renowned musicians Ani Kalayjian on cello, Grammy-winner Keiko Tokunaga on violin and pianist Konstantin Soukhovetsk performing a world-premiere trio composed by Polina Nazakinskaya and classical music inspired by European folksongs by composers such as Joseph Haydn, Dmitri Shostakovich and Astor Piazzolla.
Instead of the usual live Sunday concerts at Saugerties United Methodist Church, Saugerties Pro Musica is presenting a series of five free prerecorded concerts, airing on Lighthouse TV on (and around) the originally scheduled date and time, that will also be available “on demand” afterwards.
Access the website at www.saugertieslighthousetv.com and click on Live Stream, or visit www.saugertiespromusica.org for more information.
Ulster BOCES Career & Technical Center to host virtual parent/student info night
Ulster BOCES Career & Technical Center is hosting a virtual parent/student Information Night on Thursday, February 18, with two sessions at 5 and 6 p.m. Parents and tenth-grade students interested in the two-year career training programs or grade 11 students interested in the Pre-University/New Visions Career Exploration programs should visit www.ulsterboces.org/recruit21 to access Zoom links to join the information sessions. The snow date for the event is Thursday, February 25.
During this virtual event, students and parents will be able to visit up to two programs (one per session), meet with school counselors and instructors and learn about the classrooms and work labs related to the student’s professional areas of interest. Courses for more than two dozen fields of study are available to choose from in areas including animal science, information technology, healthcare, criminal justice, automotive, manufacturing technology, culinary, aviation and drone technology and welding, to name a few.
Information Night participants will also be able to explore the Ulster BOCES Pre-University/New Visions Career Exploration programs available to high school seniors. Guidance counselors and teachers will be available to share information about the specific courses offered in the career areas of Advanced Robotics & Engineering, Music & Audio Engineering, Education and Health. Virtual guests can also learn about the admissions process for these programs.
If you cannot attend the information sessions but are still interested in learning about these programs, call (845) 331-6680, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ulsterboces.org/recruit21.
Kempner Properties acquires New Paltz apartment complex for $7.6 million
Kempner Properties, a White Plains-based commercial real estate company, announced the acquisition of Paltz Commons, a 36-unit garden-style apartment complex in the Town of New Paltz, for $7.6 million.
The 29,530-square-foot property, comprised of three buildings at 144 Main Street, is currently 100 percent occupied and primarily leased to students of SUNY New Paltz. It is located downtown and within a four-minute walk to the college campus. The building, which features 41 on-site parking spaces, was constructed in 1966.
“Our plan is to begin extensive high-quality renovations to the apartments and improve the building’s common areas, exterior painting, aesthetic improvements and landscaping,” said Kempner Properties managing partner Peter Kempner, who said that the site was purchased directly from the longtime owner/seller, with no brokers involved.
Kempner also currently owns/manages four other properties in New Paltz, including New Paltz Plaza, a 145,000-square-foot grocery-anchored shopping center, and 138 Main Street, a neighborhood strip center located next to Paltz Commons.
“The Town of New Paltz is known for its strict barriers to entry, which makes this an irreplaceable asset,” added Kempner.
Artist George Condo to support new Bard College concert series, scholarships, exhibitions
Bard College has announced that artist George Condo has made a significant gift supporting the arts on campus, including a new online concert series and a dedicated $400,000 fund underwriting scholarships, musical events and exhibitions at Bard’s Conservatory of Music, The Orchestra Now, the Center for Curatorial Studies and the Master’s in Fine Art programs. Among those scholarships is the new Inclusive Excellence in Music Scholarship Program that addresses inequities in access to higher education in music.
“The Condo Concerts,” presented by the Bard College Conservatory of Music and CCS Bard, begin February 19 with a performance by violinist Leila Josefowicz, winner of the Avery Fisher Prize and a MacArthur Fellowship, and continues with recitals by the Fred Sherry Quartet on March 14 and April 18 and clarinetist Anthony McGill on May 2.
“During one of the most challenging times for colleges in the United States, I wanted to provide both funding and inspirational programming for students,” says Condo, whose daughter Raphaelle graduated from Bard in 2018. “Bard College is a place where my daughter thrived, and one where the arts are central to the student experience.”
“We are grateful to George Condo for his support not only of the students at Bard, but also for underwriting these concerts and supporting the great musicians on this series, whose opportunities to perform have been so limited by the pandemic,” said Bard Conservatory director Frank Corliss.