New Paltz Middle School hires Jessica Miller as new assistant principal
The New Paltz Central School District (NPCSD) has appointed Jessica Miller as the new assistant principal of New Paltz Middle School (NPMS). Miller is joining the NPCSD from the Hyde Park Central School District, where she has worked as an English as a New Language (ENL) teacher at the secondary level for seven years. Miller is set to begin working in the District this month.
Miller received her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and a Master of Science in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Mercy College. She later completed an Educational Administration degree at SUNY New Paltz.
Miller explained that she wants to inspire students and staff to be successful through superior communication and collaboration, adding that she had a special high school teacher who evoked the passion within her to learn language and travel. “I want to inspire students the way she inspired me, which was through building relationships.” Miller said that she has learned throughout her career that building and fostering relationships with students, staff and the community is an important key to success.
Miller comes to the NPCSD feeling connected to the District’s Equity Initiative and wants to impact change with a goal of fostering an environment of equality and a growth mindset for all. She explained that her professional mantra is “Equal is not always equitable.” She believes that by embracing equity, people are then given value. “We are celebrating being different and the beauty that exists in being different,” she said. “Inclusivity creates stronger, more efficient and fair environments, which in turn breeds success.”
Miller is married and has two daughters, Addelyn and Kenley. “I cannot live without my family and learning,” she said. She enjoys traveling when not working, and enjoys language and travel so much that she once lived in Guadalajara, Mexico so she could have a firm grasp of the Spanish language.
“We have students and families in our school who are in need of Miller’s passion for language and relationship-building,” said NPMS principal Ann Sheldon. “I am looking forward to seeing her connect and inspire students to discover new interests in learning more about new languages, new lands and relationships with new friends.”
Tree ID walk with Nick Martin at Gardiner Library
The Gardiner Library hosts a tree identification walk on Friday, October 8 and 15 from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Join Nick Martin, Minnewaska State Park Preserve educator, for an approximate one-mile walk on either the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail or the Rail Trail and through Majestic Park.
Participants are encouraged to wear waterproof boots or shoes. In the event of rain, this program will be canceled. Meet at the Gardiner Library lower parking lot. The Library is located at 133 Farmers’ Turnpike. For more information call (845) 255-1255 or visit www.gardinerlibrary.org.
Ring Out For Climate October 30 at 1 p.m.
The 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP26, will take place in Glasgow Scotland from October 31 through November 12. In order to highlight the importance of this event, which has been called a CODE RED for Humanity, a group of church members in the UK have proposed that on October 30, church bells be rung throughout the country at 6 p.m. Glasgow time.
This message has spread to the US and locally to New Paltz. Local churches, environmental groups, businesses, schools, neighborhoods and individuals are all called to join in bell ringing across the Town and Village of New Paltz on Saturday, October 30 at 1 p.m. Let the bells ring out across our valley, nation and world as a warning to the delegates of COP26, reminding them of the urgency of the dangers we now face.
Having a bell is not a requirement — banging a pots and pans will suffice. If you’re interested in joining in “making good noise” (like good trouble!), contact Jim O’Dowd at email@example.com or call (845) 255-4170.
The New Paltz event is sponsored by New Paltz Interfaith Earth Action and the Caring for Creation Committee of the Reformed Church of New Paltz
Sidewalk waivers a focus in lot-line discussion
Surveyor Patti Brooks doesn’t think Town of New Paltz Planning Board members understand the Town law about sidewalks. Having been bringing matters before this Planning Board for 40 years, Brooks told board members during their September 27 meeting that only recently has it been expected that an applicant for a subdivision seek a waiver of the requirement to build a sidewalk in every single case. Brooks believes that the intent of the Town law is to cover large subdivisions that would involve creating and building on multiple lots with new streets; in this case, the surveyor was appearing on a lot-line revision, which is simply moving a property line. These are considered subdivisions in the Town’s zoning code.
“I can’t imagine it’s good planning practice to ask for a sidewalk on every subdivision,” Brooks said, using a tread-worn argument that any such sidewalks may not be connected to other paths for decades, if ever. The phrase “sidewalk to nowhere” is sometimes bandied about in these discussions, although Brooks did not use that exact phrasing.
Board chair Adele Ruger noted that continuing to waive sidewalks would result in no additional sidewalks being built, but Rick Golden, the board’s attorney, said in response, “We haven’t waived all of them.” A freedom of information request sent to the town three years ago asking for a list of subdivision applications for which sidewalks were waived since that requirement was imposed was deemed overly broad, and as such the information was not furnished. Golden is correct that not all sidewalk waiver requests are granted, but there is no mechanism by which it can be determined how many more linear feet of sidewalk would now be along town roads if no such waivers had ever been granted.
Former Town Council member Kitty Brown is currently an alternate Planning Board member. Brown recalled that the intent of the sidewalk provision was to make it possible for subdivisions, in time, to be connected by ensuring that sidewalks are built even at remote locations.
Lyle Nolan said that this provision is “a troubling thing in the code that we’ve dealt with many times, mostly by waiving it.” Nolan has been on the board for 15 years, longer than any other member.
— Terence P Ward
Louis and Mildred Resnick Lecture Series continues October 13
The second presentation in the Louis and Mildred Resnick Lecture Series, “The New (?) American Anti-Semitism,” will be on Wednesday, October 13 at 7:30 p.m., when Henry (Hank) Greenspan will speak via WebEx on “The Guts of Anti-Semitism: A Psychologist’s Perspective.”
Dr. Greenspan holds degrees from Harvard University (B.A, M.Ed.) and Brandeis University (Ph.D.) He is an emeritus psychologist, award-winning oral historian and prize-winning playwright at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor who has been interviewing, writing about and teaching about Holocaust survivors since the 1970s.
Greenspan is the author of, among many other things, On Listening to Holocaust Survivors: Beyond Testimony. He has also been the annual Weinmann lecturer at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. Most recently, he has been working with Sweden in helping to plan the first Holocaust Museum in that country. He is also the founder of Justice in Michigan, an organization devoted to legal rights in the context of healthcare.
Family of New Paltz Turkey Trot will be virtual
Family of New Paltz’s Turkey Trot is a 5K Run and Walk event, held annually, to support Family’s food pantry and crisis services. Due to gathering restrictions because of COVID-19, this year’s event will be virtual. Runners from anywhere can now participate by using the RaceJoy app. This app will allow runners to (1) either run the route we would normally use (accessible through the app), or choose their own preferred route; (2) complete this run on any given day/time during the entire month of November. Persons are able to obtain their own sponsors and collect donations for the race directly through RaceJoy.
You can register online at www.newpaltzturkeytrot.com or in person 51 North Chestnut Street in New Paltz, Monday through Thursday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. and Fridays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
For anyone participating locally, shirts will be available from Family of New Paltz, with a pickup date to be determined. The cost is $25 for persons aged 13 to 64 years, $15 for anyone below the age of 13 and over the age of 64. For general questions and/or to make arrangements to pick up tee-shirts, please contact Ivan at (845) 255-7957 or Jen at (845) 392-3624.
The 2021 race will be held in memory of George Devine, who was a longtime supporter of Family of New Paltz.
New Paltz Visitors’ Center opens October 7
One EPIC Place will be celebrating the grand opening of the New Paltz Visitors’ Center on October 7 at 5:30 p.m. at 126 Main Street in New Paltz.
“Although we are sad to see the Chamber go, we are extremely honored to accept the passing of the torch for the Visitors’ Center in New Paltz, said EPIC Place co-founder Julie Robbins in a press release. “The New Paltz Chamber has been providing this service for decades to visitors coming to New Paltz and the surrounding area. At EPIC, we have been dedicated to serving the local community and have always worked closely with the New Paltz Chamber to support their efforts in helping local businesses. We see this as an extension of that relationship, as well as a continuation of our mission at EPIC.”
Any businesses wishing to display their material and/or become a sponsor of the Visitors’ Center is asked to contact them for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (845) 232-0402.
Historic Huguenot Street gets $500K to restore Bevier-Elting House
Historic Huguenot Street (HHS) has been awarded a $500,000 Save America’s Treasures (SAT) grant from the National Park Service, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute for Museum and Library Services, according to a press release. Funding will support much-needed major repairs and restoration work at the Bevier-Elting House (ca. 1700, 1735 and 1760). The project, expected to start in 2022 and continue over the next five years, is one of 49 projects in 29 states funded by the SAT program this year.
A key structure centrally located within HHS’ ten-acre National Historic Landmark District, the Bevier-Elting House is an example of Dutch vernacular architecture in the US. Home to generations of the Bevier and Elting families, this important structure is the earliest house maintaining its original form on Huguenot Street, and is particularly significant in that it is a rare surviving example of the front-gable orientation common in Dutch architecture.
The house also plays an important role in HHS’ interpretation of slavery in New Paltz. Historical documents indicate that each of the patentees and other early families enslaved Africans. That includes the Beviers and Eltings. Names of the enslaved descendants listed in inventories and bills of sale relating to Samuel Bevier and Josiah Elting’s son include Molly, Bett and Sam.
The cellar of the Bevier-Elting House is interpreted as a kitchen where the enslaved would have lived and slept and serves as an integral part of HHS’ tours, which strive to tell the stories of all residents of the street and not merely those of the white European inhabitants.
The Save America’s Treasures grant and matching funds will ensure the long-term preservation of this historic stone structure so that it may be interpreted for audiences for centuries to come. “HHS is extremely grateful for this federal support,” the organization’s president Liselle LaFrance said in a statement. “To fully accomplish the needed repairs, we must raise an additional $500,000 in non-federal funds, and we hope that our community of supporters will recognize the worthiness of the project, which will be implemented under the guidance of our director of Curatorial and Preservation Affairs, Josephine Bloodgood.”
This is the second Save America’s Treasures grant awarded to HHS. The first was granted in 2006 for reconstruction of the north wall of the Jean Hasbrouck House (ca. 1721).
Rabies clinic in New Paltz October 13
The Town of New Paltz Dog Control officer and the Town Clerk’s Office will hold a rabies clinic for dogs and cats on Wednesday, October 13 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Town Highway Garage, located at 52 Clearwater Road in New Paltz. Customers must stand six feet apart and masks must be worn.
Vaccinations for rabies, distemper and heartworm will start at $10 each and will be administered by Dr. Laurie Stein, the traveling veterinarian. Heartworm medication is also available. Rabies certificates will be presented at the completion of the vaccination. These certificates are essential for licensing dogs where they reside, as required by New York State law.
Dogs must be leashed and cats must be in carriers. Payment is by cash or check only. For additional information, call (845) 255-0100, extension 1.
Town of New Paltz seeks volunteers
The Town of New Paltz is looking for volunteers to serve on the Board of Assessment Review, Bike/Ped Committee, Environmental Conservation Board, Ethics Board, Historic Preservation Commission, Police Commission and Public Access Committee. Interested parties may submit a letter of interest and résumé to the supervisor’s office at PO Box 550, New Paltz, NY 12561 or e-mail email@example.com.
New Paltz/Gardiner seniors to meet on October 13
The New Paltz/Gardiner Senior Club will welcome local author Janet Schlift on Wednesday, October 13 at 1:30 p.m., at the VFW social hall on Route 208 South in New Paltz.
Schlift will speak about her life and her book What Ever Happened to My White Picket Fence and My Brain Injury from My Massive Brain Tumor? She has discussed her book at many local senior clubs and groups in the Hudson Valley area.
Visit the Club to enjoy the presentation, meet old friends, make new friends and find out what is happening. For additional information, call Kathy Rivera at (646) 361-5160.
Highland to honor 2021 Hall of Fame inductees
The Highland Central School District will be honoring its 2021 Husky Hall of Fame inductees during a special dinner on Wednesday, November 3. The event will be held at Bad Seed Cider Taproom, located at 43 Bailey’s Gap Road in Highland, beginning at 6 p.m.
Highland’s Husky Hall of Fame was established to recognize the achievements of accomplished alumni and dedicated faculty and staff, as well as to inspire today’s students to do great things with their educations. The 2021 inductees, who were announced last February, include Darlene Spizzo Plavchak, Scott MacFarlane and Hobart “Hobie” Simpson.
Plavchak, who is the recipient of the Husky Pride Award, is a retired Highland Elementary School teacher. She began her teaching career in Highland in 1975. Also among the honorees is NBC news correspondent Scott MacFarlane, who graduated from Highland High School in 1994. Rounding out the 2021 inductees is Hobart “Hobie” Simpson, the late business and community leader who graduated from Highland in 1993 and went on to have a successful career practicing law.
Hall of Fame inductees are traditionally honored as part of the Highland Educational Foundation’s annual Snowball Silent Auction and Dinner Dance fundraiser, which had to be postponed this year due to COVID. Next year’s Snowball, which will recognize 2022 Hall of Fame inductees, has been scheduled for February 26. More information will be announced at a later date.
Tickets for the November 3 event at Bad Seed cost $25 per person and include dinner and dessert. A cash bar will be available. To reserve your tickets, call or text Luke Sukunda at (845) 430-5679 by Friday, October 22.
New Paltz Karate Academy’s Shiai
Below the Shawangunk Ridge and under bright sunshine, New Paltz Karate Academy hosted its fall Shiai, as well as a testing and a sparring tournament. This Shiai was held at the Ulster County Fairgrounds on Saturday, September 18. It drew students from five locations, plus their families and friends. The event included students from New Paltz Karate and Traditional Okinawan Karate schools in Pleasant Valley, East Fishkill, Brooklyn and Kinnelon, NJ.
The day began with a testing for students who were eligible for promotion. That was followed by a kumite (sparring) tournament. The Shiai was the pinnacle of the day.
Groups of students performed self-defense demonstrations and kata (martial arts forms consisting of striking, blocking and kicking combinations).
The final segment of the Shiai was the promotion of the students who had been tested earlier in the day. The highest promotions were those at black-belt level:
Junior Black Belt: Nicolas Giordano, Ian Hanlon, Tyler Howard
Shodan (First degree black belt): Jesenia Conde, Nicholas Fiore, Natalyia Jemison, Edgardo Rivera, Jr.
Nidan (Second degree black belt): Rachel Cea, Charles Frommer, Jill Gelenter, Adam Hocek, JP Mirabella, Peter Sutherland
Sandan (Third Degree black belt): Cheryl Haughton, Seth McKee
Yodan (Fourth Degree black belt): Brendan Keating
Following the Shiai was a party. Students, family and friends ate, drank and congratulated those who had just been promoted.
New Paltz Karate Academy is located at 22 North Front Street in New Paltz. For additional information, call the school at (845) 255-4523.
Lot merger plan would “preserve viewshed”
Barry Wine and Siyon Kim, Butterville Road neighbors in New Paltz, are working on an agreement that would reduce the building lots in New Paltz by one. Wine owns a parcel that’s adjacent to both residences, and under this scheme that empty lot would be split in two, with one portion being merged into Kim’s land and the remainder folded back into Wine’s other lot. Town Planning Board members opened a public hearing on this application September 27, and after no one spoke it was agreed to hold the hearing open until the October 4 meeting. That will give architect Allen Ross a few more days to add some requested details to the plans, such as a note advising that Town law requires a permit be sought prior to installing any fence. Ross said that no new fence is being considered at this time.
— Terence P Ward
Highland Rotary Club’s Comedy Night to benefit Scholarship Fund
Join the Highland Rotary Club on Friday, October 15 at Novella’s in New Paltz for some 21-and-over-style fun with all-star comedians Buddy Fitzpatrick, Crazy Gene Trifilo and Highland’s own Ralph Anthony. A cash bar will be open, and guests can come early and enjoy dinner on their own from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The show starts at 9 p.m.
Admission costs $25 per person, and proceeds will benefit the Highland Rotary Club’s High School Scholarship Fund. Novella’s is located at 2 Terwilliger Lane in New Paltz. Tickets are available online at www.highlandrotaryclub.com or by visiting the Highland Rotary Club Facebook page at @highlandnyrotary.
Stand-up comedian Buddy Fitzpatrick is a native of Philadelphia and is currently touring the US sharing his comedy perspective. His act combines the skill of a great monologist with a physical style that brings his observations to life. “Crazy” Gene Trifilo was born February 3, 1976 in Beacon. He has spent a lifetime entertaining crowds all over the US, Canada and Europe. Ralph Anthony, a/k/a “Ralph the Mouth,” is the son of local Highland Rotarian Ralph Smith. He is currently a New York City-based comedian whose material is primarily derived from his unique observations of the world we live in.
Yard sale October 9 at St. Andrew’s in New Paltz
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, located at 163 Main Street in New Paltz, will hold its annual yard sale on Saturday, October 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The sale will take place outdoors.
Donations will be accepted from October 3 to 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you have something to donate for the sale, please enter through the back door of the church (entrance off North Oakwood Terrace) or call (845) 255-5098 to schedule an alternate time. No furniture or clothing.
Shoppers will find a varied selection of household items, glassware, dishes, pictures and frames, as well as books, toys and games. Also for sale will be Christmas decorations, jewelry and collectibles. St. Andrew’s gives a portion of its proceeds to local charities, including Family of New Paltz.
For additional information, call the church office at (845) 255-5098.