Briefly noted across the region (11/17/21)

Supermarket merger completed after investigation leads to 11 stores being sold

A merger of the companies controlling the Tops and Price Chopper supermarkets has been given the go-ahead by the state’s attorney general, as well as federal regulators. The state and federal investigations into a potentially anti-competitive deal have held it up for eight months, but with a settlement reached the executives of Tops Markets Corporation, the Golub Corporation and Project P Newco Holdings, Inc., can complete this transaction. The resulting company is called Northeast Grocery, Inc., but residents of New Paltz and Saugerties shouldn’t expect the names of their local stores to be changed. They will still be shopping at Tops and Price Chopper, respectively, although the products on the shelves may be showing up in the same trucks.

According to court filings, eleven Tops stores had to be sold in order to ensure that residents in those areas weren’t left with too few options for their grocery-shopping needs, which could easily lead to higher prices. Another concern raised during the investigation was the preservation of union jobs. State officials believe that both of those concerns have been addressed with this settlement. Those stores were in Cooperstown, Cortland, Norwich, Owego, Peru, Rome, Saranac Lake, Sherrill, Warrensburg and Watertown.


— Terence P Ward

After 28 years, United Way leader announces retirement

 Stacey Rein never expected to be in her job for almost three decades when she was hired, back in April 1994. The first several years were challenging, as Ulster County’s largest employer IBM announced that it would be closing down the Ulster County facility in Lake Katrine. But being in the not-for-profit business since high school, Rein never expected the job to be anything but challenging. “The nonprofit sector certainly has its challenges, but I found an immediate camaraderie with my colleagues early on, and it was always a privilege to be in a position to help others,” she said.

She had been unfamiliar with Ulster County, growing up in New Rochelle and always heading south to New York City for recreation with her family. But at 34 years old, she followed a spouse who found a good job in Poughkeepsie and discovered the mid-Hudson Valley. “I grew up in the suburbs, but always dreamed of living where I could see mountains and fields and rivers and streams. I immediately fell in love with the area and knew I would never leave,” she said.

And she found the perfect job. In a letter to donors and not-for-profit and business partners, she wrote, “My time at the United Way has been a true gift. I have met and worked with amazing people from all walks of life: caring, compassionate and devoted to making the world a better place. I could not have asked for a better or more satisfying job.”

During her tenure, Rein and her staff have raised $30,000,000 for local human service agencies and special projects like United Way’s Emergency and Homelessness Prevention Fund, which played a major role during the height of the pandemic, assisting those who became unemployed or sick, but were not eligible to receive government benefits. And even now, this fund is the only resource available in the County to help income-eligible households with car or appliance repairs, furniture and household items, security deposits, medical bills, car insurance, Internet, electric bills and a variety of other needs that may threaten a family’s security.

“Stacey has been about one thing, and one thing only,” says Board chair and Ulster Savings Bank senior vice president MaryRose Warcholak, “making sure that Ulster County’s most vulnerable residents have access to the resources they need to thrive.”

Rein will be succeeded by Su Marcy, vice president of the United Way of Ulster County for the past 17 years. “Su has always provided thoughtful input, effective leadership and is highly respected throughout the Ulster County community. She will continue the agency’s legacy of compassion, collaboration and organizational integrity,” Rein said.

Rein will officially step down on June 30, 2022, and after that, hopes to find a part-time position in which she can continue to make a contribution – albeit with a little more time to take advantage of the gifts that her beloved Hudson Valley has to offer.

Maya Gold Foundation offers fall 2021 community program

The Community Programs Committee of the Maya Gold Foundation has selected nationally recognized educator Tim Mousseau for the Foundation’s fall 2021 Community Program. This is an opportunity for Hudson Valley locals to come together in a safe and open space to explore the pressing issues concerning teen sexual violence prevention and much more. The program is split into three separate events: one geared toward educators and school staff, one for teens and one for parents and community members.

Masks are required for all attendees. Coffee and pastries will be provided at all events.

For educators and school staff: “Lets Talk about…Emerging Perspectives and Important Trends for Educators Concerning Sexual Violence Prevention,” December 9 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the Denizen Theatre in New Paltz. CTLE credits are available with district approval. Registration is required; please register on My Learning Plan at This event is presented in partnership with the Mid-Hudson Teachers’ Center.

For teens: “Lets Talk about…Consent, Sex, Relationships and Sexual Violence Prevention,” December 9 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at the Denizen Theatre in New Paltz. No preregistration is required, but seating is limited, due to reduced capacity in the theatre. Please arrive early to ensure a seat.

For parents and community members: “Lets Talk about…Emerging Perspectives and Important Trends for Parents Concerning Teen Sexual Violence Prevention,” December 9 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Denizen Theatre in New Paltz. No preregistration is required, but seating is limited, due to reduced capacity in the theatre. Please arrive early to ensure a seat.

For additional information, contact

Vanaver Caravan, Arm-of-the-Sea present Into the Light December 11

The Vanaver Caravan and Arm-of-the-Sea Theater will present Into the Light on Saturday, December 11 at 2 and 4 p.m. at the Rosendale Theatre. Into the Light tells the story of a young girl named Lucia who journeys around the world to find light in the darkest time of the year. The performance will feature Arm-of-the-Sea Theatre’s giant puppets with holiday songs, dances and music traditions such as Sankta Lucia, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Christmas, Diwali, Yule, Advent and Solstice.

All performers and audience members are required to wear masks and show proof of vaccination (ages 12+) upon entry. General admission costs $15 for all ages.

The Vanaver Caravan and Arm-of-the-Sea Theater will be performing half-hour excerpts of Into the Light at the Sinterklaas Festival in Rhinebeck on Saturday, December 4 at 2, 3 and 4 p.m.

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