Briefly noted in New Paltz (11/17/21)

BSA Cub Scout Pack 272 and Scout Troop 172 worked in conjunction with RYCOR of New Paltz to participate in the annual Scouting for Food Drive this year throughout the Town and Village of New Paltz on Saturday, November 13.

2021 Scouting for Food Drive

Boy Scouts of America Cub Scout Pack 272 and Scout Troop 172 worked in conjunction with RYCOR of New Paltz to participate in the annual Scouting for Food Drive this year throughout the Town and Village of New Paltz on Saturday, November 13.

The boys, girls, scout leaders, family members and employees and owners of RYCOR HVAC (Scott and Tracy Arnold) worked cooperatively to collect and distribute more than 8,100 food items. Donations were collected and received from the New Paltz community, in addition to a very large donation of food from RYCOR.

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The food donations were sorted and delivered to the St. Joseph’s Church Food Pantry and Family of New Paltz Food Pantry. “The food drive will benefit many of those in need throughout our local community,” said Assistant Scoutmaster Christopher Nadareski. “Members of Scout Troop 172 and Pack 272 of New Paltz and the food pantry recipients sincerely thank the New Paltz Community and the RYCOR Company for their overwhelming generosity.”

The New Paltz Office for Community Wellness and the Ulster Prevention Council will hold their second annual Holiday Hoopla Parade and Carnival on Saturday, December 11 from noon to 3 p.m. Last year, a parade of first responders handed out candy canes in the Village of New Paltz. The parade included New Paltz Youth Program Director Jim Tinger as Santa, Town of New Paltz Community Education Coordinator Phoenix Kawamoto as the polar bear, volunteers from High Falls Hoopers for Humanity and members of the Tin Horn Uprising.

New Paltz hosts Holiday Hoopla Parade/Winter Carnival December 11

The New Paltz Office for Community Wellness and the Ulster Prevention Council will hold their second annual Holiday Hoopla Parade and Carnival on Saturday, December 11 from noon to 3 p.m. The parade will kick off at noon from the New Paltz Middle School and proceed to Hasbrouck Park, located at 15 Mohonk Avenue, which will be the site for the Winter Carnival.

The Holiday Hoopla Parade’s purpose is to bring good cheer and lightness, raise the spirits of the community and let the community know they are cared for and not alone. The Winter Carnival will feature food, family fun and festivities for all.

If you would like to be part of the Parade and/or the Winter Carnival, visit https://form.jotform.com/212934654615156. For additional information, e-mail pkawamoto@townofnewpaltz.org or call (845) 256-5014.

Wreaths across America Day honors veterans December 18

December 18 is National Wreaths across America Day. On this day, participants not only thank an interred veteran for their sacrifices, but also say their name aloud and keep their memory alive for family, friends and their community at a time of year when they are missed the most. Local volunteers are feverishly working on this mission right now.

Locally, volunteers for the Wreaths across America program are very close to honoring every single veteran laid to rest at the New Paltz Rural Cemetery and Ulster County Veterans’ Cemetery, but they need just a little extra help to complete the mission. Community members are asked to sponsor a veteran’s wreath for $15, which will be placed at the headstone of a local hero at noon on Saturday, December 18 as part of National Wreaths across America Day. Each sponsorship goes toward a live balsam wreath that will be placed on the headstone of an American hero as part of an endeavor to honor all veterans laid to rest.

Repair Café in New Paltz November 20

A Repair Café will be held on Saturday, November 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the New Paltz United Methodist Church, located at the corner of Main and Grove Streets. Due to COVID restrictions, masks are required for everyone indoors.

Bring a broken-but-beloved item to be fixed by experts who are also your neighbors. Skilled volunteers from the community will provide free repairs of household items. This month’s repair coaches’ areas of expertise include jewelry repair, photo restoration, woodworking, mechanical/electrical and digital work.

For additional information, visit https://repaircafehv.org.

Jane Keahon Schunk memorial service

A memorial service for Jane Keahon Schunk will be held on Saturday, November 27 at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Church, located at 34 South Chestnut Street in New Paltz.

Water district questions

Now that the years of litigation have been resolved and plans are in order to begin work to create a water district on Plains Road in New Paltz, Village officials have questions that were either never addressed back when this project was first proposed, or they feel should be revisited since it’s been a long time since the designs were first proposed. The engineer who designed the system for the Town has since been replaced, and Mayor Tim Rogers regularly writes detailed letters to the editor about the water and sewer systems. This water district will mostly only be used by residents of the road, but it’s funded with New York City money to flow at up to 400 gallons per minute as a backup for periods when the Catskill aqueduct is shut down. That ongoing work is needed in advance of a much longer shutdown of the Delaware aqueduct to install a bypass; it is presently leaking an estimate 15 to 35 million gallons of upstate water into the ground on its way to downstate faucets, and because that portion is under the Hudson River it can’t be repaired. Simply scraping the “bio-film” from inside the Catskill will yield an additional 50 million gallons a day being extracted from this region.

Town and village engineers need to talk, it was explained at the November 10 Village Board  meeting, because suddenly sending 400 gallons per minute in the opposite direction through aging village pipes could cause a lot of problems, and it’s not clear to Public Works Superintendent Bleu Terwilliger that this was given sufficient attention in the initial designs. This could result in brown water from iron deposits being dislodged, or it could result in water main breaks elsewhere in the system. Terwilliger, one of the few people who was involved from the beginning, sent a letter laying out these and other concerns to the Town’s present engineer in advance of work being started.

— Terence P Ward

Audit is a-ok

The presentation about the outside audit of Village of New Paltz books was dull and uneventful — which is what any Village taxpayer should want to be the case. Audits are only eventful when something has gone terribly wrong, and Nancy Branco has earned a reputation for sticking to the rules as treasurer. The accountants did point out that with all the strangeness that occurred during the 2020-21 fiscal year, the Village’s fund balance ended up higher than expected. A fund balance is the money left over after the bills are spent, and is the primary form of emergency savings for a municipal government. Since fund balances exist because more taxes were collected in a year than were spent, the trick is finding an amount that is big enough to address the unexpected, but not high enough to upset taxpayers. There is not a clear rule about how much is appropriate for a Village, but these accountants find that at 20% of the budget, this one is “healthy.”

— Terence P Ward

Racism training planned

In their report about police and racism and how to address systemic issues, members of the New Paltz Reform and Reinvention Commission recommended that every single employee of the Town, Village, and School District take the “Undoing Racism” course. That recommendation has no authority over the boards overseeing the Village and School Board, but Village officials are interested in following through in some form. The problem is that this course costs several hundred dollars per person, not including whatever pay that the individuals will receive for this training based on existing contracts. Village Board member Stana Weisburd brought forth an opportunity for elected officials to participate in a study group around the concept of white fragility, conducted by resident L. Grace Harmon. At a cost of $900, it would have enough seats for all the board members of both Town and Village. Incipient Town Council member Esi Lewis expressed concern that training facilitated by someone familiar might not be “uncomfortable” enough, but the mayor believes that familiarity may make it possible for Harmon to push harder into that discomfort, which Lewis believes is necessary to learn about these emotionally-charged concepts.

— Terence P Ward

D&H Canal Historical Society acquires historic telegraph office

The D&H Canal Historical Society has announced that it has purchased a historic telegraph office: one of the very few (if not the only) original telegraph offices in the country. Built between 1855 and 1865, it is located next to New York Lock 15 of the Delaware & Hudson Canal in High Falls. The building and lock are just south of where the Canal crossed the Rondout Creek, using a Roebling suspension aqueduct – one of four built by John A. Roebling for the Canal.

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The telegraph office was one of many that the D&H Canal Company used for its communications. Its life extended beyond the operation of the Canal in High Falls, as oral history gathered by the Society indicates that in the early 1900s, local residents would crowd on the ten-foot-wide towpath around the building on election nights to hear the results.

The structure has maintained most of its original condition, and everything but the ceiling in one room dates from its initial construction. Due to age and lack of maintenance, the clapboard- clad building is in need of restoration. “The recent deterioration spurred on the Society’s effort to acquire and save it for future generations to learn more about the history and technological aspects of the Canal,” says Bill Merchant, deputy director for collections, historian and curator.

At this time, the building has been secured from the elements, and immediate plans are to clear overgrowth from the area. For the long term, the Society plans to pursue funding to restore this historic gem to open it to the public and provide interpretive panels or exhibits.

To learn more about D&H Canal history, visit the Historical Society’s YouTube Channel, D&H TV, at www.youtube.com/c/DHCanalHistoricalSociety.

Memorial service for Raymundo Jackson on November 20 

Raymundo Wesley Jackson, 50, passed unexpectedly on Monday, November 8 during work at Elting Memorial Library in New Paltz.  Raymundo  was born on August 5, 1971, son of the late Howard and Joan Jackson. With his passing, Raymundo left behind his loving husband, Josh Lulov, who shared 22 years with him, and several siblings, nieces and nephews. He grew up in Long Island and graduated from Sayville High School in 1989.

Raymundo was well known in his community as a librarian who possessed knowledge as varied and detailed as the books which filled the walls of Elting Memorial Library. Whether it was language, history, art, politics, or all things science, he was an unending resource for those looking to learn and discuss. His greatest thirst for knowledge was in the field of Marine Biology, which he pursued at Stony Brook University and Dowling College. However, it’s safe to say that there is no way to really define the limits of the interests for the great intellect of Raymundo, as he explored with great vigor all the facts of life.

In honor of him, all are welcome to a memorial service being held on November 20 from 10 a.m. to noon and 4 to 6 p.m. at the Elting Memorial Library. Register ahead of time at www.eltinglibrary.org and bring a dish along if you are able.

Lady Pink’s exhibit will be at Gardiner Library through December 31.

Lady Pink retrospective at Gardiner Library

The Gardiner Library hosts a retrospective of Lady Pink’s 40-year career as a legendary street artist in sorted imagery including reproductions of illustrations, paintings, newspapers, magazines and murals through December 31 in the Library’s Community Room and foyer.

Lady Pink is a pioneer in the early 1980s New York City-based subway graffiti art movement. She has established herself in the fine arts and her paintings have entered important art collections in major museums around the world. Today she continues painting canvases and murals, inspiring and teaching younger generations.

The Gardiner Library is located at 133 Farmers’ Turnpike. For more information, call (845) 255-1255 or visit www.gardinerlibrary.org.

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