If you think you remember the Elting Memorial Library celebrating its centennial back in 2009, you’re not wrong. That was indeed 100 years from the date when seven women from the New Paltz Study Club, inspired by the opening of a new Normal School building after the original one was destroyed by a 1906 fire, decided that the town needed a Free Library Association. So, they opened a reading room at 60-62 Main Street: the first iteration of what was to become the modern library the town knows today. A few months later it relocated to larger quarters in the Nathan Van Wagenen building at 68 Main Street. The Regents of the University of the State of New York granted the New Paltz Free Library a provisional charter on April 1, 1909, and an absolute charter on December 2, 1915.
Topics include: Frost Valley YMCA opens outdoor and virtual learning center; Rapid Covid test coming; NYSSMA selects four New Paltz Students for virtual performance; Catskill Center to host Fall Gala virtually; and more.
Topics include: Woodstock Library bond issue; Funding SUNY and CUNY; Combat climate change; Support for farmers; and more.
In response to a firestorm of public outrage over the placement of paroled Level 3 sex offenders at the EconoLodge Motel on the eastern edge of town on Route 299, New Paltz officials are investigating possible strategies to stop the community from becoming a dumping ground for predators.
New Paltz police officer Robert Sisco will not lose his job on account of the controversial rap video he posted on social media in June, though he will be on disciplinary probation for four years. The lyrics in the rap included a call to hang Hillary Clinton “for treason,” blamed China for the “whole coronavirus” and declared “There’s only two genders.” Critics slammed the performance as “transphobic” and questioned whether the officer could be trusted to provide equal law enforcement protection to transgender citizens.
Work patterns have changed. Huge numbers of jobs have been rendered virtual, shifted commutes from hours and minutes to the seconds it takes to get from one’s kitchen to whatever you’re calling an office.
The Hudson Valley in general, and recently Ulster County in particular, have gotten national attention for the precipitous rise of the cost of housing. But the mass exodus of buyers from the New York City area to upstate covers a lot more ground than that. Delaware County, the forgotten, sleepy area the size of Rhode Island, has been white-hot, too.
After being dominant from Georgia to Maine for thousands of years, this “keynote species” of the Catskills in particular had succumbed to Asian blight in the first decades of the twentieth century. (Asian chestnuts were imported because they produce fatter nuts. These brought blight to which the older, squatter Asian species was – and is – immune.)
What I want is a New Paltz of diversity, a New Paltz with room for the down-on-their-luck, where people can still discover themselves in shambolic, affordable and undistinguished ways, a SUNY where a kid can act the dilettante without accruing a prison of debt, a New Paltz where doing nothing — big nothing, like what Marriott and Con Ed got done here — really means something.
In the past seven months, the landscape of our daily lives has changed in ways we could have never imagined, unless we dwelled in the minds of fiction writers like Margaret Atwood or George Orwell. We’ve been transformed into a mask-wearing, hand-sanitizing, plexiglass-shielding, remote-almost-everything state of existence.