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New Paltz teen bound for American Idol

New Paltz teen bound for American Idol

ABC’s hit show American Idol on February 14 will include local singer, songwriter and musician Laila Mach. The New Paltz High School sophomore just punched her golden ticket to the award-winning live singing competition that is fielded by star-studded judges including Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan and hosted by Ryan Seacrest.

Rosendale Waxworks launches art-print gallery

Rosendale Waxworks launches art-print gallery

A year and a half ago, when no one could have predicted that a coronavirus would soon be shutting down businesses and keeping people from traveling, a new regional tourism initiative called Rosendale Outings was introduced, the brainchild of Shaun Johnston, co-owner with Wilda Gallagher of Rosendale Waxworks. It was a website designed to tout the low-key historic charm and funky cultural vibe of that town’s Main Street via a collaborative approach to advertising online.

New Paltz restaurateur, songwriter and storyteller plumbs troubled past in new book

New Paltz restaurateur, songwriter and storyteller plumbs troubled past in new book

In his stunning new memoir The Trouble with Kim: On Transcending Despair and Approaching Joy, the New Paltz writer, musician, and restaurateur Seth David Branitz goes deep into a troubled personal past. It is the story of a wildly dysfunctional New York City family from the 1970s through the end of the century, a family mired in poverty, violence, mental illness, and deepening cycles of futility and struggle. From these antecedents, the youngest child traces his own descent into addiction and inexpressible despair and longing, describing a circuitous route toward — not to — redemption, stability, forgiveness and something like happiness.

Celebrating the wisdom of the twilight years

Celebrating the wisdom of the twilight years

For me, reading’s been better than ever this year. It’s helped me and many others find a means of accepting, even understanding, the anxieties caused by pandemic. It’s been an alternative to the battles over truth that have forced their ways into our political souls via journalism and the social media.

Get-out-the-vote virtual concert and rally

Get-out-the-vote virtual concert and rally

Community members, international performers, political representatives, candidates and activists have gathered for a reprise concert (this time, virtually) as Hudson Valley Votes comes together to get out the vote. Airing on Saturday, October 17 at 8 p.m., via HVV’s YouTube channel and social media, as well as via Radio Kingston, Radio Woodstock and others, this third annual concert-rally features local and international talent.

Carole Ford of New Paltz publishes journals of touring US, Canada by camper

Carole Ford of New Paltz publishes journals of touring US, Canada by camper

Mention Carole and Steve Ford to Paltzonians of a certain vintage – those who attended the Campus School, the New Paltz Middle School and/or High School between the mid-1970s and early 1990s – and you’ll see eyes light up and hear fond memories recalled of the Arts Community Youth Theater. The Fords created a nurturing backstage family for many a creatively inclined youngster, introduced more than a few future thespians and theater professionals to the stage, and provided the community with years of high-quality live entertainment.

Book, music and art lovers now have a Parlor in New Paltz

Book, music and art lovers now have a Parlor in New Paltz

Sometimes, the most interesting parts of a town can be found in slightly out-of-the-way corners the locals know best. It’s easy to see how Parlor, a recently opened shop that’s “a place to meet, see, buy or sell books and other artifacts,” might quickly become such a prize in the Village of New Paltz.

Democratic Convention featured music by New Paltz-based composer Pete Calandra

Democratic Convention featured music by New Paltz-based composer Pete Calandra

Even if all you caught of the 2020 Democratic National Convention on TV was the opening video sequence – a montage lasting a minute and 45 seconds, titled “We the People” and featuring notable Americans of every description reciting the opening paragraph of the US Constitution, ending with the convention being called to order – you’ve been exposed to the music of New Paltz resident Pete Calandra. The keyboardist, composer and teacher wrote and played every note on that piece, which opens with a Coplandesque fanfare designed to swell the heart of any Democrat.