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Positive News Briefs

Aug 10, 2017 CWN

Research shows that we start to become what we focus on in life. Check out the wonderful things our neighbors are up to.

Solar Eclipse On August 21!

  Solar eclipses have been known to change history as well as individual lives. Although our area will be getting only a three-quarters view of the total eclipse on 6ish event on August 21, there are still many preparing for the rarity around the Hudson Valley. For instance, the Gardiner Library is presenting a series of events that began with an August 1 session with Solar System Ambassador Ken Bailey all about safe solar viewing and includes a special planetarium show and solar observing at SUNY New Paltz from 4:30 to 6:30pm on Tuesday, August 8, and future programs running up to the big event itself. Check around and see who’s doing what, especially at the impressive regional planetariums at SUNY New Paltz and Vassar College. Just be careful and don’t try looking at the thing face-on.

O+ Keeps On Expanding…

  On top of last year’s $245,000 Tides Foundation grant for matching financial contributions to O+ Festival dollar for dollar, the Hudson Valley’s O+ phenomenon is continuing to build long-term relationships between creatives and health & wellness providers to help strengthen local communities, working this year in Kingston, Poughkeepsie and Haverhill, MA. On August 5, O + Poughkeepsie will be holding its first Festival of Art, Music and Wellness on the block of Main Street between Academy and Market streets, where the city’s art revival started earlier this century. Participating visual artists and musicians will receive complimentary health and wellness care from art-loving volunteer providers with WMC Health as lead sponsor and confirmed partners including Changepoint Church (pop-up wellness clinic site), Mid-Hudson Heritage Center, Arts Mid-Hudson, Institute for Family Health, Hudson River Health Care and The City of Poughkeepsie. Corene Concepcion-Rivera has been named festival director of O+ Poughkeepsie and Poet Gold, the 2017 Dutchess County Poet Laureate, will serve as music coordinator. For full information check out opositivefest on Facebook.

Extension Director Steps Down After 43 Years

  After almost three decades, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County’s executive director Lydia Reidy is heading into retirement at the end of this year.  An integral part of the Cornell Cooperative Extension system for 43 years, Reidy has built CCE Ulster County from a staff of 20 and an annual budget of $575,000 in 1989 to 35 staff and an operating budget of over $4 million today. The U.S. Department of Agriculture began funding Cooperative Extension Services through land grant colleges in every state in 1913, with a mission to send agents into the nation’s counties to spread knowledge from academia to farmers and their families in order to keep them abreast of research and best practices in agriculture and home economics.  We all wish Lydia well… talk about a job well done!

Raising What’s Needed To Fight Homelessness

  Founded in 1967, Legal Services of the Hudson Valley—which serves the most vulnerable community members in seven counties of the lower and mid-Hudson Valley (Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland, Orange, Ulster and Sullivan) by providing free, high-quality, comprehensive civil legal services to protect basic human rights and necessities—is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year by initiating a Let Justice Grow $1 million campaign to benefit the agency’s efforts to prevent homelessness across the Hudson Valley. LSHV. In just 6 months, LSHV has raised almost $750,000 directly towards homelessness prevention. Agency-wide, almost 44 percent of LSHV’s cases focus on homelessness prevention by providing legal advice and counsel and brief or extended representation to homeowners in foreclosure and tax proceedings as well as tenants in unwarranted eviction cases. LSHV also handles legal matters relating to family law, domestic violence, elder law, disability law, healthcare advocacy, consumer protection, and more. Funds from the new campaign will go towards hiring and paying staff attorneys and paralegals to handle new cases. In 2016 LSHV took on more than 6,000 housing cases impacting more than 13,000 family members. To make a contribution to the Let Justice Grow 50th Anniversary Campaign, call (914)949-1305 ext 160 or visit www.lshv.org

Hudson Hall Hosts LightField Festival

  Starting August 12 and running through September, newly restored Hudson Hall (formerly known as the Hudson Opera House) will be hosting the second annual LightField Festival, “Just The Facts,” mashing together exhibits of still photography and multimedia work by six renowned artists who focus on working class people who struggle daily to keep their dignity in a social landscape that is increasingly hostile to immigrants and the working poor. There will be an artist talk concurrent with the exhibit’s opening reception on Saturday, August 12, at 5pm, and a September 2 7pm screening of participant Manfred Kirchheimer’s latest film, Canners, an ode to the men and women who earn their daily bread by diligently collecting New York City’s bottles and cans. For a full list of events tied to this humane series of events, visit lightfield.vu.

A Legendary Star Comes Into Her Own!

  Rene Bailey first came to Ulster County at the behest of tapdancer Peg Leg Bates, back when she was being pegged as the next big star of rhythm & blues, gospel or the new soul music… it was her choice.  On Sunday afternoon, August 20, Ms. Bailey—who’s performed with Louis Armstrong, Aretha Franklin and Sam Cooke and others over her long career—will hold a special concert celebrating the release of her first album, the gospel-tinged Good Old Songs at Rosendale Theatre. The event will double as a fundraiser for the community-bolstering theater, with a special sale of crispy cookies contributed by the nearby Bruderhof. Talk about a spirited time… For additional information check out www.rosendaletheatre.org or call (845) 658-8989.  

Catskill’s Lumberyard Creates New Creativity

  What’s the idea of the American Dance Institute’s Lumberyard project in the old Dunn’s Hardware complex along Catskill Creek in Greene County? Already, they’ve been helping innovative new dance works en route to major urban premieres by providing them space, a full technical crew, equipment rental and development fee subsidies, local transportation, housing and meals and marketing support. Soon, their campus will be up and running to allow Hudson Valley audiences a chance to be the first to see new works designed to wow the world and change the culture. They’ve even started renting paddleboards for use on the creek outside their new home. 

Hope Rocks Festival in Saugerties

  Popular Cantine Veterans Memorial Complex in Saugerties will be the site of a weekend long music, arts and activities festival focusing on mental health issues contributing to suicide and narcotics addiction August 19 and 20. Considered to be the first festival of its kind in the United States, the event will include a wide range of activities to attract at-risk individuals and their families. In addition to seminars and access to agencies and support, there will be athletic activities, art exhibitions, a 5/10K run, a “Walk of Hope”, live music, crafters, vendors and food as well as many state and local agencies and officials as well as the Saugerties Village and Town of Saugerties are lending their support to the event. It’s all free; for more information, visit www.hoperocksny.com or look the festival up on Facebook.  

Time For ‘Bag Summer Hunger’

  Over 10,000 children in Ulster County worry in the summer where they are going to get a good meal. Those kids receive free or reduced breakfast and lunch in local schools during the academic year, but that stops in the summer months. People’s Place Food Pantry and Thrift Store is, for the third year, offering its “Bag Summer Hunger” program for 10 weeks, said agency Executive Director Christine Hein, who noted that, “when school is out, these children who get free and reduced lunch no longer get free and reduced lunch. We find offering the Bag Summer Hunger program alleviates some of the worry on both the children and the parents.” The program provides breakfast, lunch and snack foods for families with school age children in Ulster County who can come to 17 St. James Street in Kingston once a week, no questions asked, to pick up their free foods; hours of operation are 10am to 1pm Mondays through Fridays as well as Wednesday evenings from 5:30 to 7:30pm. Proof of residency is a must. Things run through September 1.