When you attend a ribbon cutting ceremony for a normally quiet storefront of an insurance agency, and when everyone has poured out onto the sidewalk and into the intersection because there are so many supporters in attendance, it really is so heart warming.
It was an emotional afternoon for this multi-generational business in Beacon - all of the congratulations to Antalek and Moore as the torch is passed to Executive Partners Susan Antalek Pagones and Vince Lemma. Several dignitaries attended - Mayor Casale and Senator Sue Serino during a joint Ribbon 🎀 Cutting with the Dutchess Chamber and the Beacon Chamber of Commerce.
As the Mayor pointed out, Antalek and Moore is one of the longest running businesses in Beacon, employing several people. The food at the party was local and amazing! Susan forced a to-go plate in my hungry eyes, and I’m so glad she did. Mr. V’s, Leo’s wings, treats from Ella’s Bella’s, Drink More Good blessing the new office, Alps Chocolate, BAJA 328 and others. Congratulations!!
High School Students looking for help with writing projects can stop by the High School Writing Lab Thursdays after school from 2:30-4pm at the Howland Public Library. Support, assistance, and encouragement is available for students in grades 9-12 at work on school or personal writing projects and college essays.
Drop-in, no registration needed. Facilitator Jess Conway is an instructor at Teachers College, Columbia University.
To see more opportunities like this one for kids, see A Little Beacon Blog's Classes for Kids Guide.
On the first day of the new year of 2018, Beacon held a Swearing In Ceremony for the brand new City Council ward members and two Dutchess County Legislators - all Democrats - who swept local elections after a tumultuous year in politics nationally. As reported by Jeff Simms for the Highlands Current, all citizens running were "first-time candidates, each [winning] by wide margins." The two At-Large council members, Lee Kyriacou has served 9 terms, and George Mansfield has served 5 terms so far.
Past City Council member, Pam Wetherbee, presided over the ceremony, of which several people attended including Kenya Gadsden, board member for the Beacon City School District Board of Education, and former Beacon Mayor Steve Gold who is currently the Chief of Staff for New York State Assemblyman Frank Skartados.
Kicking off the ceremony were Cub Scout Pack 1, Boy Scout Troop 1, and Boy Scout Troop 141 of Beacon. Next, the the Beacon High School Chorus, led by teacher Susan Wright, sang "This Land Is Your Land" by Woodie Guthrie, which was a "song special to Pete Seeger, who was someone important to Beacon," Susan stated (see this New Yorker profile on Pete Seeger by Beacon local David Rees).
Terry Nelson, representing Ward 1, was sworn in by his daughter and wife, promising: "I will the best job I possibly can to represent everyone in the City of Beacon." Terry is also a founder of the Beacon Independent Film Festival, and a board member for BeaconArts.
John Rembert, representing Ward 2, was sworn in by his wife, showing gratitude: "I thank the citizens of Ward 2 and the citizens of Beacon, NY, and I will do my best for the citizens of Beacon, NY."
Jodi McCredo, representing Ward 3, was sworn in by her children. Jodi was also one of the founders of the Advocates for Beacon Schools, a group of parents and community members who pushed for change and awareness of the politics and policies in public schools. They were active during the time of a resignation of a Beacon superintendent in 2016 and in the election of three new board members to the Board of Education. That group built a website for publishing information, advocates12508.com, a similar website has been created for disseminating information about building development projects in Beacon, development12508.com. Said Jodi: "I'm looking forward to what we can do together for Beacon and for Dutchess County."
Amber Grant, representing Ward 4, used her small niece to place the Constitution on for her swearing in, who was held by her sister. Amber said: "I look forward to getting to work. Hopefully I'll see a lot of you here tomorrow as well (next City Council meeting)."
After George Mansfield was sworn in for his At-Large position, he reflected: "I was first here 8 years ago, when I first ran for office, and it never gets any less exciting. The burden of responsibility is great."
Lee Kyriacou, City Council at Large, selected The Constitution as his object to be sworn in on. "Thank my family, my spouse, my two lovely daughters who indulge my passion to indulge in community service., and to the voters who turned out in amazing numbers. Please keep doing that." "Beacon's journey of renewal." "Beacon has probably done the biggest turnaround of the Hudson Valley, if not, almost anywhere. It's been a pretty important set of roles for us to undertake. I've said from Day 1 - my first Day 1 was 1994 - that Zoning and Enforcement are the most important things that we do." "We aren't going downhill - which is where we were heading in those days. We are headed uphill, but we have to chart a journey that works for our entire community. I look forward to my colleagues on the Council and the County Legislature in charting that journey together."
Frits Zernike for Dutchess County Legislator, District 16. Frits stated: "District 16 extends into Fishkill. It was Beacon's energy that won us this election. I hope to take the energy we have in southern Dutchess County and infuse the entire county legislature with it...Democracy is not a spectator sport. It's nice to be participating this way. I hope and I trust that you all will continue to participate, show up, pester us, and get done what we need done."
Nick Page for Dutchess County Legislator, District 18, was eager to get started, stating: "The election effort in Beacon was truly astonishing."
The event concluded with a benediction by Reverend Perry from the Springfield Baptist Church.
An almost big story of 2017 was that the volunteer organizers of the Spirit of Beacon Day were stepping down, and were not appointing a successor. Panic set in among those who heard the fringe rumors, but those who keep an ear to the ground didn't miss a beat. Longtime Beacon resident, building owner and textile designer Gwenno James heard the open call for replacement volunteers voiced by Mayor Casale during a City Council meeting in July 2017, and decided to step in and step up to take on the enormous task of organizing a parade celebrating the entire city.
Over the years, the organizers have for the most part been invisible, except to their friends and community members who knew who they were, making them into an enigma. While the succession of the organizers is described clearly in "Celebrating Our Centennial," a book produced by the Beacon Historical Society, the newest members of the Beacon population tended to not know who produced the parade, only that it happened year after year and was the most celebrated time to show off public schools, non-profits and other initiatives that strengthen the Beacon community by helping neighbors get to know neighbors.
Trivia Tip: Gwenno herself has penned several pages in that book!
We wrote about the Spirit of Beacon's backstory here, and have interviewed Gwenno below for the latest on what the future holds for the Spirit of Beacon Day.
ALBB: Some have said: “Beacon has changed. It doesn’t need a Spirit of Beacon Day anymore.” What’s your response to that?
Gwenno James: The Spirit of Beacon Day has been a wonderful celebration bringing everyone together across our community for forty years. When the original founders met in 1977 at the Howland Cultural Center, they agreed that “the community should get to know one another better….we should learn to know each other’s likes and dislikes regarding conversations, feelings, entertainment, education and food. “ I think that this intention / manifesto is as relevant today as ever, and helps us continue to grow together as a community.
ALBB: How did you come to take over the Spirit of Beacon Day Parade?
Gwenno James: First of all, I’d like to say that we are all so grateful to the committee who have been running the Spirit of Beacon Day parade for many years, for their dedication and hard work, including Rose Story, Roy Ciancanelli, Diane Sedore, Tony Lassiter and Bob Outer. They will continue to provide their support and advice going forward, which is great, and will enable us to transition smoothly and pass on the “torch.”
I look forward to leading the new committee with volunteers from all across our community. How the transition came about was: In July, an announcement was made at the City Council meeting that the committee would be stepping down. The Mayor and others encouraged folks from the community to step up and help. I had already been in touch with Rose Story, the committee Chair earlier in the summer to offer help and volunteer for the 2017 parade, so when I heard the news, I contacted Rose again and said I would be happy to help with any transition and, as needed, lead going forward.
We then further discussed with Mayor Casale, and he gave his support, alongside the City. An announcement followed at the next City Council meeting. Others also came forward to help and I spoke at the Beacon Chamber and Beacon Arts joint meeting, where members showed their support and volunteered.
During this year's parade , I “shadowed” Rose and Roy to learn more about how the parade is run on the ground. I also connected in person with the volunteer organizations and school groups.
ALBB: What will the upcoming year look like for you as you prepare?
Gwenno James: There will be a kickoff meeting around March with everyone who has expressed an interest to become involved. We will plan from there and assign volunteer tasks going forward. We will have continued meetings throughout the Spring and Summer and there will be plenty of opportunities for folks to provide input and help.
As for a website and social media presence for the Spirit of Beacon Day - that is coming, and we will return to this article to update it with the new link.
ALBB: How can others submit to volunteer?
Gwenno James: We welcome anyone who would like to volunteer and become involved. Folks can get in touch via email: email@example.com
The good news is that many of the original committee would like to continue helping and advising going forward, so we can build upon the great efforts they have done and have continuity.
ALBB: Will anything different be done for businesses on the day? Traditionally it has been for non-profits only.
Gwenno James: This is certainly a matter that we will discuss at our next committee meeting. It’s great to get input and we will be connecting with the Main Street businesses to hear their feedback over the coming months.
ALBB: Thank you Gwenno, and good luck! Look forward to experiencing next year's parade!
It’s a new year and with a new year comes new beginnings and starting new habits for the better! It's a great time to hit the reset button on your health and try new things. If you are looking to add some fitness into your routine but may not want to commit to a long-term, big gym memberships, perhaps a smaller boutique gym that specializes in particular workouts may be more your speed. We recently shared what’s new in our Shopping Guide and included The Studio @ Beacon and Zoned Fitness, both on Main Street.
It’s hard to miss The Studio @ Beacon’s “Coming Soon” sign at 301 Main Street and it has triggered curiosity from residents peeking through the windows. The Studio owners Laura & Samantha shared with me, “We’ve had so much positive feedback and we feel like Beacon is ready for this. We love hearing from people who are excited for what we’re bringing to town.” The Studio @ Beacon specializes in Spin and Boxing classes which Laura and Sam are very passionate about. They will have their ribbon cutting this month on Second Saturday, January 13th,
Zoned Fitness is the first personal training studio in Beacon to offer Heart Rate Based training, creating a work regiment specifically for your needs. Located at 490 Main Street, it was formerly Hudson Valley Fitness but they underwent rebranding and reopened in November 2017. They felt the original name did not reflect the type of fitness program they provide - the Zoned Training Method. Zoned training is a style of training that allows the person to scale their program, routines and exercise through four zones based on ability or fitness level. In addition to getting in shape, Zoned Fitness also teaches about nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle. You can sign up for an all fitness level class like Boot Camp or HIT (High Intensity Training) or Personal Training for more personalized attention or working through an injury or other physical limitations.
If you are looking for more than just a physical challenge but also mind and body, last year Shambhala Wellness Center at 4 S Chestnut Street underwent an makeover to provide more than just yoga. You can also receive massages, reiki (traditional & shamanic), nutritional counseling, health coaching, cognitive therapy, herbal medicine and psychic readings. You do not need to a flexible yogi with a Lululemon wardrobe to check out one of their upcoming workshops like AcroYoga Fundamentals!
[Update 1/12/2018]: And this just in! Beacon Pilates has moved locations after a decade on Main Street in Beacon. Find them now on West Main Street, near the train station. Their upcoming grand re-opening party is in February.
Don't worry about making too much of a change all at once, which is why some resolutions don't work out. One of the things Laura and Sam love about Beacon is the number of tasty options available, “If you haven’t already, you’re likely to see us around town eating and drinking…We’re not ashamed of our imperfect bodies, so when you hear us talking about the Big Bird we just ate at Stock Up, the fish tacos we love from Max’s, or a coffee run to Ella’s Bellas that inevitably includes a few of their insanely delicious salted chocolate chip cookies.” Take baby steps!
Inclusiveness is the continuing theme for smaller boutiques and studios. They bring a different kind of vibe when it comes to fitness which can be welcoming for exercise newbies. Being part of smaller fitness community may be just what you need to stay committed.
When: Thursday, January 18, 2018
Where: Their offices at 340 Main Street, Beacon, NY
Stop By! Or RSVP: 845-245-6292
Late in December of 2017, a hand-signed letter arrived in the mail from Pat Moore, partner at Antalek & Moore Insurance Agency, announcing his retirement from the independently owned firm Antalek & Moore in order to pursue personal interests, which included traveling with his expanding grand-family. Deeply important to Pat, has been maintaining independence in the insurance world, and he stated in his retirement letter: “We live in a time of high level merger and acquisition activities of firms like ours. Maintaining our long standing independence is proving to the exception in today’s business environment.”
Of the utmost importance to Pat was hand-picking his successor, Vincent A. Lemma, for his business partner, Susan Antalek-Pagones, to carry the business forward into its next generation. Antalek & Moore originated in Beacon in 1853 and continues here today with the new leadership and partnership of Susan and Vincent at the helm. They are hosting a ribbon cutting celebrating the transition on Thursday, January 18th at 4pm. And you’re invited!
Vincent (please…call him Vince), started working with Pat eight years ago during a time when Vince was working for an insurance agency owned by a bank. “Crazy things were happening with the banks,” says Vince, “and things were happening that didn’t jive with me for our customers.” He reached out to Pat to begin working in the independent world, and their business relationship blossomed.
As a new leader of the firm, Vince is pulling from his experience as an assistant lacrosse coach at several different colleges. As an assistant coach at Randolph Macon College, his team knocked nationally ranked Washington and Lee out of the playoffs in 1997, fueling his competitive drive to work with a team of young people balancing sports, school and teamwork. Coaching also allowed him to leave his home state of New York to experience different parts of the country, and return later to settle down into the insurance profession.
“As an athlete, you need to overcome hurdles to win. In this industry, we face those hurdles on a daily basis. As a coach, you need to understand how to help your employees overcome those hurdles.”
Vince believes that 90% of problems in the insurance world are caused by simple misunderstandings, and he aims to educate current and future customers of Antalek & Moore to help them know their coverage. He believes that working with an independent agent gives customers an advantage. “When you’re not working with your agent and your broker, things get difficult, and you think the insurance companies are out to get you. We fight for the insurance company to cover everything they agreed to cover in the agreement with the customer.”
You can meet Vince any time by scheduling an appointment with him, but the most fun way will be at their upcoming ribbon cutting right on Main Street conveniently located in the middle of town, near Rite Aid. In fact, park in the free parking lot behind Rite Aid and BAJA, and you're on Antalek & Moore's back doorstep! Stop in, welcome him to the position, and look for more from this new development at Antalek & Moore.
Antalek & Moore is a sponsor of A Little Beacon Blog, and this article was created with them as part of our Sponsor Spotlight program. It is with the support of businesses like theirs that A Little Beacon Blog can bring you coverage of news, local happenings and events. Thank you for supporting businesses who support us! If you would like to become a Sponsor or Community Partner, please click here for more information.
It’s as if there is a Winter Break *just* for getting sick. Right when you have the week off to celebrate the holidays and go wassailing to visit friends, someone or everyone in each family has a stomach bug or bronchitis. So before that pesky tickle cough turns into pneumonia - call your doctor of course in case you need an inhaler - but brew this tea and drink up daily. You can find everything you need to make it right on Main Street in Beacon:
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
a few shavings of fresh ginger
a clove of freshly chopped garlic (optional, if you have extra inflammation)
a slice of freshly squeezed lemon
a teaspoon of honey
your favorite sick-day mug
You might have an old bottle of apple cider vinegar in your cupboard, but do yourself a favor and pitch it. If it’s old, it most likely looks unappealing to you and you’ll skip this recipe. Take yourself to the olive oil store, Scarborough Fare Olive Oil and Vinegar Tap Room, on Main Street, next to the building construction and across the street from Homespun Foods. There you will find a deliciously refined bottle of apple cider vinegar that you’ll actually want to drink.
Next, cross the street to Homespun and select local honey, or the “Super Special” honey from France. Those who go deep with nutrition may prefer the local honey to get more local flower pollen into your body, but if you’re partial to pretty cans and French flowers, try the Super Special honey! That’s what they call it at Homespun, so just ask for it by name. I just bought it for the first time, and I’m an allergy barometer, so I’ll let you know if the foreign flowers make me sneeze. Probably not.
Then, shred a bit of that ginger into the mug with a knife or a cheese grater. Slice up the lemon and squeeze into the concoction.
My favorite sick-day mug is one that I picked up at Wickham Studio’s pop-up Holiday Sale three years ago, as it always fits just the right amount of this tea.
Finally, smell the tea for a while. The aromas will start working immediately on blasting out the unpleasant feelings.
Bonus round! For achy bodies, get thee to a bath right away, and soak in Epsom salts. If you go the route of unscented and un-anythinged, you’ll have only the magnesium sulfate to draw out the toxins from your body and relax muscles. Epsom salt baths are a frequent Mom-recommended thing, and an Internet-recommended thing. Vogel Pharmacy, right next to Homespun, is the place to buy straight up Epsom salts. Your total cure and sickness miracle tea, all in a three-shop radius. Well, save for the ginger and lemon, which are just down the block at Key Food.
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