Highlands Current Raises $75K + New Donors In Local End-Of-Year Fundraiser

Photo Credit: Main Photo from Highlands Current; Graphic Design by A Little Beacon Blog

Photo Credit: Main Photo from Highlands Current; Graphic Design by A Little Beacon Blog

The Highlands Current is a local newspaper covering Beacon and Cold Spring. Their office is in Cold Spring, and they started out covering that neck of the woods. However, the publisher felt that too many connections between Beacon and Cold Spring were going unreported, so he elected to officially include Beacon in the newspaper’s coverage. The founding publisher has since passed away, and a board of directors helps to guide the direction of the paper now.

The Highlands Current ran an advertising campaign with A Little Beacon Blog in order to help the paper get the word out about their Double-Match Opportunity. Our position about media is - support it! Especially with local media! We know that media friendships are important, and we not only support and read the paper, but we appreciate their advertising investment as well. We know how precious it is!

We asked Managing Editor Chip Rowe how they did with the fundraiser. Here’s what he said:


Thank you to all Beaconites who helped to make The Highlands Current's year-end fundraising appeal a success. We couldn't have done it without you!

We raised enough funds to qualify for a $25,000 match from the NewsMatch program, a consortium of foundations, including the Knight and MacArthur funds, that are dedicated to helping nonprofit enterprises like The Current. And we'll receive another $25,000 from a generous local donor who also pledged to match that amount. So, with your help, we’re receiving an extra $50,000 to enable us tell your stories this year.

We're also very pleased to have added more than 100 new donors, nearly half of all are from Beacon! This feat will earn us a bonus from NewsMatch. And this growing community of supporters underlines the value put on the news and cultural coverage The Current provides.

We’re looking forward to another year of robust reporting on Beacon and neighboring Highlands communities. Thank you once again for helping us tell your stories!

- Chip Rowe
Managing Editor, The Highlands Current


3rd Free Federal Workers Night At Children's Museum - Mental + Finance Talk Included. Plus, a Look Into Who Isn't Getting Paid


In what has become the longest federal government shutdown in history, impacting 800,000 people who have gone without pay for almost a month - so far - the Mid-Hudson Children Museum is opening its doors again for another Pizza and Play Night this Thursday, January 24, 2019 from 5 to 7:30 pm. Pizza has been donated by Chef Joel Trocino of Amici’s Restaurant, and this time there will also be chowder from River Station Restaurant, both eateries from Poughkeepsie.

We’ve heard of missed car loan payments and uncertainty about how grocery bills will be paid if the shutdown continues.
— Lara Litchfield-Kimber, Executive Director of MHCM

Financial and Mental Health Options Presented

For this third event, Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum is coordinating with TEG Federal Credit Union and Mental Health America to provide information on community resources and services available to furloughed workers who are impacted by the partial shutdown of the federal government.

"When we first conceived the idea of hosting our Pizza and Play nights for furloughed workers, we wanted to provide an evening of normalcy for those federal employees impacted by the partial government shutdown,” said Lara Litchfield-Kimber, Executive Director of MHCM.

“It is inconceivable that the shutdown is still dragging on, but as it does, these evenings seem to be taking on the additional importance of allowing people to come together, talk, laugh and check-in on each other. As staff and board of MHCM, we’ve participated in the the conversations and we’ve done a lot of listening. We’ve heard of missed car loan payments and uncertainty about how grocery bills will be paid if the shutdown continues. While not expressly stated in many cases, we know the uncertainty around the shutdown is creating a lot of stress in the lives of individuals and families, so we reached out to engage community partners who can offer additional support.”

Who Isn’t Getting Paid In This Area?

Taking a micro-look at this area by looking at who attended the past two events at Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum, people not getting paid who attended the first event, and some the second event, include workers at the FDR estate in Hyde Park and other national park properties in the area, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (in Albany), a family of a federal officer, and others. About 30 impacted people brought their families, or came solo.

Lots of Americans Live Paycheck to Paycheck

In an NPR interview this week, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz (who studies wage stagnation and income inequality) said that 40% of Americans have less than $400 saved. Many federal workers, like a lot of workers in the private and entrepreneurial sectors, live paycheck to paycheck. According to this NPR story, Amy Fellows, a correctional officer with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, lives paycheck to paycheck. She was able to pay her rent and utilities for the first month of being furloughed, but doesn’t have anything for this month. And that’s just one story. Here are other stories of workers whose spouses were able to work additional hours at private-sector jobs, and who are thinking of leaving their federal jobs for new jobs.

Types of Federal Jobs Impacted

Included in departments not being paid are TSA workers (according to this CNN article), who continue to be required to show up at airports to check for airline security. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration stopped conducting food safety inspections, and then resumed recently. The U.S. Coast Guard is another surprising department not to get paid. The military fell under a different budget, within the Defense Department which was funded in September. But the U.S. Coast Guard’s budget, according to this article, falls under Homeland Security, and they were the first members of the armed forces not to get paid during a partial government shutdown.

Federal Workers Legally Bound to Continue Working

While half of the federal workers are “furloughed” (granted a leave of absence) according to this article at The Atlantic, those who have jobs that ensure the safety of the country still must show up, thanks to the Taft-Hartley Act in 1947. The act was created to prevent federal workers from striking if they wanted better pay or benefits during pay negotiations. The act covers agencies like the Secret Service, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Transportation Security Agents (TSA) and Border Patrol Agents.

Says Eric Young, president of the union that represents the approximately 30,000 employees of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, this forced labor is “involuntary servitude.” If federal workers strike, they could risk losing pensions they have worked for years to build. Trump has warned that the shutdown could last for months or years as far as he’s concerned.

Federal Unions Filing Lawsuits Against Trump Administration

Unions representing federal workers have filed lawsuits against the Trump administration, saying: “The government is in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, a 1938 law that mandates a minimum wage and overtime pay both to public- and private-sector workers,” according to the article in The Atlantic. Those unions include The American Federation of Government Employees and the National Treasury Employees Union.

What’s Next and Where To Get Help

Created for people who need help but don’t know where to go or how to ask for it, there is the Dutchess County Helpline. If you are worried, or can’t buy groceries, or just don’t know where to turn, you could call the Dutchess County Help Line and talk to someone about anything, plus get resources. They can point you in the right direction based on what you need.

CALL or TEXT: (845) 485-9700
TOLL-FREE: (877) 485-9700
Download the app for FREE

If you are a federal worker with a story you want to share about how the partial shutdown is impacting you, you can do so by emailing editorial@alittlebeaconblog.com. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can.

If you work for or run a business that is doing something special to help federal workers who are not getting paid, you can let us know about it by emailing editorial@alittlebeaconblog.com.

Beauty In Beacon As People Respond To Hate Flyers With Interfaith Event: "One Beacon"

Photo Credits:    Frank Ritter Photography

Before Digging Into This Article, Here’s a Letter from the Editor Providing Context:

Letter from the Editor:
The article below was written in November 2018 by Izdihar Dabashi, who attended “One Beacon,” an interfaith event. Before you read about the experience from her perspective, we’d like to bring you up to speed on why the event was created in the first place. Normally, we’d publish this reporting closer to the event, but with the holidays, time got crunched. Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and in the spirit of that, we are publishing this story now.

In October 2018, flyers promoting racism and antisemitism were posted onto two churches in Beacon: the First Presbyterian and Salem Tabernacle. This intrusive act spooked anyone who learned about it or anyone who visits the churches on a regular basis.

In response, clergy of different faiths called each other immediately to show their support, and lead people to a unified place in an interfaith event called “One Beacon.” The event provided a platform for reflections and exhortations from several speakers from the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim communities in Beacon, in addition to Beacon’s Mayor, Randy Casale.

And Now, for Izdihar Dabashi’s Article Coverage of “One Beacon”

On the 1st of November, 2018, an interfaith event called "One Beacon" was held at the Salem Tabernacle in response to the antisemitic flyers that marred doors of worship in Beacon at the First Presbyterian Church and the Salem Tabernacle, as well as on the grounds of education including Marist College in the Hudson Valley (see this article for descriptions of those flyers).

Speakers at the “One Beacon” event in November 2018, from left to right: Mayor Randy Casale, Pastor Bill Dandreano of Salem Tabernacle, Rabbi Brent Chaim Spodek of Beacon Hebrew Alliance, and Pastor Ben Larson-Wolbrink of First Presbyterian Church. Racist and antisemitic flyers had been posted onto the First Presbyterian Churce and Salem Tabernacle. “One Beacon” was the group response to that.  Photo Credit:    Frank Ritter Photography

Speakers at the “One Beacon” event in November 2018, from left to right: Mayor Randy Casale, Pastor Bill Dandreano of Salem Tabernacle, Rabbi Brent Chaim Spodek of Beacon Hebrew Alliance, and Pastor Ben Larson-Wolbrink of First Presbyterian Church. Racist and antisemitic flyers had been posted onto the First Presbyterian Churce and Salem Tabernacle. “One Beacon” was the group response to that.
Photo Credit: Frank Ritter Photography

“One Beacon” was planned before the tragedy that occurred inside of the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh that week. So it was coincidence that this event to celebrate the idea of belonging to the same community - despite differences of religion, gender, race, etc. - arrived at the right time to act as a balm for the distress present on our screens and appearing in broad daylight on our streets. Mayor Randy Casale and Pastor Ben Larson-Wolbrink said they drew a parallel conclusion once the hate flyers came to their attention: Call the police and call the clergy.

Clergy members in attendance at “One Beacon” included Pastor Bill Dandreano of Salem Tabernacle, Pastor Ben Larson-Wolbrink of First Presbyterian Church, Rabbi Brent Chaim Spodek of Beacon Hebrew Alliance, Imam Abdullah Abdul Wajid of Masjid Ar-Rashid, and Pastor Ronald O. Perry of Springfield Baptist Church. Mayor Randy Casale’s wide smile could be found in constant conversation. Additionally, state Sen. Sue Serino and her son made an appearance during the event.

All were welcome to “One Beacon,” but as I approached the Salem Tabernacle, I could not help but be mindful of the scarf wrapped around my head, expecting awkward stares at the Muslim girl in a church. To my pleasant surprise, my tentative gaze was met by welcoming faces ushering me inside the warm church to avoid the November cold. Silver towers of food set atop white-clothed tables were among the crowds of people, and were part of our dinner that accompanied the evening.

I briefly connected my gaze to Ginger, Pastor Bill’s mother, and not a blink later she had me in a strong embrace. Every polite nod or handshake I offered was replaced by hugs, diminishing the boundaries of the unfamiliar.

Attendees of the “One Beacon” event. From left: Rayham Dabashi, Sergio Perez (an art teacher at Beacon High School), and Izdihar Dabashi, the author of this article.  Photo Credit:    Frank Ritter Photography

Attendees of the “One Beacon” event. From left: Rayham Dabashi, Sergio Perez (an art teacher at Beacon High School), and Izdihar Dabashi, the author of this article.
Photo Credit:
Frank Ritter Photography

Past the doors separating the entry hall, the nave (the central part of a church) was filled with greetings and laughter decorating the ivory walls with invisible warmth.

A rogue door covered in chipped paint rested against the stage, in front of where we were to all sit. The stage and area in front of it was lined with dense colorful flowers. Sparse splinters and flutters of the chipped paint from the lonely door disrupted the blue velvet carpet. It was an odd sight, but I ignored the peculiarity.

As I made my way down the seating area where dinner and a presentation on a screen were to be included, I was stopped every few steps by introductions and strangers offering me their seats and spots at their table, the smile on my face never waning as I became increasingly aware of the welcoming nature of familiar faces and complete strangers. Venturing further into the brightly lit space, I was seated at a table across from the clergy of Beacon.

The event featured speakers giving their piece on today’s stinging political climate affecting social patterns, with uplifting music in Hebrew and English between speakers. Pastor Bill highlighted the heavy weight of police brutality, particularly the strained relationship between law enforcement and the black community.

Pastor Bill humorously began a rant on how being pulled over while driving is a nuisance, an inconvenient blip in his day. He listed the first three thoughts springing to mind when he gets pulled over:

  • His insurance price increasing.

  • The annoyance that comes with being late.

  • Where in the world is his registration.

Pastor Bill recalled ranting to his friend on this topic one afternoon. Pastor Bill’s perspective on matters of police brutality changed once his friend of color shared the thoughts that go through his mind when he gets pulled over. His friend’s first thoughts when getting pulled over ring sharp in his mind, and are far more overwhelming:

  • His wallet is in his back pocket, but how should he reach for it (and the registration) if he wants his hands to be in clear view.

  • What is going to happen if he doesn’t find his registration, if he reaches down to grab his wallet and only one hand is in clear view?

  • What is going to happen if he doesn't make it home today?

Presenting to the “One Beacon” event. From left: Rabbi Brent Chaim Spodek and Pastor Bill Dandreano.  Photo Credit:    Frank Ritter Photography

Presenting to the “One Beacon” event. From left: Rabbi Brent Chaim Spodek and Pastor Bill Dandreano.
Photo Credit: Frank Ritter Photography

From there, Rabbi Brent Chaim Spodek steered the conversation to reflect on the murders that occurred in the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, victims of an unjust cause. He led a beautiful traditional Prayer of the Dead, translating Hebrew into English, explaining the prayer is meant to seek comfort in God. Pain glistened in several pairs of eyes, the champagne lights illuminating the depths of grief.

Mayor Randy shed hope through comparison of the Beacon we live in today and the version he lived in during his youth:

  • The police riots

  • The clash of minorities and Caucasians in the middle and high school

  • The division of different groups clustered in the elementary schools.

Mayor Randy gave credit to his mentor, late Mayor Robert Cahill, for the reminder that “when people get away from their religion, it leads them astray;” prompting both mayors to seek control and peace by reaching out to the clergy. Instead of covering up hate, directly addressing tension and opening our minds will pave the way to harmony.

From left: Rabbi Brent Chaim Spodek, Imam Hasan MuMuin, Waheebah Wajid, and Imam Abdullah Wajid.  Photo Credit:    Frank Ritter Photography

From left: Rabbi Brent Chaim Spodek, Imam Hasan MuMuin, Waheebah Wajid, and Imam Abdullah Wajid.
Photo Credit: Frank Ritter Photography

Imam Abdullah Abdul Wajid, an imam of the traditional form of Islam, took his time to reinforce the similarities between the monotheistic faiths and how hate crimes against one religion affect all. As acknowledged by the other members of clergy, he emphasized that no one is safe, saying: “It’s ‘them’ today, and you tomorrow.”

He unraveled the meaning behind a Hadith (a collection of records of sayings, actions, and descriptions given by the Prophet Muhammed), concluding there is good to every situation. The violence and strains of political tension that can surface in mainstream media only push people to stand together for support, as indicated in the way the Muslim community in Pittsburgh raised money to support the victims in the Tree of Life synagogue, and offered to provide security to the temple. Little seeds of hate can only become trees if communities choose to nurture their sinful growth.

While the words of the speakers were enlightening, the strength of the resounding energy ricocheting off the walls in the grand room was overwhelming during Salaam-Shalom, the song title meaning “peace” in Arabic and Hebrew. Voices merged with the flow of instruments, filling the room with brightness as the crowd swayed as one.

People’s thoughts tacked onto a door which became part of the presentation during “One Beacon.”  Photo Credit:    Frank Ritter Photography

People’s thoughts tacked onto a door which became part of the presentation during “One Beacon.”
Photo Credit: Frank Ritter Photography

Through all the music, that same broken door stood there, alone. It was a silent observer of the performances. It stood alone and blue from the hue of the icebreaker topics put on a screen in front of us during dinner, and its frayed skeleton was still present at the end of the event. The analogy of the ugly door was still lost after Pastor Bill pointed it out, proclaiming little seeds of hate grow into overbearing trees.

Pastor Bill clarified that to extinguish the flames of hate, we must introduce honesty. Squares of paper with atonements scratched in blue ink soon masked the ugly door, as lines of people tacked their sins onto the wood, shifting the splintering mess into something beautified by raw honesty.

Every time a speaker stood on stage, half of my attention was fixed on the message they shared. The other half allowed my eyes to wander around the room, in stunning awe of the genuine care and empathy on various faces. There was a complete absence of division among the clergy, the event staffers, and the attendees. The kitchen held the same vibrant energy as the main room - the people supplying the food fueled by the significance of this event.

Clergy members greeted each other with an encouraging embrace as they passed the microphone back and forth on their shared stage. Every speaker used humor to connect with the audience, while not straying too far from the seriousness of today’s social problems. It was clear that the city is working to engage with the community to prevent hate.

The "One Beacon" interfaith event reminded Beacon residents that there are allies and acceptance present in this small city, as evidenced by the many different houses of God peacefully sharing Main Street. The mosque, the church, the temple - all open to providing a sanctuary to a diversity of faiths, unified through a humble city.

No Beacon Free Loop Bus Service (aka Route G) on Monday, In Observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday

Photo Credit: A Little Beacon Blog

Photo Credit: A Little Beacon Blog

This just in via a statement from Beacon’s City Administrator, Anthony Ruggiero: Beacon’s free bus service, the “Route G” or the “Beacon Free Loop,” is not running on Monday, January 21, 2019, in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday.

Service will resume on the morning of Tuesday, January 22, 2019.

2019 Martin Luther King Day Parade and Events Rescheduled Due To Snowstorm

Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Due to the snowstorm, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration with the Southern Dutchess Coalition at the Springfield Baptist Church has been rescheduled to Saturday, February 16. February is also Black History Month, the Southern Dutchess Coalition has noted.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Springfield Baptist Church
Saturday, February 16, 2019
Location: Springfield Baptist Church, 8 Mattie Cooper Square, Beacon, NY
8 am: Community Breakfast
9:30 amCeremony and Annual Singing Parade and Civil Rights March.
Read the Poughkeepsie Journal article about last year's parade, with several quotes from participants.

Street Parking During Snow: 2" Inches of Snow Means Move Your Car

The City of Beacon issued an alert reminding people of the street parking rules during snow fall. Cars parked on the street are subject to being towed if there is 2 or more inches of snow.

You can find a free parking lot here in A Little Beacon Blog’s Free Parking Lot Guide.

The message from the City, via Friday’s Emergency Alert sent via phone/email/text, reads like this - just so that you have the details straight from the source:

“This is the Mayor's Office with a weather update. Snow is expected to begin mainly after 5 pm on Saturday with 6-12 inches of snow expected for Dutchess County. Remember your vehicle is subject to removal at your expense if it is parked on a city street after two inches of snow. Also please remove your vehicle from any city parking lot within twenty four hours after the end of the storm. The Doctor Reverend Martin Luther King Junior Parade and Events have been rescheduled for February sixteenth. For more information, call 845 420 1232.”

Sign up here for the Emergency Alert Messages if you haven’t yet.

We wrote about it here and walked you through the process.

Emergency Alert System Ready For Beacon - Opt-In Required for Cell Phones

Photo Credit: A Little Beacon Blog

Photo Credit: A Little Beacon Blog

Beacon residents are now able to opt in to a new robocall system set up by the City of Beacon in order to quickly spread notifications in times of emergencies, unexpected road closures, snow closure updates, and other such messages.

Beacon residents may or may not be automatically subscribed to this Emergency Notification System. You’ll fall into either or both of these categories:

Signing up with the Emergency Alert System looks like this.  Photo Credit: A Little Beacon Blog

Signing up with the Emergency Alert System looks like this.
Photo Credit: A Little Beacon Blog

  • Landlines: Residents who have a landline are automatically subscribed to this technology. Alerts, via robocall, have already been issued in the past, so you should have received emergency notifications already. Residents with landlines do have the ability to opt out. To opt out, follow this link to the city’s website, and register (create an account) with the system. There you will see a button that says “Remove Me Completely.”

  • Cell Phones: Residents who have cell phones are not automatically subscribed, and need to opt in via the City of Beacon’s website by clicking here.

The Emergency Alert System is is powered by Swift911, a mission-critical emergency notification system that can reach thousands of people in seconds, according to its website. The system can send out notifications via email, text or vocal phone calls known as “robocalls.”

Ability to Target People Citywide Or In Specific Pockets Of The City

The robocall system can target smaller areas of the city for an isolated incident, such as a streetwide issue, or larger sections of Beacon. It can also send citywide updates. “I think it will be a good tool for us to get information out,” said Anthony Ruggiero, Beacon’s City Administrator, during his announcement of the new service at the 12/17/2018 City Council Meeting.

Example of How An Email and Text Alert Looks

In addition to the phone call you’ll get, a text and email alert will follow. They will look like this:

Happening This Weekend - 1/18/2019

Snow? What snow? Just kidding. Are you subscribed to Beacon's new Emergency Alert System? It's awesome! And it has already sent a text and email alert about the dusting we got last night, in preparation for what might be coming this weekend.

If you're looking for an inspirational read this weekend, check out this journey of Beacon-based SallyeAnder, the soap (and more) company. When her father's family business was struggling, Sallie (pictured here) exited law school to step in and help out. What has resulted is a national brand, manufactured right here in Beacon on the west end of town, with the flagship store on the east end of town in the converted factory building of 1 East Main. SalleyAnder just launched a new face mask, and had a mixing party to celebrate (yes, you can eat the ingredients).
Sponsored by Antalek & Moore for car insurance.

Live Concert: Mighty Girl Band
: Saturday, January 19, 2019
Time: 8 pm
Location: Howland Cultural Center, 477 Main St., Beacon, NY
Information >

Women's March 2019 at Polhill Park
Saturday, January 20, 2019
Time: 2 pm
Location: Main Street & Route 9D (near Bank Square Coffeehouse)

Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Springfield Baptist Church
Saturday, February 16, 2019
Location: 8 Mattie Cooper Square
8 am: Community Breakfast
9:30 am: Ceremony and Annual Singing Parade and Civil Rights March
Read about last year's parade with several quotes from participants in the Poughkeepsie Journal.

Memorial Park
If there is snow, you could head over to Memorial Park near Mount Beacon for a day of sledding. Make your own hot chocolate from a mix found at Homespun or Utensil.

South Avenue Park
Behind the Beacon Park and Recreation building at 25 West Center St. is a sledding hill. This overlooks the outdoor basketball courts on South Avenue. It also has a playground.

Just because you're snowed in doesn't mean Main Street is! Beacon businesses are resilient (see here!), so if your local plans get canceled, you just pack yourself up to walk up and down Main Street for some warm food and shopping.

Plan ahead and check out what's coming up this month in our Events Guide.


Luxe Optique

183 Main Street
(across Cliff Street from Beacon Bread Company)
Hand-painted and hand-bejeweled glasses? Yes, Luxe Optique has them, from Francis Klein, one of the boutique's newest collections. See more from the line here (and OMG - look for the blue ones). The line is completely customizable and uses Swarovski crystals. Consider this elegant Parisian collection of eyewear wearable art.


L a M è r e Clothing + Goods
436 Main Street
This phrase is becoming the popular go-to phrase with women who stop into L a M è r e: "That is going to be my next purchase," because once you shop there, you can't stop. There's always something new in the store. Like these new workout shirts, floral leggings, and sports bras. You'll even find a water bottle to go with you on your workout.



Lambs Hill Bridal Boutique
1 East Main, Retail #3

(near the historic dummy light)
Trunk Show Alert!
This weekend, Lambs Hill is hosting a Justin Alexander Fall/Winter 2019 collection preview. Appointment slots are filling up quickly, so call (845) 765-2900 today to secure your appointment! Also, since we're expecting snow, call ahead to double-check hours.

Thank you to the following shops for sponsoring our Shopping Guide! L a M è r e Clothing + Goods, Luxe Optique and Lambs Hill.

This burger and other sandwiches could be yours at Barb's Butchery, where they cook up lunch on the hot grill every day. Even on most snow days.

Thank you to Barb's Butchery and BAJA 328 for sponsoring the Restaurant Guide!
Visit A Little Beacon Blog's Restaurant Guide for all of the restaurants in Beacon, and see our Brunch Guide for your morning dining needs!


Coloring for Adults
Day: Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Time: 6 to 7:30 pm
Location: Howland Public Library, 313 Main St., Beacon, NY

Submission Guidelines for classes you'd like us to consider adding to these guides can be found here.

For a full list of upcoming classes, classes during the week, and workshops of all kinds, visit our Adult Classes Guide.

Art & Zine Club Meetup
Day: Friday, January 18, 2019
Time: 3:30 to 5 pm
Location: Howland Public Library, 313 Main St., Beacon, NY
Information >

Button Making
: Saturday, January 19, 2019
Time: 11 am to noon
Location: Howland Public Library, 313 Main St., Beacon, NY
Information >

For a full list of upcoming classes, visit A Little Beacon Blog's Kids Classes Guide.   
Submission Guidelines for classes you'd like us to consider adding to these guides can be found here.

Time to freshen up your hair style - or beard! Find a salon in Beacon at
A Little Beacon Blog's Beauty Guide.
25 East Main, Beacon, NY
Storefront Rental Alert!
Located on the other side of the Fishkill Creek, at the base of Mount Beacon. You'll be in good company on this side of the creek with Dogwood, the Roundhouse, Artifact, and a few other shops (Barb's Butchery is just up the street). One could call this area "the fringe" area off Main Street. It's happening over there, with those established early settlers. This would be a good space for a boutique or office.
PRICE: $800/month  SIZE: 255 sq. ft.
Real Estate Agent: Gatehouse Realty (845) 831-9550
Details + Pictures >

Antalek & Moore Insurance Agency made a point to hire local Beacon and Hudson Valley talent to create their new website. Credits include Katy Dwyer Design, Kate Rabe for content, and Scott Snell Photography. See their work here!
Tin Shingle
Do you need to work through unexpected Snow Days with kids? Tin Shingle has you covered with their article: "The Time-Tested Snow Day Survival Kit For Working From Home With Kids"
Get The Tips >
BeaconArts : Open Studios
Sponsorship Opportunities are going on now for Beacon's Open Studios, one of the Hudson Valley's most anticipated interactive art experiences of the year.
How to Sponsor >
A Little Beacon Space
A Little Beacon Blog's Space is available for private rentals for your meetings, workshops, client parties, or pop-ups. Located in the heart of Beacon at 291 Main Street (inside of the Telephone Building), meeting here is easy, cozy, and inspiring.
$225 Half Day
$385 Full Day
$750 Pop-Up Shop Package
Book Your Retreat With A Little Beacon Space >

Katie James, Inc.

New Website Launch: Katie James, Inc. is proud to present the newest website design for the Telephone Building in Beacon, NY. You've seen the building from the outside, now go inside all of the rooms and see the renovation it underwent at the direction of its owner, Deborah Bigelow.
See The Website >

Beacon Chamber of Commerce
Annual Meeting:
Join the Beacon Chamber of Commerce for their Annual Meeting on Tuesday, January 22, beginning at 5:30 pm at the Beacon Elks Club (900 Wolcott Ave., Beacon, NY) as members vote for the 2019 proposed slate. A light dinner will be served.
Producers of this newsletter include:
Katie Hellmuth Martin, Publisher, Writer, Designer, Photographer
Marilyn Perez, Managing Editor
Catherine Sweet, Editor of the Second Saturday Guide

Advertise With A Little Beacon Blog
The support from every advertiser of A Little Beacon Blog helps make local news get produced. You can be part of making it happen, and get your business in front of the community in a meaningful way.

Until next week!

Mixing A Face Mask At SallyeAnder - And Finding New Safe(r) Skin Routines

We went to SallyeAnder Thursday night to discover their new face mask line, and make our own as an activity. The face mask, just like everything else SallyeAnder creates, is made of all good or plant-based ingredients - we could have eaten the version we made, which included banana and olive oil!

Though you would not want to eat the face mask in the box that you would purchase - you would just be normal and apply it to your face two to three times per week to pull out the toxins and dirt, and leave your face feeling fresh. This combo was put together for this show ‘n’ tell event only, to illustrate how natural the ingredients are, and how simple the mask is at its core.

The one we mixed (and by “we,” I mean my daughter, who was in charge of our batch) had smushed banana, but we could have gone with straight-up avocado, or pumpkin.

While in the shop, I checked off my to-do list of converting to a super-natural, minimal-chemical life for deodorant (with cancer scares around me, I’m looking at things I can easily change). SallyeAnder has a Deodorant Stone, where its salt minerals kill bacteria that cause the odor. I also am trying their face balm, Krudd Balm, to replace my morning Oil of Olay moisturizer - I need to trust the ingredients!

SallyeAnder was started by Sallie’s dad, who was a pastry chef. Her brother had eczema, and to soothe his skin, Sallie’s dad devoted himself to making soap, and the brand was born. While Sallie was in law school, the family business began to struggle. “The business was like another sibling to us. We couldn’t just let it go.” So Sallie exited out of law school in order to run the family business. “Back when my dad started in the ‘80s, people were putting anything on. Natural ingredients were a hard sell. Today is much different. People want to know what they are putting on their skin.”

Sallie has been heading up the business ever since. Three children of her own later, she says that she is so glad that Beacon is their home for the business. Having a nationwide soap brand with their flagship store right here on the east end of Beacon - who also manufactures on the west end of town - is pretty handy. And by handy I mean AWESOME.


12 Hours Left! Parent and Community Input Wanted From Beacon City School District

The Beacon City School District has produced very fine students over several generations, and the district itself has seen the best of times and the worst of times. Its current administration has been hard at work to create a connection with the community, in order to easily get information to them, as well as get information from them.

With the start of the new year, Beacon Superintendent Matthew Landahl invited the Beacon education community (parents via the school newsletter, and readers of his school blog) to participate in a “thought exchange” about how to improve the school experience for the Beacon graduate.

Dr. Landahl wrote: “In November 2017, the Beacon Board of Education endorsed and launched a long-range planning process for the district that will result in a focused and aligned community vision of student success beyond school. Having engaged the community in the identification of the most critical attributes of success for a Beacon graduate, the district now seeks to improve the district’s ability to ensure that every child develops those same qualities.”

This is your chance to contribute any thoughts you’ve had over the course of ever: about what you wish the Beacon City School District provided, or about what you are thankful that they currently provide, and you want to voice your opinion that it should stay.

The ThoughtExchange survey takes 5 to 10 minutes and is very easy. You can put in a number of thoughts. There are word count limitations, so it keeps you brief. You can remain anonymous, and others can read the thoughts, and even rate them. You can skip the rating part if you wish, and just read others to expand your vision. Or you can just drop your thoughts and go!

You can start the survey here. You do not need to be a parent in the district, and can simply be a person living here. The district, teachers and administrators have been very open to suggestions, so use this opportunity to voice your ideas.

Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum to Offer 2nd “Free Pizza and Play Night” for Families of Federal Workers Affected by Government Shutdown


The first free Pizza and Play Night from The Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum was appreciated by many. The museum has decided to host a second one. Local families of federal employees affected by the current government shutdown are invited to a second night of free pizza and play on Wednesday, January 16, from 5 to 8 pm. The first event, held on Thursday, January 10, was well-received. "Attendees at our event last week were very happy to see fellow employees, and meet others who are in the same situation,” said Lara Litchfield-Kimber, executive director of the museum. "We had some older children attend also. We had some STEM activities set up for them to do. Everyone had fun."

Those who participated in the museum’s first free night for federal employees are encouraged to attend again. New families are also welcome for a night of food and fellowship. A buffet dinner will be provided, including pizza generously donated by Chef Joel Trocino of Amici’s Restaurant, 35 Main St., Poughkeepsie.

Free admission to the event is for two adults (one of whom must be a federal employee) and their children living in same household. Couples, singles and seniors without children are also welcome to attend this event and join in for dinner, conversation and play. The event is free, but pre-registration is required. Tickets may be reserved online at http://bit.ly/MHCMFederalFreeNight or by calling the museum during business hours at (845) 471-0589.

The museum is located in the heart of the historic waterfront in Poughkeepsie, nestled between two city parks, just steps away from the Poughkeepsie Metro-North train station and fabulous restaurants.

40th Anniversary Celebration for Howland Cultural Center in May: Tickets & Sponsorship Opportunities

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The Howland Cultural Center is celebrating its 40th anniversary, and you are invited to attend and participate. Ticket reservations and sponsorships are available now. The celebration is in honor of Florence Northcutt and the Howland Public Library for their many contributions to the cultural and social life of Beacon. The celebration will take place at the Roundhouse, 2 East Main St., Beacon, N.Y., on Wednesday, May 15, from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. Please call (845) 831-4988 or email information@howlandculturalcenter.org to learn about major sponsorship benefits.
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The Howland Chamber Music Circle - The Musical Jewel Accessible To So Many In Beacon


Some cities have symphony halls. Beacon has a group of professional musicians who started meeting in someone’s living room, who now play regularly in the Howland Cultural Center on Main Street in Beacon, N.Y. The group is called the Howland Chamber Music Circle, and you have most likely attended one of their performances or kids instrument “petting zoos.”

This is a great place to perform. It’s like being inside an instrument itself.
— A Howland Chamber Music Circle Performer

For several Beaconites, listening to this amazing grade of music is an every Sunday afternoon kind of thing. We may not realize just what we have at our fingertips at the Howland Cultural Center, whose unique architecture has special acoustic advantages in which world renowned musicians come together to play. So we asked the Howland Chamber Music Circle to recall their history for our readers, so that we may better understand this group who is now popping up to perform in other locations throughout Beacon and the Hudson Valley. A board member of the Howland Chamber Music Circle, James Lichtenberg, researched and wrote this article for you:

The ‘Chamber’ of the Howland Chamber Music Circle Was A Living Room in the 1980’s

Gwen and Bill Stevens, Howland Chamber Music Circle (HCMC) co-founders.  Photo Credit: Howland Chamber Music Circle

Gwen and Bill Stevens, Howland Chamber Music Circle (HCMC) co-founders.
Photo Credit: Howland Chamber Music Circle

The Howland Chamber Music Circle (HCMC), founded in Beacon, N.Y. in 1993, in the verdant valley of the Hudson River, began in the 1980s, appropriately enough, in a chamber… the living room of HCMC founders Gwen and Bill Stevens (sadly, they both passed away in 2018). Gwen was an accomplished musician, teaching piano at Vassar. Friends and neighbors would arrive to enjoy spontaneous performances by other artists whom Gwen invited to play on their two gorgeous Steinway grand pianos.

One of the more frequent attendees, Polly Gage, suggested to Gwen that they also promote house concerts for gifted young musicians. With the assistance of a friend and fellow pianist, Ed Loizides, and after contacting their respective alma maters, Yale and the Manhattan School of Music, they began the process of finding young talent, expertly aided by Robert Besen, then of the Concert Artists Guild. Besen was taken by Gwen’s enthusiasm and made it possible for her and an enthusiastic cadre of volunteers to learn the ropes of bringing exciting programs to a growing audience.

Howland Chamber Music Circle Outgrows The Living Room

Photo Credit: Howland Chamber Music Circle

Photo Credit: Howland Chamber Music Circle

As the number of attendees swelled, home venues grew inadequate. Gwen began to think about a venue somewhere in Southern Dutchess County to accommodate wider audiences. Among the considerations was a music barge in the Hudson River itself.

Then, in 1992, Gwen and Bill attended an exhibit of historic photos at the Howland Cultural Center, located at the far east end of Beacon’s Main Street. The Center’s building, a gothic jewel designed by Richard Morris Hunt, features walls of richly-carved wood beneath an open vaulted ceiling, and a space capable of seating 120 people. Not surprisingly, the two HCMC founders were struck by the potential of that space for chamber music.

First HCMC Concerts Start In Howland Cultural Center In 1993

Photo Credit: Howland Chamber Music Circle

Photo Credit: Howland Chamber Music Circle

The Howland Cultural Center agreed to produce a series of concerts under their auspices. The premier three-concert season in 1993-1994 featured the Meridian Brass Ensemble, the St. Lawrence String Quartet and a string duo of Ayako Yoshida and Semyon Fridman. As Besen remembers, “[If] a walk around the Howland Center (quite different from today) was…more than a little scary, the concert was well-attended. The venue was…magnificent…. Over the years I’ve booked 39 performances.”

You can walk out of your house and hear world-class artists just a few blocks away.
— One Beaconite

With the increasing abilities of the Stevens and their associates to secure talent, the growing annual programs became a staple of the Hudson Valley music calendar, with the unique venue a draw in its own right for both listeners and artists, who were only too happy to return to play in subsequent seasons. As one performer put it, “This is a great place to perform. It’s like being inside an instrument itself.” The sell-out audiences, standing and clapping for encores add, no doubt, to their pleasure. One Beaconite, also a musician, exclaimed, “You can walk out of your house and hear world-class artists just a few blocks away.”

Photo Credit: Howland Chamber Music Circle

Photo Credit: Howland Chamber Music Circle

With continuing success in the early years, it became evident that the “Circle” should be more formally established to ensure its future. In April 1999, it was incorporated as a not-for-profit membership corporation, independent of the Howland Center.

Twenty-five years later, its annual offerings have grown to include a 12-concert season, featuring four pianists and eight chamber music groups -- with Sunday afternoon performances (in the 2018/19 season) including the Juilliard and Brentano String Quartets, and pianists Jeremy Denk and Simone Dinnerstein. Along with its dozen formal concerts, the Circle also hosts a number of pop-up concerts in other Beacon venues, a Classics for Kids series, co-sponsored by the HCC, as well as music residencies in local high schools. To celebrate its founders on the group’s 25th anniversary, HCMC commissioned a beautiful string quartet by local composer Debra Kaye, performed in the spring of 2018 by the Voxare String Quartet.

The 2018/19 season also reflects the continuing aspirations of HCMC to take new paths and broaden its appeal, including this season’s “concertante” approach, adding soloists to the quartets, like the oboist James Austin Smith, who performed with the Telegraph Quartet, harpist Bridget Kibbey, who will join the Daedalus Quartet, as well as rising violinist Alexi Kenny, partnered with pianist Renana Gutman. In addition, there will be a break-out “living-room” performance by the So Percussion group, whom The New York Times called “exceptionally inventive with instruments galore!”

Established and applauded as it may now be, the Howland Chamber Music Circle is not content to rest on its laurels. Rather, it is dedicated to continuing the inspiration of its founders in finding ever new ways to bring broad and engaging programs of music to its supportive community in Beacon and beyond. The hills of the Hudson Valley are indeed alive with the sound of music.

Learn about and buy tickets to upcoming concerts, and learn about how to support the Howland Chamber Music Circle with donations.

Second Saturday! Beacon Gallery Openings for January 2019

Some of the Art Gallery Openings in Beacon, NY, for January 2019. Clockwise from top right: Beacon Fine Art Gallery at the Inn and Spa at Beacon; Monochrome photography show at the Howland Cultural Center; Amanda E. Gross at Catalyst Gallery; imPerfect Poetics of Place group show at Hudson Beach Glass; and Walter DE Maria’s 360° I Ching/64 Sculptures at Dia.

Some of the Art Gallery Openings in Beacon, NY, for January 2019. Clockwise from top right: Beacon Fine Art Gallery at the Inn and Spa at Beacon; Monochrome photography show at the Howland Cultural Center; Amanda E. Gross at Catalyst Gallery; imPerfect Poetics of Place group show at Hudson Beach Glass; and Walter DE Maria’s 360° I Ching/64 Sculptures at Dia.

It’s the Second Saturday of the month, but it’s also the first Second Saturday of the year! Celebrate the calendar’s turn, maybe consider making an art-related resolution (or a revolution, maybe): Visit one new gallery every Second Saturday, or talk with one artist, or pick up just a card. For any and all art around town, we've got it covered in Beacon's most comprehensive Art Gallery Guide.

The Inn and Spa at Beacon gets a fresh look in its Beacon Fine Art Gallery, with a variety of artists showing new work. At the Howland Cultural Center, a show opens to celebrate monochrome - practice finding a new perspective on dreary gray winter days, hopefully?. Or you could whiplash yourself in the other direction, with supersaturated, vibrant works from Amanda E. Gross at Catalyst Gallery. Stop by Hudson Beach Glass’ upstairs gallery to re-connect with TheoGanz Studio owner Eleni Smolen, who curated The imPerfect Poetics of Place. At Dia, this weekend holds your last chance to see Walter De Maria’s vast 360° I Ching/64 Sculptures, and your first chance to see the reopening of the Dorothea Rockburne galleries. Clutter, RiverWinds, No.3 Reading Room and Photo Book Works, and bau have new openings, while Mother Gallery, BIRE, and Oak Vino are showcasing current shows just a bit longer. Check the Guide for details!