"Manhole," "Manmade," "Fireman," and Other Gendered Terms Removed From City Of Berkeley City Code

An example of a gendered sign in Beacon, which creates or reinforces a perception of involvement or lack thereof.  Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

An example of a gendered sign in Beacon, which creates or reinforces a perception of involvement or lack thereof.
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

The City of Berkeley has voted to remove gender-specific language from its municipal code, which includes words like “manmade,” “manhole" and “fireman,” in order to replace them with gender-neutral terms with more description. The change is set to go into effect in August, and will cost the city $600.

Said the bill’s primary author, Berkeley City Council member Rigel Robinson during an interview with CNN, as reported by the Washington Times: “Having a male-centric municipal code is inaccurate and not reflective of our reality,” Mr. Robinson said. “Women and non-binary individuals are just as entitled to accurate representation. Our laws are for everyone, and our municipal code should reflect that.”

What Kinds Of Words This Grammatical Move Includes

Examples of the switch from mostly masculine references to a more people-focused or object-focused reference include, according to the City of Berkeley’s Code Revision document:

“manhole” to “maintenance hole”
“manmade” to “human-made” or “artificial” or “manufactured” or “machine made” or “synthetic”
“manpower” to “human-effort” or “workforce”
“patrolmen” to “patrol” or “guards”
“policeman” or “policewoman” to “police officer”

Where Are The Words Around Us In Beacon?

Remember that time when the pronoun “his” was written into proposed legislation to legalize Airbnb? With reference to an inspection by the city’s building inspector, who at the time of that writing was a man? Here was the sentence: “The Building Inspector or his designated agent may also present evidence.” The pronoun was removed in later drafts of the legislation, which did not pass.

Gender-specified language is so ingrained into the English language and uses of it, it may be hard to spot. Like this sign pictured above, posted on Wolcott (Route 9D) near a group of renovated Victorian homes, near the Rose Hill childcare center. The sign reads: “City Of Beacon Greenway Trail: VICTORIAN HOUSES Built by local businessmen in the 1800s.”

Gendered language can have the unintended consequence of reinforcing stereotypes about the opposite gender, as highlighted by The World Bank. In a study, they pointed out that: “Gendered languages are associated with worse labor market participation rates for women and more regressive gender norms.”


Attitudes toward women are also influenced by gendered languages—helping to explain how gendered languages could translate into outcomes like lower female labor force participation. Drawing on data from the World Values Survey, Ozier and Jakiela found that those who speak a gendered language are more likely to agree with statements like, “On the whole, men make better business executives than women do,” or “When jobs are scarce, men should have more right to a job than women.” Perhaps even more surprisingly, women are just as likely as men to hold these attitudes, suggesting just how pervasive the effect of language is on beliefs.

From a Policy Research Talk on Gendered Language
from the World Bank in October 2018


What Does The Community Action Partnership Of Dutchess County Do?


It’s possible you’ve never noticed Community Action Partnership of Dutchess County - the storefront behind Antalek & Moore, in the same strip as Rite Aid - but it’s connected to a powerhouse of services available to low-income families and individuals to help them become more self-sufficient. After we heard that Community Action Partnership had a food pantry in the Beacon office - which was not on our Food Pantry Guide - we wanted to do an article on them to highlight more of what they do, because clearly there is a whole lot more available, that Beaconites might not know about. And then Antalek & Moore tapped their neighbor, Community Action Partnership, to spotlight this month with their A-grade production.

Community Action Partnership’s mission is to partner with individuals and families to eliminate poverty and identify the resources and opportunities available to enhance their self-reliance.

Antalek & Moore has a long history of working close with the community and residents of Beacon - from families to small businesses, services go beyond professional and financial assistance. Antalek & Moore has partnered with many local charities, whose purpose is to enhance the health and wellness of Dutchess County residents.

Helping Families In Need

If you are not familiar with Community Action Partnership for Dutchess County, they have been a vital part of Dutchess County for many years, serving a growing segment of the community that might need otherwise-inaccessible services.

Every day, they stand behind their mission to "partner with individuals and families to eliminate poverty and identify the resources and opportunities available to them to enhance their self-reliance." 

Says Susan Pagones, executive partner at Antalek & Moore: “We have had the privilege to work alongside Dutchess County Community Action Partnership for over 20 years, to ensure that as they expand their services throughout Dutchess County into multiple locations, their insurance coverage grows with them.”

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.

Men Have Feelings Too - Men and Mental Health - Continuing the Conversation


Many of us trust Matt Clifton, pictured here, behind the tea cup, with our lives. Matt is an IT expert, a wizard under the hood of lots of computers, tablets, smartphones, and other sorts of devices. Matt is an open advocate for mental health awareness, and speaks about it in his social media. Sometimes he highlights men’s mental health, reminding us that men can suffer from depression too.

In this time of Smash The Patriarchy, it can be hard to remember that men can be soft - despite their stubble, stubborn ways, and sometimes opposite ways of understanding women. It is nice to have a friend be open and honest about his life experiences, which include emotions one might not guess upon speaking with him in person.

We’ll share with you here Matt’s big message for May, Mental Health Awareness Month. It’s comforting that despite his jovial, good friend, generally cheery nature, social anxiety can take him over. As a young person (and sometimes today), I remember feeling so shy around certain groups of people, that I would have trouble walking. Being in the mall was the worst. Recess could be tough. I just wanted to hide. Today when I go to the Beacon High School track to jog, or to soccer practice/games for my son, it’s a conquering-my-fears type of thing because I was too afraid to ever go to high school football games in the stadium.

Today I have a young son who is also shy. Looking at him, I can’t see the shyness, or understand it. He’s just so cute and fun! Yet his fears are real when we first start a new group activity, like soccer or camp. Nudging him out of the nest is important, but it’s also important to acknowledge his fear, to let him know we know, and it’s OK to have a hard time. I remind myself to be patient, and to tap into the feelings I know very well.

I’ll let Matt take it away from here:



I’m Matt and I have general anxiety, social anxiety and depression. This is something I’ve had all my adult life - I first started experiencing severe social anxiety at university, which continued through my 20s. It affected my social and professional life. Some days at the office, I’d get panic attacks and have to hide in the bathroom just to breathe. I found noisy and crowded bars and social engagements almost unbearable. I didn’t talk to family or friends about my feelings, and I didn’t go to therapy until my late 30s, but I did find it helped me - even though my issues are not based in any kind of trauma, just talking about them allowed me to define what I was feeling, and not let them define who I was.

I also now take Prozac, which is an SSRI. I go to occasional yoga classes, which help me most by getting me focused on the movements and getting out of my own head! I try to be mindful throughout the day as much as I’m able to, to keep myself in the moment and not dwell on the past or worry about the future.

I’m a freelance IT consultant, as well as a serious science-fiction nerd, and have a really great life in the Hudson Valley, New York, with my wife Emily, dog Arya, and assorted cats and chickens. We run a cooking blog called Nerds with Knives and it’s really become a huge and fun part of our lives. I would like to be better at baking. I drink a lot of tea.

I’m very proud of the life I’ve made for myself, and the steps I’ve taken to get myself to a better place addressing my mental health. I’m not so embarrassed at talking about it any more. You wouldn’t be able to tell that I have mental health issues. You might just think I’m a little quiet. Most days I’m doing great, but I still have a lot of trouble in social situations.

If you’re struggling with the same issues, you might be surprised to know there are way more people who are sharing that struggle with you. You’re not alone. Mental health issues aren’t a failing of character. And there are people who love you. You can always text NAMI to 741741 to get help from trained counselors.

NAMI Ribbons hung in Beacon each year.  Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

NAMI Ribbons hung in Beacon each year.
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Matt’s mention of NAMI reminds us of another reason to be grateful for the Rock Out 4 Mental Health concert. I had seen the NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) ribbons each year, on trees around Beacon, but had never looked into what they were about. By being on the Planning Committee for the event, I sat next to someone from NAMI’s Mid-Hudson affiliate almost every Tuesday in the Spring, as we held our planning meetings.

We’re looking forward to meeting more people at the concert, and absorbing more of what is available.

Open Letter From I Am Beacon Re Mental Health Information In Dutchess County

The week before the Rock Out 4 Mental Health concert, Brooke Simmons from I Am Beacon circulated this Open Letter to all of her contacts, in the hopes that it would reach far and wide. We are publishing it here as well to help make that happen:

Rock Out 4 Mental Health-Open Letter.jpg

Dear Neighbors, Allies, Friends, and Family,

As we celebrate our veterans this Memorial Day weekend and close out Mental Health Awareness month this May, please take a moment to reflect on your service to the community.

In recent years, we seen far too many families fractured by issues related to mental health.

With 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experiencing a mental illness and 50% of all cases beginning by age 14 it is critical that begin to recognize mental health impacts us all.

When it comes to the Hudson Valley, it is our belief that our area is services rich yet information poor.

Despite the valiant efforts of many organizations addressing mental health there is a lack of awareness and knowledge which result in many in our community being left to suffer in silence.

With our upcoming event, Rock Out 4 Mental Health, it is our vision to bridge the gap between the community and available services in order to highlight the importance of knowing where to go for help and to empower individuals to take action in order to help themselves or others.

In addition to learning about services, there will also be free, walk-up NARCAN training providing by Dutchess County giving all participants the ability to be certified in administering this life saving treatment.

I Am Beacon believes in the power of a collaborative effort to address issues impacting our community.

It is my ask of you, to come out on June 1st 12PM– 4PM at Pete & Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park - Beacon, NY.

Join us in ending the silence and taking the first step toward a better tomorrow for all Hudson Valley residents.

With gratitude and many thanks,
Brooke M. Simmons, I Am Beacon
***Please note Rain Date: Sunday, June 2

When A Stranger Walks Through Your Door - Who Needs Mental Health Help - And The Concert Is Saturday


Last Friday, while in the midst of our weekly deadline for getting out the Happening This Weekend newsletter, a woman walked into A Little Beacon Blog's office, looking for help. She thought it was the substance abuse center, Lexington Center for Recovery (though she couldn’t remember the name and had contact information for a totally different organization), that had been located down Main Street, that is now becoming an apartment building. She saw the Rock Out 4 Mental Health flyer on our door, and the logos of mental health agencies who are helping make it happen, and thought she was in the right place.

She hadn't slept for days. Her accent was unfamiliar. The urgent problem she was trying to get help for - keeping her husband alive (he was currently in the hospital after almost dying of alcoholism, and she feared him coming home because she didn't know what to do with him to keep him safe) - made it so that she talked very fast, with hopelessness. Her sentences zig-zagged with what she needed, making it hard to find a thread to follow to work on a solution. She'd given up hope of finding help from Beacon and any other resource, and didn't know where to go.

Sometimes a situation happens, and you ask yourself: "Am I to be learning something from this? What is the message?" It became an opportunity for us to navigate the world of mental health resources, with a real person, really suffering. A Little Beacon Blog agreed to help with the Rock Out 4 Mental Health concert because it was an opportunity to meet the players, to talk to the people on the other side of the phone or email or website. To make them more real, and understand what they offer. That concert happens this Saturday (unless it rains, then it’ll be on Sunday) at Pete and Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park from 12 to 4 pm. It's free, and there will be mozzarella sticks (and other food like sausage), live music, and specialists in the areas of mental health.

Meanwhile, back in the office on a Friday afternoon of Memorial Weekend, we called the Dutchess County Help Line. They answered, but our questions quickly multiplied. When you're at the beginning of a research journey navigating hospitals, counseling, rehab centers, it's a lot. We called a personal friend who works deep in the world of mental health, and she quickly referred us to Family Services in Beacon on Henry Street, and to the MHA in the DMV Building on Main Street, and to Grace Smith House if the woman felt too afraid to be home, plus they may be able to give her guidance if she were to go there. Another friend recommended NAMI if she needed an advocate or counselor to help her navigate the medical areas where she was encountering hurdles, while trying to figure out what to do with her addicted husband who had just had a blood transfusion and was a hot potato in the hospital - she didn't want him released, yet they were done with their medical procedures.

In the end - for that hour - we encouraged her to walk to Family Services which is nearby, and see what they tell her next. In-person research is so important. We then highly encouraged her to go home and get some rest, because sleep deprivation causes its own problems. She first headed across the street to the grocery store to get cat food, and then to Family Services. Hopefully she felt a little more hope in her quest.

Come to the concert this weekend. You'll get to hear The Costellos, Noetic, Dilson Hernandez, Tony E., Charge the Mound, Russ St. George, Jerry Kitzrow, DJ Big Will, with sound by Tony ‘Pops’ DeMarco. You never know when you or someone you know or don't know needs these services. It's comforting to put faces to organizations.

Firefly Yoga Hosts Partner Yoga Workshop Fundraiser This Sunday With Irene Auma From Peace Within Prison Yoga


This Sunday, April 28, Firefly Yoga and Juice Bar in Fishkill, NY, will be hosting a special two-hour Partner Yoga workshop hosted by guest instructor Irene Auma, from Peace Within Prison Yoga in Kenya. Irene has been touring the United States, teaching special classes and workshops to raise money for the nonprofit she started, Peace Within Prison Yoga.

About Irene Auma

Irene became a certified yoga instructor through the Africa Yoga Project and is also a Baptiste Yoga certified instructor. Her inspiration to become a yoga teacher comes from wanting to “improve the lives of thousands of inmates who are in dark places and bring humanity, compassion, strength and humor to their lives. I stand as hope and may they have hope.” Hence her founding Peace Within Prison Yoga.

About Peace Within Prison Yoga

Peace Within Prison Yoga seeks to promote peace and reconciliation among citizens of Kenya by encouraging self-awareness and acceptance of individuals. The mission is to create a peaceful environment through yoga and meditation that transforms the lives of those within the criminal justice system. A majority of the persons in prison have low levels of education. For any offender, their status quo in society automatically changes once they get imprisoned. They are considered outcasts or outlaws. The reality after release is that life is much harder than it was before imprisonment.

Their goal is to bring yoga to prisons in Kenya, where Irene is from. She shares, “My team and I volunteer to teach to yoga in prison from one location to another, at Athi River Men’s Prison to Machakos Women's Prison once a week, and Lang'ata Women's Maximum Security Prison three times a week with each of these classes reaching 40 to 60 students per class! My goal is to continue to expand by adding prison yoga programs to all 147 prisons.”

About Partner Yoga

Partner Yoga invites openness, patience, communication, trust and balance into your yoga practice and relationships. You and your partner will help each other to relax physical, mental, and emotional tensions. When you are physically supported, not only do you experience a yoga posture differently, but you also begin to allow yourself to trust someone else. No previous yoga experience or partner is necessary; bring
a friend, a loved one, a sibling, a neighbor, or simply yourself.

The workshop will be Sunday, April 28 from 1 to 3 pm at Firefly Yoga and Juice Bar, 992 Main St., Fishkill, NY. You can visit their website at www.fireflyfishkill.com to sign up and get more information.

Firefly Yoga and Juice Bar is a sponsor of our Adult Classes Guide. 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.

New Summer Concert Unites Mental Health Resources With Community | Top Sponsor & Vendor Spots Available Now!

The “Rock Out 4 Mental Health” flyer. Room for sponsor logos if you sign up in time!

The “Rock Out 4 Mental Health” flyer. Room for sponsor logos if you sign up in time!

When Brandon Lillard, a founding board member of I Am Beacon, and best known by Beacon High School alums as the original “Mr. Beacon High,” asked me to be part of the planning for I Am Beacon’s second major awareness project for mental health, the ”Rock Out 4 Mental Health” Concert on Saturday, June 1, 2019 at Pete and Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park, I said yes immediately.

As a mother of young children, I want to make sure they have a safe space to express their minds. As a new mother in general, I see and experience the mental health challenges that any parent faces. As a person living in Beacon, I have learned from my friends involved in mental health support about challenges that any person can face at any time. Removing the stigma about that is important to me, and as a blogger, I want to improve awareness of mental health support services that are available locally. That’s part of why I started A Little Beacon Blog - to get the word out about what is happening and available here.

The planning for this event would be fast, but we could do it. I Am Beacon’s first outreach project for mental health awareness was and continues to be the yellow ribbons campaign on Main Street, carried out with NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Mid-Hudson. You’ll be seeing those ribbons again this year.

Bringing Resources and People Closer Together Through Music

This concert was created as a vibrant and hopeful hub where people can get closer to organizations who provide a variety of mental health services. The aim is to bring these services to people who may not have otherwise known about them. Usually service events like this are at school functions on a random Wednesday night (I went to one!). Now, the whole family can come and enjoy being by the Hudson River rocking out to music, and getting to know these local services who have changed the lives of so many.

You’ll be rocking out to The Costellos, Noetic, Tony E., Dilson Hernandez, and Charge the Mound while your Co-MCs for the day, Reuben Simmons and Himali Pandya, Special Projects Manager for Astor Services for Children and Families, introduce you to the mental health resource providers who are available to meet during the day. (Insider scoop: Himali’s husband will be performing with his band at the concert)

Here’s Where Your Part Comes In

“Rock Out 4 Mental Health” is currently seeking the following sponsor and vendor opportunities, but time is limited. We will be putting sponsors on the flyer, then printing it and distributing it, so we need to know who’s in for sponsorship! My design agency, Katie James, Inc. and lead designer Allie Bopp designed the flyer, banner, logo and other branding assets, so I have a tiny say on when these go to print (but we can’t wait long!).

Title Sponsor: Only one spot available. The Title Sponsor gets their logo on the banner that will be hanging above Main Street as we get closer to the event, and on T-shirts. We can only print T-shirts if we have a title sponsor. Will your business be the reason we can make the shirts? Claim it here >
Must sign up within the week for print deadline!

Gold Sponsor: Only six available. These sponsors get their logos printed on the flyer, which will be distributed in Beacon and beyond. Logo also included on the event program. Claim it here >
Must sign up within the week for print deadline!

Silver Sponsor: More available, and includes logo on the event website. You have a bit more time on this one, since we are adding your logo to the “Rock Out 4 Mental Health” website. Claim it here >

Bronze Sponsor: Awesomeness. Great for businesses who want to show their support for Mental Health awareness and accessibility. Claim it here >

Vendor Opportunities: Food vendors are welcome, and businesses who provide a wellness-related product or service to people are invited to have a vendor spot down at Pete and Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park. Only 15-20 spots available. Food and business vendors can register here. Nonprofit organizations can have a spot for free and can register here.

These community projects are what keep Beacon enriched with the depth of community it is known for, and keep Beacon an ongoing advocate for people’s well-being.

Thank you to the following sponsors and vendors who have signed on so far!


Astor Services for Children & Families
Children's Home of Poughkeepsie
NAMI Mid-Hudson
CoveCare Center
DC Dept of Behavioral & Community Health
People USA
Empire Concessions
I Am Beacon


Premier Medical Group
MidHudson Valley Federal Credit Union
People USA

Why This Concert? Why Now?

When it comes to Mental Health, it is our belief that the Hudson Valley is ‘services-rich yet information-poor.’ Despite the valiant efforts of many organizations, there is a lack of awareness and knowledge which result in many in our community being left to suffer in silence.
— Mission Statement of Rock Out 4 Mental Health

One of the creators behind the event is Reuben Simmons, a founding board member of I Am Beacon, along with his sister, Brooke Simmons, and Brandon Lillard. Reuben grew up in Beacon, volunteering to clean up its streets in his youth, and co-created I Am Beacon to keep opportunities like this available to the people.


Says Reuben of the inspiration to create the “Rock Out 4 Mental Health” concert: “After attending the City of Beacon’s Workshop in December 2018 which discussed the opioid crisis in our area, I felt an obligation as a community leader to do more. I have attended many conferences all over the country in my time as a labor leader, and heard the opioid crisis happening in many communities all over. Hearing the same issues from professionals like Beacon’s Police Chief and Dutchess County’s Behavior and Community Department at the workshop got me to start brainstorming on what could be done to help. Help promote services, help end the stigma, help educate people.”

Helpline For Everyone

“We hope to reach as many Dutchess County residents as possible to inform them about the many resources available for help and support. The Dutchess County Helpline and the Stabilization Center are available to residents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is always someone available who can help,” says Jean-Marie Niebuhr, Prevention and Harm Reduction Coordinator.

If you take anything away from this event, or knowing about this event, know this: The Dutchess County Helpline. Available to anyone to use at any time, 24/7. Use it as an information center to find other resources: CALL or TEXT 845-485-9700.

Call or text any time to talk live to a qualified mental health professional. Regardless of the issue, the HELPLINE will provide counseling or link you to services.

"Your Loved Ones Need You, And So Do We" Annual Public Forum on Chemical Dependency Tonight

Photo Credit: The Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health Event Flyer

Photo Credit: The Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health Event Flyer

2019 Public Forum
Service Needs For Individuals With Chemical Dependency

When: Thursday, April 11. 2019
Time: 5:30 to 7:30 pm
Where: 230 North Road, Poughkeepsie, NY
DBCH Training Room (Entrance #1)
Host: Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health

From sitcoms and fashion to music and technology, the recent 2000s have not escaped the influence of the late ‘90s. It is hard to believe that the era that produced Joey Tribbiani is the same era that paved the way for today’s opioid crisis. In the late 1990s, giant pharmaceutical companies convinced healthcare providers that prescription opioid pain relievers were not highly addictive. Healthcare providers prescribed opioids at a super fast rate before realizing the intense addictive nature these drugs possess.

As of January 2019, the National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates the death of 130 Americans per day from the overdose of opioids.

As of January 2019, the National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates the death of 130 Americans per day from the overdose of opioids. People suffering from chemical dependency are not the only ones affected; babies are bearing the burden as well.

Babies Suffering From Opioid Withdrawal

About every 15 minutes, a baby is born undergoing the agony of opioid withdrawal, commonly referred to as Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. Aside from the staggering death rates and effects on child mortality, the economy bears a dent from the opioid epidemic. A total of $78.5 billion a year is drained by prescription opioid misuse as estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Estimates include the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement.

The 2019 Public Forum On Chemical Dependency

The Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health is holding a public forum on Thursday, April 11, 2019 for individuals and families dealing with chemical dependency. Discussion chips away at the barriers of stigma, and the more questions people ask, the more answers will be heard. Representatives include Lexington Center for Recovery; Council on Addiction, Prevention, and Education (CAPE); Mid-Hudson Addiction Recovery Centers (MARC); Matt Herring Foundation and others.

Kelly Ramsey, M.D., a renowned expert on substance use disorders and medication-assisted treatment, will be there as a guest speaker. The event will be held on Thursday, April 11, 2019 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the DBCH Training Room (entrance #1) . At 5 pm, a free Narcan training will be held and refreshments will be provided. Narcan (brand name for naloxone) blocks the effects of an opioid overdose, and administering it is a useful skill to learn for those in the public health field or personally affected by chemical dependency. Representatives will inform the public on initiatives in effect and progress achieved in this field. An open discussion followed by an encouraged Q&A will be held in an effort to keep the community informed on this growing crisis.

C. Diff Confirmed At Beacon High School - Cleaned To Prevent Spread - What Is C. Diff?

On Tuesday, March 26, 2019, a case of C. diff (Clostridioides difficile) was confirmed at Beacon High School. C. diff can cause diarrhea or colitis. Said Beacon Schools’ Superintendent Matthew Landahl in a “robocall” message delivered by phone/email/text to parents on Tuesday: “We immediately consulted with the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health, who advised that we clean hard surfaces in the school this evening to help prevent the spread of this bacteria.”

Cleaning Process

The Beacon City School District contracted with ServPro to conduct the thorough cleaning. They used an EPA-approved cleaning agent specifically used to stop the spread of C. diff, according to Superintendent Landahl in his message to the community. “We are implementing this cleaning protocol out of an abundance of caution. Closing the high school for a day was our decision as a school district.”

What Is C. Diff?

You can learn more about C. diff here at the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) website. According to the CDC, “C. diff bacteria is commonly found in the environment, but most cases of C. diff occur while you’re taking antibiotics or not long after you’ve finished taking antibiotics. People on antibiotics are 7 to 10 times more likely to get C. diff while on the drugs and during the month after.” C. diff symptoms include “diarrhea, including loose, watery stools (poop) or frequent bowel movements for several days, fever, stomach tenderness or pain, loss of appetite, and nausea,” according to the CDC.

More C. diff risk factors presented by the CDC include:

  • age (more than 80% of C. diff deaths happen among those 65 and older)

  • complicated medical care and extended stays in healthcare settings, especially hospitals and nursing homes

  • certain antibiotics, such as fluoroquinolones

  • a weakened immune system

  • previous infection with C. diff or known exposure to the germs

Vogel Pharmacy Relocates To 9D, In Plaza Near Dutchess (Renegades) Stadium (we got pictures!)

Vogel Pharmacy relocates to 1475 NY-9D, in between Leo’s and the Dollar General, after the building housing its longtime Beacon location was sold to new owners. Pictured above is owner Anthony Valicenti waving from behind his new counter, and a staff member Audra.   Photo Credits: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Vogel Pharmacy relocates to 1475 NY-9D, in between Leo’s and the Dollar General, after the building housing its longtime Beacon location was sold to new owners. Pictured above is owner Anthony Valicenti waving from behind his new counter, and a staff member Audra.
Photo Credits: Katie Hellmuth Martin

The former location of longtime Beacon business Vogel Pharmacy, on Main Street in Beacon, NY. Vogel has since moved 10 minutes away to the plaza across from Dutchess Stadium, 1475 NY-9D, now serving old and new customers.  Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

The former location of longtime Beacon business Vogel Pharmacy, on Main Street in Beacon, NY. Vogel has since moved 10 minutes away to the plaza across from Dutchess Stadium, 1475 NY-9D, now serving old and new customers.
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

In what is quickly becoming a new series on this blog - perhaps we’ll call it something like “Where did that shop go?” - we’ve been following which Beacon shops are moving where. They are often swapping ends of Main Street, or moving slightly off of Main Street.

We tracked down Vogel Pharmacy, owned by Anthony Valicent. For months, the pharmacy was in the process of moving from its longtime location at 234 Main Street (in the middle of Main Street near Homespun) after the building containing the storefront space they leased was purchased by new owners.

We are longtime customers of Vogel, preferring to get prescriptions filled with a local pharmacy that has deep roots in the community. Not to say we don’t high-five our friends who work at Rite Aid (love that nail polish bar and greeting card section … and remember that time Rite Aid got a total makeover and sliding front doors?), but having a local pharmacy keeps it real.

So Why Did Vogel Leave Downtown Beacon?

vogel vintage wall.jpg

The building at 234 Main Street that housed Vogel Pharmacy was for sale earlier this year. Anthony told us that he considered buying it, but knew the building well, and knew it was in bad shape. When the building did sell to new owners, they had other plans for it that did not include it being occupied for the next bit.

Vogel Pharmacy had been in downtown Beacon for decades. Vogel was one of our “Where Is This?” contest locations when we featured their vintage wall with the original beaker wallpaper. Anthony had worked for Vogel when he was an up and coming pharmacist, and for last 16 years has owned Vogel Pharmacy himself.

The New Vogel - Is The Same! With Gobs More Parking!

1475 NY-9D
Wappingers Falls by 12590
Same Phone Number: 845-831-3784
If you call after hours and don’t hear a voice mail, don’t worry. Simply call during their Open hours.

Silver linings are everywhere in this relocation story. For starters, the parking. Vogel serves everyone including the elderly, veterans, kids, and irregular cold and flu patients. The downtown Beacon Main Street location did not have much parking, and walking there has become even more difficult, now that the building is dwarfed by scaffolding to the right of it, and directly across the street, as two multistory buildings are built from the ground up. Homespun has had to put up a sidewalk sign at the end of the block encouraging people to keep walking through the scaffolding to find them.

Now when you drive to Vogel in their new location, you have sooooo much parking. You need a disabled spot? You got it! Is Leo’s busy that night? Is there a sale on detergent at the Dollar General? No problem! There is parking in the back of Vogel or on the other side of the VIP front row parking spots. Already, new customers who live in the area are coming in, thankful for the new pharmacy.

Everything Is Just As It Was At The Old Vogel - Kids Toys, Vaporizers, Eye-Glasses Donation Box

Inside of Vogel, the aisles are just as they were, and the phone number is the same.  Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Inside of Vogel, the aisles are just as they were, and the phone number is the same.
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Don’t worry, all of your old favorites at Vogel are still there. Even Vogel’s phone number is the same. The Melissa & Doug toys (that are so often marked down) that you can buy your kids when they come with you to pick up a prescription. The eye-glasses donation box. The magazines. Vogel is where I get my monthly issues of Family Circle and Better Homes & Gardens, conveniently placed right next to the cash register, under the Blow Pops.

Anthony waves from his new perch while filling prescriptions.

Anthony waves from his new perch while filling prescriptions.

Anthony himself is there as usual at the end of the aisles, either filling prescriptions or on the phone. The famous Rx sign hangs outside on Vogel’s new brick wall, just as it did at the other location.

I don’t mind driving down 9D. I look forward to it when I visit Stony Kill Farm, and I even drive my car payment to Rhinebeck Bank’s Beacon Branch - by choice.

Vogel isn’t the only Beacon business I’ve followed after they relocated. I followed my hair dresser Josh Boos to Newburgh from the Green Room (the salon near the mountain across from The Roundhouse). His new digs are in The Atlas Building in Newburgh so that he can manufacture his hair color organizer invention. So cool over there! I’ll be one of the voices encouraging the Newburgh/Beacon Ferry to ramp up its schedule, because it’s going to need to with all of this spread.

Look for Vogel at the Spirit of Beacon Day!

Vogel got a table this year at the Spirit of Beacon Day, so go say hi! This is the first year the Spirit of Beacon folks considered allowing businesses to have vendor tables (traditionally, only nonprofit organizations had tables). Regardless, Vogel’s move is so big, they probably would have been approved for a table anyway.

Congratulations to Anthony and his staff for making the move and making it through uncomfortable times in a business transition. The new location really does come with perks, and I’ll enjoy filling my family’s prescriptions there.

Feel Better Foods - Recipes from Beacon Local Marika Blossfeldt


During the first whammies of the flu season, A Little Beacon Blog blogged about our own flu symptom prevention tea by sharing this recipe for our Sickness Miracle Tea. Nutritionists, however, are on the case all of the time in sharing their recipes, food tips and cleanses. When a flu prevention email from Beacon local Marika Blossfeldt showed up in our inbox, bearing several healthful recipes, we earmarked it and couldn't resist sharing them with you.

Of course, medicine can save lives, and food is not a replacement for medicine that can be prescribed by a doctor. Nutritious food simply builds the foundation for a strong body that can yield positive results, but you should always work with your doctor when addressing problems with your body. Please see your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of the flu, especially respiratory issues.

One day, Marika was holding a cooking class in the Chocolate Studio (thanks A Little Beacon Blog's Classes for Adults Guide!). It was at that class that Marika's book finally came home with me, and several promises to read and cook from it have been made ever since. Not gonna answer whether those promises have been fulfilled yet, but the picture for this article illustrates recent healthy purchases from Beacon Natural Market. We're committed to making one of Marika's porridges!

It's Spring now, and we're still hearing reports of people being knocked out for a week with the flu. Bonus! Allergy season has now arrived, and take it from this allergy sufferer - a bad case of an allergy can turn into a pretty bad cold. We're not out of the woods yet with the flu, so read Marika's remedies below in her own words. And do yourself a favor - just print this out and tape it to the fridge.

First: Sleep More!

To keep your immune system humming and strong, make sure you drink enough water and get plenty of rest. It is OK to sleep more in the winter – in fact, it is the smart thing to do. Our bodies crave it. So allow yourself to indulge in beauty sleep without any guilty feelings at all.

Spice Up Your Food & Use Spices to Make Hot Teas

Many common spices have antimicrobial, antiviral and expectorant powers. Use ground spices in your food and make tea from ginger and turmeric root, as well as cinnamon sticks. Boil them for 10 to 20 minutes, and sip on your brew often.

  • Ginger: anti-inflammatory, fights the flu, common cold and respiratory infections
  • Cayenne: detoxifying, anti-inflammatory, fights the flu and common cold
  • Cinnamon: anti-inflammatory, immune boosting, fights infections and viruses
  • Turmeric: anti-inflammatory, strong antioxidant
  • Pepper: treats sinus and nasal congestion, expectorant

Get Your Daily Dose of Lacto-Fermented Vegetables

Lacto-fermented vegetables are higher in vitamins than their unfermented counterparts, and boost immunity by providing live probiotic bacteria. Have 2 tablespoons daily. You can find unpasteurized sauerkraut and pickles in the cold section of your natural food stores. They are easy to make yourself. My recipe for Peppery Sauerkraut follows below.

  • Superfoods: garlic, lemon juice, raw honey
  • Garlic: antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal
  • Lemon juice: strengthens immune system, prevents viral infections like cold and flu
  • Honey: antiviral, boosts immune system

Use these powerful ingredients in food and drink. Make salad dressings using raw garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and honey. Add lemon juice to your drinking water. Use honey instead of sugar. To keep honey’s medicinal power intact, never heat it over 95 degrees F (or 35 C).
Recipe: Natural Antibiotics in a Jar
This is a powerful concoction -  take 1 teaspoon every day first thing in the morning on an empty stomach as a preventative. When already under the weather, take 1 tablespoon three times per day, one before each meal. This is strong stuff and meant for adults only. It is not suitable for children.
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons ground ginger
½ tablespoon ground cayenne
½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
½ tablespoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup + 1½ tablespoons (100 ml) lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey

Press the garlic into a jar, add all spices and lemon juice and stir.

Add the honey and mix.

Let the mixture sit at room temperature for three hours, then transfer into the refrigerator.

Echinacea Tincture

At the first hint of a cold coming on, take a dropperful in a glass of water and drink 3 times per day between meals. You can find echinacea tincture at your health food store.

Vitamin C

Eat vitamin C rich foods such as black currants, red and green bell peppers, kiwi, broccoli, kale and parsley.

Food: Eat This Not That

Eat leafy greens on a daily basis. Besides being powerhouses for vitamins and minerals, they help reduce mucus and clear congestion, especially in the lungs. Their chlorophyll content supports the good gut bacteria, thus boosting immunity. You can sauté them with garlic or have them in a smoothie.

Cut Back on Sugar and Sweets

Cut Back on Dairy

Milk products are mucus-producing foods.

Beacon Hosts Citizens' Preparedness Training at Fire Station #2 on April 17, 2018


Citizens' Preparedness Training
Day: Tuesday, April 17
Time: Doors will open at 6:30 pm and the training will begin at 7 pm. 
Location: Beacon's Fire Station #2, 13 South Avenue 

In light of the recent shooting events and the early morning fire at Rombout Avenue, parents are looking for ways to be more prepared in an emergency situation. The Dutchess Country Department of Emergency Response and Beacon Mayor Randy Casale are inviting all parents to the Citizens' Preparedness Training, Tuesday, April 17, at Beacon's Fire Station #2 located at 13 South Avenue.  Doors will open at 6:30 pm and the training will begin at 7 pm.

William H. (Bill) Beale, the Emergency Management Coordinator for the Dutchess County Department of Emergency Response, says: “Through our countywide community preparedness assessment, we discovered the need for citizens' preparedness training. As a result, we can fund it through federal training."

Starter Kit of FEMA Recommended Items

At this training, participants will get a Starter Kit that includes FEMA-recommended items. "This kit and the ability to add to it is very important," says Bill.

Flooding Preparedness Training

According to Bill, “We’re seeing more flooding than we’ve seen previously.” Flooding is the No. 1 natural hazard that affects Dutchess County. "If you’re in a low-lying area, be aware that it could happen. Many people live in rural parts of Dutchess County," further from life-saving first responders.

Sustained Power Outages Training

Attendees will be trained in what to do during sustained power outages. Days after we moved to Beacon from New York City several Januarys ago, Beacon experienced a severe blizzard where we lost power for three days. Being city-folk, we didn't know what do to. However, if that had to happen, I think I'd rather be out here in a small-town city than up high in an apartment building!

"During the last Nor’easters," Bill explains, "many people were without power for nine days. This program trains in how to be prepared for sustained power outages."

Other Types of Emergencies

Among the goals of the evening training session will be making people aware of what types of disasters can affect Duchess County in case they need to evacuate the area or shelter in place. Situations that will be covered include severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, winter storms, public health emergencies, hazards materials (chemical and biological threats).  

Available each day to those who are really into being prepared is the Mountain Scout Survival School, with its headquarters on Main Street. Several classes are available through the Mountain Scout Survival School, including firemaking skills, knife-handling skills, winter skills, and other survival skills for living outdoors.

This training does not include what to do in active shooter situations. "Stop the Bleed does address that," says Bill, referencing the training program that is readily accessed through the Beacon Volunteer Ambulance Corps, who can bring their Stop the Bleed training to you if you organize a group.

Overall, Dutchess County Department of Emergency Response has found that Community Preparedness is lacking in Dutchess County, and has ramped up efforts to find and secure funding. "We have trained almost 2,000 people so far and have conducted 30 presentations.”

Tuesday's event is free and open to the public. You can get more information by visiting www.dutchessny.gov or calling (845) 486-2080.

Beacon Ambulance Corps Hosts Life Saving Training in Stopping Bleeding on March 31

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The Beacon Volunteer Ambulance Corps will be participating in National Stop The Bleed Day on Saturday, March 31, 2018. The Stop The Bleed Program is designed to teach the general public how to control severe bleeding.

The Beacon Volunteer Ambulance Corps will be holding a series of one-hour classes throughout the day beginning at 9 am. Training will be at their headquarters located at One Arquilla Drive, Beacon, NY. If you would like to attend one of these valuable training sessions, please call (845) 831-4540, then at the prompt, choose option 5 and leave a message. One of Beacon Volunteer Ambulance Corps' instructors will call you back. You can also send a message to stopthebleed@beaconvac.org and they will get back to you.

Bring a Stop the Bleed Instructor to Train Your Organization

Instructors who train in how to stop bleeding are available at any time to provide this training to your club, scouting group, organization or to your employees. Please contact them using one of the above methods if you are interested in training for your group. There is no charge for this training.

New Year, New Beginnings, New YOU with Beacon's New Boutique Fitness Studios!

Photo Credits: Instagram feeds of these businesses. Graphic Art Credit: A Little Beacon Blog

Photo Credits: Instagram feeds of these businesses.
Graphic Art Credit: A Little Beacon Blog

It’s a new year, and a new year brings 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 activities. If you are looking to add some fitness into your routine, but may not want to commit to 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 Beacon's 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 and 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 13.

Zoned Fitness is the first personal training studio in Beacon to offer Heart Rate-Based training, creating a workout regimen specifically for your needs.  Located at 490 Main Street, it was formerly Hudson Valley Fitness, but the business 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 trainee 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 if you're working through an injury or other physical limitations.


If you are looking for more than just a physical challenge but also mind and body, there's a Beacon spot to cover that. Last year, Shambhala Wellness Center at 4 South Chestnut Street underwent an makeover to provide more than just yoga. You can also receive massages, reiki (traditional and shamanic), nutritional counseling, health coaching, cognitive therapy, herbal medicine and psychic readings. You do not need to be 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 - a big reason why some resolutions don't work out. You don't have to give up (all) of the good stuff. 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 [you might] 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 a smaller fitness community may be just what you need to stay committed.

The Sickness Miracle Tea: Where To Source It For Home Brewing


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. 

Feel better!