Community Created Post-It Note Art at Library for Windows on Main - Needs You!

 Photo Credit: Howland Public Library, used to give an idea of how the wall could look. Pictured is a Giant Robot Post-it Note Art Wall for illustration purposes.

Photo Credit: Howland Public Library, used to give an idea of how the wall could look. Pictured is a Giant Robot Post-it Note Art Wall for illustration purposes.

Do drop into the Howland Public Library most anytime now through August 11th to make your piece of Post-It Note Art for their Post-It Note Community Art Wall. The Community Art Wall is part of this year's Windows on Main Street public art installation, of which the Howland Public Library is a participant. People of all ages are invited to create a post-it note sized creation for the Community Art Wall.

Windows on Main Street is an annual exhibit that pairs artists with storefronts along Beacon's Main Street. This year, 26 Main Street businesses are participating, and for the library's exhibit, you're invited to be one of the contributing artists. The exhibit will be up for one month.

A rainbow of sticky notes and a ton of art supplies will be available to inspire you. This is a great impromptu summer activity as you're looking for things to do in Beacon on Main Street. Please note, the Post-it Note Art maker station may not be open during some programs at the library.

The library is located in the middle of Beacon's downtown at 313 Main Street, near Glazed Over Donuts.

The River Pool at Beacon IN The Hudson River Opens for 2018!

 The left side of The Beacon River Pool - eye level.  Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

The left side of The Beacon River Pool - eye level.
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

As you play at Riverfront Park, known since 2014 as Pete and Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park, you may have experienced the extreme desire to swim in the Hudson River to cool off. Well, now you can - because The River Pool at Beacon is open again this year! Starting in 2007, five years after submitting construction plans to New York State, the pool opened to the public for the first time. The river pool idea was originally proposed by the pool's co-founder, Pete Seeger, according to the pool's History page.

What's a River Pool?

The river pool is netted and shallow, with a net bottom designed by Meta Brunzema Architect P.C., a New York City-based design firm. You could crawl on it, with a child on your back, pretending you are an alligator gliding just under the water surface. Or you could sit or stand in the shallow water, enjoying the breeze off the water and gazing up or down the river, thankful you aren't in the traffic moving (or not moving) on the Newburgh/Beacon Bridge. Or, you could simply sit on the colorful plastic seats and bask in the sun, slipping further into the water as you're ready.

River pools aren't unique to this spot - they have been around since at least 1830, up and down the Hudson River - but they were removed after 1930 due to water pollution. Pete Seeger was a major advocate for cleanup of the Hudson River. Thanks to his efforts as well as many other organizations including Scenic Hudson and Riverkeeper, the river has improved since then, and many groups and people continue to advocate in this direction.

Can Anyone Use the River Pool?

It's a free pool for all, thanks to support from individual donations, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Durst Organization, the Abrons Foundation, the Hudson River Foundation. The pool's organizers actually want to increase its size. They're working with another architecture firm to design a bigger pool, and they're talking with cities and towns to find the right location that offers agreeable environmental considerations.

What's It Like Swimming in the River Pool?

 The changing room at The Beacon River Pool.  Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

The changing room at The Beacon River Pool.
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

So fun. So relaxing. You're IN the river, just sitting there protected from the currents by the anchored netting. The pool is small, so you'll be near others as they dip in and out of the pool. The pool is also very shallow: An adult is up to their waist or thighs. The River Pool is fully staffed by lifeguards, and even has a changing room!

If thunder rolls in and you need to leave the pool and wait 30 thunder-free minutes to go back in, you could always shoot baskets at the park's basketball court, or play on the playgrounds. Or have a picnic on the grass (watch out for alllll of the goose poop).

An additional perk: Riverfront Park is very breezy, so you'll be cooled off quickly down by the river no matter what.

Is Swimming in the Hudson River Safe?

The Hudson River was contaminated by companies who dumped pollutants into it for many years. An ongoing effort to clean up the Hudson River has spanned several decades. As of today, it has reached cleaner levels, but is closely monitored by The River Pool at Beacon. Says a representative from The River Pool this year: "The quality in Beacon Harbor is definitely of concern. Beacon Harbor had a long run of low numbers. We hope this is a temporary situation. That said, the pool is off the north shore of Pete and Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park. The water is tested every week by the county health department. We would not open if the water was not considered safe for swimming."

Swim For The Pool - From Beacon To Newburgh!

Fundraising continues for the pool with regular donations that you can make at any time, and during the 15th Annual Newburgh to Beacon Hudson River Swim, where you can sponsor a swimmer - or be a swimmer that people sponsor! See the Beacon to Newburgh Swim page for details.

Make a donation here to keep this all going, but don't worry if you can't. It was designed for all to be able to access and experience the Hudson River. See you at the pool!

Declaration of Independence Reading on Wednesday, July 4, 2018

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Going on its eighth year, a committee of people will be reading the Declaration of Independence at Beacon's City Hall (aka the Municipal Building and police station building off of Wolcott Ave. on your way down to the train station) on Wednesday, July 4, at 11 am.

Dennis Pavlock as Chairperson, will be joined by other committee members including former Beacon Mayor Clara Lou Gould as Vice Chairperson. This is your chance to hear the Declaration of Independence read to you, in the same way that George Washington read it to his troops in July of 1776 while he was out defending New York against the British.

July Fourth was the day that Congress approved the Declaration of Independence, which was signed later by representatives of each state. Have you read the entirety of the Declaration of Independence lately (or ever)? It declares the different reasons that the people who migrated to the United States wanted to dissolve their political relationship with the King of England and his government. You can read it here as a sneak peek to the July Fourth performance.

During his promotion of the event during a Public Comment portion of a City Council meeting, Dennis reiterated that this is not a city-sponsored event: "Not one $0.10," he said. Clara Lou Gould also spoke, encouraging people to attend and know what the Declaration of Independence is, that it is a declaration of government by the people, for the people. She continued to encourage people to call into governments with their suggestions.

There Will Be Cake - And Bagels! - And a Candy Jar

"Get a piece of history, get a piece of cake," encouraged Dennis. Kelly the Cake Lady will be providing cake, and the Beacon Bagel will be providing bagels. Dunkin' Donuts is on board, as is BJs Wholesale Club as a sponsor. There will be two candy jars for kids to guess how much is in each jar. So let them eat cake! And bagels and donuts and candy. It's for a good cause, after all.

BAM!! Beacon's Fireworks Are Happening... But They Almost Didn't

 Photo Credit: Betsy Biggar Hellmuth

Photo Credit: Betsy Biggar Hellmuth

BEACON'S FIREWORKS
Date: Sunday, July 1, 2018
Location: Memorial Park, Robert Cahill Drive, Beacon, NY
Time: Music starts at 5 pm. Fireworks begin at 9 pm.
Entertainment: There will be live music, and vendors selling food.

"When are Beacon's fireworks this year?"

It's a simple question. One that normally has an answer without a second thought. When annual events or things happen - like hanging baskets of petunias on Main Street - one doesn't normally question how or why they happen, only that they do happen.

So when chatter started about Beacon's fireworks not happening for 2018, ears perked up in disbelief. Rather than accept that Beacon wouldn't have fireworks, Beaconites took it upon themselves to make it happen.

The City of Beacon itself is not involved in the production of most of the annual events scheduled throughout the year. These commemorative and festive events have drawn renewed interest and involvement from community members, though:

The Spirit of Beacon Day Parade almost didn't happen in 2018 when its organizers disbanded (but then it did happen, as new organizers stepped in!). The Memorial Day Parade, which is organized by veterans who live in Beacon, did not happen in 2018, but will return in 2019, as announced by a veteran during last month's Memorial Day service at the Memorial Building. They expressed how humbled they were by the public's strong turnout to this year's ceremony.

Another group of Beacon citizens has organized a reading of the Declaration of Independence set to happen on Wednesday, July 4, at 11 am.

As for Beacon's fireworks show, it's really an event produced by the people of Beacon. There are many involved who are putting together a big fireworks display for 2018. Here's what we know so far:

A Changing of the Guard for Beacon's Fireworks

You may not have realized that historically, the Kiwanis Club of Beacon did the fundraising for the fireworks. Additionally, the organization known as "I Am Beacon" used to play a part in organizing events that began in the afternoon and ran into the night. Sometimes things change, however, and unfortunately, the Kiwanis Club disbanded this year with no clear guideline in place for passing the firework fundraising torch (irresistible pun intended).

Enter LT Sherpa, owner of Beacon Natural Market. He was overcome with shock when he heard that there would be no fireworks in Beacon. "You can't have the Fourth of July without fireworks," he said to himself, and then to me while interviewing him for this story.

Beacon Natural, Verplanck Auto, and Beacon Recreation Department Step Up to Produce Celebration

"I decided that the Beacon Natural Market would offer to sponsor the fireworks," LT continued. "After speaking to the mayor and discovering that the cost was a little more than what the market could do alone, I spearheaded a donation drive from Beacon businesses to hold the fireworks. Beacon has been good to businesses, and I want us to give back.” LT is working with Mark Price, director of Beacon's Recreation Department, who has usually facilitated the production of Beacon's Fourth of July celebration in years past.

DONATING TO THE FIREWORKS
If you would like to donate to the event, please contact LT or Kitty Sherpa:
Call: Beacon Natural Market, (845) 838-1288
Email: beacon348@verizon.net
Donate in person: Beacon Natural Market, 348 Main St., Beacon, NY
Checks: Make payable to the City of Beacon.

No matter what LT and his wife Kitty raise during the donation drive, LT has assured the City that he is writing a check for the full amount of the fireworks. The fireworks will commence on Sunday, July 1, 2018, and there is no rain date.

All donations for the fireworks can be made out to the City of Beacon, and can be dropped off at Beacon Natural Market.

Live Music for Beacon's Fireworks

Some of you know Manny from Verplanck Auto, and some of you have your cars in his lot right now being repaired. Said Manny when being interviewed for this story: "I spoke to Mark Price on a chance meeting about this event. I wanted to help. My son, who will be a high school senior this year, Zack Taylor, has been performing at the Fourth of July celebration for the past three to four years with his band, Seal the Deal."

Manny and LT are working with Mark from the Recreation Department, who is orchestrating the programming for the entire day. "People are coming out of the woodwork to help out," said Manny. "L+J is donating the sound equipment, and many others are donating time and such to the whole process," said Manny.

Musical Lineup Before the Fireworks

The festival will be at Memorial Park on Sunday, July 1. There will be vendors selling food as well as live music. The music starts at 5 pm, and will be done by the time the fireworks begin at 9 pm.

This musical lineup was sent to us by Zack Kotzias, who is known for performing in interesting venues around Beacon:

5-5:30 pm Brian Daniel (R&B)
5:45-6:15 pm Jeremy Torres (Acoustic)
6:30-7 pm Backseat Lover (Rock)
7:15-7:45 pm Seal the Deal (Rock)
8-8:15 pm Tony E (Hip Hop)
8:20-9 pm Decora (Hip Hop)

If you are involved with this year's production or if you have already donated, go ahead and give yourself a shout-out and pat on the back in the Comments below!

Business Donors So Far

M&T Bank, John Car Realty, Homespun, Dominic Penzetta, Dogwood, Drink More Good, Hudson, Valley Auctioneers, Greg Zabel, Hudson Beach Glass, Artisan Wine Store, Hudson Valley Brewery, Mobile Gas Station, Quinns, Quinns Employees, Keyfood, Antalek & Moore, Mountain Tops, Kitchen Sink, Hudson Valley Zoned, Luxe Optical, Law Office of Dennis Vetrano, Gate House Realty, Kiwanis Club, Roundhouse, Melzingah Tap House, Poppy’s, Beacon Natural Market, and Thundercut.

 

Hanging Baskets of Petunias Have Arrived on Main Street - How They Got There

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Quick - what's the prettiest way to tell what season it is in Beacon? Look up, to Main Street's lampposts, and see what's hanging as the seasons change. In the winter, it's wreaths and illuminated stars. In the spring and summer, it's the petunias. But these petunias don't water themselves. And where do they come from, anyway?

The Hanging Petunia Baskets Are A Community Effort

The Tioronda Garden Club pays for the hanging baskets, and Sunny Garden Greenhouses, the nursery north on Route 9D past Stony Kill Farm, makes the hanging baskets. Mayor Randy Casale and former councilperson Sam Way water the baskets in the early morning, and have done so ever since the baskets were removed from the City's budget years ago.

Fundraisers are put on each year by the Tioronda Garden Club for the hanging baskets (we covered it last year), so watch for your chance to help! And just look at the Tioronda Garden Club's new website, with all of their events listed! This is a great way to connect with other gardening enthusiasts. You could even possibly be one of these secret gardeners on Main Street, if you wanted to join the Tioronda Garden Club.

This year, my photo of the petunias is from inside A Little Beacon office at 291 Main Street, in the Telephone Building. I don't recall seeing the hanging baskets last year outside my window, but I'm so happy to see it daily now!

Musical Performance Fundraiser for Robin Testerman at Beacon High School

  Photo Credit: Beacon High School

Photo Credit: Beacon High School

WITH LOVE & LIGHT
Date: Friday, June 29, 2018
Time: 7:30 pm
Location: Beacon High School Seeger Theater
101 Matteawan Road, Beacon, NY
 Price*: Admission: $10 at the door. Children under 5 are free
*All proceeds benefit Robin Testerman, to help pay mounting medical bills for cancer treatment.

From the desks of Lori LaDue and Anthony Scarrone of Beacon High School:

Song and dance will take the stage at Beacon High School as the extended performing arts community—including John Jay Proscenium Alumni, The Beacon Players, Spackenkill High School’s Spack Onstage, and Beacon Performing Arts Center—pool their talents to benefit local champion of theater Robin Testerman.

With the goal of offsetting Robin’s mounting medical bills due to cancer treatment, the area’s best and brightest present an evening of Broadway hits, including selections from Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Footloose, West Side StoryLes Miserables, A Chorus Line, Aida, Jekyll & Hyde, The Little MermaidPhantom of the Opera, and so much more.
 
Special guest Ryan Dutcher, a nationally known illusionist, will provide fast-paced magical entertainment, cutting-edge comedy, and opportunities for audience participation in his mesmerizing act.

Before the show and during intermission, enjoy light refreshments while you browse the silent auction, offering tantalizing experiences and wares. More special appearances may be happening (perhaps a Broadway star or two?) at this can’t-miss musical event of the year.

Beacon Booming With Literary Opportunities For Writers and Readers!

Last time we wrote about the literary goings-on in Beacon, we were shocked that there was SO MUCH GOING ON. Just a few months later and THERE’S EVEN MORE HAPPENING. If you are a writer, or you like the company of writers, or you're a reader or listener, our town (and slightly beyond its limits) is absolutely bursting into bloom right now for you.

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Readings

The Sunset Reading Series at the Chapel Restoration in Cold Spring features extremely talented and famous writers in an incomparably beautiful venue. On Sunday, June 24, Benjamin Taylor will read, presumably from his new family memoir “The Hue and Cry at Our House.”  

On Wednesday, June 20, Calling All Poets (CAPS) and The Vinyl Room deliver you a super chill event with open mic and spoken word, with vinyl jazz accompaniment. Suggested donation is $3, and BYOV (Bring Your Own Vinyl). CAPS has loads of other upcoming events to check out as well.

Community

The Howland Library in Beacon has an upcoming Author Talk with Carol Lynn Lustgarten on Thursday, June 14. The poet, author and artist “will read selections from her three books, as well as share her experience in self-publishing. The event will end with a bit of fun, participatory improv that Ms. Lustgarten will do. Her books will be available for sale and signing." Titles include "Stormy Sky," "Who Needs a Boyfriend? Life, Happiness and Other Thoughts," and "I Don't Like Getting Old.” The event is free!

Get Lit Beacon is in full swing and we are eagerly awaiting their next Get Lit Salon at Oak Vino in July. Until then, their blog tides us over with literary-minded interviews and articles by members Flora Stadler and Kristen Holt Browning, among others.

Workshops and Classes

Speaking of Get Lit Beacon, organizer and author Julie Chibbaro is currently offering one-on-on workshops for fiction and creative nonfiction writers.

Poet Ruth Danon has a fantastic and free demonstration class on Wednesday, June 13, focusing on improvisational writing and craft study. By the end of the session you will determine a schedule and make plans for a sequence of six sessions of poetry classes in Beacon, NY. She also offers one-on-one consultations and workshops for poets.

Short on time for a regular thing? Memoir writer Donna Minkowitz is offering a one-day workshop on Saturday, July 21, from 2 to 5 pm, with a price break for local residents. Her weekly workshops will resume in late September.

Bookstores

On Saturday, June 16, Split Rock Books in Cold Spring will open its doors from 10 am to 7 pm to give everyone a peek at what’s been going on behind that newspaper in the windows. Their website describes the bookstore’s mission as: “An independent bookstore carrying a curated selection of new books with a focus on literary fiction and nonfiction, bestsellers, and children’s books. We will also be able to order books by request. Our events will include children's and family programming, book clubs, readings, signings and discussions.”  More bookstores cannot be a bad thing, in our humble opinion. 

You are of course familiar with the stupendous Binnacle Books in Beacon, and their readings and book release parties in their backyard garden, but don’t forget to check back in to see what’s on tap for upcoming events and book club meetings hosted by Denning's Point Distillery. Speaking of the backyard – One Nature Garden Center now boasts a lovely area for kids to hang out, in addition to native plants, and seems like a perfect place to read a new book you may have just bought next door.

Little Pink Slip Re Water Test On Your Door - Not From the City

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You know that little pink slip that was hung on your front door last week, with a little vial in it requesting a water sample? It might surprise you to know it's not from the City of Beacon. It is from a private company called Hudson Valley Water Consultants, who pretty much just want to sell you a water filtration system of some kind. Which, maybe you want a water filtration system! But this has nothing to do with the City of Beacon - just in case you got confused.

Mailings or other distributed materials like this (this one was hand-delivered) often tend to look official, and sometimes are even designed to look like they came from a city or official government agency - like when you get those fake IRS notices or fake Trademark Renewal letters in the mail from attorneys trying to trick you into thinking something is wrong with your trademark.

What - you've never gotten those?

This solicitation was a questionnaire that asked for personal information about your household, including how many children you may have, pets, or if you rent or own your home. Beacon's City Administrator, Anthony Ruggiero, did announce during a City Council Meeting on June 4, 2018, that the company did legally obtain a Peddler's Permit from the City of Beacon to solicit, but he clarified that it is not a city-sponsored campaign.

"We [the City of Beacon] do testing [of the water], but this is not how we do it," said Anthony during the meeting, letting people know that the little pink slip in the bag with the water vial is nothing city-related and not a test that anyone needs to partake in. Even though the company name is stated on the advertisement, if you skimmed it or just read the parts in bold, you might have gotten the wrong impression.

Which Reminds Us...

Back in late February, some people were going around house-to-house soliciting FIOS for Verizon, trying to sell Internet and Triple Play packages. At that time, Anthony reminded everyone during a February 20, 2018, City Council Meeting that you have the right to be placed on a Do-Not-Knock list, which comes with a sticker for your door! Entities applying for a Peddler's Permit have access to this list and are instructed to respect it.

Said Anthony at that time: "You can call City Hall to be put on the Do-Not-Knock list. They [the peddler] will get the list. The law is on the books. Always ask people knocking door-to-door if they have the Peddler's Permit. Ask to see the permit. If they don't have it, politely close the door and call the police department. Exempt from that law are Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and politicians. If you don't want politicians, put a No Trespassing sign on your door (smiley face)."

Memorial Day Ceremony in Beacon 2018

Today we honor the fallen and salute those who serve today to protect us. Thank you.

Memorial Day Ceremony
Day:
Monday, May 28, 2018
Time: 11 am
Location: American Legion - Beacon Post, in the Memorial Building, 413 Main St., Beacon, NY

Get a bite to eat at the Yankee Clipper Diner Restaurant, Beacon Pantry, or Ella's Bellas afterward.

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Yes, There Was a "No" Vote on Short-Term Rentals in Beacon

Hi,

Yes, there was a 4-3 "No" vote on Short-Term Rentals in Beacon, and yes we are compiling an article for it. The vote Monday evening and its results took many by surprise. It's not a straightforward issue, so we are gathering information and quotes to present it as clearly as we can. Even the headline is tricky to write! Because if we write it one way, it looks like Beacon's City Council isn't supportive of short-term rentals, when in fact they did show support for them, and had all been crafting legislation to make short-term rentals legal. But four of the people on the City Council voted against the legislation they had been working on. That results in short-term rentals remaining prohibited by default because they are not on the list called Schedule of Use Regulations. That list is part of the Beacon Zoning Ordinance, which, according to City Attorney Nick Ward-Willis, states: "Any use not specifically listed shall be deemed to be prohibited."

VOTING RESULTS
Terry Nelson No
George Mansfield No
John Rembert No
Amber Grant No
Jodi McCredo Yes  
Lee Kyriacou Yes
Mayor Randy Casale Yes

So... Short-term rentals remain not on the list.

Stay tuned as we compile our article...