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


The Highlands Current Needs Your Help! Seeking Fundraising To Continue Covering Beacon

The Highlands Current is a local newspaper you’ve seen around town, stacked in storefronts, and now in the blue boxes that keep popping up on street corners. The paper is a nonprofit organization, and while they do rely on advertising, they count on individual donations more - 75% of publishing costs come from donors! The paper, which is distributed for FREE, is in the final, heated days of their big fundraising appeal, and needs Beacon’s help! Beaconites are so important to the publication, that the paper has invested in an ad campaign here at A Little Beacon Blog to help them get the word out. And you know we love helping to spread the good word.

Years ago, the Highlands Current was launched and covered Cold Spring, Garrison, Nelsonville and North Highlands. In 2015, they expanded their coverage to include Beacon by dedicating at least two reporters, Jeff Simms and Brian PJ Cronin, to cover the Beacon “beat” (newspaper term), as well as Alison Rooney to feature stories on the arts, Michael Turton with some articles (he also delivers the papers all around town) and Pamela Doan, the editor of the Calendar section that includes Beacon events in their roundup. And now I too have joined the ranks as a columnist with my “Kid Friendly” column over there. If you attend City Council or Board of Education meetings, you stand a good chance of seeing Jeff or Brian in the unofficial “press box” (aka somewhere in the front rows).

Highlands Current Quick To Report On Important Issues

Thanks to this dedication, The Highlands Current is often the first to report on big changes coming out of our City Council - changes that impact your daily life here in Beacon. Also because of this investment, their reporters follow different events each week at these meetings, so are super familiar with the twists and turns the issues make, and often weave these significant details into their articles for better context. Because they print on paper, a newspaper doesn’t get to use as much space as a blog does, so often they have to select their words so carefully, and cram hours’ worth of events and pages of supporting documents into three tiny paragraphs!

The paper published this picture to show how two Beacon Reporters  work from the Telephone Building  through Beahive’s shared office space.

The paper published this picture to show how two Beacon Reporters work from the Telephone Building through Beahive’s shared office space.

Beacon Newspaper Reporters Work From The Telephone Building

Little known fact to bolster your Beacon trivia base: The Highlands Current stations their reporters out of the Telephone Building in Beahive’s shared work space. A Little Beacon Blog also has our office in the Telephone Building! It’s fun to be in a communications hub like this.

Fundraising Opportunity - Double Match Going On Now ’Til December 31!

Thanks to a grant from NewsMatch and an anonymous donor, any contribution from $1 to $1,000 will be matched two times until December 31! Even if you gave just $10, it matters!

Yes, the dollars help, but new donors are equally important. New donors signal to the newspaper that you care, and you want their coverage to continue. If you have already donated to the Highlands Current this year, consider asking your spouse or best friend to also donate if they haven’t yet. #NewDonorAlert!

PS: If you are reading this article after December 31, 2018, you can still donate! Every little bit helps.

Back to Business, Back to School - September's Column in the Highlands Current


Writing about others is very easy and delightful. Writing about oneself is very hard! It is what I teach business owners, artists and makers to do in my Tin Shingle life. Yet in my A Little Beacon Blog life, this is a much harder exercise!

But here it is - The Highlands Current offered me a monthly column in their newspaper, and that is such an honor. Anything printed is a much tougher choice with layout/design, actual word length cut-offs, limited picture runs, distribution of the paper (aka driving it around and dropping it into locations), etc. But people love paper, they pick it up, it always works and doesn’t need to be plugged in and recharged. Admit it. You pick up newspapers, and you read paper flyers on walls.

They wanted someone to speak about Kid Life here in the Hudson Valley, with a focus on Beacon and Cold Spring. So, we have my column, called “Kid Friendly,” that will do just that! Plus I’ll touch on life as a (self-employed) working parent.

September’s column is on newsstands now - but only until Friday! Then it switches out to their next issue. I focused on my favorite time of year - September - because it is the time to begin again. It is the Back to Business season. Yet is also Back to School season. Which makes getting into a work groove very tricky. The article works to dispel the myth that parents can work with kids at home (or very little kids at least). The picture used in the article tries to debunk the myth created by photos of very calm-looking mothers sitting at the dining room table working on their laptop with a baby on their lap. Doesn’t happen!

Additionally, the article explores how business owners with storefronts do it. Showing up to a physical location at a set time can be extremely challenging. I have encountered more than one storefront that was closed during an OPEN day with a sign in the window: “Sorry, the babysitter canceled, we had to stay home” or “Sorry, we had to make an emergency doctor’s appointment.” For this article, I interviewed Carley Hughes of Ella’s Bellas in Beacon, and Dawn Scanga of Cold Spring Fitness. Carley started her business when her daughter was in a stroller, and Dawn started hers when her four children were still in high school. If you ever do encounter these signs at a local business, go easy on ‘em. It’s challenging to run a business with kids!

Pick up your copy today! Right now!

PS: The column is also online, but reading the paper is more fun.