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!
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.
Howling at the Edge of Chaos is closing on Saturday. Valerie J. Mitchell opened in Beacon a year and a half ago, and created a store that showcases artists' creations that "howl their truth," which is the store's motto. Valerie was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer in June. Less than three months after her treatments ended, she has learned that the cancer is back. It is in her liver and colon and she is considered terminal. Valerie says that she has chosen quality of life, and is not pursuing treatments. She will be traveling with family and being at peace with her next steps.
The lights have been on in the store hit or miss, in between doctor's appointments. We stopped in and made a few purchases (pictured above) yesterday, making sure to get in while she was open, pushing aside any other commitments that were on the calendar. Howling at the Edge of Chaos is at 428 Main Street in Beacon, NY, which is that tiny sliver of a store next to the Beacon Hotel, just down the block from Ella’s Bellas.
Two Lessons Here
A first impulse for some has been to reach out to help. Valerie’s passion is spreading truth and awareness, and so far she is doing both: about ovarian cancer, but also about supporting local businesses.
First: Valerie wove into her shop's mission to get out the truth. Her storefront window was dedicated to ovarian cancer awareness, as it is one of the most silent and swift of the cancers that often goes undetected. She wants more people to be aware of their bodies and to stay in front of them. A Little Beacon Blog will be sharing an ovarian cancer awareness post to help spread the word and educate about early signs.
Second: After Valerie and I hugged and laughed a lot about anything and everything at all, Valerie made sure to tell me about the “Just A Card” campaign. She's very eager to sell everything in the store, so do go in. The shop is very festive, with her sparkly Christmas trees and music (see our Instagram video). The "Just a Card" campaign is one that sends the message that if every person who walked into a shop and expressed their love and appreciation for it just "bought a card" - however small the purchase - it helps the store continue and prosper.
A personal regret of mine has been not buying more from Howling at the Edge of Chaos. Many times, I have walked past the store and seen her posts of rings and necklaces on Instagram from different artists she carries, and each time I thought: “Beautiful! I want that! But I'll treat myself to that later when I deserve a treat."
Later may never come. Out of this entire galaxy of time, we only live for 100 years of it, if that. Some of us only have 36 years, or 17 years, or 9 years, or 2 years. Don't wait for later. If you want this beauty in your life - these shops, these people who set up the shops and take big risks to be here - go inside. Treat yourself. Make someone happy with a gift.
Thank you to everyone who submitted pictures of their decorated homes! It has become a tradition each year for us at A Little Beacon Blog to go “Holiday House Light Hunting,” where we literally drive up and down Beacon (quite literally, when we drive up Mount Beacon into those neighborhoods) to find exciting holiday house light decorations.
While there are several pictures in this roundup, it is just a sampling of the many house lights decorating Beacon right now. Where possible, we indicate where a house is. Otherwise, we encourage you to drive or walk around on your own self-guided tour!
During this holiday season, we’re sending out a simple message of gratitude to one of our first and longest sponsors: Antalek & Moore Insurance Agency. I first met Susan Antalek Pagones during a joint BeaconArts / Beacon Chamber Member Mingle at St. Rocco’s, and it is an evening I will always remember for its illumination of how history is handed down in Beacon.
Right after introducing myself and saying I had just moved here and where my house was, Susan turned to her colleague, Terry Williams, to ask her: “Whose house is that?” Now, I knew whose house it was from the young family we bought it from (they bought it years ago, and opted to move closer to the mountain), but Susan and Terry knew it from the two generations of the family who had lived there prior.
I have since heard about this other family from our first plumber who could identify the pipes in the basement as his own among the other pipes that were not his work. The next person who knew our home better than me was a handyman I hired for my office to hang an OPEN sign from the ceiling. It turns out he was friends with the son of the family who owned our home decades ago. They have since both turned into professional home improvement professionals, which makes sense when I notice the creatively custom-built details around our home.
Susan teaches me about community-centered business all the time. Susan, her partner Vince Lemma, and their team of dedicated agents can help make it easier for you to decipher insurance, whether home, condo, renters, business, health, car, etc. Learn about how they do it in this exclusive interview with Susan Antalek Pagones here, and the interview we did with Vince here.
Thank you Team Antalek & Moore for supporting local media and A Little Beacon Blog!
Tonight, there are three Public Hearings scheduled for the 12/17/2018 City Council Meeting, in which you are invited to contribute your opinion and feedback about drafts of laws put before the City Council. This is your chance to speak in public to the City Council, so that they may consider your thoughts before signing proposed legislation into law.
Usually what happens at the meetings is people attend - sometimes it’s just one - then they have a chance to voice their opinions at a podium, and the City Council considers what they said. The City Council may then take the draft of the law back into a “Workshop” session where they meet again to talk about it in detail, and/or the City Attorney may take notes from the City Council and make changes to the draft law, and present it again. If no one shows up to a Public Hearing, the City Council has what it needs in the draft law to vote on the proposed new law or change to an existing law, and possibly sign it into new law that night if they get majority votes from themselves.
Here’s What’s On Deck Tonight:
“SIGNS” - HOW SIGNS HUNG OUTSIDE IN PUBLIC VIEW ARE TREATED
From the City’s Agenda: “A continuation of a public hearing to receive public comment on a proposed Local Law to delete Chapter 183 entitled “Signs” and to amend Chapter 223 Sections 15 and 63 of Code of the City of Beacon, concerning sign regulations in the City of Beacon”
Background: Highlands Current reporter Jeff Simms has been covering this signage development that was triggered by a large white political sign hung on a building on Hanna Lane that can be seen on Route 52. You can read about that here from June 2018, and here from November 2018. According to the November article: “The law was called into question after the city repeatedly clashed with Jason Hughes, a business owner who hung politically topical banners on the side of a warehouse he owns that faces Route 52. The draft of the new regulations would require permits for certain signs but not others… Real estate and construction signs, for example, would be allowed in residential zones without a permit, as would lawn signs (not exceeding 3 square feet) for elections, yard sales and other events as long as they were removed within seven days after the event took place.”
From the City’s Agenda: “A public hearing to receive public comment on a proposed local law to create Chapter 42 of the Code of the City of Beacon to establish a Municipal Identification Program in the City of Beacon”
ZONING LAW TO ALLOW ALL ARCADES, NOT JUST VINTAGE ARCADES
From the City’s Agenda: A public hearing to receive public comment on a proposed local law to repeal Chapter 223, Article III, Section 24.8 and to amend Chapter 223, Attachment 2 of the Code of the City of Beacon concerning amusement centers containing only vintage amusement devices
Background: Proposed new business offerings at a property at 511 Fishkill Avenue (which is in Beacon but just outside of downtown Beacon, past AutoZone), include a brewery, an arcade, and an event space. The property owners are seeking the allowance of an arcade, without being restricted to offering vintage games/machines that were built prior to 1980.
Deep Dive: We took a Deep Dive into this one, to see what it was all about, and you can read about it here.
Drafts of the laws, emails from people, and other supporting documents that are to help educate everyone before a Public Hearing are linked with each agenda on the City of Beacon’s website. To help with the ease of use, we have republished those here in our format to help keep things easy to find. (We love our Search bar!)
Many other items are on the agenda for the City Council to discuss among themselves, but in public. A Little Beacon Blog has published the entire agenda for tonight here to help you keep up. We do this for all of the City Council Meetings (started doing it about a year ago). When a video of a City Council Meeting has been published, we re-publish it with its dedicated meeting web page as well.
The large property at 511 Fishkill Avenue (aka Route 52), which is between AutoZone and the Healey car dealership, has been acquired by Diamond Properties, a commercial real estate and property management business located in Mount Kisco, New York. This is the old Mechtronics building on 9 acres of property; technically it’s in Beacon, but it’s outside of downtown Beacon. The property is a 147,500-square foot, two-story flex/industrial warehouse and office building and includes loading docks, warehouse, office, and on-site parking, according to the website of Diamond Properties.
The vision is to transform part of the space into a warehouse, brewery, accessory office, arcade and event space, to accommodate Industrial Arts Brewing Company, who would be a tenant in the building, according to the application submitted by the applicant, DP 108, LLC.
Industrial Arts Brewing Company, who is based in Garnerville, NY (over to the southwest of us, in Rockland County), is looking to expand in Beacon by way of this location. The plan would be a new brewery production space with warehouse capacity, and an event space on the second floor of the building, which could include arcade use. The architect for the project is Aryeh Siegel, who is the architect behind several projects under construction in Beacon, as well as completed projects.
While the intent of use for an arcade is there, Beacon has an older, or vintage if you will, zoning requirement on the books that does not allow for arcades in Beacon, unless they are offering vintage machines.
An excerpt from the arcade zoning law reads like this (which was posted with the 12/11/2018 Planning Board agenda): “Such amusement center shall contain only vintage amusement devices that were built prior to the year 1980 or noncomputerized devices with the exception of first generation computerized games such as those manufactured prior to 1990.”
The requirement also has provisions for noise levels, and that windows are to be kept closed, and doors “open only during ingress and egress,” as well as a calling for no vibrations to occur off the premises. Children under the age of 18 years old would also not be allowed to be in before 3 pm (school release time), and that age range cannot operate the machinery after 10 pm.
The Public Hearing was triggered after a representative from the project came before the Planning Board during a Planning Board meeting on 12/11/2018 to review the application to amend an existing Site Plan Approval and needed zoning law changed to allow amusement centers that include more current games, not just vintage.
During the 12/11/2018 Planning Board meeting, it was explained this way: “Right now, amusement centers are prohibited unless they are vintage amusement centers. In which case they are allowed by special permit. We are taking that distinction away and just saying ‘Indoor Commercial Recreation is a permissible use.’” The Planning Board discussed amending the old zoning requirement, and then sent their unanimous recommendation of “Yes, Amend” to the City Council for a vote.
In order to vote, the City Council must hold a Public Hearing to hear opinions from the public, which is scheduled for today, Monday December 17, 2018. An email from a Beacon business owner, Paulette Myers-Rich, who owns No. 3 Reading Room & Photo Book Works on Main Street in Beacon, is on file to be present during the Public Hearing, in which Paulette asks that the special permit remain in the legislation in order to give more selection to which business opens where.
According to the proposed draft change of the law, the only proposed change coming from the City Council’s attorney seems to be to the vintage aspect of the zoning requirement.
From the desk of Beacon’s City Administrator, Anthony Ruggiero, the Holiday Schedule Hours for City Hall are as follows:
Monday, December 24 – Christmas Eve, half day
Tuesday, December 25 – Christmas Day, closed
Monday, December 31 – New Year’s Eve, half day
Tuesday, January 1, 2019 – New Year’s Day, closed
As for upcoming City Council meetings:
“The next meeting is Monday, January 7, 2019, which is our reorganizational meeting and both a Workshop and a Council Meeting.”
One of the things that make the holidays so wonderful is the FOOD! The special meals that bring us all together. Some families have their big meal on Christmas Eve while others have it on Christmas Day. If there is a day you plan on dining out, our trusty Restaurant Guide is always here at your service. In this case, we saved you some time in finding out who on Main Street will be open and closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Who’s Open Christmas Eve/Day?
BJ’s Soul Food Restaurant, at 231 Main Street, will be open on Christmas Eve, 7:30 am to 9 pm, and Christmas Day, 7:30 am to 6 pm.
Isamu Sushi, at 240 Main Street, will be open both days with their regular hours.
The Roundhouse, at 2 East Main Street, will be open in the lounge on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, 3 to 10 pm.
For Those In Need:
The Springfield Baptist Church is serving free Christmas dinners on Christmas Day from noon to 3 pm. They will deliver three or more dinners. For delivery, call (845) 464-2480. The church is located at 8 Mattie Cooper Square in Beacon.
- First reported by the Beacon Free Press
Who’s Open Christmas Eve Only?
Barb’s Butchery, 11 am to 6 pm (menu for grilled food is available)
Bank Square, until 6 pm
Tito Santana’s, until 4 pm
The Pandorica, until 5 pm
Homespun Foods, until 3 pm
Ziatun, regular hours (until 8 pm)
Max’s on Main, until 6 pm
Enoteca Ama, until 10 pm (final seating 9:30 pm)
Cafe Amacord, until 10 pm (final seating 9:30 pm)
Glazed Over Donuts, 8:30 am to 12:30 pm
Yankee Clipper Diner, until 3 pm
Ella’s Bellas, until 3 pm
Brother’s Trattoria, until 10 pm
Beacon Falls Cafe, until 3 pm
Sukhothai, until 9:30 pm
Melzingah Tap Room, until 7 (final seating 7-7:30 pm)
Who’s Closed Christmas Eve/Day?
Chill Wine Bar
Meyers Olde Dutch
Are You On This List?
This page right here is one of our most popular pages in Google around Christmas time. Everyone starts Googling who is open on Christmas Eve and Day!
If you run a restaurant and it’s in Beacon and not in this lineup, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org! We literally called everyone, so you might not have been able to answer the phone when we called. Don’t be shy! Let us know.
If you are a business not in Beacon, but want to be included in this list, consider an Article Sponsorship! We’ll get your logo and business name listed here.
If you are in this list, and you just want to say THANKS, you can also do so with an Article Sponsorship with your logo listed!