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Dr. Ciment

Dr. Ethan Ciment becomes Woodstock Sanctuary Board President
WOODSTOCK (July 19) - Woodstock Farm Sanctuary is announces its new Board President, Dr. Ethan Ciment. After serving as Vice President for the past two years, Dr. Ciment’s new role as President is a natural extension of the work he has been doing for the Sanctuary.

“As the Vice President of the Board, I was fortunate to work very closely with our immediate past President on a number of different initiatives and I feel very ready to take the wheel on those going forward,” said Dr. Ciment
As the Chair of the Board Development Committee, Dr. Ciment has been integral in bringing in over half of the current members of the board. In recent years, Woodstock Farm Sanctuary has undergone a period of rapid expansion, moving from a 23-acre location to a 150-acre one, expanding rescue efforts, and developing vegan and humane education programming.  As a member of the board through this expansion. Dr. Ciment has a keen perspective on the past and present focus of the Sanctuary and where the Board envisions the Sanctuary over the coming years.

“To stay true to our founding principles during the expansion we undertook a lengthy strategic planning process that refined our mission and vision,” explains Dr. Ciment. “Being put into this position of leadership is an enormous privilege as it affords me the opportunity to enact that vision."

In addition to Dr. Ciment, the Woodstock Farm Sanctuary Board includes new officers Dr. Jeannine Cicco Barker, Vice President; Jody Rasch, Treasurer; and Lita Dwight, Secretary. Former President David Cabrera will stay on the Board, making this his fifth year of service and leadership. The other Board members are Stephanie Yazgi, Berto Calkins, and Lisa Dawn Angerame.
"We are doing more work to save lives and reduce the immense suffering of farmed animals than ever before," states Rachel McCrystal, Executive Director of Woodstock Farm Sanctuary. "I am so proud that we have a professional, inclusive, and activist board that is leading us as we continue to do our important work on behalf of those animals that most people don't consider worthy of consideration or compassion. As a staff, we are grateful to David Cabrera for his service as Board President and all he has done for the animals in our care and those we will never know."
Woodstock Farm Sanctuary rescues farmed animals and gives them care and sanctuary, connects animals with people to advance veganism, and advocates for animal rights in alliance with other social justice movements.


Dutchess County Emergency Medical Services Council awards presented  

VERBANK (June 28) - The Dutchess County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Council presented special recognition for EMS providers, EMS agencies and local hospital staff.

Full details on our Health Page


Girl Scouts at Build-a-Bear

Warwick Girl Scouts keeping busy

WARWICK (June 26) - The Girl Scouts of Warwick have been keeping busy this Spring. As Girl Scouts tend to do, their activities ranged from community service to lots of fun activities!

Earlier this spring, many Girl Scouts participated in Warwick’s Operation Clean Sweep, helping to keep their community beautiful. Girl Scouts handed out trash bags, gloves and donuts, while others went to work picking up trash.

Girl Scout Ambassador Julia Vargas has been hard at work on a project to earn her Gold Award, which is the highest honor a Girl Scout can receive. In June she ran a Mental Health awareness event for Girl Scouts. Dr. Tamara Scott was on site to discuss mental health issues that affect teens. Julia’s goal is to make coping kits for teens in hospitals, to support them throughout the duration of their stay.

Daisy, Brownie and Junior Girl Scouts had a great time at Build-a-Bear at the Galleria at Crystal Run in Middletown. They each got to build their own bear and fill them with love. The bears even got their very own Girl Scout uniforms.

The Warwick Girl Scouts also participated in World Thinking Day, an annual occurrence where the girls reflect on what it means to make an impact on the world and to celebrate being part of the global sisterhood of Girl Scouts and Girl Guides. Another Gold Award event, Nature Awareness, took place at the Albert Wisner Library. 

A variety of other activities were enjoyed by the Girl Scouts of Warwick, as each troop plans its own adventures.

Girls Scouts love to help others, volunteer, learn to be leaders, do good for their community and the world, and have adventures along the way. They also find a sister in every Girl Scout. For more information about Girl Scouts please visit them on their website at


Catskill Regional Medical Center’s R.I.S.E. Program Seeks Volunteers

HARRIS (June 18) – The R.I.S.E. - Rape Intervention Services and Education Program - at Catskill Regional Medical Center is seeking volunteers. Volunteer training starts on Monday, June 25, 2018 from 5:00p.m. to 8:00p.m.

Full details on our Health Page



Family Services announces Family Partnership Center Steward

POUGHKEEPSIE (June 15 )- Family Services appointed Kellie Wofford to the newly created position of Family Partnership Center (FPC) Steward.   

In the role of Family Partnership Steward, Wofford will focus on strengthening existing collaborations among partner organizations and creating new collaborations, build partnerships with organizations outside of the Family Partnership Center, and recruit new partner organizations to join the FPC community. Recruitment efforts will aim to ensure the right mix of partner organizations in order to deliver complementary and coordinated services to the Poughkeepsie community.

The Family Partnership Center, a key program of Family Services and anchor institution in the City of Poughkeepsie, forges partnership and collaboration toward a unified approach to human services.  Today, 19 nonprofit and related organizations come together under one roof to strengthen individuals, families and the community through service opportunities in primary health care, education, youth services, recreation and cultural activities, emergency services, behavioral health and other services.   

“I’m looking forward to working with Kellie on building collegiality among us and expanding partnership to the surrounding community,” said Brian Riddell, Executive Director of Dutchess Outreach. “We can't forget the FPC grew out of the Neighborhood Based Alliance, which targeted resources toward this side of town because of the conditions here."

Ms. Wofford, a mental health counselor and mentor, takes this role having previously worked at both Nubian Directions and Abbott House in case management and skill building capacities. Ms. Wofford has strong ties to the City of Poughkeepsie Community as she currently serves as Pastor of St Mark A.M.E. Zion Church. 


Rondout Lighthouse

Rondout Lighthouse tours start Father’s Day weekend

KINGSTON (June 13) – HRMM announces that Rondout Lighthouse tours will be starting Father’s Day Weekend, Saturday, June 16 and Sunday, June 17, 2018.

Tours will be offered every weekend until mid-October and include a narrated ferry ride on the Rondout and a guided tour of the interior of the lighthouse, including access to the tower room. Tours start at 12:00 PM and occur every 45 minutes, with the last tour leaving at 3:45 PM. Advanced registration is available for the 12:00 PM and 3:00 PM tours each day. Tickets for all other tours are available same-day on a first-come, first-served basis in the Hudson River Maritime Museum store, open 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for children (4-12 years). Each child under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. HRMM members will receive a discount on tickets purchased in the museum store (not available for online purchase). Tours last approximately 70 minutes and include a 15 minute boat ride to and from the lighthouse.

Tours are limited to 6 people per time slot and last year tickets sold out quickly, so advanced tickets are strongly recommended for groups of 4-6 people.

Visitors to the lighthouse will learn the story of the three different structures located at the mouth of Rondout Creek over the course of 100 years, as well as tales of the lives of lighthouse keepers, including Catherine Murdock, who served as Rondout lighthouse keeper for 50 years.

For advanced tickets and more information, please visit  


L-R: Tom Urtz, vice president of operations, ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc. Christine Hein, executive director, People’s Place Food Pantry; Garry Stevens, vice president of merchandising, ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc., and Brett Wing, president and chief operating officer,
ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc.

People’s Place Food Pantry gets donation from Shoprite

KINGSTON (June 13) - Representatives from ShopRite present a check for $500 to the People’s Place Food Pantry during ShopRite of Kingston’s recent grand reopening celebration. ShopRite is committed to giving back to the communities its stores serve.

The donation to the People’s Place Food Pantry will help support the charity organization’s mission to help feed, clothe and respond to the essential needs of the people in Ulster County.


Catholic Charities Community Services of Dutchess County Spirit of Service Dinner raises over $70,000

POUGHKEEPSIE (June 13) – Catholic Charities Community Services of Dutchess County (CCCSD) hosted its third annual Spirit of Service Awards Dinner recently.  Over 300 people attended the event which honored a trio of Dutchess County friends who exemplify CCCSDC’s goal of working toward a more just and caring Dutchess County by providing comprehensive, high quality human services to its neighbors of all religions.

“Thanks to our generous sponsors and all who supported our efforts by attending the event or providing raffle gifts, we raised over $70,000 this year,” said Mary Marshall, Executive Director of Catholic Charities Community Services of Dutchess County. “The funds will go to support our programs and services which help the homeless, provide food to the hungry, assist the visually impaired, support the newly unemployed, welcoming our new Americans, and help youth through various CYO programs.”

CCCSDC helps solve the problems of local individuals in need, regardless of religious affiliation, offering a wide array of free and professionally administered direct services to county residents at the main office in downtown Poughkeepsie and throughout the county.

Tribute was paid to Msgr. Joseph Martin, retired pastor from St. Mary’s in Fishkill, Ms. Honey-Jo Kelly, Executive Director of Birthright of Dutchess, and Sr. Roberta Smith, OFM representing the Sisters of the St. Francis of the Neumann Communities who received the first ever Legacy Award to honor their 100 years of service in the Hudson Valley and St. Francis Hospital. The honorees received a framed print of CYO Artist of the Year Annie Vallamattam’s artwork which was selected from almost 600 entries this year.

In addition, four CYO Leaders were honored for their dedicated volunteer commitment to work with the youth throughout Dutchess County: Robert Shea, a volunteer with St. Mary’s CYO in Wappingers Falls for the past fifteen years; Richard Horvath who retired from the St. Martin de Porres basketball program in 2017 after serving 18 years as coach, program director and board member; Mark Joao who has been an important part of the St. Mary Mother of the Church CYO basketball program for the past 15 years; and Jeff Kubala who joined the St. Columba Basketball community in 2001 and spent ten years coaching and assisting in the girls division.

L-R: Mary Marshall, Executive Director of Catholic Charities Community Services of Dutchess County, with honorees Msgr. Joseph Martin, retired pastor from St. Mary’s in Fishkill, Sr. Roberta Smith, OFM representing
the Sisters of the St. Francis of the Neumann Communities who received the first ever Legacy Award to honor their 100 years of service in the Hudson Valley and St. Francis Hospital, Honey-Jo Kelly, Executive Director of Birthright of Dutchess, and Catholic Charities Community Services of Dutchess Board Chair Elizabeth M. Wolf, Esq.

The evening can be summed up in a quote from Sr. Robert Smith who said, “Together, we cared for the sick, the dying, the poor, the troubled, the challenged and the ones desperate for a healing word or touch – all in need of so much attention. The mission of compassionate care connected all of us to witness to the power that together we can make a positive difference in the lives of many.”


Ulster County’s fourth annual Teen Dating Violence Video Contest winners

ELLENVILLE/SAUGERTIES (June 8) Ulster County Executive Mike Hein congratulated the winners of the Annual Teen Dating Violence Video Contest.  The Contest Committee was formed as a subcommittee of the Ulster County Inter-Agency Council on Domestic Violence with the goal to raise awareness about the national issue of teen dating violence. 

Full deetails and photos on our Education Page


Arc of Ulster-Greene raised $24,000 at this year’s 2018 Humanitarian Awards Dinner

KINGSTON (June 4) - The 2018 Humanitarian Awards Dinner was once more held at the Best Western Plus in Kingston on May 4th. The evening honored businesses, employees and people we support for their amazing accomplishments and dedication to The Arc of Ulster-Greene’s mission throughout the year. Certificates and proclamations were presented to each honoree from various dignitaries. This year The Arc of Ulster-Greene honored Humanitarians of the Year: Tim and Laurel Sweeney, Employee of the Year: Olivia Buboltz, Personal Achievement Award: Berecia Jarvis, Heart of Gold Award: Adams Fairacre Farms, Jack Deyo Award for Advocacy: Autism Society Hudson Valley and Employer of the Year: HomeGoods.

Tim and Laurel Sweeney, Berecia Jarvis, Aisha Monroe,
Rebecca Synan, Leah Pollack, John McHugh, and Annie DeWitt

Seated:  Laurel and Tim Sweeney and Steve Cohen; Standing:
Marcene and Bob Johnson, Sean Sweeney, Linda Bradford
and Dr. Alan Roberts

The generous support of our Corporate Sponsors Rifton Equipment, Relph Benefit Advisors,

Mid-Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, Verizon, Community Care RX, LW Tree Service, Rondout Savings Bank, Ulster Federal Credit Union, Ulster Savings Bank, Dutton Architecture helped to exceed our fundraising goals.

“This year’s Humanitarian Dinner had a great turnout of 118 people attending. We are pleased to honor businesses, Arc employees and people in our community that believe in The Arc of Ulster-Greene’s mission and who time and time again go above and beyond to make our mission a reality,” said John McHugh, Executive Director of The Arc of Ulster-Greene.

A special thank you to everyone that attended and to our Pecora Day Habilitation Programs with the help from the program managers for making the handcrafted notecard table favors.

The Arc of Ulster-Greene is a private not-for-profit agency founded in 1956 by families in Ulster and Greene Counties who believed that their children with disabilities should have the same opportunities as their peers. Supporting 1,300 people from preschool through adulthood, our mission is “to offer people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities opportunities to live and experience full lives.”


What should you do if you get a robocall?

KINGSTON (June 4) - If you answer the phone and hear a recorded message instead of a live person, it’s a robocall. You’ve probably gotten these calls about political candidates or charities asking for donations. These robocalls are legal. But if the recording is a sales message and you haven’t given your written permission to get calls from the company on the other end, the call is illegal. In addition to the phone calls being illegal, the pitch may also be a scam.

According to the Ulster County District Attorney’s Division of Consumer Affairs, if you get a robocall:

  • Hang up. Don’t press 1 to speak to a live operator and don’t press any other number to get your number off the list. If you respond by pressing any number, it will probably lead to more robocalls.
  • Consider contacting your phone provider and ask them to block the number (there may be a charge for that service). Remember telemarketers change Caller ID information easily and often, so it might not be worth paying a fee to block a number that will change.

Ulster County Consumer Affairs can be reached at 340-3260.


Lang, center, with Neuhaus, right and customer Paul Ernenwein in front of the café

Popular Summer Programs Offered at Dutchess County’s Bowdoin and Wilcox Parks

POUGHKEEPSIE (May 31) - The Dutchess County Parks Division will once again host its popular summer programs for children ages 9-17 at Bowdoin Park in the Town of Poughkeepsie and Wilcox Park in the Town of Milan. Dutchess County’s summer programs feature hands-on activities such as hiking, starting campfires, finding food and water and other survival skills, tracking, archery, Nerf tag, and building group problem solving skills.   Each program is a four-day session held from 9:30am to 4pm with early drop-off and late-pick up options available. Cost is $170 per session. The sessions are filling up fast and due to popular demand, children are limited to one session of each program.

“In today’s fast paced world, it’s easy for children to get swept up in the rush of modern, technology-centered life and many have very little time to slow down and explore outdoors.  Our summer programs give kids the chance to explore the outdoors and appreciate the world around them in our beautiful parks,” said Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro.

View the Summer Program brochure here for more information.   The summer program is part of a wide range of educational programming available at Dutchess County Parks including school and scout programs, archery, maple sugaring, and more. To learn more about all of the programs available at Bowdoin Park as well as other Dutchess County Parks, visit  or call the Dutchess County Parks Division at (845) 298-4600.


Lang, center, with Neuhaus, right and customer Paul Ernenwein in front of the café


Newburgh’s Jerrod Lang is Orange County’s May Citizen of the Month

NEWBURGH (May 25) - Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus recognized Jerrod Lang as the Citizen of the Month Award winner for the month of May.

A lifelong Newburgh resident, Lang was honored for his many contributions and dedication to the City and community. He is a U.S. Army veteran and the owner of the popular café Blacc Vanilla, which is located downtown.

“Jerrod is proud of his deep-seated Newburgh roots and he demonstrates that daily in his business and his community service,” Neuhaus said. “He is respected by the entire community and has had a positive impact on residents, including many young people. Jerrod is hard-working, humble and serves as a wonderful role model. I enjoyed spending some time with him and recognize Jerrod for his many contributions.”

Lang grew up on tough N. Miller Street in Newburgh, an area which was well-known to drug dealers in the 1980s and 1990s. The area has been revitalized and he opened Blacc Vanilla with his wife, Melanie Collins-Lang, in September of 2017 on the corner of North Miller and South Streets. They opened Blacc Vanilla to provide a space where Newburgh’s diverse residents can socialize. In addition to running the cafe, Jerrod Lang holds another full-time job.

He graduated from Newburgh Free Academy in 2004 and served in the U.S. Army from 1996-04, before returning home. Lang mentors neighborhood children in Newburgh and is a supporter of the Newburgh Illuminated Festival, an event which celebrates the city and its culture. Blacc Vanilla hosted a Blacc Tie Gala last month to benefit this year’s Newburgh Illuminated Festival, which will be held from noon until 10 p.m. on Saturday, June 2nd on Broadway and Liberty Streets in Newburgh.

Blacc Vanilla was one of several Newburgh restaurants without electricity that donated food to residents during last week’s storm.

Neuhaus introduced his Citizen of the Month Award, which acknowledges outstanding Orange County residents, in January of last year. To nominate someone for the Citizen of the Month Award, please email or mail a letter to “Citizen of the Month” at 255-275 Main Street Goshen, N.Y. 10924. Be sure to include the nominee’s name, hometown, a list of their accomplishments, why you are nominating them and any other pertinent information. Nominees must be from Orange County.


Applications Available for Community Foundation 2018 Make a Difference Grants

MONTGOMERY (May 25) - The Make a Difference Fund was established by the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan to provide grants to local organizations that provide services and programs to children of low-income, disadvantaged or distressed families. Over the past several years, various area nonprofits have received support from this fund for critical programs and services.

Applications for support from the 2018 grant cycle are now available, funding priority given to charitable tax-exempt organizations located in Orange County and Sullivan County, New York that provide programs or services for children of low-income, disadvantaged or distressed families. This year, we are seeking applications for programs within the area of Orange and Sullivan that have a focus on science and technology. The Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan Distribution Committee will consider multiple grants of up to $2,000. Applications must be received by August 1, 2018 and awards will be announced at the Foundation’s Annual Reception on November 14, 2018. Applications can be found at

The 2017 Make a Difference Fund grant recipients were Grace Episcopal Church, HONOR ehg, Inc., Catskill Regional Medical Center and Interfaith Outreach United.

The Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan, based in Montgomery, “connects people who care with causes that matter.” Established in 1999, the Foundation helps philanthropic individuals, businesses and organizations establish charitable funds that award grants and scholarships, for good, forever.


Dutchess County volunteer firefighters recognized on graduating from training program

POUGHKEEPSIE (May 25) - Twenty Dutchess County volunteer firefighters, representing 15 local fire departments, were recognized last night by the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control at a graduation ceremony held at Dutchess Community College in the Town of Poughkeepsie.  The new firefighters completed the spring 2018 Firefighter I program, a basic training course for new volunteer firefighters in New York State. The part-time program consists of 43 separate sessions, totaling 129 hours of training over a three-month period, held at the Dutchess County Emergency Response campus.

(conributed photo)

“Congratulations to the men and women who have completed the Firefighter I program," said Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro . "Thank you for your commitment to serving our community in this critical and lifesaving role. We are proud to join with friends, family and loved ones, as well as the Department of Emergency Response and local fire departments, in celebrating these individuals’ future as firefighters and their dedication to helping keep Dutchess County residents safe.”

The Dutchess County Department of Emergency Response coordinates firefighter training programs on behalf of New York State and provides appropriate training facilities and administrative functions associated with the trainings.

“Those who have answered the call to serve their community as firefighters know what is at stake in an emergency," said Commissioner of the Department of Emergency Response Dana Smith"We are blessed to have these strong individuals willing to put their lives on the line to save others. Congratulations once again to all of the Firefighter I program graduates; thank you for your commitment and sacrifice”.

Graduates                                           Fire Department

  • Casey Woelfle                                   Arlington
  • Jake Lawlor                                         Fairview
  • Brianna Flower                                  Hughsonville
  • Andreas Hosp                                    Hughsonville
  • Ryan Prahach                                     Hughsonville
  • Roger Lambert                                  Hyde Park
  • Corey Morales                                   Dover
  • Dylan Kilmer                                       Millerton
  • Amy McEnroe                                    Millerton
  • Dan Henning                                      New Hackensack
  • Christopher Lallo                              Pawling
  • Michael Cooper                                Pine Plains
  • Michael Kukel                                    Red Hook
  • Makenzi Carley                                 Rhinecliff
  • Vincent Brier                                      Roosevelt
  • Jacqueline Daniels                           Roosevelt
  • Annemarie Shevlin                          Roosevelt
  • Sean Lewis                                          Union Vale
  • Brennan Schlusser                           Wappingers
  • Richard Wagner                                West Clinton


Julius Collins honored on 25th anniversary as the pastor at Shiloh Baptist Church

ALBANY (May 2) ­- State Senator John Bonacic (Mt. Hope) honored Reverend Julius Collins

Full details on our Religion Page


Community links (Each link opens in a new window)

Not-for-profit community service organizations are invited to submit links to their websites. Organizations must not preach hate or intolerance in any form or advocate public discrimination on the basis of race, gender, national origin or sexual orientation.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orange County

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County

Faith and Community ACTION - Dutchess County

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh

Hilltowns Community Board
News of Southern Albany, Greene & Schoharie Counties

Hopewell Junction Citizens for Clean Water

Mid-Hudson Horse Trails Association

National Association of Retired Federal Employees (NARFE)

Orange County Citizens Foundation-

Orange County Land Trust

Salvation Army of Newburgh

Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 537 Hudson Highlands



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