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Red Hook, New York
Hard news | Local living | Politics/Government
24 October 2020 08:16PM
Emily Sachar

Honking, shouting, and waving enormous flags from their windows and pick-up cabs, hundreds — or could it have been thousands? — of Trump supporters drove through Red Hook along Route 199 today, the first day of early voting in New York State.

The caravan began from the Fishkill Walmart, then moved north on Route 9 before cutting east, and eventually heading south to Carmel. The route was 97 miles long and took hours.

A rash of Trumpers also gathered in the parking area at the southwest corner of the Route 9G/Route 9 intersection in Rhinebeck.

Photos by Emily Sachar

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Red Hook, New York
Hard news | Local living | Politics/Government
23 October 2020 08:48PM
LaVonne Elaine Roberts

Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced a $774 million comprehensive plan to stabilize and grow the Massachusetts economy. The plan focuses on getting people back to work, supporting small businesses, fostering innovation, revitalizing downtowns and ensuring housing stability. Partnerships for Recovery begins today by directing $115 million in new funding to small businesses and Main Streets hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and for workforce training efforts. Additionally, the Administration is aligning multiple funding sources, both existing and proposed, to appropriately respond to the crisis.

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Red Hook, New York
Hard news | Local living | Politics/Government
23 October 2020 08:43PM
LaVonne Elaine Roberts

Berkshire County has a total of 744 cases. There were seven new ones in the past week and no new deaths.

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Red Hook, New York
Hard news | Local living | Politics/Government
18 October 2020 01:57PM

A NEW NATION, an original song that came to me in the summer of 2008 and was resurrected with new verses to be heard NOW. As our consciousness rises, we have the ability to see (and hear) new colors and vibrations. An Anthem for A NEW NATION and a NEW WORLD. Listen. Imagine. Share.

Thanks to Deb Koffman for her videography and belief in this message and music.

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Red Hook, New York
Hard news | Local living | Politics/Government
16 April 2020 08:04PM
IMBY
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Red Hook, New York

www.berkshiretaconic.org/HealthyFood

Sheffield, Mass. — Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation today announced the launch of Fresh and Healthy Food for All, a five-year, $750,000 initiative to increase access to healthy food among low-income families and the elderly in Columbia County, New York.

A first of its kind and scope in Columbia County, the initiative is funded by two anonymous donors and designed to transform the food system over time for the benefit of all residents.

“Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation has been proud to support healthy food projects for decades through grants from our area funds, education enrichment funds and generous individual donors,” said Peter Taylor, president of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation. “This initiative will serve as a significant new resource for collaborative projects and innovative thinking that can help close Columbia County’s healthy food gap.”

ADVISED BY THE COMMUNITY

The initiative was developed after careful consultation with over 80 local community members involved in food-related industries across Columbia County—including farms, food pantries, distributors, food retailers, restauranteurs, community-based organizations, schools and county agencies.

After commissioning a countywide scan of healthy food access, Berkshire Taconic engaged community members in a planning and assessment process to identify opportunities to meet immediate and long-term food needs and develop a grants program to fund collaborative pilot projects.

A committee made up of foundation staff, donors and local residents reviewed the applications to make funding decisions.

“Agriculture in our region is increasingly an economic driver through tourism, food production, farm-to-table and related small businesses, but we must ensure that fresh, local, nutritious food is accessible to all our residents,” said New York State Assemblymember Didi Barrett (D-106), who attended the stakeholder meetings. “This initiative will make a true difference for seniors, working families and others in our region struggling to make ends meet.”

GRANTMAKING NOW & IN THE FUTURE

Funding for a first year of pilot projects totals $150,000, with renewal funding available to successful grantees in the second year and additional funding available in year two for new projects. The following programs were awarded first-year funding:

• Hawthorne Valley Association (Ghent) – $75,000 to coordinate local and countywide cross-industry stakeholder networks that will identify areas of need in the food system and forge local solutions together. The grant will facilitate the first of a planned multi-year process to implement these strategies, as well as an expansion of food rescue programs in Columbia County in collaboration with Long Table Harvest (Hudson). Project partners will include Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood, Perfect Ten After School, St. Peter’s Gleaners and Kite’s Nest.

• The Sylvia Center (Kinderhook) – $50,000 to expand its school-based healthy eating and cooking program in collaboration with Hudson Bluehawk Nation After School Program (Hudson). The expansion begins in Hudson and will move to rural districts later in the year, and includes a produce gleaning and distribution program for students and families through partnerships with Long Table Harvest, Field Goods, Katchkie Farm and Ginsberg’s Foods.

Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, the Sylvia Center and Hawthorne Valley Association will collaborate with and learn from one another and the larger community as they move forward on these projects over the next year.

An additional $25,000 will be made available for capacity-building support at food pantries and food banks serving the county’s rural communities to help promote their engagement in the initiative.

“We consider access to healthy food a basic right and will leverage our social and economic relationships to develop collaborative, locally driven strategies for change,” said Martin Ping, executive director of Hawthorne Valley Association. “We are eager to bring immediate help to food insecure communities and to develop a self-sustaining and vibrant food system for the county.”

“Learning to cook is the only way for low-income young people and families to eat healthy food regularly,” said Anna Hammond, executive director of the Sylvia Center. “Through community partnerships that will expand our reach, we aim to reduce hunger and help more families develop cooking skills and healthy eating habits, while avoiding waste in local food production through vital gleaning programs.”

THE PROJECT IN CONTEXT

About one-quarter of the land in Columbia County is dedicated to agricultural production, a number that has declined by 11% over the last five years on record. The market value of the county’s agricultural products is estimated at over $66 million per year, largely from the sale of milk, fruits and vegetables, and nursery items.

Over the last decade, the number of grocery stores in the county has shrunk by nearly one-fifth. Due to store closures and a lack of reliable transportation, approximately 15% of the population is without ready access to a supermarket. At the same time, the food sector has increasingly shifted to serve the demands of seasonal residents, weekenders and tourists.

One in 10 of the county’s estimated 62,000-plus residents live in poverty and about 13% are food insecure, or lacking sufficient quantities of affordable, nutritious food. One-third of those struggling to avoid hunger are seniors and children. Half of the county’s public school students qualify for free or reduced lunch.

The geography of poverty in the county is varied. More than half of households in Hudson are living below 200% of the federal poverty level, or $48,600 for a family of four, an income level often considered “near poor” or “working poor.” Communities in which 25-50% of households are living at this level are scattered elsewhere throughout the county. Hudson has the county’s highest concentration of seniors living in poverty, while the percentage of children under 18 living in poverty is highest in Hudson and towns in the southeast.

BERKSHIRE TACONIC’S COMMITMENT

Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation has long provided community leadership and grantmaking support to address urgent regional priorities, including early childhood development, affordable housing and nonprofit capacity-building.

It offers donors a variety of ways to get involved, including donor advised funds, scholarship funds and field of interest funds that—like the fund established for this initiative—support specific areas of community life.

“Our partnerships with donors and engagement with communities are essential ingredients for identifying solutions to our regional challenges together,” said Taylor. “With healthy food for all as our goal, we hope to engage the philanthropic community to help capitalize on Columbia County’s vital agriculture sector for the benefit of every resident.”

ABOUT BERKSHIRE TACONIC COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

For nearly 30 years, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation has built stronger communities and helped donors make a difference through charitable giving in northwest Litchfield County, CT; Berkshire County, MA; and Columbia County and northeast Dutchess County, NY. Each year, the foundation distributes over $8 million through grants and scholarships to nonprofits and individuals in the arts and education, health and human services and environmental protection. Berkshire Taconic is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity. You can make a difference. We can help.

###

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Red Hook, New York
The Olana Partnership at Olana State Historic Site

www.olana.org/calendar/sunday-art-studios-art-letter-writing/

Sunday Art Studios: Art of Letter Writing
Sunday, June 26, 11am-1pm

These Sunday morning programs are designed for local families, heritage and art tourists, and regular visitors who like to make art. Projects take about 30 minutes and are fun for all ages. Everyone leaves with a work of art!

Location: Visitor Center

11am-1pm | Free | All Ages

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Red Hook, New York
Isa Coffey

WiseBodies Open Houses!

This-coming Fall, WiseBodies will offer 4 afternoon classes,
beginning September, 2015, and running until June, 2016.

Classes will include:

Science and The Body, for 10 – 12 year old girls and boys
In This Circle, for girls 12 – 14
be, for girls and boys 12 – 14
KNOW, for teens 15 – 18

Open Houses for parents and older teens for Fall classes:

Science and The Body, Monday evening, May 11th, 7:00 – 8:00 pm
KNOW, Tuesday evening, May 13th, 7:00 – 8:00 pm
In This Circle, Wednesday evening, May 13th, 7:00 – 8:00 pm
be, Thursday evening, May 14th, 7:00 – 8:00 pm

All classes are held in Chatham.

Email us at [email protected] for address and more information.

We are looking forward to meeting you!

Please share this information with friends and family.

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Red Hook, New York
Hard news | Local living | Politics/Government
12 September 2014 07:57AM
Peter Paden

clctrust.org/working-farms/down-to-earth/

There is still time to register for the first of four Down to Earth workshops: Introduction to Farmland Leasing* is offered on September 13 at 10 am by the Columbia and Dutchess Land Conservancies at Red Devon Market, Bar and Restaurant; 108 Hunns Lake Road, Bangall, NY. Panelists will be farmers and landowners currently engaged in lease relationships along with an attorney familiar with lease agreements. There will be a great opportunity for networking at the end of the workshop.

To RSVP, please go to our website or email Elizabeth Phillips. For more information, please contact Marissa Codey, 518. 392. 5252, ext. 211.

Down to Earth is a series of working farms workshops that explore leasing farmland. The workshops support the increase in agriculture in Columbia and Dutchess Counties by showing landowners and farmers how to navigate the farmer landowner arrangements, including leases, insurance, and the Agricultural Property Tax Assessments. The workshops are closely connected to our Farmer Landowner Match Program, which was expanded in mid-2013 to Dutchess County through CLC’s partnership with the Dutchess Land Conservancy. This collaboration is designed to connect more landowners looking to have their land farmed with farmers seeking land. All Down to Earth workshops are free of charge, and refreshments are provided.

The schedule for the remaining three workshops is as follows:

Farm Transfer and Estate Planning**: Wednesday, September 24, 6:30pm

Planning Your Farm – Meet the Professionals: Tuesday, October 21, 7:00pm

Effective Farmland Lease Drafting and Dispute Resolution:Sat., Nov. 1, 10:00am

*Co-sponsored by the American Farmland Trust, Winnakee Land Trust
**Co-sponsored by the American Farmland Trust, NY FarmLink

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Red Hook, New York
Hard news | Local living | Politics/Government
27 March 2014 10:44PM
Ilze Earner

The questions started almost as soon as I arrived, often veiled as statements: “Are you okay? Be careful; it’s a dangerous place,” or “Do you feel safe?” And now ,they have reached a crescendo: “I can’t imagine what it’s like there; you should leave as soon as you can, before things get out of hand.”

What? What gets out of hand?

I am leaving Russia, a morning flight tomorrow from Moscow to Amsterdam, and then from there on to home. What I leave with are impressions and experiences of Russia that, sadly, I find almost nowhere echoed so far in what I have read and heard in the Western press. It’s as though there is nothing here but a monolithic bleak culture of darkness and despair. Really? Let me share my perspectives.

I came here to look at the efforts made to reform child welfare. The time my colleagues and I have spent in Russia, Moscow especially, allowed us to widen our circle of interviews and encounters with people directly involved in the reform of child welfare here. They included people ranging from government bureaucrats, even members of the Duma, to agency directors, front line workers and lastly, both the children themselves, and the families served by the system.

We were able to interview advocates, those who work largely outside the formal system and spend their lives being the bothersome gadflies that keep the bureaucracy from lapsing into inertia. And who, knowingly risk being swatted. With few exceptions, they are awe-inspiring individuals: Fierce, passionate women and men, determined to forge a new paradigm, to make a cultural change in how unwanted and disabled children are viewed in their society. They have done Herculean work.

I get the sense that Russia may be about to blossom. In the time I have spent here, I have come to see that there are many more cosmopolitan young men and women in Moscow who look forward and outward, not back, and they are the future. I am impressed by how much effort is being put into public works projects to improve the infrastructure, by refurbishing parks, roads, subways. I also see a developing culture of philanthropy that tries to creatively address social problems. And lastly, I see entrepreneurship on multiple levels. There is ferment, there are ideas, there is growth. These are all good, positive things. Are there problems? You bet there are.

Maybe it’s because I am a social worker, but I think change is most effective when it is based on a focus of strengths, building on what is right and good. And there is much of that here. If you take the time to look. Take the time.

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Red Hook, New York
Hard news | Local living | Politics/Government
16 November 2013 10:51PM
Christopher Reed

“The comment period ends in one week, and it is important that people express themselves. There is no sugarcoating what is in these regulations – as currently written, they will fundamentally disrupt and perhaps outright dismantle the free exchange of local, fresh foods between farmers and consumers. They will institutionalize barriers to small, local and natural farmers that would cripple their capacity to stay in business.

“I hope that the response to the FSMA, both in written comment and in public action, will be a turning point in the food sovereignty movement as consumers stand up and say that we are capable of making decisions about our personal welfare and living with the consequences of those decisions better than a corporate-controlled bureaucracy. We trust our farmers a lot more than we trust our government.”

Mark Keating, Policy Consultant, Organic Farming Research Foundation

Submitting a Comment (New Deadline: November 22, 2013)
http://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/re-t%CC%B6w%CC%B6o%CC%B6-%CC%B6d%CC%B6a%CC%B6y%CC%B6s-new-fsma-comment-deadline-november-22/

FSMA Fact Sheet: Top Ten Issues
http://sustainableagriculture.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/2013-FSMA-Fact-Sheet-Top-10-issues-for-farmers.pdf

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