Valatie, New York
Body/Soul | Local culture | Soft news
15 April 2020 05:00PM

With the Columbia County Department of Health anticipating delivery of 1,000 test kits at the end of this week, various scenarios are being worked through in regards to how testing will be conducted in the community.

These test kits are Thermo Fisher kits, which are one of the 29 FDA-approved for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) kits currently available, said DOH Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Chuck Kaiser.

“We continue to look into serologic rapid test kits, and look forward to when one or more of these kits become FDA approved. Once these approved serologic test kits are readily available, they will help provide, along with the RNA tests, much-needed information on how the virus is affecting the community, and what type of immunity might be developing,” he said.


Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell announced Wednesday that the closure of county buildings to the public has been extended through May 1st. Departments deemed essential will continue to be staffed.
“As we have in the past, we continue to proceed in two-week increments as we continually re-examine our options as the virus works its way around the county,” Murell said.


With the addition of $5,000 received this week from the Home for the Aged; to date, Columbia County has received a total of $26,150 in donations from the public to be applied toward the coronavirus fight, said Murell.
Along with the $5,000, $10,000 each has been donated by Jack Shear and by Michael and Anne Golden, $1,000 by Fingar Insurance, $100 from Geraldine Keller, and $50 from Richard and Catherine Draper.
We couldn’t be more appreciative for the donation of these funds,” Murell said.

“The money has been very helpful with the purchase of our first round of test kits, and will certainly be useful in a similar regard going forward.”
Financial donations, intended for the purchase of much-needed equipment for emergency responders, medical personnel, and others on the front lines of the coronavirus fight, are advised to send a check in care of Columbia County, with coronavirus noted in the memo field. The check can be sent to the Columbia County Controller’s Office, 401 State Street, Hudson, NY 12534. All money received is being placed in a dedicated account.


PPE – Those wishing to make donations of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as N95 masks, face shields, and gowns, are advised to contact the Emergency Management Office at 518-828-1212. If no one answers, leave a message and someone will return the call.

MASKS – Looking ahead to the day New York State begins to ease some restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic, Columbia County has begun to ramp up its mask purchasing, at the same time recognizing the tremendous support in terms of mask donations that has come from the community.
Austerlitz Town Supervisor and county Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Rob Lagonia, who has been at the forefront of taking in mask donations over the past several weeks, said earlier this week that “home sewers have really fired up their sewing machines. We’re receiving donations of 100 masks, or 25 masks, or 50, almost daily. It doesn’t matter whether it’s five or 100, we need every one.”

For those wishing to make a donation, Lagonia can be contacted at rlagonia@austerlitzny.com
Lagonia recommends that those wishing to help out with mask donations consult CDC guidelines at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

“If possible,” said Lagonia, “square, cloth masks are the best, with elastic if possible. Solid colors are preferred, but really any are fine. Under current conditions, we need, and will use, whatever we can get. At the same time, everyone should understand that cloth masks are a last-ditch option – they are not equal to a surgical or procedural mask, but cloth does provide a barrier if you should sneeze or cough.”

Added county Director of Emergency Services David W. Harrison, Jr., “Emergency Management can only provide medical grade masks when requested from the New York State stockpile for eligible agencies, medical/healthcare, nursing home, emergency personnel, and the like. Emergency Management cannot provide non-medical face coverings.”

FOOD – donations should be directed to the county Office for the Aging (518-828-4258) and local food pantries.

Sheriff David Bartlett has established a hotline for the elderly and vulnerable in our county, including those with medical conditions or are disabled, who would welcome a Deputy checking on their well-being on a daily basis. The number for the hotline is 518-828-0601, extension 1400.

Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell continues to urge anyone migrating from outside Columbia County to self-quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival. “Everyone should consider they are a carrier of the coronavirus,” said Murell.

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Valatie, New York
Body/Soul | Local culture | Soft news
18 February 2020 06:10PM
Barbara Reina

Documentary screenings continue to be scheduled around the capital region of the local documentary: BROUGHT TO LIGHT | Unearthing the History of an African-American Cemetery in Kinderhook, NY. The film has been hosted by museums, historical societies and libraries at 23 venues around New York State and Massachusetts since 2018.

Filmed in and around Kinderhook, NY, the documentary: BROUGHT TO LIGHT | Unearthing the History of an African-American Cemetery in Kinderhook, NY is now available on DVD and Blu-ray at the official documentary website:

BROUGHT TO LIGHT is a story of rediscovery, respect and change. In rural Upstate New York, the cleanup efforts by a few villagers of some stone markers in an overgrown field lead to the rediscovery of a forgotten, “slaves’ cemetery” in which hundreds of African Americans were buried during the 1800s. A portal to the past lives of Kinderhook’s lesser-known non-white population, the documentary explores Black History and the efforts of some Hudson Valley residents to restore respect to the Persons of Color Cemetery.

This one-hour documentary features the archaeological dig to place the interpretive sign, and a Ground Penetrating Radar Survey conducted at the site. Moving excerpts from the 2017 cemetery rededication ceremony and a dramatization involving oral history and the Underground Railroad are included.

BROUGHT TO LIGHT guides viewers on a journey through history as it relates to Kinderhook and the Persons of Color Cemetery. BROUGHT TO LIGHT is dedicated to those buried in the Persons of Color Cemetery and all who respect them.

Watch interviews with University at Albany Department of Africana Studies Adjunct Professor Dr. Roxanne Jones Booth, NYS Museum Bioarchaeologist Lisa Anderson, Curator of Historical Archaeology Michael Lucas, Columbia County Historical Society representatives, a TOP STORY report from Nia Hamm of NewsChannel 13, and highlights from Kinderhook Walks.

DVD EXTRAS show aerial views over Kinderhook and a photo gallery which gives a closer look at the poetic inscriptions barely legible on some of the headstones and markers at the cemetery.

BROUGHT TO LIGHT is produced and directed by Writer/Filmmaker Barbara Reina. “From the moment that I first visited the Persons of Color Cemetery, I felt that there was an untold story here. While BROUGHT TO LIGHT tells a factual story, lingering mysteries and unanswered questions about those buried in the cemetery remain,” Reina commented.

If you have a venue appropriate for a film screening, please contact:
Barbara Reina Productions, LLC

Here’s what people are saying about BROUGHT TO LIGHT:
“Last night’s screening was fascinating, filled with information about our community and the history we are just starting to explore. I was most impressed with the care and dignity taken within the film, but also with the questions that followed. I want to learn more. Thank you.”
- Local resident Mary-Eileen Cox made this comment on Facebook after attending the film screening at the Kinderhook Memorial Library.

“Excellent work on an important subject.” –Kinderhook Memorial Library Board President Gary Spielmann made this comment on a LinkedIn post about the film screening.

“I thought it was excellent, Barbara – never realized how large the slave population was right here in our own neighborhood – fascinating and certainly food for thought – it wasn’t really that long ago – something we cannot imagine tolerating today was commonplace and acceptable by ordinary people – so educational too – to learn the history of our town – and I loved the photography and aerial shots – wonderful! I hope you do more of these!”
– (Niverville, NY) Regina Rose, DVD purchaser.

The documentary film trailer was chosen as one of six across New York State to be showcased in the Archaeology Video Festival at the NY Archaeology Conference held in April 2018. Magazine articles on the Persons of Color Cemetery include the 2018 Spring Issue of New York Archives magazine and February 2019 issue of HomeStyle magazine. Both articles were written by Filmmaker Barbara Reina.

In 2017, BROUGHT TO LIGHT was accepted into the Columbia County Historical Society Research Library. In 2019, it was the first DVD to be cataloged in the new media collection of the Susan Cunningham Library at the Hamilton Hill Arts Center, the African-American Cultural Arts Center of the Capital Region. The documentary can be found in numerous libraries in the Capital Region, including the University at Albany, Columbia-Greene Community College, Ichabod Crane Central School District and Kinderhook Memorial Library.

A well-attended film screening/Q&A event was held on October 11, 2018 at the Albany Institute of History and Art (AIHA). Dates for 2018-2020 film showings at various libraries in New York State have been arranged. BROUGHT TO LIGHT has been approved for sale in museum/gift shops at AIHA, the New York State Museum and Columbia County Historical Society.

BROUGHT TO LIGHT was featured on a WOOC FM 105.3 podcast hosted by Talk Host Willie Terry in Troy, NY. https://www.mediasanctuary.org/podcasts/barbara-reina-on-brought-to-light/

The documentary is narrated by Boston-based Voice Actor, Coach and Artist Demetria Bridges. Known as, “The Voice with the Velvet Touch,” Bridges has more than a decade of professional voice-acting experience. “I was honored to be included in Barbara’s vision and a part of her process of discovering truth while building community. Narrating this documentary blessed me with the rare opportunity to lend my voice to the nameless while bringing to light the forgotten stories of my history as well,” said Bridges.

Long-time Valatie residents Amy Freinberg-Trufas and Charles Logan provided their talents as voice actors in BROUGHT TO LIGHT. Freinberg-Trufas is a trained actor, spokesperson, host and model who enjoys the process of filmmaking.

Freinberg-Trufas is featured in a dramatization recounting a piece of oral history connecting Valatie with the Underground Railroad. She commented, “I’m delighted to be involved with BROUGHT TO LIGHT by Barbara Reina. It’s an important part of our history and offers us an opportunity to examine our past and illuminate our future.”

Charles Logan is the voice of John Rogers, an Irish immigrant who set aside a quarter-acre of his own land in Kinderhook for what is now known as the Persons of Color Cemetery. “Being of Irish and African-American descent, I find this local history interesting,” Logan said.

BROUGHT TO LIGHT © Barbara Reina Productions, LLC 2017

Past Events
Kinderhook Memorial Library, February 24, 2018
Riders Mills Historical Association July 7, 2018
Albany Institute of History & Art, October 11, 2018
Troy Public Library, October 20, 2018
Cohoes Public Library, November 5, 2018
Hurley Library, November 10, 2018
North Chatham Free Library, November 11, 2018
Claverack Free Library, November 17, 2018

Newburgh Free Library, January 9, 2019
Germantown Library, January 26, 2019
Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library, February 1, 2019
East Greenbush Community Library, February 2, 2019
Brunswick Community Library, February 8, 2019
Roeliff Jansen Community Library, February 10, 2019
Albany Public Library/Pine Hills Branch, February 11, 2019
Elting Memorial Library, February 21, 2019
Kingston Library, February 23, 2019
Rensselaerville Library/Historical Society, May 5, 2019 (Conkling Hall)
Stephentown Memorial Library, June 6
Heritage Hunters of Saratoga County, NY, July 20, 2019
Stuyvesant Railroad Station Depot, July 27, 2019
Austerlitz Historical Society, October 19, 2019

Berkshire Athenaeum, Pittsfield’s Public Library, February 15, 2020

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Valatie, New York
Body/Soul | Local culture | Soft news
2 January 2018 11:46AM
Brenda Shufelt

The Hudson Area Library has two facilitators for one-on-one Job Search Help continuing in 2018: 1st and 3rd Wednesdays 5 – 7pm, and every Friday 10am – 1pm with Beth Gordon, NCDA trained Career Development Facilitator, or by appointment with Heather Martin, Area Coordinator of Literacy Connections.

These one-on-one sessions will focus on resume and cover letter writing, online job applications, job search resources, and interview preparation. Job hunters should have basic computer skills and bring a copy of their resume if they have one.

To sign up for appointments, call 518-828-1792 x101, email programs@hudsonarealibrary.org or stop by the library circulation desk. The Job Search Help Consultations are made possible, in part, with support from Mid-Hudson Library System.

PHOTO CAPTION: Beth Gordon shows a Job Search website to Reference Librarian Paul Tombrello (who is not looking for a job!)

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