Redondo Beach, July 4, 2019



Hope this email finds you well. And what a time we live in. There is so much upheaval and also, so much potential in the energy that is being generated everywhere in our world. We owe it to ourselves and others to stay engaged and informed and to take actions towards positive change.

Our Sheriff, Juan Figueroa, would like to have you join him for a virtual, Covid-Safe Town Hall style meeting on Law Enforcement (hosted by Indivisible Ulster/ NY 19) in order to bring you up to date on what is being done in the Sheriff’s department and also to be there for our questions and concerns. We are blessed to have a Sheriff who really wants to engage with all of us and to be a part of the solution and not the problem. We knew that and that is why we worked to get him elected.

See the link below to sign up. I hope to see the Incredible Civics Action Network on my computer screen for this event. The more we know, first hand and the better informed we are, the more good we can do as we all talk about these huge issues going forward.

All the best to you!



Wednesday, July 15th, 7:00-8:00 PM via Zoom

Register to join here


Join Sheriff Juan Figueroa in a discussion on local policing during a time our county, state and country face three crises—the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic fallout and systemic racism. In keeping with his commitment to transparency and open communication, Sheriff Figueroa will answer your questions and provide the latest updates on the Ulster

County Sheriff’s Office. 
Register to join here

Hosted by IndivisibleNY19 Coalition/Ulster County 

Copyright © 2020 Vocal Visionary, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in via our website.


Our mailing address is:
Vocal Visionary
95 W Saugerties Woodstock Rd
Woodstock, NY 12498-2023

Thank you for your overwhelming support! 
– Judge Claudia Andreassen

To all the voters who are still being misled by my opponent Stan O’Dell on his FB page about endorsements. Read the article and you be the judge.


Politics & Government
Saugerties justice candidates trade barbs over disputed endorsements
by Christina Coulter/June 16, 2020
Stan O’Dell and Claudia Andreassen

With one week to go until the primary vote, candidates for the Democratic nomination for Saugerties town justice are accusing one another of claiming endorsements that weren’t granted.

Incumbent Saugerties town justice Claudia Andreassen wrote in a social-media announcement and later told reporters that she was endorsed by the Ulster County Democratic Women. In fact, its members never formally voted to do so, and the group never had the power to grant an endorsement in the first place, according to its bylaws.

O’Dell said that he his campaign had been “irreparably harmed” by the misrepresentation.

“The damage [has been] done, the advantage, the weight of that endorsement may have already cost votes where people voted for her on false information,” said O’Dell. “The truth needed to get out to the public. My life and my career is about integrity and ethics, and certainly the job of a town justice should never be in doubt ever. That should just be the beginning of it. The rest should be your competence and compassion, but without ethics and integrity, there’s nothing.”

In political materials sent by Andreassen’s campaign during the campaigning process, the group’s logo is featured alongside the phrase “Claudia has our vote!” While members of the Ulster County Democratic Women maintain that they never issued an endorsement, Andreassen disagrees.

“I was called in February by Otea Lei [sic], a committee member of the Ulster County Democratic Women, to tell me that I had been endorsed by them. The following day, I was sent the committee logo by chairwoman Gladys Figueroa .… This should not be an article shedding doubt on my credibility,” said Andreassen in a pre-written statement addressing the controversy. “I accepted an endorsement in good faith. Ask the endorsing committee what went wrong …. This is about an opponent trying to discredit their adversary, plain and simple.”

The endorsement process varies based on the bylaws of the local committee. For the Ulster County Independence Party, according to chair Len Bernardo, an endorsement is decided by one person, the chair of the party. But, as stated in a press release issued by county Democratic Party chair Frank Cardinale, “It is the policy of the Ulster County Democratic Committee and its subcommittees not to grant endorsements in a primary election.” According to the bylaws of the Ulster County Democratic Women, an endorsement must be determined by a vote of the group’s membership.

In a press release dated June 6, committee secretary Patricia Dittus attested that a vote on the endorsement of Andreassen never took place.

“Claudia Andreassen attended the January 29, 2020 meeting of the Ulster County Democratic Women … [and] did not seek nor obtain the endorsement of the Ulster County Democratic Women,” wrote Dittus. “Judge Andreassen gave a brief speech about her candidacy for town judge, but no motion was made nor voted upon the membership to award her the endorsement of the organization.”

The group can endorse a candidate if there is no primary for the Democratic line, according to Otia Lee, campaign committee chair of the UCDW. The group was unaware that Stan O’Dell would be competing for the Democratic line at the time of their meeting.

“It’s unfortunate that the powers that be took this situation and spun it out control and called Claudia a liar,” said Lee. “She did not lie, she had the support. We did not officially endorse her because we were in the process of calling another meeting to do so, because we were not told there was another candidate. We only heard a rumor that there was a Republican candidate and it turned out to be [Stan O’Dell].”

The assertion is echoed by Gladys Figueroa, the chair of the group.

“When I spoke to Stan [O’Dell within the last week], because he called me to question me about this, he said he didn’t know he could get in touch with the Ulster Women. We didn’t know that there was someone running against her — she’s the incumbent, I didn’t have any reason to think that anyone was running against her …. I sent the logo to her without thinking, without questioning. I take full responsibility for that,” said Figueroa. ”Concentrate on your campaigns and leave it alone.”

Andreassen had never received an official endorsement.

“Why would Gladys and Otia not mention any discrepancies in the clear wording on the mailers which simply state ‘Claudia has our vote’ or any of the other media which states the same thing?” asked Andreassen. “Is my opponent that hung up on wording? Furthermore, one might ask, why would they bother to send me their logo four months ago? Were they looking for my aesthetic opinion?”

In her press release, Andreassen drew attention to a statement on one of O’Dell’s mailers that she felt was misleading: “In the meantime,” read the last line of a widely-distributed mailer, “find me on the Democratic, Working Families, Green, Libertarian, and Independence party lines as the endorsed candidate.” O’Dell is, in fact, only endorsed by the Independence Party.

“That was an interpretation of grammar that, the person who edited that,” said O’Dell of the wording. “I have never once claimed to have anything but the Independence Party …. That was meant to read as, I read it … you can find me on these lines, separated by the ‘and’, the Independence Party line as the endorsed candidate.”

The state’s Commission on Judicial Conduct, a panel of eleven members tasked with investigating complaints of judicial misconduct, has disciplined candidates for misleading advertisements in recent history. For example, Oneida County Family Court candidate Dawn Catera Lupi was publicly admonished by the overseeing group in 2014 for, among other infractions, “convey[ing] the erroneous impression that [she] had been endorsed” by a particular newspaper.” The body can prescribe disciplinary actions ranging from privately warning the judge or judicial candidate to mandating the offender’s removal from office.

Neither candidate needs an endorsement from any party to run on a particular line of the June 23 ballot. In other races for other positions, candidates who want to be listed on a party line with which they are not registered as a member must get the endorsement of that political party and signatures from a certain percentage of the party members in that district. However, in judicial races, only the signatures are required — endorsements are not required and only carry clout.

According to Democratic commissioner of elections Ashley Dittus, any voter who would like to rescind their vote cast during the early voting period, or via absentee ballot, can invalidate the previous vote by voting again at the polls on June 23.


John Schoonmaker, Councilperson, Endorses Claudia Andreassen

Below is my endorsement letter in support of Claudia Andreassen for Town Judge in the Democratic Primary in Saugerties. On top of the reasons listed below, Claudia has been a lifelong Democrat, and has served our town well during her two terms. She is someone we can trust, and know will be a kind, caring judge while on the bench. Anyone is free to share this with anyone who they feel needs to see it.


I am writing to announce my endorsement of Claudia Andreassen for Town Justice in the Democratic Primary. While the decision itself was not hard for me to make, I personally held off as I think elected officials should not weigh in publicly in a judicial race. Seeing that I am the only council member to remain silent, however, and the only elected Democratic official in Saugerties, I felt it would be a disservice to the residents of Saugerties if I did not let them know who I feel is best for the job.

During my time on the council, I have seen Claudia’s compassion first-hand. When bail reform was still at the front of everyone’s minds, she did not call for immediate reform of it, but instead suggested we wait, let it actually be implemented, and then work from there.  She recognized that one of the main issues was the lack of funding from the state. When the civil unrest began sweeping this country, she helped her granddaughter create posters to hang around the village to help educate residents on the injustices facing the Black community. And on a more personal note, I found it impossible to leave her house after meeting with her husband Paul, a fellow councilman, without some form of leftovers being given to me by Claudia.

This is the kind of person we need on the bench. A judge who is kind, compassionate, and caring. A judge who will treat each person as if they were part of her own family. A judge that is not only aware of the injustice that is built into our criminal justice system, but has been fighting to fix it her entire life. I urge you to vote for Claudia Andreassen on June 23rd (or earlier by mail or at an early voting site).

John Schoonmaker
Saugerties Town Councilperson
Saugerties Democratic Committeemember, District 4



Why is there an endorsement controversy? I was called in February by Otea Lei, a committee member of the Ulster County Democratic Women, to tell me that I had been endorsed by them. The following day I was sent the committee logo by Chairwoman Gladys Figueroa which I proudly displayed in my campaign literature. How does this reflect in any way upon my credibility?

But, four months later a small group of women, under insurmountable pressure and fearing for their tenuous status in the myopic world of small town politics, reversed their decision. Perhaps you should speak to them.

Yet, in my opinion, these lovely women do not deserve to be hounded any more than they already have been this week.

Although during this month we are reflecting on the one hundred year anniversary of the women’s right to vote as well as to the reaction of current brutality, make no mistake racism and misogyny are flourishing in this country and are in full bloom here in Ulster County.

For the record Black, Hispanic and Asian women were not given the right to vote until 1965.

June 14, 2020



Claudia Andreassen and Supporters

These Times by Claudia Andreassen:

As Martin Luther King said “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”

We are here, as Obama has voiced, “because the uncertainty and hardships of the pandemic have been compounded by tragic reminders that prejudice and inequality still shape so much of American life”.

In going forward, we can channel our justifiable anger into peaceful, sustained and effective action, then this moment in history can be a pivotal point in our nation’s struggle to achieve our highest ideals.

As Mark Twain said; ‘the very ink with which all history is written is merely fluid prejudice.”

It’s only been through protests and civil disobedience that any government has paid attention to marginalized communities. Because of the recent sacrifice of young lives, the world is paying attention today.

“If you want to bring about real change, then the choice isn’t between politics and protest. We have to do both”.

In the words of Antonio Delgado “the power of the vote is often maximized when it can tap into the energy that protesters make visible.”

In any given moment we are faced with two choices to step forward into growth or backward into safety.  Growth and comfort do not coexist.

Gandhi begged us to ‘be the change you wish to see in the world.’

This is your chance to do just that.





I know how painful racism is. But we can’t give up on voting. By Antonio Delgado


The twin pillars of our democracy are freedom to speak our minds and one-person, one-vote. 

I wrote in the Washington Post today about my experiences as a black man in America, and how it is imperative to utilize the instruments of democracy to make change.

I hope you will take a moment to read my op-ed — and then share it with your friends and family, as we reflect upon a way forward during these incredibly challenging times.

With love,


I know how painful racism is. But we can’t give up on voting.
By Antonio Delgado


I’ve cried many a tear as a black man in America. Sometimes, it is the only way to process the fact that, in the eyes of so many, I’m a walking threat for no reason other than the blackness of my skin. And it’s been this way for as long as I can remember. I’ll never forget my mother telling me when I was growing up that her one job was to make sure I survive in America — to find ways to ensure that when I left the house to go play and hang out with my friends, I made it back home alive.

Today, I’m a black man representing a district that is nearly 90 percent white and in one of the most rural parts of the country. I’m the first person of color to ever represent upstate New York in Congress. The road I traveled to get here was not easy. But my experience is proof that voting can bring about change that once might have seemed out of reach — in fact, it’s crucial to changing the laws and policies that have caused so much agony.

With survival comes pain and grief to the point your mind is too weary to think and words don’t seem to matter anymore. I felt that during the multimillion dollar, race-baiting ad campaign launched against me during the 2018 campaign, designed to make me out to be a threat to the very community I come from. The attacks were relentless and maliciously played on ugly stereotypes and degrading notions of black masculinity.

Language can hardly do justice to the depth of anguish and heartache I felt during those moments. It was hardly the first time I’d felt such despair. The dehumanization of racism relentlessly beats upon the soul. And the image of yet another person taken from us sets off fits of rage I know in my heart do no one any good.

Anger is natural and expected, but it must be channeled for a higher purpose, otherwise it becomes self-destructive. So you pray and you pray for an answer, and somewhere down deep, a voice rises above the cries of the soul to affirm that the only choice, the only answer, is love.

What is love? In times like these, it’s justice in action; it’s agency grounded in the moral observation that we are all one — that, as the Roman African playwright Terence wrote, “nothing human is alien to me.” And let us understand that love in action is hopeful without being a pushover; powerful without being destructive; schemeful without being sinister. It’s how change happens in a democracy set against the alternative that only might makes right or that only certain “men” are fit to govern. Here in America, we have committed ourselves to the noble idea that ordinary people can govern themselves — and do so freely.

None of this is to suggest that voting is the be-all and end-all. Protesting and engaging in civil disobedience have a critical role to play, especially as an expression of love.




June 2020 E-newsletter: Hudson River Valley Greenway and National Heritage Area

Barnabas McHenry, Chairman Greenway Council, Co-Chair National Heritage Area
Kevin M. Burke, Chairman, Greenway Conservancy for the Hudson River Valley,
Co-Chair National Heritage Area
Scott Keller, Executive Director Greenway,
Director National Heritage Area 

Monthly News, Events, & Grant Opportunities

Important Reminders

  • Get Outside Safely, Responsibly, and Locally. Learn more.
  • Virtual Event Registration is NOW OPEN for I LOVE NY ‘s Spring 2020 Path Through History Weekends: At Home, June 15 – July 4! Don’t miss out, register your virtual event today! 


2020 Hudson River Valley Ramble Canceled

The protection and safety of the residents in the Hudson Valley is our top priority. We made the very difficult decision to cancel the 21st annual Hudson River Valley Ramble scheduled this September in response to the COVID-19 health emergency. The nature of the Ramble is to bring ‘Ramblers’ from all over the Hudson Valley and beyond. The future is uncertain, but at this time, in response to the pandemic the CDC and New York State Health Department are advising New Yorkers to enjoy the outdoors in their local communities to reduce the spread. Virtual events or self-guided tours can still be found or submitted to the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area’s website.

We are grateful to all Ramble event leaders and participants who make this one-of-a-kind event series possible year after year. We can’t wait till we can celebrate the history, culture and natural resources of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area with you in person, in September 2021.

If you have any questions, please email


GHHN Updates it’s Workshop Series in Response to COVID-19

In accordance with safety measures taken in response to COVID-19, GHHN is in the process of “making it work” themselves – and re-imagining the workshops in this series. That re-imagining will look different for each of the workshops in the series, due of the nature of the workshops themselves….  

  1. Workshop 1: Care and Storage of Collections (7/23) will now be held online.
  2. Workshop 2: Archival Rehousing Workshop (7/14) is postponed until Fall 2020 (date TBA) – every effort will be made to keep this an in-person workshop, but if GHHN is unable to it will pivot to an online course as well. Final determination will be made in August. 
  3. Workshop 3: Textile Rehousing Workshop (10/20) is planned to be held in-person. Final determination will be made at a later date.


Thomas Cole National Historic Site is Hosting a Virtual Summer Party Pic-Nic

The Thomas Cole Summer Party must go on, so this year you are invited to a virtual a “Summer Part Pic-Nic”, custom designed by Geoff Howell Studios, and sent to your home. The virtual “Summer Party Pic-Nic” will take place on Sunday, August 30th at 5 P.M., and your picnic package will be delivered to you in advance. The party has been reimagined for these unusual times, and new features have been added so you can enjoy the fun from home:

  • A beautiful package inspired by Thomas Cole’s painting “A Pic-Nic Party,” including custom-designed picnic blanket, napkins, tumblers and other items, depending on the level of sponsorship you choose.
  • Entry to an exclusive live-streamed presentation by Tim Barringer, Paul Mellon Professor in the History of Art at Yale University, one of the most engaging, ebullient and sought-after speakers in the country, about “A Pic-Nic Party” and its little-known link to J.M.W. Turner, as well as a live question-and-answer session with Professor Barringer.
  • A video welcome from Lisa Fox Martin, a special Zoom meeting for all Pic-Nic guests so that you can see each other’s faces, and a place to send your self-portrait picnic photos that we will post all together online.
  • Finish the experience with a link to an artistically choreographed display of virtual fireworks.

Visit the event page for all the details.


Town of Wawarsing Case Study on Community Planning

The value of natural areas is being celebrated more than ever – beyond the many benefits such as clean water, wildlife habitat, flood control, and temperature moderation, COVID-19 has been a stark reminder of the relationship between habitat disturbance and disease, and the public’s need to access and enjoy nature.

With more than 250 municipalities in the estuary watershed, all making decisions about lands and waters, each community has an important role in sustaining the larger ecosystem and the many benefits it delivers. The Town of Wawarsing is an excellent case study in how a municipality can tap into funding and technical assistance to support conservation planning with outcomes that benefit the local community as well as the greater ecological landscape. It was a privilege and inspiration to work with the town’s wise and committed volunteers and I’m happy to share their story.

Watch the new video, Conserving Nature in Your Community: Critical Environmental Areas.


Make a Reservation to Visit Innisfree Garden

Recognized as one of the “world’s ten best gardens,” Innisfree is a powerful icon of mid-twentieth century design. Over fifty years in the making, it is the work of landscape architect Lester Collins, FASLA (1914-1993), with important contributions by his clients, artist and teacher Walter Beck and gardener and heiress Marion Burt Beck. The result is a distinctly American stroll garden – a sublime composition of rock, water, and sky achieved with remarkable economy and grace.

The garden has not closed its doors, but instead has been open on a limited, advanced-reservation basis. Those who would like to visit Innisfree must reserve their three-hour spots in advance and must observe New York State protocols for the numbers of persons in a party, wearing masks and the like. The garden is open from 10AM-1PM and from 2-5PM in the afternoon. Reservations cannot be made onsite. 


Reservoir Trails Open in Middletown

The current pandemic has highlighted the need for more outdoor recreational opportunities. The city of Middletown, working with The Trust for Public Land, has opened up their 1,250-acre watershed for public access and has developed plans to turn it into a vibrant community public space. Outside of downtown Middletown, you can experience 8.5-miles of woods, roads, and trails. The trails offer stunning views of Monhagen Reservoir, Highland Reservoir, and Shawangunk Reservoir, which have provided clean drinking water to local residents since the 1860s. This forested watershed includes century-old stands of white pines that create a shady and peaceful retreat. The land hasn’t been opened to the public since 2001, but now as outdoor recreation has increased in demand the watershed has opened back up to the public. For GPS Usage, the main entrance with significant parking is located at 435 Van Duzer Road. Visitors should take the necessary precautions to be safe by following the CDC/New York State Department of Health guidelines for preventing the spread of colds, flu, and COVID-19. 


Upcoming Events

*Please note that due to the spread of COVID-19, many heritage sites have announced that they are cancelling events, closing, or reducing hours. Please call the individual sites directly to inquire their current status. New York State Parks remain open. Although many events, tours, and social gatherings have been postponed. While enjoying the outdoors, please follow the CDC/New York State Department of Health guidelines for preventing the spread of colds, flu, and COVID-19.


The Arts Council of Rockland’s Online Viewing Room

Visit the Arts Council of Rockland’s latest exhibition, “Women’s Voices,” in their new Online Viewing Room! In celebration of the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote, the Arts Council of Rockland presents “Women’s Voices” in collaboration with SuffrageForward, whose mission is to celebrate women’s right to vote, empower women, and create awareness among all people of the strength and resiliency of girls and women. View it now.


NYNJTC Online Learning Library

The Trail Conference is now offering new digital learning and engagement opportunities. From live webinars to on-demand content, the NYNJTC is providing workshops and lectures to boost your skills and help keep everyone connected. Check it out.


Clearwater Connects

Clearwater’s education team has done an excellent job curating virtual adventures and lessons to meet the needs of a range of K-12, college, and post-doc students, and social groups, and they are looking forward to bringing more people to the river through these programs. Both live and pre-recorded experiences are available along with self-guided opportunities to explore the Hudson at a distance. Teachers, social groups, and others interested in discussing opportunities to experience the river with us should email


Discover Olana’s Historic Landscape Virtually

Virtual visitors can now learn more about Olana’s Historic Landscape at any time and from around the world. Enjoy the first two sections of their new 10-part video series. An additional installment about Frederic Church’s 250-acre earthwork will be released every Tuesday and Thursday. Watch them now.


Sheldrake Environmental Center’s June Mini-Camp Virtual Edition

Sheldrake’s popular June Mini-Camp for ages 3-6 is Zoom-ing off on new adventures in 2020! This new format combines online group sessions and self-paced exploration activities. Loaded with nature fun, Virtual June Mini-Camp will build on the virtual preschool classes we’ve been holding throughout the spring, featuring lots of interactivity, live instruction, video capture of Sheldrake’s 60 acres, craft activities, stories, and more. Register by week. Invite a friend to join from anywhere! 


Documentary Heritage & Preservation Services for New York’s Webinar Library

DHPSNY’s webinars are a great alternative to face-to-face workshops. Presented free of charge, DHPSNY’s programs address the needs of professionals and volunteers at institutions that manage unique library research materials and historical records, including libraries, archives, and museums. DHPSNY’s webinars address emerging issues and best practices, with content scaled to apply to small- and medium-sized organizations with limited resources. Webinar topics are more narrowly-focused, with more opportunities for questions and responses, as well as community building across the state. Webinars are recorded, archived, and made available for download from DHPSNY’s Resources page. See below for descriptions and registration for upcoming webinars. Check it out.


Staatsburgh State Historic Site Virtual Resources

Though the mansion remains closed, Staatsburgh is providing online content for those who want to explore our history while isolating at home. There are resources available on their Facebook page, blog, and YouTube. The grounds are also open from dawn until dusk. They even have a printable scavenger hunt to do while exploring the park!


Thomas Cole National Historic Site Virtual Resources

Explore hours of virtual content provided by the Thomas Cole National Historic Site on YouTube. 


Leveraging Outdoor Recreation to Revitalize Rural Economies (WEBINAR)

June 2: Together rural communities, land managers, agencies, and counties are creating a vision to leverage the power of outdoor recreation to strengthen main street revitalization, contributing to stewardship of public lands and creating new opportunities for prosperity. 


Tactical Urbanism: Project Delivery for a Post-Pandemic World (WEBINAR)

June 5: In this webinar, participants will dig into the details of what Tactical Urbanism is, how the methodology was developed, and how it may help communities respond to current and future crises. 


Stop the Spread: Scout for New Invasives Citizen Science Training Series (WEBINAR)

June 9, 11, 16, 18: Learn about three new invasive pests and diseases in our region. Help scout for them, report their presence with iMapInvasives and stop their spread. 


Gatehouses and Greenways: Interactive Community Engagement for Trails (WEBINAR)

June 11: This webinar will provide attendees with ideas and solutions for getting projects implemented through creative coalitions and engagement activities. 


Women-Led Stewardship and Conservation (WEBINAR)

June 16: Join this panel discussion to explore why women are so critical to public lands protection, and how women’s leadership is critical to protection of our last wild places. 


Innovative Green Infrastructure Programs: Benefits, Challenges, Opportunities, and Lessons Learned (WEBINAR)

June 16: The panelists will discuss the challenges of launching innovative programs and their lessons learned to address community needs while meeting regulatory mandates. 


Best Practices for Local Environmental Reviews (WEBINAR)

June 17: This webinar will address how to obtain natural resource information for a site, techniques for map interpretation, and effective ways to incorporate conservation principles for significant habitats, wildlife, and water resources into those reviews. 


The Virtual Great Hudson River Revival (WEBINAR)

June 20: The Virtual Great Hudson River Revival will be brought to you online on Clearwater’s traditional Father’s Day weekend. The program will run from 1PM-9PM with lots of familiar personalities, as well as new and exciting performances. 


Empowerment through Design to Create a Choice Neighborhood (WEBINAR)

June 24: This session will explore how residents are empowered to help create and utilize asset-based urban design and preservation techniques at both the neighborhood and site scales through hands-on visioning and youth engagement, the creation of early action projects and the identification of catalyst priority projects. 


The Greenway Imperative: A Call to Action (WEBINAR)

June 25: The impact of COVID-19 has heightened the role that greenways and conserved greenspace play in providing critically important outdoor space for human activity, while at the same time promoting public health, safety, and well-being. 



Heritage Spotlight: Copake Iron Works Historic Site in Taconic State Park

The Copake Iron Works was established in 1845 at the base of the Taconic Ridge in Copake Falls, New York. The ironworks, operated from 1848 until 1903, has long been recognized as one of the most complete rural ironworks in the four state Litchfield Iron District. New York State acquired the abandoned Copake Iron Works in 1926 when Taconic State Park was formed. In 2007, the ironworks and 18 acres surrounding the site were listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places. Components of this extraordinarily intact 19th century industrial complex include a rare blast furnace, the blowing engine house, a machine shop with equipment still in place, the ironworkers’ duplex, the Carpenter-Gothic style office building, and the elegant residence of Isaac Chesbrough, one of the first ironmasters for the site. Friends of Taconic State Park, established in 2008, has accomplished important preservation work at the site. Due to the ongoing pandemic the museum building at the site is closed, but the trails are still open to the public. 


Project Spotlight: Yellow Trail Improvements at Greenport Conservation Area


The Columbia Land Conservancy, Inc. (CLC) received a Greenway Conservancy Trail grant to partner with the Greenagers, a nonprofit dedicated to providing local students with paid natural resources work, to improve a section of the Yellow Trail at Greenport Conservation Area in Greenport, NY. This trail is designated as part of the Greenway Trail System and is intended to eventually make a connection to the Empire State Trail. Improving this trail made it possible for individuals to access over 1,000 acres of land from the North Bay and Hudson High School entrances to the property. The Yellow Trail is approximately 1.5 miles in length, and is an educational asset highlighting the site’s rich natural, cultural, and historic resources. CLC education staff created a new tour on the Vizzit app reflecting the resources on the trail, and the content included in the interpretive signage, in March 2020. Check the tour out now by clicking here. This tour is available for free on the Vizzit app. Learn more about the Yellow Trail and other local trails.


Start a Compost Pile

Composting organic materials such as yard trimmings and food scraps reduces the amount of waste that ends up in landfills or combustion facilities. Preventing organics from landfills reduces the production of methane, a power greenhouse gas. 



Grant and Funding Opportunities

Heritage Development Grants

This annual grant program offers funding for programming, interpretation, and marketing projects that support the mutual goals of the HRVNHA and applicants. Grants will typically range from $1,000 to $5,000. Grant program guidelines and applications are available on the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area’s website. One notable departure for this round is that staff time is eligible to be reimbursed, but only if that staff time is for the direct development of programming or interpretation, as identified in the grant application. We will be accepting applications with a June 19, 2020 submittal deadline, particularly focused on creating virtual tours and programming. Please note, that there is a new budget form with the application packet. Applicants should not use an older version of the budget form.


National Heritage Area Sponsorships Available

The Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area (HRVNHA) will partner with various organizations to sponsor programs and events that reinforce the Heritage Area’s mission. While complementing the mission of the Heritage Area, cultural, heritage and recreational events deliver significant tourism and economic benefits to communities, and encourage local and regional partnerships. Sponsorship’s will have an additional focus on events promoting the 19th Amendment and/or Women’s in History in the Hudson Valley for the year 2020. Municipalities and nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations located within the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area are eligible to apply. For more information, please contact Dan Jeanson at or 518-473-3835.


NYSCA/GHHN Collections Needs Assessment Program

The NYSCA/GHHN Collection Needs Assessment Program is a NYSCA/GHHN Grant partnership program which provides two opportunities for museums across New York State. Support is available for conservation treatment of paintings, works on paper (including individual drawings, watercolors, prints, or photographs), textiles (including costumes, domestic textiles, and upholstery), furniture, frames, sculpture, historical, ethnographic, and decorative objects. Deadline: June 1, 2020. Find out more.


Publishing Historical Records in Documentary Editions

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission seeks proposals to publish documentary editions of historical records. Projects may focus on broad historical movements in U.S. history, such as politics, law (including the social and cultural history of the law), social reform, business, military, the arts, and other aspects of the national experience, or may be centered on the papers of major figures from American history. Whether conceived as a thematic or a biographical edition, the historical value of the records and their expected usefulness to broad audiences must justify the costs of the project. The Commission is especially interested in projects to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. A grant is for one year and for up to $175,000. The Commission expects to make up to 25 grants in this category for a total of up to $3,000,000. Deadline: June 10, 2020


Pomeroy Fund for NYS History

The Pomeroy Fund for NYS History is a new partnership between the William G. Pomeroy Foundation and the Museum Association of New York (MANY). This round of grant funding will provide general operating funds to 501(c)(3) history-related organizations in New York State with operating budgets of $150,000 or less with no fewer than 250 open hours in 2019. Grants will be made on a sliding scale between $1,000 to $5,000 based on budget size. Grants are available to all eligible organizations; an organization does not have to be a member of MANY to receive funding, nor will preference be given to MANY members. Deadline: June 10, 2020


IMLS CARES Act Grants for Museums and Libraries

The goal of the FY2020 IMLS CARES Act Grants for Museums and Libraries program is to support the role of museums and libraries in responding to the coronavirus pandemic. Deadline: June 12, 2020


IMLS CARES Act Grants for Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum and Library Services

The goal of this grant program is to assist Indian Tribes and organizations that primarily serve and represent Native Hawaiians in responding to the coronavirus pandemic in ways that meet the immediate and future COVID-19 needs of the Native American and Native Hawaiian communities they serve. Deadline: June 12, 2020


Access to Historical Records: Major Initiatives FY 2021

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission seeks projects that will significantly improve public discovery and use of major historical records collections. The Commission is especially interested in collections of America’s early legal records, such as the records of colonial, territorial, county, and early statehood and tribal proceedings that document the evolution of the nation’s legal history. A grant is for one to three years and between $100,000 and $350,000. Deadline: July 9, 2020


EcoSolution™ Grants 

Grants range from $500-$2,500 and are intended to support solution-oriented, youth-led projects that result in real environmental outcomes. ecoSolution™ Grants are available to educators working with youth in the United States (international projects are by invitation only). Deadline: July 15, 2020


EcoTech™ Grants 

This program was created to combat the notion that students needed to choose between “the screen” or “the green” and to encourage educators and students to explore the role technology can play in designing and implementing solutions to some of our most pressing environmental challenges. We believe that technology can present innovative ways to address environmental challenges – and that when dealing with digital natives, we do ourselves a disservice by asking them to unplug. Deadline: July 15, 2020


EcoStem™ Resource Kits

Captain Planet Foundation has developed four ecoSTEM Resource Kitswhich are perfect for educators getting started with project-based learning. These custom-curated and designed collections of lessons and materials facilitate ecoSTEM learning and using the environment as a context for applying knowledge. Kits include cutting-edge project techniques, 3-dimensional learning, citizen science, and the best materials and equipment identified for each project. Deadline: July 15, 2020


NYSCA/GHHN Conservation Treatment Grant Program

The NYSCA/GHHN Conservation Treatment Grant Program is a partnership of the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and GHHN that provides support for treatment procedures to aid in stabilizing and preserving objects held in collections of museums, historical, and cultural organizations in New York State. Support is available for conservation treatment of paintings, works on paper (including individual drawings, watercolors, prints, or photographs), textiles (including costumes, domestic textiles, and upholstery), furniture, frames, sculpture, historical, ethnographic, and decorative objects. Deadline: September 1, 2020


Archival Workers Emergency Fund

The Society of American Archivists Foundation announces the creation of the Archival Workers Emergency Fund (AWEF) to support archival workers experiencing financial hardship during the COVID-19 crisis. Grants of up to $1,000 will be awarded to financially vulnerable and at-risk workers. All U.S.-based archival workers affected by the COVID-19 crisis are eligible to apply to the fund. Due to the unpredictability of the crisis and times of acute need, applications to the fund will be considered on a rolling basis up to December 31, 2020


New York State Assembly Grants Action News 

State, federal, and private grant information from the New York State Assembly. 



Committee Members and Fellow Democrats,

The May meeting of the Saugerties Democratic Committee will take place on May 26, at 7 pm.  The agenda is below.  Please note that this will be a virtual meeting conducted by Zoom.  Credentials for logging onto that meeting will go out under seperate email in the next few days.

For the Chair,
Bill Barr, Secretary
Saugerties Democratic Committee


Saugerties Democratic Committee

Agenda for Virtual Meeting

May 26, 2020, ZOOM



  1.  Approve minutes from April 30, 2020 zoom meeting
  2.  Treasurer’s Report
  3.  Update on Senate primary and Michelle Hinchey campaign
  4.  Update on Elizabeth Kraat Assembly campaign
  5.  Dealing with Coronavirus-how can we help?
  6.  Presidential primary
  7.  Paper ballots
  8.  Standing Committees

                      Local Campaign Coordinating Committee
                      Search Committee
                      Voter Data Committee
                      Fundraising Committee-request contributions
                      Program Committee-Disinformation webinar-June 11 at 7pm

  1.   School District Update
  2.   Village issues
  3.   Town issues
  4.   County issues-coordinated campaign
  5.   State issues
  6.   Federal issues
  7.   Business issues
  8.   Announcements
  9.  Campaign for Committee seats
  10.   Adjournment

Next meetings:  June 24 (Wednesday) (June 23 is Primary Day), July 28, August 25 and September 22.



As temperatures continue to rise, so does attendance at our parks. While we’re delighted so many people rely on our natural areas for recreation and solace, we strongly urge you to wear masks throughout your visit. As Gov. Cuomo has said, this is no time to let down our guard. And please, if you arrive to a full parking lot, consider an alternative destination. We’ve put together a list of places for outdoor exercise that avoid popular trails.

In celebration of May’s National Bike Month, consider pedaling to our parks, benefiting your health and the environment. We’re honoring the occasion by installing new bike racks at our Black Creek Preserve in Esopus and Crystal Lake in Newburgh.

Finally, several important updates: Our May 6 “Danskammer and Public Health” webinar was a huge success. More than 150 participants learned how this proposed fracked gas plant in Newburgh would increase the potential for respiratory and other illnesses in nearby communities and across the region. If you missed it, watch it here. Also check out the compelling new Danskammer Coalition website, where you can join our campaign to Stop the Plant.

And we just expanded our online directory of farms supplying fresh produce directly to consumers. Supporting these family operations, many of which have partnered with Scenic Hudson to permanently conserve their lands, also assures your family eats the freshest, most nutritious food—a win-win.

This Memorial Day, in addition to remembering those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country, let us honor the men and women working so courageously to protect and sustain our lives throughout this crisis. They are heroes one and all.

Stay safe,

Ned Sullivan
President, Scenic Hudson



Saugerties Farmers Market Opening Day



Pandemic Lockdown Halts Hudson Valley’s Booming Film Industry



I love officiating weddings………….I hope I can resume doing them in person as now they are curbside, Skype or Zoom


Happy Mother’s Day everyone:  This is my Mom and Dad (Ruth & Ernest Youhouse) during the war years. (Dad was an Army Ranger and a POW). This photo was taken shortly after their wedding day on July 14th, 1945. Mom is still with us at 94 but sadly Dad passed on June 4th, 2017.  They would have celebrated 75 years together. We all love you Mom. Happy Mother’s Day.
Judge Claudia Andreassen




Hitting Pause, Spring 2020


Hudson River Stories, Revisited

With an emphasis on ‘hope’ we have spent the past couple weeks, and will for the next few ahead as well, promoting our “Hope on the Hudson” series of short films about good things going on in our backyard, featuring new clips, classic photos and behind-the-scenes pics not published before. If you’ve got a spare moment during lock-down, please have a look and please share: Instagram (@jonbowermaster) and Facebook (Hudson River Stories).
See More Here


Indian Point Shutdown

A few years ago we made a short film about the nuclear power plant at Indian Point and the most salient point that has stayed with me during the years since is that it should never have been built where it was to begin with– on the shores of the Hudson River, thirty-five miles from the center of the most populous city in the country. A monumental moment in its leaky history was passed on April 30, when its reactor — Unit 2 — was permanently shut down. That leaves just one reactor still operating, to be shut down in April 2021. Want to hear more about the debate as to the efficacy of shutting it down? Tune into the Green Radio Hour with Jon Bowermaster on Radio Kingston this Sunday at 3 pm, or check the archives anytime afterwards.

The Long Shadow of Indian Point


PETER BEARD, 1938 – 2020

Peter Beard, Recalled

When PB invited me to come spend time with him in Africa — for months in 1991 — it was my first visit to the continent. As a teenager he had been lured to Kenya by a desire to connect with big game, the romance of colonial history, Independence and what he long-called “wil-deer-ness.” My assignment was to revisit the places and people who had introduced him to Kenya during the 1950s, 60s, 70s and influenced his vision of the place. What an eye-opening guide he and his buddies were and how receptive I was to sit around campfires across the plains, to cross wild rivers on the chase of big mammals and simply listen, absorbing it all, in a place that seemed so foriegn to me.
Sadly Peter wandered off from his house at the tip of Long Island on March 31 and for several weeks was simply “disappeared.” Thankfully, for his family, Nejma and Zara, he’s been found, the mystery resolved. I know that his friends, and his foes too, will dine off Peter stories long into the years ahead, because he was such an outsized character. I am happy to have shared a small part of his big life and thankful for the introduction to Africa. Say what you may about his lifestyle, his choices, his occasionally braying voice in the darkness, he was way ahead of his time in predicting “The End of the Game.”
(My story collection of profiles,Wildebeest In A Rainstorm,” was titled after a conversation Beard and I had one night at Hog Ranch, when I asked him how he managed to maintain any optimism after witnessing the incredible demise of wildlife in Africa as he had. His response was that, like a wildebeest in a rainstorm, he just hunkered down, eyes shut and waited for the downpour to end and then for the sun to come out again before opening his eyes again. I liked that.)



All of our films are produced through the not-for-profit One Ocean Media Foundation, a New York state 501c3 focused on multi-media environmental education.

Visit OOMF to help support the work… and thank you!