James Huba and Carly Rivas were married at last year’s Beltane Festival. They’re keeping this year’s honorees a secret. The festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
Editor’s note: There are several festivals in Orange County, but this one is unique.
When Bernadette Montana started the Beltane Festival 10 years ago, it only drew about 200 guests. Since then, the event has outgrown its original location and is expected to draw about 1,000 people this year.
“It’s evolved and I guess it has to do with people wanting it to evolve,” Montana said. “It’s the first event people attend throughout the year. It gives people hope. We’re coming out of winter and coming into spring and summer. People are very excited about participating in a festival like this.”
Photo by Ben Cashman
Kevin O’Connor, Mia Dawson, Gabe Colsant and Emily Roohan carried the Cornwall Little League banner at the front of the Opening Day Parade.
Stuff happens here on the weekend
Nothing ever happens here? Don’t believe it. There was enough activity from Friday to Sunday to keep a reporter busy throughout the weekend. On Friday, more than 80 people attended a senior lunch at Munger Cottage. The Cornwall Conservation Advisory Committee planted a tree at the Sands Ring Homestead. The next morning was Opening Day for Cornwall Little League. The Library had volunteers working in the garden, and experts repairing equipment and garments in the Community Room. At night, the Cornwall Historical Society held its dinner, and the following afternoon Storm King School continued its Festival of the Arts. Page 1
River Avenue residents say “slow down”
Two River Avenue residents recently spoke at a Cornwall-on-Hudson Board of Trustees meeting to complain about speeding down the steep roadway.
The issue is not a new one. Gary Curasi addressed the board 10 years ago. At the time a weight limit sign was placed at the top of the steep hill and yellow lines were painted down the middle of the road with the thinking motorists would drive slower if they had to stay within a lane.
Unfortunately, speed still remains an issue. Page 1
Board adopts school budget
The vote was seven to one when the school board adopted a budget for 2017-18. Peter Erwin missed the April 20 meeting. And Rafael Ortiz voted “no” — objecting to the process rather than the budget itself.
Before a vote was taken, Mr. Ortiz held up a pamphlet from the New York State School Board Association (NYSSBA), which suggests that the budget process should begin during the previous summer. Page 1
Suki Chen of the United States with her two younger nieces in a restaurant in China.
Suki Chen is still trying to bring her nieces to the United States. The girls ages 4, 7 and 11 have been living as orphans in China since their mother and grandmother were killed in accidents last summer. Their father remains in a coma in a hospital several hours away.
Mrs. Chen, a New Windsor resident and a Cornwall business owner, has engaged attorneys to help her bring the children to this country. One of the lawyers asked the girls’ neighbor in China to describe their condition. This is part of what she had to say.
“Hello, I’m Shanzhen Wang, Chen’s neighbor. Since the parents of this family had an accident, there has been nobody taking care of the children of this family. The children are very poor. I could not stand it anymore so I often go to their home to take care of the children, after all, how are the three girls at this young age to take care of themselves?
Originally, the grandmother of the children at home could watch the children, at least made the child having a protective umbrella, but who know misfortunes never come singly, their grandma passed away at a car accident.
The Cornwall Conservation Advisory Council and the Town of Cornwall will be planting a Scarlet Oak tree on the grounds of Sands Ring Homestead on April 21 at 4 p.m. as part of the Town’s annual observance of Arbor Day.
Carla Castillo, chair of the Cornwall Conservation Advisory Council will offer introductions and Supervisor Richard Randazzo will read an official Arbor Day Proclamation in observance of the day.
The tree is being planted in honor of Bernard Sussman, a veteran, a long-time CCAC member who worked closely with fellow CCAC members to protect the Moodna Creek, and long-time curator of the Narrowsburg Ten Mile River Boy Scout Camp Museum. A few words will be said regarding Sussman’s contributions to Cornwall and his work on the CCAC.
Photo by Jason Kaplan
Chad Johnson, Mario Accosta, and John Cronin raised a 48-star American flag during a program, held at the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the United States’ declaration of war against Germany. The U.S. entered World War I on April 6, 1917.
A small group of veterans and public officials attended a program at the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I.
As if mimicking the conditions on that date in 1917, a light rain fell last week and the temperature hovered just above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The program, however, started about two hours prior to the actual time when the House of Representatives voted 353-50 to support a declaration of war against Germany.
Two days earlier, the Senate had done the same by an 82-6 vote.
Paul Anderson-Winchell has served as the executive director of Lifting up Westchester for the past 11 years. As he nears retirement, the Cornwall-on-Hudson resident will be honored at the nonprofit’s annual Oasis of Hope spring gala on April 20.
Lifting up Westchester (formerly known as Grace Church Community Center) is a social services agency that provides homeless and poverty services for more than 4,000 men, women, and children each year. To keep the nonprofit in operation, Lifting up Westchester also runs a licensed home healthcare agency offering care to over 400 homebound seniors and disabled individuals annually.
Prior to being hired into his current position, Anderson-Winchell had dedicated 30 years to giving back to the community by working in a variety of other positions. He was founding director of the Orange County Boys and Girls Club in the Town of Wallkill, worked for United Cerebral Palsy running their residential program, and went into the healthcare field in Dutchess County where he ran a homecare agency and nursing home.
Six years after he wrote about the lumberyard on Mill Street, Jason Kaplan returned to Doug Spaulding’s property to witness the ongoing battle with erosion. Here are some of the pictures he took. The full story (including a report on what the county is doing) appears in this week’s issue.
The Moodna turns sharply at the foot of the lumberyard property
The Black Rock Fish and Game Club loans Brook Trout to the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum. Once grown, the trout are returned to the wild.
It was a big weekend for openings. Opening day for the new baseball season was Sunday, while the new fishing season launched on Saturday.
The weather wasn’t conducive for fishing on day one, but the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum offered an alternative. Michelle Mindicino provided a presentation on Brook Trout, at the Wildlife Education Center.
Mindicino started by asking the audience to identify parts of the trout, which is known as New York state’s official fish.
Back in 1980, a young Morten Ender lived in Germany but was planning to visit friends in Naples, Italy. In preparing to head there, his friends said they’d be spending the summer on the islands in the Mediterranean selling arts and crafts to tourists, and he should go with them.
“I said I don’t make anything,” Ender recalled this week, noting that he was aware that Europeans encourage the making of arts and crafts. “But, I pressed some flowers and took them, and they sold!”
That encouraged him, once he was back home in Germany, to keep making simple collages of pressed flowers and selling them at local craft fairs for extra money.
“The Germans seemed to love them,” he says.
Fast forward to 2017. Ender, a professor at West Point, is a 20-year resident of Highland Falls. He’s an accomplished author — his seventh book, with Dr. Michael Matthews from Cornwall, is about diversity and inclusion in the military and will be released next month. He and his wife Corina, a Social Studies teacher at Ketcham High School in Dutchess County, have one son, Axel, who is a soccer player and Fashion and Business Studies major at Marist College.