News + Views

Exhibitors Wanted for Hudson Valley KidVenture










As spring arrives and with it the desire to get rid of cabin fever, everyone should mark their calendars for Saturday and Sunday, May 20th and 21st for the inaugural Hudson Valley KidVenture, hosted by The Chamber Foundation, Inc.

This expo-style event will highlight businesses and nonprofits while offering children of all ages interactive and educational activities. Exhibitor space is still available for Chamber members and nonmembers to take advantage of this excellent opportunity to reach a large, regional audience all while helping to provide a weekend of adventure, discovery, and learning.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for local businesses to get in front of our community,” said Nicholas Shannon, executive director of The Chamber Foundation, Inc. “Both Dutchess County Regional Chamber members and nonmembers are encouraged to get involved in what is sure to be a signature event in the Hudson Valley.”

Tickets and registration forms are available at The weekend will feature exhibitors’ activities, food trucks, Touch-a-Truck, live music, performances, demonstrations, and so much more. All proceeds will benefit The Chamber Foundation.

“We are very excited about everything we are planning,” Shannon said. “KidVenture is going to be an incredible event that will include a full weekend of interactive activities, performances, demonstrations and hands-on learning and experiences for kids of all ages.”

KidVenture will take over Market Street, The Changepoint Theatre, and the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in the City of Poughkeepsie and is being presented by Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp., IBM, ShopRite, and Westchester Medical Center Health Network. Gold sponsor is the Poughkeepsie Galleria. Abilities First is the Accessibility and Inclusion Sponsor. Silver Sponsors are Camp Hillcroft, Fidelis Care, RBT CPAs, LLP, Royal Carting Service Company, TEG Federal Credit Union, and Mobile Life Support Services. Media sponsors are iHeart Media, Pamal Broadcasting, and Poughkeepsie Journal Media. Community Partners are ChangePoint Theater, the City of Poughkeepsie, Mid-Hudson Civic Center, Page Park Associates, and Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel.

Contact Monica Relyea of Monica Relyea Events, event coordinator of KidVenture for The Chamber Foundation, to register as an exhibitor or with questions. Email her at

The Chamber Foundation, Inc., was established in 2002 to promote education and training programs for local youth and professionals with the goal of enhancing the Hudson Valley region’s future of economic growth. Its mission is to provide educational opportunities for youth and the workforce, to build and strengthen personal and business capacity, develop leadership skills and foster a commitment to community service. For more information, visit













February 22, 2017 |

‘Welcome to Spring’ Vendor Fair-March 18th


Vendors Wanted for “Welcome to Spring” Vendor Fair

The “Welcome to Spring” Vendor Fair will take place on March 18 from 10am – 3pm at Seven Star School located at 509 Route 312 in Brewster, NY. Vendor registration deadline is Sunday, February 26th.

The Vendor Fair is a fundraising for their Spring Mainstage Musical Production of Peter Pan Jr. There will be no duplicate companies allowed and vendors will be selected on a first come, first serve basis.

Vendors are asked to donate a percentage of their proceeds to the fundraising efforts of the students. Any questions contact Margaret Carey at or call 845.278.0728. Vendors can submit a request by visiting



February 22, 2017 |

The Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College Hosts Conference on Native Plants in Public Spaces



The Native Plant Center’s 2017 Spring Landscape Conference, Going Public: Native Plants Take Root from Parks to Parkways, will explore the use of native plants in public spaces. The event will be held at Westchester Community College in Valhalla on Monday, March 13 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., with a snow date of Friday, March 17.

“Increasingly native plants are being used in public parks, along roadsides, and beside waterways where they bring people in touch with nature; attract birds, butterflies, and other wildlife to otherwise barren sites; and revitalize local economies,” says Carol Capobianco, Director of The Native Plant Center.

The Conference will include five presentations that will feature successful designs, address funding and maintenance challenges, and discuss native plants that can survive these demanding spaces. Award-winning horticulturist and landscape designer Patrick Cullina, formerly with the High Line, will open with a look at transforming spaces with dynamic designs. Enhancing and managing roadside vegetation will be presented in talks by Susan Barton, PhD, a University of Delaware assistant professor who has worked for many years with Delaware’s Department of Transportation, and Aileen Helsley and Jason Wolfanger of the New York State Department of Transportation. David Kvinge, Director of Environmental Planning for Westchester County, will discuss ways to restore natural resources along public waterways. The final speaker, Heather Liljengren, a seed collection specialist with the Greenbelt Native Plant Center of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, will speak about tough native plant species that can thrive in built landscapes.

The conference is approved for five Professional Development Hours (PDHs) accredited by the Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA-CES) as well as up to four Continuing Education Units (CEUs) accredited by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). Registration for the conference is required; the fee depends on whether professional credits are requested. For further details and to register, visit or call 914-606-7870.

Lecture details:

Transforming Public Spaces with Dynamic Designs

Discover how innovative landscape design and the creative use of plants can change public spaces into more livable environments that attract wildlife and people and can create economic vibrancy in the surrounding community. Take lessons from places such as the High Line, Bethlehem Steel, the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway and a number of other projects. Learn the importance of native plant selection and strategies tailored to the particulars of a site with a focus on functionality, seasonality, aesthetics, and maintenance. Patrick Cullina is an award-winning horticulturist and landscape designer with more than 20 years of experience. His Manhattan-based design and consulting business provides innovative and sensitive integration of plants and materials to a range of projects, including those for municipal, private, corporate, conservancy, and landscape architecture clients. He was the founding vice president of horticulture for The High Line, and was vice president of horticulture at Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Enhancing Highways: Lessons from the Roadside

Learn how roadways can be designed to reduce cost, steward land, and improve aesthetics through the lens of the Enhancing Delaware Highways project. See how both enhancement and management tactics can create sustainable landscapes. Many of these roadside strategies can be translated to other public and private landscapes to accomplish the same goals. Susan Barton, PhD is an award-winning extension specialist and associate professor in the Plant and Soil Sciences Department at the University of Delaware. For the past 12 years, she has been working with Delaware’s Department of Transportation to research and implement new roadside vegetation management strategies. She has also helped to develop Plants for a Livable Delaware program, designed to provide alternatives to invasive species and to promote sustainable landscaping, and presents industry expos with the Delaware Nursery and Landscape Association.

Managing Roadside Vegetation: From Invasives to Pollinators

Find out how the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), Hudson Valley Region, manages vegetation for safety, habitat, and aesthetics along approximately 2,700 miles of roadway in seven counties. Learn about environmentally friendly programs such as biocontrol for invasive species, low mow/no mow grass selection, and a pilot program that benefits pollinators. Aileen Helsley is Maintenance Environmental Coordinator for NYSDOT, Hudson Valley Region, where she has worked in design, construction, and maintenance for the department. She holds a BS in geology and MS in elementary education from SUNY New Paltz. Jason Wolfanger, a landscape architect and certified arborist, is Deputy Assistant to the Regional Director of NYSDOT, Hudson Valley Region. He helps to implement the design, construction, and maintenance of multiple roadside vegetation management programs. He earned a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry.

Restoring Riparian Ecological Function

Discover the ways in which degraded natural resources can be restored along public waterways. Learn about site selection criteria, design parameters, implementation techniques, stormwater management practices, and maintenance issues on several projects in Westchester County that are revitalizing habitats in tidal and freshwater wetlands, ponds, streams, upland and wet meadows, and beach dunes. David Kvinge is Director of Environmental Planning for Westchester County, overseeing the development and implementation of programs to protect and manage natural resources through watershed planning, habitat restoration, stormwater management, and flood mitigation. He is a member of the American Planning Association and the American Institute of Certified Planners, a licensed landscape architect in Connecticut, and a Certified Floodplain Manager with the Association of State Floodplain Managers.

Tough Plants for Tough Places: Mirroring Natural Habitats in the Built Landscape

Native plants have co-evolved within a dynamic, human-dominated landscape for centuries, sharing and even thriving in the built environment. Learn which species are better suited to such settings and how adaptations of native flora can be harnessed and valued through thoughtful design to create sustainable and functioning ecosystems. Heather Liljengren is Supervising Seed Collector and Field Taxonomist for the Greenbelt Native Plant Center on Staten Island, a facility of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. She manages the seed collection and banking program, which provides locally sourced, genetically diverse plant material for restoration projects throughout the city. The collection area encompasses a variety of plant communities in 25 counties within a 100-mile radius of the New York City metropolitan region.


The Native Plant Center, a program of the Westchester Community College Foundation, was established in 1998 as the first national affiliate of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas. The Native Plant Center maintains demonstration gardens and educates the public about the environmental necessity, economic value, and natural beauty of native plants through conferences, classes, and its Go Native U certificate program.


February 17, 2017 |

Celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day with a Weekend of Great Irish Shows!!


Start your Saint Patrick’s Day Celebration a week early!! Come to Peekskill for a day full of Irish entertainment! Catch the Irish Dance Spectacular, Rhythm in the Night at 11am and stick around for the parade at 3pm!  Or take in the parade and top it off with our 7pm showing!

Continue the party on Sunday with Celtic Crossings at 3pm, a benefit for Graymoor!!
Rhythm in the Night
Sat. March 11 at 11 AM or 7 PM

Rhythm in the Night, The Irish Dance Spectacular is an epic journey derived from a tale of good versus evil with a storyline that will capture the imagination of everyone in the family and transport them to a mystical time and place of heroes and redemption. The battle scenes transcend the struggle of dark versus light as lightning fast rhythms and a thunderous world-class dance troupe display Irish dance like never before seen. Adding to the drama and excitement of the production, Rhythm in the Night features an original soundtrack that delivers an orchestral atmosphere of epic proportions. Rhythm in the Night turns an age-old art form into an exciting Irish dance spectacular the whole family can enjoy!

Celtic Crossings
Sun. March 12 at 3 PM

Celtic Crossings promises an evening of Celtic tranquility with the great songs of Phil Coulter sung by the magnificent voice of Andy Cooney, with special guest Geraldine Branagan, and the Irish Pops Ensemble!


Paramount Hudson Valley
1008 Brown Street, Peekskill, NY 10566
Phone: 914-739-0039

February 13, 2017 |

‘The Mansion on the Hill’ a Local Newburgh Film Will be Screened at Washington’s Headquarters


Washington’s Headquarters is thrilled to be hosting a screening of Newburgh local Joe Santacroce’s film, The Mansion on the Hill, on February 18th at 4 pm. The film tells the story about the Hasbrouck House, better known as Washington’s Headquarters, and its place in Newburgh’s history over the years.
The story begins with one of the leading families in the area – the Hasbroucks, telling why General George Washington selected Mrs. Hasbrouck’s home for his Headquarters during the Revolutionary War, and how that led to it becoming the first publicly owned historic site in the nation.
The film takes the viewer on a tour of the site, including spectacular outside views from drone aerial footage. Archival images, along with recollections and interviews from those close to the site, are included. Adding to the presentation is a soundtrack featuring recreated 18th and 19th century music including selections from Newburgh composers who lived during the time period.
The film is being shown in conjunction with the three-day George Washington Birthday Celebration held yearly at Washington’s Headquarters, during Presidents’ Day Weekend.
For more information please call 845-562-1195.
Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site is a registered national historic landmark. It is located at the corner of Liberty and Washington Streets within the city of Newburgh’s East End Historic District. The site is one of 35 historic sites within the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and is one of 28 facilities administered by the Palisades Inters Park Commission in New York and New Jersey. For further information contact: (845) 562-1195.  For more information about New York State Parks, please visit our website at www.nysparks. com.   For more information call 845-562-1195 or visit us on Facebook at



Help us save the Tower of Victory! The Palisades Parks Conservancy has completed a capital campaign to raise funds for the restoration of the Tower of Victory at Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site in Newburgh, NY. The Tower of Victory is truly one of the treasures of the Hudson Valley.  For 125 years, it has stood as the nation’s only monument to the lasting peace that came after the end of the Revolutionary War. Robert Todd Lincoln, the son of the President and then Secretary of War, commissioned John Hemingway Duncan, one of the nation’s most renowned architects at that time, to design the massive stone arched structure that hosts bronzes sculpted by William Rudolf O’Donovan, the pre-eminent monumental sculptor of the day. It stands on the property where General Washington created the “Badge of Military Merit” now called the Purple Heart medal.
Mail your donation to: Palisades Parks Conservancy, P.O. Box 427, 3006 Seven Lakes Drive, Bear Mountain, NY 10911. Or donate online: Remember to put the Tower of Victory in the subject line so we know you want to be a part of the campaign!

February 10, 2017 |

Referee Assignor Course Coming to Mahopac


US Soccer logoAlthough snow and ice are currently covering the soccer fields of the Empire State, the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) is busily preparing for our Spring Season, scheduled to kick off next month. One way we’re preparing is through the referee certification courses being held all over the state this winter to add new officials to the 4,000+ experienced officials who cover thousands of games every weekend in Eastern New York.

Refs receive their schedule from assignors, who are charged with making sure that every game in Eastern New York has a certified referee, and often two assistant referees, who have passed Risk Management and whose officiating ability matches the level of play so all games go smoothly. And just as every ref in Eastern New York must be certified by US Soccer, the same applies for assignors.

Eastern New York is very pleased to announce a US Soccer referee assignor course scheduled for Saturday, March 11 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm at the East Hudson Youth Soccer League (EHYSL) office, 407 Route 6, Mahopac, NY 10541. Instructor Rich Ceonzo will talk about the tactics of assigning, how to keep refs motivated and active plus the all-important Assignor’s Code of Ethics.

To register, contact Cathy Romano at or 845-721-6325 and bring to the class a check made out to ENYSRA for $100.

Applicants must also bring proof of successful completion of Risk Management. Those who have not already completed Risk Management must log on to so they can attend the course.

If your league or club does not use an assigning tool and would like to use ARBITERSPORT, please let Cathy know and she will set up a time to take you through how to use the tool.

With over 100,000 youth soccer players––both boys and girls––and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) stretches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border. Members are affiliated with 11 leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. ENYYSA exists to promote and enhance the game of soccer for children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 19 years old, and to encourage the healthy development of youth players, coaches, referees and administrators. All levels of soccer are offered––from intramural, travel team and premier players as well as Special Children. No child who wants to play soccer is turned away. ENYYSA is a proud member of the United States Soccer Federation and United States Youth Soccer Association. For more information, please log on to, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.

February 10, 2017 |

Little Red Hats to Raise Awareness for Congenital Heart Defects




The American Heart Association (AHA), in connection with The Children’s Heart Foundation, is offering the “Little Hats, Big Hearts” program for the second year in a row locally. Thousands of little red hats are being delivered to 26 regional hospitals in New York and Connecticut during February, American Heart Month, to help raise awareness for congenital heart defects, or CHD, the most common type of birth defect in the country. Every baby born at participating hospitals during February will receive a little red hat, and parents will receive healthy lifestyle educational information.

The AHA received donations from more than 100 volunteer knitting and crocheting enthusiasts in the community to help raise awareness for CHD during Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) Awareness Week, February 7 – 14. American Heart Month aims to raise awareness of heart disease, the number one killer of American men and women.

Congenital heart defects are structural problems with the heart present at birth. They result when a mishap occurs during heart development soon after conception and often before the mother is aware that she is pregnant. Defects range in severity from simple problems, such as “holes” between chambers of the heart, to very severe malformations, such as complete absence of one or more chambers or valves.

The AHA put a call out to knitting and crocheting enthusiasts in December, and little red hats came pouring in from all over the region. Approximately 2,500 hats will be distributed. Local yarn shops donated red yarn and Fabricare Cleaners in Norwalk and Red Cap Cleaners in Poughkeepsie donated their services to wash and sanitize the hats.

“We hear these heart-warming stories shared by some of the knitters who were donating hats in memory of a child lost to CHD, or happier, one who lived. The American Heart Association funds pediatric research and we offer healthy lifestyle programs for children in schools throughout the county,” said Carolyn Torella, AHA spokesperson, “We’re so grateful for the community’s generosity and support to help raise awareness for children’s heart health.”

The American Heart Association is committed to raising awareness for CHD, and helping children live stronger lives through education, research and public policies. In fact, the organization’s funding for pediatric cardiac research is second only to the federal government. Thanks to AHA advocacy, laws were passed in CT and NYS to ensure that every baby born receives pulse-oximetry testing, which can help identify heart defects immediately after birth. The AHA also creates guidelines for, and trains parents, caregivers and medical professionals in infant and child CPR.

More information about the Little Hats, Big Heart program is online at or by contacting the AHA at 845-867-5374. Learn more about congenital heart defects at Parents of children with CHD may find support online at the AHA’s new Support Network at

#LittleHatsBigHearts (1)


About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit or call any of our offices around the country.



February 1, 2017 |
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