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Hudson Valley News

Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Boscobel House and Gardens, 2019
Courtesy of the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival

The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival will move from its longtime home to a nearby site gifted by a local philanthropist.

Putnam Area Rapid Transit (PART) buses
Courtesy of Putnam County government

New York’s U.S. Senators and a Hudson Valley Congressman say emergency federal funding they helped secure in a COVID-19 relief bill will help keep a county’s transit system in operation.

Westchester County legislators are urging New York state lawmakers to allow an additional option for casting absentee ballots in the November election. They cite concerns about COVID-19 as the reason.

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras (forefront); SUNY New Paltz President Donald Christian; and Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan tour SUNY New Paltz campus August, 23 2020
Courtesy of the The State University of New York

Just-appointed SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras toured the SUNY New Paltz campus Sunday, the day before classes began. While there, he announced the launch of a statewide grant and internship program to accelerate personal protective equipment, or PPE, production across SUNY. SUNY New Paltz President Donald Christian accompanied Malatras, and spoke with WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne about the tour and initiative.

Westchester County Marine Unit
Courtesy of Westchester County Police Department

A county marine unit in New York’s Hudson Valley has increased enforcement on the Hudson River in response to unsafe activity by jet-ski operators and others.

Newburgh Works On Arts And Culture Study

Aug 24, 2020
Newburgh Illuminated Festival
Courtesy of the Newburgh Arts and Cultural Commission/City of Newburgh

Newburgh, New York has launched its first arts and cultural study. The idea is to use the study to better understand the city’s arts and cultural assets, and to understand the role they play in Newburgh.

NYS Senate Candidate Rob Astorino
Courtesy of Rob Astorino

Former Westchester County executive and 2014 gubernatorial candidate Republican Rob Astorino wants to add New York state Senator to his résumé. He’s challenging first-term Democrat Pete Harckham in the 40th District. Before Harckham, the seat had been in Republican hands for a very long time. 

This is a picture of a teacher's classroom desk
Adobe Stock

A Congressman whose district includes portions of the lower Hudson Valley led a New York delegation letter calling for more education funding for the state’s public schools.

Tropical Storm Isaias damage in NYS's 40th Senate District
Courtesy of the Office of NYS Senator Pete Harckham

A New York state senator whose district was slammed by Tropical Storm Isaias last week hopes to remedy one of the outage problems through legislation.

NYS 40th District Candidate Rob Astorino and NYS 40th Senator Pete Harckham
Courtesy of Rob Astorino's campaign and Pete Harckham's campaign (composite by WAMC News)

One New York state senate race in the Hudson Valley features a challenger who is no stranger to politics. Former Westchester County executive and 2014 gubernatorial candidate Republican Rob Astorino is challenging first-term Democrat Pete Harckham in the 40th District, which includes a large piece of Westchester.

Genesis Ramos
Courtesy of the City of Newburgh

In New York, the City of Newburgh has enlisted an equity and diversity consultant.

NYS DEC photo from July 2020
Courtesy of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

Record numbers of visitors at hiking and waterfall destinations in the Catskills and sections of the Adirondacks have prompted the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation commissioner to remind the public about respecting nature. Unprepared hikers and trash left behind are a few of the issues DEC hopes to remedy.

Day Use Area of Kenneth L. Wilson Campground, Mount Tremper, NY
Courtesy of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has completed improvements at a campground in the Catskills, in Ulster County.

Scenic Hudson Acquires Large Property In Ulster County

Aug 11, 2020
Wetlands at Scenic Hudson’s 303-acre property in Lloyd, Ulster County
Courtesy of Carrie Sutton

A land deal in Ulster County will afford new recreational opportunities while protecting views and preserving wetlands. It’s one of Scenic Hudson’s larger acquisitions.

O&R on scene after Tropical Storm Isaias damage, August 2020
Courtesy of Orange and Rockland Utilities

With thousands of Hudson Valley customers still without power from last week’s storm, elected officials have been unleashing their frustration with utility companies. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo weighed Monday, calling out two companies, one that services most of Westchester County. Meantime, the Westchester County executive is calling for the creation of a Utility Reserve Corps.

Central Hudson Dry Ice and Water Distribution, August 6, 2020
Courtesy of Central Hudson

A New York state Assemblyman is urging the state’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services to do something about a dry ice shortage.


The Rockland County executive is calling out cellular providers for poor service after Tropical Storm Isaias.

Bear Mountain State Park
Courtesy of New York State

Many parks in New York’s Hudson Valley will remain closed over the weekend due to damage and cleanup from the storm that hit Tuesday. Hikers are urged to be on the lookout for debris and hanging branches on or near trails.

Pleasant Valley Black Lives Matter Protest, July 18, 2020
Courtesy of the Dutchess County Sheriff's office

Members of the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office delivered a presentation Thursday before a county legislature committee about the department’s response to and an analysis of a Black Lives Matter protest in July. Counter-protestors also appeared and tensions escalated into verbal sparring and violence. Legislators had many questions.

COVID-19 was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and has now been detected in 37 locations across the globe, including in the U.S., according to the CDC.
Composite Image by Dave Lucas (WAMC /

In New York, Sullivan County health officials are warning about possible COVID-19 exposure at a family picnic.

Enlarged City School District of Middletown Superintendent Richard Del Moro (left) and Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney
Video courtesy of the Office of Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney

With New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision about reopening K-12 schools expected any day, school districts across the state have submitted their plans for the state’s approval. Those plans were due July 31. Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney held a videoconference with the superintendent of a school district in Orange County, sharing questions from area residents.

Rockland County workers clean up after storm damage, August 2020
Courtesy of Rockland County government

As outages persist throughout New York’s Hudson Valley following Tropical Storm Isaias, some elected officials are pointing fingers at the response of their utility companies. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has called for an investigation and some power restoration estimates are still pending.

Tropical Storm Isaias damage in the Hudson Valley
Courtesy of Central Hudson

In light of the widespread power outages from Tropical Storm Isais, a New York state Assemblyman from the Hudson Valley is calling for a study.

Rhinebeck Town Supervisor Elizabeth Spinzia unveils Violet Capital marker as Norm Magnusson watches
WAMC, Allison Dunne

You’ve heard of the Rust Belt… the Corn Belt… the Sun Belt…but what about the Violet Belt? The Violet Belt ran through a portion of New York’s Dutchess County. On Monday, a ceremony in the heart of what used to be the Violet Belt commemorated the town as the Violet Capital of the World.

Vassar College President Details Reopening Plans

Aug 4, 2020
Vassar College President Elizabeth Bradley
Courtesy of Vassar College

College campuses across New York are welcoming back students before the end of the month with a host of new rules in places to prevent the spread of COVID-19. At Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, students will return on a staggered basis, beginning August 15. Vassar President Dr. Elizabeth Bradley spoke with WAMC’s Allison Dunne, who is based at WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau at Vassar. This is the second part of their interview.

Courtesy of USMA Public Affairs, Wikimedia Commons

New York U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is calling on top officials to rename Confederate monuments, including at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. This comes after the Senate and House recently passed their respective versions of the National Defense Authorization Act. Both include provisions that Trump opposes to remove Confederate names at military bases. 

Westchester County Executive George Latimer delivers a COVID-19 briefing August 3, 2020
Courtesy of the Office of the Weschester County Executive

Westchester County Executive George Latimer delivered a COVID-19 briefing Monday. He covered a range of issues, including preparation ahead of Tropical Storm Isaias, which is expected to hit the region Tuesday.

Vassar College President Elizabeth Bradley
Courtesy of Vassar College

There is new research just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Open Network about the safety of reopening colleges during COVID-19. Vassar College President Dr. Elizabeth Bradley, who is also a global health expert, wrote an opening editorial to the study. She spoke with WAMC’s Allison Dunne, who is based at WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau at Vassar.

DCC Offers Reduced Tuition To Eligible Students

Aug 2, 2020
Courtesy of Dutchess Community College

Certain New York students are eligible for reduced tuition at a community college in New York’s Hudson Valley.

New York state Thursday adopted maximum contaminant levels for three chemicals in drinking water. Environmental and community advocates wanted to see lower levels adopted, and more PFAS chemicals included, but say it’s a good start. One of the limits is a national first.