2018: The Year in Review

Is it over already?

By Michael Turton

January

2 After a water line breaks on Kemble Avenue, Cold Spring highway and water department employees spent three days in temperatures as low as 7 degrees locating and repairing the leak… The federal government estimated that the number of people living on the streets or in shelters in the Hudson Valley rose by nearly 7 percent in the previous year.

Kacie Grossman and her Airedale Terrier, Bran, braved the elements on Cold Spring’s Main Street on Jan. 4 at the height of a winter storm that buffeted the East Coast. (Photo by Michael Turton)

5 Walt Carmichael of Fountain Square Antiques in Cold Spring announced he would close his Main Street shop after 23 years. He cited a lack of interest in antiques among younger people.

9 Cold Spring Mayor Dave Merandy announced the village, which picks up garbage, would consider switching to a private contractor…. A Beacon Planning Board meeting provided the first look at how the long-delayed 248 Tioronda project could look after recent zoning changes.

10 Nelsonville residents voiced concern about the impact of a cell tower proposed for Rockledge Road overlooking the Cold Spring Cemetery.

11 A 52-year-old Philipstown woman died in a fire at the Stepping Stone Group Residence on Route 301 in Philipstown…. Roberto Muller was hired by Philipstown as its coordinator for the state’s Climate Smart Communities initiative.

19 The Haldane High School girls’ 800-meter relay team broke the school record twice in three days.

22 Philipstown denied an application by Homeland Towers to construct a 180-foot cell tower near the intersection of Routes 9 and 301. A month later, Homeland and Verizon Wireless sued the town.

23 A group of Haldane eighth-graders proposed to the Cold Spring Village Board that a skateboard park be built in Mayor’s Park.

26 Corrine Kelley, who owned The Country Touch gift shop on Main Street in Cold Spring for 25 years, announced it would close in February.

FEBRUARY

3 Hundreds of New York City police officers lined Fair Street in Cold Spring outside the funeral service at Our Lady of Loretto for Detective Nicholas Budney, 36, a Haldane graduate who committed suicide. He had been married at Loretto in 2013.

New York City police officers lined Fair Street in Cold Spring on Feb. 3 to salute Detective Nicholas Budney after his funeral service at Our Lady of Loretto. (Photo by Paul Lansdale).

5 After Putnam County town supervisors objected to the county not attempting to seek state funds for shared services initiatives in 2017, County Executive MaryEllen Odell said the county would participate…. The Beacon City Council approved the appointment of Capt. Kevin Junjulas as its chief of police. He succeeded Doug Solomon, who resigned to take the same position in Newburgh.

6 The Beacon High School girls’ bowling team finished the season at 16-0, winning 112 games without a loss. (They are still winning; as of Dec. 20, the team had a 27-match winning streak dating to January 2016.)

12 Haldane’s 800-meter boys’ relay team won gold at the Class C sectional championships…. The Beacon junior varsity boys’ basketball team extended its record to 33-0.

14 Cold Spring’s Historic District Review Board approved the demolition of buildings at 35 Market St. and 126 Main St.

15 The Port Authority approved a $30 million expansion of the newly renamed New York Stewart International Airport.

22 Beacon and Haldane school officials ramped up security after 17 people died in a mass shooting at Parkland High School in Florida.

24 For the fifth consecutive season, the Haldane girls’ basketball team won the Section 1, Class C championship, defeating Keio Academy, 50-30.

27 Cold Spring Mayor Dave Merandy spoke against a proposal to have the senior center planned for the Butterfield redevelopment also serve as a community center, stating it would violate Planning Board approvals.

MARCH

1 Beacon police officers used 19 canine teams to search district buildings after a perceived bomb threat was found written in a bathroom stall…. In the battle against opioid abuse, Philipstown named Danielle Pack McCarthy as its first prevention, treatment and recovery officer… The Philipstown Town Board began considering whether Magazzino Italian Art on Route 9, approved as a warehouse, should be rezoned as a museum.

2 A Putnam Valley Middle School student was killed when a tree downed by a powerful Nor’easter split his home in half.

13 Abdelhady (Jimmy) Hussein, owner of the Silver Spoon Cafe in Cold Spring, canceled a Philipstown Gun Owners fundraiser after customers threatened a boycott… Cold Spring and New York officials agreed that the village will manage the state-owned Dockside Park through 2027.

Radcliffe Dunne, 5, marched with his mother, Eileen Sheppard, near
Memorial Park in Beacon on April 20 as part of a national protest of gun violence in schools. (Photo by Roya Darling)

14 A study by environmental consultants hired by the city indicated that Beacon’s water supply is sufficient to sustain its projected population through 2035. Two weeks later, a moratorium on new construction was allowed to expire.

19 Beacon sold a 2.6-acre lot on Creek Drive to developer Rodney Weber for $150,000. Weber said he planned to build nine residential units and a 12,000-square-foot co-working space…. The Coast Guard shelved plans to create 10 anchorage sites in the Hudson River, including one between Beacon and Newburgh.

23 Two reports indicated opioid overdose deaths continued to rise. Nearly 4,000 people died in New York in 2016, according to the latest figures, including 67 in Dutchess County and 23 in Putnam.

24 More than 150 people rallied in Beacon and thousands gathered in Poughkeepsie to protest gun violence… The iconic European copper beech tree at the Butterfield redevelopment site was cut down after arborists said it was beyond saving.

26 The German software firm DocuWare made a presentation to the Beacon City Council about a possible move from New Windsor.

 APRIL

The Beacon Police Department outfitted its 20 patrol officers with high-definition body cameras.

5 Philipstown enacted a safe-storage gun law.

6 Beacon business owner Jason Hughes was summoned to court for a second time after clashing with city officials who believed his sign that read “Resist White Supremacy: Vote on Nov 6” required a permit. He argued it was protected political speech….

10 Jean Marzollo, a longtime Philipstown resident and author of the I Spy series and many other children’s books, died at age 75.

13 Philipstown board members blasted Putnam County for bypassing the designated emergency center during a March Nor’easter, using the Garrison firehouse instead.

Jarren Vink cedes the right-of-way to his daughter, Birdie, on May 13 during a cleanup at the Tot Park in Cold Spring. (Photo by Ross Corsair)

14 Hunter Erickson of Garrison threw a no-hitter in Philipstown Little League play, striking out 16 of 19 batters.

15 State Assemblyman Frank Skartados, whose district includes Beacon, died of cancer at age 62.

16 After two years of wrangling, Nelsonville ratified a $41,068.52 fire-protection contract with the Village of Cold Spring.

17 The Cold Spring Village Board held a 100th birthday party for Joe Etta.

24 Cold Spring Mayor Dave Merandy criticized the Putnam County Legislature for approving an additional $300,000 for the senior center at Butterfield, pointing out that the county has consistently denied village requests for tourism-related funding from the village.

30 The Melzingah Tap House opened in Beacon at the former location of The Hop.

MAY

1 The Haldane school board hired Philip Benante to succeed Superintendent Diana Bowers, who planned to retire at the end of the school year.

A driver escaped injury when a large tree fell on her vehicle as she drove north on Route 403 in Garrison at the height of a violent storm that hit on May 15. The road was closed for 24 hours. (Photo by Michael Turton)

15 A fierce afternoon thunderstorm ripped through the Highlands, killing an 11-year-old girl in Newburgh and causing extensive damage, power outages and road closures…. Four newcomers — John Hedlund at Haldane and Flora Stadler, James Case-Leal and Elissa Betterbid in Beacon — were elected to local school boards.

21 The Beacon City Council rejected a proposed law to regulate Airbnb and other short-term rentals, effectively making them illegal. The council also approved a zoning change that would reduce the number of units in the proposed Edgewater apartment development by almost 25 percent.

JUNE

1 Heidi and Michael Bender announced the opening of their new bookstore in Cold Spring at 97 Main St.

4 Lenny Torres Jr., a 17-year-old senior at Beacon High School with a 98-mph fastball, was drafted by the Cleveland Indians.

9 In her third trip to the state track-and-field finals, Haldane senior Abbey Stowell won bronze in the pentathlon.

12 A six-townhouse development proposed for a half-acre lot near the Beacon train station drew fire from residents at a Planning Board hearing.

15 Developer Susan Green sued Philipstown, alleging that improper political influence thwarted her plans to construct a house on a lot split between the town and Nelsonville.

16 Tommy Tune returned to Garrison’s Landing for a parade to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the filming there of scenes from the musical Hello, Dolly!

18 After operating out of a trailer adjacent to Foodtown since 2014, Cold Spring’s new post office opened at the Butterfield redevelopment site.

An umpire stretches between innings at North Highlands field during a Little League game on July 13. (Photo by Ross Corsair)

20 The Philipstown Town Board adopted a six-month moratorium on the establishment of vape shops.

29 Homeland Towers and Verizon sued the Village of Nelsonville after its zoning board denied an application to build a cell tower overlooking the Cold Spring Cemetery.

30 A Families Belong Together rally in Beacon was one of 750 nationwide organized to protest the separation of immigrant families at the Mexican border.

JULY

7 The Fishkill-Philipstown Little League team, dubbed “Fishtown,” won the District 19 Championship before bowing out in sectionals.

11 Dolly’s, the long-awaited restaurant in the building that housed Guinan’s Pub and Country Store for 50 years, opened on Garrison’s Landing…. The Garrison Board of Education hired Alex Levine as principal, following the departure of John Griffiths, who took a job in Croton-Harmon.

13 Beacon area artists added funk to function, painting the green wall surrounding the West End Lofts construction site.

17 The Economic Development Committee of the Putnam County Legislature announced its support for establishing an international business accelerator on Route 9 Philipstown.

21 The Cheese Shop opened at 104 Main St. in Cold Spring…. Scenic Hudson paid $12 million to preserve 1,178 acres at Lake Valhalla.

24 The Village of Cold Spring Board declined to support a proposal by the Putnam County Legislature to ban vape shops.

29 The state Elks Association named Clara Lou Gould, the former mayor of Beacon, as Female Volunteer of the Year for her work assisting local veterans.

31 A busload of grannies, grandfathers and support crew from the Highlands left for the Mexican border to protest the federal government’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy.

AUGUST

3 An intense microburst storm swept through Glynwood, outside Cold Spring, downing 22 trees and causing property damage but no injuries.

6 The Beacon City Council voted to regulate low-powered “small cell” antennae that wireless companies attach to buildings to fill gaps in broadband coverage.

Two participants, in costume, play on Aug. 12 during a Revolutionary War program at the Mount Gulian historic site outside Beacon. (Photo by Ross Corsair)

17 St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Cold Spring announced that Father Shane Scott-Hamblen would leave after 16 years because the church could no longer afford to have a full-time rector.

24 A satellite operation of Peekskill’s popular Homestyle Bakery opened in Nelsonville.

30 Beacon launched the Beacon Free Loop, a free bus service aimed at reducing congestion on Main Street.

31 As many as 100 tires were dumped into Indian Brook in Garrison…. Tourism consultants reported that visitors increased in 2017 by 6 percent in Dutchess County and 1 percent in Putnam.

SEPTEMBER

4 The Cold Spring Village Board denied a request from Green Mountain Energy to promote its services on Main Street sidewalks.

6 Beacon flipped the switch on a 20-acre solar farm near Dennings Point that was expected to save the city up to $140,000 a year.

11 The Beacon Planning Board approved the 246-unit Edgewater development near the riverfront.

14 Theatre on the Road held the first of two weekend performances of Dracula on Bannerman’s Island.

A Sargent Elementary student practices her wave while marching in the Spirit of Beacon Day parade on Sept. 30. (Photo by Ross Corsair)

17 The Nelsonville Village Board voted to study the feasibility of establishing sewers to replace existing septic systems…. The Environmental Protection Agency’s most recent five-year report on the Marathon Battery Co. site in Cold Spring indicated that while it can be redeveloped, pollution remains.

25 Jimmy Hussein, owner of the Silver Spoon Cafe on Main Street in Cold Spring, applied to convert the restaurant into seven rooms for his upstairs bed-and-breakfast.

28 Mid Hudson Animal Aid in Beacon, a no-kill cat shelter that opened in 1990, announced it would likely close at year’s end due to lack of funds.

29 The Haldane Athletic Hall of Fame welcomed 11 inductees, including the 1963 baseball team.

30 After new organizers stepped in, the Spirit of Beacon Day celebrated its 41st year.… More than 100 cyclists took part in Philipstown Bikes Day.

OCTOBER

1 The documentary Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes premiered at the New York Film Festival, outlining the life of the former Fox News chief, Garrison resident and owner of the Putnam County News & Recorder.

2 The Putnam County Legislature voted to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21.

A child reads names on the Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall, which stopped in Carmel from Oct. 4 to 7. (Photo by Ross Corsair)

5 The state again issued a Request for Proposals, promising $6 million in grants, to redevelop the 39-acre former Beacon Correctional Facility.

7 Anti-Semitic fliers were posted outside two churches in Beacon.

11 Putnam County Sheriff Robert Langley hosted a “town hall” in Cold Spring.

30 Just days after 11 people were killed at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, a home being built in Nelsonville by a Jewish resident was spray painted with anti-Semitic graffiti. On Nov. 14, two males, ages 17 and 18, were arrested and charged.

NOVEMBER

2 Cold Spring experienced a rash of vehicle break-ins.

6 Philipstown Town Board member Nancy Montgomery defeated incumbent Barbara Scuccimarra for a seat on the Putnam County Legislature. Jonathan Jacobson won the state Assembly seat left vacant by the death of Frank Skartados, state Sen. Sue Serino barely overcame a challenge for her third term, and Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell easily won re-election.

Jim Erickson moves a backhoe from inside the firehouse after a car crashed into the north end of the Route 9 building at about 12:45 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 6, while voting went on inside. The driver apparently hit the gas instead of the brake. (Photo by Ross Corsair)

10 After winning sectional and regional titles, the Haldane girls’ soccer team lost to Stillwater, 4-0, in the Class C state semi-finals in Binghamton.

18 The Haldane football team lost to Moriah, 6-0, in the state Class D quarterfinals to finish 7-2.

19 Nelsonville’s mayor and trustees voted to become a Climate Smart Community, joining Beacon and Philipstown.

DECEMBER

1 On the fifth anniversary of a Metro-North derailment that killed four people, including Jim Lovell of Philipstown, the MTA had yet to complete installation of safety equipment mandated by Congress in 2008.

3 The Dutchess County Legislature approved $2.4 million in improvements to Dutchess Stadium, allowing the minor league Hudson Valley Renegades baseball team to continue to play there.

6 Dutchess County legislators banned single-use plastic shopping bags.

7 Country Clocks and Cupoccino, two longtime Main Street shops in Cold Spring, closed their doors.

13 The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office investigated a bomb threat that arrived by email at T. Webber Plumbing in Philipstown; it ended up being part of a nationwide hoax.

17 The Beacon City Council approved a municipal identification program.

Legislator Scuccimarra cuts the ribbon on Dec. 18  at the new senior center in Cold Spring. (Photo by Michael Turton)

18 After years of debate, revisions and setbacks, the Philipstown Friendship Center for seniors opened in the Lahey Pavilion at the Butterfield development site in Cold Spring.

20 President Donald Trump signed a $867 billion farm bill that Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney described as “the best ever for the Hudson Valley.”

28 The Philipstown Town Board appointed Judy Farrell to fill the seat vacated by Nancy Montgomery, who will join the Putnam Legislature on Dec. 31.