Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Habitat Dedicates Their 26th Home

(Newburgh) - On Saturday, February 17, family, friends and volunteers gathered at 79 Monument Street to dedicate the newest Habitat home to the Williams family. They gathered to celebrate a new beginning for this hard-working family and they gathered to celebrate the completion of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh’s 26th house, sponsored by the William & Elaine Kaplan Family Charitable Foundation.

Shalanda Williams found Habitat through her aunt, Christine Owens, a Habitat homeowner. Shalanda’s application for a Habitat home includes her 7-year-old son Andreous and her 16-year-old sister Helen. Temporarily disabled from an accident on Storm King Mountain, Shalanda made up time in her sweat-equity requirement by working in the office and helping with committee work. She says she wanted a home because, “I want to give my son a better future and show him that if he believes, his dreams will come true.” Last year, the Kaplan Foundation generously agreed to sponsor one Habitat house each year for the next four years, through a grant totaling $284,000. This incredible gift has given the organization the confidence and the drive to push forward at an accelerated pace. With the number of projects in progress and in planning, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh is looking for ways to work faster and smarter to ensure that they are making a permanent change, not only house-by-house, but neighborhood-by-neighborhood. The Kaplan Foundation’s first year funding supported the new home at 79 Monument Street in the Washington Heights neighborhood, which was part of a three house development that will restore property to the tax rolls of the City of Newburgh. It will also remove an industrial site from an R-1 zone and provide local amenities such as shade trees, green space, sidewalks, and curbs, in the block adjacent to one of the City’s largest schools-South Junior High.

79 Monument Street is nestled between the two Habitat houses that were built in just five days during the 2006 Builders Blitz with the Builders Association of the Hudson Valley, Rieger Homes, EBA Inc., and F&M Homes. “These three beautiful homes have completely transformed what had previously been an abandoned and contaminated brown field. For many years, this lot had been an eyesore to all who past it, but it is now the garden spot of the Washington heights neighborhood,” said Habitat’s Executive Director Deirdre Glenn. With dedicated partners like William Kaplan and the Kaplan Family Foundation, the shared dream of a revitalized Newburgh is becoming more tangible each day.

Pictured Above: Shalanda Williams is overjoyed with her new home as she poses for a photo with William Kaplan.

Military Salute

Air Force Airman 1st Class Candace M. Archer

Air Force Airman 1st Class Candace M. Archer has graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. During the six weeks of training, the airman studied the Air Force mission, organization, and military customs and courtesies; performed drill and ceremony marches, and received physical training, rifle marksmanship, field training exercises, and special training in human relations. In addition, airmen who complete basic training earn credits toward an associate degree through the Community College of the Air Force. She is the daughter of Ann Clarke of Townview Drive, Wappingers Falls, N.Y. Archer graduated in 2001 from Prospect Heights High School, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Air National Guard Airman 1st Class Matthew S. Normann

Air National Guard Airman 1st Class Matthew S. Normann has graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.
During the six weeks of training, the airman studied the Air Force mission, organization, and military customs and courtesies; performed drill and ceremony marches, and received physical training, rif

le marksmanship, field training exercises, and special training in human relations.
In addition, airmen who complete basic training earn credits toward an associate degree through the Community College of the Air Force.
He is the son of Steve Normann of Upper Booneville Road, Boiceville, N.Y., and Patrica Busener of Hickory Hollow Drive, Palenville, N.Y.
Normann is a 2005 graduate of Onteora High School, Boiceville.

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Darin B. Cook

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Darin B. Cook is currently deployed overseas at a forward-operating location in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Operation Iraqi Freedom is the official name given to military operations involving members of the U.S. armed forces and coalition forces participating in efforts to free and secure Iraq. Mission objectives focus on force protection, peacekeeping, stabilization, security and counter-insurgency operations as the Iraqi transitional governing bodies assume full sovereign powers to govern the peoples of Iraq. Members from all branches of the U.S. military and multinational forces are also assisting in rebuilding Iraq’s economic and governmental infrastructure, and training and preparing Iraqi military and security forces to assume full authority and responsibility in defending and preserving Iraq’s sovereignty and independence as a democracy. Cook is a heating, ventilation, air conditioning craftsman with 18 years of military

service. He is the son of Barbara Cook of Johnny Cake Lane, Coxsackie, N.Y., and grandson of Elnora Cook of W. Saugerties Road, Wes

t Saugerties, N.Y. The sergeant is a 1985 graduate of Coxsackie Athens High School, N.Y.

Army Pvt. Christian L. Feist

Army Pvt. Christian L. Feist has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C.
During the nine weeks of training, the soldier studied the Army mission, history, tradition and core values, physical fitness, and received instruction and practice in basic combat skills, military weapons, chemical warfare and bayonet training, drill and ceremony, marching, rifle marksmanship, armed and unarme

d combat, map reading, field tactics, military courtesy, military justice system, ba

sic first aid, foot marches, and field training exercises.
He is the son of George and Theresa Feist of Glenwood Drive, Wallkill, N.Y.
Feist is a 2006 graduate of Wallkill High School

Army Staff Sgt. Emil Praslick III

Army Staff Sgt. Emil Praslick III has re-enlisted in the U.S. Army indefinitely after more than 11 years of military service.

Praslick an infantry instructor is assigned to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, Fort Benning, Columbus, Ga.

He is the son of Emil and Joan Praslick of Seven Oaks Lane, Brewster, N.Y.

Praslick graduated in 1985 from North Salem High School, N.Y.

Airman Wesley R. Kanganis

Air Force Airman Wesley R. Kanganis has graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. During the six weeks of training, the airman studied the Air Force mission, organization, and military customs and courtesies; performed drill and ceremony marches, and received physical training, rifle marksmanship, field training exercises, and special training in human relations. In addition, airmen who complete basic training earn credits toward an associate degree through the Community College of the Air Force. He is the son of James Kanganis of Towners Road, Carmel, N.Y., and Danica Fortenberry of Micro Tower Road, Lillington, N.C. Kanganis is a 2006 graduate of Carmel High School.

Reading Stories, Making Snowmen, and Having Fun

(Newburgh) - With the arrival of winter weather, students at the Newburgh Enlarged City
School District’s Washington Street Pre-K Center have been reading stories and singing
songs about snowmen.

Carol Brown and Jean Stumpf had their students make snowmen by cutting out three circles
of different sizes and assembling them from large to small as shown in the picture ahove.

Then they gave their snowmen faces and arms, hats and scarves, and buttons.

Another project had the children sewing a snowman and stuffing it with cotton to make him round and fat to go along with a song they learned.

Prepare for Men in Schools Volunteer Day

Prepare for Men in Schools Volunteer Day

Recently, Oprah Winfrey made international news with her remarks that she doesn’t go into inner-city American classrooms anymore because the students don’t value education. We disagree with Ms. Winfrey. At The Black Star Project, we know that inner-city students do value education and want to do well in school, but it is up to adults to encourage, inspire, and motivate them to succeed academically.

This is the reason that The Black Star Project is inviting tens of thousands of men, especially Black men, into schools on Friday, March 2, 2007, for the first annual Men In Schools Volunteer Day. At The Black Star Project, we know that if our children fail, America fails!

Boys, and especially Black boys, need strong, positive men who model educational excellence to successfully make the transition from boyhood to manhood. We have all heard the complaints about Black boys who equate getting good grades and achieving academic success with “acting White.” The Men In Schools Volunteer Day will show these young boys that education is a “Black thing.” Regardless of race, the more education a students gets, the more successful they will be.
The Men In Schools Volunteer Day is an extension of the three-year old Million Father March program that encourages men to take their children to school on the first day of the new school year. Last year, 127 cities participated in the event, and we estimate that 300,000 men took their children to schools in such cities as Indianapolis, Detroit, Charlotte, San Antonio, Cleveland, Atlanta, and Chicago. Our Million Father March 2006 was so popular that the Mayor of Minneapolis visited schools on the first day to greet the men who brought their children to school.
Men must become involved with the education of their children from birth to the time they finish their graduate or professional degree. Men must realize that learning is a life-long venture, that there are many lessons to be taught, and that men are as responsible as women for children’s education.

Research shows that children whose fathers take an active role in their educational lives earn better grades, get better test scores, enjoy school more, and are more likely to graduate from high school and attend college. Additionally, children have fewer behavior problems when fathers listen to and talk with their children regularly and are active in their lives.
A good father is part of a good parent team and is critical to creating a strong family structure. Strong family structures produce children who are more academically proficient, socially developed, and self-assured. Such children become adults who are valuable assets to their communities.

We believe at The Black Star Project that when men enter into schools that are female-dominated, the educational climate changes for the better. Students are more receptive and have fewer discipline problems. Young boys begin to identify education with masculinity. Young girls look at males as academic peers and, as a result, are better able to adopt standards for positive male/female interactions. For our Men In Schools Volunteer Day, men will volunteer as readers to young children, tutors to middle-school children, mentors to upper-grade students, and college, employment, parenting and financial coaches to high school students.

Friday, March 2, 2007, is Men In Schools Volunteer Day; we encourage businesses and other places of work to allow men to take two hours off on this Friday morning so they may volunteer at their neighborhood schools.
We also encourage Black people and all people to get your school, your church, your city, and your men involved in this program. For more information, please call The Black Star Project at 312-842-3527, email us at, or visit the website at

Dutchess County Plans to Save Thousands

(Poughkeepsie) - Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus announced last Monday that more than half of the Dutchess County Department of Public Work’s snowplow fleet will be equipped with new automated salt spreaders before the end of this winter.

According to County Executive Steinhaus, “Since we have experienced the first measurable snowfall of the season and I have shared many of the County’s green initiatives in my 2007 State of the County address, I wanted to update the public on the County’s efforts to retrofit our county fleet with automated salt spreader controllers. These new spreaders will not only provide the County savings in reduced salt costs, but also help protect our environment by allowing our crews to put down only the necessary amount of salt.”

Road salts can be harmful to the environment when applied excessively. Road salt can be destructive to vegetation growth along roadsides, which negatively impacts animal habitats in the area. As snow and ice melts, deicing salts are carried into the soils along roadsides and eventually into surface and groundwater. According to Peter Groffman of the Institute of Ecosystem Studies, “Road salt is very tough on aquatic life. It alters the biological makeup of freshwater and alters stream purification processes. Road salt can also have a negative impact on drinking water by increasing sodium and chloride concentrations in groundwater and surface water reservoirs. It is important that steps are taken to significantly reduce the amount of road salt being used.”

Seven of the County’s fleet of 32 snowplows have already been equipped with the new automated salt spreader controllers, with another 10 vehicles to be retrofitted before the end of this winter season. The conversion of the fleet to automated controllers is the County’s latest improvement for winter safety and roadway snow clearance. These automated controllers allow county highway crews to calibrate how much salt per mile of road needs to be put down for a particular weather event and then adjust the speed of the spreader based on the speed of the snowplow.

To achieve maximum effectiveness from the salt spreaders, Dutchess County’s Highway Division has been training its drivers on proper application techniques including calibration settings and drive speed as it relates to the speed of the spreader. The automated spreader controllers can be set to apply a certain number of pounds per mile of material. The application rate can be varied based on the nature and surface temperatures of each particular storm.

Before the County began its modernization process, it was estimated the fleet was using approximately 1400 lbs of salt/sand per mile. Average application rate is now 800 lbs per mile with the same resulting level of safety for the traveling public. The automated spreader controllers allow the Highway Division to track usage by vehicle, improve record keeping and the ability to analyze the effectiveness of operations. Additionally, there is still the ability to increase application rates for severe storms. The County Executive concluded, “We have already saved 1500 lbs of salt. Once all the spreaders are installed, the County will save more than 5,000 tons of salt each year which translates to savings of $250,000 annually, based on today’s salt prices. These new spreaders are a great example of how we are always working to reduce costs while continuing to think greener to protect our environment.”

Tips & Taxes: Information to Know

What do waiters and waitresses, taxi and limo drivers, and hairdressers and spa workers have in common? They are all service industry workers who derive a significant portion of their income from tips. Those tips must be reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Here, the New York State Society of CPAs offers its own “tips” concerning the rules governing how to report tip income.

Keep a daily record of tips
The IRS requires employees who receive tips to keep a daily tip diary or to use some other method to record tip earnings. These records must show how much you were paid directly in cash tips and how much you received from your employer in credit card tips. You must also record tips you received through tip-sharing arrangements and the amounts you “tipped out” to other workers.
One way to document your tips is to use IRS Form 4070A, Employee’s Daily Record of Tips, as your personal tip diary. If you are audited, this can help verify your tip income.
Report tips to your employer

Anyone who receives $20 or more in tips during the month must report to his or her employer the total amount of tips received by the tenth day of the following month. If the tenth falls on a weekend or holiday, the information is due on the next business day.

This reporting requirement applies equally to employees who are tipped directly from customers, such as restaurant servers and hairdressers, and to those who are tipped indirectly, such as bus boys. When reporting your monthly tips, you must provide your employer with your name, address, Social Security number, employer’s name and address, the month for which you are reporting, and the amount of tips you received.

Your employer uses the amount of tip income you report to determine how much income tax withholding to deduct from your paycheck. The tip amount you report also determines how much your employer pays into your Social Security and Medicare accounts. This, in turn, affects the Social Security and Medicare benefits you and your family qualify for when you retire, become disabled, or die.

Protect yourself from allocated tips
It’s especially important for individuals who work in large food or beverage establishments to keep accurate tip records. That’s because some restaurants allocate to each employee an estimated amount of tips. Tip allocation is required by the IRS when the total amount of tips employees report to the restaurant during a given period falls below a required minimum percentage of gross sales.
As a general rule, if your Form W-2 shows allocated tips, you must report this amount as income unless you have a daily tip record documenting the amount of tips you actually received. If you do, you can claim as income only the amount of tips that you actually received.

Report all tips on your income tax return
All tips - even those that you are not required to report to your employer because the total for the month is less than $20 - are still taxable and must be reported on your tax return. The same holds true for noncash tips, such as tickets, passes, or other items of value.

Work with a CPA
The IRS has a number of programs in place to ensure that tip income is reported. If you’re unsure of your tip reporting obligations, meeting with a CPA can help ensure you comply with IRS .

“Curators as Artists” Exhibition

By Jennifer L. Warren

(Beacon) - They pay rent, select and show art, curate and do invitational, theme or subject shows and events. They’re called curators, and seven of them were on hand for another “Second Saturday” evening in Beacon, displaying their artwork at the artist collective dubbed BAU (Beacon Artist Union). Over 200 guests inhabited the small collective’s quarters throughout the evening amidst frigid, single digit temperatures. They were provided with a rare treat, not only in terms of the wide spectrum of art, but the creators behind it.

“The Curators as Artists” shows the breath of contemporary art made by artists who are primarily curators,” said Christopher Staples, the Curator for the show as well as one of seven bau 2007 members. “Rarely do curators have their works shown as a group, but we are expecting a good reaction, as the showings here at bau are always well attended.”
If Saturday’s opening night attendance figures are any indication of the exhibit’s popularity, bau will again be another hot spot on Main Street for the next few weeks, as “Curators as Artists” will run through March 4, 2007. Now in its third year, bau showcases a new contemporary art exhibit each month. An artist collective that is member run, its members include: Staples, Vivian Altman, Gary Jacketti, Gary O’Connor, Franc Palaia, Joane Klein, and Elizabeth Winchester. A winner of the 2006 Dutchess County Executive Arts Award for Organization, bau, located on 161 Main Street, is open on Saturday and Sunday 12-6 and by appointment. Next up on its agenda is a panel discussion on the arts today, slated for Sunday, February 25, 2007 at 4 pm.

One of the panel’s participants will be Karlos Carcamo, an artist whose work can be viewed at bau’s current curator exhibit. Carcamo, who resides in Wappingers Falls and holds an MFA from Hunter College, is a conceptual artist. Additionally, he, along with Gregory Slick, co-own Beacon’s Go North Gallery. Using a multi-disciplinary approach, Carcamo does photography, painting and sculpture. One of his two featured pieces at bau Saturday night was “Untitled Self Portraits,” which used color inkjet prints with limousine tints in chrome frames. Dressed as a Hip Hopper, wearing red, white and blue bandannas, in three different images, Carcamo pays tribute to an artform that has had a profound effect on his life and work.
“I sample art history, just as a hip hop artist does with music, always looking for something to reconceptualize; whether its upfront or buried, the meaning is always there for me” explained Carcamo. “I grew up with Hip Hop, so I use it as my vocabulary to create art.”

Carcamo’s “Hip Hop” art lingo can again be detected in his other bau piece, “Looking for the Perfect Beat.” Composed of 300 stacked records, the authentic art was designed with a definite purpose.

“For me, the records reflect how Hip Hop is put together,” said Carcamo, whose art has appeared all over New York City and Florida. “It also shows the incredible influence it has on our culture, such as in things like marketing.”
You can find out more about Carcamo and his gallery by logging on to his website at: or visit the Beacon Artist Union website at:

Pictured Above: Karlos Carcamo

2007 West Point Trumpet Conference

(West Point) - The United States Military Academy Band will host the West Point Trumpet Conference on March 10th, 2007. This event, which is open to the public, will begin at 9:00 a.m. and consist of jazz and classical master classes and performances throughout the day. Clay Jenkins, Robin Rigby, Matt Shulman and Philip Smith are scheduled to appear. In addition, a final concert, beginning at 7:30 p.m. will feature David Bilger, Principal Trumpet of the Philadelphia Orchestra and jazz great Jon Faddis.

The events will occur at West Point’s Eisenhower Hall Ballroom and Theatre. Beginning at 9:00 a.m., David Bilger will begin the conference festivities with a master class entitled “Higher, faster, and louder: Practice tips to develop and maintain technique.” Eastman School of Music jazz studies professor Clay Jenkins will follow, presenting a jazz improvisation lecture and performance. After lunch, Philip Smith, Principal Trumpet of the New York Philharmonic, will be accompanied by composer Joseph Turrin performing a number of selections. Robin Rigby, faculty at Mahattan School of Music, will follow with her presentation of the Stress Management System. A proven method for promoting performance success, the system will teach methods that are essential to perfecting performance and competitive abilities. Concluding the day’s events is a performance by Matt Shulman. Mr. Shulman will combine intimate vocals with virtuosic trumpet playing and sensual electronics to create his signature sound.

The entire conference will conclude with a concert beginning at 7:30 p.m. Held in West Point’s Eisenhower Hall Theatre, the concert will begin with the Academy Band’s Jazz Knights featuring lengendary jazz trumpeter Jon Faddis and the music of Dizzy Gillespie. Mr. Faddis has performed with Lionel Hampton’s Big Band, the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra at the Village Vanguard, Grammy-winning United Nation Orchestra, the Dizzy Gillespie 70th Birthday Big Band, the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Stars, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Following the jazz portion of the concert, the Academy Concert Band will feature David Bilger, Principal Trumpet of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Currently on the music faculties of The Curtis Institute of Music and Temple University, Mr. Bilger has appeared with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, New York Trumpet Ensemble, Saint Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, as well as guest appearances with the Canadian Brass and the Empire Brass. Finally, the concert will conclude with an arrangement specifically written for the conference, featuring 18 trumpet players and accompaniment.

Do not miss this unique opportunity to see world renowned musicians in an intimate setting! Due to limited seating, pre-registration is recommended for the day’s events. For additional information, please visit and click on “West Point Trumpet Conference” (middle of homepage) or contact Staff Sgt. Eric Miller at or 845-938-2446.

Please allow extra travel time for the 100% vehicle and photo I.D. inspection at Stony Lonesome and Thayer gates. Due to changing security requirements at West Point, call the Academy Band’s hotline at 845-938-2617, or check before leaving for the concert.
Pictured Above: Jon Faddis

City Hall Celebrates Black History

(Newburgh) - In celebration of Black History Month, visitors to City Hall can enjoy an outstanding exhibit of African Art through February 28. The collection belongs to Norman Sweeney, a resident of Beacon, who specializes in African/Celtic art.
Sweeney, a native of the West of Ireland, said he became interested in African art “by accident.” Years ago, he met a vendor selling African masks and other artworks at a street fair.

They struck up a conversation, and when the vendor wanted to take a break, Norman agreed to fill in for him. While the vendor was away, Norman sold a few things, without even knowing what it was he was selling. The vendor was so impressed he offered him a job. Eventually, Norman went into business for himself.

In addition to discovering that selling African art can be profitable, Norman said he gained a deep respect for the culture of the various peoples of Africa. The son of an Irish carpenter, he said he could appreciate their mastery of the wood. He studied the origins of West African art in libraries and by visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum. In 1991, he traveled to Africa to see where the pieces are actually made.

“It was a remarkable experience,” said Sweeney. He traveled from Ghana to the Ivory Coast, meeting master carvers from the Ashanti, Guro, and Baule people. He also traveled to Lome, Togo, known as “the Venice of Africa.”
Currently, items from Sweeney’s African Art collection are on display in the Donnell Library in Manhattan, and the Howland Library in Beacon, where Norman resides with his wife, Amelia.

For more information on pieces from the collection, visit Sweeney’s website, Pictured Above: Norman Sweeney is pictured with Deputy Mayor Regina Angelo (center) and his wife Amelia in the lobby of Newburgh City Hall where some of Sweeney’s collection of African art is on display for Black History Month.

Social Progression is Recognized

Nearly 60 years ago, Jackie Robinson stepped up to the plate and courageously broke the color barrier in baseball. His heroics began in the confines of the baseball diamond but had far-reaching reverberations on American society. More than an extraordinary athlete, Jackie was a crusader for equal opportunity and a key figure in the Civil Rights Movement.

As it approaches the 60th anniversary of one of the most significant moments in both baseball and American history, the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) will pay tribute to three pioneering individuals whose commitment to social progress and excellence embody the spirit of Jackie Robinson. Stan O’Neal, Chairman and CEO of Merrill Lynch and a leader in the world of financial services and corporate philanthropy; Sheila C. Johnson, pioneering businesswomen and ardent philanthropist, President and CEO of Salamander Hospitality and President of the WNBA Washington Mystics and Spike Lee, world renowned film director, will be honored at the Jackie Robinson Foundation Annual Awards Dinner on Monday, March 5, 2007 at The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, presented by Ford Motor Company.

Entertainer Bill Cosby will again host the event, considered one of the most highly anticipated on the New York social calendar. O’Neal is slated to receive the ROBIE Award for Achievement in Industry; Johnson will be presented with the Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award; and Lee will receive the ROBIE Award for Humanitarianism.
The Jackie Robinson Foundation

Established in 1973, the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) is one of the nation’s premier education and leadership development programs. It provides four-year college scholarships to minority students who demonstrate academic achievement, leadership capacity and financial need. Transcending financial assistance, the Foundation equips its scholarship recipients with a comprehensive set of support services including mentoring, career guidance and practical life skills, resulting in a 97% graduation rate, more than twice the national average for minority students. The more than 1,100 JRF alumni are both leaders in their professional fields and consummate ambassadors of Jackie’s legacy of community service.
This academic year (2006-2007), JRF is providing more than $1.8 million in scholarship support to 266 Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholars representing 33 states. Enrolled in 93 different institutions, Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholars attend some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the United States.

“Each of our honorees,” said Della Britton Baeza, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, “has cultivated pathways to opportunities for future generations. They have truly lived by Jackie’s guiding tenet that, ‘A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.’”

For more information about the Foundation or to purchase tickets, please visit or call (212) 290-8600. Pictured Above: Spike Lee

Jill Scott is nominated for 10th Grammy

On the heels of the announcement of celebrated vocalist Jill Scott’s 10th GRAMMY nomination for her collaboration with legends George Benson and Al Jarreau, “God Bless The Child,” Hidden Beach/Universal Records released an album of all Jill Scott’s top collaborations, on January 30, 2007. Acclaimed for her ability to smoothly weave pop, R&B, jazz, and even operatic styles, Jill Scott: Collaborations is a tour de force of cool.

Included on the album is the GRAMMY-nominated partnership with jazz greats Benson and Jarreau, as well as two other tracks honored this year - her duet with famed jazz trumpeter Chris Botti, “Good Morning Heartache” (Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists) and the sensual “Daydreamin,” off of Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor (Best Rap Album), which the two recently performed on The Late Show with David Letterman.
The album features guest spots from these collaborators and hip-hop heavyweights: Common, Mos Def,, and Will Smith, as well as legendary performers such as Kirk Franklin, The Isley Brothers, and Sergio Mendes. The genre-hopping album is Jill Scott and her signature stylings at their best.

Next up Jill Scott heads to the studio for work on her third studio album, due out in the Summer of 2007. She recently made the scene at Sundance in support of her role in the Dakota Fanning movie “Hounddog,” in which she plays Big Momma Thornton, the artist who originally sang the Elvis Presley hit. Acting has become a new joy for Scott, who will begin production on two Tyler Perry movies this year.

In 2005, Jill Scott won her first GRAMMY for Best Urban/Alternative Performance for “Cross My Mind,” from her sophomore album, Beautifully Human: Words & Sounds Vol. 2, nominated for Best R&B Album that same year. It was the follow-up to 2001’s critically acclaimed Who Is Jill Scott?: Words & Sounds Vol. 1, which earned Jill four GRAMMY nominations, including a Best New Artist nomination.
Pictured Above: Recording Artist and Actor Jill Scott

Musical Enrichment for Local Youth

(Poughkeepsie) - Allyn J. Washington, one of the founding faculty members of Dutchess Community College, is now helping to bring the next generation of students onto the campus. Professor Emeritus Washington has provided a $10,000 gift to the DCC Music School through the DCC Foundation. The funding has allowed the development of a new program connecting Poughkeepsie High School with the College’s noncredit music education program.

In the first of several programs to be developed with that gift, the College is currently conducting the Washington Program at Dutchess Community College Music School. The six-week course was developed by DCC Music School Director Julie Wegener in collaboration with teachers in the music program at Poughkeepsie High School. Nine select Poughkeepsie High music students are coming to an after school class each Monday through March 5 to study a specialized musical topic, including History of American Work Songs/Songs of Slavery, History of Jazz, Creative Improvisation, Native American Music, Vocal Technique, and West African Music. The faculty includes Dennis Yerry, Jacqueline Venable, and Joakim Larty of the DCC Music School, Ceista Little-Quinn, who teaches both with Poughkeepsie High School and the DCC Music School, and Poughkeepsie High School teachers Bill Gillespie and Dr. Richard Carr.

The DCC Music School is part of the College’s noncredit programs offered through its Office of Community Services. The DCC Music School provides the opportunity for children, teens, and adults to study with a professional performing musician. The DCC Music School also offers a MusicLink scholarship program for economically disadvantaged students.

Wegener said one of the goals of the new program is to introduce students to DCC through the noncredit music program, and encourage them to continue their education after high school graduation as students in DCC’s credit program. The College offers an Associate Degree in Performing Arts and a Certificate program in Music Performance. “DCC is reaching out to these musical, energetic students,” said Wegener. “We’re saying, ‘Come and spend some time with us and see what we’re about,’ and their reaction has been very enthusiastic.”

The Washington Program at the DCC Music School is just the first phase of noncredit programming Wegener expects to develop with the gift from Professor Emeritus Washington. “There are a lot of possibilities of enhancing and developing other programs,” said Wegener. “Some of the money will also be used for our MusicLink Scholarships for low-income students.”
Allyn J. Washington and his family have left a lasting impact on Dutchess Community College. He was part of a group of three administrators and 12 founding faculty members who readied DCC for its first opening day of classes in 1958, and was head of the Mathematics Department from 1958 through 1979. During the academic year 1974-75, he served as acting Executive Dean of the College. While at DCC in 1978, he also received the New York State Mathematics Association of Two Year Colleges award for Exemplary Service to Mathematics Education. In 1962, he began writing technical mathematics textbooks. Although retired from the classroom, he has remained actively engaged in textbook writing, and his book has been the leader in its field for more than 30 years. Although the Washingtons now live in Grass Valley, California , they have continued their support of DCC. A major gift helped make possible the Allyn J. Washington Center for Science and Art, which was dedicated in the year 2000, and another in 2005 resulted in the naming of the College’s Mildred I. Washington Art Gallery .

DCC Foundation Director Trish Prunty said the Professor Emeritus Washington had approached her about making another gift that would have an impact on the lives of students. Out of several possibilities, he chose a gift to the DCC Music School. “The main driving force was to see the money directly helping young students learn and flourish in music,” said Prunty. “The Washingtons have always had a love of music and art.” Pictured Above: Dennis Yerry teaches Poughkeepsie High Students and DCC Music School Director Julie Wegener a Native American circle dance.

A Request for a Convienient V.A. location

Less than a month after Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and Congressman John Hall (D-NY) made a direct appeal to Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced that it will open a Vet Center in Middletown, New York next year to provide veterans and military families from in the mid-Hudson Valley with a convenient location for counseling and other services.

Hinchey and Hall sent Nicholson a letter in January to request the establishment of a Vet Center in Orange County since the closest Vet Centers currently available are in White Plains and Albany, which are inconvenient locations for many veterans and their families who live in Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Ulster, and Sullivan counties. The VA has yet to determine an exact site in Middletown for the Vet

“Opening a Vet Center in Orange County will help make the lives of our local veterans and military families much easier,” Hinchey said. “The brave men and women who admirably serve our country in the armed forces deserve to be treated with our country’s utmost respect and that includes providing reasonable access to full benefits and counseling when they return home. Vet Centers provide valuable counseling and assistance, and now all of those services will be much more convenient for veterans and military families who live in the mid-Hudson Valley. The new Vet Center is an important step in fulfilling the commitments we have made to those who have served and are now serving our country.”

Hall said, “We are very glad the VA recognized the growing need for veterans facilities in Orange County . The new Middletown center will provide crucial services to Hudson Valley veterans returning every day from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan . Our government has an obligation to provide first class care to veterans who risked their lives and this VA center is part of that contract.”
Vet Centers provide readjustment counseling and outreach services to all veterans who served in any combat zone. Services are also available for family members of veterans and active military personnel for military related issues and readjustment counseling. The benefits are provided at no cost to the veteran or family.

Vet Center services include individual counseling, group counseling, marital and family counseling, bereavement counseling, medical referrals, assistance in applying for VA Benefits, employment counseling, guidance and referral, alcohol/drug assessments, information and referral to community resources, military sexual trauma counseling & referral, as well as outreach and community education. The Vet Center Program was established by Congress in 1979 out of the recognition that a significant number of Vietnam era vets were still experiencing readjustment problems. Since then, Congress and the VA have extended the program to serve veterans and military families who were involved in all other conflicts, including those involved with military activity in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Birth defect testing should be scheduled

All pregnant women, regardless of their age, should be offered screening for Down syndrome before the 20th week of pregnancy, according to a new Practice Bulletin issued by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Previously, women were not automatically offered genetic counseling and diagnostic testing for Down syndrome by amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (CVS) if they were 35 years and older.

The new ACOG guidelines recommend that all pregnant women consider less invasive screening options for assessing their risk for Down syndrome, a common disorder that is caused by an extra chromosome and can result in congenital heart defects and mental retardation. ACOG also advises that all pregnant women, regardless of their age, should, nevertheless, have the option of more invasive diagnostic testing.

Reasons cited for these new recommendations include recent improvements in screening and challenges to previous age cutoffs. ACOG recommends nuchal translu-cency (NT) measurement and biochemical marker screening for women who present for prenatal care in the first trimester. Those first seen in the second trimester should be offered ultrasound examination and screening for a combination of four biochemical markers.

The bulletin also states:
• A combination of first- and second-trimester screening is more sensitive and results in fewer false-positives than first-trimester screening alone.

• Women found to be at increased risk of having a baby with Down syndrome as the result of first-trimester screening should be offered genetic counseling and the option of chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or mid-trimester amniocentesis.

• Neural tube defect screening should be offered in the mid-trimester to women who elect only first-trimester screening for Down syndrome.
More detailed information is available on the ACOG website at

This information is provided by the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY). For more health-related information and referrals to physicians in your community, log on to MSSNY’s website at

Heart Attacks Are Killing Women

More women than men die of heart attacks every year. The reason for the shocking mortality rate is not a higher gender pre-disposition to cardiovascular disease (CVD), but misinformation and unintentional negligence.

“Women are largely unaware of the tell-tale signs and symptoms of heart disease, and most of us still believe that men are the ones that get heart attacks.” explain? Dennis Goodman. MD, FACC, FACP, FCCP, former Chief of Cardiology at Scripps Memorial Hospital. A member of the team at Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine.

“Traditionally CVD in women has been under-diagnosed and under-treated by physcians because women’s symptoms are often a typical. Instead of the classic chest pain, they may have arm pain, neck and back pain, palpitations, sweating, dizziness skipped heart beats and abdominal pain as the presenting symptoms,” he says. “Lack of timely diagnosis and treatment has cost thousands of women’s lives every year.”

Dr. Goodman recently presented new research on raising good HDL cholesterol through treatment with a novel cardio-friendly nutraceutical formula called HDL Booster. The study showed an average 20 percent rise in HDL as well as decreased C-reactive protein, triglycendes and homocysteine levels. For every 1 point (mg/dl) increase in HDL, there is a 3 percent decrease in cardiovascular risk, including heart attacks and strokes for women and 2 percent for men. Goodman’s findings were presented at the 4th Annual Natural Supplements Conference: An Evidence-Based Update, January 19-21.

According to Dr. Goodman, every woman should know the facts about heart disease:

1. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for American women.
2. More than 8 million American women are living with heart disease.
3. Ten percent are women between the ages 45-64; twenty-five percent are over 65. Therefore, post-menopause, the risk of heart disease for women goes up exponentially-catching them up with men.
4. One in two women dies of heart disease, i.e., 500,000 every year die of heart attack or stroke.
5. 270,000 women die from heart attacks, i.e., 6 times more frequently than from breast cancer.
6. Women who smoke risk heart attack 19 years earlier than non-smokers.
7. Women with diabetes are 3 times more likely to have heart attacks.
8. High blood pressure is higher in women taking oral contraceptives, especially those who are obese.
9. About 39% of Caucasian, 57% Black, 57% Latina, and 49% Asian women are sedentary and don’t find time for physical activity.
10. 38% of women and 25% of men die within the first year of a heart attack.
11. 35% of women and 18% of men who survive a heart attack will have another one within 6 years.
12. Women are almost twice as likely as men to die after bypass surgery.
13. More women than men die of heart disease each year, yet only 33% receive angioplasiy stems and bypass surgery.
14. 28% of defibrillator cases are women.
15. 36% of open heart surgeries are on women.
16. Women only comprise one quarter of participants in all heart-related research studies.

“Be empowered to ask for information about yourself and seek out appropriate therapy,” advises Dr. Goodman, “especially if you have risk factors including high cholesterol, low HDL, high blood pressure, family history of heart disease, diabetes, as well as smoking, and obesity.” He recommends annual screening for cardiovascular disease, lipids. body weight, body mass index, and diabetes. “You should discuss ways to treat the risk factors with your doctor, including natural approaches like proper diet and exercise.”

Dr. Goodman’s nutriceutical approach using HDL Booster is unique because there’s no other treatment that naturally and effectively raises good HDL while lowering triglycerides, hsCRP, and homocysteine and with minimal side effects. Current treatments with higher dose Niacin preparations like Niaspan. are often limited by uncomfortable side effects like flushing which results in low compliance. “Drugs are not my first choice. Natural therapies are best whenever possible.”

SLCH February Star of the MonthSLCH February Star of the Month

(Newburgh) - St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital is proud to announce Margaret Gallagher, R.N., of Cornwall, as the February Star of the Month. A 30-year employee, Gallagher is a nurse in Endoscopy at SLCH’s Newburgh campus.

“Maggie is compassionate and provides outstanding care to patients, going above and beyond her duties with a positive attitude on a constant basis,” said Jackie Vierboom, Director of Surgical Services. She is always going the extra mile to help a patient, co-worker, or doctor whenever needed, and is a valuable member of our team.”

Gallagher appreciates the recognition she received. “I have the support of a great team that makes coming to work each day an enjoyable experience. Working with patients and our community
also makes my job very rewarding.”

St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital employees are nominated for the Star of the Month award by their co-workers, patients, physicians and/or visitors, based on Stellar Service Standards. These standards focus on making customers feel comfortable and important, providing timely and orderly service, and improving communication with patients and staff.

2007 Winter Snow Storm

(Newburgh)-It was beginning to look a lot like winter as last week’s Valentines Day Nor’Eastern dropped layers upon layers of snow and ice over everything in sight. Local schools and businesses throughout the Hudson Valley were closed due to extremely hazardous conditions, as even the most traveled roads were slippery and unsafe.

Those who decided to forge ahead during the winter storm were advised to take it slow and to leave their home with enough time to get to their destination without rushing.

Although local snow plows worked diligently, due to inclimate weather minor accidents were reported. Snow emergency vehicles worked throughout the day and into the evening, providing assistance to anyone that was in need.

Pictured above is a Newburgh Department of Public Works snow plow working hard to clear a path for the local commuters traveling through the first winter storm of the season. The storm left an accumulation of about a foot and a half of snow and ice.

Did the U.S. Plan A False Flag Attack?

By Chris Stevenson How much do we really know about the disaster whose code-name bears resemblance to the national emergency hotline 911? We have already seen and generally agree that the Iraqi invasion, and subsequent insurgents’ war was based on completely false and slanderous pretexts. You don’t have to be a conspiracy nut to realize that the Bush Administration lied about the weapons of mass destruction, the question is, just how deep does this corruption go? If you fear what is evidently the world’s most dangerous demonic symbol; the question mark, then my advice to you is to stop reading this column. Continue viewing the distractions provided for you; the Flavor Flav show, Springer, the Wire, Judge Judas, American Idolatry, Everybody Hates normal black boys, Cheaters, Liars, Lick Hitters or whatever. Independent thinkers please read on.

If you remember, it was being said that the “world’s no. 1 terrorist,” Osama bin Laden died of a severe case of Typhoid in August of ‘06. Late in ‘05 the New York Times reported that the CIA closed its Alec station during that year and reassigned employees to other posts in the counterintelligence center. This was the station that since 9/11 directed all of it’s operations to hunting bin Laden. Of course this was far from being the first rumor of bin Laden’s death, I am no more convinced of his death than I believe the Bush Administration really wanted to find or kill him. One blogger put it best, “maybe Bush doesn’t want to find him because his war powers end if bin Laden is captured or killed.”

Why else would “W” pull out of Afghanistan on 2/02 and place his spec-ops in Iraq two months after invading Afghanistan? The president followed that up by saying bin Laden was no longer a primary target. What? A man accused of killing thousands of American citizens in one fell swoop in New York, no longer a primary target? Hmmm. Makes me wonder, just how much do we really know about 9-1-1, 9/11? Is there cause for speculation that the World Trade Center attacks were engineered by any other party than al Qaeda, or by outside forces facilitating al Qaeda, forces within the US? And if so, what more can we expect from such a vile sinister administration?

Last summer I received emails that claimed that one of the Bush Administration’s plans for starting a war with Iran was the bombing a US aircraft carrier and sinking it in order to make it look as if the Iranians did it, giving the US an immediate pretext to invasion. At that time the USS Enterprise was to be sunk, with the Israelis actually pulling the trigger. Reportedly this was all in the works along with a US counterstrike, a complicit democratic Congress, and higher gas prices, until a leak put a stop to it. This is known as a false flag attack, some may wonder if this country’s leaders are truly capable of such a scheme, but inside jobs have laced US wars since the ‘60’s.

FCC has launched a major investigation

In response to a request from Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and two of his House colleagues, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that it has launched an investigation into the negotiations between the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) and the Writers Guild of America, East and west. In August 2006, Hinchey and his colleagues asked the FCC to look into CBS’s desire to consolidate newsrooms, terminate workers in the event of mergers, and remove news producers from bargaining units, thus enabling corporate interests to infiltrate the newsroom. Since then, CBS has conceded and taken the issue of removing news producers from bargaining units off the table in negotiations, but the consolidation issue remains.

“You requested that the FCC ‘conduct a review of this situation and its impact on public discourse.’ The Commission has contacted the CBS Television Network, as well as the Writers Guild of America East and west, to request a report on the situation and will report to you on its findings once we have heard from the parties,” FCC Chairman Kevin Martin wrote in a letter to Hinchey.
“I am very pleased that the FCC has finally agreed to examine the negotiations between CBS and the Writers Guild of America, East and west,” Hinchey said. “I hope that the FCC will ensure that corporate interests stay out of newsrooms so that the American public can be on the receiving end of journalism, not direct or indirect corporate promotion. As the owners of the airwaves, the American people deserve a free, open, and diverse media. Any further consolidation of newsrooms and attacks on journalists would be contrary to the best interests of the public. I hope that the FCC looks carefully at these negotiations to ensure that journalists are protected and able to do their job properly.”

CBS and the Writers Guild of America, East and west are currently engaged in contract negotiations that would extend their 50-year working relationship in New York, Washington, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

Joining Hinchey in sending the letter to Chairman Martin in August to request the investigation were Congresswoman Diane Watson (D-CA) and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL). Hinchey is the author of the Media Ownership Reform Act (MORA), which would restore fairness in broadcasting, reduce media concentration, ensure that broadcasters meet their public interest requirements, and promote diversity, localism, and competition in American media. The congressman intends to reintroduce MORA in the coming weeks.

Our Predecessors Aren’t Examples

By Mark Morial

This year’s Black History Month arrives just as African-American lawmakers are expected to have their greatest influence to date within the hallowed halls of the U.S.
Congress. Not only did Americans last November vote for a sea change in Washington, they also paved the way for one of the most diverse House chambers in history as well as House leaderships.

Two of the founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus, New York Rep. Charles Rangel and Michigan Rep. John Conyers - have become the chairs of two of the Capitol Hill’s most influential panels - the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Judiciary committees. Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson has taken the reins of the House Homeland Security Committee, while California Rep. Juanita Millender McDonald is leading the House Administration Committee.

Committee chairmanships aren’t completely unheard of for African-American U.S. Representatives. From 1868 to 2005, 16 had served as committee chairs, 15 in the House and 1 in the Senate, according to the Congressional Research Service’s report on blacks in Congress from last August. The 110th Congress adds at least two more to that list.

Both Rangel and Conyers had served as chairmen in previous Congresses - Rangel on the Select Narcotics Abuse and Control Committee and Conyers on the House Government Operations Committee, a position held in the 1950’s and 1960’s by the first black to chair a committee- Illinois Rep. William Dawson.

African Americans officially secured the right to vote and serve in the U.S. Congress through the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments that were ratified following the Civil War.

Under the Civil Rights Act and the Reconstruction Act, Congress dissolved governments in formerly Confederate states, required them to forfeit their representation in Washington and to ensure citizenship rights for blacks, who were the majority population in several states and had aligned with the party of President Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation.

In 1870, Hiram Rhodes Revels of Mississippi was the first black elected to the U.S. Senate, where he served the last year of the unexpired term of Jefferson Davis. That paved the way for the election of 23 other blacks to the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate during Reconstruction. In 1868, John Willis Menard of Louisiana was the first black to win a U.S. House race but did not serve because he failed to fight off an election challenge from the man who ran against him and Congress decided not to fill the seat. In 1870, South Carolinian
Joseph Rainey was officially the first black in the House, where he served until 1879.

The disputed presidential election of 1876 quickly reversed the fortunes of black officeholders and voters in the South, however. As part of the Compromise of 1877, Republicans agreed to stay out of the South’s affairs as long as democrats conceded to the election of Rutherford B. Hayes as president and agreed to respect the political rights of blacks. Southern democrats regained their power in state legislatures and took steps to disenfranchise black voters through literacy tests, poll taxes and white primaries. North Carolinian George Henry White served as the last black representative elected under Reconstruction until 1901.

It took nearly three decades for another black - Republican Oscar De Priest of Chicago - to win election and another thirty years for one to win a committee chairmanship - at east in the House. And nearly another three decades for a black to become chairman of a committee as powerful as the House Ways and Means Committee or House Judiciary Committee.
With a few exceptions, blacks tended to lead the lower-profile committees - such as the House Post Office and Civil Service Committee or House Government Operations Committee - or ones that had jurisdiction over “black” issues such as the House Committee on the District or Columbia and the House Education and Labor Committee.

The CBC’s first chairman - Michigan Rep. Charles Diggs - led the D.C. panel for two Congresses in the 1970’s, and New York Rep. Adam Clayton Powell Jr. oversaw major social reforms of the 1960’s as head of the House Education and Labor Committee from 1961 to 1967. During the 103rd Congress, California Rep. Ronald Dellums proved an exception when he headed the House Armed Services Committee, and Rep.William Gray, a former president of the United Negro College Fund, chaired the House Budget Committee for two Congresses during his tenure from the late 1970’s to 1991.

In the mid- to late-1970’s, California Rep. Yvonne B. Burke, the first female African-American chair, led perhaps the most glamorous yet not the most powerful panel- the House Select Beauty Shop Committee - and also became the first female to head the CBC. Augustus F. Hawkins of California, who served in the House from 1963 to 1991, probably holds the distinction for most committees chaired in a congressional career at least among African Americans, having headed up the House Education and Labor and Administration committees as well as the Joint Committee on Printing, Joint Committee on the Library and the Joint Economic Committee.

The Ways and Means chairmanship is a long time coming for Rangel, who threatened to retire if Republicans continued to control the institution in 2007. His patience won him one of the most coveted chairmanships, putting him in charge of writing the nation’s tax laws. Ironically, he stands on the shoulders of the man he defeated to win election to the House back in 1970 - Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., the second black to lead a House committee.

A prominent civil rights activist before going to Washington, Powell was a charismatic politician whose enduring catchphrase, “Keep the Faith, Baby” ended up the title of a spoken word album he released in the early 1960’s. His leadership of the House Education and Labor Committee came at a critical juncture in U.S. history. In the height of the civil rights movement, he played a major role in getting important social legislation through Congress - such as President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “Great Society” social programs and President John Kennedy’s “New Freedom” legislation. His committee set a record for number of bills approved in one session - 50 - that still stands today. But his tenure in the House eventually ended in a cloud of controversy.

Accused of misappropriating committee funds for his personal use, the Democratic leadership stripped him of his chairmanship and the House excluded him in 1967. The full House excluded him in 1968 but he was able through the courts to win back his seat but not his clout.
It is my hope that Rangel and Conyers as well as the Thompson and McDonald will match the output of their predecessors as our new Congress attempts to move our country into a new direction. It is my hope that we see a black Appropriations Committee chair in the not-too-distant future.

YMCA promotes an Active Childhood

Remember a time when kids could just be kids? Not many do. In America today, kids are growing up too fast and missing the years that determine their talents, passions and future life plans. Finally, there is a way to promote childhood in the neighborhood in which you live: the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign.

The YMCA Strong Kids Campaign seeks donations from individuals, corporations and foundations to be able to continue to provide access to YMCA programming to children, teens and families who would otherwise be unable to pay. This opportunity to support childhood in your neighborhood will allow local kids the time and place to escape their adult responsibilities and just “be a kid.”

The Newburgh Family YMCA is pleased to announce that Carol Smith, Regional Director of Community Relations for WillCare and Timothy Scannell, Chief Financial Officer for Mobile Life Support Services will lead this year’s campaign as co-chairs.
“Strong Kids promotes the one thing missing in our children’s lives’ an active and healthy childhood,” said Smith. She added, “For many kids, it’s a chance of a lifetime just to go to camp in the summer or play on a soccer team that puts teamwork and friendship ahead of winning.”

Marcia Gay Harden, Academy Award-winning actor and YMCA mom, joins the YMCA again this year as celebrity spokesperson, as part of a commitment to serving kids through the YMCA. Through the Newburgh Family YMCA’s 2007 Strong Kids Campaign, hundreds of local youth will be able to participate in Y programs that build strong kids, families and communities.

Scannell, campaign co-chair added “The Strong Kids Scholarship Program provides families in need with financial support to participate in programs and activities offered at the Y; and we hope to raise more than this year’s goal of $35,000 to provide assistance and scholarships to programs like summer camp, child care and teen activities, so that no one is turned away due to an inability to pay.”
For more information about the campaign, YMCA programs or to volunteer contact Marlene Stang, Director of Marketing and Development, 845 562-1088 or visit the websites or
Pictured Above: Carol Smith and Tim Scannell get ready to kick-off the Strong Kids Campaign for the Newburgh Family YMCA.