Newburgh Resident Kristopher Promoted To Colonel

Iraq and Afghan vet currently serving as Director of Staff for New York Air National Guard, Kristopher Geis, a Newburgh resident currently serving as director of staff for the New York Air National Guard, was promoted to the rank of Colonel during a ceremony at New York National Guard Headquarters in Latham on January 9.

Geis, who enlisted in the Air National Guard in 1987, was commissioned as an officer in 2002 through the Academy of Military Science at McGee Air National Guard Base.Major General Timothy LaBarge, the commander of the New York Air National Guard, praised Geis for his drive and ability to always get things done. “To be selected for this position and promotion, considering how impressive my peers are, is incredibly humbling,” Geis said. “I promise I will never take it for granted.” Geis has held a variety of key leadership positions in the New York Air National Guard. He served as the 105th Wing Mission Support Flight Commander, the commander of the 105th Airlift Wing Maintenance Squadron, and as Chief of Staff for the 105th Airlift Wing. The Mission Support Flight was recognized twice for excellence while he was the commander. He has deployed several times in support of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Geis holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the State University of New York at New Paltz and holds a Master’s Degree in Military Operation Art and Science through the Air University. He is a graduate of the Air Force Squadron Officer School, the Air Command and Staff College, and the Air War College. His awards include the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Air Force Achievement Medal, and the National Defense Service Ribbon. Geis is an avid hiker climber and his goal is to climb the highest point in each state. He currently has summited 47 of them.

Match Point Tennis Donates $1,650 to Valley View

Goshen – Match Point Tennis raised $1,650 for the Valley View Center for Nursing Care and Rehabilitation’s Resident Fund through a tournament/fundraiser it hosted on Saturday, January 9at its facility in Goshen.

“On behalf of Valley View’s residents and staff, I extend our gratitude to Match Point Tennis for their support and generous contribution,” Valley View administrator Laurence LaDue said. “This money will be deposited into the Valley View Resident Fund and will be used towards activities and events for our residents. We are all appreciative to Match Point for thinking of Valley View and our residents.”

Warwick resident, 16-year-old Jackie Arbogast, a junior player at Match Point and a member of the United States Tennis Association’s Eastern Board, came up with the idea for the benefit tournament. She organized the event with the help of Match Point players Maeve Cassidy, who attends Monroe-Woodbury High School, and Samantha Killin, a Warwick student. Arbogast was inspired by her grandfather, Ken Gormley, who died in a nursing home over the summer. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Arbogast said her family could not visit him for the last six months of his life.

Match Point’s owner, Ari Roberts, who is also a tennis pro, donated the court time for the tournament.“For me, it was about raising awareness about the plight of nursing home residents during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Arbogast, a junior at Academy of the Holy Angels in Demarest, N.J. “It was fun and meaningful and gave us all an opportunity to do something they love for a good cause. It was nice to benefit Valley View because they are local, and it felt good to do something right here in Goshen.”

Photo Caption: Jackie Arbogast,16, of Warwick at Match Point Tennis in Goshen on Saturday, January 9.

NO! To Oil Barges Anchoring In Lower Hudson

On Monday, January 11, Senator Sean Patrick Maloney saw one of his main goals for the Hudson Valley come to fruition with a law banning oil barges from anchoring anywhere on the lower Hudson River.  Maloney said, “Today, I was excited and proud to celebrate this ban becoming law. The Hudson River is our community’s lifeblood and we are its gatekeepers. It’s up to us to be good stewards of the river so New Yorkers can enjoy it for generations to come.” It took the work of many to make it happen.  Maloney thanked County Executive, Steve Neuhaus, City of Newburgh Mayor, Torrence Harvey, Riverkeeper and Scenic Hudson and Hudson River Sloop for joining him to celebrate the law’s official passage.

Blooming Grove Considers Solar Choices

By Edie Johnson

Blooming Grove’s Town Board January Workshop included a presentation by Jesse Ramand and Steve Birndorf of Usource Power, energy consultants from New Hampshire, who hoped to show the potential benefits to the town of participating in a Community Solar project.  During the Zoom Meeting, they described the benefits of signing with a company that contracts with participants who share the power created by a major developer’s solar array.  Birndorf said the main advantages of hiring a consultant to manage the contract are that 1. They know the developers out on the market and each company’s attributes, both positive and negative. 2. They have a decade of experience with contracts and know all of the potential loopholes.  3. They would be the Town’s ‘seat at the table’ and speak on it’s behalf. 4. They are familiar with the timeline of each developer’s project, whether it might be ready at present, after 6 months or a year, or longer. 5. The developer covers the consultant fees. 6. They know what the cancellation costs are from each company if they should want to discontinue the contract early. 7. Renewable energy is a very high priority in New York State at present, and there are a lot of grants and rebates available.

 Council member Sonia Ayala said she would like to have references from towns that have used each developer previously. Councilman Chuck quick wanted more details about the town’s potential savings. Supervisor Rob Jeroloman wanted clarification that since the town has equipment for water, sewer and other sources in addition to the Town Hall, would they all be able to qualify.  The presenters said they would, as long as they are all on the same utility bill.

Community solar is one way of lessening the burden of the town’s electric usage charges, but utility fees are still largely unregulated. So if a user gets a 10% break on cost, but the kw hour charges go up, the savings could be nullified. There would however still be a benefit compared to non-community solar electric users.

Jeroloman said they are also comparing the cost/benefits of potentially having the Town’s own solar display, constructed by one of the solar companies in the area, which would guarantee covering up to 90% of the town’s total electric costs.

Daniel Maughan Promoted to President Of Montefiore St. Luke’s Cornwall

Montefiore St. Luke’s Cornwall has announced that Daniel JMaughan, RN, MSN, MBA, FNP-C, has been named President of the organization. Mr. Maughan will continue working closely as President & Chief Operating Officer (COO) with MSLC’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Joan Cusack-Mcguirk, who will retire from MSLC at the end of this year. Ms. Cusack-McGuirk’s career spans more than 40 years, most of which has been in service to the community she has cared for and the hospital she has led since 2015.

Mr. Maughan’s new title went into effect on January 1, 2021, as the hospital focuses on continued growth and expansion in addition to continuing to care for its patients amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “Dan’s leadership and experience contributes greatly to the continued evolvement of Montefiore St. Luke’s Cornwall,” said Joan Cusack-McGuirk,. “Dan has a true understanding of the transformational shift that is occurring in the realm of healthcare delivery and I look forward to the road ahead as we work to expand MSLC programs and services to best meet the evolving medical needs of our community.”

In recent years Maughan participated in the transformations, include leading the efforts that brought MSLC to its first ever Certification and Designation as a Level III Trauma Center, spearheading MSLC’s response to the Opioid Epidemic, ensuring that the community had access to Medication Assisted Treatment. Additionally, he was responsible for securing grant funding for expansion on both the Newburgh and Cornwall campus from the NYSDOH as part of the Statewide Healthcare Facility Transformation Program. On the Newburgh campus, the MRI Suite and Emergency Department renovation project was completed late last year, and in the coming weeks, MSLC will soon be opening a 10-bed Observation Unit. An Expanded Primary Care site is set to open in the days ahead on the Cornwall campus, adding to the list of multi-specialty practices already offered at MSLC’s outpatient campus.

Cusack-McGuirk continued, “Dan continues to have his finger on the pulse of healthcare as well as our community hospital. Most recently, Mr. Maughan has been leading the charge on MSLC’s COVID-19 vaccination program. In just three weeks, MSLC has vaccinated over 2,000 individuals including employees and eligible frontline workers. The MSLC team remains focused on the battle against COVID-19 and continuing to meet the growing needs of the communities it is privileged to serve.”

Caption: Daniel JMaughan, RN, MSN, MBA, FNP-C, has been named President of MSLC

Officials Tour Boadway Start-Ups

Broadway Tour included stops at Ziel, Inner Beauty Effects, Mackie Rondon and Shelli Scott

Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus joined Chairman of the Legislature Steve Brescia, other Legislators and leadership from the Orange County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) for a tour of minority and women-owned businesses on Broadway in the City of Newburgh.

The tour included the fashion manufacturing portion of the IDA’s Orange County Accelerator. The group included legislators Jim Kulisek, Paul Ruszkiewicz, Kathy Stegenga and Mike Paduch, community activist James Rollins, Orange County Accelerator’s Chief Executive Officer Laurie Villasuso and Managing Director Vincent Cozzolino. They first stopped at Inner Beauty Effects, which makes handbags, and is owned by Kate Perna, Ziel, then a women’s athletic clothing apparel and N-95 mask manufacturer, owned by Marlene Vogelaar, the Mackie Rondon boutique shoe store and Shelli Scott’s clothing store, all part of the fashion manufacturing portion of the IDA’s Orange County Accelerator.

 “Even as we navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, Orange County is a community that is definitely open for business,” Neuhaus said. “I enjoyed meeting these talented, entrepreneurial women who I know take great pride in the products that they create. Minority and women-owned businesses are an integral part of the fabric of our community. I thank them for their contributions to the City of Newburgh and I wish them continued success.”

The businesses are part of the IDA’s Accelerator program, which provides manufacturing space and technical and business support to assist in the development of companies. “Helping entrepreneurial businesses with our Accelerator program and bringing new industries and jobs to the County is a fundamental mission of the IDA,” Villasuso said.

Caption 1 – CE Steve Neuhaus and Mackie Rondon of  Founder of Rondon Supplies for Footwear

Caption 2 – Legislators, the Accelerator’s Laurie Villasuso, community activist James Rollins, Managing Director Vincent Cozzolino and the small business owners.

Washingtonville’s MaryJo Manzo Is First Female K9 Officer In Sheriff’s Department

K9 Officers Graduate In Sheriff Department

Police Officer MaryJo Manzo became the first female K9 Officer in the History Of The Orange County Sheriff’s office this past week.  She was one 9 officers who graduated the training program, with her dog “K-9 Officer Davey”, pictured here being welcomed by Sheriff Carl DuBois.

K9 Jax and his handler Officer Joseph Mendez of Washingtonville, also finished their training which is done at the Orange County Sheriff’s Training Center in Montgomery. The training is done under the supervision of Sergeant Dustin Palen K-9 Unit Supervisor, Deputy Jeremy Yela – Trainer, Deputy Vincent Iannuzzi – Apprentice Trainer and Deputy Kyle Frano – Apprentice Trainer.

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New Windsor Officer Joseph Bell received his certificate from New Windsor Chief of Police Robert Doss. Shown here he is with fellow NewWindsor Department officers who all are either former or current K-99 handlers {L-R Dep Chief Farbent, Officer Bell, Chief Doss, Lieutenant Valeri, Officer Mclean. Farbent, Valeri, and Mclean}.

Photo Credit: OCSO DMO Scott Robertson.

Pianists Alessio Bax and Lucille Chung Presenting Live-Recorded Concert

From Newburgh Chamber Music :

Four hands plus one piano equal the internationally renowned duo (and spouses) Alessio Bax and Lucille Chung, who will present a live-recorded concert Jan. 24 at 8 pm at the Howland Cultural Center in Beacon.

The performance is the fifth in the ALIVEmusica series organized by the Howland Chamber Music Circle to bring original concerts to music lovers during the pandemic crisis. It is co-presented by Newburgh Chamber Music, Pawling Concert Series, and WMHT-FM classical radio. It can be streamed on the websites of the co-presenters, including newburghchambermusic.org and howlandmusic.org/ALIVEmusica. A donation of $20 is suggested.

Their program will feature Claude Debussy’s “Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun,” and Igor Stravinsky’s ballet “Petrushka.”  Debussy’s tone poem, completed in 1894, is based on the poem by Stephane Mallarméand arranged for four hands by composer Maurice Ravel.  It is regarded as the beginning of the Modernist movement and Debussy’s most famous composition. 

Stravinsky, inspired by visual imagery, became an overnight sensation in 1910 with his ballet “The Firebird,” the first of many collaborations with impresario Sergei Diaghilev. Among them is “Petrushka,” which tells the story in four scenes of a puppet come to life.

Bax, who was born in Italy, and Montreal-born Chung have performed in dozens of concerts and festivals around the world. They each have earned numerous prizes in competitions and the accolades of critics. Gramophone has called Bax “one of the most remarkable young pianists now before the public,” and lauded Chung for her “stylish and refined performances.”

The performance will be available for streaming for two weeks. For more information, visit howlandmusic.org/ALIVEmusic or newburghchambermusic.org.

Orange County Sheriffs Police Reform and Reinvention Town Hall Virtual Meeting January 14 6:00 pm

The second of three virtual public meetings of the Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative Advisory Panel will be held on Thursday January 14th at 6:00 pm. This panel was established per Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order 203 to review the policies and practices  of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

The Order requires that each local government entity which has a police agency operating with police officers as defined under 1.20 of the Criminal Procedure Law to convene a group of stakeholders from both the government and the community to evaluate policy strategies.

Other important areas that must be addressed include procedure and training, policing functions, standards, and strategies; fostering community-oriented leadership, culture, and accountability; and recruiting and supporting excellent and diverse personnel.

This Advisory Panel will gather input from the public and the Sheriff’s Office, and based upon their findings they will put forth recommendations to the County Legislature to adopt a plan, which must be signed by the County Executive and sent to the State no later than April 1, 2021.  

The Advisory Panel is tasked with developing a plan to improve the deployments, strategies, policies, procedures, and practices of the Sheriff’s Office, while addressing the particular needs of Orange County. The plan will also focus on promoting community engagement to foster trust, fairness, and legitimacy, and to address any racial bias and disproportionate policing of communities of color.

The Advisory Panel represents County government, social services agencies, community service leaders, clergy and education leaders, and not for profit agencies.

Detailed information on the Collaborative  can be found on the web site.

To register to attend to watch the meeting and for an opportunity  to make a comment or ask questions click on https://www.orangecountygov.com/2014/Police-Reform and  click on the meeting invite link to register. You can register prior to and during the meeting to attend.