Hudson Valley

Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center 2015 Youth Scholarship

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Deadline: April 13, 2015. The purpose of this scholarship is to provide financial support for a high school graduate who displays leadership working for LGBTQ equality. Scholarships will be awarded to students who identify as LGBTQ or as straight allies.

For more information, please visit:

To download the application click here:

Click to access LGBTQ-Center-Youth-Scholarship.pdf

Hudson Valley Mental Health Hiring

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Hudson Valley Mental Health has an opening for a nurse practitioner in the Dover Plains Clinic. If you are interested in this position or know of anyone who might be interested in this position please contact Christopher Pels


KINGSTON, NEW YORK – Longtime activist and founder of the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Pride March Denise Jelley and Dutchess County legislator Francena Amparo will serve as the Grand Marshals for this year’s Hudson Valley Pride March and Festival. Sponsored and produced by the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center, the ninth annual event will take place in the village of New Paltz on Sunday, June 2, and centers on the theme, “Celebrating Where It All Began”.

The Pride March begins with a rally at 12 p.m. at New Paltz Middle School, and steps off promptly at 1 p.m. Award-winning performers including singer-songwriter Pamela Means and rock group Sister Funk will take the stage as the Pride celebration concludes with a festival at Hasbrouck Park. The March, Festival and a “Party-After-Pride” at Joe’s East-West in New Paltz typically attract upwards of 2,500 attendees, and mark the culmination of a week of activities celebrating LGBTQ identities, culture and community.

”We are proud to welcome Denise and Francena as this year’s Pride Grand Marshals,” said Vanessa Shelmandine, Project Director at Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center. A longtime advocate for LGBTQ equal rights, Denise Jelley spearheaded the first New Paltz LGBTQ Pride March and Festival – later renamed the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Pride March and Festival – in 2005. This first Hudson Valley Pride event laid the foundation for the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center.

 An openly lesbian elected official and the first Hispanic woman to serve on the Dutchess County legislature, Francena Amparo was elected in 2011 to represent Dutchess County’s 14th District. Francena’s work has helped build equality in such areas as access to health care, enterprise development and legal rights.

”This year’s Grand Marshals both demonstrate that a person thinking and taking action locally can change lives,”

Shelmandine said. “Denise chose New Paltz for the first Pride March in 2005 to celebrate Mayor Jason West’s first same-sex marriages. Francena uses her base in Wappingers to make a difference throughout Dutchess County. 

Plans for this year’s LGBTQ Pride Week, celebrated Tuesday, May 28 through Sunday, June 2, include film screenings, an open mic night and other events held at the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center in uptown Kingston. The Pride events bring the LGBTQ community and its allies together in celebration by reaching out to members, potential members and friends in the Hudson Valley and beyond. For more information about this year’s LGBTQ Pride March and Festival and other Pride Week events, visit

Valley Views: County’s Solid Waste Management Plan Aims Too Low

On April 8, the Dutchess County Legislature passed the 2013 Dutchess County Local Solid Waste Management Plan. All 17 Republican legislators voted for this plan while seven Democrats plus one Conservative voted against its implementation.

The plan offers decreasing solid waste generation, increasing reuse and recycling, and minimizing the use of landfills for solid waste disposal. Yet, the beginning of the plan clearly states, “This Plan does not guarantee the County will be able to accomplish all of the tasks outlined and specified within the Implementation Schedule in Appendix D. The schedule is comprehensive and ambitious, and will take a major commitment by the County to realize all of the tasks.” The plan is obviously too far reaching and broad to be realistic in its goals. Instead of choosing just a few obtainable goals, this piece of legislation predicts its own impossible implementation before it even gets off the ground.

Why can’t we guarantee the county will be able to accomplish at least one of all tasks outlined in the plan? If the schedule is comprehensive and ambitious, why is our recycling goal 60 percent and not more? Why do we have a plan that focuses far too heavily on the incinerator? Did you know “waste to energy” is mentioned often in the plan, which means the county has an interest in burning more garbage including garbage from outside counties? Did you know the air quality for Dutchess County was rated F for a few years up until last year when we were given a grade of D? These are all fixable problems. Many municipalities do much better than what is proposed for Dutchess County and reap the benefits of higher levels of recycling.

Locally, Beacon is at a 70 percent recycling rate and is seeing massive financial cost cuts. Across the river, New Paltz was selected to partner with the U.S. Department of the Environment to develop a Zero Waste Action Plan for our country. We have two models in our own backyard to use as a guide.

Why don’t we have a plan with a more specified goal for decreasing waste without burning more garbage? We need to think of sustainability for Dutchess County especially when we have nearby municipalities to model from.

Our current recycling rate is a low 23 percent and the new plan gives a projection of only 60 percent in a 10 year period. I believe this is a low percentage compared to other counties in New York and we have set a low standard for our county. One may think going from 23 to 60 percent is ambitious but remember there are no specified goals outlined and we, the county, cannot guarantee we will accomplish all or one of the tasks outlined in the plan. We should not congratulate executives and authorities for saving the burn plant or saving taxpayer money. As long as there is burning, there will be less recycling. We should not be proud of a circumstance that lowers our citizen’s quality of life.

The use of incinerators for waste management is at best controversial. Everyone must weigh the economic appeal of local industrial activity with their concerns over health and environmental risk. I suggest everyone go to the county website and read the plan. Public input will be needed as we implement this plan.

After you read the plan, think of where you stand on this issue and speak to your representatives. Make sure you hold us accountable for the decisions made pertaining to this Waste Management Plan. Your health and the health of our children depend upon it.

See the full article in the Poughkeepsie Journal:

Local Happenings: Hudson Valley’s First Armed Forces Day

Join the Hudson Valley community on May 19th from 12-5pm for the first Armed Forces Day!

Registration is at 7am, followed by the Stride Wounded Warriors 4 mile race at 9am, and the 2 mile walk at 10am.  Everyone will meet at Waryas Park afterwards to enjoy live music by The Alexis Sutter Band, 4 Guys in Disguise, Mojo Miles Mancuso, Monster, Derek Dempsey and E&G Acoustic.

The event will commence with an opening ceremony at 1pm to honor our Veterans.  There will be family fun-filled activities such as a rock climbing wall and a kids zone, along with food provided by the Italian Center.

*Please bring a donation for the Castle Point Food Pantry; they will be offering registration for VA Healthcare, Women’s Veteran Healthcare, My HealthVet, Returning Combat Veteran Program, blood pressure readings and The Mobile Clinic.

Partners include the Hudson Valley Rail Trail.

Details are below:


Local Happenings: LIFE in Action Regional Meetings 2013

Within the month of May, there will be six regional meetings held across New York State touching base on issues concerning low-income energy consumers. 

There are over 200 registered participants; don’t miss out on your chance to obtain valuable information on consumer protection, LIFE as a resource, storm preparedness, energy assistance, networking opportunities and more.

Click here to view the Hudson Valley event agenda for May 16, 2013 being held at the Middletown Holiday Inn.

*To register for the meeting click here.

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