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Beacon Free Press This Week...

The Beacon Free Press has been Beacon’s primary center of news and entertainment coverage for over 25 years. Coverage includes local city and school news and features, Dutchess County Legislature, county legal notices, obituaries, plus coverage of arts and entertainment, hospitals and health, education, libraries and local businesses and organizations.

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08/27/14 Highlights of this week's edition...

Tour Beacon by bicycle

By Kristine Coulter

(Continued from cover) When people rent a bicycle, they have to sign a release form. The forms, said Helland, require the renter of the bike to take full responsibility and value of the bike and equipment.

Mayor Randy Casale said the city does not receive any of the profits, but the city has a licensing agreement with them.

“Bike rentals down by the train station will give our tourist another means of transportation when they get off the train. They eventually will have a map showing the Beacon loop trail,” said Casale.

“If you’re coming from train it makes sense to rent from here,” Helland said, as he stood under the pop-up tent by the dock. He said the pop-up rental works.

On the first weekend, four of the six bikes were rented.

“The (renters) had a fun time. They’re good bikes. One of the women just started to learn how to ride a bike. She found it pretty easy,” he stated.

“It’s just a great way to experience Beacon without having to drive. You can experience Beacon when you’re on a bike,” Helland said.

Helland also noted this is a good way to “test drive” a bike if one is looking to buy one.

On its website, the City touts the new bike rental program.

“Take a leisurely tour of the City, ride up and down Main Street, bike on the Greenway Trail, take a trip to Mt. Beacon, visit Dia:Beacon and so much more!”

Read the full story in this week’s print edition.

Rivertown Kids gear up for new season

The Rivertown Kids perform during the Great Newburgh to Beacon Hudson River Swim earlier this month. - Courtesy photo

By Goldee Greene
Staff Writer/Arts & Entertaniment

The Grammy award-winning Rivertown Kids mostly perform during the school year. But a bunch of boys and girls got together this summer for a couple of performances, including the 11th annual Great Newburgh to Beacon Hudson River Swim, held Aug. 2. Participants swim a mile, accompanied by kayakers, to help raise the $40,000 annually needed for maintenance and operation of the seasonal River Pool located in Riverfront Park.

This includes lifeguards’ salaries.

“In the morning the kids sent the swimmers off with a short performance at Newburgh’s waterfront,” said founder and director Tery Udel. “Then they welcomed the swimmers to Beacon, joining local folk duo Mel & Vinnie, with Rivertown Kids guitarist Travis Jeffrey joining in. RiverPool president Mike Gersh was the one who invited us to take on Pete Seeger’s traditional role supporting the fundraiser by performing on both sides of the river.”

It has been a bittersweet summer for longtime member Ally Hocker, who is moving on to high school in the fall. “Beacon's River Pool is a great accomplishment for everybody,” she said. “Especially Pete Seeger, who believed that the idea of a floating pool was perfect for Beacon. Our river pool brings the community together down by the river so we can have an experience that helps us learn and connect to the river.

Several of our singers were on vacation, but we hope we would have made Pete proud with our performances on both sides of the river anyway. I’ve been lucky to sing and learn with Pete for seven years in Rivertown Kids. He showed us that little ideas, like RiverPool, can grow in special ways that get people involved and bring people together."

“It was exciting to be given the opportunity to perform with our chorus at this year’s Hudson River Swim,” said singer A.J. Lukan. “It’s important to keep Pete Seeger’s tradition of having music be a part of the fundraiser alive. We miss Pete a ton. The River Swim celebration must have been so lively with Pete and his banjo supporting the swimmers and supporting river pool.”

“Performing with Mel and Vinnie, to welcome the swimmers into Beacon, was a really enjoyable experience,” added Lukan. “They are both enthusiastic performers who sing uplifting songs. They have been a part of the River Swim event for many years with Pete. What a wonderful fundraiser for Beacon’s river pool. It was great to see so many people swimming for river pool. I feel there could be more river pools along the river. The efforts of many people to keep the Hudson clean have made a difference. We see that with our river pool. It would be cool to see river pools in NYC some day."

Then on Aug. 10, the Rivertown Kids bopped down to Times Square for the 25th annual Ecofest. Such artists as Mel & Vinnie, bluesman Guy Davis, Vickie Raabin and Mary Poppiins were on hand.

“They really helped us out since some of our singers were on vacation,” said Udel.

Jeffrey looked to the future of the group. “This is a great way to bring the community together and the kids have shown that over and over again. This is a new season for the group and new members are welcome to join. We look forward to seeing a whole new generation come aboard for various performances and lots of fun.”

Information about joining Rivertown Kids can be found For RiverPool go to

Also in the Aug 27-Sep 2, 2014 issue:

  • Maloney, Hayworth conduct cordial debate.

Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney listens while his opponent Nan Hayworth makes a point during their debate last week in Poughkeepsie.


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