Brent Chaim Spodek is the rabbi at Beacon Hebrew Alliance, a Jewish community that dates back to the 1920s. Rabbi Brent is a creative and highly engaged spiritual leader to the BHA family, and he has brought new energy and congregants to the synagogue since he moved here in 2010.
Lucky Longo is the owner of A Lucky Cut, a non-traditional barbershop that offers a wide range of services and styles – short hair, long hair, shaves, beard trims and kids cuts. Like all barbers and stylists, Lucky has been shut down since March, but now she’s scheduling appointments again.
Ciarda Hall and Justice McCray are two of the youth leaders of the Beacon 4 Black Lives team that has organized a series of marches for racial justice. Their next rally takes place this Friday June 19th – Juneteenth – at 6:30pm.
Melanie Falick is a writer and editor of books about ceramics, woodworking, knitting, metalsmithing and other kinds of “handwork.” She talks about the importance of making things by hand in a post-industrial era and especially during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Aisha is a senior executive at TruFund Financial Services, a non-profit financial organization (also known as a Community Development Financial Institution or CDFI) that facilitates loans and economic development in underserved communities.
Jeff Simms’ newspaper work has drawn him gradually north from his hometown of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. As the Beacon beat editor for the Highlands Current, he covers education, development and a host of other local issues.
Matt was forced out of his apartment after April’s big wind storm damaged his building. In this episode he talks about the double setback of closing his business during Covid-19 and then losing the roof over his head a few weeks later.
In 23 years of teaching, Sergio Perez has never been as sick as he was after getting Covid. He talks about enduring the illness, teaching high school students during quarantine and the consolations of family life.
Barb closed up shop in mid-March, motivated by safety concerns for her employees and customers. Six weeks on, she is close to reopening after installing plexiglass barriers, hiring a new cutter and taking other precautions.
Cary Baker offers inspiration and advice to those of us trapped at home who may want to use the time to grow our own food.
Robert is a landscape photographer and teacher. For those of us trapped at home, his interview offers a meditative listen on the artist’s relationship to nature and the solitary pursuit of a creative practice.
Dar is the organizer of Mutual Aid Beacon, a decentralized network of 250 volunteers who are helping people in need during the coronavirus outbreak.
Young people are hugely affected by the coronavirus situation. Matt Landahl talks about the closure of the district’s six schools and what teachers and administrators are doing to help students cope and learn through the crisis.
How is Beacon’s new mayor responding to the pandemic? Lee Kyriacou has lived in Beacon almost 30 years and served nine terms on city council. He started his first term as mayor in January, just before the coronavirus brought one of the greatest challenges the city has faced in recent memory.
Food security is a big concern in Beacon right now, with sudden unemployment and social isolation. Kara Dean-Assael and Karen George talk about how their non-profit Fareground Community Kitchen is getting healthy and affordable meals to people in need.
Kamel Jamal owns three restaurants in Beacon – Tito Santana, Ziatun and Beacon Bread Company – as well as Angelina’s in Cold Spring. He is trying to keep some of his places open for curb service during the Coronavirus, even as the state bans on-premise food service.
First in a series. George Mansfield is the owner of Dogwood and a longtime council member. He talks about the crisis engulfing the city and the world, with focus on the impacts for business (his and others) and city government.
Beacon Endurance was created in 2013 as a resource to organize training and racing for athletes in the lower Hudson Valley. Since then it has expanded into a supportive and inclusive group of 40 active members who support each other through health and fitness goals.
Audra Kizina and Matt Harle, the electronic/experimental music duo known as AudraSonic, perform in studio and discuss their collaboration. Catch them live at Dogwood on Sunday, March 15.
Stephen Clair is an accomplished singer/songwriter and the proprietor of Beacon Music Factory. In this episode he talks about his creative process, Beacon’s expanding music scene and the evolution of his music school on Route 52.
Donna Haynes is a longtime resident who, along with her husband Jeff, has raised three kids in Beacon. She works for Metro North in a tourism role and talks in this episode about the steady stream of day trippers and weekenders who keep the Beacon and Hudson Valley economies humming, among other topics.
Kelly Ellenwood is a driving force behind the Free Loop bus, Wee Play tot park and other Beacon initiatives. We talk about her journey from Lincoln, Nebraska to the Hudson Valley, her performing career and her steady work on behalf of Beacon’s local economy and the arts.
Ben Larson-Wolbrink was called to be Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church exactly 10 years ago, through 20 marriages, 31 baptisms, 40 deaths and 50 new members. In this interview, he describes his formative years, the life of his congregation and Beacon’s interfaith initiatives.
Meredith Heuer is a photographer and two-term member of the Beacon Board of Education. In this episode she talks about her own school days growing up in Detroit, raising two boys in Beacon and key issues facing the city’s schools.
Musician Daria Grace is a prolific bassist, ukulele player and singer who plays in six bands locally and in New York City. In this interview, she talks about her music career, sizes up Beacon’s expanding music scene and performs two songs on her baritone uke: “Night Owl,” popularized in the 30’s by Cliff Edwards (aka “Ukelele Ike”) and “Under the Milky Way” by Aussie rockers The Church.
Jean-Marc Supervllle Sovak is a Beacon-based artist whose work uniquely expresses the history of the Hudson Valley, including its industrial legacy and its art. He is also an art educator and a guide at Dia:Beacon.
City Councilman Terry Nelson talks about growing up in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, and how Beacon can resist the gentrification and spiraling housing costs that have stripped that neighborhood of its original character. Also: Four-story buildings, supporting the arts, creating jobs.
Our first episode. Randy reviews Beacon’s changes during his lifetime, including the boom years (1950s-60s), the bust years (1970s-80s) and the revitalization. Also: Randy’s thoughts on development, Dia:Beacon, his election loss, Beacon’s future.
Announcing a new podcast about Beacon, New York and the people who live here.