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COMMUNITIES: Morale Drive, Thank heroes, State Park beaches

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Firefighter drive supports morale, veterans

ANCRAM—A 2020 Memorial Day Firefighter Morale Drive is scheduled for Monday, May 25 starting at the Ancram Firehouse, 1306 County Route 7 at 10.30 a.m.

Firefighters from Ancram, Copake, Hillsdale, Craryville, Churchtown, Philmont and Taghkanic will participate, according to a press release from Ancram Fire Chief David Boice.

The Morale Drive route starts at the Ancram Firehouse, travels County Route 7 to 7A going through the center of Copake, takes a left at the Copake Clock and out to Route 22, takes Route 22 north, turn onto Route 344 Copake Falls, back onto Route 22 north to Hillsdale, takes a left at the light onto to Route 23 towards Craryville.

The procession goes through Craryville past the Yorkshire and takes a left turn onto County Route 16, takes a right onto County Route 27B, proceeds to Route 27, takes a left onto 27, past the Churchtown Firehouse, then turns right and a quick left onto Taghkanic-Churchtown Road, turn right onto County Route 10 and then turn left onto Route 82 and back to Ancram.

The procession’s estimated time frame is to arrive at each location in 10 to 15 minute intervals. It will take roughly an hour to complete the circuit.

According to the release, “We are doing this to let people know that many aspects of their community have been hard at work during the last several months. We also want to honor everything that our veterans have done for us. We will be honoring many different parts of the community.”

The public is invited to park along the route and watch the procession go by. Everyone should remain in their cars, wearing masks and practicing social distancing.

Those who live along the route can come out on the porch or front lawn and watch the procession go by. Follow safe health practices.

See heroes names listed on a sign in front of the Grange.

Heroes welcome here

COPAKE—The Copake Grange is saying “Thanks to Our Heroes.”

The public is asked to send in the names of people who should be honored on Memorial Day.

In addition to the men and women who valiantly served in the military, this year the Grange would like to acknowledge those who have helped during the Covid-19 pandemic. Many have put themselves at risk working to help—healthcare providers, businesses and neighbors who volunteered. “The crisis is not over but let’s thank them now. It is a small but important way to honor them,” said a press release from the Grange.

Send the names of those to include on the Grange’s “Wall of Fame” to copakegrange@gmail.com by Sunday, May 24.

Tell the Grange who the heroes are and they will add them to the tribute.

Stop in front of the Grange on Memorial Day to see the names of all those honored.

State Park beaches open for swimming

ALBANY—New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) will open 16 beaches across the state for swimming Friday, May 22 with lifeguards staffed at normal levels to ensure public safety.

In Columbia County, the Lake Taghkanic State Park swimming beach will be open this weekend from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Beach-goers are reminded to practice social distancing, respect the rules, and do their part to keep parks, beaches and public lands open and safe for everyone. Beach capacity is expected to fill quickly and New Yorkers are urged to plan ahead by having alternate destinations ready.

State Park Police and operations staff will patrol beaches, boardwalks, and parking fields to ensure compliance with social distancing and crowd control measures. Anyone that does not adhere to this guidance will be asked to leave the beach or park.

Beach-goers should visit only with members of their immediate household and:

*Maintain six feet of distance of others while swimming and on beaches and boardwalks

*Keep beach blankets and chairs at least 10 feet apart from others

*Wear a mask when unable to maintain social distance

*Refrain from group activities.

State Parks will put the following restrictions in effect:

*Reducing normal summer season capacity by 50%, by limiting parking and other means of entry;

*Prohibiting group contact activities, including contact sports (e.g. volleyball, football);

*Reducing capacity in indoor areas such as changing areas, locker rooms, restrooms by 50%

*Closing all beachfront concessions and areas of social gathering

*Implementing measures to maintain social distance for both employees and visitors, including signage, distance markers, directional arrows, and physical barriers

*Masks must be worn by all employees and visitors when social distancing is not possible

*Conducting frequent cleaning and disinfection for restrooms and frequently touched surfaces.

As part of their lifeguard training and recertification, all state park lifeguards are trained to practice “universal precautions” related to infectious diseases. As part of this training, State Parks has added Covid-19 informational training, including appropriate precautions to ensure our lifeguards disinfect and sanitize all equipment and surfaces such as lifeguard stands. State Parks has also limited the number of guards per lifeguard stand at any one time. Each lifeguard will receive a fanny pack which will contain a mask, gloves, hand sanitizer, CPR mask, safety glasses and a surgical mask for beach goers who are pulled from the water. Each lifeguard shack will be equipped with necessary supplies and materials such as disinfectant and hand sanitizer.

A listing of swimming beaches with hours of operation is available on the New York State Parks website.

Plan ahead and make a list of alternate destinations. Beaches and trailheads will be busy. Many state beaches and parks will quickly reach capacity limits on nice weather days. Anyone parking outside of designated areas will be ticketed. Check parks.ny.gov, and 511 for park capacity closure alerts. Concession stands are closed. Beach-goers should bring their own water and snacks.

New York State will review the weekend’s operations and make any adjustments needed to keep the public and park staff.

For information on visit New York State Parks during the public health crisis: https://parks.ny.gov/covid19/.

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