Brian Doyle, CEO for Family Services in Poughkeepsie, describes the enormous scope of his organization such as Youth Services, Comprehensive Crime Victim services (and Forensics), Domestic Violence Service, and Substance Abuse Prevention and Family Education. The Family Partnership Center, a centerpiece of Family Services, collaborates with several other organizations for a unified approach to human services and building community. With over 43,000 clients last year, this extraordinary organization responds to societal ills that threaten families and seeks ways to prevent those problems, with a focus on youth activities (athletics, homework support, etc.) and programs to help young people grow to be caring and effective parents. Although Family Service in Poughkeepsie is located in the Hudson Valley, similar centers operate in neighboring counties, and the Hudson Valley organization can provide contact information for them.
Journalist and author Anthony Musso discusses his fourth published book, which is filled with detailed research that will motivate people to seek more information about local structures that they pass every day without realizing their historical significance. Featuring 55 sites, and not necessarily buildings, the book details not only the history but the stories, many of them personal to past owners, behind the sites. Facts abound in the interview. For example, the Borden Factory in Wassaic supplied the army with milk for the entire Revolutionary War, and Matthew Vassar made his money in a company brewing beer before founding Vassar College. Most sites are free and make for wonderful visits with the family.
What is the current condition of the Hudson River and how will it affect you? Dr. David Strayer, Freshwater Ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York and author of The Hudson River Primer – The Ecology of an Iconic River, discusses the positive effects of the federal Clean Water Act and other government regulations. Together these make Hudson much cleaner today than years ago, with most of the Hudson today now safe for swimming. However, Hudson River fish are still contaminated with chemical compounds (PCBs), limiting food fish to those that spend most of their lives at sea. Furthermore, alien species, often carried on ships entering the Hudson River from foreign lands, disrupt the Hudson’s ecosystem. Dr. Strayer also discusses future Hudson Valley prospects in the face of climate change, such as the effect of sea level rises on the Hudson River.
Dana Gavin, Director for the Center of Prevention of Child Abuse in Dutchess County, shares the latest information and statistics about child abuse that are at times surprising. Ms. Gavin began her career with the Center as a volunteer several years ago. Today, involved heavily in Public Relations, she speaks to organizations about the Center’s many programs that teach children and adults important ways to prevent child abuse. These include educating children in school systems in an age-appropriate Puppet People program and providing families with contacts that help them stop an abuse before it starts. Ms. Gavin explains some factors contributing to an increase in child abuse since 2005, such as the economy that places stress on parents and a rise in reporting abuse cases by those who suspect abuse, such as teachers, coaches, and doctors.
The Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse
Dutchess Prevention Center Hotline: 845 454-0595
Address of Center: 249 Hooker Ave., Poughkeepsie, NY