Local Bar Raided by Police, Liquor License Suspended

Pulsing club music quickly transitioned to the wailing of police sirens Friday night as local authorities shut down Darby O’Gill’s Food and Spirits in Hyde Park, NY, filled with underage patrons.

One hundred and fifteen minors were ticketed by the New York State Liquor Authority (SLA), with assistance from the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office, for possessing a fake identification card that night at a bar frequented by Marist College students, according to an SLA report.

Three bartenders were also arrested by the Hyde Park Sheriff’s Office for serving alcohol to minors and unlawfully dealing with a child. The owner of Darby O Gill’s was not arrested that evening, but as of Dec. 5, Darby O Gill’s liquor license has been suspended. According to a representative, the SLA intends to permanently suspend the license.

“It defies understanding that this licensee has displayed an unconscionable indifference to the law by placing his personal profits above the safety of our youth,” said Counsel to the Authority Christopher R. Riano.

Undisclosed SLA investigators entered the premises Friday evening around 9 p.m. after receiving complaints of underage drinking at the bar. At this time, they witnessed 26 direct sales being made to minors.

Beginning around 10 p.m. the SLA investigators witnessed cabs beginning to drop off patrons, who they observed to be from Marist. An hour later, the DMV and the Sheriff’s Office shut down the bar and began checking IDs.

The investigators obtained an additional 46 statements from minors who admitted to consuming alcohol and stated that nearly 90 percent of the bar’s 200 patrons were under the legal drinking age.

“This is an egregious violation,” said Bill Crowley of the State Liquor Authority. “This isn’t a minor or two that just slipped through the door.”

The State Liquor Authority charged Darby O’Gill’s with 77 violations on Dec. 4, including 72 counts for selling to a minor, failure to supervise, serving in an unlicensed outside area, and failure to maintain accurate books and records.

Darby O’Gills refused to comment.

A press release issued by SLA Wednesday afternoon alluded to the possibility of future consequences for any local establishment that does not comply with the legal drinking age.

“I want to commend the Members of the Authority for sending a clear message today that bar owners who knowingly serve alcohol to minors will immediately be shut down,” Riano said.

An atmosphere of fear and confusion clouded the bar, according to a male student who was present at the time of the bar raid. The student wishes to remain anonymous.

He said, “Around 11:20, all of a sudden all of the lights came on and the DJ stopped playing. And we were really confused, then we look up and there’s at least eight cops in the place.”

The student described police officers ordering patrons who were over 21 years of age to come to the front of the bar first. The remainder of the crowd was then organized into four sections and rigorously questioned by police.

By the time he was done being questioned, the student exited the bar around 3 a.m. and received a ride home from one of the numerous cabs waiting outside.

Minors were given traffic tickets with court appearance dates printed on them. According to the student, court appearances have already begun and will continue into next week, simultaneous to the college’s final examination period.

“Everyone has a court date and now a lot of people are getting scared because they don’t know if it could be more,” said the student. “I don’t know if it’s supposed to be an easy fine, I don’t know anymore. It’s really up in the air so we don’t know what to do.”

“I don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s very stressful. It’s not even stressful, it’s more like nerve wracking.”

Following the off-campus raid, panic ensued on campus Monday evening as police cars were spotted in freshman residence areas. However, this was the result of a reported robbery in a freshman residence hall, according to Resident Assistant Evan Mastriano.

The Office of Safety and Security at Marist declined to comment, stating the incident had nothing to do with the college.

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Himmelberger Legacy Marches On

Those who entered Fusco Hall the night of Nov. 9 were met with the sounds of triumphant and patriotic marching music. The monsoon outside failed to prevent a crowd comprised of both young and old faces from gathering to hear Art Himmelberger share his knowledge of music’s role in the setting of World War I.

Himmelberger serves as the Director of the Marist College Music Department and Director of Bands. He has been a member of the Marist faculty since 1986.

Since becoming director in 2001, Himmelberger has expanded the Marist College Band from its original two trumpet players to the approximately 150-person group it is today.

Himmelberger’s story extends well beyond his time at Marist. He is also a veteran of the United States Army and, throughout his service, found ways to marry his passions of music and the military.

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Himmelberger taught audience members about the role of music in World War I on Nov. 9

During the Vietnam War, Himmelberger was an undergraduate student attending the University of Michigan. He received a student deferment that allowed him to continue his studies, but afterwards he was to be entered into a lottery to determine whether he would be drafted.

“A lot of my classmates at Michigan became draft dodgers because Ann Arbor was very close to Windsor, Canada,” said Himmelberger. “The night the draft lottery [aired] on TV, I saw them pack up their rooms and they went over to Windsor, stayed there during the war.”

These peers were among the as many as 60,000 American men to cross into Canada to avoid being drafted for the war.

Rather than gambling his fate, he auditioned for three of the Armed Force’s special bands and eventually enrolled to play in the United States Army Field Band in Washington D.C.

“I call it the Cadillac of the service,” said Himmelberger.

Himmelberger was among the more than eight and a half million Americans to serve in the Armed Forces during the Vietnam War, as stated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. He was not among the more than three million to see combat.

At 21 years old, Himmelberger travelled with the band around the country, going as far as Alaska, Hawaii, and the Virgin Islands. Their purpose was to rouse the spirits of the American people at a time when citizens participated in demonstrations and burned the nation’s flag.

“I was on the road 200 days a year,” he said. “Get up, throw me on a bus, play a concert, get back on the bus, go play another concert. [But] it was a wonderful experience.”

Himmelberger dedicated three and a half years to the service, and afterwards became a public school teacher in his home state of Pennsylvania.

However, he found his life as a teacher in public schools to be underwhelming. Underpaid and struggling to make ends meet, especially upon the birth of his daughter, he additionally played in 3 small city symphony orchestras to help pay his bills. In 1983, the time he stopped teaching in Pennsylvania, teacher’s salaries were $21,935 in current dollars.

Himmelberger went on to become a full-time member of the band at the United States Military Academy at West Point. While at West Point, he designed halftime shows and special events, including celebration activities in Germany upon the deconstruction of the Berlin Wall.

He recounted performing for military heroes, former Presidents, and kings and queens of European principalities.

During his 26 years at West Point, Himmelberger rose to the rank of Sergeant Major.

“My military experience was certainly much nicer than those soldiers who had to serve in combat,” said Himmelberger. “I had dear friends that were not so lucky as I. I had talents and I figured out how to use them to my benefit.”

In addition to his role at West Point, he taught at Marist as an adjunct professor in the evenings.

“[Himmelberger] just loves this country,” said senior band member Caroline Carrano. “The Army regiment definitely comes across in rehearsals sometimes.”

Himmelberger was first introduced to music when he was two years old. He often accompanied his father, a percussionist aspiring to be a professional musician, to community band rehearsals, sitting on a bench his father created for him.

As a boy, Himmelberger always dreamed of attending West Point, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, who served in both World Wars. His daughter also went on to serve in the Army.

Himmelberger has coordinated numerous events on campus concerning the wartime history of America, including the upcoming “Echoes of World War I” concert on Dec. 2. The proceeds from past concerts were donated to veteran organizations.

“Art calls us his ‘children’ and never fails to remind us that he loves each of us,” said Carrano. “Even through long rehearsals we know we are appreciated for our hard work.”

Beaten, Battered, Bruised: Marist Sports Injuries

Action and excitement packed the stands at the Marist Red Foxes vs. Dayton Flyers football game. Fans roared from the stands as athletes made daring catches at the end zone, followed by the blares of the Marist Fight Song emanating from the band. One enthuastic fan nearly tumbled over the rope barrier as he congratulated a player following his game-winning catch.

Despite all the activity and fanfare that make any sporting event fun to watch, there have been reports of six to 10 concussions, six to eight ACL tears, and three to four fractures in the Marist 2018 fall athletic season.

Data on the specific number of injuries is not clear due to ongoing testing on recent injuries, according to Jeffery Carter, the Coordinator for Sports Medicine at Marist.

Carter explained that there have been approximately 200-300 injury reports made to the Athletics Department this fall, but a majority of injuries reported are those such as bruises, sore muscles, and other minor injuries.

He additionally stated that each year the number of injuries that Marist athletes endure fluctuate inexplicably.

“I would say that recognition of injuries is always getting better so that might be a reason for an ‘increase,’ but the overall rates haven’t increased here at Marist, or Division I as a whole,” Carter said.

Carter believes the number of injuries is actually decreasing due to the installation of new turf.

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Jeffery Carter, Coordinator for Sports Medicine at Marist College

Since 2004, male and female college athletes reported approximately 12,500 injuries per year to the NCAA and the National Athletic Trainer’s Association.

The NCAA presently does not require sports teams to release injury reports, according to an SB Nation article. But this may change due to the legalization of sports betting.

Dr. Justin Feldman is a physical therapist and owner of Feldman Physical Therapy & Performance, with locations in Poughkeepsie and Fishkill. Feldman has treated student athletes for almost 12 years with clientele from Marist and other local colleges such as Vassar College, Dutchess Community College, Mount Saint Mary College, and West Point.

Feldman has had student athletes visit his office for concussions, ACL tears, and ankle sprain injuries so far this fall.

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Dr. Justin Feldman, physical therapist and owner of Feldman Physical Therapy & Performance

He also listed many factors that may contribute to the rise in sports injuries among college students, one of these being that the student specialized in their sport while they were too young.

“By the time they hit college, [the students] have been doing only that sport year round for too long and the stress adds up,” said Feldman. “Also, their bodies become less adaptable, and therefore more at risk for injuries.”

He additionally listed sleep deprivation as another factor in injuries related to athletics, stating that student athletes, “aren’t great at the rest and recovery aspect of sports.”

Feldman also advised student athletes to get eight and a half to nine hours of sleep each night and to work on strength and conditioning in the gym.

“I see too many athletes that don’t do the strength and conditioning part, and that sets them up for injuries,” he said.

Carter and his staff of certified athletic trainers also offer resources to college athletes when they sustain injuries.

He and his team will rehabilitate injuries that occur during any type of athletic participation, including club and intramural sports, oftentimes both with members of the Marist staff and a local physical therapist.

Carter stated that prevention of serious injuries occurs at multiple levels, including “overall safety and awareness of fields and courts; pre- and post- activity stretching and flexibility work; pre-participation physicals and health history reviews; working with our strength coach to identify weakness [and] deficiencies that can be corrected with exercises, etc.; and education and instruction with coaches to identify risky drills, etc.”

Ellie Petraccione, a member of the Women’s Lacrosse team, suffered from a fractured sesamoid bone. She stated that, throughout her rehabilitation process, her athletic trainer at Marist consistently checked with her pain levels and ensured she was progressing well towards recovery.

“I am so thankful for my experience [with the athletic training staff] because I felt valued and important,” said Petraccione. “Every single athletic trainer knew who I was, what I was going through, and they were always willing to help.”

Carter is currently working to add additional staff members for the Division I, Club, and Intramural sports leagues to further help injured athletes.

He said, “I think the only thing I would add is that although our staffing is minimally sufficient, we as a department could offer better care and more services if our staffing numbers were increased.”

 

Historic Walkway Undergoes Renovations

The Walkway Over the Hudson has served as a popular attraction for both tourists and locals since its opening in 2009 as a State Historic Park. Today, the site is undergoing changes to ensure parkgoers have an even more positive experience.

The walkway’s nearly 600,000 visitors have been asked to pardon its appearance as construction on a Dutchess Welcome Center and a new elevator has begun.

Located near the parking lot, the 1,800-square-foot Dutchess Welcome Center is set to include amenities such as an outdoor patio, a dog-friendly water fountain, bike racks, and bathrooms, according to an article from The Poughkeepsie Journal. A new staircase will also be added to give visitors access to the walkway from Orchard Place.

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Images with the design of the new welcome center is posted on the fence outside of the construction site

The addition of a welcome center on the Dutchess side follows the unveiling of a similar center in Ulster County in June.

 

Many individuals, especially older visitors, have expressed a great deal of excitement towards the new bathrooms. Prior to construction, people could only utilize portable toilets set up near the parking lot.

Aside from bathrooms, visitors also expressed that they would like to see an additional concession stand providing snacks, light fare, and water incorporated into the welcome center.

“I just think overall it’s a good concept that they’re trying to provide better facilities for people because this is an attraction,” stated Matt Kravits, a Somers, NY resident.

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The new Dutchess Welcome Center is currently under construction and is set to open in the spring of 2019

Construction on the welcome center began in April, as stated by one of the walkway’s ambassadors, and is set to be completed by spring 2019 prior to the park’s 10th anniversary.

 

Currently, the welcome center appears to be in its initial phases of construction. Cinder block walls have been resurrected, and the structure is encased along with construction equipment by a chain-link fence. A sign posted on the fence provides visitors with images of the future site in addition to information on what to expect.

The materials and equipment being used for the construction site itself are being stored in areas that serve as parking spaces. Approximately 36 parking spaces, included those designated for handicapped individuals, seem to be taken up by the activity.

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Construction materials can be seen taking up several parking spaces

According to the walkway’s ambassadors, however, there have been no complaints concerning less parking spaces available. Additionally, the Walkway Over the Hudson is offering free parking in the lots due to the ongoing project.

 

In addition to the welcome center, the Walkway Over the Hudson will also debut an improved elevator system by the spring.

The new elevator will rely on an “encased energy chain upgrade,” which will replace the wireless-based communication system. The wireless-based system was discovered to be sensitive to the changing weather conditions of the region, as reported by the Mid Hudson Valley Patch. This energy chain system is anticipated to extend seasonal usage and improve reliability.

While construction on this project has not begun yet, the elevator remains closed to visitors until the construction is completed. Signs explaining the closure are posted at both the Dutchess and Ulster sides of the walkway along with a phone number to inquire about the elevator’s status.

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Signs warning of the elevator’s closure are located at both ends of the walkway

 

“I think they should definitely prioritize having the elevator accessible sooner than later,” shared Sue Kravits, a New York resident visiting with her husband, Matt. “I believe that it just opens it up to people that have disabilities and can’t access it another way, and that just would be a really goodwill sort of thing to do for the community and for those that want to use it.”

In regards to both the elevator and the welcome center, John Fila, another visitor from Greenwood Lake, NY, said, “I think anything they could do to make more parks and stuff more friendly for more people to enjoy, the better off [it] is.”