Hindsight Is 2020: January 2021

The Year Had More Ups Than Downs
by John Conway
HURLEYVILLE – It is probably fair to say that last year was more historic than most.
The ongoing COVID pandemic and the restrictions that accompanied it dominated the news at all levels during the year. The Hurleyville Sentinel first reported on the pandemic in April, and some new development or other associated with the virus was covered in every edition since. But there were other newsworthy events taking place in and around the liveliest little hamlet in the Mountains, as well.
It has been perhaps a century since two major commercial buildings were constructed from the ground up at the same time on Main Street in Hurleyville, but throughout 2020 progress continued on two significant additions to the hamlet. The Hurleyville Mews, located at 234 Main Street, is a three-story mixed use building with four storefronts on the ground level and eight two-bedroom apartments on the upper floors. As of press time, the building was completely enclosed and interior framing was nearly complete and sheetrock had been delivered.
The new restaurant, catering facility and culinary education center located at the rear of the Performing Arts Centre, and positioned to face Main Street, is nearly completed, and word of a soft opening is anxiously awaited.
The Center for Discovery was in the news throughout the year, announcing an affiliation with Northwell Health, New York’s largest healthcare provider, in January, and being called “the gold standard in specialized care” by Congressman Antonio Delgado in July. In December, the Homestead school in Glen Spey announced a collaboration with TCFD and SUNY Sullivan in development of a new high school for the region, to be headquartered in Hurleyville.
Perhaps most remarkably, TCFD President and CEO Patrick H. Dollard, Associate Executive Director Dr. Theresa M. Hamlin, and a skilled and devoted staff have steered the organization through the COVID crisis remarkably well. Unlike virtually every other similar facility, The Center has had very few cases of COVID so far, and no deaths.
The Hurleyville General Store was honored in 2020 with an Empire Award from State Senator Jen Metzger for “their entrepreneurial success and dedication to uplifting all community members.”
In presenting the award, Senator Metzger said, “The Hurleyville General Store is a values driven business that puts inclusivity at the forefront. I had a great time perusing the store, which is filled with handcrafted products made right here in New York, sourced from small businesses that employ people with special needs, women-owned businesses, and more.”
Senator Metzger narrowly lost her bid for re-election in November, and her seat in Albany will be taken in January by political newcomer Mike Martucci of Orange County. Senator Metzger represented the 43nd District for a single two-year term, which ended on December 31. The district comprises all of Sullivan County, and parts of Orange, Ulster, and Delaware Counties.

“I have always taken a problem-solving approach to this job, and focused on the real needs of the rural communities and towns I represent, like combating climate change, closing the broadband gap, expanding affordable access to telehealth, and protecting our water, farmland, and other resources,” the Senator noted in a year end statement. “These are people issues, not partisan issues, and it has been an honor to serve as State Senator for communities in the Hudson Valley and Catskills.”
The Hurleyville Arts Center unveiled a new name and a new logo in celebration of its first season as an independent community-supported arts center. Incubated since 2016 by The Center for Discovery, the Arts Centre became a separate entity and is now known as the Hurleyville Performing Arts Centre. Once the COVID restrictions are lifted, HPAC will continue to screen the latest popular movies, host dance classes, live performances, and workshops, and will work to expand its offerings, as well as continuing to operate Gallery222 and the new restaurant, catering facility and culinary education center referenced above.
As the COVID pandemic seemed to revive itself entering the fall, plans for the annual Holiday in Hurleyville event were cancelled. The popular luminaria walk on the winter solstice was also canceled due to COVID, and most holiday celebrations, including Thanksgiving and Christmas were scaled back.
The pandemic, the lockdowns, the raucous election campaigns, and other disruptions moved some to dub 2020 “the annus horribilis” or the horrible year.