Leave it to Ev Mann (Executive Director of the Center for Creative Education) to bring someone as special as Eda Zavala Lopez to Midtown Kingston. The two met when she was in NY in April working on a project for indigenous rights at the UN. A noted healer from the Peruvian Amazon, Eda is descended from a long line of healers in the tradition of the Wari people.In July, Hudson Valley residents will have two unique opportunities to see her.
Looking for something to do later this month? How about immersing into the local history scene? This just in from the Friends of Historic Kingston (includes a few calendar items):
RONDOUT NATIONAL HISTORIC DISTRICT WALKING TOUR OFFERED
KINGSTON – The monthly walking tour of the Rondout National Historic District, offered by Friends of Historic Kingston, will take place on Saturday, June 26, departing at 11 a.m. from the Kingston Heritage Area Visitors Center, 20 Broadway.
Years ago, I had the privilege to work for Ev Mann of the Center for Creative Education. At that time, their headquarters were in Stone Ridge, NY. Coming up from New York City as a musician with a background in Production Management, it was my good fortune to have seen their ad for someone like me to assist the Administrative Director, Mary Farel.
Those couple of years were two of the most fulfilling in my professional life.
Although Ev has had close ties working with the children and schools in the city of Kingston, he moved his operation from Stone Ridge into Midtown back in 2005/2006 where he continues to bring music, culture, dance and drums to the youth and families in our area.
On Friday night (4/30) The Center for Creative Education in partnership with Active Voice and Participant Media bring a FREE screening of the ever important film FOOD INC to UPAC in the city of Kingston. Click on this LINK to see the flyer for this event.
On the ground, we are witnessing alarming numbers in childhood obesity – yet at the same time, 1 in 8 children will go hungry each and every day.
It’s critical that as a community, we work to change our daily habits. In Kingston, every one of our schools (and I believe there are 14) will have some form of garden in them. That’s a huge accomplishment that has taken place in just two years time.
Gardens are the buzz word in Kingston. Let’s continue to nurture them and encourage our children to get growing at home and at school. Take your family and visit a local farm, and pick something fresh off the vine to taste.
Where: Ulster County Legislative Chambers, 6th Floor Ulster County Office Building (COB), 244 Fair Street, Kingston NY 12401 (enter from parking lot in back of building)
Hi everyone this is Victor-Pierre and on behalf of Clearwater and The Hudson Valley Regional Council I would like to invite you to our Green Infrastructure (GI) Community meeting to discuss Green Infrastructure Planning. I have had the privilege of meeting most of you at recent training in Kingston on Green Jobs and at the Climate Smart Community Pledge meeting and was excited that you expressed interest in attending our GI community planning meeting. Hope to see you soon.
The Hudson Valley Regional Council (HVRC) is implementing a green infrastructure (GI) planning project in Kingston and six other communities in the Hudson Valley region in New York State. In each locale, community-based teams, guided by our community outreach leaders, will participate in site assessment training workshops, public outreach and the planning of 10 concept projects at promising sites.
1. In Kingston we want to build the capacity of municipalities, their consultants and other local stakeholders to understand, plan for, implement, and maintain GI practices.
2. We will develop an inventory exisitng GI demonstration projects and identify the potential for expanded GI projects and sites, including at least 10 detailed conceptual plans in each of seven selected communities in the region.
Who is this meeting for?
We need a local team that can provide a variety of skills and resources:
Students and teachers · Municipal officials · Business leaders and owners · Homeowners and neighborhood groups · Scouting groups · Garden clubs and community gardeners · Design professionals · Builders, landscaping contractors, plumbers · Environmental/Conservation committees · Other interested citizens
Contacts at Clearwater for this project in the City of Kingston are:
Victor-Pierre Melendez: firstname.lastname@example.org (845) 265-8080 ext. 7144
The Everett Hodge Center on Franklin Street in Kingston has always been an important place to us. Almost in the heart of Midtown, it works hard to service and run programs for the children and families living in Ward 4 and beyond.
Every Friday night, Ward 4 resident Jeanne Edwards helps to organize a healthy warm meal for the children as part of the “Hodge Food For Thought/Rewards For Excellence” program. They are always in need of healthy food donation as well as volunteers. Visitors and presentations for the children are a great gift, and always welcomed.
Visit their BLOG for weekly posts, and contact information for more on the program and how you can help.
By the way, the 5th Annual Midtown Make A Difference Day has been set for June 19th from 11am – 4pm at the Hodge Center. If you wish to learn more, contact Megan Weiss (Kingston Cares) at 845/331-1110.
Location: Adjacent to 630 Broadway (Intersection of Broadway and Oneil Street)
The City of Kingston will hold a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Broadway to signify the installation of Mr. Big Belly Solar Compactors and dozens of Bicycle Racks along the Midtown Broadway Corridor. These streetscape improvements were made possible through the NYS Main Street Program, administered through the Rural Ulster Preservation Company. This funding has allowed the City of Kingston to improve amenities along Broadway with the purchase of 4 solar powered trash compactors and recycling units. Kingston will be one of the first cities in New York to purchase and implement these unique waste handling systems. Over time, these units will decrease the number of trips necessary to empty refuse along Broadway, while working to beautify the Midtown Area. Representatives from Direct Environmental Corporation, makers of Mr. Big Belly will be on hand to demonstrate the units and answer questions.
Funds were also use to purchase bike racks, which will be placed along Broadway this Spring to encourage more Kingstonians to bicycle to and from residences and businesses along the Broadway Corridor.
RUPCO worked closely with the City of Kingston and the Green Corridor Project, which includes representatives from Sustainable Hudson Valley, Kingston Parks and Recreation Department, Mid Hudson Energy Smart Communities, RUPCO and numerous environmental professionals and Kingston residents to make this project a success. The Green Corridor Project aims to link environmentally minded businesses and institutions along Kingston’s main thoroughfare to attract and encourage a green economy in Kingston.
For more information, contact Steve Noble, 845-481-7336 or email@example.com
Forsyth Nature Center Hosts Kingston’s Storyteller Laureate
Date: April 22, 2010
Location: Forsyth Nature Center, Kingston, NY
The Forsyth Nature Center will celebrate a very special Earth Day this year with Karen Pillsworth, Kingston’s Storyteller Laureate. Karen’s vibrant and energetic telling of stories for the earth will inspire audiences of all ages. All participants will receive an Earth Day gift of a tree sapling donated by the Friends of Forysth Nature Center. This event is free and weather permitting. For more information, you can call 845-481-7339 or visit the Forsyth Nature Center’s website.
Kingston Clean Sweep
Date: April 24, 2010
Location: Kingston Corridor
A spring clean-up of litter lying along the newly instituted “Kingston Corridor” will take place on Saturday, April 24, 9 a.m. to noon. The Kingston Clean Sweep is being sponsored by the Friends of Historic Kingston with support from the City of Kingston and more than 20 other local business and service organizations.
The city will be divided into eight sections, each overseen by one or more of the participating organizations. Volunteers will be provided with City-supplied trash bags that will be collected by the Department of Public Works following the event. People are asked to bring their own work gloves and a broom, if possible, to sweep dirt piles from the sidewalks. The event will take place rain or shine.
Volunteers are still needed in several sections along the “Kingston Corridor” which runs from the Thruway Circle down to the Rondout Creek. Anyone who wishes to volunteer can call the Friends of Historic Kingston at (845) 339-0720 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .
When I learned that the Kingston Library was offering a tour of it’s facility on Tuesday, March 9th at 6:00pm by Margie Menard (the Director herself), I simply couldn’t wait to share the news.
Margie took a moment to answer a few of our questions. We hope that some of you can make the tour tomorrow night and that even more of you will consider becoming a member if you are not one already.
Rebecca Martin: How long have you worked at the Kingston Library?
Margie Menard: I started working at Kingston Library as the Reference Librarian in November of 2004. I was later promoted to Assistant Director and took my current position as Director in April 2008
RM: Could you give us an overview of your programs in 2010?
MM: We have some really terrific programs lined up for 2010. We will be continuing some of our longstanding, popular programs as well as adding some new programs. Continuing programs include our literary discussion group which meets on the 4th Monday of every month at noon. This group discusses a broad range of literature from classics to contemporary novels and poetry. We also have an extremely popular Classics in Religion discussion group that meets Wednesday mornings. For one hour each week, local religious leaders make selections for reading aloud and discussion. Over the years, this group has studied across a broad range of faith traditions and spiritual practices. Also on Wednesdays in the evening, a devoted group of Bridge players meet for cards and fellowship in our community room. For young children we have twice weekly story hours on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings which include stories, crafts and music. Kingston Library will also continue to host the monthly Super Saturdays programs for families which have included puppetry, science demonstrations, live animal shows, music, dance, magic and story telling. The library also plans a broad range of activities for kids to keep them engaged in reading over the summer as part of our Summer Reading Program. This year we will be continuing and expanding on our summer program for teens that was begun last year thanks in part to a generous grant from Ulster Savings Bank. In addition, we have occasional programs throughout the year for all ages that in the past have included gardening, readings by local authors, kayaking, financial planning, meditation, music, local history and more. There is also much to enjoy in rotating exhibits of artwork and information on the library’s walls and in display cases.
RM: What do you feel is the greatest challenge in providing this community service?
MM: One of our greatest challenges is getting the word out to people that the library is probably so much more than they think it is. Often, people stop visiting the library when they leave school and don’t realize that we have something to offer everyone, at every stage in their lives. In addition to outstanding books and dozens of magazine and newspaper subscriptions, we have graphic novels and comics, popular music CDs, current feature films on DVD, audio books on tape and CD as well as downloadable books that can be downloaded to your iPod or MP3 players. The library provides dozens of public internet computers and free wifi access. We also provide a broad range of online resources that can be used from any internet accessible computer in your home or office. These resources include homework support and early literacy resources for kids, language learning instruction for those wishing to learn languages from Arabic to Vietnamese and English as a second language instruction, job finding resources, test prep for civil service and academic tests like the SAT and GED. The library is also just a great place to meet your neighbors and see what’s going on in the community. Community groups are invited to make use of our meeting spaces and we have had groups ranging from local service agencies and neighborhood groups to 4H clubs and crafters meet here.
RM: The tour of the facility is a great idea! What do you hope participants will walk away with and will you continue to give tours of the Library?
MM: I hope that as many people as possible come to tour our building. The idea is to give participants a complete picture of the library from children’s and adult services to administrative activities and the physical plant. Even those of us who use the library aren’t always aware of everything that goes into providing this invaluable community resource. Kingston residents have a long history of supporting their library. I’d like to give people an opportunity to see the whole library from a new perspective so they can feel proud of this remarkable resource that their tax dollars support. We will continue to do tours of the facility as long as people are interested in learning more about it.
RM: Can you name one really special aspect of Kingston’s library that perhaps most people wouldn’t know?
MM: One of the most special aspects of Kingston Library is that it’s function is to serve the residents of Kingston and it’s resources are available to everyone–no exceptions. We want the library to be a meaningful part of of our community and we want everyone to know that no matter what point you’re at in life, the library has something to offer you. Whether you’re looking for education, information or recreation, you can find it at the library. Come sign up for a library card and discover what special things the library has to offer you.
RM: What’s the best way for a person to be in touch if they wish to volunteer?
MM: The best way for someone to be in touch if they want to volunteer at the library is to come in and use the resources, see what’s happening, chat with the staff and see where they would like to participate. Join the Friends of Kingston Library and become part of a great group of smart, friendly, interesting people dedicated to serving their community by supporting their library. FOKL will be having their annual meeting starting at 7:00 on Tuesday March 9th at the library. Come at 6:00 for refreshments and a tour. We are also looking for dedicated people interested in serving on the Kingston Library Board of Trustees. Library trustees are a bridge between the library and the community and serving in this capacity can make a significant contribution to the community. Join us at a board meeting on the third Thursday of the month at 7:00 at the library. There are opportunities from high tech to low tech, with ages from children to seniors, working directly with people to behind the scenes support work. Come in and see what’s happening!
Not a single member of our community should ever go hungry, and if Diane Reeder has her way no one will. Her tireless efforts and creative ideas fuel what is The Queens Galley, an organization that began back in 2003 and “provides awareness, education, relief and prevention of food insecurity in America. The Queens Galley supports, creates and implements programs dedicated to the affordable nutritional education of children, families and seniors”. It also happens to be one of the more unique soup kitchens in the State if not beyond. Since she launched it back in 2006, Diane provides three meals a day to anyone in need, no questions asked. No paperwork to fill and file. What’s more is it’s restaurant style, where folks are served what look like gourmet meals table side. With a focus on local and sustainable foods, Diane collaborates with local farms and farmers incorporating nutritious and seasonal items into each meal that the Galley creates.
As meaningful as the work is in our community, it is really just the tip of the iceberg of what this powerhouse of a gal accomplishes on the food security front.
One of her upcoming events, the “Hudson Valley Hunger Banquet” is an impressive effort. On Sunday, March 28, twelve hunger relief organizations in the Hudson Valley will come together to host the first collaborative hunger event, a Hunger Banquet at Backstage Productions. Few experiences bring to life the inequalities in our world more powerfully than an Oxfam Hunger Banquetevent. Unique and memorable, The Hunger Banquet event allows participants to experience firsthand how our decisions affect others in the world.
Upon arrival at the event guests draw tickets at random that assign them each to either a high-, middle-, or low-income tier-based on the latest statistics about the number of people living in poverty. Each income level receives a corresponding meal. The 15 percent in the high- income tier are served a sumptous meal catered by celebrated chef Samir Hrichi of Ship to Shore; the 35 percent in the middle-income section will dine on an offering from the Kingston Consolidated school lunch menu; and the 50 percent in the low-income tier help themselves to small portions of rice and water.
Their guest speaker, Chef Sarah Copeland (writer, blog author of edible living, recipe developer for the Food Network Magazine, spokesperson for the Food Network and Share Our Strength’s fight against childhood hunger, and a co-founder of our Good Food Gardens initiative).
Queens Galley, Family of Woodstock, Caring Hands Soup Kitchen, Daily Bread Soup Kitchen, Ulster Corps, Angel Food East, Saint James Food Pantry, Rosendale Food Pantry, People’s Place, Chiz’s Heart Street, God Given Bread Food Pantry and Libertyview Farm.
For some time, I have not only been impressed by KURA (Kingston Uptown Residents Association) but am ever so grateful to have smarts like that on the case of some very pressing issues here in the city of Kingston. They have successfully hosted meetings to expose residents to important information while tackling the complications of such topics as Kingston’s Nuisance Abatement law, the city’s budget and the confusion of our citywide reval and tax structure.
I had the great pleasure to meet and listen to Gerald and Victoria at Ward 1’s community meeting this past February (by the way, if you haven’t yet seen Ward 1 Alderman Andi Turco-Levin’s blog yet, you must. She is doing an exceptional job at City Hall and in reaching out and listening to her constituents. I highly recommend you bookmark her BLOG ).
On Tuesday, April 20th KURA will host another public information meeting at the Old Dutch Church in Kingston (272 Wall Street) on “How To Appeal Your Property Assessment”. Guest speakers will be Ken Brett, member of the City of Kingston Board of Assessment Review and Mark Grunblatt, Real Estate Attorney in Kingston.
Of course, it must be noted that KingstonCitizens.org learned of Karen Vetere during the now defunct homeowners tax relief group meeting back a year or more ago. Before and since then, Karen has been extremely helpful in working with residents through the maze of making sure their house values and tax increases were correct. There are many who experienced a doubling in their taxes over the course of a year, almost taxing them right out of their homes in one fell swoop. In fact, it’s still a real possibility as things currently are.
Sometimes, the city of Kingston officials seem to work against its citizens with a lack of good planning. That’s not to say there aren’t good people working in city government. What I’m trying to get at here, is that in order for this all to work as it was intended, the citizens need to take an ongoing active role in it all. You mustn’t grumble over it either. Part of the problem is due to a lack of involvement and oversight by the people.
We need to be paying close attention now and we need to stay the course on whatever issue calls us. Constructive changes don’t occur overnight.
Thanks to those mentioned in this post, and to all of the citizen groups new and old who are working to make the city a cool place to live while trying to incorporate every single one of it’s residents so to nurture it into the rich and diverse community that it is meant to be.
We’re in for a real trifecta of a treat – the kind that only comes along once every 19 years. There will be a Blue Moon rising to help ring in the New Year. Party goers in Africa, Asia and Europe will be treated to this event with a partial lunar eclipse, but it will remain unseen for those in North and South America. (Click HERE for an animated preview)
The last New Year’s Eve Blue Moon occurred in 1990.
How rare is a lunar eclipse of a Blue Moon on New Years Eve? According to SpaceWeather.com, “A search of NASA’s Five Millennium Catalogue of Lunar Eclipses provides an approximate answer. In the next 1000 years, Blue Moons on New Year’s Eve will be eclipsed only 11 times (once every 91 years).”
A Blue Moon is the name given to the second new moon to occur during the same month. The moon’s cycle of waxing and waning gives us a full moon every 29.5 days. Lunar cycles differ from solar cycles in that the solar calendar contains an extra 11 days (roughly). These “extra” days accumulate so that every 2.7154 years, there is an extra full moon.
Ancient myths and folklore have entire chapters, entire books for that matter, dedicated to the effect of a full moon on human behavior. The term lunacy and lunatic are derived from Luna, the Roman moon goddess. The full moon has been linked to crime, suicide, mental illness, disasters, accidents, birthrates, fertility, and even werewolves. However studies have found no direct connection, rendering it no more than an urban myth.
It seems to me that there is an exceptional amount of poetic symmetry for this rare event to occur on the eve of a new year, while acting as the usherer of a new decade. It gives me a little hope that 2010 will be a better year for all of Kingston’s citizens.
Perhaps this rare 19 year event is the year for that New Year’s resolution to stick? That’s probably an urban legend too. (Just in case though, try to think of a good one.)
From all of us to all of you, best wishes for a happy, healthy, prosperous and safe Blue Moon New Year! Let the revelry and howling commence.
Today we took our little boy to ‘catch the train’ at the Kingston Plaza.
The Catskill Mountain Railroad will have it’s last day of the season tomorrow (Sunday), December 27th. Running hourly, the fun begins at 1:00pm. Last train at 6:00pm. Their Caboose has a woodstove – so you can choose to be out in the elements, or warm and cozy by the fire. Tickets are $6 for adults, $4 for children. Children four and under are free.
If you are looking for something to do tomorrow, give it a try.
It’s here, again. Looking at the calendar I can’t deny it anymore. The holidays are coming even if I’m not ready.
Once this indulgent time of year has passed, what’s left behind will be evident in what’s put out curbside. Plaintiffs’ exhibit one being the Christmas tree.
I suppose there’s an ongoing debate over artificial versus real trees. I fall on the side of bah-humbug with regard to all things Christmas. But if it became compulsory to display a Christmas tree and I had to make a choice between a real tree or its artificial counterpart, I would choose real any year.
Last year 28 million real Christmas trees were sold in the US. They are grown in each of the fifty states and Canada. With nearly 21,000 tree growing farms, the industry employs more than 100,000 full or part time annually.
Trees are a renewable, recyclable resource. For every tree harvested, up to 3 seedlings are planted. An acre of tree farm can provide enough oxygen for 18 people, while also providing a natural habitat to a variety of animals.
Once the glamour, glitz and glory of the holiday fade, all those trees begin their journey to their final resting place. In Kingston we have two organized options available to local residents.
Bring your family and your tree to the annual Winterfest event held at Hasbrouck Park on January 16th between 10:00 – 2:00. Your tree will be mulched for free! You can take your mulch home with you or leave it to be distributed and used in Kingston’s extensive park system.
This growing and popular event is sponsored by the Kingston Parks and Recreation Department and the Friends of Forsyth Nature Center. Other planned activities include snowshoeing lessons, snow animal building contest and children’s crafts. The latter will be held inside of the heated and historic Hasbrouck Park Stone Building. For directions to the event, click here.
If you are unable to make it to Winterfest, you may place your defrocked tree curbside for pickup through Jan 31st according to the city code. Please note that if you get your tree out before January 16th the DPW will transport them to event site for chipping. Any trees hauled away after that date will go to our local brush dump.
Still want more green tips for Christmas? Check out these ideas.
Did You Know: 85% of artificial Christmas trees are manufactured in China and are made with non bio-degradable plastics?
Morgan Taylor — illustrator, songwriter, and creator of the Gustafer Yellowgold multimedia “musical moving storybook” concert experience — is hailed as one of today’s most original performers on the family music scene. GUSTAFER YELLOWGOLD’S SHOW makes its KINGSTON, NY DEBUT with a show at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 6 at the Arts Society of Kingston, 97 Broadway, Kingston. As a special treat, on Saturday, December 5, Morgan Taylor will offer a Cartooning Workshop for ages 7 – 12 at 10:00 a.m. and a Songwriting Workshop for ages 12 – 15 at 11:00 a.m. at the Art Society of Kingston.
Named “Best Kids’ Performer 2008” by New York Magazine, Morgan Taylor developed the Gustafer Yellowgold experience as equal parts pop rock concert and minimally animated movie. A natural storyteller with a comedic bent, Taylor has dreamed up a whole world of catchy and original story-songs about Gustafer (a friendly creature who came to Earth from the sun), performed alongside a large screen displaying vividly colored animations with karaoke-style subtitles. Gustafer lives out an explorer’s life in a slightly psychedelic version of the Minnesota woods, where he resides in a cottage with his menagerie of friends, including a pet eel, a tuxedo-wearing pterodactyl, and a dragon named Asparagus who inhabits the fireplace and loves corn on the cob. For recreation, Gustafer enjoys jumping on cake.
Since his creation in 2005, Gustafer Yellowgold has become an international phenomenon, praised by Newsweek as “full of great pop tunes and hand-drawn animation about a li’l fella from the sun.” The Los Angeles Times enthused, “Taylor’s whimsical, lightly psychedelic world forms an interesting bridge between adult and kids’ music.” The Washington Post declared, “He’s a star on stage and screen! … The mix of catchy tunes and offbeat stories has endeared Taylor, and Gustafer, to teenagers as well.” The Chicago Tribune wrote, “Gustafer Yellowgold has made kids’ music so cool that teenagers and ultra-hip bands such as Wilco want to get in on the act … a shiny blend of pop art and pop tunes.” Parenting magazine called Gustafer “The coolest little space invader since E.T. … a hip and trippy sunsation. Parental warning: You, too, will become hooked on the tunes.”
Gustafer is not just for kids! Possessing an unusual crossover appeal, GUSTAFER YELLOWGOLD’S SHOW has performed as the support act for Wilco and The Polyphonic Spree. Gustafer recently made his off-Broadway debut in a new production, Gustafer Yellowgold’s Mellow Sensation. Tours to performing arts centers, concert halls, theatres, festivals, museums, libraries, and cinemas have taken Gustafer across the U.S., the U.K., and even to Korea.
Morgan Taylor was a Grand Prize-winner in this year’s John Lennon Songwriting Contest. His other activities include playing bass for The Autumn Defense (John Stirratt and Pat Sansone of WIlco) and a recording project with Tony Award winning songwriter Duncan Sheik.
One of the organizers of the upcoming Drum Boogie Festival, Paul Rakov, has sent out a request to all interested parties (and particularly drummers).
They are searching for about 50 drummers to help lay down a beat to kick things off at Cornell Park on September 19th in Kingston. Drum legends Jack DeJohnette, Jerry Moratta and others will be soloing over your groove! It’s an extraordinary opportunity and so much fun, too.
Interested? Here is the rehearsal schedule:
Saturday, September 12th
Woodstock Percussion Studio
Shokan (Dubois Road off Rt. 28, turn right at the Reservoir Deli with the cow on it)
Lunch will be served
REHEARSAL AND PERFORMANCE
Saturday, September 19th
Cornell Park, Kingston (off of Wurtz Street on the Rondout)
Lunch will be served
The concert is free and performers will not be paid. This is truly for the spirit of drumming, to bring some business to the Rondout and establish a festival that hopefully will blossom into something bigger in the year to come.
You can contact Paul Rakov if you have any questions by calling: 845/430-6182