By Rebecca Martin
Here are some of KingstonCitizens.org’s highlights in 2010. With so many ‘first ever’ projects and initiatives this year, I’m hopeful that more of us are coming to realize that anything is possible here. All you have to do is imagine it, roll up your sleeves and make it happen.
Happy New Year. Here’s to a meaningful, creative and community minded 2011.
* KingstonCitizens.org joins the ranks and begins posting on Facebook.
* The City of Kingston is named one of the top ten places to buy a home in America on a national news program.
* The Healthy Kingston for Kids initative is launched with a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
* The Everett Hodge Center launches its ‘Food for Thought – Rewards for Excellence’ program providing healthy meals for the youth who frequent the center.
* Having 100 family members living in Haiti during the tragic earthquake, Kingston resident Jerrice Baptiste is supported by local musicians to raise money to help.
* Three Alderman entirely new to politics are sworn into office at Kingston City Hall. (Ward 1 Andi Turco-Levin, Ward 5 Jennifer Fuentes, Ward 9 Hayes Clement).
* Joshua Applestone of Fleishers Grass Fed and Organic Meats is a guest on Emeril Lagasse’s Food Network program.
* Kingston’s Main Street Manager program launches a new website called “Kingston Happenings“.
* First term alderwomen Andi Turco-Levin (Ward 1) and Jennifer Fuentes (Ward 5) host first Ward community meetings for their constituents.
* The Queens Galley hosts its first ever Hunger Banquet in Kingston.
* The Chronogram is nominated for an Utne Independent Press Award!
* Ward 9 Alderman Hayes Clement helps to shed light on overpayments to the safety net that will help save Kingston citizens a mint.
* The Kingston, NY Neighborhood Watch Group hosts it’s first official meeting.
* The first annual citywide street clean is a huge success.
* The GW Montessori School works to expand its program to accomodate K-5.
* The City Hall Victory Garden in its second year showcases a ‘square foot’ garden to illustrate how much food can be grown in an 8×8 foot raised bed.
* The Kingston Times wins first place in Division 1 for local government coverage in the 2009 NY Press Associations Better Newspaper’s contest.
* Fleishers Grass Fed and Organic Meats shows Martha Stewart how to break down an entire pig on her national program.
* Diane Reeder of the Queens Galley goes to the White House!
* First Community safety walk is organized by the Kingston, NY Neighborhood Watch.
* New business in Kingston: Boistons in Uptown Kingston and Kingston Natural Foods in the Rondout opens its doors.
* Clearwater Sloop announces docking in Kingston’s Rondout Creek.
* The first ever citywide yard sale is launched and successful, even in the rain!
* The YMCA Childrens garden breaks ground thanks to Ed Blouin of the City Garden Coalition.
* The Stockade Tavern opens for business.
* City of Kingston historian Edwin Ford releases his book “Street Whys”
* Midtown Kingston hosts design Charrette to re-envision Kings Inn.
* The Soapbox Derby hosts its 16th annual Derby. Organizers say it was their last year in doing so. Has the torch been passed? Lets hope so.
* Carnegie Library restoration project breaks ground.
* The Kingston Land Trust hires a full time Executive Director.
* Kingston citizen Paul Joffe launches ‘After the Press’.
* The O + Festival is wildly successful in fusing music and visual arts with the medical arts. One of the more exciting projects to surface in my almost ten years of living in Kingston.
* Second Chance 4 Me hosts ‘Art on the Line’, a three day event celebrating the arts of all kinds at 721 Media.
* The South Pine Street City Farm, Kingston’s first urban farm gets underway.
* Kingston Cares works to bring midtown residents together by hosting their second annual community forum at 721 media.
* Volunteers come together to clean Forsyth Park.
* City of Kingston Environmental Educators Julie and Steve Noble welcome a son Matthew Thomas Noble.
* Kingston hits the big time again with an article in the NY Daily News who refer to our city as “Brooklyn North”.