Zoning, the Mixed Use Overlay District, Comprehensive Plans and the Kingstonian Project

A comprehensive plan is a powerful document in New York State that creates a framework for making important decisions while guiding growth and development. Kingston’s own plan, adopted by the Common Council in April 2016, quite forcefully calls for an affordable housing requirement in new developments:

“Strategy 1.1.2: Require affordable housing for any new or expanded residential building or development project.  The City should consider expanding the number of projects that must provide a ‘fair share’ of affordable housing. Currently, affordable housing is only required for projects taking advantage of the mixed-use overlay district provisions.” (p. 21, Kingston 2025)

The City of Kingston continued to promote that goal in its 2017 Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) application in which the Kingstonian Project was proposed:

“Housing development in the Stockade Business District (SBD) has been limited, and a significant percentage of renters in the SBD and surrounding area are cost burdened, spending more than 30% of their incomes on housing costs.”  (Executive Summary of the City of Kingston’s 2017 DRI application).

However, in February of 2019, the developers of the Kingstonian Project submitted an application that includes 129 market-rate residential units in the Stockade District. The mandate for affordable housing that is outlined in Kingston’s Comprehensive Plan seems to be ignored with this substantial project.

At its first hearing on April 10th, the Kingston Planning Board began accepting public comments for the proposed Kingstonian. To date, the Board has not provided a timeline for review, a date for when the public comment period will close, or indicated when the Planning Board as lead agency will likely make a positive or negative declaration (pos or neg dec) in the project’s State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR), a decision that is meant to be made within 20-days following the acceptance of lead agency.

Since February, KingstonCitizens.org has spoken with many stakeholders about potential significant environmental impacts as it pertains to the Kingstonian Project. We have also fielded questions about the applicant’s zoning listed in its  Environmental Assessment Form (EAF).

 

 

What is a C-2 Zone in the City of Kingston?

The mixed residential and commercial Kingstonian Project is located in a C-2 zone where residential use is not a permitted as-of-right use. The City of Kingston Zoning Code for a C-2, short for Central Commercial District (§ 405.17), outlines uses that are permitted as-of-right:

A building may be erected, altered, arranged, designed or used, and a lot of premises may be used, for any of the following purposes by right and for no other: Retail stores; banks, including drive-in windows; service businesses, such as, but not limited to, barbershops, beauty parlors, tailors and dry-cleaning stores, custom dressmakers, jewelry repair, shoe repair, travel agents, auto rental offices, appliance repair and duplicating businesses and job printing establishments having not more than 10 persons engaged therein; business, professional and governmental offices; theaters and assembly halls; restaurants, art or craft studios or studios for teaching the performing arts; libraries, museums and art galleries; manufacturing, assembling, converting, altering, finishing, cleaning or any other processing of products where goods so produced or processed are to be sold at retail, exclusively on the premises, in accordance with the requirements of § 405-16B(13); public and private off-street parking lots and parking garages unless accessory to and on the same lot with a use otherwise permitted, such garages and parking lots shall be limited to use by passenger automobiles exclusively.”

Wouldn’t the Kingstonian Project be required to gain a variance for residential use by the City of Kingston Zoning Board of Appeals? It doesn’t appear to due to it being within a Mixed Use Overlay District.

What is the Mixed Use Overlay in the Stockade District?

The Mixed Use Overlay District (MUOD) was adopted in 2005 as an amendment to the City’s Zoning Code following three years of debate. (See “Kingston council OKs Uptown/Midtown loft law,Daily Freeman, 5 January 2005. ) The primary purpose of it was to ease the regulatory burden of converting upper floors in existing commercial buildings to residential use. Instead of applying for a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals, building owners could apply for a less onerous Special Use Permit from the Planning Board.

There are two MUODs in the city: the Stockade and Midtown. The thinking of council members at the time was that by making the adaptive reuse of commercial buildings in these districts for residential lofts easier, it would incentivize the creation of affordable housing units. Much of the text of the amendment (which was created with assistance by Greenplan, a planning consultant out of Rhinebeck) focuses on affordable housing, which is “intended” to be based on guidelines outlined therein. It is intended to apply to adaptive reuse projects containing five or more residential units wherein 20% of those units must be maintained as affordable (defined as 80% of the Ulster County median income.) Such units are to be dispersed throughout the proposed housing project, be indistinguishable from market-rate units, and the affordable unit rents are not to exceed 30% of a household’s income.  

But there are few (if any) buildings in the Stockade that could accommodate five units or more. An analysis of these properties is likely to show that no affordable units have been created in the Stockade District with this regulation. (See  Upstairs Apartments Fail to Materialize in Stockade, Midtown Kingston,” Daily Freeman, 11 February 2007.)

In addition to promoting the creation of affordable housing, the MUOD text describes a second underlying purpose: “to encourage mixed-use, mixed-income, pedestrian-based neighborhoods.” (§ 405-27.1, subparagraph B-2) It seems that the Kingstonian Project, which neither proposes any affordable housing nor seeks to adaptively reuse any buildings, is narrowly interpreting this second clause as the basis for its qualifying for the more expeditious Special Use Permit application process. (In its Environmental Assessment Form, the applicant flags the MUOD as an applicable zoning measure.) To achieve this second purpose, the amendment allows “site and building enhancements that promote a mixed-use, mixed-income, pedestrian-based neighborhood” to qualify for a Special Use Permit. Apparently, “site enhancements” can be interpreted to mean new construction.

More on Market-Rate and Affordable Housing.

At this time, all of the residential units planned for the Kingstonian Project will be market rate, which has no rent restrictions. A landlord who owns marketrate housing is free to attempt to rent the space at whatever price the local market may tolerate. In other words, the term applies to conventional rentals that are not restricted by affordable housing laws. So while the project entirely skips over the affordable housing purpose of MUOD, it is availing itself of the special use permit perk that comes with being in a MUOD.

A decade ago, the Teicher organization proposed a similar mixed-use project— though shaped differently and without a street closure—on a portion of the Kingstonian site. It received a positive declaration in SEQR with the attendant public scoping process. In its final scoping document, the Teicher team outlined an affordable housing plan where they would “…present a program and procedures that will result in at least 10% of the proposed housing units being set aside as affordable/workforce housing units as defined in the City Zoning Law.” It also stated that “…the plan may identify any appropriate options for promoting or creating such affordable housing units in off-site locations in lieu of within the proposed development.”

It is important to note that the City of Kingston’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) application touts the goals of the MUOD and places them in context of Kingston’s 2025 Comprehensive Plan as it pertains to affordable housing in commercial districts:

“…the overlay was mapped in 2005 to allow for the adaptive reuse of industrial and commercial buildings for rental and affordable housing and to promote the development of a mixed-use, mixed-income, pedestrian- based neighborhood. Properties within the overlay district have certain affordable housing requirements and pedestrian-friendly design standards. In addition, the City has a goal to simplify the district’s affordability standards while allowing for the adaptive reuse of former industrial and commercial buildings throughout the city, not just in the overlay district… . Kingston 2025 identifies the Stockade Business District (SBD) as the “Uptown Mixed-Use Core” neighborhood and specifies goals and strategies specifically pertaining to this area. The vision for the SBD as articulated in Kingston 2025 is to be a center ‘for local life providing nutritious fresh food, necessary personal services, transportation and mass transit options, employment opportunities at a range of incomes, a diversity of housing options, and nearby public and private recreational facilities…’. Kingston 2025 outlines several strategies for residential development in the SBD, including allowing mixed- uses in the C-2 zoning district, and moving toward city-wide standards for adaptive reuse and affordable housing. Therefore, it is likely development guided by the Comprehensive Plan will include more housing opportunities in the SBD.”

If not now, when?

Why are only some of the goals of the City’s Zoning Code being followed? Over the past generation, public officials and members of the community have repeatedly identified a clear need to keep housing affordable in Kingston. It is why the MUOD was created. As has been stated earlier, our 2025 Comprehensive Plan also recognizes the need for affordability throughout the city, which is also in keeping with the Courts’ recognition of the requirement for inclusionary zoning. Now that we have an adopted plan that states this, it has the full force of law, as noted by the NY State Department of State in Zoning and the Comprehensive Plan: “New York’s zoning enabling statutes (the state statutes which give cities, towns and villages the power to enact local zoning laws) require that zoning laws be adopted in accordance with a comprehensive plan. The comprehensive plan should provide the backbone for the local zoning law.”

It goes on to note that public spending at any level of government must be in accordance with that plan: “Once a comprehensive plan is adopted using the State zoning enabling statutes, all land use regulations of the community must be consistent with the comprehensive plan. In the future, the plan must be consulted prior to adoption or amendment of any land use regulation. In addition, other governmental agencies that are considering capital projects on lands covered by the adopted comprehensive plan must take the plan into consideration.

At what point will Kingston do more than aspire for 20% affordable housing in all new development projects, reuse or otherwise? With each passing year that we lack good planning, we lose precious time in balancing the new opportunities coming to Kingston and the pressing needs of our existing community.

KingstonCitizens.org Hosts Public Educational Forum and Discussion on City Administrator and City Manager Forms of Government on Tuesday, March 25th.

City_Manager

KingstonCitizens.org will host a public educational forum and discussion on “City Administrator and City Manager Forms of Government” on Tuesday, March 25th at the Kingston Public Library 55 Franklin Street, in Kingston NY from 6:00pm – 8:00pm.  Panel guests include Meredith Robson, City Administrator of the City of Beacon, NY and Chuck Strome, City Manager of New Rochelle, NY. 

Kingston, NY –  For the past twenty years, the city of Kingston, NY has what is known as a ‘Strong Mayor’ form of government, where a mayor is elected into office based on popular vote to manage the city’s $36+ million dollar budget, departments, committees, commissions and an aging citywide infrastructure.

KingstonCitizens.org is pleased to present a public educational forum and discussion on two alternative forms of government titled “City Administrator and City Manager Forms of Government” on Tuesday, March 25th from 6:00pm – 8:00pm at the Kingston Public Library located at 55 Franklin Street in Kingston, NY. All are welcome to attend.

Guest panelists include Meredith Robson, City Administrator of the City of Beacon and Chuck Strome, City Manager of New Rochelle, NY to discuss their roles and relationships with the public and elected officials.

The evening will be co-moderated by Rebecca Martin, founder of KingstonCitizens.org and former Executive Director of the Kingston Land Trust and Jennifer Schwartz Berky, Principal at Hone Strategic, LLC and the former Deputy Director of Planning at Ulster County.

For more information, contact Rebecca Martin at: rebbytunes@earthlink.net

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Our Panelists

Meredith Robson, City of Beacon Administrator:   Meredith Robson has served in a variety of governmental positions for over 26 years.  She has served in all levels of government, except County government, and her career has spanned three states.  She is currently the City Administrator for the City of Beacon. Ms. Robson has been very active in professional associations throughout her career, including serving on the New York State Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials Executive Committee and in her current roles as President of the New York City/County Management Association and Northeast Regional Vice President for the International City/County Management Association. Ms. Robson is an ICMA Credentialed Manager and has a Bachelor of Science from Southern Illinois University and a Master of Public Administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.  She has participated in numerous professional development programs, including the following leadership training opportunities:  Wallkill Valley Community Leadership Alliance, Leadership Greater Waterbury and Pace University Land Use Leadership Alliance Training Program.

Chuck Strome, New Rochelle, NY City Manager On November 12, 2002, the City Council unanimously approved the appointment of Charles B. “Chuck” Strome, III as City Manager. Mr. Strome served as Acting City Manager since March 2002 and as Deputy City Manager since 1995. Prior to that, he served as Director of Emergency Services from 1989 through 1992, and then became Assistant City Manager / City Coordinator. 

Mr. Strome has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Communications from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, and a Masters of Public Administration-Government from Pace University. 

Before joining government, Mr. Strome held positions at Hudson Westchester Radio where he was News Director, Vice President, and Program Director. 

Mr. Strome is a member of the International City Managers’ Association, and former president of the New York State City / County Managers Association. He is also past President, Vice President, and Secretary of the Municipal Administrators Association of Metropolitan New York.

Our Moderators

About KingstonCitizens.org: KingstonCitizens.org is a non-partisan, citizen-run organization focused on relevant and current issues about Kingston, N.Y and working to foster transparent communication by encouraging growing citizen participation.  The founder of KC.org and evening co-moderator Rebecca Martin is a world renowned and critically acclaimed musician who has 25 years of experience as a manager, community organizer and activist.

About Jennifer Schwartz Berky, Principal at Hone Strategic, LLC:  Berky, the evening’s co-moderator, has over 25 twenty years of experience in the fields of architecture, conservation, economic development, and urban planning in the non-profit, government, academic and private sectors. Prior to launching Hone Strategic, she served as Deputy Director of Ulster County Planning for over seven years, where she was the lead researcher and liaison to the Ulster County Charter Commission. Before moving to Ulster County, she worked in Washington, DC at the World Bank and Urban Institute, at the University of Rome (Italy) and as a project manager of design and construction for New York City’s major cultural institutions. Berky has lived for extended periods in Argentina, Chile, France, Israel, Italy, and Spain. She earned a B.A. in Art History from SUNY Stony Brook and Masters’ degrees in Urban Planning (M.Phil.) and Real Estate Development (M.S.) at Columbia University, where she is also currently completing a Ph.D. in Urban Planning on the subject of environmental economics.

 

Public Hearing on Combined Sewer Overflow Long-Term Control Plan Scheduled.

By Rebecca Martin

A little over a year ago, Kingston resident and KC.org contributor “Wilbur Girl” wrote an exceptional piece on her “Environmental Focus on Kingston” series titled “Give me an “C”, “S”, “O”! laying out the city of Kingston’s troubled sewage treatment problems.

She writes, “On average Kingston receives 47.48 inches of rain a year, with May being the wettest month. This summer alone (2009) we’ve been deluged with roughly 17 inches of the wet stuff. While my friends are all bemoaning the loss of blight ridden tomatoes, I’ve been worrying about a problem that runs a little deeper. Yup, I’ve been thinking about combined sewer overflow systems (CSO’s).

Kingston’s antiquated sewer system is a CSO. They were all the rage and considered the newest and greatest in waste flow management along the eastern sea board following the Civil War. The EPA defines these types of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems as “remnants of the country’s early infrastructure and so are typically found in older communities.” They estimate there to be roughly 772 CSO communities in the US today.

A CSO was designed to collect rainwater runoff, domestic sewage and industrial wastewater all in the same pipe. This slurry of toxic sludge is transported to a sewage treatment plant. Periods of heavy rainfalls or quickly melting snow exacerbate the volume of storm water runoff so that it exceeds the capacity of the system. Excess, untreated wastewater instead empties directly into nearby bodies of water – in our case, the Rondout Creek. Also, because of their age, CSO’s often fail or collapse at an accelerated rate.”

I’ve included the link to her piece in full up above and encourage you to read it as a refresher. Here’s why:

Please be advised that the Office of the City Engineer will hold a Public Hearing on Thursday, December 2, 2010 at 6:30 PM in the Common Council Chambers at City Hall.  The hearing is for the purpose of discussing the recently completed Combined Sewer Overflow Long-Term Control Plan submitted to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation on November 1, 2010.

All interested persons are invited to attend and express their views.

A copy of the Plan is available for review in the Office of the City Engineer, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM.

Please notify the City Engineer’s Office twenty-four hours in advance of the Public Hearing should special accommodations be required.

The plan is available at the Kingston Library also.

What are Combined Sewers?

Combined sewer systems (CSS) are sewers that are designed to collect storm water runoff, domestic sewage, and industrial wastewater in the same pipe. During rain events, when storm water enters the sewers, the capacity of the sewer system may be exceeded and the excess effluent will be discharged directly to the receiving water. A combined sewer overflow (CSO) is the discharge from a combined sewer system that is caused by snow melt or storm water runoff.

KingstonCitizens.org Catches Up With Kingston Library Director Margie Menard

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.

Kingston, NY Public Library. Become a member!

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!

HISTORY AT THE STREET LEVEL by Lowell Thing: The Woman In White

One evening in May 1912, at a rather late hour, Jacob Greenwald and “his two young lady cousins” were walking down West Chestnut Street in Kingston.  Near the elaborate and perhaps at this hour vaguely ominous Van Deusen residence (the house that sits way up and back from the street and with the tower that then and still today commands a view of the Hudson), someone appeared behind Jacob and his cousins and seemed to be following them.  This someone was dressed all in white and when they crossed the street, so did the mysterious blob of white.  At any rate, Jacob’s frightened cousins began to walk ahead of him.  Jacob himself apparently kept calm enough to observe in the gaslight that the figure “was a woman about five feet eight inches in height, was scantily clad, and wore a white sheet thrown over her head.” No one believed this had anything to do with Halloween because it was not even summer yet.  Jacob’s cousins finally began to run wildly ahead toward Montrepose Avenue but soon after, when Jacob looked back, the phantom figure had disappeared.

Meanwhile, on nearby West Chester Street (not to be confused with West Chestnut as I often have to tell people delivering a pizza), another young man, presumably at a different time of the evening, saw this woman in white, who sprang up out of some bushes.  He got a good look at her, saw that she was woman wearing a sheet, and then decided to run away after she began to pursue him.  (I’m paraphrasing the story from the Kingston Daily Freeman.)

On a later night, another two people, two “drummers,” salesmen from out of town staying at a hotel, encountered the woman in white on West Chester Street.  As they were lighting their cigarettes, someone dressed all in white appeared around the corner of a house.  Apparently, the appearance was intimidating because the men immediately ran back to their hotel where they reported something that was nine feet tall with “a most terrifying aspect”!

By the time this story was reported in the Freeman, headed “Woman in White Sought by Police,” several gangs of youths had formed to look for this person or whatever it was.  Meanwhile, at least one young man who thought to have some fun donned a white sheet in imitation of the woman in white and reportedly received “a severe pummeling” from one of the youthful gangs.  All of this right here in my own neighborhood and only slightly more than one hundred years ago.

I happen to know this story because last week Margie Menard, Kingston Library Director, sent a note to the Friends of Historic Kingston to tell them that, beginning immediately, one no longer has to visit the Library to access the local newspaper archives, or at least the Kingston Daily Freeman archives from 1878 through 1969.  I quickly went to the Web site and entered “West Chestnut Street.”  Not only did I read about the mysterious Woman in White, but I learned that my neighbor up the street, Harry Coykendall, son of Ulster County’s greatest businessman ever, Samuel Coykendall, had shot himself hunting but was now at home resting comfortably.  As of October 15, 1905, that is.

In society notes of June 25, 1910, I learned that an earlier neighbor across the street, Edwin Shultz, the brick manufacturer, was entertaining Mr. and Mrs. T. Akahoshi of Tokyo, a couple he had met on the Lusitania.  More tragically, down the street right next to the Ulster Academy, recently made into some condo apartments with blackboards, a man named Clemmons disappeared, leaving a suicide note (February 17, 1904).

And finally some evidence about when the first house on West Chestnut Street met its end, a fact of interest for anyone interested in the Chestnut Street Historic District since this would have been its most historic building.  On May 11, also in 1904, appeared a notice that Samuel Coykendall had put up for sale and removal from his property the original home of James McEntee.  McEntee came to Kingston in 1825 as the resident engineer for the D&H Canal Company.  He later owned the Mansion House by the creek and built the Island Dock in the creek before buying the land that my end of West Chestnut is now on.  There he built the first house and subdivided the property into lots.  McEntee essentially built my street, beginning in 1848.  His daughter Sarah, one of America’s first women physicians, was one of the last McEntees to live in the house and sometime after she died, the McEntee home, the first house on West Chestnut, a large Hudson River Bracketed Italian villa, no longer existed.  But I never knew exactly when that was.  Now I do.  It must have been gone by well before the beginning of 1905.  And that more or less solves that.

But what about the Woman in White?  I could find no follow-up stories in the Freeman, at least in the year 1912 where the file I was looking at ended.  Perhaps the special detail assigned to the case by Chief of Police Wood, if not the gang of ruffians, was enough to encourage her to put the sheet back on the line.  Who she was remains another one of those stories without an ending.

Meanwhile, with this new and powerful local history search tool at our command, the possibilities seem worth thinking about.  You could look up what happened on your own street or, if you’ve lived in Kingston a while, some earlier members of your family.   You could look to find out what brands of automobile were being driven in Kingston in the early 1900s or who sold knickers (the advertisements are included, too).  I have a feeling that even more significant facts could be uncovered by a serious student of history.  At any rate, we owe thanks to Margie Menard, the Kingston Library, the Southeastern Library Council and all the other groups that collaborated to put this historical information online.  Visit the WEB SITE. The search engine is waiting.

– Lowell Thing