Introducing: Environmental Focus On Kingston

A month ago, I put out the word looking for citizens to contribute to the KingstonCitizens.org blog’s. Thanks to those for being in touch.

I am happy to introduce a new series to KC.org called “Environmental Focus On Kingston” written by citizen ‘journalist’ Wilbur Girl. Below is her profile.

Please feel free to comment on these and all of our pieces, or to take the topic to your Yahoo! Group for further resident dialog.

Thanks, and more to come.

Rebecca Martin

Wilbur Girl is a third generation daughter of Kingston. Her roots can be found grown deep into a hill above the southwestern shores of the Rondout Creek in a home that has been in the family since 1943.

In “Environmental Focus on Kingston”, topics will focus on the simple environmental changes and actions everyday citizens can do like rainwater harvesting, composting, tips for greener living and recycling techniques. Learn more about what your neighbors and local businesses are doing to minimize their impact while maximizing their renewable resources. We’ll also look at trends and what other communities are doing to go green and improve their sustainability.

Swine Flu In Ulster County

We’ve read that flu vaccinations this fall might mean three visits to the doctor’s office.

With the recent discussion on the progression of swine flu, it has been reported that a dose of the expected strand of flu virus this season would be followed by two separate inoculations for swine flu to help cut the risks of contracting and spreading the virus.

Vaccines are a tricky subject in general. With the rush to create a swine flu vaccine, we suggest that our readers take the time to do some very thorough research. That, and eat your greens.

Not long ago, the media reported that residents be prepared for a potential outbreak by storing at least three weeks worth of food and water. Consumption is what keeps the American economy ‘strong’. With a major slump in consumer spending…

Authorities are wishing to change the term ‘swine flu’ to the strand of virus known as “H1N1”. They want to be certain that families understand the virus cannot be transmitted through the food that they eat. It is true that you may not contract swine flu from your Easter ham, but it is well known that the conditions created through factory farming is indeed why we are in this mess.

Food for thought: Food, Inc

Can You Blog?

Dear Friends,

I’m sorry to report that I’ll be stepping aside from the KingstonCitizens.org blog for the time being. Of course we’ll keep the site up and running. In fact, KingstonCitizens.org founder Rebecca Martin is looking for more bloggers to report on city events. If you’re interested, contact her at: info@kingstoncitizens.org.

Best,

Arthur Zaczkiewicz

Just Dial 511

There’s a new service from the New York Department of Transportation that just launched, which gives motorists and commuters a quick update on traffic conditions and more via a website and free phone call. People can just dial “511” for an update on traffic and transit conditions. Or, check out the website, http://www.511ny.org, for more detailed information.

The website also has information on ride shares and includes a transit trip planner. There’s also useful links to tourism, airport and biking websites.

Harvesting Rainwater: A Potential Local, Green Industry for Kingston?

In today’s Freeman (Nation/World, page B2) there is an interesting article from the AP on the first national ordinance for rainwater harvesting on commercial projects in Tucson, AZ. Half of the water supply necessary for landscaping for new business and corporate or commercial structures will need to be harvested beginning next year. 

Kingston environmental educator Steve Noble and Mayor Sottile have been in discussions for some time (on the subject of Kingston’s storm water issues). There are other important community leaders and public officials providing helpful information on what to do, too. How about some ideas and advice from the great minds of our residents? (Bring this subject to your Yahoo! Discussion group to flesh out the subject).

With the recent debate of the city of Kingston taking a ‘green pledge’ to work towards more local, green jobs for our community – could harvesting our own rainwater  help to provide a savings of resources and tax dollars while providing sustainable new jobs for Kingstonians?

What is clear is that if we don’t figure out some sort of solution for our current storm water/raw sewage problem the city is likely to be fined upwards of $37,500 a day by the DEC.  “The problem of sewage getting into the Rondout Creek has long been an issue in the city, where some sewer pipes handle a combination of storm and waste water. During periods of heavy rain, the city’s sewage treatment plant cannot handle the flow, and the overflow goes into the creek. Some pipes overflow directly into the creek.” (Taken from the Daily Freeman. The article in full is attached below).

Read on….

Tuscon Rainwater Harvesting Law Drawing Interest

Kingston lawmakers balk at bond to study revamp of sewer system

– Rebecca Martin

Energy Smart Program at Kingston Library This Saturday

Mid Hudson Energy Smart Communities is holding a workshop at the Kingston Public Library this Saturday, June 13 at 1 p.m. to help homeowners learn about the benefits of a home energy audit, which can reduce home heating bills by up to 40 percent. “Grants for eligible families and loans are available to improve insulation levels, install efficient windows, ENERGY STAR® appliances, and heating and cooling systems,” organizers of the event said in a statement. For more information, see the library’s website here.

While you’re at the website, check out other events and programs planned for the summer, including the summer reading program.

ULA in Need of Volunteers

The student waiting list at the Ulster Literacy Association here in Kingston has reached 100, according to the ULA. As a result, the center is in need of volunteers and has added workshops, set for July 28 to July 30. See the press release here for more information or call 845.331.6837 for more information.

“This workshop is to train adult volunteers to work in a one-to-one tutoring situation with adults who want to improve their reading and writing skills,” the ULA says. “To be a tutor one needs to be a high school graduate or hold a GED. The workshop will include methods and materials, cultural considerations, and discussions concerning the typical needs of persons seeking literacy assistance. We also conduct a jail writing project once a week in the County Jail as well as the Family Literacy Center here on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. We need volunteers to help with these projects as well.”

The Local Market

Davenport's
Davenport's

The rites of the growing season, for me, begin at two places: The Kingston Farmers’ Market (every Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., on Wall Street) and Davenport’s near the traffic circle.

At the former, I’m there to see friends and pick up fresh, in-season foods. At the latter, I’m there to buy local veggies while getting a chance to talk to some real farmers.

Last week I stopped at the stand and picked up some of the best asparagus I’ve ever had. If you hurry, there may be some left. I asked how they grew such great stuff. A woman at the counter, who had the telltale signs of a farmer that included a deep tan and muscular hands and arms, said: “You just have to keep the deer away.”

InfoPortal Offers Ulster Residents Rich Database Source

Via funding from the Ulster County Legislature, the Ulster County InfoPortal is a great starting point for people to tap databases and resources on Civil Service testing, vocational education, recorded books, ancestry research and language learning.
The website, found here, also has links to back issues of The New York Times from 1851 to 2003. Users need a local library card to access the databases.

Kingston on the Record

The Times Herald-Record, which once had a bureau here in Kingston on North Front Street, is back in town. At the peak of its editorial zest and news breaking zeal, the old bureau housed John Milgrim (now working for the AG in Albany), Paul Brooks (still with the Record) and Eric Krieger (photo editor now at the Albany Times-Union).

This time around, the Middletown-based newspaper has assigned Adam Bosch to the Kingston beat.

Read more…

I’ll Have Mine with Sprinkles

We hear that Sean and Julie Griffin are getting redy to open a walk-up ice cream shop at 275 Fair Street (I think that’s the address!). “Uptown Twist” will serve soft ice cream as the name implies via a walk-up window. The space is small — 33 square feet, and has been reimagined by Sean as the perfect spot to sell ice cream. Stay tuned for the grand opening.