The Kingston City Garden Coalition Meets in January

Gardens Coalition Meeting Set for Jan. 19

Calling all volunteers interested in working on community and school gardens! The Kingston City Gardens Coalition is holding its first meeting of 2011 on Wednesday, January 19, at 6 p.m., at the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County offices located at 10 Westbrook Lane, Kingston, N.Y.

The meeting will offer a chance for volunteers interested in working on community gardens to connect with others who are already at work on school and community garden projects in Kingston. Groups or project leaders who have community and school gardens planned for 2011 should attend as a way to connect with other project leaders as well as with potential volunteers. Attendees will also have an opportunity to discuss their vision for community and school gardens in 2011.

The Kingston Citywide Gardens Coalition is comprised of citizens, educators and community leaders who are involved in a variety of school and community garden projects in and around the City of Kingston, NY. The coalition meets monthly to hold gardening workshops and skillshares and to offer support of community and school garden projects. Members of the coalition include citizen volunteers from Kingston as well as project leaders and volunteers from the New York City DEP, the Kingston Land Trust, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County, Kingston City Schools, Bard College, the Healthy Kingston for Kids Project, and the Ulster County Bar Association, among others.

For more information about the meeting on January 19, contact Arthur Zaczkiewicz via email at or by calling 845.340.3990, ext. 334.

Kings Inn Will Be BAK Focus in 2011

By Rebecca Martin

Are you familiar with Patrice Courtney Strong? If you are not, she not only operates New York Energy $mart Communities in Kingston, but she is a strong advocate for many positive initiatives, including the Main Street Manager program that runs out of her headquarters at 446 Broadway in Kingston.

I recently received one of her blasts noting that Kings Inn was to be a BAK (Business Alliance of Kingston) focus in 2011. The next meeting is on January 18th.  Try to attend if you are interested in the future of this project. Here are the details:

Read the NEWSLETTER and take the survey.

Please join us on Tuesday, January 18th, 5pm at our new headquarters, 446 Broadway for BAK’s first meeting of the new year. We’ll be looking for your suggestions as we sketch out our direction for the new year.

We’ve come to believe that formation of a Business Improvement District would be the best way to work on the goals we’ve set out, below. In 2011, we’ll move much closer to making that a reality. Please join us to learn how you can participate, and how to make your voice heard.


Patrice Courtney StrongPresident, Business Alliance of Kingston

Parking Meters in the City of Kingston

By Rebecca Martin

Last year, we did a poll to get feedback from citizens on the parking meters in Kingston.

I’m no expert on the subject, so I’ll rely on good old fashioned common sense.

How is it sensible to provide limited parking, poor signage for shoppers on where to park when street parking is not available and then issue parking tickets while someone is dropping  a hundred bucks at one of our small businesses that aid in their staying afloat? The meter maids are the most organized game in town.

I don’t think meters are the answer.  I have heard city officials proclaim that the meters were meant to keep business owners from parking on the street all day long. It has failed in doing so as many simply feed the meters all day long while the parking problems persist.

What is more likely to be true is the money the city raises through parking meters help supplement the city budget in a major way. Probably to the tune of $200,000 throughout the year.

What Kingston needs is a long range parking plan in our business districts. I am sure there are many successful models to look at in choosing one to fit in our community.

Here are some of the comments that we received. I ask that readers see this as a token – for if the city of Kingston chose to do a true study on proper parking practices,  there would be a great deal of good information made available to help encourage instead of punish patrons while instructing business owners or operators and others to park in designated areas.

1. Don’t enforce the meters on Saturday and after 4 or 5pm during the week.

2. During the holidays, it was a pleasant surprise to park in the Village of Saugerties and find red bags over the parking meters with Happy Holidays on them. If nothing else, the goodwill generated by the gesture made the pain of spending Montano prices for my son’s shoes a bit more tolerable and we return (far too frequently!) for new shoes. But, I think about that whenever I park in uptown Kingston. How about a cheery bag over the meters on Farmer’s Market day saying “Welcome to Kingston Farmer’s Market” and likewise for the holidays, other significant days, etc. More than the quarter saved to park, it makes the city seem friendlier.  AUTHORS NOTE: The city of Kingston placed Santa Hats on the meters during the holidays. It ain’t much, but it’s a start.

3. I think that each driver should get one pass/warning. But I also know that the city installed meters due to the fact that a lot of the motorists were parking all day which left no empty spaces for out of towners or customers to shop within the city limits. It is quite the quandary because people will not do a lot shopping within city limits if they have to worry about keeping the meter full while conducting their business. So without the business the parking dept, has to resort to meters to generate revenue. The money they spent on meters should have gone to construct an attractive parking that would have allowed people to park for free.

4. As long as you feed the meter, parking time should be unlimited. Weekends should be free to encourage browsing, sightseeing, and shopping.

5.  I would like to see expanded municipal lots & possibly no charge parking on certain days or at certain times

6. I’d like to see the penalty $ by lowered to $10. Give us a break!

7. The Parking Meters, that used to be .10/hour in Saugerties are now .50/hour just like Kingston. Saugerties is now a complete ghost town.

8. Well, I’d sure like the city to put up P-signs for Parking: there are no signs on the lots, no signs directing people to them. I’m a resident and I had not reason to believe they were not private. There is one on Broadway on the north side near ONeil and one just off Broadway on Franklin… and they are totally neglected

9. Actually, the meters are important in deterring workers and business owners from preventing customers from parking. Bigger problem: more parking is needed in uptown.

“Shared Responsibility” Editorial in the Daily Freeman. Couldn’t Agree More.

By Rebecca Martin

In today’s Freeman editorial, they are spot on to refer the tragedy on New Years Eve in Kingston as a shared responsibility.

For 300 people to come to a location in a residential neighborhood without a single call from the neighbors is a bit unbelievable. In addition, it illustrates a basic need that has been driving home now for the past five years – that our  Alderman need to get out into the neighborhoods they represent on a regular basis. That’s an obvious part of the job.  A regular meeting for their constituents to discuss relevant issues should be built into their positions in the same way that they are obligated to committees on top of their council seat.

As for placing so much of the blame on the Police department, people who live in glass houses should not throw stones.  Finger pointing isn’t going to solve the problem.  Better communication throughout however – will.

Kingston Neighborhood Watch Organizes Search Party for Zach Green

By Rebecca Martin

The Kingston Neighborhood Watch has organized a search party for missing local Zach Green. Meeting times are this morning, January 6th at 9:30am at both locations.

Here is a Michael D’Arcy’s letter :

Hello Watch members,

I know this is late notice but tomorrow morning we will be setting up a searc party for Zach Green.

Here is some information….

The father of the Saugerties man says his son has not been seen since Sunday night, when he was spotted at several night spots in Uptown Kingston.

William Green said his son, Zachary E. Green, 32, was last seen about 9:30 p.m. Sunday by a server at Le Canard, a restaurant on Fair Street. The car Zachary Green was driving was found illegally parked on Fair Street, but he has not been seen.

William Green said he spoke with his son Sunday afternoon and again Sunday evening. He said one of his son’s friends said he saw Zachary at the Kingston Holiday Inn about 7:30 p.m. An employee at Chic’s, a bar/restaurant in Kingston Plaza, said he saw Zachary about 8 p.m., the elder Green said, and a server at Le Canard said Zachary knocked on the door of the restaurant about 9:30 p.m.

William Green said the Le Canard server told Zachary the restaurant was closed and she said that Zachary replied, “Oh, OK,” went back toward the car and then walked down the street.

William Green said he filed a missing person report with the Saugerties Police Department Wednesday morning. That department would not confirm whether it had received such a report.

We will have 2 meeting places, one will be in Uptown on the corner of John and Wall St. The other will be downtown at Kingston point.  The uptown group will be going from John St and searching their way down to the Kingston Plaza. We will search the wooded areas and along the river behind the plaza.

The downtown group will be going from the point and head towards the old cement quarry along the Hudson.

Both meeting times are at 9:30am.

Spread the word to anyone else that would want to help as well. Even if you cannot come yourself, sharing the information can help, too Dress warmly with gloves and walking shoes. Walking sticks can also be handy to push away brush, etc.

While we know it will be cold, please consider taking some time and joining the search parties.  Imagine how you would feel if one of your loved ones were missing for days in the cold.  Even if a positive outcome is not to be had, some comfort can be had by seeing the community come together to look for their loved one.  This is an opportunity to show that we are a community and we try to take care of our neighbors.

Thank you and we’ll see you in the morning! Highlights in 2010

By Rebecca Martin

Here are some of’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.

January, 2010

* 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“.

February, 2010

* First term alderwomen Andi Turco-Levin (Ward 1) and Jennifer Fuentes (Ward 5) host first Ward community meetings for their constituents.

March, 2010

* 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.

April, 2010

* 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.

May, 2010

* Diane Reeder of the Queens Galley goes to the White House!

* First Community safety walk is organized by the Kingston, NY Neighborhood Watch.

June, 2011

* 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.

July, 2010

* City of Kingston historian Edwin Ford releases his book “Street Whys”

* Midtown Kingston hosts design Charrette to re-envision Kings Inn.

August, 2010

* 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.

September, 2010

* Kingston citizen Paul Joffe launches ‘After the Press’.

October, 2010

* 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.

November, 2010

* 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.

December, 2010

* 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”.

Kingston Historian Releases New Book “Street Whys: Anecedotes and Lore of Kingston, NY”


KINGSTON – More than a half century of research by City Historian Edwin M. Ford has yielded a new book, “Street Whys:  Anecdotes and Lore of Kingston, N.Y.” A book signing will take place on Saturday, July 31 and Sunday, August 1, 1- 4 p.m. at the Friends of Historic Kingston Museum.

Read more…

Jack DeJohnette, John Scofield, Joe Lovano, Larry Coryell and Larry Grenadier In Concert To Benefit Queens Galley

Each year, Lydia DeJohnette organizes benefit concerts that feature her husband, the legendary Jack DeJohnette, in a series of concerts to raise money in support of the Queens Galley, Family of Woodstock and other local endeavors through live music. This year, the group will perform at Falcon Arts in Marlboro, NY as well as the Culinary Institute of America.

Read more…

Midtown Design Charrette A Big Success

Last Friday’s design charrette that focused on the Kings Inn in Midtown was a fantastic success. Congratulations from all of us at

Here is a press update from one of the coordinators of the event Patrice Courtney Strong:

“A very big thank you from the Business Alliance of Kingston for Friday’s excellent design charrette.

The TV coverage was great:  HudsonValley YNN

Here are two news articles that appeared:

Middletown Times Herald Record and Kingston Daily Freeman.

Another, lengthier one will appear Thursday in the Kingston Times.

We’ll be posting photos of your drawings as soon as possible on our web site.”