Greetings, UESiders!!

Phew!  All charges against groundhog savant Punxsatawney Phil have been dropped!

The  indictment – filed by the Butler County, Ohio prosecutor – read:  “That Punxsutawney Phil did purposely, and with prior calculation and design, cause the people to believe that spring would come early.”

Blame was assumed by Bill Deeley, president of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club’s Inner Circle, stating that he’d mistakenly announced an early spring because he failed to correctly interpret Phil’s “groundhog-ese.”

Now that the dust’s settled, we have to say Prosecutor Gmoser (that’s his name) asking for the death penalty…  Get a grip, sir!  

jatropha-gossypiifolia

jatropha-gossypiifolia

And now for the coming week:

Saturday, March 30th:   82nd Street Greenmarket

82nd Street between First and York, 9am –2pm

Compost & Clothing Collection – 9am – lpm 

You bet we’ll be celebrating Easter this Satuday with the markets own version of an Easter Egg Hunt for the young set!  Solve riddles that give clues to the whereabouts of  eggs hidden around the market, locate those eggs and win a cookies!   

There’ll be potential prizes for you grown-ups, too, what with this Saturday being the last market day to participate in Greenmarket’s  latest promotion…  You know the drill:  Introduce your friends and neighbors to our great market and win prizes for yourself!   Market Manager Emma has details.

Same for doubling  of Greenmarket shoppers’ WIC Fresh Produce benefits!   Spend a $6, $10, or $15 check and receive an equal amount in FREE Greenmarket Bucks to purchase fruits and vegetables at the market. 

Last but not least, there’ll also be an Easter-themed cooking demo for all ages

With us will be American Seafood, Ballard Honey, Bread Alone, Samascott, Gajeski, Feather Ridge, Rising Sun Beef and Rabbits’ Run Farms.

Maybe it was the snow of two Saturdays ago, but somehow it escaped our notice that Ballard Honey had returned to the 82nd fold.  They’ll be staying with us till at least  May!  

Last week’s recycling totals:  40 lbs batteries;  43 lbs #5,  Britta filters/cords/corks/CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 4 pair of eye glasses;  10 bags of clothes;  4 1/3 compost bins.

YTD (from 1/5/13):  553 lbs batteries; 519 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords/CDs/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 43 pairs of eye glasses; 150 bags of clothes; 55 7/12 compost bins.

Amazing!

Wednesday, April 3rd:  Poetry Idol Competition –  Round Two

Poet’s Den Theater, 308 East 108th Street, 7pm

The 16 survivors of Round One go rhyme to rhyme and verse to verse!  It’s on!  $10.  For more and tickets 

Tuesdays, April 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th:  MASter Class – Researching the History of Buildings in New York City

Greenacre Reference Library, Municipal Art Society, 111 West 57th Street, 16th Floor, 6-7:45pm

Architectural historian Anthony W. Robins shares how to research/create the genealogy of our city’s buildings in four classes.  Includes a field trip!    Society members:  $250.  Non-members:  $300.  For more and tickets

And then:

Saturday, April 13th:  Baby Animal Encounters

Linder Theater, Museum of Natural History, 79th Street & Central Park West,  11am, 1pm & 2:30pm

How could anyone resist…  For kids 5 and up.  (Lucky mom and & dad who get to go along!)  $12.  For tickets

Saturday, April 13th:  Municipal Art Society Manhattan Civic Center Tour

Meeting place provided with ticket purchase, 11am

Guide Linda Fischer reveals what goes on behind the walls of the marvelous buildings containing our courts and jails.   Members:  $15.  Non-members:  $20.  For further details and/or reserve your place…   

Saturday, April 27th:  Upstairs/Downsairs Tour with Fanny and Flora

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum, 421 East 61st Street, 5pm

The MVHM excells at UES bringing history to life…  In this instance the perspective of an 1830 Englist traveler and guest and a local woman working at the hotel.  Members: $15.  Non-members:  $18.  For more, tickets and great other events…  

Sunday, April 28th:  Spring 2013 NYC SAFE Disposal Event

Columbia University/Teachers’ College, 120th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam, 10am-4pm

You name it:  Electronics…  Anti-freeze…  Batteries…  Oil and latex paint…  Recycle it all responsibly and free.  For full details and complete (and vast) list… 

May…  Already: 

Saturday, May 12th:    SS General Slocum History Cruise

The Tugboat Pegasus, boarding at Pier 25, 12pm

Another great outing from NYCH2O…  This time, the subject:  The tragic travails of the Slocum – a tourist boat of the day – which caught fire and burned on the East River in 1904…  A disaster which claimed 1,000 lives.  Manhattan Borough Historian Michael Miscione’ll be  describing the event in (his usual) vivid detail.  (And being on the Pegasus is one great experience!)    $75.00.  For more and tickets

mammillaria-prolifera

mammillaria-prolifera

This week’s miscellany commences with a job opportunity… 

A green job, of course, and at the fabulous Solar One

On to the national scene:

Important reading in this Sunday’s Times:  “Life After Oil and Gas”.

Got really excited with the news that BNY Mellon is investing in Michigan battery recycling company, Battery Solutions!

We’ve driven past the coal-burning Navajo Generating Station in northern Arizona (you can see its plumes for miles before you get near the gi-huge-ic thing)…  If you think it shouldn’t be given yet another 10 years before being air quality compliant…  

Glad that it exists in the U.S., but we’d be happier if the world’s biggest vertical farm was in NYC!

Weird that of all organizations, National Geographic is dragging its heels about printing the magazine on recycled paper.   If you’d like to encourage that change, drop a line:   ngsline@customersvc.com.

Here in NYState:

Haven’t been able to locate the cost, but the restoration of our state capitol building in now complete.  Whatever the dollars involved (the governor claims that fast-tracking once he was in office saved $2.3 million), it does look great!

On our own turf:

Herewith an excellent resume of the concerns surrounding the Con Ed branch of the Spectra Pipeline that one day soon will be running from the Gansevoort Pennisula on the Hudson River, up through Chelsea to the Con Ed plant on West 15th Street.

For those wondering  – a mere year plus later – about the worn, fading, grimey surfaces of First and Second Avenue bus and bikes lanes…   Seems like DOT reached out for the nearest can (they’ve pretty much admitted it)…  Not those containing paint devised  to wear well on city streets. 

Major revelation…  Those vendors camped out on our streets 24/7?…  Illegal!!  (Where are you, NYPD and/or Health Department?)  And the Sean Baranski mentioned in the Crain’s piece…  Vendors’ very own lobbiest (Yes, they can afford one and fulltime)!

Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Grange is pioneering yet another green advance:  Solar-powered composting!

Nothing like others’  expensive housing to – albeit momentarily – cheer us NYorkers up…

We all know another big storm is inevitable, right?  The wise response:  Extreme disaster planning!

Reason one zillion and six why we shop with Ballard Honey at 82nd:  The giant international market in honey laundering!

In the meantime, looking towards summer, how about some beautiful, waterside places to camp?

Must reading (we mean it!):  “Picking Up:  On the Streets and Behind the Trucks With the Sanitation Workers of New York City”! 

Meanwhile:

Always a pleasure reading Christopher Gray…  Especially this reminiscence of The Biltmore Hotel.  (That it no longer exists underscores how essential it is to put the brakes on City Planning’s drive to refashion Midtown.)

This article’s a day or two old…  In the interim, President Obama did, indeed, designate 5 new National Monuments!

And Apple’s just announced that it’s data centers are now 100% powered by renewable energy!

It’s happening all over Africa and now the Global Partnership for Afghanistan is bringing the Farm-to-Market program to another group of able, deserving and committed women who’re the breadwinners for their families.   Check it out…  (And we thank reader Tara Reddi for alerting us all!)  

Time for some furriness:

In the form of baby beavers (even their tails are cute)…

And baby pugs taking a bath

Hard act to follow, but Conservation Canines are equal to the task…  (The video link to the right is a must!)

One good-looking Bird of Last Week:

Rusty Blackbird

Rusty Blackbird

Then there’re  the Birds of this Week:

marshmallow_peeps

Further on that dolphin spotted in the East River up in the Nineties two weeks ago:

3/14 – East River, Manhattan:   Kim Durham, staff member of The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation, commented that the dolphin, probably a bottlenose, did not appear to be injured.  The Riverhead Foundation will join officials from the NYS DEC to determine its species and assess its health.  – Tom Lake

(To report marine mammal sightings, call the Riverhead Foundation’s 24-hour Hotline:  631-369-9829.)

RamsHorn, HRM 112.2: I heard my first-of-season spring peepers and wood frogs today at a vernal woodland pond just past the entrance to the RamsHorn.  Music to the ears, for sure. – Larry Federman

With wishes for Passover and Easter greenness,

UGS

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