Greetings, UESiders!

A rather brief and distilled newsletter this time round…  The better for one and all to devote thought and time to what really counts during the holiday season…  Family and friends!

Still, of course, there’re always couple of free minutes for shopping the market and resting eyes on NYC’s authentically rich natural world: 

Saturday, December 14th:   82nd Street Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothing Collection – 9am – 1pm 

With us will be the hardy souls of American Seafood, Bread Alone, Samascott, Gajeski, Feather Ridge, Rising Sun Beef and Rabbits’ Run Farm!

Fingers crossed that Ballard Honey shows…  But likely it’ll be too cold for Blue Oyster (below 32, mushrooms easily freeze… Same for the valuable hands of our Master Knife Sharpener!)

Last Weeks Recycling Totals: –  46 lbs batteries; 21 lbs Britta filters, corks, cords/CDs/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and ink cartridges; 18 pairs of eye glasses; 22 bags of clothes; 8 bags compost bins.

YTD (from 1/5/13):  1,931 lbs batteries; 1,152 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords/CDs/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and ink cartridges; 170 pairs of eye glasses; 777 bags of clothes; 277 compost bins.s 

Make that 8 totally full compost bins.  Sangmon’s asking Sanitation for 9 empty bins in future!

Saturday, December 14th – Sunday, January 5th:  114th Annual NYState Christmas Bird Count

Your Own Backyard/Park/Terarace

Important citizen science!   Totally family friendly!    So fun!  To learn more and sign up

Winter 2013/2014:  Winter Season Classes at the NY Botanical Garden

20 West 44th Street, Manhattan/2900 Southern Boulevard, The Bronx

Choices from botanical illustration to plant science!  Check the possibilities out!

(And should you not be familiar with all the BG’s holiday treats…  From seasonal serenades and tours to the classic films to the amazing annual train show!)

asclepias-asperula

asclepias-asperula

And now – a la an unreformed Scrooge – for a jaundiced eye cast in miscellaneous directions:  

Can’t imagine you haven’t seen commercials touting 10 years of tax-free status for businesses setting up in NYState…  Well, here’re some stats on how similar programs have performed… 

High time we knew what exactly’s in our cleaning products, we think.  If you agree

Alright, so there’s a new NYC DOT Street Design Manual…  “New” as in recently released and with some advocacy for bioswales…  All but senile old in its reliance on asphalt, prime contributor to acidic run-off.

Hummmm…  Kind of amazing fanfare around the installation of – count ’em – a measely 12 of those nicely-designed circular bike racks in the Gramercy/Midtown area…  (Should you wish to to request a rack for your hood, here’s how!) 

Most happy at to learn that East River Ferry service will be extended to 2019…  Now, powers-that-be, how about make it a real East River Ferry by adding more than just the 34th Street stop?! 

Meanwhile, one will shortly begin to take personally the profusions of fabulous designs announced for virtually every square inch of East River waterfront (most recently, Pier 42)…  Almost every square inch EXCEPT for frontage along the Upper East Side.  

Moving into the full-throttle, end of “It’s A Wonderful Life” celebratory mode:

Holy crow!  Our city’s just made public that it’s leased some 40 acres of Fresh Kills Park to Con Ed for a solar power farm

Even more amazing is – at long, long last – the FDA’s move to restrict antibiotic use in farm animals!  (Should you wish to indicate your support...)

Then there’s this week’s announcement that – among many promising developments – Governor’s Island will be open to visitors 7 days a week from Memorial Day to September 30th, 2014! 

Fingers firmly crossed that NYC’s modular housing now abuilding lives up to its promise

And now for a sharp turn off the eco path:

To note improvements – small and large but all with big potential – in tech for those with little to no sight.  

And:

Whoa!  Did we know that the Chairman of the Board not only had an UES residence but – beyond the grave – still does…?  And it’s for sale!

As for those critters: 

Yikes!!  Who knew there’re increasing numbers of the formidable and invasive Eurasian boar are living among us upstate

Yet another opportunity to stand in defense of bees, folks…  i.e. encouraging Home Depot and Lowe’s to stop  stocking unfriendly-to-bees  insecticides  

Love that the American Bird Conservancy calls feathered friend, the Yellow-Breasted Chat, the “buffoon of the briar patch“!

Yellow-Breasted Chat
Yellow-Breasted Chat

Meanwhile, right here in our midst:  

11/29 – Manhattan, HRM 6: In addition to a female common merganser, a ring-necked duck was present this morning on the Central Park Reservoir. I also counted ten hooded mergansers, five American coot, four buffleheads and four pied-billed grebes. There was a beautiful male Baltimore oriole at the feeders, as well as a Carolina wren, white-breasted nuthatch, and fox sparrow.  – Pat Pollock

Bufflehead Duck

Bufflehead Duck

Wishing you the greenest of holidays and New Year!

Until 2014, 

UGS

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