Happy Martin Luther King Day, UESiders!

A holiday that, this year, comes with some very nice news:  As in it’s been 3 years since there been even a single case of polio in India…  A period sufficiently long for the country to be declared polio-free.

That Americans – in the form of the Gates Foundation – played a role…  Well, good works – and our great men and women – are how we want to be known in the world.

So what of the week ahead:

Saturday, January 18th:   82nd Street Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

At their tables will be the precipitation-embracing folks of American Seafood, Bread Alone, Samascott, Gajeski, Rising Sun Beef and Rabbits’ Run Farm!

Fingers crossed on Ballard Honey.

Sadly, Blue Oyster Mushrooms is done for the winter season but look for them to return in April.

And this update on Feather Ridge Farm…  They’re moving to a new farm location, changing their name to Yellowbell Farm and, as a result of the move, may not have eggs for a while.  (But do ask.)

Meanwhile…

Last week’s recycling total and YTD (from 1/11/14):  24 lbs batteries;  27 lbs filters, cords, CDs/DVDs, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 1 pair of glasses; 10 compost bins; 29 bags of clothes.

Can’t say it enough…  10 big fat bins of compost!

Saturday, January 18th & Sunday, January 19th:  Pledge2Protect Volunteer Opportunity

Asphalt Green, 91st Street & York, 12-4pm

Prime Pledge signature gathering opportunity at this weekend’s Asphalt Green’s annual MLK Swim Meet.  Lend a hand pushing the signed Pledge total way past the 30,000 mark and making the MTS ancient history!  An hour or two or more of your time…  For details and to sign up

Thursdays, January 23rd & 30th:  Roosevelt Island Knitting and Crotchet Group

Roosevelt Island Public Library, 524 Main Street, 11:30am-12:30pm
 
For sure, knitting and crochet are making a major comeback!  Whether you’re a novice or further down the skill pike, bring your current project, questions, needles and yarn to the Knitters’ Table!  Free, of course.  
On the horizon:

Saturday, January 25th:  Dendê & Band Concert

El Museo del Barrio, 1230 5th Avenue between 104th & 105th, 3pm, 

And who or what is Dendê & Band?  An eight-piece Brazilian musical group blending Brazil’s rhythm-heavy melodies with Afrobeat, reggae, merengue and more…  That’s who! Presented in collaboration with Carnegie Hall’s Neighborhood Concerts.  Free and all  ages welcome, but you’d better RSVP!  

Wednesday, January 29th:  TreeLC Care Captain Training

The Arsenal, Fifth Avenue at 64th Street, 3rd Floor, 6-8pm  

The next level up, after one’s taken TreesNY’s wonderful Citizen Tree Pruner Course?  NYC Parks’ master class on how best to share those much-needed tree care skills with friends and neighbors and organize your community!  Free.  For full details and to sign up… 

Friday, January 31st:  NYCH2O Old Brooklyn Waterworks Lecture

Brooklyn College, 2900 Bedford Avenue, 7-9pm 

Once upon a time, Brooklyn was America’s third largest city with a network of reservoirs and water wells reaching out to eastern Long Island.   Even so, the quantity and quality of water couldn’t keep up with demand, ultimately playing a major role in Brooklyn’s decision to consolidate with Manhattan in 1899. Amazing history brought to life by Jeffrey Kroessler, PhD at another great NYCH2O event. Free but donations appreciated.  For tickets, directions and more

Saturday, February 15th:  Shred-A-Thon Post-Valentine’s Day Edition

Curbside at the 82nd Street Greenmarket between First & York, 10am-2pm

And we’ll be shredding:

Paper of any and every kind!  Bring it on!!

But, please, NO cardboard or handled shopping bags.

Please do remove paper clips and spiral bindings. 

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.   But we do take paperbacks.

(Transport your excess hardcovers to Goodwill.)

Sunday, March 2nd:  National Geographic Photography Seminar

Lighthouse International, 111 East 59th Street, 9am-4pm

Learn from master National Geographic photographers Annie Griffiths and Dan Westergren who’ll take you on a visual journey and share insights as to what creates beauty in photographs.  $195.  For details and to register

Way, way, way out there:

Sunday, June 22nd to Friday, June 27th:  Rails-to-Trails Annual Summer Sojourn

Maryland, Virginia & West Virginia Trails

Be you young or young-at-heart…  Veteran or first-timer…  With your family or going solo…  Here’s a stellar chance experience a choice group of America’s most beautiful trails.  For further details

On to miscellany…  The good, the unnerving and fun: 

Bad New Flash A:  U.S. carbon emissions increased 2% in 2013. Reason why?  Power plants burning more cheap coal.

Bad News Flash B:  Global investment in green energy fell for a second year in a row…

Good News Flash #1:  Lower cost solar panels have spurred panel installation in Europe by 20%.  (Read about both these last two…)

As we all know, only a half-inch of rain and NYC’s waste water system’s overwhelmed, sending millions of gallons of raw sewage into the East and Hudson Rivers.  Our city’s response to date: some larger tree beds and the occasional bio-swale.   

Not so upstate where NYS and 6 Albany-area communties have just agreed to spend $138 million to upgrade their sewer systems in service of a cleaner Hudson.

(Seems a lot better use of big money than building MTSs.)

Meanwhile…  There’s hope on NYC’s waste water horizon!!  A hearing – entitled “NYC Municipal Separate Stormwater Sewer System Permit Presentation” is set for January 23rd, 1 Centre Street,  10th floor, Room 1019, 6pm.  For more and to reserve a seat… 

Excellent, as well, that NYS’s acting to prevent the spread of invasive aquatic species at boat launches!

Returning to the subject of the MTS:  Herewith, new Council Member Kallos on that subject and more

Reason #6 zillion and four why we shop Greenmarkets:  Bacteria-loaded factory-farmed chicken!  

Who would have thought, in 2013, there’d still be toxic chemicals in cosmetics?  BUT…  Thanks to the California Board of Health, there’s now a database detailing what might be lurking in those little bottles and cases!

Of course, the gorgeous Musee de quai Branly (designed by genius Patrick Blanc) has been on our radar for the last three years but great to see it’s now the Greenwall Project of the Week.  (Imagine the Roosevelt Island Tram station similarly cloaked in greenery…)

Moving off the reservation:

Sure Replacements Inc. is source of china, crystal and flatware, but it’s also all about recycling and reuse! 

Non-night owl alert:  Jon Stewart had some fun with those among us who consume pizza with utensils…  A practice/event/news item hereinafter designated as “Forkgate”

Hey, folks!  4 Oscar-nominated films were shot in NYC!

Tine for some animals, we say:

Fabulous that NYS has now outlawed puppy mills!

Most impressive, too, is China’s move to crush 6 tons of contraband ivory

Happy to note, as well, that NOAA’s taken action to protect 5,000 square miles of New England ocean habitat!  (If you’d like to say thanks…)

Okay…  There’s Super Bowl counter-programming and then there’s furry Super Bowl counter-programming…  As in the classic Puppy Bowl.

Now, in 2014, we’ll be treated to – drum roll –  Kitten Bowl!   There’s even a 24/7 Kitten Bowl Training Camp cam…  (On even at night when the athletes are all asleep.)

There’s now finned/scaled Super Bowl counter-programming, too…  As in the Nat Geo Wild’s newly-minted Fish Bowl… Which consists of a single goldfish in a bowl and presented “without filters and with remarkable candor.”

There appears to be a flourishing skunk population up in Inwood Park…  (On the plus side, they like to eat rats!)

Yours in greenness,

UGS

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