Monthly Archives: February 2019

Happy Skip the (Plastic) Straw Day, UESiders!!

And here’s how we can observe the occasion:  Take the pledge to say “no” to plastic straws today and in time to come!! 

(We just equipped ourselves with not only a portable stainless steel straw but a snazzy little brush to keep that straw squeeky clean!!)  

Moving on to the coming week:

Saturday, February 16th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

At their tables will be our usual winter cast of great characters:  American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, Samascott, Ole Mother Hubbert, SunFed Beef, Hawthorne Valley, Ballard Honey, Consider Bardwell (with some Consider Bardwell items), Gayeski and Nolasco Farms!!

Market Manager G has this news:  “Tyler Dennis –  of warm-weather regular Alewife Farm and always a treat – will be with us at the market this Saturday…  Along with Alewife spinach, cabbage, pea shoots, fava greens and dried peppers!!” 

G adds, “It’s Academy Awards weekend so for those binge-watching movies or hosting an Oscar party, your 82nd Street Greenmarket is the perfect place to stock up on snacks and party menu needs.” 

Last Week’s Recycling Totals –  31 lbs batteries;  22 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges;   13 compost bins;  38 bags of clothes 

Believe it or not, last week someone absconded with most of the dead batteries collected in the UGS Bed Bath bin!!  Why would anyone want totally worthless – apart from the value of keeping them out of landfill – batteries???  All we know is that Bed Bath’s not going to let it happen again!! 

Monday, February 25th:  “Selma” Movie Monday Screening 

67th Street Library, 328 Easst 67th Street, 3:30pm

The 2014 docu-drama detailing  the historic 1965 voting  rights march from Selma to  Montgomery, Alabama led by Martin Luther King Jr.  As always free!!  Rated PG-13.  Accessible.

Tuesday, February 26th:  Special Election for NYC Public Advocate

Your Polling Place, 6am-9pm

Let’s not allow the 2018 massive mid-term turnout to be an aberation!!  Yes,  there’re a legion of candidates…  But busy as you may be from this moment till  the coming Tuesday, check out NY1’s first  and second debates, then get yourself to your polling outpost and VOTE!!

Hello, March:

Saturday, March 2nd:  Intro to Birding – Bird Walk in Central Park

Meeting Place Confirmed with Reservation, 8-10:30am

Learn the basic birding ropes on a relaxed stroll through the Park’s avian hot spots and under the tutelege of guide Tod Winston!!  Binoculars available, too!!  Members, $25.  Non-members, $36.  For reservations or 212-691-7483 x304…  

Saturday, March 2nd:  NYS Budget Forum with State Senator Krueger

New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Avenue, 2-5pm

Kind of a dream come true this chance to tell your NYS State Senator what you think – albeit in just 3 minutes – about this year’s proposed state budget!!  Just let  the powers-that-be know you want to speak when you RSVP or 212-490-9535…   (You can also submit a written statement in advance!For more

Monday, March 11th:  GrowNYC Job Fair  

GrowNYC’s Project Farmhouse,  76 East 13th Street, 5:30-7:30pm

Work doesn’t get more fulfilling than with GrowNYC, be it at a Greenmarket, a Youthmarket, the Fresh Food Box Program, Gardening, Compost and Recycling,  the Youth Education program and more.  Yes, there are some qualifications, but that’s what a job fair’s about:  The right people and the right fit!!  For more and to RSVP… 

Friday, March 15th:  Stewardship for Sustainability – 2019 ReLeaf/Urban Forestry Workshop

New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 West 64th Street, 9am-4pm

Among the subjects explored:  Volunteer Tree Stewardship, Professional Tree Stewardship (volunteers can’t do everything!) and Big Picture Stewardship and the Cool Neighborhoods Initative!!  Members, $25.  Non-members, $35.   For more and how to register… 

Saturday, March 16th:  Shred-A-Thon – Erin Go Bragh 2019 Edition

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

Just remember:

NO cardboard or plastic-handled shopping bags.

REMOVE paper clips and spiral bindings. 

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.   (But paperbacks are fine.)

(Take hardcovers to the Webster Library Branch, Goodwill or Housing Works.)

Major thanks to CMs Kallos and Powers fand AM Seawright for their generous support!!

April’ll be here before we know it:

Tuesday, April 9th:  Presentation of the NY & NJ Harbors & Tributaries Study by the Army Corps of Engineers

Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, 1 Bowling Green, 5-7pm

A study that matters to UESiders for at least 2 huge reasons:  1) Management/mitigation of the increasingly severe storms affecting the waters surrounding our city and 2) the shocking proposal to run a fracked gas pipeline – the Williams Pipeline – through the NYC harbor!!  One of  7 meetings in the area studied.  For more…  (Bet it’s the first time you’ve read anything from “Dredging Today”!)

A brief activist prelude:

If you object to construction of that Williams fracked gas pipeline and its inevitable impact on natural life in the New York Bay

Miscellaneous miscellany following:

Useful, going-more-plastic-free tips from The Times  

Should anyone of your acquaintance not yet be clear on the plastic straw blight

Yet more green job opportunities, this time working at the Oyster Project

From out of the past:  The button below fell out of the ceiling of a house being renovated in Lumberland, NY:

In 1917, the NYS Legislature passed an act requiring hunters and trappers to wear a button that corresponded in type and number to their paper hunting license.

More busy  days for Environmental Conservation Officers

Going NYC-centric:

An interactive map charting NYC population movement…  And how it evolved

Beyond the classics, there’re a ton new pasta shapes on the NYC scene…

The latest best NYC bagel survey

How about a scale model of Manhattan constructed from recycled computer parts by a Zimbabwe teenager…??  (Thanks to reader Renee Pappas for the tip!) 

Let’s have some animals:

Who knew that not only do we have the legendarily bad-tempered fisher cats in NYS, but that the DEC’s studying their population… 

Then there’re the canine field assistants participating in turtle research

The world’s largest bee’s still with us

As always, some snippets from the Hudson River Almanac:

2/14 Greene County: I found a cluster of 25 black vultures in a wood lot just north of Catskill, near the Greene County transfer station. – Rich Guthrie 

black vulture

A Black Vulture

[Such a grouping of black vultures always conjures up an image of a convocation of undertakers. Thus, it seems fitting that a collective noun for them would be “a wake” of vultures. – Tom Lake]

Hudson’s River Almanac’s Fish of the Week:

2/15 Hudson Valley Estuary: This week’s fish is the banded rudderfish (Seriola zonata), a marine species number 175 (of 228) on our watershed list of fishes. Banded rudderfish are not large – generally a foot-long or less – and are one of six members of the jack family (Carangidae) found in the estuary.  A few of the others are crevalle jack, lookdown, moonfish, and permit.

rudder fish

A Banded Rudderfish

The banded rudderfish was one of those marine species that we have always thought might be here, but their prescence was so sporadic that finding one had proved difficult. That is until August 7, 2014, when Chris Anderson of The River Project spotted a school of silvery fish with black vertical bands swimming just off Pier 40 in the Hudson River. Chris took several high-quality photographs that allowed us to identify them as banded rudderfish. All were estimated to be about 250 millimeters (mm). We added the banded rudderfish to our watershed list of fishes.

Four years and four days later, Peter Park and his Brooklyn Bridge Park colleagues came upon a school of banded rudderfish in the East River along Pier 5 at Brooklyn Bridge Park. They counted five fish, all about 180 mm. Peter hoped to catch one on rod-and-reel. That came eight days later in the East River at the Brooklyn Bridge Conservancy. Using frozen “spearing” fillets (Atlantic Silversides), he and Isa Del Bello caught seven ranging in size from 200-240 mm. — Tom Lake

There’s a Bird of the Week, too

Happiness is greenness,

UGS

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Happy Presidents Day, UESiders!!

Ah, yet another 3-day weekend…

Giving us time to check out the NY Botanical Garden’s just announced Year of Plantlove#!!

With spring just 5 weeks away, it’ll be so great having new plants in our parks, on our islands and around our trees to love, yes?!!

But first, there’s the week ahead:

Friday, February 15th to Monday, February 18th:  The Great Backyard Bird Count 

Across America and Greenspaces all over NYC

In 2018, more than 160,000 people of all ages and walks of life joined in the four-day count that creates an annual snapshot of the distribution and abundance of American birds!! This year, you could be 160,001!!  To participate

Sunday, February 16th:  Free Mammograms/Breast Examination on Roosevelt Island

Good Shepherd Plaza, 543 Main Street, 9am-4:30pm

To be eligible, you must be between the ages of 40-79, a NYC resident and not had a mammogram over the last 12 months.  There’re no fees co-pays or deductibles are waived.   Uninsured patients are welcome, too.  Made possible by a host of organizations including the Italian-American Cancer Foundation.  To make your appointment, 877-628-9090!! 

Saturday, February 16th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

With us will be American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, Samascott, Ole Mother Hubbert, SunFed Beef, Hawthorne Valley, Ballard Honey, Consider Bardwell (with some Consider Bardwell items), Gayeski and Nolasco Farms!!

Word from the great Javier of Gayeski Farm fame:   “Only another 2-3 weeks of Brussels sprouts left…

Last Week’s Recycling Totals –  102 lbs batteries;  17 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges;   2 pairs of eye glasses;  12 compost bins;  41 bags of clothes 

Where are those clean mascara brushes, ladies??!!

Saturday & Sunday, February 16th & 17th:  NYS Free Fishing Weekend 

Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, Harlem Meer, Central Park 110th Street & Lenox Avenue, 10am-5pm 

Fish for free with no need for fishing license or enrollment in the Recreational Marine Fishing Registry!!  Learn about fish identification, fishing equipment and techniques, fisheries management, angling ethics and aquatic ecology!!   For more, call 646-634-9776…

Monday, February 17th:  Washington’s Birthday Ball

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum, 421 East 61st Street, 1-3pm

Quote the Museum, “Bring the whole family to celebrate the birthday of the first POTUS with a ball, a museum hunt and tastings of historic recipes.”  Plus learn 19th-century dances, eat Washington Cake and send little family members on a museum search for objects that our former presidents would have used!!”  Non-members, $15.  Members and children under 12, $10.  For more and tickets

Tuesday, February 19th to Friday, February 22nd:  Winter Break History Days at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum  

421 East 61st Street, 9am-3pm

What better way for young UESiders ages 8 to 12 to spend a holiday than with a bit of time travel, playing historic games and exploring the lives and skills of New Yorkers from days past?  $60 per day or $200 for all four days.  Members receive 10% discount on registration.   For more and to register  Or call 212-838-6878…

Wednesday, February 20th:  African Art & Primitivism in the 20th Century Opening & African Rhythms Lecture

Welcome to your new home on 62nd Street, NY School of the Arts!!   Free.  For more about the school and its program...

On the horizon:

Monday, February 25th:  “Selma” Movie Monday Screening 

67th Street Library, 328 Easst 67th Street, 3:30pm

The 2014 docu-drama detailing  the historic 1965 voting  rights march from Selma to  Montgomery, Alabama led by Martin Luther King Jr.  As always free!!  Rated PG-13.  Accessible.

Get ready for March:

Saturday, March 2nd:  Intro to Birding – Bird Walk in Central Park

Meeting Place Confirmed with Reservation, 8-10:30am

Learn the basic birding ropes on a relaxed stroll through the Park’s avian hot spots and under the tutelege of guide Tod Winston!!  Binoculars available, too!!  Members, $25.  Non-members, $36.  For reservations or 212-691-7483 x304…  

Monday, March 11th:  GrowNYC Job Fair  

GrowNYC’s Project Farmhouse,  76 East 13th Street, 5:30-7:30pm

Work doesn’t get more fulfilling than with GrowNYC, be it at a Greenmarket, a Youthmarket, the Fresh Food Box Program, Gardening, Compost and Recycling,  the Youth Education program and more.  Yes, there are some qualifications, but that’s what a job fair’s about:  The right people and the right fit!!  For more and to RSVP… 

Friday, March 15th:  Stewardship for Sustainability – 2019 ReLeaf/Urban Forestry Workshop

New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 West 64th Street, 9am-4pm

Among the subjects explored:  Volunteer Tree Stewardship, Professional Tree Stewardship (volunteers can’t do everything!) and Big Picture Stewardship and the Cool Neighborhoods Initative!!  Members, $25.  Non-members, $35.   For more and how to register… 

Saturday, March 16th:  Shred-A-Thon – Erin Go Bragh 2019 Edition

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

Do recall:

NO cardboard or plastic-handled shopping bags.

REMOVE paper clips and spiral bindings. 

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.   (But paperbacks are fine.)

(Take hardcovers to Goodwill or Housing Works.)

Major thanks to AM Seawright and CMs Kallos and Powers for their unwavering support!!

Tuesday, March 19th and thereafter:  “Puss in Boots”

Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre,  West 9th Street & West Drive, Central Park

Yet again the great Marrionette Theater presents a classic with a twist…  In which  Puss dons a snazzy pair of boots, sets off on a magical journey and proves himself a caring friend willing to help at any cost!!  For every age!!   Adults, $12.  Children, $8.  For schedule, tickets and more

Miscellany, commencing with another job opportunity:

Numero uno:  With the Natural Areas Conservancy, a group that’s been seeking new ways to protect, restore, and improve nature in New York City!!  For open positions and details

Then some items of concern/for activism:

A Gracie Seawall update from Esplanade Friends…  “The latest from Parks on the work stoppage at Gracie is that due to winter weather conditions along the waterfront, work will continue but may experience weather related “interruptions” throughout the rest of the winter. No updated completion date has been shared with us. Parks has also told us that the schedule delays so far have been caused by unanticipated internal structural decay of the foundations under the walkway, behind the stone outer layers of the seawall. Please join us in reaching our to our elected officials to ask for a reasonable timeline, it has been shut for nearly 2 years now!!”

Post Image

(Those electeds:  ben@benkallos.com; seawrir@nyassembly.gov)

Then:

The grisly plan for private development on Isaacs/Holmes NYCHA property rolls on… 

If you think existing mercury emission levels should be maintained…  

day late but still possible to be a Valentine for bees…  As in, encourage the governor to ban bee-killing pesticides in our state!!

Remember when “pink slime” was in grocery store meat cabinets?  It’s back

Okay, Hans Brinker fans…  Due to lack of ice on canals, Holland’s biggest deal skating race  has relocated to moved to the mountains of Austria… 

On the flip side, the likes of Goldman Sachs is banishing single-use plastics from its offices… 

Lots of naughtiness happening with charities claiming to be supporting veterans…  Thus, Charities Navigator’s “Most Trusted” list…   (Thanks to reader Kathleen Treat for the tip!)

Going state-wise:

We’re on the verge of NYS’s maple syrup season and it’s many maple activities…!!

Always a busy week for our NYS Conservation Officers… 

Same for our Forest Rangers

Narrowing the focus:

Eleanor Roosevelt’s many homes on the UES…  (One presently for sale!!)  (Do note the article’s author’s reference to FDR’s “illness”…  Uh, young man…  Polio!!?!!)

Have a neighborhood walk packed with local history and anecdotes you’ve always wanted to organize/lead?  May 2019’s Jane’s Walks would be the perfect debut…!!

Subway stations highest on activists’ needing elevators list… 

Not only is NYC home to America’s oldest pharmacy, but that pharmacy holds one amazing – and likely the most comprehensive – collection of pharmaceutical and cosmetic artifacts

Wow!  Who knew NYC Ferry had a newsletter…  They do and Esplanade Friends is the current edition’s focus

And so another far UES block moves toward demolition… 

Contemplating a power retrofit for your building…  There’s a forum of ultra experts for you!!

Scroll down and ponder alternatives to that energy-gobbling cable box… 

A good place to send next year’s Santacon participants…  Staten Island’s Booze History Museum… 

Not much talk about green walls lately (recall the erstwhile green wall  – installed and slowly died – fronting the exercise place on 86th Street?), but there’s some sign of life out in Brooklyn… 

The week in critters:

Yes, we do need to have eyes – and the best vetted eyes – on furry family members when we’re not at home

Rediscovered birds

The near-frozen kitty that survived

Baby otter and mom reunited by technology

NYS DEC researchers have just completed Year 5 of their moose study!!

But this years’ Hudson River Eel Research is just getting underway and looking for volunteers, especially young ones!!

Spotted by sharp eyes of Hudson River Almanac contributors:

2/2 – Long Island Sound: We spotted a Pacific loon in winter plumage in western Long Island Sound at Oyster Bay not far from the East River. It was in company with a red-necked grebe and a raft of 45 long-tailed ducks. – John Gaglione

pacific loon

A Pacific Loon

[Pacific loon (Gavia pacifica) breed in the Canadian Arctic and winter along the West Coast south into Mexico. They are considered an accidental visitor (stray) to the Northeast. From 2000-2019, there have been a few dozen records from Maine to Cape May, NJ, but only about one dozen from coastal New York State. Western Long Island Sound is a natural extension of the watershed via the Harlem and East Rivers. – Tom Lake]

And the Fish of the Week is:

2/6 – Hudson Valley Estuary: This week’s fish is the banded killifish (Fundulus diaphanus diaphanus), a native species and number 115 (of 228) on our watershed list of fishes. Banded killifish are one of five members of the killifish family (Cyprinodontidae) in the watershed, including one that is a favorite with most students, the mummichog. They are not large – most are index-finger-size, slender with a bit of a snout – and are marvels of adaptation. They can be found from the high salinity waters of the lower estuary to the full freshwater of the river above tidewater. Because insect larvae are a significant component of the killifish diet, killifish have been used as a biological control for mosquitoes. Traveling in large schools, they are a favorite of many predatory fishes from pickerel to pike and striped bass to bluefish. Iconic riverman Everett Nack called them “blue-banded mudminnows,” owing to the breeding male’s incredibly beautiful lavender bands.

banded killfish

A Banded Killfish

Everlastingly green,

UGS

 

 

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Happy Lunar New Year, UESiders!!

And partying marking this Year of the Pig continues with…

lunar new year pic

Saturday, February 9th:   Queens Botanical Garden Lunar New Year Celebration

Queens Botanical Garden, 45-50 Main Street, Flushing, 12-4pm

Think crafts, zodiac face painting, lion dancing and plenty more!!  For a complete rundown of the fun

Then there’s the pretty amazing rest of the coming week: 

Saturday, February 9th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

At their tables will be will be American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, Samascott, Ole Mother Hubbert, SunFed Beef, Hawthorne Valley, Ballard Honey, Consider Bardwell, Gayeski and Nolasco Farms!!

And keep in mind:   Walnut Hill edibles are available at Consider Bardwell’s table!!

With Valentine’s Day closing in on us, Mega Market Manager Margaret has this advice:  “Keep your Valentine in mind while shopping this week…  i.e. Check out the sweet treats at Bread Alone, Hawthorne Valley and  Samascott Orchard!!  (Plenty of savory deliciousness at market tables, too, if that’s more to your Valentine’s liking!)”

(No way Market Manager Guramrit won’t  be whipping up something to thrill Valentine tastebuds, too!!) 

Last Week’s Recycling Totals –  77 lbs batteries;  15 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges;   3 pairs of eye glasses;  12 compost bins;  42 bags of clothes 

Bring on those old eye glasses!!

Saturday, February 9th: Meet the Artists at the 67th Street Library 

32 East 67th Street, 1pm

Take in the exhibits on the 1st and 3rd floors, then have a chat with talented creators  Ellen Hughes and Al Gordon!!.   Free!!   (Yup, no doubt about it…  Our UES libraries are up to some amazing stuff!!)

Monday, February 11th:  “Black Klansman” Movie Monday Screening at the 67th Street Library

328 East 67th Street, 3:30pm

See the 2019 Best Picture nominee at our great 67th library branch…  And it’s free!!  (Storyline:  A black detective sets out to infiltrate the Colorado chapter of the Ku Klux Klan with the help of his Jewish colleague. In the midst of the 1970s civil rights movement, they risk their lives to obtain insider information on the violent organization.)  Rated R.  Accessible.

Every Other Tuesday Starting Tuesday, February 12th:  Tuesday Knitting Social

AM Seawright’s Community Office, 1480 York Avenue between 78th & 79th, 2-4pm

Quote, “Join Neighborhood Knitters for Crafting and Consersation!!”  (As everyone who’s ever wielded a stitch holder knows, knitters do like to chat!!)  And we’re talking equal opportunity knitting/crocheting…  Guys very welcome, too!!  And folks of all skill levels.  Just RSVP

Thursday, February 14th:  Start Local, Go Global! -Bridging Sustainable Practices Across Industries –  A Focus on Food, Film and Waste 

Conference Room 1, United Nations Headquarters, 11am-12-45pm

How food, film and waste industry creatives share how they’re finding new, innovative ways of reducing and reusing of what we call “waste”.  Organized and moderated by UESider Cristina Delfico who’s not only the Producers Guild Green Committee Chair and NYC pollinator expert, but also founder of Roosevelt Island’s great iDig2Learn!!  Sponsored by the UN’s Civil Society Unit.  Free but a RSVP’s required… 

Sunday, February 16th:  Free Mammograms/Breast Examination on Roosevelt Island

Good Shepherd Plaza, 543 Main Street, 9am-4:30pm

To be eligible, you must be between the ages of 40-79, a NYC resident and not had a mammogram over the last 12 months.  There’re no fees or co-pays and deductibles are waived.   Uninsured patients are welcome, too.  Made possible by a host of organizations including the Italian-American Cancer Foundation.  To make your appointment, 877-628-9090!! 

Monday, February 17th:  Washington’s Birthday Ball

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum, 421 East 61st Street, 1-3pm

Quote the Museum, “Bring the whole family to celebrate the birthday of the first POTUS with a ball, a museum hunt and tastings of historic recipes.”  Plus learn 19th-century dances, eat Washington Cake and send little family members on a museum search for objects that our former presidents would have used!!”  Non-members, $15.  Members and children under 12, $10.  For more and tickets

Then:

Tuesday, February 19th to Friday, February 22nd:  Winter Break History Days at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum  

421 East 61st Street, 9am-3pm

What better way for young UESiders ages 8 to 12 to spend a holiday than with a bit of time travel, playing historic games and exploring the lives and skills of New Yorkers from days past?  $60 per day or $200 for all four days.  Members receive 10% discount on registration.   For more and to register…  Or call 212-838-6878…

Monday, February 25th:  “Selma” Movie Monday Screening 

67th Street Library, 328 Easst 67th Street, 3:30pm

The 2014 docu-drama detailing  the historic 1965 voting  rights march from Selma to  Montgomery, Alabama led by Martin Luther King Jr.  As always free!!  Rated PG-13.  Accessible.

Then it’s March:

Monday, March 11th:  GrowNYC Job Fair  

GrowNYC’s Project Farmhouse,  76 East 13th Street, 5:30-7:30pm

Work doesn’t get more fulfilling than with GrowNYC, be it at a Greenmarket, a Youthmarket, the Fresh Food Box Program, Gardening, Compost and Recycling,  the Youth Education program and more.  Yes, there are some qualifications, but that’s what a job fair’s about:  The right people and the right fit!!  For more and to RSVP… 

Let’s get miscellaneously active:

As in the rusty patched bumble bee could use more of our help

And if you think that chlorpyrifos – among its many adverse effects that of stunting child brain development  – should be banned from all agricultural uses

Meanwhile, seems like our NYS DEC will be going to court to compell the EPA to enforce interstate smog regulations

Moving to middle ground:

The New Yorker on Boyan Slat and his mission to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

On the upswing: 

The American Federation of Teachers just voted in support of a ban of all fast food in schools!!

Let’s not get too excited, but BASF’s joined the list of companies able to chemically reduce existing plastics to produce new plastic of food packaging quality!! 

And then, commercial waste handlers are working on official standards for waste and recycling practices!! 

Going mostly local:

The Museum of the Dog opens today at 101 Park Avenue!!

And the Hike of the Month is…  Upstate at  Willowemoc Forest!!

Craziness our NYS Conservation Officers contended with last week… (Stream diversion?? A wolf pelt??) 

NYS Forest Rangers have been busy, too…  

Meanwhile, NYS DEC Wildlife Crime Scene Investigators have been sharing their expertise with wildlife rangers in Africa!!   Wow and wonderful, huh?

Thanks to reader/gardener Jill Bauer for directing us to this lovely Times’ essay on spring in the Ozarks

How about this for a library…?? 

Of course, there’s a Frozen Hair Contest!!

Frozen Hair

Time for the furry, finned and winged:

Seven facts about sea horses

Fifteen facts about groundhogs

Honey bees as mathematicians

How to assist a bald eagle in distress

And we quote, “DEC Announces Completion of Annual Aerial Survey of Adirondack Moose” and they sighted 175…  Congratulations, you sharp-sighted folks at DEC!!

The year round residents of Central Park… 

Penguins, penguin behavior (not to be missed),  penguin cams and penguin valentines

And from the Hudson River Almanac:

1/28 Queens: This was my first day back from a thirty-five-day government furlough. My rounds took me to the various sites that together, comprise the National Park Service’s Gateway National Recreation Area. As I stopped in Howard Beach at the corner of 83rd Street and 163rd Avenue, I saw a beautiful “gray ghost” (male northern harrier) as it banked gracefully and turned without so much as flapping his black-tipped wings. Veering away from the road, he disappeared over distant acres of Phragmites and switch grass. Everything seemed fine at this part of the park despite the shut-down. I imagine my harrier friend didn’t miss me at all.

northern harrier

A Northern Harrier

1/30 – Hudson Valley Estuary: This week’s fish is the ladyfish (Elops saurus), species number 17 (of 228) on our watershed list of fishes. Ladyfish are a long, slender, terete in cross-section, tropical, marine species. This relative of the tarpon are also known to anglers as ten-pounder, although they rarely grow to that size. While they can be found inshore along the Atlantic Coast north into New England, their center of abundance mirrors the tarpon, from the Carolinas south to Florida. – Dave Taft

Ladyfish

A Ladyfish

They are one of the most ephemeral fishes on our watershed list with no more than a couple of records. One of the first occurred in October 1982 when a school of ladyfish appeared in the warm-water outflow of the power-generating facility at Danskammer Point (river mile 66.5). Of what seemed like at least a dozen ladyfish, we managed to capture just one. Its rarity earned it a place in the American Museum of Natural History’s collection of fishes in Manhattan. A few days later, Bob Vargo Sr. found a school of ladyfish in the warm-water outflow of the power-generating facility at Indian Point (river mile 42). These tropical marine fishes may have been heading seaward as autumn went on. If you would like a copy of our watershed fish list, e-mail: trlake7@aol.com– Tom Lake

Let us all be green valentines,

UGS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Happy Soon-To-Be Jackie Robinson’s 100th Birthday, Grand Central Terminal’s 106th B’day and National Groundhog Day, UESiders!!

Don’t miss the Museum of the City of New York’s wonderful Robinson show (running through September 15th) and there’re any number of great things to do in and around Grand Central!! 

As for ye olde Groundhog Day…

national-groundhog-day-e28093-february-2-768x384

After the past 2 days, do we not all have fingers crossed that his furriness is all but stunned by the magnitude of its shadow!!

(And stay tuned to rumored activities of Staten Island Phil supporters determined to take a bite out Punxsutawney Phil’s present pre-eminence in the end-of–winter prediction game!!)  

On to the (hopefully warmer) week ahead:

Saturday, February 2nd:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

With us will be American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, Samascott, Ole Mother Hubbert, SunFed Beef, Hawthorne Valley, Ballard Honey, Consider Bardwell, Gayeski and Nolasco Farms!!

News flash:  Walnut Hill may not now be present tent-wise, but you can still find their wonderful edibles at Consider Bardwell’s table!!)

Meanwhile, it’s Super Bowl Weekend at the Greenmarket!!  Meaning Manager Tutu to be whipping up perfect treats for watching and rooting!! 

Last Week’s Recycling Totals –  75 lbs batteries;  28 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges;   9 pairs of eye glasses;  12 compost bins, PLUS 10 large bags full of compost ;  42 bags of clothes 

Saturday, February 2nd:  Electrifying Mapmaking Embroidery

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum, 421 East 61st Street, 2pm

Home to some of the most fun workshops going, this time the MVHM’s offering a “hands-on mash-up of 19th Century sewing and early science…”  As in embroidering a map of New York and then sewing on circuits to light it up at points of special interest!!  All materials provided and no experience necessary.   Best for adults ($15; members and students, $10) and kids 10-plus ($10).  For more and tickets

Satruday, February 2nd:  Save The Trees Rally

Museum of Natural History Steps, Central Park West at 79th Street, 12pm

As was true of the 42nd Street Library and for all we support our great NYC institutions, not every plan they float is a winner…  Especially when park space and greenery is on the chopping block…

Sunday, February 3rd:  DOROT’s Winter Visit & Package Delivery Program Training

DOROT Main Office, 11 West 85th Street or Sutton Place Synogogue, 225 East 51st Street, 10am 

Again we quote, “Bring warmth and companionship to an older neighbor with a Sunday visit.  Sign up for orientation, package pick-up and a home visit assignment” at either of two Manhattan locations!!  A beautiful thing!!  But registering is required, as is an email to Lauren at lskolnick@dorotusa.org to let her know you’ll be volunteering!!

Wednesdays, February 6th, March 6th and April 10th:  Introduction to Bushcraft

Mighty Hatchet/1 Cyclery, 254 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, 7-9pm

Think building shelters, tying knots, sharpening knives, navigation, cooking and so many more skills needed  when we  frolic about in the great outdoors!!  Professor in charge:  FreeStone Expeditions’ Greg Wilson.  (So far, equal number of men and women signed up!!)  Early bird enrollers, $25 per class.     For more and tickets...

Thursday, February 7th:  Frick Collection Open House

1 East 70th Street, 6:30 – pm

Take in the masterpieces, partake of gallery talks, visit the second floor…  All while savoring the ambiance of the remarkable Frick mansion!!  Free but you must RSVP …

Friday, February 8th:  Heart Month CPR Training with New York Presbyterian

AM Seawright’s Community Office, 1485 York Avenue, 11am-1pm

The more of us who have this knowledge/skill under our belts…  How could one be a better neighbor!!  Free, of course.  To sign up… 

Friday, February 8th:  Opening of Museum of the Dog

101 Park Avenue, 10am – 4pm

Debuting with its first exhibition, “For the Love of All Things Dog: Highlights from the AKC Museum of the Dog and Collection of the American Kennel Club”!!  Then there’re the museum’s digital experiences, i.e. seeing what breed you most resemble (at the “Find Your Match Kiosk”) and/or learn about all 193 AKC recognized breeds (at the “Meet the Breeds” table)!!  Adults, $15.  Seniors, Students, Active and Retired Military, $10.  Children under 12, $5.  For tickets and more

Just over the horizon:

Friday, February 15th to Monday, February 18th:  The Great Backyard Bird Count 

Across America and Greenspaces all over NYC

In 2018, more than 160,000 people of all ages and walks of life joined in the four-day count that creates an annual snapshot of the distribution and abundance of American birds!! This year, you could be 160,001!!  For the lowdown

Sunday, February 16th:  Free Mammograms/Breast Examination on Roosevelt Island

Good Shepherd Plaza, 543 Main Street, 9am-4:30pm

To be eligible, you must be between the ages of 40-79, a NYC resident and not had a mammogram over the last 12 months.  There’re no fees or co-pays and deductibles are waived.   Uninsured patients are welcome, too.  Made possible by a host of organizations including the Italian-American Cancer Foundation.  To make your appointment, 877-628-9090!! 

Monday, February 17th:  Washington’s Birthday Ball

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum, 421 East 61st Street, 1-3pm

Quote the Museum, “Bring the whole family to celebrate the birthday of the first POTUS with a ball, a museum hunt and tastings of historic recipes.”  Plus learn 19th-century dances, eat Washington Cake and send little family members on a museum search for objects that our former presidents would have used!!”  Non-members, $15.  Members and children under 12, $10.  For more and tickets  anemone-occidentalis-1

Anemone Occidentalis

Ready yourselves for some activism: 

Should you oppose Arctic oil/gas drilling

If you like some of your wilderness without off-road vehicles

If you oppose the sale of Plum Island, unspoiled NYS space in the Long Island Sound…

The Berkeley, CA approach to recycling

Math-driven organics policy…  (Let’s hope DSNY is or soon-to-be onboard…)

Closer to home:

Don’t we all know Eleanor Roosevelt High’s been needing a real gym for the longest…  Thus, how ’bout we pile up signatures on CM Kallos’ petition to Mayor deB… 

Be so great if remnants of the 19th Century St. Joseph’s Orphan Asylum recently revealed on 90th Street could be preserved…  Take a look!!

A reusable packaging pilot program coming soon to somewhere in the NYC area… 

Keep an eye on developments vis-a-vis “Jointly Operated Playgrounds”, those being playgrounds and parks which share the same space – of which there are some 260 in NYC – and none of them with the same protection from development as plain old park space.  Case and point:  The developer-threatened Marx Brothers Playground on 96th…

 Amazon’s investing $10M in the Closed Loop Fund, monies that’ll be deployed to support recycling infrastructure  and curbside recycling for some 3 million American homes, much of which is Amazon packaging, of course!!  (You recall, Closed Loop partner Ron Gonen who brought compost collection to NYC!!) 

Just plain wide-ranging miscellany now: 

Seems LA County Public Transportation’s use by women is substantially affected by harassment concerns

Like we didn’t already know (but it’s always great to see in print) that recycled plastics reduce energy consumption and GHG (AKA green house gases)… 

Handy guides/help on how to boost reycling in your building…  

There’re now camera-equipped dumpsters!!   

Our local Organizing Goddess weighs in on how best to manage receipts for/records of charitable donations... 

How about this for a green – and gorgeous – railroad station

On the NYS beat: 

What Conservation Officers have been up to of late (epic dumping/lots of critters)…

Good on NYS for its grants for LED street lights!! 

Add to that research into ocean acidifcation in NYC’s ocean bight!!

Who knew there was an Adirondack Corps…?  (Scroll to page 20…)

Or a Fly Fishing Hall of Fame…?    (Scroll to page 28…)

anemone-occidentalis

Anemone Occidentalis

It’s animal time (heavy on birds this time out):

What to do if you spot a banded bird

Just before the big freeze set in, reader Teri Dupuy spotted this rotund robin on our UES streets:

uesrobin

That Robin

 (Yup, we know they fluff up feathers to retain warmth!)

How invertibrates survive the big freeze…  (Scroll down to page 2!!) 

The Milwaukee Bucks open the world’s first bird-friendly arena…  (Scroll down to page 6!!)

NYS school kids help save threatened bobwhite quail!!  (Scroll to page 17!!)

Not forgetting the Hudson River Almanac:

2/20 – New York Harbor, Upper Bay: Having read the cackling geese reports from Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, I went out to Randall’s Island this afternoon between the storm and the deep freeze to see what may have blown in. I spotted a small whitish finch flitting around the edge of the northwestern-most ball field. I considered that it might be a possible snow bunting. However, a better look revealed a common redpoll. That may have been a first of the species for Randall’s Island.  – Alan Drogin

common redpoll

A “Common” Redpoll

And the Fish of the Week is:

1/25 – Hudson Valley Estuary: This week’s fish is the largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), species number 155 (of 228) on our watershed list of fishes. Largemouth bass is a freshwater member of the sunfish family (Centrarchidae) and a very popular gamefish. The New York State angling record is 11 lb. 4 oz., a fish that was caught in Buckhorn Lake, Otsego County in 1987. If you would like a copy of our watershed fish list, e-mail: trlake7@aol.com.

large-mouthed bass

A Largemouth Bass

As an apprentice in the school of Hudson River fishes, our mentors taught us that the largemouth bass was an introduced species into New York from the Great Lakes region. As good students, however, we were also taught to never pass up an opportunity to question the dogma of our lessons.

Fort William Henry, on Lake George in Warren County, was a Colonial fortification that helped guard the Hudson and Mohawk valleys, then known as “the frontier,” during the French and Indian War. For those of us who are curious by old accounts of unfamiliar fish names, we find reading the journal of Caleb Rea, the regimental surgeon for the English garrison at Fort William Henry (1755-1757), intriguing. The surgeon wrote how he “enjoyed fishing on Lake George.” After one successful trip he noted that he had “… caught Oswego bass, perch, roach, trout, etc. … but ye bass is ye biggest and counted ye best.” The perch were likely yellow perch; roach may have been golden shiners; and trout could have been either brook trout or lake trout. All of these fish are native to Lake George and our watershed.

The “Oswego” bass” was the odd fish. Oswego bass have long been a regionally colloquial name for largemouth bass and conventional thinking has been that they were introduced into New York State from the Midwest in the middle of the 19th century. Therefore, they could not have been Caleb’s “ye biggest and counted ye best.”

But, with the help of ichthyologist Bob Schmidt and DEC fisheries manager Scott Wells, we investigated the local origin of largemouth bass and discovered in the 1896 Annual Report of the New York Fisheries, Game and Forest Commission this statement: “Lake George is believed to be the natural habitat of black bass [largemouth bass], and the fish probably found its way at an early period from the St. Lawrence through Lake Champlain into Lake George.” Apparently, they were there in 1755. This gives us yet another story to tell our students about the lives and legends of New York State fishes. – Tom Lake

[While very close to the border of the Hudson River watershed, Lake George is in the Saint Lawrence River watershed. Tom Lake]

We’re even more green at 30 below, 

UGS

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized