Happy Vernal Equinox, UESiders!!

A first for us that local news stations engaged in a New Year-like coundown to the 5:58pm moment when the – so to speak – spring ball dropped!!

But, hey, it’s been a winter of weather craziness and why not at least dream of relief and consistency and spring as we once knew it…

Meanwhile, how about all those little green leaf tips beginning to poke through soil in gardens and tree beds up and down the UES??!! 

As thought turns to making our streets and avenues green:

Saturday, March 23rd:  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,  Ballard Honey, Hawthorne Valley (with  Consider Bardwell items), Gayeski and Nolasco Farms!!

Let’s hear from Market Manager G:  “Another beautiful spring day at 82nd Street. Spring has truly sprung with beautiful plants from Gajeski, all the baby greens and of course your favorite ingredients for soup.  Yes, it may officially be spring, but this back-and-forth weather still calls for some hearty and warming soups.  Don’t worry, you can add all your favorite spring greens!”

Last Week’s Recycling Totals –  71 lbs batteries;  18 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges;   9 pairs eye glasses;   12 compost bins;  42 bags of clothes; 8,524 lbs. of paper  

Bask in your ecological glory, you Shredees!! 

Tuesday, March 26th:  How Do Birds Learn Birdsong Lecture

Reidy Hall, Unitarian Church of All Souls, 115 Lexington Avenue, 7pm

How and when does a Zebra Finch learn to sing, and what effects does hearing a song have on its brain? How does sleep affect song learning? How does the learning of birdsong compare to the learning of speech in human infants?  Good thing Dr. Ofer Tchernichovski of  Hunter’s Laboratory of Vocal Learning has the answers!!  Organized by NYAudubon and made possible by Claude and Lucienne Bloch.  Free. 

Tuesday, March 26th & Thursday, March 28th:  Echoes of Ji.hlava Documentary Film Festival

The Cinema, The Czech Center, 321 East 73rd Street, 7pm

Screening a pair of great selections from the renowned Ji.hlava Festival:  Best 2017 Czech Documentary “The Limits of Work” on the 26th and  Best 2018 Central & Eastern European Documentary “Time Box” on the 28th!!  (FYI: Eastern Europeans have been making great films since Day 1!!)  Free.  For film summaries and to RSVP...

Wednesday, March 27th:  Invaluable Training – Muralist Mildred Meiere Prepares for World War I

Webster Library, 1465 York Avenue, 6pm

Celebration of Women’s Month continues with new light shed on the extraordinary life and times of artist Midlred Meiere who, putting her career on hold, enlisted and served in the our World War I Navy, providing vital mechanical drawings and maps…  A story told by her daughter, Louise Meière Dunn.   Presented by the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum, Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright and the Webster Library.  Free but your rsvp required or 212-288-4067.

Saturday, March 30th to Sunday, April 7th:  Participatory Budget Vote

Locations Around Districts 4 & 5 and Online (commencing on March 30th)!!

Really worthy community projects to choose from and all’s that needed is YOUR TOTALLY IMPORTANT VOTE!!  Couldn’t be easier, folks!!  Just be a resident of either CM Kallos’ or Powers’ Districts, be 11 years old or in at least 6th grade!!  Let’s spend the CMs $1M really well!!

On to an even busier April:

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 yet another fracked gas pipeline – the Williams Pipeline – and through the NYC harbor!!  One of  7 meetings in the area studied.  For the report…  A summary of that report…  And where to forward your comments

Wednesday, April 10th:  Mappy Hour Skills Series – Map Reading

718 Cyclery,  254 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, 7-9pm

Get familiar and comfortable reading a variety of types of maps, as well as knowing how to use your newly acquired knowledge for navigation in the woods or on whatever terra  you might find yourself!!  Sponsored by Mighty Hachet.  $25.  For more and to register (a must)

Saturday, April 13th:  Schurz Park Easter Egg Hunt!!

East End Avenue at 86th Street, 11am–1pm

Hunt for eggs!!  Get a glitter cheek or hand stamp!!  Get up close and personal with the Carl Schurz Easter Bunny!!  Free!!  (Parent Alert:  Continuous waves of egg hunts commence at 11 and continue every 20 minutes until 1!) 

MONDAY, APRIL 22nd:  EARTH DAY!!

Monday, April 22nd:  Earth Day Mystery Green Tour

Around Manhattan, Several tours at various times

Sites this year might include a river education lab right on the Hudson River, a zero-waste office, a state-of-the-art NYC Department of Sanitation facility and/or a rooftop farm!!  A partnership between Atlas Obscura and The Earth Day Initiative.  $28.  For more and tickets

Thursday & Friday, April 25th & 26th:  Older Adult Employment Strategies, Support and Job Fair

Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, 331 East 70th Street, Thursday – 9:45am-1pm, Friday – 10am-1pm

Calling all older adults!!  Interested in some gainful employment?   Then tap into this dual session event organized by our Senator Krueger!!  Thursday’s session covers job search strategies and support…  Friday’s job coaching, resume development, a LinkedIn workshop, a photo shoot AND 20 employers seeking to hire older individuals!!  The only three caveats here:  Participants must be Senator Krueger constituents, must bring their present resume and must sign up or  212-490-9535.  Co-sponsored by New York Public Library Science, Industry and Business Library.  

Friday, April 26th:  Schurz Park Electronics Recycling Event

Carl Schurz Park, East End Avenue & 86th Street, 10am-4pm

So you’ve been postponing that trip over to Best Buy with a taxi full of aged electronics…  Lucky you, you’ll soon be able to shed it all-but on your front doorstep!!  Organized by Lower East Side Ecology Center.  Free.  For what’s accepted

Saturday, April 27th:  The New World of the Number 7 Train Tour

Meeting place provided with reservation, 10am-5:30pm

Veteran tour meister Jac EIchenbaum leads a series of 6 walks – each an gem – commencing with the the transportation corridor forged by the Number 7 from its first days serving the city in 1914!!  $49.  For more and to RSVP

May already:

Saturday, May 4th:  Keys to the City – The Ultimate Scavenger Hunt

All Around Town, 10am-4pm

And we quote, “50 clues, 2 boroughs, 1 winner. The Museum of the City of New York presents the ultimate New York City scavenger hunt”!!  Yup, it’s raising funds for the MCNY while having a great time!! $50.  For details and to sign up

Monday, May 6th:  6th Annual Esplanade Friends Spring Benefit

The Bentley Hotel, 500 East 62nd Street at York Avenue, 6:30-8:30pm

Set foot on our East River Esplanade of late?  Bet you’ve been amazed at steady transformation…  The lovely landscaping along the Rockefeller U…  The GreenParkGardeners’ amazing natural pollinator-friendly garden…  The sea of flowering bulbs and summer flora in the 96th Street Planter…  The on-going work by Hospital for Special Surgery and Sloan-Kettering in the Seventies…   So much accomplished!!  So much to be done!!  And we all can be a part of magnificent UES waterfront soon-to-be!!  Tickets from $150.  For the total lowdown

Monday, May 13th:  The Hunter College Choir Presents Mozart’s Requiem

Hunter College Assembly Hall,  North Building, 695 Park Avenue (entry on 6 between Park and Lexington Avenues, 7:30pm 

One marvelous spring concert that includes not only the Requiem but the Vesperae solennes de confessore,  Laudate Dominum and Ave verum Corpus, too!!  Free.    For more...    (Thanks to Linda Goldsmith for the tip!!)
crocus-tommasinianus-cultivar

crocus-tommasinianus-cultivar

On to this week’s activism opportunities:   
 

If you’d like to weigh in as our state representatives engage in yet more debate on a plastic bag ban…    (Hey, folks, if impoverished African nations can do it!)

poor whale

Whale Washed Ashore in the Philippines

And if you’d like NYS forests – home to our threatened bird population – protected, too...  

And if you oppose delisting wolves as an endangered species, you could leave  Governor Cuomo a message to that effect (518-474-8390, then press 1)…

Then there’s the incinerator proposed for the Finger Lakes region…  Be good for the governor to hear you thoughts on that, too!! 

Last but hardly least:

Should you also wish to ask international corporations like Walmart, Coca Cola and more to cease using throw-away plastic packaging... 

Pure miscellany now: 

For those of us considering an Introduction to Bushcraft course

The Spring 2019 Central Park Guide

Another challenging week for NYS Conservation Officers  (Giant turtles!!  Crocodilian pelts!!)…

And many a hiker in need of assistance by our Forest Rangers

Nine cities that’ll  pay you to live there   (6 in America…)

 Hey, critters:

Commencing with news of a raccoon on the A Train tracks today… 

Predictions of spring fog equal warnings to drivers about migrating amphibians... 

And those amphibians are migrating because

We’ve noted kitty-related events in the Russian city of Zelenogradsk before…  Now they’ve changed their pedestrian traffic signals–  Well, just check ’em out!!   (Scroll down for a postscript to a great dog story of a week or so ago!!)

Disease-fighting African prawns (AKA shrimp!)…

Lucky California with both Monarchs and Painted Ladies…   (Thanks for the tip, reader Kathlene Treat!!)

Good on New Mexico for bringing coyote killing contests to an end!!

A cat sanctuary in Aleppo…

ALERT!!  The American Woodcock, one of the earliest birds migrating through NYC each spring, is especially prone to colliding with windows!!  Be on the lookout for injured woodcocks on the UES, report them to NYC Audubon at 212-691-7483 and take that poor bird for treatment at Wild Bird Fund, 565 Columbus Avenue at 87th Street!! 

Woodcock 2

Helping An Injured Woodcock in NYC

Not forgetting the Hudson River Almanac:

3/8 – Hudson River Estuary: The New Jersey Hudson River Fishermen’s Association announced their 2018 Hudson River catch-and-release fishing contest winners. Among fishes caught in the Hudson River, frequent Hudson River Almanac contributor and master angler, Bill Greene, placed first in the common carp category with a 25 pound, 9 ounce fish caught at Long Dock Park in Beacon last March 31. Bill also won the channel catfish category with a 7 pound, 15 ounce catfish caught October 19, also at Long Dock Park in Beacon.  – Tom Lake

Or The Fish of the Week:

3/10 – Hudson River Watershed: This week’s fish is the hogchoker (Trinectes maculatus), species number 222 (of 228) on our watershed list of fishes. (If you would like a copy of our list, e-mail: trlake7@aol.com.)

Hogchoaker

A Hogchoker & Its Spines

[Hogchokers are flatfish, delightful little soles (Soleidae) ranging in size from a penny to the palm of your hand. Their coloring is mottled light and dark “squiggly” patterns of perfect camouflage, and like fingerprints and snowflakes, it would seem that no two are exactly alike. If you stroke these little flatfish from head-to-tail, they are incredibly smooth. However, if you run your finger from tail to head, it will feel like the fine teeth on a saw. Wise predators have learned to swallow them head first, to avoid “choking.”

We once offered a thesis: “… that the bottom of the river was carpeted with hogchokers.” This came from an observation Christopher Letts and I made in the 1980s after we completed an otter trawl in Haverstraw Bay. We could barely lift the net’s bag out of the water, at which point we asked the question, “How many hogchokers could fit in a five-gallon bucket?” (The five-gallon bucket has long been a standard unit of measure for rivermen.) The answer was 957 hogchokers. (Note: No hogchokers were hurt during this investigation.) –  Tom Lake 

Feeling a green spring coming,

UGS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Happy Pi Day, UESiders!!

For some, a celebration of the ratio of a circle’s diameter to its circumference…  For others, the circle itself…  Or the brainiac Archimedes who figured out what that 3.14  mathematical relationship was/is…  

(Yes, 3.14’s why Pi Day’s on the fourteenth day of a year’s third month!!)  (Which is also Einstein’s b’day!!)

Or for the less mathematically inclined, it’s one great excuse to eat pie, be it fruit, meat, cheese, pizza or all four!!

Fortified with pi/pie, we’re ready for the week ahead:

Saturday, March 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,  Ballard Honey, Hawthorne Valley (with  Consider Bardwell items), Gayeski and Nolasco Farms!!

YES!!  Ballard Honey will be back!!  

Last Week’s Recycling Totals –  81 lbs batteries;  25 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges;   9 pairs eye glasses;   12 compost bins;  42 bags of clothes 

Saturday, March 16th:  2019 Ben Kallos Chess Challenge at ERHS

Eleanor Roosevelt High School, 411 East 76th Street, 8:15am-4pm

Join hundreds of students from dozens of schools and all five boroughs at the 2019 Ben Kallos Chess Challenge!!  Sponsored by CM Kallos, natch!!  Organized by the great Chess in Schools!!  Free!!  For more and to sign up

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

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

Spread the word but do remember:

NO cardboard or plastic-handled shopping bags.

REMOVE paper clips and spiral bindings. 

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.   (But paperbacks are fine.)

(Hold on to your hardcovers for the time being!!)

We thank AM Seawright & CMs Powers and Kallos for their continuing support!!

Tuesday, March 19th:  Made in New York City – The Business of Folk Art

American Folk Art Museum,  Lincoln Square 

Nope, folk art is not solely a bucolic activity…  Which the museum’s new, surprising show totally demonstrates!!  Admission’s free!!  For more… 

Coming up soon:

Thursday, March 25th:  Minetta Brook Walking Tour

Meet at First Presbyterian Church, 12 West 12th Street, 6:30-8:30pm

Urban explorer Steve Duncan reveals  the Minetta’s 1.5-mile now subterranean path beneath the Village and how it’s served NYC past and present!!  You can even catch the occasional glimpse through manhole covers!!  One of the great NYC H2O’s best tours!!  $35.  For more and to reserve your place

Wednesday, March 27th:  The Changing Waterfront

CC Filson, 40 Great Jones Street, 7-9pm

Carrie Roble, Hudson River Park’s Director of Science and Stewardship, details how we the people can contribute to the health of NYC’s other great river!!  Organized by the great Mappy Hour!!  Refreshments provided by Sierra Nevada Brewing!!  Free!!  To register…   

Saturday, March 30th:  Beekeeping 101 –  One Day Crash Course

New York Institute of Technology, 16 East 61st Street, 10am-4pm

Back by popular demand and we quote, “This six-hour condensed course will cover everything you need to know to safely start and maintain a beehive in an urban, suburban, or rural environment. You may not be a master beekeeper by the end, but you will know enough to begin or deepen your fascinating love story with honeybees!”  $200.  For more and to sign up… 

April already:

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 yet another fracked gas pipeline – the Williams Pipeline – and through the NYC harbor!!  One of  7 meetings in the area studied.  For the report…  A summary of that report…  And where to forward your comments

Saturday, April 13th:  Schurz Park Easter Egg Hunt!!

East End Avenue at 86th Street, 11am–1pm

Hunt for eggs!!  Get a glitter cheek or hand stamp!!  Get up close and personal with the Carl Schurz Easter Bunny!!  Free!!  (Parent Alert:  Continuous waves of egg hunts commence at 11 and continue every 20 minutes until 1!) 

MONDAY, APRIL 22nd:  EARTH DAY!!

Monday, April 22nd:  Earth Day Mystery Green Tour

Around Manhattan, Several tours at various times

Sites this year might include a river education lab right on the Hudson River, a zero-waste office, a state-of-the-art NYC Department of Sanitation facility and/or a rooftop farm!!  A partnership between Atlas Obscura and The Earth Day Initiative.  $28.  For more and tickets

Thursday & Friday, April 25th & 26th:  Older Adult Employment Strategies, Support and Job Fair

Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, 331 East 70th Street, Thursday – 9:45am-1pm, Friday – 10am-1pm

Calling all older adults!!  Interested in some gainful employment?   Then tap into this dual session event organized by our Senator Krueger!!  Thursday’s session covers job search strategies and support…  Friday’s job coaching, resume development, a LinkedIn workshop, a photo shoot AND 20 employers seeking to hire older individuals!!  The only three caveats here:  Participants must be Senator Krueger constituents, must bring their present resume and must sign up or  212-490-9535.  Co-sponsored by New York Public Library Science, Industry and Business Library.  

Friday, April 26th:  Schurz Park Electronics Recycling Event

Carl Schurz Park, East End Avenue & 86th Street, 10am-4pm

So you’ve been postponing that trip over to Best Buy with a taxi full of aged electronics…  Lucky you, you’ll soon be able to shed it all-but on your front doorstep!!  Organized by Lower East Side Ecology Center.  Free.  For what’s accepted

Saturday, April 27th:  The New World of the Number 7 Train TourMee

Meeting place provided with reservation, 10am-5:30pm

Veteran tour meister Jac EIchenbaum leads a series of 6 walks – each an gem – commencing with the the transportation corridor forged by the Number 7 from its first days serving the city in 1914!!  $49.  For more and to RSVP

Time for miscellany addressing Yikes!! items first:

Could the powers-that-be really want to reduce light bulb efficiency?

If you’ve yet to comment on construction of the upstate Danskammer fossil fuel plant…  (Our comments tend toward the “No more fossil fuels in our environmentally progressive state”…)

Easy to be more creative should you oppose rolling the dice with the health of our harbor to install the fracked gas Williams Pipeline:  Just refer to one of these telling points!!   

Illegal mining on Long Island (and a big, fat fine!)…

Meanwhile, if you believe NYS’s water quality needs upgrading

Amazing the stealthy reduction in library hours (at 42nd Street from an average of 87 hours a week to 56!!)…  Should you believe longer hours should be restored… 

And NYCs worse subway line is

Middle ground:

A growing number of proposals to defend our island from inevitable storm water/flooding…  

Another highrise on its way to 86th Street

The West Side’s having some success controlling insanely tall buildings

On the upswing: 

NYC could soon have the toughest lead law in the USA…   (Let’s make sure it happens!!)  (Who knew federal laws were more stringent than our city’s??!!)

In 2018, NYC Partnership for Parks engaged over 24,000 people in 1,153 It’s My Park  service projects at 338 green spaces. We are excited to continue working with you to beautify and improve our neighborhood parks through It’s My Park ​service projects this year!!   (UGS will be having plenty of opportunites for you to join in this spring/summer/fall!!)

Scroll down to read a Times reporter’s experience shopping for groceries with zero  plastic involvement for a week….

One of the many reasons why we recycle our metal cans…  

What our Conservation Officers had on their hands the last seven days

And our Forest Rangers

It’s that time of the year again:  The NYS DEC’s annual NY #Recycles Poster Contest

Wandering further afield:

More Mappy wisdom, this time “Water in the Backcountry“…

Love this alert from NYS DEC:  “Remove your ice fishing shanties by midnight March 15th!!”  (Not exactly a slam-dunk judging by the below!!)

fishing shanty

A New York State Fishing Shanty

The week in critters…  Commencing with this happy, local observation by reader Gary Thalheimer:

“The Mallard duck and mate returned this week to their spring residence at the 74th Street end of the pool on York Avenue…”
Then:

How to avoid conflict with coyotes

Why balloons and seabirds do not mix

Volunteers are organizing to escort Hudson Valley salamanders and frogs across roads during their spring migration…  

The 2019 Comedy Wildlife Photography Contest

comedy squirrel

And from the Hudson River Almanac:
3/2 – Millbrook:  My trail cameras have picked up a bobcat only once in the last several years, but in the past week, one of the cameras recorded eight bobcat videos, with at least one on five of the seven days. Seven of the videos were between 5:30 and 11:30 AM, and another at 3:30 PM. In each instance, the bobcat was walking east to west along the south edge of a field. In one of the videos, the bobcat looked quite trim; in the others it looked heavier. My guess is that a pregnant female (the heavy bobcat) had moved in nearby and to the east of my cameras, and the father (the trim one) was lingering in the neighborhood. I’m looking forward to videos of the kittens in the springtime. – Nelson D. Johnson
Bobcat

The Trim Bobcat

And in our city:
3/8 – Queens: There are precious few silver linings to the incessant traffic along the Belt Parkway, but it is interesting to note the amount of wildlife to which the road bears an unwitting witness. Stuck smack dab in the middle of a traffic jam just north of the new Shirley Chisholm State Park, my eye caught site of a disturbance along the boundary fence. There, an obviously agitated sharp shinned hawk was dive-bombing and otherwise harassing, a red-tailed hawk. For a full minute, I made a study of their radically different flight styles. Then, the red-tail simply moved on through and seemed to take great pains in letting the far smaller sharp-shinned know that it wasn’t feeling particularly “harassed” by all the fuss. – Dave Taft
No way we’re forgetting The Fish of the Week:
3/8 – Hudson River Watershed: This week’s fish is the redfin pickerel (Esox americanus americanus) species number 83 (of 228) on our watershed list of fishes. (If you would like a copy of our list, e-mail: trlake7@aol.com.)
redfin pickerel

A Redfin Pickerel

Redfin pickerel is a native species that is less well-known than other members of the pike family (Esocidae). Others include northern pike (E. lucius), chain pickerel (E. niger), and the tiger muskellunge, a pike-muskellunge hybrid (E. lucius x E. masquinongy). Redfin pickerel is a rather small fish (rarely exceeding a foot-long) that is most often found in shallow, weedy areas of the watershed. C. Lavett Smith describes them as having a long, arrow-shaped body, long broad snout, and jaws with prominent canine-like teeth, marking them as a high-end predator in its chosen niche. (Photo of redfin pickerel courtesy of Aidan Mabey) –  Tom Lake

And for the fishermen/women among us:

Hudson River: Striped Bass Cooperative Angler Program!!
Share your fishing experience and help biologists understand and manage our Hudson River striped bass fishery!!

Here’s how it works: Fill out a logbook (we provide) whenever you fish on the Hudson River (by boat or from shore). Record general location, time, gear used, what you caught (or if you didn’t catch anything) and return the logbook when you are done fishing for the season. You’ll receive an annual newsletter summarizing the information, in addition to the latest news regarding regulations and the river. Whether you catch-and-release or take home a keeper, you can be part of the Cooperative Angler Program!!

Join today by contacting:  jessica.best@dec.ny.gov, or call 845-256-3009. – Jessica Best

And we’re not forgetting the Bird of the Week: 

barn swallow

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Hirundo rustica 
POPULATION: 41 million (Americas), 190 million (world)
TREND: Decreasing 
HABITAT: Breeds in open country including pastures, meadows, and farmland, often near water. Winters in a variety of open habitats

Erin Go Very Green Bragh,

UGS

 

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Happy International Women’s Day, UESiders!!

Not only that…

March is Women’s History Month!! 

Both nicely commemorated with 4 new statues of achieving NYC women that’ll soon be present on our turf!!

You go, women!!

On to the week ahead:

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

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

At their tables on this – fingers crossed – non-frigid, non-rainy day will be American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, Samascott, Ole Mother Hubbert, SunFed Beef,  Ballard Honey, Hawthorne Valley (with  Consider Bardwell items), Gayeski and Nolasco Farms!!

Can’t get enough of Gayeski’s and Nolasco’s salad greens!!  

Last Week’s Recycling Totals –  78 lbs batteries;  15 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges;   3 pairs eye glasses;   13 compost bins;  40 bags of clothes 

Bring on those eye glasses!!

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:  2019 Ben Kallos Chess Challenge at ERHS

Eleanor Roosevelt High School, 411 East 76th Street, 8:15am-4pm

Join hundreds of students from dozens of schools and all five boroughs at the 2019 Ben Kallos Chess Challenge!!  Sponsored by CM Kallos, natch!!  Organized by the great Chess in Schools!!  Free!!  For more and to sign up

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

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

Spread the word but do remember:

NO cardboard or plastic-handled shopping bags.

REMOVE paper clips and spiral bindings. 

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.   (But paperbacks are fine.)

(Hold on to your hardcovers for the time being!!)

Many thanks for AM Seawright & CMs Powers and Kallos for their unwavering support!!

Saturday, March 16th,  23rd and 30th:  Maple Sugaring at Five Rivers  

Five Rivers Environmental Education Center, 56 Game Farm Road, Delmar, New York, 1pm

Twirl a brace drill…  Pound a spile…  Inspect the sap flow in the sugarbush…  Take the maple taste test…  Query a local maple producer for even more knowledge!!  Only a 3hour drive away!!  For more…  (Organized groups are welcome, but should call Five Rivers at 518-475-0291 to register in advance.)

Wednesday, March 27th:  The Changing Waterfront

CC Filson, 40 Great Jones Street, 7-9pm

Carrie Roble, Hudson River Park’s Director of Science and Stewardship, details how we the people can contribute to the health of NYC’s other great river!!  Organized by the great Mappy Hour!!  Refreshments provided by Sierra Nevada Brewing!!  Free!!  To register…   

Saturday, March 30th:  Beekeeping 101  One Day Crash Course

New York Institute of Technology, 16 East 61st Street, 10am-4pm

Back by popular demand and we quote, “This six-hour condensed course will cover everything you need to know to safely start and maintain a beehive in an urban, suburban, or rural environment. You may not be a master beekeeper by the end, but you will know enough to begin or deepen your fascinating love story with honeybees!”  $200.  For more and to sign up… 

Then it’s April:

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 yet another fracked gas pipeline – the Williams Pipeline – and through the NYC harbor!!  One of  7 meetings in the area studied.  For the report…  A summary of that report…  And where to forward your comments

Saturday, April 13th:  Schurz Park Easter Egg Hunt!!

East End Avenue at 86th Street, 11am–1pm

Hunt for eggs!!  Get a glitter cheek or hand stamp!!  Get up close and personal with the Carl Schurz Easter Bunny!!  Free!!  (Parent Alert:  Continuous waves of egg hunts commence at 11 and continue every 20 minutes until 1!) 

MONDAY, APRIL 22nd:  EARTH DAY!!

Monday, April 22nd:  Earth Day Mystery Green Tour

Around Manhattan, Several tours at various times

Sites this year might include a river education lab right on the Hudson River, a zero-waste office, a state-of-the-art NYC Department of Sanitation facility and/or a rooftop farm!!  A partnership between Atlas Obscura and The Earth Day Initiative.  $28.  For more and tickets

Thursday & Friday, April 25th  26th:  Older Adult Employment Strategies, Support and Job Fair

Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, 331 East 70th Street, Thursday – 9:45am-1pm, Friday – 10am-1pm

Calling all older adults!!  Interested in some gainful employment?   Then tap into this dual session event organized by our Senator Krueger!!  Thursday’s session covers job search strategies and support…  Friday’s job coaching, resume development, a LinkedIn workshop, a photo shoot AND 20 employers seeking to hire older individuals!!  The only three caveats here:  Participants must be Senator Krueger constituents, must bring their present resume and must sign up or  212-490-9535.  Co-sponsored by New York Public Library Science, Industry and Business Library.  

Friday, April 26th:  Schurz Park Electronics Recycling Event

Carl Schurz Park, East End Avenue & 86th Street, 10am-4pm

So you’ve been postponing that trip over to Best Buy with a taxi full of aged electronics…  Lucky you, you’ll soon be able to shed it all-but on your front doorstep!!  Organized by Lower East Side Ecology Center.  Free.  For what’s accepted

Nothing like some miscellaneous activism:

If you oppose commercial exploitation of the Arctic National Refuge…    (Feeling neutral on the subject?  Read The Times on what’s happening to the Iditarod…) 

If you support an increase in NYC’s Parks budget but haven’t signed on yet, now’s an excellent time

Or oppose a rezoning proposal that’d put a chunk of the Brooklyn Botanical Garden in shade...

Or should you think the EPA should ban pesticide-coated, bee-killing seed

Or that the grey wolf should remain a protected species

Or being miscellaneously informed: 

Kind of a long lead time, but California State legistlators are moving to eliminate non-recyclable plastics by 2030

Meanwhile, America’s newest wildlife refuge – newest of 566 refuges – is in NYS

And Trader Joe’s  heard our concerns and announced a plan to eliminate 1 million pounds of single-use plastic from its stores in 2019!!

Jefferson Park 1934

Recreation Pier, Thomas Jefferson Park, 1934

Hard to believe there was once such a wonderful  recreational outpost on our stretch of the East River!!  (Might poor maintenance – as is the case with the presently disintigrating 107th Pier Street – have led to its demolition?)   (Thanks to Rigo Garcia, Miguel Pineda and Esplanade Friends!) 

What our NYS Conservation Officers have dealt with the last  days…  As in alligator feet and more in Queens…

Our DEC Forest Rangers have been having adventures, too…

We know winter’ll be history soon when Parks’ first spring newsletter hits ye olde mailbox… 

Totally off the reservation: 

Slow cooker jam recipes

Hey, you animals:

330 bird species have been identified in NYC’s Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

And the Bird of the Week is

Cliffside Cotinga
The Cliffside Cotinga

The Juvenile Atlantic Sturgeon Study continues in and around the Hudson River… 

juvenile-sturgeon-measurebnr_original

A Juvenile Sturgeon

But it’s not the Fish of the Week… 

The Hudson River Almanac accords that honor to the ever-so-humble and kind of tragic glass eel!!  To wit:

2/24 – Hudson River Watershed: We are fast approaching the season when educators, naturalists, scientists, and their students will catch, count, measure, and study “glass eels” in the Hudson River Estuary. This natural connection takes us to this week’s fish, the American eel (Anguilla rostrata), species number 19 (of 228) on our watershed list of fishes.

glass eel

A Glass Eel

The story of glass eels begins with the American eel, a fish whose life history is shrouded in mystery. Their ancestors have survived global cataclysms for millions of years but now some populations of freshwater eels appear to be diminishing, and scientists are not quite certain why.  While American eels are considered a freshwater fish, they are born at sea before slowly migrating inland where they spend much of their lives in the fresh and brackish waters of the upland watershed. “Glass eels” are one of the juvenile life stages of the American eel.  They arrive in the estuary by the millions each spring following a six-month to year-long journey from the greater Sargasso Sea area of the North Atlantic where they were born. Glass eel is a colloquial name owing to their lack of pigment and near transparency. These are juvenile American eels “returning” to the estuaries of their ancestors along the east coast of North America. This is a particularly vulnerable time for them and little is known about this period in their life history. In anywhere from 10-30 years, depending upon their sex, they will leave the Hudson River watershed for the sea where they will spawn once and then die, or so we think.  – Tom Lake

Yes, bring on that Daylight Saving, 

UGS

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Happy NYC Beer Week, UESiders!!

More like NYC Beer Month actually, with events from Barrel Aged gatherings to Beer Tables at Grand Central to…  For the rundown

And yesterday was…

Polar Bear Day

Last but hardly least, March is National Nutrition Month!!

Returning to the 7 days ahead: 

Friday, March 1st: 12th Annual Panorama Challenge

Queens Museum, Flushing Meadow, doors opening at 6pm

Yes, it’s the ultimate test of all-things-NYC trivia with the Queens Museum’s fabulous scale model – the world’s largest architectural model – as backdrop!!    Sponsored by the Museum, The City Reliquary and Levy’s Unique New York.  $15 in advance.  $20 at the door.  For tickets and more

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 1st:  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!!

Made chicken soup with a bird from Ole Mother Hubbert this week…  The best ever, people!!  

Last Week’s Recycling Totals –  82 lbs batteries;  19 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges;   1 thermometer;   14 compost bins;  35 bags of clothes 

Yes, people. 14 tightly packed compost bins!!  (And Sanitation’s promised to give us even more bins to fill!!) 

Saturday, March 2nd:  25th Annual Preservation Conference – A Participant-Driven Conference 

New York Law School, 185 West Broadway , 9:30am-3:30pm
A day-long exploration of preservation issues…  Issues of moment in virtually every corner of our city…  With keynote speaker none other than our CM Ben Kallos!!  Friends & seniors, $25.  General admission, $35.  Students free.  But everybody needs to register

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 4th:  2019 GrowNYC Grains Home Bakers Meet-Up

Project Farmhouse, 76 East 13th Street, 6-9pm

Quote, “Calling all bakers of whatever skill!!  Swap samples with fellow grain geeks and share secrets on how to get a really crusty crust!!  Plus, some of New York City’s best professional bakers will also be on hand to talk tips and techniques!!  Do bring a loaf of your favorite home baked bread or other baked good (made with locally-grown grains and flours, of course) and copies of your recipe and/or samples of your starter to trade with others!!”  $20.  For tickets and 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

Spread the word but do 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.)

We thank AM Seawright & CMs Kallos and Powers for their unflagging support!!

Saturday, April 13th:  Schurz Park Easter Egg Hunt!!

East End Avenue at 86th Street, 11am–1pm

Hunt for eggs!!  Get a glitter cheek or hand stamp!!  Get up close and personal with the Carl Schurz Easter Bunny!!  Free!!  (Parent Alert:  Continuous waves of egg hunts commence at 11 and continue every 20 minutes until 1!) 

Hello, April:

Monday, April 22nd:  Earth Day Mystery Green Tour

Around Manhattan, Several tours at various times

Sites this year might include a river education lab right on the Hudson River, a zero-waste office, a state-of-the-art NYC Department of Sanitation facility and/or a rooftop farm!!  A partnership between Atlas Obscura and The Earth Day Initiative.  $28.  For more and tickets

Friday, April 26th:  Schurz Park Electronic Recycling Event

Carl Schurz Park, East End Avenue & 86th Street, 10am-4pm

So you’ve been postponing that trip over to Best Buy with a taxi full of aged electronics…  Lucky you, you’ll soon be able to shed it all-but on your front doorstep!!  Organized by Lower East Side Ecology Center.  Free.  For what’s accepted

Miscellany…  “Say what??!” items up first:

Australia’s dumping  sludge – and like 1M pounds of it – on the Great Barrier Reef...

There’s somebody wanting to drill for oil in the Everglades

Arsenic – among other distressing “ingredients” – in bottled juice… 

Monarchs are still needing our help

As do our shellfish (threatened as they are by ocean acidification)…

Going positive:

Tip of the hat to NYS DEC for reuse of the biggest thing lately:  Redeployment of the erstwhile Mill Basin Drawbridge to the Hempstead (artificial) Reef…

Who knew unsportsmanlike conduct was on NYS Conservation Officers “don’t” list

Sony’s now an e-Stewards Enterprise

Not in our zip code yet, but groceries without packaging and delivered…  (Thanks to reader Carol Rinzler for the tip!) 

There’s the red carpet for show biz celebs…  There’s the green carpet for great market farmers like our own Samascott Orchards: 

The Week in Animals:

Never ceases to amaze how vast the Monarch Butterfly Migration Routes are:

Monarch Migration Route

The Beauty & Biology of (Bird) Egg Color…  (Be sure to catch “Ten Cool Facts About Eggs” near the end!)

The Squirrel Census returns to NYC in June…

Who knew NYS gives exams/licenses in falconry, wildlife rehabilitation and to leashed tracking dogs…?   (Do scroll down and check out the baby bear!) 

A beat…

And the first mammal extinction due to climate change is... 

Sigh…

Thanks goodness for the Hudson River Almanac and the Fish of the Week:

2/19 – Hudson Valley Estuary: This week’s fish is the summer sucker, a freshwater species number 68 (of 228) on our watershed list of fishes. The summer sucker has been known to science since at least 1866, when it was described and named by fish culturist Fred Mather (Catostomus utawana) and has certainly been in our watershed much longer. They live in small headwater lakes and streams of the Adirondack Mountains and is the only endemic (found nowhere else) species in New York State. And yet, until recently, was not on our list of watershed fishes. That omission was corrected in 2016, when it was added as species number 225.

summer sucker

A Summer Sucker

The summer sucker was formerly included with the white sucker (C. commersoni), a common species in the watershed. However, analyses done by Morse and Daniels in 2009 (Copea 2009: 214-220), elevated the summer sucker to full species status. The paper cited a 1934 record from Little Pine Lake, Hamilton County, in the Mohawk River drainage, thus the Hudson River watershed.

Karin Limburg notes that the summer sucker is a good example of allopatric speciation. This occurs when a population becomes sufficiently isolated from its parent population (white sucker) to allow unique mutations and adaptations to occur to make it significantly different enough to warrant being a new species.  -Tom Lake]

Yours in abiding greenness, 

UGS

 

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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

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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

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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