Welcome A New Welcome Center
A 3,500-square-foot Ulster Welcome Center at the western gateway to Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park has been opened in the Town of Lloyd. The multipurpose visitor center and plaza, which cost $5.4 million, features amphitheater seating for special events and programs for hundreds of people; a covered 1,400-square-foot patio; improved visitor circulation including new and improved signage, enhanced landscaping, bus drop-off location to provide easier access, and upgraded and environmentally friendly pathways that will improve connections for those entering and exiting the park; and a concession stand and public restrooms. The new facility utilizes the latest energy efficient measures, including LED lighting, insulated building shells, and modern heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment, powered by solar panels. Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park stands 212 feet above the river’s surface and is more than 6,700 feet (1.28 miles) long, making it the longest, elevated pedestrian bridge in the world; it is open daily from 7 a.m. to sunset. The Dutchess Welcome Center on the eastern approach of the Walkway is slated to open next Spring in time for the park’s 10th anniversary celebration.
Sign Up For Youth Climate Summit!
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Delaware County is currently accepting applications from students in grades 7-12 and teachers in the Catskill region to attend the 2018 Catskills Youth Climate Summit, to take place Tuesday-Wednesday, October 9-10, at Frost Valley YMCA in Claryville. The Summit gives students an opportunity to attend presentations and workshops on climate change and sustainability. Additionally, attendees are invited to participate in group discussions and activities that are designed to challenge perceptions, brainstorm solutions, and discover new ways to live more sustainable lifestyles. For more information or to apply to attend the Youth Climate Summit, go to ccedelaware.org/youth-summit.
State Plans For Infrastructure Rebuilding
New York State recently announced a $150 billion infrastructure plan for the next five years. Beginning in FY 2020, these capital projects will be aimed at rebuilding transportation and mass transit systems, constructing safe and secure affordable housing, driving economic and community development, building new and better school buildings for 21st century learning, creating new environmental and park facilities, supporting our sustainable energy future, and generating 675,000 new jobs and expand opportunity for all New Yorkers. Incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo, running for reelection, noted how this builds on $100 billion in investments he’s already managed or announced. Aren’t election years grand for the plans?
Kingston Plans A Boisterous Fourth
Not only is the City of Kingston planning for an extra-special 4th of July celebration and fireworks on Wednesday, July 4th along the city’s waterfront, with live music as well as great fireworks, but they’re also expecting a larger-than usual Annual Children’s Day Parade, the city’s 50th, on Friday, July 6th, complete with a special theme: “50 Years of Family Films!” Line up for the parade will begin at 4:30pm, with a first come first serve basis on Pine Grove Avenue, and will end at the Kingston Plaza, where the parade’s 50th birthday will be celebrated with hot dogs & cupcakes for all participants. The July 4th events start at 4pm, with fireworks commencing around 9:30pm.
People’s Place Bags Summer Hunger
People’s Place Food Pantry and Thrift Store, located at 17 St. James St. in Midtown Kingston, is in need of additional volunteers to assist with its Food Bank Farm Stand every Tuesday morning throughout the growing season, as well as its “Bag Summer Hunger” program, which provides additional breakfast, lunch and snack foods for families with school-age children in Ulster County through September 1. Volunteers are also needed to help out in the food pantry weekdays from 10am-1pm, especially on Fridays, and with unloading Food Bank deliveries the first Tuesday of every month from 8-10am. For more information, call (845) 338-4030 or email email@example.com.
Ski Trail Expansions Get Public Funding
The Catskill Watershed Corp. Board of Directors recently approved funding for stormwater controls at Hunter Mountain where a major ski trail expansion is in the works. The new ski area, to be called Hunter North, is a $9 million project that will include five new ski trails and a six-person high-speed chairlift, as well as a 250-car parking lot, and a base area to accommodate rest rooms and food trucks. A pedestrian foot bridge will also be installed. Construction began in April; trail openings are expected in December 2018. The 15-member board of the CWC, a nonprofit made up of Catskills towns and New York City funding, also approved a $500,000 low-interest loan for the Catskill Revitalization Corp., which runs the Arkville-based Delaware & Ulster Railroad, and named Jeff Senterman, Executive Director of the Catskill Center, to fill their environmental.
‘Forgotten Farms’ To Screen In Kingston
“Forgotten Farms,” an award-winning documentary about the struggles faced by small dairies in the northeastern United States, will be screened by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County at the CCEUC Education Center, 232 Plaza Road (Hannaford Plaza) in Kingston, on Wednesday, July 11 from 6pm-8pm for free. The film focuses on 16 dairy farmers, and “gives us a glimpse into the past and a vision for a future regional food system” and “shows the cultural divide between the new food movement and traditional farming, highlighting the need to examine differences, develop mutual understanding, and find common ground.” Pre-register for the free event by July 6 by contacting Jason at firstname.lastname@example.org or 845-340-3990 x327.
Help With Tivoli’s Library Garden
The lovely Tivoli Free Library in the even lovelier little village of Tivoli has started a monthly Garden Hour on the 2nd and 4th Fridays of each month through October, from 4:30 to 5:30pm, weather depending, at the Community Garden in Memorial Park on Katherine Lane in Tivoli. Some tools will be on hand but more’s always welcome. Make sure you dress appropriately, stay hydrated, and cover up for the sun! Contact Program Coordinator Laura M. Pepitone at
845-757-3771, or visit tivolilibrary.org for more information.
Learn About Pre-Colonial Life Here
“Pop Culture in Kingston 1664” is the name of an upcoming July 8 lecture by Ken Krabbenhoft at the Bevier House in Marbletown being put on by the Ulster County Historical Society as part of an ongoing series exploring art in the Hudson Valley. Krabbenhoft begins his presentation with an imagined trip to New Year’s Eve, 1664, in the Dutch colony of Wiltwyck. His main character is a fellow colonist, spending a night with hospitable local people. The lecturer conjures up a historic and evocative past that includes living side-by-side with Native Americans, harsh winters, travel by horse-drawn wagon, muddy or frozen dirt roads, wooden houses with steep thatched roofs, caring for livestock, and the typical garb of the day being tricorn hat, greatcoat, knee breeches, stockings and brass-buckled shoes. He brings to life an evening of popular entertainment: music, singing, drinking, dancing and playing games such as backgammon and target shooting. It all takes place starting at 3pm at the Bevier House Museum, 2682 Rte. 209, Marbletown, with a nominal charge. Call (845) 377-1040 for more info.
Helping Habitat With Small Donations
Ulster Habitat for Humanity has started a new fundraising effort, Five Buck Fridays, to demonstrate just how doing a little bit can make a big difference. By the way, you can also make that single $5 an ongoing monthly gift and become a sustaining supporter of Ulster Habitat and continue to help local families achieve strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter. Visit ulsterhabitat.org or call (845) 853-7499 for more information, and tio make a donation now.
A Local Green Business Challenge!
The Ulster County Green Business Challenge is designed to encourage businesses, organizations and municipalities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mitigate climate change and reap considerable savings. Its goal:100 Ulster County businesses, organizations, or municipalities will complete an energy retrofit, install solar or other renewable energy, or implement another action that will both save money and significantly reduce carbon emissions. Help is available from a team of trained volunteer Ambassadors, local Green Business Leaders and area experts. This program also supports local green building contractors, renewable energy providers and other businesses that implement sustainability practices. Learn more about the Challenge at ulstercountyny.gov/greenbusinesschallenge. The Green Business Challenge is a project of the Ulster County Climate Smart Committee and is sponsored by Ulster County Executive, Michael Hein, the Ulster County Department of the Environment and the Ulster County Office of Economic Development.
Create Your Own Perennial Garden!
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County’s Master Gardener Program is starting their annual Learning in the Garden Series of free gardening lectures at their award-winning Xeriscape Garden at SUNY Ulster, 491 Cottekill Road in Stone Ridge. Classes take place on the 3rd Saturday of each month starting at 10am, rain or shine, lasting about a half-hour, except for the Plant Sale, which runs from 10am – 12pm. The next lecture is “Using Annuals in the Perennial Garden” on July 21. On August 18 the class will be on “How to Take Garden Photos Like a Pro,” while further events will include an annual plant sale and a final lecture on “Natives, and Other Plants, for Late Season Color.” Walk-ins are welcome, or you may register ahead at 845-340-3990 ext. 335 or by emailing email@example.com.
High Falls Fair Hits Its 80th Year!
“A Fair Day in High Falls,” an annual town-wide street festival in one of Ulster County’s most charming communities, will mark its 80th anniversary on Saturday, July 7 from 11am to 5pm for free. Learn why locals call High Falls “the Center of the Universe!” There will be live music, local craft vendors, community wellness tents, antique shopping and a historic tour of the town, founded in 1669. There will be a petting zoo located in the parking lot of the Community Church of High Falls on Second Street, as well as donkey rides for the kids and “A Taste of High Falls” to give adventurous taste buds the chance to sample delicious dishes from the area’s restaurants and the High Falls Co-op. See You there.
Picturing Today’s Immigrants
The Reher Center for Immigrant Culture in Kingston is opening of a new gallery space on July 7 with an exhibition entitled, “The Story Continues: Portraits of Today’s Immigrant Businesses,” featuring the photographs of Nancy Donskoj with accompanying text by journalist Lynn Woods. The faces shown and stories told will feature a diverse group of contemporary immigrant business owners and artists who live and work in the Rondout district of the Ulster County seat, which since the early 19th century has attracted generations of entrepreneurial immigrants, one of whom was Frank Reher, who emigrated from Krakow and opened a bread bakery at the corner of Broadway and Spring Street in 1908. The trend continues today, with immigrants from Mexico, Italy, Morocco, Austria, Sweden and other countries opening businesses in the neighborhood to support their families and grow Kingston’s economy. Also on view will be “Rondout Revisited,“ a three-part exhibit that will orient visitors to the rise and decline of the neighborhood from the mid-nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. An opening reception for the gallery and exhibit will run from 5 to 8 pm on July 7th.
Rhinebeck’s ‘T’ Space Open To All
Set on a 30-acre wooded preserve bordering Round Lake in Dutchess County’s high hills behind Rhinebeck, T Space is a naturally-lit gallery space with sculpture garden and burgeoning new architecture retreat and workshop, with residencies, started by the renowned architect Steven Holl started in 2010, but newly open to all on weekends this summer. Since its inception, T Space has been making waves within a small-but-distinguished community of artists, architects, poets, musicians, composers and their friends, showing top artists including Martin Puryear, Carolee Schneeman, and Ai Weiwei, and featuring top poets and musicians at regular events. The space will be open Sunday afternoons from noon to five p.m.
This summer’s exhibits will include Mexican architect Tatiana Bilbao (July 21 to August 5), and Ricci Albenda’s Open Universe installation, consisting of three-dimensional willow “drawings” made in collaboration with David Drew (August 18 to September 30). Visit tspacerhinebeck.org for more information.
Cutting Edge Dance Comes To Catskill
Lumberyard Contemporary Performing Arts kicked off its inaugural summer season June 29th in Catskill, with its “Under Construction Summer Festival” featuring 8 performances and three premieres across four venues throughout the Hudson Valley while construction is being completed on its facility in Catskill. Among those being featured are Urban Bush Women, STREB Extreme Action Company, Bridgman | Packer Dance, d. Sabela grimes, Jodi Melnick, John Jasperse, Ishmael Houston-Jones, and Tony-Award winner Savion Glover and Marcus Gilmore. The new dance center will workshop and premiere new dance works in a former complex of hardware store barns and lumberyard by the Catskill Creek. Talk about a regional winner!
Celebrating Our Region’s Black History
The Hudson River Maritime Museum is partnering with the Library at the A.J. Williams-Myers African Roots Community Center in Kingston to present a conference on Black History in the Hudson Valley on Saturday, July 14 at the museum featuring eight individual presentations and panels in two concurrent sessions covering the history of Black and African-American communities in the Hudson Valley from the 1730s to the 1970s. The talks will feature black entrepreneurial success stories, slavery in the Hudson Valley, the Great Migration, Father Divine, the Paul Robeson riots in Peekskill, and the Underground Railroad. Attendees are also welcome to visit the Shantyboat, part of the Secret History of American River Peoples Project, which will be at the HRMM docks and available for free public deck tours all weekend.
State Funds Smart Schools Investment
New York State has decided to fund a Smart Schools Investment Plans totaling $34 million as part of the $2 billion Smart Schools Bond Act. The 49 plans approved by the Smart Schools Review Board will fund projects at 46 school districts and 3 special education schools. Projects include $10.4 million for school and community connectivity projects, $9.2 million for classroom technology purchases, $7.2 million for high-tech security projects, $4.9 million to replace temporary classroom units, and $2.3 million to construct pre-kindergarten classrooms. Local districts with approved plans include Rondout Valley, Taconic Hills, and Deer Park.
New Economy Coalition’s Commonbound
CommonBound, the New Economy Coalition’s biennial conference, took place in St. Louis late last month with substantially higher attendance for key discussions on black-led food co-ops.
Worker Co-ops in the Gig Economy; Google funding for Basic Income pilots; finding new ways of breaking the schools-to-prison pipeline; global sharing projects; the use of arts to revive economies; lessons learned by the Greek Solidarity reaction to outside austerity measures; the leftist origins of the game Monopoly (discussed in these pages earlier this year); and various ways to better promote economic fairness and the opportunity for communities to fight for what is rightfully theirs.
Try Some Theater At Bannerman’s Island
Bannerman’s Island and Castle, located on the Hudson River between Cold Spring and Beacon, is not only an amazing destination for people interested in Hudson Valley history and folklore, but has now become a wonderful place to enjoy the performing arts as well. Every weekend through October, island visitors will have the opportunity to attend quality theater events, concerts and even film nights on what has become the Hudson Valley’s most unique Performing Arts Venue — the Bannerman Island Stage! Coming up are performances of the Broadway show 1776 on July 14 and 15, a production of Hamlet on July 28 and 29, and more musicals and even a production of Dracula. For reservations and information please visit bannermancastle.org.
Stewart Airport Gets A New Name
Stewart International Airport has been renamed by the state as (drum roll please): New York Stewart International Airport. The move comes following the one-year anniversary of Norwegian’s commencement of international service to the airport, which drove an increase in passenger volume of more than 60 percent in 2017. “Adding ‘New York’ to the airport’s name will not only raise the geographic profile of the airport and its visibility, but offer another travel option to the metropolitan region while preserving the airport’s historic ties,” said Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Executive Director Rick Cotton. “New York Stewart has become the nation’s fastest growing airport, and we’ll further support that growth with the expansion of facilities for international travelers which will break ground later this year.” The rebranding initiative is coupled with a $30 million investment to build a permanent new 20,000-square-foot U.S. Customs federal inspection station, replacing a temporary station and increasing the airport’s potential to grow flight activity and passenger volume. The expansion will also greatly enhance the airport’s ability to handle domestic and international passengers arriving simultaneously. Although the airport has a new name, its three letter airport code, SWF, will remain the same. What about the original name? In 1930, Thomas “Archie” Stewart, an aviation buff and descendant of prominent local dairy farmer Lachlan Stewart, along with his uncle, Samuel Lachlan Stewart, donated 220 acres of land to the City of Newburgh to be used as an airport. In 1970, Stewart Airport was acquired by the State Department of Transportation. The Port Authority purchased the remaining 93 years of a private company’s operating lease for $78.5 million from NYDOT in 2007. Ta da!