Monthly Archives: November 2010

The Kingston Land Trust Hosts End of the Year Holiday Mixer

By Rebecca Martin

There is so much going on that is good in the city of Kingston,  it’s hard not to share it all.  Even in the form of an end of the year annual plea letter from the Kingston Land Trust,  an organization that I am Director of.  This NFP has a dynamic board, and is doing great works that I hope you will enjoy reading about here. Come and celebrate with a special KLT Rosemary/Coriander Brew on 12/29 and say hello…

To view pictures and text online CLICK THIS LINK.


What a year it has been for the Kingston Land Trust.

Since July when the KLT hired a full time Executive Director, we have done some pretty heavy lifting to establish several substantial projects.  With so much potential in the City of Kingston, it has been a great pleasure to be a key partner in many collaborative efforts new and ongoing alike. We look forward to our continued efforts in preserving and protecting our historic treasures, discovering new avenues for sustainable and healthy living and creating programs utilizing open space that encourages citizens to take full advantage of the fun and adventures in Kingston’s great urban out-of-doors.

Because we appreciate your interest in the Kingston Land Trust, we have organized a Holiday “mixer” to share our work and to socialize with old and new friends. Join us at Kingston’s local brew pub Keegan Ales in Kingston where you can meet our staff and Board Directors and share in our 2010 successes and strategic plans for 2011.

To make this event a special one, Keegan’s has created a special Kingston Land Trust Rosemary Coriander Brew (using Rosemary from my personal garden) just for us that evening. To top it off, a portion of the proceeds of each one sold that evening will be generously gifted to us (drink responsibly, and bring a designated driver).

The Kingston Land Trust Holiday Mixer
Wednesday, December 29th
Keegan Ales
20 Saint James Street
Kingston, NY 12401
6:00pm – 8:00pm

At the end of the year, we wish to challenge our friends in helping the Kingston Land Trust ring in the new year successfully. One of our generous benefactors has offered to match each dollar that we raise up to $5,000. That means that the KLT has the potential to earn at least $10,000 that will be added to our annual operating costs. We have until January 31st to reach this goal and any donation large or small plays an important role. Admission to Keegan’s is free, but we ask that you consider making a donation. If you cannot be present but wish to support us with a secure, online donation to our Annual Fund, visit our website at  You can also send along a check or money order to: The Kingston Land Trust PO Box 2701  Kingston, NY. 12402.  Contributions are tax-deductible.

Your involvement is crucial to the movement for economic revitalization, sustainability, and land conservation in our community.  Please join us.

With thanks and gratitude,

Rebecca Martin

Executive Director
The Kingston Land Trust

Kingston Land Trust Board of Directors and Advisers

Executive Committee
Steve NobleChair
Kevin McEvoyVice Chair/Treasurer/Chair of the LUAMP Committee
Julie NobleSecretary

Board of Directors/Advisors/Staff
Bill BerardiDirector
Hugh CummingsDirector
Barbara EpsteinAdvisor
Gregg SwanzeyDirector/Chair of the KLT Rail Trail Committee
Steve LiebowitzDirector
Ann LoedingDirector
Arthur Zaczkiewicz, Advisor/Staff

What’s happening at the Kingston Land Trust?

The Kingston Land Trust  BLACK HISTORY Committee

With a wide variety of churches, historians and community members, The Kingston Land Trust’s Black History Committee is organizing a re-dedication of the Mt. Zion African-American Burial ground in June, 2011. The event will help to celebrate and honor past Kingston residents and veterans who are now laid to rest there.  Research projects to help document the people and their families at Mt. Zion and in the 17th Century Pine Street Slave Cemetery are currently underway. For more information, contact

The Kingston Land Trust RAIL TRAIL Committee

Led by Kingston resident Gregg Swanzy, the Kingston Land Trust recently was awarded trail development assistance from Parks & Trails NY to engage the community in exploring the feasibility of connecting existing trails outside the city to the Midtown area. We were one of three programs awarded state-wide!  For more information, contact Gregg at


Led by KLT Vice Chair/Treasurer Kevin McEvoy, the Kingston Land Trust’s LUAMP Committee in collaboration with other key stakeholders has participated in and remains committed to the ongoing open space planning process with regards to the approximately 300 acre area proposed to be preserved at Hudson Landing. In addition, the committee participated and is committed, together with key stakeholders, in the planning process for portions of the Ulster-Esopus Ridge in Town of Ulster which includes wetlands and a highly significant Native American lithic workshop discovered during the archeology. With a growing portfolio throughout the city of Kingston, the committee handles all parcels and easements gifted or otherwise conserved to assure protection. To learn more, contact Kevin at

The South Pine Street City Farm Project

About 1/4 acre of land in the Midtown section of Kingston is currently being transformed into Kingston’s first City Farm. Led by first generation farmer and city of Kingston resident Jesica Clark, the Kingston Land Trust has teamed up with The Queens Galley, The Queens Galley’s “Cooking Matters” program and Binnewater Ice Co. to take steps in making Kingston an urban agriculture epicenter. For more information, contact Farmer Clark at

“The Dig Kids” – An urban farming program

With the help of a grant from the Columbia Foundation, The Kingston Land Trust has created “The Dig Kids”- a farming program located at the Everett Hodge Community Center in Midtown Kingston to help youth learn important farming skills while being paid a stipend to do so. Harvests will be sold at local farmers markets as well as used for cooking instruction and distributed throughout the immediate community for those in need. For more information, contact

The Kingston City Hall Victory Garden

The Kingston Land Trust will be in its third year helping to develop the Kingston City Hall Victory Garden, an organic  ‘square foot gardening’ project to illustrate the amount of food that can be grown and harvested in an 8×8 foot raised bed. Managed by City Hall employees, the harvest is donated to a different soup kitchen in the city of Kingston each year.  If you are a soup kitchen and wish to be included, contact

Yoga in the Park! Creating Healthy Communities

The KLT in collaboration with Shatki Yoga, MAC Fitness and the City of Kingston’s Parks and Recreation department, we’re excited to announce “Yoga in the Park! Creating Healthy Communities” starting on May day (Sunday, May 1st) at Cornell Park in the Rondout section of Kingston. Join your neighbors on the first Sunday of each month starting in May through October for Shatki’s exceptional yoga series that will accommodate every level in the gorgeous setting of one of our most wonderful urban parks. Contact

Healthy Kingston For Kids (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)

The Kingston Land Trust is a proud partner of the “Healthy Kingston for Kids” program led by Cornell Cooperative Extension. Leading an initiative to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic in Kingston through environmental and policy change, the project is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with $360,000 over four years. Recently, a resolution for complete streets was approved by the Kingston Common Council and other such as community gardens and more are on their radar. Contact Arthur Zaczkiewicz for more information at

Public Hearing on Combined Sewer Overflow Long-Term Control Plan Scheduled.

By Rebecca Martin

A little over a year ago, Kingston resident and contributor “Wilbur Girl” wrote an exceptional piece on her “Environmental Focus on Kingston” series titled “Give me an “C”, “S”, “O”! laying out the city of Kingston’s troubled sewage treatment problems.

She writes, “On average Kingston receives 47.48 inches of rain a year, with May being the wettest month. This summer alone (2009) we’ve been deluged with roughly 17 inches of the wet stuff. While my friends are all bemoaning the loss of blight ridden tomatoes, I’ve been worrying about a problem that runs a little deeper. Yup, I’ve been thinking about combined sewer overflow systems (CSO’s).

Kingston’s antiquated sewer system is a CSO. They were all the rage and considered the newest and greatest in waste flow management along the eastern sea board following the Civil War. The EPA defines these types of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems as “remnants of the country’s early infrastructure and so are typically found in older communities.” They estimate there to be roughly 772 CSO communities in the US today.

A CSO was designed to collect rainwater runoff, domestic sewage and industrial wastewater all in the same pipe. This slurry of toxic sludge is transported to a sewage treatment plant. Periods of heavy rainfalls or quickly melting snow exacerbate the volume of storm water runoff so that it exceeds the capacity of the system. Excess, untreated wastewater instead empties directly into nearby bodies of water – in our case, the Rondout Creek. Also, because of their age, CSO’s often fail or collapse at an accelerated rate.”

I’ve included the link to her piece in full up above and encourage you to read it as a refresher. Here’s why:

Please be advised that the Office of the City Engineer will hold a Public Hearing on Thursday, December 2, 2010 at 6:30 PM in the Common Council Chambers at City Hall.  The hearing is for the purpose of discussing the recently completed Combined Sewer Overflow Long-Term Control Plan submitted to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation on November 1, 2010.

All interested persons are invited to attend and express their views.

A copy of the Plan is available for review in the Office of the City Engineer, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM.

Please notify the City Engineer’s Office twenty-four hours in advance of the Public Hearing should special accommodations be required.

The plan is available at the Kingston Library also.

What are Combined Sewers?

Combined sewer systems (CSS) are sewers that are designed to collect storm water runoff, domestic sewage, and industrial wastewater in the same pipe. During rain events, when storm water enters the sewers, the capacity of the sewer system may be exceeded and the excess effluent will be discharged directly to the receiving water. A combined sewer overflow (CSO) is the discharge from a combined sewer system that is caused by snow melt or storm water runoff.

Bartering For Health: Kingston’s O+ Festival Makes Nation News

Kingston’s O+ Festival featured in Business Week. Kudos!
O+ organizer Chandler (left) checks out a mural painted for the festival

Jason Russo, a 37-year-old singer and guitarist from Brooklyn, hasn’t had consistent health care since he was a teenager. In October he saw a doctor—though in an unconventional setting: a gig in Kingston, N.Y., 90 miles north of New York City. Russo was one of 70 musicians and artists who bartered their creative services for medical care at an event called the O+ Festival. “It was kind of an amazing thing to sit down with a regular doctor,” he says. “Doctors are humans, it turns out. They enjoy rock music and art.”

A group of artists and physicians in the Hudson Valley conceived of the gathering. About 40 doctors, dentists, physical therapists, acupuncturists, and others donated 232 hours of service, valued at more than $38,000, to the bands and artists who played or created sculptures or paintings. “It really is about … helping artists and musicians who are contributing to society find health care at affordable rates,” says Arthur Chandler, a doctor at Columbia Memorial Hospital in Hudson, N.Y., and an organizer of O+ (pronounced O-positive).

Chandler and other organizers are incorporating O+ as a nonprofit and want to put on art-for-health-care festivals in Kingston and other cities next year. Like-minded artists, musicians, and physicians from Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Nashville, Berkeley, and Lowell, Mass., have contacted O+ looking to replicate the model. “It seems like something that should be everywhere and could definitely be everywhere,” says Julia Henderson, a 32-year-old writer and development coordinator at a San Francisco theater who hopes to bring O+ to Berkeley. A transplant from Brooklyn, Henderson says she hasn’t had insurance for six years.

In recent years, a handful of clinics and hospitals have introduced formal programs for artists to barter for subsidized care. Since 2005, Woodhull Medical Center near the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Greenpoint—areas flooded with creative types in recent years—has let artists earn $40 in credit toward care for each hour of service they provide the hospital. The work can range from performing for patients, painting murals, or photographing portraits of mothers with their newborns.

Amy Duquette, who coordinates the program at Woodhull, says that 90�percent of the artists don’t have any health insurance. “The life of an artist is you’re freelancing, your pay is inconsistent,” she says. About 600 people have used the program, and some artists have banked enough credits to pay for surgery.

Such programs aside, many self-employed artists like Russo struggle to afford health insurance or treatment when they fall ill. Russo says he lives on less than $25,000 a year from his two bands—a psychedelic rock group called Hopewell and indie-folk combo Common Prayer—and freelance Web marketing work. Once, when he got strep throat, Russo used medicine prescribed for friends’ pets because he couldn’t afford his own. “The only times when me or my musician friends consider getting health care are when the symptoms are acute,” he says.

Artists who performed or created public works of art at O+ were asked to fill out forms describing the medical care they wanted. On the weekend of the festival, as music lovers poured into Kingston bars and restaurants, artists met with doctors and dentists in a makeshift clinic in the ballroom of the 111-year-old Kirkland Hotel. Mike Merenda and Ruthy Ungar, a husband-and-wife folk rock duo, each got dental cleanings and chiropractor visits. Although the couple, both 34, and their two-year-old son have coverage under a state-subsidized program, the plan doesn’t cover dental or other wellness visits. While Merenda is grateful for the care, he acknowledges that it’s no substitute for real insurance. “It was sort of a one-time fix, and even if they do it once a year, that’s not going to solve all your health-care problems as they arise,” he says.

Doctors, artists, and their advocates recognize the limits to the approach. “Bartering projects can be a great resource for a lot of people, but it’s not a sustainable model,” says Judilee Reed, executive director of artists’ advocacy group Leveraging Investments in Creativity, which estimates that nearly two in five artists lack adequate insurance. Alexandra Marvar, an O+ organizer who performs with Russo in Common Prayer, agrees that O+ and similar programs can’t replace insurance. But she says a series of such festivals around the country could at least offer “a Band-Aid solution to inaccessible health care.”

The bottom line: A festival where artists and musicians barter work for medical attention is part of a growing movement.

Kingston Farmers’ Market and Winter Sun Farms Comes to Uptown this Winter.

By Rebecca Martin

The last Farmers’ Market in Kingston of the season is Saturday, November 20th. Boy, do we need a winter market. I had heard rumors of one being organized at the Dutch Church, and have been hoping that the organizers can pull it off. We will certainly help them promote it in every way possible.

What is happening however is  Winter Sun Farms is going to do an uptown delivery over the winter at Hudson Coffee Traders. Give Donna a call at 845/338-1300.

Here is the final press release of the season.  Let’s pack the joint next weekend and give our farmers and vendors a good send off.  Thanks to those who make such an effort to make it all possible – and we are eternally grateful to our farmers and artisans of all kinds.


Kingston, New York – The last Kingston Farmers’ Market of the season will be held this Saturday, November 20th.  The Healthy Eating Series concludes with “Thanksgiving Dishes from the Market.”  Join nutritionist Noel Conklin as she prepares candied yams for the chef demonstration.   Don’t forget to stock up on locally crafted gifts for the holidays this season from Crafts on John Street. Amazing wares from talented Hudson Valley artisans are sure to please everyone on your gift-giving list.  Save time this Thanksgiving, buy your pies, tarts and other desserts fresh this year from the Kingston Farmers’ Market.   Side dishes taste better when prepared from fresh ingredients.  The wine is sure to flow when purchased at the Market from a local vineyard.  Natural and free range eggs and meats, fresh squashes and vegetables for soups and side dishes, cheeses, hearty breads, desserts that delight, fresh coffee, locally brewed autumn ales and so much more are the Hudson Valley’s finest fare awaiting you at the Kingston Farmers’ Market.  Fresh from our Market to your home, cut out the middleman, buy local.  Your holiday begins here.  The Kingston Farmers’ Market has more than 30 vendors offering organic and natural fare. Healthy eating is affordable for everyone with FMNP and EBT naturally accepted.  The Kingston Farmers’ Market will be held rain or shine, 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. The Market is located on Wall Street in the historic Stockade District of Uptown Kingston near the New York State Thruway at Exit 19.   Admission is free as is parking.

For more information visit our website at: or call (845)853-8512.  Find us on Facebook.  The Kingston Farmers’ Market wishes to thank everyone fo supporting our local farmers and other local vendors.

World Renowned Singer/Songwriter Rachel Loshak to Perform in Kingston

By Rebecca Martin

This is quite wonderful.

My old and dear friend  Rachel Loshak who recently moved upstate with her family (husband Morgan Taylor, creator of “GUSTAFER YELLOWGOLD” and their son Harvey) is performing in Kingston in December.

This is good  news for us, as Rachel is no doubt one of the best musicians I know. She spent years on the scene developing the most angelic sound, having collaborated often with Norah Jones, Jason Crigler, Dan Rieser, Morgan Taylor and many other of our pals from the NYC downtown music scene.

Now at just about 9 months pregnant with their second child, she is performing a set of her original music at Gabriel’s Cafe on Friday, December 3rd at 7:00pm. Come out and join us. You will be glad that you did.


World renowned singer/songwriter Rachel Loshak to perform in Kingston An intimate performance at Gabriel’s Café is set for Friday, December 3rd at 7:00pm.

Kingston, NY – What makes Singer/Bassist, Rachel Loshak’s music and sound so special is her sophisticated, orchestral approach to traditional pop music. Imagine a string quartet stripped of its native instruments and handed electric guitars and amplifiers. Melodic bass figures move like a boogied cello weaving with her pure and bell-toned voice, all forming an accessible foundation to the wide-eyed wonderment of her lyrics, which Loshak paints in broad strokes with a graceful sadness.  Her unique style can be enjoyed at 7:00pm on Friday, December 3rd, 2010 at Gabriel’s Café 50 John Street in Kingston, NY.

Rachel moved to New York City in the late Nineties from Suffolk, England and honed her songwriting craft with her unique ‘bass and voice’ style. She has created three full-length LP’s (Firefly in 2001, Mint in 2003 and Peach Pony in 2005) featuring guitarist Jason Crigler (Erin McKeown, Linda Thompson, Marshall Crenshaw).  The latest LP features a duet with Norah Jones.  Peach Pony has been released in several international territories to critical acclaim.  Performing with Ms. Jones at the Grammy Awards in 2005, Rachel is also featured alongside her (and with Jesse Harris) on the Best of the Living Room compilation released in 2002.  Recently Rachel has worked with Moby, recording vocals for a future release as well as performing at a Tsunami benefit concert in 2005.

Rachel has toured extensively in New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago as well as internationally to Ireland, the UK, France, Germany, Scandinavia and South Korea.

After gaining extensive experience in the music industry as a touring musician, business administrator and creative graphic production designer, Rachel co-founded Apple-eye Productions with husband Morgan Taylor to create an outlet for their creative projects (that also includes their popular children’s series GUSTAFER YELLOWGOLD). They now live in the Catskills with their son, Harvey.

For more information, contact Rachel at or visit her website at:

Fund Raiser for Burma: Punch and Judy Puppet Show Available for November

By Rebecca Martin

I’ve mentioned Amy Trompetter in another post ‘trumpeting’ her creative Redwing Blackbird Theater group and their wonderful puppet creations for children  (and adults, too).   Currently, she is working to take her ‘Peter and the Wolf’ effort to Burma – and is offering private shows for children’s parties.  It’s such a great idea that I had to share it.



10 for 100

Fund-raiser for Burma

SPECIAL OFFER Amy Trompetter of Redwing Blackbird Theater 413 Main St. Rosendale is offering 10 PUNCH AND JUDY performances in the Hudson Valley for the reduced fee of $100 per show.  The fundraiser supports young people at Gitameit School in Rangoon to adapt and to tour A NON-PROKOFIEV PETER AND THE WOLF. We propose opening a door for the young generation in Burma to be free of limitation and have access to all ideas relating to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.   The workshop in Rangoon combines Asian and western puppetry techniques, and new music based on jazz and traditional Burmese orchestration. Amy leaves 12/1/10.

Punch and Judy show description: The wicked humor of Amy’s “Punch and Judy” hand puppet show, based on English tradition and New York anarchy, has stormed five continents over twenty years and is famed for a large skirt that lifts over the head and transforms into a stage.

For more information please contact: 845 658 7651.

This PUNCH AND JUDY SPECIAL is NOVEMBER ONLY, though you may pay now for a show in the spring.



November Clean-up of Forsyth Park

By Rebecca Martin

Another clean-up has been scheduled for Forsyth Park on Saturday, November 13th at 9:00am. Led by Ward 1 Alderwoman Andi Turco-Levin, the group has made great headway this year.

You can read more about it by following this LINK


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