Credit: Max Guliani for Hudson River Park
Pent-up aggression, post-Halloween boredom, or just a desire to do something useful with your jack-o-lanterns that have seen better days–they’re all good reasons to join in the fun at a pumpkin smash. Post-holiday pumpkins make fabulous compost material, and several (free!) events around the city are offering a chance to “squash” your way to a greener community while teaching kids about composting. To quote Noreen Doyle, president and CEO of Hudson River Park: “By encouraging our community to smash, bash and crash their leftover pumpkins into compost, we can all play an active role in working towards a greener future.”
Pumpkin smashing and more ways to recycle unwanted goodies
Photo: NYC Ferry
Starting next week, commuters from Staten Island will have another way to get to Manhattan. Launching Monday, August 23, the newest NYC Ferry route takes riders up the Hudson River for the first time and stops in Midtown West, with a total travel time of about 35 minutes from St. George. With this latest route, NYC Ferry now officially serves all five boroughs.
Photo by Natalie Maguire via Flickr cc
In 2019, the Staten Island Ferry served 70,000 passengers on an average weekday, running at least every 30 minutes all 24 hours. But in March 2020, the Department of Transportation reduced service to only once per hour due to declining ridership during the pandemic. Starting today, though, full service is resuming. “The Staten Island Ferry knits this city together, and the return of 24/7 half-hour service is a sure sign that a recovery for all of us is underway,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Richmond County Bank Ballpark, photo by Doug Kerr on Wikimedia
America’s pastime will return to Staten Island next year. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Friday a plan to reopen the former Staten Island Yankees stadium with a new minor league baseball team. The Richmond County Bank Ballpark did not open in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. This year, the waterfront stadium sat empty after Major League Baseball removed the “Baby Bombers” from its parent team as part of a reorganization of its farm system.
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Photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office
Some neighborhoods in New York City are seeing a slight increase in the number of coronavirus cases for the first time in weeks, as vaccinations slow and the Delta variant continues to spread. According to the city’s Health Department, the city’s seven-day average rate of positivity increased to 1.28 percent as of Monday, the highest rate in nearly two months, with 363 new cases on a seven-day rolling average. With a seven-day positivity of over 2.4 percent as of July 9, Staten Island has the highest test positivity rate of any borough. City officials point to those who remain unvaccinated, “particularly younger people,” as the reason for this uptick.
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Photos courtesy of New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation
The National Park Service this month placed a Staten Island farmhouse once owned by Frederick Law Olmsted on the National Register of Historic Places. Formerly part of a 130-acre farm, the property, known as the Olmsted-Beil House, is significant for the role it played in Olmsted’s discovery of landscape design and parks as a public good, which later influenced his ideas for Central Park and Prospect Park. Despite its designation as a city landmark in 1967, the house, while intact, has deteriorated over the years and requires significant restoration work.
Photos: Patrick Cashin/Metropolitan Transportation Authority
On Tuesday crews from MTA Bridges and Tunnels began addressing a 55-year-old spelling mistake by replacing the first of 19 signs on agency property to feature the correct spelling of Verrazzano with two Z’s instead of just one. The bridge was named after Giovanni de Verrazzano—the first European explorer to sail into New York Harbor—but a longstanding dispute over the name’s proper spelling led to the bridge being inaugurated as the Verrazano-Narrows bridge in 1964. In 2018, Governor Cuomo signed legislation to add a second Z into the name.
Photo by InSapphoWeTrust via Flickr
As part of their renewed push for Staten Island secession, Republican Council Members Joe Borelli and Steven Matteo will introduce a bill to the City Council Tuesday to establish a secession task force. As the Staten Island Advance first reported, the task force would have 18 months to gather data showing the “impact and viability” of the borough’s secession. While Matteo and Borelli say Island leaders and lawmakers—including Borough President James Oddo—have expressed support for the legislation, they are the only council members to support the bill so far.
Photo by InSapphoWeTrust on Flickr
Staten Island officials this week said they will push forward plans for the borough to leave New York City, reviving a fight partially won over 25 years ago. As first reported by the Staten Island Advance, Republican Council Members Joe Borelli and Steven Matteo, who represent the borough, plan to introduce two pieces of legislation that would create a committee to determine the logistics and costs of the secession, as well as a commission a study to look at the feasibility of designating county governments within the city. In 1993, Staten Island residents voted to leave the Big Apple, but the measure never went further after failing to pass in Albany.
Sayonara, Staten Island?
The neighborhood of Mariner’s Harbor, near the wetlands in question. Image: Wikimedia cc.
Despite opposition from residents and public officials, 18 acres of forest wetlands near Staten Island’s north shore will be turned into a BJ’s Wholesale Club, a gas station and a parking lot. Gothamist reports that the state has said it will issue a permit to allow the land’s owner, real estate magnate Charles Alpert (operating as holding company Josif A. LLC), to destroy what activists say is an invaluable natural storm barrier in order for the project to move forward.
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