Thursday, October 29, 2020

Upcoming Wave Hill Events Nov 10-19


This week is filled with art and nature, from virtual artist talks to outdoor forest bathing walks. And it's prime time for fall colors! Take in the changing leaves with a walk through the gardens. You can reserve your tickets to visit here--advance registration is required.

Tuesday, November 10, 2-3PM
Join us virtually for a visit with ASBA artist Liz Shippam from her studio in West Sussex, England. Shippam will discuss her work, including the watercolor on view in the 23rd Annual International, and her practice. This visit will be hosted by Carol Woodin, Director of Exhibitions of the American Society of Botanical Artists and Eileen Jeng Lynch, Curator of Visual Arts, at Wave Hill. This program will be presented as a webinar, pre-registration is required. A link to the webinar will be sent to all registrants as well as a custom cocktail recipe for the event.

Sunday, November 14, 15, 10AM–1PM
Explore the art of overwintering—preparing a garden for colder seasons—by learning practices like seed-saving, tucking plants in with mulch and more. Contribute to a collective goodnight story with a crop cover for Family Art Project’s garden bed. Then, create your own plein-air watercolor paintings to honor the natural stages of dormancy and hibernation that take place in nature.

See our new guidelines and join us on the Conifer Slope!

Saturday, November 14, 10AM–12PM
Inspired by the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku, forest bathing boosts your immune system and cardiovascular strength, reduces stress and improves cognitive functioning while deepening your relationship to nature. Contemplate the changes in the fall landscape and your own body as certified forest therapists Gerti Schoen, Nancy Kopans and Cindy Olsen guide you on a reflective walk through Wave Hill’s gardens and trails.
Space is limited; adults only, please. Registration required, online or by calling 718.549.3200 x251. If you have any questions about this program or registration, please contact us at 718.549.3200 or

Thursday, November 19, 2-3PM
Exhibiting artist Frances Palmer talks with Jennifer McGregor, Senior Director of Arts, Education and Programs, about Palmer’s exhibition Life in the Studio. On view in the reception area and The CafĂ© in Wave Hill House will be photographs by Frances Palmer, a member of Wave Hill’s Friends of Horticulture and ceramicist of international reputation, in anticipation of the release of her new book, Life in the Studio: Inspiration and Lessons on Creativity.

This program will be streamed live on Facebook and at

A 28-acre public garden and cultural center overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades, Wave Hill’s mission is to celebrate the artistry and legacy of its gardens and landscape, to preserve its magnificent views, and to explore human connections to the natural world through programs in horticulture, education and the arts.

HOURS: Special restricted hours as New York City recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic: 10AM–5:30PM, Wednesdays–Sunday.

Information at 718.549.3200. On the web at

As Pandemic Rages On, Comptroller Stringer and A Better Balance Launch New Work and Family Survey


Survey will analyze how New Yorkers’ relationships to work and family have changed amid the pandemic

Women, especially women of color and single mothers, have had to reduce their work hours or leave the work force at significantly greater rates than men

Builds on 2015 Survey that found New Yorkers have limited access to flexible work arrangements and fear retaliation from seeking greater flexibility from their employers

 Today, New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer and A Better Balance launched a new Work and Family Survey to inform and improve critical workplace protections, accommodations, and flexibility for working New Yorkers. As schools face extended closures and many businesses have either shuttered or shifted to remote work, the survey will analyze how New Yorkers’ relationships to work and family have changed amid the pandemic in order to help identify future policy recommendations during this crisis and beyond.

“We want to hear directly from working New Yorkers about their experience with workplace flexibility, especially during the pandemic. I encourage New Yorkers to complete the survey to help policymakers deliver informed solutions that ensure modern workplace practices,” said Comptroller Stringer. “This is about more than just work-life balance – no family should have to choose between taking care of their kids and earning a paycheck. If we want to tap our city’s full economic potential, we have to provide protections for New Yorkers who need it the most – including women, single parents, low-income workers, and frontline workers who are facing extraordinary challenges of full-time caregiving while trying to make ends meet.”

“The pandemic has laid bare the impossible choice too many workers—disproportionately women—face between caring for loved ones and earning a paycheck. As we know from speaking directly with countless workers, New Yorkers need workplace flexibility and support to stay attached to the workforce,” said Dina Bakst, Co-Founder and Co-President of A Better Balance. “We need to hear from all New Yorkers about what they’re experiencing and how we can craft effective policies that address their caregiving needs during the pandemic and beyond. This is a matter of racial, gender, and economic justice.”

With businesses gradually reopening and more people returning to work, workplace accommodations and flexibility will be critical for all New Yorkers, but caregivers in particular. While some businesses consider a more permanent shift to remote work, for many low-wage workers and essential workers, remote work isn’t an option, especially in the retail, hospitality, and health care industries. Workers in frontline industries are disproportionately women and people of color, and far too many of these workers still live in poverty. The burden of full-time caregiving has also fallen largely on women, who comprise the majority of single parents and have had to reduce their work hours significantly more than men. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, of the 1.1 million people who left the workforce in September, 80 percent were women.

Since 2017, New York City has offered employees new protections – including the right to request schedule changes, sick and family leave, and prohibitions on discrimination against caregivers. However, many New Yorkers are still falling through the cracks of these existing laws and these policies were not designed with extended school closures in mind.

The Comptroller’s Office conducted a survey with A Better Balance in 2015 that found New Yorkers have limited access to flexible work arrangements and fear retaliation from seeking greater flexibility from their employers.

To access the 2020 Work and Family Survey, click here.


we took this survey, and were able to take it a second time. we advise Comptroller Stringer to put in a safeguard where a person can only take this survey only once, because than it is an unreliable source of information.



Grants will Help Hudson River Watershed Communities Remove Dams and Restore Habitat for American Eel and River Herring

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that more than $855,000 has been awarded to help communities in the Hudson River Estuary watershed improve water quality, increase flood resiliency, and conserve natural resources. The grants will support projects that will help remove dams and mitigate culverts to restore aquatic habitat connectivity for the American eel and/or river herring that are found in tributary streams of the estuary. The grants are also intended to help communities with existing and projected impacts of localized flooding along tributaries of the river by removing constrictions.

“New York is committed to restoring the state’s waterways, bolstering resiliency, protecting habitat, and creating stronger communities,” Commissioner Seggos said. “Through the state’s Environmental Protection Fund, communities in the Hudson River Estuary will be able to support dam removals and other critical projects that promote sustainability and improve the health of the region’s fish, wildlife, and other natural resources.”

Grant recipients listed by counties are:

Columbia, Orange, Rensselaer Counties
Riverkeeper - $200,778: Reconnaissance for Priority Dam Removal Projects in the Hudson Valley to Improve Herring and Eel Passage.
Riverkeeper will evaluate at least nine priority dams on six tributaries of the Hudson River to determine if removal will improve water quality and restore connectivity for river herring and American eel. These evaluations include investigating the dams’ history, identifying potential issues that may affect removal, researching dam ownership, conducting ecological evaluations of the streams, identifying target species, conducting preliminary sediment assessments, and creating partnerships and communicating with stakeholders.

Putnam County
Open Space Institute - $113,800: Planning for Removal of the Sloan Dam
The Open Space Institute will complete planning and permitting for the demolition of Sloan Dam and a succeeding spillway and culvert on Arden Brook. Removal of these barriers will improve water quality, reduce the potential for flooding, and restore habitat for native species, including American eel. The barrier removal also will enable the establishment of a natural wetland where a dam-created pond currently exists. Approximately 4,660 feet of stream on Arden Brook will be restored.

Ulster County
Town of Esopus - $430,200: Culvert Replacements/Right-Sizing
The town of Esopus will replace two undersized culverts at Dashville and Hardenburg roads, which were designated as priorities in the town and Ulster County’s recent road-stream crossing joint municipal management plan within the town’s boundary. The stream crossing replacements will provide free-flowing conditions, restore aquatic connectivity, improve water quality, and reduce flood hazards. Mitigation of these culverts will reconnect 3.8 miles of a Walkill River tributary stream.

Westchester County
Hudson Valley Arts & Science - $110,840: Design and Permitting for Removal of the First Barrier to Fish Migration on the Sprout Brook
Hudson Valley Arts & Science will conduct engineering, planning, and permitting for the removal of a small, obsolete concrete dam on the Sprout Brook in the town of Cortlandt. The dam is the first barrier to fish migration from the Hudson River tide line. Removing the dam will open the stream for migration by river herring and the American eel by restoring the stream bed to natural conditions. Once this dam is removed, an additional 1.25 river miles will be restored on Sprout Brook, providing approximately 2.25 new acres for spawning fish.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

While Some Think the Presidential Race Can Go Either Way - One Bronx Assembly Race is Now 50-50

 Just as one Gaffe may have cost soon to be former Congressman Eliot Engel in his congressional race, the same may be happening in the 80th Assembly District race in the General Election. The current Assemblywoman may have her own Gaffe when she announced her intention to run for Bronx Borough President while in the midst of a real race for her assembly seat in the ongoing general election. 

Mr. Gene De Francis, a well known community leader, head of the Allerton International Merchants Association, and officer of the 49th Precinct Community Council who is running for the 80th assembly seat is calling out the current assembly member from the 80th A.D. who he says is ignoring the fact that she is running for the assembly while she campaigns for the office of Bronx Borough President. 

Candidate Gene De Francis says he wants to represent the district that will be left without a representative while his opponent campaigns for Bronx Borough President. He says there are problems with the public schools, public transportation, NYCHA houses, businesses that are closing, and many other quality of life issues his opponent chooses to ignore to seek another office.

He opposes any cuts to the police department which his opponent endorses, and his opponent has openly showed by leading a rally through the streets of the 80th Assembly District that seemed to be a good idea for someone who wants to run for Bronx Borough President.

Political experts now have this race at a dead heat that could go either way. One thing that helps candidate Gene De Francis is that the 80th Assembly District is much less socialist leaning than other parts of the Bronx or New York City. He should be able to garner votes with his running mate John Cummings who is running an anti socialist campaign for the 14th Congressional District against the current socialist incumbent. 

There are now facts coming out about the loss of the current Assemblywoman's  former Male District Leader that the current assemblywoman has admitted she could have done a better job of helping him in his campaign. That now former district leader has been the Chief of Staff to what will be one of her leading opponents in the Bronx Borough President's race. Gene De Francis says he can do a better job in serving the people of the 80th Assembly District than his opponent the current incumbent, who he says also could have done a better job for the people of the 80th Assembly District.   

Candidate Gene De Francis and incumbent Assemblywoman Nathalia Fernandez as they stand with the crowd of community leaders at the grand opening of the NIDC new office 10-28-2020.



Recent ECO Actions

 New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) enforce the 71 Chapters of NY Environmental Conservation Law (ECL), protecting fish and wildlife and preserving environmental quality across New York. In 2019, the 288 ECOs across the state responded to 25,704 calls and worked on cases that resulted in 16,855 tickets or arrests for crimes ranging from deer poaching to solid waste dumping, illegal mining, the black market pet trade, and excessive emissions violations. 

Two-thousand-and-twenty marks 50 years for DEC and 140 Years for New York’s Conservation Police Officers. In 1880, the first eight Game Protectors proudly began serving to protect the natural resources and people of New York State.  

"From Montauk Point and Brooklyn to Buffalo, the ECOs patrolling our state are the first line of defense in protecting New York's environment and our natural resources, ensuring that they exist for future generations of New Yorkers," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "Our ECOs have worked arduous hours, both deep in our remote wildernesses and in the tight confines of our urban landscapes, for far longer than the 50 years since DEC was created. These officers are critical to achieving DEC's mission to protect and enhance our environment and I am confident they will continue this important mission for the next 50 years and beyond."  

If you witness an environmental crime or believe a violation of environmental law occurred, please call the DEC Division of Law Enforcement hotline at 1-844-DEC-ECOS (1-844-332-3267).   

Moose on the Loose – Clinton County


On Oct. 9, Region 5 Wildlife staff requested help from ECOs with the removal of a young bull moose trapped in a 200-acre cow pen in the town of Clinton, Clinton County. Lieutenant Maloney and ECO Brassard, Division of Law Enforcement (DLE) drone pilots, located the moose in the pasture using an aerial drone equipped with thermal imaging cameras. Once located, DEC’s tranquilization team, led by Big Game Biologist Jim Stickles, chemically immobilized the moose. Lieutenant Phelps, along with ECOs LaCroix, Buffa, Fadden, and members of the property owner’s family assisted the wildlife crew with removing the moose from the pasture and safely relocating it a short distance away. They fitted the moose with a radio location collar before the animal walked away, appearing to be healthy. Visit DEC’s Facebook post for video and more details.


Drone footage of moose trapped in cow pasture (photo attached)
 ECOs use drone technology to find moose trapped in cow pasture (photo attached)

Spearing Salmon at Eighteen Mile Creek– Town of Newfane, Niagara County 

In the early morning hours of Oct. 18, DEC’s Division of Law Enforcement dispatch received a complaint about four men in Eighteen Mile Creek spearing and netting salmon. The complainant reported that two of the men scared the salmon while the other two men speared the fish. The caller shared a description of the poachers and waited for responding units. The responding ECO contacted the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office for assistance on scene. When the Officers arrived, they spotted one of the men bringing salmon and a spear to a vehicle. The responding Officers detained the subject until the ECO arrived. The suspects face charges of fishing without a valid license, taking fish by means other than angling, illegal possession of spear on closed waters, fishing a half-hour after sunset until a half-hour before sunrise, and disturbing of waters with intent to drive fish.

Illegal fishing materials used by alleged salmon poachers (photo attached) 

Firewood Detail Prevents Invasive Species - Tompkins County 

On Oct. 23, Lieutenant Fay organized a joint firewood / invasive species checkpoint at the entrance to Robert H. Treman State Park in the town of Ithaca with a team of Zone 4 ECOs and Foresters from the DEC Division of Lands and Forests. Team members checked incoming campers for firewood transported more than 50 miles, which is a violation of state law. During the detail, the ECOs and DEC staff confiscated two bundles of firewood. The responsible parties were unaware of the regulations but after being educated about the transport of invasive pests in untreated firewood, freely turned in the unlawful firewood for proper destruction. 

October is National Firewood Awareness Month and the DEC Division of Law Enforcement is assisting agency partners with outreach, education, and enforcement of firewood transportation regulations. Many people bring firewood as they head out to camp, hunt, or enjoy the great outdoors, but most don't realize their wood may be hiding the eggs, larvae, spores, adults, or even seeds of invasive threats. Transporting infested firewood allows invasive species to spread further and faster than these pests could on their own. For more information, visit

Firewood detail in Tompkins County (photo attached)

Left to right: ECOs Kreuger, Eisenberg, and Templeton, Forester Day, and ECO Winnick with wood unlawfully transported (photo attached)

Lost Hikers Located – Cortland County 

On Oct. 25, ECO Kostuk responded to a call from Cortland County 911 for two lost hikers in Cuyler Hill State Forest in the town of Truxton. When Officer Kostuk arrived on the scene, he spoke to the son of the lost hikers, who stated he became separated from his parents when they chose to avoid hiking a more difficult section of the trail. The son provided ECO Kostuk with his parents’ last known location and the Officer went to work. Coordinating with Cortland County Dispatch, the ECO eventually located the couple at a lodge just off the main Finger Lakes Trail. Both hikers were in good health, albeit shaken up. ECO Kostuk escorted the pair out of the woods and back to their vehicle, where they were reunited with their son.

Governor Cuomo Announces Orange County Micro-Cluster Focus Area Meets Metrics to Exit "Red Zone"


Orange County Red Zone Moves to Orange Zone; Yellow Zone Does Not Change 

No Changes to Other Zones 

Counties Will Now Be Allowed to Require Mask Mandates at All Times in Schools

Positive Testing Rate in All Focus Zone Areas is 3.8 Percent; New York State Positivity Outside All Focus Zone Areas is 1.3 Percent      

Statewide Positivity Rate is 1.5 Percent 

15 COVID-19 Deaths in New York State Yesterday  

 Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the "Red Zone" micro-cluster focus area in Orange County has met the metrics required to shift to an "Orange Warning Zone." Orange County's micro-cluster zone positivity rate has gone from 12 percent to 2 percent in three weeks and the rate of new daily hospital admissions has flattened.

The governor also announced that counties, via their local departments of health, will now be allowed to require that mask mandates be extended at all times in both public and private schools under their jurisdictions.

"In terms of adjustments of the micro-clusters, Orange County has made very good progress," Governor Cuomo said. "In Orange County we're going to change the red zone to an orange zone. In Orange County, the red zone was at 12 percent three weeks ago. It's now 2 percent, so that's obviously dramatic progress. And the hospitalization number is flat. The red zone will go to orange and the yellow zone will stay yellow. There has been progress in other areas in micro-clusters, but nothing at this point that would cause us to change any classifications this week. We'll watch it over the next week for possible alterations. Nationwide, our positivity rate is now the second lowest in the United States of America. We've actually made progress nationwide. We are 1.3 percent and in the Johns Hopkins nationwide state survey we are number 2 from the bottom, second lowest rate in the nation. God bless New Yorkers. But let's stay vigilant because as we are seeing with the surges around the country, this thing is not over."

Modifications to Current Cluster Zones 

The Governor noted the continued progress in micro-cluster focus areas, and that based on the State Department of Health metrics, the "Red Zone" focus area in Orange County is now eligible to become an "Orange Zone" based on testing positivity rates and flattening of the rate of daily hospital admissions. The Rockland County "Red Zone" focus area and Brooklyn "Red Zone" focus area have also shown great progress, however they have not yet met the metrics to transition to a new zone.

The Governor noted that the positive testing rate in all focus areas under the state's Micro-Cluster strategy is 3.8 percent, and outside the focus zone areas is 1.3 percent. A total of 129,660 test results were reported to New York State with 2,031 positives for an overall positivity rate of 1.5 percent. 

Today's data is summarized briefly below:  

  • Patient Hospitalization - 1,085 (+2) 
  • Patients Newly Admitted - 153  
  • Hospital Counties - 44 
  • Number ICU - 236 (+3) 
  • Number ICU with Intubation - 120 (+0) 
  • Total Discharges - 79,366 (+136) 
  • Deaths - 15 
  • Total Deaths - 25,773  



Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the City has reached an agreement with District Council 37 that will result in $164 million in savings in fiscal year 2021. This agreement follows an agreement with the United Federation of Teachers that will save approximately $450 million in fiscal year 2021 and an agreement with the Uniformed Fire Officers Association that will save approximately $19 million in fiscal year 2021. The Adopted Budget announced in June included $1 billion in labor savings for FY21. The City still needs a minimum of $5 billion in federal or state relief in order to avoid drastic action such as layoffs for FY22.


“Our public servants have gone above and beyond in this crisis and are continuing to make sacrifices to help us recover,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I thank Henry Garrido and our partners in labor for coming to the table to help avoid devastating layoffs, but we need our state and federal partners to also step up and provide our city with aid to ensure we can come back stronger than ever.”


The agreement includes:


Change of payments to union funds: From October 2020 through April 2021, there will be no payments made for employees and retirees to certain DC 37 union funds. Payments will instead be made in two payments in fiscal year 2022.


Commitment on layoffs: No layoffs of DC 37 members through June 30, 2021. If the City receives State and Federal assistance of $5 billion or more, the no-layoff pledge is extended to June 30, 2022.