11/01/16 7:30am

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The City of Newburgh downtown neighborhood map has been beautifully redone and simplified. It highlights places for food and drink, shops, services, art and design, health and wellness, entertainment, parks, sight seeing spots and municipal services. Get your copy at any of the local businesses on Broadway or Liberty Street.

If you wish to join the other businesses and organizations that appear on this map, or make a donation to help keep the map going, please email DowntownNewburgh@gmail.com.

They are accepting submissions from artists, graphic designers and photographers to be featured on the cover for a 4 month duration of each edition. If you would like to feature your work, please email a sample of your work to the email above.

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09/29/16 7:30am

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Book stores have always been a favorite pastime of mine. Every time I visit a new city I find myself making a stop in a local bookstore and buying something for the trip home. Nantucket, San Francisco, Santo Domingo, Paris, London, Barcelona, Buenos Aires – they are all places I have vacationed, and they are all places I have visited a local book store or stall.

Not every community can support a bookstore, and so about two years ago I found out about Little Free Libraries popping up around the entire world. You can find them in rural towns and major cities. I have mentioned many times my desire to see a bookstore in downtown Newburgh. And while that might still be premature, a Little Free Library is completely feasible. And soon one will be installed at Safe Harbors Green, at the corner of Broadway and Liberty Street.

I contacted local carpenter, Stephen Sinnott, to see if he would be willing to build a simple small library for a fee. Stephen not only built it free of charge, but also built one of the most stately Little Free Libraries I have ever seen! All of the materials used to build the library were free of charge. The lumber came from Space Create, the copper roof from ABC Supply and Stephen reused 100 year old windows he found from a Balmville carriage house. Inside there is a rotating book shelf and a whimsical door knocker on the side.

The library will be installed when benches have finally been placed in the park, sometime mid-October. What is a Little Free Library anyway? They are kiosks that hold free books to promote literacy and a love for reading. You can take a book and leave a book, which I highly encourage you to do!

This library is something truly special and unique to Newburgh. I would like to send my heartfelt appreciation to Stephen for being so willing and available to build the library and to Safe Harbors of the Hudson for finding a place for it.

There are other active library projects in Newburgh at the Newburgh Free Library and the Fullerton Mansion. Newburgh is also home to many published writers, open mic nites, Thornwillow Press and a poetry reading is happening at Ms. Fairfax this Saturday. Who knows, perhaps a pop-up book shop is in Newburgh’s future?

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09/28/16 4:27pm

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Last week there was a workshop at City Hall to discuss the complete streets design for Lake Street, Lake Drive and enhancing the Muchattoes Lake area. The Newburgh Complete Streets project aims to increase connectivity between recreational opportunities, improve access to multiple modes of transportation for all ages and abilities, and foster healthy lifestyles.

Alta Planning and Design was hired to create the design and they have used the feedback from the workshop to create a draft report. They would like feedback on the report by September 28th (sorry I am sharing this late). Feedback can be sent to planning@orangecountygov.com. The full report can be accessed here.

09/13/16 7:30am

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The Newburgh Complete Streets project aims to increase connectivity between recreational opportunities, especially the Newburgh Armory Unity Center, improve access to multiple modes of transportation for all ages and abilities, and foster healthy lifestyles. The project focuses on Lake Street and Lake Drive.

On Wednesday, September 14, there will be two opportunities for public participation: The design workshop will be open to the public from 11AM-12PM and from 2PM-3PM. The public is invited to review and provide feedback on streetscape design alternatives from 6PM-7PM. 

09/08/16 7:30am

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In April 2016, the City of Newburgh was awarded a TD Green Streets grant from TD Bank and the Arbor Day Foundation. The $20,000 grant provides for twenty-seven trees on Liberty Street, in historic Washington Heights, supports community education on the importance and care of trees, and provides a new water truck that can be used throughout the city for tree and plant care. The grant was submitted by the Conservation Advisory Council, CAC, of the City of Newburgh.

The project, known as TREES ON LIBERTY, was submitted by CAC members Kippy Boyle and Deborah Dresser. The project is partnering with Newburgh Heights Association, NHA, a not-for-profit organization.  “There was no question,” states Hannah Brooks, Heights resident and President of the NHA. “This project reflects our commitment to Newburgh and the forward-thinking community in the Heights.”  Originally planned to be executed in the spring of this year, the tree planting was delayed to late September due to major gas line repairs in the Heights and a city water restriction. “The delay actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise,” says CAC member, urban gardener, and recently retired Episcopal pastor, Deborah Dresser. “Fall is really the good time for tree planting—there is enough time for the tree roots to become established, and the cooler temperatures are much less stressful on the trees.”

Devitt’s Nursery and Supply, N.W. will be planting and mulching five tall shade trees and twenty-two low growing ornamental flowering trees that will not be compromised by utility wires, thus reducing the need for major trimming, which has severely damaged over ten trees on Liberty Street. Those trees have been removed making way for the new, healthier trees.

The trees are essential for healthy neighborhoods as they absorb overflow of rainwater, provide beauty and clean the air. Statistics also show that tree-lined streets reduce crime.

October 15th the residents of Washington Heights and friends city-wide will celebrate the successful conclusion of TREES ON LIBERTY with a street party to include: food, fun for kids, demonstrations on the care of trees and bulbs, and much more.  Representatives from TD Bank as well as from our city government will be on hand to help plant the last two trees on Liberty Street.

“Applying for and obtaining the TD Bank grant, and bringing the TREES ON LIBERTY Street project to fruition, exemplifies Newburgh’s citizens’ continuing efforts to celebrate and improve sustainability through real, grassroots civic action,” said City Manager Michael Ciaravino. “I cannot thank the CAC, the NHA and all the Heights neighbors enough. Through this project, they will engage residents, especially children, to create local environmental and educational change that is, above all, an enduring change for Newburgh.”

The TD Bank awards Green Streets Grants to help municipalities enhance green spaces with urban forestry.  It is a component of TD Forests, the bank’s North American initiative to help protect critical forest habitats equal to the amount of paper the bank uses each year.

The Trees on Liberty highlights:

  • Sept 22 the Newburgh Heights Association will hold a SPECIAL meeting at Congregational Church on the corner of Liberty and Courtney Streets at 7pm to review the project. ALL Interested Heights residents are welcome!
  • Oct 15, 2-4pm the Newburgh Heights Association members will sponsor a BLOCK PARTY to celebrate the planting of the last two trees! Everyone welcome for food, fun, workshops!

Contact:  Deborah Dresser,  845 568 5995,  deborahdresser@gmail.com

09/01/16 11:25am

The 28th Annual International Festival will be held over Labor Day Weekend, Friday, September 2, 2016 – Monday, September 5th, 2016 at Delano Hitch Recreation Park at 401 Washington St. Newburgh, New York 12550.

This year’s festival will feature a carnival of rides and games, international and local cuisine vendors, craft vendors, and music by local bands and other performing artists.

There will be vendors, a variety of international and local cuisine, a carnival with rides and games, and local bands.  Vendors are still being accepted for the festival. The fee is $150 for the entire weekend, including Friday evening, when the carnival rides start up.  The International Festival Committee is also seeking donations.

The show will go on, rain or shine. Midway rides and early-bird vendors will begin on Friday around 5 p.m. The festivities will be in full swing with a wide range of vendors, carnival rides and attractions on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 11 p.m., and on Monday from noon till 10 p.m.

For a vendor application, or to make a donation, please contact Regina Angelo at 565-5429 or Naomi Fay at City Hall at 569-7353. Information will also be posted on the City website, www.cityofnewburgh-ny.gov.