Tiny Arts Day in tiny West Fulton

Written by Charlene V. Martoni
Published in The Watershed Post

The town of West Fulton may be tiny, but it has a lot of heart—and art.

“West Fulton is a very interesting place, made up of extremely creative people,” said Cornelia McGiver, the artistic director of Panther Creek Arts, a new arts venue in the small Schoharie County town. “And what I find special about that place is that there is a willingness to exchange and complement ideas.” Continue reading “Tiny Arts Day in tiny West Fulton”

Care for our bees and butterflies: Plant a pollinator garden

Written by Charlene V. Martoni
Illustrations by Teresa Hewitt
Published in VISITvortex

Honey bees are actually not native to North America, but neither are many of our crops and garden plants. Nevertheless, these little golden soldiers have become essential to our horticulture.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, honeybees are responsible for pollinating 80 percent of our flower crops, which accounts for one-third of everything we eat. Nuts, alfalfa, apple, cantaloupe, cranberry, pumpkin, sunflower, and many other delicious and healthy foods depend on pollination by honeybees.

Yet the USDA also said that honey bees and other pollinators have had to face increasing obstacles in recent years, including deformed wing virus, nosema fungi, new parasites, nutrition problems, and possible effects of pesticides. Continue reading “Care for our bees and butterflies: Plant a pollinator garden”

Ways to help this holiday season

Written by Charlene V. Martoni
Published in VISITvortex

Image from VISITvortex.comThe holidays have a way of inspiring the best in people, and whether it is helping to shovel a neighbor’s driveway or helping to take care of a friend’s dog, volunteering your time to make another person’s life better is really a noble thing—and it can be fun. Here are some suggestions to help you get into the holiday spirit and get involved with your community: Continue reading “Ways to help this holiday season”

Field trip: The Rail Trail Cafe

Written by Charlene V. Martoni
Published in The Watershed Post

Above: The Rail Trail Cafe. Photo by Charlene V. Martoni.

A nook off the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail, a 24-mile hiking and biking path through Ulster County, is the last place you’d expect to find a food truck. But that’s just where to look for the Rail Trail Cafe, a non-motorized food cart with a decidedly rustic take on mobile dining.

The kitchen is housed inside a 96-square-foot cabin made of reclaimed wood; a hand-built clay oven sits nearby, and the dining area opens to the lush green canopy overhead. Continue reading “Field trip: The Rail Trail Cafe”

In the loop

Written by Charlene V. Martoni
Published in The New Paltz Times

BusFor the Ulster County Area Transit (UCAT), SUNY New Paltz students are 7,767 opportunities to gain ridership, and Village of New Paltz residents are an additional 6,000.

Over the past few months, UCAT has focused on encouraging more students to ride its countywide bus system, recognizing that SUNY New Paltz and the surrounding village comprise the second largest population center in the county.

Improvements that have been made in New Paltz so far are expected to work with additional effort.

According to UCAT Director of Transportation Bob Di Bella, Ulster County students used public transportation about 30,000 times in 2012, and about 13,000 of those rides were by SUNY New Paltz students.  Continue reading “In the loop”

Maple syrup season gets underway in New Paltz

Written by Charlene V. Martoni
Published in The Watershed Post

Six-year-old Lucas Lemos gets a taste of fresh maple sap at Brook Farm in New Paltz.
Six-year-old Lucas Lemos gets a taste of fresh maple sap at Brook Farm in New Paltz.

New Paltz—Three bundled-up boys huddled in the morning mist to catch drops of sap as it trickled out of a freshly drilled 1-inch deep hole in the bark of an old maple tree. Lucas, 6, licked the sap from his finger and looked up at his father, 39-year-old Luciano Lemos of Riverdale, in shock.

“It tastes a little like syrup,” he said, smiling. “Like watered down syrup.”

A handful of folks from all over New York State traveled to Brook Farm on Saturday, February 23 to take part in a maple sugaring prep-work party. The volunteers scrubbed metal buckets for sap collecting and piled up firewood to be used later for distilling the sap. They also set up maple tree taps on the 20-acre property.

The Brook Farm Project is a nonprofit sustainable farm just west of the village of New Paltz. The farm runs on a community supported agriculture (CSA) model, where members purchase shares of the season’s produce and pick up fresh crops each week from June through November.

But Saturday’s gathering was all about harvesting maple syrup, and it proved to be an opportunity for experiential learning. Creek Iversen, a 46-year-old farmer who recently took over as Brook Farm’s new manager, explained that it takes a lot of maple sap to make just a little bit of syrup. Continue reading “Maple syrup season gets underway in New Paltz”

New Paltz students reduce stress by practicing yoga

Video by Charlene V. Martoni
Published in The Little Rebellion

This piece is part of a series that examines how SUNY New Paltz students spend their free time.

Yoga is a popular extracurricular activity at the State University of New York at New Paltz.  The Athletic and Wellness Center on campus offers students free weekly yoga classes, and many students also attend meetings of the school’s Yoga Club.  Whether they are beginners or advanced yogis, SUNY New Paltz students cultivate their yoga interests by joining together to exercise.

9/11 changed forever: victims database (10th Anniversary Spread)

Written by Charlene V. Martoni
Published in The Journal News / The Poughkeepsie Journal
9/11 10th Anniversary Spread

Robert L. Scandole, Jr. was a family man, and his two daughters, Emma and Katie, were his world.

Days didn’t really begin, said his wife, Sheila, 47, until 6:10 p.m., when the beloved father would walk through the front door of their home in Pelham.

They would eat dinner together, and he always read his daughters their bedtime stories and gave them their nighttime baths, she said.

The girls were just toddlers when they lost their father.

Continue reading “9/11 changed forever: victims database (10th Anniversary Spread)”

PowWow to share art, music traditions

Written by Charlene V. Martoni
Published in The Journal News

HARRIMAN STATE PART—A celebration of Native American culture will take place this weekend at the 14th annual Bear Mountain PowWow.

The two-day event, organized by the Redhawk Native American Arts Council, is expected to draw crowds at Anthony Wayne Recreation Area for its abundance of song and dance, lively storytelling, native foods, indigenous arts and activities.

Since 1994, the council, a nonprofit organization based in Brooklyn, has been dedicated to preserving indigenous culture and educating people about Native American heritage.

Continue reading “PowWow to share art, music traditions”

Missing man alive in Spain

Written by Charlene V. Martoni
Published in The Journal News

SUFFERN—A 24-year-old village man who was missing three days in Spain was found by a friend Sunday, after being badly beaten and robbed of his possessions.

Jeffery Capalbo was found brutally beaten Sunday afternoon at Barcelona airport by the friend he had been traveling with.

The discovery came after friends and family had launched a frantic search, some flying to Spain and others posting notices online and trying to enlist the assistance U.S. representatives.

Capalbo and his friend, Matt Beck, 24, were on vacation when they were separated Thursday night while at Catwalk, a club in Barcelona, said Ramapo Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence.

When Capalbo did not return to their hotel room the next morning, Beck notified police.

Continue reading “Missing man alive in Spain”

200 volunteers are cadets for a day

Written by Charlene V. Martoni
Published in The Journal News

WEST POINT—Smiles initially greeted the 200 civilians Friday morning at the U.S. Military Academy.  But the drill masters of the rehearsal for Monday’s Reception Day, when hundreds of plebes will enter the academy as the class of 2015, quickly turned serious.

Rehearsal volunteers lined up to begin “Beast,” the initiation into military life.

“Face and eyes forward!” yelled one cadet.  “Do not fidget!”

This was easier for some volunteers who had completed the exercises before.  For most, however, keeping focused was difficult.

Continue reading “200 volunteers are cadets for a day”