Invite a city child to the Catskills for a summer While I’m thinking about spring and watching the buds grow bigger on the trees, I’m also planning ahead for summer. My husband and I will …
Invite a city child to the Catskills for a summer
While I’m thinking about spring and watching the buds grow bigger on the trees, I’m also planning ahead for summer. My husband and I will welcome back Paige, a Bronx girl who is now 14, for her fourth summer visit through the non-profit group Fresh Air Fund (www.freshair.org). I’m the volunteer co-chair in Sullivan County with hopes of growing the number of families to host NYC kiddos for vacations in our beautiful part of New York.
Many low-income city kids don’t have the chance to experience summer breaks full of fresh air, swimming every day, playing outside until dark—except when local families open their homes and hearts through volunteer hosting. It’s as simple as doing what you and your family already plan to do, just with one more person.
Last summer, Paige nailed the deep-water swimming test at the community pool and we had a cupcake celebration that night. She’s now ready for diving lessons. She gets us out to see more of this beautiful area. She makes friends everywhere we go and remembers everyone she meets. And we spend evenings playing cards and board games, and laughing together.
Here’s what children get from visiting: more comfortable, confident, connected and excited about learning, stronger support network, new ideas for their futures. And here’s what host families get: deeper understanding of the world and their own community, more comfortable with new people, family togetherness and memories, a cultural exchange.
If your family has room for one more this summer, please check out www.freshair.org/host and contact me at 917/922-8601.
Volunteer Co-Chair, Fresh Air Fund
Sullivan County, NY
Honesdale councilman not running in 2020
It is with much deliberation that I have decided not to run for Honesdale Borough Council in 2020.
During my term, I set out with an intention to accomplish three goals: Get Honesdale out of debt, help Honesdale’s primary energy usage to be derived from renewable sources and increase Honesdale’s borders, namely by annexing the adjacent townships of Dyberry and Texas.
The first goal, we accomplished in nine months. Honesdale is now debt free. We did this without raising taxes by moving our large accounts in general funds into interest bearing CDs, removing our loans thus alleviating our interest therein and paying back the debt through leftover revenue in the general funds, a great majority of which came from increased quarters spent on parking meters.
For the second goal, as yet unaccomplished, I had intended to supplement the current energy on the borough buildings first with solar panels, saving the borough the cost of energy in the short-run, and generating a new revenue stream in the long run. I believed that by purchasing solar panels and providing a fixed price to privately owned businesses, the borough could increase its funds without relying on a dwindling and struggling tax base. In addition, the amount of money spent on street lights alone is many tens of thousands of dollars in electricity while the technology for solar powered streetlights exists.
The third goal, also unaccomplished, involved annexing the adjacent townships to join in unity and name to what could become the City of Honesdale. Honesdale’s 4,200 population houses the police force, public pool and parks, hospital and medical facilities, high school and churches. Much of the tax base is strapped and is, in my opinion, struggling to meet the demand for diminishing resources and dilapidated structures and necessary vehicles. The solution could lie in the joining of our neighbors who run businesses in Honesdale, go to school and church, utilize the services of our police, but cannot vote for mayor, nor participate in the election of the councilors that decide the local laws.
Moving forward, I intend to use the entirety of my mind, wit, tenacity, and time for the single and daily focus of building the business Black and Brass Coffee Company. It is in this way that I can best serve my community and, I hope, add value not just to Honesdale, but to the whole nation from sea to shining sea.