On Arbor Day, April 30, 2010, a group of arborists that I invited to join me in Academy Green Park in Kingston helped to educate the parks department employees and the public concerning proper tree care and bring awareness to the poor tree care practices that plague the city. Since the newspapers failed to publish an article about this event I feel I must be the voice. I want to thank the parks department for enabling me and my fellow arborists to get the word out about improving tree health while at the same time minimizing risk to the public. I would also like to thank the arborists that helped to prune trees in the park and improve the health of several trees with root problems. They are Tim Ryan of Arbor Art Tree Service from Shokan, Tim Lebreck of Old Growth Tree from Kingston, Howard Buck of Two brothers Tree Service from New Paltz, and Jeff Decker of Accountable Tree Service from Kingston. We hope to make this an annual event and perhaps move around to work in more of the parks.
What spurred this on was the type of pruning that was performed on honey locust trees along Wall and Front streets in Uptown Kingston. Those trees had ninety percent of their foliage removed. Trees require the sugars, energy, produced in the leaf to sustain their lives. The energy is used to close wounds, send out new roots and shoots, and reduce the spread of decay organisms in the tree. That type of pruning reduces the longevity of the tree and increases their risk of failure. Trees have a hard enough time surviving on an urban area where there are limited nutrients for their roots to absorb, temperature extremes, limited light, and limited moisture available in their small planting pits. The honey locust trees that were pruned by ISA Certified Arborists in the park were pruned in accordance with the standards set by the American National Standards Institute. These standards were created by professionals in the tree care industry.
Representatives from the American Nursery and Landscape Association, American Forests, American Society of Consulting Arborists, American Society of Landscape Architects, U.S. Forest Service, and the National Park Service to name a few. It presents performance standards for the care and maintenance of trees, shrubs, and other woody plants. The ANSI A-300 standard stipulates that the specifications for tree work should be written by a professional possessing the technical competence to provide for, or supervise, the management of woody landscape plants. It is my opinion that without utilizing standards we put our trees and ourselves at risk.
So let us attempt to provide more thoughtful tree management strategies to improve the health and reduce risk of the city’s trees.
Peter R. Landau, ASCA Consulting Arborist
Help Summer Sizzle
Thank you for your coverage regarding Alderwoman Shirley Whitlock’s fight for her Midtown district and the Kingston Hoops Summer Sizzle Basketball League.
Four of my staff members (Coreen Sanchez, Kedra Wilson, Shalanda Owens and Keisha Francis) and myself were at last week’s Common Council meeting where Whitlock stood her ground to ask for an extra $5,000 to be put towards our league. Now of course this meant reducing the $15,000 that would go to police cameras to $10,000. I must admit that I did feel the request was fair, but I was surprised when Alderman Bob Senor, whose ward is where the games are played, said that it doesn’t matter if the amendment would have passed because Mayor Sottile said he would veto it. I was extremely surprised to hear that since Mayor Sottile, Mike Murphy, Kevin Gilfeather and Alderman Senor all worked together in 2007 to not only increase CDBG funding for our league, but they also refurbished the Rondout Gardens courts because they saw the growth of our league even back then.
I want to thank alderwomen Whitlock, Jen Fuentes and the other Common Council members who did side with Whitlock and voted for the amendment. Alderwoman Whitlock not only took a stand not only for our league, but for all the youth of her Midtown district.
As for our league, we will move forward with a 2010 season, we just have to make some drastic cuts, such as payroll, and there will be no scholarships this year. We will also continue to do fundraisers throughout the summer. All monies raised by the league goes towards everything from equipment, T-shirts, trophies to hiring staff, officials, scorekeepers, scholarships, etc.
In 2009, we had 17 teams and 250 kids (boys and girls) in three age divisions: 8-10; 11-14 and 15-18. Due to the cuts we will probably have maybe half of that especially since we have lost five of our team sponsors from last year due to the tough economy.
Our goal is to raise $10,000, which is a $100 donation from 100 people. If anyone wishes to help, they can make the check payable to: Kingston Hoops Summer Sizzle, PO Box 2606, Kingston, NY 12402.
I’ve always said since I started the league back in 2006 that I would love for an NBA team to adopt this league. It doesn’t matter — Knicks, Nets, Liberty, New York sports is New York sports to me. I haven’t given up on that dream and maybe one day in God’s time it will happen.
Again, I want to thank everyone who’s always supported our league and I ask that you keep us as well as the politicians in your prayers.
Charlene L. LaDay-Hill
Kingston Hoops Summer Sizzle
Why kids start smoking
What product, used as directed, causes disease and death to millions? It is a product promoted in our communities that lures new victims such as our children.
Have you ever seen youth smoking cigarettes and wonder why kids today would ever start smoking? The Federal Trade Commission reports that each year Big Tobacco spends $12.8 billion in the United States. This is more than $35 million per day to market products that addicts kids and kills adults. This money includes payments to licensed tobacco retailers to place their products and ads in the most visible locations in our neighborhood convenience stores, supermarkets and pharmacies. As a result, New York State residents, including our children, are exposed to a substantial amount of tobacco advertising and in-store displays.
The more these lethal products are viewed in our stores, the more likely our children will view tobacco as normal and acceptable. After all, Big Tobacco needs to replace over 400,000 U.S. smokers that die each year. Ninety percent of new smokers begin as children.
Do we want tobacco products sold across the street from schools and playgrounds, in supermarkets and pharmacies?
Communities need to take a stand and protect the health and well being of our children. Instead of only wondering why kids smoke, adults can take actions that help prevent them from ever starting. Please visit www.tobaccofreenys.org for more information about the NYS Tobacco Control Program’s initiatives that save lives and save tax dollars.
Director, TFAC-Tobacco Free Action Coalition of Ulster County, Lake Katrine