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Category: John Wolcott

Center, NY/Karner, NY Old Development Never Finished in the Pine Bush

Center, NY/Karner, NY Old Development Never Finished in the Pine Bush

by John Wolcott Join us on a visit to a forgotten locale at the crossing of Old Karner Road with the AMTRAK tracks. This was bypassed when New Karner Road was built and then after a while the crossing was closed. This place was the location of the railroad stop half way between Albany and Schenectady established in 1831 when the first chartered passenger railroad in the Western Hemisphere was constructed here and for it’s first several years ran only…

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SPB Newsletters Listed by Date – 2000s

SPB Newsletters Listed by Date – 2000s

2020s 2010s 2000s 1990s Search Newsletter Archives: 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 2009 October/November 2009 – Download printable PDF version Bringing Back Sustainable Karner Blue Populations, October/November, 2009 September Biogas Talk, October/November, 2009 Buckmoth Monitoring, October/November, 2009 Neither a Borrower or a Lender Be, October/November, 2009 Pesticide Reductions Won at Albany Common Council – We can fight City Hall and Win!, October/November, 2009…

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SPB Newsletters Listed by Date – 2010s

SPB Newsletters Listed by Date – 2010s

2020s 2010s 2000s 1990s Search Newsletter Archives: 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2019 Newsletter December/January 2019-20 Newsletter Download printable PDF version Listen to the Podcasts Merton Simpson Fighting Environmental Racial Injustice, December/January 2019 Air Pollution in Albanys South End, December/January 2019 Dunn Landfill Stinks Up the School; Parents and Residents Protest, December/January 2019 Proposals in the Pine Bush December/January 2019…

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SPB Newsletters Listed by Date – 1990s

SPB Newsletters Listed by Date – 1990s

2020s 2010s 2000s 1990s Search Newsletter Archives: 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1999 December 1999, January 2000 Garbage in the Pine Bush – City Proposes Landfill Expansion SPB Files Most Unpopular Suit Yet – Sues the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission The Thruway Authority Comes Across Royally Thank You to All Who Responded to the Emergency Appeal 1st Annual Pine Bush Walk-a-Thon a Sucess! October/November, 1999 Save the Pine Bush Sues…

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Bill Aylward and Gene Messercola

Bill Aylward and Gene Messercola

ALBANY: Bill Aylward and Gene Messercola spoke at the January vegetarian lasagna dinner at the First Presbyterian Church in Albany. Both Mr. Aylward and Mr. Messercola spoke bout the one important thing Albany County can do for Pine Bush preservation: donate all tax delinquent properties located in the Pine Bush to the Pine Preserve. Tax delinquent properties in the Pine Bush should be turned over to the Preserve instead of being auctioned. Mr. Aylward spoke about the work he did…

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Fire Burns House of Save the Pine Bush Founder John Wolcott

Fire Burns House of Save the Pine Bush Founder John Wolcott

ALBANY: On Sunday, May 23, a fire ripped through John Wolcott (one of SPBs Founders) and Linda Beckers Sheridan Avenue home. The fire began in the house next door and leapt to the roof of John and Lindas house. Fortunately, John and Linda were away on vacation and are safe. Unfortunately, the house was a total loss. And, inside, were many historic documents and maps, collected by John for over six decades. The day after the fire, Albany fire fighters…

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Save the Pine Bush Loses A Very Dear Friend

Save the Pine Bush Loses A Very Dear Friend

It is with great sadness that we observe the passing of our dear friend, Louise Burch. Louise was a stalwart volunteer for Save the Pine Bush for decades. She folded newsletters and drove Rezsin and the newsletters to the post office. But, most important of all, she selflessly washed the dishes at the dinners, so that others could enjoy the food and the listen to the speakers. She did those behind the scenes important necessary tasks that needed to be…

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Peter Lavenia Explains Why Europe is Ahead of the US on Energy and Climate

Peter Lavenia Explains Why Europe is Ahead of the US on Energy and Climate

by Tom Ellis ALBANY, NY: Albany resident and Secretary of the NYS Green Party Peter Lavenia was the featured speaker at the August 14 SPB dinner. He spoke about Renewable Energy: Why the Old Country is New Again and We’re Not.  What Peter did was compare the political climates in Europe and the United States to explain why Europe is moving farther and faster ahead of the US in limiting greenhouse gas emissions and developing safe, renewable energy. Peter, who thinks of…

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The News comes to the Pine Bush – Dina Cappiello Speaks

The News comes to the Pine Bush – Dina Cappiello Speaks

by Lynne Jackson ALBANY: The First Presbyterian Church was the setting for the July Save the Pine Bush vegetarian/vegan lasagna dinner. Dina Cappiello, environmental reporter for the Hearst-owned Times Union regaled the diners with passionate tales of what it is like to be one of the 50 full-time environmental reporters in the country. Educated in science and journalism at Columbia University, Cappiello has beencovering the environmental beat at the Times Union for the past three years. By her own admission,…

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The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission Turns 25

The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission Turns 25

by Lynne Jackson ALBANY: The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission celebrated its 25th anniversary by throwing a wonderful party at the Discovery Center on Route 155 on October 29. A few people from Save the Pine Bush and I attended. Rezsin Adams often tells the story of how in 1988, then Assemblyman Richard Conners invited her to his office to tell her about the passage of ECL Article 46 which created the Commission. At the time, we thought that our…

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Nature preservers For 30 years, Save the Pine Bush has fought for ancient barrens

Nature preservers For 30 years, Save the Pine Bush has fought for ancient barrens

Albany — A blizzard howled on the evening of Feb. 6, 1978, when a shrinking remnant from the last Ice Age faced the prospect of the bulldozer. Anyone who cared that land in the Pine Bush — glacially created sand dunes and pitch pines at the city’s western edge — was slated for an office building would have to brave the storm to complain at the sole city hearing on the issue. The storm was so bad that the state…

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Walk in the Pine Bush!

Walk in the Pine Bush!

From Andy Arthur, our hike leader: Save the Pine Bush Hike Canceled That said, you are more then welcomed — and encouraged to take your own hikes at the Albany Pine Bush. Unlike other public lands in the area, the area is snow and ice free. Additionally, based on my recent walks in the preserve, the all trails are dry and mud-free except a short section of the Red Trail at the Great Dunes off Willow Drive near the vernal…

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NYS Climate Action Council

NYS Climate Action Council

by John Wolcott ALBANY, NY: Here is a brief review of the Summary of the State Climate Action Council’s first public meeting on January 25, 2010 at the N.Y. State Museum was held pursuant to Gov. Paterson’s Executive Order 24. This was the first State Climate Action Council Public Outreach Meeting pursuant to Gov. Paterson's Executive Order 24 concerning measures to be taken to combat global warming. It's not too bad and compares well with California's unilateral actions and goes…

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Storm Over the Mountains

Storm Over the Mountains

by John Wolcott This will be but the latest of several Overview Hikes SPB has sponsored over the years, to points around the rim of the Albany Inner Lowland Basin. We will view the Pine Bush from various points in and near Thacher Park. The hike is free and the public is cordially invited Most of them have been to High Point, Thacher Park and Pinnacle Mountain. We see no reason to discontinue these events now in spite of State…

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Walk, Hike, and Bike the Pine Bush

Walk, Hike, and Bike the Pine Bush

Walk, Hike, and Bike the Pine Bush Walk, Hike, and Bike the Pine Bush The Pine Bush is a beautiful place to walk. The soft, rolling sand dunes are a walker’s dream. You can take a bus to the Pine Bush from downtown Albany. The Pine Bush is the perfect spot for outdoor activities. Save the Pine Bush sponsors walks almost every month of the year. Join us! – Ed. Announcing Albany’s Newest Bicycle Path by Jerry Mueller, Mar./Apr. 91…

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Mayor Jennings’ Bankrupt Pine Bush Policy And Loss of Words Exposed

Mayor Jennings’ Bankrupt Pine Bush Policy And Loss of Words Exposed

Mayor Jennings’ Bankrupt Pine Bush Policy And Loss of Words Exposed   Mayor Jennings’ Bankrupt Pine Bush Policy And Loss of Words Exposed by John Wolcott Should anyone concerned with preserving the environment vote to re-elect Jerry Jennings for the Mayor of Albany at the next mayoral election? I don’t think so. Jerry Jennings was quoted in the Gazette as claiming that he has supported a policy of “containment” in the Pine Bush. I suppose that Mayor Jennings was in…

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SPB meets with Bill Aylward

SPB meets with Bill Aylward

SPB meets with Bill Aylward SPB meets with Bill Aylward by Lynne Jackson Representatives of SPB had the pleasure of meeting with Bill Aylward, Town Supervisor of the Town of Guilderland, in March. Chuck Reilly, Jerry Mueller, John Wolcott, and Lynne Jackson made the expedition to Guilderland to meet with Mr Aylward. We were pleased to note that Mr. Aylward had put on the door to his office one of the new Albany Pine Bush Preserve signs. Mr. Aylward met…

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The Emperor’s New Plan

The Emperor’s New Plan

The Emperor’s New Plan The Emperor’s New Plan by John Wolcott The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission has as much of an acquisition plan as a certain famous emperor once had a new suit of clothes. Land owner and grassroots environmentalists alike are impatient with the Commission’s having published a map showing "Full Protection" parcels without a clear, systematic plan to acquire them. This has turned out to be merely a wish list and an unrealistic one under the circumstances….

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Show Down Over Roundup

Show Down Over Roundup

Show Down Over Roundup Show Down Over Roundup by John Wolcott Invading black locust trees are crowding out and over shadowing native Pine Bush plants including the blue lupine which is essential to the survival of the Karner Blue. Black locust trees, along with bulldozer happy developers, are one of the many threats to the survival of the Pine Bush. Black locusts, like developers, are extremely difficult to eradicate from the Pine Bush. Jerry Mueller has been cutting down one…

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Save the Pine Bush Action Alert!

Save the Pine Bush Action Alert!

Save the Pine Bush Action Alert! Coyotes in the Moonlight Response to the Commission’s Final Implementation Guidelines by Lynne Jackson "It was a cold night in January, snow on the ground, full moon, not a creature moving a muscle," began Jerry Mueller, at the January Lasagna Dinner. He had to get out of the house and decided to take a walk in the Pine Bush, off Sand Creek Road near the Northway. He heard a noise, "Sounds like coyotes," thought…

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The Albany Pine Bush Management Commission

The Albany Pine Bush Management Commission

The Albany Pine Bush Management Commission The Albany Pine Bush Management Commission The Pine Bush Management Commission was created by the New York State Legislature to study and manage the Pine Bush in response to Save the Pine Bush’s lawsuits with the City of Albany over the landfill. Members of the Commission include the executives of the municipalities which include Pine Bush. The City of Albany, the Town of Colonie, the Town of Guilderland, the County of Albany, New York…

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John Wolcott, Honored by the New York State Assembly, Wants to see More Preservation

John Wolcott, Honored by the New York State Assembly, Wants to see More Preservation

Jack McEneny, NYS Assemblyman, was Save the Pine Bushs special guest at the July dinner. One of his jobs is to sponsor privileged resolutions of the Assembly. He had never read a special resolution before, but tonight, he was going to read one that the Assembly passed on June 20, 2001 to honor John Wolcott. Jack said that he was amazed that this resolution was passed 31 days ago, and that John did not know about it yet! Jack said…

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Lou Ismay and the Environmental Forum

Lou Ismay and the Environmental Forum

by Tom Ellis   One of the things I teach my students is that each of us can learn a lot from our elders, especially those who lead rich lives filled with interesting activities.  With that in mind, several months ago I asked Lou Ismay to speak at a SPB dinner which he did on November 14. Lou was introduced by Jackson Davis, who had taken the Environmental Forum course Lou taught at the University at Albany.  Jackson said when he showed up…

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New Light on an Old Road – Part II

New Light on an Old Road – Part II

New Light on an Old Road – Part II New Light on an Old Road – Part II (Continued from March/April 1998 Newsletter) by John Wolcott The new information revealed by this almost destroyed map, about old trails and roads in the Pine Bush is utterly amazing and startling. I had already known that part of the "Old Road to Schenectady" left Albany by a route up near Madison Avenue, and that it went over the UytKyck off Curry Road….

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Pushing and Pulling West: Pending Extensions of the Boundaries of the Pine Bush Preserve

Pushing and Pulling West: Pending Extensions of the Boundaries of the Pine Bush Preserve

Pushing and Pulling West: Pending Extensions of the Boundaries of the Pine Bush Preserve   Pushing and Pulling West: Pending Extensions of the Boundaries of the Pine Bush Preserve By John Wolcott A Little Background When I first started mulling over the notion of a Pine Bush Preserve in 1971, it was with the thought of the opportunity to set aside a large, more or less, continuous bi-city forest for the benefit of car-free city dwellers, stretching between Schenectady and…

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New Light on an Old Road

New Light on an Old Road

New Light on an Old Road New Light on an Old Road by John Wolcott Save the Pine Bush board member John Wolcott has discovered evidence of a forgotten foot path through the Pine Bush that in the 1600’s and 1700’s ran parallel to the main Albany-Schenectady Road, the Maquas Padt. Here is Part 1 of a two-part article on what John found. "A Map of the Lines Run Pursant to the Direction of the arbitrators, as Claimed by the…

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John Wolcott Versus The Dump – Skewering An Inane Document

John Wolcott Versus The Dump – Skewering An Inane Document

John Wolcott Versus The Dump – Skewering An Inane Document John Wolcott Versus The Dump Skewering An Inane Document By John Wolcott Editor’s Note: Save the Pine Bush board member and dedicated enemy of deception John Wolcott has provided a blow by blow commentary on the "Summary of the 2nd Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Extension of the Albany Interim Landfill". This is the legal paperwork required before the City of Albany can start throwing trash and…

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Victory in Colonie! Vinyl Golf Driving Range Proposal Withdrawn

Victory in Colonie! Vinyl Golf Driving Range Proposal Withdrawn

Victory in Colonie! Vinyl Golf Driving Range Proposal Withdrawn Victory in Colonie! Vinyl Golf Driving Range Proposal Withdrawn by Lynne Jackson Since last spring, Save the Pine Bush volunteers have been attending hearings, reading long EIS’s (Environmental Impact Statements), and speaking out against the proposed Golden Bear Family Golf Indoor and Outdoor Driving Range. This ugly thing which was to be located between Siver and Curry Road in Colonie, was proposed to be built on 18 acres of Pine Bush…

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Willow Street Again

Willow Street Again

Willow Street Again   Willow Street Again SPB Sues over Sewers Built in the Preserve DEC Caves in to Developer by Lynne Jackson Ten months after filing a ground-breaking suit that forced a developer to remove water lines from the Preserve along Willow Street in Guilderland, Save the Pine Bush has filed a second suit against the same defendants, this time seeking removal of the sewer lines. Lewis B. Oliver, Jr., attorney extraordinaire for SPB said, “We were successful in…

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Save the Pine Bush Forces Developer to Remove Water Lines from Pine Bush Preserve   Save the Pine Bush Forces Developer to Remove Water Lines from Pine Bush Preserve by Lynne Jackson In a victory for the Pine Bush, the developer of a luxury housing sub-division along the border of Guilderland and Albany has been compelled to remove illegally placed water lines from state-owned Pine Bush Preserve. Lewis B. Oliver, Jr., attorney for Save the Pine Bush, had received notice…

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Developer Takes Preserve to Build Water Lines

Developer Takes Preserve to Build Water Lines

Developer Takes Preserve to Build Water Lines   Developer Takes Preserve to Build Water Lines Save the Pine Bush Sues the Albany Pine Bush Management Commission & Others Save the Pine Bush filed suit on December 15 against the Albany Pine Bush Management Commission, the Town of Guilderland, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the City of Albany for allowing a developer to build water lines in the Pine Bush Preserve, land which has been dedicated to the…

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Gotta Watch’em Like Hawks – Can’t Trust Nobody

Gotta Watch’em Like Hawks – Can’t Trust Nobody

Gotta Watch’em Like Hawks – Can’t Trust Nobody   Gotta Watch’em Like Hawks Can’t Trust Nobody By Daniel W. Van Riper Y Is This Happening One of the selling points for the ongoing YMCA project that is destroying eight acres of Pine Bush off Western Avenue in Guilderland was that it would cost the taxpayers nothing. Suprise! What a crock! Back in May the town board voted three to two to subsidize the developers with $33,000 for “road improvements.” Now,…

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The Thruway Authority Comes Across Royally

The Thruway Authority Comes Across Royally

The Thruway Authority Comes Across Royally The Thruway Authority Comes Across Royally by John Wolcott The Thruway Authority has just completed a hikers’ underpass under the new bridge that carries Route 155 over the Thruway. This was done in response to a proposal presented to the Thruway Authority by Save the Pine Bush and the Sierra Club-Hudson Mohawk Group in May 1999. This hikers’ underpass reconnects two unpaved surviving portions of the colonial Kings Road, the road opened for wagons…

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The Uyt Kyck Drumlin In The Schenectady – Albany Pine Bush

The Uyt Kyck Drumlin In The Schenectady – Albany Pine Bush

By John Wolcott By way of an etremely simplyfied explaination s drumlin is a major and fairly popularly known outwash feature of glaciial retreat. Over hundreds of thousand of years there have been four major glacial periods on earth when glaciers formed and spread north from the South Pole and south form the North Pole. Then there were interglacial warmer periods. There were miner fluctuations of re advance and re retreat. The fourth North American Glacial Advance; the Wisconsin moved…

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Save the Pine Bush Victorious! – Developer Removes Water Lines! Media Frenzy The media came out in full force for our Press Conference announcing the removal of the water lines. In the background, note the backhoe digging up the water lines. From left to right: Lynne Jackson of Save the Pine Bush, Don Levy, Channel 10 News, Ken Screvin, Channel 6 news, reporter from WRGB, and John Wolcott. Usually, TV stations do not cover Pine Bush issues very often. One…

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Save the Pine Bush Victorious! – Developer Removes Water Lines! John Wolcott It was John Wolcott’s tireless enthusiasm and research that ensured Save the Pine Bush’s victory. Wolcott had spent years writing to government officials explaining the problem with Willow Street, but no one listened until Save the Pine Bush sued. Wolcott is Save the Pine Bush’s expert witness, having researched deeds back to the 1600’s, and determinining the owner of Willow Street. John Wolcott, on August 10, 1998. Photo…

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Developer Eyes N.Y. “Mount Vernon”

Developer Eyes N.Y. “Mount Vernon”

Developer Eyes N.Y. "Mount Vernon" Stanford Home Hearing Information Hearing Notes January 23 Hearing Canadians are Coming! Archeological Information Photos – Outdoor Photos – Indoor Bonding Editorial Preservation   Donate Contact Developer Eyes N.Y. "Mount Vernon" Story by Catherine Finn / Nov. 9, 2006 From Preservation Online Neighbors of a 19th-century house in Niskayuna, N.Y., are trying to fight a commercial development on its 12-acre estate that will turn the nursing home into a restaurant. Schenectady-based Highbridge Development, which will…

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The 1996 Clean Water, Clean Air Bond Act

The 1996 Clean Water, Clean Air Bond Act

The 1996 Clean Water, Clean Air Bond Act The 1996 Clean Water, Clean Air Bond Act What It Is, What It Isn’t, And What Some Of It Might Be An Exposé by John Wolcott First of all, New York State’s "Clean Water, Clean Air Bond Act" is, on the surface, just about what it’s title says it is. Unlike the Environmental Bond Act promoted by Governor Cuomo in 1990 (which was defeated by the voters- ed.) , Pataki’s Act is…

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Taking Lyme Fight to the Field

Taking Lyme Fight to the Field

by William Engleman CLIFTON PARK: Representatives of three area environmental organizations and Town residents called on the Clifton Park Town Board to save the Karner Blue butterfly populations in the Town’s northeast corner, during the Town Board’s first regular meeting of the year, held on Monday evening January 3, 2005. Eight speakers, including representatives from Save the Pine Bush, Audubon Society of the Capital Region and the Hudson-Mohawk Group of the Sierra Club called on the Board to reverse the…

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A Brief Historical Note on the Six Mile Waterworks (Rensselaer Lake)

A Brief Historical Note on the Six Mile Waterworks (Rensselaer Lake)

A Brief Historical Note on the Six Mile Waterworks (Rensselaer Lake) A Brief Historical Note on the Six Mile Waterworks (Rensselaer Lake) by John Wolcott The section of the Pine Bush where the proposed aquatic park would be located is a remaining portion of an early conservation area. This was one of the first tracts, if not the very first, in the state, specifically set aside for forest and water conservation. For this reason there is some additional historical significance…

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Land Crunch in the Pine Bush

Land Crunch in the Pine Bush

Land Crunch in the Pine Bush Land Crunch in the Pine Bush by John Wolcott We’d Rather Have Been Wrong Save the Pine Bush knew that unresolved difference between development desires and acquisition wish lists were heading toward a major clash in the Pine Bush. Even so the present situation of 85 "hot spots" has taken us by surprise in its extent and immediacy. It proves us more right than we thought we were, whereas we’d rather have been wrong…

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Historic Action 02-01-07 Historic Action, February 1, 2007 Historic Action Network sponsored a walk from the Riverside Club and Freihofer Building in Lansingburg, across the 112th Street bridge to Waterford to show the connection between these beautiful historic buildings and the Hudson River. More than 30 people participated. Historic Action Network believes these buildings should be preserved. Home Rally Taling to the TV John Wolcott and Steve Downs Russell Ziemba Speaks Russell Ziemba Speaks Russell Ziemba Speaks Russell Ziemba advocates…

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Save the Pine Bush

Save the Pine Bush

The walk in the Pine Bush on May 26 hosted by John Wolcott and Mark Plaat found no butterflies, and blue lupine just beginning to flower. The walk led by Lynne Jackson and Daniel Van Riper on June 2, however, saw the lupine in full bloom and the first butterflies scattered here and there. Some two dozen enthusiasts, many armed with high powered cameras, marched up and down the dunes demanding that the little beggars come out of the brush…

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A Journey to Nabokov’s Karner, New York – a Conservation Dilemma

A Journey to Nabokov’s Karner, New York – a Conservation Dilemma

  A recent date to speak about Nabokov’s blues in Albany, New York — the state’s capital — afforded me a chance to visit what is left of old “Karner”, New York. Karner is the little hamlet that, in common parlance, has attached its name to Nabokov’s famous endangered species Lycaeides melissa samuelis, the “Karner Blue”. Karner got the nod for samuelis’s common name because Nabokov chose specimens of samuelis from Karner for his type series (the specimens he used…

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The 1914 Pine Bush Preserve – What became of it?

The 1914 Pine Bush Preserve – What became of it?

The 1914 Pine Bush Preserve – What became of it?  The 1914 Pine Bush Preserve What became of it? by John Wolcott In 1914, Albany almost benefitted immensely from the City Beautiful movement. This was part of the Progressive movement, then afoot around the country with its strong public spirit, open, honest better government and conservation bent. This, temporarily, influenced even traditionally conservative Albany. Albany in 1912, commissioned an architect, Arnold W. Brunner, and a landscape architect, Charles Downing Lay,…

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Save the Pine Bush

Save the Pine Bush

Summarized by Grace Nichols ALBANY: At the May Save the Pine Bush lasgana dinner at the First Presbyterian Church, NY State Wildlife Pathologist Ward Stone gave a talk summarizing our recent discoveries of pesticide use in the Pine Bush by both the City of Albany at the Rapp Road Landfill and Pine Bush Police and Fire Station and placing it in the context of his 39 years of work with Rezsin Adams, Lew Oliver and other leaders of the Save…

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