Wednesday, September 16, 2009

9/17/09: Hon. Judge Judith Kaye to Speak at SUNY Ulster on Constitution Day

New York State’s Former Chief Judge, the Honorable Judith S. Kaye, will deliver the Constitution Day lecture at SUNY Ulster on Thursday, September 17, speaking on “The New York State Constitution: An Honored Guest at the Birthday Celebration,” at 7 PM in the Student Lounge in Vanderlyn Hall on the Stone Ridge campus.

Kaye’s speech about the links between the state and U.S. Constitutions is the featured presentation of the college’s new Institute for Constitutional Studies Lecture Series, an annual series with distinguished legal scholars, constitutional experts, political scientists and historians. Kaye, who was born in the Hudson Valley, was the first woman to hold the State Judiciary’s highest office. She will be introduced by the Institute’s Director Dr. Ray Raymond, SUNY Ulster associate professor of government and history. Explaining the significance of Constitution Day, Raymond said: “The great Nineteenth Century British Prime Minister William Gladstone once described the U.S. Constitution as the ‘greatest product of the mind of man.’ Lavish praise, but justified. The U.S. Constitution was and is the work of genius. On Constitution Day, we celebrate the signing of the Constitution by the framers who had spent four months negotiating and drafting it. Essential to the success of that Constitution was a delicate balance between the new federal government and the states.” “We are truly honored to have Judge Judith Kaye, a distinguished legal scholar and the greatest chief judge in New York’s history, deliver this lecture,” he said. “This will be a unique opportunity for students, faculty, teachers, the legal community and local residents, thereby furthering the mission of the Institute.”

SUNY Ulster founded the Institute to help college faculty, students, teachers, business people, the legal community and the general public in the Mid-Hudson Valley deepen their understanding of the fundamental principles of the United States and the New York state constitutions, their history and their continuing relevance to current public policy debates.

The College launched the Institute with an inaugural lecture in February 2009 by the Honorable Albert Rosenblatt, former Associate Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals, who described Kaye as “the ultimate chief judge: erudite, fair, patient, hard working, and, above all, decent.” “Judge Kaye always spoke to people with respect and in a way that would uplift rather than demean,” Rosenblatt said in a recent tribute. “There could not have been, nor was there, a chief judge who cared more about the justice system, and all of those in it -- the judges, lawyers, employees , and, of course, the public -- more than Judith Kaye. She gained the affection and the respect of all of them.”

Kaye was born in Monticello in Sullivan County. Appointed by Gov. Mario M. Cuomo in 1993, she was the first Chief Judge ever to complete a full 14-year term and was appointed to a second term by Gov. Eliot Spitzer in 2007. Kaye is the first woman to occupy the State Judiciary’s highest office and also became the first woman to serve on New York State’s highest court when Gov. Cuomo appointed her Associate Judge of the Court of Appeals in 1983. Kaye holds a bachelor’s degree from Barnard College and law degree from New York University School of Law. She engaged in private practice in New York City until her appointment to the Court of Appeals. Kaye retired at the end of 2008, after reaching the state’s mandatory retirement age of 70. Kaye is now of counsel at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in New York City.

The lecture is free and open to the public. For information, contact 845-687-5262. News Source:

New on-line guide to multi-use trails in NYS

Visit TrailFinder at

Parks & Trails New York has launched a new on-line guide to multi-use trails in New York State, just in time for the best outdoor season of the year--fall. Called TrailFinder, the site focuses on trails and greenways that allow multiple uses—such as walking, bicycling, in-line skating, cross-country skiing and, in some cases, horseback riding and snowmobiling.

TrailFinder includes 11 trails, totaling more than 1200 miles.
Visitors will be able to plan their trail adventures in just a few minutes at the computer – with key information at their fingertips.

Visitors to TrailFinder can search for trails in several ways. They can select a trail from a drop-down menu, query by trail attributes such as length, surface, allowable uses, and distance from a particular location, or browse the interactive map. Trailhead parking areas are included, as are directions and nearby bike shops and other amenities such as bicycle-friendly bed & breakfasts.

Parks & Trails New York developed TrailFinder to make people more aware of the vast resource of multi-use trails and greenways in New York and to make it easier for people to enjoy them.

Parks & Trails New York Executive Director Robin Dropkin hopes that TrailFinder will build support for the vital and growing trail movement in New York. She also hopes the new website will spur more communities to develop trails and encourage bicycle tourism, which will foster the protection and re-use of abandoned transportation corridors throughout the state.

“I think people will be amazed at the extent of the multi-use trail system in New York. The potential for creating one of the best statewide multi-use trail networks is fantastic,” says Dropkin. “With NewYork’s abundance of abandoned railroads, historic canals, and scenic rivers, it’s possible to create a dynamic system of multi-use trails serving communities in every corner of the state, with major statewide trail systems—such as the Erie Canalway Trail, Genesee Valley Greenway, and Hudson River Valley Greenway—as the backbone of the network.”

Trails a boon to local economies
Trails and greenways provide a wide range of benefits to communities. They make it easier for people to keep fit and have fun by providing close-to-home recreational opportunities. They provide safe places to walk or bike to work, school, or local shops. They also protect open space, attract tourists and add to the quality of life.

“Trail use is part of the new economy of New York tourism, especially upstate,” says Dropkin. “A major National Park Service study of three multi-use trails around the country found that trail use pumped between $1.2 and $1.9 million annually into the economies of nearby communities.”

Bicycle-friendly B&B’s and accessibility information featured
Featured in the TrailFinder site are convenient bed & breakfasts and inns that cater to the needs of cyclists. All are members of the Empire State Bed and Breakfast Association (ESBBA) that have pledged to offer bicycle-friendly amenities, including covered and locked bicycle storage, tools for minor bike repairs, no-smoking rooms, and healthy and filling breakfasts.

Accessibility information is available for some trails so that before ever reaching the trailhead, visitors will have the data to decide whether a trail is right for them. While especially useful for persons with disabilities, older adults and parents with young children may find this information helpful, too.

Parks & Trails New York is a statewide not-for-profit organization working to create a network of parks, trails and open space across the state for all to use and enjoy.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

AAUW Adds to Voices of Support for Historic College Affordability Legislation

Bill described as single largest investment in higher education

WASHINGTON – AAUW urges the House of Representatives to pass the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009 (H.R. 3221), which is scheduled for a vote this week. The bill will be discussed today at two media events hosted by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-CA), chair of the House Education and Labor Committee, and other lawmakers.

This critical legislation would move all federal student loans to the Direct Lending Program, which would save the federal government and taxpayers almost $100 billion over the next 10 years. These savings will be used to make college more affordable for millions of students at no new cost to taxpayers. The bill also states that improving postsecondary access for women and underrepresented students in STEM should be a priority.

“AAUW has been a leader in promoting women and girls in the science, technology, engineering, and math fields. Our work in this area dovetails with our efforts to improve women’s economic security and to close the gender wage gap because STEM jobs are usually high paying,” said AAUW Executive Director Linda D. Hallman, CAE.

AAUW is pleased that the legislation provides funding to improve community colleges, increases funding for early childhood education, and strengthens the Pell grant program.

While many students struggle with the cost of higher education and loan repayment, the burden is particularly significant for women. AAUW’s report, Behind the Pay Gap, found that college-educated women earn 5 percent less than men one year out of college and 12 percent less than men 10 years out of college, even when they have the same major and occupation as their male counterparts and when controlling for factors known to affect earnings such as education and training, parenthood, and hours worked.[i] This immediate and pernicious wage disparity makes it that much harder for women to repay their student loans.

“Only about 29 percent of Americans have college degrees

—and that’s not nearly enough to make us competitive in the global economy or to prepare people for 21st-century, technologically oriented jobs. This isn’t just a feel-good, fairness issue—it’s about keeping jobs at home and ensuring innovation and growth in the United States economy,” said Lisa Maatz, AAUW director of public policy and government relations.


AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, and research. Since 1881, AAUW has been one of the nation's leading voices promoting education and equity for women and girls. AAUW has a nationwide network of nearly 100,000 members, 1,000 branches, and 500 college/university institutional partners. Since AAUW’s founding more than 128 years ago, members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day — educational, social, economic, and political. AAUW's commitment to educational equity is reflected in its public policy advocacy, community programs, leadership development, conventions and conferences, national partnerships, and international connections.

Visit the AAUW website at

Monday, September 7, 2009

Enjoy Some Fall Trips with the AAUW of Kingston

AAUW 2009 Fall Bus Trips

Friday, September 25th
New York City
and the New York Philharmonic performance of
Brahms’ Violin Concerto with Frank Peter Zimmerman as Violinist
Arnold Schoenberg’s Pelléas and Mélisande
Alan Gilbert, Conducting

Leaving at 8 AM for an 11 AM performance; lunch on your own;
returning by 4:30 PM

Cost (for bus, driver tip & orchestra seats):
NOTE: $78 (before 9/12); $88 (after 9/13)
Bus to New York City alone, including driver tip: $49

* * * * * * * * * *

Saturday, Sunday, Monday, October 3rd - 5th

Two nights; three-day trip to
Toronto to visit the new Frank Gehry Art Museum;
Niagra-on-the-Lake at a luxurious Victorian Inn; six gourmet meals;
tickets to Noel Coward’s, Ways of the Heart;
and a visit to the Peller Estates, a beautiful winery.
Leaving Saturday from Kingston at 9 AM; returning Monday around 8 PM

Cost: $685 (per person based on double occupancy); $210 single supplement
For this trip only, call Linda Gold at 845-255-5256 or email then make your check payable to AAUW include your phone number, and mail to Linda Gold, 1 Jacobs Lane, New Paltz, NY 12561. A deposit of $200 is due with your reservation. Bus and theatre seats are assigned in the order in which reservations are received.

* * * * * * * * * *

Tuesday, October 27th
NY Botanical Gardens

and dinner in the "Little Italy of the Bronx"

After a quick picnic lunch (brought or bought), join a guided tour of Kiku in the Enid A Haupt Conservatory Courtyards. Kiku pays homage to the time- honored tradition of fall flower viewing in Japan. Afterwards, go by bus to Arthur Avenue, renowned "Little Italy" of the Bronx. There participants can chose a restaurant for a leisurely dinner or spend a bit of time shopping in the well-stocked Italian groceries. Every place is wheelchair accessible.

Bus leaves at 9 AM and returns to Kingston by 7:00 PM
Cost of $65 includes bus, driver tip and admission to the Gardens.

* * * * * * * * * *
Annual Holiday Trip: Thursday, December 17th
to New York City
and The Metropolitan Museum of Art

for the special exhibits:
Cinnabar: The Carved Art of Chinese Lacquer;

Imperial Privilege: 18th Century Viennese Porcelain;
Robert Frank's The Americans;
Silk and Bamboo: Music and Art of China;
Pablo Bronstein at the Met;
Surface Tension in Contemporary Photographs;
Eccentric Visions of Luo Ping (1733–1799);
Paintings of Everyday American Life, 1765–1915;
The Young Archer (attributed to Michelangelo);
plus, the annual Christmas Tree & Crèche

Leaving at 8 AM and returning around 6:30 PM
Cost (includes bus, driver tip and entrance into the museum): Seniors $63; Adults $67
Bus to New York City alone, including driver tip: $40

All trips leave from the rear of the former Ames in the Kingston Plaza
(On city-bound trips, pickups and dropoffs can be arranged for the New Paltz Park-n-Ride)

For reservations, call Pat Whelan between noon and 9 PM at 845-657-6807 or write, then send your check, made out to AAUW–Kingston Branch, to Pat Whelan, 1321 County Rt. 2, Olivebridge NY 12461.
(Ask about our member discounts and cancellation policies.)

Open to all, our trips are part of our mission to offer community enrichment and to raise funds for scholarships and grants to local, national and international programs, especially in support of women.
Membership in Kingston Branch of American Association of University Women is open to all people.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Volunteer Opportunity, Kingston, Sept. 19th

Drum Boogie is a FREE one day music festival on the lawn of Cornell Park, Rondout Historic District of Kingston, New York on Saturday, September 19th, 2009 (rain date Sunday, September 20th) from 12 Noon to 7 PM. One hundred drummers will participate in an opening ceremony followed by an afternoon of concerts of top name performers of various styles of drumming from around the world

Family of Woodstock is assisting the Drum Boogie Festival by providing crowd control and selling water. If you would like to volunteer to assist Family, please contact Vikki Read at (845) 331-7080 ext. 140 or by e-mail at

Drum Boogie is produced by:
Garry Kvistad and The Woodstock Chimes Fund (
with major support through Assemblymember Kevin Cahill
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