That’s a Lot of Concrete!

Foundation of 587 Main Street, viewed from Huguenot Street.

This past weekend, about 50 trucks spent 14 hours pouring roughly 3,000 cubic yards of concrete to establish the foundation of RXR’s new downtown tower at 587 Main Street.

That’s a lot of concrete!  Plus, the foundation also includes about  360 tons of rebar.

Once the foundation work is fully completed, the building will begin to rise pretty quickly, about a floor a week, topping out in early 2018.  Here’s more information about the project itself.

For anyone who might have been fascinated by construction vehicles as a little kid, this is fun stuff — not that I am confessing anything.


In the Wilds of New York

Rattler number one, poised to strike (or so us city slickers imagined.)

Catie and I spent Saturday hiking in Minnewaska State Park with a couple of good friends.  Aside from enjoying the pretty trails and beautiful vistas (and wild blueberries,) we had a couple of really remarkable wildlife encounters, at least from our city slicker perspective.

First, rattlesnakes!  One was coiled up at the edge of our path near the park entrance, rattling away menacingly.  We gave it a wide berth by circling around into the brush on the opposite side of the trail.  Then, later in the day, we encountered another rattlesnake, this one in a more leisurely mood, slithering along a carriage road.

Rattler number two, a little more leisurely.

I have been hiking in the Hudson Valley for more than 20 years and never knew that rattlesnakes even existed in the region, let alone seen one.  To come across two in a single day was pretty gobsmacking . . . and very, very neat.  (It turns out that these are timber rattlers, which are threatened in New York State.)

Our new friends. This is NOT a close-up.

But the snakes weren’t even the top highlight.  While dipping our toes in Lake Awosting, we were surrounded by a group of curious and friendly ducks with no apparent fear of humans.  The swam around our dangling feet and then hopped out of the water to waddle up to us on our our rock ledge, happily quacking and chirping.  This went on for a good fifteen minutes, at least, before they lost interest — or realized we had no food to share.  One mama duck even brought her impossibly cute brood of five ducklings.

I would post the video of our duck/duckling encounter, except the accompanying audio is filled with curse words, uttered in tones of delighted disbelief.

Next time: lions, tigers, and bears.  (The last being at least remotely plausible.)



Keeping Track of Infrastructure Investments

Last December, the New Rochelle City Council approved a ten-year $150 million investment in capital and infrastructure priorities, the largest in our history.

Now you can keep track of our progress on this web-page, which lists the status of individual projects.  As you will see, many initiatives are still in design, but physical improvements will become more apparent in the months ahead as implementation gradually unfolds.

Infrastructure investments are essential to our quality of life, safety, economy, and property values, so I am proud of the City Council and Administration for taking this important step.


Depressing and Galvanizing

In case you missed it, the powerful piece about climate change in this week’s issue of New York Magazine is getting a lot of attention.

Among the overwhelming majority of scientists, there is no doubt whatsoever that climate change will be bad news for all us and especially for younger and future generations.  There is considerable uncertainty, however, about just how bad.  As a result, scholarly journals tend to be cautious and conservative in their statements and predictions, and many of us naturally hope that actual effects will prove less dire than the consensus, mid-range projections.

But as the New York piece argues persuasively, truly catastrophic scenarios are entirely possible – and not all that improbable.  It is both depressing and galvanizing.

Take a read, and then if you have kids or grandkids, take a good, long look at them.


Carbon Tax Forum on July 19th

Talk to economists about the most efficient way to promote clean, green energy, and they will almost universally recommend some form of carbon tax, which prices the negative externalities of greenhouse gas emissions into the marketplace.

To encourage community conversation about carbon taxes, Sustainable Westchester has organized a series of informational forums, including one in New Rochelle on July 19th at 7pm at City Hall.

If you’re interested, there is more information in this flyer.