The Newtown Pentacle

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A number of “Things to do” have materialized of late, so it is time for your Newtown Pentacle calendar of April events and/or fun things to do.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There are a whole lot of things in the planning phases which I can’t tell you about yet, but suffice to say that this should be an amazing summer. Diversions on land and water will soon be announced, including boat tours of Newtown Creek and the greater harbor beyond.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

First up, today there will be a protest in Manhattan concerning recent City plans- via

Rally to oppose Thermal “Waste-to-Energy” Facilities

April 9th, 2012

On Monday, April 9th at 10am,  environmental justice groups, environmental organizations, community leaders and elected officials from Brooklyn, the Bronx and Manhattan will rally to oppose the Bloomberg administration’s plan for thermal “Waste-to-Energy” facilities (a.k.a. incinerators). Two of the proposed sites for this facility are on the shores of Newtown Creek, and our communities host 40% of the city’s waste transfer facilities, so we are adding our voice to the cause. Click here for our previous post on the issue, and download two fact sheets on Waste-to-Energy here and here.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Secondly, from

All About Tugs—Inside the Tugboat Industry

Tuesday, April 17 at 6.p.m.

Special evening program will feature documentary films with commentary by tug captains and crew presenting an insider’s look at the tugboat industry—its colorful history, present-day work, and vital importance.

Community Church of New York, 40 East 35th Street, Manhattan

Tickets are $25 ($20 for seniors). They can be purchased at and include a reception with food, beer, wine and other beverages.

New York, NY, April 2, 2012 — Everybody loves tugboats, those iconic little workhorses that push ships ten times their size through narrow waterways and tow barges laden with fuel oil through busy harbors. “It is like the “Little Engine That Could,” or the mouse that pulled the thorn out of the lion’s paw,” said filmmaker Tom Garber, whose documentary, Tugging Through Time: The History of New York Harbor Tugboats, will be featured, The Working Harbor Committee (WHC), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to educating the public about the history and present-day importance of the Port of New York and New Jersey, is sponsoring the presentation. Since 2002 WHC has taken more than 20,000 people on Hidden Harbor® boat tours to visit behind-the-scenes waterfront places that most people never get the chance to see. “Tugboats are always the biggest hit,” said Captain John Doswell, the organization’s executive director. WHC also runs the annual New York Harbor Tugboat Race. “People always ask what it is like to be on board. Our ‘All About Tugs’ program will answer that question.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Third, also from

Earth Day BYO Picnic Lunch at the Newtown Creek Nature Walk

Sunday, April 22nd at 1 p.m.

Come join in for this casual celebration of the victory that is the Newtown Creek Nature Walk. Bring your own brown bag lunch and join the Newtown Creek champions who worked hard for years to win this unique waterfront park.

Sunday, April 22nd at the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant Nature Walk between 1pm – 2pm.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Fourth, another NCA event, which I for one am pretty stoked about:

April NCA meeting hosts Dr. Eric Sanderson

April 26, 2012 at 6pm

Ridgewood Democratic Club, 
6070 Putnam Avenue, 
Ridgewood, NY 11385

In addition to important updates from our members – in particular the Bioremedition Workgroup has been very busy! – we will be hosting a special presentation on the “Historical Ecology of Newtown Creek”.

Dr. Eric Sanderson, senior conservation ecologist at the Wildlife Conservation Society and author of “Mannahatta:  A Natural History of New York City” (Abrams, 2009), will describe recent studies of the historical ecology of Newtown Creek, describing the original wetlands, creek channels, topography and vegetation of the area.  He will show a series of 18th and 19th century maps of the watershed of the creek and discuss the process of synthesizing them into an integrated ecological picture that can be used to inform and inspire natural restoration and cultural appreciation of the Newtown Creek watershed.  This work is part of the Welikia Project (, an investigation into the historical ecology of the five boroughs of New York City and surrounding waters.


Obscura Day 2012, Thirteen Steps around Dutch Kills

April 28th, 10 a.m.

Your humble narrator will be narrating humbly at this year’s Obscura Day event on April 28th, leading a walking tour of Dutch Kills. The tour is already half booked up, and as I’m just announcing it, grab your tickets while you can.

“Found less than one mile from the East River, Dutch Kills is home to four movable (and one fixed span) bridges, including one of only two retractible bridges remaining in New York City. Dutch Kills is considered to be the central artery of industrial Long Island City and is ringed with enormous factory buildings, titan rail yards — it’s where the industrial revolution actually happened. Bring your camera, as the tour will be revealing an incredible landscape along this section of the troubled Newtown Creek Watershed.”

For tickets and full details, click here :

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