The community of the Kingston City School District took a step forward on Tuesday, approving the high school bond by a slim, but not razor-thin, margin. In a time when school building bonds have a tough time getting by (Highland’s and Arlington’s both went down), more voters than not showed they have some vision, faith and courage. True, it’s a long-term investment that the kids currently in high school will never see the fruits of. But Kingston’s not going anywhere; absent a plague, really bad toxic train wreck or zombie army invasion, there will be children to educate for many years to come. They are the ones who’ll really benefit from this, and on behalf of them, their parents and their children, I thank you again.
We had a poll on our website about the bond; the count when I closed it on Tuesday afternoon was 52 votes (51 percent) no and 50 votes (49 percent) yes. The results in the only poll that counted were 52.1 percent yes and 47.9 percent no. Not sure what to divine from the discrepancy, other than maybe the Internet presents a slightly grumpier take on things? Anyway, thanks to all who took the time to vote in our poll and at the polls.
Another benefit from this getting approved is the ability for the district to move on to its other challenges. Instead of having to go back to the drawing iPad to come up with another high school bond, the trustees and staff can concentrate on improving early childhood education (like bringing back the program for 3-year-olds at GW), carefully scrutinizing the Common Core to both educate about its strengths and mitigate its weaknesses and do a better job of listening to and incorporating parent input into the system. The district’s on the right track — let’s keep the train rolling so Kingston’s schools become one of the best selling points to people looking for a place to live and raise their families.
I didn’t get a chance to address this last week, but I want to express my gratitude to all who came out to the Anchor on Nov. 30 for our benefit showcase for Kingston Cares. We all had a lot of fun, rocked out to the utter freaking maximum and raised over $600 for a very worthy effort.
All hail Sinkholia!
Usually press releases in the paper get rewritten to at least some extent, but in this case, I’m just going to present this curious bit of information as I got it and allow you all to draw your own conclusions:
“A few homeowners in Kingston, N.Y., have taken drastic action in the ongoing saga of the Kingston sinkhole. They are seceding from the city and have declared their neighborhood the People’s Republic of Sinkholia. Sinkholia Supreme Council Leader Bif Scully says it’s a bold move but after being held hostage longer then the American hostages were held in Iran, (444 days; we are in over 500) something had to give. There will be challenges ahead such as trash pickup but with the shaft over 85 feet deep, there should be plenty of room. ‘We’ll let our grandchildren worry about that,’ Scully said. “Their constitution is quaint. ‘Mow your lawn, rake your leaves and if you borrow sugar, return in kind.’ Already they have received greetings from overseas. Pope Francis dropped them a note pledging his solidarity with ‘street people’ everywhere. When the hole was as quiet as the grave for 22 weeks in 2013, they knew they were on their own.
“‘The Kingston Common Council gathered like one of those climatic moments in an action movie where everybody looks at each other and the hero bursts into the room with a miracle solution … yeah that never happened. No hero showed up.’
“Scully went on to say they had considered raising revenue by holding a haunted sinkhole tour at Halloween, but the hole is always scary; Christmas, Easter and the Fourth of July. The residents do like the quiet of the cul-de-sink, though. ‘It’s so quiet you can hear the water and sewer lines rupturing all over town,’ Scully said.”
Working on this for next week
Hey, lookie what’s in Gov. Cuomo’s economic development swag press release, received just in time for this editorial: “$1,500,000 for the Kingston Connectivity Project to make necessary infrastructure improvements to enhance the community’s quality of life. The Kingston Connectivity Project will create a more livable, vibrant community with the implementation of a rail trail network that will be designed and constructed to provide safe, universally accessible alternatives for bicyclists, pedestrians and other non-motorized means. The project will reduce fossil fuel emissions, encourage physical activity, and reduce traffic congestion.”
This is all great stuff, unless you’re a fan of the Catskill Mountain Railroad’s in-city operation, in which case I suspect you can read this as “Surrender Dorothy.” (In case you missed a previous editorial, I am in favor of the CMRR concentrating their efforts up the line in the woodlands and leaving the city part for conversion into a rail trail. They will not do this voluntarily, but the clock ticks on their lease.) Tune into next week’s paper for more.