Monday, November 29, 2010

Baby news

I was feeling a little sorry for myself this weekend, being 35 weeks pregnant and uncomfortable sitting, standing, and lying on my side...until I read that African elephants are pregnant for 22 MONTHS. Their calves are between 175 and 250 lbs, and nurse for 4 to 5 years, or until the next calf is born.

On the plus side, they don't have a 20% copay on their medical insurance, so they won't be in debt immediately after giving birth.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Grants for Newburgh

I came across three grant opportunities recently that I thought some organization in Newburgh would be interested in. One is for the City of Newburgh - maybe someone in the Planning and Development Office would be interested in applying?

Project Orange Thumb
Sponsored by Fiskars, 10 winners will receive $5,000 in cash and tools to support neighborhood beautification through community gardening, and one winner will receive a complete community garden makeover. The deadline to apply is December 31, 2010.

IBM Smart Cities Challenge
The application for the Smarter Cities Challenge must be signed by an executive officer of a municipality or local government, whose title varies by location – for example, s/he may be the mayor, city manager, chief administrative officer, county manager, county executive, etc. The most successful proposals will:
  • Describe 1-3 potential problems or opportunities to address with the grant

  • Provide clear, compelling evidence that the city is well positioned to utilize the resources offered in the Smarter Cities Challenge

  • Outline how a grant of IBM talent and technology has the potential to substantially enhance the city's capacity to act on key issues

  • Highlight recent efforts to develop innovative solutions to public problems, including any initiatives to implement new technologies or open data policies

  • Demonstrate the city is ready to match IBM's investment with its own commitment of time and talent, including access to the city agencies and personnel relevant to the project
The deadline to apply is December 31, 2010.

JPMorgan Chase
The bank supports non-profits in communities where there is a Chase presence, and Newburgh definitely fits. You have to root around on the website a little to get the full scope of what they will support, but briefly, they support green initiatives (green building, green jobs, sustainable development), employment training, affordable housing, education, and arts and culture. I've included wording directly from their website:

Targeting Challenged Neighborhoods

The JPMorgan Chase Foundation directs the majority of its time, attention and investment toward specific neighborhoods in cities where we have major operations. These neighborhoods are typically among the most challenged areas of major urban centers, defined by unacceptably high rates of poverty and historic disinvestment. JPMorgan Chase works to lead a renaissance in the neighborhood, by engaging the most qualified non-profit organizations, neighborhood residents, and other sources of public and private advocacy and funding.

The firm's philanthropic investment in these targeted neighborhoods is predominantly focused in three centers of excellence:

Community Development

Our strategic focus is to work with community-based partners to address issues related to poverty and social exclusion by building economic infrastructure, promoting self-sufficiency, and supporting efforts to narrow social inequities.

What we support:

  1. Resident-focused programming that addresses: workforce development; asset building, and financial literacy:
    • Continuing Education Courses
    • Adult Literacy Outreach
    • Job Training
    • Money Management Basics
    • Credit Repair
    • EITC Workshops
    • Homeownership / Homebuyer Workshops
    • Foreclosure Prevention
  2. Community-focused programming that addresses: economic development and affordable housing:
    • Economic Planning
    • Small Business Technical Assistance & Financing
    • Job Creation
    • Affordable Housing Development & Preservation


Our strategic focus is to ensure that all children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, have access to high quality educational opportunities with a particular focus on K-12 public schools that help them acquire the knowledge and skills needed to be productive, engaged students.

What we support:

  1. Development of instructional leaders
  2. Implementation of innovative curricula
  3. Deepen teacher content knowledge
  4. Strengthening of instructional strategies
  5. Strengthening district capacity to support innovation
  6. Extending learning opportunities
  7. College access initiatives
  8. Dissemination of best practices

Arts & Culture

Our strategic focus is to increase community access to rich cultural resources that foster creativity, promote self-expression, celebrate diversity, and strengthen our environment.

What we support:

  1. Arts programs in schools and after school
  2. Build capacity of community-based arts institutions
  3. Broaden access to artistic excellence and diversity by partnering with major arts and culture groups

Monday, November 1, 2010

Working Weekend

Fall! The scenery is gorgeous right now, and we enjoyed it on a leisurely drive through Cornwall-on-Hudson/Storm King/West Point following Route 218. It was so hard to motivate ourselves to work on the house, but we finally did.

First, we scraped a paint sample from the side of the house, and matched it at Home Depot. Then we set to work covering the graffiti on the three sides of the house.



The last square:

Then we decided to plant some shrubs in the front yard. We planted two limelight hydrangeas, two asters, and two...shrubs.




Admittedly, I didn't do much since gardening is backbreaking work! ...and the whole congenital toxoplasmosis thing. Sometime soon, we'll get a grinder and remove the iron fence. We'd love to save it, but it's too far gone.

And finally, Halloween! We didn't get ANY trick-or-treaters, so the only person Eddie could scare was me.