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Written by West Side Spirit on . Posted in Notes From the Neighborhood west side spirit, West Side Spirit.


Compiled by Megan Bungeroth and Alex Mikoulianitch
FRESH PRODUCE  DELIVERED TO SENIORS
Through a program sponsored by Council Member Gale Brewer’s office, local seniors are able to participate in a unique farm-to-table produce delivery service that will run through the end of October this year. Seniors are able to sign up for the Westside Senior Supported Agriculture Food Bag Program to receive bags of fresh, locally grown produce for $8 and can opt in on a weekly basis, as opposed to traditional Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs that require a full season’s payment up front. Orders are taken on Monday and Tuesdays between 10 and 11:30 a.m., and bags are delivered on the following Thursdays from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in the lobby of Goddard Riverside, 593 Columbus Ave. The next order dates are Sept. 10 and 11, with delivery on Sept. 20. Participants can expect a mixed bag of fruits and vegetables—a typical bag might contain corn, carrots, grape tomatoes, plums or peaches. For more information, contact Council Member Brewer’s District Office at 212-873-0282 or gale.brewer@council.nyc.gov.

BIRCH COFFEE TO OFFER BEER AND BOOKS
Popular java spot Birch Coffee, in the Flatiron District, will soon be opening its second location in the heart of the Upper West Side.
Thor High Street Advisors, a leasing company that worked with Birch, announced that the new 1,200-square-foot Columbus Avenue coffee shop will also feature a craft beer bar and a community library, all packed into one space.

“For its second Manhattan location, Birch Coffee required a location that was high-profile and high-traffic—but with a feel that embodied neighborhood and community,” broker Kyle Allen said in a statement. “The Upper West Side’s laid-back, sophisticated vibe, specifically the Columbus Avenue area just steps from the park, makes this an ideal match.”
The shop will be on Columbus Avenue between 96th and 97th streets.

GROUP RALLIES BEHIND TEACHERS ON UWS
City & State reports that more than 50 people rallied last week against StudentsFirstNY, a political group launched earlier this year to push for charter schools, for making it easier to lay off teachers and for other education policy changes.

Carrying signs saying “StudentsFirstNY = Billionaire$ Fir$t” and “Fat Cats – Get Your Dirty Paws Off Our Schools,” demonstrators gathered along Central Park West outside the Manhattan residence of StudentsFirstNY board member and hedge fund manager Dan Loeb.

Cynthia Williams, a parent leader with the Coalition for Educational Justice, claimed that StudentsFirstNY would push for “more standardized testing, more privatization and more school closings and more budget cuts.”

“StudentsFirstNY says they are a union for students, but we know the truth,” Williams said. “They are really a club for billionaires who don’t represent the voice of the student, the voice of the parent and the voices of community.”

Glen Weiner, the deputy executive director of StudentsFirstNY, dismissed the “silly stunts” and called for “meaningful and substantive dialogue.”

Espaillat Brings the UWS to Fracking Fields
Last Sunday, a group of about 50 Upper West Side residents piled into a bus and took off for the remote fields of Montrose, Penn. The group went to see firsthand the areas of the Marcellus Shale, the rock shelf that spreads across the tri-state area from underneath which most of New York City’s water supply derives, where hydraulic fracturing is being performed. Governor Cuomo is considering allowing limited hydrofracking in New York, and Espaillat has been a strong opponent of opening up any areas of the state for drilling

“We organized this trip because it’s important to observe the hydrofracking process first-hand, especially because the issue is being hotly debated in New York. Seeing how fracking affects the environment where it’s being conducted and the families who live there will has helped us to better understand,” said Espaillat.

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