A Busy June - More to Come in July
A lot is happening at the YPRC. The Tuesday Evening members’ paddles and pot-luck dinners have drawn a crowd. Special thanks to House Captain Frank Horvath who organizes the weekly paddle, grill chef Arnie Adler, and paper-goods food wrangler Jody Ferguson and the many others who help out. There is always plenty to eat and drink after an energetic early evening paddle.
Skills class are going on with instructor Chevaughn Dixon and on Wednesday evenings with Jack Gilman. For those with a competitive spirit, there is a racing fitness class on Saturday mornings with Nancy Kalafus and Bob Morrow. Check the YPRC Calendar for trips led by Phil Giller and Lee Riser. The Manhattan Kayak Circumnavigation will take place on July 9 (You must have already registered to participate.)
7th Annual Yonkers Triyakathon
Get out your bike and put on your running shoes for the 7th Annual Yonkers Triyakathon on Saturday, July 16. We co-sponsor this event with the Yonkers Bike Club and it’s always a good time, including the beer afterwards. The cost is $30 and you can register at http://www.yonkersbikeclub.org/. For a limited number of YPRC members who volunteer to help with the kayaks, the registration fee is waived.
NO HELIPORT IN YONKERS!
Talk about asinine ideas! A helicopter ride business being chased out of NYC by angry residents wants to move to Yonkers and set up a helipad on the Hudson just north of the Ludlow Park neighborhood. The backwash from takeoffs and landings every 5 minutes would make paddling south on the river impossible. The noise would make living in the Ludlow community unbearable and bring to a screeching halt development of parks and property south along the river. YPRC members Bob Morrow, Paul Meisner and I testified at a City Council Public Hearing and along with several dozen others made clear what a bad idea this was. The City appears ready to ban heliports in Yonkers. If you live in Yonkers call your Council member and tell them what a terrible idea this is.
HARBOR ESTUARY PROGRAM VISITS YONKERS
Representatives of the NY-NJ Harbor Estuary Program spoke at CURB on June 23 and described their efforts to build awareness of the importance of the estuary to our communities, environment and economy. Among their goals are increasing public access to the waterfront and improving the health of the estuary. They have an information packed website with a great deal of information on the current status of the estuary and the potential impact of climate change. I encourage you to check it out: http://www.harborestuary.org/
STATUS OF THE COLLINS PROJECT
Initial construction efforts are proceeding on a residential tower just south of the Alexander Street Boathouse. Part of the City’s agreement with the tower’s developer is a commitment to replace the pier in front of the Boathouse. Initial plans called for a 20’ wide pier that would serve as a public walkway and a launch area for us. The State Department of Environmental Conservation rejected that plan. Without consulting either Westchester County or us, Collins re-submitted a proposal for a 10’ wide pier. Both we and the County have made clear that 10’ is clearly insufficient for either a walkway or launch area, let alone both. As of now a permit for a new pier is on hold while we, the County and Collins try to work out an acceptable solution. I want to thank ex-Commodore John Maggiotta who has participated with Vice -Commodore Phil Giller, Treasurer Peter Riley and myself in these various meetings and discussions. We will keep you posted.
Bill Dennison, Commodore
The 12th Annual Manhattan Kayak Circumnavigation will take place on Saturday, July 9, 2016 (Rain date: July 10, 2016). This annual kayak paddle around New York’s Manhattan Island will begin and end at either the Dyckman Street Beach on the Hudson River in Northern Manhattan, or the alternate launch and return site at the Englewood Boat Basin directly across the River in New Jersey.
From the first circumnavigation in 2004 organized and sponsored by Yonkers Paddling and Rowing Club members Steve Blumling and Jerry Blackstone, the event has grown each year. In 2015 we hosted the biggest ever with 157 paddlers from dozens of states, and from countries as far away as Germany and Brazil. The event was covered by WCBS-TV. The paddle has come to represent and celebrate the public’s increasing interaction with a more environmentally healthy New York City waterfront and Hudson River.
Support of the circumnavigation has broadened to include several other NYC area paddling organizations including the New York City Watertrail Association (NYCWTA), the Inwood Canoe Club (ICC), Long Island City Community Boathouse (LICCB), the Village Community Boathouse (VCB) and the Long Island Kayaking Enthusiasts (LIKE). Other support, including liability insurance, has been provided by the American Canoe Association (ACA).
Following last years Circ we asked for comments from participants and received dozens of enthusiastic reviews urging us to continue the event. We also received some very thoughtful comments on how to improve the on-water organization of the paddle. We have taken all the suggestions seriously in an effort to make the 2016 Circ the best ever.
The Circumnavigation is open to all who qualify based on their paddling abilities and experience. All participants must have a deck boat 14’ or longer. Club membership is not required and out-of-towners are welcome. Careful planning means that the tidal currents help rather than oppose the paddlers. Safety of the large group is enhanced via general marine radio use; safety boat and jet-ski escorts and Coast Guard notification. Kayakers can socialize, exercise and take pictures during this amazing 30 mile excursion around Manhattan Island.
Click here for more information about the 2016 Circ.
Dear YPRC Members,
On behalf of the YBRC Board I want to share with you some of the developments that have taken place over the last few months and what we expect for our Club in 2016. It’s going to be an eventful year, so please, read on!
Some Good News !
The City of Yonkers has been awarded a NY State grant for improvements along the Alexander Street corridor and we are slated to receive a share of that grant for improvements in the Clubhouse. We are already talking with architects about a complete facelift for the Club’s exterior, including new siding, windows and doors as well as new fencing along the northern end of the Club. It is indeed good news that Yonkers is willing to invest in the future of YPRC and make us a real part of a rejuvenated Yonkers downtown and waterfront. The confidence they have expressed in the Club’s future needs to be echoed by our own commitment to making the Club both financially stable and a more vital part of our community.
Membership Dues Increase
With that in mind and looking to build the kind of resources we will need for additional Club improvements in the coming years, the Board at its March meeting voted the following increases: Individual membership dues will go from $95 to $110/year. The family membership will go from $125 to $160/year. And, there will be a $10 increase in boat storage fees at Alexander Street. Because of City launch fees at JFK Marina, the Board felt any increase in storage fees there was not appropriate. I think all of us can agree that these are still very modest dues for the remarkable access to the Hudson that the YPRC provides.
And Much More For Club Members
This summer there will be a wide assortment of activities for Club Members including skill sessions, club sponsored trips as well as the regular Tuesday evening member’s paddle and pot-luck barbeque. Once again the YPRC will be the lead sponsor of the Manhattan Circumnavigation, tentatively set for July 9th. There will be the annual Triyakathon, a run, bike and kayak event co-sponsored with the Yonkers BIke Club, the Annual Mayor’s Cup and other special events that may include hosting paddling visitors from Scotland and possibly Hawaii.