RadioRotary interviews Robert Hawk Storm Birch, known primarily by his Native American name, Hawk Storm, given to him by his grandfather when he was five. The Schaghticoke Native Americans are struggling to win Federal recognition, although they have one of the oldest reservations in the U.S., located in Kent, Connecticut, just over the border from Dover, New York. The Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs only recognizes about 560 of the approximately a thousand indigenous tribes, which prevent the unrecognized from obtaining many services. Hawk Storm is working on improving the Schaghticoke Reservation in Kent with a cultural center, but he also is devoting time to helping the United Nations efforts on climate change and discrimination issues.
Susanne O’Neill, Program and Events Manager for Walkway over the Hudson, talks about the history and coming events at the longest, highest pedestrian bridge in the world, Poughkeepsie and Highland’s Walkway over the Hudson. This former railway connection between Dutchess and Ulster counties ceased operation after a fire in 1974, but in 2009, in connection with the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s historic first sail up the river, the bridge, now reconstructed as a pedestrian (and bicycle and rollerblade) walkway, opened to the public. It was an instant success with 50,000 visitors in the first week, and now draws about 500,000 per year. The Walkway is 1.28 miles long from gate to gate, and in addition to level entrances from each end, it is served by a 212-foot elevator a short walk from the Poughkeepsie Train Station.
Rotarians Barbara Blas and Barbara Cohen of the Kingston Sunrise Rotary Club visit RadioRotary to tell about the developing Reher Center for Immigration and Culture in the Roundout section of Kingston, NY. The project began when the Jewish Federation of Ulster County came into possession of the large building that previously housed the Reher Bakery, famous for its rolls, the only intact historical building in the Roundout. With help from state, federal, and local funding, the building has been stabilized and will soon have a permanent display of the history of immigrants in Kingston as well as other rooms for exhibits and lectures. The original bakery kitchen is also intact and will be able to be visited. The two Barbara’s also describe exhibits housed in the Stockade part of Kingston dealing with immigrant history in the city as well as several projects of the Sunrise club.
Jeffrey Urbin, Education Specialist at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, tells the RadioRotary audience about the history and recent renovations of the Library, which was the first presidential library in the United States, having been designed by Roosevelt himself in 1941. The new Library features new technology to make history come alive better for today’s visitors. Another change is that the Library now takes on the controversial issues of Roosevelt’s four terms, such as the development of the first nuclear weapons and FDR’s health issues. The program also features comments about the National Park Service building visitors can visit—Springwood, Top Cottage, and Val-Kill.