Bay Ridge brings city water siphon to Staten Island

In the early years of New York, fresh water was available from an abundant ground water table that bathed land with creeks, streams, ponds, and two rivers. As manufacturing helped make Manhattan a place of commerce, those waterways became polluted and foul. One of the first major urban projects was building new water sources and draining the old.

In 2015, Bay Ridge residents are a little offended by a water project along a few blocks of Shore Road Park. The project is to construct a new city water siphon to Staten Island to replace existing ones in Bensonhurst and Bay Ridge. In the 1950’s, Bay Ridge was selected as a site for a bridge to Staten Island at the Narrows. Bay Ridge seems to be the site of many new water projects. What does this mean to Bay Ridge?

New York City has grown beyond capacity in the last century and clean water ha become a resource that many take for granted. Factories, stores and residents require more water while ground water became toxically polluted. Fortunately, the city reached out to bring water from over 100 miles away, along with various filter stations. Staten Island is in need of more water, especially after population growth following the construction of the Verrazano Bridge from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn to Staten Island. At Bay Ridge’ Shore Road, from around 85th to 83rd Street, a long project is set to bring Staten Island at least 3 million gallons per day of precious water supply.

Suitable drinking water was vital to early settlers in Manhattan and the Bronx, especially after a cholera epidemic occurred in Manhattan near the dawn of the 19th century. City leaders built a ceramic water tunnel (1839) to Westchester as a means of creating a watershed reservoir. They constructed a dam to the Croton River. As the city grew over the next 50 years (1882), a second, larger water tunnel made of cast-iron went to Westchester and a new, deeper Croton Dam.

When the Dutch and, later, the British, fought and settled New York, the coastlines and waterways were particularly attractive and important to sustain life. The unsettled lands had rich ground water tables from various streams and creeks at above and below sea level. In the early 19th-century, the borough of Kings (Brooklyn) and Queens were not part of New York City. They were added after the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge in 1898.

After Brooklyn and Queens joined the Greater New York, the city extended this second water tunnel to Brooklyn and Queens. The project concluded around 1935. Until then, many parts of Brooklyn were drawing water from polluted watersheds in the local area.

Since the 1950’s, New York has undergone a more ambitious project of constructing water tunnel number 3. It has a 72-inch diameter width compared to existing 36-inch and 42-inch pipes and is better constructed than the rusting, cast-iron pipes of 140 years ago. The pipe is surrounded by a 12-foot (144″) diameter tunnel for easier maintenance.

All of New York City’s high-quality drinking water is collected in protected reservoirs located up to 125 miles north of the city. From there it travels south through aqueducts where it enters City Water Tunnels Nos. 1, 2 and 3. Construction of water tunnel 3 will eventually replace older city water pipes.

Freshness of water supply is particularly sensitive in Bay Ridge history. The area was once known as Yellow Hook. A spread of Yellow Fever across the area in the mid-1800’s, precipitated the name change to Bay Ridge around 1853. Yellow fever is a result of being bitten by a female mosquito. Yellow Hook once shared tepid creeks and water sources that helped these mosquitos breed. Virtually all have been covered over as part of the city’s water main extension, completed in the 1930’s. There are also yellow-fever vaccines available.

Under grants from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the project is aided by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. The daunting project will require installation of those pipes to an underground (beneath the bay) tunnel for the mile stretch to a distribution center in Staten Island for 22 communities. DEP claims, ” No increased demand for community facilities in Brooklyn would be required and no existing community facilities within the study area would be directly impacted.”

While the project disrupts the beauty of the park on Shore Road for those 3 blocks, the significance of this project outweighs the inconveniences.

As with all government projects, the water siphon project was expected to be complete in 2014 at a cost of 250 million dollars. Thus far, the date has been delayed. This is sensible as the ambitious project began in 2013.

The project is a little more sophisticated than merely threading the water tunnel. The bay is 45-feet deep. To facilitate larger boats, an idea was to dredge the base of the bay to 50 feet. That move would have compromised the older pipes that were installed in 1917 and 1925.

The New York City Economic Development Corporation launched a project to replace them with a larger and deeper siphon. The project required boring a tunnel under full hydrostatic pressure, through highly variable clays and sands. The project was led by then Mayor Michael Bloomberg Mayor Mike Bloomberg said, “New York Harbor has been a critical part of our economy since the founding of our great city some 400 years ago. And if we want New York City’s economy to stay competitive, we must accommodate new mega-ships and their cargo. This investment in our infrastructure will spur economic activity all along our working waterfront.”

The significance and durability of a city requires the integrity of its maritime commerce and the replenishing quality of its water supply. We have witnessed many New York and New Jersey cities go bankrupt as they grew out-of-date for business development. Shore Road Park is a valued Bay Ridge asset. Promoting bay passage while bringing Staten Island access to city water seem sensible, as long a Bay Ridge preserves its precious waterfront.

While many Mayor Bloomberg’s pet city projects (WTC transit hub, 2nd Avenue Subway) have exceeded their completion dates, Bay Ridge residents generally support the project but hope the eyesore will go away soon. Effects from Hurricane Sandy may have contributed to the delays of installing this 100 foot deep pipe line.

Shore Road Park extends from 67 Street to 100 Street. A temporary 3-block interruption is a small price to help our neighbors across the bay with fresh city water. Residents hope there aren’t any lurid, unforeseen, after-effects. Above all, Shore Road Park is very precious to Bay Ridge residents and to its growth.

Some Bay Ridge residents seem to believe that Bay Ridge brings city water siphon to Staten Island but it is a project using multiple funding resources. The narrows are the narrowest points between Brooklyn and Staten Island. Ultimately, the creation of a deeper channel may promote better business and jobs for the Port Authorities of New York and New Jersey.

Old-time Bay Ridge residents weep how bridge construction marred the natural beauty of Bay Ridge. Bay Ridge residents have an idyllic coastline with recreational parks and great views. Will Bay Ridge continue to be the site of water projects? We hope this is the last one as Bay Ridge was geographically chosen as the site to bring city water siphon to Staten Island.

No sugar added not what you think

Got a sweet tooth? Sugars often get a bad reputation for being the instigator behind obesity, diabetes, cavities, and an entire set of conditions and sicknesses. There are often other reasons. Sugars are part of an essential family of nutrients that your body needs. They are called carbohydrates and consist of several types of sugars (simple carbohydrates), starches (complex carbohydrates), and fiber. Simple carbohydrates are those easily absorbed by the body for quick energy. Starches are absorbed at slower rates for more consistent, longer energy.Fiber is key to helping digestion; it helps the body move food through the digestive tract, reduces serum cholesterol, and contributes to disease protection. People are addicted to carbohydrates. Are processed food with no sugar added a healthy choice when avoiding excess consumption of carbohydrates?

Walk through the supermarket aisles an note how many foods have the words No Sugar Added. It’s a common marketing deception. It doesn’t mean that no sweetener was added. Those sweeteners are not listed as carbohydrates on most nutrition panels but they are listed ingredients. The two most popular are Aspartame and Sucralose. These can be more harmful than sugar.

Sugar is good for you but too much sugar has been negatively associated with mood swings, tooth decay, diabetes, and weight management.

Carbohydrates are found in grains (rice, wheat, etc.), fruits, vegetables, and legumes (lentils, peas, chickpeas, beans, soybeans and peanuts). Legumes add amounts of vegetable proteins and fats that are necessary nutrients to maintain your body’s muscles, cells, and other structural needs. None of these foods have cholesterol. Living on a vegan (all the above) diet will provide the necessary nutrients to energize and provide vitamins and phytonutrients.

Unprocessed foods that are rich in phytonutrients help provide support against diseases or conditions. There are over 1,000 phytonutrients in the various foods that are in a vegan diet.

As part of the standard nutritional panel, sugar is a carbohydrate, an essential ingredient your body needs for functioning. A carbohydrate consists 3 ways – sugars, starches, and fibers. There two more common sugars – sucrose (the powdered stuff you add to coffee and recipes) and fructose (derived from fruits and vegetables). Both help make the glucose that are essential for living. Foods with no sugar added sound healthy but they may also result in harming your body’s natural processing to create glucose. Your brain requires glucose for all those things you think about and do.

Simple carbohydrates include sugars found naturally in foods such as fruits, vegetables, milk, and milk products. They also include sugars added during food processing and refining. Complex carbohydrates include whole grain breads and cereals, starchy vegetables and legumes. Many of the complex carbohydrates are good sources of fiber. A combination of these are necessary as fuel for proper body function. High quantities are considered toxic so no added sugar appears to make sense. Does this make no sugar added foods make sense?

Carbohydrates are very necessary and dietary recommendations (RDA) are specified by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as outlined on nutritional panels of packaged foods. For a 150 pound individual, mostly sedentary, at middle age there are average RDA noted. The standard recommendation for carbohydrate is 45-65% of total calories. This means if 1800 calories are eaten each day, the recommended amount of carbohydrate is 202-292 grams based on 45-65% calories from carbohydrate. They are associated with calorie needs.

Calories are energy units that foods provide – some come from fat, protein, and carbohydrates. Eating calories is necessary for performing any activity, including autonomic activities within your body. Your gender, weight, age, and height factor into your minimum calorie requirement. If you are active, you require more calories. If you are sedentary, you need fewer calories. Wise consumption of calories is closely associated with weight maintenance, gain, or loss.

Calorie deprivation can kill you. Over long periods, calorie restriction can result in stress on your body’s required internal functions. Anyone trying to play with rapid or extreme weight loss by using calorie restriction, MUST do so with (and under advisement) of a qualified physician.

Added sugars to most processed foods escalate calories to meet applied marketing tastes. Making processed products that have no sugar added or sugar-free by substituting sugar and calories may be more harmful to your health.

No sugar added doesn’t necessarily translate to fewer carbohydrates. Many canned fruit juices and deserts claim that no sugar is added to the product and there’s 100% juice. Fruits have natural carbohydrate content. In a bottle of Cranberry Juice Cocktail, you will find other juices like Apple and Grape that have higher “natural” sugars that thrust carbohydrates per serving up, while the canned juice can claim that no sugar was added.

There are also natural sweeteners. One that is found in many “No Sugar Added” products is Stevia. Stevia is from a plant and has the approval from the USA Food and Drug Administration for use as a sweetener. Stevia contributes no calories and no carbohydrates, according to the way measurements are taken. If Stevia contributes no calories and adds sweetness from nature, why is it not as popular as sugar?

Stevia rebaudiana, is reportedly up to 250 times sweeter than sugar and contains virtually no calories but people don’t necessarily embrace Stevia as well as sugar.

Stevia has a bitter after taste that don’t correspond well with many sweet sensory receptors on your tongue. Cells, organs, and the brain thrive on certain amounts of glucose. Stevia may not provide that, although it contributes perceived natural sweetness in dietary research studies. While people suffering with sugar associated diabetes and obesity symptoms.

Splenda or sucralose is a popular non-caloric sweetener added to many foods. Sucralose is designed to sound like the most common form of sugar, sucrose. Sucralose is a synthetic method of playing with sucrose. Sucrose is a naturally occurring sugar, a caloric carbohydrate. Sucralose, on the other hand, is an artificial sweetener, produced in a lab. A technical combines 3 sucrose molecules by adding chlorine to make trichlorosucrose, so the chemical structures of the two sweeteners are related, but not identical. The addition of Chlorine removes sucralose from the family of carbohydrates and caloric values. While it offers sweetness to the taste, some feel it has a sour aftertaste. That’s the chlorine – a toxic chemical used to whiten washed clothes or clean your swimming pool. Sucralose was patented and tested, first approved for use as a non-nutritive sweetener in Canada. It is marketed as Splenda.

Another popular sweetener is Aspartame and is marketed as NutraSweet and Equal. Aspartame is a common sweetener additive to sodas, fruit drinks, and other products. It is an artificial substance that claims to be as much as 200-times sweeter than sucrose. Aspartame, available since the 1960’s, is not a carbohydrate and does not add calories. Aspartame is made by joining together the amino acids aspartic acid and phenylalanine. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and are found naturally in many foods.

Every so often there is a research study that claims Aspartame consumption may be involved in the formation of cancer but many tests use small samples or inappropriate dosing of animals. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set recommendations for Aspartame. The FDA has set the ADI (Average Daily Intake) for aspartame at 50 milligrams per approximately 2 pounds of body weight. That means if you weigh 150 pounds, the FDA allows 0.5 grams of consumption. Unfortunately, there are virtually no products that list Aspartame content per serving on any packaging.

For dieters, however, Aspartame is a no sugar added winner. Grape Juice has about 150 calories per serving and 40 grams of carbohydrates. Aspartame Diet Grape Juice has about 5 calories per serving and 5 to 15 grams of carbohydrates, depending how much juice is actually in the drink. Soda, the most popular beverage, There are about 90 calories per 8-ounce serving of Coca Cola and 25 grams of carbohydrates. Aspartame-laced Coca Cola Zero (aimed at dieters) delivers 0 calories and 0 carbohydrates. There is no sugar added to Coke Zero but is it diet-friendly?

The problem is soda should not be drunk by the liters. It is not water. The lack of carbohydrates and necessary sugar your body needs will keep initiate hunger. The potential to snack and eat poorly may result in weight gain, a study suggests.

No sugar added partners with Sugar-Free through the use of sugar alcohols that are found in chewing gum, chocolates, cookies, and cakes. Sugar alcohols commonly found in foods are sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, isomalt, and hydrogenated starch hydrolysates (found in sugar-free protein bars and supplements). You might find sugar alcohols in fruits and berries, but those naturally occurring sugars are sent to the lab.. The carbohydrate in these plant products is altered through a chemical process. These sugar substitutes provide somewhat fewer calories than adding table sugar (sucrose).

No sugar added is a short-cut to dieting and may help diabetics control blood sugar levels. Dieters seeking lower carbohydrate solutions calculate actual Net Carbs by subtracting fiber grams from Total Carbohydrates. This formula is used in the Atkin’s Diet or as ketosis – but these diets shun carbohydrates.

Your body and you love carbohydrates. Carbohydrate-based calories deliver energy in most parts of the globe. The nutrition panels of processed or packaged foods list amounts of carbohydrates per serving. Choosing the right foods will provide the calories you need for your activity.

Common sense dictates that (to provide adequate energy throughout the day through carbohydrate calorie consumption) eat breakfast like a king (queen), lunch like a prince (princess), and dinner like a pauper. Following these guidelines may help you achieve a healthy weight without compromising energy.

In the USA, we have been programmed to eat more at dinner than breakfast. Breakfast is your most important meal. Hectic commuting schedules incite judgment errors avoiding the day’s requirements without a full tank of valued calories. Your energy often is as important as what you wear. Alas, United States reserves big meals for dinner. Ever consider doing away with Thanksgiving dinner and doing a Thanksgiving breakfast?

No sugar added is not what you think. Products with no sugar added don’t taste the same and aren’t necessarily absorbed as well. If you are aiming at weight loss, diet and activity are the age-old truths. It’s not a quick-fix process. You can eat and have your cake too (just a bite instead of a slice). Adapting to your optimum calorie consumption through a vegan diet, using a good calorie calculator can help you reach your goals. Eating well, keeping healthy and attractive are your responsibilities. There are no short cuts. Avoid processed foods with No Sugar Added.