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Upcoming Local Events

Tuesday, February 27th

Friday, March 2nd

Wednesday, March 7th

Wednesday, March 14th

Saturday, March 17th

Wednesday, March 21st

Monday, March 26th

Wednesday, March 28th

Global IMC Network

Amazon: Resisting the Monopoly

February 16, 2018 by imc-editor

It is becoming harder and harder to have a locally owned business and as a consumer, to buy local. Amazon is now the default for many shoppers and is rubbing out any competition be it local or national. An article in The Nation details the many ways the Amazon stacks the deck against entrepreneurs. And, as progressively minded citizens know, local dollars tend to stay local and help the local economy much more than money spent in big box stores, and certainly in online stores. Amazon affiliates with smaller entrepreneurs but, as this article details, at increasingly unfavorable terms. Now we need to support alternatives even if they are a bit more inconvenient or expensive. For instance, is an online bookseller affiliated with small businesses all over and they have great service, support the little guy.  Is it possible to get along without Amazon?  Let's find out!

Economic Development: Does It Add Up?

February 11, 2018 by imc-editor

Maybe it’s me, but it just doesn’t add up.  What I’m referring to is our Regional Economic Development Council (REDC).  I was never good at math, but I can do arithmetic. In the 2017 Progress Report for our REDC (Pg. #20) there are two tables.  Using these tables I found the following: In the six years between 2011 and 2016 we committed $276,028,945 of State funding. Based on this investment, we created 2,219 jobs.  If I simply divide the number of jobs created by the dollars invested, that is $124,393.40 per job.

If I look at this differently, these tables also show how these State dollars leveraged private investment.  These leveraged funds generated 460 projects totaling $1.444 billion.  It also quantifies the number of jobs retained by these investments (16,077).    So the total number of jobs created and retained is 18,296. This arithmetic ($1.444 billion divided by 18,296 jobs) yields a cost per job of $78,847.56. Does that seem high to you?  It does to me!

Now here is my problem.  In a recent needs assessment commissioned by the Community Foundation of South Central NY (Oct. 2015) and prepared by Horn Research LLC revealed the following: Of the five counties surveyed (Broome, Chenango, Delaware, Otsego and Tioga) Broome County had the highest number of people living in poverty 17.4%. This is an increase from 2000, when it was 12.8%. It is worth noting that the Statewide Poverty Rate is 15.6% and the National Poverty Rate in 2016 was 12.7% (US Census Bureau).  Of those living in poverty, children are the largest affected population. In Broome Co. 25.3% of children (under 18) live in poverty.  This is an increase from 2000 when the number was 15.9%. Coupled with this, pockets of high childhood poverty exist. In the City of Binghamton 47.3% of our children live in poverty.

Now, if we consider those living above the poverty level, but not making anything near the “Household Survival Budget” (United Way) the picture is even bleaker.  United Way has coined a new acronym, ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed).  These are folks who make more than the US Poverty Level ($11,670 for an individual and $23,850 for a family of four).  The Household Survival Budget reflects a need of $19,380 for individuals and $56,964 for a family of four.  In Broome County these ALICE individuals represent 26% of our population. So if we combine those living in poverty (17.4%) and the ALICE population (26%) approximately 43% of Broome Co. residents are struggling to survive.

We need jobs!  We need gainful and meaningful employment.  To achieve this we need a real dialogue among all concerned stakeholders.  This would be similar to the recent collaborative efforts to address our Opiod crisis.  We need a new approach to how we do economic development, including who should be at the table.  Clearly the numbers do not add up!

by Mark D. Bowers


Smartphone Photo Contest and Exhibit

February 3, 2018 by pegjohnston

First Ever Local Smartphone Photo Contest/Exhibit and Activities at Cooperative Gallery

The first-ever local Smartphone Photo Contest and Exhibit will open First Friday March 2nd at the Cooperative Gallery 213 and run until March 24th. According to Peg Johnston, curator of the show, “Smartphone photos are ubiquitous on social media and at all gatherings, and I am curating this show to see the best of our smartphone pictures on the wall of a gallery.”

In advance of the Smartphone Photo Contest and Exhibit at the Cooperative Gallery, fine art photographer JW Johnston shares techniques to produce smartphone images worthy of a gallery wall.  During his free, 90-minute presentation J.W. introduces you to image capture and editing apps he uses and shows how to apply photographic technical and creative fundamentals when using your phone. Johnston (no relation) is a professional photographer and instructor at SUNY Broome; his website is at

Participating photographers will gather for a Gallery Tour including brief presentations by entrants and lots of tech talk. The announcement of winners of People’s Choice and other Judges’ Choice awards at 1 pm on Saturday March 17th.  The public is welcome.

The Smartphone Photo Contest and Exhibit is an open themed show and there will be cash prizes including People’s Choice as well as Judge’s Choice. The drop off for entries to the Smartphone Photo Contest/Exhibit is Feb 24-25, 12-4 pm each day at the Cooperative Gallery 213 State St. Binghamton. Each person may submit up to 3 photos and the entry fee is $10 per photo with proceeds split between cash prizes for winners and a donation to the Dept. of Public Art. Photos must be ready to hang on the wall and may be offered for sale; sales are subject to 20% commission to the Gallery. More info and registration at or watch for updates on the Facebook Event at Cooperative Gallery 213.

The Cooperative Gallery, a popular stop on the First Friday Art Walk, located at Artists Row --State of the Art, at 213 State Street in Binghamton, is open on First Friday 3- 9 pm and regularly Fridays from 3-6 and Saturdays from 12- 4 pm.  A free weekly e-newsletter is available by signing up at or on Facebook  at Cooperative Gallery 213.

Women's March Huge

January 21, 2018 by pegjohnston

March organizers estimates 2500 participants at the anniversary of last year's Women's March protesting the inauguration of Donald Trump as President and his regressive agenda. Ironically, on the first anniversary of his inauguration the US government is shut down, a fact not lost on the crowd Saturday. At the post March gathering at the First Presbyterian Church overflow crowds vowed to get out the women's vote and elect more women, in line with the national agenda of the Women's March Committee.

Local groups such as Citizen Action, Indivisible, NAACP, Family Planning, and PLOT tabled at the event and will campaign for a progressive agenda, including the defeat of Claudia Tenney, conservative Republican Congresswoman for this district.

Women's Suffrage Exhibit at BU

January 10, 2018 by pegjohnston

Vote for Woman Suffrage! Commemorating 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage in New York State, 1917-2017 exhibit explores the suffrage movement from the Seneca Falls Convention to the fight by suffrage organizations in the Triple Cities for the woman’s right to vote. Items from the re-enactment of the 1913 Binghamton suffrage parade and the 2017 Women’s March will be on display as well.

Vote for Woman Suffrage! exhibit is located in the Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives Department in Bartle Library. The exhibit will be on display from November 15, 2017 through January 31, 2018. Special Collections is open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

For additional information about the exhibit, contact the University Archivist Yvonne Deligato at 777-6459 or

7th Bob Johnston Photography Competition Winners

January 5, 2018 by pegjohnston

  Joshua Lasky with his Judge's Choice winner for his photo "State and Monument"         

           The Cooperative Gallery 213 and the Two Rivers Photography Club are sponsoring the 7th Bob Johnston Photography Show and Competition January 5-27th, 2018. “Now in its seventh year, this Photo Competition has attracted 97  incredible photographs in both black and white and color,” according to Bill Gorman of the Cooperative Gallery. “We are very excited to welcome back Chuck Haupt, a professional photographer, formerly with the Press and Sun Bulletin and a current gallery member, as this year’s judge.”  See Channel 34's interview with Chuck Haupt at

            A reception for the photographers, friends, and the public will take place January 5th at the First Friday Art Walk from 6-9, with gallery hours starting at 3 pm that day. Prizes and cash awards for the winners will be announced at First Friday, January 5th at 7:00 pm at a reception for the artists and the public. The Exhibit will be open Fridays 3-6 pm, Saturdays 12-4 pm and by appointment until January 27th.

            Richard E. Lee has won Best of Show with “Gioia con Bolle di Sapone” (“Joy with Soap Bubbles”), a delightful black and white photo of a child on an Italian street blowing soap bubbles. Haupt has awarded  two Judge’s Choice in both Color and Black and White photographs.  Lesli VanZandbergen won for her color photo “Mini Vac” and Joshua Lasky for his local architectural photo “State and Monument.” In Black and White, Greg Chianis won for his “Le Luce” of light outlining a door and Sandra Kirker for “Adirondack Mist.”

            The following were awarded an Honorable Mention: “Conscientious Canines” by Fr. James Dutko; “Tranquility” by Jessica Fridrich; “Wondering What’s Inside” by Dan Harendza;  “Early Morning Adirondacks” by D. Duke Holdsworth; “Dyrolasey Promontory” by Geoffrey Gould; “Painted Tulip” by Sandra Kirker; “Morning Stroll” by Deb Rockefeller;" “Poppies” by Carol Saggese; “Last Moon 2017” by Bill Schumacher; “Cumberland Sleeps” by Mary Lou Shapinas; “Lumanated Courthouse” by Kirk VanZandbergen; “The Road Less Traveled” by Lesli VanZandbergen.

                  The Competition is named for Bob Johnston, a lifelong photographer and a gallery member who died in 2010. “Bob Johnston was an ‘Ansel Adams’ kind of photographer who worked mostly in black and white film and favored both urban and natural landscapes,” said Bill Gorman, also a photographer. Bob Johnston defined a good photo this way: “For me, the successful photograph is one in which both the abstract elements and the subject matter of the image reinforce each other to provide an emotional experience for the viewer.”

            The Two Rivers Photography Club has monthly meetings, skill building sessions, and competitions throughout the year. The Cooperative Gallery, a popular stop on the First Friday Art Walk, located at 213 State Street in Binghamton, is open on First Friday 3- 9 pm and regularly Fridays from 3-6 pm and Saturdays from 12- 4 pm. Find us on Facebook at Cooperative Gallery 213 and sign up for a weekly e-newsletter on our website at or on Facebook.


Call for papers: Perspectives on Broome County Area History Conference

January 3, 2018 by pegjohnston

Conference date: Saturday, April 21, 2018
at the Bundy Museum of History and Art
129 Main St. Binghamton, New York 13905
Sponsored by: Bundy Museum of History and Art
The rich and complex history of Broome County has long attracted attention from a diverse array of researchers and citizens. In recent years, the area’s local history scene has become more accessible and vibrant than ever. Adding to well-drawn biographies of notable residents and surveys of important institutions, recent work has examined local ethnic and racial history, women’s experiences, environments and ecologies, class relations, art and architecture, social movements, immigrants and immigration, and indigenous life, among many other topics.

Yet, researchers and audiences interested in these various threads of local history have often remained disconnected. This one-day conference seeks to gather those threads together and start new conversations by providing an opportunity to share work on Broome County history across multiple fields, perspectives, and methods. This event will be free and open to the public.
We are seeking a wide range of histories and historians. Submissions from amateur enthusiasts, family historians, K-12 teachers, preservationists, high school and college students, professional historians, storytellers, librarians, and museum employees, are all enthusiastically welcome. Papers on any aspect of Broome County’s history, from any time period, will be considered.
To apply, please submit a paper abstract (200-250 words) and your contact information by March 15, 2018. Abstracts and inquiries should be sent to
Registration and attendance are free.
We are looking for event co-sponsors. If your institution is interested in sponsoring this event, please contact


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