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Upcoming Local Events

Wednesday, April 1st

Thursday, April 2nd

Friday, April 3rd

Friday, April 10th

Saturday, April 11th

Tuesday, April 14th

Friday, April 17th

Friday, April 24th

Friday, May 1st

Friday, May 8th

Global IMC Network

Panel discussion on law enforcement and minority communities

Date: 
03/05/2015 - 5:00pm
Location: 
Decker Health Building, SUNY Broome, Front St. Binghamton NY

From protests over the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown to the #BlackLivesMatter movement on social media, the relationship between law enforcement and communities of color has become a focus of national dialog and media coverage.

Learn how the local community stands on the issues at a panel discussion and open forum from 5 to 7 p.m. March 5 in SUNY Broome’s Decker Health Sciences Building Room 201.

Binghamton University to host NYS LGBTQ Pride and Joy Families Weekend Conference

February 25, 2015 by pegjohnston

BINGHAMTON, NY – Binghamton University’s Lesbian and Gay Family Building Project and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program will host the 2015 Pride and Joy Families Weekend Conference Friday, March 20 through Sunday, March 22, at the Holiday Inn Arena and University Downtown Center in Binghamton, N.Y. The conference is open to the public. Registration is required.

A pre-conference educational program will be held for health and human service professionals, students and the general community. Goldberg will address “Contemporary Families: Lesbian-and Gay-Parent Families Across the Life Cycle and Implications for Practice” at 11:30 a.m. Friday, March 20, in room 220A, at the Binghamton University Downtown Center. The pre-conference event is free and open to the public. Registration is required. Note: There are various scholarships and partial registrations available.

“Pride and Joy Families Weekend Conferences are a wonderful opportunity for adults and children in LGBTQ* families to experience a sense of community, celebrate together, and find the support and resources they need to lead fuller, healthier lives,” said Claudia  Stallman, project director for the Lesbian and Gay Family Building Project.

“Conference organizers also warmly welcome LGBTQ couples and single adults of all ages and stages of life (no children required), parents of LGBTQ children, health and human service professionals, university students and other allied adults.”

Keynote speaker Abbie Goldberg, professor of psychology at Clark University, will discuss how LGBTQ families navigate their identities in school. Adult workshop sessions will address health and wellness, legal and financial matters, schools, faith communities, family development, gender, race and many other aspects of living in an LGBTQ family. Children and youth programs will be provided by Camp Highlight, a camp for children in LGBTQ families. The Pride and Joy Families Conference will also include intergenerational activities, a Family Dance Party, resource vendor fair and off-site excursions to many Binghamton-area attractions.

This year’s conference will build on four previous statewide LGBTQ families conferences, held in Ithaca, Binghamton, Utica and, most recently, Rochester, which attracted people from upstate New York and beyond. The conference is co-sponsored by Camp Highlight, Gay Parent Magazine, Out for Health, Identity Youth Center, Cortland LGBT Resource Center, Sage Upstate, and Binghamton University’s Decker School of Nursing, Psychology Department, Health and Wellness Program, Alumni Association and College of Community and Public Affairs.

 The Lesbian and Gay Family Building Project (www.PrideAndJoyFamilies.org) was established in 2000 with a grant from the New York State Health Department. The Project is dedicated to helping LGBTQ people in upstate New York attain their goals of building and sustaining healthy families.      

Conference registration is available for the full weekend, or Saturday only. Children’s fees vary by age. College students may attend for only $20. Scholarships are available. The registration deadline for children and youth is Feb. 29. Adults and college students may register until March 6. The conference hotel room rate is $89 per night and is not included in the registration fee. For registration and program information, visit www.PrideAndJoyFamilies.org, or contact staff at 607-777-3717 or prideandjoyfamilies@gmail.com.   
           
*LGBTQ families are defined as those with one or more lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender/queer members.
 

Hedge fund managers and Gov. Cuomo propel charter schools

February 25, 2015 by tim wolcott

 

           I wish getting consensus weren’t so complicated for progressives, but it is.  I wish educating our youth weren’t so complex, but it is.  I wish I could just label Gov. Cuomo a panderer to hedge fund managers selfishly pushing for charter schools, but that would be an over simplification.

NYS Wants to hear from you about the State of the Arts

February 24, 2015 by pegjohnston

NYSCA’s Executive Director, Lisa Robb, will convene constituent meetings in your region on March 10 -13, 2015. Discussion items will include: what’s new at NYSCA, the FY2016 grants program and a Q & A. Each meeting will be co-hosted by the area’s Decentralization (DEC) site and the organization that will welcome all of us to its building. The DEC sites will also present information on the NYSCA Regrant program it administers.

You are invited to attend one of the “Constituent Meetings” NYSCA is hosting in our area..
 
Two meetings in this area one in Norwich on Wednesday, March 11 from 11am- 12:30pm to discuss the state of the arts in NYS. 
 And in Binghamton Co-hosted by the Chenango County Council on the Arts and Roberson Museum and Science Center
Friday, March 13, 11:00am - 12:30pm

Sustainability -- Its Meaning and Lifestyle

February 23, 2015 by bingsierra

The Susquehanna Group of Sierra Club, on Tuesday, March 17, presents Aimee Heavey, to discuss “Sustainability, it’s true meaning and implications for the future.”
Heavey, a Binghamton native, is a former National Park Ranger who recently moved back to the area to pursue a life of sustainability. Her work focuses on educating communities and developing thriving, sustainable, local food systems and economies in order to address multiple global issues, including economic uncertainty, peak oil, and climate instability.
She will discuss how people are pursuing the sustainability movement on the ground, and how we can all strive to live more sustainably.
The meeting on Tues., March 17, at 7:30 p.m., will be held at Central United Methodist Church, 17 Nanticoke Ave., Endicott. The public is invited, free of charge. For more information, contact Scott Lauffer at lauffer.scott@gmail.com.

ABOUT SECURITY ON TELECOMS: THE ELECTRONIC MAIL

February 20, 2015 by pegjohnston

This post is from Indymedia-Barcelona. Activists all over the world are concerned with data collection by governments or corporations. This advice is about email servers and which ones "mine" your data.

Having an electronic mailbox account is like having a post office box. This means while you’re checking the electronic mail, with the computer
you’re visiting "the office" where your letters are stored. You have a password to open this mailbox, but the letters are not "in a closed
envelope".

Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail and other companies that provide electronic mail apparently for free let people have a mailbox (and more services)
without having to pay an amount directly, but they obviously don’t do if for the love or art neither to make a better world. They do it in
exchange for:

1. Give your details and contacts to advertising agencies (spam) and add more advertisements on the web.
2. Analyse your communications in order to refine your commercial profile (likes, economic weakness, friends, etc.)
3. Have critical information react to social and political conflicts, and to manipulate letters delivery.
4. Promote a greater reliance on company's services.

* Big companies such as mentioned have also agreements with States in order to transfer information when are asked by the police information
brigade, or any other diplomatic or military agency. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PRISM_%28surveillance_program%29
* These functions are generally covered in the using conditions that we always agree and never read at first, but sometimes the company doesn't
tell them.
* A similar conduct have big public corporations such as unesco.org or uw.edu
* The e-mail itself also implicates people that we communicate with, because companies trace the relations and analyse the contacts.

In order to prevent this SERIOUS problem for social movements, it’s highly advisable to have a strong self-protection criteria on choosing
internet resources, and using an e-mail account with technical collectives with certain preoccupation on privacy and security. Here
come 5 examples:
autistici.org/en/get_service.html
actiu.info
riseup.net
aktivix.org
nodo50.org

Each one has its own e-mail servers, which are maintained and financed in different ways. Some of them ask for money, others ask for some help,
and others require a recommendation from a friend. It’s necessary to look on their websites and see which one we choose to ask for an
independent e-mail like johndoe@riseup.net , johndoe@actiu.info , johndoe@nodo50.org , etc.

As a more complete protection measure, it's convenient to care on using free software, which can be complete (GNU/Linux) or specific for an
electronic mail;
For the computer:
www.mozilla.org/thunderbird
For the mobile phone or tablet:
www.f-droid.org/repository/browse/?fdid=com.fsck.k9

A Bad Idea Part II Metro Center Parking

February 17, 2015 by pegjohnston

A Bad Idea Part IIA Guest Viewpoint was recently published in this space regarding the questionable conversion of the MetroCenter Plaza in downtown Binghamton into a ten space parking lot, at what amounts to about $35,000 a space.  Much has happened since that initial piece.

Members of the Commission on Architecture and Urban Design (CAUD) were the first to raise concerns about this project.  Other concerned citizens also raised meaningful points and voiced these in person at City Council Meetings.  As a member of the City’s Planning Commission at the time, I also voiced my concerns. We were all told by the Administration that CAUD approval was not needed, that our claims were inaccurate and untrue.  Good citizens raising questions were told Traffic Board review and approval was not needed, that our concerns were inaccurate and untrue.  Taxpayers watching the city’s spending habits were told that the Mayor could use unspent Bond Funds from another Capital projects without any other approvals, that our objections were inaccurate and untrue.  We were told that the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) was not applicable, that our concerns were inaccurate and untrue.

How time changes circumstances.  Since these concerns were raised, the Administration has now engaged CAUD, sought approval from the City’s Traffic Board, acknowledged the need for new bonding authority to fund this project and committed to compliance with SEQRA.  All of this begs the question, what was the Administration trying to do before these issues were raised?

I think the answer is pretty clear.  The goal was to circumvent the existing process, those checks and balances that are in place to ensure good governance, and deliver a quality project that benefits the public’s interest.  This was an attempt by the Administration to force this project through the process hoping no one would notice.  The ultimate goal of the project the benefit of a select few at the expense of the many.

So what can we say to this?  At the February 18th City Council meeting, Council members will have to decide whether to borrow the funds and ultimately build the project.  Is spending $350,000 of our tax dollars a good investment for ten parking spaces?  If we are going to bond, and borrow from our future, shouldn’t it benefit more of our citizens?

A colleague pointed out to me in an e-mail that it took three years of strong advocacy to get $25,000 invested in the ball park and bathhouse at Columbus Park. West End Park will get tens of thousands of dollars in investments this coming year, but largely because of a state grant. It took eight years to reach agreement to borrow $100,000 to tear down the First Ward Pool. Through the Design Your Own Park, resident groups on the North Side and West Side worked tirelessly for a few years to get $20,000 in public investments in new park spaces.

Neighborhood parks are used by thousands of our city's families, kids, and individuals every year! Is Council really going to approve borrowing $350,000 to build a ten space parking lot in the heart of our downtown, two blocks from the City’s three parking ramps, all of which are in dire need of repair?

Obviously if the City is to borrow there are better uses that will have a broader impact on our citizens and help build community.  We all, as citizens need to be paying more attention to what goes on in City government.  Go to the City’s website, review City Council, Planning Commission, and Zoning Board agendas and minutes.  Even better, reach out to your Council representative before the February 18th meeting and tell them to think twice about spending so much money to convert the MetroCenter public courtyard into a ten-space parking lot. Tell them to say no to “David’s Dead End.”

Good government needs you!

Mark D. Bowers is a resident of Binghamton’s West Side

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