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Orchid Photo/Art Submissions Sought

March 20, 2015 by pegjohnston

The Southern Tier Orchid Society hosts its annual orchid show May 2-3 at the Oakdale mall and part of the Exhibit is a a contest in Painting and Drawing, Photography, and Sculpture/3D/Other Media. Also a k-12 category.  Submissions must be presented Friday May 1 from 3- 7:30 More info on the attached form.


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Fracking May Not Have Been Banned in New York

March 19, 2015 by imc-editor

Contrary to Widespread Opinion Shale Fracking May Not Have Been Banned in New York

It is a huge mistake in politics to declare victory before you are absolutely certain that you have won. The applicable rule is "trust, but verify." That is why we must clarify the Cuomo administration's recent landmark decision to prohibit shale fracking in New York. When the New York State Department of Health (DOH) released A Public Health Review of High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing (HVHF) for Shale Gas Development on December 17, 2014, it was widely reported that shale fracking had been banned in New York.

Unfortunately, the fact of the matter is that we do not know that for certain. The Public Health Review recommended that Shale fracking "should not proceed in New York," but we do not know if it will be banned for good. This is a critically important distinction for reasons explained below. The Public Health Review report makes no mention of banning shale fracking or enacting any kind of permanent shale fracking prohibition. You can read the report for yourself:  When the Cuomo administration announced the Public Health Review, no shale fracking ban was declared by Governor Cuomo, Health Commissioner, Dr. Howard A. Zucker, or Environmental Conservation Commissioner, Joe Martens.  You can watch the meeting in its entirety:

What Does the DOH Public Health Review Actually Recommend?

The Public Health Review simply concludes on page two: "Until the science provides sufficient information to determine the level of risk to public health from HVHF to all New Yorkers and whether the risks can be adequately managed, DOH recommends that HVHF should not proceed in New York State (emphasis added)." Unfortunately, the Public Health Review does not say how long shale fracking "should not proceed in New York" or how authorities in our state should determine that "the science provides sufficient information to determine the level of risk to public health from HVHF to all New Yorkers and whether the risks can be adequately managed..." After all our incredible hard work, these extraordinarily important questions cannot be left to chance and must be fully resolved before it is too late. That is why I write today.

Preventing Adoption of an Inadequate Final SGEIS is More Important Than Ever

DEC Commissioner Martens stated during the cabinet meeting that the Public Health Review findings and recommendations would be implemented by adopting a Final Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS). We have no idea what is going on due to a total lack of openness and transparency about the scope of the Final SGEIS. Nevertheless, it could be released any day. Extreme caution is warranted in this matter because the SGEIS was originally intended to permit shale fracking in New York State. That is made perfectly clear by its title: "Well Permit Issuance for Horizontal Drilling and High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing in the Marcellus Shale and Other Low-Permeability Gas Reservoirs." In short, it is imperative that we prevent any Final SGEIS from being adopted until we are certain that it would translate the Public Health Review's critically important findings and recommendations into public policy reality. In addition, shale fracking must not be permitted by the Final SGEIS until all of the documented concerns about that proceeding are fully resolved.

Read a formatted alert:

That is the purpose of our latest self-explanatory coalition letter:


For more than five years, the New York Marcellus Shale campaign has focused on preventing adoption of an inadequate Final SGEIS that could greenlight shale fracking. Achieving that goal is more important than ever. The Public Health Review notes: "Based on this review, it is apparent that the science surrounding HVHF activity is limited, only just beginning to emerge, and largely suggests only hypotheses about potential public health impacts that need further evaluation (emphasis added)." See page one. At a minimum, we must make sure that no shale fracking is allowed in New York: "Until the science provides sufficient information to determine the level of risk to public health from HVHF to all New Yorkers and whether the risks can be adequately managed..." If that onerous requirement can be enforced, shale fracking might not be permitted in New York for decades to come, if ever. If the Cuomo administration actually bans shale fracking by adopting a permanent, legally binding prohibition, so much the better.

Mural Fest April & Path Through History

March 3, 2015 by pegjohnston

Save the Date!  Mural Fest scheduled for April 26th, along the riverwalk, with mural painting, interactive art, musical entertainment and much much more.

Also note Path Through History June 20th, a Sat. We will be doing a mural tour downtown as well as lots of other historical tours and events.


Pi Day 3/14/15 Time to Stand up for Science

March 3, 2015 by pegjohnston

The Pi Day of the century, 3.14/15 is only a little over a week away. For a time now Pi Day has been all about fun and of course pie, but with the way in recent years, science and even reality itself have come more and more under attack, I’m thinking maybe this year it’s time for Pi Day to emerge as something more than just fun.
For so much of our history, the people of our country and the world have benefited greatly from the science-based reality that has shaped America’s future. Science may be based on numbers, but science's actual value is in its humanity. It's beyond doubt that through science and the honest representation of reality our lives have become safer, healthier and happier.
Yet today the very science that has done so much to reduce suffering in our lives is now under attack. From the climate, to vaccines, to Wisconsin's own Governor Walker’s belief that there are more votes in denying evolution than there are in embracing it, clearly somewhere something has gone very wrong. There is more than enough blame to go all around for how we got here, but maybe this is one of those times that where we are is not nearly as important as where we need to be.
Maybe rather than a debate of our differences, what we need is a celebration of what we share. We think Pi Day could grow into just the holiday we need. There really is no time to lose to get on to celebrating the truth of science-based reality and the math behind it. And there is also no time better than now to get back to celebrating the kindness, compassion and the nurturing nature of our shared humanity that has always been behind the very best that science has brought to our lives.
In Pi, the number is all the value and beauty and wonder that is at the heart of the reality science holds. In the gift of a good slice of pie, the desert is all the kindness and compassion that our shared humanity encompasses. Pi Day really is ready to become so much more. And could there be a better day to relaunch Pi Day as the holiday we truly need than 3.14/15; the Pi Day of the Century?

THE TAKERS DO NOT WANT TO SHARE - What the Press will not print.

March 1, 2015 by activ60

While billionaires buy their own islands at $15 million a clip to park their yachts, the top 10 hedge fund managers only pay 15% tax on their $12 billion(compared to 70% in the past) while you pay 20% if you are lucky to make $40,000, or you may have lost your home in the mortgage debacle or from your health care bankruptcy. Citigroup with $6.4 B and J.P. Morgan with $17.2 B in 2013 paid NO taxes. The MAKERS are all on Wall Street along with the banks like HSBC who laundered money to dodge taxes while George Will’s TAKERS wait in the food line for over an hour. What George does not tell you(Press Jan 22) about his policy wonk Nicholas Eberstadt is that he is funded by the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute, a right-wing, pro-business think tank. Even though George and Eberstadt state the growth in their ‘welfare state’ occurred to those who were ‘means- tested’ (which means they qualified by the Puritanical hoop they jumped), they blame it on a lack of personal character. And where do the CEOs of the media empires who spread the greed message take responsibility? The wealthy do not like it that the paupers picked up their cocaine habits and want one of their tvs. Even though 80% of the middle class has awoken to the lack of jobs sent overseas and that the bill was sent to them, these economists will not take the responsibility for these policies and the income inequality, instead they cry foul. The lower-skilled workers have known this for 25 years as the manufacturing jobs vanished. Instead they should tell the capitalists to make more jobs. The gall of dumping people on charity and then blaming them. The playing field is not fair nor level. “Privilege is not knowing that you’re hurting others and not listening when they tell you.”—Dashanne Stokes So how does the trickle down of greed play out locally? Foremost it began with shallow giveaways to millionaire developers that pay no taxes and then leave town while local four-unit landlords had a 30% tax increase. Then came raising the bus rates. The lack of a seat and your claustrophobia does not matter. More rural Tioga lost bus service. Further proof we are eliminating human services was the closure of the County mental health clinic. Some private providers already closed the intake door, other mentally ill are jammed up waiting months for treatment. Even though you do not know them, someone who cannot afford their medication lurkes in the health care shadows. The proposed TPP will extend monopoly drug patents for pharmaceutical giants maintaining high prices. And will the poor elderly be easily visited by their family and protected by local accountability in the County nursing home or tossed aside like the mentally ill? Heed the words of John Adams: “Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men..”

Panel discussion on law enforcement and minority communities

03/05/2015 - 5:00pm
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 ( 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, or contact staff at 607-777-3717 or   
*LGBTQ families are defined as those with one or more lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender/queer members.

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