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Global IMC Network

The Art and the Environment in Environmental Art

July 9, 2014 by imc-editor

The Cooperative Gallery 213 is known for breaking ground in the local art scene and the current show "Off the Wall" continues that tradition. The theme is taking art "off the wall" literally and figuratively, and the curators found a theme of "environmental art" among the 30 artists who submitted works. Most directly addressing environmental problems is Peg Johnston and Shawna Stevenson's "The Waterfall: Plastic is Forever" which is made of many hundreds of cut up water bottles to form an inside/outside "waterfall." Inspired by the work of North Carolina environmental artist Bryant Holsenbeck, the piece makes the point that our dependence on plastic rather than more sustainable drinking containers is polluting the Earth. "We in the USA create more waste by far than any other country in the world," said Peg Johnston, "Art installations like this may help us raise awareness about our own impact on the environment." 

Don Sharpe's delightful sculptures of found objects also use waste to create art. Sharpe finds discarded objects in his walks along the river and uses them to create fantastical creatures or elaborate tableaux such as "Mouse Trap", a re-creation of the Rube Goldberg type children's game. He has several sculptures in the show worth a visit to "Off the Wall."

Aubrey Clark and Irene Lawson also created decorative fish and birds out of scrap materials such as coat hangers, credit cards, plastic bags and scraps of fabric. Fish extended the water theme with Judy Salton's giant fish made of chicken wire and John Thomson's delicate balsa wood fish/bird hanging from the ceiling.

The artists will speak about their art and the artists that have inspired them. "Found objects and environmental art, have been used by artists since the beginning of the 20th century," commented Judy Salton, "and we will explore those antecedents at Third Thursday, July 17th at 7 pm. There is no entrance fee to the program at the Cooperative Gallery 213 State St Binghamton.

For more photos, go to

Mayor David Raises the Rainbow Flag

June 8, 2014 by pegjohnston

Binghamton, NY June 7 2014

It was the 9th Binghamton Pride Flag Raising and a long list of local notables affirmed diversity and LGBTQ people, but Mayor Rich David stole the show, just by showing up. There was some concern that the Republican administration would not be inclusive of the gay community and would decline to continue the tradition of raising the rainbow flag at City Hall. But David's opening remarks spoke of equality, anti-bullying, and an inclusive Binghamton. Across the street from the presentation was a demonstration by local Catholics, in full ritual garb, protesting gay marriage and a lone protester who was taunting the Mayor.

Officials from Kirsten Gillibrand and Gov Cuomo to Assemblywoman Lupardo and City Council members piled on to support the gay community. Donna Lupardo brought people's attention to a bill in the NYS Legislature that would challenge "conversion therapy"  where therapists try to convert LGBTQ people to a straight orientation. Lauren Hering, owner of Merlin's, was the most eloquent in explaining why we need gay pride. The speech is reproduced in the Carousel newspaper and well worth the read.

Additionally, those that sent letters of support or spoke included: Letters from Sen Gillibrand and Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli read by Sean Massey; Letter from Gov Cuomo read by Barbara Fiala, DMV Commissioner, and former Broome Co Exec; letter from Eric Schneiderman, read by Ass't AG Aaron Marcus. Two County legislators, Jason Garnar and Tony Fiala spoke, as did two City Councilwomen, Teri Rennia and Leah Webb. Also, Dara Silberstein, Human Rights Commissioner, and organizer of the event and next week's  Pride Palooza (June 14th 12-8 pm), Chris Waters.

To see more images of the event, see the photo gallery on this site (see image galleries tab: "local progressive politics") 

Doctors and Health Professionals Warn About Health Impacts from Gas Drilling

May 31, 2014 by Anonymous

250 doctors, health professionals and researchers sent a letter asking Gov. Andrew Cuomo to impose a three- to five-year ban on fracking in NY to allow more time for scientific studies on the health risks of gas drilling/fracking.
"I have seen kids in West Virginia with chronic nosebleeds, people who have these hacking coughs that don't go away, who have memory problems," said Gorby, a microbiologist , who has family in West Virginia.
American Academy of Pediatrics, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and the medical societies of Otsego and Tompkins counties and 29 doctors and nurses from the Bassett Healthcare system in Cooperstown, Otsego County signed this letter to their Governor Cuomo. Larysa Dyrszka, founder of the anti-fracking group Concerned Health Professionals of New York, said more science continues to emerge about potential risks to air and water quality from gas drilling/fracking. I keep hearing of the health impacts and risks to our health in our Shalefields of Susquehanna County, Pa. Folks report the nosebleeds, stomach ailments, respiratory issues near gas drilling where water and air contamination is present.
Contact the State Health Dept. and tell them your symptoms near the gas drilling; They are keeping a data base of reactions and ailments near gas drilling; Do we have to wait for "cancer clusters" to appear to know that our environment has been polluted?
Gov. Corbett has closed down a bunch of Health Departments in our rural communities like in Montrose , Pa..
We can't even afford all the health depts. we had prior to gas drilling or it's the Governor's way to hide further the negative impacts and risks near gas drilling.
Dr. McKenzie, 215-662-2354, will see patients for evaluation for shale gas health complaints. She is associated with
We also have a clinic for gas drilling health impacts in southwestern Pa.. They can be found at :
Southwest Pennsylvania Environment Health Project
Submitted by Vera Scroggins

Binghamton is the Birthplace of Virtual Reality? Really? Volunteers Needed!

May 29, 2014 by pegjohnston

(proposed design by Bruce Greig) 
Binghamton? Virtual Reality? Yes! Not just Binghamton but 183-185 Water St., the site of the Parking Ramp by Boscov’s, is where the building blocks of VIRTUAL REALITY were developed:

1. The Bundy Manufacturing Co. (1893-1906) stood at 183-185 Water St., and became the International Time Recording Co (1906-7) and eventually IBM, which, of course, manufactured some of the first computers.
2. The Automatic Musical Co. (1907-14) took over the site to manufacture player pianos, which were robotic innovations.
3. Ed Link, famously, was sitting on the organ bellows at his father’s Link Piano Co. (1914-1933) and got the idea for the Link Flight Simulators (1929, patented 1931) and started Link Aviation and Flying School in that location (1929-34). The Link “blue box” trained WWII pilots.
4. After the devastating floods in 1935 and ’36 the building was not useable and in the late 60’s the Parking Ramp was built in two sections. The American Dance Asylum celebrated the architecture with several performances of the Parking Ramp Dance, which pioneered multi media, video feedback, and dance performances (1978, 1980, 1981, 1984).

Sierra Club Presents History Lesson on Climate Change and Fracking Movements

May 25, 2014 by Anonymous

“A History Lesson: The Climate Change and Fracking Movements in New York”
In the Southern Tier, we are at a rare and powerful political crossroad. Isaac Silberman-Gorn will discuss the history of the climate change movement and give a political history of the fracking movement in New York. Silberman-Gorn works with Citizen Action of NY to fight fracking in the Southern Tier and across the state.

The Susquehanna Chapter of the Sierra Club meets at 7:30 p.m. on Tues., June 17 at Central United Methodist Church, 17 Nanticoke Ave., Endicott. For more information, contact Scott Lauffer at:

The Mayor on Blueprint Binghamton

May 21, 2014 by Anonymous

 The Blueprint Binghamton has gone through many changes during the review of Mayor Rich David and Binghamton City Council. The final plan will be up for a vote in July but many provisions have been stripped. Planning Commissioner Mark Bowers advocated "for changing language to 'explore' instead of 'create' for instance, to keep some important initiatives in the plan for the future."

The Mayor's comments (also attached to this article) on the Blueprint are quite revealing of his stands. In general, he is against nearly all restrictions on business and development and he is suspicious of government regulation. That is pro forma conservative Republican.

The first comment calls the 7,449 individuals involved in public input a Low percentage of involvement." Considering he was elected by only 4,470 votes, this seems a little specious. Then he thinks that non-residents who come to Binghamton to work, do business (Binghamton is the county seat), or play are not contributors to our economic, social and cultural well-being and should not be heard.

He is unabashedly pro fracking, proposing that the City sell money to oil drilling companies for instance. He is wed to cars, more parking, and not so eager to embrace other transportation like bikes. "Too much roadway for bikes." He refers to public art but he wonders if "anyone asked businesses if they want public art?"

The 19 pp document, which includes staff responses to his comments show his lack of preparedness and knowledge on many issues, while offering extensive opinions on things that he likes. For instance, he pushes Youth Success, a student program that promotes safer school and security officers in school. Or, promoting the Discover center and Zoo. But his understanding on Brownfield Opportunity areas like the Charles St area or the Brandywine Corridor is not up to speed.

Mayor David uses the Blueprint to pitch some of his ideas like city staff visiting businesses in town to assess needs and offer assistance to expand. He has a number of initiatives like the Binghamton Quick Response Team, Binghamton iNSPIRED (investment in cultural activities, Jumpstart Binghamton (provide investment capital).

All in all, it's a good read and a good Blueprint to the Mayor's priorities.

Binghamton loses tradition of Big Splash, moves to Owego this year

May 15, 2014 by Anonymous

I'm really happy and excited to send information out about the 4th annual Big Splash this year in Owego, NY. This year's lineup is absolutely incredible, and is going to simply be a blast. I'll be bringing my dancing shoes!

It is with a degree of frustration that I announce this in Owego, rather than Rec Park in Binghamton as it has been for the past 3 years. Our newly elected Mayor of the City of Binghamton, Rich David, has quickly developed a reputation as being very media savvy, and rather than go on the record as being in favor of fracking, he prefers to quietly sit on permit applications until they are too late to act on. He has allowed his petty political opinions to hurt our local businesses and community by making it incredibly difficult to obtain permits for anything at all. Big Splash draws thousands of people from out of town who spend their money locally, and show an awesome side of our City, and I'm quite unhappy to see our city lose this event.

I invite you to call the Mayor's Office at (607) 772-7zero01, and let them know that you are not in favor of his hurting local businesses by not granting permits for events which help the City.

All of this aside, here are details on the 4th Annual Owego Big Splash Sustainability Fair:

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