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Global IMC Network

A History of Seed Bombing: GOOD

April 9, 2013 by pegjohnston

Remember “Miss Rumphius,” the Lupine Lady? The children’s fiction book by Barbara Cooney (Puffin 1982) recounts the story of Miss Alice Rumphius, a woman who sought to make the world more beautiful by spreading lupine seeds in the wild. Flash back to New York in the 1970s and meet Liz Christy and her Green Guerillas group, who took to beautifying crumbling Manhattan neighborhoods by tossing “seed grenades” into abandoned lots. The first seed grenades, a term coined by Christy, were made from controversial ingredients: condoms filled with local wildflower seeds, water, and fertilizer. They were thrown over fences onto New York City’s wastelands in order to “green up” neglected urban land. Seed bombing, as it’s known today, is definitely punk, but it’s also a cheap and effective way for you, me, and everyone we know to transform an eyesore into a resource.

The seed bomb growing method has been practiced globally for centuries. The idea germinated in Japan with the ancient practice of “tsuchi dango,” which translates as “earth dumpling.” The idea was re-invented in the 20th Century by the Japanese farmer and philosopher, Masanobu Fukuoka, an advocate of Do-Nothing Farming and author of the classic, “One-Straw Revolution.”

Today seed bombs are wrapped in compost and clay, which protects the seeds while providing needed moisture, nutrients, and structure for seed germination and growth. The seed bomb protects seeds from being eaten by wildlife, so few seeds are needed when compared to broadcast seeding. As much as 80 percent of broadcast seeds, those scattered on the surface of the soil, can be lost before germination.
Read the complete article here

Fair Elections Now

April 6, 2013 by Wanda Mead Campbell

It is time for a change and getting the Fair Elections bill passed in New York this legislative season is a big part of that change. We need the opportunity to elect people to statewide office who represent citizens not just the wealthy people and corporations who fund campaigns.
The Fair Election bill provides for public financing of elections and gives ordinary citizens an opportunity to run for office. This is how it works – if you want to run for a statewide office, you raise small donations from the people in your district (the limit is $250 a person) and if you get enough donations to show you are a viable candidate you qualify for matching funds from the state on a 6 to 1 basis. You also have to agree to some rules, you have to get 50% of your money in district, you have to restrict the amount that comes from corporations to a smaller percentage, and any money not spent goes back to the state, you do not get to keep it as candidates do now - and all it costs is about 2 dollars a year per household. Only 2 dollars to save millions. Yes, millions of our tax dollars a year go to projects that benefit only the rich. It is time to start turning this around.
Please contact your elected officials and let them know you support this cause. Tell them you are tired of the corruption in Albany and that we need a change; tell them to pass the Fair Elections bill this year. You might feel this bill is not enough and I would agree but let’s start, let’s get this done so we can move on to the next challenge in promoting good government. You can reach the Governor’s office at 518-474-8390.

File Attachment: 


March 27, 2013 by activ60

Questions: 729-1641
A UUCB Social Justice Sunday

On Sunday, April 7, 2013, from 1:00-3:30pm
183 Riverside Dr., Binghamton, NY 13905

Following our Sunday worship service entitled “Neighbors at an Unseen Border: Immigration as a Local Issue” we offer an exciting panel of speakers to talk on the subject of immigration, an informative movie, a discussion on the topic, and a meal.


Do undocumented workers pay taxes?
Is immigration a criminal or civil issue?
How long do immigrants wait for a green card?
Is immigration the 21st century slavery?


Rachel Light

Member of UUCB

Rachel will tell a poignant story of friendship with an undocumented immigrant and the trials he endured in an effort to remain in this country.

Diana Reyes

Immigration Organizer for Citizen Action of NY of the Southern Tier

Diana organizes community members to advocate for immigration reform at the local legislative level.

Andrew Baranosky

Exec. Director of ACA

The American Civic Association serves as our local support center, providing immigration services and refugee resettlement assistance.

Main St Grant Received by City

March 15, 2013 by pegjohnston


BLDC Awarded $250,000 New York Main Street Grant

The Binghamton Local Development Corporation (BLDC) announced today that it will be administering a matching grant program in the amount of $250,000 through the 2012 NYS Main Street Grant Program. The BLDC received the grant through New York State Housing Trust Fund Corporation’s Office of Community Renewal (NYSOCR), as part of the State’s Consolidated Funding Application engineered under Governor Cuomo to allow more efficient reallocation of state resources for local community development through input from regional councils.

“This grant program will enhance the efforts initiated through the City’s roundabout and streetscape improvements that have taken shape on Court Street, one of the City’s major commercial corridors that has already seen sizeable new investments.” Said Mayor Matt Ryan. “Over the course of my administration, The BLDC has been a driving force in this community, creating opportunities for new business development in the City. They have done an exceptional job in bringing alternative resources into the City as a way to carryout economic development during these challenging economic times.”

The BLDC’s grant program will assist property owners in their efforts to improve and preserve the visual image of the City’s downtown historic mixed-use districts through commercial façade improvements as well as new and modified interior residential and commercial development.

$15,000 of these grant funds will be allocated for a Streetscape Project to improve the area known as “Commercial Alley” running from Court Street to the State Street parking ramp.

BLDC’s Executive Director Merry Harris believes this grant will help to stimulate sustainable investments in the community “With the help of the NYS Main Street Grant, the BLDC and the City of Binghamton will be able to leverage private investment and activity in the commercial sector to create opportunities for affordable housing, and to increase the walk ability of the city.”

This will be the second round of competitive funding that the BLDC has been able to capture under the NYS Main Street Grant Program. In 2008, the BLDC received $200,000 in Main Street Grant funding from the New York State Housing Trust Fund Corporation’s Office of Community Renewal (NYSOCR), and successfully administered thirty revitalization projects, including façade improvements, interior renovations, and streetscape improvements along “Gorgeous Washington Street” between Hawley and Court Streets, and at the intersection of Main and Front Streets. The endeavor spurred an additional $459,972.07 in private investments and produced over a dozen jobs for local contractors, engineers, and design companies.

Blueprint Binghamton: POP-UP open friday, 15th

March 11, 2013 by pegjohnston

Come by the former First National Bank Building at 49 Court Street to learn something new about your city and share your thoughts and ideas about how to move our city FORWARD TOGETHER!

If you missed the first one on March 1, this is your chance to weigh in....or if you enjoyed it so much the first time you want to come back, please do! 11 am to 3 pm.

Our First Friday Pop-Up event really was a lot of fun.

Bob Johnston Photo Competition Winners Announced

December 31, 2012 by imc-editor

The Cooperative Gallery 213 and the Two Rivers Photography Club are sponsoring the 2nd Bob Johnston Photo Show and Competition January 4 - 26th, 2013. This Memorial Exhibit is a tribute to the art embodied in the photography of Bob Johnston, a founding member of the gallery who died in 2010. Thirty one photographers entered the Competition in either Color or Black and White categories. Photographs will be judged by Kirk and Leslie Van Zandbergen of Van Zandbergen Photography, guided by this sentiment from Bob Johnston’s artist’s statement: “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 Best In Show prize goes to Greg Chianis for “Tuscan Storm.” Judges’ Choice Awards in Black and White go to Nancy Basmann for “Louis Mendes” and Sandra Kirker for “The Long Road Home;” The Judges’ Choice in the Color category go to Bill Gorman for “Cardinal” and to Scott Michael Anderson for “Reflection Outside of 213.” Honorable Mentions in Color will be awarded to Joe Trapper for “Wall Flower” and to Sandra Kirker for “Sky Blue and White” and for Black and White to Greg Chianis for “Reflections” and John Rehak for “York Train Station.” Prizes will be distributed at 7 pm at the First Friday Art Walk.

Downtown Commission Final Report

December 7, 2012 by pegjohnston

Commission on Downtown Binghamton Development Issues Final Report

Economic Development Incentives Guide is first achievement to spring from commission’s work

BINGHAMTON, NY—The Commission on Downtown Binghamton Development today issued its final report and unveiled the Economic Development Incentive Guide, which emerged from the Commission’s work.

“This report offers promising guideposts for building on downtown’s recent gains,” said Mayor Matt Ryan. “This commission involved development experts and stakeholders from across our community, and their collective expertise surely is greater than the sum of its parts. I thank the commission members for their hard work for more than a year, and I look forward to taking the next steps in seizing downtown’s many development opportunities, starting with the Economic Development Incentive Guide.”

Announced by Mayor Ryan in his 2011 State of the City Address, the Commission on Downtown Binghamton Development sought to coordinate new investments and interest in downtown business, living and recreation. The spark behind the commission was the grand openings of two major student housing projects, Twin River Commons and 20 Hawley Street Luxury Student Apartments.

“This initiative was part of staying proactive in enhancing downtown as a destination,” said Director of Economic Development Merry Harris, who co-chaired the commission with Sean Massey. “The final report showcases a number of priorities that downtown stakeholders can pursue.”

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