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Global IMC Network

Tax Bill Will Hurt Working Families in Central New York

November 17, 2017 by imc-editor

Albany, NY -- In response to the House passage of the tax reform bill, Citizen Action of New York Executive Director Karen Scharff and Central New York Citizen Action President John Furman issued the following statements:

"The passage of the House tax reform bill is a kick in the teeth to working families in New York State. This bill is nothing more than a giant bonus check for billionaires and large corporations. At a time of rising inequality, we can't afford to shift more wealth from poor and working class families to the excessively wealthy. Rep. Tenney should be ashamed at supporting a bill that hurts so many of her constituents. The bill not only makes taxes more unfair to working people, but it also will lead to deeper cuts to education, health care, and other vital programs we depend on,” said Karen Scharff, Executive Director of Citizen Action of New York

“We are very disappointed that Rep. Tenney voted to pass a giant tax cut for corporations and the wealthy. We know from experience that instead of generating economic growth and jobs, tax cuts and the resulting lost revenue leads to unacceptable cuts in education, health care, and vital public services. Currently, corporations already pay far less than their top statutory tax rate of 35%. The tax bill will not bring jobs back but instead will encourage corporations to send work offshore, replace labor with machines, and give higher compensation packages to their CEOs. This tax bill is a disaster for Central New York families. Corporations and the wealthiest among us will receive trillions of dollars in tax breaks. At the same time, needed revenue for investments in education, infrastructure, housing, and health care will be taken away from Central New York communities. Low- and moderate-income families in our congressional district will pay twice–by seeing their taxes go up, and by losing services such as Medicaid, SNAP, housing vouchers, education, and child care,” said John Furman, President of Central New York Citizen Action.


Holiday Show at Cooperative: All Members' Show

November 17, 2017 by imc-editor

Give the gift of Art!

Cooperative Gallery 213, 213 State St. in Binghamton, presents its annual Holiday Show; Find unique, original, and affordable artworks from more than 50 artists and fine crafters, as the Cooperative Gallery is transformed into a magical showplace for wonderful works from all Gallery members.
Featured works include paintings by Mark Green, Suzanne Lachman, Angela Cook, Eileen Schlag, and others; sculpture and photography by Duke Holdsworth, painted furniture by Narani O’Shaughnessy, jewelry both whimsical and elegant by Vivian Nguyen, Ellen Romano, and others; painted silks by Andrea Eastman and intricate tie-dye by Kirk Madsen; woodworks by Richard Nolan, artisan holiday ornaments, miniature paintings, and myriad other visual delights by members of the local arts community.
Opening Artists Reception Gala is Thursday, November 30, 6-8:30 PM, with live music and delectable catered munchies, some from the new Cooperative Gallery 213 cookbook, “Artists in the Kitchen.”
The show and sale continues through December 23 -- extended gallery hours for December: Fridays 3 - 7 PM, Saturdays 11 AM - 4 PM

For more information, contact the gallery at, or 607 724-3462. Cooperative Gallery 213 is a popular stop on Binghamton’s First Friday Art Walk. Find us on Facebook at Cooperative Gallery 213. Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter on our website at www., or on our Facebook page.

20 Gardens by 2020

November 9, 2017 by pegjohnston

As part of VINES' 10th Anniversary, we have launched a campaign to build 20 gardens by 2020. This expansion would not be made possible without the funding through a grant from the Conrad and Virginia Klee Foundation. With volunteer help, we were able to build two new community gardens this fall. We built a garden on Park Street, on the West Side of Binghamton. We also built a garden in Johnson City on Sherman Street,  our first garden outside of the City of Binghamton.

Our gardens, continue to be built with more volunteers, more support, and in less time. Garden plot rentals are already being inquired at both of the new locations, and are already proving to be a valued community space.

Other planning is underway with our development and expansion of our community garden efforts. This includes Spring 2018 garden builds. Additionally, VINES is launching a Community Garden Proposal Application Process. This will help streamline the efforts of VINES to build gardens where they are needed, and where the community drive is there! If you're interested in proposing a garden project in your neighborhood, you can sign up to learn more information here.

We're so proud to be partnering with communities and agencies beyond Binghamton and could not have done this without our dedicated volunteers and community members. Thanks for your continued support since our first garden build in 2007.

---VINES Staff and Board

Floral Park Public Art Dedication

November 1, 2017 by pegjohnston

--Johnson City, New York.

On Friday, November 3, at 1:30 PM Johnson City Mayor Greg Deemie will officially dedicate the murals at Floral Park to the children of the community by cutting a ceremonial ribbon at the park’s main entrance. Mural Fest 2017 marked the Village’s first foray into public art installations. Johnson City has been labeled the Health & Cultural iDistrict as part of the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council’s regional plan. In support of this designation, the Village plans to champion public art installations throughout Johnson City. Studies have shown public art can be a high impact, low cost method to increase vitality, community cohesion and property values. Mural Fest 2017 was attended by an estimated 300 people of all ages from throughout the surrounding neighborhood.

Five permanent murals at Floral Ave. Park were created by the Dept. of Public Art (DPA), a volunteer organization that has more than 20 murals to its credit. "Johnson City is a great canvas for our public art and we look forward to more opportunities to transform the urban landscape," said Peg Johnston, one of the DPA's organizers. Lead artists on the project included Susan Champeny, resident artist from Massachusetts, Bruce Greig, master muralist from New Zealand and Binghamton, Judy Salton, member of the Cooperative Gallery, and Shawna Stevenson, graphic artist studying at Syracuse University. Over 1000 volunteer hours were donated to these murals and the Mural Fest activities October 7th.

The Dept of Public Art has received a grant from the Town of Union Community Development Block Grants funds that will be used for more murals. Additional funding was received from Broome County's Hotel/Motel Fund, The Chenango Co. Arts Council Decentralization Program a re-grant program of the NYS Council on the Arts, with support from Governor Cuomo and the NYS Legislature. Additional support for Broome County was provided by the Stewart W. & Willma C. Hoyt Foundation.

Visit and the Dept of Public Art facebook page for more information.

Are you an Ally for Women Sexually Harassed?

October 25, 2017 by pegjohnston

This article from THE DAILY GOOD reports on several celebrities, including Anthony Bourdain and Jim Jeffries who are examining their role in propping up a culture where it is ok to allow women to be harassed. In the wake of the many accusations of sexual assault and harassment against Harvey Weinstein, a number of public personalities are shocked and looking at their own roles.

"Anthony Bourdain is the latest male celebrity examining his role in enabling the “Harvey Weinsteins” in his industry. In an interview with Slate's Isaac Chotiner, the renowned chef, author, and “Parts Unknown” host confessed to valorizing and enabling a “meathead culture” in the food world, citing the “sexualization of food” and the prurient portrayal of a (consensual) sexual relationship between a chef and a customer in his book “Kitchen Confidential.”


Keep Halloween Scary, but Sober

October 20, 2017 by pegjohnston

Image by Pixabay Article by Caleb Anderson

Halloween is no longer just for kids. Adults are discovering the ghoulish glee that comes from indulging their most macabre fears in a safe but scary environment. There's no reason for you to miss out on the fun, even if you're in recovery. Here are some great ways to have a creepy yet clean All Hallow's Eve.

Go to a Haunted House

What could fit this fiendish season better than touring a forbidden setting filled with all sorts of creatures that go bump in the night? You'll find these frightening attractions popping up all over the place each October. Try a haunted hayride for a delightful variation that's better suited to the more claustrophobic among us. Revenues from seasonal haunted houses go to local charities, so you can feel good about giving yourself a bad fright.

Try a Ghost Tour

Most communities have one or two spots where spirits are said to glide through ghostly environs off-limits to those who are still alive. So why not tempt the fates by spending some time touring a few of these spectral places? Ghost tours offer a horrific helping of local folklore mixed with fascinating facts about a city's history and culture. Most of these events require you to do just a wee bit of walking, though some venues chauffeur their guests from one spot to another in climate-controlled comfort. 

Go People-Watching

All kinds of colorful characters come out of the woodwork on Halloween. Some spend the entire year crafting the costumes they wear on this special night. Others look demented and disturbed because...well, just because. Either way, you can have a blast by parking yourself on a city bench and watching folks stroll by. Just think twice before taking treats from strangers, especially if they vanish before your eyes.

Watch Frightening Films

Who knows mayhem and madness better than the staff of Rolling Stone magazine? So you can trust them when they tell you that a scary movie marathon is a superb way to give yourself goosebumps. Imagine being curled up on a couch in a dark room watching bad things happen to people other than you. That's an evening that's sure to please anyone. Just think twice before reaching out to hold the hand of the person next to you. You may find yourself touching something cold and clammy from the crypt…

Witness a Murder

No, not literally. We're talking about hosting a murder mystery whodunit where one of the guests ends up on the dinner menu and everyone else tries to find the killer before time runs out. These events have gone upscale in recent years, according to the writers at the UK publication Telegraph.  But you need not book a swank hotel to create the proper atmosphere for murder most foul. All you need is some basic props, a few willing victims, and a smidgen of creativity.

Tips for Staying Sober No Matter Where You're At

Perhaps your plans this year include time spent at a gathering where you'll run across alcohol or other stimulating substances. That's no reason to forsake your recovery goals. Here are some ways to stay sober on the scariest night of the year:

Have a friend by your side. He or she can help you to avoid temptation and issue a polite but firm "no" to those who try to steer you toward relapse.
Volunteer to help with trick-or-treating or another kid's activity. That way you can always say, "Sorry, but I'm going to be around a bunch of sugared-up preschoolers later on and I need to have my wits about me."
Wear a costume that precludes imbibing: 'I'd love to, but it took me three hours to get the death's-head makeup just right and I'm not taking any chances."

Halloween is all about having a good time, no matter how old you are. So stay safe and sober while you're indulging in a little spooky fun. You'll come away with great memories and the strength to face your future free of fear.

The Playwrights & Artists Festival plays have been chosen!

October 19, 2017 by pegjohnston

News from KNOW THEATRE:  We asked playwrights and musicians to create works based on images of artwork .  The plays are blind-read, the best are chosen an produced.  Our friends at Strange Fangs Song Factory make arrangements with local musicians to compose original pieces.  We feature one artwork each night for three nights with the plays performed and the music played, and then we have a talkback with all of the people involved - artists, directors, musicians, actors, and you.

The shows are November 17, 18, 19 and 24, 25, 26  All performances are at 8pm.
The cost is $15 per night or $25 for the whole weekend.

Maria's Wish by Joseph Q. Daily
 - A Thorn
   by Seamus Lucason
 - The Last Virgin
   by Shirley Goodman

Disco Shrine by Gordon Lee
 - The Moka Pot
    by James Menges
 - Morally Inclined
    by Kris Tabor

Out of the Shadows by Orazio Salati
 - Dear Lentil
   by Kerri Quinn
 - Do or Don't Do
   by Adara Alston



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