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Global IMC Network

Argentina Faces US Contempt Hearing

September 26, 2014 by Advocacy

US Federal Judge Thomas Griesa scheduled Argentina to appear for a contempt hearing on Monday, September 29. At issue is Argentina's failure to follow a court order to only continue to pay the 92% of bondholders who restructured after the country's 2001 default if Argentina pays a group of hold-out hedge funds. Argentina organized payment to restructured bondholders via an Argentine bank to avoid paying the hedge funds. The hedge funds, popularly known as "vulture funds," are asking the judge to hold Argentina in contempt and fine the South American country $50,000 per day.

"A contempt ruling probably won't help resolve the situation," said Eric LeCompte, executive director of the religious financial reform organization Jubilee USA. "The case continues to highlight how ineffective US courts are at resolving debt disputes."

At a similar hearing in August, Judge Griesa declined to find Argentina in contempt, noting: "In my judgment, it does not add to the scales of settlement to make a finding of contempt." In September, however, the Argentine Congress approved a debt swap bill to pay the restructured bondholders and circumvent the US court's decision to pay the hold-outs. Judge Griesa has called that bill "illegal." In a brief to the US Appeals Court in 2012, the US government argued Judge Griesa's ruling would harm New York as a center of finance because countries would avoid jurisdictions where predatory behavior is tolerated.

"This predatory behavior hurts investors and countries of all sizes," noted LeCompte. "The precedent in this case will hurt developing countries like Grenada and the Democratic Republic of the Congo."

Monday's contempt hearing comes days after Argentine President Christina Fernández de Kirchner's speech to the United Nations General Assembly about the dangers of predatory behavior. Fernández thanked countries that supported a recent UN resolution to advance an international bankruptcy process. The resolution passed September 9 by a vote of 124-11. A global debt resolution process could potentially prevent holdout litigation and limit defaults.

"In UN votes and IMF meetings, most of the world is saying the status quo is not working," said LeCompte, who serves on UN debt expert groups and attended the Argentine President's UN speech. "World leaders want both the predators to be stopped and defaults to become less likely. Only a bankruptcy process can achieve both."

Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 75 US organizations, 400 faith communities and 50 Jubilee global partners. Jubilee's mission is to build an economy that serves, protects and promotes participation of the most vulnerable. Jubilee USA has won critical global financial reforms and more than $130 billion in debt relief to benefit the world's poorest people.

Conference on Environment in Binghamton Oct 2-4

September 25, 2014 by pegjohnston

Weather-related disasters associated with climate change have driven regional mitigation plans to address infrastructure and personal property. But what are the grander scale impacts to agriculture, energy and ecosystems? What adaptations must be made to ensure a reliable food supply? Thinking long-term, what practical steps can help convert from conventional energy sources to those that help slow and ultimately reverse emissions that spur climate change? This year’s Conference on the Environment (COE) will explore a series of topics that attempt to answer these complex questions, illustrated with best practices and ways to take action.  Registration $95, includes ticket to Horse Flies concert, $20 Local Tour. Topics covered include our three breakout tracks:

• Local Food Systems: Learn about innovative local food programs in the Southern Tier, discuss new frontiers in urban agriculture, and discuss multidimensional aspects of local food systems.

• Climate Change, Adaptation and Natural Resource Management: Managing natural resources, climate smart communities and local adaptation strategies, and the ecosystem effects of climate change in New York.

• Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency: This track features lessons learned from solar energy campaigns across the state, successes and challenges in the Green Jobs, Green New York program, and the remaking of New York’s energy system.

Opening Event: Musical guests the Horse Flies will kick off the 2014 Conference on the Environment. This event is included in your conference registration fee and there will be a cash bar during the event. General admission tickets are also available for $20 ($15 for students). Proceeds beyond cost will benefit BRSC and the Broome Country Environmental management Council.

Dynamic Field Tour: The conference concludes with a tour that includes stops at the Binghamton Urban Farm with a representative from VINES (Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments). As a part of the 19th National Solar Tour, participants will also visit area homes that have been upgraded for renewable energy and energy efficiency. Transportation will be provided by Binghamton University OCCT and sponsored by the Binghamton University Outdoors Club.

Deadline for Registration Sept. 30th!

Support Group Forming for Sexual Assault Survivors

September 25, 2014 by pegjohnston

The Crime Victims Assistance Center is forming a support group for Sexual Assault survivors. For more information  download the flyer or call the Center at 723-3200.

File Attachment: 

VINES: Community Meal at United Presbyterian - Volunteers Needed

September 24, 2014 by artisalive

The United Presbyterian Church located at 42 Chenango Street hosts a free community meal every Tuesday that typically serves well over one hundred people. Next Tuesday on September 30th, VINES will be in charge of preparing the next community meal. But we can't do it alone--we need your help! 

We're looking for volunteers to help us in preparing, cooking, and serving the food that evening to many hungry people. If you love to cook, figure out creative dishes and recipes, or just love to see people happy while doing something with a positive impact, come down and be a part of another great effort to help make Binghamton more food secure. 

If you would like to volunteer for the event or are interested in more information, please contact us at (607) 205-8108 or email Cooking a meal for a community is a big responsibility--and we'd love to have your input and support. Hope to see you there!

Worldwide PhotoWalk

September 22, 2014 by pegjohnston

Matthew Card is  the Binghamton, NY leader again for this year’s Worldwide PhotoWalk.  Note that there is another one in Broome County starting at State Park.

October 11th 4:45 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.  Starting Place  Historic train station at 45 Lewis Street in Binghamton Post Walk Dinner  :  Little Venice at 7:30pm. 

Bill Baburchak will lead another PhotoWalk at State Park starting at 8 am - 11 am.

The walk will begin at the historic train station at 45 Lewis Street in Binghamton, and then head down Chenango Street where we will pass Little Venice , the new bus station , and we will pass more historic architecture  including the Stone Opera House, designed by Sanford O. Lacy and E.H. Bartoo, likely under Isaac Perry's supervision.

The distinctive façade of this building is rough-hewn red sandstone. Above the entrance is an ornamented arch framing a stone balcony.  Promoted as the most impressive opera house between New York City and Buffalo, this building was truly a showplace where prominent personalities including Sarah Bernhardt, John Drew, Ethel and John Barrymore, Eddie Foy and George M. Cohan, Teddy Roosevelt, Emanuel Goldberg performed.  Years later the building became a movie theater. Enroute on Chenango Street we will also see some of Binghamton’s most historic and magnificent architecture.  Binghamton prides itself on many very interesting buildings built in the 19th and early 20th centuries including the Courthouse and the Perry Building.  Both were designed by Isaac G. Perry, a famous architect from Binghamton.  Another historic landmark we we will see is the Press Building, a magnificent building detailed with an unusually elaborate display of Victorian exuberance. The Press building was designed by T.I Lacey & Sons and housed  one of our local newspapers, which later became the Press and Sun-Bulletin.   We will passing  by the First Presbyterian Church on Chenango Street as we make our way towards the Broome County Courthouse.

After spending some time photographing the courthouse and  Security Mutual Building, another building designed by  T.I Lacey & Sons. If you look towards the top of this building you might see some of the Peregrine Falcons which nest at the top of the building.  We will then walk past the old Broome County Library, one of the original Carnegie Libraries, built in 1904.    We then will head down Exchange Street to Hawley and take a right on Hawley and passing the government plaza complex. We will take a right on to State Street  and pass the old Stephens Square building. We will make our way down  to Court Street and left  for one block to Washington Street and then we will take a left go all the way to the South Washington Street bridge .

Then we will spend some time around the Washington Street bridge and Confluence Park before heading down the Binghamton Riverwalk .    The rest of the route  will be inspired by the group. 

For everyone's attention: FAQs

Those signing up should meet at the Train Station at 4:30 p.m.  15 minutes before our scheduled departure time of 4:45 p.m.  There is a limit of 50 people for the walk, so please sign up early.  In fairness to the group , if you sign up please do attend or contact me 48 hours in advance if must cancel to open up a space for others.  If you any questions, feel free to contact me at I look forward to meeting all of you !!  This will be a great opportunity to network with other photographers and share ideas and common experience .

FAQ’s about our Photo Walk through Binghamton:

1.            Expertise - You do not need to be a professional photographer to participate in the walk.

2.            Film or Digital - A disposable 35mm camera, a smartphone/camera will work just as well as the greatest and latest camera out there. A digital camera would be best if you want to share your pictures with everyone after our walk. This walk is for photographers of all levels of photographers and our number one goal is to have a great time shooting.   

3.            Parking - You will be able to park at the Train Station. 

4.            Gear - It up to you how much gear you carry. Some people like to travel light, but others like to bring tripods and lots of gear ,  it totally up to you what you bring .

5.            Clothing - Remember to dress for the weather.  Keep an eye on the weather report a few days before the walk. 

6.            Food - If you want to bring a snack or a drink, please feel free to do so.

7.            People and Property - As always, it is very important to be courteous and respectful of the people and property of Binghamton. This is a public walk and it may be crowded, so we will all need to watch out for fellow photographers as we all will be trying to get the best shot.   If you are photographing individuals, remember to ask their permission. ?  For children you need to get their parent’s permission.  This is a worldwide photo walk and we hope our group’s photographs will showcase Binghamton. 

8.            Be Helpful - Since we expect to have photographers at different skill levels, and this is a collaborative event, it would be wonderful if the more advanced photographers might reach out and help others who are less experienced than you are during the walk.  This walk should be a great opportunity to learn from each other and have a great time doing it.

9.            Safety, Safety, SAFETY – I can’t stress this enough, watch your gear at all times be sure to secure your cell phones and wallets. We would like to minimize potential problems that could mar your fun during the walk. Whatever or wherever you shoot, please put your safety and the safety of others first.  It is easy to get so involved in photographing that you forget about your environment. 


September 21, 2014 by activ60

ALERT Broome County Save Our Clinic Coalition Mental Health Public Hearing Tuesday Oct 7 6-8 pm At Broome County Library

One Broome County employee(not in mental health) states that “we need to do what is best for the County.” The same person has been told that the mentally ill can get services within three weeks. Keep in mind that most staff at the MH Clinic will not speak publicly for fear of job loss through black balling. What does that say about what is best for the quality of life in Broome County? Now, how many definitions would you make for what is best for the County? Is what is best for the County best for an individual? The so-called transition to privatized mental health services has been a rough and bumpy road for many. After one person went public on TV that she had waited four months she got a call for an appointment a few weeks ago. But we know others who are still waiting. One who has waited four months will now get an appointment in December. Another person who had their paperwork sent to the agency did not get in yet after four months because the paperwork was ‘lost’ and had to be resubmitted. And then there was a dual-diagnosis person who has been waiting since last December. There is a stack of referral papers on the clinical director’s desk waiting for an opening with the staff. You must remember that the staff who ‘transitioned’ to the private agency already had at least a caseload of fifty people each was bringing to the agency. They had to dribble in over time as the new registration paperwork got done; therefore their sessions were interrupted. It was not an instant entry of just showing one’s insurance card. But the bottom line was that the individual client did not have a choice of agency. Some were separated either from their therapist or from their medication prescriber. The Republican legislators refused to have a public hearing by tabling a vote. They continue their stealth tactic of eliminating positions through the budget process. Only one part time social worker will enter 2015. The other three full time social workers will be gone; it is down to two now. Most other clerical support staff will be gone in Dec leaving one and a half. All nurse practitioners will be ‘transferred’; leaving a half time psychiatrist.

Keep these dates in mind.
Tuesday Oct 7 6-8 pm Coalition Mental Health Public Hearing at BC Library
Thursday Oct 9 5 pm BC Legislature Public Hearing on the Budget Wed Oct 22 5pm Leg Mental Health on Health & Human Services Committee Review
Thursday Nov 13 5 pm 2nd BC Leg Public Hearing on the Budget
Thursday Nov 20 5 pm Reg Mtg of BC Legislature Some think the new seats in the Arena and Forum are best for the County. What could we barter for that new scoreboard? Others hope to keep a public nursing home. Tioga County just stopped its public transportation; is Broome next? Do the mentally ill deserve easy access to appointments within two weeks (like the State required). Do we want quality care and parity for the mentally ill in Broome County?

Fracking documentary Triple Divide in Owego

September 19, 2014 by imc-editor

Fracking documentary Triple Divide comes to Tioga County; Volunteers sought to monitor streams

Although fracking has been delayed in New York State over concerns about public health, the issue is very much alive in counties along the State’s Southern Tier. These could become a “sacrifice zone” should Governor Cuomo succumb to industry lobbyists. The health problems associated with fracking become especially alarming when viewed from the perspective of a “frack map” showing which properties in the Southern Tier have already been leased to the drilling companies.

To better acquaint residents of the Southern Tier with the dangers inherent in fracking, the New York Water Sentinels, an affiliate of the Sierra Club, will sponsor a showing of Triple Divide, a critically acclaimed documentary that describes the impact of gas drilling on residents living near the more than 7,000 frack sites in Pennsylvania. Using film footage of neighbors next door to property leased to the gas companies for fracking, the movie provides a vivid record of ordinary people describing health problems they encountered after the drilling began. Triple Divide has been called “a bombshell” and “the best documentary on fracking.” According to the filmmakers, describes how ‘world-class environmental regulations’ have failed to protect people, communities, and the environment.

Triple Divide will be shown Tuesday, 8 p.m., September 30 in Hubbard Auditorium, in the Tioga County Office Building, 56 Main Street, Owego. Entrance is free to the public, although donations to support the work of the New York Water Sentinels will be accepted.

Since December of 2011, the NY Water Sentinels have organized and trained 6 regional groups. To date, 160 volunteers have made more than 1,500 visits to document conditions at 125 stream sites. Streams being monitored span 12 counties and 6 major watersheds across the Southern Tier. The Sentinels are now ready to expand their coverage of the Marcellus Shale to include every location where fracking may occur in New York State.

The New York Water Sentinels hopes to interest neighbors living near leased land in Broome and Tioga Counties to monitor the water quality of streams that could affect them. As citizen science volunteers, residents using special monitoring equipment will learn how to collect scientifically accurate information on stream health that will be logged into a master database for the entire Southern Tier. When complete, the assembled data will comprise a critically needed baseline that can be used to identify sources of pollution should fracking start in New York State.

For more details about the film, visit For video clips, see and stay tuned @PublicHerald with #TripleDivide. FRACK MAP ATTACHED

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