Mayor Rich David and the Binghamton Police Department would like to invite citizens of the Greater Binghamton area to attend the spring 2014 Citizens Police Academy.
The CPA is a free 10 week class that will highlight various units within the Police Department; and each class is taught by the Officers themselves. Among the units represented will be SWAT, CSI, K-9, Patrol Division, Computer Forensics, DWI, firearms training, and more.
Each student will also be given an opportunity to go on a ride-a-long with a Police Officer. This year the organizers have added 3 new classes which include, sex offenders and how the Police Department monitors their activity, women in Law Enforcement, and a look into the use of force standards for Police and Civilians... (read more)
After multiple public hearings and vocal support from the Binghamton community, City Council has voted in favor of the Public Art Advisory Board.
On Wednesday, March 5th, during City Council's Business Meeting, Proposed Local Law 14-1 was unanimously co-sponsored and passed, establishing a Public Art Advisory Board. Councilman Motsavage introduced it to the council, stating that although they would like to clarify parts of the legislation later through amendments, such as the residency requirement for appointed members, this was something that should be passed now to get efforts started.
In the next coming months we should see the Mayor begin requesting letters of interest from the public. Mayor David will be responsible for five appointments onto the board, three of which must be professionals in the field of visual arts, graphic design, or architecture. Anyone may submit a letter of interest for a position in the board. More details to come.
Update: The Department of Public Art (DPA) is planning on hosting an event around the efforts and visions of local groups to promote public art in the City on Wednesday, March 26th at 7pm at the Cooperative Gallery 213 on State Street, Binghamton. This is a great opportunity to stay involved in the local arts and share your vision with other interested members of the community! Contact binghamtonbridgeATgmailDOTcom for more details.
It is puzzling that the elected officials who subscribe to the Unshackle NY clamor about unfunded mandates make no plea for the mentally ill of our community. A report in June of the White House Summit on mental health noted that public spending on mental health services has been slashed across the country in recent years, driven by the recession and by a zeal to shrink government. Were you aware that there was a NYS bill proposing the Mental Health Public Awareness Tax Check off last session?
The Southern Tier of NY has 15 counties comprised of 1.5 million people covering one quarter of the state in 11,400 square miles. It is a designated federal underserved area.
In 2010 BCMHC served 250 children annually(today NONE) and on any given day 200 of the total 539 outpatient adult mentally ill daily visits in Broome County. With roughly 194,000 residents of Broome County there should be 1,066 adults seeking services each month; recent OMH patient characteristics survey indicates on any given day 716 adult residents sought outpatient clinic services, still 30% short. Among Medicaid beneficiaries with disabilities 49% have a mental illness. A 2006 BCMHClinic research report indicated 60% of reimbursement was from Medicaid clients. The Clinic is open to ALL income levels and insurances.
Apparently the health and human services committee of the county was not concerned about quality of care, accessibility and understanding of this vulnerable mental health population when they cut services. There has been a slow hemorrhaging of services for at least eight years across political lines.
Why does this deceptive, stealth campaign continue to end County public mental health services?
Wed Mar 05 2014 - 6:30 PM
City Council Chambers, City Hall, Hawley Street Binghamton NY
City Council will be bringing the proposed "Public Art Advisory Board" (aka Public Art Commission) to a vote following a public comment period on the legislation. Come to City Hall at 6:30 to make your voice and support heard!
The proposed legislation is attached.
March at Cooperative Gallery
Cooperative Gallery 213 will feature NEW VISIONS from March 7-29, 2014, exhibiting the work of artist Aubrey Clark, an accomplished local artist and John Thomson, a professor of design for many years in the art department of SUNY Binghamton.
Although the two have sometimes collaborated as artists and happen to be married to each other, this exhibit consists of work pursued on an entirely individual basis. If there are similarities to be found, it might be coincidence or a shared connection to the natural world as a source of inspiration.
Environmental concerns and her passion for nature’s beauty are evident in Aubrey’s work. Her paintings of chickens, insects, frogs and leaves are striking in their directness, either placed unadorned on linen or in camouflage as is often found in nature. The prints have a multilayered complexity, making use of Asian papers with chine colle, and thus creating alchemy with the content. The process of discerning what is there engages the viewer to perhaps ask “what?” and “why?” In the cases of the honeybee and butterfly, their existence cannot be taken for granted. They are in decline largely as a result of manmade threats such as pesticides. Because bees are critical to pollination their demise threatens the food supply.
John Thomson began to develop an interest and aptitude for design in the fourth grade with drawings and models of boats and airplanes. His design sense has expanded more recently into bringing his life-long design interests in music and musical instruments, small boats and sailing, and the structures and patterns of the natural world into making works of art. This expression has resulted in small sculptures that may reference these interests, and digital adaptations of drawings, which are given new life printed on vinyl.
The Opening Reception for NEW VISIONS is First Friday, March 7, at the Cooperative Gallery 213. Aubrey and John will facilitate a discussion for the community and fellow artists on Third Thursday, March 20, 7-9 pm at the Gallery. The public is welcome.
The topic will be What Inspires and Motivates Artists? Cooperative Gallery 213 is open 3-6 pm on Fridays, 12-4 pm on Saturdays, and by appointment: 607.770.0040.
Calling all LGBTQ parents, prospective parents, and allies! Please join Pride and Joy Families for our upcoming Wednesday Webinars with presenter Arlene Istar Lev, Albany-area family therapist, educator and writer. The second session in the two-part series is "Nurturing Relationships between Parents," and will take place on Wednesday, March 19, 6:30 - 8:00 pm. The program is free but registration is required. The webinars will be posted on the prideandjoyfamilies.org site.
This session begins with the premise that maintaining loving relationships with a partner or spouse while rearing children is a Herculean task. The workshop will address how we as adults maintain our loving connections, find time for one another, and take care of the many responsibilities that challenge us as parents.
Binghamton - Broome County Office Building- February 20th–
A group of Broome County residents are demonstrating against the proposed BC jail expansion at the State of Broome County Address. The protestors are calling for a moratorium on the fifty bed expansion to the Broome County Jail. The group, BC Campaign for Alternatives to Incarceration, are also demanding a satisfactory answer to the increased jail population size.
From 1996 to the present, the jail population grew from 375 people to about 500. The county’s population is decreasing and crime is in a twenty year decline. Of the 487 in jail, 368 or 74% are unsentenced, which means they are awaiting trial or convicted and awaiting sentencing. The unsentenced population is increasing at a higher rate than the overall jail population. In short, we have too many persons in jail awaiting trial or serving sentences for minor offenses. It is not a problem specific to Broome County. It’s an Upstate-wide trend: Tompkins, Cortland, Delaware, and other Upstate NY counties are being forced to handle the increasing number of unsentenced persons held in county jails. Local officials also uniformly are proposing expansions to address the problem.
As I enter the faculty room, the cacophony of simultaneous conversation around the lunch table buoys my weary spirit. Soon however, I feel frustrated as to where and how to engage in the discussion. I wish I could discern the tenor or gist of what’s being said by listening carefully to the timber and the words of individuals, but alas, I reconcile myself to remaining mute, or at least to waiting until a pause occurs before I ask "what's up?"
Meetings are a necessary requirement of activists for peace, environmental preservation and/or social justice. The seemingly invincible powers aligned with militarism, global destruction and financial inequality mean a continual need for not only organizing help, but also a healthy dose of optimism and humor. For those reasons I carry notes on Robert's Rules of Order and for a long time, a large book full of jokes for all occasions. Recently, I've shelved the heavy humor volume and taken along a skinny, children's book entitled, The Peace Stick, by Nidhi Misra. It provides a concise lesson in how to prevent discussion dysfunction as it encapsulates the tenets of nonviolent communication.
Crossroads Rally 2013 Albany NY
Public Art has proven to make communities look and feel better by bringing the joy of art to the public. Public art can include mosaics, sculptures, murals, statues, and more. By having a Public Art Commission, a city can benefit by having members of the community who are professionals in the field of visual art make recommendations and proposals to beautify it's sometimes neglected and blank slates.
The City of Binghamton has great examples of Public Art that have been set in place by members of the community, but currently their proposals must first be approved by the Commission of Architecture and Urban Design (CAUD), a city commission that, although generally supportive of public art, have many other duties to perform concerning historical properties that they do not have time to formally approve these projects until months later. Members of CAUD are also not required to be visual artists, which may provide opinions that are not necessarily striking what should really be considered in an artistic endeavor. A Public Art Commission aims to focus on Public Art primarily, making the proposal process much more streamlined and aesthetic-oriented.