We are sorry if you have visited the binghamton bridge recently and been dismayed to find it crashed. We have taken a number of steps to rectify the situation. First of all we have removed the hundreds, if not thousands, of users who are spammers. And then we deleted old events dating back to 2010 as well as many articles that go way back. They were taking up space on the site without much benefit. However, we regret if something you posted a good bit ago is gone when you search for it. As you can imagine it is time consuming to delete thousands of entries so if we missed something valuable we apologize. We owe a great debt of gratitude to Joshua Ludski for his advice and help in fixing things! Nice to have smart friends!
Secondly, we increased the space on the server, at greater cost to us, but essential to keeping the site up and running. So, if your appreciation runs to sending a small donation our way, you can use our donate button, with "bridge work" in notation, and we will be most appreciative. You can also send a check to Ctr for Gender, Art, and Culture 213 State St. #1 Binghamton NY 13901 with the same notation.
Finally, we are still looking for someone who can do some updates on the site-- a couple of hours initially and then some maintenance. Our site is on the Drupal platform, and we do have some funds to pay a tech person. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
The binghamton bridge also posts listed events and articles in a weekly e-newsletter that goes out Sunday evening. If you need help posting, please contact us! And join the mailing list by clicking on the link on the homepage. If you have registered and are still blocked from posting, drop us a note and we will approve you quickly!
reprinted from Institute for Local Self Reliance
Amazon is on a building spree, and many local officials are eager to bring one of its giant fulfillment centers to their own backyard. They are so eager, in fact, that some have resorted to offering the company lavish tax breaks and other public assistance. Between 2012 and 2014, Amazon picked up $431 million in local tax incentives to finance its warehouse expansion.
By Tim Wolcott
Soon before the beginning of the current school year, Bob Graves, the Maine-Endwell High School Spartan Theater Company Director, was asked what they were going to present in 2015-2016. “Would it be another musical or a tragedy?” The questioner (which was not me) went on, “I really liked when you produced those little plays about peace.” Bob wasn’t yet sure what the company was going to do, so he honestly admitted, “we haven’t decided yet.”
Mr. Graves recounted this story in his introduction to this season’s first presentation, “Searching for Peace”, a collection of one-act plays and songs with peace as the central theme. He went on to say, and I paraphrase, “after thinking about all the current wars that are putting American lives at risk, maybe it is time to revisit the theme of peace.” I am glad he made that decision. Too often the courage to trumpet peace is drowned out by the false majesty of war.
The present production was very similar to the 2006 production, but had musical interludes and a couple of additional theatrical acts. The November 7th, 2015 performance was, depending on the piece, poignant, audacious and/or inspirational.
I also had the pleasure of seeing the production in 2006. This production was a reprise of the four original acts – “How Violence Is Ended”, “The Christmas Truce”, “When the Twins Went to War” and “The War Prayer”. The staging was different, but the text was the same. In the Buddhist legend, “How Violence Is Ended”, the clarion call was repeated, “Do not be short-sighted” (seek impulsive revenge) and “Do not be long-sighted” (hold grudges). “The Christmas Truce” recounts the spontaneous cessation of war on Christmas Eve by German and English troops during W.W.I. Hearing “Silent Night”, hauntingly sung, in German, offstage while the English trench soldiers become visibly mesmerized by its serenity was very powerful. The message of Mark Twain’s “The War Prayer” could not resonate more. In that act, a preacher in the pulpit is rallying the congregation to war through biblical passages and patriotic slogans when he is interrupted by a female messenger from God. She proceeds to translate the preacher’s uplifting rhetoric to its barbaric reality. After a prolonged silence of rapt understanding, the congregants declare her insane, and the preacher continues his sermon as the play ends.
During the interludes, talented musicians within the cast amplified the powerful content from the dramatic acts. A faculty member sang, in French, a WWI protest song (while a translation was shown simultaneously) that included the words, “President, if blood be shed, let it be yours.” John Lennon’s “Imagine” and “Let It Be” were sung to echo the non-violent sentiment of the production. The evening ended with the entire cast and audience singing Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance”.
We all do have to participate in giving peace a chance. This production surely helped us see and hear how.
A local group of community members and students will explore recycling and re-use of materials in Broome County to see if there are opportunities both for increased recycling and for creating jobs. Nov. 14th, 2 pm on BU campus--Library second floor, it is LS2523A South Study.
According to EPA there are over 250 million tons of solid waste generated in the US every year. Over 4 lbs per person per day. With nearly 200,000 people in Broome county that's 800,000 lbs per day or divided by 2000 lbs per ton 400 tons or 10 tractor trailer loads of garbage per day.
Rubber, textiles and leather are about 9% or 72,000 lbs per day. Nearly 2 tractor trailer loads every day.
To give you some idea of value: Recycled clothes from collection boxes are valued at 20 cents per lb or $8,000 per 40,000 lb load. Let's say that 50% of the rubber, textiles and leather are clothes that's $4,000 every day. That's the approximate value of just 4 1/2 % of the solid waste going into Broome counties landfill as clothing every day.
According to Les Platt, one of the organizers, "I've sold Credential clothes, that's clothes collected in community boxes, for as much as 38 cents per lb or 2 1/2 times current values." Most materials have nowhere near these values. Some are more valuable. The point is that there are millions of dollars being buried in Broome Counties landfill every year at the cost of other millions of dollars.
Platt says, "Our job is to see how much of this value we can reclaim, at what savings and to direct whatever value we can into productive activities. From my point of view that will be street kids projects, creating jobs for people coming out of jail and of course careers or business opportunities we find for ourselves. There are thousands of other possibilities."
There are hundreds of recycling activities going on in every community all the time. These include scavengers who rummage through dumpsters searching for redemption containers and individuals who search the country side or curbs on garbage days looking for useful items to resell or scrap. There are thousands of people right here in Broome county who have ongoing rummage sales, garage sales or year around flea markets.
There are independent garbage collectors who provide recycling services to commercial enterprises, industries and institutions or scavenge their own collections for anything of value easily separated.
Local municipalities and the county have instituted recycling projects. Catholic Charities, the Salvation Army, the Rescue Mission and many other non profits and churches have thrift stores and rummage sales. There are dozens of profit making thrift stores, consignment shops, used vehicle and equipment dealers. There are many junk yards, scrap dealers, professional materials collectors and brokers of all sizes from local collectors to national and international dealers.
There are local, state, federal and international agency's and institutions set up to promote and regulate recycling activities.The organizers are saying, "Our job will be to study them, learn to understand them, find ways to improve their situations increase their effectiveness and reassure them, that overall we are a credible team member."
"We will need to get involved at all levels. We will need hundreds of people. To attract them we will need to recruit those who are interested, identify or create incentives for those who are ambitious, define infrastructure for the general public to participate and start physical projects, large and small to illustrate viability. We will need to create cash flow, inspire entrepreneurs and attract investors."
For more information, visit the calendar on this site, or email email@example.com.
On November 10, we’re holding a national day of action to support $15 an hour and union rights. Believe me, you want to be there.
RALLY FOR $15 WAGES FOR ALL WORKERS! November 10th 2015 @ 12 noon Across from Walmart in Johnson City At the CFJ Park
As fast-food workers across the country go on STRIKE on November 10, people across the country will be coming together to stand with them, with child care workers and with all 64 million underpaid workers making less than $15. Because it’s TIME for $15. Together we’re turning the tide in favor of working people and our families. And we’ll need everyone’s help – including yours – to make this a reality.
BCAC GRANTS AVAILABLE; FREE SEMINARS OFFERED
Broome County Arts Council is accepting grant applications for its 2016 United Cultural Fund (UCF) Project Grants and will hold free seminars on eligibility and how to apply. Hosted by executive director Sharon Ball, the seminars are scheduled throughout Broome County and will also offer information on the UCF and other potential funding sources for Broome County artists and arts organizations. There is no cost to attend a seminar, but reservations are strongly advised. Call 607-723-4620 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a seat at any of the following seminars:
• Wednesday, November 4
5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Windsor Whip Works Art Center
98 Main Street, Windsor
• Tuesday, December 8
5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
George F. Johnson Library
1001 Park St, Endicott
• Wednesday, December 9
5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Broome County Arts Council
81 State St, Suite 501, Binghamton
• Wednesday, December 16
5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Mary Wilcox Memorial Library
2630 Main St, Whitney Point
BCAC’s United Cultural Fund (UCF) Project Grants are intended to promote cultural development and expand the public impact of the arts in Broome County. The maximum grant request is $1,000. To download eligibility guidelines and application forms, visit http://www.broomearts.org/ucf-project-grants/ . For more information, contact Broome County Art Council at 723-4620.
It’s election season so no one should be surprised that partisans are throwing fear of crime into the mix. The Police Modernization Bill, initiated by the Binghamton Human Rights Commission, would codify documentation of police encounters by ethnicity, would create training in cultural sensitivity, and encourage for diversification of the police force. It is similar to legislation in other cities where the relationship between police and minorities has created inequities. Even top cop YC Police Commissioner Bill Bratton has favored the esentials called for in this legislation.
The police union opposed the bill and spread disinformation that police will no longer be able to respond to information provided by the victim of a crime and will no longer be able to present suspects to crime victims for identification. According to Sean Massey of the Human Rights Commission, “These statements are completely false and this memo appears to be an unfortunate scare tactic intended to shift public support away from passage of the law.”
Support for the police is the third rail of GOP politics and also a handy bludger to scare the electorate. An eleventh hour mailing by Joe Mihalko illustrates this perfectly, calling supporters of the bill “special interests” even though it has enjoyed widespread community support. “Bad policy”, “handcuffing the police” are other phrases employed to scare people.
Massey and Democratic council people have acknowledged that the bill may need tweaking to be sure that it doesn’t hamper police, but the opportunity for fear mongering was too convenient.
Sadly, fear mongering has had great success nationally and locally. The best way to prove that it doesn’t work is to not be frightened of legislation that hasn’t even been written.