Photo: proposed farmer's market building, architectural drawing
County Exec Debbie Preston has declared the land behind the Cooperative Extension "the perfect place" for a year round farmer's market, but once again she is putting lipstick on a pig. The Cooperative Extension site was a late substitution when the Otsiningo Park location was held up due to finds from the archaeological dig on the site. But neither site is available by walking and the Cooperative Extension site is really only accessible by car, and there are not that many parking spaces at that. In a town that is a food desert in many places, and has many abandoned lots and underused buildings a more sustainable location could have been available. Several alternative sites come to mind: Binghamton Plaza, or opposite in the Colonial Plaza where the County Land Bank has taken possession. Or, the old Lumber Yard site off of Lester Ave. across from CFJ Park which has plenty of space, is in the middle of everything, on two bus lines, and with the development currently planned for Johnson City this would fit right in. Even more promising now that the EJ Victory Building has been secured by the County Land Bank.
But, the county was in danger of losing the money due to a deadline, so they grabbed the Cooperative Extension site.
Sustainability was a buzzword for the Ryan Administration but you won't hear it in the halls of either the county or the city. Sustainability means that we don't rely on automobiles if there are alternatives, that we encourage safe walking and biking. Also, that re-claims land or buildings not being utilized. If you have traveled up Front St. lately you know that the traffic is fierce and that there are no sidewalks or bike paths. Not sustainable to say the least.
Another missed opportunity to do the right thing. And a mistake we will be living with for a long time.
Opening Reception and Awards Ceremony Sunday Afternoon
(Binghamton, NY) Roberson Museum and Science Center will present a tremendous showcase of regional artists with the Opening Reception and Awards Ceremony for its 2015 Regional Art Exhibition Sunday, July 12 from 1-4pm. The announcement of awards will take place at 3pm.
The works of more than 40 regional artists are featured within the exhibition in categories including sculpture, photography, painting, and more.
Roberson’s Regional Art Exhibition is a juried exhibition comprised of original works from artists residing within 150 miles of Binghamton. Works accepted into the exhibition were selected by an outside Juror. The Juror for the 2015 Regional Art Exhibition is Mark Schaming, Director & Assistant Commissioner of the New York State Museum.
First, second, and third place cash awards and certificates will be presented to selected artists during the Opening Reception.
Works in the Regional Art Exhibition will be on display at Roberson through October 25, and many of the pieces are available for purchase.
Roberson Museum and Science Center
30 Front Street
Binghamton, NY 13905
We are here in Binghamton near the hub of the extensive rail network that slices through our communities, near our homes and schools to condemn the rundown of the rail system and its use to transport dangerous materials so close to our homes and schools, endangering the lives of our children, the public and rail workers. We are demanding better safety for all. Rail fatalities are escalating out of control, said the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) back in 2008. There were 19 rail deaths that year. The accidents, deaths, and injuries have been increasing ever since. Since 2010, there were 87 reported rail accidents, such as derailments and collisions; then last week the derailment and fire in Tennessee forced the evacuation of over 5,000 and exposed many to the flammable liquid chemical Acrylonitrile. Here in Broome County, where more than 60% of the population lives within two miles of track, mandatory evacuation, chemical exposures and deaths could be much higher in the event of such an accident in this area. • Causes – collisions, derailments, broken rails, braking failures, bridge collapses, inadequate maintenance, ‘jumped the tracks’, and engineer fatigue are among the causes cited by government agencies, such as the National Transportation and Safety Board. Railroad workers have long been fighting against the rail industry's push for: reduction in crew size, general cut-backs in staffing, reduced inspections of track and equipment, operation of excessively long and heavy trains, draconian attendance policies that limit time off work, reduced time off between work shifts, and other unsafe practices. • Impacts – deaths, injuries, massive fires, mass evacuations, highway closures, transportation disruption. • Threats to health and the environment. Many of these trains are carrying hazardous materials. We in the community are not informed of what is passing our homes and schools. In the period since 2000, the following materials have escaped from trains involved in accidents: liquid fertilizer, municipal waste, coal, ore, asphalt, chlorine, ammonia, crude oil, diesel fuel, argon gas, magnetite, vinyl chloride, crude oil from Bakken shale (STOP THE OIL TRAINS!), napthalene, and other unspecified hazardous materials. We need the following: • The full disclosure of the Broome County Health Dept. and Broome County Emergency Services evacuation and treatment plans in case of a rail emergency. • The full disclosure by all railroads passing through Broome County of their insurance coverage in the case of such accidents. • The immediate infrastructure repair of railroad structures that are controlled by the Industrial Development Authority, especially but not limited to walkways and underpasses. • We have a right to know what materials, such as dangerous and hazardous waste, pass through our community. Such information should be regularly announced in local media. • The public should be consulted on the use of this area for transporting dangerous materials. • Rail companies should recognize the Railroad Workers themselves as leaders in the implementation of health and safety standards to be paid by the companies • The enforcement and appropriate fines from OSHA, Dept. of Labor & the EPA when RR companies are found in violation of regulations. • We call on public re-investment in rail systems to provide a safe, reliable system of transportation for the public. Whatever happened to the Bullet train?? Citizens for Train Safety Contact Information: Richard Sprout, Sproutr@upstate.edu, 607-238-6892
This is a great article from the Washington Spectator, a news and analysis newsletter. Read and subscribe!
A pattern has emerged—in Oakland, New York, Cleveland, Baltimore, the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, and beyond. Police claiming to feel threatened kill unarmed black men. Protests follow, sometimes including violence. The Department of Justice finds a pattern and practice of racially-biased policing. The city agrees to train officers not to use excessive force, encourage sensitivity, prohibit racial profiling. These reforms are all necessary and important, but ignore an obvious reality that the protests are not really (or primarily) about policing.
In racially isolated neighborhoods where jobs are few and transportation to job-rich areas is absent, where poverty rates are high and educational levels are low, where petty misbehavior and more serious crime abound, young men and cops develop the worst expectations of each other, leading to predictable confrontations.
In 1968, following more than 100 urban riots nationwide, almost all in response to police brutality or killing by police, a presidential commission concluded that “[o]ur nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal” and that “[s]egregation and poverty have created in the racial ghetto a destructive environment totally unknown to most white Americans.” The Kerner Commission added that “[w]hat white Americans have never fully understood—but what the Negro can never forget—is that white society is deeply implicated in the ghetto. White institutions created it, white institutions maintain it, and white society condones it.”
Read more: http://washingtonspectator.org/how-redlining-led-to-rioting/
Photo by Robert C. Johnston
These food chains are owned by far right-wingers who've funded conservative super-PACs.
LAUREN KELLEY, ALTERNET
For all the Oreo Cookies out there – companies that support gay rights, if only because doing so is good for business – there are plenty of food companies that have not come around on progressive social issues. In fact, a number of food companies are owned by far right-wingers who’ve spent significant money opposing gay rights, abortion rights, and other important causes and funding attack ads against left-leaning politicians.
The companies in question include many popular chain restaurants that you may eat at occasionally, or even all the time. It’s wise to know where your dining dollars are going.
To that end, here are five food chains that are helmed by owners who support right-wing politics.
Listed are Chick-Fil-A, Carl's Jr., Domino's Pizza, White Castle, and Waffle House
Kristen Igo of Chenango Valley High School and Melissa Boekker of Chenango Forks High School won the fourth annual Stu Naismith Memorial Peacemaker Awards. The two $350 scholarships were given on June 8 and 12, jointly by the Stu Naismith Chapter of Veterans for Peace and the Binghamton Community Friends Meeting (Quaker), in memory of Stuart Naismith (1927-2011), a World War II veteran and tireless campaigner for peace, who taught in both school districts.
Broome-Tioga NAACP, Urban League of Broome County, and Broome County YWCA call for passage of the Police Modernization law
June 17, 2015 – Binghamton, NY – Tonight at the Binghamton City Council Business meeting representatives from the Broome Tioga NAACP, the Urban League of Broome County and the Broome County YWCA will read statements during the public comment session endorsing the Police Modernization Law currently being discussed in the Municipal and Public Affairs Committee.
The legislation, drafted by the Binghamton Human Rights Commission, which has been in committee since February, has four objectives: (1) to affirm that racial profiling by law enforcement is illegal in the City of Binghamton; (2) mandate the tracking, analysis and reporting of all traffic and pedestrian stops by the police; (3) mandate comprehensive annual in-service cultural competency, implicit bias, and procedural justice training of local law enforcement; and (4) require the police administration to develop and present a plan to diversify the department. Once moved to the floor, a series of public hearings will be scheduled.
The right of the Binghamton City Council to pass legislation related to police conduct, such as the Police Modernization Law, is supported by New York State law. This was confirmed by the New York Civil Liberties Union in a conversation with the Binghamton Human Rights Commission. They stated “the home rule provision of the New York State Constitution confers broad police power on local governments to legislate to address local affairs and government issues as long as it does not conflict with the Constitution or a state law” and pointed to New York City’s Community Safety Act (a law banning racial profiling by the NYPD) as a precedent. The Community Safety Act, which was signed into law in January 2014, goes beyond the reforms being proposed by the Police Modernization Law and was endorsed by over 100 human services and civil rights organizations (many of them state-wide and national).
Binghamton City Council’s business meeting starts at 6:30pm in City Council Chambers at Binghamton City Hall.
* * *
Several organizations have issued statements or guidelines for drafting and passage of laws related to bias-based policing and racial profiling. For example:
The NAACP and Amnesty International have suggested that such a law should include:
1. A comprehensive effective ban on racial profiling.
2. Bans on pre-textual stops (those instances in which police use minor/common traffic violations to inquire about drugs, guns, or other breaches of the law) of pedestrians and motorists.
3. Criminalizes violations of the racial profiling ban and specify penalties for officers who repeatedly engage in racial profiling.
4. Mandatory data collection for all stops and all searches (traffic and pedestrian)
5. Data analysis and publication of the data collected to complaints of racial profiling and regularly publish results of racial profiling investigations.
6. An independent commission to review and respond to complaints of racial profiling and regularly publish results of racial profiling investigations.
7. Allows for individuals to seek court orders to stop individual departments from continuing to engage in racial profiling.
8. Provide funds for periodically retraining officers and installing in-car video cameras for monitoring traffic stops.
The National Urban League has called for:
1. Widespread use of body cameras and dashboard cameras
2. Broken windows reform and implementation of 21st century community policing model
3. Review and revision of police use of deadly force policies
4. Comprehensive retraining of all police officers
5. Comprehensive review and strengthening of police hiring standards
6. Appointment of special prosecutors to investigate police misconduct
7. Mandatory, uniform FBI reporting and audit of lethal force incidents involving all law enforcement
8. Creation and audit of national citizen database of complaints against police
9. Adoption of national police accreditation system for mandatory use by law enforcement to be eligible for federal funds
10. National comprehensive anti-racial profiling law
“A diverse law enforcement agency can better develop relationships with the community it serves, promote trust in the fairness of law enforcement, and facilitate effective policing by encouraging citizen support and cooperation. Law enforcement agencies should seek to hire a diverse workforce.”
-U.S. Department of Justice
“Ban racial profiling by the police… [and] mandate that all police departments collect and report data on a quarterly basis on police shootings, and other deaths in custody, as well as stops, frisks, searches, citations, arrests, and uses of force.”
- American Civil Liberties Union
“The NBPA also support legislation that holds the governmental entity, its police department and offending officers liable for violating the civil rights of our citizenry. The NBPA also supports mandated and uniform data collection and analysis to research and abate adverse impact; educate the police and the public and to develop policy and procedures designed to correct and discipline deviance.”
-National Black Police Association