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OECD Takes Strong Stance on Corporate Tax Avoidance

September 17, 2014 by Advocacy

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released a major proposal for curbing corporate tax avoidance yesterday. The OECD recommends international cooperation to prevent large corporations from avoiding taxes in the countries where they do business. The OECD plan comes amidst increased calls to crack down on corporate tax avoidance.

Week One of Parking Ramp Mural Project

September 14, 2014 by imc-editor

Week Two at the Parking Ramp witnessed 20+ volunteers of the APO Service Fraternity descend upon the parking ramp and leave behind lots of color in the stairwells. Part of the overall Virtual Reality project is to improve directions. Each level has a different color and symbol stenciled on each level.

It was a great weekend for public art!! The Dept of Public Art started work on the Water St. Parking Ramp, the Jablons and several helpers worked on mosaics on the planters on Water St. and Kady Perry, Bruce Greig and others began photographing for murals of children on the Flood Wall. The public seemed to appreciate the art too--spare change and dollar bills were donated freely to the DPA, "enough to buy 2-3 gallons of paint" according to organizers. "We are really heartened by the outpouring of support from people using the parking ramp. It is clear that people appreciate what we are doing to improve the ramp," commented Peg Johnston.

Here is a video of Day One, by videographer Mark Urban:

Video of Day Two, also by videographer Mark Urban; Music by local favorite Dan Pokorak:
And there is such a need for improvements. Volunteers, cleaned the stairwells, scraped loose paint off walls, and put color blocks on each level. Artists painted stencils for each level too. The orange first level is the Bundy time clock, which became IBM and led to the computer; the next is green and is the Player Piano level; the blue level is for the Blue Box, the flight simulator that Ed Link invented on the ramp site, and finally the pink Dancer level that represents the Parking Ramp Dances sponsored by the American Dance Asylum.

If you are interested in volunteering, sign up here:

Many more photos on the Facebook page Dept. of Public Art.



VINES hosts many gardening workshops

September 11, 2014 by pegjohnston

*Transplanting Perennial Divisions*
 CORRECTION:Saturday, September 27th, 9-12pm at the Binghamton Urban Farm*

On this day we will be learning how to make divisions of already
established perennials, and how to transplant them in the garden. We have
built a new bed along the south fence of the urban farm and will be filling
it with transplants from other locations.
*Garlic Planting Workshop*
*Saturday, October 18th, 10am-1pm at the Binghamton Urban Farm*
Join the Urban Farm Manager and additional VINES staff as we prepare beds,
portion out garlic cloves and get our garlic in the ground for the season!
We will explain the process step-by-step of choosing garlic seed, spacing,
bed preparation, mulching and maintenance. This is a very hands-on workshop
and participants will leave with the knowledge of planting their own garlic
each year and developing their own garlic seed variety.
*Fruit Tree Ground Preparation*
 Saturday, October 25th, 1pm at the Binghamton Urban Farm*
On this day we will be preparing the ground for the fruit trees that will
be planted in the spring, as well as doing some winterizing of other
perennials at the Urban Farm.
*VINES is an organization committed to developing a sustainable and just
community food system. We do this by bringing together diverse groups of
people, with a focus on youth development, to establish community gardens,
urban agriculture and community green spaces. We strive to develop and
beautify urban sites and empower community members of all ages and
*For more information:

Local Photographer Wins Four National Prizes

August 31, 2014 by pegjohnston

"Nancy Basmann, a Certified Professional Photographer, won four awards at the International Photographic Competition 2014 sponsored by Professional Photographers of America.  Of the nearly 5000 competition entries, 36% went into the General Collection and 18% into the prestigious Loan Collection of PPA.   Basmann’s “Jivin’”, “Call Waiting”, and “Route 66" are in the General Collection and “If only wishing could make it so” is in the Loan Collection (Volume XVII, Marathon Press).   The images will be on display at the International Photographic Exhibition, Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, Tennessee, Feb. 1-3, 2015, where Basmann will be honored as a Silver Medallist for her accomplishments in photography."  
Primary Sources
(1) A panel of 45 eminent jurors from across the United States selected the top photographs from nearly 5,000 total submitted entries at Gwinnett Technical College in Georgia. Judged against a standard of excellence, just over 1,800 images were selected for the General Collection and 918 (roughly 18 percent) were selected for the esteemed Loan Collection—the best of the best. The Loan Collection images will all be published in the much-anticipated "Loan Collection" book ... published ... by Marathon Press.

Photo credit: Basmann, Nancy "Call Waiting" Vestal, NY UNITED STATES

At Long Last! Painting in the Parking Ramp

August 29, 2014 by pegjohnston

After two months twiddling our thumbs, the painting of a series of murals depicting the "Birthplace of Virtual Reality" in the Water St. Parking Ramp next to Boscov's, the Dept of Public Art is ready for volunteers to tackle several jobs. "We are looking for all kinds of help, from painting stairs to cutting stencils, to advanced air brush technique," says Shawna "Pepper" Stevenson of the DPA. The weekends of Sept 13-14 and 27-28th and another weekend in October are designated although mural painting may continue on other days. Please sign up to volunteer here

The Project, which has received funding from the Chenango Co. Arts Council and the Hoyt Foundation, documents the unique history of this location in Binghamton where the "building blocks of virtual reality" were invented, according to Susan Sherwood of the Center for Technology and Innovation, who researched the site. 

1. The Bundy Manufacturing Co. (1893-1906) stood at 183-185 Water St., and became the International Time Recording Co (1906-7) and eventually IBM, which, of course, manufactured some of the first computers.

2. The Automatic Musical Co. (1907-14) took over the site to manufacture player pianos, which were robotic innovations.

3. Ed Link, famously, was sitting on the organ bellows at his father’s Link Piano Co. (1914-1933) and got the idea for the Link Flight Simulators (1929, patented 1931) and started Link Aviation and Flying School in that location (1929-34). The Link “blue box” trained WWII pilots.

4. After the devastating floods in 1935 and ’36 the building was not useable and in the late 60’s the Parking Ramp was built in two sections. The American Dance Asylum celebrated the architecture with several performances of the Parking Ramp Dance, which pioneered multi media, video feedback, and dance performances (1978, 1980, 1981, 1984).


Banks and Investors Call for New Debt Rules In Wake of Argentina Hedge Fund Case

August 29, 2014 by Advocacy

The International Capital Market Association (ICMA), a group of banks and investors, will call Friday for reforms aimed at preventing repeats of the Argentina/NML Capital debt dispute. The ICMA's plan would reduce the ability of hold-out creditors to litigate and undermine debt restructurings, in part by using contract clauses to bind all bond-holders to debt restructurings that 75% of all holders agree on.Additionally, the plan will argue that the "pari passu" or parity clauses in existing bond contracts should always mean that hold-out funds should always receive the same restructured bonds that the majority of investors agree on.

Ride the Bus from Binghamton to the People's Climate March in NYC on September 21

August 27, 2014 by bingsierra

The Susquehanna Group of the Sierra Club is offering bus transportation to the People’s Climate March on September 21. The march through the streets of New York City demonstrate support for climate action and will coincide with a week of events supporting United Nations Climate Summit.

Cost of the bus is $25 per person round trip; $15 for students and low-income individuals.

The bus will leave at 7:30 a.m. from the Sears entrance of Oakdale Mall, Johnson City, and return by 10:30 p.m., subject to change. Those who register on the website will receive updates.

To reserve your seat on the bus, visit the below address. If you can't get an immediate response, cut and paste this into the website address line.

For more information, call Julian Shepherd at 722-9327 or Scott Lauffer at 341-3746.

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