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City of Binghamton City Council Votes on Public Art Advisory Board

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.

NEW VISIONS: Aubrey Clark and John Thomson

February 21, 2014 by pegjohnston

 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.

LGBTQ* Families will be Topic of Upcoming Wednesday Webinars

February 19, 2014 by pegjohnston

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 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.

Community Protests Jail Expansion; Calls for Moratorium

February 18, 2014 by Anonymous

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.

A Stick for Peace

February 17, 2014 by tim wolcott

 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 at Albany 2013 (click to enlarge)

February 16, 2014 by Zalasith

Crossroads Rally 2013 Albany NY

Crossroads at Albany 2013 (click to enlarge)

Public Art Commission - Another Public Hearing on Wednesday, February 19th

February 15, 2014 by artisalive

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.

City of Binghamton to Host Community Visioning Workshop for the First Ward Revitalization Strategy

February 13, 2014 by pegjohnston


(BINGHAMTON, NY) The City of Binghamton announced today that they will host a community visioning workshop for the First Ward Revitalization Strategy.

The City of Binghamton invites the community to participate in the project’s first workshop to provide feedback on the vision and future planning efforts for the First Ward Revitalization Strategy. The project includes the area bounded by Route 17 on the north, the Chenango River on the east, Clinton Street on the south, and the Binghamton city boundary (at Market Street) on the west.

Date: Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Time: 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Location: First Ward Senior Center, 226 Clinton Street

Format: Presentation and interactive workshop

This event will provide an opportunity for the community to learn about and offer feedback on efforts to revitalize the First Ward, support existing businesses, attract new businesses, create jobs and improve the quality of life for residents. Light refreshments will be provided.

About The Project:

The War on (White) Women: Intersection of Race and Sex

February 13, 2014 by pegjohnston

  Stacey Patton has written a very insightful article about the right wing attacks on women's reproductive rights and parallel anti immigration and racist behavior. Give it a read!

The GOP’s war on the most intimate aspects of women’s lives is undoubtedly real, but it is not being applied without discrimination.

Let’s be clear—the primary targets of the right wing’s rhetorical and legislative attacks are, and have always been, white women. The war on white women is really a push for more white babies. And, that push goes hand in hand with amped-up racial profiling, vigilante policing, mass incarceration, school closures, hoarding of resources from communities of color, and blatant disregard for violence directed at African Americans and their children, including the unborn.

More white people are dying than are being born, a trend that is projected to continue. Meanwhile, the birth rates for people of color remain stable or high, primarily for Latinos. The trick for the modern American situation is to prevent people from seeing that the war for more white babies and the war against people of color are related. But the two phenomena are inseparable.
Continue reading at

Electoral Training Seminar - Learn How To Run For Office

February 11, 2014 by Anonymous

Are you tired of the same moneyed interests controlling our local politics? Learn how to be part of the political process, run a grassroots campaign, and win!

The Electoral Training Seminar will begin on March 10, 2014 and will be held at the Citizen Action Office at 477 State Street, Binghamton, NY.

This 8-Week course will meet on Monday Evenings from 6pm to 9pm to discuss grassroots political campaign strategy and skills to run for office locally. The cost is $60 for the whole course, with some scholarships available. The deadline to register is March 1st.

You can view the online application at You can like and share the Facebook Event here:
If you have any questions, you can e-mail for more information.

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