At the April 12 Binghamton City Council meeting, the GOP-led Council is expected to rubberstamp, as usual, Mayor Kraham’s request to (1) launder $500,000 of COVID recovery funds through the general fund, “liberating” the federal grant dollars from program rules, and then (2) immediately allocating this same $500,000 for a commercial façade improvement grant program …
If Binghamton City Council is the community’s legislative body, ever wonder how they’re performing? After all, Binghamton is a strong-mayor form of government, which grants the mayor full executive and administrative authority over the day-to-day operations of the city. City Council, on the other hand, assumes the role of chief legislative body, expected to introduce …
Thanks to the unprecedented infusion of federal recovery dollars, the state’s budget approved in April is loaded with massive, one-time investments. Some have attracted critical media attention (Bills stadium deal, Exhibit A), while some have escaped the spotlight. One of those hidden gems is a $250 million allocation to the Restore NY program, which has …
April 3, 2022 Dear Council Members, I am writing about the code enforcement proposals recently announced by Mayor Kraham. While I support the overall efforts, the statements made by the Mayor and Councilmembers are a bit overstated. Moreover, the reforms don’t really solve the specific concerns expressed by the same officials. Or they simply …
In response to a the police objecting to a book to be read by children at MacArthur School, a rally was called for Saturday April 24th at Rec Park. The Black Children Matter campaign previously spoke at a School Board meeting. The book is “Something Happened in Our Town” and the Binghamton Police asked that …
"This is What Democracy Looks Like" was one of the chants at Binghamton's iteration of the international Women's March and it was 3000 strong with a great diversity of people attending. Donna Lupardo our State Assembly rep and Jason Garner, our new County Exec, both urged women to run for office on every level of government, especially, as Lupardo pointed out, "2017 is the 100th anniversary of women's right to vote in New York State." The March was organized by Citizen Action, BC Democratic Women, and the NAACP, among others.
Popular signs were "Make America Kind Again," "Make America Think Again," "Love Trumps Hate," "Hands Off!" indicating an anti-Trump feeling–and worry about the future. Others: "Black Live Matter More Than White Feelings," "Love is Love," and "Protect Your Sisters not just your Cis-ters." Several people expressed concern about the loss of insurance coverage when the Affordable Care Act is repealed.
CNN, the NY Times and other media outlets have declared that the March was the largest ever demonstration in one day. Jeremy Pressman U of Connecticut and Erica Chenoweth of U of Denver are keeping track of attendance figures worldwide. Although it is a work in progress they estimate 3.3 -4.6 million people attended in 642 locations. (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1xa0iLqYKz8x9Yc_rfhtmSOJQ2EGgeUVjvV4A8LsIaxY/htmlview?sle=true#gid=0_)
Encouraged by the tremendous numbers of people resisting the Trump agenda, the true test will come in strategically mobilizing people to vote and organize. Locally, Claudia Tenney, newly elected Congress person and arch conservative is likely to be a special target for activists. Nationally, Michael Moore and other have called for "100 Days of Resistance." A publication called Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda is gaining attention among organizers. It deconstructs the success of the Tea Party and sets out a plan to do the same for the progressive movement. It was (and continues to be) written by volunteers who have Congressional experience and have watched the far right hijack the Obama agenda. For a copy and updates to the guide go to www.IndivisibleGuide.com. OR Download below
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
David’s Dead End, the Mayor’s $500,000 plan to pave over the Metrocenter courtyard for ten parking spaces, is officially dead. We want to thank Council President Bill Berg, and Council members Lea Webb, Teri Rennia and Jerry Motsavage (all Democrats) for standing firm, blocking and burying for good this financially irresponsible project that was wrong for so many reasons and sparked a massive groundswell of opposition from residents and taxpayers.
Whereas the three Council Republicans were ready to rubber-stamp this absurd project and saddle local taxpayers with a $500,000 bill–simply to honor and fulfill a backroom handshake deal between the Mayor and one downtown business owner–the four Democrats recognized this project was wrong, wasteful, and not in the community’s best interests.
So thank you Council Democrats!
But the six of us here at Binghamton Advocates for Quality Spaces want to extend even bigger thanks to ALL OF YOU! We’ve been floored by your commitment to stay informed and engaged–and then to act when necessary. And you sure are a diverse lot! We’ve heard from Republicans and Democrats, artists and accountants, high school students and grandparents, business owners and retirees! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!
Let us celebrate this victory, but our work is not done. Now is when we shift from opposition to advocacy, because we all agree this underutilized space needs immediate attention and improvement. Yes, we stopped David’s Dead End, a dumb parking lot design that prioritized roads and cars. Now we need to work with the four Council Democrats on a creative, cost-effective design for the Metrocenter courtyard that prioritizes public spaces and people.
You in? Share, share, share…..and stay tuned. Because we ain’t going anywhere.
When all the holiday parties are over, the scrumptious goodies eaten, the gifts enjoyed and stowed away, the Xmas tree put out at the curb, the New Year ushered in, and the New Year’s resolutions made, there’s one more holiday treat in store! The annual visit of Quickstep to the Cranberry Coffeehouse.
Quickstep, a.k.a. John Kirk, Trish Miller and Ed Lowman, perform at the Cranberry Coffeehouse on Sat., Jan. 17, 2015, 7:30-10 p.m., at the Unitarian-Universalist Congregation of Binghamton, 183 Riverside Dr., Binghamton. Admission is a suggested $8.
John, Trish and Ed entertain with a diverse repertoire of original and traditional music. Leading the way are John and Ed’s fine fiddle selections. John’s warm clear voice, Trish’s clog dancing or banjo playing and Steady Eddie’s singing, yodeling, guitar playing and bass round out the band’s sound. This trio, which has performed at the Cranberry since its inception decades ago, is from Saratoga County, NY, and for many years they’ve played for concerts, dances and workshops.
The group is in the process of recording a new CD with Ed. It will feature old-time music and some songs about living the good life in a rural setting.
Park behind the church or in front (for handicapped access).
The Middle Set is for you! The Cranberry Coffeehouse encourages all musicians, vocalists, storytellers, and dancers to share their talents in the middle set. Middle set performances are limited to 5 minutes.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 607-754-9437 for more information.
I have been recovering from this season's election-exhaustion-cold, a form of illness found only in the stuffy quarters of campaign offices nearing the dreaded daylight’s saving’s end. Here, volunteers and experts widdle down the wee hours of the night, gnawing on each passage of talking points, poll results and endless endless walking lists.