RENewsletter | November 22, 2009


The Free environmental newsletter from

“Our Environment is changing: Keep up with the Change.”

[11/15/09– 11/22/09]


* Need to vent? | Go to my blog: Environmental Thoughts - Rochester, NY

* Found an important Rochester environmental story from a credible source that you think needs attention? Please, SEND ME THE LINK.


Opening Salvo | NewsLinks | Daily Updates | Events | Environmental Site of the Month | Take Action |


[Hyperlinks work by CTRL + click to follow a link]




Opening Salvo: “Walk?”


Walking for bipeds was “the cat’s pajamas” for four millions years. That is, putting humanity’s one hairy foot before another got us around just fine.  Then, within a relatively short period of time, our species took to climbing on other animals’ backs, floating stuff on water, then the wheel, which brought on carts, trains, and then we took to the skies.  But mostly, since the horseless carriage, autos get us around.  In fact, the car culture so dictates transportation in the United States that few of us, even when the distance is short, walk. 


That’s odd, when you think about it because most trips are within 6.5 miles of one’s home. (And, many of those trips are to the gym so we can walk on the treadmill.)  So why, given the accidents (over 58, 000 per year), the expense, the taxes, repairs, and the repercussions to our environment, don’t we usually consider walking as a transportation option?


I know the answer is obvious: Cars are fun. They look great.  We can get from here to there really fast and carry a lot of stuff. Inside our steel jackets there’s a leveling of the classes from the strain of the masses that is simply exhilarating: rich or poor, that pedestrian better move out of your path. Driving is a right!  Get a car, and you get instant respect. 


Walking, on the other hand, is time consuming.  Everything is so far away. Can’t carry much.  One feels so exposed out there on those cold, windy streets where drivers have enough going on—cell phones, backseat conversations, that great new tune on that expensive sound system, crazy drivers who don’t know what they’re doing, and a myriad of gadgets on the dashboard—without worrying about some rambling itinerant who thinks they own the world.  


Yet, there are advantages to walking over driving a car--still.  When you walk, you don’t need insurance, a repair shop, or have to worry about getting your new paint job scratched. You don’t need a parking space because you can take yourself anywhere you want to go. You don’t have to leave yourself out on the street to get broken into or ticketed.  You can walk in groups (the walking school bus) and get to where you want to go safely. You can save the planet by not driving a polluting behemoth.  


By walking instead of driving you have more control over your life.  You’ll be healthier and more cheerful—it’s the endomorphin thing kicking in.  You can allow yourself to get distracted by things, as you won’t have to “keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel.”


A walk-centered world instead of a vehicle-dominated world compels us to design our existence so work, play, stores, friends, and neighbors all wind up near our home.  Instead of betting our future inventing a high-tech vehicle that doesn’t pollute, we might turn the transportation issue on its head and put our world within reach—so there will still be a sustainable one for our kids.  (Click on my email for feedback)




NewsLinksEnvironmental NewsLinks – [Highlights of major environmental stories concerning our area from the past week]




UpdatesDaily Updates – [Connecting the dots on Rochester’s environment. Find out what’s going on environmentally in our area—and why you should care? Clicking on -DISCUSSION – will take you to my blog “Environmental Thoughts, NY, where you can add your comments.]





EventsRochester Environmental Events Calendar – [The most complete listing of all environmental events around the Rochester, New York area.]  If you don’t see your event, or know of a local environmental event, please send me the info: with (EV event) in the subject line.





ActionTake Action - Often, I receive request to pass on alerts, petitions, Public Comments on local developments, and environmental items needing action by the Rochester Community and around the world. I’ll keep Actions posted until their due date. 


Action Due Date: Now.

ACTION  - Think long and hard about gas drilling in our area: Citizens Campaign for the Environment CITIZENS CAMPAIGN FOR THE ENVIRONMENT ACTION ALERT! TELL ALBANY TO LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE AND PROTECT WATER The public needs 120 days to review massive new draft oil and gas drilling regulations On September 30, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) finally released the long-awaited Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (DSGEIS) for Oil & Gas Drilling in New York. The document is over 800 pages long, and Albany is only giving the people 60 days to review it. Tell Albany it cannot ignore the people! New Yorkers must be able to understand and weigh in on this issue. Meaningful input from the public is essential for a healthy democracy. --from CCE - Water Protection Public Health Energy Renewable Policy Toxic Wildlife Chemical Contamination Subscribe Newsletter Jobs Calendar Pollution Air Quality Advocacy Farmingdale White Plains Albany Syracuse Buffalo

Action Due Date: November 30, 2009  Save our Parks

Apply for PTNY capacity building grants   The deadline is November 20 to apply for Parks & Trails New York's Capacity Building Grants for not-for-profit park and trail groups.  The grants, of up to $3,000, can be used to assist with activities associated with organizational start-up and development, training, communications, and volunteer recruitment and management. -from Parks & Trails New York - expanding, protecting and promoting a network of parks, trails and open spaces

Action Due Date: December 1, 2009  -from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

EPA Seeks Public Input on National Enforcement Priorities Through Online Forum WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has launched an online discussion forum to receive public input on the future priorities for EPA’s national enforcement program.  The public will be able to provide feedback through the EPA Web site until December 1, giving them a forum to submit ideas for EPA to consider for new areas of enforcement focus. All ideas will be evaluated and considered for recommendation to the EPA administrator about the future direction of EPA’s national enforcement and compliance priorities. The current enforcement priorities through 2010 focus on significant environmental problems, including pollution from stormwater runoff, air toxics, concentrated animal feeding operations, and mineral processing.  To submit suggestions for potential priorities:    Information on the enforcement priorities: (August 31, 2009) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency [[more on Action in our area]

Action Due Date: Until Dec. 14, 2009

DEC Revises Draft Hazardous Waste Facility Siting Plan and DGEIS - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation Second Round of Hearings to be Scheduled, Public Comments Received Until Dec. 14, 2009 Revised versions of the New York State Hazardous Waste Facility Siting Plan and Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) that were proposed in 2008 are now available for public review. The revisions stem from the first of two required rounds of public comment opportunities and hearings on the draft GEIS and Siting Plan. (October 26, 09) New York State Department of Environmental Conservation [more on Brownfields in our area]




AwardEnvironmental Site of the Month Award – [On the last Sunday of each month, we present an environmental award for the Rochester-area environmental web site or blog that best promotes the need to protect and offers solutions for our area's environmental issues.]