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july 2006

RochesterEnvironment.com’s Newsletter

July 2006

Join our Newsletter and get all the Rochester environmental news each week.

Go to: News - What's New?- Events of the Month - Actions to take - Site of the Month

 

 

         Highlights of the July 2006 RENewsletter:  As always, there's lots going on in the Rochester area pertaining to our environment.  You just have to look all over the Internet to find the stories.  But, here at RochesterEnvironment.com we bring it all to one place. 

 

   * Special note: Slowly, we’re getting RochesterEnvironment.com back to its original length—so that it can resume being an environmental portal and archive for our area.  Each page has to be redesigned and restructured into the navigation.  However, with the redesign comes many perks: 1. each page loads faster, 2. each page is trimmer and easier to print out, 3. much redundancy (this site has been eight years evolving) has been eliminated, and 4. more has been done to make archival items easier to find. 

   * Hottest issue this month of July 06:  My top environmental story for Rochester, New York this month is the decision to go forward with the $128million Webster Water treatment plant in Webster. The public did have a chance for public input, but (according to the Democrat and Chronicle editorial) not much. Time will tell, I suppose, whether or not this is a necessary project, even though much had changed since the project’s inception and an increased water supply for an area that is shrinking in population is the best way to spend public monies.           

    * Other Hot Environmental issues this month: I’m seeing a lot of stories about the fish dying off in the Great Lakes because of a virus.  There doesn’t seem to be any immediate harm to humans because of this disease, but any harm to our Great Lakes fish is harm.  Also, there’s a new (controversial) plan for Rochester Harbor.  The fast ferry idea is gone and now the Charlotte community must decide what development in that area is sustainable. Several stories about industry and townships using wind power for renewable energy. Maybe that’s how renewable energy will happen: not by a statewide mandate, but town by town, industry by industry. There’s a story about the safety of chemical plants and public transportation using hybrid diesel-electric buses, more land being preserved (for safe drinking water) and maybe a new park near Keuka Lake.  Finally, out of Cornell University, there is a story about making hardier urban trees by the hybridizing of oaks. When you think of it, an urban tree has to put up with a lot of abuse from salt, soot, and limited access to good water.   

    * The silent stories [important stories we didn't hear much about]:  My vote for the environmental story we aren’t hearing much about is the spread of Lyme disease.  We have not had any outbreaks this summer of Lyme disease in this area (that I found in the news).  But the warmer weather moves this disease north and urban sprawl brings humans in more contact with ticks which bring the disease seems inevitable.

    * On-Going Concerns: Biking (that is, with pedals and foot power) is in the news. Penfield is asking its resident what they think the town can do to improve the use of bikes by commuters and others.  Some people think a designated road shoulder is the answer and others don’t.  I think that biking public will just ignore bike laws just like they ignore the driving and cell phone law if shoulders are not on the roads.

     * Environmental Action you can take for our area: Most online actions I’m seeing are about committing to curbing Global Warming.  This issue is not going away.  And in a free society, we all have to find a way to address this issue, ways that work and ways where we can all make a difference.  Also, the Green Party continues to press for ballot recognition on this year’s election ballot.   

    * Environmental events going on this month: Lots of events coming up including gardening events, grant applications, city sponsored bike rides, beach cleanups in the fall, Sierra Club book study group, and many Saturdays of nature hikes from the Finger Lakes Land Trust.  

    * Rochester-area Environmental Site of the MonthCitizen's Environmental Coalition: Citizens’ Environmental Coalition (CEC) was founded in 1983 by people living with the legacy of toxic pollution. They were united in the belief that no child should be born with toxic chemicals in their body, and began to use their collective grassroots power to influence statewide policy, with a mission to eliminate toxic pollution from homes, workplaces, schools and communities by empowering people. Twenty years later, CEC has grown into 110 community, labor, faith-based, youth, health and environmental groups and over 14,000 individuals throughout New York State with offices in Albany and Buffalo. We serve as the nexus of local communities, statewide policy discussions and national collaborations.

      

NEWS SUMMARY: Many of the news links below may already be out of date because these online news sources do not archive their stories.  To get the full articles, you can contact the news service and ask them for a copy. 

News for July 2006:

  • City Takes Lead, Gets Tough on Lead -The city of Rochester gave notice Thursday that it’s enforcing its new lead law, one of the toughest in the country. Jul 27, 2006 R News: As It Happens, Where It Happens
  • DEC: Don't transfer fish from lake to lake— State biologists reminded fishermen this week that moving fish and other organisms from one water to another can have serious consequences. Historically, the Adirondacks offered fishermen tens of thousands of acres of lakes and ponds containing native brook trout. Today, just a fraction of these populations remain, driven out by nonnative species like bass and perch. (July 30, 2006) Democrat and Chronicle
  • Dry cleaners shun suspect solvent - N.Y. businesses in forefront of effort to reduce 'PERC' exposure— Many people don't realize that dry cleaning can be a messy business. "People think you waft the clothes over a vat of something and they come out clean and on hangers and in plastic bags," said Judith Schreiber, a scientist who works for the New York Attorney General's Office. (July 31, 2006) Democrat and Chronicle
  • globeandmail.com : What is killing the fish of the Great Lakes? Researchers at the University of Guelph are processing infected fish tissues and developing diagnostic tests to look at a deadly virus suspected in the deaths of thousands of fish in the Great Lakes basin. It's believed the virus could be spreading from one species to another, even infecting fish farms and hatcheries. (July 28, 2006) globeandmail.com
  • Progress made in lakes cleanup - Oswego River off problem list, but Genesee remains— The Oswego River was officially removed from a binational list of the Great Lakes' most polluted tributaries Tuesday — the first American site to mark such a milestone. Meanwhile, the Genesee River, which appears on the same list of 43 polluted sites, needs several more years of effort before it can be considered healthy. (July 26, 2006) Democrat and Chronicle
  • City Newspaper: Featured story: Featured story: River views The plan for the harbor is nearly finished. Not everybody likes it. The temperature inside the meeting hall has risen by several degrees. At least that's what it feels like at the public hearing when the question-and-answer period --- which becomes more interrogation than questioning --- begins. (July 26, 2006) City Newspaper
  • Newsday.com: New take on protecting waters Gov. George Pataki is expected to sign a bill today that could shift the state's approach to protecting its bays, harbors, Great Lakes and ocean waters -- as well as the plants, animals and fish that live there. Under the New York Ocean and Great Lakes Ecosystem Conservation Act, the state would embrace an environmental approach known as ecosystem-based management. It would emphasize the overall health of coastal habitats instead of simply focusing on individual stretches of beach or a specific species of fish. (July 26, 2006) Newsday.com: News, Entertainment and Sports
  • Webster Wind May Run Sewer Plant  The town of Webster is looking at the wind to help treat its sewage. The town is going to set up a 165-foot-tall tower near its sewage treatment plant to gather data. Jul 24, 2006 R News: As It Happens, Where It Happens
  • Penfield peddles bicycling survey - Town hopes to accommodate serious and recreational riders - — PENFIELD — From the standpoint of a bicyclist who rides in the town to stay fit, Blaine Grindle does not think too much of the roads. On busy arteries where traffic is congested, shoulders are sparse if there are any at all, giving bike riders little place to go when vehicles come up from behind, he said. What you can do The bicycle safety and trails survey is available at www.penfield.org . Copies are also available at Penfield Town Hall, 3100 Atlantic Ave. (July 24, 2006) Democrat and Chronicle
  • Schumer says chemical plants lack security - Visiting here, he backs bill on anti-terrorism measures - — Standing in front of fuel tanks that loom over a 19th Ward neighborhood in Rochester, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said Monday that chemical facilities pose one of the biggest terrorism risks faced by western New Yorkers. The tanks, at the Buckeye Terminal on Brooks Avenue just east of the Greater Rochester International Airport, are an important economic asset. They could also be a terrorist target, Schumer said. (July 25, 2006) Democrat and Chronicle
  • Scientists use oranges to track blue-green algae - Newsday.com SWANTON, Vt.(AP) _ Scientists studying toxic blue-green algae blooms on lakes Champlain, Erie and Ontario are using a low-tech tool to track the blooms' movements: oranges. Lake researcher Greg Boyer joined two assistants for a boat ride out onto Lake Champlain's Missisquoi Bay on Monday to dump two crates of 25 oranges each overboard. "Oranges are biodegradable and they float right on the surface just like algae, so they are good markers for how the algae travel," Boyer said. (July 25, 2006) Newsday.com: News, Entertainment and Sports
  • Cleaner Oswego River makes history It's first off the list of the Great Lakes' most polluted  The Oswego River today will become the first waterway in the United States to be taken off an international list of the most polluted tributaries to the Great Lakes, federal officials say. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to announce the "historic milestone" at 1 p.m. in ceremonies at Veterans Park Stage along Oswego Riverwalk West. (July 25, 2006) Syracuse.com: Latest News and More
  • Lake control creates winners, losers - Comments still being taken on three options to manipulate Lake Ontario's water levels — Craig Goodrich looks out the door of his Hamlin home at six feet of fragile Lake Ontario beach that could erode with the floodwaters from just one monstrous storm. About 200 miles to the east, in the Thousands Islands region, Rochesterian Al Fink gazes through the window of his cabin at rocky ledges that would keep his boat out of the lake from August to October if lake levels drop at all. (July 25, 2006) Democrat and Chronicle
  • Conservancy works to protect city drinking water - Land purchased along shores of Hemlock, Canadice lakes — The Nature Conservancy is buying nearly 1,000 acres of land near Hemlock and Canadice lakes in hopes of stemming development and preserving the purity of the water that most Rochester residents drink. The silent lakeshores are lined with tall maples, walnut trees and, of course, hemlocks. One of the region's few nesting pairs of bald eagles are often seen flying overhead. - (July 22, 2006) Democrat and Chronicle
  • Keuka Lake park backers get boost - Citizens trying to save land to honor Curtiss are given $500,000 check — A group of citizens scrambling to turn a wilderness plot along Keuka Lake into a public park honoring aviation pioneer Glenn H. Curtiss has raised half of the $1.35 million needed to try to seize the land from developers. A California charity sent a $500,000 check this week from an anonymous donor who, during a recent trip to New York's Finger Lakes region, read about the long-running feud over whether to preserve or develop the largely unobstructed lakefront in the time-warp village of Hammondsport. (July 21, 2006) Democrat and Chronicle
  • Deadly fish virus spreads in Northeast - LiveScience - MSNBC.com A deadly virus found in two fish species in the northeastern United States last month appears to have spread to two more species, scientists said today. (July 21, 2006) Today's News from MSNBC - MSNBC.com
  • DEC urges caution after botulism found in birds - Newsday.com ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ The state Department of Environmental Conservation reported Thursday that Type E Botulism was found in gulls and terns collected from Little Galloo Island earlier this month, warning hunters and fishermen to take only waterfowl and fish that appear healthy from along the Lake Ontario shores and St. Lawrence River. The strain of botulism most commonly affects fish-eating birds, causing paralysis and often killing them. If ingested, a toxin produced by the bacteria can harm people. Newsday.com: News, Entertainment and Sports
  • WXXI: Hybrid Buses Coming for Rochester (2006-07-19) Public transportation authorities in New York are increasingly turning to hybrid diesel-electric buses to cut costs amidst rising fuel prices. Four such buses went into service in Westchester County this week, and the Rochester area will not be far behind. The Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority expects to launch 19 hybrid diesel-electric buses next May. The buses were ordered from Gillig Corporation of San Francisco, California this spring. Public NewsRoom
  • Schumer targets Lyme disease U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, citing a sudden rise in the number of Lyme disease cases in Upstate New York, visited a DeWitt park Monday to announce his push for a federal prevention effort. Schumer said the number of people infected with the tick-borne disease in Upstate counties increased 58 percent from 629 cases in 2005 to 994 cases so far this year. (July 19, 2006) Syracuse.com: Latest News and More
  • State Investigates Dead Fish - The state is trying to figure out what is killing thousands of fish washing up on Lake Ontario’s eastern shore. (July 19, 2006) R News: As It Happens, Where It Happens
  • County health departments prepare for pandemic situations All area county health departments are preparing for the possibility of a pandemic flu event, Andrew Lucyszyn, director of the Orleans County Health Department said. "Orleans and other counties across New York state are working on documents and procedures to follow in the event of a pandemic," he said. "The various counties and health departments may be at different stages in the process but we are all working toward a program the state wants implemented by the fall." The Finger Lakes Public Health Alliance (FLPHA), of which Monroe County is a part, has been working to develop their response plans as well. Utilizing guidance from both state and federal governments, each county is working with key community partners to develop plans that would become an annex to each county's comprehensive emergency plan. (July 19, 2006) Westside News Inc.
  • Wind turbine tour set for Saturday - A bus tour of some of upstate New York's largest wind turbines in Lowville, Lewis County, has been scheduled for Saturday. The tour will depart from the Tim Horton's restaurant in Batavia at 8 a.m. and is expected to return by 6 p.m. Local residents and community leaders will speak, and participants will have the opportunity to view both operating turbines and those that are under construction on the Tug Hill Plateau.  (July 19, 2006) Democrat and Chronicle
  • Audubon office to use wind power - Audubon New York will use 100 percent wind energy to power its offices, the statewide environmental group announced recently.  (July 19, 2006) Democrat and Chronicle
  • Environmental issues stall Victor Wal-Mart — VICTOR — Citing such concerns as increased traffic and noise, the Victor Planning Board has rejected a developer's plan for addressing concerns about a proposal that would include a Wal-Mart superstore near Eastview Mall. Instead, the Planning Board, working with its own consultant, Stuart I. Brown Associates, will come up with a plan to address the concerns. (July 19, 2006) Democrat and Chronicle
  • Thousands of fish wash up on shore of Lake Ontario - Newsday.com LYME, N.Y. -- With thousands of fish washing up on Lake Ontario's eastern shore, state officials are investigating whether the cause is the virus detected this spring in some species, a botulism outbreak or some other factor. "We're conducting tests to see what the larger die-off occurring in that waterway could be the result of," Department of Environmental Conservation spokeswoman Maureen Wren said Thursday. "We sent samples of the species that have been affected to Cornell." July 13, 2006 Newsday.com: News, Entertainment and Sports
  • Ginna's Output to Increase by 16% - Constellation Energy plans to boost the output of Wayne County's Ginna Nuclear Power Plant. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved a 16.8 percent capacity increase, from 525 to 610 megawatts of electricity.(July 12, 2006)  R News: As It Happens, Where It Happens
  • City Newspaper: Featured story: Featured story: Growth without growth An advocate for smart planning folds; meanwhile, we're still sprawling - Like a lot of people, Neil Jaschik has his e-mail set up to append a quote to each outgoing message. Jaschik's, attributed to the second-century Rabbi Tarfon, reads this way: "It may not be your obligation to finish the task; but neither are you permitted to refrain from beginning it." They're fitting words for anyone engaged in the often Sisyphean task of promoting healthy land-use planning. But they're doubly so considering the contents of the e-mail that accompanied them to our inbox: "I am sorry to have to inform you," the opening sentence read, "that due to loss of funding and staff, the Common Good Planning Center will no longer be functioning as it has in the past, effective July 1, 2006." The e-mail takes a Tarfonian twist, assuring its readers that the center is working to bequeath its mission --- "developing communities in ways that are ecologically sustainable, economically productive, and socially equitable" --- to like-minded organizations in Rochester. - (July 12, 2006)  City Newspaper
  • Spencerport officials share plans for wastewater treatment plant Only a dozen people attended a June meeting hosted by Village of Spencerport officials in which plans for the future of the village's wastewater treatment plant were delineated. Many of those in attendance were from the Maida Drive area, adjacent to the facility. "The engineering firm we are working with offered a presentation and explained why we are looking to decommission the plant and what our alternatives are," Mayor Ted Walker said. "Our system needs upgrading - we looked at that and we also took into consideration the potential for increased capacity because of population growth and after that we looked at all our alternatives." ( July 11, 2006) Westside News Inc.
  • Water plant picks up speed - Some say proposed facility in Webster isn't needed - — WEBSTER — One of Monroe County's biggest projects, a proposed $128 million water treatment plant, is now on the fast track. But critics are wondering whether the project, which was first talked about more than 40 years ago before the county's population growth leveled off, is needed. The proposal calls for building a treatment facility off Basket Road in eastern Webster capable of pumping 50 million gallons of water a day from Lake Ontario into a network of pipes that extend through most of Monroe and parts of five surrounding counties. The local Sierra Club's report, Watering Sprawl, contends that the facility is not now needed. "We are safer if we maintain the current system," said Hugh Mitchell, a local Sierra Club member who says that the Water Authority is too eager to expand into areas that should remain open space. (July 10, 2006) Democrat and Chronicle
  • The City's Department of Community Development will conduct the fourth and final public meeting on the Port of Rochester Master Plan Study, 7 - 8:30 p.m., Mon., July 17, in the Roger Robach Center, Ontario Beach Park, Charlotte. The community is being encouraged to attend to ask questions and provide input to planning and design consultants, Sasaki Associates, whose design for the Port Master Plan is being based on public input as well as in-depth studies of the area's environmental conditions. Sasaki Associates will present their final design for the Port area based on the two preferred concepts presented at the last public meeting held on April 26. The final design includes proposals for retail, residential, parking and a marina. This meeting will introduce the preferred design concept and allow for public viewing of the refined design scheme for the Port of Rochester. A project web site, located at http://projects.sasaki.com/portofrochester/  provides up-to-date information about the study and also serves as another means for community input.
  • Food for Thought: Farm Fresh Pesticides, Science News Online, July 8, 2006 U.S. agriculture has developed a heavy reliance on chemicals to safeguard crops from yield-robbing weeds. However, many of those herbicides can pose substantial health risks to people, pets, and wildlife, which is why laws prescribe how some of these chemicals are handled in fields. A study now finds that trace quantities of such agricultural chemicals nonetheless find their way into consumers' homes—not on the fruits and vegetables they buy but probably by hitchhiking on dust. The findings are disturbing for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the link between pesticide exposure and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a malignancy whose incidence has exploded during recent years. Indeed, the new study was as an offshoot of a larger non-Hodgkin's lymphoma study financed by the National Cancer Institute.
  • Area hopes to catch a lift off fuel cell event - For several years, officials have played up the Rochester region's prominence in fuel cell research. Next June, Rochester will have a chance to show off. Rochester will host the Fuel Cell 2007 trade show, a gathering of some of the top technical minds in the growing field, Greater Rochester Enterprise and Fuel Cell magazine publisher Webcom Communications announced. At least 300 out-of-town attendees are expected at the June 13-14 show at the Hyatt Regency. (July 8, 2006) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Cornell finds key to hybridizing oaks - ITHACA — Cornell University scientists have unlocked the key to breeding hybrid oaks. With this long-elusive process now understood, Nina Bassuk, the program leader of Cornell's Urban Horticulture Institute, aims to develop tree varieties that are better able to withstand the harsh conditions of city life. Problems with highly alkaline soils, limited access to water, overdoses of salt in winter and tangling with overhead wires have long limited the types of trees that can grow in urban centers. All those problems could be addressed once this new process has enough time to grow suitable trees. (July 9, 2006) Democrat & Chronicle
  • MPNnow.com: Canandaigua talks bird flu County officials warn their city colleagues that local governments will be on their own in the event of a pandemic. - CANANDAIGUA — The city's Environmental Committee took a break from the pesticide debate recently to talk about a bug chemicals can't kill: avian flu. Ontario County Health Department officials are trying to get the word out about how important it is for local governments to prepare for a pandemic if the disease mutates into a form that passes easily from person to person. For more information on how to prepare for a possible pandemic flu: www.ontariocountypublichealth.com  or www.pandemicflu.gov .
  • Wind energy powering Monroe Litho presses - Move equivalent to taking 140 cars off the road — Monroe Litho Inc. will now get 100 percent of its power from wind energy. "This is a huge commitment and it's just one example of our company's plans to improve and protect our environment," said Chief Executive Chris Pape. The number of companies using "green," or alternative energy, is growing but is still small. At the end of 2004, the most recent compiled data available, about 8 percent of U.S. companies used alternative energy, which could be wind, solar or fuel cells, according to the American Wind Energy Association. (July 4, 2006) Democrat & Chronicle

 

 WHAT'S NEW?  Each day RochesterEnvironment.com scours the Internet for all environmental articles, events, actions and issues pertaining to Rochester, New York.

 What's New in RochesterEnvironment.com for July 2006:

  • 07/31/06 -- Lyme Disease season is upon us, though there are few outbreaks this year.  But, in “Deer Ticks, and Lyme Disease Increasing in the Finger Lakes”, an article in the Land Steward, by Jacqueline Stuhmiller,” According to the federal government’s Center for Disease Control, almost one-third of all new case of human Lyme disease are reported in New York State.  – for more information go to New York State Department of Health Tick Identification Service
  • 07/31/06 -- Important information about protecting NYS fish from the NYS DEC: Protecting Adirondack Fish  --from DEC: Don't transfer fish from lake to lake— State biologists reminded fishermen this week that moving fish and other organisms from one water to another can have serious consequences. Historically, the Adirondacks offered fishermen tens of thousands of acres of lakes and ponds containing native brook trout. Today, just a fraction of these populations remain, driven out by nonnative species like bass and perch. (July 30, 2006) Democrat and Chronicle
  • 07/28/06 - The Great Lakes have islands, which should be on our radar: Islands of the Great Lakes -- Attend a 2006 Workshop ! ! U.S. EPA's Great Lakes National Program Office An international group of conservation organizations is asking for public help as it develops a plan to identify and conserve biodiversity in the islands of the Great Lakes. In July and August 2006 workshops will be held around the Great Lakes to discuss issues concerning these islands.
  • 07/26/06 - **MY THOUGHTS** Biking and Commuting - Penfield peddles bicycling survey -Democrat & Chronicle: Local News

    I like the idea of a community conducting a survey on biking in their town. During some (according to your comfort zone (for some that includes winter)) portion of the year, it is possible to commute to work by bike. In these days of heightened awareness of energy (gas prices) consumptions, you cannot beat a bike for its positive effects on global warming. But, biking commuters constitute only a fraction of those on bike, for most are recreational bikers and most of them kids—at least where I live in the city of Rochester.

    So, from my point of view most bikers use the sidewalk (despite a recent hike in the amount of summons handed out by the police for doing so) because it's far safer for them than riding on city streets where disdainful, cellar-phone-using car drivers don't give bikers much respect. I like the idea of widened shoulders for bikers because it is the only practical way to have vehicular traffic and bikers to ride on the same street.

    Bikers should ride in the road and obey all traffic rules. That’s the law. However, they don't and they don't because competing with cars for road space is a major challenge for most. Yet, a growing menace is bikers on our sidewalks. This common use of bikes is a nuisance and a danger to pedestrians. Also, car drivers, who are not usually expecting fast-moving traffic on the sideways, have to pay special attention to sidewalk biker who ignore all traffic signals and don’t use lights at night.

    I believe that wider shoulders with designated biking lanes is the only answer for biking safety in any of our towns and cities because no matter how hard the law clamps down on bikers who use the sidewalk or car drivers who don't give way to bikers, or bikers who don't obey any laws, most don't feel safe riding their bikes in traffic--with good reason. So, I applaud Penfield for taking this issue seriously and I hope that all communities carefully consider this matter. I would like to see all streets in and around all our towns and cities have wide shoulders for biking. If this were done correctly, that is, so bikers felt safe on our roadways, enough people may take to the roads to save some energy and pollution caused by vehicular traffic.

  • 07/22/06 -- Hopefully, only a short-term loss: We are dismayed that a fledging environmental magazine experiencing "an unexpected opportunity for a new beginning." Rochester Lifeways, a magazine supporting sustainable and Earth-friendly live opportunities in the Greater Rochester Area, closing down for awhile. We hope that Patty Love, Publisher and President, of Rochester Lifeways will have her exceptionally pertinent magazine back on the racks soon. In this present world of suffocating corporate media that mostly ignores environmental stories, we need more, not less, media outlets by individuals and groups willing to write about what it means to live sustainability. And, this is a rare topic for any place, let alone or own Rochester, NY.
  • 07/15/06 -- Good information to have this summer: State Health Commissioner Advises Precautions for Summer Swimming Season ALBANY, NY, June 8, 2006 - State Health Commissioner Antonia C. Novello, M.D., M.P.H., Dr.P.H., today, reminded New Yorkers to swim safely this summer to avoid needless drownings and injuries. During 2002-2004, 129 New Yorkers were hospitalized each year and 109 died as a result of drownings or near drownings. Children under age four years accounted for the largest number of drowning related hospitalizations and adults over age 25 years accounted for the greatest number of drowning deaths. "Drownings are a leading cause of injury and death among children under age five," said Dr. Novello. "Accidents can happen quickly, without warning or without a cry for help. Never swim alone, always swim with a friend and keep an eye on each other. Parents should make sure they are watching their children, even when other adults or lifeguards are present." --from New York State Department of Health
  • 07/11/06 -- More Education on Global Warming: Discovery Channel :: Global Warming: What You Need To Know Discovery Channel visits global warming tipping points across the planet, talks to the world’s leading experts, and examines the latest evidence about global warming in GLOBAL WARMING: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW. Produced by Discovery Channel, the BBC and NBC News Productions, and hosted by award-winning journalist Tom Brokaw, the two-hour special presents the facts and leaves it up to viewers to determine their own opinion about global warming. GLOBAL WARMING: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW premieres Sunday, July 16, at 9 p.m. ET.
  • 07/09/06 -- Maybe it is time to rally the public: Democrat & Chronicle: Mark Hare 'An Inconvenient Truth' is scary but not depressing -(July 9, 2006) — After his 2000 presidential campaign, I would never have believed that an Al Gore lecture and slide show would make an engrossing and compelling film. But An Inconvenient Truth is just that. If you have not seen this film, please do. It comes at a time when climate change and global warming are gaining the popular traction they deserve — hopefully in time to rally the public.
  • 07/07/06 -- **GOOD/BAD IDEAS** "Ontario County Health Department officials are trying to get the word out about how important it is for local governments to prepare for a pandemic if the disease mutates into a form that passes easily from person to person. "There will be no help from the state and federal levels, or very, very limited because they are going to be helping everybody. You have to plan to be on your own for at least the first few days," said Jody Gray, Ontario County public health director."-from MPNnow.com: Canandaigua talks bird flu  Wise Words: Though I am far from an expert on pandemics, the words of the Ontario Health Officials seem prudent in the event of a flu pandemic. The scary thing about a flu pandemic is the speed it moves (from 50 million to 100 million in the fall of 1918) and it 'moves' by passing quickly from person to person. Mandatory quarantines, vaccines, and poo pooing the whole thing are not the answer. Quick and immediate voluntary quarantines within an informed public is the only thing that makes sense to save millions from dying. Of course staying indoors and skipping work are not, like a bad patient, easy to take for a busy population like our own. Loss time means loss dollars--and educators are loathe to let children fall behind. But, there are times (and reading up on the Spanish flu of 1918-19) when it's best to stand aside and appreciate the full power of Nature running its course. Thankfully, and ironically, a disease as 'stupid' as the Spanish Flu will quickly 'burn' itself out if there are no victims to spread the disease.
  • 07/07/06 -- For more information on the fact that our times are extraordinary for our environment, check this story out: Where are all the birds? / Startling new figures on rate of extinctions say 12% of species to be in peril by 2100 The world's birds are disappearing in greater numbers than previously calculated, and the number of extinctions will grow even more dramatically by the end of the century, according to a grim study published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. --from SF Gate: News and Information for the San Francisco Bay Area
  • 07/07/06 -- Lead in Drinking Water | Safewater | Water | US EPA Find out about lead in your drinking water from the EPA: Lead, a metal found in natural deposits, is commonly used in household plumbing materials and water service lines. The greatest exposure to lead is swallowing or breathing in lead paint chips and dust. But lead in drinking water can also cause a variety of adverse health effects. In babies and children, exposure to lead in drinking water above the action level can result in delays in physical and mental development, along with slight deficits in attention span and learning abilities. In adults, it can cause increases in blood pressure. Adults who drink this water over many years could develop kidney problems or high blood pressure.

Find all Environmental Calendar items here

Events of the month:  Each Month I will post all up and coming environmental events until they are over.  Be sure to check the list often as events come and go and I only post this newsletter once a month. 

Events for August 2006 and beyond:  

When

What

Where

March 15-18, 2007 -from Rochester Gardening The Gardenscape Professionals Association http://www.gardenscapepros.com/  announced that advance tickets for GardenScape 2007, Rochester's Flower Show, are on sale now until the end of 2006. These tickets offer a $2 savings on adult admissions to the March 15-18, 2007 event. Sounds like a gift idea for your favorite gardener - or yourself! http://www.RochesterFlowerShow.com/  
every Saturday Current Events with the Land Trust - Land Trust. Nature walks, cruises, birdwatching, luncheons and more go on throughout the year in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region. --from Finger Lakes Land Trust  Get the Summer Talks & Treks 2006 Schedule: (requires .pdf)  
September 9th  -from Rochester Gardening Tickets are on sale for this year's Gathering of Gardeners seminar, held September 9th. The 2006 event features speakers C. Colston Burrell and Rich Eyre at the Eisenhart Auditorium in Rochester. There will be multiple presentations as well as the popular "parking lot sale" of plants and accessories. Program and registration details are found at: http://www.gatheringofgardeners.com/  Tickets orders postmarked on or before August 1 qualify for a $5 discount, and a ticket order form is found on the event's web site. Eisenhart Auditorium in Rochester
Aug. 18 CITY GARDENING CONTEST ENTRY DEADLINE EXTENDED TO AUGUST 18  There's still time for Rochester residents to win recognition for outstanding gardening efforts. The entry deadline, originally set for July 31 for the City's 15th annual Flower City Looking Good Gardening Contest, has been extended to Fri., Aug. 18. Award winners will be chosen in the following categories: Single-Family Residential Multi-Family Residential (2 or more units) Commercial Neighborhood Enhancement Institutional or Not-for-Profit -Individuals may enter their own garden or one of their friends/neighbors. Pick up entry blanks at most City library branches and City recreation/community centers, or access via the Democrat and Chronicle WEB site: www.democratandchronicle.com/ads/flowercity , call 428-6770 or fax 428-6021. Completed entries must be returned to the City's Bureau of Recreation at 400 Dewey Ave., Rochester, NY 14613. Winners will be recognized in the Fall with an official ceremony. Over 275 dedicated city of Rochester gardeners have been recognized since the contest began in 1991.  
October 25, 2006 at 6 PM When: October 25, 2006 at 6 PM - What: Center for Environmental Information’s 32nd Community Salute to the Environment -Peter R. Smith President and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will discuss the relationship between energy efficiency, the development of renewable resources, and climate change in a carbon constrained future. As third-party administrator of the five-year $175 million a year System Benefits Charge, as well as Central Procurement Agent for the more than $770 million Renewable Portfolio Standard, NYSERDA uses innovation and technology to solve some of New York's most pressing energy and environmental problems in ways that benefit the State's economy. -For more information check www.ceinfo.org  or contact Shirley Sherman at 585-262-2870 or cei@ceinfo.org . -Where: at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 125 East Main Street, Rochester, NY. at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 125 East Main Street, Rochester, NY.
Our tentative meeting date is August 14 (second Monday) at 7 pm.  

Our September meeting date will be September 11 (second Monday) at 7 pm.  

 
Sierra Club Book Study Group - Book Study Club discussion: Plan B 2.0: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble 2006 by Lester R. Brown.  We will discuss the second half of Lester Brown's book, Plan B. This section of the book proposes solutions to the problems discussed in the first half. Let's dedicate the first hour to a focused discussion of these proposals. After the first hour we can open the floor to a wider ranging discussion, continuing our discussion of future actions as begun last meeting, as well as the next book choice and future meeting dates. --from Rochester Regional Group of the Sierra Club Brighton Public Library
September 16, 2006 Help clean up our rivers: American Littoral Society Clean up with the AMERICAN LITTORAL SOCIETY - VOLUNTEER for the NEW YORK STATE BEACH CLEANUP at a beach near you. September 16, 2006 -Collect and record the litter around your lake, river, beach, sound or ocean. For information, contact: Barbara Cohen Beach Cleanup Coordinator American Littoral Society (718) 471-2166 e-mail: alsbeach@aol.com  Visit us on the web at www.alsnyc.org  HOTLINE: (800) 449-0790  
  The latest Parks, Recreation and Human Services Calendar Update is available on the City of Rochester's web site. Click on the link below (or copy and paste the link into your browser) to view the document. http://www.cityofrochester.gov/prhs/updates/30JUNE06update.pdf  
Proposals must be received by September 1, 2006. GRANTS AVAILABLE TO IMPROVE ROCHESTER’S AIR - What: The Center for Environmental Information through its Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) Program announces a grant program available to communities for projects that reduce human exposure to air toxics from mobile sources. The CARE Small Grants Program provides U.S. Environmental Protection Agency funding for local projects ranging from $1,000 to $15,000. Projects must result in a reduction of mobile source air toxics and/or an increase in public awareness of the sources and effects of mobile source air toxics. How: Contact Margit Brazda Poirier, CARE Program Manager at 585-314-7869 or www.ceinfo.org  for more information and an application. When: Proposals must be received by September 1, 2006. Why: Mobile source (from cars, buses, snowmobiles, lawn and landscape equipment, etc.) air toxics comprise approximately 56% of the total air toxics in the Rochester region (source: U.S. EPA). Toxic air pollutants, also known as hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), are those pollutants that are known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health effects, such as reproductive effects or birth defects, or adverse environmental effects. The U.S. EPA is working with state, local, and tribal governments to reduce air toxics releases of 188 pollutants to the environment. Examples of toxic air pollutants from mobile sources include benzene, acetaldehyde, formaldehyde, 1,3-butadiene, particulate matter, and others.

 Contact Margit Brazda Poirier, CARE Program Manager at 585-314-7869 or www.ceinfo.org  for more information and an application.

 Every Tue., 6:15 p.m. - 8 p.m., May 30 - Sept. 5. TUESDAY NATURE NIGHTS "GUIDED BIKE RIDES - The City's Bureau of Parks & Recreation features outdoor trail activities which focus on the beauty of Rochester's natural surroundings and healthy living through its "Tuesday Nature Nights" series, every Tue., 6:15 p.m. - 8 p.m., May 30 - Sept. 5. City staff guide FREE tours for all ages on bicycles, on foot or in canoes to various natural areas within the city. The walks and rides are leisurely with slight grade changes and are mostly on paths or sidewalks. No pre-registration is necessary, except for the Outrigger Canoe Paddles. Due to quickly changing summer weather conditions, any cancellations due to weather will be made on site at start time. Tuesday Nature Nights – a component of the City's Flower City Looking Good Program for gardeners and environmentalists – are supported by Preferred Care, Democrat and Chronicle and Wegmans. For further information on any of these nature programs, call 428-6770, or visit www.cityofrochester.gov  or www.democratandchronicle.com/ads/flowercity/2006 . Nine leisurely, guided bike rides (on level terrain and under 10 miles) will focus on Rochester's outstanding trail system and the Genesee River and Erie Canal. Rides will leave from various departure points from a different neighborhood each week. They last approximately one hour, beginning at 6:15 p.m. Helmets are required. will leave from various departure points from a different neighborhood each week.
Second Monday of every month at 7 PM From Green Party of Monroe County, New York --  Check out their blog: Green Pages Newspaper    This Monday is the Green Party of Monroe County's Monthly Meeting. Our speaker this month is Elizabeth Henderson of Peaceworks Farms and Genesee Valley Organic Community Supported Agriculture (GVOCSA). Elizabeth will be talking about organic agriculture at the family level. Mothers & Fathers can learn how to help their children as well as themselves go organic. Also in attendance at this month's shindig will be Rachel Treichler, who has just been elected as the Western NY representative to the NYS Green Party Executive Committee. Come and give her feedback on the Greens at a state level. As if that weren't enough, we'll be voting on a platform plank, planning for upcoming events, elections and more. As always the meeting starts at 7pm at 179 Atlantic Avenue. It's handicap accessible and the meeting is free and open to the public so bring your friends! 179 Atlantic Avenue.
Last Friday of the month Critical Mass - Rochester Wiki "Critical Mass is a monthly bicycle ride to celebrate cycling and to assert cyclists' right to the road. The idea started in San Francisco in September 1992 and quickly spread to cities all over the world. Critical Mass has no leaders, and no central organization licenses rides. In every city that has a CM ride, some locals simply picked a date, time, and location for the ride and publicized it, and thus the ride was born. CM is an idea and an event, not an organization." — criticalmassrides.info - To plan critical mass rides in Rochester or to find out when the next ride is happening, sign up for the - Rochester Critical Mass mailing list. Critical mass rides traditionally occur on the last Friday of the month. The ride departs from the Wilson Commons clock tower on the UR campus at 5:30 and from the Liberty Pole (downtown) at 6:00pm.  
  Get the complete list of events for Rochester Birding Association:   2005 Rochester Birding Association / Genesee Ornithological Society Birding Field Trips   You many need this browser plug-in to read this document.  Free viewer software for Microsoft Office documents  
 

 

Lots of things going on over at Rochester Regional Group of the Sierra Club  -- Check out their meetings and outings.

 
On-going Metro Justice: Every Tuesday., 7PM TV Dinner meetings, Metro Justice Office. 167 Flanders Street.   Every Thursday - 8:30PM TV Dinner cable program, Cable channel 15.  
 

Local Web sites that have their own continual updating of Rochester-area Environmental Events

 

**Action**  (The Internet makes environmental action easier.) Check out these items and help out ( http://rochesterenvironment.com/action_rochester.htm )   RochesterEnvironment.com has made it easy to act on environmental issue by searching for all online environmental actions pertaining to our area.

Actions you can take for August 2006:

  • **ACTION** - *Sign the petition to demand that your elected officials and candidates make global warming and clean energy a top priority in this election season. http://go.care2.com/e/Lin/oa/D.7_ --from The Petition Site - Authentic Petitions. Real Change.
  • **ACTION** Put a Cap on Global Warming: You’ve probably heard the news reports – the northeast has been pummeled with rain. Fierce thunder and rain storms have inundated low-lying areas, flooding basements, causing evacuations, and bringing down trees and power lines. Unless we take action, global warming will bring more of this. Take action at Friends of the Earth - Action Center
  •  **ACTION** Don't let them disappear on the ballot box.  Green Party Ballot Status: New York State Election Law says that in order for political parties to maintain ballot status, it must have at least 50,000 votes in each gubernatorial election. For the major, corporate-driven parties, this is easy. For independent, third-parties this is more difficult. In 1998, the Green Party ran Al "Grandpa" Lewis for governor and he got 52,533 votes. For the next four years, the Greens had a ballot line in New York State, allowing citizens to register as Greens and making it immensely easier to run candidates for local office. In 2002, the Greens ran Stanley Aronowitz for Governor and received 41,797 votes, losing ballot status. The Green Party sued to allow people to remain registered Greens and won. In 2003, the Monroe County Board of Elections sent a letter to all registered greens erroneously telling us that we are now considered "blanks". Many Greens then registered in a different party, not knowing they did not need to. The Monroe BOE did not send a second letter correcting this error. People can still register in the Green Party, but must check "Other" on voter registration cards and write in "Green". This year marks another gubernatorial election. The Greens will hold its convention on May 20th, in which its slate for state offices will be chosen. Because the state does not recognize us as an “official” party (because we do not have ballot status), we cannot have a primary, so members of the State Committee will elect those who have collected petition signatures to run for Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Comptroller and US Senate. Once the candidates are chosen, we will have to garner thousands of petition signatures from mid July to mid August across the state to get our people on the ballot in November. Any registered NYS voters are allowed to gather signatures. Contact the local Green Party at (585) 234-6470 if you are interested in helping the Greens get ballot status back. Once we regain our ballot status, people will be able to register Green easier. We will be able to run more candidates more effectively thus challenging the corporate-party system. Dave Atias Visit http://www.gpomc.org  and http://gpomc.blogspot.com

Rochester-area Website of the Month:  The Rochester area has over 80 environmental groups. Rochester Environmentalists http://rochesterenvironment.com/environmentalists.htm  Each Month, I highlight a Rochester-area website that helps promotes finding environmental information on the web.

  • Citizen's Environmental Coalition: Citizens’ Environmental Coalition (CEC) was founded in 1983 by people living with the legacy of toxic pollution. They were united in the belief that no child should be born with toxic chemicals in their body, and began to use their collective grassroots power to influence statewide policy, with a mission to eliminate toxic pollution from homes, workplaces, schools and communities by empowering people. Twenty years later, CEC has grown into 110 community, labor, faith-based, youth, health and environmental groups and over 14,000 individuals throughout New York State with offices in Albany and Buffalo. We serve as the nexus of local communities, statewide policy discussions and national collaborations.

 

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