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june 2006

RochesterEnvironment.com’s Newsletter

June 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 June 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: We're back in the saddle.  The June 06 RENewsletter is in, with the usual encapsulation of the month's environmental news, events, and action for Rochester.  There was no May RENewsletter because the whole of RochesterEnvironment.Com crashed, which is a fancy way of saying it grew so large and heavy that the server could handle it no more.  Now we are using a new server.  But, the site has to be rebuilt, put back together page by page under a new design.  This will take most of the summer because the site is very large. 

RochesterEnvironment.Com offers you a large wealth of information about our city's environment since 1998.  That means you can go back to find the cause and effect relationships (at least in print) for many of Rochester's environmental issues.

     The good news is that RochesterEnvironment.com has a new look and a fast-loading design.  Things are easier to find and everything is being brought up to date. Check us out at www.RochesterEnvironment.com.

   * Hottest issue this month of June 06:  My top environmental story for Rochester, New York this month is the local showings of Al Gore's film: An Inconvenient Truth. The story lies not in the message, for most get it that the blue/green globe we call home is dangerously and quickly warming up, but in the medium.  It is rare these days in the major media that we can sit for two hours in a crowded room and reasonably consider what may well be the most dramatic environmental change in human times.  A charge has been made: our planet is warming up due to our behavior on it.  A reasonable response for a levelheaded people would be to seriously investigate such a serous charge.  But, for the last six years, rather than take stock and search for the truth of this allegation in the public, it has become the object of spin, a whirling miasma of politicizing, pandering, and poo pooing by those whose view of the world does not permit such inconvenient observations.  The movie then gave us a refreshing two hours of Al Gore laying out his case, without Bush's many Rasputin’s finding Gore's strongest argument and turning it against him.  It’s not about Al Gore; it’s about us.        

    * Other Hot Environmental issues this month: Other hot issue of June include Rochester's attempts to revitalize itself as an energy center.  Alternative energy could be a big boon to the Rochester area, as exposed by Hillary Clinton in her recent visit. Another community nearby wrestles with wind farms in Perry, NY, while new wind turbines in Canada, just above us, are increasing their wind energy capacity.  A major settlement has put some monies into improving fishing in Lake Ontario, which is good because there are other stories about viruses and invasive species that are troubling them.  Summer brings tree pests too, so check that issue out.

    * The silent stories [important stories we didn't hear much about]: We are barely hearing a proposal in Canandaigua for an 'outright ban on the [lawn] chemicals', but knowledge of the dangers of spreading lawn chemicals is spreading.  

    * On-Going Concerns: The new Rochester Lead law is going into effect this July and with it Rochester takes the lead in solving this problem that affects many cities around the country. 

     * Environmental Action you can take for our area: Most of the online environmental actions I've seen around the web are ways to cap your carbon emissions. 

    * Environmental events going on this month: Summer is here and most environmental groups are taking a needed bread, but there are still some goings on.  The Sierra Club's new book study group is taking off and if you have not seen An Inconvenient Truth, by Al Gore, go and see it.   

    * Rochester-area Environmental Site of the Month: There's talk that a major organization for change is going to be leaving us, so check out their site while it lasts and see their good works:   Common Good Planning Center: We strive to engage citizens and organizations in a common quest to establish the Genesee/Finger Lakes Region as one of the "top ten" in the nation for economic vibrancy, ecological integrity, and quality of life for all.

      

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 June 2006:

  • Could canola be the fuel of the future? A company called Northern Biodiesel is growing canola in Webster, and they're hoping to market it as an alternative to petroleum diesel fuel. "Canola oil is probably the best crop you can grow for biodiesel because the percentage oil per unit mass. It's almost double that of soybeans," said Northern Biodiesel President Jason Masters. (June 30, 2006) WROC TV NEWS 8 NOW ROCHESTER NEW YORK - Local Story
  • City zeros in on lead - Sweep of thousands of rentals begins in July; landlords wary.— Lead inspectors will begin sweeping through Rochester's older rental housing in July and a top city official expects that 60 percent of units will fail the test, complicating an already shaky housing market. With the city's new anti-lead law set to take effect Saturday, 8,000 to 10,000 rental units will be checked for hazards in the first 12 months. The cost of making a unit safe is expected to be from $3,000 to $14,000, and landlords will bear the brunt of that expense. (June 30, 2006) Democrat & Chronicle
  • globeandmail.com : Turbines are blowin' in the wind; Canada passes megawatt benchmark The new turbines popping up on the landscape across the country in recent months have pushed Canada's capacity to generate electricity from wind past the 1,000 megawatt mark. That's a benchmark only 12 countries in the world have passed, according to the Canadian Wind Energy Association, which represents companies that plan, build and operate wind turbines. Still, wind's 1,000 megawatts fulfill only 0.46 per cent of Canada's electricity demand, enough to power about 315,000 homes. That's a far cry from the roughly 60 per cent of the country's power that is generated from hydro, 19 per cent from coal, 15 per cent from nuclear, and 5 per cent from gas. (June 29, 2006) globeandmail.com
  • Ontario Beach smells of algae early this year Although the beach can be closed because of algae — if visibility is reduced in the water or if the algae breeds bacteria — the beach has remained open for swimming so far this season. The exception was Wednesday, when it was closed because of heavy rains and runoff.   — Visitors to Ontario Beach Park in Charlotte in recent days have been greeted with the unpleasant aroma of decaying algae. (June 29, 2006) Democrat & Chronicle
  • MPNnow.com: Canandaigua considers pesticide mailing The trick is deciding what kind of — and how much — information people need. CANANDAIGUA — The city Environmental Committee has proposed mailing information about the proper use of lawn chemicals to city residents instead of adopting tighter regulations or an outright ban of the chemicals. Last week, officials examined a sample booklet on pesticides that Ward 1 Councilman Travis Nixon, chairman of the committee, suggested the city use. Some committee members, however, thought the booklet was too large and too expensive to mail. (June 28, 2006) Messenger Post Newspapers
  • WXXI: Supporters Say Alternative Energy Could be Rochester's Future (2006-06-26) ROCHESTER, NY (2006-06-26) Senator Hillary Clinton says Rochester could be a "National Capital" for the alternative energy business -- if local businesses and governments will work together. WXXI Public Broadcasting Council
  • Perry Meeting Debates Wind Farm - There was barely room to move at a special town meeting in Perry. At issue are wind farms and whether they are right for the town. It’s an issue that has divided residents. Town board members unanimously voted Monday to give themselves 30 days to read through a 2,000 page recommendation given to them by an outside company investigating the pros and cons of wind farms. (June 27, 2006) R News: As It Happens, Where It Happens
  • 13WHAM-TV || Rochester - New Warnings About Exposure to Heated Plastic -- For years, scientists have warned women who are pregnant or breastfeeding to be cautious about eating certain foods or consuming certain drinks. Recently, researchers have discovered a link between exposure to bisphenol (BPA) in the womb and cancer. Environmental Health Experts are concerned that BPA in some plastics might leach out when heated. ((June 25, 2006) 13WHAM-TV || Rochester
  • Ginna seen as example of unfair title deal — In February 2004, the new owners of the R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant in Wayne County bought a title insurance policy for the plant. The company, Constellation Energy, paid a division of First American Title Company of New York more than $1 million in premiums for a $400 million policy. That policy, however, raised eyebrows among New York regulators, who considered it an illegal deal handed out by the insurer to a major property owner. (June 24, 2006) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Ecology could aid economy - Experts urge linking the two as a way to spur region's development  — AUBURN — Western New York has a choice to make. The region can continue to prop up its aging industrial base or it can take advantage of its assets — chiefly a beautiful environment and a well-educated work force — to build a clean, green, profitable business community, speakers said Friday at a conference on the environment and economic development in this Cayuga County city. "In a region that is clamoring for economic development, the challenge is: Do we take anything we can get, or do we rise to the level of sustainable development?" asked Evan Lowenstein, an environmental consultant from Rochester. (June 24, 2006) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Old sneakers get new life - Old sneakers containing no metal will be collected from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Monroe County Resource Recovery Facility, 1845 Emerson St.  (June 23, 2006) Democrat & Chronicle
  • WXXI: University of Rochester Conference to Study "Flu as a Weapon" (2006-06-21) A conference in Rochester this week looks at ways the flu could be modified and potentially used as a bioweapon. The two-day symposium in Rochester examines how the flu invades the body and how the body responds. Scientists will also talk about the potential of the flu being modified and used as a lethal weapon -- and how to prevent that from happening.(2006-06-21) Public NewsRoom
  • Commissioner Novello Advises New Yorkers to Take Precautions to Protect Themselves, Family from Hot, Humid Weather ALBANY, June 20, 2006 – With the temperatures already reaching the 90s in parts of New York State, State Health Commissioner Antonia C. Novello, M.D., M.P.H., Dr.P.H. is urging New Yorkers to stay out of the heat. If you must be outdoors in the sweltering conditions there are precautions you can take to avoid heat-related illness. The elderly, infants, young children, people who have mental illness and those who are physically ill are at the highest risk. "We all enjoy the outdoors. However, with the recent stretch of high temperatures across much of New York everyone must take precautions to protect themselves and those who are at greatest risk from heat-related illness this summer season," said Dr. Novello. "Common forms of heat-related illness are heat stroke (or sunstroke), heat exhaustion and heat cramps." Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness and is accompanied by hot, dry skin; shallow breathing; a rapid, weak pulse; and confusion. Heat stroke occurs when a person's body temperature exceeds 105 degrees Fahrenheit and could render the victim unconscious. New York State Department of Health
  • NEW YORK STATE ANNOUNCES $12 MILLION FOR RESTORATION OF LAKE ONTARIO AND TRIBUTARIES Occidental Chemical Corp. to Pay for Damages to Natural Resources -New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Denise M. Sheehan and Attorney General Eliot Spitzer today announced that New York State has reached a settlement of the State’s natural resource damage (NRD) claim for Lake Ontario and its tributaries. Occidental Chemical Corporation has agreed to pay the State $12 million in five equal payments over four years, which will be used to support projects to improve the area’s recreational fishing. “Lake Ontario is one of the most important and widely used lakes in the State. This is a tremendously valuable legal agreement for Lake Ontario and the people of the region. The money from this agreement will help restore the recreational fishery of Lake Ontario and its tributaries. It should be a shot in the arm to the tourism and fishing interests on this beautiful lake. It also sets a strong precedent for other restoration efforts,” said Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. (June 21, 2006) Office of New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer
  • Spencerport to discuss future of waste water treatment plant The Village of Spencerport will be decommissioning its waste water treatment plant and will be seeking public participation and comments on the proposal. "We are going to have an information update, let the community know what we are planning to do with the waste water treatment plant and what it entails when we turn it over to Monroe County Pure Waters," Mayor Ted Walker said. (June 18, 2006) Westside News Inc.
  • Delphi's fuel cell wins key approval - It's a promising sign for company's future here— In a milestone for Delphi Corp. with implications for the Rochester area, the company has won the first of three rounds of approval from the Department of Energy for a fuel cell that could be available for commercial vehicles or other uses by 2011. With the decision, the auto parts maker appeared to make progress Monday toward a smoother exit from bankruptcy, with plans to strengthen its business in the future with important fuel-cell technology. (June 21, 2006) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Critters that sport fish feed on are dwindling Number of invasive species in lake is up — Lake Ontario is known for its monster lake trout — muscular, gray-green fish that keep anglers awake at night with anticipation. The slimy sculpin — a 3-inch-long, mottled brown fish with mucus-coated skin that more than lives up to the fish's name — gets considerably less attention. "Why should we care about the little critters? Without them, there are no big critters," said Sean Hanna, director of the state Department of Environmental Conservation's regional office in Avon, Livingston County. (June 20, 2006) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Virus that can kill fish is found in lake for the first time— A deadly virus that can infect nearly every species of fish in Lake Ontario has been found in the lake for the first time.The virus, known as viral hemorrhagic septicemia, has been detected in both round gobies, an invasive species, and muskellunge, a native fish, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation.  (June 20, 2006) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Council considers study of reservoirs - City under pressure to upgrade water facilities as 2009 deadline looms— Cobbs Hill and Highland Park reservoirs must be covered, retrofitted with additional treatment systems or taken out of service to comply with federal regulations taking effect in 2009. The prospect likely means millions in added expense for the city, which must similarly deal with its Rush reservoir on Rush-Henrietta Town Line Road. But the historic Cobbs Hill and Highland reservoirs, being central to the parks that surround them, present unusual challenges. (June 19, 2006) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Program explains new lead paint law — City resident Michael Taggart raised a son, now 20, who was poisoned by lead paint. But even he had never heard some of the frightening statistics that spurred local leaders to take action on this long-ignored environmental problem. Nationwide, 2 percent of children are poisoned by lead. In New York, with its older housing stock, the figure more than doubles to 5 percent. But in some Rochester neighborhoods, up to 30 percent of children have elevated lead levels in their blood. (June 14, 2006) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Tree Pests Return for Summer - If you have elms, oaks, or maples in your yard keep an eye out for pests that could do some serious damage. Your trees could be under attack by a new pest in our area canker worms. The annual regulars are back as well; gypsy moths, forest tent caterpillars and Honeoye locust moths. Jun 15, 2006 R News: As It Happens, Where It Happens
  • Air quality health advisory this weekend - The Department of Conservation has issued an air quality health advisory for this weekend. Areas affected by the advisory include Central New York and Lake Ontario. (June 16, 2006) Finger Lakes Community, News and Information
  • Find out how Lake Ontario water levels are set ALEXANDRIA BAY – The group that controls the water levels on Lake Ontario will give a look behind the scenes as it meets in Alexandria Bay Tuesday. The International Joint Commission’s International Lake Ontario - St. Lawrence River Board of Control will host its annual meeting with the public from 7 to 9 pm. Tuesday, June 20, at the Village Municipal Building, 110 Walton Street, Alexandria Bay. (June 13, 2006)  MPNnow.com: Rochester and Western Finger Lakes News, Entertainment, Sports, Opinions, Photos and More
  • 6/17/06 -- New York State Office of Homeland Security, State Emergency Management Office and State Health Department Hold Full Scale Health Emergency Preparedness Drill in Upstate New York The New York State Office of Homeland Security, the State Emergency Management Office and the State Health Department today announced that more than 200 agencies, including representatives of New York State, local governments, health care providers and international response partners are participating in an intensive, full-scale pandemic flu response exercise in Western New York. This comprehensive, coordinated response is one of the largest drills of its kind to be conducted in New York and Canada to date. (June 13, 2006) New York State Department of Health
  • 6/16/06 -- NET Director Molly Clifford today announced that the Neighborhood Empowerment Team, Community Development and Law Department will host an information forum for city residents on the City's new lead legislation, 6 - 7:30 p.m., Mon., June 19 at School #17 auditorium, 158 Orchard St. NET, DCD and Law staff will present the City's implementation plan for the first year of the lead ordinance, passed in Dec., 2005 by City Council. The new, comprehensive ordinance is designed to make Rochester's rental housing stock lead safe over the next three years by a combination of inspection and testing, interim controls of properties with lead paint, and education of tenants and landlords on the dangers of lead to children. Agencies that provide Lead Safe Work Practice Training and other resources related to lead hazard control will be in attendance.
  • Area leads in business strategies that add conscience to profits — At Penn Yan Aero, a small Yates County company that rebuilds airplane engines, caustic, polluting solvents have been replaced by a giant dishwasher that uses pressurized water to clean grease, oil and paint off engine parts. The company saves money on purchasing solvents and disposing of the waste. Slowly a new breed of corporate leader is emerging, asking: Why spend time and money solving environmental problems when you can avoid them in the first place? (June 3, 2006) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Three show way with creative approaches— Area companies with their creative approaches are often cited as leaders in sustainability. Here are three. Xerox Corp. started looking at sustainability 15 years ago when Patricia Calkins was hired to assess the environmental impact of one product, a printer-copier. The company examined everything from the environmental costs of obtaining raw materials, including paper, to the consequences of disposing of the product when its useful life ended, to the pollution from transporting materials via trucks. The surprising results: More than half  (June 3, 2006) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Tests at Durand: Water quality iffy - Ontario beach, Hamlin also can have nasty days -  A one-day analysis of water quality at Durand-Eastman beach, where swimming has been banned for 40 years as a result of water pollution, indicates that the shore there is no more contaminated than Rochester's primary swimming beach at Ontario Beach Park. However, both beaches will inevitably have closures this summer. Water sampling — including a series of tests commissioned by the Democrat and Chronicle on samples taken May 17 — shows that pollution problems remain. (June 1, 2006) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Environmental Protection Agency - EPA Press Release: EPA Takes Off to Kick Off Beach Season (NEW YORK, NY) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) beach surveillance helicopter, the “Coastal Crusader,” is tuned-up and ready for action; it will scan the coastal waters of New Jersey and New York and gather water samples for EPA’s annual beach monitoring program. Each summer, EPA takes samples of coastal waters to determine whether the levels of bacteria in the water are safe for the millions of people who flock to the beach every year. In addition, EPA has given New Jersey and New York about $600,000 in grants to help them test for pathogens in recreational waters this year. (06/01/2006) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

 

 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 June 2006:

  • 6/30/06 -- Find out how to save energy & increase renewable energy: Green Power Network: Renewable Energy Certificates Renewable Energy Certificates -Renewable energy certificates (RECs), also known as green certificates, green tags, or tradable renewable certificates, represent the environmental attributes of the power produced from renewable energy projects and are sold separate from commodity electricity. Customers can buy green certificates whether or not they have access to green power through their local utility or a competitive electricity marketer. And they can purchase green certificates without having to switch electricity suppliers.

  • 6/30/06 -- Another way to help personally to fight global warming is to Take The Pledge: Take the Pledge - Environmental Defense
  • 6/30/06 -- Can you be carbon free?  Not quite.  But, there are a lot of ways you can help reduce your carbon footprints on our Global Warming problem: Check out: NRDC: This Green Life, June 2006 - Footloose and Carbon-free 
  • 6/29/06 -- Some good information on flooding: Flood Preparedness  by the New York State Department of Health
  • 6/28/06 -- Global Warming -- The Consequences. NPR : Links Between Illness and Global Warming? Fresh Air from WHYY, June 26, 2006 · Dr. Paul Epstein is a physician in Boston, and the associate director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School. He's created a niche as an eco-physician, exploring the link between increased illness and global warming. Illnesses such as heatstroke, asthma and allergies are the more obvious outcomes of a warmer and more polluted planet, but Epstein says an increase in infectious diseases such as malaria and West Nile virus may also be linked to the greenhouse effect.--from NPR : Fresh Air
  • 6/27/06 -- **GOOD/BAD IDEAS**  RGRTA - Rideshare This program helps you and our environment. "With Rideshare you can form a carpool, join an existing one or find the best bus route to work. Carpool with one other person and cut your driving costs in half. Add a third and save even more! Sign your carpool up for the Preferred Parking Program and reserve a parking place in one of the downtown municipal garages." --from RGRTA
  • 6/25/06 - I am impressed with the Democrats and Chronicle’s three-part series on lead poisoning in Rochester. Rochester has become a leader in taking efforts to curb the on-going problem of lead, but also a leader in taking on problems it has instead of shoving them under the rug—like our country is in general on our environmental problems. Lead: A Toxic Legacy: Lead paint in deteriorating urban housing has taken its toll on thousands of Rochester children over the past half century. Next Saturday, the city will begin a targeted campaign against lead paint in rental properties, 28 years after the government banned the use of lead paint. Interactive: Effect of lead on the body June, 25, 2006) Democrat and Chronicle
  • 6/22/06 - Global Warming is in the news and there are still skeptics. Of course, long before we are absolutely convinced that man-made global warming is occurring at a rapid rate, it will be far to late to do anything about it. But, here’s a story from the main-stream media that seems quite convinced that global warming is occurring.: CNN.com - Study: Earth 'likely' hottest in 2,000 years - Jun 22, 2006
  • 6/21/06 -- Nuclear power is a problem, there are no quick fixes.  I see the proliferation of nuclear power as I do the problem of nuclear weapons.  They are one in the same problem.  Witness the trouble we are having determining whether or not Iran is using energy production for peaceful or non-peaceful uses.  But, surely this is not a solution to getting rid of nuclear waste: TURNING NUKE WASTE SITES INTO PLAYGROUNDS "Across the U.S., there are more than 100 sites contaminated by radioactive waste from the nation's nuclear weapons programs. The government is trying to return these Cold War relics to safe and useful purposes. Some of these once toxic zones are being treated much like public parks. The GLRC's Kevin Lavery visited one that was recently opened to the public:" from GLRC
  • 6/15906 -- Where to lean more about clean energy? Welcome To Power Naturally Web Site
  • 6/15906 --Learn more about an area pests: Caterpillar Pests - NYS DEC
  • 6/15906 -- Lead poisoning is a continual concern in Rochester, NY.  Learn more about lead: Living on Earth: The Secret Life of Lead A twenty year study looks at the effects of childhood lead exposure.  Also, check out the city of Rochester's Lead Program: LEAD HAZARD REDUCTION PROGRAM (LHRP)
  • 6/18/06 -- On the newly rebuilt Monroe County web site, the PublicHealth Alerts and Warnings has several useful features: 1. a quick explanation of our new 48 Hours Neighborhood Notification Law, a form for contacting Monroe County for the discovery of a dead crow (which helps in identifying the West Nile Virus problem), how weather tips and more.
  • 6/16/06 - Global Warming could have an economic impact for our area: "Wine regions feel the heat By Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY In another 50 or so years, the world may be a much different place for wine aficionados, courtesy of global warming. Famed wine-producing areas such as California's Napa Valley and France's Burgundy region may relinquish their supremacy to other lands, experts say, as higher temperatures redefine wine country." --from USATODAY.com - News & Information Homepage
  • 6/16/06 - I like the new changes on the Messenger Post newspapers online.  Now you can view the online stories from a host of Rochester-area newspapers and get a better look at our environment.
  • 6/16/06 -- Obeying the traffic rules.  Riding bikes is good for the environment these days because you're not burning fossil fuels.  But, you still have to obey the traffic rules.  Check out Rochester's bike rules.

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 June 2006 and beyond:  

When

What

Where

Monday, July 10, 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. The next meeting of the Sierra Club study group will be Monday, July 10, at 7 pm at the Brighton Public Library. 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
  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  
FRIDAY, JULY 7 FROM 7PM TO 9PM

 

On SUNDAY, JULY 9 from 1 PM to 4 PM

FROM STRAWBALE HOUSE TO PRIMITIVE BASKET MAKING" "STRAW BALE CONSTRUCTION FROM THE ARCHITECTURAL PLANS TO THE FINISHED STRUCTURE" In this first of two very different straw bale homes, please join Annie and Mike O'Reilly, owners-builders on FRIDAY, JULY 7 FROM 7PM TO 9PM at their home in Conesus. Straw bale construction is sustainable, affordable, super insulating, and helps build community. This workshop is designed to take you from the plan stage, to the finsihed home. Annie and Mike will share their candid description of the pyhysical work, emotional ups and downs, and details with the use of photos, video presentation, and personal accounts. Refreshments. Directions with registration Registration: $10 (children free) - limited to 20 people. Contact: Mike O'reilly, 585-346-0557, annieandmikeo@juno.com "PRIMITIVE ARTS, A BASKET MAKING WORKSHOP" On SUNDAY, JULY 9 from 1 PM to 4 PM bring your sharp scissors or pruners to the East Hill Farm of the Rochester Folk Art Guild in MIddlesex. Together we will cut branches from diverse trees and bushes to make our melon-style baskets. Darrell Birchenough, educator, is especially skilled in primitive arts. For directions and $15 registration contact Darrell at 585-507-1551 or primitiveskill@aol.com Open to older children and adults. For further information or to be on the Center for Sustainable Living member list, contact Alison Clarke at 585-394-0864. The CSL Mission recognizes the wisdom in natural systems that serve as models for ecological well-being.  
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.

Get local listings Global Warming: An Inconvenient Truth Humanity is sitting on a ticking time bomb. If the vast majority of the world's scientists are right, we have just ten years to avert a major catastrophe that could send our entire planet into a tail-spin of epic destruction involving extreme weather, floods, droughts, epidemics and killer heat waves beyond anything we have ever experienced. If that sounds like a recipe for serious gloom and doom -- think again. From director Davis Guggenheim comes the Sundance Film Festival hit, AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, which offers a passionate and inspirational look at one man's fervent crusade to halt global warming's deadly progress in its tracks by exposing the myths and misconceptions that surround it. That man is former Vice President Al Gore, who, in the wake of defeat in the 2000 election, re-set the course of his life to focus on a last-ditch, all-out effort to help save the planet from irrevocable change. In this eye-opening and poignant portrait of Gore and his "traveling global warming show," Gore also proves himself to be one of the most misunderstood characters in modern American public life. Here he is seen as never before in the media - funny, engaging, open and downright on fire about getting the surprisingly stirring truth about what he calls our "planetary emergency" out to ordinary citizens before it's too late.  
 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.

**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 July 2006:

  • **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.

  • Common Good Planning Center: We strive to engage citizens and organizations in a common quest to establish the Genesee/Finger Lakes Region as one of the "top ten" in the nation for economic vibrancy, ecological integrity, and quality of life for all.

 

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