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October RENews 06

RochesterEnvironment.com’s Newsletter

October 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 October 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. 

 

      

* Hottest issue this month of September 06: My vote for the hottest environmental issue in our area is… you guessed it – voting. Granted the Rochester-area has over eighty environmental groups focusing on various aspects of our environment, but it is our elected officials who have the most clout on what laws get passed and enforced on our environment. For, in the future, I don’t think we will be speaking of our environment; we’ll talking about ‘environmental change.’ In our lifetime, we will experience fundamental changes in our environment, maybe even one of the three major tipping points described in Tim Flannery’s, The Weather Makers. Who we vote for now and their attitudes towards our environment will have a significant impact soon.

* Other Hot Environmental issues this month: Energy issues and Global Change overshadow much of our area’s news this month. Some of our educational institutions and businesses (and even our local government) are researching and developing new ways to create energy that won’t warm up the planet—including biodiesel and fuel cells. While a panel of experts says there are “no silver bullets for energy policy” during a meeting here in Rochester, we must change the way we produce energy to avoid what are already said to be the consequences of our past practices. This is important to keep in mind as fuel costs rise and individuals seek ways to afford energy, indicated by a story about outdoor wood-fired boilers that may be the inexpensive (but, what is in my view) the wrong route to sustainability. We don’t have to look far into the future to see what changes might occur in our region due to Global Warming, for just a couple of weeks ago an early snowfall devastated areas around Buffalo, NY. When two feet of snow falls early on trees that have not shed their leaves, three-hundred thousand people lose their power and a city, in one fell swoop, looses half of their urban forest. Those thinking that Global Warming means ‘slow and gradual’ changes must think more about weather out of sync—Buffalo’s predicament happened overnight. We include an excellent article (written before the snowstorm) about what our area can expect when the climate changes from the Buffalo News. .

* The silent stories [important stories we didn't hear much about]: My vote for the environmental story we aren't hearing much about is a growing concern about the possible collapse of our (meaning all communities) infrastructure—that’s all the pipes and things that bring our waters to us and take it away. Because this intricate system is out of sight and so out of mind, we don’t think much about that system which is the arteries of our healthy community. In an article out of Binghamton, you can get the picture, “Enormous bill inevitable for region's infrastructure - Patchwork repairs to roads, bridges, sewers not enough” I cannot say it better, so I’ll quote the Press & Sun Bulletin: “The American Society of Civil Engineers recently issued a D-minus grade to the nation's water infrastructure, saying many aging systems face "staggering public investment needs" over the next 20 years to upgrade the system.” I’m also concerned about the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) closing of its Headquarters Library to the public. Much of our overall picture of our environment and what condition it is in resides in the EPA (which, we as citizens paid for) and without that knowledge assessable to the public, we are flying blind.

* On-Going Concerns: In a word, Pollution. The most numerous stories this month on our area’s environment seem to be toxins and botulism (from invasive species) in the Great Lakes. Record losses of birds occurred this year and at least 43 toxic hot spots have been identified. And this is in a time when some believe that control of the Great Lakes environment is being severely compromised by lack of money to clean these lakes up and the lack of governmental control over these important waters. Like it or not, we are sitting next to the largest fresh water supply (one-fifth) on the planet and it must be clean to support life. And, as many area’s around our country and the world dry up due to overuse, bad planning, and (of course) climate change, a lot of people are going to want some of this large water source—which, because it is a closed system, could compromise our area’s weather if large amounts of water were taken away. Pollution stories also crop up in brownfield issues, mercury from outdated coal-fired power plants, particulates in the air, and possibly your old computer.

* Environmental Actions you can take for our area: Vote. You can find out how your candidates voted on environmental bills in the past from The League of Conservation Voters at http://www.lcv.org/ . Get a flu shot. Support the Green Parties to stay on the ballot in New York State. And, take some online measure to prevent Global Warming.

* Environmental events going on this month: The Sierra Club is putting on a major film and lecture on Solutions for Global Warming. There are lots of wind power events going on, a final book study group on Collapse by Jared Diamond, a recycling conference, solar power tours, a lecture on bird flu, an opportunity to join the FeederWatch program (an important way you can help monitor both bird populations and thus our environmental health), and more.

* Rochester-area Environmental Site of the Month: The Cayuga Bird Club (CBC), founded in 1913, provides its members and the community at large with opportunities to learn about birds, local birding localities, and the environment. CBC membership is composed of a diverse group of people from various professions and backgrounds, whose common bond is a keen interest in the observation and preservation of bird life. CBC field trips and monthly meetings offer members a chance to meet socially and to focus on a topic or locality of interest. Most field trips visit areas within the Cayuga Lake Basin, although the club regularly visits places farther afield, such as Amherst Island, Ontario; Niagara Falls, New York; and Hawk Mountain, Pennsylvania. Lectures and presentations offered at the monthly club meetings draw from the great variety of professional and amateur researchers at the Lab of Ornithology, Cornell University, and Ithaca College, as well as the local community.

      

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 October 2006:

  • Brooks Partners with Rochester Midland for New Environmental Initiative County Executive Maggie Brooks announced that Monroe County has partnered with Rochester Midland Corporation to provide green cleaning products for its county-owned facilities. MyMonroe. Opening Up Government. | Monroe County, NY
  • Loons' water turns deadly -- Page 1 -- Times Union - Albany NY Bacteria in Great Lakes linked to invasive species killing off waterfowl in what may be state's worst bird kill  BETHLEHEM -- The 343 dead loons were packed in clear plastic garbage bags, five to a bag. They were stored at 34 in a refrigerated trailer at the state wildlife pathology unit on Thursday. The loons' mournful, tremulous wails had fallen silent. Their bright, blood-red eyes had faded to a pale pink. These striking black-and-white symbols of solitude and wilderness are dying this fall at an alarming rate on New York's Great Lakes. "This will probably be the biggest bird kill in the history of New York," said state wildlife pathologist Ward Stone. Friday, October 27, 2006 Albany NY News - Times Union - Serving Albany, Saratoga, Schenectady, Troy
  • Adirondacks Are Hot. That’s Good. Or Not. - New York Times TUPPER LAKE, N.Y. — Those who love the Adirondacks most are worried they are being loved too much. Skip to next paragraph Multimedia Map Adirondack Park -The trails and forests that used to be part of the Big Tupper Ski Area would be part of a development that would add hundreds of new buildings on a 6,300-acre site. Personal watercraft, all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles shatter the stillness, from one season to the next. Nearly twice as many building permits were issued last year as in 1998, while home prices in some areas have doubled in less than three years. Two major development proposals that would resurrect defunct ski areas, one here and another in North Creek, could create a total of more than 1,000 units of housing and several hotels in what Peter Bauer, a leading environmentalist, described as “an unprecedented building boom.” NYTimes.com N.Y. / Region RSS
  • DEC announces draft policy on New York environmental leaders - New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Denise M. Sheehan Friday announced the release of a draft policy on the New York Environmental Leaders program. The draft policy sets forth the details of the NYEL program including program requirements, benefits to participating organizations, and the responsibilities of the DEC in implementing this program. (October 29, 2006) New York State News on the Net!
  • Securing future energy will be difficult but doable — Lou Grinzo is the grass roots, where change in America always begins. A technical writer with a degree in economics, Grinzo has worked for IBM and Microsoft Corp. - (October 29, 2006) Democrat and Chronicle
  • Biodiesel plant coming to Wayne County - News - MSNBC.com ONTARIO, N.Y. (AP) - A former lumber warehouse in central New York is slated to be transformed into a bio-diesel factory that will be largest of its kind in the northeastern United States. Jason Masters of Northern Biodiesel says the company will turn the former 84 Lumber warehouse in Ontario into a production center for bio-diesel fuel. The ingredients for bio-diesel fuel can come from leftover frying oil or from soybeans.
  • Restoration Act funding level gets mixed reactions - Federal officials and non-profit groups are hailing re-authorization of the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act as proof of the high priority given to Great Lakes issues. But, while the act provides funding for a wide range of projects and promotes collaboration in restoration efforts, questions remain as to how much funding the federal government will actually put forth. The restoration act was first passed in 1990 and re-authorized in 1998, providing up to $8 million per year toward work on habitat restoration, aquatic genetics and combating invasive species, among other projects. The Daily Press - Ashland, WI
  • Outdoor furnaces hot topic of debate - Rise in use of alternative heat source ignites pollution discussions — Imagine a furnace installed outside your home that can burn huge logs and provide heat and hot water at a very low cost, saving thousands of dollars in utility bills. Such devices exist, and sales are booming. But clean-air advocates say they threaten the environment and public health. "They're not a very high-efficiency method of generating heat, and consequently they put out a pretty high amount of pollution," said Rob Moore, executive director of Environmental Advocates of New York. - (October 23, 2006) Democrat and Chronicle
  • Brockport discusses funds for environmental, park use It's been a long time coming but the Village of Brockport has been offered $62,000 from G.E./Black & Decker for environmental and/or community recreation enhancements. GE and Black & Decker were accused of polluting the village for more than 30 years when pollutants were discharged into soils and storm sewers in the Lyman Street area. It was in 2000 when state health department officials pinpointed contaminants and a lawsuit was filed by families in the area. Brockport Village Manager Ian Coyle explained: "The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Village of Brockport, GE and B&D is a compromise and settlement for the village's costs and damages (consultants, engineers, legal costs, storm sewer work, etc.) incurred as a result of the environmental conditions in the area." (October 22, 2006) Westside News Inc.
  • Environmental, other efforts detailed; $1M goes to help forests. — For the first time, Xerox Corp. has put all of its corporate citizenship efforts in one place for the world to examine. Xerox released its "2006 Report on Global Citizenship" Thursday, the debut of a report that charts everything from the company's environmental emissions progress to its efforts to protect customer privacy. (October 27, 2006) Democrat and Chronicle
  • WXXI: Upstate Medical Centers Plan for the Worst (2006-10-26) ROCHESTER, NY  A natural disaster, a pandemic infection or a terrorist attack would seriously challenge upstate New York's medical resources. So the four academic health centers in the region are putting their resources together in case they ever have to deal with hundreds of seriously injured or sick patients at the same time. The University of Rochester Medical Center, the School of Medicine at the University of Buffalo, Upstate Medical University in Syracuse and the Albany Medical College have formed a Mass Casualty Management Center.(2006-10-26) Public NewsRoom
  • TheStar.com - Great Lakes pact obsolete, report says TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — A U.S.-Canadian pact to clean up the Great Lakes has run its course after more than three decades and should be scrapped in favour of a more effective, modern strategy, a binational panel said Tuesday. The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement of 1972 has inspired progress on some of the ecosystem's biggest threats, such as untreated sewage and industrial toxic discharges, said a report by the International Joint Commission (http://www.ijc.org), which advises both countries about the lakes. (October 24, 2006) http://www.thestar.com/
  • Botulism suspected of killing lake birds - Waterfowl washing up on Ontario's shores prompt DEC testing  — The remains of dozens of birds are washing up on the shores of Lake Ontario, and they may be victims of the same bacteria that killed hundreds of birds over the summer near the Thousand Islands. The water birds, such as loons, gulls and grebes, were first discovered Saturday between Wayne County's Sodus Bay and Deer Creek Marsh in Oswego County. The deaths are thought to be due to Type E botulism, said state Department of Environmental Conservation spokeswoman Maureen Wren, but the DEC's Wildlife Pathology Unit is inspecting and testing the birds. (October 25, 2006) Democrat and Chronicle
  • Environmental center to hold dinner Wed. — The Center for Environmental Information will hold its 32nd Community Salute to the Environment on Wednesday at the Hyatt Regency Rochester. The event begins at 5 p.m. with a reception and silent auction, with items up for bid including Buffalo Bills tickets, dinners, golf passes and a cottage rental on Cayuga Lake. (October 24, 2006) Democrat and Chronicle
  • Hopes build once again for city's Brooks Landing - Long-delayed riverside project inching ahead — Next month marks a full year since dignitaries gathered on the west bank of the Genesee River for a ceremonial groundbreaking on Brooks Landing. Yet crews only recently began moving dirt, preparing the site and relocating utilities. Actual construction on a four-story hotel envisioned to anchor development opposite the University of Rochester campus remains weeks away. (October 19, 2006) Democrat and Chronicle
  • Brooks Launches New Energy Initiatives - Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks announced the first in a series of new County initiatives designed to reduce the County’s energy-related expenses, while both preserving the environment and utilizing new sources of homegrown renewable energy. The announcement, held at Winslow Elementary School in Henrietta, highlighted the theme of education in the promotion of renewable energy resources within Monroe County. (October 18, 2006) Democrat and Chronicle
  • UR to host 'Sustainability' Farmers Market - To push the idea of buying local, ecologically-friendly produce, University of Rochester will host its first ever Sustainability Farmers Market from 3 to 6 p.m. Friday in Dandelion Square on UR's River Campus. The event will feature organic and locally grown fruits and vegetables from Freshlink Farms in Penfield and East Hill Organic Farm in Middlesex, Yates County. All purchases will be cash only. (October 18, 2006) Democrat and Chronicle
  • County to outline energy conservation plan today - Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks today is expected to outline an energy conservation and education initiative at a news conference in Henrietta. The program is the first of several new county energy initiatives to be unveiled over the next month, according to county officials. The initiatives are expected to promote use of renewable energy resources, protect of the environment and save taxpayers money, officials said.  (October 18, 2006) Democrat and Chronicle
  • globeandmail.com: U.S. suspends gun drills on Great Lakes OTTAWA — The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended machine-gun practice on the Great Lakes as Washington considers whether the live-fire drills pose an environmental danger to fish and a safety hazard for boats. Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay said Monday Canada is concerned about possible lead poisoning of the lakes, noting that the use of lead shot and sinkers in fishing gear is already banned. Canada has informed the United States about its environmental worries, he said. “We're concerned most particularly in the environmental aspect.” (October, 17, 2006) globeandmail.com: Canada's National Newspaper
  • Environmentalists: Cut mercury emissions faster ALBANY -- New York should crack down on power plants that spew poisonous mercury into the atmosphere, at least matching New England states that are requiring the emissions be cut by 90 percent within four years, a group of environmentalists said Tuesday. pressconnects.com
  • environment: don't chuck that old PC  -Turns out computers aren't biodegradable. If you bury your decade-old IBM in the garden, it'll stay there for eternity — or until an enterprising groundhog digs it up. In addition, it contains chemicals toxic to the environment. That's why some tech-savvy local companies are out to ensure that the city's unwanted computer hardware ends up in the proper place, be it a hazardous waste facility, a manufacturer or in the hands of an underprivileged family. (September 19, 2006) Insider: Rochester Remixed
  • UR researchers report bird flu vaccine find— University of Rochester researchers have found that people might not have to wait until a pandemic flu hits before getting a protective dose of vaccine. The concern has been that there won’t be enough time to give people the necessary two shots if a pandemic sweeps into the United States. But UR researchers found that people who had already been inoculated for a strain of the H5N1 avian influenza they were given as part of a different study in 1997 and 1998 produced more antibodies when given a booster shot than those who had never received an H5N1 vaccine before. (October 13, 2006) Democrat and Chronicle
  • Grants to protect Lake Ontario — Eight area communities have been awarded grants that may help improve the water quality in and around Lake Ontario. The grants are part of the federal Lake Ontario Coastal Initiative, a 15-year program to help the restoration, conservation and sustainable use of Lake Ontario's coastal region. - (October 12, 2006) Democrat and Chronicle
  • Democrat & Chronicle: RenSquare design is a gleaming hub - Officials ready to move forward on fundraising - — An expansive, elevated park, an enclosed bus terminal and a towering cylindrical theater encased in steel and glass are part of a $230 million plan to reinvigorate Rochester's downtown. The plan is for Renaissance Square, proposed for East Main Street between North Clinton Avenue and St. Paul Street.- (October 12, 2006) Democrat and Chronicle
  • State pollution suit targets RG&E— Rochester Gas and Electric Corp. will be the target of a lawsuit over what state officials say are longstanding violations of clean air laws at the company's Russell Station plant in Greece. RG&E has made major upgrades at the coal-burning plant, Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said, but he claimed it did not install the pollution controls required by the federal Clean Air Act.  - (October 12, 2006) Democrat and Chronicle
  • Buffalo News - Climate change is coming, climate change is coming! How global warming will affect the Great Lakes and Western New York - Stronger storms. Shorter winters. Drier soils, heat waves, heavy rains and flooding. Lake Erie levels that are lower than ever - maybe. You probably have heard so much about climate change by now that your mind freezes at its mere mention. News reports, scientific testimonials, advertisements, television programs, movies, political posturing and conversation abound. It can be exhausting, and as a result some jump to the conclusion that it is too complicated an issue and not much can be done about it anyway. Thinking shuts down. People shut up.
  • Buffalo News - Advisory panel will urge county to end timber harvest The controversial logging of Erie County's forests will end soon if the County Legislature follows the direction of its Energy and Environment Committee. After a hearing Wednesday, the committee informed the contractor doing the work it will ask the Legislature to end his contract in two weeks. The Buffalo News
  • WXXI: Fuel Cell Development Center Will Come to RIT ROCHESTER, NY (2006-10-06) Congresswoman Louise Slaughter says the federal government will put one-point-35 million dollars into fuel cell development programs at the Rochester Institute of Technology.  (2006-10-06) Public NewsRoom
  • WXXI: U of R Panel Says No Silver Bullets for Energy Policy (2006-10-07) ROCHESTER, NY A panel that included a Nobel Prize winner and a former U.S. Department of Energy official told an audience at the University of Rochester on Saturday that it's too late to avoid climate change from fossil fuels. They said the world has to find options to oil and coal in ways that preserve its economy and also fights global warming. Director John Holdren of the Woods Hole Research Center, Nobel Prize winning physicist Steven Chu and others spoke at the U of R's Meliora Weekend. (2006-10-07) Public NewsRoom
  • Brockovich's pitch: Stick with it — Erin Brockovich told an audience of 1,500 students, alumni and guests at Rochester Institute of Technology on Saturday that learning to persevere changed her life. Brockovich — who's known for the movie about her environmental activism — was once the girl at her Kansas high school voted least likely to succeed. She has dyslexia, got low grades and for years let other people's opinions hold her back. (October 8, 2006) Democrat and Chronicle
  • EPA CLOSING ITS HEADQUARTERS LIBRARY OCTOBER 1 — Congress Asks for Review of Effects on Research, Regulation and Enforcement - Washington, DC — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is closing its Headquarters Library to the public, as well as its own staff, effective October 1. This shutdown is the latest in a series of agency library closures during the past few weeks, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). As with the other library collections, the books, reports and research monographs in the EPA Headquarters Library have been boxed up and are currently inaccessible to anyone. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility:
  • CNN.com - Birds flock to New York's Finger Lakes - Oct 3, 2006 SAVANNAH, New York (AP) -- Two American bald eagles perch on the high branches of a dead tree, their yellow eyes trained on muskrats nibbling cattail shoots in shallow Tschache Pool. As the autumn migration beckons, a great feeding frenzy is under way at the Montezuma Wetlands Complex: A solitary great blue heron stalks fish and frogs, blizzards of sandpipers and plovers peck in mud flats for crustaceans, kestrels swoop down on field mice. For all its natural beauty, the swampy sanctuary in western New York relies a great deal on human intervention. Its caretakers set fires, spray chemicals, build dikes and alter wetland levels to improve nesting and feeding conditions for the million or more birds and waterfowl that drop in each year. (October 3, 2006) CNN.com - Breaking News, U.S., World, Weather, Entertainment & Video News
  • Research grant creating models for air pollution movement in state - Computer models that simulate what happens in real life have become important tools in managing ecological problems and discovering ways to avoid worst-case scenarios. Sherri Mason, chemistry professor at SUNY Fredonia, has funding from the Great Lakes Commission to create a workable atmospheric model that will predict how air pollutants move into New York State from cars, industry, and even Great Lakes evaporation. With a research grant of $80,000 through the Great Lakes Air Deposition (GLAD) program, she is collaborating with the State Department of Environmental Conservation to model the locations of chemicals in the air that are known to be carcinogenic or hazardous to humans. The OBSERVER, Dunkirk, New York
  • 2006 NY Deer Hunting Forecast - Region 8 The 2005 deer season in Region 8 resulted in the harvest of 44,633 total deer, down 11.4% from the 50,374 killed in 2004. Considering however, that Deer Management Permit (DMP) availability was down 37% from 2004, a decline of only 11% in the total take may actually be welcome news for Region 8 hunters. Buck take in 2005 (18,318 bucks) was statistically identical to that of 2004 (18,230 bucks) indicating that the regional deer population held steady in 2005. In light of the significant population declines in 2003 and 2004, this stabilization is good news.  Region 8 deer hunters should expect to see slightly more deer in general this year as compared to last, but gains will probably not be dramatic. Increases in deer population and deer takes should be greater in the northern half of the region, and a little less in the Southern Tier, but most units should have bottomed out and currently be on an upward track. Deer Management Permit availability will increase overall by about 12% this fall in an effort to keep pace with this anticipated rise in the deer population. This step is necessary since we not only have to consider where the population is now, but also the direction it is headed in the future, and try to keep a step ahead. All current indicators, however point to a regional deer herd that is on the rebound -- New York State Department of Environmental Conservation - Protecting NY's Environment and Managing its Natural Resources

 

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

 Updates in RochesterEnvironment.com for October 2006:

  • 10/29/03 - Sometimes it’s difficult to get around the notion that Global Warming is going to change things—really change things.  Our days seem busy and frantic enough without the incomprehensible changes heralded by those coming by a planet warming up.  But, there you are.  If Global Warming is not on your top ten things to worry about, then We Don’t Get It!  Our planet is going to be different, not only good for some and bad for others, but different on a scale that anything our species had encountered for its entire existence.  There could be catastrophic changes that occur during your life time (if you are like me and over 50 years old).  But, more likely are the changes coming for the next generation.  I’m always reading books about this subject (Collapse by Jared Diamond, Coal, a Human History by Barbara Freeze, and especially The Weather Makers, by Tim Flannery) and one cannot come away from the plethora of expert books coming out on Global Warming that massive changes need to occur if we are going to avert major inconveniences to our way of life.  According to The Weather Makers, by Tim Flannery, we have already passed some major tipping points and are heading towards three possible indicators of climate change on a truly awesome scale if we don’t curb green house gasses now.  Read this good online article about this: Global Warming Nears "Dangerous" Level By Sara Goudarzi LiveScience.com - Monday 25 September 2006 - Researchers say average temperatures are close to a million-year high. Global temperatures are dangerously close to the highest ever estimated to have occurred in the past million years, scientists reported Monday. In a study that analyzed temperatures around the globe, researchers found that Earth has been warming rapidly, nearly 0.36 degrees Fahrenheit (0.2 degrees Celsius) in the last 30 years.
  • 10/25/06 -- Here's an excellent way to find out out environmental threats near you by using your Internet connection.  EcoThreat.org - Welcome to the hub for information about pollution sources in New York State. This site lets you zoom to maps of your community and view the top environmental concerns, find out about each pollution source, and learn how to take action. --from Citizen's Environmental Coalition
  • 10/20/06 -- This is a program that should be implemented everywhere--Biomonitoring. We have little idea about how much and what kinds of chemicals that we use end up in our bodies. Inside Bay Area - State to trace toxins from streams to veins State to trace toxins from streams to veins Biomonitoring program to test human exposure to pesticides in food, chemicals at home By Douglas Fischer, STAFF WRITER Article Last Updated:09/30/2006 02:36:27 AM PDT Starting in 2010, Californians will have access to some possibly unsettling information about what's in their bodies. --from http://www.insidebayarea.com/
  • 10/20/06 - The United States government has some tips on buying the most fuel efficient car. FIND AND COMPARE CARS... Gas mileage (MPG), greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution ratings, and safety information for new and used cars and trucks -Compare Side-by-Side Search by Class -- FirstGov.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web Portal
  • 10/20/06 -- I’ve recently heard about outside wood burning water heaters and didn’t know much about them—especially if they are safe for the environment. The Attorney General of NYS has heard of them and has given a full report on their use. Check it out: Smoke Gets in Your Lungs: Outdoor Wood Boilers in New York State - "Homeowners, especially in rural communities, are increasingly turning to wood burning units installed outside the home, known as outdoor wood boilers (OWBs), to heat their homes. OWB sales have tripled in New York since 1999, with over 7,000 OWBs sold from 1999 to 2004. The New York State Office of the Attorney General (OAG) Environmental Protection Bureau reviewed information on OWBs and analyzed the manufacture, distribution, testing, and sales of OWBs in New York State. We found that while OWBs are advertised as a clean and economical way to heat one’s house and water, OWBs may be among the dirtiest and least economical modes of heating, especially when improperly used. Even when used properly, OWBs emit, on an average per hour basis, about four times as much fine particulate matter pollution as conventional wood stoves, about 12 times as much fine particle pollution as EPA-certified wood stoves, 1000 times more than oil furnaces, and 1800 times more than gas furnaces. Such emissions are significant because fine particulate matter pollution has both short-term and long-term health effects." --from Office of New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer
  • 10/19/06 -- First place to go for emergency preparedness  - Emergency Preparedness and Response - New York State Department of Health -- Get full info for any kind of major emergency: Biological Anthrax Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) Botulism Pandemic Influenza (Flu) Plague Smallpox Other Biological Agents (Centers for Disease Control) Bioterrorism Rapid Response Card (Card size PDF, 44kb) Protocols for Mail Handling Chemical Chemical Terrorism Preparedness Response Card Chemical Terrorism Wall Chart Fact Sheets (General Information) The Facts About Ammonia The Facts About Chlorine The Facts About Cyanides The Facts About Nerve Agents The Facts About Ricin Fact Sheets (Technical Information) The Facts About Ammonia The Facts About Chlorine The Facts About Cyanides The Facts About Nerve Agents Related Links Chemical Agents (Centers for Disease Control) Radiological Radiation Emergencies (Centers for Disease Control) Radiological Terrorism Rapid Response (Card size PDF, 30kb) Dirty Bombs Potassium Iodide (KI) Weather Flood Preparedness Weather Emergencies - Health & Safety Advice Cold Weather Advice Hot Weather Advice Hurricane Preparedness Lightning Safety Tips
  • 10/16/06 -- Good information for communities on Wind Power: Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council - Wind Energy Local Government Support - While some wind development information is available to counties and municipalities, such as the “Tool Kit” on NYSERDA’s www.powernaturally.org  website, many seek direct assistance and information. This assistance supports counties along with with planning, zoning, and other town boards responsible for making land use decisions. The program provides technical training and assistance to regional planning councils so that they may better provide wind energy information and assistance to counties, municipal boards, elected officials, industrial development agencies, code enforcement offices, and other municipal staff. This will allow regional planning councils to be more responsive to the needs of municipalities and provide them with up-to-date, reliable, and accurate information on wind development.
  • 10/15/06 -- This story points to something we don't thing about, especially because it's going to involve a lot of money. But, we do have to take care of our area's silent infrastructure someday.  Check this story out: Enormous bill inevitable for region's infrastructure Infrastructure across the region is approaching a state of disrepair that borders on a public health hazard, some public officials say. And with little help from state and federal governments, local leaders are stuck trying to find a balance between a fix-it-when-it-breaks approach and a more costly proactive approach. pressconnects.com
  • 10/15/06 -- News on Recycling: Update on where to throw out that old computer - environment: don't chuck that old PC  -Turns out computers aren't biodegradable. If you bury your decade-old IBM in the garden, it'll stay there for eternity — or until an enterprising groundhog digs it up. In addition, it contains chemicals toxic to the environment. That's why some tech-savvy local companies are out to ensure that the city's unwanted computer hardware ends up in the proper place, be it a hazardous waste facility, a manufacturer or in the hands of an underprivileged family. (September 19, 2006) Insider: Rochester Remixed
  • 10/09/06 -- Check out EPA's page for Brownfield cleanup in Rochester, NY. EPA Brownfields Pilot/Grantee - Rochester, NY
  • 10/09/06 -- For some good local wind power resources, check out these sites: Small Wind in New York This page provides information specific to public policies, incentive programs, wind resources, and organizational resources for installing and operating a small wind turbine in New York.  Also, The Alliance for Clean Energy New York's mission is to promote the use of clean, renewable electricity technologies and energy efficiency in New York State, in order to increase energy diversity and security, boost economic development, improve public health, and reduce air pollution. Also: Northeast Sustainable Energy Association The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) is the Northeast’s leading organization of professionals and concerned citizens working in sustainable energy and whole systems thinking. NESEA facilitates the widespread adoption and use of sustainable energy by providing support to industry professionals and by educating and motivating consumers to learn about, ask for, and adopt sustainable energy and green building practices. NESEA accomplishes this through its Building Energy conference and trade show, K-12 resources, an advocacy network, high profile public events such as the Tour de Sol and the Green Building Open House, its chapters and members, and its Sustainable Yellow Pages.
  • 10/07/06 -- This story about the release by the Federal government and environmental information should be a chilling reminder just how difficult it is going to be to find out what is going on in our environment for time time coming: EPA CLOSING ITS HEADQUARTERS LIBRARY OCTOBER 1 — Congress Asks for Review of Effects on Research, Regulation and Enforcement - Washington, DC — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is closing its Headquarters Library to the public, as well as its own staff, effective October 1. This shutdown is the latest in a series of agency library closures during the past few weeks, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). As with the other library collections, the books, reports and research monographs in the EPA Headquarters Library have been boxed up and are currently inaccessible to anyone. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility:
  • 10/01/06 - New site for trails: Friends of Webster Trails To manage and promote wild areas, trails and linear parks in partnership with the Town of Webster for educations and recreational purposes.

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 November 2006 and beyond:  

When

What

Where

Click here for full Schedule: WXXI: Public Flu Clinic Schedule Released (2006-09-26) **EVENT** / **ACTION**  WXXI: Public Flu Clinic Schedule Released (2006-09-26) ROCHESTER, NY (2006-09-26) Public flu shot clinics in Monroe County start next week with an afternoon clinic at the Dome Center in Henrietta. The University of Rochester School of Nursing says it plans to hold about two dozen public flu clinics and 100 clinics at Rochester-area companies over the next few months. They say there's a solid supply of the flu vaccine on hand this year. Health authorities are advising all eligible people to get a flu shot. That's especially true for people 50 and over, young children and pregnant women. The same holds true for people with medical conditions such as asthma or heart disease. Public NewsRoom  
Nov 14 Tues, 7PM - PM

Solutions for Global Warming

The Heat Is On - What You Can Do To Turn It Down General Meeting

7:00pm - 9pm, Tuesday, November 14th Brighton Town Hall

Al Gore’s documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, has been hugely successful. By now, the case for global warming is established as a fact in most people’s minds. But the film is not strong on what we can do about global warming. Our Rochester Group of the Sierra Club invites you to a showing of positive answers described on other DVD’s and a discussion of solutions to this mega environmental problem.

Brighton Town Hall Auditorium, 2300 Elmwood Ave
The 2006-2007 FeederWatch season begins November 11. FeederWatch Turns 20! -The twentieth season of Project FeederWatch gets underway in less than three weeks and we're hoping That veterans and new participants alike will join us for this anniversary year. To date, FeederWatchers have submitted more than 1.1 million checklists, reporting on the ebb and flow of birds in their yards, the spread of invasive species, and the impact of diseases such as West Nile virus. More than 13,000 people take part in Project FeederWatch, tracking birds at their feeders as often as once per week from November through early April. People of all ages and skill levels are welcome to participate. The 2006-2007 FeederWatch season begins November 11. To learn more about Project FeederWatch or to register, visit www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw  or call the Lab toll-free at (800) 843-2473. In Canada, contact Bird Studies Canada at (888) 448–2473. In return for the $15 fee ($12 for Lab members, $35 for Canadian residents), participants receive the FeederWatcher’'s Handbook, a poster of common feeder birds, a calendar, instructions, a subscription to the Lab's newsletter, BirdScope, and the FeederWatch Winter Bird Highlights.  
November 12, 2006 (Sunday)7:00pm November 12, 2006 (Sunday) "BIRD FLU: A VIRUS OF OUR OWN HATCHING" - Michael Greger, MD ( www.VeganMD.org ) 7:00pm Brighton Town Park Lodge, 777 Westfall Road, Rochester NY (near the intersection of S. Clinton Rd. and Westfall) Free Open to the Public (wheelchair accessible) Cosponsored by ARAUNY (Animal Rights Advocates of Upstate NY: www.ARAUNY.org ) and RAVS (Rochester Area Vegetarian Society: www.RochesterVeg.org ) Dr. Michael Greger, HSUS Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture, has just released a book entitled: "Bird Flu: A Virus of Our Own Hatching", which will be available for purchase and signing at this 11/12/06 event. Vegan potluck precedes lecture at 5:30pm ($3 non-members). Bring Vegan-only dish to share for eight people Details at www.RochesterVeg.org . Brighton Town Park Lodge, 777 Westfall Road, Rochester NY (near the intersection of S. Clinton Rd. and Westfall)
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)  
  ASES National Solar Tour The American Solar Energy Society's National Solar Tour opens thousands of homes and buildings throughout the country to provide the public with an opportunity to experience solar power, solar heating, cooling, and hot-water, wind power, daylighting, and green building technologies. Visit a tour and learn energy efficiency strategies and methods, speak with homeowners and experts, and learn how the technology works, what it costs, and why it makes sense. These are “Real Places for Real People” that show real solutions for energy independence, places contributing to a sustainable energy economy. Read more about the tour and ASES. >>> Find a Tour Near You  - 2006 Tour Information 2006 tour information is posted by state. Updates may be provided until the tour date. ASES National Solar Tour Find a Tour Near You  - 2006 Tour Information 2006 tour information is posted by state. Updates may be provided until the tour date. ASES National Solar Tour
November 16 & 17 17th Annual New York State Recycling Conference November 16 & 17 Syracuse, New York - The 17th annual NYS Recycling Conference sponsored by: The NYS Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling - New York States premier recycling advocacy and public information association, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and Syracuse Center of Excellence at Syracuse University will be held on November 16 & 17 at the at the University Sheraton Hotel on University Ave in Syracuse, NY Jill Buck, Founder of the national Go Green Initiative, a comprehensive environmental education program designed to help schools operate in an environmentally responsible manner will be a keynote speaker and host a Go Green Initiative Summit. The program is operating in 400 schools in 22 states. For more information go to www.GoGreenInitiative.org The two hour GGI Summit session starting at 10:00 on the 16th is free. This session will focus on how administrators, teachers, custodians, parents and students can replicate this success in your school. A second two hour session also starting at 10:00am on the 16th is free and will open the dialogue between the composters of New York to determine: What is the value of compost? Go Green, Materials Management and Green Design - a growing movement to incorporate sustainable practices in design, construction, operation and deconstruction of buildings are the focuses of this conference and will be defined in concurrent sessions. Syracuse, New York
Monday, November 13. Brighton Public Library Learning Center. 7:15-8:45.

&

Monday, December 11. Brighton Public Library Learning Center. 7:00-8:45.

 

 
Sierra Club Book Study Group

Final discussion of Collapse by Jared Diamond. Sierra Book Study Group has chosen to read Collapse, How Societies Choose to Fail Or Succeed by Jared Diamond. “compelling in its ability to relate the pandemonium of the present to the hushed agrarian sunrises of the far past” NY Times "The Icelanders..learned to adapt to living within the limits of their environment. a book to help us do the same" LA Times ---  There are copies in the library system. Open to all. Hope to see you there.

Brighton Library, 2300 Elmwood Avenue (In large public room off of magazine room)

[ Yahoo! Maps ]
Map of 2300 Elmwood Ave
Rochester, NY 14618-2145
 

Wind Events Many Dates and locations Wind Power Events and Events Around NYS. --from New York Wind Power Education Project. "To: NYS community, civic, and community organizations — There are many opportunities to learn about and discuss wind power in the next several weeks. Please consider attending these events and publicizing them to your membership. Also: The various regional planning councils in New York State have launched a program to help municipalities address wind power development. This effort, coordinated by the Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council, is described at: http://www.gflrpc.org/AboutTheCouncil/Newsletter/fall06.pdf -- About The NY Wind Power Education Project The NY Wind Power Education Project is a collaborative effort of the Pace Law School Energy Project, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, and NYPIRG to increase the public's understanding of wind power issues, including its environmental benefits, in the belief that a better informed public can participate more meaningfully in the environmental review process and other public discussions surrounding proposed wind facilities. Twice per month, the NY Wind Power Education Project will distribute this email bulletin on wind energy issues and events around New York State. If you would like to forward announcements for possible inclusion in the WPEP Bulletins, simply email Anne Reynolds, areynolds@law.pace.edu . (The same address should be used if you wish to be added or removed from the list.)  
  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  
   AT CUMMING NATURE CENTER: 6472 Gulick Road, Naples, NY 14512 (585)374-6160 www.rmsc.org - Hiking trails and visitors center with restrooms, drinks and snacks (from vending machines), and a wildlife viewing area. Open Weekends Only Hours: Visitors Center 9am–5pm; Trails 9am–4:30pm. Admission: RMSC members free; Non-members: donation welcome—$3/person; $10/family. NOTE: The Nature Center will close from November 13 through December 29, 2006. It will re-open on Saturday, December 30, for the cross-country ski season.  
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.
 

 

**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 November 2006:

  • **ACTION** IS IT TOO LATE TO FIX THE PLANET? You can help today to prevent the worst effects of global warming from affecting our children tomorrow. Take action now at the Union of Concerned Scientists website! <http://grist.org/cgi-bin/adclick.pl?forward_id=583> --from Union of Concerned Scientists
  • **ACTION** Global Warming and other high profile environmental issues have grabbed public concern, but few think about Stormwater pollution. And yet, the things we do around the home—wash our car, our pet’s droppings, chemicals we use on our lawns, grass clippings, repairing our house and property, and maintaining our swimming pools—can have a profound effect on our area’s water quality. These are things that each of us can do to prevent contamination to our area’s waters, by learning about the potential pollutants going down our drains and into our area’s sewers and into our streams, rivers, and lakes. Check out The Stormwater Coalition of Monroe County and especially print out this important flyer and post it so you can remember. Make Your Home the Solution to Stormwater Pollution
  • **EVENT** / **ACTION**  WXXI: Public Flu Clinic Schedule Released (2006-09-26) ROCHESTER, NY (2006-09-26) Public flu shot clinics in Monroe County start next week with an afternoon clinic at the Dome Center in Henrietta. The University of Rochester School of Nursing says it plans to hold about two dozen public flu clinics and 100 clinics at Rochester-area companies over the next few months. They say there's a solid supply of the flu vaccine on hand this year. Health authorities are advising all eligible people to get a flu shot. That's especially true for people 50 and over, young children and pregnant women. The same holds true for people with medical conditions such as asthma or heart disease. Public NewsRoom
  •  **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.

  • The Cayuga Bird Club (CBC), founded in 1913, provides its members and the community at large with opportunities to learn about birds, local birding localities, and the environment. CBC membership is composed of a diverse group of people from various professions and backgrounds, whose common bond is a keen interest in the observation and preservation of bird life. CBC field trips and monthly meetings offer members a chance to meet socially and to focus on a topic or locality of interest. Most field trips visit areas within the Cayuga Lake Basin, although the club regularly visits places farther afield, such as Amherst Island, Ontario; Niagara Falls, New York; and Hawk Mountain, Pennsylvania. Lectures and presentations offered at the monthly club meetings draw from the great variety of professional and amateur researchers at the Lab of Ornithology, Cornell University, and Ithaca College, as well as the local community.

 

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