RENewsletter | April 17, 2011


The Free environmental newsletter from

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

[4/03/11 – 4//17/11]


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


* Found an important Rochester environmental story from a credible source that you think needs attention? Or, an Environmental Event, Please, SEND ME THE LINK. If you think this newsletter, which continually informs our community on our local environmental news, events, actions, is worthwhile, please encourage others to sign up.  


The great conundrum of our times is that in a time of rapidly occurring Climate Change and a rapid disintegration of the environment that we need to thrive and survive, mainstream media still marginalizes environmental concerns. [Check often for this continually updated list on the possible consequences of Climate Change in our region--supported by facts.] If there isn’t a quick and substantial change in how environmental concerns are reported, edited, and chosen in mainstream media, the public will continue to believe that environmental concerns are merely special interest matters, issues they can avoid if they choose.  How can we inform the public and monitor our environment without abridging our Freedoms--in enough time to safe ourselves?


Anything else you're interested in is not going to happen if you can't breathe the air and drink the water. Don't sit this one out. Do something. You are by accident of fate alive at an absolutely critical moment in the history of our planet. -- Carl Sagan


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



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




Opening Salvo:  “The state of our media as Earth Day approaches”


My most salient reflection on Earth Day (just a few days away) is that Climate Change is the moral imperative for our generation.  If we don’t move to stovepipe Climate Change news and information to the front pages of mainstream media, we jeopardize the next generation’s ability to have a clean, healthy environment. 


Climate Change is not just another special interest, though judging from the treatment it gets from mainstream media, it seems that way.  Climate Change is the environment we now inhabit, where our atmosphere and oceans are heating up, where extreme weather events are normal, and a 1% increase in greenhouse gas since the beginning of the Second Industrial Revolution is melting the arctic glaciers.  It means day-by-day our atmosphere and water bodies are heating up far beyond the usual (pre-human) pace of climate change.  We need know how Climate Change is affecting the ability of future generations to have a future. And that will require participation by everyone who shops, who works, who plays, and who breathes on this precarious planet.   So, you’d think this would be what appears on the media that everyone sees and hears.  But it isn’t.


I’ve just come back from the’s National Conference for Media Reform (NCMR): “The NCMR is the biggest and best conference devoted to media, technology and democracy.” It was a great three-day conference on describing and overcoming the challenges for a free press in the wake of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the assault on public funding for Public Broadcasting, and the threat against net neutrality.  In case you haven’t noticed, there is a crisis in our media and our First Amendment:


“The amendment prohibits the making of any law ‘respecting an establishment of religion’, impeding the free exercise of religion, infringing on the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.” First Amendment to the United States Constitution - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


It must sound strange to those who only listen to mainstream media and don’t notice much of a problem at all with free speech and least of all why.  For some, I imagine, even if there is an issue with this amendment, how are environmental issues related?  To the un-critical eye there seems to be a lot of media out there—a bewildering amount of websites, blogs, chat, tweets, social media, and more—but nevertheless there is a crisis: a great dearth of investigative reporting and new FCC rules that threaten to carve up the Internet (where we’ll get most of our information in the future) where only a few corporations can survive. 


One concern is that by 2015 most folks in this country will be connecting to the Internet via their mobile connections and that signal may only allow what the few providers choose for you to hear.  That’s not a free and open Internet.  It impacts particularly low-income families, who are now moving to mobile Internet connections because this technology has enabled them to compete with everyone else for jobs, information, health, emergencies, directions, and connectivity to all the important people in their lives.  I.e. it violates the basics of a healthy democracy.


What this has to do with local environmental news is that despite the rise of the Internet and information about our environment, mainstream media on and off the web is disinclined to view environmental news as important.  One of the dilemmas of the media crisis is how to fund news and information so everyone can thrive in a democracy.  This new media, so desperate for financial stability, believes that caving into the public’s desire for happy news, catastrophes, and sports news, trumps the need for sobering, accurate, and objective news on the state of our environment.  Despite the world-wide crisis of Climate Change and pollution and an environment hardly fit for the next generation, these issues do not appear often or thorough enough to educate the public on the seriousness of these issues.   Along with that, many of our best news sources are moving behind online pay walls, making it more difficult for low income folks to find out what they need to know to vote and take action on our environment. 


The media crisis: Investigative reporters are losing their jobs in droves, trying to find a new media format that is able to give them a living wage and the power to back their usually unpopular findings, like discovering the sources of pollution or cancer clusters.  And this isn’t the half of it.  Check: Free Press | Media reform through education, organizing and advocacy


So, how do we fix it?  How does a democracy fund a media that gets important, not necessarily popular, information to the public?  One of the things I learned at the NCMR conference is that those severely challenged by our unequal distribution of wealth have become empowered by mobile technology.  In the present world, the majority of those who are not rich and aren’t going to receive the great tax breaks coming up from the last budget negotiations are realizing that their future depends on keeping the net neutral.   So, they need this technology that gives them a fighting chance to thrive and prosper.


We have to find a way to focus on important issues like keeping our environment sustainable and keeping the cost down for the new media.  The marketplace is incapable of supplying the public with a free and open media that is unbiased and offers a complete picture of our environmental plight.  We are part of a global cloud-sourced spigot of information about our environment because we are those ‘who speak for our planet’ as Carl Sagan said.  We cannot stand to let the few and powerful game our Internet the way they have taken advantage of the economic crisis to pay themselves and avoid paying taxes. 


Earth Day, be there, aloha.  (Click on my email for feedback)




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





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






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


April 2011

·         Thursday, April 21, 6PM- 9Pm | First Unitarian Church, 220 Winton Road North

o    Sierra Club’s 13th Annual Environmental Forum: “Sustainable Production: Rochester’s Cutting Edge” 6pm Doors open -- network with and learn from representatives of 30+ environmental organizations -- sustainably produced food and drink available for purchase from local vendors 7pm Program begins 9pm Adjourn Please join us for a conversation with two nationally recognized leaders who are driving innovative sustainable production methods, right here at home in Rochester: Dr. Nabil Nasr, RIT’s Assistant Provost and Director of the Golisano Institute for Sustainability Catherine Reeves, Director, Sustainable Operations at Xerox Join us for the premier Earth Day event of the year!

·         Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 6:00 PM Where: D'Arcy McGees at 257 Franklin Street in Buffalo, NY

o    Happy Hour for Earth Day! Join GrowWNY in celebrating Earth Day with a special Green Drinks event at D'Arcy McGees RSVP today and your first drink is FREE! Where: Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 6:00 PM Where: D'Arcy McGees at 257 Franklin Street in Buffalo Why: To celebrate Earth Day and Alternative Transportation in WNY Who:, Upstate Green Business Network, Upstate Chapter of U.S. Green Building Council RSVP: To get your FREE DRINK register TODAY at

·         Earth Day, April 22nd, 2011 12 noon to 1PM - listen on 1370AM Connection

o    Rochester region Earth Day chat: Along with Linda Isaacson Fedele, chairperson of the Rochester Regional Group of the Sierra Club, I will be a guest on the Bob Smith Show on 1370AM Connection for an hour-long discussion from noon to 1PM on April 22, 2011—Earth Day. Linda and I hope to highlight many of the environmental issues being acted upon by our fellow environmentalists and get your feedback. The program, one of the best forums in this community to air thoughtful discourse on important subjects to the entire public, is a chance for those whose voices tend to get drowned out by what’s presently popular or powerful in a community and not heard so much. So, here on Earth Day in Rochester is a chance to view our environment from the perspective of those who focus on the big picture of environmental issues and advocate action towards a more sustainable way of life. There’s a twenty-minute viewer call-in, be sure to make your concerns and views on our local environment heard.

·         April 27, 2011, 9 :00am -4:00pm | Radisson Hotel Rochester Riverside 120 East Main Street , Rochester NY 14604, United States

o    Save the date: Greater Rochester Active Transportation Symposium(Event) Active Transportation Symposium Save the date: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 for a unique opportunity to change Rochester’s transportation. Much has still to be worked out, but this event will be held in Rochester, NY. Seeking: Organizations and institutional leaders in government, education, community organizations and the business community and individual activists. For: a full day event with National and local experts. To: make Greater Rochester a preeminent Active Transportation region. Walking and wheeling can improve health and the bottom line for businesses and the community. Brought to you by: Rochester Cycling Alliance, Genesee Transportation Council, NYS Dept. of Transportation, Monroe County and the City of Rochester. Continuing Education Credits being Pursued. For more information contact Richard DeSarra at or Rochelle Bell at .

·         Saturday, April 30, 2011 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM Cornell Cooperative Extension 249 Highland Ave, Rochester 14620

o    Earth Day Expo Free Event Saturday, April 30, 2011 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM Cornell Cooperative Extension 249 Highland Ave, Rochester 14620 Families, come learn how to do your part for the environment through unique, hands-on activities. Booth displays featuring: Environmental sustainability, Energy efficiency, Home and community recycling, Worm composting, Lead hazards, Green energy, City & suburban green neighborhoods, Permaculture, Home Gardening, Healthy, fun activities for kids plus zoo animals on-site! View Flyer --from CEI: Center for Environmental Information

·         Saturday, April 30, 2011 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Dansville Middle School Dansville, NY

o    2011 Regional Preservation Conference - Repair, Rehabilitate, Reuse Strategies for Sustaining Buildings & Communities The Landmark Society of Western New York’s 25th Annual Preservation Conference Saturday, April 30, 2011 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Dansville Middle School Dansville, NY REGISTRATION NOW OPEN! The Landmark Society’s Annual Preservation Conference is the only annual conference in central/western New York that focuses on historic buildings, sites and landscapes.

·         9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, April 30, at Camp Eastman, 1558 Lake Shore Blvd., Irondequoit, NY

o    The Irondequoit Conservation Board is seeking to educate the community about storm water pollution prevention with a Rain Barrel Workshop from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, April 30, at Camp Eastman, 1558 Lake Shore Blvd. Participants will leave with a rain barrel and an understanding of why using them will not only save watering costs, but help build a more sustainable community. Admission is $55 (includes rain barrel materials). Registration is required by April 8. Contact Michelle Nichols at (585) 336-6017 or

·         Saturday, April 30, 2011, from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm. | find locations here

o    National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Saturday, April 30, 2011, from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm. This is a great opportunity to safely dispose of unwanted, unused prescription drugs. To date, Monroe County, Wegmans, local police departments and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) have served more than 6,000 residents and accepted more than 15,000 pounds of pharmaceutical waste. All medications will be destroyed by an incineration process which is overseen by law enforcement. Learn More

·         Saturday, April 30th, 2011 at the Walden Galleria from 10am to 6pm | Buffalo, NY

o    2011 Buffalo Niagara Green Expo Date Announced - GrowWNY Saturday, April 30th, 2011 at the Walden Galleria Mall With great enthusiasm and excitement we announce that the 3rd Annual Buffalo Niagara Green Expo will take place Saturday, April 30th, 2011 at the Walden Galleria from 10am to 6pm. Come to the 3rd Annual Buffalo Niagara Green Expo, and learn from over 100 exhibitors and presenters how to GO GREEN in your Home, Body, Garden, Business, Career and Community! Gain invaluable insight into topics such as sustainable energy, weatherization and energy efficiency, green landscaping and gardening, holistic health, eco-friendly cleaning, composting, water purification and so much more! This event also promotes networking where new business-to-business relationships can develop and companies with employment opportunities can connect with people looking to get into the green job sector. Bring your resume and learn about green careers! Education and fun come together in the Kid’s Zone, where children can take part in exciting, environmentally-themed activities!


May 2011


·         Fri, 05/06/2011 - Sat, 05/07/2011 Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Ages: All Ages Family Price: Free with Zoo admission. Venue: Seneca Park Zoo

o    Our Fragile World Environmental Fair | Kids Out and (Rochester)The Seneca Park Zoo has a goal to engage, inspire and empower citizens to act on behalf of wildlife, nature and our environment. Each year, this event features 30 or more local environmentally-conscious businesses, nature organizations and government agencies that are working to improve the health of our local environment. We hope you will join us and learn how to make our world a healthier place for wildlife, your children and generations to come. Our event in 2010 was held on April 30 and May 1. Nearly 1,000 students participated in the Zoo's interactive Scavenger Hunt held on Friday, April 30. There were 40 booths, 33 outside vendors and seven Docent stations for the students to check out along the way.

·         Sat 5/14/2011 - Give Your Stuff Away Day - Here's how to get your community involved...

o    Give Your Stuff Away Day May 14, 2011 The World's Biggest Recycling / Giveaway Event Free stuff will be available in neighborhoods all over on May 14, 2011. It’s an event Mike Morone is hoping to establish annually. This event could help millions, while shrinking landfills, reducing clutter, lowering costs, and boosting the economy. Don’t we all own items we don’t use or want any more? Why do we keep it all? In one weekend, let’s take this stuff and give it away, instantly creating the world’s biggest recycling / giveaway event! On May 14th, bring your stuff to the curb for others. Then go and get some new stuff!

·         Rochester, NY May 15, 2011, 9AM- Perinton Park (near the lodge), Perinton, NY

o    Fight for Air Walk – Rochester, NY - American Lung Association "Event Information We walk for healthy lungs and clean air. Why will YOU walk? Fight for Air Walk gives you the power to improve the air we breathe. Walk with us to help a child suffering from asthma. Walk with us to cure lung cancer and other lung diseases. Walk with us to protect your family from the harmful effects of air pollution and secondhand smoke. Walk with us for healthy lungs and clean air. WHEN: Sunday, May 15, 2011 START TIME: Check-In: 9 am, Start Time: 10 am WHERE: Perinton Park (near the lodge) REGISTRATION FEE: $10 for adults, free for children under 18 START A TEAM: Enjoy the experience of fundraising and walking with a team of family, friends, neighbors or coworkers. You only need 3 people to start a team. Start your team right now! (link this to team sign up page) CONTACT US: For more information, email us at or call 585-442-4260 ext. 102 "

·         Sunday, May 22nd at 1 PM in Cobbs Hill Park (the corner of Norris Dr. and Culver Road)

o    Event for Transportation on Bike Week: UMNA’s 2011 Bicycle Boulevard Ride On Sunday, May 22nd at 1 PM in Cobbs Hill Park (the corner of Norris Dr. and Culver Road), we will hold another Bicycle Boulevard ride. Our ride is called the Upper Monroe/ Swillburg Bicycle Boulevard ride. The bicycle ride will begin at 1PM sharp and it will be lead by a Rochester Bicycling Club Board member. You’ll need to wear a helmet and children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Last year, over forty bicyclists rode the bicycle boulevard demonstration ride through Upper Monroe neighborhood in Rochester, New York. more...


September 2011


·         September 17-18, 2011 - High Falls, Downtown, Rochester, NY

o    Greentopia Festival The Greentopia Festival is Rochester’s and the Finger Lakes celebration of the green movement sweeping around the globe. The two-day, interactive fest in historic High Falls will reveal what the region is doing to help the environment – and envision a greener Rochester of the future. Think of Greentopia as a walk-through of a totally sustainable Rochester. We’ve already begun this walk by exploring healthier ways of living, as individuals and as a community. In social, economic and environmental ways, we’ve made the decision to go green.




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





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