RENewsletter | July 31, 2011


The Free environmental newsletter from

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

[7/24/11 – 7/31/11]


* Got news? | Go to my blog: Environmental Thoughts - Rochester, NY or Tweet me @!/FrankRrrr   On Twitter, I post local environmental events, news, and commentary as soon as it happens.  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 |


* The July 2011 Environmental Site of the Month Award goes to R-Cause: Rochesterians Concerned About Unsafe Shale-gas Extraction “: Go to Award.


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




Opening Salvo:  “Debt crisis could jeopardize Free TV in Rochester; do we care?”


If you are still one of those luddites like me who can only get local Television by antenna (via the digital converter box, of course), there is the threat that that this free service that we have known ‘forever’ is going to be gone.   The great wailing and gnashing of teeth has begun on local TV and from the sounds it, it’s pretty serious.  Check this out:  


Debate over debt ceiling could impact local TV viewing |  “The debate over raising the debt ceiling and cutting spending could have an impact on TV viewing. Some of the proposals in Washington include allowing the FCC to reduce the airwaves used by local TV stations including ours” (July 28, 2011)




Is "Free TV" coming to an end in the Rochester area? - Local News - Rochester, NY - The president of the New York State Broadcaster's Association believes one of the plans to resolve the debt ceiling crisis could put an end to free, "over the air" television in the Rochester area. Dave Donovan says a proposed auction to sell broadcast frequency space used by television stations to cell phone companies would knock four of the five Rochester TV stations off the air. (July 30, 2011) 


But would it be a travesty to lose this ‘free’ service that is, of course, riddled with ads?  What would we miss if local TV just died?  We’d miss all those local sports scores, all those gory accidents that our unsustainable and unsafe transportation system fosters, all those pets being abused, those weather reports that still deny Climate Change (despite the recent heat wave’s relationship to Climate Change predictions).   And, allegedly, we’d miss all those public service announcements that are provided for the public interest--not. 


In short, what we’d miss is not much except a deluge of non-news and non-weather that has little relevance to important matters that the public needs to know.  When is the last time you saw our local TV investigate an environmental problem or explain how Climate Change will happen here?  When is the last time you heard a report about the local concerns about possible hydrofracking in our area, or safety and maintenance issues involving local nuclear power plants?  When is the last time you heard or watched a program on the miserable foreclosures endured by those who did not cause our economic problems?


Mostly, local TV is run by corporations who are pushing their agenda:  Laissez-faire Capitalism not only provides you with a lot of neat stuff, in fact it solves everything.  The message from those free signals now in trouble is that everyone is doing just fine during this economic crisis, getting all the jobs and medical care they need.


Let’s be honest: Local TV is a great wasteland that numbs the mind.  Local free TV does little to provide what the public needs to know to be an informed citizen, like how to recycle properly.  They don’t remind vehicle owners, whose business they constantly solicit, to let bikes share our roadways too. 


The media throughout the world is in crisis.  And the Internet is not wholly to blame.  The media, bought up and consolidated by ideologue media moguls, provide the public with nonsense they don’t need and little of what they do.  There is an outcry for critical information that is being met by bloggers and new media concepts like ProPublica. 


We need information for folks in all walks of life in order to have a decent democracy and a clean and sustainable environment.  But the corporate media, who have dominated those free antenna bandwidths, have squandered this resource by filling those airwaves with rubbish not fit for a society as resourceful and intelligent as ours.  (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.


August 2011



September 2011



October 2011





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.]


The July 2001 Environmental Site of the Month Award goes to R-Cause: Rochesterians Concerned About Unsafe Shale-gas Extraction This new website already contains a wealth of resources and information you should know to keep abreast of the very controversial method of natural gas extraction called hydrofracking. Find out about events, resources, information, and news. Whether you are for, against, or don’t know about hydrofracking, don’t be ignorant about something that could have such a profound effect on our environment. There are a lot of questions about hydrofracking that still have to be answered—including what will the drafting of this document mean for drilling in our region


R-Cause: Rochesterians Concerned About Unsafe Shale-gas Extraction  “R-CAUSE was created by Rochester citizens who treasure New York State and want its waters, land and air to remain clean and its communities to remain viable. R-CAUSE's goal is to inform as many people in the Rochester area as possible about the risks associated with high-volume, slick-water, horizontal hydraulic fracturing.”