The Finger Lakes Group generally meets once a month. We meet in person—often in
Montour Falls—or by conference call. Please check with us to
confirm the date and location or phone number of our next meeting.
Democracy and the Environment Book Club
Thursday, November 7; 7 PM
Steele Memorial Library Conference Room
101 E Church St, Elmira
We will be reading The Transition Handbook: From Oil Dependency to Local Resilience by
Bob Hopkins. This book examines ways that we can move our community from one that relies
heavily on oil and other fossil fuels towards one that is more sustainable and self-sufficient.
Such an effort relies on us as individuals within the community building our own infrastructure
and engaging elected officials. This is the first meeting of the Democracy and the Environment
book club which will focus on the role of local democracy in protecting the environment and
public health in our community. Each participant is responsible for acquiring a copy of this
book. More information about the book can be found at http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore/item/the_transition_handbook:paperback#sthash.zyq0Q7LJ.dpuf
Nominees for 2013 Group Elections
The nominating committee has nominated Carl Arnold, Pat Brown,Steve Jakobi, Bill Mattingly,
Gene Stolfi, and Jim Trondsen to run in the Finger Lakes Group elections this fall.
Organizing FLG Chemung County Task Force
Thursday, October 3, 2013, 7 PM – Organizing meeting for FLG Chemung
County Task Force. The meeting will be held at the Steele Memorial Library Conference Room,
101 E Church St, Elmira, NY 14901. Join with other Sierra Club members in Chemung County
to brainstorm ideas and goals for events and activities in order to "explore, enjoy
and protect" our local environment and natural areas in Chemung County. For more information
about this meeting or the Sierra Club in general, contact Erin Riddle at 607-372-5503 or
erin.riddle at sierraclub.org .
Fall 2013 Newsletter and Elections
We’d like you to run for election to the Sierra Club Finger Lakes Group Executive
Committee in our annual election this fall! The Group represents members in eleven counties
in the Finger Lakes region. All current Sierra Club members are eligible to run for the Group
ExCom and help organize our activities. We look forward to having you become active with
us! To be considered for nomination to the ExCom, submit a candidate statement of 150 words
or less by Oct. 15, 2013, to the Nominating Committee, c/o Susanne Brown, susannejbrown at
yahoo.com, 2521 County Route 109, Hornell, NY 14843. Questions? Call Susanne at 607-324-7443.
If not nominated, you may petition to be on the ballot by submitting the signatures of at
least 30 group members by Nov. 7, 2013. Mail petitions to Susanne at the above address.
Mail your articles for our fall newsletter to Editor Kate Bartholomew at 2945 Mills Rd,
Montour Falls NY 14865-9760 or email kbarthol at wgcsd.org. Questions about articles? Call
Kate at 607-228-7371.
Fall 2013 Election and Newsletter Schedule
Tues., Oct. 15, 2013 – Applications for nomination must be emailed or postmarked
by this date.
Thurs., Oct. 17, 2013 – Candidates approved by the Nominating Committee announced
Thurs., Oct. 31, 2013 – Articles for the Fall Newsletter must be emailed or
postmarked by this date.
Thurs., Nov. 7, 2013 – Petitions from petition candidates must be postmarked
by this date.
On or about Mon., Nov. 25, 2013 – Newsletter with ballots and candidate bios
will be mailed.
Tues., Dec. 31, 2013 – Closing date of the election. Ballots must be postmarked
by this date.
Tell the DEC to Ban Radioactive Gas Drilling Waste
In spite of our successes to keep the drill rigs at bay in NY, tens of thousands of tons
of radioactive drilling waste pour over the border every year from Pennsylvanian fracking
sites into NY landfills, threatening public health and water quality.
Right now there is a pending application to expand the Hyland Landfill in the Town of Angelica
in Allegany County, NY, dramatically increasing the amount of drilling waste this facility
can accept. Send a message to the DEC telling them New York should not be PA's dumping ground!
The Hyland landfill is one of five landfills in New York currently accepting various types
of shale gas drilling wastes from Pennsylvania according to data released by the Pennsylvania
Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP). Some have estimated that as much as 30%
of Pennsylvania’s shale gas drilling waste is coming to New York. In the past two years
alone more than 300,000 tons of drilling fluid waste and cuttings have entered NY waste facilities.
Incredibly, NYS DEC is allowing solid waste and C&D landfills in New York to accept
this waste despite the fact that the black shales that underlie New York and Pennsylvania
are known to contain uranium, radium, radon and other radioactive elements. None of New York's
landfills are properly equipped to safely handle or dispose of this waste.
Tell the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to ban the dumping of gas drilling
wastes in New York landfills, and study the environmental and public health impacts of this
waste stream. Click
here to send an online message to the DEC and Governor Cuomo.
About the NY Sierra Club Water Sentinels Program
In April 2013, Bill Mattingly, the coordinator of the Painted Post (Steuben, Chemung, Allegany,
Schuyler, Yates area) Water Sentinels Group of the NY Water Sentinels program gave two presentations
about the program, one in Bath and one in Corning. A
video of Bill's presentation in Bath is posted on YouTube.
Winter 2011 Newsletter
Organic and Robotic: An Alternative to Dairy Farm CAFOs by
Liquid Fear: Creative Non-Fiction by Naomi Burnett
Empowered Documentary by Annie Koreman
Pipe Dreams? by Gene Stolfi
Overlooked Dangers of Drilling, by Gene Stolfi
Sierrans Have More Fun! by Jim Trondsen
2011 Group Elections
Four candidates were elected to the Finger Lakes Group Executive Committee in the 2011 group
Kate Bartholomew, Montour Falls, Schuyler County
Susanne Brown, Hornell, Steuben County
Annie Koreman, Trumansburg, Tompkins County
Frank Potter, Big Flats, Chemung County
Film showing: Empowered: Power from the People
Tompkins County, NY is one of the cloudiest, least windy places in the country, and yet
its residents are proving that we can meet our energy needs through totally renewable resources.
From solar and wind to veggie oil and geothermal, "Empowered" is an independent
feature-length documentary teling the story of Ithaca's role in the energy independence revolution.
The film was directed by Shira Golding Evergreen and produced by Suzanne McMannis. It features
the home of Annie Koreman, Vice Chair of the Sierra Club Finger Lakes Group, and the group
co-sponsored a showing of the film in Ithaca on Dec. 7, 2011. Learn more and empower yourself
District Office Lobby Day
The Finger Lakes Group participated in the state Sierra Club's district office lobby days
in 2011 and 2010. In 2011 we met with Assemblymen Chris Friend and Phil Palmesano. In 2010
we met with Assemblyman Jim Bacalles, with Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton and with the staff
of Assemblyman Tom O'Mara.
On September 20, 2009, we met for a picnic at the home of Annie Koreman, Group Energy Chair,
in Trumansburg. We did planning for the next few months and took a tour of Annie's solar
panels, electric tractor, and geothermal HVAC system.
Hammond Hill State Forest Hike
Lead by Virgil Shields.
Forum on the Effects of Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling on Local Water Sources
On June 22, 2009, the Finger Lakes Group of the Sierra Club joined with the Steuben County
Environmental Management Council, the League of Women Voters of Steuben County, the League
of Women Voters of Chemung County, and the Bath Peace and Justice Group to sponsor a public
forum on the Effects of Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling on Local Water Sources. The program
was held at the Fire Hall in Bath and was attended by 114 people. The remarks of the three
outstanding speakers at the forum were taped by Wilton Vought of True Colors Video and are
posted on his website, http://essentialdissent.blogspot.com/2009/06/marcellus-shale-gas-drilling-and-water.html The
Ron Bishop, lecturer in chemistry and biochemistry at SUNY Oneonta, gave an overview of
natural gas extraction technology and explained how water contamination can occur during
the gas drilling process.
Steve Penningroth, Executive Director of the state-certified water testing laboratory at
the Community Science Institute in Ithaca, described how to test private and municipal water
wells so that landowners and municipal officials can discover problems and have solid scientific
baseline water data that will stand up in court should contamination occur.
Andrew Beyers, a farmer/botanist from Newfield who has been studying gas drilling issues,
talked about the work of the Shaleshock Citizens Action Alliance, and described how community
members can take action on gas drilling issues.
Earth Day Survey
An informal survey on environmental issues was conducted by Gene Stolfi, Katie Stroman,
Robin Stroman, and Jim Trondsen at our Sierra Club Finger Lakes Group table at Corning Community
College's Earth Day event on Wed., April 22, 2009. Robin De Lill Stroman, our FLG Zero Waste
Chair, designed the survey and compiled the results. Interestingly, while most people think
global warming is real and are worried about the harm human activity is causing the planet,
most people also believe that the United States is doing enough to confront the problem and
believe that global warming can be reversed. Click here for
the detailed results.
District Office Lobby Day
The Finger Lakes Group participated in the Sierra Club's District Office Lobby Day on Fri.,
Mar. 6, 2009. We met with staff members of Senator George Winner and Assemblymember Tom O'Mara
in Elmira, and with Assemblymember Barbara Lifton in Ithaca. We have a follow-up meeting
scheduled with Assemblymember Lifton in May to discuss restoring authority to local governments
to regulate oil and gas drilling in New York by repealing the 1981 amendments to the Environmental
Conservation Law removing that authority.
Photograph by Sue Heavenrich
Forum on New Gas Drilling Techniques
On Sun., Feb. 1, 2009, the Finger Lakes Group sponsored a public forum on the health and
environmental impacts of new gas drilling techniques in Corning. For more information about
the forum, click here.
Winter 2008 Newsletter
Many thanks to our newsletter team of Annie Koreman and Kate Bartholomew for an excellent
new issue of the Finger Lakes Sierran, and to our authors:
Our New Geothermal Heating and Cooling
System by Annie Koreman, Energy Committee Chair
Is New York Ready for Zero Waste? by Robin De Lill
Stroman, Zero Waste Committee Chair
Marcellus Shale Formation—Are You Being "Fracked"? by
Gene Stolfi, ExCom
Who Wants to Save Money, Reduce Housecleaning Chores
and Feel Good? by Gene Stolfi
The Continued "Wasting" of Rural New York by Erin
Photos of Finger Lakes Water Day, Champlin Beach, Hammondsport, June 1, 2008
Photographs by Jim Trondsen
Zero Waste Forum in Elmira, Dec. 12, 2007
The Finger Lakes Group held a very successful forum on zero waste with Lynne Pledger, a
member of the national Sierra Club's Zero Waste Committee from Hardwick, Massachusetts, on
December 12, 2007, at the Steele Memorial Library, in Elmira. Almost 70 people turned out
on a cold winter evening to learn about the role our production/disposal cycle is playing
in the Global Warming crisis, how other communities are moving forward with Zero Waste, and
what we can and must do to implement Zero Waste initiatives in our area. For more information
contact Robin De Lill Stroman, Finger Lakes Group Zero Waste Committee Chair at (607)529-3510
or stromanhome at earthlink.net
Chemung River Fest, Elmira - June 9, 2007
Photographs by Rich Hurley
Steuben Water Day, Hammondsport - June 3, 2007
Cohocton Paddle, Bath - June 2, 2007