enjoy and protect the planet
We Are Transitioning to Electronic
The executive committee of the Susquehanna group has decided
that starting in September, we will mail paper newsletters only to members
requesting them. We will mail one more end of the year "Year in Review"
newsletter this year to all members. We encourage our members who have computer
access to go to our web site,
http://newyork.sierraclub.org/susquehanna/newsletter.shtml to access the
newsletters, they will be placed there in both html and pdf format. If you would
like to continue to have a newsletter mailed after the May-August one, please
contact Jack Davis at 570-553-2081 or email@example.com .
Support Local Farmers to Eat Healthier
EarthFest 2008 3
Gas Drilling 3
Delaware County Composting Facility
Sustainability Southern Tier 4
Sierra Club Websites 4
Membership Application 4
Everyone interested is welcome at all Sierra Club activities, whether or not
a member (except for Executive Committee meetings).
General Meetings: These are held at
7:30 pm on the third Tuesday of each month, except July and August. They are
held at Central United Methodist Church, 17 Nanticoke Ave., Endicott, NY (it
is on Route 26 - from Route 17, follow 26 n. to Endicott, w. on E. Main, n. on
Nanticoke). The public is welcome and refreshments are served following the
meeting. Call Jack Davis, 570-553-2081, or Scott Lauffer, 341-3746
firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Tuesday, May 20
Recent Weather Trends for Our
Barbara Watson, Meteorologist-in-Charge of the National Weather Service,
Binghamton Forecast Office presents a discussion on recent weather disasters and
climate change. She will provide a summary of the most recent research and
forecasts on climate change and show historical weather trends for our region.
Recent floods, milder winters, severe storms … what conclusions can be drawn
from these based on what is known of long-term regional weather patterns? What
does the future hold?
Tuesday, June 17
The Sierra Club's Water Sentinels program trains volunteers to
collect water samples and monitor data with the goal of getting these waterways
cleaned up. Rich Hurley will be proposing a Water Sentinel project
for our group. http://www.sierraclub.org/watersentinels Information
Chair of the Finger Lakes Sierra Club Group
Enviromental Education Chair for Sierra Club
Sierra Club Water
Science teacher in NYS over 20 years
teacher of the year by New York sate Conservation Districts
His goal is to
bring environmental change via education.
Sierra Events: These are held several times per year (see Activities note
above). "In order to participate on one of the Sierra Club's outings, you will
need to sign a liability waiver. If you would like to read a copy of the waiver
prior to the outing, please see http://www.sierraclub.org/outings/chapter/forms or call 415-977-5630. In the interests of
facilitating the logistics of some outings, it is customary that participants
make carpooling arrangements. The Sierra Club does not have insurance for
carpooling arrangements and assumes no liability for them. Carpooling, ride
sharing or anything similar is strictly a private arrangement among the
participants. Participants assume the risks associated with this
July 15; 7 pm
Straw Bale House Outing
We plan to tour, this summer, a straw bale house designed and owned by
Laura Intscher, architect with Secret Base designs. www.secretbasedesigns.com Straw Bale houses make use
of straw, which can be considered a natural waste product and is a very good
insulator. Laura will give us a tour of the house and a presentation on the
aspects of straw bale design and construction. We have to limit the group to no
more than 12 people and parking space at the house is limited , so please
contact me to reserve a spot and receive information on when and where to meet
Scott Lauffer, 648-6240,
Sat. Aug. 2, 8:00 am
Meet behind Denny’s on Upper Front
Street. Our intent is to explore the area around Crossroads Venture’s proposed
Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park. The huge development is proposed to be
located on Belleayre Mountain, with buildings and roads continuing up the steep
slopes to over 3000' in elevation. The location is within the Catskill Park, in
the NYC Watershed and borders constitutionally protected forest preserve lands
and taxpayer owned Belleayre Ski Center. Details of this outing are not yet
finalized. Be prepared to hike several miles and do some climbing, and bring a
lunch, water and snack. Carpool fee is $15.00. Contact Kathy Cronin 648-6240, or
Following are included
as of possible interest, but your Sierra Club neither sponsors nor takes
responsibility for these outside events:
ABOUT WALKS AND CONCERTS IN THE IBM GLEN:
TO REGISTER, call 625-2221.
Children welcome but must be accompanied by an adult. $4.00/members,
$5.00/non-members, $1.00 for children. Waterman membership forms will be
available at the Glen and at http://www.watermancenter.org
DIRECTIONS TO THE
IBM GLEN: Drive north on Robinson Hill Rd. from Country Club Rd. in Endwell for
1.2 miles. Look for a white entrance gate on the right hand side of the road.
The parking lot is a short distance beyond the gate.
Nature booklets can be
purchased for $1.00 each at the nature walks and concerts. Please do not bring
dogs to concerts or hikes. Please wear sturdy shoes. The hikes are hilly so you
might want to bring a hiking stick.
Sat. May 17, 9 am
WALK WITH MARY ANN CUFF, NATURALIST CLUB
Come see some of the unique
wildflowers that grow in the IBM Glen
Sun. May 25, 3 pm
GLEN CONCERT AND NATURE HIKES IN THE IBM GLEN
Three Penny Glen will play a
concert of mostly American traditional music including Golden Slippers, Redwing,
and Camptown Races. .
Sat. June 14, 6:00-8:30 am
EVENING NATURE WALK
IN THE IBM GLEN WITH COLLEEN WOLPERT
Join us as we explore the many trails of
the Glen in hopes of seeing some late day butterflies and hearing the evening
songs of the birds that live in the Glen.
Sat. July 5, 9 am
NATURE WALK IN THE IBM GLEN WITH JULIAN SHEPHERD
SCIENCES, SUNY BINGHAMTON: Midsummer is a time when tree shade is deep, birds
are busy feeding young, and utterflies are most active.
Executive Committee Meetings are (usually) held on the
Tuesday before each General Meeting at 7:30 pm (0610, 0909).
Support Local Farmers to Eat
Healthier;Also Reduce Carbon Emissions this Summer.
past few years, events such as the contamination of bagged spinach, Taco Bell
food and Topp's Brand Ground Beef Patties have highlighted a food production and
distribution system that is heavily industrialized and increasingly controlled
by fewer and fewer growers, packers and distributors. This system results in
food that is lower in nutrition and more susceptible to widespread
contamination, requires more fossil fuels to produce, harvest and distribute,
and allows for fewer opportunities for local, small farms to offer a diversity
The greatest impact that the industrialization of agriculture
has had is an increase in each product’s “food miles.” Food miles refers to the
distance a food product travels between the site of harvest to the site of
consumption. Food produced and distributed locally travels 56 miles, while food
produced and distributed through standard means (most of the products purchased
at a grocery store) travels nearly 1,500. This system relies on fossil fuels and
relies heavily on pesticides and large-scale farming methods that pollute local
air, water and soil, and also result in soil erosion. Mono-cropping, or planting
a single variety of a crop, also makes the harvest susceptible to widespread
disease and loss of genetic diversity in seed reserves.
When you buy directly
from the farmer, more of the money you spend goes directly to the farmer. When
you buy from a grocery store, however, your money is generally divided between
the store, the manufacturer, the processor, the distributor, and then finally
the farmer. For example a briefing note to the TVU/Sustain AgriFood Network
reported that only 3.5 cents of every dollar spent in the conventional food
system goes to the farmer. An EPA report indicates, however, that farmers
markets result in farmers keeping 80 to 90 cents of each dollar spent by the
consumer. This allows small farmers to increase their income and stay in
business, which benefits the local community.
With the harvest season
already underway, now is the perfect time of year to begin exploring local
farmers markets. You can find farmers markets in your area at
http://www.localharvest.org or http://www.eatwellguide.org. Another option is to
consider becoming a member of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) for next
year—CSAs accept members far in advance of the harvest season.
making even small changes does have a tremendous impact. So, if you pledge to
make even one meal a week from local products, or to spend at least $20 a week
on local products, this will have a great impact on your health, the planet,
local farmers and the local community. If you would really like to challenge
your diet lifestyle, considering taking the first steps to a 100-mile diet at
To learn more about the issues discussed above, I
recommend the following titles:
In Defense of Food: An Eater’s
The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of
Four Meals—Michael Pollan
The Essential Agrarian Reader: The Future of
Culture, Community, and the Land—ed. Norman Wirzba
Fatal Harvest: The
Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture—ed. Andrew Kimbrell
Source: Adapted from the “Buy Local” section of the website for
held at Roberson Museum and Science Center, Binghamton, NY
/ Sierra Club, one of over 70 exhibiters and venders to set up at this event
garnered its share of attention from the estimated crowd of 2,000 plus.
Literature on Zero Waste, energy and environmental issues, sample
Newsletters local and state were available for the taking.
T-shirts, Caps and Calendars, displayed for sale. Some are still available; if
interested, contact Julian Shephard.
"True Cost of Food" a documentary on DVD
format also for purchase (see Erin Riddle) or for free viewing go to
http://www.truecostoffood.org Enthusiastic conversation with Fest goers
generated a list of 34 people interested in learning more about our group and
group activities. We welcome their interest and look forward to see them at our
River Trails Bike Cruise high-lighted the Fest this year to promote
"a bike friendly city".
If you missed this event you can join in the 7 mile
start to finish "Binghamton Historic Bridge Pedal" on July 13 '08.
The Susquehanna group of the Sierra Club’s main statement about gas drilling
is that it is never good for the environment. Furthermore natural gas cannot be
considered a form of clean energy and it releases green house gases, which
contribute to climate change. There are DEC regulations that intend to
safeguard the environment and people, but they can only do so much and all
interested parties should be watchful of any short cuts that can be a threat to
the environment, health and safety.
communities need to get expert assistance to protect their interests whle
negotiating with the gas companies as to their paying reasonably as to their
needs and desires. Some topics to consider:
- The lease should require that wells be tested before drilling starts,
and after each fracking at the leasee's expense.
- For each well that is drilled, 800,000 gal of water are required.
That water can be reused, but the storage for it means the drill site is 3-4
acres. It is likely that the fracking process will be repeated during well
- When drilling occurs, the material that is brought to the surface
must be disposed of. Common practice is to bury on site, with a plastic liner.
Is this appropriate on the site of the drilling?
- If local power is not available, a generator will be necessary for
the duration of operation, so the noise pollution will not be temporary.
- Leases should require blankets to reduce the noise levels during
drilling and operation.
- When the site is prepared, top soil should be segregated, to allow it
to be used during restoration. This must also be done for any pipeline
installation. Pipelines should be installed at a depth that will not restrict
Delaware County Composting
About ten years ago Delaware County committed to building a composting
facility at their landfill. A group of us visited the site and were given a tour
and educational talk by Susan McIntyre, the Solid Waste Director. The composting
operation is integrated into their solid waste stream, except for construction
debris, recycling and hazardous waste. Everything else goes through an elaborate
process where organics are separated from inorganics. Biosolvents from ten area
waste water treatment plants and waste from two food plants are also mixed in
with the organics to produce a rich pathogen-free compost as the end product.
The compost is mainly sold to landscapers, it does not pass state standards to
be used for food crops.
It was expensive to build and operate at $22 million
and $48/ton. But it would have been more expensive to open a separate landfill,
the other option, as they were running out of space at the current landfill. By
composting, they remove 70% of material from the waste stream. The hope is that
the composting extends the life of their landfill by up to 50 years.
are only ten composting facilities like this in North America, but Canadian
Solid Waste programs are planning on constructing many more and are interested
in Delaware County’s operation. They have been operating since 2006, and
although they had some failures with the quality and marketability of the
compost the first year, last year they were successful with all the ‘batches’.
Susan says she still reminds herself that they are not really dealing with
waste, as much as material. If we all thought this way, we could figure out how
to have zero waste, all organics can be used again. We could also eliminate
inorganics from the waste stream with extended producer responsibility where the
producer would be responsible for taking back what they produce as well as the
Sustainability Southern Tier (with credits to Adam Flint) -
The Southern Tier Sustainability Planning Committee is building on years of
work in the area of sustainability. Numerous research tasks include identifying
relevant best practices on governance, volunteer and staffing models;
identifying trainers and educators in relevant fields; outreach to make the
center and its programming inclusive; sustainability networking; program
development in priority sustainability fields; a regional sustainability asset
inventory; fundraising; finding an appropriate space for the center; web and
Get Involved! To subscribe to this
group, send email to SustainableSouthernTieremail@example.com To post
to this group, send email to
Each of these provides links to the other
Atlantic Chapter (NY State):
Susquehanna Group (NY Southern Tier -
Binghamton - area): http://newyork.sierraclub.org/susquehanna
Ketchum, Newsletter Editor.
Group Chair: Scott Lauffer, 341-3746,
Vice Chair: Erin Riddle, 372-5503,
Secretary: Fiske D. Hanson, 772-1236,
Treasurer: Vivian Stevens, 748-9865
ExCom Rep: Jeff Bohner, 772-8304,
Conservation: Julian Shepherd, 722-9327, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cool Cities Coordinator: Erin Riddle,
Education: Harry Barnes,
Fundraising: Vivian Stevens, 748-9865
Jack Davis, 570-553-2081, email@example.com
Gauvin, 729-8306, GCGAU@aol.com
Newsletter Editor: Dave Ketchum,
Outing: Kathy Cronin, 757-0736,
Population: Harry Barnes,
Wetlands/Clean Water: Cindy Westerman, 748-9792,
State: _______Zip: ___________
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This page last updated May 19, 2008