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May/June 2009
Explore, enjoy and protect the planet
Susquehanna Group

This newsletter also available as a PDF file.

Electronic Newsletters
To be friendlier to the environment, we deliver our newsletters, in both html and pdf format, via our web site,  We also mail paper newsletters with our "Year in Review" articles and those listing the candidates for the Executive Committee elections to all members.  If you would like to have a hard copy of all newsletters sent to you through the postal mail, please contact Jack Davis at 570-553-2081 or

Will Meredith- "Drive Smart to Save Fuel and the Planet"
Tuesday, May 19; 7:30 pm
United Methodist Church, 17 Nanticoke Ave., Endicott (see below for directions)
Will Meredith will discuss “Optimizing Your Vehicle for Fuel Efficiency” at the May 19 general meeting. He will review a number of safe techniques and practices, any of which can be employed to increase the fuel efficiency of vehicles used on roads. Meredith describes himself as a 23-year-old Binghamton native who “builds/repairs/hates/loves computers for a living, and sometimes make websites.” Meredith says: “There aren't many things I'm not interested in. I believe information should be free, and I love sharing my knowledge and learning. I grew up with a nasty cultural addiction to energy; since my job doesn't allow for other forms of transportation, I do my best to use as little energy as I can while driving. “Being able to drive wherever one wants, whenever one wants, is a remarkable power, and with that power comes an oft-shirked responsibility.”

Helen Garan- "Shikoku Pilgrimage: 88 Temple Pilgrimage Tour"
Tuesday, June 16; 7:30 pm
Helena Garan just completed this pilgrimage and is home. She can sit in a chair again instead of on the floor while eating and use a fork and knife again instead of always chop sticks.... and she can have conversations again.... That was the hardest part for her and she is ready to talk about it. Helena will do so at the June 16 general meeting. This 800-mile hike follows the footsteps of Kobo Daishi, one of the most well-known figures in
Japanese and Buddhist history. He is accredited with the founding of the Shikoku pilgrimage in the 8th century. The temples only punctuate the
pilgrimage. They do not consist of it, she explains. Helena's memories are of the extremely helpful people she encountered, the food, the smell of
incense, the 6 a.m. chanting ceremonies in the temples, the Japanese guest houses, the hot bath that takes away all the muscle pain at the end of the day, the mountains, the Pacific coast, the Seto Inland Sea, the cherry blossoms, etc.

It was important to Helena to pay her respect to the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where in 1945, the first and second atomic bombs were dropped by the United States. Come to the June 16 general meeting at Central United Methodist Church, Endicott, to hear more.

Sierra Club General Meetings
Tues., May 19, 7:30 p.m., at United Methodist Church, 17 Nanticoke Ave., Endicott (see below for directions). Everyone interested is welcome at all Sierra Club activities, whether or not a member (except for Executive Committee meetings). General meetings are held at 7:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month, except July and August. They are held at Central United Methodist Church, 17 Nanticoke Ave., Endicott, NY (on Route 26 — from Route 17, follow 26 north to Endicott, west on East Main, north on Nanticoke.) The public is welcome and refreshments are served following the meeting. Contact Julian Shepherd at if you have a idea for a program or speaker.

Directions to General Meeting:
 Everyone interested is welcome at all Sierra Club activities, whether or not a member (except for Executive Committee meetings). General meetings are held at 7:30 p.m. 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. Contact Julian Shepherd, 722-9327 or Erin Riddle, 372-5503 or

Susquehanna Sierran Membership Application





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Select a membership
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___ Individual Regular $39
___Joint Regular $49

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Thank you!

Contributions, gifts and dues to the Sierra Club are not tax deductible; they support our effective advocacy and lobbying efforts.


May 16: A nature walk at Woodbourne Sanctuary, plus a drive-by viewing of a natural drilling operation in Dimock, PA. Meet at noon at the
Vestal Public Library.

July 18: Visit one of the region’s undiscovered treasures: a quaking bog at Jam Pond, near German, NY. Meet at 9 a.m. at Denny’s on Upper
Front Street, Binghamton.

Walks in IBM GLEN
Three Penny Glen plays a concert of American and Celtic traditional music and nature songs. Charlene Thomson leads a walk for children and adults, on plants, folklore and folk remedies. Bob Wright leads a tree identification walk.

JUNE 13, SATURDAY, 6-8:30 p.m.
Identify butterflies and hear the evening songs of birds.
SAT., MAY 16, 9 a.m.
Enjoy the beauty of the woods in the spring. See some of the unique wildflowers that grow in the IBM Glen.

SUN., MAY 24, AT 3 p.m.

JULY 11, SATURDAY, 9 a.m.
Call 625-2221 to register. $3 for members, $4/non-members, $1 for children.

Drive north on Robinson Hill Rd. from Country Club Rd. in Endwell for 1.2 miles. Look for a green entrance gate on the right hand side of the road.

June 24-28
From Harrisburg to Holtwood Dam
Call 717-737-8432, Ext.12.

Sierra Club Websites:
Each of these provides links to the other two:
Atlantic Chapter (NY State):
Susquehanna Group (NY Southern Tier- Binghamton - area):

The Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter lauds the hard fought environmental victories in the New York State 2009-10 budget. Here are two highlights:
Environmental Protection Fund. The Environmental Protection Fund was funded at $222 million, which is $17 million more than what the Governor proposed. The majority of the Real Estate Transfer Tax was preserved as the main funding source, at $199 million.

The Bottle Bill expansion compromise is a solid win for the environment.  It expands the nickel deposit to water bottles, including any flavored water or nutritionally enhanced water, except if it contains sugar.  This inclusion makes up 70% of non-carbonated beverage containers.

Form a Conservation Action Group?
I'm very interested in seeing us form this ongoing/regularly meeting group within the club. Our communities, region and state are not immune from the invasive processes of very environmentally damaging industrialization and “growth,” i.e. natural gas drilling, traffic, pollution, factory farms and sprawl. Our active and rightful participation as citizens is needed now more than ever to maintain and enhance our quality of life. We can generate ideas that will protect our lands and resources and put them into practice through direct effort, while enlisting the help and collaboration of government and other organizations. Examples: creating more green space in downtown areas, i.e. small parks; planting more trees and other vegetation; installing bench seating on streets and in parks to promote more walking and for relaxation; promoting use of bicycles by providing bike racks, lanes and possibly a bike-share program such as in Portland; creating a larger park in the green area across from the Arena by putting fences up for safety and creating children's play areas, seating, recreation area; promoting safe ngas drilling practices in ways that other local groups are not involved. Create your own ideas. We could begin with an initial meeting -- please contact me at and list your interests, availability.
—Rich Kellman, Conservation Chair

Events Waivers/Carpooling Urged

Sierra Events: These are held several times per year. 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 .

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 travel.

Group Officers for 2009

Group Chair: Julian Shepherd

Vice Chair: Erin Riddle

Secretary: Fiske D. Hanson

Treasurer: Vivian Stevens

Chapter Delegate: Jeff Bohner
772- 8304,

Conservation: Rich Kellman
Cool Cities Coordinator: Erin Riddle

Education: Harry Barnes
Fundraising: Vivian Stevens

Membership: Jack Davis

Media/Publicity: Fiske Hanson

Outings: Nancy McGee

Newsletter Editor: Lee Shepherd

This page last updated May 4, 2009