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November/December 2008
Explore, enjoy and protect the planet
Susquehanna Group

We Have Transitioned to Electronic Newsletters

As promised by the executive committee of the Susquehanna group, starting with this issue, we will be friendlier to the environment by mailing paper newsletters only to members requesting them.
We will mail newsletters describing candidates in our elections to all members. We will also 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, to access the newsletters, they will be placed there in both html and pdf format.
If you would like to have newsletters mailed, please contact Jack Davis
at 570-553-2081 or


Natural Gas
Political Thoughts
Chapter Conservation Priorities
Lynda Spickard Environmental Award Nominations Sought
Sierra Club Websites
Sierra Club 2009 Calendars
Group Elections
Membership Application


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 or for further information.

Executive Committee Meetings are (usually) held on the Tuesday before each General Meeting at 7:30 pm (12/09/08, 01/13/09).

Tuesday, Nov. 18
Linda Spielman- Animal Tracking

Join expert wildlife tracker Linda Spielman as she shares her experiences and techniques in identifying animals tracks and signs. Tonight, Linda will give an engaging slideshow presentation on wildlife tracking during the winter months. The presentation will include photographs taken by Linda and other expert trackers and will be an introduction to wildlife tracking. See also Dec. 6 outing.
Linda is involved with the Vermont-based organization Keeping Track,

Tuesday, Dec 16
Josh Fox Documentary
"The Rage of Nature"
Co-sponsored by Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition.
Josh Fox lives in the Scenic Delaware River area. He looks at the threat Natural Gas production would bring to this beautiful area, which along with the Catskills has never experienced gas wells before. His film looks at what has happened in western states and to the people who live in areas of natural gas production. The film attempts to educate people about the dangers of the fracking process and sounds the alarm about of what he describes as a gigantic problem. Reference:

Sat. Dec. 6, 11 am
Animal Tracking with Linda Spielman
This field trip will last until we get tired (feasible to quit any time). Meet at the Nature Preserve entrance at the top of Parking Lot M on the BU Campus (entering main entrance to BU, go to traffic circle, bear right, continue about 1/3 mile and turn right into megalot M - clearly signed - and go all the way to the top and park.) Many wetlands with mud offer lots of opportunities to track deer, beaver, mink, raccoon, muskrat, heron, and other animals. Note also Nov. 18 presenation.

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 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 travel."

Natural Gas
"Making Sure We Get it Right: Health, Land, Law and Natural Gas Production"
This forum, co-sponsored by the Susquehanna Group, Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition, the City of Binghamton and Visions Federal Credit Union, was held in Binghamton on October 29. We were not able to get an announcement of this in the last newsletter, but if you missed it and would like to see either a video of it or powerpoint presentations, links to these are on

Upcoming Scheduled DEC Hearings on the Draft Scope of the Supplemental GEIS of Oil and Gas Production in the Susquehanna Group's region:
-- Monday, November 17, 2008: Broome County Community College, West Gym, 901 Upper Front Street, Binghamton, NY 13902.
-- Tuesday, December 2, 2008: SUNY/Oneonta, Hunt Union Ballroom, 108 Ravine Parkway, Oneonta, NY 13820.

Political Thoughts
Letter to the Editor - as submitted to Press & Sun and published on Nov. 1:
There is no doubt that Americans have been hurt by the current economic crisis, with few exceptions. While the focus seems to be on Wall Street, the roots of the problem are hitting much closer to home. For too long Washington has ignored working families, be it with tax cuts for the wealthy or the incompetent regulation of the same people that we are bailing out. The things that matter most - food, healthcare, education, and energy - are what Barack Obama is addressing and that is what matters to me. Obama's energy plan will be the basis for the revival of the American economy, and every cent that Sen. Obama has pledged to re-tool manufacturing centers, promote renewable energy, and shrink our oil dependency is accounted for with his pay-as-you-go policy. As jobs are lost, retirement savings disappear, and costs rise, it is painfully clear that the fundamentals of the economy are not strong. We need a president that can embrace the nation's problems with American ingenuity instead of stubbornly gripping onto the past. Barack Obama's plan to create 5 million new "green" jobs will do just that. On November 4th I will be voting for Barack Obama.
Scott Lauffer

Additional Note: It is our duty as citizens to hold elected officials accountable. They must shuffle competing interests and face uncertainties which may change the landscape. Our support cannot be taken for granted, it must continue to be earned after election day. We cannot be passive in this process however, democracy requires us to remain engaged in the political struggle.

Atlantic (New York State) Chapter Conservation Priorities
Our group ranked 10 for FY2009, starting with 1, and raked other suggestions below 10:
__1__ Global Warming
__2__ Clean Water/Watersheds
__3__ Energy
__4__ Air Quality
__5__ Transportation
__6__ Farm & Food
__7__ Environmental Education
__8__ Population
__9__ Wastes (Solid & Toxic) Committees
__10_ Wetlands
____  Adirondacks
____  Airports/Aircraft
____  Biodiversity/Vegetarian Outreach
____  Environmental Justice
____  Forests
____  Great Lakes
____  Hudson River
____  Sprawl/ Open Space

Lynda Spickard Environmental Award Nominations Sought
Nominations are currently being sought for the fifth annual Lynda Spickard Environmental Award. Lynda, who died in 1999, was a dedicated Sierra Club member and leader. This award is our way of honoring her hard work and commitment to the environment, as well as recognizing that of other local environmentalists. Group members are encouraged to submit the names of deserving individuals who have worked to improve the environment in our community, and who are not currently serving on the group executive committee. Sierra Club membership is not a requirement. Please send nominee's name and a description of their accomplishments to: Susquehanna Group Sierra Club, PO Box 572, Endicott, NY 13760.

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

Sierra Club 2009 Calendars
(our prices remain tax inc.):
Wilderness - list $12.95, our price $12.00. All the grandeur of the North American Wilderness.
Engagement - List $13.95, our price $13.00. Stunning images of Flora and Fauna.
Call Viv Stevens, 748-9865, to get your calendars, Proceeds support your local Sierra Club group.

Group Elections
Our organization needs energy and ideas in order to survive! Please consider offering to serve.
As of this writing, we were not able to find enough candidates to hold an election for the executive committee. Fiske Hanson (returning) and Rich Kellman have submitted their names for nomination, so we are two short of having a full slate of four. We still hope to find two more candidates by the beginning of 2009. Without an election, the executive committee will appoint the new members.

Biographies of Ex-Com Candidates:

Fiske Hanson
I have found Susquehanna Group programs, events and above all, the SG people, to be inspirational. This inspiration has lead to my involvement as the Ex-Com Secretary for the past 2 years as well as to the role I played in organizing the SG Sustainability Round Table program in Mar '08. I'd like to continue on this path, in this good company, doing my part, energized by love for this fiercely beautiful planet on which we live. My mantra is: I do what I can, when I can, where I am.

Rich Kellman
I've been a member and supporter of Sierra Club at the local and national levels for numerous years. I've lived at the same location in the northern hills of Broome County since 1981, surrounded by farm and woodland where the beauty of our region can be experienced relatively peacefully and healthfully. I've become increasingly concerned and worried about the infringement and abuse of our environment in general,and now in particular by the threat of gas drilling, by the uninformed and self-centered interests of others. I want to do whatever I can to stop this abuse and work towards creating an enlightened,respectful, healthy co-existence with our lands, its resources and wildlife /habitat, which are defenseless victims of human ignorance and greed.

Officers (2008)
Group Chair: Scott Lauffer, 341-3746,
Vice Chair: Erin Riddle, 372-5503,
Secretary: Fiske D. Hanson, 772-1236,
Treasurer: Vivian Stevens, 748-9865
Chapter ExCom Rep: Jeff Bohner, 772-8304,
Conservation: Julian Shepherd, 722-9327,
Cool Cities Coordinator: Erin Riddle, 372-5503,
Education: Harry Barnes, 829-5307,
Fundraising: Vivian Stevens, 748-9865
Membership: Jack Davis, 570-553-2081,
Media/Publicity: Gaynelle Gauvin, 729-8306,
Newsletter Editor:Dave Ketchum, 687-5026,
Outing: Kathy Cronin, 757-0736,
Population: Harry Barnes, 829-5307,
Wetlands/Clean Water: Cindy Westerman, 748-9792,

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Contributions, gifts and dues to the Sierra Club are not tax deductible; they support our effective,citizen-based advocacy and lobbying efforts. Your dues include $7.50 for your subscription to Sierra Magazine and $1 for your Chapter newsletter.

Hardcopy printed by Susquehanna Printers, Owego, NY

This page last updated November 12, 2008