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SUSQUEHANNA SIERRAN NEWSLETTER
 
September/October 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, http://newyork.sierraclub.org/susquehanna/newsletter.shtml.  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 jkdavis@epix.net.


Sierra Club Speakers for 2009-2010

September 15
“Biodiversity: Meaning and Importance to Our Planet”
Julian Shepherd, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, Binghamton University
Created over billions of years of evolution, life on Earth has diversified into millions of species of organisms exquisitely adapted to particular niches of the natural environment. Yet much of this is being lost as human populations and their needs crowd out nature, through ignorance and/or neglect of its value and beauty. This talk will address the value of biodiversity for its intrinsic worth, as well as its value to human existence.

October 20
“American Crows: Sentinels of an Urbanizing World”
Anne Barrett Clark, Binghamton University Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
Despite American crows’ long history with humans, they are relatively new to actual urban living. But their size, apparent boldness and flexible life histories have allowed them to move into almost every town or city…as have similar crow species on other continents. We will consider how these social, smart, cooperative, mobile birds have adapted — or not — to an urban existence. With urban habitats here to stay, crows may provide many insights into the opportunities and costs experienced by urbanizing species, and how we can make those habitats better for birds and for us.

Also:
Chris Burger will give an update on the proposal to drill for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale layer underlying our region. A progress report on the state’s environmental review will be included.

November 17
“Wild Utah: America's Redrock Wilderness”
Jackie Feinberg, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, national grassroots organizer
“Wild Utah: America's Redrock Wilderness” is a multi-media slideshow, narrated by Robert Redford, documenting citizen efforts to designate public lands in southern Utah's spectacular canyon country as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System.  This 20-minute journey through redrock splendor invigorates and motivates viewers to participate in the movement to protect these unique lands – a must-see for people wishing to make the difference in this tremendous American public lands conservation effort.
 
December 15
Richard Rehberg, Binghamton University Professor Emeritus of Political Science, gives an update on climate change. Projections of the consequences of climate change have become part of the common discourse among world leaders, policy makers, and citizens.  However, most of these projections are based on the 2008 proceedings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. More recent data and more sophisticated climate modeling reveal that that actual rate of climate change is progressing more rapidly than predicted by the IPCC report and that some of the feedback effects have been underestimated. This presentation will review the most recent climate change data and projections, with emphasis on the northeastern United States.
 
January 19
Toby Anderson gives a virtual tour of Salt Springs State Park, Franklin Forks, PA, a hidden gem right in our midst.  He will describe how a group of concerned citizens have taken over managing a State Park which lacked strong state support. They have renovated a historic farmhouse as a Park center, built a barn, constructed and board-walked trails, purchased adjacent buffer property and much more.
 
February 16
Dick Andrus, Binghamton University Associate Professor of Biological Sciences and Chair of the Binghamton Shade Tree Commission and Manager of Costa Rica's Tropical Forestry Initiative, speaks on planting trees here and in Central America -- where he directs a project that successfully replanted a rain forest with native trees.

March 16
Jim Bryden, Binghamton Architect, discusses being “green” when building new or renovating.  And energy auditor John Patterson discusses “Simple Energy Saving Ideas in your Home or Office,” including inventorying all things that use electric power; inventorying all the maintenance items to be fixed; understanding your utility bill; determining how much insulation is enough; attending Cornell Cooperative Extension’s course on energy saving.
 
April 20
John Titus, BU Associate Professor of Biology
“Adirondack Lakes: Threats from Acidification and Invasive Species”
Includes an update on the status of the acid rain problem in the Adirondacks.
 
May 18
Laura Biasillo from Binghamton area community gardens
“Buying Local, Eating Local - A Triple Bottom Line Win-Win for Everyone”
Learn the history of farmers' markets in Broome County. Learn why it's important to eat local from the economic, environmental and social points of view. Learn how easy it is to buy local and learn about locations of the farmers' markets in Broome County. Co-speaker Scott Barvainis, Acting Chair of V.I.N.E.S. (Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments), describes how community gardens have been created throughout the city.  
 
June 15
Jeff Barker, Professor of Geology at Binghamton University
“Was That an Earthquake?  How Do We Know?”
Earthquake detection: what we can know and what we can't.


General Meetings
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 of Nanticoke.)  The public is welcome and refreshments are served following the meeting. Contact Julian Shepherd at jshepher@binghamton.edu for more information.



Sierra Club Outings and Events

Saturday, September 26, 2009 at 11 a.m. - until?
Tour of the Binghamton Johnson City Wastewater Treatment Plant
Can be as short as an hour or two hours-plus, depending on questions and interest of visitors. Cathy Aingworth will be our tour guide. Meet and park in parking lot just off Old Vestal Road. Dress for outdoor weather.


Upcoming Events and Outings:
  • Watch the website for an environmental debate between Binghamton Mayoral candidates.
  • Late October or early November: A guided tour of the BU Nature Preserve
  • An International Climate Change Rally on October 24.


Other Non-Sierra-Club Events:

Ithaca Green Buildings Eco-Tour

Sat.-Sun., October 3-4 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. 
Speakers Friday and Saturday 7-9 p.m.
More than 25 homes and businesses that use renewable energy or eco-friendly building practices will be open to the public for self-guided tours during this free two-day event. Homeowners and/or builders will be on hand to discuss their work and answer questions about solar energy, wind power, straw bale construction, timber framing, non-toxic finishes, recycled materials, and more. Half of the sites will be open each day. Visit http://ccetompkins.org in September for details on specific sites and van or walking tours. Call (607) 272-2292 or email gm52@cornell.edu for more information. Presented by the Ithaca Green Building Alliance and Tompkins County Cooperative Extension.
There will be lectures/ seminars at Ithaca College on Friday and Saturday nights from 7-9 p.m. with a suggested $5 donation. Van tours can also be purchased for $5/person and $10/couple. Several homes can be viewed en route on 96B from Owego. Several (5-10) are in Ithaca and are a
walkable/bike-able distance from each other. The website will include Google maps and routes.
Participants are encouraged to carpool from Binghamton to Ithaca.


Events Waiver/Carpooling Encouraged
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 http://www.sierraclub.org/outings/chapter/forms
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.


Activists Alert
At monthly general meetings, there will be a 10-minute update on crucial environmental issues affecting our community.
Contact Rich Kellman at rkell_1@juno.com to suggest topics.


Join our Email List!
To be on a list-serv (low volume!) for announcements about meetings, outings and other events, send your full name and preferred e-mail address to Erin Riddle at erinriddle@verizon.net.


Sierra Club Websites:
Each of these provides links to the other two:
National: http://www.sierraclub.org
Atlantic Chapter (NY State): http://newyork.sierraclub.org
Susquehanna Group (NY Southern Tier- Binghamton - area): http://newyork.sierraclub.org


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 http://www.sierraclub.org/outings/chapter/forms .

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
jshepher@binghamton.edu

Vice Chair: Erin Riddle
372-5503, erinriddle@verizon.net

Secretary: Fiske D. Hanson
772-1236, fdhanson@webtv.net

Treasurer: Vivian Stevens
748-9865

Chapter Delegate: Jeff Bohner
772- 8304, jbohner@stny.rr.com

Conservation: Rich Kellman
692-7432, rkell_1@juno.com
 
Cool Cities Coordinator: Erin Riddle
372-5503, erinriddle@verizon.net

Education: Harry Barnes
829-5307, brckbns@yahoo.com
 
Fundraising: Vivian Stevens
748-9865

Membership: Jack Davis
570-553-2081, jkdavis@epix.net

Media/Publicity: Fiske Hanson
772-1236, fdhanson@webtv.net

Outings: Nancy McGee
722-5393, nfmcg@binghamton.edu

Newsletter Editor: Lee Shepherd
Lshephe1@binghamton.edu




Susquehanna Sierran Membership Application

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Thank you!

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This page last updated August 31, 2009
Webmaster: erin.riddle@sierraclub.org