RENewsletter | July 26, 2009


The Free environmental newsletter from  

“Our Environment is changing: Keep up with the Change.”

[07/19/09– 07/26/09]


Need to vent? | Go to my blog: Environmental Thoughts - Rochester, NY

Found an important Rochester environmental story from a credible source that you think needs attention? SEND ME THE LINK.


Opening Salvo | NewsLinks | Daily Updates | Events | Environmental Site of the Month | Take Action |


*** The July 2009 Environmental Site of the Month Award goes to The Rochester Greenway / Go to Award.


[Hyperlinks work by CTRL + click to follow a link]




Opening Salvo:  Our Future: Connecting Green Dots


Several models of how future media might evolve are rampant.  But, one thing is for sure:  Our evenings with Uncle Walter Cronkite are over. No more ‘most trusted man in America’ giving us “the way it is.” 


There might be paid links to each online news services. News aggregators might be charged. Non-profit status might be given to some media. Or, citizen reporters could join professionals (ProPublica) digging down into stories in a novel way. You’ll get your environmental news from TV, radio, podcasts, websites, independent local films (like “The Last Experiment”) and your all-in-one gadget phone. Alas, the future bodes to be much messier than a few experienced professions speaking together on a relatively few stories directed by a cabal of know-it-all editors.  The Recession, media consolidation, and the Internet have seen to that.


One possible scenario for future environmental reporting: We imagine connecting the dots of environmental stories through many dimensions—not one. The past, present, future and all of the possible variations of each could very well be how our grandchildren manage the planet.  That’s right; in the future we won’t be watching in horror as a Katrina-like Hurricane unfolds. Our kids will have to be involved in the story.  They’ll be connecting the dots along with the experts trying to find out how this disruption occurred, what past activities brought it on, how various actions by everyone might play out, what other events will be linked to any particular reactions they have to the event and so on. In other words, we have been for some time now (regardless of present media coverage) active players in our planet’s environment.  We control the temperature, water levels, chemical dispersals, resources, and probably a host of factors we haven’t even discovered yet that run our planet’s ecology.  Survival will require an acknowledgement and understanding of this fact so that our children can actually thrive on it. Putting our environment on the media’s backburner will not be an option.


For example: News coverage on manmade chemicals and pharmaceutical that show up in our lakes and rivers won’t be same. Presently, the media marches a study out and lets the naysayers carp at it at will—often questioning the motives of those doing such a study. The public shakes their collected heads in frustration and shrugs at yet another ‘remote’ news story, which will have to be ignored if they’re going to remain happy. 


In the future I imagine the media (which will be the full breath of all our abilities) will tear into these studies like bulldogs. I imagine the new media checking how much the government knew about this issue, what capabilities our water filtration systems have in screening our medicines in our drinking water, how future studies might be designed to find out all the possible pharmaceuticals and how they all react together as they land in one place (our drinking water). All possible effects on all possible plants and animals, including ourselves and our ability to have future selves (endocrine disruptors) will be thoroughly examined. Future media won’t be sitting back and asking Dr. Blowhard who probably works for a pharmaceutical company what his or her spin is on it—that would properly be regarded as insane.  


Connecting the green dots, the effects of one species who consumes 25% of the energy and resources on this planet, will not be a headline one day and a phantom the next. The green dots will comprise our existence and they won’t be ignored.  (Click on my email for feedback)




NewsLinksEnvironmental NewsLinks – [Highlights of major environmental stories concerning our area from the past week]


         Reservoir Hole

         Brown Root Rot

         Great Lakes Wind Energy

         Green Jobs

         More Greenways Coming

         Reducing Sewage in Great Lakes

         Canadian Sewer Upgrades

         Zebra Mussels Buffalo

         Bears Update

         EPA Trucks Emissions

         Penfield on Bikes

         West Nile Virus in Monroe County

         Cleaning up the Great Lakes

         Diabetes & Contaminants?

         Greenhouse Gas Review Policy - DEC

         Wind Jobs

         CA Selling Water to US?

         Monroe Co. Sewage Tunnel



UpdatesDaily Updates – [Connecting the dots on Rochester’s environment. Find out what’s going on environmentally in our area—and why you should care? Clicking on -DISCUSSION – will take you to my blog “Environmental Thoughts, NY, where you can add your comments.]

         7/24/09 - Why Littering Won't Work: It shouldn’t have to be this way—upping fines for littering—but what’s the alternative?  How much trash lays around one community seems to correlate with how that community views its environment? That’s not a scientific conclusion, just a personal one—though the corollary, a visually pristine community, may not be actually environmentally sound either.  As many pollutants and unsustainable practices can be hidden behind the veneer of high-tech development. Besides the polluting and disruptive character of trash about a community to the flora and fauna, it certainly is a sign of distain there must be in a place littered by trash. Cleaning up trash or stepping up fines for littering maybe mostly cosmetic, but it certainly shows a positive attitude. Besides being environmentally repulsive, littering is counter-productive.  The response to activities like littering on a planet where our environmental distain is catching up with us is not going to be for the community to give up and wallow in garbage; it’s going to be for communities and governments to take corrective actions—as any organism must adopt in order to survive.   Check out: Lyons increases littering fine to $250 — At separate meetings this week, the village and town boards approved increasing the fine for littering to $250. July 23, 09) Finger Lakes Times Online

         7/23/09 - Good incentive by the EPA: Rachel Carson Contest Form | Aging Initiative | US EPA EPA Invites Public to Vote in the Rachel Carson Sense of Wonder Contest   WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency invites the public to vote for their favorite submissions in the third annual Rachel Carson Sense of Wonder Intergenerational Poetry, Essay, Dance and Photography Contest. A panel of judges has selected the finalists in five categories: photography, essay, poetry, dance and mixed media (photography and a poem or essay).   Carson is considered to be the founder of the contemporary environmental movement through her book, "Silent Spring." Using the title of another of Carson's books, "The Sense of Wonder," the contest sought submissions "that best express the 'Sense of Wonder' that you feel when observing the sea, the night sky, forests, birds, wildlife, and all that is beautiful to your eyes."   Finalists were selected based on originality, creativity, use of an intergenerational team, and ability to capture a sense of wonder. The deadline to vote is October 1. Winners will be announced later that month.   The contest is sponsored by the U.S. EPA Aging Initiative, in partnership with Generations United and the Rachel Carson Council Inc., and the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange.   To vote: --from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

         7/23/09 - Action item from Citizens Campaign for the Environment Speak Out to Ensure That New York Implements the Great Lakes Compact Effectively! Comments on Draft Report accepted until August 14, 2009 Now that the landmark the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact is law, it is up to New York State to effectively implement the law to ensure that our Great Lakes are protected for current and future generations. In the NYS legislation that ratified the Compact, the Great Lakes Basin Advisory Council (GLBAC) was tasked with developing recommendations for legislation and regulations that would be necessary to implement the Compact in NYS. The GLBAC recently released a draft report entitled “Our Great Lakes Water Resources: Conserving and Protecting Our Water Today for Use Tomorrow,” which is meant to provide those recommendations.

         7/23/09 - Get that training for the new economy: EERE News: DOE Webinar July 30: Funding Opportunity for a Wind Turbine Drivetrain Testing Facility The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Wind and Hydropower Technologies Program invites you to join a 1 hour webinar on July 30, 2009 at 11:00 am EDT/8:00 am PDT to discuss the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) entitled "Recovery Act: Large Wind Turbine Drivetrain Testing Facility," which is currently open. The full announcement, DE-FOA-0000112, can be found on the FedConnect Web site.

         7/21/09 - Don't forget, with summer comes the threat of West Nile Virus: West Nile Virus Rochester | news links WNV | Since 1999, West Nile Virus, an invasive disease from North Africa, has become a yearly concern for us in Western New York, as in other US states.  This potentially dangerous disease for people with fragile or compromised immune systems can be fatal.  However, monitoring this disease during middle and late summer and taking a few precautionary measures, we can keep this new disease, which will probably be with us for a long time and have periods of high and low concern, in check.  This page has most of the resources you'll need to stay abreast of this disease with list of resources we can use to prevent this disease without using pesticides--which has the potential to make a bad problem much worse by further polluting our environment with toxins.

         7/2109 - Soon to be gone bicycle museum, get some history on one of our most basic Transportation modes: Pedaling History Bicycle Museum Pedaling History Bicycle Museum, in Orchard Park, New York, features one of the world's largest collections of antique and classic American bicycles, including thousands of items of cycling-related memorabilia. From the antiques through the classics to modern bikes: social, design, manufacturing, marketing, and sports aspects are all reflected in our displays.

         7/20/09 - This could change Rochester's concept of Transportation, check it out: Rochester Greenway The Rochester Greenway A revolutionary all-weather alternative energy transitway for bikes, e-vehicles, joggers, and skaters connecting RIT, U of R, and MCC, downtown Rochester. Three Opportunities, One Big Idea.

         7/20/09 -Why does NYS have 370,000 people with Asthma? Could it be our Air QualityState Health Department Provides 23,000 Health Care Providers with New Asthma Toolkit Asthma, a controllable chronic disease, is a significant public health problem in New York State. More than 1.1 million adults and 370,000 children living in New York have asthma. While New York's comprehensive asthma programs have contributed to a 23 percent reduction in asthma hospitalization over the past decade, its hospitalization rates are higher for all age groups with the exception of New Yorkers 65 years old and older.



EventsRochester Environmental Events Calendar – [The most complete listing of all environmental events around the Rochester, New York area.]  If you don’t see your event, or know of a local environmental event, please send me the info: with (EV event) in the subject line.





ActionTake Action - Often, I receive request to pass on alerts, petitions, Public Comments on local developments, and environmental items needing action by the Rochester Community and around the world. I’ll keep Actions posted until their due date. 


         7/24/09 - ACTION - Get a bike rack in a good city location for increasing bike transportation in Rochester: I am gathering requests for bike racks in the City of Rochester area. If you know of a location that would help increase bike transportation in the city of Rochester by having a convenient bike rack nearby, send me a note about the location and I will forward that on.  In the subject line type "bike rack requests" and send to



AwardEnvironmental Site of the Month Award – [On the last Sunday of each month, we present an environmental award for the Rochester-area environmental web site or blog that best promotes the need to protect and offers solutions for our area's environmental issues.]


         Don’t get down because Rochester’s showcase project, the Renaissance Square, might have gone the way of the Passenger Pigeon. That project to bring in tourists, give our selves a new sense of community pride, jobs, and some slight transportation options, is not the end of Hope. There are more good ideas out there that could replace one vision with other. Instead of a complex building complex almost too complex to imagine and finance, how about 5.2 mile year-round bike trail from RIT, U of R, straight into the city?  Get to our wonderful city, see our great events, go to work on bike healthy, safe, and sound, while developing a new vision for our city, friendly to our environment and leaving the rest of our sister cities pea green with envy? 

         Rochester Greenway “A revolutionary all-weather alternative energy transitway for bikes, e-vehicles, joggers, and skaters connecting RIT, U of R, and MCC, downtown Rochester. Three Opportunities, One Big Idea. The Green path north from U of R on the East Side is a scenic paved bikepath. The Blue path north from U of R on the West Side of the river, also scenic, is part of the City's existing Greenway trail. The river crossing on the the Blue path is an unused railroad bridge that could be rehabilitated spectacularly!”