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April 07 RENewsletter’s Newsletter

April 2007

"I am convinced that ecology cannot be kept secret. Environmental openness is an inalienable human right. Any attempt to conceal any information about harmful impact on people and the environment is a crime against humanity." --Alexandr Nikitin, Russian environmentalist.

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Overall, you cannot come away from even just one month’s encapsulation of just one city’s environmental news and not see how humanity now drives Nature. Like it or not the anthropogenic affect of man on Nature is so profound (and continuing to grow) that as you look for man’s footprint in each story, you will understand how our relationship with our environment is forever changing the direction of evolution. We are warming the planet, determining what species thrive and what species fail, what chemicals interact with everything, what bodies of water rise and which one fall—in short we (as a species) are no longer just bystanders in our environment—we are at the helm.

As always, there are lots going on in the Rochester area pertaining to our environment. You just have to look all over the Internet to find the stories. But, here at we bring it all to one place. If you have any comments about any of the issues in this newsletter, surf over to Environmental Thoughts and make your voice heard.

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         Highlights of the April 2007 RENewsletter:  



* Hottest issue this month of April 2007:  This month, which included Earth Day, was so busy that there are many ‘hottest” environmental stories.  The first is Earth Day itself where our city had many environmental events going on.  The most salient in my mind was the StepItUp2007 rally at Twelve Corners in Brighton (because I was there), an event like 1,400 other such events around the country.  Bill McKibben’s idea  where he thought 100 cities might join in, actually mushroomed into a major climate change movement that keeps growing.  The Sierra Club’s 9th Environmental Forum highlighted the possible change in the city-owned pristine lands around Hemlock and Canadice Lakes. There were many stories on this issue throughout April and if you stayed tuned to these pages, you’ll see more: & .  There were many more local environmental events and I hope you had a chance to show up at any one of Rochester’s growing attention to our environmental issues. Also, the possible contamination from toxins in Victor spread across most of our local media in April, displaying what the local media does best: thoroughly covering a breaking environmental story.  The question I have is: What other possible contamination issues lie beneath our brownfield studded environment, which are only going to get public attention when something foul bubbles up from the ground?  Wouldn’t it be better if our local media each had full time, dedicated environmental reporters watching all possible brownfield sites in our area and urge our local governments to adopt a reasonable policy (with money behind them) to get them all cleaned up?  The present paradigm where doubts linger over our many brownfields, compelling residents to cry for cancer studies, are not how we should be addressing environmental breakouts that we should be anticipating.  And, of course Global Warming issues (such as the changes our area will incur) thread throughout this month’s environmental news—and will continue to do so for as long as I run this newsletter.  Everyone should be watching closely as to how our area is going to be affected by Global Warming because there is no way we are going to dodge this issue.  Our media, our public officials, scientists, universities, environmental groups, and even we should be continually monitoring the changes that will be brought by the biggest environmental challenge of our era.

* Other Hot Environmental issues this month:  Two issues that are not going away, but are actually increasing in tempo and intensity are the viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS) fish disease problem and the Bee Colony Collapse Syndrome.  I have been following the stories on the VHS issue from online sources around the Great Lakes and I can only conclude that its effect is going to be profound and affect many fishermen and all related businesses.  Controlling and preventing diseases like VHS, which is believed to have been imported from ships coming from Europe, is going to be an on-going concern that won’t go away until governments, businesses, and individuals work together to solve this problem.  So, too the Bee Colony Collapse Syndrome, whose cause is not known, has the potential of greatly affecting our area’s agriculture and aquiculture.  I’ve noted this story before and it’s grown to be a country-wide issue.  Instead of endless speculations in the media (like, it could be cell phone interference) on what is causing bees, which pollinate many of our most precious products, the government should be helping scientist discover the exact cause of this particular syndrome before it causes incredible damage. Out local media should be continually pressing this issue until a cause is found.  There are a lot of Great Lakes stories in this month’s collection of environmental news and that’s because there are a lot of issues going on and because I search all surrounding city’s and even Canada news sources for stories about the lakes that our city is intimately connected to.  On a more hopeful note, our area is at the forefront in readying ourselves for a possible pandemic flu. Such a scenario is almost impossible to contemplate, but not to prepare for it would be the height of social irresponsibility.  To these ends, our area has conducted mock inoculation demonstrations and one of our great universities is working feverishly to develop a vaccine that can be implemented quickly.  I hope you all have gotten the pamphlet the Monroe County government has dispersed to the public on the Pandemic Flu.  If not print it out and magnet it to your refrigerator from:

* The silent stories [important stories we didn't hear much about]:  There is a wonderful story about making a law to rid our state of incandescent bulbs in favor of compact florescent bulbs (though, that’s really a May story but so compelling I had to mention it) and a story about the Elm Tree making a comeback.  People have been working on a Dutch Elm disease resistant strain of the tree and have had some success.  Recycling in Rochester is mentioned in our news and more could be done to both recycle and get our residents to recycle.  I believe everything should be recycled and we should never have anything go into the ground, but that will take time and imagination.  Besides many forms of giving things away (like donations) and methods of selling used items (like garage sales), which are very good, for those spent products like plastics we need to find markets that will make use of the dangerous products we now put in the ground.  A couple of small stories this month about the reinvigoration of the Russell Station coal-burning power plant in Greece should be big stories.  Clean coal technology has been hotly debated around the country when other major coal burning plants have been re-powered, but there is little mention of how RG&E plans on cleaning up their plant, which was gong to be shut down.  The local media should be hot on this story, especially in Earth Day month where thousands of our citizens are pledging to do as much as they can to curb green-house gasses.  From our southern tier there is a story about a pine-killing wasp making its way to upstate New York.  This story suggests to me about one of the many pernicious effects of Global Warming, where pests are able to spread because areas where they can survive are expanding.  There’s an article about Arbor Day (that almost seems to be forgotten) and perhaps we will all be forgiven if we go out and plant a tree and help requester some Global Warming gases.  A story about toxins and children come up this month and makes me wonder how many toxic chemicals in our environment are making people sick.  If we had a more aggressive media and more attention by our public officials, maybe there would be more studies about how the chemicals we produce radiate out and affect our environmental health. Maybe these arrant man-made chemicals are causing Bee Colony Collapse.

* On-Going Concerns:  Rochester, according to reports, seems to making major progress on preventing childhood lead poisoning.  This has been a preoccupation for many public officials in our city and taking charge on this issue has paid off.  The algae problems at Charlotte Beach are in the news again this year with the Army Corps of Engineers giving up on the matter and suggesting that someone build a spray park nearby.  That’s no real answer and hopefully other suggestions (like those proposed by Congresswoman Slaughter) could fix the problem.  Another beach problem, this time at Duran Beach with an E.coli problem, will occupy public officials who are trying to keep open this popular beach. In my opinion, we are not going to fix these kinds of beach/health problems until we have a sea change in the way we treat water.  Our local nuclear plant at Ginna has had a yearly safety and performance report and in a separate article on May 3rd, there’s a article on potassium iodine pills being offered to residents near Ginna in case of radiation leak.  I submit that nearby residents to solar and wind power plants do not need anti-radiation pills.  There is a story about maybe banning outdoor wood-burning furnaces again, which is a good thing, and a great story about our major wetland, Montezuma, from a New Jersey publication (what’s that about?) and I suggest you read it.  Renaissance Square update is worth watching because it could have a major urban sprawl aspect to it (by having residents consider public transportation) and story about DEC grants, communities trying to save energy, an update on the Holly contamination from years ago, a bill to ban plastic bags (it got me to start using tote bags when I shop), and much more.    

* Environmental Actions you can take for our area: The best environmental action you can take this month is helping your community clean up.  Mayor Duffy’s Clean Sweep program is such a great project that it should be mentioned county-wide.  However, when you think about it, we should not be producing such a mess each year that we have to go out in droves to clean things up.  We should forever be encouraging others not to litter and to recycle properly.  (Sorry, I keep getting on my environmental soapbox, but that’s my job.)     

* Environmental events going on this month:  Check out “Our Fragile World” by the Seneca Park Zoo, a program on urban birds, Sierra Club book discussions, International Migratory Bird day, a program on mobile air toxins, and much more. 

 * Rochester-area Environmental Site of the Month:  Cayuga Lake Watershed Intermunicipal Organization "To create, modify, and implement a watershed management plan to allow local governments within the watershed to work together for the purposes of accessing dollars, cost savings, cost sharing, and efficiency of activities among municipalities. This plan when completed will prioritize water quality problems and solutions. The Intermunicipal Organization will provide direction for the regional planning boards and other staff, and oversee the entire project."


NEWS SUMMARY: Many of the news links below may already be out of date because these online news sources do not archive their stories.  To get the full articles, you can contact the news service and ask them for a copy. 

News for April 2007:

  • DEVELOPMENT: Towns hope to control growth pressure on 250 - News & Opinion - Rochester City Newspaper In some localities, the development pressure along state Route 250 would easily turn the road into a multi-lane highway flanked by extensive commercial growth. But Stephen Aldrich, a project manager for the Henrietta-based engineering firm FRA, says the diligence of communities along the corridor has kept that from happening. And, he says, Route 250 seems to function well as a two-lane road with pockets of commercial development and short four-lane stretches. (May 1, 07) Rochester City Newspaper
  • Pills offered to residents near Ginna — For only the second time, Monroe and Wayne counties are offering protective medication to people who live or work within 10 miles of the Ginna nuclear power plant in case of a radiation leak. The federal program, started in the wake of elevated concerns after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, entails giving free potassium iodide to each individual living or working in parts of Wayne County, Webster and Penfield. The over-the-counter medication doesn't protect a person from radiation overall, but it does protect the thyroid from exposure. Ginna is located on the shore of Lake Ontario in Ontario, Wayne County. (May 3, 2007)  Democrat & Chronicle
  • N.Y. may pull plug on incandescent bulbs — ALBANY — An Assembly bill introduced this week could mean lights out for traditional light bulbs. The bill would ban the sale of incandescent light bulbs, the kind that most people use now, by June 2012. Supporters seek to replace traditional filament bulbs that they say contribute to global warming with energy-saving halogen or fluorescent lights. (May 3, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Algae woes spur spray park idea - Pollution at Charlotte beach defies easy fix, says Army Corps — Algae problems and closures at Ontario Beach Park cannot be eliminated, so the best alternative is to build a spray park, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recommends. There's just one catch: The federal government won't fund a spray park, so any action would fall to Monroe County, which owns the park. (May 1, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Ebola-like virus killing fish in Great Lakes - A deadly Ebola-like virus is killing fish of all types in the Great Lakes, a development some scientists fear could trigger disaster for the USA's freshwater fish. Because of a lack of genetic resistance to viral hemorrhagic septicemia, fish populations could be damaged in the same way the smallpox virus struck Native Americans and Dutch elm disease decimated elm trees, says Jim Winton, chief of fish health at the U.S. Geological Survey in Seattle. (April 29, 07)
  • Monroe County distributes potassium iodide to Ginna-area residents - Monroe County officials are again distributing potassium iodide – also known as KI – to residents who live within the 10-mile emergency planning zone of the Ginna Nuclear Power plant. The medication – supplied by the state Emergency Management Office – will be provided free at three area Wegmans stores from now through May 25. (May 1, 07) New York State News on the Net!
  • Concerns Over Landfill Expansion - (April 28, 07) R News: As It Happens, Where It Happens
  • ENVIRONMENT: State takeover likely for Hemlock, Canadice - News & Opinion - Rochester City Newspaper There's been concern that city officials might sell land around Hemlock and Canadice Lakes to developers. But a stronger bet may be that the state buys the land. During the Rochester Sierra Club's annual Environmental Forum on April 19, city and state officials said they want to work together to preserve the land and lakes by putting them in the state's hands. (April 24, 07) Rochester City Newspaper
  • Pine-killing wasp spreads in upstate New York - ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- Almost three years since a pine-killing wasp was found in upstate New York, its first discovery in any American forest, scientists have caught others in traps from western New York to the Adirondacks. The Sirex woodwasp, native to Europe, Asia and northern Africa, kills pines and sometimes other conifers by introducing a toxic mucus and fungus when the female lays her eggs through the bark and into the sapwood. (April 30, 07) The Ithaca Journal - - Ithaca, NY
  • Elm trees making national comeback - Group's restoration efforts made possible with fungus-resistant variety — UTICA— Like many American communities, the streets of this upstate New York community were once shaded by a canopy of majestic American Liberty elms that towered like proud sentinels of civic character. And, like all those other communities, the elms were ravaged by an outbreak of Dutch elm disease that left behind a blighted landscape. (April 29, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • 1,000 tidy up city in Clean Sweep— City residents Carlotta and Dwayne Carson cleared piles of leaves, candy wrappers and discarded cigarettes Saturday along Genesee Street in southwest Rochester. - (April 29, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • RG&E to pump $500 million into Greece plant - News - Rochester Gas and Electric Corp. plans to spend $500 million to re-power the Russell Station coal-burning power plant, officials said this week. The plan reverses the company's decision in 2003 to shut down the 59-year-old facility, which produces 257 megawatts of electricity and some 25 percent of the region's electrical needs. (April 20, 07) MSNBC - Top Stories
  • Investigator assigned to find origin of toxins in Victor — As rumors swirl in Victor, a criminal investigator has been assigned to help environmental officials track down the origin of toxic industrial solvents that have contaminated groundwater in Victor. The decision to bring a state Department of Environmental Conservation investigator into the case was made this afternoon, less than a day after state officials appealed at a public meeting for tips about the source of the solvents. In response to the appeal, several residents offered information about possible sources, and tips continued to come in today. (April 27, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Cornell expert paints grim picture of climate - ALBANY -- Imagine if summers in New York were more like those in Georgia. Huge rainstorms cause massive floods that are followed by months of drought. Snow-belt strongholds such as Rochester and Buffalo see only a few days of snow every winter. This is the picture that a climate change expert painted here Friday. (April 4, 07)
  • Legislators proposing tax break on hybrids - Bipartisan bill would drop state sales levy, let localities do same. ALBANY — Buying a hybrid car can save drivers hundreds of dollars on gasoline, and ownership could get even cheaper if a bill proposed Wednesday becomes state law. Two lawmakers propose to eliminate New York sales tax on the purchase of a new or used hybrid vehicle. The bill also would let cities and counties join in the tax waiver. (April 19, 07) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Bee decline worries growers Beekeepers warn of disappearance from hives; some blame pesticides - In “Silent Spring,” ecologist and writer Rachel Carson pondered a season without bird songs as she detailed an unintended consequence of pesticides: a serious decline in bird populations. Today, beekeepers here and around the country are warning that a new spring season begins with a mysterious loss of bees. (April, 22, 07) The Buffalo News
  • Great Lakes fish virus may threaten U.S. aquaculture - Yahoo! News CHICAGO (Reuters) - A virus in the U.S. Great Lakes that has killed tens of thousands of fish in recent years is spreading and poses a threat to inland fish farming, a U.S. Agriculture Department official said on Monday. (April 26, 07) The top news headlines on current events from Yahoo! News
  • Victor town bans outdoor furnaces for 6 months — The Victor Town Board has approved a six-month moratorium on installing outdoor wood-burning furnaces.- (April 24, 2007)  Democrat & Chronicle
  • Hazardous waste collected from 2 towns - The Monroe County Department of Environmental Services has joined forces with the towns of Penfield and Webster to hold an appointment-only household hazardous waste collection at the Town of Webster Highway Garage, 1005 Picture Parkway, from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday. (April 25, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • State considers cancer cluster study in Victor — The state Department of Health is weighing a request that it conduct a cancer cluster study in a part of Victor beset with contaminated groundwater. The request for a cancer study, passed on to Albany last week by state Sen. Michael Nozzolio, originated with a Victor citizens group that is pressing for more answers on the health impact of the contamination. The group’s agenda also includes a better explanation of the results of recent testing for the presence of toxic vapors in Victor homes. (April 25, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Great Lakes under siege Lawsuit opens new front in battle against invasive species. - TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Shipping companies, scientists and environmentalists have long debated how to stop the onslaught of exotic species such as zebra mussels in the Great Lakes. Now, lawyers are getting involved. Many of the 183 invasive species known to inhabit the lakes arrived in ballast water dumped by oceangoing ships. A Michigan law that took effect this year requires freighters to sterilize ballast before discharging it into the state's waters. (April 25, 2007) South Bend Tribune
  • U.S. Adults Less Likely Than Europeans to Think Humans Are Contributing to the Increase in Global Temperatures Germans, British, and Americans least likely to think global warming will present a threat in their lifetime ROCHESTER, N.Y., April 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the nation celebrated Earth Day this past weekend, there is a definite difference in how those in the U.S. feel about global warming when compared to their European counterparts. While two-thirds of U.S. adults (65%) believe humans are contributing to an increase in global temperatures, this is less than the British (77%), Italian (87%) and French and Spanish (88% each) who believe this. The country where they are most likely to believe humans are contributing to this increase in temperatures is Germany (92%).
  • Spitzer given green grades for first 100-days - The non-partisan New York League of Conservation Voters released a report Thursday tracking the environmental progress made by Governor Eliot Spitzer and his administration in its first 100-days. (April 23, 07) New York State News on the Net!
  • Clean sweeps to begin - Rochester Mayor Bob Duffy asked the community Monday to pitch in for the second annual Clean Sweep program. Last year, more than 5,000 volunteers helped out in spring cleaning efforts. More than 1,500 tons of debris was collected. (April 23, 07)
  • Great Lakes fish virus may threaten U.S. aquaculture - Yahoo! News CHICAGO (Reuters) - A virus in the U.S. Great Lakes that has killed tens of thousands of fish in recent years is spreading and poses a threat to inland fish farming, a U.S. Agriculture Department official said on Monday. The pathogen, viral hemorrhagic septicemia, or VHS, causes internal bleeding in fish. It does not harm humans, even if they eat infected fish. (April 23, 2007) The top news headlines on current events from Yahoo! News
  • Warming study sees problems for Great Lakes Drop in water quality tied to lower levels - WASHINGTON — Global warming is likely to dramatically alter the Great Lakes region in the coming decades, making the world’s largest body of fresh water shallower and dirtier while hurting the region’s ability to capitalize on its greatest natural resource. That’s the conclusion the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change delivered Monday as it released the North America chapter of its much publicized report on the worldwide impact of higher temperatures. “In the Great Lakes and major river systems, lower levels are likely to exacerbate challenges relating to water quality, navigation, recreation, hydropower generation, water transfers and bi-national relationships,” the report said. (April 23, 07) The Buffalo News
  • Earth Day taps into pride, accountability Scottsville tries to connect with vital issues -  (April 21, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Earth Day events cover UR campus  — University of Rochester will be the scene of a variety of Earth Day events today. Students and Boy Scouts will pick up trash at Genesee Valley Park at 9:30 a.m. Then from noon to 4 p.m., campus and community groups such as the Nature Conservancy and the Farm Sanctuary will be manning tables with information about local environmental efforts. (April 21, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Watershed's future on line - Forum focuses on finding way to shield Canadice, Hemlock lakes forever — Environmentalists, city and state officials believe the time is right for Rochester to sell 7,100 acres of land to the state if the parties can agree on a price and use of the land — despite the area being an abundant, natural supply of drinking water for the past 130 years. About 200 people attended a Sierra Club environmental forum Thursday at the First Unitarian Church of Rochester to hear about the watershed of Hemlock and Canadice lakes, about 30 miles south of Rochester. (April 20, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Children unearth pearls of wisdom amid rubbish— Several students from the Edgerton Community Center spent their Saturday morning engaged in a technological scavenger hunt of sorts at Turning Point Park and Nature Area and cleaned up the environment at the same time.  - (April 22, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Community Environmental Equity Act reintroduced - In recognition of Earth Day, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.) Friday reintroduced the Community Environmental Equity Act, to protect working families in New York City, and across the nation, from being exposed to a disproportionately high concentration of pollution-producers that result in high asthma rates and other illnesses, in their neighborhoods. (April 22, 07) New York State News on the Net!
  • RG&E to pump $500 million into Greece plant - Rochester Gas and Electric Corp. plans to spend $500 million to re-power the Russell Station coal-burning power plant, officials said this week. The plan reverses the company's decision in 2003 to shut down the 59-year-old facility, which produces 257 megawatts of electricity and some 25 percent of the region's electrical needs. (April 21, 2007) 10NBC / WHEC TV-10
  • County recycling stagnant amid blue-bin knowledge gap - But many local residents are not well-versed in recycling. Even though four years ago the county expanded its list of what can be put in a blue recycling box, the amount recycled at the Monroe County Recycling Center has remained about the same — 60,000 tons a year. "Recycling can have a profound effect on the environment — by not putting all these things back into the ground. And it's a simple thing to do," said Frank Regan, communications chairman for the Rochester Regional Group of the Sierra Club. (April 21, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • - NEW STATE PLAN SETS GOALS FOR REDUCING ENERGY COSTS, CURBING POLLUTION AND ADDRESSING GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE Energy Efficiency, Conservation, and Renewable Energy Sources Are Called the Keys to Achieving Economic and Environmental Goals  - Governor Eliot Spitzer and Lt. Governor David A. Paterson today announced a comprehensive plan for reducing energy costs and curbing pollution in New York. The plan focuses on energy efficiency, conservation, and investment in renewable energy sources as the keys to achieving economic and environmental goals. (April 19, 2007) New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer Press Releases & Audio
  • Governor announces environmental agenda - Governor Eliot Spitzer Thursday announced a comprehensive plan for reducing energy costs and curbing pollution in New York. This approach sets New York apart with the most aggressive energy efficiency goal in the nation while reducing greenhouse gas emissions throughout the state. The plan focuses on energy efficiency, conservation, and investment in renewable energy sources as the keys to achieving economic and environmental goals. (April 20, 2007) New York State News on the Net!
  • NRC to discuss 2006 assessment for R.E. Ginna nuclear plant - The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s annual assessment of safety performance at the R.E. Ginna nuclear power plant, in Ontario, N.Y., will be the subject of a public meeting on Wednesday, April 25. NRC staff will meet with representatives of plant owner Constellation Energy, LLC, at 7 p.m. to discuss the assessment, which covers the period from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2006, and was documented in a March 2 letter to the company. The session will take place at Ontario Town Hall, 1850 Ridge Road, Ontario. Before the meeting is adjourned, NRC staff will be available to answer questions from the public on the performance of the Ginna plant, as well as the role of the NRC in providing oversight of plant safety. (April 19, 2007) New York State News on the Net!
  • Rochester council rejects appraisal of watershed An environmental advocate says he expects Mayor Robert Duffy to return to the council with a revised proposal. ROCHESTER — By a vote of 5 to 2, Rochester’s City Council rejected Mayor Robert Duffy's request last night that it fund a $28,000 appraisal of the Hemlock and Canadice lakes watershed properties the city owns. A packed City Council chamber heard 11 speakers oppose the wording of the mayor's request that the land be appraised for a variety of uses, including the possibility of being subdivided for development. (April 18, 2007)  Messenger Post Newspapers
  • FINGER LAKES: City would like state to buy Hemlock and Canadice - News & Opinion - Rochester City Newspaper Could the state become the owner of the city-owned Hemlock and Canadice Lakes and the land around them? Mayor Bob Duffy that would be "the best of both worlds." Duffy had hoped to have the properties appraised, but at their meeting on Tuesday night, City Councilmembers turned him down. Their concern: that the appraisal might open the door to selling the land to developers. Duffy said last night that his push for an appraisal doesn't mean he is rushing to put the prime Finger Lakes real estate on the market. But, he said, not knowing the value of the city's assets is bad management. (April 19, 2007) Rochester City Newspaper
  • REGION: Bees are threatened - and crops, too - News & Opinion - Rochester City Newspaper In the midst of Justice Department investigations and wrangling over the Iraq War, a Congressional subcommittee was looking into another problem last month: something dramatic is happening to honeybees that is causing their colonies to die off. (April 19, 2007) Rochester City Newspaper
  • Council Rejects Appraisal of City-Owned Wildnerness Land - ROCHESTER, NY (2007-04-18) A request from Mayor Bob Duffy to find out how much Rochester's watershed lands might be worth was rejected by City Council Tuesday night -- after environmentalists worried that it might be a prelude to selling the city-owned wilderness to developers. The land around Hemlock and Canadice Lakes in Livingston County has been protected from development by the city for 130 years. The lakes feed the city's water system. The city's protection has left them the only two of New York's Finger Lakes still in a wildnerness state. (April 18, 2007) WXXI NewsRoom
  • Rochester's Step It Up 2007 -Rochester's event on Saturday when well with lots of speakers and citizens calling for measures to curb global warming.  We hope your were there to make your voices heard.  (Click the image to enlarge.) Go to: Step It Up Rochester
  • Victor voices vapor qualms - Residents ask for help with interpreting data, senator says  — Victor homeowners, concerned about a mile-long plume of tainted groundwater in a western portion of the town, on Sunday implored a state senator to ensure that the state's response to the contamination is quick and thorough. (April 16, 2007)Democrat & Chronicle
  • ENVIRONMENT: Council nixes appraisal of Hemlock-Canadice land - News & Opinion - Rochester City Newspaper The Duffy administration had hoped to hire a firm to appraise the city-owned land around Hemlock and Canadice Lakes. But last night City Council turned down his request, 5-2, citing concerns that in the future the city might want to sell the land. Mayor Bob Duffy has not said that he wants to let the land be developed, but some Councilmembers didn't buy the administration's argument that the city should at least be aware of the property's value. (April 18, 2007) Rochester City Newspaper
  • City Council rejects watershed appraisal - Members wary of Hemlock, Canadice development — City Council rejected an administration request Tuesday to appraise the Hemlock and Canadice lakes watershed. Some members said they will not consider the question again unless development is off the table. Mayor Robert Duffy and his staff never have indicated an interest in development, but have said all options are being considered as the city reviews its water system. Deputy Mayor Patty Malgieri said that also meant having data necessary to review those options. (April 18, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Hundreds flock to bay to watch birds of prey (April 15, 2007) — GREECE — Most people never get within arm's length of a hooting owl, a soaring eagle or a feisty red falcon. But this weekend at Braddock Bay Park hundreds of people are rubbing feathers with these flying raptors as they celebrate Birds of Prey Days. (April 15, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Hemlock, Canadice proposal defended - Appraisals of waterfront land will keep all city options open  — City Hall insists a plan to appraise the watershed properties surrounding Hemlock and Canadice lakes does not indicate a plan to sell the land to developers. Rather, it is the first step in an effort to place a dollar value on the entire water system, which is needed information as the city continues to evaluate the system's future, Deputy Mayor Patty Malgieri said. One possible outcome is that the state buys the last two undeveloped Finger Lakes and creates a permanent preserve. (April 15, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Panel: US Faces Change As Climate Warms - UNITED NATIONS -- Chicago and Los Angeles will likely to face increasing heat waves. Severe storm surges could hit New York and Boston. And cities that rely on melting snow for water may run into serious shortages. These are some of the findings about North America in a report by hundreds of scientists that try to explain how global warming is changing life on Earth. The scientists with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a summary of their findings on global warming last Friday and outlined details of the report focusing on various regions on Tuesday. (April, 14, 07) - nation, world, technology and Washington area news and headlines
  • Victor vapor data released - State says detailed info shows no 'huge alarm for neighborhood' — State officials Friday released detailed data that they say supports the claim that residents in western Victor shouldn't be overly concerned about vapors wafting into homes from a contaminated site. (April 14, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • DEC announces nearly $8 million in statewide brownfield grants - New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis Thursday announced $7.9 million in Environmental Restoration Program grants for the remediation and investigation of environmental contamination at sites in the City of Newburgh-Orange County, the Village of Haverstraw-Rockland County, the Village of Adams-Jefferson County, the City of Syracuse-Onondaga County, the City of Peekskill-Westchester County, the City of Rome-Oneida County, the City of Rochester-Monroe County and the Village of Ellisburg-Jefferson County. The grants are being funded through the Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act. (April 13, 07) New York State News on the Net!
  • State Health Will Host "Science at Your Service" Lecture Series Beginning in April - ALBANY, April 12, 2007 – State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., today announced that the State Health Department will recognize the groundbreaking work of Wadsworth Center's public health scientists by hosting a lecture series about food and waterborne disease outbreaks, human exposure to secondhand smoke, toxic metals and other environmental threats and newborn screening. The series "Science at Your Service" will be held at Wadsworth's David Axelrod Institute, 120 New Scotland Avenue, Albany. The lectures are free and will begin at 7 p.m.; seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and photo identification will be required. New York State Department of Health - For more information, about the lecture series please visit:
  • Xerox Redesigns Products for Lower Energy Use, Meeting Tough New EPA ENERGY STAR Criteria - ROCHESTER, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 12, 2007--Over the past two years, Xerox Corporation scientists and engineers have trained their sights on developing products that use significantly less energy. The payoff: More than half of the company's office and production product offerings meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's rigorous new ENERGY STAR(R) requirements that went into effect on April 1.
  • Flu vaccine produced in insect cells appears promising: study - An experimental influenza vaccine produced in insect cells appears safe and effective in healthy adults, says a preliminary US study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The results offer the promise of a more rapid development of vaccines against flu or avian influenza in case of a pandemic, say the study's authors, scientists at the University of Rochester in New York state, in JAMA's April 11 edition. (April 13, 07) France 24 - 24 hour International News Channel
  • Rochester City Newspaper - REN SQUARE: MCC's all set, but other questions remain The county hopes to begin demolishing buildings at the Renaissance Square site in late summer or early fall, and the city has already begun to dismantle the Mortimer Street garage there. But some important issues haven't been settled, including what the operating costs will be and who will pay for them. (April 10, 07) Rochester City Newspaper
  • New York, New England states develop plan to reduce mercury deposition - New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis Wednesday announced the release of a draft plan for reducing mercury in the waters of New York State and New England to eliminate fish consumption advisories caused by mercury from air deposition. Seven states -- New York, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont -- collaborated with the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission to produce the plan, entitled the draft Northeast Regional Mercury Total Maximum Daily Load, which is currently available for public comment. (April 12, 07) New York State News on the Net!
  • Virus Vaccine to be Cultivated in Caterpillar Cells - Study authors from the University of Rochester, the University of Virginia, and the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, published their findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association today, April 11. Doctor John Treanor from New York's University of Rochester, led the research. The Earth Times Online Newspaper, Serving the Planet
  • Warming could spark N. American water scramble-UN | Reuters NEW YORK, April 11 (Reuters) - Climate change could diminish North American water supplies and trigger disputes between the United States and Canada over water reserves already stressed by industry and agriculture, U.N. experts said on Wednesday. Breaking News, World, U.S., Video, Investing and Business News & More |
  • Electronics drop set for Penfield - PENFIELD — Town residents can drop off computers and other unwanted electronic devices at the Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Road, from 4 to 8 p.m. April 19. Democrat & Chronicle
  • Toxins sickening kids; more oversight urged — ALBANY — A recent spike in chronic illness and developmental disabilities among children is linked to environmental toxins and warrants increased oversight by the state government, according to a report released Wednesday. "Young children are uniquely vulnerable to environmental hazards because their body organs and systems are still developing," said George Dunkel of the state chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. (April 12, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • ARBOR DAY COMMITTEE INVITES COMMUNITY TO ENJOY ARBOR DAY CELEBRATION (City of Rochester News Release - 04/12/2007) The Greater Rochester Arbor Day Committee hosts its annual Arbor Day Celebration, 11 a.m., Fri., Apr. 27, in Highland Park (along Robinson Rd. between South and Mt. Hope Aves.), rain or shine. The public is invited to attend. Paul Holahan, the City's Commissioner of Environmental Services, will be joined by area dignitaries and students from nearby grade schools to plant a memorial tree honoring Alvan Grant, former Director of the Monroe County Parks Department, who passed away in Feb. 2007. Grant retired in 1977 after twelve years as director and more than 30 years with the parks system. During the Arbor Day ceremonies, the National Arbor Day Foundation will recognize the City of Rochester as a "Tree City USA" for the 26th consecutive year. The "Tree City USA" program is sponsored by the National Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service. Students (grades 1 to 8) who received honors in this year's Arbor Day poster competition, sponsored by the Gardenscape Professionals Association, will also be recognized. Free seedlings provided by Monet Goodrich Nursery, Arbor Day posters and bookmarks will be given away to all attendees. The Greater Rochester Arbor Day Committee, comprised of members from the City of Rochester, Monroe County Parks, the Gardenscape Professionals Association and Cornell Cooperative Extension, will host the event. For more information call the City Forestry Division: 428-7581.
  • Woman Promotes Earth Conservation - A mother of three in Livingston County wants to show just how many plastic grocery bags consumers use on a daily basis. (April 6, 07) R News: As It Happens, Where It Happens
  • Lead poisonings diminish - County finds 85% drop among infants, toddlers For many Rochester children, a monster truly does lurk under the bed — in the dust that collects there, and on windowsills, paint chips and bare patches of lawn. New figures released Monday indicate that lead is less of a threat here today than it was 10 years ago, particularly among 1-year-olds. But there's still cause for concern about lead poisoning in older children. (April 10, 07)Democrat & Chronicle
  • County Plans Ethanol Plant - Turning beer waste into ethanol is Monroe County's plan. Now it has to figure out a way to pick up the tab. Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks announced the ethanol plant would be built at High Falls Brewery. R News: As It Happens, Where It Happens
  • DEC grants available for eradication of invasive species - New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis Tuesday announced that grant applications are now being accepted for projects proposing to eradicate terrestrial and aquatic invasive species. Applications will be accepted until Friday, June 29, 2007. New York State News on the Net!
  • Global warming could pummel Lake Erie economy Lake Erie could suffer the ravages of global warming in the next century, while also buffering Northeast Ohio from the worst effects. That's the opinion of some in response to dire warnings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which released its fourth report in Brussels last week. In short, the IPCC report claims that if world temperatures rise even slightly, as projected, there will be increased mortality from heat waves, floods and droughts and 30 percent of the world's species will be at risk of extinction. (April 8, 07) Everything Cleveland
  • Troubled waters at Durand beach - Whether it opens this summer may depend on a solution to the E. coli problem — With much fanfare last summer, the city reopened Durand-Eastman beach for the first time in nearly 40 years. But the contamination that prompted its closure decades ago still affects the beach to a troubling degree today, threatening public health, the environment and the city's plans to keep the beach open. - (April 8, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Warming saps Great Lakes Water levels could take big drop as Earth gets hotter WASHINGTON -- Data from a new United Nations report on climate change make it more likely that an increasingly arid American southwest will seek access to Great Lakes water, Michigan's top climate official said Friday. The report also strengthens scientific opinion that Michigan will see other dramatic effects in the coming decades: lower Great Lakes water levels, a dramatically receding Lake St. Clair, and summers by the end of the century that feel more like northern Mississippi than to what Michiganians are now accustomed. And the findings are likely to increase political pressure on the embattled U.S. automakers to increase fuel efficiency, something Detroit's automakers have said will cost money and jobs. (April 10, 07) Detroit News Online
  • Drop of 85 percent announced in childhood lead poisoning - The number of lead poisoned children in Monroe County has been reduced from a high of 3,710 in 1995 to 571 in 2006, county officials announced Monday. (April, 10, 07) New York State News on the Net!
  • The ebbs and flows of life near a ditch For some along Penfield Center Road, flooding from the nearby Commission Ditch and Hipp Brook watersheds takes some adjusting. ( April 4, 07) Rochester and Western Finger Lakes News, Entertainment, Sports, Opinions, Photos and More
  • Green efforts grow to save green - Communities try to conserve energy to relieve budget stress. Across the Rochester area, municipal leaders are looking to similar energy-conserving technologies to relieve stress on their budgets as well as the environment. Last year, Monroe County finished replacing the lights at all county-controlled traffic intersections with light-emitting diodes. These devices use about 80 percent less energy than the old bulbs. The county estimates that the replacement will save $400,000 a year. (April 8, 07) Democrat & Chronicle
  • County to recycle old computers at no cost— Monroe County will hold its first home computer recycling event later this month in partnership with Metro Wastepaper Inc. and its subcontractor Sunnking Inc. "This free recycling event provides a great opportunity for residents to celebrate Earth Day one day early and recycle their old computers and other electronics," County Executive Maggie Brooks said Friday.  (April 7, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • NYSDEC: Emergency Regulations in response to VHS Summary of Fish Health Emergency Regulations Effective March 9, 2007. Expires on: June 7, 2007. On March 9, 2007, new fish health emergency regulations were put in effect to prevent the spread of Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) and other fish diseases into the inland waters of New York. A summary of the revised emergency regulations that the Department has adopted is as follows:--New York State Department of Environmental Conservation - Protecting NY's Environment and Managing its Natural Resources

  • Help Prevent Invasive Insect Infestations: Don't Move Firewood! It's time to head off to open the camp in the spring. The firewood left over from winter won't get used at the house during the summer, so it makes sense to toss it in the truck to take up to camp. But because spring and summer turn out to be warm, that firewood doesn't get burned right away. It stays there neatly stacked and covered all summer until fall, when a warm fire is a necessity at the end of a long chilly day outdoors. --New York State Department of Environmental Conservation - Protecting NY's Environment and Managing its Natural Resources

  • State pledges action on Victor pollution The town supervisor met with top state environmental officials regarding underground contamination on the west side of town. ALBANY — State officials have agreed to increase the scope of water and air testing in the area of groundwater contamination that runs about a mile from the Syracusa Sand and Gravel mine to the Modock Road springs. They also agreed to begin a remediation plan this month that involves getting at the source of the contamination and identifying the extent and concentrations of the pollutants, industrial solvents that are believed to have spilled at or near the mine as far back as 1981. (April 6, 07) Rochester and Western Finger Lakes News, Entertainment, Sports, Opinions, Photos and More

  • OUTDOORS: DNR response to virus: Moratorium The Department of Natural Resources announced on Wednesday a one-year moratorium on stocking of millions of walleyes, northern pike and muskellunge in an effort to keep viral hemorrhagic septicemia out of the state's fish hatcheries and limit the spread of the lethal fish disease. The disease, which almost certainly came into the Great Lakes in the ballast water of a saltwater ship, has caused major fish kills from Lake Ontario to Lake Huron over the past two years. (April 5, 07) Detroit Free Press

  • ENVIRONMENT: Alesi wants to ban plastic bags - News & Opinion - Rochester City Newspaper San Francisco has banned the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags by large grocery stores and pharmacies. Could New York State be next? State Senator Jim Alesi is drafting a law that would require businesses to phase out the bags. (April 3, 07) Rochester City Newspaper

  • A fresh alarm on dangers of lead - UR official urges passage of state bill to kill 'silent monster.' - (April 5, 2007) — ALBANY — A former Rochester school principal who discovered that more than 41 percent of incoming pupils had dangerously high lead levels in their blood urged lawmakers Wednesday to pass legislation to kill a "silent monster." Democrat & Chronicle

  • Brooks Announces Collaborative Civil Preparedness Initiative - Joined by local Supervisors and Mayors, Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks announced a new Civil Preparedness Initiative (CPI). Under this cooperative initiative, every Supervisor and Mayor has agreed to identify and help operate Point-of-Dispensing Clinics (PODs) in the event of a large-scale public health emergency. MyMonroe. Opening Up Government. | Monroe County, NY

  • RG&E to upgrade Genesee plants - Rochester Gas and Electric Corp. will spend $20 million over the next three years to add 9 megawatts of generating capacity at two hydroelectric plants on the Genesee River, the company said Wednesday. (April 4, 07) Rochester Business Journal

  • Land preservation mostly fallow here - Monroe lags other counties in saving farm acreage - Monroe County loses about 700 acres of farmland a year to development. But preserving farmland has not been a priority for Monroe County government as it has for other counties. While other counties are actively chasing dollars to preserve agricultural land, Monroe County has been sitting on money earmarked for open space protection that has been collecting interest for five years. (April 04, 07) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Undredged river caused shallow Port - A survey of the Genesee River at the Port of Rochester this week found water depths have lessened as much as three feet in the past year, making the waterway more shallow. The U.S. Corps of Engineers survey, released today, found the outer channel between the river piers is among the most affected by sediment build up, or shoaling. Last month, the Stephen B. Roman, a cement boat and the only freighter still operating on the river, ran aground as it attempted to traverse the river. (April 4, 07) Democrat & Chronicle
  • UR tapped for flu bug work  Medical center to get $26M as part of U.S. anti-influenza effort — The University of Rochester Medical Center has been chosen as one of six sites nationwide that will work to unlock the mysteries of how the body responds to influenza and how to stop its spread. UR will receive $26 million over seven years from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to create the New York Influenza Center of Excellence. (April 3, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • EPA gives progress report on Holley chemical plant site - A high-ranking Environmental Protection Agency official gave a progress report this afternoon about the contaminated former Diaz Chemical Corp. site. Alan J. Steinberg, the EPA’s region 2 administrator, said since the EPA has begun cleanup in 2002, the agency has removed 9,000 drums of chemicals, 112,000 gallons of chemicals and 51,000 feet of chemical piping. (March 26, 07) Democrat & Chronicle
  • - News - Pathogen stalks fish Scientists urge action; shipping industry fears cost of controlling virus could be catastrophic - Sometime this spring, Great Lakes fish could start dying by the tens of thousands. It happened a few times last year: This year might be worse. The killer will be viral hemorrhagic septicemia, or VHS, a virus that's a mystery except for one thing – it spreads fast and kills many types of fish. (April 3, 07)
  • N.Y.'s montezuma wetlands are a vital stopover for migrating birds  - Every spring and fall, the Montezuma Wetlands Complex in New York's Finger Lakes region is the site of a great feeding frenzy. A solitary great blue heron stalks fish and frogs, blizzards of sandpipers and plovers peck in mud flats for crustaceans, kestrels swoop down on field mice. Two American bald eagles perch on the high branches of a dead tree, their yellow eyes trained on muskrats nibbling cattail shoots in shallow Tschache Pool. (April 1, 07) North Jersey Media Group providing local news, sports & classifieds for Northern New Jersey!
  • State Health Commissioner Kicks Off "Public Health Week" with Visit to Monroe County Public Health Sites - New York State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., today kicked off National Public Health Week in New York State with a visit to Monroe County, where he met with Monroe County Health Commissioner Andrew S. Doniger, M.D., M.P.H., and viewed local public health efforts to prevent childhood lead poisoning and sexually transmitted diseases. - New York State Department of Health


 WHAT'S NEW?  Each day scours the Internet for all environmental articles, events, actions and issues pertaining to Rochester, New York.

 Updates in for April 2007:

  • 4/230/07 - Sometimes there are a few who choose environmental science for their careers.  We need these people.  Check out a careen in Environmental Sciences: Environmental Science Program  --from SUNY Brockport

  • 4/29/07 -- The Media Does Matter: The media, that is, the way you get information about our environment and who you get it from really does matter. We are living in Exceptional Times, where anthropogenic (man-made) changes to the wholesale environment may jeopardize our children’s ability to survive in it. Just think a moment about the news reporting on the frantic and irresponsible reporting on the buildup to the Iraq War ( Bill Moyers Journal . Buying the War . Additional Interviews | PBS) and then look around you. Would our country be in the dire straits we are in the Middle East if our media had been responsible, free, unfettered, and doing their job properly? So, is it with environmental matters, the media is not doing their job in informing us in an unbiased, intelligent, responsible way. Find out from Media Matters the problems surrounding the most salient (as there are many large environmental problems we are facing) and imminent environmental problem— Media Matters - Global Warming: Misinformation Action Center Get a sense of the way this critical issue is being manipulated by a biased press only concerned with making profits for their constituents. Foremost, before we can even attempt to change how our society addresses the plethora of environmental issues facing us, we must educate ourselves about the facts, who to trust on getting those facts and who to trust on keeping us informed of the impacts or footprints of man on our environment. Enough politicking the environment, enough dodging the issues about our environment because you don’t think it’s important. If you don’t believe that Global Warming or pollution, the loss of biodiversity are important enough issues to you to pay attention to then We Don’t Get It! And a good reason why we don’t get it is because we are not listening to the correct media, those who are doing their job independently of corporate influence and policies, and actually competently gathering the fact, connecting the dots, and reporting to the public.
  • 4/28/07 --Here is a good site for learning about and joining in commenting about the future of our Finger Lakes.  Finger Lakes Future About the Finger Lakes Future Alliance We are a diverse group of Finger Lakes residents concerned about the direction of economic development in the area. We believe in a future based on tourism, environmentally sound planning, and principles of open government and public accountability.
  • 4/28/07 -- Here’s a good Rochester resource for making Rochester sustainable in design and transportation - RRCDC: Rochester Regional Community Design Center The Rochester Regional Community Design Center is a group of design professionals, planners and citizens with a shared interest in defining, promoting and helping to implement design excellence and sustainability as outlined in the "Charter of the Congress for the New Urbanization" and "AIA Livable Communities Doctrine". The RRCDC will act as a collaborative resource for the City of Rochester and surrounding region and offer design guidance and recommendations through participatory planning that reestablishes the relationship between buildings, sites, and sense of community.
  • 04/22/07 -  One sure way of being healthier is to be active. Rochester wants you to be healthier. Check ::: Be active | ::: out and get lots of Rochester-area information on staying healthier.
  • 04/14/07 - As we inch up towards Earth Day and this Earth Day purports to be the most spectacular in a long time because of the overwhelming acknowledgement by the peoples of the world that Global Warming is occurring and it is doing so because of man-made influence, it’s time to get a complete picture of what everyone is talking about. Can’t do better than get this comprehensive section of the - nation, world, technology and Washington area news and headlines : The Threat of Climate Change -
  • 04/11/07 -- Donations, especially Rochester-area donations, are a great way to recycle. Instead of throwing out those old clothes, furniture or appliances, why not donate them to a local worthy cause. Check out Friends Helping Friends - "We need the donations of furniture, household items, clothing, old appliances and just about anything that's NOT GARBAGE. We can use it or find someone else who can use it. We will pick up from your home and will do clear outs." --from Friends Helping Friends
  • 04/11/07 - If you’re not a member of Rochesterians Against the Misuse of Pesticides (RAMP), you’re missing out on a lot of important environmental health articles in our area. This month’s newsletter has a lot on getting your yard and garden ready this spring without al lot of toxins. RAMP has been instrumental in changing many environmental health policies in our area and informing us of those issues that our major media just won’t touch. But, you can’t assess them online, so make a small donation and get their newsletter. All you have to do is contact Audrey  and let them know that you want to join up and receive their important newsletter. And, let them know that suggested it.
  • 04/10/07 - If you have been reading the news on and looked at the stories on Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) for the last several months, then you’ll agree that it’s time to get alarmed at the new invasive species disease moving into the Great Lakes. Already, we have seen outbreaks of the disease and more will probably come. To get the official word on this disease from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Check out: Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia in the Great Lakes July 2006 Emerging Disease Notice
  • 04/04/07 -- Carbon Feedback: The niggling feeling that climate change watchers have is that because our weather system is so complex [ note the butterfly effect] that it is almost impossible with any precision to give an accurate model of how man-made greenhouse gases are affect any particular area and, objectively, what kind of changes are being observed. On that note: from The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) CarbonTracker – “CarbonTracker is a system that calculates carbon dioxide uptake and release at the Earth's surface over time. It estimates the carbon dioxide exchange from an 'atmospheric point of view'. Since CO2 mole fractions in the atmosphere reflect the sum of all the CO2 exchange at the surface, they form the ultimate record of the combined human and natural influence on greenhouse gas levels.” One can imagine that over time it will be possible to find out what areas are experiencing the most climate change, making it possible to construct global warming policies around objective data. Go on the tour of NOAA’s CarbonTracker site and give them feedback. Our city is not yet on their map, so send them your suggestions, and maybe we’ll be able to track carbon emission accurately and objectively for our area.   --Here's what NOAA says: "Why do we need CarbonTracker? Scientists ability to predict future climate; states, counties, and cities ability to monitor their CO2 budget; and everyone's ability to make the best usage of resources given estimated risks STRONGLY depends on improving the understanding and quantification of CO2 sources and sinks."
  • 04/02/07 - You know you cannot throw everything away in the trash or recycle bin. There are limits. Here’s a good document: Material the County’s “Blue Box” Program Does Not Include. Download the complete list of Non-Blue Box Program Materials (330k PDF). –form Environmental Services | Monroe County, NY
  • 04/01/07 - Promote REcom is a new page in I’m trying a new way to promote this unique site that has been around since 1998. I believe that more than ever our community, and all communities, need a non-profit, independent, and objective web site to find all environmental information, events, actions, and links. We are in an Extraordinary Time, when our environment is in jeopardy and the more we learn about the problems and the remedies, the soon we can get our environment back on a sustainable route. Please think of helping to promote as a concept that every community should adopt and use.

Find all Environmental Calendar items here

Events of the month:  Each Month I will post all up and coming environmental events until they are over.  Be sure to check the list often as events come and go and I only post this newsletter once a month. 

Events for May 2007 and beyond:    




Wind Events Many Dates and locations Wind Power Events and Events Around NYS. --from New York Wind Power Education Project. "To: NYS community, civic, and community organizations — There are many opportunities to learn about and discuss wind power in the next several weeks. Please consider attending these events and publicizing them to your membership. Also: The various regional planning councils in New York State have launched a program to help municipalities address wind power development. This effort, coordinated by the Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council, is described at: -- About The NY Wind Power Education Project The NY Wind Power Education Project is a collaborative effort of the Pace Law School Energy Project, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, and NYPIRG to increase the public's understanding of wind power issues, including its environmental benefits, in the belief that a better informed public can participate more meaningfully in the environmental review process and other public discussions surrounding proposed wind facilities. Twice per month, the NY Wind Power Education Project will distribute this email bulletin on wind energy issues and events around New York State. If you would like to forward announcements for possible inclusion in the WPEP Bulletins, simply email Anne Reynolds, . (The same address should be used if you wish to be added or removed from the list.)  
May 10-13, 2007 "Celebrate Urban Birds!" The Cornell Lab of Ornithology's "Celebrate Urban Birds!" event kicks off May 10-13, 2007 with events planned then and throughout the year. Hundreds of organizations are sponsoring activities such as gardening, bird watching, art, and science. These events will raise awareness about birds in the city and help scientists learn how birds use urban habitats. Anyone can participate, either on your own or with local organizations. It's all FREE! Please visit the special "Celebrate Urban Birds!" web site  to learn more about how you can "green up" your urban community! You'll find suggestions for activities and instructions about how to conduct a 10-minute bird count for 15 focal species. You can also register for the events and request a free "celebration" kit, while supplies last." -- from Birds - Cornell Lab of Ornithology  
middle school students on Friday, May 4 and for the general public on Saturday, May 5 05/04 & 05 - Our Fragile World -Check out nearly thirty environmentally friendly companies and organizations at the 13th Annual Our Fragile World from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day. This event is tailored to middle school students on Friday, May 4 and for the general public on Saturday, May 5. You will learn helpful tips about composting, recycling, responsible purchasing and more. This event is free with regular paid Zoo admission. --from Seneca Park Zoo Seneca Park Zoo

(Directions to Seneca Park Zoo)

Monday, May 14th - 7pm

-From Rochester Regional Group of the Sierra Club

Sierra Club Book Study Group        

We will be discussing 100 Ways America is Screwing up the World by John Tirman who is the Executive Director of MIT's Center for International Studies

Details: We will meet at Monday, May 14th - 7pm @ Friends Meeting House, 84 Scio St. Please be prompt; the door is kept locked at night. Someone will be waiting between 6:45 and 7:00 to open the door for our group and one other. If for some reason you are running late, call my cell phone: 329-9834.

Friends Meeting House, 84 Scio St.
  The latest Parks, Recreation and Human Services Calendar Update is available on the City of Rochester's web site. Click on the link below (or copy and paste the link into your browser) to view the document.  
May 11--Friday Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council, puts on two Regional Local Government Workshops each year, geared towards local officials, board members and engaged citizens. The upcoming Spring workshop is Friday May 11, at the Burgundy Basin Inn in Pittsford. Tracks include Climate Change in Western New York, Preservation Planning, Planning and Zoning 101, and Stormwater/ Water Resources. For more information or to sign-up, see  
May 12-13, 2007 IMBD SAVE THE DATES - May 12-13, 2007 -5th Annual Festival at Braddock Bay for International Migratory Bird Day -Live Raptor Shows, Expert Talks, Exhibits, Kids' Crafts Mother's Day Nature Walk Information on this year's theme of Climate Change -Information & printable schedule at: --from BirdCOR IMBD
 May 12th from 1:30-3:30 Tox-Out Saturday May 12th from 1:30-3:30 at 1045 S. Clinton Ave, Rochester NY 14620 Come out and see Ruby Shooz perform for free and while you're here learn about mobile air toxins and how we can help reduce them! The South East Area Coalition (SEAC) will also be showcasing the Tool Lending Library and new bike repair station. A gas can exchange will also be occurring so bring your old (empty) gas can and get a new EPA certified can. For more information call SEAC at (585)244-7405 1045 S. Clinton Ave, Rochester NY 14620
Every Saturday from now through May 12, plus June 16. Discover spring with a Saturday outing to the “Iroquois Observations” nature programs presented by the Buffalo Audubon Society at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge. Every Saturday from now through May 12, plus June 16. All programs are free and open to the public.April 2007 Outdoor Newsletter  --from Hike, Bike, Cross Country Ski, Snowshoe and Birding Trail Guide Books  
Sunday, June 3, 2007 -12:00 noon to 4:00 pm Hands-on Activities for all Ages! -Sunday, June 3, 2007 -12:00 noon to 4:00 pm -Champlin Beach Park, Hammondsport, NY -Admission and Parking Free -On the shores of Keuka Lake -Learn water testing and aquatic identification with award-winning Bradford science teacher, Rich Hurley -Exhibitors include “Living Stream” from Bath Fish Hatchery, Cayuga Nation Environmental Task Force, Steuben County Soil and Water, Steuben County Historical Society, Steuben County Sheriff’s Office, Hammondsport Library and Keuka Maid -Music, refreshments and readings about water. Lee Welles will read from her new Gaia Girls book, “Way of Water” -Sponsored by: Steuben County Environmental Management Council and the Steuben Sierra Club Committee -For more information, email  or call 607-569-2114 Champlin Beach Park, Hammondsport, NY
every Saturday Current Events with the Land Trust - Land Trust. Nature walks, cruises, birdwatching, luncheons and more go on throughout the year in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region. --from Finger Lakes Land Trust  Get the Summer Talks & Treks 2006 Schedule: (requires .pdf)  
  ASES National Solar Tour The American Solar Energy Society's National Solar Tour opens thousands of homes and buildings throughout the country to provide the public with an opportunity to experience solar power, solar heating, cooling, and hot-water, wind power, daylighting, and green building technologies. Visit a tour and learn energy efficiency strategies and methods, speak with homeowners and experts, and learn how the technology works, what it costs, and why it makes sense. These are “Real Places for Real People” that show real solutions for energy independence, places contributing to a sustainable energy economy. Read more about the tour and ASES. >>> Find a Tour Near You  - 2006 Tour Information 2006 tour information is posted by state. Updates may be provided until the tour date. ASES National Solar Tour Find a Tour Near You  - 2006 Tour Information 2006 tour information is posted by state. Updates may be provided until the tour date. ASES National Solar Tour
June 9, Saturday, 2007 9 am - 4 pm Genesee Valley Chapter of ADK 10th ANNUAL ADK OUTDOOR EXPO Saturday, June 9, 2007 9 am - 4 pm Mendon Ponds Park Beach Area - Have you ever wanted to just try a canoe or kayak but didn't know where to go? Have you ever wondered if there was a club with your outdoor interests? Here's your chance! The Genesee Valley Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club is hosting the 10th Annual Outdoor Expo on Saturday June 9th from 9:00 - 4:00 on the beach at Mendon Ponds Park. The Genesee Valley Chapter has organized this event with YOU in mind! Just come see what you can do in the Rochester area! Demonstrations, discussions and activities will be offered all day on a wide variety of outdoor related topics. This is the perfect opportunity to connect with people that share the same interests as you all in one location! The annual Expo attracts hundreds of people who attend more than twenty workshops on various aspects of outdoor activities. Attendees also view and inspect outdoor gear and try out canoes and kayaks on the Hundred Acre Pond. ADK, other local outdoor clubs, and local outdoor retailers present all of the events. Mendon Ponds Park Beach Area

**Action**  (The Internet makes environmental action easier.) Check out these items and help out ( ) has made it easy to act on environmental issue by searching for all online environmental actions pertaining to our area.

Actions you can take for May 2007:

  • **ACTION**  The best environmental action you can take this month is helping your community clean up.  Mayor Duffy’s Clean Sweep program is such a great project that it should be mentioned county-wide. 

Rochester-area Website of the Month:  The Rochester area has over 80 environmental groups. Rochester Environmentalists  Each Month, I highlight a Rochester-area website that helps promotes finding environmental information on the web.

  • Rochester-area Environmental Site of the Month:   Cayuga Lake Watershed Intermunicipal Organization "To create, modify, and implement a watershed management plan to allow local governments within the watershed to work together for the purposes of accessing dollars, cost savings, cost sharing, and efficiency of activities among municipalities. This plan when completed will prioritize water quality problems and solutions. The Intermunicipal Organization will provide direction for the regional planning boards and other staff, and oversee the entire project."


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