ITHACA COMMUNITY NEWS
November #1 2003

LABOR, ARTS, EVENTS, ACTIVISM, LOCAL HISTORY, YOUR LETTERS, FUN STUFF!

[This is the FIRST OF TWO MESSAGES MONTHLY sent to 7,454 Ithaca area residents]

************

FIFTEEN READERS OF THIS ISSUE HAVE WON GIFT CERTIFICATES with Ithaca Bakery ($5), Viva Taqueria ($5), Cinemapolis/Fall Creek Pictures (2 tickets), Ithaca Fine Chocolates (4-pack), Gimme! Coffee (1# coffee), Oasis Grocery ($5), ($6), Sparrow's Wines ($10), Ten Thousand Villages ($10), ABC Cafe ($10), Acorn Designs ($7.50), Toko Imports ($5), Dinosaur Drygoods ($10), White Lotus Home ($10), Surya Incense (pkg), The Yoga Corner (free class).
WINNING EMAILS (randomly selected by computer) ARE NOTED AT ithacanews.org Winners reply sending their mailing address.

************

HUNDREDS OF FREE LOCAL CLASSIFIED ADS Sell, Buy, Swap, Give Away, Rent, Find Work. Spend & earn Ithaca

************

200 & 300 BLOCKS OF NORTH CAYUGA ST. BECOME 2-WAY: east side travel lane remains closed until a signal is relocated & signs are changed at Seneca & Cayuga.

************

Three Mayoral Candidates: Ithaca, New York 2003 cartoon by Warren Greenwood
Carolyn Peterson (Dem. & WF )favors 'little' chainstores in Ithaca's Southwest Park, mixed with offices and residences.


Paul Glover (Green) favors locally-owned grassroots economic development and mutual aid systems.


Beau Saul (Rep. & Ind.) favors maximum chainstore buildout for maximum shopping opportunity.

EDITORIAL: GLOVER FOR MAYOR

Ithaca's Democratic Party regulars broadly endorse for mayor Carolyn Peterson, who advocates smaller chainstores in Southwest Park (80 acres still undeveloped), mixed with offices & residential. Although this plan will expand Route 13 traffic jams & cost taxpayers more than it generates in revenue, it provides an illusion of compromise after a decade of rancor.

And though mayoral diplomacy is a virtue, Ithacans will still argue whether multinational capital should dominate our local economy or whether local talent can create practical economic alternatives. We'll argue whether to rely more on automobiles or install new choices of mobility. The next mayor will be required to take sides. Without comprehension of grassroots economic development & ecological urban design, plus willingness to confront the demands of corporate capital, the mayor will open our doors to anti-union chains paying less than livable wages. Our lives would be increasingly controlled by remote elites indifferent to Ithaca's fate. Traffic would choke.

Not surprisingly, then, Alan Cohen's outspoken chainstore allies have endorsed Peterson-- Ed Hershey, Paulette Manos, Susan Blumenthal, Barbara Blanchard, the Ithaca Journal, the Ithaca Times &, informally, Alan Cohen himself.

Many Ithacans are nonetheless eager to elect Ithaca's first woman mayor. Democracy can be refreshed by diverse leadership-- by women & African-Americans, Latinos, etc. But every candidate should be expected to detail how their plans would benefit women & African-Americans overall. Compare, therefore, mayoral campaign literature & websites: Paul Glover, Carolyn Peterson, Beau Saul

Several respected progressives have signed onto Peterson's campaign also. They yield to the beliefs that 1) only Democrats are "electable," 2) compromise with powerful institutions is the best we can do at this time, 3) current budget realities need adjustments rather than innovations.

This editor & candidate, however, believes that Ithacans will prosper by exploring community control of Ithaca's economy. My beliefs are that genuine progress requires loyalty to local capital rather than multinational capital, & that Ithaca voters are more loyal to logic than to party labels. The Glover campaign newspaper, delivered to every door in the city by campaign volunteers, introduces 50 specific plans for creating local safety nets, strengthening local businesses & stabilizing taxes while maintaining services. My belief is thus that a Green Party candidate offering solutions to urgent problems can be elected.

--Paul Glover 272-4330

**********

FEATURED EVENTS

HOME ENERGY AUDITS & NY ENERGY SMART PROGRAMS 11/3, 7-8:30pm. "Find out about home energy audits & how you can have one done on your home. Learn how they can help you plan energy-saving home improvements." Pre-registration 272-2292

Ithaca Breast Cancer Alliance's 2004 Volunteer Kick-Off 11/3, 5:30-7:30pm, for Plants for Life sale. Women's Community Bldg.

VOTE TUESDAY 11/4, 6am-9pm. Polling places 274-5521

COMMON COUNCIL CONSIDERS WEAKENING ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW 11/5 See story below.

GREENSTAR MEMBERSHIP MEETING 11/5, 5:30-8pm, Womens Community Bldg. Discussion of long-term goals (no featured speaker), dinner.
---ORGANIC BYTES: Organic & Food News: subscribe

MARIPOSAS EN EL ANDAMIO (BUTTERFLIES ON THE SCAFFOLD), Cuban film 11/5, 8pm, Uris Auditorium, " follows a group of working-class drag queens in their day-to-day lives."

ECOLOGY AND POLITICS: THE ELECTION OF 2004 by David Orr, 11/6, 7:00pm, Emerson B, Phillips Hall, Ithaca College. "Orr is internationally recognized for his pioneering work on environmental literacy in higher education and his recent work in ecological design."

KOREA PEACE DAY 11/6-8: Voices of Modern Korea, sponsored by Cornell East Asia Program and the Korean Students ASSN.

COMMUNITY HEALTH INFORMATION ALLIANCE 11/6, 2:30pm TCPL: plan health fair for 5/04.

CITY REPAIR WORKSHOP FEATURES INNOVATIVE REJUVENATION PROJECTS 11/6-8 "There is a new movement afoot to save American culture from the deadly grasp of cars, corporations & cold hard cities." City Repair Project founders visit Ithaca 11/6, 7-9pm, Ulysses Philomathic Library, 74 East Lake St, T-Burg. 11/7, 12:15 & 2:30pm, Bache Auditorium, Malott Hall. 11/8, 10-2pm Baptized Church of Jesus Christ (412 First St.) for full-day workshop & walk-about the neighborhood. "Through a wide range of activist tactics & citizen initiatives, the City Repair Project has transformed Portland & is on a course to recreate many other cities as well. By taking control of our streets, we are empowered to begin creating a vibrant local culture, local human scale economies, & to take control of the decision making process that affects our everyday lives."

MATURE CONTENT: WOMEN ARTISTS LOOK AT AGING 11/7 reception, 5-7pm, Autumn Leaves

DUCT TAPE FASHIONS 5-8 p.m. See Spot Community Art Space opening reception 11/7, 5-8pm.Duct tape fashions by Rachel Reichert; knitted metal jewlery by Moonchild Designs; paintings & prints by Daniel Reinhold; new etchings by Ella Sadza & more. FESTIVAL OF ART: Visual Art, Artful Food (See Spot Sushi, strawberries), Healing Art by Nancy Young, LMT, "You Bring String" Living Installation by Sara Delahanty, Music by Mark Brutvan. Donations appreciated. See Spot: M-W Noon-5pm. Th-Sat. noon-8pm. 277-7560.

GODDESS YOGA OPEN HOUSE 11/8, 1-3pm, w/free yoga class & lecture "Women's Healing, Wholeness, & Spirituality," Tiamat on Commons. Classes for women in transition, teens, & girls. 272-3814

PRIMITIVE PURSUITS - FRICTION FIRE INTENSIVE 11/8, 9am-5pm "Learn the basics of making fires with a bow-drill & hand-drill. Take home your own kit. Plant identification & cordage making will also be covered. Fee: $60. HOURS accepted. Register: 272-2292, ext.261

FOREST HOME CHAPEL CRAFT FAIR & BAKE SALE 11/8 & 9 (Sat 9:30am-4pm; Sun 12-4pm)

JOHNSON MUSEUM OF ART FALL EXHIBIT RECEPTION 11/8, 5-7pm: wine bar, hors d'oeuvres, music.

WINTER BIRDS & CITIZEN SCIENCE 11/13, 7-8:30pm, Lab of Ornithology. Learn do's and don'ts of feeding birds & how you can assist bird research. Pre-register: 272-2292

FORCING BULBS FOR SPRING BLOOM 11/13, 7-9 pm, Trumansburg HS. Fee: $10. HOURS accepted. Pre-register 272-2292

BENEFIT EVENING FOR VILLAGE AT ITHACA 11/14, 7:30pm, St. Paul's Methodist, 402 N. Aurora
---"I AM A MAN, TOO: A HISTORY OF LOCAL BLACK MEN & THE CIVIL WAR" by Carol Kammen
---THE MONTH OF NOT SPEAKING by Michelle Berry
---RECEPTION w/light refreshments. Tickets $8 advance; $10 at door. K-12 free. 274-6820. "The Village at Ithaca Initiative advocates equity & excellence in ICSD for African-Americans & Latinos. Programs: Brainstorm tutoring program at Southside, Saturdays. Student Opportunities for Academic Recognition (SOAR) mentoring boys 6-14. village_at_Ithaca@hotmail.com

ART TRADING CARD EXCHANGE 11/14, 6pm, See Spot Community Art Space, 108 the Commons. "Make 6 art cards in any medium each 2 and a half by 3 and a half inches using the theme the 7 deadly sins. Bring completed cards to See Spot & trade them for 6 new different cards by 6 other community artists." 277-7560.

WEST HAVEN FARM GREENHOUSE FUNDRAISING DINNER 11/15, EcoVillage: model energy-efficient regional food supplier expands greenhouse to 90'x36'. Tickets nilshodg@ecovillage.ithaca.ny.us

REVOLUTION OF THE HEART ART SHOW 11/15, ABC Cafe, benefit for Bicycles for Chiapas

AMERICA RECYCLES DAY CELEBRATION 11/15, 10 am-2 pm, Tompkins County Recycling Center, 122 Commercial Ave. Celebrate over ten years of recycling in Tompkins County. "Guess number of pages in an entire bail of office paper; win fabulous recycled products. Guess number of pounds of apples, tomatoes and onions it took to make 5 gallons of finished compost and win (your choice of) a compost bin, aerator or the 5 gallon bucket of compost itself! Free refreshments. Bring recyclables or hazardous materials.

HARVEST SUPPER BENEFITS RED CROSS 11/15 , 5-7 pm, W. Danby Fire Hall (Sylvan Lane, off Rte. 34/96). Donation of $6.00 (adults) or $4.00 (<12 & seniors). Tickets: Danby General Store, or Peter (256-5343 days, 564-0030 eves) Debi (564-0398).

"TAKING IT TO THE STREETS! A Living Wage for Hotel Workers." 11/15, 11am-3pm. "Living wage supporters fan out throughout the community seeking to get our petitions for a living wage for hotel workers signed w/pledge to patronize only those Ithaca hotels that commit to pay their employees a living wage." To help: chf6@cornell.edu

BOOKSALE to Benefit CUSLAR 11/18, 9am-5pm, Memorial Room, Willard Straight Hall

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL 11/18, 7:30, Kahin Center, 640 Stewart Ave. 257-3156

************

AMAZING ITHACA HISTORY

* November 16, 1887: NATURAL GAS tapped at depth of 50 feet, on Clinton St.
* November 17, 1898: Nine-pound PICKEREL caught in Inlet.
* November 18, 1839: Ithacans contribute over $1,000 to the AMERICAN COLONIZATION SOCIETY after a lecture by Dr. Proudfit. The Society was organized to ship free Blacks back to Africa.
* November 19: After 33 years, Leon Burling is found not guilty of DISORDERLY CONDUCT. He had been arrested in 1915 & the case was not disposed until 1948.
* November 20, 1963: Biplane takes off from Enfield airfield WITHOUT A PILOT, flies one mile above treetops, crashes into a field.
* November 21, 1947: DEWITT HISTORICAL SOCIETY incorporated.
* November 22, 1903: Saloon keeper visits home of a man who drinks all he earns. Wife askes he be sold no more liquor, bartender agrees & sends her a ton of coal to make amends.

AMAZING ITHACA HISTORY CALENDAR 2004 at Autumn Leaves Used Books, Bookery, GreenStar, Pete's, TC Museum, Mayer's. "Many Things Never Before Remembered!"

***********

YOUR LETTERS

"Thanks for the latest. very informative newsletter. Do you know where I could get info on chlorination & flouridation of drinking water? I know the flouride issue was a topic of discussion a while ago here but do not know any of the involved parties." --Joey Gates
---[REPLY] The EPA union of scientists opposes fluoridation because of "gene mutation, cancer, reproductive effects, neurotoxicity, bone pathology, dental fluorosis, brain & kidney damage." Bill Clark was a prime leader of the Ithaca opposition.
--------

"Here is another Ithaca domain name: ithacadoulas.com Thanks for all the work you are doing!" --Anja Timm
---- "Another ithaca domain: ecovillage.ithaca.ny.us --Joe
---- IthacaDomains.com--------

"Amsterdam is a city which had a referendum about reducing cars in the city in the early 90s. It passed & so they reduced autos by 50%-- if I remember correctly. I think Ithaca needs to be sure people are on board before attempting such measures in the USA, but it has been done!" --Maria
--------

"I would like to hear your thoughts about what we do now that Home Depot is here, the land is raped, the empty building would be an atrocity too... do we/can we dismantle? Buy locally - particularly energy efficient items (!)? This does decrease the use of fuel of going out of town for many (& increase fuel use to 'import' on a grander scale) & it does increase tax income for the city... I hear you that the cost of water, roads, large scale importing, & more outweigh the income from taxes, but what do we do now that HD is here, Lowe's & Walmart are working on it... what do we do?" --J.K. Rose
---[REPLY] The City still owns 80 undeveloped Southwest acres where the next mayor can throw good after bad, expanding automobile & corporate sprawl. My preference will be to shift City resources to creating locally-owned safety nets & regional buying clubs (including for building materials). We'd thereby generate local jobs repairing the environment & plugging leaks in the economy. Were these big boxes boycotted they'd soon be big empty boxes.
--------

"Just wanted to thank you for your newsletter. We were able to find a native Czech speaking person to help us with our next play through a request from someone else looking for Czech people to speak with!" --Rachel
--------

"I won a gift certificate! Wow - I've never won anything before in my life. Thanks!" --Mary Lee ---[REPLY] Congratulations! You're a winner from now on. Please reply sending your mailing address.
---- "I won! I won! I won! I so like your random computer picking. Hope all is well with you, & the [mayoral] campaign is going well! Ithaca needs you." --Justine
--------

"I just read your amazing article "Los Angeles: A History of the Future" I'm a student writing a research paper on 'Air Pollution in Los Angeles'. Since this topic is partly linked with some of your aspects, I wanted to ask you, if you have any information that would help me."-- Tobias Rauscher
---[REPLY] The direct route to full current/historical info is Google search: Air Pollution Los Angeles. Main pollutant source is automobile, w/industry second. Complete solutions wait to be implemented.
--------

"In response to the question about the Doo Dah van & house being a vibrant part of the Ithaca scene-- has anyone noticed the offensive & downright dumb message painted on the van 'Boobs Not Bombs'?" What a philosophy." --Nocturia Raptor
---[REPLY] The phrase can be regarded as crude indeed. However, the intent of the author, surrounded by nursing mothers, contrasts the life-giving of breast milk rather than the life-taking of weapons. --------

"Point of Clarification: not all Gimme Coffee is TransFair certifiable Fair Trade coffee:
---"Our latest offering, the organic Guatemalan Asobagri, is the first coffee from Gimme that is Trans-Fair certifiable as Fair Trade. Gimme selects its coffees primarily on the basis of performance in the cup (ie taste). Asobagri was the first Organic/Fair Trade coffee we've encountered that "out-cupped" all the other competing raw coffee beans, (FT & non-FT) from that origin. Asobagri coffee co-op
---Coffee crisis The Gimme Coffee supply chain --Kevin --------

"Too bad we don't live in Ithaca. We would vote for the most sensible, sensitive, direct-speaking, knowledgeable, forward-looking, practices-what-he-preaches candidate for mayor in decades- maybe ever- YOU! Good luck! May the majority put their vote where your voice is!" --Karen Allaben-Confer & John L. Confer
--------

"Could you add my mom & my sister to the ICN email list? Thanks." --Kat
--------

"Just wanted to let you know about our latest website: Childfree By Choice: The Childfree-Thinker Site which has a list of hundreds of famous childfree people, childfree friendly movies, books, and quotations, hundreds of links to newspaper & magazine articles about the childfree movement from 1979-2003, & much more.
---"I'd also love to link to websites of local childfree Ithacans." --Tabetha (Dunn) childfree@zuzu.com

************

COMMON COUNCIL CONSIDERS WEAKENING ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW by Bill Carini
---The City of Ithaca's Department of Planning & Development has drafted a radically amended version of the City of Ithaca Environmental Quality Review Ordinance (CEQRO)that eliminates many "triggers" for a proposed project to require the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Special consideration which current city law affords to wetlands, floodplains, & waterways such as Fall Creek, Six Mile Creek, & the Cayuga Inlet have been removed in the new proposal. The proposal has been passed by the Planning & Economic Development Committee, and will be considered by Common Council 11/5.
---The State of New York, in its Environmental Conservation Rules and Regulations, has established a list of "Type I" actions, each of which "carries with it the presumption that it is likely to have a significant adverse impact on the environment and may require an EIS." (An "action" is a development project or an act of a government agency that could have an effect on the environment). The state law goes on to say that "agencies may adopt their own lists of additional Type I actions" and "may adjust the thresholds to make them more inclusive". Currently the City's Environmental Quality Review Ordinance does just that: Actions within 100 feet of the water resources listed above are in the City's Type I list, along with actions close to unique natural areas and historic buildings. The City also adopted numerous other more stringent thresholds for many actions that are on the State's Type I list. For example, the State threshold for the construction of a parking facility to be considered a Type I action is 1,000 vehicles, whereas the City Type I threshold is 50 cars.
---In a letter to the City's Conservation Advisory Council & Planning and Economic Development Committee, Deputy Director of Planning & Development JoAnn Cornish gave a rationale for some of the proposed changes by saying that the current ordinance "fosters confusion for applicants and project sponsors seeking to comply with both laws [state & city] for projects in the City of Ithaca." She writes that "the attached draft has revised CEQRO to follow the formatting and language of SEQRA wherever possible."
---Many municipalities across New York State have enacted their own versions of Environmental Quality Review legislation, including adding their own Type I lists. These include big cities such as Rochester & Buffalo, small cities like Babylon and Rye, towns of North Castle & Niskayuna, & even some villages such as the Village of New Paltz, to name just a few.
---In her letter Cornish goes on to write, "In addition, this draft is an attempt to eliminate conflicts between CEQRO and SEQRA [the State Environmental Quality Review Act]. SEQRA clearly states that no actions listed as Type II are subject to environmental review. CEQRO has been revised to eliminate conflicts between the State Type II actions and the City of Ithaca Type I actions." The Type II list contains actions that the State has determined do not have a significant adverse effect on the environment. While Cornish correctly points out any such conflict would be contrary to state law, neither Thys Van Cort, the City's Director of Planning and Development, nor Cornish were able to point out to me any such conflicts between the City & State laws.
---The third reason Cornish gives for revisions in the City's Type I list is to "better reflect the extent of review typically required for projects of various scale and impact in the City of Ithaca." According to Thys Van Cort, "The City's Type I list includes actions that are not very big. We're constantly running away from our own regulations. Maybe 19 out of 20 times we don't require an EIS. If that keeps happening, maybe there's something wrong with the list."
---Council member & mayoral candidate Carolyn Peterson was on Common Council when the City's current list of Type I actions & thresholds were approved, & she disagrees with Van Cort: "The thresholds we established are applicable to the scale of Ithaca. Our list reflects the long-standing concerns we know about in our community. The State law covers such a broad area: I think it's entirely appropriate to have our own ordinance."
---Cornish is quick to point out that "this will not preclude the same extent of environmental review, it just does not assume everything will need an environmental impact statement. We rarely do environmental impact statements because most projects can be adequately reviewed w/ a long environmental assessment form & supplemental information (i.e. traffic study, drainage study, etc.)"
---However, a Long Environmental Assessment Form is by no means the equal of an EIS. For one thing, an EIS has to go through a draft phase, followed by an opportunity for public comment, & a final phase, during which more public comment is allowed. An EIS also must contain an analysis of alternatives to the proposed action, to give decision makers a fuller picture of how environmental impacts could be mitigated.
---Michael Culotta is chair of the Conservation Advisory Council, or CAC, which the City of Ithaca established to advise Common Council on matters affecting the environment. Speaking on behalf on the CAC, he said: "We think that the thresholds for Type I actions should stay the same." An EIS, he explained, is "a useful tool for decision makers to make an informed decision, to have a real alternatives analysis completed." Culotta has no objections to some of the proposed changes, but continued, "we felt that threshold levels were a separate issue & not necessary for streamlining of the process to be accomplished."
---Another member of the CAC, attorney Dan Hoffman, warns that a city agency would be hampered in its ability to require an EIS for actions that are currently on the City's Type I list if it removed these actions from the list. "The presumption of adverse environmental impacts will have been lost," he says, "the City would be on shakier ground if it required an EIS for such a project, if this were challenged in court."
---Mayoral candidate Paul Glover said, "The City has long had commendably stronger environmental laws [than the state], but has for as long also chronically ignored them. As mayor I would seek to replace chief planner Van Cort, who has for 30 years favored what environmentalists opposed, & opposed what environmentalists favored." --[from Blinking Lights, Fall 03] tebpub@tebarron.com

**********

Thanks to Homer & Jane at LIGHTLINK for reliable internet services.

*********

paul5glover@yahoo.com