Op-Ed: Issues with Handling of Healthcare

Our current circumstances have many using a critical lens to look at our healthcare system and its fundamental shortcomings. Potential alternatives, such as the NY Health Act and Medicare for All, spark curiosity amongst many, including Tony Del Plato, a trustee for the Village of Interlaken and a business owner in Interlaken. Del Plato wrote an Op-Ed for the Finger Lakes Times on how New York State is handling (or neglecting to handle) healthcare around the pandemic and how they should be instead, arguing for a more affordable, functional, and better equipped healthcare system. Read the full Op-Ed here.

Tell NYS Comptroller: No Fossil Fuel Bailouts!

With the nation’s attention on the pandemic and the ensuing economic fallout, the fossil fuel industry is taking every opportunity to profit from disaster. They’ve lobbied for the EPA to loosen regulations and pushed forward pipelines like Keystone XL. And now they’re lobbying to ensure that coal, oil and gas companies receive a significant portion of the bailout funds meant for small businesses. They also want $3 billion that could go to COVID-19 relief to be used to purchase oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. It is critical that we push back.

Please join a nationwide effort to email Congress and demand that they oppose all efforts to bail out the fossil fuel industry. You can find your representatives here.

What to do: Call NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli at 518-474-4044 and urge him to divest the State Pension fund from fossil fuels. You can also tweet him at @TomDiNapoli or @NYSComptroller.

Phone Script: Please divest the NYS pension fund from fossil fuels. It is wrong to invest in companies that are destroying the planet and it is a risky financial investment. The state lost $500 million alone in its investment in Exxon last year. It is time to divest.

Sample Tweet: New York State has about $13 BILLION invested in fossil fuels. @NYSComptroller DiNapoli refuses to #DivestNY, no matter how many billions of dollars he loses. Call @TomDiNapoli at 518 474 4044. Divest now and save lives.

Thanks to Leslie Cagan at Peoples Climate Movement New York for sharing this message with us!

New Resources for Food Delivery and Safe Rides to Covid-19 Testing

Free and safe rides in a sanitized vehicle now are available for individuals scheduled for COVID-19 testing at the Cayuga Health Sampling Site located at The Shops at Ithaca Mall thanks to a group of transportation service providers and partner agencies including United Way of Tompkins County, Food Bank of the Southern Tier, Human Services Coalition, Tompkins County Health Department, TCAT, Center for Community Transportation and Way2Go. You must register for testing online or by calling 607-319-5708, then call 2-1-1 between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm to schedule a ride with ASAP cab company. This service is free of charge. For emergency or regular food delivery, individuals should call 2-1-1 between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm for assistance. Emergency food requests will be directed to the United Way of Tompkins County which is organizing deliveries from the food hub via Gadabout. Want to help? Volunteer to deliver goods by bicycle! You can be equipped with a bike delivery rig if needed. More info is available on the Bike Walk Tompkins website. For more info, contact Norma Gutierrez at by email or by phone at (607) 272-2292 ext 162 (Voicemail #248).

Your Help is Needed on the Renewable Heat Front!

What you can do to help: Submit a comment today to the Public Service Commission telling them to stop the gas infrastructure buildout and help with the conversion to renewable heat now. The Commission’s staff will soon release a detailed proposal for a new gas planning policy. This will determine the future of heat in New York. We need your action to make sure the future of heat is renewable energy, not more gas pipelines. We need your voice now to help hold the utilities accountable for reducing reliance on global-warming, health-and-environment-destroying fracked gas and moving toward renewable heat – NOW!
Share this message with your networks!

Director of Sustainability search Postponed in Ithaca in midst of COVID-19

The City of Ithaca enacted a hiring freeze this week, putting the newly created Director of Sustainability position, which would have started in early May, on pause for the foreseeable future. The new director was supposed to create an action plan for implementing an Ithaca Green New Deal, which would aim to create a carbon-neutral city by 2030, amongst other ambitious goals. A global conversation has ensued surrounding the necessary transition to more sustainable and just practices and infrastructure in the realms of energy & climate, economy, healthcare, etc, in response to COVID-19. It seems that the time is now to reimagine the structure of society on all levels, so this news is rather disappointing. What steps do you think the city should take moving forward? Read the Ithaca Voice article for more details about this news.

Fruition Seeds

Develop your green thumb during quarantine! Fruition Seeds has you covered with 300 varieties of certified organic vegetables, herbs & flowers to surround you with beauty & abundance. They also select varieties for early maturity, productivity & disease resistance here in the short seasons of the Northeast so you & your garden will thrive in every season. They’ve even got a “Plant Now! Guide” (like this one for the month of April) to set you up for success. Check it out! 🌱🍅🌽🥦🌺🌼✨

Cinemapolis

Did you know that Cinemapolis is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit? They are supported not only by ticket sales, but also donations and fundraising. In response to the statewide “stay at home” order, they are offering a weekly slate of new films for patrons to view at home, so you can enjoy current indie films while supporting local business. To see what’s playing now and what’s coming soon, visit their website🍿🎥📽🎭🍫✨

Ithaca Trails

What better way to lift your own spirits in these hard times than to catch some rays and move your body? Trails in the Ithaca area are still open to the public. On the Ithaca Trails website, you can search the areas trails, and can even narrow your results by activity, difficulty, length, dog friendliness, lake views and much more! Such a valuable resource. Check it out! 🚵‍♀️🌳🌞🍄🏃‍♂️✨

Lixtik Natural Lip Balm Ithaca Soap 17th Century Suds

17th Century Suds is an environmentally conscious and socially responsible manufacturer. Since 1999, they’ve been producing our own recipes of beeswax lip balm, bar soap, liquid soap, olive oil shampoo, and creams with organic coconut oil, American organic sunflower oil, American Northeast beeswax, the world’s finest 100% water processed essential oils produced by small farmers around the world, European olive oil, and their own garden-grown fresh calendula. They are also an approved vendor for the season at the Ithaca Farmers Market! Stop by and show them some love 💗 Or, purchase their products online! For more info, visit their website. 🛀🧽✨

Windsong Farm

Windsong Farm raises grass-fed and grass-finished beef and lamb, and makes excellent fleeces, sheepskins and an array of wool products. They also produce pastured chicken and duck eggs, duck and fruit jams and jellies. They are another one of the approved vendors this season at the Ithaca Farmers Market, and you can even order online ahead of time and pick up there! For more info, visit their website.

Ithaca Welcomes Refugees

Ithaca Welcomes Refugees 👨‍👧‍👧🌏✨ (IWR) is a volunteer-led community initiative that fosters a welcoming and fair environment for refugees and at-risk immigrants who come to the region. IWR provides a variety of resources and support services, like the Global Roots Play School that offers affordable, accessible childcare to parents eager to learn English, and Response Projects focused on responding to the specialized needs of both newly arrived refugee families and at-risk immigrants who have lived in the Ithaca area for a longer period. Want to get involved? Visit their website to see open volunteer positions 🙂

Ithaca Farmer’s Market Open Despite COVID-19

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Ithaca Farmer’s Market opened this weekend to the public, with some added precautions to keep vendors and customers more safe. According to the Ithaca Voice, “The market is scheduled to return for its spring market on Saturdays in April at the Steamboat Landing pavilion, with shortened hours of 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The pavilion has 88 booths, but this month the vendor capacity will be capped at 40 –– with vendors spaced out in every other booth. The shorter hours and the empty booths will allow more room for customers to navigate the shopping area with the suggested 6 feet distance between patrons.” In addition, the market has been equipped with hand sanitizer stations and has outlined some guidelines for customers to follow, to make for the safest experience for all parties involved. To learn more about what this means for you, read this article by the Ithaca Voice and see guidelines on the Ithaca Farmer’s Market website.

Pathstone

PathStone serves as the Constituency-Based Organization for the NYSERDA Community Energy Engagement Program in the Finger Lakes area, helping low to moderate income families access subsidies for energy efficiency, Clean Heating and Cooling technologies, and Solar for All. Pathstone also has grants that can assist with home rehabilitation projects. They are a non-profit and focused on helping local families improve the safety and comfort of their homes, in addition to providing other career and employment services, education and health services and much more! The folks over at Pathstone are absolute rockstars! For more info on their work, visit their website.

e2e Materials

e2e Materials, which stands for earth-to-earth, is based in Ithaca, New York, develops, designs, engineers, and innovates the next generation of furniture, cabinetry, and other wood-based products, that are smarter, stronger, and cheaper; made in the USA with uncompromised sustainability. e2e’s products use locally produced, annually renewable resources, including soy flour, and natural grass fibers, such as jute, flax, and kenaf. Additionally, e2e uses only a small fraction of the energy required for wood composites, saving billions of pounds of CO2. See the listing on our map for contact info!