Apply for the national award-winning Citizens Academy!

Citizens Academy is an interactive educational program of FOCUS Greater Syracuse that informs citizens about how local governments are organized and how services are funded and delivered. It is a place to learn about citizen involvement through an integrated approach to economic vitality, social equity and a healthy environment. Anyone can be an activist. But if you’re nervous to get involved because you don’t know the ins and outs of local government – this is the resource for you! Classes will run every Wednesday from September 15, 2021 through November 17, 2021 from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm. Apply here by July 31st to be considered for this National Award Winning opportunity!

LED Flares: A Lake Friendly Alternative for Ring of Fire

Every summer, incendiary highway flares create the beautiful red glow we know and love during the Ring of Fire. While creating an exciting fizz and bright light, they also leave behind potassium perchlorate burn-off, which contaminates the air, soil, and lake, in addition to leaving behind metal spikes that can pollute the lake. Consider a new lake-friendly tradition this summer: LED flares.

Show up for Green Amendment Day on July 13th!

Green Amendment Day is dedicated to education and engagement on the power of constitutional Green Amendments for protecting the rights of all people, including future generations, to a clean and healthy environment–with a particular focus on how Green Amendments transform our legal system to strengthen Environmental Justice. We’re challenging you to speak up and take action to demand environmental rights for ALL and to help spread the word across your community, state, and our nation.

Water Quality Cruise on Cayuga Lake for Kids

Join the Community Science Institute (CSI) on an exploration of Cayuga Lake aboard the Floating Classroom on Sunday, July 11, 2021 from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM. For the 16th year running, CSI’s 4-H2O Youth Education Program will be partnering with the Discover Cayuga Lake (DCL)’s Floating Classroom to collect and analyze water samples from Cayuga Lake. Participants will learn how to collect water samples using a Van Dorn sampler and will analyze them while on board the Floating Classroom’s cruise ship, the MV Teal. Data collected by youth volunteers will be included in CSI’s online water quality database.

Fix-a-Flat-Tire free workshops in Ithaca

Local resident Claire Dehm will offer three free Women at the Wheel bicycle repair workshops at the Ithaca Farmers Market pavilion in summer 2021. These workshops will be open to women and non-binary residents of Tompkins County, and give extensive instruction on fixing flat tires, helping to make bicycling a more viable form of transportation for more local people. A Neighborhood Mini-Grant will cover all costs of the workshops. Read more about recent Mini-Grant awardees here.

Sign the petition to #MakePollutersPay!

Have you heard? Congress is finally getting ready to vote on a bill that would make polluters, not everyday families pay to clean up Superfund sites. Right now, we need to let our legislators know why bringing back the Polluters Pay Tax is so important — and we need your help to get out the message! If you believe polluters should pay to clean up their messes, use this link to send a letter to your representatives in support of the Superfund Polluters Pay Restoration Act of 2021. Polluters Pay is essential to protecting our communities from corporate pollution and holding polluters accountable for their toxic messes. Let’s show our reps in Washington that we will fight for Polluters Pay!

Social justice education for kids

Cornell Cooperative Extension Tompkins County is proud to coordinate sessions of Chicana Motherwork’s 6-week curriculum for Tompkins families. This education plan is for parents seeking to teach their children about historical oppression, social justice, and how to create a socially just world. Current sessions are intended for ages 4-10 but can be modified for all ages. Class sessions will be hosted online only. Register here. Groups of 3-4 families will be engaging in intimate discussions surrounding race, racism, sex, class, gender, and LGBTQ+ issues. Registration is rolling. Please email tompkinsfamilies@gmail.com with any questions.

Learn to Ride! Or brush up on your bike skills

Do you need a learn to ride session or want to refresh your basic bike skills including your skills for safe riding in traffic? Small group bike skills classes for adults are back for Summer 2021. Each session will be customized to the skills you want to learn. Instructors are equipped to work with a range of abilities.

Give on June 23rd for your chance to win an upcycled lamp!

Giving is Gorges is tomorrow! Even though early giving has already started, this year’s main event on June 23rd has something special in store for all Sustainable Tompkins supporters. Our dear friend Jon Jensen has kindly donated a one-of-a-kind, fully functional upcycled lamp that will be raffled off to ANYONE who donates between 12:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on the 23rd. Share our fundraiser on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter and get an extra entry per platform!

$20M dollars to “rescue” Tompkins County. How do you want to see it spent?

The Tompkins County Legislature is seeking community input on the use of $19.8 million in one-time funding made available through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP). Input is being sought through a survey asking Tompkins County residents to rank their top three priorities for the funds; priorities are limited to eight options clarified for local municipalities by the Federal Government. Results of the survey will inform discussions by the Legislature, including at the June 30, 5:30pm expanded Budget Committee of the Tompkins County Legislature where Legislators will begin the process of planning how best to spend and/or invest ARP funds.

A setback for activists in the crypto fight…

Assemblymember Anna Kelles, who is the sponsor of A7389, the bill that would put a moratorium on Proof-of-Work cryptocurrency mining, recently gave an update on the bill’s progress. The bill was vetoed in the last few days of the legislative session, which ended on June 10th. This was attributed to union opposition, mainly, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, who are an electrical union that represents 40 contract workers employed by the Greenidge mine in Dresden.

Nu Spice Catering

Nu Spice is an Ithaca-based, black-owned, woman-owned catering company, specializing in soul, southern and comfort food. NuSpice Catering was born in 2007, when Candace Foster followed her passion to share timeless family recipes with the community. Since then, Nu Spice Catering has fed hundreds of people at dozens of events — including Ithaca’s Taste of Soul event in 2019.