Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton’s term ends at the end of 2020, and she has announced she will be retiring after her ninth term representing the 125th district, meaning that several democrats have stepped forward to run and take her place for the upcoming term. It is our responsibility as citizens to be educated on who is running to make an informed voting decision on June 23rd (primary) and November 3rd (general), so a handy guide has put together here! Aspiring candidates can still file to run until April 2nd, so more candidates may step forward, but these are the existing candidates (last updated Feb. 29, 2020):
Protesters took the streets in Ithaca to oppose the Coastal GasLink pipeline construction through Indigenous unceded land in “British Columbia”. Police blockades on both Green Street and Cayuga Street last Wednesday morning caused major delays for travelers, some of which were exiting their vehicles to confront the protestors. To read more about the protest, see Anna Lamb’s Ithaca Voice report. Want to get in on the action? Visit the Wet’suwet’en solidarity coordinating facebook page. For updates from the frontline, see the Unist’ot’en Camp Facebook page and the Wet’suwet’en Access Point on Gidimt’en Territory Facebook page. To donate, and for all the info you could ever need, visit their websites.
30 U.S. senators, including local NY Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, have signed a letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler asking them to implement the 2019 PFAS mitigation plan, made over a year ago. High PFAS are thought to be, at least in part, attributed to firefighting foam used by the town of Romulus for nearly 60 years, which ran off into the water. PFAS have been linked to birth defects, cancer, and other health risks, which raises concern for communities around Seneca Lake. Read more in the Finger Lake Times. Photo credits: Finger Lake Times.
Love the idea of eating locally-grown fruits and veggies? Want to support your local farmers and local economy? Don’t know where to begin? buylocalfoodny.org, a project of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County, is a great place to start. There you’ll find a directory of places to find local food, tips for saving money, and much more. A wonderful resource to take advantage of, for those new to buying local and all you seasoned buyers!
Crow and Owl Farm is a farm startup on White Hawk Ecovillage in Danby. Farm-owner, Steve Woinoski, is currently prepping fields for hazelnuts and berries. He’s also a member of the New York Tree Crops Alliance (NYTCA), which is a small group of tree farmers from Tompkins County and the surrounding areas who helped to make Steve’s dream a reality!
Read more about Steve’s journey and NYTCA here!
Job searching? Consider a green career!
Way2Go brings together people, information, resources and leadership to work towards a more equitable and sustainable transportation system in Tompkins County and beyond. Way2Go partners on numerous transportation projects providing education and outreach on mobility challenges and solutions in Tompkins County and beyond. They also share information in person and online through their Facebook page and the Way2Go website, which houses an online directory of every transportation service in Tompkins County for local and regional travel, how-to videos, tips and tools and ways to get involved in community initiatives. Way2Go is a program of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County. To learn more about this organization and their partners, read this article.
Check out this article on geothermal heat pumps, written by Sustainable Tompkins’ own, Gay Nicholson!
A new round of training will be starting up in the Spring of 2020–the fifth year! Energy Navigators help Tompkins County residents learn about ways to reduce (and eliminate) their fossil fuel use, and transition to renewable forms of heating and powering their homes and transportation. Navigators go through a ten-session training, and volunteer through public outreach and by sharing information with friends, family, neighbors and others in their networks.
The City of Ithaca is seeking a Director of Sustainability to launch the City in an organizational transformation initiative to meet the goals of the City’s Green New Deal. The successful individual will have experience with issues surrounding climate change, be a strong visionary with deep commitment to environmental justice and advancing social equity through environmental stewardship, public health, and sustainable urban development.
Applications are due February 10.
With so many proposed plans, it is hard to differentiate the pros and cons. Dr. Brian Coyne, a federal health care lobbyist, will compare the various national health care proposals (ACA, Medicare for All, Medicare by Choice, Public Option, etc). A representative from New York Health Care Plan will present that version of a State based health care system.
Neighbor to Neighbor (formerly Love Knows No Bounds) is a volunteer-run non-profit that collects and delivers good quality donated beds and furniture, and performs critical home repairs to ensure that our neighbors live in a safe, functional, and comfortable home. We are working toward a world in which the housing needs of the most vulnerable citizens in our community are at the forefront of people’s consciousness. Check out what they’re up to!
New York passed the CLCPA this summer, the most ambitious decarbonization bill of any state so far. As part of the bill, the state must name a Climate Leadership Council to help oversee the transition. The Sunrise Movement has a chance to get one of it’s own members, Ryan Madden, onto the committee as a Youth Representative. Ryan has trained with Sunrise, works for the Long Island Progressive Coalition, and helps lead the New York Renews coalition.
Gerri Wiley of Owego, NY has done everyone in the NYSEG service territory the wonderful service of investigating and evaluating the companies who are offering solar, wind, hydro, or biogas generated electricity for sale. You can sign up every year with a supplier, and Gerri updates her database every month to let you know what is on offer through the ESCOs (electricity suppliers) or which regional community solar farm you can sign up with for your electricity account. Check it out here!
The Seneca Park Zoo’s Environmental Innovation Awards celebrate leadership in environmental stewardship, raising the profile of innovative companies and people working to solve complex environmental problems in the Rochester and Finger Lakes Region. Awards were given in five categories: Youth, Individual, Civic & Nonprofit, Small Business, and Large Business. Check out these local innovators here! 🤩🌍✨ Congrats winners!