Tuesday, September 30, 2008

10/1 Public Hearing on Proposed Smoking Ban

The No Smoking sign, designed by one of the me...Image via WikipediaFrom Ruth Wahtera:

As many of you know TFAC and the American Cancer Society have been working with the County Legislatureto pass a law that prohibits smoking on all county owned or leased property. It looked like all of the Dems supported the resolution until just recently when another watered down resolution was proposed by Legislator Ronk. His proposal is only a ban within 50 ft. of county building entrances and a much weaker penalty system.

There will be a public hearing held on Legislator Ronk's weaker law on October 1st at 6:30pm in the Ulster County Office Building. We need speakers to come and support the full smoking ban
proposed by Legislator Rob Parate, Majority Leader Brian Cahill and the Public Health Committee.

There was also some discussion about exempting Ulster County Community College from the law.

If you can come and speak, you will need to sign-up prior to the public comment session. The sign-up sheet is in the front. Your speech should be short ( less then 1-2 minutes long). I am hoping to have everyone that came to the public hearing last month speak as well as some other volunteers.

Thank you for helping to make Ulster County a healthier and safer place to live and work!



Danielle Heller
Regional Director, Prevention and Early Detection
American Cancer Society

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Watch PBS's New Documentary on the Uninsured

PBS logo (1971-1984)Image via WikipediaTonight, a documentary that should be required viewing for anyone interested in the great health care debate of our time will air on the Public Broadcasting System. Titled "Critical Condition," the film follows four average Americans suffering from a variety of ailments and struggling to get by without health insurance.

From the AAUW Public Policy Committee:
The NYS Health Foundation sent this email information about a new documentary being aired this month on PBS
Numbers alone provide ample evidence that we must reform our country's health insurance system: 47 million Americans are uninsured; uninsured cancer patients are 25% more likely to die than insured patients; and uninsured Americans cost employers $130 billion annually. The ill, uninsured Americans who filmmaker Roger Weisberg tracks for a number of months are heartbreaking examples of our system's failings.

No matter your position on top-of-mind health insurance topics such as universal coverage or market improvements, this film will serve as a valuable educational tool concerning the holes in the system and what can be done to remedy them.

"Critical Condition" premieres Tuesday, September 30 at 9 p.m. and will re-air on Wednesday, October 1 at 7 p.m.; Thursday, October 2 at midnight, 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.; and Sunday, October 5 at noon. Please click here for more details on the program.
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Monday, September 22, 2008

How to use social media to support your learning

A tag cloud with terms related to Web 2.Image via WikipediaMichele Martin has offered everyone an opportunity to learn about how to use social media. Michelle is a great blogger I follow who focuses on nonprofits and lifelong learning. Here's a quick overview:
The Bamboo Project Blog: "On Monday, September 29, Harold Jarche, Tony Karrer and I are opening the doors on a free 6-week learning event that will help people get up to speed on social media and how it can be used to support learning. The 'course' is sponsored by Work Literacy and the eLearning Guild, in part as a run-up to DevLearn 2008. But don't worry--everyone is welcome.

Each week we will share new activities that will allow you to explore different Web 2.0 tools and discuss their implications for learning. The activities can be done at your own pace and will be hands-on."
You can read the details and how to sign up on her post.
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Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Critical Day for Your Volunteers - 27 Cents is Not Enough!

Chuck SchumerImage via WikipediaFrom Ruth Wahtera:

If you volunteer anywhere, depend on volunteers, or just believe that volunteers shouldn't lose money when they give time, read this message and take action.

"Ask your Senator to Co-Sponsor the GIVE Act

Under federal law, paid employees can be reimbursed 58.5 cents per mile when driving their cars. But volunteers can only deduct 14 cents per mile. This harmful discrimination against nonprofit volunteers must end.

The GIVE Act of 2008, (S. 3429) introduced on a bipartisan basis by U.S. Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and John Ensign (R-NV) and now co-sponsored by thirteen (13) other Senators, would eliminate the disincentives that prevent charitable volunteers from doing what they really want to do, which is to help the needy in their communities.

Unfortunately, momentum is building behind an alternative that is inadequate: S. 3246 (the 'Cardin/Snowe/Mikulski' bill), with its new companion bill, H.R. 6854, introduced in the House by Representatives Lewis (D-GA) and Ramstad (R-MN). While this alternative approach would make many of the fixes in the GIVE Act, it would only raise the charitable mileage rate to 27 cents a mile; (or 46% of the standard business mileage rate) as opposed to the GIVE Act's rate of 41 cents a mile, or 70% of the standard business mileage rate.

27 cents is not enough!

Nonprofit volunteers should not be treated as second class citizens, less worthy than business or government employees. Please take action. Support GIVE. "

And, thanks, Senator Schumer, for sponsoring Give.
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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

How Did Your Members of Congress Vote?

AAUW has issued its annual Congressional Voting Record on issues important to women. We're fortunate that our Federal elected officials support key legislation. But, if you have family or friends who live outside Ulster County, you might want to forward them a link so they can check out their representatives.

How Did Your Members of Congress Vote? « AAUW Dialog: "The good new is that this Congress was noticeably more supportive of AAUW’s positions in the areas of education, economic security, and civil rights, with more than half the representatives and senators supporting AAUW’s issues on at least 80 percent of the votes in this voting record. However, we know that barriers still remain and that AAUW must continue to work to break through those barriers. With the November elections just around the corner, we urge you to hold your elected officials accountable for their votes and to know where the candidates stand on issues that are important to women and their families."
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Monday, September 15, 2008

Klyne Esopus Amazing Concert

From Anne Gordon:

Saturday, October 4, 2008 at 2 pm
at the Port Ewen Reformed Church
Salem St., Port Ewen

The Story of Sacred Music in Esopus

The Association of Native Americans in the Hudson Valley
Ulster County Outreach Community Choir
The Bruderhof String Quartet
The Klyne Esopus Concert Chorus

Under the direction of Linda Bresnahan McCarthy
Guest organist Rev. Kenneth Walsh

Benefits the Klyne Esopus Museum. Suggested donation: $10 person. Free Refreshments following the concert.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Shop for a Cause Saturday, Sept. 20th

From Marjorie Regan:
Let's support the local domestic violence shelter.

All Macy’s stores nationwide

Macy’s celebrates a national day of support for

local non-profit organizations in our community.

It’s as simple as purchasing a $5 shopping pass through Family Domestic Violence Services

100% of the ticket price benefits

Family Domestic Violence Services

Call 845 331-7080 ext.127 or email kathywelby@aol.com to order your shopping passes.

Shop For A Cause Savings Passes provide all day savings with 20% off* most of your purchases storewide, 10% off* select home purchases.

Your shopping pass also includes a

*EXCLUDES: Cosmetics and fragrances, fine and fashion watches, designer and bridge handbags (including Coach, Dooney & Bourke, Juicy Couture and Marc by Marc Jacobs), designer and bridge shoes, Louis Vuitton, Polo/Ralph Lauren, Lauren and Tommy Bahama, Lacoste,

28 Shop, Oval Room, Martha Stewart Furniture, Lauren Ralph Lauren Furniture, Waterford , Lalique, Baccarat Tempur-Pedic, All-Clad, Henckels, and Wusthof. Not valid on EDV, Macy’s Gift Cards and Gift Certificates, special orders, previous purchases, restaurants and nonmerchandise-related services, Gift Registry kiosks, gift wrap, selected licensed departments or as payment on credit accounts. Discount will be deducted from the current price (regular, sale or clearance, as applicable). Cannot be combined with another savings pass or discount offers, except for new accounts (subject to credit approval). Valid Saturday, September 20, 2008 .

**No purchase necessary. One entry per customer, please. See shopping pass or store for details.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Ten Years to A Green Economy Conference Sept 19-20

Emilie Hauser, a Kingston environmentalist colleague asked me to pass this on to you:

Folks, it's about 2 weeks til Sustainable Hudson Valley's third annual conference, Cool Communities/ Living Economies: Ten Years to a Green Economy. The program is published, and online registration is now available for your convenience, at http://www.sustainhv.org/ccle08-home. This regional gathering is set for September 19 – 20, 2008, at the Seven21 Media Center, 721 Broadway, Kingston, NY.

With green opportunities bursting into view, and the need greater than ever, this spirited annual gathering brings together business, government, educational and civic leaders to strategize for an accelerated transition for our region.

Generously sponsored by Chronogram, the Ellenbogen Group, the Hudson River Estuary Training Program, and Prism Solar Technologies, the conference brings together entrepreneurs, industry and civic leaders, funders, educators and engaged citizens for a practical exploration of the ways we can work together to accelerate the region's transition to a green economy.

In this bulletin:

Strategies for a Green Economy: Local Sourcing
Final conference program
Speaker profile: Stacy Mitchell

Strategies for a Green Economy: Local Sourcing – commentary by Melissa Everett from a forthcoming "Clearwater Moment" to be aired on WAMC Northeast Public Radio on or about September 8, 2008

Ten years to a green economy! The goal is daunting – or motivating. But one of the most promising strategies is actually the closest at hand: strengthening the existing local business base.

We can't abandon fossil fuels overnight, but we can reject the most frivolous uses of them. Take a mind-walk through your supermarket, and visualize those apples from Washington and Chile and China. Join me in saying, "No more."

In the Hudson Valley of New York, like many regions in transition, the food and farm industries are leaders in nurturing local markets. They "brand" communities with signature events – Meet me in Marlboro, Columbia County Bounty, the Ellenville Blueberry Festival. They give rise to vibrant local markets. They inspire cookbooks, like the gorgeous one recently published by the Wallkill River School. Our Hudson Valley is rich in economic support infrastructure that is helping farms stay viable and people to nourish themselves on local foods – from Valley Table Magazine to the Hudson Valley Agribusiness Development Corporation.

These supports help grow real businesses – including scalable ones like Winter Sun Farms, which freezes local produce for year-around consumption.

What would happen if we set about creating similar supports for other key industries – green building, water quality, native horticulture? Imagine the native plant festivals and horticulture trainings… green building salons at the local hardware store… renewable energy projects to stabilize farms …

What makes "local-first" such a strong platform for green development is not just the enterprises it can grow, but the spirit of innovation it sparks.

Cool Communities/ Living Economies 3: Final Conference Program

The finalized program is now available at http://www.sustainhv.org/ccle08-home! We're walking the talk on "local first" with many speakers who are leading figures in sustainable development and business from our very own region.

Supplementing these, we have three featured speakers representing key strategies and success models with nationwide significance:

Angie Vincent, ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability
Visionary local leaders are a major force in the wakeup to more sustainable strategies for development. The movement of local and state governments responding to climate change now involves roughly half the U.S. economy. Local Governments for Sustainability is a worldwide membership organization that provides technical assistance, sophisticated consultation and the solidarity of peers to help local leaders take the necessary steps for sustainable communities. Angie Vincent, northeast regional director, will address financing strategies to help communities go green cost-effectively. (www.iclei.org)

Stacy Mitchell, Senior Researcher, Institute for Local Self-Reliance
The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (www.ilsr.org) is a premiere research and technical assistance organization that, for thirty years, has helped communities build resilient economies from the ground up by capturing waste and shifting production toward renewable resources. Stacy Mitchell focuses on policy and market strategies for building sustainable economies on a foundation of independent business especially a strong retail sector.

Jay Gilbert, Co-Founder, B-Lab
B-Lab is the center of the fast-growing movement to re-define the legal structure of businesses using the vehicle of the B-Corporation, with a charter oriented toward environmental, social and financial bottom lines. B-Lab works closely with a number of sustainable business alliances around the country to help accelerate their members' greening while promoting financial success. (www.bcorporation.net)