by Karina Franke
October 19, 2007
Dear Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission and Save the Pine Bush,
My name is Karina Franke, and I’m a fourth grader at Furnace Woods School. Ms. Howell is my enrichment teacher, and Ms. Podesta is my classroom teacher. I’m writing to you for the Karner Kids from Cortlandt Manor in Westchester County. When my family visited the Discovery Center, I learned all about how your organizations work to protect the Pine Bush.
I first became aware of the Pine Bush last October when I started a campaign to get the Karner Blue named State Butterfly for an independent research project in my enrichment class. Since then the campaign has really taken off! I’ve had a lot of help and good luck along the way. Kids at my school and around my town are involved in the campaign. We call ourselves the Karner Kids from Cortlandt.
Governor Spitzer and his office have been very supportive and helpful. Senator Breslin has introduced legislation (S6307) to name the Karner Blue State Butterfly. However, in order to have Assembly support, the Karner Blue must win a statewide kid vote this November. Assemblywoman Sandy Galef (http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/?ad=090) has organized a contest for New York 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders called “Vote for a New York State Butterfly” (http://assembly.state.ny.us/member_files/090/20070607/). She asked the other members of the Assembly to invite their schools to participate. Unfortunately, Assembly members from the Capital District Region are not on the most recent “Yes I will participate” list that she gave me. We’re thinking that it would be important to the Karner for these members to sign up:
1. Ron Cannestrari (http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/?ad=106),
2. Roy McDonald (http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/?ad=112),
3. John McEneny (http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/?ad=104),
4. Bob Reilly (http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/?ad=109).
Schools sign up to participate through their Assembly members. (This link takes you to Assemblywoman Galef’s mailing http://www.karnerblueforstatebutterfly.org/HowToRegister.pdf). Each school’s Kid Vote Count must be returned by November 14th. We believe that it’s very important that the schools in the Albany Pine Bush, Wilton, Queensbury, and Saratoga areas participate because those students probably know and really care about the Karner Blue. Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward (http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/?ad=113), whose District includes Queensbury, has recruited a number of schools.
I’ve contacted Assembly members Cannestrari, McDonald, McEneny, and Reilly about the program, but I haven’t yet heard back. Time is running out. Can you encourage them to participate and sign up lots of schools in their Districts. Can you help me find a way to remind the third, fourth, and fifth graders in your area of the Karner Blue’s troubles? We have posted general information about the Karner Blue, the Voting Program, and our campaign at http://www.karnerblueforstatebutterfly.org. Templates for making campaign t-shirts, buttons, support ribbons, and bumper stickers are also on the website. My dad is a computer scientist so he knows how to build basic websites. Could you announce the vote on your site and link to my site?
In September, Assemblywoman Galef had me on her TV show “Dear Sandy” (http://www.karnerbueflorstatebutterfly.org/DearSandy090807.pdf). It’s on TV in our area on Cablevision Public Access 2 Television for four weeks in a row. I got to thank my teachers – Ms. Howell and Mrs. Toovey, my friends, and many legislators at the very beginning, which really helped me get over my “butterflies”! Both the Assemblywoman and Ms. Freeman-Bates, a butterfly expert, gave me lots of time to talk about the Karner Blue during the show. I was really lucky to be able to say why it’s the best candidate and how naming it State Butterfly could help save it from extinction.
May I send you a copy of the show?
Do you have any other advice for me?
Karner Blue “Kampaign” Manager
Published in theNov 2007 Save the Pine Bush announcement