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Public Advocate Dominick Calsolaro

By Tom Ellis ALBANY, NY: Former Albany First Ward Common Council member Dominick Calsolaro spoke at the June 18 SPB dinner about Environmental Issues in Albany.  He began thanking SPB President Rezsin Adams for her many years of friendship.  During the US-Vietnam War, he said, Rezsin often came into his family’s restaurant.  Dominick spoke about the many issues he worked on during his 12 years on the Albany Common Council, some of which he continues working on. He said the big issue in…

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Chris Amato Speaks About the Oil Trains

by Tom Ellis ALBANY, NY: Albany Law School graduate, former DEC Assistant Commissioner, and Earthjustice attorney Chris Amato spoke at the March 20 SPB dinner about Oil-by-Rail in Albany. Mr. Amato said the recent massive increase in North American oil-by-rail shipments impact most of NYS and he hopes to represent a broad coalition on this matter.  The North Dakota Bakken and the Alberta tar sands are different types of oil but both are an issue for Albany and New York….

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Albany County Executive Dan McCoy, Styrofoam Ban and Protection of the Pine Bush

by Tom Ellis On December 12, when Albany County Executive Dan McCoy signed legislation passed by the county legislature a month earlier that bans chain restaurants and eateries from using polystyrene (Styrofoam) take-out food containers, he credited his three children, especially Egan, a senior at Albany High School, for pressuring and reminding him to be more environmentally conscious. Mr. McCoy may have had other reasons for signing the legislation. It was passed by a two-to-one margin and thus the legislature…

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The road to justice is paved with truth

an editorial by Melissa Hale-Spencer, reprinted from the Altamont Enterprise, July 18, 2013 First they came for the socialists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me. — Martin…

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Historic Rapp Road Community— An Update

We continually remember before Our GOD and Father Your Work produced by Faith Your Labor prompted by Love, and Your Endurance Inspired by Hope in Our LORD JESUS CHRIST. 1 Thessalonians 1:3 Our ancestors lived by this scripture and put it to use in daily life. They believed that Hope and ultimately Faith produced Endurance and Perseverance. They left oppression, poverty and racism behind in the South with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. The meager earnings they…

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Earth Day SPB Dinner

by Tom Ellis ALBANY: As is usual, the April SPB dinner featured a variety of speakers and an Earth Day theme.  Each spoke 5-10 minutes.  Lynne Jackson introduced them and said the people who began Save the Pine Bush met at SUNYA (now the University at Albany) in the 1970s. Saima Anjam of Environmental Advocates (EA) discussed the legislative agenda for the April 23rd statewide Earth Day Lobby Day.  One bill is the Child Safe Products Act that would allow for the banning of whole classes…

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Save the Pine Bush Turns 35 in February

by Lynne Jackson     On February 6, 2013, Save the Pine Bush will be 35. I wanted to reprint the story of our formation (the extended version can be found on the website, http://www.savethepinebush.org) Save the Pine Bush came into being on February 6, 1978. It snowed that day. It snowed so much that the offices of the New York State government closed down and stayed closed the next day. This is the only time that I remember in the…

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Ward Stone is a Hero

by Tom Ellis   ALBANY, NY: In late February, the NYS Inspector General released a 40+ page report trashing Ward Stone, accusing him of bullying his subordinates, intimidating his supervisors, misusing state funds, and being some sort of a monster.  The report drew considerable news coverage including a February 28 article in the New York Times.  Some of the allegations are undoubtedly true, at least in part, but the report is overkill and hopefully the public views it as such.  The report…

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Neil Gifford of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission Speaks

by Tom Ellis   ALBANY: Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission Conservation Director Neil A. Gifford was the featured speaker at the March 22 SPB dinner.  Reszin Adams introduced him.    Mr. Gifford said he is a conservation scientist by training.  He said the Pine Bush Commission now has 27 staff, is an authority, the preserve contains 3200 acres, including at least fifteen invasive species.   He said there are hundreds of acres of Blue Lupine planted, the Karner Blues Butterfly population doubled from 2010 to 2011, the preserve…

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Fishers in the Pine Bush! May 2011 Pine Bush Dinner with Scott LaPoint

Albany, NY: Recently, a friend out in Rensselaer County grabbed my arm and said “don’t you dare release your rehabilitated (orphan) rabbits out here—The Fisher will get them!” She went on to describe an animal so mean and vicious that no other mammal would be safe around them. And so, though I haven’t ever met a fisher, I got an idea of the reputation that precedes them. It turns out that fishers are a member of the weasel family. They…

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Habitat Restoration and Mitigation Project: How it Fits in to the Preserve Goals for Restoration” Neil Gifford Gives Save the Pine Bush Dinner Talk in March, 2011

by Grace Nichols ALBANY, NY – Neil Gifford, Conservation Director at the Albany Pine Bush Preserve, has been working in the Pine Bush since the early 1990s. He describes the mission of the Albany Pine Bush Commission, a body representing the many different governmental interests in the Pine Bush land, as “to preserve the pitch pine/scrub oak barrens” as authorized by Environmental Conservation Law Article 46 (1988) in which the legislature declared it is in the public interest to protect…

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What’s afoot at the Preserve?!

By Grace Nichols November 2010 was notable in that folks in the community kept contacting us about the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. First it was the neighbors over on Lincoln Ave, wondering why the “forever wild” patch next door was being clearcut, as a new road was being put in connecting Lincoln Ave and Fox Run. Now that the people who had asked for that road for a decade were evicted, the City has put in a good one. Fox…

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The Great Pesticide Hunt

by Lynne Jackson ALBANY: Grace Nichols spoke about pesticides at the June Save the Pine Bush vegetarian lasagna dinner at the First Presbyterian Church. Pesticides include herbicides, insecticides and rodenticides. Grace explained that unlike other types of pollution which are a by-product of making something, pesticides are designed to kill organisms. Pesticides are a whole new category of pollution. Grace began by explain how anticoagulant rodenticides (Brodifacoum) work. The pellets are these very pretty blue-green crystals (children often think these…

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Zero Waste or Waste Authority?

by Tom Ellis, Citizens’ Environmental Coalition Save the Pine Bush and friends won a partial victory in late February when Clough Harbour & Associates (CHA) revised the preliminary draft solid waste management plan it had issued in mid-December on behalf of a “steering committee” appointed by Albany Mayor Gerald Jennings. CHA faced considerable pressure from two steering committee members, SPB, Citizens’ Environmental Coalition, and many others. During the past fifteen months, the city of Albany has been developing a long-range…

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Karine Franke Vote for the Karner Blue for New York State Butterfly

by Lynne Jackson Update: Alas, on January 7, 2008, the Karner Blue came in second in the vote for NYS Butterfly. Here are the election results. ALBANY: Karina Franke spoke at the November Save the Pine Bush vegetarian/vegan lasagna dinner at the First Presbyterian Church. Karina began by explaining how she became involved in her work to make the Karner Blue to be chosen as the NYS butterfly. Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, "Karner Blue" Kampaign Manager Karina Franke, NYS Senator Vincent…

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Prayer

Prayer Prayer Breakfast May 11, 2004 On Tuesday, May 11 at 7:00 AM, people gathered to listen to Rev. Sam Trumbore of the First Unitarian Universalist Church read a prayer outside the Empire State Plaza Convention Center. View photos of the protest. This is his prayer: Protest Prayer Before a Bush/Pataki Prayer Breakfast Blessed God of our hearts, minds and spirits Holy Spirit of Light, Life and Love Precious Saving Power that moves us toward the good Protector of our…

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SPB Awarded Stewardship of Aquifer

SPB Awarded Stewardship of Aquifer We couldn’t resist. . . What can I say? My husband, Daniel W. Van Riper, and I were strolling through a fair in Scotia, New York, when we came upon an exhibit from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). They were handing out applications to adopt bodies of water in NYS. On a lark, we picked one up, as Dan thought Save the Pine Bush could apply to adopt the aquifer under the Pine…

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Ward Stone Gives ‘Em Hell! Declares Support for Save the Pine Bush

Ward Stone Gives ‘Em Hell! Declares Support for Save the Pine Bush Ward Stone Gives ‘Em Hell! Declares Support for Save the Pine Bush by Daniel W. Van Riper, Aug./Sept. 90 At the June 20 Pine Bush dinner, NYS Wildlife Pathologist, Ward Stone, avowed enemy of polluters and brain-dead bureaucrats, offered praise and encouragement to the members of Save the Pine Bush. "We need more groups like Save the Pine Bush," he said. "New York State would be destroyed rapidly…

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Opinion – Saving butterflies

Opinion – Saving butterflies Opinion – Saving butterflies The following editorial is reprinted with permission from the Concord New Hampshire Monitor. This editorial appeared on the Opinion page on September 1, 1989. This editorial is about a tiny plot of land near Concord New Hampshire, where a few Karner Blues make their home. It may soon be time to kiss the Karner Blue goodbye. As a story in Wednesday’s Monitor by reporter Tad Shannon pointed out, the last New England…

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Last Chance to Say No to Besicorp!

Last Chance to Say No to Besicorp! Last Chance to Say No! No to what could be the biggest and ugliest industrial complex ever built on the banks of the Hudson River: a papermill and cogeneration plant called Besicorp, to be sited in the City of Rensselaer, next to the historic Fort Crailo neighborhood and directly across from Albany’s waterfront. How? By sending written comments before October 10, 2003 to: Administrative Law Judge P. Nicholas Garlick NYS DEC Office of…

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Public Hearings on the Pine Bush

Public Hearings on the Pine Bush Public Hearings on the Pine Bush Make your voice heard about Pine Bush Preservation Monday, April 20, 1998 – There will be a hearing on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Charlie Touhey office complex at 300 Washington Ave Ext and the LaBerge office complex at 365 Washington Ave Ext at the Common Council Chambers, City Hall, Eagle Street, Albany. These proposals which will destroy approximately 20 acres of Pine Bush. The Draft…

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COUNTING FORESTS’ SENIOR CITIZENS

by DINA CAPPIELLO, Staff writer They are the trees that have survived it all — the bouts of disease, the axes of loggers, the lightning storms that uproot a forest like a gardener’s hand pulls weeds. Most would be older than your great-great-great-great grandfather, if he were still alive. But until this Saturday, there was no systematic search under way for eastern New York’s stands of old-growth forest. Most were discovered during the course of other research, or by chance…

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Overview of Climate Crisis and NY Renews

by Tom Ellis ALBANY, NY Mark Schaeffer of 350.org and Conor Bambrick of Environmental Advocates (EA) spoke at the September 21 SPB dinner about the climate crises and the need for a political climate change. Mark led off saying pre-industrial age atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations were 280 part per million (ppm) and today are 400+ ppm, in part the result of years of inaction resulting from decades of disinformation by the fossil fuel industry, including Exxon. He said we…

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Study Links Lyme Disease, Rural Building

by Claire Hughes, Staff writer Excessive development of rural countryside, which leads to the loss of some animal species there, could be the reason the Capital Region and other areas of New York have seen recent spikes in rates of Lyme disease, according to a study being published this week. A group of researchers, including a biologist from Union College, have concluded in a paper to be published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that biodiversity loss contributes…

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Neil Gifford Presents A Pine Bush Update

by Tom Ellis ALBANY, NY: At times speaking poetically, Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission (commission) Conservation Director Neil Gifford spoke at length about the Karner Blue Butterfly (KBB) at the March 21 SPB dinner. He began with a friendly joke that “It’s Lynne and Rezsin’s fault I am here tonight,” a reference to the commission being created by state government after many years of SPB advocacy and litigation to protect the local pine barrens known as the Pine Bush. Mr….

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Dunn Landfill — Stinks Up the School; Parents and Residents Protest

RENSSELAER, NY: Rensselaer residents took a big step toward closing the Dunn (Waste Connections) construction and demolition (C&D) debris landfill in November when they elected Mike Stammel as mayor of their city. Mr. Stammel, also chairman of the Rensselaer County Legislature, has taken an anti-dump stance and works with locals eager to immediately close the dump. As of mid-November, more than 900 comments have been posted on ItStinks.org about dump odors, many from residents who say the dump is literally…

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Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission Proposes a New Plan – Mark October 18 to Attend Hearing

ALBANY, NY: Save the Pine Bush filed suit in New York State Supreme Court over the Albany City Planning BoardÕs approval of the Roman Catholic Diocese senior housing project in the Pine Bush. The Planning Board violated the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) in approving this project on an essential Karner Blue Butterfly migration corridor. Lewis B. Oliver, Jr. filed the suit on behalf of Save the Pine Bush. “The population of Karner Blue butterflies has dropped drastically in…

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007 at 7 p.m.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 at 7 p.m. Stanford Home Hearing Information Hearing Notes January 23 Hearing Canadians are Coming! Archeological Information Photos – Outdoor Photos – Indoor Bonding Editorial Preservation   Donate Contact   Skip the ‘state of the union’ on Tuesday, January 23rd, and join the ‘state of Niskayuna’ rally and gathering at 7 p.m. Town Hall, Niskayuna, where the action is. Urge a NO vote on the Special Use Permit. The vote is close. One swing vote could…

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Yes, the King’s Royal Yorkers are Coming!

Yes, the King’s Royal Yorkers are Coming! Stanford Home Hearing Information Hearing Notes January 23 Hearing Canadians are Coming! Archeological Information Photos – Outdoor Photos – Indoor Bonding Editorial Preservation   Donate Contact   Yes, the King’s Royal Yorkers are Coming! Well, one man is representing the Captain Richard Duncan Company. Background: In the 1777 and 1783, Captain Richard Duncan commanded a company in the 1st Battalion of the King’s Royal Regiment of New York, under Sir John Johnson. Richard…

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Home From Nowhere – Book Review

Home From Nowhere – Book Review Home From Nowhere Book Review by Lynne Jackson As a child growing up in the suburbs in the sixties, I really wanted sidewalks. I could not understand why there were no sidewalks. I envied the children who walked to school, and were even allowed to walk home at lunch. As I got older, I wished that I could take the bus, but as the bus stop was two miles from my house, along a…

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SPB Files Intent to Sue

ALBANY, NY — Save the Pine Bush and the Alliance for Environmental Renewal have filed a notice of intent to sue Pyramid Crossgates over its violation of its waste water permit for the past three years. Pyramid Crossgates has a State Pollution Discharge Elimination System (“SPDES”) Permit 0107930 to discharge sodium into the Krum Kill. During the winter months for the past three years, Crossgates has exceeded its permit limits. Save the Pine Bush (SPB) and the Alliance for Environmental…

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Waste to Energy Seems Like A Good Idea, But Is It Good For The Environment?

Jim Travers, a resident of Coeymans, NY, attended the February 15 Save the Pine Bush dinner and heard Jack Lauber speak about Waste-to-Energy. These are Jim Travers’ comments. – Ed Please forward this email to all those on the Save The Pine Bush mail list. Feedback is welcomed. Thanks. Jim Travers I do not think incineration of garbage is healthy for anyone or our environment, whether it is used to create electricity or only to eliminate a portion of the…

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Save Holy Innocents Church, Albany, New York

Letter to the editor, Times Union, July 21, 2015 Photos by John Wolcott of Holy Innocents Fate of Albany’s historic Holy Innocents church unclear An opportunity to save the former Church of the Holy Innocents Seriously Endangered Church of The Holy Innocents Section of former Church of Holy Innocents collapses Read excerpts from a book about Holy Innocents Floor Plan of the Church of the Holy Innocents Read the story of Holy Innocents Church in Albany, New York, and why…

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Save the Pine Bush Sues the Town of Colonie

Save the Pine Bush filed suit in New York Supreme court against the Town Board and the Planning Board of the Town of Colonie over their acceptance of a Generic Environmental Impact Statement for the Lishakill-Kings Road study area. This Generic Envrionmental Impact Statement (GEIS), if approved, would have a devastating impact on the Pine Bush located in the Town of Colonie. Save the Pine Bush sued for several reasons. First, the Planning Board failed to take a hard look…

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COVID-19 and Dunn Landfill

by Tom Ellis RENSSELAER, NY: The Covid-19 pandemic highlights a major problem with government in the USA, NYS, and locally.  Executive agencies employ vastly more people than legislatures despite the complaint that legislatures are bloated. Elected executives (presidents, governors, county executives) appoint commissioners and other top staff, often subject to approval by a legislative body, to lead executive agencies.  These appointed officials are thus directly answerable to the executive, who can fire them at any time. Lower ranking employees have…

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Mark Dunlea Speaks about Climate Change – Asks People to Take Action Now

by Hugh Johnson Mark Dunlea, the Green Party Candidate running for the New York State Comptroller, spoke at October Save the Pine Bush dinner. He commenced by stating the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s assertion that we have only 12 years to do something about Climate Change (really Accelerated Global Warming, AGW). A “miracle” solution is needed to cut back Greenhouse Emission by 97% which the IPCC feels is needed to begin to reverse AGW.  This would include reducing the use of Natural gas and Fracking,…

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