Search Results for: State Street

Monarch Butterfly Conservation Crisis

Monarch Butterfly Conservation Crisis Monarch Butterfly Conservation Crisis On September 12, 2000, The New York Times published an urgent warning by noted Monarch butterfly expert Dr. Lincoln P. Brower, and other scientists and conservationists, describing a crisis situation at the Monarch butterfly’s overwintering grounds in central Mexico (The New York Times, Science Times, p. 1). Ten days later, the New York City Parks Department hosted a “who’s who” of Monarch experts and conservationists in New York’s Central Park, to inform…

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Crossgates Wants to Build a Hotel in the Pine Bush

by Lynne Jackson ALBANY: On Thursday, August 26, the Zoning Committee of the Albany Common Council held a scoping hearing on the proposed 124-Unit Residence Inn in the Pine Bush. This hotel would be built next to the Karner Blue butterfly hill, which is the only large site of Karner Blues south of the Thruway. Last year, when Pyramid Crossgates first proposed this Residence Inn, Save the Pine Bush asked the Council to require a Scoping Hearing, which is a…

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Being Green Isn’t Good Enough Anymore – James Hoard Kunstler Speaks

by Emily Corcione ALBANY: “Being green isn’t good enough anymore.”  That was the message of Mr. James Howard Kunstler, who spoke at the Save the Pine Bush dinner on February 18, 2004.  His speech focused on how we can best honor the public realm in America.  The public realm, which functions as “the physical manifestation of the common good and the actual physical container to our civic life,” primarily takes the form of the street in America.  Mr. Kunstler believes…

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Charette a Charade

by Lynne Jackson SCHENECTADY: Volunteers for Save the Pine Bush (SPB) were invited by the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) to participate in a charette regarding eliminating the at-grade crossings at Morris and Cordell Roads in Colonie. The stated goal of the charette was to come up with ideas to allow safe passage of high-speed trains through the Pine Bush by eliminating the dangerous at-grade crossings. Volunteers for SPB were told over and over that DOT had no…

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Speak Out for Pine Bush Preservation

Guilderland, NY: A speculator has proposed to sub-divide 7.9 acres of Pine Bush in the full protection area between the New York State Thruway and Lydius Street. The proposal is currently before the Guilderland Planning Board. Last January, Mr. Coles, a real estate appraiser, proposed sub-dividing the property into four lots. There is already one house on the property, near Lydius Street, three more houses would be built. There is a large dune on the property between the current house…

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Crossgates is a Bad Neighbor

by Lynne Jackson OK, Crossgates has been in the news a lot recently. Actually, they made it into the international news. Save the Pine Bush has received emails from out raged people as far away as Sydney Australia, and California. People are mad. To recap: On Monday evening, March 3, Stephen Downs and his son Roger, were stopped by a security guard at Crossgates Maul. They were wearing T-shirts which they had just purchased at the mall. Stephen’s T-shirt said…

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Avila Keeps Advertising

by John Wolcott Have you seen the ads in the newspaper for Avila House? They say, “The reasons for moving to Avila House keep piling up!” Well! The only thing piling up is their hypocrisy. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany is acting disgracefully. It is devastating what had been one of the most beautiful spots in the entire Pine Bush – a place where thousands of butterflies once lived. And to top it off, the logo for the Avila…

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City Owned Land Up for Grabs

by Lynne Jackson In 1969, the City of Schenectady passed an ordinance preserving the Woodlawn area, stating that this land should never be sold and kept for public purposes: “WHEREAS, there is now a great shortage of vacant land in the City of Schenectady available for municipal purposes; and “WHEREAS, there is a growing need for the municipality to set aside a sizable plot of land to be utilized for public purposes; and “WHEREAS, the City of Schenectady presently has…

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Sprawl Costs Money

The Schenectady City Council has called for a public hearing on rescinding the 1969 ordinance which established the Woodlawn Preserve on Monday, July 14 at 7:30 at Schenectady City Hall, Jay Street, Schenectady. Members of the public are allowed three minutes each to speak at the public hearing. Speakers are carefully timed by the Council, to ensure that everyone gets their fair chance to speak. City Council members have expressed interest in hearing from residents of Schenectady on this issue….

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Early Reference to the Pine Bush Discovered in the Dutch Records of Beverwyck

by John Wolcott This year is the three hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the chartering of the community of Albany as the village of Beverwyck. With this in mind, let us quote a reference to the Pine Bush from the records of Beverwyck, January 7, 1753: “The Honorable Abraham Staets having requested that the description of the lot here-to-fore granted to him might be entered here, this is granted and it is situated as follows . . . on the…

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SPB Needs Your Help to Fight Road

SPB Needs Your Help to Fight Road SPB Needs Your Help to Fight Road by Lynne Jackson Last summer, Judge Thomas Keegan handed down a win for Save the Pine Bush overturning a vote by the Common Council to make the "Loop Road" or Columbia Circle Drive a public road. The problem is, the Common Council is going to vote again, perhaps in the next couple of weeks. This road is a disaster for the Pine Bush. The road was…

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Save the Pine Bush

Download a PDF of this letter Richard Nicholson, Planner City of Albany, Dept. of Economic Development & Neighborhood Planning 21 Lodge Street Albany, NY 12207 Re: Supplemental ~Draft-Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) Tharaidson Development Company Proposed Residence Inn project City of Albany, Albany County Dear Mr. Nicholson: Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) staff reviewed the SDEIS for this project which was accepted by the SEQR Lead Agency on June 16, 2008 and we have the following comments pertaining to that document….

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Action Guide to Citizens

Among the steps people may wish to consider taking are: 1. File lawsuits against the city for reduced property values. Contact your own lawyer or Save the Pine Bush lawyer Peter Henner at 768-8232 or peter@peterhenner.com. 2. Speak about dump issues at meetings of the Common Council of the City of Albany.  The Common Council meets on the first and third Monday of each month (when this regularly scheduled meeting falls on a legal holiday, the meeting is changed to the…

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Dunn Landfill

RENSSELAER, NY: Until mid-March, when the coronavirus slowed organizing efforts, the Rensselaer Environmental Coalition (REC) continued making steady progress towards its goal of closing the Dunn construction and demolition debris landfill in Rensselaer. This 99-acre operation is located right next to the Rensselaer public school campus, and between Rensselaer and East Greenbush neighborhoods. In response to considerable community pressure, and perhaps to avoid holding a public hearing, the NYS departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Health (DOH), held an”availability session”…

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City Strangles Downtown Growth

City Strangles Downtown Growth City Strangles Downtown Growth Yet Council Encourages Suburban Sprawl By Daniel Van Riper As far as Save the Pine Bush can determine, the City of Albany Common Council has not denied a single application by any large corporate entity that has wanted to erect buildings in the Pine Bush for more than 20 years. At the same time, both the Council and the Board of Zoning Appeals routinely turn down applications by small businesses that want…

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Roman Catholic Diocese Proposes – Senior Housing in the Pine Bush – Karner Blue in Serious Trouble

Roman Catholic Diocese Proposes Senior Housing in the Pine Bush Karner Blue in Serious Trouble It is with great sadness that Save the Pine Bush reports that the Roman Catholic Diocese has proposed Avila House Independent Senior Campus in the Pine Bush. This proposed housing would be located behind the Teresian House on Washington Avenue Extension, on an ideal spot for Karner Blue habitat. It is not too late to oppose the development Ñ no approvals have been given yet….

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Exploring Bus Service to the Pine Bush

Exploring Bus Service to the Pine Bush Exploring Bus Service to the Pine Bush by John Wolcott One can reach the Pine Bush from Albany by bus. However, it is, at one point, difficult and unsafe. At another point, it is awkward, and, as yet, uncertain. A couple of weeks ago, I tested part of the bus system in person. I took the Number 12 Crossgates bus to Wall-Mart on the Washington Avenue Extension. This is the nearest stop to…

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Meat Will Kill You…Just More Good News

Meat Will Kill You…Just More Good News Meat Will Kill You …Just More Good News By Daniel Van Riper Howard Lyman was a 4th generation rancher and feedlot operator from Montana. Once, he had 7000 head of cattle and 30 employees, wrote million dollar checks, and was named farmer of the year. Today he is the Director of the Eating With Conscience Campaign of the Humane Society of the United States. His job is to "travel around talking to people"…

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Honoring Lou Ismay at the April SPB Dinner

by Tom Ellis ALBANY, NY: “If we lose reverence for any part of life, we lose reverence for all of life,” said Save the Pine Bush member Lou Ismay at the April 17th SPB dinner at which Lou spoke about his launching the Protect Your Environment (PYE) Club at SUNY Albany fifty years ago. He said many future members of Save the Pine Bush met each other through PYE. Before Lou spoke, Lynne Jackson read proclamations honoring Lou and his…

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Done with the Dunn Dump

by Tom Ellis ALBANY, NY: David Ellis of Rensselaer Residents Against Toxic Dumping and Lou Sebesta of Stop Trucks Assaulting Rensselaer (STAR) spoke at the May 15th SPB dinner about “Done with Dunn Landfill: Negative Impacts of Dunn C/D Dump Operations” in Rensselaer, and their efforts to close it. Later in the evening, George Keleshian of Zeroenergy Buildings, Inc., finished the presentation he did not have enough time to complete at the April SPB dinner. Before they spoke, Lynne Jackson…

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DEC Should Enforce the Rules

by Tom Ellis New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos responded to a March 4 Albany Times Union editorial with a letter to the editor ten days later. The editorial titled, “Weak fines, weak message,” strongly criticized the DEC’s “spotty record on cracking down on local environmental violations.” Specifically discussed were the Colonie Landfill, the Port of Coeymans, and the Dunn construction and demolition (C&D) debris landfill in Rensselaer. The editorial stated: “To be a useful compliance…

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The Rapp Road Historical Association Shabuta Mississippi to the Albany Pine Bush

ALBANY, NY: Save the Pine Bush had a superb panel to mark the 90th birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. Those who attended the January 16 dinner will not forget the great presentation made by Anne Pope, Rev. Clarence Samuel Johnson, and Stephanie Woodward about life in Shubuta, Mississippi and Albany. Ms. Pope began jokingly saying, “My name is Annie Mae Pope but don’t you tell anyone.” She said she grew up in Shubuta, Mississippi, population 600. Often on Saturdays,…

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Solid Waste Transfer Facility Proposed on the Banks of the Hudson

by Tom Ellis RENSSELAER: More than fifteen area residents met in early November to discuss the proposed Rensselaer Engineered Fuels (REF) facility that has been proposed for the old BASF industrial site just south of downtown Rensselaer. We exchanged information and developed a plan of action. One, who lives a few blocks from the proposed facility, said he had gone door to door and there is much opposition to the project. This gathering of activists occurred due to concerns about…

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Truck Traffic in Rensselaer: Update

by Christine Kielb Tom Ellis and Christine Kielb of Stop Trucks Assaulting Rensselaer (STAR), a group of Rensselaer residents and their allies, are continuing their work fighting the tractor trailer truck traffic passing through city neighborhoods to and from the Dunn Construction and Demolition (C&D) landfill. This landfill operation, larger than the Colonie and Albany landfills combined, is expected to continue for many years, possibly until 2036, unless successfully challenged. The problem began in 2012 when the NYS Department of…

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The Islands of Radix Center

by Tom Ellis ALBANY, NY: Scott Kellogg and Justina Thompson spoke at the September 19th SPB dinner. Scott is the executive director of the Radix Center at 153 Grand Street in the South End of Albany. Justina is a 19-year-old student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute majoring in sustainability studies. Both are highly enthusiastic about their work and are accomplished experts in environmental education. Before they began, Grace Nichols spoke briefly saying insect populations are rapidly declining for multiple reasons. These…

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Destroying History at The Pine Bush Preserve

by Steve Rider On its website it states that the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission “assure(s) the protection, restoration and management of the natural and cultural resources of the Albany Pine Bush.” However, in reality preservation of cultural resources is given little priority compared to the ecological goals. Original, unspoiled remnants of four historic roads can be found within the Preserve, some as part of the trail system, and nothing has been done to protect them nor to educate the…

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Steve Downs Tells the Legal History of Save the Pine Bush at SPB’s 40th Birthday Party —Part 1

by Lynne Jackson ALBANY, NY: Lynne Jackson, a volunteer for Save the Pine Bush, gave a brief introduction and described how SPB started. On the night of February 6, 1978, as the “Blizzard of 78” was pounding the Capital District, a couple dozen brave souls nevertheless ventured to the Albany Public Library to speak out at a public hearing on four proposed developments in the Pine Bush. Prior the the hearing, a few people met first at an old fashioned…

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Landfill truck traffic in Rensselaer affecting quality of life for residents.

by Christine Kielb Each weekday, from 6:30 am to 4:00 pm, up to 100 large tractor trailer trucks (18-26 wheelers) arrive off the Dunn MemoriaI Bridge onto Broadway Street in the City of Rensselaer. These trucks travel north on Broadway, turn east onto Partition Street and proceed up and down its steep hills through residential neighborhoods to a Construction and Demolition (C&D) landfill situated at the top of the hill to the east of the city. These trucks come from…

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Residents Object to Polluting Trucks

by Tom Ellis Rensselaer City residents began meeting last spring after enduring five years of up to 100 huge trucks per day five days a week traverse downtown streets en-route to a construction and demolition debris (C&D) dump at the east end of Partition Street. About 30 residents met September 28 at the Rensselaer public library to share information and intensify their campaign to have the trucks removed from downtown. Whether residents will demand a closure of the dump located…

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Climate Change and Hell and High Water

Tom Ellis ALBANY, NY: Hell and High Water: New York Responds to Climate Change was title of the talk given by Mark Lowery at the November 16 SPB dinner. Mr. Lowery is a climate policy analyst in the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Office of Climate Change (OCC). He said OCC helps NYS mitigate and adapt to climate change. Prior to his talk, he told me he could speak for many hours on this topic. Toward the end of…

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Bad air a problem in the South End

The editorial “Question and answer time,” Sept. 4, regarding a late August state Senate public hearing on PFOA contamination in Rensselaer County said the central issue is “why a village of 3,500 people was drinking contaminated water for more than a year after officials first knew of the problem” and asked “what could have been done differently, and how might that understanding affect what’s done now?” The same reasoning applies to the South End of Albany, where residents have been…

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Judith Enck Meets with Ezra Prentice Residents

by Tom Ellis   ALBANY, NY: When we learned that US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regional administrator Judith Enck would be speaking in Albany the same evening Save the Pine Bush as the scheduled August dinner, SPB decided to cancel the dinner and hear Ms. Enck speak. On August 17, Ms. Enck, formerly of Albany, participated in a forum with the new NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) commissioner and residents of the Ezra Prentice Homes (EPH) on South Pearl…

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Don Reeb — The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

by Tom Ellis   ALBANY, NY: Retired University at Albany economics professor and McKownville Improvement Association president Don Reeb was the speaker at the November 18 SPB dinner.  Don spoke about SUNY Poly — formerly College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE): The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.  Don is 82 years old.  He said the neighborhood contain 900 houses and the neighborhood association has a $300 annual budget.  He said only forty percent of registered voters in county legislature districts 3 and 4 voted in November.  He makes…

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Bakken Crude Oil Rail Shipments in Decline, But Surplus Tank Cars a Problem

by Tim Truscott   As most people in the Capital Region know, Albany became a hub for crude oil shipments by rail when the Bakken crude oil began flowing from North Dakota. It was perhaps the third largest Bakken crude oil hub in North America and was dubbed by some as “Houston on the Hudson”. But rail shipments of Bakken crude seem to have fallen off in recent months, as East Coast refiners are now not taking in as much…

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The Unforeseen Consequences of Tobacco

  Most people view cigarettes as a health problem, but they are a huge environmental problem as well. The entire life cycle of a cigarette has an impact on the environment – from growing the tobacco to throwing away the butt. Tobacco Farming -Tobacco cultivation is responsible for a myriad of environmental problems, including land and water pollution due to pesticides as well as deforestation.  Tobacco plants are prone to many insect pests, and therefore tobacco farmers are forced to…

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Why is the Green Party challenging the Governor? Theresa Portelli Speaks to SPB

by Tom Ellis ALBANY, NY: Theresa Portelli, Green Party candidate for NYS Comptroller, spoke at the August 13 SPB dinner about Why is the Green Party challenging the Governor?  Theresa said she was born in Brooklyn and her parents came from Ireland.  She worked as a counselor at a teen jail in NYC for ten years, was elected to the Albany city school board for a term, retired three years ago, was a PEF member, and now works as a Hospice volunteer. …

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The Importance of the Tivoli Preserve

by Tom Ellis ALBANY: George Robinson, a restoration ecologist with the University at Albany’s Department of Biological Sciences, spoke at the June 19 SPB dinner at Westminster Presbyterian Church about the history of restoration planning for the Tivoli preserve. For those unfamiliar with it, the Tivoli preserve is located north of Livingston Avenue and behind the former Philip Livingston school. The Tivoli lake (or pond) is a few hundred yards west of the former school. Also located in the Tivoli…

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Horizontality and Consensus: Group Decision Making for a True Democracy at the

by Tom Ellis WASHINGTON, DC: 50,000 of us marched on Washington DC on Sunday, February 17, 2013, the largest climate demonstration yet, called “Forward on the Climate.” As Reverand Yearwood, who MCed the event said “ 50 years ago was very important, right here, Dr. Martin King marched. We marched for jobs and food. We marched for Equality. ….We all came together as humanity. But guess what? This rally 50 years later is as important or more important because, as…

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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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Composting of Food Waste in Charleston, South Carolina

by William Engleman   CLIFTON PARK, NY: At the Wood Road “south” habitat site of the Karner blue butterfly in the Town of Clifton Park in 1978, there were thousands of Karner blues, according to a study done by researchers John Cryan and Robert Dirig, who discovered this site in 1975. In 1989, Dr. Dale Schweitzer estimated that these two sites plus another nearby site located south of Ushers Road which he discovered, contained about 600 Karner blues that year. He…

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No Frack-ing Way

ALBANY, NY -At the April 20 dinner, speakers from four different organizations addressed a cause that united them: keeping hydrofracking out of New York State. Roger Downs represented the Sierra Club, a membership grass roots organization. He said that he has never seen a movement attract so many people. For example, at a rally last week, 450 people registered to lobby and saw 180 legislators. In a first draft environmental impact statement, Mr. Downs said that the DEC had not…

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Draft Solid Waste Management Plan Needs Closer Look & Changes

by Tom Ellis ALBANY: Early this year, the City of Albany’s solid waste consultant, Clough Harbour & Associates (CHA), completed a draft long range solid waste management plan for the Capital Region Solid Waste Management Partnership (the planning unit of Albany and the dozen or so municipalities who now dump trash in the Rapp Road landfill). CHA worked for 16 months with a 24-person “Steering Committee” appointed by Albany Mayor Gerald Jennings. CHA and the steering committee met fourteen times…

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Time for the City of Albany to Enforce the Pesticide Ordinance

It has been said that environmental problems are often the result of bad government. That certainly is true in the case of the Pesticide Ordinance enacted by the City of Albany in 1998. One of the issues at hand at the time the ordinance was written was the use of pesticides in bodies of water within the City. That, apparently, was how the Water Department and its Commissioner, Robert Cross, got involved. The Ordinance was enacted by the Albany Common…

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United National Antiwar Conference to be Held in Albany

an editorial by Lynne Jackson See: United National Peace Conference And, on Sunday, July 25, join the Rally & March at 1:00 A National Conference to Bring the Troops Home NOW! is being held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, State and Lodge Streets, in Albany, NY from July 23 to July 25. I believe all members and supporters of Save the Pine Bush need to attend this important conference. Why, you ask, should environmentalists get involved with an anitwar conference?…

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Nighthawks

by Tim Truscott I don’t consider myself to be a “birder”, as I lack the knowledge to be one. However, over 50 years ago my Second Grade teacher, Mrs. Mary Lawler, instilled in me an appreciation for birds by means of her frequent lessons on birds, using prints of the famous and fantastically-colored Audubon bird illustrations. One bird that has caught my interest in recent years has been the Nighhawk. Like many things in life, I didn’t fully appreciate them…

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Earth Day Update

by Lynne Jackson ALBANY, NY: The First Presbyterian Church was the location of the April Save the Pine Bush vegetarian dinner which featured representatives of five environmental groups telling us about the state of the environment. Bobbi Chase, of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CEC), gave us an update about toxics. The state superfund has run out of money and has not been re-funded by the state. There are 770 toxic waste dumps around the state that have no…

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Words Over Lasagna – Recent Dinner Speakers

Words Over Lasagna – Recent Dinner Speakers Words Over Lasagna Recent Dinner Speakers April/May 1995 By Daniel Van Riper We’ve had some excellent presentations at our monthly lasagna dinners at First Presbyterian Church in Albany over the past five months. All were well attended. Here’s a roundup: November 94 – Dr. George Robinson of the SUNY Albany biology department talked about plant and animal surveys in NY State. "I am interested," he told the crowd, "in preserving biodiversity and keeping…

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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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The Good News, The Bad News And The Ugly Truth

The Good News, The Bad News And The Ugly Truth The Good News, The Bad News And The Ugly Truth June/July 1995 By Daniel Van Riper Like it or not, Pine Bush preservation has become one of the major defining issues in the Capital District. Perhaps this is because it is a black and white issue. Are we in favor of maintaining and enhancing our quality of life, or should we close our eyes and let corrupt politicians give our…

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Albany County & Banning Styrofoam

Tom Ellis ALBANY, NY The Albany County Legislature is considering legislation that would extend the ban on the use of one-time use (take-out) food and beverage polystyrene foam containers from restaurants and eateries with fifteen or more establishments in the US (enacted three years ago) to all restaurants and eateries in the county. A public hearing was held on November 22 at which the polystyrene industry sent eight or nine representatives who spoke in opposition to the proposed law. Three…

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