Wednesday, November 24, 2010

11-24-10 Activist Calendar

Nov. 24, 2010, Issue #653
Send event announcements to
Dedicated to Helping Build Activist 
Movements in the Hudson Valley
Editor's Note: 

1.  Note the message at the end of this calendar about the need to contact your State Assembly member right away about passing a bill to temporarily halt fracking. It's important.

2. Following are late November and December events. (We're repeating our annual Thanksgiving Day plea on behalf of turkeys but all else is new.) There aren't many events in December, and rarely any at all after the second week, because of the holidays and weather. January's fairly quiet at well, but things pick up in February and by March we're all back in business.


REPEATING: Thursday, Nov. 25, AMERICA: Today is Thanksgiving, a traditional day for family and friends to get together. But Farm Sanctuary, an organization for the protection of farm animals, says it is important to rethink one aspect of this tradition: "Dark, dirty warehouses. Crowds of animals in distress. Mutilated beaks and toes. Sick, injured birds left to suffer and die without anyone to help them. These are not the kinds of images we tend to conjure when we think about Thanksgiving, yet they are indicative of the reality faced by more than 46 million turkeys slaughtered every year in the U.S. for this holiday alone.... The more our fellow citizens learn about the cruelty that goes on behind the closed doors of factory farms, the less sense it makes that we feast on these maligned birds as symbols of gratitude, and the more natural it becomes to spare a life in the spirit of thankfulness that shines this time of year."  Information,

Friday, Nov. 26, NORTH AMERICA: Today, the day after Thanksgiving, is supposed to be the biggest shopping day of the year, known as Black Friday. And for the last 18 years, for those wishing to make an anti-consumerism statement, it's Buy Nothing Day — a day when you stay away from the crowds of shoppers just to make a point. It's a quiet statement, and won't change the world, but it’s a symbolic step in a good direction. In Europe Buy Nothing Day is Saturday the 27th, so you may wish to make it a two-day escape from  our "buy, buy, buy" consumer culture and credit card usury.

Friday, Nov. 26, KINGSTON: As part of Buy Nothing Day, there will be a free rummage sale from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 320 Sawkill Rd. Donate and receive gift-quality items instead of participating in the Black Friday shopping rush. Information, Joanne Steele,

Wednesday, Dec. 1, PORT EWEN: Dr. Sacha Spector, Scenic Hudson's director of Conservation Science, will discuss how the latest climate predictions will affect Hudson Valley residents in a discussion titled "Our Fight Against Global Climate Change" at the Town of Esopus Library, 128 Canal St. at 7 p.m. Information, contact Anthony Coneski at (845) 473-4440, ext. 273,

Wednesday, Dec. 1, PURCHASE (Manhattanville College campus): A night of comedy, music, food, lectures and conversation entitled "Islamophobia" will be held at the Berman Student Center at 7 p.m.  Entertainers to include comic Mohamed Mohamed, aka Mo-Mo, creative director and writer Ameena Meer, and Rutgers associate Professor at Deepa Kumar.  Sponsored by The Connie Hogarth Center for Social Action, WESPAC Foundation, Seeds of Peace, and Muslim Students Association. Information, (914) 449-6519. Campus map and directions,

Thursday, Dec. 2. SARATOGA SPRINGS and ALBANY: "No More tax cuts for the Rich – No Millionaire Bailouts" is MoveOn's slogan for actions it is calling in many U.S. cities today, including the two we're mentioning. (To check if there's an event closer to you visit
SARATOGA SPRINGS — gather at 12 noon at Rep. Scott Murphy's office, 487 Broadway.
ALBANY: Gather at noon at the Leo O'Brien Federal Building, Clinton Ave. and North Pearl St. Information,, (518) 583-4326.

Thursday, Dec. 2, DELMAR: The documentary "The End of Poverty" will be screened at Bethlehem Public Library, 451 Delaware Ave., 6:45-8:45 p.m. A discussion about the causes of poverty will follow this excellent free film. Sponsored by Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace. Information, (518) 466-1192,,

Saturday, Dec. 4, ROCK TAVERN: Hydraulic fracturing, known as "fracking," has suddenly become an important issue for activists in New York State. It is a dangerous method of extracting natural gas that involves injecting highly-toxic chemicals deep underground to fracture rock formations. The State Senate has ordered a temporary moratorium on fracking and the Assembly may or may not do the same in the next few days. Learn more about fracking at all or part of a 5-9 p.m. film showing and forum at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House, 9 Vance Rd. (off Rt. 207). The film will be screened at 5 p.m. It's "Gasland," an eye-opening documentary about fracking. Then there's a potluck supper if you wish to take part (bring food to share) followed by the forum which will discuss both sides of the issue. Speakers include Wes Gillingham, Catskill Mountainkeeper; Paul Hartman, representing Chesapeake Energy Corp.; Nadia Steinzor, Marcellus Shale Regional Organizer; Laurie Stuart, Upper Delaware UU Fellowship; and meeting chair, Michael Edelstein of Orange Environment. Sponsored by the Social Action Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Rock Tavern and Orange Environment. (Limited space, please RSVP.) Information, Verne M. Bell, (845) 569-8965,

Sunday, Dec. 5, DELMAR: The Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace will host their annual store clearance and show, featuring the film, "Salud." The film documents the little known story of how the small country of Cuba can provide all of its citizenry with universal health care, and helps other developing nations do the same.  The sale will include various peace paraphernalia, just in time for holiday gifting. The 5-8 p.m.  event is at Bethlehem Town Hall, 445 Delaware Ave. Information,

Sunday, Dec. 5, RED HOOK: Merrit Bookstore, at the corner of Broadway and Main St., will hold a 2 p.m. book reading and signing, featuring a multi-cultural book about climate change — "Kusikiy a Child from Taquile, Peru,"  by author/illustrator Mercedes Cecilia. Information, (845) 679-9258.

Thursday, Dec. 9, NEW PALTZ: The Elting Public Library at 93 Main St. is the venue for a 7 p.m. free film showing of an extraordinary event — the temporary battlefield truce declared by the troops of both sides in World War I — not by their officers — that began on Christmas Eve 1914. According to Terry Dixon, who organized the screening, this 2005 film titled Joyeux Noel "is an uplifting true story of the 1914 Christmas truce  between German, Scottish, and French soldiers in the trenches of the Western Front. A German soldier began to sing a Christmas carol and the 'enemy' soldiers in the opposing trenches joined in and eventually fraternized to celebrate Christmas together." About the film, About the event itself, Information,

Thursday, Dec. 9, WOODSTOCK: The Middle East Crisis Response group of Hudson Valley residents opposed to Israeli and U.S. policies toward the Palestinians meets on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month 7-8:30 p.m. at the Library, 5 Library Lane, just off Tinker St. All welcome. Information, (845) 876-7906,,

Friday, Dec. 10, STONE RIDGE: The Marbletown Multi-Arts Center at 3588 Main St. (Rt. 209) presents two documentary shorts at 8 p.m. on the topic of sustainability: "Sweet Soil" and "The Turning Point: A Return to Community." A discussion will follow. The cafe will be open for dinner and snacks beginning at 6 p.m. along with the  "Get Real Goods" story featuring local crafts. The cost is a sliding scale $5-$25. Information, (845) 332-7522,,

Saturday, Dec. 11, ROSENDALE: The Rosendale Theatre, at 408 Main St. (Rt. 213) will show the HBO antiwar documentary, "The Recruiter" at 5 p.m.  Audience discussion led by scholars to follow. Information, (845) 485-4480,

Monday, Dec. 13, NEW PALTZ (SUNY Campus): The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), in partnership with the SUNY New Paltz Center for Research, Regional Education and Outreach, and the Hudson River Watershed Alliance will host a conference regarding water resources and the regional economy.  Speakers to includ, Region 2 Administrator, Judith Enck; NYSDEC Assistant Commissioner for Water Resources James Tierney; and Rep. Maurice Hinchey.  It will be held at the Student Union Building, in the multi-purpose room, at a time to be announced. The target audience is municipal staff, engineers, planners, environmental groups, and volunteers involved with green infrastructure, and low impact planning projects.  Information,, (include "Water Conference" in the subject line). Campus map, Directions,

Tuesday, Dec. 14, HIGHLAND: Scenic Hudson will hold a discussion entitled "Our Fight Against Global Climate Change" at the Public Library, 30 Church St., 6-7 p.m., featuring Dr. Sacha Spector, Scenic Hudson's director of Conservation Science.  Information, Anthony Coneski, (845) 473-4440, ext. 273,


Dear Activist Newsletter and Activist Calendar readers:

We are passing on this call to "Protect New York State's Water from Fracking" because there are just a few days left to take needed action. The message is from Julia Walsh of the group  Frack Action, She writes:

Right now New York's clean water is at risk of being contaminated by toxic chemicals in a process of drilling for natural gas called hydraulic fracturing.

Hydraulic fracturing or fracking is a process involving pumping millions of gallons of toxic chemicals thousands of feet underground to break up rock formations and release pockets of gas. Fracking has been linked to over 1,000 incidents of groundwater contamination across the U.S., including many cases where people can actually light a match and ignite their tap water.

Gas companies don't have to tell us what chemicals they're using because hydraulic fracturing is specifically exempted from disclosure requirements in the Safe Drinking Water Act through a provision, nicknamed "the Halliburton Loophole," that was inserted by Dick Cheney into the 2005 Energy Policy Act. Right now, because of the Halliburton Loophole and other exemptions for dirty fossil fuels, the EPA has absolutely no power to regulate hydraulic fracturing.

After disrupting communities in 34 states, gas companies are set on fracking in upstate New York. This past year, gas companies have spent heavily to lobby our elected officials in Albany to pass regulations allowing fracking to begin in a few months. We must stop them!

Last summer, the State Senate voted by 49- 9 to declare an 11 month moratorium on fracking. The moratorium bill passed with an overwhelming majority of bipartisan support thanks to an outpouring of grassroots action from ordinary citizens.

Now, the New York State Assembly is scheduled to come back for only one session at the end of November, but it's not certain the anti-fracking Sweeney Bill (A11443B) will brought to a vote. This would mean the State DEC may begin issuing fracking permits.

 We cannot let that happen! It is critical that the Assembly and the Governor hear from you as a member of our powerful movement! Take Action:

Call key members of the Assembly during the next few days. Here are some names and numbers:

• Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver
(518) 455-3791 or 212-312-1420,

• Sponsor of Moratorium Bill Assemblyman Robert Sweeney (Chair of Committee on Environmental Conservation)
(518) 455-5787 or (631) 957-2087,

• Assemblyman Kevin Cahill (Chair of Committee on Energy)
 (518) 455-4436 or (845) 338-9610,

• Assemblyman Joseph Lentol (Chair of Committee on Codes)
(518) 455-4477, or, 718-383-7474 or mailto:

• Assemblyman Herman Farrell (Chair of Committee on Ways & Means)
(518) 455-5491, or, 212-234-1430, or, 212-568-2828 or mailto: