Category: New York


New York Daily News, August 19th, 2019

FULL TEXT:

ALBANY — New York’s clear air program is strapped for cash.

A Department of Conservation program that collects fees and issues permits to the state’s major air polluters is seeing its revenue decline quicker than its expenses, leading to annual deficits that topped $70 million in 2017, according to an audit conducted by Controller Thomas DiNapoli.

The probe found that the program, meant to be self-sustaining based on fees collected, wound up borrowing from the state’s short-term investment pool and reallocating almost $50.4 million in expenses primarily from its general fund appropriations.

“New Yorkers rely on the Department of Environmental Conservation to control pollution and keep our air clean,” DiNapoli said. “My auditors found that this important program regulating industrial pollution is running a deficit, forcing the agency to spend money that should be going to other priorities.”

Revenues fell 38.8% during the audit period, from 2009 to 2017, while expenses only fell 10.8% during the same time, DiNapoli found.

The good news is that New York’s air quality may be better off despite the program’s shortfalls. The deficit is in part due to a drop in the number of regulated facilities, from 468 to 380, and overall emissions fell 54.4%.

Businesses that emit pollutants from manufacturing chemicals or plastics and energy facilities that burn oil, gas or coal need permits from the state to comply with the federal Clean Air Act. The “Title V Operating Permit Program” requires states to monitor pollutant output, collect permit fees and take action against violators that exceed established limits.

In its response to the audit, the DEC noted that several other states are in the same situation and that “program costs do not decrease as pollution decreases because additional regulatory complexity requires more oversight.”

Auditors looked at 32 invoices totaling $8,328,281, consisting of four invoices from each of the eight years and found inconsistencies and inaccuracies that led to overcharging and underbilling. A total of 15 of the 32 invoices were not accurately documented and seven mistakes led to a total of $352,418 being billed incorrectly.

The audit also found the program uses an overly complex system to record, track and assess fees and the DEC failed to hand over annual reports to the controller’s office in a timely manner.

The DEC said the agency is already taking steps to improve monitoring systems to ensure expenses are appropriately charged and stood by its system.

“As noted in our response to the Comptroller’s report, despite the 90 percent reduction in emissions under the Title V program over the last 20 plus years, resulting in improved air quality for New York communities, program costs have not declined at the same rate, and it is unrealistic and impractical to expect otherwise,” a spokeswoman said. “This challenge is not unique to New York State, which has some of the most rigorous air quality standards in the nation.”

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Governor Cuomo Issues Earth Day Proclamation Declaring April 22, 2019, as Earth Day in New York State

Weeklong Celebration of Earth Day with DEC Regional Family-Friendly Events

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is commemorating the 49th anniversary of Earth Day with DEC-sponsored and partner events around the state from April 20 through 28. These family-friendly activities include opportunities for New Yorkers to connect with nature by hiking, observing wildlife, planting trees, and learning about the importance of protecting the environment.

“Earth Day is a perfect reminder to get outside and appreciate New York’s natural resources and to ensure that we’re all doing our part to protect and preserve our environment,” said Commissioner Basil Seggos. “I encourage all New Yorkers to participate in some of the state’s week-long activities and learn more about the programs DEC’s environmental education centers have to offer across the state.”

           Governor Cuomo’s 2019 Earth Day Proclamation celebrating New York’s environmental leadership is attached. Earth Day was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin in 1970, after he toured the devastation of the massive 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. On April 22, 1970, demonstrations by an estimated 20 million Americans advocated for a healthy, sustainable environment. Later that same year, DEC and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency were established and the Clean Air Act was enacted, providing the authority for federal and state governments to limit emissions. In 1972, sweeping amendments were made to the federal Water Pollution Control Act, predecessor to the Clean Water Act. The Endangered Species Act became law in 1973.

For more information about Earth Day, including a full, detailed listing of this year’s regional family-friendly events and “50 At Home Earth Day Tips,” visit the DEC website.  Additional announcements will be made during New York’s weeklong celebration of Earth Day.

Highlighted DEC Community Earth Week 2019 Events include:

Long Island, Region 1

Monday, April 22, 6 – 9 p.m.: DEC Partner Event: Long Beach Latino Civic Association Earth Week Kickoff Event
Long Beach Library, 111 West Park Avenue, Long Beach
Event/launch party for the civic association’s DEC-funded coastal improvement project. The auditorium will show the film “Bag It” with Spanish subtitles, plus food vendors and other local conservation groups and family friendly environmental giveaways.

Saturday, April 27, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Eco-Carnival at Suffolk County Environmental Center
Seatuck Environmental Association, 550 South Bay Ave., Islip
For more information call 631-581-6908 or visit Seatuck Environmental Association’s website.

Join DEC environmental educators and other environmental groups for the 10th Annual Eco-Carnival at the Suffolk County Environmental Center. The event features a series of hands-on nature stations, nature-inspired arts and crafts, games and booths, music, food, and ice cream. It’s eco-friendly, nature-based fun for whole family. The event is sponsored by the Seatuck Environmental Association in cooperation with Suffolk County and the town of Islip.

New York City, Region 2

Saturday, April 20, 1 – 3 p.m.
Earth Day Festival at Gantry Plaza State Park, Rainbow Park Playground:
4-09 47th Road, Long Island City
DEC educators will lead a water conservation activity with youth and families at this event organized by New York State Parks.

Thursday, April 25, 11:30 a.m.
Earth Day Celebration, 47-40 21st Street, Long Island City (in courtyard):
DEC in partnership with the State Department of Transportation will host an Earth Day celebration in the courtyard of the regional office. There will be a tree seedling giveaway, a composting demonstration, and hands-on activities facilitated by DEC educators.

Hudson Valley, Region 3

Stony Kill Farm Environmental Education Center, 79 Farmstead Lane, Wappingers Falls
For more information, call 845-831-3800, email foundation@stonykill.org, or visit DEC’s Stony Kill Farm webpage.

April 20 and 21, 27 and 29, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.: Open Barn
Stony Kill Farm maintains a working farm housing chickens, cows, pigs, and sheep. Visit with the farm animals and find out about their care from the volunteer Livestock Caretakers.

April 20, 21, 27, and 29, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.: Open Greenhouse
Learn about the life cycle of a plant during your visit to the greenhouse. Visitors can touch and, in some instances, taste what is being grown in the greenhouse.

Saturday, April 27, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
DEC Partner Event: Drop- In at the Drive-In National Parks Service Earth Day Celebration:
Recycling and earth day activities for all ages at the Hyde Park Drive-In Theater.

Capital District, Region 4

Five Rivers Environmental Education Center, 56 Game Farm Road, Delmar
For more information call 518-475-0291, e-mail 5Rivers@dec.ny.gov, or visit DEC’s Five Rivers Environmental Education Center webpage.

Visitor center hours: Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Five Rivers Scavenger Hunt
Stop in at the visitor center and pick up a scavenger hunt before heading out to walk the trails at Five Rivers. Visitors are encouraged to bring their imagination and observation skills, because this scavenger hunt is not about collecting things. Instead, it’s all about completing a list of activities, from gazing at clouds, to touching the earth, to taking a closer look at insects.

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday April 22, 24, and 26, from 2 – 4 p.m. each day
EarthQuest!
DEC’s Office of Climate Change to play EarthQuest, a role-play game focused on climate change and sustainability. Appropriate for middle and high school students, the game will challenge players to think creatively about solutions for environmental problems. This version of the game will be set in New York State’s Capital District and the Upper Hudson River Estuary. Space is limited. Call Five Rivers at 518-475-0291 to register, and organize friends and bring a group.

Monday, April 22, 1 – 3 p.m.
DEC partner event: Troy Earth Day Cleanup, 594 River St, Troy
A multi-location event to help clean-up the North Central and Hill Side neighborhoods of Troy. Visit City of Troy’s Earth Day website for more information.

Tuesday, April 23, 9:30 a.m.: DEC Fish Stocking at Six Mile Water Works
Six Mile Waterworks located off Fuller Road between Washington and Central Avenues
Join DEC’s Bureau of Fisheries and Bureau of Environmental Education staff as they stock Rensselaer Lake in Albany’s Pine Bush with approximately 2,000 rainbow trout.

Friday, April 26th (Arbor Day) 11 a.m. -12:30 p.m.
Partnership with Albany Goes Green (AGG),10th Anniversary of Arbor Day tree plantings: Tree Planting at Stephen and Harriet Myers House: 194 Livingston Avenue, Albany
DEC environmental educators and foresters will join St. Rose college students and the new City of Albany forester, Jay LaVigne, to help community members plant trees and take part in family-friendly activities.

Friday, April 26 – Sunday, April 28, various locations
DEC partner event: Canal Clean Sweep
Each Earth Day, the New York State Canal Corporation and Parks & Trails New York host Canal Clean Sweep, a day of spring cleaning in public areas throughout the Canal corridor. Visit the Canal Clean Sweep website for more information.

Saturday, April 27, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
DEC partner event: Earth Day in the Pine Bush: Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center, 195 New Karner Road, Albany
A variety of activities suitable for all ages will be taking place. All equipment will be provided. Meet at the Discovery Center. Pre-registration is required. For more information, visit Albany Pine Bush’s website.

Central New York, Region 7


Rogers Environmental Education Center, 2721 State Route 80, Sherburne
For more information call 607-674-4733, email info@FriendsOfRogers.org, or visit Friends of Rogers website.

Family Fun Program: April Showers: Saturday, April 20, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Water is essential for life on earth and is all around us in many forms. Join the Rogers Environmental Education Center to go on a journey to explore water all over the globe and its various properties.

Community Read and Discussion: Monday, April 22, 6 – 8 p.m.
Discuss Barbara Kingsolver’s novel Prodigal Summer with a focus on its environmental themes. Light refreshments will be served, books can be checked out at the Sherburne and Earlville libraries.

Storytime and Hike: Wednesday, April 24 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Join Friends of Rogers educators for songs and a story, followed by a short hike along the trails. Bring a snack or a picnic lunch to enjoy with friends.

Central New York, Region 8

Family Nature Fest: Seneca Park, 2222 St. Paul Street, Rochester: Saturday, April 27, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Participate in nature walks, make observations about nature for a WXXI’s Nature Challenge and the Seneca Park Zoo’s City Nature Challenge, do natural arts & crafts, and meet PBS KIDS Nature Cat!  Participants will also learn what citizen science is, how it helps inform local issues, and showing how families can participate in simple citizen science projects. Some of the activities will be outside, some will be inside, but there will be limited space indoors.  Families can go on guided nature walks with experts.  Please wear appropriate footwear like sneakers, hiking boots, or winter boots.

For more information, contact DEC’s Central Region Environmental Educator, NYSDEC Regional Headquarters, 615 Erie Blvd. West, Syracuse, NY 13204, phone: 315-426-7532

Buffalo Area, Region 9

Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve & Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Dr., Depew
For more information call 716-683-5959, e-mail reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov, or visit DEC’s Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve webpage.

Earth Day Home Energy Action Workshop: Monday, April 22, 6:30 p.m.
Celebrate Earth Day by discovering solar power programs and incentives available for your home. Explore home energy efficiency programs and learn practical tips for saving money by conserving energy. Door prizes and light refreshments provided. Registration is required, please call 716-683-5959.

Nature Tech Adventure: Nature Apps: Tuesday, April 23, 1:30 p.m.
Explore how to use your smartphone to enhance your nature experience. For children ages 8 and older. Registration required; call 716-683-5959.

Nature Tech Adventure: Geo-Caching Egg Hunt: Wednesday, April 24, 1:30 p.m. Participants will learn how to use a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit and use the handheld GPS units to find hidden eggs in the preserve. For children ages 8 and older. Registration required; call 716-683-5959.

Nature Tech Adventure: Solar Solutions: Thursday, April 25, 1:30 p.m.
Discover the fun side of science as we harness the power of the sun to bake, create art, and more!  For children ages 8 and up. Registration required; call 716-683-5959.

Citizen Science: Project Squirrel: Friday, April 26, 10:30 a.m.
Come join us on the trail as we learn how to be citizen scientists and record squirrel sightings in the preserve. Once you’ve learned, you can do at home too. For children ages 8 and older. Registration required; call 716-683-5959.

Nature Tech Adventure: Birding: Friday, April 26, 1:30 p.m.
Celebrate John James Audubon’s birthday by birding in the woods! Incorporate technology with birding and learn about eBird and the Merlin bird ID app. For children ages 8 and older. Registration required; call 716-683-5959.

 

DEC ANNOUNCES STATEN ISLAND “I LOVE MY PARK DAY”

Volunteer Cleanup Event on May 4 at Mount Loretto Unique Area

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Region 2 is seeking volunteers for the annual “I Love My Park Day” on Saturday, May 4, at the Mount Loretto Unique Area, Staten Island. I Love My Park Day is a statewide event sponsored by DEC, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and Parks & Trails New York to enhance parks, historic sites, and public lands by raising awareness and visibility of the state’s outdoor recreation assets. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced that registration is now open for I Love My Park Day and encouraged New Yorkers to sign up for cleanup events happening statewide.

Volunteer activities at Mount Loretto Unique Area begin at 10:00 a.m. on May 4, and include:

  • Project 1: Tree planting. Volunteers are asked to meet at the kiosk by the main entrance.
  • Project 2: Beach Clean-up. Volunteers are asked to meet at the Mt. Loretto Pavilion, near the beach entrance.

Work gloves will be provided for both activities, but volunteers should dress appropriately for working outdoors and wear sunscreen and insect repellant. Volunteers of all ages are welcome to participate. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Mount Loretto Unique Area is located at 6320 Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island, NY 10309.

Registration for I Love My Park Day statewide can be completed by visiting: DEC ANNOUNCES STATEN ISLAND “I LOVE MY PARK DAY”

 

 

New York Daily News, February 7th, 2019

FULL TEXT:

L train riders and transit workers continued to be canaries in the MTA’s coal mine Wednesday.

Three MTA workers had to be hospitalized after hours spent inhaling the same sickening stench that caused a brief shutdown the day before.

The workers fell ill from the heavy fumes — and later on, Transport Workers Union Local 100 officials began distributing masks to station agents.

“They’re telling them the smell is still here. Some guys are saying, I’m starting to feel a little lightheaded,” a subway source said. “Another person is saying, ‘It’s making me nauseous.’”

State Department of Environmental Conservation officials Wednesday found water with “sheens” that seeped into the subway, giving off a smell an agency spokeswoman called “aged petroleum odors.” MTA officials believe it’s heating oil.

The gas smell seemed to hit riders the hardest between the Graham Ave. and Grand St. stops, lingering through to the Bedford Ave. station.

Despite the all-clear to start service back up Tuesday, riders and transit workers were still being affected by the stink overnight and through Wednesday.

“It’s scary,” said Joe Vincent, 55, a bartender from Williamsburg, Brooklyn. “Gas like this, you don’t know what it’s going to do to you.”

Gillian Lavictoire, 33, who was with her 5-year-old daughter at the Graham Ave. station, said it was an awful smell, though it’s dissipated over the previous couple of days.

“If it’s a health and safety matter, they should shut it down,” she said.

Ralph Russo, who lives across the street from the Graham Ave. station entrance, said he was unable to sleep in his street-facing bedroom. He thought the gasoline-like smell was unsafe.

“I had to lock the doors and sleep in the living room,” Russo, 77, said. “It was terrible. I couldn’t deal with the smell.”

One TWU station agent working at Graham Ave. bought his own mask after he began to feel ill on duty, a Local 100 source said.

A train conductor was also witnessed wearing a paper mask while on duty.

“It’s terrible,” he said.” I got a headache.”

~ B ~

Please be green, only print this e-mail if absolutely necessary

“You cannot play God then wash your hands of the things that you’ve created. Sooner or later, the day comes when you can’t hide from the things that you’ve done anymore.”

Posted with comment: So you would rather have your daughter traumatized, also shouldn’t feed birds breed dumbass.

CBS TV, September 13th, 2017

FULL TEXT:

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There’s a new plan to reduce the mute swan population on Long Island.

Some say the non-lethal plan is a kinder solution, while others continue to mount a strong public opposition.

The quacking of ducks and swans in the ponds of Massapequa Preserve helps draw thousands of people daily, yet the state Department of Environmental Conservation considers the growing population of mute swans to be a destructive, invasive species imported centuries ago from Europe.

For years, the agency has proposed killing them off, arguing they eat up all the vegetation needed by other native species.

Without exception, though, everyone CBS2 spoke with was horrified at doing anything to harm the mute swans.

“I think they’re beautiful,” Massapequa resident Jean Stigliano said. “I think we should leave them alone, if there is any kind of problem then we should relocate them.”

The intense public opposition now has the state agency reversing course, saying it will instead pursue “non-lethal means,” such as coating swan eggs with corn oil so they don’t hatch, or destroying their nests.

Some locals say that’s equally cruel.

“The poor swans are still there, sitting on their eggs every day and then one day they’re all dead! How horrible, how horrible, you can’t do that,” Massapequa resident Joan Locascio said.

The state environmental department says it must also protect public safety, warning the elegant birds can become aggressive toward anyone feeding them.

That’s exactly what happened to Sean Hogan’s younger daughter.

“My daughter was feeding the swan, it came up and she had a little too much bread and it took a bite and grabbed her by her finger,” Hogan tells CBS2.

He says his daughter was not seriously harmed, arguing the same thing could happen with a family pet, and adds his family will keep feeding the swans and will oppose any attempt to remove them no matter which means are pursued.

The public will get a chance to have their say about the mute swans. A hearing on the agency’s latest plan is set for next Tuesday night in Hauppauge.

Getting off at 86th Street a young Japanese girl playing the violin. She stands by the stairs with her tiny violin and the case is open on the ground. Today it was filled with dollar bills. The last time I saw her it was empty. She plays fast, always the same music, or type of music and over by the wall an adult is watching over her. She never smiles, in fact her facial expression is rather unpleasant, like she doesn’t want to be there.

Too many people. The Q was supposed to make my life easier and reduce crowding on the subway. It doesn’t seem to have worked. I had to wait for a second train because the first was too crowded.

Man with a red bike. Not a folding one a regular one. Which leaves me with the question why take the subway when you have a bike? I know it was cold but I saw other people riding their bikes. If I had a bike I would ride it every chance I got.

Twin girls about 7 years old wearing matching fur leopard prints hats with ears and matching pink coats. One of the girls had matching mittens (to the hat), grey tights and bright blue and pink sneakers. The other girl had pink gloves, pink tights, and pale pink Mary-Janes.

Second Ave Subway partie deux

After all my complaining about the new subway, i decided I should give it a try. It does make my commute easier and faster, except for having to take the elevator at the Lexington Station (claustrophobic me?). And of course I took pictures. The first set is from the 96th Street Station by Rite Aid. The roof over the entrances is clear. They look white because it had snowed.



This next set of pictures is from the Lexington & 63rd St. Station, elevator exit to 3rd Ave.

Snowpacalypse is a ‘new’ word, a made up word combining ‘snow’ with apocalypse, which shows you how much they (the ones that made it up) know since they spelled it wrong. It’s also a word i hate and never wanted to use. I find it distasteful to use a word that refers to God’s judgment for a weather event. It’s a blizzard, let’s stick with that.

While i’m on my soapbox, why are we naming storms? Hurricanes are named because there are several in a season, there are five lists of names to rotate between the years and the names are in alphabetical order. That’s how you know if it was a particularly bad year, if you can a hurricane Tanya, that was a bad year. This naming of blizzards is rather haphazard. Winter Storm Jonas? Why not just ‘the January blizzard of 2016’ if you are worried there might be more. ‘The blizzard of 2015-16 winter’ if this is the only one.

I knew it had snowed before i opened my eyes, the snow plows on 2nd Avenue woke me. When i look at my windows i can see snow on my windowsills. The snow plows came by again so it must still be snowing, i haven’t looked out my windows yet. Not even when i heard some guy screaming for help, once. I hope someone helped him, or it was a joke.

Normally when it snows like this i go to the park and take pictures. Maybe tomorrow, today i’m staying in.

On the subway

There is no place like New York and nothing like the NYC subway system. I have determined there are three types of people that talk to me on the subway.

There are the people who ask for money. From what they say, none of them do drugs, none of them drink, all have suffered some unimaginable tragedy and can’t get government assistance.

There are the people asking me for directions. “Do I look like Google maps?”

There are the people offering to help find your train, this is usually followed by a request for money, so they could fall into the first category. What is really annoying is some of them feel they need to lead you to the correct train and “STOP TOUCHING ME”. I should get a medal for not stabbing people.

Then there is your random crazy person, like the tall skinny black man that told me I was “a white whore and you’re going to die of AIDS and cancer.” And the woman who offered me oral sex. She was convinced I would love it and I was just, “Ew no, germs.” Like I said, I should get a medal.