Monday, November 25, 2013


A Time to be Thankful for Family, Friends, Food and More.

The image is Norman Rockwell's painting "Freedom from Want" (1943), which is often referred to as 'The Thanksgiving Picture'. Rockwell inserted a partial self-portrait in the lower right corner.

The painting was inspired by the speech delivered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to Congress in his State of the Union address (1941). Roosevelt spoke about Four Freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom from fear, freedom of worship, and freedom from want.

Sustainable Design: Green Roofs, Walls & Homes

The WNY Sustainable Energy Association’s
Reitan Sustainability Speaker Series Presents:

"50 Shades of Green: Green Roofs, Walls and Homes"

When:  Tuesday December 3rd at 7pm

Where: Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, 341 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo

Free and Open to the Public!

Kevin Connors, Principal of eco-logic Studio, Architecture & Engineering PLLC and  
David Lanfear owner of Bale on Bale Construction and Green Top will present their latest green design projects that include the implementation of renewables, green roofs and walls! Don't miss this amazing night of sustainable design projects!
For more information please go to:

WNY Sustainable Energy Association
Promoting, Educating and Celebrating Sustainability In Western New York
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Monday, November 18, 2013

Public Meeting: Poloncarz to present Erie County Economic Development Plan

Mark C. Poloncarz, Erie County Executive, will present his Erie County Economic Development Plan at a Public meeting sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Buffalo/Niagara on Thursday, November 21, 2013 at the Harlem Road Community Center, 4255 Harlem Road, Amherst, NY 14226, from 5:30 – 7:00pm. [Map]

Poloncarz will detail his initiatives and provide a realistic blueprint of specific actions to enhance the quality of life in the county by leveraging assets and forming meaningful partnerships.

Key features:
• Action in support of regional land use planning: enhancing urban neighborhoods; containing urban sprawl; Protection of agricultural land and water quality.
• Support of strategic planning and management on a regional basis for the region-serving infrastructure, such as sewers, water, highways, etc.
• Action consistent with criteria for support of intergovernmental relationships
• Support of regional management: promotion, marketing and economic development of the region.
• Support of plans for Erie County waterfronts: protection and enhancement of the natural environment at the water's edge.
• Developing programs designed to address problems created by global warming and climate change.

Please join us for this informative and timely discussion.
The program is free and open to the public.
RSVP is not required. For more information, call the League office – 884-3550.

~ ~ ~

To obtain a copy of INITIATIVES FOR A SMART ECONOMY prepared under the direction of Mark C. Poloncarz, Erie County Executive, Click Here.

Towards a Sustainable and Just Economy

By Annie Leonard .

The Story of Solutions explores how we can move our economy in a more sustainable and just direction, starting with orienting ourselves toward a new goal.

In the current 'Game of More', we're told to cheer a growing economy -- more roads, more malls, more Stuff ! -- even though our health indicators are worsening, income inequality is growing and polar icecaps are melting.

But what if we changed the point of the game? What if the goal of our economy wasn't more, but better -- better health, better jobs and a better chance to survive on the planet?

Shouldn't that be what winning means?

Earlier videos from Annie Leonard posted at Re-ENERGIZE Buffalo:

Energy Debate: Shale vs. Renewable

On Tuesday, November 19, from 12 noon to 1 PM on Buffalo's WUFO-AM 1080
radio, host Jim Anderson will interview Chris Faulkner, CEO of Breitling Oil and Gas.

The privately-held Dallas Texas based company extracts oil and gas from North Dakota's Bakken Shale, Texas' Eagle Ford Shale, the Marcellus Shale, and several other shale plays.

Accompanying Jim Anderson will be:
  • Lynda Schneekoth, Chair, Sierra Club-Niagara Group
  • Robert Ciesielski, Chair, Sierra Club-Niagara Group's Energy Committee
  • Rita Yelda, Organizer, Food and Water Watch
  • Charley Bowman, Chair, Renewable Energy Task Force of the WNY Peace Center.

Listeners with questions/comments can call: 716-837-1112
Folks outside WUFO's range can listen to the debate Online at:

Friday, November 15, 2013

Cuomo Visit: Rally - No Fracking, Yes Renewable Energy

Governor Andrew Cuomo is coming to Buffalo to host a fundraiser at the Hyatt Regency Hotel for his re-election in 2014. The governor's local donors and supporters will be there. 

WNY Drilling Defense is calling on local citizens to show up and Rally For Renewable Energy and Against Fracking. See their Facebook page for more information.
  • WHAT:  Rally - No Fracking, Yes Renewable Energy
  • WHEN: Tuesday, November 19, 5:00 p.m.
  • WHERE:  Outside the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Corner of W. Huron St. & Pearl St., Buffalo

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Talks on Adventures of Ken Ilgunas - Author and UB Grad

  "Trespassing across America: One UB Grad's Epic, 1,700-mile (and sort of Illegal) Hike along the Keystone XL Pipeline." 

A TALK by 
3:00-5:00 p.m.
120 Clemens Hall -- UB North Campus [Map]
Read Ken Ilgunas' article published at Salon.

Ilgunas will present a different talk on TUESDAY, November 19:
"I lived in a van down by Duke University: One UB Grad's Adventurous Account of Living Debt-Free." 
1:30-3:20 p.m.
Undergraduate Academies, 17 Norton Hall -- UB North Campus [Map]
Ilgunas published a book about his adventures entitled "Walden on Wheels: On The Open Road from Debt to Freedom." 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Frackers and GOP Pols Meet Today in Buffalo [11/07 UPDATE - DEMs Rally Video]

Erie County DEMs to host a rally outside the meeting place.

Buffalo, the first town in the State to ban fracking, is the site of a meeting of the Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York (IOGA-NY), which lobbies for fracking (The logo they submitted for the "I LOVE NY" campaign has a drilling rig in place of a heart).

Ed Cox, NY State GOP Chairman, will be a keynote speaker at the IOGA-NY meeting today. Cox, a pro-fracker and board member of a gas drilling company, is reported to be out to attack Gov. Cuomo for refusing to approve fracking for shale gas in the NY Southern Tier.

Scheduled to participate in a "Legislative Session" at the IOGA-NY meeting with Cox is a group of Republican legislators, including Assemblywoman Jane Corwin, Assemblyman David DiPietro, Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, Senator Michael Ranzenhofer, Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, Assemblyman Raymond Walter, and Congressman Tom Reed (Invited).

A "Meet & Greet the Legislators" Cocktail Reception will precede the speech by Cox.

No Democrats are listed in the IOGA-NY meeting program.

Democrats will host a Rally
The Erie County Democratic committee is hosting a rally today, Wednesday, Nov. 6, outside the Hyatt Regency Hotel, the IOGA-NY meeting place. On the rally event page the E.C. DEMs wrote:
Join our progressive allies as we rally to counter NY GOP Ed Cox speech at the Independent Oil and Gas Association in Buffalo.
The rally will be held at 5:30pm-7pm today at Roosevelt Plaza, corner of Main and E. Huron Streets, across the street from the Hyatt [MAP].

The Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter sent an email message yesterday urging members and supporters to attend the rally and to bring anti-fracking and pro-clean energy signs and banners.

UPDATE - Video: Watch a video of Wednesday's Rally courtesy of WNYmedia.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

FORUM - Clean Energy And Good Jobs

Wednesday, November 13th at 6:00 PM - Clean Energy and Good Jobs   
Please attend this important Working Families Party forum at the UAW Hall at 35 George Karl Blvd (off Wherle near Transit - MAP).  Labor and climate activists need to come together and press for clean energy and good jobs if we are to survive the climate crisis.  Come hear economist Janette Barth and local union officials. 

Slide Show: Shale Gas Potential in New York

The slide show was produced and narrated by Jerry Acton, a Systems Engineer & Systems Architect (retired) at IBM and Lockheed. Acton describes an analytical procedure he developed that uses shale gas production data from Pennsylvania (PA) together with the depth and thickness of the Marcellus Shale along the PA-NY border to forecast shale gas production in New York and its economic impact.

A written report based on Acton's findings is HERE.

Friday, November 1, 2013

New York Lacks Economically Recoverable Shale Gas

Black diamonds represent uneconomic drilling (see text) -- Jerry Acton.
New York Shale Play Gets Major Downgrade

By Peter Mantius

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — The real reason New York State has not allowed high-volume hydrofracking for natural gas in its Marcellus shale is that there is almost no gas that can be economically extracted, according to four retired professionals turned fracking analysts.

Their argument contradicts the gas industry’s narrative – widely accepted as fact by many landowners, investors, politicians and state regulators – that shale gas is a potential economic “game-changer” for poor, rural upstate New York.

For the past four years, two governors have repeatedly extended the state’s de facto moratorium on fracking while they tinkered with the rules. Since last fall, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said he is waiting for the results of a vaguely defined health study, frustrating pro-gas groups with his apparent lack of urgency.

But the four analysts now argue that it’s geology – not health – that best explains Cuomo’s foot-dragging. In the governor’s cost-benefit analysis, they say, meager potential economic gains from drilling are not worth the environmental and political risk.

“The vast majority of the New York Marcellus shale is too thin (less than 150 feet thick) and too shallow (less than 4,500 feet) to yield economically recoverable natural gas,” said Jerry Acton, a retired systems engineer for IBM and Lockheed Martin who based his conclusions on drilling production results from neighboring Pennsylvania, where fracking is allowed.

Acton crunched four years of publicly available data supplied to regulators by Pennsylvania drillers. His analysis covered all 1,539 active natural gas wells drilled into the Marcellus shale in six counties that border New York. Acton found that median production results [Figure: Median IP chart, colored bars] for specific towns and counties [colored circles on map] correlate closely with the depth [white lines] and thickness [black lines & numbers] of the shale layer drilled. The deeper and thicker, the better.

That finding points to trouble for drilling prospects in New York, Acton said, because its Marcellus layer is relatively shallow and thin. While a cluster of Pennsylvania gas wells only 40 miles southwest of Binghamton have been highly successful, they tap a Marcellus layer that is much thicker and deeper than any in New York. As Pennsylvania drillers moved west of that sweet spot into thinner, shallower sections with geology similar to New York’s, gas production levels plummeted.

Read more at DC Bureau.

See also this economics report: Hyped Benefits of Fracked Gas Already Fading
By Deborah Rogers at EcoWatch

Community Workshops - One Region Forward

Join Us for Scenario Planning Workshops Across the Region this November

Scenario planning will allow citizens to put those Regional Values into concrete terms and decide where to make investments and what strategies to pursue to get us closer to our shared Regional Vision and Values.

In a series of highly interactive, hands-on workshops, One Region Forward will ask participants to work together mapping their future approach to land use, development, housing and transportation for our region.

Register to attend a workshop
A Week of Workshops are scheduled for November 12-16th across the region.  Join us and tell us what your future Buffalo Niagara looks like!
  • NOV 12th 6pm – 8pm: Amherst Central High School, Amherst
  • NOV 13th 6pm – 8pm: City Honors School, Buffalo
  • NOV 14th 6pm – 8pm: Parkdale Elementary School, East Aurora
  • NOV 15th 6pm – 8pm: Starpoint Central High School, Pendleton
  • NOV 16th 12pm – 2pm: Niagara Power Project Visitors Center, Lewiston