Friday, February 27, 2009

Re-post: March 3 @ 7 p.m.: FREE Sneak-Preview Screening of FUEL; PLEASE RSVP

I originally posted a listing for a showing of this film, but it was for a limited audience (due to space) so I took the post down.

Now the film is showing for the general public, so RSVP and come to discus, critique and maybe be entertained.

You can learn about the film beforehand here.


Council Member James F. Gennaro
Chair, Environmental Protection Committee
Queens College

invite you to a FREE sneak preview of the
Sundance Film Festival Best Documentary Audience Award-winning

Tuesday, March 3 @ 7:00 p.m.
Queens College – LeFrak Concert Hall
Corner of Kissena Blvd. & Horace Harding Expwy., Flushing, NY

- 6 p.m. Reception Followed by 7 p.m. Screening and Q & A -

Come see Councilman James F. Gennaro, Chairman of the Environmental Protection Committee and author of New York City's landmark bioheat mandate legislation, in FUEL: an insightful portrait of America’s addiction to oil and an uplifting testament to the immediacy of new energy solutions.

Director Josh Tickell, a young activist, shuttles us on a whirlwind journey to track the rising domination of the petrochemical industry and reveals a gamut of available solutions to "repower America" — from vertical farms that occupy skyscrapers to algae facilities that turn wastewater into fuel. This film illuminates a hopeful, achievable future, where decentralized, sustainable living is not only possible, it’s imperative.

Limited Tickets While Supplies Last
Open to Public, but you must RSVP to be guaranteed seating.
Email or call (718) 217-4969

Very limited parking is available on premises and street. Please take public transportation if possible

Nation's largest green roof atop Bronx water plant doubles as driving range!

Mosholu Golf Course in the Bronx is one of a dozen run by the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation. Its compact layout is typical of New York’s urban courses—nine holes, tree-lined fairways, the odd sand bunker—save for one highly unusual obstacle: the $2.1 billion drinking water treatment facility under construction on what used to be the driving range.
When this heavily secured compound is completed in 2012, it’s due to be topped by far more than just new turf. Grimshaw and landscape architect Ken Smith have designed one of the largest and most intensive green roofs to date, which is also a fully functioning driving range. And an irrigation system for the golf course. And an integrated security program for the facility below. Think Pebble Beach meets the Biosphere meets Rikers.
“The distinction here is it’s not just a green roof, but a performative green roof that needs to provide all these functions,” Smith said in an interview. “I think we’re pushing both the design of the green roof and the design of the golf course in new directions. We’re working to see how far we can push the diversity of the ecology and still adhere to the constraints of the golf course.”
This quietly radical project is the result of more than a decade of debate over whether or not water from the Croton Reservoir, the smallest of the city’s three, needed treatment after more than a century of going without. That was followed by battles with Bronx residents over which and even whether the borough’s parks would be torn up to make way for the new plant. The city finally broke ground on the facility in 2004, and the driving range has moved to a temporary site while the complex roofscape takes shape.

The engineering challenges are formidable. At nine acres, the $95 million driving range is the largest contiguous green roof in the country. So when it rains at the range, it pours, which creates a paradoxical hazard for the plant below. “It’s of paramount importance to the City of New York that this building stay dry, despite being full of water,” said David Burke, the project architect at Grimshaw. So to handle the millions of gallons that can accumulate on the green roof during a storm, the design team has devised a natural filtration system to collect, process, and store the runoff.
The range’s unique topography not only provides green-like targets for golfers, who tee off from the perimeter of the circular structure, but helps channel rainwater into the collection basins, where it meets groundwater pumped in from the plant’s four sump pumps. The water then travels through a series of ten cells that ring the range, each one modeled on a different native ecosystem to serve different filtration purposes. It takes up to eight days for water to travel through the cells, at which point it’s collected and used to irrigate the golf course.
“We’re not just dumping it in the sewer,” said Mark Laska, president of Great Ecology & Environments, one of two ecological designers on the project. “It’s a true display of sustainable green design in an urban environment.”
The design team wanted to convey such sustainable lessons to the public, especially the kids enrolled in the First Tee outreach program at Mosholu, and so the cells were left in plain view. Furthermore, because they are sunk ten feet below grade, they serve as a moat of sorts that helps protect the city’s water supply, which is seen as a potential target for terrorists.
To that end, Grimshaw has also designed the guardhouse and screening buildings that security constraints required, in addition to the new clubhouse and tee boxes on the range. (Grimshaw is not designing the plant, however, which is the work of a specialized engineering firm.)
It's an unlikely commission, to be sure, but one the architects embraced. “It’s very fitting for Grimshaw,” as Burke put it. “We tend to gravitate toward these oddball projects.”

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Don't kiss me with THOSE lips.

Today's Democracy Now features Mark Shapiro, who wrote a book (just out in paperback) called Exposed, which talks about, among other things, the lack of regulation in the makeup industry and all the chemical nasties that get put into lipstick and other 'beauty' products in the U.S. His arguments are broad and talk about how the EU is becoming the market that sets the standard for ecologically friendly manufactured products. This is occurring because of the increasingly toothless environmental standards of the U.S. and the lack of regulation in certain markets, i.e. electronics manufacturing/importing. He argues that the U.S. market has become the dumping ground of environmentally insensitive goods that flow into our borders from China (primarily). These same goods often times have European counterparts which are made to conform to the EU's higher environmental standards. He also writes about the efforts of American lobbying firms working in Brussels to try and loosen the EU's environmental laws.

You can check out the Democracy Now episode here.

NPR also ran a story on the book in November of 2007. You can check that out here.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Farm Shares/Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in New York - Many Accepting Applications for new members March 1

The Green Coalition supports efforts to connect CUNY students with the local food economy. One way students can do that is by joining a CSA/Farm Share in their local neighborhood. A farm share is usually a subscription to the season's harvest - you pay the farmer up front and then enjoy fresh local seasonal vegetables (and sometimes fruit, eggs, meat and/or flowers) every week, approximately June to November. Joining a farm share/CSA is much cheaper than shopping at the farmers' markets around the city and helps farmers by providing capital before the growing season begins.

There are many many farm shares/csa's in the city but they tend to fill up early. This year, many will be inviting new members to join on March 1, 2009. There is a list of CSA's by borough and neighborhood here: .

Support your local farmers and eat delicious food all spring, summer and fall (there are a few winter CSA's available in the city, too).

Food Sovereignty in Ecuador

Ecuador Congress approves law on food sovereignty
Xinhua. February 18, 2009
Text from:

QUITO, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- Ecuador's temporary Congress approved on Tuesday
the Organic Law on Food Sovereignty aimed at boosting
domestic production.

The law to guarantee "the self-sufficiency of healthy, nutritive and
culturally appropriate food" was approved with 49 votes in favor, two
against, three blank and 11 abstentions.

Prompted by the approval, other laws to promote food independence and
recover the country's agriculture are likely to gain acknowledgment.

The Organic Law on Food Sovereignty provides a framework to connect the
agricultural, forest, underwater and fishing sectors.

The law highlights the establishment of scientific research and development
on agro-food issues, incentives for small- and medium-sized
producers, creation of an agro-food insurance, and promotion for the
consumption of domestic products.

Under the law, the Consultant Council for food Sovereignty, consisting of
six representatives from the government and six from the civil
society, will be formed.

The law is now be reviewed by President Rafael Correa. He may either ratify
it within 30 days, or send it back to the Legislative Commission for
further discussion.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

New York Budget Cuts

From Environmental Advocates:

Governor Paterson is taking an axe to chop down the state’s Environmental Protection Fund and cut staff at state agencies such as New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation.

A million here, $50 million there, and suddenly the Governor’s budget axe has cut through environmental protections for New York’s children and families.

Environmental Advocates of New York needs your help to tell Governor Paterson and all of our state leaders to protect our natural resources.

Tell Governor Paterson and state lawmakers in Albany that cutting green to stay in the black makes you see red!

Check out Environmental Advocates here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Are you a rider or a driver?

In the shadow of MTA fare hikes, bus route cuts and our ever-shrinking parking lot – lets ride together! The CUNY Law Green Coalition has set up a CUNY Law Rideshare site and we encourage you to use it.

Go to
Enter the group password: “whereareyou”

You will be taken to a screen with a table listing all the rides offered or requested by people in the CUNY Law community and a map.

THE TABLE: In the last column of the table, you can see whether the entry is for an offer or a request. You can sort the table by clicking on “offer or request” in the column heading. You can also sort by any of the other headings. The “entry date” in the last column will tell you how recently the posting was updated.

THE MAP: You can click on the red and green points on the map to see who has a destination or origin near you and when they are driving or wanting a ride.

Get in touch with people using the contact information they have provided in the last column or by clicking on the link in the “Contact/Member ID” column (if you are logged in, you will be taken to a screen where you can send a message that will be delivered to the person’s email).

1. Create an erideshare account (click on the link at the top of the page).
2. Return to
3. Click on “Click here to place a listing.”
4. Fill out the Form:
In the “Destination – City” field, put in your borough.
In the “Destination – Street” field, put in your address (or use both Street fields to enter an intersection).
Use the “Days of the Week” field to enter your regular weekly schedule (e.g. “M-F 8:30am”) or to enter your schedule for a given day (e.g. Thurs 12/17 3pm) or a weekly ride (Every Thurs 3pm).
In the “Other Information” field, put in your contact information – phone, email, etc. Remember that unless you choose to share your posting, only members of the CUNY Law community will be able to see your listing.
When you’re done, click the button labeled “click only once.”

If you are offering or requesting BOTH a ride and a request (roundtrip), the site will work better if you post two separate listings.

Take 30 seconds to update your schedule every day to keep the listings fresh and your car full. RIDERS - chip in for gas!