Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Global Warming articles that sound insane

[Articles: Generation Hot, Lake Erie 2050, End of Snow, Work Less to Save the Planet, Security Threat (Arctic Ice Free by 2013)...]

Generation Hot by Mark Hertsgaard:

On April 17, 2011 The Buffalo News published this article warning about the danger of denying global warming...
[On April 17 Buffalo, NY recorded 0.14" of snowfall]
Here are some excerpts from this story:
Every child on Earth born after June 23, 1988 belongs to what I call Generation Hot.
Recently, I went to Capitol Hill with members of Generation Hot...
We wanted to know why my daughter and the other 2 billion members of Generation Hot have to suffer because Republicans in Congress refuse to accept [that] Man-made climate change is happening now and is extremely dangerous.
It is not a matter of political partisanship but journalistic accuracy that compels me to report that the vast majority of climate cranks on Capitol Hill are Republicans.
The youths of Generation Hot have been condemned to spend the rest of their lives coping with harsher heat waves...
Probably the most far-sighted government official on these matters in the United States is Ron Sims.... a Democrat with a strong commitment to social justice.
...solutions will not matter much if we do not break the climate deniers' hold over US government policy... I see how fiercely the young people of Generation Hot are willing to fight.
[Buffalo weather the next day: High temperature of 35 (20 degrees below normal) low temperature of 31 with 0.70" of snowfall recorded]


Global Warming, Lake Erie, The Buffalo News, Jerry Zremski, August 8, 2002
[Editor's note: This article helped cure me of the Global Warming hysteria I was afflicted with since the 1980's.] 

Imagine the Buffalo summer in 2050. It's hot the way summers used to be hot in the Maryland panhandle, before it got hotter there, too. 

Broad sandy beaches line Lake Erie. Bathers enjoy this new weather extreme as if it were an antidote to Buffalo's other new weather extreme: a big increase in precipitation, sometimes in the form of blizzards, but mostly rain.

One thing is missing from this lakeside scene: the ships. They disappeared as the beaches appeared, driven out of business by the new low water levels. 

These new hot summers are imperfect in other ways, too.
Shallower water means pollutants are more concentrated, wreaking havoc for local water authorities. 

The Niagara flows so slowly now that the river's great hydropower project is a historic relic. 

And the woods to the south and the east of the city aren't what they once were since the maple trees started dying off. 

Welcome to Western New York in the age of global warming. In some ways it's oddly reminiscent of 2001 and 2002. 

Just like then, winters pack an early wallop, and summers range from sultry to stifling. 

In other words, the Buffalo of your children's future is likely to be very different than the one you know, the Buffalo of consistent but not crazy lake effect snow, the Buffalo of soft summer breezes and radiant fall colors. 

Of course, that future scenario is just that - a projection of what very well could happen if the scientific models prove to be true. If they do, global warming will remake Western New York. 

"It's going to affect everything," said Rich Thomas, chief of water management at the Army Corps of Engineers in Buffalo, where the impact of climate change is a growing concern. 

Those concerns reflect a dramatic change in the global warming debate. A decade ago, the question was whether "greenhouse gases" - the kind that spew out of your car and into the atmosphere - are increasing temperatures across the globe. 

Yet after the warmest decade in recorded history, most scientists regard global warming as a reality, though there's still a political debate about what ought to be done about it. 

In fact, after the Environmental Protection Agency recently produced a report spelling out dire consequences, President Bush dismissed it as the product of "bureaucrats" and defended his own plan to limit the increases in greenhouse gases rather than cut their output. 

Those bureaucrats predict some big changes ahead. 

"For the Great Lakes region, the next century could bring one of the greatest environmental transformations since the end of the last Ice Age," the EPA said in a study on global warming in the Great Lakes. 

Temperatures are expected to rise, on average, from 31/2 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century. Temperatures in Western New York might come to resemble what western Maryland experiences today, according to David Easterling, chief scientist for the National Climatic Data Center. 


Changes in Lake Erie

As temperatures rise, Lake Erie as we know it would be transformed. Like the rest of the Great Lakes, it would start to evaporate, meaning water levels would fall by as much as five feet over the next century. Most scientists expect the bulk of the drop to occur in the next few decades. The remaining water would be warmer and might never freeze during winter. 

There is a plus side. 

"You'd have some nice wide sand beaches," said Frank Quinn, retired head of the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Mich. 

But that's about where the plus side ends. 

Fed by greater evaporation from the Great Lakes, overall precipitation could increase 10 to 20 percent, the EPA says. 

"A lot of scientists mention getting fewer storms but of greater intensity," said Helen Domske, a researcher at the University at Buffalo's Great Lakes Program. "What could be a better description of last winter?" 

In the first few decades of warming, lake-effect snowstorms could be more frequent, thanks to Lake Erie's refusal to freeze. But Easterling said temperatures will probably warm to the point where lake-effect rain is increasingly common. As a result, lake-effect snow could decrease by half within a century. 

What's unknown is exactly when it will be warm enough for the snow to diminish. 

Essentially, the warmer temperatures would pick up more of Lake Erie and deposit it on the land. And that would create all sorts of problems. 

Great Lakes ships have to reduce their cargo load every time the level of the lakes drops, said Glen Nekvasil, vice president of the Lake Carriers' Association. And if the lakes dropped by five feet, the smaller loads would boost the cost of shipping so much that shippers might have to switch to the rails or trucks. 

"This could conceivably put the Great Lakes shipping industry out of business," Nekvasil said. 

It could do the very same thing to the New York State Power Authority's Niagara Power Project. When lake levels fell last year, the project's power output fell by as much as 20 percent. And last year's lake drop was minuscule compared to what's expected in the future. 

As a result, the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory predicts "greatly reduced electricity generation there under low flow conditions." 

Things don't look much better for municipalities such as Buffalo that get their water from the lake or its adjoining rivers. Thomas, of the Army Corps of Engineers, said most water intakes in the Great Lakes basin are located in spots where the water would likely be much more polluted if lake levels were lower. That could force hugely expensive improvements in local water plants. 

"The biggest problem will be the water intakes," Thomas said. "The quality of the water won't be as good." 

You might think that all of these problems might be solved through increased dredging, but that's unlikely. Costs would easily reach well into the billions of dollars, and by solving the water-level problem, the dredging could cause another: finding a safe place for all the contaminated sediment that would be removed.

Wells might run dry

Scientists say the shallower, warmer water could pose problems beyond the lakes, too. People who get their water from shallow wells might find them running dry. 

Brook trout could become increasingly rare in the Great Lakes basin, pushed aside by warmer-water fish such as bass and walleye. 

And Western New York's forests would come to look far different, too. Maple, beech and birch trees now dominate much of the forest cover in Western New York, but many researchers expect oak and pine to come to dominate over the next century. Fall would be far less colorful. 

"No, you're not going to have a dead-looking forest," said Ann Fisher, an environmental economist at Penn State who headed the study of the Mid-Atlantic region in a recent national assessment of global warming. "You'd just have a gradual change." 

Of course, that's just a prediction. Scientists caution that they're basing their descriptions of the future on climate models that may or may not be accurate. And there's debate among the scientists about those models. 

Brent Lofgren, a scientist at the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, doubts that there will be a huge drop in lake levels. He notes that some of the most prominent studies look at warming on a strictly global basis and never fully consider the role of the Great Lakes. 

Nevertheless, scientists generally regard warming as a matter of fact now. "The consensus is getting very solid," said Reg Gilbert, senior coordinator at Great Lakes United, a Buffalo-based environmental group. 

What's less certain is exactly what should be done. 

Bush has proposed a plan that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 18 percent, relative to the size of the economy, over the next decade. "The president's plan is predicated on ensuring the strength and growth of the American economy," said James L. Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. 


Bush plan "science fiction'

Political opponents and many environmentalists say the Bush plan won't do nearly enough to curb greenhouse gases. For one thing, the administration refused to sign the Kyoto protocol, an international agreement to curb global warming. And for another, the plan it did put forward would allow overall emissions of greenhouse gases to increase. 

Add it all up and the Bush plan for addressing climate change is nothing but "science fiction," said Sen. John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat who may run for president in 2004. For scientists looking toward the future, though, climate change is already a reality. Fisher, the Penn State economist, notes that she looked for benefits that might spring from global warming in the Mid-Atlantic. "It was very difficult to identify benefits," she said. 

"The damaging impacts tend to be larger."


The New York Times: The End of Snow by Porter Fox...
February 7, 2014
... Officials canceled two Olympic test events last February in Sochi after several days of temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit and a lack of snowfall had left ski trails bare and brown in spots. That situation led the climatologist Daniel Scott, a professor of global change and tourism at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, to analyze potential venues for future Winter Games. His thought was that with a rise in the average global temperature of more than 7 degrees Fahrenheit possible by 2100, there might not be that many snowy regions left in which to hold the Games. He concluded that of the 19 cities that have hosted the Winter Olympics, as few as 10 might be cold enough by midcentury to host them again. By 2100, that number shrinks to 6.
The planet has warmed 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since the 1800s, and as a result, snow is melting. In the last 47 years, a million square miles of spring snow cover has disappeared from the Northern Hemisphere. Europe has lost half of its Alpine glacial ice since the 1850s, and if climate change is not reined in, two-thirds of European ski resorts will be likely to close by 2100.
The same could happen in the United States, where in the Northeast, more than half of the 103 ski resorts may no longer be viable in 30 years because of warmer winters. As far for the Western part of the country, it will lose an estimated 25 to 100 percent of its snowpack by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions are not curtailed — reducing the snowpack in Park City, Utah, to zero and relegating skiing to the top quarter of Ajax Mountain in Aspen.
The facts are straightforward: The planet is getting hotter. Snow melts above 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The Alps are warming two to three times faster than the worldwide average, possibly because of global circulation patterns. Since 1970, the rate of winter warming per decade in the United States has been triple the rate of the previous 75 years, with the strongest trends in the Northern regions of the country. Nine of the 10 hottest years on record have occurred since 2000, and this winter is already looking to be one of the driest on record — with California at just 12 percent of its average snowpack in January, and the Pacific Northwest at around 50 percent.
To a skier, snowboarder or anyone who has spent time in the mountains, the idea of brown peaks in midwinter is surreal. Poets write of the grace and beauty by which snowflakes descend and transform a landscape. Powder hounds follow the 100-odd storms that track across the United States every winter, then drive for hours to float down a mountainside in the waist-deep “cold smoke” that the storms leave behind.
The snow I learned to ski on in northern Maine was more blue than white, and usually spewed from snow-making guns instead of the sky. I didn’t like skiing at first. It was cold. And uncomfortable.
Then, when I was 12, the mystical confluence of vectors that constitute a ski turn aligned, and I was hooked. I scrubbed toilets at my father’s boatyard on Mount Desert Island in high school so I could afford a ski pass and sold season passes in college at Mad River Glen in Vermont to get a free pass for myself. After graduating, I moved to Jackson Hole, Wyo., for the skiing. Four years later, Powder magazine hired me, and I’ve been an editor there ever since.
My bosses were generous enough to send me to five continents over the last 15 years, with skis in tow. I’ve skied the lightest snow on earth on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, where icy fronts spin off the Siberian plains and dump 10 feet of powder in a matter of days. In the high peaks of Bulgaria and Morocco, I slid through snow stained pink by grains of Saharan sand that the crystals formed around.
In Baja, Mexico, I skied a sliver of hardpack snow at 10,000 feet on Picacho del Diablo, sandwiched between the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean. A few years later, a crew of skiers and I journeyed to the whipsaw Taurus Mountains in southern Turkey to ski steep couloirs alongside caves where troglodytes lived thousands of years ago.
At every range I traveled to, I noticed a brotherhood among mountain folk: Say you’re headed into the hills, and the doors open. So it has been a surprise to see the winter sports community, as one of the first populations to witness effects of climate change in its own backyard, not reacting more vigorously and swiftly to reverse the fate we are writing for ourselves.
It’s easy to blame the big oil companies and the billions of dollars they spend on influencing the media and popular opinion. But the real reason is a lack of knowledge. I know, because I, too, was ignorant until I began researching the issue for a book on the future of snow.
I was floored by how much snow had already disappeared from the planet, not to mention how much was predicted to melt in my lifetime. The ski season in parts of British Columbia is four to five weeks shorter than it was 50 years ago, and in eastern Canada, the season is predicted to drop to less than two months by midcentury. At Lake Tahoe, spring now arrives two and a half weeks earlier, and some computer models predict that the Pacific Northwest will receive 40 to 70 percent less snow by 2050. If greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise — they grew 41 percent between 1990 and 2008 — then snowfall, winter and skiing will no longer exist as we know them by the end of the century.
The effect on the ski industry has already been significant. Between 1999 and 2010, low snowfall years cost the industry $1 billion and up to 27,000 jobs. Oregon took the biggest hit out West, with 31 percent fewer skier visits during low snow years. Next was Washington at 28 percent, Utah at 14 percent and Colorado at 7.7 percent.
The winter sports industry contributes $66 billion annually to the nation’s economy, and supports more than 960,000 jobs across 38 states, according to the Outdoor Industry Association. A surprisingly large sector of the United States economy appears to be teetering on the brink.
Much of these environmental data come from a 2012 report, “Climate Impacts on the Winter Tourism Economy in the United States,” by two University of New Hampshire researchers, Elizabeth Burakowski and Matthew Magnusson. The paper was commissioned by the Natural Resources Defense Council and a start-up advocacy group called Protect Our Winters. The professional snowboarder Jeremy Jones started that group, known as POW, in 2007 when he realized that many of the slopes he had once ridden no longer held snow. It has since become the leading voice for those fighting to save winter, largely because few others are doing anything about it.
The National Ski Area Association has reacted with relatively ineffective campaigns like Sustainable Slopes and the Climate Challenge, while policies at ski resorts range from aggressively green to indifferent. Somewhere in between lie the majority of American ski areas, which are struggling to make ends meet while pushing recycling, car-pooling, carbon offsets and awareness campaigns to show they care.
The truth is, it is too late for all of that. Greening the ski industry is commendable, but it isn’t nearly enough. Nothing besides a national policy shift on how we create and consume energy will keep our mountains white in the winter — and slow global warming to a safe level.
This is no longer a scientific debate. It is scientific fact. The greatest fear of most climate scientists is continued complacency that leads to a series of natural climatic feedbacks — like the melting of the methane-rich permafrost of Arctic Canada.
Artificial snow-making now helps to cover 88 percent of American ski resorts, and has become the stopgap measure to defend against the early effects of climate change. Snow-making requires a tremendous amount of electricity and water, though, so it’s unlikely that snow guns will be our savior. In the Alps, snow-making uses more water in the winter than the entire city of Vienna, about 500,000 gallons of water per acre. Ski areas like Vail, Keystone, Breckenridge and Arapahoe Basin seed clouds with silver iodide to make it snow, but that won’t help much when it gets warmer. When it does, whatever the clouds bring will fall as rain.
With several dry winters back to back, the ski industry is waking up. Last spring, 108 ski resorts, along with 40 major companies, signed the Climate Declaration, urging federal policy makers to take action on climate change. A few weeks later, President Obama announced his Climate Action Plan, stating, “Mountain communities worry about what smaller snowpacks will mean for tourism — and then, families at the bottom of the mountains wonder what it will mean for their drinking water.”
It was a big step forward for skiers and the country. And it led people to ask me, “Why save skiing when there are more pressing consequences of climate change to worry about?” The answer is, this is not about skiing. It is about snow, a vital component of earth’s climate system and water cycle. When it disappears, what follows is a dangerous chain reaction of catastrophes like forest fires, drought, mountain pine beetle infestation, degraded river habitat, loss of hydroelectric power, dried-up aquifers and shifting weather patterns. Not to mention that more than a billion people around the world — including about 70 million in the western United States — rely on snowmelt for their fresh water supply.
I remember watching my first Winter Olympics in 1980. We were on a family ski trip at Copper Mountain in Colorado, where my brother and I skied the first powder run of our lives. It was on a gentle slope just off one of the main trails. We wiggled down the hill in chaotic rapture then skied the run again and again. The snow was soft and the turns effortless. You don’t have to be a skier to feel nostalgia for those whitewashed days — or to see the writing on the wall.

Porter Fox is the features editor at Powder magazine and the author of “Deep: The Story of Skiing and the Future of Snow.”
 -A version of this op-ed appears in print on February 9, 2014, on page SR1 of the New York edition with the headline: The End of Snow?. 


Work Less to Slow Climate Change...
February 2013, David Rosnick

Center for Economic and Policy Research:

Western European countries have significantly reduced work hours (through shorter weekly hours and increased vacation time) while the United States has not.

A number of studies (e.g. Knight et al. 2012, Rosnick and Weisbrot 2006) have found that shorter work hours are associated with lower greenhouse gas emissions and therefore less global climate change. The relationship between these two variables is complex and not clearly understood...

Reducing work hours over the rest of the century by an annual average of 0.5 percent would eliminate about one-quarter to one-half of the global warming that is not already locked in.

It is worth noting that the pursuit of reduced work hours as a policy alternative would be much more difficult in an economy where inequality is high and/or growing.
To the extent that working less will result in lower production, however, lower production should result in a fall in emission of greenhouse gases.

Increased leisure is a viable alternative as well. As productivity increases, different societies may simply choose to work less rather than fully increase output.

“As productivity increases, especially in high-income countries, there is a social choice between taking some of these gains in the form of reduced hours, or entirely as increased production,” said economist David Rosnick, author of the paper. “For many years, European countries have been reducing work hours – including by taking more holidays, vacation, and leave – while the United States has gone the route of increased production.

“The calculation is simple: fewer work hours means less carbon emissions, which means less global warming.”


“Increased productivity need not fuel carbon emissions and climate change,” CEPR Co-Director Mark Weisbrot said. “Increased productivity should allow workers to have more time off to spend with their families, friends, and communities. This is positive for society, and is quantifiably better for the planet as well.”



We Can't Ignore the Security Threat from Climate Change
Senator John Kerry, 10/16/2009

HuffPo 8/31/2009:

On August 6, 2001, President George W. Bush famously received an intelligence briefing entitled, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." Thirty-six days later, al Qaeda terrorists did just that.
Scientists tell us we have a 10-year window -- if even that -- before catastrophic climate change becomes inevitable and irreversible.
...
Atmospheric carbon-dioxide levels have risen 38% in the industrial era, from 280 to 385 parts per million (ppm). Scientists have warned that anything above 450 ppm -- a warming of 2 degrees Celsius -- will result in an unacceptable risk of catastrophic climate change.
...
Scientists project that the Arctic will be ice-free in the summer of 2013. Not in 2050, but four years from now.
Make no mistake: catastrophic climate change represents a threat to human security, global stability, and -- yes -- even to American national security.  
Climate change injects a major new source of chaos, tension, and human insecurity into an already volatile world. It threatens to bring more famine and drought, worse pandemics, more natural disasters, more resource scarcity, and human displacement on a staggering scale.
...
The individual data points may sometimes be murky. But the pattern they create is irrefutably clear: We don't know if Hurricane Katrina was caused by climate change, but we do know that we are rapidly heading for a world where climate change causes worse Katrinas. We don't know with certainty whether climate change pushed Darfur over the edge, but we do know that it will cause more tension just like we've seen in Darfur.
Once you accept the science, it's clear that such massive environmental change will create dislocation, destruction, chaos, and conflict...
The people of the tiny coastal village of Newtok, Alaska offer a harbinger of the challenges ahead. Citizens there recently voted to move their village nine miles inland because melting ice shelves made their old home too dangerous.
...
Anyone who doubts the threat should talk to the 11 retired American admirals and generals who warned in 2007 that "Climate change can act as a threat multiplier for instability in some of the most volatile regions of the world, and it presents significant national-security challenges for the United States."
...
Former CENTCOM Commander Anthony Zinni, no radical tree-hugger, put it simply: "We will pay for this one way or another. We will pay to reduce greenhouse gas emissions today, and we'll have to take an economic hit of some kind. Or, we will pay the price later in military terms. And that will involve human lives. There will be a human toll."
Nowhere is the connection between climate and security more direct than in South Asia -- home to al Qaeda.
Scientists now warn that the Himalayan glaciers which supply fresh water to a billion people in the region could disappear completely by 2035.
Think about what this means: Water from the Himalayans flows through India and Pakistan. India's rivers are not only vital to its agriculture but are also critical to its religious practice. Pakistan, for its part, is heavily dependent on irrigated farming to avoid famine.
...
The bottom line is that failure to tackle climate change risks much more than a ravaged environment: It risks a much more dangerous world, and a gravely threatened America.
Unfortunately, not everyone in Washington appreciates the stakes. It's tragic that we live at a time when if one were to dismiss the threat of terrorism, you'd be sent home in the next election. But there are no similar political consequences if you dismiss the science or the threat of climate change.
This winter, delegates from 192 nations will gather in Copenhagen to create a new global climate treaty. Between now and then, the United States Congress is expected to act on climate legislation.
The decisions we make in coming months will determine whether we meet this challenge head-on and prevail or if we are to suffer the worst consequences of a warming planet.
This time we have to connect the dots before we face catastrophe.

 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Iconoclasm, Redskins, School Board, Lancaster, NY

[updates below...]

Iconoclast: a person who attacks cherished beliefs or institutions; a destroyer of images.

Censorship:  the practice of officially examining content and suppressing parts therein.

Offend: cause to feel annoyed, or resentful.
Offended: annoyed as a result of a perceived insult.

Being offended is a choice.
There is nor guaranteed right that protects a citizen from being offended.
There are plenty of valuable traditions that certain citizens find offensive, and we should maintain them.

In 1948, the uninspiring name Lancaster Maroons was officially changed to the valiant Lancaster Redskins. 

On March 16, 2015, operating under the guidance of outside "politically correct" iconoclasts at the University of Buffalo, Lancaster, NY school board members voted to eliminate the Redskins mascot name.

By arbitrarily declaring Redskins a "racial slur," supporters of the change can now accuse their opponents of racism. 
Labeling people who disagree with them as "racist" is a misguided attempt at moral equivalency. 

Redskins is a name of honor for the early warriors of this land.
These Indians, proud members of the Iroquois Confederacy, did not have red skin. 
They did coat themselves with fierce red war paint and clay before battle; hence the name.

No school names their athletic teams out of slander or disrespect. 

The thought reform police organized a Two-Minute Hate Cultural Revolution to implement their iconoclasm by distorting the etymological lexicon of the proud word Redskins.   
 
The Lancaster school board at the behest of district Superintendent Michael Vallely, voted to strike the name in a glaring violation of due process. 
Due process is the bedrock of American law as it deals with representative legislatures. 

Do we really want the State University of New York at Buffalo dictating from central control what is best for our local community without the residents having their say?

Fortitude, character, and knowledge will defeat these elitist iconoclasts. 
Our most effective recourse resides at the ballot box...

Next school board election is May 19, 2015 from 7a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Lancaster High School gym. 
Two anti-Redskins members, Buchert and Nowak, will be up for re-election. 
There is also a budget vote.  Proposed Lancaster district budget is expected to increase 2.57% ($2.5 million) to $99.9 million - which would require a 1.83% property tax increase.  (Under Cuomo's property tax cap plan, any property tax increase under 2.61% will be offset by a onetime rebate check; after that it's a permanent increase.)  Last time residents voted down a school budget was May 2005.  The current budget plan relies on $3.6 million in state funds tied to a 95% student participation rate in teacher evaluation tests (APPR).  With student participation well below this threshold, did Vallely and the Board of Education plan for this potential 3.6% reduction?
There will be a capital improvement project vote.  Price tag is $57.3 million.
Voters will also be asked to approve $946,496 to buy 8 new school buses. 

Lancaster Town Supervisor Dino Fudoli supports the Redskins name and favors a referendum on the issue.

Pro-Redskins Lancaster school board candidates:
Brenda Christopher
Kelly Hughes Depczynski

Lancaster, NY school board members and when their term expires:

Kenneth Graber, President
Term Expires: June 30, 2016
"Do you really have to ask?  Because of what happened at the last meeting... It is because of the near riot conditions that happened two meetings ago."
 
Patrick Uhteg, Vice President
Term Expires: June 30, 2017

“I’m trying to represent a different perspective because yours is informed and based upon history and personal experience and mine is not."

Wendy Buchert
Term Expires: June 30, 2015

Bill Gallagher
Term Expires: June 30, 2016

Marie MacKay
Term Expires: June 30, 2017

Kimberly Nowak
Term Expires: June 30, 2015
“You’ve given me [an example of] a young man who doesn’t want to come to our school...
It’s a bit overwhelming to understand what it [Redskins] means to you when it clearly hasn’t had that impact on the rest of us.”

Michael Sage
Term Expires: June 30, 2017
“There’s children who are native who may not be seen as native because of the images we use.  As we educate, and the stigma of using the ‘r-word’ is [just] as bad in all people’s eyes, people will change. There’s an opportunity cost to continue down the road of using the ‘r-word.’”
 
There is no such thing as a consequence free environment...

----------Timeline----------

Summer of 2014, Lancaster school board president Kenneth Graber contacted Alvin Parker, Seneca activist, to contribute to the Redskins debate.

UB's undue influence is represented by the five guests invited by Superintendent Vallely to the 1/21/2015 Lancaster Board of Education "work session."
Board President Kenneth Graber noted that he and Vallely did not ask questions during the session because they had spoken with the guests prior to the meeting.

Donald Grinde Jr., Professor of transnational studies:  “Well, I’d like you to call me a Redskin.  [No?]  I’ve talked to the owner [of Washington, D.C.’s NFL team] and asked him to do that, and he refused, actually.”
Board member Uhteg's response: “You think the fact that they won’t is telling and speaks to what’s inside them rather than what is popular opinion or their developed opinion.  I think that’s very interesting, and when you asked me to call you that, I wouldn’t call you that. Why do you think that is the case? Do you think there’s something inside me that’s saying this is wrong?”

Hillary Weaver, co-director of the Immigrant and Refugee Research Institute:  “I would say it’s more than an offensive term. I would say it’s a racist term.  This is racist, this is wrong and as an educational leader, I think this is an opportunity to stand up and say no.”

John Kane, First Voices Indigenous Radio Network:  “I suspect that there are students here that are thinking, how is the ‘r-word’ different than the ‘n-word’?  It isn’t.  When you boil it down to something like skin, that’s where both words come from.”

Alvin Parker, Six Nations committee chairman:  “Supporting oppressive rituals and practices because they are traditional and popular is no more appropriate than supporting slavery, sexual harassment and discriminatory hiring practices.  Stereotyping assaults the principles of justice.”
Board member MacKay's response:  "We need to as a community, as a board, as a school district be educated so we can make the right decision."

Al Jamieson, heads Nekanęhsakt, an organization of Indigenous allies and Neto, an organization of Indigenous artists.
[[Jamieson has been actively fighting the city of Buffalo to change the name of Squaw Island (Squ*w as she types it - the "s" word) and on 2/20/2015 Mayor Brown announced that indeed, "Squ*w" Island's name will be changed to Ga'nigö:i:yoh (ga-knee-GO-ee-yoh). 
This is who UB/Vallely brought to pressure the Lancaster board of education.]]

January 2015, published in the Lancaster Bee:
Kenneth Graber of the Lancaster School Board will soon occupy a seat on the Lancaster Industrial Development Agency.
Town Supervisor Dino Fudoli was seeking to remove the appointment of Graber.
Fudoli argued that Graber’s educational background did not make him well-equipped to serve on the IDA.
“I see it as rather disturbing that we are putting in people who are underqualified or not qualified,” said Fudoli, who also serves on the IDA.

February 26, 2015:
"Because blood would pour from the scalps of the slaughtered Native men, women and children, and drench their faces and now lifeless bodies, thus turning their skin red, early United States citizens began embracing the term “redskin” for all Indigenous peoples across Turtle Island. The term implied that, eventually, all living Native peoples would be nothing but a “redskin” – a lifeless, blood covered, piece of bounty.
This all too common piece of hate speech now “inspires pride” in alumni and current students of Lancaster High School, whose slogan, “Once a Redskin, Always a Redskin”, says it all."
-Jody Lynn Maracle, PhD graduate student of the University at Buffalo's Transnational Studies Department, acts as a facilitator for Nekanehsakt: Friends of Ekwehewe, and is a contributor to Two Row Times.  Jody believes Columbus Day is a celebration of racist genocide.

March 3, 2015, Vallely/UB/BOE work session...

March 9, 2015, BOE public meeting...

March 11, 2015, Jody Lynn Maracle, PhD Student at the UB, facilitator for Nekanehsakt:
"In his response to Christopher’s questions regarding the uneven table numbers, Dr. Vallely, the Lancaster Superintendent of schools, quickly rattled off statistics of the evening’s registrants included the fact that only 28% of registrants were “pro-mascot” while 58% were “anti-mascot,” the rest being undecided. While 100% of those marked “undecided” or “anti-mascot” appeared at last week’s working group, up to 30% of those in support of the mascot did not attend resulting in lopsided numbers at the working group tables."
[Many Redskins supporters were not permitted access to the event.] 
Jody Maracle: Lancaster is the last outpost of outdated racism... "save the tradition" paints Lancaster residents as dangerously fanatical.

April 1, 2015 The Buffalo News:
Beth Kwiatek, adjunct instructor for the Women’s Studies program at the University at Buffalo, where she taught a course titled “Radical Whiteness: Invitation to Responsibility.”
Not a single article in The Buffalo News addressed the real story behind the “Redskins” debacle.  While several were insightful – oppressors seeing themselves as victims, the need for educational forums, voter and economic backlash, insensitive and out-of-touch suburbanites – not one article wrote about the power that comes with being white (1).
Instead of teaching our students “the other side of the story” or “the right thing to do,” let’s teach our kids the real story – the story of whiteness (2).  To be white and have white privilege (3) is to stand up in a room full of people, look directly into the eyes of brown-skinned people and tell them what is and what is not racism. White people (4) can ignore history. White people (5) can ignore experts. White people (6) can ignore their neighbors.
Using cultural sensitivity training as a means to address racism is misguided and does not work.  Just ask Al Parker, the Tonawanda Seneca Nation representative who addressed mascot supporters and stated, “It is not an honor.”  Or News columnist Rod Watson; he repeatedly gets criticized when he writes anything about race.  The problem with multiculturalism and pluralism is that they present all cultures as equal. Whiteness (7) is then seen as ethnicity.
This is a distortion. Whiteness (8) is not a culture or an ethnicity. People who are white (9)do not identify as white (10), unless they are in front of someone who is not white (11). It exists only in the presence of non-whiteness (12).  Whiteness (13) is a relationship. And it is a relationship of power.
Multiculturalism has taught the students of Lancaster (and Fox News) to believe that when they are asked to stop using racist language, they can argue, “What about our culture or our history?”
The power of privilege allows the supporters of “Redskins” to argue that the word can be a racial slur, but in this moment it is not.  In other words, to be white (14) is to assert that ugly, insulting and racist slurs can be separated from their intention, history or definition.
Everyone agrees that racism exists, but no one admits to being the offender.  Well, what is racism but that practice of white power and privilege (15)?  To be white (16) is to believe that you have the right to speak, be heard and be counted at all times.  To be white (17) is to believe that you can hide behind your ethnicity, gender or poverty to dismiss the voice of non-whites (18), disparage political correctness and even distort reality with claims of reverse racism.
It is time to educate our youth and community about how we all use, take advantage of, benefit and even encourage and promote the mantle of white power and privilege (19).
 
 
April 4, 2015, published in The Lancaster Sun:
 "...the committee has decided to honor the entire Lancaster Board of Education for the courage and wisdom it displayed in determining that the current mascot was harmful to the Native American population.  At a time in our society when few organizations actually stand up for what is right, the Lancaster Board of Education stood out in its resolve.
What the Lancaster Board of Education has done under your leadership and that of your outstanding superintendent, Michael Vallely, is to reinforce the dignity of all humans regardless of their backgrounds..."
-Robert W. Christmann, WNYSE executive director in a letter to Board President Kenneth Graber


On April 30 at Salvatore's Italian Garden the Western New York Educational Service Council WNYESC will present the entire Lancaster School Board with a 2015 Award of Excellence.

(Who will be paying for this banquet?  50 attendees at $100 a pop?)

WNYSE is part of and located at the University of Buffalo's Graduate School of Education.  
WNYSE is a chartered institution under the Regents of the State of New York.

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Lancaster School District Policy #7552 is now being cited as reason for Redskins retaliation...
Students are expected to behave, and to treat all students, teachers, school staff and others, with honesty, tolerance, respect, courtesy and dignity as per the LCSD Policy #7552 — Bullying in the Schools. Students should respect their peers, teachers, and school staff. Individual behavior should not interfere with the rights of others. Students are expected to use language that is appropriate in demonstrating respect for self and others. Profanity, vulgar language including, but not limited to, racial comments, and/or obscene gestures toward others will not be tolerated. Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.
What disciplinary action will be taken if a student wears a Washington Redskins shirt under #7552?
Would a student organized field trip to the December 20 Buffalo Bills game be violation of #7552?
Is a school celebration of Columbus Day a violation of #7552?




 



 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

White Privilege, the Left's racial slander, the superiority of a Judeo-Christian Greco-Roman world

Wikipedia: White privilege (or white skin privilege) is a term for societal privileges that benefit white people in western countries beyond what is commonly experienced by the non-white people under the same social, political, or economic circumstances.  These privileges are unearned and are distributed based on values of the dominant group, which in the west is white people.
-McIntosh, Peggy. "Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack." Beyond Heroes and Holidays. 1998. Endid Lee. Teaching for Change, 1998.

White privilege is used as a pejorative term by Leftists to agitate for their cause...

What they call white privilege is said to exists both consciously and unconsciously...

However,
What they call white privilege is not racial based...
What they call white privilege is a cultural phenomena...
What they call white privilege is rooted in European achievements...
What they call white privilege is based on the ethics of Judeo-Christian teachings...
What they call white privilege is an acceptance of a society based on Greco-Roman laws of governing...

What they call white privilege is a culture based on a Judeo-Christian Greco-Roman world embodied in the United States of America and its Constitution.

Monogamy is the single greatest cultural a societal factor in determining a child's success.  Would they call monogamy white privilege?  Not yet at least...

Friday, September 19, 2014

Herwinder Singh, Mexican Border, Illegal Immigration, Arrest, Release, Rape, New York.

April 2013:
According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, 17 year old Herwinder Singh is arrested by U.S. Border Patrol agents in McAllen, Texas.

He is scheduled to face removal proceedings in Immigration Court in March 2015.

Summer 2014:
18 year old Herwinder Singh is living in Amherst, NY.

July 28, 2014:
Herwinder Singh rapes a 14 year old girl in Clarence, Erie County, New York.

September 9, 2014:
Erie County Sheriff's detectives arrest Herwinder Singh.

Singh is released on bail.

September 18, 2014:
Herwinder Singh has court appearance in Clarence Town Court...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

PUSH Buffalo, NY real estate, People United for Sustainable Housing

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"We are the ones who need to be at the table when these decisions are made affection our children."
- Jennifer Mecozzi-Rivera, organizing director of PUSH Buffalo, on PUSH's opposition to charter schools, 10/15/2014

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6/5/2014:

People United for Sustainable Housing, PUSH Buffalo, has announced that their Buffalo Neighborhood Stabilization Company, in conjunction with Syracuse based Housing Visions, will develop 46 rental units aimed at Buffalo's West Side immigrant and refugee community at a cost of $11 million to be completed by August 2015.

Funding the project is the City of Buffalo, KeyBank, New York State Homes and Community Renewal, and New York State Environmental Facilities Corp.

The project will renovate seven existing structures and build nine new structures.

The cost per unit is $239,130.  ($11,000,000 / 46)

PUSH has 27 employees.


-Based on a Buffalo News article by Mark Sommer on 6/3/2014

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12/24/2012:

The Buffalo News 12/24/2012 front page above the fold print edition:

One of Buffalo’s most well-known housing organizations is preparing for its most ambitious project yet, with a goal of providing a warm, affordable place to live for dozens of lower-income West Side residents.

But as PUSH Buffalo beautifies a targeted 25-block area by buying up problem properties and making them attractive again, property values are on the rise, which makes pricing longtime residents out of the neighborhood a real risk.

“We’ve built these great houses, almost makes it look like we’re stepping on our own toes,” said Jen Mecozzi, PUSH’s director of community organizing. “Building affordable housing that people can live in and be safe and feel warm and not have to pay crazy bills – now we might be the reason other people can’t do that.”

PUSH’s mission is in its name – People United for Sustainable Housing – and the group is committed to helping people who already live on the West Side get into housing that is energy-efficient and affordable, while empowering people to create the neighborhoods they want, organizers said.

Ultimately, PUSH wants to make sure that people who have been living in the neighborhood can stay there, and the organization is building as affordably and sustainably as it can, said Jenifer Kaminsky, housing director of PUSH’s Buffalo Neighborhood Stabilization Company.

...

The Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors last year reported that home values on the West Side had risen dramatically in the last decade.

“There’s nothing wrong with people making money off of real estate transactions, but our first concern is just regular working people in the neighborhood,” said Lonnie Barlow, a PUSH member and community resident.

As part of its $12.4 million Massachusetts Avenue Community Homes project, a much larger undertaking than anything it has done so far, PUSH is planning to build nine new structures and rehabilitate seven others. The project’s 46 new units will be rented to people who earn between 40 and 60 percent of the area’s median income, which is about $65,300.

[Median Price of Home Sales is $65,300.  Median hosehold income in 2010 was $27,869.  Thus, people who earn between 40 and 60 percent of the area's median income make between $11,476 and 16,721.] 

The sites are within the organization’s “Green Development Zone,” a 25-block area centered on Massachusetts Avenue and bounded by Niagara Street, West Delavan Avenue, Richmond Avenue and Vermont Street.

The one-, two- and three-bedroom units will rent from about $385 to $525, similar to the rents of PUSH’s 18 existing units. The new project includes one four-bedroom unit, and several units will be built to accommodate people with physical disabilities, including hearing and vision impairment.

PUSH has been buying up properties, such as 257 Massachusetts Ave., an imposing three-story structure with blond masonry, bay windows covered with boards, and concrete steps, which it purchased for $6,200 last year. In other cases, PUSH has reached development agreements with lot owners, such as the city.

The 26 parcels – some adjacent lots will be the site of a single new structure – were selected with community input. The neighborhood was canvassed, and residents were asked which properties they would like to see improved.

Part of the reason the scale of the project is so large is to accommodate as many people as possible, Mecozzi said, noting the growing interest in the neighborhood, which is causing property values to rise.

The project will be funded partly by the state’s Homes and Community Renewal agency, partly from bank loans, and PUSH is hoping to get some money from the city. PUSH will apply for state funding in January and hopes to get started on the work in the fall. Before all of the grant applications can be made, the project’s approvals from the city must be in place.

PUSH also purchased the long-shuttered Club Utica at the so-called “five points” intersection of Brayton, Rhode Island and West Utica streets.

Resident surveys showed a strong desire for retail businesses at the former country-western bar, so PUSH is planning a fresh-food market, stocked by the Massachusetts Avenue Project, which promotes urban farming, and a storefront for a new or expanding business. The rear of the first floor will be a community meeting space and property management offices, and the second floor will house apartments.

Demand for the apartment units is high, Kaminsky said. In the first month that PUSH started to market 11 new units this fall, more than 100 applications came in, and people continue to inquire at PUSH headquarters on Grant Street.

The changes in the last five years in the Grant-Lafayette area – located in PUSH’s Green Zone – have been evident, from the rise in property values to the addition of businesses to those that have been there for decades.

...

In addition to PUSH, Heart of the City Neighborhoods, Jericho Road Ministries, and Westside Ministries are some of the active organizations in the area.

Delores Powell, who lives on Massachusetts Avenue in a new home revealed on “Extreme Home Makeover” in 2009, credited her block’s transformation to PUSH’s slow and steady progress, but also to the reality show experience, which also improved properties around her own.

“There was a lot of violence, and all of that has changed,” Powell said, noting that the corner of Massachusetts and Normal avenues was particularly dangerous.

The city demolished problem properties around her in 2009, which drove away drug users and other criminals, Powell said.

PUSH encouraged people to take pride in their neighborhood and also gave them a voice, she said.

The neighborhood remains a work in progress. PUSH’s surveys found that residents desire more health care providers, and Mecozzi said differences between classes – the neighborhood is a destination for many immigrant communities – has prevented certain groups from patronizing certain stores.

“Our goal is to get people to stay in the same lane and hang out together,” she said.

At a Planning Board meeting in November, three of PUSH’s neighbors spoke in favor of the project, though real estate broker David Weitzel said that, while he liked what PUSH is doing, there needs to be more opportunities for homeownership.

The concern that the neighborhood’s success is drawing new interest and causing property values to rise is a good problem to have, but one that must be addressed, said Henry Louis Taylor Jr., director of the Center for Urban Studies and a School of Architecture and Planning professor at the University at Buffalo. “We’ve been waiting for a long time for this problem to reach the shores of Buffalo,” Taylor said.

As a way to keep neighborhoods affordable, Taylor suggested establishing land banks, which PUSH has done to address rising property values, or levying property taxes based on income.
...

“The challenge of PUSH is to create a community that will not push people out,” he said.

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9/8/2012

Based on Buffalo News article by Jill Terreri

PUSH Buffalo (People United for Sustainable Housing) received $1.7 million to rehabilitate three properties assessed at a combined value of $90,000.

The three houses have a total of eleven apartments which will be rented for between $375-500 per month.

The three properties are located at 397, 398 and 460 Massachusetts Ave. and are worth $15,000, $20,000 and  $55,000 respectively.
The houses are owned by Massachusetts Avenue Housing.

The $1,700,000 was funded by:
State Division of Homes and Community Renewal
City of Buffalo
Federal Home Loan Bank

$567,000 per house
$155,000 per apartment


UPDATE:
Montanez, 35, moved with her sons, Rakhim, 18, and Zaindre, 15, a couple of weeks ago into an affordable-rate apartment on the West Side recently rehabilitated by PUSH Buffalo. With only a love seat and TV set in the virtually empty home as the holidays approach, the family has a desperate need for the basics.  Rakhim usually stays with an aunt, because there he can sleep on a box spring.  Her two daughters, Jakayla, 11, and Ky’asia, 9, live with their father and stay with her on the weekends.  Montanez must make do with $800 a month in Social Security Disability, plus $400 a month in food stamps that resumed this week, now that she has a permanent address.  She also works at Goodwill, but the piecework pays her less than minimum wage, she said.  Nor do the boys’ fathers help – one is incarcerated, while the other is not involved with the family, Montanez said.

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4/21/2012

 

PUSH Buffalo receives public money and tax-free profits...
Concerned citizens want to see the accounting of where that PUSH money goes.


















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10/22/2010

PUSH Buffalo and HomeFront are trumpeting the "green restoration" of a house on Buffalo's west side. The house is owned by PUSH (People United for Sustainable Housing) and has an assessed value of $40,000. PUSH and HomeFront have secured $163,000 from the New York State Homes and Community Renewal's Urban Initiative Program to replace the roof, remove asbestos, replace insulation, and landscape the property...
Again: PUSH is receiving $163,000 of tax payer money to fix up a $40,000 house that they own and pay zero taxes on...
Once again: $163,000 of NYS tax revenue is being spent on a $40,000 house that PUSH owns tax free...