Doctor’s Orders: Join Call to Action for Health Impact Assessment on Fracking on Wednesday, May 30

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Doctor's Orders image - Giles Ashford/Jay Simpson
Credits (left to right): Giles Ashford, Jay Simpson


The legislative session in Albany is drawing to a close and New York’s State Senators have failed to pass a single piece of legislation to protect the public from irresponsible gas fracking.  This Wednesday, May 30, join us by rallying and/or making phone calls demanding that the Senate Republican Majority pass legislation to require the state to conduct a heath impact assessment and determine the effects that fracking might have on ourselves and our children.

Why is a health impact assessment needed?

The state refused to conduct an assessment of potential health impacts associated with fracking as part of its review process to determine whether it will allow high-volume fracking in NY, despite the growing body of evidence that gas extraction operations are making people sick. The medical community has taken several actions this year to warn the state not to allow fracking in New York without understanding its health impacts, and now it’s your turn. Notably, in October 2011, 250 doctors wrote the state to demand a health impact assessment on fracking, and in December 2011, 19 cancer-based advocacy organizations followed suit.  

What are we advocating for?

S.6772, sponsored by Sen. Avella, would require NY to conduct a comprehensive health impact assessment on fracking and require the state to implement the assessment’s recommendations. For this legislation to move in the Senate, it needs the support of the Senate Republican Majority, the members of which who have thus far done nothing to protect the public from fracking.

Where is the rally?

Several locations throughout the state, including:

Outside Office of Majority Leader Dean Skelos
55 Front Street State Office Building
Rockville Centre, NY 11570

Senator John Bonacic
201 Dolson Avenue
Middletown, NY 10940

More locations available (PDF).


All actions take place on Wednesday, May 30 from 12pm-1pm.

Want to do more or can’t attend a rally?  Call Republican Senators who have not yet supported health impact assessment and demand support!

  • Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (516) 766-8383 
  • Senator John Bonacic (845) 344-3311 
  • Senator James Alesi (585) 223-1800 
  • Senator John DeFrancisco (315) 428-7632 
  • Senator Tom Libous (877) 854-2687 
  • Senator Michael Nozzolio (315) 568-9816 
  • Senator James Seward (607) 432-5524

Thank you for taking action!


The Riverkeeper Top 3 – May 24, 2012


Hundreds of Volunteers Expected for First-Annual Riverkeeper Sweep and Party
On Saturday, June 2, hundreds of volunteers are expected to join more than 30 cleanups and other projects riverwide in the first-annual Riverkeeper Sweep. Our day of service for the Hudson River culminates in the Sweep Party on the waterfront in Ossining, open to all for a $10 suggested donation, featuring live blues and roots music, seining, fly fishing demonstrations, Clean Water Champion awards, a speech by Hudson Riverkeeper Paul Gallay, a chance to talk to Riverkeeper patrol boat Capt. John Lipscomb – plus food and beer for purchase, and sailing with the Ossining Community Boat Club and kayaking with Hudson River Recreation for Riverkeeper members at the Advocate ($40) level.
•    Do Your Part: Visit to register for a cleanup near you.
•    Join Us:  Check out the details about the Sweep Party, and purchase a ticket for a sunset sail or paddle. A limited number of tickets are available, so don’t miss your chance!


Paul Gallay speaks at NRC meeting. Video Highlights.

Hundreds Rally to Criticize Safety of Indian Point
Riverkeeper, our partners, and hundreds of citizens rallied at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s annual safety review for Indian Point. Many called the public process a sham for ignoring longstanding and well-documented public concerns about earthquake and terrorism risks, fire fighting capabilities and other fundamental safety concerns. Neither Entergy nor the NRC has taken seriously the lessons of the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown more than a year ago, and we sent a strong message: Don’t Let it  Happen Here!
•    Do Your Part: While Riverkeeper continues to argue in state hearings that radioactive leaks and massive ongoing fish kills mean Indian Point cannot be granted a needed water permit, we are preparing for upcoming NRC hearings, when we will argue to Close Indian Point, not relicense it for another 20 years. Riverkeeper is your voice in these key legal proceedings. Please donate today to aid our Close Indian Point campaign.

Sewage Pollution Right to Know Act Nears Vote
With a growing coalition of supporters, Riverkeeper is pushing for swift passage this summer of the Sewage Pollution Right to Know Act, which would require public notification when public wastewater treatment plants discharge untreated sewage to the Hudson River and other waterways throughout the state. More than 20 percent of Riverkeeper’s samples of the Hudson River failed to meet the Environmental Protection Agency benchmark for safe swimming – an unacceptable rate of failure that far exceeds the average of public beaches nationwide. Public awareness is the first step toward fixing the problems that too often make the Hudson and its tributaries unsafe.
•    Do Your Part: Your representative needs to hear from you! Check Riverkeeper’s online Action Center for the latest action you can take to aid in our effort.
•    Donate: Please contribute to our Water Quality Program. The material alone for a single water quality test costs $15, and Riverkeeper processes more than 175 tests per month.
Riverkeeper in the Press
5.22.12:: WCBS TV
CBS 2 Invades Dirty World Of Illegal Dumping
New York City, Organizations Doing Their Part To End Disgraceful Practice
Riverkeeper staff attorney and Chief Investigator Josh Verleun tells CBS, “It’s hard to know who’s dumping sometimes. In the case of tires it might be an auto body shop. In the case of appliances it might be somebody who is hauling waste.” Riverkeeper’s team helps to track down these illegal dumpers and then clean up their mess.
4.16.12:: Associated Press
AP IMPACT: Evacs and drills pared near nuke plants 

The nation’s nuclear power regulators have overhauled community emergency planning for the first time in more than three decades, requiring fewer exercises for major accidents and recommending that fewer people be evacuated right away. “They’re saying, ‘If there’s no way to evacuate, then we won’t.'” — Phillip Musegaas, Riverkeeper’s Hudson River Program Director
5.15.12 :: The Poughkeepsie Journal
On the Hudson, trash collection is a group effort
College, waste hauler, residents team up for river-rubbish removal
Riverkeeper member and Port Ewen resident, Chad Gomes, has organized a collaborative “Adopt a Port” effort. Gomes, an active boater, often wrestles with the desire to pick up debris, and the knowledge that there might be no convenient way to get rid of it. “I thought to myself, there should be an easy way for people to do what’s right,” he said.

America’s Most Endangered Rivers For 2012

From flooding to natural gas drilling to pollution, the threats facing the 2012 list of America’s Most Endangered Rivers® impact the quality and safety of our water.
Thousands of activists have already taken action to protect our rivers. But we need to send a clear message to policymakers reminding them that Americans want clean, healthy rivers. Will you take action for this year’s endangered rivers?

Protecting rivers is not just about aesthetics, but about every American’s right to clean water and all the benefits rivers provide. Most of our drinking water comes from rivers and streams, but many of our rivers are too polluted to use.
We cannot afford to turn back the clock on clean water safeguards.  Will you take action for this year’s endangered rivers?
Together, we can save each of this year’s most endangered rivers — and rivers nationwide for generations to come.
Thank you for your continued support for our rivers.

Add your voice to a growing number of people, businesses and organizations who support the restoration of one of the world’s largest freshwater ecosystems.
Sign Now »

Handling Black Bears in Urban and Suburban Areas


Young black bears will climb trees if they feel threatened.
~Photo courtesy of USFWS


Bears turn up in urban and suburban areas throughout New York State every year. During spring and early summer, young males set out on their own and sometimes travel into cities and towns where bird feed, garbage and pet food are available. When this happens, DEC’s first response is to monitor the bear’s movements, collaborate with local police and ensure the bear can find its own way safely out of town. Yet, when a bear seeks refuge in a tree and crowds form, the situation becomes more difficult. If a safe escape route exists and the crowd leaves, the bear might wait until dark and then return to its natural habitat. If there is no escape route or curious onlookers remain, DEC may tranquilize and relocate the bear. However, the best scenario is for the bear to find its own way back out of town. Learn more about how to prevent conflicts with bears by visiting DEC’s Nuisance Black Bears ( webpage.

Take action! Urge mid-Atlantic fishery managers to protect
threatened river herring and shad from Ocean bycatch

shad and herring graphic 450

Although river herring and shad are small fish, they play an immensely important role in the health of our coastal ecosystems. As food for larger fish, they help sustain commercial and recreational fisheries on the East Coast while contributing to the economies of many coastal river towns. They are in critical condition, however, because their populations have declined by more than 97 percent. In New York the Hudson River’s historic shad fishery was closed as populations reached critical levels. River herring populations in New York have also reached unsustainable levels and fisheries closures and restrictions will be implemented soon to protect dwindling populations.

The populations of shad and river herring that spawn in New York’s rivers spend much of their lives in the ocean. This spring, you can help secure the first meaningful protections for these fish in the ocean. Millions are caught each year, mostly by industrial trawlers targeting Atlantic mackerel. These massive boats tow football-field-size nets and indiscriminately kill millions of pounds of unintended catch annually, including river herring, shad, bluefin tuna, cod, haddock, and striped bass, as well as whales, dolphins, and seabirds. 

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council will meet in June to decide how to protect river herring and American shad at sea. This is your opportunity to help save these treasured species. Send a letter to the council today.
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I received the note below from Dave Agness. The LOTAC group is doing some cleanup and tree planting on the Salmon River and Oak Orchard on Saturday and Sunday. If you would like to help, meeting places, times and Dave’s email are listed below. Thanks.


Jake an FYI and short notice….but we are planting ((LOTAC) about 10,000 trees tomorrow on the Salmon River. Tree Planting starts at Noon …meeting in the Lower Fly Zone in Altmar, and on Sunday, we are doing a stream clean up on the Oak, and a tree planting of about 2,000 trees. That starts at 10 AM and we meet at the Water Port Dam parking lot. Please pas along to your group just in case anybody wants to join in.

David H. Agness

Hello to all.

Our next meeting will be Wednesday, May 2nd. We will meet at the Pittsford Rec Center (Spiegel Community Center), 35 Lincoln Ave, Pittsford. The meeting will be from 7 – 8:30. This will be our Fly Tying Demo meeting. We will have members and guests tying their favorite patterns or sharing some different techniques.

Tyers: Mike Simmons (Guys, Flies and Pies) – will be tying bass poppers and maybe an articulated streamer.

          Dave Eveland – will be tying a knock down mayfly pattern.

          Jake Jakubowski – will be tying a Hans Weilenmann Double Whammy (very versatile pattern).

(Note: if anyone else would like to tie just let me know. More is better!).

ALSO: FLY RAFFLE (FINALLY!) For those of you who tied flies last year for a raffle (no I did not use any of them), I have packages put together of a dozen or so flies and they will be on display next Wednesday. We decided to put together smaller packages so more people have a chance to win. We will start selling chances on the flies at this meeting and at the June picnic meeting. Winners will be drawn at the picnic (you don’t need to be present to win, but, hopefully you will be). Tickets will be two dollars a chance. We may be adding more flies to each package by the time of the picnic as well. It’s a great chance to win some really nice flies.

Format for this meeting: 7 – 7:15 fly fishing banter, check out the fly packages, buy some chances. 7:15 – 7:30 – short business meeting, 7:30 – 8:30, fly tying demos, questions, buy some chances on the fly packages.

Looking forward to seeing everyone Wednesday.


Lyme Disease is a real threat to those who go fishing

Wherein We Discuss a Fly Anglers Malady

Lyme Disease is a real threat to those who go fishing, unlike the recent hysteria over the rarely transmitted dog tapeworm larva (Echinococcus granulosus) to humans. In 2011 there were over 30,000 reported cases in the U.S. of  often debilitating Lyme disease. It is usually transmitted by the small, hard-to-see deer tick, which has as its primary host white-tailed deer.  Density of deer and density of ticks is closely related.  A new map has just been produced showing the actual density of deer ticks. Here in the Northern Tier of PA and Southern Tier of NY we have some real hot spots.  The infected area is spreading.  It also doesn’t help that we are having a mild winter.  This means the cold weather (or lack of) is NOT killing enough of the ticks.  Last year was a bad year for ticks…  unfortunately, I’m thinking this year will be even worse.

As you can see in my circle. Bradford/Sullivan Counties are considered a hotspot! As well as all of PA from Wayne County to Chester County.

Areas in the United States where people have the highest risk of contracting Lyme disease are pinpointed in a new map created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Lyme disease is one of the most rapidly emerging infectious diseases in North America. It’s transferred by ticks and symptoms range from headaches, fever and a rash to arthritis and Bell’s palsy, or damage to a facial nerve that can lead to temporary paralysis of the muscles on one side of the face.

At least three closely related bacteria cause the disease. It is transmitted by the bite of deer tick and is usually easy to treat with antibiotics if discovered early, but as time goes by treatment gets harder as the organism settles in and begins to damage various organs.   Even us DFP’ers get ticks. I had one embed itself in my arm while fishing on the Oswayo Creek near Shinglehouse, PA.  I was sitting on a nice manicured lawn along the creek when I got the tick.  It wasn’t in a classic tall grassy area.  So be on the lookout!

Damn ticks!!

The incidence of the disease is reduced by careful examination of clothing and skin after (and while) outdoors, knowledge of the first symptoms, and reduction in deer ticks.  Outdoor activities such as flyfishing, hiking and of course, hunting will put more folks into areas that could lead to a tick bite.  The best way to combat getting a tick bite to to wear waders or long pants and to wear shirts with long sleeves.  Staying out of tall grassy areas with exposed skin helps.  But what’s a dirtbagger to do when we are fishing along weedy growth areas?  Wear some ”bug juice” that has Permethrin in it. 

Permethrin forms a bond with fabric and will last through several to many laundry cycles. It is a toxin but in this case it is bound to the fabric, and therefore cannot harm you. This is what all of our Armed Forces use on their uniforms. The warnings should not be dismissed but are there mainly to avoid lawsuits, e.g., kind of like warning labels on hammers.