Sustainable Tompkins is a citizen-based organization working towards the long-term well-being of our communities by integrating social equity, economic vitality, ecological stewardship, and shared responsibility.

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Home Rule and the Greater Good

Screen shot 2015-06-17 at 6.56.25 PMAfter hours of discussion at the June 16th county legislative meeting, the vote on the fate of the Old Library ended in a stalemate of 6 in favor of a large apartment complex for seniors (TravisHyde), and 6 in favor of a smaller adaptive reuse condo project (Franklin Properties) which had hundreds of petition supporters and inspired dozens of citizens to show up and speak in favor of the Franklin proposal.

The vote was pretty much split along geographic lines with those representing the urban/suburban core of the county (Chock, Shinagawa, McBean-Clairborne, Burbank, Kiefer) backing the project that had widespread neighborhood support (along with Klein from Caroline/Danby). Those supporting the large 63-unit apartment complex came from the more rural parts of the county (Dryden, Groton, Lansing, Ulysses, Enfield/Newfield). These rural reps stressed the need for adding housing to try and relieve the incessant demand that has driven up the price of shelter. Residents of the historic DeWitt neighborhood around the old library spoke strongly about the importance of adding density appropriate to the scale and character of the location, and pointed to other Read more…

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2015 People’s Choice ‘Signs of Sustainability’ Awards Presented
Kitty Gifford of Sustainable Tompkins shares the details of awards presented to Melissa Kemp, Brice Smith, Phoebe Brown, and Irene Weiser for sustainability leadership by individuals. (Photo credit: Craig Tucker)

Kitty Gifford of Sustainable Tompkins shares the details of awards presented to Melissa Kemp, Brice Smith, Phoebe Brown, and Irene Weiser for sustainability leadership by individuals. (Photo credit: Craig Tucker)

According to a recent poll, Ithaca’s most popular “power couple” is Melissa Kemp and Brice Smith. Renewable power, that is.

Melissa and Brice won 4th place as a couple in the Individual category of the 2015 People’s Choice ‘Signs of Sustainability’ poll for their work in promoting our transition to clean renewable energy. They tied with Phoebe Brown for her community development work with Building Bridges and Irene Weiser for her leadership on opposing the repowering of the Cayuga coal plant.

Nonagenarian Martha Ferger of Dryden came in 3rd place for her advocacy for social justice and climate action (including getting arrested protesting gas storage under Seneca Lake). Dan Flerlage, a local teacher and mentor for the Youth Farm Project, tied for second place with Joe Wilson, a leader in the fight against installation of a gas pipeline in Dryden.

Nick Goldsmith, the Sustainability Coordinator for both the City and Town of Ithaca won the honor of 1st place for individual effort. As the host of countless meetings for the City and Town comprehensive plans, Nick is one of the more visible practitioners of sustainability in our community. Read more…

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Earth Day 2015 – Voices Past, Voices Present

In honor of the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, Sustainable Tompkins will again host the Earth Day Ithaca celebration on Sunday, April 19, from Noon to 8PM, bringing the community together for a day of celebration, eco-activism, and entertainment. This year the event is co-sponsored by a Tompkins County Community Celebrations Grant and GreenStar Cooperative Market, and will be held at The Space (at GreenStar,) featuring local inspirational speakers, entertainers, musicians, poets, earth-friendly exhibitors, and more. The program has been expanded to include an open mike Earth Jam/Poetry Slam, with the voices of today’s poets, rappers, and small music acts to perform 10-minute sets. Folks interested in tabling or volunteering, please contact Joey Diana Gates at solkitchen1@gmail.com or call (607) 644-5525.  Schedule of events below:  Read more…

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Signs of Sustainability
HotPotatoPress.org serves up food news and networking

Tompkins Weekly 6-29-15

By Alison Fromme

I’m so pleased to introduce a new community resource: Hot Potato Press, the online food news and networking site for Ithaca and Tompkins County. Everyone can access it at www.hotpotatopress.org.

What makes Hot Potato Press different from other food and farming websites? Hot Potato Press aims to connect the many, many residents who care about the health, fairness, and sustainability of our food system and 150+ organizations in our county working in food and farming. Read more…

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Equity, Energy, and the Economy

Tompkins Weekly 6-22-15

By Gay Nicholson

Back in 2007, I organized a Sustainable Design workshop for 20 of Ithaca’s entrepreneurs, planners, educators, and green builders. The primary goal of our work together was to identify principles of design that would lead to sustainable community development.

We had a lot of fun that day with our thought experiment, but the thing that sticks in my mind eight years later is our conclusion that all our most powerful design principles could be distilled down to one concept: Everything is Connected. Holism, biomimicry, equity, system dynamics….. the core value underlying all the design principle themes was “Relationships Matter.” Read more…

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Vigilance is Key in Eradicating Hydrilla

Tompkins Weekly 6-15-15

By The Hydrilla Task Force of the Cayuga Lake Watershed

Hydrilla patches continue to burden the southeast corner of Cayuga Lake. Is all lost? We don’t think so.

Isolated patches in the southeast corner of Cayuga Lake pose the greatest threat for hydrilla spread. Considered one of the world’s worst aquatic invasive species, hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata) is capable of spreading rapidly through plant fragmentation, vegetative buds, and subterranean tubers (seedbank). Viable stem and leaf fragments can be transported Read more…

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Home Rule and the Greater Good

Screen shot 2015-06-17 at 6.56.25 PMAfter hours of discussion at the June 16th county legislative meeting, the vote on the fate of the Old Library ended in a stalemate of 6 in favor of a large apartment complex for seniors (TravisHyde), and 6 in favor of a smaller adaptive reuse condo project (Franklin Properties) which had hundreds of petition supporters and inspired dozens of citizens to show up and speak in favor of the Franklin proposal.

The vote was pretty much split along geographic lines with those representing the urban/suburban core of the county (Chock, Shinagawa, McBean-Clairborne, Burbank, Kiefer) backing the project that had widespread neighborhood support (along with Klein from Caroline/Danby). Those supporting the large 63-unit apartment complex came from the more rural parts of the county (Dryden, Groton, Lansing, Ulysses, Enfield/Newfield). These rural reps stressed the need for adding housing to try and relieve the incessant demand that has driven up the price of shelter. Residents of the historic DeWitt neighborhood around the old library spoke strongly about the importance of adding density appropriate to the scale and character of the location, and pointed to other Read more…

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How to Get Active on Climate? Even More Locally

By Miranda Phillips

With artic ice melting at great speed, and climate disruption happening a hundred years sooner than expected, climate change is promising to be the biggest challenge of the 21st century.  Not often talked about, at least in mainstream media, are the psychological and spiritual aspects of this challenge – among them, fear, guilt, and grief that make it difficult for us to act and act fast. Read more…

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Fracking: What Are We FOR?

 Fracking: We Know What We’re Against. What Are We FOR?
by Maura Stephens

As antifracktivists, we are often accused of being against fracking but not offering any alternatives to “natural” gas. That’s completely wrong. Our NO message is adamant and comprehensive, to be sure: Read more…

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