Jamestown has many attributes to its credit: scenery, landmarks, famous people, and people who are just good to know. As with any other area, there are topics that are important to the majority of the people. Topics that are discussed on street corners and in restaurants: Topics that give rise to heated discussions, with outcomes that may potentially have profound effects on the residents of the area.
While these topics may have great impact, there can be a scarcity of information on both sides of the issue that filters to the person on the street making it difficult to make informed decisions. Prendergast Library has decided it would be beneficial to the residents of the area if there were a forum that would provide information from experts on either side, in a discussion format. And what better place for that than the well-known source of information, the library.
To that end, James Prendergast Library is scheduling a series of critical discussions on a number of topics over the winter. Below is a collection of links and information from Critical Discussions that have already taken place.
The staff at the library thanks the participants who have given so much of their time and energy to make this series the success it is!
Discussions will be listed with the most current at the top of the list.
Critical Discussion Five:
Chautauqua Lake Action: Who is Doing What in 2013?
Prendergast Library will offer the fifth program in its Critical Discussion Series from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, April 29, in the Fireplace Room at the library on the topic “Chautauqua Lake Action: Who is Doing What in 2013?”
“We invite people to attend to hear about our lake from a variety of perspectives. Each group represented has a unique role and area of expertise,” said Acting director Tina Scott.
During the final Critical Discussion until fall, John Jablonski III, executive director of the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, will address root causes of lake problems, preventive activities, and landowner relationships.
Douglas Conroe, president of the Chautauqua Lake Association, will present a 2013 work program update.
Dave Spann, district field manager of the Chautauqua County Soil & Water Conservation District, will cover stream and agricultural projects, technical assistance, and hydro-seeding erosion control.
Sally Carlson, North Harmony town supervisor and the representative of mayors and supervisors on the Chautauqua Lake Management Commission, will discuss land use and commission activities and objectives.
Lyle Hajdu, chairman of the Chautauqua Lake Management Commission, will share information about dredging and creek erosion control feasibility studies, aquatic vegetation plan, the evolution of the commission, and next steps.
Panelists will also take questions from the audience.
Critical Discussion Four:
Fracking – Impacts on Environment, Health and Society
This discussion was held on Thursday, March 21, 2013.
|Click to view a PowerPoint presentation on the Feed-in-Tariff that was presented at this discussion.|
|Click to view the CLEAN FIT Report booklet distributed by the NYS Atlantic Chapter of the Sierra Club.|
Becky Nystrom – Moderator
Sarah Buckley – Fracking Basics (the process of fracking, from wellpad to pipeline)
David Kowalski – Environmental and Health Issues (an analysis of industry-made arguments vs other studies and evidence)
Robert Cieselski – Leasing and Legal Issues (considerations if signing, Compulsory Integration, landowner rights, flipping, impacts on mortgages, insurance, etc)
Rita Yelda – Fracking in NYS (what has occurred the last four years and where we are at now)
Becky Nystrom serves as Coordinator of Jamestown Community College’s Environmental Science program and Coordinator of geology and biology on the Jamestown campus. She serves on JCC’s sustainability committee and is actively involved in the Tree Campus USA program, greenhouse gas inventory, and climate action planning. She also serves as faculty sponsor for many environmental science and sustainability-related student internships. She previously chaired both the sustainability task force and the health services and safety committee, and is past president and current membership chairperson of the JCC Faculty Association.
Sarah Buckley is a registered nurse living in Wales, New York. Two years ago she co-founded POWR, Protecting Our Water Rights, a grassroots group, predominantly from southern Erie County, that works to raise awareness about and protect communities from the adverse effects of the hydrofracking process
David Kowalski, Ph.D., worked as a laboratory head at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute for 35 years, directing DNA research funded by the National Institutes of Health. He was also a professor in Roswell’s Graduate Division of the University at Buffalo. Kowalski is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of UB CLEAR, the Coalition for Leading Ethically in Academic Research. In retirement, he became interested in how various energy sources affect our environment and health. He has delivered educational talks on shale gas extraction by high volume hydrofracking at colleges and communities.
Robert M. Ciesielski is an attorney with offices in Cheektowaga, New York. Bob is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center. He has served in a volunteer capacity as former Chair of the Sierra Club, Niagara Group, which includes seven Western New York counties. He is currently serving as Energy Committee Chair of the New York State Atlantic Chapter Sierra Club. Bob will be speaking on leasing and the numerous benefits and job opportunities of renewable energy development in New York State
Rita Yelda is an organizer from Buffalo, NY who in 2010 Rita Yelda founded WNY Drilling Defense, a grassroots group based out of Buffalo, whose mission includes education, action, and advocating for legislation in opposition to fracking. One of the groups most noted accomplishments is the passage of the first municipal ban on fracking in New York State, which set precedent for 100+ municipalities in NY who have since followed suit. Currently Rita works as an organizer for Food & Water Watch, a consumer advocacy organization that works for sustainable agriculture, safe food, and clean water. Food & Water Watch wins campaigns through grassroots organizing and empowering communities across the globe.
New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy has just posted uncorrected galley proofs of their latest issue, edited by Robert Oswald and related to hydraulic fracturing. It probably contains the highest concentration of peer-reviewed articles on this topic in any one place, ever. Here is the link to access the individual articles: http://baywood.metapress.com/link.asp?id=k01404273056
|New Solutions 23-1 Binder.pdf|
Additional health impacts articles can be found at Concerned Health Professionals of NY and Physicians, Scientists and Engineers for Health Energy.
“Unconventional Gas Development from Shale Plays: Myths and Realities” by Dr. Anthony Ingraffea
Additional fracking links:
- Fracking overview
- Geology of the Marcellus and Utica Shales
- Frack fluid migration up into aquifers:
- What to do with frack fluid:
- Fracking-induced earthquakes
- Water well contamination due to gas drilling:
- Health impacts:
- DEC proposed regulations and SGEIS:
- Local fracking bans
- Radionucliides in the Marcellus Shale
- Natural gas & climate change
- Can New York State power its way to a sustainable future?
- Examining the feasibility of converting New York State’s all-purpose energy infrastructure to one using wind, water, and sunlight
This discussion was held Tuesday, February 19, 2013.
Chaired by Ann Abdella, Executive Director of the Chautauqua County Health Network, the panel consisted of Todd Tranum, President & CEO at Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce & Manufacturers Association; Roberta Keller, Executive Director at Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc; Art Wingerter, President of Univera Healthcare; Betsy T. Wright, President and CEO of WCA Hospital; and Dr. Rudy Mueller.
Presentations from this event:
|CCHN Exchange Overview.pdf||COI Presentation.pdf||Univera Presentation.pdf||WCA Presentation.pdf||Chamber Presentation.pdf|
For more information about this topic, see http://www.healthcarereform.ny.gov/health_insurance_exchange/ or http://www.healthcare.gov
Critical Discussion Two:
Sale of the County Home
This discussion was held Monday, Jan. 7, 2013.
Speakers were Chautauqua County Legislators Larry Barmore, Lori Cornell, William Coughlin, and Vince Horrigan.
Critical Discussion One:
|Greg Edwards||David Flynn|
|Bill Boria||Mike Hogan|
To kick off the discussion series James Prendergast Library showed with two documentaries on the topic of fracking: First is, “Gasland: Can you light your water on fire?” created by filmmaker Josh Fox after learning his home in the Delaware River Basin was on top of the Marcellus Shale. This was shown October 18, 2012. Second, “Silent No More: Voices from the Women of the Shale,” the stories of six women in search of what can save New York. This was shown October 25, 2012.
Websites about Hydraulic Fracturing (aka Fracking), Marcellus Shale, and Guest Panelists:
- Silent No More! Women’s Energy Leadership Coalition: “Natural Gas Now”
- Gasland the Movie
- Geology.com – Marcellus Shale
- Pace Law Library – Hydrofracking
- Marcellus Shale Coalition
- Citizens Campaign – Hydro-Fracking
- Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources – Marcellus Shale
- New York Department of Environmental Conservation – Oil and Gas
- New York Department of Environmental Conservation – Marcellus Shale
- Economist – Hydrofracking
- EPA – Hydraulic Fracturing
- Penn State Marcellus Center for Outreach & Research
- Marcellus Shale Protest
- PBS: Need to Know – Hydrofracking
- Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection – Marcellus Shale
- Chautauqua County Web Page
- David Flynn— Professional Web Page
- Bill Boria—Professional Web Page
- Hogan Energy Consulting
- Somerset Gas Company
- North Coast Gas Company
- US Energy
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Western New York Drilling Defense
- Concerned Citizens of Cattaraugus County
- Food and Water Watch