Planet in Peril: Every Lapse Adds To The Crisis

Act Locally. But Act!



Panel’s Warning on Climate Risk: Worst Is Yet to Come

By JUSTIN GILLIS
MARCH 30, 2014

YOKOHAMA, Japan — Climate change is already having sweeping effects on every continent and throughout the world’s oceans, scientists reported Monday, and they warned that the problem is likely to grow substantially worse unless greenhouse emissions are brought under control. -- NYTimes.com

Updates, December 8, 2014: Environmental Actions and News:

Nassau Devastates Hicksville/Plainview;
Court Grants Temporary Order for Forest at Christopher Morley Park;
Police and DA Trump Up Charges
Against Environmental Activist

South Oyster Bay Road Tree Destruction

Plainview-Hickville, N.Y. -- In the unsuccessful battle to fight off Nassau County's Neanderthal policies regarding the environmental, we found three valiant local residents who stuck their necks out as needed who agreed to go to court individually at three separate points in the fight and circumvent the paralyzed "STOMP" resident-group and its helpless and timorous plaintiffs. I located these motivated volunteers by knocking on doors.

The volunteers were amazingly one lifetime resident of the area who is a lady over 90 years old; one a young doctor who lives and works in Hicksville-Plainview; and one a Buddhist leader from Taiwan who lives in Plainview but leads a large assembly of Buddhist practitioners on the North Shore. The trees behind the lifetime resident's home were among the first to be destroyed after one injunction was discontinued. She was deeply pained by it. Her health has been suffering and the stress of these despicable acts -- abetted fully by the Nassau Legislature and Rep. Rose Walker and Judy Jacobs -- cannot help.

Two of the resident-volunteers got as far as the Appellate Division, Second Department in Brooklyn Heights, and one was granted an appellate "temporary restraining order" which built upon the original Article 78 Petition and legal analysis "affirmation", but a four-judge panel in Brooklyn for some unclear reason chose not to sustain their 'special term' colleague, The Hon. William Mastro, and refused to keep the protection in place, with catastrophic results.

I still don't understand why they were unwilling to allow an "intervenor" to take the issue and file an appeal when the original parties refused to do so, and the lower court would not permit it in a timely fashion, to everyone's peril. State law seems to permit that action, for logical reasons: Civil Practice Law and Rules, Section 1012(a)(2).

At that point, I implored the original petitioners to file the appeal with a volunteer attorney or by themselves with my help, but they remained intransigent and as a result the dozens of trees along South Oyster Bay Road were, as far as I know, despicably and needlessly cut down by Nassau County's contractor -- with the full complicity of local legislators and the Nassau political clique, the PR machinations of some, like a local State Senator, notwithstanding.

For some reason Newsday simply did not continue to cover the issue as far as I know, although a reporter was asking for information as the cutting resumed in mid-November. The County Legislature, faced with a delegation from Hicksville-Plainview, cut their speaking short and allowed legislators and officials to spew lies and distortions about the issue to neutralize it, on November 17th.

. The key issues here: (1) Nassau's illegal practice of circumventing environmental review under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA); (2) an apparently highly suspicious 'recusal' by the original judge in this case in Nassau Supreme Court -- about which a formal complaint has been filed in Mineola and Albany: (3) the effective abandonment of their clients -- and the trees at risk -- by the "environmental law firm" at the moment of greatest danger over money issues; (4) the tragic inability of the residents' group to move from the Internet to real life in terms of mobilizing funding, bodies, and consistent news coverage; (5) the mendacity and hardball tactics of Republican and Democratic Nassau County legislators when it came to airing the issues, assisting their residents, or honestly presenting the facts on the record; (6) the lack of effective press attention; (7) the absolute legal errors committed by the Supreme Court judge ultimately assigned the case; (8) the absence of effective environmental institutions in Nassau County to fight major issues like this; (9) the unwillingness of major local law schools Hofstra and Touro to provide legal support for citizen environmental actions, despite my urgent requests for such aid in November.

It may be presumptuous to add our own shortcomings to the larger institutional picture of why the environment is not better served here. But to be complete, despite the fact we helped prepare about ten sets of legal papers, including about four sets for "STOMP", and devoted dozens of hours including knocking on doors after dark to recruit plaintiffs, I still regret that I was not more persuasive in convincing the plaintiffs of the wisdom of acting on their own. Further I regret that when faced with a roomful of motivated people one night in Hicksville, I was not more insistent than I was that I would sponsor a critical time-sensitive follow-up meeting if STOMP failed to -- which they did fail to, despite their assurances.

The trees have been destroyed, as far as I know, and the homes of birds, squirrels, raccoons and other life, and their sources of food and our oxygen also destroyed, but yet the case is not over. Mr. Yushen "Freeman" Su, with whom I am working, is still waiting to hear if will be granted "intervenor" status in Supreme Court, Nassau, and once he is granted that status he will be in a position of replying to the papers filed thus far in the case.

With respect the to 'recusal' and 'judge- swapping' that led to a judge who doesn't know the law of SEQRA or doesn't care, as noted above we filed formal complaint with judicial authorities. It would be helpful if STOMP joined but I have not even asked. Their attorney at the time did not even bother to object, unfortunately, possibly depriving them of another avenue for recourse.

Christopher Morley Park

Manhasset-North Hills N.Y. -- The lawsuit we launched with two residents of Roslyn Estates to prevent the unnecessary, destructive, and improperly "reviewed" water-treatment facility from being constructed in the 40-acre forest at Morley met a significant success on November 5th when our appeal to the Appellate Division, Second Department in Brooklyn Heights yielded a "temporary restraining order"(TRO) preventing any work from beginning for the time being (see below).

The lower-court Supreme Court judge in Nassau County had dismissed the case because, his decision baselessly argued while parrotting the Nassau brief that the petitioners (us) lacked legal "standing" despite text-book evidence that we did have such standing. Parenthetically the judge, who is a County Court judge hearing Supreme Court cases as an on Acting Justice, inexplicably appeared to have dropped out of his candidacy for full Supreme Court justice sometime in the interim.

At this point we are preparing for a full appeal of the lower court's "standing" decision and hoping a four-judge panel will in the next few days convert the TRO to a "preliminary injunction" that would protect the forest while the Appellate Division is receiving our papers and then making a decision on the appeal.

Nassau Police and Justice System Play Politics and Arrest This Activist

Roslyn Estates, N.Y. -- On November 10, 2014, about 11:30 AM, after I was taking photos in Roslyn Estates of the cutting down of some beautiful mature healthy trees on a private front lawn, the resident accosted me physically. I called the police and walked about 300 feet away to wait for the police. But the resident and her landscaper shortly thereafter began approaching me aggressively down the street again. As I stood with my back to my vehicle, I aimed a fire-extinguisher at them when they were about ten feet away and told them "Stay back!" or words to that effect. At that point the police arrived and an hour later I was arrested for "menacing" and "possession of a weapon", the fire extinguisher.

But that wasn't all. Two weeks later the arraignment judge put me behind bars for $500 bail despite the fact I had re-appeared, lived locally, and told her I had not brought money to court and was not sure I could get it. She also slapped an order of protection on the resident, without the hearing that is said to be required.

The Nassau Police also reportedly dictated a press statement to The Roslyn News that lies about the facts to buttress their case: they said I attempted to hide the fire extinguisher when I saw them coming, which is ridiculous. (See press release, below.)

The Roslyn Times, to their credit, published an extensive article that covered all sides of the matter. One would not guess I had taken them to court several months ago for publishing defamatory statements about me by a local official. This is a newspaper chain with principles made of steel!

I have asked Governor Cuomo, the Attorney General Schneiderman, and the US Attorney Eastern District to intervene in this case because it stinks of pay-back by Nassau County and the local political cliques, possibly including one well-connected local official who threatened to be "coming after" me "with a boat" several months ago.

See our Press Release.

Adirondack Emergency: Lawsuit to Prevent 6,000-acre Tupper Lake Project Under Appeal Now

October 20, 2014 -- See webpages of Protect the Adirondacks!. Also see our pages Here.

    The Sierra Club and Protect! must be supported, re-buttressed, and financially assisted in fighting on. This is the largest, most destructive project ever approved in the Adirondack Park and was facilitated by the appointment of a pro-development chairman two years ago to replace a respected conservationist. Furthermore the appellate court involved, the Third Department, is a notoriously unfriendly on environmental issues. (Actually, all of them are relatively difficult on environmental issues, and only the Court of Appeals seems a relatively reliable partner.)

    A visit to the Protect homepage shows the major damage -- road-building and clear-cutting -- being done to the Adirondacks despite its critical and increasingly rare ecological functions. The "Resort" would be another outrageous contribution to the urbanization and degradation of the Adirondacks, and must be opposed as much as possible.

Environmental Action Updates

Christopher Morley Park Air-stripper

North Hills/Manhasset, 10-20-14 -- In a minor setback, the Facebook-posting judge in the Christopher Morley Park case used a baseless argument regarding 'standing to sue', raised in desperation by Nassau County, to dismiss the lawsuit filed by three local residents, this writer among them, who not only use the park extensively but two of whom reside on its edge. We fully expect a planned appeal to reverse the ruling.

    Acting Supreme Court Justice "Jim" McCormack showed himself incapable of discharging the law as clearly established -- despite his running for a full 13-year term on the Supreme Court this November, financially-supported by friends in local law firms touted on his Facebook postings!

    This was certainly a 'litmus-test issue' of judicial integrity that he failed. He earlier failed another test, by creating tests for a preliminary injunction that the law does not support, i.e. how chronologically imminent is the injury, and how controverted are facts in the case. See below for full documents on case.

    The County has not yet received the required permission from New York State to "alienate" the parkland in Christopher Morley Park -- as the governor has not yet signed on. In the meantime there has been no physical work done in the park except nailing tags into about 50 trees, then removing some or all of the tags once they became publicized.

    "There is no question at all that the plaintiffs have 'standing' in this case based on the current state of the law," said Richard Brummel, who organized the case. "If we don't have standing then no one does, ever," he said.

    "The three of us demonstrated clearly we 'use and enjoy' the park more than the representative member of the 'general public', and that is the test. This judge invented a new test, which is that we need to show that the general public -- all 1.3 million of them in Nassau -- do NOT use Christopher Morley Park. But that is presumed, according to the law. It's a truly pathetic attempt to 'punt' the case and avoid its complexities, which all run in our favor."

   

North Hills Forest Destroyed; Deep Defeat for This Environmentalist

North Hills, September 11, 2014 -- New York and Long Island lost a precious resource this year of 30 forested acres -- and no one really knows about its last chapter which occurred in early September.

    The same forces of reckless, greedy development that devastated Long Island in the last ten years reared their heads again in North Hills, despite some valiant but disorganized efforts of environmentalists led by this writer. A few final errors turned a possible victory into defeat.

   

The Project was affected by the following Violations of state environmental law:

  • The X-Cell project was illegally voted by North Hills as having no "significant adverse environmental impact" despite levelling 10 acres of rich forest, a home to innumerable animals;
  • The County IDA then approved subsidies to the X-Cell project in August despite its environmental destruction and invalid environmental review;
  • RXR (Rechler) Realty environmental review failed to indicate numerous "Species of Special Concern" -- reptiles, amphibians, and plants -- on the site;
  • The RXR project was approved with no reasonable mitigation of the loss of habitat of 17 forested acres;
  • The County IDA approved subsidies despite the environmental effects of the project on a state-designated Oak-Tulip forest and inadequate review and mitigation;
  • North Hills received millions of dollars in payments from both developers under its "Incentive Zoning" ('pay-to-play') ordinance that violated state environmental laws but was not challenged in time;
  • The Village of North Hills thoroughly violated its responsibilities under state environmental laws in repeatedly green-lighting this project and the 17 acre project next to it that was levelled in January;
  • The Nassau County Industrial Development Agency was similarly complicit by approving taxpayer subsidies in August for the X-Cell destruction, with little public notice, and subject to the same environmental violations.
In a tragedy and a travesty of law and policy, developers "X-Cell Realty" of Manhasset and Seaford -- the owners of the American Shopping Center, it seems -- finally made good on a project illegally approved by the Village of North Hills starting 17 years ago, and in early September they destroyed the last ten acres of the state-recognized Oak-Tulip forest at New Hyde Park Rd. and the LIE Service Rd.

    A 100,000 square foot office building for lessee DealerTrac -- a co-conspirator after the fact -- and a 1000-car parking lot will cover what was the last piece of natural forest left from a 100-acre protected tract, the "Grace Forest."

    The latest outrage follows a blitzkrieg destruction of 17 acres of forest adjacent to the site around New Year's by another firm owned by NY-NJ Port Authority Vice Chairman Scott Rechler of RXR Realty as a lawsuit to protect it loomed.

    Only through allegedly expired statutes of limitations and misreading of law by the judge in the case -- who was recently denied re-nomination by the Nassau Democrats -- were the projects able to proceed.

    Unfortunately personal inattention and delay added to the failures, and prevented this writer's legal challenge from successfully protecting this forest at three different times -- for which I regretfully take profound responsibility.

    As far back as 1997, the Village voted to affirm that that the project would have no significant adverse environmental impacts. It then repeatedly failed to reverse course and passed another such decision in July. It similarly failed to listen to major environmental groups last December when they urged it to undertake further environmental reviews of this and the adjacent RXR Realty project.

    But this outcome was very possibly avoidable but for the lack of awareness of the plans in the final days by the challengers, litigant Richard Brummel included.

    "I am truly embarrassed that this happened. I am also deeply pained. I take a lot of responsibility and blame for it," Mr. Brummel said.

    A complex and wide-ranging lawsuit Mr. Brummel filed in January had been decided against by the judge in the case, but an appeal was still available and was extremely promising due to the environmental impact of the planned complete destruction of the 10 acres of forest that abutted two major roads.

    The change in circumstances of the forest by among other things the levelling of the neighboring tract should have been the basis for a "Supplemental" environmental review by the applicants. But the issue was not fully raised in the lawsuit though it should have been.

    It was also not appealed promptly as Mr. Brummel was waiting for additional decisions to occur with regard to the project -- some of which indeed occurred but were not clearly evident in several visits to the village hall by Mr. Brummel.

    "There are times you learn the hard way and it's very hard. This is one of them," Mr. Brummel said.

    As a result of the levelling of the last 30 acres of the forest -- with the exception of some pieces in the Northern State Parkway right of way -- homes and habitat of several New York "Species of Special Concern" have been destroyed along with the animals themselves, habitat and other animals were destroyed, and a lush green oasis -- potential parkland, and a promising source of fresh air and greenhouse-gas mitigation along the LIE -- was shamefully destroyed.

    In its place will rise a 100,000 square foot office building and parking for almost 1000 cars, with little vegetation around it.

    In Long Island the forces of greed and construction again beat nature and natural beauty. This was accomplished with the full complicity of local village and county officials, along with a judge who is being rejected by both major parties this November, Justice Michelle Woodard.

    Photos before and after coming...

Environmental Action Updates, May 18, 2014

Proposed Toxic Evaporation Tower and Forest-Cutting
in Nassau County's Christopher Morley Park

Statement by Green Party Affiliate      Statement by Sierra Club Affiliate

Dying Turtles at Manhasset Valley Park (Great Neck/Manhasset);
Inaction to-date by Town of North Hempstead

Press Release on Turtle Deaths and Pond-Health

Environmental Testimony Before Local Bodies
Nassau County Legislature, Town of North Hempstead, Village of East Hills

Testimony on Range of Issues, Including Village of East Hills Actions

Environmental Action Updates, March 2014

Stop Privatizing Nassau County's Parks: Next Challenge:
Toxic Pollution Tower in Christopher Morley Park

3/29/14

   First, Nassau County allowed a pair of energy-guzzling year-round private ice-rinks to be built in Eisenhower Park with little public review -- part of what seems to be a stealth national strategy of turning ice-skating into a year-round money-making private indoor recreational sport.

Then, there were immense indoor tennis courts built at Christopher Morley Park.

Along the way the former-county then North Hempstead (Supv. John Kaiman) -owned Manhasset Valley Park was severely degraded, with numerous large London Plain Trees cut down, to make way for a private-league astro-turf outdoor league-soccer complex.

Now the Roslyn Water District is being fast-tracked to build a Toxics Evaporation Tower (a/k/a a "stripper") in Christopher Morley Park while cutting down a large swath of what little forest remains in Northern Nassau, in that park -- a 500 foot "driveway" and a 1/4 to 1/3 acre clearing, based on informal reports absent a full environmental statement.

Up until now there has been no serious opposition and neighbors of the Park reportedly welcomed the idea to keep the Toxics Evaporation Tower out of their own neighborhood.

Supposedly it will be 'safe' to expel into the air next to a swimming pool and athletic fields the ozone-depleting and potent greenhouse-gas Freon22 that has been found in three disparate wells across the Roslyn area, but the neighbors in Roslyn Estates would prefer it not to be on their own street, net to an existing water tower.

All these claims of 'safety' etc. come with apparently no formal environmental review having been undertaken to date, a couple of months at least after the project has been underway. We have sent a detailed environmental-objections statement to the County, the Water District, the Town and the State, which at this point is supposed to need to authorize the use of parkland for this purpose, to get a set of formal objections on the record. Among our objections:

-- Since the source and nature of the contamination is unknown, the current contamination may be the tip of the iceberg and not only other toxics but greater concentrations of Freon could be piped into the air by this tower;

-- Other alternatives like conservation and carbon-filtration need ot be explored;

-- The forested parkland is precious and also very small, and should be preserved both for the public and the wildlife that lives there;

-- There has apparently been no detailed environmental analysis done -- even prior to the Town of North Hempstead's provisional approval of funding this month -- as required by the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) for projects of this magnitude, location, and potential impact.

We are awaiting official replies, monitoring progress, AND organizing an opposition. Please let me know if YOU are interested. Call (516) 238-1646, 8 AM to 8 PM only, please.

19 Trees Cut Down at RXR Condominium Site Despite
North Hills Mayor Marvin Natiss's Assurances They Will Remain

3/29/14

   A row of trees, some over 80 years old, along the LIE South Service Rd. was cut down last week Photo despite the documented assurances of North Hills Mayor Marvin Natiss that the trees would remain.

("The trees that you happen to see flagged as I told you in our phone conversation were being saved. But you said a red ribbon it is slated for destruction. I inquired immediately and found the surveyor marked those trees not for destruction but for them to be numbered. So I would like the record to be clear for both of us. Those trees along that area you saw, the south, that service road, most of those trees are remaining. So those trees were marked in red. They are not coming down. I just wanted to let you know," Mayor Natiss said, as transcribed by the official stenographer, at a hearing October 23, 2013.)

Our calls and emails to the Village of North Hills, Nassau County, the state Department of Transportation, and the Town of North Hempstead has so far yielded no agency that would claim jurisdiction over the trees, which were less than three feet from the roadway.

(By contrast several miles east on the north service road the County had jurisdiction, see next note. And east of Sunnyside Avenue the state had jurisdiction, their agency said.)

These trees were some of the last remaining on the 17 acre forested site despicably levelled by RXR Realty -- led by Scott Rechler, also Gov. Cuomo's appointee as Vice Chairman of the NY-NJ Port Authority -- in January despite our legal-effort to save the forest.

We are working to secure media coverage, although News12 seemed adamantly uninterested last week.

LIPA Crew Cuts Down Nine Healthy Trees on Searingtown Rd.,
One Neighbor Shocked

3/29/14

   A tree trimming crew apparently went overboard -- and according to a source did a "favor" for one resident who said they didn't like the trees -- and cut down nine beautiful trees on Searingtown Rd. just south of I.U. Willets Rd. about 3-4 weeks ago.

One neighbor said his family was shocked and appalled when they returned home from work, and had no warning the work would ha[pen. He said they miss the trees and now face the heavy traffic on Searingtown Rd. without the welcome buffer. He also said a squirrel family lived in on of the trees.

We have again reached out toe the various agencies that have jurisdiction on local roads -- the County and Town of North Hempstead and are waiting for a reply who might have given permission, which was reportedly granted.

The wholesale destruction of trees in our area is an ongoing crime against the environment. Trees work 24/7 to fight global warming -- even as we work 24/7 to increase it with our vehicles, heating and cooling, and other consumption of all kinds.) Trees are the foundation of our local ecology -- they provide oxygen, filter pollution, provide shade and wind breaks, food and shelter for wildlife, and huge aesthetic and natural assets to our neighborhoods.

We are expecting media coverage of this.

If you wish to help fight this trend please contact me. (516) 238-1646, rbrummel@att.net

"Protected" Trees Cut Down in Roslyn Heights Despite Calls to 311 (and Police)
3/29/14

   With the strong possibility that the work was done without any permits form the Town or County, two trees in front of 79 Powerhouse Rd. which we intervened to save last summer were cut down in November, despite calls to the Town building department and the presence of Nassau police twice.

We earlier documented our efforts to prevent the unnecessary removal of the two trees on the LIE North Service Road (a/k/a) Powerhouse Road below.

Even this modest tree-preservation was undone by the callous and possibly illegal action of the owner of the building, a local mortgage broker who came toe the scene and confronted us.

We are following up with complaints to the various agencies. Photos of the removal activities may have been lost with a recent cellphone, unfortunately.

We had received assurances from the offices the local County Legislator and Town Council,an that the trees respectively on their governments' properties would not be permitted to be removed without their offices being advised, but both moved on -- Wayne Wink moving to the Town and Thomas Dwyer quitting his office for more money.

There are many issues pending -- including pending mega-developments in Islip and Bethpage that require environmentalists' action. Please help. (516) 238-1646. rbrummel@att.net.

Interim Updates

Legal Effort to Halt Squirrel Killing Contest in Rochester-area -- 2/20/14

   We spent several days upstate -- 400 miles north -- trying to pin down a legal challenge to a squirrel hunting contest sponsored by the volunteer fire company (department) in Holley NY, 25 miles west of Rochester, near SUNY Brockport.

We compiled a strong legal argument and wrote up papers based on the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).

But despite an urgent canvassing effort aided by two activists from Buffalo who drove up to help, we only nailed down plaintiffs at the last minute, and most were too fearful to proceed. One was ready, but wanted a partner. The partner needed more time to think about it. An ideal plaintiff worried about retaliation, and pointed to a fire-bomb attack on the mayor's home over another controversial issue in Holley. We sympathized with their proximity to the hunt.

Individual donors contributed $625 to our effort, which had been intended to reach $2500 and pay for legal help, but was instead used to finance my trip upstate -- and I did all the legal paper-work.

The hunt went on as scheduled and likely hundreds of squirrels were killed. Animal rights groups like Friends of Animals -- who denied us any assistance either this year or last -- hope to pass legislation banning these hunting contests, but the effort has not yet borne fruit. A bill from Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola) left a large loophole that would have allowed the squirrel contest to continue.

Update -- North Hills Forest -- North Hills NY -- 3/5/14

   The effort to protect the 26-acre forest in North Hills has suffered multiple setbacks since our last update.

Seventeen acres were denuded of trees in a blitz action around New Year's Day and we are now still fighting in court over that parcel and one other one.

Unfortunately, we played a waiting game searching vigorously (with no help....) for local plaintiffs.

Although we were ready with court papers when the Village voted to approve the forest-destruction on December 18, 2013, we delayed the filing as we aggressively searched for a local plaintiff to strengthen the case. (Judges are notoriously stubborn about applying the newer liberalized "standing" rule set down by the Court of Appeals in 2009.)

But on about New Year's Day and the following two days -- including a blizzard day -- it appears the developer quickly bulldozed 17 acres of trees without our watching closely enough. Our most recent visit -- when almost everything was still intact -- was about the evening of December 31. But January 4th we saw what had happened.

On Sunday January 5th, we went to court and obtained an urgent order halting further work. But shortly thereafter, the stay was lifted by Justice Michele M. Woodard whose ruling left much to be desired.

We endeavored to appeal the ruling but were delayed by days in obtaining the necessary documents from Justice Woodard.

When we finally were able to appeal her order,our appeal was denied, twice, first by a single justice then two weeks later by a four-judge panel.

I am somewhat certain that the reason for the negative decision was the lack of documentation accompanying the papers. We had planned to submit all the evidence we had, but were then informed at the courthouse we would have to have copies of it for the other attorney -- even though he already had the same evidence already in his possession. We decided to proceed with only a few pieces of the evidence (exhibits) which in retrospect could have been far too little for the court to rule upon. Another possible tactical mistake on our part.

Meanwhile the developers and Village of North Hills have moved for dismissal of our lawsuit. We filed opposing arguments, and that decision is now before Justice Woodard. When that decision comes down we may appeal that as well, depending on the outcome. If the lawsuit of not dismissed, then the case will be subject to further arguments -- or a summary judgement.

As is typical in our prior experience, the court is "taking its time" despite a legal requirement to prioritize a Special Proceeding such as this. We find this practice very objectionable, and subject ti legal recourse as well, but with significant dollar-costs.

Update East Hills Over-development -- 3-5-14

   We have been testifying month after month before the Architectural Review Board in writing and in person to prevent the exploding new homes and devastating de-forestation continuing to be inflicted on East Hills.

The source of this land-use malignancy -- which affects many irresponsibly led Island communities, including the unincorporated Town of North Hempstead -- is a mix of gold-rush-mentality real-estate speculators calling themselves developers, a new wave of crass gold-plated Wall Street twenty-something new-home buyers and their Escalade driving families, and most deplorably by the hacks and cronies who are in control of East Hills village government.

Recently we were unable to stop the wholesale destruction of some dozen or more trees, including towering possibly 100-plus-year-old Eastern white pines, at 25 Ash Drive which were allowed to be destroyed for among other things a desire to build a retaining wall on a slope that was perfectly stable thanks to the massive root systems of said trees. The architect Matthew Korn was in large part responsible for this project.

We approached neighbors asking them to stand up for the trees but they failed to respond to our last-ditch efforts.

We will shortly append links here to copies of our recent testimony that reflects the only systematic critique of current destructive wave that is wrecking the East Hills environment house-by-house, destroying oxygen-regeneration-capacity and CO2 sequestration, shade, aesthetic beauty, and food and shelter for our indigenous birds, squirrels, raccoons, and other animal and insect life.


Photo Essay of Imperiled Forest
in North Hills, LI
Click Here

Story Below

We Sue East Hills Again
to Protect Trees
Click Here

To Be Updated -- Appeal in Progress (3/5/14)

North Hills (LI) Forest in Serious Peril East Hills (LI) Topics Appeal to NY State Commissioner of the Environment Roadkill: Our Inexcusable Motorized-Genocide Irrational Decimation of Trees Post Hurricane
East Hills (LI): 'Tree Protection' is a Fraud The March in DC Against Canadian Pipeline Revealed: Federal Permits to Kill 10,000 Birds in NYS Mineola (LI) Cuts 1,000 Mature Trees Down Shocking Building Plans in the Adirondack Park
LIPA Recklessly Destroys Trees Quick-Intervention Stops Tree Destruction Our Lawsuit to Defend Trees and Homes Firehouse: Environmental Fiasco Shocking Building Plans in the Adirondack Park

Environmental Coalition Tries to Save
Remains of "Grace" Forest in North Hills
nr. the Queens Border

Current Photo    Current Photo    Court Order    Memorandum of Law    Article 78 Petition

Original Photos Here    RXR Envir. Review    X-Cell Envir. Review    RXR Village Findings


Update -- 1/9/14 -- We missed the boat to court by a few days and a large portion of the forest was pulled down by bulldozers around New Year's Day. However we are in court to prevent further work and to preserve about 10 acres that remain. The next court date is Monday January 13 at 2:30 PM. See the legal documents above. I am recruiting local people to get involved in this current phase of the effort. Richard Brummel, (516) 669-1741. Thank you.

12/28/13 -- Our joint letter of appeal to Town of North Hempstead Supervisor-elect Judi Bosworth, who currently represents the area on the Nassau County Legislature, resulted in her writing to the Nassau Planning Commission and to the current North Hempstead Supervisor about the Grace Forest. Thank you Supervisor Bosworth.

    The Village of North Hill unanimously approved the massively over-the-top luxury complex in a final brief consideration last Wednesday, December 18. The Mayor cut off opponents and refused to allow them to address the board after the vote. Work has not begun on the demolition yet.

    North Hills, 11/23/13 -- Two real-estate developers keep getting all green lights to destroy the remaining approximately twenty-six contiguous western-side acres of the rich and mature "Grace Forest" located in the Village of North Hills along the the Long Island Expressway and Northern State Parkway. But environmentalists are now pushing to stop the projects, which consist of a complex of two office-buildings and a 10-building apartment 'estate' surrounded by lawns and fountains suggestive of the "Chateau Versailles".

    RXR/Rechler Realty and X-Cell/"Hess" Realty remain completely supported by the North Hills mayor and board, which voted on November 4th to re-send the (updated) RXR papers to the Nassau County Planning Board for likely re-approval.

    At this late date, environmental advocates see forcing an update of out-of-date environmental impact analyses -- a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement ("SEIS") under the NY State Environmental Quality Review Act ("SEQRA") -- as the legitimate and legally-supported next, and only, step to halt the projects.

    Leaders of the Sierra Club Long Island Group and the Green Party of Nassau County appeared in late October at a hearing in North Hills to express their support for preserving the forest. Arborist Richard Oberlander and advocate Richard Brummel also testified. Co-founder of Long Island Orchestrating for Nature (LION) John DiLeonardo submitted a written statement highlighting the lethal effects of the planned projects on two animal species -- a snake and a turtle -- that the State has now identified as "special concern".

    Mr. Brummel, Mr. DiLeonardo, and Sierra Group Chair Mark Kinnucan also held a press conference at the forest that was robustly covered by News12 of Cablevision on LI several days earlier. We appreciate the media interest.

    You can help! Please sign our petition at Change.org. Contact Richard Brummel at (516) 669-1741 and rbrummel (at) att (dot) net. Thank you.

Grace Forest Photos Here


We Propose Action for Local Tree Protection
to State Environmental Commissioner
Among Others in State and Local Gov't

    East Hills, 9/3/13 -- After some years encountering pervasive and blatant failings of environmental protection in the Nassau suburbs -- even where citizens have supposedly achieved legal protection for neighborhoods or trees, which are widely recognized as the foundation of our suburban ecology, we have composed detailed environmental appeals to those in positions of responsibility at various levels of government in NY State.

    We addressed a seven-page certified letter to three state officials (Click Here) jointly: the Commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the head of the State Assembly Environment Committee, and the head of the SUNY School of Environmental Sciences and Forestry (ESF). In it we asked for state-level policy to protect suburban trees, to rein-in utility line cutting, and to expand the eligibility of citizens to use the courts to press for enforcement of environmental laws when they are not being properly enforced, among other points we raised.

    We addressed Town Supervisor John Kaiman and the Town Council (Click Here) of North Hempstead, asking them to expand protection to all trees on a property -- not just the front lawn; to enforce provisions related to public notifications; to firmly instruct the Department of Buildings to stop issuing tree-cutting permits anytime a builder wants one; and to effectively enforce the laws on the books, among other points. We have a meeting set up with Town officials in September, at the invitation of Councilman Thomas Dwyer, and a promise from Jon Kaiman to look into the ideas.

    Finally we again addressed the Village of East Hills (Click Here), as we have innumerable times in the past two years, drawing attention to our recent investigation of tree permits issued over a four month period which appeared to reveal serious weaknesses in the way the local tree protection statute is being interpreted and enforced. We also informed them formally of the statements made by a resident before the Architectural Review Board in June, where he said he had first-hand knowledge of widespread illegal tree removals after Hurricane Sandy. He made the claims in the course of his official testimony, in public, before the ARB. We urged the Village to investigate, as we had already urged the ARB when the statements were made. We have not been informed of any action taken.

    Finally we issued a Press Release (Click Here) to Newsday, the Roslyn News, the Roslyn Times, and News 12 about these letters.

    We invite your participation. We have already begun reaching out to "tree advocacy" groups and other environmental groups in NY. You can help too. Please call us at (516) 669-1741. Thank you. -- Richard Brummel, Organizer, Keep East Hills Green Civic Association.

   

East Hills Tree Protection Law
Fails in Practice

    East Hills, NY, 8/20/13 -- An analysis Full Documentation Here of over 100 recent tree-removal permit files from the Village of East Hills shows that many healthy trees, and many more of debatable health, are being removed in apparent contradiction of provisions of Village law, which promises to protect trees because:"[I]t is in the public interest to protect the tree canopy for current and future generations," Village Code Section section 186-1.

    One of the most egregious examples of tree destruction occurred in a permit issued July 5, 2013, for 26 Old Brick Road (click image to enlarge) near the LIE service Road. Six "large trees" with diameters of 15 to 20 inches -- a large portion of those on the property -- were allowed to be cut down because, according to the report, "homeowner is concerned for safety due to lean or proximity to house." (It is well established that a tree growing at a medium angle is not an unsafe tree; it is not 'leaning' but simply structured to reach sunlight on an angle.)

    In another case at 75 Flamingo Drive (click image to enlarge), the removal of a Hickory and Red Norway Maple (sic) were permitted because they were "in the way of patio construction". But the warden failed to record an analysis of the local impact of the removal, as apparently required by the tree preservation law.

    And while the law mandates the replacement of every single tree destroyed unless "it is determined" that it is not feasible, few if any 'replacements' (meager as they are) were required in most permits, despite no stated finding about feasibility. For example at 70 South Street (click image to enlarge) on April 24, 2013, four Cedars with alleged "storm damage" were removed with no replacements required.

    Despite the Village's decision not to approve a foolhardy "emergency law" proposed last winter, the East Hills tree warden has nevertheless used language reflecting the aborted law to allow tree destruction based on panic-driven "homeowner fear for safety."

    In some cases it appeared that justifications were just cobbled together, since the "reasons" offered in residents' permit applications failed to match up with reasons "affirmed" in the inspection report.

    Given unrelenting tree destruction on local private and public property, in combination with extreme storms, avoidable effects of aging, lack of legally-mandated replacement and no policy of re-forestation, our ecology is being inexorably denuded of trees.

    The consequences are clear: we are causing the loss of vital habitat for animals, reducing the cleansing of our polluted air, and destroying the natural character of the East Hills community. Ultimately, in combination with the aggressive "consumption lifestyle" prevalent here, East Hills is helping wreck the planet, not save it.

    East Hills tree permits and their supporting documents were examined under a New York State Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request covering the period from March through early July 2013. The legally-compelled process was dragged out and made unnecessarily cumbersome by Village officials (see linked page, above). For example we had to get up and walk back and forth to a service counter over 100 times to pick up each file and return it, while the receptionist had to leave her desk over 100 times to take files individually to a back room and retrieve each one separately. Appointments were also stretched out.

    Overall approximately 245 trees were permitted to be cut down during the period -- including a conservative estimate of those approved by the Architectural Review Board (ARB) for new construction, a figure which we will update shortly -- while only about 100 3-inch thick 'replacement trees' were required.

    If you live here -- or if you have similar concerns -- please help in the effort to preserve and protect East Hills' -- and/or the region's-- environment. Contact Richard Brummel, organizer, Keep East Hills Green Civic Association, at (516) 669-1741. Thank you.

See Full Story and Documentation Here

Two Roslyn Heights Trees Get Reprieve

7-31-13 -- There may be a good ending to one small local tree-protection story! (And its lessons are valuable too.)

We became aware of two imperiled trees on the LIE westbound Service Road (a/k/a 79 Powerhouse Road) about three weeks ago, when we saw large fluorescent orange “X's” sprayed on their trunks. Since then we have engaged LIPA, the Town of North Hempstead and Nassau County in an effort to preserve the trees, which are the only street-side shade trees on a heavily overdeveloped strip for two blocks between their location and Willis Avenue.

Our inquiries uncovered numerous inconsistencies and problems: No government agency appears to have requested or approved the tree removals; the Town appears to ignore the details of its tree protection law if a builder claims the wish to remove trees; LIPA claimed permissions that legislative offices could not verify; government agencies reportedly claimed they could only act after the damage was done; and jurisdiction over the trees bounced between three departments in two levels of local government.

The offices of Town Councilman Thomas Dwyer (D) and County Legislator Wayne Wink (D) have been very involved in the effort. As of today, according to Legislator Wink's office, LIPA has agreed to drop current plans to “top” either of the trees in preparation for removal. Please call them and LIPA to let them know you support this effort to preserve these and other healthy trees in our communities.

Both the trees benefited from pro bono professional evaluations at our request by certified arborist Richard Oberlander. The only reason to remove them appears to have been the convenience of the developer of the building at 79 Powerhouse Rd., which stands empty and bears a sign announcing plans to expand.

Far too many suburban trees are being lost to age and disease, hurricane-panic, destructive development, and electric utilities' dubious line-clearing operations. We desperately need to preserve ALL our remaining healthy trees! -- for the essential natural services they provide: habitat for wildlife, shade, oxygen, CO2 abatement, soil enhancement, and beauty. In addition, they are vibrant living organisms that deserve to be respected and protected. Please -- Help in this effort. -- Richard Brummel (516) 669-1741

 

We Uncovered Federal Permits
that Allow Massive Bird Kills in NY State

Federal permits to kill 7,200 Canada geese and 3,500 birds across NY State revealed by Freedom of Information Act disclosures we obtained in May from the US Fish and Wildlife Service with help from the office of Congressman Steve Israel (D).
Full information here. Download Info flier.

 

Resident Testifies He Witnessed
Rampant Tree Law Violations in East Hills

East Hills, 7/9/13 -- The apparent epidemic-level illegal -- yet thus-far penalty-free -- removal of trees in East Hills after Hurricane Sandy may have finally became a matter of official business when a resident seeking a tree waiver made extensive public allegations before the Architectural Review Board last week.

Resident Jeffrey Cohen of 133 Magnolia Lane, who claimed trees were dangerous so he did not want to follow Village law replacing a dead one, adamantly recounted watching “every one of my neighbors taking healthy trees down,” and using unlicensed arborists, after Hurricane Sandy last year.

Those witnessing Mr. Cohen's testimony, which became part of the Board's taped record, included all the members of the Board present, including its chairman anbd vice-chairman, the Board's counsel Mitchell Cohen, Deputy Village Clerk Nancy Futeran, as well as many members of the public.

Local environmental activist Richard Brummel immediately asked that the Board, which is charged with over-seeing the Village's Tree Protection law, begin its own investigation and refer the issue to the Village tree warden, the Village attorney and the Village prosecutor for action.

The Board deliberated after Mr. Cohen left and denied his request for a waiver, but also failed to discuss or take action about the allgations.

However, we are in the process of drafting a letter to Village officials requesting an investigation, and we urge other residents to do the same.

We wrote a letter in the weeks after Hurricane Sandy to Mayor Michael Koblenz and the Board urging them to look into and stop the apparent illegal tree removals, and we submitted several written complaints about such removals that we observed or suspected, but no response has ever been forthcoming from the Village.

In addition we have submitted Freedom of Information requests to the Village in an effort to review their post-Sandy tree-law enforcement efforts, but the Village has made access to the documents exceedingly cumbersome, with the Village Clerk often unavailable, no set availabilty times offered, and the Clerk failing to return phone calls.

EYE on Mineola: Where one LI village cut down well over 1,000 public trees on village property since 2010 -- with no arborist reports on record....

Why, Mineola, Why??? Click Here.

East Hills Topics

East Hills Main Page Click Here.
OVERVIEW: Two years of fighting East Hills environmental offenses, in photos and reporting Click Here.
Legal Challenge:Our Abortive Effort to Bring East Hills' Environmental Violations to Justice Click Here.
Baseless Fear of Trees Post-Sandy:Our photo-inquiry shows that even when trees struck homes -- usually an avoidable occurrence -- the results were typically far from catastrophic Click Here.
FALSIFIED RECORD: Nassau DA investigates East Hills posting of falsified hearing-transcript Click Here.
TREE MASSACRE: East Hills abruptly destroys apparently healthy trees -- including a 50-inch Oak -- at Village Park Click Here.
MEDIA COVERAGE: The Roslyn News features our petition to stop East Hills ecological degradation Click Here. Online article Click Here.

Regional Environmental Topics

LIPA ENVIRONMENTAL-VANDALISM: Tree Destruction on Long Island Click here.
ADIRONDACKS: Fighting off Reckless New Development in the Age of Global Warming Click Here.
DEATH ON OUR ROADS -- ROADKILL: Not Funny. Rampant Death and Suffering Ignored and Trivialized Click Here.

3/24/13 -- Legal Effort to Stop Over-development and Habitat-destruction:
We Take Village of East Hills to Court Over Recent Building Approvals Click Here UPDATE 4/26/13 -- We filed extensive legal research confirming our right to sue and the rightness of our issues in response to the Village's surprising, vicious, ad hominem assault on us in their "Motion to Dismiss". The Court refuses to fast-track the decision and says we will need to wait about 60 days, despite the nature of the "Article 78" proceeding.

Scenes from the Climate Change rally in Washington February 17, 2013. A massive, extraordinary effort by wonderful people to persuade President Obama to begin fighting Climate Change by refusing to approve the Canadian Tar Sands development pipeline, the Keystone XL pipeline. “Twenty years from now on President’s Day, people will want to know what the president did in the face of rising sea levels, record droughts and furious storms brought on by climate disruption,” the website 350.org quoted Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club. Visit 350.org for more information. More original photos soon.

Photo-Investigation of Tree-Falls in Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy, symptom of Global Warming, calls us to be more vigilant protecting the environment, and to question the hyped hysterical cash-based official responses. Localities like the Village of East Hills (where I live) are in panic mode and illegal tree cutting was rampant after the storm. The official response was largely non-existent, if not actually supportive based on an improperly declared "state of emergency". Now East Hills, and possibly other areas, want to suspend their tree protection completely. But we have documented that despite the power of that storm, few houses struck by trees were in any real danger Click Here, and our photo-investigation of fallen trees the day after the storm shows many if not most in East Hills had decayed trunks that could have been discovered by routine maintenance inspections, including core-sampling Click Here. Help!! Help organize Green Civic Associations: See our flyer Click Here

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East Hills Updates, 2/10/13:

More Tree Destructions. Ignoring and sidestepping the village Tree Protection laws, the Architectural Review Board (ARB) continues to unjustifiably and improperly permit developers to destroy East Hills' trees and tree-canopy. Despite our testimony, achieved after demanding the village disclose relevant files prior to the ARB meetings, and based on visits to the sites and conversations with neighbors, the ARB again on Monday 2/4/13 allowed developers at 31 Pinewood Drive, 27 Midwood Cross, and 205 Elm Drive to cut down trees as follows: 3 trees 10 to 12 inches in diameter, up to nine trees including ones 24, 48, and inches in diameter (and some unknown), and Oak, Beech, and Cherry trees 14 to 24 inches in diameter, respectively. We plan to file an appeal on this and other decisions Monday.

A massive nearly clear-cutting of about a dozen large trees was proposed for 70 Oak Drive in Country Estates, but it appears that after we publicized the story and went door-to-door speaking to neighbors, some behind the scenes pressure led the home-builder to reduce the number. He submitted a vague email to the village with little of the proper documentation, and seemed to tell the ARB in January that he "tried" to save some trees but the excavation destroyed them. This "accidental damage story is a construction-syndrome about which we have already demanded village action but which continues evidently unabated and unaddressed). The ARB was highly sympathetic in October to the Builder's request, but it seems delayed as of 2/4/13.

We viewed the trees prior to the Hurricane; not all were massive, but all, with the undergrowth, constitute a small "old-growth" habitat for animals. At least one neighbor was vehemently opposed, calling the proposal "murder". Her letter appeared in The Roslyn News Click Here.

Help us promote green policies AND clean government in East Hills, see our Informational Flier and Photo: Click here.

Note that in October we requested that residents be allowed to inspect trees proposed for destruction, particularly on large properties where developers plan to clear-cut deep into the property,prior to ARB hearings on the permits, in order to properly participate in the dialogue. But surprisingly our request was not even formally replied to. The ARB chairman simply told us after one meeting: the law can't permit it; but that turns law on its head -- law is designed to promote due process, not prevent it. See our letter.Click Here. Update -- All these applications were rubber-stamped by the ARB recently and we are in a court battle to stop them, see above. Judges refused emergency injunctions, so it appears the builders may proceed before the court acts. PLEASE HELP -- call (516) 669-1741.

Photo Investigation: LIPA Tree Butchery

View the ecologically criminal tree-destruction committed by LIPA,
the LI Power Authority, throughout western Nassau County including East Hills, Mineola, Herricks, etc.
Click here.

"Topping is perhaps the most harmful tree pruning practice known" (International Society of Arboriculture, Click here.)

"'Topping' is not an approved tree maintenance practice....[T]opping is harmful to trees" (New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)), Click here.)

ADIRONDACKS UNDER ASSAULT

January 13, 2013 --

Adirondack News: We continue to follow the David and Goliath struggle launched by Protect the Adirondacks! and the Sierra Club to legally challenge the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) for approving a horrible MEGA-RESORT in the MIDDLE of the Adirondack Park. The latest news we learned is that a court date may arrive in the spring, while currently the environmentalists are piling on preliminary legal investigations to uncover illicit contacts between the developers and state officials who were sitting in judgement on the merits of the project. For current information visit the Protect the Adirondacks website Click Here. See the Protect the Adirondacks original Press Release


This is an issue we have fought hard, spending time trying to rally students upstate and in nearby Vermont. We also protested in chilly weather outside the Adirondack Park Agency headquartes in Ray Brook, NY (west of Lake Placid) during the final days of the decision process. (Our ski-masked photo circulated widely upstate.) While the state recently agreed to protect another large 70,000 acre part of the Adirondack Park, environmentalists argue that all of the Park remains under siege from potential development and the type of unreasonably hostile human-activity this Mega-resort project would create -- traffic, noise, lights, destroyed habitat, water pollution, etc. The evidence of this over-development is readily apparent. It is important to note that these forests are unusually healthy (though not completely so) as forests throughout the US and the World are ravaged by fire, drought, flooding etc. We must therefore work esecially to protect them, as they are that much more precious as Global Warming progresses. As we have told the APA, "The party's over." We must now emphasize preservation, not destruction.

We must press media like The New York Times and WNYC radio to cover it and alert progressives downstate.

See our Adirondacks pages Here.

Please write Governor Cuomo -- tell him the APA is way off-base -- Here.
Please contact your local media, and local state legislators. Thank you!


      Planet in Peril will highlight selected issues its author encounters on a grass-roots level that are connected to the larger issues of environmental calamity now facing the human race and all other species on the planet.

      Initially we posted information on environmental issues related to New York's Adirondack Park, because in 2010 we had gained an awareness of various threats and regulatory problems not widely known. (In 2012 they remain largely ignored outside upstate environmental circles!)

      Later topics included certain issues of the suburban environment on Long Island, NY with which we became acquainted through first-hand experience.

      Some local environmental slash Land Use issues we encountered were the delusional and legally deficient permission given a local firehouse in 2011 to re-build at several multiples of size and capacity in a residential area HERE; also, the cancer-like growth of traffic and noise on a local secondary road, Glen Cove Road, spanning Mineola, Carle Place, Old Westbury, Hills, Greenvale, Glen Head and Glen Cove, HERE; the appalling reality of overdevelopment and loss of old growth hardwoods in established suburban developments like East Hills, Roslyn Heights, unincoprtaed North Hepstead, etc. HERE. The common denominator is bad local government, whether village or town, abetted by lax or missing state oversight, and neglect of quality of life and environmental issues in the public discourse. That includes the generally hamstrung local newspapers.

      Intermittently driving through various major highways around NY we became aware of the uncontrolled scandal of Roadkill and began taking photos and empathetically removing animal remains. (1) Photos HERE and (2) HERE The state has many good options in law, policy and administrative practice to reduce this tragedy, so we urge you to help lobby by contacting your state legislators and local media with these and other ideas:

  • Make it illegal to deliberately strike an animal;
  • Require payment of a wildlife fee in the event of a collision;
  • Require motorists to report all incidents to police, thereby tracking this tragic issue and also deterring deliberate or consistently reckless behavior;
  • Require and enforce slower speeds in deer zones and sensitive areas, at night, and by trucks at all hours;
  • Reduce the speed limits in the Adirondack Park and Catskill Park and adequately enforce these laws; and
  • Re-engineer highways and reduce dependence on vehicular traffic.
     Looking at these animals one knows they did not deserve to suffer the terror and pain in their death. Anyone who drives through areas containing wildlife -- whether suburban squirrels, opposums and raccooons, or rural deer, foxes, turtles etc. -- knows most of these animals try VERY hard to cross streets without encountering cars; they KNOW cars are dangerous. But when speed and lights confuse them, or they are pregnant or just waking in spring, they are unable to react and lose their lives brutally. They are not stupid; they are our neighbors and deserve our active protection. Note: All the animals pictured here were removed from the road and placed in a sheltered nearby resting place.

      We previously engaged in activism with respect to urban planning and preservation issues in two upstate NY communities, Potsdam and Massena, and we may integrate some of those materials here as well.

      Ultimately we subscribe to the dire warnings of organizations such as Earth Policy Institute in Washington DC (earth-policy.org) regarding climate change, overpopulation, degradation of natural and open-space resources, poverty and inequality, and other issues of global environmental importance.

      This website is an effort to influence local and regional policy issues that feed into the larger problems faced by the global environment -- and the grassroots constituency, a "silent majority" that is affected by them and can possibly be activated by their immediacy to take up larger issues.

      We remain however extremely pessimistic whether change of the magnitude necessary can occur without basic transformation of values and systems that govern human society, especially market-driven consumption.      

Link to Blue Planet: "Imperative to Act" A 2012 UN paper by global environmental
laureates James Hansen, Amory Lovins, Gro Harlem Brundtland, and others.

Link to Global Environmental News

Richard Brummel, East Hills, N.Y.   email Richard [at] planet-in-peril [dot] org
or CALL -- (516) 669-1741   Updated 10-4-13