Get Support for Going Green: LI Garden Rewards Program

Photo of Echinacea Flowers

As part of a broader initiative to address nitrogen pollution, The Long Island Regional Planning Council (LIRPC) wants homeowners to know about the LI Garden Rewards Program. Through this program, residents may be reimbursed up to $500 for installing green infrastructure on their properties such as rain barrels, rain gardens, or native plantings.

Receipts must show purchases made after 5/1/23. Funds are limited and granted on a first come first serve basis. Don’t miss out!

Folks living in the Peconic Estuary watershed can also be rewarded for removing turf or pavement, and adding rain barrels, rain gardens and native plant gardens. Residents of the Town Hempstead can also participate in a Native Plant rebate program.

Find information on all of it here.

Photo of Black Eyed Susans

About the Long Island Regional Planning Council

The LIRPC is one of the only organizations tasked with considering the long-term economic, environmental, and social well-being of Long Island as a whole. It conducts research, surveys and studies. It also serves as a forum for discourse and debate, touching on topics such as the economy, equity, tax and governance, the environment and infrastructure.

You can learn about various initiatives and insights on the LIRPC website. It’s a great resource.

Photo of Northport Harbor by Katheryn Laible

Photo of Northport Harbor by Katheryn Laible

Why Nitrogen

One major focus of the LIRPC is nitrogen pollution.

Nitrogen is the leading cause of water quality deterioration on Long Island. It comes primarily from a variety of wastewater sources, and stimulates algal growth. This leads to low oxygen conditions, fish kills, and degraded marine habitats.

It also contaminates the groundwater that is Long Island’s sole source of drinking water.

You can learn more about that and the LI Nitrogen Action Plan (LINAP) here. We also have a great, growing resource of sustainable landscaping resources here (tell us more!).

While solutions are multi-faceted, this is a place where individual effort can make significant impact. Go for it!!

Bee on Aster by Katheryn Laible

Photo of Bee on Aster by Katheryn Laible.

Come Learn: Huntington-Northport Oyster Reef Project

Flyer for a three-part educational series at Town Hall on "How to Improve & Protect our Marine Ecosystem." Join them Tuesday, June 6th at 6pm for the next one!

As part of a larger program, the Huntington Rotary has been coordinating a 3-part forum at Town Hall, “How to Improve and Protect Our Marine Ecosystem” featuring Aquaculture Experts at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County.

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Groundbreaking at Nikola Tesla’s Last Remaining Lab

Photo of volunteers at the Tesla Science Center getting their shovels in the ground.

The Phase 1 groundbreaking ceremony for the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe (TSCW) marked a milestone in a massive international and yet deeply local endeavor to restore Nikola Tesla’s last remaining laboratory, advance his humanistic legacy, and inspire great innovation.

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Repair Café Needs YOU!!!

Repair Café Flyer

The Repair Café Needs You!

Are you handy? With machines? Electronics? A needle and thread, perhaps?

Would you share this knowledge with others? Just want to keep folks from throwing good things into landfills, maybe help them save a few dollars?  Come with your kids and teach them? Just come to learn and make new friends?

Get involved in The Repair Café!

About the Repair Café

Check out The Repair Café Long Island on Facebook.

Just scroll through the images there and look at these folks helping each other and learning so much together.

Oh my goodness!

For years now, Laurie Farber of Starflower Experiences has made it part of her mission to help people fix things rather than just throw them out. First efforts in Wyandanch were successful. Then they built on the idea. The concept survived COVID. A natural partner, libraries, LOVE it when she brings her can-do TLC to their spaces. They’ve been to South Huntington, the Harborfields Library in Greenlawn, Comsewogue in Port Jefferson Station, Copaigue, Lindenhurst, more!
 

She’s got calls coming in for this program Island-wide. Anyone willing to help her answer them is greatly appreciated!

Laurie Explains

You don’t have to be super mechanical. Everybody can teach or help with something.

Said Laurie: “The more volunteers, the faster folks can get things repaired. People need to be able to bring their own tools. We get a lot of TVs and lamps and small electronics. We also could use people who are good with furniture, clothing/textiles (with sewing machine), more people for jewelry, anyone for watches and clocks, and other miscellaneous things (last time we had an ironing board, bicycle, a small statue that needed to be glued back together…).

We could also make space for a mental health person who would take time to listen to folks who just have a need to talk, or anyone who can do massage (sure, we can ‘fix’ people, too!).

Anyone who’d like to do some small DIY demos like how to sew on a button, darn a sock, rewire a lamp… we may need someone to act as “host” in watching and replenishing the coffee, cookies, etc. Anyone who wants to bake cookies or banana bread or small things that don’t require silverware or plates or who’d like to donate a basket of apples is also welcome.

Get Involved!

We imagine The Repair Café  would be an EXCELLENT service project for Scouts, and really anyone who wants to promote the fine art of giving things a second chance at life, and to help make the world little thriftier and more self-reliant.

The best way to get in touch is through the Repair Cafe Long Island Facebook Page. You may also contact Laurie at starflexp@aol.com to learn more!!!

Photos of Repair Cafe’s across Long Island. Photo Credit: Laurie Farber.

Beth Fiteni Wants Folks to Understand the Current Administration’s Track Record on The Environment

In a recent blog post, Environmentalist Beth Fiteni of Green Inside & Out, offers, “important facts about changes to federal environmental laws and policies that the mainstream press does not typically cover.

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Spencer’s Picks: Overcoming Pandemic Fatigue; Art, Science & Suggested Solutions; The Happiness of a Dog

Dr. Spencer Thomas atop the Uffizi in Florence, Italy

Photo of Dr. Spencer Thomas atop the Uffizi in Florence, Italy. Photo by Katheryn Laible

 

As usual, when he’s not scrying into the mysteries of metals at the atomic level, or pondering puzzles of more efficient means of tapping energy, Dr. Thomas is bringing some light into our life. Here are a few of the things he’s brought to our attention:

Now that we’re about a month into the college semester with social distancing and remote learning, a lot of people I know are feeling a bit of a drag. You are not alone: Lonliness at Pandemic U: 14 tips for college students and their parents

Along similar themes, but more for everyone:: Your Surge Capacity is Depleted. This is Why You Feel Awful (and a couple good things you can do about it)

One thing that’s helpful is — to help! Here is a heartwarming and inspiring story from one of my very favorite professors from back in my undergrad time at Stony Brook. Bente Videbaek is an amazing person who has been working hard to make sure people have masks Facebook Page: “Humans of Mather Hospital”

When you feel a bit grounded and ready to stare some of the bigger challenges facing humanity in the face: Countdown is a global initiative to champion and accelerate solutions to the climate crisis. One of the speakers, Dr. Rose Mutiso, is a friend of mine – we were graduate students together. She’s the incredible CEO of the Mawazo Institute, which supports women scientists and leaders throughout East Africa. She has also spoken at TED and written in Scientific American about the challenges that people in Africa face building digital and clean-energy infrastructure.

One for the Coltrane fans out there: The most feared song in jazz, explained. It’s not too hard for a layman to follow this breakdown of “Giant Steps,” even as it’s still among the most challenging things a musician may face

Finally, no big point here, but a bit of joy for you since we could all use it: The happiness of this dog after they put prostheses on

Spencer Thomas received his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. After some time at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, we are DELIGHTED to welcome him back to Long Island as a researcher at Stony Brook University. He also happens to be Katie’s brother. For a time, Spencer studied metals at the atomic level; the way atoms are arranged in a material can change its properties; one can take ordinary metals make them stronger, more flexible, corrosion resistant, even radiation resistant. We’re still endeavoring to understand what he’s doing now well enough to explain it so simply.

Spencer believes that no matter who you are, good communication can put scientific concepts within reach. The modern world demands scientific literacy and it is the responsibility of scientists to make that possible.

Local Company At Forefront of COVID Testing, Possibly Even a Vaccine

Another new friend is John Shearman, a marketing and communications specialist who has spent his career serving innovative technology companies Island-wide. He currently works for a fascinating company called Applied DNA Sciences, Inc, which is an anchor tenant of the Long Island High Tech Incubator.

A primary service of Applied DNA is to enable the authentication of products and supply chains through unique molecular identifiers — basically they literally apply DNA to things like textiles, microchips, cannabis and other products so that their authenticity can be validated.

In recent years they have also become involved in vaccines for blood cancers. When the COVID-19 crisis erupted, they quickly turned to that .

They are very excited that, in partnership with Stony Brook University, they have developed clinical tests for COVID-19 that are apparently 100% accurate. While this aspect is still receiving approvals it may even be saliva based (bye-bye-brain tickle!), and fast enough that local companies and others will be able to regularly offer safe, quick, accurate tests for their employees on a regular basis.

This is a big step toward being freed from our collective quarantine. They’re also working on DNA vaccines in partnership with Takis Biotech, some of which are already being tested on mice and seem to show some significant promise.

Here’s hoping!

Synchronicity Picks: Two Ways of Knowing, Life Is Beautiful, Grow for Good

Photo by Katheryn Laible

We’ve been thinking a lot about science and spirituality lately, and how we wish those who resonate with our hearts wouldn’t so often trouble our minds with claims of or against science that just aren’t so. In turn, we wish those who like to stick to science would remember that there’s a lot we don’t fully understand,…Reiki may seem pseudosciency, but there’s legitimate science behind the healing power of touch.

It’s a challenging subject…and we are grateful to both the scientists and spiritual guides we know who help us at least begin to understand their views and clarify what our own thoughts are…

This is beautiful and touches right on that! Two Way of Knowing: Robin Wall Kimmerer On Scientific And Native American Views Of The Natural World by Leath Tonino in The Sun

As for science…as we scoured the Internet trying to better understand the science regarding masks…we stumbled across this article from Jeremy Howard, a U. of San Francisco data scientist who, together with 18 other scientists recently completed a review of available research on the subject.

It seemed really helpful. Then, we dug deeper to figure out what we were reading. This is how we discovered, The Conversation which felt refreshingly broadly and intelligently resourced… Then we read their about statement…Sounds good to us!!!

On the spiritual side, we appreciate Ambassadors of Wellness: The SOUL-U-TION Revolution Donna Martini shares her sweet, wise “Mantra Mouse,” and invites all so inclined to meditate and pray with her.

Did you know there’s a church of Rock n Roll that has long been happening for decades every Sunday morning on WBAB 102.3? You don’t have to be a Catholic to appreciate Religion and Rock hosted by Msgr Jim Vlaun

Attitude adjustments help. Katie has often said she is not, in fact, an optimist. but so often delightfully surprised by human beings giving it their best anyway, that she’s decided to support them. This recent NPR piece is making her think a little bit differently about that: Optimism: Is it a Personality Trait, Or Could People Possibly Learn It?

This was interesting: “Nick Hanauer: How Do We Begin To Reinvent Capitalism?” This is part IV in the TED Radio Hour exploration of reinvention. It features a billionaire entrepreneur who believes today’s stark inequality is a product of decades of bad economic theory. He’s still a strong proponent of capitalism, he just thinks we’ve got to start looking at it differently…

We are pleased to see Jed Morey has created something new: a Grow for Good Podcast which “introduces listeners to business leaders who have grown their companies by doing good things.”

We’re in for all the good we can get, anywhere we can find it!

Finally, here’s a great to start your week: Life is Beautiful. It’s author Hugh Hollowell is into “creating a compelling vision of a better world,” as “a writer, a farmer, a pastor, and a foster parent who loves cats” and does some consulting. Released on Mondays, this is an offering of five beautiful things to start your week.

“Because the world is beautiful, but sometimes it’s hard to notice it.”