Dearest Poopers, There are big things in the works--POOP Project events in NYC on Sept. 10, 15, and also Oct. 1 and 19th. More info coming PRONTO!

But a little teaser for the day: are you a woman in New York interested in asking Dr. Oz about your pee or poo, Tuesday the 30th? Allow me to explain...

This past week I was visiting my folks in Denver (even a Puru's got to have parents!), away from Brooklyn just long enough to miss Aunt Irene. In truth, I was a little glad to be away but more sorry not to be standing with my city--especially in what New York Magazine warned might be a literal shitstorm from combined sewer outfalls (CSOs) in the Gowanus Canal and Newtown Creek. Based on the pictures in one local blog, it doesn't appear to be much of an issue, and the worst my block got was a big fallen branch. She IS a big one though!

So Friday, I'm at the Denver Zoo with the first family of feces (j/k Mom and Dad!). Like all zoos, they love poop. They sell their poo to gardeners in a can, have an online game where you can guess Whose Poo?!, and they're soon to open Asian Tropics, a multi-million dollar exhibit powered by biogas--utilizing 2,700 pounds of animal poo and 4,200 pounds of their visitor's trash EVERY DAY. I am impressed.

So I'm eating an ice cream alongside a free range peacock, and I look down at my phancy phone to phind (too phar?) an email from Dr. Oz.

That's right. The guru of positive poop talk himself. THE Dr Oz.

...or a Production Assistant from his show whose name was Sheena. It was hard to tell. But we all know that down deep he loves The POOP Project.

Anyway, my understanding is that they're taping a show Tuesday, Aug. 30th from 1-5pm about poo and pee. Any New York ladies out there who:

a) have been diagnosed with something because of/related to poo or pee and wanna sit in the audience and represent?

b) wanna ask a question that pertains to what the shape or color of poo means, why their pee is colored/smells a certain way or what the quantity of the pee signifies?

If you're ready for your 15 minutes of fecal fame, email me at shawn@thePOOPproject.org and I'll give you the low down.

That's all for now, poopers. Wishing you inphamous phoeces and peaceful pooping.


Pooping Is Not a Crime

Dearest Poopers, First off, there's still room for YOU to join us this Saturday, 7/30 at 7:30pm for a rooftop screening of Gasland! Read the original post to learn more or just go express track and and RSVP here! And now for the news...

Pooping is not a crime. Dumping poo in the river is. So said your trusty Puru via cardboard and marker yesterday at the rally held by New York Senator Adriano Espaillat. While there have been many individuals and organization (like Riverkeeper and the SWIM Coalition) hounding the city and state for years to provide adequate signage in the event of a CSO, perhaps the Senator's rallying cry will put a stop to this heel-dragging on the part of those responsible, and get this thing moving. (By the way, you can see a cool video showing how scientists think the spilled sewage was moving through New York's waters from the fantastic SeaAndSkyNY.)

In case you missed it, you can learn more about yesterday's rally in this great article at DNAinfo (in which the above picture and some of my own comments are featured), or take in a short video about it from NY1 (in which I am not featured).

All the best, and peaceful pooping.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

Rally Against NYC Sewage Dumping TOMORROW

Dearest Poopers, If you live in New York City, you've probably heard by now of Wednesday's explosion and fire at the North River Wastewater Treatment Plant. Oh, you know! The one that was spewing untreated sewage out into the Hudson until Friday evening (around 120 million gallons)? If this is news to you, check out this New York Times article. Perhaps most concerning is the discrepancy between tests conducted by the DEP and Riverkeeper, an independent watchdog for water safety and health. They were looking to see whether bacteria that normally live in our intestines (that little cutie down below) had moved en masse to riverfront property. And the answer was yes. Yes it had. From the Times:

On Saturday, Riverkeeper said that Thursday’s samples at 6 of 16 test locations in the Hudson, from the Tappan Zee Bridge down to New York City’s Battery, had unsafe counts ranging from 132 to 104,620 per 100 milliliters. “The concentrations near the discharge points were much higher than usual, comparable to the Gowanus Canal and Newtown Creek,” Dr. O’Mullan [of Riverkeeper] said.

Gowanus and Newtown, among the most contaminated bodies of water in the nation, were both declared federal Superfund sites last year and are to undergo decade-long cleanups.

The city’s own sampling Thursday showed much lower concentrations because the testing is done at beaches and in the center of the river, Mr. Sklerov [of the Environmental Protection Department] said.

Here's the problem (well, one problem): beachcombers are not the only ones who need to be told to stay ashore when sewage has been released into NYC water. There are boathouses up and down NYC's waterways. There are fishermen who live off of what they catch every day. There are even brave folk who swim in these waters without ever stepping foot on a public beach. And there are 2 billion gallons of effluent (washed down by 25 more billion gallons of wastewater--normally rain or snowmelt) coming out of large pipes around the city every year in what's called a Combined Sewer Overflow, or CSO. (You can find tons more information on this from the SWIM Coalition--and be sure to check out this swell factsheet.)

Eventually, the city needs to figure out an alternative to dumping untreated sewage into the river every time it rains or snows too much and the city's wastewater treatment plants can't handle the capacity. Until then, an effective notification system would at least help to mitigate the danger. Plenty of other cities have them (see this compendium, again from SWIM), so why not the Big Apple?

To that effect...

I look forward to seeing you there!  And till then, peaceful pooping.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner