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

Bob Performs in Public

Dearest Poopers, First off, a big thank you to everyone who turned out last night to make the final installment in DEP's Summer Speaker Series a great success. The diverse viewpoints of Andrew Faust, Kaled Alamarie and Dr. Paul Mankiewicz supplied fodder for an intense debate about how best to achieve "A Sustainable Future", one I wish we'd only had more time to pursue. Lastly, I want to honor Julia Perciasepe and Jessica Bergeron, my collaborators and consecutive Special Events Coordinators with the Visitor Center at Newtown Creek who made it all possible. Stay tuned for future collaborations...

And while we're waiting, make sure to check out BOB the Pavilion, the communal composting toilet currently on display at Columbia University. In fact, why not do it tonight AND catch a show? I'll be in attendance; hope to see you there!

Peaceful Pooping,

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

PERFORMANCY FORUM XIV organized by PPL AT BOB THE PAVILION

Wednesday, July 13, 7-10:00 PM

TESS DWORMAN performing an intimate, solo dance piece

PAUL PINTO AND JEFFREY YOUNG (OF THINGNY) performing a mini opera tentatively entitled Jeffrey Young and Paul Pinto Run for Office with the Help of Paul Pinto as his Wingman.

ANYA LIFTIG * performance art * performance art *

BEN SPATZ/MAXIMILIAN BALDUZZI/URBAN RESEARCH THEATER 

MATTHEW STEPHEN SMITH an excerpt from A Gathering of Very Articulate Individuals 

CHRISTY WALSH performing her I had a dream of an endless string of beautiful days in the desert, a dance/video work

and

PPL composer BRIAN MCCORKLE, performing an excerpt from the work-in-progress Institute_Institut concert-style with MEGAN COOPER, GREG LOEWER JR, DANIELLA FISCHETTI, AND MATTHEW STEPHEN SMITH

Bob the Pavilion is a composting toilet and inflated platform for performance and more http://www.bobthepavilion.com/

Bob The Pavilion was supported by a grant from Columbia University School of the Arts (SOA) and Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation, and Planning (GSAPP).

A Sustainable Future TONIGHT!

Dearest Poopers, I've just arrived back from exploring the deep, dark Northwoods of Wisconsin. While technically not a poop-themed trip, I did come across an fascinating artifact while sifting through a local thrift shop. I believe it is none other than Mary Poppins' plunger!

I hope that, in between your Merry Poopin', you'll have a chance to check out tonight's panel conversation, "A Sustainable Future: Green Innovations" hosted by the Visitor Center at Newtown Creek. I'm incredibly excited to pick the brilliant brains of permaculture expert Andrew Faust (Center for Bioregional Living), green designer Paul S. Mankiewicz, Ph.D. (The Gaia Institute) and ecologist Kaled Alamarie (Bureau of Environmental Planning and Analysis, DEP--filling in for John McLaughlin). Seriously folks, this is top caliber talent. If you don't believe me, check out their bios following the poster below.

Looking forward to seeing you there, and peaceful pooping.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

Click the picture above to see the full flyer, or click HERE to get complete directions to the Visitor Center at Newtown Creek.

Kaled Alamarie, graduated from Hunter College in 1997 a degree in Geology and a duel masters in both urban studies and Geology from Queens College. Kaled has been working for the NYCDEP for 11 years. During his tenure with the DEP he worked on the ecological restoration of Pennsylvania & Fountain Avenue landfill, Alley Creek wetland/upland restoration, Thrusby Basin Restoration, and most recently he is supervising the design and construction of the Jamaica Bay Watershed Green Infrastructure pilot studies.

Andrew Faust is one of the premier Permaculture teachers and designers in North America with nearly two decades of experience in the field. His passionate and visionary presentation and curriculum has been inspiring and motivating students since his days as an alternative school teacher at Upattinas in Glenmoore, PA. Andrew lived off the grid in West Virginia for 8 years where he designed and built a Permaculture inspired homestead including a 1600 sq ft strawbale house. He moved to Brooklyn in 2007 and has been applying his knowledge to the urban landscape culminating in a Permaculture Design Certification course many consider life changing. He is developing The Center for Bioregional Living in Ellenville, NY with his partner Adriana Magaña as a pilot campus for his students, clients and baby daughter Juniper.

Dr. Paul S. Mankiewicz, Executive Director of the Gaia Institute, received his Ph.D. from the City University of New York/New York Botanical Garden Joint Program in Plant Sciences. He holds patents on a modular, in-vessel composting system, an ultralightweight green roof plant growth medium, and a biogeochemical reactor to breakdown dioxins and PCBs. Past president of the Torrey Botanical Society & board member of the NYC Soil & Water Conservation District, he is also a past member of the Citywide Recyling Advisory Board and formerly chair of the Solid Waste Advisory Board of the Bronx. Dr. Mankiewicz has designed and built natural landscapes to provide ecosystems services including ecological filters to treat water, capture carbon, and lower energy costs in urban centers. A number of working models have been constructed, including the first green roof in the Bronx, the first industrial-scale stormwater treatment meadow and green wall on a six acre truck-to-barge material handling site at SIMS recycling facility on the Bronx River, and the first process water/greywater treatment green roof on the Linda Tool Corporation in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and the first ten of the Mayors PlaNYC 2030 enhanced tree pits for street-side storm water capture.

Discover A Sustainable Future, July 12!

Dearest Poopers, Please forgive my delay in updating the site of late. I've been deep in the Northwoods of Wisconsin traveling, camping, and pooping in holes. Meanwhile, there's so much excitement happening back in New York, with two POOP events coming up next week, and one special event I know you'll enjoy.

The POOPs!

1. Tues, 7/12, 6:30pm, "A Sustainable Future: Green Innovations." A panel conversation with Andrew Faust (Center for Bioregional Living), Paul S. Mankiewicz, Ph.D. (The Gaia Institute) and John McLaughlin (Bureau of Environmental Planning and Analysis, DEP). Hosted by the Visitor Center at Newtown Creek, and moderated by The Puru.

2. Sat, 7/16, 10am-4pm, City of Water Day Festival. Stop by the POOP table during this FREE day of entertainment, education & adventure on Governor's Island celebrating the potential of our NYC/NJ waterfront!

The Special Event!

3. Wed, 7/13, 7-10pm, Panoply Performancy Forum XIV at BOB the Pavilion.  Featuring theatre, music and dance at a composting toilet and inflated platform on the Columbia University campus.

DETAILS!!

1.

Click the picture above to see the full flyer, or click HERE to get complete directions to the Visitor Center at Newtown Creek.

2.

July 16: City of Water Day Festival in NY & NJ From the upper Hudson to Raritan Bay, we are a City of Water. Spread the word and come to the waterfront on July 16, City of Water Day! On this day, the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance gathers many partners to showcase the potential of the New York/New Jersey Harbor. Come, enjoy, and help us revitalize the waterfront with this annual, one-of-a-kind festival for the entire family!

This year, festivities will take place at Governors Island and Liberty State Park. Free ferries will get you to Governors Island from Manhattan and Brooklyn (click here for the schedules) and to Liberty State Park. (Click here for the schedule of free transportation between Governors Island and Liberty State Park, and here for information about other ways to get to Liberty State Park.)

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

  • FREE boat tours for thousands on historic and educational vessels. Click here for more information
  • FREE kayaking, rowing and fishing opportunities
  • Dozens of FREE arts, crafts, games and activities for kids
  • FREE ferries between Governors Island & Liberty State Park
  • An amazing range of demonstrations, hands-on projects, free merchandise and water-related literature at the Waterfront Activity Fair--INCLUDING THE POOP PROJECT TABLE!
  • Car-free waterfront bicycling
  • Delicious food from award-winning vendors
  • Live music, and much more!!!

If you can't make it to Liberty State Park or Governors Island on July 16, enjoy City of Water Day festivities at other waterfronts around the metropolitan region, including Harlem River Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Staten Island, Bronx River Park, Battery Park City and Hudson River Park. Click here for information about City of Water Day in Your Neighborhood.

3.

PERFORMANCY FORUM XIV organized by PPL AT BOB THE PAVILION

Wednesday, July 13, 7-10:00 PM

TESS DWORMAN performing an intimate, solo dance piece

PAUL PINTO AND JEFFREY YOUNG (OF THINGNY) performing a mini opera tentatively entitled Jeffrey Young and Paul Pinto Run for Office with the Help of Paul Pinto as his Wingman.

ANYA LIFTIG * performance art * performance art *

BEN SPATZ/MAXIMILIAN BALDUZZI/URBAN RESEARCH THEATER 

MATTHEW STEPHEN SMITH an excerpt from A Gathering of Very Articulate Individuals 

CHRISTY WALSH performing her I had a dream of an endless string of beautiful days in the desert, a dance/video work

and

PPL composer BRIAN MCCORKLE, performing an excerpt from the work-in-progress Institute_Institut concert-style with MEGAN COOPER, GREG LOEWER JR, DANIELLA FISCHETTI, AND MATTHEW STEPHEN SMITH

Bob the Pavilion is a composting toilet and inflated platform for performance and more http://www.bobthepavilion.com/

Bob The Pavilion was supported by a grant from Columbia University School of the Arts (SOA) and Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation, and Planning (GSAPP).

--

Very much looking forward to seeing everyone there and wishing you, as always, peaceful pooping.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

Newtown Creek: Past, Present and Future

Dearest Poopers, The next panel conversation is almost upon us!  In fact, it's TODAY at 6:30pm!

 

 

A century ago, Newtown Creek had more cargo careening down the banks of Greenpoint and Long Island City than did the Mississippi. Now her docks are used to park cars, and her bottom--soiled by a century's worth of industrial pollution and oil spillage--has earned this toxic creek federal Superfund status. Learn more about the rehabilitation process now under way, and the economic/environmental advantages of once again utilizing our waterways instead of our highways.

Featuring Mitch Waxman (Newtown Pentacle) and Kate Zidar (SWIM Coalition, Newtown Creek Alliance).

NOTE: Due to the birth of a wee miracle, Mike Heimbinder (HabitatMap) will not be able to join us.  Alas, nor and Paul Parkhill (Place in History). I know, I know...excuses!

Looking forward to seeing you there and, as always, peaceful pooping.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

Cruising At the Creek

Dearest Poopers, While we're waiting for Bob's ship to come in, can I interest you in doing something forbidden this weekend? Something casual and exciting? Maybe with someone you've never met before?

Well, dear friend, you've got to go cruising down Newtown Creek.

***Newtown Creek Cruise***

When: Saturday, May 21st, Departs 10:00am sharp, Returns 1:00pm Where: Pier 17 South Street Seaport  [directions] Price: $60, to purchase tickets visit the Working Harbor Committee website.

Join us for a special water tour of Newtown Creek with expert narration from historical and environmental guest speakers. There are limited tickets available on the MV American Princess for a very rare tour of Newtown Creek. Guest narrators will cover points of industrial and historical interest as well as environmental and conservation issues during your three-hour exploration. New York’s forgotten history will be revealed - as well as bright plans for the Creek's future.  MV American Princess is a large comfortable vessel with indoor and outdoor seating. Complimentary soft drinks and a tour brochure are included.  Cruise runs rain or shine.  Queries? Contact Tour Chairman Mitch Waxman: waxmanstudio@gmail.com

Hosted by Hidden Harbor Tours ® in association with the Newtown Creek Alliance.

 

But there's MORE!

The POOP Project is proud to announce the second in DEP's Summer Speaker Series on June 1, 2011: Art and Sustainability.  With presenting artists George Trakas and Mary Mattingly, and a panel discussion moderated by yours truly.

SWEET BUDDHA!  There's still more!!

New York City enjoys public curbside programs that sweep our bottles, cans and cardboards swiftly away to be recycled. But due to lack of access to recycling facilities, not every piece of plastic or paper is actually recyclable in NYC, and a host of other cities. Google your municipality or call the local environmental department to learn more, and if you're in New York, check out this event tomorrow night (recycling information also at the NYCWasteLess website).

 

Well, I'm exhausted.  How about you?

Looking forward to seeing you cruising 'round Newtown Creek sometime soon. Just be careful who you wink at and, as always, peaceful pooping.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

 

Poop all over the place

The People's Own Organic Power Project is more than pleased to announce no less than three--that's right THREE!--opportunities to see The Puru in action the first week in May. SUMMARY:

1. Tues, May 3, 8pm, Adult Education presents: "Social Anxiety" at Union Hall in Park Slope, Brooklyn.  I'll be presenting on "The Agony and the Excrement."

2. Wed, May 4, 6:30pm, "Water for Cities: The Urban Challenge." The first in a summer series of environmental panels with the Visitor Center at Newtown Creek, and moderated by yours poo-ly.

3. Sun, May 8, 7pm, "Mother May I?" An evening of performances at The Delancey honoring mothers everywhere, and benefiting SIX SEEDS: The Persephone Project, a theater piece by warner|shaw opening in June at The Tank.

FULL DETAILS:

1.

ADULT EDUCATION PRESENTS: "SOCIAL ANXIETY" Tuesday, May 3, 2011 - 8 pm (doors at 7:30) Union Hall in Park Slope 702 Union St. @ 5th Ave $5 cover (buy tickets online here)

BEN DOLNICK: "First Base and Beyond" Dolnick will teach you how to have a girlfriend in middle school and how to write about it when you grow up.

CAISSIE ST.ONGE: "This is Your Parents on Drugs" St.Onge discusses survival tactics for the moment you're old enough to realize that dad's not going out for milk.

SHAWN SHAFNER: "The Agony and the Excrement" In the 1500s, someone actually had to write a book on manners including instructions not to, "foul the staircases, corridors, or closets with urine or other filth." Shafner will explain what happened to the good old days, and how the potty has trained us.

JILL STODDARD: "The Body: Tales of a Traitor" No matter how hard we try to make our bodies into ornaments of how sophisticated and cultured we are, they still will confound us with their own rogue agenda. Stoddard discusses the lengths we go to hide our body's expressions, and the ways we still fail at it.

With YOUR host, Charles Star

2.

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection presents the first event in our Summer Speaker Series:

Water for Cities: Responding to the Urban Challenge (The United Nations World Water Day Theme)

Wednesday, May 4th 2011 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Visitor Center at Newtown Creek 329 Greenpoint Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11222

Talks followed by a panel discussion moderated by Shawn Shafner of The People’s Own Organic Power Project (www.thePOOPproject.org)

Featuring:

Frederik Pischke Interagency Water Advisor UN-Water

Vyjayanthi Rao Assistant Professor of Anthropology New School for Social Research, New York

Jennifer Farmwald Project Manager Water Supply Infrastructure & Watershed Assessment NYC Environmental Protection

Directions to the Newtown Creek Visitors Center: Subway: G train to Greenpoint Avenue Station (Walk east on Greenpoint Avenue, cross McGuinnes Boulevard and Provost Street. Walk to traffic light. Entrance will be on left.) Bus: B24 Car: • Take the Long Island Exp. I-495 W toward MIDTOWN TUNNEL (RT-25 W) • Take exit #15/VAN DAM ST onto QUEENS MIDTOWN EXPY • Continue straight on BORDEN AVE • Make a U-Turn at 31ST PL onto BORDEN AVE • Turn Right on VAN DAM ST • Bear Right on GREENPOINT AVE • Go over JJ Byrne Memorial Bridge and continue on GREENPOINT AVENUE • Entrance is on the right on GREENPOINT AVE & HUMBOLDT ST. Parking is not available on site.

3.

MOTHER MAY I The Delancey, downstairs 168 Delancey St (btw Clinton and Attorney) Sunday, May 8th | 6pm doors, 7pm show Monologues, Music, and 2 for 1 Drinks! CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS

Forget brunch this Mother’s Day. Take your mama, your baby mama or just your totally grown up, independent self to celebrate (or commiserate) with stories, songs and two for one drinks at The Delancey on Sunday, May 8. Whether your mother was a goddess of love and support or a smothering bitch, your inner child will laugh, cry and try not to poop y...our pants at MOTHER, MAY I?, a night of performances by writers, actors and singers in honor of mothers. There’s a woman somewhere who you owe your life to, and we want to thank her. Join us for stories, lullabies and comedy. We won’t judge your outfit or your date.

Hosted by warner | shaw co-founders Franny Silverman and Annie Levy.

Featuring:

Glenn Marla (reigning Mr. Coney Island and Miss LES 2006, glennmarla.com) | Sarah Graalman (Mama Rice N’ Friends, mammaandfriends.com) | Shelly Oria (McSweeney’s, 2008 Indiana Review Fiction Prize) | Lisa Lewis (1000 nights at The Creek, lisalewiswriting.com) | Tara Hyman (Mama Rice N’ Friends, tarahyman.com) | David Wolkin (Inner Monologues, Speakeasy Stories, wolkin.com) | Christine Siracusa (Brave New World Rep) | Galeet Dardashti (Six Points Fellow ’07-’09, Le Poisson Rouge, galeetdardashti.com) | Shawn Shafner (Joe’s Pub, POOP Project, thepoopproject.org) | Naomi Less (Jewish Chicks Rock, naomiless.com) | Anni Bruno | Mara Leventhal | Brian Gelfand and other special guests.

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Looking forward to seeing you there!  And peaceful Spring pooping.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner