Monday, May 31, 2010

Screening of Movie GASLAND and Meet Director Josh Fox: June 16th

You are invited to a Private Screening of the Movie
JUNE 16, 7:00 pm at Cooperstown High School
39 Linden Avenue, Cooperstown, NY

Meet Josh Fox and learn about the impacts of natural gas drilling on our air, water, communities and environment.

When filmmaker Josh Fox discovers that Natural Gas drilling is coming to his area the Catskills-Poconos Region of Upstate New York and Pennsylvania, he sets off on a 24 state journey to uncover the deep consequences of the United States' natural gas drilling boom. What he uncovers is truly shocking - water that can be lit on fire right out of the sink, chronically ill residents of drilling areas from disparate locations in the US all with the same mysterious symptoms, huge pools of toxic waste that kill cattle and vegetation well blowouts and huge gas explosions consistently covered up by state and federal regulatory agencies. These are just a few of the many absurd and astonishing revelations of a new country called GASLAND.

Josh Fox will be here in person to answer questions after the film viewings. Gasland is the Winner of the Special Jury Prize at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. This showing was sponsored by Otsego 2000, Sustainable Otsego, OCCA, and Advocates for Springfield.

For a more about 'GASLAND' visit
For more about Gas Drilling in our region and the NYS law that governs it visit

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

NYCON CEO speaks on tax exempt issues on NPR's All Things Considered

NPR story, Amid Red Ink, Tax-Exempts Asked To Add To Coffers, features NYCON CEO Doug Sauer.

State and local governments, eager to close their budget gaps, are increasingly going after charities and other tax-exempt groups. Government officials are proposing new fees on nonprofits to help pay for services. They're also challenging the exemptions these groups get from sales and property taxes.

In Concord, Mass., for example, the Board of Selectmen sent a letter to the town's nonprofits earlier this year. It said that local property taxes were so high they were driving residents away. The board asked the town's private schools, hospitals, charities and churches if they could start paying their fair share.

"I guess we're just hoping that in times where people are economically really stretched, that to the extent that they're able, they can contribute," says board member Virginia McIntyre.

But the initial response was not what the board had hoped. One arts group offered to contribute $1,000 to the town, but most of the nonprofits responded — politely — that they contributed to Concord in many nonmonetary ways.

'A Slippery Slope'

Kathi Anderson is executive director of the Walden Woods Project in Concord. It preserves property including Walden Pond, made famous by Henry David Thoreau — who, she notes, went to jail rather than pay a tax he opposed.

"The land that is now protected is a wonderful resource, not only for people who live in the community, but for people who visit the community," Anderson says.

She says she feels the town's pain but that her group is hurting financially, too. She says it would be hard-pressed to come up with the $89,000 Concord says the Walden Woods Project would owe if it weren't tax-exempt. Even a "donation" to the town would send the wrong message, Anderson says.

"This is a slippery slope because if indeed a donation is made, then it implies that one supports the notion of having charities essentially pay taxes," Anderson says.

And that would fly in the face of the long-time relationship between government and charity — the idea that nonprofits fill a valuable community role and should be exempt from tax.

But increasingly that relationship is being challenged. Boston wants its universities, hospitals and nonprofits to pay 25 percent of what they'd owe if they weren't tax-exempt. Philadelphia is talking to its universities about similar payments. Kansas and Hawaii considered repealing tax exemptions for nonprofits as part of their budget debates. And Minneapolis has imposed a "streetlight fee" on nonprofits to help pay for electricity and bulbs.

Tim Delaney, president of the National Council of Nonprofits, says these moves couldn't come at a worse time.

"Corporate donations are down significantly. Individual giving is down. Foundation giving is down substantially," even though demand for charitable services is up, he says. Delaney says adding more costs will only hurt taxpayers in the long run because there's high demand for the types of services — such as health care and food pantries — that many nonprofits provide.

"When we can't [provide them], then there's greater needs in the community. And when the needs get so severe, then we're going to find people demanding that government step in. That is going to cost a whole lot more," he says.

Albany's Experience

But Frank Commisso, a council member in Albany, N.Y., says cities like his have little choice. More than half of Albany's property is tax-exempt because the city is home to so many state offices, hospitals and universities. But he says these institutions still rely on city services. Read more and listen to the story here.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

THE UNITED WAY of Delaware & Otsego Counties Inaugural GOLF Tournament

Ouleout Creek Golf Course
Franklin, NY
Friday May 21, 2010
(Rain or Shine)

Lunch 11:30-12:30
Captain and Crew
$250.00 Per Team
Tournament to benefit the work of the United Way of Delaware & Otsego Counties
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Entry Form
Name ______________________________ Phone______________________
Address ____________________________ Email ______________________
Players 1. __________________________ 3.___________________________
2. __________________________ 4.___________________________
Make Checks payable to The United Way of Delaware & Otsego Counties,
Mail to PO Box 631, Oneonta NY 13820. Tournament Contact Tim McGraw (607)432-2022

Friday, May 7, 2010

SUNY Oneonta earns four-star Charity Navigator rating

The Daily Star reported that The State University College at Oneonta Foundation has been honored with a four-star "exceptional" rating by Charity Navigator, the leading independent charity evaluator in America, a media release said.

The rating is based on the foundation's commitment to sound fiscal management and its ability to deliver on its mission, the release from the State University College at Oneonta said.

Charity Navigator President Ken Berger praised the foundation's ability to "efficiently manage and grow its finances."

"Approximately a quarter of the charities we evaluate have received our highest rating, indicating that State University College at Oneonta Foundation Corporation executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way, and outperforms most other charities in America," Berger said in a letter to the foundation. Read more here.