Tagged: New York

Is Your State The Greenest In The U.S.?

Greenopia recently released a list ranking the greenest states in the U.S. Topping the list is Washington. Surprise, surprise they’ve been pretty green over there for a long time. Who’s at the bottom of the list? Louisiana.

New York ranks pretty high, maybe it’s all of that mass transit? The criteria green business directory, green rating and green ranking organization Greenopia used was, according to greenbiz.com:

States were evaluated based on their per capita greenhouse gas emissions, per capita energy and water consumption, air and water quality, recycling rate, renewable energy generation, number of LEED certified buildings, number of green businesses and how progressive their legislatures have been on adopting green measures.

They used data from the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. Geological Survey, American Lung Association and U.S. Green Building Council.

Check out the full list below the jump. Continue reading

Census Numbers For Black Folks Still Inaccurate

I recently filled out my census, albeit late, but I saw something that upset me on the census form. No, it wasn’t the word Negro, that’s the least of my problems here. My issue is in the very first part of the questionnaire where it clearly states “Do not count anyone in a nursing home, jail, prison, detention facility, etc., on April 1, 2010.”

The census form then states these persons may be counted twice so they should be left off your form. My issue here is that persons in prisons are counted as residents where they are incarcerated so they’re not counted where they’re from. Continue reading

Pepsi To Turn Their Products Into Health Foods

We believe that a healthier future for all people and our planet means a more successful future for PepsiCo,” said Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo chairman and chief executive officer.

PepsiCo Inc is looking to cut salt, sugar and saturated fats levels in its top-selling products.

According to reuters.com: “It also would reduce the average saturated fat per serving by 15% by 2020, and cut the average added sugar per serving in key global beverage brands by 25% by 2020.”

I like how their goals are so far into in the future, but they do have one goal set to take place next year: Last week Pepsi said it would stop peddling sugary soft drinks to primary and secondary schools on a globally by 2012. Continue reading

NY State Parks To Close This Spring

My governor is going through a lot right now. Governor Paterson has been in the news every night lately and there are plenty who want him out of office even though the majority of the people would like him to finish his term. As a New York City resident and former NY State Parks employee it’s distressing to know that the scandal ridden governor still has tough choices to make like reducing funding for parks to balance the budget.

It seems the part of the park I worked at will be closing along long with other whole parks and historic sites on April 1st. This doesn’t seem to be a joke though. Continue reading


Photo Credit: “Return To The Batcave” by Jake Dobkin

It was once called “The Lavender Lake”. Sounds like a nice place to go right? Nah, it wasn’t. The Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, New York was so named by the locals because it was so polluted with lavender tinged industrial waste.

After decades of all kinds of industrial wastes from coal tar, oil refineries, tanneries and chemical plants, raw sewage, heavy metals the Gowanus Canal is now in a federal clean up program.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency has declared the site a Superfund. This is a program created in 1980 that gives the EPA the authority to clean up the most hazardous sites in the nation, force the local polluters to clean the site or face stiff penalties including paying the EPA 3 times their cost to clean up the site. It also means the site has a shot at a thorough and comprehensive clean up. If not pollution of the groundwater and in the area can leech into places that can still make people sick. Continue reading


Photo Credit: “5th Avenue” by Tracy Collins

The jobless rate in the United States for October has hit 10.2%. For some reason people are only just now deciding to calculate the number of unemployed persons working part time jobs who would rather be working fulltime jobs and those who have given up on looking for work.

Why are they so late? These are the only kind of numbers anyone should be dealing with in the first place because it gives a much more accurate picture of what is going on now.

According to the NY Times:

“In all, more than one out of every six workers — 17.5 percent — were unemployed or underemployed in October. The previous recorded high was 17.1 percent, in December 1982.”

Sadly, I wonder if these numbers are coming out now to show some type of incompetence on President Obama’s part. One op ed even called for President Obama to stop blaming Bush and get us out of this mess. Whoever wrote that op ed has a job so how much could I possibly care what they have to say about that.

It’s ironic all of this celebration of NY State with Jay-Z, Alicia Keyes, the Yankees and the complete disconnect between all of that and the people. My adventures in unemployment land have been numerous with my last bout of unemployment in NY State being the most, shall we say exciting. Continue reading

An Interview With Artist And NYC Bodega Enthusiast Josh Goldstein Part 1

Untitled (2005), photo on russian baltic birch multi-ply plywood, 72″x48″, corporate headquarters, Vitamin Water.

I got the opportunity to throw some questions out at artist Josh Goldstein about his art, his love of New York City and a major theme in his work, NYC’s local convenience stores- bodegas.

Madam Toussaint: The economy is effecting our corner stores now too. I never thought I’d see the day when even bodegas would be going out of business, not mention the exterior replacements with “impermanent vinyl awnings”. In these times it seems your work is taking on a historical/archival tone. You couldn’t have predicted the economic crisis but how do you feel about the tone of your work possibly changing?

Josh Goldstein: I love bodegas. Especially a classic bodega with all the Dominican candies in the plastic canisters on the front counter, and an endless supply of tropical sodas from the Bronx, and the Yankees game playing on a small TV above the deli counter. But I’ve never really thought of my work in an archival way. It’s true that I’ve focused a lot on bodegas, but mostly it’s their energy that inspires me, not really their particular look from a particular time. It’s that raw energy that I try to use as a starting point to capture the energy and chaos of New York. Continue reading

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