February 18, 2005
Students Celebrate Kyoto Victory
| February 18, 2005
Yesterday on Ho Plaza members of Kyoto Now! stood beside a large pile of coal armed with cookies and quarter cards. Their purpose was to raise awareness about the U.S.’s refusal to join the Kyoto protocol.
Sara Facci ’05, the group’s webmaster, explained that Kyoto Now! is an environmental group concerned with retrofitting older buildings with energy-saving technology. Examples of such technology are better insulation and switching over from incandescent to fluorescent lighting.
The Kyoto Protocol is an agreement among the countries of the United Nations to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Many within the scientific community believe that such gases cause global warming, although the theory is still hotly contested. In order to make the law binding for other countries, either the U.S or Russia had to join the protocol. Russia eventually did.
According to Kenny Sauer ’08, vice president of Kyoto Now!, the U.S. had begun the ratification process for the protocol, but later pulled out. Kyoto Now! says it is time to raise awareness and let people know that the U.S. burns 1,095,000,000 tons of coal per year as noted by the Department of Energy and displayed on one of the group’s signs.
“We are trying to get people to understand that we emit 25 percent of carbon dioxide emissions. We should be the ones that are definitely in [the protocol],” said Sauer. Facci, Sauer and other members of the group were on Ho Plaza from about 10:30 to 2 p.m. The group’s quarter cards stated “The Kyoto Protocol is now International Law in 128 countries! Why not US? Be aware.”
Kyoto Now also stated on that cards that Bush took the United States out of the Kyoto Protocol because he fears protocol will negatively impact fossil fuel industries and the U.S economy in general.
Although the cards conceded that the protocol would indeed cause a strain on companies that produce gas, coal and oil, they said that the protocol would benefit those companies that continue to research and create products related to renewable energy technologies.
At the end of the day the group left Ho Plaza hoping they had raised a few eyebrows towards the issue of global warming and the U.S.’s refusal to be a part of the possible Kyoto solution. The group believes ratifying the Kyoto Protocol will slow the extinction of many species and decrease our reliance on fossil fuels.
Kyoto Now! provided no immediate way of protesting against the U.S.’s non-involvement in the protocol, but encouraged others to contact their local congressman to let their concerns be heard.
Archived article by Ikea Hamilton
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February 21, 2005
15,000 hungry people, over 25 restaurants, a mechanical bull and a man in a giant dragon costume converged on the Ithaca Commons on Saturday for the seventh annual Great Downtown Ithaca Chili Cook-off and Winterfest. The event, sponsored every year by the Ithaca Downtown Partnership, attracted people from all over Central New York. Katie Wadsworth, event coordinator, said that she worked with “six interns for four months” to plan the festival, which had new sponsors Harley Davidson of Ithaca and I100 this year. Participants were required to bring 15 gallons of chili to the Commons. Some restaurants, however, made much more. Ralph’s Ribs brought 35 gallons of chili and Viva Taqueria made 55. Ralph Moss, owner of Ralph’s Ribs, said that the event was “fantastic” and that in order to win he would have to “really dig into [his] bag of tricks.” Moss, who had been a chef at Robert Purcell Marketplace for 21 years, was a first-time entrant in the competition after judging for many years. Many area restaurants entered the competition hoping to dethrone last year’s winner Mahogany Grill. “It would be nice to win again,” said Marc Salamano, a chef at Mahogany Grill. Ithaca College’s Tower Club placed second last year, but made some secret changes to their recipe. “The competition is always fun. This year we smoked the beef, but I can’t tell you what we smoked it with,” said Gene Wescott, general manager of dining services at Ithaca College. Last year’s vegetarian division winner, Greenstar Cooperative Market, expected to win the category again. “We’ve won every year since they had a vegetarian category. We want to stay on top,” said Julie Jacobs, chef at Greenstar. The cook-off was broken down into traditional meat and vegetarian divisions. In addition, chefs had the option of entering the Chili Appreciation Society International (CASI) competition. The CASI competition has much more stringent rules than the Ithaca contest. Ingredients such as beans and pasta could not be used, and the chili has to made on-site. The chili was judged on five criteria: smell, color, consistency, taste and aftertaste. Only 15 restaurants participated in this category. The second place CASI prize went to Vince Capozzi of Binghamton University dining services with the first prize going to Bob Griffin’s “Cheesehead Chili.” Both are eligible to compete in the state competition in June. Capozzi has been entering the contest for three years, and was eligible for the state competition last year. The judges for each contest consisted of community leaders, business owners, Cornell faculty and Ithaca residents. Each judge was furnished with a supply of water, crackers, carrot sticks, antacid and beer. In the vegetarian division, the third place prize went to the Tower Club, the second place prize went to Taste of Thai and first place went to Mahogany Grill. In the traditional chili division, the third prize went to Ziffy’s Diner, the second prize went to Maxie’s Supper Club, and the first prize went to the State Diner, which entered for the first time this year. Donna McGuire, cook at the State Diner, said that she had been wanting to enter the contest for three years. Stavros Stavropoulos, manager of the diner, said that their chili won because “it’s homemade. Me and my mother make it with Donna. It’s made with love.” The presentation award went to Ralph’s Ribs. Volunteers, organized by On-Site Volunteer Services, helped with selling tickets, running the mechanical bull ride, putting up signs and doing other odd jobs. Jerry and Jane Drumheller, Ithaca residents, enjoyed the chili and the music at the festival. “It reminds me of the Ithaca festival, except it’s in the winter,” said Jane. “It’s really fun to have something down here this time of year.” The hot chili wasn’t enough to keep everyone warm in the cold weather, however. “It’s a really good time, but I hope they have it inside next year,” said Ed Sabia ’06.Archived article by Eric FinkelsteinSun News Editor
February 21, 2005
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks are the names etched in civil rights history, but one man in the background often helped these civil rights leaders to blaze their trails. Fred Gray, the attorney who represented these two activists in the 1950s, gave a speech entitled “Civil Rights: Past, Present, and Future” yesterday afternoon in the gymnasium of downtown Ithaca’s Beverly J. Martin Elementary School. Cal Walker, associate director of Cornell’s Learning Strategies Center, introduced Gray to the audience, saying “You will be hearing first-hand accounts of history.” The Alabama-born Gray, who served as the 43rd president of the National Bar Association, has a long history of law stretching back to 1954, when he was admitted to the Alabama Bar Association. Six months later, he represented Claudette Colvin, a 15-year-old girl who refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus. Over the next two years he acted as attorney for Parks, King and the Montgomery Bus Boycott participants. “We are living today, on the 20th of February, 2005, in a crucial time …” said Gray, citing the presidential inauguration, the Iraq war and affirmative action as key issues of the day. “Unfortunately, our current students … and many of their parents, don’t know the history of the civil rights movement, don’t know what it was about, don’t even know why it was necessary,” he said. Surveying the civil rights movement, Gray went as far back as Jamestown, Virginia, and touched upon landmark cases like Dred Scott v. Sanford and Plessy v. Ferguson. “African Americans were the only ethnic group who came to this country contrary to their will,” Gray said. Even foundational documents like the Magna Carta, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution carved out civil rights primarily for white men, said Gray. “We recite in the preamble to the Constitution ‘We the people,’ but ‘We the people’ in the preamble of the Constitution did not include people who looked like me.” “I made a secret commitment … and that was, I was going to leave Alabama, go to law school, come back to Alabama, pass the bar exam, become a lawyer and destroy everything segregated I could find,” said Gray, who laid the groundwork for the integration of all educational institutions in Alabama. As a child, Gray was interested in preaching and often baptized cats and dogs. He decided to pursue a law degree in his junior year at Alabama State University because he realized that, as important as the afterlife was, “[people] needed to enjoy some constitutional rights while here on earth.” A severe reminder of the need for protecting rights came in 1972, when Gray took on the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. Researchers of the 40-year government experiment on the progress of the disease in black males hid the study’s true intent from its 600 subjects and did not treat men afflicted with syphilis even after treatment became widely available. Gray’s representation of the participants was instrumental in President Clinton’s apology to the men and their families on national TV and in establishing the Tuskegee Human and Civil Rights Multicultural Center. “Racism in this country is still alive and too many decisions are still made based on race,” Gray said. He explained that, without acknowledging racism as a major problem, people will not take reformative action. Using America’s involvement in Iraq’s government change as an example, Gray said, “If we were going to devote as much resources … to destroying racism in this country, it could be done. It hasn’t been done because we don’t have the will to do it.” Activists in the audience drew strength from Gray’s speech. “It has given me an opportunity to really think and keep going with the struggle,” said Shawn Moore, director and attorney for Human Rights Commission of Tompkins County. Moore, whose organization handles about fifty discrimination cases a month, added “I know for a fact discrimination has not come to an end.” For many, Gray’s direct participation in historical milestones made his speech very powerful. Robert Harris, Jr., vice provost for diversity and faculty services, said Gray’s visit was significant for Cornell and Ithaca “because he’s a part of history and it’s not everyday we have an opportunity to meet someone who really changed the course of history.” Walker, who helped to coordinate Gray’s visit along with Harris and other campus and county organizations, said, “Fred Gray is historically very important because of the active role he took in articulating legal strategies that changed the landscape of human and civil rights issues in this country.” For Walker, Gray’s message was a very personal one as well; he had a grandfather and great-grandfather who were both participants in the Tuskegee syphilis study. Gray also delivered a sermon titled “Learning to Live with Life’s Ups and Downs” in Sage Chapel yesterday morning.Archived article by Xiaowei Cathy TangSun Staff Writer