Chautauqua Division of NYSUT Retiree Council 4


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Pension Information

"Fracking" Information


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Chautauqua Division

Cattaraugus/Allegany Division


(This page last updated April 12, 2014)

Division Treasurer:

Kay Richard
phone: (716) 679-9334
address: 505 Water Street, Fredonia, NY 14063



Chautauqua Division hosts "fracking" event at NYSUT SW Regional Hdqtrs.

Hydraulic fracturing of natural gas wells--usually called "fracking"--is almost certainly coming to western NY. The industry claims that there are "two Saudi Arabias" worth of natural gas trapped in the shale formations found underground. With that amount of money in play, we can almost certainly expect to see a significant increase in drilling activity.The real question is how will these drilling activities be regulated so as to avoid some of the "nightmare" situations--such as contamination of water supplies--occuring in other states.

On Tuesday, June 19, 2012 the Chautauqua Division of RC4 hosted an informational event concerning fracking. After touring the NYSUT facilities, participants from all three counties served by RC4 enjoyed a buffet lunch and heard a presentation by Mr. Kim Sherwood who is a hydrologist and watershed planner. Originally from the Finger Lakes area of NYS, he spent about 20 years in the western US. Kim has a B.S. in Forest Resource Management and a M.S. in Forest Hydrology. His career in the West included work for the federal Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service, Weyerhaeuser Company and the City of Seattle. He returned to NYS in 2003 and works as a private consultant to help landowners and municipalities address natural resource concerns. As a member of the Chautauqua County Water Quality Task Force, he has participated on three subcommittee reviews of NYS DEC’s proposed protocols and regulations for HVHF (high-volume hydraulic fracturing) horizontal drilling.

During his presentation, Mr. Sherwood addressed the fact that we in the northeast have a thing called winter which brings with it a need for large amounts of energy. He went on to consider the pros and cons of obtaining this energy from the natural gas locked in the Marcellus and Utica shale formations under most of WNY.

The first bullet point on his first slide said, "No pitchforks," and Mr. Sherwood stuck to that throughout the presentation. One of the audience members, who identified himself as an employee of an oil and gas company, commented that--while he might argue with a point or two in the presentation--he was impressed with how even-handed the coverage of the topic had been. The audience generally agreed that whatever Mr. Sherwood's personal opinion of fracking might be, he delivered a down-the-middle presentation touching on the good and the bad and identifying problem areas that still need to be addressed.

Participants ate lunch and heard the presentation in the comfortable suroundings of the large presentation room at NYSUT SW Regional Headquarters in Jamestown.

Our speaker, Kim Sherwood, addresses the group.


Mr. Sherwood referred the audience to several websites which he felt provided a wealth of good-quality information on the topic. They include:

Cornell University Natural Gas Resource Center

Natural Gas - Penn State Extension

Paleontological Research Institution – ‘The Marcellus Papers’

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation – Marcellus Shale



Chautauqua Division members hear from Master Gardner

Chautauqua Division member met June 7, 2011 at Fireside Manor in Dunkirk for lunch and a presentation from Buffalo News columnist and master gardner, Sally Cunningham.

Sally Cunningham, a master gardner, writes the "Great Gardening" column which appears each Friday in the Buffalo News. Her gardening tips are also seen each Sunday morning at about 8:20 AM on Channel 4.

"If Only Everybody Knew..." was the title of her presentation in which she shared tips about soil, keeping plants alive and maintaining your yard.

Here are links to some of Sally's recent columns from the Buffalo News:

Face it, there's no way around weeding!

Tips for touring Western New York's great gardens.

Flowering trees, shrubs beautify the landscape.

Keep those baskets blooming all summer.

Gardening 101 starts with prepping the soil.

Sally is also the director of "National Buffalo Garden festival" which has activities that spread the garden walks throughout the summer months. There are wonderful bus tours available to various garden locations such as Forest Lawn and the Botanical Gardens, Olmsted Parks, outstanding private gardens in Boston, Hamburg, Eden, Amherst and Buffalo, as well as Frank Lloyd Wright's Darwin Martin House. You will find details at

Sally also works with Lockwood's Greenhouses in Hamburg, which donated a beautiful hanging basket as a door prize. The prize was won by Jim and Jean Maxim, who truly deserved it since they drove 90 miles to be at this event! (Jean is a SUNY Fredonia grad, and they coupled this event with their first return to the campus since the 1970's!)

The schedule of workshops--some taught by Sally--at Lockwood's Greenhouses can be found at

Fredonia Retiree on Front Page of Dunkirk Observer!

"It's not every day you get to meet your idol, and it's definitely not often you get an opportunity to thank them for how they have truly inspired you throughout your life. For former physical education teacher at the Fredonia Central High School Ann LaDuca, that dream was fulfilled recently during a trip to Chicago." Continue reading here.

We Need Your Email Address!!

It takes several weeks to get bulk mail items such as the bimonthly newsletter to you. This often makes critical information out of date by the time you receive it. With email, we can attach a pdf copy of the newsletter, conference information , etc. to an email and get it to you in a timely manner.

Please send your email address (and the name of the local from which you retired) to Lisa Perrin at the NYSUT SW Regional office. Her email is


November 17, 2009: Dunkirk author/photographer Diane Andrasik discusses photography. Andrasik gave attendees great tips on what to look for when purchasing a camera.

Attendees enjoy buffet provided by SUNY Fredonia catering services at the SUNY Fredonia Alumni House.


Chautauqua division VP Sallie Pullano introduces the program.


Retired Dunkirk teacher Diane Andrasik shares her extensive knowledge of photography.

Not only is Diane Andrasik an expert on photography, she is also a published author. Her book, "Dunkirk" reveals the history of that city through photographs. According to a story in the Dunkirk Observer (July 19, 2008):

"Andrasik was born and raised in Dunkirk to parents of Polish descent. She attended Fredonia State University, receiving her bachelor's and master's degrees there.

Born in 1951, she grew up in the midst of the city's vitality. She can remember walking downtown with her mother and siblings, and seeing the streets filled with shoppers. She ate ice cream at the counter of Kresge's, shopped at Sidey's and attended movies at The Capital and The Regent Theaters. Dunkirk's downtown was diverse and full, stores and banks and theaters filling each edifice on the east and west side of both Central Avenue and Main Street. She became aware of the presence of plants such as ALCO, witnessing streams of men entering and leaving in gates each day to work. Her mother worked at Van Raalte's "silk mill," one of the primary workplaces for women in the city for many years.

During that time, Andrasik worked or 34 years as an English teacher in the Dunkirk Public School System. The population changed and diminished, urban renewal profoundly affected the city and its architectural history, and the city lost much of its industrial base. All of these experiences caused her to have the desire to research the city's history and preserve many of the memories and experiences that she remembered personally or which others recounted to her.

In addition to her interest in writing, Andrasik is an experienced portrait photographer, as well as someone interested in photographing landscapes and her travels. She is a scuba diver, skier, hiker and loves to bicycle. She has participated in the martial arts and loves to travel. An avid reader since her youth, two friends who themselves are published Arcadia authors encouraged her to present a proposal to Arcadia Publishing, and this led to her proposal acceptance and the completion of the book."

Diane's book can be purchased online via, as well as from the publisher. It can also be purchased in the Dunkirk area at the Book Nook in the D&F Plaza, and the Dunkirk Historical Museum (call ahead to check available hours when open at 366-3797).

Diane can be reached via email at

"Free At Last" Luncheon Held at Historic Dunkirk Lighthouse

Chautauqua division members gather under tent in front of Dunkirk Lighthouse


Members learn of lighthouse history from one of the volunteer guides--in this case, a retired teacher himself!


Just because you're retired doesn't mean you can't make it up all those stairs to the top of the lighthouse!!


Retiree Council #4 president Hobie Rhinehart was one of many in attendance.


NYSUT Retiree Consultant, Louise Ortman, can be found at all of our events.