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VTS_01_5As of this writing, Governor Cuomo is continuing to punt on whether to allow fracking in New York State. On January 11th, the last day for public comment, Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon delivered 50 cartons containing 204,000 letters to the Department of Environmental Conservation’s offices in Albany.

This was in addition to those of us, myself included, who hand-wrote and snail-mailed our letters. My letter pointed out that a study by the Colorado School of Public Health found that anyone living within a half-mile of a fracking well had a 66% higher chance of getting cancer than someone living a mile away, which is not say that even a mile’s distance would not create a statistically significant difference for someone living two or four or eight miles away!

Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon’s presence drew reporters and cameras to the otherwise deserted building. In the New York Times, Danny Hakim wrote “Ms. Ono warned that the fight would not stop even if hydraulic fracturing were approved. ‘If they do this, there will be a class action . . . It’s going to go on and on and on . . .’”

I am grateful for her willingness to commit her considerable talents and resources to this issue. Click here and here for my earlier posts about houses that could withstand the big bad wolf of fracking, and here for a video excerpt from “Pig Tales.”


Image: video capture of Kaoru Ikeda (front) and Mari Sakahara (rear) in portions of “Pig Tales,” June 2012.

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Victoria Dombroski, Mari Sakahara, Kaoru Ikeda-Billeci, Tatyana Kot in rehearsal;
photo by Amber Connors-Merino

In New York State, there are two houses (see previous post) that currently are withstanding the Wolf of fracking: the White House and Governor Andrew Cuomo’s purported ambition to occupy it in the future as President of the United States; and the upstate, country home where Sean Lennon spent many wonder-filled childhood days. Sean and his mother, Yoko Ono, wrote a song against fracking and performed it on Jimmy Fallon’s television show. They also initiated Artists Against Fracking and have been interviewed in the press.

In Erie, Colorado, however, the celebrities who supported the Mothers of Erie Rising (Mark Ruffalo, Natalie Merchant and Ed Begley) were not residents of the town, and soon after the mayor advised people not to be “emotional” about the issue, at the end of August the moratorium against fracking was lifted. By then, his own children had already moved away, and my correspondent at Mothers of Erie Rising wrote me that she would be following suit.

A new coalition, Frack-Free CO, has recently been formed and has announced a public gathering on October 23rd. Meanwhile, I am back in the studio, choreographing new material for Pig Tales that will be performed at Soaking WET, January 17-20, 2013. So far, the movement is bound-flow, mechanical and disconnected.