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One Chappaqua Resident Has An Unforgettable Week

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y.—Chappaqua’s Dr. Susan Rubin, a food educator and environmentalist, has had quite a week.  She finished her documentary, 'Chicken-Flick: Backyard Chickens for All’, produced with former Irvington mayor Nicola Coddington and days later was arrested outside the White House in Washington, D.C. for protesting the Keystone XL pipeline.

“It’s a very short, five minute movie that talks about the benefits of raising backyard chickens,” Rubin said. “Our goal in making the movie was so that we could encourage more people to start keeping chickens for eggs and all other sorts of things.”

While creating this documentary, Rubin discovered the restrictive regulations on chickens in her hometown of Chappaqua.

“The zoning is that you need 10 acres to have a chicken, Rubin said. “Meanwhile, in Brooklyn, you can have one chicken in 10 square feet of backyard space.”

Rubin quickly discovered that she wasn’t the only one interested in backyard chickens; some are even willing to do so illegally.

“I’ve discovered along the way that there are a lot of people that are doing it, under the rug, breaking the law,” Rubin said. “I’m starting a campaign called Chickens for Chappaqua. I am hopeful that I can build the awareness and education needed to make a presentation to the town board in a few more months.”

Rubin will soon be launching a website with a petition and more information on her Chickens for Chappaqua campaign.

In Washington, D.C., thousands of protestors, Rubin included, have trekked to the White House to protest the Keystone XL pipeline, which would run throughout 17 U.S. states from Canada to Texas and the Ogallala Aquifer which provides Midwest farmers with their water supply.

“What it’s doing is taking this gunk down to Texas to be refined. Tar sands are this dirty messy stuff that is refined and turned into oil. You’re putting so much energy into this just to make some oil,” Rubin said. “The environmental effect of the tar sands is huge.”

On Wednesday, August 31, Rubin was arrested for “failing to obey a police order”, resulting in a $100 fine and few hours in a jail cell.

“It was an act of civil disobedience and it was very civil,” Rubin said. “This is in the tradition of the Suffragettes and Martin Luther King, Jr. and its just one way that the environmental movement is starting to step it up.”,

Rubin hopes that by doing something bad, she will do a good thing and save the environment from the Keystone pipeline.

“If I can get even ten people to understand what the tar sands are because my doing this then I did something good,” Rubin said. “Rosa Parks, she broke the rules sitting in the front of the bus sometimes you got to do things to make things shift.”

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