Yoko Ono and her son, Sean Lennon, on Wednesday launched a coalition of artists, musicians and filmmakers who oppose hydraulic fracturing in New York state.
The formation of the group Artists Against Fracking was announced at a news conference in Manhattan with Ono, Lennon and Mark Ruffalo, who has long been outspoken on the issue. Other celebrities joining the coalition’s cause include Lady Gaga, Paul McCartney and Alec Baldwin.
The group’s formation comes as Gov. Andrew Cuomo prepares to decide whether to allow shale gas drilling using high-volume hydraulic fracturing – known as hydrofracking, or fracking – after four years of studying its health and environmental impacts. The process uses millions of gallons of chemically treated water to blast open gas-rich shale deposits deep underground.
Ono and Lennon are calling on the governor to ban drilling in New York, which they said can cause gas wells to leak harmful methane into water supplies. They said their group has requested a meeting with Cuomo to discuss the issue.
MacFarlane to kick off SNL season
NBC says the big guy behind the cartoon comedy “Family Guy” will guest host the season’s first “Saturday Night Live.”
The network announced Wednesday that Seth MacFarlane will be presiding when “SNL” begins its 38th season Sept. 15. Musical guest will be Frank Ocean.
The multitalented MacFarlane created the Fox series “Family Guy” and serves as writer, producer and voice artist on the show. He recently directed his first feature film, “Ted,” and furnished the voice for its teddy-bear title character.
Future guest hosts on “SNL” this fall include actors Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Daniel Craig.
The birthday bunch
Actress Elizabeth Ashley is 73. Cartoonist R. Crumb is 69. Actress Peggy Lipton is 65. Comedian Lewis Black is 64. Actor David Paymer is 58. Actor Michael Chiklis is 49. Actress Cameron Diaz is 40. TV personality Lisa Ling is 39.