EARTH CIRCLE . . . On the first day of each month, people around the world stop for five minutes to visualize peace and focus on new levels of kindness, understanding, and compassion necessary for collectively facing the challenges of the 21st century. Join peacemakers everywhere at 4:00pm Greenwich Mean Time, 10:00am in Lincoln and Omaha, 9:00am Mountain Time in CD 3, on Tuesday, March 1, 2011, with the intention of deep healing for the Planet and all its beings. Click here.
10 DIGIT DIALING BEGAN SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2011. Questions & Answers are here.
SCROLL DOWN FOR TRANSCANADA XL PIPELINE UPDATE. News items and contact information for needed communication with specific elected officials are below in District 3 Green Notes. Note the Omaha protest action Saturday, March 5, 2011, noon, at 72nd & Dodge. Special note: Sunday, March 6th STOP THE XL PIPELINE benefit at Lincoln's Zoo Bar, 2:30 to 5:00pm.
Lincoln area: Congressional District 1
VIGIL AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY . . . Every Monday, from noon to 1:00pm, Nebraskans for abolition of the death penalty meet in front of the governor's mansion when weather is good, 1425 H Street, Lincoln. In winter, the vigil is inside the capitol, near the Information Desk. The lunch-hour presence reminds the governor of a constituency that does not want state killings. Weekly vigils have taken place year-round since July, 1991. All abolitionists are welcome to participate for a few minutes, or the hour. For information about Nebraskans Against the Death Penalty, click here.
IMMIGRATION POLICY AT THE LEGISLATURE . . . Wednesday, March 2, 2011, people of faith will gather at the State Capitol Building, 1445 K Street, Lincoln, to lobby with senators for justice relative to state immigration policy. At 9:00am there will be a briefing on LB 48 [pdf], the Arizona-style immigration bill, in Room 1023. At 10:00am, those present will proceed to the gallery of the Legislature to be recognized by Senator Wallman, after which the group will visit senators' offices to advocate in opposition to LB 48. Faith leaders will then speak at a Noon press conference in the Rotunda. For more information, or to register your presence in advance, contact Chuck Bentjen, 402.450.1003, or cbentjen2000 [at] yahoo [dot] com.
WATER AND NATURAL RESOURCES SEMINARS . . . A 14-lecture series of seminars at UN-L focused on urban stormwater runoff, gobal climate change, and related environmental issues continues Wednesday, March 2, 2011, 3:30 TO 4:30pm, in the first-floor auditorium of Hardin Hall, on the northeast corner of North 33rd and Holdrege Streets, Lincoln. For more information, contact the UN-L Water Center, 402.472.3305. Click here for a schedule of the lectures. View most lectures online after the have been presented here.
LINCOLN PEACE VIGILS . . . Lincoln peace vigils continue at the Federal Building, 15th and O streets, every Wednesday from 5:00 to 6:00pm. Contact Mark at 402.499.6672 or e-mail mark [at] weddleton [dot] com for more information.
IMMIGRATION SYMPOSIUM . . . "Diverse Faces, Shared Histories: Immigrants on the Great Plains" is the topic of a one-day symposium at the Great Plains Art Museum, 1155 Q Street, Lincoln, on Friday, March 4, 2011, beginning at 9:00am. The symposium is designed to broaden perspectives about immigration from the perceptions of Native, Black and Hispanic scholars. Sergio Wals, assistant professor of political science and ethnic studies, will be among participants. At 5:00pm, there will be a reception, followed by readings by UNL faculty Joy Castro, Ricardo Garcia, Fran Kaye and Amelia Maria de la Luz Montes at 7:00pm in the Sheldon Museum of Art, 12th and R streets. For more information, including the day's schedule, speakers, and sponsors, click here.
STOP THE XL PIPELINE BENEFIT . . . Sunday, March 6, 2011, 2:30 to 5:00pm, EveryOne is invited to join members of groups actively working to protect Nebraska land and water from further pipeline exploitation at Lincoln's Zoo Bar, 136 North 14th Street, 2:30 to 5:00pm. There will be live music by The Lightning Bugs, John Walker and the Prairie Dogs, the Melody Wranglers, Chris Sayre & the Laddies, and The Toasted Ponies. Stop the XL Pipeline Action Kits, bumper stickers, buttons, and yard signs will be available to all.
FREE SHOWING OF ETHOS . . . We need to encourage a national debate about defense expenditures at a time when military related spending in this country totals $1 trillion anually, and cuts to the pentagon budget have been taken off the table. Lincoln Nebraskans for Peace, in collaboration with the UN-L NFP chapter, will sponsor a free showing and discussion of the film Ethos at the Ross Film Theater, 313 North 13th Street, Lincoln, 3:00pm, Sunday March 6, 2011. Woody Harrelson narrates, raising the question of what ordinary citizens can do to reform a society in the grips of the military-industrial complex and other global destructive forces. Governments seem paralyzed. The film will be followed by a discussion with people knowledgeable about the domestic and military budget. If you are unable to attend this event, click here to download the film.
SUNDAY LECTURE SERIES . . . The Unitarian Church of Lincoln, 6300 A Street, is hosting its annual free winter lecture series about Russia and Post-Soviet states. Each two-hour Sunday lecture begins at 7:00pm. The first hour features a guest lecturer, followed by refreshments with a half hour of questions and dialogue. Sunday, March 6, 2011, Mariya Omelicheva, Associate Director, Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, University of Kansas, will discuss the former Soviet republics in Asia and their relationships with Russia.
Omaha area: Congressional District 2
OMAHA PEACE VIGILS . . . Omaha peacemakers vigil every Wednesday, 4:30-5:30pm, at StratCom/UN-O, 6801 Pine Street, east of the Scott Technology Center on the UN-O campus. Free parking is available at the NE Corner of 67th Street and Pine in a student lot. For more information, phone Jerry Ebner, 402.502.5887. Every Saturday, 1:00-2:00pm, there is a Peace Vigil at 72nd and Dodge Streets. Park next to 72nd Street, in the pet store parking lot. Contact Steve Horn at 402.426.9068 for more information.
OMAHA PEOPLE'S FILM FESTIVAL . . . There is a People's Film Festival every Wednesday evening, 7:00pm, at McFoster's Natural Kind Cafe, 38th and Harney in Omaha. The event is always free and open to the public. This week's film is "Bam 6.6." From the website: "The ruins of the 2,000-year-old Citadel may portray the outward face of the earthquake, but Bam 6.6 portrays the magnificent inner strengths of love, hope, kindness and human commonality." View 4:19 minute trailer here. For more information, click here. The People's Film Festival - Expanding Political Consciousness Since 2004.
PROTEST KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE . . . Omaha protests with Guardians of the Good Life continue. This week's action will be at noon, Saturday, March 5th, at 72nd & Dodge Streets. STOP THE PIPELINE yard signs are available in Omaha by calling Nebraskans for Peace Coordinator Mark Welsch, 402.453.0776, or e-mail NFPOmaha [at] nebraskansforpeace [dot] org. For more information, e-mail japlapoo [at] netzero [dot] net.
Greater Nebraska: Congressional District 3
KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE UPDATE . . . Nebraska Greens will join members of Audubon Nebraska, 350.org, Bold Nebraska, Guardians of the Good Life, Nebraska Farmers Union, Nebraska League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club Nebraska, Nebraska Wildlife Federation, and Nebraskans For Peace Sunday, March 6, 2011, 2:30 to 5:00pm, at Lincoln's Zoo Bar, 136 North 14th Street, to benefit our Stop the XL Pipeline coalition. Live music will be performed by The Lightning Bugs, John Walker and the Prairie Dogs, Chris Sayre and the Laddies, The Melody Wranglers, and The Toasted Ponies. Stop the XL Pipeline Action Kits, bumper stickers, buttons, and yard signs will be available. There will be a small requested donation, but all financial contributions to the work of saving our land and water from the threat of XL exploitation will be helpful and much appreciated.
A February 20, 2011 CBC News article, "Northern Ontario pipeline explodes," was followed by a February 24th AP article "NTSB chief concerned about rash of pipeline cases." The Ontario explosion was "caused by a rupture in the line." Last year's September "accident" in San Bruno, California killed eight people. Other cases under investigation related to gas and oil pipeline explosions include last July's Kalamazoo River oil spill, a Texas gas pipeline explosion last June in which two men were killed, a pipeline leak in Romeoville, Illinois in September, and a natural gas pipeline rupture near Palm City, Florida in May of 2009.
A new report last week, "Tar Sands Pipelines Safety Risks," was published jointly by the Natural Resources Defense Countil, the National Wildlife Federation, Pipeline Safety Trust, and the Sierra Club. The Executive Summary begins "Tar sands crude oil pipeline companies may be putting America’s public safety at risk. Increasingly, pipelines transporting tar sands crude oil into the United States are carrying diluted bitumen or “DilBit”—a highly corrosive, acidic, and potentially unstable blend of thick raw bitumen and volatile natural gas liquid condensate—raising risks of spills and damage to communities along their paths. The impacts of tar sands production are well known. Tar sands extraction in Canada destroys Boreal forests and wetlands, causes high levels of greenhouse gas pollution, and leaves behind immense lakes of toxic waste. Less well understood, however, is the increased risk and potential harm that can be caused by transporting the raw form of tar sands oil (bitumen) through pipelines to refineries in the United States." Download the 16 page report here. [pdf]
A McClatchy article, "Kansas unhappy about Keystone tax exemptions," reports on officials along the existing pipeline's path feeling sold out by the state for ThansCanada profits. A map of the US shows current and proposed pipeline routes at the end of the article, also published in the Lincoln Journal Star. "Some see Keystone XL as path to higher gas prices in Midwest," was published February 17, 2011: "As the debate on the economic and environmental effects of Keystone XL continues, there's silence at the U.S. State Department on whether TransCanada has done enough on an environmental impact statement and whether the project is in the national interest. And the word coming out of a TransCanada meeting called to examine its fourth-quarter financial status reflects a slight shift in its expectations on a State Department outcome from midyear to late year. " Read here.
A 2:10 minute video explaining the tar sands extraction process is included with "Oil pipeline from Canada stirring anger in US Great Plains," by McClatchy, published in the Kansas City Star. "Extracting oil from tar sands and liquefying it enough so it will move through a pipeline is an energy-intensive process that adds greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Getting it out of the ground involves clear-cutting forests, leaving a wasteland that oil companies say they will restore. Some scientists say that rivers also become polluted. "From start to finish, this a dirty project," said Stephanie Cole, a spokeswoman for the Kansas chapter of the Sierra Club. "Forests in Canada are being destroyed, and increased reliance on fossil fuels will accelerate global warming."
Hearings on three pipeline related bills were held in the legislature's Natural Resources Committee on February 9, 2011. "TransCanada, critics differ on need for state oversight of pipelines," was published in LJS the following day. Links to pipeline bills, information on the hearing, and contact information for who to write/call in support of the bills is here.
"Nebraska gas prices among highest in nation," published February 6th in the North Platte Bulletin, warns that if the XL pipeline is built, Midwest refineries will be bypassed and the result will be higher gas prices in the Midwest and big profits for Canadian oil producers. "Big Oil’s Pipeline Scheme to Increase Midwest Gas Prices," at Wildlife Promise begins "It’s an old story: oil companies increase gas prices and their profits soar. But rarely do we get an inside view of how they manipulate markets to drive up prices, and even rarer still an opportunity to stop it from happening. This time, Big Oil has been caught with their hand in the cookie jar as they scheme to hike America’s oil bill by $4 billion every year. This time, we have the industry documents that prove it." From the article, "...here’s the bottom line if the Keystone XL pipeline is built: Canadian oil producers get a huge profit windfall, and America gets higher gas prices as well as the pollution from refineries and any pipeline spills." Meanwhile, last week Montana legislators heard from an unlikely duo about how the United States must pursue renewable power and move away from fossil fuels--a retired US Navy vice admiral and a Marine Corps colonel. "Montana lawmakers hear from military about dangers of relying on oil, coal" was published in the Missoulian and by BuzzFlash at TruthOut on February 5th.
Learn more from the National Wildlife Federation’s report on XL, “Staying Hooked on a Dirty Fuel: Why Canadian Tar Sands are a Bad Bet for the United States.” Click here to send a personalized message President Obama, or sign the online e-mail strongly urging him to stop the proposed pipeline.
Nebraska Green Party is one of the 86 organizations that signed a letter to the President asking him *not* to approved the proposed Keystone XL pipeline through our land and water as he was meeting with the Canadian Prime Minster, who is pushing *for* pipeline approval. The February 5, 2011 Lincoln Journal Star front page hard copy report is titled "Canada's PM pushes for pipeline approval; coalition of 86 groups opposed to pipeline urge Obama to reject it," reports "Environmental groups call the pipeline an ecological disaster waiting to happen and say the so-called tar sands produce "dirty" oil that requires huge amounts of energy to extract." On February 11th, Scott Svoboda's letter to the LJS editor, "Canadian PM's words questionable," reminds "there is no guarantee that any of the tar sands oil piped from Canada to the Gulf Coast will be dedicated to US consumers. Oil is a commodity and sold to the highest bidder, whether it's China or an oil corporation."
"TransCanada sues to access pipeline land," reports "Court records show that TransCanada has filed more than a dozen lawsuits to condemn land along the route of its Keystone XL oil pipeline in western South Dakota, though it hasn't received the federal permit it needs to go ahead with the project." "Legal Challenge to Eminent Domain for TransCanada's Keystone XL Pipeline," reports on the first legal challenge to the use of eminent domain to secure US right-of-way for the proposed pipeline. "Nebraska Farmers Oppose Keystone XL Pipeline," features two Nebraska landowners in a national blog post.
An LA Times article by Kim Murphy, "Some Texans, too, resist Keystone XL Pipeline," published in the LJS under the title "One Pipeline Too Many" begins "Texas has rarely met an oil business it didn't like. Ever since Spindletop sent a gush of crude 150 feet into the air near here in 1901, Texans have been mostly willing to put up with the spills, smokestack belches and massive refinery vistas that go along with big, fat pots of "Texas tea." But that was before a Canadian company, TransCanada Corp., came forward with a plan to build a 1,700-mile pipeline to carry heavy, high-pollutant oil from the tar sands under the boreal forests of northern Alberta, across the American heartland, through scenic ranchlands in the piney woods of east Texas and on to refineries near Houston and Port Arthur."
"Great Plains oil pipeline plan sparks grass-roots activism, high-stakes lobbying," was written by Washington Post staff writer Juliet Eilperin. It begins "A massive feat of engineering by any measure, the Keystone pipeline expansion project would transport crude oil close to 1,700 miles from "oil sands" in the icy reaches of Hardisty, Alberta, down through the Great Plains to the refineries of Port Arthur, Tex. In doing so, the giant pipe also promises to allay some fears about U.S. energy security: The oil will come from a trusted ally, and its cross-continental path avoids visions of another deep-sea drilling disaster. But the decision on whether to issue a permit to the project, opposed by environmental groups, rests with the State Department, which has little expertise in engineering or environmental matters. And reflecting the chaos of U.S. energy and environmental policy, the proposed pipeline is pitting Montana landowners against pipe fitters in Nebraska and creating unlikely allies of Nebraska ranchers and chieftains from Alberta's indigenous communities." The article continues here.
The Natural Resources Defense Council calls tar sands "the dirtiest, most destructive oil on the face of the Earth." The Keystone XL pipeline would threaten Nebraska's underground source of fresh water, the 175,000-square-mile High Plains Aquifer, that provides water to 1.9 million people and irrigation for thousands of square miles of farmland throughout eight states. Nebraska's geologically unique Sand Hills, where many bird species rest during migration, would also be threatened. Read Ken Winston's November 4, 2010 Tar Sands Pipeline Update for Nebraska Sierra here.
Nebraska has no legislation on the books for regulating the current Keystone I pipeline, nor the proposed XL tar sands pipeline. Our Congressional delegation and the governor need to receive letters, e-mails and phone calls from constituents demanding regulation on the existing pipeline, expressing concern about more TransCanada construction in our state. Contact information for Nebraska Congressional Representatives is as follows: Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, CD-1, 1517 Longworth House Office Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20515, 202.225.4806, 402.438.1598 (Lincoln); Rep. Lee Terry, CD-2, 1524 Longworth HOB, Washington, DC 20515, 202.225.4155, 402.397.9944 (Omaha); Rep. Adrian Smith, CD-3, 503 Cannon House Office Bldg., Washington, DC 20515, 202.225.6435, 888.ADRIAN7 (Toll Free); and Governor Dave Heineman, PO Box 94848, State Capitol Bldg., Lincoln, NE 68509, 402.471.2244.
Stop the Keystone XL pipeline -- call your senators. Unbold Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has the power to approve or reject the Keystone XL pipeline, and your senators can pressure her to stand up to Big Oil and stop it. Help put some needed pressure on Clinton by calling your senators today. Tell them that oil pipeline regulations need to be in place, not only to govern the existing pipeline, but also any future pipeline proposed by TransCanada or other environmental exploiters.
Click here to tell Secretary Clinton NOT to grant a permit to TransCanda, tell Gov. Heineman to put forth laws that protect our resources and economic activity and tell President Obama to live up to his promise of clean energy and energy independence. Click here for a Bold Nebraska XL Pipeline Action page with resources and background information. E-mail actions [at] boldnebraska [dot] org to get yard signs, bumper stickers and t-shirts.
Remember, every man-made by-product of the petroleum industry could be replaced by hemp. "Help Save the Earth, Time to Subsitute Hemp for oil."
TELL PRESIDENT OBAMA NOT TO CAVE TO MONSANTO AND THE BIOTECH INDUSTRY . . . In the past 3 weeks, the Obama administration has unbelievably chosen to approve three biotech crops, Roundup Ready genetically modified alfalfa, Roundup Ready genetically modified sugar beets and a new industrial biotech corn for ethanol production. These decisions are a devastating blow to our democracy and the basic rights of farmers to choose how they want to grow food on their land and the rights of consumers who increasingly choose organic and sustainably grown food for its positive health and environmental impacts. Please tell the President it's time to stand up to Monsanto and reject these GMO crops.
AGENCY SCIENTISTS OPPOSE GENETICALLY ENGINEERED SALMON . . . The following quotes are from Fish and Wildlife Service scientists themselves: "The environmental impact of escaped GE salmon is of great concern." - Gregory Moyer, Regional Geneticist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; "...approval of the proposal is premature, given the unknowns and uncertainties regarding the possible ecological and environmental effects of these fish." - Jeff Adams, Branch Chief, Fairbanks Fish and Wildlife Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and "...I do think the chance of escapement is huge" - Deborah Burger, Manager, Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Ask the President to stop the GE salmon approval process.
BUY FRESH. BUY LOCAL . . . . Farmers, gardeners, and craftspeople meet through The Nebraska Food Cooperative, an on-line, year-round farmers' market and local food distribution service offering the best in local freshness. For ordering and pickup schedules, refer to the calendar here. Click here for products and prices from North Star Neighbors, a Cooperative member that doesn't therapeutically medicate or unduly confine animals. Click here for Tomato Tomäto, Omaha's year-round indoor Farmer's Market at 156th & West Center. Shop for fresh foods grown in or very near your own community at Open Harvest, Lincoln's member-owned natural foods retail cooperative at 1618 South Street. Buying local grows family farming, grows the local economy, and is thousands of miles fresher.
HELP NEBRASKA GREENS WITH GOODSEARCH . . . Each time you search the Internet (or shop online at a participating store), a donation can be made to Nebraska Green Party at no cost to you! To help NGP in this way, enter Nebraska Green Party where it says WHO DO YOU GOODSEARCH FOR? here. Bookmark the GoodSearch Homepage, or make it your own Home Page. Enter the url you want in the GoodSearch search box. Each time you do, one penny will be donated to Nebraska Greens. THANK YOU for your support!
We are no longer the alternative; we are the imperative. --Rosa Clemente