EARTH CIRCLE . . . On the first day of every month, people around the world stop everything for five minutes, joining with thousands of others to visualize peace and focus on new levels of kindness, understanding, and compassion necessary for collectively facing the challenges of the 21st century. New Dimensions invites peacemakers everywhere to join at 4:00pm Greenwich Mean Time, 10:00am in Lincoln and Omaha, 9:00am in District 3 where Mountain Time begins, Thursday, September 1, 2011, with the intention of deep healing for the Planet and all its people. Click here for more information about Earth Circle.
SCROLL DOWN FOR THIS WEEK'S TRANSCANADA KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE UPDATE.
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. A Lincoln Journal Star front page feature story about 84-year old Norma Fleisher's summer tour of all Nebraska counties calling for an end to the death penalty is 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.
WEEKLY WALKABOUTS AT WILDERNESS PARK . . . Friends of Wilderness Park is hosting weekly hikes through the Park, led by Adam Hintz, starting at 1:00pm every Saturday, now through October. Each week will focus on a different area, highlighting the diversity of life in the Park. Hikes will start in parking lots according to the following schedule: the first and second Saturday of the month, meet at the Pioneers Boulevard entrance; the third Saturday, meet at Old Cheney Road; the fourth Saturday, meet at 14th Street north of Rokeby Road; and every fifth Saturday, the hike will start at Saltillo Road east of the Jamaica Trail. For more information, contact Adam at 402.421.8464.
LINCOLN FARMERS MARKETS . . . The Haymarket Farmers Market is open every Saturday, 8:00am to noon, in the Haymarket District at 7th & P Streets. Expect to find more than 120 vendors with fresh produce, flowers, baked goods and handmade items plus a performance showcase featuring local folk, jazz, blues and classical music. The Market continues through October 15th. Every Sunday, from 10:00am to 2:00pm, the Old Cheney Road Farmers Market at 5500 Old Cheney Road features in-season heirloom and traditional produce, artisan breads and cheeses, homemade baked goods, wild-crafted and traditional jams, jelly, honey, meats, fish, eggs, and bedding plants. The Piedmont Farmers Market is open Saturdays, 8:00am to noon, at 1265 South Cotner, through mid-September. Saturday Farmers Markets at the FARM, 11855 Yankee Hill Road, 9:00am to noon, run until October 29th. Community CROPS, 1551 South 2nd Street, has garden pick-up 4:00 to 6:00pm Monday and Thursday, May 23 through October 20. Through mid-September, a Wednesday market in University Place is open from 3:00 to 7:00pm at the former Green's Plumbing site, 48th & Madison Streets. Thursday's market from 4:00 to 8:00pm at Fallbrook Town Square Park on the corner of Fallbrook Blvd. between NW Sixth and Seventh Streets will be open through October 13th. Check an interactive map of Lincoln's Farmers Markets, Farms and Community Supported Agriculture programs, and learn more about markets, CSAs, and local farms at the Buy Fresh, Buy Local Facebook page.
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 about Saturday vigils.
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. This week there will be a special Keystone XL Presentation by Duane Hovorak, President of National Wildlife Federation and Smart Energy Group. The film will be about issues surrounding the proposed pipeline. Learn more about the status of the pipeline, the risks associated with the proposed route, the players, and how you can get involved at this informative session followed by Q&A. The event is always free and open to the public. For more information, click here. The People's Film Festival - Expanding Political Consciousness Since 2004.
MENTAL LIBERATION . . . Friday, September 2, and Saturday, September 3, 2011, The Malcolm X Foundation will present an exhibit featuring the spoken word with poet/activist/recording artist Amir Sulaiman, at the Malcolm X Center, 3448 Evans Street, Omaha. Khalid El-Hakim, the founder of Black History 101 Museum, an innovative cultural education project, will also be featured. The exhibit with Amir Sulaiman will be 6:00 to 8:00pm Saturday; and the exhibit with Khalid El-Hakim will be 10:00am to 8:00pm Friday, and 10:00am to 4:00pm Saturday. For more information, e-mail Sharif Liwaru, info [at] malcolmxfoundation [dot] org
COFFEE RIDE . . . Saturday, September 3, 2011, the Bellevue Bicycle Club, will meet at Culver's off of 36th Street in Omaha, at 8:00am, to ride the Keystone Trail. For more information, submit an e-mail here.
PROTEST KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE . . . Omaha protests with Guardians of the Good Life continue. E-mail japlapoo [at] netzero [dot] net for details. 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.
BENSON COMMUNITY GARDEN . . . Omaha's newest community garden is at 60th & Lafayette, at the south side of the historic Benson neighborhood. For more information, phone 402.714.0290 or e-mail goetzinger2 [at] cox [dot] net. To get involved, or help support the garden, please register here.
ENGAGE OMAHA . . . One of the nation's first city-wide, virtual town hall websites, EngageOmaha, is now online. Omaha residents may weigh in on issues for the city to consider. Pick a topic, and join the mix here.
Greater Nebraska: Congressional District 3
KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE UPDATE . . . Mainstream media, particularly network tv, was not covering the mass protest and arrests at the White House even before the earthquake and the hurricane. But arrests continue, and the second wave will go on for another week. Fifteen Nebraskans are with thousands of protesters at the Washington DC action against the proposed TransCanada Keystone XL tar sands pipeline through Nebraska's fragile Sand Hills and the Ogalalla Aquifer.
Writing for the Guardian UK, Democracy Now's Amy Goodman published "A Line in the Sand for Obama," August 24, 2011. It begins "The White House was rocked Tuesday, not only by the 5.9 Richter-scale earthquake, but by the protests mounting outside its gates. More than 2,100 people say they'll risk arrest there during the next two weeks. They oppose the Keystone XL pipeline project, designed to carry heavy crude oil from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, to refineries on the US Gulf Coast." Read Amy's commentary here.
A report on Friday's events by TruthOut's Mike Ludwig, "Fifty-Four Protesters Arrested as Environmental Report on Tar Sands Pipeline Is Released," starts "As environmental activists were handcuffed in front of the White House on Friday, the State Department released the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the massive Keystone XL pipeline that would pump crude oil from the Alberta tar sands in Canada across six western states to stations in Oklahoma and Texas. Climate change and environmental groups have staged protests against the proposed pipeline across the country in recent months, including a two-week sit-in currently underway in front of the White House." Click here for the August 26th report.
In the EIS, the Obama administration "removed a major roadblock to a planned $7 billion oil pipeline from western Canada to the Texas coast" saying that the project is unlikely to cause significant environmental problems during construction or operation. The EIS is 1,200 pages. Early AP coverage is here. Lincoln Journal Star coverage is here. The New York Times called the EIS "a crucial green light" to the 1,711-mile tar sands pipeline. The DOS said it was eliminating route alternatives from further consideration! Read Jane Kleeb's response at the BOLD Nebraska website here. Watch a debate between Jane and an industry spokeswoman for TransCanada on Democracy Now! from DC here.
Department of State Public Hearing dates following the final EIS were announced last week. They offer the final opportunity to speak in opposition to the Canadian plan for preservation of Our land and water. Randy Thompson and the entire Coalition of groups taking action to Save the Sand Hills will now focus on fostering a large presence at the two Nebraska hearings. Please mark your calendars now: Tuesday, September 27, 2011: Pershing Center, 226 Centennial Mall South, Lincoln, 12:00 pm – 3:30pm, 4:00pm – 8:00 pm; and Thursday, September 29, 2011: West Holt High School, 100 North Main Street, Atkinson, Nebraska, 4:30 pm – 10:00 pm. Quoting Kleeb, "Sometimes we forget that decisions are made by people. And I think landowners and scientists and grandmas who get out there and testify and explain why they're opposed to the pipeline and why they're opposed to the route will have an impact." Sunday, August 28th, the Omaha World-Herald editorialized "Protect this Special Gift," a strong statement for rerouting the pipeline. Local PeaceMaker and Green Party supporter Carol Smith hosted riders on the two buses and then began the trip East to pick up others along the way. Several cars were also in the caravan. Carol's pre-trip Local View for the LJS, "I Will be Sitting in Front of the White House," is here. It begins "Here in Nebraska, the controversy over the proposed Keystone XL pipeline has largely focused on the danger of an oil spill contaminating our groundwater resources. Nationally though, growing numbers of people are warning of the irreparable damage that tar sands oil will wreak on the climate if we burn the filthy fossil fuel that the pipeline would haul." Please make time to read Carol's entire op-ed here. It was picked up by Common Dreams here.
Carol wrote to the LincolnBioneers grouplist from DC on Sunday: "Most of our caravan arrived safely in Washington DC before the hurricane hit. One car stayed in PA and will rejoin us shortly. We got about 8" of rain in Silver Spring, but the sun is shining now. I am so overwhelmed by what I have seen and learned so far that I will try tell you about it after processing it awhile. Two days ago, we went to Kayford Mountain to view mountain top removal and visited with Larry Gibson, the man who drew a line on the mountain that the coal company hasn't been able to cross yet. His blog can be found here. A member of our caravan is blogging about our experiences on the road here." Thank You, Carol!
An early report from Democracy Now! made on Tusday listed 160 arrests. The number grew with each day as waves from around the country joined the White House sit-in. Bill McKibben was one of the first. The Democracy Now! interview with him is here. In his article for TomDispatch.com, "Jailed Over Big Oil's Latest Attempt to Kill the Planet," McKibben shares what he learned from the experience after two nights in jail. "...We may not be facing the same dangers Dr. King did, but we’re getting some small sense of the kind of courage he and the rest of the civil rights movement had to display in their day -- the courage to put your body where your beliefs are. It feels good."
"No to TransCanada," by Elke Roby, in LJS letters to the editor August 24th, reveals new information most of us probably hadn't noticed: "I was wondering how many folks are aware that if they go to the Nebraska State Fair, they would be accepting money from TransCanada. On the State Fair's website, TransCanada is listed as one of the four big sponsors. Does TransCanada think it can buy our goodwill by sponsoring our fair? I, for one, am not willing to take TransCanada's blood money."
Other alternative news coverage of the first week's White House sit-in comes from the Guardian UK, published in Reader Supported News August 21st, here and here.
From another Bill McKibben article published in the Daily Beast, "Global Warming’s Heavy Cost," "Hurricane Irene’s dangerous power can be traced to global warming -— and Obama is at fault for his failed leadership on the environment."
In "3 Reasons Why the Tar Sands Pipeline Has to be Stopped," Janet Redman writes "why the pipeline is truly idiotic and why I'm willing to get arrested to stop it." The AlterNet article published August 19th begins "The latest bone-headed move by the fossil fuel industry to build a pipeline across the United States is testing my patience. And I'm someone who's seen a lot of really dumb environmental behavior. ...For all the oil money in politics -- and there's about $24 million of it in Congress -- I still hold out the hope that with a little help from his friends Obama will see the Keystone XL pipeline expansion as a really stupid idea. Obama's no dummy. He knows that increasing national energy security means reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. He knows that we don't have extra money lying around to clean up spills and foot the bill for health impacts. And he knows that building a clean, renewable energy economy in the United States would create millions of jobs." The complete article is here.
"Dismayed by Heineman," a Lincoln Journal Star letter to the editor by Vernon Forbes published August 18th begins "I was dismayed that Governor Dave Heineman will not call for a special session of the Legislature to protect the Ogallala Aquifer, even though he admits that a majority of Nebraskans (including himself) believe that the Keystone XL Pipeline should not go through the Sandhills. He believes this should have been taken care of in the regular session, that a special session is too expensive, and that the votes to pass a bill are not there. During the regular session, the senators did not feel they had the authority to determine a pipeline's route through the state. It is now clear they do have that authority, and Senator Ken Haar is trying to make that correction." The letter continues here.
This week it was announced by Ken Winston, Sierra Club Nebraska, that several groups have formed a coalition called Save Our Sand Hills for the purpose of calling for a special session to re-route the pipeline away from the Sand Hills. Stop by the Farmers Union booth at the State Fair to get involved. Call Your senator and ask him or her to press for a special session of the legislature. We have no legal petition route to calling a special session. Citizen input is the only way the senators will become interested enough to act. They need to hear from their constituents.
A 350.org Stop The TarSands! petition to the president reads "The tar sands represent a catastrophic threat to our communities, our climate, and our planet. We urge you to demonstrate real climate leadership by rejecting the requested permit for the Keystone XL pipeline and instead focus on developing safe, clean energy." Please sign, and add comments if you wish, here.
"Stop The Tar Sands Pipeline" is a Credo Action petition to the president that reads "The tar sands represent a catastrophic threat to our communities, our climate, and our planet. President Obama, you have the final word. You do not have to negotiate with Congress or industry. We urge you to demonstrate real climate leadership by rejecting the requested permit for the Keystone XL pipeline." Click here to sign and add personal comments.
"Cornhuskers vs Dirty Oil" is a new four part YouTube video by Nebraska Greens featuring a great original song to the tune of The Beverly Hillbillies; interviews with Senators Dubas, Fulton, Avery, and Coash; clips from the rally at the capitol, and great quotes from Raymond Joe Moller, a Douglas, NE resident with family property near Central City. Thanks to John Carlini, Shari Schwartz, and Anthony DiCostanzo for production. View Part 1 of 4 here.
As National Geographic contributing photographer Joel Sartore wrote in a Journal Star Local View, please contact "Governor Dave Heineman, Congressmen Jeff Fortenberry, Adrian Smith and Lee Terry, and Senators Ben Nelson and Mike Johanns" and let them know that "trading our environmental heritage in order to cater to greed and increase the wealth of a select few will not be tolerated. Nebraska is better than this."
Contact information for Nebraska's 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), FaceBook; 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); Senator Ben Nelson, 720 Hart Senate Office Building, United States Senate, Washington, DC 20510, 202.224.6551; Senator Mike Johanns, 404 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510, 202.224.4224. BOLD Contact Governor Dave Heineman, at linked e-mail or PO Box 94848, State Capitol Bldg., Lincoln, NE 68509, 402.471.2244. UNBold Please contact them all if you oppose the environmental devastation that XL would cause Nebraska's ecosystems.
Comprehensive Green Notes covering international, national and local opposition to the XL pipeline since May 30, 2010 are in archives here. (Scroll from the bottom up for links to each week's Notes.)
The governor could stop this pipeline madness right now by making the Sand Hills and Ogallala Aquifer off limits to pipelines. He needs to hear from EveryOne who opposes the XL project. Please contact him, continue writing letters to the editor of your local newspaper, and keep the issue alive in conversations at the kitchen table, in cafes, churches, and clubs around Nebraska. E-mail actions [at] boldnebraska [dot] org for yard signs, bumper stickers and t-shirts. More actions EveryOne can take are listed here.
Be a community educator and organizer. Help make Nebraska the first state to successfully oppose a pipeline project.
STOP FRACKING NOW . . . "We, the undersigned, call on Congress to pass the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act this year. It's time to hold the oil and gas production industry to the same standards as any other industry to ensure the safe protection of America's drinking water." Sign the Petition and view 6:20 minute Colbert Report interview with Tom Ridge.
PETITION THE EPA . . . Tell the Environmental Protection Agency to immediately prohibit the use of clothianidin and conduct a full scientific review to determine its impact on honey bee populations. Learn more about clothianidin and sign the petition here.
TELL PRESIDENT OBAMA NOT TO CAVE TO MONSANTO AND THE BIOTECH INDUSTRY . . . 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 GMO crops.
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 asks you to name your cause 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!
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."
STOP THE PIPELINE