HELP GREENS GATHER SIGNATURES. . . The Green Party is qualified for ballot status this election cycle in all of the four biggest states: New York, California, Florida, and Texas. At this time, 16 states have ballot status in November 2012. For brief information about current candidates for President, click here. NGP is gathering signatures so voters here will also have the choice of voting for the Green Party presidential slate.
In Lincoln, petitions are available at Meadowlark Coffee and Espresso, 1624 South Street. Registered Nebraska voters are invited to stop by for coffee, visit with Adam Hintz from 6:00am to 2:00pm daily, sign a petition, or pick up one to circulate. In Omaha, look for Charles Ostdiek at McFoster's, 38th and Harney, to sign and pick up petitions.
You must be a registered voter to circulate the county specific petitions. Fill out a voter registration application online here.[pdf] If you can help us identify a public place in CD 3 where petitions could be available, if you would like us to mail you petitions to circulate, or to participate in the ballot access process in any way, please let us know by e-mailing mjberry [at] inebraska [dot] com. Let's take Our democracy back from Wall Street!
MCFOSTER'S IS FOR SALE . . . The restaurant’s closure would not only have a deep impact on the vegetarian and vegan communities in Omaha, but it has been the CD 2 home of Nebraska Green Party since 2000. An Omaha World Herald article reports "McFoster's will stay in business until February 29th, when it will close if the owners don't find a buyer." Quoting Tom Foster, “Ideally, we could find an affluent Omahan that would like to buy it and keep it a natural foods restaurant. ...We have a lot of loyal customers, a great building, a super location. I hate to give up on it.” Readers, please brainstorm about how to help Tom and Mary raise the money to stay in business at 38th and Farnam, where they have been for 18 years.
PAGE DOWN FOR KEYSTONE XL UPDATE.
Lincoln area: Congressional District 1
COFFEE WITH JOHANNS . . . Senator Mike Johanns is hosting Open Coffees with constituents on Monday, February 20, 2012. The schedule is as follows: Coffee in Waverly, 9:00am – 10:00am, at the Community Meeting Hall, 14150 Lancashire Street; Coffee in Crete, 12:00pm – 1:00pm, VFW, 130 West 13th Street; Coffee in Louisville, 2:30pm – 3:30pm, Main Street Café, 221 Main Street. KXL Pipeline opponents: take this opportunity to speak with the senator face to face.
VIGIL AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY . . . Every Monday, 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. When weather is bad, 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.
The Lincoln Journal Star recently editorialized "It's time for Nebraska to abolish the death penalty," and "Mistakes flaw death penalty," which concludes "...We hope senators take the time to re-examine their beliefs and assumptions. Senator Council's LB276, which would replace the death penalty with life in prison, recognizes the reality of human limitations. It deserves to pass."
Letters to editors of local papers statewide are needed in response to the March 6, 2012 execution date for Michael Ryan. Details of Nebraska's ritualized premeditated protocol for state killing are listed in "State prepares for Ryan's execution." Contact information for state senators, and other actions you can take, are here. For more information about NADP, click here. "It is the deed that teaches, not the name we give it. Murder and capital punishment are not opposites that cancel one another, but similars that breed their kind." --George Bernard Shaw
OCCUPY EDUCATION . . . Occupy Education, an initiative of Occupy Lincoln, committee is offering a free and open university with weekly talks/discussions through March 19, 2012. The teach-in workshops are Mondays, 7:00 to 8:00pm, at Indigo Bridge Books, 701 P Street. The Monday Phil 99 Course, "A Philosophical Look at Law, Punishment, and Power," consists of informal lectures, followed by an open discussion. "Part 1: Why Punish Offenders? The Role of Punishment in Society," Monday, February 20th, 7:00 to 8:00pm, will be presented by Steve Swartzer.
Everyone is a teacher. Each Tuesday, a different member of the Lincoln community will host a short class on a topic of their choosing from 7:00 to 8:00pm, at Meadowlark Coffee and Espresso, 1624 South Street, Lincoln. February 21st, "Know Your Rights!" will be presented by Amy Miller, Legal Director, ACLU Nebraska. For more information, e-mail Hendrik van den Berg, hvan-den-berg1 [at] unl [dot] edu Education is a Basic Human Right.
MEETINGS WITH FORTENBERRY . . . CD 1 Congressman Jeff Fortenberry will meet with constituents at his Lincoln District office in Cornhusker Plaza, 301 South 13th Street, Suite 100, on Tuesday, February 21, 2012, 9:00am to 5:00pm. Call 402.438.1598 to set an appointment time.
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.
CANNABIS, THEN AND NOW AT UN-L; REEFER MADNESS AT THE JOYO . . . "What Proposition 19 can do for Nebraska" will be discussed at the UN-L City Campus Union, 14th & R Streets, Friday, February 24, 2012, 1:00 to 2:00pm. Nebraska's Proposition 19 Cannabis Initiative seeks to put a proposed constitutional amendment decriminalizing cannabis on the November 2012 general election ballot. Friday night, the Nebraska Cannabis Coalition will present "Reefer Madness," the 1936 propaganda film, at Lincoln's Joyo Theater, 6102 Havelock Avenue. Doors open at 7:00pm. There will be presentations, a live auction, and discussions, followed by the movie at 9:30pm. Petitions for Prop. 19 will be available. Learn more, get involved with the signature gathering campaign, or just stop by to sign a petition and watch the film. "The only way for our society to realize the full potential of cannabis, including its full medical potential, is to free it from the regulations controlling prescription drugs and the criminal laws controlling psychoactive substances." --Harvard Medical Professor Dr. Lester Grinspoon, from "Marijuana Is Here to Stay."
CANDIDATE WORKSHOP . . . There will be a candidate training workshop hosted by the Nebraska League of Conservation Voters on Saturday, February 25, 2012, in Lincoln and Omaha, to help people thinking about running for ‘entry-level’ offices at NRDs, public power districts, utility districts, understand what the boards do and the basics of what they need to know to get elected. E-mail Larry Zink, ZinkLarry [at] gmail [dot] com for more information.
OCCUPY LINCOLN BENEFIT . . . There will be a Benefit for Occupy Lincoln on Sunday, February 26, 2012, 6:00 to 9:00pm, at the Zoo Bar, 136 North 14th Street. Musical performances include Ship Building Co., Black Cohosh, and Bol'D Crow. Speakers will be well known Lincoln writer/psychologist/KXL pipeline opponent Mary Pipher, Hank van den Berg, professor UN-L Dept. of Economics, and other Occupiers. There will be potluck catered by the Occupiers. Come show your support for a movement that is giving the 99 percent a voice. E-mail contact [at] occupylincoln [dot] net for more information.
2012 WINTER LECTURE SERIES . . . Northern Africa from Morocco to Egypt is the topic of this year's Winter Lecture Series at Lincoln's Unitarian Church, 6300 A Street. Each two-hour session starts at 7:00pm. The first hour features a presentation, followed by refreshment break and a half hour of questions and dialogue. On the seventh and final evening, the series will end with a 6:00 dinner and a panel discussion at 7:00pm. The lectures are free and open to the public. The February 26th topic will be "Colonial and Current Algeria," presented by Professor James LeSeuer of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
CLIMATE CONVERSATIONS FORUM . . . There is no charge for a Climate Conversations Forum at Embassy Suites in Downtown/Old Market Omaha, 555 10th Street, Tuesday, February 28, 2012, from 11:30am to 4:00pm. The Forum will be hosted by The Keystone Center, as part of an effort to incorporate new voices and perspectives into the National Climate Assessment process. Short informational presentations will be followed by small-group discussions in a “World Café” format, intended to maximize thoughtful discussion and creative dialogue. A light lunch will be provided. Attendance is limited. Registration is required, here. Contact Caitlin Ellsworth, cellsworth [at] keystone [dot] org, or call 202.452.0108 with any questions.
OCCUPY LINCOLN . . . The Occupy Lincoln camp site is located on Centennial Mall north of the state capitol. The camp has been notified of a March 1, 2012 eviction date. Occupy Lincoln says it's 'not yet ready to end' and that the city's eviction deadline is unrelated to renovation, calling the eviction "arbitrary and unrelated to actual renovation work." Read Occupy Lincoln's expertly crafted letter to the City, giving reasons for not leaving the mall on March 1st, here.
Both the Mayor's office and the City Council have asked for calls of support from Lincoln residents so they can legitimately tell those opposed to the camp that many of their constituents are supportive and they are respecting their voice. Contact information for the Mayor's office is here. Contact the City Council using information here. They represent us, and we need to be involved by direct communications to let them know what we want. Call the city council, 402.441.7515, and Mayor's office, 402.441.7511, to let them know we appreciate having an occupation in Lincoln and that we support the move to amend statement to END CORPORATE PERSONHOOD!
There is a General Assembly every Sunday, 1:30-2:30pm, at Bennett Martin Library, 14th and N Streets, in the 4th floor auditorium; Wednesday, 6:30pm at Indigo Bridge Books; and Friday, 6:00 to 9:00pm. The Facebook page is here. The Twitter feed is @OccupyLincoln. For more information, e-mail occupylincoln [at] gmail [dot] com or phone 402.585.5865. Corporate Greed is Revolution's Seed!
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. Wednesday, February 22, 2012, the film will be "Quantum Activist." From the website, "Quantum Activism is the idea of changing ourselves and our societies in accordance with the transformative and revolutionary message of quantum physics. This change is taking its cue from the emergence of a new paradigm within science; the paradigm of a consciousness based reality as articulated by Quantum Physics." An informal discussion will follow the film. For more information, click here. The People's Film Festival - Expanding Political Consciousness Since 2004.
THEATRE OF THE OPPRESSED WORKSHOPS . . . Beginning February 23, 2012, UN-O Theatre Professor Doug Paterson will offer three free Thursday Theatre of the Oppressed Workshops on Image and Forum techniques, 6:30 to 9:30pm, beneath the Ana Mead Hall at the Omaha First United Methodist Church, 70th and Cass Streets, just north of the Omaha Community Playhouse. A stairway to the area is easily accessible at the southwest corner of the Church complex, the corner closest to the Crossroads Parking Lot.
T.O. is designed to turn the tools of theatre entirely over to the community. The approach works for people who have never been in a play, and in fact have never been in a theater. It also works for those with much experience. The central concern is overcoming oppression, and having a wonderful time learning how to do it. Workshops are very active and entertaining.
Two more workshops will be given on March 1st and March 8th, same time and place. It is not necessary to go to all workshops. For more information, contact Doug at 402.672.8377, or dpaterson [at] unomaha [dot] edu
SIERRA CLUB MEETING . . . The Sierra Club February Program is “Climate Change: Fact vs. Fiction” with Laura LaMarr, on Thursday, February 23, 2012, 7:00pm, at First United Methodist Church, 7020 Cass Street, Omaha. (Enter north door Education Wing.) Laura LaMarr is a sociology instructor at Metro Community College, and a Climate Reality Project presenter. She will discuss the science behind climate change, and distinguish between the facts that are incontrovertible, and the beliefs that may or may not be true. Sierra Club programs are free and open to the public.
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 . . . Before last week's "24 Hours to Stop the Pipeline" Action, actor and environmental activist Robert Redford wrote "Every once in a while an opportunity comes along for all of us to be the solution. This is one of those times. We're collecting a half million messages to stop the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline in the next 24 hours." The result, reported by AlterNet, was "800,000 Americans Tell Senate: Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline." Sourced from Environment News Service, the coverage begins "Over the last 24 hours, environmental and progressive groups flooded the Senate with more than 800,000 messages opposing TransCanada's Keystone XL tar sands pipeline." Redford's "Keystone Pipeline Facts" for Reader Supported News is here.
"GOP Senators Take Emergency Oil Reserve Hostage to Force Keystone Approval," sourced from Climate Progress for AlterNet, also covers news from Congress: "Republican Congressional leaders have failed to force President Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. But that’s not stopping them from trying over and over again, taking hostages in the process." The report includes a 6:03 minute video of Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) questioning the CEO of Keystone pipeline owner Transcanda about keeping the tar sands oil in the United States. The CEO “said he could not guarantee that the fuel from the pipeline would stay in the United States.”
From the Washington Post, Juliet Eilperin's "Senate GOP tries to restore Keystone pipeline," reports "Senate Republicans introduced an amendment Monday to a federal transportation bill that would speed the construction and operation of a controversial oil pipeline between Canada and the United States."
"Northern Gateway pipeline proposal draws British Columbia into a quagmire of conflict," by Jen Gerson, Calgary Herald on February 12th begins "Pipelines used to be boring. Once upon a time, these common crude-carrying metal tubes criss-crossing the country were little more than a planner's afterthought. Not anymore."
Nebraska State Senator Jim Smith has introduced a bill that would exempt TransCanada from the rules laid out during the Pipeline Special Session. LB 1161[pdf] would try to resurrect the Department of Environmental Quality permit process. The bill was heard by the Natural Resources Committee last week. "Neb. State Senator introduces new pipeline legislation, hopes to keep Keystone XL in Nebraska," by Dan Holtmeyer, February 17th, for the Daily Nebraskan begins "Despite a presidential permit denial last month, the Keystone XL pipeline proposal hasn't died yet, and now one Nebraska state senator wants the state government to continue exploring and evaluating potential routes for the project through the state." The article continues, "You have not respected the voices of the Nebraskan people," said Mary Pipher, a nationally known psychologist, author and speaker who lives in Lincoln. "It appears to me … this committee in particular has spent its year concerned about the well-being of TransCanada."
Meanwhile, "...A local television report, cited by the Associated Press, said damage to the [Enbridge] pipeline was discovered Tuesday in a section near the community of Sterling, about 150 kilometres northeast of Lansing, Michigan. According to the AP report, Calgary-based Enbridge said crews found the leak after discovering oil in the soil. ...The company is currently seeking permission to build the C$5.5 billion ($5.4 billion) Northern Gateway pipeline, which would carry 525,000 barrels a day across the Rockies to the West Coast for export to Asia and California." "Enbridge finds 'small' pipeline leak in Michigan," is from Reuters.
Ben Gotschall, of Bold Nebraska, is featured in the Spring 2012 issue of Yes! Magazine. The article is called "Bold Win Against Big Oil." Check out the cover photograph here.
Action Alerts still available on line include the following:
From Bill McKibben: "The Keystone XL zombie is lurching back to life and we need your help to knock it back again. The Senate is considering a series of tricks designed to force approval of the project. It’s hard to track what’s real and what’s just noise, but our friends on the Hill assure us this is a crucial moment for the public to weigh in. Click here to write your Senators.
Keystone XL is the perfect symbol of the cronyism that’s corrupting our government: the 44 Senators who co-sponsored the most recent piece of legislation have taken $22.3 million in oil and gas money -- that’s more than three times as much dirty money as those opposing the pipeline. The one Democrat on this list, West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, has taken more money from the fossil fuel barons than anyone else in his party—it’s really just a game of follow-the-cash.
From Sierra Club: "There's breaking -- and disturbing -- news about the Keystone XL pipeline. We knew Big Oil wouldn't give up, and sure enough, they're still at it, using their money to force the pipeline down our throats, thwart the President, and pass this bill.
This pipeline would carry the world's dirtiest fossil fuel, tar sands oil, from Canada to Texas, where it would be shipped overseas. To build the pipeline, TransCanada has to seize private land from ranchers and farmers, and then expose what's left to the threat of oil spills and leaks. Clean water, clean air, agriculture, and our shared climate would all be put at risk for what have been greatly exaggerated benefits. Take thirty seconds to tell Sen. Johanns and Sen. Nelson -- put our public health before Big Oil profits. Oppose this and any other attempt to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.
Sign a Natural Resources Defense Council Action Alert telling Congress to reject all attempts to force approval of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline by attaching it to the payroll tax bill, the transportation bill or any other unrelated legislation. The Keystone XL will deliver billions in profits to Big Oil while the people get stuck with poisoned water, contaminated land and an overheated planet.
STOP FRACKING NOW . . . "Shale-Shocked: Fracking Gets Its Own Occupy Movement," by Ellen Cantarow, TomDispatch and Truthout, January 23rd, begins "This is a story about water, the land surrounding it, and the lives it sustains. Clean water should be a right: there is no life without it.... But for once, this story isn't about tragedy. It's about a resistance movement that has arisen to challenge some of the most powerful corporations in history."
Petition Congress: "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."
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.
From FitLife.tv, "In the wake of a 12-year battle to keep Monsanto’s Genetically Engineered crops from contaminating the nation’s 25,000 organic farms and ranches, America’s organic consumers and producers are facing betrayal. A self-appointed cabal of the Organic Elite, spearheaded by Whole Foods Market, Organic Valley, and Stonyfield Farm, has decided it’s time to surrender to Monsanto. Top executives from these companies have publicly admitted that they no longer oppose the mass commercialization of GE crops, such as Monsanto’s controversial Roundup Ready alfalfa, and are prepared to sit down and cut a deal for “coexistence” with Monsanto and USDA biotech cheerleader Tom Vilsack."
To help organize or coordinate a Millions Against Monsanto and Factory Farms Truth-in-Labeling campaign in your local community, sign up here. To pressure Whole Foods Market and the nation’s largest supermarket chains to voluntarily adopt truth-in-labeling practices, sign editable text here.
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 Substitute Hemp for oil."