PSC MEETING MONDAY, JUNE 18, 10:00AM . . . If the current lawsuit is successful, TransCanada will have to use the Public Service Commission process of approval for their toxic tar sands pipeline through Nebraska. Public comments are critical. The Nebraska Public Service Commission meeting is Monday, June 18, 2012, 10:00am, at the PSC Hearing Room, 1200 N Street, Lincoln. Read PSC proposed rules here. [pdf]
Send comments via e-mail to rose [dot] price [at] nebraska [dot] gov AND angela [dot] melton [at] nebraska [dot] gov. Here are some suggestions for comments from Bold Nebraska.
1) We need avoidance areas like private wells, families drinking water sources, etc.
2) The PSC should develop a Citizen Advisory Council made up of landowners in the route and citizens not in the route to be engaged in the process as a partner.
3) All of the known oil related laws on a local or state level should be listed in the rules.
4) The state-level oil spill/fire response plan should also be listed in the rules with how TransCanada will work that plan.
NGP 2012 CONVENTION SATURDAY, JUNE 23, 2012 . . . The Biannual Nebraska Green Party Convention will be Saturday, June 23rd, noon to 3:00pm, at Elmwood Park, 808 South 60th Street, in Omaha (or in case of rain at McFoster's Cafe, 38th & Farnam). To keep it a no cost event, we're having a potluck picnic. We'll have signs up in the park to direct you. Should you have questions, call Mark Zimmermann, 402.250.5235.
The agenda will include electing delegates to our national convention, as well as a new state council. Just as important, we will have a discussion on how to refocus and revitalize our state party. Is pursuing a ballot line the best use of our time, or should we focus on more local and nonpartisan efforts? Should we be more campaign oriented or more issue oriented? What is the role of a "third" party in a highly polarized political atmosphere? How do we turn a small budget into an advantage (which in a fair world it would be)? We are at a real crossroads in terms of our state party's direction and viability. If you have any interest in the possibility of progressive politics in Nebraska, we need your input. It doesn't matter if you've been gone for a while, or have never been that involved. You will be welcome, and you are needed. If you are not in our database, and want to be, please send us your contact information at negreenparty [at] gmail [dot] com or by postal mail at P.O. Box 85442, Lincoln, NE 68501-5442.
GREEN PARTY PRESIDENTIAL UPDATE . . . Greens are now on the ballot in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and new state, Delaware. Dr. Jill Stein will go to the Green Party convention in Baltimore, July 13, 14 and 15, with a clear majority of delegates. Stein campaign manager Ben Manski shares the urgency of getting matching funds by June 30 in a 6 minute video here.
A 1:42:42 minute video of the May 12, 2012 Green Party Presidential Forum streamed live with Stein and Roseanne Barr is here. If you ever dreamed of a new paradigm for electoral politics in this country, please watch this model of extraordinary cooperation and agreement between candidates, in stark contrast to the competitive status quo. Watch video of Stein's 2002 Massachusetts gubernatorial debate with Mitt Romney here.
To help secure ballot status in Nebraska on the November ballot, e-mail mjberry [at] inebraska [dot] com. Notarized petitions for a NGP ballot line must be submitted to the Nebraska Secretary of State by July 31st.
STOP MILITARY RECRUITMENT OF CHILDREN . . . The Obama administration recently created a petition tool allowing the public to bring different issues to their attention. The bar is set quite high (25000 signatures), but it presents a real opportunity to have the ear of the president, and to tell him that the recruitment of, and marketing to kids for US military service needs to stop. The Stop Military Recruitment of Children Petition Campaign needs signatures, 24,855 of them, by July 12. Please sign and share the petition. The US Military has no business marketing to and recruiting our kids. This practice needs to stop. Please stand with us to put an end to it.
FARMERS MARKETS . . . There are more than 90 local Farmers Markets in Nebraska this year. For a partial schedule of current Buy Fresh Buy Local Markets, click here.
Lincoln area: Congressional District 1
NATIVE AMERICAN POW-WOW . . . The National Congress of American Indian Welcome Pow-Wow will be Sunday, June 17, 2012, 5:00 to 10:00pm, at the Lincoln Indian Center, 1100 Military Road. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, phone 402.438.5231.
OCCUPY EDUCATION . . . Sunday, June 17, 2012, 7:00pm, Occupy Education will hold an open discussion/brainstorming session about what Occupy Lincoln should do this summer at Meadowlark Coffee and Espresso, 1624 South Street, Lincoln. Check the Occupy Education - Lincoln website for the new schedule of Teach-Ins.
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. For more information about NADP, click here. "It's barbaric. It's outlawed in all but a few extremely repressive countries like Iran, China, and not many others. It's shameful that it continues to be performed. It's well established that mistakes are made--yet half of our states practice pre-meditated state-sponsored murder. It's also known that it's not effective. So why is it done? Revenge & retribution? That's not what our justice system is supposed to be about. It's not an effective deterrent." --Jill Stein, GP Presidential Nominee.
DISCUSSIONS ABOUT WHITE PRIVILEGE AND ITS CONTEXT . . . Led by local peace and justice activist/educator Joshua Cramer, and featuring a different guest every Monday, 7:00 to 8:00pm, this Occupy Education series is centered on institutionalized white privilege in the education system and how it can be challenged by a comprehensive approach that synthesizes many domains of culture: race, class, nationality, language, religion, sexual orientation, gender, and ableness. The series continues through July 2nd, at Indigo Bridge Books, 701 P Street #102.
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.
LINCOLN COMMUNITY ENERGY CONVERSATION . . . There will be a Community Energy Conversation on Saturday, June 23, 2012, at the City/County Building, 555 South 10th Street, Lincoln. Registration is at 8:30, and the discussion starts at 9:00am. The day's events will include conversations between Lincoln residents, City officials, and experts from Lincoln Electric System. Lunch and parking will be provided. Participants must be 18 years old or older. For more information, e-mail ppc [at] nebraska [dot] edu or phone 402.472.5678.
SATURDAY FARMERS MARKET . . . The Haymarket Farmers Market, on 8th Street in Lincoln's Historic Haymarket District, is now open every Saturday, 8:00am to noon, through October 13, 2012. More than 100 vendors bring farm-fresh produce, flowers, baked goods and handmade items to the local gathering place that also features a "Performance Showcase" for Nebraska folk, jazz, blues, classical, and dance talent, plus educational demonstrations and informational booths. Buy Fresh. Shop Local.
SUNDAY FARMERS MARKET . . . The Old Cheney Road Farmers Market offers local produce, baked goods and natural meats every Sunday, 10:00am to 2:00pm, at 55th Street and Old Cheney Road.
OCCUPY EDUCATION . . . Sunday, June 24, 2012, Occupy Education will present "Tactical Information Techniques and Strategies" with Ande Reinkordt and Grant Brownyard at Meadowlark Coffee and Espresso, 1624 South Street, Lincoln.
OCCUPY LINCOLN . . . With a unanimous vote May 21, 2012, the City Council closed a loophole that allowed Occupy Lincoln to keep tents up on Centennial Mall for almost seven months. Read Lincoln Journal Star coverage of the new rule banning tents on public land without a permit here. There is a calendar of Occupy Lincoln events here. 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!
MOVE TO AMEND/END CORPORATE PERSONHOOD . . . Nebraska Move to Amend is gathering signatures on a petition to End Corporate Personhood by a Resolution to be presented to the Lincoln City Council. To get involved with the local campaign, e-mail Carol Smith, smithcarol [dot] 49 [at] gmail [dot] com
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, June 20, 2012, the film will be "Death on a Factory Farm," a documentary that chronicles an investigation of alleged animal abuses at a hog farm in Ohio. Watch a 56 second trailer here. And it's movie planning time, so if there's a film you'd like to see in the weekly series, e-mail Beth Dagle, bethdagle [at] gmail [dot] com. For more information, click here. The People's Film Festival - Expanding Political Consciousness Since 2004.
NGP 2012 CONVENTION. . . The Nebraska Green Party 2012 Convention will be Saturday, June 23, noon to 3:00pm, at Elmwood Park, 808 South 60th Street, in Omaha. (In case of rain, at McFoster's Cafe, 38th & Farnam.) If you have an interest in the possibility of progressive politics in Nebraska, we need your input. It doesn't matter if you've been gone for a while, or have never been that involved. You will be welcome, and you are needed. Join us for a pot luck picnic and discussion at this NGP crossroads event.
UPDATE ON CLOSING POLLING STATIONS IN DOUGLAS COUNTY . . . Open and accessible polls are essential to a representative democracy. Election Commissioner Phipp's decision to close half of the county's polls resulted in disproportionately closing more polling locations in low income areas of Omaha where citizens do not have their own personal transportation. A Lincoln Journal Star AP report, "27 Douglas County polling places to reopen," was sourced from The Associated Press, June 14th. It begins "The Douglas County election commissioner has told some residents that he'll reopen 27 of the 86 polling places he'd closed because of budget restraints." Thank you to those who signed the petition asking Phipp to reverse his course of action.
OMAHA FARMERS MARKETS . . . click here for an Omaha Market schedule.
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 . . . Sunday, June 17, 2012, the Omaha World-Herald published "TransCanada sweetens pot," by Paul Hammel. It begins "TransCanada Inc. is significantly increasing its financial offers to Nebraska landowners as it seeks a new route for the Keystone XL pipeline that bypasses the groundwater-rich Sand Hills. Letters went out last week to landowners along the new route, offering bonuses for signing right-of-way contracts and increasing estimated payments for right-of-way by up to 400 percent over what the company paid along the original route." The article is continued here.
TWEET: Landowners tell their story about TransCanada upping their offers by 400%
Inside Climate News published "2010 oil spill in Michigan far larger than official estimates, evidence shows," by David Sassoon, on June 11th. "Almost two years after the spill, oil is still being removed from the Kalamazoo River. The cleanup has been difficult because the line that ruptured was carrying diluted bitumen, a form of oil derived from Canada's oil sands that has defied traditional oil recovery methods." A May 22nd "Exclusive Interview: Why Tar Sands Oil Is More Polluting and Why It Matters," by Lisa Song, was also published at Inside Climate News this past week. In the interview, Adam Brandt, global expert on the carbon footprint of fuels, explains why oil sands' 20% greater greenhouse gas emissions are significant.
Tuesday, June 12th, "Oil sands firms test alternative way to tap bitumen" was published in the Globe and Mail. "A research consortium announced Tuesday it has field-tested a new extraction method that essentially involves microwaving bitumen. If it works, it could tackle some of the industry’s largest challenges: water use, greenhouse gas emissions and high costs."
"Canada seeks alternatives to transport oil reserves," by Elisabeth Rosenthal on June 13th begins "As the United States continues to play political Ping-Pong with the fate of the Keystone XL pipeline, Canadian officials and companies are desperately seeking alternatives to get the country’s nearly 200 billion barrels in oil reserves to market from landlocked Alberta."
TransCanada has secretly submitted its permit application for the Southern portion of the Keystone XL Pipeline to the Corps of Engineers. To evade a meaningful review, TransCanada applied for an expedited, insufficient permit. And the Army Corps, which has an abysmal environmental track record, could approve the project unless the EPA steps in. Learn more and add your name to a petition telling EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson not to allow TransCanada's project to get rubber stamped at CredoAction here. Please sign them both.
The Dirtiest Oil on Earth, is a new 1:42 minute animation on the dangers of tar sands crude and pipelines, illustrating the destruction of natural areas, contamination of air and water supplies and political influence exerted by the oil industry to build projects designed to transport tar sands across the US to reach foreign markets. The Dirtiest Oil on Earth, and more information, can be found at The Sierra Club beyond oil campaign website.
From OnEarth Magazine: "Our agricultural policy used to be designed with farmers in mind. Then Big Ag took it over. Can it be won back?" This excellent May 23rd interview with KXL opposition leader, Nebraska Farmers Union President John Hansen, by Paul Tullis, is called "The Barnstormer."
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 any 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.
"The Keystone pipeline will spew a massive amount of carbon pollution into our fragile atmosphere. It should be stopped. " --Jill Stein, 2012 Green Party Presidential Nominee.
STOP FRACKING NOW . . . 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.
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."