GREEN PARTY PRESIDENTIAL UPDATE . . . JILL STEIN QUALIFIES FOR FEDERAL MATCHING FUNDS! From Jill Stein's victory statement on matching funds: "...Our first major goal in this campaign was to win the Green Party nomination. We appear to have done that by winning 29 state primaries and securing well over half the delegates to the nominating convention. Our second goal was to qualify for federal matching funds. Today, we have done that. We now focus our resources on completing our ballot drive efforts across America, working to win the support of people outside of the Green Party to our common cause. Our goal is to be on the ballot for more than 90% of the voters in America. Clearly, many more challenges must be met. And with your help, we will meet them. So today we celebrate a victory. And every voter who joins us in calling for a new direction in America is a victory. Let's keep standing up for people, peace and the planet."
To help secure ballot status in Nebraska so that Stein can be 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.
GPUS 2012 CONVENTION . . . The Green Party National Convention is Thursday, July 12, through Monday, July 16, 2012 12:00pm, at the University of Baltimore in Baltimore, Maryland, 1420 North Charles Street. (Google map and directions.)
For more information, contact the Baltimore City Green Party, by phone at 443.637.2471, or e-mail info [at] baltimorecitygreenparty [dot] org
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
OCCUPY EDUCATION . . . Each week a different member of the Lincoln community will host a short class on the topic of their choosing. Free school Sundays are from 7:00pm - 8:00pm, at Meadowlark Coffee & Espresso, 1624 South Street, in Lincoln. July 8, 2012 there will be an Open Discussion/Brainstorming Session on "What would we like to see Occupy Lincoln do this summer?"
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.
OCCUPY THE FOOD SUPPLY . . . This Occupy Education series is devoted to resisting the industrialization of agriculture and food production, reinstituting the use of plants as medicine, as well as reclaiming the means to produce healthy, chemical-free food, with special focus on sustainability and truly organic practices. Learn the basics of gardening, composting, seed saving, and harvesting, as well as connect and work with others who share the same passions, every Monday from July 9 through August 6, 2012, 7:00 - 8:00pm, Indigo Bridge Books, 701 P Street, Lincoln.
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.
ANNUAL BUTTERFLY COUNT . . . Register by Thursday, July 12, for the 36th Annual Butterfly Count ON Saturday, July 14, 2012, 9:00am to noon, at Pioneers Park Nature Center, 3201 South Coddington, in Lincoln. An experienced person will accompany each group. The count involves walking about 2 hours and covering 2 to 3 miles. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Call 402.441.7895 to register.
NEBRASKA NATURALIST PROGRAM . . . Thursday, July 12, 2012, 7:00pm, Wachiska Audubon will present "The Nebraska Naturalist Program" at a free public meeting in the Dick Administration Building, lower level room 3, Union College, 3800 South 48th Street, Lincoln.
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 LINCOLN . . . 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
BRING JOBS HOME RALLY . . . Tuesday, July 10, 2012, 5:00pm, The Nebraska AFL-CIO is hosting a "Bring Jobs Home Rally" in support of S.2884, The Bring Jobs Home Act, and HR.3596, the Call Center Workers and Consumer Protection Act. This bill will give a tax break to companies who move jobs and business operations to America from another country. It will not only stem the tide of outsourcing, but start bringing lost jobs back to the US. The Rally will be at Lewis and Clark Landing, 515 North Riverfront Drive, Omaha.
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, July 11, 2012, the film will be "Deliver Us from Evil," documenting Father Oliver O'Grady's moves from one parish to another in Northern California during the 1970s, where he quickly won each congregation's trust and respect. Unbeknownst to them, O'Grady was a dangerously active pedophile that Church hierarchy harbored for over 30 years, allowing him to abuse countless children. Filmmaker Amy Berg exposes the deep corruption of the Catholic Church and the troubled mind of the man they sheltered in this controversial film. Watch a 2:21 minute trailer here. For more information, click here. The People's Film Festival - Expanding Political Consciousness Since 2004.
ZERO WASTE STRATEGIES . . . The registration deadline is Friday, July 6th, for the Wednesday, July 11, 2012 Green Team Roundtable Exploring Zero Waste Strategies and a Model for Self-sufficiency and Redemption. The Lunch Meeting, from 11:30am to 1:00pm, will be at the Cross Training Center, 4505 South 76th Circle, in Omaha. Register here. July11th For more information, contact Julie Diegel, 402.434.7376, or jdiegel [at] wastecapne [dot] org
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
NEBRASKA ENERGY FAIR . . . Saturday, July 21st, the 2012 Nebraska Energy Fair Solar Experience is an all-day opportuity to learn from a knowledgeable, experienced solar consultant and explore solar installations featuring a range of production capabilities, mounting systems, panel types, and configurations. The Fair begins at 8:30am, in Lyons, Nebraska, at Nebraska Green Fuels, 300 Main Street. A "Solar Basis" presentation by Nebraska Renewable Energy Systems' Robert Byrnes will start the day. Pre-register here by July 15th for the early-bird discount.
KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE UPDATE . . . Sunday, July 8, 2012, Ken Winston, of the Nebraska Sierra Club, summarized the need to continue contacting our elected officials because "Bottom line: it's still the Sand Hills." Winston's summary of the KXL situation at this piont is as follows:
"Thousands of Nebraskans rejoiced last November when they heard the news that TransCanada had agreed to move the tar sands pipeline out of the Sand Hills. Because TransCanada had planned to run their pipeline through the Sand Hills, Governor Heineman and Senator Mike Johanns had opposed the pipeline, the Legislature had been called into special session and hundreds of Nebraskans had testified at hearings held by the State Department and the Legislature. Because of all the concerns raised about risks to the Sand Hills and the Ogallala Aquifer, President Obama said the federal government needed to re-examine the route. This led to TransCanada's agreement to avoid the Sand Hills and passage of two bills in the special session that gave Nebraska a process to deal with routing pipelines.
Eight months later, it has become clear that TransCanada's agreement to avoid the Sand Hills is a shallow charade designed to appease politicians and members of the public. The landowners who live along the new proposed route have always thought of their land as the Sandh Hills. It has the same characteristics as the Sand Hills; dunes of sandy soil covered with grass, porous soils that are highly susceptible to erosion, a water table close to the surface that extends for hundreds of feet beneath the surface. The Ogallala Aquifer, one of the world's greatest freshwater resources, is once again in danger of being placed at risk from a huge high pressure pipeline carrying unknown toxic substances.
However, at this point there has been little public attention given to the fact that this is still the Sand Hills and there are the same reasons for concern with the new route as the original route. Why is this? Several reasons, including two-faced politicians, public fatigue with the issue and the "map".
Although it is unclear exactly why Senator Johanns and Governor Heineman chose to oppose the pipeline because of the route last year and now are supporting it, if they are going to be consistent with last year's position, they should continue to oppose it. Second, the public thought the issue had been resolved last year and the media has done very little reporting that would let them know that the route through the Sand Hills is still a real issue.
Third, the "map". DEQ and TransCanada have decided to use a map developed by the EPA to determine the boundaries of the Sand Hills. Both the Governor and Senator Johanns have been engaged in a campaign to demonize the EPA wherever possible, but neither have indicated any concern about using a map from the EPA to define the Sand Hills. Both Senator Johanns and Governor Heineman like to talk about using Nebraska common sense. Common sense would say that you should listen to the people who live there and look at the characteristics of the land and water to determine what is the Sand Hills, not base it on a map developed by Washington bureaucrats. If they are going to depend on a map there are other maps that show the boundaries of the Sand Hills being much larger, including a map used by the State Department in their analysis last year and maps from the University of Nebraska Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Bottom line: it's still the Sand Hills. Tell our elected officials to make TransCanada abide by their agreement and move the pipeline out of the Sand Hills."
Quoting a July 4th letter to the editor of Lincoln Journal Star, "Oppose Keystone," by Dick Boyd, chairman of Nebraska Sierra, Lincoln, "...The new route has the same characteristics as the old one: sandy soils, water table close to the surface and a vast amount of water in the aquifer. The people living there always have thought of it as the Sandhills. They know the land is easily damaged and difficult to restore."
The largest civil penalty ever proposed by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has been announced against Enbridge Energy for the July 25, 2010 crude oil spill near Marshall, Mich. "...PHMSA’s investigation found multiple violations of its hazardous liquid pipeline safety regulations related to integrity maintenance, failure to follow operation and management procedures, and reporting and operator qualification requirements. PHMSA issued its notice and proposed civil penalty to Enbridge in a Notice of Probable Violation. ...Enbridge has 30 days to respond to PHMSA." Read the PHMSA press release here.
The Washington Post published "Keystone XL pipeline: A primer" on July 1st. "The Keystone XL pipeline extension has been the subject of much political debate with environmentalists, union members and national security proponents weighing in on its costs and benefits. Here's a look at the proposed route and some of the facts and controversies surrounding the pipeline."
A July 1, 2012 letter to the editor of Lincoln Journal Star, "Leaks still a concern over aquifer," by Cindy Myers of Stuart, Nebraska, begins "The new Keystone XL route crosses the aquifer the majority of the study area except for 10 miles and still will cross areas of shallow groundwater. TransCanada’s own environmental study filed with the U.S. State Department admits to an expected spill rate and undetected leaks. The study said landowners should do regular checks to spot these undetected leaks. ...Who is going to be responsible for the many rural wells threatened by contamination from the expected, unknown leaks? People can take action by posting comments to DEQ, Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality: ecmp.nebraska.gov/deq-seis, as well as the State Department project website for Keystone XL, under the "contact information" link."
"The Dilbit Disaster: Inside The Biggest Oil Spill You've Never Heard Of, Part 1," by Elizabeth McGowan and Lisa Song, was published at InsideClimateNews Tuesday, June 26, 2012. The eight page report on the Enbridge tar sands pipeline leak in Michigan two years ago was followed on June 27th by Part 2, another seven pages covering the confusion that followed the spill. Part 3 of 3 is here.
"Texas Activists Move Toward Tar Sands Blockade," by Candice Bernd, begins "The deadline for the review of TransCanada's permits for the Gulf Coast portion of the Keystone XL pipeline was Monday, June 25, 2012, at the Texas Army Corp of Engineers Galveston office and without any finalization of review, those permits will be automatically granted to the corporation - thanks to President Obama's announcement that he would expedite the southern leg of the pipeline in Cushing, Oklahoma, back in March." Read the Truthout article here. Click here to sign up and support the Tar Sands Blockade in Texas. A fourth-generaltion Texan responds to the blockade news here.
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 . . . At the First-Ever National Mobilization Against Fracking on July 28th, celebrities, community groups, and more than 100 organizations will join forces for “Stop the Frack Attack” in Washington, DC, where they will make three demands of Congress: 1. Stop dangerous fracking; 2. Close 7 legal loopholes that exempt the oil and gas industry from parts of the Safe Drinking Water, Clean Air, and Clean Water Acts; and 3. Implement a pathway towards 100% clean renewable energy. Learn more about the event here. 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."