Jeremy Scahill to Keynote Between The Lines’ 25th Anniversary Forum 2-4 p.m. Saturday Oct. 8 in New Haven

Award-winning investigative journalist and author, Democracy Now! correspondent, a founding editor of The Intercept and Oscar-nominated filmmaker for “Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield” Jeremy Scahill will be the keynote speaker at Between The Lines Radio Newsmagazine’s 25th Anniversary Celebration from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, 270 Temple St., New Haven, CT.

scahill-democracynowScahill’s speech, “Drones, Terrorism and The President,” will address America’s endless wars, “targeted assassinations” and the critical policy decisions facing our next president, issues largely ignored by U.S. corporate media. Scahill will also be signing his latest book, “The Assassination Complex,” with a foreword by Edward Snowden and afterword by Glenn Greenwald.

Democracy in Action awards, public forum, Q&A and booksigning with Jeremy Scahill 2-4 p.m.
at the United Church on the Green, 270 Temple St., New Haven, CT (corner of Temple and Elm Streets).

Suggested contribution: ($10 advance, $15 at the door).

Call (203) 268-8446 or email info@squeakywheel.net.

Ticket outlet: Best Video Film and Cultural Center, 1842 Whitney Ave., Hamden.

Online tickets: BetweenTheLines25thanniversary.brownpapertickets.com.

A reception and silent auction will be held from 5-7 p.m. ($50 each).

Call 203-268-8446 for details or visit http://Squeakywheel.net.

Co-sponsors: Progressive Action Roundtable (PAR-newhaven.org) and The Greater New Haven Peace Council.

UI Planning Rate Increase of the Distribution Charge, Hearing in New Haven tonight! Sept. 12

by Paula Panzarella, Fight the Hike

UI is now owned by Iberdrola, one of the world’s largest utility companies, with over 31 million customers. This adds to the insult that Connecticut customers, already paying the highest rates for electricity in the continental United States, are faced with even higher bills if we don’t stop the proposed increase.

According to the press release from the Office of Consumer Counsel, “If UI’s rate phase-in plan were approved as proposed, a typical residential customer on standard service generation who is using 700kWh per month would see their total bill rise by approximately $9.34, from $162.46 to $171.80, effective Jan. 1, 2017. Monthly bills would also increase by approximately $9.50 per month on Jan. 1, 2018 and by an incremental $11.00 monthly on Jan. 1, 2019.”

Note this is only the distribution charge. Should there be an increase in the generation charge, transmission, basic service or any other charge on our UI bill, we’re looking at even more.
Again, we already have the highest rates in the continental United States!

How to fight this: we have to pack the public hearings in Bridgeport and New Haven.

  • Bridgeport hearing: Thursday, Sept. 8, 6:30 p.m., City Common Council Chambers, Bridgeport City Hall, 45 Lyon Terrace.
  • New Haven hearing: Monday, Sept. 12, 6:30 p.m., Hearing Room G2, Kennedy Mitchell Hall of Records, 200 Orange St.

This proposal is identified as Docket No. 16-06-04. Please use this number when you write, e-mail or call PURA.

To mail your commentary, write to PURA,10 Franklin Square, New Britain, CT 06051. Send e-mail to dpuc.executivesecretary@po.state.ct.us.

Thank you!

For questions or more information, please call (203) 562-2798 or e-mail paulapanzarella@yahoo.com.

In the Sept. 9 New Haven Register there is an article about yet another increase they want to impose on us.

DOT Hearings Regarding Increase in Bus Fares, Metro North and Shore Line East

Department of Transportation Holds Hearings Regarding Increase in Bus Fares, Metro North Fares and Shore Line East Fares
New Haven Hearing is Thursday, September 15 from 4-6 p.m. and 7-9 p.m at the New Haven Hall of Records, Room G-2, 200 Orange Street.
According to Gov. Malloy’s proposal, on Dec. 1, CT Transit bus service will increase from $1.50 to $1.75 and train rides will increase 5 percent.
Written comments on the proposed fare changes must be received by September 15, 2016 at COMMENT ON FARE CHANGES, Bureau of Public Transportation, 2800 Berlin Turnpike, P.O. Box 317546, Newington, CT 06131-7546 or dot.farecomments@ct.gov.
links to articles:

Next Deadline for Newsletter Articles: Monday, Sept. 19, 2016

Please submit copy to PAR’s e-mail address: parnewhaven@hotmail.com

No e-mail? Call Paula at (203) 562-2798 to find out how to submit your article. There is a 350 word limit.

Next Planning Meeting date is Tues., Sept. 6 at 2:45 p.m….all welcome…call (203) 562-2798 for location.

Subscription: $13 for 10 issues, check payable to PAR, P.O. Box 995, New Haven, CT 06504

See previous articles by visiting the website http://www.par-newhaven.org.

This issue dedicated to the memory of Dr. Morris Wessel, Judi Friedman and Lou Friedman

The PAR Planning Committee dedicates this September issue to Dr. Morris Wessel, Judi Friedman and Lou Friedman. These three people devoted their careers and their lives to help create a safer, healthier, more peaceful world.

morris-wesselProgressive Action Roundtable extends its condolences to the family of Dr. Morris Wessel, who passed on at age 98 on August 20. Dr. Wessel was a pediatrician in New Haven for forty-two years. In the 1970s he investigated the lead levels in children, and in 1974 helped found The Connecticut Hospice, the first hospice in the United States. He and his wife, social worker Irmgard Rosenzweig Wessel who died in 2014, were greatly respected and admired by many of us in the PAR community. He is survived by four children, David, Bruce, Paul and Lois; eight grandchildren; two great-grandchildren and hundreds of former patients. Contributions may be made to the Morris and Irmgard Wessel Fund, a donor-advised fund at the Community Foundation of Greater New Haven, which makes annual awards to unsung heroes who are improving life for residents of the city. For more about Dr. Wessel: http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/morris_wessel

friedman-judi-louIt is with great sadness that PAR learned of the passing of Judi and Lou Friedman of Canton on July 25. They both suffered with painful and debilitating health issues. Judi led the People’s Action for Clean Energy organization for forty-three years and has regularly written articles for the PAR newsletter. Lou was co-founder of Beyond Nuclear, a national non-profit promoting a nuclear-free world. For decades, PACE has been a resource for information and action on clean-energy issues and energy efficiency. Judi and Lou helped educate many of us about the dangers of nuclear power. At its annual meeting in the fall, PACE will be honoring the lives of Judi and Lou.

For more information, contact Mark Scully, Chairman of PACE, at mwscully29@gmail.com.

Seeking Your Help to Protect Next Gandhi Peace Award Winner

by Stanley Heller, Administrator, PEP

Promoting Enduring Peace has set up a “Freedom to Travel” committee to pressure the Israeli government to allow one of its Gandhi Peace Award winners to travel to the United States. At a telephone press conference the 64-year-old peace and environmental group announced the Gandhi Peace Award will be given jointly to Ralph Nader (pictured on the left) and Omar Barghouti (right) at a ceremony in New Haven in April 2017.

nader-and-barghouti-620x330

Ralph Nader is known for over five decades for his consumer and civic activism and for being among the first nationally known figures to criticize Israeli abuses and to speak up in support of the Israeli peace movement. Omar Barghouti is one of the best-known leaders of the BDS (Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions) movement which calls for economic pressure against Israel until it withdraws from the land it occupies, gives full civic equality to Palestinians citizens inside Israel and allows Palestinian refugee families their right to return to their homeland and homes.

Yousef Munayyer, Executive Director of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, talked about Omar Barghouti. He said the Palestinian was a “central player in the Palestinian campaign for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel.” And “Omar’s voice has been a crucial one in the past several years and one that should be increasingly amplified to all those asking about Palestinian non-violence.”
Rebecca Vilkomerson, Executive Director of Jewish Voice for Peace, said she first met Barghouti in 2009 and that’s when Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP) starting working on BDS issues. She hailed Barghouti’s leadership and “impeccable ethical framework” and his continued work “at great cost and risk to himself.”

The Israeli government has refused to renew Barghouti’s travel document and he is effectively banned from leaving Palestine/Israel. Vilkomerson said JVP would be working with PEP and other groups to restore Barghouti’s ability to travel and to come to the U.S. to accept the award.

Those interested in working on the “Freedom to Travel” committee should write to office@pepeace.org. A recent TSVN You Tube interview with Barghouti can be heard by going to http://www.pepeace.org.

Dr. Alice Rothchild discusses ‘historical and ethical challenges in Israel and Palestine’ in Storrs

by Julia Berger, Middle East Crisis Committee

On July 30, about 35 people convened at the Storrs Meeting House to enjoy a Middle Eastern potluck and a talk by Dr. Alice Rothchild: “A Personal Journey: Facing Historical and Ethical Challenges in Israel/Palestine.”

Alice Rothchild

Alice Rothchild

Dr. Rothchild has practiced ob/gyn for almost 40 years and served as Assistant Professor of Obstretics and Gynecology at Harvard Medical School. She is a first-generation American who grew up in a middle-class Jewish family in the Boston area. She grew up with the narrative of Israel as a haven for Jewish “victims,” as a democratic state in the Middle East surrounded by hostile Arabs and Palestinians. Only when she was in college did a friend cast doubts on this view. Dr. Rothchild was inspired by this friend to do some serious research—on colonialism, imperialism, and U.S. and Israeli history—especially about the 1948 Palestinian “Nakba” in which many Palestinians were killed by Israelis and many more became dispossessed refugees.

Eventually Dr. Rothchild joined Physicians for Human Rights on a journey to Israel and Palestine to see for herself the conditions there and to work in clinics, especially in Palestine. Since then she has gone annually to travel around, to work in clinics, and to speak with Palestinians and Israelis about the deteriorating physical situation in Palestine (the Wall, the increased Israeli settlements on Palestinian lands, the checkpoints, the housing demolitions, etc.). She emphasized she is not criticizing Jews as Jews but rather the policies of the Israeli government.

When she has attempted to speak about her experiences here in the U.S., she has frequently been harassed or her talks have been cancelled. But she remains optimistic because more and more Americans and Israelis are finally speaking out against Israeli government policies.

Dr. Rothchild also pointed out the affinity between Black Lives Matter and the Palestinian situation. Both are met with increasingly militarized/weaponized responses. The final irony: many of the U.S.’s police departments are even trained in Israel or here by the IDF.

She was also troubled that none of the current presidential candidates, except Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party, were even talking about Israel/Palestine.

Asked about BDS, she responded that the U.S. provides $3 billion a year to Israel—a population of 8.2 million—the largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid. The American taxpayer has some responsibility for Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians. Moreover the non-violent BDS is supported by the Palestinians and seems to be having an impact on the Israeli government.

Dr. Rothchild has directed a documentary film “Voices Across the Divide,” and has written several books and articles on her experiences.

News to Get All Steamed Up About: UI Is Planning a Rate Increase of the Distribution Charge

by Paula Panzarella, Fight the Hike

UI is now owned by Iberdrola, one of the world’s largest utility companies, with over 31 million customers. This adds to the insult that Connecticut customers, already paying the highest rates for electricity in the continental United States, are faced with even higher bills if we don’t stop the proposed increase.
According to the press release from the Office of Consumer Counsel, “If UI’s rate phase-in plan were approved as proposed, a typical residential customer on standard service generation who is using 700kWh per month would see their total bill rise by approximately $9.34, from $162.46 to $171.80, effective Jan. 1, 2017. Monthly bills would also increase by approximately $9.50 per month on Jan. 1, 2018 and by an incremental $11.00 monthly on Jan. 1, 2019.”

Note this is only the distribution charge. Should there be an increase in the generation charge, transmission, basic service or any other charge on our UI bill, we’re looking at even more.
Again, we already have the highest rates in the continental United States!

How to fight this: we have to pack the public hearings in Bridgeport and New Haven.

  • Bridgeport hearing: Thursday, Sept. 8, 6:30 p.m., City Common Council Chambers, Bridgeport City Hall, 45 Lyon Terrace.
  • New Haven hearing: Monday, Sept. 12, 6:30 p.m., Hearing Room G2, Kennedy Mitchell Hall of Records, 200 Orange St.

This proposal is identified as Docket No. 16-06-04. Please use this number when you write, e-mail or call PURA.

To mail your commentary, write to PURA,10 Franklin Square, New Britain, CT 06051. Send e-mail to dpuc.executivesecretary@po.state.ct.us.

Thank you!

For questions or more information, please call (203) 562-2798 or e-mail paulapanzarella@yahoo.com.

Congress Can Stop Latest Arms Sale to Saudi War Criminal Government

by Stanley Heller, Middle East Crisis Committee

The Obama Administration has announced a $1.1 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia. That country, mightily assisted by the United States, the Al-Sissi dictatorship in Egypt and the Darfur killing regime in Sudan, is attacking Yemen causing thousands of casualties. In a surprise move on August 17 the New York Times called for a suspension in the arms sales to Saudi Arabia over its horrendous attacks on civilian targets in Yemen. Congress has just until the very start of September to oppose the arms deal. Calls to Congressional offices are needed.

gouta atack-syriaThe group “Just Foreign Policy” has an electronic petition calling for rejection of the latest arms deal. It can be reached here: http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/blog.

U.S. Sen. Murphy of CT has taken a leading role in criticizing the Yemen War and Saudi expenditure of perhaps $100 billion to spread its bigoted and women-hating Wahhabi ideology worldwide.
More about Saudi aggression and the terrible human rights record of the absolute monarchy at http://www.SaudiUS.org.

Potluck and Discussion About the Transition Movement Sept. 16, Friends Meeting House

by Kim Stoner, New Haven Friends Meeting

Please join us on Friday, Sept. 16, to meet and hear Ruah Swennerfelt talk about The Transition Movement: Real People Coming Together to Reimagine and Rebuild Our World. There will be a potluck at 6:30 p.m., to be followed by her talk at 7:30. This will be held at New Haven Friends Meetinghouse, 225 East Grand Ave., New Haven.

Ruah Swennerfelt. photo: www.thecitizenvt.com

Ruah Swennerfelt. photo: www.thecitizenvt.com

Ruah Swennerfelt is an activist, homesteader, and author of the book, Rising to the Challenge: The Transition Movement and People of Faith. She is General Secretary of Quaker Earthcare Witness, and has traveled to work with the Transition Movement in Europe, Palestine, Brazil, and the United States. The Transition Movement is comprised of vibrant, grassroots community initiatives that seek to build community resilience in the face of such challenges as peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis. Transition Initiatives differentiate themselves from other sustainability and “environmental” groups by seeking to mitigate these converging global crises by engaging their communities in home-grown, citizen-led education, action, and multi-stakeholder planning to increase local self reliance and resilience.

For any questions, please contact Kim Stoner, kastoner@att.net

Green Party Files Petitions, Stein on Ballot in Connecticut

by David Bedell, CT Green Party Secretary

The culmination of three months’ diligent effort, the Green Party of Connecticut has amassed 15,000 signatures of voters in order to secure Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein’s place on the Connecticut ballot.

The final batch of signatures was collected on 1,212 petition sheets, originally distributed throughout the state by over 400 party volunteers, independent activists and paid petitioners, and delivered Wednesday, August 10, to the Secretary of the State.

Current state law requires petitioners to gather 7,500 valid voter signatures in support of a third-party candidate in order to appear on the state’s presidential ballot line in November. According to GPCT co-chair Mike DeRosa, the additional names provide a safety margin against signatures disqualified by the Secretary of the State, Denise Merrill.

In a tempestuous presidential election year where the reaction of a growing number of voters to both major party candidates ranges from disappointment and fear to outrage, the necessity for real choices in the race for the Oval Office is more crucial than ever.

According to DeRosa, “We now have to wait about two weeks until we know if Stein has made it.”
Besides the presidential race, Eric Rowe of New Haven submitted a petition to run for State Senator, District 11. He is one of at least 15 GPCT candidates seeking election to federal, state, and local office in 2016. The Green Party is also recruiting candidates for appointment as local Justices of the Peace.

For more information: http://www.ctgreenparty.org, dbedell@greens.org, (203) 581-3193.

About the Green Party of Connecticut and Jill Stein: A unity of local Green Party chapters, the GPCT is committed to grassroots democracy, social justice, non-violence and ecological wisdom. These are the Four Pillars of all Green parties worldwide and are the first four principles of the Ten Key Values of the Green Party (including decentralization, community-based economics, feminism and gender equity, respect for diversity, personal and global responsibility, future focus and sustainability). We do not accept contributions from corporate PACs.

As the New Haven Register reports:

Stein will be listed on the November ballot along with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Also attempting to get on the Connecticut presidential ballot is Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.

Peace and Fact-Finding Delegation visit Syria

by Henry Lowendorf, Co-Chair, GNH Peace Council

From July 24 to July 30, I co-led a delegation of peace activists and journalists to Syria. In talking with leaders of many NGOs and government ministers, we learned that the vast majority of Syrians support their government and the Syrian Arab Army, which protect them from mercenaries that terrorize the populations they control and which are paid for by Saudi Arabia and Qatar and armed by the CIA. The CIA provides supplies and free passage into Syria through Turkey and Jordan. Syrians believe in, and the UN Charter supports, their right to determine their destiny without interference from the United States and its allies.

syria-mapMy co-leader, Gerry Condon, vice president of Veterans for Peace, said this: “Almost everything we read about Syria in the media is wrong…The reality is that the U.S. government is supporting armed extremist groups who are terrorizing the Syrian people and trying to destroy Syria’s secular state.”

“In order to hide that ugly reality and push violent regime change,” continued Condon, “the U.S. is conducting a psychological warfare campaign to demonize Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad. This is a classic tactic that veterans have seen over and over. It is shocking, however, to realize how willingly the media repeat this propaganda, and how many people believe it to be true.”

The Syrians we spoke with, especially Grand Mufti Hassoun and Orthodox Bishop Luca, refuse to see themselves split into narrow groups such as Sunni and Shia, or Muslim and Christian, or Kurdish or Arabic-speaking. This U.S. and Europe formulation is used to divide Syrians as it has with Afghans, Iraqis, and Libyans in order to weaken and conquer Syria. The Grand Mufti told us he is the Mufti of 23 million Syrians, the full Syrian population. The Bishop agreed.

The U.S. peace movement’s premier responsibility is to stop our government’s interference in Syria, its long-held policy of “regime change,” overthrowing the Syrian government to install a subservient client. We must allow Syrians to retain their national sovereignty. Once the foreign aggression ends, Syrians will decide who governs Syria.

For more information, call Henry Lowendorf at (203) 389-9547 or e-mail grnhpeacecouncil@gmail.com.

International Day of Peace, Building Blocks for Peace, 1-6 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, at the United Nations Peace Garden in West River

International Day of Peace, Building Blocks for Peace, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, at the United Nations Peace Garden in West River

International Day of Peace, Building Blocks for Peace, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, at the United Nations Peace Garden in West River

International Day of Peace Celebration

Sunday, Sept. 18, the West River Neighborhood Services Corporation will host the eleventh United Nations Inter-national Day of Peace Celebration at the Peace Garden located at the intersection of Ella T. Grass Boulevard and Legion Avenue from 12:30 to 6 p.m.

The event starts at 12:30 p.m. with the planting of a Ginkgo sapling that survived the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima in the Peace Garden. This is a gift from the Japanese government to the City of New Haven Peace Commission.

Music will be provided by the Christian Sons Gospel group, Nfinity Mzk, Professor B. & Army of Love featuring Papa Biggie Reggae, and the Veronica Douglas Group. There will be meditation taught by the Art of Living, free ice cream, fruit, beef hot dogs, refreshments and children’s activities. There will also be information tables from various New Haven organizations and businesses.

For more information, contact Stacy Spell at (203) 777-2192 or wrnscsecretary@gmail.com.
In case of rain, the event will be held Sunday, Sept. 25.

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