Join the People’s Climate March Sept. 21, NYC

PeoplesMarchSunset-sierraThe following is comprised of notices from the GNH Peace Council, the Sierra Club and CT Roundtable on Climate and Jobs.

As you know, cooking the climate is a peace and justice issue.

Confronting climate warming means turning the rising tides, protecting us from dangerous extreme weather and cutting dangerous pollution. But it also means ending a war economy, converting swords into civilian, green products, reinvesting in our broken infrastructure, building local energy solutions and creating a more just, fair society.
Presidents and Prime Ministers are gathering at the United Nations in New York in September to talk about climate action. So far there’s been lots of talk and little action. We need a huge crowd to demand they aim high and create dramatic solutions that serve the people.

Many of you are actively engaged in organizing efforts for the People’s Climate March in New York City on Sunday, Sept. 21. We have just three weeks to turn the People’s Climate March in New York City into the biggest march against climate change ever seen on this planet. Here are some updates from the CT Roundtable on Climate and Jobs and the CT Sierra Club:.

Strong CT Labor Participation

We are very pleased to announce that 8 labor organizations in CT have endorsed the march so far:

  • 32BJ SEIU CT;
  • American Federation of Teachers – CT;
  • CT AFL-CIO;
  • CT Education Association;
  • CT State Council SEIU;
  • Council 4 AFSCME;
  • CT State Council of Machinists; and
  • United Auto Workers Region 9A.

This broad participation is very exciting, and we will be working closely with the leadership in these unions to ensure a significant turnout from Labor on September 21. If your union is not yet listed, please contact John Humphries, (860) 216-7972, to discuss the best way to approach your leadership.

Religious Participation

The Interreligious Eco-Justice Network is leading the effort to engage religious organizations and communities. If your congregation or group would like to connect with other CT faith communities participating in the March, contact Terri Eickel (terri@irejn.org).

IREJN is also sponsoring a series of events in CT during the week prior to the March, featuring Jay O’Hara, a Quaker who blocked a shipment of coal in the Lobster Boat Blockade in May 2013. These community events are designed to build interest and participation in the March.

Transportation

Buses – You can now buy your bus tickets! www.peoplesclimate.org/transportation. Click on Connecticut and you will see the list of bus locations to choose from. (There are buses committed from Hartford, CCSU, Wesleyan, Connecticut College, New Haven, Fairfield and UCONN)

Trains – We are still negotiating details with Metro-North.

Please make plans to join us on Sept. 21 for the largest climate march in history.

Henry Lowendorf, GNH Peace Council;
John Humphries, CT Roundtable on Climate and Jobs, (860) 216-7972, john.humphries1664@gmail.com.

Launched in June 2012, the Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs is an innovative partnership between the Interreligious Eco-Justice Network (IREJN) and the CT AFL-CIO. It seeks to strengthen collaboration among CT’s labor, environmental and religious groups in advocating for public policies that address urgent concerns about climate change while creating good-paying jobs right here in our state.

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‘Observation Status’: A Clear and Present Danger

by Mary Johnson, Coalition for People

For the last four or five years, hospital patients throughout the U.S. have learned, too late, that Medicare Part A has not covered their stays. They are considered to be outpatients, no matter how many days they stay in the hospital, and the only coverage they receive is Medicare Part B. Medicare Part A is denied.

Even worse, if they are sent to a nursing home or rehabilitation center, both Part A and Part B are denied. This means they must pay bills of as much as $6,000 a week or more. This is “Observation Status.”

In addition, most hospitals fail to inform patients about this. Recently, some hospitals have started giving patients who are about to leave the hospital a letter which tells them they have been under observation as outpatients.

The Coalition for People (CFP) is trying to spread the word about this outrageous practice. People need to be warned before they enter hospitals so they will ask doctors whether they are inpatients or outpatients. Then they will know whether or not they will get Part A coverage.

According to the Center for Medicare Advocacy, “Observation Status” and the denial of Part A coverage are illegal. They violate the Medicare Act and the Freedom of Information Act. A U.S. Senate Bill, S. 569, and a U.S House Bill, H.R. 1179, would reverse this practice. Please contact Senators Blumenthal and Murphy and Representative DeLauro and urge them to work for passage of the legislation.

Also, contact the Center for Medicare Advocacy at (860) 456-7790 or www.medicareadvocacy.org for more information. CFP can be reached at (203) 387-7858 or coalitionforpeople@hotmail.com.

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Mitzi Bowman Archives. The Struggle Against Nuclear Power

by PAR Planning Committee

The PAR Planning Committee was thrilled to hear from Mitzi Bowman that her papers from decades of activism have a home at the Department of Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

It has been six years that Mitzi moved to Vermont and she still receives the PAR newsletter to keep up with what is happening in New Haven.

PAR has been granted permission to reprint the information from the UMass website, http://scua.library.umass.edu/umarmot/bowman-mitzi.

Mitzi Bowman Papers, ca.1970-2010. 12 boxes (18 linear feet). Special Collections and University Archives, UMass Amherst Libraries. Call no.: MS 761

For years, Mitzi Bowman and her husband Pete were stalwarts of the progressive community in Connecticut, and tireless activists in the movements for social justice, peace, and the environment. Shortly after their marriage in 1966, the Bowman’s settled in Milford, Conn., where Pete worked as an engineer. In close collaboration, the couple became ardent opponents of the war in Vietnam as well as opponents of nuclear weaponry. The focus of their activism took a new direction in 1976, when they learned of plans to ship spent nuclear fuel rods near their home. Founding their first antinuclear organization, STOP (Stop the Transport of Pollution), they forced the shipments to be rerouted, and they soon devoted themselves to shutting down nuclear power in Connecticut completely, including the Millstone and Connecticut Yankee facilities, the latter of which was decommissioned in 1996. The Bowmans were active in a wide array of other groups, including the New Haven Green Party, the Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone, the People’s Action for Clean Energy (PACE), and they were founding members of Fight the (Utility Rate) Hike, the Progressive Action Roundtable, and Don’t Waste Connecticut.

Two years after Pete died on Feb. 14, 2006 at the age of 78, Mitzi relocated to Vermont, carrying on her activism.

The Bowman Papers center on Mitzi and Pete Bowman’s antinuclear activism, dating from their first forays with STOP in the mid-1970s through the growth of opposition to Vermont Yankee in the approach to 2010. The collection offers a valuable glimpse into the early history of grassroots opposition to nuclear energy and the Bowmans’ approach to organizing and their connections with other antinuclear activists and to the peace and environmental movements are reflected in an extensive series of notes, press releases, newsclippings, talks, ephemera, and correspondence. The collections also includes extensive subject files on radiation, nuclear energy, peace, and related topics.

Subjects:

  • Antinuclear movement–Connecticut
  • Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone
  • Don’t Waste Connecticut
  • STOP (Stop the Transport of Pollution)

Contributors include Pete Bowman.
Related collections: Antinuclear, Connecticut, Environment, Peace, Political activism

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Jewish Holocaust Survivors from around the World Call for Justice in Gaza

Forty Jewish survivors of the Nazi Holocaust and 287 descendants of survivors and victims issued a letter condemning Israel’s actions in Gaza.

“As Jewish survivors and descendants of survivors and victims of the Nazi genocide we unequivocally condemn the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza and the ongoing occupation and colonization of historic Palestine.” The letter, with signatories from 26 countries representing four generations of survivors, ran in the Saturday, August 23rd edition of the New York Times.

To read the rest of the article, go to http://ijsn.net.

PAR Receives Grant to Expand Readership

by PAR Planning Committee

The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven has given the PAR newsletter a grant so we can enlarge our readership base and more efficiently create this community resource. The PAR Planning Committee is grateful for this opportunity to reach more people both in print and on-line.

If you would like to join our planning committee to help work on this newsletter, please call (203) 562-2798. What ideas do you have for us? Can you help with your computer skills and advice? Are there people you think would enjoy our newsletter? Please send us their names and addresses and we will send them a sample copy.

Can you help us spread the PAR newsletter through the internet? Help PAR’s influence grow and let us know what you think!

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Help Create a Healthy Community

by Chris Schweitzer, New Haven León Sister City Project

Take a lead in creating a healthier lifestyle and community. The same solutions that reduce globe warming greenhouse gases also revitalize our neighborhoods and enhance our well being. Take the New Haven Healthy City/Healthy Climate Challenge Pledge. Join many other in New Haven who commit to:

  • Two days of walking, biking, or public transit a month
  • Choosing the 100% renewable option on electricity
  • Two meat-free days a week
  • Recycling all glass, cans, paper, plastics, & composting
  • Joining an environmental action alert list

Info: cschweitzer@newhavenleon.org.

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Labor History’s Winchester Exhibit Recipient of Community Preservation Grant

by Joan Cavanagh, GNHLHA Director

The Greater New Haven Labor History Association has received a $1,000 Historic New England 2014 Community Preservation Grant to expand its current traveling exhibit, “Our Community at Winchester: An Elm City Story.” The check was presented to the organization by Historic New England Executive Vice President Diane Viera on August 25 in the atrium of New Haven’s City Hall where the exhibit was showing.

(photo: New Haven Labor History Association)

(photo: New Haven Labor History Association)

Mayor Toni Harp opened by thanking Historic New England for recognizing the importance of local history. Labor History Association Board member Lula White, who conducted many of the oral history interviews currently included in the exhibit, called the work “a labor of love,” noting that, as a child whose father worked at Winchester, she “could tell time” by the sound of the plant whistle.

Sen. Martin Looney recalled that both of his parents worked at Winchester, his father from 1940 until 1965, and were strong supporters of International Association of Machinists Local 609, which represented workers at the plant from 1956 until it closed in 2006. His father often “compared the differences” between the condition of workers at the plant pre- and post-union. Looney’s story will be one of the eight new oral histories that the grant will help to fund.

Craig Gauthier, former president of Local 609, noted that there is “so much more to be told” about the stories of workers at Winchester. The Labor History Association hopes the Historic New England grant will be matched by other contributions to fund that effort.

Historic New England is a museum of cultural history that collects and preserves buildings, landscapes, and objects dating from the seventeenth century and uses them to keep history alive and to help people develop a deeper under-standing and enjoyment of New England life. Among its programs, the organization provides grants of $1,000 each to one affiliate member organization in each of the six New England states. Ms. Viera said the Winchester exhibit was chosen as the Connecticut recipient of this year’s award from a pool of 30 applicants.

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Smart Solar Financing House Tour Oct. 4, Plainville

by Judi Friedman, PACE

Clever financing, tax credits and rebates allow for great energy savings. Because of the demand for this type of home, the town of Plainville will again be the site of a comprehensive free solar house tour on Saturday, Oct. 4. Part of THE NATIONAL SOLAR HOME TOUR, the tour of this retrofit 1960 ranch house will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Experts on installation, heating and cooling and financing will be available for discussion. In addition to tours of the smart solar financing house, literature will be available and fabulous electric cars will be on display (Chevy Volt, Toyota Prius, Tesla).

The owners refinanced their house to pay for their project. Now they can invest in their dream, to become a NET ZERO energy home. After tax credits and rebates, using a conservative four percent cost escalation, the family should have a complete recovery of their investment in less than seven years!

This family consists of two hard-working adults with two kids and two incomes who insulated their attic, installed solar electric panels, a solar hot water heating system, and air-to-air source heat pumps, among many other energy-saving upgrades. According to Judi Friedman, Chair of People’s Action for Clean Energy (PACE), “This is one of the most unusual solar offerings that PACE has ever showcased for financial reasons.”

The tours are sponsored by PACE in conjunction with the American Solar Energy Society. The free tours will be held rain or shine at 2 Seneca Rd in Plainville. To learn more go online to www.pace-cleanenergy.org and click on Events. For tour info, call (860) 693-4813 or (860)623-5487.

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CT Folk Festival & Green Expo 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sept. 6 Edgerton Park

On Saturday, Sept. 6, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., CT Folk presents a day-long, free festival, the annual CT Folk Festival and Green Expo. An outstanding line-up of musical talent, both local and national, will take the stage all day and evening in New Haven’s idyllic Edgerton Park. At the Green Expo, which runs in the Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 75 exhibitors, demonstrations, workshops and activities will share ideas and products for sustainable lifestyles.

This year’s Green Expo theme is Nurturing Nature. Nature represents not just the earth, but the well-being of our attendees and health of our community. For the young ones, the Green Kids’ Village offers hands-on activities and entertainment to engage the next generation of environmentalists, including yoga, a solar cell workshop, and a magic show by Eco-Wizard Cyril the Sorcerer.

Live music begins at 11 a.m. and continues until 10 p.m. on the outdoor stage. CT Folk has picked the best of local talent and national touring performers from the realm of folk, Americana, bluegrass and roots music. Unfold your chair, spread your blanket, and don’t forget to sample scrumptious foods from the many local vendors.

The entire event is 100% free, but donations are graciously accepted.

The CT Folk Festival & Green Expo is in its second decade and is run under the auspices of CT Folk, a nonprofit organization dedicated to traditional and contemporary roots music and to caring for the earth. CT Kids and Family provides the media sponsorship this year, offering year-round kid-tested advice for family activities and events (www.ctkidsandfamily.com). For more information about the 2014 CT Folk Festival & Green Expo, visit www.ctfolk.com.

Musical performers at the 2014 CT Folk Festival & Green Expo include: Jessica Smucker, Bobtown, Meadows Brothers, Pamela Means, Voci Angelica Trio, Jesse Terry, Jenna Lindbo, Kristen Graves, Professors of Bluegrass, Mark Douglas Berardo, David Roth, Cosy Sheridan, Sloan Wainwright, Pesky J. Nixon and Red Molly. There will be a Contra Dance called by Bill Fischer, with music with dance band Wry Bred.

Questions? Contact: Coleen Campbell, Festival Coordinator CT Folk Festival & Green Expo, Coleencamp@yahoo.com.

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Neighborhood Services Corporation’s 9th Annual International Day of Peace and Prayer, 1– 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14

Neighborhood Services Corporation’s (WRNSC) 9th annual International Day of Peace and Prayer on Sunday, Sept. 14, from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. (rain date Sept. 21). We will hold the celebration in the United Nations/New Haven International Peace Garden at West River located on Ella T. Grasso Boulevard and Legion Avenue.

This annual peace building event is designed to promote respect and understanding among New Haven residents. It is a day filled with food, fun and information – completely free to the public. It features local talent, agencies and people joining together in music, crafts, meditation, prayer and fellowship -all in a celebration of peace and the acceptance of our roles in promoting peace. In addition, there will be some interesting, new twists this year. We sincerely hope that you will pass this information on to your community and encourage them to participate.

Throughout the world, the International Day of Peace (“Peace Day”) provides an opportunity for individuals, organizations and nations to create practical acts of peace on a shared date. It was established by a United Nations resolution in 1981 to coincide with the opening of the General Assembly. The first Peace Day was celebrated in September 1982. New Haven was designated as a Peace Messenger City in 1985. The Peace Garden at West River was established in 2000, and is one of only a few places in the world where the United Nations emblem is displayed on land not owned and controlled by the UN.

Residents from West River and its surrounding neighborhoods and community partners are committed to the ongoing peace process and continue to seek innovative ways to keep this festival alive and growing. The pursuit of peace and unity is increasingly relevant today as we witness intensifying senseless acts of violence. Block watch groups, neighborhood associations, youth groups, faith-based organizations and neighbors throughout the city and state are all a part of this event.

Our Peace Ambassadors are looking forward to greeting you and providing an awesome day for your enjoyment as we celebrate peace together. Merrie N. Harrison merrie1231@gmail.com

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