Sharon House Tour Oct. 3: Fascinating Solar Straw Bale House Saves Energy

by Judi Friedman, People’s Action for Clean Energy

A fascinating passive solar home is on tour in Sharon, CT on Saturday, October 3. This Net Zero Energy Challenge winning house has organic straw bale construction and 33 solar-electric panels on the house and horse barn. Tours and seminars will be held at 12 noon and 2:30 p.m. by the knowledgeable owners and technology experts. Nearby, the Sharon Audubon Center has one-hour raptor aviary tours at 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. for $5 per person.

The house has a dramatic open floor plan, with a beautiful handmade masonry heater that supplies most of the heat. Other energy-saving features include solar-powered mini split ductless heat and cooling pumps; ground mount solar hot water panels; an HRV air exchanger; natural lighting supplemented by LED and compact fluorescent bulbs; and recycled energy-efficient appliances.

The event is sponsored by People’s Action for Clean Energy, the only all-volunteer nonprofit public health organization in Connecticut devoted solely to clean energy education. Co-sponsors are the Sharon Audubon Society and the Connecticut Chapter of the Sierra Club.

Reservations will be accepted in order of receipt for the October 3 tour, which will be held rain or shine. The non-refundable tickets are $15 per person. To order tickets, go online to and click on Events, indicating the choice of time for the tours and seminars. Tickets may also be ordered by sending $15 per person to PACE c/o Donna Grant, 128 Melrose Road, Broad Brook, CT 06016. Include the ticketholder’s name, phone number, address, email address and choice of time. For ticket information, call (860) 623-5487. For tour information, call (860) 693-4813.

People Against Injustice News: Sept. 24 Protest, Meeting with Sen. Winfield Oct. 5

by Jane Mills, PAI

People Against Injustice joined several other local justice groups in writing a letter to city leaders and state prosecutors protesting the August 17 arrest of a young man, “Mykel,” on Kensington St. in New Haven whose only crime appeared to be filming the police. He faced a misdemeanor charge of resisting or interfering with police. To sign-on to the letter go to and search using this phrase “Support the right to record police in New Haven.” A copy of his video is linked in the online petition. It is legal to record police in public in all 50 states.

A protest on his Sept. 24 court hearing date was held in front of the New Haven courthouse during which people showed their support, asking us questions or calling out from their cars. We handed out info cards and talked to reporters. At  10 a.m. a group of us attended Mykel’s court hearing. The charge against him was dropped.

We are lodging this as a victory but concerns remain about representations about the video made by the state to the judge during Mykel’s brief hearing and about the fate of his Facebook account, which was taken down by Facebook for “verification,” after he posted his video of the police. We will continue to look into both.

State Sen. Gary Holder Winfield will attend PAI’s next regular meeting on Oct. 5 to review possible legislation for the 2015-2016 legislative session. Newcomers are welcome. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. sharp on the lower level of the main branch of the New Haven Free Public Library, 133 Elm Street (at corner of Temple Street).

PAI has launched a Facebook page. Please visit our page, named “People Against Injustice – PAI” at this url:

People Against Injustice is a New Haven-based, grassroots organization committed to reform of the criminal justice system. Since its founding in 1996, PAI has worked on dozens of justice-related issues, including over incarceration and the War on Drugs, prosecutor and police misconduct, and racial and economic disparities in the justice system. PAI engages in direct action as well as educational initiatives. Reach us at

‘Speak Out for Justice’ Oct. 7 with Remi Kanazi and Bishop John Selders

by Stanley Heller, Middle East Crisis Committee

Come to the New Haven Library on Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. for “Speak Out for Justice.” Meet Remi Kanazi, Palestinian-American poet and activist, on the release of his new collection of poems: Before the Next Bomb Drops: Rising Up from Brooklyn to Palestine. He also wrote Poetic Injustice: Writings on Resistance and Palestine.

remi-kanaziKanazi writes and performs political poetry addressing topics such as human rights, Palestine, Iraq, and Islamophobia. Approaching his work from a humanist perspective, Kanazi says, “I’m not a nationalist, I’m not an ethno-centrist. This isn’t about me being a Palestinian or me being an Arab. It’s about a system of oppression and what’s being done to a people. So whether you’re talking about police brutality or the US-Mexico border or Afghanistan or the war in Iraq or the plight of Palestinians, what they’re going through and the injustice that’s being perpetrated against them is what matters. And that’s what we’re working against – systems of oppression.”

Our program also features Bishop John Selders, a leader of “Moral Mondays” who has led protests in Hartford against police brutality and who took part in the “All Roads Lead to Ferguson Tour” in July and August.

The Right Reverend Doctor John L. Selders, Jr. is an ordained minister serving in the United Church of Christ, the Organizing Pastor of Amistad United Church of Christ, Hartford, CT, Associate Chaplain at Trinity College, Hartford, CT and Executive Director of Zezzo House (an 18 unit housing project). John worked for 12 years as a Lecturer at Yale Divinity School in New Haven.

The program is sponsored by the Middle East Crisis Committee. MECC was founded in New Haven in 1982. Our TV program “The Struggle” has been broadcast on over 30 stations weekly since 2003. We’ve covered civil rights and black lives matter struggles over the years. Our latest is coverage of the Newark New Jersey protest:
Executive Director: Stanley Heller, (203) 934-2761.

Sing-Along Concert to Celebrate a New Songbook by the Authors of Rise Up Singing Oct. 16

by Kim Stoner, Promoting Enduring Peace

Annie Patterson and Peter Blood, the authors of the popular songbook Rise Up Singing, will be performing a sing-along concert to celebrate their new songbook Rise Again, and will be joined by Charlie King, The Nields, and Sally Rogers, singer-songwriters who have songs in the new book. The concert will be at 7 p.m. on Friday, October 16, at the Unitarian Society of New Haven, 700 Hartford Turnpike in Hamden.

Since 1988, Rise Up Singing has sold nearly one million copies around the world. This popular songbook contains the words and chords to 1200 songs from Beatles to ballads, from Bob Dylan to Broadway, from campfire favorites to gospel & Hebrew folksongs. Rise Again, the long-awaited sequel, includes the words and chords to 1200 entirely different songs – including new songs written since 1988 and new genres only lightly covered in Rise Up Singing, such as Motown, blues, jazz & swing, and country.

This historic event is co-sponsored by CT Folk and is a benefit for Promoting Enduring Peace (, whose motto is “Peace On Earth — Peace With Earth.”

Advance tickets may be purchased online starting at $20 ($10 for under 18), $25 after Oct. 9, and $30 at the door. Group ticket rates are also available. Copies of Rise Again can be purchased in advance at or at the event.

Please Attend an Important and Unique Forum with Aida Touma-Sliman, Oct. 17.

by Henry Lowendorf, Greater New Haven Peace Council

Aida Touma-Sliman became an Arab member of the Knesset in the Israeli election last January. She is a lifelong political activist, Director-General of Women Against Violence, the largest Arab women’s NGO in Israel, editor-in-chief of Al-Ittihad, an Arab-language daily newspaper in Israel, and a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Israel.

Because of a new Israeli law intended to reduce the number of small parrties in the Knesset, the several Arab parties, with widely diverse ideologies and programs, created a Joint List, a coalition, to be voted on as a block. The election result was that the Joint List became the third largest block in the parliament.
Touma-Sliman was voted the Chair of the Knesset’s Permanent Committee on the Status of Women and Gender Equality, the first Arab chair of a Knesset committee.

In an interview in the Jewish Journal ( watch?v=hUslyGicqfs) Touma-Sliman describes herself: “I am not accepted because of my opinions, because I stood up against many of the things the patriarchal laws in our society… To be now in the mainstream of our society … gives us the power as a movement, to address new groups of people, to raise the voice of rights of women from the highest platform to the parliament and in our society.”

Of discrimination against Arabs in Israel proper, Touma-Sliman says that “In our villages and towns since 1948, not one industrial zone was built, no proper public transportation. Even in minimal civil rights we are not getting what we are supposed to get.”

She refers to the Israeli occupation: “We don’t want [Israel] to continue to be occupiers, because occupation is ruining not only those who are occupied, it is ruining also the occupiers themselves.” “Settlements are an international crime… You cannot use your crimes” to bargain.
With the recent peace agreement with Iran over Iran’s nuclear program, there is now increased attention on Israel’s existing nuclear arsenal, attention that the Israeli government constantly tries to deflect. In 2013, Touma-Sliman spoke at a peace conference to create a zone in the Middle East free of nuclear weapons: “If peace groups don’t make the connection that the Israeli government is the source of hostile policy against neighboring countries, and if we don’t speak about nuclear policy and to ask Israel to join international agreements and be under the control and inspection on that matter we are missing the point.”

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to hear Aida Touma-Sliman, Bethesda Lutheran Church, 450 Whitney Ave., 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17.

Two Renowned Peace Leaders for this Year’s Gandhi Peace Award Oct. 30

by Mary Compton, Promoting Enduring Peace

The 38th presentation of the Gandhi Peace Award by the national organization Promoting Enduring Peace, located in New Haven, will honor two world renowned peace leaders, Kathy Kelly and Tom B.K. Goldtooth. The ceremony will be held at the United Church on the Green in New Haven, on Friday, Oct. 30, at 7 p.m.

The Gandhi Peace Award recognizes the outstanding contributions to world peace by its recipients.
Tom B. K. Goldtooth is Dine’ and Mdewakanton Dakota. He is the first Native American recipient to receive the Gandhi Peace Award. He is the national director of the Indigenous Environmental Network ( at Bemidji, Minnesota, and has been a leader in Native social, economic, and environmental justice issues for over 35 years. He works with Indigenous Peoples and organizations around the world advocating for environmental and climate justice. He is co-producer of the award winning documentary film, “Drumbeat For Mother Earth,” which has received critical acclaim for its exposure of the effects of bio-accumulative chemicals on Indigenous communities. In 2010 he was honored by the Sierra Club and by the NAACP as a “Green Hero of Color.”

Kathy Kelly is nationally known for her outspoken activism protesting the use of drones by the U.S. military. She co-coordinates Voices for Creative Nonviolence, a national campaign to end U.S. military and economic warfare. She has led protests in Gaza and is an international leader against the war in Iraq. She has served several prison sentences for her non-violent, militant activism against nuclear weapons and war. On April 21st Kelly was released from federal prison after serving a three month sentence for non-violently protesting drone warfare at Whiteman AFB which operates weaponized drones in Afghanistan.

Tickets available at the door: $10; Students-Free

Advance tickets available online at

Contact: Mary Compton (203) 230-1312

Listen Here! Classic Short Stories Read Live

by Bennett Graff, New Haven Review

The Institute Library is proud to host the “Listen Here! Short Story” reading series. Join us for a night of classic short stories selected by the staff of the New Haven Review and read by cast members of the New Haven Theater Company. Reading starts at 7 p.m., with a talk back at 8 p.m. that explores the background, meaning, and dramatic interpretation of that night’s stories. Also, freshly baked cookies — a different batch at each reading — and tea are available. $5 suggested admission. Join us every 3rd Tuesday of the month at the Institute Library, 847 Chapel St, New Haven. Our next reading will be October 20. Our theme is “Holding on for Dear Life.” Our stories: “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner and “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson. Please note that the Institute Library is one flight up and unfortunately not wheelchair accessible. For more information, visit us at

Nonviolent Direct Action Training for Climate Justice (Willimantic)

by Dan Fischer, Capitalism vs. Climate

Nonviolent direct action training will be held at the Covenant Soup Kitchen at 220 Valley Street in Willimantic, one Saturday in October (date not yet confirmed) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.. This is a training for people in Connecticut interested in taking direct action for climate justice this fall as part of Rising Tide North America’s Flood the System mobilization. #FloodtheSystem is a callout this fall to flood, blockade, occupy and shut down the systems that jeopardize our future! Read more about it here:

The training is being organized by Capitalism vs. the Climate, a Rising Tide chapter.
Please register at Share this event by emailing friends. The following agenda is subject to change based on feedback you provide us directly through the registration form. For specific questions about the training, please email

Flood the System Training – What is Flood the System? What would an intersectional movement look like? Critique and strategic analysis. Offer the opportunity for participants to join in an existing Action Council or encourage them to start their own.

Introduction to Nonviolent Direct Action & Affinity Group Building – An introduction to the history of NVDA and implementation as well as examples of intersectionality within our community, affinity groups and their formation, consensus decision making, self-care and community care, action roles, and introduction to blockading.

Traditional Media and Social Media in Action – Training on how traditional media and social media intertwine with one another going into an action. How to create a media time line, write a press advisory and release, media action roles; how to use social media to amplify your action and create a narrative; online editing tools and social media logistics.

Continued Strategy & Research – This is an opportunity for participants to continue the conversation from the morning FTS Training and to transition into a workshop on strategy and research. Participants can talk about what they hope to see during Flood the System, how to build an intersectional movement leading into a discussion on choosing shared targets, research, and scouting.

SCSU Women’s Studies Program Events

by Alisha Martindale, Women’s Studies Program

The Women’s Studies Program of Southern Connecticut State University will host two events this month. They are free and open to all.

“He Hits Me the Normal Amount”: Confronting the Culture of Violence and Impunity in Nicaragua. This will be a presentation by Erendira Vanegas, Coordinator of the Women’s Prevention Program and the New Haven León Sister City Project. This event will be held Wednesday, September 30 from 1- 2 p.m. in Engleman Hall, B206 at 501 Crescent Street, New Haven 06515. Wheelchair Accessible.

It is co-sponsored by The Women’s Studies Program, The Department of World Languages and Literatures & The Multicultural Center. (203) 392-6133.

“Title IX and Campus Anti-Sexual Violence Movement”: An evening with Simona Sharoni, Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at State University of New York and Heather Turcotte, Professor of Political Science and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Connecticut. Thursday, October 15, 5 p.m. in Engleman Hall, B 121A&B, 501 Crescent Street, New Haven. Wheelchair Accessible.

Reception to follow. Sponsored by the Women’s Studies Program and SCSU Women’s Center. (203) 392-6133.

Announcing New Haven’s Energy Task Force and Environmental Advisory Council

by Paula Panzarella, Energy Task Force

Since this past March, a number of New Haven residents and representatives of environmental organizations have been meeting once a month to develop an Energy Task Force (ETF). On Sept. 21, the New Haven Board of Alders unanimously approved the creation of an Environmental Advisory Council (EAC). Once the EAC is developed, it is hoped the ETF will be empowered to 1) become the expert on all aspects of the production, use and conservation of energy in New Haven, 2) evaluate the best methods for all segments of the city to become energy efficient and carbon neutral as quickly as possible, 3) inform the administration, Board of Alders and residents on these issues and 4) propose, encourage and evaluate actions to achieve the goals of energy efficiency and end our reliance on fossil fuels as quickly as possible.

Until then, programs that ETF members have been working on include popularizing solar power and the different programs that make it affordable for low-income communities and others; working with the City and State legislature to have more clean energy and energy-efficient programs in place; and networking with Energy Task Forces in other CT towns and businesses and organizations that promote clean energy to discuss how their successes may work in New Haven.

For more information, you can e-mail, or phone Annie Harper at (203) 668-1213, or Paula and Frank Panzarella at (203) 562-2798.

A Doorbell Would Be a Nice Touch | Joe Luciano

by Joe Luciano, Founder, Disability Rights Action Group of CT

Seymour’s inaccessible post office continues to be unresponsive to its customers with disabilities unable to climb the mountainous steps to its public lobby.

Channel 8 News and the New Haven Register covered the May 13 rally to bring attention to the postmaster’s refusal to provide equal access to customers with disabilities. (The post office facility at 91 Main St. has a long steep staircase at its entrance with no ramp, lift, or other means for persons with limited mobility to get inside. For years, customers with disabilities used a service ramp at the rear of the building but the postmaster suddenly shut it down.)

The USPS valley supervisor established only one way for handicapped customers to obtain service: customers must telephone a “dedicated” number to request sidewalk service. This is unacceptable: there is no sign with instructions visible to arriving customers; the number is not publicized; this does not work for people without cell phones or unable to use one; the sidewalk area is hazardous; and the dedicated number is not dedicated; it’s the general number, often busy.

“The Postmaster is hiding behind the letter of the ADA, ignoring the fact that the USPS is required by Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act to make its services accessible to customers with disabilities,” said Marc Anthony Gallucci, Executive Director of the Center for Disability Rights.

Disability Rights Action Group  has sent multiple requests to local and federal USPS officials asking, in the very least, for a door bell and signage telling the handicapped how to obtain service. No USPS official has responded to DRAG’s requests, in keeping with their customer service attitude.

PAR readers interested in joining our next rally should email their contact information to

Standing Up for Women’s Health and Women’s Lives Sept. 30

by Megan Fountain, NH León Sister City Project

Join us for a conversation with Erendira Vanegas, who is visiting from León, Nicaragua, and Gretchen Raffa, advocacy director at Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. This is a critical time to stand up for women’s health and women’s lives. In 2008, Nicaragua made abortion a crime punishable by jail, even in the case of rape or of risk to a woman’s life.

In 2015, Connecticut marks the 50th anniversary of Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court decision that legalized birth control after Planned Parenthood director Estelle Griswold was jailed for providing birth control. Yet women’s lives are at risk now more than ever because of attacks on women’s health, like the recent vote to defund Planned Parenthood.

Join New Haven León Sister City Project and Planned Parenthood to hear the untold stories of an international movement and find out how you can get involved locally and internationally!

For more info, contact Megan at (203) 479-2959 or

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