Empowering Local Clean Energy Action in 2022, 10-11:30 a.m. Friday Jan. 14

The CT Energy Network Presents Empowering Local Clean Energy Action in 2022 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 14, 2022.

It will be a 90-minute info session covering:

· The new PACE Path to 100% Handbook
· Using social media to highlight local efforts
· Strengthening the network of CT clean energy advocates

As local clean energy advocates across the state make plans for the year ahead, PACE and the CT Energy Network would like to share several helpful resources. Foremost among these is a new handbook for local clean energy groups to take concrete steps to promote energy efficiency, renewables and electrification. We will send out this handbook to all registrants; we hope that you will find it useful and will help us improve it based on your practical experiences.

 

In addition, this event will share some recent efforts to use social media to highlight efforts of local clean energy advocates. PACE is eager to support local teams in spreading the word on events, initiatives and programs being carried out locally. Finally, we would like to use this event to further strengthen and empower our Connecticut clean energy community. With your help, the CT Energy Network and PACE would like to help advance these collaborations.

Who should attend:

All local clean energy advocates, including those that already belong to a dedicated group (e.g., task force, commission, sustainability team), as well as folks from towns that do not yet have an organized group of this kind.

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/empowering-local-clean-energy-action-in-2022-group-therapy-tickets-235543957317

Vigil to Support Mark Colville’s Probation Violation Hearing Jan. 10

Join us at 1 p.m. Jan. 10 for a vigil either in person outside the Federal Courthouse in Hartford, CT or virtually to support Mark Colville, one of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7. Mark is being called back to court because he refuses to submit to drug testing which is one of the conditions of his 3 years of supervised probation. He contends it has nothing to do with what the 7 were sentenced for.

Meanwhile, Mark points out that the Federal court continues to protect nuclear weapons even though the possession of nuclear weapons is illegal under international law, (see the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons https://www.icanw.org). Right now, the US is spending $100,000 a minute for the next 10 years on the development and production of new nuclear weapons. These are stolen resources from the people of this world. It begs the question: Who are the real criminals here? And why are they not drug-testing the Pentagon’s nuclear war planners, whose criminality and terrorist threats now place the United States in the category of a rogue nation and whose work continues to threaten all life on this planet?

The vigil will be live-streamed on Facebook and Youtube. Further details will be on the website closer to the date. https://kingsbayplowshares7.org.

* * * * * * * * * *

Also note that January 11 will mark the twentieth year that the prison at Guantanamo has been open. Witness Against Torture is planning a small presence in Washington, DC this year and many other vigils around the country. There will be a vigil at the White House at noon and then participants will attend webinars at a nearby church. Some people will fast from their homes from Jan. 7-11 and get together on Zoom in the evenings. Details are at: http://witnessagainsttorture.com/2021/12/22/january-11-rally-at-the-white-house-20-years.

EMAIL: kingsbayplowshares@gmail.com

WEBSITE: www.kingsbayplowshares7.org

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/Kingsbayplowshares

TWITTER: https://www.twitter.com/kingsbayplow7

INSTAGRAM: https://instagram.com/kingsbayplowshares7

Traditional Reading ‘Beyond Vietnam’

by Henry Lowendorf, Greater New Haven Peace Commission

It has become a tradition in New Haven to celebrate the birthday of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., with a public reading of his brilliant speech, Beyond Vietnam.

The reading will take place at noon Monday, Jan. 17, via Zoom. Contact the Peace Council at 203-389-9547 or grnhpeacecouncil@gmail.com if you would like to read or participate. To listen in solidarity, contact us for the Zoom link.

At a time when the people of our country and the world face an ongoing pandemic, economic deprivation, gross inequality in jobs, health care, housing, education, we celebrate the crystal clarity of King’s vision for peace and justice expressed during the brutal U.S. war on Vietnam 54 years ago. Today we call for ending the dozens of wars, blockades and gross interference in the political affairs of other nations waged by the U.S.A.

The Greater New Haven Peace Council invites you to join in reading this powerfully emotional and historical analysis that is today as relevant as it was when King presented it in 1967.

King: “I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic, destructive suction tube. So I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such.”

Congress is now passing a new military budget of three-quarters of a trillion dollars, a huge increase over Trump’s last budget, which itself was highly bloated over Obama’s. Military spending consumes over half of U.S. discretionary budget while the U.S. spends more on weapons and war than the next 11 countries combined.

King: “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”

Contact the Peace Council now to be added to the roster of readers or for the Zoom link to listen to the readings: 203-389-9547,  grnhpeacecouncil@gmail.com.

King called for an end to the madness of militarism, inequality and greed. Let’s settle for nothing less than a just transition to a Green, Peace Economy that works for all of us.

Mothers and Others for Justice

by Cindy Miller, intern, CCA

Mothers and Others for Justice (MOFJ), a New Haven grassroots advocacy group sponsored by Christian Community Action (CCA), is welcoming new members to join us in our efforts to enact positive changes around the lack of affordable housing, healthcare disparities, safe communities and other quality of life issues.

Many of the group members are single heads of household women of color who use their individual and collective voices to influence state and local policy and decision-makers to implement solutions that help people to become self-sufficient. Participation in MOFJ has proved transformational for many members as they return to school, serve their communities, work on political campaigns, and run for office.

Many of the members of MOFJ are committed to the HEALTH sub-committee (Helping Everyone Achieve Lasting Trusted Healthcare) in order to identify and advocate for changes in the healthcare system. We recognize that access to safe, affordable housing is closely related to achieving optimal health outcomes.

Over the years, the members of MOFJ have become empowered by sharing their life stories locally and at the State Capitol. In the coming months, the group is enthusiastic about the opportunity to have their stories recorded in a new grant-funded story lab. Like the cliché, a picture is worth a thousand words, one story of a member of MOFJ and his or her unique struggles tells much more than pages of statistics.

MOFJ will co-host a January legislative breakfast where they will have the opportunity to communicate directly with members of the local and state government the areas in which they believe legislation is necessary. Benefit cliffs and affordable housing top the list of concerns, the latter concern being evident at a recent aldermanic meeting where a number of members of MOFJ presented testimony about inclusionary zoning.

During the pandemic, healthcare disparities between low-income people of color and others were starkly demonstrated — further evidence that those whom CCA serves do not have lasting trusted healthcare. In order to better understand the gaps and areas of dissatisfaction, a survey of 200 members of the community is underway, and there is an online town hall meeting scheduled for Monday, January 10, from 7-8:30 p.m. to encourage conversation and possible solutions on ideas where participants feel need improvement. This meeting has been entitled, “Tell ’Em Why You’re Mad!” It is important that the participants be entirely forth-coming as that will enable CCA to plan its advocacy work through which change can be achieved. Furthermore, it is hoped that the participants will bring up areas about which they want to be educated in a five-part “Health Institute” that will be open to the public to be held in the Spring.

MOFJ has monthly meetings on the fourth Wednesday of the month from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in New Haven at which there is frequently a speaker on issues of interest. All are welcome to attend meetings as well as to participate in the upcoming Town Hall Meeting on healthcare issues and the HEALTH Institute.

If there are questions, don’t hesitate to contact either Merryl Eaton (Director of Advocacy and Education at CCA): merryleaton@ccahelping.org) or Cindy Miller: cmiller@ccahelping.org.

Answer the ADL with the Truth

by LouAnn Villani, secretary, MECC

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the CT Jewish Federation sponsored a film praising a particularly violent Israeli Prime Minister of the 1980s, Menachem Begin. Upon hearing about it, the Middle East Crisis Committee held an online panel on December 11 to spread the truth about Begin and about the ADL itself. Our Executive Director Stanley Heller talked about Begin’s career using terrorism in the 1940s, the role his Irgun played in the infamous Deir Yassin massacre of 1948 and his war in Lebanon in 1982 which killed an estimated 17,000 people.

Dr. Emmaia Gelman, who wrote her doctorate at NYU about the ADL spoke about both that organization and Jewish Federations as a whole. She explained that both groups were formed about a hundred years ago to support Jewish civil rights, but also to maintain the hold of the Jewish upper class on the Jewish community. Both the ADL and the federations became Zionist decades ago. The ADL claims itself as the go-to organization after acts of bigotry, but that’s pretty odd since its basically all-white and supports an apartheid state enthusiastically.

Shelly Altman of Jewish Voice for Peace talked about a program JVP has sponsored for a number of years to counter an ADL program. The ADL brings Israeli police to the US and US police to Israel for training. JVP believes they learn the worst practices of both forces from each other. US police learn to treat all minorities as potential terrorists. The JVP calls this program the “Deadly Exchange” and has worked to combat the program. Several years ago it picketed the ADL office in Hamden over this issue.

Parts of the program can be seen on TheStruggleVideo.org.

Campaign to Replace Off-Road Gas Engines

by Stanley Heller, Promoting Enduring Peace

Do you enjoy the smell of leaf blowers or lawnmowers in the afternoon? How about the sound which can equal the decibels at close range of jackhammers? If you don’t like it, think about the lawncare worker who has to put up with it for 6 or 8 hours a day.

Promoting Enduring Peace is working to get these machines replaced with electric versions. The two biggest reasons are their greenhouse gas emissions and the danger to the workers. The typical leaf blower uses a two-stroke engine and unlike an auto or truck has nothing on it to limit pollution. In 2011 the car company did a study and found that the “hydrocarbon emissions from a half-hour of yard work with the two-stroke leaf blower are about the same as a 3,900-mile drive from Texas to Alaska in a [Ford-150] Raptor.” Sounds crazy, but it hasn’t been refuted.

The biggest danger is to lawncare workers. They breathe in aerosolized fuel and other pollutants for hours a day, greatly increasing their chances of getting cancer. Most wear sound-protecting ear gear, but it’s unclear the amount of protection they give. The second danger is less immediate, but affects all of us, the carbon dioxide these machines send into the air. A study in 2015 by the EPA found that 4% of the CO2 the US sends off each year comes from these machines.

Electric-powered lawn equipment has been getting better and more powerful and can do the work of the fossil fuel-powered machines. We need legislators to propose measures to deal with the transition. It’s been done in California. The sale of off-road gas engines will be illegal there in 2024. There are local efforts in Stamford, New Haven and Hamden to ban the leaf blowers, but we need to think bigger.

One thing that could be done is to give away free electric-powered machines in exchange for the gas-powered relics. Rebates and incentives are part of the law about these engines in California.

To help out with this effort contact Stanley.Heller@pepeace.org.

Tribute to Art Perlo

by Barbara Vereen, UNITE-HERE

On Dec. 11, New Haven organizer and activist Art Perlo was honored at the Connecticut People’s World Amistad Awards. On Dec. 18, after a long battle with cancer, he passed on. The PAR Planning Committee extends our condolences to his wife Joelle Fishman and all their family, friends, and comrades. The following is the tribute given to Art on Dec. 11 at the Amistad Awards. It is excerpted from the presentation by Barbara Vereen, staff director for UNITE-HERE in CT.

Since the inception of our union, the Communist Party has been a part of our growing, doing work in the community. Whether we’re fighting for immigrants’ rights, whether we’re fighting for worker rights, whether we’re organizing in the community in other unions, the Communist Party has been there.

 

I’d like to give a special thanks and acknowledgment to Art Perlo, who, when I first met him, was a part of the Yale Club, and then I was amazed – it was the Yale Club, the Winchester Club, the Harvard Club – everywhere you’d go they would be there.

 

A special recognition for Art Perlo for all the work he has done in the Communist Party and also all the unions here at Yale. One of the things that I have heard over the years is how Art was an M&P [Managerial & Professional classification at Yale], not even a part of the union, but he honored our picket line when we were forming our union. Not only did he honor our picket line, he also helped organize our workers so that we could become our union.

 

He sat on our first executive board and he wasn’t even a union member. Now Art sits on YURA, our retirement board for our retirees at Yale. I have to thank him for all the wisdom and knowledge he has bestowed upon me personally but also always being willing to give and educate people on the movement.

 

So, Art, I hope you get well, a speedy recovery.

Joelle and Edie, we love you!

For more about Art:

Art Perlo, Ward 24 co-chair and executive board member of the Yale Unions Retirees Association, passed away on Dec. 18 after a year-long battle with bladder cancer.   Art Perlo, 74 | New Haven Independent

Kensington Playground Holiday Celebration and Update

by Jane Comins, Friends of Kensington Playground

On Sunday afternoon, Dec. 12, 2021, Friends of Kensington Playground (FOKP) hosted a festive Holiday Celebration in Kensington Playground (KP). Kids, families, and neighbors gathered around a Christmas tree to drink hot chocolate, eat delicious cookies and clementines, create holiday ornaments, and decorate the tree. Kids chose free books compliments of New Haven Reads. At 4 p.m. when we turned on the lights, the park was filled with song as Tangled Up In Blue, Yale’s folk music group, led a carol sing. It was heartwarming to see so many residents using the playground.

FOKP thanks Dunkin Donuts at 1137 Chapel, Edge of the Woods Market, Four Flours Bakery, and New Haven Reads for their donations, and Tangled Up In Blue. We’d also like to thank students from Hillhouse High School. They helped children make ornaments and drew a beautiful Rudolf on the sidewalk in chalk.

The court rejected The Community Builders’ (TCB) latest motion to intervene as a party in the lawsuit, a victory for us. Our lawsuit is about the lack of democratic process by the City in deciding to give away our neighborhood’s only public playground.

The Park Commission tabled our motion to create a pro-playground policy, presented back in July. They continue to break the law by not posting minutes of their meetings.

We have asked the New Haven Public Schools to donate a playscape to Kensington Playground. They own one at the now-closed Strong School on Orchard Street. It appears to be abandoned and is covered with graffiti. If they are willing, we would then ask the Parks Department to move it to Kensington Playground and paint it.

We owe our lawyer $925. We would be grateful for contributions in any amount.

To get involved, donate, and sign our petition, please visit our website: KensingtonPlayground.org

Protecting Dwight’s only playground from sale and development is costly. Take a stand for democracy. Fight environmental injustice. Require our City, State and federal governments to follow the law.

Happy New Year!

People’s Action for Clean Energy News

Dear Friend,

We hope that you and your family remain well in these challenging times. While 2021 has been difficult on many fronts, there is also cause for hope. Our national leaders understand the urgency of the climate crisis and are now making historic investments in clean energy and resiliency. There is no turning back from this realization, and we must now apply this sense of urgency to rebuild our economy cleanly, efficiently and equitably.

2021 has been a watershed year for PACE. For the first time ever, we have a full-time employee, and we are thrilled to introduce to you Deb Roe, our new Program Manager. Deb joined us from her role as Executive Director of Northeast Storytelling and brings a wealth of experience, insights and energy to the team!

PACE’s core mission remains working with towns across the state to help them understand their energy usage and transition to 100% clean renewable energy. To this end, over the past year we have:

  • Conducted “HeatSmart” campaigns to promote energy efficiency and heat pumps in the towns of Branford, Guilford, Middletown, Bethel, and, soon West Hartford,
  • Completed a groundbreaking project to quantify the potential of solar energy on parking lots in the state and PACE is now working with Branford on a solar canopy campaign,
  • Published a Clean Energy Handbook for local clean energy advocates,
  • Built and analyzed unique databases of all buildings and vehicles in the state,
  • Enhanced the PACE energy model and created analyses for the towns of Brookfield and Stonington (a service we offer at no cost to any interested town),
  • Conducted six virtual gatherings of the CT Energy Network (along with Clean Water Action) on topics ranging from solar canopies and all-electric homes and cars to municipal leadership, DEEP and the future of renewable energy tariffs.

Please help us to engage your town with our programs; as residents you play a valuable role in connecting PACE’s 100PercentCT program to your town.

Thank you,

Mark Scully, President and Bernie Pelletier, Vice President
PACE. PO Box 134, West Simsbury, CT 06092
Email: PACE4CT@gmail.com
Phone: (917) 843-7214, pacecleanenergy.org

2022 Organic Vegetable Gardening Series

Junyi Wang, Communications Specialist, Neighborhood Housing Services

Are you or a loved one a gardener who can’t wait for the ground to thaw? Prepare for Spring with our 6-class organic vegetable gardening series taught by Advanced Certified Master Gardener Rachel Ziesk! All classes are virtual and take place on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

For many New Haven residents, food security is elusive. We like to do our part in helping neighbors grow fresh, healthy organic produce, in soil that’s been tested for lead and other contaminants. That’s why every year we offer this series for free to New Haven community gardeners, and we offer a help-a-neighbor rate for those who would like to help us make additional scholarships available.

February 12: Soils and Composting – The most important component for a successful garden is soil health. Learn how to make your own compost and everything else you need to keep your soil healthy for the most productive garden.

February 19: Garden Planning & Season Extenders – Ensure a long and productive growing year with row covers, organ-ic mulch, cold frames and more! Get the most out of even a small garden space.

February 26: Cool Weather Crops – Start your garden as soon as the soil thaws, even in mid-March! This class covers how and when to plant cool weather crops and manage their pests and diseases.

March 5: Warm Weather Crops – Learn how to make the best of our growing season including which warm-weather crops are best started indoors, which can be direct-seeded, what conditions and fertilizers each crop prefers and how to fight their pests and diseases organically.

March 12: Seed Starting – Start your own seedlings! Learn about when to start indoor seedlings, watering, using lights, and dealing with common problems. We will also review which crops can be planted directly outdoors and when.

March 19: Essential Flowers & Herbs for Vegetable Gardens — Flowers and herbs attract pollinators and beneficial insects to help keep your garden healthy and productive. Learn about the best flowers and herbs for your garden, how to plant them and the conditions they need to help you in your garden. Register at Virtual Gardening Series 2022, NHS of New Haven Tickets, Multiple Dates | Eventbrite

Any questions? Contact Kathy Fay, (203) 562-0598 ext. 225, kfay@nhsofnewhaven.org.

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