Community Sustainability & Free Organic Vegetable Gardening Virtual Workshops

by Tebben Lopez, Neighborhood Housing Services

Considering the circumstances we are in and the exacerbated concerns around food security, we are offering this year’s classes free of charge for everyone. The series will be virtual to ensure everyone’s safety.

Are you or a loved one a gardener who can’t wait for the ground to thaw? Prepare for Spring with our last two classes in our 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.

March 6: 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 13: Weeds: the Good, the Bad, and the Tasty – Some “weeds” are actually native wildflowers benefitting your vegetable garden’s pollinators. Some are invasive horrors with plans to take over your garden. And some are edible, delicious little morsels that can be harvested and enjoyed.
For more information, please contact Kathy Fay, (203) 562-0598 ext. 225, kfay@nhsofnewhaven.org.

Support a Fossil Fuel Power Plant Moratorium to Protect Our Health and Climate

by Melinda Tuhus, climate justice activist

Climate activists around the state are prioritizing a bill (SB 718) in this year’s General Assembly session that would create a moratorium on fossil fuel power plant construction, with an eye specifically to stopping a fracked gas power plant to be built in Killingly, which is nearing final approval by the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

In a conversation with climate activists on Feb. 17, the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Christine Cohen, said she was frustrated that, despite a full-court press by those advocates to get a public hearing on the bill in the Energy & Technology Committee, that didn’t happen. She said it might still happen through another bill or possibly by creating some studies to enable the state to take action to stop Killingly, for which the owners of the plant, NTE, have signed a contract with ISO-New England, the regional grid operator. Gov. Ned Lamont says he doesn’t want the plant but that he is stuck with this agreement forged by his predecessor, Dannel Malloy, who was a huge proponent of gas. ISO-NE, on the other hand, says that states always have the final say on siting energy infrastructure.

There are many reasons why the plant shouldn’t be built. Connecticut’s Global Warming Solutions Act, in line with the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change science, requires that greenhouse gas emissions in our state must be reduced below 2001 levels by 45% by 2030, and 80% by 2050. To achieve these mandated reductions, Connecticut must stop building new fossil fuel infrastructure, including power plants and pipelines.

Connecticut doesn’t need more dirty energy. Analysis from EIA (US Energy Information Agency) shows Connecticut has been a net energy exporter for a decade.1 Analysis by Synapse Energy shows that a significant surplus of electric capacity exists, and is projected to exist, in New England.2 And DEEP’s Draft Integrated Resources Plan (IRP) says that “Connecticut now hosts a disproportionate share of the region’s fossil-fueled generation”3

To meet our climate goals, including Governor Lamont’s Executive Order 3 calling for 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040, we must build clean energy capacity while retiring dirty energy, not building more dirty power. Acadia Center calculated that by 2030 Connecticut and New England would experience a net gain in employment under a No New Gas scenario.4

Finally, fossil fuel generation causes poor air quality and inequitable health outcomes, as these facilities are most often placed in low-income and/or people of color neighborhoods. Killingly ranks well below the state average in income and already has an operating fracked gas power plant.

Take action! Contact the co-chairs of the Energy & Technology Committee and urge them to incorporate the basics of SB 718 in another bill so it has a chance to be voted on. That’s Sen. Norm Needleman (norm.needleman@cga.ct.gov) and Rep. David Arconti (david.arconti@cga.ct.gov).

Footnotes
1. https://www.eia.gov/state/analysis.php?sid=CT
2. https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/CSC/1_Dockets-medialibrary/Docket_470B/Prefiled_exhibits/grouped/DO470B20190411NAPPSCTestimonyFaganGlickpdf.pdf
3. https://www.google.com/url?q=https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/DEEP/energy/IRP/2020-IRP/2020-CT-DEEP-Draft-Integrated-Resources-Plan-in-Accordance-with-CGS-16a-3a.pdf&sa=D&source=editors&ust=1612307098281000&usg=AOvVaw15H4cjW5Hp_vcg_qIRhWGz
4. https://362kp444oe5xj84kkwjq322g-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Acadia_Center_Decline_of_Gas_Brief.pdf

New Haven Climate Movement Activities

by Chris Schweitzer, New Haven Climate Movement

Rock to Rock Earth Day Ride 2021: We’re excited to share that Rock to Rock is moving ahead for this spring. We are already working with over 15 partner organizations to take real action in response to the climate emergency and raise critical support for local environmental organizations while respecting public health guidance. Register now at https://www.rocktorock.org.

Sign petition to support New Haven Climate Justice and Green Jobs Fund of $1.1 million that would go annually to staff and other expenses related to clean energy jobs creation, energy efficiency, outreach/education/programs (to save families money and create jobs), increased climate education, and transportation improvement (to reduce air pollution and help people get to work/school). https://www.newhavenclimatemovement.org/climate-justice-gj-fund.

URI Seeks Requests for Free Street Trees in New Haven

Now is the time to request a free street tree for your home!  Thanks to a partnership between the City of New Haven and the Urban Resources Initiative, you can request a tree to be planted for free, as long as you commit to watering the tree to ensure it survives. Planting a tree not only helps to shade, beautify, and add value to your home and the street, but it also provides paid work experience to adults with barriers to employment. URI’s tree experts will work with you to plant a tree that thrives at your location and fits your interests.

The spring planting season is only a few weeks away, so request your tree today! New Haven properties only. To make a request, visit https://uri.yale.edu/get-involved/request-free-tree. For more information, contact: uri@yale.edu or (203) 432-6189.

Mapping Inequality Project: EPA Environmental Justice and Systemic Racism Speaker Series

EPA is launching the Environmental Justice (EJ) and Systemic Racism Speaker Series. The first session March 4, 12 – 1 p.m., will highlight The Mapping Inequality Project, a unique collaboration on redlining and current environmental challenges that provides publicly-accessible digitized versions of redlining maps for about 200 cities. This project has generated trailblazing work in the area of EJ and systemic racism. Two of its founders discuss the genesis, philosophy, methodology, and impact of this game-changing project.

Speakers will be Dr. Robert Nelson, Director, Digital Scholarship Laboratory, University of Richmond and Dr. LaDale Winling, Associate Professor of History, Virginia Tech. Moderator is Charles Lee, Senior Policy Advisor for Environmental Justice, EPA.

Register Here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-mapping-inequality-project-tickets-136940963107

The Environmental Justice and Systemic Racism Speaker Series will illustrate how addressing systemic racism is highly relevant to EPA’s mission. This series explores how understanding and addressing systemic racism and the roots of disproportionate environmental and public health impacts is key to integrating EJ in the policies and programs of EPA and other environmental agencies to achieve environmental protection for all people.

The first five sessions will focus on redlining and current environmental challenges. Future topics will include Title VI and civil rights program, EJ research and analysis, rural inequities, and others. Suggestions are welcomed. Registration information for each session forthcoming.

For more information, please contact Charles Lee (lee.charles@epa.gov) or Sabrina Johnson (johnson.sabrina@epa.gov).
For up-to-date information about Environmental Justice funding opportunities, events, and webinars, subscribe to EPA’s Environmental Justice listserv by sending a blank email to: join-epa-ej@lists.epa.gov.

Connecticut Green Energy News No. 206, Feb. 19, 2012

News and events for advocates of clean energy, energy efficiency, and climate action at the state and local levels, focusing on Connecticut. Brought to you by People’s Action for Clean Energy (PACE) and Eastern CT Green Action (ECGA). To subscribe, contact Peter Millman at peter.millman7@gmail.com.

More information is at https://www.pacecleanenergy.org

Five takeaways from Connecticut’s new residential solar program changes

Energy News Network. “After years of debate over reforming the state’s solar program, stakeholders widely praised the new rules released last week. Connecticut utility regulators have reconfigured the state’s residential solar program in an effort to ensure its growth and drive innovation.” Plus: PURA Establishes New Residential Renewable Energy Program (FAQs from PURA)

Could rolling blackouts happen in New England?

NHPR. “I think the biggest single issue is that winter is normal in New Hampshire and across the Northeast. We are used to seeing these types of intense winter storms and multiple low-degree days. The problem in Texas is, that’s not normal there. This is a once-in-fifty, one-in-one-hundred-years type of event. And given that, the overall energy infrastructure system has not been developed and constructed with this type of severe weather in mind.”

Amid unprecedented storm damage, Eversource’s 2020 profits rise to $1.21B

Hartford Business Journal. “Eversource said a lower effec-tive tax rate also benefited its fourth-quarter bottom line.”

Lamont defends environmental, transportation agenda

CT News Junkie. “Lamont dismissed as “nonsense” the idea that drivers and truckers may avoid Connecticut roadways in an effort to avoid new user fees or high gas prices. He said drivers would need to travel through states with even higher fees to avoid Connecticut. You’re paying for that the whole way up the East Coast, it’s only when you get to Connecticut that everybody gets a free ride except for the poor taxpayers of our state,” he said.” Plus: Connecticut Gov. Lamont unveils environmental priorities amid dispute over impact on gasoline prices

As Boston gets on board, community power compacts gain steam

22 News WWLP.com. “…the program is part of the city’s commitment to environmental justice and one of its goals is to make renewable energy more accessible to residents who are socially vulnerable and have likely been disproportionately impacted by climate change…With a lot of aggregation programs we’re seeing them go five percentage points, 10 percentage points, much higher beyond that standard to procure more green electricity for their consumers. And that’s, from a local level, probably one of the most if not the most impactful ways to reduce emissions if you’re trying to meet climate goals.”

March 5, 6 and 13 NOFA 2021 Connecticut and Rhode Island Winter Conference

This year the Northeast Organic Farming Association is offering over 25 food and farming workshops (March 6 & 13), a keynote address by Karen Washington of Rise and Root Farm (March 5), the 3rd Annual Bill Duesing Organic Living on the Earth Award, a virtual silent auction with prizes including private horse riding lessons, a rustic beach getaway on Block Island – and much more!

Workshop offerings include: Intensify, Diversify, Perennialize: How to Profitably Incorporate Perennial Crops with Connor Stedman; Goat Ownership and Management 101 with Grace Toy; Domestic Seaweed Supply Chains: Opportunities and Challenges with Dawn Kotowicz and Sam Garwin; Emergency Ag Preparedness for Farmers with Joan Nichols; How to Begin Growing Organic in Urban Spaces: A Success Story with Emmanuel Marte and Josephine Joiner; Organic Disease Control with Yonghao Li; Building Soil Carbon for our Gardens/Farms, Health, and World with Julie Rawson & Jack Kittredge; Compost Production Virtual Tour: High-Quality Compost with Jayne Senecal; And many more!

https://newmilfordfarmlandpres.org/ct-nofa-2021-winter-conference-march-56-and-13

Community Sustainability/ Free Organic Vegetable Gardening Virtual Workshops

by Tebben Lopez, Neighborhood Housing Services

Considering the circumstances we are in and the exacerbated concerns around food security, we are offering this year’s classes free of charge for everyone. The series will be virtual to ensure everyone’s safety.

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.

February 6: 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 13: Garden Planning & Season Extenders – Ensure a long and productive growing year with row covers, organic mulch, cold frames and more! Get the most out of even a small garden space.

February 20: 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.

February 27: 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 6: 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 13: Weeds: the Good, the Bad, and the Tasty – Some “weeds” are actually native wildflowers benefitting your vegetable garden’s pollinators. Some are invasive horrors with plans to take over your garden. And some are edible, delicious little morsels that can be harvested and enjoyed.
For more information, please contact Kathy Fay, (203) 562-0598 ext. 225, kfay@nhsofnewhaven.org.

No More Jail Time for Nuclear Resister Mark Colville

by Stanley Heller, Administrator, Promoting Enduring Peace

The last of the Kings Bay Plowshare 7, New Haven’s Mark Colville, is slated to be sentenced Feb. 19. One of the other 7 has received 33 months in prison. Promoting Enduring Peace has started an online petition asking that Colville get no more jail time. The link is below, and the text of the petition is below that. It will be featured on the home page of PEPeace.org. https://www.change.org/p/judge-lisa-godbey-wood-no-more-jail-time-for-nuclear-resister-mark-colville

Petition Text

In view of the treaty that bans nuclear weapons possession, we call on Judge Lisa Godbey Wood to sentence Mark Colville to “time served” for his act of conscience.

Mark Colville and plaque with Kings Bay Plowshares 7 blood

On April 4, 2018, Mark Colville and 6 others entered the Kings Bay nuclear sub base in Georgia and purposely damaged a plaque on a wall and a model of a Trident nuclear-armed submarine. They felt they had to do something to alert the world about the paths being taken towards nuclear war. Indeed the U.S. has undertaken a $10 trillion modernization program of those weapons and has renounced arms control treaties. On Jan. 22, 2021, a treaty went into effect banning possession of nuclear weapons. 50 nations have signed it though the U.S. government has not done so. In view of the rising chance of nuclear war and the wave of worldwide revulsion against nuclear weapons we call for Colville’s sentence to be the 15 months of imprisonment that already has been “time served”.

The nuclear sword hangs over us all as the Doomsday Clock is only 100 seconds from midnight. We learned from Nancy Pelosi’s call to the head of the Joint Chiefs that any U.S. president (no matter how unbalanced) can order a nuclear strike at any time. We hope this petition will help spur more anti-nuclear weapon work and a new look at the idea of “No First Strike.”

Take Action for Safe Streets in CT

As part of the 2021 legislative session, H.B. No. 5429 has been introduced by the Transportation Committee and there was a public hearing Wednesday, January 27.

facebook.com/newhavenclimatechangemovement/photos.

What is H.B. No. 5429? This is an act concerning:

  • Pedestrian safety
  • Vision zero council
  • Speed limits in municipalities
  • Fines and charges for certain violations
  • The greenways commemorative account
  • Maintenance work zone and school zone safety enforcement

Go to http://cga.gov/asp/cgabillstatus for more information about this bill. Please share with your networks, call your reps and senators in support. Thank you for taking action!

Climate, Covid, Capitalism: Connections and Context for the Next Stage of the Fight 2 p.m. Sunday Jan. 24, 2021

350 CT Fights for Climate Justice webinar

 

The fight to end the climate crisis cannot be viewed in isolation from the other major crises through which we are living. The same capitalist policy, and practice that have led us to the climate abyss have also unleashed a world of pandemics and economic hardship for the majority of the planet. All of these crises are are deepened by white supremacy. Come to discuss the context in which we must carry out the struggle for the emergency transition that can save us from an uninhabitable planet.

Panelists include:

Jeremy Brecher, author of “Strike: Commentaries on Solidarity and Survival,” a blog that can be found on the website of the Labor Network for Sustainability: Making a Living on a Living Planet.

Justin Farmer, a former candidate for CT State Senate whose Black Liberation Agenda and stance for ecojustice brought the issues of climate and racism to the fore.

Gregg Gonsalves, an epidemiologist at Yale, who worked for 30 year on HIV/AIDS and other global health issues with the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power and other organizations.

Elizabeth Henderson, Co-Chair Policy Committee, NY Northeast Organic Farming Association and advocate for an emergency agricultural Green New Deal.

Ben Martin, a leader of 350 CT and the CT Climate Crisis Mobilization who began his work as part of the DC direct action against the Keystone XL pipeline in 2011.

Rob Wallace, University of Minnesota,, author of Big Farms Make Big Flu: Dispatches on Influenza, Agribusiness, and the Nature of Science (2016).

Sponsored by the CT Climate Crisis Mobilization and 350CT

Jan 24, 2021 02:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

 

Para obtener más información o para pedir traducción al español
Email: contact@350CT.org; Call: (203) 350-3508

Help the Progressive Community. Become an Active Part of the PAR Newsletter Team!

To Our Readers:

The Progressive Action Roundtable is looking for someone who knows how to write clearly and has a good command of spelling and grammar. This person must also be interested in talking to local organizers about their groups and plans, and writing a couple of short articles (of approximately 300 words) for the monthly PAR newsletter. A small stipend will be available.

In addition, we would like more of our readers to become involved in working on the newsletter. We want to expand our Planning Committee and Production Team. Enhancement of our Facebook presence is also needed. Would you like to gather articles about local activities? Can you help with graphics? Are you a good proofreader?

If you’re interested in helping the PAR newsletter provide news about New Haven-area activism, please send an e-mail to parnewhaven@hotmail.org and let us know what you’re able to do to keep PAR promoting the work of the many wonderful progressive organizations in the New Haven area.

Thank you!

Students Rally For Green Jobs, Climate Justice

Courtney Luciana, NH Independent, Dec. 16, 2020

High school climate-change activists called on the city Wednesday afternoon to create a $1 million New Haven Climate Justice and Green Jobs Fund.

Courtney Luciana Photo
Climate Health Education Project (CHEP) high school interns.

The activists, interns with the Climate Health Education Project (CHEP), made that call in a press event held on the steps of the Elm Street courthouse.

The fund would hire staffers for clean-energy jobs, energy-efficiency education campaigns, “support neighborhood resiliency and greening programs,” and “fund increased climate justice education.”

“Connecticut is already being affected by climate change. The sea level in Connecticut is rising and the storms are becoming more severe,” Hopkins School sophomore Natalie Card (at right in above photo) said at the rally. “Extremely heavy storms have increased sea level by 70 percent since 1958 and will continue to keep rising.”

Students at the rally read aloud both personal and online posts from all around the world about climate change.

Read the whole article at https://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/sstudent_climate_change_rally

No Auction for Plum Island! Now for the Next Steps!

Save the Sound

Monday, Dec. 21, Congress passed a federal budget package that repeals the auction of the island. Now the path is finally open for permanent protection of this unique place and its critical habitats, endangered wildlife, and cultural history.

This wouldn’t have happened without the leadership of our partners in Congress. The entire New York and Connecticut delegations have worked tirelessly, and on this latest effort, we especially owe gratitude to Senators Schumer, Murphy, and Blumenthal, and Congressmen and -women Zeldin, DeLauro, Lowey, and Courtney.

And it also couldn’t have happened without the immense support and consistent action from all of you. If you ever emailed your senator or representative, signed a petition, supported Save the Sound’s advocates with your membership dollars, or joined a Plunge or Paddle for Plum Island, you helped make today’s victory happen.

Now the next steps—finding the right long-term owner for this special place and implementing the Envision Plum Island plan—can begin. We can’t wait to work with you to ensure Plum Island stays in the public’s hands forever.

For questions about Plum Island, contact Louise Harrison (in NY) – lharrison@savethesound.org, and Chris Cryder (in CT) – ccryder@savethesound.org.

Grants Available for Environmental Projects

Lynne Bonnett, President, Greater New Haven Green Fund

The Greater New Haven Green Fund requests proposals for grants up to $10,000 for 2021. Community groups are encouraged to apply whether or not they have a non-profit status with the Internal Revenue Service.  Please check our website www.gnhgreenfund.org for the step-by-step guide to our online application followed by information you will need to complete it. It is due Friday, January 22, by 5 p.m.

If you have any questions or concerns after reviewing the information please contact info@gnhgreenfund.org.

Kensington Playground: The Fight Is Not Over! Donations Needed to Support Legal Fight to Keep Playground from Being Sold

by Jane Comins, Friends of Kensington Playground

Friends of Kensington Playground is seeking donations to support our legal fight against the construction of housing and a parking lot on our largest public parkland.

The group is fighting the sale of Dwight’s Kensington Playground to The Community Builders for $1, which was approved by the New Haven Board of Alders in October so that 15 units of affordable rental housing and a surface parking lot can be built on the parkland.

The Friends group filed a complaint against the City of New Haven in Connecticut State Court. The complaint was based on the Connecticut Environmental Protection Act and Conn. Gen. Stat. §7-131n, known as the Park Replacement Statute, which requires that when a municipality takes park or open space land for other purposes, it must be replaced with parkland of equal size and value. §7-131n also requires a dedicated public hearing on the subject.

In addition, The Friends are also pursuing historic preservation and environmental issues under federal law because the playground is in the heart of the Dwight Street National Historic District and federal monies are being used by The Community Builders in the construction of the apartment building. The Friends asked the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to review the proposed sale. The Hartford HUD Office has directed the City of New Haven Office of Management and Budget to consider the matter.

While the Friends understand that there is a need for affordable housing, we believe there is no reason to take our parkland for it. Loss of the mature trees in the Playground will hurt our air quality. Adults as well as children enjoy this outdoor space. The non-profit developer receiving the gift of this land has had a poor track record for decades.

The group is appealing to the community for donations to our GoFundMe Campaign to Save Kensington Playground to help with legal costs, and if they win, with a playscape. GoFundMe campaign link is: https://gf.me/u/y89852 or search for “Save Kensington Playground” on GoFundMe.com.

See www.KensingtonPlayground.org for additional details, and to sign our petition.

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