AOC speaks to us from the future about the green movement that changed everything

AOC speaks to us from the future

.@AOC speaks to us from the future and tells about the movement she helped start that gave us back a future of hope, equity and a livable plant

Bill Maher guest talks about Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s excellent training

Bill Maher guests
Bill Maher guests

If you’re still wondering whether Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) is worth putting time into, here’s another testimony to mull over. On Bill Maher’s RealTime, guest Bradley Whitford talks about the high quality training CCL offers to teach Americans how to talk about climate change with Republicans. Because climate change needs to be a lobbying priority and conversations about it must take place on both sides of the aisle.

Trump shut down NPS for climate change tweets but can’t block new unofficial Twitter account

@AltNatParkSer
Over at the Palmer Report, Bill Palmer tells us the way National Park employees found to stand up to Trump, who is blocking federal employees from commenting on climate change to the extent that he has issued a gag order to prevent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from mentioning it and has deleted tweets made by the National Park Service (NPS) and even suspended the Twitter account of one park account that tweeted about climate change. An anonymous group of individuals has created an unofficial Twitter account for park and climate change news that Trump can’t touch.

The anonymous Park Service account is @AltNatParkSer, which bills itself as The Unofficial “Resistance” team of U.S. National Park Service. Not taxpayer subsidised!

Here are the details of what happened:

In his first days in office, Donald Trump has made a point of censoring and restricting what the National Park Service can and cannot say on its various official Twitter accounts. After the NPS tweeted photos of Trump’s small inauguration crowd, he temporarily suspended its Twitter privileges. And when the Badlands tweeted about climate change today, those tweets were then deleted. But now some unnamed individuals within the National Park Service have created an unofficial Twitter account that Trump can’t touch.

Trump doesn’t have the ability to shut down a Twitter account, or to suspend it from being usable; only Twitter the company would be able to do that. Instead he’s been sabotaging the National Park Service Twitter accounts by presumably threatening to fire people if they dare to tweet things he doesn’t like, or if they tweet during times when he’s put them in the penalty box. But he can only do that if he knows who’s tweeting. read more

The Passaic River Garden is open and the community is invited to enjoy

Passaic River Garden-2A team of members from the North Jersey Clergy Fellowship CDC, Everlasting Life Foundation Ministry, Tierra Madres, Muture Sisters and the Bergen Community College NAACP have been working with Ivan Wei and next-door neighbors the Rodriguez family to create the Passaic River Garden at 108 E. Holsman Street in Paterson.

Cleanups have been done, some raised beds are made and planted, and the community is welcome to come by and enjoy sitting or helping in the garden and learning about urban growing. Soon, we’ll set up collection times for vegetable scraps to be brought by and donated to our compost area and we’ll invite the community to celebrate the garden’s creation with us.

This community garden features milkweed to feed and protect butterflies supplied by Monarch Watch, vegetables and raspberry bushes planted in square 4’x4′ raised beds and in 8’x2′ beds specially designed for vertical growing along an existing fence. We are completing the grapevine arbor which will provide both edible fruit and a pleasantly shaded spot for sitting under. And, we have water donated by the Rodriguez family as well as a 250 gallon tank for backup.

We thank City Green and the Passaic County Freeholders for helping to fund the garden and members of St. Augustine Presbyterian Church of Paterson for their continuing enthusiastic support and encouragement.

Here are some before and during construction fotos. Later today we’ll post more: our sign hung on site, planted boxes and pix of how the arbor and benches are coming along.

If you have questions or would like to help or support the garden in any way please contact Ivan Wei 201-688-0036 or email Tierra Madres.

Garden planting

Blessing of the Garden

Removing tree from fence

This year’s NJ Urban Mayor’s Conf on 5/5 features Urban Ag – public is invited to attend, free

Urban Ag Mayor's Conf bannerThe NJ Urban Mayors Association (NJUMA) will convene the 2016 Urban Agriculture as an Economic Development Tool Conference in Trenton, NJ this coming Thursday on May 5. The event is open to the public and is free, but we ask that you register.

Municipalities and partners across the state will be introduced to the economic possibilities that exist through urban agriculture. Participants will gather and demonstrate their commitment to the shared goals of creating jobs, growing our economy and improving our quality of life.

This conference is intentionally designed to attract and facilitate interaction, learning, and information exchange among a diverse group of stakeholders in New Jersey’s urban and rural economic development future.

Urban Agriculture as an Eco-Dev Tool Conference:
Sponsored by The NJ Urban Mayors Association
Thurs 05 May 2016 8a-5p
The War Memorial
1 Memorial Drive, Trenton, NJ 08608
Cost: free

Register, see the agenda and get other information here.

Kimi Wei and Ivan Wei have had the pleasure of helping to plan this conference and The Wei will be an event tabler.

Became a beekeeper, got stung a lot, definitely need a bee jacket & a lesson in how to work my smoker

NUCs have arrived 160422
150 NUCs on that truck and two of them are mine!

Became a beekeeper when I received 2 NUCs (5 frames) of bees at 8:20 on 22 April 2016. Got the first sting on my pinky around 8:45 – I must have been pressing on one of the little critters. By 9:15 I’d been stung 6 more times: upper arm four times plus under my shirt AND under my skirt.

Oops! forgot I shouldn’t be wearing a skirt while beekeping, but I was on my way to a Passover celebration and was dressed for the occasion. When I stopped by at home to pick something up, I heard a buzzing sound near my head and said to myself – you see, you’re so freaked out by the experience of situating your bees in the dark of night all by yourself and getting stung that now you’re imagining there are bees buzzing around your head. But then I caught a glimpse in the bathroom mirror of a bee sitting all pretty and relaxed, right on my shirt collar and the next day I found another trying valiantly to work her way out of our screened-in kitchen window. So the buzzing was bees, and not my imagination. I ended up bringing another bee with me to the seder table – found her on my hand.

Well, no lasting harm done. Bees are installed and I’m still relatively OK. These are the conclusions I can share about my first experience with beekeeping:

Bees don’t like being locked up in trunks so don’t leave them there too long. By the time I took the 2nd crew out, they were mad. Later, I found out that it’s important to orient NUCs to the same direction you’re traveling in so the frames don’t crash together when you accelerate or slow down, and I didn’t do that. Aside from being overheated, the poor guys must have gone crazy dodging death and trying to protect the queen all the time I was crashing them around while admittedly driving a little distractedly: being that I was wondering all the time if the bees in my trunk could escape into the car cabin and start flying around in there. With me.

Bees seem to like to hang out on my body. I’ve learned that some bugs do. If this bothers me I better get a suit. I’ve been thinking about that. Have decided that I’m so traumatized over being bitten that I must get a suit, and gloves. And learn to use my smoker.

It’s true that bee stings are worse to contemplate than experience. But gee, having been stung several times now in under an hour I can tell you that contemplating the next sting coming in a series is a bit disconcerting. After being stung, I did flap my hands around and do some little dances to wave the critters away from me … all the while reminding myself that this behaviour would probably be scaring those guys silly and maybe inciting them to more stings – and that I should stop being such a girl. My advise to self helped calm me down, a little bit. So much for the zen of beekeeping.

The bee under my skirt was plain old scary! Even though I knew once she had stung my belly she couldn’t do any more harm, I just didn’t want her there and crushed her dying body with my fingers through the fabric of my skirt. Poor us.

I was so glad my transport boxes had plugs I could pull out instead of the alternative – which is a little flap I would have had to play around with. Pulling the plug made it possible for me to walk quickly away after putting the box down near the hive and that’s all I wanted to do.

By a strange twist of fate, this 55 year old woman had ended up welcoming the bees and stings all by myself in the dark of night so that my two 20-something sons could arrive on time for our seder. With the wry sense of humour God likes to show me, our shipment of bees would naturally arrive on the Sabbath on the first night of Passover. Despite my unique journey, I managed to join the table not too late … about half an hour after our friends’ Hagadah reading began at 9pm.

Thanks NENJ team for getting me dispatched with my new charges as quickly as possible so I could buzz off to my adventure, and then my seder – y ou guys rock. Also thanks Rich Schluger for your tip to scrape immediately at the site of a sting to reduce venom penetration and discourage more bees from stinging there. This helped, although my 4-bite upper arm site became infected with 2 stingers I must have broken off and I ended up pretty sick for a couple of days.

Like I said, no lasting harm done but I definitely need a suit … and gloves …

Don’t let the door smack you too hard on the way out, Traitor Duncan

Arne Duncan cartoon
Caricature Credit: DonkeyHotey

Good news today for people who care about students and the state of public education in America. As HuffPost put it: Arne Duncan Resigns Amid Legacy-Threatening Student Debt Crisis. And this summer, the Center for Media and Democracy wrote this about Duncan’s failed initiative to replace public schools with charters: Charter Program Expansion Looms Despite Probes into Mismanagement and Closed Schools.

Developer-owned charter schools are publicly funded but managed privately, without the obligation to provide any public accountability for either their teaching methods or financial expenditures. Not surprising that they’re a virtual breeding ground for a level of corruption so exaggerated that it turned GW Bush’s former Assistant Secretary of Education, Diane Ravitch, into one of the country’s leading public education advocates.

The shockwaves of public education destruction and suffocating college student debt, has emanated out around the country from the Chicago hub where Arne Duncan and Rahm Emanuel kicked it off and from the White House where Duncan somehow came to roost as Education Secretary. How many times have I – and countless other social justice advocates – prayed that some real information about the horrific abyss into which American education has been shoved, would get through to our President and jolt him awake from the slumber into which his close relationship with Duncan lulled him: Duncan, the Judas who betrayed the trust of his friend and leader along with the values of the American public, all in one go. May the man’s soul be awarded whatever fate it deserves.

Al Gore
Photo Credit: Charu Gulati @teachgulati

It cannot be purely coincidental that this week at Vice President Al Gore’s Climate Reality Training in Miami, a fellow participant told Mr. Gore about the #Dyett15‘s recent 34 day hunger strike to save Chicago’s Dyett High School (achieved) and have it designated as a STEM and green technology school (not achieved). The VP asked, “Wait. Are you saying people held a hunger strike because they wanted so much for a green technology school to be created, and this wasn’t made to happen for them?”

Well yes. In a nutshell, that’s exactly what happened.

Brother Jitu Brown of the Journey 4 Justice Alliance led the education activists in the strike and on about day 20, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel agreed that Dyett would not be shut down – as had been previously announced. The activists additionally also won an “audience” with Arne Duncan. But their second most important demand – the one which motivated the strikers to continue without solid food for another two weeks – was summarily ignored by Duncan, even though it aligns perfectly with the education policy his boss framed and has promoted throughout his years in office. I mean, seriously, what was Duncan thinking?

So, today, President Obama finally announced Duncan’s resignation … and I for one, am really pleased.

ss Al Gore letter about green schools Mr. Gore asked for information about the hunger strikers and as I happen to have spent some time with the Journey 4 Justice and follow its activities, I sent him the letter you see on the right (click to enlarge).

Dawn will shine tomorrow on a brand new day in the saga of American education. I look forward to seeing how Pres. Obama, now that his vision has cleared, will use his remaining time in office to help set public education back onto the solid footing it should always occupy.

Today also marks the day of our country’s first community college shooting at Umpqua College in Oregon. I pray that the injured benefit from rapid and complete recoveries … that the family of victims who became late are comforted by the loving embrace of Our Lord and Creator and that the deceased enjoy a golden peace in the world to come, sitting at God’s right hand.

Duncan caricature by DonkeyHotey

Join the #PeoplesClimateMovement in demanding #climateaction

#PeoplesClimateMovement in demanding #climateactionwe need everyoneI’m joining the #PeoplesClimate Movement on Oct 14 to demand bold #climateaction from our leaders. Will you join me?

#PeoplesClimateMovement
#climateaction