Every day: Eating local helps sustain local farms, protect agricultural land from suburban sprawl, connects us to the land around us, and gets you fresher food. Urban Foodworks has created a great guide to where you can find local food at stores, restaurants, markets,
Every week: The Allegheny Front, Pittsburgh's own environmental radio show, explores myriad topics relevant to the lives of people in our region. Locally, listen Wednesdays at 7 p.m. on WYEP 91.3FM, or listen online any time. The program has spread across the region, now playing on other stations including WIUP, WPSU, and WRFA.
From PASA: With Pennsylvania weighing in as the #3 PUMPKIN growing state in the nation, you'll have no trouble finding one to adorn your stoop! Take time to reflect on October's glorious bounty, tap into your inner-ghoul and visit a local farm to take delight in apples, pumpkins, seasonal squashes and gourds of all kinds!
Be sure not to miss these opportunities to join in the festivities:
Visit the BFBL website to find more pumpkins in your area.
They’re seeking a diversity of people so that everyone can both “reach a hand up for help, and reach a hand down to help others.” At a time when people are economically stressed, All Around’s networking, support and skill-building can help build personal power.
The 1½ hour format allows 30 minutes for goal attainment support; 30 minutes for the Action Time (learning skills through Skill Exchange, getting feedback through Sounding Board, or doing advocacy); 15 minutes for Networking and celebrating accomplishments; and 15 minutes for the After Café social time.
The program begins Monday Dec. 8th, 7:00-8:30 pm , at the Garfield Community Center , 113 N. Pacific Ave. To learn more, visit www.meetup.com/all-around or call 412-363-9792.
You are invited to attend this special workshop for parents, educators and professionals. You will learn how to identify children whose vision restricts learning, how the way children see the world affects their behavior, how to build school performance by enhancing vision, how to perform assessments and tests of vision skills and how and why vision development therapy works.
Dr. Elisa Beck is a developmental optometrist and specializes in working with children and adults with learning related visual issues, natural vision improvement and optometric vision training. She will present this free workshop on Sunday, December 7, 2008, from 1:00-2:30 PM at 4203 Murray Avenue in Pittsburgh, PA. Please RSVP to 412-491-0303.
Juhasz investigates the true state of the U.S. oil industry, uncovering its virtually unparalleled global power, its influence over our elected officials, its lack of regulatory oversight, the truth behind $150-a-barrel oil, $4.50-a-gallon gasoline, and the highest profits in corporate history. Exposing an industry that thrives on secrecy, Juhasz shows how Big Oil manages to hide its business dealings from policy makers, legislators, and most of all, consumers. She reveals exactly how Big Oil gets what it wants--through money, influence, and lies.
* Group B – Users and non-users of Frick Park (ideally, nearby residents) and non-users of the environmental center.
* Group C – Recreational Users including college students and organized groups. (This group is not confined to Frick Park but can include those who use it. These participants will ideally use Frick, Highland, Schenley or Riverview at least once per month).
For more information or to register for the sessions, please contact Laura Cook, Marketing and Communications Coordinator for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, at 412-682-7275 x220.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! Hundreds of shifts to be filled between now and Election Day -- people to call, canvas, distribute door hangers, watch polls, and/or create sidewalk art (like my daughters and I, above). People should come to one of the Obama offices or sign up to volunteer at www.barackobama.com. When you insert your zip code, that should send your offer to the local office.
I'm sending this message to everyone I know -- even those of you not registered to vote in this election, or who are international students, or who are presently out of the country -- in hopes you'll continue forwarding the message to all of your contacts & ask them to do the same.... PLEASE take the following seriously ... and take action in every way you're able.
I have checked it out on the site: http://www.blackboxvoting.org/ an organization devoted to fixing flaws in voting machines.
This information applies to machines used in PENNSYLVANIA & 14 other states.
Black Box Voting is an excellent organization that's trying to keep integrity in our elections. The message below is worth reading, but if you're really busy ...
... the ESSENCE is this: VOTE FOR EACH CANDIDATE -- and do not cast a straight party vote. There is evidence that machines in multiple states have been programmed incorrectly, so that the straight party button may result in the Presidential vote not being counted, or in the Presidential vote being counted on the wrong party ticket .
Please follow the link below, if you want to investigate this and read the following message from its SOURCE. Then, please pass this email on to others!!
WE CAN'T HAVE ANOTHER ELECTION STOLEN FROM THE AMERICAN PEOPLE !!
An email to supporters of the organization Black Box Voting (http://www.blackboxvoting.org/ ) an organization devoted to fixing flaws in voting machines, informed supporters of votes being miscounted or not counted at all when the straight party option was chosen. The text of the email follows, along with a YouTube video:
THE PROBLEM: "Straight party voting" on voting machines is revealing a bad pattern of miscounting and omitting your vote, especially if you are a Democrat. Most recently (Oct. 2008), a firm called Automated Election Services was found to have mis-coded the system in heavily Democratic Santa Fe County, New Mexico such that straight party voters would not have the presidential vote counted.
STRAIGHT PARTY VOTING is allowed in 15 states. Basically, it means that you can take a shortcut to actually looking at who you are voting for and instead just select a party preference. Then the voting machine makes your candidate choices, supposedly for the party you requested.
HOW TO PROTECT THE COUNT against Straight Party Trap:
1) NEVER CHOOSE THE STRAIGHT PARTY VOTE OPTION, because it alerts the computer as to your party preference and allows software code to trigger whatever function the programmer has designed.
2) SEND THIS INFORMATION OUT TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU CAN, blog it, root n' toot it out there to get the word out.
3) ESPECIALLY GET THE WORD OUT TO PEOPLE IN THE FOLLOWING > STATES, which have straight party voting options: Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin
4) DEMAND COMPLETE AND CAREFUL TESTING OF THE STRAIGHT PARTY OPTION IN LOGIC AND ACCURACY TESTS.
5) LOOK FOR UNDERVOTES (high profile races with lower-than-average number of votes cast) and flag them, post them, bring them to the attention of others for additional scrutiny. Details, links to documents, news stories, more specifics can be found here: http://www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages/1954/78367.htmlVoting machine miscounts of straight party votes were proven by California researcher Judy Alter in the 2004 New Mexico presidential election; in Alabama Democrat straight party votes were caught going to a Republican; and in Wisconsin a whole slew of straight party votes disappeared altogether. Both DRE and optical scan machines are vulnerable. Private contractors are involved; private firms like LHS Associates, Automated Election Services, Harp Enterprises, Casto & Harris and others will program almost all systems in the USA this November. ES&S scanners were involved in examples cited, but Diebold has also issued a cryptic Product Advisory Notice in 2006 about unexpected results from certain Straight Party option programming practices.
These enormous cases of "Ooops" need a more serious frame of reference.
For example: You are counting the cash for a fund raiser. It's discovered that $500 didn't make it into the count, and it turns up in a someone's possession instead. They say, "Ooops, sorry!" and claim it was a mistake. Really?! Will you let them count the cash next time? Probably not.
What are the consequences for Automated Election Services, for ES&S, or for Diebold? What SHOULD they be?!!
From now until November 5th: The upcoming election is about many things, not least the environment; this country needs to change its path sharply, and soon. The recent selection of a right-wing, stoutly anti-environmentalist vice-presidential candidate only raises the stakes. Volunteer opportunities abound, especially in swing states like Pennsylvania, and even simply being more vocal and visible can help. My next-door neighbor, who is a leader in the local Obama campaign, wrote up a great summary of how you and I can help influence this election, with practical suggestions and talking points.
What Can I Do to Help Obama Win?
Whether the Obama candidacy will become an Obama presidency will be determined by 21 swing states. Pennsylvania is one of those states and you know people in many of the others. Your vote is important, but it may not be not enough…we need your help to gain still more votes. Here are a few ideas to consider:
1. Make your support for Obama visible. This will demonstrate your confidence in the Obama-Biden ticket and provide conversation-starter for people who want to get more information about the candidates or find out how they can volunteer to help with the campaign. For example, you can
a. Wear an Obama t-shirt or pin a button on your clothes, backpack, purse, or tote.
b. Post an Obama yard sign or a window sign and put an Obama bumper sticker on your car, truck, or bike. We can provide these item if you need them!
2. Talk with anyone you believe is undecided. Share your support for Barack Obama. Help make the choice clear. There are numerous ways to do this. For example,
a. Talk one-on-one with other individuals. In preparation, practice a 1-2 min explanation of why you support Barack Obama and why they might want to, as well. For example:
* The economy is in terrible shape: Unemployment rate is high (6.1 %) and rising – 600,000 jobs already lost this year alone! The fuel costs have increased by 83% in 12 months, and many will not be able to afford adequate heat this winter. The mortgage market has suffered a meltdown, many hardworking Americans have lost their homes, and we have just witnessed the largest Federal bailout of a financial institution in history at a cost to taxpayers of $25 Billion. The national debt is almost $10 trillion and growing. And our Government is doing little to help the poor and middle class. Many of the problems can be linked to Republication ideals of deregulation and market behavior.
* War in Iraq must end: Initiated on a lie, so far the war has resulted in 4,000 dead and 30,000 wounded US soldiers, and untold Iraqi civilian deaths. The mistreatment of our veterans is unconscionable. The war costs $10 Billion a month – funding which could be used to provide social programs such as health insurance for all Americans and a better education for our children.
* Health care must be made available and affordable: Costs are high and rising, businesses and consumers are burdened with high insurance premiums, and 47 million people are without any health insurance!
* The Supreme Court is vulnerable: A least three new Supreme Court Justices will be probably appointed during the next presidency and will decide critical issues including reproductive choices and Constitutional and economic rights. These are lifetime appointments; the Justices’ impact on our Nation will far outlast the next administration.
* Also: Torture, global warming, the loss of privacy, the real nature of the McCain-Palin ticket… the topics are many.
b. Speak to religious, civic, or professional organizations. Some of the talking points are listed above, others are available at www.barackobama.com.
c. Host a gathering at your house or community center. Encourage those who have not yet decided who to vote for to participate, including Hillary supporters, Republicans, and Independents. Promote discussion, invite a local speaker, view one of Barack Obama’s speeches that are on You Tube, or watch one of the upcoming debates.
3. Volunteer to canvas or make phone calls from a central location or your own home. Contact your local Obama office or sign up on the Obama web site.
4. Set up and staff an information table. Pick a busy area. Use the opportunity to register people to vote before the deadline (Oct. 6), to talk to people, and/or to sell buttons, bumper stickers, yard-signs, or t-shirts. We can provide all these items, just ask. (Most outdoor sidewalks are public property, and you can set up a table as long as you don’t block pedestrian traffic.)
5. Set up a personal fundraising page via the Obama site, then contact people and ask for contributions. It will raise money and promote commitment. (The site makes it all very easy – you do not actually need to handle any of the funds.)
6. Write letters to the editor and articles for newsletters. Letters to the Editor in newspapers and articles in newsletters allow us to speak up on the issues and explain who we, the Obama supporters, really are. These should be individually written, and personal where possible. People respond to stories, and a well-written letter can change minds!
7. Help recruit more volunteers. The campaign needs volunteers on every block and at every public gathering – fairs, picnics, sports events. No contribution of time is too small.
8. Contact individuals in your address book. Get your family, friends, and colleagues involved, particularly if they live in a swing states. Modify and send this handout. (We can provide an electronic version.) The states listed in bold type are especially important; they are likely to determine the outcome on Nov. 4!
Colorado Florida Georgia Indiana Iowa Louisiana
Michigan Minnesota Missouri Montana Nevada
New Hampshire New Mexico North Carolina North Dakota
Ohio Oregon Pennsylvania Virginia Washington Wisconsin
For additional ideas on how you can help, please ideas see
Our work over the next two months will determine the next eight years and beyond.
WE CAN DO IT – WITH YOUR HELP!
Pittsburgh Volunteers for Obama (PghObama@gmail.com) 9/9/08