Jun 29: Water We See & Water We Use


Water We See & Water We Use: We live in a region defined by our rivers. Our region has plentiful water supplies — a tremendous economic and quality of life asset — but significant water quality challenges.

Pittsburgh was selected as the North American host city by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to join World Environment Day 2010 and hosted the WED conference, "Water Matters!", on June 3. Participants from across the country spoke to the problems and possibilities of water in our region – its impact on health, energy and the economy.

The June 29 cityLIVE! event will reflect upon the results of the conference, discuss what we’ve learned and how we can protect and embrace our most valuable resource – water.

Our panelists are Jeanne VanBriesen, director of the Center for Water Quality in Urban Environmental Systems at CMU, Janie French, director of Green Infrastructure Programs at the Pennsylvania Environmental Council and John Schombert, executive director of 3 Rivers Wet Weather. Moderating is Pittsburgh City Councilman, Patrick Dowd.

6:30 p.m. at the New Hazlett Theater. RSVP online.

CityLive -- a free monthly series of events showcasing the creative, intellectual talent of the city, speaking to its transformation, and providing a networking forum -- is a collaboration among No Wall Productions, Heinz Family Foundation, and the New Hazlett Theater, and is sponsored by: The Fine Foundation, The Grable Foundation, The Heinz Endowments, The Heinz Family Philanthropies, The Benedum Foundation, R.K. Mellon Foundation, The Pittsburgh Foundation and Anonymous
... and a special thanks to those whose individual donations have helped make this season possible.


June 28: Marcellus Shale meeting in Lincoln Place

Lincoln Place ActionGroup

From Loretta Weir, LPAG

An informal round table discussion group aimed at engaging some of the surrounding communities. We are hoping to form a larger coalition of citizens in other communities to raise awareness on this issue. If a member of your organization could attend, it would be greatly appreciated.

7 p.m. at Lincoln Place Elks #11 Lodge, 5800 Buttermilk Hollow Road, Pittsburgh 15207

June 26: Hard to Recycle materials collection

The Pennsylvania Resources Council is holding a "Hard to Recycle" materials collection. Do you have tires, cellphones or other electronics, printer/toner cartridges, alkaline batteries, usable building materials, medical supplies, or compact fluorescent bulbs in your house? If you or someone you know can’t use them, or if they are simply outdated or no longer needed, please do the right thing for the environment and dispose of them properly at this event. More details on the acceptable items arehere.

To learn how to safely and properly recycle and dispose of many common household chemicals and other items year-round, please visit theRecycling & Disposal Resources page.

10 a.m. - 2 p.m. in the parking lot of the Mall at Robinson (100 Robinson Centre Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15205). Information on this and subsequent events is here.

June 26: Transition Pittsburgh in Frick Park

There's been a lot of sadness and grief in our world over the oil deluge and the Marcellus Shale issues we face locally. To combat this, our out-of-town Transitiony-type Cultural RECyclist friends have offered to plan a semi-spontaneous gathering at Frick Park this weekend! Kevin May, a student at Penn State and one of the graduates of the original TransitionPGH T4T, is back in Pittsburgh briefly with some new friends - check out Kevin, Tina, Charlie and the other Cultural RECyclists as they bike across the United States, spreading messages of Transition, sustainability and hope.

There will be Wild Edible Food Walks, a Transition Info Table, perhaps a potluck if people want to bring picnic-type food, as well as a Book Swap! (bring any of those environmental, social justice, or otherwise-Save-The-World-type books that you don't read anymore to trade with others).

Hope to see you there - bring your family and friends!

Starting around 3 p.m. in the vicinity of Blue Slide Playground, near the intersection of Beechwood and Nicholson in Squirrel Hill.

June 26: Hands Across the Sand

Stand in solidarity with Gulf Coast Disaster Victims

Saturday is Hands Across the Sand, where thousands of people will join hands at noon at over 700 events across the country to say NO to offshore drilling, YES to clean energy.

Here in Pittsburgh we'll be gathering at 11am on the North Shore riverfront (between Heinz Field and the Del Monte Building -- here's a map). At noon, we'll join hands for 15 minutes to draw a line in the sand and call for a move beyond oil.

Check out the
national Hands website.

June 25: "Who Killed the Electric Car?" screening

The Charge Car Project is working on processes to convert existing traditionally motorized cars to electric-powered vehicles. This Friday evening, they are showing the documentary "Who Killed The Electric Car?" followed by a discussion; light food will be available.

9 p.m. at the Electric Garage, a formerly abandoned gas station on Forbes Avenue (between Craig St. and CMU). More info can be found here.

Jun 25: Take Back The Night block party for cyclists

The East End Food Coop is celebrating cyclists! You are invited to a neighborhood block party this Friday June 25th to celebrate cyclists, pedestrians, and neighbors. We will have finger foods, soda pop, acoustic music, games, and balloons for everyone to enjoy, on the house!

7-9 p.m. at the East End Food Co-op – 7516 Meade St, Pittsburgh PA 15221

Jun 21: GASLAND premieres on HBO

Many Pittsburghers attended the grassroots screening of GASLAND, an award-winning documentary on the impacts of drilling for natural gas, a couple of weeks ago; the Byham Theater was quite full! If you couldn't make it, tune in to HBO (or find a friend who has HBO and commandeer their TV) on Monday at 9 p.m. It'll also be on HBO on June 21, 24, 26, and 30, and July 5 and 9.

When filmmaker Josh Fox is asked to lease his land for drilling, he embarks on a cross-country odyssey uncovering a trail of secrets, lies and contamination. This Halliburton-developed drilling technology has unlocked a "Saudi Arabia of natural gas" just beneath us...but is fracking safe? Can you imagine being able to light your tap water on fire? This is just one of the many shocking results Gasland demonstrates. Part verite travelogue, part expose, part mystery, part bluegrass banjo meltdown, part showdown. Fox encounters EPA whistleblowers, congressmen, world recognized scientists, and some of the most incredibly inspiring and heart-wrenching stories of ordinary Americans fighting against fossil fuel giants for environmental justice.

It's not often that a documentary about a sobering topic like the environmental consequences of gas drilling would make you chuckle. But an award-winning new film premiering June 21 at 9 p.m. on HBO manages to do just that—shining a light on the absurdity and folly behind the drilling boom in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.

Gasland filmmaker Josh Fox, describes the at-times irreverent film as part "travelogue, part exposé, part mystery, part bluegrass banjo meltdown, part showdown."

Most importantly, the film chronicles the strange and disturbing new world wrought by the gas drilling rush—where tap water contaminated by nearby drilling can be lit on fire, animals and children come down withmysterious illnesses, and residents must fight for the truth.

If you have HBO, or know someone who does, get some friends together to watch the movie and help spread the word about this very important issue. There are also screenings throughout New York and Pennsylvania this month, and more being organized every week. Visit www.gaslandthemovie.com for updates.

If you don't have HBO, here are other opportunities to learn about the film:

  • Comedy Central's The Daily Show will feature director Josh Fox on Monday, June 21 @ 11pm / 10 CT.

  • NPR's Fresh Air spoke with Josh Fox on June 10. Listen to the interview on Fresh Air's website, and watch clips from the film.

June 18: Green Drinks on the suburban bus stop

Rethinking the Suburban Bus Stop: You are invited the 3rd Friday of each month, 5-9pm, to an informal gathering of folks who have an interest in a greener, more sustainable planet. This month's session is hosted by Lynn Manion of the Airport Corridor Transportation Association and Paula Maynes, of Maynes Associates Architects LLC.

The bus stop is part of American lore: the theme of a Broadway play, the title of a rock ‘n’ roll song, a fixture in cities and suburbs everywhere. But suburbs were developed with automobiles as the primary means of transportation - while so many suburbs have grown exponentially, their bus stops have not evolved. Some may have been renovated, but they haven’t been rethought.

Now as concerns about the environment, energy, and the economy motivate more people to consider using public transportation, it's time to rethink suburban bus stops. The Airport Corridor Transportation Association (ACTA), a Transportation Management Association serving one of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s fastest growing commercial areas, recently completed a study of bus stops in our area. It's principal outcome: a set of replicable suburban bus stop prototypes with the potential to significantly improve the user experience. ACTA hired Maynes and Associates Architects to work with the local constituents to develop the bus stop prototypes that will be better integrated into the suburban landscape, make riders feel safer and increase suburban transit use.

Join us to discuss how bus stop design affects the transit experience and how this study and its designs represent a conceptual leap forward – in effect a rethinking of the suburban bus stop.

Lynn Manion is executive director of the Airport Corridor Transportation Association (ACTA), a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to alleviating traffic congestion, improving air quality and increasing travel options in the western suburbs of Pittsburgh. ACTA is located in Robinson Town Center. In 2008, ACTA received an award of excellence from the Forbes Fund for its community outreach efforts.

Paula Maynes is the Managing Member of Maynes Associates Architects, an architectural and urban design firm specialized in the design of transit facilities and sustainable communities that include transportation choices. Maynes Associates Architects was established in 1993 and is located in one of Pittsburgh’s great livable neighborhoods, the South Side.

5-9 p.m. at Mitchell's Restaurant, 304 Ross St (at Third Avenue), Pittsburgh, PA 15219; (412) 471-3663 Get Map & Directions »

Pittsburgh Green Drinks Logo

What is Green Drinks?
Every month, people who work in the environmental field or have in interest in a greener planet meet up for drinks at places all around the world at informal sessions known as Green Drinks. We have a lively mixture of people from Non profit, academia, labor, government, media and business. Come along and you'll be made welcome. Just say, "are you green?" and we will look after you and introduce you to whoever is there. It's a great way of catching up with people you know and also for making new contacts. Everyone invites someone else along, so there's always a different crowd, making Green Drinks an organic, self-organizing network.

These events are simple and unstructured. Make friends, develop new ideas, do deals and forge a new organic future. It's a force for the good and we'd like to help its spreading to other cities. Green Drinks meets on the 3rd Friday of each month from 5:00 - 9:00 PM...or later!! Put it in your calendar and count on it: Green Drinks is happening every month. http://www.greendrinks.org/

Jun 14: School Composting Seminar

The Citizens Climate Corps - a new volunteer-led, grassroots organization in Western Pennsylvania - is sponsoring a seminar to empower citizens to approach their school districts to start food waste composting. We helped the first school district in the state get started. (here's a Post-Gazette article about it!) We can help you make a difference at your local school, too.

At this seminar, you'll learn why composting is great for the environment; various methods of composting, including information about our region's only professional food waste composter; how the CCC helped Quaker Valley School District initiate their composting program; and how to work with your school district to begin a composting program.

The Composting Team is one of the action teams formed by the CCC. New action teams will be forming in the near future. If you would like to join one, please send an email to citizensclimatecorps@gmail.com.

6:45-8:45 p.m. (refreshments & networking from 6:45, program begins at 7:15) at the Wilkins School Community Center, 7604 Charleston Ave, Swissvale PA 15218.

June 13: Pittsburgh Pride Fest

Pittsburgh Pride Week is a celebration of the true diversity Pittsburgh has to offer. Come celebrate our unique city at this day-long event that will feature over 100 vendors, street performers, family friendly carnival games and attractions, and nonstop entertainment on two stages (one on 6th St. and one on 10th) from a wide variety of exciting performers.

1-6 p.m. downtown, on Liberty between 6th & 10th Streets; free.

June 9: Free screening of Food, Inc.

Food, Inc., a feature-length documentary by director Robert Kenner, lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing a system controlled by international corporations that prioritize profit over the health and safety of consumers. Join us for a free screening of this important film, with a panel discussion: "What can we do to improve the health of our neighborhoods?"

The Ingredients for Change Campaign includes public screening events of the film Food, Inc. in thirty lower income communities around the country in an effort to raise public awareness of the U.S. food system, and to address issues of food access, childhood obesity, and other diet-related health problems.

Sponored by Black Mommy Circle, East End Food Co-Op, Just Harvest, Penn State Cooperative
Extension, and Pittsburgh Food Policy Council in partnership with Active Voice, Participant Media, Councilman Ricky Burgess, Wilkinsburg Borough Weed and Seed Initiative and Operation Better Block.

6-8 p.m. at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in Homewood (7101 Hamilton Ave., 15208). Healthy refreshments will be provided by the Ujamaa Collective. Childcare available - RSVP required (RSVP by phone at 412-431-8960 or by email).

Jun 9: No Sierra Club meeting

There will be no Monthly Meeting in June. Starting in July we will be holding monthly “Conservation Converstations: Current Environnmment and Natural History Issues” at the Club office in Oakland. We will have new films, slide shows, local experts on topical issues, opportunties for lots of questions and answers. Stay tuned! There’s lots to talk about together.

7:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday, starting in July, on the second floor of 425 North Craig St. (near the intersection with Bigelow). For more information, contact Donald L. Gibbon, Program and Environmental Education Chair.

June 7: Frick Park feedback

Regent Square Civic Association meeting to give feedback about Frick Park: The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy will be at the June Regent Square Civic Association meeting to present ideas and gather feedback on a series of proposed outdoor learning spaces for Frick Park. The first of these spaces will honor the memory of Kate and Peter Ambrusko.

6p.m. at the Wilkins School Community Center, 7604 Charleston Ave, Swissvale, PA 15218-1265. For more information, contact Marijke Hecht by email or at 412-682-7275 x208.

June 5: GASLAND film screening

Come out for a free showing of GASLAND, an award-winning documentary on the impacts of drilling for natural gas. There will also be a panel discussion moderated by filmmaker Josh Fox, featuring Myron Arnowitt (Clean Water Action), State Representative Dave Levdansky, Ned Mulcahy (Three Rivers Waterkeeper), John Stoltz (Duquesne), and Dr. Conrad Dan Volz (CHEC).

7-10 p.m. at the Byham Theater, 101 Sixth St., Pittsburgh (doors open at 6:15). For more information call 412-624-9379 or 412-765-3053; learn more about the film at http://www.gaslandthemovie.com .

Sponsored by Clean Water Action, Center for Healthy Environments & Communities, Group Against Smog & Pollution, PennEnvironment, Three Rivers Waterkeepers, Duquesne Center for Environmental Research & Education, Duquesne School of Leadership & Professional Advancement, Center for Coalfield Justice, the Sierra Club, and the Rachel Carson Homestead.

June 5: World Environment Day!

Pittsburgh has been selected as the North American host city by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to join World Environment Day 2010. Pittsburgh-area government officials, business indexes, organizations and individuals will schedule a series of World Environment Day events, as well as events taking place during the six weeks that “bridge the gap” between Earth Day on April 22 and World Environment Day on June 5. The events will highlight the theme for celebrations in Pittsburgh, “Biodiversity — Ecosystems Management and the Green Economy.”

Although I will continue to post many events of interest on MarensList, during the time leading up to World Environment Day you'll also want to check out the official WED calendar of events.

June 5: Love Your Watershed Day

Love Your Watershed Day is a community celebration of the work and organizations that are committed to making Wilkinsburg a better place. Come and listen to live music, enjoy food from Wilkinsburg favorites, watch live art, and have fun at the block-party in your own backyard.

The Nine Mile Run Watershed Association has been working hard to have a positive impact in Pittsburgh for over eight years and a watershed/neighborhood/awareness day is the perfect way to make communities aware of the projects going on and how they can learn more and become involved.

The ‘Love Your Watershed Day’ event will take place in and highlight the projects relating to the community of Wilkinsburg and will be a concluding event for World Environment Day. The event will be held on a Saturday, June 5th from 12:00pm to 5:00pm on the corner of South Avenue and South Trenton Street near the newly constructed Peebles Square project and will feature various local and watershed-friendly organizations and activities.

Supporting Nine Mile Run with Love Your Watershed Day are The Sprout Fund, Action Housing, GTECH, The Student Conservation Association, Frick Environmental Center, Wilkinsburg Block Club Association, and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.

12-5 p.m. at the corner of South Trenton & South Avenue in Wilkinsburg. Come dressed to get dirty! For more information or to volunteer your time for the event, contact Luke at 412.371.8779 ext. 120 or at luke@ninemilerun.org.

June 3: Shakespeare In The Parks, in a Cafe

Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks' BYOB ("Bring Your Own Bard") Endingswill take place on Thursday June 3rd at 7 PM at The Te Cafe in Squirrel Hill. Readings of Shakespeare’s endings – of scenes, of plays, of schemes and plots, of characters (by fair means or foul) along with memorable exits and conclusions, in an informal scene night in which professional actors and non-actors alike take a crack at their favorite Shakespeare pieces. Extra readings will be on hand in case last minute inspiration strikes. BYOB is a fundraiser for PSIP, Pittsburgh’s only theater offering free Shakespeare performances in city parks.

7 p.m. at The Te Café in Squirrel Hill (2000 Murray Ave. 15217, 412-422-8888). Suggested tax-deductible donation is $10 at the door. Readers and audience members alike are encouraged to bring copies of their favorite Shakespeare plays and join in the reading of sonnets, scenes, and songs. Fun for the whole family. (Kids are welcome).

June 3: Water Matters! Global Water Conference

Pittsburgh has been selected as the North American host city by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to join World Environment Day 2010. A whole raft of events leading up to WED on June 5th will focus on the main themes of water and biodiversity; the Water Matters! Global Water Conference is the keystone event. Citizens, students, business owners, watershed groups, and community leaders from across the region and North America will gather to be part of a remarkable, eye-opening exploration of the ways in which water matters. The conference will include an exhibit area highlighting the regions leading water innovators, problem solvers, and technologies, with a focus on hands-on activities and displays.

All day at the David Lawrence Convention Center downtwon. Cost to attend is $25. For more information and to register, go to http://www.pittsburghwed.com/watermatters

Note: Although I will continue to post many events of interest on MarensList, during the time leading up to World Environment Day, you'll also want to check out the official WED calendar of events.

June 1: Clean construction bill press conference

Please join Pittsburgh UNITED, GASP (the Group Against Smog and Pollution), the Sierra Club and Clean Water Action for a press conference about the Pittsburgh Clean Air, Clean Water bill that City Councilman Bill Peduto will introduce in City Council. This pro-environment legislation is part of the Pittsburgh UNITED Economic Development Reform campaign. Since last fall, the Pittsburgh UNITED coalition and its community allies have been working closely with Pittsburgh City Council to add increased accountability to publicly-subsidized economic development. The legislation will act on two fronts, reducing diesel emissions and mitigating stormwater runoff.

Reducing Diesel Emissions: Diesel emissions harm our health, our environment and our economy; publicly-funded development should be a partner in protecting our health and environment. Diesel soot cancer risk in Pittsburgh area is 408 times greater than EPA’s acceptable cancer level of 1 in a million. Pittsburgh area workers are projected to miss 13,558 days of work in 2010 because of unnecessary exposure to diesel fine particles, and kids’ emergency room visits for asthma-like symptoms 400% higher in Pittsburgh than other cities. Black carbon, emitted by diesels, is one of the largest contributing pollutants to global warming.

The Clean Air bill will require that contracts for publicly-funded development in the City of Pittsburgh must ensure that all diesel vehicles on site to have the Best Available Diesel Control Technology installed, and that ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel is used by construction vehicles.

Mitigating Stormwater Run-off: During heavy rainstorms, stormwater runoff forces untreated sewage into our rivers; the water is unsafe to touch during nearly two-thirds of the boating season. Publicly-funded development should lead the way in innovative techniques to control and drastically reduce this problem. The current estimate for ALCOSAN’s portion of the EPA mandated repairs to its system is estimated to be from $3 billion to as much as $20 billion. Uncontrolled stormwater runoff washes vehicle exhaust products, oil, grease, gasoline, road deicers, and carcinogenic topping compounds for asphalt and concrete down our storm water sewers into our rivers -- from which most of us get our drinking water. The Clean Water bill will require developments receiving our tax dollars to drastically reduce their storm water runoff.

9:30 a.m. on the 5th floor of the City County building: 414 Grant St. downtown. You can find more information about the Clean Air, Clean Water legislation and a leaflet for the press conference here.

June 13: Pittsburgh Pride March & PrideFest

Pittsburgh Pride Awareness March and PrideFest, culminating the annual Pride Week!

Pittsburgh’s first Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade occurred on June 17, 1973 and had 150 participants. This year, we’re pleased to announce that over 100 organizations and groups will represent thousands of people. Led by the Dykes on Bikes contingent, this year’s parade participants will consist of a caravan of LGBT organizations, community groups, corporations, and politicians. Check this link for all the info on featured participants, route maps, and street closures.

Following the March, PrideFest will take place on Liberty Ave. downtown, between 6th Street & 10th Street.