Jan 31-Mar 21: Permaculture course

Suburban/Urban Permaculture Course and Workshop -- Permaculture design is an ecological design system that incorporates principles of ecology, sustainable technologies and earth care ethics. Completion of a Permaculture certificate course entitles the participant to offer goods and services as a Permaculture consultant.

This course will take place at the LIPP Homestead, a 1.3 acre site in West View (two miles from the City line and just off of 279N). A 5000-square-foot organic garden space, stream, and original 1898 farmhouse and dairy house are what remain of the Lipp family farm. Course participants will work to increase the sustainability of the site through the application of ecological design principles and practices. A day will be spent at Three Sisters Farm and Bioshelter. Course leader Darrell Frey has been practicing and teaching Permaculture since 1986; other guest presenters will also participate.

January 31, 2010 - Introduction Workshop (6:00 pm to 9:30 pm; $30)

75-hour Permaculture Certification Course (weekends and evenings; $1200)
February 20-21, 9-5 PM
February 24, 6-10 PM
February 27-28, 9-5PM
March 13-14, 9-5 PM
March 17, 6-10 PM
March 20-21, 9-5 PM

To register, contact Darrell Frey at defrey@bioshelter.com or call 724-376-2797 or 412-931-3723.

Jan 23: Black & White Reunion's Summit Against Racism

The Black & White Reunion's 12th Annual Summit Against Racism will offer inspiring speakers spanning different generations, skill building techniques for our justice movements, strengthening the programs of the Black and White Reunion such as the Jonny Gammage Scholarship plus supporting other anti-racism work in our region. Cost is $10 (22yrs and above) $5, up to 21yrs and 0-$1 for low income and unemployed. Note: This year's program is shorter than usual which will allow for people to join Black Voices for Peace at 1 p.m. outside for their weekly vigil calling for an end to the Wars in Iran and Afghanistan.

Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals. - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Black and White Reunion is looking for volunteers to help out with this event.

9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the East Liberty Presbyterian Church, 116 S. Highland Ave., Pgh, PA 15206 For more information, contact blackandwhite_reunion@yahoo.com .

Jan 18: Rally for Prevailing Wage law

The Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network won a major victory in 2009 -- PIIN, and their partners in Pittsburgh UNITED, helped pass a “prevailing wage” law in Pittsburgh on December 21st. By a unanimous vote, City Council established that future service jobs created with tax subsidies would pay family-sustaining wages and benefits for hotel, grocery, building and food-service work. Then on New Year’s Eve, with no warning, Mayor Ravenstahl vetoed the law, when it was too late for Council to override him.

Join PIIN on Martin Luther King Day to tell the Mayor we won’t stand for his treating working people this way. Dr. King died fighting for workers to have decent wages and benefits, jobs that support families. Let us honor his legacy by fighting for good jobs in Pittsburgh.
PIIN will hold a rally near Bakery Square to announce our opposition to the Mayor’s actions against the taxpayers and working people of Pittsburgh. The hotel complex in the former Nabisco plant received $13 million in tax subsidies and wants to pay hotel workers minimum wages. We call on City Council to immediately pass the original Prevailing Wage bill again and override the Mayor if he attempts to veto it again.

2:30 PM in Mellon Park, Penn Avenue at East Liberty Blvd., across from Bakery Square.

Jan 18: Martin Luther King Benefit Night Concert

Martin Luther King Benefit Night Concert at the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern. Bands : Moonlight Motel, Bingo Quixote, Chet Vincent and the Big Bend, Big Hurry, E.May, Evan Knauer, Media Circus Extravaganza, and The BEATLESs. RING MASTER: Evan Knauer

Mon. Jan.18th, 9PM - Midnight at the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern, corner of Liberty Ave. and Bloomfield Bridge. 412-682-0611. Proceeds benefit the Duncan and Porter Homeless Shelter on the Northside.

Jan 15: Green Drinks with Vox Energy Solutions.

Solar to Wind - Homeowners to Communities to Commercial Applications

Hal Saville, a project consultant for Vox Energy Solutions, attended Penn State in Solar, Energy Conservation and Architectural Engineering Technology. In addition to training with Solar Energy International (SEI) last year, Hal lobbied local legislators to pass the State Renewable Energy incentives and authored Conservation Consultants’ Solar Installer Training Program grant proposal. The proposal yielded ~ $200,000 to launch this successful program which trains new green professionals. Hal is also active in the local green jobs movement, teaching a green jobs seminar and “Go Solar at Home” class for homeowners interested in utilizing solar energy at Butler County Community College.

Vox Energy Solutions, located in Pittsburgh’s North Hills is a full-service alternative energy installer. In addition to providing energy audits, they design, install and maintain photovoltaic, solar thermal and wind turbine systems for residential, institutional and commercial clients. In the last two years, as a new subsidiary of Vox Communications, a 20-year-old telecom tower installation firm, they have installed over 40kW of solar electric throughout Western Pennsylvania as well as several solar thermal systems.

They recently contracted with the City of Pittsburgh to provide solar thermal systems at one city fire station and have proposed four more in coming months. And they just completed their largest PV project, 10.6kW on the Regional Enterprise Building, considered the first major solar installation in Pittsburgh’s Downtown “Golden Triangle”, realizing its Solar America City status through a U.S. Dept. of Energy partnership.

Several Vox staff have trained with Solar Energy International (SEI ) and are working toward their NABCEP installer certification. Their installation team includes union electricians from the IBEW, Local #5. They were also recently certified as a WDBE with Allegheny County.

Vox would like to thank Conservation Consultants for hosting Green Drinks and giving us the opportunity to tour its LEED-Certified Building (weather permitting) which features three PV arrays, a solar-thermal hot-water heating system as well as a green roof.

Please come shoot the breeze with us on January 15th and enjoy the warmth of green friends. Food and Drink provided by Vox.

5-9 p.m. at Conservation Consultants, Inc , 64 South 14th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203; (412) 431-4449. CCI has requested that those planning to attend RSVP to Indigo Raffel via e-mail at indigor@ccicenter.org. If you are dropping in at the last minute, that's okay. Get directions; for Port Authority Bus Routes, http://www.portauthority.org (E. Carson St. at 12th). For more information, email pittsburghgreendrinks@gmail.com.

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 NGOs, academia, government 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.

Save the Date 2010: February 19, March 19, April 16, May 21, June 18, July 16, August 20, September 17, October 15, November 19, December 17.

Jan 13: Sierra Club monthly meeting: Wood!

From Irian Jaya to the G-20 Summit, Tropical Wilderness to Pittsburgh’s Parks - It’s All About The Wood.

map of the west papus in the Caribbeanlog.pngplank.png

Two very different presentations will be included in the Allegheny Group’s monthly meeting.

For the past several years, life-long birder and world-traveler Gerry Kruth has been living out a dream of going into the tropical rainforests of Indonesia as part of a professional birding expedition to capture bird and other jungle sounds for posterity. This is the wildest remaining part of the planet… but it’s literally under the axe. The forests are coming down around the birds. Kruth and his colleagues were recording what is disappearing, probably forever. If you want to prepare for this talk, read Jay Griffiths’ astonishing book, .

Some years ago, Teresa Heinz took a unique leading role in preservation of tropical forests by having the spectacular Heinz Foundation offices at the top of the CNG Tower on Liberty Avenue built with the first sustainably harvested tropical hardwoods. She lent her considerable influence to the movement to preserve these incredible treasures. John Metzler of the Urban Tree Forge in Pittsburgh, on the other hand, is lending his talents to making use of the trees that have grown right here on Pittsburgh’s hillsides. His remarkable talent was recognized just prior to the G-20 Summit when Richard Piacentini, director of the Phipps Conservatory, commissioned John to build 110 linear feet of table tops for the G-20 formal dinner to be held at Phipps. The problem was he only gave John 12 days to do the entire job! John went into high gear and met the challenge, entirely from Pittsburgh’s own hardwoods, with some gorgeous artistic treasures. You can see a bit of his work on the Urban Tree Forge web site.

Join these two Pittsburghers and hear their remarkable stories– two adventures of entirely different sorts. We’ll have refreshments afterwards and time for conversation with the speakers.

7:30-9PM in the Phipps Garden Center, Fifth and Shady Avenues, Squirrel Hill. Free and open to the public. To see a summary of previous Sierra Club meetings and events, click here. For more information, contact Donald L. Gibbon (412-362-8451) or dongibbon at earthlink dot net.