June 30: Deadline for Heritage Seed Savers Kickstarter

Heritage Seed Collective  

The Heritage Seed Collective, created by Blackberry Meadows Farm, is nearing the conclusion of a $10,000 Kickstarter project.  If this goal is met by July 1 (at 2:44 a.m.), then the Collective will receive a Sprout Fund grant from the, thirty regional heritage foods now considered "threatened" on the Slow Food Ark of Taste will find new life in local private and community gardens, and a dynamic website will enable seed-saving, seed-sharing, and collaboration.  In the meantime, you can purchase Ark of Taste plants from Blackberry Meadows that come with packets and seed-saving instructions for next season's seeds.

You can read about the project in Patricia Lowry's story in the Post-Gazette: "Heritage Seeds: A Good Save"  National Geographic looks at why the world needs seed banks in  "Seeds Worth Saving" 

Please consider contributing to the effort, by Thursday night!  As with all Kickstarter projects, you are not charged unless the goal is met.

June 29: Public Hearing on Clean Construction bill

Important Public Hearing: Clean Air Bill for Pittsburgh  

After hearing public comment, Pittsburgh City Council will hold a Preliminary Vote on a bill To Reduce Diesel Emission from Construction Equipment used in Publicly-Funded Development.” 
10 a.m. to noon on the 5th Floor of the City-County Building, 414 Grant St. Pittsburgh, 15219

The public will be able to comment at this meeting without prior registration.  If you are at all able, please attend this important City Council session.  There are still swing votes on Council, and it is essential that we fill Council Chambers to demonstrate public support for this legislation.  
Diesel emissions are a prime cause of air pollution in a city that is often given the title “Most Livable.”  Let’s make it “More Livable” for all!

  • 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 124 times greater than EPA’s acceptable cancer level of 1 in a million. Our risk is 1 in 8,064.
  • Pittsburgh area workers projected to miss 5,666 days of work in 2011 because of unnecessary exposure to diesel fine particles.
  • Kids’ emergency room visits for asthma-like symptoms 400% higher in Pittsburgh than other cities.
  • Black carbon, emitted by diesel vehicles, 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

June 28: Rally to protest H.R. 2018

Not satisfied with merely trying to undo the Clean Air Act, the House of Representatives has now decided to attack the federal Clean Water Act with the introduction of H.R. 2018, that has come from the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.   Several Democrats, including Representatives Nick Rahall (WV), Jason Altmire (PA) and Tim Holden (PA), have co-sponsored the legislation.

On Tuesday, June 28th, U.S. Congressman Jason Altmire (PA-04) will host an "Educational Evening," a panel discussion with Marcellus Shale experts from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Community College of Allegheny County's North Campus, located at 8701 Perry Highway, Pittsburgh, PA, 15237.

Marcellus Protest will hold a rally prior to this event, at 6 p.m.  The rally is in opposition to the newly introduced bill, which would paralyze the already limping EPA - the bill is an attack on the federal Clean Water Act – and Cong. Altmire is one of the bill’s sponsors.
Why the rush to get H.R. 2018 through Congress?

• Is it due to the EPA’s current studies on fracking’s impact on water? The federal EPA is studying both Bradford and Washington counties. Last week the agency confirmed high levels of sodium in a Bradford County couple’s water well. This increase occured after a near by Chesapeake gas well blew up two months ago.
• Is another factor pressure from political donors in the gas drilling industry? US Congress members, including Jason Altmire, continue to receive thousands of dollars from drillers.
The Federal Clean Water Act requires states to implement minimum provisions to protect water quality, ensuring a minimum standard of protection. This prevents a “race to the bottom” in states, like PA, where the benefits of clean water are ignored for short term economic and political gain.
H.R. 2018, known as the “Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011,” would remove the EPA’s ability to protect our nation’s water without state-by-state approval.
It would limit the EPA’s ability to make and implement improvements to state water quality standards that would reflect modern pollution challenges. It would restrict the EPA from upgrading toxic pollutants standards where existing standards currently provide limited protection. This would allow states free rein to define their standards and would block the EPA’s ability to withhold federal funding to states even if the state’s implementation of water quality standards does not protect water quality.

June 25: The Big Remake: Party for Reuse

The Big Remake: A Benefit Party for the Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse

Creative Reuse Pittsburgh is getting a new name and a big beautiful new space. Come help celebrate the new Center, at three events in one day!  Make-and-wear your reused fashion  Remade Fashion Parade with prizes ● hands-on "make and take" creative activities and games ● local art vendors ● Upcycled Art Exhibit and silent auction* ● tasty food, beer and wine (evening events only) ● live painting, music, performance art photobooth by Pixelle  hooping with Steel City Hoop Union ● music by Calamity Jenn ● dance party with DJ Mary Mack
Choose one event or all three: Family Fun Afternoon, 1-4 p.m.:  Kid-friendly fun for all ages!($20 for 6-person family pass, $6/person  at the door
Grown-up Remake Playdate, 7-10 p.m.;  18 and older ($12 in advance, $15 at the door)
Late Night Dance Party, 10p.m. - 1 a.m.  ($5 in advance, $6 at the door)
In the site of the new Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse, 214 N. Lexington Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15208 (next to Construction Junction).  Enter through the red door on Lexington where Thomas Blvd. ends.  Parking is easy in the Construction Junction lot, or on Thomas Boulevard.  Tickets are available in our shop (Wed.-Sat. 10-5, Sun. 12-4), or online at http://bigremake.eventbrite.com/

The current Creative Reuse Pittsburgh shop is located inside Construction Junction, at 214 N. Lexington Street in the Point Breeze section of Pittsburgh. To find us, go through the main Construction Junction entrance, turn left and walk past the checkout line and the vending machines. We are in the second door on the left, and up the stairs.

For more information about the materials available, and for photos of the retail area, see our page about purchasing materials at http://crpshopping.blogspot.com/

More time than money right now? We need volunteers to help us run the event and move into the the new space after the party. Sign-up in the shop, by email at shop@creativereusepittsburgh.org, or on Facebook at Facebook.com/creativereusepittsburgh.

*If you are an artist and would like to support PCCR by donating artwork, please email shop@creativereusepittsburgh.org or visit our Facebook page for more information.

June 21: Happy Summer!

Summer Solstice is at 1:16 p.m. EDT.  If Blogger were handling photos better these days, there would be an image of mysterious golden sunlike flowers.

June 12: Urban Chicken Coop Tour

Chicks in the Hood and the Tour de Coop
Curious about what it would take to raise chickens in the city? Have a hankering for fresh local eggs in the morning?  Wish you could take advantage of some of the benefits of country living right here in the City?
Or maybe you just like chickens...

Join us for the First Ever City of Pittsburgh Chicks-in-the-Hood Urban Chicken Coop Tour, a self-guided tour of backyard chicken coops around the City. Take a peek at backyards all over town for creative coop ideas and a chance to talk chicken with owners and other poultry enthusiasts.  Plus you’ll get a chance to see other back- yard sustainability practices in place — like rain barrels, organic gardening techniques, composting, and more.

9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  Tickets for the tour are $5 - kids are free! Ticket purchase gets you a map with directions to each participating coop on the tour. All proceeds from each ticket sale will be donated to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank’s Urban Agriculture Programs, including The Farm Stand Project and the Plant-A-Row Project.

Tickets will be available the morning of the tour at The Quiet Storm   www.qspgh.com at 5430 Penn Avenue in Friendship/Garfield, Tazza D’Oro  www.tazzadoro.com at 1125 North Highland Avenue in Highland Park, Crazy Mocha  www.crazymocha.com, 2 East North Avenue on the North Side, and 7665 Lock Way West, Pittsburgh, PA  15206, located at the Highland Park Dam at the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Allegheny River Boulevard.  Questions or advanced tickets? Contact Jody by email noblechoder@aol.com or 412.441.4975.

Bikers can join in on the Tour de Coop Ride... 4 coops @ Frick Park and Highland Park, and the 3 coops on the Northside.  Look for the Bike Tour info when you purchase your tickets at the above locations.  The Chicks-in-the-Hood Bike Tour Starts strategically at the Commonplace Coffeehouse in Squirrel Hill  at 9:00 am (a few doors East from that Carnegie Library branch).  Group Departs promptly at 9:15 am and will head first to Josh & Kathy Knauer's coop, only a few blocks away off Beechwood but down a big hill.  From there, the group will ride to see the 3 coops in the Highland Park Area.   For those bikers who want to do both legs of the tour, they will then begin the connector leg to the Northside to visit 3 coops in that vicinity.

June 6: Water and Public Health forum in Squirrel Hill

WATER’S WAYS: A Presentation & Discussion of Local Water Issues and Public Health
In conjunction with the exhibition Too Shallow for Diving: the 21st Century is Treading Water, participating artists Ann Rosenthal and Steffi Domike have organized a discussion of local water issues and public health with environmental and academic leaders:

Dr. Patty DeMarco, Director of the Rachel Carson Institute, Chatham University will discuss water issues and choices for the 21st Century. Dr. Charles Christen, Director of Operations for the Center for Healthy Environments & Communities (CHEC) at University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health will address the public health implications of water and Marcellus Shale development. Dr. Christen worked closely with Dr. Conrad "Dan" Volz who recently resigned as Director of CHEC.  Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions of the speakers and artists, and will be able to view the exhibition.

The exhibition Too Shallow for Diving: the 21st Century is Treading Water, guest curated by artist and educator Carolyn Speranza explores the environment, especially those issues surrounding water and its impact on our planet, human health and public welfare. 
7 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center, 5748 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh 15217 (Squirrel Hill near Murray Ave).  Free and open to the public;  for more information, contact Ann Rosenthal, Dargan Street Studios, 412-688-0417, atrart@gmail.com or visit http://www.jccpgh.org/page/ajm .

June 6: Growing food with Sustainable Monroeville

An experiential evening on eating your yard and our new edible garden! Join Sustainable Monroeville  downstairs program room to hear Moni Wesner, retired physician, speak on eating your lawn and Lois Drumheller on the new food garden using permaculture principles on Monroeville Municiapl property outside the Monroeville Public Library. We will walk outside and see the great garden and all go home with an edible plant to plant! 

7 pm  at the Monroeville Public Library.