Apr 30: Transition 2.0 film screening

Transition 2.0!  

If you want to know the present state of Transition both here in Pittsburgh and all over the globe, this is your movie (site and trailer here!). It covers Transition Initiatives and the diverse, powerful communities driving their relocalization and community-rejuvenation efforts, from Europe to Asia to America and beyond, including an appearance by the Whitney Avenue Urban Farm right here in Wilkinsburg!

The filmmakers' description:  "In Transition 2.0 is an inspirational immersion in the Transition movement, gathering stories from around the world of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. You'll hear about communities printing their own money, growing food, localising their economies and setting up community power stations. It's an idea that has gone viral, a social experiment that is about responding to uncertain times with solutions and optimism. In a world of increasing uncertainty, here is a story of hope, ingenuity and the power of growing vegetables in unexpected places".

7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30) at the Kingsley Association, 6435 Frankstown Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15206 (East Liberty).  After a short introduction to Transition Pittsburgh's recent activities.  The audience can stay afterwards for group discussion of Transition in Pittsburgh past, present, and future with Fred Brown, Associate Director for Program Development, Kingsley Association.  For additional information contact: Wanda Guthrie 412-596-0066 or email: environment@thomasmertoncenter.org

Apr 29: Triple Divide film screening

Hollywood actor Mark Ruffalo co-narrates this 18-month cradle-to-grave investigation by

Public Herald, an investigative news nonprofit co-founded by journalists Joshua Pribanic and Melissa Troutman. Triple Divide features uncovered state documents, never before seen interviews with industry giants and advocates, exclusive reports with impacted landowners, and expert testimonies.

Triple Divide reveals how state regulators have abandoned the public they’re meant to serve. And though the industry says fracking can be done safely, the film shows that no amount of regulation can prevent the corrosion of wells casings, illegal burying of radioactive waste, or the “pressure bulb” effect fracking creates underground.

The film’s title represents one of only four Triple Continental Divides in North America, a place that provides drinking water to millions of Americans and signals to the audience that everything, and everyone, is downstream from shale gas extraction.

Public response to Triple Divide:

“Powerful” ... “Amazing” ... “Beautiful” - Pennsylvania Screenings
“This documentary deserves an oscar!” - Celia Janosik
“This documentary is absolutely fantastic!” - Joe Shervinski
“Best Documentary on Fracking Ever, Better Than Gasland!’ - OUE

7 p.m. at 5401 Centre Ave  Pittsburgh, PA 15232  (Shadyside). Filmmakers Joshua Pribanic and Melissa Troutman will be on hand for a Q&A session after the screening.  For additional information contact: Wanda Guthrie 412-596-0066 or email: environment@thomasmertoncenter.org 

Apr 27: Prescription drug take-back day

Upcoming Take-Back Day — April 27, 2013
(10:00AM - 2:00PM)

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has scheduled another National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day which will take place on Saturday, April 27, 2013, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  This is a great opportunity for those who missed the previous events, or who have subsequently accumulated unwanted, unused prescription drugs, to safely dispose of those medications.
In the five previous Take-Back events, DEA in conjunction with our state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners have collected more than 2 million pounds (1,018 tons) of prescription medications were removed from circulation.
The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposal, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of these medications.

To find a collection site near you (police stations and drugstores throughout the region), just type your zip code into this form.  

Collection site locations are now available. Check back often; sites are added daily.Please contact the Call Center at 1-800-882-9539 if you require assistance.

Apr 26: Indigenous Grandmothers film screening

Chatham University, Transformational Alliance Peaceburgh, and InterPlay Pittsburgh present a community screening event for the documentary movie about the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers, "For the Next 7 Generations."  
Not only will Carole Hart, the movie's filmmaker be present, but we will have an after-movie Talk-Back with some of Peaceburgh's own Indigenous Elders, as well as the Filmmaker. After that we will have a community celebration with reception. Carole Hart will be available to sign DVD's of the movie, and Vikki Hanchin will be signing her new book dedicated to the 13 Grandmothers, "The Seer and The Sayer: Revelations of the New Earth."  
Doors open at 6:30 at Chatham's Eddy Theatre.  No reservations necessary, $10.00 suggested donation. Proceeds go to support the work of the Grandmothers.

Apr 25: Climate change panel discussion

Global Challenges & Local Impacts: Climate Change

Join Global Solutions Pittsburgh, local experts, and community members for a panel discussion and Q&A about the effect that climate change is having in the world today.
Earth’s average temperature has risen by 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit in the past century, and is projected to rise 11.5 degrees Fahrenheit over the next hundred years. What seems like small changes in average temperature can ultimately cause large and dangerous shifts in climate and weather. Our panel of experts will discuss local, national, and international causes and effects of climate change and ways the world is searching for and working towards solutions. We will discuss the influence of national and international policy, the impact developing and developed countries have on climate change, and explore environmental economics and Cap and Trade as a market-based system to limit air pollution.
On the panel for this discussion will be:
6-8 p.m. at the Union Project (801 North Negley Ave, 15206).  Free, but please register here

Apr 25: Town Hall meeting on ending gun violence

Rep. Ed Gainey’s Town Hall Meeting on Ending Gun Violence
PA State Representative Ed Gainey is having a town hall meeting this Thursday to give his constituents and community members the chance to hear about common sense solutions to reduce the gun violence in our neighborhoods.  Come and hear what experts, community groups, and elected officials have to say, including a chance to hear them respond to audience questions.

Come and support Rep. Gainey as he works to get action in our neighborhoods, state, and nation on reducing the shooting, and making our streets and homes safer.  Let’s not get discouraged, but let’s keep pushing.

Invitees include: U.S. Congressman Mike Doyle; U.S. Senator Bob Casey, Jr.; State Senator Jay Costa; State Reps Dermody, Wheatley, Molchany, DeLuca, Kortz, Gergely,Frankel,Dom Costa, and Paul Costa; Allegheny County Sportsmen’s League of PA; Hosanna House; Pittsburgh. City Councilman Bill Peduto; Allegheny County Health Dept.; Allegheny County Dept. of Health & Human Services. 

6-8 p.m. at the Homewood branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (7101 Hamilton Avenue,  15208)

Apr 24: Mayoral Forum on Greenspace

Candidates' Forum on Greenspace 
Biking and access to the great outdoors is a political issue
greenspaceJoin the Pittsburgh Greenspace Alliance and the League of Women Voters for a forum where Pittsburgh's mayoral hopefuls discuss parks, greenspace, trails, and access to Pittsburgh's Great Outdoors.

6:00-8:00 PM (doors at 5:30) at the Heinz History Center, 1212 Smallman St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

For more information, check out:
Greenspace Forum Website
Facebook Event Page

Apr 24: CMU Environmental Expo & paper airplane demo

2013 Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research Environmental Expo
This is an annual event showcasing the best environmental research and sustainability projects occurring across the Carnegie Mellon campus.  This is one of many events being offered to highlight Carnegie Mellon's commitment to sustainability throughout the month of April!

4-6 p.m. (with airplanes from 3pm, see below) in Rangos 2 and 3 in the University Center at Carnegie Mellon University.  For more information, contact Erika Ninos.

And the event kicks off with a fun demonstration:

World Champion Paper Airplane Pilot Demos
John Collins, the Guinness World Record holder for paper aircraft distance, will kick off the second annual Steinbrenner Institute Environmental Expo with elaborate demos of amazing flying machines from paper.  Contact Chriss Swaney for more information.

3:00-5:00pm  ~ University Center, Rangos 2

Apr 22: Voter registration deadline

You can get information and download forms at http://www.votespa.com

Print, sign, and mail by Monday, April 22 in order to vote in the May 21st primary!  Here in Pittsburgh, most of the local election action is in the Democratic primary.

Apr 22: Earth Day with Bill Peduto

Bill really is the only candidate for a greener Pittsburgh!
For years, Bill has led the charge to improve our environment and make Pittsburgh an example of what a "green" city can and should be. With your donations to this event, you can help make sure we elect a Mayor who will make Pittsburgh a sustainable city for generations to come.
6-8 p.m. at Mansions on Fifth (5105 5th Avenue).


Apr 22: Earth Day Town Hall meeting

Earth Day Town Hall – Double Down on Clean Energy
The Pittsburgh region’s skilled workforce can be a leader in developing job-creating clean energy solutions to the climate crisis, like solar, wind, geothermal and efficiency — that create jobs here in Pittsburgh.
The Sierra Club, the Blue Green Alliance, the United Steelworkers, Clean Energy Developers, and others are convening a Town Hall meeting to bring stakeholders together.
WHEN: Monday, April 22 at
Khari Mosley - Blue Green Alliance (Moderator)
Dewitt Walton - United Steelworkers Union
Sharon Pillar - Consultant/Advocate for solar energy and climate change
Joel Thomas - Manager, Business Development, Community Energy, Inc.
David Hassenzahl – Dean and Professor, School of Sustainability and the Environment, Chatham University
 6 p.m. at the United Steelworkers Building, 60 Blvd of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 (map)
Questions?: Contact Randy Francisco at randy.francisco@sierraclub.org

Apr 21: A Fierce Green Fire film screening

A FIERCE GREEN FIRE: THE BATTLE FOR A LIVING PLANET is the first big-picture exploration of the environmental movement – grassroots and global activism spanning fifty years from conservation to climate change. Directed and written by Mark Kitchell, Academy Award-nominated director of Berkeley in the Sixties, and narrated by Robert Redford, Ashley Judd, Van Jones, Isabel Allende and Meryl Streep, the film premiered at Sundance Film Festival 2012, and has won acclaim at festivals around the world.

6 p.m. at Chatham University's Eddy Theatre;  free & open to the public.

Apr 19-21: Earth Day at the Frick Environmental Center

Take part in three days of Earth Day opportunities at the Frick Environmental Center. The 151-acre Frick Woods Nature Reserve offers an extensive trail system and an impressive array of habitats filled with Pennsylvania's native plants.  

For a larger view and a detailed schedule, look here.

Hang out at the campfire.  The FEC will provide the fire and sticks; you provide the marshmallows and a cup for hot cider!
  • Place:  FEC at 2005 Beechwood Boulevard
  • Time:  6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Volunteer for a morning of hands-on tree planting and then stay for lunch. 
Enjoy an afternoon of nature walks throughout the 151-acre nature reserve. 
  • Place:  FEC at 2005 Beechwood Boulevard
  • Time:  Noon - 3:00 p.m. (walks every hour)
  • Day-of registration required for walks
  • Please note:  In the event of severe weather on April 21, nature walks will be cancelled.)

Apr 17: Climate change lecture

The University of Pittsburgh Honors College Climate Change Series presents Joseph Romm, PhD with "To Hell and High Water: What You Need To Know About Climate Change"
This public lecture will be delivered by the celebrated author, blogger, physicist, and climate expert, Dr. Joseph Romm, who will speak broadly about how global warming will, in the coming years and decades, become the main focus of the public and private sectors including the implications for jobs, from science and engineering to business, government, and policy.

Romm, editor of Climate Progress, which New York Times columnist Tom Friedman called "the indispensable blog."TIME Magazine named Romm’s blog one of the 25 "Best Blogs of 2010." In 2009, Rolling Stone put Romm on its list of 100 "people who are reinventing America." TIME also named him a "Hero of the Environment" and "The Web’s most influential climate-change blogger." Romm was acting assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy in the 1990s where he oversaw $1 billion in funding for research and development, demonstration, and deployment of low-carbon technology. In 2008 he was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is a senior fellow at American Progress and holds a PhD in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

3pm at Alumni Hall Connolly Ballroom, 4227 5th Ave. (parking in Soldiers & Sailors and O'Hara garages).  Free & open to the public;  RSVP online here.
 This is a free event open to the public but seating is limited.

Apr 11: Marjora Carter at Phipps

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The Green Building Alliance's INSPIRE speaker series with Majora Carter on Taking Action and Making Change for Sustainable Communities.

5:30-8:30 p.m. at Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens.  For more information and to register online, go here.  Cost:  GBA or partner organization member: $25;  non-member $45.  For group rates and scholarship information, please contact Jenna Cramer.  

Majora Carter (Award-Winning Advocate known for "Greening the Ghetto")
Trust us when we tell you – you don’t want to miss hearing from this national gem!  Majora Carter is an activist fighting for environmental justice.  She is the founder of Sustainable South Bronx, a non-profit organization aimed at combating both environmental and economic development issues.  It was one of the nation's first urban, green-collar job training and placement programs in the country.
Among her many accomplishments, Majora has been featured in books such as 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the EarthThe Green Collar Economy, and Bill Clinton’s Giving. Known as “the Bronx Bombshell,” an “Angel of New York,” and credited with “single-handedly making the greening of the ghetto a sexy issue,” Majora is a force to be reckoned with!

Apr 9: Beyond Tunnel Vision

Join the Clean Rivers Campaign to welcome Matt Millea to Pittsburgh for the 5th installment of the Good Jobs & Green Communities Speaker Series!  Mr. Millea is the Deputy County Executive for Physical Services in Onondaga County, NY. He is in charge of Onondaga County’s “Save the Rain” program. This is a multi-million dollar public works initiative that uses both gray and green solutions to lessen sewer overflows into Onondaga Lake. RSVP today!

Mr. Millea was Executive Vice President and Acting President of the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC). During his time there, he launched the award winning Green Innovations Grant Program, which promotes the adoption of innovative water treatment and conservation technologies. We are excited to hear from Matt and hope you’ll join us to find out how we can adapt some of his innovations to solve our problems here!

The Clean Rivers Campaign is working to solve our sewer problem using green solutions that will not only clean our water, but will create family-sustaining jobs, rebuild our neighborhoods, clean our air, and result in the most benefit for our community! 

6 p.m. at the Eddy Theater on the Chatham University campus (reception 6 p.m, talk at 6:30).  Cosponsored by Chatham University’s School of Sustainability and the Environment.

Apr 6: Sustainability Salon & Sing on Food (part 2)

The 15th Putting Down Roots Sustainability Salon (see below if that's new to you) will take place on Saturday, April 6th.  The topic will once again be FOOD -- growing it ourselves, and sourcing it locally.  This will continue our second annual Food edition;  this is a good time of year for would-be gardeners to get started, and for urban folks to find their favorite farmers and markets.  

Newsflash:  a very special guest will join us in the evening... our next mayor, Bill Peduto!  A bit off-topic for this particular salon, but very timely for the Pittsburgh region!  

More details will be forthcoming, but c'mon out if you want to find out about how to start seedlings, make compost, get a garden going, grow mushrooms, keep bees and chickens, or ferment food and drink;  learn about food foraging or where to purchase wild edibles;  explore organic gardening and permaculture concepts;  meet farmers and join a CSA;  connect with PASA, our regional sustainable agriculture organization;  find local farmers' markets, community gardens, school gardens, and volunteer opportunities;  see how grocery stores work with local producers;  think about humane and healthy livestock practices;  find out what's going on up at Eden Hall Farm;  source seeds, seedlings, and gardening supplies;  talk about preserving food at home, or learn about a great local restaurant, bakery, or wholesale supplier…  the list will depend in part on who can come!   

If you haven't been here before, you may enjoy checking out our roof garden as well as the many other interesting things around our place.  That'll mainly be happening between 3 & 4 p.m.

Update on speakers:  Last month we featured CSA farmer and PASA board member Don Kretschmann;  farmers Ron Stidmon of  Enon Valley Garlic and Oliver Griswold of North Woods Ranch; Erin Hart of Farm to Table fame;  Rayden Sorock, who coordinates community gardens for Grow Pittsburgh);  Nicole Muise-Kielkucki of the Lawrenceville Farmer's Market;  Emily Schmidlapp of the Farmers@Firehouse farmer's market, Lydia Vanderhill of Penn's Corner Farm Alliance;  and Isaac Hill of the People's Garden of Pittsburgh on the philosophical and ethical grounding of permaculture.

There are so many great foodfolk in and around Pittsburgh that this topic will continue on April 6th with people from PASA, the Pittsburgh Public Market, GMO Free PA, Legume BistroFrankferd Farms (solar-powered grain mill and regional organic & natural food supplier), Ron Gargasz Organic Farms, beekeeper extraordinaire Christina Joy Neumann of ApoIdea with a gourmet honey tasting, permaculturist and author Darrell Frey on native greens in the diet;  East End Food Co-op and  Eat 'n' Park (a lot more than those smiley cookies), Nick Shorr from the Pennsylvania Resources Council on our regional composting infrastructure, and Megan Fogt with an update on the Carnegie Libraries garden project.  You'll be able to pick up seed catalogs containing valuable cultural information as well as excellent seeds and supplies, as well as one for Frankferd and a program from the recent PASA conference;  I also have seeds, tools, and plants available, and can even get you started brewing your own kombucha.)  The following month, we'll focus on green building and highlight three different visions of what that means (Earthship, Passivhaus, and the Living Building Challenge), will take place on May 4th.

3-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill.  Please don't arrive before 3pm; we plan on introducing speakers beginning around 4pm after folks have had a chance to meet, mingle, and tour around an interesting and productive urban permaculture site.  Please email me to RSVP (important for yesses and maybes, please do so each time -- it helps greatly in several ways.  Among other things, attendance varies from 25 to 75, and it helps to have a handle on numbers in advance;  also, weather and such can be unpredictable and it's good to know who to contact if there's a change) -- and I'll send directions and/or a trail map if you need 'em.  Be sure to include salon in the Subject line, as I receive a ridiculous amount of email every day.  Bring food or drink to share if you can, along with musical instruments if you play.  Check back on MarensList (where you can find information on all sorts of environmental and social justice events), for updates.  

Note that I'll be sending out directions and such, and any late-breaking info, to all the RSVP'd folks by Sunday morning if not before.  One of these days I'll streamline this process a bit (assistance would be welcome), but for now it takes a while to to dot all my i's and cross all my t's.  
For the uninitiated, A Sustainability Salon is basically a house party with an environmental theme -- usually with featured speakers on a particular topic -- accompanied by stimulating conversation, delectable potluck food and drink, and music-making through the evening.
Past topics have included air qualityhealth care, solar powerfoodtrees & park stewardshipalternative energy & climate policy, regional watershed issues, and fantastic film screenings & discussions (led by the filmmakers) over the winter with both YERT and Gas Rush Stories.

Quite a few people have asked me what sorts of food to bring -- and my answer, as always, is whatever inspires you;  I believe in the "luck" part of potlucks.  Tasty noshings for the afternoon, hearty main dishes or scrumptious salads and sides for dinner, baked goods from biscuits and breads to brownies or baklava -- and/or beverages of any kind:  wine, beer, hard or sweet cider (the latter we can mull if you like), juice, tea, whatever (I've got the kombucha covered, though it's always fun to compare).  The more the merrier!  Local fare is always particularly welcome, whether homegrown or boughten.  Dishes containing meat are fine, though if it isn't really obvious please make a note of it.  

And if you like to make music or listen to homemade music, don't forget the evening sing -- we typically run the gamut from Irish fiddle tunes to protest songs to the Beatles, and a fun time is had by all.  Bring instruments if you play, and/or pick up one of ours.  Conversations will continue through the evening as well. 

Apr 6: Difficult Conversations workshop

Led by An Olive Branch mediators with over 30 years of combined experience, this workshop is designed for individuals to improve communication in all of your personal and professional relationships. EVERYONE encounters a troublesome relationship sooner or later, and nearly everyone avoids confronting these conflicts openly and constructively.

Learn a proven method to solve communication problems now at a special introductory registration price of $65.  Register online here.

Apr 6: Chatham Eco-Fest and Bike Share kickoff

In celebration of our latest Bike Share Program (sponsored by Free Ride!), Chatham is reaching out to local environmental organizations, clubs, businesses and small vendors to help expose and connect them to other organizations. 

We will provide spaces for individual organizations to establish their identity and to present their media or other displays. Our own Chatham students will attend as well as local student run Environmental organizations, in addition to organizations in the greater Pittsburgh Area.

Chatham may not have enough tables for everybody so we suggest bringing a card table with you, as well as a blanket or lawn chairs. All tablers will be in our beautiful grassy quad.

We encourage bringing information about past projects or campaigns to promote the Environmental Lifestyle. If you have a portfolio of sorts or just a spheal to tell visitors that would be awesome as well.

In our Dilworth hall, housing for grad students and also Environmental professors, we will set aside a room to more intimately share past projects and discuss more ideas for promoting the Environmental Lifestyle in the future, through each organization’s individual focus.

1-5 p.m. at Chatham University.  Free & open to the public.  Contact Lyndy if you would like to table!

Apr 2 & 3: Bike Share program meetings

Bike Share is coming to Pittsburgh -- a zero-hassle, zero-emissions way to get around town.
Join in the community meetings at CMU (April 2 at 6pm) and Point Park (April 3 at noon) -- more info here.
Did you hear the big news? 

Bike Share is coming to Pittsburgh: http://bit.ly/13RMnql

A zero-hassle, zero-emissions way to get around town ...

Please LIKE and SHARE!

Apr 2: Forum on gun violence

Stop the Killing!  Be a part of the solution.  This forum on ending gun violence will feature local, state, and federal leaders, community members, and experts on gun violence.  Hear from local workers on the front lines, as well as officals and legislators from local, state, and federal government -- and question them on actions being taken.

7-9 p.m. at the East Liberty Presbyterian Church social hall (116 S Highland Ave, 15206).  Free and open to the public;  snacks, drinks, and notecards will be provided.

Co-sponsored by the Coalition Against Violence, CeaseFirePA, Black Political Empowerment Project, Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network, Pittsburgh Jewish Social Justice Roundtable, Temple Sinai, Action United, MoveOn, Thomas Merton Center, MomsDemandActionForGunSense, ALliance for Police Accountability/"Push for Peace", Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee, Peace Committee of ELPC, J-Burgh, Pittsburgh Pastoral Institute and Samaritan Counseling Center, Tree of Hope, American Friends Service Committee PA program, Community Coalition for Violence Prevention and Intervention.  (whoosh, that was a lot of typing... friends, please send me announcements in plain text!)

Apr 1: Sustainable Monroeville with Allegheny Cleanways

Join Sustainable Monroeville to hear Myrna Newman, the Executive Director of Allegheny Cleanways speak.

7-8:30 p.m. at the Monroeville Public Library.

Go to www.sustainablemonroeville.com to see a few photos from last months meeting on Sprouting!