Aug 10: Sustainability Salon & Sing

The 19th Putting Down Roots Sustainability Salon & Sing will take place on Saturday, August 10th.  Rather than our usual series of talks and discussion on a particular topic, this time we'll let the conversation roll on its own, enjoying time together inside and out during this beautiful season!

And 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.

3-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill.  Please don't arrive before 3pm;  we usually introduce 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 widely, and it helps to have a handle on numbers in advance (we may need to begin limiting attendance);  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 on Friday or Saturday.  Be sure to include salon in the Subject line, as I receive a ridiculous amount of email every day.  Bring food and/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.  If you'd like to start making your own kombucha, please bring a pint jar along.

Note that I'll be sending out directions and such, and any late-breaking info, to all the RSVP'd folks by the morning of the salon 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 an educational forum, a venue for discussion and debate about important environmental issues, a house party with an environmental theme.  We usually have featured speakers on a particular topic, interspersed with stimulating conversation, lively debate, delectable potluck food and drink, and music-making through the evening.
Past topics have included Marcellus shale development and community rightsgreen buildingair qualityhealth care, solar powertrees & park stewardshipalternative energy & climate policy, regional watershed issues, fantastic film screenings & discussions (led by the filmmakers) over the winter with both YERT and Gas Rush Stories, and foodfood, and more food.

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. 

Aug 10: GTECH/Grow Pittsburgh Farm Tour

Lots of Green - a bus and bike tour and after party

Grow Pittsburgh and GTECH are holding a community farm and garden tour highlighting both organization's work to help transform their vacant lots into green spaces.  Last year's bike tour attracted 75 riders, and this year they're adding a bus component as well. 

9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.  To participate in the tour is $10 (no one turned away for lack of funds) and the after party at the Grow Pittsburgh parking lot is free (food and drinks will cost $). 

Aug 6: Sustainable monroeville and ACHD on clean air

Join Sustainable Monroeville at 7:00 PM at the Monroeville Public Library to hear Alaina Conner of the Allegheny County Health Department speak on Clean Air! Go for details.

Aug 3: Meeting to protect parks from fracking (and calling info)

Meeting to build the campaign to prevent the leasing of Allegheny County Parks for Fracking.
Public Parks are OUR Parks. County plans to start fracking at Deer Lake Park! 

County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and some members of Allegheny County Council are hoping to lease Allegheny County Park land for fracking. Several groups, including Marcellus Protest and South Hills Area Against Dangerous Drilling (SHAADD) believe that we as residents need to draw a line at the County Parks - there should be no fracking *on or under* the areas where the public goes for recreation, exercise, and takes their children to play.
For now, Mr. Fitzgerald has called for bids to frack only Deer Lakes Park - but he is quoted as saying that he's wants to look at leasing any County land, so now is the time to become involved and say "No Fracking On OUR Public Lands."

The issue is not on a County Council meeting agenda yet, so we are optimistic that our voices can have an effect on the process. (The vote to allow fracking at the Airports did pass by 9-4, after all. Only a few votes would have to switch, and at least that many who voted yes had serious misgivings.)

10:00 a.m. at the East Liberty Presbyterian Church - Room 234 (116 S Highland Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15206).

`SHAAD is also asking that you 
Here's what we are asking you to do.
1. Call your County Council Member, and the two at-large members, DeFazio and Heidelbaugh. (Contact information is here*Your phone message doesn't have to be long* - keep it simple, for example: "My name is______, I'm your constituent, and I'm asking you to vote NO on leasing any County Park land for fracking."  
NOTE: We have heard that many Council members never read their email, so we're asking you to please CALL.
2. *Forward this message* to your friends, and ask them to do the same.
3. If you use social media, Facebook, Twitter, create a post asking the Allegheny County residents you know to join you in making their voices heard.
Let's get out in front of this issue, and maybe prevent it from even coming up for a vote, if we can make our voices heard loudly enough. SHAAD will be working with other groups to find other ways to do this; stay tuned!