Oct 31: Clean Air Dash, GASP's annual 5k race

Want to support clean air initiatives in the Pittsburgh region?  Then participate in the Group Against Smog and Pollution's 3rd annual Clean Air Dash 5K on Saturday, October 31st.  Learn more and register here: http://gasp-pgh.org/clean-air-dash-2015/  
The Clean Air Dash celebrates the progress we’ve made as a community in reducing air pollution and challenges all of us to continue the fight for clean air.  Bring your family and friends, wear your favorite costume, and join us for a fun fall run or walk!
The race is along the Three Rivers Heritage Trail in the South Side, a flat, fast course perfect for novice and veteran runners alike. We encourage individuals of all ages and skills to join us in the event to support our cause. Thanks to a generous donation from Levin Furniture, all children 12 and under are FREE. Please contact jessica@gasp-pgh.org for the code before registering
Adults: $25 (includes adaptive athletes)
University/College Students: $15 (includes adaptive athletes)
Youth: FREE with code
Awards are given to the top three males/females in different age groups, adaptive athletes, and top male/female overall.  The first 350 registrants are guaranteed to receive a t-shirt. Additional registrants will be given the opportunity to select a shirt if there are unclaimed shirts left after the race has ended.
No race day registration–registration ends October 28, 2015 at 11:59 p.m.  Learn more and register here: http://gasp-pgh.org/clean-air-dash-2015/

Oct 29: Wild & Scenic Film Festival

The Pennsylvania Resources Council (PRC) is partnering with Allegheny Cleanways (AC) to host the Pittsburgh Wild & Scenic Film Festival!  Initially a project of SYRCL (South Yuba River Citizens League), the 14th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival works to combine beautiful and moving filmmaking and environmental issues to inspire citizens across the nation to protect the environment and take action for our local and global communities.  Festival-goers can expect to see award-winning films about resource conservation, litter, and other environmental issues, while learning more about how to get involved with PRC, AC, and other local organizations and initiatives.

6 - 9:30 p.m. at the Kelly Strayhorn Theatre.  General admission $15, which includes a chance to win a pair of tickets to Construction Junctions epic Big Pour.   Light refreshments and a cash bar.  Film previews, more information on the event, and ticket sales here, and you can also join the Facebook event.

Oct 29: Forum on Ending Gun Violence

Oct 28: Play-In & Press Conference for Pollution Protection

Join area health and environmental advocates, along with kids and families, for a gathering at the Courtyard Pittsburgh Downtown on Wednesday, October 28, for a “play-in” (9 am) and press event (10:30 am). We’re drawing attention to the health impact air pollution has on our families while the biggest names in the coke, steel and coal industries are in town for a world summit – Met Coke 2015. Now’s our chance to tell the leaders of Pittsburgh’s biggest polluters that many of the coke facilities in our communities are in regular violation of the very guidelines meant to keep all of us safe.

Parents are invited to bring their kids to the Courtyard Pittsburgh Downtown, Marquee Room A, to participate in a variety of fun activities. At 10:30, a press event will feature parents, health experts and environmental advocates, including:

Dr. Albert Presto, research professor, CMU
Patrice Tomcik, Moms Clean Air Force
Rachel Filippini, Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP)
Leah Andrascik, Allegheny County Clean Air Now
Dr. Marsha Haley, radiation oncologist, UPMC
Adam Garber, PennEnvironment

Who: Parents, Children, Partners, Health Officials

What: A fun, family focused Play-In for Pollution Protection followed by a press conference featuring local educators, health professionals, and elected officials to demonstrate support for America’s Clean Power Plan and the need for strong protections from toxic air pollution.

When: Wednesday, October 28
9:00 am – 10:30 am Play-In for Pollution Protection
10:30 am – Press Conference with health professionals, parents and partners

Where: Courtyard Pittsburgh Downtown, Marquee Room A
945 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Oct 24: Sustainability Salon on Solarize Allegheny

On the heels of the annual Pittsburgh Solar Tour, the 45th Sustainability Salon will feature Solarize Allegheny, a program that is smoothing the way for more local residents and businesses to go solar.  Solarize Allegheny has been working neighborhood by neighborhood, so far including Point Breeze, Etna, Millvale, Moon, Morningside, Highland Park, Friendship, South Fayette, Ross.  And this fall, our own Squirrel Hill is one of the communities being supported -- with the help of the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition, and the response has been terrific!  Come learn about the whys and hows of going solar, and connect with installers and a variety of financing options ranging from Citizens Bank to the Hebrew Free Loan Association.  Point Breeze Solarizers Fred Kraybill and Roger Westman (who is also part of the Squirrel Hill efforts) will share insights on energy technology, geography, and economics that demonstrate how Solar Makes Sense!  Ian Smith of Energy Independent Systems (who coordinated the installation of our own system in 2011, and was the very first Sustainability Salon speaker) will also be here, and we'll view the latest episode of Kirsi Jansa's Sustainability Pioneers series for a personal view of the Solarize experience.
A note to our more observant email readers:  this is indeed a change from the October 17th date announced last month -- I shifted a week later because the Solar Tour organizers added an After Party right at the time of our talks, and it seemed silly to split our solar energy, as it were.  The new date has been on MarensList and Facebook for a while, but I still needed to nail down some details before the Eventbrite notice went out.

The 46th Sustainability Salon in November will almost certainly take place on November 14th.  Check back here on MarensList for updates (as well as lots of other environmental events in and around Pittsburgh).  Please always RSVP if you might come to any of our events...  and read on for important information:  

Salons run 3-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill.  Please don't arrive before 3 p.m.  We usually aim to start the program sometime around 4, after folks have had a chance to meet, mingle, and tour around an interesting and productive urban permaculture site.   Please email me (at maren dot cooke at gmail dot com) with salon in the Subject line to RSVP (yes or maybe), or click on the link in your EventBrite invitation (if you're not already on my list, please email me to be added!).  Please RSVP each time -- it helps greatly in several ways.  Among other things, attendance varies widely, and these events have been so successful that we need to begin limiting attendance.  So RSVP early if you can, to ensure your participation!  The free virtual "tickets" on Eventbrite may run out (you don't need to print any tickets, by the way, just be on the list).  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.  And if you're new, please let me know how you heard about the Salons!
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.  And if you aren't yet on my list, if you're interested in Sustainability Salons (and our occasional house concert, simply contact me and I'll put you on my email list.  

As always, 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.  So if you don't have it yet, please be patient!  One of these days I'll streamline this process a bit, but for now it takes a while to to dot all my i's and cross all my t's.  (All the extraneous requests for the address don't help;  I have lots of other stuff I send out with it, but don't like to let them go unanswered so it adds hours to my prep time.  If you RSVP properly (see above), you should get the info by the morning of the salon!)
For the uninitiated, a Sustainability Salon is an educational forum;  a venue for discussion and debate about important environmental issues;  it's a house party with an environmental theme.  We usually have featured speakers on various aspects of a topic, interspersed with stimulating conversation, lively debate, delectable potluck food and drink, and music-making through the evening.

Past topics have included climate (again, this time focusing on the upcoming COP21 negotiations), air quality (again, with news on the autism connection), reuse (of things and substances), neighborhood-scale food systems, other forms of green community revitalizationsolar powerclimate changeenvironmental artenvironmental education (Part I & Part II), community mapping projectsenvironmental journalismgrassroots actioncommunity solar powerMarcellus shale development and community rightsgreen buildingair qualityhealth care, more solar powertrees and park stewardshipalternative energy and climate policy, regional watershed issues, fantastic film screenings and discussions (led by filmmakers) over the winter with Rachel Carson and the Power Of One VoiceSustainability Pioneersfilms on consumptionLiving DownstreamBidder 70YERTGas Rush Stories, and foodfoodfoodfoodfoodfood, and more food (a recurrent theme;  with California running out of water, we'd better gear up to produce a lot more of our own!).

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 or dairy are fine, though if it isn't really obvious please make a note of it.  

If you haven't been here before, you may enjoy checking out our roof garden and solar installation (and now apiary!) as well as the many other green and interesting things around our place.  

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. 

Oct 20: Divest Pittsburgh Teach-In

Fossil fuel divestment is kicking off across the globe! Now it’s time for Pittsburgh to stand strong and pull our City’s investment dollars out of this dirty, dangerous industry.  Join us October 20 for a teach-in about why divestment matters and how you can make it happen.

Come to our Fossil Fuel Divestment 101 teach-in to meet others working on divestment, get informed about the issue, and find out how you can take action to make this happen for Pittsburgh. We’ll see you:

5:30 -7:30 p.m. at Schwartz Living Market (1317 East Carson Street on the South Side).  Free parking behind the building (across the street).  For more info contact Gabe McMorland at gabriel@thomasmertoncenter.org or call 412-719-3424.
Great news: It is possible to reserve a meal before the meet-up.  The name of the restaurant is extravEganza at Schwartz Market and it’s best to order ahead. Visit the website and order your meal:  http://www.98poundchef-pgh.com/

Oct 17: Pittsburgh Solar Tour and After Party

In the Fifth Annual Pittsburgh Solar Tour, you can visit 19 solar installations and open houses throughout western Pennsylvania, including the Carnegie Science Center, the Kingsley Association, Schenley Heights Community Development Center, a functioning solar sculpture, the Millvale Community Library (100% solar powered), Levin Furniture store and many interesting solar homes. The tour — sponsored by PennFuture, the Solar Unified Network of Western PA (SUNWPA), Solarize Allegheny, and Pittsburgh Green Innovators — is conducted in conjunction with the American Solar Energy Society's (ASES) 2015 National Solar Tour. 

Noon to 4 p.m. for the tour; 5 to 7 p.m. for the After Party at the Kingsley Association (6435 Frankstown Ave, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15206).  Both the self-guided tour and the afterparty are free, but please register online at http://www.pghsolartour.org/  The gathering at the Kingsley Association will provide an opportunity to talk with solar home owners and advocates, enjoy delicious food and beverages, and hear from leaders from the Kingsley Association, Pittsburgh Green Innovators, Solarize Allegheny, SUNWPA and PennFuture’s President Larry Schweiger.

Oct 16: Film screening and panel on chemical exposure

The Human Experiment:  How We Are Guinea Pigs in Our Exposure to Chemicals
Screening of this documentary film produced by Sean Penn, followed by a panel discussion about the effects of exposure to chemicals in our daily lives moderated by Dr. Patricia DeMarco.
  • Judith Focareta, Magee Womens Hospital - Health effects of chemicals in our environment
  • Michelle Naccarati-Chapkis- Women for a Healthy Environment- TSCA Reform
Free and open to the public, but please RSVP to demarcop6 at gmail dot com.  Refreshments will be served.

Oct 14: Solar Celebration with Sustainability Pioneers

Sustainability Pioneers creates short documentary films about efforts in southwestern Pennsylvania that make our region more green.  The latest film features Solarize Allegheny and the first family who went solar through the program, the Taylors.  Come out to watch the film and join the solar energy discussion. 

7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the PointBreezeway in Point Breeze.  Light refreshments will be served.  Free, but please register online

Oct 10-11: Climate Solutions and Actions

Citizen's Climate Lobby invites you to attend one or both days of their Climate Solutions workshops.

Day 1, A day of learing new things about how we can take big steps to solve our climate crisis.  We will also be taking immediate actions to make real breakthroughs in expressing our individual personal and political power.  

Day 2, A day of learning that includes the moral, global, financial and political imperatives to address the climate crisis:  communicating your climate story.

9-4 both days in the Liberty Room of the Human Services building at 1 Smithfield St. downtown (free parking behind the building).  Free and open to the public, but please register online.  

Oct 9-Nov 6 (opening Oct 9): Snapshots of Poverty.

Unfiltered and unedited, five area residents document their personal experiences in photographs that show the impact of poverty in our community, in an exhibition put together by Just Harvest.

Based on Witnesses to Hunger, this is a project that empowers those who know firsthand what it means to face poverty – people who are too often left out of the policymaking processes that directly impact their lives.  Using digital photography, the participants spark dialogue, engage and inform policymakers, and inspire change.

Exhibiting their photographs to the public is only the first step in this dialogue.  They are using these photographs and their life experiences to advocate for change in their own communities.  They are living testimony of the need for legislation to put an end to hunger and poverty.

Free and open to the public.  There will be food, wine and good company!  The exhibit will remain open to the public during Repair the World‘s regular hours, Monday-Friday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. through November 6.