Nov 21: Local Harvest Tasting

Farm to Table Pittsburgh Harvest Tasting

The 4th Annual Farm to Table Harvest Tasting is a casual gathering that gives food lovers first-hand experiences of the quality and diversity of locally grown, produced and prepared food.

This is a great event to meet local Pittsburghers who value their food and are excited to learn how to access local food and beverages. The atmosphere is relaxing: music and local food conversation abounds.

3-7 p.m. in a big tent under the Homestead Grays bridge at the Waterfront (149 W Bridge St., Homestead, 15120, between Gran Agave and Barnes & Noble).  
Tickets are $25/person prior to the event and $30/person at the door.  Children 2-15 are $15/person prior to the event and $20/person at the door.  Menu, more information, and online registration here.

Nov 20: CMU IFF screening of T(ERROR)

A courageous, controversial Pittsburgh-based film.  "Intense and intricately crafted, (T)ERROR  explores just how far we are going to prevent terror and exactly what liberties we are sacrificing to get there."  – Arthur Ryel-Lindsey  

(T)ERROR, shot here in Pittsburgh, goes undercover to follow an FBI informant on an assignment to befriend a Wilkinsburg man suspected of being a Taliban sympathizer. In doing so, directors Lyric Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe push the boundaries of documentary ethics by plunging into the middle of an active FBI sting operation in an attempt to understand and reveal how the U.S. government identifies and apprehends terror suspects.

Don’t miss this incredibly daring film that has been winning awards all over the world, including the Special Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival!

Celebrate the 10th CMU IFF and 20th Anniversary of CAUSE!  4:30pm - Elegant food reception in Connan Room, Cohon University Center
7:00pm - Q&A Session with the film's co-director, Lyric Cabral

This special preview event is free and open to the public.  Parking is free at the Forbes Avenue Parking Garage after 5pm!  
The Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival, organized by The Humanities Center, continues to celebrate the art of filmmaking and the themes that define our contemporary social landscape. Celebrating its 10th Anniversary, the 2016 festival (March 17th to April 3rd) will bring the ubiquitous and intimate theme of conflict to life through the power of independent film, poignant discussions, ethnic cuisine, and more. This year’s festival will both move us and enrich us by helping us better comprehend the unique ways in which “Faces of Conflict” shape our modern world and ourselves.

The festival is dedicated to Paul Goodman, a 
world-renowned filmmaker, psychologist, and Carnegie Mellon professor, whose legacy continues to live on through scholarships that allow the festival to present compelling, international films and culturally provocative events each year.  

Nov 18: Shale & Public Health conference

Shale & Public Health - Third Annual Conference

8:30 am - 5:30 pm at Pitt's University Club (123 University Place), Oakland
Free to attend conference; there is a $14 charge for lunch
Pre-registration required; space is limited.  More information and registration here.

Presented by the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania’s “Straight Scoop on Shale” initiative and hosted by the Pitt Graduate School of Public Health, this year’s conference will feature important new research on shale and public health impacts.

Speakers include:
- Karen Hacker MD MPH Director, Allegheny County Health Department
- Bruce Pitt PhD Professor & Dept. Chair, Environmental and Occupational Health, Pitt Graduate School of Public Health – Perinatal Outcomes and Unconventional Natural Gas Development (UNGD) in Southwest Pennsylvania
- Wilma Subra MS President Subra Company, Chemist and Microbiologist, Chair of STRONGER Pennsylvania Air Quality Regulations Review Committee, served on many EPA committees and MacArthur Fellow – Ethane crackers, the Louisiana experience, shale and public health issues
- Jill Kriesky PhD, Associate Director, SWPA-Environmental Health Project – Establishing Pennsylvania’s Health Registry
- Brian Schwartz MD Professor and Associate Chair, John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and School of Medicine and Senior Investigator, Geisinger Health System– Public health considerations of Marcellus UNGD, new Geisinger research
- Cynthia Richburg PhD CCC-A, FAAA Professor and Clinician, Indiana University of Pennsylvania – Research on hearing loss and health effects near shale gas development sites
- Bernard Goldstein MD Emeritus Dean/Professor, Pitt Graduate School of Public Health – Shale Health Policy and Practices in Germany, the EU, and the US

Additional conference highlights:
Round-table Brainstorming Session where the public can interact with experts and civic leaders
Session for Practitioners – Addressing Shale Health Issues in Practice – Ned Ketyer, MD FAAP, pediatrician; Lenore Resick, PhD, CRNP, FNP-BC Family Nurse Practitioner, Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project

Nov 17: Health 2.0 Pittsburgh on Health and the Environment

Health 2.0 Pittsburgh is hosting an event focused on the Interconnection of Health and the Environment. 

5-8 p.m. at Phipps Center for Sustainable Landscapes.  Please RSVP by Tuesday, November 10th by contacting Ben Johnston at or 412-586-6714. 

About Health 2.0 Pittsburgh

Health 2.0 Pittsburgh connects disruptive technology solutions to contemporary, important community health issues through local forums organized by the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. During the events, topic experts and a mix of students, funders, technology developers, and entrepreneurs network, frame and explore the issue, and showcase technology solutions that match the issue.

About the Speakers

Michelle Naccarati-Chapkis is the executive director of Women for a Healthy Environment (WHE). She leads WHE’s strategic activities, focusing on prevention of human health problems linked to environmental risk factors. Michelle also serves on several boards and coalitions, including the PA Green and Healthy Schools Partnership, Health and Wellness Task Force. Previously, she served as the director of land protection at the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.

Anthony M. Joy, MBA is the chief information officer for Cleveland Metroparks, where he manages all of the technology services and needs. During the Health 2.0 Event, he will demo their Parks App and iNature educational guide, which help to connect people to nature.

Davit Davitian is the business development lead at SolePower. The Pittsburgh-based SolePower group created a power-generating insole that allows outdoor enthusiasts, the military, people in developing regions, and everyday users of consumer electronics to charge their mobile devices simply by walking. 

Kristen S. Kurland is a teaching professor of architecture, information systems, and public policy at CMU’s Heinz College and School of Architecture. Professor Kurland will present how her work crosses the boundaries of health and the built environment. She uses the technology of GIS spatial analyses to assess the connections between health, park proximity, green spaces, and urban design. 

Stephen Quick, FAIA, LEED AP is an architect, adjunct professor of architecture at CMU, and research associate for CMU’s Remaking Cities Institute. Stephen will demo 3D models of Pittsburgh that are used to simulate and query what would happen to health and other impacts if certain features of the urban environment are changed. Within the space of technology, health, and the environment, Stephen has also worked on healthy living projects with Allegheny County Medical Society, GIS mapping, and walkable cities.

Nov 17 or 19: Resilient Pittsburgh Deliberative Forum

Pittsburgh’s popularity is on the rise and while some areas are benefiting, many of our neighborhoods suffer abandonment and violence, our population and infrastructure are aging, and climate change will bring new challenges. How can we create a resilient city that is safe and most livable for everyone?

What does a Resilient Pittsburgh look like? 

We know strengthening education, addressing neighborhood violence and investing in infrastructure are things that make the city a better place for everyone who calls it home. Tell us how we can improve the daily reality of living in Pittsburgh and help communities prepare for the future and reduce the risks of disasters.
The Resilient Pittsburgh Deliberative Forums are meant to give Pittsburgh residents a space to learn in more detail about what local government and partners are already doing and to discuss possible solutions with other residents. We’ll talk about the chronic stresses that weaken Pittsburgh and the acute shocks that threaten the city. The goal of the meetings is to identify strategies that can empower residents and invest in our future as a city. 

Join us for one or both events: 
Southside Market Place on Tuesday, November 17 from 6-8:30pm
East Liberty Presbyterian Church on Thursday, November 19 from 6-8:30pm
Food will be provided.

Register for the forum on-line here.
​For more information, contact Rebecca Kiernan at or 412-255-2254, or check out 
Resilient Pittsburgh.

Nov 14: Sustainability Salon on Getting Money Out of Politics

Getting Money Out of Politics:  
Striking at the Roots of the Climate Crisis

The 46th Sustainability Salon will feature several different approaches to getting money out of politics.  The Citizens United ruling has enabled billionaires like the Koch Brothers to steer the ship of state into uncharted waters of corruption and inequality.  Meanwhile, the League of Women Voters has been a national leader on campaign finance reform ever since the 1970's:  educating the public, lobbying Congress, and filing amicus briefs in most of the Supreme Court cases on the subject.  Our stage will be set by Kathie Breckenridge of the Greater Pittsburgh LWV on their recently-completed analysis of money in politics, recent Supreme Court decisions, the First Amendment, and the changing definition of corruption.  Frank Kirkwood (who has worked with the Coffee Party and Represent.US, and blogs at will fill us in on what other national groups are doing on this front, along various paths, and we'll learn about new tools to navigate the complicated fiscal landscape of politics, regulation, philanthropy, and corporate power from Gabriel McMorland and Nick Stocks of Three Rivers Rising Tide (formerly the Shadbush Environmental Justice Collective).  And Curt Ries and Kyle Amsler of 99 Rise are collaborating with Avaaz and other organizations on the Democracy Spring Campaign, a watershed series of actions planned for early 2016, based on nonviolent civil disobedience and aimed at overturning Citizen's United and restoring voting rights.

Mark your calendar:  the next Sustainability Salon, kicking off our Winter Film Series, will take place on December 5th.

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 Solarize Alleghenyclimate (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. 

Nov 14: Mike Stout and the Human Union

An acoustic evening with Mike Stout and the Human Union  
Come hear original songs spanning 16 CDs, of Pittsburgh History Its struggles, and the men and women who made our world a little better.  Featuring Laura Daniels (keyboard),  Kevin McDonald (guitar), Dave McLaughlin (violin/fiddle), and Dan Schlegel (bass). 
7:30 p.m. at the Point Breezeway Café, 7113 Reynolds Street.  Admission: Whatever you can afford, or feel like contributing 

Nov 13: GASWORK film screening


This new film by Josh Fox (GasLand) will be shown at the Letter Carriers Union Hall (841 California Avenue 15212, on the North Side).  Sponsored by The Union Edge Pittsburgh Branch and the IWW.

Nov 13: Grow Pittsburgh's Urban Grange

Kick up your heels with Grow Pittsburgh to celebrate home grown food, craft brews, music, merriment and more. Rub elbows with local growers and producers and get to know the people behind Grow Pittsburgh. Bring your dancing boots. Get down with music from Molly AlphabetHill Jordan & Slide Worldwide, and Pandemic.

6-9 p.m. at Spirit (242 51st Street, Lawrenceville -- near Goodwill off Butler).  Follow along with #GPGrange and share your experiences throughout the event!  Get your tickets today  (General Admission $25 | Grow Pittsburgh Annual Members $20 -- Annual Members: Look for a code in your inbox).  

Nov 13-15: Oil Train Response 2015

Over the past few years, oil train traffic across the continent has increased rapidly with more than 500,000 rail cars moving oil in 2014 alone, according to the Association of American Railroads. The recent Lac-Mégantic, Quebec disaster and subsequent incidents illustrate the severity of this issue. There is a pressing need to determine true hazards facing our communities and to develop solutions to prevent further disasters. Across the United States and Canada, the issue of oil trains has quickly risen onto the agenda of local leaders, safety experts, researchers, and concerned citizens. There is much to discover and share about protecting people and vulnerable places from the various risks these trains pose.

Meet the Experts:
You are invited to learn more about this important topic to hear from national and state experts about the scale and scope of this challenge, as well as updates on the current regulatory and legal frameworks; consider case studies about the actions/measures taken by various communities in response; and, participate in discussion sessions to explore solutions to better safeguard communities. Elected officials, regulators, Indigenous, community and NGO leaders, and emergency response professionals from Pennsylvania and beyond are especially encouraged to attend to take advantage of this important learning and networking opportunity.

Community Risks & Solutions Conference
Friday Nov 13  (9 a.m. - 5:45 p.m.;  Registration begins at 8 a.m.) at the Wyndham Pittsburgh University Center.  Cost: $50

Activist Training and Strategy Discussion
November 14-15
Cost: $100 

More information and registration here.

Nov 12: Inspire Speaker Series on Designing Places to Thrive

Inspire Speaker Series and p4 Pittsburgh Present: Designing Places to Thrive, with Toni Griffin and John Fetterman

To most people, urban and community design might not seem like the venue where conversations about equity, diversity and inclusion would take place. However, issues of justice, equity, and access are really part and parcel of the goal of urban design: to create places that thrive. Toni Griffin will share her vision and experience working in cities like Detroit, Newark, Chicago, and Washington, DC, while John Fetterman will present his vision for Braddock as a model for equitable, inclusive and sustainable development.

5:30-7 at the Elsie H. Hillman Auditorium at the Kaufmann Center (1825 Centre Ave, PittsburghPA 15219).  Sliding scale $10-40.  Lots more information and online registration here.

Nov 12-13: Climate Rally and EPA hearing

President Obama and the EPA announced the Clean Power Plan – a historic and important step in reducing carbon pollution from power plants.  Pittsburgh was chosen as one of 4 hearings cities.

Our Pittsburgh climate movement must show up in force to show Senator Casey and Tom Wolf that PA can be a state leader to protect our climate, and their constituents have their back.  

RALLY & PRESS CONFERENCE (11:30-12:30 November 12, Federal Building).
Come for speakers, music, and to show the media that Pittsburgh is a climate leader. 

The hearing itself will run on 
Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  (with lunch breaks from noon to 1 p.m. and a dinner break on Thursday from 5-6 p.m.) You can sign up to speak here, and some spots may be available on-site and/or by contacting Eva.

The Clean Power Plan will:

1. Cut carbon pollution from the power sector by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.

2. Cut pollution that leads to soot and smog by over 25 % in 2030.

3. The Clean Power Plan will lead to climate and health benefits worth an estimated $55 billion to $93 billion in 2030, including avoiding 2,700 to 6,600 premature deaths and 140,000 to 150,000 asthma attacks in children.

4. Show the world that the United States is committed to leading global efforts to address climate change.

Nov 11, 13, 14, & 15: "This Changes Everything" film screenings

Several opportunities to see the new film based on Naomi Klein's book 
This Changes Everything

Check out the trailer:
Wednesday November 11, 7-9 p.m. in  Room 548 of the William Pitt Union (3959 Fifth Avenue)
This event is free and open to the public so feel free to bring friends!  After the screening, there will be time for responses and discussion from people working around climate justice in the local Pittsburgh community.
And on the weekend (7 p.m. on Friday the 13th, 4 p.m. on Saturday the 14th, with a guest speaker, and 12 noon on the 15th) at the Parkway Theatre, 644 Broadway Ave., McKees Rocks 15136.