Jan 31: Senate candidates' forum

The Barbara Daly Danko Political Forum welcomes Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate:
Braddock Mayor John Fetterman, Katie McGinty, and retired Admiral and former Congressman Joe Sestak.

1-4 p.m. in Rangos Ballroom in the Jared L. Cohon University Center at Carnegie Mellon University (parking is free on Sundays;  the garage can be entered at the intersection of Beeler and Forbes).    Doors at 1 p.m., and the forum begins at 2.  Free and open to the public.  
For more information, email Sam Hens-Greco .

Brought to you by the 14th Ward Independent Democratic Club, the 14th Ward Democratic Committee, the 4th Ward Democratic Committee, Shadyside Dems, Steel City Stonewall Democrats, and the H. John Heinz III College School of Public Policy and Management.

Jan 23: Sustainability Salon Winter Film Series

Snow update:  The snow is done falling, the sun is shining (kinda) and Forest Glen has been plowed!  Seems in reasonable shape.  Parking may be tricky, but shuttling people up and down should be feasible, at least.  
The 48th Sustainability Salon, marking four years of these monthly gatherings, will continue our annual Wintertime Film Series with a pair of exposés of The Donald, who inexplicably (and disturbingly) remains the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination.  Donald Trump has been citizen-bashing his way through Scotland for years in the pursuit of the perfect putt, and then goes looking to Eastern Europe.  Two highly regarded and controversial films by British journalist and documentary filmmaker Anthony Baxter follow Trump in his attempt to convert bucolic (and ecologically significant) countryside in Scotland and Croatia into golf resorts for the rich and famous -- and look closely at the steep environmental and social tolls taken by golf courses around the world.  Join us for a double-feature with  You've Been Trumped (2011) and A Dangerous Game (2015).  We'll also talk a bit about the greener management of our local public course in Schenley Park, and the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary certification they achieved in 2012.  Pending the course taken by Winter Storm Jonas and the speed with which roads improve after it passes (he lives south of the city), we will be joined by National Aviary ornithologist Bob Mulvihill, who worked closely with the course managers to improve wildlife habitat and watershed health.

Why films this time (and in December and February)?  During the winter (when weather can throw a wrench into the best-laid plans), we take a break from our usual multi-speaker format to host screenings of important environmental films, sometimes with the filmmakers or other folks on hand to lead the discussion, and often in collaboration with the CMU International Film Festival (which featured A Dangerous Game last spring, leading to our selection this winter).  Please be sure to RSVP if you might come (email Maren with "salon" in the Subject line).  General information and links to past Salon topics are below.  The next salon, on February 27th, will feature the powerful film Triple Divide, a Pennsylvania-made fracking documentary by the Public Herald's Melissa Troutman and Josh Pribanic.  And in March (almost certainly the 12th), we'll have Mark Dixon back for a post-COP21 climate update.  Check back on MarensList for updates!

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. 

Jan 23: Summit Against Racism

Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 1.54.32 AM
All the info, and online registration, are here.

Jan 19: Mark Dixon on COP21

Pittsburgh activist and environmental filmmaker Mark Dixon will report on his experiences at the Paris climate conference, providing personal insights and thoughts about future action.

7:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church (5401 Centre Avenue, Pittsburgh Pa 15232).

Jan 13: 350.org planning meeting

After Paris:  Now the Real Work Begins!

Following the conclusion of the Paris climate talks, citizens around the world will need to ensure that local elected officials will take serious, ongoing, and effective action to forestall catastrophic climate change and to remedy climate injustice.  To learn how that can be accomplished in our region, you are invited to join Pittsburgh350 to hear a brief report on the outcomes and lessons of the Paris meetings and talk about the local and national campaigns we’re planning in order to hold our key decision-makers accountable.

7-8:30 p.m. at the Human Services Building, 1 Smithfield St., Pittsburgh 15222
(Free parking behind the building off Ft. Pitt Blvd).