Jun 28: City Council water votes

The Our Water Campaign is going to Council to support two pieces of legislation that would bring Pittsburgh closer to having safe, affordable water. Council will be voting on a bill requiring mandatory disclosure of lead lines to new homeowners and renters, and another bill that would replace homeowner's private lead lines for free.  Passing these bills would be two huge wins for the Our Water Campaign, and would bring Pittsburgh closer to having safe, affordable water!

10 a.m. in City Council Chambers on the 5th floor of the City-County Building (414 Grant St.). You can learn more and check in on Facebook here. Note that this event shifted from June 21st due to Council postponement. 

Jun 27: Ohio River Watershed vision

Headwaters: A Bold New Vision for the Ohio River Watershed 

In many ways, the Ohio River is an unsung resource.  The Ohio’s near-thousand-mile course flows through Pennsylvania and five other states before emptying into the Mississippi. It’s a source of drinking water for more than five million people.  But its long legacy as a “working river” has also made it the most polluted in the country.  Those living along its banks from Pittsburgh to Louisville are now beginning to realize that reimagining their relationship to the river could prove crucial to the region’s future.

Join WESA's The Allegheny Front for a discussion about the future of the Ohio River watershed, with a keynote talk by Collin O'Mara, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, followed by a panel discussion 

6-8 p.m. at Point Park University's Center for Media Innovation (305 Wood St. 15222).  Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and beverages provided.  Space is limited, so please register early!  More information and online registration are here.
Hosted by The Allegheny Front to celebrate the launch of their new podcast, Headwaters, which will explore what this new chapter in the river’s history could look like — and how we can get there.

Jun 25: Allegheny SolarFest

Come on out for the third Allegheny SolarFest!  Free admission to the Children's Museum all day.  Ride your bike to the event during OpenStreetsPGH!! 

Solar energy companies will show you how you can go solar, and there'll be an electric vehicle car show, food trucks, music and information on solar, energy efficiency, solar-powered aquaponics, efficient solar home design and more!  

Great music, too!
• 10:15 - 11:45 am: The Chiodi Trio
• 12:15 - 1:30 pm: Buffalo Rose
• 1:45 - 3:00 pm: Brad Yoder

10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Buhl Park, in front of the Pittsburgh Children's Museum (10 Children's Way, 15212).  The event is powered with 100% solar energy!  More information ('cause the flyer at left is too small here) and free online registration are here.  And you can check in on Facebook to see who else is going!

Jun 24: Visit the first oil well

Tour of the Drake Well Museum
Photo courtesy of wiki user Niagara.
Join the Sierra Club PA Legacy Issues Committee on a tour of the site of the first commercial oil well drilled in the United States.  Learn about the birth of the oil industry and its impact to Pennsylvania.  In addition to a tour of the museum, there will also be a presentation on abandoned gas wells and other legacy issues in the state of Pennsylvania.

11 a.m. at the Drake Well Museum, Titusville, PA.  Space is limited, so RSVP online here.

Jun 17: Sustainability Salon on Pittsburgh's Water Future

The 65th Sustainability Salon will take place on June 17th, on the topic of Pittsburgh's Water Future -- the prospect of privatization, and the risk of contamination.  We'll have Alissa Weinman of Corporate Accountability International, based in Boston but working with Pittsburghers to prevent further privatization of Pittsburgh's water system.  The Our Water Campaign is a a collaborative of eight local organizations working for safe, affordable, and publicly controlled water for the residents of Pittsburgh.  We'll have both Tom Hoffman (Sierra Club) and Aly Shaw (Pittsburgh United) to bring folks up to speed on our local water worries and how they're being addressed.  And to help open a window into the government side, City Council member and PWSA board member Deborah Gross will be with us, as well!  Check back on MarensList for any further updates, as the date approaches.

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 not long after 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!).  
July's salon with Bill Peduto
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 (see below), 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, it's a mini-conference, it's 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 particular topic, interspersed with stimulating conversation, lively debate, delectable potluck food and drink, and music-making through the evening.
Past topics have included Shell's planned petrochemical plantvisualizing air quality, the City of Pittsburgh's sustainability initiativesfossil energy infrastructure, getting money out of politicscommunity solar power and the Solarize Allegheny program, the Paris climate negotiations (beforeduring, and after), 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 art, environmental education (Part I & Part II), community mapping projectsenvironmental journalismgrassroots actionMarcellus shale development and community rightsgreen buildingair qualityhealth care, more solar powertrees and park stewardshipalternative energy and climate policyregional watershed issues, fantastic film screenings and discussions (often led by filmmakers) over the winter with films on Food SystemsClimate Adaptation and MitigationPlastic Paradise, Rachel Carson and the Power Of One VoiceTriple Divide on fracking, You've Been Trumped and A Dangerous GameA Fierce Green FireSustainability Pioneersfilms on consumptionLiving DownstreamBidder 70YERTGas Rush Stories, and foodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodand 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:  wine, hard or sweet cider (the latter we can mull if you like), juice, tea, whatever.  The more the merrier!  Local fare is always particularly welcome, whether homemade or boughten.  Dishes containing meat or dairy are fine, though if it isn't really obvious please make a note of it.  We refill a bunch of growlers at East End and provide a big batch of mostly-homegrown pesto (cheesy and vegan), and other things as needed.  More details will come after you RSVP (hint, hint!). 

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. 

Jun 6: Inspire lecture on Food & Sustainability

Inspire Speakers Series presents Food and Sustainability with Stephen Ritz, Karen Washington, and Raqueeb Bey
Food is the foundation of communities, a means of connecting people to place and place to opportunity. Cultivating this relationship is Stephen Ritz, a dedicated teacher who has spent the last 20 years raising test scores and vegetables in his South Bronx classroom. Stephen lives and works in the nation’s poorest congressional district, and uses food to grow ‘organic citizens’ as part of a new green economy.  Stephen will be joined by the godmother of urban farming Karen Washington, who began one of the first community gardens in the Bronx in 1988. Having founded farmers markets, a garden coalition, and now a farm of her own, Karen plants seeds of resilience, growing food to inspire unity and collaboration among residents.  She understands the power of a tomato to promote racial justice, economic equality, and urban sustainability. The conversation also features local food leader and advocate Raqueeb Bey, president of Pittsburgh chapter of Black Urban Growers (founded by Ms. Washington), and Jake Seltman, Grow Pittsburgh's executive director, as the emcee.  


Stephen Ritz, educator and green innovator, teaches at CS 55 in the Bronx, and is the founder of the Green Bronx Machine

Karen Washington Karen is a farmer and community activist, and co-founder of Black Urban Growers.  

Raqueeb Bey is an urban agriculturalist, community activist, mother, and Garden Resource Coordinator for Grow Pittsburgh.

5:30 p.m. at the Elsie H. Hillman Auditorium at the Hill House Kaufmann Center.  Networking, food, and drink begin at 4:30p; and resumes after the event at 7 p.m. along with a book signing with Stephen Ritz.   Free childcare provided with advance registration;  see details on the registration web page.  More info and online registration here!

Jun 3: Fracking in Your Community

Fracking in Your Local Community: Your Rights and Municipal Responsibilities

Are municipalities prepared to deal with drilling in their communities? 
Join Food & Water Watch for a forum on everything you'll need to know about local zoning regulations and preparing for shale drilling in your community. This event is for elected officials and community leaders looking to engage with this issue at the local level in their community. 
See the list of confirmed speakers here, then be sure to sign up below to reserve your seat!
8:30 a.m. (panels begin at 9) to 12:30 p.m. at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary  (616 N. Highland Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15206).  Seating is limited, so register today!  For more information, contact Doug Shields at dshields@fwwatch.org or 267-428-1917.

Jun 3: March For Truth

People of Pittsburgh and Western Pensylvania will rise with Indivisible Pittsburgh, the Women's March of Pittsburgh, and Mayor Bill Peduto along with other activists and concerned citizens gathering all over the country to #MarchForTruth and demand that key components of our democracy are maintained.  We want to know that our country is being protected and that the truth is respected. 
Marchers will gather at the portico of the City-County building at 11 a.m., and head into Market Square.  We will have speakers and more.  This is being put together quickly; if your organization wants to help, message @IndivisiblePittsburgh!

Speakers: TBA 

Goals include: 
1. A special prosecutor must be named, an independent commission must be established, and Congressional investigations should be properly resourced and pursued free of partisan interests;
2. As much information should be made available to the public as possible, and as soon as possible;
3. Congress should require Donald Trump to release his tax returns to clarify his business interests and obligations to any foreign entity;
4. If crimes were committed or if collusion is discovered, it must be prosecuted. 

Note: By choosing to attend this event, you are acknowledging the risks involved, and you are committing to participate nonviolently and in accordance with the law, and to work to de-escalate confrontations with opposing persons or others. You agree (i) not to engage in any act of violence or violation of any applicable law and (ii) to obey the orders of authorized event marshals and law enforcement authorities.