Feb 23: PASUP meeting

PASUP (Pittsburghers Against Single-Use Plastic) is meeting to take action once again! Everyone who is concerned about the negative effects of single-use plastic is welcome. We will have a group meeting, then break into action groups to tackle various solutions of interest.

2-4:30 p.m. at the Friends Meeting House (4836 Ellsworth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213). Light refreshments will be served; we encourage you to bring your own dishware. There will be online registration, and in the meantime you can find lots of shared information on the PASUP group page.

Feb 19: Reimagine Shenango site

Community Meeting:  Shenango Coke Works Site Reimagined

Four years ago, DTE Energy shut down its Shenango Coke Works plant, leaving behind a 50-acre brownsfield. While the site undergoes remediation, there is major concern among regional stakeholders and neighboring residents that Shenango will be replaced by yet another polluting facility. This has led to the creation of the Shenango Reimagined Advisory Council, a volunteer body consisting of local leaders and environmental groups seeking to transform the Shenango site through public input and guiding principles.

Which is why we need your help!

The Shenango Reimagined Advisory Council will host a meeting from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on February 19 at Robert Morris Sports Center on Neville Island to discuss and develop a vision for the reuse of the former Shenango Coke Works site. You’re invited to join elected officials and concerned citizens for an opportunity to influence the reuse of site for the betterment of Neville Township, neighboring boroughs, and Allegheny County. Registration begins at 6:30 p.m.

Our democracy is only as strong as our citizenry and we'd love your input so that we may transform this brownfield site into something better and safer -- for you, for our communities and for future generations!

7-9 p.m. at 7600 Grand Avenue, 15225. Hosted by ACCAN (Allegheny County Clean Air Now). Keep up-to-date and RSVP via the Facebook event. Questions? Contact Margaret Renas at mrenas@delta-institute.org

Feb 15: Women's History at Heinz

Women Forging the Way: The Life of Susan B. Anthony & the Story of Pittsburgh Suffragists

Join the League of Women Voters and the History Center for an afternoon of celebrating the stories and successes of women who fought for the right to vote. See the story of Susan B. Anthony come to life and explore the galleries to make connections with important women's stories in Pittsburgh history.
1-3 p.m. at the Heinz History Center (1212 Smallman St, 15222).  Register online here.

Feb 13: Fossil Fuel Divestment Day

Join college students around the globe who are joining together to take action on Fossil Fuel Divestment Day (F2D2).

Here at Pitt, Fossil Free Pitt has been working for over 5 YEARS for the university to put people over profit, to stop making money off the destruction of the planet and to divest from fossil fuels.

Five years is enough! On September 27th 2019, Fossil Free Pitt put forward an official demand that Pitt vote to divest from fossil fuels on February 28th, 2020. Admin has given FFP every possible excuse while they continue to be complicit in the destruction of the planet. It's time to act.

So on February 13th we’re coming together to join the global call for fossil fuel divestment. We believe that students are the most powerful force on every campus, and when we fight together we can win. On F2D2 we’re joining together to demand a transparent and accountable university that acts in the best interest of students and planet.

The time is noon; the exact location will be announced *the day of the event* so keep an eye out on the Facebook event for more details!

Feb 6: Jokes and Politics

The Allegheny County Democratic Black Caucus in association with the Pittsburgh Black Comedy Association present
Kickin' It With The Candidates -- Jokes and Politics (it's all relevant)....

8 p.m. (doors at 7:30) at the Savoy Restaurant (2623 Penn Ave. 15232).  Seating is limited (first 50 guaranteed seating).  Tickets $20 for the show, $30 with light refreshments.  For tickets or more information, contact Ma Ec at 412-853-6187.  

Feb 1: Sustainability Salon on Ocean Health

An invasive lionfish on a reef near Grand Cayman.          Photo courtesy of Josh Knauer.
The 97th Sustainability Salon will conclude our annual Wintertime Film Series.  This time, we'll take a refreshing (if imaginary) journey far from our landlocked region, as we take a cinematic dip into the oceans of the world.  From the bottom of the ocean food chain to its tippy-top... we'll look at the state of coral reefs around the world;  ongoing attempts to deal with a venomous, carnivorous, and invasive species in the Atlantic;  changing attitudes about an apex predator (as we saw last month, media can have a profound influence on perceptions);  and some developments in the realm of plastic pollution (partly by way of followup to December's salon on the back end of consumption).  In addition to films (and parts of films), a couple of Pittsburghers who are also ocean divers will be with us to share insights and field questions.  I promise some positive notes to lighten our midwinter blues.  Please mark your calendar to come join the conversation!  
The next salon will take place on March 14th.  This Friday, there's benefit concert for PASUP and CeaseFirePA; as always, visit MarensList for more upcoming events!

Salons run 3-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill.  Please don't arrive before 3 p.m.  We 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.  After the talks and discussion, we'll break for a potluck supper (and more conversation).  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 notice (if you're not already on my list, just email me with salon in the subject line to be added!).  

Please do RSVP each time -- it helps greatly in several ways.  Among other things, 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 a trail map 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.  If you drive down our street, please park only on the uphill-facing side, and take care not to block driveways on either side of the street.  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 (usually Friday night).  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;  fit'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 the rise of the radical rightthe back end of consumptionapproaches to activism on fracking & climateair quality, technology, and citizen sciencesingle-use plasticselection activismelection law, whether to preserve existing nuclear power plantsadvanced nuclear technologiespassenger and freight trainsconsumption, plastics, and pollutionair qualitysolar poweryouth activismgreening businessgreenwashing, the petrochemical buildout in our region, climate/nature/peoplefracking, health, & actionglobalizationecological ethicscommunity inclusionair quality monitoringinformal gatherings that turn out to have lots of speakersgetting STEM into Congresskeeping Pittsburgh's water publicShell'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 foodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodand 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 sort 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.  Please try to minimize single-use plastic -- if you're thinking of a deli tray of vegetables, just get some whole veggies and we can cut 'em up here!  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 (again, no single-use packaging) and provide a big batch of homemade/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. 

Feb 1: Petition-Palooza

Democratic petition-signing event, with a champagne brunch!  Join local Dems to sign petitions for inclumbents Mike Doyle, Jay Costa, Dan Frankel, Ed Gainey, and Summer Lee -- and feel free to bring petitions for other offices on the ballot.

11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 6101 Fifth Avenue.  Coordinated by Shadyside Dems, and cosponsored by the Democratic Committees of Pittsburgh Wards 4, 8, 12, 13, 15, 31, and Churchill, Edgewood, Munhall, Penn Hills, Rankin, Swissvale, Verona, Wilkins, and Wilkinsburg.  Please RSVP (and address any questions) to JeanForPittsburgh@gmail.com.