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December 16-23, 2009

In This Issue


Global, national, and local news

This week:


Tour a New Bedford Smart-Growth Mixed-Use Building


Save The Date:

Winter Wildlife Walk

Eyes on Owls



Lloyd Center is hiring!

Weekly Green Tip:

Last Minute Gifts that Give Back

Weekly Quote:

"After all, sustainability means running the global environment - Earth Inc. - like a corporation: with depreciation, amortization and maintenance accounts. In other words, keeping the asset whole, rather than undermining your natural capital."
~ Maurice Strong

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Leaf Bullet News
Global PeakOil
Climate Talks Near Deal to Save Forests
COPENHAGEN Negotiators have all but completed a sweeping deal that would compensate countries for preserving forests, and in some cases, other natural landscapes like peat soils, swamps and fields that play a crucial role in curbing climate change.

Environmental groups have long advocated such a compensation program because forests are efficient absorbers of carbon dioxide, the primary heat-trapping gas linked to global warming. Rain forest destruction, which releases the carbon dioxide stored in trees, is estimated to account for 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions globally. Read more here.

Bacteria Engineered to Turn Carbon Dioxide Into Liquid Fuel
Global climate change has prompted efforts to drastically reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas produced by burning fossil fuels.

In a new approach, researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have genetically modified a cyanobacterium to consume carbon dioxide and produce the liquid fuel isobutanol, which holds great potential as a gasoline alternative. The reaction is powered directly by energy from sunlight, through photosynthesis. Read more here.

In Bolivia, Water and Ice Tell of Climate Change
EL ALTO, Bolivia — When the tap across from her mud-walled home dried up in September, Celia Cruz stopped making soups and scaled back washing for her family of five. She began daily pilgrimages to better-off neighborhoods, hoping to find water there.

Though she has lived here for a decade and her husband, a construction worker, makes a decent wage, money cannot buy water. Read more here.

National Species
The Dawn of Plug-In Priuses and Smart Meters
Toyota announced on Monday plans to begin selling "several tens of thousands" of plug-in versions of its popular Prius hybrid in 2012 2011, as Hiroko Tabuchi reports.

In another article in The New York Times today, Matthew L. Wald describes how the rollout of so-called smart meters which are promoted by electric utilities as a way to save ratepayers money over the long term because they allow for variable electricity rates is meeting resistance from skeptical consumers, who do not appreciate the meters' up-front price tag. Read more here.

GEGE Lands $1.4B Contract for Turbines to Create 845MW Wind Farm in Oregon
NEW YORK, NY Independent power producer Caithness Energy has awarded GE a $1.4 billion contract for 338 of the company's most advanced wind turbines to build a 845-megawatt wind farm in Oregon -- a size that outstrips all others currently operating worldwide.

The Shepherds Flat wind farm, scheduled for completion in 2012, is expected to provide enough power for 230,000 households. Compared to equivalent fossil fuel generation, operation of the wind farm will avoid more than 1.5 million tons a year in greenhouse gas emissions, say the project partners, who announced their plans yesterday. Read more here.

Lowe's Launches Energy Centers to Help Customers Cut Bills
Mooresville, NC Twenty-one Lowe's locations in California will soon include new Energy Centers, providing information and products related to measuring, reducing and generating energy.

The home improvement retailer created the Energy Centers to provide a one-stop location within stores for energy needs. Read more here.

Ski industry focused on battle against global warming
Over the past 16 years, the ski season has been steadily shrinking -- despite the fact resorts dramatically have improved their snowmaking, expanding it over a wider area and investing in technology that allows them to make snow at warmer temperatures.

But according to the National Ski Areas Association, Western ski resorts have been losing nearly a day of skiing a year since 1990. Whether you call it global warming or climate change, warming temperatures -- last week's cold snap notwithstanding -- are having a serious long-range effect on skiing. Read more here.

Local Solar
On Cuttyhunk Island, it's yes in my backyard
CUTTYHUNK - From the well-perched deck of her hilltop home, Nina Brodeur finds solace in the vast horizon, etched by the changing patterns of the sky and the varying hues of Vineyard Sound.

The view remains a significant reason why her family has lived for 21 years in this remote enclave of old cedar-shingle homes on the most westward of the Elizabeth Islands. Unlike other seaside homeowners, including a vocal group of protesters about 8 miles to the east on Martha’s Vineyard, Brodeur and her neighbors have decided they are willing to give up some of their serenity at the state’s behest. Read more here.

Harvesting a most valuable crop
NEW BEDFORD The Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board (WIB) recently hosted the Harvest Awards to recognize the dozens of local businesses and youth service providers who responded to the rapid influx of $1.5 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) dollars for youth jobs this past summer. The event took place at Normandin Middle School.

Speaking to a gathering of young people and youth program operators, David Cabral, WIB Vice-Treasurer and President of Five Star Manufacturing said, "We harvest what we sow, and we must continue to help grow tomorrow's workforce." Read more here.

Digging up the past
Toxic Legacy: Exploring the Parker Street dump
NEW BEDFORD The Parker Street dump was a household name in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, especially for residents living in the growing West End neighborhood.

Richard Paul, 70, grew up on Vine Street and remembers riding his bike to the sprawling dump where he and friends would shoot rats and cans with their air rifles. Fires frequently broke out at the dump, sending thick, foul-smelling smoke through the neighborhood. Read more here.

Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

First Annual edible South Shore Tortellini Festa

Wednesday, December 16th 6:30-9:00 pm, Overbrook House, 5 Old Head of the Bay Road, Buzzards Bay
Join us as we prepare for holiday feasting Italian-style. Local Italian, that is. We'll sit down at a big table and each prepare dozens, even hundreds, of teeny tortellini in the Bolognese style familiar to generations of Plymoutheans as "toodalings". These are the pork tortellini that entire families, from patriarch to toddler, sat down together to make in preparation for Christmas.

Workshop participants will learn to make the pork filling (and, okay, if there's demand at registration, a non-pork filling, too) and mix and roll out the pasta dough; they will work their fingers to the bone folding and shaping a billion toodalings; they'll laugh and swap stories; and they will take home their fair share of minuscule delicious stuffed pasta.

To sign up: There is a fee of $30. Class-size is limited, so advance registration is required. Contact laurie@ediblesouthshore.com.

"FRESH" at the Plimoth Plantation Cinema

Thursday, December 17, at 2:30; 4:30; 6:30 pm, suggested donation of $5. (Sharing proceeds with Plymouth Food Warehouse).
FRESH celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Each has witnessed the rapid transformation of our agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, and morbid obesity. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet.

Among several main characters, FRESH features urban farmer and activist, Will Allen, the recipient of MacArthur's 2008 Genius Award; sustainable farmer and entrepreneur, Joel Salatin, made famous by Michael Pollan's book, The Omnivore's Dilemma; and supermarket owner, David Ball, challenging our Wal-Mart dominated economy. Learn more here.

Tour a Smart Growth Mixed-Use Project

Sunday, December 20th, at 11am 2pm, 464-468 Brock Avenue, New Bedford
You are invited to tour the Energy Star Certified Townhouses in New Bedford's South End. Choose a date that works best for you to celebrate with effortlessdesign for getting the work done in 2009! Today's event is a Winter Solstice Brunch. Learn more here.

Tour a Smart Growth Mixed-Use Project

Tuesday, December 22nd, at 11:30am 1:30pm, 464-468 Brock Avenue, New Bedford
You are invited to tour the Energy Star Certified Townhouses in New Bedford's South End. Choose a date that works best for you to celebrate with effortlessdesign for getting the work done in 2009! Today's event is a Lunch Hour Pizza Party. Learn more here.

Leaf Bullet Save The Date

A School of Adventure - especially for Kids!!!

Tuesday, December 29th, 7pm, Ocean Explorium, New Bedford
Our aquarist staff will take you on a behind the scenes tour of our living exhibits, come learn all the extra things you always wanted to know!

20th Annual New Year's Day Beach Walk

January 1 10-Noon, Gooseberry Neck, Westport
This walk will highlight aspects of coastal ecology and bird identification. Wear warm clothing & hiking boots; bring binoculars and camera if desired. Free. No registration required. Meeting place: Gooseberry Neck, Westport. Leader: Mark Mello, Lloyd Center Research Director. 508-990-0505 x22, markmello@lloydcenter.org.

Winter Wildlife Walk

Saturday, January 9th 9:00 a.m.- 11:00 a.m., Lloyd Center lower parking area
Enjoy a refreshing morning walk to select locations in South Dartmouth to view and learn about the various adaptable species one might encounter in January in a coastal environment.

Of particular interest are seals and winter waterfowl found along the shoreline, where a passing raptor may also be observed. You'll also stroll the forested Lloyd center property to view its winter songbirds, or simply enjoy the tranquility of the forest in winter. If there's snow, evidence of mammal activity and perhaps a roaming fox can be enjoyed.

Dress warmly (boots if snow!), bring optical equipment (binoculars, camera); all are welcome!

Register by calling 508-558-2918. If you have specific questions regarding the walk, please call Jamie at 508-990-0505 x23 or email him at jbogart@lloydcenter.org.

NOFA/Mass 23rd Annual Winter Conference - "Food From Farms For Families"

January 16, 2010 Worcester Technical High School, Worcester, Ma
Northeast Organic Farming Association Massachusetts Chapter (NOFA/Mass) presents their 23rd Annual Winter Conference "Food From Farms For Families". Joel Salatin to present keynote speech and all day seminar "Introducing Livestock to your Farm." Over 40 workshops on organic farming, gardening, landscaping, and sustainable living. Lively exhibit area, NOFA/Mass Annual Meeting, great children and teens program, potluck lunch!

General registration fee $50 with discounts available. Registration for Salatin seminar $115 (includes entrance to entire conference). For more information visit http://www.nofamass.org/conferences/winter/index.php or contact Conference Coordinator, Jassy Bratko, jassy.bratko@nofamass.org or 978-928-5646

Eyes on Owls

January 30 1:00PM, Westport High School
Who's watching you? Find out on January 30th, 2010 at 1pm at Westport High School when Eyes On Owls presents a live owl program in conjunction with WRWA. All who attend are in for some fun with educational close-up views of these secretive birds of prey. Naturalist Marcia Wilson will present "Who's Watching You? Owls of the World."

Wilson introduces the audience to owls found in New England and as well other parts of the world. A slide show begins the program by showcasing colorful wildlife photos by her husband Mark Wilson. Marcia imitates the owls' calls herself, paying special attention to the more common owls that we might encounter in our area. Learn more here. Free for kids, $5 for adults.

RI Local Food Forum

Wednesday, February 3 7:00AM - 3:00PM, Providence, RI
A networking opportunity for farmers, restaurants and food service buyers.|| This year's theme is "Fresh for All". In addition to general networking and local food discussion, there will be a special focus on the exciting resurgence of RI agriculture is still just a few years in the making, and it's happening in large part due to the renewed interest of Rhode Islanders in where our food comes from. Yet this success presents new questions:
* Who is not being served by this recent success?
* How do we scale up to meet new demand?
Registration online. Free.

Slocum's River Long Walk

February 6 1 - 4PM, Slocum's River Reserve (directions)
The extensive conservation efforts led by The Trustees make it possible to walk from the Slocum's River to the Westport River almost entirely on protected land. Before watching the Super Bowl, get outside and stretch your legs on this 4.5-mile walk from the Slocum's River Reserve to the Buzzards Bay Brewery (where you can stock up for the game). Be aware that trails may be icy, snow covered, or muddy. Transportation will be provided back to your car.

Leaf Bullet Announcements

Lloyd Center Seeking Director of Development

The Lloyd Center for the Environment, a highly regarded research and educational organization, headquartered in Dartmouth Massachusetts, seeks an experienced Director of Development to work closely with the Executive Director and the Board of Directors in developing and executing an aggressive fundraising strategy. Learn more here.

Spring Sustainability Courses

UMass Dartmouth is pleased to announce its spring, 2010 sustainability courses. See the course list here.

Winter Study 2009/2010

Mondays at 7 PM (with an option to join us at 6PM for a simple Soup, Salad, and Bread Potluck Supper)

Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered - Monday November 23rd through approx. January 4th/11th

Healthy Crops: A New Agricultural Revolution - Jan 25th through approx. Feb 22nd/March 1st

We'll plan on gathering for 6 evenings for each book, leaving a little room in the schedule for any weather related cancellations.

To register for the either Winter Study (registration is free) please contact Derek Christianson at 508-992-1868 or derekchristianson@gmail.com.

We'll also be coordinating a wintertime garden planning course held in New Bedford in January and February... Planting Seeds in January stay tuned for more details.

Leaf Bullet Weekly Green Tip

Last-Minute Gifts That Give Back

Help protect the planet and put a smile on someone's face. Learn more here.

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