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June 23 to 30, 2011

In This Issue


Global, national, and local news

This week:

Family Twilight Tour

South Shore Locavore Gathering


Save The Date:

Swim Buzzards Bay

NOFA Summer Conference



WRWA Looking for Executive Director

Zoo Crew Summer Program for Children

Weekly Green Tip:

Tires and the environment

Clip of the Week

Pyramids of Waste, AKA The Lightbulb Conspiracy - Planned obsolescence documentary
[Almanac editor's note - A truly fascinating shortish film]
A documentary about how our economic system based on consumerism and planned obsolescence is breaking our planet down

Weekly Quote:

"Human society sustains itself by transforming nature into garbage."
- Mason Cooley

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Leaf Bullet News
Farming the Cities, Feeding an Urban Future
As people move from rural to urban settings in search of economic opportunities, urban agriculture is becoming an important provider of both food and employment, according to researchers with the Worldwatch Institute. "Urban agriculture is providing food, jobs, and hope in Nairobi, Kampala, Dakar, and other cities across sub-Saharan Africa," said Danielle Nierenberg, co-director of the Institute's Nourishing the Planet project. "In some cases, urban farmers are providing important inputs, such as seed, to rural farmers, dispelling the myth that urban agriculture helps feed the poor and hungry only in cities."

The United Nations projects that up to 65 percent of the world's population will live in cities by 2050, up from around 50 percent today. The rate of urban migration is particularly high in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, where inadequate urban infrastructure struggles to keep up with the large influx of people. "Although most of the world's poor and hungry remain in rural areas, hunger is migrating with people into urban areas," said Brian Halweil, co-director of the Nourishing the Planet project. Read more here.

Building Solutions Harnessing the Multiplier Effect
We’re all familiar with vicious cycles. But what happens when solutions build on each other?
We often hear that the world's problems compound themselves: chronic poverty leads to political destabilization; inadequate education can contribute to gender discrimination. But what if the opposite were true as well? What if teaching women to read could also fuel local economies? What if habitat preservation could lower unsustainable birthrates? Read more here.

Arabian Antelope Arabian "Unicorn" Leaps Out of Near Extinction
Antelope rises from six to a thousand individuals in Middle East.
It's no fantasy—the so-called Arabian unicorn is alive and well in Middle Eastern deserts, conservationists have announced.

A frequent muse for Arabic poetry and paintings, the Arabian oryx resembles a unicorn in profile, when its two long horns appear to fuse into one.

But it seemed the hardy antelope was headed for an entirely fictional existence in 1972, when only six animals existed in the wild. Read more here.

Rare Earth Metals What are rare earth metals?
They're crucial to hybrid cars, wind turbines and many other green-tech innovations, but these elusive metals also have an environmental dark side.
"Rare earth" metals aren't as rare as they sound — in fact, you're probably using some right now. They're key to a variety of everyday devices, from tablet computers and TVs to hybrid cars and wind turbines, so it may be encouraging to know several kinds are actually common. Cerium, for example, is the 25th most abundant element on Earth. Read more here.

Tshirts T-shirt charges your phone by absorbing ambient sound
First there were tie-dyes, then there were hypercolors. Could piezoelectric fabrics that charge your mobile phone while you wear them be the next big T-shirt fad? That's what the French telecom company, Orange, is counting on, reports the Telegraph.

The shirts utilize ambient sound as a catalyst to produce electric voltage, and are being rolled out just in time for the Glastonbury Music Festival in Britain. Developers hope that the shirts will offer a convenient, eco-friendly way for festival goers to charge their phones while they're rocking out away from the grid. Read more here.

Life Cycle Assessment of EVs Reveals Startling Results
A number of articles and blogs published this week paint a negative picture of electric cars based on a British study published earlier this month. The study attempts a comparative life-cycle assessment (LCA) of conventional, hybrid and electric cars and prompted "downer" headlines such as, "Electric Cars May Not Be So Green After All" and "More Bad News For The Chevy Volt". Read more here.

World Bank Farmer Aid World Bank unveils hedging tool to aid poor farmers
The World Bank on Tuesday launched a new agricultural hedging tool to help farmers in developing countries curb increasing food price volatility.

The launch of the Agricultural Price Risk Management facility together with JP Morgan Chase & Co precedes a June 22-23 meeting in Paris of G20 agriculture ministers seeking a deal on improving global food security amid increasing global commodity prices. Read more here.

Plastic Recycling Plant Canadian plant tests better way to recycle plastic
A small Canadian company is trying to change the way some plastic is recycled with an pilot plant that will test a new process to reuse the polystyrene that makes coffee cups, food trays and packing material.

Switchable Solutions Inc, a joint venture commercializing the new recycling method, said its industrial-scale pilot should begin operation in about a year.

It will be able to recycle 2,000 tonnes of polystyrene a year in a process the company says is more environmentally friendly than existing methods. Read more here.

Pest control - extermination vs. neutering or relocation
Like the population issue, the topic of pest control stirs up a lot of strong reactions as to how it should be handled.

Prevention being better than cure aside, when the pest has invaded our homes, businesses and farms - what should be done?

When it comes to creatures such as snails, slugs, flies, termites, mosquitos and bedbugs; many people find extermination is acceptable; but whack fur or feathers on a creature and the situation often changes. Read more here.

Japan Plans to Unlink Nuclear Agency From Government
TOKYO — Responding to criticism that lax oversight played a role in the Fukushima nuclear accident, Japan’s government may make its nuclear regulatory agency more independent as early as next year.

The country’s minister of trade and industry, Banri Kaieda, speaking in Vienna on Monday, said that the government wanted to separate the regulatory agency from his ministry, which is in charge of promoting Japan’s nuclear industry. Cozy ties between government and industry are now widely blamed for allowing the Fukushima Daiichi plant to operate despite inadequate protections against large tsunamis and insufficient backup power systems. Those vulnerabilities proved disastrous after the devastating earthquake on March 11. Read more here.

Bird Nests A Feat of Engineering That Doubles as a Home
I live in a nice clapboard house and work in a gleaming steel-and-glass skyscraper, but after reading “Avian Architecture: How Birds Design, Engineer and Build” I feel cheated. I’ll never get to enjoy the comforts of the nest of a long-tailed tit.

As Peter Goodfellow, the book’s author, points out, the dome-shaped nest is one of the most beautiful and skillful constructions in the animal kingdom. The average one contains a couple of hundred sprigs of moss and several thousand lichen flakes, woven together with purloined spider silk and lined with feathers. A nice place for a nap, if you are six inches long. Read more here.

Livestock Manure and Agricultural By-Products to Produce Biogas
A team of researchers from the Institute for Animal Science and Technology of the Universitat Politècnica de València (Spain) has developed a project that combines pig slurry and agricultural by-products to optimize biogas production. Thus, it manages to add value to farms' excess slurry and offers a sustainable use to some of the by-products from the fruit and vegetable processing industry. Read more here.

Biogas Tool New Biofuel Sustainability Assessment Tool and Greenhouse Gas Calculator Released
Various biofuels, first hailed as a way to a sustainable energy supply, have since fallen out of favor because of the overall negative impact they have on the environment, mainly due to the production of the biogenic fuels -- as they should be more aptly termed. Now researchers at Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, have together with their colleagues at the Swiss Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels (RSB) and the HTW Berlin, Germany, developed an online tool to assess the sustainability of biofuel production. Read more here.

Vermont Agriculture Slower Living for a Rooted Future
Vermont is leading the way toward agricultural and economic change. What we can learn from the "Slow Living Summit" about building sustainable futures everywhere.
Many of you are aware that every summer, in various cities across Spain, there is the traditional “running of the bulls,” a risky, testosterone-filled spectacle that could be seen as a metaphor for our crumbling growth-at-all-costs economy.

Well, in Vermont, for three days each summer, there is a festival that is equally engaging, but is diametrically opposed. It is called the “Strolling of the Heifers,” where up to 100 heifer calves, led by young future farmers, stroll down the streets of Brattleboro as thousands cheer from the sidelines. To celebrate sustainable family farming, the parade is accompanied by three days of a “live green expo,” a film festival, and a street party with musicians, street vendors, and clowns. This event could be viewed as a metaphor for the rooted and green Main Street economy that hundreds of communities across this country have started to build. Read more here.

Genetically Modified Food shock: what the labels don’t tell you
You could be eating meat and drinking milk from cloned or genetically modified animals without knowing it. The reason: the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require labeling on most products that contain genetically engineered plant materials, or on meat and milk from cloned animals. So there’s no way for consumers to tell.

The agency claims that such labeling could confuse consumers and turn them away from products that currently are deemed safe. Read more here.

Nebraska Nuclear Emergency The US Is Having A Catastrophic Nuclear Emergency In Nebraska And The Obama Administration Is Covering It Up -- Russia
Here's an interesting report from Pakistan's daily newspaper The Nation.

It cites a Russian regulatory agency as saying that the US is currently having a major nuclear emergency at the flooded plant in Nebraska and that the Obama Administration is trying to cover it up. Read more here.

Great Job Growth in Sustainability, But… Only If You Also Have Other Skills
Many people think the next big job boom will happen in the area of sustainability. Research from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University shows a huge percentage of employers are already giving positive weight to job candidates with sustainability skills. However, the same research indicates these job applicants also need professional training in existing fields, to push them over the top in the hiring process. Read more here.

Economic Waters Mapping Uncharted Economic Waters
I am among those who hoped that President Obama, based on his campaign promises, would introduce reforms putting the United States on the path to a New Economy.

Unfortunately, for all the powers of the presidency, any new president, no matter what his intention, quickly learns that he is captive to institutional forces that severely limit his ability to set a course for uncharted waters. Read more here.

Department of Energy Conditional Loan Guarantee Commitment to Support the Development of New Hampshire's Largest Wind Farm
Project Expected to Create 200 Jobs and Generate Enough Electricity to Power 20,000 Homes
Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced the offer of a conditional commitment to Granite Reliable Power, LLC to provide up to $135.76 million in loan guarantees for a new wind generation project. The 99 megawatt (MW) project will be located in the central portion of Coos County in northern New Hampshire, approximately 110 miles north of Concord. According to project sponsors, the project will create nearly 200 construction jobs. Read more here.

Climate Change: Public Skeptical, Scientists Sure
The American public is less likely to believe in global warming than it was just five years ago. Yet, paradoxically, scientists are more confident than ever that climate change is real and caused largely by human activities.

Something a bit strange is happening with public opinion and climate change.

Anthony Leiserowitz, who directs the Yale University Project on Climate Change Communication, delved into this in a recent poll. He not only asked citizens what they thought of climate change, he also asked them to estimate how climate scientists feel about global warming. Read more here.

Natural Gas Pollution Air Quality Concerns Threaten Natural Gas's Image
Massive stores of natural gas that lie underneath big portions of the United States offer a cleaner source of electricity to a country that relies heavily on coal, but producing all that gas also can pump lots of pollution into the air.

Gas production already has caused unhealthy air in Wyoming's Sublette County and Utah's Uintah Basin. And experts project that booming shale gas developments like Haynesville, stretching through Texas and Louisiana, and Marcellus, which lies beneath several Mid-Atlantic states, will start contributing to unhealthy levels of ozone or smog in coming years. Read more here.

BP Gulf Spill BP chairman eyes drilling in Gulf of Mexico
British oil giant BP hopes to soon be able to operate again in the Gulf of Mexico, its chairman was quoted as saying Tuesday.

"It's difficult to speculate on but I think it isn't far away," Carl-Henric Svanberg told reporters on the sideline of an International Association for Energy Economics in Stockholm, according to Dow Jones Newswires. Read more here.

Food Imports FDA to work globally to keep U.S. food imports safe
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Health regulators said they would work with their counterparts worldwide to share information and better safeguard drugs and food consumed in the United States.

The move represents a change in strategy for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a recognition of an increasingly complex global supply chain and tight budgets at home. Read more here.

The Weather
We all complain about the weather. It is a great topic of conversation. Weather is the state of the atmosphere, to the degree that it is hot or cold, wet or dry, calm or stormy, clear or cloudy. Most weather phenomena occur in the troposphere, just below the stratosphere. Weather is part of what life is about. However, everything has its price. New research indicates that routine weather events such as rain and cooler-than-average days can add up to an annual economic impact of as much as $485 billion in the United States based on 2011 data. Read more here.

Green Fashions PROJECT GREENWAY: Chicago Students’ Answer to Eco-Friendly Fashion
Who said you can’t be fashionable and green? Without sacrificing style and glam, Chicago students put on an innovative eco-runway show called “Project Greenway” in April. It proved to to be a successful endeavor, and shows you can definitely be eco-friendly, while still staying fabulously up-to-date with the latest fashion. With fancy lights, a great space, and an enthusiastic set of workers, we all put on a great show! But before I tell you more about the marvelous event, let’s rewind. . . and go back to the beginning. Read more here.

US Fuel Subsidies The true story on power – fossil fuels and nuclear get huge subsidies, wind power not so much
The true story on subsidies:

1. Without subsidies – both overt and hidden – coal would be 2-3 times more expensive than wind.

2. Nuclear energy received $3.75 billion in subsidies each year from 1950-1990 as wind had received in total up to 2007, (even with all those subsidies, many of which continue today, nuclear can’t compete with other electricity sources)… and this is not taking into account considerable environmental and storage externalities;

3. Big oil got more money in tax breaks in 2011 alone ($4 billion) than the wind industry had received in total up to 2007 ($3.75 billion), and it is expected to get $77 billion more by 2021. Read more here.

Mapping Sun’s Potential to Power New York
Two-thirds of New York City’s rooftops are suitable for solar panels and could jointly generate enough energy to meet half the city’s demand for electricity at peak periods, according to a new, highly detailed interactive map to be made public on Thursday.

The map, which shows the solar potential of each of the city’s one-million-plus buildings, is a result of a series of flights over the city by an airplane equipped with a laser system known as Lidar, for light detection and ranging. Read more here.

Grand Canyon Uranium Mine Moratorium Extended at Grand Canyon
The federal government on Monday extended for six months a moratorium on new uranium mining claims in a million-acre buffer zone around the Grand Canyon as it awaits the conclusions of a study of potential environmental harm to the region.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said that expanded uranium mining around the canyon could threaten water supplies, air quality, wildlife, desert vegetation and priceless scenery. Once lost, Mr. Salazar said, those assets can never be reclaimed. Read more here.

R.I. Senate approves 3 renewable-energy measures
PROVIDENCE — The state Senate approved three bills on Wednesday that aim to encourage more development of renewable energy.

The Senate voted unanimously in favor of all three bills. There was no discussion on the measures, which are designed, in part, to clarify prices that owners of different types of renewable-energy systems can charge for their power. The House of Representatives approved the package last Thursday. Read more here.

RI Incinerator Bill Incinerator Bill Moves Forward ... Quickly
PROVIDENCE — A House committee voted to send a bill overturning the state ban on trash incinerators to the House floor for a vote.

Rep. Jon Brien, D-Woonsocket, the bill's sole sponsor and head of the committee that heard the legislation, wants to repeal the ban so plans can move forward to build a trash incinerator in his district. Read more here.

Dartmouth projects $2.9M in solar farm revenue
DARTMOUTH — A San Diego-based developer is planning to construct a 6,266-solar panel farm on a portion of the former Russells Mills Road landfill under a 20-year lease with the town.

Under the agreement, Dartmouth would lease about 10 acres of the landfill for $1 to Borrego Solar Systems Inc. The town would buy the electricity produced at the 1.45-megawatt facility for 8 cents per kilowatt hour and sell that power to NStar for the net metering rate or 12.5 cents per kilowatt hour, according to David G. Cressman, the town's executive administrator. Read more here.

RI Compost State Compost Programs Plow Ahead
PROVIDENCE — A food-scrap to compost-collection program is moving ahead on many fronts for Rhode Island.

Last Tuesday, the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation board of directors approved the lease of land at the Central Landfill in Johnston for a 150-ton food digester. Under the agreement, the developer, Orbit Energy Inc., must break ground on the project by the end of the year so that the facility is up and running by October 2012. Read more here.

MIKE MORAN: Hess spin doctors couldn’t save LNG
Imagine for a moment that every word of the press release issued last week announcing the end of the Weaver’s Cove project is true. Let’s not think of it simply as a clumsy attempt at corporate spin. Don’t respond to it with the sarcasm, cynicism and disbelief that have greeted nearly every public statement made by Hess since the company first made overtures to Fall River nearly a decade ago. Read more here.

Parks Budget cuts could crimp summer at Bay State parks
EASTON — For friends Julie Sullivan and Samantha Herron, walking the trails of Borderland State Park in Easton is a fun way to pass the time.

But with state parks facing budget cuts, Sullivan and Herron wonder how the park could be affected. Read more here.

Black Bear Black bear spotted wandering through Taunton
TAUNTON — Taunton police are on the lookout for a black bear seen wandering around the wooded areas of Taunton on Tuesday. A sighting on North Walker Street was first reported to police at 8:30 a.m., before the bear moved onto Shores Street, where it remained throughout the morning, said Lt. Eric Nichols. Nichols said a total of three bear sightings were reported to police by noon, including one of the bear crossing the street. Read more here.

Fall River smokers say graphic cigarette labels won't change their habits
Beginning in 2012, warning labels on packs of cigarettes will include graphic images in an attempt to get people to kick the habit.

The Food and Drug Administration released the images on Tuesday, including pictures of rotting and diseased teeth, the corpse of a smoker, diseased lungs and a man with a tracheotomy smoking through a hole in his throat. Phrases like “Smoking can kill you” and “Cigarettes cause cancer” will also be prominently displayed on the packs. Read more here.

Fall River has frustrating drop in unemployment rate
FALL RIVER — The city’s unemployment rate inched below 15 percent in May, a slight decrease attributable more to people leaving the unemployment ranks than to more people working. The rate fell 0.2 percentage points to 14.9, but the number of people working in the city dropped by 137, according to the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.

Area towns stayed relatively flat, mirroring the state’s unemployment rate, which was unmoved from the prior month at 7.4 percent. Read more here.

Fall River Mill Gala Renovated mill to host gala in honor of Fall River's industrial past
FALL RIVER — The Fall River Historical Society will host a gala Cotton Bicentennial Ball on the evening of Saturday, Oct. 1.

The event will be held at Commonwealth Landing, formerly the Mechanics Mill, 1082 Davol St. It was most recently the site of the Quaker Fabric Corp. headquarters. Mechanics Mill was built on the city’s waterfront in 1868 and is currently being renovated. Read more here.

Westport discovers PCBs in middle school
WESTPORT — While no one knows for sure how much more money will be needed, “Green Project” repairs to schools in town will cost more than originally anticipated because of PCB contamination around windows due to be replaced at the middle school.

How much?

“I’m hoping to know more by the end of the week,” School Committee Member James Bernard said. Read more here.

Easton targets old landfill for solar-energy facility
EASTON — Town officials want to use the former landfill on Prospect Street to generate solar energy that could save the town up to $500,000 in electricity costs each year and fulfill a state requirement for designated “green” communities.

Town meeting in May authorized a zoning change to create a solar-photovoltaic overlay district that includes the closed landfill, town-owned Water Department land and land at Southeastern Regional Vocational High School.

Now, the town is sending out a request for proposal seeking developers to put a solar photovoltaic array on the landfill property. Read more here.

Sting Rays Cuddly creatures from the deep
NEW BEDFORD — This city is no stranger to overseas visitors. But on Tuesday, it was a delegation of under-the-sea visitors that descended on the Ocean Explorium at New Bedford Seaport.

Fresh in from Logan Airport, 10 boxes of 10 stingrays from the Florida Keys arrived at the explorium for a new touch-tank slated to open July 1. Read more here.

SouthCoast 411: Are gadget buyback programs worth the cost?
When you buy a new laptop or mobile phone, the last thing you want to hear a few months later is that the maker just announced an updated version.

Retailers are offering an increasing number of buyback programs as a way for customers to protect themselves against rapid obsolescence. Customers can trade in used items and get back at least some of their money. Read more here.

Your View: Enterprise fund would improve Westport beaches
The Westport Town Beach Committee will seek voter approval at Town Meeting for the establishment of an enterprise fund to better manage and maintain the Westport town beaches. Currently, and for the past many years, the beach committee has operated on a budget suggested by the Finance Committee and approved by the selectmen. Read more here.

Key investor still committed to Cape Wind
The company that will supply turbines for Cape Wind is still willing to help finance the offshore wind farm even though a federal loan for the project has fallen through, Siemens AG Chief Financial Officer Josef Kaeser said in an interview Tuesday with Bloomberg.

Cape Wind Associates LLC officials confirmed on Tuesday that there have been discussions between the two companies about financing. Read more here.

Sustainability council considers regional energy strategy
FALL RIVER — Work on a regional energy strategy that would incorporate alternative energy sources may not be under way officially, but there are plenty of people interested in creating one.

More than 50 people attended the Council on Sustainability's quarterly meeting Thursday to discuss the creation of such a plan and contribute ideas for it. The council is a leadership forum that was started jointly by UMass Dartmouth and the Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District. Read more here.

Farmers markets
This week finds your local farmers markets in the full swing of a bountiful season. Expect to find a broadening assortment of farm-fresh delights. Traditional favorites like beets, lettuce, arugula, peas, radishes, turnips and fresh herbs are plentiful. You'll also find some of lesser-known market stars, such as green garlic and garlic scapes, kohlrabi and bok choy. Read more here.

Boston hearing looks at NOAA spending
NEW BEDFORD — NOAA's spending on controversial fisheries management is the subject of a rare field hearing today in Boston's Faneuil Hall by a U.S. Senate subcommittee.

With the system of sector management and catch shares forcing the Northeast fishing fleet to shrink, there is some irony in the title of the hearing: "How is NOAA Managing Funds to Protect the Domestic Fishing Industry?" Read more here.

Mass. company develops cheaper solar
BOSTON — A Lexington-based Massachusetts company has won a conditional $150 million federal loan guarantee to develop a dramatically cheaper way to produce the silicon wafers that are the key component of solar panels.

Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu on Friday called the project by 1366 Technologies Inc. a "game changer" that could slash the price of solar power by cutting the wafers' manufacturing costs in half. Read more here.

Mattapoisett seeks regional commuter bus routes
MATTAPOISETT — Selectmen have endorsed Town Administrator Michael Gagne's plan for a regional commuter bus route.

Gagne said he wants the support of surrounding town boards in petitioning the regional transportation authority to create three bus routes that would take area commuters to the Lakeville rail station. Read more here.

Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

Blue Crabs, Minnows, Shrimp, and more! A Seine Net Demonstration

June 24, 3:30pm, Goosewing Beach Preserve, South Shore, Rd, Little Compton, RI
Free! Join us for an informal lesson on the history and use of the seine net. See what critters we can collect and discover the biodiversity of Goosewing Beach Preserve. Meet in front of the Benjamin Family Environmental Center. All ages welcome. Please register by email at kpisano@tnc.org, or by phone 401-331-7110 x. 33

Family Twilight Tour

June 24,6 pm, Buttonwood Park Zoo
Join us for an exciting evening at the Zoo rain or shine! This 3 ½ hour program includes a pizza dinner, a program about animals at the Zoo, an evening tour of the Zoo and a campfire with s’mores! Participants must pre-register and pay in advance. Members: $15/person; Non-members: $18/person; Children under 3 FREE. Call (508) 991-4556 x 18.

Cranberry Blossom Bog Tour

June 25, 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m., Tihonet Village Market
The A.D. Makepeace Company welcomes you to tour the largest cranberry operation in the world during the height of blossom season! An experienced cranberry grower will take the group to view the cranberry blossom, discuss all aspects of cranberry growing and answer questions. At Tihonet Village Market the group will be able to view our Cranberry Harvest Video and see pictures of the bogs through the seasons. Lunch, souvenirs and cranberry products are also available at the Market for purchase. Pre-registration and pre-payment is required. Tours are held rain or shine (extreme weather may postpone a tour however). Call us at 508-295-5437 or e-mail us at khoudlette@admakepeace.com to register. Details here.

Slocum River Kayak Tour

June 25, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., Lloyd Center Headquarters, Dartmouth
Cost: Members: $45 Non-members: $55. Pre-registration required by noon on Friday, June 24th. Ages 14 and up. Limit: 10 The Slocum River is a peaceful scenic estuary, offering extraordinary views, great birding and paddling. Come explore the many coves and marshes along this classic New England landscape. Paddlers of all abilities are welcome. All tours include basic kayak equipment and instruction by certified guides. Register online or call the Center's event phone at 508-558-2918. Details here.

Little River Kayak Trip

June 25, 1 - 4PM, Cornell Farm
Paddle through the hidden creeks and marshes along the Little River that connect to The Trustees' Cornell Farm, one of our newest reservations. Members: $20. Nonmembers: $30. Details here.

South Shore Locavore's Gathering

June 27, 7 p.m., Beal House, Kingston MA
All are invited to come at 6:45 to register, mingle, and get some refreshments before the program starts. Participants are encouraged to bring a snack to share. There will be samples and door prizes. The gatherings are free. However, donations of up to $5 will be gratefully accepted to help cover expenses and to supplement the Library book budget. In an effort to help fight hunger on the South Shore, non-perishable foods are collected at the beginning of each gathering. Items are donated to the Greater Plymouth Food Warehouse. Details here.

Petting Zoo Comes to Seekonk Library

June 27, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., Seekonk Public Library
Animal Affair offers a unique Petting Zoo, consisting of personally owned pets, carefully selected as babies and raised by a family in a very loving environment. As a result, the most unique personalities emerge in the cutest way! The animals are very friendly and docile, and very much enjoy human contact. You’ll enjoy the intimate interactions the animals share with each other as they cuddle, groom, and play with one another. This program is sponsored by The Friends of Seekonk Public Library and is free and open to the public. The program will be held in the Library’s rear parking lot. Animal Affair is family-owned, operated, licensed, and insured. The animals receive the best of care. They are very clean and healthy, up-to-date with all inoculations and health certificates, and are free of parasites. They have no horns for the sole purpose of your health and safety. The family keeps a clean environment both at home and on the job. The animals may include, but not necessarily limited to: Miniature Horse, Miniature Sicilian Donkey, Vietnamese Pot-belly Pigs, Llamas, and a variety of Cows, Miniature and Draft Goats, Sheep, Bunnies, Chickens, Ducks, Puppies and more…however, animals listed are subject to change. For more information on this program, or any other service provided by Seekonk Library, please call (508) 336-8230.Details here.

Webinar: Partnering with Utilities 101: Implement your Energy Efficiency Program

June 28, 2 p.m. - 3 p.m., Department of Energy Online
This webinar will discuss how grantees can take advantage of existing utility energy efficiency programs and develop strategies on how to leverage the different utility offerings for near term projects and long term programs. The webinar will show grantees how to develop a productive and long-lasting relationship with their utility providers and will cover the types of utility programs available – from standard product incentives to engineering assistance. The speakers will provide advice on how to initiate and develop points of contact in the different utility departments. The webinar will also help participants understand the perspective of the utility, because in order to partner effectively, it is important to realize why utilities promote energy efficiency and the timelines for programs, which sometimes can be shorter than expected. There will be presentations by a commercial and residential DSM expert and 1-2 grantees. Pre-register. Details here.

Sunset Kayak Tour

June 29, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m., Lloyd Center Headquarters
What better way to end the day than a peaceful paddle along the Slocum River. You'll feel your stress dissolve as you glide along this spectacular estuary, enjoying the setting sun. Watch wading and shore birds flock to feed, see fish jump and await the multitude of color changes in the sky. This is a wonderful and relaxing way to explore the delicate ecosystem of this salt marsh. Inexperienced paddlers are welcome. All tours include basic kayak equipment and instruction by certified guides. Details here.

Webinar: Interior Lighting Efficiency for Municipalities

June 29, 2 p.m. - 3 p.m., Department of Energy Online
Municipalities across the nation are increasingly considering lighting upgrades as a way of improving indoor lighting quality and reducing operational energy costs. The ARRA Recovery Act has provided a new opportunity to seize the energy savings opportunities within reach through better lighting. This webinar will inform participants on the fundamentals of energy-efficient indoor lighting for municipal applications. Topics to be discussed include next generation lighting technologies, daylight harvesting, adaptive lighting controls, and online tools that can help identify energy savings opportunities. This presentation is for municipalities who are interested in gaining the understanding needed to implement an efficient lighting project, and the confidence to act on it. Pre-register. Details here.

Leaf Bullet Save The Date

Baking Demonstrations at the Harlow House

June 23rd, June 30th, July 7th, July 21st, August 11th, August 18th, 1 p.m., Plymouth, MA
This year the Harlow Old Fort House will debut demonstrations by master baker Kirsten Atchison. Kirsten grew up in Germany where dinner is called “Abendbrot” (evening bread) and afternoon coffee and cake is a national institution. Now a resident of Plymouth, Kirsten enjoys recreating her favorite German breads—earthy dark rye breads and sourdough whole grain loaves—as well as baking Italian and French breads and flatbreads from all over the world. Admission is included with your tour of the Harlow Old Fort House. Details here.

Sunset Nature Walk

July 1, 8:30 p.m., Goosewing Beach Preserve, Little Compton, RI
Free! Experience Goosewing Beach Preserve at twilight, while learning about beach ecology, piping plovers, and evening beach inhabitants. Bring your camera and plan to stay for the beautiful sunset! Meet at South Shore Beach parking lot. Please register by emailing kpisano@tnc.org or call 401-331-7110 x33. Details here.

Big Night for Salamanders

July 2, 10:30 a.m., Audubon Environmental Education Center, 1401 Hope Street, Bristol, RI
On a rainy night in early spring, spotted salamanders by the hundreds crawl out of the woods and down to the vernal pool but what if a road interrupts the salamanders path to the pool? How will they cross in safely?" Sarah Marwil Lamstein, author of "Big Night for Salamanders," has the solution. Join Sarah and gain a better understanding of the nature of salamanders and the role humans can play in their survival. After the presentation Sarah will be available to sign copies of her book Big Night for Salamanders, available in the Audubon Nature Gift Shop. Registration for the 10:30 am children's program is required as space is limited. Children's program: 10:30 to 11:15 am. Book signing: 11:15 am to 12:00 pm.Details here.

Swim Buzzards Bay

July 2, Checkin begins 6 a.m., Davy's Locker Restaurant, 1480 East Rodney French Blvd, New Bedford.
The 18th Annual Buzzards Bay Swim is on July 2nd, 2011. The 1.2 mile open water swim from Davy's Locker in New Bedford to DCR's Fort Phoenix in Fairhaven is one of the best outdoor events of the summer with swimmers from ages 12 to 83 participating. It is a fully supported event with medical and safety personnel on land and water, scores of volunteers, and cheering crowds. Registration $15. Details here.

Lloyd Center Clambake XXVI

July 8, 6:00 p.m., Lloyd Center Headquarters
Cost: Personal "patron" and corporate "sponsorship" levels vary General Admission: $150 per ticket Top-shelf Open Bar Dinner Extraordinaire Silent Auction…Bid!...Bid!...Bid! Dancing to the music of Men in Black… For reservations, call the 508-990-0505 x 10. Details here.

Barn Raising: Marketing Your Farm Business -> Increasing Your Sales

July 12-August 20, UMass Extension Cranberry Station, East Wareham
A Five Session Workshop Series Including a Create-Your-Own Website Lab (optional). Join us for a modern take on a classic barn raising where you will come together with other growers and producers in your farming community to establish a marketing plan and website for your farm business. Just as the barn is vital to the operations of your farm, a marketing plan is vital to the success of your farm as a business. In short, improve your marketing plan and you'll improve your sales. Who Should Attend?: Anyone interested in establishing a marketing plan or updating an existing strategy that needs some fine-tuning. How Much Does It Cost?: 4 Sessions + website lab: $200.00; SEMAP member 4 Sessions + website lab: $180.00; 4 Sessions (no website lab): $125.00; SEMAP member 4 Sessions (no website lab): $112.00 Get details and register here.

New England Grain Conference: Bread, Beer and Biodiversity

July 14-15, UMass Farm and Colrain Seed Farm, MA
Join us at a regional event on growing organic landrace grains, share skills to reinvigorate heritage grain traditions, exchange seeds, learn how to bake artisan bread in a wood-fired oven, brew artisan beer, and celebrate the harvest. Details here.

Ward 5 Cleanup

July 16, 8:30 am to 12 Noon, Page and Hawthorn Streets, New Bedford
Help keep New Bedford clean! Community service groups, clubs, businesses and individuals are encouraged to participate in this community event. Also, this is a great way to earn your community service hours. Breakfast, lunch, gloves and tools provided! To Volunteer SIGN UP NOW! or Call 508.979.1493. Show up on day of cleanup to check in / sign up. Walk ups are always welcome! Breakfast provided by SouthCoast Hospitals Group, pizza donated by Domino's Pizza – the "Official Pizza" of Operation CleanSweep. Details here.

Capturing the Herbal Harvest

July 16, 10:00AM - 12:00PM, Blithewold, Bristol, RI
Capture the herbal harvest while gardens and farm stands are brimming with fresh herbs. Even though no one wants to think about winter now, you will be thrilled when your pantry and freezer are stocked for winter cooking and holiday gift giving! Imagine lining your cupboard shelves with jewel toned bottles of herb vinegars, golden brown herb mustards and sparkling jars of herbal jellies. Picture containers of herbed butters, bags of rosemary walnuts and bottles of herb pesto filling a corner of your freezer. Details here.

Roots Down – Free Organic Gardening Workshop

July 19, 5:00pm, Brix Bounty Farm
Summertime Farm Tour at Brix Bounty Farm plus Melons! Details here.

Vegetable Canning Class

July 20, 1:00pm to 3pm, Cedar Spring Herb Farm, Harwich, MA
Local grower/herbalist Donna Eaton will show us the ins and outs of canning our own delicious, all-natural Vegetables. We will focus on what's available that week, picked fresh from local growers. Learn recipes, canning instructions, and tidbits on saving money by preserving locally grown foods. Take home a jar! Details and register here.

Wild Night at the Zoo

July 23, 6:00pm to 10pm, Buttonwood Park Zoo
Pre-sale tickets are available for $100 per person or $125 per person at the door. You “otter” join us for the Buttonwood Park Zoological Society’s annual gala and benefit auction! Wild Night at the Zoo features the best food, music, drink and silent auction of the season. Pre-sale tickets are available for $100 per person or $125 per person at the door. Proceeds of the gala support educational and conservation programs at the Zoo. Don’t miss a photo with our Asian elephants, Emily & Ruth! Details and ticket sales here.

Sustainability Summer Camp 2011 - Remaking Our World: Greening the planet and our lives

July 25-July 29 WHO: Students entering grades 6, 7 or 8, dedicated to creating a more sustainable world.
WHAT: Campers will be engaged in hands-on projects using artistic media and film technologies to document and promote their environmental learning from the week. Activities throughout the week will include environmental crafts, building, utilizing energy technologies, and scientific research in the campus forest. Field trips and swimming are also part of the week.
WHY: The goal of camp is to develop creative sustainability leaders equipped to respond to the environmental challenges of the 21st century. Topics covered include Renewable Energy Technologies, Environmental Science, Environmental Math, and Nutrition. Get details and register here.

37th Annual Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) Summer Conference

August 12th – 14th Amherst, MA
This year we’ll be presenting two workshops at the Summer Conference: (1) a beginner workshop “Interpreting Soil Tests” – Accurately gauging nutrient needs in our soils is a critical step in making sound fertility decisions. We will set out to demystify soil test results, from cation exchange capacity (CEC) and base saturation to ppm and lbs/acre. Hands on activity included to help participants gain confidence in interpreting soil test results. (2) an advaced workshop “The Case for Full Spectrum Fertility” – An examination of our pre-transplant fertility protocol. Join us as we discuss the steps taken at Brix Bounty Farm in the critical week leading up to transplanting. Focusing on soil fertility we aim to create prime soil conditions for vigorous root growth and thriving transplants. Inoculants, amendments, and energy in depth. Get details here.

Leaf Bullet Announcements
The Westport River Watershed Alliance is searching for an Executive Director
The Westport River watershed with its East and West branches in Southeastern Massachusetts is a natural treasure. Our mission is to restore, protect, celebrate, and sustain the natural resources of this river and its watershed. We do this through environmental advocacy, remediation/protection projects, education, and research. Confidential inquiries and questions concerning this search may be directed to Tom Schmitt (508-636-3932). Get details here.
Westport River EcoTours
Eco-tours of the Westport River are available on Thursdays and Fridays until Labor Day Weekend. There will be a tour at 10 AM to noon and another from 1PM to 3PM on Thursdays and Fridays. There is a limit of four people per tour, and children under the age of 13 must wear a life preserver at all times. It is $100 per tour for WRWA members, and $140 non-members. Please call our office at (508)636-3016 to book a tour. If you are paying with a credit card please give us your information when you reserve your tour – your card will not be charged until after the tour. The boat leaves from Dock D-Slip 1 from F.L. Tripps on Cherry & Webb Lane, so please meet us there at least ten minutes before departure time. Get details here.
Museum Institute for Teaching Science (MITS) Workshop
Inquiry-Based Science: Investigating Water & Energy Concepts in the State Frameworks - for kindergarten through 8th grade teachers
Monday - Thursday, July 11th - July 15th 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Monday - Friday, July 18th – July 22nd 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Locations: Lloyd Center (Dartmouth), Whaling Museum (New Bedford), Buttonwood Park Zoo (New Bedford), Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary (Norfolk). Registration cost (Tuition Fee waived in Southeast Region): One educator: $250. Two educators from the same school or school district: $225 each. Three or more educators from the same school or school district: $200 each. PDP's provided and graduate credit is available for an additional fee. Discover the natural history of the estuary and a diversity of freshwater resources. Investigate the various species that live here, how they are adapted to survive in a marine or aquatic environment and how we are connected to these invaluable resources. Then utilize these significant natural resources to create an inquiry-based program that will highlight the many forms of water and energy that cycle through the region. Get details here.
Zoo Crew Summer Program for Children
Zoo Members: $175 per week for one child. (Siblings are $150 each) Non-Members: $200 per week for one child. (Siblings are $175 each) Zoo Crew is a summer program for children ages 8-12. Each session has a balance of outdoor and classroom learning opportunities, educational games and activities, crafts, and fun! Each week-long program runs 9:00AM-3:00PM, Monday thru Friday. For more information or to register, please call the Zoo’s education department at (508) 991-6178 x 31. Session One: July 25-July 29 Session Two: August 1- August 5 Sessions Three: August 8-August 12 Get details here.
Department of Energy Webcasts
This interactive page will help you quickly find live webcasts that fit your schedule, or on-demand webcasts and pre-recorded training presentations to view at your convenience. You can choose your time zone as well and filter the list by week, month, webinar series, eligible activity or topic, or presenter. The DOE offers free online training to help you improve the energy performance of your organization. No travel, no lost time out of the office, and no cost - The DOE makes it easy to get the information you need, today. Join your colleagues to better understand how the DOE can help you lower operating costs, improve your energy management program, and expand your professional development. Get details here.
Mass Audubon's Hiring for Allens' Pond and Great Neck
Mass Audubon's South Coast Sanctuaries (Allens Pond and Great Neck) seeks an energetic, organized self-starter with great verbal and interpersonal skills to serve as our Volunteer and Outreach Programs Administrator. Position is fulltime between April and September and part-time (24 hours) between October and March. This is a unique opportunity to support operations for a large property that provides important habitat for coastal wildlife and valuable experiences for the public. The Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary encompasses a barrier beach, a large coastal salt pond, agricultural fields, forested uplands, and trails at a rural location in southeastern Massachusetts. Under the direction of the Sanctuary Director, the candidate will organize and conduct the sanctuary's volunteer program, particularly the recruitment, selection, training, and management of more than 300 interns and volunteers. Additionally, candidate will coordinate the sanctuary team in the development and implementation of outreach programs and special events, including the Allens Pond Duck Derby. Responsibilities include but are not limited to customer service, program delivery, public relations, and office support. Additional duties include writing sanctuary newsletters and press releases, representing the sanctuary at meetings and events, and acting as liaison with partner organizations and local groups. Candidate will develop and maintain a schedule of work, prepare outreach program annual plan and budget in coordination with supervisor, and participate in all aspects of the sanctuary's operation as requested. Get details here.
Organic Pest & Disease Control Course
Bristol Community College announces a new course in Organic Pest & Disease Control. The course is designed to benefit farmers, gardeners, nursery growers, landscapers, land managers, and community organizations. The course will be a practical survey of principles and practices for effective management of pests and diseases in SE Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The course will be available as a 1 credit college accredited course ($166 tuition) or as a noncredit course ($75) through the Center for Workforce and Community Education. Online enrollment is available at www.bristolcc.edu. Senior citizens and veterans may be eligible for waiver of tuition for credit courses. The course will begin on September 12 and meet Mondays (6-9 pm) until October 24. More information: contact Dr. Jim Corven (james.corven@bristolcc.edu).
Ocean Explorium Annual Appeal 2011
The Ocean Explorium has just launched its 2011 Annual Appeal, with a mailing to individual and corporate members, donors, volunteers and community supporters. Contributions to the Annual Appeal support the organization, its staff, exhibits and programs. Mark Smith, Executive Director of the Ocean Explorium, hopes that gifts to this year's Appeal surpass previous campaigns as a new exhibit is being installed at the same time that demand for programs continues to increase. Learn more here.
Volunteering at Sharing the Harvest Community Farm
Get exercise, enjoy the outdoors, and have a positive impact on your life and others. Volunteers help in every stage of farming here at STH – from planting seeds, to transplanting seeds grown into plants; to cultivating those freshly-planted plants to harvesting their produce. During April, volunteers can expect to spend the majority of their time in the greenhouse, seeding; they may also freshen up the raised beds and direct-seed some cooler-weather crops. If you're interested in volunteering, our drop-in hours are: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday mornings from 9:00AM to 1:00PM - Wednesday afternoons from 2:00PM to 5:00PM. For more information about volunteering, please visit www.ymcasouthcoast.org and search for Sharing the Harvest. You can also contact us by email at sharingtheharvest@ymcasouthcoast.org or via phone at 508 993 3361 extension 13.
New Bedford Wetland Photo Contest
The New Bedford Conservation Commission is proud to announce the first ever New Bedford Wetland Photo Contest! We are looking for your best photograph(s) of any flora, fauna, or natural landscape in New Bedford’s wetlands. The goal of this contest is for everyone to become more aware of wetlands in New Bedford and of their beauty and benefit to the environment. Photographs will be displayed at New Bedford City Hall and the public can vote for their favorite photo(s). The top 12 photographs will have their credited picture in the 2012 Conservation Commission electronic calendar. There is also a drawing to win great prizes just for entering the photo contest. Pictures will be accepted until September 30, voting begins October – November 4th and winners will be announced in December.

For more information and to read official rules, view New Bedford wetland locations and to print an entry form visit  http://www.newbedford-ma.gov/WetlandPhotoContest.htm
Buy Carbon Credits with the Marion Institute
Happy New Year from everyone here at the Marion Institute, where to celebrate 2011 we have just introduced our $7 Carbon Diet which is your chance to offset one ton of carbon emissions for just $7. Your tax-free donation will go directly to our Gaviotas Carbon Offset Initiative, which has been reforesting tropical rainforest for over twenty years. So here's hoping you, and our planet, have a great new year. Donate here.
Sustainability Assessment: Responsibility and Renewal
Our sustainability assessment, "Responsibility and Renewal," the work of dozens of UMD community members, was published a few weeks ago. Packed with information about our current state and our collective dreams, the publication is available online at: http://issuu.com/umdpublications/docs/responsibility_renewal_assessment We also have beautiful printed copies for use in classes and offices--call us for more information. Download it here (PDF).
New Bedford's Ocean Explorium seeks volunteers
The Ocean Explorium is currently in need of adult volunteers for our admissions and gift shop operations. All volunteers for the Ocean Explorium receive training, uniform shirts and other benefits. Volunteers are invited to learn about aquarium operations, behind the scenes as well as in the public eye. Learn more here.
EPA Webcasts and Podcasts: Local Climate and Energy Webcasts
The Local Climate and Energy Webcast Series assists local governments as they explore topics related to local government climate change and clean energy efforts. These monthly webcasts highlight EPA resources available to local governments and present examples of successful climate and energy programs and policies implemented locally. Presentations, recordings, and other supplemental materials are available sorted by topic or sorted by date. Learn more here.
Coalition For Buzzards Bay seeks many positions
The Coalition for Buzzards Bay is growing and we are looking for talented, energetic, and passionate staff members and volunteers to help further our mission. Check out the opportunities here.
Essay Contest for Kids and Teens
Like A Drop of Water's writing contest offers young people, ages eight through seventeen, world wide the opportunity to share their ideas on how they and their countries can reduce climate change and pollution. We hope parents, grandparents and teachers will feel free to share their ideas with their young author. Teachers and their students may submit a class essay as well as serve as judges. Learn about the contest here.

Leaf Bullet Weekly Green Tip
Tires and the environment
Well over 90% of all tires are made from synthetics - and disposal can be an environmental headache. Even some tire recycling methods are extraordinarily unfriendly to our planet. Learn more about the issues and how you can minimize adding to tire waste (and save some money in the process). Learn more here.

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