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December 1 to 8, 2011

In This Issue

News:

Global, National, and Local news, plus our Voices section

This week:

Evening Wreath-Making Workshop

Regional Council on Sustainability - Transitioning Together

More

Save The Date:

Fairhaven Indoor Farmers Market

Teaching Land Care Professionals to "Go Organic"

More

Announcements:

New SouthCoast Rail Project Manager's Fact Sheet Updates

Save The Bay to host Bay-themed art sale and exhibit

Weekly Green Tip:

Give the Gift of Green

Clip of the Week

A New Old Way to Fish
Fisherman and an environmental group are working together to bring a collapsed fishery back from the brink by using older fishing methods and new technology.
Movie!

Weekly Quote:

"If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees. "
- Rainer Maria Rilke

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Read our new blog!

Apply for our Online Sustainability Certificate Program

Make a difference!

Join others in the community to make a real difference! Take the
South Coast Energy Challenge!
Leaf Bullet Letter from the Editors
Climate Report CoverFinally, in all the predictions that we are already doomed by the amounts of greenhouse gases we've pumped into the atmosphere, here is a report of how we can mitigate some of the short-term pollution factors that will affect our collective futures! The focus is on three "short-lived climate forcers" (SLCFs) including black carbon, tropospheric ozone and methane. Reducing them, the United Nations Environmental Programme reports, will provide significant benefits through improved air quality and a slowing of near-term climate change. You can read the document here.

Still, we need to take international action on carbon emissions standards, and South African discussions about the Kyoto Protocol are not reportedly going well. In an accompanying story, the European Union is calling for stiffer restrictions within the next five to ten years in order to ensure our planet remains habitable.

As a lighter note and one that we can all consider within reach, one writer shares her secrets for a zero waste holiday by giving the gift of family experiences. Not only do we re-discover the features and joys of our world this way, we do it with the people we are increasingly getting less quality time with due to our two-family-income economic system.
Leaf Bullet Blogging on the New Sustainability
Our blog supplements the Sustainability Almanac with thoughts about sustainable practices and lifestyle choices that invite comment. Blogging on the New Sustainability: Meditations on Sustainability and Freedom this week talks about cranberries, marketing psychology, and environmental responsibility. Here is an excerpt: The holiday season often includes a smattering of local and national fluff stories about the American Cranberry, or some angle of the industry. This does not occur as a matter of journalistic interest. These stories happen as a concerted marketing effort on the part of big corporations like Ocean Spray. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but consumers should be waking up to the truth behind marketing efforts.
Leaf Bullet News
Global
Whale Chilean Wind Farm Faces Turbulence Over Whales
Off the northwest coast of Isla Grande de Chiloe in southern Chile, cold-temperate waters influenced by the west wind drift pound against the South American continent. This flow, also known as the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, causes nutrient-rich water to collide with land, generating a phytoplankton bloom and an abundance of krill.

It's a veritable buffet for the world's largest mammal, the great blue whale. On average, weighing 200 tons and at 100 feet from head to tail, the blue whale is longer than a regulation-sized basketball court. Despite its tremendous size, it feeds almost entirely on the tiny krill, which makes this area off Chiloe a favorite feeding ground every year from January to April. Read more here.

Smokestacks As Kyoto Protocol Ends, An Uncertain Climate Future
As diplomats from around the world gather in Durban, South Africa for talks about climate change, a big question looms: What will become of the Kyoto climate treaty, which was negotiated with much fanfare in 1997. The treaty was supposed to be a first step toward much more ambitious actions on climate change, but it is now on the brink of fading into irrelevance. That could have major implications for the future of United Nations climate talks.

Even under the best of circumstances, the Kyoto protocol would have made a barely measurable dent in the amount of greenhouse gases flowing into the Earth's atmosphere. Read more here. See related article EU says climate pact not enough, wants deal by 2015.

Compost Bin Unilever Says Restaurants Need To Cut Waste
Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch conglomerate that makes blockbuster food products like Hellmann's mayonnaise and Skippy peanut butter and supplies thousands of food-service companies in 74 countries, is a Fortune Global 500 company. If it decides it wants to do something about food waste, it could keep a lot of perfectly tasty morsels out of the garbage heap.

But up to now that hasn't been a big priority, though food waste has emerged as one of the central flaws in the global food system. That's according to the U.N. Environment Program, which found in 2009 that more than half the food produced today is either lost, wasted or discarded. Read more here.

Panda Bears China to double surcharge to subsidize renewable power
China will double a surcharge on power sales to 0.008 yuan per kilowatt hour to subsidize renewable power generation from Thursday, the National Development and Reform Commission said.

The revenue from an existing surcharge, at 0.004 yuan/kWh, is not enough to cover the difference that power grid operators pay for electricity output from renewable power developers, it said.

Grid feed-in tariffs for solar and wind power are higher than the rates for coal-fired power, the staple of China's electricity sources. Find brief here. Read more details in a related story, "From black coal to green power" about China's green energy push here.

Pizza Can carbon for the price of a pizza save the planet?
Climate negotiators meeting in South Africa this week face fresh worries over saving the planet from global warming now that a ton of carbon trades at the price of a pizza.

A European steel plant producing a ton of steel pays as little as $12 for the resulting carbon emissions, spelling trouble for Europe's carbon emissions trading scheme, the world's largest.

At those prices, there is little incentive for industry to lower its carbon output, meaning one of Europe's major tools in fighting climate change is broken. Read more here.

Boat and Nets Close The Coming Green Wave: Ocean Farming to Fight Climate Change
For decades environmentalists have fought to save our oceans from the perils of overfishing, climate change, and pollution. All noble efforts -- but what if environmentalists have it backwards? What if the question is not how to save the oceans, but how the oceans can save us?

That is what a growing network of scientists, ocean farmers, and environmentalists around the world is trying to figure out. With nearly 90 percent of large fish stocks threatened by over-fishing and 3.5 billion people dependent on the seas as their primary food source, these ocean farming advocates have concluded that aquaculture is here to stay. Read more here.

Heat Image A Clean Resource Too Large to be Ignored -- Geothermal Power Gains Steam
Geothermal power's been something of an orphan when it comes to the drive to transition from fossil fuel to clean, renewable energy economies. That's despite the release of recent studies showing that the US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia -- Western Australia in particular -- have geothermal resources that dwarf their energy needs, and despite the fact that it's a proven, time-tested, economic source of clean, reliable baseload power. Read more here.

Farmer Tending Plants Forest Bonds: Realizing a Net Zero Deforestation, Forest-Friendly Economy
Heating and cooling, timber, water, food, habitat, energy, massive storehouses of carbon -- forests provide an incredible amount of direct and indirect ecosystem services to humans, along with all other forms of life on earth. That's especially true of tropical forests. Unfortunately, these services and products are grossly undervalued. While estimates put that value in the trillions of dollars, global tropical forest cover has been declining fast despite international efforts to slow down, if not halt, Read more here.

National
Smokestakes and Blue Sky Ahead Of Climate Talks, U.S. Leadership In Question
A new round of United Nations climate talks is getting under way in Durban, South Africa, Monday. And domestic struggles here in the United States are hampering the global talks.

The United States is second only to China in emitting gases that cause global warming. Despite a presidential pledge to reduce emissions two years ago, we're spewing more carbon dioxide than ever into the atmosphere.

That's putting a crimp on the 20-year-long struggle to develop a meaningful climate treaty. Read more here.

Corn Processing Silos US carbon capture project starts to bury one million tonnes of CO2
An ambitious US carbon capture and storage project has begun a three-year trial to pump one million tonnes of CO2 underground.

The Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium has begun injecting carbon dioxide (CO2) for the first million-tonne demonstration of carbon sequestration in the US.

The CO2 will be stored permanently in the Mount Simon Sandstone more than a mile beneath the Illinois surface at Decatur. Read more here.

Hearing on overturning NY fracking ban draws huge turnout
The final hearings on regulations that would end a ban on drilling for natural gas in New York state got under way on Tuesday in a packed auditorium at Sullivan County Community College. In a last chance for communities to voice their views for and against a controversial drilling technique called fracking, about 300 people turned up, many of whom were left in the rain as the house spilled above capacity. Advocates of fracking, which involves blasting chemical-laced water and sand into shale rock to release gas, told a rowdy, polarized audience that drilling would create jobs and boost New York's ailing economy. Those against blamed it for contaminating water wells and threatening the safety of local communities. Read more here.

Solar Panel and Landscape SolarCity revives military homes solar project
Solar power developer SolarCity and Bank of America Merrill Lynch will go ahead with a plan to build more than $1 billion in new solar projects on military housing, despite their failure to win a U.S. loan guarantee.

The project, named "SolarStrong," aims to put about 300 megawatts of solar generation on 120,000 military housing units over five years. Read more here.

Corn Cob Ethanol production capacity over 14 billion gallons
The U.S. biofuels industry has more than 14 billion gallons in annual production capacity for fuel ethanol, according to new industry and government data, but growth has hit a plateau and experts see steady but slow capacity growth going forward.

A government report issued Tuesday shows fuel ethanol industry maximum sustainable capacity at 193 plants capable of churning out 14.2 billion gallons a year or 929,000 barrels a day. The data is issued as a first-ever report by the Energy Information Administration. Read more here. See official data table here.

Park and Children How Small Community Parks May Make Cities Safer, More Healthy
A research team has found that distressed neighborhoods where vacant lots have been converted into small parks and community green spaces are associated with reduced crime when compared to neighborhoods with unimproved vacant lots. The study was conducted by a group from the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine, using Philadelphia data compiled over the last decade. In some sections of the city, residents of neighborhoods with improved vacant lots also reported "significantly less stress and more exercise," suggesting that the improvements had an effect on residents' perceptions of safety outdoors. Read more here.

Reindeer Foraging U.S. Seeks to Protect Forests to Save Wild Reindeer
The U.S. government proposed protecting old-growth forests in Idaho and Washington state on Tuesday to save the nation's dwindling population of mountain caribou, popularly known as wild reindeer.

Under the plan, roughly 375,000 acres of mostly U.S. Forest Service land in the Selkirk Mountains in northern Idaho and northeastern Washington would be designated as critical habitat for the reclusive caribou. Read more here.

Three Men on Dock As Water Levels Drop, Texas Drought Reveals Secrets of the Deep
For more than three years, the lake on Jack Mewbourn's ranch here held a secret at its murky bottom: A 1999 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. His grandson was the first one to notice the top of the car peeking out of the water. It wasn't luck, or even fate. It was drought.

The water level in the seven-acre lake has dropped about five feet from a lack of rain. Stand on the grass lining the lake's edge today, and in any other year you would be standing nearly waist-deep in water. Read more here.

Discourse
Yellow Evil Face The worst of the 1%... could it be WalMart chairman Rob Walton?
I strongly urge everybody to vote for Rob Walton as worst of the 1% for his efforts to crush labor and human rights and drive local mom and pop operations out of business, as well for funding corporate environmental NGO efforts to privatize the oceans by promoting catch shares programs and Arnold Schwarzenegger's privately funded Marine Life Protection Act Initiative. Read more here.

Constitution Occupy Elections, With a Simple Message
What's next? That's the question being asked as cities close down Occupy encampments and winter approaches.

The answer is simple. Just as the Tea Party gained power, the Occupy Movement can. The Occupy movement has raised awareness of a great many of America's real issues and has organized supporters across the country. Next comes electoral power. Read more here.

Wrapped Presents Eco Etiquette: How To Have A Zero Waste Holiday Season
If your garbage can is already feeling fuller than usual, you're not alone: According to the Environmental Protection Agency, American household waste increases an astounding 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, or an extra 1 million tons each year. That's an awful lot of trash for the sake of good tidings.

And that number may be higher this holiday season. Despite the down economy, Americans are still buying, buying, buying: This past Cyber Monday was the heaviest online shopping day of all time, with $1.25 billion spent. Read more here.

Rothschild David De Rothschild on the Green PR Problem
David De Rothschild's career as an environmental activist has taken him around the world, including a recent stint in the Brazilian Amazon observing preparations for the creation of a massive hydro-energy project. According to De Rothschild, the dialogue between environmental activists and industry has become unnecessarily divisive and the vilification of both sides is hampering collective progress on critical issues. Read more here.

Unleashing the Future: Advancing Prosperity Through Debt Forgiveness
Given accelerating conditions and trends in Europe, the U.S. and Asia, debt will be renounced, forgiven or written down, and how that process unfolds is now of paramount importance. Will private entities who dined so gloriously on their profits now eat their losses? Can the public who has seen its fortunes commandeered mount an effective response? Will there be convincing practical alternatives to a rigged world economy based in debt expansion and servitude? The answer is "yes" to all three. Read more here.

Pruis Parked Your Prius' Deepest, Darkest Secret
So you're considering buying a hybrid car. Or maybe you already have. Good for you! You're saving a bundle on gas and reducing your environmental footprint at the same time. But fuel isn't the only natural resource that your car requires. Its motor also contains a small amount of neodymium, one of 17 elements listed at the very bottom of the periodic table. Known as the rare earths, these minerals are key to all kinds of green technology. Read more here.

Local
Man and Tree Westport's historic linden tree may be spared the ax
WESTPORT -- The Central Village Improvement Committee took a first step toward reversing its decision to cut down a historic Linden tree at its Wednesday morning meeting, voting unanimously to "investigate options" to keep the 200-year-old tree alive.

"We're finally hearing from people who care about the tree," said committee member Elaine Ostroff. Read more here.

Turbines put finances in front of people
In their quest to go green, save energy and make money while doing so, many communities are turning to wind turbines.

Turbines as alternative energy sources have generated controversy, however, stemming from a lack of consensus over what constitutes safe setbacks from a turbine to the nearest home before residents begin to experience the numerous adverse health effects from noise from their rotors and gear box. As a result, communities are establishing regulations to fit their own needs, and potentially putting some residents in harm's way. Read more here.

Solar farming taking hold in Acushnet
ACUSHNET -- The town is countering criticism that a Master Plan for the next two decades has been reviewed and approved, but that there is no further planning or apparent implementation taking place.

During a recent presentation, Town Planner Henry Young told selectmen implementation is indeed under way and Acushnet is benefiting from it, notably with the old Titleist production plant on the city line.

Young delineated commercial rezoning both beyond the White dairy tract at Nye Lane and the 40 acres southwest of Titleist where construction is pending next year for a distribution center and storage warehouse. Read more here.

Chatham brings in the big guns to protect mussels
CHATHAM -- Every fall, eiders flock to Chatham Harbor and settle in for six months of snacking on mussels, one of their favorite foods. But this year, the thousands of sea ducks will get a booming welcome.

Three air cannons will fire every 20 to 30 minutes during the daytime from three rafts in the harbor located near the prime mussel beds that fishermen want to harvest come spring. Part of the test is to see if the cannon will also disturb nearby waterfront homeowners and guests at the posh Chatham Bars Inn. Read more here.

New cod data shakes Northern New England fishing industry
BOSTON -- A new look at the health of one of New England's most storied fish stocks is troubling the industry, with some saying the findings have got to be wrong. Three years ago, a federal study showed the Gulf of Maine cod was healthy and headed toward recovery.

Now preliminary data suggest the valuable species is in dismal shape and won't rebuild within the time set by federal law. In a worst-case scenario, that could mean a broad fishery shutdown to protect the cod. But that step would be drastic and a long ways away. Read more here.

Pros, cons aired at final wind turbine hearing
WESTPORT -- The Alternative Energy Committee heard strong feelings expressed both for and against construction of a wind turbine near the new fire station during a hearing expected to be the last held before a decision is made about whether to continue with the project.

With representatives from state regulatory agencies present, Monday's hearing saw proponents of the project emphasizing the financial benefits and the need to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, while the most vocal opposition centered on the proposed site's proximity to the Beach Grove Cemetery. Read more here.

Controversial aquaculture rules revised, OK'd in Mattapoisett
MATTAPOISETT -- Selectmen have approved new aquaculture regulations that include revisions intended to calm local concerns about the new rules.

Before approving the regulations, which residents and officials have been debating for months, selectmen Chairman Paul Silva listed changes to the most debated component of the new rules for licensing aquaculture farms in Mattapoisett waters: depth requirements. Read more here.

Door Time running out on Housing Improvement Plan
Even though the clock is ticking on the long-overdue Housing Improvement Plan to redevelop the 9-acre Watuppa Heights housing complex, the Fall River City Council made the right choice in voting 5-4 to table discussion on the plan rather than approve a plan few seem to understand.

Sadly, procrastination on this issue during the course of nearly three years now puts the city in jeopardy. "Keep in mind we have until Dec. 9 to have the HIP adopted or it could leave the city in peril," Mayor Will Flanagan warned the council at its meeting on Tuesday night. At stake is the re-institution of a tenant lawsuit against the Fall River Housing Authority and the state's legal option "to take over the site and develop anything they want there," as Flanagan put it. Read more here.

Park Board shelves Lang's zoo plan
NEW BEDFORD -- The Park Board effectively scuttled Mayor Scott W. Lang's Buttonwood Park Zoo expansion proposal Wednesday night, electing to table the matter with a new mayor taking office next month.

The vote means that, after a year-plus of discussion, the city officials have yet to give the go-ahead to any one zoo plan. Read more here.

Mass. city blames stink on Johnston landfill
ATTLEBORO -- Some Attleboro residents are blaming a nasty rotten-egg smell that often permeates their neighborhood on an out-of-state landfill.

People who live in the city's southwestern corner say the odor is brought by winds from the Rhode Island Central Landfill in Johnston, about 14 miles away. Read more here.

Local food gurus How on Earth closing -- for now
Here's what the team at How on Earth had to say about the temporary closure:

How On Earth will be closing December 24, and will be re-opening in early April.

It is necessary to close in order to provide for a wider market to engage those who are new to supporting local food, local economies, improving personal health, protecting farmland, lowering environmental impact, and building a local food community. Read more here.

Westport needs common sense, not concrete
We have frequently observed that there is rarely anyone walking in Westport's Central Village and only one strip of worn grass (in front of Town Hall). We're curious, has anyone heard a clamor to put a sidewalk into our Central Village? Is making our village suburban instead of rural really what Westporters want?

A cluster of stores don't become walkable because there is concrete. Even in shopping centers, please note that people get in their cars and move from parking area to parking area rather than walk. Read more here.

Don't destroy 'the people's property' for sake of revenue
A tiny oasis of scarce remaining farmland and woodland in Somerset with neat rows of corn and squash in mid summer and home to wild turkeys, deer and Canada geese in the fall may be swept away by a proposal being called an "opportunity" to increase revenue for the town of Somerset.

The site in question is along Wilbur Avenue and was purchased many years ago with taxpayers' money for the purpose of providing a sanctuary of open space for the residents of Somerset to enjoy. Read more here.

Farm forum takes up RI agriculture issues
WARWICK, R.I. -- Rhode Island's farming community gathered Monday to highlight concerns about the agriculture sector as the state takes steps to bolster it and the local food system.

At a forum in Warwick, a panel of farmers and others who work in agriculture discussed issues ranging from the steep price of land in Rhode Island and the need to preserve more of it to food security and the effect of estate taxes on farmers' ability to pass their land down. Read more here.

Cartoon Spending and giving
The Thanksgiving turkey still lingers in leftovers, yet thoughts have long since turned to holiday shopping.

While shopping is undeniably a part of the hectic holidays, we ought to remember that giving isn't limited to brightly wrapped gifts. Read more here.

Artist and Artwork Fall River area artists' paintings are up for auction at Historical Society
FALL RIVER -- From cunning animal illustrations and bright red poppies to lush, green salt marshes and dark abstract designs, Palette Pictures III offers a variety of high-quality artwork for a small price.

The Fall River Historical Society's annual Palette Pictures silent auction will offer art lovers a choice of 50 paintings by professional local and regional artists. Read more here.

Weaver's Cove task force sets public hearing on reuse
FALL RIVER -- Residents will get a chance to weigh in on suggested uses for the future of the Weaver's Cove Energy site during a public hearing in January.

The Weaver's Cove Reuse Task Force has met three times since it was formed in September. The group has focused on understanding the current condition of 70-acre site and what types of development are realistic given the contamination concerns there. Read more here.

Mill Building Curtain Lofts development springs up in former Wampanoag Mill
In spaces that once were outlet stores now sit kitchens with granite countertops, oversize windows and sky-high exposed-wood ceilings.

Curtain Lofts, a new development on Quequechan Street, consists of 97 one- and two-bedroom apartments for residents ages 55 and older. The lofts are spread over five floors in the former Wampanoag Mill. About a dozen residents have moved in since the development received city approval for occupancy in late October. Read more here.

Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

CONNECT Conference: Sustainability and Student Engagement Learning

December 2, 9AM to 3PM, Radisson Hotel Plymouth Harbor, 180 Water St., Plymouth, MA
Faculty and staff from the six CONNECT colleges and universities (Bristol, Cape Cod, and Massasoit Community Colleges, Bridgewater State University, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, and UMass Dartmouth) will conduct a day-long discussion of pedagogy and the greening of higher education. Faculty and administrators will exchange information about best practices they have developed, brainstorm solutions to problems they have encountered, and learn more about integrating sustainability into the curriculum. The keynote address will be by Debra Rowe, Ph.D., president of the U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development and professor of energy management, renewable energy technology and psychology at Oakland Community College. This phase of registration is open only to CONNECT faculty, staff, and instructors. All others who wish to attend should contact Executive Director Kathleen Kirby Details here.

Evening Wreath-Making Workshop

December 2, 7:00pm, Buttonwood Park Zoo, 425 Hawthorn Street, New Bedford, MA
Get your crafty friends together for a relaxing evening of holiday fun. Enjoy some wine and cheese and create a truly unique holiday decoration. Bring a special ornament or memento to include or choose from the wide variety we will supply. This evening workshop is for adults only please. Participants must pre- register and pay in advance Details here.

REI: Introduction to Winter Camping

December 3 and 10, 10AM, Rocky Woods, Medfield, MA
Winter and cold weather add unique challenges to any camping or backpacking trip. Join the REI Outdoor School instructors to learn how to make a comfortable home for yourself in the winter. We'll leave the trailhead for a day hike with all of our gear until we find that little patch of ground we can call home. Then we'll set up a model campsite using proper Leave No Trace skills. Our instructors will show you where to position your kitchen area, your "bathroom facilities" and your tent site for maximum safety and comfort. Food storage and wildlife safety will also be covered. Our goal is to teach practical winter camping skills for use in every cold weather situation, from car camping to long-distance backpacking. Details here.

Horseneck Beach Management to be Discussed

December 5, 6:30 to 8 pm, Heritage State Park Auditorium, Westport MA
The state Department of Conservation and Recreation will hold a public meeting to discuss a Draft Resource Management Plan for Horseneck Beach State Reservation and Demarest Lloyd Memorial State Park. The public is welcome.

Regional Council on Sustainability Meeting - Transitioning Together

December 8, 1 to 4 pm, Waypoint Center, Marriott Hotel, 185 MacArthur Drive. New Bedford Harbor
"Transitioning Together" is the theme of our next Regional Council on Sustainability meeting We will be examining three models of community engagement: Transition Towns, Resilience Circles, and Time Banking. Each of the three initiatives has shown rapid growth over the past few years as national and international change has spurred the understanding that we are transitioning into a new economic, social, and political world. Our speakers include Sarah Byrnes of Resilience Circles and Jamaica Plain New Economy Transition; Edgar Cahn, Founder and CEO of TimeBanks, USA; and Conrad Willeman of Transition Newburyport. For more information on the Transition Movement, visit transitionus.org/about-us. For more information about Resilience Circles, visit www.localcircles.org. For more information about Time Banks, visit timebanks.org/about. For details about the Council Meeting, contact the UMass Dartmouth Sustainability Office at 508-910-6484.


Leaf Bullet Save The Date

Public MA Food Policy Council Meeting

December 9, 8:30 to 11:30AM, Doyle Community Park and Center Leominster, MA
The public is invited to attend the third meeting of the MA Food Policy Council at the Doyle Community Park and Center in Leominster, MA. The Trustees Agricultural Program Director, Wayne Castonguay, will welcome the Council and provide a brief overview of The Trustees program to protect farmland and advance local food production. Details here.

Moonlight Walk

December 10, 8pm, Copicut Woods Fall River, MA
Join us for a free, short moonlight walk (weather permitting) on the wide trails at Copicut Woods. Dress warm and bring a flashlight (just in case the full moon is not high enough to see well on all the trails). Meet in the parking lot at Copicut Woods. Details here.

Wild Saturdays ~ Animal Interviews

December 17, 11:30am to 12:30pm, Audubon Environmental Education Center, 1401 Hope Street, Bristol, RI
Take a wild adventure with Audubon! Saturday provides the opportunity to go wild and discover nature. These programs are free with admission and are open to all ages. Animal Interviews: Get up-close with creatures and learn about their habits and habitats. Details here.

REI: Introduction to Map and Compass

December 17, 9AM - 3PM, Rocky Woods, Medfield, MA
During this field outing, we'll help you see three dimensions of the land in the two dimensions of a topographic map by teaching you how to read contour lines, landmarks and other map features. We'll also talk about magnetic north, true north, and magnetic variation (declination), and help you make sense of it all. From there, you'll learn how to take a bearing from the terrain and your map so that you can triangulate your position and plan a route. Maps and compasses will be provided. Details here.

Fairhaven Indoor Farmers Market

December 18, 1 to 4pm, Nemasket Gallery, 56 Bridge Street Fairhaven, MA
Indoor Farmers Market will have bread, cookies, meat, honey, jam, eggs,candy apples, chocolate and of coarse lots of veggies and fruit! Details here.

Teaching Land Care Professionals to "Go Organic"

January 9 to 13, 1 to 4 pm, Worcester State University
The Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) annual Accreditation Course in Organic Land Care will be a five-day intensive course providing professionals and master gardeners with the education needed to create thriving landscapes. The 30 hour course features a faculty of respected scientists and experienced organic land care practitioners. Class topics include: Site Analysis, Design, and Maintenance; Rain Gardens and Storm Water Infiltration; Soil Health; Fertilizer and Soil Amendments; Client Relations and Running a Business and more. Four hands-on case studies are also included in the course. Attendees may take an optional exam on the final day of the course to become NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professionals (AOLCPs). AOLCPs are entitled to use the NOFA Organic Land Care logo and be listed in the AOLCP Online Searchable Database at www.organiclandcare.net as well as in online and print versions of the annual NOFA Guide to Organic Land Care. This year, NOFA will be offering a group discount of 15% off total registration to any company, agency or organization sending three or more members or employees to the Accreditation Course. For information, contact the Program Coordinator, Caro Roszell at (508) 360-0874 or caro@nofamass.org or visit www.nofamass.org/programs/landcare/ to register online.

Southeast Agricultural Mediation Workshop: Conflict Resolution Skills

January 18, 6 to 8 pm, Carver Public Library, 2 Meadowbrook Way, Carver MA
This free, interactive workshop will introduce farmers and agricultural commissions to basic communication and conflict resolution skills to enhance their ability to address conflicts that arise in day-to-day dealings with customers, suppliers, neighbors, the public, etc. Participants will take a look at their own perceptions of conflict, and also learn effective techniques for better communication, as well as managing and resolving conflict. The workshop also includes a "conflict clinic" where participants have the opportunity to discuss real conflicts and get tips on how to address these situations. Facilitated by Courtney Breese is the Program Manager at the Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration (MOPC) and runs the Agricultural Mediation Program at MOPC and Loraine Della Porta is Deputy Director of the Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration (MOPC). For more information and to register go to www.semaponline.org.

Barn Raising: Marketing Your Farm Business and Increasing Your Sales

January 24 to March 6, Tuesdays, 5:30 to 8:30 pm, UMass Extension Cranberry Station, Wareham, MA
SEMAP has partnered with Kelly Pelissier owner of Sage Hill Design and Katie Cavanagh Farms Forever Coordinator to offer a very comprehensive workshop series that takes you through the steps of developing a marketing plan for your farm. The workshop series will help you:
- Develop a branding concept for your farm.
- Develop an overall marketing campaign for your farm - plus mini-campaigns for different seasons.
- Understand and decide what marketing tools (web, print, etc.) best attract customers to your farm.
- Learn how to plan and create the framework for your farms website.
- Plan and create a WordPress website for your farm.
For more information and to register, visit the SEMAP online.


Leaf Bullet Announcements
New SouthCoast Rail Project Manager's Fact Sheet Updates
Newly minted SouthCoast Rail Project Manager Jean Fox is reaching out to her constitutents with an informative Fact Sheet which includes recent area improvement grant recipient descriptions. She is also gathering community ideas and concerns about the Rail Project as she works on its Final Environmental Impact Statement/Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIS/FEIR). For more information, visit www.mass.gov/southcoastrail. To read the Fact Sheet click here.
Save The Bay to host Bay-themed art sale and exhibit featuring more than 200 original works of art by local artists
The Artists for Save The Bay Sale and Exhibit is designed to bring iconic images dotting the state's landscape, from sunset over Narragansett Bay to scenic beachfront. Artists for Save The Bay Sale and Exhibit provides the perfect opportunity to pick up a Rhode Island-inspired holiday gift while supporting a worthy cause. Pieces, valued between $50 and $3,000, will include paintings, photography, jewelry, and sculpture. 50 percent of the sale proceeds will benefit Save The Bay programs. More information on the Artists for Save The Bay Sale and Exhibit available at www.savebay.org/artists.
New Report: "Higher Education's Role in Adapting to a Changing Climate."
The American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) has released a new resource titled "Higher Education's Role in Adapting to a Changing Climate." This report was developed by the ACUPCC Climate Adaptation Committee to support the ACUPCC network in addressing the timely issue of climate adaptation. It includes examples of how campuses are handling issues related to adaptation in their education, research, operations, and community engagement activities, and provides an overview of the key issues presidents, trustees, and administers need to address in light of the impacts of climate change. Details here.
Job Opening: Director of Environmental Stewardship
The City of New Bedford is currently accepting applications for Director of Environmental Stewardship. The Director serves as the executive head of the Department of Environmental Stewardship, and promotes and coordinates the integration of environmental management and sustainability issues into policies, rules, produces, services and operations. The Director is responsible for overseeing site assessment and remediation projects, environmental planning projects, providing assistance to the Conservation Commission and advising City departments (including the School Department) on environmental compliance issues. The Director works under the general supervision of the Mayor. A complete job description is available at: http://www.newbedford-ma.gov/Personnel/jobs/Director_of_Env_Stwd.pdf. Instructions for how to apply can be found on the City's Personnel/Employment Opportunities website at: http://www.newbedford-ma.gov/Personnel/employ.html.
Bioneers Connecting for Change Conference Videos
This year, the Marion Institute is making youttube videos of its featured Bioneers keynote conference speakers available online for everyone to experience. First up is Amy Goodman from Democracy NOW! with her comments about the state of our nation's media and its coverage of sustainability issues. Check the Connecting for Change Facebook page for links and announcements of further video postings. Check for video releases on Facebook.
UMass Center for Marketing Research Accepting Requests
The UMass Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research is accepting requests from area businesses and other organizations to perform marketing research for the spring semester, beginning in Jan. 2012. The UMass Dartmouth center performs customized market research at affordable prices. Clients range from small and start-up businesses to Fortune 500 companies and include firms from both the commercial and nonprofit sectors. Each semester, about eight clients are selected for participation in the ongoing research program involving graduate and undergraduate marketing students. The final project is a statistically valid, survey-based research study. For a full listing of past clients and testimonials from them, visit http://www.umassd.edu/cmr. Any business interested in becoming a client should contact center director Nora Ganim Barnes for more information regarding fees and semester timelines. Barnes can be reached at 508-999-8756 or nbarnes@umassd.edu.
UMass Dartmouth Winter Term Energy Auditing Course
Energy auditing is a growing field and one that has many ties to engineering, sustainability, construction, and communications. Students matriculating with 4-year degrees and building energy certifications are increasingly in demand by building performance contractors. This hybrid (partially online) course will prepare students to pass the nationally-recognized Building Performance Institute (BPI) Building Analyst Written and Field Exams, now the industry-standard certification for energy auditors. Students will learn to conduct accurate building analysis; provide information, reports and documentation of findings; and make appropriate recommendations for weatherization and energy improvements. Students successfully completing the course will be knowledgeable about space and water heating systems and combustion appliance zones. The course includes a significant focus on safety procedures and safety equipment as it applies to the residential energy field. For more information contact Professor Anne Stephenson Stephenson.anne@gmail.com.
Organic Farming Practices Course at BCC
Registration for winter/spring course in Organic Farming Practices (OFP 115) is open at Bristol Community College in Fall River. The course is designed for gardeners, farmers, landscapers, community organizations, and concerned citizens. The course will cover farm management (planning, records, & budgeting), plant propagation, season extension, and major crop cultivation. Senior citizens and veterans may be eligible for waiver of tuition for credit courses. Courses begin January 24, 2012. For more information contact Professor Jim Corven james.corven@bristolcc.edu.
Natural Beekeeping Course at BCC
Get the buzz about beekeeping. Bristol Community College is offering open enrollment to its spring Natural Beekeeping course. Aspiring and new beekeepers will learn the essential skills necessary to begin a hobby or small enterprise as a beekeeper including purchasing and establishing a hive, disease and pest management, and harvesting the honey. The 6-week course, which emphasizes organic methods of beekeeping, includes at least one field day demonstration of installing, feeding, and the beginning steps of establishing a hive. Participants will have the opportunity to purchase their own bees, hives and equipment. The course will be held on Mondays, from 6:00 to 9:00 pm, starting February 27. It may be taken as a noncredit course or for one college credit. For more information contact Professor Jim Corven james.corven@bristolcc.edu.
Regional Bikeway Conversation
Conversations about the Regional Bikeway are heating up and we need your help! The Fall River, Dartmouth, and New Bedford bikepath committees are seeking members. For more information contact:
New Bedford: Angela Bannister bannist324@yahoo.com or Pauline Hamel phamel@bu.edu
Dartmouth: Wendy Henderson whenderson@town.dartmouth.ma.us
Fall River: Brian Pearson btrekman@comcast.net
For information about the regional bikeway, contact Adam Recchia arecchia@srpedd.org.
For information about upcoming bikerides, contact Brian Pearson btrekman@comcast.net.
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. The writing contest is open to all young people in the world from the ages of eight through seventeen (8-17). There is a $400.00 award every month to eight or more young authors with scholarship awards ranging from $25.00 to $100.00 through 2015. In addition, the judges will select the best essay in the calendar year and that young person will receive a $500.00 scholarship award. Yearly the top fifty essays will be sent to the White House and be made available to governments across the world. Bi-yearly, the best one hundred winning essays will be published as an e-book for world wide distribution. Learn about the contest here.
Buy Carbon Credits with the Marion Institute
Offset one ton of carbon emissions for just $7. Your tax-free donation will go directly to the Marion Institute's Gaviotas Carbon Offset Initiative, which has been reforesting tropical rainforest for over twenty years. Donate here.

Leaf Bullet Weekly Green Tip
Give the Gift of Green
..and we're not talking cash! This holiday season, consider giving gift to friends, family and co-workers that will last the whole year through... plants!
Learn more here.

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