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December 8 to 15, 2011

In This Issue

News:

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

This week:

Regional Council on Sustainability - Transitioning Together

Moonlight Stroll

More

Save The Date:

Animal Interviews

Agricultural "Conflict Resolution" Seminar

More

Announcements:

Missed the Bioneers Conference? View Speakers Online!

Join Local Bike Enthusiasts in Promoting a Regional Pathway.

Weekly Green Tip:

Does your car really need that oil change? Probably not

Clip of the Week

Michael Pawlyn: Using nature's genius in architecture
How can architects build a new world of sustainable beauty? By learning from nature. At TEDSalon in London, Michael Pawlyn describes three habits of nature that could transform architecture and society: radical resource efficiency, closed loops, and drawing energy from the sun.
Movie!

Weekly Quote:

"Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed."
- Mahatma Gandhi

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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
Bill of RightsThough we usually reserve the opening comment in the Letter from the Editors for something a little outside the heavier news, this week we feel it's important to highlight a disturbing, almost unanimous U.S. Senate vote on the eve of December 3 on the U.S. Defense Appropriations Bill. CNN reports: US Senate declares the entire USA to be a "Battleground". This bill, if made into law, would militarize our entire nation. It would put an end to the Bill of Rights on which our nation was founded. It's important that we all educate ourselved about the risks of the proposed legislation. Sustainability is usually talked about in terms of ecosystem and economic welfare, but it also encompasses the continuation of our democratic rights and the rights of other countries to rule themselves as best fits their cultures and communities.

In other weightly news, climate talks in South Africa are bringing together almost 200 nations to determine what we can do about setting a course for a more sustainable future than is currently predicted. The U.S. is still a progress-killer for reinstatementn of the Kyoto Protocol which seeks to set limits on greenhouse gas emissions on a global scale.

If you're looking for some relief from all this heavy reading, see two features in our "Voices" section, one that offers an interesting alternative population map to feed your brain with a new way to look at how we're living on Earth, and another that explores the psychology of why our minds resist factoring into costs the full expense to people and environments of our purchasing and lifestyle choices.
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 the overwhelming burdens for organic farms trying to compete with industrial agriculture. He suggests: The answer lies with finding this all important human scale. This sustainable scope can then be applied to backyards, small farms, community plots, and other intensive food production systems, knit back into the very fabric of cities, towns, and countrysides. But that must wait for a systemic change, one where American families change their internal paradigm from consumer to producer, from marketing sucker to empowered citizen who refuse to continue polluting themselves with substandard calories.
Leaf Bullet News
Global
Tree in Lights What's At Stake In South Africa Climate Talks?
Representatives from 191 countries are meeting in Durban, South Africa, this week for United Nations climate change talks. One of the biggest questions is what will become of the Kyoto Protocol -- a climate treaty signed in 1997. Key provisions of that expire next year and its future hangs in the balance. Another major question is whether nations can agree to a timeline that would lead to a new treaty that would include the world's biggest greenhouse-gas emitters, including the United States and China. The U.S. did not ratify the Kyoto treaty so it isn't bound by it; China is part of the treaty but is treated like a developing nation with no responsibility to reduce its emissions. NPR's Richard Harris is covering the climate talks from Durban. We asked him to answer some questions about the meeting. Read more here.

Poster Kyoto Protocol on Life Support
DURBAN, South Africa -- The United States has become the major stumbling block to progress at the mid point of negotiations over a new international climate regime say civil society and many of the 193 nations attending the United Nations climate change conference here in Durban.

"The U.S. position leads us to three or four degrees Celsius of warming, which will be devastating for the poor of the world," said Celine Charveriat of Oxfam International. Read more here.

Graph One Third of World's Energy Could Be Solar by 2060, Predicts Historically Conservative IEA
The International Energy Agency is notoriously conservative on projections for renewable energy. The agency has embraced the need for more clean electricity and fuels to address climate change and peak oil, but its outlook for the future is usually far more conservative than how reality plays out.

So when an official at the IEA says we could get up to one third of our global energy supply from solar photovoltaics, concentrating solar power, and solar hot water by 2060, that's a fairly big piece of news. But even that projection may be conservative. Read more here.

Nuclear Workers Top Energy Stories of 2011
It was a year of shattered faith in nuclear power, and in the West, eroding support for renewables. But the East's relentless growth shaped the world of energy in 2011. Read more here.

Walruses Whales win, walruses lose in warmer Arctic
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Arctic zone has moved into a warmer, greener "new normal" phase, which means less habitat for polar bears and more access for development, an international scientific team reported.

Arctic air temperatures were higher -- about 2.5 degrees F higher in 2011 than the baseline number for the previous 30 years -- and there was a dramatic loss of sea ice and glacier mass, the scientists said in a telephone briefing. Read more here.

Global industry CO2 output rising even in weak economy
Global carbon dioxide emissions from industry rose about three percent in a weak global economy this year, a study released on Monday showed, adding fresh urgency to efforts to control planet-warming gases at U.N. climate talks in South Africa.

The study by the Global Carbon Project, an annual report card on mankind's CO2 pollution, says a slowdown in emissions during the 2008-09 global financial crisis was a mere speed bump, and the gain in 2011 followed a 6 percent surge in 2010. Read more here.

EU delays single CO2 registry launch
The European Commission has delayed the startup of a single carbon registry for the European Union's emissions trading scheme until the second half of the year, as it needs more time to finalize preparations.

The Commission is hoping that a single EU-wide registry will improve the efficiency of the scheme and provide greater security following the theft of more than 3 million EU carbon permits from member state registries late last year and early this year. Read more here.

Decontamination Workers Fukushima Plant Leaks Radioactive Water
TOKYO -- Large quantities of highly radioactive water have leaked through a crack in the wall of a treatment facility at the Fukushima power plant, and some may have founds its way into the sea, the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power [Tepco], said.

The firm said as much as 45 tons of water had leaked through the concrete wall of a building being used to purify contaminated water that is then used to cool molten fuel in the plant's three damaged reactors. Read more here.

National
Boiler U.S. proposes less costly pollution rule on boilers
The U.S. environmental regulator said on Friday it slashed the cost of proposed pollution rules on industrial boilers by $1.5 billion year by allowing some plants to fine tune existing equipment or burn cleaner fuels.

The Environmental Protection Agency, under pressure from Republicans and industrial groups who accuse it of pushing for clean air rules that will cost companies with billions of dollars, has been looking for ways to ease costs and increase flexibility. Read more here.

Coal Plant NASA data confirms pollution has nearly halved from US coal power plants
A team of scientists have used the Ozone Monitoring Instrument on NASA's Aura satellite to confirm major reductions in the levels of a key air pollutant generated by coal power plants in the eastern United States.

The pollutant, sulphur dioxide, contributes to the formation of acid rain and can cause serious health problems. Read more here.

Corn Field Monsanto's GMO corn is failing
Monsanto's genetically modified corn is the crack cocaine of agriculture. It gives a great temporary high, but in the long term its just really, really, bad for you in all kinds of ways.

How bad? The EPA says Monsanto's corn is suffering severe damage from insects in four states. Which means their designer genes have pushed insect pests to evolve immunity. The superbugs are here. Read more here.

Highrise Building Going it alone: Obama digs up $4 billion for green buildings
With Congress blocking just about anything he wants to do, President Obama has said he will be announcing a series of programs he can put in place without Congress. Today's offering: A $4 billion package to promote green building.

He was joined at the White House by former President Bill Clinton to announce the program. Read more here.

Fish Closeup Cod Comeback, or Cod Collapse?
Fishermen and fisheries officials were taken aback earlier this month by an initial assessment of Gulf of Maine cod populations conducted by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. Patricia Fiorelli, a spokeswoman for the New England Fishery Management Council, said, "There is a lot of speculation that cod populations are dramatically lower than anyone expected."

The new findings fly directly in the face of an NOAA assessment conducted in 2008. That study presented an optimistic picture for New England cod, saying that the once-decimated population was no longer overfished and was rebuilding rapidly. Read more here.

Man and Recycling Bin More recycling could add 1.5 million U.S. jobs
Ever wonder what good recycling all those cans, bottles and newspapers does? A new report says that increasing the nation's recycling rate from 33% to 75% by 2030 would reduce pollution and create an extra 1.5 million jobs.

With the U.S. unemployment rate remaining stubbornly high at 9%, more special interest groups are promoting their causes by trying to quantify their likely job creation. Recycling proponents have joined this fray by sponsoring the "Less Pollution, More Jobs" report, prepared by the nonprofit research group Tellus Institute. Read more here.

Subway Cooridor NYC Gives Citizens a Say in the Budget
For the first time in history, some New York City residents have been given the opportunity to be directly involved in allocating the city'Ss budget -- more than $6 million of it. Council members in four districts are trying out participatory budgeting, a grassroots democratic system that allows anyone to present proposals for improvements in their communities. The process fosters transparency, equality, and inclusion, words not always associated with municipal governments. Read more here.

Couple on Worksite The Best Smart Growth Projects in America
One of the country's very best revitalizing neighborhoods and one of our most articulate city plans for a more sustainable future are among this year's five national honorees for achievement in smart growth, awarded by the Environmental Protection Agency. The other very worthy winners include a green learning center in a small South Dakota town, a green, affordable apartment building in New Mexico and an innovative civic gathering space in Illinois. Read more here.

Discourse
Map of Dots A Strange, Brilliant Map Of The World's Population
In the visual syntax of infographics and maps, bigger equals... well, bigger. Large dots on a map or bars in a chart correspond to a proportionally large quantity of stuff being visualized--like, for instance, the number of people living in a certain geographic area. But its new visualization of world population density called "Dencity," Fathom turns this basic graphic language on its head. What if bigger dots on a map signified fewer people, sparsely scattered? As it turns out, this counterintuitive approach makes brilliant sense. Read more here.

Breakthrough 15 Logo Meet 15 Extraordinary People Transforming the Way We Live
We live in a moment when it is hard to have faith in the power of an individual, unless that individual has money, or celebrity, or both. The average cost of a successful campaign for Senate in 2010 was $9.8 million, while the median household income is around $50,000. It's no wonder ordinary Americans have rarely felt more powerless, more disillusioned with government, or less capable of slamming the brakes on our nation's course toward economic ruin. Read more here.

Cartoon Car The Death of the Fringe Suburb
Drive through any number of outer-ring suburbs in America, and you'll see boarded-up and vacant strip malls, surrounded by vast seas of empty parking spaces. These forlorn monuments to the real estate crash are not going to come back to life, even when the economy recovers. And that's because the demand for the housing that once supported commercial activity in many exurbs isn't coming back, either. Read more here.

Rob Hopkins A Conversation With Rob Hopkins, Transition Movement Founder
After years of studying and then teaching permaculture and natural building, Rob Hopkins helped to establish the Transition movement, which has been called "the biggest urban brainwave of the century" by Nicholas Crane of BBC2. The Transition movement promotes what Hopkins has called "engaged optimism" as we prepare for a lengthy period of ever-dwindling energy supplies. He is the author of The Transition Handbook: From Oil Dependence to Local Resilience and The Transition Companion: Making Your Community More Resilient in Uncertain Times. Read more here.

Farmer in Field The Organic 1%: Sustainable Farming in a Broken System
Local, sustainable food has become a regular part of our everyday culture as demonstrated through the growing interest in school gardens, Community Supported Agriculture, local farmers' markets, underground dining clubs, and organics in general. This enduring trend in sustainable food reignites a question posed on Triple Pundit two years ago: "Is Sustainable Farming Going Mainstream?" Unfortunately not at all as the sustainable food hypetrumps the numbers. 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.

Fish on Coral How Our Brains Impede Pricing the Ecosystem
Can a quirk of human psychology undermine our ability to set a fair price for ecosystem services? To try to answer that, let's start with a trivia question, and try to guess without visiting Wikipedia first. The question is, "What percentage of African countries are members of the United Nations?" Do you think it is more or less than ten percent? Go ahead and think of a number, and remember it for later on.

In most of our economic transactions we don't pay the full price for the value of what we're getting. This is in part because of externalities -- side effects of economic transactions that affect parties not directly related to the exchange. Externalities can be positive -- like immunizations that protect people who didn't even get a shot -- or they can be negative, like the air pollution produced by a coal-fired power plant. Read more here.

Local
Wind turbine opponents regroup with online effort
FAIRHAVEN -- Opponents of the town's plan to build two wind turbines are making their case online.

Regrouping after a legal setback last week, they met Monday night to discuss what happens next. They watched a video produced by two Fairhaven residents, who planned to post their work on YouTube, and heard from Falmouth resident Barry Funfar, who lives 1,662 feet from a turbine that was shut down last month in response to opposition from him and others. Read more here. Read related story, Attempt to stop Fairhaven wind project denied.

Panel drops plan for wind turbine at fire station
WESTPORT -- The Alternative Energy Committee has voted to drop its consideration of land next to the fire station as a possible site for a wind turbine, while agreeing to look into similar renewable energy efforts elsewhere.

The decision came by a unanimous vote after consultant Simon Thomas of Atlantic Design, LLC discussed the findings of a feasibility study his firm had conducted at the committee's request. Read more here.

Online seafood auction expands to Gloucester
NEW BEDFORD -- Three years after opening up shop in Boston, the Whaling City Seafood Display Auction will open its third location Wednesday in Gloucester, the firm announced Monday.

This means that online seafood buyers will be able to access all three auctions at the same time in New England's largest fishing ports, and that they can mix and match their bids. Read more here. Also note correction to the story here.

Report: Fiscal squeeze will continue for Mass. cities and towns
BOSTON -- Rocked by the economic downturn of the last few years, Massachusetts cities and towns have seen their budgets gored by cuts to local aid and may be forced to cope with revenue shortages for "the foreseeable future," according to a report issued by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. Read more here.

Classroom New Bedford's unequal class sizes spur call for fairness
Small class sizes are easy to like. Parents like the idea, as do teachers, administrators and many politicians, and for understandable reasons: the fewer students in a class, the more attention they can each receive from the teacher, and thus the more progress they will make, or so the theory goes.

Reducing class sizes is not a silver bullet as small classes alone will not guarantee students' success. In addition, it is one of the most expensive interventions out there as creating smaller classes means hiring more teachers and potentially building additional classroom space. Read more here. Read related article, Research supports class size as harbinger of test success.

Westport Town Meeting approves $3.2M for school PCBs cleanup
WESTPORT -- More than 400 voters turned out at a special Town Meeting Tuesday night and approved a $3.2 million reimbursement to the school budget for removal of PCBs from the middle school.

School Superintendent Carlos Colley said the department would be faced with massive layoffs and other cutbacks if it were forced to absorb the cost of removing the polychlorinated biphenyls, suspected carcinogens, from the middle school. The problem was discovered this summer. Read more here.

Fairhaven discourages water conservation
A letter to the Standard-Times by Paula Daigle, Fairhaven resident Every six months or so I try to wrap my head around the fact that I am paying close to twice the rate per hundred cubic feet as (I'm assuming) the average Fairhaven resident. I used 1,200 cubic feet of water between my last reading (some time near the end of March) and the current one (10/5/2011).

Fairhaven's water rate is $3.24 per 100 cubic feet, so my water bill should be $38.88. However, the minimum water charge is $72.90 for 2,250 cubic feet, nearly double what I used. Therefore I am paying $6.07 per 100 cubic feet. Instead of being rewarded for saving water, I'm being penalized for it. Read more here.

Officials discuss high water levels in ponds
LAKEVILLE -- Another rainy day only adds to the trepidation of residents living along the Assawompsett Pond Complex as the water levels continue to go up.

At an informational meeting Tuesday night at a jam-packed, standing-room-only meeting at Lakeville Library, jittery residents heard the causes of the rising water and the efforts being made now to prevent a repeat of the floods of March 2010. Read more here.

Hicks-Logan group expects to name casino developer soon
NEW BEDFORD -- The group holding options on property in the Hicks-Logan neighborhood is in talks with the Mashpee Wampanoag and says it will name a casino developer soon.

Spokeswoman Elizabeth Isherwood said the Hicks-Logan group realizes the Mashpee Wampanoag "have a unique position because of the wording of the enabling legislation," Isherwood confirmed that holders of the options on the land have already reached out to that tribe. Read more here.

Woman with Cat Humane Society offers more than pet adoptions
DARTMOUTH -- For over a century the Humane Society and Shelter South Coast has been caring for some of the region's most vulnerable four-legged friends, but what many people don't realize is that the state-of-the art facility the Society opened in Dartmouth in 2003 offers a cadre of programs and services open to the community.

"The responsibility is just beginning when you bring that dog or cat home with you," said Ventura, adding that she has encountered several situations where an unprepared pet owner has been overwhelmed when they got their new family member home. Read more here.

Westport's linden tree likely saved
WESTPORT -- It now appears that a 200-year-old linden tree, scheduled to be cut down for sidewalks along Main Road in Central Village, will be saved.

"The tree will stay there," Ann Squire, one of the co-chairmen of the Central Village Public Improvements Committee, said Thursday. Read more here.

One "decrepit" rail bridge remains to be fixed
NEW BEDFORD -- The city is looking at ways to fund a rail bridge project that would replace a section of the so-called Wamsutta Bridge, located near the Wamsutta Mills.

At least a quarter of the bridge is about 100 years old and needs to be completely replaced. The repairs are estimated to cost $5 million. It needs to happen for South Coast Rail to ever become a reality. 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.

The new language states applications for below 6 feet of water will be considered, providing the applicant proves the species intended for the farm requires a depth below that. These shallow-water applications also will require a nonbinding, written recommendation by the harbormaster and a recommendation from the marine advisory board. It then requires a unanimous vote of support from the Board of Selectmen. Read more here.

People at Desks Former A.J. Wright workers toiling hard to re-enter work force
FALL RIVER -- The former A.J. Wright workers are still toiling side-by-side but no longer in a sprawling distribution center, packaging, labeling and shipping items off to stores.

In a tiny, third-floor classroom off North Main Street, a small group of students is learning basic English, reading and thinking skills, hoping to make themselves marketable to doctor's offices, factories or nursing homes that might someday hire them. Read more here.

Freetown selectmen look into proposed metal recycling operation's impact
FREETOWN -- Selectmen on Monday delayed voting on a Class III automobile license transfer to a prospective Braley Road property owner who claims his proposed operation will reduce noise and other nuisances.

Martin Costa and his lawyer, John Markey, both said a purchase and sales agreement is in place for Costa and his son to take ownership of 98 Braley Road from Donald Mendoza. Both said that Costa would improve the appearance of the property, reduce the number of automobiles on the lot from 14 to seven and set up a security system that will reduce the potential for theft. Read more here.

UMass Dartmouth partners with oceanography institute in Brazil
DARTMOUTH -- The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's marine school signed an agreement to partner with a Brazilian oceanography institute to offer a dual doctorate degree program in oceanography and marine sciences.

Faculty from UMass Dartmouth's School of Marine Science and Technology and the University of Sao Paulo Institute of Oceanography have collaborated for years on research projects related to ocean modeling and forecasting, which is critical to the economies of both Brazil and Massachusetts, UMass Dartmouth said in an announcement of the partnership. Read more here.

Preserve Somerset's Durfee Farm
Letter to the Herald News by Thomas F. Travis, Somerset resident I enjoyed reading Leo Parent's letter to the editor in Wednesday's edition of The Herald News, "Don't destroy 'the people's property' for revenue."

Mr. Parent shares my sentiment, too. The parcel of land mentioned was known as the Durfee Farm. It was owned by the Brayton Family and, in the late 1920s, was leased to Harry Wolstencroft. Elizabeth Hitchcock Brayton wrote a book about the farm, entitled "The Brayton Homestead Farm." She was the last member of the Brayton Family to occupy the mansion known today as the Fall River Historical Society. Read more here.

Closing the achievement gap: A Gateway Cities agenda
Massachusetts's record of educational achievement is second to none and a model for the nation. Our students consistently score at the top of the charts on national and even international tests. Massachusetts has much to celebrate, yet achievement gaps, deep and persistent ones, tell us that the work of education reform is far from finished. All students are not yet achieving at high levels. Read more here.

Doorway City Council approves Watuppa plan
FALL RIVER -- The Watuppa Heights housing plan is moving ahead. The City Council, by the slimmest of margins, approved a Housing Improvement Plan that allows demolition of the boarded-up 100-unit project, replication of on-site and off-site affordable housing and prioritizes displaced former residents and veterans. Read more here.

Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

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.

New Bedford Community Development Meeting

December 8, 6:30 pm, Brooklawn Park Community Center, 1997 Acushnet Ave
The city's Office of Housing and Community Development will hold a public meeting co-hosted by City Councilors Linda Morad and Steven Martins. The meeting will update the status of various projects and plans dealing with topics including a playground, skateboard park, tennis courts, parking improvements, community gardens and more. For more information, call (508)979-1500.

REI: Introduction to Winter Camping

December 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.

Public Massachusetts 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.


Leaf Bullet Save The Date

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
Does your car really need that oil change? Probably not
How often does a car need an oil change? Ask Jiffy Lube, and it's a flat 3,000 miles. According to car manufacturers, however, their products can go anywhere from a low of 5,000 miles to a high of 10,000 before an oil change is necessary.
Learn more here.

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