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February 16 to 23, 2012

In This Issue


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

This week:

SouthCoast Green Drinks

Tree Steward Training


Save The Date:

Agriculture and Food Conference of Southeastern Massachusetts

Buzzards Bay Coalition Decision-Maker Workshop Series on Habitat Restoration



SouthCoast Energy Challenge Business Rewards Program

Winter Market Openings for Vendors

Weekly Green Tip:

Eco-labels App

Clip of the Week

Bill Moyers on a Democracy in Shambles: "Money First, People Second... If At All"
Keynote Address at Public Citizen's 40th Anniversary Gala

Weekly Quote:

"Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced."
- Kierkegaard

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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
Bubbles As offshore energy technologies are being explored by researchers and developers, so are innovative sound protection techniques like bubble curtains to block sound waves from interfering with the sonar of underwater creatures. Dolphins and whales use sound waves to communicate, locate food, invite mating, and navigate. Marine scientists have long suspected that manmade vibrations can interfere with these natural exchanges. Blocking wind turbine, offshore drilling, and other energy production related sound waves with baffles of bubbles could keep our next steps in renewable energy pursuits from disturbing marine life.

Two articles this week comment on Obama's fiscal intentions for investing in clean energy, though they discuss from different perspectives how much of the energy money is really going to environmentally-friendly renewables. Modeled after the Department of Defense's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency that brought us the Internet, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy is being allocated $150 million for an electrofuels program, which deals with the production of liquid fuels by harnessing the metabolic processes of living microorganisms. Electrofuels basically skip the steps involved in converting fossils or biomass to fuel. A significant portion of the $27.2 billion budget for Department of Energy is going to nuclear development, nuclear waste disposal, and energy pollution cleanup. However, there is a 29% jump for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, mostly for biomass and biorefinery deployment.
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 looks into the "Finding Your Voice" series of discussions, lectures, films and book readings open to the public and happening over the next few months at UMass Dartmouth. Our government commits atrocities against its citizens and the citizens of the world. Murder happens in our names. Torture happens in our names, paid for by our taxes. So, come join us, and help us find the next right action to take, the next right move towards restoring freedom from tyranny at home and abroad. If you cannot join in person, join me here. Tell me why I'm right, tell me why I'm wrong. Argue, debate, speak freely.
Leaf Bullet News
Antarctic Lake Graphic Russian Scientists Breach Antarctica's Lake Vostok
Russian scientists have confirmed that they have penetrated Antarctica's Lake Vostok, an event that may "expand the limits of life on Earth," a U.S. scientist says.

At 8:25 p.m. Moscow time on Sunday, drillers hit lake water at a depth of 12,355 feet (3,766 meters)--making them the first ever to probe a subglacial lake, according to a statement provided by Russia's Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute. Read more here.

African Grasshopper Time Travel And Photos Of Earth's 'Oldest' Animals
Photographer Piotr Naskrecki presented a hypothetical: "If someone said, 'We have a dinosaur in Central Africa!' -- would you consider that worthy of conservation? If so, why?"

That was his way of putting me in place for asking why anyone would care about a creepy grasshopper in South Africa. Read more here.

Oil demand and forecasts: getting it wrong again in 2012
Trying to forecast world oil demand growth is a tricky job at the best of times. This year abnormal levels of uncertainty about the global economy are making the job even more difficult.

Leading energy demand forecasting agencies last week were divided on whether the prospects for demand growth are improving or deteriorating. The three - the International Energy Agency (IEA) for consumer nations, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Counties (OPEC) and the U.S. government's Energy Information Administration (EIA) - have long struggled to accurately predict global oil demand changes. Read more here.

Office Machines Investors peer past gloom, eye Asian economic rebound
If the World Bank is correct, 2012 will see the second slowest year of global economic growth in a decade, at a level consistent with a world recession that, like the 2008/2009 financial crisis, would not spare Asia.

Its sister organization, the International Monetary Fund, warns that economic expansion in China could be slashed in half this year if Europe's debt debacle worsens -- grim news given that China adds more to global growth than any other economy. Read more here.

Man and Tents London Occupy's cathedral camp gets week's reprieve
Dozens of protesters against economic inequality were effectively told they could remain camped outside London's landmark St Paul's Cathedral for another nine days while a judge decides whether to listen to their appeal against eviction.

London Occupy, part of an international movement, has been camping outside the landmark cathedral for four months, drawing attention to their argument against corporate greed and bankers' bonuses. Read more here.

Airplane EU: Emissions Trading Scheme Can Be Negotiated, But Not Scrapped
SINGAPORE -- Europe is willing to discuss its new carbon emissions tax for airlines with disgruntled governments but has no plans to scrap the levy, top EU officials said.

Airlines and governments have complained the tax is too costly and was implemented without consultation. Industry leaders are warning the disagreement could spark a trade war between Europe and the rest of the world. Read more here.

Computers in Wetlands Domestic Consumption Main Contributor to Africa's Growing E-Waste Problem
West Africa faces a rising tide of E-waste generated by domestic consumption of new and used electrical and electronic equipment, according to a new United Nations report. Domestic consumption makes up the majority (up to 85 percent) of waste electronic and electrical equipment produced in the region, according to the study. The E-waste problem in West Africa is further exacerbated by an ongoing stream of used equipment from industrialized countries, significant volumes of which prove unsuitable for re-use. Read more here.

Tuna Tuna and Mackerel Populations Have Reduced by 60% in the Last Century
A study shows that the impact of fishing for tuna and similar species during the last 50 years has lessened the abundance of all these populations by an average of 60%. Experts add that the majority of tuna fish have been exploited to the limits of sustainability.

The debate about the impact of fishing on different species has already gone on for 50 years. A recent study concluded that populations of tuna and similar species have been cut by 60% on average throughout the world over the last century. Read more here.

Gambling Chips President Obama Ups the Clean Energy Ante by a Cool $150 Million
Clearly undeterred by the GOP's ongoing effort to cut federal support for clean energy, the Obama Administration has just announced a new $150 million round of funding for cutting-edge research into solar, wind, geothermal, bio-based energy and ocean power along with dozens of other categories related to renewable energy and energy efficiency. The funds are coming through the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), an agency modeled after DARPA, the legendary Department of Defense research program that developed the Internet. If ARPA-E can come anywhere near that accomplishment, it looks like the U.S. is in for more than a little change in the fossil fuel status quo. Read more here.

DOE Secretary Chu Obama's Wish List for Energy
The Energy Department's budget request for the fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1 sounds a familiar theme. "The United States is competing in a global race for the clean energy jobs of the future,'' a cover letter from the federal energy secretary, Steven Chu, says.

Yet the $27.2 billion budget request itself is mostly about nuclear energy. It calls for $7.6 billion for a "safe, secure" stockpile of weapons, $2.5 billion for nonproliferation efforts and $5.7 billion for the continuing struggle to clean up the environmental effects of weapons manufacturing dating back to the Manhattan Project and the cold war. Read more here.

Student with Hammer The Future of American Colleges May Lie, Literally, in Students' Hands
A friend of mine who works at Saint John's University and the College of Saint Benedict, in Minnesota, recently told me a story: Her book group read Anna Lappe's Diet for a Hot Planet, one of many recent books to focus on the vulnerabilities of the industrial food system and the threats posed by climate change. The book's treatment of the topic held few surprises, and the solutions offered were equally well-worn and deceptively simple: Buy fruits, vegetables, and meats locally, and cook them at home.

My friend's big surprise came when the students in the group started talking about the solutions--and found themselves stuck: "Almost all the students said they didn't know how to cook," she told me, "and even the young, single adult employees in the group admitted they lacked both the know-how and motivation." Read more here.

Solar Tower World's Biggest Solar Tower, With Energy Storage, Under Construction in Nevada
The biggest solar tower project in the world is under construction near Tonopah, Nevada. SolarReserve announced the 540-foot solar tower has been finished and the full project will come online in 2013.

The Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project is a massive 110 MW concentrating solar tower plant - the first in the US - and will use molten salt to store energy produced in the tower. Read more here.

Oil Field U.S. Oil Fields Stage "Great Revival," But No Easing Gas Prices
The United States has long been seen as a nation in its twilight as an oil producer, facing a relentless decline that began when President Richard Nixon was in the White House. He and every president since pledged to halt the U.S. slide into greater dependence on foreign oil, but the trend seemed irreversible--until now. Forty-one years later, U.S. oil production is on the rise. Read more here.

Boeing Sign After "lemming" exodus, manufacturers look to U.S.
Big manufacturers moved their production out of the country too quickly over the past decades and now see a competitive advantage in building up their footprints back home, top executives said on Monday.

The chase for lower-paid workers drove the migration, which resulted in employment in the U.S. manufacturing sector falling by 40 percent from its 1980 peak. But big companies including Boeing Co and General Electric Co are now finding that the benefit of lower wages can be offset by higher logistics and materials costs. Read more here.

Water from Tap As �Yuck Factor' Subsides, Treated Wastewater Flows From Taps
SAN DIEGO -- Almost hidden in the northern hills, the pilot water treatment plant here does not seem a harbinger of revolution. It cost $13 million, uses long-established technologies and produces a million gallons a day.

But the plant's very existence is a triumph over one of the most stubborn problems facing the nation's water managers: if they make clean drinking water from wastewater, will the yuck factor keep people from accepting it? Read more here.

River View A Street View for Rivers
Jared Criscuolo wants to go where no videographer has gone before: onto all of America's rivers. Using the same technology harnessed by Google Maps, he is working to document the nation's rivers as well as pollution levels in the water and the surrounding areas -- the river equivalent of video street views.

A 30-year-old surfer who lives in San Diego, Mr. Criscuolo said he was inspired to take action in 2006 after suffering gastrointestinal problems and a sinus infection that he later realized was probably caused by pollution he encountered during his morning surf session. Read more here.

Farm Co-op Why Going 'Back To Normal' Is No Longer An Option for the American Economy -- And Where We're Headed Now
Former IMF chief economist Joseph Stiglitz has a message for everybody who's sitting around waiting for the economy to "get back to normal."

Stop waiting. 'Cause that train's gone, and it ain't coming back. And the sooner we accept that "normal," as post WWII America knew and loved it, will not be an option in this century, the sooner we'll get ourselves moving forward on the path toward a new kind of prosperity. The only real question now is: What future awaits us on the other side of the coming shift? Read more here.

Pedestrian Scene Most Americans Want a Walkable Neighborhood, Not a Big House
The symbol of American success often involves having the biggest house possible, but our outsized fantasies seem to be shifting. According to a new survey, more than three quarters of us consider having sidewalks and places to take a walk one of our top priorities when deciding where to live. Six in 10 people also said they would sacrifice a bigger house to live in a neighborhood that featured a mix of houses, stores, and businesses within an easy walk. Read more here.

DOE Loan Program Working, Could Be Improved
An independent review of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) loan guarantee program (LGP) finds that the program is working, but recommends several strategies to better protect government investments from failure.

Overall, the program was found to be a success. LGP funding has leveraged $40 billion in direct private investment into the U.S. economy, according to the review. In addition, the review states the LGP has $2.9 billion of risk on its books, which is about a third of the risk Congress allotted for the program when enacted on a bipartisan basis in 2005. Read more here.

Water Bottles Battling The Bottle: Students And Industry Face Off Over Water
Bottled water is trickling away from college campuses nationwide, thanks to the efforts of student activists and the non-profit groups that support them with campaigns like Ban the Bottle.

But that's not going over too well with the International Bottled Water Association. The industry, which had $10.6 billion in revenue in 2010, went on the defensive this month with a YouTube video to counter what it calls "misinformation" used to turn college students against bottled water. Read more here.

Oil Once, men abused slaves. Now we abuse fossil fuels
Pointing out the similarities (and differences) between slavery and the use of fossil fuels can help us engage with climate change in a new way, says Jean-Franćois Mouhot, visiting researcher at Georgetown University, USA.

Unlike the harm caused by slavery, the harm in the use of fossil fuels is of course indirect, long range, even unintended. It seems at first glance to be a fundamentally different kind of harm, and the unintended consequences of ongoing use of fossil fuels have only recently become understood. Read more here.

Man with Sign Occupy Wall Street's issues -- Economic justice, tax rates and the decline of the middle class -- will be THE top issue
In an earlier political posting I pointed out that the top federal income tax rate -- for earned income -- has seldom been lower than it is right now... and the rate that Mitt Romney pays on dividends is half of that. Federal taxes, in general, are at one of the lowest points since 1912... suggesting that our current national argument about taxes ought to at least feature commensurately lower rates ofanger. Sure, let's negotiate how to simplify the system and make it more fair. But can we tone down the rage a little? Read more here.

Utilities agree to buy Cape Wind power in merger
BOSTON — Energy companies Northeast Utilities and NStar have agreed to buy more than a quarter of the power produced by the long-planned Cape Wind offshore wind farm as a condition of a proposed deal that unites the companies, the governor's administration announced today. The announcement is a huge boost for the 130-turbine Cape Wind project, which would be located about five miles off Cape Cod in Nantucket Sound and aims to be the nation's first offshore wind farm. Read more here.

Proposed food-to-energy plant in Fall River would create 100 jobs
FALL RIVER -- Representatives from renewable energy development company NEO Energy LLC spoke about their proposed area facility during a meeting of the Redevelopment Authority this week.

The New Hampshire-based firm is seeking four to six acres within the 300-acre SouthCoast Life Sciences and Technology Park. It would accept food waste from various supermarkets, restaurants, schools and processing plants and convert it to biogas, which would be used to generate electricity. The power would be sold to the New England grid. The facility will be able to recycle 55,000 tons of food per year, creating enough energy to power about 2,500 homes. NEO Energy would own and operate the facility. Read more here.

a wind turbine First Turbine Pieces Arrive in Fairhaven
FAIRHAVEN -- Pieces of Fairhaven's two planned wind turbines began arriving in town today, the first in a series of pre-dawn deliveries that will continue over the next few weeks.

The mid-section of the north tower arrived by truck at the Arsene Street site early this morning with another tower section expected to be delivered about the same time this morning, according to Executive Secretary Jeffrey Osuch. Read more here.

Fairhaven Town Meeting supports ongoing wind project
FAIRHAVEN -- Construction on Fairhaven's wind turbine project will continue on schedule after Town Meeting dismissed an attempt to stop the project.

On Wednesday, voters indefinitely postponed an article seeking to stop all turbine construction and terminate the town's contract with developers by a 134-80 vote. Read more here.

NStar customers to pay less for natural gas
NStar customers will see their heating bills drop by 9 percent on average after the utility cut rates for natural gas. In response to the falling cost of supplies, the utility company has cut its rate for the heating season.

"Generally, we change the rate twice a year except at times like this when the price of natural gas has dropped so much since the Nov. 1 rate went into effect," Durand said. "We have now lowered the supply price to reflect that drop in natural gas prices." Read more here.

Fall River Farmers Market Fall River farmers market moves indoors to beat the winter
Operated by Community Development Recreation, the market is being held once a month through April in an effort to promote healthy food options for area residents. Despite forecasts that predicted more snow than realized, Saturday's market brought out vendors selling crafts, handmade cheese, jams and more. A cooking demonstration from Bill Walker, an instructor in the culinary arts program at B.M.C. Durfee High School, helped to round out the offerings. Read more here.

New Bedford Harbor projects still await funds
NEW BEDFORD -- More than seven months after the final round of New Bedford Harbor Trustee Council grants were announced, recipients have yet to see the money, causing a delay in long-planned projects. Steve Block, project manager for NOAA's restoration center, said the council was dealing with some technical issues in its grant system, which delayed the release of the funds.

The council was established in 1992 with a $20.2 million settlement from electrical parts manufacturers that released polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other contaminants into the harbor from the 1940s through the late 1970s. Read more here.

Boston MBTA Protesters Voices Rise Against MBTA Changes
More than 400 public transit riders blasted the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's proposed rate hikes and service cuts last night in Boston, insisting that the measures would harm the poor, the elderly and the disabled, and students.

"How much do you expect the poor to pay?'' said Jane D'Angelo, 47, during a public hearing hosted by the MBTA on the proposed changes at the Boston Public Library's central library in Copley Square. Read more here.

Soot from Truck R.I. Joins 10 States in Suing EPA on Soot Standards
PROVIDENCE -- Attorney General Peter Kilmartin has joined with 10 other states in filing a lawsuit to force the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue rules against soot. The coalition took legal action after the EPA failed to meet an October 2011 deadline to adopt national air standards to limit soot pollution.

The lawsuit, filed Feb. 13 in federal district court in New York City, asks the court to direct the EPA to promptly propose, and then finalize, new soot pollution standards. Specifically, the 11 states asked the court to enforce an earlier order to the EPA to issue a new standard for soot. The earlier order had been won by the states in February 2009, in a lawsuit that had been filed in 2006. Read more here.

Map of Proposed Wind Farm Site Feds meet with New Bedford fishermen on proposed offshore wind turbine area
NEW BEDFORD -- New Bedford fishermen voiced serious concerns about the impact of offshore wind turbines on fish stocks and navigation at a meeting Monday with federal officials from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

The morning meeting at the city's Wharfinger building was called to provide the industry with input on the 1,300 square miles of federal waters south of Martha's Vineyard where offshore turbines are being proposed. Read more here.

Building Reopened Andrea McCoy Rec Center provides "beacon" for West End youth
NEW BEDFORD -- Years from now, a generation of West End youths may reminisce about their days playing basketball at the Andrea McCoy Recreation Center. "This will be a place where memories are formed, where childhoods will be formed, where adults ultimately will be formed," Mayor Jon Mitchell said Monday during a ceremony to reopen the community center at 181 Hillman St.

Six years of planning and $2.43 million in federal grant funding enabled city officials to restore the building, which was part of New Bedford Vocational High School when it opened in 1937. Read more here.

Dighton Agricultural Conference Slated
FALL RIVER -- The Agriculture and Food Conference of Southeastern Massachusetts will be held Saturday, Feb. 25, at Bristol County Agricultural High School, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The all-day event will feature an information-packed range of 18 workshops geared toward professional farmers and local food-focused members of the public, plus a special series of workshops on organic practices and three youth sessions for children ages 9 to 12. Read more here.

Classroom at BCC BCC president unhappy with proposal to centralize community colleges
FALL RIVER -- Bristol Community College President John Sbrega isn't hesitant about showing his irritation with Gov. Deval Patrick and his plan to centralize the governance of the state's 15 community colleges. "We weren't consulted. They didn't use community college experts" in compiling the Boston Foundation report that partly drove the governor's decision, Sbrega contended.

The governor has proposed a central administration of the colleges to better train and educate residents to meet the job skill requirements of employers, and do it more uniformly across the commonwealth. In his state of the state address, Patrick said the colleges need to align themselves with the statewide work force development plan. Read more here.

Energy Wise! My Solar Energy System
The sun has been used to generate electrical power for years to charge batteries for watches, walk lights, navigational buoys, traffic signals, radios, satellites, and the International Space Station. Vacation houses located far away from public electrical sources have also relied on solar panels. More recently we have all seen houses in town that have solar panels on their roofs, and more of our neighboring towns are installing "solar gardens." What's up with that?

The answer to that question is that solar power system costs are coming down, while electricity costs are going up. In Southeastern Massachusetts we pay almost 20 cents per kilowatt-hour for NSTAR's electricity generated primarily from fossil fuels, and we can expect higher costs in the future. The people of Massachusetts are concerned about those high electrical costs and the long-term effects of burning fossil fuels to generate power. We worry about our country's growing dependence on foreign oil. These concerns led me to take a careful look at solar power for my house, and here is what I found: Read more here.

Mass. turbine critics invoke AIDS epidemic
Massachusetts residents insistent that the drone, flicker and vibration of land-based wind turbines can shatter the health of nearby communities invoked the onset of the U.S. HIV/AIDS epidemic to reject a recent report debunking their claims. The comments were aired at a public meeting today at the Statehouse, where state officials were encouraging feedback on a recent independent panel's report on the health impacts of wind turbines. Read more here.

Will R.I. Renewable Energy Tax Credit Return?
When the General Assembly repealed the renewable energy tax credit in June 2010, the move came as part of a personal income tax system revamp designed to make Rhode Island more business friendly and create jobs.

Enacted in 2006, the renewable energy tax credit was one of 19 categories of credits repealed as the General Assembly sought to make the personal income tax overhaul revenue neutral. Little attention was given at the time to the tax credits omitted from the personal income tax legislation passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by then-Gov. Donald Carcieri. Indeed, the repeal was essentially achieved by only one sentence that stated, "No other state and federal tax credit shall be available to the taxpayers in computing tax liability."

So Sabetti and other small-scale renewable energy systems installers were surprised to learn the tax credit vanished so quietly. The legislation enacting the tax credit is still online, where homeowners considering such projects could look it up and factor them into their cost calculations. Read more here.

Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

Sustainability Film Series: The End of America

February 16, 6:30 pm, UMass Dartmouth Science and Engineering Building, room 226 (near the library)
From award-winning filmmakers Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern comes the provocative film, THE END OF AMERICA, based on The New York Times best-seller by the same name. In a stunning indictment of sweeping policy changes during the Bush years, author Naomi Wolf makes a chilling case that American democracy is under threat. Investigating parallels between our current situation and the rise of dictators and fascism in once-free societies, Wolf uncovers a number of deeply unsettling similarities -- from the use of paramilitary groups and secret prisons to the targeted suspension of the rule of law. With this galvanizing call to arms based on her recent book, she urges regular citizens to take back our legacy of freedom and justice. Remember that Naomi Wolf will be speaking at UMass Dartmouth on Wednesday, March 27th! Learn more.

SouthCoast Green Drinks

February 16, 6 pm, "Pier 37" at 37 Union St. New Bedford, MA
New Bedford's newest bar/restaurant, Pier 37, will be hosting us for this month's Green Drinks. They'll be giving us a sampling of what their new menu has to offer, so come early, stay late, and meet new people while supporting a local business. Hope to see you then! Green Drinks is an informal, open, post-work social event (i.e. happy hour) for people interested in "green" topics and initiatives happening both in our region and elsewhere. There is no set structure or itinerary and everyone is welcome to attend. Just show up at or after 6:00 and look for the "SouthCoast Green Drinks" sign. Every Third Thursday of the month! For more information, call Jen Gonet at the UMass Dartmouth Sustainability Office 508-910-6484 or email jgonet@umassd.edu. Find us on Facebook!. Also, on every Thursday, find another Green Drinks hosted by SMAST, the UMass Dartmouth School of Marine Science and Technology, where you can meet ocean and fisheries experts. Location is Rosey Alley Pub in downtown New Bedford at 5:30 pm. For more information contact Georgia at gkakoulaki@umassd.edu.

Lloyd Center Owl Prowl

February 19, 3:30 to 8am, meet at Lloyd Center Headquarters, 430 Potomska Road, Dartmouth
Starting at the Lloyd Center property, join Lloyd Center Research Assistant Jamie Bogart for a series of stops along the country roads of South Dartmouth, where you'll venture into the dark winter woods to attract owls with callback tapes. Screech, great-horned, barred and long eared owls are all potential species heard and seen. At sunrise, enjoy a refreshing walk along a pristine coastal beach, where other birdlife can be seen. Winter waterfowl are abundant, and owls active during daylight hours can be seen on a lucky day. Owls are chiefly nocturnal birds of prey, feeding on rodents, birds, reptiles, and sometimes fish (usually scavenged). They cannot move their eyes, so instead they move their heads. Owls can turn their heads 270° in either direction; this helps them triangulate to locate their prey. Hopefully, participants will see and hear these nighttime birds. The cost of the program is $9 for Lloyd Center members and $12 for non-members (children under 12 years old: $4.50 for members, $6 for non-members). Program is suitable for ages 10 and up. Pre-registration is required. To register for this program, call our event registration line at 508-558-2918 or simply visit our website www.lloydcenter.org and register online. Participants are asked to dress warmly and wear footwear for light walking on forest trails and possibly on snow. Bring binoculars, a camera and flashlight, if you have them. If you have specific questions about the program or owls, please call Jamie Bogart at 508-990-0505 ext. 23.

BPI Certified Residential Building Envelope Whole House Air Leakage Control Installer Training

February 21-24, Quest Center, 1213 Purchase Street, New Bedford
Includes Pre-Weatherization Math and Analytic Skills (February 13-14) and Introduction to Building Science Basics (February 15-17). The RBEWHALCI certification is for those new to building science or weatherization, and offers entry into the industry as insulation and air leakage control installers, as well as sets the foundation for more advanced building science training. Plus RBEWHALCI field test (one-day exam): By appointment with proctor. To register or learn about scholarships: send an email to weatherization@umassd.edu.

A Winter Adventure at Tripps Mill Brook - Mattapoisett

February 22, 9 to 11 am, Acushnet Road, Mattapoisett (~0.6 mi south of Hereford Hill Road)
Join Bay Coalition conservation staff for a snowshoe/hike and guided nature walk to explore one of the Bay Coalition's newest conserved properties along Tripps Mill Brook. This unique property in Mattapoisett is the location of recently retired cranberry bogs and a planned wetland restoration project. It offers beautiful vistas of the bogs, freshwater marshes, and wooded swamps that are all the more peaceful under a blanket of snow. Please bring your own snowshoes or hiking boots. FREE for Bay Coalition Members, $10 for non-members. Reservations requested. Contact Rob Hancock @ 508.999.6363 or hancock@savebuzzardsbay.org.For more information, visit www.savebuzzardsbay.org/bayadventure.

Tree Steward Training

February 23, 7-9pm, Quest Center, Bristol Community College, Fall River
The tree stewardship training, which includes indoor and outdoor classroom sessions, will teach participants the following: tree biology and tree identification; the importance of trees and planning for trees in the community; tree planting and pruning; tree health care and tree stewardship. After completing the course, tree stewards will be expected to volunteer 20 hours each year. Fall River residents pay only a $15.00 registration fee. Six, 2-hour classroom sessions will take place on Thursday evenings. Three, 4-hour outdoor sessions, which will be held on Saturdays at the end of March and in early April, will provide hands on instruction in tree identification, pruning, and planting. For more information about this event please go to www.bristolcc.edu under noncredit courses Home & Garden.

Leaf Bullet Save The Date

Agriculture and Food Conference of Southeastern Massachusetts

February 25, 8:30am to 5:00pm, Bristol County Agricultural High School, Dighton, MA
Registration is now open for this fifth annual conference presented by the Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership, Inc. (SEMAP) and Bristol County Conservation District (BCCD). This all-day event will feature an information-packed range of 18 workshops geared toward both professional farmers and local food-focused members of the community, plus a special series of workshops on organic practices and three youth sessions for children ages 9-12. Offerings include:
- Three workshops by Will Bonsall of the Scatterseed Project;
- Sessions on the business of farming (marketing, land leasing, institutional sales);
- New organic track workshops, in partnership with NOFA/Mass;
- Resource fair where farmers and gardeners alike can learn about organizations and businesses helping them to grow;
- Locally-sourced lunch prepared by Green Gal Catering that is included in registration (yes, in mid-winter!);
- Seed swap and more!
Registration is only $50 for the public, and $35 for farmers; SEMAP and NOFA members receive a 10% discount. To register and for information on conference updates, details on workshops and speakers, visit and follow the link, www.SEMAPonline.org or call (508) 295-2212 x50.

Buzzards Bay Coalition Decision-Maker Workshop Series on Habitat Restoration

March 1, March 22, April 5, Various Locations
Thursday March 1, 2012 at Buzzards Bay Coalition, New Bedford

  • Site Visit - Acushnet River restoration sites
  • Keynote Speaker - Brendan Annett, VP, Watershed Protection, Buzzards Bay Coalition
  • Topics Include: How restoration can undo damage to natural resources, types of restoration and ecological benefits
Thursday March 22, 2012 - Briarwood, Monument Beach
  • Site Visit - Sippewisset Marsh
  • Keynote Speaker - David Gould, Environmental Resources Manager, Town of Plymouth
  • Topics Include: Determining and managing stakeholders, economic benefits, flooding hazards mitigation, and drinking water source protection.
Thursday April 5, 2012 - Cranberry Station, East Wareham
  • Site Visit - Red Brook River
  • Keynote Speaker - Tim Purinton, Director of Division of Ecological Restoration, Mass Department of Fish and Game
  • Topics Include: Managing multi-source funding, permitting, planning and design, and managing construction.

To register for one or all of the free workshops contact Shannon McManus at mcmanus@savebuzzardsbay.org or call (508)999-6363 x 226. For more information, visit www.savebuzzardsbay.org/decisionmaker.

25th Anniversary Environmental Action Conference

March 3, Northeastern University, Boston, MA
Join 300 citizens, activists and experts at one of the premier grassroots events in Southern New England! We are proud to announce keynote speakers Lois Gibbs and Jan Schlichtmann, and we are thrilled to offer 20 workshops that cover a range of issues and skills - from the future of energy in New England, to environmental health, to trainings on lobbying elected officials and fundraising. Environmental Action is a day to recognize our many victories over the year and be inspired to go back and continue the fight to protect the health of our communities and the quality of our environment. Register online now for just $35. Early bird registration closes February 15th and prices go up $10 after that date. Call 617-747-4358 to register over the phone, and email taryn@toxicsaction.org with any questions.

BPI Certified Building Analyst Training

March 5-9, UMass Dartmouth Weatherization Center, 1213 Purchase St (the Quest Building), New Bedford, MA
Designed for people who have successfully passed the Residential Building Envelope Whole House Air Leakage Control Installer Certification. The building analyst credential is the standard for home energy auditors, and required knowledge for crew chiefs, and MassSave Independent Contractors. Building Analyst Prep Course Fee BA Prep Course: $1,200 ($1,000 with completion of RBEWHALCI), Grant funding and scholarships available for qualified candidates based on need and availability. *MassSave $600 scholarships available. For more information or to register contact the UMass Dartmouth Weatherization Training Center at weatherization@umassd.edu or call (774) 202-1975.

So You Want to Be a Farmer 5-Session Workshop Series

March 21-April 28, Wednesdays 6 to 9pm, Bristol County Agricultural High School, Dighton, MA
Applying knowledge of entering and aspiring farmers, SEMAP is offering the "So, You Want to Be a Farmer?" workshop series to educate entering farmers on the essential building blocks of starting a new farm enterprise and to inform you of the network of existing services. The five-session workshop series, "So, You Want to Be a Farmer?" is comprised of:
1.) So, You Want to Be a Farmer?: The Dirty Truth. March 21, 2012
2.) What is a Business Plan and Why You Need One. March 28, 2012
3.) The Dollars and Sense of Financing a Small Farm. April 4, 2012
4.) News Flash! You Don't Need To Own The Land You Farm. April 11, 2012
5.) Farm Tour: What A Real Farm Smells Like. April 28, 2012
SEMAP has been working with aspiring and entering farmers through its Farms Forever Program for the past four years. You have communicated your need for support in the areas of business planning, locating farmland, financing, and other legal issues. SEMAP has received funding for 20 participants. For more information, visit www.SEMAPonline.org or call (508) 295-2212 x50.

Leaf Bullet Announcements
SouthCoast Energy Challenge Business Rewards Program
This week marked the kickoff of the SouthCoast Energy Challenge Business Rewards Program at three Dartmouth businesses: Alderbrook Farm, Baker Books, and Mirasol's Café. A tidy box near the entrance of each establishment signals to customers, "Save money on utility bills... and earn a $10 gift certificate to this establishment!" How does it work? Any customer who registers for and receives a no-cost, Mass Save home energy assessment by filling out an attached slip and dropping it in the box will receive their complimentary $10 gift certificate to that business! It's as easy as that! And the perks don't stop there. Simply getting a home energy assessment can save you 3-5% utility costs. During the assessment, the energy experts at Next Step Living make a few simple, on-the-spot retrofits to increase your home's efficiency. These retrofits include installing energy saving light bulbs, an efficient showerhead, and programmable thermostats if you don't have them already. They will also make recommendations to increase the efficiency of your home on a deeper level. Added insulation, air sealing, and weatherstripping are some common recommendations. Furthermore, they will help you make a plan to take advantage of state rebates and funding opportunities available through the Mass Save program. For more information, visit the SouthCoast Energy Challenge.
SouthCoast Energy Challenge Seeking Interns
The primary focus of the SouthCoast Energy Challenge Outreach & Organizing Interns will be community outreach through canvassing and tabling at events to spread awareness and increase participation in the Challenge. The successful interns will work closely with the Program Coordinators to organize and promote the Challenge in the Greater New Bedford area, with an initial focus on Dartmouth. While some of the work will be in the SouthCoast Energy Challenge Dartmouth Initiative office, the Organizing Team will be expected to work predominantly in the community at large. We are seeking college aged or older applicants for these positions, and requesting a two semester commitment with the possibility of staying on into the Fall of 2012. Submit cover and resume no later than February 6. For more information and a complete job description, visit the SouthCoast Energy Challenge, or contact Andy Erickson@seeal.org, (508) 996 8253 ext 206.
Job Opening: Trustees of Reservations Superintendent for South Coast, Cape Cod, Buzzard's Bay
This Superintendent position has direct responsibility for the management and operation of 11 properties located in the Southeast Region of The Trustees of Reservations. The mission of the Trustees of Reservations is to preserve, for public use and enjoyment, properties of exceptional scenic, historic, and ecological value in Massachusetts. The organization cares for over 100 properties that comprise more than 24,000 acres, and monitors 285 Conservation Restrictions protecting another 16,700 acres. In 1891, the Trustees of Reservations was founded by small band of visionary volunteers. Over the past ten years, the organization has evolved into a dynamic $20M operation with 180 year-round employees who are led by a volunteer governance structure and supported by over 45,000 member households. For more information and a complete job description, visit www.thetrustees.org/about-us/employment/current-openings/superintendent-for-south.html.
Job Opening: Chief Entrepreneurial Catalyst at The Mycelium School
We are looking for an entrepreneur that has the capacity to not only help Mycelium thrive but weave the spirit of entrepreneurship within the fabric of our organization. We are not a feel good, sexy, mutton chop wearing, skate-board-to-work school that gives the image of making change; we are an ugly, gritty, sweaty, game changing force. We're looking for someone who has demonstrated success as a social intra/entrepreneur. Someone who thrives in uncertainty and is not afraid to take risks, fail hard and most of all, succeeds wildly. If you are the man or woman to pull this off, read on: Mycellum School and Chief Entrepreneurial Caltalyst description.
Two Seasonal Job Openings: "Apprentice" or "Resident Foodie" at Round the Bend Farm
Apprentice: Participate in the holistic experience that is diversified small farming in hopes of building confidence and skills to prepare you for an independent future. Round the Bend Farm seeks a farm apprentice to join the farm manager and one to three interns. We are looking for a person who is excited by the prospect of learning all things farming from vegetable gardening to seed saving to animal husbandry. We are looking for a self starter with a strong work ethic.
Resident Foodie: Round the Bend Farm (RTB) seeks a resident foodie to join the farm manager, small farm apprentice and the farm community. We are looking for a person who is excited by the prospect of immersion into a vibrant and diverse local food culture. We are looking for a self starter with a strong work ethic. More information here.
Fall River Winter Indoor Farmers Market
On the second Saturday of every month from 8:00am - 12:00pm visit CD Recreation at 72 Bank Street in Fall River for a Winter Indoor Market featuring local vendors with meats, cheeses, wines, vegetables, and other great goods will be available and are looking to see you there!
Winter Market Openings for Vendors
Sundays 11 to 3 pm, January 8th to March 25th:, Kennedy's Country Gardens, 85 Chief Justice Cushing Highway Route 3A Scituate, MA 02066.This market has spots for additional local farms and food vendors. Seeking Local Farms and Food Producers! Contact Person: Thea, 781-545-1266 (except Mondays till Feb. 14th) .
The Top 10 Peak Oil Books Of 2012
"Peak Oil" is the term for predictions about when we will have passed the mark for extracting oil from the earth in its best quantities. After Peak Oil, extraction supplies will only dwindle. Experts say we already passed that mark three decades ago. For the best, most recent reading on the subject, including its effects on the economy, energy supplies, and other factors expected to peak and dwindle, click here.
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.
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
Eco-labels App
How do you know just from looking at product labels which ones are truly meaningful and which ones aren't worth the premium price? Consumer Reports' Eco Labels App brings you the information you need on environmental claims like "hypoallergenic (not meaningful)," "natural (not meaningful)," and "organic (meaningful on most products but not all)."
Learn more here.

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