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February 23 to March 1, 2012

In This Issue

News:

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

This week:

Buzzards Bay Coalition Decision-Maker Workshop Series on Habitat Restoration

Tree Steward Training

More

Save The Date:

Introductory Workshop for Resilience Circles

25th Anniversary Environmental Action Conference

More

Announcements:

Job Opening: Communications Outreach Manager at Ceres

The Marion Institute is hiring

Weekly Green Tip:

Single Battery, Multiple Tools

Clip of the Week

"Food Rules" by Michael Pollan - RSA/Nominet Trust competition
Based on Michael Pollan's talk "Food Rules" given at the RSA, this animation was created in the context of the RSA/Nominet Trust film competition. Using a mixture of stop-motion and compositing, our aim and challenge was to convey the topic in a visually interesting way using a variety of different food products. We made a little table top set up at home and worked on this a little over three weeks. a
Movie!

Weekly Quote:

"We must always base our commitment in the center of our own being, or else no commitment will be ultimately authentic."
- Rollo May, The Courage to Create

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Leaf Bullet Letter from the Editors
Miniature Chameleon It never gets old drawing attention to the discovery of new species, especially those that are as fascinating as these miniature matchstick tip-sized chameleons in Madagascar. It's possible that this extreme example of dwarfism is tied to eons of dwindling resources and responsive body adaptations. Researchers don't know yet how the chameleons' tiny frames might have compressed or altered their inner workings, and they see those questions as fodder for future studies. As far as sustainability goes, might such dwarfisms happen to species that do not simply go extinct as competition for food, water, and habitat tighten on this planet?

At the other extreme of earthly body masses, whales are still being pursued by the Japanese who claim the 1000 or so a year that they kill are being used for research, while the whale meat is sold off to consumers. Sea Shepherd, the crew behind the TV reality show "Whale Wars" seemed to win a landmark in its attempts to thwart Japanese whale hunts when a U.S. court failed to grant the Japanese an injunction against Sea Shepard's activities. Though the International Whaling Commission permits Japan to hunt the animals as long as they are not caught for commercial purposes, others around the globe who want to see all action against these endangered behemoths halted herald actions that make kills harder.
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 restriction of free speech on the UMass Dartmouth campus according to a 2004 change in policy. We used to think we could depend on the college campus as the last, precious bastion of free speech in America. Apparently not. But a challenging problem nonetheless, to express dissent when the very freedom to do so comes under attack. Well, the speech on this blog has remained free,
Leaf Bullet News
Global
Rainstorm World Meteorological Organization launches new weather data system
An international information system designed to improve and expand the exchange of data on weather, climate and water will help boost food security around the world, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

The UN agency, which launched the system last month (31 January), said it would improve access to meteorological observations and products for stakeholders including the research and disaster risk reduction sectors. Read more here.

UK's Carbon Trust, GE Launch $5-Million Clean Tech Business Incubator Fund
The UK-based Carbon Trust announced today it would work with General Electric to establish a $5-million business incubator fund designed to boost low-carbon infrastructure technologies. The fund is targeted toward European clean tech start-up businesses, and will not have a cap on the size of possible investments.

Both companies will work together during the initial 18-month partnership to selectively identify promising companies, offer management advice, and allocate capital funding. Carbon Trust will administer the program, and the funding will come from GE's $200 million ecomagination Challenge. GE has committed $134 million from the fund to date in start-up investments and commercial partnerships across the globe since it launched in 2010. Read more here.

Ice and Sky Human-Made Photosynthesis to Revolutionize Food and Energy Production
Improving natural photosynthesis to make new fuels and boost crop production is the focus of Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council funded research. It could see us one step closer to bottling the sun's energy or turbocharging plants to produce bumper crops.

Photosynthesis allows biological systems to take energy from the sun and use it to produce food and fuel. It is one of the most important biological processes on earth but it's not as efficient as it could be. Read more here.

Blast Furnace A Rare Look Inside China's Energy Machine
China's energy use, production, and ambitions are best captured by superlatives: The country is the world's largest energy consumer, and leading source of greenhouse gas emissions.

To power its tremendous economic growth, China has called on every fuel, every technology. It is the largest producer of coal and its greatest consumer, and yet China has more nuclear reactors under construction than any other nation. Its growing appetite for oil has kept gasoline prices high around the globe. And yet China's commitment to wind and solar power is so outsized that its young industries are now among the largest in the world. Read more here.

Ships Japanese Whalers Lose Bid To Block U.S.-Based 'Sea Shepherd' Activists
A group of Japanese whalers has failed to win an injunction against U.S. anti-whaling activists, as a federal judge refused their request for protections from boats owned by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

The ruling was made in Seattle, where the whalers' group, the Institute for Cetacean Research, had filed suit. In addition to restraints on Sea Shepherd, the whalers were hoping the judge would impose a freeze on the activists' finances. Read more here.

Woman and Garbage India Is Burning: How Rapid Growth Is Destroying its Environment and Future
When I first moved back to India, in the winter of 2003, after more than a decade in America, I never thought I would live in the countryside. My wife and I had been living in New York; we liked the energy, the nightlife and variety, of a big city. We quickly discovered, though, that Indian cities were unlivable--crowded and noisy and polluted, they were no place to raise a family. So we decided to stay, with our two boys, in the countryside outside the South Indian town of Pondicherry, the area where I had grown up.

Then one April the summer wind brought with it an unfamiliar guest: the smell of burning plastic. It started on a Sunday afternoon, a hint of bitterness, like something rotten in the air. I barely noticed. A couple days later my wife woke me in the middle of the night and said something was burning. This time the bitterness was unmistakable, a chemical taste in my mouth, a trail of roughness along my constricted throat. Read more here.

The Quiet Clean Mining Revolution
Few industries have got the black eye, literally and metaphorically, of mining. After centuries of environmental effects ranging from toxic emissions to unsightly tailings ponds, acid mine drainage, massive energy consumption and other impacts, mining is slowly cleaning up its act.

Why? Mostly because new clean technologies are increasing industrial efficiencies. They're lowering mining companies' power needs. And they're even helping reduce water requirements, and/or remediating the produced water and mines of years past that are now leaching toxins. And that's translating into cost savings for mining companies, which are being held increasingly accountable for their environmental impacts and are looking for ways to minimize the expenses of both the production phase of their operations, and reclamation (i.e. the mandated end-of-life cleanup expenses associated with mining in many jurisdictions, now). Read more here.

Man on Bike China's pollution costs $112B in annual health care
China's unprecedented growth is carrying a steadily steeper price tag as its air pollution hikes the nation's health care costs, finds a new study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Although China has made substantial progress in reducing its air pollution, MIT researchers say its economic impact has jumped from $22 billion in 1975 to $112 billion in 2005. The costs result from both lost labor and the increased need for health care because ozone and particulates in air can cause respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Read more here.

National
Hillary Clinton Obama bypasses Congress again on climate change
President Obama, who said last month that divisions in Congress are "too deep" to tackle climate change, bypassed Capitol Hill again this week with another effort to reduce climate-warming emissions.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced Thursday, accompanied by officials from Bangladesh, Canada, Ghana, Mexico and Sweden, a joint effort to curb the short-lived emissions of pollutants including soot (also called black carbon), methane and hydrofluorocarbons that account for 30% to 40% of global warming. The United States plans to contribute $12 million and Canada $3 million over two years to begin the project, which will be run by the United Nations Environment Program. Read more here.

Crop Rows Monterey County says no to methyl iodide
Monterey County -- one of the biggest farm counties in California -- passed a resolution to ban the fumigant methyl iodide. They'll join Santa Cruz County (another big ag county) in urging California Gov. Jerry Brown to re-examine the registration and approval of this known carcinogen on farms.

Methyl iodide is being seen as a replacement for the ozone-depleting methyl bromide, which will be phased out of use in the state by 2015. Read more here.

USDA Organic Logo USDA Certified Organic's Dirty Little Secret: Neotame
Just when we thought that buying "Organic" was safe, we run headlong into the deliberate poisoning of our organic food supply by the FDA in collusion with none other than the folks who brought us Aspartame. NutraSweet, a former Monsanto asset, has developed a new and improved version of this neurotoxin called Neotame.

Neotame has similar structure to aspartame -- except that, from it's structure, appears to be even more toxic than aspartame. This potential increase in toxicity will make up for the fact that less will be used in diet drinks. Read more here.

Bears On Dumpsters As Bear Population Grows, More States Look At Hunts
Wildlife officials don't usually base hunting policies on how the public feels about an animal. But the black bear seems to be different. The revered king of the forest has bounced back from near-extinction to being a nuisance in some areas. Some states are trying to figure out if residents can live in peace with bears, or if they'd rather have hunters keep numbers in check.

In places like the Smoky Mountains, black bears have always been part of the landscape. But national parks are no longer the only places humans are running into black bears. Numbers from the Eastern seaboard to California have shot up in recent decades. Read more here.

MF Global Sign MF Global failure creates tax crunch for farmers
Thousands of former clients of the failed brokerage, including farmers, cattle ranchers and investors, have not yet received tax forms that detail their profits and losses, preventing them from preparing accurate returns for the Internal Revenue Service ahead of a rapidly approaching deadline.

The collapse of MF Global, which had a large group of agricultural clients, has produced one financial frustration after another for former customers who still have not been fully reimbursed for hundreds of millions of dollars that were frozen in their accounts as a result of the firm's October 31 bankruptcy. Read more here.

House New American Dream is renting to get rich
Examining 250 properties around the U.S., and going through close to 40 client files to project the financial impact of owning real estate versus liquidating it, Rich Arzaga, an adjunct professor in personal finance at the University of California at Berkeley, found that, "100 percent of the time it was better to rent, rather than own." That's right: 100 percent.

The reason is simple. While a home is the main repository of wealth for many Americans, it comes with numerous hefty expenses. The carrying costs - what's needed to hold and maintain the asset - range from property taxes and home insurance to emergency repairs and renovations. In a rental situation, the landlord covers those costs, leaving the occupant free to invest revenue in other areas. Read more here.

Oil Rig Fire Settlement Talks Pick Up Ahead of BP Oil Spill Trial
NEW ORLEANS -- Nearly two years after the oil rig explosion that killed 11 people and spilled millions of barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, the myriad plaintiffs suing BP and other companies over the disaster are about to get their day in court. Or not.

With the start of the high-profile trial set for next Monday, and the specter of potential liability that some experts have estimated at $40 billion, BP and other defendants are stepping up negotiations to end the litigation before Judge Carl J. Barbier of Federal District Court picks up his gavel. Read more here.

Clothing Recycle Bin Textile Recycling Is Thriving in New York
Less than a year after introducing a textile recycling program in New York City, supporters have pronounced it a grand success.

Last May, the city formed a partnership with Housing Works, a group that helps homeless people who are H.I.V.-positive, to pick up donated clothing at apartment buildings in one of the first large-scale consumer textile recycling programs in the country. The goal is to capture most of the 200,000 tons of apparel and other textiles that New Yorkers throw away each year but that could be reused instead and thereby reduce the city's garbage disposal costs. Read more here.

Discourse
Town Square Rightsizing, not downsizing, is what the next gen is about
While 'one size fits all' may have been the mass production model of the industrial revolution, it's encouraging to know that the model driving the creative, information, knowledge economy of the present is based on providing what people truly want. That 'right size' we're looking for is finally being provided as an option.

Regular readers know this has been well covered in this blog, that the next gen wants smaller homes, that the housing crisis needed a correction as housing sizes got out of control. According to a 2011 report, What's Next? Real Estate in the New Economy, by the Urban Land Institute, Gen Y (in their teens and early thirties) prefers smaller homes in favor of an easier commute and better lifestyle. Perhaps this will lead to 'people rightsizing' in a country where two-thirds of the population is overweight. Read more here.

The Growing Field of Sustainability Studies
Students are challenging their faculty to develop creative solutions to the world's crisis in environmental sustainability. When I tell my students that I believe the current forms of consumption may evolve, and become less destructive, but will still remain central to the planet's political economy -- they question my assumptions and force me to rethink basic premises. When we tell them that it will take a generation or more to complete a transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, they tell us why they think it will happen much faster. Read more here.

Ice and Sky Canadian government is 'muzzling its scientists'
The Canadian government has been accused of "muzzling" its scientists. Speakers at a major science meeting being held in Canada said communication of vital research on health and environment issues is being suppressed.

But one Canadian government department approached by the BBC said it held the communication of science as a priority. Read more here.

Dead Fish Should Officers and Directors Pay When Their Firms Destroy the Environment?
The polluter pays. That is the principle of the European Union's Environmental Liability Directive, a law that officially went into full effect in 2010, but has yet to be widely implemented. One controversial element of the directive is that directors and officers are responsible for reporting to authorities any damages their employees have caused the environment, and failure to do so can result in steep penalties of the individuals, as well as the company. The directive's aim is to hold corporations accountable for restoring any biodiversity damaged. Read more here.

Hazmat Suit Monsanto Guilty! France convicts big ag firm of chemical poisoning
We've written a lot about how Monsanto is one of the worst companies in the world, and how American farmers have taken them to court to try to block their actions that pollute the environment with chemicals and the food supply with genetically modified seeds.

Today we have word from France that the agribusiness giant has been convicted of chemical poisoning, a groundbreaking result that may make it easier for farmers to sue in other cases. In the past, it's been difficult to make a direct link between pesticide exposure, which can be cumulative over years, and specific health problems. Read more here.

Man with Sign Nature Conservancy Now Protecting Urban Jungles
Last week, I wrote about a recent, somewhat controversial, collaboration between the Nature Conservancy and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. I would like to follow that story up with one describing another new Conservancy program focused on urban conservation. When combined, I think these two stories will put these recent efforts into the broader context of environmental organizations' challenge of expanding their demographics, and in particular, focusing on younger, and increasingly urban, audiences in hopes of attracting tomorrow's supporters. Read more here.

Local
Waves Climate change increases risk of storm surges, according to MIT study
Studies of climate change and its impact on coastal communities usually focus on rising sea level. Now, scientists from MIT and Princeton University have developed a method to examine how multiple effects of climate change -- including the combination of sea-level rise and stronger hurricanes -- will affect storm surges that wash over sea walls and inundate communities, damaging buildings and infrastructure. Read more here.

turbine location Fairhaven turbine opponents file Open Meeting Law complaint
FAIRHAVEN -- Opponents of the Fairhaven wind turbines have filed a complaint with the state Attorney General's Office, charging Fairhaven selectmen with violating the state's Open Meeting Law in their discussions about the controversial project.

The complainants allege that police officers prevented some people from entering a meeting because the room was full but say they have video showing empty seats. Read more here.

university protest Hundreds march for free speech at Bridgewater State University
BRIDGEWATER -- Hundreds of students, faculty and community members rallied on the Bridgewater State campus Tuesday morning in support of free speech, after a student said she was physically assaulted over a pro-gay marriage editorial in the student newspaper.

The rally gathered at the Moakley Center around 10:30 a.m., and then marched across campus to Boyden Hall, where a number of student leaders and faculty spoke. Several said their professors had cancelled classes for the day so they could attend. Read more here.

Downtown New Bedford Inc. started year with money woes
NEW BEDFORD -- Downtown New Bedford Inc., a fixture on the downtown business scene, started the new year in serious financial difficulty and with an uncertain fixture.

In recent weeks, however, the nonprofit has climbed onto firmer financial ground and is no danger of folding, said Kevin Pelland, chairman of the nonprofit's board. Read more here.

Map New Bedford's push to become wind staging area gets boost
NEW BEDFORD -- The city's effort to become a major staging area for the offshore wind industry could pay off after Cape Wind scored a major legal victory Wednesday.

The developer of 130 wind turbines in Nantucket Sound plans to be the first to use New Bedford's proposed port staging facility to deploy turbine parts, provided that work is done in time. Following the state Supreme Judicial Court's ruling in favor of Cape Wind, Mayor Scott W. Lang said he is optimistic the staging area will be ready before the wind farm begins construction. Read more here.

Freetown trash program will run $15K deficit
FREETOWN -- It looks as though the town will finish its second year under the Pay-As-You-Throw recycling and trash disposal program with a deficit, but officials recently raved about how well the program has performed.

After its first year, the town faced a deficit of around $30,000. The program's second year ends in July. Health Agent Paul Bourgeois said he expected the deficit to be around $15,000, adding that his goal is to simply break even. Read more here.

child picking flowers Jumping ahead of Mother Nature: Mild weather has gardens, gardeners springing to life
Blossoms already enliven forsythia and hellebores in Boston gardens, and buds even hint at spring in higher elevations. But isn't it only February?

By the calendar, the sky should be metal gray, not winsome blue. Rivers should be coated with ice, rather than beckoning boats during the winter that wasn't. Consistently mild weather is winding the internal clocks of gardens and gardeners ahead a season. Read more here.

Earth Care Farm R.I.'s Compost King Needs Nitrogen
CHARLESTOWN -- Washington County businesses, schools and institutions have a new option for reducing their landfillable waste stream and the associated costs of waste removal. Earth Care Farm, Rhode Island's longest operating, privately owned composting operation is now accepting post-consumer food scraps from interested commercial and public institutions.

Mike Merner, owner of Earth Care Farm, used to get most the nitrogen for his compost from the state's fish processing industry, but the decline of the industry in recent years has forced him to begin looking at new sources of green material for his composting operation. Read more here.

Fall River City Council supports tougher rules against sewage discharge in Taunton River
FALL RIVER -- Roughly 70 percent of the state's coastal waters are protected by regulations prohibiting sewer discharges, the first three miles of the Taunton River and connecting portion of Mount Hope Bay in this area are not so designated.

That could change under an application state officials will submit next month to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The City Council's Committee on Health & Environmental Affairs Tuesday night voted 3-0 to issue a letter of support at the request of the state Coastal Zone Management. Read more here.

tank engineer Tank-building company finds clean energy niche
MIDDLEBOROUGH - Mass Tank Sales Corp. was founded more than 50 years ago to make fuel oil tanks for walk-up apartment buildings in Boston. Over the years, it diversified into water tanks, a variety of fuel tanks, and even confectionery tanks that store unprocessed candy for sweets makers like Necco and Tootsie Roll.

Now, Mass Tank has found a new line of business: wind power. Adapting the techniques it uses to transform steel sheets into tanks of 15,000 gallons or more, the company will make 20-story towers that support wind turbine blades. Read more here.

Pressure builds on utility companies over storm response
With memories still fresh of power outages lasting days after storms in 2010 and 2011, political pressure is building on the state's utility companies to step up their game. Either that, or face penalties that could cut into their profits.

"There's a definite need for legislative action," said state Rep. James Cantwell, D-Marshfield, who is pushing for a law that would mandate minimum staffing levels for utility companies during severe storms. Read more here.

Logo Child and Family Services Continues to Grow
NEW BEDFORD -- A New Bedford-based nonprofit service provider has been expanding and adding employees ever since a court-mandated increase in mental health services for children went into effect in 2009.

Child and Family Services, which traces its history back to the city's whaling era, has added about 120 positions in the past few years to support its Southeastern Massachusetts programs. The agency has been a local provider for intensive home-based mental health services for children that a federal judge mandated for the entire state. Read more here.

Residents forming neighborhood group to fight back against vandalism
NEW BEDFORD -- Ashley Oliveira considered leaving her Parker Street neighborhood after vandals "egged" her car, slashed several vehicles' tires and spray-painted graffiti on her neighbors' houses. "I told my husband, 'I've had enough. It's time to move out of the city because it's getting worse,' " said Oliveira, 24, who chose a different strategy.

"The more I thought about it, I realized I love my apartment and the area. So we decided to stay and fight, and bring safety back to the neighborhood," said Oliveira, who is looking to organize a new neighborhood group. Read more here.

Evelyn Moniz Fall River union organizer a longtime fighter for workers' rights
FALL RIVER -- Evelyn Moniz remembers her first impression of the mills in Fall River, and her first factory job in 1935. "They were called sweatshops, and I soon learned why," Moniz said. "Work was so plentiful, you could leave one shop and go across the street, or go upstairs or downstairs in the same building, and get work."

Moniz's first job was at the former Kravif Manufacturing on 12th Street, off Pleasant Street. At the time, the shops were not yet unionized -- something she would certainly change. "Pleasant Street and Bedford Street were so full of mills that when the factories let out, it looked like an army walking the streets," Moniz said. "But one thing was missing. There were no union shops." Read more here.

duck Tracking Ducks to Make Offshore Wind Decisions
KINGSTON -- Biologists from the University of Rhode Island, the state Department of Environmental Management and other agencies have implanted satellite transmitters in sea ducks to learn about the birds' daily movements and identify important wintering locations.

This data will be used when government officials and offshore wind farm developers make decisions about where to site wind turbines. This information also will be used to assess how the birds' movements are affected once the turbines are erected. Read more here.

Mattapoisett aquaculture license approved, pending benthic survey
Mattapoisett -- The Board of Selectmen has approved the first aquaculture license since the town's new rules and regulations were passed in November.

Now the Division of Marine Fisheries will conduct a benthic survey to identify abundance and diversity of species in the area and make exact coordinates of the two-acre proposal more than 460 feet off the coast of Nasketucket Bay State Reservation. Read more here.

Small business group opposes guaranteed sick days
Legally mandated paid sick days for workers would stamp out billions of dollars worth of productivity and potentially 16,000 jobs over five years, according to a new report issued by a small-business advocacy group that has long opposed legislation that would guarantee Massachusetts employees up to a week of sick time.

The report, issued by the National Federation of Independent Business, estimates that 1.3 million Massachusetts workers lack guaranteed paid sick time out of a workforce of nearly 3 million. But legislation to impose a mandate, which would allow employees to accrue paid sick time depending on the number of hours they work, makes no exceptions for small firms and would cover temporary and part-time employees, according to the report, which estimates that a quarter of the job losses would hit firms with between 20 and 99 employees. Read more here.

Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

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.

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.


Leaf Bullet Save The Date

Introductory Workshop for Resilience Circles

March 3, 10 AM to 4 PM, UMass Dartmouth Campus Center Conference Room, 2nd Floor
A Resilience Circle is a small group of 10 to 20 people that comes together to increase personal security during these challenging times. Circles have three purposes: learning, mutual aid, and social action. Lunch provided. How do we prepare for economic and ecological change? Congregations and communities are forming Resilience Circles to help people find connection, the information they need, and avenues to a new kind of security -- one based on mutual aid and support. At this facilitator training, we will provide the tools, connections, and inspiration for starting a circle. For more information, visit Democracy in Action or contact Susan Jennings.

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.

Sustainable Braintree's 2012 Green Gala and Fundraiser

March 3, 7 to 11 pm, Cahill Auditorium in Braintree Town Hall
This elegant event brings together community members, elected officials, and business leaders for a fabulous evening of fun and entertainment. Our keynote speaker is Secretary Richard K. Sullivan, Jr., Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs. Tickets are $50.00 per person. In addition to Door Prizess, a Raffle Getaway for a trip for two to the beautiful island of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands is being offered. St. John is a designated U.S. National Park. The getaway has a Maximum Retail Value of $7000 and includes: Round-Trip Airfare for Two, transfers to and from St. Thomas to St. John, a seven day, six-night stay at The St. John Westin Resort, car rental, and a $1000 American Express gift card. Tickets are $100. Only 250 tickets will be sold! The final date for raffle ticket sales is March 1, 2012, and no raffle tickets will be sold at the Gala. To purchase Gala or Raffle tickets, visit the Sustainable Braintree website or contact Cheryl Edgar at 781 848 9247.

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
The Marion Institute seeks a FUNDRAISING PROFESSIONAL
The Marion Institute (MI) (www.marioninstitute.org) seeks a Fundraising Professional to join the Executive Director and MI team. We are looking for a person who is excited by the prospect of leading and managing all aspects of MI's fundraising.

Working closely with the Executive Director and the Board, the Fundraising Professional will be responsible for shaping and executing the overall MI approach to generating financial support. This will involve building on an existing successful foundation as well as bringing a fresh perspective to the task of setting priorities and implementing specific aspects of the fundraising strategy. This would include MI's annual appeal, targeted major donor appeals, web based fundraising, special events for constituency/membership development and cultivation, foundation and government grants, corporate gifts, leadership on all special fundraising efforts and the development of a planned giving program. Learn more here.
Job Opening: Communications Outreach Manager at Ceres
The new position of Communications Outreach Manager at Ceres will handle day-to-day media relations for Ceres and its Investor Network on Climate Risk. This opening is designed for a highly motivated, self-starter looking to help frame Ceres' message and manage our interaction with both traditional and new online media on cutting-edge issues such as the far-reaching business impacts from global climate change. This Communications Outreach Manager will have regular and close interaction with traditional and online reporters, write extensively on behalf of Ceres programs, activities and executive staff, and coordinate numerous media outreach campaigns. Ceres is a nonprofit organization based in Boston, MA, with a national network of investors, environmental organizations and other public interest groups working with companies and investors to address sustainability challenges such as climate change and water scarcity. Ceres also directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a group of 100 leading institutional investors with collective assets of over $10 trillion. For more information, visit www.ceres.org. To submit a resume and samples, contact maureen@msalkinassociates.com.
New Data Quantifies Environmental Impact of Colleges & Universities
The American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), an agreement between nearly 700 colleges and universities to promote sustainability through teaching and action, today released new data on the positive environmental impact of colleges and universities across the country in reducing their carbon footprints. Among the findings:
- The 599 colleges that submitted greenhouse gas inventories reported CO2 emissions of 28m metric tons, roughly as much as 2.58m homes or 5.2m passenger vehicles emit annually
- 306 institutions set a target of achieving climate neutrality by 2050 or before; 93 pledged neutrality by 2030
- Collectively, the ACUPCC network has purchased more than 1.28 billion kilowatt-hours of renewable energy credits (RECs), making it the third-largest buyer in the country
The data is publicly available on the ACUPCC's online reporting system -- /www.acupcc.org/reportingsystem -- a platform that enables schools to quantify the sustainability activity that is taking place on their campuses, and hold themselves accountable by sharing their progress in a transparent way. The data is available in a variety of formats; contact Ulli Klein for more information.
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.
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.
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
Single Battery, Multiple Tools
Ryobi One+ uses a single battery system that fits dozens of tools, instead of having a different battery and charger for each tool.
Learn more here.

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