WOMEN’S MARCH TO END GENOCIDE IN WHITECLAY, NEBRASKA . . . Sunday, August 26, 2012, 12:00 noon, at the Billy Mills Hall, Pine Ridge, South Dakota, there will be a Women’s March to End Genocide in Whiteclay. For more information, contact Olowan Martinez, Lead Organizer, at 605.407.1773 or truelyn8tive [at] yahoo [dot] com
MOVE TO AMEND/END CORPORATE PERSONHOOD . . . Local Move to Amend groups presented signatures on petitions to End Corporate Personhood by a Resolution of the Lincoln City Council on Monday, August 13, 2012. 2004 Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb started a Midwest Barnstorming Tour with Nebraska appearances in Lincoln and Omaha last weekend. Watch a 2:10 minute video of David Barnstorming MTA at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rr-Eax3f1rg&feature=youtu.be. To get involved with the local campaign, e-mail Carol Smith, smithcarol [dot] 49 [at] gmail [dot] com
GREEN PARTY PRESIDENTIAL UPDATE . . . For the latest information on ballot access, see http://www.jillstein.org/ballot. Thirty-three states now have a ballot line for Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala. In Nebraska, we are collecting signatures for Jill’s ballot access with a non-partisan line on the November ballot. The petition deadline is September 1, 2012. To help with the effort to make a vote for Dr. Jill Stein possible in Nebraska, please e-mail mjberry [at] inebraska [dot] com. Another U.S. is Possible — Another Party is Necessary.
FARMERS MARKETS . . . There are more than 90 local Farmers Markets in Nebraska this year. For a partial schedule of current Buy Fresh Buy Local Markets, click here.
Lincoln area: Congressional District 1
VIGIL AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY . . . Every Monday, noon to 1:00pm, Nebraskans for abolition of the death penalty meet in front of the governor’s mansion when weather is good, 1425 H Street, Lincoln. When weather is bad, the vigil is inside the capitol, near the Information Desk. The lunch-hour presence reminds the governor of a constituency that does not want state killings. Weekly vigils have taken place year-round since July, 1991. All abolitionists are welcome to participate for a few minutes, or the hour. For more information about NADP, click here. “It’s barbaric. It’s outlawed in all but a few extremely repressive countries like Iran, China, and not many others. It’s shameful that it continues to be performed. It’s well established that mistakes are made–yet half of our states practice pre-meditated state-sponsored murder. It’s also known that it’s not effective. So why is it done? Revenge & retribution? That’s not what our justice system is supposed to be about. It’s not an effective deterrent.” –Jill Stein, GP Presidential Nominee.
TUESDAY FARMERS MARKET . . . Tuesdays, 4:30-7:30pm, there is a Farmers Market at St. Paul United Church of Christ, 13th & F Streets, in Lincoln.
WEDNESDAY FARMERS MARKETS . . . The Downtown Garden Market, M Street between 16th & Centennial, continues every Wednesday, 12:00 noon to 4:00pm. The University Place Community Market, 48th Street & Madison Avenue, is every Wednesday from 3:00 to 7:00pm.
LINCOLN PEACE VIGILS . . . Lincoln peace vigils continue at the Federal Building, 15th and O streets, every Wednesday from 5:00 to 6:00pm. Contact Mark at 402.499.6672 or e-mail mark [at] weddleton [dot] com for more information.
RALLY FOR WHITECLAY . . . A Rally to Raise Awareness in The Battle for Whiteclay will be Thursday, August 23, 2012, on the North side of the State Capitol, Lincoln, in solidarity with the Women’s March to End Genocide on Sunday, August 26, 2012 in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Featured speakers in Lincoln will include Native American Activist Frank LaMere, Documentary Filmmaker Mark Vasina, and Philosopher/Writer Char Knoflicek. Thursday evening, 7:00pm, there will be a special screening of the documentary film The Battle for Whiteclay at the Common Root Mutual Aid Center, 1315 South 24th Street.
FEAST ON THE FARM . . . Saturday, August 25, 2012, at 5:00pm, the annual Sunset Community Feast on the Farm, SW 40th and West F Streets, will feature food, live music, dancing, and a silent auction. For more information, including a list of silent auction items, go to http://www.communitycrops.org/farmdinner.
SUNDAY FARMERS MARKET . . . The Old Cheney Road Farmers Market offers local produce, baked goods and natural meats every Sunday, 10:00am to 2:00pm, at 55th Street and Old Cheney Road.
OCCUPY LINCOLN . . . There is a calendar of Occupy Lincoln events here. The Facebook page is here. The Twitter feed is @OccupyLincoln. For more information, e-mail occupylincoln [at] gmail [dot] com or phone 402.585.5865. Corporate Greed is Revolution’s Seed!
Omaha area: Congressional District 2
OMAHA PEACE VIGILS . . . Omaha peacemakers vigil every Wednesday, 4:30-5:30pm, at StratCom/UN-O, 6801 Pine Street, east of the Scott Technology Center on the UN-O campus. Free parking is available at the NE Corner of 67th Street and Pine in a student lot. For more information, phone Jerry Ebner, 402.502.5887. Every Saturday, 1:00-2:00pm, there is a Peace Vigil at 72nd and Dodge Streets. Park next to 72nd Street, in the pet store parking lot. Contact Steve Horn at 402.426.9068 for more information about Saturday vigils.
OMAHA PEOPLE’S FILM FESTIVAL . . . There is a People’s Film Festival every Wednesday evening, 7:00pm, at McFoster’s Natural Kind Cafe, 38th and Harney in Omaha. For information about this Wednesday’s film, check http://www.progressiveomaha.com/films.htm later in the week. The People’s Film Festival – Expanding Political Consciousness Since 2004.
OMAHA FARMERS MARKETS . . . Click here for an Omaha Market schedule.
ENGAGE OMAHA . . . One of the nation’s first city-wide, virtual town hall websites, EngageOmaha, is now online. Omaha residents may weigh in on issues for the city to consider. Pick a topic, and join the mix at http://www.engageomaha.com/
Greater Nebraska: Congressional District 3
KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE UPDATE . . . From “Keystone XL pipeline crosses political boundaries in Nebraska and beyond,” by Steven Mufson, Washington Post, August 17, 2012: “When TransCanada said its $7 billion Keystone XL oil pipeline from Alberta to Texas would pass about two miles from Spalding in central Nebraska, political boundaries crumbled as the pipeline proposal united Nebraskans across party lines and divided them within.” Read page 1 of 4, and view photo blog, at http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/keystone-xl-pipeline-crosses-political-boundaries-in-nebraska-and-beyond/2012/08/17/2be72f84-d5c6-11e1-b2d5-2419d227d8b0_story.html (This article reveals how misinformed Bob Kerrey is about where this tar sands toxin is going after it splits our land open and pollutes our entire environment. His Senate opponent is for the pipeline.)
“XL Pipeline Construction Begins With Protests in Texas,” by Candice Bernd, sourced from Occupy.com to Reader Supported News, August 17th, begins “Blockaders braved a wall of bulldozers early Thursday morning and unfurled banners that warned TransCanada to expect resistance the size of Texas if the company proceeds with construction of a pipeline to carry Canadian tar sands through the region as part of Keystone XL’s hastily rebranded “Gulf Coast Project.” Read at http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/312-16/12977-xl-pipeline-construction-begins-with-protests-in-texas.
“Keystone XL pipeline construction begins amid protests,” by Kim Murphy, was published in LA Times, August 16th: “The Canadian pipeline company TransCanada has quietly begun construction of the southern leg of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, installing segments near Livingston, Texas, company officials confirmed Thursday.” Read at http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-keystone-xl-pipeline-20120816,0,6693892.story.
“Tar Sands Blockade is Taking A Stand in Texas,” Published by Ethan Nuss, August 13th: “Remember a year ago when 1,253 people got arrested in front of the White House? We came in waves day after day, for weeks, vowing that we would lay our bodies on the line to halt the permitting of the dreaded Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Well, in case you haven’t heard since then, Big Oil has been up to its old tricks and recently secured all the necessary permits to build the southern section of Keystone XL to the Gulf. The Canadian oil corporation, TransCanada, is planning to break ground “within weeks.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t plan on letting them build anything that could spell “game over” for the global climate.
Fortunately, I’m not alone. I’m proud to be part of Tar Sands Blockade, a growing movement of Texas landowners and activists ready to use nonviolent direct action to stand up to Big Oil and say; “Don’t Mess with Texas.”
We need your help! Together we can halt this dirty pipeline in its tracks and build the healthy, clean energy future we know is possible. We’re an open grassroots organization so sign up on our website to learn more about how to get involved. 5:03 minute video at http://itsgettinghotinhere.org/2012/08/13/video-tar-sands-blockade-is-taking-a-stand-in-texas/. LIKE on Facebook and SHARE the video on Twitter to support this critical campaign.
“Don’t Mess with Texas’ Tar Sands Blockade Takes Action as Keystone Pipeline Construction Begins,” by Will Wooten, Waging Nonviolence, AlterNet, August 17th: “…Activists will respond by holding the blockade for as long as possible, through the summer and likely into the fall. This could be an important moment for the entire climate movement, setting the stage for future actions and alliances — not to mention giving new meaning to the words “Don’t mess with Texas.” Read and view 5:03 minute video at http://www.alternet.org/hot-news-views/dont-mess-texas-tar-sands-blockade-takes-action-keystone-pipeline-construction-begins?akid=9231.138312.-OGqek&rd=1&src=newsletter694901&t=10.
Jane Kleeb reported from the Texas hearing on Julia Trigg Crawford’s eminent domain case that the judge could rule at any time. Stand with Julia in her fight against Big Oil by donating to her legal fund at https://sumofus.org/campaigns/stand-with-Julia/?akid=683.2507.9N7c3x&rd=1&sub=fwd&t=3.
“Blockade Aims to Stop Southern Keystone XL Pipeline,” by Christine Leclerc, rabble.ca, was at Reader Supported News August 11th: “With a nonviolent direct action camp that started July 27, 2012 in East Texas, grassroots opponents are working on a construction project of their own: Tar Sands Blockade, a coalition of landowners, community members, students, and others dedicated to stopping the pipeline through direct action.” Read at http://www.readersupportednews.org/opinion2/271-38/12883-blockade-aims-to-stop-southern-keystone-xl-pipeline.
From All Things Considered, When this oil spills, it’s ‘a whole new monster.’ “New pipelines are spreading out around the United States as the nation gears up to get much more of its oil from Canada’s deposits of tar sands in Alberta. This is not conventional crude, and getting straight answers about what these pipeline will carry, and what happens when it spills has been difficult for property owners near the pipelines.” Eleven minute audio of All Things Considered at http://www.npr.org/2012/08/16/158025375/when-this-oil-spills-its-a-whole-new-monster.
“Doctors demand access to all health data on oilsands,” by Sharon Kirkey, Postmedia News, August 15th: “The Canadian Medical Association is calling for public and timely access to all government and industry data on the potential human health effects of the oilsands and other natural resource development projects.” Continued at http://www.canada.com/business/Doctors+demand+access+health+data+oilsands/7095892/story.html.
From “This just in… it’s not even oil!” by Greg Awtry, York News Times Editorial, August 14th: “If you transport petroleum products through a pipeline in the U.S.A. you have to pay 8-cent per barrel excise tax to the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. If the Keystone XL goes through and they transport about 700,000 barrels a day, TransCanada would have to pay about $56,000 into the fund every day. That would be about $20 million a year.
But here’s some breaking news. The Internal Revenue Service, the agency who has to collect these taxes, has ruled that TransCanada’s Keystone XL won’t have to pay the tax. What? These high pressure tar sand pipelines are spilling all over the place and they don’t have to pay into the Oil Spill Trust Fund? Yes, you read it right. That is correct.
Why? The IRS has ruled the tar sand or diluted bitumen as it’s called after they dilute it with poisonous chemicals, is not oil! The IRS says it is not even a petroleum product! If I was reading this like you are, I would say, “Greg, you have been sniffing too many pipeline fumes! You must have your information wrong!”
…TransCanada calls it oil when they want to sell us on their dangerous idea. They call it an oil pipeline when they overstate the number of jobs this will create. They call it an oil pipeline when they exaggerate the amount of property taxes they will actually pay. The Senators and Representatives who have bought into this lunacy call it oil. But now, when they realize it will be taxed, suddenly it’s not oil any longer!
So (pardon me) what the hell is it? Well, I am going to tell you for two reasons. One, TransCanada won’t, and two I think you need to know exactly what will be going right through our drinking water.
It is dilbit, diluted bitumen. We don’t worry too much about the bitumen. It is a mixture of clay and sand and petroleum product and has the consistency of peanut butter. You can’t pump that through a 36-inch pipe, so they have to dilute it. That’s the part to worry about. About 40 to 70 percent of what’s in the pipe is bitumen. That leaves 30 to 60 percent of something else. Those are the diluents, and they can kill you!
A dilbit safety data sheet says: Smells like rotten eggs because of the hydrogen sulfide; contains benzene which causes cancer in humans along with serous blood disorders including leukemia, and can damage nervous systems including fingers feet and arms. Dilbit contains PNA’s, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, which if it comes into contact with skin can cause skin cancers. Inhalation of PNA’s can cause lung cancer.
The safety data sheet goes on to say about dilbit: Don’t inhale the vapors as the hydrogen sulfide may cause irritation, breathing failure, coma and death without any warning odor being sensed. If spilled on land, the safety sheet says, “Keep public away. Vapors or dust may be harmful or fatal.” If spilled in water, “Product will submerge after a few days of weathering.”
Folks, that means it sinks in water. TransCanada says it floats. We know that is not true as Enbridge is still cleaning the bottom of the Kalamazoo River after a million gallons spilled in 2010.
…So Congressman Adrian Smith, whose Third District is about to be sliced open so all this poison can run right over and through our water, why didn’t you tell us about tar sand not being “oil” and not subject to the tax to clean up spills? We have asked you about the Keystone XL numerous times, and not once did you bring this up. It all comes from the House of Representatives, your body, and this pipe is going to spill on your Third District. Why aren’t you screaming at the top of your lungs to force Keystone XL to pay into the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund?
Since this pipe is coming within three miles of York, Neb., the York News-Times would like to know. But if you are one of those who still think this will create 200,000 jobs, end our dependence on unfriendly oil and will never spill, then I submit it’s actually you who might have been sniffing too many pipeline fumes.” The op-ed was re-printed in the Omaha World-Herald August 17th.
“Keystone tax value tops $500 million, by Art Hovey, Lincoln Journal Star, August 14th: “Ten Nebraska counties will benefit from the $538.5 million assessed valuation of the Keystone pipeline when local property taxes are paid next year.” Continued at http://journalstar.com/news/local/keystone-tax-value-tops-million/article_45eb30cd-2a29-59d6-8044-4480709815aa.html?comment_form=true.
Jane Kleeb’s response to Omaha World-Herald coverage: “Any funds local counties get from TransCanada could be wiped out in a minute if a major spill takes place. Since our state senators and Gov. Heineman have allowed TransCanada lobbyists to control any laws that deal with pipelines, counties are still at risk for costs related to clean-up, health risks, road damages and concerns around water supply.”
“Any tax revenue from TransCanada is short-term. Worse, if the state decides to play around with funding formulas, some counties might even lose state aid with this new tax revenue coming in from TransCanada. At the end of the day, this pipeline remains a huge risk to our land, water and property rights. Tax revenue over a few years will not remove the risk.”
“It’s great to see TransCanada paying some taxes since they continue to stiff the federal Oil Spill Liability Fund because tarsands is not classified as oil according to the IRS. No doubt tarsands lobbyists got that tax loophole and free ride to TransCanada into law. So who will pay for clean-up if TransCanada does not even pay into the fund used when a major spill happens?”
“We have no guarantees, nothing in writing, no money in a bond to ensure our land and water–not to mention medical bills– will be 100% cleaned-up at the expense of TransCanada when a spill happens. We have their word. I remain unconvinced their word is worth the value of our land and water.”
The Omaha World-Herald also published “Be responsibe, safe with XL pipeline,” by Jim Hall, August 16th: “…The harsh reality is that our economy lacks jobs and our lifestyles depend on oil. But it’s important that we provide these jobs and transport oil in a safe, responsible manner. Before a project of this magnitude is approved, both the government and TransCanada need to prove that they are putting safety first.”
Protect the aquifer, by Nina Nelson, a Lincoln Journal Star letter published August 19th, states “…Do people know that the bitumen or tar sands crude oil TransCanada plans to transport through this huge pipeline will be full of dangerous chemicals that can poison both humans and animals? We have no say in what will pass through that pipeline. TransCanada thus far has refused to disclose what dangerous chemical mix will be part of the tar sands crude oil transported. The only way to ensure its safety is to never build the pipeline anywhere near the aquifer. I urge people to contact their House and Senate representatives today.”
“Bad marketing,” by Amy Schaffer, is another LJS letter published August 16th: “…In its attempt to develop a marketing schematic around what is near and dear to Nebraskans’ hearts, TransCanada has failed miserably. What marketing research did not tell executives is that you cannot buy out generations of hard work from a Nebraskan. You cannot threaten to steal our livelihood and expect to get away with it. …Perhaps TransCanada’s marketing dollars would have been better spent on devising an alternate energy source or using common sense and finding a route that does not cross one of the world’s largest aquifers. Wake up, TransCanada. No amount of money will buy out “The Good Life” in God’s Country, so the company best find a new marketing director.”
Tell the Obama Administration: Reject Keystone XL. Again. The following message accompanies a new petition from Credo Action: In the same week that record June heat blanketed the southeast, Minnesota tried to recover from record flooding, and the biggest fire in Colorado’s history continued to burn out of control — President Obama doubled down in his support for the energy that is causing this deepening climate change spiral approving the first portion of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, giving away 720 million tons of publicly owned coal to a coal company for virtually nothing, and promising to lease more arctic offshore areas for oil drilling. Now, the Canada to Oklahoma portion of the Keystone XL pipeline – which would turn up the spigot on deadly, “game over for the climate” tar sands production – is back before the State Department after being rejected by President Obama earlier this year when Republicans tried to force his decision.
Without the pressures of the election, President Obama could conceivably cave when a decision is made in 2013 – if he is re-elected. This public comment period is our opportunity to go on the record, before the election, with our fierce opposition. Please urge President Obama to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline. (Note: Credo Action petitions do generate e-mail from other petitions.)
Sign a Natural Resources Defense Council Action Alert telling Congress to reject all attempts to force approval of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline by attaching it to any unrelated legislation. The Keystone XL will deliver billions in profits to Big Oil while the people get stuck with poisoned water, contaminated land and an overheated planet.
“The Keystone pipeline will spew a massive amount of carbon pollution into our fragile atmosphere. It should be stopped. ” –Jill Stein, 2012 Green Party Presidential Nominee.
STOP FRACKING NOW . . . At the First-Ever National Mobilization Against Fracking on July 28th, celebrities, community groups, and more than 100 organizations joined forces for “Stop the Frack Attack” in Washington, DC, where they made three demands of Congress: 1. Stop dangerous fracking; 2. Close 7 legal loopholes that exempt the oil and gas industry from parts of the Safe Drinking Water, Clean Air, and Clean Water Acts; and 3. Implement a pathway towards 100% clean renewable energy. Learn more about the event here. http://www.stopthefrackattack.org/ Petition Congress: “We, the undersigned, call on Congress to pass the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act this year. It’s time to hold the oil and gas production industry to the same standards as any other industry to ensure the safe protection of America’s drinking water.”
PETITION THE EPA . . . Tell the EPA: Stop stalling. Save the Bees! Submit a public comment urging the EPA to stop stalling, and take action to protect bees from the harmful pesticide clothianidin.
Last month, for the second time, the EPA refused to intervene to stop the use of the pesticide clothianidin, which scientists believe is at least partially to blame for the alarming rise in bee colony collapse — the sudden bee die-off which has claimed about 30% of the U.S. honey bee population each year since 2006. If we don’t convince the EPA to reconsider, it will not review clothianidin again until 2018. By then it could be too late for the bees, and the one third of our food crops that bees play a crucial role in pollinating.
The EPA is currently accepting public comments on its latest decision not to declare bee die-offs an emergency situation and suspend the use of clothianidin. Now is a crucial moment to make our voices heard for the bees. Submit a public comment to the EPA now.
Astonishingly, clothianidin was approved by the EPA based on virtually no scientific study. Yet the EPA continues to allow its use. Now, a group of senators have joined the call, writing a letter urging the EPA that waiting until 2018 to again review clothianidin and other neonicotinoids will be too late. There is no time to waste. Please submit a comment now urging the EPA to immediately suspend approval of clothianidin to protect honey bees and our food system.
BUY FRESH. BUY LOCAL . . . . Farmers, gardeners, and craftspeople meet through The Nebraska Food Cooperative, an on-line, year-round farmers’ market and local food distribution service offering the best in local freshness. For ordering and pickup schedules, refer to the calendar here. Click here for products and prices from North Star Neighbors, a Cooperative member that doesn’t therapeutically medicate or unduly confine animals. Click here for Tomato Tomäto, Omaha’s year-round indoor Farmer’s Market at 156th & West Center. Shop for fresh foods grown in or very near your own community at Open Harvest, Lincoln’s member-owned natural foods retail cooperative at 1618 South Street. Buying local grows family farming, grows the local economy, and is thousands of miles fresher.
HELP NEBRASKA GREENS WITH GOODSEARCH . . . Each time you search the Internet (or shop online at a participating store), a donation can be made to Nebraska Green Party at no cost to you! To help NGP in this way, enter Nebraska Green Party where it asks you to name your cause here. Bookmark the GoodSearch Homepage, or make it your own Home Page. Enter the url you want in the GoodSearch search box. Each time you do, one penny will be donated to Nebraska Greens. THANK YOU for your support!
Remember, every man-made by-product of the petroleum industry could be replaced by hemp. “Help Save the Earth, Time to Substitute Hemp for oil.“