Green Notes Week of August 26, 2012

GREEN PARTY PRESIDENTIAL UPDATE . . . For the latest information on ballot access, see 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. Watch for a surprise announcement in next week’s Green Notes.
Petition the Commission on Presidential Debates to allow Jill Stein to participate in all of the presidential debates this year.  “The Republican and Democratic Parties control the presidential debates and exclude third party candidates. This is anti-thetical to democracy. We petition the Commission on Presidential Debates to allow Jill Stein to participate in all of the presidential debates this year.”
Major polling organizations are also ignoring independent party candidates. The CPD requires 15% support among five public opinion polls in order for a candidate to be included in the debates. But, they don’t name which polls or even when they’ll gather such evidence.
The Gallup Organization is the only official advisor on polling to the CPD. So, let’s make some noise and tell Gallup to take 3 important actions: 1) Include Jill Stein in ALL Gallup polling. 2) Encourage other polling organizations to include Jill Stein. 3) Advise the CPD to only consider polls that have included all legitimate candidates. (The Stein campaign made history and secured Federal matching funds! Doesn’t that demonstrate significant public support?)
Write a good, old-fashioned letter or postcard and mail to: The Gallup Organization, 502 Carnegie Center, Suite 300, Princeton , NJ 08450
Contact: Alyssa Brown at 1.202.715.3104, alyssa_brown [at] gallup [dot] com
Contact: Zach Bikus at 1.202.715.3100, zach_bikus [at] gallup [dot] com
Post on their Facebook wall:
Tweet: Hey @gallupnews! Don’t be so biased! Include @JillStein2012 in your #Election2012 polling! Thanks for helping fight the media blackout!  Another U.S. is Possible — Another Party is Necessary.

NEBRASKA RAINBOW GATHERING . . . Nebraska’s 2012 Labor Day Weekend Rainbow Gathering will be from Wednesday, August 29th to Wednesday, September 5th. No money. No alcohol. No aggression. No amplified music. Camping and Celebration of Nature. Find Common Unity to Build Community. Hike and camp along a wide sandy river channel on public land near Genoa, Nebraska. For directions, and more information, phone William at 402.304.2751.

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.

SATURDAY FARMERS MARKET . . . The Haymarket Farmers Market, on 8th Street in Lincoln’s Historic Haymarket District, is open every Saturday, 8:00am to noon, through October 13, 2012. More than 100 vendors bring farm-fresh produce, flowers, baked goods and handmade items to the local gathering place that also features a “Performance Showcase” for Nebraska folk, jazz, blues, classical, and dance talent, plus educational demonstrations and informational booths. Buy Fresh. Shop Local.

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 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. Wednesday, August 30, 2012, the film will be “Outrage,” an “indictment of closeted politicians who lobby for anti-gay legislation in the U.S.” View the trailer at  For more information, go to  The People’s Film Festival – Expanding Political Consciousness Since 2004.

OMAHA PEACE VIGILS . . .  Every Saturday, 1:00-2:00pm, there is a Peace Vigil at the northwest corner of 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 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

Greater Nebraska: Congressional District 3

KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE UPDATE . . . “Put safety of citizens and natural resources above all else,” by Greg Awtry, Publisher, York News Times, August 21, 2012, is an Open letter to Nebraska Gov. Heineman and Nebraska’s Washington delegation Representatives Smith, Fortenberry and Terry, Senators Nelson and Johanns, Senate candidates Fisher and Kerrey, and Speaker Flood. Quoting, “…I urge our political leaders to put the safety of our citizens and the preservation of our natural resources above all else and join them in their fight. I urge our readers to let the politicians know how you feel, pro, con or otherwise. This is a lasting decision which will have major consequences to all Nebraskans as well as set precedent for the future. Let your voices be heard. It is the Nebraska way.” Read the letter at
In response to the Awtry Editorial, Jane Kleeb offered 3 things everyone can ask any candidate as action steps:
Ask every candidate you know if they will work to make these three action steps a reality.
1) Let’s “Repeal the Fischer Loophole” that allows oil pipelines to take Nebraskans land. We must put property rights, a fundamental American value, first. Pipelines should have to prove they are a “common carrier” and they should have to prove the oil is 100% for America.
2) Let’s pass “Right to Know Laws” so citizens, first responders and health officials know what exactly is in a pipeline that crosses their community, if they are in an evacuation zone when a spill happens and what the chain of command for clean-up is on the ground.
3) Let’s “Reroute Pipelines” away from the Sandhills and the Ogallala Aquifer. We should have Energy Corridors in our state that companies who want to cross our land and water know they can suggest a pipeline be built. This way, citizens, landowners, first responders and health officials can be prepared. At Bold, we think Nebraska should tarsands free, for that matter we think America should be tarsands free and rely on our home-grown, American-made energy sources.
Texas judge rules TransCanada can seize pasture for Keystone XL,” by Saul Elbein, was published in the New York Times, August 23rd: “The Canadian energy company TransCanada can take over land owned by a Texas farmer to build its Keystone XL pipeline, says a county judge. In a 15-word ruling sent from his iPhone, Judge Bill Harris upheld TransCanada’s condemnation of a 50-foot strip of land across Julia Trigg Crawford’s pasture here.”
See curent photos of KXL construction happening now courtesy of Kathy and Steve DaSilva.
From “Crude, Dirty and Dangerous,” by David Sassoon, Publisher InsideClimate News, a New York Times Op-Ed, August 20th: “…Last month, the National Transportation Safety Board issued a report that was harshly critical of the federal government’s regulation and oversight of pipeline safety following a spill of more than one million gallons of dilbit into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan in 2010. The accident underscored not only how different dilbit is from conventional oil, but how unprepared we are for the impending flood of imports. After the dilbit gushed into the river, it began separating into its constituent parts. The heavy bitumen sank to the river bottom, leaving a mess that is still being cleaned up. Meanwhile, the chemical additives evaporated, creating a foul smell that lingered for days. People reported headaches, dizziness and nausea. No one could say with certainty what they should do. Federal officials at the scene didn’t know until weeks later that the pipeline was carrying dilbit, because federal law doesn’t require pipeline operators to reveal that information.
…This close call hasn’t deterred the energy industry from announcing plans to build or repurpose more than 10,000 miles of pipelines to carry dilbit to the United States and global markets. That includes the controversial Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL pipeline, which would pass through the Ogallala aquifer, the nation’s largest drinking water aquifer. It supplies drinking water for eight states and about 30 percent of the groundwater used for irrigation. The nation’s pipeline network was designed to handle conventional crude oil and is governed by laws and regulations that were written long before the unique risks and hazards associated with dilbit began to emerge. In fact, dilbit is exempt from an excise tax that pays for oil spill cleanups, because the 1980 law that created the tax did not consider bitumen from the “tar sands” to be crude oil.
…Now that the industry is aiming to fill almost a quarter of America’s domestic oil needs from western Canadian sources, we need a transparent and informed discussion about dilbit’s risks and benefits, up-to-date laws and regulations, and improved leak detection. The N.T.S.B. chairwoman likened Enbridge employees to Keystone Kops in their handling of the Michigan dilbit disaster. It is a label that could come to apply to the rest of us if we don’t guard against future catastrophe.”
A Lincoln Journal Star article announced “Kinder Morgan selling trailblazer oil pipeline” (and all of their gas pipelines in our state). From Jane Kleeb: “This is a RED FLAG to share with all landowners: these pipeline companies get sold all the time. Contracts must be signed and easements have to be re-negotiated if sold to a different company.”
The Canadian National Energy Board issued a Letter and Order SO-T241-002-2012 to TransCanada PipeLines Limited (TransCanada) on behalf of TransCanada Keystone Pipeline GP Limited (Keystone).  From Ken Winston: “TransCanada isn’t meeting part of the safety requirements for Keystone in Canada. They asked for permission to stay out of compliance, and were denied.”
From the Edmonton Journal, “Pipeline pitch: Registry reveals Enbridge’s heavy presence in halls of power,” by Dene Moore, August 23rd: “A search of the federal registry of lobbyists shows company officials and consultants for Enbridge have had dozens of meetings with ministers, deputy ministers, policy directors and MPs as plans for the Northern Gateway pipeline moved from the proposal stage to public hearings.”
Keystone XL: As Long As You Don’t Drink Water Or Walk On Land, You’ll Be Fine,” by Mansur Gidfar, August 20th: “If you literally have to break the planet to create jobs, maybe those jobs aren’t worth creating.” The link includes Naomi Klein’s new animated 2:32 minute Thought Bubble, Ethical Oil?
From “This just in… it’s not even oil!” by Greg Awtry, York News Times Editorial, August 14th: “…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.
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.”
From another LJS letter, “No to TransCanada,” by Kathy L. Burnham, published August 22nd: “No amount of money will convince our family that we should allow the Keystone XL pipeline to cross our property on the Niobrara River. TransCanada will have to take us to court and take our land through eminent domain. That’s right, “take” our land.
Yes, we’ll be given money as determined by the court, but it will be against our will. It’s one thing to declare eminent domain for a road or power line that will benefit the landowner directly. It’s another thing entirely to take the land and give it to a foreign company.”
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. 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.”