Jun 30: A fundraiser for Occupy Pittsburgh Now!

The Occupy Pittsburgh Now (OPN) fundraiser:  Full Pint Beer! Spak Bros. Pizza! OPN merchandise! Live music--four musicians (at least) for your listening pleasure plus DJ later on for dancing!
And most important, a FREE PRESS -- the 6th issue, believe it or not. 
7 p.m. at Modern Formations  (4919 Penn Ave. in Garfield).  More info can be found here.

Jun 28: Clean Rivers Campaign kickoff event

When it rains our storm water pipes overflow and millions of gallons of raw sewage flow into our rivers.  The federal EPA has said for years that this pollution of our valuable rivers has to stop. The question is, what is the best way to do that?

We in Allegheny County now have a huge choice to make:  Do we fix the pollution of our rivers with ‘grey’ engineering solutions like building huge tunnels, or do we take the viable ‘green’ path?

The Clean Rivers Campaign, a regional collaborative of environmental groups, unions, faith groups, and policymakers, is working to solve this problem with the use of green strategies that catch the water where it falls.  Other cities have shown that  permeable pavements, roof gardens, and lots of trees help catch the water. These ‘green’ measures also make our communities more livable, create more jobs, and clean the air.  

Please come to the Clean Rivers Campaign kickoff on Thursday! 

Learn more about the issues, and let’s send a message to the EPA that we need their help to make the ‘green choice’ a reality in Pittsburgh.  

7:00 p.m. at the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 95 (300 Saline Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15207 -- Saline is off Greenfield Avenue just uphill from the underpass by Second Avenue).

Jun 23: NMRWA's Summer Storm!

Join the Nine Mile Run Watershed Association for their annual benefit event:  The Summer Storm.

Guests can enjoy delicious drinks (including wine and beer), a buffet dinner provided by local restaurants, a raffle with items provided by local businesses, live music by Garden Gate and a capella group, Doubleshot!, and special guest, Brian O'Neill, from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  
7-11:30 at Frick Park's Fern Hollow (Lancaster Ave. entrance).  Admission $75;  early-bird special $65 through June 12.  Order tickets through Paypal here or call (412) 371-8779 x119.

june 2012

Jun 22-24: Synchronous Firefly Outing

Last year during the Allegheny Defense Project's spring outing they discovered a population of synchronous fireflies. In the fall of last year, the Allegheny National Forest Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) approved a small grant to pay for firefly researchers to travel to the ANF in June to study this population. The field season is starting, and you can participate!  It is very important that those of us living in an around the ANF, or who are willing to visit the ANF for the purposes of this study, begin to watch for the first occurence of firefly activity.

The general plan is to gather in the campsite at the intersection of FR 145 and FR 127 in Kelletville on Friday afternoon and set up our main camp there. We want to keep Camp #11 open if possible for quiet, no-light, observations from Dusk to 2AM. Early Friday evening there will be a discussion of what we know so far about fireflies and discuss flash patterns for identifying different species.

On Saturday everyone will sleep in (since folks will have been up til 1 or 2 am) and then try to get in the water someplace, so bring things that float and a life vest. Much coffee and tea will be consumed prior to late Saturday night observations. Saturday we will be asking some of you to volunteer to go to other places in the forest to look for synchronous displays (that means driving on forest roads after 11pm).

The fireflies are affected by bright light (like car headlights) so we want to try to minimize coming and going after dark. Blue light is apparently less disruptive to their eyes at night, and red is less disruptive to ours

Link to Outing Location

Link to nearby campground with drive-in sites and bathrooms

What to bring:
*Camping gear
*Food (consider bringing things to share)
*Water and water filter
*Small flash light or pen light with red light and ideally blue light capability
*Chair(s) or sitting things
*Floating things and life vests.

*Firefly Flash Chart

*Forest Map (not absolutely necessary but extremely helpful)--purchase at Forest Service office in Warren, PA, see link:

or Ranger Offices in Bradford, see link: http://www.communitywalk.com/location_info/1513360/9869070

or Ranger Offices Marienville , see link:

Info and updates on the Facebook event page.  Above photos by Ryan Conners and Theresa Darling.  More images and description of last year's outing are online at the ADP site.

July 20: Happy Solstice!

(click on the manuscript for a performance of "Sumer is icumin in"

Welcome in the (northern) summer!  (though this year it felt summery along about March)  The sun (sol) is coming to a standstill (stitium = stop) in its annual travels at 7:08 p.m. this evening.  It gets darker from here on in, folks.  Earliest sunset won't be for another week or two, though, largely due to the tilt of the Earth's axis (the explanation is pretty involved).  

Happy solstice to all, and to all a good (if short) night!

Jun 18: The Meaning of Things lecture

The Meaning of Things: Pittsburgh's 21st Century Triumph over 20th Century Urban Renewal:  a lecture by Dr. Mindy Fullilove.  Join the Community Design Center of Pittsburgh and its partners in hosting Dr. Mindy Fullilove, a distinguished social psychiatrist and professor from Columbia University. Dr. Fullilove will discuss Pittsburgh's leadership in restoring and reconnecting communities.

6:00 pm at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture Theater, 980 Liberty Avenue, Downtown Pittsburgh.  Admission is FREE, but an RSVP is requested.  For more information or to RSVP contact terickson@cdcp.org or (412) 391-4144.
"We live not by things but by the meaning of things, and it is needful to pass the keys from generation to generation." - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

Jun 17: Tour de Coop urban chicken tour

Chicks-in-the-Hood is back!  9 coops (4 on the North Side, and 5 in the East End) - including 4 new this year!  See backyard chickens along with other sustainable practices such as organic gardens, rain barrels, composting, vermaculture and more!

9am to 3 pm;  tickets are $10, kids under 18 free] available day of tour only. @Animal Nature in Regent Square, the Quiet Storm in Friendship/Garfield, Tazza D’Oro in Highland Park, Choderwood 7665 Lock Way at the Highland Park Dam, and in the Northside at 1240 Resaca. 

Jun 16: Sustainability Salon & Sing

Join us for the Fifth Putting Down Roots Sustainability Salon, another in our ongoing series of monthly enviro-conversational gatherings with potluck food and homemade music.  Following our rousing discussions on solar powerfood, wide-ranging topics prior to Earth Day, and trees, this month we'll have another open environmental salon.  We can revisit growing and sourcing food, check in on our rooftop garden and solar panels, learn about green building, regional air quality or the ever-changing situation with Marcellus Shale, contemplate the meaning of "sustainability"... What we talk about will depend in part upon who comes;  that's the beauty of an open-ended gathering like this! 
3-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill.   Please email me to RSVP (important, even if you know right where we live, or are a maybe, please do so each time -- it helps greatly in several ways) and I'll send directions and/or a trail map if you need 'em.  Be sure to include "salon" in the Subject line, as I receive a ridiculous amount of email every day.  Bring food or drink to share if you can, along with musical instruments if you play.  Check back here for event updates.
Quite a few people have asked me what sorts of food to bring -- and my answer, as always, is whatever inspires you;  I believe in the "luck" part of potlucks.  Tasty noshings for the afternoon, hearty main dishes or scrumptious salads and sides for dinner, baked goods from biscuits and breads to brownies or baklava -- and/or beverages of any kind.  The more the merrier!  Local fare is always particularly welcome, whether homegrown or boughten.  Dishes containing meat are fine, though if it isn't really obvious please make a note of it.  

And if you like to make music or listen to homemade music, don't forget the evening sing -- we typically run the gamut from Irish fiddle tunes to protest songs, and a fun time is had by all.  Bring instruments if you play, and/or pick up one of ours!  Conversations will continue through the evening as well.
-salon |səˈlän; saˈlô n |:  (historical) a regular social gathering of eminent people (esp. writers and artists) at the house of a woman prominent in high society;  a meeting of intellectuals or other eminent people at the invitation of a celebrity or socialite.

Regular, that's the plan.  Eminent and intellectual people, to be sure -- that's yinz.  House, check.  Woman, c'est moi.  High society, celebrity, socialite?  Not so much.  Salons occurred in 17th-century France, purportedly powering the Enlightenment, and were more recently repopularized by the Utne Reader.  I've long contemplated hosting an ongoing series of conversational salons in this tradition: informal gatherings around the notion of sustainability.  Some will have a featured guest to lead a discussion on a particular topic, others will be open to whatever comes up. 

Jun 16: Tree Tender course in the Strip

Become a Tree Tender in 2012!
tree tender logo
Not a Tree Tender yet?  Join Tree Pittsburgh at one of our popular coursesand learn about urban forestry, tree biology, pruning, planting, and tree maintenance basics.  We expect to train our 1000th Tree Tender in our March course!  Could you be him or her?  We plan to celebrate!

Register for one of these Tree Tender Courses here, and join nearly 1000 Pittsburghers greening the City, one tree at a time: 
  • Saturday March 10th, Carlow University, Oakland
  • Saturday June 16th, Rothschild-Doyno Collaborative, Strip District
  • Saturday September 15th, Western PA Conservancy, Washington's Landing
Tree Tenders was chosen as the "Best Way to Get Your Hands Dirty" by the City Paper in 2011! 

Jun 16: Photography Walk with John Moyer

75x75 pixelsYou've seen his work in the NMRWA newsletters, email blasts, and calendars, now grab your camera and join John Moyer on a tour of his favorite spots to photograph along Nine Mile Run. He will offer helpful hints and tips for improving your nature photography, no matter the type of camera you use. His photographic documentation of the Nine Mile Run restoration has been published in Civil Engineering Magazine, Western Pennsylvania History Magazine, and Landscape Architecture, and has also appeared in the PBS documentary Liquid Assets. This is a popular event, so you must pre-register! For more information, contact Sara at 412-371-8779 ext. 123 or sarap@ninemilerun.org
9:30am;  meet in the Fern Hollow parking lot, at the bottom of Lancaster Avenue.  Non-members: $10 / Members: Free!  Members Register hereNon-members can register online using PayPal via theNMRWA web site.  Not sure if your membership is current? Email judi@ninemilerun.org to find out.

Jun 13: Vigil for 285 lost teachers

Pittsburgh students have to say goodbye to some amazing public school teachers.  Join us on the last day of school, outside the Board of Education building.  We will light 285 candles to represent the educators we are losing as a result of the devastating PA budget cuts.

Our children need those 285 to thrive! We want to show our legislators, the school board, and the teachers that they will be missed.

We will be trying to get live TV coverage of our vigil on the 6 o’clock news, so please arrive a little early. National Book Award winning poet Terrance Hayes will be a featured speaker.

6-7 p.m. outside the Board of Education building (Bellefield Avenue in Oakland, between Forbes and Fifth). For more information see:   www.yinzercation.wordpress.com.  Please RSVP at:   http://www.facebook.com/events/233666670069569/

Jun 13: Citizens’ Hearing on EPA’s GHG Emission Rule

The federal Environmental Protection Agency has proposed standards limiting carbon pollution from future fossil fuel-fired power plants. This new rule will critically protect the health of our children and families, as well as curb climate change. Formal EPA hearings have been held in Chicago and DC. Here in Pittsburgh Councilwoman Natalie Rudiak will chair a ‘Citizen’s Hearing’ for Pennsylvania residents to learn more about the new carbon standards, hear expert testimony, and have a chance to formally submit our collective comments to the EPA.

Announced March 24, 2012, as the Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule, this is the first national attempt to control carbon emissions from the largests source of GHG emissions As required under court action related to the Clean Air Act, owners of new large facilities will need to apply the best available technology to lower their GHG emissions. This is the final step in a three-step permitting process begun in 2011.

Medical professionals and public health officials agree that carbon pollution, left unchecked, will contribute to climate change and an increase in dangerous smog, which will trigger more episodes of respiratory distress in children and seniors. For the approximately 15% of Pennsylvania children that have suffered from asthma, this new standard, which will reduce pollution by 123 billion pounds annually, will also help reduce missed school days, missed work days, severe asthma attacks, and hospital visits.

1 pm – 4 pm in the Pittsburgh City Council Chambers (5th Floor City County Building, 414 Grant Street, Pittsburgh PA 15219).  Testimony is limited to three minutes. If you plan to testify, please notify Randy at randy.francisco [@] sierraclub.org.

Jun 10: Pittsburgh Pride!

Pittsburgh Pride March Sunday June 10 noon-1 PM.  
 Route winds through downtown, starting at Blvd of the Allies and Grant, ending at pride fest (1-6:30 PM) on Liberty between 6th and 10th (food vendors on smithfield). More details can be found here.
Noon to 1 p.m., downtown.

Jun 9: "Koch Brothers Exposed" film screening & discussion

Koch Brothers Exposed is a hard-hitting investigation of the 1% at its very worst. This full-length documentary film on Charles and David Koch—two of the world’s richest and most powerful men—is the latest from acclaimed director Robert Greenwald (Wal-Mart: the High Cost of Low Price, Outfoxed, and Rethink Afghanistan). The billionaire brothers bankroll a vast network of organizations that work to undermine the interests of the 99% on issues ranging from Social Security to the environment to civil rights. This film uncovers the Kochs’ corruption—and points the way to how Americans can reclaim their democracy. http://www.kochbrothersexposed.com/about

2:30pm at the Carnegie Library in Squirrel Hill, 5801 Forbes Ave.

Organized with Pittsburgh 14th Ward Independent Democratic Club. This event is part of National Coffee Party Week.

Also, be sure to read the latest issue of the Coffee Party newsletter.  There is a great article about the Wisconsin Recall election.  You can sign up to receive e-mail alerts directly when the newsletter comes out here.

Jun 7: What a Plant Knows

Please join the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden at Rodef Shalom Temple to meet Dr. Daniel Chamovitz, a native of Aliquippa, PA and the author of What a Plant Knows.  Dr. Chamovitz has a PhD in genetics and recently served as chair of the Department of Plant Sciences at Tel Aviv University, where he is currently the director of the Manna Center for Plant Biosciences.  

6:00 PM - Biblical Garden Tour
6:40 PM - Dr. Chamovitz lecture begins
7:15 to 7:30 PM - Question and Answer session
7:30 PM - Refreshments and book signing

At the Rodef Shalom Temple, 4905 5th Ave. (corner of Morewood).  Admission is free, but reservations are required.  Please call 412-444-4464 by Monday, June 4th to RSVP.

Jun 5: Transit of Venus

Literally once-in-a-lifetime (if you didn't view the 2004 event), the transit of Venus across the face of the Sun won't happen again until 2127.  You can't view it directly (unless perhaps you aspire to blindness);  you must use either filters (a #14 welder's glass or special solar observation glasses) or projection (the pinhole method that's great for eclipses might not work so well for this, since Venus is so small compared to the sun, but projection with magnification can be rigged using binoculars or telescopes, or with both:  a telescope with a solar filter.  There are many safe community viewings staged around the area including the Carnegie Science Center, Wagman Observatory (in Deer Lakes Park), and the Mount Lebanon public library.  Pittsburgh, however, is slated to be mostly cloudy so you may want to check out some of the many live web feeds of this historic event, such as



...and a fun way to keep in touch with astronomical events the year 'round is to sign up for updates from
http://spaceweather.com/ .

Past transits enabled scientists to establish the scale of the solar system, using parallax as the events were viewed from widely-separated places on earth.  The atmosphere of Venus first became evident during the 1761 transit.  And transit events like this one are one way to detect planets around other stars.

Starting at 6:04 p.m. EDT, and continuing for seven hours (or until sunset, if you're viewing it locally).  Look to the west.

Jun 4: Transition 2:0 film screening

Join us for a free screening of the new In Transition 2.0 movie!  
Chris and Carly (who are in the film and who facilitated the food garden in Wilkinsburg, PA) and Mark Dixon, the filmmaker that filmed that segment will be with us for Q&A after the film. This is an international documentary featuring a local Pittsburgh neighborhood. Come watch and talk with us! Go to www.sustainablemonroeville.com for details!

7:00 PM at the Monroeville Public Library

Twitter: SustMonv
Friend Schwartz Market, Sustainable Monroeville, and Transition Pittsburgh on Facebook

Jun 3: Breakfast and Bird Walk

Join the Nine Mile Run Watershed Association to bird the Nine Mile Run Valley and explore the seasonal changes in the restoration area on a tour led by Jack Solomon. Carolina Chickadees, Carolina Wrens, Baltimore Orioles, Yellow Warblers, Scarlet Tanagers, Indigo Buntings... they're all possible to see in the watershed on an early June morning! A late breakfast will be provided, but this is one of our most popular events, and space is limited, so be sure to pre-register. For more information, contact Gary at 412-371-8779 ext. 115 or gary@ninemilerun.org.

7:30am-12:00pm;  meet in the Fern Hollow parking lot, at the bottom of Lancaster Avenue.
Non-members: $25 / Members: Free!  ...but you need to pre-register by 3pm on June 1!
Members Register here.  Non-members can register online using PayPal via the NMRWA web site.
Not sure if your membership is current? Email judi@ninemilerun.org to find out.

Jun 2: Clean Rivers Campaign Workshop

Did you know that the largest public works expenditure in our region’s history is about to begin, and that you’re expected to help pay for it? Do you know the difference between gray and green infrastructure?  Come learn the answers to these questions and more, as we explore how you can make a difference by helping advocate for sustainable solutions to our region’s sewer problems.

9:30am at Construction Junction – 214 N. Lexington Street.  For more information, contact Sara Powell at 412-371-8779 ext. 123 or sarap@ninemilerun.org.

Jun 1: Friday Farmers Market Event

Come to the market to learn about Farmers Markets in your neighborhood.  We will have several resources available to find a local market.  Local Farmers Markets who are interested in attending should contact us.  You can RSVP on our Facebook Event Page to get updates.  

12 noon - 4 p.m .at the Pittsburgh Public Market