All posts by marilynwall

Prof. Kirsten Schwarz – The legacy of environmental lead

will be speaking at the Sierra Club meeting on November 6 at at the Scouting Achievement Center, 10078 Reading Road, Evendale, Oh 45241

The legacy of lead in the environment: What it means for urban soil, urban gardens, and urbanites.

2000 B.A., Human Ecology, College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, Maine

2010 Ph.D., Ecology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey Dissertation Title: The Spatial Distribution of Lead in Urban Residential Soil and Correlations with Urban Land Cover of Baltimore, Maryland.

2012-Present: Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights, KY

Dr. Schwarz has had publications and received numerous professional developmental awards from NKU and various grants for work on soil lead contamination.

“Often when we think of lead poisoning the mind conjures an image of old lead-based paint and we likely imagine that the harsh lessons of lead poisoning have long been learned. Many are surprised to hear that the legacy of lead is still with us, lurking in the most obvious of places, like the walls of old buildings, as well as surprising and unlikely places, like the soil beneath our feet.
When our soil contains elevated levels of lead it can be a source of lead to humans when we unintentionally breathe it in or eat it. This makes elevated soil lead an important public health issue that has direct ties to our environment. Ecologists can contribute to our understanding by identifying where in the urban landscape we would expect high levels of soil lead. Predicting “hotspots” – or areas of high soil lead – allows residents, public health organizations and city planners to efficiently and effectively mitigate soil lead exposure.”

“Understanding patterns of soil lead is critical as we strive to transform our older industrial cities into sustainable cities- places where we envision ample green space, local sources of healthy food, and economic vibrancy. Urban gardens are a key component of sustainable cities, providing nutritious food and a connection to community and place. But we must also manage tradeoffs to gardening in the city, like exposure to pollutants, including lead. I’ll discuss on-going research at NKU that is addressing this trade-off. Urban ecological research is contributing part of the solution by exposing the spatial legacy of lead. By better understanding the patterns of soil lead in the city, we can support safe and healthy urban gardening, helping to build a brighter and more sustainable future for our cities.”

A short description of Kirsten Schwarz’s research interests can be found on the NKU website:
https://artscience.nku.edu/departments/biology/people/faculty/schwarz.html
Or her website:
http://www.kirstenschwarz.com/

Cincinnati Parks Director Wade Walcutt

Wade A, Walcott, Director Cincinnati Parks will be speaking Dec. 4, 2017  at 7 pm at Sierra Club meeting at the Scouting Achievement Center, 10078 Reading Road, Evendale, Oh 45241.

An overview of all the Cincinnati parks
Recreation, flora, fauna.
Details of some of the newer parks
What organizations are responsible for various aspects of park plans
How he plans to get these various organizations to work together better
What he hopes to do differently going forward
How Sierra Club might fit into his plans

Wade A. Walcutt, the new Director of the Cincinnati Park Board, has over 15 years in Parks and Recreation experience. Wade served as the director of the Greensboro, North Carolina Parks and Recreation department. He was promoted to this position in 2013, after serving as division manager. Prior to joining the Greensboro parks and recreation team, Wade was the facilities manager and park operations director for Columbus Recreation and Parks department and The National Audubon Society; he also served as program supervisor for Westerville Parks and Recreation. Wade has a degree in Recreation Management from Ohio University and was recently selected to serve a three-year term on the National Recreation and Parks Association Board of Regents. Wade and his wife, Kelli, have two children, Whitney, 4, and Drew, 1.

Miami Group Memorial Tree Planting and Dedication

Miami Group Sierra Club Tree Planting & Memorial Grove Dedication

The Miami Group Sierra Club Memorial Grove project was started in 2012. Through it, the Miami Group seeks to provide an ecological memorial to members, family and friends. Join us Saturday as we plant 15 native trees in French Park to commemorate those we have lost over the past several years. After the planting, help celebrate their lives with an informal ceremony and hanging of personalized plaques.
The planting is scheduled to from 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM.  The Memorial Ceremony will follow the planting, starting at 11.30 AM to about noon.
We hope to see you there.

When: Saturday, November 4, 2017
9:30 AM to 11.00 AM – tree planting
11:30 AM to 12:00 PM – memorial ceremony
Where: French Park
3012 Section Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45237

Preparing the Grove

Leader: Elizabeth Durrell, Co-Leader: Karen Anderson-Brown

We are grateful to have help from the Cincinnati Parks staff for this event.

 

City of Cincinnati General Election Endorsed Candidates 2017

 

Endorsed Candidate for Mayor Candidate Website
Yvette Simpson yvettesimpson.com

*Incumbent candidate

City Council – Candidates Candidate Website
Derek Bauman http://www.derekbauman.com
Tamya Denard http://tamayadennard.com
Michelle Dillingham http://www.votedillingham.com
Greg Landsman http://greglandsman.com
David Mann* https://www.davidmannforcouncil.com
Laure Quinliven http://www.qforcouncil.com
Chris Seelbach* http://www.seelbachforcouncil.com
P. J. Sittenfeld* http://www.pgsittenfeld.com
Wendell Young* http://www.keepwendellyoung.com

Help make a difference! Call Louise Hosburgh (812) 707-9579 (cell) to volunteer or email Louise and she’ll connect you with the  campaign of your choice.

Cincinnati and Hamilton County rush to deal on 45-year County take-over of Sewer District

Infighting between Cincinnati and Hamilton County has gotten in the way of implementing sewer consent decree projects that would clean some of the worst polluted water in the United States. By the Sewer Districts own reckoning, over 8 billion gallons of untreated sewage mixed with rain water, go into the Ohio River, Mill Creek and Muddy Creek. The Sewer District continually violates the Clean Water Act, exceeds standards by millions and continues to maintain illegal Sanitary Sewer Overflows.

Sierra Club remains concerned that the creation of a new five-member board of City of Cincinnati (2) and Hamilton County (3) appointed members to oversee operations, recreates the same potential for conflict. “Supermajorities” (4of 5) are required for major decisions; supermajority requirements tend to prevent, rather than encourage projects. The commitment letter seeks to let the City out of the consent decree, yet maintains a level of control that could interfere with consent decree work. These delays will add to the City’s prediction that a number of consent decree projects will already be late. The importance of the consent decree work needs to have primacy in the new agreement, but currently doesn’t. At the same time, the commitment letter also leaves the dispute about asset ownership up in the air.

We sought to have the deadline extended to allow for more consideration of this 45-year deal to fix it and allow other options to be explored. While the deadline was extended from the original 1 week, it did not allow sufficient time for the public to be more fully informed and consider other options.

The mediation between the City and County, which led to the commitment letter, was under a gag order by the judge assigned to the consent decree. The next set of projects to be completed by the Sewer District, under the consent decree, were due to US EPA on June 30. The County requested, and may still want, a one year delay in submitting this set of commitments for work that begins in 2019. US EPA, at this point, has granted a 4-month extension until October 31, 2017. Bizarrely, the City and County will not release even a draft of the Phase 2 plan for public review (beyond the list created in 2010 which has most likely changed in at least some respects.)

Sierra Club is also concerned about the status of verbal commitments made by the current management to businesses and residents about sewer projects. Will they be honored by the future management?

Thanks to diligent and fast work by Sierra Club attorneys and many members of the public, some changes were made to the commitment letter, over the weekend before the Monday morning vote. Sierra Club offered draft language, some of which was accepted. We appreciate members of Council and the Commission’s willingness to meet and discuss issues of concern about this 45 year agreement.

volunteer needs Sept Oct 2017

Have a little extra time? We could use your help!

Help us plan and carry out our annual dinner on Sat., Nov. 11. Attend one planning meeting (optional). Arrive early to help set up, welcome guests, manage placement of foods at the table, or stay late to help clean up. Contact Karen for more details or to volunteer, 513-542-5259, nagelkm817@yahoo.com.

Volunteer to call new members who move into your zip code. Welcome them, answer their questions or refer them to someone who can address their questions. Contact Karen for more details or to volunteer, 513-542-5259, nagelkm817@yahoo.com.

Greeters! Come a little early to our annual meetings, innings, and greet new visitors. It can be a bit uncomfortable to enter a space where you don’t know anyone. We’re getting a lot of new members these months and having someone to greet and spend a little time with these folks can make them more comfortable. Maybe they’ll even come back? Contact Karen for more details or to volunteer, 513-542-5259, nagelkm817@yahoo.com.

Help Move Greater Cincinnati Past Plastic! Tired of seeing single use plastic bags everywhere – on the street, hanging from bushes and trees, piling up at your house? You’re not alone. We have folks who are banding together to look for solutions. Contact: cincypastplastic@gmail.com.

Service Trips. We have service trips on the Loveland Bike Trail a couple times a month. Check the outings schedule in the back of this newsletter for a date and location or contact Jay Freeman, jhf@fuse.net, or 513-531-7642.

Want to help, but nothing above sounds right for you? Contact me and let’s talk. I believe we can find a spot for you! Karen 513-542-5259, nagelkm817@yahoo.com.

Call city council and county commission about the proposed MSD agreement !

Call city council and county commission about the proposed MSD agreement !

Many concerns still exist about the new city /county proposal for running the Sewer District. This agreement will last for 45 years so it is important to take the time to get it right!

  1. The requirements for board decision-making (supermajority) will stall the implementation of the consent decree and lead to more sewer backups into homes and businesses.
  2. There is no need to rush the deal and cut off public participation — there are options that also accommodate the need to reassure the bond market.
  3. Any other issues from the Sierra Club letter or your personal experience.

Please call (or email) the following and ask them to allow time to review and amend the agreement.

Commissioner Denise Driehaus 946-4406 denise.driehaus@hamilton-co.org
Commissioner Todd Portune 946-4401 Todd.Portune@hamilton-co.org
Council member Yvette Simpson 352-5260 yvette.simpson@cincinnati-oh.gov
Council member PG Sittenfeld 352-5270 pg.Sittenfeld@cincinnati-oh.gov
Council member Chris Seelbach 352-5210 Chris.Seelbach@cincinnati-oh.gov
Council member Charles Winburn 352-5354 charlie.winburn@cincinnati-oh.gov
Council member Wendell Young 352-3466 wendell.young@cincinnati-oh.gov
Council member Chris Smitherman 352-3464 christopher.smitherman@cincinnati-oh.gov
Council member Kevin Flynn 352-4550 Kevin.flyn@cincinnati-oh.gov

Check out Sierra Club’s  letter about the MSD commitment letter. 2017-08-07 Sierra Club and M. Wall Review of Proposed MSD Agreement

See the City and County Commitment Letter –>1013-Notice-of-Filing-Letter.pdf for their rough outline of the 45 year deal.  See what Sierra Club thinks of the deal–>   Deep Flaws in Sewer Deal Require Your Help at Monday Evening Meeting

Michael Miller wins seat Hamilton County Soil and Water District Supervisor Board

Michael C. Miller, Professor Emeritus from Biological Sciences at the University of Cincinnati, has been elected to the Hamilton County Soil and Water District Supervisor Board !
Thanks to all the Sierra Club members and friends who voted to elect Dr Miller.

from Mike Miller “I have never won an election of any kind. Because of your help and that of your membership we received the most votes ever for this volunteer office. I owe you and your members a great debt of thanks. Sincerely, Michael”

vote for Michael Miller for Hamilton County Soil and Water District Supervisor

Sierra Club is supporting Mike Miller for the Soil and Water Board.

Michael C. Miller, Professor Emeritus from Biological Sciences at the University of Cincinnati, has studied waters of S.W. Ohio and the Ohio River for more than 40 years and has been a board member of many nonprofits working to improve water quality and minimize impacts of urban runoff.  I would like to put this expertise to work for the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District.   I have worked on the impacts of urbanization from hydro-modification,  pulsed flow from rainfall runoff, WWTP effluents, and nutrients on many streams and our regional rivers.  I have done this by research projects with graduate students, other faculty from UC, personnel form  OKI Regional Planning, and Mill Creek Watershed Council and by helping coordinate the monthly examination of water quality by volunteers for 10 years,  now reaching 300 sites with Rivers Unlimited, Friends of the Great Miami, Mill Creek Watershed Council, and Greenacres Foundation.   I have experienced the history of water management and land use practices in Hamilton County since 1970 that can help interpret our future needs on the HCSWD Board.    I want to work with the HCSWD Board to develop Hamilton County with good water quality.

Water quality and its analysis has been a major driver with my 40 years in the Biology Department and Environmental Studies Program at UC and 10 years of retirement with many non profits.  I am member of Green Umbrella Watershed Group, Greater Cincinnati Water Works Advisory Board, Rivers Unlimited, Saturday Stream Snapshot of Greenacres Foundation, Oxbow Inc., Sierra Club, Buckeye Fly Fishermen, Cincy Paddlers, American Rivers, Ohio River Basin Consortium for Research and Education and I follow Ohio River Fish Habitat Partnership, Ohio River Valley Mussel Group, Water Management Association of Ohio and have served on committees for Great Parks, Municipal Sewer Department Consent Decree Planning, ORSANCO, Mill Creek.  But I have done research to evaluate industrial and landuse impacts on water from Uranium from Fernald in GMR, thermal effluents on Ohio and Great Miami River,  WWTP effluents impacts on the Mill Creek, Little Miami River and Oho River, oil spill impacts on streams, ponds, and lakes in Arctic Alaska, impacts of road dust and particulates on vegetation and runoff impacts on stream morphology.  I am prepared to evaluate and recommend management of our fresh and ground waters from an ecological and hydro-chemical basis.

Thank you for sending for an absentee ballot and returning the ballot by Aug 9 to HCSWCD office or go to the HCSWCD office at 1325 Kemper Road Ste 115 during business hours on Aug. 14 and vote in person.

Michael C. Miller, Professor Emeritus
University of Cincinnati, Aquatic Biology
Vice President of Rivers Unlimited/FOGM