Beginning announcement at the June 5, 2017 Innings
NOPE Update by Nathan Alley
Nathan Alley is Transportation Policy Coordinator for the Ohio Sierra Club.
As an attorney, he has had extensive experience with federal and state environmental laws. and has worked on issues relating to coastal preservation, oil and gas development, clean water and sustainable agriculture.
About NOPE!: NOPE! (Neighbors Opposing Pipeline Extension) is a coalition of concerned citizens from over 14 Hamilton County communities affected by Duke’s proposed pipeline. The mission of the organization is to ensure that any necessary natural gas infrastructure is installed in a way that is safe and responsible, away from densely populated areas. For more information, visit www.NOPEcincy.org
Nathan will give us an update on NOPE activities, especially since there is an upcoming hearing with the Ohio Power Siting Board on
June 15, 2017.
The local public hearing is scheduled:
June 15, 2017 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.University of Cincinnati-Blue AshMuntz Hall, Room 1199555 Plainfield Road, Blue Ash, Ohio 45236
BOY SCOUTS ACHIEVEMENT CENTER
10078 READING RD., EVENDALE, OH
INNINGS: Jun 5, 2017; 7:00pm
“What’s New at the Zoo”; by Jim O’Shea
Jim O’Shea will be presenting “What’s New at the Zoo”.
This is a “continuation” or “update” of “The History of the Zoo”, which focuses on the happenings at the Zoo since 2000. This is a zoo outreach program, “ZOO TO YOU” in which volunteers go to various schools and organizations, and present zoo topics.
Cincinnati Zoo is the second oldest zoo in the United States, and has a remarkable history and is continually expanding, while offering numerous educational programs to its visitors. In addition to the increase in animal exhibits and births, there is a lot going on in the plant division, and environmental greening
Jim has been volunteering at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden for about 4 years. One of his responsibilities is to dive and clean the manatee tank, since he is a certified SCUBA diver.
His day job is with the city of Cincinnati, Engineering Division of the water works. Jim has been with the city for over 28 years. Planning to officially retire on February 1, 2019 so he can spend more time traveling and volunteering.
Also, he is the current president of Serve|NCH, a volunteer service organization in the city of North College Hill.
The “Innings” meeting for April is scheduled for Monday April 3, 2017 at 7:00 pm.
The meeting is held at the Dan Beard Scouting Center at 10078 Reading Rd. Cincinnati OH.
A good route from Dayton Ohio is I-75 S to Glendale / Milford – Exit 14. Drive approximately 1.6 miles East and turn right onto Reading Rd. Turn left .6 miles at the third light.
The meeting site is the Dan Beard Scouting Center. It is a short walk to the Gorman Heritage Farm. Walking shoes and a desire to learn is all you’ll want for the evening! Below is the Meetup.com link to the “Innings” meeting for April as well…..
Spring showers bring summer flowers, but they also contribute to stormwater pollution which is the leading threat to the health of our waterways. There is a way you can collect the rain, reduce stormwater pollution, save on water bills, and provide healthy water for your plants and landscape. RAIN BARRELS!!!
The Sierra Club is leading a green infrastructure revolution and we have distributed over 400 rain barrels, while educating thousands of individuals in southwest Ohio. Join us this spring at a rain barrelworkshop near you by RSVPing below. Space is limited!
What: Madagascar Adventure When: Monday, March 6th, 2016, 7 p.m. – 9:25 p.m. Where: The Dan Beard Boy Scout Council
10078 Reading Road, Cincinnati, OH 45241 Speakers: Jan and Randy Johnson
Last October, Jan and Randy took a trip to Madagascar with a group organized by the Cincinnati Zoo. Since their flight connections went through Johannesburg, South Africa, they went a few days early and toured Kruger National Park in South Africa. This presentation will briefly describe their tour through Kruger and concentrate on Madagascar. They’ll look at Madagascar’s flora and fauna together with the very poor political and declining ecological situation there.
Jan is a Cincinnati native who grew up on the west side and attended Seton High School. After graduation and a little more training she joined Procter and Gamble, where she rose to the level of Executive assistant before retiring in 2002. During this period she earned a business degree from the University of Cincinnati.
Randy grew up in Minnesota and Wisconsin, attended college at Princeton and went on to grad school at the University of California at Berkeley. He received his Ph.D. in Physics in 1975 and went to work at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island. In 1984, he moved to Cincinnati to become a Professor of Physics at UC. He retired in 2014, but still continues his research program, working for free.
Jan and Randy met on a Sierra Club outing (when Jan was on a date with someone else) in 1990 and were married in 1995. They both enjoy exploring the world, both civilized and uncivilized areas. And now that they are both retired, they can go any time to any place.
This unusual Innings meeting featured three speakers, with break-out sessions for each. Marilyn Wall spoke on MSD issues; Bob Park spoke about coming global cataclysms, and Nathan Alley talking about Plastics, Pipelines and Transportation. People left motivated to take positive action to address the issues!
The 2017 Retreat at the Schott Pavilion at the Jesuit Spiritual Center in Milford was a huge success, with about 60 people in attendance!
The fun began with loads of goodies to eat for breakfast (and throughout the day). MC Marci Taylor started with an “icebreaker”: She gave everyone a list of questions to ask people they didn’t know. That got folks engaged with one another early-on!
The first panel discussion was entitled Back to Our Roots: 2017 Conservation Initiatives. Matt Trokan described the many water-related accomplishments achieved in 2016, and his plans to expand the program this year. Marilyn Wall reviewed our decades-long struggle to get MSD to fix our huge problems with combined-sewer overflows. Much progress was made in 2016, but much more remains to be done. Nathan Alley discussed progress on alternate forms of transportation. The “streetcar” went into operation in 2016, new bike lanes were added, and bike trail segments were added. Progress appears to be accelerating! All three speakers encouraged more member participation to move these programs forward.
The second panel discussion was entitled What Can We Do Now? With all that has happened since the election, many of us are shell-shocked, and some are nearing despair. Yet, there are strong signs of hope, as people have turned-out in the tens of thousands all over the USA and across the world as well. The big question is where we go from here.
The first speaker was Dave Altman, a lawyer with decades of experience using lawsuits to make companies stop breaking the law. He says it’s a three-step process: Organize, Strategize, and then Litigate. Whatever happens with the EPA, he notes that anyone “adversely impacted” by an action can, like the EPA, sue to rectify the situation. So, in essence, We are the EPA!
The next speaker was Michelle Young, who has been an activist her entire life. She described many of the campaigns she has worked on, and decided to run for office herself last year, losing to Steve Chabot in Ohio’s First Congressional District. She encourages like-minded people to run for office as well. At this point, she feels we must “go back to the beginning” like we did I the 60’s, and “we MUST WIN this time!”
The next speaker was Larry Falkin, who heads Cincinnati’s Sustainability Office. He believes that things may not be as bad as they seem, since bureaucracies change slowly. The points out that “despair is not empowerment”. The city has been on-track for nine years now in meeting climate-footprint reduction goals. He praised the city’s “solarize” program and their decision to make downtown parking free for all-electric vehicles. In 2017, the city will employ anaerobic digesters, begin textile recycling, and renegotiate our electric power aggregation contract (help with keeping it 100% green!).
Marilyn Wall kept her comments brief in order to give the others extra time. Her bottom-line: “We MUST organize, and we need more people to get involved”.
Melissa English of Ohio Citizen Action recapped her 28 years as an activist, focusing on her now 14 years with OCA. She explained OCA’s grassroots approach: Organize the “fence-line” neighbors that are directly impacted by a polluting business. OCA plays the “outside game”, going door-to-door gathering signatures and encouraging people to “comment” on pending actions. She gave this example: To get the Ohio Energy Table to “thaw the freeze” on alternative energy standards, OCA gathered 12,000 Comments and 32,000 Signatures!
A lively discussion followed. Dave Altman made one key point: The reason the Tea Party was so effective at organizing is that every participant was given a copy of (ultra-liberal) Saul Alinsky’s book “Rules for Radicals”.They learned those lessons and applied them well. Perhaps we should do the same!
A buffet luncheon was served downstairs. It was delicious, with plenty to go around.
After lunch, there was a free period. A few people went on a short hike at a nearby preserve. Many attended a Water Sampling demo by Matt Trokan. Others just chatted and/or took a short walk.
The first afternoon session was on area bike paths, with Frank Henson of Queen City Bike presenting. He gave a recap of how bike trails have evolved over the years, leading to a new organization named Tri-State Trails, which is a coalition of trail advocate & stakeholders, a physical network of trails, and a vision and plan to interconnect existing trails in the tri-state area. The top three challenges for trail construction are obtaining right-of-ways, funding, and public & political support. Much has been accomplished, and there is now a well-organized and funded program for filling in the blanks. The full presentation is available on miamigroup.org.
The second afternoon session was on the Edge of Appalachia Preserve and the Sunshine Project, presented by Martin McAlister of the Nature Conservancy. Martin detailed how a small parcel donated by one person has grown into a large preserve which is now within 1000 yards of Shawnee State Forest. The preserve is one of the most biologically diverse temperate regions of the world, especially for songbirds, salamanders, mussels and land snails. The full presentation is available on miamigroup.org.
After a well-attended Happy Hour, we enjoyed another terrific meal.
The final presentation of the day was a slide show by Marci Taylor and her husband Warren regarding their recent visit to Israel. Their tour was jointly sponsored by Muslim, Jewish and Christian churches in Cincinnati. As a result, they got guided tours of sites cherishes by all three faiths. They had many wonderful pictures to show and stories to tell.
Hats-off to our GREP Committee for another great Retreat: Randy Johnson, Marci Taylor, Karen Nagel, Elizabeth Durrell, and Jean Kantor (And Martha Walker as registrar).
At the Jan. 3, 2017 Innings, Prof. Stan Hedeen gave an outstanding presentation on “The Un-Natural History of the Mill Creek”. He covered the geology, history, how man-made industry polluted the creek, and future methods to restore it.
There were 38 attendees, including Mill Creek Commodore, Bruce Koehler, Dr. Michael Miller, Aquatic Biologist, and Marilyn Wall, Miami Group Ex-Comm, Chair, which led to very interesting and productive discussions.
Thank you very much, Prof. Hedeen, for a very enjoyable evening.