Monday, March 31, 2014

Very, Very Interesting Idea

        This is really interesting; haven't thought it through to see if it holds up, but it appears to do a good job addressing one of the biggest problems we have, the volatility of tax revenues (which is about how we tax) without getting into the fruitless and never-ending battle over revenue amounts (how much we tax).

Further, this appears to offer a good path towards a carbon tax and rebate system, which ultimately is where we must go.  Getting the kinks worked out using this system above would then make extension to a carbon tax and rebate quite straightforward.


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Climate Chaos: here now, gonna get worse, lots worse

So let's squander hundreds of millions on unnecessary highway boondoggles like the Bridgeasaurus instead of on things that will help our living children and their kids avoid the worst!  Because, for the highway and sprawl lobby, Gordon Gekko always says it best:  "Greed is Good" -- and it's nothing but the greed of the well off today that keeps us chasing the chimera of "growth." 

Best new thing in Salem in a long while -- join in!

Of course, the deeper answer is to stop wasting resources and reducing learning by laying aside the obsolete agricultural era school year model ... All schools should be year-round, with abundant breaks to allow play and rejuvenation, but no extended stopping, as we do now with summer break.  But the program below is a welcome and wonderful response to the problem of the traditional school calendar, and will help bring critical skills into the schools.

From: "Salem Harvest" <>
Date: March 29, 2014 at 9:13:19 PDT
Subject: Community Garden Opportunity

Happy Spring!

Salem Harvest volunteers have a unique opportunity this summer that not only can help alleviate hunger in the long term but can also help you learn a skill as well – gardening. 

 Programs to combat hunger, such as Marion-Polk Food Share, are finding they need to do more than simply provide food to people.  They need to help teach people how to grow their own food.  Thus, they are getting involved in various community garden projects.

Three years ago the Salem-Keizer Education Foundation started a program of after-school garden clubs.  They now have gardens at more than a half dozen schools in Salem.  But they face a major challenge in how to take care of those gardens during the summer, when the schools are not in session.

To tend these community gardens over the summer, the Salem-Keizer Education Foundation, the OSU Marion County Master Gardeners, and Salem Harvest are coming together.  It is planned that for each garden there will be a team of two Master Gardeners and three volunteers so that not all members of the team would have to attend each week. Although it will differ with each garden, it is anticipated that each garden team would maintain and harvest from its garden once a week from mid-June through August at a time that best suits the members of the team.

There are seven schools with community gardens that will need looking after this summer:

Grant Elementary
Highland Elementary
Washington Elementary
McKinley Elementary
Parrish Middle School
Waldo Middle School
Houck Middle School

One of the goals of SKEF's school gardens program is to encourage the students and their families to be involved in the gardens over the summer.  To that end, the Master Gardeners are going to work with the students during the spring session of the after-school garden clubs, for ten weeks beginning the week of April 1st.  The hope is that the personal relationships developed in the spring will translate into the students and families being more motivated to come to the garden in the summer.  Salem Harvest volunteers will be welcome to become involved during the spring session as well, not only to develop personal relationships with the students but also to get in on the initial phases of the gardening process, however, completely optional.

This project is a good way to contribute to the community while at the same time learning more about gardening.  Kids are of course welcome, actually encouraged to participate! 

If you are interested in joining us, please contact me at –OR-
Salem-Keizer Education Foundation, Chelsey Thomsen at –OR-
OSU Marion County Master Gardeners, Bill and Carol Sutkus at

Looking forward to seeing you this summer,

Elise Bauman,
Salem Harvest, President

Friday, March 28, 2014

Comes the Dawn: UN Notices Biofuels Hurt More Than Help The Environment

UN To Declare Biofuels Cause More Harm Than Benefit To The Environment

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Biodiesel Fueled BusAccording The Telegraph the United Nations will officially warn that growing crops to make "green" biofuel harms the environment and drives up food prices, The Telegraph can disclose. A leaked draft of a UN report condemns the widespread use of biofuels made from crops as a replacement for petrol and diesel. It says that biofuels, rather than combating the effects of global warming, could make them worse.

The draft report represents a dramatic about-turn for the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Its previous assessment on climate change, in 2007, was widely condemned by environmentalists for giving the green light to large-scale biofuel production. The latest report instead puts pressure on world leaders to scrap policies promoting the use of biofuel for transport. The summary for policy makers states: "Increasing bioenergy crop cultivation poses risks to ecosystems and biodiversity."

The report into the impact of man-made climate change is the most authoritative of its kind. For the first time, it considered the impact of biofuels on the environment. Biofuels were once billed as the green alternative to fossil fuels, but environmental campaigners have voiced concern about them for some time. They note that growing biofuel crops on a large scale requires either the conversion of agricultural land used for food crops or the destruction of forests to free up land, possibly offsetting any reduction in carbon emissions from the use of biofuels. Other concerns include increased stress on water supplies and rising corn prices as a result of increased demand for the crop, which is fermented to produce biofuel. ...

The Telegraph
Photo Credit: Mariordo Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz (Fuel Pump)

Calling K-5 parents! Training Sessions for an Eco-School Network in Salem

Training Sessions for an Eco-School Network in Salem
Calling all parents & teachers! The first of three Eco-School Network Trainings will be April 14th at Straub Environmental Center
View this email in your browser


April Launch of Salem Eco-School Network
for Parents of K-5 Children in the Salem area.

Training sessions on Mondays, April 14th, 21st and 28th
6 pm - 8 pm
Straub Environmental Center
1320 A St. NE, Salem

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Background: A proposal to form a Salem Eco-School Network was discussed with Salem-area parents, teachers, and community members. The group enthusiastically endorsed the idea.

What: On Mondays, April 14, 21 and 28, a three-session training for Salem-area K-5 parents (and teachers) will be offered at no cost to kick off the Salem Eco-School Network (ESN). An ESN is composed of parents who wish to volunteer at their children's school by introducing sustainability initiatives and promoting earth-centered activities. Sister ESNs now exist in Portland, Beaverton, and Corvallis, where trained parents from about 60 schools are active.

Who: The training is offered at no cost for Salem-area parents interested in introducing sustainability initiatives and promoting earth-centered activities at their K-5 schools.

Why: This no-cost training has many benefits for the participants beyond learning and applying a tested framework for effective work within an elementary school. Parents with similar goals become acquainted, learn skills that are helpful for working with any group, and learn specific ways to work cooperatively within their respective schools. During the three sessions, each parent clarifies a vision for some change within the school, large or small, and explores strategies, initiatives, and tools that have been used successfully by other ESN parents.

Training sessions will be at Straub Environmental Center and are conducted by the Oregon Eco-School Networks Program within the Center for Earth Leadership.

To get involved, contact Dick Roy, 503-227-2315,, Oregon Eco-School Networks Program.

For more information, check out the Eco-School Network site, at:
Copyright © 2014 Straub Environmental Center, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you attended one of our programs and gave us your email address.

Our mailing address is:
Straub Environmental Center
PO Box 12363
Salem, OR 97309

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

The sculpture "garden" at Convention Center

You know what would really improve that sad wasteland?

Growing things ... You know, gardens.

Work with MPFS community gardens program to round up gardeners, get the Convention Center to underwrite all the costs, Fresh Start youth to build raised beds, set up irrigation systems, and presto!

Life in an otherwise sterile, dead, depressing place.

Good southern exposure, so great sun. A bunch of raised beds, an enclosed shed for garden tools, and then the sculpture could be in a garden.

Could even build a few handicapped-accessible raised beds designed to allow a person in a mobility chair to get underneath the ledge so that handicapped folks could garden too.

Gardeners split proceeds with MPFS.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Kindergarten teacher: My job is now about tests and data — not children. I quit.

Spring Used Book Sale! Friends of the Salem Public Library

The Friends of the Salem Public Library will hold their Spring Book Sale


April 4-6 in Anderson Rooms A&B

Salem Public Library, 585 Liberty St. SE.

Sale hours are

Friday, April 4 --  10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.;

Saturday, April 5 -- 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.;

Sunday, April 6 -- 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Sunday is $4 Bag Day.


The Spring Book Sale offers thousands of books seeking new homes at excellent prices. Paperbacks, children's, and teen books are 75 cents each; audiovisual items are 50 cents-$1 each; and hardbacks are $1.25 each. The best bargains of all are available Sunday, when shoppers can fill a bag to take away for just $4. Bags for the Sunday sale are supplied at the door.


Parking meters will be in effect during regular enforcement hours. As always, parking is free on Sunday. More information about the book sale or volunteering at the event is available from the Bookstore Manager in person, by phone at 503-362-1755, or by email at

WORD - college admissions sucking the life out of life

Great ideas for: What is your family doing this summer?

What is your family doing this summer?
Consider Straub Environmental Center as you make your plans!

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What is your family doing this summer?

Check out the programs, camps and classes that Straub Environmental Center is offering this summer! There is something for everyone!

As always, call 503-391-4145 or email to register or find out more information on any of the below programs or classes!


Family Nature Retreat

Saturday, June 28 - Sunday, June 29 at Drift Creek Camp in Lincoln City (Friday night arrival available as well).

Spend two glorious days in an old growth forest near Lincoln City exploring nature with your family. Four sessions on Saturday will introduce you and the kids to stream ecology, photography, decomposing logs and plant communities.

Click here for more details on the Family Nature Retreat and to download a registration form!

Summer Day Camp

6th/7th/8th graders camp will be July 7-11 and 4th/5th graders camp will be offered two weeks: choose from either July 14-18 or July 21-25.

Campers will be chosen on a first come/first served basis, so get your applications in EARLY!

Click here to find out more information on Summer Camp and to download a registration form!

For more details on summer camp and to download the other forms, go to our website:

Amateur Naturalist Series

The Amateur Naturalist Series has started and we will be offering monthly classes and field trips on a variety of topics related to Oregon wildlife. Next month, you can hear all about wildflowers, in May, about Tidepools and June, learn about honeybees.

Registration is recommended as the classes get full quickly. Each class is $5/person and the field trips are $10/person (unless otherwise noted).

Click here to download a complete schedule of the Amateur Naturalist series.
Copyright © 2014 Straub Environmental Center, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you attended one of our programs and gave us your email address.

Our mailing address is:
Straub Environmental Center
PO Box 12363
Salem, OR 97309

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Monday, March 24, 2014

WORD (JH Kunstler)

Weak Sister


     The recognition that there are some places on the planet where the US can't exert its influence has also come as a shock to the so-called American Deep State — that matrix of bureaucratic toxic sludge that labors to pretend to control everything and succeeds mainly in embarrassing itself in a world that is now deeply tending away from the centralized control of anything. Nations are breaking up everywhere and for the moment there is no coherent public discussion of the ramifications. Venice voted the other day to secede from Italy — that is, to not send anymore tax revenue to Rome. That should be interesting. How about Scotland's independence vote scheduled for September? Judging by the British newspapers, there is next-to-zero concern about that. Then there is the list of failed states, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, and probably half the manufactured nations of sub-Saharan Africa, places with no viable economy or polity and too many clamoring poor people. These are parts of the world that will neither develop nor redevelop. In a hundred years they could be no-go zones or just return to howling wilderness.

     The US would be better served these days to literally mind its own business. With Detroit in bankruptcy, why would we send Kiev billions of dollars? American urban infrastructures — water, sewer, gas, and electric lines — are falling apart. We have no idea how we're going to manage most of the crucial economic activities of daily life in ten years, when the illusions of shale gas and shale evaporate in a dark cloud of disenchantment, when we no longer have an airline industry, and most Americans won't have the means to own automobiles, and there's not enough diesel fuel to plow Iowa mega-farms, or enough oil and gas based fertilizers or herbicides to pour into the eroding topsoil, and not enough fossil water left in the Oglala aquifer or enough electricity to run the center-pivot sprinklers where the prairie meets the desert? How are Americans going to live and eat and get from Point A to Point B and keep a roof over our heads in this beat-down land?

    We're having no conversation about these things and the political landscape in this country is a wasteland of mirages and dust devils. That is the true weakness of the USA now. We're incapable of seeing the disorder in our own house. Why should we even glance overseas at others? . . .

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Unless you become more watchful in your states and check this spirit of monopoly and thirst for exclusive privileges, you will in the end find that the most important powers of government have been given or bartered away, and the control of your dearest interests have been passed into the hands of these corporations. --Andrew Jackson

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Ask not for whom the bell tolls, ...

Wake up!

Farm My Yard grows more popular in Portland |

Salem too! Some very nice people just planted a raised bed here at LOVESalem HQ yesterday!
With the Missus back in gradual school and me excessively scheduled, we're going to yard share all year long.

Mark your Calendar for May 1, a special SPFS Showing

The Salem-based creators of this terrific documentary will be on hand for a specialSalem Progressive Film Series showing of their film.  Plan to be there.

What a great group effort 


As you know The Healthcare Movie is taking to the road again with the 2014 Drive for Universal Healthcare (DUH)! (  Last fall we toured the East Coast. This time we are visiting the West Coast.  Thank you to all the activatists along the way who are planning movie screenings and rallies.  Our trip calendar is all filled in as you can see. In fact we are bursting at both ends. We are having several early events in San Diego on April 11th and we have been invited to Spokane on May 6th!  The graciousness we have felt is overwhleming and humbling as The Healthcare Movie proves again and again to be a very good mechanism to get people talking about healthcare and single payer.    




When we made the Healthcare Movie we had no idea it would lead us to become involved so deeply as advocates in the healthcare movement. Like so many of you we are not wealthy and our income is not great. Asking for money has not been easy for us. We have had to swallow our pride and reach into our commitment to promoting single payer health care. Let me tell you it beats sitting at home wondering and wishing we could do more.

Thank you to all who have so graciously given us donations and places to stay so we can participate in this work. Our Start Some Good Campagn has generated $835 in pledges so far. In order to keep any of that money we have to reach our tipping point goal of at least $1,975 in the next twelve days. Our full campaign is for $5,625 which would really cover all of our trip expenses. In addition to the Start Some Good pledges, we have received checks totalling almost $300 from people who want to help. We celebrate this support and very much appreciate the generosity of those who contribute to us. But you know that the real cause you are supporting is not for Laurie and Terry to go on a trip. It is for each and every person in the U.S. to be free of the worry of having to pay big medical bills when they are sick or injured. We will go on this trip regardless. You can make it a lot easier. Thank you for considering supporting the West Coast Tour.

Visit the IT'S OUR HEALTHCARE CAMPAIGN and view a video from our East Coast Tour in September, 2013.

Host a Screening

Order a DVD of The Healthcare Movie




NOW AVAILABLE IN SPANISH: The Healthcare Movie is now available with Spanish subtitles. Special price: $19.95
Also available with ENGLISH subtitles for the hard of hearing. Special price: $19.95 




 Sign the Petition!

While Obamacare regulates some injustices, it still puts insurance companies between
us and our healthcare.  We believe that no one should be allowed to profit from another person's suffering. 

THERE IS A SOLUTION to the health care crisis in America that costs all of us less, covers everyone, and has better health outcomes. Tax-supported health care means everyone contributes by paying taxes based on their level of income, and everyone receives medical care whenever they need it.

Let's bring an end to health care injustices, join the rest of the industrialized world,
and take care of our people. Sign the petition HERE . If you have already signed it,  please forward it to other people you know!



    Warning: Opting Out of Your Insurance Plan's Provider Network is Risky

"Many plans sold on the health insurance marketplaces offer a tradeoff: lower premiums in exchange for limited networks of providers. But consumers who opt for a narrow network plan with the idea that they'll go out of network when necessary may be taking a big financial risk."

Watch an expert teach a smug U.S. Senator about Canadian healthcare

CHECK THIS OUT: A Senate Hearing on single-payer healthcare, as it's practiced in Canada and several other countries



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© 2013 The Healthcare Movie

The Healthcare Movie, 8011 118th Ave NE, Kirkland, Washington 98033

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