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Sustainable Environment Network Society (SENS) Newsletter

May 2012 Newsletter +  

If you have difficulty reading this newsletter as e-mail, view it instead at http://sensociety.org/v6/?q=201205.

MAY 2012

The Sustainable Environment Network Society (SENS) Newsletter

Environmentally active for over 40 years!

Support Us! You can become a member (Family - $20.00, Individual - $15.00, Basic - $5.00), attend our monthly meetings (the 4th Thursday usually), donate, and/or volunteer.  Mailing address: SENS, c/o the Boys and Girls Club, 3300-37th Ave., Vernon, V1T 2Y5.  Website:  www.sensociety.org

*** SENS provides tax-deductible receipts for donations ***


1. “On The Line” Documentary: May 24, 7 pm, Schubert Centre. Annual Movie night featuring what’s happening/can happen with BC waters. The film is made by 2 people who hiked, biked, rafted and kayaked the 2400km that the Enbridge pipeline would follow, interviewing locals along the way about the pipeline’s impact.

 2. 350.org and Climate Impacts Day, May 5: SENS supports this Vernon Climate Action Network action to help everyone recognize the pine bark beetle outbreak as a local example of climate change. Join us for this community art event, parade and celebration! Noon – 4 pm banner creation by Bean Scene, 4:30 – 5 pm, parade to Spirit Square, 5 – 5:30 celebrate + photo op!

 3.Bike To Work Week (BTWW): It’s May 28 – June 3. If you’d like to take part as a SENS “friend” or member, AND  have your name entered for prizes contact Julia at jblissau@telus.net.   (All you have to do is cycle for one day, one way during that time period!). Prize sponsors this year are: Curves Vernon, Okanagan School of Massage Therapists, Olympia Cycle and Ski, Skyride Cycle, Sun Country Cycle, Re-Cycled Accessories, and Vernon Golf and Country Club!

Wish to form your own team at work? This Portland video could be used to gear up your friends and co-workers: www.pinkbike.com/news/How-Bikes-Make-Cities-Cool-Portland.html

Also, please visit: http://www.biketowork.ca/north-okanagan

You can still sign up for a Bike to Work (BTW) Safety and Skills Workshop either on Sunday May 6, 9am to 2pm or, Monday and Wednesday May 14 and 16, 5:30pm to 8pm  Vernon City Hall

 3. Remember this from the April newsletter? The Harper Conservatives broke yet another promise to Canadians, killing Bill C-267, a bill that would have banned bulk exports of Canada’s fresh water. The house is now considering a similar bill, Bill C-383, which if passed will only protect 10% of Canada’s fresh water resources. Write your MP to demand that the Prime Minister support amendments to Bill C-383 to incorporate key elements of Bill C-267 to ban inter-basin transfers.

Here’s some clarification directly from Elizabeth May: I support C-383, but it applies to trans-boundary waters, not inter-basin transfers. It will be a lot better than nothing, but leaves open the risk of the kind of scheme promoted in the 70s and 80s called the Grand Canal scheme. It would have moved waters from near Hudson's Bay south to the US. As those waters are not on the border, or in watersheds that are trans-boundary, 383 won't prohibit that. C-267 would have because of using language to prohibit "inter-basin transfer."   The key is to grasp the difference between prohibiting the export of boundary waters versus preventing all transfers between water basins. Only 10% of Canada's waters are boundary waters.”


1. BEE Safe(Securing a Food Economy) Info: Get here: www.Beesafemonashees.org or by email at jane@beesafemonashees.org . Subscribe to their newsletter: beesafemonashees@gmail.com .  Let them know if you can offer workshops. Two items (edited) from their recent newsletter:   a. “1 in 32 Utah boys has autism- are pesticides the common denominator between disappearing bees and autism? (http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/04/02) Pesticides designed to disrupt nerve impulses in insects also affect embryo development during the first trimester.  b.  A lawsuit claims Monsanto knowingly poisoned farmers who were pressured to use the company’s chemicals. It says they "wrongfully caused the parental and infant plaintiffs to be exposed to those chemicals and substances which they both knew, or should have known, would cause the infant offspring of the parental plaintiffs to be born with devastating birth defects."

 2. Allan Brooks Nature Centre: Opens May 1. Grand Opening Celebration will be Saturday, May 5 with events planned throughout the day. Regional launch of the Robert Bateman “Get to Know” Program Contest will occur between 11am and 1 pm.

 3. Green Drinks: Second Monday of every month at Sir Winston’s Pub. Find out more at:   http://greendrinks.org/vernon and on this Facebook page.   

 4. Farmers’ Markets: Lavington – every Sunday, 9am – 1pm, Jeffer’s Park on School Road, starting May 13. Non-GMO seeds wished. Contact Debbra at 778 475-1774. In Lumby, May 5, 9 -1pm, Whitevalley Hall. In Cherryville, by the Highway, every Saturday starting May 12, 9am, - 1pm.   Vernon’s has already started behind Westbilt Centre, 8am – 1pm every Monday and Thursday. In Armstrong, Caravan Market Days are Sundays, 10am – 2pm, May 13, June 17, July 1, Aug 5, Sept 2, 4886 Salmon River Road. www.caravanfarmtheatre.com

 5.“Eat Your Forest” Workshop: May 12th – 13th, 9 – 5 pm, $200 (+HST) includes tea, coffee and healthy lunches.  Book now at www.elementecodesign.com!

 6. Take Action for Wild SalmonSend an e-mail or print a letter to Premier Clark requesting that these floating fish farms be (at the very least) moved away from the wild salmon migration routes. The Cohen Inquiry established that viruses breeding in fish farms are killing wild salmon, and the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans hid the evidence from the public.

 7. Alexandra Morton:  She’s Canada’s foremost advocate for wild salmon. Don’t miss these upcoming tour dates: Wed, May. 09, 7:00 pm at Lumby’s White Valley Community Centre - 2250 Shields Ave, Thursday, May 10, 7:30 pm, Senior’s Centre, 5th Ave, Salmon Arm,  Friday, May 11, 7 pm, Enderby Seniors Hall, Saturday, May 12, 10am – 1pm, Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park. Dr. Morton is touring locally with information on diseases that affect wild salmon. “I am defending my home” is why she continues to tour and speak. For more, go to http://salmonaresacred.org/.

 8. Clean Water via “Potters Without Borders”: This group, based out of Enderby, has, for 6 years, created ceramic pot water filter technology for needy villages around the world . The non-profit finds local clay sources, then helps locals set up a mini factory to make the filters. They always seek more funds, volunteers and even directors. Check   http://www.potterswithoutborders.com

 9. Canon Take Root Project: Deadline for this stewardship and restoration programs is May 25. Eligible projects must include at least one planting event in September and result in the planting of at least 250 native trees. Details from Celeste at clonghurst@evergreen.ca or: www.evergreen.ca/en/funding/grants/canon.sn

10. Commuter Savings Calculator: From carpool.cahttp://www.carpool.ca/Calculator.aspx


1. Dr Fish: Local Armstrong resident  Kim Fulton (AKA Dr Fish!), who brought salmon back into nearby rivers, recommends the following video.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MdcJX-YisU  In it  Dr.Dave Montomery, author of  “King of Fish”, explains the history of salmon and effects of habitat change on salmon mainly in Washington State.  Many of the same factors apply in B.C.


1. Conference Release Ready: On January 27 and 28, 2012 the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance co-hosted the event A Water Gathering: Collaborative Watershed Governance in BC and Beyond—Solutions Forum. The successful event brought together over 100 individuals from all sectors of the water field, including First Nations, local and senior government, consulting firms, research organizations, and watershed-based non-governmental organizations. Details  here


1. New Deconstruction Permit: A Vancouver couple is pioneering a new approach to demolition, recycling 80 per cent of the materials that comes out of their old home. The city estimates that 80 tonnes of garbage goes to a landfill per demolished home. These permits should create new jobs, lessen pressure on the landfill, and help the city pursue green city goals. Watch the video here.

2. Plastic Bottle Greenhouse: After 1 ½ years of collecting plastic drink bottles, the pupils nailed them to the wooden greenhouse frame. Once the greenhouse was completed, they made full use of it by planting tomato seeds for the gardening club. It is reported that they’ve grown five feet in just two weeks — so maybe there is something to be said for plastic greenhouses! Rare pyramidal orchids were also been planted within. Read the story here.


3. Wine Cork Floors: Cape Town's upmarket Vineyard Hotel and Spa has a state-of-the-art health and fitness centre, 207 luxurious rooms, lush gardens and a vineyard planted to commemorate South Africa's 350th wine making anniversary. Wine corks are recycled and turned into flame-retardant flooring, cutting down on the risk of fire. But..the establishment is now giving back to communities in the area by providing fire-retardant floors made from recycled corks to facilities that care for underprivileged children. Read full story here.

4. TEDxChange: The Big Picture:  In the current economic climate, our focus has shifted to needs closest to home. But still too many in our global, interdependent community cannot meet their most basic needs: food, clean water, life-saving medicines. We cannot proceed with business as usual. At TEDxChange, webcast live on April 5, we'll take a step back and look at the big picture: Why should we continue to invest in global health and development? And how can we work across borders and boundaries to make positive change?  More at http://tedxchange.org.


1. Innovative Measures to Improve Fishery: British Columbia environmentalists and the groundfish bottom trawl fishing industry have come together to find common ground, and have developed innovative management measures to conserve corals, sponges and deep-sea habitats. They include: (1) defined boundaries for the fishery, (2) individual limits on coral and sponge bycatch, (3) a procedure to alert skippers if a bycatch is in excess of coral or sponge, and (4) a joint habitat conservation review committee. Go here to read the entire article.

 2. Plea For Support: The federal government has announced sweeping legal and policy changes to marine habitat protection. Severe cuts to government, particularly oil spill clean up, will effectively gut Canada's ability to effectively manage the ocean and its resources. www.livingoceans.com   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ciogg60czE4


1. Tide Petition: Tell Tide to get cancer-causing chemicals out of their laundry detergent! Sign the petition here.

 2. Call for Worldwide Asbestos Ban: This harmful mineral which causes cancer is currently used in two thirds of the world. It has and is causing hundreds of thousands of people have lost their lives and the peak of deaths has not yet been reached. There is no so called 'controlled use' of asbestos for poor and vulnerable people. Please help ban the use of asbestos throughout the world, by clicking here.


1.The Consequences of Stripping CEAA: In a bid to bulldoze through potential opposition to ensure mega-pipeline projects like the Northern Gateway, the federal government is rolling back environmental protections in Canada, including sweeping changes to the regulatory process used to scrutinize major industrial projects. For all Canadians this is a problem as it: (1) shuts down our right to participate in decisions that affect us, (2) makes the government less accountable for protecting our environment, and (3) strips independent bodies of their decision-making power. Read the entire piece hereTake action here:  a) Sign MP Fin Donnelly’s  petition (official opposition critic for fisheries and oceans) at www.findonnelly.ca/node/425  b)  Sign the petition from West Coast Environmental Law and many others urging the federal government to stop weakening the environmental laws that keep communities safe from toxic chemicals, and that safeguard our air, water, land and species at risk. Sign at www.envirolawsmatter.ca


1.An Open Letter from Dr. David Suzuki: Excerpt: “I want to speak freely without fear that my words will be deemed too political, and harm the organization of which I am so proud … The Foundation's science-based, solutions-oriented research and educational work has enriched our democracy and reflected Canadian values for two decades ... Our opponents, however, are redoubling their efforts to marginalize the Foundation by getting at me, personally. So last year, I made the decision to step off the board of directors of the David Suzuki Foundation. I remain one of its most active volunteers and committed major donors. This way I can fulfill my personal mission and the Foundation can continue to build on its inspiring work—for us and our grandchildren—in finding solutions to our shared and very real, environmental challenges.” Read the full letter and many heart felt comments by going here.

 2. Household chemicals: - Go to http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/health/  and complete the survey on possible toxic cleaners in your home. 


1.Window Farms: If you live in a condo or rental apartment, and want to grow food, check out www.windowfarms.org , a system for growing hydroponic food in your window, good for a salad a week, that’s being developed collaboratively by young people around the world.

2. Energy Solutions: Hans-Josef Fell, German politician, helped get Germany’s renewable energy use to 20%. He now says Germany can get to 100% by 2030, using 40 – 50% wind, 30 – 40 % solar plus other sources. One argument against renewable energy has always been its lack of base-load power for when the wind’s not blowing. He argues that we need to abandon the concept of peaking and base-load power and move to a model of flexible and inflexible energy sources using a smart grid with storage in batteries, hydro pumps and maybe green hydrogen, switching off the base-load suppliers of coal, gas and nuclear.  Cost? With conventional fossil and nuclear fuels it would cost the world $200 trillion by 2030. To change to renewables would cost $100 trillion. See http://bit.ly/baseload. Also see Transportation without Oil, at www.Slideshare.net/GuyDauncey.

 3. Freakish Weather:  Ham Weather reports no fewer than 6,895 records in one week in March America – some towns being 30 to 45 degrees F warmer than average. Since Mar 1st there have been 13,393 daily heat records - 16 times more than daily cold records. Also: www.ameg.me.

Co-Edited by Egan Mandreck