Upcoming SEA events & about March 11th meeting

Very packed, exciting SEA meeting this last Sunday, March 11, 2012, at David and Karen’s house!

Alerts:

1. Next meeting is April 8th, 6pm social, 6:30-8pm meeting at Bruce’s home.

2. Prior to April 8th meeting, 5pm, Mike Dash will lead a workshop in “How to Facilitate” exploring how to lead meetings and organize processes. Dan, Bruce, Ellen, and Mark said they would attend. Others are welcome.

3) On Saturday, 4/21, 9am-12, for Earth Day, SEA will join up with other volunteers to help clean up park sites. There are two groups, one going to Carkeek Park, the other to Burke Gilman at Sand Point. This allows us to do outreach to other environmentalists and still enjoy our friends’ companionship! Thanks to David Wilbur for doing the research to find these projects!

Here are the sites:

Carkeek Park- forest restoration and trails maintenance. They provide gloves and water.

(Ellen, Bruce, Jack, Mary M, Kathy, Janet so far), Bruce- notify Green city that we are coming!

 Burke-Gilman at Sand Point- remove invasive plants on trail.

NE 65th St at the Burke-Gilman Trail, meet ahead at Farmer’s Market University District. 206-200-9669 or http://www.burkegilmanvolunteers.org (Mary Davies, Dan, Mark so far)

MARY Davies agreed to notify them to register us, but it doesn’t look like that group asks for such.

4) Potluck outreach May 20th

Mary M would like to have a Backyard Bash some time this summer for the SEA Activists, but Ellen’s place may be more suitable (weather wise) for a May potluck as it could be indoors.  Decide later.

• Meeting began with Mike Dash reporting on Tar Sands action. He condensed what happened at 3 meetings with Forest Ethics representative Adam Gaya and 4 person committee from SEA. Forest Ethics is the group who has convinced more than 15 corporations and City of Bellingham to resolve to move towards no Tar Sands oil usage. From these meetings, our focused goal is to have City of Seattle sign a resolution to not use Tar Sands oil for the public fleet. This will need work:

  1. inside council finding our champions.
  2. Outside council we need to build public supportMedia (letter writing, etc.) Coalition of civic groupsSign-up letters for businesses and recreation groupsExpert testimony

A smaller group from SEA made a plan of action with Gaya. The group then met with Toby Thaler, a lawyer and environmentalist, who has worked with the city council. Thaler had insights into how and who to work with in the council. We will be working towards a public hearing with City Council, but will proceed even without Council if need be.

Mike Dash and Adam Gaya met with Sierra Club on 3/9 to coordinate efforts. As the Sierra Club is now working with City to see a Coal Trains Resolution passed to fight increased, uncovered coal trains traffic (guessing an end April wrap-up,) we wanted to find out when would be the best time to start on the Tar Sands fight. It was proposed that we get the media portion started now.

 Media plan is to send letters to editors by each individual writing their own letter, and then sending according to a specific release plan. April 18th several of us met to do just this, dividing up A)THEMES:

1-environmental impact of extraction, 2-potential environmental impact here in NW, 3-consumption, and 4-global environmental bomb,

and B) WHO sends first week, second week, etc. so that 3-5 letters go out each week.

If you weren’t there, please write letter anyway and email of list of media outlets is available.

•Karen Powers reported on Coal Trains as our science resource.

NRDC is tracking how much coal falls off of these trains.

Her friend, Alice, is an EIS expert who can help us know the process of how the Dept. of Ecology works and what we need to push to have explored in the impact statement. Usually this statement takes 3 years, therefore the increased coal trains aren’t allowed before then. The state pays for this study. The railroads want the department to do as little impact exploration as possible, so it is important to push the questions.

The scoping for what impacts needs to be considered will be sometime in June. Karen and Kathy agreed to go up to speak in Bellingham at that time. People have 3 minutes to speak at a microphone about public health impact. She has been warned that people need tough skin because they must be prepared for rebuttal. We can also write letters; Karen will find out if it is better to have one letter from group or individual letters. Bill Daniels of the Dept. of Health may also help.

There are 500 lbs. coal per car with ~ 7% loss, and engine diesel puts out tiny particles, microns that easily go into lungs. We need to ask how many large particles and how much diesel microns are outputted. We know infant bronchitis goes up. Bill Daniels may write this—Karen will check on this.

The amount transported will markedly go up: 44 million tons through our area, 54 million tons at Cherry Point in Bellingham close to a wildlife refuge. Coalition of Medical Professions is already involved in Bellingham and Seattle. UW may help with diesel exhaust impact. Jan Hasselman of Earth Justice is also involved.

Karen suggests the need to broaden impacts in scoping to air, water pollution. Kathy is interested in economic impacts on real estate both as a nuisance factor and pollution downgrading property. Jack, David, Karen, and Kathy agreed to represent us at scoping hearing.

• Mark spoke about E-tools.

He asks that we use blog and use help page so that it becomes more useful. It was agreed we should all put up one post or comment this month.

Kelly, who was going to help grow Facebook broke her wrist. Mark may be able to take this on. Any facebook friend can post. Link to the facebook is on our blog. Ellen will ask Linda Stein if she can help on Facebook site.

Mary Davies wants ways to quickly get people active. Facebook is a good way. Again wondering about alerts and how many people are on email from that large outreach meeting. For this outreach purpose, people asked should Facebook be open tooutside group writing, but we talked about people just need to be friends to write on wall.

Coal Train Activism– Mike Dash reported.

A resolution is now being considered by Seattle City Council.

Medical Professionals are involved here.

There is a letter being passed to businesses here.

Need people to come to hearings, no date mentioned yet.

Committee for action: Mark, Mary M, Mike.

 12 people attended March 11, 2012 meeting. Great fun was had!

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