October 12th Stone Arch Discussion with Phyllis Kahn
Former Representative Phyllis Kahn joins our Stone Arch Discussion for a conversation about getting more scientists involved in politics. Dr. Kahn spent 44 years on the Minnesota Legislature and has a Ph.D. in biophysics and a MPA from Harvard. She has been the chief author of the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act (controlling smoking in public places), the computer crime and computer virus laws, and legislation on nuclear safety, radioactive waste disposal, field tests of genetically modified crops and infectious waste disposal. She also authored laws to require gender equity in athletics and laws prohibiting discrimination based on age or disability. She has been instrumental in obtaining funding for parks, trails, historic preservation, art-enhancement of State buildings, and the expansion of community and urban forests.
Join us at Wilde Cafe Saturday from 8:30 to 10:00 AM for a meaningful conversation about science and politics and why we need more scientists engaged in the realm of policy. This is open to the public, all we ask is that you buy your coffee or tea from a friendly barista at Wilde Cafe before joining is.
September Stone Arch Forum Cancelled
Sorry for the last-minute warning, but due to an unforseen scheduling conflict we have had to cancel the Stone Arch Forum for Satruday, September 14.
July Stone Arch: Representative Jamie Long
July 13, 8:30-10:00 AM
Wilde Roast Cafe, 65 SE Main St, Minneapolis
Rep. Jamie Long, author of the 100% clean energy bill (among others) has been invited to join us for the July Stone Arch discussion.
As usual, invite anyone interested--free and open to the public. Come, buy your coffee (the law is you can't bring food or drinks into a restaurant), learn a lot and have your questions ready.
Addressing Sources of Greenhouses Gases, Water Pollution, and Harm to Health - Think Again Brooklyns
How Do We Resolve the Serious Environmental
and Health Problems Caused by CAFO's in MN?
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
6:00 p.m. - Free Pizza Buffet and Social 6:30 p.m. - Program
City Council Chambers
5200 85th Avenue N, Brooklyn Park, MN 55428
Sonya Eayrs will speak on the extensive harm done by Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO’s), also often referred to as industrial or factory farms. She will suggest on how we can best correct the serious problems which factory farms are causing.
Sonya is a family lawyer and citizen activist who is active in getting the word out on how industrial farming increases greenhouse gas emissions in our state, pollutes rivers, lakes, and ground water, and harms the health of people who live in the vicinity of the farms. She lives in Maple Grove, and her parents live in Dodge County surrounded by 11 industrial farms within a three mile radius, some as close as a half mile. The following graph reveals MN as one of the top three states in the number of CAFO’s:
Listen to the farmers of Newberg Township in Karst County movingly explain the widespread harmful impact CAFO’s, which they are fighting to keep out of their county, would have on their lives. What would this mean? "What it meant is that it would change the life of everyone around here forever. . . What has been really interesting is the near unanimous opposition to it." Watch the 6 minute video.
It is easy to see that traditional farm families that live in the vicinity of CAFO's are severely harmed by the industrialized farms. What might not be as immediately obvious is that CAFO's are greatly contributing to MN's climate change through their production of greenhouse gases (GHG's) and to serious declines in MN's water resources, both quantity and quality. While using clean energy for electricity has contributed to a 15% reduction in greenhouse gases, CAFO's have increased GHG's in MN by 10% leaving a net reduction of only 5%. While MN plans to reduce GHG's due to fossil fuel sources of electricity to zero by 2050, what plans should MN have to reduce GHG's and water pollution from CAFO's? Bring your ideas.
What Does NW Suburbs' Water Future Look Like?
How Can Residents Preserve Water for Future Generations?
Jon Watson, Pubic Utilities Superintendent for the City of Brooklyn Park, will describe the source and quality of water in Brooklyn Park and nearby suburbs, explain what affects water quality and the treatment process for Brooklyn Park's water, and suggest what we can do to improve and maintain the quality of our water.
Jon Watson has worked for the City of Brooklyn Park for over 25 years. Twenty of them were as the Public Utilities Superindendent and Engineer.
As usual, the forum will include a question and answer session.
Tuesday, April 23
6:00 p.m. Doors Open 6:15 p.m. Dinner 7:00 p.m. Speaker Presentation
Church of the Epiphany, 4900 Nathan Lane N, Plymouth, MN 55442
Please RSVP here
Karen Shragg is the author of Move Upstream: A call to solve overpopulation. Karen will share her perspective on how issues like poverty, global warming and depletion of our natural resources will not be solved until we address overpopulation.
Hosts: Jennie Malcoun and Matthias Weigel
Optimism over Future of Solar Energy
Expressed at February Forum
Our speakers for the February forum were very supportive of each others' efforts to help in the growth of the solar industry and had a great deal of optimism for its growth both in the coming years and for decades after that.
Jamez Staples, Executive Director of Renewable Energy Partners, described the new training center planned for north Minneapolis which will aim at preparing high school students and young adults in north Minneapolis and the suburbs along the Blue Line Light Rail Extension for jobs and long term careers in the growing solar energy industry. Jan Hubbard, President of the Minnesota Renewable Energy Association, described the growing use of solar energy on residential and commercial rooftops and explained the benefits of the Solar Energy Schools Bill.
Bob Blake, Outreach Coordinator of Interfaith Power and Light explained what community solar gardens were and encouraged people who are customers of Xcel Energy to participate in the community solar garden projects in the following counties: Anoka, Benton, Blue Earth, Carver, Dakota, Dodge, Faribault, Freeborn, Goodhue, Hennepin, Le Sueur, Mower, Ramsey, Rice, Scott, Sherburne, Stearns, Steele, Waseca, Wright. Sign up to get an estimate from MN Interfaith Power and Light of how much subscribing would reduce your electric bill.
"Why Minnesota's Community Solar Program is the Best"
John Farrell's latest update of his article comparing Minnesota's community solar program to those in other states provides insight into the the solar industry's expectation that the industry can expect rapid growth.
He emphasizes that MN's community solar program is the best in the country "because there 10 times more community solar projects in the queue—400 megawatts—in Minnesota than have been built in the history of community solar in the United States (40 megawatts)." John Farrell directs the Energy Democracy Initiative at the Institute for Local Self Reliance. Find out more about Minnesota's community solar program by reading this article and others here.
Aging in Place with Gene Nicolelli
A Video Recorded by John Risken
Gene Nicolelli is an architect who is certified by the National Association of Home Builders as an Aging in Place Specialist. You can listen to a recording of the seminar Gene presented at the Think Again Brooklyns forum on November 27, 2018. When homes, apartments, and condos are built to accomdate people who require wheelchairs either temporarily or permanently, they will often be able to delay the need to live in an assisted living center or a nursing home. This makes it possible for people to continue living with family members or near friends. It also makes their living expenses more affordable as living in a home, apartment, or condo costs far less than a nursing home or assisted living facility with care, both of which can run over $9,000 a month. The high cost of care in either of these institutions is higher than most people can afford so most of the cost is often paid by Medicaid which is likely to result in increased state and county taxes.
The American Association of Retired Persons reports that only one percent of apartments and homes are fully accessible. For that reason Think Again MN is encouraging municipalities to require new construction to include accessibility standards. The cost of meeting these standards is very modest for newly constructed dwellings, but can be very high for homes that need remodeling or impossible for many of the split entry homes and three story walk up or down apartments in Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park.