Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Founder of SETF receives award at Calument Summit

Day one of the 2-day Calumet connectedness summit ended with the awarding of four lifetime hero awards; given to those members of the Calumet region community who have dedicated their lives to local environmental acitivites. For those who know Marian Byrnes, founder of the Task Force, it should come as no surprise that she was a recipient of one of tonight's awards:

We at the Task Force are proud to be part of an organization created by person such as Marian, and we hope that we can meet the high standards of environmental advocacy she has set for us all.

By the way, the summit is amazing! The first day was filled with exciting and informative talks that focused on connecting people and places in the Calumet. I'll post a follow up to the entire summit after tomorrow's activities.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Items of note

Thanks to those of you who have helped us get started with our membership drive. As you can see, the bird feeder is slowly, slowly being filled. If you would like to support SETF's efforts to improve the environmental health of south side Chicago, please send in your memberhsip today.

I'd like to bring your attention to the Chicago Clean Power Ordinance which will help improve air quality by requiring Chicago's two coal fired power plants to significantly reduce their soot and carbon dioxide emissions. Here's an exerpt from the Chicago Clean Power website:

The Chicago Clean Power Ordinance is one of the first of its kind and will protect public health, promot clean energy and help Chicago live up to its pledge to be the greenest city in America.

You have an opportunity to show your support for this ordinance by attending the press conference on April 13th held by 49th ward alderman Joe Moore. Stop by the 2nd floor of city hall at 10 PM and let the politicians know that all Chicago residents have a right to breathe clean air.

Last but not least, this link to an article in the Southtown Star came to my inbox from one of the SETF board members. You should check it out before tossing that outdated cell phone or broken ipod.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

It's April 1st, but are we fools?

During the month of April (and a little bit of May), the Task Force holds its spring membership drive. Our goal this year is $11,750. On our blog (and website) you'll find a bird feeder, which as of today is rather empty. So empty, in fact, that there are no birds at the feeder. Over the coming weeks, we hope to "fill the feeder" and attract some birds. An individual membership is $25, and you can read our appeal letter for more information about what we are planning for 2010.

But if you're wondering if supporting the Task Force is necessary, consider the following excerpt from Amendment 1 of House Bill 1470:

"Renewable energy resources" includes energy and its associated renewable energy credit or renewable energy credits from wind, solar thermal energy, photovoltaic cells and panels, biodiesel, crops and untreated and unadulterated organic waste biomass, trees and tree trimmings, hydropower that does not involve new construction or significant expansion of hydropower dams, incineration or burning of tires, and other alternative sources of environmentally preferable energy.

Passage of this bill would allow Geneva Energy, one of two tire incinerators in the country, to earn valuable green energy credits for generating large amounts of toxic air pollution. For years, Chicago's South Side has struggled with developing economically viable communities that are also healthy living areas. Many of the communities in the south side are predominantly minority and low income. Ford Heights, where the Geneva Energy plant resides, is no exception.

SETF works to empower residents in their fight for environmental justice. We hold workshops for residents to learn about environmental issues. Our Good Neighbor Dialogs bring residential concerns to local businesses and encourage industrial partners to strive for ever greener practices. Our Watchdog program keeps an eye out for environmentally unfriendly activities and teaches residents how they can report suspicious activity.

Speaking of suspicious, here's more of HB1470:

"Renewable energy resources" does not include the incineration or burning of garbage, general household, institutional, and commercial waste, industrial lunchroom or office waste, landscape waste other than trees and tree trimmings, railroad crossties, utility poles, or construction or demolition debris, ..."

Does it make sense to you that tires are not on this list? Why not share your opinion with your representative. If you think this legislative foolishness is disturbing, you are not alone. Post a comment if you have other useful information about tire burning or HB1470.

Please consider supporting the Task Force. Thanks for reading.