Important Updates on Campaign to Stop NJ Transit’s Power Plant

Our campaign to stop the NJ TRANSIT fracked gas power plant and win a renewable rail alternative is building momentum.

This week, Union City, West New York, and Weehawken all passed resolutions in opposition to the NJ TRANSIT power plant! Six of twelve Hudson County towns have now passed resolutions, bringing our total to 13 resolutions! Our power is growing, especially in the areas that will face some of the worst effects from this pollution nightmare.

We’ve also been busy meeting with our state legislators and generating hundreds of emails and phone calls into their offices.  And after so many of us spoke out at NJ TRANSIT’s virtual board meetings over the past several months, including a fiery exchange of questions from Paula, Logan and Bill at their most recent September meeting, NJ Transit finally agreed to set up a meeting with our coalition!

Our campaign is working, but now is the time to turn the pressure up and defeat this project for good! Will you sign up to take on a volunteer shift with Don’t Gas the Meadowlands? Sign up here: http://bit.ly/DGTMVolunteer

It’s critical that we continue to engage residents around the proposed power plant site to grow our base of support and to pressure the representatives from these frontline communities to join us in publicly opposing the power plant. 

On Monday Governor Murphy signed landmark environmental justice legislation that will help keep new polluting projects out of overburdened communities.  Since this law will not go into effect for another 12-24 months, we must hold Governor Murphy accountable to his commitments to end environmental racism and fight climate catastrophe by stopping the NJ Transit Power Plant and investing our taxpayer money into a renewable energy alternative for public transit resiliency.

As we continue to see worsening effects of climate change throughout our country and world, it is imperative that we continue to pressure Governor Murphy to end fossil fuel expansion projects and make NJ a leader in moving quickly to a renewable energy future. We hope you can join us this Saturday in Red Bank or virtually from your home as we call on the Governor to enact a moratorium on all fossil fuel projects in our state.

Please visit http://bit.ly/paddle4futureNJ to learn more and to RSVP for Saturday’s Rally and Paddle for our Future!

Our movement is growing, and together we will win! But it’s critical that we keep up the pressure. Can you sign up to volunteer with Don’t Gas the Meadowlands? 

Upcycling Food Waste Can Make a Difference—And These 12 Organizations Prove It #FoodTank

To begin this newsletter, I want to make sure that everyone reading this in the United States has information about how to register to vote and how to request a mail-in ballot. No matter your political affiliation, voting is not just a right, but a responsibility. For more information, you can visit vote.gov and vote.org. For resources on voting by mail, visit the U.S. Vote Foundation or the Election Management Resources from the U.S. Election Assistance Committee.

The upcoming U.S. election is critical because the urgency of the issues we face is greater than ever before. More than two dozen scientists agree that “climate disruption is now locked in.” The wildfires on the West Coast, stronger slow-moving hurricanes along the Gulf, and record heatwaves are a harbinger of what’s to come.

Our food production and consumption practices need to change in response. In the U.S. alone, emissions from food waste are equivalent to 37 million cars’ worth of greenhouse gases, according to the World Wildlife Fund. Instead of continuing this cycle of production and destruction, we have to think about wasting less and using our food resources more efficiently to help keep our planet healthy.

This is the idea behind upcycling food—taking quality ingredients that would otherwise be wasted and turning them into nutritious and ecologically friendly snacks, beverages, and meals. The food wasted in a year contains enough calories to feed every undernourished person on Earth, according to the WWF. Upcycling is a realistic way to help bridge that gap, which is why the recently formed Upcycled Food Association has brought together over 90 upcycling brands to advocate for standards and policies that can help reduce food waste.

In honor of International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste next Tuesday, Sept. 29, Food Tank is spotlighting 12 companies and nonprofits giving a second life to wasted food through upcycling: Aqua Botanical, Australia; KROMKOMMER, The Netherlands; Matriark Foods, United States; NETZRO, United States; Pure Plus+, United States; RISE + WIN Brewing Co., Japan; Rubies in the Rubble, United Kingdom; Sweet Benin, West Africa; Toast Ale, United Kingdom; Treasure8, United States; Upcycled Grain Project, New Zealand; and Wize Monkey, Canada.

Learn more about each of these organizations—and where you can find their products—by CLICKING HERE.
Over the past week, I’ve been watching with horror as farmworkers on the U.S. West Coast face a seemingly impossible choice: go to work during a global pandemic with wildfires raging perilously close, or stay home safe without pay. The wildfires are just one more threat to workers’ well-being—and like this particularly devastating Atlantic hurricane season and the Australian bush fires late last year and into 2020, they are made worse by climate change.

I am sharing this article via FoodTank.com, and it was written by Danielle Nierenberg.

PBS KIDS Talk About: Race and Racism

“PBS KIDS Talk About: Race and Racism,” premieres on October 9. The half-hour program will feature candid and authentic conversations between kids and their parents about race and racial justice-related topics in an age-appropriate way and offer viewers ideas to build on as they continue these important conversations at home. The special will be hosted by Amanda Gorman, the writer, activist and first-ever Youth Poet Laureate of the U.S. 

As Gorman shares in the show, when something is confusing or uncomfortable, she likes to talk about it. Growing up, she would participate in daily family meetings, where the kids got to pick any topic they wanted to discuss, whatever was on their minds. It is that same spirit that moved Gorman, whose poetry often discusses race, to become involved in the timely production.

In addition to the frank, up-to-the-minute conversations on the subject, “PBS KIDS Talk About: Race and Racism” will include relevant content from the popular PBS KIDS series Daniel Tiger’s NeighborhoodArthur and Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum. Just following the special will be the premiere of a brand-new episode of the animated PBS KIDS series, Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum, featuring Harriet Tubman as well as an Arthur short created “in memory of civil rights legend John Lewis,” as noted on-screen.

PBS KIDS announced a new special, “PBS KIDS Talk About: Race and Racism,” premiering October 9. The half-hour program will feature authentic conversations between real children and their parents, and will include content from PBS KIDS series DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOODARTHUR and XAVIER RIDDLE AND THE SECRET MUSEUM. The show will feature kids and their parents talking about race and racial justice-related topics in an age-appropriate way, such as noticing differences in race, understanding what racism can look like, and embracing the role we all have to play in standing up for ourselves and each other — offering viewers ideas to build on as they continue these important conversations at home.

The special will debut as part of PBS KIDS Family Night on the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel, and will also be available on PBS stations nationwide (check local listings), and streaming on pbskids.org, the PBS KIDS Video app and on PBS KIDS’ FacebookYouTube, and Instagram.

“PBS KIDS believes kids are capable of understanding and talking through tough, but important issues with the adults in their lives – something that has been core to our mission for the last 50 years,” said Lesli Rotenberg, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, Children’s Media and Education, PBS. “Through the PBS KIDS Talk About: Race and Racism special, our goal is to support parents in talking with their children about race, anti-Black racism in our country, and how to be actively anti-racist. Parents have increasingly asked us for these resources, and we hope that this special will provide a helpful starting point in whatever way they choose to have these conversations with their children.”

PBS KIDS Talk About,” previously an online-only video series, models authentic and practical parent-child conversations that reflect PBS KIDS’ core values of kindness and curiosity, and has included real families addressing topics such as feelings and emotions, relationships and family, curiosity and wonder, bravery and courage, and self-confidence and determination.

To support this new offering, PBS KIDS provides a variety of resources to help parents talk to young children about race and racism. This resource hub on PBS KIDS for Parents includes articles, a webinar, booklists, links to programming, and more tips and resources to help parents have meaningful conversations with young children about race, racism, and being anti-racist.

Produced by Crossroads Productions for PBS, the special was developed in consultation with Dr. Aisha White (Director, The P.R.I.D.E Program (Positive Racial Identity Development in Early Education)), Dr. Renée Wilson-Simmons (Executive Director, ACE (Adverse Childhood Experience) Awareness Foundation), and Dr. Dana Winters (Director of Simple Interactions and Academic Programs; Assistant Professor of Child and Family Studies, Fred Rogers Center). The “PBS KIDS Talk About” series and the “PBS KIDS Talk About: Race and Racism” special were created with major funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Happy World Gorilla Day

I wanted to share this information and link from explore.org since today is World Gorilla Day.

Celebrate gorillas today with the rescuers at GRACE! At 2 pm PT, GRACE hosts a virtual gorilla party so you can hear the staff’s favorite gorilla stories and the latest conservation news. Sign up for the event at this link.

The Grauer’s gorillas are viewable live on the Forest Corridor Cam until 7 am PT, so be sure to check in there too, and don’t forget to add some snapshots to your gallery.

The new COVID-19 bill

Shared via Children’s Defense Fund-

Late last night, the Senate passed a $2 trillion COVID-19 relief package that represents an important step toward helping to meet the needs of children and families, the health care system, and states incurring huge new costs in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The package includes many provisions which will begin to help ease the burdens of this crisis for millions of children and families across the country, including:

  • Putting money directly in the hands of low- and middle-income earners with one time cash payments of $1,200 per adult and $500 per child
  • Supporting families facing housing insecurity with grants for homelessness assistance, an increase in funding to support low-income renters, and protections against foreclosures and evictions
  • Providing temporary shelter and services to youth experiencing homelessness
  • Making sure that as this crisis continues and more families qualify for food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), they can access it
  • Providing child care assistance to essential personnel responding to the COVID-19 outbreak in communities and some assistance to other child care providers impacted by the crisis
  • Supporting local school systems and higher education institutions so that they can continue to provide high-quality education for their students
  • Safeguarding children by extending services to prevent maltreatment and assist victims of family violence
  • Extending the benefits of unemployment insurance for those whose jobs have been impacted

Shutting off water during a pandemic?

Currently, people across the country are not able to wash their hands because their water service is turned off.

This is horrifying, especially during this critical time when the most widely endorsed strategy to prevent or manage the coronavirus (COVID-19) is to wash our hands frequently.

The pandemic is making it all the more clear: water access is critical for public health. We all deserve access to water in order to be able to keep ourselves and our communities safe.

Join us now in urging Congress to support a nationwide moratorium on water shutoffs amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In 2018, our research found that an estimated 15 million people in the United States experienced a water shutoff in one year due to nonpayment of water bills.¹

Shutoffs occur primarily in communities of color with higher poverty levels and low-income communities. Households that were shut off are now struggling to prevent the rampant spread of the coronavirus, as well as prevent their own families from becoming sick, because they don’t have running water to wash their hands.

But we’re working to change this. So far, more than 100 cities across the country have stopped water shutoffs, including New Orleans, Jacksonville, Detroit and Columbia.

This is a growing movement, but we need more cities across the country on board, and we need our federal government to step up and ensure that everyone’s access to water is protected. In the midst of a global pandemic like the coronavirus, it’s time to guarantee access to clean and affordable water for all.

Send your message now: Demand the federal government enact a national moratorium on water shutoffs, with immediate service restoration across the country.

via ​​​​​​
Mary Grant
Public Water For All Campaign Director
Food & Water Action and Food & Water Watch

New England Aquarium offering virtual programming during temporary closures

With students across New England home from school amid closures related to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, the New England Aquarium is offering special virtual programming to keep families engaged.

Each day at 11:00 a.m., content will be posted on the Aquarium’s social media platforms that includes live videos with educators, a behind-the-scenes look at animal care, and fun activities for children. Online visitors will also find a special webpage on neaq.org to take a “virtual visit” to the Aquarium, featuring video, at-home projects, and other educational resources. This page will be updated regularly with fresh material.

Last week, the Aquarium made the decision to close to the public and suspend all events and educational programming for a minimum of three weeks as a precautionary move to protect staff and visitors and ensure continued care for the animals. Much of the special programming available online will focus on the important work still happening at the Aquarium amid the closure.

“Even though our doors are closed to the public, a limited number of Aquarium staff are onsite daily caring for and supporting our nearly 20,000 animals,” said Vikki N. Spruill, President and CEO. “Engaging and inspiring the public about the wonders of our blue planet is central to our mission. We are delighted to be able to provide an educational outlet for families and their students who are losing valuable time in the classroom.”

The New England Aquarium has a long-standing tradition of supporting education outside its walls. That includes homeschool program offerings, classroom resources for teachers, and educational tools for parents.

The public can find special features and projects on:

NEAQ.org

Facebook – @NewEnglandAquarium

Twitter – @NEAQ

Instagram – @newenglandaquarium

The Newark Museum of Art to Close Temporarily Starting March 14th

n the interest of protecting the well-being of our staff, members, volunteers, and visitors, and following guidance from local, state and federal authorities regarding measures that best promote public health, we have decided to temporarily close The Newark Museum of Art beginning on Saturday, March 14th. We will reopen on Thursday, April 16th. 

The Newark Museum of Art’s top priority is the safety and peace of mind for our members, visitors, staff and partners. Each decision we make during this challenge starts with us asking what is best for our visitors and staff. Lastly, we want you to know we are carefully monitoring the situation and will provide any new updates as quickly as possible. For additional questions about the virus, we suggest accessing the CDC website for the most reliable information.

We look forward to welcoming you back to the Museum soon.