Saturday, December 31, 2016

Free Spirit Yoga and Great Intentions Setting on Monday, January 9, 2017. :) You Are Invited!

Happy New Year y'all. May we be blessed in this coming year with an instantaneous shift towards our REGENERATIVE FUTURE NOW! Not simply Sustainability, but Regeneration! The next meeting of Sustainable/Regenerative Monroeville (name change budding:) will be on Monday evening, January 9, 2017 in the downstairs program room of the Monroeville Public Library at 7:00 PM. We'll be welcoming in the New Year with a Regeneration of the Spirit Yoga Gathering and Regenerative Intentions Session that we'll all participate in facilitated by the founder of Regenerative Monroeville, Elisa Beck. Free and Open to all...Donations graciously accepted to be donated to a charity of our choice :) 
Wear loose comfortable clothing, and bring along a Yoga Mat if you'd like to join us on the floor! :)

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Our Regenerative Future Musings, Thanks, and Happy December y'all! :)

Hello there and Happy December from all of us at Sustainable Monroeville! Sustainable Monroeville meets the first Monday evening of the month in the downstairs program room of the Monroeville Public Library. Be sure to check this blog regarding specific meeting dates. Meetings are free and open to the public.

We are excited as we move farther into the 2000's. Happy 2017 everybody! This will be a year of Collaboration and Action. A year of knowing we are going to create this New Economy and New Earth with one another. How exciting! Thanks and Blessings to Lois Drumheller, former Monroeville Councilwoman who hatched the Monroeville Food Garden a number of years ago that supplied 500 pounds of fresh produce to four local food banks for three years. Thanks to Jeff Newman and Elizabeth Lynch for consulting on the design of the garden. Thanks again to Lois Drumheller for turning the garden for the past few years into a pollinator garden for birds, bees, butterflies and beyond, knowing the vegetable garden can come back any season once we have a few more volunteers lined up. How about it Mr. Pottinger at Gateway High School?! Thanks to all of the wonderful volunteers and speakers that have graced us with your presence over the past seven years. Thanks to Pam Barroso for working on the Monroeville  Certified Sustainable Community piece. We still have a long way to go on that one, so if you or anyone you know is interested in spearheading that effort, we will be grateful! Contact us at

Thanks to all of you who attended our December 2016 meeting. The whole food plant based pot luck dinner was absolutely delicious! Thanks Adam Tuznik of Clean Water Action for educating us about all of the projects Clean Water Action is involved in and about the issues occurring in Potter Township, Beaver County, PA one half hour north of Pittsburgh, PA and sharing the same AIRSHED as Pittsburgh regarding the proposed Shell Oil Petrochemical "Cracker" Plant. Comments regarding this project and the AIR and WATER permits can be made until December 26 and submitted to Nora Alwine, the Social Justice Coordinator at the PA DEP office in Homestead. Go to the Clean Water Action web site for submission details.

We continue to embrace these challenging times as a gift from the universe. There can be dissonance as with paradigm shifting and change comes shifting energy.
Some observations about technologies from the 1900's that seem to be lingering....On a recent visit to Beaver County, PA about seven miles from the proposed Cracker site also along the Ohio River we came upon the Shippingport Community Park just across the street from stacks from one of the chemical plants and the cooling towers of the Shippingport Nuclear Power Plant.

This playground is adjacent or perhaps part of the Shippingport Community Park. The playground has a CLOSED sign on the very tall fence surrounding it. We wonder why this playground is closed? Could it be that the area is too toxic for children to play in the smokey clouds of two chemical plants and a nuclear power plant?

The image on the sign of the Shippingport Community Park includes the nuclear power plant cooling tower in the scene. The playground on this site is closed. We wonder why?

The view from the park entrance.

When is the last time you took a field trip? I've been told we've probably taken enough field trips to Potter township this past month, yet I feel deep in my heart and soul, we are just beginning to get to know our northern neighbors. Take a look at the website to learn about what is going on with the PA DEP regarding the Marcellus Shale Industry and water pollution in our area in Western Pennsylvania. Two investigative reporters analyzed complaints that have come in to the DEP since 2010 and their observations have been eye opening to say the least.  Take a look at the PA DEP web site and look at the documents Shell Oil has submitted to the PA DEP for approval. Beware, you may be astounded. I certainly was even after spending three days and many hours in hearings and field trips to Potter Township this past month. The old paradigm corridor in Beaver Township must be a thing of the past. Moving into the Regenerative Restorative future, let's work together to forge, to reacquaint ourselves with Panchamama, Mother Earth. We are a part of nature, no longer apart from nature.

As we move into 2017, may we all be blessed with abundant health and wellness and the ability to understand that for the near future we must all be detoxifying our inner ecosystems on a daily basis as our outer ecosystem here in Western PA, aka the "environment" is way more polluted than we realize. Here in Western PA, some types of Air and Water pollution have been reduced, but there is so much more to do. So, the addition of another polluting plant, the one being PROPOSED by Royal Dutch Shell, one that would be the largest in North America, is not part of the Regenerative, Restorative equation.

May we all have the intestinal fortitude to feel all we are grateful for deeply and to work together as we move into 2017 :)

Blessings and More Blessings,

Elisa Beck :)
Sustainable Monroeville, Founder
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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

PROPOSED Shell Oil Cracker Plant DEP Permit Hearing Meeting: December 15, 2016 PA DEP meeting and So Many Thanks!

We are so blessed to live in Western PA. The landscape of our region is naturally beautiful. We enjoy the benefits of a city with the charm of many, many small towns and friendly people in and surrounding Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. We are blessed. My family is blessed. We are healthy, vital and all participate fully in life!

Within our blessings there is some dissonance. Perhaps I notice this dissonance a bit more, as I am not a Western PA native. I was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland, a suburb of the D.C. area. I've lived in Western PA for my whole married life, that's 26 years. I've chosen to let loose and talk about what I've been feeling. Juxtaposed with the beauty within us and surrounding us is a veil. Just below the veil sits not only a legacy of raped land and waters and surely raped people. That legacy has not ended. It is happening in the present moment and is real right now. It is still happening today and we are all to some degree unknowing participants. We sit and stand in the same room as others disassociated from our fellow human beings while focussing on our electronic devices. We forget about the beauty and necessity of simply BEING in the landscape, the great outdoors and we stay inside for most of our days. We are addicted to oil and gas. We drive our cars, fly in planes, wear plastic vegan shoes and clothing, eat meat, chicken, fish, and dairy foods. We poop and pee into a piped system that was designed a long time ago and does not work. It carries what leaves our bodies away, away into the rivers. What is away anyway? We're about to support a billions of dollars new "pipe" system to comply with a consent decree that makes no sense in our new world.

Our new world? What do you mean by that? We are living at this moment in time at the end of a 26,000 year cycle. The end of the Mayan calendar and the end of many eras according to many spiritual and religious traditions. We have the opportunity right NOW to shift our awareness and consciousness in ways that were not possible at other times in history or herstory.

We have the opportunity to change the story to one of complete gratitude, peace, and abundance. The opportunity to repair the world beginning with ourselves, our own inner ecosystems and working outward into our landscape. Some of us are BEING the CHANGE we with to see in this world NOW!
How? Glad you asked!

We are beginning to connect the dots in the Pittsburgh region. Those of us who have been working under the radar, away from what some could consider 'real' jobs, outside of the institutions of health care, education and government, those of us who have been working on Transition Town (check out Rob Hopkins and the Transition Town Movement he spearheaded in Totnes, England in 2005, perhaps the white man and women's version of re-discovering all of our indigenous roots?!:) projects are arriving. A few of these projects I have been directly facilitating. Two example projects are Sustainable Monroeville ( and the Schwartz Living Market ( out of which has just hatched the For One Peace Artist Cooperative) process. These Transition Town, Regenerative, Independent processes along with other processes in the area after about six years have reached critical mass and are bearing fruit. Greg Boulos and his wife's Blackberry Meadows Farm are producing fresh Community Supported Agriculture for community and teaching people how to grow their own food. Mark Dixon of fame has been active in numerous projects in the region including creating a film for Rachel Carson's 50th Anniversary last year with Mayor of Forest Hills' Patricia de Marco. Jeff Newman has started a cooperative called Steel City Soils in Braddock, PA and is demonstrating how organic produce can be turned into the best black gold there is on the planet! Kate O'Brien is showing how that black gold compost is used on a private Mckeesrocks, PA household lawn to grow some of the largest and most productive gardens including the most enormous sunflowers I ever did see! Maren Cooke's monthly Sustainability Salons just keep getting better and better and are educating more and more people about our Regenerative Future. Many more examples are exploding all around the Pittsburgh region!

And we are figuring out as a culture how to move beyond our addictions and heal from the inside out.  As a neurodevelopmental optometrist specializing in optometric vision therapy, I understand deeply what is transpiring and what is possible with the WILL of our Human Spirit, and I am super excited about this moment in time as we are lifting the veil of dis-ease and morphing ourselves and the planet into the EDEN our planet is!

What is the secret? Positivity! Centering in our hearts, taking care of ourselves in ways we used to think were selfish, and sharing all we can with others all the time. That's it. That simple. That profound!

And now the deep, deep thanks for what is happening now to those that continue in the trenches for the short term. We'll shift now to work with one another on a major issue in this Western PA region. A situation that is about to transform our region into a true REGENERATIVE town!

Thank You Matt Mehalik, formerly of Sustainable Pittsburgh for organizing the meeting in Beaver County PA on Thursday evening, December 1, 2016 regarding the PROPOSED Shell Oil "Cracker" Plant where 150 concerned citizens met in Beaver County to hear many amazing speakers and see a documentary on how this type of plant affects community.  Two amazing women spoke from their hearts about Cancer Alley, Louisiana where there is a "Cracker" Plant.  We learned that this Cracker Plant proposal for Beaver county, PA is NOT a done deal. In other words, this plant does NOT need to be constructed and may not be constructed even as Shell Oil acts as if the installation of this plant is inevitable. We learned that what the industry tells us is not the truth. We also heard some of the facts from Clean Water Action's Adam Tuznik. Thank You! Go to to the PA tab for updates on Actions.

 Thank you Nora Alwine of the PA Department of Environmental Protection for answering a few questions related to the proposed Shell Oil Ethane "Cracker" Plant one half hour north of Pittsburgh, PA in Beaver County, Potter Township at the intersection of Routes 376 and 18. Thanks for being available for questions at 412-442-4137 or Thanks for providing the contact information for both the Water and Air Permit reviewers for this proposed site. The Water Permit Reviewer is Ryan Decker,, 412-442-4144. The Air Permit Reviewer is Alan Binder, 412-442-4168

One or more permits have been issued and Shell Oil is now going for an amendment to the current permit which will allow them to construct the Cracker Plant on the designated site in Potter. It is VERY IMPORTANT that ALL of us (yes that means YOU as you are reading this article!! :) attend the DEP of PA Hearing on this issue Thursday, December 15, 2016. SAVE the time between 5:00 PM and 9:00 PM that evening, register with Nora Alwine of the DEP (see contact information above) if you'd like to speak for three minutes, and let's carpool to Beaver County together! Following the meeting on December 15, 2016, there will be a comment period open until December 26, 2016. Yes, right smack in the middle of holiday season!

There is an extensive fact sheet on the PA web site. Follow this trail to get there:
1) Go to the web site 2) On the front page of the site, click on Regional Resources 3) Scroll down and click on Southwest Regional 4) Scroll again and click on Community Information 5) Scroll again and click on Shell and you'll see the extensive FACT SHEET describing what Shell Oil is asking for.

Now I will share much of what I plan to say in my testimony at this upcoming DEP Hearing:

Hello Community members and Shell Oil Company members. Thanks for the opportunity to speak to you for a few minutes this evening. I am feeling so blessed that the opportunity has arisen for so much of the community to come together and unify around our Regenerative Future which is NOW! I am feeling so much compassion for all of us and feeling gratefulness to be standing before you. I know how lucky and blessed I am. I juice each and every morning for myself and for my family. It's our morning detox. As we go inside and detoxify our inner ecosystems, our brains and hearts become clearer and we start to understand. I understand why spirit has guided us to visit Beaver, the site of this proposed Shell Cracker plant. The paradigm shift from 1957 when the Shippensport Nuclear Power Plant was installed a few miles up the Ohio River from this former Zinc Smelter Plant Site (that still carries the toxic load of Mercury and Lead) was the Extractive Paradigm. That it's OK to take from (a.k.a. RAPE) the Earth, our Mother, our Mother Earth, and give nothing in return.

As 2016 comes to a close, many of us are waking up in a new reality. At this moment, at this time, we understand Mother Earth, our Mother, is exhausted from being raped so brutally and so consistently. She is ready for deep, deep compassion and deep recovery. All of us are!
Shell Oil executives and workers who have so carefully prepared the infrastructure for this proposed   plant. Thank You! Mother Earth has a Regenerative, Rejeuvenative proposal for you. Employ yourselves and your workers in the Regenerative, Rejeuvenative business of the NEW EARTH. Give back more than you take. Double the number of workers to 12,000 people who will be permanently employed at the site of this former Zinc Smelter Plant.  Replace the Cracker Plant plans with a REGENERATIVE Plant that will produce energy in a REGENERATIVE WAY and restore the Earth in its operation. Build a LIVING BUILDING CHALLENGE Campus on that 400 acre site. Use all of the locals who have built or are registered to build Living Buildings in Pittsburgh such as The Center for Sustainable Living and the SEED classroom at Phipps Conservatory, the Frick Environmental Center and The Schwartz Living Market as resources in the Pittsburgh region. Teach your workers Permaculture, teach them how to take care of themselves from the inside out. Teach them both inner ecosystem cleansing, outer ecosystem (air, water, spirit, emotional clarity) cleansing and then maintenance to show the planet how one of the most toxic places on Planet Earth can not only be restored to its original beautifully magnificent self, but can exceed everyone's wildest expectations and become the EDEN inside and out that we were all meant to be in amazing cooperative, collaborative  and regenerative community. Thank you Shell Oil for giving us this opportunity for paradigm shifting just upstream from the POINT~ the sacred union of the Four Rivers in Pittsburgh, PA. So many of us are so very excited! May we all be blessed as we work together as ONE!~:)

Monday, December 5, 2016

Adam Tuznik of Clean Water Action and IMPORTANT Action items this week and next week!

Happy December !

What does our Regenerative Future look like? What is a Tessla-Style Positive Energy Plant anyway? There's one in Russia that will take care of all of the energy needs of that country should the grid there go down.... So you say? What does that energy plant look like, and what does it do? How do we facilitate one of those Tessla`style plants in this Pittsburgh region on a site being prepared right now in Beaver County so we bring the Western PA region into the new moment of our REGENERATIVE FUTURE NOW as an incredible leader!
Donald Trump spoke with Al Gore for close to 90 minutes today and they talked about Climate Change! Hmmm. Did Al let Donald know how monetarily profitable, how gratifying, how unifying, how simply AMAZING the Regenerative Future will be for all of us? What is this new story you're telling me? It seems so different from what I am used to...How do I integrate all of it?

Try this for three minutes:
1) Connect with your heart. Go inside yourself. Connect with your heart in a way you feel comfortable with. Touch your heart with your hand, put your hands in prayer in front of your heart, or simply put your hands wherever you'd like and think of your heart.
2) Close your eyes. Slow your breath. Five seconds for an in breath and five seconds for an out breath. Three cycles of this breathing series...
3) BE compassion, gratitude, thankfulness. Count your blessings.

Adam Tuznik spoke with us tonight at our December 2016, Sustainable Monroeville meeting about Clean Water Action's initiatives including discussion about The Clean Water Rule, The "Clean" Power Plant, and the victory closing the Shenango Coke Works Plant. He mentioned the combined sewerage overflow issue and the Consent Decree...We asked about including composting toilets in the discussion of Permaculture planning to reverse the sewerage overflow issue.... Tough subject during a pot luck dinner! We missed Mya Zeronis and wonder where she is. We hope she is doing well... We talked about the importance of eating lower on the food chain as an action towards lessening our footprint on Mother Earth. We modeled taking care of ourselves by sharing a delicious whole food, plant based vegan meal together.


Mark your calendar to take a trip to Potter Township in Beaver County on the following dates: December 7, 2016 at 5:30 PM for the Press Conference regarding the proposed Shell Oil Cracker Plant. Location: Potter County Municipal Building
December 13, 2016 at 3:00 PM for the final hearing and likely vote on land use issues for the proposed Shell Oil Cracker Plant. Location: Potter County Municipal Building
December 15, 2016 from 5:00 to 8:00 PM for a Public Hearing about the Shell Oil Cracker Plant. Register to speak at this public hearing with Ms. Alwine at 412-442-4137. Location: Central Valley High School, 160 Baker road, Monaca, PA15061
December 17, 2016 at 10:00 AM to visit the site at the intersection of routes 376 and 18 one half hour north of Pittsburgh, PA to carry water protector and air protector signs outside the fence line of the proposed Shell Oil Cracker Plant site and to raise awareness in the area about REGENERATIVE ENERGY alternative ideas for this site that Shell Oil will be able to implement for the protection of our entire Pittsburgh region and to create a power of 10 more jobs than those that will be created by the proposed Cracker Plant!

 Send a letter to John Weinstein, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Alcosan expressing your concern that not enough Regenerative Ideas are being included yet in the solution to the consent decree.

Learn about the Louisiana Bucket Brigade and how we can DIVEST from fossil fuels and INVEST in our REGENERATIVE FUTURE!

Many Blessings for our REGENERATIVE and Restorative FUTURE that is NOW!:)

Elisa Beck :)