Friday, September 29, 2017

Call for Volunteers and Save the Dates!!

Hello, and Happy Beautiful Fall!

We need YOU whether or not you live in Monroeville, PA! We will reciprocate with other communities as it's time to come together and work together for Clean Air and Fresh Water for all of us. We share the same Airsheds and Watersheds, all of US!

We need callers to remind folks about the Sustainable Monroeville meeting this coming Monday, October 2, 2017 at 7:00 PM at the Monroeville Public Library; the Citizen's Night meeting this coming Thursday, October 5, 2017, at 7:00 PM at the Monroeville Municipal building, and for the Council meeting on Tuesday, October 10, 2017, at 7:00 PM where Monroeville council will be voting on amending the existing Oil and Gas Zoning Code to limit FRACKING to industrial zones in Monroeville, PA.
If you are available to make calls for one hour, or many hours, please contact Doug Shields of Food and Water Watch at 

See the incredible exhibit called Petrochemical America at the SPACE Gallery in Pittsburgh, PA. It's there at SPACE through October 7, 2017. We do NOT want Monroeville, or the whole state of PA for that matter, allowing gas flares spewing pollution into our lungs anymore...


Monday, November 6, 2017 at 7:00 PM for the next Sustainable Monroeville meeting with Heather Harr of the League of Women Voters and also a speaker from the Environmental Health Project with open discussion.

Thursday, November 8, 2017 at 7;00 PM for Citizen's Night
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 7:00 PM for Council Meeting

Monday, November 13, 2017 for the FREE Shale & Public Health Education Day in Pittsburgh, PA, sponsored by the League of Women Voters. Registration is open!

Blessings for our Regenerative Future NOW! Elisa Beck:)

Like Sustainable Monroeville on Facebook!

This is NOT normal Western Pennsylvanians!

September 29, 2017
Erev Yom Kippur

Profound statement #1:

Let’s honor all who have served and are serving in the League of Women Voters. I was exposed to the League as a little girl when I went with my Mom to stuff envelopes…. Those were the good old days!
As the person coordinating Sustainable Monroeville events, I was invited to be part of a conference call today, Friday, September 29, 2017, for plans and updates leading up to the upcoming League of Women Voters Shale and Public Health Conference scheduled for Monday, November 13, 2017. SAVE THE DATE for this Day Long FREE conference that is NOT to be missed. Registration is OPEN. Under the leadership of Heather Harr, the work of the League of Women Voters in Western, PA, is fantastic! I honor all of the women and the one man, Don, on the call, for their amazing work as we move into our Regenerative Economy NOW!
Profound Statement # 2:
Visit the important Petrochemical America exhibit at SPACE Gallery in Pittsburgh, PA, running through October 7, 2017. Send your friends and family there too! If you think you really understand what is going on with the Shale Play in Western, PA, think again…
Profound Statements #3:
Using the Transition Town model of Rob Hopkins, based in the concepts of Permaculture (There’s many Transition Town books by Rob Hopkins, of Totnes, England), we are moving into this new way of being in abundance, with the knowingness that the Earth is abundant, and she will provide for us.  Google Transition US and See the Transition Town Pgh Facebook page. There are LOTS of Transition Town projects going on all over Western PA. Sustainable Monroeville is a Transition Town process!
Profound Statement #4:
All we need to do is change our minds.  What do I mean by this? Well, I have been working in the area of our Regenerative economy for over a decade, and perhaps from the day I was born, or even before that, who knows?  I am not originally from Western, PA.  I was born in Washington D.C., and grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland. I’ve lived in Western, PA, for my whole married life, twenty-seven years next month. I realized about a month ago something about the impact the extractive industries have had on hearts and souls of those who have lived, raised their families, worked, and played in Western, PA, for generations.  The social, emotional, physical and spiritual effects of being in an area for 150 years that has been, and continues to be, LOADED with both Air and Water pollution has been profound.
Profound Statements #5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and more!
Smelly air, and water we cannot drink from any of the rivers, is NOT normal.  Childhood Asthma rates, Cancer rates, Congestive Heart Failure Rates and Neurological defects and Dis-ease rates through the ROOF are NOT normal. The rates of Attention Deficit Disorder to Autism around all of the uncapped Coal fired Power Plants spewing lead, mercury and who knows what else on our heads and for use to breathe in and drink in our water is NOT normal.
This is NOT normal Western Pennsylvanians!
I realized about a month ago that for people who have grown up around here, in Western, PA, smelly air seems normal to them, because it’s always been, in their memories that way.  Connecting to municipal water systems with the mythology thinking this water will be safe since their water wells have been contaminated, is NOT o.k. As the City of Pittsburgh is grappling with the lead issue in their municipal water system, what about the levels of Cadmium in the water? Has anyone looked at Cadmium levels? Well that Zinc Smelter plant that sat on the property where the still proposed Shell Oil Petrochemical Plant is planned for in Potter Township in Beaver, PA, that Zinc Smelter plant produced Cadmium too, to coat the water pipes that were installed all around Pittsburgh, and all around the U.S.A. perhaps a century ago….Somehow, those lead pipes must be putting Cadmium into the water supply of Pittsburgh…or perhaps the whole country? Is anybody looking at that, Yet?
I smelled exhaust growing up in a suburb of Washington D.C. in the 1960’s until emission control laws were put into place.  I did not smell stinky air at any other time, other than when I was in a car with the windows open. I smelled fresh air. The flowers blooming in the spring and summer. The smell of falling leaves in the fall. O.k., the smell of burning wood in fireplaces, on occasion, too. I now know that’s not such a great thing either… When I went camping in the Great Smoky Mountains in the early 1980’s, we drank water from the streams. We bent down, cupped our hands, and drank, and I’m here to write about it!
Here in Western, PA, the native immigrants have become acculturated to smelly air and polluted water. It is not alarming to some that Acid Mine drainage rust colored water flows through our streams to this day. What? Please know it is time NOW to continue to correct this situation. From abundance thinking. From the knowingness that The More Beautiful World We ALL know in our Hearts is Possible, (Charles Eisenstein) is here NOW! We must simply change our minds. It’s a simple thing to do, though it does take courage. Let go of fear, and let’s get busy, together, in community, implementing our new Permaculture edible perennial landscapes on our front yards, back yards, side yards, our vacant lots, apartment house roofs, the roofs of our malls, and all of our buildings, in our highway median strips too! We will see the beauty manifesting in front of our very eyes in a very short time frame. In two to three years, a beautiful Permaculture landscape can come to fruition. Using perennials, plants that come up from the ground year after year, without needing to replant, is a blessing. There is some work involved in the first year or two, but then the work- load goes way down and the landscape becomes self- sustaining, just as nature herself. The idea of working along with nature and giving back more than we take, is what life has always been about, until this Western culture became carried away with the extractive culture of violence and rape. The deep Marcellus Shale play is the Pinnacle of the vile and violent culture of Rape. We cannot continue raping the earth, injecting deeply back into her with our even more toxic extraction products including the radiation we violently removed, and expect anything long term in return. Mother Earth will have nothing left to give to us. Once we are gone, she, Mother Nature, will survive and thrive without us.
This is where we are in our Western Extractive Culture at this moment in time. It is time for us to turn the tides. It is time for us to go back to Mother Earth. Forgive ourselves. Forgive each other. And get busy learning from the Indigenous wisdom of the great Native American teachers who surround us, and from our very own indigenous cultures. It is time to come Home to ourselves.
There is deep history in coal, steel, oil and gas here in Western, PA. The first oil well in the country was commercialized here in Oil City, PA. The first Nuclear Power Plant in the country was built in Shippingport, PA, in Beaver County, one half hour north of Pittsburgh. There is continued Nuclear Power Plant presence on that site, just miles from the proposed Petrochemical site.  The South Side of Pittsburgh continues its gritty, bar laden Thursday through Saturday evening reputation as an after effect of when the men left the steel mills in the afternoon and headed to the South Side bars for a few drinks on their way home. We are a deeply committed sports town too. A family town. An ethnic town rooted in the steel belt, rust belt, coal belt of an industry that was booming and busting for about 150 years…
Until just about 30 years ago, when Pittsburghers decided it was time to pick themselves up by their bootstraps and create a New Economy. And that is just what we are seeing now; under the leadership of Mayor Bill Peduto, Pittsburgh has been re-inventing herself. Now, since 2016, as a designated Biophilic City, with several Living Building Challenge projects under our belts, we, including Monroeville, PA and the collaborative of communities who choose to join, are well on our way to be the first area in the country who rose up so far above the polluted Rust Belt legacy of its past, we are becoming a destination for the world to see!
Come to Pittsburgh, have a conference in the Greenest Convention Center in the World just as the Climate Reality Project is doing in mid-October, 2017 attracting people from all over the world! Visit the Frick Environmental Center, a certified Living Building Challenge Building! Check out the business Amazing Books and Records on the South Side housed in a Living Building Challenge of an Existing Historic Structure Project at 1317 East Carson Street.
Come to Monroeville where the bike paths will soon extend to Washington, D.C., where the farmer’s market happens on Saturdays sponsored by the Lion’s Club and the Monroeville Parks, where this compact suburb is a great place to be with many Municipal Parks, and Boyce Park, a County Park.
I shared my experience with the League of Women voters Group today on the phone. I thank them for letting me speak. One of them asked if there was a place they could go to read about this idea that this pollution to this day is NOT normal. It is NOT normal for a person to have to report every day or two on the SMELL PGH APP that they have symptoms from smelly air, like a headache, or filled sinuses, or fuzzy thinking and that the air smells like industrial pollution like sulfer, or putrid like a skunk. It is NOT normal to have to do so much treatment to water before being able to drink from the river…  It is NOT normal to allow injection wells that have water that is so toxic it must be put somewhere other than into conventional water treatment. It is NOT normal to attempt to put toxic FRACK water into injection wells in abandoned, undermined coal country with our exquisite geological formations when we do NOT know where that toxic water will ultimately end up. Or do we? That water will ultimately end up IN our drinking water.
No, Western PA, none of this is normal.
What’s the good news? What is the new normal we are moving towards? Come to our next Sustainable Monroeville meeting this coming Monday evening, October 2, 2017 at 7:00 PM at the Monroeville Public Library to speak freely about your ideas and hear updates about our new Seismic Testing Ordinance, our soon to be updated Oil and Gas Zoning and how we here in Monroeville, PA, are protecting ourselves and working towards our Regenerative Future. Hear Jim Lomeo, former Mayor of Monroeville, Elisa Beck of Sustainable Monroeville, and Doug Shields of Food and Water Watch, a national non- profit.

Join in public discussion at Citizen's Night at the Monroeville Municipal building on Thursday evening, October 5, 2017 at 7:00 PM and come to the October 10, 2017 at 7:00 PM Council Meeting where the amendment to limit Fracking to Industrial Zones in Monroeville, PA will be voted in, we hope!

See you around town! 
Elisa Beck:)

Like Sustainable Monroeville on Facebook!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Monday evening, September 11, 2017 at the Monroeville Public Library for INHABIT: A Permaculture Perspective at 7:00 PM, Organic Whole Food Plant Based Pot Luck at 6:00 PM; Tuesday evening, September 12, 2017 at 7:00 PM for the Monroeville Council Meeting

Hello and Happy September to all those who have been part of Sustainable Monroeville since its inception in 2009~2010, to all who have participated in our meetings and events over these past many years, and to those who have recently discovered our blog and events in the past few eventful months! 
We welcome all people of all ages and all political persuasions to join us in our now broadened Mission as Regenerative Monroeville leading to Regenerative Western PA: To gently and with lots of inspiration, joy, and fun move Western PA forward in the Regenerative Green Economy!
We certainly are blessed here in Western PA to be far inland as hurricane Harvey has passed through Houston and hurricane Irma is poised to pass through Florida and possible other southern states as I type this blog entry.... We are not displaced here in Western PA. Rather, we are hosts for lots of displaced people and animals. We are working with the shift into our Regenerative Economy, one step at a time. There are so many brilliant examples of our Regenerative Economy NOW in Pittsburgh, PA. Last night I was blessed to spend time with my family at the newest in Pittsburgh Living Building Challenge Zero Net Energy and Zero Net Water Building, the Frick Environmental Center. We viewed filmmaker Kirsi Jansa's tenth and final film short in her Sustainability series. Here's the link to the first nine episodes: The tenth and final episode will be available on-line soon!
Join Sustainable Monroeville on Monday evening, September 11, 2017 for an organic whole food, plant-based pot luck dinner at 6:00 PM, and a viewing of the documentary INHABIT: A Permaculture Perspective, at 7:00 PM.

INHABIT: A Permaculture Perspective : A new documentary introducing permaculture: designing a world where and planet can thrive. INHABITFILM.COM
Monroeville Council will be voting on the proposed Seismic Testing ordinance at the September Council meeting Tuesday, September 12, 2017 at 7:00 PM, at the Monroeville Municipal Building. We are so excited that the Monroeville Council in collaboration with the Municipal Mayor, Lawyer, and Manager, drafted a protective ordinance based on both the South Fayette and Oakmont Seismic Testing Ordinances. 
We, the citizens of Monroeville and beyond are working along with Doug Shields, Western PA Liaison for the national non profit, Food and Water Watch and with the Municipality of Monroeville to forge an updated Protective Oil and Gas ordinance. We intend to protect ourselves, our communities, our property values, and of course, most important of all, the health and wellness of ourselves and all of the animals, plants, and the entire ecosystem here in Western PA, beginning now in Monroeville!
Have a blessed weekend and see you in Monroeville, PA early this week!
Elisa Beck :)
Founder, Sustainable Monroeville
LIKE Sustainable Monroeville on Facebook!