Monday, December 30, 2013

In Connecticut, demand for local food outstrips supply

The state of Connecticut is experiencing an upsurge in interest in sustainable food for colleges, public and private schools, and hospitals.  There is now a shortage of locally-grown organic food.

The Connecticut chapter of the Northeast Organic Farmers' Association (CT-NOFA) is sponsoring a conference entitled "Getting Started in Organic Farming" to be held Saturday, January 18, 2014, at Goodwin College, East Hartford, CT, 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM.  Also, the CT-NOFA Winter Conference will be Saturday, March 1, at Western Connecticut State University, Danbury, CT.  Registration information for both events can be found at the CT-NOFA website:  CT-NOFA was founded in 1982.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Fairfield County drivers choosing public transport over driving

GreenwichTime: "A new study published this week by the public-interest organization ConnPIRG finds that people across America's largest urbanized areas are driving much less than before, and Fairfield County is no different."

'via Blog this'

Monday, October 28, 2013

"Public transportation in Boston is truly pathetic"

The Daily Free Press: "“Public transportation in Boston is truly pathetic, especially the Green Line,” he said. “Of course, aside from NY, public transport in most U.S. cities is virtually nonexistent. Boston is filled with young people, and many don’t have cars. Good public transportation would make a big difference for them.”"

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

People need and want more #publictransit "Has anyone researched the effect public transportation in Southern Maine would have on the parking problem in Portsmouth?

Employees, seniors, adolescents and those who would prefer to own fewer cars or feel the stress of gas prices and car maintenance would be grateful to be supported by a system of public transportation. Elders in Kittery, Maine, fondly recall the days when such a service was available. Many of us are aging and the fear of not being able to drive is real. Services are inadequate or unavailable. For many, this necessitates a move or a limited lifestyle."

Friday, September 27, 2013

An Investment In Public Transportation Is An Investment In The Future

Cognoscenti: "Route 128 may be America’s “high tech corridor” but the Red Line is arguably its main artery. That’s because public transit helps create vibrant, high density neighborhoods, teeming with creativity and innovation; the kinds of areas start-ups are drawn to. Economic growth experts say these urban hubs create a “bump factor” — places where people can easily bump into each other; where ideas can percolate and capital can flow freely; where ideas thrive and talent is plentiful."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Growth advocates love #publictransit

This the beauty of free public transit. Growth advocates will support it, making it a politically feasible path to degrowth.
An Investment In Public Transportation Is An Investment In The Future | Cognoscenti: "This new stop will cost the state $39 million. But the payoff is huge: In our first phase, we’re unleashing $1.4 billion in private investment while creating more than 10,000 construction jobs and another 10,000 permanent jobs."

Monday, September 16, 2013

Massachusetts "Car-Free Week

WWLP: "The average American spends nearly 13 hundred dollars a year on gas on their commute alone, according to "

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

19 feedback loops that speed up climate change

Transition Voice: "This essay updates my earlier effort to tally and describe self-reinforcing feedback loops with respect to climate change. At that time, seven months ago, we had strong evidence of nine such catastrophic phenomena. The nineteen I currently know about are described below. Only the final one is reversible over a temporal span relevant to humanity."

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Mayors at odds with interests of oil industry

The Boston Globe: "...One vivid example of the kind of cooperation Barber believes can empower the world’s mayors took shape after the United States withdrew from the Kyoto Protocols—an international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions—and more than 130 American cities pledged to meet the treaty’s targets anyway. In Los Angeles, that meant modifying the city’s ports. In New York, it meant insulating old buildings. Elsewhere it meant promoting public transportation. Today, more than 1,000 American mayors—from towns and cities whose population totals almost 89 million, more than a quarter of the country’s population—have signed on to the agreement.

To Barber, who founded a group called the Interdependence Movement to press his case, that cooperation amounts to a new era of global governance, one that offers a way through policy obstructions at the national level. “What’s happening in an interdependent world is issues of transportation, immigration, climate, and banking become global, and cities have been better at dealing with one another and talking about these issues than nation-states have,” Barber said. “Los Angeles and Shanghai talk a lot about common port problems with one another, while the US and China are still locked in ideological battles that make that much more difficult....”

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Public Transit’s Savings Quantified

Mobilizing the Region: "The analysis bolsters findings from the Center for Neighborhood Technology which has shown the importance in connecting housing and transportation costs to better understand neighborhood affordability. CNT’s H+T Index makes clear that when transportation costs are included into determining housing affordability, some “inexpensive” areas become considerably more costly to live in, while some “expensive” areas that have access to public transportation become more affordable."

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Guest Column: A Valley Divided by Public Transportation

The Valley Advocate: "As a cultural anthropologist working on environmental, health and socioeconomic equity issues in Springfield, I have observed for too long that the racially- and class-stratified “tofu curtain” has divided the Pioneer Valley into an affluent, mostly white north and a marginalized but diversified south. Nowhere is this truer than for the people of Springfield and Holyoke. A significant structural factor has been the lack of affordable, accessible and sufficient regional public transit. This gap in our regional infrastructure has profoundly negative environmental consequences, contributes to global warming, negatively impacts public health, reinforces racial apartheid and creates enormous economic hardship for the poorest among us."

'via Blog this'

Monday, July 29, 2013

People want #publictransit and its obvious benefits

The Recorder: "The weekend of the Green River Festival brought thousands of people to Greenfield. It was a no-brainer to provide them FRTA buses. I heard many compliments about how nice the service was. It’s time to build a bus system the people of Franklin County can use and appreciate. Time to expand service, providing transportation to the people who contribute to the local economy every day."


Read whole letter: "It’s a no-brainer"

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Inadequate Public Transit Hurting State’s Low-Income Latinos

WBUR: "But overall, 3 out of 4 respondents agreed with this statement: “If public transportation was better, I would drive and/or be driven less.”"

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Negative attack on cars will backfire

If you want people to use public transit, make it free.
Boston limiting new parking as number of residences soars - Business - The Boston Globe: "The policy shift — which comes even as thousands of new residents flock into its neighborhoods — is being implemented across the city, with officials relaxing once inflexible requirements that parking be built with every new residence. The goal is to encourage the use of public transportation, and to devote more land and money to affordable housing, open spaces, and other amenities. Officials also say the city’s youthful population is becoming more accustomed to life without a car."

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

While U.S. west burns, east is slammed by storms

Part of the Sports World dome near exit 44 on I-91 in East Windsor
 blew into the southbound lanes of the highway, officials said. (JOHN WOIKE)
Hartford Courant: "A tornado lashed its way across Windsor, Windsor Locks and East Windsor Monday afternoon, toppling trees, taking down power lines, tearing apart an inflatable sports dome and ripping tobacco netting from fields and draping it across houses and I-91."

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tandem parking spots sell for $560,000 - Business - The Boston Globe

Tandem parking spots sell for $560,000 - Business - The Boston Globe: "Bidding began at $42,000. It shot up to six figures within seconds. When the auction ended 15 minutes later, the lucky winner agreed to pay $560,000 — nearly double the $313,000 median sales price of a single-family home in Massachusetts."

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Insurance industry leads split in 1% by openly opposing #climate lies

Insurers Stray From the Conservative Line on Climate Change - "And the industry expects the situation will get worse. “Numerous studies assume a rise in summer drought periods in North America in the future and an increasing probability of severe cyclones relatively far north along the U.S. East Coast in the long term,” said Peter Höppe, who heads Geo Risks Research at the reinsurance giant Munich Re. “The rise in sea level caused by climate change will further increase the risk of storm surge.” Most insurers, including the reinsurance companies that bear much of the ultimate risk in the industry, have little time for the arguments heard in some right-wing circles that climate change isn’t happening, and are quite comfortable with the scientific consensus that burning fossil fuels is the main culprit of global warming."

'via Blog this'

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Public transit should everywhere be free on election day

North Adams Transcript: "ADAMS -- Adams voters needing transportation will be able to get a free ride to the polls for the special state primary election on Tuesday, April 30."

Monday, April 22, 2013

As car count approaches 2 billion, no sign of fossil-fuel subsidies abating.

Earth Day 2013: transport as a solution in the face of climate change | TheCityFix: "Macias added that the transportation sector is the fastest growing sector of greenhouse gas emitters on a worldwide scale, pointing out that we are nearing 2 billion cars on our planet. “There is a need to integrate fleet policy on a global scale, including fuel economy standards, second-hand car trade, increasing public transport, and responsible urban development,” he said.

One of the biggest impacts the transportation sector can have in combating climate change is in cutting fossil-fuel subsidies, which would put economic pressure on cities to switch to more fuel-efficient modes of transport and encourage non-motorized transport, as well as pressure individual citizens to invest in more fuel-efficient vehicles, public transport and non-motorized transport. According to the World Resource Institute, in 2010 fossil-fuel subsidies were $409 billion, and without any subsidy reform, they are set to increase to a staggering $660 billion in 2020. And although renewable energy subsidies are growing, they still have a long way to go. In 2010 they were at $66 billion, up from $39 million in 2007."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Westport, CT, fares only 12% of funding and that includes cost of collection

Autosprawl trolls in government have applied the "run-it-like-a-business" and accounting-thinking to starve Westport public transit. Why not make it fare-free and you won't need a $20,000 promotion campaign.
Transit talk: Debating the public's support -- and need -- for Westport public transit - Westport News: "The number of rides has actually been higher, but these were in times where there was actually a little more financial support, more routes and more awareness. So we do see the relationship between funding and rides."

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Want jobs? Get #transit

Patrick’s plan will fix the transportation messmbtaTRUTH | mbtaTRUTH: "— A 10-year plan to eliminate MBTA deficits and the annual need for big fare increases and service cuts, and invest in the current system, including the purchases of new Red and Orange Line cars.;

— Improved service at the 15 Regional Transit Authorities;

— Spending billions to fix existing roads, rails and bridges in every city and town in the Commonwealth;

— Creating tens of thousands private sector jobs;

— Transparent accounting of the more than $ 1 billion MassDOT deficit."

'via Blog this'

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Oil pipelines causing split in 1%

Anti-Keystone billionaire rattles Democrats - Andrew Restuccia and Kenneth P. Vogel - "The former hedge fund trader-turned-philanthropist is bankrolling a far-flung political operation pushing environmental causes and candidates, including his pricey effort to torpedo the Keystone XL oil pipeline. He's increasingly drawing scrutiny for trying to take down the Senate candidacy of Massachusetts Rep. Stephen Lynch, a Democrat who has expressed support for Keystone."

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Boston Review — Amy B. Dean: Fix It Fair

Boston Review — Amy B. Dean: Fix It Fair: "Equity demands that we avoid transportation mistakes of the past. In places such as Minneapolis and Oakland, plans for light rail have bypassed or priced out riders from poor neighborhoods. Similarly, light rail development in some communities has come at the expense of bus and paratransit riders—disabled and elderly riders who rely on specialized public transportation services. Such injustices occur when poor communities (both rural and urban), communities of color, and other groups that depend on public transportation are excluded from municipal planning and development."

'via Blog this'

MBTA: Higher fares, cuts likely without funding

mbtaTRUTH: "Under one scenario that would rely solely on fare increases, average fares would rise 33 percent, on top of last year’s 23 percent increase that helped close a $160 million deficit. The “all fare” approach would see bus fares go from $1.50 to $2, and subway fares from $2 to $2.60. Commuter rail increases would vary by region."

'via Blog this'

Monday, April 1, 2013

Need a job? Want to save money? Move near #publictransit

Roads and Rails - "According to the study's results, those living within a half mile of public transit had access to two times more jobs than those living outside the "public transit shed". Now, that's just including the areas where subway, light rail, and the bus service. If you just focus on where the buses serve in Greater Boston, residents had access to five times more jobs than those who don't live with direct access to public transit.
(This makes sense, as areas with greater access to public transportation are generally more urban, where many more jobs are available in general.)

The transportation costs were starkly different as well (even with all the public transit hikes we've been seeing here in the Boston area). The study shows that those living in the Boston area who utilize public transit or live in areas very to close to access save an average of $350 per month on their transportation costs. "

Friday, March 29, 2013

Build public transport, not a parking garage |

Build public transport, not a parking garage | "Let me suggest that community does not happen when people live in secluded, suburban communities, drive their individual cars, park in garages and attend to their targeted business. Community does happen when friends greet friends or strangers greet strangers on the street, on the bus in a shared commute. When we share a sidewalk, a path, a ride, we are part of something bigger. When does it end? When there isn't any room in the garage? When the oil and gas runs out? When the pollution has destroyed our atmosphere? Or, is it now, when we the citizens say enough is enough?"

Monday, March 25, 2013

Why Does America Have the Worst Public Transit in the Industrialized World, and the Most Freeways?

Boston Carmen's Union, Local 589: "Taken for a Ride reveals the tragic and little known story of an auto and oil industry campaign, led by General Motors, to buy and dismantle streetcar lines. Across the nation, tracks were torn up, sometimes overnight, and diesel buses placed on city streets"

'via Blog this'

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Are you thinking economic slowdown lowers carbon emissions? Think again.

Data from CDIAC. Asterisks notes dips with multiple possible causes.
maribo: Carbon emissions blow right past the financial crisis: "Regardless of the cause, the effect points to the potential naivete, not to mention the questionable morality, of people thinking or hoping that economic slowdowns will 'naturally' limit carbon emissions and save the world from the dangerous impacts of climate change."

Friday, March 15, 2013

First city without cars, wins the future

Boston Redevelopment Authority launches waterfront district zoning process - Downtown - Your Town - "Meade said the BRA would embrace Menino’s policy of encouraging multiple modes of transportation, with an emphasis on bicycling, walking, and public transportation over individual car usage."

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Study: Transit funding shifts job growth into gear - Lowell Sun Online

Study: Transit funding shifts job growth into gear - Lowell Sun Online: "Under Patrick's tax proposal the Massachusetts Department of Transportation would pump $100 million more annually into the state's 16 regional transit authorities."

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Vermont towns vote against eastern #tarsands pipeline

Vt. votes are only first step for gun, oil foes  : Times Argus Online: "The volunteer group considers the issue one of statewide interest because the pipeline not only runs through the towns of Barton, Burke, Guildhall, Irasburg, Jay, Newport, Sutton, Troy, and Victory, but also intersects 15 natural waterways that lead to other parts of Vermont.

As a result, it convinced 29 municipalities to voice “opposition to the transport of tar sands oil through Vermont, and deep concern about the risks of such transport for public health and safety, property values and our natural resources.”

“The resolution is important — it has neighbors talking to neighbors about this issue — but it’s one piece of a larger effort,” 350 Vermont organizer Andrew Simon says. “What’s next is to widen this discussion.”"

'via Blog this'

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Is Boston Ready for an Apartment Building That Bars Cars? - Housing - The Atlantic Cities

Is Boston Ready for an Apartment Building That Bars Cars? - Housing - The Atlantic Cities: "Mariscal is explicitly attempting to build a green development, and so neither of these options looks like a good one. His solution? Design an apartment complex with no parking – where tenants would sign away the right to own cars, in fact – and then convince the city to let him build it."

'via Blog this'

Monday, February 25, 2013

Boston Review — Amy B. Dean: The Road (and Rail) to Justice

Boston Review — Amy B. Dean: The Road (and Rail) to Justice: " While the average family spends around 19 percent of its budget getting around, very low-income families (defined as families who make less than half of an area’s median income) can see as much as 55 percent of their earnings eaten up by transportation costs, according to a report by the Center for Transit-Oriented Development."

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

UNH free bus system expands to Rochester, NH.

From left, Rochester's Deputy Mayor Blaine Cox, University of New Hampshire Transportation Director Dirk Timmons, UNH's Associate Vice President for Business Affairs David May, UNH's Transportation Manager Beverly Craig and UNH's Contracts, Grants and Planning Manager Michael Amicangioli cut the ceremonial ribbon Monday morning to officially begin the first day of Wildcat Transit's bus route linking the campus to Lee, Barrington and Rochester. (JOHN QUINN PHOTO)

New bus route connects UNH with Rochester | New Hampshire NEWS09: "DURHAM - After four years of planning, a new Wildcat Transit bus route will open up new doors for students, staff and residents along the Route 125 corridor from Rochester to the University of New Hampshire."

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Rhode Island, #freetransit allowed for mitigation, because system favors cars over pedestrians

Free Temporary RIPTA Bus Route for Middletown Residents - Newport, RI Patch: "The Town of Middletown has requested that RIPTA begin providing a bus service to our residents who normally use these sidewalks. The service on this route will be provided free of charge. "

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Extreme weather world price tag: $1.2 trillion per year

National Journal Warns The Economic Price Of Climate Change Is Already Here, And Growing | ThinkProgress: "Globally, extreme weather and climate change are already shaving 1.6 percent off worldwide gross domestic product — or about $1.2 trillion per year — according to a study by DARA. By 2030, it will be up 3.2 percent of global GDP, costing the United States over 2 percent of its GDP and India over 5 percent."

'via Blog this'

Saturday, February 9, 2013

MBTA ridership hits new high

mbtaTRUTH: "Ridership topped 400 million rides in the 2012 fiscal year for the first time in the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority’s history."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, January 31, 2013

It is time to stop heating the outdoors - McKibben to VT lawmakers

Bennington Banner: Activist to Vt. lawmakers: Act now on climate change - Bennington Banner: "MONTPELIER -- Writer and environmental activist Bill McKibben gave Vermont lawmakers a dire warning about climate change Wednesday, calling it "the biggest challenge by far that humans have ever faced," and calling for steps including a big new effort to save energy by insulating thousands of homes in the state."

'via Blog this'

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Protesters in Maine rally against tar sands oil - Nation - The Boston Globe

Protesters in Maine rally against tar sands oil - Nation - The Boston Globe: "PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Hundreds of people rallied in Portland on Saturday in what was billed as the largest protest yet against the possibility of so-called tar sands oil being piped in from Montreal."

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tufts students decide that hope is not enough, action needed on #climatechange

Students tell their story after arrest at pipeline protest - Tufts Daily - Tufts University: "“We know that now is the time to act, if not far past the time to act, in order to stop climate catastrophe from affecting us,” Powell said. “We want to make it really clear that 2013 is the year that the climate movement is proving that we are taking this issue very seriously,” Powell said. “We’re not going to back down.”"

'via Blog this'

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Really, Really Big Picture | Peak Prosperity

The Really, Really Big Picture | Peak Prosperity: "The summary of all three reports leads to the conclusion that all efforts to cram the world full of fresh rounds of new debt lending are going to end in failure because the requisite net energy is simply not there to support continued debt accumulations running several-fold faster than actual economic productive output."

'via Blog this'

Monday, January 14, 2013

NH Case Against 2 Big Oil Companies Gets Underway - ABC News

NH Case Against 2 Big Oil Companies Gets Underway - ABC News: "The state's lawyers say ExxonMobil and Citgo should pay more than $700 million in damages to monitor and clean up groundwater contamination caused by the gas additive MTBE — methyl tertiary butyl ether — now banned in New Hampshire."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Small towns battle megastores -- #freetransit would promote #walkability and help local businesses

CVS Pharmacy Embattled Coast-to-Coast By Shepherd Bliss: "Sebastopol’s town slogan “Local Flavor, Global Vision” would not be exemplified by CVS, which does not fit into a unique, sustainable downtown. “A wide majority of Sebastopolians believed that the CVS project was bad for local business, traffic, and ecology,” reported Jonathan Greenberg in the daily Press Democrat of the nearby urban center of Santa Rosa on Jan. 4. “We voted accordingly, electing two candidates who vigorously opposed the project.”"
Two strong attractions of mega-stores: ample parking and one-stop shopping. How can local mom-and-pop stores compete when they have only 2 or 3 parking places in front of their store? Simple answer. Make buses free in your town. People will ride downtown and walk around to shop. They will actually do more walking than they do now, and will stop exporting money for gas and goods.