Network News - September and October 2012

Included as an insert in this newsletter were the proposed Board slate and organizational budget for 2013 (PDF), which will be voted on during WNPJ's member assembly on October 27.

 


Bring Our War Dollars Homehttps://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/u/0/?ui=2&ik=5c2ff8c384&view=att&th=138fefc65c47d60c&attid=0.1&disp=inline&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P8MIdRfQNQ_vt0_DlUvb_iK&sadet=1347045081815&sads=7MVcOFUjHOpqMwxaZoaXKbqMa2E&sadssc=1

A workshop presented by WNPJ Program Director Steve Burns and Chamomile Nusz of Artha Sustainable Living Center
by Steve Burns

 

This summer’s blazing temperatures, part of a climatic trend which has seen nine of the ten warmest years on record occurring within the past twelve years, show the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions and shift to non-polluting renewable sources of energy. But can we afford to make that shift, especially given the troubled state of our economy? This question was addressed in a WNPJ workshop, “Making the shift from a war economy to a green economy,” given in June at the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair in Custer. Participants gained a close-up on how much money is being taken from their communities to fund war and the instruments of war, and how that money could be used closer to home in a green-energy transition.

Using data from the town of Windsor, a community of several thousand a few miles outside Madison, Steve Burns added up the town’s contribution to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and nine major weapons systems, including the F-35 fighter and the Trident II ballistic missile. The bad news: More than $23 million had been taken from Windsor taxpayers to support an “all war, all the time” economy.

What could Windsor have done with that money, had it been kept in the community? Chamomile Nusz did the calculations. A complete rooftop solar photovoltaic system for 245 homes, a community solar installation for another 245 homes that may not be well-suited for rooftop solar, and a 6 megawatt community wind farm consisting of three utility- scale wind turbines, all added up to a total cost equal to Windsor’s share of war spending. Construction of these fa- cilities would mean that Windsor would receive 100% of its electricity from renewables. And having made the initial investment, Windsor residents could expect electricity for the 25 year life of the system without the need to pay an electric bill to the local power company - a change that would free up more than a hundred dollars a month per resident in additional funds to stimulate the local economy.

“A transition to an all-renewables economy is totally practical and doable. We have the money - it’s just that the money’s being taken from us to fund a military machine we don’t need,” said Nusz.

Because the MREA Energy Fair attracts fair-goers from many small rural Wisconsin communities, it proved the ideal venue for the next part of the presentation, in which those in the audience were asked to step forward and have the numbers run for their own community. One resident of the nearby town of Peru, population 257, was shocked to find that her small town’s share of war costs came to more than $1.7 million. Each participant was issued a “receipt” for their community’s share of war spending, redeemable in “peace bucks” which could be spent at a “renewable energy store.” For town after town, the Windsor story was repeated: a transition to a totally green electric grid could be made, using only those funds now being taken out of town to be spent on war.

“If you went to your neighbor’s house and told them you could put a $40,000 solar system on their roof that would provide them all the electricity they would need, free of charge, and that you could do the same for every other resident of your town, they would look at you as if you were crazy,” said Steve Burns. “But this exercise shows these changes are well within our means, if the decisions made in Washington about how to spend our money actually reflected our values.”

Moving from spreadsheets and shopping lists to political action, the presenters gave examples of resolutions passed by town councils and city councils across the country, all calling for a shift in spending from war to urgent unmet needs here at home — including a shift to a job-creating green economy. Charlottesville, Virginia, not generally known as a hotbed of radical activism, was the source for a “Bring Our War $ Home” resolution now being adapted for use by other cities. (In late June Philadelphia became the latest city to pass a “War $ Home” resolution, by a vote of 15 to 3.)

As a tool to help local residents to persuade their own town, village and city council representative to speak out in support of a shift in national spending priorities, WNPJ has developed an online version of the “Local cost of war calculator” used in the workshop. (Go to wnpj.org/danewarcosts.php to try the calculator for your own community.)

“Local budgets will be coming up for a vote in the Fall, and local officials will be feeling the pinch from the economic downturn that’s forcing budget cuts at all levels. That’s when they’ll be most receptive to the numbers, the ideas, and the resolutions we’re presenting,” said Steve Burns. “And when towns and cities all over Wisconsin start to speak out, that will help trigger a new national conversation about how we spend our money, and help push the government’s priorities back in line with the people’s.”

Read more: www.wnpj.org/BOW$H

 


From Ratepayers to Power Players

by Rob Danielson, SOUL of the Kickapoo

 

The first few electric bills told us something was definitely wrong. Our energyefficient dream house was using 50% more electricity than average.

A $15 “kill-a-watt” meter identified a desktop computer and a humidifier as key suspects. Two fans, two timers and a laptop later, our electricity bill plummeted 30%. Next we turned to our “emergency money” earning less than 1% interest in the bank. With electricity costs projected to climb 3-4% a year, we invested in Wisconsin-made solar panels and this inspired us to discover even more ways to conserve. Now our electricity use is ½ of average, and 60% of the electricity we make is shared with our grid-tied neighbors. Conservation had the greatest impact on our carbon footprint.

Hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites could be similarly slashing their bills and negative impacts if it wasn’t for the utilities hogging our investment funds. The time has come to restore ratepayer priorities.

When Utilities Reign

Let’s say you raise chickens in North Dakota. If someone offered you the opportunity sell your eggs at the speed of light for nearly three times the price in New York City and have the public pay the transportation costs it would be a hard perk to refuse. This is the arrangement the electricity companies now operate in – if you substitute coal power for chickens.

Starting in 1992, utilities, energy brokers and transmission building companies across the U.S. began lobbying the federal government to allow them to connect their transmission lines and sell power to each other. Deregulation argued that rates would be kept low if utility companies could compete. In 2001, the federal government bought the idea and authorized the for-profit utility interests to create regional “ISO” alliances awarding them great powers, including the authority to plan transmission expansion. It’s like authorizing concrete companies to plan and build roads.

In Wisconsin, our Public Service Commission began permitting the construction of excess power generation and more than $2 billion in high voltage transmission additions. With the help of these lines today, our utilities sell the equivalent of about three large power plants of capacity to other states. We will pay for these additions over the next 40 years through rate increases. Our rates have not dropped; they have gone from below national average to rank highest in the Midwest. These 345 kV high capacity transmission investments can provide Wisconsin reliability for many years to come, but not if we choke them with power from the west for eastern markets.

The U.S. Department of Energy projects that electricity use will grow at a historically low rate of 7% per year for the next 25 years. The trend of decreasing use per household began 30 years ago and reductions in heavy industry use started in the mid 90’s. 1.5% is considered slow growth so as utilities propose unprecedented transmission additions, we are not in a rush. We have time to evaluate all of our options and define contemporary, public priorities.

The electric power industry saw the slowdown and competition with efficiency coming. They needed ways to make ratepayers feel more dependent on them. After federal policy was in place to prevent accountable, carbon emission reduction goals in transmission proposals, the campaign of exporting “clean” wind power in the west to the east was launched. What photos of wind turbines can’t reveal is that federal policy requires the regional utilities to package the cheapest power which, in 2011, was 74% coal and 13% nuclear for the Midwest- ISO. Even the “greener” mix of North Dakota and Minnesota is 70% fossil fuel, considerably dirtier the national average.

Adding generation of any type and transmission is very costly. For practicality and environmental gain, the bottom line in all energy planning has to be accountable and affordable carbon emission reductions that can be enforced without huge investments and difficult to pass laws. Reducing overall use removes strain from our infrastructure and directly cuts emissions. If we shift future investment towards end users, clean generation like rooftop solar, bio-digestion and small-scale wind requires little transmission infrastructure and keeps dollars in our communities. Midwestern utilities would never consider adding more than 3000 miles of high voltage lines if they had to pay for it and were not guaranteed profits.

Product Choices: Customer is King

The transmission extravagances approved by Midwest ISO in December 2011, would lock-in Wisconsin ratepayers to paying at least $3 a month on average for the next 40 years. For the same or lower monthly amount, ratepayers in Vermont and Massachusetts are on a very different, much more flexible track. By helping ratepayers and businesses make aggressive efficiency and on-site power improvements, Massachusetts ratepayers have averaged $600 a year savings on their electric bills. True competition for consumers’ energy dollars has kicked-in and rates have dropped significantly. At the end of the next 3 year phase, MassSave will have realized a 25% reduction in green house gasses and cut use by 15%. Each cycle creates 4000 new energy jobs. The record speaks for itself and is born out in national studies.

The potential of Wisconsin adopting a truly promising energy future is strong. A movement has sprung out of ratepayer and local government responding to the eight high voltage transmission proposals before us in Wisconsin.

No matter where you live, this fall is the time to engage your local town, village or city board with a fuller picture of their energy options and get the Resolution adopted. Contact EPIC at type@mwt.net or 608-625-2339 to have materials mailed to your local board.

Sign the on-line citizen petition http:// tinyurl.com/6vy7wzt and email the link to your friends and neighbors. The Wisconsin Public Service Commission can be encouraged to provide ratepayers with a full range of energy options if another 100 people across Wisconsin get their towns to adopt the Resolution. We’re at 60 and counting, so please consider helping us grow this important movement.

 


So Many Fond Memories of Judy and Steve!

Judy and Bonnie at Lanterns for Peace in Madison, August 6, 2012

Words can’t say how much we appreciate their many contributions as WNPJ staffers over the years. But when we asked WNPJ members, the words poured in. As a tribute to Steve Burns and Judy Miner (pictured right, next to Bonnie Block), we are including as many WNPJ memories of them as we can.

Kathy Kelly: Bernard Cooke once wrote “we need to have people who mean something to us, people to whom we can turn knowing that being with them is coming home.” So many of us come home to Judy and Steve. We’re fortunate to be taught and guided by them.

Marcia Halligan: Judy created a sense of warmth that I felt even through emails whenever I contacted the office. She created a sort of energy of reaching out to us on the periphery and appreciating our work. So when I met her in person this Spring at Echo Valley Hope, I felt that I already knew her.

Bonnie Block: I’ve watched Steve take the mammoth issues that confront us and break them up into doable campaigns that involve members, the public, and our elected officials. Two examples are the Bring the Troops home referenda and now the Bring Our War $$ Home resolutions for local units of government to make the link between runaway military spending and the lack of local resources for meeting human needs. Steve is an educator, an able researcher and good at dealing with the media.
I’ve said this many times before but I think it bears repeating — one of the best things I did during my tenure with WNPJ was to hire Judy. She has helped build the Network by hours and hours of good work, by her generous support of individual and organizational members — especially the expansion of the peace and justice calendar and weekly e-mail, and by her commitment to the cause. At numerous WNPJ events all over the state Judy’s welcoming behavior insured their success.

Mary Beth Schlagheck: My husband, John Marhoefer and I, have many fond memories of those happy occasions we’ve spent with you, Judy. Working with you has been for me a personal delight as well as a life-learning experience in creativity, inclusivity and commitment to the good work you set out to do, and always, faithfully, bringing us all along with you. Thank you, Judy, for being the ever-patient guiding light and beacon-of-change for us all. I know that for you, your work is never done!
I remember how excited we all were when you came on WNPJ staff, Steve. WNPJ has grown exceedingly appreciative of your penchant for excellence in analyzing challenging peace and social justice, political and cultural situations and events, and putting your analysis into written context for our membership to digest. You’ve never shied away from difficult or controversial issues. You worked tirelessly on the Bring the Guard Home campaign, carried on the Peace Wreath fundraising project, initiated the Solidarity Sing-along and kicked-off the Bring Our War $$ Home campaign to name just a few. You will be missed!

Alfred Meyer: In 2006, Steve was the instrumental organizer of the WNPJ sponsored referendum which gave voters the opportunity to say “bring the troops home” from the Iraq War. Held in 32 cities, towns and villages in Wisconsin, 24 of the 32 municipalities voted to bring them home! It was a hot story, broadcast near and far. Fox News called Steve to be interviewed on the famously blunt and partisan “O’Reilly Factor.” The interviewer was Tony Snow, President Bush’s ex-press secretary, who challenged, pushed and prodded, trying to throw Steve off balance and call into question the will of the people. It was a particularly sterling 15 minutes of Steve’s steely genius and clarity, as he never missed a beat or wavered from his message to bring the troops home.
A major part of Judy’s magic is that after you talk with her, you feel better. Even if you have been talking about drone strikes and nuclear catastrophe, if you have been talking with Judy, you are feeling better. This gift, combined with her unquestionable dependability and devotion to a better world, has been a centerpiece of Judy’s great contributions. If you have called WNPJ and talked to Judy, not only have you been listened to and helped with your question or request, you have also been given a sense of possibility, camaraderie and support.

Sister Maureen McDonnell: My most memorable experience with Judy was traveling with her and a busload of folks to the School of the Americas Vigil in Ft. Benning, GA. Even after eighteen hours on a bus, Judy kept that bright, open-faced smile shining on all whom she met. I value and love Judy’s vision for justice and her unfailing spirit of hope in the midst of realistically acknowledging injustice in the world.
I greatly value Steve’s approach to every issue he speaks to: seriously studying the issue, weighing the implications, and writing cogent statements to share the fruits of his study and reflection. It’s great to watch and hear him singing his heart out at the Capitol, too … and to sing with him!

Tom McGrath: When I first joined WNPJ, I attended a Board meeting in LaCrosse. It was the first time I met Judy Miner and I always remember how welcome she made me feel. She was always very helpful, upbeat, supportive when ever I interacted with her. I’ve always felt WNPJ has a fantastic staff, and Judy was the main cog of that staff. She will be missed. Luckily she will still be around as a volunteer!

Diane Farsetta: Steve is a nerd for peace and justice par excellence. Without him, WNPJ’s website would be much less functional and engaging. Who else would drill down into the data, to inform Wisconsinites from Windsor to Mellen exactly what their community has paid towards the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars? In addition to his technical and analytic skills, Steve has a deep understanding and respect for social justice movements. His ability to place tumultuous current events into a historical context is a great gift that, over the past year and a half, has helped calm and inspire many.

Janet Parker: You can always count on Steve to help you laugh about our setbacks and uphill battles. Collecting signatures with Steve during the Bring Our Troops Home referendum campaign in Madison, the large majority of people I talked with wanted to sign. But some didn’t. Steve called one type we encountered the “Shout-and-Run Republicans.” When these Shout-and-Runners heard our message, they would get loud and express their displeasure with us, then quickly walk away. His funny term made it much easier to recover from being shouted at. Totally Steve!

 


Ground the Drones

A review of Medea Benjamin's book "Drone Warfare: Killing By Remote Control," by Bonnie Block

http://www.tikkun.org/nextgen/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Drone-Warefare.jpg

As a participant in the 4th Tuesday of the month vigils at Volk Field to witness against drone pilot training and the construction of an $8 million facility to house it, I was very interested in reading Medea Benjamin’s new book Drone Warfare, Killing by Remote Control.” (OR Books, New York and London, 2012) Benjamin reports that we are entering a frightening era of robotic warfare.

From 2002-2012 the Dept. of Defense’s inventory of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) increased more than forty fold. The CIA and the Department of Homeland Security have additional budgets for drones. To keep a drone in the air costs between $2,000 and $3,500 for every hour and the U.S. (via the CIA, J-SOC, and private contractors) is currently using drones in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya.

U.S. drones have killed many more people than were killed in the attacks of 9- 11. According to the UK Bureau of Investigative Journalism from 2004-2011 in Pakistan alone, CIA drones killed between 2,372 and 2,997 people including several hundred children. The “Hellfire” missiles (costing $68,000 a pop) used on “Predator” drones come in pairs so often the first bomb kills “insurgents” (which the U.S. defines as any adult male) and the second one kills people who have come to the rescue.

Both the Bush and Obama administrations have tried to justify this drone warfare as part of our “war on terror.” While there is a right to self-defense under international law, it applies to an imminent threat or a declared war with armed combatants, not pre-emptive bombs from the sky, targeting unknown and often unarmed individuals. The UN Special Rapporteur reports that “Outside the context of armed conflict, the use of drones for targeted killing is never likely to be legal.”

But in some ways the strongest argument against the drone warfare currently waged by the U.S. (and by Israel in Palestine) is that it creates ever more “militants” who want to avenge the deaths of their loved ones. What will happen as more countries have drones of their own?

Another issue is that the surveillance capability of drones can be misused by governments or law enforcement agencies. Benjamin ends by writing, “Our ability to curb the use of UAVs … will not only determine the future of warfare and individual privacy, but shape how we live together as a global human community.”

 


10 Years Passing: A Former Soldier's Reflection

by Paul Moriarity, Veterans for Peace - Milwaukee Chapter 102

 

On a warm and sunny Sunday afternoon in June of 2002 I was dismissed from my final formation in the Wisconsin Army National Guard Armory on Richards Street. I stood at attention for the last time in jeans and a white t-shirt while the commanding officer read off some announcements. I had turned in all of my gear and uniforms. I walked out of the armory with only a couple of unit patches, rank insignia and my ribbons. As I turned left onto Capitol on my way home I felt a real sense of freedom, having finally finished four years of active duty service and three years at Richards St.

I thought that I was finally finished with the Army, especially after learning in that last formation that the Army was instituting ‘stop loss’ for soldiers close to the end of their contracts. They would have to extend their service time by a year or more. I felt like I had escaped; no one called my name nor said anything to me as I walked out the door. Only the following March, when the U.S. invaded Iraq, did I realize that the build up for that war began much earlier than was let on publicly.

I was thankful as I watched the march to Baghdad on TV that I wasn’t there, but also felt the desire to protect and fight with fellow soldiers. Something I feel shame about now was feeling excitement as Fox News showed me the raw footage of the 25mm cannon of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle firing into a blue jeep that was supposedly threatening the convoy, I’m sure shredding the Iraqi bodies in that vehicle instantly to pieces. I guess in that moment, like for so many of us, watching war on TV was just like another movie. I had confused real destruction of human life with the familiar and comfortable version of ‘death’ we watch on a flat screen every day.

I’ve watched too much of the last 10 years on TV without lifting a finger. The invasion and escalations in Iraq and Afghanistan, governments justifying and lying to wage war, the increased exploitation of the Earth’s resources, financial institutions ruining millions of lives, peoples’ sweat and work disappearing, the dumbing down of education, the growth of joblessness and poverty in our own city and state by free market policies and politicians who have never had the public trust and public benefit in mind. And on TV before all of that….9-11. One cool and brilliantly sunny September morning, eating cereal…phone call…TV on…squinting eyes and pursed lips…scared to move…watching, as the justification for a never ending global war burned…shattered…jumped…crushed…crumbled into the streets.

What is difficult to see in the dust of what we have built, and the purposeful confusions we consume is the dignity we all possess, the humanity we all share, the part in the struggle that all of us have claim to, because all of us have a part and claim to an oppressive system that shapes our thinking and actions. I think overcoming speechlessness, as the author Alice Walker has put it, from all the horrible events of the recent past is a first step to reclaiming our dignity. We must name the struggles and injustices we experience in Milwaukee and around the world. When we name what’s harming us, we can begin to heal and imagine something different.

My small realization since quietly leaving the armory that morning ten years ago is that the Army has, and will never be finished for me. I have a responsibility to work in solidarity with veterans returning home with traumatic experiences, in solidarity with victims of war, to work in solidarity with all of those who are affected by the costs of war, which would be just about all of us and our communities. I’m sure we have all at some time wondered why Milwaukee always feels like it is struggling. The question we need to start with asks where all of our money is going. How is the war economy working for us?

www.facebook.com/MilwaukeeVetsforPeace
Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative, Inc.—Board Member www.neverhomeless.org

 


Editorial

by Tom McGrath and Dena Eakles, WNPJ Board Co-chairs

 

Tom: It has been a tumultuous first half of the year for WNPJ, operating in the red for a while with a need to cut staff time. The staff volunteered to take this cut and we thank them for their selflessness. We are now looking better financially thanks to donations, new memberships and activities of members such as house parties.

In my five years with WNPJ, I have always been impressed with the great staff. I know I speak for all of us as we wish Judy Miner and Steve Burns well in their new endeavors. They will be missed.

WNPJ continues to function under the adept direction of Executive Director Diane Farsetta; the Officers and the Board. Our staff will now consist of Diane, Page Metcalf, Carl Sack and Steve Books from Veterans for Peace. WNPJ will continue to be involved in statewide social justice issues, and it takes every one’s participation to bring about change.

Dena: When Tom and I agreed to be co-chairs for WNPJ, I had no idea the amazing learning about to unfold. Maybe it was the beginning of a new cycle after 20 years. Maybe it was the result of the perfect storm in environmental and political upheaval. Whatever the case, the outcome has been an acknowledgement and revisiting of WNPJ’s core principals of nonviolence and peace, of an unwavering nonpartisan pursuit of justice, and of bold steps towards creating a sustainable world.

The Board of WNPJ has made a commitment to widen the circle, both of member organizations and individual members, as well as forming new alliances with allies across the state and region. We are committed to providing and participating in statewide educational conferences and we are taking active steps to unhinge the racial chains and other forms of oppressions that hinder us.

We know that the dream of peace is useless without the action to make it so. You are always welcome to share your dreams and your efforts, as WNPJ continues to make peace a reality through our united network. It is an honor to work with each of you. Let us continue. Peace is possible.

 


News from the WNPJ Office

by Diane Farsetta, WNPJ Executive Director

 

What a time of change for WNPJ! It’s true — after ten years on WNPJ’s staff, as our Executive Director and Office Coordinator, Judy Miner retired at the end of May. She’s since been volunteering at WNPJ, but is also looking forward to extended visits with her grandchildren in Portland, Oregon!

In a double whammy, Steve Burns, who’s been our Program Director since 2005, left WNPJ staff at the end of July. He’s transitioning to his first full-time position in 25 years, teaching math at Madison College (a community college also known as MATC).

Thank you, Judy and Steve, for your hard work, friendship and steadfast commitment to a better world for all. We look forward to seeing you at future peace and justice events.

We welcome Page Metcalf, who started as our new five-hour a week office coordinator on August 1st. Page has extensive experience with administrative support, including database maintenance, bookkeeping, website work, fundraising and event coordination. She enjoys working with small nonprofits, having previously been at Madison Community Cooperative and the Center for Media and Democracy.

We’re also happy to welcome three new member groups to WNPJ. First Unitarian Society in Madison is a safe and nurturing environment for all who wish to explore spiritual, ethical and social issues. The National Lawyers Guild - Madison chapter was reborn out of the recent struggle in Wisconsin, to focus on promoting human rights over property rights. The Citizens Climate Lobby - Wisconsin chapter works to empower individuals and create the political will for a stable climate.

We have many wonderful people to thank for their help this summer. Our heartfelt thanks go to Mary Beth Schlagheck and John Marhoefer, for opening their house to WNPJ and hosting an absolutely fabulous fundraiser for us in May! Thanks to Cham Nusz and Steve Burns, for premiering their “War $$ Home” presentation at the party.

Much appreciation with a side of fresh fruit to all who helped with WNPJ’s Pancakes for Peace and Solidarity breakfast fundraiser and Judy’s retirement party in Madison! Judy led the effort, with a peaceful volunteer army including Carl Sack, Eva Schulte, Dan and Nadja Nordstrom, Mary Beth Schlagheck and John Marhoefer, Lauren and Patrick from Echo Valley, Hildegard Dorrer, Marc Becker, Susan Freiss, Steve Books, Karin Sandvik, Julie Melton and Karen Pope. Medea Benjamin spoke about drone warfare, followed by musical guests Daithi Wolfe on the fiddle and the Raging Grannies, who sang a song especially written for Judy! Thanks also to Family Farm Defenders and Just Coffee for their donations.Mining workshop presenters Pat Popple, Al Gedicks and Mike Wiggins at the Energy Fair 2012

Warm thanks with real Wisconsin maple syrup to all who volunteered at WNPJ’s Pancakes for Peace fundraiser at the MREA Energy Fair in Custer! Cham Nusz pulled the event together, with help from rotating grill master Chris Kuehnel, Louise Pease, Debbie Jircik, Liz Bruno, Margie Jessup, Clif Morton, Tim Cordon and Jim Limbach. Steve Books, Marc Becker, Mary Beth Schlagheck and John Marhoefer, Judy Miner and Steve Burns get extra special recognition for helping with two WNPJ pancake fundraisers in one week! Sincere appreciation also to Family Farm Defenders, Emy J’s, Great Harvest Bread Company and Organic Valley for donating food.

In addition to Steve’s and Cham’s presentation, WNPJ organized an Energy Fair workshop on “Mining: New threats to Wisconsin’s land, air and water.” A standing-room-only crowd came to hear former WNPJ Board member Al Gedicks of the Wisconsin Resources Protection Council; Mike Wiggins Jr., the Chair of the Bad River Tribe of Ojibwe Indians; and Pat Popple of the Chippewa Falls Save the Hills Alliance and the Frac Sand Times discuss mining for metallic sulfides, iron ore and sand used in hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) for natural gas, respectively (pictured, right).

Lastly, thanks to WNPJ member group Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort (WAVE) for sharing our Energy Fair info table; to Kathy Walsh for regularly taking on office odds and ends; to Annie Dutcher, Helen Findley and Carl Sack for their help with mailings; and to Fred Brancel, Bernie Schlafke, Steve Books and Carl Sack for tabling. It’s the members and volunteers who make our Network work!