Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Environmental Racism and Environmentalist Solidarity in Palm Beach County

Hey all,
Below are recent links to some of the work that the PBCEC has been doing in solidarity with community activists in Riviera Beach and Lake Worth regarding environmental justice issues. Please feel free to pass them along. It would also be nice to see support through positive comments after the articles, if you have a minute to type a note.

While these issues are huge problems, we recognize that they are only skimming the surface of environmental racism in Palm Beach County, which is rooted firmly in the racist policies that resulted in a war to steal this land from Seminole communities 200 years ago.

It's time for a unified movement to address the these concerns and change the foundation of a society that is built on greed and racism.

-Panagioti Tsolkas
PBCEC co-chair

News on Riviera Beach FPL power plant

News on dirty waste Plant in Lake Worth's Osborne community:

Here is a video from the joint Riviera Beach Civic Association/PBCEC meeting:

These are the original 17 principles of Environmental Justice from the 1991 conference:

Info on Environmental Justice and federal law (NEPA):

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Summary of the Feb 2010 PBCEC meeting

Here's a brief summary of the Feb 2010 PBCEC meeting which took place at the Quaker Meeting House.. Sorry if the editing is a bit sloppy. I'm in a rush to get on a plane and attend the Earth First! Winter Rendezvous and Organizers' Conference this weekend.. see y'all soon.

Next PBCEC meeting March 1st, 7pm, at Quaker Meeting House 823 North A Street.

For the wild,
panagioti tsolkas
PBCEC, co-chair

p.s. don't forget to check out the calendar at the new 'Grassroots Activist Center' where PBCEC now has an office: www.myspace.com/theNightHeron

-Scripps phase II plan:
We will be continuing to challenge this plan. The County will be presenting its application for comprehensive plan and land use changes. We are concerned about the impact to the 800 acre pine forest which is home to threatened and endangered plants and animals (including the hand fern, gopher tortoise and indigo snake); the sie actively used for horse trails by an adjacent equestrian community. We are also concerned about the ethics regarding public oversight, animal testing, toxic pollution and genetic engineering and corporate patenting.

*March 11 will be a pro-Scripps meeting at FAU Jupiter, 9am-12noon, PBCEC folks are encouraged to attend..
*March 13th, 4-6pm will a demonstration about Scripps development on the Briger Tract
*April 1st, 7pm (no joke) is the hearing to approve zoning and Comp Plan changes through the Palm Beach Gardens City Council

-FPL in Riviera Beach and beyond
With new scandals around every corner, now is the time to expose FPL for who they are and what they have done to Florida: from tearing up the Everglades with power lines and frying endangered birds to sucking down the aquifer and re-injecting it with poison, to environmental racism, radioactive leaks, oil spills, explosions.. the list goes on.

We have been planning a series of educational events about energy options and alternatives to FPL, in collaboration with the Riviera Beach Civic Association's environmental committee. This week was an event in Mangonia Park with City Commissioners. We are looking to plan more like this across the County.

One of our focuses this year is on closing the Riviera Plant for good and keeping new fossil fuel out of town... Here's a link with a reminder about one of the reasons we fight these projects: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100208/ap_on_bi_ge/us_middletown_explosion
This plant under construction in Connecticut exploded recently, killing 5 people. It is the same model as FPL's 'state of the art' gas plants, but only 620 megawatts (about 1/6 of the size of the WCEC and 1/2 the size of the Riviera proposal)

From the article: "An explosion that sounded like a sonic boom blew out walls of an unfinished power plant and set off a fire during a test of natural gas lines Sunday, killing at least five workers and injuring a dozen or more. The explosion at the Kleen Energy Systems [such a convincing name!] plant in Middletown, about 20 miles south of Hartford, could be heard and felt for miles."

-Hands Across the Sand
There is a growing movement against drilling for gas and oil off Florida's coasts. There are several events in the County, including one in Lake Worth this Saturday at 12 noon. For more info, check out:

Sun ('Recycling') Waste Damp in the Osbourne community in Lake Worth

Residents have been fighting this project for near 20 years. The project is a blatant, disturbing example of environmental racism, where a facility was zoned by Lantana in the backyard of Lake Worth residents in this historic Black community, which is already located next to the City's previous landfill.

The PBCEC will be joining with local folks on Feb 16, 1:30pm at the Solid Waste Authority (SWA) at 45th Street. A bus will be leaving from Lake Worth for people interested in attending, contact Javier del Sol for details on the bus 533-5287

Amendment 4 = Hometown Democracy, Amendments 5 and 6 = Fair Districts.. Vote Yes.

PBCEC is an official endorser of Amendment 4. We are coordinating outreach efforts in the area, please get in touch if you are interested. This Amendment is the frontline of keeping developers at bay.

We were also given an update by Loxahatchee Sierra Club policitcal committee chair on Amendments 5 and 6, which relate to the jerrymandering of political districts. We are supporting a yes vote on all three of these Amendments.

We are also asking our participants to use this email signature for the next several months to help spread the word on Amendment 4 (do this by clicking on the 'setting' feature of your email):

"This November, Vote Yes 4 Florida Hometown Democracy, Give yourself a vote on growth!

We are supporting the Voter League Fundraising Gala coming up with an Ad in their program book for their event this Saturday 6pm at Hurst Chapel, 1617 Silver Beach Rd. Supervisor of Elections, Susan Bucher, will be a keynote speaker. Tickets are $30

Our Ad will be a statement of our support for Amendment 4

Earth Day
We will be looking into events to support/participate in. We have been invited to join the event at Busch Wildlife in April.. Sounds good.

Announcements (sorry, my notes got sloppy with details here):

-March 20 Electoral Reform event at the UU Church in Boca Raton (time?)
-Progressive Candidates meeting at Howley's 7pm (when?)
-March 13 County Archeaologist Chris Davenport speaks at Busch Wildlife Sanctuary
-Feb 14, 3pm, Network of Spiritual Progressives meeting on the Global Marshall Plan