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Quote of the Week
"This is one very, very important step to get coal back on its feet and stop the hemorrhaging of jobs that we've seen"
Mining Association spokesman Luke Popovich, regarding the recent
Congressional vote to allow the dumping of coal mining waste in streams.
Story at Reuters, background on the issue at Vox.
In reality, environmental regulation is a small contributor to the loss
of coal mining jobs, with the primary cause being the abundance of cheap
Meeting: High School Athletic Fields & Artificial Turf
Monday, Feb. 13, 5:30 pm, Oak Bluffs Library.
A pre-public hearing meeting of the MV
Commission's Land Use Planning Committee (LUPC) to discuss the proposed
expansion of athletic facilities at the high school, including the
installation of one or more artificial turf playing fields.
The LUPC is unlikely to accept public commentary during the meeting
itself. VCS encourages concerned citizens to submit written testimony in
advance (via email
or to the address below) and/or to attend the meeting to learn more and
to signal to the committee that the issue is of broad public interest.
The proposed project raises numerous environmental concerns (explained
in the letter we submitted
encouraging the MVC to review the project). The most straightforward of
these is simply the required periodic disposal of a plastic carpet the
size of a football field, a visceral disappointment in light of recent
progress in reducing plastic waste Island-wide.
Submit comments to:
(Re: "DRI 352 M4")
Martha’s Vineyard Commission
33 New York Avenue
Oak Bluffs, MA 02557
Healing Fire Circle
Wednesday, Feb. 8, 5:00 - 7:30 pm, Aquinnah.
A new, mixed gender fire circle at
Sassafras focused on reconnecting with nature, sharing, and community
building in a world facing challenging times. Donations accepted, more
info at website, or call (508) 645-2008.
Arboretum Winter Tours
Saturday, Feb. 11, 10:00 to 11:00 am, West Tisbury.
Join Polly Hill staff for a look at plants of interest. At this time of
year bark and tree structure stand out, along with fruits and berries.
Meet at the Visitor Center and dress for the weather. $5 (free for
members), for more info see website or call (508) 693-9426.
Panel Discussion: Shellfishing & Aquaculture
Saturday, Feb. 11, 4:00 pm, Edgartown.
Harbor View Hotel hosts a free series of talks and discussions
featuring the MV Shellfish Group and others. For a list of topics or to
purchase tickets for the benefit dinner to follow, see MVSG website.
One Big Home Moves to Edgartown
Sunday, Feb. 19, 4:00 pm, Edgartown.
Documentary film One Big Home,
an exploration of the issues – economic, cultural, and personal –
surrounding the proliferation of huge houses on Martha's Vineyard, is
now showing every other Sunday at Edgartown Cinemas.
Winter Walk at Moshup Trail this Sunday
Defending our Island environment
The heathlands of Moshup Trail in summer, painted en plein air by Allen Whiting for the VCS 50th anniversary event.
been over five years since our last guided hike around the moors,
beaches, and heathlands of Moshup Trail in Aquinnah. Although this
little patch of the globally rare (and declining) coastal heathland
habitat looks much the same as it did then, it has been an
eventful five years. Our long-running legal defense work first received a
significant setback at the State Appeals Court, but then a larger victory before the Mass. Supreme Judicial Court (ultimately made secure when the US Supreme Court declined to review
that decision). In between those decisions came the beginning of a new
program to monitor and improve habitat for a threatened orchid species.
Sometimes, it takes a lot of work just to keep things as-is.
So when we return this Sunday (Feb. 12) to Moshup Trail, it will be for a
Winter Walk that is truly close to the heart of VCS – and symbolic of
our unique role in non-profit conservation legal defense. The Moshup
Trail Sanctuary was originally created through the combined efforts of
non-profits, government entities, and private citizens using the
standard tools of conservation: donations of land, recording of
conservation restrictions, and where possible, outright purchase of
parcels. However, when opportunistic developers sued VCS and others to
force an easement across the Sanctuary to build an access road, legal
defense took on an essential role: protecting rare habitat, already
conserved, from fragmentation and degradation.
The story of conservation at Moshup Trail is at once both inspirational
and cautionary. With the national political climate turning sharply
against environmental protection (see "Quote of the Week" at left),
legal defense – and more broadly, safeguarding those gains already made –
will be of increasing importance to the conservation movement. Please
continue to act in whatever way you are able to help us protect our
natural environment, such as through financial support of VCS and our
colleague non-profits, support of maintaining public funding of the Land
Bank, attending and/or submitting testimony to public hearings, and by
writing your representatives.
Sunday’s walk begins at 1:00 and is expected to last a little over
an hour, followed by cider and cookies. For parking, proceed down Moshup
Trail 1.3 miles from the down-Island end and look for VCS signs on the
Resolution 2017: Make Less Waste
Life Without a Trash Can
This Thursday, our winter film series on waste reduction – Resolution 2017: Make Less Waste
– resumes with a special event. “Life Without a Trash Can” will feature
an excellent collection of speakers: three in person, and three via the
TED Talks video series. Together, they will share what it’s like to
truly live without trash, and what smaller steps we mere mortals can
take to move just a little closer to the “Zero Waste” lifestyle.
Local cookbook author Sarah Waldman will demystify popular snacks
so that anyone can create them, bringing kids into the excitement of
cooking while learning a bit about where our food really comes from –
all while avoiding the excessive packaging of the store-bought
counterparts. (Yes, you can make potato chips at home!) In addition,
Nina Hitchen and Constance Messmer will lead a discussion about food
packaging options and share their experiences with Zero Waste grocery
shopping here on our Island.
The event is this Thursday (Feb. 9) from 5:30 to 7 pm at the Oak Bluffs
Library – and it's free! So come on out, enjoy some homemade Zero Waste
snacks, learn about reducing your own waste footprint, and be entered
for a chance to win a fabulous collection of reusable gear!
For more details, and a preview of the 4th part of the series – the Feb. 18 screening of Bag It – click the posters below.