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Almanac Archive for October 1, 2012


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Quote of the Week
"Every energy source has pros and cons, benefits and challenges. We wanted to present those as fairly as possible so viewers could understand what roles the different resources play and how they fit together, today and in the future. A responsible future requires a balance of energies – there are no silver bullets."
-- Scott Tinker, Switch narrator, co-writer, and co-producer.

Conservation Calendar

Clothes-to-Go

Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2:00 to 4:00 pm, Vineyard Haven.
Recycling is good, but re-use is even better, as it saves energy in addition to materials. Stop by Christ United Methodist Church (aka Stone Church) for free, gently worn clothing. (Also on Sat., 9:00 - 11:00). For more info, call 508-693-4424.

Public Hearing on Draft Wind Energy Plan
Thursday, Oct. 4, 7:15 pm, at the Martha's Vineyard Commission building, O.B.
Meeting to discuss a new wind energy plan to allow for reasonable wind development while minimizing potentially detrimental impacts on natural resources and human uses.

West Tisbury Farmers' Market

Saturday, Oct 6, 9:00 to noon at the Grange Hall, West Tisbury.
It's the last week for the outdoor farmer's market, before it returns inside the Ag Hall on Oct. 20. See website for more info.

Women in Botany
Saturday, Oct. 13, 10:00 to 11:00 am, at the Polly Hill Arboretum.

Join author Judith Sumner to explore the many roles of women in practical and scientific botany. $20/$10 for PHA members. Also, later that day (1 to 3 pm), Ms. Sumner gives a talk on the history of pickling, drawing on her book American Household Botany. $25/$15 for PHA members.

Toddler Time
Wednesdays, 10:00 am to noon, Native Earth Teaching Farm, Chilmark.
Wednesday mornings at Native Earth are Toddler Time, where toddlers and their adults can meet and play in a fun and unfettered environment. Suggested donation of $5. For more info call 508-645-3304 or see website.

FARM Institute Fall Programs
Call 508-627-7007 to pre-register.

Wee Farmers (Ages 2 - 5)
Saturdays, 9:30 - 11:00 am.

Pet a fiber goat, feed the chickens and help harvest fall veggies. $15. Must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver.

Farm Hands (Ages 6 - 9)
Wednesdays, 3:00 - 5:00 pm.

Join us for afternoon chores and tending the fall garden. Activities include harvesting produce for cooking & preserving, fall festive artwork, composting and dyeing & felting wool. $15. Snack included.

Farmers in Training (Ages 10+)
Fridays, 3:30 - 5:30 pm.

Learn what it takes to be a farmer. Work with our oxen in training, build farm structures, help with chores and work in the Friendship Garden. $15. Snack included.
Monday, October 1, 2012

Local News

Switch to a Smarter Energy Future

The Belle Ayr coal mine in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin, which produced over 28.7 million tons of coal in 2008. Switch takes viewers to the important and striking locations where today's energy is produced, and not just the green ones. (Click for full image; photo from Switch, 2012)

Join VCS and the MV Film Society this weekend for a true highlight of our "Green on Screen" collaboration:

Switch, a new feature-length documentary about world energy, takes the viewer to a coal mine in Wyoming, an offshore oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, a solar power tower in Spain, a liquefied natural gas plant in the Persian Gulf, a hydroelectric plant in Norway, a wind farm in West Texas, and a nuclear waste processing facility in France. Made by Scott Tinker, State Geologist of Texas, and filmmaker Harry Lynch, Switch offers unique access to the places and people of the much-debated energy system.

After the film, please join environmental researcher Jesse Ausubel for a group discussion. Jesse advised on Switch and is a long-time member of the board of directors of the Vineyard Conservation Society. For more on the film, including an extended interview with Jesse, see the Switch Energy Project website.

The screening starts at 4:30, Saturday Oct. 6, at MVFS's new Film Center at Tisbury Marketplace. See MVFS facebook page for more on the screening.

Freshwater Aquifers at Risk as Oceans Rise

“Saltwater intrusion is one example of how human-induced global warming is affecting the Island and yet another warning that coastal communities are on the frontline when it comes to the changing climate.”

All of our island's drinking water (excepting whatever arrives in plastic from mainland water-bottlers) resides in our underground aquifers, with most of it in just one large body that underlies Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, Tisbury, and most of West Tisbury. For centuries it has cycled through the aquifers, drawn out by thirsty humans (as well as their crops and lawns) and replenished by rainfall. But now the ocean, always nearby but separated by geology and elevation, draws closer both physically and chemically. In part eight of her 14-part series, Liz Durkee describes the impacts of sea level rise and saltwater intrusion on our water supply.

Living Local 2012


Thanks to everyone who helped make this year's Living Local Harvest Fest a great success, and especially to our VCS Board members who volunteered to share their knowledge of the organization at our booth: Richard Toole, James Prichard, Liz Durkee, Ginny Jones, and Alan Ganapol. 
Other News

The Politics of Plastic Bags

While the Vineyard's major grocery stores have taken it upon themselves to offer up carrots (and brandish sticks) to encourage reusable shopping bags, the trend has apparently not progressed rapidly enough for local governments in some locations. A recent piece in the N.Y. Times describes new reusable bag initiatives in places such as Santa Cruz County, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., and the push-back they've generated.

It's an interesting story in general, and raises good questions about the wisdom of imposing, through force of law, trivial but annoying penalties to encourage good behavior. But to be honest, the most entertaining parts of the article are the names of (and statements from) the non-profit advocacy groups presenting the counterarguments to these bills: the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition, who help provide legal counsel to fight local ordinances, and the American Progressive* Bag Alliance, an industry lobbying group (though you won't find out which ones from their "Members" page, which oddly lists no members; you'll need to go to Wikipedia for that.)

* Apparently, they're "progressive" because, while they vigorously defend the right to bear plastic, they support recycling when you're done with it.
Submit your conservation news to: almanac@vineyardconservation.org

Copyright (C) *2012* *Vineyard Conservation Society* All rights reserved.


Original content by Jeremy Houser unless otherwise noted.
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