Sunday, April 6, 2014

OMNI climate meeting at 1:30 p.m. at Bennett House: Everyone invited

OMNI-350 - Climate Change Task Force
WhenSun, April 6, 1:30pm – 3:30pm
WhereOMNI Center for Peace, Justice & Ecology, North Lee Avenue, Fayetteville, AR, United States (map)
DescriptionMonthly meeting of environmental group. Come get educated, and find out what you can do to help save the Earth. Note: For this month only, the meeting will be at the OMNI Center instead of the public library.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Northwest Arkansas Caucus with Arkansas Public Policy Panel at Thursday (April 3, 2014) at US Pizza on Dickson Street in Fayetteville

 Fighting for our future: with Pizza -- Join us Thursday night for NWA Caucus meeting‏

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From: Bill Kopsky at AR Public Policy Panel []
Sent: Tuesday, April 01, 2014 1:49 PM
To: CFC Northwest Arkansas Caucus
Cc: Board, Staff, Steering Committee
Subject: Fighting for our future: with Pizza -- Join us Thursday night for NWA Caucus meeting
Northwest Arkansas friends,

The people of Arkansas need you to be more engaged than ever as we head into a critical election year and the coming Arkansas Legislative session.  Please join us this Thursday night at US Pizza on Dickson to talk about the issues you see as most critical to move our state forward.  We are in the process of building our agenda for the next legislative session and we need your input.  A flier is attached and you can register by or calling 501-376-7913 x 10.

The political landscape in Arkansas is shifting beneath our feet.  We've watched the average score for an Arkansas House member drop from 77% in 2009 to 52% last session in our vote guide measuring how often they support progressive issues.  Consider some of the issues confronting us:

  • The state budget is a wreck moving forward thanks to tax cuts wildly favoring the rich passed in the last session and sponsored by your own Rep. Charlie Collins.  The state can not afford to make needed investments in education, infrastructure, economic development and more because the budget has been hijacked by tax cuts for the wealthy.  Nearly every issue you care about is going to be heavily impacted by the tax and budget debate at the legislature.
  • Climate change denial is in vogue in Arkansas politics and big oil and outside money from the Koch brothers are making a sane and sustainable energy future harder to achieve.  The status quo is hurting our economy and not helping it either.  We can do better!
  • Our water is at risk as well.  Last session the legislature voted to lower water quality standards across the state -- luckily the law was so bad the EPA interceded to stop its implementation.  The new state water plan will need to be implemented in the next session and we need lawmakers who care about science and understand the importance of Arkansas's high water quality.
  • On civil rights we saw the Dream Act narrowly fail in Senate Committee last session while an unconstitutional vote id law meant to suppress minority, young and elderly voters from participation passed over a Governor's veto.
Despite the challenges there are bright spots.  
  • 250,000 working-poor Arkansans now have health care thanks to a 75% bipartisan majority that expanded medicaid through Arkansas' private option by two votes.  It needs to be reauthorized again next session.  Over 150,000 Arkansas are already insured through the program saving lives and increasing economic opportunity.
  • Last session we passed several green energy bills, including PACE to make financing energy improvements easier.  We still have a long way to go but green energy is a non-partisan winner for our economy as well as our planet.  
  • We also passed 2 key election reform bills that require more poll worker training and double the number of election monitors in the state.
  • Last session we defeated several assaults on our public education system -- including bills to privatize the system and ones that would have cut school funding in favor of highways.  Arkansas has one of the fastest improving education systems in the country thanks to the investments and innovations the state has adopted over the past 10 years -- now is no time to retreat.
  • There is a growing campaign to raise the state's minimum wage at the ballot box this November -- a proven way to boost the economy and reduce poverty.
Our experience over the years tells us that we are successful when we start our campaigns early.  The legislature will start budget hearings for next year as early as this May.  We need you to join the conversation now so we are ready to win the reforms we all need next January at the Legislature.

We also know that we are successful when we make our issues come up during elections -- and there are some doozy elections this cycle.  We want to get your advice about how to make our issues matter during this year's elections.  Of course we'll have our first new Governor in 8 years and there is a US Senate race -- and both of those are locked in 50-50 ties in the polls.  There is also the critical election for the Arkansas House of Representative, which currently has a Republican majority of just 1 seat.  Many of these races for the AR House will be decided by just a few hundred votes.  We want to make sure that candidates of all parties in these races have to talk with their constituents about the issues that will move Arkansas forward.  

Please join us this Thursday night at US Pizza from 6-9pm to build a common agenda for a better Arkansas -- and help us spread the word.

We appreciate your leadership.  Thanks


ps1: Also mark your calendars for the CFC pre-convention on April 26th in Little Rock and the full agenda-setting CFC Convention June 20-22 at the 4-H Center in Ferndale.

ps2: Please nominate your heroes for our Dragon Slayer award -- several categories are available to honor the people making a difference in your community and state!

Bill Kopsky

The Arkansas Public Policy Panel
Building a Better Arkansas by putting the PUBLIC back in Arkansas public policy since 1963.
Organize to win.

Watch a brief film on our 50 years of social change in Arkansas here.

1308 West Second Street
Little Rock, AR 72201
501-376-7913 x 12
fax: 374-3935

Our sister organization Arkansas Citizens First Congress at or

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Raleigh, N.C., banned garbage-disposal installation in 2008

Raleigh, N.C., Bans New Garbage Disposals

Cooking grease accumulates at the bottom of a manhole in Raleigh, N.C.i
Cooking grease accumulates at the bottom of a manhole in Raleigh, N.C. Grease can clog sewer lines and obstruct the flow of wastewater.
Adam Hochberg, NPR
Raleigh public works employees use a specially equipped truck to clean grease out of a sewer line.i
Raleigh public works employees use a specially equipped truck to clean grease out of a sewer line. Crews drop video cameras down manholes to find grease clogs, then flush the sewer lines with chemicals and water.
Adam Hochberg, NPR
Starting Monday, new garbage disposals are banned in Raleigh, N.C. Officials say the appliances allow grease to accumulate in sewers, leading to sewage spills. But a lot of homeowners, and a company that makes the kitchen appliances, consider the ban invasive and misdirected.
To try to prevent environmentally damaging sewage spills, city crews use a special truck to flush away grease with water and chemicals. They do it on every sewer line in Raleigh — repeating the process about twice a year.
Mayor Charles Meeker says the annual cost runs into the millions of dollars, and he blames much of the problem on garbage disposals, which he says encourage bad kitchen habits.
"You certainly can put grease down a sink without a disposal, but when you have a disposal in a house, you're more likely to grind up things like chicken bones," Meeker says. "And the amount of grease that comes out of each house is increased by about 20 percent, which across the city is thousands and thousands of gallons."
So now, new garbage disposals are outlawed in Raleigh. While people who already have them can keep using them, no new ones can be installed. Meeker hopes residents will start composting their food scraps.
But it's clear that many aren't ready to give up their disposals. City Councilman Rodger Koopman says he has heard so much outrage about the ban that he's reconsidering his support for it.
And David MacNair, a vice president of InSinkErator, the world's largest maker of what it calls "household food waste disposers," says his company's appliances are good for the environment because they reduce the amount of waste going to landfills. He says disposals shouldn't be singled out as the only source of sewer grease.
InSinkErator and other industry groups successfully lobbied New York City to repeal a similar ban on garbage disposals 11 years ago. Now, MacNair says they'll try to do the same thing in Raleigh. On Tuesday, they'll argue before the City Council that their ubiquitous kitchen appliance has been unfairly demonized.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Re-use, recycle, compost to protect watershed and city budget. See NWA Times story below to understand the need to outlaw garbage disposals and educate the public, restaurant owners and others

Feed food leftovers to pets, wildlife or compost at home to protect the watershed and life in our streams and lakes. See NWA Times story, where explanation points to this suggestion:
Like ·  ·  · 13 minutes ago · 
  • Aubrey James Shepherd People taking their trays to turn in after lunch at the Fayetteville Senior Center often comment on the incredible amount of food dumped into the sink to be ground up by the garbage disposal and sent to water-trreatment plant in the photo above.
  • Aubrey James Shepherd Taking leftovers home to pets or to compost naturally in own yard would be better. The senior center should have its own composting site and the adjacent community garden could use the fertilizer!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

City Council meeting canceled: Fayetteville, Arkansas, snowed in again

Public Meetings Calendar

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Canceled Due to Inclement Weather City Council Meeting
City Clerk
Time: 6:00 PM
Location: Room 219

Friday, January 31, 2014

February 1, 2014, on Mount Sequoyah annual members and friends gathering of Omni Center

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Annual Members and Friends Gathering!
Saturday, February 1 -- 5:30-8:30 pm
Mt. Sequoyah Retreat Center, Dining Hall

The Sweet Music of Peace...   
Fayetteville is so lucky to have the kind of talent that wanders around thinking up incredible songs about peace, justice and a thriving earth. 

Kelly Mulhollan and Fernando Garcia will be emcee-ing the program Saturday night.  They gave us a few notes about the music and musicians who we'll hear.  Just look at this and drool until you get to hear them.

Don't Stop Please 
They're the buzz all around town, recently relocated from Conway.   They wanted to be where the real action is, so they came to Fayetteville, of course.  They're often seen as a large ensemble, but the wing that will be performing for us is the duo often known as "Handmade Moments".

Air Loom 
Does he look like a physics professor to you?  Dana and Jackson have a magical chemistry that vibrates on stage. She's part of the Idlet clan of Trout Fishing fame (also long-time OMNI members), but she has enough talent to hold her own without parental credentials.

And Inimitable Papa Rap 
The irrepressible champion of peace and justice, and vibrant bridge between the Latino and Anglo communities.  His Caribbean-rap sound is distinctive and exciting, and has been an important part of his appeal to the young people he has inspired and mentored over the years.   Papa Rap is irresistibly interactive.  You already know you're gonna love him.

Also grateful to Mount Sequoyah for hosting us at no charge.  It's a very comfortable venue for this event.  Bet you like it too.  

Acting in the Present...Working Toward the Future...Together
Annual Meeting also features a chance to see your peace friends, OMNI programs that have tables for information, and music from terrific local musicians.  Always fun.  REALLY fun!
Also your chance to support OMNI, while you have a blast. $10 suggested donation, kids under 5 free, nobody turned away.

Mt Sequoyah Retreat Center, 150 N. Skyline Dr., Fayetteville
OMNI 350 Environmental Events
Citizens Climate Lobby monthly meeting
Saturday Feb 1 - 11:00 am, OMNI.  Potluck lunch where you learn some outstanding tools and hear about some amazing people making real progress in a tough Congress. This is where you can find a place to make a real contribution yourself. 

Regional Conference March 8... more info here:
Info and Registration here

Climate Change Book Forum
Sunday Feb 2 - 1:30 pm, Fay Public Library Walker Room.
This month's book is "The Plundered Planet" by Paul Collier.  The economics of managing global resources for climate stability.  This is a controversial book taking a position from more traditional economics, that should generate some excellent conversation.  Discussion facilitated by Phil Zimmerman

If you wish to read the book, OMNI still has one copy to loan. Contact the office at 479-935-4422.
Open Mic for Peace
Open Mic Turns to Comedy 
Sunday Feb 2 -- 7:00 pm 

OMNI Center

Sunday is Open Mic night at Omni and you don't want to miss this:
Our featured guest will be two comedians, Taylor Henschelland Steve Holst! Both were the feature for the last Ozark Poets and Writers Guild event and they were fabulous.
It all begins at 7:00 at the Omni Center (February 2nd)
After the feature, we will have open mic as always for your songs and word of peace, justice, and ecology.
Hope to see you there, Kelly and Donna
More OMNI and Community Activity
Add your events to the list by emailing

Feb 1 - 11:00 am - Citizens Climate Lobby meets, OMNI.
Feb 1 - 5:30 pm - ANNUAL MEMBERS MEETING - Mt. Sequoyah Assembly Dining Hall. Put it on your cal!
Feb 2 - 1:30 pm - Climate Change Book Forum - Fay Library. Book is "The Plundered Planet", let by Phil  
Feb 2 - 7:00 pm - OPEN MIC for PEACE - OMNI
Feb 8 - Interfaith Harmony Day - St. Paul's - 1:00-5:00 pm 
Feb 9 - 11:00 am - Gladys Tiffany talks at Unitarian Fellowship Fayetteville, on the values shift now going on in America 
Feb 9 - 3:00 pm - Women's Support Group meets at OMNI
Feb 9 - 6:30 pm - Video Underground - movie: Mis- Representation  
Feb 10 - 6:00 pm - Civil Rights Roundtable, OMNI 
Feb 12 - 6:30 pm - Veggie Potluck @ OMNI -------------------------------------------

Feb 22 - 5:00 pm - OMNI Empowerment Series - new and exciting - Open space exploration of your interests
Mar 8 - Citizens Climate Lobby Regional Conference - Eureka Springs - more info soon - register here
March 16 - Fay Com RADIO Fundraising Event - Greenhouse Grill
Mar 16-23 -- GODDESS FESTIVAL - @ OMNI. More info at the Annual Meeting

Every week @ OMNI -  
7:00 pm Mondays - Falun Gong meditation group meets in the OMNI library     
Quaker Meetings 9:30 am Sundays.  Anyone invited.  
First Sundays 1-5 pm - Rooted Vision Healing Drums   
The OMNI Center for Peace, Justice & Ecology actively educates, empowers and connects to build a nonviolent, sustainable, and just world.  
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