Sunday, August 30, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
We Have Not Begun to Fight:
Battling Polluting Waste Coal Plants In Western Pennsylvania
Many years of mining in Pennsylvania created large areas of waste coal, called gob piles. This is the Beech Hollow gob pile, just outside of McDonald, as seen from the western side (photo taken winter 2008):
Here's what the Beech Hollow gob pile looks like from space, courtesy of Google Earth (photo taken late summer 2005):
The large glob of gray to the west of 980 (Robinson Highway) is the largest gob pile east of the Mississippi. It's in our backyard. Granted, it's an ugly mess, but in its current state, it isn't adding to the particulate problem in Southwestern Pennsylvania. However, if you live in places like North Fayette Towship, Oakdale, Carnegie, and Mount Lebanon, you live downwind of a proposed coal waste power plant for Beech Hollow, that will make electricity from the waste coal in this gob pile while spewing fly ash into the air.
For many years, Pittsburgh has been at or near the top of cities with the most particulate-polluted air. Yet our local politicians are giving permission for a waste coal power plant to be built just west of the area? This type of plant will only make a bad air quality situation worse, as anyone with asthma or other lung problems in our region already knows.
If you live in the Pittsburgh area, especially in the western and southern suburbs, you should be mad as hell and let your local officials know that you aren't going to take it.
To learn more about this proposed waste coal power plant, attend a public meeting in Mount Lebanon on Thursday, August 27, 7:30pm, Mt. Lebanon Library
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I haven't been targeted by too many anonymous trolls, but there have been a few comments that have left me uncomfortable. I'd like to know the identity of the person wishing me a slow, painful death. Perhaps this court ruling will help move the discourse in a more civil direction?
Yes, my headline is wishful thinking. But this is definitely a step in the right direction. (Ignore the article's headline if you can, ugh.)
A Manhattan judge ruled yesterday that a blogger can't hide
behind a web of anonymity while flinging the ugly words "skank" and "ho" at
The sternly worded ruling orders Google to give up the identity of an anonymous blogger-assailant who inexplicably devoted an entire blog -- titled "Skanks in NYC" -- to maligning beautiful blond model Liskula Cohen.
Once Cohen knows the name of her harasser, she can serve them with a
Now, how I feel about anonymous trolls - anonymous misogynists, specifically, is no
secret. But Tracy Clark-Flory at Broadsheet has a point: "I am a true child of the Internet and a libertarian at heart, so I'm not all that enthused by the prospect,
repugnant as these characters may be." What could a case like this mean for
anonymous bloggers who aren't harassing creepsters? It's a tough one - I value
the anonymity the Internet gives to people who are using blogging and online
activism for progressive ends.
When it comes to the harassment and threats that so many people face online, the answer is clear - there should be some accountability. (And no, before anyone says it: Maligning people, calling women "whores," and issuing online rape and death threats aren't "free speech.") Sometimes that accountability comes in the form of a blogger outing a harasser. Sometimes it means that said harassers will face consequences they never expected.
Most of the time, however, there isn't any accountability - and the victims of online harassment and threats are left with no recourse except to live with it. I certainly know how that feels - having been the target of harassment ranging from bloggers calling me a slut from the way I looked in an innocuous picture, to rape and death
threats in emails, to a website Photoshopping pictures of me to look pornographic. And let me tell you: that shit changes you. It changes your sense of safety, sense of self and any idealism you may have had about people being generally good.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Need help to assemble Netroots conference's swag bags.
As soon as you can come in, we'd appreciate your help.
If you know anyone that you can bring in to pitch in, please drag them along.
If you haven't signed up for a time and can come by for a bit to help out, come
on by when you can.
Come up to the third floor (on the Pitt St/Westin Hotel side) and come back to
the exhibit hall (Spirit of Pittsburgh Ball Room) and we'll get you set up.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
WHEN: Thursday, Aug. 6th 5:30-6:30 pm
WHERE: City-County Building, 414 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 (map)
From the Women and Girls Foundation:
Candlelight Vigil to be Held Thursday, Aug. 6th 5:30-6:30pm
at City-County building for Victims of Collier Shooting
Community Groups and Public Officials will gather to offer prayers to families.
PITTSBURGH- The Women and Girls Foundation is organizing a community candlelight vigil to be held in the portico of the City-County Building in Downtown, Pittsburgh, Thursday August 6th at 5:30pm to offer support and non-denominational prayers to the victims and families of the Collier Shooting.
“We are organizing this vigil so that we can join together as a community to send collective prayers to the families of the women who were killed and the women who are still in critical condition, as a result of this horrific and violent act against women,” said Executive Director Heather Arnet. “From the murderer’s own blog and note, it is more than evident that the focus of his rage and violence was women. This vigil is intended to send strength and prayers to the families who are grieving and for those women and their families who are hoping to heal from this horrific event.”
All members of the community are encouraged and welcome to attend. Participating in the vigil will be representatives from the Foundation, local elected officials, the National Organization of Women, National Council of Jewish Women, Pittsburghers Against Domestic Violence, local victims service agencies, and many other community organizations. All are welcome.
Also participating in the vigil will be members of Women and Girls Foundation’s Regional Change Agents, a diverse group of 15 teen girls and 15 adult women from Allegheny, Fayette, Greene and Washington counties, who have come together to engage in civic advocacy in their communities to support women. The tragic events of Tuesday night have moved the Allegheny County team of Regional Change Agents to call attention to the inexcusable acts of violence against women within our community and beyond it.
More information about the Women and Girls Foundation can be found at http://www.wgfpa.org/
Date & time: Thursday, Aug. 8 at 5:30 p.m.
Location: t.b.a. (I’ll update when it’s confirmed)
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this is just awful.
My immediate thought was some man is pissed off at an ex-girlfriend or ex-wife/his job or former job/all women. I especially thought the latter after I heard that he turned off the lights before he started firing.
You can pretty much bet your house on this stuff.
Now we know that:
Yes, the shooter was male.
Yes, he hated women.
He's been identified as George Sodini:
You can read his "thoughts" here.
In case you didn't know it, women are "hoes" (because they don't want to date him).
He's a racist.
He planned this for a year.
Really, nothing more to say except to extend condolences to the family and friends of those who he murdered.
Brenda Waters just reported on the morning KDKA show that the shooter left behind writing indicating he planned this because he hated women. http://kdka.com/local/LA.fitness.shooting.2.1114954.html
If anyone can follow this story today, please do. I'll give it a shot at lunch.