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WPKN White Rose Political Calendar – April 21, 2014

Welcome to this week’s edition of the White Rose Political Calendar. The calendar takes its name from the White Rose, a resistance group in Nazi Germany that worked to educate and organize opposition to the horrifying agenda of the Third Reich. In the spirit of the White Rose, WPKN offers its weekly Political Calendar in order to give voice to the struggles for political, social, economic and environmental justice. Here are some of the listings for the week of April 21, 2014.

In Connecticut, discussions continue about United Illuminating’s proposal to cut down all Connecticut trees located within 8 feet of power lines. Updated information about the tree removal plan is available at gardenclubofnewhaven.org. Residents are encouraged to tie green ribbons around any trees that would likely be felled under the “eight-foot” proposal.

Bishop Desmond Tutu won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his work to end South Africa’s apartheid system, leading a movement that encouraged universities, unions, and religious organizations around the world to rid themselves of any investments that supported the South African regime. He has recently called for a similar movement to encourage these institutions to divest themselves of any funding that supports the carbon fuel industry. A recent victory by this movement occurred when Harvard University voted to divest its endowment of any carbon-based investments. More information about this movement and recommendations for individual and institutional divestment is at gofossilfree.org.

On Long Island, on Saturday, April 26, the Pax Christi Long Island Peace Award will honor a twenty-year journey for gun safety. The event will recognize Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy and Joyce Gorycki, each of whom lost a husband in a mass shooting on the Long Island Railroad in 1993. Over the course of the past twenty years, the two women have worked on local, state and national levels to promote gun control. The peace award event starts at 11 a.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation on Shelter Rock Road in Manhasset. Additional details and directions are at uucsr.org

Earth Day in New Haven will again be celebrated with the annual Rock-to-Rock bicycle ride. On Saturday, April 26, Individuals and teams can enjoy a day of bicycling while helping to raise money for local environmental and social service organizations. Further details are at rocktorock.org. Numerous routes are available, from short, family-friendly excursions to more challenging “metric century” rides that go throughout New Haven county.

The Interreligious Eco-Justice Network is holding an Earth Day celebration on April 27 in Hartford. The event starts at 12:45 at the Charter Oak Cultural Center with an interfaith prayer service and pledges to protect the planet. The group will then march to Riverfront plaza for an afternoon of music, exhibits, and activities for kids. More information is at irejn.org.

With the growing season finally here, seasoned and would-be gardeners in New Haven can take a series of urban gardening workshops that are sponsored by the Common Ground School, the New Haven Land Trust, and Neighborhood Housing Services. These programs cover everything from chicken breeding to growing tomatoes. Information is available at tinyurl.com/Common-ground-programs.

April also marks the beginning of the season when Monarch butterflies travel from Mexico to the United States. A website has been created that allows children in these regions to communicate with each other about these beautiful insects whose habitats face threats on both sides of the border. Children in the United States can send questions to the children in Mexico, and kids in both countries can exchange symbolic paper butterflies. Further details are at tinyurl.com/symbolic-butterfly-migration.

The Connecticut Fund for the Environment is supporting many events in advance of Earth Day. The full schedule can be found by clicking on “Earth Day” at greencitiesbluewaters.wordpress.com. One of these events takes place on Friday, April 25. The 23rd Annual Long Island Sound Citizens Summit will feature leading environmental pioneers, community advocates, scientific minds and local, state and federal representatives. Participants will celebrate the Sound’s history and explore priorities for future action on the updated “Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan,” the blueprint for restoring and protecting the Sound. The event takes place at Iona College in New Rochelle. Details and reservations are available at tinyurl.com/2014CitizensSummit

This spring, for the first time, migratory fish will use the new fishway on the Pequonnock River to swim to their spawning habitat from Long Island Sound. To celebrate this accomplishment, the group Save the Sound is looking for volunteers to plant native shrubs and grasses that will filter runoff from nearby roads and help keep the Pequonnock River healthy for fish and aquatic life. On Saturday, May 10, at 11:00 AM, there will be a plant-a-thon at Glenwood Park in Bridgeport. You can e-mail restoration@savethesound.org or call at 203-787-0646 for more information.

On June 23, 2014, the White House will host a Summit on Working Families to focus on creating a 21st-century workplace that supports all Americans. Leading up to the June 23rd summit, the Department of Labor will host forums to identify initiatives that benefit America’s working families, businesses, and the economy. One such event is taking place on Monday, May 12, in New York City, from 9 a.m. to noon. More details are at tinyurl.com/new-york-labor-summit.

To list your group’s local, regional or national events, send announcements, one week in advance when possible, to the White Rose Political Calendar, at valrichardson@wpkn.org. This week’s calendar was produced by Valerie and Rod Richardson.