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WPKN White Rose Political Calendar – July 28, 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 July 28, 2014.

Utility companies have begun their new tree pruning project in municipalities across the state. With this modified program, utilities will attempt to remove trees that are within eight feet of power lines, rather than just pruning the trees’ limbs. Fearing a Connecticut where thousands of the state’s trees could be felled, residents have achieved protection for the trees on their property and in their neighborhoods with the passage of Connecticut’s House Bill 5408. Trees can only be removed with the permission of the property owner and the town’s tree warden. The Garden Club of New Haven has created a page outlining actions that can be taken if a property owner would like to protect a tree from utility company removal. More details are at tinyurl.com/treeactions.

The group Women Organized to Resist and Defend, or “WORD,” is planning actions at Hobby Lobbies across the United States. The Supreme Court recently upheld Hobby Lobby’s ability to deny contraceptive coverage in its employees’ insurance packages. Another recent Supreme Court decision limited the rights of abortion providers to maintain a barrier between their clients and anti-abortion protesters. Activist groups across the country are rallying to bring attention to the need for women to have access basic reproductive care. More information about WORD and their actions nationwide is at defendwomensrights.org.

As the largest provider of women’s healthcare in the country, Planned Parenthood is also working on these issues, especially in the light of these recent Supreme Court decisions and with attempts by some members of the United States Congress to legislate further restrictions that would deny full healthcare for women. With the 2014 elections rapidly approaching, Planned Parenthood has created a website, “Women Are Watching,” to suggest ways to let elected officials know that women will fight for their health and freedom of choice through the ballot box. More information about these activities is at womenarewatching.org.

The 69th anniversary of U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will be commemorated in New Haven on Wednesday, August 6, at the flagpole on the New Haven Green. The 8:15 a.m. gathering will include Community readings on nuclear issues and readings of the 2014 Peace Declarations from the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The group Food and Water Watch has created a Move-On petition addressed to Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy to encourage his signature on U.S. Senate Bill 1256. This legislation would limit the use of antibiotics in healthy animals that are being raised for food production. Currently, 80% of all antibiotics in the United States are used in healthy animals on farms, which is leading to the increase in antibiotic-resistant “super-bugs.” The Move-On petition and further details about this Senate Bill are available at tinyurl.com/restrictantibiotics

The Connecticut Fund for the Environment is working to maintain the health of the Long Island Sound through various activities. Residents throughout the region can sign on to the new “Long Island Sound Pledge,” and commit to various actions such as reaching out to local political officials or establishing gardens to reduce soil erosion that would wash into the Sound. More details about this endeavor are at ctenvironment.org.

On September 21, a rally to call attention to the devastating affects of climate change will be held in New York City, and locations around the world will be holding similar events throughout the weekend. Organizers are hoping this will be the largest such rally ever, and numerous local organizations are putting together transportation and pre-rally meetings to prepare. In Connecticut, one such organizer is 350CT.org, and details about their activities can be found at tinyurl.com/climatechangerally. The primary web-page for information about the rally is at peoplesclimate.org. A number of New Haven organizations are holding an informational meeting on Tuesday, July 29, at the Friends Meeting House, 225 Grand Avenue. More information is available by e-mailing office@pepeace.org.

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.