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WPKN White Rose Political Calendar – July 25, 2016

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 25, 2016.


The Governor’s Council on Climate Change is holding an information session on Tuesday, July 26, between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. Satellite locations have been set up in 10 municipalities around the state so that citizens can access a discussion about nuclear power, natural gas, economic development and jobs, air quality, and environmental social justice. More information is available by going to ct.gov/deep/gc3 and clicking on the “Outreach and Engagement Events” link.


Showing Up for Racial Justice, or SURJ, is an organization that encourages people of all races to fight against discrimination, racial profiling, and violence against people of color. More information about the national organization is at showingupforracialjustice.org. The local Connecticut or Long Island chapters can be found by searching for “SURJ Connecticut” or “SURJ Long Island” on Facebook.


The sister organizations Connecticut Fund for the Environment (or CFE) and Save the Sound are raising awareness about the fate of Plum Island. The U.S. Government will soon close its Plum Island Animal Disease Center, and the fate of the island has been unclear. Although it could possibly be sold for real estate development, environmentalists are calling on the island to remain in its natural state to protect the many endangered species that call it home. CFE has joined with a number of other local environmental groups to sue the governing agency of Plum Island, the Department of Homeland Security. More information about the lawsuit is at tinyurl.com/plumislandlawsuit. Those concerned are encouraged to sign a petition at tinyurl.com/saveplumisland2016. A thorough discussion of Plum Island’s history and its value as a wildlife refuge can be found at the preserveplumisland.org website

The organizations that are working to save Plum Island are sponsoring an informational and fundraising cruise around the island on Sunday, August 21, from 4 to 7 p.m. Details and reservations are available by e-mailing events@savethesound.org.


Connecticut’s utility companies are continuing their aggressive tree removal in neighborhoods throughout the state. Their goal is to fell whole trees if any part of a given tree’s structure is within eight feet of a power line. Homeowners have rights to protect trees on their own property or within their neighborhoods. The Garden Club of New Haven has been taking action to protect trees in the state, and their informative website at tinyurl.com/saveatree2016 includes a list of tree wardens throughout the state as well as actions a homeowner can take if they are approached by a utility.


The second annual CompassionFest will take place in Hamden, Connecticut, on Saturday, July 23. In the words of the organizers, “the mission of this…festival is to unite like-minded people who believe in values of kindness, equity and compassion.” The daylong event features speakers, food, music, and activities for people of all ages. The location is 1253 Whitney Avenue, and more information is at www.compassionfest.net.


On Wednesday, August 3, a number of peace and social action groups on Long Island are coming together for the annual commemoration of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Taking place at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Shelter Rock, this year’s program is dedicated to Father Daniel Berrigan for his relentless pursuit of a world without nuclear weapons, war and poverty. The commemoration starts at 7 p.m. More information can be found at tinyurl.com/lihiroshimacommemoration.


Now that it is summer, lots of beachgoers are flocking to the eastern end of Long Island. This also means an increase in helicopters and airplanes as New Yorkers avoid the crowded highways. The Quiet Skies Coalition has worked with local governments to place restrictions on aircraft noise, including restricting the times of day and night that aircraft can fly. They ask that excessive noise from aircraft be reported by calling 1-800-376-4817. Other options for communicating complaints are at quietskiescoalition.org.


As people are traveling on the highways this summer, they are encouraged to be aware of the signs of human trafficking around them.
The number of enslaved people within the United States is estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands, and the organization “Truckers Against Trafficking” has raised awareness among truckers and other travelers about endangered people who might be in truck stops, restaurants, and at other locations along the road. Their website at truckersagainsttrafficking.org includes training material and a hotline phone number.

The Polaris organization also works to save people caught up in the trafficking web and claims to have rescued over 28,000 from enslavement. Their website at polarisproject.org also has hotline numbers.


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.