The Justice & Peace eWeekly is a weekly survey of upcoming events, local news and activism opportunities. Feel free to forward this to anyone you know who might be interested.


Week of April 29, 2019


EPA Caves In to Pressure From Air Force

Laxer Standards Approved for PFAS Contaminants Affecting Fountain, Security

The Environmental Protection Agency has bowed to pressure from the Pentagon to loosen the standards for toxic substances in groundwater. The PFAS class of substances are responsible for groundwater contamination in the Security-Widefield area, and in dozens of locations near Air Force bases across the nation. PFAS compounds were used in fire-fighting foam at many U.S. military airfields.

The New York Times and other media outlets reported April 26 that the EPA had removed a section from proposed standards that would have required immediate removal actions at locations such as Peterson AFB where contamination already has been proven. The Defense Department could have been responsible for cleanup at more than 400 locations nationwide. A section of the original proposal calling for immediate cleanup when PFAS hit 400 parts per trillion has been completely eliminated from the draft. The new standards preserve longer-term cleanup for sites where groundwater has at least 70 parts per million of PFAS, but they would allow the Defense Department to take years or even decades to clean up contamination. The proposed regulations are open for a 45-day comment period, but members of Congress already have vigorously denounced the EPA proposal. The public can comment at

AfJ Podcasts

The Active for Justice PPJPC Podcast, like all Studio 809 podcasts, has debuted on iTunes and on Google Podcasts, with an imminent Spotify appearance anticipated. The second PPJPC Active for Justice podcast went live last weekend, to coincide with the recent RAWtools book tour hitting the city on March 23. In the podcast, PPJPC Executive Director Victoria Stone interviewed RAWtools founder Michael Martin and its arts coordinator, Mary Sprunger-Froese, who joined with Josh Rumpel, the gun violence activist featured in the first AfJ podcast.

The title of the second podcast is “Eat, Pray Peace: How Can We Make This Podcast About Gun Violence Unnecessary?” The speakers discuss a recent shooting in which a mother killed her three children. It’s not a mass shooting, but it is gun violence. Part of the challenge: a belief that guns are a problem-solver, something that gun laws alone won’t solve. Also discussed: the myth of “redemptive violence,” the notion that we need guns to protect us from people with guns. American society tends to think there is some good violence (by police, military, etc.), but of course it is still violence. Also on the agenda: the “wild west” persona. We’re obsessed with having power OVER people instead of power under people and lifting them up.

The non-profit Martin founded, RAWtools, turns guns into garden tools, “changing the story from death into life” (with a team of volunteers being taught how to blacksmith). He is also co-author (with Shane Claiborne) of the new book, Beating Guns. The book explores how we got into the place we’re in today with so many shootings. Ten percent of the gun owners are holding this conversation hostage. The hope of the book is that we stop killing each other.

As artist-in-residence at RAWtools, Mary Sprunger-Froese hosts workshops at RAWtools. Justice activist Josh Rumpel has spent a year studying gun violence.

Visit to volunteer, donate, or learn about workshops. Visit to learn more about the book or see if there is a book tour stop in your area.
You’ll find the first two AfJ podcasts at new podcast at

Peak Environment Podcast Analyzes Getting Sustainability Story Out on Social Media

The newest Peak Environment podcast from Studio 809, Episode 23, looks at ways of expanding the story of sustainability on social media. How do we get the sustainability message beyond the choir? Social media is an opportunity to tell your story, capture people’s attention, engage with supporters and build community. Skyler Leonard, digital communications specialist for the City of Colorado Springs, shares how to better engage the community about sustainability using social media.
The new podcast is available at

Do you know your shrooms? Episode 22 of Peak Environment is on ‘Fungi, the Forgotten Kingdom.’ “All mushrooms are edible – at least once,” quips environmental scientist and mushroom expert Mike Essam, president of the Pikes Peak Mycological Society. Mike shared the wonders of fungi in this very popular talk at the March 22 luncheon of the Pikes Peak Environmental Forum. The photographs Mike showed are a key part of the presentation, so it’s recommended you view the slides (see the links in the show notes) while listening.
The mushroom podcast is available at

David Barsamian to Speak at UCCS May 20

PPJPC will sponsor Colorado radio host David Barsamian for a special talk on resistance in the face of new repression. Barsamian will speak Monday, May 20 at 6 p.m. at University Center 302 on the UCCS campus. He will be preceded by Bill Sulzman of Citizens for Peace in Space, who will talk on local use of military drones. Barsamian describes his topic:  “hen is enough enough? In the face of evil what does it take for people to move from passivity to active resistance? Throughout history there have been instances of people defying tyranny. Fighting back no matter what the odds. An example comes from Nazi Germany, often considered the benchmark of evil. Opposition to the regime was highly dangerous. Hans and Sophie Scholl, brother and sister, and others at the University of Munich said, Genug. Enough. They formed the White Rose movement and called on Germans to recognize their moral duty and overthrow the government. They disseminated critical information through flyers and graffiti. One such graffiti said, “Whatever comes out of Hitler’s mouth is a lie.” In 1943, Hans and Sophie Scholl were arrested and beheaded. Their resistance and courage are honored today. They took risks. Can we?” We’ll have more information to come!

Author Rebekah Shardy Presents "Natural Intelligence" at ELIC May 4

Local environmental writer Rebekah Shardy, author of 98 Things a Woman Should Do in Her Lifetime, will give a presentation on “Natural Intelligence: Connecting to the Earth” on Saturday, May 4, from 2:30 to 4 p.m. at East Library Information Center, 5550 N. Union Blvd. Do you know how to receive earth’s information, energy and inspiration? How did we get disconnected from our rightful relationship with nature? What are natural ways to LISTEN, SPEAK, GIVE & RECEIVE?

Deep in our hearts dwells a primal knowledge of our natural connection. This unique presentation validates and reminds us of our Earth-MotherWit. Share stories and ideas for cultivating your sacred relationship with Her. Presenter Rebekah Shardy is a teacher and author of 98 Things a Woman Should Do in Her Lifetime. She has been enriched by a lifelong conscious, creative and reciprocal connection with our natural world.

To RSVP, please call (970) 308-8393 by May 1, 2019

PPJPC Offers Sound System for Community Group Rental

PPJPC has partnered with Studio 809 to purchase a portable sound system appropriate for indoor or outdoor use. If you are interested in arranging the use of this sound system, contact Victoria at (719) 632-6189.

The Springs Echo Returns to the Streets!

Colorado Springs’ newspaper for the homeless, The Springs Echo, will return later this spring with the assistance of PPJPC. We are looking for writers and for distributors of the paper, please contact if you would like to help.

Excellence Academy Can Use Thursday-Friday Lunch Donations

PPJPC’s LEAD Excellence Academy can use donations of simple lunches, such as pizza and sandwiches, on the Thursdays and Fridays our classes are in session. The academy is offering classes at 315 S. Hancock, and is designed to help challenge the cradle-to-prison pipeline, a key mission for PPJPC in 2019. Our first students signed up in mid-January, but we are still accepting admissions for the Thursday-Friday sessions. If you are interested in helping out with food, contact Victoria Stone at (719) 632-6189.

Moms Demand Action Needs Volunteers for SMART

Volunteer with Be SMART.  Tabling events throughout the spring and summer to share info about safe gun storage, preventing unintentional child deaths and teen suicide.  No expertise required, just a friendly smile. Email Julie Carr if you know of an event we should be at or to volunteer with us!


Urban Experience Plans Next Walk for May 18

Our Urban Experience team is planning its next full tour of services for the homeless on Saturday, May 18, at 8:00 a.m. featuring presentations at Penrose Library at mid-day. For online registration, go to For more information, call (719) 632-6189, or email

Trump Cuts in Line to Speak at AFA Graduation May 30, Spurring Likely Protests

President Donald Trump unexpectedly pulled rank over Vice President Mike Pence, who was expected to give the keynote address for the Air Force Academy graduation May 30. On April 25, the White House announced the president would speak instead. This has already sparked calls for larger than usual protests on AFA graduation day. Stay tuned to the eWeekly for information on possible actions.

May Day Solidarity Fest Planned for Bancroft Park May 4

Colorado Springs Socialists’ Labor Outreach Committee and other groups are planning a labor solidarity festival to honor May Day on Saturday, May 4, at Bancroft Park, 2408 W. Colorado, from 12:00 to 4. The festival will feature speakers, music, and informational tables.

Colorado Springs Repeats Popular Renter Rights Program

The city’s community development division is repeating its popular “Renter Rights” program in association with Pikes Peak Library District and Colorado Legal Aid.  Two remaining workshops will be held in the summer and the fall to discuss the rights and responsibilities of renters. Admission is free, but space is limited, and those interested should check with the web site for more information. A summer workshop will be held Wednesday, August 7 at Penrose Library, 20 N. Cascade, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. The last fall workshop will be held Saturday, Oct. 12 at Sand Creek Library, 1821 S. Academy, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. For information on registering, go to

ECOC to Present Two Summer "Diversity University" Sessions

Educating Children of Color will repeat its popular Diversity University in two June and July sessions at Pikes Peak Community College. They will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily from June 10 to June 14, and again from July 22 to July 26. The workshops will be facilitated by Dr. Regina Lewis and Judge Regina Walter. The cost is $50, and attendees will receive 40 contact hours for CDE licensure and 20 hours for CLE attorney credit. For an additional $137.50, attendees can receive 2.5 hours of graduate credit from Adams State University. For information on registration, contact Regina Walter at, or 719-640-6633.

Blanket Donations Still Needed at Springs Rescue Mission, Salvation Army Shelter

The appeal for blankets for homeless people continues on.  Our two local shelters say the need is still there. In fact, the Salvation Army has been forced to rent blankets. Additionally, donations of towels are also requested.  Both shelters offer the opportunity to shower for their guests. 
Gently used blankets, comforters, quilts, or throws – along with towels- can be dropped off as follows.  The Salvation Army accepts donations Mon- Fri, 9 am thru noon at their R. J. Montgomery Center, 709 S. Sierra, near Cimarron.  The Rescue Mission donation warehouse, west of their main campus, is located at 111 W. Las Vegas St. with drop off times Mon- Fri 9:30am-4:30pm and Sat 9-11am. 
If you have a heart to help a homeless person, please consider donating new or used items.
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