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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 13, 2020


 

Mag Seaman, Presente!

Denver Anti-Nuclear Stalwart Passed Away March 28

PPJPC belatedly learned of the death March 28 of Magdalen “Mag” Seaman, a founding member of Denver’s Raging Grannies, and an active member of the Colorado peace movement since the late 1980s. She and her husband Ken, who died in July 2016, were founding members of the Colorado Coalition for the Prevention of War (the two are pictured at a Coalition rally, above). Mag was a former member of the Sisters of Loretto order, and taught at St. Mary’s Academy in Denver. She left the order in the 1970s, and she and Ken moved to Mexico for three years. During the early 1980s, she was active in anti-nuclear protests in New Mexico, and was arrested at the Nevada Test Site on several occasions.

Ken and Mag served in the late 1990s as election monitors in Bosnia for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and Mag helped in Ken’s 2002 campaign for Congress as a member of the Green Party. Since Ken’s death in 2016, Mag remained active with the Colorado Coalition, despite her declining health. Her death was not believed to be related to the Covid-19 pandemic.


 

Covid-19 Update

While there may be lessening of the stay-at-home orders by April 26, events through the late spring and early summer have been cancelled nationwide. Restrictions on retail trade and outdoor activities likely will remain for several months, perhaps through the summer. We are examining the prospects for all PPJPC activities, including Peace Camp, and will continue to update our membership as quarantine conditions become clearer. 

As of April 11, there were more than 6,500 confirmed Covid-19 cases in Colorado, with 550 in El Paso County (though the limits on test kits mean the actual totals are likely much higher). Worldwide cases exceeded 1.7 million over Easter Weekend, with 106,000 deaths and 393,000 recoveries. Confirmed cases in the U.S. exceeded 508,000, with 20,000 deaths. In the 24 hours between April 10 and 11, more than 2,000 U.S. citizens perished in a single day.

El Paso County citizens appeared to take the warnings more seriously in early April than the week previous, with streets emptying out except for essential workers. In downtown Colorado Springs, the only lunchtime traffic was near Marian House, where the homeless were receiving bag lunches to carry away, rather than a sit-down meal. Marian House remains in need of such items as disposable bags and utensils, peanut butter, lunch meat, canned tuna, fresh fruit and vegetables, and granola bars. You can contact them at (719) 475-7314, for times to drop off donations at the soup kitchen at 14 W. Bijou.

For rural families in need, Fresh Start Center (formerly High Plains Helping Hands) needs virtually every food item for its food pantry. The center is located near the corner of Woodmen and Black Forest, at 7375 Adventure Way. 

Colorado’s near-total quarantine is expected to remain in place through the end of April. Even as the virus spread begins to ease in mid-spring, limited social contact may have to be practiced into the summer months. Obviously, this puts the local and national economies in desperate straits as workers are laid off and companies large and small face bankruptcy. Our most vulnerable residents, including the homeless and undocumented workers detained at the border, are often the ones left in the most perilous state.

Activists may be restricted to home during the quarantine, but that does not mean opportunities for caring have disappeared. One of the most useful clearinghouses for information relevant to El Paso County is the new Facebook group, Mutual Aid in Colorado Springs During Covid-19 Epidemic, organized by Anthony Maro and Tammy Carlen Jagels. You can find the group HERE:  

We urge all members and friends of PPJPC while homebound to not give in to depression and fear.  Always feel free to reach out to others of similar interests through our Facebook page or web site. The pandemic crisis may still lead to better societal organizing possibilities. Place hope before fear.
 

Peak Environment Podcast 57 Returns to Critical Issue of PFAS Contamination

This is our third podcast on this subject (though not in a row), and this may be our latest and greatest.

The PFAS Story in El Paso County Colorado
You can’t escape toxic PFAS chemicals. They are everywhere. Get an update on what we know and what’s being done about water contamination by PFAS (Perfluoroalklsubstance). Groundwater and surface water in portions of the Pikes Peak Region is known to have PFAS contamination, due to years of firefighting exercises at Peterson Field and the Air Force Academy (PFAS have been an ingredient in firefighting foam for decades). 

You can find the latest podcast here:
http://studio809radio.com/peak-environment-57-pfas-story/

And don’t forget to check out Podcast 56 on wolves, created in conjunction with Pikes Peak Area Sierra Club, which examines the necessity of wolves in the Colorado ecosystem. Colorado needs wolves – not merely to restore a natural balance or the wildness that we all seek – though wolves will do that if they are present for long enough, in sufficient numbers and with wide enough distribution  – but also to ensure that we pass on a Colorado intact, with a complete suite of native wildlife, to enrich future generations.
Podcast 56 is at:
http://studio809radio.com/peak-env-56-co-needs-wolves/

 

Active for Justice Podcast Covers Plowshares Nuns' March 5 Speeches

Thanks to Greg, Dave, Rick, and everyone at Studio 809 (who are currently on a virus semi-sabbatical) for editing the presentation Ardeth Platte and Carol Gilbert gave at All Souls Church on March 5. We were lucky to host the sisters for several events prior to the quarantine being enacted locally. We have also listed the latest two Peak Environment podcasts of Studio 809 below, though it may be a few weeks before additional podcasts are added.

Plowshares Podcast here:
http://studio809radio.com/active-justice-yes-humanity-mar-05-2020/
 

Colorado Springs Utilities Will Host Online Energy Survey Through May 3

Last week, Colorado Springs Utilities put up their new survey on energy futures HERE
 
Lindsay Facknitz of the Beyond Coal project gives us this update:
 CSU IS going to be adding new energy sources to our electric grid over the next 10 - 20 years. What do we want our energy sources to be? Solar, Wind, Batteries, Natural Gas, Coal, Hydro, etc. How much and how fast do we want CSU to retire our old, expensive, dirty coal plants (Drake and Nixon)? 

1) Put your money where your preferences are: the first couple questions ask you how much "extra" you would be willing to pay (if any) to switch to certain sources. This does not mean it WILL cost more. They just want to see if you'd be willing to pay extra and how much extra. To clarify this kind of question, here's an example: 
Do I want my electricity to come from natural gas? NoSo, am I willing to pay extra for natural gas IF it cost a bit extra from my current electric bill? No, therefore
Example survey answer: No Increase
Do I want my electricity to come from new renewable resources (solar, battery, wind)? YES! Could and would I be willing to pay more? Yes. If so, how much more?
Example survey answer: between $2 - 15 extra a month
("Extra Cost" answer options: $2, $5, $10, $15, More than $15. See attached document for clarity)
Obviously, you are the judge of your finances. If you cannot afford any rate increases (especially during this uncertain time) please say so on the survey. CSU just wants to get a sense of what energy sources we value.  
2) "Of the 5 pathways you listed, which do you prefer?" If you want to make the greatest impact on climate change locally, then choose "New Renewable Resources" or "Early Coal Retirement" pathway. The other pathways are less optimal if your objective is to have the greatest impact on climate change because they either have a less aggressive carbon reduction plan, or they will use new natural gas plants. (Not good)
The rest of the survey has other interesting questions that are clear to understand and don't need extra explanation. 
3) All CSU customers (renters, home owners, business owners, etc) can fill out this survey
4) You do NOT need your account number to fill it out. Just your address. 
5) CSU prefers one survey per household. 
PS: CSU has NOT finished estimating what any particular "Pathway" would cost. They will start to present that information the first week of May. 
 
2) Tell 5 - 10 friends to fill out the survey
​I would not be telling you to do this if it wasn't important. Getting a significant amount of people to fill out this survey WILL influence city council's vote to change to renewable energy. 
I trust you know how to get ahold of your friends and family and get them to fill out the survey. Me? I'm calling everyone in my phone. I find phone calls get people energized to keep spreading the word. And we're doing a lot of that these days while we're at home! 

3) Help Spread the Survey word on Social Media
Since this survey is one of the last big actions we can take to advocate for a clean energy future for Colorado Springs, I'm going to send you two emails this month. 
The next e-mail will have example social media posts you can use to spread the word on the survey. Please read over the email because it has great facts you can use for emailing or calling city council. Speaking of which...
 
4) Write an email (or call) the city council "swing" voters. 
​​If you have some extra time, writing an e-mail or calling these city council members also makes a significant difference in this IRP vote. 
NOTE: These are NEW email addresses 
Tom Strand (at large) tom.strand@coloradosprings.gov  (719) 385-5486
Bill Murray (at large) bill.murry@coloradosprings.gov (719) 385-5485
Jill Gaebler (District 5)  jill.gaebler@coloradosprings.gov (719) 385-5483
David Geislinger (District 2)   david.geislinger@coloradosprings.gov (719) 385-5493
 
Here’s some further social-media advice from Lindsay:

1) New action blog
At this link, you will find the blog about what's going on with the EIRP! to share with your friends! Remember, we purposefully aren't getting too into the weeds here so that we can more easily engage folks who generally care about clean energy or climate. We don't want folks to be scared away from making their voice heard just because they don't know what EIRP stands for...that would be most people!
You'll also find online links to our Colorado Springs coal fact sheets in the blog.
2) Social media guidance for survey distribution
The goal is to create a buzz online about what's going on with clean energy in Colorado Springs and to get as many people as possible to take the survey in favor of carbon reductions and climate action. PLEASE post on social media to help get the word out! Be sure to use the link provided below, as it will allow us to track how many people click on the survey.
Stay tuned for more resources!
 
Help Us Get Colorado Springs to a Fossil Free Future!
Let’s build a social media movement together #FossilFreeCOS
How Can You and Your Community Help?
Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) just released a survey asking their customers what kind of steps CSU should take to cut carbon pollution that will combat climate change. We want to make sure ALL customers in Colorado Springs have a say in how they get their power. You can use your personal, business, and organization’s digital presence to get the survey out! Hit up your listservs, post on your social media platforms, and ask your friends and family to do the same! Feel free to use the language and images below or create your own. 
But make sure to tag Colorado Springs Utilities (Facebook: @coloradospringsutilities; Twitter: @CSUtilities) and use the hashtag #FossilFreeCOS. And don’t forget to include a link to the survey: https://bit.ly/2UZNRxM
 
Sample Post 1:
CSU is running the LAST survey for their city energy plan being finalized this summer and they want to hear from you! Take 5 minutes to let @coloradospringsutilities know that you want carbon-free, clean energy in your hometown: https://bit.ly/2UZNRxM 
Renewable energy is cheaper than out-dated fossil fuels all across the country. In Colorado Springs, customers could be saving millions by turning to wind and solar. Thanks for making a difference. #FossilFreeCOS 
 

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.

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