Student Climate Action strike today, Payrow Plaza — can anyone go and report?

(The latest in a series of posts relating to the environment, Bethlehem’s Climate Action Plan, and Bethlehem’s Environmental Advisory Council)

Many Gadfly followers are committed to action on Climate Action. Student strike event today at 2PM Payrow Plaza.

Gadfly would like to cover but can’t make it.

Could one or more followers attend, participate, and send comments for posting here?

Michelle Merlin, “Lehigh Valley climate strikes planned for global day of action.” Morning Call, September 20, 2019.

  • Ashley Barrasso, a student and the president of the Climate Action Network at Northampton Community College’s Bethlehem campus, is also hoping people take note of the climate strike, including one at Payrow Plaza in Bethlehem.
  • She was inspired by Thunberg’s trip across the Atlantic, and realized that her group needed to participate in the global climate strike. One will take place at NCC’s campus from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and another in front of City Hall from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Lehigh University students are also planning a strike at 1 p.m. on campus and will move to Payrow Plaza.

It’s Friday, September 20, do you know where your local Climate Action Plan is?

Bethlehem school kids’ art work adorns reusable tote bags in the battle against single-use plastic bags — order yours now!

(The latest in a series of posts relating to the environment, Bethlehem’s Climate Action Plan, and Bethlehem’s Environmental Advisory Council)

Beth Behrend is a member of the Bethlehem Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) and the guiding hand on the proposed ordinance to ban single-use plastic bags.

Beth EAC Totes

Gadfly:

At the end of last school year, I organized a drawing contest (Beth contest) in the Bethlehem schools with the theme “Designing for a Cleaner Future.” The purpose was to have students draw a picture that promoted a cleaner environment. Students could also include a motto or saying in their designs. I received over 100 submissions from kindergarteners to high school seniors. Four winners were chosen, and their designs were printed on reusable tote bags. These bags are being sold as a fundraiser to support environmental projects in the schools. We already have a 5th grade class who would like to use some of this money to start a pollinator garden at their school.

From left to right in the picture, the winners are a 3rd grader from Lincoln, a 7th grader from Nitschmann, a 5th grader from William Penn, and a senior from Liberty.

I sent a flyer to all principals and art teachers in the school district. Not all art teachers had an email posted on the BASD website, but a flyer was at least sent to the school’s email or principal’s email. Not all schools replied, and some replied but did not submit artwork. The youngest submissions were from kindergarteners and the oldest were high school seniors.

The bags are $8/each, and Gadfly followers can order bags (why not more than 1?) using the form attached: beth Order Form

Beth

Beth EAC Totes

It is Sunday, September 15, do you know where your local Climate Action Plan is?

 

The EAC beating the drums at City Council

(The latest in a series of posts relating to the environment, Bethlehem’s Climate Action Plan, and Bethlehem’s Environmental Advisory Council)

You know Gadfly loves the Environmental Action Council (EAC). They just don’t talk about things, they do them, and do them.

Here’s EAC chair Lynn Rothman pitching to City Council August 20 the letter with environmentally focused design suggestions for the Polk Street Garage that she sent to the Bethlehem Parking Authority on July 29. Follow-up is good.

And Ann Gastlinger reminds Council on September 3 that we’ve got a “plastic crisis” and pushes for passage of the plastic bag ban ordinance the EAC, led by Beth Behrend, sent them weeks ago, so that it will be ready for implementation as soon as the legislative moratorium enacted by the State ends. Not letting them forget.

Your non-tax dollars at work by your “neighbors” pitching in and volunteering!

The banning of the ban of single-use plastic bags

(The latest in a series of posts relating to the environment, Bethlehem’s Climate Action Plan, and Bethlehem’s Environmental Advisory Council)

Here is interesting commentary on the (temporarily anyway) banning of the banning of single-use plastic bags, an ordinance proposed by our Environmental Advisory Council and point person Beth Behrend that Gadfly reported on a few weeks ago.

Wait till next year, Beth!

Greg Vitali, “Your View: How a state senator blocked Pennsylvania bans on plastic bags.” Morning Call, August 14, 2019.

In the final days of budget negotiations, a powerful state senator quietly inserted language in a budget related bill that would prevent Pennsylvania from regulating single use plastic bags.

State Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Centre) inserted a provision in the fiscal code that would prohibit the commonwealth and its municipalities from regulating single-use plastic bags and other containers for one year — ostensibly to allow more time to study the issue.

Sen. Corman’s district includes a single-use plastic bag manufacturing plant — Hilex Poly in Milesburg, Centre County. This plant is owned by Novolex, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of single-use plastic bags. Novolex has lobbied against plastic bag regulation in other states.

Given the backdrop of these national, state and municipal plastic bag programs, Corman’s assertion that another year of study is needed before Pennsylvania or its municipalities should consider enacting plastic bag regulations lacks plausibility. To the contrary, Corman’s actions are consistent with a continuing, parochial effort to protect the Novolex plastic bag manufacturing plant in his district.

Legislation to prevent plastic bag regulation has been opposed by most Pennsylvania municipal associations, including the Pennsylvania Municipal League, The Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors and the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs. Local governments want the tools of plastic-bag fees and bans to help them deal with local problems such as litter, the clogging of storm drains and sewers, and the stressing of landfills.

Much-needed plastic bag regulations will be prevented or delayed because our elected officials in Harrisburg have allowed the actions of one powerful senator to carry the day.

Bethlehem’s Climate Action Plan on the move

(The latest in a series of posts relating to the environment, Bethlehem’s Climate Action Plan, and Bethlehem’s Environmental Advisory Council)

“There is no reason why good cannot triumph as often as evil.
The triumph of anything is a matter of organization.”
(Kurt Vonnegut)

Councilman Reynolds has been the main driver in the formation of a local Climate Action Plan, dating back to his “Bethlehem 2017” report, which can be found linked on the Gadfly sidebar.

Here we are two years later, and Gadfly was pleased to attend the Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) meeting last night at Illick’s Mill at which members discussed proposals from four organizations to write a plan for the City.

The EAC is chaired by Lynn Rothman, and the members are Elizabeth Behrend, Elisabeth Cichonski, Kathy Fox, Brian Hillard, Brian Nicas, and Mike Topping. Nine other members of the public were also present.

As explained by chair Rothman, the EAC had input into the call for proposals and now was invited to make recommendations before the City made the final decision and awarded a contract to one of the bidders. The City has allocated funds for the project to begin this year, and it sounded to Gadfly that the project would take about a year to complete.

Next year we could have a Climate Action Plan!

Each of the four proposals was lengthy and densely packed with information. EAC members reviewed them beforehand and discussed them one-by-one at the meeting.

Gadfly is always proudly pleased to show our non-tax dollars profitably at work. Here to give you a taste of the meeting is the final section in which Council members ranked the proposals for their recommendation to the City. Most interesting in the later portion of this clip is a discussion of attention to underserved populations.

Nicely done!

It’s Friday, August 9, do you know where your local Climate Action Plan is?

Climate Action Plan taking a big step

(The latest in a series of posts relating to the environment, Bethlehem’s Climate Action Plan, and Bethlehem’s Environmental Advisory Council)

Hey, speakin’ of the Environmental Advisory Council and the Climate Action Plan:

NOTICE is hereby given that the Bethlehem Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) will conduct a special meeting on Thursday, August 8, 2019, at 6:30 PM, at Illick’s Mill, 100 Illick’s Mill Road, Bethlehem PA 18018. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss and make any pertinent recommendations to the City regarding proposals from four environmental consulting firms to write a Climate Action Plan for the City of Bethlehem. 

This is a public meeting and all interested parties may attend and be heard. Rescheduled or special meetings will be advertised in compliance with the Act of July 3, 1986, P.L. 84. Information about the EAC is available on the City of Bethlehem’s website at www.bethlehem-pa.gov, under Authorities & Boards.

Elisabeth Cichonski

Secretary, EAC

It is still Wednesday, August 7, do you know where your local Climate Action Plan is?

The Environmental Advisory Council recommendations on the Polk Street Garage

(The latest in a series of posts relating to parking, the environment, Bethlehem’s Climate Action Plan, and Bethlehem’s Environmental Advisory Council)

The good ol’ Environmental Advisory Council (EAC). Love ’em!

Always a step ahead.

Look at this July 29 letter to the Bethlehem Parking Authority about the design of the Polk Street Garage (be sure to note the interesting photos):

EAC to Parking.Authority

The EAC has recommendations concerning electric vehicle charging stations, solar panels, stormwater management, tree replacement, and car idling impact.

This is exactly the kind of thing that Gadfly expressed concern about in a post yesterday when he said, “Gadfly is wondering, for instance, how the garage fits in with any related City goals — like walkability or Climate Action or whatever.”

Gadfly worries that the BPA works independently.

He hopes that the Polk Street Garage design will have plenty of public review as well as the routine technical scrutiny from the City departments.

He is not sure what “power” the EAC has, but you would think the City would be under great pressure to make sure the BPA follows such recommendations.

If we are serious about a Climate Action Plan, such recommendations must be followed.

It’s Wednesday, August 7, do you know where your local Climate Action Plan is?