Welcome to Transition Harrisburg! We are working to create a more sustainable, resilient and livable community... one person at a time. Join us!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

An evening with Charles Eisenstein

Charles will be at The Midtown Scholar on Thursday, November 4 at 7:00 p.m. to talk about Sacred Economics. We will likely be upstairs in the Gallery. Please join us: all are welcomed!

Sacred Economics

Many people sense that the current economic crisis is more than a bump in the road. A profound shift is underway to an entirely new kind of economy. Based on flow, not accumulation; cycles, not consumption; sharing, not interest, the new economy will enact a changed attitude toward earth, toward humanity, and toward ourselves. This talk explains the essentials of why the "old normal" will never return, and how to prepare for the new normal of the coming sacred economy.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mechanicsburg Environmental Club meeting

If you live on the West Shore, please consider supporting one of our sister organizations by attending their meetings:

October 26thTuesday, Mechanicsburg Middle School, Room #160 from 7:00- 8:30

Christmas is coming! Why not buy and give green products!

Jim Armbrust presents Green Irene. He will explain new products and what makes good $$ and sense. Also we will have Charles Cope from Solatube show off his very reasonably priced product that will brighten up your home like nothing else. It would make a wonderful Christmas present for you from you.

At this meeting, we will also discuss the personal characteristics the leader(s) should have (in a perfect world), in order to grow/flourish the South Central PA Environmental Alliance, the contact person(s) running the municipal clubs, and “the special ties” liaison... Plus our new logo!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Penn Action/Clean Water Action Conference at Radisson 10-16-10

For being a six hour conference, it went by very quickly, with break-out discussion groups, networking, and lots of excellent presentations on a variety of topics. If you weren't there, you shoulda been!

The whole day was devoted to educating us newbie activists on the most effective ways to make changes in our legislature, our state and local governments, and how to connect with others in the long fight to maintain our clean air, water and land. With fracking wells going in all over the north, west and southwestern parts of PA, we have lots of work ahead.

One thing that everyone said was that we have to speak with one voice. With that in mind, Harrisburg residents are creating a website to start collecting all the actions, people and groups working to stop fracking in PA. That group is No Fracking Way... Connecting the Movement. They are on facebook (No Fracking Way) and on Twitter. Their email is NoFrackingWayPA@gmail.com. Please friend them on facebook and contribute to this effort to connect all the actions in one place.

Classes sponsored by our friends in Mechanicsburg Area Environmental Club

Trails and Trees Teaching Garden Classes (Rain or Shine)

October 16, 2010, Saturday- 10:00- 11:00ish      Composting 101+- Free-
Taught by Penn State Master Gardener, Bob MacGregor and Paul Garrett.
We guarantee that YOU WILL leave this class with an excellent understanding of how to compost or we will TRIPLE your money back. This class is designed for everyone, ages 10 – 110. Start to stockpile your Fall leavesyour garden discards, grass clippings, shredded paper, kitchen scraps (minus anything with meat or dairy products in it.)
                             REMEMBER: A rind is a terrible thing to waste.

October 23, 2010, Saturday- 10:00- 11:00ish      Container Gardening - Free-
Taught by the one-and-only leader of Cumberland County Penn State Master Gardeners, Annette MaCoy. Take those herb plants indoors for use over the winter…save some of those perennials from the bite of winter!! Which pot? What should be in the soil? Where in the house should they be kept? How often do you water them? Do you add fertilizer? When can you reintroduce them to the outdoors?
Learn it from the pro.

 ** Directions: (Get off of the PA Turnpike at Route #15 South towards Gettysburg, PA. Get off Route 15 (1 mileish) at the Mechanicsburg/Bowmansdale Rt. #114 exit. Take a right at the end of the ramp. Go to the first traffic light and turn left. In about ¼ mile, turn right on South York Street. Proceed a maximum of 1/2 mile and turn right at Eberly Lane before the Trails and Trees signs.

Or- Get off Route 81 at Mechanicsburg #114. Turn South. GO STRAIGHT. In Mechanicsburg you stay straight ahead, ignoring the “dogleg” that #114 does. Go straight ahead on South York Street (2.2 miles) puts you at the Trails and Trees Environmental Site sign. Turn left at Eberly Lane.

Or- While traveling through Mechanicsburg on Trindle Road (#641) or Simpson Street, turn south on South York Street. Go 2.2 miles. Turn left at signs to Trails to Trees E. Site/ Eberly Lane.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"Deep Drilling, Deep Pockets" by Common Cause (excerpts)

Pennsylvania has often been described as the “Wild West” of campaign financing. Ours is one of only eleven states that do not limit campaign contributions, and the state’s online campaign contribution database is not fully searchable or sortable, so that a search for contributions from a particular interest that might take minutes in another state could take hundreds of hours in Pennsylvania. As a result of these two failures—failure to limit campaign contributions, and failure to make this information truly accessible—big political donors wield extraordinary influence over the political process in Pennsylvania, even as they face relatively little scrutiny as compared to many other states. 

The natural gas industry gave $2.85 million to political candidates in Pennsylvania between 2001 and March 2010, and it spent $4.2 million on lobbying since Pennsylvania began requiring lobbyist reporting in 2007.

Drillers have a clear favorite in the 2010 gubernatorial race—Republican Tom Corbett, recipient of $361,207, with 93% of these contributions coming since January 2008. Among the candidates on the Democratic side, Dan Onorato was the top recipient with $59,300, followed by Jack Wagner with $44,550. Joe Hoeffel received a single contribution of $2,000 from the industry in 2004 while running for the U.S. Senate, but has received nothing since. Democratic candidate State Sen. Anthony Williams received no contributions from the industry, as did Republican candidate State Rep. Sam Rohrer. 

However, of the 2.1 million acres of Pennsylvania state forest land, 692,000 acres have already been leased to production companies for natural gas drilling (1.6 million acres of state forest lie above 22% of the state’s share of the Marcellus Shale). 

Fracking fluid is typically made up of roughly 90% fresh water, 9% proppant (most often sand), and 0.5-1% chemicals for purposes ranging from inhibiting the growth of organisms (biocides), reducing friction and surface tension, and increasing viscosity (gelling agents). As fracking a horizontal well typically uses 5 million gallons of fluid (and 4.5 million gallons of fresh water), it can be expected that between 25,000 and 50,000 gallons of assorted chemicals are used for each well. 

Sen. Robert Casey (D-PA) recently emphasized the importance of federal regulation, stating, “We have to do this the right way this time. It's so fundamental to the lives of Pennsylvania families…People need to know what's being injected into the ground to release natural gas. That's one reason we need to pass the FRAC Act.”48 The FRAC Act, pending legislation introduced in both the House and the Senate, would require drillers to disclose the full content of their fracking fluid and amend the Safe Drinking Water Act to include federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing. 

Deep Drilling, Deep Pockets: The Campaign Contributions; Lobbying Expenditures of the Natural Gas Industry in Pennsylvania )

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Yellow Breeches Watershed Association Annual Community Meeting

Yellow Breeches Watershed Association Annual Community Meeting
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Lower Allen Park Community Barn 
Informal Gathering 6-7pm, Meeting 7pm

I would like to invite you to the annual membership meeting of the Yellow Breeches Watershed Association.
The YBWA would love to have your thoughts and ideas on how best to preserve and enhance the quality of the Yellow Breeches Creek.

Some of our accomplishments and ongoing projects include:
Trout Day-opening day of trout season   
Mechanicsburg Earth Day Festival- educational information display
Water quality monitoring -partnering each week with our friends and volunteers from the Capital Area Senior Environmental Corps
Water Trail Maps- providing helpful information for recreational users
Kiosks- located at the beginning of each water trail segment
Stream side clean up-2010 YB in Lisburn

We plan to continue all of the activities from past years.
In addition, we hope to expand our scope 
and transform this small organization into a more inclusive, proactive group of community volunteers.

We plan to have our 1st annual "publicly announced" community creek clean up in 2011.

While the event is still in the planning stages, I envision several versions- 

A "Walk Your Run" day, where communities would walk the waterways (drainage areas, ravines, anywhere that water runs during a rain event) in their neighborhoods.
This could be a trash clean up as well as an inventory of the condition of our natural drainage areas.  This could help us identify areas that need additional buffer plantings and natural filters for the storm water before it flows into the Yellow Breeches.

An "Adopt-A-Creek" Day, where we hope to engage different groups to clean up a segment of the creek each year.
For instance, I hope to engage Messiah College students to adopt the creek segment from the college to Simpson Park; and a different group to adopt the segment from Simpson Park to McCormick Park, McCormick Park to Lower Allen Park, etc.

We hope to start this program in the Upper and Lower Allen township areas.  The townships are already on board to provide announcements and assist with debris removal. 
We look forward to making this a community day of caring for the natural areas in your neighborhood.
With a few sponsors, we could have proper equipment, tee shirts, lunch, etc. for all of the volunteers.

We want to plan and plant several riparian buffers of native species plantings in the coming year. 

We would like to conduct educational workshops focusing on slowing storm water runoff. With our "Slow the Flow" workshop, we hope to increase the use of rain barrels and rain gardens in our watershed.
If you are interested and love the Yellow Breeches as much as I do, then please become involved. The possibilities are up to us.

Please come to the meeting or feel free to email me.  If you see an activity that you are interested in, I encourage you sign up to be a worker or leader for that project.

We have an informal social gathering planned for this Wednesday, Oct 13th from 6-7pm at the Lower Allen Park Community Barn, followed by a brief presentation about the low-head dams in our area. 

Please feel free to share this email with anyone that might be interested in the Yellow Breeches!

Hope to see you there.

Debbie Goetz
YBWA Vice-President 

Deborah Perry Goetz
Home 717-697-4734
Fax 717-697-4734
Cell 717-514-4288

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Gas Truth of Central PA + Clean Water Action

Well, these past couple of weeks have been hectic! On Thursday, we joined with Clean Water Action to start a new group: Gas Truth of Central PA. About 40 people turned up and 35 are now taking some action to educate citizens and politicians about fracking in PA.

The committee that I am part of is the Fracking: Long Term Solutions Group. Here is our report:

• Boycott fossil fuels for one day (raise awareness of the issue)
• Bicycle paths: create them in your neighborhood & connect to other neighborhoods
• Electric buses: solar panels for charging
• Neighborhood solar generation
• Gift Circle: to shift perspective from individual effort to group interdependence (http://2020climatecampaign.org/content/practice-and-theory-gift-circle-fairfax-california)
• Local currency: to strengthen local economy by keeping money local; strength of economy not based on amount of money in circulation, but how often money changes hands
• Time Banking: to strengthen ties among neighbors (http://www.timebanks.org/)
• Neighborhood Associations: build community and educate members through presentations
• Common Security Clubs: to reconnecting neighbors by supporting one another in difficult economic times (http://commonsecurityclub.org/)
• Community housing
• Permaculture: apply these principles to growing food and to building better society (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permaculture)
• Faith-based organizations: ethical and moral dimension of fracking's short- and long-term effects on people and environment

This group's purpose is to find long-term solutions and alternatives to natural gas extracted using hydraulic fracturing (fracking). By educating those who live above the Marcellus shale formation in Pennsylvania, we can help them make informed decisions when approached by drilling companies offering to lease their land. By rebuilding the connections among individuals in a community, we can help neighborhoods reject short-term monetary gain and embrace long-term sustainability. 

We reject dependence on corporate-controlled, short-term and short-sighted monetary profits when doing so does permanent damage to ourselves, our communities and our planet.

Fracking is a desperate reaction to fossil fuel depletion. Fossil fuel depletion has no solutions, only adaptations. We reject fracking's implementation on these grounds: permanent pollution of our waterways, permanent scarring of our land, and long-term fracturing of communities and wildlife habitat.


Our next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 21 @ 7:00 p.m. We will post the place in the next couple of days.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Transition Harrisburg meeting on October 7th

We We are having a special meeting this coming Thursday! We are attending the very first meeting of Gas Truth of Central PA! Come to the Midtown Scholar at 7:00 pm this Thursday, October 7th.

Gas Truth of Central PA is educating folks about hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") for natural gas. Gas is locked in the Marcellus shale rock deep beneath the Northeast, and can only be released by setting off a series of extremely strong explosions underground. Fracking for gas has been found to pollute aquifers, land and air. Please attend this meeting to find out more and to find out what we, as citizens of Pennsylvania, can do to stop this practice.

Find Gas Truth of Central PA on facebook:

Also find Gasland on facebook:
founding meeting - sponsored by Clean Water Action
THURS.  OCT. 7TH   @  7 PM TO 9 PM