Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Coal Combustion Waste is Toxic-Call Your Congressional Leaders

Hey World Family,
Falcon, here. I just got this from Sister Lisa and she has a message too important to wait. Check it out:

Urgent response needed – please help us prevent special interests from stalling our efforts for enforceable regulation of coal combustion wastes (CCW):

Congressional leaders, including PA Congressman Tim Holden, are circulating “Dear Colleague” letters seeking to maintain the status quo for disposal of toxic coal combustion wastes (CCW). Industry lobbyists are working hard to convince lawmakers that federal CCW “guidelines,” rather than national disposal standards, are all that is needed to protect human health and the environment: they say current state regulations of coal combustion wastes are “adequate.”

Following the TVA Kingston fly ash disaster, (Google this if you forgot what this one looked like last winter) we know otherwise— CCW is toxic, and states are turning a blind eye to regulatory controls in an effort to preserve the so-called beneficial use status of these wastes.

Don’t be fooled—the status quo of patchwork state regulations may save the utility companies money, but it does little to safeguard humans or the environment, particularly our water sources, from the hazards posed by arsenic, mercury, chromium, selenium, and other CCW constituents.

The US EPA’s 2007 Risk Assessment found that communities closest to CCW impoundments can have a 1 in 50 risk of cancer: that’s 2,000 times higher than threshold beyond which the EPA deems any cancer risk to be unacceptable—1 in 100,000.

And, the prestigious National Academy of Sciences (NAS) concluded that current state practices of calling the wastes “beneficial” did not prove their safety. The NAS recommended a federal regulatory standard and much more scientific studies.
Please join us by calling your Congressperson and asking him/her not to sign on to letters sponsored by industry that seek weak CCW ”guidelines” that skimp on environmental protections. Please ask them to, instead, support the following principles:

•Consistent and enforceable federal regulations, not guidelines, are needed to prevent coal ash disasters like the TVA spill and more insidious, but no less dangerous and on-going releases.

• Enforceable federal regulations can simultaneously promote coal ash recycling and protect the public and environment from toxic leaching from coal ash. Federal law already allows the EPA to distinguish between waste disposal and beneficial re-use of wastes. Following this precedent, the EPA can regulate coal ash as a hazardous waste when disposed in a landfill, but as a non-hazardous product when it is safely recycled. EPA has made these distinctions many times before without damaging the market for recycled products.

• The cost of implementing safe standards is marginal. In 2000, the EPA estimated that the cost of compliance with tailored hazardous waste regulations would be about $1 billion, annually – just 0.4 percent of utility industry sales. In a 2005 report, EPA reduced this cost estimate to $521 million for comparable standards. Even industry estimates of $5-6 billon is reasonable in light of the high risk posed by the waste.

Find your Congressional Members and their phone numbers by clicking on the following link – listing is by state:

Thanks for making these important calls – and for sharing this action alert with your friends, family and colleagues!

Lisa Graves Marcucci
Environmental Integrity Project
PA Coordinator, Community Outreach

What are you Doing on YOUR Summer Vacation?

Hey World Family,
Falcon and Dove hope you have an awesome summer! We have listed some fun things that we are going to do, and we hope that you have a chance to do some of this stuff, too. The events are scattered and some of them a bit unusual, but I hope you can make some of the special activities, or do similar gigs where you live.

Weddings-coming up all over the place; we are sure you may have at least 1 pop up; get those gift cards for Target and Macy’s; no fail gifts there.

Pow Wows-okay, this is a Native American event, but this is about celebration and sharing. Have you ever had a buffalo burger and some fry bread outdoors while doing some Grass Dancing? You haven’t? Well, this is the summer perhaps to try to of the three anyway. Check out the Pow Wow calendar:



U.S. and Canadian Pow Wows:



Attend the Symphony-there are symphonic concerts in the park from full size performances to chamber music groups. Search your area for more information on what and when.

National Holiday Celebrations-choose your country, or travel to another and celebrate with them their summer holiday. It will be fun and a great learning experience for the kids.

Fallingwater-We absolutely love this place! This is Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture in the deep woods of southwestern PA, and it is a joy to experience! The tour is great, the food in incredible for a cafĂ©, and the atmosphere in the magical forest is something you will never forget. June is an ideal time to visit because the endangered Mountain Laurel (a lot of people think it’s a rhodo shrub) is in full bloom in the forest during this month. The smell is intoxicatingly beautiful, and adds to the experience along Big Bear while touring this astonishing structure. This year, we will visit during July probably while camping and kayaking. Also see Kentuck Knob (reservations made through the Fallingwater website, or call (724) 329-1901


ROBOWORLD has opened at the Carnegie Science Center! Robots of the generations, and some you only thought weren't real. Gotta go! Finish an evening with a lazer show.


June 26-28, 2009 Celtic Fling and Highland Games-Mount Hope Estate and Winery, Manheim, PA.



Kennywood Park-one of the great old-fashioned American amusement parks (you know a Pittsburgh named Ferris invented the Ferris wheel?), this park along the Monongahela River is a true treat for the entire family. It is one of the oldest amusement parks in the country and a great portion of the park is a registered historic site. The merry-go-round is gorgeous, with figures and coach chairs dating from its installation in 1912. Some pieces go back to the opening of the park in 1895. The calliope still plays its period songs, as well as some modern tunes, you can paddle boat around the lagoon, or sky-chair yourself across its waters. The Penny Arcade still has some penny features and the Thunderbolt is still atop coaster enthusiasts’ lists of the best. If spinning at high rates of speed are not your style, the train gives you a great view of the park and the river, the games are plentiful, and the food is…well, outstanding! Vegetarians, there is plenty for you, as well as you long established carnivores! If you saw the film, Adventureland this year in theaters, you saw Kennywood! It was amazing how they made it look so 1980’s again.

If you are in the Pittsburgh area, you can also visit Kennywood’s sister water park, Sandcastle in Homestead. Great fun!

If you would like to visit the quiet, cooler and exquisite Laurel Highlands (about 40 miles east of Pittsburgh), then visiting Idlewild would be ideal. Another property in the Kennywood family, it boasts Storybook Forest for young children, a host of rides for everyone, and even has its own waterpark, H20 Zone! It really is two parks in one, and I always need two days to do it right (note: the BBQ rib place right by the train depot with the grilled corn-on-the-cob and the funnel cake and apple pie…oh, sorry! That place rocks!) Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood is located here, it is always a hugely popular attraction. The kids will sleep for a day to work this one off.


So You Wanna Make Pictures?" panel scheduled for July 11
In 2009, the Johnstown Film & Wine Festival is pleased to add "So You Wanna Make Pictures?", a panel discussion for new and aspiring filmmakers. The panel and showing of the panelists' films will take place during the day on Saturday, July 11; see http://www.jaha.org/FilmFestival/panel2009.html for complete details and schedule.

So You Wanna Make Pictures?
Join four area filmmakers for a conversation on filmmaking for fun (and maybe profit).

If you're interested in making films and would like some advice, or if you just love hearing filmmakers talk about making movies, you're invited to join four area filmmakers for a panel discussion on making films and documentaries. Join Andy McAllister, Bob Rutkowski, Kev Stock, and Will Zavala as they offer advice on how you can get your start as a filmmaker -- or take the next step in developing your skills. Come prepared to ask questions, and to listen as they offer up personal insight into their processes, motivation, and the technical tricks they've learned over the years- tricks that they wish they would have known on their first shoot!

The Machine - Pink Floyd Tribute
Location: Heinz Hall
Friday, July 10, 2009 at 8:00 PM

Daniel Meyer, Conductor
Live with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra performing Dark Side of the Moon, THE MACHINE, America’s top Pink Floyd show, has forged a 20 year reputation of excellence, extending the legacy of Pink Floyd, while creating another legacy all their own. Over the years, The Machine has touched the hearts and souls of many, selling out large clubs and theatres across North and Central America, Europe and Asia. They have also appeared at renowned music festivals such as Bonnaroo, Riverbend, and Germany’s Rock of Ages.

The Machine duplicates the sound and hits of Pink Floyd with chilling accuracy.
- Matt Diehl, Rolling Stone Magazine

In western Canada? Check out the Surrey Fusion Festival, July 18-19, 2009

Multicultural, food fun, and music on multiple stages! The festival is in Holland Park, Surrey BC. Sunday night concludes with some awesome brothers, Pavlo and Oscar Lopez with buddy Rik Emmett at 9pm on the Coast Capital Savings Main Stage.

July 21, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Station Square Amphitheatre
We will be there!

July 22, 2009

Concert House Party-Ceilidh/Ceol: Acoustic Guitarists

An extraordinary private event will be held in Pittsburgh in the Shadyside area of the city for some members of The Sierra Club, and the Carnegie Science Center, guitar organizations, sponsors, and some select guitar students. Obviously, we wish it could be larger, but the intimacy of the event also adds to how wonderful it is to hear intoxicating music in a small forum. This is a preview event for a future larger fundraising effort.
There will be gorgeous music, fantastic organic food and wine, along with some sharing of good vibes and networking.

Three extraordinary artists are lending their guitar talents to the event: Ken Bonfield, Peter Janson, and Tim Farrell. In addition yours truly will get to warm up her pipes a little on some of her own tunes! These guys are wonderful and you have to experience this music for yourself to really get how powerful they are together, live. It is by invitation only

If you are a guitarist (acoustic event) who would be willing to lend your talent to not only this evening event, but the future fundraiser (taking place somewhere between August 25 and Sept. 2), contact us here at Falcon and Dove.

Although we cannot provide transportation to this event if you are invited, we will provide lodging if you need it. Bring your CD's.

If you are a listener just interested in being there that evening, we can invite about 5 outside guests. There is no charge for this event, just a genuine interest in Jazz, Folk, Rock, Celtic, or Blues. Help these guys out by purchasing a CD while you are there. It will be greatly appreciated.

July 30-August 2, 2009: Summer Rhythm Renewal

Jim Donovan is doing an extra special event this summer at St. Francis University involving percussion, yoga, and self-exploration. Summer Rhythm Renewal will be held at the school in Loretto, PA. You can be a beginner or advanced. Drums are provided. It is extremely affordable and for those who need it, this course counts towards ACT 48 Continuing Education Credits. It is just $299 for the 4 day workshop. Accommodations at St. Francis and meal plans can be provided for an additional fee. Those of you who know me know Jim and I go way back, and I love the annual drum cruise on the river he does in conjunction with Afrika Yetu. The course will include Congolese drum and dance, Nia Dance, a Djun Djun Workshop, Didgeridoo, Native American flute, Mandala drawing, and a whole lot more.
Please note that the event is designed for adults ages 18 and older


Reunions- my class reunion will be held in the summer rather than winter this year (high school). I won’t say how many years it has been, but if you look at my profile, you already know…hehe.

Renaissance Faire and Festivals-They all begin in August, and they are everywhere, as well as Pennsic War at Cooper’s Lake off I-79 in PA for those who are members of the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism).

Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire- www.parenfaire.com/
Weekends including Labor Day, beginning August 8-Oct. 25, 2009

Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival: www.pgh-renfest.com
Opens the Weekend of August 29-30 and runs through October 3-4 Weekends only (includes Labor Day Monday, of course)
There are themed weekends, including children’s, romance, Shakespeare, etc. Free parking as always and real easy to get to just off I-70 near New Stanton: 10:30 am-6:30pm
Very affordable family fun, lots of crafts, games, rides, even (spun by young, svelte men in much better shape than I remember men being when I was that age)

Concerts There are tons of major tours this summer. We are going to a couple of excellent shows and August seems to be the month for most groups that we will see.

BROTHER to return to Halifax, Nova Scotia:

Halifax Busker Fest - August 6 to 16 - will see the return of BROTHER this summer. Final dates and set times to be announced soon.

Mid-Summer Scottish/Irish Music and PA Wine Festival
August 22-23, 2009

Lancaster Host Expo Center
2300 Lincoln Hwy. East
Lancaster, PA 17602

Featuring 7 Nations and BROTHER! All day Saturday, and until 5pm Sunday

$15 for adults, kids under 12 free! Wine tasting $10 glass

Moody Blues at Radio City August 20
Yes, Falcon likes that 60-s and 70’s stuff, and it has been awhile, so why not see the boys in a great forum: Radio City Music Hall. They are on tour all summer, check them out when they play your area.


Because most of September is still actually summer, don’t forget to have some fun, not just Labor Day weekend, but during the month. Most of the festivals are still running, and the crowds will be smaller, so take some time out. It’s a great time to go to the zoo, aviary, Phipps, etc.
Google the following:
Pittsburgh Zoo

The National Aviary

Phipps Conservatory

Heinz History Center

Carnegie Museum

Andy Warhol Museum

G-20: September 24-25, 2009 Pittsburgh /David L. Lawrence Convention Center

Those of you interested in the G-20, BOOK NOW!!! Every hotel for miles will be filled. Here’s the thing: Try to stay at a hotel that has transportation to the Convention Center, or has access to nearby transportation that takes a direct route. DO NOT TRY TO DRIVE AND PARK DURING THIS EVENT! If you need to be close to the city, pick a hotel or bed and breakfast that has free parking close to the convention center. Make your inquiries now, don’t wait.

Here’s some other suggestions I thinks may help. If you really don’t like traffic, but must drive from where you are to this event, try staying at a small boutique hotel or B&B outside of Pittsburgh…I mean, significantly outside of Pgh.

UPDATED June 18: Because of their available airstrip, Nemacolin Woodlands is FULL! There is no availability at any of the hotels, cabins, suites, etc. We did mention that things would move quickly.

For example, stay in Cranberry Township at one of the many hotels there. Stay in the Laurel Highlands (Donegal, Somerset, Johnstown area). Yes, these are an hour out, but all highway driving. From there, you can park at one of the many Port Authority Transit Park and Ride lots (PAT), and take the bus directly into downtown Pittsburgh to the Convention Center.They are reasonably priced:
www.portauthority.org Latrobe is also close by for those who want to fly.

Those hotels in Latrobe, Ligonier, Donegal, Somerset, etc. on less than 30 minutes from the airport. Johnstown is also another great place to get a more reasonably priced hotel with an airport nearby. Don't forget the magnificent Beadford Springs Resort and Spa as well. Beautiful, quiet, but with all the amenities one would expect in the city. The Laurel Highlands make a great alternative.

This will give you some peace in the evenings after events, and some reasonable places to eat inexpensively.

Well, there is a huge summer schedule of events to get your heart beating a little faster and thinking about all the fun there is to have. Remember, if everything here seems unaffordable, get a book from your local library and take a trip to knowledge and fascination. Those trips are just as important as the ones that wear out your shoes.

Keep those concert updates/new releases coming! We will post them!
Falcon and Dove