Naturepalooza! Science Discovery Day 

Sat., April 25, 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The White Mountains Play 

Sat., April 25, 8:00 p.m.

Rethinking Row Homes

Tues., April 28, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m

  

 

 

Saturday
Apr252015

Flavors of the Avenue Preview

Grid staff attended a preview for this event event. Check out the calibre of food you can expect to find at this year's Flavors of the Avenue:

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Friday
Apr242015

Grid Endorses Nelson Diaz for Mayor

Nelson Diaz photo by Gene Smirnov

Two months ago, no mayoral candidate was the presumptive choice for voters whose main concern is a sustainable Philadelphia. As we went through the process of asking candidates questions directly, looking at public records, examining other local reporting, and consulting with sustainability leaders in the field, one candidate stood apart from the field. Grid is pleased to announce our endorsement of Judge Nelson Diaz for Mayor.

Each of the candidates had positives. Doug Oliver proved a charismatic candidate, and we wouldn’t be surprised if he is one day the mayor of Philadelphia. We hope as his executive experience deepens and his views evolve, he’ll rely less heavily on his natural gas-centric view of sustainability and think about the long game for the city.

Lynne Abraham is a sharp-minded, dedicated public servant, and by all accounts a fierce prosecutor. Her policy recommendations when it comes to the environment are mostly sound, but she lacks a comprehensive vision for how a commitment to sustainability could make or break our future, and she has not challenged the prevailing wisdom that bringing a petrochemical hub to the city should be a central part of our economic development strategy.

Anthony Williams is a seasoned politician, and is most compelling when he’s speaking about the nuances of social justice as they relate to the sustainability community, but his relationship with the natural gas industry is troubling. He was one of a handful of Democratic State Senators to vote for Act 13, a bill—now law—that stripped communities of their right to protect themselves from fracking, instituted a gag order against doctors, and repealed existing environmental protections. Fortunately, the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court intervened, and some of the worst pieces of the law were overturned. 

Jim Kenney has proven himself a friend to progressives and has been a strong leader on the environment and LGBTQ rights, among other issues, he knows well the dynamic between City Council and the Mayor, and he won the official support of some in the environmental community. Though he was first to add the environment to his campaign platform, it was disturbing to hear a staffer say that clean air didn’t do people much good if they couln’t afford to live here. It was an undisciplined gaffe that would have faded away had Kenney not appointed Phil Rinaldi, CEO of Philadelphia Energy Solutions, responsible for 72 percent of the air pollution in Philadelphia, to his economic development team.

Nelson Diaz, a candidate we knew little about at the beginning of this race, has surprised and heartened us. We were initially intrigued that he was the only candidate who seemed to want to voluntarily put the brakes on the discussion of making Philadelphia a petrochemical hub. The more we learned about his experience and vision, the more we came to believe in his ability to lead Philadelphia into the next phase of becoming a world-class city.  His experience growing up poor (and sick from poor air quality) in New York City, his time as a public housing administrator in Washington, D.C., his experience as a judge, and in private practice at a law firm have given him a regional and national perspective on urban sustainability that would serve Philadelphia well. He was the only candidate to tackle Grid’s questions on climate change, resilience and adaptation, and he lays out a compelling vision for the City in “Principles for a Greener Philadelphia,” his new environmental policy platform. It’s aspirational, articulate and uncompromising.  Nelson Diaz should be the next Mayor of Philadelphia.

 

Friday
Apr242015

Craft Fairs Round-up

Philadelphia has a long history of creative artists and crafters (don’t think that whole key-tied-to-a-kite thing was all for science). Craft fairs, which are extensions of that creativity, function on two levels—as a supportive forum for artists, and as a community event that brings people together.

Here's a round-up of highlights from two prominent Philadelphia craft fairs going on this weekend: Go West! Craft Fest in West Philadelphia and South Philadelphia’s Crafty Balboa.

 

Go West! Craft Fest

 

Old Blood Jewelry & Wears

Since Morgan Jamison was a child, she's been taking treasures from the ground and turning them into jewelry. She carried that fascination  with found art with her through studies at the University of the Arts Jewelrey/Metals program, and the launch of Old Blood Jewelry & Wears in 2012. 

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Thursday
Apr162015

Foot Soldier

by Mary Van Ogtrop

Illustration by Julia Tran

 Want to enjoy your commute? Try walking.

 At 7 a.m., my clock radio powers on to the sound of WXPN. “It’s a cold morning in Philadelphia,” the announcer says, a little mournfully, “with a low of 23.”

My eyes flashed open and I hopped up. Over 20 degrees: better get walking.

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Wednesday
Apr152015

Environmental Justice Lecture at Temple University

 

Dr. Robert D. BullardTonight, Temple University hosts Dr. Robert Bullard, a lauded environmental justice advocate, author and scholar, for their 5th Annual Kelch Lecture. His most recent book, The Wrong Complexion for Protection: How the Government Response to Disaster Endangers African American Communities, is the latest in a life-long body of groundbreaking work. Dr. Bullard and his co-author B.H. Right examine how poor communities and people of color disproportionally bear the costs and poor health that result from misguided public policy, proximity to industrial development and poorly executed disaster response. “My talk is to look at building just and sustainable communities for all. It’s a presentation that looks at environmental justice, sustainability, and building healthy, livable communities.” says Dr. Bullard.

Dr. Bullard’s work on the subject began in 1979, when his wife, attorney Linda McKeever Bullard decided to represent black communities in Houston, TX that were being unfairly targeted as waste disposal sites. Dr. Bullard served as expert testimony in the case, Bean v. Southwestern Waste Management, Inc., which became landmark legislation. Dr. Bullard’s later book Dumping on Dixie: Race Class, and Environmental Quality is a seminal text in the environmental justice movement.

Dr. Bullard’s message is clear. “It’s important to understand that in America, every institution in our society is impacted by racism,” he says. “Because we have not erased racism from our psyches or from our society … to think that somehow it doesn’t play a big part is a bit naïve. I think when we talk about public policies, oftentimes that may give the appearance that it’s neutral and objective, in many cases those policies—whether intended or unintended—hit people of color and poor people hardest. That’s what we’ve been doing over the last three decades is documenting those disproportional impacts and adverse impacts of environmental policies on people of color and poor people.”

April 15th, 6 p.m., Walk Auditorium at Ritter Hall, Temple University