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




Entries in environment (57)


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



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Scott Blunk teaches Theresa Harter, a junior, how to work a loader at W.B. Saul High School in Roxborough. | Photos by Stephen Dyer

Compost expert and volunteer teacher makes educational programs possible for high school students

The compost pile at W.B. Saul High School in Roxborogh is about the size of a school bus—and that’s a good thing. When Scott Blunk, a volunteer for the agricultural high school’s compost operation, started working in September of 2011, he says the compost pile was 10 times the size. 

“This is my laboratory; this is where the magic happens,” says Blunk, staring over the heap of composting animal waste, hay, egg cartons, fruit and vegetable skins, and even old jeans.

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Meet the Mayoral Candidates - Anthony Williams

His Story:

Williams is son of a father who was both a judge and community activist. He went to The College of  William & Mary, where he earned a degree in economics, and rose through the ranks at PepsiCo to become a mid-level executive. The rise of gang violence, blighted communities, and lack of opportunity in Philadelphia led him away from the private sector and into politics in 1988, when he first served as a Representative in the Pennsylvania State Legislature. For the last 16 years, he’s served in the State Senate. He is a strong community advocate, and his main campaign message is about creating One Philadelphia: “The destiny of our community isn’t tied to the magnitude of our challenges, but our ability to find solutions together.” 

Vision for a Sustainable Philadelphia

I’ve been a proponent of environmental and conservation issues since the 1980s. As a state legislator who represented both urban and suburban areas, I worked to establish the Cobbs Creek Environmental Center, helped constituents create a political action committee to address environmental justice, and sponsored bills to address the adverse health impacts of toxic chemicals in low--income communities. As mayor, I am committed to building One Philadelphia,- a city where every neighborhood benefits from sustainability because it improves our quality of life. I’ll focus on two areas that will position Philadelphia as a
national leader in sustainability: 

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Meet the Mayoral Candidates-Doug Oliver

His Story:

Doug Oliver was raised by a single mother in Philadelphia and has strong ties to his church. After completing an undergraduate degree from Lock Haven University, he earned a Masters in Communication from La Salle University and an Executive MBA from St. Joseph’s University. He started his career at Beech Advertising, and after a stint as Press Secretary for Mayor Michael Nutter, he now works for Philadelphia Gas Works as their Vice President for Marketing and Corporate Communications. He’s running as the new kid on the block, and as a voice for Millennials. His campaign message: “If you want something different, we’ve got to do something different.” 

Vision for a sustainable Philadelphia:

Philadelphia has made great strides recently to become a more sustainable city. The progress that has been made must be built upon. As the former Senior Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications at PGW, I was tasked with reducing the City’s energy consumption and carbon footprint. This experience has heightened my awareness of the issues and my commitment to addressing the issue. As mayor, I will certainly do my part to ensure that Philadelphia is a livable city and sustainable in its use of energy. 

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Meet the Mayoral Candidates-Nelson Diaz


by Heather Shayne Blakeslee 

His Story:

Diaz grew up in a public housing project in New York City, and made his way through St. Joseph’s University and then Temple Law. He was the first Puerto Rican to earn a law degree from the University and to pass the Pennsylvania Bar Exam, after which he became a Public Defender. He was also the first Latino confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be a General Counsel; he served with the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He’s a 45-year resident of the City, and among other posts, he served as City Solicitor under Mayor John Street. He’s currently a partner with Dilworth Paxson LLP. The widest plank of his campaign platform concerns support for the school system: “Education is the only universal equalizer for our children, and the major civil rights issue of our time.” 

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