Protests over collective bargaining continue into their third week here in Wisconsin. Despite a turnout of almost 80,000 who reject the Budget Repair Bill, Governor Walker is holding firm in his assertion that the State’s deficit of $137 million can only be resolved by stripping unions of their right to negotiate for benefits such as better working conditions and health care. Although this blog is dedicated to telling stories about the sustainable active lifestyle it’s important that we recognize the value that hard working public employees bring to the protection of our wild and scenic places. In this country men and women on the payroll of state and federal governments perform the service of conservation. In it less for the money than their love of the natural environment these unionized workers typically settle for low wages, fewer vacation days and medical benefits in order to do the vital work of protecting our green spaces.
“We need to stand together to support the people who work every day to ensure that the air we breathe and the water we drink is safe,” Shahla Werner, director of the Sierra Club’s Badger State chapter, wrote to her members last week. “These are the folks who connect us to the outdoors at our state parks and forests, and protect threatened and endangered species and the habitats they depend on,”
This and other stories are worth following in the news this week
Green and Blue collar workers unit to protect collective Bargaining
Tim De Christopher trial starts today
The question isn’t whether the then-University of Utah student, as charged, crashed a government auction, mischievously outbid energy producers with no intention of paying and blocked their access to the Utah outback. He did that, and meant for everyone to know it.
“It was my intention to raise a red flag,” he said.
The question is how far U.S. District Judge Dee Benson will let DeChristopher and his attorneys stretch this from a trial about the facts of Dec. 19, 2008, and into one about ideas and causes. The judge will have to decide whether DeChristopher, who plans to testify in his defense, or his attorneys go too far in testing his ruling that this isn’t a case about protecting the environment.
Oscar nominated Mountain Films
Movies in the running for the best documentary category at the Academy Awards included two pics that made the rounds at the 2010 Mountain Film at Telluride. Broad themes that explore the human condition and the role people play in their relationship with the environment appeal to a worldwide audience with the much celebrated films Wasteland and Gasland. And these movies to your NetFlix cue as soon as they become available. http://gaslandthemovie.com/
From Decline to Rebirth: The Natural History Initiative
Photojournalists Benjamin Drummond and Sara Joy Steel announce a new project this week in cooperation with the National Science Foundation to record conversations and images in the study of the non-human world. With information gathered over several workshops over the next several months the project aims to “facilitate partnerships across boundaries and create the foundation for direct actions that will promote the value, improve the practice, grow the community and increase the application of natural history.”
On the Road with Solitaire
On the Road with Solitaire is a 12-part web-based series that follows a crew of skiers through the high alpine snow fields of South America. Spanning two years of filming the series will offer a new edition each month starting on March 21st.
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