March & April 2018 Newsletter

Northeast Ohio Sierra Club’s next Conservation Committee meeting will be held at 7 PM on Wednesday, March 7 at the Brooklyn Branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library 4480 Ridge Rd, Cleveland. Our Executive Committee meeting will be held directly following the conclusion of the Conservation Committee Meeting.

Sierra Club Partners with Film Festival

April 4-15
Tower City Cinemas

The 42nd Cleveland International Film Festival will be underway April 4-15 at Tower City Cinemas and NEO Sierra Club is again a proud community partner with the festival.  We are a partner for the documentary entitled, “Haze, It’s Complicated,” which focuses on forest destruction in southeast Asia.  The film explores how demand for cheap palm oil and the planting of African oil palm have caused extensive deforestation.  The deforestation is generally accompanied by burning to remove slash.  Consequently, peat soils are ignited, producing smoldering fires that are difficult to extinguish and release carbon dioxide and particulates (haze) into the atmosphere.  In an era of accelerating climate change, this deforestation and burning has become a global environmental disaster.   Please consider attending the film to learn more about the complex social and economic forces that have created this problem.

A schedule for the film festival is posted at www.clevelandfilm.org.  Haze will be screened on April 11 at 7:50 PM, April 12 at 11:30 AM, and April 13 at 9:20 AM. Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased online through clevelandfilm.org or by calling the box office at  877-304-FILM.  You may also buy tickets in person at the Film Festival box office in Tower City Cinemas.  To receive a $2 discount on the price of a ticket ($14 for Film Festival members and $16 for non-members) use the codeword “SIERRA” when you buy tickets.  Buying tickets in advance is always a good idea as many of the shows sell out.  NEO Sierra Club representatives will speak before each screening of the film; let’s make  sure that  they are speaking to packed houses!


Memorial for Bob Greenbaum, Longtime NEO Sierra Club Activist

Bob Greenbaum’s Memorial/Celebration of Life will be on Sunday, March 11 at 4 PM, at the First Unitarian Church (Shaker Blvd and Belvoir, Shaker Hts, 44122).


Neonicotinoid in the Great Lakes

By Laurel Hopwood, Ohio Sierra Club Agriculture Chair

Fish, birds and entire ecosystems of the Great Lakes may be at risk. A new critical study revealed the presence of neonicotinoid (neonic) pesticides pervasive the Great Lakes and its tributaries.

The study comes as draft legislation is circulating in Congress that would remove requirements that the U.S. EPA consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department and the National Marine Service over pesticides’ impact on threatened and endangered species.

Neonics are the most heavily used insecticides on the planet. Exposure to these nerve poisons is linked with bee die-offs and bird population decline. Losing these pollinators can have a tremendous impact on our food supply.


The Bus Stops Here! A Rally to Save Transit

Date: Monday, March 12 from 5:30-7:30 PM
Location: Cleveland Public Square 50 Public Square, Suite 803, Cleveland, Ohio 44113

On March 11, RTA will once again make cuts to service, with frequency reductions on 15 service lines across town. With further catastrophic cuts looming in the fall, we call for local leaders to relieve RTA riders and workers by working with us to solve the funding crisis, and make sure all of us can get around town- to work, school, the doctor, the store- to all the places we need to be.

For more information, contact: www.clefortransit.org or (216) 714-2164
RSVP to the event at: facebook.com/events/364506404028788/.


Resisting Desecration of Land, Sovereignty and Image

By Dennis Michael Plank, NEOSC Indigenous Peoples Chairperson

What are local Native Americans doing this year? They are having their annual conference to protect their environment and human rights. Why are they doing this? They are doing this because they believe that sacred places are the foundation of all other beliefs and practices. Sacred places represent the presence of the sacred in our lives. We have to protect sacred places before we permanently foul our planet.

I’ll give an example of the above. Vine Deloria, Jr. is a writer and he has served as the Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians. He wrote an article called “Sacred Places and Moral Responsibility”, from “God is Red: A Native View of Religion”, Fulcrum Publishing, copyright 1994 by Vine Deloria, Jr.

Deloria basically states that white people may be the political owner of the land, but red people are still the spiritual owner. America can survive only if white people learn to revere the sacred places of this land like red people do. Not only must there be a treaty between red and white people, but there must be a treaty between red people, white people, and nature (This is the only treaty that cannot be broken).

Bears Ears National Monument is an example of a sacred place. President Barack Obama designated Bears Ears in southeastern Utah and it is the first under the Antiquities Act that comes in direct response to an unprecedented partnership of sovereign Native Americans Tribes. Bears Ears protects a sacred, living, and cultural landscape that has been used by Native Americans since as long as they can remember.

With the above in mind the Committee of 500 Years of Dignity and Resistance with the help of the Sierra Club and other groups are having their annual conference and demonstration called “Resisting Desecration of Land, Sovereignty and Image”, at Baldwin Wallace University, Student Activity Center, 96 Beech Street, Berea, Ohio, 44107, April 7, 2018, 9:00 AM.

David Narcomey is the Keynote Speaker (he is a member of the General Council of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma). Tate Walker will be speaking (she is a Lakota storyteller). John Bolenbaugh will be speaking (he is an advocate for human and environmental health). The demonstration starts at West 25th Street and Detroit, April 6, 2018, 1:30 PM. For more information contact Dennis at 216-939-8229 or via email.

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Committee News

Executive Committee

There are many opportunities to volunteer with the Northeast Ohio Sierra Club. We have an opening in our ExCom Committee, we need fundraising and events volunteers, help with Inspiring Connections Outdoors–a program for taking kids on monthly outings and more. Read more…

Coal & Energy

Stand up against coal bailouts in person June 15 in Columbus. June 15 marks the beginning of legal proceedings for First Energy’s bailout proposal. Read more…

Rainforest Committee

On June 9, at the behest of Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa, Ecuador’s National Assembly approved changes to the Organic Law that reduce protection for the marine reserve and facilitate investment of foreign capital for the development of large hotels, resorts, and new residential areas. Read more…