Meeting notes for April 28, 2014

DeForest Area Progressives

Meeting notes for April 28, 2014


Next meeting: Monday, May 5, 2014, at Isabel's, 816 South Street in DeForest, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.


Ten people were present at the April 28th meeting.


May 19th will be the last meeting at Isabel's condo, as the condo has been sold.  We will continue meeting, then, at Dawn and Ginny's houses.


JohnSki reported on his latest visit to the DeForest village Planning and Zoning Committee meeting, where among other topics, they discussed two chapters of the proposed revised comprehensive village plan, Chapters 6 and 3, "Land Use" and "Downtown," respectively.  John volunteered to keep up these monitoring visits when the P&Z Committee discusses changes in the comprehensive plan.


Marcia reported on her attendance the previous Tuesday at the Earth Day Conference in Madison.  There were excellent speakers on the topic of climate change.  We must keep thinking about community rights in the face of business and industrial corporations that would run roughshod over local communities.  See next paragraph.


There will be a training conference in Viroqua, May 23-26, on "Community Rights Networking."  There are already a hundred local communities around the country that have successfully established community bills of rights, and only two of those bills have been challenged by corporations who would exploit local communities' resources.  The communities who have protected themselves have put in place ordinances before they face such challenges as the sand mining in Wisconsin.  For the present, we should all familiarize ourselves with the websites on the topic.  It was noted that Leonardo had put on our list of brainstormed things DAP should engage in, a community environmental bill of rights.    Maybe we could host an event ourselves to familiarize Wisconsin with the concepts and introduce CELDF, the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund.  In short, we have a right to clean water, clean air, unpolluted land, and a way of life not disrupted by unwarranted and unwanted industrial activity.  An informal poll of those present found unanimous agreement that DAP should get involved with this CELDF stuff. 


Janet summed up the efforts so far to collect signatures for Mary Burke's nomination for governor, as well as other nomination papers that DAP members are circulating.


Karen reported on the tar sands pipeline issue, taking note of the "cowboys and indians" action taking place in Washington, D.C.  There is a tar sludge pipeline in operation already in Dane County (the Enbridge Pipeline) that carries the oil sludge from Alberta, Canada, through Wisconsin to a refinery in Chicago (owned, by the way, by the infamous Koch brothers).  The tarmac-like substance mined in Alberta is diluted to make it viscous enough to transport through the pipeline.  At the Chicago refinery, it is separated, and the dilutant is sent back to Alberta via another, parallel pipeline.  The part of the pipeline that runs through DaneCounty is in the northeastern part near where CountyV intersects Hwy. 151.  The pipeline itself is underground, but the pumping stations are above ground and visible.  The tarmac-like substance is strip mined in Alberta, where the trees are first taken down, and then huge machinery is used to dig into the earth.  The refinery in Chicago converts the raw substance to "pet-coke" (petroleum coke which is used to burn with coal in production facilities like electric generation plants), heavy oils, greases, and diesel.  It is not suitable for gasoline.  A pipe like the Enbridge burst not long ago in Michigan, about 150 miles east of us, causing tremendous pollution and damage.  The proposed XL pipeline that gets so much attention these days is not the only one.


Shirley mentioned four Wisconsin Assembly campaigns that "Turn Wisconsin Blue" is working on.


Liz finished four sides of signs, except for the messages to be put on them.  Mary Lou has two signs, four sides, she needs done.  There are a few "big red" signs that need some maintenance and repair, too.  John St. suggested (again) that we host a sign painting picnic/workshop in one of the DeForest area parks.  We can have some fun ourselves and invite others among Progressive Partners to join us to learn about sign production and enjoy the picnic with us.


Karen reported on bumper sticker and button sales.  She gave JohnSki $57 to deposit in the DAP checking account.  We should sell more at the DeForest area 4th of July celebration.  We should have a table or booth for sales, voter registration, sign recruitment, etc.  Further discussion on this and the float for the parade will ensue at later meetings.


Finally, for those of you who are more adventurous than others of us, in the UW Arboretum there is going to be training for those who intend to put their bodies on the line, so to speak, if and when the XL Pipeline begins construction.


Next meeting: Monday, May 5, 2014, at Isabel's, 816 South Street in DeForest, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

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