Bits & Bobs – March 14, 2012

potluck tablecloths drying in the sun - march 14, 2012

Center for Sustainability Community Gardens – Online Applications Open 9 a.m. March 15

(From Sarah Potter) –  The Penn State Organic Community Garden soon will be accepting applications for garden plots for the coming growing season. The garden, located on Porter Road just south of Medlar Field at Lubrano Park on Penn State’s University Park campus. Membership is open to Penn State faculty, staff, students and members of the community. Benefits of membership include a 10-foot by 15-foot plot of land, access to tools and compost, and free educational workshops during the growing season. Prospective gardeners may apply online  beginning at 9 a.m. on March 15. For more information, visit the garden website or contact Scott Salesky at”

GardenStarters Spring 2012 Newsletter 

Seven Mountains Haiku Club – Now Forming

(From Anne Burgevin) Are you interested in haiku?  Then please come to the first meeting of the Seven Mountains Haiku Club of Central Pennsylvania onWednesday, April 18 at Schlow Library’s Community Room from 7-9 p.m.

All ages are welcome. Bring a friend. Bring a family member. If you like, bring a few haiku – yours or someone else’s – to share. Call Anne Burgevin at 235-6362 or email with any questions or suggestions. Seven Mountains Haiku Club Flier

Centre County Recycling for Yogurt Tubs & Other Plastics

(From Dana Stuchul) I am so pleased that our region is starting to recycle hard plastics (yogurt containers and all those others that didn’t fit in the “narrow-neck plastic bottle” category, that I hope you will share this news with as many folks as you can.  We do have to take them out to the drop-off center, but it’s only a quarter mile past the Nittany Mall.  I encourage you all to participate if you can! More info.

Voices of Central PA – Fun!Raiser Honoring Progressive of the Year Braden Crooks

Monday, March 19, 2012, The India Pavilion, 222 E. Calder Way, State College; 5:30 p.m. wine reception; 6 p.m. buffet dinner, live music and raffle.

Events include honoring Progressive of the Year Award Recipient Braden Crooks and Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient Bob Brownlee. $50 in advance/$60 at the door/$15 student/unemployed/distressed worker. More info.

News from Way Fruit Farm in Port Matilda

This Thursday, March 15, the Planning Commission and Parks and Recreation Board will be hosting a Town Hall Meeting at the Way Cafe. Open House, with light refreshments, will begin at 6:30pm and the meeting will begin at 7pm. Come on out and share ideas and priorities you have for for Halfmoon Township trails, new parklands and park amenities. Open to everyone in the community; we hope to see you there!

Way Fruit Farm will host our annual Apple Tree Trimming Demonstration on March 31 at 10:30am. FREE to everyone who would like to attend, we do ask that you bring your own trimmers to practice with, dress for the weather and mud and be prepared with any questions you may have. We will begin the session in our farm store lobby with a Q & A and then proceed to the orchard closest to our farm store to demonstrate our tree-trimming practices and then let you practice on a row of our trees. Bring the whole family along, as we will be serving Breakfast (8am-1pm) & Lunch(11am-4:30pm) in the Way Cafe and our craft area has been newly decorated for Spring, so there’s something for everyone!

Are you a Halfmoon Township resident who wants to spend an evening talking vegetable gardening? Join the Halfmoon Garden Club at Way Fruit Farm for a group gardening discussion. Learn how to get the most out of your vegetable garden, from getting started to combating pests and more. This FREE Event will be held Thursday, April 12, 2012, 7:00-9:00pm in the Way Cafe. Light refreshments will be served and the Way Cafe will remain open to offer our regular dinner menu for purchase. Please RSVP by Monday, April 9th to Barb at 883-1357 or email We hope you’ll enjoy meeting your local Garden Club members and learning something new!

Last, but not least, Easter is just around the corner. We would love to help you have an easy and “Hoppy” Easter this year! So, stop in to see what we have to offer including local hams from Hogs Galore to quiche for brunch from our Way Cafe to pies , dinner rolls, cookies and more from the Way Bakery! We will send an email with more detailed information soon, but it’s never to early to stop in and place an order or ask about selection. We hope to serve you soon! Easter candy and decorations are also in stock, so stop by and enjoy browsing through the new selections today!

Marcellus Shale & Local Control – Conference April 28 in Wilkes-Barre

(From CELDF – State College background here.) STOPPING MARCELLUS SHALE GAS DRILLING AT THE MUNICIPAL LEVEL: A Conference for Municipal Officials and Community Leaders, Co-Sponsored by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund and the Pennsylvania Community Rights Network

House Bill 1950 in Pennsylvania, signed into law as Act 13, was stated by one Representative to be “a back room deal made by a small group of people whose primary concern was the profit margin for the energy industry.” The bill was criticized by many local officials for its preemptive language, gutting much of what little local control was left, and replacing it with statewide standards that “are horrifically weak.” Act 13 also creates so-called “impact fees” – a cynical attempt to equate the health, safety, and welfare of our communities with the resurfacing of roads. But no impact fees are needed if we stop fracking from occurring in the first place.

Prior to its passage, the State had already all but eviscerated local control – allowing municipalities to use their zoning powers only to regulate the placement of surface well pads. Act 13 was just another step further, and it should come as no surprise. Corporations have repeatedly used the state legislature to preempt community control over:

  • mining (1947, 1963, 2000)
  • banking (1965)
  • timber harvesting (1992, 2000)
  • the dumping of sewage sludge on farm land (1993, 2005)
  • factory farming (2000, 2005)
  • water withdrawals (2002)
  • corporate use of genetically modified seed (2004), and
  • oil and gas drilling (1984, 2000, 2012)

All of these areas of preemption share a common thread – that large corporations and their “non-profit” lobbying groups have used our state legislature to make laws that exempt themselves from local democratic control. Such a scheme of preemption revokes community self-determination and subordinates community majorities to the decisions of corporate minorities. Our municipalities have been turned into corporate resource colonies, with the approval of the General Assembly in Harrisburg.

At a meeting of local officials on December 13, in Greentree, Jules Lobel, professor of law at the University of Pittsburgh said “I think the broader problem is – how are we going to fight this doctrine of preemption which in this state has wreaked havoc in a whole number of areas. The people who are the municipal leaders are going to have to figure out some way you are going to organize your townships to say we’re not going to accept this.”

Would you like to join us in our efforts to do just that? On Saturday, April 28, 2012 in Wilkes-Barre, CELDF and the Pennsylvania Community Rights Network will co-sponsor a one-day conference to talk about how communities are standing up to state sponsored corporate preemption. This isn’t another conference about what you are not allowed to do. Instead, we’ll be talking about bringing our communities together to challenge this assault on local democracy by asserting community rights, and by organizing to create the state constitutional change needed to ensure the right to enact local laws protective of health, safety, and welfare, as well as the civil and political rights of the people. We want to share stories about what over 130 communities have done to assert their inherent right to local self-government, and how you too can do this.

We ask that local officials place this invitation on the agenda at your next public meeting and decide to send at least one local official as a representative to this conference. Community leaders and active citizens are welcome as well; your participation is essential to moving forward. Please join us as local elected officials and citizens empower themselves to prevent fracking in their communities.

Date: April 28, 2012 Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (registration begins at 9:30 a.m.)

Location: Quality Inn and Suites, 880 Kidder Street, Wilkes Barre, PA 18702

Click here for the agenda. The Conference is Free, but RSVP is required: by April 20th to or call 717-498-0054. Please include your name, title, municipality and county, address, phone and email. For more Information: Contact Stacey Schmader at or call 717-498-0054.

News from PennEnvironment

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