For police, the use of force is one of the hardest things to get right. As the International Association of Chiefs of Police stresses, policies must “ensure that any use of force is carefully applied and objectively reasonable considering the situation confronted by the officers.” Politicians don't help when they make blanket statements about getting … Continue reading Use of force by the police
Today, I made a donation to a GoFundMe campaign for dysautonomia. The daughter of a high school classmate was diagnosed with the disease recently, and is currently at the Mayo Clinic undergoing more tests. There are expenses for the trip from Florida to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, and she will likely need a service … Continue reading Dysautonomia
Cities use their zoning code to control the physical development of land and the kinds of uses to which each property may be put. It's a means for the government to enact and enforce land-use planning. Zoning ordinances can also get out of whack. As Vox pointed out, only 22 residential buildings in Somerville are considered "conforming.." … Continue reading Somerville zoning overhaul
Today, I made a Kiva loan to a farmer in Cameroon. Thomas needs a loan to buy fertilizer, seeds and insecticide for his corn, potatoes and peanuts. I'm happy to help him out. The loan is also a short-term loan, which is good for me to get a better sense of how Kiva works.
The federal government's Clean Power Plan - which would require power providers to shift their electricity sources toward renewable energy - is under threat. But that doesn't mean power providers can't be convinced to act. Indeed, 10 companies, which together control about 10% of the nation’s total, filed a brief in support the Clean Power Plan. … Continue reading Nstar and the Clean Power Plan
Today, I went to the weekly meeting of Indivisible Somerville's energy and environment lab. Good organizing meeting with action items to follow up on, regarding three bills in the state legislature and how to push them forward. We also discussed getting Somerville businesses into 100% renewable energy, which I'm going to push forward on.
The Department of Commerce is currently reviewing the designations and expansions of 11 national marine sanctuaries and marine national monuments. Rolling back protections for these areas would open protected areas of the ocean to oil and gas drilling, commercial fishing, deep seabed mining and other commercial exploitation. Tomorrow is the deadline to offer input to … Continue reading Protecting marine sanctuaries
Coal is arguably the biggest bogeyman in the fight against climate change. Coal has higher levels of carbon than other fossil fuels, relative to the energy it produces, so it's responsible for about 25% of US emissions. Globally, it's responsible for about 44% of emissions. Coal consumption, as we all know, is in decline in the … Continue reading From the Ashes screening
Today, I hung above my desk a framed block print edition of Article 29 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights. Pretty cool, isn't it? Article 29 states: "(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible. "(2) In the exercise of his rights … Continue reading UN Declaration of Human Rights block print
Did you know that oysters have the potential to both dramatically filter waterways and counteract ocean acidification? Here's what the Mass Oyster Project says: Each oyster can filter 40 gallons of water per day. An oyster reef can shelter up to 100 other species so they dramatically add to biodiversity. Oysters also sequester nitrogen in … Continue reading Shuckfest 4 for the Mass Oyster Project