Environmental Christmas List

For the past year or more there has been a renewed sense of purpose in my household. Perhaps it had something to do with the presidential election, the odd weather, or a change in food habits. Put them all together and I have a list of wishes for the coming year.
1. Buy local.
2. Raise awareness of climate change, previously known as global warming.
3. Support for family farmers.
4. Reduction in the cost of organic food.
5. Reduction in the influence of the special interests – nationally, state, even local.
6. Elimination of poverty.
7. Support for mass transit.
8. Energy independence. A positive approach includes solar and wind power, energy conservation. Not “drill, baby, drill”.
9. Green power.
10. A continuation of the efforts started by Occupy Wall Street.
11. Making CSA a household name.
12. Parks available for all children.

Suggested reading material
1. Why Buy Locally Owned?
2. Climate Change and Global Warming
Chasing Ice documentary film
3. Family Farms, why family farms important
Farm Aid, more than just an annual concert
4. Why is organic food more expensive than conventional food?, U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization
10 reasons organic food is so expensive, Fox News/The Daily Meal
5. Center for Responsive Politics
U.S. PIRG
6. Half in Ten
Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey
7. PublicTransportation.org
Tri-State Transportation Campaign
8. National Center for Appropriate Technology
9. Energy Savers Guide, U.S. Department of Energy
New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program, Office of Clean Energy
10. Occupy Wall Street
11. CSA = Community Supported Agriculture. CSA – LocalHarvest
Bloomfield-Montclair CSA
12. How Cities Use Parks to Help Children Learn

Bruce’s Speech From Madison, WI

Below are excerpts from a speech Bruce Springsteen gave at a rally in Madison, Wisconsin on November 5, 2012 in support of the re-election of President Barack Obama. For a full transcript visit, http://brucespringsteen.net/news/2012/bruces-speech-from-madison-wi,.

Today we have another battle. Now we are charged with the hard daily struggle to make those possibilities, those changes real and enduring in a world that challenges your hopefulness, a world that is often brutally resistant to change. We’ve lived through that struggle over these past four years when the forces of opposition have been tireless.

I stood with President Obama four years ago and I’m proud to be standing with him today. Because…

I’m thankful for the historic advances in healthcare.

I’m thankful for a more regulated Wall Street that will begin to protect our citizens from the blind greed of those who over reach.

Go vote.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance Available in Eight New Jersey Counties

The following press release was issued on November 1, 2012 by Governor Chris Christie’s office:

Christie Administration Announces Disaster Unemployment Assistance Available in Eight New Jersey Counties Impacted by Storm

Trenton, NJ – The U.S. Department of Labor announced that it approved Governor Chris Christie’s request for eight (8) New Jersey counties to qualify for federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance as a result of the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy.

This special assistance program pertains to people in and around portions of New Jersey that were declared a federal disaster area, including Atlantic, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Union counties. Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is available for persons, including self-employed individuals, who were living or working in the affected counties at the time of the disaster, and who are unemployed as a direct result of the damages caused by the storm.

At this time, the assistance is available only in connection with those areas declared a federal a disaster area, including Atlantic, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Union counties. Additional counties may be added to the disaster declaration following continued damage assessments by local officials, representatives of the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

If you are unemployed because of the disaster that began on Oct. 28, you should FIRST file for unemployment insurance benefits through the Internet by going to www.njuifile.net.

The Internet processes claims faster. However, if needed, people may also file a claim by telephone by contacting the state Department of Labor’s Re-employment Call Centers at:

North Jersey – (201) 601-4100
Central Jersey – (732) 761-2020
South Jersey – (856) 507-2340

A 30-day deadline ending December 3, 2012 is in effect for filing claims resulting from Hurricane Sandy.

For additional information regarding Disaster Unemployment Assistance or for FEMA services please call the FEMA emergency number at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. Information is also available via the Internet at www.disasterassistance.gov and www.fema.gov.

For information on all New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development programs and services visit http://lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/index.html and www.Jobs4Jersey.com.

Power Restoration in New Jersey

The article below was composed on October 30 but due to technical problems did not get posted to the blog. It may still be useful to our neighbors still without electricity.

For the 1+ million residents in New Jersey without power, myself included, we’ve been advised it will take time to assess damages and then begin to restore power, etc.

To report a power outage in your neighborhood, downed wires, utility pole accident, tree limbs on wire, or restoration call your electric company.

The major electric utility companies in New Jersey to call are:
Atlantic City Electric
800-833-7476

Jersey Central Power & Light
888-544-4877

Orange & Rockland
877-434-4100

Public Service Electric & Gas
800-436-7734

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