Rhonda Winter

Enbridge Knew Tar Sands Pipeline was Damaged 5 Years Before Michigan Oil Spill

Two years ago the worst onshore oil spill in United States history was caused in Michigan by a Canadian company named Enbridge. Over one million gallons of tar sands crude spewed out of a ruptured pipeline into the Kalamazoo River, and the attempted clean up has only just been completed, sort of. The NTSB has released a report analyzing the extreme negligence that led to this environmental disaster, and found that the company knew five years beforehand that this burst pipeline was sorely in need of repair, but did nothing to fix it.

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Promoting a Culture of Sharing: Free Mini Public Libraries

There are few things more beautiful than a public library — a shared community space that encourages study, reading books and borrowing information — such fountains of free knowledge greatly improve our society and our world. Recently many small libraries have been springing up in somewhat unexpected places, from local public parks and urban sidewalks to city phone booths.

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For-Profit Probation Services are Jailing People for Being Poor

As our nation’s economy continues to flounder, an increasing number of municipalities are incarcerating people who can not afford to pay for tickets and misdemeanor fines. Some regions have turned over government services, such as probation, to private for-profit companies. Their court systems are attempting to raise income by imprisoning the most vulnerable — trying to balance their budgets on the backs of the poorest and most disenfranchised people in our society.

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Green Inclinations, No Kids: Celebrating the Many Joys of Being Child-Free

Just like Anderson Cooper this week, I also feel compelled to come out of the closet and highlight a very obvious fact about myself: I am child-free, never ever wanted to have kids, and I embrace these choices openly, with pride. Our culture often treats those who have no desire to be parents as abnormal, and there is still not much societal support for deciding to not increase our planet’s rapidly expanding population.

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Streetbank Makes Sharing with Your Neighbors Easy

Streetbank is a free website that helps you to more easily share and borrow things or skills from your neighbors. It connects you to a local network of other people who are also interested in lending, sharing their abilities and building regional community — it is meant for anyone to use for free, and is specifically not about making money or a profit, or for any professionals to sell their services. It exists simply to help promote the common good.

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Climate Central Maps How Much Hotter Each State has Now Become

During the 20th century our average temperature rose 1.3°F, and since 1970 the increases have become even more intense. The planet is getting hotter, despite what a few wing nuts are still trying to claim, and tremendous amounts of scientific data exist to prove this. The folks at Climate Central have compiled some of this compelling information into easy to understand maps, which illustrate, state by state, just how much temperatures have risen in our country over the last hundred years.

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Martian Microbes, Wind Energy & the Great Pacific Garbage Patch: Link Party

Ecolocalizer is a member of an interconnected blog cooperative known as Important Media, a community of websites dedicated to news that matters. Each week we highlight a list of featured articles from different sites across our diverse network, including some compelling posts from Crafting a Green World, Eat Drink Better, sustainablog, Planetsave, CleanTechnica and Blue Living Ideas. Please take a moment to read some of this week’s headlines, and you might learn something new.

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Bicycling Increases 71% in San Francisco

Part of what makes San Francisco such an attractive (and unfortunately very expensive) place to reside is that it is a beautiful livable city — biking and pedestrian infrastructure improvements over the last decades have helped to positively transform our town into a much more pleasant urban environment. The SF Bicycle Coalition announced recently that, according to the official citywide bicycle count, over the last five years bike ridership has increased a whopping 71%.

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Bechdel’s New Graphic Novel Analyzes Her Uniquely Screwed Up Family

The artist and writer Alison Bechdel was interviewed recently by Lambda Literary about her new graphic novel memoir, Are You My Mother?, which was published last month. Bechdel’s beautiful new book analyzes her personal relationships, as well how we relate to one another and manage to function. Bechdel is also the creator of the critically acclaimed memoir, Funhome: A Family Tragicomic, as well as the much beloved cartoon series, Dykes to Watch Out For.

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Wisconsin Election Previews Our New Citizens United States of America

Since the Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United decision, our nation’s democratic process has become so corrupted by unlimited corporate donations that it seems to be crumbling before our very eyes. Now that money is considered speech, the voices of millions of citizens are being crushed by a handful of billionaire plutocrats and narrow big business interests. The corrupting influence of unrestricted campaign donations upon our elections was evidenced in yesterday’s elections in Wisconsin.

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Corn Sugar, Seagrass Meadows & Car-Free Streets: Important Media Link Party

Each week Important Media highlights a list of featured articles from across our diverse network, including compelling posts from Crafting a Green World, Eat Drink Better, sustainablog, Green Business Owner, Planetsave, Inspired Economist and CleanTechnica. Please take a moment to read some of this week’s headlines, and you might learn something new.

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Sunday Streets Shines in San Francisco’s Mission District

Yesterday the sunny streets of San Francisco were swarming with thousands of happy residents during another regular Sunday Streets event. Rivers of happy families filled the car-free avenues, listening to live music, biking, dancing, playing football, skateboarding, walking dogs, socializing with their neighbors, and just soaking up the beautiful spring day.

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Money is Fiction: Working to End the Monetary System

Imagine a world where money does not exist; it’s not difficult, if you try. Money itself is useless — you can not eat a twenty-dollar bill sandwich, or live in a house constructed entirely of silver dollars — all that we need are the things that money can buy for us. Now is the time to re-imagine how our lives would look without wages, debt, interest or any form of money.

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Ithaca Mayor Transforms His Official Parking Space into a Public Park

During his first week as mayor of Ithaca, New York, Svante Myrick gave up his car so that he could walk to his job every day at City Hall. The newly elected 24-year-old official joined 15% of local residents in the city who already walk to work. And even though he does not need it, the mayor is still provided with a central downtown parking spot reserved for his official use. The progressive leader has decided to transform the private parking space into a tiny shared public park.

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