Oil Spills: Some Big Reasons to Move Away From Oil

By Roger James Kuhns

Army General Russel Honoré retired in 2008 as a three-star general. He is known as the “Category Five General” because he took charge of the 2005 Joint Katrina Task Force.  He said, in a PBS interview (5-30-2019) his experiences radicalized him because when he came home to Louisiana he found catastrophes. Russel Honoré saw how the petrochemical plants had poisoned the state, how the coastline was disappearing from bad business practices and climate change, and how the air was some of the most polluted in America. The southern parishes of Louisiana are known as “Cancer Alley”. There are over 1700 oil and gas and petrochemical companies operating in Louisiana and the people and land have been severely impacted.  This affects us in Connecticut because we get some of our oil and gas from Louisiana.

There are hundreds to thousands of oil spills across America and its waters every year.  Over 405 million gallons of oil were spilled between 1989 – the year of the Exxon Valdez tanker disaster in Alaska (32 million gallons of crude) and last year, 2018. This includes the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010 (193 million gallons of crude) (DOT, EPA, USGS).  There were many spills in Connecticut in 2018, for example in January, four thousand gallons of oil spilled into the Naugatuck River in Waterbury, 400 gallons were spilled in Groton in July, and 700 gallons leaked from a tank in Bridgeport.  This is a nationwide problem.

MAP:   This map, from resourcewatch.org, shows some of the 2018 oil spills.

So Russel Honoré founded his “Green Army” to fight bad practices, poor safety, environmental disasters, and health impacts to people in Louisiana.  He was featured on a PBS news hour story, a 2016 TED talk, and many news stories.  We need a lot of Russel Honorés across America, and there are many.  Community Actions like this are critical.  It is through such actions we can keep fracking fluids and practices out of Connecticut, demand more renewable energy, and increase the use of electric cars.

Senator Somers Votes Against Early Voting Amendment

Last week, the CT House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly in favor of a bill that would have allowed an early voting amendment to be put on the 2020 ballot. RiseUpMystic was very proud that Representatives Christine Conley, Joe de la Cruz, and Kate Rotella fought for and supported this bipartisan, democratic initiative.

Unfortunately, the bill failed to receive the necessary number of votes in the Senate. Our own Senator, Heather Somers, was among those conservatives who voted against the bill.

Many of us find ourselves wondering why Senator Somers would vote against a bill that would have made voting more accessible. We wonder what she has against expanding voting rights to people who wish to be engaged as citizens.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=286537468954831

RiseUpMystic February Meeting

Wednesday, Feb 6th – 7 PM at the Groton Public Library

Our new Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz and State Reps Chris Conley and Joe de la Cruz join us for our legislative outlook meeting this Wednesday. Come hear what’s at stake this legislative session and have your voice heard!

New London City Councilor Anthony Nolan will also join us. He will update us on his campaign and the 39th District special election.

Writer’s Workshop to Fight Climate Change

Hello and happy new year! Here’s to another year of progress, productivity, and making our voices heard. 

We are jump-starting our productive year with a Writer’s Workshop to Fight Climate Change one week from today, on Monday, January 14th, 2019 at 7pm at Groton Public Library. 

At this family-friendly workshop event, we will have several stations set up (including a kids’ activity table!) where people of all writing abilities can write letters to local newspapers, post on social media, and contact elected officials.

Plenty of friendly, informed RUM volunteers will be available to help and Judy Westwood’s amazing cookies will be on hand for anyone who needs a snack. 

So, bring your laptop. Bring the kids. Bring a coffee. We’ve got work to do! See you next Monday!

-Charlotte

Sample Ballots for Our Region

Find your town below (alphabetical by town):

East Lyme

Griswold

Groton

Ledyard

Montville

New London

North Stonington

Plainfield

Preston

Sterling

Stonington

Voluntown

Waterford

Westerly

 

An explanation of the CT statewide ballot questions on November 6th

  • The first question will ask voters if the state should constitutionalize a “lockbox” to ensure transportation revenues are spent only on transportation-related initiatives and debts. If passed, the state legislature would be prohibited from using those funds for nontransportation purposes.
  • The second will ask voters whether the constitution should require additional reviews and public hearings prior to the sale or transfer of state-owned land, such as state parks, state forests and conservation areas.

 

CT VOTERS – DO YOU FIND IT TOO FAR TO WALK FROM THE PARKING LOT INTO THE VOTING BOOTH AREA?

If so, you may drive up to the curb at the voting place and ask one of the volunteers holding signs to go in and tell the poll officials that someone has requested curbside voting. Two poll-workers of opposite parties will come outside to assist you. Have your identification ready and they will allow you to vote privately in your car in the presence of the election officials. Click here for more information for voters with disabilities.

FACT CHECK: HEATHER SOMERS’ CLAIMS

Contributed by RiseUpMystic Member Pam

If you attended the debate between Bob Statchen and Heather Somers on Oct 17th, you heard some BOLD CLAIMS from Republican incumbent State Senator Heather Somers.

 

Here we present THE FACTS so that you can stay informed on the issues and make your own decision.

 

BUMP STOCKS

Somers voted against the BUMP STOCK ban in CT 2018, despite her claims of being in favor of a previous version of the BUMP STOCK bill. Heather Somers’ consistent opposition to common sense gun legislation has earned her an NRA rating of A- in 2014 and 2016.
Source: THE WASHINGTON POST: Go to the bottom of the article and enter her name.

BOB STATCHEN approves BANNING the BUMP STOCK.
Source: FOX 61, includes a video of a BUMP STOCK in use.

 

REVENUE & TOLLS

Heather Somers claims that tolls would cost drivers thirty-two cents per mile for Connecticut residents and would cost a commuter driving from Griswold to Electric Boat $3,400 a year. Our State Transportation Department refutes that claim, calculating that E-Z Pass commuters will pay less than four cents per mile, not thirty-two.
Source: THE HARTFORD CURRENT

 

CITIZENS’ ELECTION PROGRAM

Heather Somers asserts that she wanted to protect the Citizens’ Election Program. NOT TRUE: Somers proposed legislation to eliminate the Citizens’ Election Program, and would have empowered special interest and lobbyist money instead of ensuring a level, inexpensive, playing field.
Source: THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY_1.18.2017 Proposed S.B. No. 208

If you missed the debate, you can watch it in its entirety on YouTube.

No RUM Debate in the 40th District Race

An update on our invitation for a 40th District (Groton/Ledyard) debate.

RiseUpMystic attempted to host a debate between Representative Christine Conley and her challenger, John Scott. We offered to secure a venue, locate a neutral moderator, and publicize the event.

While members of RiseUpMystic do support progressive candidates, we also believe that debates are different than campaigns and that voters deserve the opportunity to be well-informed about all candidates. At a debate, the campaigning stops and it is an opportunity to hear from both candidates without bias.

Unfortunately, Mr. Scott issued a number of conditions, including that conservative radio host Lee Elci serve as one of the moderators. We felt this was not at all in the spirit of debate. We regret that Mr. Scott did not respond to our follow-up suggestion that we find a fair and impartial moderator.

However, we would like to thank Representative Conley for accepting the terms and agreeing to the debate. We appreciate all she has done, and continues to do, for her constituents.

Sincerely,

Jason
RiseUpMystic

Take action & reach out to a friend: write a postcard!

Hey everybody!

We had a great turnout for our first two Saturday morning canvassing efforts. First-time and seasoned canvassers alike reported connecting with neighbors, making new friends, and informing genuinely curious people about candidates who want to bring their progressive values to the state congress.

If you missed the first two events and want to get in on the fun, you have plenty of time! Check out our event calendar for more info.

Can’t commit a weekend morning to canvassing? Make a difference in just a few minutes by writing a postcard to someone you know in the 18th Senate District in CT to remind them to support progressive values with a vote for Bob Statchen on Nov. 6th, 2018.

Here’s a list of towns in the 18th district — any resident of these towns can vote for our pal Bob on November 6th:

  • Griswold
  • Groton
  • North Stonington
  • Plainfield
  • Preston
  • Sterling
  • Stonington
  • Voluntown

We are also looking for volunteers to write letters to the editor of their favorite local paper in support of Bob Statchen, especially after his debate against Republican Heather Somers at Fitch High School at 7pm Wednesday night.

You can help us make a difference in November. We are so thankful for this community and for all that you do!

 

Election Day 2018: Info Portal

Hello everyone!

The election is eight weeks from today, on Tuesday, November 6th, 2018.

We are in the middle of coordinating an exciting canvassing effort through the Adopt-A-District program. If you’d like to join the fun and help spread the word about the election and local progressive candidates, please sign up with the online form linked here.

We have also compiled helpful links and information about Election Day 2018 as part of our mission to increase voter turnout and make politics more accessible.

Project Vote Smart (votesmart.org) is a great place to start. Search for politicians by zip code, find your “political soulmate,” and check their blog for This Week in Research.

CT residents can register to vote online here.
CT residents can find important election information and updates, including how and where to vote,  (and hopefully, soon, sample ballots for Nov. 6th) on the Secretary of the State’s Voter Fact Sheet.

The candidates participating in our Adopt-A-District canvassing effort include Bob Statchen, Chris Conley, Joe de la Cruz, and Kate Rotella.

The two candidates facing off in a heated battle for governor of CT are Ned Lamont (Dem) and Bob Stefanowski (Rep).

Stay informed and stay vigilant, friends. See you at Jason’s house on October 6th for our first day of canvassing!

-Charlotte Kading

Look Who Will Be at Our Next Meeting! Plus, Your Chance to Get Involved

We are very excited that Susan Bysiewicz will join us for our next RUM meeting on Tuesday, September 11th at the Groton Public Library at 7 pm. Other candidates and speakers include Bob Statchen (candidate for State Senate), Kate Rotella (candidate for Representative), Representative Joe de la Cruz, Representative Christine Conley, and Penny from Indivisible. This is a terrific opportunity to connect with these amazing public figures.

We need to do everything we can to help them secure their seats. For the second part of our Tuesday meeting, we will explain the importance of canvassing for the candidates.  Penny from Indivisible, who spoke to us back in January, will assist us in getting started.

Grassroots organizations, such as Indivisible, have been working very hard on laying down the groundwork needed to help progressive candidates win in November.  It is up to us to step up and get the work done.  Please, join us for our canvassing sessions this October. See the following link for more details:

www.riseupmystic.org/adopt-a-district-october-election-campaign/

Hope to see you all on Tuesday for this very important meeting.  Come see what a blue wave looks like!