Your Community Spirit 2010 December 03

News includes effects of pollution and giving thanks for the EPA; Home Birth Safety Act up for consideration; troubles gauging gas mile equivalence for electrics. Happenings include Gaia House holiday events; Lights Fantastic Parade; International Coffee Hour; Ukranian cuisine at Rice and Spice; Rainbow Town film at Big Muddy IMC; Christmas Nativity Exhibit and Concert; Alternative Gift Fair; WDBX DJ Spin Party.


Fri, 03rd Dec:

Chanukah (Jewish – 2nd day/3rd night)
UN International Day of the Disabled Person
Admission Day (Illinois)

Sat, 04th Dec:

Chanukah (Jewish – 3rd day/4th night)
Coats and Toys for Kids Day
National Dice Day
Saint Barbara’s Day

Sun, 05th Dec:

Chanukah (Jewish – 4th day/5th night)
Bathtub Party Day
UN International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development
Birthday – President Martin Van Buren (8th President)
Birthday – Walt Disney (animator)
Anniversary – Montgomery Bus Boycott Begins (Rosa Parks)
Discovery Day (Haiti)
King’s Birthday and National Day (Thailand)

Mon, 06th Dec:

Chanukah (Jewish – 5th day/6th night)
Muharram 1 (Begins at sundown – Islamic New Year)
Miner’s Day
National Pawnbrokers Day
Saint Nicholas Day
Birthday – Ira Gershwin (lyricist)
Constitution Day (Spain)
Independence Day (Finland)

Tue, 07th Dec:

Chanukah (Jewish – 6th day/7th night)
Muharram 1 (Islamic New Year)
Pearl Harbor Day
UN International Civil Aviation Day

Wed, 08th Dec:

Chanukah (Jewish – 7th day/8th night)
Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Catholic)
Take a New Year’s Resolution to Stop Smoking (TANYRSS)
Anniversary – John Lennon Shot
Birthday – Jim Morrison (musician)
Birthday – Eli Whitney (inventor)
Constitution Day (Uzbekistan)

Thu, 09th Dec:

Chanukah (Jewish – 8th & final day, ends at sundown)
UN International Anti-Corruption Day
Independence Day (Tanzania)



Pollution: It’s making birds gay, it’s making mammals fat, and we are importing it from China

Before climate change and carbon dioxide, the environmental movement was worried about pollution, clean air and water. With all the “Gut the EPA” talk around these days, we shouldn’t forget that it is still a problem.

Forty years ago yesterday, the Environmental Protection Agency was created. It’s fitting that the anniversary falls just one week after Thanksgiving, because every American from every state should be grateful for the Agency’s work.

The EPA is often forced to make difficult decisions, but through the years the agency has relentlessly fought for our communities, and shares our vision for an inclusive green economy. To honor the EPA’s history of leadership, Green For All has launched an online project, We are all thankful for the EPA—please show your support by giving thanks online today. On the web site, we highlight some of the EPA’s important achievements, and provide easy ways to share these accomplishments with your friends and family. Head over to now, and choose your favorite (or favorites!) to share with others.

HOME BIRTH SAFETY ACT……Michelle Breen from the Coalition for IL Midwifery said you may be intersed in updated information

regarding The Home Birth Safety Act (Senate Bill 3712) here in Illinois

Next week the Coalition for IL Midwifery (CFIM) anticipates the Home Birth Safety Act (Senate Bill 3712, House Amendment 001) will go for a vote on the house floor.  This bill would increase access to Certified Professional Midwives (CPM) for families seeking out of hospital births.  Hundreds of women have their children at home in Illinois each year.  Illinois is one of only 10 states that does not allow Certified Professional Midwives to practice legally.

I am a Certified Professional Midwife providing services to families in the St. Louis, MO area.  Since Missouri legally recognizes I Certified Professional Midwives as legal providers, I am able to provide my clients with quality care to encourage a healthy pregnancy and birth and can easily and openly facilitate the transfer of care to physician or hospital if the need arises.  Illinois’ families deserve the same access to midwifery care.

Each and every State Representative needs to hear from people in their district who support the Home Birth Safety Act.

Nissan LEAF Gets 99 MPG-e Rating from EPA

by Michael Graham Richard, Ottawa, Canada on 11.23.10

These Numbers Don’t Tell the Whole Story, Though…
Nissan has announced that it has got the final LEAF electric car ratings from the EPA. As you can see on the sticker above, the LEAF is rated at 106 MPG-equivalent in the city and 92 MPG-equivalent on the highway, for a combined rating of 99 MPG-equivalent (more below on what “MPG-equivalent” actually means in this case). The electric driving range of the car as measured by the EPA is 73 miles, almost 30% lower than Nissan’s own estimate of 100 miles. In real-world driving, the LEAF’s range should vary quite a bit depending on conditions (as low as 62 miles and as high as 138 miles).

The Leaf is the first vehicle to go through a new EPA rating system that tries to give gas-mileage equivalents for cars powered by alternative energy.

The new system uses a calculation based on the energy equivalence of electricity. It determined that 33.7 kilowatt-hours of electricity are equivalent to a 100-mile range. The Leaf’s battery hold 24 kilowatt-hours. (source)

The problem with this approach is that while a gallon of gasoline is a gallon of gasoline (depending on the source, the impact can be higher or lower, but there’s still a clear range), the electricity used to charge the LEAF’s battery can come from a wide variety of sources with a HUGE range of environmental impacts. If the LEAF is charged from a coal plant, it might not be much better than a gasoline car (and maybe even worse if it’s a very old and inefficient coal plant), but if it’s charged from wind, solar, hydro, nuclear, etc, the impact from each mile driven could be extremely small.

This just highlights how it’s important to electrify transportation and clean up the power grid at the same time. One without the other is good, but not sufficient. It’s even better to walk, bike, or take transit, but as long as there are cars around, they might as well run on clean electricity rather than dirty fossil fuels.



A message from Gaia House

# The year is winding down and we’re as grateful for all of the wonderful activities we were able to hold this semester as we are for the chance to breathe! There’s still plenty to do though. You can see us this Sunday at the 2010 Alternative Gift Fair or stop by for some warm refreshments after the the 20th Annual Carbondale Lights Fantastic Parade on Saturday. We are also extremely blessed by Metamorphosis, a silent art auction Saturday evening to benefit the Carbondale Women’s Center and Gaia House Interfaith Center. And that’s not even the half of it! Read about these activites and more below.

# Crunch Time! Are you looking for a quiet, warm place to study with free coffee and wifi access? Gaia House Interfaith Center is open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM daily, and usually later. Feel free to have a study session, invite friends, or even just pop in between classes to thaw out. Make yourself at home!

INTERNATIONAL COFFEE HOUR, Fridays 3-5 p.m. at the NW Annex Building B. Mix with SIU students from all over the world

RICE & SPICE DINNERS: FRIDAY’S RICE AND SPICE International Slow Food Dinner features Ukrainanian with Olesya!!

Every Friday, 6-9 p.m. at Gaia House Interfaith Center.  All welcome.


This week we are cooking Ukranian with Olesya! The meal will include Ukranian Borscht, a national soup cooked in every home.

Just what is Slow Food? You know what Fast Food is, right? Well at a Slow Food dinner, people meet and cook together, taking their time to enjoy the company and savor the meal. Our own series brings culture and cuisine from all over the world to our own table, and we’d love to see you there too.


Support the Carbondale Women’s Center and Gaia House by attending “Metamorphosis,” a Silent art Auction to benefit these non-profits at the Douglass Art School (900 Douglas Street, Murphysboro, IL (618) 687-3791). The auction will feature work by Andrea Snow, Charlotte Hyzy, Montana Goodman, Elissia Kimball and Abbey Margolis. The general themes of the artwork are femininity, identity and transformation.

Sundays Big Muddy Film, THIS WEEK’S BIG MUDDY FILM will be

Rainbow Town is the portrait of an orphanage in Liberia that provides a home, family and hope to hundreds of children whose parents were killed by the war. Maker Lauren Selmon Roberts and her collaborators spent over six months filming this inspiring doc. A gorgeous story about how faith can cultivate community and creativity in the midst of wreckage. See more about the film here at Makers will be present.

Come to the Big Muddy Independent Media Center, 214 N. Washington, Carbondale, every Sunday at 6:00 PM for this progressive film series.

NO MORE Farmers Market for the season

Vigil For Peace: Saturdays, Noon to 1 PM, corner of Main and Illinois, Carbondale. Sponsored by the Peace Coalition of Southern Illinois


Come see hundreds of nativities displayed from around the world, including Africa, Germany, Italy, Peru, Guatemala, Vietnam, Mexico, Jerusalem and Asia and comprised of wood, ceramics, porcelain, fabric, metal, paper and straw. The Christmas Nativity Exhibit is a self-guided tour of nativities (creches) beautifully displayed and nativity ornaments hanging from Christmas trees throughout the exhibit. For many this is the official start of their Christmas season and they return to the exhibit and concerts year after year.

This free event is hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 7168 Old Highway 13 in Carbondale between Tower Road and Country Club Road and is part of Murphysboro’s Hometown Christmas. For more info about specific times visit


Carbondale Main Street, in partnership with Carbondale Community Arts, City of Carbondale, the Carbondale Parks District, and other sponsors, is excited to invite you to the 20th Annual Lights Fantastic Parade. The parade will start at the intersection of Illiois Ave. & Mill St., and proceed north along this Carbondale Strip. The parade is always a sight to behold, and well worth braving the winter weather.

Gaia House Interfaith Center will be holding an Open House directly after the parade, so stop by for some warm refreshments and company!

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 5 @ 2:00 – 5:00 PM

Get your holiday shopping out of the way while supporting some excellent local, national, and international causes. There will be booths by everyone from the American Red Cross to the Zamibian HIV/AIDS Partnership. Gaia House Interfaith Center will also have a booth where we will offer, among other things, our brand new Rice & Spice t-shirts and mugs.

There will also be refreshments, a silent auction, activities for kids, and entertainment by CUUF groups and local favorites like the Parsley Sagebrush Band and UFO. Admission: 1 non-perishable food item (optional).

For more information, call Jess at 534-1162 or email Mary.

The new world order of terrorism alerts, uncivil politics and diminished expectations can weigh heavily on the soul. But not today. Today let’s celebrate endurance and remember that the best things in life aren’t things. Today let’s remember that, as the Roman philosopher Seneca once wrote, “Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart.” Happy Thanksgiving, Buy Nothing Day and Support Local Biz day

Your Community Spirit

If you have news, happenings, complaints, money, or kudos you want to send our way, contact us:


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