Weekly E-mail Update 5-14-2017

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
The Constitution of the United States of America (1789), First Amendment  

This week we have seen some pretty crazy stuff in the news: from closed door White House meetings with Russia to Sean Spicer hiding in the bushes, it's been a wild one. To inspire you to keep supporting credible news outlets and journalists WeCAN has curated a collection of Journalism quotes and facts to keep you thinking forward and thinking critically. 

  • "News is something someone wants suppressed. Everything else is just advertising." Lord Northcliff
  • A good journalist provides what they believe are the key facts that the reader needs, while propaganda involves providing facts that advance the newspaper or media outlet's claims and views.
  • "There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and to shame the devil." Walter Lippmann
  • Freedom of the Press is described in the dictionary as "the right, guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, to gather, publish and distribute ideas and information through newspapers, magazines, and other printed matter without government restriction."
  • “The media tends to report rumors, speculations, and projections as facts... How does the media do this? By quoting some "expert"... you can always find some expert who will say something hopelessly hopeless about anything.” Peter McWilliams
  • In 2010 there were 41,500 full time daily newspaper journalists in the United States. By 2015 that number dropped to 32,900. Of those 32,900 only 12.76% of those individuals are of a minority background.(+)
  • "Reporters are faced with the daily choice of painstakingly researching stories or writing whatever people tell them. Both approaches pay the same." Scott Adams
  • The three biggest ethical challenges facing reporters and journalists in 2017 are 1) how to report more responsibly on hate speech and intolerance, 2) the ethics behind publishing viral photographs of violence and death, and 3) dealing properly with sources and verifying online news. (*)

* https://ijnet.org/en/blog/top-3-ethical-challenges-journalists-will-face-2017
+ https://www.statista.com/topics/2096/journalism/


Happening This Week Monday, May 15th, 2017-Sunday, May 21st, 2017

Teaming with Microbes Seminar
Monday, May 15th, 2017- May 16th, 2017 at Lake Morey Resort (1 Clubhouse Rd, Fairlee, VT, 05045).
Eventbrite Link: 
New Zealand Agro-ecologist Nicole Masters is on a teaching tour throughout the US and Canada this Spring and we are lucky to have her for two full days in Vermont.
Its all about your underground livestock!
Farmers, gardeners, environmental policy makers, and conservation folks: take your understanding to the next level, with this dynamic soil class, taught byNicole Masters from Integrity Soils and Didi Pershouse from the Soil Carbon Coalition. Learn practical tools and concepts to maximize nutrient cycling whilst lifting soil, plant and/or animal performance. Learn soil's important role in climate resilience and public health.
We will spend the first day overlooking the beautiful Lake Morey, (swimming anyone?) and the second day getting our hands in the soil in a variety of settings to see these principles in action.

Day 1: The Hidden Life of Soils
•Deepen your understanding of soil health and soil microbes
•The vital role of soil microbes in building farm and climate resilience
•What do microbe groups do in the soil?
•How can you feed the good guys?
•Learn how to make a lacto-bacillus serum for your farm

Day 2: Field Day
•Visual assessments for health in a variety of management settings
•Keys that biologically mediated water, carbon and nitrogen cycles are working optimally.
•Learn how to "read your weeds" and take actions to reduce pressure from weeds.
•How to track changes and share successes in soil health with an open-source map databasehttps://atlasbiowork.com/

Cost $225. A wonderful warm lunch buffet is included on the first day. Spaces are limited.
It is strongly recommended to come for both days, but you may sign up for just one. (Day one alone is $165, Day two is $75.)
You can save us some hefty ticket fees by reserving through the mail. Send an email to[email protected] to let us know you are coming and then send a check directly to Didi Pershouse, PO Box 277, Thetford Center, VT 05075, Please note that your space is not reserved until we receive payment.
Some scholarships may be available: Email [email protected] with a couple of sentences about your situation and how much you can afford to pay. We will let you know as funds become available.
We will have a few spaces available for sponsors/vendors to set up tables on Monday.

For questions, or to reserve a table as a sponsor/vendor, contact Didi at [email protected]and/or Taylor at [email protected]
For rooms at Lake Morey Resort call 800-423-1211, or email: [email protected]

About the Presenters:

Nicole Masters is an agro-ecologist, educator and systems thinker with over 18 years’ extensive practical and theoretical experience in regenerative/holistic farming practices. She has been communicating these methods throughout Australasia and North America since 2003; helping to inspire and guide farmers in innovative ways to produce food.

Nicole has a commitment to finding win-win solutions for the wellbeing of landscapes and landmanagers. She has a proven record in supporting producers in meeting their goals through a holistic approach to soil and pasture management. As a seasoned consultant, Nicole excels at identifying and solving challenges through proactive management. Her passion for fostering the growth of these farming practices calls upon her skills in facilitation, conflict resolution, an understanding of behavioural change and science communication.

Didi Pershouse is a cross-pollinator, helping to connect the dots between soil health and human health. She is the author of The Ecology of Care: Medicine, Agriculture, Money, and the Quiet Power of Human and Microbial Communities. As the founder of the Center for Sustainable Medicine, she developed a practice and theoretical framework for systems-based ecological medicine—restoring health to people as well as the social and ecological systems around them. 

After 22 years of clinical work with patients, she is now working with the Soil Carbon Coalition on a large-scale citizen-science program that engages schools, conservation districts, farmers, and the public in understanding the intersections between soil, water, public health, and climate resiliency. She teaches workshops and develops learning resources on whole systems landscape function—in particular how to measure, understand, and work with the carbon and water cycles that make life on this planet possible. Her work models strategies to build resilient networks of mutual listening, learning, self-care, and support as a way to drive environmental and social change.


Brattleboro Area Interfaith Initiative (BAII) Monthly Gathering
Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 at the Centre Church (193 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) in the Parlor. 12:00pm-1:30pm.
Questions/Contact: [email protected]
Please join us on May 17th for our monthly gathering where we will witness our dynamic religious and secular identities, explore broad issues, and encourage local action. We believe in seeking a balance between personal and group exploration and activity in the larger community. We discuss local issues as well as broader concerns and issues. 


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Weekly E-mail Update 5-8-17

“Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution the time will come when medicine will organize itself into an undercover dictatorship. To restrict the art of healing to doctors and deny equal privileges to others will constitute the Bastille of medical science. All such laws are un-American and despotic.” 

― Benjamin Rush
Founding Father of the United States of America, Signer of the Declaration of Independence, and Physician

If you're anything like your Friendly WeCAN Admins, you found this week's Healthcare news troubling at best. For many of us feelings of anxiety can be magnified because we don't know what next steps we can take in the face of such lunacy. Never fear! WeCAN has a few suggestions for actions you can take to help save or improve health care in our country:

1) Call Your Representative
 You can find your Representative here: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/.
Don't know what to say? Try this: "Hello, I am a constituent of [your representative's name.] I am very worried about efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which would lead to millions of Americans losing their health insurance or being denied coverage. This is a matter of life and death for millions of Americans, with and without preexisting conditions, and I urge the representative to oppose any repeal of the Affordable Care Act."
Note: If your Representative opposes repealing the ACA (yay!), consider choosing a nearby Right-leaning district and call their Representative's offices as a concerned neighbor. 

2) Talk about your ACA/Healthcare Experiences (If You're Comfortable)
Personal stories connect all of us and those connections can build a stronger, more resilient force for positive change. Keep talking, keep sharing, and (most importantly) keep listening. Public approval for the ACA is at an all time high (55%) and support for a Single-Payer System is growing steadily--we, as a nation, want our friends and neighbors to be insured regardless of preexisting conditions or income. That is a reassuring thought, indeed, that can be built on. 

3) Rally, March, and Protest
It's true: a show of support or of disagreement in large numbers can make an impact. Use resources like WeCAN, Our Revolution, and Facebook Groups to find out if local organizations are holding an event in your area. If you can't find a healthcare related Rally or March close to you consider spearheading one yourself! This Single-Payer Protest Tool-Kit is a great place to start and can be implemented as a Pro-Affordable Care Act resource as well. If you'd like to hold your event in Brattleboro, click here to request a permit for an open-air meeting. It's that easy! 

Do you have ideas on how to support Single-Payer Healthcare or the Affordable Care Act? We'd love to feature your suggestions in an upcoming weekly email! Please send your thoughts to [email protected] We look forward to hearing from you.


Happening Today May 7th, 2017

Cross Class Dialogue Circle
Sunday, May 7th, May 21st, and June 4th, 2017 (participation all 3 days is required) at The Root Social Justice Center (The Whetstone Studio for the Arts, 28 Williams Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 9am-3pm.
Childcare and transportation available, light refreshments provided, and wheelchair accessible. This event is fragrance free.
The dialogue circle is funded through a cost-sharing process. 
Cross-class dialogue circles are a powerful way for people across the class spectrum to come together to talk about their experiences with class, listen to each others’ stories and perspectives, better understand class as part of an economic system, and then to work together as change makers for economic justice. Sign-up today!



The Putney Huddle
Sunday, May 7th, 2017 at the Putney Public Library (55 Main St, Putney, VT 05346). 1:30pm-3:30pm. 


1:30pm-2:00pm The steering committee will share.  
2:00pm-2:30pm Faisal Gill, the chair for the Vermont Democratic party will speak and take questions. 
2:30pm-3:30pm Sister District leaders will hold an info and brainstorming session.

Please use our Facebook Event page to RSVP: 
https://www.facebook.com/events/1868928896683659/?ti=cl or email Laura at [email protected].


Care Bags for the Homeless
Sponsored by the Brattleboro Love Project
Sunday, May 7th at 3:30pm at the Putney Library (55 Main St, Putney, VT 05346)

Join us at 3:30 pm at the Putney Library with the Putney Huddle to assemble care bags for the homeless! List of needed supplies below, or contact us to donate!

We have decided to embark on another project, this time to help the homeless population in town. In partnership with the Putney Huddle, we will be assembling baggies filled with greatly needed food and toiletry items. Suggested items include: peanut butter cracker packages, mints, clementines, applesauce, granola bars, mini shampoos, body wash, sunblock, sanitary napkins, condoms, etc. Along with these items, we welcome handwritten cards, notes, or drawings to put inside the baggies as a symbol of love and support.

We hope this project will directly help our neighbors in need. Want to help out and join the project? Grab a freezer-sized plastic zip bag and fill with items! You can either keep them in your car for when you see someone in need, or you can donate items to us so we can continue to help our community. 



Climate Change Café: A Community of Concerned Citizens 
SOS: Secret of the Seasons
(The Original Global Climate Change Co-Opera)
co-sponsored by Post Oil Solutions and Green Up SIT 
Sunday, May 7th, 2017 at the Brooks Memorial Library  (224 Main St, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) in the Main Room. 5:30pm. Free. Light refreshments available.

Based on songs written by SIT Professor John Ungerleider and Bill Conley, the SOS co-opera is a reflective, participatory musical journey that engages the audience with the external and internal challenges that global climate change is bringing to our lives. 
Audience dialogue between thought provoking songs is designed to move participants from Fear and Denial to Hope and Action in response to the threat of global warming.
The title song asks about the local impact of climate change:  “Will it still feel like my home, when the leaves don’t turn to red and gold, and the ice doesn’t cover the fishin’ hole?” 
More more information please call 802.869.2141 or email [email protected].


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Weekly E-mail Update 5-1-17

“There is no more powerful voice than that of a mother, father, caretaker, nurturer. We, as stewards of this planet, need to engage even more deeply to confront climate change and environmental injustice. We are the adults, the leaders — and must show our children that we are fighting in earnest for their future, and for the collective future of humankind.”
Lauren Sullivan, Director and Co-Founder of Reverb

This past Saturday marked the second international weekend devoted to science this month: The People's Climate March. Again, so many thanks to all those who traveled, marched, participated in, and supported Climate Science this weekend. The Earth thanks you, and your fellow humans thank you! 

In the spirit of Climate Science education, here are 5 immediate actions you can take to limit your carbon footprint:

  • Eat locally-produced and organic food. It has been estimated that 13% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions result from the production and transport of food. Transporting food requires petroleum-based fuels, and many fertilizers are also fossil fuel-based.
  • Cut the beef and dairy. It takes a lot of resources to raise cows, and it’s especially bad if you buy beef from somewhere like Brazil, where it was grazed on land that used to be tropical forest but was cleared for agricultural use. Deforestation is a top contributor to carbon emissions and thus climate change.
  • Water usage. Lower the amount of energy used to pump, treat, and heat water by washing your car less often, using climate-appropriate plants in your garden, installing drip irrigation so that plants receive only what they need, and making water-efficient choices when purchasing shower heads, faucet heads, toilets, dishwashers and washing machines.
  • Driving style. Speeding and unnecessary acceleration reduce mileage by up to 33%, waste gas and money, and increase your carbon footprint.
  • Avoid traffic. Being stuck in traffic wastes gas and unneccessarily creates CO2. Use traffic websites and apps and go a different way or wait.


Happening Today, April 30th, 2017

Let's Get Ready! Community Prep for May Day March for Dignity
hosted by Lost River Racial Justice's Ready Response Team
Sunday, April 30th, 2017 at the The Root Social Justice Center (The Whetstone Studio for the Arts, 28 Williams St., Brattleboro, VT). 7pm-9pm.
Facebook event page
Contact [email protected] with questions. 

May Day is coming! A contingent from Southern VT will be heading up to Burlington to March for Dignity with Migrant Justice, the Vermont Workers' Center, and many other community organizations. In Vermont we show up in the streets on May Day (International Workers' Day) knowing that rights for all workers includes rights for our most vulnerable workers: we resist Trump's attacks on our communities and demand that Ben and Jerry's fully implement the Milk With Dignity program developed by migrant dairy workers as they promised to do two years ago. 

Please join Lost River Racial Justice's Ready Response team to make signs, educate ourselves about Migrant Justice, and get geared up with other community members for the next day's March for Dignity. We'll provide art and sign-making supplies (feel free to bring more of your own). There will also be a brief teach-in and opportunity to sign petions regarding two pieces of legislation that Migrant Justice helped create: Fair and Impartial Policing and the Racial Justice Reform Bill. Whether or not you can make it to Burlington on Monday, this is a great way to support the March. 
The Root Social Justice Center is wheelchair accessible and is a fragrance free and nut free space--please come accordingly. Children are welcome. 
May Day March for Dignity event page
Windham County May Day carpool form


Swing Left Meeting
Sunday, April 30th, 2017 at the Hooker-Dunham Theatre (139 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) at 2pm.
There is an alley next to the Hooker-Dunham building and if you go down the stairs you’ll be at the door of the theatre.
Agenda includes updates on Swing Left activities in Amherst, MA to support NH-02 and NY-19 Democratic congressional candidates, plans from Knock on Every Door regarding canvassing training, and support activities for House candidates in Special Elections.


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Weekly E-mail Update 4-24-17

"Science literacy is the artery through which the solutions of tomorrow's problems flow." 
Neil deGrasse Tyson

Happy (Belated) Earth Day WeCANers! Many, many thanks to all of you that attended events large and small yesterday as part of the International March for Science. We hope that you continue to keep active participate in the People’s Climate March next weekend in whatever capacity you can. Thank you, also, for your responses to our call for suggestions to make some positive, Earth-friendly choices! Our suggestion this week comes from Sheila Garrett, in Putney. She writes:

“If you don't do composting consider finding a friend or neighbor who does and donate yours to them.  Napkins and paper towels are welcome additions.  OR you could start a WORM BIN (DIY instructions here: http://compost.css.cornell.edu/worms/steps.html) under your sink. It's really easy and you can use the resulting product in your house plants or garden or give it to a friend.”

Thank you so much for your advice, Sheila! Please send in your tips for helping out Mother Earth to [email protected]. We will be featuring a few more tips next week so get your suggestions in today!


Happening TODAY Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

Women's March Reading and Chat 
sponsored by the Putney Huddle
Sunday, April 23rd, 2017 at the Putney Public Library (55 Main St, Putney, VT, 05346). 12pm.
Afterwards, for those interested in carpooling to the Vermont Democrats meeting with Tristan Toleno at Marlboro Grad Center, we will meet up in the library parking lot and leave at 1:30pm. 


Windham County Democratic Meeting
Sunday April 23, 2017 at Marlboro College Graduate School (28 Vernon St, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 2pm-4pm.
We will discuss prepping for next election cycle with Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman, VDP Chair Faisal Gill, local legislators and you! All are welcome!


A Talk with Lt Governor David Zuckerman and Brattleboro House Representative Mollie Burke 
sponsored by Windham County Progressives/Vermont Progressive Party
Sunday, April 23rd, 2017 in the Brattleboro Food Co-op Community Room (1 Canal Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 4pm. Please enter using the entrance on Canal Street.
Our Representatives will be speaking and meeting with constituents. We look forward to seeing you there.


Women Marching Forward Monthly Meeting and Teach-In
This Month's Topic: An Introduction to Emerge Vermont: Helping Women Get Elected
Sunday, April 23rd, 2017 from 4pm to 6pm at the Learning Collaborative, Rt 5, Dummerston.
Learn about the statewide organization Emerge Vermont, which helps prepare women to run for office, with Emerge alumni Majority Leader Becca Balint and Elizabeth McLoughlin.


Candlelight Vigil for Democracy
Sunday, April 23rd, 2017 at Pliny Park (the corner of Main Street and High Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 8pm.
The WE CELEBRATE DEMOCRACY / CIVIL RIGHTS FOR ALL banner will be hung for one week over Main Street in Brattleboro beginning on Sunday morning the 23rd of April.  We have called a Candlelight Vigil for Democracy under the banner for that evening and we have reserved Pliny Park. The Town of Brattleboro will accommodate a larger event if more people attend the vigil.
We believe that democracy needs all the help it can get.  A large, newsworthy Vigil for Democracy is just the thing for declaring that we are concerned, worried, afraid, scared, anxious, and mortified about what is happening to democracy around the world. Stand for love in the face of hate. Stand for sharing & caring, helping & loving in the face of taking & hoarding and hurting & hating.  
Please join us for democracy's sake and spread the word far and wide. 
Please let us know if you can make it! [email protected] or the Facebook page - Candlelight Vigil For Democracy

civil rights



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