Breaking the Silence

October 24, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Family, Front Page, Slideshow, Social Action, Women

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While brokenness is all around us, and much of it is quite apparent, there’s one form still hidden in darkness—a darkness I have known.

News stories break, from time to time, reminding us that this netherworld exists. In November 1987, Joel Steinberg and Hedda Nussbaum were arrested for the murder of their young daughter, Lisa. We sat glued to our televisions during that trial and eventually learned that both Lisa, and Hedda, had been violently abused by Mr. Steinberg. In June 1994, the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson sparked the sensational trial of her ex-husband, O.J., and again we sat glued to our television sets.

But beyond these, and other headlines that hit the news, lie countless untold stories—hidden even from the families and friends of those who suffer. This is the paradox of domestic violence. A feeling of shame, along with other factors, causes victims to stay silent. They guard the secret along with their batterer….

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Sailors for the Sea Encourages Ocean Conservation

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As the official sustainability partner with America’s Cup, Sailors for the Sea is reaching their largest audience to date.

Sailors for the Sea educates sailors and boaters about protecting the oceans. Their partnership with America’s Cup, a race between two yachts that is the oldest trophy in international sport, allows them to reach sailors from countries around the world.

“Now, we are moving to an international level,” explains Dan Pingaro, CEO. “[Sailors] can make a positive difference on the ocean,” he says.

Pingaro says involving sailors is imperative because of the problems facing our oceans today, including a changing pH balance and plastics floating in the water. The changing pH balance has an impact on shellfish, coral fish, and feeder fish for larger ocean dwellers. And plastic trash is the major component of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, among other polluted areas….

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My Night in Jail (Occupy Iowa)

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Dear Friends,

Last night, I was one of over thirty protesters arrested at “People’s Park” on the Iowa State Capitol grounds. Honestly, I was surprised by the hostile response of the State Patrol. We were on public property and obstructing neither vehicular nor pedestrian traffic. We were peaceful. We were exercising our right to freedom of speech and to petition our government. The demeanor of many of the troopers made no sense to me, especially coming from a division of State Government that I respect and worked well with when I was a state lawmaker.

Today, as I dialogue with some of the 500 people who participated in yesterday’s “occupy” events, it appears the arrests have only further fueled people’s commitment to push the movement forward….

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The Overloaded Liberal—Lessons from Fran Hawthorne

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I want to buy local and organic, but if I can’t find food that is both, do I buy local or organic? I believe in supporting local businesses, but if I can only find the notebook with recycled paper at a national office supply store, do I buy it or go with a less environmentally friendly version at the local store?

We each have a set of values that we live by—or try to live by. Whether it is supporting local businesses, buying union-made goods and services, eating organic food, or buying recycled goods, the list goes on. Oftentimes, though, our values start to overlap one another, and it is difficult to find a product to buy or a company to support that falls in line with all of our values, let alone one that we can afford. So what are we to do? …

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Moving Planet: A Play in Two Acts

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Last weekend, climate advocates and activists in more than 180 countries performed in over 2000 showings of what may very well have been the world’s largest production to date: Moving Planet. Billed as “A Day to Move Beyond Fossil Fuels” and built on the backs of tens of thousands of impassioned participants, “energy” was both the central theme and the real star of this show. The production—massive in size and yet purposefully carbon-light—focused on moving our world from dirty energy to clean energy while showcasing the human energy powering the movement….

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Ryan Gourley, Contributing Writer

October 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Activists, BPGL Crew, Iowa, Ryan Gourley

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Ryan Gourley is an organizer for Moving Planet and the Iowa City Climate Advocates, a local division of the Iowa Climate Advocates.

A native Iowan, Ryan received his Bachelor’s degrees from The University of Iowa, where he studied psychology, communication, and theatre. He combines this background with his interest in healthcare as a research specialist for the Iowa City VA Health Care System and a communication instructor for The University of Iowa Colleges of Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmacy….

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