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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Another take on the end of the Charlestown water threat

By TIM FAULKNER/ecoRI News staff

Image result for invenergy protest
Thank you, Randy Noka and the other members of the Narragansett
Tribal Council
NOTE: we ran THIS story this morning about hearing this news. Tim Faulkner has also be covering the Burrillville power plant controversy from the beginning.

Water is once again a problem for Invenergy Thermal Development LLC, the Chicago-based developer of the fossil-fuel power plant proposed for the woods of Burrillville, R.I.

On Jan. 22, the out-of-state energy company gave up on its plan to use land owned by the Narragansett Indian Tribe in Charlestown as a backup water source for cooling the proposed Clear River Energy Center.

Invenergy’s top attorney, Michael Blazer, said “turmoil, misinformation and misunderstanding” contributed to the decision to end the controversial water deal.

Blazer made the comment in response to a letter from John B. Brown III, the Narragansett Indian Tribe's historic preservation officer. Brown accused a small group of tribal members of derailing a Sept. 19, 2017 water agreement between Invenergy and the Narragansett Indian Tribe. Brown claimed that members of the “dissident group” are not tribal leaders and had no authority to speak on behalf of all Narragansetts.

Brown also blamed the overall opposition movement, which includes Charlestown residents and officials, for using those tribal members to further their cause.

VIDEO: Great new Resistance music by U2

To watch this video on YouTube (play it loud) :

Inconvenient truths, part 1,231,634

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Turning heat into electricity

Study finds topological materials could boost the efficiency of thermoelectric devices.
Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office
electricity electric wheel GIF by Electric CycleryWhat if you could run your air conditioner not on conventional electricity, but on the sun’s heat during a warm summer’s day? With advancements in thermoelectric technology, this sustainable solution might one day become a reality.

Thermoelectric devices are made from materials that can convert a temperature difference into electricity, without requiring any moving parts — a quality that makes thermoelectrics a potentially appealing source of electricity. 

The phenomenon is reversible: If electricity is applied to a thermoelectric device, it can produce a temperature difference. Today, thermoelectric devices are used for relatively low-power applications, such as powering small sensors along oil pipelines, backing up batteries on space probes, and cooling minifridges.

But scientists are hoping to design more powerful thermoelectric devices that will harvest heat — produced as a byproduct of industrial processes and combustion engines — and turn that otherwise wasted heat into electricity. However, the efficiency of thermoelectric devices, or the amount of energy they are able to produce, is currently limited.

Now researchers at MIT have discovered a way to increase that efficiency threefold, using “topological” materials, which have unique electronic properties. 

BREAKING NEWS: Charlestown water threat is over

Narragansett Indian Tribe contract with Invenergy is terminated
By Steve Ahlquist in Uprise RI

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article comes from Steve Ahlquist's new website, Uprise RI. Steve has been a frequent contributor to Rhode Island's Future and has appeared often in Progressive Charlestown. He has been covering all aspects of the controversial Burrillville power plant proposal from the start.

Also note that now only Fall River remains as a supplier of back-up water to Invenergy's ill-conceived and unnecessary project.

Despite the end of the threat to Charlestown's water supply, I hope Charlestown residents will continue their opposition to this power plant proposal even though its effects are no long in our backyard. I also hope that Charlestown's non-Narragansett residents will mark the critical importance of the uprising of the Tribal Tribal Council and tribal members against this proposal.
 - Will Collette

“…as of January 19, 2018, the Water Supply Agreement between the Narragansett Indian Tribe and Clear River Energy LLC, executed on September 19, 2017, has been terminated and is null and void,” writes attorney Alan Shoer to the Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) on behalf of Invenergy, the company that wants to build a$1 billion fracked gas and diesel oil burning power plant in the heart of the pristine forests of north west Rhode Island.

Since the announcement of the deal between the Narragansett Tribe and Invenergy over the sale of the water, there has been controversy. The water deal made deep rifts in Tribal leadership public, and put the EFSB in the impossible position of having to decide on issues of tribal sovereignty.

Olympic class liar

Fact-Checker Report: Trump’s 5 Favorite False Claims Debunked
By Samuel Warde 

Image may contain: drawingThe Washington Post first started their “Fact Checker” column on Sept. 19, 2007, “as a feature during the 2008 presidential campaign,” and revived it as a permanent feature on Jan. 11, 2011.

In August 2017 The Washington Post added a Facebook page, “Fact Checker, from The Washington Post,” which has posted 22 videos so far, beginning with their first episode, “Donald Trump Jr.’s contradictory statements about the Russia meeting.”

Their latest episode titled: “President Trump passes 2000 false and misleading claims before the end of his first year,” was posted this Sunday, 14 January 2018.

As The Washington Post noted in their description: “As of Jan. 10, President Trump has made 2,001 false or misleading claims since taking office. He now averages 5.6 per day. Here are the five he says most regularly.”

Those “false or misleading claims” include the following:

Monday, January 22, 2018

Providence hearing on offshore oil proposal POSTPONED

Trump shutdown of federal government caused hearing postponement
By Will Collette

If you were planning to go to the hearing in Providence on the Trump Administration plan to open huge areas of our off-shore waters to oil drilling, wait.

The hearing was supposed to be on Thursday, but the government shut-down monkey-wrenched the Interior Department's hearing schedule as you can see in the graphic to the left.

Virtually all of America's ocean would be open to Trump's plan to turn back the clock and return us to dependence on fossil fuels for energy.

Every state with access to the sea faces this threat, including Rhode Island's waters. Florida is the sole exception because, as Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said, "Florida is different."

Can you say "Mar-a-Lago?"

Gov. Gina Raimondo wants a sit-down with Zinke, a former small-time Montana politician who never met an oil rig or coal mine he didn't like. Cronies from Zinke's hometown were the guys who got the no-bid contract to restore Puerto Rico's electricity after Hurricane Maria until word got out they didn't know how to screw in a light bulb.

Maybe Gina plans to pitch a "Florida exemption" for Rhode Island based on the high number of Rhode Islanders who claim Florida as their legal residence.

Good news, bad news

For more cartoons by Tom Tomorrow, CLICK HERE.

The Art of the Deal

Pic of the Moment

Republicans screw the troops. What is wrong with these people?

Republicans Killed The Bill To Make Sure Troops Get Paid During Shutdown
By Conover Kennard 

Image result for McCaskill & military pay
She tried to protect soldiers' pay check, but Mitch McConnell said
"I object."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been busy today trying to blame Democrats for the government shutdown even though Republicans control the House, the Senate, and the White House.

The Trump administration is blaming ‘loser’ Democrats, who it claims puts party above military families. The former reality show star is also using that same rhetoric. 

When the government shut down in 2013, the Obama administration ensured that the military would be paid.

Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) introduced a resolution that would have ensured that pay for military service members and death benefits would not be disrupted.

“I don’t want one moment to pass with there being any uncertainty of any soldier anywhere in the world that they will be paid for the valiant work they do on behalf of our national security,” McCaskill said.

That sounds reasonable enough, right? 

Well, not to Mitch McConnell. For some reason, the Kentucky Republican objected to McCaskill’s resolution. That killed McCaskill’s proposal which required unanimous consent. 

Grow Local proponents outline challenges ahead

2nd annual Rhode Island Food Summit supports local food movement

FoodNearly 400 people gathered at the University of Rhode Island on Jan. 18 for the second annual Rhode Island Food Summit to network with those who work in the local food system and to hear from local experts, discuss partnership opportunities, learn about funding sources, and celebrate and support the development of the local food movement in the state.

Dan Levinson, founder of the URI Food Center and one of the organizers of the event, opened the program by encouraging the audience members “to see yourself as a great actor in a spectacular community that has a shot at being a game changer in how our culture looks at food.”

He set the scene for more than 50 speakers, each of whom had just a few minutes to tell their personal story, outline the issues they were tackling, pitch innovative ideas or ask for or offer advice. And throughout the afternoon, Levinson offered those new to the Rhode Island food scene a minute to introduce themselves and their activities.

Trump In Trouble With Safety Inspectors AGAIN

Related imageTrump’s Florida resort—the Winter White House—absolutely sucks. It’s not that membership is so ridiculously expensive so much as it is that the place is falling apart despite the ridiculously expensive membership. 

A recent visit from Florida health and safety inspectors revealed several problems that make Mar-a-Lago unsafe for Trump’s fans and patrons, no matter who they are or where they come from.

Last February, when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spent time with Trump at Mar-a-Lago, inspectors said that the kitchen violated health standards by keeping sushi at temperatures that allowed it to start rotting, more or less.

But that’s not all. This past November, Florida inspectors cited Mar-a-Lago for having a staircase that was falling apart, and for a lack of smoke detectors capable of alerting people with impaired hearing of danger. 

The staircase had slabs of concrete missing, and rebar was visible. That could cause someone using the staircase to fall, potentially causing serious injury, or even death.

As for the smoke detectors, well, it wouldn’t be surprising if Trump and his management staff thought the hearing-impaired could just go burn.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

'Presidency for Sale'

Report Details Big-Buck Spending by Influence Seekers at Trump Properties
Related imagePresident Donald Trump's first year in office has been a "year of unprecedented conflicts of interest," according to a new report that documents how dozens of political candidates, foreign governments, interest groups, and other private entities have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars at the president's properties since his inauguration.
"Donald Trump entered office with the most blatant and potentially corrupting conflicts of interest in the history of American politics, and things only got worse from there." —Robert Weissman, Public Citizen
The 64 patrons identified by Public Citizen—through government filings and news reports—in Presidency for Sale range from the private prison company GEO Group and the American Petroleum Institute, to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Society and the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, a contingent of lobbyists and state officials that work to advance a corporate agenda in legislatures across the country.

The Saudi Arabian government is also on the list, and as Public Citizen noted in a tweet about its report, "The Saudi effort to curry favor with the Trump administration stands out above all: A PR firm spent $270,000 on behalf of the Saudi government at the Trump International Hotel in D.C. on an undisclosed date." 

The full list, detailed in a public spreadsheet, includes:

Tried as an adult?

Who did it?

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