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The Planet

by Jenny Coyle

The Other Guy's Cheat Sheet

Here's a Web site that's a bonanza for anyone who wants to check out the anti-environmental agenda and the way its defenders justify their views. A Club member who wants to stay anonymous so he doesn't get kicked off all the right-wing anti-environmental lists he's on forwarded it to The Planet.

Corporate-sponsored "environmental education" propaganda is collected into one directory.

Back on Our Side of the Environment

We're not the only ones who think Hilda Solis is good for the environment. So does the Kennedy Foundation, which is recognizing the California state senator's work on environmental justice issues by giving her this year's "Profiles in Courage Award."

Solis was elected to the state assembly in 1992, to the state senate in 1994 and was reelected in 1998. Now she's running for Congress, and in the March primary beat 18-year Democratic incumbent Marty Martinez. The Club's Angeles Chapter endorsed Solis and unleashed an army of volunteers to work on her campaign.

"We don't usually endorse candidates challenging incumbents in a primary election," said chapter Political Committee activist JOAN JONES HOLTZ. "But this time it worked well for her and for us." The vote was 63 percent to 29 percent in Solis' favor. There is no Republican challenger in the November election.

Solis has introduced environmentally friendly legislation on surface mining, open-space acquisition and environmental justice.

Maryland Radio Show Is Just Ducky

First there's the distinctive cry of a red-tailed hawk, followed by a voice that says, "From the Blue Ridge to the bay, it's Watershed." And then there's a lively guitar lick.

Radio listeners in the Chesapeake Bay watershed - including the states of Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York - know that what comes next is a one-minute environmental lesson from the Maryland Chapter of the Sierra Club.

A show on horseshoe crabs laying eggs on area beaches will run a week before the season begins. A spot on International Migratory Bird Day airs before that occasion. Listeners also hear about the water pollution caused by animal factories and about air pollution caused by SUVs.

The show is produced by Club volunteers: Robin Jung, a scientist with the U.S. Geologic Survey; Janis Oppelt, a professional writer; Andy Roberts, a writer and radio and music producer with his own studio; and executive producer Chris Bedford, a writer and producer. Nationally known narrator Lary Lewman is Watershed's technical advisor, and the voices are Jung and Bill O'Connor. They've produced 260 one-minute spots, which air on six stations - two of them commercial - as public service announcements.

"No single broadcast is going to change anyone's life," says Bedford, "but hearing them regularly will create greater awareness about our surroundings and the science behind it, and about what we've lost."

Oppelt says that in the spots she writes, she focuses on the little things people can do to make a difference. "Not everyone can be a David Brower," she says, "but they can feed the birds, and they can have a garden without chemicals."

The shows are produced in Roberts' studio, and he creates the musical background and segues. "This lets me use my professional skills as an activist," he said.

For more information on Watershed, contact the Maryland Chapter at (301) 277-7111.

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