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Friday, December 28, 2012

Uke Jackson's $5 New Year's Eve Bash!

Uke Jackson

New Year's Eve Bash

Hotel Bethlehem
Downtown Bethlehem PA
437 Main Street,
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18018


Uke Jackson's Ginseng Roots Band
from 10 pm - 1 am

$5 Admission    Cash Bar

Join us on New Year's Eve for a memorable end to 2012
and a musical beginning to 2013.
If you want to have dinner before the music, please call 610-625-5000. Everything is fully booked for dinner before our 10 pm show. However, if you call in advance and ask for a restaurant reservation, and you mention that you are on Uke Jackson's mailing list, they promise to get you a table.

No reservations are required to come in for the music and party. There is a $5 cover charge and it's a cash bar. It's going to be an amazing celebration and we really hope you will join us.

Band members are:
Uke Jackson on vox and silver ukulele
Johnny Peppers on soprano, bass and contrabass saxophones, and bass clarinet
Tuba Pete Reichlin on tuba and trombone
Lenny Pucciatti on percussion.
Some of our stellar jazz musician friends may come by to sit in, as well.

So please join us and ring in 2013 with live music and great people.

Thank you and Happy New Year!
Uke Jackson

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Andrew Cuomo says "Frack your drinking water"


It seems the Cuomo Administration is unwilling or unable to get even the simplest things right when it comes to fracking. It shouldn't be that hard; first you assess the environmental and health risks, then you write regulations to minimize the harm. That's the way it's supposed to work; but that's not the way it is in Andy's Albany.
Although The DEC still hasn't completed its environmental review, and outside experts haven't publicly released their comments on health impacts, Cuomo went ahead and issued draft fracking regulations on December 12th, thereby triggering a thirty-day public comment period that just so happens to coincide with the holiday season.
What's wrong with the regs? Plenty. We've prepared a number of letters that highlight some of the major flaws. Please take a minute or two to submit each one; we'll print them out and mail them in on the very last day of the public comment period. Our goal? To bury Albany in a blizzard of paper on January 11th.

Don't stop now! Our friends at GRASSROOTS Environmental Education have created a wonderful present for us all – 30 Days of Fracking Regs, which is designed to help concerned citizens submit a “comment a day” during the month long public comment period. For information on how to write your own comments, see NY Fracking Regulations.
Is your organization signed onto the American Clean Energy Agenda Contact for more information.

Please share this Update link, cut and paste to Facebook and Twitter: 
For more information email or call (845) 468 7063

Two out of three people who find out about fracking think the risks aren't worth the rewards.
Public awareness is the key to our success, so spread the word!
Please donate to Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Uke Jackson's Big Bottom Holidaze

Since my band is getting booked mostly as a trio in the winter months, we've decided to give the trio a name: Uke Jackson's Big Bottom Band. It's me on resophonic ukulele/vox, JJ Peppers on Bass sax and Pete Reichlin on bass. "Two bass instruments in a trip?" you ask. Yes indeed. And hence the "Big Bottom".

And to start things off with a bang, so to speak, we're playing every Thursday at our favorite 1920s theme night club / restaurant -- The Bookstore Speakeasy, where the food is always delicious and the selection of exotic drinks and great beers is exceptional. Reservations strongly advised.

Looking for stocking stuffers? Please check out my books and ebooks on Amazon:

Using an ereader that's NOT a Kindle? So far 3 of my books have been formatted to suit other ereaders. Please check 'em out on More coming in 2013!

Books make great gifts. Thank you for a great 2012! Happy Holidaze!
Uke Jackson

Monday, December 3, 2012

Are NEA Literary Fellowships Unconstitutional?

What Would Mark Twain Say?
By Uke Jackson

On November 30, 2012, the 177th anniversary of Mark Twain’s birth, the National Endowment for the Arts posted the eligibility requirements for applying for a tax-payer funded NEA Literary Fellowship. I’m not eligible but that puts me in good company. Mark Twain could not have applied either.
                You see, Mark Twain was a self-published author. Twain, as Sam Clemens, ran his own publishing enterprise and paid to have his books printed. Either and both of these facts would have left him out in the cold as far as today’s federal grant-making bureaucracy.
        Today, there’s a pretty good chance the old man from Hannibal would have whole-heartedly embraced the technologies for self publishing such as Amazon’s KDP platform and CreateSpace. However, using these innovations disqualifies writers from applying for an NEA Literary Fellowship.
                The bureaucrats at the NEA are not Luddites by any means, though. Applications are only accepted online and the NEA arbiters of literature will not accept hard copy anything from applicants. Some might say the reason for these restrictive eligibility requirements are the overwhelming numbers of individuals availing themselves of the new technologies.
       Isn’t that tantamount to saying the NEA cannot do its job without being elitist or anti-democratic? It’s interesting to note that any author published by Simon & Schuster or Penguin also should be disqualified, as both those companies have started divisions which will publish authors who pay to bring out their books. Will the NEA make exceptions for authors bound by contract to these corporate entities?
       With hundreds of thousands of authors choosing to bypass the traditional gatekeepers, and with ongoing negotiations to avoid the fiscal cliff, the NEA Literature bureaucrats are treading awfully close to the edge. As word of their egregious and undemocratic approach to awarding tax payer money spreads, the vast number of indie authors who are also taxpayers may choose to make a ruckus, and rightfully so.
       The NEA has long been a bugaboo for Republicans. Democrats could win the current round of negotiations by throwing the entire NEA under the bus. It would be the sort of symbolic gesture (the $146 million overall annual NEA budget is minuscule in Federal terms) that would allow Republicans to save face and take home a butchered sacrificial lamb. That would be a damn shame.
       The NEA supports all sorts of great programs, including music education efforts, small museums, and historic buildings and neighborhoods, as well as cultural institutions like symphony orchestras, operas, and  regional theaters. Yet, as word of the NEA’s elitist approach to dispensing writers’ fellowships spreads, the potential hue and cry from a very verbal constituency could be devastating to the entire agency.
       The NEA has no business carrying water for corporations and academe. Frankly, their eligibility requirements for creative writers smack of a violation of the Bill of Rights First Amendment prohibition against restricting freedom of the press. Corporations may be people under the law. But no one ever said they are the only people allowed to publish books with de facto government subsidy.
       With this past year dispensing twice as much money to artists as the NEA (keep in mind that NEA money often goes to administrators and other purposes as well as creatives), a good argument can be made for doing away with all Federal grants/fellowships for individuals in any creative discipline.
       The NEA Literary Fellowship administrators cannot be allowed to both embrace and reject 21st century technology just to make their jobs easier. Rocco Landesman, the outgoing NEA Chairperson, should suspend the NEA Literature Fellowships immediately. As currently restricted, they have no place in our constitutional democracy.  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Stop Fracking for Export

From Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy:
The super storm that destroyed thousands of homes and disrupted millions of lives also seems to have slowed down fracking in New York State. According to blogger Tom Wilber, the health crisis in Sandy’s wake interfered with plans to finalize contracts with consultants slated to participate a review of the health impacts of fracking.
Another impact of Sandy: it reintroduced the phrase “climate change” into our political vocabulary -- a subject barely mentioned during a seemingly interminable presidential campaign.


Earlier this year the Obama administration instructed the Department of Energy to put a hold on licensing gas export terminals until after the election, but now the gas corporations will be pressing the federal government to green light projects that will inevitably contaminate vast regions of the United States simply to meet the energy needs of foreign countries.
There are many compelling reasons for keeping America’s shale gas in the country and in the ground -- and it should be possible to assemble a winning coalition to prevent exports. After all, American consumers, manufacturers and electricity providers will all pay more if our energy resources are shipped overseas, and fracking is sure to pollute our air and water, and may compromise the health of millions of Americans.

Tell the Obama White House and your congressional representatives to protect America’s vital interests Take Action! by suspending licenses for export terminals.


Catskill Citizens recently collaborated with American icon Robert Redford, actor/activist Debra Winger and Gasland director Josh Fox in producing five anti-fracking radio spots on topics such as contamination, economic impact and gas exports. We’ve been running these spots throughout New York State, and we’re seeking donations to expand our media buy and keep Mr. Redford’s voice on the air.

What can you do to prevent fracking?

Tell Governor Cuomo "Don't you dare permit fracking before rules are in place!" Take Action!
Tell Governor Cuomo to Fire the Climate Change Denier in charge of fracking in New York State. Take Action!
The Governor may ignore our letters, phone calls, emails and faxes, so let's try another approach: let's friend him on Facebook - and turn his homepage into one of the biggest online anti-fracking sites in the country!

Is your organization signed onto the American Clean Energy Agenda Contact for more information.

Please share this Update link, cut and paste to Facebook and Twitter: 
For more information email or call (845) 468 7063

Two out of three people who find out about fracking think the risks aren't worth the rewards.
Public awareness is the key to our success, so spread the word!
Please donate to Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy.
Catskill Citizens respects your privacy, we will never share your contact information.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Bookstore Speakeasy Tonight!

Forgot to post this in the business of the election. (I was a local poll inspector.)

Anyway, Uke Jackson's Ginseng Roots Band (trio edition) is @ the Bookstore Speakeasy tonight.

Friday November 9 from 9 pm - 1 am.

1920s theme restaurant / nightclub.with excellent menu and exotic cocktail and martoonis.

$2 cover (that's right, 2 bux!)

Uke Jackson, reso ukulele and vox
Johnny Peppers, saxophonist
Peter Reichlin, tuba and trombone.

Sweet croons and cookin' roots tunes.

The Bookstore Speakeasy
336 Adams Street
Bethlehem, PA

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Corporate Vote Buying; Michael Pollan Intereview

SOS: 12 Days Left in Epic California GMO Labeling Battle... We Need Your Help!

The most recent voter poll on the November 6 Proposition 37 California ballot initiative to label genetically engineered foods comes out today, Thursday. And the results are somewhat alarming: after enjoying a 26-point lead for the past six months, our side is now barely ahead in the polls.
We still enjoy a lead among those who don’t watch TV, but unfortunately California TV watchers are turning against us.
For 25 days Monsanto and their allies have filled the California airwaves with $1 million dollars a day in TV and radio ads, spewing lies about how mandatory labeling for genetically engineered food will mean higher costs for consumers, lawsuits clogging the courts, "confusing" labels and poor farmers and grocers facing "nightmares of paperwork."
Up until now we haven’t had the money to counter these lies with our own TV ads, but this will all change in two days. On Saturday, October 27, our Yes on Prop 37 TV ads will finally begin running. Surveys have shown that once undecided or even opposed voters see our ads they change their minds, and come back over to our side.
The problem is, we only have only $3 million dollars for TV ads between now and November 6 – and our adversaries have $15 million dollars. We can still win on Nov. 6 by exposing six or seven million California voters to our TV ads. But we need to raise more money, and we need to raise it now.
Please click here to make a donation today.
Complementing our “air strategy” (TV, radio, and internet) is our “ground strategy.” The mobilization of our grassroots volunteers is the key component of our ground strategy to overcome Monsanto and Food Inc.'s onslaught. Our 10,000 volunteers for Yes on 37 are fighting back on the ground by talking to voters in front of supermarkets, and by talking to prospective voters on the phone. These grassroots efforts will culminate in a major Get-Out-the-Vote campaign on November 6.
If you live in California, we desperately need you to hand out leaflets at grocery stores between now and Nov.6. If you can spare a few hours, please sign up here for instructions on where to get leaflets and where we need help.
If you live outside California, please volunteer for our national phone bank to help us call millions of California voters. It’s easy. You can get quick, easy online training and sign up for one or more shifts here – and it won’t cost you a dime in phone charges.
The moment of truth has arrived in this David versus Goliath battle. The whole world is watching. Everything we’ve worked for in the past 15 years is on the line. We desperately need your emergency last-minute donations and your volunteer energy. Please support us in these last 12 days of the campaign!

Support the OCA and OCF

Where Are the Yes on 37 TV Ads?

Big Food dumped another $5 million into the No on 37 campaign war chest last week, bringing the total No on 37 donations to more than $41 million. Companies like Kraft, Hershey, Kellogg’s, Campbell Soup, Smithfield Foods, Pepsi and others apparently are just as desperate as Monsanto, Dow and Dupont to sink Prop 37 – so they can continue to rake in huge profits at the expense of your health.
What does $40 million-plus buy? Twenty-five days straight of dominating California airwaves with TV and radio ads. The No campaign has snatched up more of California’s airtime than the presidential candidates.
Prop 37 supporters are asking: Where are the Yes on 37 TV ads?
They’re coming. With the campaign’s limited funds - a fraction of what Big Biotech and Big Food have raised to defeat Prop 37 – Yes on 37 TV ads will run during the last 10 days of the campaign, when they can have the most impact. How frequently they will run, and in how many markets, will depend on how much more we can raise in the next few days.
The Prop 37 campaign needs $2 million more to make the impact we need in order to win. It sounds like a lot – but if 20,000 people gave $100 each, we’d get there today.
We need your help now to get these ads out to voters who can still be persuaded to vote Yes on 37. And we need you to reach out to anyone and everyone you know who cares about the future of food, and ask them to help, too.
Please help us finish strong – and change the food movement forever – with your generous donation today. Thank you!
DONATE TO THE ORGANIC CONSUMERS ASSOCIATION (tax-deductible, and helps  support our public education work against GMOs and chemical food, and our work on behalf of organic standards, fair trade and sustainable farming)
DONATE TO THE ORGANIC CONSUMERS FUND (non-tax-deductible, but necessary for our legislative efforts in California and other states)

Video of the Week

Could a Prop 37 Win Get Obama’s Attention?

The alternative food movement is growing, says Michael Pollan. But it hasn’t yet exerted any muscle at the ballot box, in Congress or at the White House. Prop 37 could change that.

Watch Amy Goodman’s interview with Michael Pollan here

If You Think Vampires Are Scary...

Have you checked out what’s in most of the Halloween candy on your grocery shelves? Turns out many sweeteners – and the products like candy and chocolate that contain them – come from GMO sources.
One of the scariest and most widely used sweeteners – aspartame – is brought to you by Monsanto, which uses genetically modified bacteria to produce this diabolical “treat.” Aspartame is found in many popular candy and chewing gum brands, especially those that say “sugar free.”
Also lurking in popular Halloween treats? Beet sugar from genetically modified beets, soy lecithin from genetically modified soy (especially in chocolate), and corn syrup from genetically modified corn.
Is it any wonder that Nestle, Hershey’s and Mars have donated millions to the No on 37 campaign?
We need your help to drive a stake through the NO campaign's fiendish lies! If Prop 37 passes, it will be easy to find Halloween candy that doesn’t contain genetically modified ingredients. In the meantime, look for candy and chocolate made with 100% cane sugar, evaporated cane juice or organic sugar.
Help spread the word about Prop 37 with this Halloween video!
Learn more about Prop 37 and spread the truth to your friends here
Volunteer to help pass Prop 37  – even if you don’t live in California – here

Little Bytes

Essential Reading for the Week
e-Voting Company Could Intercept and Change Ballots Without a Trace
350 Top Chefs Back Prop. 37 on Food Labeling
Genetically Modified Foods in India Capped for 10 Years by Supreme Court Panel
Moment of Truth: Is the 'Food Movement' for Real - or Just Talk?
US Presidential Debates' Great Unmentionable: Climate Change
Buying the Vote on G.M.O.’s

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Ginseng Roots Band Tonight!

Uke Jackson's Ginseng Roots Band (trio edition) and Friends will be playing @ The Bookstore Speakeasy tonight from 9pm - 1 am in Bethlehem, PA -- the planet's greatest little musical city!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Bookstore Speakeasy offers a delicious menu and cool cocktails. Enjoy sweet croons and hot roots tunes in an intimate 1920s speakeasy theme nightclub setting.

$2.00 cover (that's right -- 2 bux). Reservations 610-867-1100

Uke Jackson -- reso ukulele and vox
Johnny Peppers -- saxophonist
Pete Reichlin -- tuba and trombone

The Bookstore Speakeasy
336 Adams Street
Bethlehem, PA

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Ginseng Roots @ Hotel B for Harvest Fest

Uke Jackson -- resonator ukulele and vox
Johnny Peppers -- saxophonist
Vince Borselli -- cornet
Joe Daley -- Sousaphone
Bobby Peruzzi -- trombone

Friday, October 5, 2012

Tuba Uke

Working out on a new (to me) instrument. Horns used to be such a mystery to me.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Organic Bytes: Monsanto V$ the Truth

Prop 37 Ad Wars: Monsanto's $ vs. The Truth About GMOs

According to the latest Los Angeles Times poll, California supporters of Prop 37 – the November 6th ballot initiative that will mandate labeling for genetically engineered food – outnumber our foes almost three to one.
We’re going to have to fight hard to hold onto this lead.
Opponents of our Right to Know – Monsanto, DuPont and their allies – are currently outspending us seven to one, and we expect that margin to grow to ten to one before election day. Big Food Inc. and the Biotech Bullies have $35 million to spend on TV ads, and they're already bombing the airwaves.
We're not raising enough money to get our ads on TV as often as theirs, but we've got something else they don't.
The truth!
And people like you.
If you share our Right to Know TV ads with your friends, the videos are sure to go viral.
Also, please sign up to volunteer for the campaign – you don't have to be in California to contact the state's voters via phone, email or social media.

Whole Foods — Stop the Greenwashing!

It took them months, but Whole Foods Market finally endorsed Prop 37, the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act.
Or did they?

On closer look, the endorsement appeared to serve more to confuse consumers and discredit Prop 37, than it did to rally support for the most critical food policy fight to come down the pike in decades.
And financial support? From the most successful organic foods retailer and its multi-millionaire executives? Nuthin’.

Support OCA and OCF

Here’s What We’re Up Against – And Here’s How You Can Help

Californians turning on their TVs this week were met by $35 million worth of ads – paid for by Monsanto and other pesticide and junk food manufacturers – intended to frighten and confuse them about Prop 37, the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act.
Case in point: The opposition trotted out Dr. Henry Miller, a long-term cheerleader for the biotech industry, and an opponent of safety testing of GMO foods. Miller is senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution, a conservative think tank. For 15 years he worked for the FDA, where he founded the FDA Office of Biotechnology.
Miller also was a key supporter of The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition, the European junk science front group funded by tobacco giant Philip Morris.
Miller has a string of fancy letters after his name, wears a suit, and looks and sounds like the typical voice of authority, trying to convince voters that Prop 37 is a ploy by “special interest” groups instead of what it really is – a grassroots, citizens initiative designed to give consumers the same basic right to know what’s in their food that citizens in nearly 50 other countries already have.
Could a guy like Miller talk voters out of voting YES on 37? Not if we can get our message out to voters – but we have to get it out often enough, and in the right places.
Please help us counter the lies by donating today. Thank you!
DONATE TO THE ORGANIC CONSUMERS ASSOCIATION (tax-deductible, helps  support our public education work against GMOs and chemical food, and our work on behalf of organic standards, fair trade and sustainable farming)
DONATE TO THE ORGANIC CONSUMERS FUND (non-tax-deductible, but necessary for our legislative efforts in California and other states)

Scientists Defend Study Showing Monsanto's GMOs & Pesticides Make Rats Grow Tumors

A new peer-reviewed research paper by the French group of Gilles-Eric Seralini reveals devastating effects on rats fed diets containing genetically modified corn, with and without the herbicide Roundup, as well as Roundup alone. Seralini's study extends the work of others, which have demonstrated the toxicity and/or endocrine-based impacts of Roundup. This peer-reviewed study has been criticized by a group of indentured scientists whose views have been widely reported in the popular press.
But a growing number of independent scientists are defending Seralini, with the following warning:
"When those with a vested interest attempt to sow unreasonable doubt around inconvenient results, or when governments exploit political opportunities by picking and choosing from scientific evidence, they jeopardize public confidence in scientific methods and institutions, and also put their own citizenry at risk."
With the news that lifetime feeding studies show that Monsanto's herbicide RoundUp and genetically engineered RoundUp Ready crops cause deadly cancer in rats, Russia, France, India and other countries are considering bans. Please read the scientists' entire statement, then send a letter to U.S. regulators urging them to review the new evidence as well.

YouTube Censors 'Organic Spies' Video Exposing GMOs at Whole Foods - Watch It At

The recent "Organic Spies" video that exposed Whole Foods selling GMOs was starting to go mega viral on YouTube, so guess what happened?
YouTube censored the video! It got yanked under some bogus "terms of service" excuse.
Why doesn't YouTube want you to see this video? Because it tells the truth!
Natural News got the video and posted it on, their own private video network. Please read about what happened, watch the censored video and tell Whole Foods what you think.

SignOn Petition Media Events Set for Oct. 11th

Thanks to all of you who signed OCA’s SignOn petition to First Lady Michelle Obama - it now has over 201,000 signers! The petition urges Mrs. Obama to ask President Obama to honor his campaign promise to require GMO labeling. It also asks President Obama to endorse California's Proposition 37, a citizens' ballot initiative to label GMOs.
On October 11, we're going to deliver the petitions to Michelle Obama at the White House and Barack Obama at his campaign offices in San Francisco, home of Prop 37 campaign headquarters.
We’ll be inviting everyone in the San Francisco and DC areas to help us deliver the petitions. Stay tuned!
And if you haven’t added your signature to the petition yet, you can still sign on here.

Seeds of Doubt Conference – GMOS 'The Compelling Research'

Renowned experts Don Huber(PhD), Michael Antoniou(PhD), Michelle Perro(MD), and Gilles-Eric Seralini(PhD), present the latest science and research behind the detrimental effects of GMOs and their impact on our health and environment.

Seed Freedom Fortnight of Action

From October 2nd (Gandhi’s Birthday) to October 16th (World Food Day), the Global Alliance for Seed Freedom is planning intensive actions to create a global citizens’ response on the issue of Seed Freedom that they hope will act as a wake up call for citizens and the government.

Illegal GMO Vaccines in Organic

Last week, we alerted you to the problem of synthetic nutrients in organic baby food. This week, while preparing to present public comments at the National Organic Standards Board meeting, October 15-18 in Providence, RI, we learned that the NOSB will also be taking on the issue of illegal GMO vaccines in organic.
Like synthetics, GMO vaccines are prohibited in organic without special permission. However, since the Bush Administration, the National Organic Program has acknowledged that even though no GMO vaccine has ever been approved for use in organic, most vaccines are GMO and are not labeled, thus many GMO vaccines are being used in organic illegally.
The USDA's National Organic Program (NOP) has created a working group to address the problem and the new group will present an update of its progress at the Providence meeting.

There Are Alternatives to the Madness of GMO-Driven Industrial Agriculture!

In San Francisco, a secret project bears fruit...
The Guerrilla Grafters are turning the city's non-bearing public trees into an urban orchard — despite city regulations.
In Todmorden, England, a group of volunteers started growing vegetables, fruit trees and other edible plants all over the town. From the train station to the police station, they are growing food in every place they can. It is called "Incredible Edible" and it could take root in your town.
Read these inspiring stories and more on our Organic Transitions page.

Natural Products Shouldn't Be GMO!

It's not a radical idea. Most consumers think natural means non-GMO. Shockingly, the Natural Products Association disagrees. They've even come out against Prop 37, the California ballot initiative for our right to know about GMOs!
Now, their Facebook page is on fire with comments like this one:
"Say YES on Prop 37! Otherwise you are creating massive CONSUMER FRAUD."
If you think natural should mean GMO-free, let NPA know what you think.

Little Bytes

Essential Reading for the Week
Animal Legal Defense Fund Sues "Organic" Egg Producers for False Advertising
How Fracking Is a Danger to Your Health
A Marijuana Revolution on Election Day: Outright Legalization Likely in Colorado and Washington
A Growing Movement for Community-Supported Fisheries
Gut Bacteria Affects Fat Absorption

Thursday, September 27, 2012

From the Delaware Riverkeeper

Philadelphia Calls for Overturning Act 13, Upholds Court Decision Calling Act 13 Pre-emption Clause Unconstitutional
Activists, Health Advocates Praise City Council Resolution
Passed Unanimously Today
Philadelphia, PA – Activists and community leaders from across the Philadelphia area praised the Philadelphia City Council’s resolution today opposing Pennsylvania Act 13.  The resolution opposes Act 13 and affirms the Commonwealth Court’s decision to strike down a portion of that law that attempted to strip all state municipalities of their ability to protect the health and safety of their residents by passing bans, moratoria, or even the most moderate zoning restrictions on any aspect of heavy industrial shale gas drilling.
The resolution approved by City Council today supports the Commonwealth Court decision which found Act 13 unconstitutional because it removes the ability of local governments to legislate to protect the health, safety, and welfare of its residents regarding gas and oil operations.  The legal challenge to the law was brought by seven municipalities, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, and Dr. Mehernosh Khan in March of this year.
In July, the Commonwealth Court declared the municipal pre-emption provisions of Act 13 null, void, and unenforceable, and allowed an injunction on its implementation to remain in place while the case proceeds to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.  Philadelphia City Council joins over 70 local government units supporting the overturning of the law and several “Friends of the Court” who have filed amicus briefs in defense of the Commonwealth Court ruling.
“Philadelphia City Council has taken decisive action today to protect the drinking water for its residents and the region by casting a vote against Act 13, the law that pushes gas and oil operations into every corner of every municipality in the state.  The City is throwing its support behind the communities of Pennsylvania instead of drilling and fracking special interests.  This critical support is much appreciated as we go to the Supreme Court to defend the overturning of Act 13,” said Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper, an original plaintiff in the lawsuit.
“With today’s resolution, the Philadelphia City Council has asserted what should have been obvious to Governor Corbett and the state legislature: municipalities have a constitutional right to regulate activities within their bounds, especially when it comes to inherently dangerous practices such as hydraulic fracturing,” said Sam Bernhardt, an organizer with Food & Water Watch, a consumer rights group. “It should also be obvious to the governor that the people of Pennsylvania have a right to clean air and clean water, rights that fracking doesn’t allow for.”
“Act 13’s attack on democratic rights, heath and safety managed to outrage a broad spectrum of the population from firefighters to farmers, including the great city of Philadelphia, which happens to be full of people who drink water, breathe air and recognize a terrible law when they see one.  The Philadelphia City Council has done a great job of standing with residents and environmental advocates across the state in opposing this unjust law,” said Iris Marie Bloom, executive director of Protecting Our Waters.  “We’re delighted to see the council once again show positive leadership and resist fracking.”
“City Council’s vote to oppose Act 13 sends a clear message that Philadelphia defends a Pennsylvania municipality’s right to make decisions that protect residents’ public health and quality of life.  City Council recognizes how imperative it is for local governments to have the power to decide where, or even if, the shale gas industry can operate equipment that emits air pollution in people’s backyards and that accelerates climate change,” said Matt Walker, community outreach coordinator with Clean Air Council.

Wish Trilogy by Deby Adair


Imagination is our greatest tool. When you create something meaningful, you share it with the world, even if no one ever sees your final effort. When we imagine, and then create, we are stating by our thoughts and actions who we are, and that person follows us around day and night for everyone else to see, interact and share with.
If we have music in us, then we strum, sing or write our lyrics. If we have art in us then we sketch, draw or paint. And if we write, we are usually sharing our deepest thoughts and projections.
Writing is a tool that can captivate an audience in a way that no other art does. A book presents an opportunity to immerse ourselves, sometimes completely, into the lives of others, and in the process, it changes us forever…we have now walked in another’s shoes and we will never be the same again. Although it may be argued that a movie will do a similar thing, the difference between reading a story and watching a story, is that a reader must go that extra mile and play the movie in their head, their way, with only the writer’s word to prompt the screen inside the mind.
As writers, we hold the world in the palms of our hands and, like all projections, how we do it is what counts.
Remember that what you write will reach inside the minds and hearts of others and, by the power of your words, resonate. How do you choose to create what resonates in others?
Writing is something that comes from within a writer; a deep need to share a story, a theme, experience or something which the writer themselves chooses to explore.
When writers ask me how to deal with writer’s block, I have one response: Writer’s block comes to you because you are trying to write what isn’t you. When a writer ‘blocks’ they are experiencing these key things: fear, self doubt and a desire to please others.
When writers ask me how they should fix their writers block, or indeed, why is it such extremely hard work to write, then my responses are simplistic, based on the need to change something that they’re doing.
At first, my answers can be met with some resistance. ie: Often, a writer has a preconceived idea of what kind of writer they are, or want to be, and that may be the problem… in not knowing what you truly should be writing as opposed to what you think you should be writing. ‘Writers block’ will always begin there.
Do you love writing? Does the written word in and of itself give you incredible joy? Does the thought of composing a sentence and describing a moment, a scene, a sensation, a palette of colour, transport you with inspiration and excitement? What entices you, the writer, to capture an audience and transport them?
I’ll ask a question: Can you effectively captivate with something you don’t know, or don’t understand or have never come close to experiencing? Perhaps, or perhaps not.
During the process of writing, part of the joy is for us as writers to explore how a scene, projection, moment or situation may occur, creating that rush of creativity, the adrenalin and thrill that actually makes us want to write!
If you have decided that writing is in fact for you, that you have the guts, determination and the hard-driven discipline required to master your much loved skill, but you sit down to write and falter, then you must ask yourself why.
A highly skilled young University student asked me to read a piece of their work and to offer a critique. It was an evocative piece. Very dramatic, very intense, extremely wordy, descriptive, exciting… but it lacked something. It didn’t ring true. It was a good piece of writing but I was left unmoved. I thought carefully about the piece before I gave her my critique.
Finally, this was my response: When you write, the most important thing to remember is not to try to impress the reader but to find your own individual style. Don’t try to write with someone else’s style. Don’t copy the sort of writing that will outwardly impress you but feel to the reader as if they’ve read your book at least a hundred times everywhere else!
Write what you know. Write what you feel. By all means, use the power of your imagination, but don’t try to construct what isn’t innately a part of you because it will read cleverly, but not reach hearts and, as writers, our job is to reach hearts, otherwise we have just added to a high pile of pulp.
When a writer writes from deep inside themselves, reaching into what they know, how they’ve grown, the insights, the hurts, the joys, the depths of their being, then they lose writer’s block. They may have decided to sit down and write that great money-spinner and instead, written a poignant or meaningful story of something that jogs a memory of a day in their schoolyard. The piece they actually may end up writing may seem totally un-commercial, however, it may leave the writer, and ultimately the reader, deeply satisfied. I assure you that when you write from your inner truth you will always become a better writer and that is what really matters in the long run. You want to reach the hearts and minds of your readers.
When people read, no matter what the genre, they unconsciously go there to learn something, even if they feel they only want to be entertained. When they read, they want to leave your book/short story/poem, prose or paragraph, and feel that it was a moment in time that you loaned them and which they have captured; that borrowing from your ‘knowing’ it will leave them stronger, better able to face the world.  Write what you own… share with us, the reader, what you know and feel.

Writers often ask me why they can’t seem to get the discipline of the thing. My response, based on experiencing the roller coaster of life, is this: No matter what is happening in your life, and I mean no matter what, write something every single day; every single day go to your work and at least sit with pen in hand, with computer open and ready; if you find nothing there, then edit something you have previously written; look at your writing and be ruthless with it; teach yourself to know if that flowery sentence is valid or just satisfying an itch to be vocal; train yourself in excellent sentence structure and that often, less is more.
Readers these days want to get to the point… so learn the skill of writing brilliantly with a sentence well built, rather than a paragraph that repeats itself.
Take the pain from losing loved ones, your illness, a job you hate, the spiteful neighbour and use it to write! Don’t wait for when life will get good, for when you live in the right house, have the right amount of money, have the perfect relationship, have wonderful heath… all or some of those things may never happen, so write! Be your own best creator!
Write something, even if it’s for two minutes a day, every single day until the hardship of the discipline becomes your addiction and your high… then you have learned the true love affair of writing and have built a solid relationship that will let you call yourself a writer, a marriage where you have learned to merge words with the love of making it happen.
Remember, the entire fantastic residue of living, is stored within all of us. Don’t write about things you don’t know just because you think that’s what readers want, and worse, because someone else got rich from it… write what YOU know and, if you do it thoroughly, seriously and with real craft and commitment, readers will love your tale about the day you dropped your lunch at school and ten kids laughed at you but one stepped forward to help… because when it’s genuine, we, the reader will know it and cheer you on!

Deby Adair © 27.08.2012


Deby Adair is an author, artist, graphic artist and equestrian. An avid follower of the mystical and mysterious, Deby Adair has always loved the purity and truth of unicorns and their archetypal majesty. A past professional equestrian, Deby loves all animals and champions animal rights, the environment and human rights. She believes we must take care of our natural world.
An avid reader all her life, Deby began writing stories, poetry and prose from a very young age, the WISH trilogy is based on many works of writing and art which she produced as a girl but later embellished and created into her three novels.
Writing this trilogy and creating a vast collection of wonderful, exciting art works has occupied her for many years now. We hope you enjoy her much loved books and wonderful artwork as much as Deby enjoyed creating them!

From the mists of time there comes a long-lost tale of unicorns.
'Wish - Dreams Beginning', Book One of the Wish trilogy.
When a homeless girl called Rielle and her unusual dog Pud become hopelessly lost in a wild landscape, they find themselves in an untamed forest. Here they meet an enigmatic unicorn who charms Rielle with his cryptic ways. Soon Rielle and Pud find themselves locked into an adventure of soul-seeking, friendship, mystery and truth that is both disarming and sometimes sinister.
Meet unicorns as you've never thought of them before; ancient forests and unusual creatures. - Although classified for Children and Teens, this book is also receiving heartfelt reviews from adults.

As a timeworn legend comes to life, can the past be mended and the present put right?
'Wish Again - Dreams Truth', Book Two of the Wish trilogy.
Disarming, charismatic and thrilling, this book explores friendship, complex characters, trust and the ethereal beauty and archetypal power of unicorns such as you have never seen unicorns before.
Fast-paced, this book draws you from one chapter to the next in a series of unfolding scenes that send you hurling to its conclusion with bated breath.
Wish Again- Dreams Truth by Deby Adair has been nominated for the 2011 Aurealis Awards - Australia's Premier Award for Speculative Fiction written by an Australian Citizen.
Although classified for Children and Teens, it is also receiving rave reviews from adults. Wish Again-Dreams Truth-Book Two of the WISH trilogy.

An ancient feud and a race for power, who will have the final victory? And what of the unicorns... which destiny will they be keeping?
In this final book of the Wish trilogy - 'The Third Wish-Dreams Honour'- the gripping destiny of Rielle and the company of complex characters that become inextricably bound in her adventure, is revealed.
In this powerful, touching and thought-provoking book, the destiny of each character unwinds to reveal how unicorns, humans and First Ones are bound in a quest of honour to an ancient truth.
To do The Third Wish-Dreams Honour full justice, it is best read after reading Book 1, Wish- Dreams Beginning and Book 2, Wish Again-Dreams Truth.
The Third Wish- Dreams Honour by Deby Adair has been nominated for the 2011 Aurealis Awards - Australia's Premier Award for Speculative Fiction written by an Australian Citizen.
Although classified for Children and Teens, this is not just a children's book and is also receiving rave reviews from adults. The Third Wish-Dreams Honour-Book Three of the WISH trilogy.