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Tell President Obama to protect our oceans, coasts & Great Lakes

We've known for years that our oceans are in trouble, struggling under the strain of oil drilling, pollution and overfishing. More recently, scientists have learned that rising amounts of carbon dioxide from burning fuels reacts with seawater to form an acid that dissolves sea shells. This process, called ocean acidification, makes it more difficult for any shelled creature in the ocean to survive and threatens the stability of marine food webs worldwide.

Healthy marine and Great Lakes systems regulate our climate and provide us with food, jobs and recreational opportunities. Protecting and restoring them to health now is made all the more urgent because of global warming: the healthier these systems are, the better able they will be to withstand the additional stress imposed by ocean acidification and other harmful effects from global warming pollution.

Part of the challenge in addressing the various problems facing our oceans, coasts and Great Lakes is that they are currently governed by more than 140 laws and 20 different agencies, each with different goals and often conflicting mandates. Like the Clean Air Act for our air, and the Clean Water Act for our water, we need a national policy for our oceans, coasts and Great Lakes.

Earlier this summer, the Obama administration announced that it would develop a unifying national policy and framework to effectively manage the increasing amount of industrial pressure on our seas, coasts and Great Lakes, and is now collecting public comment on what that policy should look like. Protecting, maintaining and restoring the health of our oceans, coasts and Great Lakes must be the core focus of a national policy, which should be formalized in an executive order from the president.

 
What to do:
Send a message urging President Obama to issue an executive order formally establishing a national policy to protect, maintain and restore the health of our oceans, coasts and Great Lakes.



Gene Bertoncini | May 2nd | Our Lady Of Peace Church

geneOver decades, Gene Bertoncini has firmly established himself as one of the most eloquent and versatile masters of the guitar. With elegance and ease, he bridges jazz, classical, pop, and bossa nova styles, integrating his own spontaneous and tasteful improvisations along the way. He has earned highest critical acclaim for his artistry on both the classical and electric guitar.

Bertoncini’s musical roots go back to his early years in the Bronx where he grew up in a house filled with music. His love affair with the guitar began when he was seven, and by the time he was sixteen, he was appearing on New York television.

His career took an unusual turn when he decided to fulfill another long-standing interest, and took a degree in architecture at Notre Dame. He was quickly swept into the musical scene at the university, and the first thing he did after picking up his degree was to work opposite Carmen McRae in Chicago. He returned to New York to work with vibraphonist Mike Manieri, and then with a quintet led by drummer Buddy Rich.

He describes his architectural experience as something which gives his music its finely-wrought form and style. He wins continual praise for the superb structure of his arrangements and improvisations which serve as a vehicle for his virtuosic technique.

Gene Bertoncini has worked with the Metropolitan Opera orchestra, the Benny Goodman Sextet; singers Tony Bennett, Morgana King, Lena Horne, Vic Damone and Edye Gorme; jazzmen Buddy Rich, Wayne Shorter, Hubert Laws, Clark Terry, Paul Desmond, and Paul Winter; and arranger/composers Burt Bacharach, Lalo Schifrin and Michel LeGrand, among others. He performed regularly on the Merve Griffin and Johnny Carson shows, and has been one of the most prolific and popular studio musicians in New York City. For the past eight years Bertoncini has performed with bassist Michael Moore in a duo which The New York Times describes as “...one of the finest pairings of jazz strings....”

Mr. Bertoncini’s teaching credits include the Eastman School of Music where he regularly performs and conducts summer workshops for jazz guitarists, the New England Conservatory, New York University, and the Banff School of Fine Arts. He has been a highly sought-after guest clinician in colleges and universities throughout the country.

Psychedelphia: "Your listening pleasure is our pleasure"

aldenPeople who are familiar with Psychedelphia know to not have any preconceived notions about a show. Anything and everything can happen on any given night. From the moment the Philly based quintet takes the stage, they entrance the crowd with funky, melodic grooves that hit new heights once everyone's improvisational skills are unleashed. Kenn Mogel's guitar acrobatics provide tasty leads over the diverse array of grooves held down by Alden Parker's funky Southern Fried rhythm guitar, John Olsen's innovative bass lines, and Adam Pasqueal's masterful beats. The finished product is a combination of tight grooves spliced with free flowing interplay that is always dancer-friendly.

While on stage, Psychedelphia exercises each song to its fullest potential, stretching some to twenty minutes or more, and often ending up in a place completely unforeseen. While many bands find it difficult to accurately capture their jamcentric tendencies in the Studio, Psychedelphia, in recording their In with the New EP, has effectively reigned in the length of solo sections to create highly-arranged and tightly-crafted versions of their live staples that retain every bit of the fun and danceability of their live counterparts. The final product is nothing less than a complete group effort, with each member bringing forth equal contribution to each composition. All of the writing is done with the full 4 members in mind, which allows for each member to draw from their diverse musical backgrounds to create a synthetic amalgamation of sounds. Each song is a veritable myriad of musical genres with seamless transitions into and out of each one.

Although many people would describe Psychedelphia as a jam band, it doesn't do the complexity of the music full justice to sum them up so concisely. The music of the jam band is centered around one aspect---improvisation. Psychedelphia certainly employs improvisation into their compositions, but they effectively transcend the jam band label while adhering to the philosophy of it. By incorporating elements of funk, fusion, electronica, dance, reggae, Latin, rock, and others, Psychedelphia can, at times, be labeled as any or all of those.

While they have only been together for about 6 months, Psychedelphia has wasted no time in making a name for themselves in the Philly area. Having played late night sets at many area parties and festivals, Psychedelphia always gets the crowd onto their feet and out on the dance floor. They are currently building a catalog of original material in anticipation of a nation-wide tour in the summer and fall of 2009.

Tell Congress NOT to allow drilling off our coasts

say NO to offshore drilling- for the Grateful Web

Oil companies and their allies in Congress claim that drilling in America's oceans and coastal areas would help solve the energy crisis and have proposed ending the 27-year moratorium on new offshore drilling. But offshore drilling would neither solve our energy needs nor significantly lower gas prices. Instead, drilling would harm America's economy, health, oceans and
coasts.

Proponents of offshore drilling claim it would reduce gas prices, even though the Department of Energy has determined that it would not significantly do so. Oil companies currently have 5,500 offshore leases they are not drilling, and with 80 percent of the untapped oil in offshore areas already open to development, they do not need access to more areas to increase supply. And while the U.S. oil industry says it wants even more access to sensitive ocean areas to reduce reliance on foreign suppliers, American-based companies are shipping record amounts of gasoline and diesel fuel to other countries. This proposal is simply a way to give oil companies unfettered drilling access to our oceans and coastal areas.

In addition, opening up additional offshore areas to drilling poses real threats to our ocean and coastal ecosystems and economies. Offshore drilling creates toxic waste products that contaminate fish and marine life. Offshore wells emit air pollutants that are known carcinogens, cause respiratory problems and worsen global warming. And current cleanup methods can only remove a small fraction of oil spilled in marine waters, where it is toxic for most species.

America needs real, long-term solutions for the energy crisis, but oil companies and their allies are not delivering them. We need to use less oil by improving energy efficiency and utilizing renewable energy. In doing so, we can achieve energy independence, fight global warming, and jump-start our nation's economy.

Attempts to lift the offshore drilling moratorium could be attached to several different bills and come up for a vote at any time.

== What to do ==
Send a message *right away* urging your senators and representative to say NO to offshore drilling.

If you prefer to call your senators and representative, the Capitol Switchboard number is 202-224-3121.