August 8th, 2016 admin Posted in General | No Comments »

Kiva is a person-to-person micro-lending website. Through Kiva, Paul and I have pooled our lending funds with those of other lenders to fund loans for entrepreneurs in the developing world. Three of our borrowers have fully repaid their loans, and we have reloaned the money to other borrowers. We love the fact that lending through Kiva is not charity. The money, once repaid, is credited to our account and we could withdraw it if we wish. A wonderful concept.

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Cost of wars since 2001

August 8th, 2016 admin Posted in General | No Comments »

The National Priorities Project keeps a running tab on the costs of ongoing U.S. wars.

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The Responsibility Project

January 19th, 2009 Fran Posted in General, Taking Action, Activism | No Comments »

I came across mention of Liberty Mutual’s Responsibility Project in the New York Times a few weeks ago and finally got a chance to check the website out today. Like Paul’s WWJTTK sign, the Responsibility Project seems to encourage consideration of questions or responsibility, rather than pushing a particular viewpoint. There are a number of short films about people finding themselves facing issues of personal responsibility.  It’s worth a look.

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Clean-up at Fair Hill Burial Ground

January 19th, 2009 admin Posted in General | No Comments »

DSCN1942Today we celebrated Martin Luther King Day with a visit to historic Fair Hill Burial Ground at Germantown Avenue and Cambria Street in North Philadelphia. With several other volunteers we picked up several bags of trash on the grounds and along the perimeter of the 4-1/2 acre block. It snowed the entire time, but it was a light snow, and the organizer had a fire going that kept a pan of apple cider nice and hot. Paul knew a lot of the cemetery’s history, but it was new to me, and I was especially interested to learn about the preservation project and the involvment of a number of schools and community organizations.

DSCN1941This was a good choice for us for the day of service. We were outside and got some exercise, we met some new people, we saw a part of the city we don’t normally see, and we learned some history. All in all, a very good day.

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Sustainable Living

December 13th, 2008 Fran Posted in Low-impact Living | No Comments »

Websites and blogs about sustainable living are cropping up like wildflowers. Here are some I found recently:  

  • Towards Sustainability — “An Australian family of five, baby-stepping our way towards a simpler life and a sustainable future in suburbia”
  • Fake Plastic Fish — “Fake Plastic Fish… they’re cute, and if we don’t solve our plastic problem, they could be the only kind we have left.”
  • Simple | Green | Frugal Coop – “Survive the Crash”
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ESL for Resettled Refugees

September 11th, 2008 Fran Posted in Refugees | No Comments »

Through the Philadelphia Reads program (my workplace is a Power Partner), I learned about the new and growing community of refugees from Burma who are resettling in the South Philadelphia area. Knowing next to nothing about immigration or refugee resettlement, I googled for more information and wound up meeting with a local resettlement agency about volunteer needs. One of the greatest needs is for English as a Second Language instruction in the community to supplement the “survival English” training they receive on arrival. Since there were no other volunteers, I decided to give it a try, reasoning that amateur instruction from me would be better than none at all. I soon enlisted the help of my friend Ruth, and together we’ve provided ESL and other assistance to the community ever since.  This is probably one of the most rewarding projects I’ve ever undertaken.

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Meeting on war tax issues at Green Street Friends

February 23rd, 2008 admin Posted in General | No Comments »

Paul and others from the Conscience, Militarism, and War Tax Concerns group of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting spoke at Green Street Friends Meeting in Germantown about war tax issues.

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Pennsylvania Government Got the Message

January 18th, 2008 Fran Posted in Citizen Lobbying, Consumer Rights, Food Labeling | No Comments »

The outrageous Department of Agriculture regulation banning labels that identify milk produced from cows that have not been treated with artificial hormones has been rescinded. 

Three cheers for citizen lobbyists, consumer advocacy groups, and democracy that works.

Here’s the Inquirer article.

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Letter to the Governor on Milk Labeling

January 2nd, 2008 Fran Posted in Citizen Lobbying, Consumer Rights, Food Labeling | No Comments »

I had intended doing this much earlier, but it’s been a very busy holiday season. This morning I finally sent off my letter to Governor Rendell on the milk labeling issue: Read the rest of this entry »

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New Year’s Resolutions

January 1st, 2008 Fran Posted in General, Low-impact Living, Taking Action, Activism | No Comments »

Our family theme for the coming year is SIMPLICITY. During the coming year we, as a family, will be conscious of the value of simplicity as we make decisions, large or small, and we will seek ways to simplify our lives. I will also be mindful of FRUGALITY. I consider myself a good shopper, but frugality does its work at home, rather than in the stores. I will generate LESS TRASH. I doubt I will set a goal, but I will try to be mindful of the trash problem before I have something in hand that I need to discard. I will PACK LUNCH regularly so that I can eat better, generate less trash, and save money. I will REDUCE PLASTIC in my life. I love my high-tech camping gear, microfleece polyester, etc., but much of the plastic and manufactured materials I have and use are very poor quality, headed to the landfill and are often downright ugly. I will choose more  durable, biodegradable or more easily recyclable, and more attractive options, and focus first on plastic items when decluttering the house. Finally, I will COMPOST.

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