Anything Goes

Support Environment Texas' Campaign to End Martin Lake Power Plant Pollution

Environment Texas click photo to donateHow long are we going to let the 32-year-old Martin Lake power plant in east Texas get away with its pollution?

I'm writing because you can help put this question where decision-makers can't ignore it. Click here to help fund our new media campaign.

In November, we're releasing a hard-hitting study that will cast a harsh spotlight on the Martin Lake plant, including its wildly outsized contribution to global warming. Built before Ronald Reagan became president, the plant hasn't taken action to cut global warming pollution -- ever. Why? It never had to, because for eight years the Bush EPA failed to hold polluters accountable.

Worse, if things don't change, the plant will keep pumping more climate-changing pollution into our skies with no end in sight.

Which is why we want to put the Martin Lake plant's pollution on the evening news and in the morning headlines -- just as the EPA and the U.S. Senate are reaching a decision point on the issue.

A bill in the Senate will promote clean energy, cap carbon pollution and help force coal-fired clunkers like the Martin Lake plant to clean up or make way for cleaner sources of power, like solar and wind. Proposed EPA regulations would have the same effect.

We know that the more people learn about coal-fired clunkers like the Martin Lake power plant, the more they understand why we need to repower Texas with clean energy -- and the more they want to know what we're going to do about it. Help our media team get the word out. Please chip in whatever you can today.

Together, we can hold one of Texas' worst polluters to account, make a strong case for change, and help President Obama build the new clean energy economy of the future. Thanks for making it all possible.


Luke Metzger
Environment Texas Director

TCADP Execution Alert Clemency Campaigns

TCADP Execution Alert





Urge Clemency for Khristian Oliver and Robert Lee Thompson

Urge Clemency for Khristian Oliver

Khristian Oliver, a 32-year old man, is scheduled to be executed by the State of Texas on Thursday, November 5, 2009. He was sentenced to death in 1999 for the murder of Joe Collins, which was committed during a burglary in Nacogdoches County.

During the punishment phase of Khristian Oliver's trial, several members of the jury consulted the Bible, including text supporting the death penalty, as part of their deliberations.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit found that the jurors had "crossed an important line" by consulting specific passages in the Bible that described the facts at issue in the case.  The Court said that this amounted to an "external influence" on the jury, which is prohibited by the U.S. Constitution.  Despite these serious questions about the impartiality of the jury that sentenced Oliver to death, the Fifth Circuit deferred to the judgment of the state courts and concluded that Oliver had failed to prove that he had been prejudiced by the jurors' behavior. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

The Center for Hearing and Speech Announces Houston Via Colori© 2009 Via Musica Band Lineup

Via Colori logoHOUSTON, October 27, 2009 - Benefiting The Center for Hearing and Speech, the annual Houston Via Colori, a free street painting festival, first wowed attendees with the hundreds of large-scale works of art covering streets of downtown Houston created completely with pastels.

These days, people come to watch the progress of the art and stay to enjoy the 15 live musical performances on two stages throughout both the Saturday and Sunday before Thanksgiving.

This year’s Via Musica lineup includes Kristine Mills, winner of the 2009 Houston Press Music Awards’ “Best Female Vocalist,” as well as Beetle, winner of the 2009 Houston Press Music Awards’ “Best Tribute Band, and Jerk Store, which has played at Houston Via Colori since its inception in 2006. Perennial crowd favorite’s local alternative pop group Wild Moccasins and string-ensemble Two Star Symphony will be making a return appearance. And, Houston music enthusiasts will want to come out to support the up-andcoming group Runaway Sun, who just released their first full-length album “the bridge.”

Tell the Drug Czar to Start Basing Our Nation's Drug Policies on Reason and Evidence

drug czar alert

One week ago today, Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske (aka the Drug Czar) issued a statement declaring the issue of marijuana legalization a "non-starter" not even worthy of discussion in the Obama Administration.

The Drug Czar's statement also highlighted the extraordinary social and health care costs associated with widespread alcohol use, suggesting that similar problems would occur if marijuana were to be regulated and treated like alcohol.  Yet every objective study on marijuana has concluded that it is far less harmful than alcohol both for the user and for society.

In response to the Drug Czar's statement, SAFER has launched an on-line petition, calling on the drug czar to either start basing our nation's drug policies on reason and evidence instead of mythology and ideology, or start explaining why he'd prefer adults use alcohol instead of a far safer substance -- marijuana.  

Please visit or click on the button to the right to sign the petition today. Then forward word of it to anyone who might be interested in siging on before we present it to the drug czar. 

SAFER petition button

CRUDE: The Inside Story of the Infamous “Amazon Chernobyl" Case

CRUDE movie promo photoThree years in the making, this cinéma-vérité feature from acclaimed filmmaker Joe Berlinger (Brother’s 

Keeper, Paradise Lost, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster) is the epic story of one of the largest and most controversial environmental lawsuits on the planet. The inside story of the infamous “Amazon 

Chernobyl” case, Crude is a real-life high stakes legal drama, set against a backdrop of the environmental 

movement, global politics, celebrity activism, human rights advocacy, the media, multinational corporate 

power, and rapidly-disappearing indigenous cultures. Presenting a complex situation from multiple 

viewpoints, the film subverts the conventions of advocacy filmmaking, exploring a complicated situation from all angles while bringing an important story of environmental peril and human suffering into focus.

Our Featured Community Leader for October: Liz Bias of Pasadena, Texas

Our Featured Community Leader for October:
Liz Bias of Pasadena, Texas

Liz Bias, October Community Leader

“It is the responsibility of every single person to get involved in his or her neighborhood and community. It improves the quality of life for everybody and reminds us all that we are part of something bigger than ourselves…” 
– Liz Bias, Pasadena Community Leader

Highlights of Liz’s extensive participation in community leadership organizations includes;  founding Jenkins Village Neighborhood Association; founding Junior Community Soldiers; volunteering at Children Assessment Centers, a member of Bay Area Council on Drugs & Alcohol; President of Keep Our Pasadena Beautiful;  graduate of the Pasadena Citizen Police Academy (Class #28); and volunteering for Pasadena.

Hats off to Liz for getting involved and making a difference in her neighborhood! 

Sex Ed Month of Action: Tell Your Senators to Keep Abstinence-Only Funding Out of Health Care Reform

Sex Ed Month of Action

Hey everyone,

As the Sex Ed Month of Action comes to a close, we have one more opportunity for you to make your voice heard!

As the Senate Finance Committee finalized its health care reform bill, Senator Orrin Hatch added $50 million in funding for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs!! President Obama nixed funding for these programs in his proposed budget – yet now we’re fighting to keep Congress from reinstating the program through health care reform.

It’s ridiculous, right?

So let’s make sure that the Senate does the right thing and removes abstinence-only program funding from the final health care reform bill!

Join activists from Advocates for Youth, Catholics for Choice, Choice USA, SIECUS and Spiritual Youth for Reproductive Freedom and call your Senators NOW. Tell them to keep these dangerous and ineffective programs out of the health care bill! End abstinence-only funding now!

Mayoral Candidates Discuss Land Use, Transportation

City of Houston LogoUPDATE: (10/20/09, 12:30PM) Off the Kuff points to a quick survey on bikes to add to this discussion. Local bike activist Peter Wang asked the Mayoral candidates whether they would get METRO to allow bicycles on light rail and got responses from all four major candidates.

The next Houston mayor will have a large amount of influence on the city’s land use and transportation, particularly since METRO just started construction on 30 more miles of light rail that could significantly alter the urban form of the City of Houston. Several sources have recently detailed the candidates’ views on these issues. Houston Tomorrow does not endorse any candidate. Early voting begins today and lasts until Friday, October 30. Election Day is Tuesday, November 3. For more information on the election, including polling locations and hours, visit the Harris County Clerk’s website.

Bring More Clean Energy to Texas

Environment Texas Click Photo to Take Action In the last few weeks, more than 5,000 of us told our senators that we want to see an America powered by the wind and the sun, with a smaller carbon footprint and less dependence on fossil fuels.

I hope you'll join me in helping us reach our goal of 10,000 e-mails to the Senate in favor of clean energy and stopping global warming. Click here to e-mail Sens. Cornyn and Hutchison.

Right now, the U.S. Senate is considering a bill -- the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act -- that will cut global warming pollution and drive the production of more renewable energy in Texas and across America.

The environmental benefits are clear: Our children will be better protected from global warming. Our air and water will be cleaner, with less pollution from dirty power plants.

But more clean energy also means putting more Texans back to work. For example, improving the energy-efficiency of our homes, businesses and transportation systems would create 1 million new jobs in the United States by 2030 -- including 54,400 jobs here in Texas.

Meet Judy Jennings, Candidate for District 10 on the State Board of Education

Dear friends,

Thank you for your interest in my campaign for the State Board of Education.
Election Day, November 2, 2010, seems a long way away, but given the enormity of the job ahead, it's important to start pulling together resources now for a campaign to protect our public schools.

Your Personal Message to CNN & Dobbs

Kick Dobbs off TVThis summer, after Lou Dobbs gave voice to paranoid conspiracy theories that President Obama wasn't born in the U.S., you and more than 25,000 other ColorOfChange members called on CNN to fire Dobbs. Since then, concern over Dobbs has only grown, and the campaign ("basta" means enough in Spanish), run by our friends at, is stepping up the pressure on CNN.

CNN is airing a one hour special called "Latino in America" on Oct. 21-22. To help promote the series, they're asking people to submit pictures and short videos to their "iReport" website. The folks at BastaDobbs have made it easy to call out CNN--on their own web site--for supporting Dobbs' dangerous rhetoric. With a few minutes and a camera, you can submit your own "iReport." If enough of us act, we can get other news outlets to cover the story, and force CNN to answer publicly for their Dobbs problem.

To learn more or get started, just click on the link below. Please join us in calling out CNN, and ask your friends and family to do the same:

Thanks and Peace,

-- James, Gabriel, William, Dani and the rest of the team 
   October 19th, 2009

Help support our work. is powered by YOU -- your energy and dollars. We take no money from lobbyists or large corporations that don't share our values, and our tiny staff ensures your contributions go a long way. You can contribute here:

Color of Change

Dawns storyThe evidence is clear -- America's health care system is failing Black folks like Dawn Smith.

Dawn was diagnosed with a brain tumor that causes crippling pain and keeps her from working. The tumor was treatable -- but Dawn's insurance company, CIGNA, denied her treatment for two years. CIGNA finally changed their tune, but not until our friends at brought Dawn's story to light.1

Houston Chronicle Endorses Jolanda Jones!

Re-elect Jolanda Jones for Houston City Council Banner 

Dear Friends, 

Great news this weekend – we got the Chronicle endorsement! 

These endorsements don’t just happen – they are the result of hard work and accomplishments that would simply not have been possible without your help and support. 

So my most important reaction to today’s news is to say “Thank You!” 

Today’s endorsement is just the beginning of our final sprint to Election Day. 

As you read this email, Houstonians are Early Voting on the future of our city – and I need your help to make sure voters in every corner of our city learn not only about the Chronicle endorsement, but also about how we can work together to keep our neighborhoods safe, preserve our most vital services in these tough economic times – without raising taxes – and keep Houston moving forward. 

Please make a contribution today at

We need you and your contributions now more than ever! 

If you would like to contribute by check, please make it payable to Jolanda Jones Campaign and mail it to: 

Jolanda Jones Campaign 
P. O. Box 88335 
Houston, TX 77288 

If you have questions or need assistance in making your contribution, please contact Matt Zeis of Lone Star Strategies at or (713) 978-7701. 

Again, thank you for everything you have done to get us this far, and everything you will to do get us across the finish line to victory! 


Political advertising. Jolanda Jones Campaign.

Senator Durbin Introduces Bill to Address Cocaine Sentencing Disparity

As of October 15, 2009,

Urgent news from the U.S. Senate!  Just hours ago, Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced The Fair Sentencing Act - a bill to get rid of the notorious "100-to-1" ratio between crack and powder cocaine penalties.

This means that one more piece of the crack cocaine puzzle is now in place and the picture is nearly complete - the White House and Department of Justice have endorsed the elimination of the cocaine sentencing disparity; the U.S. Sentencing Commission has found the disparity unreasonable; the House of Representatives introduced legislation to equalize crack and powder cocaine penalties last summer; and now the Senate has, too!
We need to put all the pieces together and send President Obama the crack reform legislation he has already asked for! 

To do that we need to see the crack cocaine bills voted on and passed in the House of Representatives and in the Senate.  Because as important as it is that the Senate introduced crack cocaine legislation today, if Senators don't approve the bill, it does us little good.

Restore Fairness

“Restore Fairness” produced by Breakthrough in association with 26 leading organizations, calls for the U.S. government to bring back due process and fairness to the immigration system. The video features the powerful voices of Congresswomen Zoe Lofgren and Lucille Roybal-Allard, Judges Dana Marks, Bruce Einhorn, civil society leaders Anthony Romero, Donald Kerwin, Karen Narasaki and Mallika Dutt as well as three very compelling personal stories with Jean-Pierre Kamwa, an asylum seeker from Cameroon, June Everett who lost her sister to immigration detention, and Walter Chavez and Ana Galindo, legal permanent residents who were victims of a warrantless home raid. Watch this story and take action to ensure that the U.S. government restores due process and fairness to our immigration system.

Restore Fairness: bring back due process to the immigration system from Breakthrough on Vimeo.

Celebrate new HOPE Farmers Market

2009-10-18 17:00
Family friendly, DJ workshop, HOPE Happy Hour, Artist Party: Promoting the new HOPE Farmers Market starting Oct. 18th!

East Side Farmer's Market Location
414 Waller St.

Austin, TX, 78702

Line up:
5PM: AAMP group & DJ DoJo host a "DJ Workshop" Bring your kid!
6PM: Jeff Strange // Strangetribe & DOWNstairs Apparel
7PM: J.Scott G. with Chrysta Bell
8PM: DJ Manny #1 voted DJ in Austin Chronicle
9PM: DJ Troublemaker (Hollyrock)

Door: $3 suggested donation. 100% Proceeds benefit the HOPE Campaign (Helping Other People Everywhere) to support bringing artists and media to places in need.

Roll Beyond Coal--Clean Energy Rally, Bike Tour, Hikes, & After Party

2009-10-31 13:00

Roll Beyond Coal logo

Roll Beyond Coal--Clean Energy Rally, Bike Tour, Hikes, & After Party:

October 31st, 
1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
at City Hall and points downtown
Guadalupe & Cesar Chavez
Austin, TX 78701

Sierra Club and friends -- Public Citizen, Re-Energize Texas, Environment Texas, PowerSmack, and Bicycle Sports Shop invite you to bring your bike or your hiking shoes, your kids, neighbors, and friends and have some fun on Halloween afternoon, Sat. Oct. 31. Learn more about clean power, green jobs, and clean air for Austin and make some new friends!

Register online ( Oct 23 to get your Roll Beyond Coal groovy T-shirt.

Austin EcoNetwork, Texas Green Network & Friends Green Business Party

2009-10-21 18:00


THE Green Business Networking Event of the Season 


Co-Hosted by Austin EcoNetwork, Texas Green Network, & Eco Series 


A special thank you to Green Fern Events for sponsoring this event! 


Join us as we celebrate and connect with new friends and grow Austin’s environmental community 

Wednesday, October 21, 2009 


Austin Council Member Bill Spelman Links Lower Water Use with Urban Development Trends

Save Our Springs Alliance header photos

Go to to view a powerpoint presentation prepared by Austin City Council member Bill Spelman analyzing peak day water demand trends for the City of Austin.  His review shows a continuing reduction of peak day per capita water use over the last 30 years.  This trend tracks higher density development patterns over this period, and confirms an EPA conclusion that urban density is a key indicator of per capita water use.  The denser we grow, with fewer and smaller lawns, the lower our per capita water use.  

By pushing more efficient indoor and outdoor water fixtures, for both existing and new homes and buildings, while creating conservation habits of lower water use, we can accommodate population growth for decades to come while keeping our total water use flat. 

Save Our Springs Alliance logo

Los Angeles has added a million people since 1984 while keeping total water use constant.  San Antonio has added 400,000 people since the mid-1980swhile using the same amount of water.  Austin can do the same - thus avoiding the need for building a billion dollar water treatment plant that will cause water rates to skyrocket.  

Word on the Street: Meet San Antonio Artist Gerardo Q. Garcia-keep Chicano Art Traditions Alive

We caught up w/ San Antonio’s Gerardo Quetzatl Garcia at Restencia Book store in Austin, Texas where he was part of a book signing for the release of a new chapbook titled ‘Children of the Desert Mountain’. Gerardo talked to us about murals, tattoos and art and their relationship to traditional Chicano culture. He talks to us about how is father inspired some of his work and how his parents came out of the Chicano Arts Theater in San Antonio during the 70s. He also speaks on the adjustments he had to make going from doing murals to inking up bodies.

Return to The Southern Shift

MALDEF, TRLA, 'shocked' by actions of some border schools

United ISD Board President Pat CamposLAREDO, Oct. 6 - The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and Texas RioGrande Legal Aid have spoken out about the possibility of some students being excluded from border schools.

The two non-profit groups strongly disagree with moves by schools such as San Felipe Del Rio Consolidated Independent School District in Del Rio and United Independent School District in Laredo to quiz students on their citizenship status.

In Del Rio, parents were stopped at the border and given a letter informing them that their children were being withdrawn from school because the school district assumed those children did not live within the district’s boundaries.

MALDEF attorney David Hinojosa told the Guardian that both his group and TRLA have extended their hands to help San Felipe ensure that the rights of their students and parents are protected.

Read full story here.

7th Annual Festival de las Plantas: A Celebration of Healing Traditions

2009-10-17 10:00
7th Annual
Festival de las Plantas
A Celebration of Healing Traditions

Saturday, October 17th, 2009 10 am - 2 pm
Free & Open to the public; children's activities included

Roy Guerrero Colorado River Park
800 Grove Blvd. (off E. Riverside Dr.)


traditional herbs and plants


Blessing and Traditional Danza Conchero at 10 am

Workshop:"Taking in Life Fully: Herbal Remedies and Meditations for the Respiratory System (for lungs, asthma, bronchitis, colds, coughs, influenza) by Comadre Sylvia Ledesma

Children's Activities with Maribel Garza

Sponsored by:
PODER: 472-9921,
Alma de Mujer Center for Social Change: 258-3880

Word on the Street: Joe V aka Element 615 on Austin's Spoken Word Scene

Joe V holds it down in Austin, Texas at Kick Butt Coffee where he hosts a popular spoken word night. He lets us know just how large the spoken word scene is in Austin and whether or not there is a specific Austin style.

Change is Coming to Texas! The Southern Shift!

And we down here, well, we need a shift.

Firstly let me apologize for being away for so long. This past week I was in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada for the Western Canadian Music Awards, and should have a post about that tonight. But while out there, I had almost no internet service, and well, it costs so much to use a U.S. cell phone out there, I just kept mine off for the 4 days. I had pretty much everyone I needed to communicate with right there, so I took a little break from the ol' ball n chain.

Yeah man, going a few days without my cell phone glued to my ear was amazing, enlightening even. Why am I so addicted to this thing? Why have I almost developed a fear of my cell phone? Why have so many of us done this? Why do I have to be available to you 24/7? It's getting bad. I can barely stand to look at the thing sometimes.

A CALL TO MEN - Video from the National Conference 2009

A CALL TO MEN is a leading national men's organization addressing men's violence against women, and the eradication of sexism, while maintaining strong coalitions with women's organizations already doing this important work. We help to organize communities in order to raise awareness and get men involved in ending violence against women.

A CALL TO MEN believes that ending violence against women is primarily the responsibility of men. Although historically it has been almost entirely women who have been at the forefront addressing this issue, we think it is essential that men play a primary role in the solution to end it. To do that, well-meaning men…men who, for the most part don't see themselves as part of the problem…need to get involved.

only be human together


Archbishop Desmond Tutu


My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.

- Archbishop Desmond Tutu


Green For All Webinar for Small Businesses and Nonprofits


Today, I am pleased to announce Green For All's Capital Access Program.

Solar installationThe Capital Access Program (CAP) brings our work for an inclusive green economy directly to the private sector.

CAP engages businesses and nonprofits - large and small - to create, sustain, and scale green jobs.

We're kicking off CAP's public launch with two premier resources: a guide and a webinar on how businesses and non-profits can access Recovery funding to create green jobs.

Live in Concert! Invincible, League of Extraordinary G'z + MORE!


AustinSurreal Concert


Thursday September 3rd, 9 pm, $7 Presents:

Invincible (Detroit, MI)
League of Extraordinary G'z (Da COD, Dred Skott, Lowkey of Southbound)
Blacklisted Individuals
Crew 54
DJ Crop Diggie

With DJ Hot Bologna, Drank & Gravy (fka I Have The Pills) in the inside room