Monday, January 13, 2020



Attendees:  Peggy Amatangelo, Vince Amatangelo, Jeanne DiMonte, Michael DiMonte, Mary Ann Love, Nancy McKnight, Rick McKnight, Ann Mitchell, Nancy Naragon, Kate Neville, Anne Penne, Glenn Smith, Data Sterling, Jeff Sterling, Megan Zivic

Michael DiMonte opened the meeting reminding everyone of Service of Solidarity at Temple Ohav Shalom on Friday evening.

Human Trafficking

Megan Zivic shared information she learned at a November 17 educational forum at Kearns Spirituality Center titled “Human Trafficking, Yes It’s Here in Pittsburgh.”  Megan provided both a Power Point presentation and video.  The speaker was Sr. Jeanette Bussen (Sisters of St. Joseph) from the Beaver County Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition.  The event was sponsored by Pittsburgh North People for Peace.  

                January is Anti-Slavery Month
                 Up to 40 million people are trafficked each year
                 Forced Labor trafficking accounts for 150 billion dollars
                 Many local and global agencies are fighting to end modern day slavery
                 Ethical shopping info

Slavery Footprint:

Megan will follow up with local anti-human trafficking groups to find out their needs and more about educational presentations the groups offer.  Glen and Kate suggested maybe we could have an event explaining what can do to spot and help.  Dara suggested finding out organizations in Pittsburgh focused on this area and asking them what we can do. 

Our group is interested in:  
                1.  how to recognize trafficking
                2. what steps to take if you do recognize trafficking

Oceans – Climate change Impacts

Rick McKnight showed a series of pictures depicting ocean damage due to climate change.  Have lost 50% of world’s fish since 1970.  Many people get their primary food from ocean.  Food availability is now down drastically.  Oceans are losing oxygen so nutrients can’t get there.  With warming of ocean, fish need more oxygen.  Rick also had pictures of some invasive species that have been brought in with the help of man.  180 gray whales beached on West Coast believed to be from starvation. Coral dying because of sun screen.   Is also over fishing (everything gets caught in nets) and have pirates who were formerly fishermen.  A lot of pollution ends up in the oceans; also a serious problem in lakes.  He had a slide of the top 12 highest-polluting countries.  China was highest and the U.S. was the 12th highest (but U.S. sent a lot of its waste to China which could have made China’s high).  With sea level rise, 40% of U.S. population will be impacted:  loss of people’s livelihoods, food, territorial disputes, etc.   

Rick commented that Sierra magazine says humans consume a credit card worth of plastic each week.  Rick also suggested looking at

Gun Violence

Vince reported a member of the Coalition for Safe Community Places probed and learned INPAX (indoor shooting range in McCandless Crossing) had not renewed their annual permit or paid the fee.  So were operating without a permit.  Vince and some other coalition members had a meeting with new McCandless Town Manager, new Police Chief, and Council member Carolyn Schweiger (who is on Public Safety Committee).  They attributed the town’s not noticing to both a new Town Manager and new Police Chief within a couple of months.  In addition to getting the permit issue corrected, it was agreed they will conduct unannounced visits to check for compliance.  The Coalition has been asking McCandless Crossing businesses to post “no guns allowed” signs.  After the fact, it was learned one of INPAX’s pitches when trying to locate in McCandless Crossing was the ability of the township’s police to use the facility.  Both the new Town Manager and Police Chief said an association with a private business would be inappropriate.  

2020 Focus and Priorities

Michael showed our social justice focuses and priorities on a screen and a discussion was held about their being highly dependent on the election.  After much dialogue, those present voted and all agreed there’s a big need to educate voters about social justice issues because who’s elected will be the preponderant factor in social justice achievement.  Mary Ann, Nancy, and Vince volunteered to help Michael with a possible social justice education event. 

Open Discussion

One of the things learned during the open discussion is Larry Schweiger has a new book titled The Climate Crisis and Corrupt Politics:  Overcoming the Powerful Forces that Threaten Our Future.  Its Amazon link: 

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Palau sunscreen ban: Pacific island becomes first nation to prohibit varieties considered toxic.

Check out this article at EuroNews.

Before you buy sunscreen for your next Caribbean vacation or ski trip...  Did your know there is scientific evidence that the chemicals found in most sunscreens are toxic to corals, even in minute doses. [Hmm... I wonder if these particular sun screens are so bad for corals, are so good for us?]  Palau President Tommy Remengesau said...."Toxic sunscreen chemicals have been found throughout Palau's critical habitats, and in the tissues of our most famous creatures," he added. With Palau's popular dive sites regularly packed with tourists, there were concerns a build-up of these chemicals would irreparably harm the reefs.

Check out some alternatives here: Travel+LeisureHow to Know If Your Sunscreen Is Killing Coral Reefs — and the Brands to Try Instead

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Social Justice Seekers North and St. Paul UMC's Working for Justice Ministry invite you to meet with our newest State Senator, Lindsey Williams, at 6:30 pm, Wednesday, July 10, in the New Horizons Room at St. Paul's, 1965 Allison Park.

The State faces a variety of tough environmental and social justice issues this year. Come and hear how Lindsey expects to tackle them but don't fail to bring your own social justice concerns as well. We live in a crucial time.

Lindsey's triangular district covers much of the North Hills from Marshall Twp. to Millvale to almost the edge of Freeport. She serves on the Senate Education, Labor & Industry, State Government, and Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committees. She is interested in supporting local organizations and projects and, as Minority Chair of the Community Economic & Recreational Committee, is in a good position to do so.
Vince Amatangelo, SJSN
Michael DiMonte, WFJ

PS: Courtesy RSVP requested by July 2, but not required -

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Houthi rebels claim to begin withdrawal from key Yemen ports.

By Ahmed Al-Haj and Samy Magdy | APMay 11

SANAA, Yemen — Yemen’s Houthi rebels on Saturday began a long-delayed withdrawal of forces from the port facility in the key city of Hodeida, the group said, following the terms of a December cease-fire aimed at alleviating the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. The government described the Houthi claim as a “farce.”

Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, the head of the rebels’ Supreme Revolutionary Committee, said the pullout from Hodeida, as well as the two smaller ports of Salif and Ras Issa, began in the morning...

From the Washington Post.