Author Archives: Jana Segal

The Real Recycling 101

After the city’s falsely named “Recycling 101” event turned out to be more of a budget meeting than a presentation on how to recycle, Sustainable Tucson hosted our own program, “Recycling and Beyond.” We stressed to Sherri Ludlam, Environmental Scientist in the Department of Environmental and General Services, that this time we wanted her to concentrate on the rules for recycling. Her chosen topic was “old and new challenges to Tucson’s recycling program.” One of the new challenges was that China wouldn’t be accepting all of our dirty recycling anymore because of the contamination. Contamination is all the trash that doesn’t belong in recycling – including plastic bags that jam up the machines. That same contamination is costing the company contracted to do our recycling truck loads of money. Our bad. Tucsonans put everything from dirty diapers to dead cats to Saguaros in our recycling cans. Sherri reminded us that there are actual people who sort through all that yucky trash. So don’t throw in anything that you wouldn’t want to find in your own recycling can.
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Celebrate Our Sustainable Future


Sustainable Tucson invites you to our holiday party.

St Mark’s Presbyterian Church, Geneva Room,  3809 E 3rd St.
Tuesday, December. 11, 6-8:30 p.m. (Doors open at 5:30)

Share the bounty of the season at our holiday potluck. Non-alcoholic drinks provided by Sustainable Tucson. Save a dinosaur; bring your own flatware and glasses.

REASON TO CELEBRATE: If you’ve read the recent IPCC study on climate change, you might not think there is much to celebrate this holiday season. The idea that climate change is progressing faster than first predicted can be quite a jolt, even if you’re already working to fight it. But it could also be an opportunity to come together as a community to envision and create a better, more sustainable and resilient Tucson!

At this year’s holiday party, Sustainable Tucson will be celebrating the possibilities by recreating a festival atmosphere with street fair activities:

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Voting for the Planet

I probably don’t have to remind you how important it is to vote this year. But it is especially vital to safeguarding our remaining environmental protections. This year Rep. McSally completely disregarded our requests to protect our waterways. In fact, she used her clout with the President to urge him to sign a bill allowing mines to dump their toxic tailings into our streams.  See her letter to the President here.

Since President Trump has taken office, there have been so many assaults on our national parks, national monuments, wildlife refuges, endangered animals, the ocean, our water, and even the air we breathe. Our so-called representatives worked to repeal or dismantle hard fought for environmental protections: Clean Power Plan, Clean Water Act, Clean Water Rule, Methane Waste Prevention Rule, Clean Air Act, Emissions Standards, Endangered Species Act, to name a few.

League of Conservation Voters Scorecard

Here is a list of some environmental assaults that I’ve compiled since Pres. Trump took office, aptly named “Crimes Against Humanity.” (I haven’t had time to completely update it.  It’s hard keeping up with them all!)

Putting a hold on the Clean Power Plan made Sustainable Tucson’s advocacy team’s fight against TEP’s 10 gas-fired engines so much more difficult (if not impossible). Read my blog about our struggle here.

If you would like to help our efforts in encouraging TEP to transition quicker to clean energy, there are two things you can do. 1) Vote “yes” on prop. 127, the citizens initiative that requires them to transition to 50% clean energy by 2030. Read: Renewable Energy and Prop 127, in a nutshell by Paul Hirt.  2) Vote for members of the Arizona Corporation Commission who haven’t been bought by the utility companies.

The Sierra Club, Grand Canyon Chapter endorses Sandra Kennedy and Kianna Sears for the ACC.

Sandra Kennedy previously served in the Arizona Legislature and as a Corporation Commissioner. She is a strong advocate for solar energy and energy savings through efficiency and conservation, and she supports Proposition 127. Sandra has repeatedly opposed efforts to weaken Arizona’s Renewable Energy Standard, including by voting against trash burning as a renewable energy resource. Sierra Club gives Sandra Kennedy a strong endorsement.

Kiana Sears wants to help put the Arizona Corporation Commission back on track to do its job to hold utilities accountable. She supports Proposition 127 and significantly increasing our state’s commitment to clean renewable energy such as solar and wind. She also wants to see the Commission do more to watchdog private water companies. Sierra Club is pleased to endorse Kiana Sears for the Arizona Corporation Commission.

You can read the Sierra Club’s voter guide here.

The Sierra Club didn’t mention Mine Inspector Candidate Pill Pierce. But Blog for Arizona writer David Gordon wrote:

Democrat AZ Mine Inspector Candidate Bill Pierce Will Protect Us from Soil and Water Contamination

It is also important to vote for Arizona legislators who aren’t trying to dismantle our environmental protections.

In the past year, Sustainable Tucson’s advocacy team submitted Requests to Speak in response to several bills that would weaken the Arizona Water Law that requires proof that there is 100 years worth of water before applications for new developments are approved. Realtor Gail Griffin, the chair of the Natural Resources, Energy and Water committee, fought tooth and nail to weaken these laws so they can push through a new development that would drain the one river in Arizona that still flows year round: the San Pedro.

The Republican majority of our state legislator made it a priority to dismantle regulations. They even made it illegal for towns to ban plastic bags. (How’s that for the party of “Freedom” and eliminating government overreach?)

The newest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). states that Climate Change is worse than first thought, but… humans can still prevent the worst effects.  This election is an opportunity to make a real difference by voting for the planet.

Looking forward to seeing lots of “I VOTED” stickers – or better yet – “I voted for the planet!”

My letter to Senator Flake on his compromise regarding Kavanaugh’s appointment: Sorry it doesn’t go far enough

Dear Senator Flake,

Thank you for your compromise regarding putting a hold on voting on Kavanaugh to allow for an FBI investigation. I was very disturbed when I heard the news that you would vote along party lines to confirm Kavanaugh. While I believe that his sexual assault of Ms. Ford (and lying about it) certainly disqualifies him as a Supreme Court judge, there are even more important reasons to reject the appointment.

One of the responsibilities of Congress is to act as checks and balances so no president has so much power that he is above the law. I follow the daily scandals and corruption in the Trump administration and it is appalling to me that President Trump has not been impeached. This alone has wrecked the integrity of the Republican party. But to push through a Supreme Court candidate while the president is under investigation for several crimes is clearly wrong. I don’t have to remind you that the Republican party denied President Obama his right to select a Supreme Court judge, and his choice was a good compromise (being much less extremely partisan than Kavanaugh).

In his law-review article, Kavanaugh proposed that “Congress might consider a law exempting a President—while in office—from criminal prosecution and investigation.”

The idea that a sitting president is above the law is against our Constitution and everything this country stands for. President Trump has done his best to dismantle the checks and balances by hindering the ability of the press to hold him accountable, so all we have to protect our democracy is Congress. Now this hyper-partisan Congress is trying to push through an ultra-conservative judge with values that most Americans don’t share.

During the trial, Kavanaugh demonstrated that he can’t be objective by blaming the Democrats and the Clinton’s for this “witch hunt.”

While I appreciate you compromising by giving the FBI time to investigate, I feel that you have not gone far enough. It appears that that investigation has been limited. Of course it is vitally important that we don’t have a Supreme Court justice that refuses to take responsibility for his past sexual predator actions. But even his feeling of victimization would negatively affect his decisions on cases with rape victims.

According to the research presented in the scholarly paper, Gendered Justice: Women in the Criminal Justice System by Stephanie S. Covington & Barbara E. Bloom. “ Of the women in state prisons in 1998, 28 percent had been incarcerated for a violent offense (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1999). Many of the violent crimes committed by women are against a spouse, ex-spouse, or partner, and the women committing such crimes are likely to report having been physically and/or sexually abused, often by the person they assaulted.” Often the women who kill their abusers (even in self defense) are sentenced by male judges who discriminate against them. You need to ask yourself if Kavanaugh could be objective in a case where a women kills her abuser. I believe he would not.

As a member of Congress, you have been given the sacred responsibility of upholding our Constitution and preserving our democracy. Please, vote no on Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court and use any influence you have to convince the other Republicans (who aren’t blinded by party loyalty) to do the same.

Jana Segal


Please, send your thoughts to Senator Flake before the vote on Friday.

Washington, D.C. Office
Senate Russell Office Building 413
Washington, D.C. 20510
P: 202-224-4521
F: 202-228-0515

Phoenix Office
2200 East Camelback Road
Suite 120
Phoenix, AZ 85016
P: 602-840-1891
F: 602-840-4092

Tucson Office
6840 North Oracle Road
Suite 150
Tucson, AZ 85704
P: 520-575-8633
F: 520-797-3232

CALL TUESDAY for ACC Public Comment: TEP Energy Phase 2 Solar Rate Case on Net Metering

TEP Energy and UES Electric Phase 2 Solar Rate Cases are on the Tuesday, September 11, 2018 Arizona Corporation Commission agenda. This could mean the end of Solar Net Metering* in Southern AZ is imminent. That will make it less cost efficient to install rooftop solar. Please, consider calling in to make a public comment.

Dial-in Phone Number: 1-800-689-9374 (Passcode: 415962 for Public Comment)

*Net metering is a billing mechanism that credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid. Net metering allows residential and commercial customers who generate their own electricity from solar power to feed electricity they do not use back into the grid.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 10:00 a.m.
1200 West Washington Street, First Floor Phoenix, AZ 85007

Phoenix residents, please, consider giving your public comment in person.

HEARING NOTE: Commissioners may attend the proceedings in person, or by telephone, video, or internet conferencing, and may use this open meeting to ask questions about the matters on the agenda. The Commissioners may move to executive session, which will not be open to the public, for the purpose of legal advice pursuant to A.R.S. § 38-431.03(A).

Agendas are also available online at:

Dial-in Phone Number: 1-800-689-9374 (Passcode: 415962 for Public Comment (or 415960 to Listen Only).

For a live broadcast feed or archived videos:

For agenda and other information: