Using Comedy to Lift Spirits, Raise Awareness

Using Comedy to Lift Spirits, Raise Awareness

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Gasp is teaming up with the Alabama Rivers Alliance to host a unique event Sunday, March 26 at Cahaba Brewing Company. “A Viscous Cycle: Thick Comedy” seeks to lift spirits and connect supporters of the two organizations.

Gwen Sunkel and Carson Tumey have made a name for themselves in the Indianapolis comedy scene and are taking their act on the road. The Birmingham stop is part of a seven-city comedy tour this month. They tout their comedy as a blend of “a delicious dose of wit with a scoop …

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This is Why I Gasp

This is Why I Gasp

by Will King, Gasp Summer Research Fellow

As we head outdoors to enjoy the sunny days and vibrant colors of spring, the quality of the air we breathe may be the last thing on our minds. May is Clean Air Month, a time devoted to bringing increased awareness to eliminating air pollution and cleaning up the invisible substance that gives us life. Spring can also be a time when many allergy, asthma, and respiratory disease sufferers must retreat indoors to prevent exacerbations of their illness.

Everyone should have the opportunity …

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Gasp Hires Michael Hansen as Executive Director

Gasp Hires Michael Hansen as Executive Director

Birmingham, Ala. — Gasp today announced that it has hired Michael Hansen to assume to role of executive director effective immediately. The Memphis, Tenn., native joined Gasp in 2013 as communications director. In that role, he managed marketing strategy, branding, press relations, social media, digital media, and other communications duties. As executive director, he is tasked with implementing strategy, fund raising, and day-to-day management.

Before joining the staff of Gasp, Hansen co-founded a freelance-style digital marketing company with his siblings called Mud Pie Creative Lab in 2012. He was previously …

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Guest Blog Post: How Clean Is The Air in Your Home?

Guest Blog Post: How Clean Is The Air in Your Home?

With all the attention on pollution from cars and factories, you might think about your home as a sacred space of filtered purity. But the truth is that the air in most homes is two to five times more contaminated than outside.

And city homes with tight spaces are especially susceptible to low air quality. The good news is that you can easily clear the air in your home. We at Modernize think that knowledge is power, and indeed, the first step to clearing the air …

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PSC’s ‘Misplaced Priorities’ Lead to Higher Utility Bills for Alabamians

PSC’s ‘Misplaced Priorities’ Lead to Higher Utility Bills for Alabamians

A report titled “What Public Service? How the Alabama Public Service Commission’s misplaced priorities put utility profits over people” was released last week by Greater Birmingham Ministries. Gasp has been seeking transparency at the PSC for the past two years with a particular focus on the health impacts of Alabama Power’s energy planning decisions, which are made without real public participation.

“Now more than ever, the PSC institutes policies that are in no way equitable or economical for customers,” explains Greater Birmingham Ministries. “Instead, they boost the bottom …

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Why Did the Board of Health Dismiss Gasp’s Appeal of ABC Coke’s Permit?

Why Did the Board of Health Dismiss Gasp’s Appeal of ABC Coke’s Permit?

The Permit

The Clean Air Act gives the Environmental Protection Agency the authority to issue what are known as Title V Operating Permits for facilities that qualify as major sources of air pollution (e.g., manufacturing facilities, power plants, and chemical plants). The EPA then delegates that regulatory function to state and local government agencies. In Alabama, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management issues Title V permits everywhere except Jefferson County, where the Jefferson County Department of Health issues permits. Permits are renewed every five years.

ABC Coke, a division of Drummond Company, …

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Civil Rights Complaint Alleges Environmental Discrimination by Health Department

Civil Rights Complaint Alleges Environmental Discrimination by Health Department

 

Gasp petitions EPA to investigate environmental discrimination in northern Birmingham neighborhoods suffering from toxic air pollution

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (March 3, 2015) — Gasp today announced that it has filed a second civil rights complaint against the Jefferson County Department of Health (JCDH) with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in as many months. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits recipients of federal financial assistance from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, or sex. Over the past several years, JCDH has …

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Guest Blog Post: Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

Guest Blog Post: Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

“I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.” – Fannie Lou Hamer, Civil Rights and Voting Rights Leader

On Monday, Feb. 2, I was admitted into UAB’s Spain-Wallace hospital for a lung infection due to an exacerbation related to my cystic fibrosis. Last Monday, Feb. 23, I got the PICC IV out.

I didn’t get the IV pulled because I was healthy, but because the medicines had done all they could do. Meaning this morning I started my day by coughing up blood. This is not …

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Left in the Dark: Report Shines Light on Lack Of Transparency at Alabama PSC

Left in the Dark: Report Shines Light on Lack Of Transparency at Alabama PSC

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Feb. 26, 2015) — A study published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis shows the Alabama Public Service Commission conducting much of its most important oversight of Alabama Power in private.

The report, by David Schlissel, IEEFA’s director of resource planning analysis, concludes that the commission’s practices are especially egregious in its oversight of Alabama Power’s Integrated Resource Planning (IRP), which are used by utilities to build a road map of how ratepayer dollars will be spent on generating and …

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Op-Ed: UAB, Public Service Commission operating under same rules

Op-Ed: UAB, Public Service Commission operating under same rules

The following op-ed was published on al.com Tuesday, Dec. 22. View it and weigh in here.

In following recent local news, I am struck by the similar circumstances between the demise of UAB’s football program and the way in which Alabama Power’s electricity rates are determined.

Starting next month, customers will pay 5 percent more for electricity, courtesy of our Public Service Commission’s rate-setting “system.” Around the same time, the UAB Faculty Senate will be taking a no confidence vote in university President Dr. Ray Watts. In both …

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