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Thursday, December 01, 2016

Greg Palast: No BS Guide to the Recount, Nov. 30, 2016



The No-BS Inside Guide to
the Presidential Recount

Sorry, no Russian hacker hunt

by Greg Palast for Truthout

Greg Palast investigated vote suppression in the 2016 election for Rolling Stone.  The film of his investigation, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, was released by Cinema Libre Studios in September.

There's been so much complete nonsense since I first broke the news that the Green Party would file for a recount of the presidential vote, I am compelled to write a short guide to flush out the BS and get to just the facts, ma'am.
Clip from The Best Democracy Money Can Buy by Greg Palast

Nope, they’re not hunting for Russian hackers
To begin with, the main work of the recount hasn't a damn thing to do with finding out if the software programs for the voting machines have been hacked, whether by Putin’s agents or some guy in a cave flipping your vote from Hillary to The Donald.

The Green team does not yet even have the right to get into the codes. But that's just not the core of the work


The ballots in the electoral “dumpster”
The nasty little secret of US elections, is that we don't count all the votes.

In Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania—and all over America—there were a massive number of votes that were simply rejected, invalidated, and spoiled. They were simply, not counted.  Officially, in a typical presidential election, at least three million votes end up rejected, often for picayune, absurd reasons.

The rejects fall into three big categories:  provisional ballots rejected, absentee and mail-in ballots invalidated and in-precinct votes “spoiled,” spit out by a machine or thrown out by a human reader as unreadable or mis-marked.
So, as Robert Fitrakis, lead lawyer for the recount tells me, their first job is to pull the votes out of the electoral dumpster—and, one by one, make the case for counting a rejected provisional, absentee or “spoiled” ballot.


Spoiled:  over-votes and under-votes
How does a vote spoil? Most fall in the categories of “over-votes” and “under-votes.”

In Michigan, the Green team has found a whole lot of people who voted for TWO candidates for President.  These are the “over-vote”—votes that will count for neither candidate.

How odd.  While the schools in Detroit are not stellar, its graduates do know that they can only have one president.
Then, some folks didn’t vote at all.  They are the “under-voter.”

But, Fitrakis and team suspect, many of these under- and over-voters meant to vote for a candidate but the robot reader couldn’t understand their choice.

Here’s how it happens.  Voters in Michigan and Wisconsin fill in bubbles next to their choice.  The cards, filled up with darkened bubbles for each race, are gathered and fed through an “optical scanner.” These robotic eyeballs mess up all the time.

This is what Fitrakis, an old hand at vote-machine failures (both deliberate and benign), calls “the calibration problem.”

Are machines calibrated with a Republican or Democratic bias? No, that's not how it works. But just as poor areas get the worst schools and hospitals, they also get the worst voting machines.

The key is an ugly statistic not taught in third grade civics class:  According to the US Civil Rights Commission, the chance your vote will be disqualified as “spoiled” is 900% more likely if you’re Black than if you’re white.

So the Green Party intends to review every single one of the six million bubble-filled cards. They’ll use the one instrument that can easily tell one bubble from two, or one bubble from none: the human eye.

As you can imagine, This will require several thousand eyes.  The good news is, Fitrakis reports, that well over a thousand volunteers have already signed up.  Training by Skype begins Tuesday morning. 

 
Support the 2016 Stolen Election Investigation
The team and I are off to Ground Zero:  Michigan. Wisconsin. Pennsylvania. To report the REAL story of the recount.
I’m also responding to urgent requests in the recount states for our technical files and analysis. And then it’s on to Washington—to the Department of Justice—while there’s a bit of Justice left.
 
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Supporting the Stolen Election Investigation
Last stop for Democracy


Provisional or “placebo” ballots
According to the US Elections Assistance Commission (EAC), Americans cast 2.7 million provisional ballots in the last presidential election.  About a million were simply discarded.  What?!

Yes.  Discarded, not counted.  You show up at your normal polling station and they can’t find your name, or they don’t like your ID, or you’re supposed to vote in another precinct.  Instead of letting you vote on a regular ballot, you fill out a “provisional” ballot and place it in an envelope, sign your name, and under penalty of jail time for lying, affirm you’re a properly registered voter.

The polls close
then the magic begins.  It’s up to highly partisan election officials to decide if your vote counts.  Hillary Clinton only won one swing state, Virginia, notably, the only one where the vote count was controlled by Democrats.  She lost all swing states—Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Arizona, North Carolina and Florida—where the GOP set the rules for counting these ballots and their hacks acted as the judge and jury on whether a ballot should be counted.

Wisconsin generally rejects votes cast in the wrong precinct, even if they’re legal voters—and, says Fitrakis, “even if their official precinct was just another table in the same high school gym—and they were mis-directed by poll workers.”

(That’s why I sometimes call “provisional” ballots “placebo” ballots.  They let you feel you’ve voted, even if you haven’t.)

In Wisconsin, provisional ballots were handed to voters—mostly, it appears, students—who didn’t have the form of ID required under new Wisconsin law. These ballots were disqualified despite zero evidence even one voter was an identity thief.

Fitrakis says the Stein campaign will fight for each of these provisional votes where this is clearly no evidence the vote is fraudulent.


Mail-in, Early and Absentee Ballots go Absent
If you’ve gone postal in this election, good luck!  According to EAC data, at least half a million absentee ballots go absent, that is, just don’t get counted.  The cause: everything from postage due to “suspect signature.” Fitrakis told me that in his home state of Ohio, you need to put your driver’s license number on the envelope, “and if you don’t have a driver’s license and leave the line blank—instead of writing ‘no driver’s license’—they toss your ballot.
From Palast's book The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: A Tale of Billionaires & Ballot Bandits by Ted Rall

It’s a “gotcha!” system meant to knock out the ballots the officials don’t want to count.  (Remember, your mail-in ballot is anything but secret.)  Team Green will try to fight for each absentee ballot rejected for cockamamie reasons.

If the recount doesn’t change the outcome, can we feel assured the election was honest?

Sadly, no.  As Fitrakis says, “If a student is given a provisional ballot because they didn’t have the right ID, or the state simply lost their registration, we can fight for the ballot to be counted.  But most students who voted off campus didn’t know their right to get a provisional ballot and most probably didn’t get offered one.

Students and others were discouraged from voting because they lacked the proper ID (300,000 by the estimate of the experts with the ACLU—that’s thirty times Trump’s plurality).  But if you didn’t cast any ballot, provisional or otherwise, no one can fight for it.

And final decisions may come down to the vote of the Wisconsin Elections Commission, God forbid.  As Norman Stockwell, the editor of Madison-based The Progressive explained to me, formerly, elections law adjudications were made by a panel of non-partisan judges.  These were replaced by this new commission of partisan shills appointed by GOP Governor Scott Walker.


Trump says millions voted illegally. Is he crazy?
Crazy like a fox.  There’s a method in his madness that affects the recount.

While the media dismisses Trump’s claim that there are "millions of people that voted illegally," they have not paid attention to the details of his claim.  Trump explains that millions of people are “voting many, many times,” that is, voting in two states in the same election.

Trump’s claim is based on a list of “potential duplicate voters” created by his operative, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.  Kobach (a top dog in Trump’s transition team)  directs a program for hunting down fraudulent voters using a computer system called, “Crosscheck.”

It’s quite a computer:  Crosscheck identified a breathtaking 449,922 Michiganders who are suspected of voting or registering in a second state, a felony crime, as are 371,923 in Pennsylvania.

I spent two years investigating the Trump/Kobach claim for Rolling Stone.  We obtained the “confidential” suspect list of several million citizens accused of voting twice.  In fact, it was no more than a list of common names—Maria Hernandez, James Brown, David Lee—that is, common to voters of color.  Read: Democrats.  A true and typical example: Michael James Brown of Michigan is supposed to be the same voter as Michael Kendrick Brown of Georgia.
Page from The Best Democracy Money Can Buy (FREE) Comic book penned by Keith Tucker

About 54,000 voters in Michigan, five times Trump’s plurality, lost their right to vote based on this nutty double-voter accusation.  In Pennsylvania, about 45,000 were purged.

The problem for Fitrakis:  While he eventually plans to file suit against Crosscheck purges, in the meantime, it’s not clear he can challenge someone whose lost their vote because of a false accusation of double voting.  And those who found their names missing and didn’t demand a provisional ballot—there’s no hope at all of recovering their vote.


Is Jill Stein going to get rich?
Fitrakis laughs at this one.  “The FEC [Federal Elections Commission] has very strict rules on recounts. The donations for the recount are sequestered in a specially designated account and all spending is restricted to the recount.” 

The big problem is that the cost is somewhat out of Stein’s control.  Each state will bill the campaign for the “pro-rated salaries and benefits” of its county and state officials working on the recount.

To add to the cost and just plain drive the Green team crazy, the Wisconsin Election Board announced on Monday that each separate county elections clerk will decide if they’ll even let the Green volunteers directly view the ballots.  Fitrakis and partners will have to get a court order to get into each county.  How does one recount ballots without seeing them?  (Hmm, is the Wisconsin board, stooges appointed by the GOP Governor, fearful that the viewing the ballots will expose the game?)


Hillary joins the fray
What will the Clinton camp add to the recount? “Lawyers,” said Fitrakis, though he’s yet to see them.  The Clinton campaign is apparently helping find one voter in each Pennsylvania county, as one is required in each jurisdiction to file for a recount of that state.

And what about that hack job?
While Fitrakis is not looking for Russkies in the computer code, he says, “We’re more concerned with the private companies that control the keys to the kingdom—to match what’s on paper to the official count.”  The “keys” are the little machines, memory cards and other electronic gewgaws that are used to suck the data from the voting machine—which are carried off to another state for tabulation by a private contractor.  Will these tabulations at each step match what the volunteers find in the on-the-ground recount?

One problem is that the tabulation software is “proprietary.”  A private company owns the code to the count—and the privateers will fight fiercely, with GOP help, to keep the ballot counting code their commercial secret.


Push and Pray Pennsylvania
In the end, the single biggest impediment to a full and fair recount is that 70 percent of Pennsylvania voters used what are called, “Push and Pray” voting machines—Direct Recording Electronic touch-screens.  Push the screen next to your choice and pray it gets recorded. Pennsylvania is one of the only states that has yet to require some form of VVPAT (“vee-pat”) or voter-verified paper audit trail that creates an ATM-style receipt.

Therefore, the Keystone State recount will have to rely on hopes of access to the code, statistical comparisons to counties that used paper ballots—and prayer.


Maybe it IS the Russians
The possibility that a Putin pal hacked the machines was championed by University of Michigan computer sciences professor J. Alex Halderman who proposed, “The attackers would probe election offices well in advance in order to find ways to break into their computers…and spread malware into voting machines.”

I imagine some squat, middle-pay-scale civil servant in chinos and a pocket protector who works in the Michigan Secretary of State’s office approached, one late overtime night, by some FSB agent in high heels and a slinky dress split halfway up her thigh. The svelte spy would lean against the bureaucrat provocatively and whisper, “My handsome dahling, would you mind sticking this little thumb drive into that big old computer of yours?

Professor Halderman, if you want to help the recount, put down the James Bond novels and pick up some Opti-Scan ballots.  We’ve got a lot of bubbles to read.  End
 
 
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Greg Palast (Rolling Stone, Guardian, BBC) is the author of The New York Times bestsellers, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy and Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, now out as major motion non-fiction movie.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Sustainability Action Newsletter, 15 Nov. 2016




WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
15 November 2016
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"A Trump presidency might be game over for the climate" - Michael Mann, prominent climate researcher
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A few grateful readers contribute monthly.  Have you contributed yet?  Please donate to Sustainability Action.  Click on our PayPal button here >> Sustainability Action.  THANK YOU!
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MORE SO THAN EVER: GET OUT THERE AND ORGANIZE FOR ALL YOU'RE WORTH

Damage control first - then healing the planet
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DONALD DRUMPH (REAL NAME) COUNTER ACTION

This editor has seen so many postmortem analyses, it's hard to sift through all the implications of Donald Drumph.  Most analyses are single focus - racism and xenophobia, consolidated Republican power, climate disaster, etc.  The best one I've found is by Richard Heinberg, who explores many Drumph issues wholistically, looks at the obstacles and the opportunities, and charts a course of action.  Here are Heinberg's comments in full:

"America has plunged into the unknown.  What’s important now is to size up the situation and decide how to move on.

"On the good side: Under a Trump presidency, there is likely to be no war with Russia, as might well have occurred if Clinton had prevailed.  The TPP is hopefully dead, and the U.S. can be expected to move toward at least some post-globalization trade policies.  The neoliberals' dominance of the Democratic Party suffered a grievous and perhaps fatal blow.  Millions of Americans who have felt ignored by the Washington and Wall Street elites now feel they have a voice.  Even though foreign relations and trade policy will likely be in the hands of business-friendly Republican apparatchiks who will ultimately throw working people overboard with giddy glee, regular middle-Americans will be able to reassure themselves that at least "their guy" is in charge.  Maybe things could be worse; after all, as my friend Ugo Bardi has pointed out, Italy survived 20 years of Berlusconi.

"On the bad side: There will be no more federal support for climate action or research, for environmental protection (the EPA will be gutted), or for alternative energy.  All federal lands will be opened up for oil, gas, and coal exploration.  Most of Yellowstone will be paved over as a parking lot for a new Trump resort (okay, I’m kidding—a little). With the Executive Branch, Congress, and Supreme Court all dominated by the same party, there will be no brakes on efforts to defund government agencies, or overturn regulations of all kinds (on guns, banks, workplace safety, you name it).  Having witnessed Trumpism’s success, a new generation of politicians will adopt the tactics of utterly demonizing their opponents.  It’s hard to see how civility can return anytime soon.  These will be dire times for women and minorities.

"The pundits rightly see the election as a repudiation of the establishment.  But who will actually be running things in the months ahead?  Mostly, the same old revolving-door lobbyist-officials.  When the next economic crisis hits, the entire country will face a rude awakening, and mere tough talk won’t do much to actually keep food on the tables of anxious Iowans or Missourians.  Rather than admit that he can’t actually make America great again, expect Trump to line up the scapegoats.  And rather than admit that "their guy" is incompetent or wrong, expect many Trump supporters to hoist the modern equivalent of pitchforks (for which background checks will no longer be required).

"Crises won’t go away because government refuses to acknowledge or address them.  Climate change, resource depletion, and over-reliance on debt are wolves at the door.  In light of all this, Post Carbon Institute’s organizational strategy continues to make sense: Build resilience at the community level.

"For the time being, national policy-based action on climate and other environmental issues is a closed door.  But the most promising responses to our twenty-first century crises are showing up at the community level anyway.  It’s in towns and cities across the nation, and across the world, where practical people are being forced to grapple with weird weather, rising seas, an unstable economy, and a fraying national political fabric.  Whatever workable strategies are likely to be found will arise there.  We see our job as helping that adaptive process however we can.  This is not about winning; there is no finish line, no election day.  Just a new opportunity each morning to encourage, educate, and build.

Richard Heinberg - Post Carbon Institute
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DONALD DRUMPH TO RAMP UP FOSSIL FUELS, GUT THE ENVIRONMENT

Directly from the Drumph Transition Team:
"Rather than continuing the current path to undermine and block America's fossil fuel producers, the Trump Administration will encourage the production of these resources by opening onshore and offshore leasing on federal lands and waters.  We will streamline the permitting process for all energy projects, including the billions of dollars in projects held up by President Obama, and rescind the job-destroying executive actions under his Administration.  We will end the war on coal, and rescind the coal mining lease moratorium, the excessive Interior Department stream rule, and conduct a top-down review of all anti-coal regulations issued by the Obama Administration.  We will eliminate the highly invasive "Waters of the US" rule, and scrap the $5 trillion dollar Obama-Clinton Climate Action Plan and the Clean Power Plan and prevent these unilateral plans from increasing monthly electric bills by double-digits without any measurable effect on Earth's climate."
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DAKOTA ACCESS PIPELINE  -  UPDATES

With all attention focused on the U.S. Presidential election last Tuesday, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) announced that they are preparing to proceed with horizontal drilling under the Missouri River Lake Oahe.  They claim they will be ready on 22 November, and are moving equipment into place.  Corporate friendly Obama has done nothing more than request ETP delay the project as the US government reassesses permits and considers possible reroutes.  ETP said “Dakota Access previously received a permit from the army corps, and has all other regulatory approvals and land rights to complete the crossing of the Missouri river, and expects to receive final permission“ with the granting of an easement.

Energy Transfer Partners CEO, Kelcy Warren, who was a major supporter of Donald Drumph's election campaign, pledged to continue construction of the $3.7 billion pipeline project despite lacking an easement under the Missouri River - Dakota pipeline operator to defy Obama and prepare for final phase of drilling.  "We will get this easement and we will complete our project," Warren insisted in an 11 November CBS interview.  But it's hand in glove between the two, with Drumph having a major personal investment in completion of the pipeline.  The Guardian UK news reported that Donald Drumph has invested between $500,000 and $1 million in Energy Transfer Partners - Drumph's Personal Investments Ride on Completion of Dakota Access Pipeline.

But chinks are opening in the police state surrounding Standing Rock.  Sheriff Departments from both Minnesota and Wisconsin have pulled out and are refusing to return, citing both personal and community objections to the pipeline itself and to the heavy handed police actions.  Early last Monday, a Facebook post said that the Morton County sheriff’s department was using Facebook check-ins to target people at the protest camp.  So Water Protecters are calling on EVERYONE to check-in at Standing Rock, ND to overwhelm and confuse the police.  Over one million have already checked in "at Standing Rock ND", though the Morton County sheriff’s department claims that it was not monitoring Facebook check-ins.  But before you trust them, consider that Facebook access for water protectors was reported as “blocked’ during a military-style raid on a camp last Friday - Police From Two States Leave Standing Rock, Refuse To Return.
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STAND WITH STANDING ROCK NATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY
Tuesday15 November 20164:30-6:00pm
Army Corps of Engineers office near you


The folks at BOLD Nebraska have announced a huge rally at the US Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) District office in Omaha, the one in charge of the DAPL permits #NoDAPL Day of Action at Army Corps of Engineers in Omaha.  It's caught like wildfire around the country, and you can find a rally near you - locate an Army Corps of Engineers #NoDAPL action near you.  For folks in or near Kansas City, the rally is at the KC ACE District office at 601 East 12th St., Kansas City MO 64106.  Organizers announced "The Army Corps is rumored to be very, very close to a decision whether to approve or deny the final permit needed to complete construction -- that’s why we must act now, and act strongly, to make sure the permit is rejected.  The Army Corps fast-tracked the Dakota Access Pipeline without proper consultation, and now bulldozers are approaching Standing Rock.  But with coordinated, massive demonstrations across the country, we’ll make it clear that we will not allow the Obama Administration or the incoming president to sacrifice Indigenous rights, our water, or our climate".  And Native American leaders have said "Native people have always been on the frontlines environmental destruction and corporate land grabs.  Now Native people are leading the way to save the Mother Earth as protectors of the water and the land for all.  At the Oceti Sakowin camp at Standing Rock, we gather in prayer, standing with our traditional values and spiritually to create a space of resistance.  We have met police violence and bulldozers with solidarity and community.  But we can’t do it alone.  We need your solidarity and support to send a strong message to this Administration and the next" - Native Organizers Alliance.
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PAPER SHREDDING EVENT - AMERICA RECYCLES DAY
Tuesday, 15 November 2016, 11:00am-1:00pm - FREE
Douglas County Fairgrounds, Arena parking lot, 1930 Harper St., Lawrence KS 66046
(courtesy, Jenica Nelson, Lawrence Waste Reduction & Recycling)

To mark this year's America Recycles Day, the City of Lawrence Recycling Office is providing a paper shredding service.  This service will be for secure paper shredding, conducted by Stacks Secure Records.  Two boxes or bags allowed per customer, and documents will be accepted with staples, paper clips, spiral bound or glue bound.  For more information, contact the City at (785)832-3030 or visit http://www.lawrencerecycles.org/.
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SUSTAINABILITY ACTION MEETING
Tuesday, 15 November 2016, 6:30pm
Lawrence Public Library, Health Spot Study Room (behind the stacks), 7th & Vermont St., Lawrence KS 66044
Local Solutions for Transition to a Sustainable Economy

Planned agenda topics include:

  • Food Not Lawns, planning details for November 19 workshop
  • Diesel Health Project air monitoring grant
  • reusable shopping bag artwork
  • effort to bring Erin Brockovich to town
  • new website update
  • financial reports update
The Sustainability Action Network advances ecological sustainability through societal scale actions.  While we work for personal lifestyle changes for individuals to minimize their carbon footprint, there is an imperative for institutional change to respond to the rapid onset of the triple global crises of Energy-Ecology-Economy.  "Action" is our middle name.  Everyone is welcome.
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DOUGLAS COUNTY FOOD POLICY COUNCIL - FOOD SYSTEM PLANNING
Tuesday, 15 November 2016, 6:30-8:00pm, Community Center, Eudora KS
Wednesday, 16 November 2016, 6:00-7:30pm, Lumberyard Arts Center, Baldwin City KS
(courtesy, Helen Schnoes, Douglas County Food Systems Coordinator)

The Douglas County Food Policy Council is hosting two remaining community conversations to Help identify actions and policies to support our local food system.  The meetings will include a brief presentation of local findings from food system research.  Participants will then be invited to weigh in with their ideas.  The initiative to create a county-wide Food System Plan emerged through the update process for the Comprehensive Plan, which identified agricultural land preservation and a local food system as two of nineteen key community issues.  More info at https://www.douglascountyks.org/fpc/food-system-plan.  Or call Helen Schnoes, Douglas County Food Systems Coordinator, at (785)832-5157.
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KKFI COMMUNITY RADIO - ECOLOGICAL SHOWS THIS WEEK
Listen at KKFI-FM 90.1, or link to web-streaming at KKFI 90.1 FM
(courtesy, Mike Murphy, KKFI Programming Committee)

Tuesday-Friday, 15-18 November 20168:00am - Democracy Now!
Amy Goodman will be broadcasting live from the U.N. Climate Conference (COP-22) in Marakech Morocco.

Thursday, 17 November 2016, 12:30pm - Making Contact
This show is "Women Nuclear Power Abolitionists, Part 2".  As nuclear plant accidents mount, and nuclear waste becomes a greater threat to health and safety worldwide, Women Rising Radio features veteran activists at the center of the movement to phase out nuclear energy, power and research.  We revisit Chernobyl, Fukushima, Three Mile Island and many less well known disasters – and hear about real solutions to the problem of nuclear energy.  Featuring: Claire Greensfelder, former nuclear campaign director for Greenpeace; Aileen Mioko Smith, director of Green Action Japan; and Ursula Sladek, founder of Shoenau Energy Company in Germany.

Friday, 18 November 2016, 9:30am - Bioneers Radio Series
Bioneers presents "Awakening the Genius in Everyone: When the Calling Keeps Calling".  Renowned storyteller, performer, author, activist and scholar, Michael Meade, weaves threads of timeless wisdom traditions into myths for today’s global crisis.  Meade says each of us is woven into the soul of the world, and we’re uniquely needed at this mythic moment to become active agents in the co-creation, re-creation and re-imagination of culture and nature.

Monday, 21 November 2016, 6:00pm - locally produced Eco-Radio KC
This Eco Radio KC program will feature another of their ecologically minded shows.
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RESPONSIBLE ENERGY VS. FUKUSHIMA DAI-ICHI

How many nuclear warheads does the U.S. really need?
Nuclear weapons development and nuclear power development have always been inimically linked - by technology transfer, by fuel-to-weapon conversion, by mining coordination, and by waste considerations.  This article written by Lawrence S. Wittner, Professor of History Emeritus at the State University of New York, calls for nuclear disarmament rather than nuclear arsenal modernization, which is being done by both the U.S. and Russia.  "We are living in circumstances of enormous danger, for as long as nuclear weapons exist, there is a great likelihood that they will eventually be used.  Wars have been fought among contending territories and, later nations, for thousands of years, with the most powerful weaponry often brought into play.  Nuclear weapons were used with little hesitation by the U.S. government in 1945 and, although they have not been employed in battle since then, how long can we expect to go on without their being pressed into service again by a defensive government, an aggressive government, a ruthless dictator, or a madman?  The major difference between our current situation and 1945 is that more than 15,000 nuclear weapons now exist, with the capacity to annihilate most life on earth.  Moreover, even if nations avoid using them for war, there remains the danger of their explosion by terrorist fanatics or simply by accident" - How many nuclear warheads does the United States need?.

We suggest readers avail themselves of the following sources for news on the demise of nuclear power: Japan for SustainabilityJapan FocusFukushima Update, and Fairewinds Energy Education.
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INTRODUCTION TO URBAN PERMACULTURE - COMMUNIVERSITY COURSE #2313-A
Wednesday, 16 November 2016, 2nd session, 7:00-9:00pm - $$
UMKC School of Medicine, Theatre C, 2411 Holmes Street, KC MO

Permaculture is an integrative, ethics based sustainable design system.  We will explore permaculture design principles for urban and suburban homesteads and farms.  Topics covered include the initial envisioning process, site analysis, zone and sector analysis, energy and material flow along with soil and vegetation characteristics.  We will also cover designing with plant polycultures and guilds.  Lead by Michael Almon and Steve Mann from Kansas City Permaculture Education, Extension and Research (KCPEER).  Class fee is $14, plus $5 for materials; bring picture ID.  Register at UMKC Communiversity.  More info from .
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WORLD ENERGY OUTLOOK 2016 - TO BE RELEASED
Wednesday, 16 November 2016

The International Energy Agency publishes the World Energy Outlook each year, a compilation of current trends of forms of energy production, their economic and ecological implications, and future projections of production and consumption.  The report will be available at - WEO-2016 to be released 16 Nov 2016.  It will include sections on the impact of COP-21, renewable energy prospects, the future of fossil fuels, and energy relative to water and air quality.  The wild card of Donald Drumph does not factor in, because the report was finalized before his election.
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URBAN HOMESTEADING CLASSES - 8 PART SERIES
Thursday, 17 November 2016, last session, 6:00-8:30pm - $$
M.U. Extension Center for Jackson County, 105 E. 5th St., Kansas City MO 64106

If you live in an urban area and want to learn how to grow your own food, the University of Missouri Extension is offering their first-ever Urban Homesteading Series.  Classes will have hands-on learning to help you develop the skills and confidence needed to start up your very own urban homestead.  Sessions will cover topics like city code requirements, building healthy soil, landscape and tree care, fruits and vegetable growing, small scale livestock, and food preservation.  Pre-registration for the entire series is due by September 15, but you can register for individual sessions at - Urban Homesteading Series.  Enrollment is limited due to room size.  Limited scholarships are available, so ask about them.  For more information contact the Jackson County Extension, (816) 482-5850.
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ELECTION REFERENDUM VICTORIES - THREE OF WHICH WERE IN CALIFORNIA

Ballot initiatives are common in California, and three there are notable in last Tuesday's election.  Sonoma County CA adopted a ban on Genetically Engineered (GE) crops.  The Center for Food Safety legal staff assisted in the drafting of the Sonoma ballot initiative, and provided legal and scientific counsel throughout the last year, as with past county bans in California and in other states - Sonoma County Votes to Ban GE Crops.  California’s fourth-largest oil-producing county, Monterey County CA, voted to ban fracking and other fossil fuel extraction techniques.  Proponents won even though oil companies outspent them 30 to one - California county bans fracking, even though outspent by big oil 30 to 1.  Two propositions affecting the use of single-use plastic bags were on the California state-wide ballot.   Proposition 67 narrowly won, which will retain the legislatively-enacted statewide ban on single-use plastic bags.  Proposition 65, which was an industry-backed effort to create an ill-defined environmental fund supported by the 10-cent bag fee, was defeated - In narrow vote, plastic grocery bags will be banned in California.
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KANSAS RURAL CENTER CONFERENCE - TRANSFORMING OUR FARMS, FOOD, & FUTURE
Friday-Saturday, 18-19 November 20168:00am-5:00pm - $$
Four Points by Sheraton, 530 Richards Dr., Manhattan KS 66502

This annual conference will be packed with opportunities to learn about topics such as low-input farming alternatives, diversification for risk management, soil and animal health, local foods development, health-agriculture connections, beginning farmer and rancher resources, farm legacy transitions for landowners, state and federal farm and food policy, and much more.  The first day will have an emphasis on Pollinators and Soil Health.  Dr. Jonathan Lundgren, an award-winning entomologist/agroecologist, will kick off the day with a keynote presentation on the critical importance of biodiversity, soil health, beneficial insects, and pollinators.  He will be followed by Jennifer Hopwood, Senior Pollinator Conservation Specialist with the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, speaking on the role and importance of pollinators.  The second day will turn to how collaboration and organizing is critical to development of a successful local and regional food system.  Dr. Liz Carlisle, fellow at the Berkeley Food Institute’s Diversified Farming Systems Project and teaching at Stanford University this fall, will be the keynote speaker.  More info at - 2016 Annual Farm & Food Conference. To register click on - Farms, Food, & Future Registration, or contact Joanna Voigt at 866-579-5469, or .
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LAWN ERADICATION WORKSHOP - BY LAWRENCE FOOD NOT LAWNS
Saturday, 19 November 2016 , 10:00am-2:00pm - FREE
(RAIN DATE Sunday, 20 November 2016, 10:00am-2:00pm)
3104 Trail Rd., Lawrence KS 66049

This suburban lawn eradication workshop will be the first in a series of Lawrence Food Not Lawns hands-on workshops, to help people get their front yard food garden started.  This one day crop mob is the hands-on sequel to the 11 November class, and will have multiple outcomes.  It will bring together many hands to help the homeowner eradicate turf grass and jump start her front yard food garden.  It will be an opportunity for workshop participants to learn how to do it.  It will begin a cycle of mutual aid workshops at the homes of any participants who care to do similar.  And it will be a community demonstration of the potential for transforming acres of lawngrass wasteland into productive food gardens.  More info is available at - Intro to Lawn Eradication_Lawrence Class & Workshop.  Lawrence Food Not Lawns, which is a program of Sustainability Action hosted Heather Flores last year to launch of our local chapter.  Heather and Tobias Policha co-founded the original Food Not Lawns in 1999, and she has since written a book by the same name - Food Not Lawns: by Heather Flores.
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BICYCLE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Monday, 21 November 2016, 5:00-6:30pm
Parks & Recreation Conference Room, 1141 Massachusetts St., Lawrence KS 66044
(courtesy, Jessica Mortinger, Lawrence Transportation Planner)

The November agenda includes:  review of Kasold Dr. bicycle elements, downtown bicycle parking recommendations, and the BAC final meeting before transitioning to a Lawrence Transportation Commission.  The Bicycle Advisory Committee is being phased out, along with the Traffic Safety Commission, both to be consolidated into the new Lawrence Transportation Commission.  The agenda and information can be downloaded at - Bicycle Advisory Committee.
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DOUGLAS COUNTY FOOD POLICY COUNCIL - MEETING CANCELED
Monday, 20 November 2016, 6:30pm
location TBA, Lawrence KS 66044

The November meeting is canceled in lieu of the five community meetings about the Food System Plan.  The Food Policy Council seeks to identify the benefits, challenges and opportunities for a successful, sustainable local food system.  By advising the Douglas County Commission on public policies that will support local producers, preserve local agricultural resources and land, and create more local jobs, the F.P.C. hopes to improve the community's access to a local food supply and distribution networks.  For more info go to Dg County Food Policy Council.
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BUY NOTHING DAY - THE FRIDAY AFTER THANKSGIVING
Friday, 25 November 2016

For more than 22 years, Adbusters have admonished us to consume less through Buy Nothing Day - for the sake of our ecological life-support base, our fiscal solvency, our community health, and the hole in our soul that we try to fill with stuff.  Adbusters advocate that on "Black Friday25 November, we stop buying for 24 hours, and shut off our lights, televisions and other nonessential appliances, park our cars, turn off our phones and log off of our computers for the day.  Adbusters was the initial inspiration for Occupy Wall Street.
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SUCCESSFUL BIOLOGICAL ORCHARDING WORKSHOP, WITH MICHAEL PHILLIPS
Tuesday, 6 December 2016, 8:30am-4:00pm - $$
Reichmann Pavilion, Stephen's Lake Park, 2300 E. Walnut St, Columbia MO 65201
(courtesy Leslie Touzeau)

The Missouri Young Farmers Coalition (www.missouriyoungfarmers.com) is hosting an all-day workshop with Michael Phillips, the renowned orchardist and author of "The Wholistic Orchard" and "The Apple Grower".  Michael will be discussing how to build wholistic systems on your farm for fruit and berry success, how to increase fruit yield, how to fight pest and diseases in your orchards without using chemicals, and how to market your products for maximum profit.  Coffee, snacks, and lunch provided by Jill Rostine using all local products.  There will be a mixer afterwards with free snacks and beverages (local beer from Broadway Brewery) where you can chat with Michael, other growers, and the founders of the Missouri Young Farmers Coalition.  For questions, please e-mail: moyoungfarmers@gmail.com.  You can register for the workshop at: https://everyeventgives.com/event/successful-biological-orcharding/
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KANSAS CITY ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT COMMISSION
Wednesday, 14 December
 2016, 4:00-6:00pm
Mid America Regional Council, Rivergate Center 2nd floor, 600 Broadway, KC MO

The Environmental Management Commission promotes environmental awareness and resource efficiency to the City's leaders and staff, to assist the progress of Kansas City toward sustainability.  The General public is encouraged to attend and observe meetings and to join and participate in its efforts.  More information is at KC Environmental Management Commission.
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LAWRENCE SUSTAINABILITY ADVISORY BOARD
Wednesday, 14 December 2016, 5:30pm
Public Works Confr. Room, City Hall ground floor, 6 East 6th St., Lawrence KS 66044

The November agenda includes:  Sustainability Tools for Assessing & Rating Communities (STAR), and sub-committee updates.  The S.A.B. meets monthly to discuss any and all aspects of furthering sustainability policies and practices by the City of Lawrence government and private persons.  The public is welcome. Minutes are finalized in about a month after each meeting - Sustainability Advisory Board.
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LAWRENCE PEDESTRIAN COALITION
Wednesday, 14 December 2016, 7:00pm
Lawrence Public Library, Room A, 7th & Vermont St., Lawrence KS 66044

The November agenda includes:  2017 objectives, coordination with Lawrence ped-bike advocacy groups, and City Commission response to the Pedestrian-Bicycle Task Force recommendations.  The Lawrence Pedestrian Coalition is a joint effort of the Lawrence Association of Neighborhoods and the League of Women Voters.  Monthly meetings are open to the public.  For more info go to Lawrence Pedestrian Coalition, or contact Gary Webber at <gwebber@sunflower.com>.



___________________________________________________________________________________

We welcome suggestions for Newsletter items.  Please send items to .

Join the Sustainability Action Network by clicking this link > > Become a Member | Sustainability Action Network, and when there follow the instructions.

The Sustainability Action Mission is to bring awareness of the global crisis caused by climate change, energy vulnerability and economic instability to communities in the Kansas River bioregion, and the tools needed to re-skill and re-localize our economy, and create a more socially just and ecologically sustainable world.

Sustainability Action Programs include:
1) Food Sovereignty and Permaculture - local control of food and food policy, Food Not Lawns workshops, tours, and crop mobs.
2) Bicycles and Alternative Transportation - promoting bicycles, complete streets, ride sharing, and electric vehicles, including infrastructure and pro-active regulations.
3) Energy Conservation and Renewables - reducing our carbon footprint by promoting a carbon diet, an energy diet, conservation, and decentralized renewable energy.
4) Prime Farmland Preservation - protecting Capability I & II farmland from urban development and industrial land uses.
5) Water Rights and Watersheds - Protecting the water commons from privatization and contamination, and restoring watersheds.
6) Local Money and Local Food - fostering money literacy, and implementing a local currency through a buy-local campaign focused on local food.
7) Sustainability Action Newsletter - informing and encouraging people to be active in the Sustainability Action Network, or other action-driven groups.
8) Collaboration with Sister Organizations - building synergy with the combined talents and creativity of like-minded groups to achieve ecological sustainability. Groups like: the Dg County Food Policy Council, the Lawrence Pedestrian Coalition, Cultivate Kansas City, the Light Center eco village, the Lawrence Fruit Tree Project, and the Flint Hills Renewable Energy & Efficiency Co-op.

Sustainability Action sponsored organizations:
1) Lawrence Creates Makerspace - a co-operative community space with tool sharing, recycling, and innovation incubator.
2) Diesel Health Project - promoting eco-justice in neighborhoods exposed to industrial air and water pollution, by monitoring the pollution and changing policies and enforcement.
_______________________________________________________________________________________

To subscribe to this newsletter, please click this link > > Subscribe to the Sustainability Action Newsletter.  Enter your name and e-mail address, and follow the instructions.  The system will send you a confirmation message with a "Confirmation Link" which you MUST click in in order to complete your subscription.  If you don't get the confirmation message, check in your junk mail folder for blocked as spam.
Sustainability Action Network, P.O. Box 1064, Lawrence, KS 66044, USA 

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Sustainability Action Newsletter, Week of July 5, 2016



WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
5 July 2016
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"Percent of U.S. science teachers who 'emphasize' that global warming is likely due to natural causes: 30 percent" - Harper's Index

If you appreciate the news and events that we bring you every week, please donate to Sustainability Action. Click on our PayPal button here >> Sustainability Action. THANK YOU!
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ONTARIO CANADA REPLACING LARGEST NORTH AMERICAN COAL PLANT WITH 44 MEGAWATT SOLAR FARM

The Nanticoke Coal Generating Station on the Canadian shores of Lake Erie was shut down in 2014 as part of the Ontario grid operator's plan to transition the Province to 455 Megawatts of solar electricity. At 4000 Megawatt capacity, the coal generating station had been North America's largest, but will now be replaced by the Nanticoke Solar Farm with a capacity of 44 Megawatts. Before the coal plant shut down, Ontario suffered 53 smog days in 2005, but none in 2015. Read more at - Ontario to convert largest coal plant in North America to solar farm.
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SUSTAINABILITY ACTION PRESENTATION TO CITY COMMISSION - BICYCLE TRANSPORTATION
Tuesday, 5 July 2016, 5:45pm
Lawrence City Hall, 6 East 6th St., Lawrence KS 66044

The City of Lawrence has been discussing for three years how to implement and finance better bicycle and pedestrian facilities. In 2015, The City Commission assigned a Pedestrian-Bicycle Task Force to prioritize projects and develop implementation and financing strategies. The Task Force presentation was on 3 May, and now on 5 July, Sustainability Action will be making a presentation on bicycle transportation. Along with Task Force representatives, various members of the public made comments at the 3 Maymeeting, but Sustainability Action was unable to attend on that date. Because Sustainability Action is Lawrence's principal grass roots advocate for bicycle transportation, and initiated this whole process in 2013, the Commission has invited Sustainability Action to make a presentation to review the Task Force report, and offer budget recommendations for bicycle funding and bicycle staff positions at City Hall. The presentation is at the end of the agenda at - http://www.lawrenceks.org/agendas.
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COTTIN'S HARDWARE FARMERS' MARKET - ALL SEASON MARKET
Thursday, 7 July 2016, 4:00-6:30pm (and every Thursday)
In back parking lot, 1832 Massachusetts St., Lawrence KS 66044

The farmers' market is outside for the season. Weekly vendors will have a supply of fresh greens, fruits, breads, baked goods, farm fresh eggs, meats, live music, and much more. Local food is healthier and helps your local economy. This four season market is Lawrence's only winter-weather protected farmers' market, with only three others in the region. For more info contact them at 843-2981 or .
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5th ANNUAL FIELD SCHOOL IN SOIL BUILDING, NO-TILL, AND COVER CROPS
Thursday-Friday, 7-8 July 2016 - $$$
101 Cottonwood St., Emporia KS 66801

This field school in soils and no-till methods will be an in-depth look at how ecosystems, both above and below ground, can help build healthy soil, grow nutrient-dense food, clean the water, stabilize the climate, and thus create more resilient communities. It has been organized annually by Gail Fuller who has brought leading soil scientists and successful non-chemical no-till farmers to teach these sustainable farming methods. This year's instructors will be: Colin Seis (Pasture Cropping, Australia), presenting the practical side of improving soil health, soil carbon, nutrient cycling etc. while growing food, being profitable, and restoring the farm and planet's landscape and ecosystems; Dr. Kris Nichols (Rodale Institute), talking about regenerative agriculture using biological processes focused on “The Carbon Problem” which is a problem of carbon deficient soils – how we can maximize nutrient and water use efficiency, manage pests and diseases, and thrive under climatic uncertainty; and, Didi Pershouse (Soil Carbon Coalition), explaining how soil structure and function (the living body of soil) impacts water, carbon, and nutrient flows through the landscape, how soil health supports public health, and how these are accomplished based on choices that farmers make about management. Along with the expert presentations will be in-the-field activities, goal setting, networking, and great conversations. To register and get more info, contact Gail Fuller at or (620)344-3363.
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LAWRENCE FARMERS' MARKET - EVERY SATURDAY
Saturday, 9 July 2016, 7:00am-11:00am
parking lot in the 800 block of New Hampshire St., Lawrence KS 66044

At Kansas' longest running farmers' market, there is a wide variety of seasonal produce: sweet corn, tomatoes, strawberries, peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, melons, beans, greens, potatoes, snow peas, asparagus, apples and much more. There's also meats, fresh eggs, preserved food, local craft items, and live music. For more info go to - Lawrence Farmers' Market.
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KKFI COMMUNITY RADIO - ECOLOGICAL SHOWS THIS WEEK
Listen at KKFI-FM 90.1, or link to web-streaming at KKFI 90.1 FM
(courtesy, Mike Murphy, KKFI Programming Committee)

Friday, 8 July 2016, 9:30am - Bioneers Radio Series
Bioneers presents another of their award winning series about cutting edge initiatives on ecology, justice, and practical biomimicry.

Monday, 11 July 2016, 6:00pm - locally produced Eco-Radio KC
The Eco Radio KC program will feature another of their ecologically minded shows.
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LAWRENCE BUDGET WORK SESSION - OPTIONS FOR BICYCLE & PEDESTRIAN FUNDING
Tuesday, 12 July 2016, 3:00-9:00pm
Lawrence City Hall, 6 East 6th St., Lawrence KS 66044

On July 7, the Lawrence City Manager will have released his recommended 2017 budget for consideration by the City Commission. They will then hold their final work session onJuly 12, and after that, little will change in the budget. If the public wants to comment on it, they can do so at 5:45pm when the Commission will have a brief public meeting before returning to the budget work session at 6:00pm. For three years now, dollar amounts have been proposed and projects have been suggested, and a Task Force has made recommendations as has Sustainability Action. The key budget parts for bicycle and pedestrian funding are: the bike-ped line item (currently at $450K), the Public Works Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) projects, the Parks & Rec CIP, the Traffic Calming projects, and the Sales Tax Reserve Fund CIP projects (watch this one closely; dollar allocations could shift dramatically). This budget will set the trajectory for where and how quickly Lawrence fulfills its promise for safe and convenient bicycle and pedestrian transportation. To learn if the 2017 budget meets your expectations, you can access its many documents on Thursday, 7 July, at the City web site - http://www.lawrenceks.org/agendas.
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KANSAS CITY ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT COMMISSION
Wednesday, 13 July 2016, 4:00-6:00pm
Mid America Regional Council, Rivergate Center 2nd floor, 600 Broadway, KC MO

The Environmental Management Commission promotes environmental awareness and resource efficiency to the City's leaders and staff, to assist the progress of Kansas City toward sustainability. The General public is encouraged to attend and observe meetings and to join and participate in its efforts. More information is at KC Environmental Management Commission.
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LAWRENCE SUSTAINABILITY ADVISORY BOARD
Wednesday, 13 July 2016, 5:30pm
Public Works Confr. Room, City Hall ground floor, 6 East 6th St., Lawrence KS 66044

The July agenda is not yet available. The S.A.B. meets monthly to discuss any and all aspects of furthering sustainability policies and practices by the City of Lawrence government and private persons. The public is welcome. Minutes are finalized in about a month after each meeting - Sustainability Advisory Board.
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LAWRENCE PEDESTRIAN COALITION
Wednesday, 13 July 2016, 7:00pm
Carnegie Building Conference Room, 200 West 9th St., Lawrence KS 66044

The July agenda is not yet available. The Lawrence Pedestrian Coalition is a joint effort of the Lawrence Association of Neighborhoods and the League of Women Voters. Monthly meetings are open to the public. For more info go to Lawrence Pedestrian Coalition, or contact Erin Paden .
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SUSTAINABILITY ACTION MEETING
Thursday, 14 July 2016, 6:30pm
Lawrence Public Library, Conference Room A, 7th & Vermont St., Lawrence KS 66044
Local Solutions for Transition to a Sustainable Economy

The Sustainability Action Network advances ecological sustainability through societal scale actions. While we work for personal lifestyle changes for individuals to minimize their carbon footprint, there is an imperative for institutional change to respond to the rapid onset of the triple global crises of Energy-Ecology-Economy. "Action" is our middle name.

Planned agenda topics include: Food Not Lawns workshop, single-use bag restriction in Lawrence, reusable shopping bag project, National speaker program, and new website.
Everyone is welcome.
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RESPONSIBLE ENERGY VS. FUKUSHIMA DAI-ICHI

Glassified Cesium-137 discovered in Fukushima Dai-ichi fallout.
Commonly understood Cesium-137 is water soluble, which is a problem because it gets into plants and animals and bodies of water, but beneficial because it can be readily washed and leached from substances. Its solubility has guided clean up procedures as a result. But recently Satoshi Utsunomiya, a geochemist at Kyushu University in Japan, discoveredanother form of Cesium-137 in which the isotope is trapped inside tiny glass particles that spewed from the reactor explosions and fires. About a millimeter wide, the radioactive particles were formed in the extreme heat during melt down, from silica, zinc, iron, oxygen and cesium-137. These tiny particles can travel a great distance on the wind, and get lodged practically anywhere, while being very difficult to cleanse. Apparently 89% of the Cesium-137 in Tokyo, 240 kilometers from Fukushima, is this glassified Cesium-137. Learn more at - Scientists Find New Kind Of Fukushima Fallout.

We suggest readers avail themselves of the following sources for news on the demise of nuclear power: Japan for Sustainability, Japan Focus, Fukushima Update, and Fairewinds Energy Education.
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LAWRENCE COMMUNITY ORCHARD FESTIVE WORK DAY
Saturday, 16 July 2016, 10:00am-2:00pm
838 Garfield St., Lawrence KS 66044

The Lawrence Fruit Tree Project has scheduled Saturday work days through the season. They will be doing weeding, mulching, and other tasks in the Community Orchard. Bring water and sun screen. Some snacks provided, but sharing by pot luck is always welcome. Walking and bicycling to the orchard are encouraged. Please park cars on Delaware street. For more info go to - Lawrence Fruit Tree Project.
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7TH ANNUAL PERMACULTURE URBAN GARDEN AND FARM TOUR
Saturday-Sunday, 16-17 July 2016, 8:30am-5:00pm
multiple sites in the region

The Saturday tour will be urban sites in Kansas City & Lawrence, and the Sunday tour will be rural sites focused on the Topeka & Manhattan regions. The annual tour is sponsored by the Kansas Permaculture Collaborative, and will feature urban and broad-acre sites in our Kaw River Watershed. Permaculture is a design science by which we pattern our surroundings to harmonize with, rather than to control, nature. The end result is a farm or garden that is a low-input, self-organizing, polyculture ecosystem. This is a group guided tour, but transportation is on your own or by carpooling. The tour costs $10 per person per day, and children 12 and under are free. Pre-registration is required by contacting Joe Falley at mandjfalley@gmail.com, (913) 593-6198.
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BILL McKIBBEN - CLINTON CAMPAIGN BLOCKING CLIMATE COMMITMENT FROM PLATFORM

Bill McKibben, who is one of Bernie Sanders' delegates on the Democratic platform committee, has asked "Did the campaign of Bernie Sanders really alter the Democratic Party?" For years the Democratic Party has been repositioning itself to the economic and military right, and the neoliberalism of Bill Clinton's presidency cemented that trend.

Thomas Frank (What's the Matter With Kansas?, and Listen Liberal) has written "Bill Clinton is America’s all-time champion deregulator. He deregulated banks. He deregulated telecoms. He appointed arch deregulators Robert Rubin and Larry Summers to high office, and he re-upped Ronald Reagan’s pet Fed chairman, Alan Greenspan. He took some time out to dynamite the Federal welfare system, then he came back and deregulated banks some more. And derivative securities, too" (which later crashed the economy). Now, Hillary Clinton said she would task former president Bill Clinton with “revitalizing the economy, because he knows how to do it” - Why Hillary Clinton's 90s nostalgia is so dangerous.

According to McKibben, during the first round of Democratic platform deliberations, committee members all agreed that unchecked climate change will wreck the planet. But when the voting began, the Clinton delegates and most of the DNC delegates blocked any platform plank to actually address climate change. McKibben wrote "I proposed, in one amendment after another, a series of ways we might actually get there. A carbon tax? Voted down 7-6. A ban on fracking? Voted down 7-6. An effort to keep fossils fuels in the ground, at least on federal land? Voted down 7-6. A measure to mandate that federal agencies weigh the climate impact of their decisions? Voted down 7-6. Even a plan to keep fossil fuel companies from taking private land by eminent domain, voted down 7-6. (We did, however, reach unanimous consent on more bike paths!)". It was all so much lip service - The Clinton Campaign Is Obstructing Change to the Democratic Platform - Bill McKibben.

Barack Obama told us when he took office "Make me do it". He wouldn't initiate progressive policies unless forced to do it (witness the long battle over the Keystone XL pipeline, for which he was a cheerleader). It's understood that progressives get no cooperation from Republicans. But why do Democrats push back when we ask them to address the dire state of our climate, as well as other problems like drone assassinations, the TPP, universal health care, genetic engineering, shrinking wages and shrinking middle class, bloated Pentagon budget, and on and on? It's because they're corporatists (Republicans and Democrats alike), elected with corporate contributions, wined and dined by corporate lobbyists, and moving through the revolving door from Board room to Congress and back again. Eyes open. The struggle continues.
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HOME COMPOSTING 101 CLASS - TAUGHT BY CITY OF LAWRENCE
Monday, 18 July 2016, 12:00-1:00pm - FREE
Solid Waste Annex building, 320 NE Industrial Ln., Lawrence KS 66044
(courtesy Gina Beebe, Lawrence Solid Waste Division)

This class is to provide aspiring composters, and anyone interested in learning the foundations of composting, with enough basic knowledge on composting to begin a project on their own. Composting at home is the best way to recycle residential organic waste into an ideal material for improving lawn and garden soils. Compost adds essential nutrients and organic matter to the soil, while also building soil structure by loosening the soil for better root penetration and improving the soil’s capacity to hold water. To enroll, complete the online class registration form. For more information, log onto www.LawrenceRecycles.org, or call (785) 832-3030, or email recycling@lawrenceks.org.
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BICYCLE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Monday, 18 July 2016, 5:00-6:30pm
Parks & Recreation Conference Room, 1141 Massachusetts St., Lawrence KS 66044
(courtesy, Jessica Mortinger, Lawrence Transportation Planner)

The July agenda is not yet available. The Bicycle Advisory Committee works to improve bicycle safety and awareness through education of motorists and non-motorists, develops bicycle plans and maps, and advises the City and County Commission on bicycle priorities and needs. The agenda and information can be downloaded at Bicycle Advisory Committee.
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DOUGLAS COUNTY FOOD POLICY COUNCIL
Monday, 18 July 2016, 6:30pm
Lawrence Public Library, Auditorium, 7th & Vermont St., Lawrence KS 66044

The Food Policy Council seeks to identify the benefits, challenges and opportunities for a successful, sustainable local food system. By advising the Douglas County Commission on public policies that will support local producers, preserve local agricultural resources and land, and create more local jobs, the F.P.C. hopes to improve the community's access to a local food supply and distribution networks. For more info go to Dg County Food Policy Council.



_________________________________________________

We welcome suggestions for Newsletter items. Please send items to .

Join the Sustainability Action Network by clicking this link > > Become a Member | Sustainability Action Network, and when there follow the instructions.

The Sustainability Action Mission is to bring awareness of the global crisis caused by climate change, energy vulnerability and economic instability to communities in the Kansas River bioregion, and the tools needed to re-skill and re-localize our economy, and create a more socially just and ecologically sustainable world.

Sustainability Action Programs include:
1) Food Sovereignty and Permaculture - local control of food and food policy, Food Not Lawns workshops, tours, and crop mobs.
2) Bicycles and Alternative Transportation - promoting bicycles, complete streets, ride sharing, and electric vehicles, including infrastructure and pro-active regulations.
3) Energy Conservation and Renewables - reducing our carbon footprint by promoting a carbon diet, an energy diet, conservation, and decentralized renewable energy.
4) Prime Farmland Preservation - protecting Capability I & II farmland from urban development and industrial land uses.
5) Water Rights and Watersheds - Protecting the water commons from privatization and contamination, and restoring watersheds.
6) Local Money and Local Food - fostering money literacy, and implementing a local currency through a buy-local campaign focused on local food.
7) Sustainability Action Newsletter - informing and encouraging people to be active in the Sustainability Action Network, or other action-driven groups.
8) Collaboration with Sister Organizations - building synergy with the combined talents and creativity of like-minded groups to achieve ecological sustainability. Groups like: the Dg County Food Policy Council, the Lawrence Pedestrian Coalition, Cultivate Kansas City, the Light Center eco village, the Lawrence Fruit Tree Project, and the Flint Hills Renewable Energy & Efficiency Co-op.

Sustainability Action sponsored organizations:
1) Lawrence Creates Makerspace - a co-operative community space with tool sharing, recycling, and innovation incubator.
2) Diesel Health Project - promoting eco-justice in neighborhoods exposed to industrial air and water pollution, by monitoring the pollution and changing policies and enforcement.
________________________________________________

To subscribe to this newsletter, please click this link > > Subscribe to the Sustainability Action Newsletter. Enter your name and e-mail address, and follow the instructions. The system will send you a confirmation message with a "Confirmation Link" which you MUST click in in order to complete your subscription. If you don't get the confirmation message, check in your junk mail folder for blocked as spam.
Sustainability Action Network, P.O. Box 1064, Lawrence, KS 66044, USA