Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Sustainability Action Network, Weekly Newsletter, 11 April 2017



WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
11 April 2017
 

LARGEST SOLAR PV ARRAY IN LAWRENCE PLANNED AT THE COMMUNITY MERCANTILE

The Community Mercantile grocery co-op, Lawrence's home grown natural foods store, has contracted with Cromwell Solar to install about 200 kilowatts of solar electric collectors.  The 200 KW capacity array will provide 29% of the store's annual electricity demand, save an estimated $1.8 million, and avoid 16.5 million pounds of CO2 pollution.  It will be the largest solar photo voltaic array to date in Lawrence, and will be mounted on the roof as well as on parking lot shade structures.  Added to this will be Lawrence's first solar powered electric car charging station.

Because the solar tax credits for co-ops aren't as beneficial as for individuals, the Merc will be leasing the system instead of outright buying it.  This arrangement has benefits of it's own however.  There won't be a big cash outlay by the Merc, which would have put a large dent in their budget.  They will pay off the lease through Baldwin City's Mid America Bank over 25 years, with an option to purchase the system after 5 years.  Another benefit is that Cromwell Solar is responsible for all maintenance of the system, which otherwise would be quite challenging for the Merc whose expertise is in groceries, not electronics.  Construction will begin this Summer, with an Autumn completion target.  Read more at - The Merc Co+op Newsletter_Spring 2017, page 4.


WILL SMALL SOLAR AND WIND CUSTOMERS WITH WESTAR ENERGY PAY AN UNFAIR RATE?

In March of 2015, Westar Energy filed for authorization with the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) to use any of three residential rate schedules.  The standard residential service charge would have gone from $12 to $27 per month.  For folks with rooftop solar or small wind, the service charge would have been $50 per month, even though they use hardly any utility electricity.  But Westar claimed the rate rise was needed to maintain and upgrade infrastructure such as transmission lines and generating facilities - again all of which are hardly used by folks with small renewable energy systems.  This resembled a pattern in several other states guided by the Koch brother's ALEC group, that burdens small renewable energy folks with excessive fees, making small renewables uneconomic.

A number of solar energy advocates testified in 2015 before the KCC, saying that the proposal unfairly targeted folks with small renewable energy systems.  For one thing, there are only 450 out of a Westar customer base of about 690,000 - or only 0.07%.  After several rounds of hearings, Westar withdrew the $50/mo. solar and wind rate proposal, but they were allowed to raise the standard monthly charge to $14.50.  Furthermore, all parties agreed that a future KCC investigative hearing should be held to determine if there's justification to charge small solar and wind customers a rate different from non-renewable customers.  The rate structure hearing process began in 2016.
 
The public comment period is open now, until 26 May at 5:00pm, and you can read the explanation at - Rate Design for Distributed Generation Customers_KCC Docket #16-GIME-403-GIE.  There are three ways to submit comments: 
  1. Go to the KCC website - www.kcc.ks.gov - to enter your comment.  Click on the link under "Your Opinion Matters".  Scroll down to find Distributed Generation Rate Design Docket 16-GIME-403-GIE.
  2. Send a written letter to the Kansas Corporation Commission, Office of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, 1500 SW Arrowhead Road, Topeka, KS 66604-4027.  Be sure to reference Docket #16-GIME-403-GIE.
  3. Call the Commission's Public Affairs office at 1(800)662-0027


WICHITA'S NEW SOLAR POWER PLANT THE 2ND LARGEST IN KANSAS
The Prairie Sky Solar Farm, a 1-megawatt facility ten miles N.E. of Wichita, was dedicated on 14 March by KEPCo, a utility cooperative based in Topeka.  The electric co-op wanted to diversify its electricity sources, which already includes some from the Wolf Creek nuclear plant, some from the Iatan coal plant in Missouri, a 20-megawatt diesel generator facility, and hydroelectric power from several locations.  Mark Barbee, the co-op's vice president of engineering, said that "solar PV is cheaper than buying wholesale from other utilities, [and] even if federal tax supports are removed by the Trump administration, solar makes sense".  He added "And in our view the need for carbon reductions will not go away, so we see this as a key part of our portfolio long term".  Read more at - Wichita area gains its first solar power plant.


RESPONSIBLE ENERGY VS. FUKUSHIMA DAI-ICHI

New York Gov. Cuomo's choice: $7.6 billion for nukes or for solar.
There are four ancient and decrepit nuclear power generators in New York for which Governor Cuomo is considering a $7.6 billion cash transfusion to keep them on life support.  Cuomo's handout would enable four extremely old and dangerous nuclear reactors to continue running, that came online in 1969, 1970, 1975 and 1988 respectively.  Solar proponent, Harvey Wasserman, notes that "Because the electricity they produce is so expensive, they will drain a huge pool of resources from a state-wide economy in desperate need of industrial rebirth".  In upstate New York, a visionary future is emerging with the construction of Elon Musk's "Buffalo Billion" gigafactory for photovoltaic (PV) cells.  It's called a gigafactory because it will produce a gigawatt’s (1 million kilowatts) worth of solar panels every year, about the same as a nuclear reactor.

Wasserman points out that if Cuomo chooses to shore up the dying four nuclear reactors that employ only 1200 people, it will be a state investment of $3.64 million per job retained.  In contrast, a choice for jobs investment in manufacturing and installation of solar and energy efficiency and storage batteries would create thousands more jobs, each at only $148,000 per job created.  Plus, solar technology will produce electricity cheaper, cleaner, more safely and more reliably than any fossil or nuclear source of power, including fracked gas.  The Westinghouse bankruptcy which may take down its parent company of Toshiba, is a stark case of global nuclear energy anemia.  Good money after bad for four old nukes, three of them nearly a half-century old, could do the same to the New York economy.  Read more at - Four Dying Nuke Plants vs. Fleet of Gigafactories: Which Will Gov. Cuomo Choose?.

We suggest readers avail themselves of the following sources for news on the demise of nuclear power: Japan for SustainabilityJapan FocusSolartopia, and Fairewinds Energy Education.

 
SUSTAINABILITY ACTION NEWS ITEMS

BE A "SQUEAKY WHEEL" FOR SAFE BIKEWAYS AT CITY COMMISSION 
Tuesday, 11 April 2017, 5:45pm
Lawrence City Hall, 6 East 6th St., Lawrence KS 66044

The Lawrence City Manager has recommended a 2018 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) that does not fund any of the four bikeway projects submitted by Sustainability Action: a shared use path on 6th St., a shared use path on Naismith Dr., protected bicycle lanes on Massachusetts St., and a bike-walk street on 13th St.  However, ultimately the City Commission decides whether to fund any of these projects.  They can be convinced by a large showing of bicycle advocates speaking at this meeting.  The squeaky wheel gets the grease, as the saying goes.  So we encourage you to be a squeaky wheel, and speak for bicycle wheels in Lawrence.  They should fund at least one major project each year from here on out.
It's recognized that of about 2/3 of the population want to bicycle.  But of that 2/3rds, 88% don't bicycle because they find the streets too dangerous, and the sidewalks too incomplete and slow and dangerous from turning motor vehicles.  Only 7% of the population feel strong and confident, and won't be deterred.  We want the City of Lawrence to provide bikeways that address the needs of the remaining 60% of the population who are "interested but concerned" about getting out there among 4000lb vehicles going 45mph.  If we're ever going to have safe bikeways to get to the library, schools, or shopping, large numbers of citizens will have to speak up for them.  Join the critical mass at City Hall on 11 April.


BOOKS FROM CHELSEA GREEN PUBLISHING  - OUR WEBSITE FEATURE

A popular feature of the Sustainability Action website is the book purchase affiliate program with Chelsea Green Publishers.  Founded in 1984, Chelsea Green Publishing is recognized as a leading publisher of books on the politics and practice of sustainable living.  They publish authors who bring in-depth, practical knowledge to life, and give readers hands-on information related to organic farming and gardening, permaculture, ecology, the environment, simple living, food, sustainable business and economics, green building, and more.  In 2012, Chelsea Green became an employee-owned company.

You can buy a book from the extensive listings of Chelsea Green, and support Sustainability Action's work.  You'll pay no more than it's list price, but a portion of the purchase price will go to Sustainability Action.  To buy through our affiliate program, simply go to our website at Sustainability Action, choose the "resource" tab, and click on "Chelsea Green sustainability books".  Choose a title from the listings that will display, click on it, and it will take you to the Chelsea Green website where you can buy the book at regular price.  They will automatically credit Sustainability Action a small percentage, so it's a win-win-win.  Thank you for your support!

 
SUSTAINABILITY ACTION MEETING
Tuesday, 18 April 2017, 6:30pm
Signs of Life conference room, 722 Massachusetts St., Lawrence KS 66044
Local Solutions for Transition to a Sustainable Economy

Planned agenda topics include:
  • Food Not Lawns planning
  • plastic bag restriction organizing
  • bikeway project strategizing
  • air toxins monitoring update
  • lecture series 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.  Visit us on the web at - Sustainability Action.

 
CONTINUING EVENT NEWS ITEMS

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, 14 April 2017, 9:30am - Bioneers Radio Series
Bioneers presents 
"One Percent Solutions: Climate Disruption, Fossil Billionaires and Democracy Deficits".  Conspicuous climate disruption is here now.  At the same time, a global super-elite of fossil fuel mega-billionaires has cinched a political stranglehold on American democracy, energy policies and politics.  How can these rogue financial titans be stopped?  Activist Victor Menotti, legal scholar john a. powell, and author and political operative Steven Hill outline strategies for rapid transformative change.

Monday, 17 April 2017, 6:00pm - locally produced Eco-Radio KC
This Eco Radio KC program 
will feature another of their ecologically minded shows. 


COMMUNITY ORCHARD DAY
Saturday, 15 April 2017, 10:00am-2:00pm

13th and Oregon St., Lawrence KS 66044
(courtesy Emily Hampton)


The Lawrence Fruit Tree Project of the Sunrise Project recently expanded their community orchard at the east end of Garfield St. by about double.  They've added many new trees including: peaches, cherries, jujubes, pears, and persimmons.  The new areas need cardboard and wood chips spread to eradicate the infestation of turf grass.  You can learn the why and how to create the soil life that supports agroforestry crops.  Refreshments will be available, but bring water, gloves, and boots.  Bring a dish or snack to share if you have time.  Please RSVP if you plan to attend at gmail.com>.  Future Community Orchard Days will be on Saturday, May 20th, and June 17th.


KANSAS CITY ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT COMMISSION
Wednesday, 12 April 2017, 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.


LAWRENCE SUSTAINABILITY ADVISORY BOARD
Wednesday
12 April 2017, 5:30pm
Fire Station #5, Jayhawk Room, 19th & Stewart St., Lawrence KS 66046

The April agenda includes:  
whitewater gimmick at Clinton Lake, update on the S.A.B. strategic plan and S.T.A.R. program, Transportation 2040 Plan, and land use planning.  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.


LAWRENCE PEDESTRIAN COALITION
Wednesday
12 April 2017, 7:00pm
Lawrence Public Library, Room B, 7th & Vermont St., Lawrence KS 66044
The April agenda includes:  City sidewalk funding plan, City Capital Improvement Plan, Safe Routes to Schools, Safe Routes for All Town Hall, visit by Michael Eglinski (City Auditor) and by Michelle Dillon (Transportation Commission).  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>.


DOUGLAS COUNTY FOOD POLICY COUNCIL
Monday, 17 April 2017, 6:30pm
Homestead Kitchen & Bakery, 719 S. 8th St., Baldwin City KS 66006

The April agenda will include:  a pre-meeting presentation at 6:00pm by Lori Gardner, owner of Homestead Kitchen & Bakery.  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 willsupport 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.


FARM TO FIBER FEST: FIBER PRODUCING ANIMALS AND FIBER CRAFT SKILLS

Saturday, 22 April 2017, 10:00am-4:00pm - $$
The Light Center, 1542 Woodson Rd., Baldwin City KS 66006 (3.5mi west of US56, 3mi south to Woodson)
(courtesy, Robin Goff, The Light Center)

In south Douglas County there are a number of little known farms that sustainably raise luxury fiber producing animals.  The Light Center has organized a day to learn about raising and caring for fiber producing animals, harvesting the fiber, and the steps to creating finished products.  Some of the animals on view will be Alpacas, Paco Vicuna, Pygora goats, French Angora rabbits, and sheep.  Learn how to needle felt, learn how to use a drop spindle.  Watch a demonstration on sheep herding, shop local fiber vendors.  Tour fiber farms, and enjoy a delicious homemade lunch.  Learn more at - 
Farm to Fiber Festival, or call (785)255-4583.


LAWRENCE EARTH DAY CELEBRATION
Saturday, 22 April 2017, 11:00am-4:00pm

South Park, Lawrence KS
(courtesy, Jenica Nelson, Lawrence Waste Reduction & Recycling)

The Lawrence Earth Day Parade begins at the Train Park at 11:00am, and travels to South Park.  The Earth Day Festival goes from 11:30am-4:00pm in South Park.  The celebration in the park features live music, children's activities, and food vendors.  Attendees are invited to learn from exhibits about waste reduction, recycling, composting, alternative fuels and vehicles, energy conservation, land preservation, wildlife and habitat preservation, and more.  The Lawrence Transit System will offer free rides on the "T" all day Saturday.  The Earth Day Parade is organized by K.U. Environs, and questions should go to com>.  For general info go to http://www.lawrencerecycles.org/.


NATIVE PLANTS FOR YOUR YARD AND GARDEN
Monday, 24 April 2017, 7:00pm - FREE
Lawrence Public Library Auditorium, 7th & Vermont St., Lawrence KS 66044

Three local native plant experts, Kelly KindscherCourtney Masterson and Frank Norman, will engage in a presentation and discussion about how to incorporate native plants into your yard, garden, or landscape design.  The event is sponsored by the Kaw Valley Native Plant Coalition and the Lawrence Public Library.   Please RSVP to  so they'll know how many to expect.  More information can be found at their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/KVNPC/.


PEOPLE'S CLIMATE MARCH - OUR NATION'S CAPITAL
Saturday, 29 April 2017
District of Columbia
 
SCROTUS* Drumph has been running roughshod over decades of environmental and climate protections, developed by bi-partisan administrations since the 1960's, and handing his billionaire buddies fossil fuel goodies like the Keystone XL pipeline.  His EPA Administrator is giddily doing Drumph's bidding, censoring his staff, slashing staff levels by 25%, and saying provocative things like "The Paris Accord was a bad deal", and "CO2 is not the primary contributor to global warming".  This past February was the second hottest February ever recorded (2016 being the hottest), atmospheric CO2 is at 403 parts per million and rising faster than ever before, and the droughts and floods keep coming. 

The good news is that people are more aware, are galvanized, and are resisting.  There are now over 50 organizations working together as the People's Climate Movement, including the NAACP, Earth Justice, 350.org, Green Latinos, Public Citizen, and Service Employees International Union - Peoples Climate Movement Partner Organizations.  They are organizing what looks to be a massive climate rally one month from now, the Peoples Climate March 2017.  And if folks aren't able to travel at that time or that far, there will be any number of local marches - Peoples Climate March local events.  Kansas City will host a march at 1:00pm in Washington Square Park, 2354 Grand Blvd., Kansas City MO 64108.
*SCROTUS - So Called Ruler of the United States


WHO BEARS THE COST? GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE DEVELOPING WORLD
Sunday, 30 April 2017, 4:00pm - FREE
ECM Center, 1204 Oread Ave., Lawrence KS 66044

This is a talk by Dr. Richard Randolph, a family physician in Lenexa KS, who serves as the Chief Medical Officer for Heart to Heart International.  His talk is part of a series titled "Climate Change Consequences and the Possible Responses", which is hosted by Lawrence Ecology Teams United in Sustainability (LETUS) and the Sierra Club-Wakarusa Group.  A variety of information booths will be at each event providing opportunity for those attending to choose to be involved if not already so engaged.  Future speakers are planned about how food production will be effected by climate change, and possible species extinctions.  For more information contact .



LAWRENCE TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION
Monday, 1 May 2017, 6:00pm
Commission chamber, Lawrence City Hall, 6 East 6th St., Lawrence KS 66044

The Lawrence Transportation Commission oversees the establishment of strong multimodal transportation in the City of Lawrence, in order to advance the health, safety, and welfare of all residents.  They make recommendations to the City Commission regarding implementation of its Complete Streets policy to equally accommodate all types of transportation users - people who walk, bicycle, skate, use wheelchairs, motor, or ride transit.  As such, they make recommendations about the priority, location, design, maintenance, and funding of transportation projects.  Find agendas and minutes at - Transportation Commission.  The Transportation Commission is the outcome of the Pedestrian-Bicycle Task Force work in 2016. 


We hope this newsletter informs and inspires you.  Please donate to Sustainability Action.  Click on our PayPal button here >> Sustainability Action.  THANK YOU!
___________________________________________________________________________________

We welcome suggestions for Newsletter items.  Please send items to .  The Sustainability Action Newsletter strives to inform, and encourage people to be active in the Sustainability Action Network, or other action-driven groups.

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.

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 pollution, and changing policies and enforcement.

Collaborative Organizations:
We build synergy with like-minded groups such as: Douglas County Food Policy Council, Jefferson County Food Council, Lawrence Pedestrian Coalition, Cultivate Kansas City, Lawrence Fruit Tree Project, Flint Hills Renewable Energy & Efficiency Co-op, Kansas Permaculture Institute, and Live Well Lawrence.
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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Sustainability Action Network, Weekly Newsletter, 21 March 2017

WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
21 March 2017

EMBATTLED EPA SEEING SOME RELIEF

As most folks know by now, EPA hatchet man, Scott Pruitt, has launched a frontal attack on the Clean Power Plan and the Clean Water Act provisions, has delayed requirements that mine companies clean up afterwards, and intends to decimate the agency by up to 25%.  What's more, in denying over a century's worth of established science and basic facts, Pruitt famously said on 9 March 2017 that "I would not agree that [CO2] is a primary contributor to global warming" - EPA head falsely claims carbon emissions aren’t the cause of global warming.

Drumph has signed executive orders that gag EPA staff communications, neuter the "Waters of the U.S. Rule", open up coal mining on Federal lands, and place a freeze on listings to the Endangered Species Act.  And the president's* recently released budget seeks a $54 billion hike in military spending, while cutting EPA funds from its current level of $8.2 billion to $5.7 billion, eliminating about 3,200 positions.  Understandably, EPA career professionals are feeling demoralized - Drumph’s budget is a declaration of war on the environment, (lots of details in the story if you can stomach it).

But others are rallying to their support, in small ways and large.  The Washington Post reported that people from all over are sending EPA employees chocolate chip cookies and thank you cards.  Each cookie wrapper included a personal story from people around the country expressing their gratitude for the good work of the EPA - People are sending EPA employees chocolate chip cookies and thank you cards.

More significantly, the entire State of California is taking steps to bolster both the job prospects of EPA staff, and the continuation of environmental protections, at least in California.  Last Thursday, California officials were at the Washington EPA headquarters to say that the California Public Utilities Commission, the California Air Resources Board, and the California Energy Commission are all hiring.  All three agencies are advertising jobs that address climate change, renewable energy, air quality and clean energy research and development - Come West, California is Hiring: State Recruits EPA Climate Scientists.  Furthermore, the California Legislature has proposed legislation "to fold existing federal air, water and endangered species standards into state law, enshrining pre-Drumph levels of protection in California, regardless of any reversal at the federal level" - California moves to pre-empt Drumph on environment, endangered species.


CALIFORNIA JUDGE REBUFFS MONSANTO, RULES TO LABEL GLYPHOSATE AS CANCEROUS
After the World Health Organization determined in 2015 that glyphosate (active ingredient in Roundup) is a probable human carcinogen, the California Office of Environmental Health moved to add it to their list of probable carcinogens to be labeled as such.  Of course, ever litigenous Monsanto sued the state, arguing that adding glyphosate to the list was unconstitutional (???).  Joining with California against Monsanto were the National Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, the AFL-CIO, and the Environmental Law Foundation.  Judge Kristi Culver Kapetan ruled against Monsanto, stating that "there does not appear to be any chance that Monsanto [has] valid claims under any of the theories they can rely upon".  Monsanto has one year before their products sold in California must be labeled.  Most likely they will appeal the ruling - California Judge Rules Against Monsanto, Allows Cancer Warning on Roundup.


NEONICOTINOIDS ARE IMPLICATED IN BEE DIE OFF, NOT NEEDED TO GROW FOOD

The most widely used pesticides, a broad class called neonicotinoids, are applied to millions of acres of farmland in the U.S.  Nicotine, a derivative of tobacco, is a natural insecticide, and neonicotinoids are a chemically pumped up synthetic version.  In the U.S., they are applied to at least a third of soybean acres and nearly 80% of corn acres.  Because neonicotinoids are so prevalent and so powerful, they are a prime suspect in the 30% die off of U.S. honeybees last winter.  Though not yet conclusive, some research links neonicotinoids to bee death, and as a precautionary measure, the European Union has already temporarily banned several varieties of the insecticide.  Maryland has banned them for home garden use, and Minnesota requires farmers to demonstrate a need for pest control before using neonicotinoids - Is America's most common pesticide responsible for killing our bees?
Many farmers complain about bans or restrictions, fearing crop loss.  However, crops can be successfully grown without using pesticides at all.  In 2014, a group of Iowa farmers grew soybeans with and without neonics seed coatings and found no significant difference in crop yields. And a 2017 U.N. report concluded that it's a myth that pesticides are essential to feed a fast-growing global population.  According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), adequate quantities of food can be grown without pesticides, but the problem is poverty, inequality and distribution - UN experts denounce 'myth' pesticides are necessary to feed the world.

Looked at from a different perspective, food growing is more efficiently, more equitably, and more healthfully grown as agro-ecology, not industrial farming.  If approached this way, small-scale sustainable farming could double food production within five to 10 years in places where most hungry people on the planet live, according to a 2011 U.N. report titled "Agro-ecology and the Right to Food".  These methods are largely organic and pesticide-free, using methods such as placing weed-eating ducks in rice patties in Bangladesh or planting desmodium, which repels insects, in Kenyan cornfields.  According to the report, agro-ecology practices raise productivity significantly, reduce rural poverty, increase genetic diversity, improve nutrition in local populations, serve to build a resilient food system in the face of climate change, utilize fewer and more locally available resources, empower farmers and create jobs - UN Report: Eco-Farming Can Feed the World.  If you agree that pesticides are not needed, you may want to sign this petition - We don't need bee-killing pesticides to feed the world.

 
RESPONSIBLE ENERGY VS. FUKUSHIMA DAI-ICHI

president* Drumph's budget loves CO2, nukes, and the military.
Harvey Wasserman has provided his assessment of Donald Drumph's budget from an energy perspective, particularly nuclear energy.  He states "Donald Drumph's first budget makes his antipathy to the environment clear—and his love for fossil fuels and nuclear power even clearer.  In addition to slashing funding to the Environmental Protection Agency, he also announced this week that he wants massive rollbacks in automotive fuel efficiency standards and billions in new investments in nuclear weapons and storage for commercial nuclear waste".  He notes that plans are being laid for dangerously dilapidated old nuclear reactors to be subsidized in a marketplace where renewable electricity is far cheaper.  Drumph wants to revive long-dead Yucca Mountain for nuclear waste storage, after the Department of Energy has already wasted $13.5 billion on the project that ultimately could cost $90 billion.  Read more at - Trump’s Budget Assault on the Environment Packs a Wallop.

We suggest readers avail themselves of the following sources for news on the demise of nuclear power: Japan for SustainabilityJapan FocusSolartopia, and Fairewinds Energy Education.

 
SUSTAINABILITY ACTION NEWS ITEMS
 
SUSTAINABILITY ACTION MEETING
Tuesday, 21 March 2017, 6:30pm
Lawrence Public Library, Meeting Room C, 7th & Vermont St., Lawrence KS 66044
Local Solutions for Transition to a Sustainable Economy

Planned agenda topics include:
  • election of officers - Coordinator, Treasurer, Secretary
  • 3-month evaluation of new website and newsletter
  • 2017 Program activities to act on
  • new webmeister job description
  • search committee for Development Director
  • social media strategy
  • new credit card
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.  Visit us on the web at - Sustainability Action.


ADDITIONAL BICYCLE TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS PROPOSED FOR CITY OF LAWRENCE

Last week, Sustainability Action submitted two proposals for bikeways to be built by the City of Lawrence.  They have asked citizens to suggest capital projects of all kinds for the 2018 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), part of their overall budget.  Since reporting on two projects here last week - shared use paths on both 6th St. and Naismith Dr. - we have submitted two more proposals.  One is for protected bicycle lanes on Massachusetts St. from 23rd St. to South Park.  The other is for a bike-walk street on 13th St. from Massachusetts St. to the east end of Oak Hill Ave.
Any project submitted will be placed in the CIP, but that doesn't mean it will be scheduled for construction soon, or even be funded at all.  They will rank all proposals, and any of these may end up at the end of the list.  Project likelihood is up to public pressure and advocacy - in other words, up to you.  There is a disgruntled motorist contingent that resents spending any of "their" tax dollars to provide mobility for people who walk or bicycle on "their" streets.  This same group killed the complete street design for Kasold Ave. last year.  So you owe it to yourself to speak at the City Commission in favor of bicycle-pedestrian funding.  The meeting will be on Tuesday, 11 April, at 5:45pm, at City Hall.  Mark your calendar.

 
CONTINUING EVENT NEWS ITEMS

WILLOW STUDIO - COMMUNIVERSITY COURSE #1029-A
Wednesday, 22 March 2017Session #2:  6:30pm, Brush Creek Community Center, 3801 Brush Creek Blvd., Kansas City MO 64108
Saturday25 March 2017Session #3:  11:00am, Home Grown Community Garden, 3000 E 20th St., Kansas City MO 64127
Willow Studio explores the intersection of basket weaving with environmental remediation.  We will harvest materials available on urban sites such as willow and invasive honeysuckle, to be used for basket weaving and arts and gardening projects.  The first session on Saturday, 18 March will be to harvest the materials.  The second session on Wednesday, 22 March will be to learn weaving techniques to produce baskets and other pieces.  The third session on Saturday, 25 March will be to plant a living willow fence, and weave wicker edging for growing beds - sustainable applications of these natural materials.  The course will be taught by Steve Mann & Sharon Lee Mitchell.  Register at CommUniversity classes and registration.  More info from . 


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)

Wednesday, 22 March 2017, 9:00am - 
Alternative Radio
This episode is "An Indigenous Economic Model".  The existing economic system in most countries is a kind of state capitalism.  It produces enormous inequalities.  Its extraction practices are environmentally destructive.  Perhaps indigenous models provide a viable alternative.  
Susquamish Chief Seattle reportedly made these remarks in an 1854 letter to U.S. President Pierce: “How can you buy or sell the sky, the land?  The idea is strange to us.  If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?  Every part of the earth is sacred to my people.  Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every meadow, every humming insect.”  And he warned: “Continue to contaminate your bed, and you will one night suffocate in your own waste.”  David Barsamian interviews Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, who has been active in the international Indigenous movement for more than four decades.  She is the author of "An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States", winner of the 2015 American Book Award, "All the Real Indians Died Off and 20 Other Myths about Native Americans", and "The Great Sioux Nation".

Wednesday, 22 March 2017, 6:00pm - All Souls Forum
This week's talk is titled "The Climate Emergency: The Case for Immediate Action".  Craig Wolfe, President of the Heartland Renewable Energy Society, recently received intensive training from Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project.  He will discuss why we should consider the climate an emergency, and how we can and must respond in the current state of our politics.

Friday, 24 March 2017, 9:30am - Bioneers Radio Series
Bioneers presents "In Pursuit of Happiness: Becoming Beloved Community".  Can humanity overcome divisions such as race, class, nation, religion, and gender roles to come together to solve the planetary emergency that threatens our common home?  Civil liberties and legal scholar john a. powell and social justice advocate Grace Bauer show how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision of “beloved community” can overcome conflict, separation and the burdens of history to transcend our fear of the “Other” and work together to heal our societies and the Earth. 


Monday, 27 March 2017, 6:00pm - locally produced Eco-Radio KC
This Eco Radio KC program will feature another of their ecologically minded shows.



RICHARD WOLFF: DRUMPH'S ECONOMIC POLICY, AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
Friday
24 March 2017, 6:00pm - $$
Carpenters' District Council, 8955 East 38th Terr., Kansas City MO 64129

Richard Wolff is a longtime economics professor at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and is currently at The New School.  He is an articulate critic of capitalism and the oligarchy that expropriates environmental and social resources for their own gain.  His weekly radio show, 
Economic Update, and his efforts to promote worker coops through the Democracy at Work project has made him a leading voice for alternatives to today’s grossly unequal deregulated economy.  His most recent book is "Capitalism's Crisis Deepens: Essays on the Global Economic Meltdown".  This is a benefit for Kansas City community radio KKFI.  A full package price provides a VIP dinner with Prof. Wolff at 6:00pm, with his talk beginning at 7:00pm, and book signing at 8:00pm.  A talk-only option is available too.  To buy tickets, go to - Richard Wolff – Drumph’s Economic Strategy and What To Do About It.


LAWRENCE WOOD CHIP & COMPOST SALE - EQUIPMENT LOADED
Thursday-Saturday23-24-25 March 20178:00am-3:00pm - $$ (cash only)
1420 E 11th Street, Lawrence KS (east of 11th and Haskell, over the tracks)
(courtesy, Jenica Nelson, Lawrence Waste Reduction & Recycling)

The wood chips and compost are sold by the City Waste Reduction and Recycling Division.  The wood chips are from grinding up trees and brush that private contractors have supplied.  The compost is made from leaves, grass clippings, and prunings collected by the City.  The WR&R Division will load them into pick-ups and small trailers (cannot load trucks with ladder racks).  Bring a tarp to cover the material so it doesn't blow.  Cost is $10 per loader scoop equivalent to two cubic yards, cash only.  For more info, contact the Waste Reduction and Recycling Division at 832-3030 or visit http://www.lawrenceks.org/swm/lawncompostsale.  Also, any Saturday from March to mid-December, 10am-4pm, wood chips and compost are sold on a "load it yourself" basis.  Cash only.  Bring a shovel or fork.


KANSAS CITY "EAT LOCAL & ORGANIC FOOD EXPO", 20th ANNUAL
Saturday, 25 March 2017, 10:00am-3:00pm - FREE
Johnson County Community College Gym, 12345 College Blvd., Overland Park KS 66210
(courtesy, Brandi Schoen, Co-coordinator of the K.C. Food Circle)
There will be local growers of organic and free range produce selling their wares, including garden plant starts, as well as free organic gardening information and free 2013 Producers Directory.  The Food Expo is free admission with free parking and free music.  More information about the KC Food Circle and the two food expositions can be found at Kansas City Eat Local Food Expo or email Brandi Schoen at .


CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE DRUMPH WHITE HOUSE, TALK BY CHRIS KING
Sunday, 2 April 2017, 4:00pm

Lawrence Public Library Auditorium, 7th & Vermont St., Lawrence KS 66044
(courtesy, Karen Pagel-Meiners)

Dr. Chris King (retired Brigadier General) will present a talk titled "
Climate Change and Environmental Security in a Drumph White House".  It will be an assessment on the current status of global climate disruption, including the approach by the U.S. and that of the other signatories to the Paris Agreement.  Dr. King represents the U.S. on an international military advisory council dealing with security and climate change.  He is an authority on the impact that climate change, water scarcity, and other environmental issues have on national security and international stability.  Dr. King recently stated, “Climate change poses a threat to U.S. national security.  This risk has been identified by the Department of Defense and the National Intelligence Council.  I hope that the new administration carefully considers the scientific and security data in addressing threats posed by climate change.”  This presentation is being offered by the Sierra Club, Wakarusa Chapter in conjunction with Lawrence Ecology Teams United for Sustainability.  More info from 


LAWRENCE TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION - NEWLY MEETING
Monday, 3 April 2017, 6:00pm
Commission chamber, Lawrence City Hall, 6 East 6th St., Lawrence KS 66044
The Lawrence Transportation Commission is the newly-formed body that oversees the establishment of strong multimodal transportation in the City of Lawrence, in order to advance the health, safety, and welfare of all residents.  They make recommendations to the City Commission regarding implementation of its Complete Streets policy to equally accommodate all types of transportation users - people who walk, bicycle, skate, use wheelchairs, motor, or ride transit.  As such, they make recommendations about the priority, location, design, maintenance, and funding of transportation projects.  Find agendas and minutes at - Transportation Commission.  The Transportation Commission is the outcome of the Pedestrian-Bicycle Task Force work in 2016.


PARTICIPANT REGISTRATION DEADLINE - LAWRENCE EARTH DAY PARADE & FESTIVAL
Monday, 3 April 2015, 5:00pm
(courtesy, Jenica Nelson, Lawrence Waste Reduction & Recycling)

Earth Day in Lawrence will be 22 April.  To register for having a booth OR being a food vendor OR being in the parade at the Earth Day Festival, visit http://www.lawrenceks.org/swm/earthday using the online forms.  If you can't register online, please call 832-3030, or send a request to .  The parade begins on the 22nd at 11:00am, and the festival goes from 11:30am-4:00pm.  The Earth Day Parade is organized by K.U. Environs, and questions should go to com>.  For general info go to http://www.lawrencerecycles.org/.



KANSAS CITY ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT COMMISSION
Wednesday, 12 April 2017, 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.


LAWRENCE SUSTAINABILITY ADVISORY BOARD
Wednesday, 12 April 2017, 5:30pm
Fire Station #5, Jayhawk Room, 19th & Stewart St., Lawrence KS 66046

The April 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.


LAWRENCE PEDESTRIAN COALITION
Wednesday, 12 April 2017, 7:00pm
Lawrence Public Library, Room A, 7th & Vermont St., Lawrence KS 66044

The April 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 Gary Webber at <gwebber@sunflower.com>.



DOUGLAS COUNTY FOOD POLICY COUNCIL
Monday, 17 April 2017, 6:30pm
Homestead Kitchen & Bakery, 719 S. 8th St., Baldwin City KS 66006

The April agenda will include: a pre-meeting presentation at 6:00pm by Lori Gardner, owner of Homestead Kitchen & Bakery.  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 willsupport 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.


NATIVE PLANTS FOR YOUR YARD AND GARDEN
Monday, 24 April 2017, 7:00pm - FREE
Lawrence Public Library Auditorium, 7th & Vermont St., Lawrence KS 66044

Three local native plant experts, Kelly KindscherCourtney Masterson and Frank Norman, will engage in a presentation and discussion about how to incorporate native plants into your yard, garden, or landscape design.  The event is sponsored by the Kaw Valley Native Plant Coalition and the Lawrence Public Library.   Please RSVP to  so they'll know how many to expect.  More information can be found at their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/KVNPC/.


We hope this newsletter informs and inspires you.  Please donate to Sustainability Action.  Click on our PayPal button here >> Sustainability Action.  THANK YOU!
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We welcome suggestions for Newsletter items.  Please send items to .  The Sustainability Action Newsletter strives to inform, and encourage people to be active in the Sustainability Action Network, or other action-driven groups.

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.

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 pollution, and changing policies and enforcement.

Collaborative Organizations:
We build synergy with like-minded groups such as: Douglas County Food Policy Council, Jefferson County Food Council, Lawrence Pedestrian Coalition, Cultivate Kansas City, Lawrence Fruit Tree Project, Flint Hills Renewable Energy & Efficiency Co-op, Kansas Permaculture Institute, and Live Well Lawrence.
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