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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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.
 
Join us by
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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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>.



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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.
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Sustainability Action Network, P.O. Box 1064, Lawrence, KS 66044, USA