Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sustainability Action News, Lawrence, Ks. Chapter, April 20, 2009

Friday, 17 April 2008

Folks are thanking the EPA for this wonderful Earth Day gift, yet it seems odd to be celebrating a public health hazard.  In truth, it's the long overdue acknowledgment by officials for which we are grateful.  Hopefully there's no more denial of science, and real solutions will begin EPA | Greenhouse Gas Regulation Under Clean Air Act.  

On 2 April 2007, The Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Massachusetts vs. the EPA that the EPA has full authority to regulate CO2 and other greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.  The Bush administration failed to instruct the EPA to take action.  But in Kansas, that Supreme Court decision was the basis for Sec. Bremby of the KDHE to regulate CO2 as an air pollutant, and deny the Holcomb-Sunflower coal plant an air quality permit in October of that year.  

On 10 April this year, the EPA announced mandatory reporting of greenhouse gases from approximately 13,000 sources in various industrial sectors, covering about 85-90% of all such emissions EPA Announces Mandatory GHG Reporting Rule.  And beginning on 20 April, this week, Congress is holding multiple hearings on the sections of the Waxman-Markey Bill, a landmark bill that promotes renewables and efficiency, employs carbon cap and trade, and transitions to aclean energy economy with green jobs http://www.truthout.org/040109EA, and NRDC’s summary of the Waxman-Markey bill « Climate and energy   

Wednesday, 22 April 2009, 6:30pm
City Commission Meeting Room, Lawrence City Hall

For the past several years, the Planning Commission has reviewed several versions of the Industrial Chapter 7 of the Comprehensive Plan, "Horizon 2020".  As awareness arises of the value of farmland for our food security, and the losses of farmland to urban sprawl, citizen advocacy has brought this issue to the forefront.  Industrial projects are one of the strongest threats to the best bottom land prime soils, because buildings and rail spurs and highways are most easily built on flat bottom land.  So protections for these soils are proposed within the Industrial Chapter 7.

But the Planning Commission, the City Commission and the County Commission all have taken turns adding and removing soil protections, or wording them in ineffective ways.  The City staff has brought the most recent version of Chapter 7 for discussion at this Wednesday's Planning Commission.  It has fairly effective wording, but it's in a generalized section of the Chapter 7 that could give much wiggle room to developers.

Another version has been re-introduced by citizens, a version of Chapter 7 that actually was requested a year ago by the Planning Commission, but never presented to them by staff.  It is called the "Green Line Edition" of Chapter 7, because the amended wording is highlighted in green.  It is a much more effective version, with tighter wording, and more detail of the percentages of Class I & II prime soils around the county.  The agenda can be downloaded athttp://www.lawrenceks.org/pds/pc_agendas_minutes   Public comment is welcomed.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009, 6:00-8:30pm
various locations for public forums

Imagine KC is an opportunity for citizens to evaluate and provide feedback on a vision of a more sustainable future for the Kansas City region.  The "vision" is actually a set of 13 strategies, which are divided into three groups: A region of vibrant places, a well connected region, and a green region.  Locations of the forums can be found at this site, as well as the chance to participate on-line Imagine KC | Developing a Sustainable Region  

Wednesday, 22 April 2009, 7:30pm
Spencer Museum of Art Auditorium, University of Kansas, Lawrence KS

This lecture is by John Randolph, Environmental Planning Prof., Virginia Polytechnic University.  Although global sustainability requires international, national, and regional directives and green technologies, it is community visioning at the local level that can guide that policy and technology.  For more info, contact Stacy White (785)864-3530  , or go to the Kansas Energy Information Network http://www.kansasenergy.org/  

Thursday, 23 April 2009, 4:00pm
City Manager's Conference Room, City Hall 4th Floor, 6th & Massachusetts St.

The Task Force will have a teleconference briefing with Michael Brownlee of Transition Boulder County, and also with a consultant from the Austin Energy Depletion Risk Task Force.  Brownlee conducts Transition Town training for numerous communities, and Austin TX has been developing their plan since forming in September of 2007.  The meeting is open to the public, and the public is encouraged to attend.

DOWNLOADS: The Austin Plan can be downloaded at Austin Climate Protection Plan.  And the excellent San Francisco Peak Oil Preparedness Plan is downloadable at 
http://www.sfenvironment.com/downloads/library/peakoil_final_report.pdf.  Both these plans provide the kind of vision and action leadership to guide a Lawrence Peak Oil Plan that can pick up where the Lawrence Climate Plan let off.

There now is a POTF web page, accessible on the City of Lawrence home page.  The direct link is http://www.lawrenceks.org/peak_oil/   In addition to basic info such as Task Force members and meeting minutes, the web page includes a growing Resource Section on key Peak Oil links.  We encourage everyone to peruse these links, and garner much valuable information.

Saturday, 25 April 2009, 9:00am to 1:00pm
Free State High School (north parking lot), 4700 Overland Drive, Lawrence KS

Electronics devices typically contain toxic heavy metals like lead and mercury and cadmium, and precious metals like silver and gold.  If recycled properly, these metals can be materials feed stock for new industrial processes, not to mention saving production costs, and keeping them out of the landfill.

This one day event will provide Lawrence residents and businesses a way to conveniently recycle old, unwanted electronics equipment.  Items accepted for recycling are computer monitors, desktops, laptops, keyboards, printers and other peripherals, televisions, copiers, scanners, telephones, cell phones, pagers, fax machines, VHS/DVD drives, and hand held devices. There is a recycling fee for computer monitors and televisions, $5 per monitor, and $10 per TV.  There are no charges for other electronic equipment.  There is also an optional on-site hard drive destruction available for $5 per hard drive.  Fees may be paid by cash or check.

Electronic recycling will be provided by Extreme Recycling, Inc. http://www.extremerecyclinginc.com/  recycling the E-waste in accordance to Federal and Kansas Electronic Waste Processing Regulations.  The event is sponsored by the City of Lawrence Waste Reduction & Recycling Division  http://www.lawrencerecycles.org/

Saturday, 25 April 2009, 11:00am tour, and 1:00pm tour
6th & New Hampshire parking lot - follow signs to the Mill, Lawrence KS

Sara Hill Nelson will lead the tours organized by the Lawrence Environmental Education Project (LEEP), the funding arm of the Lawrence Community Environmental School.  This is a sizable grass roots group organized to develop plans for a Charter environmental school in the USD 497 system, work that has been ongoing for two years.  The Bowersock tour will describe the history, technology and future plans for electricity generation using micro hydro power.  Please RSVP atLeepIntoAction@gmail.com  

Saturday, 25 April 2009, 1:00-3:00pm
Douglas County Co-op Extension Office, 21st & Harper Ave, Lawrence KS

In this second of seven seminars, Steve Moring of the Kaw Permaculture Collaborativewill explore the inter-relationships of communities of plants, insects, and soil micro-organisms, and how humans can create sustainable and balanced ecosystems that provide an abundance of food while maintaining species diversity and environmental stability.  A $15.00 donation is requested. Pre-registration is required by contacting Steve prior to 22 April.

More info available from Steve Moring, (785)863-4102,<smoring@grasshoppernet.com> or Bill Wood at (785)843-7058, <bdwood@ksu.edu>   KPC is a project of the Sustainability Action Network, Inc


Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation ¤ Earth Day Celebration
Sunday, 26 April 2009, 10:00am-3:00pm
Mayetta, Kansas   http://www.pbpindiantribe.com/  

Earth Day KC ¤ Earth Fest & Earth Walk
Saturday, 9 May 2009, 11:00am-4:00pm (10:00am Earth Walk along Brush Creek)
Volker (Theis) Park, Kansas City MO (just south of Nelson Gallery-Atkins Museum)

Leavenworth Environmental Awareness Day
Tuesday, 12 May 2009, 8:00am-3:00pm
Ft. Leavenworth KS   http://www.leavenworth.army.mil/ 

Troostwood Community Organization ¤ Earth Day Activities
Friday, 15 May 2009, 9:00am-2:00pm
Troostwood Neighborhood, Kansas City MO

Wednesday, 29 April 2009
State Capitol, Topeka, KS

Governor Kathleen Sebelius vetoed the fourth "Coal Bill" HB 2014 on 13 April 2009.  The coal advocates that passed the bill do not have enough votes to override the veto.  But they are busy trying to garner additional members to join in a veto override at the Legislature "veto" session.  Or they might introduce another similar coal bill with some environmental "bennies" thrown in, to try getting the 84 votes they need to guaranty a veto override.

Now is the time to contact your Legislators, both Senator and Representative.  The Senate Roster is here http://www.kslegislature.org/legsrv-senate/searchSenate.do, and the House Roster is herehttp://www.kslegislature.org/legsrv-house/searchHouse.do 

Sunday, 3 May 2009, 2;30-5:00PM
Lawrence Public Library Auditorium, 7th & Vermont St, Lawrence KS

The Sustainability Action Network is sponsoring a free public seminar titled “Financing Renewable Energy: Business & Homeowner Tax Credits, Grants, & Loans”.  Millions of dollars worth of energy tax credits, grants, and loans can be leveraged by home owners, landlords, contractors, and businesses.  Merging these resources into a finance package is key to realizing renewable energy technologies.

We have assembled a panel of financial and renewable energy specialists who will describe the more relevant tax credits and grants and loans, how to factor each into your project and your budget, and how to assemble a loan package and amortization table based on your available finance tools.  The renewable energy specialists will also provide overviews of typical projects such as solar electric systems, wind electric systems, solar water heating, high efficiency construction, and solar space heating.

Saturday, 9 May 2009, 10:00am-4:30pm
The Light Center, 1542 Woodson Road, Douglas County KS
(just south of US56, 8 miles west of Baldwin City KS)

The workshop will be by Steve Moring of the Kaw Permaculture Collaborative as anintroduction to the principles of ecologically sustainable agriculture for our future food security during times of energy depletion.  The workshop will focus on steps to implement Permaculture practice for The Light Center’s planned eco-village.  The Light Center is a 501(C)(3) not-for-profit retreat center and intentional community on 34 acres of woods and prairie.  A $30 tax-deductible donation is requested.
Info on the Light Center at The Light Center   Info on the Kaw Permaculture Collaborative at Kaw Permaculture Collaborative   

Monday, 11 May 2009, 7:00pm
Lawrence Public Library, Gallery Room, 7th & Vermont St.

Monthly coordinated reading and discussion of noteworthy books on ecology, sponsored by theLawrence Community Environmental School.  Meetings are always on the second Monday of the month.  The May book will be The Sacred Balance 2008 by David Suzuki, Amanda McConnell, and Adrienne Mason.  This special 10th anniversary edition of the David Suzuki classic re-examines our place in the natural world in light of sweeping environmental changes and recent advances in scientific knowledge. 

Upcoming books will be:
June 8:  Hot, Flat and Crowded by Thomas L. Friedman
July 13: Coming Home to Eat by Gary Nabham 
August 10:  TBA
More info at Lawrence Ecoliteracy Book Club  

Wednesday, 13 May 2009, 5:30pm
SWAN Building, 320 NE Industrial Lane, Lawrence KS

The May agenda will be posted on the City web site as the meeting date approaches.  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 http://www.lawrenceks.org/wrr/envadvisoryboard

Saturday, 19 May 2009, 7:00-9:00pm
Douglas County Co-op Extension Office, 21st & Harper Ave, Lawrence KS

In this third of seven seminars, Steve Moring of the Kaw Permaculture Collaborative willexplore the patterns of nature and living systems, which are the basis of design principles as taught by David Holmgren and Bill Mollison.  He will also outline the basic steps in planning, assessing land resources, designing and implementing projects including earthworks and swales.  A $15.00 donation is requested.  Pre-registration is required by contacting Steve prior to 16 May.

More info available from Steve Moring, (785)863-4102,<smoring@grasshoppernet.com> or Bill Wood at (785)843-7058, <bdwood@ksu.edu>   KPC is a project of the Sustainability Action Network, Inc

Saturday, 30 May 2009, 10:00am-2:00pm
tour to convene at a location TBA

This tour is to demonstrate the range of possibilities for growing your own food inside the Lawrence city limits.  Presently, there are about a dozen home gardens and community gardens that will be on the tour, and possibly more to sign on.  Several members of SLUG "Support Local Urban Gardeners" are organizing the tour SLUG | Urban Garden Planting   For more info, contact or  and watch this space.  

DONATIONS ARE APPRECIATED for the SUSTAINABILITY ACTION NETWORK.  Please send checks to P.O.Box 1064, Lawrence KS 66044

The SUSTAINABILITY ACTION NETWORK, Inc. is a Kansas not-for-profit organization
Our mission is to advocate and organize societal scale action to address sustainability issues.  The triple crises of Energy-Ecology-Economy, the global "3E Trifecta", are building so rapidly that large scale action is needed immediately and methodically to overcome institutional barriers and advance public policy that preserves ecological sustainability.  Our focus is to build a relocalized economy-ecology in concert with the Transition Town movement in many other communities.  To join the Sustainability Action Network (until our website is operational) please contact us at  

Our current projects include:
1) Peak Oil Action & Relocalization - initiating municipal level Peak Oil response planning and transition to a relocalized post-carbon economy.
2) Kaw Permaculture Collaborative - developing skills and resources for sustainable food production.
3) Energy Conservation & Renewables - advancing a green economy through decentralized technologies and regulations, for conservation and renewable energy.
4) Land Consortium - organizing interested stakeholders to acquire prime farmland in the urban fringe for land-based economic development and regional food security.
5) Water Rights and Watersheds - protecting the water commons, the source of all life, from privatization and contamination, and restoring our watersheds.
6) Small Vehicles: Electric & Human Powered - promoting neighborhood electric vehicles and utility tricycles, including infrastructure and pro-active regulations.
7) Weekly Sustainability Announcements - informing and encouraging others to become active in our Sustainability Action Network, or other such action driven groups.
8) Collaboration with sister organizations - such as: The Light Center eco-village; Kaw Valley Food System farm-based economic development; Citizens for Responsible Planning; Films for Action; Kansas River Valley Growers fighting for local water rights; national efforts by the Sustainable Energy Network; KC Metro groups like the Kansas City Food Circle and the All Species Project, etc.

We welcome suggestions for items to be included.  Please send items to 

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