Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Weekly Sustainability Announcements: Lawrence Chapter, Sustainable Action Network (12/May/2009)

Tuesday, 12 May 2009, 12:00noon
KKFI-FM 90.1, Kansas City Community Radio

This week, host John Kurmann will interview Craig Volland of the Kansas Sierra Club about the recent agreement between Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson and Sunflower Electric Power Corporation, subsequently rubber stamped by the Legislature.  This agreement opens the way for construction of one new coal-fired power plant at Holcomb, KS.  Kurmann and Volland will also explore the human and ecological health consequences of coal use.  Listen by radio, or on web-streaming at http://www.kkfi.org/   


As of last Monday, the Kansas Governor, Mark Parkinson, traded a 900MW coal fired plant for a tepid state energy policy, and the Legislature went along.  The agreement first of all forces the Secretary of KDHE to issue Sunflower Electric an air quality permit, and it also limits his authority to issue air quality regulations beyond the Federal EPA guidelines.  In return, it creates a true 1:1 bidirectional net metering, but ONLY for investor-owned utilities, not for rural electric co-ops of small municipal utilities.  The agreement also establishes a Renewable Energy Standard (RES), but with a meager goal of 20% by 2020.  More detail at GPACE analysis of Governor’s coal plant agreement

Meanwhile, from the critique of West Coast Climate Equity, "The Waxman-Markey bill has been amended (and weakened) to require only a 14 percent cut in carbon dioxide emissions by 2020, and this is from 2005 levels, not the 1990 levels called for by the Kyoto Accord.  It means that the U.S. will now join the conservative Canadian Harper Government in implementing an ineffectual program that will do almost nothing to reduce carbon dioxide emissions." Waxman-Markey Bill Dooms Us to Dangerous Climate Change   

So what's left?  Regulation - command and control: the very hard fisted and expensive method that industry hates.  And the EPA holds the cards.  Based on the 2007 Supreme Court decision, the EPA ruled on 17 April 2009 that greenhouse gases are a health hazard, and they have full authority to regulate CO2 and other greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.  Read the brief atEPA Could Create a Cap-and-Trade System Without Congress

The EPA is taking comments until 17 June 2009 whether they should regulate CO2.  But Big Oil and Big Coal are spending millions and waiting in line to keep the EPA from implementing strong regulations.  Anyone can send the EPA comments by going to Support the EPA's Stand Against Big Oil and Coal    

Wednesday, 13 May 2009, 8:00am-5:00pm drop by
1198 North 2050 Road, Lawrence KS 

The system fabricator, Rich Wenzel, will be available all day to show and discuss this PV solar installation.  He will explain the capacities of the solar collectors, the function of the inverter, the wiring connections, and more.  This rural home is north of Lawrence and west of Midland Junction.  From Lawrence, go west on U.S. 24 to the Hamm's Landfill turnoff (East 1250 Road), turn left across the RR tracks and go south 1/2 mile to North 2050 Road, and go west 1/2 mile over the levee to the site.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009, 4:00-6:00pm
Mid America Regional Council, Rivergate Center 2nd floor, 600 Broadway, Kansas City MO

The Environmental Management Commission promotes environmental awareness and resource efficiency to the City's leader and staff, to assist the progress of Kansas City toward sustainability. Members of the general public are encouraged to attend and observe meetings and to join and participate in its efforts.  
More information and the December 2008 minutes are available at http://www.kcmo.org/manager.nsf/web/emc

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

The May agenda will include: chat with our new Mayor, Rob Chestnut; letter of support for hiring a City Sustainability Director; proposals for energy projects funded by Federal Stimulus Bill; SAB proposal for a 15% recycling rate by 2015; Lawrence Energy Conservation Fair.  

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 about a month after each meeting. http://www.lawrenceks.org/wrr/envadvisoryboard

Wednesday, 13 May 2009, 6:30pm
East Lawrence Center, 15th & Brook St., Lawrence KS

Three years in promotion and planning, the Burroughs Creek Trail is about to be built, and it will be a catalyst for the eastern neighborhoods, and key link in the City-wide trail system.  The final construction drawings are complete, and the design reflects virtually all the preferences of the neighborhoods.  Construction bids will be let around June, and construction will take place from about August to October.  The public is invited to attend this meeting to review the plans and offer any final suggestions.  The project description is at Burroughs Creek Trail & Linear Park where you can download PDFs of a project map and the Burroughs Creek Corridor Plan.  

Tuesday, 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.  Pre-registration is required by contacting Steve prior to 16 May.

More info available from Steve Moring at (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

Wednesday, 20 May 2009, 7:00pm
Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 W. 47th St., Kansas City MO 

Michael Pollan is an enlightening and delightful speaker on food sustainability, local food, food history and more.  He has authored five books including "The Botany of Desire" and "The Omnivore's Dilemma" Michael Pollan.  This event is sponsored by Rainyday Books in Fairway KS and Powell Gardens in Kansas City MO.  Tickets and info available at Rainy Day Books | Michael Pollan 

In October of 2008, Michael Pollan wrote a op-ed to the prospective President about expensive and scarce food, food security, and food policy Farmer In Chief - An Open Letter to Obama.  While his article referred to the President as "Farmer In Chief", it becomes apparent when reading it that Michael Pollan truly holds the credentials to be "Farmer In Chief".  The article covers a wide range of ideas, and does so with clarity and depth: food sovereignty, the end of cheap oil-based agriculture, prime soil losses, rebuilding regional food systems, climate disruption of agriculture, etc.  He even proposed that a part of the White House lawn be tilled for a food garden - which Michelle Obama has done.  

Saturday, 23 May 2008, 10:00am-1:00pm
Clinton Park, 901 West 5th St. (AKA Pinkney Park)

The gift must always move!  This free and open market will be a celebration of the cooperation and gift-giving that make life possible beyond the constraints of capitalists markets.  Everyone is invited to give and receive clothing, household items, books, plants, seeds, crafts, information, skills, music, services, art, performances, stories, food, etc.  There is no buying, selling, bartering, or exchanging involved-in this market, everything is strictly FREE!

Small items and clothing not taken from the Really, Really Free Market will be donated to the Social Service League thrift store.  However, large items cannot be transported to the thrift store.  People are asked to take responsibility for any large items they bring that are not taken by the end of the event.

Sunday, 24 May 2009, 4:00pm
Plymouth Congregational Church, 725 Vermont St, Lawrence KS
¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ Scott Trettel will speak on energy saving architecture ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤

This month's speaker will be Scott Trettel of Scott Trettel Design Build.  He will discuss how he incorporates elements of green design into his affordable home projects, what he refers to as "grass roots industrial art".  Green design can cover a range of interpretations, and Scott has his own unique expression of green.

The SAN meeting will follow the talk.  The main item will be the launch of the Kaw Valley Transition Initiative, to move our community into the post-carbon economy.  We also will brainstorm new SAN projects, and discuss net metering and neighborhood electric vehicles, Permaculture events, SAN website, and not-for-profit filing.  Please join us.

Thursday, 28 May 2009, 4:00pm
City Manager's Conference Room, City Hall 4th Floor, 6th & Massachusetts St.

The Task Force will discuss how to structure itself into sub-committee focus areas such as: food security, transportation, scarce energy land use planning, medical and public services, emergency planning, etc.  These meetings are open to the public, and the public is encouraged to attend.  And the Peak Oil Task Force web page is developing an extensive list of resources (click on "resources") including other cities' action plans such as San Francisco and Austin, videos, advocacy groups like Post Carbon Institute and Transition Boulder County, and key data and reports.

Saturday, 30 May 2009, 10:00am-2:00pm
Bus tour leaves the Lawrence Farmers' Market at 10:00am

For self-guided touring, a brochure and map will be available at all the garden centers and some hardware stores.  This tour is to demonstrate the range of possibilities for growing your own food inside the Lawrence city limits.  There are a dozen home gardens and community gardens that will be on the tour.  Several members of SLUG "Support Local Urban Gardeners" are organizing the tour SLUG | Urban Garden Planting   For more info, contact  or .  

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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