Wednesday, February 03, 2010


Tuesday, 2 February 2010, 12:00noon ¤ on Kansas City Community Radio
Listen at KKFI-FM 90.1, or on web-streaming at

On EcoRadio KC this week, host Steve Mann will interview Beth Low, Director of the Kansas City Food Policy Coalition. They will be discussing the recent K.C. Center for Urban Agriculture Annual Meeting, the Food Policy Coalition itself, and their efforts at revising the Kansas City Codes to accommodate more options for local urban growers. The K.C. Food Policy Coalition is part of K.C. Healthy Kids, and it is organizing in the nine county metro region.

Stay tuned at 12:30 when the Bioneers radio series airs "Not In My Front Yard: Race and the Environment" . The environment in developing countries of the South has often suffered most, and how these nations relate to the environment from here on is a make-it-or-break-it factor in planetary survival for all of us. Ethiopian visionary Bogaletch Gebre depicts how the interconnecting forces of environment, economy, women, health and ecological technologies are creating a future environment of hope.

Tuesday, 2 Febuary 2010, 6:00pm
Ecumenical Christian Ministries, 1204 Oread Ave., Lawrence KS 66044

The LFTP Lawrence Fruit Tree Project is a co-operative group of pomiculturists who have organized themselves to establish community orchards, and teach folks how to grow and care for fruiting trees and shrubs. They also are setting up a fruit tree register to list existing neighborhood trees that are underutilized, so they can be cared for and harvested. Anyone is welcome who is interested in relocalized food security, environmental literacy, permaculture, fruit tree propagation, etc. Come to our meetings and help our grass roots organization grow!

The agenda will include: possible obstacles to the Burroughs Creek Park tree planting proposal with the City; grafting workshop; pruning workshop; fruit tree identification walk; LFTP tree nursery; and more.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Just before Christmas, the Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) issued a 404 permit for the BNSF Freight Transfer Yard in Gardner without preparing an Environmental Impact Statement. As one of the nation's largest rail-truck intermodal transfer stations, it would funnel hundreds of thousands of ocean containers of Chinese imports into Johnson County by rail every year, and disperse hundreds of thousands of diesel truck trips to neighboring communities and states.

The citizen advocacy group Hillsdale Environmental Loss Prevention (HELP) and the Kansas Natural Resource Council filed a lawsuit in early January to force the ACE to prepare a full EIS. The issue has drawn the attention of national players, and today the Natural Resource Defense Council filed a second lawsuit NRDC: Rail yard lawsuit against BNSF intermodal. This link provides an excellent description of the relevant issues at stake.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Sunflower Electric Power Corporation recently filed for a permit to build an 895 MW coal plant at Holcomb. This new air permit application requires a response to comments from the public and the U.S. EPA on harm from the plant’s pollution, but KDHE is planning only three public hearings. The Great Plains Alliance for Clean Energy issued a call for the KDHE to hold five hearings. GPACE argues that if the proposed coal plant is important enough to grind two session of the entire Kansas legislature to a halt, and to allow out-of-state owners of the plant to reportedly dump in excess of $20 million in the fight, it's important enough to have ample public access to the air quality permit hearings.

You may read the full letter by GPACE Director, Scott Allegrucci, here - Holcomb Coal Plant Public Hearing Request | GPACE. You have a right to be heard! Contact KDHE and let them know that you want access to the permitting process for the coal plant.

Thursday, 4 February 2010, 4:00pm
City Manager's Conference Rm., City Hall 4th Floor, 6th & Massachusetts St.

The January meeting was canceled due to the winter storm. So a draft of the next section, "Peak Oil Water & Waste Strategies" will now be presented and discussed in February, as well as a preliminary draft of the "Peak Oil Land Use Strategies". The City Commission extended the time to complete a plan for another six months.

Meetings are open to the public, and the public is encouraged to attend. And the Peak Oil Task Force web page has developed an extensive list of resources (click on "resources") including other cities' action plans such as San Francisco and Portland, videos, advocacy groups like Post Carbon Institute and Transition Boulder County, and key data and reports.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010, 5:30pm
Recycling and Resource Recovery Annex, 320 N.E. Industrial Lane, Lawrence KS

The Febuary agenda will be available soon. 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

Wednesday, 10 February 2010, 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 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 EMC April 2009 minutes are available at

Wednesday, 10 February - 28 July 2010, 6:00-9:00pm - every other week ($$)
East Lawrence Community Center, 15th & Brook St., Lawrence KS

Permaculture is a design science of applied ecology by which we pattern our surroundings to harmonize with nature rather than to subdue nature. Using the synergy of biodiversity and plant communities or guilds, Permaculture tends towards a mature ecosystem that maximizes output with minimum input.

The classroom course carries a tuition, and includes 16 three-hour lecture sessions and field trips totaling 48 hours of instruction. A follow-up course, with smaller tuition, will be a summer practicum with apprenticeships in the field, four sessions totaling 24 hours. It will begin on 12 June and go to 24 July.

The two courses can be taken separately, but the 72 credit hours combined will lead toward a Permaculture Design Certification through the Kansas Permaculture Institute. For more information and enrollment, contact Steve Moring at or at (785)691-7305.

Saturday-Saturday, 13-20 February 2010 ($$)
Midwest Permaculture, 125 Crescent Lane, Stelle, IL 60919

This Certification Training Course is intended for small farms on sites from one acre to 100 acres. It will focus on yards and community commons, emphasizing minimal work and fossil fuels with the goal of a profitable business that is also environmentally sound. There will be tours of small farms, and extensive classroom materials including the textbook "Earth Users Guide to Permaculture" by Rosemary Morrow. For details go to Urban Farm Permaculture Design Course.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010 ¤ deadline for EIS comments to the USDA

Not satisfied with contaminating the germ plasm of Mexican Maize (Mother corn), Brazilian soy, Egyptian cotton, Irish potatoes, and more, Monsanto is now aiming to dominate another primary crop, alfalfa. This globally predatory corporation tweaks the genetic makeup of a given species, and claims "intellectual ownership" of the entire germ plasm, not just the marker gene. Their next strategic step is to establish legal control and dominance of seed markets by suing any farmer who dares to save the seed, or more deviously, suing any farmer whose own crop is contaminated by drifting Monsanto GE pollen, because they claim the farmer is in "illegal possession of Monsanto's intellectual property"! This corporation is more than evil, pursuing far more than a fair profit, and even more than greedily maximizing profit.

In 2006, the USDA initially approved GE alfalfa without an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), but the Center for Food Safety sued the USDA to force them to comply with the law and conduct EIS hearings. The USDA has now issued the EIS, but it is ludicrously pro-forma, basically reiterating their earlier approval. NOW is the time for public comment.

For a fact sheet and talking points, go to USDA Stance on GM Alfalfa Threatens Organic Industry. For two action alerts, go to Tell the USDA to reject Monsanto's GE alfalfa, and Stop Genetically Engineered Alfalfa.
Better yet (more effort, but more effective) write and mail two copies of your comments to:
Docket No. APHIS-2007-0044
Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS
Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118
Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

Be sure to reference your letter as comments to: Docket No. APHIS-2007-0044

Saturday, 27 February 2010, 12:00noon - 5:00pm
Douglas County Fair Grounds, Dreher 4-H Building, 21st & Harper St., Lawrence KS

Sponsored by the Kaw Valley Seeds Project, this will be their first public event. The group endeavors to foster the sharing, exchanging, buying and selling of locally adapted primary seed varieties of the Kansas River Valley. Their goal is to develop seed security and diversity through a seed growers and exchange network. The Seed Fair will include: a local seed exchange, educational booths, vendor booths, and local music, art, and photography about seeds. For more info, contact Diana Henry at

The SUSTAINABILITY ACTION NETWORK, Inc. is a Kansas not-for-profit organization. DONATIONS ARE APPRECIATED, and checks can be mailed to P.O.Box 1064, Lawrence KS 66044. Our mission is to advocate and organize societal scale action to address sustainability issues. The triple crises of Energy-Ecology-Economy 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 occurring in many other communities. To join the Sustainability Action Network please contact us at

Our current projects include:
1) Transition Kaw Valley - initiating transition to a relocalized post-carbon economy, and municipal level Peak Oil response planning.
2) Kaw Permaculture Collaborative - developing skills and resources for poly-cropping 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) Electric & Human Powered Vehicles - 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 the Sustainability Action Network, or other 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

To subscribe to this list, please send an e-mail to with the subject line reading “subscribe to Sustainability Announcements”.

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