Tuesday, October 19, 2010

WEEKLY ANNOUNCEMENTS 19 October 2010, Lawrence Sustainability Action Network

Tuesday, 19 October 2010, 12:00noon-1:00pm ¤ on Kansas City Community Radio
Listen at KKFI-FM 90.1, or on web-streaming at http://www.kkfi.org/

On Eco-Radio KC this week, host Reenie Carmack will be interviewing local author and alternative healer Phyllis Cronbaugh about "Erasing Personal History". Ms. Cronbaugh maintains that by blending quantum physics, traditional knowledge, and spirituality a person can change their past and open doors to the future. Supposedly, indigenous peoples have used such a technique for millennia.

On Friday at 9:30am, listen as the Bioneers radio series presents one of their award winning shows.

Written comments: Saturday, 23 October 2010
Public Hearing: Monday, 25 October 2010, 2:00pm
Capitol Plaza Hotel (Sunflower Ballroom), 1717 SW Topeka Blvd., Topeka KS 66612
You may send comments more than once, if they're about different aspects.

Because Kansas Gov. Parkinson and the Legislature cut an inside deal that took from the Kansas Department of Health & Environment power to act on behalf of Kansans, the KDHE is now acting on behalf of the EPA. Several months ago, the KDHE held public hearings on the Sunflower Electric Power permit application, and received over 4,600 comments. But Sunflower Power had submitted faulty data on air pollution dispersion, so the KDHE has opened a second public comment period.

To submit a comment about the permit request by Sunflower to build a coal-fired electric generating station in Holcomb, submit it by 23 October. Use one of the following options:
  • Send e-mail to sunflowercomments@kdheks.gov
  • Mail written comments to: KDHE Bureau of Air, Attention Sunflower Comments, 1000 SW Jackson St., Suite 310, Topeka KS 66612-1366
  • Present comments verbally or in writing at the hearing on 25 October, 2:00pm


These "Wind Stalk" electric generators are conceptual, but based on a set of systems that already exist and work, and take clues from the way the wind sways a field of wheat, or reeds in a marsh. The model wind farm consists of 1203 stalks, 55 meters high, anchored to the ground on concrete bases that range between 10 to 20 meters in diameter. The stalks are made of carbon fiber reinforced resin poles, 30 cm in diameter at the base and 5 cm at the top. The bases that support the poles are laid along the site following a logarithmic spiral, the kind we see in the center of a sunflower.

Within each hollow pole is a stack of piezoelectric ceramic discs. Between the ceramic disks are electrodes. Every other electrode is connected to each other by a cable that reaches from top to bottom of each pole. One cable connects the even electrodes, and another cable connects the odd ones. When the wind sways the poles, the stack of piezoelectric disks is forced into compression, thus generating a current through the electrodes.

In addition, each concrete base is a hollow chamber that houses a torque generator which converts the kinetic energy of the swaying poles into electrical energy by means of forced movement of fluid through current generating shock absorber cylinders. Energy storage is achieved by pumping water to an upper chamber while the wind blows, and then releasing it through electric turbines into a lower chamber when the wind is not blowing. More info and pictures at Masdar/Wind-Stalk | Atelier DNA.

Thursday, 21 October 2010, 6:00-9:00pm - $$$
Matt Ross Community Center, 8101 Marty St., Overland Park KS 66204

Steve Moring of Vajra Farm Permaculture Center will focus on living soils and how biologically diverse soils support life. This session will examine basic soil types, their chemistry, nutrient cycling, and the dynamics of soil organism interaction. Also covered will be the basics of building productive soils without petrochemical inputs, and innovative soil amendments including biodynamic techniques. This lecture is the fifth in a nine-session permaculture lecture series, presented every week. The lecture will be followed by a viewing of the Geoff Lawton film "Introduction to Permaculture Design, part II". Preregistration is required, and a percentage of the fees will support the Kaw Permaculture Collaborative and it's parent organization, the Sustainability Action Network. For more information contact Steve Moring at (785)691-7305 or

Wednesdays, 20 & 27 October and 3 & 10 November 2010, 7:00pm - $$
UMKC School of Medicine, Theatre C, 2411 Charlotte St., Kansas City MO 64108

Grow food not lawns! Increase local food security, improve your diet, beautify your surroundings, build community, reduce pollution and energy use (It takes 87 calories of fuel to transport one calorie of perishable fresh fruit from west coast to east coast). As supporters of the Food Not Lawns national movement, we will hold five sessions dealing with topics that include whole system design, garden preparation, permaculture, water-wise gardening, seed saving, planting, and free resources. Presenters include master and highly-qualified gardeners. Class fee is $18, plus $5 for materials. Register at Communiversity online registration. Bring a picture ID. Limit 30. More info at Food Not Lawns KC, or .


"By 2013, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong will be cruising to ever more dizzying economic heights courtesy of natural gas supplied by the 1,833-kilometer-long Central Asia Pipeline. And in a few more years, China’s big cities will undoubtedly also be getting a taste of Iraq’s fabulous, barely tapped oil reserves, conservatively estimated at 115 billion barrels, but possibly closer to 143 billion barrels."

Unlike the U.S. that squandered "more than a trillion dollars on an illegal energy war in Iraq, China simply used its state oil companies to get some of the energy it needed by bidding for it in a perfectly legal Iraqi oil auction. And China had the good sense not to get bogged down in an infinite quagmire in Afghanistan, but rather made a direct commercial deal with Turkmenistan and built itself a pipeline to provide much of the natural gas it needs."

"Twenty-eight percent of what’s left of the world’s proven oil reserves are in the Arab world. China could easily gobble it all up. Saudi Arabia controls 13% of world oil production, [and] it has become one of Beijing’s major oil suppliers. Chinese companies have invested a staggering $120 billion in Iran's energy sector over the past five years. Already Iran is China’s number two oil supplier, accounting for up to 14% of its imports.

"Currently, Turkmenistan sells its gas to: China via the world's largest gas pipeline (40 billion cubic meters per year), Russia (10 billion cubic meters per year, and Iran (14 billion cubic meters per year). The fact that Turkmenistan has committed its entire future gas exports to China, Russia, and Iran means the virtual death of various trans-Caspian Sea pipeline plans long favored by Washington and the European Union." Read more at China Betting and Bluffing in the New Great Game.

Friday-Sunday, 22-24 October 2010, 6:30pm-9:00pm Fri., 8:30am-5:30pm Sat.-Sun. - $$$
Columbans Retreat Center, 1902 Calhoun Street, Bellevue, NE 68005

The Transition movement was begun by Rob Hopkins in Great Britain Transition Towns, and in the U.S. is coordinated by Transition US based in Sebastapol CA. The focus is for local communities to transition from fossil fuel dependency to local resilience by tapping into their citizens' own genius and creativity. There currently are 74 transition initiatives in the U.S., and hundreds around the world. This training in Omaha will be conducted by the founders of Transition Colorado, Lynette Hanthorn and Michael Brownlee. For more info and to register go to http://www.transitionomaha.org


The national Bioneers Conference in San Rafael CA may be over, but there still are several regional ones coming up. The regional ones have more of a local focus, but with added electronic presentations from the national conference too. For the full list go to - Bioneers beaming to regional conferences. The nearest ones to the Kansas City/Lawrence area are:

Saturday, 23 October 2010, 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, hand held devices, and small appliances like micro wave or toaster ovens. There is a recycling fee for computer monitors ($10.00) and televisions ($15.00). There are no charges for other electronic equipment. Items not accepted are large appliances such as refrigerators and AC units. 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, 23 October 2010, 9:00am-3:00pm - FREE
Border Star Montessori School, 6321 Wornall Rd., Kansas City MO 64113

This event will include booths on solar energy, energy auditors, urban gardening, energy efficiency contractors, etc. There will also be seminars on getting your home ready for winter, urban gardening, solar power, and more. Border Star Montessori School PTA will also have a kids area with recycle art and face painting. For more info contact .

Thursday-Saturday, 4-6 November 2010, 8:00am-5:00pm - $$
Boone County Fairgrounds, Columbia MO

The USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program will be hosting this the largest annual small farm trade show in the United States. There will be more than 30 "Farmers Forum" talks, with sessions 25 to 55 minutes long, and covering topics like composting, beneficial bees, agroforestry, heritage turkeys, community gardens, local food systems, freshwater shrimp farming, weed control with goats, elderberries, and much more. To register, call "Small Farm Today" at (800)633-2535, write National Small Farm Show, 3903 W Ridge Trail Rd, Clark MO 65243, or see http://www.smallfarmtoday.com for more information.

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

The November agenda is unavailable to date. 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

Wednesday, 10 November 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 http://www.kcmo.org/manager.nsf/web/emc

Tuesday, 16 November 2010, 6:00pm
Public Works Conference Rm., City Hall Ground Floor, 6th & Massachusetts St.

The agenda will include: revisions to bicycle parking downtown, and more. The Committee works to improve bicycle safety and awareness through education of motorists and non-motorists, develops bicycle plans and maps, and advises the City and County Commissions on bicycle priorities and needs. The agenda and information can be downloaded at Bicycle Advisory Comm | agendas & minutes.

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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