Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Sustainability Announcements, Lawrence Action Chapter, 09/ November/ 2010


Recently the IRS classified the Sustainability Action Network a 501(C)(3) tax exempt organization. This was one of our primary objectives when we formed our action oriented group in late 2007. Like any 501(C)(3) organization, we can pursue educational activities and a limited extent of political advocacy, but no electoral politics of any kind. Because tax-exemption opens up broad possibilities for S.A.N. to apply for grants, we are eager to extend the scope of our community efforts. And anyone who donates money or services to S.A.N. may use that as a tax deduction on their Federal income tax return. Please remember S.A.N. in your year-end giving - (see the end of these Announcements for contact information).


In the middle of pitched battle over the Tri-State/Sunflower Electric coal plant application, and on the day of hotly contested nationwide elections, Gov. Parkinson fired the man overseeing the permitting process. Roderick Bremby drew the attention of the nation in 2007 as the first state regulator to reject an air quality permit for a coal plant, declaring carbon dioxide emissions a public health risk.

By another sleight of hand similar to his end run around Kathleen Sebelius' veto of the 2008 coal plant, Parkinson acted when most people weren't watching, demonstrating once again that this Democrat governor is still the Chair of the Kansas Republican Party. Parkinson insists that this has nothing to to with Bremby's authority over the coal plant process, having given Bremby a choice to head the new Governor (Brownback) transition team, or be fired. Some choice.

At last month's Permit Hearing, KDHE had received over 6000 comments from the public. It could easily take until after 2 January 2011 to review all comments, and on that date stronger EPA greenhouse gas regulations will take effect. Coal proponents want the permit granted before that, and Bremby was in the way - Roderick Bremby Ousted by Governor Parkinson.

One issue with bearing on the Holcomb coal plant is disposal of it's toxic coal ash. The EPA is currently considering coal ash regulations, some options strong and others without teeth. If you want to comment on regulating this toxic material, go to -
Time is Short on Coal Ash Safeguards. Comments must be received by 19 November.

Tuesday, 9 November 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 Richard Mabion and guest, John Burris, will review the good, the bad, and the ugly of 2010 for people of color in the environmental movement.

Also of ecological interest on KKFI this week:
  • On Tuesday at 6:00pm, "Tell Somebody" with Tom Klammer will focus on the Superfund contamination and cleanup of "The Federal Complex" on Bannister Road (AKA "The Kansas City Plant", and the "GSA Offices"). All these innocuous names are ambiguous distortions of what has been a nuclear weapons factory since the 1940's, exposing the workers and contaminating the soil and groundwater with beryllium and uranium. Tom attended a news conference on Monday where the EPA released findings from their investigation, and he will interview Scott Dye of the Sierra Club about the contamination report.
  • On Friday at 9:30am, the Bioneers Radio Series presents "Going Local: From Wal-Mart to Small-Mart". What are the hidden costs of lowest-cost products? Try socially irresponsible labor practices and environmental and community degradation, for starters. Author and economist Michael Shuman of Small-Mart portrays how locally-owned businesses and localized economies are circulating innumerable benefits back into the community, while raising environmental quality and the quality of life.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010, 6:00pm
Waldo Library, 201 East 75th St., Kansas City MO 64114

The Kansas City Transition Initiative is addressing climate disruption and peak oil inflation at the local level, a relocalization effort similar to hundreds of others around the globe. At Tuesday's meeting, there will be a screening of the notable film "Collapse". Afterward, Jerry Sargent will report on the Neighborhood Strategies Meeting about revitalizing neighborhoods by repurposing dilapidated buildings and closed schools.

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. They help local initiatives with resources and publications, and they have 22 trainers traveling to conduct local training sessions. For more info, or to get on the Kansas City e-mail list, call (816)767-8873, or contact them at

Wednesdays, 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 .

Thursday, 11 November 2010, 6:00-9:00pm - $$$
Matt Ross Community Center, 8101 Marty St., Overland Park KS 66204

Steve Moring of Vajra Farm Permaculture Center will cover a critical component of any site design, that of maximizing water absorption and minimizing run-off. Several techniques can be used to modify the terrain as needed, and they are best done at the outset before any planting takes place. Water catchments can be roofs with tank storage, or ground basins like ponds or water gardens. Swales and Key Lines are water channels that spread run-off horizontally by gravity. Terraces are on-level contours that slow the down-hill flow of water. This lecture is the eighth in a nine-session permaculture lecture series, presented every week. The lecture will be followed by a viewing of the film "Water Harvesting" by Geoff Lawton. 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

Wednesday, 10 November 2010, 12:00noon
ECM, 1204 Oread Ave., Lawrence KS 66044

(paraphrased from the Douglas County web site) "Sustainability means making decisions that balance the needs of the environment, economy, and society – for both present and future generations.
(from the U.N. Bruntland Report in 1987) "Sustainability is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

Eileen Horn, the Sustainability Coordinator for Douglas County, will be the speaker for the University Community Forum, talking about local efforts towards sustainability. More information about Ms. Horn can be found at Douglas County Sustainability Dept.

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
Project Living Proof, 917 Emanuel Cleaver Blvd., KC MO

This month's meeting will be at Project Living Proof, a demonstration project of how to restore a century-old house to be energy efficient. 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

Thursday, 11 November 2010, 7:00pm - FREE
Union Pacific Depot, 402 North 2nd St., Lawrence KS 66044

This public forum will explore how ecological sustainability and historic preservation can overlap and be mutually beneficial (re: Project Living Proof in previous item). A panel of experts will give presentations and field questions from the audience about saving resources by preserving our building stock, energy audits and upgrading the energy performance of old structures, reinvestment in central city density, and Federal and State programs that are available. It is sponsored by The City of Lawrence, the Lawrence Preservation Alliance, and the Kansas Preservation Alliance.

Sunday, 14 November 2010, 6:00pm
our Coordinator's office, 700 Mississippi St., Lawrence KS 66044

Local Solutions for Transition to a Sustainable Economy
S.A.N. organizes societal scale action for ecological sustainability both in our personal lives, and through public policy changes. "Be the change you want to see". The S.A.N. meeting agenda will include:
  • Grant application brainstorming
  • Transition Kaw Valley power point trial run
  • Ducks in a row: what it means to focalize S.A.N. actions
  • community workshops - FOCALIZER?: solar food dehydrator, cold frames, rain barrels, etc.
  • S.A.N.web site: list-serve, user-name access, content, site e-mail, $$ donations on site, etc.
  • develop an annual events schedule - FOCALIZER?
  • cultivating multi-organizational co-operation
  • Fair Trade Holiday Market: S.A.N. involvement?
Please join us

Monday, 15 November 2010, 7:00pm
Fire Station #5, Iowa & 19th Streets, Lawrence, KS 66046

In existence for one full year now, 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.

Monday-Tuesday, 15-16 November 2010 - FREE
Westin Crown Center Hotel, Kansas City, Missouri

The EPA Region Seven will host this series of workshops prior to the formal National Environmental Justice Advisory Council public meeting on November 16-18, 2010. The workshops target urban and rural communities, grassroots organizations, academic institutions, businesses, youth, elderly citizens, and many other demographic categories, especially low income and ethnic minority populations. Courses during the workshops include two tracks of (1) Collaborative Problem Solving with Success Stories, Tools, and Demonstrations, and (2) Grants and Resources Information. To register for the EJ Workshops and the NEJAC or for more information visit:http://www.epa.gov/region07/ej/2010_workshop/index.htm

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.

Saturday, 20 November 2010, 8:30am-4:30pm - $$
Flint Hills Technical College, 3301 W. 18th Ave, Emporia KS 66801

The Kansas Rural Center is hosting this sustainable agriculture conference with an emphasis on climate change and its challenges for agriculture, the emerging local food movement as business opportunity, and methods of transferring land to the next generation. Throughout the day will be speakers and workshops on: community and school gardens, local food policy councils, high tunnel season extenders, cover crops and biochar carbon sequestration, specialty and organic crops, the 2012 U.S. Farm Bill, and more. To learn more, register, and download a brochure, go to Connecting Cows, Carbon & Carrots, or contact the KRC at (785)873-3431 or .

Saturday, 20 November 2010, 9:30am-12:00noon
Lawrence Public Library Auditorium, 707 Vermont St., Lawrence, KS 66044

The Kaw Valley Seeds Project has existed for almost two years, growing its membership, holding classes, gathering seeds, sponsoring a local Seed Fair, and more. Now it's time to meet face to face and decide on a direction, select leadership, and plan for grants and another Seed Fair. For more info contact Dianna at (785)331-2315.

Sunday, 21 November 2010, 2:00pm
Forest Floor Permaculture, 1311 Prairie Ave., Lawrence KS 66044

Please join us to plan activities of the group for the winter and coming year. We have ideas for sponsoring hands-on workshops for building cold frames, low tunnels, rain barrels, and raised bed gardens. We are also planning our Permaculture Design Certification course for next year, with an extended apprenticeship/intern program at several developing food forest projects and other sites. The K.P.C. parent organization is the Sustainablity Action Network, which recently became a 501(C)(3) tax-exempt organization. S.A.N. also has absorbed the Kansas Permaculture Institute, so new opportunities are arising for grant funding and training programs. At 1:45pm before the meeting, Michael Almon will give a brief tour of Forest Floor Permaculture. Contact him for directions at <paradigm@ixks.com>.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010, 6:30-8:00pm - FREE
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Topeka, 4775 Southwest 21st Street, Topeka, KS 66614

Ben Stallings, who holds a certificate of permaculture design, will talk on how permaculture principles and design exercises can be applied to various areas of life rather than just to gardening specifically. Permaculture aims to apply the lessons of ecology to our immediate surroundings to create environmentally sustainable human habitat, both in our built environment and our natural settings.

Friday-Saturday, 26 November-4 December 2010, times TBA
ECM, 1204 Oread Ave., Lawrence KS 66044

The annual Fair Trade Holiday Market features products from artisans in dozens of countries around the world. The items support fair labor practices and are sold at fair prices, with most proceeds going directly to the artisans rather than to warehousers, brokers, advertisers and retailers. For more info go to Fair Trade Holiday Market, or contact the ECM at (785) 843-4933 or .

Friday, 3 December 2010, 7:00pm - FREE
ECM, 1204 Oread Ave., Lawrence KS 66044

Dr. Quinn Long, a field botanist with KU's Native Medicinal Plan Research Program, will report on their recent research. Everyone is welcome, including non-Sierra Club members. For more info e-mail or call 331-0625.

The SUSTAINABILITY ACTION NETWORK, Inc. is a 501(C)(3) tax-exempt 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, and Kansas Permaculture Institute - 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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