Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sustainability Action Newsletter, 29 May 2012

29 May 2012

Please use our PayPal link to donate whatever you feel is fair:
or mail checks to:  Sustainability Action Network, P.O.Box 1064, Lawrence KS 66044.
As a 501(C)(3), you get a tax deduction on your Federal tax return.


The 4th Annual Permaculture Farm & Garden Tour will be on Saturday-Sunday, 28-29 July 2012.  The Kaw Permaculture Collaborative is seeking growers who want to display their permaculture site on the tour.  The tour will visit about six sites each day, generally urban sites on one day, and rural sites on the other day.

Tour goers benefit most from seeing permaculture sites at various stages of development, because no permaculture is static or regimented, but evolving in ecosystem complexity.  Any type or size of permaculture endeavor will be a good candidate for the tour, as long as it's planned by permaculture principles.  If you have an urban or rural site within 45-60 minutes of Lawrence, we'll consider you for the tour.  Send your proposal to or .


Precautionary principle in the U.S.? - NOT
That pesky Japanese problem just had to pop up when the U.S. nuclear industry was poised to re-invent itself as the "climate solution".  So the industry and their operatives in Congress became fans of Frank Zappa, as in "Can't Happen Here"!  Full steam generator ahead!  And on the taxpayer's dime too, Obama approved not one but two new nukes. 

The one voice of reason, Gregory Jaczko of all people, the Chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, has been pressured to resign.  Why?  Was he just too ethical and diligent?  Jaczko took off of the table the high level nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain.  He came under fire from industry and government corporatists for assuming emergency powers after the Fukushima disaster.  He subsequently sought to address some longstanding safety problems at the 104 nuclear power reactors in the U.S.  And he opposed issuing construction licenses for Obama's two new nukes in Georgia and South Carolina - Gregory Jaczko to Resign as N.R.C. Chair After Stormy Tenure.  Obama was more than ready to nominate a successor - Obama Taps Allison Macfarlane as New Head of Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  The jury is out on her, but she calls herself a "nuclear agnostic".

Rising concerns for stability of highly radioactive spent fuel pool
The New York Times reports "Fourteen months after the accident, a pool brimming with used fuel rods and filled with vast quantities of radioactive cesium still sits on the top floor of a heavily damaged reactor building, covered only with plastic.  Tokyo Electric Power Company said it had found a slight bulge in one of the walls of the reactor building, stoking fears over the building's safety." - Spent Fuel Rods Drive Growing Fear Over Fukushima Unit 4.

And the Stars and Stripes report "A growing chorus of activists, experts and politicians is now raising alarm about the durability of Unit 4's cooling pool in the event of another strong earthquake.  72 Japan-based organizations sent a petition to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon requesting the U.N. to organize a summit to consider the future of Unit 4 and to establish an independent team to coordinate international assistance." - Concerns grow over stability of Japan nuclear plant spent fuel.

We suggest readers avail themselves of reports from the following sources: Green Action Japan - Green Action Japan : Beyond Nuclear - Beyond NuclearJapan Focus -Japan Focus;  and Fairewinds Associates - Fukushima Updates.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012, 6:30pm
1304 Pennsylvania St., Lawrence KS 66044

Transition Kaw Valley invites anyone interested in creating a novel and unique manifestation of the Penn St. Community Garden to come to a meeting at 1304 Pennsylvania St.  We are considering multiple concepts to be developed in several parts of the site, and we welcome any innovative proposal from anyone interested in making it real.  For example, at our last T.K.V. meeting, we brainstormed possibilities such as: aquaponics, vermicomposting, Greenhouse + Rocket Mass Heater, hoop house, permablitz an area, apiculture, compost toilet, tool library - - add your idea to the mix!  You can demonstrate that idea that's been rolling around your brain, AND provide a real asset for the community.  For more info, contact Matt at .

Thursday, 31 May 2012, 5:00pm  - NOTE earlier meeting time
Lawrence Library Auditorium, 7th & Vermont St., Lawrence KS 66044

Topics for discussion:
  • 1304 Penn Street Garden - proposals for innovative projects
  • Re-skilling workshops planning (see below)
  • future community presentations
Please volunteer to help with the T.K.V. workshop series:
  • Solar cooking workshop, Bill Price - 23 June, 10am-2:00pm
  • Vermicomposting, Stan Slaughter - TBA July
  • Solar Food Dehydrator, Michael Almon - TBA August
  • Permablitz - date TBA
  • Water Purification & Storage - date TBA
The Transition Kaw Valley mission is to generate interest from a wide range of folks to create a relocalized, sustainable community from the grassroots up.  We are scheduling small-group community presentations, to familiarize organizations with the Transition Movement.  If your church, fraternal organization, or neighborhood association would like to host such a presentation, please contact us at .  And join the list-serv at Transition Kaw Valley discussion.


The Big Fix takes a detailed look at what happened in the Gulf of Mexico with BP's Macondo oil drilling rig explosion.  It delves into issues mostly ignored by the corporate media such as the extent of pollution, fishery destruction, sea creature deaths, and chronic illness of Gulf state residents.  But the main focus of the film is on "Corexit" (that's right, "corrects it") the highly toxic chemical oil dispersant, unregulated in the U.S., used by BP to "make the oil go away".  Actually, Corexit did not remove any oil, but only turned it into microscopic particles.  The mix of dispersant and oil was more toxic than either one alone.  But Corexit sure cleaned up BP's image - the real reason they needed a "big fix" - The Big Fix: expose' of BP, U.S. Gov't on Gulf disaster.  Watch the trailer at - The Big Fix Official Trailer.  Soon to be in theaters and Netflix - The Big Fix Movie.

Thursday, 31 May 2012, 7:00pm  -  $
Liberty Hall, 642 Massachusetts St., Lawrence KS 66044

FRESH celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across the United States who are re-inventing our food system.  Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet.  The Lawrence Sustainability Coordinator, Eileen Horn, will be speaking briefly before the screening about the ways the City of Lawrence and Douglas County are working to create opportunities for the community to have a local, healthy, and sustainable food system accessible to everyone.  The event is co-organized by The Community Mercantile and the Lawrence Food Garden Tour.  Watch the trailer at -

Saturday, 2 June 2012, 9:00am-12:00noon, 5:00-8:00pm (rain date, Sun. 3 June)
twenty one sites in Lawrence KS

This will be a self-guided tour to any of twenty one gardens by using a brochure and map available from many garden centers, hardware stores, and food venues.  This tour will feature community gardens and home gardens, in front yards and back yards, with chickens and fruit trees and more.  For more info, contact Caryl at .  The tour map is available at -  If you care to be face-booked, you can also visit

Listen at KKFI-FM 90.1, or web-streaming at

Friday, 1 June 2012, 9:30am ¤ Bioneers Radio Series 
Bioneers presents another of their award winning shows.

Monday, 4 June 2012, 6:00pm ¤ locally produced Eco-Radio KC
Host Steve Mann will be discussing soil health and agro-ecosystem sustainability with Ray Archuleta Conservation Agronomist with the NRCS - National Soil Health & Sustainability Team.  Mr. Archuleta specializes in soil biology/ecology, diverse approaches for agro-ecosystem sustainability, and soil quality concepts.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012, 5:30pm
location TBA, Lawrence KS 66044

The June agenda is not yet available.  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
13 June 2012, 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 leaders and staff, to assist the progress of Kansas City toward sustainability.  The General public is encouraged to attend and observe meetings and to join and participate in its efforts.  More information is at KC Environmental Mgt Commission

Wednesday, 13 June 2012, 7:30pm
Delaware Street Commons, Hearth Room, 822 E. 13th Street, Lawrence KS 66044
Local Solutions for Transition to a Sustainable Economy

The meeting agenda will include: 
  • 1304 Penn. St. Gardenproposals for innovative projects
  • possible new Board members
  • July Sustainability conference - K-State & KNRC
  • Transition Kaw Valley report
  • workshops on Solar Cooking (June), Vermicomposting (July), and Solar Food Dehydrators (August)
  • S.A.N. generic business cards
  • S.A.N. web site update - Sustainability Action Network
Please join us

Saturday, 16 June 2012, 10am to 11:30pm  -  FREE 

KU Native Medicinal Plant Research Garden, 1865 E. 1600 Road, Lawrence, KS
Join faculty, staff and students from the KU Native Medicinal Plant Research Program for the semi-annual public tour of the research garden site.  The garden is half a mile north of Highway 40, adjacent to the Prairie Moon Waldorf Schools grounds (Map).  Meet just inside the gate under our shade structure at the center of our demonstration garden.  The tour will include all areas of the garden, including the research plantings, the demonstration garden, the natural dye garden and the K.U. Student Farm, which has doubled in size since last year.  For more info contact Kirsten Boskak or (785)864-6267
Monday, 18 June 2012, 7:00pm
Community Mercantile, classroom, 901 Iowa St., Lawrence KS 66049

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.

Analysis and Training Workshop ¤ Tuesday-Wednesday, 19-20 June 2012  -  $$$
Design and Construction Workshop ¤ Thursday-Friday, 21-22 June 2012  -  $$$
Prairie Lovesong Farm, Linwood KS

Fresh water constitutes only 2.5% of all of Earth's water, and 69% of that is locked up in glaciers and ice caps.  The rest of the fresh water is mostly groundwater, and the last 1% is severely polluted or else expropriated for industrial uses such as in natural gas fracking - Where is Earth's water?  In addition water availability is dropping from climate disruption, causing more droughts, or more flash floods that drain off the land.

Precious water is the essence of life, and it has become even more precious under today's conditions.  These workshops will help in understanding the dynamics of water, use rates, storage calculations, and project planning, as well as how to design systems to meet our irrigation and household needs.  It is sponsored by ALL-N-1 Landscape, a local permaculture and edible landscape company and is being taught by professionals from the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association.  For information and registration, go to the ARCSA website, or call (512)617-6528.

Saturday, 23 June 2012, 10am-2:00pm  -  $$
location TBA, Lawrence KS 66044

This workshop is part of the ongoing T.K.V. Reskilling Workshop Series.  At 10:00am sharp, we will hurry to get our lunch (mostly vegetarian, organic and locally grown) into a variety of different solar cookers.  We'll watch a video on solar cooking and build three working solar cookers out of cardboard boxes, that participants can take home.  We'll eat the food we cook, enjoy a solar food drying demonstration and discuss the benefits of solar cooking in Lawrence and the world.  You'll get a handout directing you to internet resources so that you can learn more later.  Join us as we begin reducing our carbon footprint one solar oven at a time.  For more info contact .

Wednesday-Thursday, 27-28 June 2012
Cosmic Beauty School, 1145 Pennsylvania St., Lawrence KS 66044

Bike & Build - - is a not-for-profit that hosts cross-country rides of 32 riders each, who visit communities to volunteer with a local organization.  The Central U.S. tour will be at Cosmic Beauty School to evaluate their proposal for grant funding from Bike & Build.  There will be a pot luck dinner at 7:00pm on the 27th.  The organization's focus is affordable housing, and they tour to spread awareness, learn of local actions, and help build projects.  For more info contact .

We welcome suggestions for Newsletter items
.  Please send items to .

Join the Sustainability Action Network by clicking this link - Become a Member of S.A.N. - and follow the instructions.  The S.A.N. mission isto bring awareness of the global crisis caused by climate change, energy vulnerability and economic instability to communities in the Kansas River bioregion, and the tools needed to re-skill and re-localize our economy and create a more socially just and ecologically sustainable world. 

Current S.A.N. projects include:
1) Transition Kaw Valley - initiating transition to a relocalized post-carbon economy, and municipal-level Peak Oil response planning - Transition Kaw Valley

2) Kansas Permaculture Institute- formal training of permaculture designers, and issuing them PDC Certificates.
3) S.A.N. Permaculture Collaborative - freely and informally sharing knowledge and resources about sustainable food production and dwellings S.A.N. Permaculture Collaborative

4) Bicycles & Electric Vehicles - promoting bicycles, utility tricycles, and neighborhood electric vehicles, including infrastructure and pro-active regulations.

5) S.A.N. Weekly Newsletter - informing and encouraging people to be active in the Sustainability Action Network, or other action-driven groups.

6) Water Rights & Watersheds - protecting the water commons, the source of all life, from privatization and contamination, and restoring our watersheds.

7) Growers' Land Trust - organizing interested stakeholders to acquire prime farmland in the urban fringe for land-based economic development and regional food security.

8) Eco Village Land Trust - Designing and focalizing a sustainable intentional community near Lawrence.

9) Energy Conservation & Renewables - advancing a green economy through decentralized renewable energy and conservation.
10) Collaboration with sister organizations - such as: Films for Action; The Light Center eco-village; Kaw River Valley Food System farm-based economic development; Cosmic Beauty School urban homestead; Cultivate Kansas City;Transition Kansas CityLawrence Fruit Tree Project; Kansas River Valley Growers fighting for local water rights; the National Sustainable Energy Network; the Kansas City Food Circle, and more.


As a guidebook for local transition communities, Rob Hopkins has published this sequel to the original Transition Handbook.  For your copy, e-mail Michael at and arrange for pick up.  If you want it mailed, shipping will be additional.

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Sustainability Action Network, P.O. Box 1064, Lawrence, KS 66044, USA

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