Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sustainability Action Newsletter, Weekly, 26 June 2012

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or mail checks to:  Sustainability Action Network, P.O.Box 1064, Lawrence KS 66044.
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We received much positive feedback on last week's synopsis of "The End of Growth".  But this editor's summary hardly does justice to the complexity of Heinberg's book.  Without a full grasp of his thesis, it's difficult to view the outcome positively.  Yet he presents reasons for optimism amid a sobering diagnosis of industrial society's ills. 

Heinberg says that to adapt to a shrinking economy, "The first thing you must do is re-align your thinking.  Make both critical thinking and nature observation daily practices.  Systematically hone your own self-correcting, critical point of view."  It may take several readings of "The End of Growth" to fully understand Heinberg's message, but a great place to start is his own book synopsis that he wrote in November of 2010 - The End of Growth: MuseLetter #222.  Future editions of the S.A.N. Newsletter will bring more updates by Richard Heinberg and others.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012, 6:30pm (reception at 6:00pm)  -  FREE
K.C. Central Library, 14 West 10th St., Kansas City MO 64105

Edwin Marty, author and founder of the Jones Valley Urban Farm in Birmingham, Alabama, will be talking about backyard food swaps, rooftop gardens, livestock in the city, decontaminating toxic soil, and even changing zoning laws.  People have always grown food in urban spaces - on windowsills, in backyards, and neighborhood parks - but today urban farmers are leading an environmental and social movement that is transforming our national food system.  Co-sponsored by Cultivate K.C. and Chipotle Mexican Grill.  They request you RSVP at - Breaking Through Concrete: Building an Urban Farm Revival.

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

Tuesday, 26 June 2012, 9:00am ¤ Law and Disorder Radio
Spectra Pipeline of Houston, TX plans to bring a 30 inch gas pipeline through the West Village of Manhattan from the Marcellus Shale hydro-fracking region of upstate New York, and it's being fast-tracked by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  The Reverend Billy will be the guest to discuss - and preach - about the pipeline and the fracked gas highly saturated with radon gas.

Friday, 29 June 2012, 9:30am ¤ Bioneers Radio Series 
Bioneers presents another of their award winning shows.

Monday, 2 July 2012, 6:00pm ¤ locally produced Eco-Radio KC
Host Steve Mann will be interviewing Greg Garbos of the The Itty Bitty Farm in the City, and an organic farming consultant at Four Seasons Tools. 

Wednesday, 27 June 2012, 11:00am
Lawrence City Hall, 6 East 6th St., Lawrence KS 66044

Lawrence's Metro Planning Organization (MPO), which is responsible for all transportation planning, has catchy graphics of a pedestrian, a bicycle, a bus, and a car displayed equally on it's materials.  But are these modes of transportation given equal consideration in planning projects or equal funding in construction projects?  With the recently adopted "Complete Streets Policy", one would think that funding priorities would have begun shifting from the 95% motor vehicles/5% bicycles-bus-pedestrian ratio.

If you'd rather fight for balanced planning and funding so balanced priorities are built into the system, rather than fight fumes and fenders day after day, then the time to affect changes to Lawrence transportation planning is at these meetings.  To learn more of the plan click on - Transportation 2040 Plan.  Unfortunately the links there are rather insipid, so the meetings may be a more effective way to provide input.  But even there, no one will be taking notes, though they may give you a piece of paper to write on.  To have in depth effect, it will be important to attend the future MPO hearings and Planning Commission hearings and City Commission hearings.

Wednesday-Thursday, 27-28 June 2012, 7:00pm potluck
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 .


So. Cal. San Onofre nuclear plant steam generator failure 
On 22 May 2012, we reported that the Southern California nuclear plant at San Onofre had suffered radiation releases in January, and was temporarily shut down.  Now Southern California Edison wants to prematurely restart the reactor, in spite of reservations by the Regional N.R.C. Administrator, Elmo Collins - "This is a significant, serious safety issue.  This is a very difficult technical issue, and to be honest, it's not one we've seen before." - Faulty computer modeling caused San Onofre cooling tube failure

Fortunately, Friends of the Earth has filed a legal challenge against any premature restart.  The have asked the N.R.C. to conduct a full license amendment process, including a trial-like public hearing, to review the design changes in the new steam generators.  Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds Associates claims that Edison did not report all of the significant design changes to the NRC, which should have triggered an amendment to its license - Friends of the Earth demands hearings on defective San Onofre steam generators.

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

Discussion topics may include: 
  • fund raising needs: replenish our treasury, fund new projects
  • 1304 Penn. St. Garden proposals for innovative projects and funding
  • workshops on Vermicomposting (14 July), and Solar Food Dehydrators (August)
  • not-for-profit sponsorship of T.K.V.
  • S.A.N. generic business cards
Everyone is welcome

Wednesday, 11 July 2012, 5:30pm
Public Works Conf. Room, City Hall, 6 East 6th St., Lawrence KS 66044

The July 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
Wednesday, 11 July 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

Saturday, 14 July 2012, 9:00am-12noon  -  $$
1304 Pennsylvania St., Lawrence KS 66044

Stan Slaughter will be bringing his 30+ years of compost teaching and experience to Lawrence for this Worm Composting Workshop.  He is an award-winning educator, eco-troubadour, and national presenter at schools, conferences, and professional associations.  More about Stan is available atStan Slaughter Compost Education.

The workshop will include how to feed the micro-organisms in healthy soil, composting theory and practice, indoor worm bin composting, outdoor worm composting, harvesting the finished worm castings, and how to build a hot compost pile.  Space is limited, so pre-registration is required.  To register, write a $10 check to Sustainability Action with a note on it "Worm Composting", and mail it to P.O. Box 1064, Lawrence KS 66044.  Also available for purchase will be Stan's "Com-Poster" worm guide, red wriggler worm starter colonies, and his "Rot 'N Roll" CD.  Sponsored by Sustainability Action.  For more info contact or (785)832-1300


Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT), Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Mark Begich (D-AK) sponsored an amendment to the 2012 Farm Bill that would have allowed states to require clear labeling of Genetically Engineered food.  Even though 49 other nations require GE food labeling, the FDA requires labeling of 3000 other ingredients, and millions of U.S. citizens have signed petitions for GE labeling, the U.S. Senate voted 3 to 1 against allowing us the right to know - Senate Votes "No" on GE Food Labeling.

This isn't just an academic tug-of-war, because there is ample proof that GE foods are dangerous to human health, not to mention causing ecological damage.  One recent example is the GE Bermuda grass, Tifton 85, which kills grazing cattle by spontaneously releasing cyanide gas - GE grass causing Texas cattle deaths.  Another case is the Swiss biotech giant, Syngenta AG, who denied any knowledge of their GE corn causing cattle illness and death, and then bribing to cover up the story.  The cattle farmers and a German action group have taken Syngenta to criminal court - Syngenta Charged with Covering up Animal Deaths from GE Corn.

But without legal labeling in the U.S., it's the corporations who sue the citizens and our elected officials.  Monsanto threatened to sue the State of Vermont, who then backed down from passing a food labeling bill.  Connecticut also caved to threats, but then Dianna Reeves, an irate mother, launched a national GE food boycott - Mom-Turned-Activist Launches National GE Food Boycott.  As admirable as citizen empowerment is, it's difficult to boycott something if you don't know what and where it is.  The Senate has perpetuated that disparity of power.  Nevertheless, Ms. Reeves' organization, GMO Free USA, is rallying thousands to demand transparency from food corporations, and boycott them if they continue to use GE food ingredients.  Their success depends on a groundswell of support, because otherwise corporations will simply claim a legal right of non-disclosure.

Monday, 16 July 2012, 7:00pm
Stull United Methodist Church, 1596 East 250 Rd, Lecompton KS 66050

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.

Saturday, 21 July 2012, 8:00am-4:30pm  -  FREE
Fiedler Hall, K-State Univ., Manhattan KS

The 7th Annual Dialog on Sustainability is titled Finding an Optimal Path to a Sustainable World.  The conference will discuss current sustainability related activities, and explore future opportunities.  It will include panel discussions and small group dialogs around the topics of climate disruption, solar energy shaded parking, sustainable food systems, transition initiatives in Kansas, and more.

There is no registration fee, but we do ask that attendees pre-register so that we will have a seat and lunch reserved for you.  Please send your name, affiliation, contact information, and e-mail address to Sheree Walsh, by July 9, 2012.  Detailed information on the Dialog may be found at:


Saturday-Sunday, 28-29 July 2012, 8:00am-5:00pm
Saturday - a guided tour of urban sites in Lawrence  -  $10
Sunday - a guided tour of rural sites in the region  -  $10

The Kansas Permaculture Collaborative and Sustainability Action are sponsoring the 4th Annual Permaculture Farm & Garden Tour.   Permaculture is a design science by which we pattern our surroundings to harmonize with nature rather than to subdue nature.  The end result is a farm or garden that is a low-input, self-organizing, mature polyculture ecosystem.
This is a group guided tour, but transportation is on your own or by carpooling.
The tour happens rain or shine, within reason - dress appropriately.
Bring water, a hat, sunscreen, bug repellant, and a lunch.
Space is limited, so pre-registration is required by contacting (785)832-1300 or .

Saturday-Sunday, 4-5 August 2012, 9:00am-4:30pm  -  $$$
Chestnut Charlie's Nut Tree Crops, 1841 E. 1450 Rd. (US 59), Lawrence KS 66044

This weekend workshop will provide instruction in the vision, theory, design and practice of ecological forest agriculture that uses our temperate deciduous forest as a model.  The instructors are four permaculture designers who have been practicing permaculture for decades - Steve Moring of Kaw Permaculture, Michael Almon of Forest Floor Permaculture, Daniel Dermitzel of Cultivate Kansas City, and Charles NovoGradac of Chestnut Charlie's Nut Tree Crops.

The course will cover the basics of Forest Gardens: understanding plant guilds and plant community functions, plant species and site selection criteria and considerations, and how to create a Forest Garden Design.  By mimicking the architecture and function of a natural ecosystem through all stages of growth, a good design can maximize photosynthesis for perennial production of food, fodder and fiber.  At the end of the course, students will leave with plant lists, resources on design strategies, and a base map for scheming and dreaming up your forest garden.  For more info go to, or contact Steve Moring at .

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) Kansas Permaculture Institute - formal training of permaculture designers, and issuing them PDC Certificates.

2) Kansas Permaculture Collaborative - freely and informally sharing knowledge and resources about sustainable food production and dwellings S.A.N. Permaculture Collaborative

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

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

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

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

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

8) Energy Conservation & Renewables - advancing a green economy through decentralized renewable energy and conservation.
9) 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 City; Kansas River Valley Growers fighting for local water rights; the National Sustainable Energy Network; the Kansas City Food Circle, and more.

S.A.N. sponsored organizations (informal as yet):
1) Transition Kaw Valley - initiating transition to a relocalized post-carbon community by means of an energy descent plan - Transition Kaw Valley

2) Lawrence Fruit Tree Project - educating and inspiring the community to grow and steward perennial food plants and increase local food security - Lawrence Fruit Tree Project


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.

To subscribe to this newsletter, please click this link »Subscribe to the Sustainability Newsletter.  Enter your name and e-mail address, and follow the instructions.  The system will send you a confirmation message with a "Confirmation Link" which you MUST click in order to complete your subscription confirmation.  If you don't get the confirmation message, check in your junk mail folder for blocked as spam.

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

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