Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sustainability Action Newsletter, 22 April 2014

"Oh beautiful for smoggy skies, insecticide grain - For stripmined mountain's majesty above the asphalt plain - America, America, man sheds his waste on thee - And hides the pines with billboard signs, from sea to oily sea." - George Carlin

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Comedian, George Carlin, had no sacred cows.  While some of his work was just side-splitting absurdist humor, he frequently took pot shots at those of any political persuasion and exposed their (our) self-delusional heroics.  If you recently celebrated Earth Day like thousands of others, you may want to gain greater insight by watching this video George Carlin on Saving the Earth.  But be warned, you and I are the brunt of his humor in this.  Carlin admonishes that "The planet is fine.  The people are f**ked.  The planet is a self-correcting system that will shake us off like a bad case of fleas".  His take home message: if we're lucky, we may save the human species, but the Earth will survive regardless of what we do.

Thursday, 24 April 2014, 4:00-6:00pm
Kansas Room, Student Union, University of Kansas, Lawrence KS 66045

This will be a presentation by the Kansas Water Office who is interested in getting feedback from the public.  For more info contact Katie Patterson-Ingels at the Kansas Water Office <>.

With climate-change induced drought in Kansas, it seems the major water conservation issue will be how to curtail the millions of gallons of water needed for typical gas fracking wells, as well as moving away from high irrigation crops such as corn in western Kansas. 

Thursday, 24 April 2014, 1:00pm
J.C. NIchols Fountain, 47th St. at Broadway Blvd., Kansas City MO

As the movement against GE foods grows larger, people are becoming educated about the dangers that the corporations and the F.D.A. are not revealing.  State and community policy initiatives are on the increase, and the food giants are needing to spend millions to try to thwart them. 

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

The Vermont Senate passed a mandatory GE food labeling bill that the Vermont House has already passed.  It now goes into conference committee to work out minor differences, before proceeding to the Governor for signing into law.  All food containing any GE ingredients sold at retail stores would be required to list them on the label as having been produced or partially produced with "genetic engineering.  Andrea Stander, a spokesperson for the Vermont Right to Know GMOs coalition, said they expect the biotech industry to sue in an attempt to stop enactment of the bill.  As such, the language of the bill includes formation of a fund that would pay legal bills.  Stander said "Consumers all across the country have woken up to the fact that we've become an unregulated feeding experiment by the biotech industry."  Learn more at - Vermont Senate passes mandatory GMO food-labeling law.

Friday, 25 April 2014, 6:00-10:00pm
9th Street corridor from Massachusetts St. eastward to Pennsylvania St.

A "complete street" is built to be equally accessible by all forms of transportation: pedestrians, bicyclists, wheel chair users, transit riders, skate boarders, and motor vehicles.  A "better block" event is a temporary installation of all the complete street elements and amenities: bicycle lanes or tracks, pedestrian crossings and refuges, wheel chair ramps, transit stops, right-sizing the auto lanes, and community plazas for gathering and playing and art and food.  Various U.S. communities have installed better blocks, some for a day, some for a week or more, to get a feel of how it can work on the ground. 

This Lawrence Better Block will be in conjunction with the Final Friday Arts Gallery Walk and will feature 9th Street which is central to the Lawrence Cultural District in the East Lawrence Neighborhood.  It is organized by a number of K.U. Architecture students, and they are using as their crowd sourcing partner for folks to donate and sponsor the event.  To learn more visit Better Block Lawrence: 25 April 2014.

Saturday, 26 April 2014, 8:30am-5:00pm  -  $$
Dreher 4H Building, Douglas County Extension Service, 2110 Harper St., Lawrence KS 66046

Do you want to grow your food in your front yard or vacant lot?  Vegetables, but also apples, pears, blueberries, peaches, hazelnuts, chestnuts, and more?  This workshop will provide the essentials of permaculture ethics, principles, and design as applied in an urban setting.  If you thinkyour yard is limited in food-growing potential because it's too shady or too sloping or it has low fertility, think permaculture.  In the permaculture garden, there's no need to till every year, much of the weeding is eliminated by groundcovers, shade trees and shrubs will bear food, and irrigation needs will be reduced.

This workshop will be taught by permaculture designers who operate the PermaCommons Community Garden which includes raised beds for growing annual vegetables, and perennial crops of fruits, nuts and berries spread throughout. 
The $50 fee includes a catered lunch, resource information, and a tour of the PermaCommons Community Garden.  PermaCommon Garden members may attend for free.  If you are considering joining a community garden this year, a PermaCommons member fee of $100 will get you a seasonal membership AND attendance at this one-day workshop.  To get a member application, contact Michael at .  To sign up for the workshop only, go to


From the persistent people at BOLD Nebraska, "The U.S. State Department announced today that it will extend the government comment period on the Keystone XL pipeline, citing the uncertainty of the route in Nebraska after Lancaster County District Judge Stephanie Stacy ruled in February that Nebraska's pipeline siting law is 'unconstitutional and void'.  The State Department is following Pres. Obama's lead who has said all along he wants to follow the process.  The basic fact that Nebraska has no legal route is reason to delay any decision".  Learn more at - U.S. State Dept. Delays Keystone XL Decision.

Bill McKibben said three things strike him about this development:
  1. In pipeline terms it's a win.  Every day we delay a decision is a day when 830,000 barrels of oil stays safely in the ground.  Together we've kept them at bay for three years now, and will continue to until perhaps the beginning of next year it seems.
  2. In climate terms, it's a disappointment.  Since the State Department can't delay floods and droughts and El Ninos, we actually need President Obama providing climate leadership.  If he'd just follow the science and reject the stupid pipeline he'd finally send a much-needed signal to the rest of the planet that he's getting serious.
  3. In movement terms, it's a sweet reminder that when we stand up we win.  Three years ago this pipeline was a done deal, and thanks to you it's come steadily undone.  We can't match Exxon or the Koch Bros with money; we can and have matched them with passion, spirit, creativity, and sacrifice.
So on Saturday, 26 April, in the District of Columbia will be the Reject and Protect mass tipi encampment by the Cowboy Indian Alliance.  If you can't be there yourself, you can show your support for the Cowboy Indian Alliance by telling Pres. Obama and Sec. Kerry to use this delay to meet with them simply by clicking here


Between the release dates of the Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) and the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), it became clear that the State Department and their hired contractor had gamed the system with flawed conclusions by the consultant, ERM, Inc.  Over 75,000 citizens have signed a "pledge of resistance".  Each person committed to risk arrest if necessary to stop Keystone XL, and President Obama has felt pressure in a way he never had before.  It is thought his decision may come soon, so protectors of the land and air need to be ready when the time comes.

With over 400 volunteer action leaders trained in 25 cities nationwide, the local sit-in actions will be deployed when and if the Obama Administration recommends approval of Keystone XL.  Chances are there's one near you.  To stop Keystone XL, you can take the next step and sign up with your local pledge action.  You can Find your nearest Pledge of Resistance action and sign up to be part of it.  The passive resistance actions will be at places like the State Department, EPA and Federal offices, oil industry contractor ERM offices, and branches of TD Bank.  If you click the above link and plug in your zip code, you will learn where the nearest action is to you.

Friday-Sunday, 25-27 April 2014
Camp Hammond, Stubbs Rd., between Lawrence & Topeka

The Kansas Area Watershed (K.A.W.) Council, one of the earliest bioregional organizations in North America (others are Planet Drum Foundation, and the Ozark Area Community Congress) will hold its annual camp-out with a theme of "The Reconnecting Power of Play".  The event features activities like nature walks of all flavors, herbal wisdom, dance and movement, fishing, primitive skills, art jams, cooperative games, etc.  Play is a whole life way to explore and deepen those connections and yet it is sometimes hard to find the time and place to do this in our busy lives.  Participants will be setting much of the agenda by self-organizing activities using an Open Space structure.  If you want to lead a playshop, we will post your playshop or play time on a board at the camp with meeting times and places.  You commit to showing up at that time and kicking off the activity with some introduction.  If your idea requires materials, please bring plenty to share.

Event registration and a locational map are available at Prairie Roots: The Power of Play - Eventbrite.  A limited number of partial scholarships and work-study positions are available.  For more information contact .

Listen at KKFI-FM 90.1, or web-streaming at
(courtesy Mike Murphy, KKFI Programming Committee)

Friday, 25 April 2014, 9:30am  ¤  Bioneers Radio Series
Bioneers presents "War, Earth, and Soul: The Warrior's Path of Redemption".  Is high-tech war that can annihilate human civilization and nature on a global scale really a viable response to conflict in the 21st century?  The traumatic wounding of war is so deep that it calls for more than antidepressants or stress management.  Dr. Edward Tick's heart-rending experience shows us that transforming the demons of war can lead to a redemptive path of healing and reverence for life.

Monday, 28 April 2014, 5:00am  ¤  Exploration with Dr. Michio Kaku   
This edition is titled "Fukishima Disaster Update".  Dr. Kaku will interview Michael Marriote of the Nuclear Information Resource Service of Washington DC about the latest concerning the Fukushima disaster.  Marriote began at NIRS in February 1985, has testified in the U.S. Congress and several other nation's legislatures, and appeared at international conferences.

Monday, 28 April 2014, 6:00pm  ¤  locally produced Eco-Radio KC
This week's EcoRadioKC will feature another in their series of ecologically oriented shows.


92% of all new U.S. generating capacity during the first quarter was from renewables
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission reported that in the first 3 months of 2014, biomass, geothermal, solar, hydro and wind accounted for 92.1 percent of the 1150 MW of new domestic generating capacity.  This consisted of 584 MW solar, 427 MW of wind, 30 MW of geothermal steam, 10 MW of biomass, and 8 MW of hydro.  Nuclear, coal and oil provided no new capacity, while 90 MW of natural gas and 1 MW of "other" provided the balance.  Learn more at - Energy Infrastructure Update_FERC_31Mar2014.pdf.

We suggest readers avail themselves of reports from the following sources:  Japan for Sustainability - Focus - Update -;  and Fairewinds Energy Education -

Saturday, 3 May 2013, 9:00am to 1:00pm
University of Kansas Park & Ride Lot Clinton Parkway & Crestline Dr., 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 televisions ($15.00 under 27", $35 over 27").  There are no charges for other electronic equipment.   Items not accepted are large appliances such as refrigerators and AC units, and household hazardous waste such as compact fluorescent lights or compressed gas cylinders.  Fees may be paid by cash or check.
Electronic recycling will be provided by Midwest Recycling Center  The event is sponsored by the City of Lawrence Waste Reduction & Recycling Division

Sunday,  3 May 2014, 4:00pm (potluck at 6:30pm)
Vajra Farm Permaculture Center, 14370 54th St., Oskaloosa KS 66066

This will be the seasonal meeting of the Kansas Permaculture Collaborative to share ideas, do file swaps, compare notes on nursery suppliers, make plans for collaborating in the upcoming year, and more.  Meeting topics may include: farm implement/tool bank, crop mob work trade system, local seed bank, improvements of web site/list-serve/social media, practical or philosophical discussion groups, reskilling workshops.  Bring a pot luck dish and something to drink, and wear warm clothes for gathering around a bonfire after dinner.  Please no dogs.  For more info contact Steve at or (785)691-7305.

Saturday, 3 May 2014, 9:30am to 12:00pm  -  FREE
Discovery Center of MO Dept. of Conservation, 4750 Troost Ave., Kansas City, MO
(courtesy Dayna McDaniel)

At this plant exchange there will be heirloom veggies, herbs, berries, trees, natives, ground covers, annuals, perennials, and houseplants.  Bring your extra plants to contribute to the group, and it's all available for the choosing to take home for free.  Please label properly every plant item you bring, and don't bring invasive or weedy or super common plants (like orange daylily, baby redbud, common violet, loosestrife, etc.).  Also, please don't bring bare root plants (except for bulbs, tubers, rhizomes, or peonies), only those potted two weeks in advance for sake of survival.  Bring your own trays or boxes to carry your plants around.  It is all free and they do it to encourage gardening and growing locally.  For more info contact <> or call 816-356-9892.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014, 6:30pm
Capital City Bank conference room, 740 New Hampshire St., Lawrence KS 66044

The L.C.C.I. Mission is to build community and increase resilience through the use of a complementary currency.  Our core organizing group meets every other Wednesday to lay the groundwork for a broad based local currency.  To be successful, it should have broad community "participation of producers, users, and agencies that will assure reciprocity and a high level of daily exchanges to avoid stagnation.  More info is available at the facebook page -

Anyone is welcome to bring their ideas and energy to create the structure, so it will be ready when circumstances require.  To get on the e-mail info list, send your contact information to .

Saturday, 10 May 2012, 10:00am to 2:00pm  -  FREE
Clinton City Park, 5th & Alabama St., Lawrence KS

The gift must always move!  This free and open market will be a celebration of cooperation and gift-giving that make life possible beyond the constraints of capitalists markets.  Everyone is invited to give and receive clothing, household items, books, plants, seeds, crafts, information, skills, music, services, art, performances, stories, food, etc.  There is no buying, selling, bartering, or exchanging involved in this market - everything is strictly FREE!  Really, Really Free Markets are a form of alternative economies that are becoming more and more popular in the U.S.

Small items and clothing not taken from the Really, Really Free Market will be donated to the Penn House or Social Service League thrift store.  However, large items cannot be transported to the thrift store.  People are asked to take responsibility for any large items they bring that are not taken by the end of the event.

Tuesday, 13 May2014, 5:00pm
Lawrence Parks & Rec. Conference Room, 1141 Massachusetts St., Lawrence KS 66044

The May agenda is not yet available.  The Bicycle Advisory 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.

14 May 2014, 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, 14 May 2014, 5:30pm
Public Works Conference Room, lower level, City Hall, 6 East 6th St., Lawrence KS 66044

The May 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, 14 May 2014, 7:00pm
Carnegie Building Conference Room, 200 West 9th St., Lawrence KS 66044

The May agenda is not yet available.  The Lawrence Pedestrian Coalition is a joint effort of the Lawrence Association of Neighborhoods and the League of Women Voters.  Monthly meetings are open to the public.  For more info go to Lawrence Pedestrian Coalition, or contact Laura Routh .

Thursday, 15 May 2014, 6:30pm
1425 Oread West, Lawrence KS 66049 (N.W. corner of 15th & Wakarusa, building just west of the bank)
Local Solutions for Transition to a Sustainable Economy

Possible discussion topics:
  • Making a Board Capacity-Building Plan
  • Grant data base opportunities
  • Confirmation of a Sustainability Action 2014budget
  • Bicycle funding plan for City of Lawrence 2015 budget
  • "Energy Reality": executive summary and community roundtable
  • Summer 10-day PDC planning
  • "Principals of Permaculture" workshop at thePermaCommons Garden
  • Any plans for reskilling workshops
Everyone is welcome  -

(courtesy of Cole Cottin & Linda Cottin)

In order to find any of dozens of farmers' markets in Kansas and Missouri, use these searchable data bases for both states.  They are - Kansas Farmers' Market Search by Location, Missouri Farmers' Market Search by Location, and Missouri Farmers' Market Search by Map.  Wherever you are, there is probably a market nearby!

Monday, 19 May 2014, 7:00pm
location TBA., 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.

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

Join the Sustainability Action Network by clicking this link - Become a Sustainability Action Member - and follow the instructions. The Sustainability Action mission is to 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. 

Sustainability Action Programs include:
1) Kansas Permaculture Institute- formal training of permaculture designers, and issuing them PDC Certificates - Kansas Permaculture Institute.
2) Kansas Permaculture Collaborative - freely and informally sharing knowledge and resources about sustainable food production and dwellings -Kansas Permaculture Collaborative.

3) Bicycles & Alternative Transportation - promoting bicycles, complete streets, ride sharing, and electric vehicles, including infrastructure and pro-active regulations - Lawrence OnBoard | Community Supported Transportation

4) Local Community Currency- fostering money literacy, and implementing a local currency, either cash or electronic or both, that will transition to a sustainable local economy and weather global economic instability.

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

6) Energy Conservation & Renewables - reducing our carbon footprint by promoting a carbon diet, an energy diet, conservation, and decentralized renewable energy.
7) Prime Farmland Preservation - protecting Capability I & II farmland from urban development and industrial land uses.

8) Water Rights and Watersheds - protecting the water commons from privatization and contamination, and restoring watersheds.
9) Collaboration with sister organizations - building synergy with the combined talents and creativity of like-minded groups to achieve a transition to sustainable local economies. Groups such as: Films for Action; The Light Center eco-village; churches and civic groups; Kaw River Valley Food System farm-based economic development; 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.

ustainability Action sponsored organizations:
1) Lawrence Creates - local tool sharing, recycling, and community shared innovation incubator - Lawrence Creates

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