Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Sustainability Action Weekly Newsletter, 5 April 2016

5 April 2016

"Some people feel the rain.  Others just get wet" - Bob Dylan

If you appreciate the news and events that we bring you every week, please donate to Sustainability Action.  Click on our PayPal button here >> Sustainability Action. THANK YOU!

Thursday, 31 March 2016

The competitively priced new Tesla Model 3 was released, and part of it's power support is from geothermal.  The company plans to build batteries on a grand scale, and the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada will be powered by renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, but also from geothermal power plants in the state of Nevada.  Further, inasmuch as batteries are the core component of electric cars, the economics of sourcing lithium and build the batteries is crucial for a future of electric cars.  So access to lithium, which can be found in geothermal brine, seems to be one of the key decision points for Tesla to build its Gigafactory in Nevada.  In fewer than 24 hours from announcement, reservations had topped 180,000 with a $1,000 pre-payment to be made.  An hour later, the reservation count had gone up another 10% - to 198,000.  The car is expected to have a range of 215 miles at a base price of $35,000 ($27,500 after federal tax credits).  Tesla CEO Elon Musk says he is "fairly confident" the vehicle will go on sale in 2017.  Learn more at - Tesla, the electric car for the masses fuelled by geothermal, and 200,000 Tesla Model 3 Reservations In Less Than 24 Hours.

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

Wednesday, 6 April 2016, 6:00pm - All Souls Forum
The talk at All Souls Forum this week is “Prairie Preserve” with Rita Norton.  After years of suburban Kansas City living, Kathy and David Winn fulfilled their dream of owning land with the purchase of a 105-acre tract in Cass County, Missouri.  The rare Mead’s Milkweed and learning that their tract is a true native prairie remnant have transformed them into dedicated land stewards.

Thursday, 7 April 2016, 12:30pm - Making Contact
This week the show is "Not A Drop To Drink".  It’s something many of us take for granted: access to clean drinking water.  But for many Americans it’s not something they can rely on.  From lead in Flint MI water to chemical spills in West Virginia to E. coli in the water on the Texas-Mexico border to contamination from farming in California.  On this edition of Making Contact, we hear what happens when there’s not a drop to drink.

Friday, 8 April 2016, 9:30am - Bioneers Radio Series
Bioneers presents "Cosmomimicry: We’re The Universe Mattering".  “If success or failure of this planet and of human beings depended on how I am and what I do, then how would I be and what would I do?” asked visionary designer Buckminster Fuller.  David McConville, Buckminster Fuller Institute Board President, says our view of the universe profoundly shapes our future as a species, and it’s changing radically.

Monday, 11 April 2016, 6:00pm - locally produced Eco-Radio KC
The Eco Radio KC program will feature another of their ecologically minded shows>  

Thursday, 7 April 2016, 6:30pm
Signs of Life conference room, 722 Massachusetts St., Lawrence KS 66044
Local Solutions for Transition to a Sustainable Economy

The Sustainability Action Network advances ecological sustainability through societal scale actions.  While we work for personal lifestyle changes for individuals to minimize their carbon footprint, there is an imperative for institutional change to respond to the rapid onset of the triple global crises of Energy-Ecology-Economy.  "Action" is our middle name. 

Planned agenda topics include: Officers election, Earth Day planning, single use bag restriction in Lawrence, reusable shopping bag project, National speaker program, Food Not Lawns planning, and new website content.
Everyone is welcome.

Thursday, 7 April 2016, 4:00-6:30pm (and every Thursday)
Inside the store, 1832 Massachusetts St., Lawrence KS 66044

The farmers' market will be inside from November through April 2016.  The first open air market in their parking lot will be on Thursday, 5 May 2016.  Weekly vendors will have a supply of fresh greens, root vegetables, breads, baked goods, farm fresh eggs, meats, live music, and much more.  Local food is healthier and helps your local economy.  This four season market is Lawrence's only winter-weather protected farmers' market, with only three others in the region.  For more info contact them at 843-2981 or.

Saturday, 9 April 2016, 9:30am-2:00pm
1501 Learnard Ave., Lawrence KS 66044

The Lawrence Community Food Alliance (AKA Sunrise Project) will hold a plant sale at their new site, the former Sunrise Garden Center.  They will have vegetable plants, native plants, and herb transplants for sale on-site, grown by Moon on the Meadow and Mellowfields Urban Farms.  All plants are certified organic, and proceeds go to benefit the Sunrise Project.  A second sale will be on Mother's Day, Sunday, 8 May 2016, 11:00am-4:00pm.

Saturday, 9 April 2015, 9:30am-2:30pm - FREE
Penn Valley Community College gymnasium, 3200 Broadway Street, Kansas City MO 64111
(courtesy, Brandi Schoen, Co-coordinator of the K.C. Food Circle)

There will be local growers of organic and free range produce selling their wares, including garden plant starts, as well as free organic gardening information and free 2013 Producers Directory.  The Food Expo is free admission with free parking and free music.  More information about the KC Food Circle and the two food expositions can be found at Kansas City Eat Local Food Expo or email Brandi Schoen at .

Saturday, 9 April 2016, 10:00am-2:00pm
838 Garfield St., Lawrence KS 66044

The LFTP has scheduled Saturday work days through the season.  Upcoming work days will be on: 9 April, 21 May, 18 June, and 16 July.  They typically do weeding, mulching, and other tasks in the Community Orchard.  Bring water and sun screen.  Some snacks provided, but sharing by pot luck is always welcome.  Walking and bicycling to the orchard are encouraged.  Please park cars on Delaware street.  For more info go to - Lawrence Fruit Tree Project.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016, 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 Management Commission.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016, 5:30pm
Public Works Confr. Room, City Hall ground floor, 6 East 6th St., Lawrence KS 66044

The April 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 - Sustainability Advisory Board.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016, 7:00pm
Carnegie Building Conference Room, 200 West 9th St., Lawrence KS 66044

The April 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 Erin Paden com>.


Wind, solar and other clean energy sources could supply all U.S. power needs.
Transitioning to 100 percent clean energy is both necessary and feasible, according to a new white paper, "We Have the Power: 100 Percent Renewable Energy for a Clean, Thriving America".  The paper cites the rapidly falling costs of both wind and solar, and notes that the growth in solar has outstripped even clean energy advocates expectations.  According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the U.S. has the technical potential to meet its current electricity needs more than 100 times over with solar energy and more than 10 times over with wind energy.  Further, a review of seven detailed studies on clean energy systems conducted by academics, government agencies and nonprofit organizations show there are no insurmountable technological or economic barriers to tapping the country's vast potential to achieve 100 percent renewable energy.  In addition, economists predict that the U.S. can build a 100 percent renewable energy system at costs comparable to or less than continuing with dirty energy.  Read more at - Wind, solar and other clean energy sources could supply all of our power.

We suggest readers avail themselves of the following sources for news on the demise of nuclear power: Japan for SustainabilityJapan FocusFukushima Update, and Fairewinds Energy Education.

(courtesy Laura Jost)

“How Can We Work Together on Climate Change?” - Panel Discussion
Sunday, 10 April 2016, 3:00-5:00pm - FREE
Parker Hall, Rm. 110, Haskell Indian Nations University, Lawrence KS 66044

This discussion brings together five panelists with a range of expertise on climate change, activism, culture, and the arts.  Panelists will be: Dan Wildcat, professor at Haskell Indian Nations University and Director of the Haskell Environmental Research Studies Center; Saralyn Reece Hardy, Director of the Spencer Museum of Art; Thad Holcombe, retired Minister of the Ecumenical Christian Ministries, and Moderator for LETUS; Eileen Horn, Sustainability Coordinator for Douglas County and the City of Lawrence; and Jay Johnson, Assoc. Professor in the Department of Geography and Atmospheric Science at the University of Kansas.  Music by Alex Williams, art by Haskell students.

"Mrs. Noah in Poetry and Dance"
Friday, 15 April 2016, performances at 7:00pm and 9:00pm - FREE
Lawrence Percolator, on the alley behind the Art Center

This is a collaborative performance by poet Elizabeth Schultz and dancer Joan Stone.  The performance includes Stone’s insightful dance interpretations of Schultz’s poems that reflect on the relationships among humans and animals.  Stone and Schultz are both retired scholars from KU.

Saturday, 16 April 2016, 10:00am-2:00pm
South end of Barker Ave. Trail, Haskell Indian Nations University, Lawrence KS 66044

Upon the destruction by KDOT of an 800 foot wide swath of the Wakarusa Wetlands to build the South Lawrence Trafficway (SLT), which includes SLT pavement of about 100 feet wide and the new 31st St. pavement of about 50 feet wide, the 35 feet wide pavement from the old 31st St. was removed and returned to wetland ecology.  This is the main area that is now being re-seeded and planted as part of the Haskell Wetlands.  This workday is being organized by Haskell Indian Nations University students to help restore the Haskell Wetlands.  To get to the site, approach from the north through the campus.  From Massachusetts and 23rd St. head south until the street reaches a dog-leg to the left (east).  Go a short distance east to Barker Ave. and turn right (south).  The pavement will soon end, but continue south on the trail for about 1/3 mile to the site.

Monday, 18 April 2016, 5:00pm-6:30pm
Parks & Recreation Conference Room, 1141 Massachusetts St., Lawrence KS 66044
(courtesy, Jessica Mortinger, Lawrence Transportation Planner)

The April 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 Commission on bicycle priorities and needs.  The agenda and information can be downloaded at Bicycle Advisory Committee.

Monday, 18 April 2016, 6:30pm
Hillcrest Elementry, 1045 Hilltop Dr., Lawrence KS 66044

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, 23 April 2016, 11:00am parade, 11:30-4:00pm park festival
(courtesy, Jenica Nelson, Lawrence Waste Reduction & Recycling)

The Lawrence Earth Day Parade begins at the Train Park, and information is available from K.U. Environs at com>.  The Earth Day Celebrationis sponsored by the City of Lawrence Waste Reduction & Recycling Department - visit them at http://www.lawrenceks.org/wrr/earthday.  The celebration in the park features live music, children's activities, and food vendors.  Attendees are invited to learn from exhibits about waste reduction, recycling, composting, alternative fuels and vehicles, energy conservation, land preservation, wildlife and habitat preservation, and more.  The Lawrence Transit System will offer free rides on the "T" all day Saturday, April 23.  Call (785)864-4644 or visit www.lawrencetransit.org to view schedules and try the Google Trip Planner.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016, 5:45pm (change of date - AGAIN)
Lawrence City Hall, 6 East 6th St., Lawrence KS 66044

Ever since Sustainability Action challenged the Lawrence Property Maintenance Code on 23 June 2015, the provisions of which could shut down small urban growers for "accumulation of debris" (compost, straw bales, tomato cages, etc,), we have been collaborating for 8 months with the Food Policy Council, the Sustainability Advisory Board, and the Lawrence Planning Office to craft Code language for an Urban Agriculture Text Amendment.  The amendment has seen several manifestations along the way, and it's final draft got a unanimous vote by the Planning Commission last week to recommend approval.  Now it will be heard at the City Commission for final adoption.  Check the agenda at - http://www.lawrenceks.org/agendas.

This final draft can be accessed at - Urban Ag text amendment_PC agenda_22Feb16.  Most provisions are supported by all the stakeholders, although the section on "small animal slaughtering" drew some controversy - philosophical, not functional.  The amendment contains provisions for the following: many types of gardens such as personal, community, CSAs, and urban farms; new animal provisions for rabbits, small goats and sheep, and honey bees and mason bees; urban ag inclusive of aquaculture, horticulture, permaculture, hydroculture, agroforestry, beekeeping, gardening, and animal husbandry; sales of produce within residential zones and at farmers' markets; structures like hoop houses, cold frames, greenhouses, sheds, composting bins, and rain barrel systems; crops exempt from the definition of "weeds"; and agricultural implements, equipment, and materials are not considered "debris" under the Property Maintenance Code.

Thursday, 28 April 2016, 9:00am-3:30pm - FREE
Spooner Hall, KU Commons, 1340 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence KS 66045
(coutesy Uma Outka, University of Kansas School of Law)

This conference will join academics, professionals, and students in an effort to ensure social justice while transitioning our economy to low-carbon usage practices.  We cannot forget what makes up the four legs of the "sustainability stool": energy, environment, economy, and equity.  Low-carbon practices must be accessible and affordable.  National plenary presenters will be: Shalanda Baker on “Just Energy Pathways”; Rob Verchick on “Energy, Resilience, and Fairness"; Philip Berke on "The Resilience and Climate Change Cooperative Project”; Julian McQueen on “Feeding Two Birds with One Seed: How We Can Address Poverty and Climate Change in All Communities”; and Jacqueline Patterson on “Climate Justice in the Low-Carbon Transition”.  Regional panelists will be: Dorothy Barnett, Climate + Energy Project; Tom Jacobs, Mid-America Regional Council; and Althea Moses, Region 7 EPA.  For more info, and to register go to http://www.carbonjusticeconference.com/.


Attorney Generals from 20 states have joined to prosecute ExxonMobil and the fossil industry - part of the "Exxon Knew" campaign launched by New York State Attorney General Schneiderman last year.  As the world's second biggest polluter, Exxon alone is responsible for 3.1% of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.  The coalition currently consists of: California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, Washington state, and US Virgin Islands - 20 States Join to Prosecute Exxon-Mobile on Climate Misrepresentation.  AGs are using the tobacco trials from the 1990s as a guide.  It was attorney general investigations that resulted in high profile lawsuits that stopped Big Tobacco's misinformation about the dangers of their products.  AGs were able to shut down their front groups and force the industry to pay billions of dollars for their deception.  Folks in Kansas and Missouri may want to click on this petition to ask - State Attorneys General: Prosecute Exxon for Climate Deception.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016, 5:45pm (possibly on 10 May 2016)
Lawrence City Hall, 6 East 6th St., Lawrence KS 66044

The Pedestrian-Bicycle Task Force worked for eight months reviewing bicycle plans and recommendations, reviewing City pedestrian-bicycle policies, prioritize construction projects, develop a vision and a purpose, and finding ways to achieve greater dedicated annual funding.  The final report is complete, and will be discussed and accepted by the City Commission.  The recommdations include: budgeting $1million annually in the Capital Improvement Plan for bicycle and pedestrian improvements, creating a City staff position to coordinate pedestrian-bicycle planning and construction, creating an interdepartmental City staff team for bicycle and pedestrian facilities budgeting and construction, and establish a consolidated Multi-Modal Transportation Commission.  Specifically, they recommend: the creation of a complete sidewalk network by filling all the missing gaps, establishing priority sidewalk and bicycle lanes for Safe Routes To Schools, completion of the Lawrence Loop, prioritizing safety for high bicycle crash roads, develop a bicycle boulevard network, and emphasize accommodation of people with disabilities and seniors in all projects.  it is encouraged that citizens write a letter of support to the City Commission, and send it to the City Manager secretary at .  More info can be found at their web page - Pedestrian and Bicycle Task Force.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016, 6:30pm - FREE
Overland Park Lutheran Church, 7810 West 79th St., Overland Park KS 66

The Sierra Club of Kansas presents this talk by Jim Horlacher and John Kurmann.  Fossil fuel divestment is the removal of investment assets including stocks, bonds, and investment funds from companies involved in extracting fossil fuels in an attempt to reduce the impacts of the climate crisis.  The speakers will discuss how we can divest, and the strategies they used in their work to convince Kansas City MO to divest.  While still in process, they have made remarkable progress in these efforts and will discuss their strategies used and the importance of the divestment tool in the climate crisis battle.  More info from .  Find directions at http://www.kansas.sierraclub.org/kanzadirections.


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

Join the Sustainability Action Network by clicking this link > > Become a Member | Sustainability Action Network, and when there 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) Food Sovereignty & Permaculture - local control of food and food policy, Food Not Lawns workshops, tours, and crop mobs.

2) Bicycles and Alternative Transportation - promoting bicycles, complete streets, ride sharing, and electric vehicles, including infrastructure and pro-active regulations

3) Local Community Currency - fostering money literacy, and implementing a local currency through a buy-local campaign, and then introducing a complementary currency of cash or electronic trading.

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

5) Energy Conservation & Renewables - reducing our carbon footprint by promoting a carbon diet, an energy diet, conservation, and decentralized renewable energy.

6) Prime Farmland Preservation - protecting Capability I & II farmland from urban development and industrial land uses.

7) Water Rights & Watersheds - Protecting the water commons from privatization and contamination, and restoring watersheds.

8) Collaboration with Sister Organizations - building synergy with the combined talents and creativity of like-minded groups to achieve ecological sustainability. Groups like: the Dg County Food Policy Council, the Lawrence Pedestrian Coalition, Cultivate Kansas City, the Light Center eco village, the Lawrence Fruit Tree Project, and the Flint Hills Renewable Energy & Efficiency Co-op.

Sustainability Action sponsored organizations:
1) Lawrence Creates - Maker space with tool sharing, recycling, and community shared innovation incubator - Lawrence Creates

2) Diesel Health Project - promoting eco-justice in neighborhoods exposed to industrial air and water pollution, by monitoring the pollution and changing policies and enforcement - Diesel Health Project


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