Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Sustainability Action Newsletter, Week of July 5, 2016

5 July 2016

"Percent of U.S. science teachers who 'emphasize' that global warming is likely due to natural causes: 30 percent" - Harper's Index

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The Nanticoke Coal Generating Station on the Canadian shores of Lake Erie was shut down in 2014 as part of the Ontario grid operator's plan to transition the Province to 455 Megawatts of solar electricity. At 4000 Megawatt capacity, the coal generating station had been North America's largest, but will now be replaced by the Nanticoke Solar Farm with a capacity of 44 Megawatts. Before the coal plant shut down, Ontario suffered 53 smog days in 2005, but none in 2015. Read more at - Ontario to convert largest coal plant in North America to solar farm.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016, 5:45pm
Lawrence City Hall, 6 East 6th St., Lawrence KS 66044

The City of Lawrence has been discussing for three years how to implement and finance better bicycle and pedestrian facilities. In 2015, The City Commission assigned a Pedestrian-Bicycle Task Force to prioritize projects and develop implementation and financing strategies. The Task Force presentation was on 3 May, and now on 5 July, Sustainability Action will be making a presentation on bicycle transportation. Along with Task Force representatives, various members of the public made comments at the 3 Maymeeting, but Sustainability Action was unable to attend on that date. Because Sustainability Action is Lawrence's principal grass roots advocate for bicycle transportation, and initiated this whole process in 2013, the Commission has invited Sustainability Action to make a presentation to review the Task Force report, and offer budget recommendations for bicycle funding and bicycle staff positions at City Hall. The presentation is at the end of the agenda at -

Thursday, 7 July 2016, 4:00-6:30pm (and every Thursday)
In back parking lot, 1832 Massachusetts St., Lawrence KS 66044

The farmers' market is outside for the season. Weekly vendors will have a supply of fresh greens, fruits, 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 .

Thursday-Friday, 7-8 July 2016 - $$$
101 Cottonwood St., Emporia KS 66801

This field school in soils and no-till methods will be an in-depth look at how ecosystems, both above and below ground, can help build healthy soil, grow nutrient-dense food, clean the water, stabilize the climate, and thus create more resilient communities. It has been organized annually by Gail Fuller who has brought leading soil scientists and successful non-chemical no-till farmers to teach these sustainable farming methods. This year's instructors will be: Colin Seis (Pasture Cropping, Australia), presenting the practical side of improving soil health, soil carbon, nutrient cycling etc. while growing food, being profitable, and restoring the farm and planet's landscape and ecosystems; Dr. Kris Nichols (Rodale Institute), talking about regenerative agriculture using biological processes focused on “The Carbon Problem” which is a problem of carbon deficient soils – how we can maximize nutrient and water use efficiency, manage pests and diseases, and thrive under climatic uncertainty; and, Didi Pershouse (Soil Carbon Coalition), explaining how soil structure and function (the living body of soil) impacts water, carbon, and nutrient flows through the landscape, how soil health supports public health, and how these are accomplished based on choices that farmers make about management. Along with the expert presentations will be in-the-field activities, goal setting, networking, and great conversations. To register and get more info, contact Gail Fuller at or (620)344-3363.

Saturday, 9 July 2016, 7:00am-11:00am
parking lot in the 800 block of New Hampshire St., Lawrence KS 66044

At Kansas' longest running farmers' market, there is a wide variety of seasonal produce: sweet corn, tomatoes, strawberries, peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, melons, beans, greens, potatoes, snow peas, asparagus, apples and much more. There's also meats, fresh eggs, preserved food, local craft items, and live music. For more info go to - Lawrence Farmers' Market.

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

Friday, 8 July 2016, 9:30am - Bioneers Radio Series
Bioneers presents another of their award winning series about cutting edge initiatives on ecology, justice, and practical biomimicry.

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

Tuesday, 12 July 2016, 3:00-9:00pm
Lawrence City Hall, 6 East 6th St., Lawrence KS 66044

On July 7, the Lawrence City Manager will have released his recommended 2017 budget for consideration by the City Commission. They will then hold their final work session onJuly 12, and after that, little will change in the budget. If the public wants to comment on it, they can do so at 5:45pm when the Commission will have a brief public meeting before returning to the budget work session at 6:00pm. For three years now, dollar amounts have been proposed and projects have been suggested, and a Task Force has made recommendations as has Sustainability Action. The key budget parts for bicycle and pedestrian funding are: the bike-ped line item (currently at $450K), the Public Works Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) projects, the Parks & Rec CIP, the Traffic Calming projects, and the Sales Tax Reserve Fund CIP projects (watch this one closely; dollar allocations could shift dramatically). This budget will set the trajectory for where and how quickly Lawrence fulfills its promise for safe and convenient bicycle and pedestrian transportation. To learn if the 2017 budget meets your expectations, you can access its many documents on Thursday, 7 July, at the City web site -

Wednesday, 13 July 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 July 2016, 5:30pm
Public Works Confr. Room, City Hall ground floor, 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 - Sustainability Advisory Board.

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

The July 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 .

Thursday, 14 July 2016, 6:30pm
Lawrence Public Library, Conference Room A, 7th & Vermont 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: Food Not Lawns workshop, single-use bag restriction in Lawrence, reusable shopping bag project, National speaker program, and new website.
Everyone is welcome.


Glassified Cesium-137 discovered in Fukushima Dai-ichi fallout.
Commonly understood Cesium-137 is water soluble, which is a problem because it gets into plants and animals and bodies of water, but beneficial because it can be readily washed and leached from substances. Its solubility has guided clean up procedures as a result. But recently Satoshi Utsunomiya, a geochemist at Kyushu University in Japan, discoveredanother form of Cesium-137 in which the isotope is trapped inside tiny glass particles that spewed from the reactor explosions and fires. About a millimeter wide, the radioactive particles were formed in the extreme heat during melt down, from silica, zinc, iron, oxygen and cesium-137. These tiny particles can travel a great distance on the wind, and get lodged practically anywhere, while being very difficult to cleanse. Apparently 89% of the Cesium-137 in Tokyo, 240 kilometers from Fukushima, is this glassified Cesium-137. Learn more at - Scientists Find New Kind Of Fukushima Fallout.

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

Saturday, 16 July 2016, 10:00am-2:00pm
838 Garfield St., Lawrence KS 66044

The Lawrence Fruit Tree Project has scheduled Saturday work days through the season. They will be doing 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.

Saturday-Sunday, 16-17 July 2016, 8:30am-5:00pm
multiple sites in the region

The Saturday tour will be urban sites in Kansas City & Lawrence, and the Sunday tour will be rural sites focused on the Topeka & Manhattan regions. The annual tour is sponsored by the Kansas Permaculture Collaborative, and will feature urban and broad-acre sites in our Kaw River Watershed. Permaculture is a design science by which we pattern our surroundings to harmonize with, rather than to control, nature. The end result is a farm or garden that is a low-input, self-organizing, polyculture ecosystem. This is a group guided tour, but transportation is on your own or by carpooling. The tour costs $10 per person per day, and children 12 and under are free. Pre-registration is required by contacting Joe Falley at, (913) 593-6198.


Bill McKibben, who is one of Bernie Sanders' delegates on the Democratic platform committee, has asked "Did the campaign of Bernie Sanders really alter the Democratic Party?" For years the Democratic Party has been repositioning itself to the economic and military right, and the neoliberalism of Bill Clinton's presidency cemented that trend.

Thomas Frank (What's the Matter With Kansas?, and Listen Liberal) has written "Bill Clinton is America’s all-time champion deregulator. He deregulated banks. He deregulated telecoms. He appointed arch deregulators Robert Rubin and Larry Summers to high office, and he re-upped Ronald Reagan’s pet Fed chairman, Alan Greenspan. He took some time out to dynamite the Federal welfare system, then he came back and deregulated banks some more. And derivative securities, too" (which later crashed the economy). Now, Hillary Clinton said she would task former president Bill Clinton with “revitalizing the economy, because he knows how to do it” - Why Hillary Clinton's 90s nostalgia is so dangerous.

According to McKibben, during the first round of Democratic platform deliberations, committee members all agreed that unchecked climate change will wreck the planet. But when the voting began, the Clinton delegates and most of the DNC delegates blocked any platform plank to actually address climate change. McKibben wrote "I proposed, in one amendment after another, a series of ways we might actually get there. A carbon tax? Voted down 7-6. A ban on fracking? Voted down 7-6. An effort to keep fossils fuels in the ground, at least on federal land? Voted down 7-6. A measure to mandate that federal agencies weigh the climate impact of their decisions? Voted down 7-6. Even a plan to keep fossil fuel companies from taking private land by eminent domain, voted down 7-6. (We did, however, reach unanimous consent on more bike paths!)". It was all so much lip service - The Clinton Campaign Is Obstructing Change to the Democratic Platform - Bill McKibben.

Barack Obama told us when he took office "Make me do it". He wouldn't initiate progressive policies unless forced to do it (witness the long battle over the Keystone XL pipeline, for which he was a cheerleader). It's understood that progressives get no cooperation from Republicans. But why do Democrats push back when we ask them to address the dire state of our climate, as well as other problems like drone assassinations, the TPP, universal health care, genetic engineering, shrinking wages and shrinking middle class, bloated Pentagon budget, and on and on? It's because they're corporatists (Republicans and Democrats alike), elected with corporate contributions, wined and dined by corporate lobbyists, and moving through the revolving door from Board room to Congress and back again. Eyes open. The struggle continues.
Monday, 18 July 2016, 12:00-1:00pm - FREE
Solid Waste Annex building, 320 NE Industrial Ln., Lawrence KS 66044
(courtesy Gina Beebe, Lawrence Solid Waste Division)

This class is to provide aspiring composters, and anyone interested in learning the foundations of composting, with enough basic knowledge on composting to begin a project on their own. Composting at home is the best way to recycle residential organic waste into an ideal material for improving lawn and garden soils. Compost adds essential nutrients and organic matter to the soil, while also building soil structure by loosening the soil for better root penetration and improving the soil’s capacity to hold water. To enroll, complete the online class registration form. For more information, log onto, or call (785) 832-3030, or email
Monday, 18 July 2016, 5:00-6:30pm
Parks & Recreation Conference Room, 1141 Massachusetts St., Lawrence KS 66044
(courtesy, Jessica Mortinger, Lawrence Transportation Planner)

The July 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 July 2016, 6:30pm
Lawrence Public Library, Auditorium, 7th & Vermont St., 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.


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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 and 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) Energy Conservation and Renewables - reducing our carbon footprint by promoting a carbon diet, an energy diet, conservation, and decentralized renewable energy.
4) Prime Farmland Preservation - protecting Capability I & II farmland from urban development and industrial land uses.
5) Water Rights and Watersheds - Protecting the water commons from privatization and contamination, and restoring watersheds.
6) Local Money and Local Food - fostering money literacy, and implementing a local currency through a buy-local campaign focused on local food.
7) Sustainability Action Newsletter - informing and encouraging people to be active in the Sustainability Action Network, or other action-driven groups.
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 Makerspace - a co-operative community space with tool sharing, recycling, and innovation incubator.
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.

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

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