Quantity and Quality: Critical Water Issues in Kansas

Community Forum on Kansas Environmental Issues

Thursday, October 7, 2010
Friendship Hall
Village Presbyterian Church
6641 Mission Road
Prairie Village, Kansas 66208

“Quantity and Quality: Critical Water Issues in Kansas”

The Community Forum is an annual event sponsored by Kansas Natural Resource
Council and the Prairie Village Environmental Committee. This year Friends of
the Kaw are joining those two organizations to sponsor the critical water issues in
Kansas program.

5:30 pm Appetizers and Exhibits by Environmental Organizations
6:00 pm Supper of locally grown foods catered by Blue Bird Bistro
7:00 pm Program: “Quantity and Quality: Critical Water Issues in Kansas”

This year’s Forum features a panel of experts discussing current important water
issues. Members of the panel will include John Mitchell, Director of Environment
at KDHE, Laura Calwell, Friends of the Kaw and Dave Murphy, KNRC. They’ll
discuss critical concerns regarding water in Kansas. Q&A will follow as time

Advance reservations are needed for this popular event by Oct. 1st. A donation
of $20 per person is requested to cover expenses. Reservations will be
accepted beginning September 1st. To make reservations send check made
to KNRC/Community Forum to: KNRC/Community Forum, 7301 Mission Rd.
suite 248, Prairie Village, KS 66208. Your check confirms your reservation.

Questions: call Mary Helen Korbelik at 913-362-6463 or email Kathy Riordan
at kfriordan@kc.rr.com Environmental organizations wanting to reserve table
space for exhibits contact Margaret Thomas at margaretgthomas@gmail.com.

Plan now to join us for this informative and lively event
highlighting one of our most precious natural resources!

Weekly Sustainability Announcements - SAN (Lawrence, KS / Kaw River Valley)

24 August 2010
Local Solutions for Transition to a Sustainable Economy

Tuesday, 24 August 2010, 12:00noon ¤ on Kansas City Community Radio
Listen at KKFI-FM 90.1, or on web-streaming at http://www.kkfi.org/

On Eco-Radio KC this week, host Richard Mabion will visit with guests Chad Manspeaker and John Burris who will talk about "Green Collar Jobs and Laborors' Union 1290". They will discuss how green initiatives can create construction jobs, the long-term creation of jobs for the whole community, and labor unions' concern for immigration laws.

Stay tuned at 12:30 when the Bioneers radio series presents "Planting Buildings: The Living Building Challenge". A living building is like a flower, planted and rooted to its place. It collects its energy from the sun. It harvests its water from the rain. This building does not pollute. It engages actively with the environmental around it. And it’s beautiful and inspiring. This is nature’s blueprint for building a better world, says visionary architect Jason McLennan. He designed the Living Building Challenge 2.0 to raise the bar on green building: meet or exceed what nature provides. While the standards seem impossibly high, it may be simpler than we imagined.

Jason McLennan is one of the most influential green architects and one of the founders of the green design movement in the United States. He holds a Masters in Architectural Management from the University of Kansas. Later as a principal at BNIM Architects of Kansas City, he created the building science team known as Elements, which set new standards for energy and resource efficiency. Currently he is CEO of the Cascadia Green Building Council where he outdid himself by launching the now most advanced green building rating system in the world, the Living Building Challenge Version 2.0.


Since 14 August, the world's largest traffic jam on the "G110 National Expressway" has resulted from thousands of Beijing-bound trucks, combined with newly middle class Chinese car owners going on vacation - Chinese traffic jam. The summer traffic had already been moving slowly since a similar jam in July, but the excess tonnage from coal trucks and produce trucks caused road damage that prompted maintenance construction - Massive Chinese traffic jam could last a month.

As the world's now second largest economy grows at an average 10% per year, China's consumption demands have far outstripped it's infrastructure capacity. Their dilemma is not unlike the crisis in the world's largest economy (United States), that of collapsing and neglected infrastructure, the total repair cost running in the $trillions. Considering the relative economic state of both countries, which one will secure the needed energy for expanded construction once peak oil drives up the price of energy?

Tuesdays, 24 August 2010, final sessions, 7:00-9:00pm
UMKC School of Medicine, Theatre C, 24th & Charlotte Streets, KC MO

Learn about a new model for urban sustainable food production. We’ll explore food production possibilities in the urban forest, abandoned urban lots, yards, commercial lands, roofs and flood plains. We’ll discuss wholistic ecology based on managing sustainable urban agriculture systems that protect and restore our place on Earth. Please bring $20 for a reference book (optional). Class fee is $16. Register at UMKC Communiversity. Bring a picture ID. Limit 20. More info at Food Not Lawns KC, or <steve@prairietrading.com>.

Wednesdays, 25 August & 1 September 2010, 2 remaining sessions, 7:00-9:00pm
UMKC School of Medicine, Theatre C, 24th & Charlotte Streets, KC MO

Grow food not lawns! Increase local food security, improve your diet, beautify your surroundings, build community, reduce pollution and energy use (It takes 87 calories of fuel to transport one calorie of perishable fresh fruit from west coast to east coast). As supporters of the Food Not Lawns national movement, we will hold five sessions dealing with topics that include whole system design, garden preparation, permaculture, water-wise gardening, seed saving, planting, and free resources. Presenters include master and highly-qualified gardeners. Class fee is $16, plus $5 for materials. Register at UMKC Communiversity. Bring a picture ID. Limit 40. More info at Food Not Lawns KC, or <steve@prairietrading.com>.


Thursday, 26 August 2010, 4:00-6:00pm
Cottin's Hardware rear parking lot, 1832 Massachusetts St., Lawrence KS

This newest Lawrence farmers' market evolved from the Mellowfields Urban Farm CSA holding their weekly food distribution out of Cottins Hardware & Rental. Because Cottin's is committed to promoting local exchange in any form, they decided to expand to a farmers' market for a trial period of two months. And it includes live music every week. Presently, there are about 8-10 vendors, and if enough people support local foods in this venue, it may become an ongoing event.

Thursday, 26 August 2010, 4:00pm
City Manager's Conference Rm., City Hall 4th Floor, 6th & Massachusetts St.

The draft Peak Oil Plan is going through more revision and fine tuning, for further discussion at this meeting. The public is welcome at the meetings to provide input. Meetings are open to the public, and the public is encouraged to attend. And the Peak Oil Task Force web page has developed an extensive list of resources (click on "resources") including other cities' action plans such as San Francisco and Portland, videos, advocacy groups like Post Carbon Institute and Transition Boulder County, and key data and reports.

Thursday-Sunday, 26-29 August 2010 - $$$
Midwest Permaculture, 125 Crescent Lane, Stelle, IL 60919

This four day weekend intensive training is an introduction to the basic principles of permaculture as applied to urban areas. It will be taught by Bill Wilson, and will apply toward a Permaculture Design Certificate if one chooses to continue in that direction. It will cover basic principles, edible landscapes, rooftop growing, rain harvesting, and more. For more info and to register go to Suburban-Urban Permaculture 4-Day Intensive.


We've seen many solar electric breakthroughs, but wonder if they've ever made it to the market. Patenting is easy, but marketing is the hard part. And development capital is far too scarce for renewables, when nuke and coal giants take the lion's share of Federal subsidies. We hope this one may play more successfully.

Solar electric (photo voltaic) collectors typically can use only 12-15% of the sun's energy because the accompanying solar heat drives down the electric efficiency. The twins of solar thermal and solar electricity have always fought each other. However, Stanford University materials science engineer, Nick Melosh, and research team have developed a new technology that makes electricity from both light and heat. By coating a piece of semiconducting material with a thin layer of the metal cesium, it made the material able to generate electricity from light and from the previously wasted heat. Called PETE for "photon enhanced thermionic emission", the researchers have calculated that the process could reach 50-60% efficiency - New solar energy conversion process: highly efficient game changer?

"What we've demonstrated is a new physical process that is not based on standard photovoltaic mechanisms, but can give you a photovoltaic-like response at very high temperatures," Melosh said. "In fact, it works better at higher temperatures. The higher the better." While most silicon solar cells have been rendered inert by the time the temperature reaches 100 degrees Celsius, the PETE device doesn't hit peak efficiency until it is well over 200 C. And the materials needed for PETE are cheap and easily available, meaning the power that comes from it will be affordable. At the projected high efficiencies, solar electricity could become competitive with oil. At the coming higher prices for oil, it will be a no-brainer. Venture capitalists, grab your wallets.

Thursday, 29-31 August 2010, 9:00am-4:00pm - $$
Spring Hill KS, and Butler MO

This is a three-day leadership series emphasizing the consideration of water quality in the basin. Residents, landowners, city and county elected officials, government and agency staff and other civic leaders are invited to enroll. The series will cover: identified threats to basin water quality, best management practices, vegetation and buffer zones for water clarification, grant availability for program implementation, and developing leadership skills. It is unclear whether the program will address prevention or minimization of water quality threats, or simply to mitigate those threats that land development creates. For more info go to http://hwqp.org/Brochure2010.pdf or contact Leslie Rigney at <lrigney@hwqp.org> or 913-219-3566.


After 4.9 million barrels of petroleum had gushed into the Gulf for nearly 100 days, the White House blithely reassured us three weeks ago that 75% of it had been burned, skimmed, recovered by BP from the wellhead, evaporated, or been dispersed naturally or by chemicals - U.S. Says 75% of Oil Gone, but Skeptics Remain. Excuse me, but evaporated means airborne molecules, and dispersed means waterborne molecules - still in the environment, only spread more widely. We thought that old maxim was thoroughly discredited "dilution is the solution to pollution". But then, corporate spin meisters try whatever they can get away with, Obama demonstrating his corporatist tendencies again.

Foolish to think that no one was paying attention. Bloggers jumped on that one immediately, and then local TV stations. But the real evidence was laid bare by scientists at the University of Georgia on 17 August - Georgia scientists dispute Obama claim that most oil is gone. "The idea that 75 percent of the oil is gone and of no concern for the environment is just absolutely incorrect," said Charles Hopkinson, marine science professor and co-author of the report. They calculated that upwards to 79% of the petroleum still remains in the water, posing real but still undetermined risks.

As the folks at Food and Water Watch said, "The report affirms what many have thought: that the oil could not have realistically vanished like ‘sugar dissolves into water’ — a ludicrous statement the federal officials used to describe what happened to the millions of gallons spilled into the Gulf. NOAA is one of the many federal agencies involved in BP’s Joint Information Center. Unfortunately, these agencies have been anything but forthcoming and transparent" - Regulatory Agencies Attempt to Sweep Oil Under the Rug. Consider the source. The Deepwater Horizon Incident Joint Information Center is a partnership between the perpetrator, BP, and the public protector, the US Government. This editor can now conclude just who has been calling the directives throughout this tragedy.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010, 5:30pm
Recycling and Resource Recovery Annex, 320 N.E. Industrial Lane, Lawrence KS

The September agenda will be available soon. 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 http://www.lawrenceks.org/wrr/envadvisoryboard

Wednesday, 8 September 2010, 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 leader and staff, to assist the progress of Kansas City toward sustainability. Members of the general public are encouraged to attend and observe meetings and to join and participate in its efforts. More information and the EMC April 2009 minutes are available at http://www.kcmo.org/manager.nsf/web/emc

Saturday, 11 September 2009 - FREE
Fair from 10:00am-4:00pm, Home Tours at 10:00am & 1:00pm
Community Building, 115 West 11th St. (Vermont at 11th St), Lawrence KS

The tenth annual Energy Conservation Fair will feature a wide range of energy conservation organizations and companies. There will be an expert line-up of speakers and presenters. The venue is downtown, centrally located, and the Lawrence Transit System will give free rides to the event and on all fixed routes. The Sustainable Homes Tour is part of the American Solar Energy Society's National Solar Tour, showcasing homes that feature efficient design and appliances and green building materials. For updates on the fair, visit 2010 Lawrence Energy Conservation Fair. ___________________________________________________

Sunday, 19 September 2010, 11:00am
Aimee's Coffee House, 1025 Massachusetts St., Lawrence KS

Local Solutions for Transition to a Sustainable Economy
S.A.N. organizes societal scale action for ecological sustainability both in our personal lives, and through public policy changes. "Be the change you want to see". The S.A.N. meeting agenda will include:
  • 350.org "10-10-10 Challenge" event planning
  • Transition Kaw Valley power point trial run
  • Kansas Permaculture Institute possible merger
  • community workshops: solar food dehydrator, cold frames, rain barrels, etc.
  • S.A.N.web site developments
  • Lawrence Peak Oil Plan, draft review
Please join us

Weekly on Thursdays, 23 Sept. - 18 Nov. 2010, 6:00-9:00pm - $$$
Matt Ross Community Center, 8101 Marty St., Overland Park KS

This nine-session course is being offered by Steve Moring of the Kaw Permaculture Collaborative. If the registrant chooses, it can be combined with more extensive training leading to a Permaculture Design Certificate from the Kansas Permaculture Institute. The course consists of 48 hours of lecture, video and field work covering topics including food security, permaculture ethics, ecological principles, system design, sustainable soils, food production, earth works and construction of human habitats.

The first session is "Food Security and Energy Depletion" with a video "The Power of Community". The full course costs $240, or a $30.00 admission fee will be requested at the door. The fees will support both the K.P.C. and it's parent organization, Sustainability Action Network. For more information contact Steve Moring at 785-691-7305 or <smoring@grasshoppernet.com>

Saturday-Saturday, 25 September-9 October 2010 - $$$$
Wildscape Acres, Bonham TX 75418, (828)669-7632

Patricia Allison is the lead instructor, along with Dylan Ryals-Hamilton and Mateo Ryall. Ms. Allison is a member of Earthhaven Ecovillage in North Carolina, and has taught permaculture design courses since 1994. Information on the Permaculture Design Course, including an extensive curriculum can be viewed at Permaculture Design Course - Allison. The course will be held at Wildscape Acres which has it's own permaculture design in process. It also has a curious unsavory connection to Lawrence KS, in that the original owner of the house, Haden Whitsett, had joined with the Quantrill Raiders in Texas in 1861, before riding with them to Missouri. Completion of the course will result in a Permaculture Design Certificate. To register, call Melissa at (828)669-7632, or e-mail <melissathurmond@gmail.com>.

The SUSTAINABILITY ACTION NETWORK, Inc. is a Kansas not-for-profit organization. DONATIONS ARE APPRECIATED, and checks can be mailed to P.O.Box 1064, Lawrence KS 66044. Our mission is to advocate and organize societal scale action to address sustainability issues. The triple crises of Energy-Ecology-Economy are building so rapidly that large scale action is needed immediately and methodically to overcome institutional barriers and advance public policy that preserves ecological sustainability. Our focus is to build a relocalized economy-ecology in concert with the Transition Town movement occurring in many other communities. To join the Sustainability Action Network please contact us at <paradigm@ixks.com>

Our current projects include:
1) Transition Kaw Valley - initiating transition to a relocalized post-carbon economy, and municipal level Peak Oil response planning.
2) Kaw Permaculture Collaborative - developing skills and resources for poly-cropping sustainable food production.
3) Energy Conservation & Renewables - advancing a green economy through decentralized technologies and regulations, for conservation and renewable energy.
4) Land Consortium - organizing interested stakeholders to acquire prime farmland in the urban fringe for land-based economic development and regional food security.
5) Water Rights and Watersheds - protecting the water commons, the source of all life, from privatization and contamination, and restoring our watersheds.
6) Electric & Human Powered Vehicles - promoting neighborhood electric vehicles and utility tricycles, including infrastructure and pro-active regulations.
7) Weekly Sustainability Announcements - informing and encouraging others to become active in the Sustainability Action Network, or other action driven groups.
8) Collaboration with sister organizations - such as: The Light Center eco-village; Kaw Valley Food System farm-based economic development; Citizens for Responsible Planning; Films for Action; Kansas River Valley Growers fighting for local water rights; national efforts by the Sustainable Energy Network; KC Metro groups like the Kansas City Food Circle and the All Species Project, etc.

We welcome suggestions for items to be included. Please send items to <paradigm@ixks.com>

To subscribe to this list, please send an e-mail to <paradigm@ixks.com> with the subject line reading “subscribe to Sustainability Announcements”.

If you do not care to continue on this announcements list, please respond "unsubscribe to Sustainability Announcements" at <paradigm@ixks.com>