SAN - 2011-03-15 - Sustainability Action Network - Announcements - Greater KC via Kaw River Valley (Lawrence, KS)

15 March 2011

If you want to take action, call our Volunteer Coordinator, Maryam Hjersted, at (913)723-3636

please donate to our Annual Giving Campaign - (contact info at bottom of page)

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

Tuesday, 15 March, 12:00-1:00pm ¤ locally produced Eco-Radio KC
Host, Reenie Carmack will discuss Green Mental Health with Sue Westwind, a wholistic mental health coach with "Natural Mind", the organization she founded. She is certified through the American Association of Drugless Practitioners to practice ecopsychology that emphasizes a whole body approach to mental wellness using detoxification, nutrition, exercise, nature immersion, vitamins and minerals, and more.

Friday, 18 March, 9:30am ¤ Bioneers Radio Series
Bioneers presents "Daughters of Thoreau: Not Too Well Behaved". On his deathbed, Henry David Thoreau said his only regret was that he had been too well behaved. Julia Butterfly Hill, Diane Wilson, and Terri Swearingen, three of the most imaginative, inspiring and courageous direct action heroines of our era share their experiences and show us how courage and commitment can stop mountains from being moved.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011, 6:30pm
Lawrence Percolator, 900 block alley behind the Lawrence Arts Center

The LFTP Lawrence Fruit Tree Project is a co-operative group of pomiculturists who have organized themselves to establish community orchards, and teach folks how to grow and care for fruiting trees and shrubs. They also are setting up a fruit tree register to list existing neighborhood trees that are underutilized, so they can be cared for and harvested. Anyone is welcome who is interested in relocalized food security, environmental literacy, permaculture, fruit tree propagation, etc. Come to our meetings and help our grass roots organization grow!

by Tuesday, 15 March 2011

As a joint project between the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, the Lawrence Journal World, the University of Kansas, the City of Lawrence, and Douglas County, they are accepting applications from organizations and businesses who are using ecological sustainable practices. This could include: a building that incorporates green materials, sourcing products locally, minimal or no toxic chemicals used, or educational opportunities for employees. A panel of independent reviewers will choose the winners (total number is not available) who will be honored on Earth Day, be included in a Sustainability Map, be featured in a section of, and more. Apply at Sustainability Trailblazers /, and get more info from <>.

Wednesdays, up through 6 April 2011, on your computer
current video - Why Cheap Energy Is a Bad Thing | #10 with Jean Laherrère

Peak Oil is the point at which petroleum extraction reaches its greatest rate just before going into perpetual decline. This excellent series originally was to end with tomorrow's talk, but The Nation keeps extending it. Speakers are now scheduled through 6 April.

On Wednesday, 16 March, Michael C. Ruppert will appear in interview #11 of the Peak Oil and a Changing Climate | video series. In a 10 January 2011 interview with Michael Ruppert by the Energy Bulletin, they noted that "Ruppert grew up in a CIA and military family where honor played a big role." As an investigative reporter, all his ". . .efforts have had one thing in common for Ruppert: To dig deep into a story, discover emerging patterns, and bring to the surface information he felt was vital to the truth, particularly when this meant he could dispel misinformation." His efforts have included the peak oil web sites of From The Wilderness, and more recently Collapse Network, his most popular book "Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil", and now his Peak Oil Blog.


The Fukushima complex has six reactors whose control rods shut them down after the 8.9 level earth quake. But regional electric power is also out, so cooling water cannot circulate through the still hot uranium fuel rods. The internal water super heated to steam, exposing the fuel rods and melting the zirconium alloy casings, though not the uranium. But when technicians vented the steam to release pressure, hydrogen explosions occurred, damaging the buildings but not the containment vessels. Nevertheless, radiation was released outside, and reportedly, 190 people have been exposed to some radiation Fukushima - Q&A.

Officials originally claimed that only low levels of radioactive isotopes of caesium and iodine are in the vicinity of the plant. But today Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano has said, "Now we are talking about levels that can impact human health." Radiation levels around Fukushima for one hour's exposure rose to eight times the legal limit for exposure in one year, said the plant's operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco). The radiation reading climbed to 8,217 microsieverts an hour; the annual legal limit is 1,000 microsieverts. A good source of up-to-the-minute reports is Japan earthquake: BBC live.

Meanwhile, the nuclear proponents and opponents recognized the need to leverage their positions. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) voiced support for nuclear power, while Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) postured with "The bottom line is we do have to free ourselves of independence from foreign oil. So I'm still willing to look at nuclear." And the White House issued this statement: "The president believes that meeting our energy needs means relying on a diverse set of energy sources that includes renewables like wind and solar, natural gas, clean coal and nuclear power." This begs the question, when did finite fuels like gas, coal and uranium get redefined as renewable?

Countervailing observations were made by several groups. The Institute for Policy Studies pointed out that "Along with the struggle to cool the reactors is the potential danger from an inability to cool Fukushima's spent nuclear fuel pools. If a pool wall or support is compromised and significant drainage occurs, after several hours the zirconium cladding around the irradiated uranium could ignite." - Meltdowns Grow More Likely at the Fukushima Reactors. A New York Times article reported "Usually when a reactor is first shut down, an electric pump pulls heated water from the vessel to a heat exchanger and into cool water. The problem was that the hookup is done through electric switching equipment that is in a basement room flooded by the tsunami," so the fail-safe failed - Radioactive Releases in Japan Could Last Months.

Harvey Wasserman, a long-time energy analyst, noted that "A massive 8.9 Richter-scale earthquake off the California coast, it could have ripped apart at least four coastal reactors and sent a lethal cloud of radiation across the entire U.S. The two huge reactors each at San Onofre and Diablo Canyon are not designed to withstand such powerful shocks. All four are extremely close to major faults." - An 8.9 Quake Could Have Irradiated the Entire US. And in usual fashion, Greg Palast has unearthed news that "Obama has asked Congress to provide a $4 billion loan guarantee for the South Texas Project, two new nuclear reactors to be built by Toshiba, and operated on the Gulf Coast of Texas by TEPCO. After Texas, you're next. The Obama administration is planning a total of $56 billion in loans for nuclear reactors all over America." - Tokyo Electric to Build US Nuclear Plants.

And finally, those closest to the disaster, the Japanese, are alarmed. Professor Hiroaki Koiwa from the Research Reactor Institute said "There are many areas that remain unclear in the government’s explanation, which is why we cannot accept that the coast is clear." And Hideki Ban, a leading anti-nuclear power activist and head of the Citizen’s Nuclear Information Centre, said "The Fukushima plant explosion symbolizes the terrible threat to human safety in Japan that is highly vulnerable to earthquakes. This is another opportunity to stop this dangerous nuclear power build-up." - Japanese Anti-Nuclear Groups Sound New Warning.

Wednesdays, 16,23 March 2011, 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 four 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 $18, plus $5 for materials. Register at UMKC Communiversity. More info at Food Not Lawns KC, or <>.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011, 4:00-6:00pm - NOTE DATE CHANGE
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. The general public is 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

Wednesday, 16 March 2011, 7:00pm - $
Liberty Hall, 644 Mass St., Lawrence KS 66044

"Numen: The Nature of Plants" is about the healing power of plants and the natural world. Featuring stunning footage of medicinal plants and moving interviews with leading herbalists, doctors, ecologists and others, the film provides a vision of healthcare rooted in the traditions of herbal medicine and offers concrete steps to improve human and environmental health. Watch the trailer at - Numen: The Nature of Plants - trailer.

After the screening, Kelly Kindscher will be hosting a Q&A and offering ideas for how we can take action locally as a community and individually. Dr. Kindscher is the author of two books: Edible Wild Plants of the Prairie (1987) and Medicinal Wild Plants of the Prairie (1992). His interests include ethnobotany, especially the study of cultural uses of medicinal plants in Kansas and the Great Plains.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011, 7:00pm
K-State Co-op Extension Service, Dreher Building, 2210 Harper St., Lawrence KS 66046

If you are planning a new garden at your school or working at an existing one, come share your successes, challenges, and tips with others. This session will be hosted by LiveWell Lawrence and led by Nancy O'Connor of The Community Mercantile Education Foundation.

Thursday-Saturday, 17-19 March 2011, 8:00am-3:00pm (til 4:00 on Sat.) - $$
1420 E 11th Street, Lawrence KS (east of 11th and Haskell, over the tracks)

The material is composted from leaves, grass clippings, and prunings collected by the City. Quantities are restricted to pick-ups and small trailers for residential use, not commercial use. Cost is $10 per load if loaded by tractor, or free if self-loaded by hand; dump truck quantities are not allowed. Cash only. For more info, contact the Waste Reduction and Recycling Division at 832-3030 or visit

Note from S.A.N. - the compost is not free of lawn chemical residue, so it is not recommended for use on food crops. A particularly persistent herbicide, Clopyralid by DowAgrosciences, remains for years in minuscule parts per billion, and causes stunted growth in many garden crops - Clopyralid residue in compost.pdf. Lawrence spot checks and certifies their compost for Clopyralid presence, but it's not practical to check all parts of the piles.

Friday, 18 March 2011, 6:00-9:00pm - $$$
Dreher 4-H Building, 2110 Harper St., Lawrence KS 66044

This fourth session will explore the basic design principles as defined by David Holmgren and Bill Mollison, and will outline the basic steps in planning a permaculture site, assessing land resources, and designing and implementing projects, including earthworks and swales. The lecture will be followed by a viewing of the Geoff Lawton film "Introduction to Permaculture Design". On the following day, Saturday, 19 March, there will be a Field Day Practicum of garden bed preparation, double digging, and no-till raised beds at Vajra Farm, for students wishing to acquire a design certificate.

Steve Moring of Vajra Farm Permaculture Center is teaching this Design Certification Course with assistance from Michael Almon and Michael Morley. Preregistration is required, and a percentage of the fees will support the Kaw Permaculture Collaborative and it's parent organization, the Sustainability Action Network. For more info go to Kaw Permaculture Collaborative, or contact Steve Moring at (785)691-7305 or <>.


Great garden soil adjacent to Lawrence for apartment dwellers or folks with small and shady yards - that's the vision of our Growers' Land Trust Community Garden. As the first step towards a permanent site, we are planning to lease some acreage just north of the Kansas River levee with prime ag soils. Garden plots will be rented to growers on a annual basis with proceeds going towards site preparation, water supply, deer fencing, etc. If you are interested in renting a plot, or in volunteering to help prepare the site, contact either Michael Almon at <> or Steve Moring at <>.

Saturday, 19 March 2011, 6:00pm - FREE
U.M.K.C. Haag Hall, Room 301 (N.W. corner of 52nd & Rockhill Rd.), Kansas City MO 64111

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990, Cuba's import of food and petroleum dropped by 80%, causing and induced peak oil. Cubans share how they transitioned from a highly mechanized, industrial agricultural system to one using organic methods of farming and local, urban gardens. Cuba, the only country that has faced such a massive reduction of fossil fuels is an example of options and hope.

After the screening, there will be a panel discussion of Luis Flores (Community of Reason), Ben Kjelshus (K.C. Food Circle), James Webb (U.M.K.C. Economics Prof.), and Ben Wilson (U.M.K.C. grad student). Sponsored by Community of Reason, Transition K.C., and K.C. Green Foundation.

Monday, 21 March 2011, 7:00pm
location TBA, Lawrence, KS 66046

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, 26 March 2011, 9:00am-2:00pm - FREE
Sermon Community Center, 201 N Dodgion St, Independence MO (near Truman & Noland Roads)
Saturday, 2 April 2011, 9:30am-2:30pm - FREE
Shawnee Civic Centre, Phlumm & Johnson Dr, Shawnee KS

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 2011 Producers Directory. There will be a free workshop on CSA's and Organic Farmers Markets, food preservation, and cooking demonstrations.

Both Food Expos are free admission with free parking and free music. More information on the KC Food Circle and the two food expositions can be found at Kansas City Eat Local Food Expo or email Craig Volland at <>.

Monday, 28 March 2011, 7:00pm
Aquarius Bookstore (in back, 2nd floor), 3936 Broadway, Kansas City MO 64111

The Kansas City Transition Initiative is addressing climate disruption and peak oil inflation at the local level, a relocalization effort similar to hundreds of others around the globe. At Monday's meeting, Mike Hoey will update the group on other Transition initiatives. And Jerry Sargent will report on revitalizing neighborhoods by repurposing dilapidated buildings and closed schools.

The Transition movement was begun by Rob Hopkins in Great Britain Transition Towns, and in the U.S. is coordinated by Transition US based in Sebastapol CA. They help local initiatives with resources and publications, and they have 22 trainers traveling to conduct local training sessions. For more info, or to get on the Kansas City e-mail list, call (816)767-8873, or contact them at <>

Monday, 28 March 2011, 7:00pm - $
Liberty Hall, 644 Massachusetts St., Lawrence KS 66044

Almost everything Americans eat contains corn: high fructose corn syrup, corn-fed meat, corn starch, and corn-based processed foods are the staples of our fast-food nation. In King Corn, Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis move to Iowa to learn where their food comes from. With the help of friendly neighbors, genetically modified seeds, and powerful herbicides, they plant and grow one acre of a bumper crop of America’s most-productive, most-subsidized grain. But when they try to follow their pile of corn into the food system, what they find raises troubling questions about how we eat—and how we farm. View the trailer here - King Corn. Sponsored by Films for Action and K.U. Environs.

The SUSTAINABILITY ACTION NETWORK, Inc. is a 501(C)(3) tax-exempt organization. DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE. Mail checks 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 <>

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 and Kansas Permaculture Institute - developing skills and resources for polyculture sustainable food production.
3) Eco Village Land Trust - Designing and focalizing a sustainable intentional community near Lawrence.
4) Growers' Land Trust - organizing interested stakeholders to acquire prime farmland in the urban fringe for land-based economic development and regional food security.
5) Weekly Sustainability Announcements - informing and encouraging others to become active in the Sustainability Action Network, or other action driven groups.
6) Water Rights and Watersheds - protecting the water commons, the source of all life, from privatization and contamination, and restoring our watersheds.
7) Electric & Human Powered Vehicles - promoting neighborhood electric vehicles and utility tricycles, including infrastructure and pro-active regulations.
8) Energy Conservation & Renewables - advancing a green economy through decentralized renewable energy and conservation.
9) 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 <>

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