Living beneath your means – for fun and profit

Living beneath your means – for fun and profit

By Barbara Weinstein and Eitan Fenson, Transition Palo Alto

How are you making ends meet during these tough economic times?

Local Transitioners shared their ideas at the March 9 Transition Palo Alto 100 Mile Potluck. Cecile Andrews kicked off the discussion by asking folks to consider what they’re doing in three different areas:

  1. Transportation, travel,  food, and leisure
  2. Housing, furniture, clothing, cleaning, maintenance
  3. Kids, education, health and work

We then split into smaller groups to discuss each area in term, mixing up the groups each time before returning to the full group to share ideas that came up in the small group discussions.

So many creative ideas! Here are some of them. Continue reading

Ute’s Stilts-Walk for Democracy (Jan 20 and 21)

By Ute Engelke (Transition Palo Alto)

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

In an effort to restore democracy in this country I am excited to walk on stilts on Friday in San Jose and on Saturday in Palo Alto at the “Move to Amend” event (for details see below).

I would love to see you at the event, but if this is not in your locality I hope you will participate in a “Move to Amend” event in your town. Please go to http://movetoamend.org/ and join this fast growing movement for a constitutional amendment to firmly establish that human beings, not corporations, are entitled to constitutional rights and that money is not
speech.

Friday Jan 20
“Occupy the Courts,” sponsored by Santa Clara County Move to Amend in coordination with many other events around the country
St. James Park, San Jose
Noon – 2pm (includes a march to the Federal court and City Hall)

Saturday Jan 21
Help commemorate the second anniversary of the Citizens United decision, which opened the floodgates to unlimited political spending by corporations
El Camino and Embarcadero, Palo Alto
11:30am – 1pm

Here’s a link to more information about Occupy the Courts:
http://scc-mta.org/jan20

and here’s a link to learn much more about Move to Amend:
http://scc-mta.org/start/

Getting to San Jose:

You can get to St. James Park easily by taking the 522 VTA bus down El
Camino to the Santa Clara and 1st stop. Here’s the schedule: http://www.vta.org/schedules/SC_522EA_WK.html. Caltrain and light rail also have service to downtown San Jose.

You may also want to watch http://www.storyofstuff.org/movies-all/story-of-citizens-united-v-fec/ and see why I am so excited to be part of this movement.

Image of stiltwalker is from Image from Rdikeman via Wikimedia Commons
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stiltwalker_parade_2004.jpg

Transition newsletter – November 29, 2011

TRANSITION PALO ALTO
Newsletter
November 29, 2011

News for Transition Palo Alto

  • New Transition book groups forming – Wed Nov 30
  • Transition Companion copies available
  • Films of Vision and Hope- “Occupy Wall Street — What’s Happened? What’s Next?” – Fri Dec 2 and 9
  • Sharing Circle organizing with Cecile Andrews – Mon Dec 5
  • Slow Money group organizing – Mon Dec 5
  • Occupy book group organizing – Thurs Dec 8
  • Garden and Craft Share – Sun Dec 11
  • Occupy on the Peninsula
  • Follow-up to Resilience Circle
  • Get involved in a Transition group

Events

  • Richard Heinberg at Kepler’s – Thurs Dec 8
  • Peak oil vs Climate debate with Heinberg – Berkeley Thurs Dec 15

NEWS

New book groups forming – Wed Nov 30

Probably the best way to get started with Transition is through a book group reading the Transition Companion. The Transition Companion (published last month) replaces the Transition Handbook, which we had been using.

Book Group 7 is now underway. It meets Thursdays in the middle of the day.

Book Groups 2 and 6 will be meeting together to read the Transition Companion on Wednesdays, starting November 30. The group is open to anyone interested. Contact transitionpaloalto@gmail.com. Or join tpa_book2 or tpa_book7 . William Mutch writes:

Book Group 6 has shifted over to reading the Transition Companion, and will commence on that this week. It is the upgrade/replacement to the Transition Handbook.

The plan is to meet at my house this Wednesday night, 6:30 for schmoozing and 7 for the group. Our plan is to read through page 44, or so. We’ll be meeting this week (11/30) and next week (12/7), then will shift to an every-other-week rhythm. Contact transitionpaloalto@gmail.com, and I’ll send you the address!


Transition Companion copies available

We just made a second bulk order for 29 copies of “The Transition Companion”. List price is $29.95. We can offer it for $20. Contact Bart Anderson ( transitionpaloalto@gmail.com ) to get a copy. He will be bringing copies to the book groups.

There is an online outline of the Transition Companion with links to about 60% of the material in the book.

More about the book (see links under “Additional Information” at right of this page)
PDF of excerpts


Films of Vision and Hope – Fridays – December 2 and 9
Occupy Wall Street — What’s Happened? What’s Next?

Occupy Wall Street has captured the imagination of millions and brought a level social activism not seen in the U.S. for decades. How did it start? What’s happened so far? What are the implications, and what can we do locally to get involved?

We’ll explore all of this at this Films of Vision and Hope mini-series.

Friday, December 2 – The Best of Occupy Videos
There’s a rich video record of the Occupy movement, with fascinating footage and interviews. We’ll see a selection of Occupy videos and discuss the movement — what we think about it and what the implications are for meaningful economic and social change.

Friday, December 9 – 100 Mile Potluck
Bring a dish to share (with local ingredients, if possible). We’ll continue the conversation, sharing what people are doing locally and what others can do to get involved.

World Centric 2121 Staunton Ct., Palo Alto
(behind JJ&F Market)

Meet and greet (and Dec. 9 potluck) 7 PM
Films and discussion 7:30 – 9:30 PM

Sponsored by Transition Silicon Valley, Transition Palo Alto, Silicon Valley Action Network and World Centric


Sharing Circle organizing with Cecile Andrews – Monday December 5

A new movement has developed recently: the “sharing economy,” where people share, barter, exchange, rent, etc — everything from cars to clothes. It helps people save money, helps the planet by reducing the use of resources, and builds community — one of the primary predictors of well being. The purpose of this circle is to become acquainted with the different opportunities in this new “sharing economy” by exploring the many web sites, trying some of the ideas out, and generating new ideas. (Many people create small businesses in this new movement.) If they desire, members of the circle can then act as resource people to others. The facilitator is Cecile Andrews, the author of books, such as Circle of Simplicity, which reflect the underlying philosophy of Sharing.

For more background on the “sharing economy,” go to www.shareable.net or www.collaborativeconsumption.com .
– Cecile Andrews

Begins Monday, December 5th, 7 pm.
This will be held on Monday nights at mid town in Palo Alto, (In the beginning it would be every week and less often later.)
If you are interested, please contact Cecile Andrews at cecile@cecileandrews.com .

[Cecile Andrews is the author of Slow is Beautiful, Less is More, and Circle of Simplicity. She has her doctorate in education from Stanford.]


Slow Money group organizing – Monday December 5

We have reserved a room at Acterra for the first ever Slow Money organizational meeting. It will happen on Monday, December 5, from 7:00 to 9:00 PM.

Peninsula Conservation Center
3921 East Bayshore Road
Palo Alto

I’ve talked with members of the Slow Money Norcal chapter and they know that we’re forming a group, which will have some kind of relation to them. As was mentioned to me, this is new ground, so we can define just about whatever we want to: investment club, business incubator, vetter of entrepreneurs for loans, whatever we can think of and safely do. I’ll mention this at the chapter meeting in Berkeley on 11/21.

We should, however, do this cautiously and carefully. I rather expect the first meeting to be one of getting to know each other and what the expectations of each person are. We’ll probably want to meet monthly for a couple of months, to iron out wrinkles; and understand and draw up any legal documents we might need (required for an investment club as I understand).

Please forward this to anyone you think might be interested, who has not signed up for this Yahoo Group. See you all on the 5th.

- Peter Ruddock


Occupy book group organizing – Thurs December 8

Cecile Andrews will be leading a group to examine and discuss the Occupy Movement, and its relation to Transition.

The first meeting will be Thursday December 8.
World Centric 2121 Staunton Ct., Palo Alto
Schmoozing 6:30 pm. Program start 7 pm.

We will be reading the book on Occupy that was just published by YES! Magazine:
http://store.yesmagazine.org/this-changes-everything?ica=TCEbk_port_2ways&icl=Home_550
http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/this-changes-everything-how-the-99-woke-up

You can contact Cecile at cecile@cecileandrews.com, or join tpa_occupy, the Yahoo Group set up to support the group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tpa_occupy/


Garden and Craft Share – Sun December 11

Local Garden Share and Craft Share are planning to merge again, with a holiday theme, tentatively scheduled for 1:00 to 3:00 PM on Sunday, December 11. More information to follow.

Garden share events have been cancelled for the rest of November and December, since the dates conflicted with holidays.


Occupy on the Peninsula

Several Transition people have made contact with local Occupy groups. The Transition Conversation group went to the last General Assembly of Occupy Palo Alto to introduce ourselves and to learn more about local Occupy activities.

Contact information for those interested:

Occupy Palo Alto
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/occupypaloalto
Google group: http://groups.google.com/group/occupypaloalto
General assemblies: Thursdays noon-2 pm University Lutheran Church, 1611 Stanford Ave. (at Bowdoin), Palo Alto (new time)
—-
Occupy Stanford
http://www.facebook.com/OccupyStanford

Occupy Redwood City
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Occupy-Redwood-City/114201505357515


Occupy Mountain View

According to David Herron, meetings are Sunday afternoons at 3pm in the plaza between City Hall and the Arts Center. There’s a “stand on the street corner holding signs” on Thursday afternoons at the intersection of Castro and El Camino).

Transition typically does not take political positions, but it does provide forums for relevant political discussions.


Follow-up to Resilience Circle

The Resilience Circle held its final formal session November. A number of follow-up activities were suggested. Some of these are already underway, and others need a “point person” to make them happen.

Time Bank
Slow Money/Social Responsible/Local Investing ( tpa_slow_money )
Home Project Cooperative (for house weatherization, garden work, painting?, etc)
Disaster Preparedness
Planting Fruit Trees
Local Food/Health/Exercise
Monthly Community Dinners
Networking/Chat Group (online) ( tpa_chat )
On-Going Resilience Circle (This one)
Transition Companion Book Discussion Group (tpa_book2 and tpa_book6)
Support Alliance (yahoo group?) for People in Wider Community (rides, home help, etc.) (tpa_support)
Peer Coaching Circle
Move to Amend (the Constitution re: Corporate Personhood)
Reading the Occupy book from Yes! Magazine (tpa_occupy)


Get involved in a Transition group

Interested in connecting with one of the groups active in Transition Palo Alto? Just sign up for the Yahoo group to get news of meetings, events, and discussions.

New in October and November:

Occupy (tpa_occupy): Discusses the #Occupy movement, and investigates what sort of co-operation may be possible with it.

Support (tpa_support): Several people in the recent Resilience Circle want to explore ways to provide mutual support to each other. Bette K. writes: “If you need a ride, plant watering, pet or child care, prescription pick up, or connection during a transition-please do join our group. “

Chat (tpa_chat): To cope with all the ideas and events, we’ve set up a new Yahoo group for announcements, news items and discussion … whatever is on your mind.

Food (tpa_food): Interested in where your food comes from? Finding out how to get local, organic, **delicious** food? Getting connected with local food activists? Peter Ruddock, who has been a leading activist in Slow Food, is facilitating this group.

Gardening (tpa_garden): Learn about local resources and opportunities for gardening. Facilitator is long-time Master Gardener Romola Georgia. You can write her to join: rgeorgia AT gmail DOT com

Slow Money (tpa_slow_money): Started up after we heard two exciting speakers from Slow Money at the Oct 28 potluck. Will deal with business, investing, money management — all with a Slow Money, Transition focus.

Current groups:
transitionpaloalto for the newsletter and occasional Transition-related posts of general interest. Open.
tpa_book2 Transition Book Group 2. Meets every two weeks on a variety of subjects. Will begin reading the “Transition Companion” Nov 30 and early December. Open.
tpa_book4 Transition Book Group 4. Now sponsoring the Resilience Circle (tpa_resilience)
tpa_book6 Transition Book Group 6. Will begin reading the “Transition Companion” Nov 30 and early December. Open.
tpa_book7 Transition Book Group 7. Began reading the Transition Handbook in November. Meets Thursday in the daytime.
tpa_chat for ideas, events, discussion. Open.
tpa_conversation Conversation and community discussion group. Deals with group process. Open.
tpa_food Food-related topics. Open
tpa_garden Gardening-related topics. Open.
tpa_occupy Discusses the Occupy Movement. Open.
tpa_resilience Resilience Circle. Started recently. Meets every week. Still open.
tpa_reskilling Reskllling classes (learning hands-on skills). Open
tpa_sharing Sharing-related topics.
tpa_slow_money Money topics, with emphasis on the local economy. Investing, money-management, business.
tpa_support Exploring ways to provide mutual support.

To join a Yahoo! Group:

  • Send an e-mail request (to: transitionpaloalto at gmail dotcom) We can add you directly to the group. OR
  • If you already have a Yahoo account, you can sign up by sending an email message to
    tpa_XXX-subscribe@yahoogroups.com (where tpa_XXX is the name of the group).

UPCOMING EVENTS


Richard Heinberg at Kepler’s – Thurs Dec 8

“The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality”
Thursday, December 8, 7:00 p.m.

Economists insist that recovery is at hand, yet unemployment remains high, real estate values continue to sink, and governments stagger under record deficits. The End of Growth proposes a startling diagnosis: humanity has reached a fundamental turning point in its economic history. The expansionary trajectory of industrial civilization is colliding with non-negotiable natural limits. Richard Heinberg’s latest landmark work goes to the heart of the ongoing financial crisis, explaining how and why it occurred, and what we must do to avert the worst potential outcomes.

The End of Growth describes what policy makers, communities, and families can do to build a new economy that operates within Earth’s budget of energy and resources. We can thrive during the transition if we set goals that promote human and environmental well-being, rather than continuing to pursue the now-unattainable prize of ever-expanding GDP.

Richard Heinberg is the author of nine previous books including The Party’s Over, Peak Everything, and Blackout. He is a Senior Fellow of Post Carbon Institute, a think tank helping chart humanity’s transition from the brief, waning reign of fossil-fueled megatechnology to the dawning era of re-adaptation to nature’s limits. Widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost Peak Oil educators, Richard lectures widely and appears on radio, television, and in films.

Members get in FREE! General Admission requires purchase of event book OR a $10 gift card (admits 2).

http://www.keplers.com/event/richard-heinberg


Peak oil vs Climate debate with Heinberg in Berkeley- December 15

Peak Oil or Climate Emergency? We know we’re in Big Trouble. But What Kind Exactly?

What: Dave Room, of Bay Localize, will moderate a debate between Richard Heinberg, Senior Fellow-in-Residence, Post Carbon Institute, peak oil theorist & author of the new book The End of Growth and Earth Island’s Tom Athanasiou, director of Eco-Equity, global climate justice researcher, & author of Divided Planet: The Ecology of Rich and Poor. For tickets, http://eii.org/events/1215tix .

When: Thursday December 15, 2011 – 6:30 pm

Where: in the Richard & Rhoda Goldman Theater, The David Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way in Berkeley (½ Block from Downtown Berkeley BART)

More: http://eii.org/events/1215/


Ongoing Events

alternate Tuesdays – Conversation, Community and Calling
alternate Wednesdays – Book group 2 continuing discussion, Reskilling group
Thursdays – Resilience Circle

2nd Sunday – Garden share at Common Ground (cancelled in Nov and Dec)
4th Sunday – Garden share at Full Circle Farm (cancelled in Nov and Dec)

Visit the website at http://www.transitionpaloalto.org for details

You can access the Calendar via:

http://transitionpaloalto.org/events-2

Contact the Transition team transitionpaloalto@gmail.com
to get on or off the newsletter mailing list (the transitionpaloalto Yahoo Group) or to suggest events!

editor for this issue: Bart Anderson
normal editor: Rani

- 30 -

Newsletter – October 5, 2011

TRANSITION PALO ALTO
Newsletter
October 5, 2011

News

  • New book – “Transition Companion” – discount copies available
  • Let it all hang out at new Chat group
  • Opportunities with Transition groups
  • Burt Liebert writing “Take Back the Power”
  • Transition Garden Group forming

Events

  • Acterra’s Green@Home energy specialist volunteer training – Wed Oct 5 and 12
  • Free screening of “I AM, the documentary” – Thurs Oct 6
  • Sharing Event – garden produce, crafts, Halloween costumes – Sun Oct 9
  • Bike Palo Alto – Learn how easy it is to bike in Palo Alto – Sun Oct 9
  • Frances Moore Lappé at Stanford: “Cultivating the EcoMind to Transform Our Food System” – Tues Oct 11
  • Community Food Conference in Oakland – Nov 5-8


NEWS

New book – “Transition Companion” – discount copies available

We just placed a bulk order for “The Transition Companion” by Rob Hopkins which will be released in late October.

The book is a sequel to “The Transition Handbook,” and gives strategies and ideas It should be an important book.

If you are interested in reserving a copy, email Annette at annetteisaacson AT comcast DOT net.

List price is $29.95. We can offer it for $20.

A book group will probably form to read the book together. It’s more fun to read it that way.

More (see links under “Additional Information” at right of page)
PDF of excerpts:


Let it all hang out at new Chat group

To cope with all the ideas and events, we’ve set up a new Yahoo group for announcements, news items and discussion. It’s called tpa_chat

If you already have a Yahoo account, you can sign up by sending an email message to
tpa_chat-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Complete instructions – see next item below.


Opportunities with Transition groups

Interested in connecting with one of the groups active in Transition Palo Alto? Just sign up for the Yahoo group to get news of meetings, events, and discussions.

Current groups:

transitionpaloalto for the newsletter and occasional Transition-related posts of general interest. Open.
tpa_book2 Transition Book Group 2. Meets every two weeks on a variety of subjects. Open.
tpa_book4 Transition Book Group 4. Now sponsoring the Resilience Circle (tpa_resilience)
tpa_book6 Transition Book Group 6. Now reading the Transition Handbook.
tpa_book7 Transition Book Group 7. Will begin reading the Transition Handbook in November. Will probably meet Thursday in the daytime.
tpa_chat for ideas, events, discussion. Open.
tpa_conversation Conversation and community discussion group. Deals with group process. Open.
tpa_food Food-related topics.Open
tpa_garden Gardening-related topics.Open.
tpa_resilience Resilience Circle. Started recently. Meets every week. Still open.
tpa_reskilling Reskllling classes (learning hands-on skills). Open
tpa_slow_money Money topics, with emphasis on the local economy. Investing, money-management, business.

The home page for each is:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/transitionpaloalto/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tpa_book2/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tpa_book4/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tpa_book6/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tpa_chat/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tpa_conversation/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tpa_garden/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tpa_resilience/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tpa_food/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tpa_reskilling/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tpa_slow_money/

[Thanks to David H. for pointing out that 2 of the URLs were wrong in the emailed version of the newsletter]

To join the tpa_chat group (or any of TPA’s groups
– just plug in the appropriate name, e.g. “tpa_resilling” instead of “tpa_chat”):

1. Go to:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tpa_chat/

2. Click on “Join Group” (in blue) on the middle right of the page.

3. If you have a Yahoo ID account, sign in with it.

If you DON’T have a Yahoo ID account, it is recommended that you fill out the forms to get one. It’s free and takes 5-15 minutes. Once you have one, it makes your interactions with Yahoo groups much easier. At the bottom right of the page, click on the button “Create New Account”

If you DON’T have a Yahoo ID account and you cannot / do not want to go through the process of signing up for one, send me your name and email address and I can sign you up for the group. ( bart AT cwo DOT com ).

4. Fill out the options. You can probably stick with all the default values.

If you don’t want mail filling up your inbox, you can choose the “Web Only” option in Step 2. With this option, you can go to the Yahoo Group website to read messages, rather than having them sent to you. (Thanks to Rani for this tip.)

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tpa_chat/messages

5. After you’re signed up, you can send messages to the group by using the mail address
tpa_chat@yahoogroups.com

6. To un-subscribe, send a message to
tpa_chat-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com


Burt Liebert writing “Take Back the Power”

Transition Palo Alto has been honored to have Burt and Marge Liebert at many events.

They have been involved in Transition-like activities for many decades. Recently they published an eco-topian novel called “Out of the Cage”

Burt has been an actor, drama teacher (UC Davis), Humanist, Peace Corps volunteer, lecturer, activist and horseback rider. Marge has been an innovative special-ed teacher, a prolific artist, and an undaunted activist.

More:
http://transitionpaloalto.org/learn/about-burt-and-marjorie-liebert/

A few weeks ago, Burt distilled his feeling about current events in a piece of writing called “Take the Back Power”

http://outofthecagenow.blogspot.com/2011/09/take-back-power-by-burt-liebert-it-isnt.html

It may be a statement that many can agree with. At first reading, it seems like the “Move to Amend” moveement against corporate personhood that some TPA people are involved with (cf Gerry G.).

http://www.peaceandjustice.org/programs/Move_To_Amend/MoveToAmend.pdf

-BA


Transition Garden Group forming

Romola Georgia is starting a garden group for discussion and activities around gardening. Romola is a Master Gardener and a founding member of Transition Palo Alto.

You can join by going to
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tpa_garden/

Or by writing Romola at rgeorgia AT gmail DOT com


UPCOMING EVENTS


Acterra’s Green@Home energy specialist volunteer training – Wed Oct 5 and 12

Come learn more about how to save energy in your home — and help others in the community do so, too! Please join us at Acterra for this volunteer training program on the next two Wednesday evenings:

Wednesday OCTOBER 5 & 12: Next Acterra’s Green@Home Energy Specialist Volunteer Training.

Green@Home Energy Specialist Volunteers meet with residents in their homes to install basic energy and water saving devices and create home energy conservation plans. Each HouseCall is performed by 2 volunteers & takes 2.5 hours. The next training will be: October 5 AND 12, 5:30 – 9:30 pm. The class will meet in Palo Alto. For more details about the location and to register for this training, see http://greenathomeprogram.eventbrite.com/

Please pass the word to others that may be interested.

Hope you can join us –it’s a fun, hands-on learning program with tools and a comprehensive learning manual.

- Debbie Mytels / Associate Director, Acterra


Free screening of “I AM, the documentary” – Thurs Oct 6

Topic:
The shift is about to hit the fan
Event date:
Thursday, October 06th, 2011 – 5:30pm – 8:30pm
Location:
Cubberley Auditorium, Stanford University

Trailer:

Reviews:
http://blog.seattlepi.com/peoplescritic/2011/02/24/review-i-am-the-documentary/
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/movies/2014320323_mr25iam.html

- Sarah R.


Sharing Event – garden produce, crafts, Halloween costumes – Sun Oct 9

Neighbors Sharing Food/Flowers/Herbs from their Gardens
Neighbors Sharing Arts & Craft Supplies

Sunday, October 9 11am – noon
FREE !
Common Ground Organic Garden Supply & Education Center
www.commongroundinpaloalto.org
559 College Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94306

Join us to share garden bounty. Bring what you have to share; take home something you don’t. Think of it as a “free” backyard farmers’ market.

Bring your homegrown fruit, vegetables, eggs, herbs, honey, and flowers! Bring your outgrown Halloween costumes and paraphernalia.

Come meet other artistic people, share stories, clear out your closets, and help save stuff from the landfill at the Craft Share! Bring your old arts and crafts supplies, Halloween and other paraphernalia, and take home what you really need.

Throughout the Bay Area, neighbors are coming together to share. Our Palo Alto sharing event is supported by a coalition of community ecological organizations and neighborhood groups including: Acterra, Barron Park Green Team, Barron Park Garden Network, Barron Park Assn, Common Ground, City of Palo Alto Community Gardens, Slow Food South Bay, Transition Palo
Alto and Transition Silicon Valley.

The Common Ground store is open during the event, so plan to stop in to get any supplies you need to continue your garden bounty. Also, the event is located only 3 blocks from the California Ave Farmers’ Market, which is open from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. You will have time to shop or have lunch at the market after the event.

Join us to share garden bounty as well as halloween costumes. Bring what you have to share; take home something you don’t. Think of it as a “free” backyard farmers’ market.

- Rani


Bike Palo Alto – Learn how easy it is to bike in Palo Alto – Sun Oct 9

Join in for an afternoon of fun and learn how easy it is to bike in Palo Alto! Bike Palo Alto! 2011 will be on Sunday October 9, 1-4 pm.

Start at El Carmelo School (Bryant & Loma Verde) for bike safety info, helmet fitting, bike registration and bike safety checks and maintenance. Then choose one of our highlighted routes and take a fun ride with free treats along the way including ice cream at Baskin Robbins and fruit at Mollie Stone’s & Whole Foods.

Bike Palo Alto! is a free, family friendly event, no pre-registration necessary. Just bring your bike & helmet and be ready to lower your carbon footprint and have some fun! Event highlights:

  • Learn tips on how to bike safely on public streets and make sure your helmet is ready to protect you!
  • Get a great local bike map highlighting bike routes in and around Palo Alto!
  • Check out Palo Alto’s great bike routes and stop along the way for free ice cream and other treats!
  • Learn about bike safety accessories to make your ride safer and register your bike!
  • Want to know the best bike route from your home to your favorite destination? Ask the Route Wizard!
  • Bring your bike by for a free safety check and basic maintenance!
  • Sign up for our free raffle for a chance to win a great prize!

For more info go to: www.pagreenteams.org

Or find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=208437172508446

Bike Palo Alto! Sponsors: Palo Alto CEAP, City of Palo Alto Way2Go & Sustainability Programs, Mike’s Bikes, Whole Foods, The Sweet Shop, Starbucks, Baskin Robbins, Mollie Stone’s Markets, Traders Joes, Kepler’s Books, REI, Palo Alto Bikes, College Terrace Association & the Barron Park Association.

- Annette I.


Frances Moore Lappé at Stanford: “Cultivating the EcoMind to Transform Our Food System” – Tues Oct 11

Stanford Food Summit 2 proudly and enthusiastically invites you to an evening with: Frances Moore Lappé

Cultivating the EcoMind to Transform Our Food System
Lessons learned from 40 years of the Food Movement

Please feel free to forward and circulate this with wild abandon. We would love to FILL Memorial Auditorium (capacity 1,700).

Stanford Public Forum featuring Frances Moore Lappé, Tuesday October 11, 7-9 pm
Target Audience: General Public

On-line registration is free, but required to help us keep track of numbers: http://foodsummit.stanford.edu

(please note: the website has a registration for the evening event)

The Keynote by Ms. Lappe will be followed by a panel discussion:
Moderator: Debra Dunn, Stanford d.school
Farmer: Dru Rivers, Full Belly Farm
Cook/Restaurateur: Jesse Cool
Nutrition Scientist: Christopher Gardner

- submitted by Lori W.


Community Food Conference in Oakland – Nov 5 – 8

The topic of Food Justice has been in the air recently, so I suspect that a number of you will be interested in learning about the Community Food Conference 15 – happening in Oakland from November 5 to 8. It isn’t cheap, but if you’ve attended conferences lately, you’ll know that it’s reasonable compared to some. You get quite a lot for your money. Check it out at: http://communityfoodconference.org/15/

If you don’t want to attend the entire conference, you have the option of attending ONLY a field day on Saturday, November 5. These trips give people the opportunity to visit food programs and farms around the Bay Area, from West Marin to Salinas. They typically come not only with great information and opportunities to learn, but a lunch made from local, sustainable food. http://www.foodsovereigntytours.org/u-s-tours/cfsc2011/

One field trip in particular that I’d like to mention to you is near by. Collective Roots is hosting a field day, right here in East Palo Alto. Many of you know Collective Roots well, and probably don’t need an all day tour of their excellent projects and sites. But others of you who have heard about them might want to check this out. You’ll get to visit quite a number of places, including the amazing and beautiful EPACS garden, and get a lunch of local, sustainable food cooked by the graduates of their Cooking Matters program. http://www.foodsovereigntytours.org/u-s-tours/cfsc2011/east-palo-alto/

- Peter Ruddock

Ongoing Events

alternate Tuesdays – Conversation, Community and Calling
alternate Wednesdays – Book group 2 continuing discussion, Reskilling group
Thursdays – Resilience Circle

2nd Sunday – Garden share at Common Ground
4th Sunday – Garden share at Full Circle Farm

Visit the website at http://www.transitionpaloalto.org for details

You can access the Calendar via:

http://transitionpaloalto.org/events-2

Contact the Transition team transitionpaloalto@gmail.com
to get on or off the newsletter mailing list (the transitionpaloalto Yahoo Group) or to suggest events!

editor for this issue: Bart Anderson
normal editor: Rani

- 30 -

Bike Palo Alto!

Join in for an afternoon of fun and learn how easy it is to bike in Palo Alto.  Bike Palo Alto! 2011 will be on Sunday, October 9, 1-4 pm.

Start at El Carmelo School (Bryant & Loma Verde) for bike safety info, helmet fitting, bike registration, and bike safety checks and maintenance. Then choose one of our highlighted routes and take a fun ride with free treats along the way including ice cream at Baskin Robbins and fruit at Mollie Stone’s & Whole Foods.

Bike Palo Alto! is a free, family friendly event, no pre-registration is necessary. Just bring your bike and helmet and be ready to lower your carbon footprint and have some fun! Event highlights:

  • Learn tips on how to bike safely on public streets and make sure your helmet is ready to protect you!
  • Get a great local bike map highlighting bike routes in and around Palo Alto!
  • Check out Palo Alto’s great bike routes and stop along the way for free ice cream and other treats!
  • Learn about bike safety accessories to make your ride safer and register your bike!
  • Want to know the best bike route from your home to your favorite destination? Ask the Route Wizard!
  • Bring your bike by for a free safety check and basic maintenance!
  • Sign up for our free raffle for a chance to win a great prize!

For more info go to: www.pagreenteams.org

Or find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=208437172508446

Bike Palo Alto! Sponsors: Palo Alto CEAP, City of Palo Alto Way2Go & Sustainability Programs, Mike’s Bikes, Whole Foods, The Sweet Shop, Starbucks, Baskin Robbins, Mollie Stone’s Markets, Traders Joes, Kepler’s Books, REI, Palo Alto Bikes, College Terrace Association & the Barron Park Association.

 

Transition Palo Alto sponsors Introduction to Resilience Circles

By Thomas Atwood

On a balmy September evening in the Bay Area, 27 people gather at World Centric in Palo Alto to learn about the resilience circle movement. Many are already participants in Transition Palo Alto, and bring a mature understanding of the ecological basis of our collective pain. Others come at the invitation of friends, or out of curiosity. They’ve come to learn about local consciousness raising groups that face economic stress together in a supportive setting. As the evening progresses, the group experiences the power of a primal ritual. Some might attend the same event and argue that a ritual never took place. But, like any good story, it always happens when humans tap into the collective wisdom of the faces around the fire.

Debbie Mytels recording "cultural messages."Debbie Mytels recording "cultural messages."

An opening reading from Meg Wheatley, Turning to One Another, sets the tone. Each voice contributes a line of the reading in turn, as though a Greek chorus had arrived just for the occasion. A round of introductions reveals a cast of characters that you might stereotype as comfortable, middle class residents of Silicon Valley, ground zero of American prosperity. The magic begins.

“What are the economic signs of the times?” facilitator Debbie Mytels asks. The room erupts with a familiar narrative. Small, local businesses are closing, and we’re seeing more empty storefronts. So many people don’t have health insurance, and six of them here in the circle. Adult children are living at home with their parents. Business people are running our education system. Worker productivity has increased over 40 years, but wages are stagnant. America has become an auctioning block of deep online discounts. Sailboats are going for a bargain at $2500. People who still have jobs are doing the work of three or more people. Employees of huge global enterprises are anxious, stressed, isolated, crying at their desks, and taking large doses of antidepressants.

The list goes on. A Stanford professor asked a student to lecture on dumpster diving. A technical writer with a PhD in English from Stanford couldn’t get a three-year supplemental employee contract renewed at a global software company. Another PhD had to go to Korea to find a job. People we know are internalizing the pain and blaming themselves, taking unhealthy solace in spectacle, illusion, and fast food. When the anesthesia wears off, the pain returns.

After an outburst of insights like these, the reading for Facing Economic Change simply cements in what’s already been said. Tough times lie ahead, and we are in a stage of fundamental transition. We won’t have more debt-fueled economic growth, and our economic model is not ecologically sustainable. A resilience circle is a place to support one another and prepare. The choir in the room wants to burst into song, but first the facilitators want to discuss cultural messages about the economy.

As more voices contribute to the circle, the burgeoning energy of the narrative takes on a life of its own. The media glorifies the wealthy and sets impossible standards, too many of us taking comfort in the hope that we’ll become “one of them.” Pundits foment fear. Talking heads scapegoat the poor, immigrants, feminists, gays, academics, the “elite liberal establishment”—anyone we don’t know well enough to hear their story. “You’re on your own.” “Be afraid.” “The world is divided into winners and losers, and losers shouldn’t get anything.” “The private sector and the invisible hand of the free market will fix everything.” “Go shopping.” “It’s your own damn fault.”

People are ready to talk about themselves, and the agenda opens the floodgates. The group breaks into pairs for a discussion question. “What are one or two ways that the economic crisis is touching you, or someone you love?” After ten minutes the group reconvenes to share back, and facilitator Thomas Atwood can’t write fast enough on his easel pad.

It starts with everyday frustrations, such as the distractions of an interrupt-driven lifestyle, hidden fees and penalties from banks, and 40 minutes on the phone trying to cancel a DSL service. It gets worse. Six people in the room have no health insurance, and one gave up in frustration trying to get through the process of comparing plans. A brother in law was laid off at age 65 just as he was asking for time off for surgery. One participant attributes a huge rent increase to a landlord trying to recoup his stock market losses. Another person had a 53% rent increase in January. A sister with a ten-year-old daughter has been homeless for three years, making her way through the shelter system and relying on the generosity of friends. Another woman volunteers for a rotating shelter at her church. After a series of job losses, a sister who started out as an Executive Director of a San Francisco non profit has given up on having a professional life in the US, and is now working in Afghanistan. A friend is living in a truck in the parking lot where someone works. Financial stress is forcing one woman to sell her house, which she characterizes as “her paradise.”

Mytels handles the logistics of next steps with a deftness born of years of experience as a community organizer. The group will take the seven-session curriculum from the national Resilience Circle Network together and finish by Thanksgiving. After working out the details, the group closes by standing in a circle and reading an excerpt from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s 1964 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech: “… I am not yet discouraged about the future. Granted that the easygoing optimism of yesterday is impossible.”

As if leaving is difficult, many linger in the room for conversation and debriefing. By 3:41 AM, Bart Anderson (a Transition Palo Alto organizer) has set up a Yahoo Group for the new resilience circle, saying that “I was keyed up after the great meeting of the Resilience Circle, so I thought I would use some of that energy productively.”

“It goes on one at a time,
it starts when you care
to act, it starts when you do
it again after they said no,
it starts when you say We
and know who you mean, and each
day you mean one more.”

From The Moon Is Always Female, by Marge Piercy


Thomas Atwood greeting people at Palo Alto's first Resilience Circle.“Author Thomas Atwood greeting people at Palo Alto's first Resilience Circle.”

From Thomas’s bio:

I believe that the role of the magician in society was more interesting in antiquity, and I occasionally revive the “trickster” role in the persona of my magician alter ego, Alfonzo the Conjuring Fool. Alfonzo is crazy about the Faithful Fools Street Ministry in San Francisco (See http://www.faithfulfools.org). HIs magic tends to surprise him as much as it does anyone else, fostering awareness of mystery and of the real-world misdirection and shell games going on all around us.

Speaking of foolishness, I earn my living as a technical writer in Silicon Valley. My poetry envisions relationships among spiritual, psychological, and scientific perspectives on the human condition.

I am learning to be a community organizer, because local and regional relationships have the best chance of surviving the coming collapse of an unsustainable industrial civilization powered by cheap oil. So I work with friends to organize resilience circles and build hope for a soft landing.

An introduction to Resilience Circles – Sept 15

We’re in this Together!

An Introduction to Resilience Circles
September 15, 2011

The Great Recession is a scary time. Debt, foreclosure, unemployment, anxious employment, evaporating savings, rising costs, job insecurity, and environmental uncertainties.

Resilience circles are a positive way forward. A resilience circle is a small group of people that comes together to:

  • Face economic and ecological challenges
  • Learn about root causes
  • Discover non-financial resources
  • Build relationships that strengthen security
  • Take steps for mutual aid and shared action
  • Learn about helpful community projects
  • Rediscover what we have and the prospect of a brighter future
  • Become part of a larger effort to create a fair, healthy, sustainable economy for all

For those already involved in local Transition activities, resilience circles are a natural way to tie in our concerns about peak oil and climate change with the real economic and personal challenges that we face. It’s all part of the same picture!

Join us for an introduction to Resilience Circles

We’ll learn about the resilience circle movement and how resilience circles are helping people turn hardship into strengthened relationships and mutual support. We’ll also plan follow-on sessions for those who want to get involved.

September 15
6:30 meet and greet
7:00-9:00 Intro to Resilience Circles
World Centric
2121 Staunton Court
Palo Alto, CA 94306

Hosted by Transition Palo Alto book group 4

For more information about the event write to, thomas@thomasatwood.net or dmytels@batnet.com

For more information about the Resilience Circle movement, see http://localcircles.org/

Local Garden Share

Neighbors Sharing Food/Flowers/Herbs from their Gardens

Second Sunday of the month:  August 14, 11 am – Noon

FREE !

Common Ground Organic Garden Supply & Education Center

559 College Avenue
Palo Alto,CA 94306

Join us to share garden bounty. Bring what you have to share; take home something you don’t. Think of it as a “free” backyard farmers’ market.

Bring your homegrown fruit, vegetables, eggs, herbs, honey, and flowers!

Throughout the Bay Area, neighbors are coming together for sharing locally grown, fresh produce. Our Palo Alto sharing event is supported by a coalition of community ecological organizations and neighborhood groups including:

Acterra, Barron Park Green Team, Barron Park Garden Network, Barron Park Assn., Common Ground Organic Garden Supply & Education Center, City of Palo Alto Community Gardens, Slow Food South Bay, Transition Palo Alto, and Transition Silicon Valley.

The Common Ground store is open during our event, so plan to stop in to get any supplies you need to continue your garden bounty. Also, we are located only 3 blocks from the California Ave. Farmers’ Market, which is open from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. You will have time to shop or have lunch at the market after the event.

Local Garden Share

Neighbors Sharing Food/Flowers/Herbs from their Gardens

Sunday, July 10, 11 am – Noon

FREE !

Common Ground Organic Garden Supply & Education Center

559 College Avenue
Palo Alto,CA 94306

Join us to share garden bounty. Bring what you have to share; take home something you don’t.  Think of it as a “free” backyard farmers’ market.

Bring your homegrown fruit, vegetables, eggs, herbs, honey, and flowers!

Throughout the Bay Area, neighbors are coming together for sharing locally grown, fresh produce. Our Palo Alto sharing event is supported by a coalition of community ecological  organizations and neighborhood groups including:  Acterra, Barron Park Green Team, Barron  Park Garden Network, Barron Park Assn, Common Ground, City of Palo Alto Community  Gardens, Transition Palo Alto, and Transition Silicon Valley.