Welcome to Transition!

Help us build a vibrant and resilient society for people and the planet.

Coming up:

August 24 Fourth Friday/Films of Vision and Hope – Soft Vengeance Film and disussion.  

Fireside Room, Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto, 505 E. Charleston, Palo Alto.

Scroll down for details

Second Tuesdays each month Games Night, 7:00-9:00pm. Palo Alto. Please RSVP to transitionpaloalto@googlegroups.com for address and other details.
Fourth Tuesdays each month TPA Community Council, 7-9pm, Palo Alto. Check your TPA email for location and details later in the month.
Fridays, except fourth Friday Transition Cafe, 6:10-8pm, Red Rock Cafe, Castro St, Mountain ViewMore about the cafe
Weekends Garden Shares:
First Saturday each month: Mountain View Garden Share,
12 noon-1pm, Heritage Park in Mountain View.
Second Saturday each month: Portola Valley Garden Share,
10-11am, Portola Valley Town Center.
Fourth Sunday each month: Sunnyvale Garden Share,
11am-noon, Charles St. Garden, Sunnyvale.
Every other Sunday, starting 5/6: Redwood City Garden Share, 1266 Connecticut Drive, Redwood City. Contact rhamsa14@yahoo.com for updates.

To get involved, check out these links: How to get involved! and What you can do about climate change. And sign up for our spam-free mailing list for information about important activities and events. And want to get in touch? Send a message to transitionpaloalto@gmail.com.

mailing list Meetup Group/Facebook group

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August 24 Fourth Friday/Films of Vision and Hope Soft Vengeance – Film and Discussion

“An emotive film that recognizes the power and endurance of the human spirit at its best.” – The Guardian (UK)

SOFT VENGEANCE tells the story of Albie Sachs, lawyer, writer, art lover and freedom fighter, set against the dramatic events leading to the overthrow of the apartheid regime in South Africa. His story provides a prism through which to view the challenges faced by those unable to tolerate a society founded on principles of slavery and disempowerment of South Africa’s majority black population.

As a young man, Albie defended those committed to ending apartheid in South Africa. For his actions, he was imprisoned and then forced into exile. In 1988, a car bomb by South African security forces in Mozambique cost him his right arm and the sight of one eye. Miraculously he survived and ultimately recovered. Returning to South Africa following the release of Nelson Mandela, Albie helped write the new Constitution and was then appointed as one of the first 11 judges to the new Constitutional Court.

Friday August 24 7:30-9:30pm 
Fireside Room, Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto, 505 E. Charleston, Palo Alto
FREE, Donations appreciated.

Co-sponsored by Transition Palo Alto, the Green Sanctuary Committee of UUPCA, and Peninsula Peace and Justice Center.

soft vengeance.png

Transition Café – What is a Transition Town?

We had a great first session of our course in Permaculture Design for home gardeners, at Veggielution. The link to sign up is here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/summer-saturdays-veggielution-workshop-series-tickets-47241482546, if you want to join us, going forward. Come check it out, 10am-12:30pm, with an optional lunch.

A flock of Turkeys, 30+ individuals, have been regular visitors to the land, up here. Good to see them crowding around for drinks at the birdbaths, kind of funny watching groups teens, even the smallest of whom dwarfs any of the baths, trying to stand in them while drinking. They don’t seem to want water baths, though, as they all headed off to the mulch pile for dust baths, afterwards. Deer drink from the birdbaths, too. Perhaps a bigger water basin is needed?

Observation and Seeking feedback from the systems you are interacting with are practices dear to the heart of Permaculture Design. Turkeys drinking, and others drinking and bathing in birdbaths is strong feedback that this is a system that needs water. Dust baths in the mulch pile are also a big deal, especially given how quickly everyone headed over there when the call went out. Hummingbirds seem to have a strong preference for one feeder over another. Chickadees don’t drink from the birdbaths, so much, but will drain the water in the basins my plants sit in. *sigh* My best guess is that there are microbes in that water that are not in the frequently-replaced birdbath water.

In that vein, we are seeking feedback from our community, this week. We would love to know what Transition Towns are to you, what they mean to you. What would you like them to be, to mean? Some great thinkers have suggested that, if Humans are to survive as a species, movements like the Transition Towns and Permaculture Community are how that will happen. What do you think? How would that work? What would it look like?

Would we focus on emergency preparedness? Community building? Food systems? Education? Politics? Fun?

One of the goals of the Transition Town Community is to make the whole thing fun. Are we doing that? What could we do differently?

Transition Palo Alto is a hub, that is a focal point for Transitioners from all over the South Bay, from Casa de Fruita up to Palo Alto. We tried calling it Transition Silicon Valley, but that didn’t take, so we have the increasingly inaccurately-named Transition Palo Alto. Do you want other Transition Towns in the area? Do you want them enough to learn how to start one in your city?

“What is a Transition Town?”, at Red Rock Coffee, this Friday, 10 August, from ~6:10-7:45pm. We often go to dinner afterwards, maybe we will this week, too.

Also, thank you for your feedback on the idea of the Transition Café announcements moving to a small, dedicated list. Your feedback is valuable, and is being relayed to the Steering Committee of Transition Palo Alto, who will ultimately make that decision.

As much as we try to schedule when Red Rock’s upstairs is open, sometimes we cross up with another event which has the upstairs closed to us. Thank you for your flexibility in working with those evening! We will try to post a note as to where we have gone, with Red Rock.

Apparently, some e-mail programs cut this announcement off in the middle of the Guidelines, with the rest of the e-mail appearing as code. When you respond to tell me about it, my whole e-mail is often visible in your response. Maybe hit “respond”, and then scroll down in that draft? One respondent suggested that there may be a [read more] prompt that you can click on. Let me know what works…

The Guidelines are below. Read ’em, learn ’em, bring a copy if you think yer gonna forget ’em!

Venue information is below the Guidelines, and check out the random and useful other stuff below the notes section. Feel free to forward this widely!

Transition Cafe Guidelines
-Whoever shows up are the right people
-Whenever it starts is the right time
-Speak when you are moved to speak
-The conversation gets to go where it wants to go
-Pauses in conversation are good, they allow information to sink in, thoughts to happen, and quieter people to have a chance to speak
-Silent listening is fine, you do not need to speak if you do not wish to
-The “Law of Mobility”: if you feel like you are neither learning nor contributing, you may use your mobility to find a place in which you are doing so
-Bring friends! If we overpopulate the venue, we’ll figure something else out
-If you are able, please buy stuff from the venues. We’re trying to support local businesses!
Anyone can host a Café! All you need is an hour or two, an independent café you like, this list of guidelines, and a starting subject. Bring something to read while you wait for folks to show up (see the first guideline).

Please note venue changes:

This week, we will be meeting on Friday, 10 August, from ~6:10-7:45pm, at Red Rock Coffee, in Mountain View.

Thanks to everyone who has been supporting the venues by buying stuff while we’re there!

See you at the Café,

William

+++++++++

Notes: Open Conversation

Heirloom Fruit-Masumoto Farms
Living in Community
Permaculture Class
Trump/National News updates
Free Trade-what do we think about this?
Given a resource, the mining of which would poison ecosystems and potentially render large parts of your world uninhabitable, do you do it, or do you find another option?
Transition Café announcements, where do they belong?
What is Transition about?
-Definitions

Transition Café e-mails
-inspire reflection
-create surface area
-represent Transition ideals and philosophies
-create interest, letting people know what we’re doing, that here is an event they can come to

Random and Useful Other Stuff:

Toby Hemenway’s (author of Gaia’s Garden)

website: http://tobyhemenway.com/articles/

Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land, by Gary Paul Nabhan
Thinking in Systems, a primer, by Donella H. Meadows
Masterminds and Wingmen, Rosalind Wiseman

Queen Bees and Wannabees, Rosalind Wiseman

I’ll post other links and readings in this space, as they occur to me.

Please join us on tpa_cafe, or tpa_chat, you can join at http://www.transitionpaloalto.org./

New Book Group Starting Up

–submitted by Victora Armigo
You are invited to join a new book group series focusing on Deepening Resilience. We’ll begin by featuring two books.

The first book will be Prosper! How to Prepare for the Future and Create a World Worth Inheriting 2nd Edition, by Chris Martenson  & Adam Taggart. The book is about how to build personal resilience by developing eight forms of capital (a concept taken from permaculture).

The next book will be Who Do We Choose To Be?: Facing Reality-Claiming Leadership-Restoring Sanity by Margaret J Wheatley. This book is about creating “islands of sanity” and what I see as building emotional and social capital.

I would like to see the first book group do a deep dive together on these 2 books. Space is limited, and everyone in the group should be committed to reading and participating.

My hope is that folks from the first group will lead subsequent book groups. So if you’re not accepted into the first group, you may be able to participate in a subsequent group.

We are thinking 1st,  3rd and 5th Tuesday evenings, beginning on 7/17/18 at 7p at Victoria Armigo’s home. Victoria, Barbara Weinstein, and Paul Heft are leaders of this book group.

 

TPA at the re:Maker Fair

On a very hot summer day, Transition Palo Alto joined other local organizations at the Mitchell Park Community Center for the re:Maker Fair.  The Fair, sponsored by the Palo Alto Library, brought together skill shares and information tables in the spirit of a Maker Fair, but with a twist:  we all showed people how to make things out of things that might other wise have gone to waste, hence re:Maker.

Transition Palo Alto’s table was dedicated to the use of food scraps that might otherwise have been tossed.  The centerpiece of our simple table was a guessing game, where we had put different food scraps in brown paper bags.  We were amused that some people were nervous to reach into the bags! – did they think we put sharp objects in there?  The bags actually contained onion skins, potato peals, carrot tops and celery leaves, and few people guessed them all.  Having guessed the contents or not, people were then made aware of what produce we had and were asked what to do with all of them together.  The answer, of course, was to add water and to make Vegetable Broth.

We offered them some tips, which we now offer to you:

  • Do you know which vegetables and scraps to use in broth?  Jennifer’s Kitchen offers a great list of vegetables and suggested uses.  For example, onion skins add color, but if you want a nice onion-y flavor, do add a piece of the onion flesh as well.  And don’t overdo the carrot tops or you’ll make the broth too bitter.
  • The Crisper Whisperer adds yet more tips.  Potato peels, and potato of course, make a thicker broth.

We also suggested an easy method of production which had light bulbs turning on over heads:

  • Keep a container in your freezer for raw scraps and add to them as you chop your veggies.
  • Take out what scraps you need for the dish you are making, balanced for taste – but make a bigger batch than you need for that dish.
  • Put the unneeded broth in ice cube trays and freeze them.  Dump the ice cubes into a labelled container if you wish.  This way you will have small amounts of broth for flavoring side dishes, such as rice.

Of course, when you strain the broth, you will still have scraps for your compost pile.  Just fewer of them and with much of the taste and nutrition extracted for your broth.

We had a great time with the Library and hope to join them again at community events in the future.  And/or have them join us at their cousin events, our Share Faires.

 

May Transition Palo Alto Community Council

On Tuesday, May 22, Transition Palo Alto’s Community Council met for the second time.  Six intrepid souls met at the Prolific Oven in downtown Palo Alto to hash through the business of Transition.

 

We first set our mind to considering the pending election and the question set by the Steering Committee in the May TPA Newsletter:  should we endorse local propositions.  The group decided, after much soul searching, that we should not endorse propositions in the name of Transition Palo Alto.  TPA is not a membership organization, nor a registered 501(c)3 – or other- non-profit.  The assembled group thought that in order to use Transition Palo Alto’s name on an endorsement, TPA ought to have a more formal structure and a publicly defined process for endorsements, such that all members could become involved, whatever membership then entailed.  This might seem less than satisfying, but in fact it was very satisfying:  we had a group of supporters, with inclusion beyond the steering committee, come out with a well thought through position.

 

We did come up with our own opinions, which are those of the assembled group only.  We agreed that we supported Proposition 68 and that we opposed Proposition 70.  We decided that since none of us were residents of San Jose, we were not going to take a position on Measure B.  (Spoiler:  in yesterday’s election 68 passed, while 70 and B were both defeated.)

 

We talked about the City of Palo Alto’s draft Zero Waste Plan.  Most people hadn’t read it.  It is a significant document, running to about 50 pages, including charts and appendices.  Those who skimmed it were impressed by its vision, short term and long.  We decided that it was indeed something which Transition Palo Alto should comment on and kicked off a committee to make comments.  If you would like to participate, send us a message.

 

We ran out of time before returning to our Resource Map conversation.  One thing we’re learning is that these conversations are deep and take time.  We’ll want to put multiple items on the agenda, but order them for urgency in case we run out of time.  We’ll want to return to the Resource Map conversation soon, and if we don’t have time to finish it in the Community Council, then it may just have to kick off its own separate project.

 

Look to join us in Council some time.

Dolores – June Fourth Friday/Films of Vision and Hope

June 22 7:30-9:30pm 
Fireside Room, Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto, 505 E. Charleston, Palo Alto
All ages welcome! FREE, Donations appreciated.

“Exuberantly inspiring… makes you want to march and dance.” — San Francisco Chronicle

dolores

What makes a consummate activist? What does it take to be someone who dedicates their life and liberty to advancing social, economic, and environmental justice?

This month we’ll take a close look at Dolores Huerta, one of the most important, yet least known, activists in American history. An equal partner in co-founding the first farm workers unions with Cesar Chavez, her enormous contributions have gone largely unrecognized. Dolores tirelessly led the fight for racial and labor justice alongside Chavez, becoming one of the most defiant feminists of the twentieth century—and she continues the fight to this day, at 87. With intimate and unprecedented access to this intensely private mother to eleven, the film reveals the raw, personal stakes involved in committing one’s life to social change. See the trailer…

Co-sponsored by Transition Palo Alto, the Green Sanctuary Committee of UUPCA, Peninsula Peace and Justice Center, and Fools Mission.

Spring Share Faire June 10

Mitchell Park Bowl
3700 East Meadow Dr
Palo Alto, CA 94303 [MAP]
Sunday, June 10, 2018
1:00 – 3:00 PM

Don’t miss the Transition Palo Alto Spring/Summer Share Faire this Sunday afternoon. We’ve got an awesome batch of skillshares lined up:
Improv Techniques with Roy
Cockadoodle Do’s and Don’ts with Victoria
Tool Care with William
Science Experiments with Hamsa
Lace making with Suzanne
Food prep with Diane

We’ll also share goods – garden and clothing, books and household items, toys and more.  And we’ll share each other’s good company while building a stronger community.

Please plan to join us.  If you’d like to volunteer as a greeter, for set-up or clean-up, or for whatever, send email to transitionpaloalto@gmail.com.
2018 spring share faire flyer