Grand Boulevard Initiative

Envisioning the Future of El Camino Real

Speakers from VTA, Strategic Economics, and ReConnecting America discuss:

  • Bus Rapid Transit along El Camino Real
  • Economic and environmental impacts of clustering jobs and homes on a transportation corridor
  • Successful corridor development

Wednesday, March 30, 2011
7- 8:30 PM
Sunnyvale City Hall
City Council Chambers
456 W. Olive Avenue

Sponsored by the American Planners Association of Northern California, Strategic Economics, VTA, ReConnecting America, Sunnyvale Cool, Urban Habitat, the City of Sunnyvale, Greenbelt Alliance and the Grand Boulevard Initiative El Camino Real.

Conversation, Community, and Calling workshop

Transition Palo Alto’s “Conversation, Community and Calling” workshop continues, welcoming new participants.  Admission is open and free.

Saving the planet means creating a caring culture.  Social ties are central to health, happiness, and civic life.  Yet our frantic, distracted culture makes it difficult to maintain and deepen social connections.  Trust and civil discourse are in decline.

Based on the practice of good, effective conversation, in this workshop we examine how you can use conversation and community to follow your calling and advance your vision of cultural change.

Join us alternate Tuesdays starting March 1:  6:45 – 9 PM.

World Centric, 2121 Staunton Court
Palo Alto, CA 94306

TEDxManhattan Streaming Party

Slow Food South Bay presents:

TEDxManhattan Streaming Party

Changing the Way We Eat

Saturday, February 12, 2011,  7:30 AM – 3:00 PM

World Centric Community Space,
2121 Staunton Ct, Palo Alto, CA

On February 12, The Glynwood Institute for Sustainable Food and Farming will host TEDxManhattan: Changing the Way We Eat, a one-day TEDx event on sustainable food and farming. It will explore our food system — from what happened, to where we are, to what we are doing to shift to a more sustainable way of eating and farming. In an effort to have as many people as possible participate, the event will be webcast live.

For those of you unfamiliar with TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design), it is a small non-profit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, using talks and performances. Thought leaders from around the world are invited to give presentations up to 18-minutes long that explore important topics to society. All of the talks are recorded and available in an archive at TED’s web-site. Some memorable talks include, Dan Barber’s How I Fell in Love With a Fish and Jamie Oliver’s TED Prize Wish: Teach Every Child About Food. Check them out and get hooked.

Then plan to join us at World Centric on the 12th. The line-up is impressive, including Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis, makers of King Corn, Brian Halweil of the Worldwatch Institute, Josh Viertel, president of Slow Food USA and many more. You can get the full list at the TEDxManhattan web-site. There is no schedule for individual speakers, but the event will be broken into sessions:

    7:30 AM – 9:15 AM : Session 1 – What Happened?
    9:15 AM – 10:30 AM : Break
    10:30 AM – 12:15 PM : Session 2 – Where are we?
    12:15 PM – 1:00 PM : Potluck Lunch Break
    1:00 PM – 3:00 PM : Session 3 – Where are we going?

Come for one session or stay all day. Those of us staying over lunch time will plan to share a potluck lunch together. Bring something simple, seasonal, local – something sustainable – to share with your neighbors.

(This event is brought to you by a number of partners: Collective Roots, Slow Food South Bay, Transition Palo Alto, Transition Silicon Valley, and World Centric.)

Free Film Series: Livable Cities

Films of Vision and Hope

We’ll look at what went wrong with our cities, how sprawl replaced neighborhoods, and what can be done to bring back community and sustainability to our cities and towns.

January 21 – End of Suburbia We’ll set the stage with this influential film, which shows how the American dream of suburbia has become unsustainable and gives an inkling of what might replace it.  

January 28 – Save our Land, Save our Towns  Small town newsman Tom Hylton explores  why America’s towns have declined and what we can do to revive them.
“Development and zoning issues normally make the eyes glaze…Tom Hylton makes them downright fascinating.” Philadelphia Daily News

February 4 – Community by Design   Learn about the key role that design plays in community from some leading progressive thinkers on the subject.

February 11 – Portland: Quest for the Livable City   Portlanders enjoy a thriving downtown, plus national recognition for alternative transportation, emissions reductions, and overall sustainability, thanks to a regional land use process established thirty years ago. Learn about the challenges of maintaining this land use vision and its implications for equity and fairness.

February 25 –  A Convenient Truth  In this inspirational film, you’ll learn why cities around the world look to Curitiba, Brazil as the model for creative and enlightened urban planning. The city of Curitiba has demonstrated for the past 40 years how to transform problems into cost effective solutions that can be applied in most cities around the world.

March 4 – Join us for our third 100 mile potluck. Connect with others and learn about opportunities to get involved.

Films of Vision and Hope focuses on hopeful and positive solutions to environmental
problems affecting our world. Provocative films, great discussion, and opportunities to connect with others who want to make a difference.

Where:  World Centric, 2121 Staunton Ct., Palo Alto  (behind JJ&F Market)
When:  Fridays 7:00 – 9:30 PM (7 PM cookies, 7:30 PM film) 

 Sponsored by Acterra, Common Ground, Mountain View Cohousing Community, Silicon Valley Action Network, Transition Silicon Valley, Transition Palo Alto, World Centric, and more

The No Impact Experiment

Join Transition Palo Alto and many others in The No Impact Experiment!  It’s a one-week exploration of how to reduce our negative impacts on our environment, beginning January 2nd (in partnership with YES! Magazine).

We’ll learn a few things about living a happier life, and maybe change a few habits in the bargain.

This is not a test.  There is no scoring, there are no judgments.  It’s a chance to experiment with small changes in our lives, as part of the big cultural shift we are undertaking to live in balance on our planet.  We might learn whether less environmental degradation brings with it more happiness!

Try it!  Register on the No Impact Project website.  (Visit How It Works to preview step-by-step instructions, or Reflections on a one-week carbon cleanse to read someone else’s experience, or read the How-To Manual.)

You’re then welcome to use the Leave a Comment link on this blog post to share your experience during the experiment.  (Suggestion:  Bookmark this post as a favorite so you can return easily in the future.)

No Impact Project logo

Join us to read The Transition Handbook

The Transition HandbookTransition Palo Alto is sponsoring our fourth book discussion group.  Join us to read The Transition Handbook: From oil dependency to local resilience by Rob Hopkins (founder of the Transition Movement). 

We will meet weekly for six weeks to learn about Transition and consider personal and community responses to the threats of peak oil and climate change.  The groups so far have inspired a vital interactive hands-on community of resourceful and talented people.

Our first meeting will be Thursday, January 20, 2011, from 7 to 9 PM.  If you are interested, please let us know by sending an e-mail message to Emily Rosen (mlerosen at jps dot net), and she will send out the details.

More information about the book is below.  Hope you can join us!

Description of  The Transition Handbook

Another useful, short introduction by Transition US:

Online version of The Transition Handbook (PDF):

An outline of The Transition Handbook

We will use a study guide (developed by Transition Seattle):

Peak Oil Coloring Book

What is Peak Oil?  And Why Should I Care?

Make the coloring book that was developed for the 10/10/10 event “Time for an Oil Change — Green Activities for Parents and Kids”!

  1. Download the Peak_Oil_Coloring_Book_10-07-2010.pdf.  When you open the file you will notice two “pages” in the document, which are designed to be printed on two sides of one sheet of large paper.  When printing, set (for example in printer properties): 
    • Duplex printing (two-sided)
    • Paper size:  11″ x 17″
    • “Short-side stapling”, or “Flip over”:  choose a setting that ensures that both sides of the printed sheet will be oriented similarly, with the same long edge being upwardmost.
    • Coloring book showing reverse bent over

      1 Large paper printed on two sides

    2 Half sheets stacked one on the other

  2. Once you print the sheet, cut it lengthwise to separate the top half from the bottom half.  Flip over the bottom half so that the dinosaurs are face up.  Stack the top half-sheet on top of the bottom half-sheet; the dinosaurs will now be covered.

  4. Fold the two half-sheets (together) with a vertical crease down the middle, so that the cover (“What is Peak Oil?”) winds up on the front of the folded stack.  Staple at the crease (you’ll need a stapler with a long reach).  Now you can flip through the eight pages!
  5. 3 Folded and stapled

If you don’t have a printer that can handle two-sided printing on such large paper, and you can’t find a friend or a copy shop to help you, you’ll be forced to print a small version on letter size paper and the margins won’t come out right.  Oh well, you might still have fun reading this tiny illustrated book!

Local Garden Swap: Neighbors sharing the fruits of their labors

What a great idea! Many of us have extra fruits, vegetables, flowers, and herbs in our gardens—so Jan Butts figured, why not swap them for produce that we could use?

Jan organized what might be this century’s first free exchange of Palo Alto’s garden bounty. Judging from the positive response, there just have to be future swaps.

This free backyard farmers’ market was held 11 AM ‘til noon on Saturday, August 21, in the parking lot at Common Ground Organic Garden Supply & Education Center.

We saw the “gift economy” at work! About 25 people brought items to share and sampled the wide variety of beautiful produce available. Folks were glad for the chance to chat with one another, marvel at interesting varieties, share gardening experiences, and offer ideas of how to use the food. There was even more conversation than we see at farmers’ markets.

The swap is supported by a coalition of community groups including: Acterra, Barron Park Green Team, Barron Park Garden Network, Barron Park Assn., Common Ground, Palo Alto Community Gardens, Slow Food South Bay, and Transition Palo Alto.

Drop by next time, even if you don’t have a harvest to share yet!

Next swap event: 
Saturday, September 11, 11 AM – Noon

at Palo Alto Main Community Garden
located behind the Palo Alto Main Library at 1213 Newell Rd.

(Check for announcements of more garden swap events on this website.)