Halloween Scare Faire and Costume Swap

children holding firecrackers outdoors

For the fifth year, Transition Palo Alto hosts the Costume Swap – a chance to pass down old, outgrown, or simply unused costumes, wigs, and other Halloween wear for both children and adults. Then take home something new to you for this Halloween.

This year, we meet at the Museum of American Heritage, who have kindly hosted our Costume Swap and Halloween Scare Faire.

The Costume swap will include a drop-off period from 1pm to 1:20pm – those with costumes will get a number. At 1:20, we’ll admit those with numbers in order to pick up costumes.

That won’t be all – the line-up of Skill Shares is also scary fun:

  • A Story Circle to share scares and monster tales from wherever you’re from
  • Fabmo will bring fabric and offer a chance for a Costume Makeover
  • Face painting
  • Pumpkin decorating
  • Bike repair
  • Goods shares – garden produce, clothes, books, toys, crafts, and Halloween or Holiday decor

If you are able to help, please sign up here.

More details about our Share Faires is available here.

Join us for a Boo-tiful day of sharing and scaring!

When: Sunday, October 7, 1-3pm

Where: Museum of American Heritage, 351 Homer Ave, Palo Alto Map link

 

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Transition Café – Heroes

There is a great graphic novel…sequential art piece…called Kingdom Come. The premise is that the Humans on Earth have become dependent on the superheroes–Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, etc, even though they complain about that dependence, hating and fearing the heroes. One day, the superheroes are called away to deal with some catastrophe somewhere else in the multiverse, and are not around when the Humans actually need them, and there are consequences. When they return, the Humans are enraged at the heroes for leaving to help all of creation instead of being around to meet the needs of the Humans who hate and fear them. The heroes are finally fed up, and retreat into their civilian identities, living out their lives unnoticed and unavailable to those who have such mixed feelings about them. Over time, new heroes emerge, with more consequences…

…leading to a pivotal crisis, leading the superheroes to wrestle with the question of whether or not to come back and take part, or just let the Humans deal with the consequences of their actions.

Barack Obama spoke in Illinois last week. Rarely have I been so relieved to hear the voice of a public figure, let alone a former President (although Berkeley Breathed and Bill Watterston come to mind). When he ran for office, he was completely clear that he could not…preside…alone, that he needed us on board, that we were a team. I heard him say that and understood completely. I had been in a similar position, myself. Not on anything like that scale, but in one fiefdom or another which could so easily have been a functional community of folks working together to create something amazing.

For all of that, when he revealed his humanity, making decisions I did not approve of, I turned away and let go of my good intentions to help him in his goals. Even so, when I heard him speak in those days, I really felt like he was one of us, someone I could easily go for a walk with, or talk with over tea, solving the problems of the world.

Hearing him speak last week, both at John McCain’s funeral (that seems so long ago), and in the longer speech in Illinois, it felt to me like a giant had awoken, a superhero had cast off their civilian garb and revealed themselves.

He is, of course, a Human (I assume), with all that that entails. He is saying similar things to what he said before: don’t wait for a hero, a savior–be that hero. Be the person who stands up and does the right thing because it is the right thing, because you’ll sleep better at night having done it, because you see in the eyes of that caged child the eyes of your own child, or maybe you see something of your own humanity in that little one.

It is being reported that Trump and Co. are working to build internment camps for children. Some are saying we have not done this since World War II, others that we never have, not solely for children. Is that the outrage which will stir us to action? Is it the appointment of a Supreme Court justice who seems to be actively perjuring himself? Is it enough to march, or do we need to do more?

I’ll leave it to you to learn the decisions of the heroes in Kingdom Come, but will offer a question…what would it take for us to be heroes, peaceful heroes, waking giants? Barack Obama is most certainly a hero, and his words are powerful and moving. He is also a Human, with weaknesses, foibles, ego, a desire to see his children succeed in their lives, to leave a legacy behind which will inspire them, and us, to remember him fondly. Progressives are creating what is being referred to as a “Rainbow Wave”, across the country. How do we help? Barack Obama speaking is important, what can the rest of us do? How do we co-lead, with them?

Who are your heroes? Why are they heroes, to you? What makes a hero?

 

Special event: ‘Sustainability in the Age of Trump’ – Conversation with Asher Miller of the Post Carbon Institute

Monday October 15, 7:30-9pm
Main Hall, Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto, 505 E. Charleston, Palo Alto
Free, please sign up at EventBrite

You’re invited for a bird’s-eye view of the sustainability movement in the age of Trump, including where we can and should go, with Asher Miller, head of the Post Carbon Institute.

Through Post-Cabon, Asher has connected the different parts of the sustainability movement.  He was instrumental in helping the Transition Movement get started in the United States. He’s supported the work of Richard Heinberg on energy and peak oil and brought together experts such as Bill McKibben (climate) and Rob Hopkins (Transition).

Post Carbon has published many books, articles, and videos on sustainability, and supports the news site Resilience.org. Transition Palo Alto member Bart Anderson is one of the resilience.org editors and has worked with Asher since 2008.

Bart says, “Asher is that rare combination of idealist and common sense. Working behind the scenes, he is a master at networking the different groups and individuals. I always value his thoughts on strategy. If you want to learn what’s really going on, listen to Asher!”

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September 28 Fourth Friday: California and Local Election Roundtable

Want to make sense of all the California ballot initiatives? Wonder what impact the local measures on the ballot might have on your values and priorities?

Come to the 2018 TPA election roundtable to find out what other folks have learned about the ballot measures. Sometimes there’s more to the story than meets the eye. Let’s crowdsource what we all know, keeping an open mind and welcoming other thoughtful perspectives.

September 28 7:30-9:00pm 
Fireside Room, Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto, 505 E. Charleston, Palo Alto

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Rising up for our climate

Check out these sites for details about the Climate Rise March Sept 8 and other grassroots actions for this month.

350.org – Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice
Sunshine Alliance – schedule of people’s climate actions Sept 2-15

Jerry Brown hopes to use the Global Climate Action Summit Sept 12-14 to cement his legacy as a climate leader. But Brown has refused to ban fracking and limit other oil production in the state. Non-violent civil disobedience actions are underway as a last push to encourage Brown to act – and to send a message to the next state administration. Victoria Armigo participated in an action in August and shared this link with information about an action on September 13.

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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.

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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?

 

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.