Category: Infrastructure

Effective Groups Training coming to LA October 5-6, 2013 (& special training Oct 7)


Remember to reserve your spot for the upcoming 2-Day EFFECTIVE GROUPS TRAINING in L.A. This course is offered by Transition U.S. who are sending facilitator Nick Osbourne on a US tour. Nick will be passing along important skillsets (and mindsets!) to help us elegantly cross any stormy seas of group process that may arise! Valuable tools for anyone involved in working with groups.
Details in a previous TCC post >>

Nick has already embarked on his tour, and word is spreading about the value of this course! Here’s a report from Amherst, Massachusetts:

I just wanted you to know that Nick ‘s Effective Collaboration training and Train the Trainer were both ABSOLUTELY OUTSTANDING.  We had MANY very skilled, seasoned trainers in the room — college professors, consultants and leaders who had studied and facilitated true consensus, sociocracy, conflict resolution, cohousing meetings, Quaker meetings, activist meetings, and different kinds of professional and business meetings for many years.  Every one of us was thoroughly impressed.

We told Nick it’s as if he’s done TWO PhD dissertations and is now on his third with holocracy.

Maybe we all liked it so much because we need it so badly over here!  Ha!!

—Tina, Transition Amherst

Effective Groups is a 2-day skills-building training for individuals and teams.  It started with Transition Town Groups in mind but this course is really for anyone involved in social change efforts. Effective Groups is a dynamic and engaging training course which covers key skills for collaboration.

It will help you:

·  Create systems for teams to work effectively together

·  Develop an enjoyable and fair atmosphere to work within

·  Make order in the chaos to find freedom within a structure

·  Utilize diverse perspectives as an advantage not a problem

·  Balance achieving goals with keeping your team healthy

·  Manage conflicting needs and paradoxes, within & outside of the team

·  Develop the skills & mindset to cross any stormy seas of group process that arise!



Where & When:

2-Day Effective Groups Training
Sat-Sun, Oct 5-6, 2013
9:30am to 5:30pm

The Learning Garden @ Venice High
13000 Venice Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90066
(enter from Walgrove gate)

1-day Training of Trainers:
Monday October 7, 2013

Rediscover Center
12958 W Washington Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90066

Cost & Registration: 

2-day Effective Groups course:
$125 for the 2-day course (max 26 participants)

1-day Train the Trainer: 9:00-5:00
$125 for the 1-day Training of Trainers (customized for up to 10 participants)

We have made the cost as low as possible and have several partial scholarships available. For scholarship info contact:      (707) 824-1554

For additional information, local info contact: Michelle   310-780-1051

Bring your own lunch, or money for going out together at the lunch break. A list of a variety of local restaurants will be available.


Transition Towns Founder ROB HOPKINS in L.A. October 13-14!

Rob Hopkins, founder of Transition Towns

Rob Hopkins, the UK founder of the Transition Movement, is coming to L.A. and you’ll have two opportunities to meet him in Southern California:  Sunday Oct 13 in West LA -or- Monday Oct 14 in Pasadena.

Rob is an inspiring speaker, an Akosha fellow, and the subject of a widely circulated TED talk.  His Transition Handbook was a worldwide bestseller, and his Transition Companion is a lovely photo-spread intro to global progress.  (There are now more than 1,100 Transition groups in 43 countries—and TCC is # 37!)

Rob’s latest book The Power of Just Doing Stuff, and will be available for sale for $15/each at both the WLA and Pasadena events. More info about the book at the bottom of this post.

Locally on the Westside, you can join in for a fun afternoon at the “Just Doing Stuff” Festival in Westchester followed by a Panel Discussion in the early evening just across the street from the festival:

Sunday Oct 13, 2013
2:30 – 4:30pm
“Just Doing Stuff” Festival
Emerson Avenue Community Garden
Emerson Ave @ 80th Place, LA 90045
FREE, Fun for all ages: Live music, food, Transition-related displays, crafts, & games.

Sunday Oct 13, 2013
“Just Doing Stuff” PANEL
Westchester United Methodist Church
8065 Emerson Ave., LA 90045
Tickets: $10pre-registration required >>
Rob in conversation with friends Andy Lipkis, founder and director of TreePeople,
D’Artagnan Scorza, executive director of Social Justice Learning Institute,
Meghan Sahli-Wells, Culver City Vice-Mayor (and core member of TCC!),
Joanne Poyourow, Initiator Transition LA, Environmental Changemakers.

If you can’t make Sunday, Rob will also be in Pasadena
Monday October 14 at the “Just Doing Stuff” TALK and FAIR,
10:30am-2:00pm. Throop Unitarian Universalist Church,
300 S. Los Robles Ave., Pasadena 91101.
Tickets: $10 at the door, or pre-register with Transition US for $5 >>

 More info about the Pasadena event>>


 Download the PDF >>


The Power of Just Doing Stuff by Rob HopkinsThe Power of Just Doing Stuff

Excerpt: “Something is stirring. People around the world are deciding that the well-being of their local community and its economy lies with them. They’re people like you.

They’ve had enough, and, rather than waiting for permission, they’re rolling up their sleeves, getting together with friends and neighbours, and doing something about it. Whether they start small or big, they’re finding that just doing stuff can transform their neighbourhoods and their lives.

The Power of Just Doing Stuff argues that this shift represents the seeds of a new economy – the answer to our desperate search for a new way forward – and at its heart is people deciding that change starts with them. Communities worldwide are already modelling a more local economy rooted in place, in well-being, in entrepreneurship and in creativity. And it works.” More info >>

The book will be available for purchase ($15) at the WLA “Just Doing Stuff” Festival & Panel Discussion.

Once upon a time it was tempting to mock the idea of a ‘Transition town’ or even transition itself. Rob Hopkins is a truly original thinker who has not only given that concept meaning but has put it into practice in a way that now influences individuals and communities in many parts of the world. The essential proposition is not only that we have to adapt our way of life to meet the enormous environmental challenges that we face but that it is quite possible – and no less practically to the point – a stimulating and enjoyable process as well. If ever there was an idea whose time has come, this is it. Rob Hopkins’ book is a truly unique piece of work that anyone who cares about our future in this densely populated and threatened world should read. It offers original thought and clear analysis. It also combines realism and hope.”
—Jonathan Dimbleby, UK writer and broadcaster

Transition & Permaculture Converge in Northern California — October 11-13, 2013

NorCal Permaculture & Transition Convergence 2013



Transition Northern California is hosting the 2013 Permaculture & Transition Convergence and everyone’s invited!

2013 Northern California
Permaculture & Transition Network Convergence
October 11-13, 2013
Solar Living Institute, Hopland CA

Transition Town movement founder Rob Hopkins is one of the Keynote Speakers… as is L.A.’s own Andy Lipkis, founder & president of TreePeople, plus other important voices in this growing movement to transform how we live upon this earth.

Check out the website for more info & to register >>

Early Bird registration available until September 30, 2013 >>

Eco Movie Saturday Sep 14th 7-9pm

Eco Movie Sep 2013


We’re co-hosting this month’s eco-movie with our neighbors to the West, Transition Mar Vista/Venice.


SYVC map


Saturday, September 14, 2013
7-9 pm

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center
13325 Beach Ave., Marina del Rey 90292

Admission is FREE, but donations are welcome!

We invite you to stay afterwards for a lively discussion and to participate in building community.

Effective Groups Training! Oct 5-6 2013 + Train the Trainer, Oct 7 2013

Effective Groups Training in Los Angeles

Effective Groups is a skills-building training for individuals and teams.  It started with Transition Town Groups in mind but this course is really for anyone involved in social change efforts. Effective Groups is a dynamic and engaging training course which covers key skills for collaboration.

This two-day workshop is facilitated by one of Transition UK’s lead trainers, Nick Osborne. Over the last 19 years, Nick has worked in a variety of management, leadership, training, consultancy or activist roles with a range of organisations including Changemakers, Shell, Amnesty International, the Ecovillage Network and Transition Network. On his U.S. tour, Nick will also be offering Effective Groups Trainings  in Amherst, MA and San Francisco Bay area. TCC is honored to be assisting Transition U.S. Transition Network (UK) in bringing these important communication & collaboration skills to Southern California.

Keeping it Real — Nick’s blend of modern management theory married to his practical knowledge supported by his wealth of personal experience produced a thoroughly practical and yet profound course that provided a significant triple bottom line benefit for us. Whatever your need, Nick will weave magic for your organization.” — Phil Dunn, Sustainable Brampton (UK)

·  Create systems for teams to work effectively together
·  Develop an enjoyable and fair atmosphere to work within
·  Make order in the chaos to find freedom within a structure
·  Utilize diverse perspectives as an advantage not a problem
·  Balance achieving goals with keeping your team healthy
·  Manage conflicting needs and paradoxes, within & outside of the team
·  Develop the skills & mindset to cross any stormy seas of group process that arise!

The next 50 years is our chance to find out whether having a bigger brain actually is an evolutionary advantage or not.  — Bill McKibben


10/5 &10/6, 9:30am to 5:30pm
The Learning Garden @ Venice High School
13000 Venice Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90066

Monday 10/7, 9:00am-5:00pm
ReDiscover Center
12958 W. Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90066


$125 for the 2-day course (max 26 participants)
TO REGISTER (application required) >>

1-day TRAIN the TRAINER:
$125 for the 1-day follow-up course  (customized for up to 10 participants)
ENROLLMENT PREREQUISITE:  The Monday course is intended for people who already have training and facilitation skills who want to deepen their understanding of the material and use it to train other Transition Initiatives and social change organizations. Participants in the Monday workshop must attend the weekend workshop and meet criteria which demonstrate they are already experienced group facilitators and trainers.

    (or follow the link on the Transition US’s Effective Groups L.A. page)

We have made the cost as low as possible, and there are several partial scholarships available.
For scholarship info contact:, or phone (707) 824-1554.
For more localized information, contact:
Michelle   or call 310-780-1051

Free Eco Movie: Ecological Consciousness, Sat Aug 10, 2013 — 7 pm


There are billions of years of collected wisdom in the fabric of our being.
How do we unlock our inner cosmic energy in the landscape?

TCC & our neighbors Transition Mar Vista/Venice are co-hosting an inspiring video from one of NYC’s leading permaculturists, Andrew Faust of the Center for Bioregional Living . Join us in exploring what it means to begin to live in ways that intentionally participates with evolution.


Saturday, August 10, 7-9pm
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center, 13325 Beach Ave Marina del Rey 90292

FREE event—donations always welcome.

Discussion follows film


Andrew Faust

ABOUT ANDREW: One of North America’s premier Permaculture teachers and designers with nearly two decades of experience in the field, Andrew Faust’s passionate and visionary presentation and curriculum has been inspiring and motivating students since his days as an alternative school teacher at Upattinas in Glenmoore, Pennsylvania. Andrew lived off the grid in West Virginia for 8 years where he designed and built a Permaculture inspired homestead including a 1600 sq ft strawbale house. He moved to Brooklyn in 2007 and has been applying his knowledge to the urban landscape, culminating in a Permaculture Design Certification course many consider to be life changing.

Andrew is founder of The Center for Bioregional Living in Ellenville, NY with his partner Adriana Magana. The Center is a pilot campus for his students and clients to learn how to create diverse regional Infrastructures that are well adapted to LOCAL ecological, social and geological realities.  Being experienced in both rural & urban permaculture, Andrew’s curriculum teaches how to retrofit urban environments to be more ecologically sound and socially responsible as well as how to create positive relationships between cities and outlying rural communities.


The Parkway Landscaping Report: YES, the Public WILL be Heard!

Drought Tolerant Parkway Curb


Will Culver City residents be allowed to put veggies on the parkways abutting their homes?

Can property owners place benches and community library boxes on the parkways without getting fined? 

In these economically challenging times, would a permit fee of $151.50 for installing drought tolerant perennials and succulents in one’s parkway promote or prevent people from removing their thirsty lawn strips? 

How can our city ordinances support best-use of abundant residential parkway public land?

Continue reading

Residential Parkway Regulations to be Discussed at City Hall – TUESDAY May 28, 2013

Out with lawn grass strips, in with drought tolerant plantings and food gardens!


Parkway Regulations


Many Southern California cities are re-writing their residential parkway ordinances to be more in alignment with the environmental need for drought tolerance while creating a framework for aesthetics and ease of use. Now Culver City governance has Parkways on the agenda this coming TUESDAY, MAY 28, 2013 and you — yes you! — can be part of the conversation.


TUESDAY, May 28th, 2013, 7pm

Culver City Council Chambers
9770 Culver Blvd., Culver City, 90232

From Culver City’s Official Public Notice of Meeting :

On Tuesday, May 28, 2013, the City Council is scheduled to consider the 1) Introduction of an ordinance related to the process for tree removals and the requirements for making modifications to parkways; and (2) Adoption of a resolution establishing Residential Parkway Standards. All members of the public are welcome to attend and participate in the discussion.

If you live locally and are reading this website, it is most likely you’ve already converted your parkway to something more environmentally friendly with an array of luxurious drought-happy plants and bushes. And perhaps you’re growing a patch of veggies there, or put a park bench and a winding path in your parkway to help build community in your neighborhood like City Repair has encouraged throughout Portland, Oregon. Or maybe you’ve even installed a Little Free Library to promote literacy & solidarity in your neighborhood! Well, it looks like all of this and more will be out-of-compliance and incurring permit fees and possible fines if the new regulations go through unchallenged.

SEE CULVER CITY’s new proposed ordinance here >>
(scroll to Agenda Item A-1)
NOTE: There’s also information on tree removal in the ordinance,
but the focus of this blogpost is on parkway landscaping.

Come deliver your 3 minutes of opinion in person to the council,
or if you can’t attend but wish to express your views,
write an email to the council
Please familiarize yourself with the actual 5/28 agenda item report
(just posted 5/22) so you’ll be up to date with the facts.

When you come to City Hall chambers, fill out a speaker’s card—ask for assistance if it’s your first time.

IN A NUTSHELL: The report drafted by staff is an amendment to a chapter of city municipal code pertinent to Parkway Planting Standards and Tree Removal Regulations & Ordinances. Exhibit C&D of the report includes a list of recommended plantings: 20 lawn alternatives (EXHIBIT C, no permit required) and 64 drought tolerant perennials & low bushes (EXHIBIT D, permit required)—nothing over 30 inches allowed. No edibles, no garden veggies, no fruit trees. And there’s hardscaping limitations too.  TO VIEW THE LIST of recommended plants which includes helpful color reference pictures, go to the 5/28/13 Agenda report, scroll to Item A-1, click on the underlined description, then click on the PDF of “Attachments” on the right, then scroll to “Exhibit D”… whew!

Too much work? Here’s some excerpts from the proposed ordinance:


A.   No person shall plant any tree, plant, shrub, flower, vine, vegetable, grain, or other vegetation in or on any Parkway in the City without first obtaining a permit from the Public Works Director. Such permit shall state the variety, location and size of trees, plants and shrubs to be planted.

B.  No person shall install, construct, deposit, or maintain any stepping stones, pavers, brick, rock, concrete structure or any other item or obstacle in or on any Parkway within the City without first obtaining a permit from the Public Works Director. Such permit shall state the type and location of materials to be installed, constructed, deposited or maintained…

If we’ve read the report correctly, it says that, pending passage of this proposed ordinance and Standards, a processing application & inspection fee for a basic parkway permit (other than walkable plantings selected from the recommended list) of $151.50 will be enacted. We’re hoping for some clarification on this point.

Here’s more from the proposed Ordinance about code violations:


C.   A violation of any provision of this Subchapter is subject to a civil action brought by the City Attorney, punishable by a civil fine not less than one hundred dollars ($100) and not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) per violation for each day, or part thereof, such violation occurs.
D.  A violation of any provision of this Subchapter may, at the discretion of the City Attorney, be prosecuted as an infraction or misdemeanor and subject to the criminal penalties provided in Sections 1.01.040 and 1.01.045 of this Code…
F.  It is the intent of the City Council to recover the costs incurred by the City from: (1) enforcing and obtaining compliance with the provisions of this Subchapter and (2) damage to City property resulting from violations of the Subchapter.

Continuing on to page 7, concerning EXISTING NON-CONFORMING PARKWAYS, the report says:

There are currently a significant number of unpermitted alterations to parkways that will be out-of-compliance with these proposed Residential Parkway Standards (and with the existing CCMC and Proposed Ordinance, if adopted, which require a permit). Code Enforcement has not been aggressively pursuing these violations due to the lack of clear Standards and a designated permit process. With the adoption of the proposed Residential Parkway Standards,  the Code Enforcement Division has indicated that it intends to prioritize enforcement based on complaints received and the severity of the violations, consistent with the current Council-approved approach.

And here’s some illustrations from Exhibit B of the Report’s Attachments:

CC Parkway Agenda ItemA1-Dos&Donts


Can Culver City create customized regulations to suit the needs of our residents? Can we plan ahead as an entire community to become more resilient and food-growing-friendly in the face of challenging times or have a conversation about appropriate use of public space for the public good? Come let Culver City governance know your opinion!

If you’d like to learn more about this issue from the Los Angeles perspective, here’s some interesting stories:

“Taking Back the Streets through Urban Agriculture” from ROOTS OF CHANGE >>

An opinion about the L.A. Parkway Planting Rules from our friends the urban D.I.Y. homestead folks at ROOT SIMPLE >>

SUCCESSFUL CHALLENGE of L.A. MUNICIPAL CODE  § 56.08: Support Growing Edibles on the Parkway in L.A. >>

The inspirational story of LA’s Urban Garden Guerrilla Ron Finley on TED TALKS, Long Beach, Feb 2013:

(over a million views!)

If embedded video not visible above, click here to view:

Hope to see you at City Hall on Tuesday, May 28th!


Read about how the vote went  >>>
(spoiler alert: happy beginning, much more story to unfold!)

Transportation How To Fieldtrip… let’s take bikes on the train!

bike-train fieldtrip to downtown LA

Bike/Train Field Trip to Downtown Los Angeles

WHEN: Saturday, June 1, 2013  9 am – 3 pm

WHERE:  Meet-up at  Culver City Hall 

9770 Culver Blvd.  Culver City  90230

Come spend an exciting day touring downtown LA with the friendly alternative transportation commuters of TCC and CC Bike Coalition who will teach you the ins & outs of bike-train travel.

Learn how to take your bike on the train with the group or join us sans bike—since we won’t be riding very far, this trip is suitable for walkers and bicyclists.

Things to bring:

• Water
• Picnic lunch
• Bike helmet (if on bike)
• Bike lock (if on bike)
• Metro pass or money to purchase a pass ($5 for all day pass)

Meghan Bike ChauffeurWe’ll rendezvous at Culver City City Hall plaza to receive some basic bike safety instruction from Meghan Sahli-Wells, one of the founders of Culver City Bicycle Coalition and now Vice Mayor of Culver City. Some points covered will be where to ride, the importance of “being predictable” on your bike, how to make safe turns and how to let drivers know your intentions.

Then we’ll board the Expo Line train at the downtown Culver City station, go to the end of the line and change trains at the 7th Street Station to get to the L.A. Civic Center Station. Then we’ll pedal and/or walk to the new Grand Park for our al fresco picnic lunch.  We’ll have a chance to try out the famous lime green bike lanes of Spring Street adjacent to the park and explore the public sculpture art of the park.

The Last Bookstore in Downtown LA

THE LAST BOOKSTORE‘s upstairs Labyrinth: a porthole into an alternate universe. (Photo courtesy of Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times / February 28, 2013 )

One more stop before we catch the train home: The Last Book Store, a former bank building that’s been converted into a fascinating bookstore/art gallery/performance space. In addition to being an amazing placed to buy used books for a great price, the Last Book Store also hosts special events and has become a communal canvas for local artists. There are many nooks and hidden passageways to discover (including an authentic bank vault). You might want to bring some cash for the labyrinthine $1-per-book room!

Then we’ll board the train for the return trip to Culver City.


FRACKING: The LA Story — Sat March 23, 9:30 am – 1 pm

Transition Culver City is combining forces with other local democracy & environmental activists and West Los Angeles College to present an action-oriented seminar about fracking and the democratic process.

Saturday, March 23, 2013
Registration:  9:30 am
Seminar: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

West Los Angeles College
9000 Overland Ave., Culver City 90230

Fine Arts Auditorium (FA 100)

FREE parking—South Parking Structure only

Enter on Albert Vera Drive [map]

FREE—Includes Coffee

Seeking ways to squeeze a yield from depleted oil fields, producers of natural gas and oil across the nation are using a controversial extraction method called hydraulic fracturing (aka “FRACKING”) which forces a mixture of water and various chemicals underground under very high pressure to access hidden pockets of oil and gas. Despite sketchy regulations, ambiguous safety reports and public outrage, corporate interests continue to drive the current fracking and drilling boom.

What does this have to do with Southern California?

The Inglewood Oil Fields which hunker on the hills above WLA College is the largest contiguous urban oil field in America and is bi-sected by the active Newport-Inglewood fault line. Despite protests from concerned citizens about various health and safety issues—from air quality & noise pollution to cracks in their foundations—the 2012 Baldwin Hills Fracking Study reveals that the field has already been fracked, and that the sentous shale deep underground is a good candidate for more of the same unless the people unite to find their voice. The LA Times ran this article about the study >>

Come learn about your community rights and how to successfully mobilize.


  • Fracking & Democratic Process: Risks, Costs, Benefits
  • • Learn about local oil/gas extraction and fracking (hydraulic fracturing) and who benefits.
  • • Understand the health impacts and risks associated with fracking: are you at risk or paying the costs?
  • • Understand your options and how to ­exercise your democratic muscle…use it or lose it! How to take effective action on important issues.
  • • Create an action plan: sign up for direct action that will make a difference


Speakers & Agenda:

9:30 am — Coffee & Registration

10:00 am — Introductory Remarks
President Abu-Ghazaleh, plus WLAC ­faculty and student body representatives

10:15 am
The History and Terminology of Hydraulic Fracturing
C. Tom Williams, Ph.D., oil field specialist, Sierra Club CalFrac representative

10:30 am
Urban Hazards of Oil Production in the L.A. Basin
Paul Ferrazzi, Executive Director, Citizens Coalition for a Safe Community

10:45 am
California: Don’t Be Pennsylvania!
Lance Simmens, Former Special Assistant for Intergovernmental Affairs to Ed Rendell, ­Former Governor of Pennsylvania

(Q&A follows) 

11:15 am
The Health Hazards of Fracking Chemicals
James Dahlgren, M.D., Envirotoxocology and Internal Medicine, UCLA Dept of ­Medicine
(Q&A follows) 

11:45 am
Culver City: Fracking City
Culver City Council Member Meghan ­Sahili-Wells

Proposal for a Ballot Initiative and Charter Amendment
Culver City Mayor Emeritus Gary Silbiger

12:15 pm — Q & A, Legislative Options
Stephen Murray, Baldwin Hills Oil Watch

12:30 pm — Closing Remarks
Prof. Olga Shewfelt, WLAC Professor of ­International Relations

12:45 pm — Adjourn for Action Planning ­Information

Transition Culver City teams up with Citizens Coalition for a Safe Community, Baldwin Hills Oil Watch, Make Culver City Safe, and our hosts at WLA College and their Work Environment Committee for this important awareness-raising forum and opportunity to learn about the democratic process.


Here’s the schedule with speakers all in one place:

WLAC Fracking Seminar Schedule, Speakers & Resources