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Our First Fix-It Workshop! Sat. June 30, 2012

 Soldering for Fix-It Workshop

TCC Fix-It Workshop

TCC will be sharing the reDiscover Center space with the Young Makers as we host our first fix-it workshop! You are invited to come play with our tools and gain some repair skills under the protective wing of one of our friendly Transition Work Party fix-it folks.

TCC Fix-It Workshop #1
reDiscover Center
Saturday, June 30th, 2012
11 am – 2 pm
12958 W Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, California 90066 

$5 requested donation, no one turned away for lack of funds

Here’s what we know for sure we’ll be fiddling with, but feel free to bring in whatever broken object you have that you’d like to take a crack at (with some help of course):

  • • repairing audio earbuds
  • • minor jewelry repairs
  • • fixing a jammed CD player
  • • re-caning a chair…
  • • and who knows what else?

While the Young Makers are busy with their Mega Take-Apart Crafternoon for Kids (making kinetic art out of what they’ve deconstructed), we’ll be there to provide another perspective—seeing if we can make broken things work again! All ages welcome with adult supervision.

One of the goals of the Transition movement is to help re-skill the populace, helping spread Do-It-Yourself resilience in communities as we head into increasingly uncertain times. Re-skilling also helps encourage the Reduce/Reuse/Recycle/Repurpose/Repair paradigm. In the past TCC has hosted repurposing clothes parties, a twilight bike ride to Bikerowave to learn some basic bike repair, on-the-job carpentry trainings while building a chicken coop, and a concrete post installation mini-course at a rainwater-harvesting system installation work party.

Fix It, Don't Nix It!

Fix It, Don't Nix It!

But Transition isn’t the only group tuned into the importance of building community around learning D.I.Y. skills and finding fun ways to fulfill that goal. The Fix-It movement is gaining momentum on many fronts! Annie Leonard, famous for her funny and informative Story of Stuff animation, just posted a 20 minute audio called Fix It, Don’t Nix It>>

Then there’s online resources like and where you can find easy visual instructions to fix just about anything to turn yourself from a consumer into a “maker”… and  Maker Faires springing up all over North America—family-friendly conventions operating under the credo “Make, Create, Learn, Hack, Invent, Craft, Innovate, Build, Play!”

Right in Culver City are our new friends Crash Space who call themselves “a collection of hackers, programmers, builders, makers, artists and people who generally like to break things and see what new things we can build with the pieces.” They’re situated in a storefront on Venice Blvd. and have lots of creative projects and events going on, so check them out! (We think the Young Makers with whom we will be sharing the reDiscover space are somehow related to the Crash Space folks, but we’ll know more about that after June 30th).

fix-it workshop in NYC

Weekly Fix-It gathering @ Proteus Gowanus in NYC

The New York Times ran an article called The Art of Repair about a Fix-It collective in NYC that evolved from an Art Gallery project. According to the article, a tiny room at the Proteus Gowanus gallery in Brooklyn has become the home to the Fixers Collective, an art project turned community group that meets weekly at the gallery. The collective began as a workshop in the spring of 2008 as part of a yearlong exhibition called “Mend” with the simple, useful premise: people bring broken objects to be fixed, or else come empty-handed with a willingness to help others fix things. No expertise is required. “We call it ‘improvisational’ mending,’ ” said Tammy Pittman, a director of the gallery….
Read the whole story >>

Participate in the cultural renaissance of repair!
So come empower yourself by building new skills at the reDiscover Center on June 30th!

Help Improve Culver City Parks

Give your input at the workshop:

Green Space Public Workshop, Wednesday, May 9, 7:00-8:30pm, Garden Room, Veterans Memorial Building, 4117 Overland Ave. (at Culver Blvd.).

Open to all who use Culver City parks, paths, and open spaces.

Participants will learn and share ideas about the types of passive recreation, or wellness activities, they would like to see and do in the City’s parks and open spaces. This is an important chance for the public to exchange ideas: Subsequent workshops will focus on preliminary designs for possible eco- and people-friendly improvements.

This project is a collaboration of North East Trees, the City of Culver City, the Culver City Unified School District, Ballona Creek Renaissance, and the Green Space Advisory Committee. Learn more about the plan here.



The Right to Breathe Documentary at El Marino Wed., April 25, 6:30-8:00 pm

The Right To Breathe Documentary & Discussion


What does it REALLY mean for a school to be right next to a freeway?

Advocates 4 Cleaner Air: El Marino invites the Culver City community to this documentary screening and discussion about an issue that affects all the people—young and old—who spend their weekdays  at El Marino Elementary which is adjacent to the 405 Freeway.

The 21 minute documentary film will be followed by a community Q&A discussion featuring an AQMD representative and a UCLA scientist who is an expert in roadway air pollution issues.

The Right To Breathe
Wednesday, April 25

6:30 – 8:00 pm
El Marino Auditorium • 11450 Port Rd • Culver City, CA 90230

There is free childcare for potty-trained children available in t he EM library. For questions or to RSVP for childcare, please email


Re-imagining Culver City Green Spaces: What’s your opinion?

News from the Green Space Action Committee:

The Community Input phase is almost complete (survey closes Sunday April 1).
But there’s still time to voice your opinions:

Here’s a some background about the program from the North East Trees website:

In 2011 the City of Culver City and North East Trees were awarded a grant from the State of California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) for a Proposition 84 Urban Greening Planning Program for Sustainable Communities. The Planning Program provides funds to assist projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide multiple benefits.

 The Culver City Green Space Plan, in partnership with Ballona Creek Renaissance and Culver City Unified School District, aims to provide passive recreational open space within walking distance of all the Culver City neighborhoods. In the past, active recreation facilities such as sport fields and play courts were given the primary focus when the city’s parks were designed, with little attention paid to passive spaces. Those passive or unprogrammed spaces present an excellent opportunity to increase the value of the parks to the broader community, enriching the park experience without reducing access to active sports fields and play courts.

This planning project will re-imagine these spaces and make the City’s parks and other open spaces more appealing to a broader segment of the local community through passive recreation. Accessibility to seniors, people with disabilities, individuals without children and children not participating in organized sports will increase the value of Culver City Parks to its residents. Read more >>

Work or Party? How About Both!

See a video clip >>

Our recent Work Party on 1/28/2012 dedicated to learning how to make a Rain Barrel Overflow Rain Garden was a bountiful success! Since the project was a “hybrid” of active and passive urban rainwater harvesting (active catchment in tanks combined with passive diversion into a basin) there were many learning opportunities for the 17 volunteers who helped out over the course of the day.

Since building community is a key Transition principle, the “connecting” or “party” aspect of the day was planned with as much care as the work component. Luckily, the project was a joint venture between Transition Culver City and Transition Mar Vista/Venice which meant many helping hands from planning stages to clean-up! The front yard’s hardscape with its two decks encouraged social cross-pollinating: Since the actual work area was narrow, volunteers frequently rotated out of the work zone to visit and lounge on the cool shady deck. The adjacent sunny deck (beautifully abloom with jasmine!) was a popular place to sit and browse through the collective library of gardening, permaculture and Transition books. Plus the food! Homebaked banana nut muffins and tea in the morning and a beautiful organic vegetarian lunch of pita wraps & greek salad with lemonade was appreciated by the entire crew.

But back to the work component:

The project was coordinated by landscape architect John Tikotsky, an advocate of the Transition movement here in L.A.. John smoothly kept the volunteer crew moving from task to task and also took advantage of naturally unfolding teaching moments.

Transition friend Paul Herzog of Surfrider Foundation also came with shovel in hand to work as well as share about Surfrider’s Ocean Friendly Gardens program. According to Paul, urban runoff is a primary source of ocean pollution. The OFG program teaches homeowners how to apply “CPR” (Conservation, Permeability, and Retention) to their garden to help revive our local watershed and ocean.

PASSIVE COLLECTION: Recharge the groundwater
Whenever rainwater can be diverted from a residential roof into a designated area, it helps our ecosystem by replenishing the local aquifer. In this case, the designated unresolved landscape area became a mulch pit fed by the overflow from rainwater tanks.

The day began with helpers plunging into the heavy labor: digging & sculpting the reservoir and berms to create a passive groundwater recharge zone. Thanks to the previous weekend’s heavy rains, digging the mulch pit went quickly and smoothly; in less than an hour, a lovely shape emerged from what had previously been a flat sloping hardpan surface. The crew also made a trench to hide the subsurface diverter pipe. Later, cobblestones were placed at the mouth of the diverter for a lovely babbling brook effect (next time it rains!) and the reservoir was filled with mulch. With this simple and natural passive rainwater collection technique, the homeowners are now able to slow down the rain and let it soak in on the spot instead of flow downhill to the street.

ACTIVE COLLECTION: capture the rain from your roof
Since this family opted for some unusual vertical “water wall” storage tanks instead of the classic rain barrels, the project became an engineering puzzle for the group as they figured out how to daisychain the elevated tanks, create the pvc angles and drill the overflow diverters into place. There were many unexpected spontaneous teaching moments such as how to glue pvc pipe w/ epoxy, how to pour a concrete footing so that wood is not in contact with the soil, and how to use a level to assure best gravity flow. John Tikotsky also provided attendee’s with a guide on how to calculate your own roof’s water-catching capacity.

Additional site-specific challenges — what to grow?
The area where the new reservoir and berms reside is directly under a swath of deep shade from the parkway magnolias. Over the years the homeowners had found this downhill slope to be stubbornly unplantable. But thanks to the efforts of the volunteer work crew, the space is now leveled off with a nicely mulched reservoir for water retention. The plan was to plant edibles into the berm surrounding the mulch pit. But what kind of native CA edibles can handle such deep shade? Research revealed that in the wild, currants & gooseberries (Ribes family) thrive and bear fruit under oak tree overstories. Though currants and gooseberries are a popular fruit in Europe they are largely overlooked as an edible in the U.S. Now the beginnings of a golden currant food forest is growing in east Mar Vista!

Baking Work Party, anyone?
A great big thank you to all who helped make this happen—we couldn’t and wouldn’t have done this without you! Stop by any time to survey your hard work. And we’ll definitely let you know when it’s time to bake some currant tarts together!

Green House Focus

Transition Culver City presents at the Sierra Club’s Green House Focus event:

November 20, 2pm-5pmCulver City Veteran’s Memorial Complex – Garden Room, 4117 Overland, Culver City 90230

The Sierra Club’s Angeles Chapter Foundation presents “The Green Home Focus” with information that will save you money and provides a healthier environment. Learn about Energy Upgrade California, Transition Culver City, and Living Green.

· Learn ways to provide “Health and Wealth” for your Home through “Energy Upgrade California in Los Angeles County” with up to $8000 in cash incentives.
· Meet some of the Contractors with the EUCLA program;
· Enter a chance to win a coupon worth $100’s of dollars off toward your Home Assessment Test!
· Meet local businesses, organizations and homeowners who are environmentally conscious
· Go on a “Tour” of environmental partners locations
· Networking and breakout sessions for more Q & A
· Prizes and more!
· Light Refreshments Served

Legislative action alert: CA styrofoam ban

NOTE: This post was written by Andy Shrader for L.A. Green Machine

Urgent – Need Your Help to Ban Styrofoam in the CA State Assembly, #plastic

Posted on July 20, 2011 by Andy – L.A. Green Machine

Ingredient in Styrofoam Food Containers “May Cause Cancer”

We pushed SB 568, the bill calling for a state-wide ban on polystyrene (Styrofoam) through the State Senate, but the plastics industry has pulled a fast one.  Despite the bill being tagged as non-fiscal, they yanked it into the Assembly Appropriations Committee hoping to kill it.

We need your calls and letter to ALL of the Assembly Appropriations Committee right now, today.  See the blog entries below for talking points and for why this is so important.

Calls, letters and faxes work best, but if you’d like to email them, click their names.

The Assembly Appropriations Committee:

(Please especially call the Chairman, Felipe Fuentes, who orchestrated the bill being pulled into Appropriations):

Felipe Fuentes (D) – District 39 – Sylmar, North Hollywood, Pacoima, Panorama City, San Fernando, Sun Valley, North Hills, Mission Hills, Arleta, Lakeview Terrace, Van Nuys.

State Capitol
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0039
Tel: (916) 319-2039
Fax: (916) 319-2139

Bob Blumenfield
(D) – District 40 – Canoga Park, North Hills, Northridge, Reseda, Van Nuys, West Hills, Winnetka, Woodland Hills.

State Capitol
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0040
Tel: (916) 319-2040
Fax: (916) 319-2140

Steven Bradford (D) – District 51 – Gardena, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lawndale, Los Angeles, Westchester, West Compton.

State Capitol
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0051
Tel: (916) 319-2051
Fax: (916) 319-2151

Charles M. Calderon (D) – District 58 – Montebello, Downey, Hacienda Heights, Los Angeles, Pico Rivera, Whittier, City of Industry.

State Capitol
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0058
Tel: (916) 319-2058
Fax: (916) 319-2158

Nora Campos (D) – District 23 – San Jose, Alum Rock, East Foothills, Seven Trees.

State Capitol
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0023
Tel: (916) 319-2023
Fax: (916) 319-2123

Mike Davis (D) – District 48 – Los Angeles (Korea Town, Leimart Park, USC, Vermont Harbor, South Central, Westmont, Harbor Gateway North).

State Capitol
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0048
Tel: (916) 319-2048
Fax: (916) 319-2148

Mike Gatto (D) District 43 – Burbank, Glendale, Los Angeles, North Hollywood.

State Capitol
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0043
Tel: (916) 319-2043
Fax: (916) 319-2143

Isadore Hall, III (D) – District 52 – Los Angeles, Compton, Long Beach, Paramount.

State Capitol
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0052
Tel: (916) 319-2052
Fax: (916) 319-2152

Diane L. Harkey (R) – District 73 – Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Laguna Hills, Aliso Viejo, Oceanside.

State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814
Tel: (916) 319-2073
Fax: (916) 319-2173

Ricardo Lara (D) – District 50 – Bell Gardens, Bell, Bellflower, Commerce, Cudahy, Downey, Lynwood, South Gate, unincorporated communities of Florence-Graham and Walnut Park.

State Capitol
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0050
Tel: (916) 319-2050
Fax: (916) 319-2150

Holly J. Mitchell (D) – District 47 – Baldwin Hills, The Crenshaw District, Ladera Heights, Leimert Park, Little Ethiopia, West Los Angeles, Westwood, Korea Town, South Los Angeles.

State Capitol
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0047
Tel: (916) 319-2047
Fax: (916) 319-2147

Chris Norby – (R) – District 72 – Fullerton, Anaheim, Brea, La Habra, Orange, Placentia, Yorba Linda.

Capitol Office
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249
Tel: 916-319-2072
Fax: 916-319-217

Donald P. Wagner (R) – District 70 – Irvine, Aliso Viejo, Laguna beach, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Newport Beach, Tustin.

Capitol Office
State Capitol, Room 4153
Sacramento, CA 95814
Tel: (916) 319-2070
Fax: (916) 319-2170

Eat Real Festival

Bike to the Eat Real Festival on Saturday & Sunday, July 16th & 17th at Helm’s Bakery.
Eat Real is a free two-day festival at Helms Bakery that celebrates eating, making and growing good, affordable food. L.A.’s best food trucks will converge with numerous food skill demonstrations, which include learning how to make butter, grow balcony food gardens, craft kimchi, raise backyard chickens, and concoct fresh gazpacho using a bike blender! Also on the menu is a panel on food writing, live music, butchery contest, and craft marketplace. Read more about the festival here.


The Culver City Bicycle Coalition is teaming up Bikerowave to host a free bike valet service and lead DIY fix-it workshops and bike tuneups! We’ll also have a Bike Wheel of Fortune raffle. So ride your bike, spin for chance to win awesome prizes ranging from beer, swag, food, and great bike stuff, and beat the “Carmegeddon” heat.

The valet is along Venice Blvd. – between National and Helms. It will run from 10am-6pm on Saturday, 10am-5pm on Sunday.

Free Bike Valet!


For those coming from L.A. – biking to Eat Real couldn’t be any easier, especially with our guided bike tour! The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) will take the lead on guiding two-wheel rides to the event. Meet at the courtyard at the Wilshire and Western station of the Metro Purple Line at 10:30 a.m., and the ride begins promptly at 11 a.m. You’ll arrival at the event no later than noon, with plenty of time to enjoy the food fun. Ride happens at both days, same times.

Ride With LACBC

Questions? ~ 310-845-5831

Want to volunteer? Sign up here!