All posts tagged building community

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
5:00-7:00pm
“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>>

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 Download the PDF >>

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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

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)

THIS WORKSHOP 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!

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

WHERE & WHEN:

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

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

 COST & REGISTRATION: 

2-day EFFECTIVE GROUPS:
$125 for the 2-day course (max 26 participants)
TO REGISTER (application required) >>
http://www.transitionus.org/event/effective-groups-los-angeles-area

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.

EFFECTIVE GROUPS TRAINING APPLICATION >>
    (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: carolyne@transitionus.org, or phone (707) 824-1554.
For more localized information, contact:
Michelle   transitionculvercity@gmail.com   or call 310-780-1051

Chicken-Keeping Workshop and Pot Luck, Sat July 20 2013, 1-4 pm

Chicken-Keeping Workshop

A busy afternoon

 

Experience the joys of Backyard Chicken-keeping!

Come hang out @ the Little Blue House for a fun and interactive chicken-keeping teach-in! Meet the chickens, see the henhouse and chicken run. Learn how raising chickens and veggies can be complementary activities. Featuring guest speakers the Gardenerd & HoneyLove! We’ll wrap up the afternoon with a potluck feast.

CHICKEN-KEEPING WORKSHOP
& POTLUCK PARTY

Little Blue House—Culver City 90230
For specific address, RSVP
TransitionCulverCity@gmail.com
or text or call 310-780-1051
(please RSVP for a head count)

Workshop is free—
Donations are welcome (helps support future events).

Please bring a potluck dish for 8-10 people.

About Our Guest Presenters:

Christy WilhelmiChristy Wilhelmi will talk to us about chickens as gardening companions and the “workhorses” of a healthy garden ecosystem plus other kernals of wisdom from her new book Gardening for Geeks which she’ll have on hand for purchase. ” REVIEW: “Gardening for Geeks is written in easy to understand language that will be useful for both the beginner and advanced gardener. There are loads of photographs, drawings and charts to help you see exactly what the author is covering in each chapter. If you pick up one gardening book this season, this needs to be it.” – Confessions of an Overworked Mom

HoneyLove Urban Bee KeepingHoneyLove’s Chelsea McFarland will pop by to speak for the bees! A local nonprofit conservation organization, HoneyLove’s mission is to protect the honeybees and inspire and educate new urban beekeepers. Why urban beekeeping? HoneyLove believes that the city is the last refuge of the honeybee. Our home gardens are free of pesticides, and in cities like Los Angeles, there is year-round availability of pollen and nectar.

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

Transition Guest Booth at 2013 Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase

11375 Matteson Ave. — Showcase Garden #5F — Transition Town Guest Booth

Saturday, April 20, 2013
10 am – 4 pm
SELF-GUIDED TOUR of 100 RESIDENTIAL GARDENS
Throughout our Community!

Tour Maps available at:
Showcase Central — House #4H >>
-or-
Transition Town Guest Booth — House #5F >>
11375 Matteson Avenue, L.A. 90066 

This annual Earth Day event in Mar Vista offers self-guided tours of 100 home gardens that exemplify environmentally friendly alternatives to the classic lawn. These local homeowners, renters, schools and churches have all taken the leap and converted their thirsty green expanses into drought-tolerant landscapes and edible gardens. The tour covers the spectrum from homespun do-it-yourself projects to professionally landscaped environments—including urban farms, sleek architectural hardscapes, composting & vermiculture, rain harvesting, aquaponics, chicken coops, sculpture gardens, hummingbird gardens… you name it! This year’s tour places special emphasis on the critical need for ocean friendly gardens and California native gardens that support much needed pollinators such as honey bees and monarch butterflies. It’s a great day to gather ideas and inspiration for your own future lawn conversion!

The International TRANSITION TOWNS movement will be represented at the special guest booth at house #5F, 11375 Matteson Ave., Los Angeles CA 90066It’s a collaboration between two local chapters: TCC (of course) and our neighbors, Transition Mar Vista/Venice. So if you’re not in a hurry to see the other 99 showcase gardens, there’s plenty of al fresco patio areas here to sit down, pour a lemonade, and hang out to chat with like-minded people about community resilience, food security solutions, permaculture, alternative building, water harvesting, food forests, and much more.

Learn about Transition Mar Vista/Venice’s pay-it-forward Good Karma Gardens work parties—they’re a great way to get started if you want to learn how to grow your own food! And if you need even more motivation to drop by, come by to meet seedling master Matt Van Diepen (of Mar Vista Farmers’ Market fame!) who will be on hand with FREE veggie seedling giveaways and advice on how to include more home-grown edibles in your life.  Owner of Home Grown Gardens L.A., Matt is one of GKG’s skilled project coordinators.

This year, House #5F features dwarf fruit trees and berry bushes, a brilliant display of spring wildflowers, stealth veggies interspersed with drought tolerant natives, meandering flagstone pathways and do-it-yourself bistro-style hardscaping all done under strict budgetary parameters—everything cheap, recycled, scavenged and free!  For helpful Do-It-Yourself tips, read the event report and access the resource links from last year’s Showcase workshop D.I.Y.: Yes You Can!: Creative Lawn Conversions on a Budget.

Rainwater Capture

RAINWATER CAPTURE
(SEE VIDEO!)

Another feature at this location is an unusual “hybrid” active and passive urban rainwater harvesting system.  Last winter the homeowners hosted a barn-raising-style Work Party to install the system. (SEE VIDEO HERE!) The volunteer crew, wrangled by Transition-friendly landscape architect John Tikotsky, created a passive diversion “reservoir” to help recharge the aquifer, helped install unique vertical tanks (an alternative to conventional rain barrels) for active catchment, and positioned a subsurface diverter pipe to feed the percolation area. The reservoir berms were planted with California native currants (ribes family) and shade happy leafy greens as the beginnings of an edible food forest understory. All this, in one day—a true demonstration of the power of community!

PEDAL-POWER! FREE BICYCLE PARKING
In efforts to support our community’s shift to a fossil-free future, TCC and our friends at the Culver City Bicycle Coalition are co-hosting a “pop-up” bike corral at House # 5F. Celebrate Earth Day in style: Visitors are invited to lower their carbon footprint by cruising the garden tour by bike!

Showcase maps are available at the Transition Guest Booth or Showcase Central at House #4F at 3635 Grandview Blvd.

2012 Showcase Bike Corral

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.

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

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

Fine Arts Auditorium (FA 100)

PARKING:
FREE parking—South Parking Structure only

Enter on Albert Vera Drive [map]

SEMINAR COST:
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

NOON
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

 


Movie Night: Alternative Building! — Sat. March 16, 6:45 pm

Quick on the heels of our inspiring fieldtrip to Nader Khalili’s earth-building paradise Cal-Earth, TCC has decided to add an extra movie night to our March events:

GarbageWarrior Poster

TCC Eco-Movie Night:
GARBAGE WARRIOR
Saturday, March 16, 2013  •  6:45 pm – 9:30 pm
WHERE: The Little Blue House
(RSVP TCC for location)
FREE EVENT
BYO drinks, FREE Popcorn!
Stay after for lively discussion.

Garbage Warrior is a feature-length documentary film telling the epic story of maverick US architect Michael Reynolds and his fight to introduce radically sustainable housing to the public. An extraordinary tale of triumph over bureaucracy, Garbage Warrior is above all an intimate portrait of an extraordinary individual and his dream of changing the world.

EarthShip greywater purification system

Imagine a home that heats itself, provides its own water, and grows its own food. Imagine that it needs no expensive technology, that it recycles its own waste, and has its own power source. And now imagine that it can be built anywhere, by anyone, out of the things society throws away…

Thirty years ago, architect Michael Reynolds imagined just such a home—then set out to build it. A visionary in the classic American mode, Reynolds has been fighting ever since to bring his concept to the public. He believes that in an age of ecological instability and impending natural disaster, his buildings can—and will—change the way we live. Shot over three years in the USA, India and Mexico, Garbage Warrior is a snapshot of contemporary geo-politics and an inspirational tale of triumph over bureaucracy, as well as an intimate portrait of an extraordinary individual and his dream of changing the world. (from IMDb)

Michael Reynolds BioTecture

Michael Reynolds: another innovative architect offering solutions for a more resilient future. Image courtesy of: http://earthship.net/

 

 

Little Free Library – Come Build One! Sunday Feb. 24, 2013 1 pm – 5 pm

Permalink to Little Free Library – Come Build One!  Sunday  Feb. 24, 2013 1 pm – 5 pm

Little Free Library in Mar Vista
WHAT:
Little Free Library Build

WHEN:
Sunday, February 24, 2013
1 pm – 5 pm

COST: FREE

WHERE:
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center
13325 Beach Avenue
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
(in the rear parking lot)
310-822-9642

Become a catalyst for a free neighborhood book exchange! Help build, paint, and install a Little Free Library Box to place in front of your own house or office or someone else’s.  We’ll have some tools and experts on hand to help you with carpentry.  We’ll be using recycled materials – bring some if you have them.

This event is a re-purposing and re-skilling workshop all-in-one! And its fun!

What is a Little Free Library?   “Take a Book, Leave a Book.”  It’s a box the size of a small cabinet that you can fill with books you are willing to share. Little Free Libraries create a welcoming space for friends and neighbors.  When you place a Little Free Library at a community center, church, temple or even in the yard of your own home, it becomes a hub for sharing books and ideas…it can become a fun place to take tea with friends and have nourishing discussions.

Personalize your Library Box to fit your style and message.

 

 

 


And then there were hand pies! TCC Event Report

Baking 101: Hand Pies!

 

Our Baking 101 workshop at Michelle’s house was a tasty success!

In true Transition style, our goal was to help re-skill people about baking to encourage more kitchen confidence. And in true experiential learning style (Michelle’s background), the afternoon was hand’s-on and exploratory instead of lecture and demonstration so we all dove in to the process.  Some participants shared some baking wisdom and techniques while others had their first try at a rolling pin or an “egg wash” glaze.

Flour from a Coffee Grinder

Pulsing the Food Processor

Wheatberries in the Grain Mill

Hand Cranked Grain Mill

Primitive Mortar & Pestle

THE FLOUR EXPERIMENT: First, we found out that flour doesn’t necessarily have to come in a bag from the store! But can we make flour without the help of electricity? (YES!) Does pie dough HAVE to be made from wheat, or what else works?  We experimented with making almond flour with a mortar & pestle (actually a Mexican Molcajete made from volcanic rock), a coffee grinder, and a food processor. Many of us took turns hand-cranking  the Country Living Hand Grain Mill,  turning wheatberries and whole grain rice into fine soft  flours. We also had back-up bags of both wheat & gluten-free flours, including sorghum flour to test different blends for our hand pies.

Next, we mixed & rolled out our various doughs and prepared our apple fillings. Here’s the crew in various phases of production.

Filling the hand pies

Shaping the hand pies

Apple Slicing Crew

Rolling Dough

 

     

THE RESULTS: We all learned that basic baking is simple and easy. And also that experimenting is highly recommended! The almond flours were a bit too crumbly for crusts so will require further testing (but will make a great ice cream topping for now!). Some of us added a dab of Marion’s homemade Jalapeno Pepper Relish to the fillings for a tasty kick.

We wrapped up the day with tea and hand pie tasting. There were even a few samples that made it home to loved ones.

All in all, a great afternoon of learning basic kitchen skills, building friendships & community, and celebrating the bounties of life!