2012 – 2014 TTown Chelsea’s events

2014 Events:

Nov 17 2014 – Lawrence Bean on “The History of Climate Change and Projections into the Future”
Larry’s presentation used Geological time-frames (millions of years) to show how the climate has changed in the past. When the whole life of the earth is considered, it’s cooler now than it was in most of earth’s history. Geologists estimate past climates back 600 million years by looking at the ratio of oxygen isotopes in ice and rock strata, especially carbonate rock layers made from compacted fossils. The Malenkevich cycles (axial & orbital tilt and precession) complete their cycles in the 10s of thousands of year-range, so do not have a great effect over the short therm. The changing distribution of land masses vs seas on the planet has a larger effect on heat distribution (think of the ocean transport system of warm water to colder regions being more and less efficient depending upon where the land and sea are placed with respect to each other and also proximity to the equator)…. Then he brought us forward to the present time, where carbon is shifting from the crustal rocks into the atmosphere because of human activity. He also showed how methane, nitrogen and HFCs have more of an effect than carbon does in their warming effects. Ozone depletion has a cooling effect. The poles will heat much more than the rest of the planet as a side-effect of global warming. So the melting of frozen methane near the poles may have an increasingly larger effect on warming the planet. Any changes in sea level will cause enormous shifts in human populations. View the Michigan Climate Action Council’s “Climate Action Plan” (2009)
Larry lives in Chelsea and is presently Supervisor of the Office of Waste Management and Radiological Protection for both the Jackson and Lansing Districts of the Michigan DEQ. He holds a Master’s degree in Geology from Wayne State, has been a Geology professor at Eastern Michigan University.

Nov 8 2014 – “Making Local Investing a Reality for You” Workshop with Angela Barbash, Pavan Muzumdar, CFA and Eric Davis.
Angela views her company Reconsider as an “Ecosystem Builder” … . Reconsider provides financial services for Communities and Businesses. Her sister company Revalue is a Registered Investment Advisory firm which serves Individual Investors. To further describe what Reconsider and Revalue do, view the “Community Capital Opportunity Assessment” report she presented to Washtenaw County’s Office of Community and Economic Development in 2013. In this report she discusses the capital-raising opportunities from investors (the capital ‘supply’-side) for the local businesses seeking capital (the ‘demand’-side), which require a ‘matchmaking function between them’. In her words: “In a New Economy view in our local community, these are mutual stakeholders and the [financial] businesses that rise up to serve them are part of the community capital ecosystem and will likely only be successful when they collaborate together rather than take a defensive stance of competition.”
— Angela was a co-author of an MSU study “Community-based Investing: Crowdfunding and the Michigan Invests Locally Exemption (MILE)” that is both stimulating and monitoring the progress of Michigan companies’ use of crowdfunding.
— The workshop we attended, a “Local Investing Awareness, Education and Engagement” day, was organized by Revalue in partnership with the Washtenaw County Office of Community & Economic Development, through the “venture LOCAL” initiative. Future gatherings through the “venture LOCAL” campaign will be in Manchester (December), Dexter (January), Milan (February) and both Ypsilanti and Chelsea in March.. One was held this last October in Ann Arbor.
— We learned how financial advisors are encouraging individual investors to create their own Investment Policy Statement (IPS) that gives a set of guidelines on how you want to invest your money, so your advisor can ‘match’ you up with prospective local businesses seeking capital and also advise as to what percent of your entire portfolio be used in that manner. View the elements of an IPS courtesy of The CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst ) Institute.
— Keep watching Reconsider’s Local Investing links and Resources links to see how our local investing opportunities evolve…
— Our local Jet’s Pizza provided pizza for our event. Jason Povlich from Jet’s created the Project-418 website. The Project will help feed clothe and educate people in Haiti, and is using crowdfunding to meet the goal.

Oct 20 2014 – Report on Oct 2013’s Brew City Abundance Tour – TTC members Cathy Muha and Pat Kaminsky went to the Brew City Abundance Tour in Milwaukee, hosted by Transition Milwaukee. Points on their tour included: Riverwest Cooperative, Riverwest Coop Alliance, the Milwaukee Area Time Exchange (View their dues structure – they explain the benefits of membership…), Will Allen’s Growing Power (renowned Urban Ag & Aquaponics organization), an Urban Composting organization, 2 places in the Walnut Way neighborhood – the Center for Resilient Cities and Alices Garden, and, lastly, on the tour two Preservation & Land Trusts – Milwaukee Riverkeepers and Milwaukee Water Commons. In the evening, Rob Hopkins, founder of the international Transition Movement gave the keynote address (other speakers that night were mayor Tom Barett & Matt Howard , Director Milwaukee Office of Environmental Sustainability. (Cathy and Pat had waited a whole year to share their presentaton!)

Sep 15 2014 – Tim & Debbie Smashey on “Emergency Preparedness Food, including Organic & non-GMO” – Tim and Debbie run a Chelsea-based company called “Independently Thriving” that sells THRIVE freeze-dried foods. At our monthly potluck, they told their story about how they became involved with THRIVE and then they provided us samples of vegetables, fruits and more… It was easy to see why they eat this food every day, instead of just stocking it for emergencies. See their website for the story…

Aug 18 2014 – “Inner Transition” – Claire Maitre came to speak with us about how we internalize and respond to changes in the world. How do we navigate the inner landscape of our beliefs, our patterns of thought and our ways of creating relationships with others and in our life with natural elements? Claire will give us a preview of her October workshop series based on the work of Joanna Macy and her book “Active Hope” (look for the event notice in next month’s newsletter). Claire is listed in the AnnArborHolistic.com Directory under Earth Healing/Medicine for the Earth/Ecotherapy, and has her own website Chrysalis Transitions.

Jul 21 2014 – At our monthly potluck, we heard Angela Barbash speak on “Community Capital Goes Viral in Michigan”. (She had conducted a workshop on local investing at our Sep 2012 potluck.) Angela is the founder of ReConsider and its sister company Revalue. This time she provided an update on the local investing movement, state legislative changes, the social impact economy, and community capital initiatives in Washtenaw County. Then she talked about how her companies are involved in accelerating these changes, and how we could plug in. (At her website, she has a great set of links on Local Investing & Community Capital.)

Jun 16 2014 – University of Michigan professor Robert Dick spoke to us first about his research on devices that can monitor for the after-effects of fracking by testing water quality (which could be done reasonably by monitoring total dissolved solids and pH in groundwater entering your house. This was a prospective project. He has already received a CyberSEES grant to Apply Cyber Information to Air Quality Management. Here’s the UofM’s announcement. Here’s info about this project from his website.
Next he raised our awareness of the security risks in our existing communications networks, and talked about his interest in protecting our personal cellular phone communications from surveillance and worse. Read about his ‘Whisper’ project here.

May 31 2014 – Solar workshop – Local resident, solar/wind enthusiast, author, and Solar Home Tour participant Craig Toepfer presented a beginners-level workshop at the Chelsea Depot. He answered the questions: Why solar energy is practical in Michigan; what solar electric systems are available; how to use solar and electric energy efficiently & where to find helpful local resources and businesses. See Craig’s website The Hybrid Electric Home. See more links for him on our Renewable Energy Links page.

May 24 2014 – Building a Mushroom Bunker to Cleanse Water
Members of Transition Chelsea participated in a pilot project to clean up agricultural runoff water. The River Raisin Watershed Council was also involved. At the home of Jimmy Schiel & Rivka Pratt we inoculated sawdust-filled burlap bags with oyster mushroom spawn, and then we used the bags to ‘dam’ a small stream below a source of agricultural runoff. If this is successful in reducing pollution from that field, it is hoped that the same ‘mycofiltration’ model can be implemented on a larger scale across the watershed. (After we finished, we had a potluck at Jimmy & Rivka’s place in the beautiful spring weather.)
–See Emily Herr’s June 10 2014 ‘Poster session’ at the Mycological Society of America’s 2014 Conference at MSU! Mycoremediation of agricultural runoff using the edible gourmet oyster mushroom Pleurotus ostreatus.
–See Final Report: Comprehensive Assessment of Mycofiltration Biotechnology to Remove Pathogens from Urban Storm Water.

May 12 2014: “Living a Double Life” – How do you keep up with your “day job” and pursue a radically different ecological-oriented life at the same time? (It’s not easy.) At our monthly potluck, the self-appointed Vice President of Farming told his story. These days, Paul Fredenberg is an executive at a real estate investment fund and also an adventurous homesteader in the Munith area together with his wife and eight children. At one point the family decided they needed a big change and they chose to do it. Just three years later, they are raising animals, growing vegetables, and constructing hugel mounds… aiming for a more wholesome, nature-centered, self-sufficient life. Half of Paul’s life, that is. (See Paul’s blog.)

Mon Apr 21: “Nextdoor: The Lifeline to Your Chelsea Neighborhood”.
Kendal Kuneman
presented Nextdoor, a private social network for neighborhoods at our monthly potluck meeting. Nextdoor’s mission is to bring back a sense of community to neighborhoods everywhere by offering free neighborhood websites specifically designed to foster conversations among neighbors. On Nextdoor.com, neighbors create private websites to get to know one another, ask questions, and exchange local advice and recommendations. Neighbors are using Nextdoor to find babysitters and plumbers, report suspicious activity in the neighborhood, organize social events, find lost pets, and buy and sell items with each other, and more.

March 30 2014 “Want to the Crack the Bread-Making Code“ Workshop – We went to Rivka Pratt – Schiel’s kitchen to learn the basics of how to make 3 different types – all-purpose bread, bread with added cheese and sourdough bread. We received a set of instructions on how to replicate these with suggestions for variations, and also took home some sourdough starter with ample instructions on how to keep it alive. We ate an awesome lunch prepared by Rivka accompanied by samples of the bread she had just made. Rivka would be willing to lead more workshops, both beginners and advanced — if interested let transitiontownchelsea@gmail.com know…

Mar 17 2014: Money! – James Bates and Adam Konner joined us for our monthly potluck meeting. James and Adam are working toward starting a local currency called “rCredits” for Washtenaw County — a concept modeled on the rCredits system already operating in Massachusetts (see here). The rCredits system is a digital-based currency, smartphone and text message enabled, fully interchangeable with U.S. dollars. Let’s discuss what are the merits of this approach and how we might be able to launch it successfully together with our partners and merchants across the county.

Jan 20 2014: Matthew Millar talked about his business called Renovatio Woodworks that makes old wood new again! We saw how Matthew is exemplifying the concept of “Up Cycling” to rework used materials into something even more valuable than what we started with. Matthew’s stylish up-cycled wood products include items such as unique tables, shelves, and decor pieces.

2013 Events:

Dec 16 2013: Transition Town members Patrick Zieske and Eric Harrington both gave mini-presentations. Patrick reported on the first Michigan Permaculture Convergence that took place in Nov 2013, and Eric presented templates for the new Transition Town Chelsea website. Afterwards we had an open discussion about how we could apply what we learned in the past year to our own community.

Oct 21 2013: Jane Pacheco, a local food advocate, involved with the Chelsea Community Kitchen, the Yellow Door, Washtenaw Food Hub and River Raisin Buying Club, spoke to us about ‘Connecting to Your Local Food System’ – promoting support of the organizations that enable local farm producers to cooperatively market their food regionally and online.

Sep 16 2013: Dan Zatkovich of Zatkovich Pastures LLC, Stockbridge talked to us about his intensive rotational grazing system for chickens and cattle (a la Joel Salatin) – Dan’s website

Aug 19 2013: Peter Sinclair, a major ‘climate denier debunker’ talked about trends in the Climate Change Debate and how the positive solution — renewable energy technologies like wind and solar — are making a large impact right now – Peter’s website

Jul 15 2013: Merilynne Rush spoke about After Death Home Care and Green Burials – Merilynne’s website

Jun 17 2013: What kind of money system would we have if we could choose? Bob Van Bemmelen and Mark Anderson will be with us to discuss ideas based on Social Credit which were developed many decades ago in response to the severe economic difficulties of that time. Here and now, they also propose a local initiative called “Unity” which is based on circulating discount coupons through merchants in the community.

May 20 2013: David Friedrichs shared with us information and promising ideas for getting involved in solar electric generation here in Michigan. Some homesites may be situated better than others, but did you know that you might buy a “share” in someone else’s solar array — buy a panel and receive a dividend from what your panel produces? It is happening in Traverse City and could happen here in Chelsea. Who would like to help make it happen? See here for a summary of the content from David’s talk.

Apr 22 2013[?]– Area resident Nick Ringe was our potluck guest at the Chelsea Senior Center, sharing the knowledge he’s gained from his forays into Forest Gardening. (View Digital Article by Ann Arbor Natural Awakenings about Nick and his Forest garden.)

Mar 17 2013 potluck – Steve Kiluk, founder of the St. Clair Shores Transition Initiative spoke to us about his activities there.

Permaculture Film Series ran from Feb – April 2013.

Feb 18 2013: we heard a presentation by a group of people who met at MSU that are organizing an “Eco Village”, a co-located intentional community for ecological living. Most of us pursue a Transition approach integrated with the community in which we live. We can have a good exchange of information with those who have chosen another path; that is, to create a separate community of their own.

Jan 28 2013 – Dr. Thomas Princen at the Michigan Friends Center, part of our Earth Day Celebration, discussed his new book “Leave It In the Ground“.


2012 Events

Highlights from our ‘Down to Earth’ Film Series, winter 2012

Dec 7 2012: “Life after Oil” explores how new alternatives can achieve our independence from oil through technological innovation and perserverance. Also showing is “Empowered”, the story of one community’s role in the energy independence revolution.
Nov 30 2012: “Water, the Drop of Life” is a classic television series that presents a unique global exploration of what is predicted to be the biggest issue in the 21st century: coping with the scarcity of fresh water.

Nov 19 2012: Greg Raye-Leonard showed us slides and discussed his 3-month stint in Ghana teaching children at an orphanage. We had a large group, lots of great questions.

Oct 6 2012: In conjunction with the Chelsea District Library, we participated in the Michigan Solar Home Tour in October. This was a self-guided tour of many homes that were extremely energy efficient in various ways.

Sep 17 2012: Angela Barbash of ReConsider conducted a local investment workshop at our Potluck.

Highlights from our 2012 ‘Summer of Money’ Film Series…

Jul 20 2012 – “Fixing the Future” – (by PBS) host David Brancaccio tackles one of the toughest challenges facing Americans today — How does our country create jobs that pay well and build prosperity? / “Local Stock Markets” – (by E.F. Schumacher Society) Michael Shuman argues for a local investment tool that will allow us to keep all our money in the community and benefit the businesses which we patronize

July 13: “Coming Home” “tells the story of the E.F. Schumaker Society’s remarkable work that includes founding of the nation’s first CSA, economic development based on Community Land Trusts, and the creation of the nation’s most successful local currency — BerkShares” – The New Economy Coalition / “Sacred Economics” (by Ian MacKenzie) “traces the history of money from ancient gift economies to modern capitalism, revealing how the money system has contributed to alienation, competition, and scarcity, destroyed community, and necessitated endless growth” – Sacred Economics website / “Digital Coin” portrays “a comprehensive and innovative proposal for a new system of sustainable economics” – Digital Coin

June 29: “Money as Debt” – “Paul Grignon pulls together all the threads of his story of money as a core determinant of our life, and takes us further into the future, showing how we can reinvent a more just and more human financial system” – Sophie Arthaud, TV writer & creative producer

June 22: “The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don’t Need” – “challenges the inevitability of the consumer lifestyle by proposing alternatives to the work and spend cycle that has so many Americans feeling trapped and unfulfilled. The video draws attention to..the costs .. of relentlessly searching for happiness and identity through consumption.” – Media Education Foundation / “American Dream” is an animated film by Tad Lumpkin and Harold Uhl showing “how you’ve been scammed by the most basic elements of our government system” – American Dream website

May 2012: We discussed David Suzuki’s book “The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature”

Earth Day, Apr 22 2012: We viewed the film “Earth Days” at the Chelsea District Library. Afterwards we celebrated the day with a rousing drum circle, thanks to Tree of Life Studio!

Apr 16 2012: We had our first General Membership potluck meeting. Our wonderful speaker was Raymond De Young, author of The Localization Reader. Great turnout, lots of fun!

Highlights from our “Transformation or Apocalypse?” movie series (Feb – Mar)

Mar 30 2012: How to Boil a Frog – Documentary on saving civilization. “No matter what we do to the planet, it will survive. We’re the ones in danger — people…” Jon Cooksey (Director)
Download the “How to Boil a Frog: Study Guide”
Buy How to Boil a Frog DVD
Feb 3 2012: Apocalypse 2012: The World After Time Ends is a documentary that revives humanity’s ancient spiritual past with Native American spiritualists, secular prophets, environmentalists, healers and leaders in the global sustainability movement. Director Bruce Weaver clearly Illustrates that only a spiritual and mythic revival can correct humanity’s course — Anonymous
Willi Paul & Bruce Weaver Video Conversation: Apocalypse 2012: The World After Time Ends
Buy DVD from Amazon