March 2017       Smaller footprint. Stronger community.       District 12, St. Paul, Minnesota
In this issue:

Rooftop solar at  St. Anthony Park Lutheran (read "Dispatch," below). Aerial photo: Steven Kranz. 
In the sanctuary: a suspended paper sculpture by Jennifer Stucker.  Photo: John Seppanen.

Transition Tap
Wednesday, March 8, 7:00-9:00 pm
Urban Growler, 2325 Endicott 

Drop in to this monthly meetup: talk sustainability over a craft beer. Look for the table with the "T" sign.

Sustainable Food & Land group
Thursday, March 16, 7:00 pm 
2362 Carter Avenue  
Help plan projects: visit
web page. Questions?  Email Kit.

Introduction to Permaculture
Saturday, March 18, 1:00-2:30 pm
EggPlant Urban Farm Supply, 1771 Selby 
Regenerative agriculture. $20. Details .

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Workshop ideas due March 15 for Transition US July gathering
What's your sustainability niche? Lead a workshop at Transition US conference in St. Paul, July 27-31. Info & proposal form

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Compassionate. . . and practical
Many have suffered along with loved ones who wished, as they neared death, for a more peaceful, less painful way to depart. A good many of us in the Transition move-ment hope to end our lives in a gentle way that also helps conserve medical resources that will be needed by others. A bill intro-duced late February in our state legislature and modeled after Oregon's Death with Dignity Act could provide such a path. To learn more, check Compassion and Choices and, if you wish to support this bill, sign at Minnesota's End of Life Option Act.
  -- Ranae Hanson
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Our NIMBY blind spot
We'd like to protect our wilderness areas from mining and other ex-tractive industries. But when we do so without cutting our use of those resources, we're just pushing the eco-hazards elsewhere. And often that means Africa, Eastern Europe, or other areas without the environmental protections we (now) enjoy. This book by U of M bio-products expert Jim Bowyer makes a strong case for r educing consumption-- and for asking, why not in our own back yard?   
-- Mindy Keskinen
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Need a tool? Borrow, don't buy!
The  St. Paul Tool Library is open at 755 North Prior. Browse  inventory.
Hours: Tues & Fri  5-8 pm,  Sat. 10-4.

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Join us!
Visit " Action Groups" or email us:
   Community solar: Barry Riesch
   Home energy curtailment:   Tim Wulling
   Housing options:   Phil Broussard
   Reflective Circle:   Marilyn Benson  
   School liaison:   Mimi Jennings
   Sustainable food:   Kit Canright
   Transportation:   Pat Thompson
   Zero waste:   Brandon Sigrist  
Join our email list: send your address to 
Visit our Facebook page "Request to join" our  Facebook group Follow us on
Twitter:   @transitionasap1 Submit news and views:  email  the editor  (and  see back   issues) .  Logo  by Pat Thompson. Transition "t" and  Bee  by Regula Russelle. 
Transition Towns will shine at Northern Spark 
by Regula Russelle

Exciting news: The Transition Twin Cities art project  Transition NOW! has been chosen for this year's Northern Spark. From sunset on June 10 to sunrise on June 11, Northern Spark 2017 is a free all-night art festival exploring the effects of climate change through participatory projects in neighborhoods along Metro Transit's Green Line. For this project,  dozens of volunteers will circulate through
Sketch by Ruby Thompson
the festival in T-shirts printed with
Transition NOW! and symbols of resilience actions (like biking, sharing tools, composting). At our "Grove of Life" in St. Paul's Lowertown, visitors will add paper leaves to sculptural trees, each with a written commitment to a specific lifestyle change. This memory, and a hand-printed memento, will remind visitors that small choices add up to something great. 

April 2: Calling all creative fun-lovers
Join us for work and play: screen-print T shirts, cut out paper leaves, and print tiny mementos on a letterpress. Stay the whole time or just for a while. For info send an email with subject line "Northern Spark" to Pat Thompson or Regula Russelle

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Northern Spark Prep Party!
Sunday, April 2
2:00-5:00 p.m. 
Minnesota Center for Book Arts 
1011 S. Washington Ave., Minneapolis

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Artist Regula Russelle is 
shown here printing with a colleague at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. 

Transition NOW! is presented by the Center for Energy and the Environment 
as part of 
Northern Spark 2017, produced by Northern and with funding from the McKnight Foundation. 
Dispatch from the renewable energy front
The St. Anthony Park Lutheran Church congregation is happy to report that our 40kW solar project is fully operational. When we successfully applied for the Made in Minnesota incentive program in 2015, the church voted unanimously to support the project, and our fundraising campaign had overwhelming response from the congregation and the neighborhood. Through the construction milestones and stumbling blocks that followed, the project team (affectionately called the "solar panel" by Pastor Glenn Berg-Moberg) worked to resolve the issues and move forward.  We finally flipped the switch last November, and we anticipate producing about half of the church's annual electrical usage. Monitoring software is tracking production minute by minute. We hope to extend it to track energy use throughout the facility, so we can target even greater energy savings. Stay tuned!
-- John Seppanen and  Bjorn Gangeness
Democracy in action: Speaking up for climate 
by Grecia Glass

During last month's congressional recess I attended two jam-packed, people-out-in-the-hallway town hall meetings. When they bring us informed, high-quality exchanges, town halls show democracy at its best. 
First the Feb. 18 town hall hosted by Minnesota senate district 66 (which includes parts of North SAP, my own Hamline Midway neighborhood, and other areas: map ). The crowd in Falcon Heights heard first from Sen. John Marty on Americans' energy use and our need to think of future generations. Rep. Alice Hausman (66A) discussed three unfavorable energy bills in the Minnesota House. (Here's how to take action to oppose them. )
  • A bill letting Xcel Energy bypass a review process that's intended to protect ratepayers, ensure public participation, and promote cost-effective investments in our energy infrastructure.  
  • A bill modifying net metering (the advantageous rates for clean power fed into a grid), which would discourage small-scale solar and wind projects. 
  • A bill ending the "Made in Minnesota" solar incentive program. Solar is booming here, with 2400 Minnesotas in solar-related jobs. MiM has funded 1,045 projects. Do we want to lose this momentum? 
Rep. John Lesch (66B) reminded us of the true meaning of "sanctuary city," which applies to both Minneapolis and St. Paul. Both have a separation ordinance stating they won't use local resources to do a federal job (enforcing immigration laws). The US has no national police force, and our cities want to keep it that way.

Like most St. Paulites, my rep in Washing-ton is Betty McCollum . At her Feb. 23 Town Hall on Climate Change ( video recap ), 
thermal scientist John Abraham and clima-to logist Mark Seeley shared data on trends globally ("climate whiplash") and locally: warmer, wetter, more volatile. Learn more at Seeley's website . McCollum discussed her work on House Appropriations and its environment-related subcommittee. (Read her article on preserving the EPA .) When 
asked if she'd join the Climate Solutions Caucus ,  she said she's interested, but given its bipartisan structure she'd need to invite a Republican to join too. How about Tom Emmer, Betty?

Grecia Glass is active with Hamline Midway Neighbors for Peace, Minneapolis Ambassadors Lions Club, and Women's Congress for Future Generations. She also recently attended St. Anthony Park's Community Sing
, and she's hooked. 
The Transition Town - All Saint Anthony Park initiative grew from the Energy Resilience Group, a subcommittee of the Saint Anthony Park Community Council's Environment Committee. Visit the SAPCC website to learn more about Saint Paul's District 12 neighborhood projects, including the Creative Enterprise Zone. Lend a hand!   Our purpose:  To raise our understanding in Saint Anthony Park of climate change, the limits of fossil fuels, and the adaptation of our community that is possible and positive.   What's a Transition Town?   It's a community starting the transition from a fossil-fueled, energy-intensive way of life to a more satisfying, locally oriented community with increased stability in disruptive times.