August 2018        Smaller footprint. Stronger community.        District 12, St. Paul, Minnesota
In this issue:

In the rain gardens outside Bang Brewing, a monarch caterpillar enjoys the milkweed. Read about Bang's earth-friendly practices below.   Photo: @bangbrewing


Raymond Avenue
Block Party
Saturday, August 4
noon - 5:00 pm
Raymond & University Aves
St. Paul 
Mingle in the Creative Enterprise Zone! Special sales, live music chosen by Barely Bros, local brews, Foxy Falafel eats.  

Dow Gallery opening
Saturday, August 4
6:00 - 9:00 pm
2202 University Ave
St. Paul 
"Breath of Beauty," Umbreen Hasan's solo show, will run through August. The gallery also showcases many of the artists who work in the Dow Building's studios.

Back to School Wellness and Essential Oils class
Sunday, August 5, 2:30 - 5:00 p.m.
Healing Elements Wellness
2290 Como Ave,  St. Paul
Start the school year off healthy! Plan for wellness and learn natural remedies to support your kids and teens using non-toxic, pure essential oils and other wellness tools. Info .

Local entrepreneurs, meet city council candidates
Tuesday, August 7, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Urban Growler Brewing 
2325 Endicott St,
St. Paul
Small business owners in Ward 4: city council candidates want to meet you. Here's a chance to hear from each and ask questions.   Info .  

Transition Tap
Tuesday, August 7, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
null Urban Growler Brewing 
2325 Endicott St,
St. Paul
Join us to discuss community resilience and taste seasonal brews! Look for the T:  check the patio first.

Swede Midge field workshop
Wednesday, August 8
10:00 - 11:00 a.m. 
& 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.
St. Anthony Park Community Garden
2216 Robbins St, St.  Paul
There's a new invasive species about! Learn about Swede Midge and how to manage it. Hosted by the MNDA and U of M Extension. 

Citizens Climate Lobby
Saturday, August 11, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
TBA. Live-streamed speaker at noon.
Let's put a price on carbon emissions, and gain bipartisan support in Congress to do it. Speaker: Aimee Sison of Climate Nexus.  Info.

Urban Growler Farmers Market 
Sundays all summer, 11:00 - 5:00
2325 Endicott St, St. Paul
Stay for lunch and a brew on the patio!   Info.


Coco under the stars
See this heartwarming movie in Hampden Park August 18: it's the last in the Co-op's popular series this summer. Free and PG.

Coco starts at dusk, about 8:00. But come at 7:30 for fun and games! How well do you know your fruits and veggies? Play Produce Password to find out! 
Games are hosted by the Equity Committee of the SAP Community Council. Stop by the co-op for picnic makings or movie snacks beforehand and get a 10% discount. The popcorn's free! 

If you think you are too 
small to make a difference, 
try sleeping with a mosquito.

--Dalai Lama

Now forming:
An investment club with a conscience

Transition Your Money is forming a spinoff group: an investment club for people ready to put some dollars to work for values like local resilience and ecological sustainability.  Partly modeled on Minneapolis-based Cooperative Principal , the group will invest in co-ops and other regenerative enterprises, mostly local. Want to join, or at least learn more? Come to our first official meeting. And/or join the ongoing Transition Your Money group to discuss other options. Both are listed here.

New Investment Club(s) 
- not yet named -

WHAT: Meeting for all interested in forming an investment club that values local resilience and ecological sustainability. We'll discuss and set parameters such as:
  • What should we invest in? Co-ops, sustainably-oriented small businesses, and what else? 
  • What's our geographic scope?
  • Should we form two clubs-- one for people investing smaller amounts of money on a regular basis (and what's the minimum?), and another club for people with savings they're ready to move in larger quantity?
  • Who's willing to take what roles?
All members will help plan and run the club.

WHEN: Date TBA; quarterly meetings likely.  
WHERE: Place TBA, in St. Anthony Park.
INFO: To be notified of first meeting details when they're set, email Mindy Keskinen at

* * *

Transition Your Money group

WHAT:   Monthly meeting to discuss ways to invest in a more resilient local economy. Support promising, sustainable local startups?  ("A dolphin tank," one member quipped.)  Start a local currency?  Find partners and funding for special projects? (Example: a small organic-waste-to-energy unit  for use in South St. Anthony Park.) Join us and bring your ideas. 

WHEN:  Wednesday, August 15, 6:30 pm, and every 3rd Wednesday, same time.
WHERE:   Lori's Coffee House, 1441 Cleveland Avenue North, St. Paul.
INFO:  Visit our web page . For further notifications, email Sherm Eagles at 


News & notes
St. Paul's new trash collection system starts this fall: visit the SAP Community Council's web page for info. Some of us are using this moment to plan for lower-waste household habits. Zero Waste St. Paul has monthly meet-ups!
The SAPCC also helps keep us posted on accessory dwelling units in St. Paul.

On sunny days, cook fuel-free with a Solavore solar oven. Send us your favorite solar recipe, and we'll share it here!

Read up on natural and industrial factors that make the world warmer in Bloomberg's article  What's Really Warming the World? ... and in   Climate Change: What You Can Do , learn how to make a difference through everyday choices.


Playing local at the
Fourth in the Park parade

Shop local... Eat local... Walk and bike local!  We marched July 4 to support neighborhood businesses. And guess who stole the show? See slides on our website .

_________________ __
Stay in touch
Join our mailing list: email us at

Visit our Facebook page and group.  

On Twitter, we're @transitionasap1.

Submit news & views: email the editors,
Mindy Keskinen and Madeline Harpell.

Logo by Pat Thompson. Transition "t" and Bee by Regula Russelle.
This future foodscape brought to us by Incredible Edible

Alpine strawberries, blueberry bushes, and cherry trees are taking root in what was a neglected landscape bed at the Langford Park Rec Center. Soon, a mulched path will invite visitors to step in for a taste. Around St. Anthony Park, the Incredible Edible team is planting and maintaining gardens for people and pollinators. Affiliated with the SAP Garden Club and collaborating with St. Paul Parks & Recreation, they welcome new volunteers.

Catherine Crandall , Nadine Horchner, and Mary Pat Dunlap planted the bed in May. 
Today, native flowers are blooming and a few strawberries are ripe.
Bang Brewing: One of a kind, and earth-friendly
by Mindy Keskinen

From the design of its setting to its organic beers, Bang Brewing shows how two practical, imaginative, community-oriented people can build a successful low-carbon-footprint enterprise. A pioneering one, in fact. Since 2013, Sandy and Jay Boss Febbo have been brewing and serving craft beers from their Capp Road site on the edge of St. Anthony Park's industrial zone. 
Taproom hours

Thursday 4-10 pm
Friday 4-10 pm
Saturday 2-10 pm

In Cahoots 
Sunday, August  5
2-8 pm
 at the Red Stag
 in Minneapolis

Designed with help from Geoffrey Warner of nearby Alchemy Architects, Bang is housed in the shell of a spacious grain bin, customized for year-round comfort, energy efficiency, and a welcoming vibe ( video). Modular furnishings, many made from reclaimed local materials, turn the space into a zero-waste taproom three days a week. At this time of year, visitors spill out to the patio and fire pit, surrounded by rain gardens filled with native plants. Visit soon, while the gardens are in their glory! Then visit later to enjoy fall and winter skyscapes from the light-filled interior. You'll find a food truck on site year-round during taproom hours. 

Bang's covered patio and "Bin" both make use of reclaimed materials. Photo: Alchemy
Last year, Sandy and Jay started a partnership with the Land Institute in Kansas, which is developing a perennial grain:
  kernza .  Bang hosted the Land Institute's annual meeting that July, releasing its Kernza GOLD beer for the occasion. "We've tried to keep it on tap and available in 750 mls for retail since then," said Sandy. This summer they released KIPA, a Kernza IPA. Bang is part of the National Resources Defense Council's Brewers for Clean Water campaign, said Sandy, and "kernza provides so much potential and hope."    

The Land Institute is also Bang's partner for a special event August 5 at the Red Stag Supperclub in Minneapolis. In Cahoots pairs local breweries to create collaboration beers. Visitors taste and vote, and the winner's nonprofit partner benefits. Bang's entry, brewed with Tattersall distillery friends, is SNAP: a genever-inspired ale that also features kernza in its grain bill. 

Mindy Keskinen is a book editor and co-editor of this newsletter. She also has a hand in the Creative Enterprise Zone's communications.

Water management is a matter of public trust
by Janet Dieterich

In the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes, we're used to thinking of water as an unlimited resource. But even here, a warming climate is changing that equation, as we've seen lately in the fluctuating level of White Bear Lake, which is closely tied to groundwater pumping. When a public agency such as Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources fails to manage for sustainability, how can it be held accountable?

In 2013, White Bear Lake water levels fell to 6 feet below normal, stranding docks and boats. Precipitation has refilled the lake-- for now.
A landmark case based on the Public Trust Doctrine was recently decided by Ramsey County Judge Peg Marrinen. Brought by concerned White Bear Lake citizens and represented by a legal team led by Katy Crosby Lehmann and including Mike Ciresi and SAP resident Dick Allyn, they successfully argued that the DNR violated public trust and the Minnesota Environmental Rights Act by allowing excessive groundwater pumping that substantially lowered lake levels and the Prairie du Chien Jordan aquifer. The court granted equitable (non-monetary) relief because, in cases such as these, cash alone cannot fix the problem. Action, restoration, and protection from further harm are called for. The court further said that the state must take precautionary measures to prevent harm to White Bear Lake.

What is the basis of the public trust doctrine? An ancient precept of law dating from the Roman Empire and the Magna Carta and continuing to the present day, it holds that the commons are held for the public in trust by the government. Traditionally used to protect shoreline and navigable waters, it has been expanded in recent times to common assets other than water bodies. The Science and Health Network and the Women's Congress for Change, led by environmental attorney Carolyn Raffensburger, now advocate for a much wider view. They argue that the government has a responsibility to care well and act as stewards for future generations for all the things we share, including schools, roads, bridges, and clean drinking water.

This case originated in 2012 and was brought pro bono with legal fees of over $2 million. State Rep. Peter Fischer has called White Bear Lake's fluctuating water level a "canary in the mine." Other lakes in the region are closely tied to groundwater and are extremely sensitive to withdrawal of that flow, a US Geological survey showed. Minnesota Lawyer magazine has named the legal team that brought the suit "Attorneys of the Year." The case has been appealed by the DNR.

A longtime St. Anthony Park resident,  
Janet Dieterich is a retired government relations coordinator. She specialized in lobbying for regional parks and the victims of human trafficking. She is a member of the planning group for Transition Town ASAP.
Support our Como Avenue businesses!
Healing Elements: Thriving in community
by Madeline Harpell

The birth of Healing Elements was in early 2014 - an intimate yoga studio and retail shop in Northeast Minneapolis. Now located in the heart of North St. Anthony Park, it is woven into the seams of our  neighborhood: the hub for everything wellness. When I first came to Healing Elements, I felt an invigorating sense of peace and connection to the atmosphere. It is the kind of place that everyone can thrive in. A community space to relax, read, learn, gather, grow, and simply be.
Samantha Huet-Shvetzoff

Samantha Huet-Shvetzoff, the current owner,  walks
with radiance. A mother, a wife, and a pure heart of gold. "This place helps me embody the best version of myself," she said, and it shows!  After a year of teaching yoga and later managing the shop, she became close with the owner  (funnily, also named Samantha!) at the studio in NE, the opportunity to purchase and expand the business fell into her hands.  "It was a very divine and destined thing," she says, "to be able to grow the space, bring it to the next level. I had a vision for what it could be."  Her vision was, and is, to continually serve and bring people together in healing and growth. After coming across the SAP location, the expansion of Healing Elements was able to manifest. 

In our conversation, we talked a lot about the beauty and importance of community. As humans, we thrive in it. We need it to survive. And that is exactly how Samantha sees Healing Elements flourishing.  Creating a vibrant community through mindful living is their mission. She is driven in her role as the owner to sustain a vibrant business that not only reflects the values of the community, but is deeply integrated in supporting the people who live and spend time in the neighborhood. It is a foundational aspect of how she wanted to grow the business from the start, and how it has evolved over time.  The products and services offered have a unique creator and story, and that story has extended into Healing Elements through people simply walking in and immersing themselves in the atmosphere. 

 Browse teas, medicinals, pottery & textiles, and learn about yoga, meditation, and other wellness arts. 
The inside and out entirely meld together and create this special shop. "I couldn't do it without Sara Sleeper, the studio manager, and everyone who contributes their products and energy... 
It is always a collaborative effort," she says.  To think, they started out with only one shelf of retail products, now the entire store is filled!  It's so special to have a community that is close-knit and ready to provide resources and opportunity, and a store that allows for such possibilities. 

Organically growing and changing as life does, Samantha and her team are taking the steps toward functioning as a zero waste and sustainable business in all ways possible. Mindful living involves being deeply aware of how we impact the planet, and she believes it is important to take responsibility as a wellness center to assist the community in transitioning to sustainable and mindful living. How beautiful is that? 

Healing Elements is truly filled with the energy of being well. Stop in to sip some tea, commune, support their incredible work, and find peace in the process. Info

Madeline Harpell  is an interdisciplinary artist, gardener, teacher, learner, 
Transition ASAP intern, and recent graduate of the University of Minnesota. She is passionate about connecting and collaborating with others, mindful living, and being outside.
Yes, there's life after lawn
by Kit Canright

Spending a Friday evening at a workshop didn't sound exciting until I realized it meant walking through the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization's riverbank gardens, complete with a gorgeous sunset. Not a bad classroom! The workshop was "Grow, Don't Mow: Life After Lawn," led by Kayla Nortrup of Mama Terra Landscaping. 

Why transition your yard from predominantly lawn to more diverse plantings?
  • Less lawn = less mowing = less pollution.  Lawn mowing in the US produces 5 percent of the nation's air pollution, more in metropolitan areas, says the EPA.
  • More productive land: we can grow food instead of grass.
  • Water stewardship. As Kayla noted, "The shortage of clean water is rapidly becoming one of the most urgent challenges facing humanity. In the US, 36 of 50 states predict a shortage in freshwater within the next 10 years. It is estimated that 30 to 60 percent of urban fresh water is used on lawns."
So what else can we do to be better stewards of our land and water?
  • Minimize pollution by reducing or eliminating fertilizers, pesticides, and salt. Gravel works well on icy sidewalks and can be swept up and reused.
  • Landscape to reduce erosion, keeping sediment pollution out of waterways.
  • If you mow, switch to an electric or reel lawn mower.
  • Capture stormwater in rain barrels, rain gardens, or bioswales: this also reduces water pollution from runoff. For paved areas, remember that permeable pavers let rainwater filter naturally into the earth; they're also less toxic than blacktop
  • When reroofing, consider using wood or slate, which release fewer pollutants.
  • Use a rain gauge and water only when plants need it. Water in the morning to minimize evaporation and reduce plant diseases. Let grass turn brown and go dormant in midsummer; it will green up in the fall.
  • Use native plantings that put down deep roots. They hold the soil better, need less water, and require less work! 

Kit Canright  
leads our Sustainable Food and Land group, organizing workshops on composting, canning, pickling, fermenting, and growing greens indoors. She's also a section leader in the SAP Community Garden.

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.