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

At Jennings Community School, students harvested eggplant and 
a dozen  other  crops from their new garden.  Photos by Mimi Jennings

NEW NIGHT: 1st Tuesdays!
Transition Tap at Urban Growler
null Tuesday, October 3, 7-9:00 pm 
2325 Endicott. 
Relax and float sustainability ideas with new friends. Look for the table with the "t" sign. 

SAP Garden Club program:
Earthworms and Native Trees 
Tuesday, October 3: 6:30 pm meeting, 
7:00 refreshments, 7:30 program
St. Matthew's, 2136 Carter (Chelmsford side). 
Learn from forest ecologist Lee Frelich.

Frogtown Farm Harvest Fest 
Saturday, October 7, 11:00-2:00
946 Minnehaha Ave.
Learn to ferment veggies. Take a horse-drawn wagon ride. F
ree! Limited parking, but handy to transit. Details.

Local brews at Urban Boatbuilders
Saturday, October 7, 6:00-9:00 pm
2288 University Ave.
Annual fundraiser: Info.

Climate preparedness wrap-up
Saturday, October 14, 10:00-noon  
Longfellow Park, Mpls. 
Last in Transition Longfellow's series. All welcome; free.  Details.

Tool Library sale! Buy-- or volunteer
Saturday, October 14, 10:00-4:00  
At both locations: St. Paul and NE Mpls. 
Great deals; consider lending a hand.  Info

Speak up now for St. Paul's
Sustainable To-Go ordinance
by Brandon Sigrist

For Zero Waste advocates, nothing spoils a meal out on the town like the arrival of a styrofoam to-go box, especially if we forgot to bring our own container. Now we feel guilty on top of being annoyed at a restaurant industry that doesn't get it.  The good news is, we can make a difference  right now by supporting St. Paul's proposed
Sustainable To-Go ordinance:  businesses must use reusable dishware and utensils when possible, and to-go containers must be recyclable or compostable. Similar rules in Minneapolis and St. Louis Park are already reducing waste there. 
How can we support the effort?
  • Sign the petition
  • By Oct. 4, call City Council members who are undecided (see list here)
  • Attend the public hearing Wed. Oct. 4, 5:30 pm, St. Paul City Hall chambers,
    15 W Kellogg Blvd, 3rd floor
We can also frequent eateries that are already on board, and encourage our favorites to do the same. Let's get styrofoam and direct-to-landfill packaging out of the picture, and stop feeling guilty after our meal! 

Brandon Sigrist leads our Zero Waste action group.


See our  Grove of Life
Hundreds of visitors made personal carbon-cutting commitments at our Northern Spark project last June. See some of them here.

Transition Now!... Grove of Life
video by Raven Miller
November 13, 7 pm: Save the date and invest in the local economy
We may recycle, drive less, and eat local. But are our financial investments helping companies that counteract our other efforts? If you wish your money could walk your talk, join us in a new effort to bring our finances back to the neighborhood and the city for sustainable investments. 

We'll meet Monday, November 13 at 7:00 pm to get it going. Location to be set. To be notified, or ask questions, email Sherm Eagles seagles@softwarecpr.com. 


Tech Dump saves the world!
(Well, just the electronics...)
by Madeline Harpell

This summer, the local nonprofit recycler
Tech Dump set out to collect one ton of used electronics. To promote the effort, they hosted a Robot Fashion Show at Can Can Wonderland. With unique robo-personalities and costumes made of at least 25% recycled electronic material, these robots sure knew how to strut! What is better, it was all in order to help the planet. The night was one for the e-books. 

Don't forget to drop your castoff electronics at Tech Dump:  they collect all year round.

Madeline Harpell 
is an interdisciplinary artist, Transition Town intern, and U of M student majoring in design, communication, and cultural studies. 
First harvest from a parking-lot garden
More space for food crops, less for cars: Students at Jennings Community School have a jump on that vision of the future. In September, with teacher Claire Henning, they brought in a haul from the new raised-bed plot behind the school. 

Will McCollum join the House climate caucus?
by Mark Thieroff

Yes, the climate-related news out of Washington is discouraging. Beyond the headlines, however, there's some progress: the growth of the House's bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, founded last year to explore policy options to address climate change. One such option: a carbon fee and dividend program that would use economic incentives to reduce emissions. Now with 58 members, the caucus has an unusual rule: it maintains an equal number of Democrats and Republicans. Any potential member must either find a member of the other party to do so as well, or else sign up and wait until a counterpart steps forward to join. 

The overflow crowd
at last winter's Town Hall on Climate 
At a town hall forum on climate last February, Betty McCollum was asked about the Climate Solutions Caucus, and she told the packed room she was ready to join. But later she added a condition: a Minnesota Republican had to join with her. Since the Republicans in question - Erik Paulsen, Tom Emmer, and Jason Lewis - all doubt or deny that human activities contribute to climate change, it looked like Betty wouldn't be joining anytime soon. Betty's condition was surprising given that there is no "same-state" requirement. Rick Nolan - the only Minnesotan so far - recently joined with an Ohioan.  

Fortunately, Betty recently dropped her condition, and she is now on the Caucus waiting list. Let's hope she's actively seeking a Republican to join with her.

All of us in Minnesota's Fourth Congressional District can let Betty know that this is a priority for us. The evolution in her position to date was likely a result of hearing from constituents. So now is the time to contact Betty, thank her for her efforts, and urge her to approach potential Republicans. We need her to show leadership beyond simply waiting on the list for others to step up.
  • Betty McCollum (mccollum.house.gov): 
    651-224-9191 in St. Paul, 202-225-6631 in DC. 
  • Citizens Climate Lobby: Caucus news and other
    political action; monthly chapter meetings in St. Paul

Mark Thieroff  and his family live in St. Anthony Park. A land use attorney, Mark recently served on the SAP Accessory Dwelling Unit Task Force.
National Walk Summit visitors tour our streets

In Hampden Park, visitors listened to 
John Mark Lucas of the Community Council's Transportation Committee.
by Pat Thompson 

Imagine you're without access to a car as a St. Anthony Park resident. Or maybe you already live here without one. How walkable is the neighborhood, south to north? What can you reach on foot? What's too far, or not safely accessible?  

A few weeks ago, National Walk Summit visitors took a half-day stroll in "the Park" from the Green Line to the public library, hosted by our Community Council. Along the way, they found improvements on Raymond and Como and heard how neighbors helped shape them. But they also saw areas with access problems, some temporary (construction), others more permanent (streets lacking sidewalks; sidewalks lacking curb cuts).  

What do you like about our neighborhood's walkability? What needs work? Give input to the Council's 10-year plan, which includes the transportation topic, by  emailing us. We'll forward your comments.

Pat Thompson  leads our Transportation action group. She also works with our planning group, the Creative Enterprise Zone board, and the Friends School Plant Sale. 
Showing up for climate-- however we can 

Ober's Mallard Island home
by Mike Blandford

Mallard Island is a "thin place," a place where the separation between the physical and the spiritual shrinks. On Rainy Lake just shy of the Canadian border, this rocky island was, for fifty years, the home of Ernest Oberholtzer. From here, "Ober" led the fight against a timber tycoon's plan to dam the Rainy Lake Watershed and hydro-power his vast lumber and paper mills. In 1930, Ober managed the passage of the Shipstead-Nolan Act, which prohibited logging and altering lake levels on federal lands in the area. Similar legislation in Minnesota and Ontario helped preserve the pristine beauty of the Quetico-Superior Boundary Waters.

Thus, Mallard Island seemed an idyllic spot for a group of nine to meet for five days in August, discussing how to build community engagement with climate change. Hosted by Barb Draper, a grandmother, poet, and citizen "trying to leave our earth in as good a shape as it was handed to me," we used three books for background:
  • Active Hope, by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone
  • What We Think About When We Try Not to Think about Global Warming, by Per Espen Stoknes
  • Talking Climate, by Adam Corner and Jamie Clarke
What were some recurring themes? Clearly, bludgeoning people with still more facts is not effective. Taking a page from Ober's approach, we know that most people are in favor of clean air and water, and environment can be a bridge to climate conversations. Active hope is "planting seeds in a garden you never get to see," to quote Lin Manuel Miranda. Again and again, we spoke of the need to show up: Attend hearings and town halls. Join protests and demonstrations. If that's not your cup of tea, you can contact elected officials: local, state, and federal. If the only people at Selma had been Martin Luther King Jr,, Joan Baez, and Ralph Abernathy, not much would have happened  there. Each of us has to show up however we can.

Mike Blandford  is part of the Transition Town ASAP planning group. He's retired and lives in Falcon Heights. 
Stay in touch! 

Join our mailing list: email us (Communications@TransitionASAP.org). 
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. 
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.