June 2015           Smaller footprint. Stronger community.          TransitionASAP.org              District 12, St. Paul, Minnesota
In this issue:
Thumbs up for Transition Town and the Creative Enterprise Zone: We have a lot in common. 
See Regula Russelle's report below. Photo of CEZ's "Give & Take" session by Kyle Mianulli.

St. Anthony Park Arts Festival

Saturday, June 6, 10 to 5

Como & Carter Avenues

While you're enjoying the work of dozens of artists and artisans, stop by the Transition Town tent outside Park Service. Tell us your own visions for a more sustainable community, and find out what your neighbors are doing. Under the Give a Rip! sign, help us upcycle rags into a magic carpet. All ages can take a turn at the floor loom. Bring your own castoff textiles and transform them on the spot! 


Tar Sands Resistance March

Saturday, June 6, noon to 4

Meet at Lambert Landing, near Union Depot (Shepard Road & N. Sibley St.) in downtown St. Paul, and march to the Capitol.

Raise your voice: no toxic tar sands in our region--or any region!  Bring banners and signs. Sponsors: 350.org, Interfaith Power & Light,  Indigenous Environmental NetworkSierra Club, many more. Check website for info.


Landscape Revival: Native Plant Expo

Saturday, June 6, 9 to 3

Buy local-grown, pollinator-friendly native plants and learn about their benefits for wildlife habitat, pollinating insects, and water quality. Details here.  


Hamline Midway Spring Festival

Tuesday, June 16, 4-8:30 pm

1610 Hubbard Ave (fields behind Hancock Rec Ctr)

This free event includes an Urban Farm and Homestead demo zone. Music ranges from traditional Irish (Tipper Road) to African drumming and dance (Babatune Lea). Dozens of exhibitors include artists, nonprofits, area businesses, and schools.  Food trucks! Family fun! Let's see how our neighbors put on a party. Details at the Hamline Midway website.


Smallest Museum in St. Paul:

Mayoral Ribbon Cutting

Wednesday, June 17, 8 am, Workhorse Coffee Bar,  2399 University Ave.

Join Mayor Coleman, Workhorse proprietors Shannon Forney and Ty Barnett, and the first twelve artist-curators slated for this tiny museum-in-a-coffee-bar. Meet others from the Creative Enterprise Zone,

local arts groups, and Knight Foundation, funder of the project. Grab a cup while you're here.  


Small Wind Conference

June 15-17 (Mon-Wed)

Stevens Point, Wisconsin

Eleventh annual regional gathering of those in the small wind energy industry, educators, and advocates. Visit the website for details. 


Meet the Bus...and Quaff a Beer!

Friday, June 19, 1:00 pm

Meet at bus shelter INSIDE the Park & Ride lot at corner of Como and Eustis

Never been to Surly Brewing? Want some practice with our public transport system? Do both, among friends. We'll take the 30 express bus to the Green Line  and ride to Surly, just over the Minneapolis line. Learn about schedules, "Go-To" cards, and more. Bring $1.75 in fare.  For more info, email the Transportation group.


Energy Fair: Midwest Renewable Energy Association (26th annual)

June 19-21 (Fri-Sun)

Custer, Wisconsin

Workshops, exhibitors, clean vehicle demos, green building methods, food and chef events, entertainment... this is the nation's longest-running energy education event, attracting 15,000 people annually.  Visit the website for details. 



Reflective Circle

Monday, June 22, 6:30-8:30 pm

Church of St. Cecilia, 2357 Bayless Place

How is climate change changing us--our spirits, our values, our habits? Each month, the Reflective Circle provides a welcoming space to attend to this deep challenge, listen, and find ways forward. Join us once, twice, or every time. Locations rotate; check the web page for details. 


Composting Workshop with Lois Braun

Saturday, June 27, 4 pm

1988 Brewster (corner of Fifield), garden area east of garage block behind the apartment building. Park in the lot just west of the school district warehouse.

"Compost Happens," says the bumper sticker. True, but a few simple tricks will help it happen faster and better. Lois Braun will show-and-tell the science behind composting in easy terms, so we can understand how those tricks work. After the workshop (less than an hour), she'll offer a tour of the vegetable garden, too. Lois is in the U of M's department of soil, water, and climate and helps lead our Sustainable Food & Land action group. Questions? Email us.

Green All Over:
The Bicycle Benefits Program 
by Betty Wheeler
Shop local, cut carbon emissions, promote healthy exercise, reduce traffic and parking problems: businesses can support all these goals with one program--Bicycle Benefits. And they build customer loyalty at the same time.

How does it work? Customers buy a $5 sticker to place on their bike helmet. Each time they bike to a participating business and show their stickered helmet, they get a perk, typically a discount. Each business determines how the program will work for them. Some examples from our neighborhood:
  • Hampden Park Co-op: 5% off most purchases.
  • Burning Brothers Brewery: $1.00 off your first pint-or, if it's raining or below freezing, half off as an extra reward!
  • Urban Growler and Sharrett's Liquors are new to the program this year. Stop by and ask about it.
Other Twin Cities participants: Mississippi Market, Common Good Books, Mother Earth Gardens, Bryant-Lake Bowl, Red Stag Supper Club, St. Paul Cheese Shop, East Side Food Co-op, Kopplin's Coffee Shop, Trotter's Cafe, Groundswell Cafe, Grand Ole Creamery, Shish Cafe, Birchwood Cafe, and more. It's a national program, so if you travel with your bike, check the website for more participants.

Betty Wheeler is active with our Transportation action group. She also serves on the SAP Community Council's Transportation Committee and the board of commissioners of the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization.
Haiku by Mimi Jennings
Heirloom Tomatoes

"Tomatoes," we called
them. We didn't have a word
for organic, either.
Transition Town-ASAP can benefit from matching gifts
by Steve Yetter
One of Benjamin Franklin's lesser known inventions was the "matching gift." While raising funds for the Pennsylvania Hospital, Franklin proposed that once the hospital had raised ?2,000 in private contributions, the colonial government should add another ?2,000. "Every man's donation would be doubled," Franklin later wrote. "The subscriptions accordingly soon exceeded the requisite sum."

Today many employers offer matching gifts as an employee benefit, and some also match volunteer hours. My employer, 3M, is one of them: it offers an annual $250 gift to an organization supported by an employee's volunteer service (at least 20 hours; 25 for retirees). Seeing an opportunity to further support Transition Town-ASAP, I submitted a volunteer match request for 2014. It was accepted, and the 2015 gift is in process. 

Matching gifts are typically only available to registered 501(c)(3) nonprofits. As TT-ASAP is not set up this way, I designated the 3M Foundation gifts go to TT-ASAP's fiscal agent, the St. Anthony Park Community Council, earmarked for Transition Town's Community Solar action group (which I'm active in). 

Do you have a chance to have your gifts of time or treasure matched? Do you support Transition Town ASAP? If so, take advantage of that opportunity.

Steve Yetter is a leader in our Community Solar action group and also coordinates the annual Kasota Ponds cleanup. 
Recent happenings 

Natascha Weiner hosted a seed-starting workshop
for the Sustainable Food & Land group. Next March, we'll share her techniques with you!

Participants gathered for the first "Meet the Bus" event.
By bus and train, the Transportation group is
exploring our public transport system.  Join us for the
next one on June 19 (see the Transition Bee, above.)

At the Climate Rally at the Capitol on Earth Day,
we shared our dove kite with a group of students.
Made by Anna Gambucci, the dove has reappeared
at other events (see right). Below, the rally banner made by  students at Horace Mann Elementary.

Add your own voice!

Contribute ideas to Transition Times ASAP and to our weekly e-calendar, The Transition Bee. Email the editor, Mindy Keskinenwith your story ideas, reflections, photos, calendar listings, and poetry, and to have names added to our mailing list.

Thanks to our supporters

Need to call Dublin?
Alden Square neighbors build a fanciful landmark ... and strengthen their community

by Carol Mulroy

It seemed like a simple matter: the pine tree in my yard was dead, and it had to be removed. Who would have guessed that the space left by that tree would bring a whole multicultural, multigenerational neighborhood together? And that our common goal would be to build the first Irish telephone booth in St. Paul, or maybe even Minnesota? 
A neighborhood effort: Devi Rana with Mike Cunningham (the idea man) and Jeanne St. Clair, who planned the landscaping.
Stonemason Ram Rana got the
project moving, sinking the footings
for the booth and designing the terracing for the sloping site.

It all started last February when I told Michael Cunningham, a former SAP neighbor, about the now-empty space in my front yard on Gibbs Avenue--a corner lot. An artistic Irish lad, Mike had seen the Emerald Isle's sprightly telephone booths in the days before cell phones. Why not replace the tree with ... a green phone booth? It would draw people together to chat. Kids might sit on the bench inside it to read. Mike drew me a sketch.  But before I could say Slainte (Cheers!) a team of mostly non-Irish folks were preparing the site, leveling the spot and hauling stone for the booth's foundation. Directing the action was my friend and neighbor Ram Rana of Bhutan, who was a stonemason in Nepal.

It was truly the luck of the Irish that brought the first Bhutanese refugee family, sponsored by the SAP Lutheran Church, to our neighborhood: Ram and Devi Rana and their young son Nedish. I met them four years ago when I needed a hand with some heavy lifting. They were eager to help. In the process, we learned their story. Since then, we've been supporting each other in multiple ways. Now many of the Ranas' family members have followed them to Alden Square, so our extended family keeps growing.

  What about the booth itself? Mike found four french doors at a salvage yard. After assembling them, he chose a brilliant green for the paint job, then carved the "Telefon" insignia in Celtic letters at the top, adding an Irish harp. With help from his brother Dennis and the Rana family, he placed it in the yard. Meanwhile, another friend, master gardener Jeanne St. Claire, was designing a landscape plan with neighborhood advisors, some from the Linnea Gardens condominium down the street.
Three generations gave their skills and enthusiasm. Above: cousins Krisha, Nidesh, and Shamyog. Right: Ram's father, Gumbir Rana, helped with the stonework. 

By the time the booth was up, Ram, his four brothers and his father, who made up a formidable team of muscle and skill, were setting a winding stone path to welcome bypassers to the phone booth. Other family members served as a support crew. Together, under Jeanne's direction, we all dug holes and placed new plants, each with its best face forward. 

We've made many new friends this spring. Dozens of people stopped while walking their dogs or driving by, intrigued by the project. They marveled; a few gave helpful advice, and some wondered aloud how they could live in such a dynamic neighborhood.  
Now the neighbors of Alden Square have another place to stop and strengthen our community bonds, because no matter what our heritage, we're all friends living together in St. Anthony Park.  

Carol Mulroy (perched by the booth) has lived in Alden Square all her life. In an earlier community project, she and her neighbors built the gazebo and landscaped the pocket park across the street from her home at the corner of Gibbs and Brewster. 

Transition Town and Creative Enterprise Zone: We have values in common

by Regula Russelle

Mingling at the May 28 "Give & Take" event, I learned about some of the exciting work happening and germinating in the Creative Enterprise Zone. Centered in the Raymond-University area of St. Anthony Park, the CEZ is home to artists and entrepreneurs of all kinds. As a maker of books and paper, I feel real kinship with this area. As a member of Transition Town - All St. Anthony Park, I feel eager to connect with neighbors who live and work in the Zone. After all, we share important values: 

  • strengthening creative connections among neighbors 
  • supporting local businesses and artists 
  • celebrating and caring for place

At the gathering, there was a lively criss-cross of talk: what to do with surplus garden produce, ways to manage an artist co-op, the search for theater space, the potential for pocket parks and other green spaces, a farmer's market, and more--all in the spirit of exploration. 


Lana Barkawi of Mizna: Exploring Arab America through prose, poetry, and art 
We brainstormed on placemaking and public arts. I learned about awesome resources: the Project for Public Spaces and Mizna , the exciting Arab American arts organization headquartered  here. Shannon Forney of Workhorse Coffee hopes her shop--with its tiny museum--will be a gathering place for knitting circles, book groups, and more.  I returned inspired. Let's all look for projects Transition Town ASAP can share with the Zone. 





Editor's note:  Email us with your arts events and we'll post them in the Transition Bee, our weekly email version of the calendar at the left.

Below, read more about book artist and teacher

Regula Russelle.


* * *  


Swiss-born Regula Russelle has lived for over thirty years in St. Anthony Park, working with the Transition Town group since it began in 2008. She runs her "very small press," Cedar Fence Press, out of her home workshop and also at Minnesota Center for Book Arts. 

Regula (left) at work with a colleague at Minnesota Center for Book Arts

She makes limited edition books and prints and is a founding member of the Laurel Poetry Collective and Accordion Press Collaborations. Lately, her work has explored social and environmental issues. Regula finds the Twin Cities and St. Anthony Park "wonderfully nurturing" for people engaged in creative work. 


Communities unite in St. Paul for Sandpiper pipeline resistance


by Anna Gambucci

On June 3, nearly 100 Minnesota tribal members and leaders and environmental allies met in a solidarity protest outside the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) building in downtown St. Paul. 
Their purpose? To
oppose PUC/ Enbridge approval of the Sandpiper pipeline project, a step that would grant Enbridge eminent domain to build new oil pipeline on their preferred route. That route runs directly through Minnesota's protected tribal territories, lake country, and Mississippi headwaters. 

The ralliers' convictions--delivered through native song and drumming, street chants, storytelling, canoe-carrying, and handmade banners--were clear:
Protect our water. 
Protect our wild rice and its centrality to Ojibwe people and culture. 
Honor existing tribal land treaties. 
Honor Governor Dayton's mandate that state agencies work with tribal leaders.
Recognize the suffering caused by the tar sands oil industry. 
Move beyond tar sands oil into clean energy production. 
Honor the Earth. 
Stop the Sandpiper. 

Winona LaDuke, Anishinaabe environmental activist and founder of the nonprofit Honor the Earth spoke about what needs to happen in response to and in place of these "bad ideas." She also introduced a powerful guest: Emma Lockridge, who lives near Detroit's Marathon tar sands oil refinery. 

Lockridge explained, "There was a buyout of some homes near the refinery when this project started, but predominantly for white residents. By now, it is a nightmare you cannot even imagine. Many people in my neighborhood are becoming seriously sick... dying of cancer, respiratory diseases, and kidney failure. I've already had a kidney transplant. My neighbor next door is on dialysis. My neighbor across the street died on dialysis. Marathon bought out homes of some residents, but left all the rest of us here to die." Lockridge is African American, and her neighbors are also predominantly black. 

Lockridge and her neighbors are standing up and fighting back for their human rights and for their survival. She felt tremendous hope when she read about the work of the indigenous people of northern Minnesota, and she is now connecting their communities. She sees that their struggles are the same as hers, and that their liberation is bound. As a middle-class white woman in St. Paul, I, too, see that my own liberation is bound in theirs. Only by advocating fiercely for treaty and indigenous rights and advocating fiercely for Black Lives can we end corporate and political warfare on people of color, poor people, and on the earth itself. Only by coming together can we keep Enbridge and Marathon from extracting us to extinction. There is no environmental justice without racial justice. 

On June 5--just as this newsletter was published--the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission was deciding whether to grant the "certificate of need" Enbridge is requesting, in order to build a new, larger-capacity tar sands oil pipeline directly through northern Minnesota. Eminent domain for Enbridge would vastly increase the quantity of tar sands crude oil transported from the Bakken fields through tribal and pristine, lake-rich northern Minnesota to multiple Midwestern refineries, including the one in Lockridge's neighborhood. 

Anna Gambucci lives with her family in St. Paul, and has worked as an educator, community organizer, stay-at-home mom, professional singer, writer, public speaker, and social justice advocate on many fronts. Her activism stems from her counter-culture, pacifist, Mennonite roots and from her own powerful experiences of trauma, resiliency and learning.
All are welcome!
Join a Transition Town action group

Use the links below to learn more, visit a meeting, and see if you'd like to join in. Or start a new group: email Michael Russelle to brainstorm.

Community solar:   Steve Yetter  and  Barry Riesch
Home energy curtailment:   Tim Wulling
Housing options:   Phil Broussard
Reflective Circle:   Marilyn Benson  and  Ranae Hanson
School liaison:   Mimi Jennings
Sustainable food and land:   Kit Canright Lois Braun
Transportation:   Pat Thompson
Zero waste:   Gary Carlson  and  Brandon Sigrist
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.  We're also supported by Metro Clean Energy Resource Team and the 3M Foundation.

Our purpose:
To raise our understanding in Saint Anthony Park of climate, 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.