Seed Exchange at Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market – March 8

The Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market is located at  100 S. Avenida Del Convento, near the intersection of Congress and Grande.

On March 8th from 3 to 6pm, the Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market will be hosting a spring gardening celebration where everyone can participate in a seed exchange, and purchase vegetable seedlings, shade cloth, and bird netting.

As spring quickly approaches, local vegetable gardeners are preparing their soil, seeds, and pest control, and they can look to the Community Food Bank for help with all of these arrangements.

Community Food Bank gardening staff will also be available to share their expertise about organic desert gardening, free gardening programs, and workshops.

For more information please phone 882-3304. Also see our website at http://communityfoodbank.org

Nine Elements of a Sustainable Culture – Mitchell Thomashow – free lecture at UA – Feb 29

WHEN: Wednesday, Feb. 29, 5 to 7 pm
WHERE: Center for Creative Photography Auditorium, University of Arizona (near Speedway and Park)
ADMISSION: Free

At its core, sustainability addresses
how people live, think and behave.
We are all change agents.
– Mitchell Thomashow

Meet Mitchell Thomashow and hear how he transformed Unity College into a nationally recognized institution for its focus on sustainability and the environment. He sees every college campus as a potential laboratory of sustainability – and you can too. Learn about his Nine Elements of a Sustainable Culture and how to integrate them here to change our future.

Author, educator, environmentalist & philosopher, Mitchell Thomashow integrates the sciences with philosophy. President Emeritus of Unity College, his latest book “The Nine Elements of Sustainability” will be published by MIT Press.

Supported by the University of Arizona Office of Sustainability, Students for Sustainability, Institute of the Environment, EcoOps and UA Green Fund

For more information: Joe Abraham, 621-2711 or jabraham(at)email.arizona.edu

Clean Elections – and other projects – To Stop Climate Change – Feb 22

CLEAN ELECTIONS – AND OTHER PROJECTS – TO STOP CLIMATE CHANGE — Wed, Feb 22, 7 PM, 931 N. 5TH AVE.

Dear Climate Change Activist,

Please join us Wednesday, February 22nd at 7 p.m. at the Quaker Meetinghouse, 931 N.5th Ave., Tucson, to learn more about the Clean Elections Law and ways to use it to stop climate change.

Also learn about our new Action Groups to stop coal burning at TEP’s Irvington plant; the Citizens’ Climate Lobby national carbon fee (tax) and dividend campaign; strengthening Tucson’s new climate change plan; 350.org’s bird-dogging, probably of Congressional District 8 candidates who take fossil fuel money, other election projects, our Neighborhood Sustainability and Climate Change Houseparties, and other ways to use listening and peer support in this fight.

Jim Driscoll and Vince Pawlowski

P.S. Please RSVP to Jim at the National Institute for Peer Support

Jim Driscoll
National Institute for Peer Support (NIPS)
4151 E. Boulder Springs Way
Tucson, AZ 85712
Phone: 520-250-0509
Email: JimDriscoll(at)NIPSPeerSupport.org
Website: www.NIPSPeerSupport.org

Plan Tucson – Urban Design Policy Working Group – Feb 29

Plan Tucson – Smart Growth Focus Area
Redevelopment and Revitalization Policy Working Group

Meeting Invitation for Wednesday February 29, 2012

Subject: Plan Tucson – Redevelopment and Revitalization Policy Working Group Meeting Invitation

Dear Colleague:

We are sending you this invitation because you expressed an interest or were recommended to participate in the Urban Design Policy Working Group. The first meeting will be held on:

Wednesday February 29, 2012
1:30 – 3:30 PM (Check in starting at 1:00 PM)
Sentinel Building, First Floor
320 Commerce Park Loop, Tucson, AZ 85745

Plan Tucson staff will make a brief presentation on the status of Plan Tucson activities and the Working Group schedule. This will be followed with background information and a discussion of current initiatives in Redevelopment and Revitalization. The second part of the meeting will be devoted to a group exercise designed to begin identifying concepts that should be considered in the development of Redevelopment and Revitalization policy for Plan Tucson.

To ensure that we have sufficient material for participants, please RSVP by sending an email to plantucson(at)tucsonaz.gov and include the phrase “Will Attend Redevelopment and Revitalization Policy Working Group” in the subject line. Please include your name and affiliation in the body of the email. There will be no response to this email.

If you have any questions about this meeting or would prefer that someone else from your agency/organization be the primary contact for Plan Tucson, please send an email to plantucson(at)tucsonaz.gov and include the phrase “Redevelopment and Revitalization Policy Working Group Question or Comment” in the subject line, or call María Gayosso at (520) 837-6972.

We value your time, and thank you in advance for participating in the development of Plan Tucson.

Sincerely,

María Gayosso, Project Manager
Plan Tucson Team
City of Tucson Housing and Community Development Department

Walking Away from Empire – Guy McPherson at Antigone Books – March 2

Walking Away from Empire – Guy McPherson at Antigone Books, 411 N. 4th Avenue, Friday, March 2, 7 PM

Guy McPherson will discuss his book, Walking Away from Empire: A Personal Journey.

McPherson was a successful professor by every imperial measure: tenured, published in all the right places, mentoring students who acquired the best jobs in the field. He earned enough to live on a third of his income and still travel as much as he desired throughout the industrialized world. In other words, McPherson was the perfect model of all that is wrong with the United States!

Rather than questioning the system, he was raising minor questions within the system. During the decade of his forties, he awakened to the costs of the nonnegotiable American way of life: obedience at home and oppression abroad. McPherson transformed his life from mainstream ecologist to friend of the earth and social critic.

The reading will be followed by a question and answer period.
Refreshments will be served.

Solar Grant Applications Open Until March 21 – Technicians for Sustainability

TFS’s 2012 Solar Grant – Applications Open from now Until March 21

Technicians for Sustainability (TFS) is proud to announce the opening of our 2012 Solar Grant application process. Starting immediately we will be accepting applications until March 21st, the Spring Equinox.

The TFS grant program is funded by 1% of our revenue to help non-profit groups install renewable energy systems. This program includes both matching grants as well as full grants. The matching grant calculates the retail cost of the system, subtracts the utility rebate, and then TFS pays for 50% of the remaining amount. The full grant calculates the retail cost of the system, subtracts the utility rebate, and then TFS pays for 100% of the remaining amount.

The grant is open to nonprofits in Tucson, AZ who qualify as 501(c)(3) and who share our values of sustainability. You can find more information about the solar grant itself, past grant recipients and the application materials on our website: www.tfssolar.com/about-us/community-involvement/. If there are any questions, please contact our community outreach coordinator, Tiernay Marsh at 520-740-0736 or tiernay(at)tfssolar.com.

About Technicians For Sustainability

Technicians For Sustainability (TFS) is a locally owned, mission-driven business, committed to walking their talk. They provide businesses, public institutions, and residential homeowners with high quality, clean, renewable energy systems, helping to translate environmental values into practical reality. The company employs proven technologies to meet customers’ specific needs, including solar electricity, solar hot water heating, and water harvesting. TFS has installed over a megawatt of solar power in southern Arizona. For more information about Technicians For Sustainability visit www.tfssolar.com

Tucson Time Traders – New Member Sign-up

Also see the Tucson Time Traders website at timetraders.metasofa.org

If you’re interested in joining Tucson Time Traders, please sign up below or at timetraders.metasofa.org, and come to an orientation meeting. New members must attend an orientation meeting before using the online software and trading with our timebanking community.

For assistance with joining or any questions, please email timetraders(at)sustainabletucson.org

 

Tucson Time Traders – New Member Sign-up Form

* your contact info is required, and will be kept confidential

[gravityform id=6 name=Tucson Time Traders – New Sign-up Form title=false description=false]
Thank you for registering to become a member of the Tucson Time Traders community. We’ll be getting back to you soon by email or phone, with information about the next orientation meeting for new members. Also see the Tucson Time Traders website for a schedule of our community events.

Green For All – Special Southern Arizona Coalition Event – Feb 14

Green for All and The SAGAC Organizing Committee
Invite You to Attend Our Coalition Building Training Session

Please note location has changed to the Community Food Bank, 3003 S. Country Club Rd.

Who: SAGAC, Green for All, & Tucson Allies
When: Tuesday, February 14th from 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
Where: Community Food Bank, 3003 S. Country Club Rd (east side of S. Country Club just south of 36th)

RSVP: Madeline Kiser, mkiser(at)dakotacom.net

Join us on February 14th from 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. as Green for All guides us in our efforts to build a broad based coalition to address our local issues of environment, equity, and employment, all while holding the most vulnerable people at the center of the agenda. Please come and be part of this inspiring opportunity. Please RSVP soon, because space is limited.

Training Session Priorities:
1) Connect and Bond with Allies
2) Grasp the Importance of Grassroots Power-building
3) Identify Collective Capacity
4) Begin Constructing our Coalition Model
5) Understand the National Connections to the Green Economy Agenda

In order to accommodate all of you who have already signed up for the Green for All training – and make room for those who might like to – we’ve moved the site of the training to the Community Food Bank’s Lew Murphy Conference Room.

Directions: The Community Food Bank is located at 3003 S. Country Club Rd., on the east side of S. Country Club just south of 36th. Please park anywhere in the lower or upper parking lots, and enter through the main lobby doors in the front of the building. Then proceed either up the stairs or elevator to the second floor, and enter through the door and make a left (follow the signs). The Lew Murphy Conference Room will be immediately on your left.

The Southern Arizona Green for All Coalition organizing committee:

Rosa Gonzalez, Green for All, Luis Perales, Tierra y Libertad Organization; Green for All Fellow, Eva Dong, Pima Accommodation District; Pima County Juvenile and Adult Detention Centers, Richard Fimbres, Tucson City Council Member; Pima County Adult Detention Center, Leona Davis, Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, Camila Thorndike, Community Activist, Kim Chumley, Pima County Juvenile Detention Center, Martina Dickson, Pima County Adult Detention Center, Lewis Humprheys, The Wonder of We; TEDxTucson, Josh Schachter, photographer; Finding Voice, & Madeline Kiser, Inside/Out Poetry and Sustainability Program

What Are We Planning For? – A New Advocacy Initiative

What Are We Planning For?
A Sustainable Tucson Issues Paper                                                  March 2012

Since Imagine Greater Tucson’s initiating phase began more than three years ago, Sustainable Tucson has been engaged with the IGT Project at many levels, participating in the steering, community values, outreach, and technical committees. Imagine Greater Tucson has consistently requested input and Sustainable Tucson has tried to contribute ideas in order to make IGT a more relevant and successful visioning process for the Tucson region.

The following text summarizes seven key issues which Sustainable Tucson has previously presented and which the IGT process has yet to address. This document concludes with four specific requests to modify the Imagine Greater Tucson Project.

 

1. There has been no step or focus in the IGT process to sensitize and ground the community in the context of the emerging future. The impacts of climate change, resource depletion, food security, water use, conservation of our natural environment and economic and financial crises were all avoided.

Problem:  Without a grounded understanding of the emerging context, how can we realistically connect our values to a preferred future for the region? IGT views the problem of addressing growth as disconnected from the unprecedented challenges facing us. What does it mean to envision the future with our eyes closed and our heads in the sand?

 

2. Every IGT scenario is built on doubling population and the purpose of the visioning process is to determine the preferred way this growth should happen.

Problem: If this doubling of growth does not happen, IGT will have left us less prepared to adapt to any other possible future. Planning on the basis of doubling population growth constrains the investigation of what is best for the Tucson region. Population may or may not grow as current trends are showing (See Appendix A) and far different scenarios follow from those different assumptions. In planning a sustainable future it would be prudent, considering issues of climate change and resource limitations, to be considering population “build out” or planned decrease. A doubling population may make it impossible to decrease carbon emissions enough to limit uncontrollable climate change effects – important since Tucson is frequently described as “ground zero” for the worst effects of global warming.

 

3. IGT is intended to inform the 10-year comprehensive plans of the regional jurisdictions.

Problem: If IGT is only concerned about how we shape and support growth and if growth does not happen in the next decade (See Appendix A), then what value does IGT actually offer to inform the 10-year comprehensive jurisdictional plans? Worse still is the diversion of time and energy away from addressing the coming unprecedented challenges in what may be the most critical decade of our region’s history.

IGT has surveyed the region’s “values” but again not within the present context of changing eras. These survey results can be used by the jurisdictions but they will not reflect the community’s response to what is important in a coming period of unprecedented social, environmental, and economic change. The elephant in the room that IGT does not address is how to restructure our economy without population growth being the primary economic driver.

 

4. The scope of IGT is limited to how we shape the land-uses and infrastructures for the addition of one million future residents. It is true that the existing community was asked what we value and how we should shape this future addition. But existing residents had no option to define what land-use and infrastructure options we want for ourselves.

Problem: How can we define a preferred future without including the desired changes the existing community would like to see in its mix of infrastructures, especially given that becoming more sustainable and resilient requires significant changes in existing systems? Are the existing residents’ needs and preferences for urban form not an important part of the region’s future?

 

5. The impact of debt restructuring and credit availability were not included as key indicators.

Problem: Preparing for growth and preparing for sustainability both require significant public and private investments. How can we plan for change without estimating availability of funding, especially given the unprecedented local and global credit contraction ongoing these past three years. Population increase, development, economic growth, and protecting our natural environment will all be constrained by credit availability.

 

6. Scalability of scenario features was not included as an indicator or evaluative criterion.

Problem: Regional investment capacity is inherently constrained regardless of population growth level. So it is important that for each level of actual growth, a balanced approach is taken to ensure that all infrastructure categories are adequately addressed. If the investment approach is not balanced, some systems become over-built with excess capacity and others suffer with insufficient investment and capacity. Worse yet is the lack of financial planning for maintenance and repair of both existing and newly planned infrastructures. An obvious example of the latter is our crumbling regional and neighborhood roadways described by Pima County officials as  “rapidly deteriorating”.

IGT staff response to the problematic construct of doubling population has been that if this doubling growth doesn’t happen we will simply scale the implementation of the final “preferred” scenario to what actually happens. However, if an infrastructure cannot be “smoothly” or “linearly” scaled, investment in such infrastructure may preclude other critically-needed system choices should growth not happen as projected.

Thus, the scalability value of features in the alternative scenarios should be presented so that community participants can choose their preferred scenario, in part, by the characteristic of scenario features to be scalable or adaptable to lower growth levels.

 

7.  The 3 IGT scenarios  compare indicators with the reference projection or “trend” scenario, not with current conditions.

Problem:  Because the reference scenario is constructed in such a way as to demonstrate the unsustainability of continuing “business as usual”, the alternative future scenarios automatically show “improvement” over the reference scenario.

Not comparing the 3 alternative scenarios to current conditions – conditions that people can experience and verify now – obscures the very real possibility that for important indicators like greenhouse gas emissions, the values will actually get worse not better under what becomes the final “preferred” scenario.

In the case of greenhouse gases, the goal of regional climate change mitigation planning is to reduce emissions by at least 80% below current levels. It would appear these reductions cannot be met by adding population, even at greatly improved infrastructure efficiencies.

 

Bottomline Conclusion:  The intent of the IGT project to educate the community about “smart growth” concepts and how they can be applied to jurisdictional planning is by itself a worthy effort. Unfortunately, this should have happened 10 to 15 years ago when the region was experiencing the pressures of rapid growth.  Further, these concepts have not been re-calibrated to embody new constraints such as current greenhouse gas reduction targets.

The biggest challenge now is: how do we maintain prosperity and quality of life and environment without continuous population growth and how will we adapt to the unprecedented sustainability challenges in the coming decade.

 

We invite other individuals and organizations to join us in requesting that IGT:

 

1) Directly address and facilitate greater regional understanding of the unprecedented challenges which we face including climate change, peak oil, resource depletion, food security, water use, economic crises, and conservation of our natural environment.

2) Augment its future scenarios to include at least one scenario that considers population stabilization or “build-out” at no or low growth levels.

3) Broaden the scope of participant choices to register “optimal population levels“ along with their scenario preferences.

4) Compare indicators of the alternative future scenarios to actual current conditions, not hypothetical projections.

To support and add your endorsement of this proposal, please post a comment below.

 

Appendix A: Evidence that a new era without growth has begun

The IGT Project’s assertions that regional population “is projected to double in the coming decades” or more recently,  “is expected to grow by as many as 1 million people during this century” are misleading and not substantiated by any facts. At recent rates of change, our population would not even double in a hundred years – a timeframe that climate change and resource depletion research indicate would likely be unfavorable for growth.

For many decades up until five years ago, Arizona and the Tucson region did double their populations at rapid rates: every 20 and 35 years respectively. A major task for every jurisdiction was to manage the pressures and impacts of this growth dynamic. But the rapid growth era has ended as we find increasing evidence that the factors governing growth have indeed changed.

For four years, Americans have been moving less, driving less, and in great numbers, walking away from homes worth less than the mortgage obligation.  The 2010 US Census shows that the Tucson region had less population in 2010 than the 1 million 2006 population estimate. CNBC News recently named Tucson, “The Emptiest City in America” because of high apartment and home vacancies. UA economist Marshall Vest recently revealed that the Tucson region lost net population in 2011.

Declining regional home prices have erased ten years of gains and experts conclude that the local housing market will never return to past levels of activity. All of this points to the likelihood of a  “growthless” decade ahead, perhaps even longer.

www.SustainableTucson.org

What Are We Planning For? – A New Advocacy Initiative

A Sustainable Tucson Issues Paper
March 2012

Since Imagine Greater Tucson’s initiating phase began more than three years ago, Sustainable Tucson has been engaged with Imagine Greater Tucson at many levels, participating in the steering, community values, outreach, and technical committees. Imagine Greater Tucson has consistently requested input and Sustainable Tucson has tried to contribute ideas in order to make IGT a more relevant and successful visioning process for the Tucson region. The following text summarizes seven key issues which Sustainable Tucson has previously presented and which the IGT process has yet to address. This document concludes with four specific requests to modify the Imagine Greater Tucson Project…

Go here to read and comment on “What Are We Planning For?

Also see Reconsider RTA Broadway Project – Public press conference – April 30

and the Sustainable Tucson general meeting, ST May Meeting – Prosperity Without Growth – May 14

Valentine trade event – Amethyst Luna Co-op – Feb 11

We invite you to attend a Valentine trade event in Tucson on February 11, 2012. Please share this information with members of your organization and with people you know in the community.

Support co-operatives and local cottage industries, and find free trade gifts for the special someone for Valentine’s Day.

We look forward to having you with us.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day

Many Beautiful items for you to choose from!

Organic Coffee from Central America
and Mora Berry Wine

Beautiful hand made woven blouses,
Table cloths, table runners and
Pocketbooks. Plus a variety of vendors
With other products/services

Saturday, February 11
10:00 AM to 5 PM
Radisson Hotel
6555 Speedway Blvd

Vendor tables are available. The cost is $25 and space is limited. Community people, small businesses and non-profit organizations are welcome.

Contact: Amethyst Luna Co-op, Martha Dominguez, 520-822-9302, marthacd(at)earthlink.net

“Sustaining Earth, Sustaining Soul” – Southern Arizona Friends of Jung – Feb 10

On Fri Feb 10 the Southern Arizona Friends of Jung are sponsoring a talk “Sustaining Earth, Sustaining Soul” by Jeff Kiehl PhD, a Senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research & a Jungian Analyst.

Visit our website SAFOJ.org for details.

Thanks, Sylvia Simpson

Tucson Aquaponics Systems Tour – Feb 11

The first TAPST (Tucson Aquaponics Systems Tour) is officially happening!  Saturday 2/11/12 all around Tucson, 9AM-3PM.  The full range of aquaponics systems will be featured.  So far we have at least 10 systems on 5 different sites.  

Here is a link to more info: http://www.facebook.com/events/239007656182410/

Free bike tuneups & more – Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market – Feb 16

Ride your bike to the Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market and Menlo Bike Mechanics will provide FREE bike tune-ups!

You can also enjoy:

* Live Music
* A Cooking Demo
* Bike Accessories
* Advice on Bike Maintenance

When: Feb. 16th 3-6pm
Where: Mercado San Agustin, 100 S. Avenida Del Convento, West of 1-10 near Congress/Grande
For more information call: 822-3304