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Transition Albany meeting notes - December 18, 2012

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Participants: Jay Steinhardt, Laura Skochko, David Borton, David Barnard, Ryan Rose, Pete Looker, Dave Hochfelder, Ruth Ann Smalley, Rebekah Rice, Terrence Rusche, Dennis Karius, Fred Elfenbein, Mark Schaeffer, Frank Sullivan, Rennie Fountain, Lynn Dennis, Sandy Steubing (scribe). Welcome to newcomer Laura!


Since we had reps from Transition Schenectady and Transition Troy we began with reports. Rennie made the report for TS. TS has received and begun to garden a land grant within Vale Cemetery from Dr. Bernie McEvoy.

David Borton reported from TT that their IG meets every week! TT has the following Working Groups: Energy, Composting, Food, Hearth and Soul. PLUS, they have an active economic resilience circle of Troy Shares which is an extended barter system.

Transition Albany and Issue Advocacy:

This discussion took the bulk of our meeting. Some of us thought lobbying the government was a necessary part of outreach and education. Some of us thought it would be off-putting to some potential Transioneers. All thought lobbying should not be Transition’s number one priority. Ultimately we discussed our decision making progress with the help of Amber Ponton’s email (Rob Hopkins Assistant). She delineated between consensus which is basically a unanimous decision and consent in which some may disagree but not to the point that they would block the initiative. Dave suggested the following criteria for our decision making:

First, do no harm, after which we consider:

1. Will this initiative or decision build community?

2. Will this initiative or decision build resilience?

3. Will this initiative or decision educate the public on the environment or energy issues?

Styrofoam Ban:

The City passed a resolution banning styrofoam with take-out food but only the County has enforcement capabilities through the Dept. of Health. Sandy reported that she and two others testified in favor of the ban during the public comments. We will need a swelling of public support at the County meetings on the 2nd Monday of the month at 6:30 at the County Court House on 16 Eagle St. Contact Sandy at ssteub@gmail.com for more info.

Channel Albany Working Group:

Fred, Lynn, Dennis, Jay and Sandy are in the Public Access Working Group. When we met we decided to network with other activist groups to produce an ongoing Activist program. Robb Smith from FUUSA joined us at our first meeting. Tape is not an issue but studio access and training on the equipment is. We will next meet at 5:30 on Wed.,12/19 at City Hall when Channel Albany’s Board meets to make our needs known to them. Jay has the time to edit. Ryan has some editing s/w he’d be willing to share. Dennis has the raw footage of our September taping that he’ll get to Jay. Rebekah has connections with the Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy where there are interns.

Garden Exchange Working Group:

This is new working group led by Dave H. with Ryan, Terrence, Sandy, Fred, and Frank on the team. The Garden Exchange will offer a program in which Albanians with land who don’t wish to garden offer this land to Albanians without land but who do wish to garden. Dave asked those of us on the team to look at the two software programs that can help us with the data.

Community Mapping Working Group:

Similar to the map Michael Cellini began and that Albany 2030 is working on. We have the following volunteers for this Working Group - Ruth Ann, Terrence, Frank, Lynn, and Rennie. Rebekah said she’d ask if anyone at the CD Permaculture Guild would like to lead this group.

Outreach and Education Working Group:

The volunteers for this group are Lynn, Dave, Rennie, and Sandy. At this time we will not meet as a separate group but focus our attention on the Styrofoam ban and upgrading our tabling presence. Towards that end Sandy has purchased a Sharp projector and an Energy coffee table book both which will hopefully draw folks to our table.


Ryan’s hosting a Beginning of the World pot luck and bon fire Solstice celebration this Friday at his house, 337 1/2 Madison Ave. starting about 6 PM.

Dave has a limited number of Paw Paw seeds. Contact him at xxmugginsxx@gmail.com if interested.

Free Permaculture classes by Transitioner, Rebekah Rice given every Thursday from 7-9 PM until March at The Furnace. For more info contact Rebehah at rebekahrice@gmail.com.

Bill McKibben will be at The Egg on Monday, 1/7/12. We believe the tickets are sold out but Transition may be able to table.

Anti-Fracking demonstration at 11A in the Concourse on 1/9/12 Sunday Jan. 13th at 11:45 A at FUUSA is the Two Row Wampum campaign presentation. In 2013 there will be a celebration of the 400th anniversary of the peace treaty between the Iroquois and the European settlers. The emphasis of this celebration will be on the environment and equal rights.

MLK Day on 1/21 from 10 - 2P at Hackett Middle School. A MLK Labor Celebration titled MLK, Labor and the Fight for Environmental Justice. For more info contact me, Sandy, or Tam Kistler at tamkistler@nycap.rr.com.

Jorgen Randers of Limits to Growth will be brought to Albany by the UAlbany Greens sometime in Feb. UAlbany is in need of financial contributions to make this happen.

If anyone wants to join one of our Transition Albany Working Groups, please contact me, Sandy, at ssteub@gmail.com.

Our next TA meeting is Tuesday Jan. 15th, 7P at FUUSA.

NOFA’s winter conference will be at the Saratoga City Center from 1/25 - 1/27.

The Hat:

We took in $21. above the $15 we pay to FUUSA for room rental.

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