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Aside

UNLIKELY SUSPECTS – DEEP OUTREACH

 The Curious Marriage of Two Networks

that are Made for Each Other

Resilient Response to Extreme Weather Births

Transition-Ham Radio “Practice Networks”

We all cherish our comfort zones. We tend to move in social circles that mirror and reaffirm our own interests, needs and identities. Yet, intent on crafting “resilient responses to extreme weather,” Transitioners from Connecticut to Virginia are happily stretching into what is for most, the unchartered territory of electrical engineering and applied physics! That is…..Ham Radio Operations!

ham web

Transitioners are engaged in very deliberate unlikely suspect outreach with a pivotal purpose as climate change-induced extreme weather becomes more prevalent. The Mid-Atlantic Transition network (MATH) is working closely throughout the region with the amateur radio clubs of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) to build-out a Transition-ham radio “practice network.”  In these times of rolling brown outs, prolonged and more frequent power outages, our intent is to become as facile with ham radio operations as we are with cell phones.

To that end MATH encourages Transitioners to obtain an amateur radio, Technician’s Class License and is striking up rewarding relationships with a welcoming regional community of amateur radio operators. (Due to the versatility and power available to its operators, the amateur radio service is regulated by the federal government. All “hams,” as operators are called, must pass an exam based on an easily accessible text and be licensed by the FCC.) We anticipate arranging creative programming whereby at designated times Mid-Atlantic Transition initiating group members can tune into specific frequencies up and down the east coast for regular information exchanges.

Accomplishing this goal requires that we take a giant leap out of our comfort zones into the world of “homebrew rigs,” and with the help of seasoned operators, build-out our “ham shacks.” Admittedly, we’ve found that some amateur radio clubs convey the sense of a hardcore technical subculture. However through Unlikely Suspects – Deep Outreach lenses, “hardcore subculture” can be interpreted as a time honored ham tradition of mutual support and solidarity. Unconditional openness is the key to deepened outreach. Transitioners can help erase the ham operator stereotype of the quirky-loner hunched over crackly sputtering radio gear in the grey light of a dimly lit back room.Well, the crackly sound is actually in fact a reality. That hallmark sound, … the spinning dials, buttons and knobs provide the authentic “ham experience.” But that’s as far as the stereotype goes. As newcomers, Mid-Atlantic Transitioners are being welcomed with open arms into the technical and social world of amateur radio as hams in local clubs volunteer to serve as mentors; especially among those who build their own gear…. “homebrew rigs.”

Keith Tilley ARES (Amateur Emergency Radio Service) Coordinator for Ulster County, New York is going the extra mile to connect Resilience Response- Ham RadioMATH Council members representing seven Mid-Atlantic States and their initiatives to local amateur radio clubs in the region. Keith got the ball rolling by arranging for MATH representatives to attend a local “Field Day” on June 28th when they gather for a meeting in a New Jersey location that is central to MATH network members who hail from seven states. Annually on Field Day more than 35,000 ham radio operators across the country plan a barbeque and camping weekend around 24 hours of continuous broadcasting on as many amateur bands as possible. Field Day ispartly to educate the public about ham radio,…. but mostly to have fun.

Transitioners  are part of a wave of thousands of Americans who are lining up in droves to relearn failsafe, Resiliency Plan B “back-up skills;” among them, amateur radio, the Dean of communication systems that took the country by storm over a hundred years ago. The country is witnessing what we would call a spontaneous “reskilling” in the domain of ham radio, i.e., bringing highly practical heirloom technology forward to the present in the service of a better quality, more resilient future.

In fact, ham radio licenses in the United States are at an all-time high of 717,200 according to the FCC with nearly 40,000 new ones in the last five years, and 16,000 + just in the last year.

Savvy folks who are weathering back-to-back storms and prolonged power outages proactively anticipate more frequent, future weather-related communications interruptions. When cell towers, police, fire, communications and television antennas were lost in lower Manhattan during the 911 crisis, more than 500 trained amateur radio operators became the communications back up for emergency operations 24 hours a day. When President Bush needed to contact the Mayor of New Orleans during hurricane Katrina, amateur radio was the only option for getting messages through.

The new wave of amateur radio operators know that when all other conventional means of communication fails, ham radio keeps friends, families and communities connected and informed. The spike in amateur radio licenses reflects the wise forethought of those who see the handwriting on the seawalls and are ready to stay connected when loved ones and neighbors will need them the most.In addition to amateur radio’s pragmatic application during extreme weather challenges, the ham licensure surge reflects a growing awareness that true resiliency requires knowing how take full responsibility for our own lives.

Resilience Response- Ham Radio   So if at a Transition gathering you overhear one Transitioner asking another, “How long have you had your ticket?” …or waxing long about shooting DX on 160-10, busting pileups, and confiding that Elmering is what it’s really all about,”…… you’ll know that “Immersion Phase I” of our Transition-Ham Radio Practice Net mission will have been accomplished.

We are deeply grateful to this newfound network of friends for their intense dedication to their craft, welcoming openness, and willingness to take Transitioners under their mentorship wings. Ours is a perfect mission-match of otherwise unlikely suspects!

More Information: The American Radio Relay League (ARRL), National Association for Amateur Radio (www.arrl.org)

 

Pamela Boyce Simms is a Transition Trainer and Convenes, the Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub (MATH),

Photographs by Jim Peppler

 

Aside

Happiness & Quality of Life Indicators

Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub (MATH) Council Celebrates

Happiness, Wellbeing, and

Underscores“Genuine Progress (GPI)”

 Earth Day to May Festivities Around the Mid-Atlantic Region

 Genuine progress is the measure of what really counts. Happiness, wellbeing, measures of progress that factor in the true cost of maintaining a

MATH Council Group Photo #2 - 2013

MATH Council Members

healthy and just quality of life, drove 10 days of celebrations from Earth Day to May Day orchestrated by Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub (MATH) Council members in CT, NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, and VA. MATH Council festivities, from a happy-dance flashmob in Pennsylvania, to Resilient Response storytelling & improvisational theater, foraging & feasting on woodland edibles in New York; honoring the symbiosis between Transition and Timebanking in New Jersey; to a “fire your dryer” campaign and a Transition Ecovillage debut in Virginia, underscored that superb quality relationship rather than growth is THE pivotal determinant of progress. 

         MATH Council member activities demonstrated that there is a better way to measure progress than the limited GDP metric that measures the way money is spent rather than what the value of what  we spend it on. The Happiness Index, Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) and the Social Progress Index are among tools that rigorously and comprehensively measure the environmental and social costs and benefits of economic activity.
        The MATH Council, comprised of 24 representatives from the seven Mid-Atlantic States, is partnering with the Maryland Field Office of the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), Washington DC to serve as a regional “focus group/network.”  MATH Council members will tap into Transition networks in their respective states to facilitate local accessibility of the IPS, New Economy: Alternative Economic Indicators Project work on ways to “measure what we treasure.”
Transition Rosendale NY organized 10 days of food-related wellbeing activities from Earth Day to May Day that included local farmers,  an educational program for school children, wildcrafting, plant identification, yogurt making, foraging & feasting, bread making, sprouting, and  food pantries that partook of sprouts, bread and freshly foraged foods that were the products of the week’s activities.

Spring Food Festival

Foraging #1

foraging lesson #2

 

 

 

The MATH, Transition-Interfaith Extreme Weather Working Group and Hudson River Playback Theater presented Resilience Stories Evenings in Kingston and Dobbs Ferry, NY. The goal of the Resilience Stories is to generate robust individual and community resilience, defined as the ability to successfully withstand and rebound after a shock to the system.

Resilience StoryTelling

Storyteller Peter Blum

hrpt resilienc stories dobbs ferryResilience StoryTelling

 

Resilience StoryTelling

Storyteller Barbara Hebert

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transition Newton, New Jersey Earth Day events highlighted local food resiliency and the community-building boost that Timebanking gives to Transition initiatives.

Transition Newton #2

Transition Newton #3Transition Newton #1
ClotheslineTransition  Charlottesville Ablemarle “let it all hang out” at their Earth Day Week Pop-up Clothesline Party to promote “Firing Your Dryer.” T C'ville - Earth Day -to-May-Day Fire Your Dryer Event Juggling uni-cyclists, the Green Granny Choir, laundry-soap makers and Better World Betty were on hand to help Transition C’ville demonstrate why using a clothesline reduces carbon footprints, cuts energy bills, and provides time outside to socialize with neighbors.
The historic Lochlyn House hosted the “Coming Out” party for Charolotteville’s Transition Eco-Village during Earth Day Week.
Charlottesville Eco-Village Earth Week #1The  public debut included tours of the property, a presentation by the newly formed Ecovillage Board, a sumptuous dessert bar, and lively conversation among all the guests.

 

 

 

 

Photographs by Jim Peppler, Kim Latham, Sari Steuber, Joanie Freeman

Aside

RESILIENCE STORIES

Resilient Response to Extreme Weather Working Group

TRANSITION & INTERFAITH PARTNERS 

RESILIENCE STORIES

click here for Resiliencestories.net website

Presented by

NYS State Storytellers, the Hudson River Playback Theater, 

The Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub (MATH) and the Woodstock Timebank

You’re Invited to Tell a Resilience Story &

Enjoy a Storytelling-Theater Evening

Opening Cafe Performances, Earth Week:
         Ulster County Storytelling-Theatre Cafe
When:   Wednesday, April 23, 6:00-8:30 PM
Event:   Potluck & Storytelling -Theater Evening
Where:  Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Catskills,
                 320 Sawkill Road, Kingston, 12401 
Information: resiliencestories.net, resiliencestorytelling@gmail.com
RSVP: resiliencestorytelling@gmail.com
     
     Westchester County Storytelling-Theatre Cafe
When:  Friday, April 25, 5:30-8:45 PM
Event:  Potluck & Storytelling -Theater Evening
Where: Curious on Hudson, 145 Palisade Street, #412b, Dobbs Ferry, NY,
                10522
Information:  resiliencestories.net
RSVP: resiliencestorytelling@gmail.com
INFORMATION ABOUT SUBMITTING STORIES & STORYTELLING COACHING AT: resiliencestories.net, resiliencestorytelling@gmail.com 

 

Neighbor-to-Neighbor Resilient Response to Extreme Weather

MATH logo (1) (2)MATH logo (1) (2)

Community-Caring-Connection-Logo_v2

New York State Interfaith and Transition Town Communities

 The Woodstock Timebank

Resilient Response to Extreme Weather Working Group

PRIVATE SCREENING @ REGAL CINEMAS

NOAH

Starring, Russell Crowe & Anthony Hopkins

MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

Potluck Supper Discussion: Temple Emanuel, 243 Albany Avenue, Kingston

  • 5:30-6:00: Doors open, potluck supper served (Dairy-vegetarian dishes)
  • 6:00-7:00: Potluck & Noah & Resilient Response Discussion

Private Film Screening: 7:30 PM, Regal Cinemas, Ulster Avenue, Kingston

Tickets: $10 Private Screening Movie Tickets must be purchased in advance            Woodstocktimebank.org – use donation tab

For more information:                   (646) 241-8386
Pamela Boyce Simms:                      transitionmidatlantic.pbs@gmail.co
Reverend Virginia Carle:                 revmommy2001@yahoo.com

This event is supported by the Resilient Response to Extreme Weather Working Group, representatives from Transition Town networks, Ulster and Dutchess and Columbia County interfaith communities, and communications systems resource persons. The group is developing ways to collectively interconnect their networks on an ongoing basis to progressively build resilient community bonds as the best insurance in extreme weather situations. All are cordially invited, if possible, to make the potluck supper a green, BYOE (Bring Your Own Everything event: bring your plate, cup & utensils)

About the Transition Environmental Movement: Transition is a grassroots neighbor-to-neighbor environmental movement that moves towns from dependence on fossil fuels toward localized resiliency. Transition offers a positive environmental approach that focuses on local solutions and building community. More information@: transitionus.org, transitionmidatlantic.org

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

NEIGHBOR-TO-NEIGHBOR RESILIENT RESPONSE TO EXTREME WEATHER

          At its best, transitioning simultaneously honors the past, is keenly aware of what is emerging in the present moment, and prepares us for a radically transformed future. We vision a simpler, superb-quality future even as we sensibly prepare to navigate the turbulent transformation. The message in the present moment is clear. Frigid cold snaps, record-breaking heat waves, floods of increasing frequency, and crop failures from either too much or too little water are upon us now.

Neighbor-to-Neighbor Resilient Response, a: 1) Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub (MATH), 2) Ulster and Dutchess County Interfaith Community, 3) Community Caring Connection (C3) People’s Reporter System, and 4) Woodstock Time Bank collaboration, invites New Yorkers to get through the uncharted narrows of accelerated extreme weather victoriously, in community.

         Resilient Response is about getting to know our neighbors as we:

  1. Purposefully care for each other’s emotional wellbeing,
  2. Implement a multi-tiered non-emergency and emergency communications system, and,
  3. Train for mindful preparedness with emergency management professionals.

Get to Know Your Neighbors: Would you feel comfortable turning to the people who live in closest proximity to you for help in an extreme weather crisis? Do you have opportunities to really talk with your next-door neighbors and the people living on your street?

0513 thea TB Banner

New York State residents have witnessed time and time again that neighbors are the “first responders” in extreme weather emergencies. Encouraging Ulster and Dutchess County residents to know their neighbors is the first goal of Resilient Response.

Authorities, often arriving woefully late in emergency situations, warn concerned citizens, “We’ve got this. Stand down. Stay inside so you don’t make matters worse.” Yet residents who used their chain saws to free up tree-blocked roads, who knocked on doors telling others of services available nearby, or invited neighbors to share their generators were the responders who relieved suffering after the recent Superstorms.

Neighbor response consistently proves to be highly effective during extreme weather crises while government action is constricted by: 1) uncoordinated interagency information sharing, 2) insurance liability issues, 3) inability to officially request assistance from pivotal resources, such as faith communities, toward which residents invariably and immediately turn.

Community members also discovered that government and mega relief agencies measure success during emergencies in vastly different ways than residents. Agencies may consider a low death toll a resounding success, while householders declare victory when they don’t have to be without running water or electricity for two weeks; which was the case for tens of thousands of New Yorkers. Resilient Response addresses the householder level of emergency experience.

           A Resilient Response Working Group of representatives from local and regional Transition Town networks, Ulster and Dutchess County interfaith communities, and communications systems resource persons formed on January 20, 2014. The group is developing ways (see below) to collectively interconnect their networks on an ongoing basis to progressively build resilient community bonds.

When Things Fall Apart We Tell Resilience Stories. Periods of transition can be disorienting and anxiety producing as once reliable patterns and institutions disintegrate around us. We can respond by embracing constructive ways to face and work through the uncertainty and anguish together.Storytelling Graphic

The Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub (MATH), the Hudson River Playback Theater, professional NYS Storytellers, and the Woodstock Timebank have partnered to create Resilience Stories, a storytelling platform. This spring, Resilience Stories will begin providing intimate, café and salon storytelling entertainment forums throughout Ulster and Dutchess County where residents can share stories and support each other through challenging times.

Layered Non-emergency and Emergency Communications System development is also on the Resilient Response docket.       

 The Community Caring Connection, (C3) People’s Reporter System, supported by MATH, addresses the ongoing need for better communication with municipal agencies about unmet community needs. Once identified, needs will be matched to appropriate resources, prioritizing community members in need of special assistance.Community-Caring-Connection-Logo_v2

The C3 database and smartphone application allow anyone to note a community problem by cell phone, (e.g., potholes, road erosion, dangerous trees, etc.) submit a report, and a picture of the problem; switching into high gear for critical information during emergencies.

The Resilient Response Working Group invites neighbors to map (non-emergency and emergency) community resources to build-out the C3 clearinghouse.

The second tier of “grid-down” emergency communications preparation supported by Woodstock Timebank members and MATH, involves the community development of satellite phone and ham radio classes, clubs and networks.

Preparedness Education and Training: New Yorkers who fended for themselves and spontaneously took care of each other during the superstorms could be doubly as effective if they are emergency-trained. An EPA-FEMA Training on, “Community Engagement after Natural Disasters” on January 27-28 initiated the Resilient Response Working Group’s process of connecting their networks with training from relief agency resources. The intent is to cultivate an informed grassroots cadre of, “peoples’ emergency-preparedness leadership.”

Resilient Response to Extreme Weather encourages Transitioners, friends and neighbors to come up to meet, compliment, and supplement government emergency response at the grassroots level. We are challenged to proactively demonstrate personal and collective resilience.

“If we wait for the government it will be too little too late; If we act as individuals it will be to little; but if we act as communities, it might just be enough, just in time”
-Transition Towns Co-founder Rob Hopkins-
Aside

Resilient Response to Extreme Weather NOAH Event

MATH logo (1) (2)MATH logo (1) (2)Community-Caring-Connection-Logo_v2

New York State Interfaith and Transition Town Communities

 The Woodstock Timebank

Resilient Response to Extreme Weather Working Group

PRIVATE SCREENING @ REGAL CINEMAS

NOAH

Starring, Russell Crowe & Anthony Hopkins

MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

Potluck Supper Discussion: Temple Emanuel, 243 Albany Avenue, Kingston

  • 5:30-6:00: Doors open, potluck supper served (Dairy-vegetarian dishes)
  • 6:00-7:00: Potluck & Noah & Resilient Response Discussion

Private Film Screening: 7:30 PM, Regal Cinemas, Ulster Avenue, Kingston

Tickets: $10 Private Screening Movie Tickets must be purchased in advance at -             Woodstocktimebank.org – use donation tab

For more information:                   (646) 241-8386
Pamela Boyce Simms:                      transitionmidatlantic.pbs@gmail.co
Reverend Virginia Carle:                   revmommy2001@yahoo.com

This event is supported by the Resilient Response to Extreme Weather Working Group, representatives from Transition Town networks, Ulster and Dutchess and Columbia County interfaith communities, and communications systems resource persons. The group is developing ways to collectively interconnect their networks on an ongoing basis to progressively build resilient community bonds as the best insurance in extreme weather situations. All are cordially invited, if possible, to make the potluck supper a green, BYOE (Bring Your Own Everything event: bring your plate, cup & utensils)

About the Transition Environmental Movement: Transition is a grassroots neighbor-to-neighbor environmental movement that moves towns from dependence on fossil fuels toward localized resiliency. Transition offers a positive environmental approach that focuses on local solutions and building community. More information@: transitionus.org, transitionmidatlantic.org

Aside

Resiliency Response to Extreme Weather/Climate Change

Red Cross LogoMATH logo (1) (2)

Community-Caring-Connection-Logo_v2 Resiliency Response to Climate Change Project 

 Community Caring Connection (C3) Peoples’ Reporter System

PLANNING SESSION ~ JANUARY 20, 2:00-5:00PM  ~ YMCA  Kingston, NY

Background

Hurricanes Sandy and Irene made it abundantly clear to New York State residents that friends and neighbors are indeed the “first responders” in extreme weather emergencies.  New Yorkers who fended for themselves and spontaneously took care of each other during the last two superstorms could be doubly as effective if they are emergency-trained and empowered by effective communications systems in anticipation of extreme weather which will increase in frequency and intensity over the coming decades.

Effective ad hoc citizen action during recent weather crises took place against the backdrop of responses from government agencies that were constricted by:

1)    uncoordinated interagency information sharing systems,
2)    insurance liability issues,
3)    inability to officially request assistance from pivotal community resources such as houses of worship toward which citizenry invariably and immediately turn.

        Community members also discovered during the hurricanes that government and mega relief agencies measure success during emergencies in vastly different ways than citizens. Agencies may consider a low death toll a resounding success, while at the householder level, success is measured by not having to be without running water or electricity for two weeks; which was the case for tens of thousands of New Yorkers.  MATH’s Resiliency Response to Climate Change Project speaks to the householder, homesteader level of emergency experience.

Project Partners

  • The Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub (MATH)
  • Transitioners, friends and neighbors
  • Community Caring Connection (C3) People’s Reporter System created by Ulster County NY, IT executives Bob Callahan, John Gillet and Jesse Jones in response to their own experiences with extreme weather
  • The American Red Cross, of Northeastern New York
  • The Interfaith Community

Project Goal: The Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub (MATH) and its partners encourage Transitioners, friends and neighbors to come up to meet, compliment, and supplement government emergency response at the grassroots level. The Resiliency Response to Climate Change Project prepares community members to demonstrate personal and collective resiliency in non-emergency as well as emergency situations.

Project Objectives: Through education, training, and implementation of the interactive C3 People’s Reporter System, the partners intend to address the need:

1)    to cultivate an informed grassroots cadre of, “peoples’ emergency-preparedness leadership,”
2)    for better communication with municipal entities and agencies about unmet community needs,
3)    to match citizen needs to appropriate agencies and resources,
4)    to address the situations of those with special requirements (people with physical, mental, or medical challenges), in times of severe stress, as in the case of an extreme weather event. 

NEXT STEPS

  • Partners plan and initiate a Red Cross training series for Transitioners, Interfaith leaders and members of their communities in emergency management processes and procedures
  • A cadre of 10-15 Interfaith leaders and Transitioners will be trained on     January 20, 2014 in Kingston NY. People in this group will be Resiliency   Response point persons for their communities, and potentially trainers who turnkey  information to their networks. 
  • Community Caring Connection (C3) Participant Recruitment: Community-building, getting to know one’s neighbors in non-emergency times, will be the foundation of C3 and will involve regular community gatherings. The Interfaith Councils and the Woodstock Timebank will team with Transitioners in this effort.
  • Create a (C3) Smartphone Application: Anyone with a cell phone would be able to note a problem within the community (potholes, road erosion, guardrail damage, dangerous trees, etc.) and submit a report about the issue, potentially accompanied by an image taken with a smartphone and a specific location, so that agencies can better keep track of and prioritize “things to do” in the community. Successful models are in place in an increasing number of cities and municipalities (Portland, OR; Philadelphia, PA; Toronto, ON; Pensacola, FL; Bloomington, IN). 
  •  Invite neighbors to map community assets and resources to build-out the Community Caring Connection (C3) clearinghouse.
    • Non-emergency
    • Emergency
  • Scale up: MATH Council members representing Transition initiatives in the Mid-Atlantic states may choose to simultaneously implement the Resiliency Response to Climate  Change Project in their NJ, PA, MD, DE, VA, CT communities. Therefore: Data from the region will be collected, processed and best practices shared.
  • Specifications will be designed for a larger system facilitating replication as an open source process so that it an unlimited number of communities could adapt the model to the needs of their localities.
  • Continue to test, evaluate, refine and share the MATH Resiliency Response  Project and the C3 system.

~We hope you’ll join us in this timely community-building adventure~

Pamela Boyce Simms,      Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub (MATH)
Jesse Jones,                          Community Caring Connection (C3)
Bob Callahan,                       Community Caring Connection (C3)
John Gillett,                         Community Caring Connection (C3)
Michael Raphael,                American Red Cross

Waterways Reskilling Retrospective

 

 Hudson Riverkeeper Paul GallayPreserving the Past to Serve
Preserving the Past to Serve
 The “Transitioned” Future  
 Speakers & Reskillers Who Helped Us Envision……

      Imagine waking up tomorrow in a future, post-carbon, environmentally sustainable and transitioned world. What in your surroundings on the banks of your river or creek has changed as you open your eyes to greet the new morning? What sights, scents and sounds fill your senses upon rising? Take a long, slow breath. Is the texture of the air entering your lungs different? How will you travel, to what type of work environment? What transformations will have occurred in our region’s waterways, and in your relationship to them in a transitioned future?

 Clearwater Environmental Director, Manna Jo Greene

      Once upon a time, commerce, power generation, and the stunning beauty of the rivers, tributaries and estuaries breathed life into our towns. As we put the brakes on environmental degradation, we are called to create new stories and prioritize: slower, lower-tech, smaller-scale, relationship-driven ways of living in harmony with the magnificent waterways that have supported us for generations. What kind of sustainable waterways culture do we want to foster?

                 Whatever We Can Envision, We Can Manifest

     Jim Kricker

Envisioning a transitioned future is key to its manifestation. Consider what slower, lower-tech, smaller-scale use of waterways would look like and how we might reshuffle our priorities to

 Bill Sharp
Transition State College PA

usher that vision into reality. Rest your mind on a fresh, healthy, simpler, vibrant quality of life lived on pristine waterways teaming with nutritious fish, carrying carbon neutral commercial transport vessels, powering homes and hamlets with renewable energy.

          Whatever we can clearly see in our mind’s eye we are empowered to create. A reskilling facilitates visioning by bringing us, “back to the future.” Reskillings turn back the clock to offer hands-on experiential engagement with heirloom skills and technologies that we can reactivate and refine in order to protect the environment in the future.

 Clearwater Captain
Nick Rogers 

 Andy Willner, Founder-NY/NJ Baykeeper

      The Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub (MATH) Waterways Reskilling on November 23 at SUNY New Paltz showcased the vast renewable energy generation and carbon neutral commercial transport potential of regional waterways and the work of those who safeguard them.

 Mark Lowery
NYS DEC Office of Climate Change
      The Reskilling demonstrated the real time reintroduction of revitalized sail-freight: the use of wooden sailing barges for the transport of goods along the inland waters of river valleys, and small scale hydropower generation that exemplify ecologically sound, micro-scale technologies. We know these methods work.
         The deeper challenge Reskillers take on is empowering friends and neighbors to embrace the lifestyle changes needed for these powered-down approaches be viable and affect change.
Scott Kellogg, The Radix Center

Waterways Reskilling: Back to the Carbon Neutral Future

Heirloom Technologies and Modern Know-how Create an Environmentally Sound Future for the Hudson River, her Tributaries and Estuaries

Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub (MATH) &

SUNY New Paltz Environmental Task Force

November 23: The Waterways Reskilling features the carbon neutral, Vermont Sail Freight Project, Hydropower, Boat-building and Waterwheel Restoration, Sustainable Fisheries, Hudson River Port and Dock Rehabilitation and Access, Green Colleges Forums:  Co-sponsors, The Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub (MATH) in collaboration with the SUNY New Paltz Environmental Task Force will bring together those concerned with the quality, and carbon-neutral use of the Hudson River and regional waterways at a Waterways Reskilling,10:00 AM–5:00 PM. A Transition Reskilling turns back the clock to reclaim, demonstrate and exhibit skills and “slow” technologies prevalent generations ago, and fuse these with modern know-how to protect the environment in the future. SUNY New Paltz Lecture

Speakers include: Vermont Sail Freight Project Founder Erik Andrus, Hudson Riverkeeper Paul Gallay, Ann Loeding of the Hudson River Maritime Museum and Empire State Maritime Alliance, Clearwater Environmental Director, Manna Jo Green, NY/NJ Baykeeper Founder, Andrew Willner, Radix Center Executive Director Scott Kellog, Mark Lowery, NYS DEC Office of Climate Change, Sarah Bower, Windsor Machinery.

The work of Jim Kricker’s Rondout Woodworking, and small, direct hydropower companies throughout the region will be featured. The Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub (MATH) will showcase the vast energy generation and transportation potential of New York and Mid-Atlantic regional waterways and the work of those who safeguard them.

New York and Mid-Atlantic region waterkeepers, and activists, boat builders, millwrights, students, direct hydropower resource persons, woodworkers, and concerned citizens are invited to:  panel discussions, participate in talks, raise public awareness about their work, exhibit their projects. Share their materials and passion for protecting and safely using our majestic waterways with colleagues and the public. Enjoy learning heirloom skills, music, films, engaging conversations and information sessions about micro-hydropower, sail freight, woodworking and boat-building. Educate, advertise, exhibit, participate and consider Transitioning….. to a superb-quality, carbon neutral future among friends.

What is the Transition Town Environmental Movement?

The Transition environmental movement (Transition) is a global, grassroots network of people taking positive action to build community resilience against the backdrop of climate change, resource depletion and economic instability. (See TransitionUS.org, Transitionmidatlantic.org.) Dwindling supplies of cheap non-renewable energy and prevalence of extreme weather signal that society is fundamentally transforming; requiring us to regain bygone skills, especially in production of food, clothing, shelter, and energy.

What IS a Transition Reskilling?

A Transition Reskilling turns back the clock to reclaim technologies that have immediate relevance  and are key to the carbon neutral future of the Mid-Atlantic region: 1) Sail-freight, which is resurging as people build and rebuild wooden ships for the transport of goods along coastal and inland waters of the Hudson Valley, 2) Small and micro-scale, direct hydropower generation, 3) Port & dock restoration, design and management,  4) Future fisheries,  5) Boat-building and waterwheel restoration.  The Waterways Reskilling will feature dynamic speakers, music, demonstrations, a barter board and hands-on reskilling instruction. The Reskilling is also a crosspollination, networking opportunity for community organizations, businesses, academy, and government constituencies who work in related fields.

Admission by donation: $10 suggested.

Students FREE with student ID

Exhibit Space w/table Available: $54

Advertising Packages & Sponsorship Available: Please call or e-mail.

All proceeds go to local Transition Town renewable energy projects in New York and throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region.

Contact: Pamela Boyce Simms, (646) 241-8386, transitionmidatlantic.pbs@gmail.com, Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub (MATH), transitionmidatlantic.org.

WATERWAYS RESKILLING – NOVEMBER 23

VSFP - circle stamp logo bwCargo Sail ~ Sail Freight 

                             Sail-barge CSAs

:Esopus Bluff"

Small ~ Micro ~ Mini

Hydropower

Generation

 Sustainable Fisheries

Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub (MATH) &

SUNY New Paltz Environmental Task Force 

10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Who is invited?: Environmental activists, waterkeepers, boat builders, students, hydropower & fisheries resource persons, woodworkers, and concerned citizens.   

What IS a Waterways Reskilling?: A Reskilling showcases skills carbon neutral heirloom technologies that will safeguard the environment in the future.

Where:  SUNY New Paltz Lecture Center, New Paltz, NY

ENJOY:

  • dynamic speakers, films, music, demonstrations, and a barter-board.
  • learning about the voyages of the farm goods-carrying sailing barge, the Ceres, of the Vermont Sail Freight Project.
  • student-environmentalist activities: Green Colleges Forum, Environmental Art Show, Waterways Literature Contest.
  • exploring the energy generation and transportation potential of New York and Mid-Atlantic regional waterways.
  • the work of boat builders, crafts persons, and millwrights.  

Registration is Open

Register: http://register.transitionmidatlantic.org/

RSVP, Information Packet: exhibiting/advertising, or demonstrating a traditional waterways-related skill: (646) 241-8386, transitionmidatlantic.pbs@gmail.com,

Admission Donation:  $10/day, Students FREE with Student ID

Vendor/Exhibitor/Demonstrator Space is Available:

  • Exhibit Table & Space Suggested Donation:  $ 54

Hudson Riverkeeper, Paul Gallay

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Hudson Riverkeeper Paul Gallay

NY/NJ Baykeeper Founder Andrew Willner; renowned master-restorer

images-1cropped-img_00051Jim Kricker, of Rondout Woodworking, “slow tech” innovators, featuring

the Vermont Sail Freight Projectand micro hydropower pioneers working in the trenches. 

Exhibit, educate, demonstrate your water-related skills, connect with the public and environmental activist-peers.

Envision and help actualize a “powered-down” future
@ New York’s Premier Green College

Using Pre-fossil Fuel Technology on Powered Down Waterways

……….COMING THIS FALL………..

 Powered Down Waterways Reskilling Festival

PRESERVING THE PAST TO SERVE THE FUTURE 

Using Pre-fossil Fuel Technology on Powered Down Waterways 

Andrew Willner: http://www.andrewwillner.com

Transitioning…. includes reinvigoration of heirloom technologies and traditional skills needed to thrive in a carbon constrained future. Permaculture, which birthed the Transition environmental movement, offers guidance on how to use those skills to design superb quality lives.

High Tech is, “industrial technology and refers to things that are out of your control, as opposed to low technology, which is simple things done in a smart way. Low technology is using the intelligence of nature to accomplish tasks. High technology is buying an apple from the store; low technology is getting an apple from a tree you planted yourself. One of the big differences is in high technology you are disconnected from cause and effect relationships. So if you pollute through high technology, you may not feel the direct result. Low technology is connection because you are involved in the process and you are directly affected by the consequences.”  - C. Milton Dixon, interviewed in The (Chicago) Examiner in May 2011http://kinstonecircle.com/faculty/milton-dixon/

Transitioning…… fosters and supports the revitalization of “pre-petro” technological skills. The Transition environmental movement asks us to consider relearning for example, the skills needed to reanimate wind mills, sailing vessels, watermills; and pressing hand tools, levers, block and tackle back into service.1271770271_47

Two low technologies that have immediate relevance in the Mid-Atlantic region are: 1) Short Sea Shipping: i.e. carrying freight under sail  that doesn’t cross oceans, which is resurging as more people take the initiative to build and rebuild wooden ships for the transport of goods along coastal waters and the inland waters of the Hudson Valley, and,2) Mill Restoration: Water mills

Wayside_Grist_Millare being built and rebuilt for grinding grain, pressing cider, as well as producing electricity for individually owned operations and communities.  Building, restoring, preserving, and actively using these technologies is a key to preserving the past to serve the future.

The Traditional Knowledge Institute wrote in 2010: “Today, traditional knowledge is in danger and its disappearance would not only cause the loss of people’s capability to keep and pass on the artistic and natural heritage, but also of an extraordinary source of knowledge and cultural diversity from which the appropriate innovation solutions can be derived today and in the future.”

RESEARCH & RESKILLING

Commerce and water transport of farm and manufactured goods flourished for centuries before cheap fossil fuels became readily available.  Many of those technologies are still being practiced or recorded in libraries and online.

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Sailing cargo vessels for example, are competitive right now for certain cargos. Erik Andrus’ Vermont Sail Freight Project http://www.vermontsailfreightproject.org/ is the most viable in the region.  The vessel Ceres, built on a farm near Lake Champlain will carry Vermont farm goods to New York City and ports in between, and return to Burlington with fair trade goods, like cocoa beans that have been delivered by sailing vessel to Brooklyn from the Caribbean.

Mill Restoration & Asset Mapping -  Symbiotic relationships, ….e.g. pigs eat organic waste and turn it into manure; mills are located near farms; and towns organically spring up near waterways for power and transportation, …are still valid, and will be more so in the future.

Look for streams in your watershed called, “Mill Creek” and streets in your town called, “Mill Road.” In doing so you might find a mill converted to another use.  In Clinton, NJ one mill is an art center and the other is operating as an exhibit. In Thompson PA the old grain mill is operational but abandoned. Many mills are currently used as educational tools by historical societies and operated as restaurants or shops rather than for the purposes for which they were built.water-wheel

We would do well to identify locations where mills can be built or rebuilt in order to re-skill woodworkers, millwrights, and inform farmers about the advantages of water power for the future. I found at least 15 Mill Creeks in my watershed! We can conduct an inventory, and create a database of mills that are working and that can be rehabilitated. We also need a Bioregional Traditional Knowledge Database that will gather and protect historical knowledge and promote innovative practices based on traditional skills.

The Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub (MATH) of Transition US will support these efforts in the fall of 2013 by bringing together builders, millwrights, woodworkers, crafts persons, and historical societies to participate in a Powered Down Waterways Reskilling. Jim Kricker, preeminent restorer of traditional waterwheels, windmills and sailing vessels will anchor a two-day Reskilling Festival featuring demonstrations, talks, and hands-on instruction. Jim’s website http://www.rondoutwoodworking.com/ is a valuable resource for locating working and restored mills.

The International Traditional Knowledge Institute gathers and protects historical knowledge, promotes and certifies innovative practices based on the modern re-proposal of tradition. Using traditional knowledge does not mean direct reapplication of techniques from the past, but rather seeks to understand the logic of past models of knowledge. It is a dynamic system able to incorporate innovation subjected to the test of the long term and thus achieves local and environmental sustainability.

Lewis Mumford wrote in 1970:  “The great feat of medieval technics was that it was able to promote and absorb many important changes without losing the immense carryover of inventions and skill from earlier cultures.  In this lies one of it vital point of superiority over the modern mode of monotechnics, which boast of effacing, as fast and as far as possible, the technical achievements of earlier periods.” 

There are schools and apprentice shops for learning large scale woodworking skills that are needed for low tech water-driven mills, and wind-driven vessels that will be part of the continuum that supersedes the “blip” of petroleum powered short term thinking and consumption.

There are websites: The following are some links to the resources, skills, and techniques that are needed to Transition our Bioregion to one that is carbon constrained yet resilient, abundant, and equitable. Let the following list be a starting point – an opportunity to contribute your own favorite sites, books, and especially humans with these skills:

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