Monthly Archives: July 2013

Thinking like a Desert

(Event Sponsored by Transition Albany)
September 15, 2013 @ 2:00 pm - Event Details

A discussion of ways to conserve water, utilize rain from your roof without rain barrels and set up a greywater system. Here’s a cogent article to motivate you:

We will be concentrating on solutions and skill-sharing.

Screen shot 2013-07-29 at 8.30.23 PM

Posted in , , , , on July 29, 2013

The Benefits of Healing Clay

(Event Sponsored by Transition Albany Health Group)
August 18, 2013 @ 2:00 pm - Event Details

IMG_6513_1Join us!

In this class, we will learn what clay to use and how to use it. We will discuss internal as well as external uses. We will learn how to use clay for detox, pain management, for example. As you probably know already, clay is commonly used in health & beauty treatments for cleansing purposes. We will show you how to do this yourself without spending big bucks!  Learn how to use clay to lose weight, regulate your eliminative processes, help with skin ailments, digestive disturbances, etc.  It is also one of the recommended means of reducing the toxic effects of radiation (like that stuff coming our way from the Fukushima nuclear meltdown a year or so ago.   (more…)

Posted in , on July 26, 2013

An Ecology of Mind: A Day to Practice Seeing through a New Lens

(Event Sponsored by Transition Albany & Center for Personal Growth)
August 24, 2013 @ 10:00 am - Event Details

fractals-in-nature-1Change is an ecological process, one in which learning and play step lightly together, redrawing the boundaries of how we perceive the world.

Expanding our perception of the complexity we live within can reveal interactions we have never noticed.

The emerging patterns that are shared by our many stories — personal, professional, cultural, ecological, biological — offer a different sort of engagement, another form of solution, a new level of questions, another dance.

Join Nora Bateson for a day of diving into her father Gregory Bateson’s work on play and learning and seeing through a new lens to the depth of our interconnectedness with the patterns of life.


Posted in , , , , , , , on July 26, 2013

UPDATE – House-less in Albany

roma_statue1UPDATE: The City is planning to evict campers on Albany Bulb by the end of October (2013) so that the land can be included in the McLaughlin Eastshore State Park. (Of the 60 or so campers, some have called the Bulb home for more than five years and some having been encouraged to live there by local police.) The City’s latest proposal is a three-prong response (“ACT”)

Assisting those at the Bulb  by establishing two temporary trailers at the parking lot for those who need them once they are evicted. They would be made available for six months, and there would be separate provision for pet animals. People’s belongings would be stored off site (at the City maintenance yard?) for up to six months, with access.

Cleaning up the camping sites

Transitioning it to the Parks district.

For this they have found $500,000, of which about half would go to the temporary housing plan. Bear in mind that this same strategy – of FEMA-type trailers – was employed after the last sweep in the 1990s and was a stunning failure when almost no-one used them.

Housing First is a humane policy based on the observation that people with mental health issues or problems with addiction do better if they are in permanent housing before being offered treatment.

Homelessness expert Boona Cheema argues that this money could be much more useful in transitioning Bulb residents out of homelessness if it were allocated to housing instead of temporary trailers (see her article here). In addition, environmental group Phat Beets has wrote an illuminating statement about their position on the eviction here.

If you agree that this money might be better spent providing permanent housing for Bulb residents, please e-mail the Albany City Council ( ideally before the next council meeting on October 21, and ask them to vote to allocate the Assistance funds in the ACT plan to housing subsidies and allow Bulb residents to remain where they are while they search for permanent housing options.

Here  is the agenda (and associated documents) for that meeting, which starts at the earlier time of 5:30 pm, with an opportunity for public comment before the council goes into closed session regarding an impending lawsuit about the issue, and at 6:00 pm discusses (in public) an update of the housing element of the 2007-2014 General Plan (see below).


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Posted in Community Building, Local Activities, Social Justice on July 22, 2013

House-less in Albany

(Event Sponsored by Transition Albany)
July 21, 2013 @ 2:00 pm - Event Details

driftmanThe encampment of house-less people at the Albany Bulb has perennially engendered mixed feelings in Albany residents. At the same time, Albany has continued to fail in its obligation to provide low-income housing.

When the City-Council-appointed “Homeless Task Force” (which included people who live on the Bulb) recently presented their findings to the City Council, they were followed by strong words from Citizens for an East Shore State Park and the Sierra Club, and at the end of this meeting, the City agreed to remove the residents of the Bulb “humanely” by October 1, 2013.

Members of the task force, subsequently relieved of duty by the City, have now created a community-based organization, “Homeless Task Force 2”, to monitor and guide future action around this particular issue, as well as other issues related to homelessness and poverty in Albany.

Questions to ponder:

  • How much is our discomfort with the “homeless problem” driven by fear and lack of accurate information?
  • How realistic is the October 1, 2013 eviction deadline for current Bulb residents?
  • How should Albany address the challenges of homelessness and poverty in the city?
In this afternoon forum, we will hear from members of “Homeless Task Force 2”, watch at least some of Bums’ Paradise, a documentary made by a Bulb resident before and during a previous eviction in the 1990’s, listen to everyone’s input, and begin a discussion of potential solutions that could work for all parties.

Please come and help the community put our best thinking into helping solve a problem that has been brewing on our doorstep for years. This is a social justice issue about which we can make a difference, but only if we come together and talk.

All are welcome. The event is free and refreshments will be served.

Posted in , , on July 15, 2013