Transition Albany Albany, CA Tue, 15 Apr 2014 21:53:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Homeoprophylaxis: The Vaccine Alternative Fri, 11 Apr 2014 05:43:39 +0000 ]]> Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 1.38.16 PMJoin Us!

In this class, we will talk about Homeopathic Prophylaxis (HP) as a safe way to “educate” our immune system.

So what is Homeoprophylaxis?

It is the use of homeopathic medicines to protect the individual from a certain disease or affliction. In this class, we will focus on the use of HP to prevent infectious disease. Especially childhood infectious diseases. We will talk about the work of Free and Healthy Children International (FHCI). To read about the work they do, go here.  FCHI is a non-profit dedicated to research, education and access to HP.

OK, so you’re thinking: Does California (or any state for that matter) consider enrollment in FCHI’s homeoprophylaxis program as meeting state mandated requirements for immunization?


You still have to go through the state exemption process.  California has two that you can use: personal belief & medical reasons.So why bother?

Well you do learn about another view. Another approach to protect yourself from infectious disease. Hopefully you’ll understand the role of illness and learn how to educate your child’s immune system. And you get to choose. That’s power. For you. The parent.  It is your child’s life after all.

If nothing else, I hope it will encourage you to learn more about vaccines (this is a good site for factual information); read the product inserts here - read about components of vaccines here (you have to click on the name of the vaccine to see the list). I have included these links here so you can read up on these issues yourself on your own time. We are not going to talk about them in class. This way you can weigh the merits of each approach on your own.

Let me make this clear:  I am not anti-vaccine. Although I must admit I sound like it to a few folks who listen to me talk.  LOL I do, however, fret about vaccine side effects. But more than that, something inside me bristles at the mis-information being thrown around on this issue. Especially from the ‘governing bodies’ who  no longer serve our needs.  So go ahead, check the links above. They are all from the Institute for Vaccine Safety and maintained by John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. They’re not anti-vaccine either. But they do care about putting out factual information for us.

Then come to class to learn about another way to protect your family.  After that, it is entirely up to you which way to go.


Lourdes is a Homeopathic Practitioner with a certificate in Homeoprophylaxis.


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Years of Living Dangerously Thu, 10 Apr 2014 05:45:52 +0000 ]]> Here’s a review

The TV Network Showtime is starting a series on Climate Change that is best watched with others. It premiers on Saturday at 7 pm, but through we are able to show it at 2 pm (because that’s when the library room is free). We will follow it with discussion and/or a taped panel discussion

After watching the first episode (60 minutes) you’ll know how Twinkies, the civil war in Syria, and devastating unemployment in Plainsview, TX,  are connected.

Below are the notes we took during the discussion. the Episode 1 is avialble for watching at

Thank so much to Saundra Hodges, who took the notes on which these are based.

Here are the notes and links from the screening of Years of Living Dangerously on April 13 in Albany.

The most relevant issues for us were drought/water shortage, breaking through human ignorance/faith-based denial, and palm oil in products we buy (two girl scouts lobbied to remove palm oil from the GS cookies only to have it replaces with hydrogenated oil)
Deforestation is responsible for 20% of carbon in the atmosphere
Carbon credits are problematic when they shut indigenous people from their own land (Indonesia, India)
Ford Foundation listed as a supporter of YEARS

After last report, one IPCC panel member said we have a chance if we do everything we can individually and everything we can on the political front.


Divest from palm oil (Arnold Schwartzenegger has investments in Indonesian palm oil – put on the pressure)
Divest from fossil fuels – to stop Keystone XL Pipeline
Stop the twin tunnels from the Delta to Southern California may have information about further episiodes
Positive Money UK
Steady State Economy
Transition Movement and the REconomy Project
Get on your bike! Providing an example helps other overcome fear.
League of Women Voters Climate Change group concentrates on the candidates for office
Learn about Permaculture Design as an alternative to conventional, water-sucking agriculture
Carbon offsets can help when we are compelled to create GHG emissions
Promote climate literacy:
When dealing with overwhelm: remember we have power to make our own choices, and we can set an example.
Residential CPUC solar incentives have run out but have been replaced with federal subsidies.
Connect with people where they are: stewardship (of the planet) is a biblical concept: Be responsible for your own pollution



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New Website Feature – Email Notification Mon, 07 Apr 2014 06:49:55 +0000 ]]> We’ve added a new feature to the Transition Albany website: email notification of Posts and Events. Now you can keep up with new material without having to worry about remembering to check the website.

Subscribing to email notification is simple. Below the “Upcoming Events” section on the right side of the Home Page you’ll see a box that appears as follows:


Just enter your email address and click the “Subscribe” button in the side bar to the right of the announcement on the Home Page.  You’ll immediately receive an email with a link to confirm your subscription.

Each time a new Post or Event is added to the website, you’ll receive an email. The email will contain  an excerpt, followed by a link to the entire article.

If you decide you no longer wish to receive the notifications, there’s an “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of each email.

That’s it! We hope you find this new capability useful.

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Calendula Officinalis & Its Uses Wed, 02 Apr 2014 06:05:41 +0000 ]]> Calendula_officinalis_2Join Us!

On Earth Day, April 22nd, we will launch Transition Albany Health Group’s Medicine-Making Series.  And we start with how to make your very own Calendula tincture!  It’s the perfect time. Calendula blossoms are everywhere. Gorgeous blossoms that follow the sun from sunrise to sunset.  If you walk around the neighborhood, you’ll see them.

What’s Calendula officinalis and why should you bother making a tincture out of it?  Well, it is only the number one homeopathic remedy for open wounds! I routinely slice off tips of my fingers  and I’ve never had to have any of it  stitched up. I simply spray Calendula on the open wound and the next day I only have a pink spot. Yes, yes,  only slivers of my flesh were cut off, but enough to cause profuse bleeding, etc. But with my Calendula around, no more open wound. No infection. No scar.  If you have children who occasionally lose the skin off their knees, etc., Calendula can easily become  your best friend, if not already.

So wouldn’t you like to know how to make your own stash of this awesome vulnerary?

Thought so.  

If you have Calendula plants and they should be blooming now, pluck those blossoms.  Buds, too. Put in a clean container and bring them. You can make your own tincture with me. Best if you bring your own alcohol (40-50% grain alcohol or even 80 proof Vodka. Bev Mo sells organic vodka).  I’ll bring some extra mortar & pestles for folks to use at the class. Bring also an 8 oz mason jar for your tincture brew.

We will set aside  time to  discuss how to store & use the tincture.  We will also discuss shorter shelf life formulations which you can do in a pinch.

And if you don’t care for this medicine-making stuff, but would like to know how to use the medicine anyway, we’ll have some pre made Calendula tinctures that you can buy.

Class is free. Donations very much appreciated.

See you in class!


Lourdes is a Homeopathic Practitioner who teaches Homeopathy in First Aid. She makes her own medicines and has not spent a penny on medicines for open wounds since making her own Calendula tincture.


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Earth Day SF Tue, 01 Apr 2014 05:51:49 +0000 ]]> Screen shot 2014-03-31 at 10.38.07 PMWELCOME TO SAN FRANCISCO’S Fourth Annual Earth Day Celebration and 1 pm Rally for Climate Sanity

On April 19th, up to 10,000 people from the San Francisco Bay Area, and beyond, will converge at U.N. Plaza/ Civic Center to celebrate Earth Day San Francisco 2014. The event will feature three stages of Multi-Cultural Music and Performance, Renowned Keynote Speakers, Interactive D.I.Y. Workshops, Green-Economy and Businesses Info, Representatives from Indigenous Community Leaders, Civic Agencies,  Youth Empowerment Groups, Green Tech Info,  Fashion Industry Leaders, Religious Leaders, and Prominent ‘Eco-Green’ Political Officials.

The public is promised a fantastic day with exposure to various informative & interactive learning experiences, such as Green Jobs Info, Cutting-Edge Eco-Fashion Shows & Eco Artist Grove, Organic Food Cooking Demos, a Huge Green Kids Zone & Eco-Carnival.

Join Musicians and Performers, Educators and Mentors, Artists and Artisans, Crafts People, Civic and Community Leaders, Ceremonialists, Workshop Leaders, Youth Activists and Social Justice Non-Profit Organizations, in this powerful full-on day of green sustainability solutions.  This year’s festival focuses on activating the public to energetically pursue effective green solutions and integrate these sustainable practices into everyday life. Designed to empower the people of the Bay Area Community, and beyond, to start individually and collectively addressing the local and planetary environmental challenges we all face.

Earth Day San Francisco is a partner and fiscally sponsored by The Park Trust Alliance and will host the following amazing array of activities:

  • Internationally Recognized Speakers: BILL MCKIBBEN [best-selling author and environmentalist], Leila Salazar-Lopez  [Amazon Watch], Kevin Danaher [Green Festivals Director], Dr. Margaret Lowman [Director Chief of Sciences and Sustainability at Cal Academy of Sciences] and many more, who will grace our stage and engage the public in stimulating and educational discussion
  • Organic Food & Beer Court: Healthy Food and Organic Beer served throughout the day
  • Green D.I.Y. Zone: This hands-on ‘Do It Yourself’ Section will feature classes in converting your car to electric power, building a solar oven, building your own bike, and many other family fun activities.
  • Permaculture Zone: Presenting an exciting array of ongoing creations and workshops with Permaculturist, Living Mandala’s Jay Ma, Gray Water/Rainwater Demos, Cob Hut Creation, Earth Mandala, Worm Farm Workshop, Urban Gardening, Common Vision Tree Grafting Intro, and a Vertical Garden Installation.
  • Clean Energy Zone: Electric Car Showcase, Bio-Diesel and Demos on Wind, Water and Solar-Driven Energy (as well as a few Eco-Art Cars).
  • Eco-Exhibitors: More than 80 Earth-Friendly Products, Green-Fashion, and Handmade Crafts
  • Earth-Friendly Fashion: throughout the day & Eco-Fashion Shows: Top Earth-Friendly Designers and Youth Fashion Groups on display
  • Youth in Action Zone: Leaders from Green Youth-in-Action Groups, such as “Teen-Turn Green,” “Challenge Day,” Generation Wake Up and many others, speak out on Cutting-Edge Environmental Topics
  • Sustainable Chef Showcase: All Day Cooking Demos !! 
JOIN Thousands IN A ‘CALL TO ACTION’ !!! Our Climate Action Rally leaves from Justin Herman Plaza and joins the Earth Day Festival at 1 PM. Let your voice be heard on April 19th 2014 at U.N. Plaza. Transition Albany will join other Transition Initiatives to make our presence felt and we may even have a mini float! Contact us at TransitionAlbanyCA at gmail dot org to be involved.
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Spring Planting Celebration at the Gill Tract Farm Mon, 31 Mar 2014 23:21:13 +0000 ]]> gill tract 2The community and UC Berkeley have been collaborating for months to open this area to community farming, and a small group has  been preparing the soil for this special day when a lot of planting will happen. If you would like to be more involved, contact Vanessa below, and come to this celebration!

Come celebrate with us on our big spring planting event! Invite all of your friends, family, neighbors, and communities! Mark your calendars for 11am-3pm at the Gill Tract for a fun family celebration of the spring and earth day, and planting the land.

We will need some dedicated members of the soil and planting team, and other community members with experience in gardening, to lead volunteers!

10 Volunteers- Come for set up at 9am, event begins at 11am. Lead groups of students and community members in planting our spring starts, model respectful stewardship of the land, and encourage commitment to caring for these plants and joining this community process.

Main contact: Vanessa Raditz,

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ARISE Mon, 31 Mar 2014 22:54:20 +0000 ]]> Screen shot 2014-03-31 at 10.20.31 PMA week after Earth Day, 2014, join us for a major screening of the 2012 documentary Arise, described by Huffington Post as “transformative,” and by the New York Times as a “genuinely felt letter to the world.” While many films about the state of the planet leave one feeling depressed, the film makers have made this an experience that will uplift you and inspire action!

Transition Albany and Transition Berkeley are screening Arise for one night only as a benefit for our local heroes, Planting Justice.
Tickets can be purchased from the Albany Twin Theater box office (and online) for $10 ($8 for seniors and students) after April 15th.
Narrated by Daryl Hannah, Arise captures the portraits and stories of extraordinary women around the world who are coming together to heal the injustices against the earth. The film does a beautiful job of covering food justice issues round the world and weaves together poetry, music, art and stunning scenery to create a hopeful and collective story that inspires us to work for the earth.
Written, directed and produced by Lori Joyce with Candace Orlando, Arise has won numerous film awards, and Executive Producer Molly Stone will be present at our screening to answer questions after the film.
Please come, bring friends, and get inspired by the film’s vital message about the power of women (and all Earth’s citizens) to lead far-reaching environmental change.
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Putting Permaculture into Practice in the Edible Landscape, Session 3 Thu, 13 Mar 2014 04:09:42 +0000 ]]> Drop-ins Welcome!  Free for regular Edible Landscape Project volunteers and anyone 50 years old and older.  $15 for new participants.

Session 3:  Focus on Social Permaculture IMG_1374

Using the Permaculture design principles of Use and Value Renewal Resources and Services, Use and Value Diversity, and Creatively Use and Respond to Change, we will explore what it takes to create flourishing human working groups through various exercises and a panel discussion with our own Alexa Hauser, plus special guests, Kat Steele and Joanna Claasen. 

Kat Steele is a permaculture activist, designer, and educator. Founder of the Urban Permaculture Guild, Kat facilitates workshops on sustainability, permaculture, and eco-literacy. Her focus has been urban eco-social design, city repair, and the power of placemaking. She presently leads the Growing Beyond Green Sustainability Initiative at Esalen.

Joanna Claasen joyfully brings Permaculture influenced education to East Bay children and parents.  You can learn more about her at:

The second half of the class will be spent starting seeds in trays to take home until they are ready to be planted out and continuing to flesh out our group signage project.

We will spend the entire session outside in the garden. Meet at our usual 11 am at the bleachers near the West Garden.

Things to bring:

Clothing layers



Empty ½ gallon paper milk cartons

Toilet paper rolls

Seeds if you have them. What we plant is still to be determined, partially by our class, so I wouldn’t  rush out to purchase seeds. Rather if you happen to have some bring them along for consideration.

A contribution for our “potluck” bouquet  which we will construct as an opening to the day. I’m looking for flowers and greenery in 9” to 18” lengths and I will have some vases on hand.

Hypericum perforatum-06-Sint_Janskruid3-F7

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Make Your Own Miso Sat, 08 Mar 2014 09:10:27 +0000 ]]> misoJoin Us!

And Learn how to make your own miso! This class is part of the free portion of Transition Albany Health Group’s Fermentation Series, where we focus on DIY fermented foods.

There is a world of difference between commercially prepared ‘fermented’ foods and the ones you make at home. Fermented foods the old fashioned way are so beneficial to overall health that they are often referred to as ‘probiotics’. They increase overall nutrition, promote the growth of friendly intestinal bacteria, aid digestion, support immune function, a good source of B vitamins, digestive enzymes, etc.

Miso is one of these ‘probiotic’ foods.  

So what is miso?

Well, according to Wikipedia, miso is ‘a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting rice, barley and/or soybeans with salt and the fungus Aspergillus oryzae…” Yup. Another helpful microbe.  Predigesting the rice, barley and/or soybeans so it is more bioavailable for us. Miso is  used for sauces, spreads, pickling veggies (just like whey!) or meats & soups.  It is loaded with vitamins & minerals and up there in protein.  So yeah, it is good for you!  And tastes great to boot!   It is said that soy has to be fermented for it to be digestible. Miso, soy sauce & tempeh are the three fermented soy products – the good soy products. The rest, not so much. Especially considering that most soy out there are genetically modified. But that’s another story.

Wakana is going to show us how to make our own miso as well as how to use it.  I certainly would like to pick her brain how to make miso soup. I’ve played with it in the past and it is not quite as good as some of the ones they serve with my Japanese meal.  There’s gotta be a secret ingredient in there somewhere and I will hopefully pluck it out of Wakana’s brain.  :)

You with me?


This class is free. Demo only. Some of the classes offered in this Fermentation Series are not. (You get a chance at hands on with the fee based classes). So take advantage!  And we do appreciate donations. It helps cover  expenses.

For those who would like to go home with your own miso, Wakana will offer pre-made miso to go. For sale.

See you in class!  Best if you comment below to confirm.  It helps to prepare samplers!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!


Wakana Kawamura has been making her own miso for decades. She grew up in Japan and now resides in Albany.  She is very active in the Transition Albany coordinated  Edible Landscape Project at Memoral Park on Portland.

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DIY Milk Kefir Fri, 28 Feb 2014 20:02:56 +0000 ]]> kefir1Join Us!

The first of Transition Albany Health Group’s Fermentation Series, this class will show you how to make your own milk kefir.  Yes, yes, you can learn to do this watching videos on the web. That’s how I did it.  But what you will skip are the numerous hours of doubt whether you ruined the whole batch and had to dump the whole concoction only to find out later it was all good. Yup. Did that. Even had to dump a whole batch of kefir grains because I thought I killed them all.  Nothing like seeing it with your own eyes!  This is your chance to learn all about making your own milk kefir without the anxious moments. That’s priceless!

Why make milk kefir?

It is quite well known that we humans living in this modern world are woefully lacking in beneficial gut bacteria.  And it is also well known that if your gut is not well, illness follows. So milk kefir is chock full of good bacteria. You know. Probiotics. Immune booster probiotics.  Some claim that milk kefir has up to 50 times more probiotics than yogurt. There are those who claim that they hardly ever get sick after consuming milk kefir regularly.  So making milk kefir is having your own probiotics factory!  What could be more awesome than that?

There are two parts to this class: The first part is on milk kefir. In this section you will learn to hydrate dehydrated kefir grains (if you ever need to know), what supplies and equipment are suitable to use, milk of choice, the merits of second fermentation, flavoring your milk kefir, making cheese out of them, storing the milk kefir grains, taking a break from kefiring as well as what to do with all that piling kefir grains? (Hint: You can give them away or sell them.) And what about that whey?  Aha! that goes into another fermentation class!

We will have a chance at tasting freshly harvested kefir during the break.

The second part goes into making a simple Honey Shampoo and a Coconut Milk Hair Conditioner. You will learn how to make your own coconut milk free of BPA and whatever preservatives they dump into your food!

OK, you on?

Space is limited. We are holding the class at Loni Gray’s house in Berkeley.  (Easy to find. Plenty of street parking. If I can find it, you certainly can. )  So ideal number for the class is between 6-9. 9 is pushing it.  Reserve your space by emailing me at Or commenting below. I will let you know if you’re in.

Class fee is $25. Plus ingredients/supplies fee of $15. Really cheap considering the benefits you will reap – if you apply what you’ve learned!

To a healthy life!

Hope to see you there.


Lourdes has been frantically kefiring for months in preparation for this class. And it is time to scale down production. Time for class!

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